Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Shack

This one should really come with a warning!!! It is not all theologically sound...please take time to research the links below. God is only who He says He is in the Word of God...remember...this is a FICTION book. I loved it for it's reminder of God's love for us, and the need to on...

I think I am addicted. To reading that is. So far my last reads (one I still need to blog about) have changed me in more ways than I can even describe. They have sought out my deepest most parts...the very depths of the deepest most hidden parts that is...only to discover that parts of me in some ways have been stashed away for so many years, hidden as if they never existed.
Ok, that sounds deep, but really what I am trying to say is...over the years we tend to allow hurt and hardship build these ugly callouses over our true being, we become unmoved, and over time something that we never were or were meant to be. Does any of this make sense???
The Shack...another fine read, was one fiction that helped remind me of true forgiveness...TO THE CORE, the greatness of giving back to God what already belongs to Him anyway, and the importance of allowing Him to reign and rule on a daily...min. by min. basis. Though this story was not based on a true story, I do believe there are many people out there who have had to endure so much of what the man in this story (Mack) had to endure, and as painful as it was, we are still called to something more precious than we could have ever imagined!

I won't give away is priceless, and a MUST READ! Go get it, click on the book to see more on The Shack. Tell me your thoughts about the book, and if you are going to give anything away...PREWARN other readers first.

Cheapest I've found it click here!!!

Though this is a great read, it is NOT in any way theologically right on...I mean it is just a great fiction way to understand the Father's great love for us, and forgiveness. Here are some links for your theological questions:

Nead Adobe Reader (can download for free here)
Readers Review
Trinity Western University

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore

Did I get your attention with that title? I really should have written about this book before the Daniel study. I received this book from my aunt, and transformed my way of thinking (in a healthy way). It is a fiction book that shares a lot of dialogue between a man named John and a man named Jake. John's insight is amazing, and his sweet approach is something to be learned. A quick read that I couldn't put down! Click on book to see more about it.

Read below:

Some conversations between Jake and John (click to meet Jake)

"This is not difficult, Jake. In this kingdom you really do get what you seek. That is the point of the whole thing. If you are looking for a relationship with God you will find it."

"Then why don't I have it? I thought that's what I had been seeking all along."

"No doubt, it might have been at first. But this works the other way around as well. If you look at what you've ended up with, then you'll know what you've really been seeking!"

..."He told me that after all he's done for me, I owe him this."

"It seems to me that if you owe him then he never really did anything for you."

His words hung in the air while I tried to figure out what he meant. "You mean he didn't do those things for me? Who then? For himself?"

"Who else"

"But where do I find that kind of faith"

"You won't find it. It's something He creates in you, even in the very circumstances you despise. Just keep coming to Him and watch what He will do."

"So there's no trust where there's no relationship?"

"No, there's not."

Some great quotes:

"Everything He wants to do in you will get done as you learn to live in His love."

"...just keep hanging in there with Jesus. He'll sort all of this out in ways you'd never believe..."

"Don't run from your pain, or try to hide it from Him. It won't impress Him and it won't help you."

"He's inviting you to live with Him in the joy of the moment, responding to what He puts right before you."

"Institutionalism breads task-based friendships. As long as you're on the same task together, you can be friends. When you're not, people tend to treat you like damaged goods."

"As long as you need other people to understand you and to approve of what you're doing, you are owned by anyone willing to lie about you."

"Because they draw their affirmation from others they'll never stop to question it, even when the hurtful consequences of their actions become obvious."

"As long as we see church life as a meeting we'll miss its reality and its depth. If the truth were told, the Scriptures tell us very little about how the early church met. It tells us volumes about how they shared His life together. They didn't see the church as a meeting or an institution, but as a family living under Father."

"The more organization you bring to church life, the less life it will contain."

"The church is God's people learning to share His life together."

"He'll (God) often use other people to encourage or equip you in that process (yielding to the Spirit and depending on His power), but the people He uses won't let you grow dependent on them."

"We often mistake the middle of a chapter for the end of the story."

"It's not about teaching, Jake. It's about living. Learn to live this life and you'll find no end of folks to share it with."

"Does trusting God to do what you think is best really sound like trusting God to you?"

"Living in the freedom of God's provision is critical to what God has for you. Learn to live by what God puts before you, not by your plans and schemes."

"If you tell someone the truth before they're ready to hear it, you can push them further away no matter how well intentioned you might be."

"Where Jesus is given first place, the church simply emerges in wonderful ways."

In NO way is this book saying you should avoid a local body, or local home group etc., it is just challenging believers of our motives, and why we do what we do. It has impacted the way I think and feel about the body of Christ. We must never just rely on going to church to fulfill our obligation as a Christian. We should never really feel obligated at all, but step into a real relationship with our Father that spills over into every relationship He places before us.

This is a MUST won't be disappointed!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something "Moore"

I have been so blessed to be in the Word with Beth Moore. Such a great study in Daniel, and boy has she got me thinking!

Beth is teaching Daniel in ways I never really thought least not as deeply. Looking into the rich context of Babylonian lifestyle, we will soon discover that we all have tendencies to fall into the trap. The trap Beth speaks of is one in which we think so highly of ourselves, that there is none quite like "ME." The Scripture...Isaiah 47:8 & 10..."...I am, and there is none besides me." Pretty warped way of thinking, but we all at times fall or have fallen into this trap.
Click on book cover to read about it.

I am only in chapter 3, but my discoveries are as follows:

1. Babylon is much like our western culture, in that we show favortism, desire the best the world has to offer, like to look good in the eyes of others at any cost, put ourselves above others, desire perfectionism, despise the thought of others getting ahead of us.

2. We are also tempted to speak sweet words to get what we want. Ahh the sweet words we drop upon the ears of those in high places that we might climb the ladder to reach that high place with them. YIKES!

3. Babylon only desired the best of men to be leaders. As a western culture we put a lot of importance on status, age, race, etc...

4. It's caused me to think of the things I put at the top of importance...there are many that might struggle with anything from appearance being everything, to thinking smarter is better, or taking pride in the perfectionism of a well put together can really be just about anything!

5. This one is good...why do we feel we need to be glorified in the things we do...if we are doing them as unto the Lord...or as a ministry, then we should desire nothing more then for the Lord to get ALL the glory. So many times we find ourselves doing things so that we will receive praise from others...a good little pat on our backs!

6. I've learned we are just as wrong in bowing to the world as we are in expecting the world to bow to us...enough said ;)!

7. The importance of becoming culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant.

8. Reminded that the enemy will always fire the dart right in the center of our inconsistency!

9. Reminded once again of the importance of prayer!!! God delivered Daniel and his friends after they had been in constant prayer!

10. The "I AM" idea is experienced in areas where we claim to be better then others and seek a great image, as well as when we focus on ourselves in other ways, still allowing the focus to be again on self...examples:

I am ugly, and there is none as ugly as me.

I am pitiful, and there is none as pitful as me.

Though different from the prideful views of being better than others, still just as wrong!

We must never seek the approval of others, but be humble putting others first, and always desiring God to receive ALL the glory!

Great quotes:

"Babylonian size egos need bigger strokes...they need the strokes of VIP's"

"Kiss-ups can be as nauseating as "suck-ups!"

"Babel's head coach cheers us on, "Make a name for yourself! Make a name for yourself!"

So, that's as far as I've I said, I JUST started chapter 3, and look at all I've already learned. I would encourage you all to look into this study. It's not just a bunch of great theology ;)...and it is...but it brings us to a place of recognizing the Babylonian is each of us. I can't wait to get even deeper into the study.

God bless...I will keep you updated as I read on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Boy Is Getting So Big!

My Big Sister Took These Beautiful Pictures of Me!

"Ok, so I have got to be the cutest little 13 month old boy in the world!!! And my what big teeth I have! The better to eat Mama's food, cause she's always got the best food on her plate, even if my plate has exactly the same thing on it. OH MY what big eyes I have...the better to bat at Mom to get what I want. MY what a big yawn I have...the better to make my mommy's heart melt makes her want to cuddle me, and I love that! I am just the cutest..."

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Summer Fun" Photo Contest

Summer...BRING IT ON!!!!!

I love photo contests! This picture says it all...She's ready for summer, there's not question about that!
Here my tot preparing to take a dip in our very classy blow up pool (goes great with her get up)!
As a photographer, this is one of my faves! I could capture the most beautiful sunset on the perfect beach with a little baby holding her Daddy's hand, and this would still be the one that captures my heart! That's my girl!

"Summer Fun" Photo Contest! by 5 Minutes for Mom
Vote for your favorite semi-finalists beginning Fri. Aug. 15th, go to above link and cast your vote!