Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A book I'm reading...

I want you to take a few minutes and read this blog post. Jen Hatmaker Then I would love to know your thoughts, especially if you have read the book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! So much to say. How much can I fit in a comment?

"a deeply reduced life to find a greatly increased God" mmmm that's good. Not many would argue that STUFF (even good stuff) gets in the way of seeking God, hearing from Him, and being content.

I've often wondered How can I balance both thankfulness for the blessings He has given me, while realizing that those blessings do not define me and/or those blessings are not given to many around the world? (ie: education)

It reaches beyond this as well. It was confirmed (in my mind) that something is wrong with me as I stood at the sink crying a few months ago because I had fresh, clean water flowing out of the tap. I didn't have to walk for miles to obtain unsanitary water. I simply turned on the faucet. If I want to take a bath, I can fill up the tub with clear, clean water - no problem. Why? Why do I have that blessing afforded to me while others do not? I will be quick to point out, however, that these questions and actions should spur me toward thankfulness, gratitude, and action ... NOT self-condemnation. Satan would like nothing more than to convince people that their blessings are in fact curses. It's his nature to distort something good. We need to use what we have and the blessings we've received to seek after Him and impact the world - starting with one person. While it's true that some people do things that impact the masses, most people do things that impact individuals. Jesus interacted with the crowds, but He also sought out the individual. Our pride and desire to "do big things for God" needs to be kept in check. We should be more concerned about obedience to what He asks us to do (big or small). One of the best nuggets of truth I took away from my seminary classes was that "Success is defined by obedience to God. Not in the numbers (financial, attendance, salvations, etc.)." We are SO missing that point in the Western church (but that's a comment for another day)!

"This is for people who are just ready. Maybe you've managed the tension as long as you can, and it's breaking you. Or you walked away from the church, hungry for Jesus but disenfranchised from a system that builds 60 million dollar buildings while the earth is groaning for intervention from the Bride. Perhaps you haven't even had the words yet, but your spirit is restless, roving." Um hi Jen! Have we met? The fact is that over the past 6 years or so I have been at each of these stages. I've seen the church reduced to a business with a steeple on the top and a side of Jesus (steeple optional). I've seen money wasted in excess. I've looked at my dad with tears in my eyes and said "We're missing it. We're missing the point." I knew my boyfriend was special the first time we had a conversation about how we need to stop DOING church and start BEING the Church. I've heard the labels - "idealist," "unrealistic expectations," "radical young person," etc. And you know what? I'm okay with that. My God says "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Tim 4:12). Setting an example typically involves ACTION. It's far too easy to complain ... complain about our over-indulgent culture, what we've reduced church to, etc. The hard part is DOING SOMETHING about it. I've joked for years that about some things I'm just content to complain. Doing something requires faith. It requires obedience. Often it means standing alone and dealing with people's reactions. I keep coming back to the idea that "Now that I have seen, I am responsible ... faith without deeds is dead."

I'm definitely adding that book to my Kindle wishlist. No self-condemnation about reading it on a Kindle here. ;)