RSS

Tag Archives: Stuart Hall

North Point Church Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall (Part 2 of 3)

Quotes from “Surviving COVID: An Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall” from North Point Community Church

48:15
Andy Stanley: So, Stuart, I want to wrap up with maybe the hardest question or the biggest question. One of the mysteries of our faith is the providence of God. Who’s in charge? The sovereignty of God. You know, what role do we have? And you touched on this earlier. Did God cause this to happen? Do you just respond to what happened? Just life, random. How has this event changed your view of the sovereignty of God or God’s activity in the world? I mean, how…the whole issue of certainty. Talk a little bit about that.

Stuart Hall: Well, Kellee and I had already been wrestling with that a little bit. We did have a window of time as empty nesters where she would travel with me when I would go and speak different places. The more we’ve been around the country, the more we’ve talked to people, the more I started feeling really antsy about this reality: That–and this sounds really harsh, Andy–but I feel like we’ve made an idol out of certainty. Like we…And an idol isn’t an idol because it has a particular property to it. An idol is an idol because of the value you place on it. And so much of our existence revolves around security and certainty. And I think what has happened in our life as a result of this is this unveiling of the fact that you’ve got your value on the wrong things. The only thing you can trust–you know, the writer of Hebrews says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn’t say your circumstances are. He doesn’t say your marriage will be. He doesn’t say your health will be. He doesn’t say your children will be. He doesn’t say your country will be. He doesn’t say the economy will be. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So the question becomes then, why would I lean my life on anything but him? Do I think that God made this happen? It’s such an interesting tension because to believe in an all-knowing God is to believe that God knows everything. I don’t know if God made it happen. I do know he wants to make it matter. And because he wants to make it matter, I think that she and I feel this, almost like this burden, that we’ve got a join him in whatever it is he’s trying to do because of the story. Because of what it is that he has done in our life. And what we don’t want to do…it’s interesting when uncertainty happens I think we all have this propensity wherever there’s a contradiction we’ll set up an opposition to it. If something contradicts our certainty–like with COVID, for example–it’s a contradiction in our certainty so when go, “Well, it’s a conspiracy theory.” Or, “It’s a political agenda.”

Dear God, the idea of making an idol out of certainty really struck me.

I heard this interview a few days ago and intended to pray to you about these quotes this morning, but while I was getting cleaned up and starting my day about an hour ago I watched this “Reaction Video” on YouTube.

Notice the title she chose for the piece was, “This one broke me.” She’s reacting to the song “Piece by Piece” from Kelly Clarkson. The video hit me on two levels. First, Clarkson’s song (which I happened to catch when she performed this life a couple of years ago) is so full of pain and determination that you can’t help but be touched by it. Second, the last words the “reactor” said in the video were, “The first person that ever broke my heart…the first man that ever broke my heart was my dad.” Wow. Heartbreaking.

As a dad who has had complicated relationships with my children, I wondered if they would use those words about me. I never left. I stuck it out through thick and thin. But did I inadvertently break their hearts?

Here are the lyrics to Clarkson’s song:

“Piece by Piece”

And all I remember is your back
Walking towards the airport, leaving us all in your past
I traveled fifteen hundred miles to see you
I begged you to want me, but you didn’t want to

But piece by piece, he collected me up
Off the ground, where you abandoned things
Piece by piece he filled the holes that you burned in me
Six years old and you know
He never walks away
He never asks for money
He takes care of me
He loves me
Piece by piece, he restores my faith
That a man can be kind and the father could, stay

And all of your words fall flat
I made something of myself and now you wanna come back
But your love, it isn’t free, it has to be earned
Back then I didn’t have anything you needed so I was worthless

But piece by piece, he collected me up
Off the ground, where you abandoned things
Piece by piece he filled the holes that you burned in me
Six years old and you know
He never walks away
He never asks for money
He takes care of me
‘Cause he loves me
Piece by piece, he restored my faith
That a man can be kind and a father could, stay
Piece by piece

Piece by piece I fell far from the tree
I will never leave her like you left me
And she will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I’m going to put her first and you know
He’ll never walk away,
He’ll never break her heart
He’ll take care of things, he’ll love her
Piece by piece, he restored my faith
That a man can be kind and the father should be great
Piece by piece
Piece by piece

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gregory Kurstin / Kelly Clarkson

Where I want to weave this song and the interview with the Halls together is the idea of trying to be that person of certainty for someone else. She is determined that her husband is going to be that source of certainty for their little girl. She is determined that she will be a source of certainty for her little girl. But as you get older you realize that not only does certainty not come from the economy, work, marriage, children, etc. It doesn’t come from me either. I am not the same yesterday, today and forever. I can die at any moment. I can make unintentional mistakes. I can say something cruel in the heat of the moment.

But you. You are there. Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit, you are there. You love me. You are the same. It made me so sad a couple of months ago when I saw that Clarkson and her husband were divorcing. I thought of this song immediately. I didn’t read any of the stories, so I have zero idea of the details, but I know there have been tears. I know every person involved has been hurt and cried over this, and with those tears might come feelings of rejection. And I’ll assume that everyone is doing their best. But we are not capable of being the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Father, help my children to heal from whatever has hurt their hearts over the years. Help them to find their certainty in your love and to rest in that peace. Help me to do the same. It’s not up to my wife to be my certainty, and it’s not up to me to be hers. Yes, I will do my best, but I will fail. She will do her best, but she can’t be the same yesterday, today, and forever. No one can. But you are the foundation of the universe. You love me. You only ask for me to turn loose of these transient things of the world (including my own selfish desires) and be part of your kingdom. Help me to do that today.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

North Point Church Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall (Part 1 of 3)

Quotes from “Surviving COVID: An Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall” from North Point Community Church

40:52
Stuart Hall: I read this week, and I think this parallels with what you’re saying–the writer posed this question: “Have you placed your trust in your theology or the God of your theology?” And that’s really easy for us to get confused. And the way that Kellee and our children have inspired me is exactly what you’re saying. The writer of Hebrews says that we can approach the throne of God with confidence and he’ll give us grace and mercy. But those are not the outcomes we really desire. What we want to do is go, “Well, no, we want him to live and we want him to be completely healthy.” And the writer of Hebrews goes, “You can have confidence that he’s going to give you grace to go through whatever it is that you are going to go through, and he’s going to be merciful to you in that process.” And it does, it pushes against this–if we get really honest I think all of us, we tend to live…our faith ends up being a churched up version of the American dream with just enough Jesus to make it seem legitimate. And what’s happened to us is that that’s been knocked out from under us, and now you go, “Okay, are we going to…are we going to trust Jesus? Are we going to lean the full weight of our life on him? Or are we going to trust what we think about him or what we believe about him? And those are two different things.

Dear God, before I get into this quote from Andy Stanley’s interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall, I want to just say that I’m sorry I’ve ha trouble stilling my mind lately. It almost feels like my brain and thought processes have become addicted to stimulation of thought, and not necessarily news. Maybe it’s just having a TV program, a podcast, or even music running. Whatever it is, I feel unsettled right now. I’m kind of wound up, and my brain doesn’t want to let go of being wound up. If it starts to hit a quiet moment than I look for something to wind it up again. I think that, today at least, I am going to concentrate on allowing for more silence. I’ll see if I can “detox” a little.

Now, back to the interview. Do I have faith in my theology or the God of my theology? Have I made an idol of my faith? By coincidence, Fred Smith’s weekly blog dealt with a similar concept this morning. He talked about how you worked with the Israelites in Numbers 21 when you sent the serpents after they grumbled a lot and then you had Moses craft a staff with a serpent at the top and if people looked upon it they were saved from death from the serpent bites. He said that 800 years later, worshiping the serpent staff became part of the Israelite culture. They took a symbol of you and ascribed your power to it. They made it an idol.

He then said that we still do the same thing today: ancient relics of the early church, crosses, and even the Bible itself. Of course, there are the other obvious things like Stuart Hall mentions in this interview. We put our faith in things that change instead of Jesus/you/Holy Spirit, which never changes. The economy. Our health. Our church. Our education. Our intellect. My bank account. A politician. I put my faith in all of these things at one time or another as I get distracted from you and what you are calling me to do.

Father, right now there is a particular fork in my road at work, and I need your wisdom and provision to carry us through both the short-term and the long-term. I need to be still before you. I need to rest in you. I need to listen for your voice and give you all of my worship and praise.

I pray all of this in Jesus’s name,

Amen

 

Tags: , , , ,

North Point Church Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall (Part 3 of 3)

Quotes from “Surviving COVID: An Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall” from North Point Community Church

54:53
Andy Stanley: If you were sitting over a coffee table with our audience–either single men and women, married men and women, seniors, high school students, college students, and you had your, you know, your elevator pitch…the final moment–what do you say?

Stuart Hall: I would probably say that I think we have the wrong job description for love. As humans we are always trying to avoid pain. As parents we are always trying to protect our children from pain. As friends we are always trying to fix each other’s pain. And no wonder we always feel like failures because life is, it’s the human drama. It’s pleasure and pain. And the question I would have you wrestle with is just simply this: What are you going to trust in when that pain happens? When your certainty is made uncertain? Are you going to lean your life on your own understanding? Your own ability to reason? Your own ability to wrap this up and put a bow on it? Or will you trust your life to the only one that doesn’t change, that doesn’t move, and can actually heal you of your pain, can heal you in your hurt? The last thing I would say is that your love for Jesus doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be true. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be true. So I implore you–if you’re not a Jesus person, you don’t follow him–would you consider what you’re leaning your life up against? And if you are a Jesus person, you are…you do follow in the way of Jesus, how much are you trusting him? Are you trusting what you know about him, or are you really trusting him? That’s my prayer for people, that they will lean their life, the full weight of their existence on him.

Dear God, I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, and he said something I think is very true: Struggle is underrated. Struggle and pain are an important part of our human development–all of the way until death. If there is no struggle we will atrophy and die.

My wife has had a couple of specific stressors in her life lately, and she was talking about them with a friend. The friend asked if she had considered taking any antidepressants to help alleviate the stress, and my wife hadn’t considered it because she wasn’t trying to avoid the pain of the situation. She does things to care for herself through this time like prayer time in a chapel with you on a daily basis, exercise, and nourishing herself with a variety of Godly and intellectually stimulating things, but she isn’t trying to mask why is going on. And that’s not to say that there is not a time and place for antidepressants, but I do believe they are overused in our society. As part of that same conversation when she told me about what her friend said, my wife told me that 1 out of 6 Americans are on some sort of antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. That means 17% of our country, including children, feel the need to mask their stress. I don’t know what that number should ideally be, but for what is supposedly the greatest country in the world, that seems like a high number.

One of the challenges I faced as a parent was trying to figure out when to mitigate the pain my children were experiencing and when to let them walk through it–albeit with my love and support. And there were times when I tried to not intervene when others would intervene and short-circuit any good that might have come from the struggle. It was a frustrating process, and I don’t think it’s a concept that is taught enough in parenting books.

And then there’s my own life. How do I face struggle and pain? Do I lean on you, or do I try to avoid it? Do I live in denial or do I live in faith (although there is a thin line between living in denial and living in faith). And to be sure, the struggles in my life are pretty mild when compared with other stories I know, but there are still times when I’d rather just curl up in my bed and not face the realities in front of me.

Lately, and I’ve told you this a lot in these journals recently, there have been times when I’ve let the COVID-19 news, the daily deaths, the depletion of healthcare resources, etc. get to me. I recently rediscovered a playlist I made of 15 songs I listened to in 2005 when I was unemployed for six months. They are a mixture of worship songs (“Forever” by Chris Tomlin) and songs about seeking you for comfort. The lead-off song is a guy who can’t get out of bed from the weight of his stress (“Staring at a Bird” by The Waiting). Another song has the line, “Sometimes he calms the storm, but other times he calms his child” (“Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by Scott Krippayne). A couple are songs about repentance like dc Talk’s cover of Charlie Peacock’s “In the Light.” I pulled this playlist out this week and listened to it quite a bit.

Father, I guess I’ll finish with this. If the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23) then I want to lean into you/Jesus/Holy Spirit as much as possible to face the trials before me and to help others face their trials as well. I want to do it with transparency and vulnerability. And I want to be a person of action. I don’t want to just sit here and think thoughts that are useless unless they are activated. I want to be a person who sees a need, hears your voice about how you would have me respond, and then be your presence in that situation. Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can (and your blessing, wisdom, and power in that work), and the wisdom to know the difference.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

North Point Church Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall

Quotes from “Surviving COVID: An Interview with Stuart and Kellee Hall” from North Point Community Church

40:52
Stuart Hall: I read this week, and I think this parallels with what you’re saying–the writer posed this question: “Have you placed your trust in your theology or the God of your theology?” And that’s really easy for us to get confused. And the way that Kellee and our children have inspired me is exactly what you’re saying. The writer of Hebrews says that we can approach the throne of God with confidence and he’ll give us grace and mercy. But those are not the outcomes we really desire. What we want to do is go, “Well, no, we want him to live and we want him to be completely healthy.” And the writer of Hebrews goes, “You can have confidence that he’s going to give you grace to go through whatever it is that you are going to go through, and he’s going to be merciful to you in that process.” And it does, it pushes against this–if we get really honest I think all of us, we tend to live…our faith ends up being a churched up version of the American dream with just enough Jesus to make it seem legitimate. And what’s happened to us is that that’s been knocked out from under us, and now you go, “Okay, are we going to…are we going to trust Jesus? Are we going to lean the full weight of our life on him? Or are we going to trust what we think about him or what we believe about him? And those are two different things.

48:15
Andy Stanley: So, Stuart, I want to wrap up with maybe the hardest question or the biggest question. One of the mysteries of our faith is the providence of God. Who’s in charge? The sovereignty of God. You know, what role do we have? And you touched on this earlier. Did God cause this to happen? Do you just respond to what happened? Just life, random. How has this event changed your view of the sovereignty of God or God’s activity in the world? I mean, how…the whole issue of certainty. Talk a little bit about that.

Stuart Hall: Well, Kellee and I had already been wrestling with that a little bit. We did have a window of time as empty nesters where she would travel with me when I would go and speak different places. The more we’ve been around the country, the more we’ve talked to people, the more I started feeling really antsy about this reality: That–and this sounds really harsh, Andy–but I feel like we’ve made an idol out of certainty. Like we…And an idol isn’t an idol because it has a particular property to it. And idol is an idol because of the value you place on it. And so much of our existence revolves around security and certainty. And I think what has happened in our life as a result of this is this unveiling of the fact that you’ve got your value on the wrong things. The only thing you can trust–you know, the write of Hebrews says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn’t say your circumstances are. He doesn’t say your marriage will be. He doesn’t say your health will be. He doesn’t say your children will be. He doesn’t say your country will be. He doesn’t say the economy will be. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So the question becomes then, why would I lean my life on anything but him? Do I think that God made this happen? It’s such an interesting tension because to believe in an all-knowing God is to believe that God knows everything. I don’t know if God made it happen. I do know he wants to make it matter. And because he wants to make it matter, I think that she and I feel this, almost like this burden, that we’ve got a join him in whatever it is he’s trying to do because of the story. Because of what it is that he has done in our life. And what we don’t want to do…it’s interesting when uncertainty happens I think we all have this propensity wherever there’s a contradiction we’ll set up an opposition to it. If something contradicts our certainty–like with COVID, for example–it’s a contradiction in our certainty so when go, “Well, it’s a conspiracy theory.” Or, “It’s a political agenda.”

54:53
Andy Stanley: If you were sitting over a coffee table with our audience–either single men and women, married men and women, seniors, high school students, college students, and you had your, you know, your elevator pitch…the final moment–what do you say?

Stuart Hall: I would probably say that I think we have the wrong job description for love. As humans we are always trying to avoid pain. As parents we are always trying to protect our children from pain. As friends we are always trying to fix each other’s pain. And no wonder we always feel like failures because life is, it’s the human drama. It’s pleasure and pain. And the question I would have you wrestle with is just simply this: What are you going to trust in when that pain happens? When your certainty is made uncertain? Are you going to lean your life on your own understanding? Your own ability to reason? Your own ability to wrap this up and put a bow on it? Or will you trust your life to the only one that doesn’t change, that doesn’t move, and can actually heal you of your pain, can heal you in your hurt? The last thing I would say is that your love for Jesus doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be true. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be true. So I implore you–if you’re not a Jesus person, you don’t follow him–would you consider what you’re leaning your life up against? And if you are a Jesus person, you are…you do follow in the way of Jesus, how much are you trusting him? Are you trusting what you know about him, or are you really trusting him? That’s my prayer for people, that they will lean their life, the full weight of their existence on him.

Dear God, I should probably spend the next few days and separate out these three different sets of quotes from Stuart Hall.

I was riding my bike the other day and listening to this interview/podcast/sermon from North Point Community Church, and I’m so grateful for it. When I came across these three specific quotes, I looked at the phone and noted the time stamp so I could go back and find them. I loved them.

I guess, from a macro level, it was just so nice to hear from a couple that has been through trials, but their faith was solid throughout because their faith was in the right thing. They had the right perspective on you.

I haven’t always had that kind of faith. Sure, sometimes I have. Probably the high point of my faith was 25 years ago next month when my wife miscarried our first child, Sandra. I was 25 years old and kneeling beside her hospital bed and my prayer to you was that you knew my heat and you knew what I wanted, but I trusted you and I had faith in you. You were my God, and I put it all in your hands. Yeah, I look back on that and am grateful for the perspective that 25-year-old had.

But I haven’t always been that way since then. There were times when I was unemployed that I got really angry with you. There were times when things weren’t going the way I wanted them to with raising my children, and I was really disappointed in you. I could go on and on.

No, my life isn’t only failures. You have taught me through those times of lost faith. You used them to strengthen me. You used them to grow my faith. You made them count.

So now, father, before I spend the next couple of days thinking about these quotes individually, I want to say that I am grateful for the struggles. I am grateful for the humblings (is that a word?) you have given to me. There’s an old Amy Grant song called, “In a Little While.” Part of the chorus says, “We’re just here to learn to love Him.” I wish I didn’t need so much instruction, but I submit myself to the lessons you have for me. My utmost for your highest, oh, Lord!

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,