Back in September when I first moved out of Wisconsin & down to Wheaton, Illinois I was invited to attend my good friend's church. Now this is the same friend who hooked me up with a job at LeaderTreks where he was working, and where I now work. So I figured if he hooked me up with such a great new job why couldn't he hook me up with a great new church?
Although as I became more and more immersed in my new job, and continued through the in depth training I became some what of a critic of public speaking, specifically speaking that entailed teaching from the Bible. Sunday after Sunday would go by and each time I would find myself more bored or annoyed than refreshed, challenged, or encouraged from what was being taught.Obviously this was something that I needed to change because going to church as a critic is not the right mindset.
This past Sunday I attended church, which was also the day after I had spent a little over a week out in New York leading my first mission trip with LeaderTreks. We currently are going through the book of John, but it is more so focused on a book called "The Voice Revealed". This book rewrites the book of John, and provides commentary and insight into the life and mind of John, who was the last living disciple.
This Sunday we were told that many of the people who had heard that Jesus was being proclaimed as the Son of God had trouble believing that based on where he was from which was Galilee. They said that the Son of God should come from a place that no one knows of. They probably were also struggling to believe that the Christ would come from such a lowly place as Galilee, and probably thought that Christ would come from a much more well known and prominent city.
Anyways, as I thought through the teaching I was challenged with the question, "Am I over-hyping the things that I want Christ to do in and through my life?" Let me repharse this. I have specific thoughts, desires, dreams, talents, burdens, passions, etc and I want God to use those through me to their full potential. But I began to wonder, am I only looking for the big & great things to be "from God"?
Things as simple as relationships, interactions with people on trips, compassion, and things I challenge myself with all were brought into this question. Perhaps instead of expecting this big, great, and grand thing to happen in my life (much in the same way that the people expected the Son of God to be from some magnificent place) I should begin to recognize some of the more simple principles that could have huge impact.
So as we all go through our days, looking to God to provide big things in our lives, let us remember the small things that can be the foundation for the big things later on, love those who need it (1 John), refrain from things that cause your neighbors to stumble (1 Corinthians), love those who struggle to open doors & allow Christ to be with them (Revelation 3:20), & know that God does not test us beyond what we can handle, but will always provide a way to persevere.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Long ago, I signed up for a blog with the goal in mind that I would post reviews about books that I was getting from Thomas Nelson Publishing for free. The deal was, they would send me a book for free, all I had to do was read it & post a review about it to my blog & also post a review on some website that sells the book (i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc). So seeing that I read this book probably almost a year ago I thought I would write my review on it. I also am running out of reading material, & with me raising support for my job free books are the best books!
If you are interested in checking getting books for only the cost of reviewing them then check out www.booksneeze.com.
Richard Stearns' book, "The Hole In Our Gospel" was a great book that provided a lot of facts & insight to what is going on in world missions. I was surprisingly impressed with how well his story was tied into the bigger story of the lack of focus and work being put into fixing some of our world's biggest problems. As I have started working at non-profit & begun to see some of the world's poorest areas, I was cut to the core at how much we as Americans lack in truly having a sense of urgency in meeting some of the LIFE needs of our neighbors around the world.
Even looking back at the earthquake that has rocked Haiti, you can already see many Christians & churches forgetting about what is still going on down there, specifically the pain, hunger, and devastating that is still wrapping it's hand around the people's throat.
If you are looking for a book that is filled with lots of current & accurate facts along with good scripture that supports this view of world missions then I highly recommend you taking a read through Stearns' book. This is one I have passed off to a co-worker, and she too agrees that it is an eye-opening book, even for the most educated on these matters.