Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Upon Reflection

I go through spurts every now and then where I read lots of books. I am on one of those right now. But, before starting my next read I decided to get some of my thoughts out there about the recent reads. Over the past few months I have read...
  • The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young
  • Sex God, by Rob Bell
  • The Last Temptation of Christ, by Nikos Kazantzakis
  • More Ready than you Realize, by Brian McLauren
  • Leadership Essentials by Greg Ogden & Daniel Meyer
Sometimes its easy just to pick up the next one and keep going, but I NOT going to do it! I believe it might be due to reading some of these books in combination with my trip to Israel and my new found passion for prayer, but I do have some mental shifts that I am excited about.

  • It was hard for me to get into The Last Temptation of Christ because I was so confused about what was going on, who was who and how something could be so "off" from the biblical narrative, but also so "close". I was LOST! Then, I adjusted in my mind, "It is fiction, just keep reading." Then, I was okay... until the end... I was getting pretty pissed off by the last couple chapters... I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the "dream" Jesus was having got me closer to imagining what temptations he may have really gone through when he walked on this earth.
  • I almost thought he was going to give into them (the temptations). What would this world be like if he had not died and rose again? AHHH! I can't go there, because I believe that the biblical accounts are true.
  • Have you ever imagined that Jesus as a human had similar longings to what we have? For marriage, for sex, for deep friendship that doesn't backfire on us? To be known and accepted completely by other humans? If he was truly a human and truly a diety at the same time I do think he would have these REAL temptations, not just a good story that we think about happening 2000 years ago, but real life struggles. *I'm not saying he had all of these, but he could have??
  • Yet, he conquered these temptations. He was able to submit himself to God and be selfless enough to give up the longings that were so appealing.
  • I think the major thing that I have been learning is how REAL the Bible is... REAL in a way that is beyond the mythical stories that only carry trite phrases or life lessons for us to glean to help ourselves, but true stories of real people who God is working through. These people are examples and hope for us.... just consider the book of Hebrews in the New Testament...
I'm not trying to make some deep theological statements (or at least I don't think I am), but what I'm trying to say is that I feel more connected to the reality of scripture and Jesus and God and the Gospel than ever before. The fact that we aren't separated from God when we allow the Holy Spirit to move in our lives, the fact that Jesus really has gone through everything that I have gone through, the fact that God mourns with us, rejoices with us, and loves us more than we can imagine. The fact the we are called to serve, be selfless, and follow and we can do it, with God's help and we aren't alone in it.

A combination of experience, scripture, books, prayer, calling, & reflection... It will keep going.
Have you learned or read anything good recently?

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