I Could Not Have Orchestrated This

I have been walking a path of grace with God my Father for several years now.   At times it seems that I have needed to make sure I was “doing enough” for him to make sure I was on his good side, or that I would have the right answer when someone asked, or that I fulfilled some inner critic that would nag me if I didn’t read enough, pray enough, or say enough loving things to those around me.

But as I have taken this past summer to reflect on my relationship with Jesus, and his indwelling in me, I have come to a place of rest.  Resting in his grace and leaving behind the striving lifestyle that has defined most of my life.

My friend Pablo Giacopelli calls it Holding on Loosely.

Speaking of Pablo, he and I met through a mutual friend regarding some assistance he needed in publishing his book, Holding on Loosely.  Pablo and I Skype’d for much of 2011 as he lives in Israel with his wife and daughter.  We traded many emails and Skype calls in order to get his book ready for printing.  Pablo worked very hard on his end to do all the things a new author is supposed to do–build relationships, get the word out, become visible on social media, etc.

I knew Pablo had a very good story about living a life of grace and finding life in the tension between trying to control all the details of life in order to WIN and resigning oneself to a life of failure, or at best trying hard “not to lose.”

One of the issues that I knew would be a challenge was that this book would best be sold in the US and the UK, but Pablo was in Israel and there isn’t exactly a market for a book about how Jesus changed your life in a land nearly filled with new and old-fashioned Jewish folk.   Pablo recently told me that there are only 15,000 Christians in the land of Israel.  The rest are mostly Hebrews.

So anyway, back to my story.

It was about the middle of August and I had just returned from our family vacation and Pablo mentioned he was going to be coming to the US with his family, but he didn’t have plans to come to Michigan.  Here’s where things get really amazing for me.

I asked Pablo if he would like to come here if I was able to get a couple speaking engagements.  He said sure, but the only days he could make it were Tues Sept 25 and Weds Sept 26.   I went ahead and made a call to Resurrection Life Church, one of, if not the largest church in Grand Rapids, and asked if Pablo could speak to their men’s group on Tues Sept 25 at 6:30am.  This is a group of about 160-180 men and they usually have their speakers planned and scheduled months out in advance.  By God’s grace, Pastor Tom Smith agreed to work Pablo into their schedule.  I was surprised at how easy it was because Tom had never heard of Pablo before.  But he obviously trusted the Spirit which was at work in this.

Because of Pablo’s tennis background (2008 Beijing Olympics, coach of some notable top 20 WTA players), I’d been wanting to get Pablo’s book into the hands of the local tennis pro who works with the area instructors at the three main tennis clubs here in town.  I knew that I needed a lead to make this contact be viable.  Lo and behold, the day I received word that ResLife was going to have Pablo share, I got an email from a man named Dave Brouwer.  Dave said in his email that he was the worship leader at the Tues AM men’s group at ResLife, and that he was also the head tennis pro with 20 instructors.  He wanted to know if Pablo could come by the tennis club to meet his instructors and do a clinic for some junior players, then offer a time to speak to their parents and anyone else in the club that would be interested.  Whoa.  Really?

All in all, Pablo spoke to about 450 people in the three days he was here in Grand Rapids and we sold 150+ books.  I am so thankful to God for his provision and for each and every person along the way that helped make this possible.  Glory to God.   Just so thankful right now.  How did I get here? By trusting the Father’s grace and holding on loosely.  By not trying to control everything.  What a relief!

If you want to hear Pablo Giacopelli speak, feel free to click here.  He brings a refreshing perspective and an energy and realness to his message.

Failure:  The Richest Training Ground

Also, we are offering some new special pricing on Holding on Loosely:  Finding Life in the Beautiful Tension.  Click here to be taken to the Holding on Loosely website.

Grace and Life to all,

Kevin

 

 

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