choices


Being a Christian is not about going to church, it’s about having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and allowing yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, rather than being governed by the law. Bruxy Cavey communicated this truth eloquently and clearly in his book The End of Religion (Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress, 2007). Some of my favorite quotes from that book are:

  • There is a difference, an important difference, between relating to God through systems of doctrine, codes of conduct, inherited traditions, or institutions of power, and relating to God directly, soul-to-soul, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart. Jesus taught this distinction, lived this message, and was killed because of its implications.
  • Jesus’ call into a rule–free, principle–based spirituality is very difficult for religious people to fathom. Certainly, rule–less spirituality is only a constructive way to live if love is the guiding dynamic, the foundational principal of our lives. This is essential to Jesus’ message. Jesus never made rule–breaking a worthy goal in and of itself. His point was that rule–keeping should be a natural expression of something deeper, rather than a goal unto itself. Simply remove rules and you are left with anarchy. Transcend rules with love, and you are beginning to live like Jesus.
  • So here is the great irony – Jesus is happy to see his followers get organized in order to help spread the message that organizations are not the answer. Christ-followers read the Bible to learn of Jesus’ teaching that reading the Bible is not what makes us a Christian. We pray regularly in order to commune with the God who reminds us that praying regularly is not what makes us acceptable to him. We meditate to immerse our souls in the love of God that is already ours, not in order to somehow achieve a state of self-induced enlightenment. And we go to church to collectively celebrate the message that going to church is not what makes us God’s children.
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Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

John Bradshaw, in his book Healing the Shame that Binds You, states: “Twelve-step groups literally were born out of the courage of two people risking coming out of hiding. One alcoholic person (Bill W.) turned to another alcoholic person (Dr. Bob) and they told each other how bad they really felt about themselves. I join with Scott Peck in seeing this dialogue coming out of hiding as one of the most important events of this century.”

I join with John Bradshaw and Scott Peck in seeing the dialogue between Bill W. and Dr. Bob, in which they each came out of hiding and gave birth to 12-Step groups, as one of the most important events of the 20th century. I believe that another important event of the 20th century, a building block on what Bill W. and Dr. Bob did, is what John Baker and Rick Warren did. John Baker understood the vision God gave him for a Christ-centered recovery program and acted on it, giving birth to Celebrate Recovery. Rick Warren gave John Baker the needed permission and support to establish and build Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church in Southern California and then take it to the world.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

 

Excerpt from When Doing Isn’t Enough:

Waiting is not popular in our modern society. Immediate gratification is popular. We want what we want now, and we do everything possible to get whatever it is we want now and avoid waiting…God appears to like waiting and seems to require it of anyone who will be used by him, particularly those who will be used in a significant way. When studying the lives of individuals in the Bible who have been used by God to accomplish extraordinary tasks there certainly seems to be a correlation between waiting and serving God in the extraordinary ways they were called to serve.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Doing-Enough-Waiting-Plenty/dp/1625860838/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508523850&sr=8-3&keywords=books+by+mary+detweiler

I am sending this out to those individuals who have a hard time doing nothing.

Excerpt from When Doing Isn’t Enough:

In 2003, I participated in a Bible study titled Experiencing God. Out of all the reading and writing and discussion that took place over that twelve-week period, the only thing that stuck with me was the following phrase: Don’t just do something. Stand there. As a task-oriented individual who has historically functioned as an overachiever, I had great difficulty wrapping my mind around this concept. Just being and not doing went against my grain on a very deep level… [10 years later] I ran across a card on Crosscards.com which said Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway. This resonated with me. My third book was in production and I did not have another one percolating inside me. I also was no longer leading a ministry. I was in a hallway and had run out of doors to open. As an action-oriented, doing kind of person, this was an uncomfortable place to be. I knew though, that God was going to have to provide the next opportunity and open the next door for me to walk through. I knew I would not be able to do it on my own. So, in this time of uncertainty, I am waiting and trusting, praising Him in the hallway.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Doing-Enough-Waiting-Plenty/dp/1625860838/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508523850&sr=8-3&keywords=books+by+mary+detweiler

I am reading a biography of the Apostle Paul by N.T. Wright. Some of the words Mr. Wright used to describe Paul were “bold”, “never tried to hide things”, “tactless”, “never tried to curry favor”, “never for a moment shrinking from speaking out”, “reputation as a world-roving troublemaker”, “much more afraid of not being true to the gospel than of any consequences a bold proclamation might have had.”

 As I read these various descriptions of Paul it occurred to me that many of them describe me as well. This was very comforting to me as the characteristics I share with Paul have historically been seen as negative by many church people, especially church leaders. Now that I know what good company I’m in, I can shake off the opinions of me held by these individuals, no longer allowing them to impact me. Maybe some of these characteristics are what is needed for a disciple of Christ to significantly impact his or her world.

 

 

I just finished reading From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz. It was excellent. I highly recommend it. Excerpt:

“…the misplaced priorities of President Trump and his administration do not represent the priorities of the majority of Americans. And while there are heroes who hold office, members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have been complicit in the fracturing of trust that has plagued our political system for years now…the prejudice, inequality, and broken systems that do exist are wrong and dangerous. As Americans, they anger and shame so many of us…We must see beyond what is in front of us. We must reimagine the promise of America. How? By using empathy to try to understand, raising our voices to condemn darkness, and casting our votes to choose the kind of leadership we want our grandchildren to grow up with.”

I was out and about in my car earlier today and this song came on the radio: #LeeAnnWomack #IHopeYouDance #Vevo 

Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance

Take a listen. 

I hope each of you DANCE! RISK! LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST! LOVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART!

 

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