Pete Wilson’s Empty Promises

First, he was just my pastor. Someone I admired from a distance and couldn’t wait to hear speak on Sunday mornings. His messages enriched my life and made me a better person; a better Christian. He has this way with an audience. An ability to connect and relate to people in a way that lets you know you can trust him. While he challenges listeners to step up their walk, he also reminds them that God is crazy in love with them even though we’ll never get it right all of the time.

I have now had the privilege and pleasure of working side by side with pastor, author and speaker Pete Wilson, and I’m so grateful to be able to call him friend.

When I accepted the offer to be Pete’s assistant at Cross Point Church in 2010 I admit I was a bit nervous. I tried to prepare myself for who might really be “behind the curtain.”

“Maybe he has a real bad temper,” I thought. “Maybe he’s super demanding. Maybe he’s arrogant or egotistical. Maybe he’s a horrible dad who never spends time with his kids.” “That’s okay,” I told myself. “Nobody’s perfect Evie, just don’t get your hopes up. He’s still doing a lot of good, and after all, he’s only a man.” ūüôā

Boy was I in for a surprise. Not only did I discover he was the same guy I saw and heard on Sunday’s, but he completely shattered the images and stereotypes I had been living with of “men,” “leaders,” “bosses,” “authority figures,” and “fathers” in general.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed little ole me in a position where I could see first hand this kind of honesty, integrity, character, authenticity, compassion and heart in a guy. It gave me a fresh supply of hope I was in desperate need of. This may sound a little dramatic, but let’s be honest. We’re not exactly in abundant supply of men with these character traits. To be fair, it was actually Pete and every other male staff member at Cross Point. Just months before taking the position I remember thinking, “God, seriously where are the good guys!? I need to believe that there are honest, God-loving, God-fearing, Christ centered men around here and I am just not seeing it!” God said, “Let me introduce you to Pete and the dudes at Cross Point.”

Working with “Peter, Peter,” as I like to call him, I got to see him in action in quite an array of situations and circumstances. Regardless of the pressures, disappointments, successes, opportunities, demands and expectations of the many roles he plays on a daily basis, I can honestly say this:

Pete is a force to be reckoned with, a leader of leaders, an insane lover of people especially the underdog and the overlooked, and a man of grace, humility and giftedness. And he doesn’t take a single bit of it for granted.

Today is the release of Pete’s highly anticipated second book, Empty Promises: The Truth About You, Your Desires, and the Lies You’re Believing.¬†

I was lucky enough to read this book chapter by chapter as it was being written, supposedly checking for grammatical errors and such. I had a rough time though because it was nearly impossible not to get caught up in the convicting content and eye-opening truths contained in its pages.

Every single one of us has these innate desires to be of significant value in this world; to count for something great; to prove to ourselves and others that we are worthy of the time and space we take up. Pete discusses the truth about these desires as he unpacks the enticing but empty promises of achievement, approval, wealth, power, religion, beauty, and dream chasing, as well as why we’re so easily convinced that just a little more of what we know doesn’t work, might just work. Pete also offers practical solutions for not only eradicating these idols in our lives, but replacing them with healthy practices and the only Promise that truly delivers.

Check out the book’s trailer below, and order the book HERE.

Proud of you Peter, Peter. ūüôā

Empty Promises Trailer- Full from Pete Wilson on Vimeo.

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The power of one

Today I had lunch with my boss, Pete Wilson, and a boy he mentors through Preston Taylor Ministries in Nashville. ¬†Tonight I’ve been studying C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity for my Biblical Worldview class. The section I will copy below really helped me wrap my head around this afternoon’s somewhat difficult experience.

I was pretty distraught after we had lunch. ¬†The lunch room at the school was just insane. ¬†Super loud, kids everywhere getting yelled at and glared at and reprimanded constantly by the principal who Pete and I were both totally scared of.. ¬†In this school, (very different from the small and quaint private elementary school I attended where the biggest dilemma was who got the solo in the church choir), most of the kids, I learned, probably don’t even know who their father is because he’s been long gone or in prison. ¬†Most of them probably have a neglectful mother at best who may be addicted to drugs or selling themselves for drug money while their kids are in school. ¬†The boy we were having lunch with has three siblings all by different fathers and his is in jail.

As I walked through the cafeteria and talked to and looked at some of the kids, it was so obvious they all just wanted some individual attention.  They wanted to be seen; heard; looked at, loved.  Each pair of eyes I looked into had this longing in them, this desire to be known, I swear it was so precious and innocent but at the same time my heart was breaking because I knew they might not get what they were so desperate for; not today, not tomorrow,  possibly not until they start trying to get it in the wrong ways; the ways that end up robbing you of far more than you ever imagined you even had to give.

I’ve worked with kids for 15 years and I see a little bit of that “love on me” look in most kids’ eyes, regardless of family income or home life circumstances. ¬†The ones I don’t see it in are the ones who have parents who are actively present; presently healthy, and positively and lovingly leading by example. They have love, they know love, they don’t need to search for it.

I love this C.S. Lewis excerpt because although today made me sad and overwhelmed to think just how many kids in this country are neglected, beaten, abused, broken, dealing with drugs, immature parents with girlfriends and boyfriends and getting no love or guidance whatsoever, there is hope. Hope found in countless organizations who help these kids, countless churches who reach out and do something to positively impact young lives and can and do make a huge difference over time.  There are Christians who take seriously the fact that we are all one organism.  One body, many organs, intended to work together to keep the body alive and thriving.

The other encouraging reminder about Lewis’ passage is that God does truly have a plan for each and every one of us. ¬†Even the little boy or girl who is struggling to feel worthy of love, who is desperate to just be¬†known and seen and may very well get into huge trouble in their lives making horrible mistakes. ¬†Even the strung out mothers prostituting themselves because they have zero hope of a different life. ¬†God sees them. God knows them. He knew what their situation would be before they were ever born.

He also knows me and you, and our situation; ¬†where we’ve been and where we’re at right now. ¬†It’s our responsibility to help the other parts of the body that may not be so healthy, that may be quite sick; nurse them to health, get the process going, the seed planted, so that one day in the near or distant future, they will be in a position to help others precisely because of every painful circumstance they endured and the fact that it was treated with love by one of us. ¬†Someone just a little healthier, a little stronger.

What can we do today? ¬†Even if it’s just pray, it’s never just praying. ¬†God honors the prayers of a faithful believer.¬†How about contacting Preston Taylor Ministries, or Safe Haven, or the Rescue Mission, or call your church and see who they parter with and how you can get involved.

It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege. ¬†It’s not a problem it’s an opportunity. ¬†It’s an investment in the body we are all a part of. ¬†One part gets stronger, we all get stronger.

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