Monday, June 28, 2010

Cathie asked me to share from some of my reading, so here it is.

your little red wagon - a conversation on approaching God
Alex Himaya - The Church at BattleCreek, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Heard Himaya refer to his book while visiting their congregation during a visit to Hannah.

Many of us have great memories of pulling our red Radio Flyer wagon around behind us as kids and all the adventures that centered around the treasures we were hauling or the adventures we were headed toward. While those memories are good one the author talks about another imaginary wagon we continue to pull around behind us. The ones with all the baggage we cant or wont let go of. More often than not this baggage is bad stuff that we allow to continue to haunt us even into our adult years. Sadly, even after we have been cleansed by the power of Jesus’ blood, we continue to pull that heavy load of forgotten (at least by God) garbage. Himaya asks a stark question of all of us wagon pullers, could it be that God is more concerned with us than what is in our wagons? Reconciliation (being made compatible with God) is the theme. The author relates this to the process of having one key open all the locks in a house. To do this they took the key to one lock that was staying in the house to a locksmith who them matched all the rest of the locks to fit with the one key. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “All this is from God who reconciled us to himself…

A good 100 page read.

The FEAST by Joshua Graves.
There is a question brought out by this book that is almost haunting - what if Jesus really meant the stuff he said? Sounds almost comical to ask, but based on the way we tend to practice religion (or as Foree Grove, A&M church pulpit minister, likes to call it - high church), you would think we would answer the question with our own question - Do you think he really meant all that stuff he said?

Graves leads us to think about our being a spiritual movement rather than an institutional religion. Believers are referred to as followers of the Way, but sometimes we appear to be leaders of my way (our way if we think we are part of a group who all think/act the same way). So thinking about how to be followers of Jesus is the adventure The Feast takes you on.

In the chapter entitled Wrestling with the Real Jesus, Graves uses Heb 13:11-14 to make a point. In particular, the last part of this passage, Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Quoting from Charles Campbell’s The Word on the Street: Performing the Scriptures in the Urban Context, we read, “it is not that we good Christians take God outside the camp, outside the walls of the church. We go outside because God is already there.” To often, for me at least, it seems that I wait impatiently for seekers to walk into the doors of our churches so we can lead them to the good news. It is even better if they know how to behave as Christians do because that speeds up the process of getting to believing! So much for the go into all the world admonishment in Matthew. I am in need of a daily reminder that ALL THE WORLD is ALL AROUND ME.

A great read if you really want to be challenged to consider if you are practicing a system of beliefs or living a way of life.

Letters from Dad by Greg Vaughn is my current read. A number of years ago Vaughn began meeting with a few guy friends and encouraged them to write letters to their family members. Very intriguing, convicting, and challenging so far.

MY FICTION world has included over the past couple of years books written by Clive Cussler, founder in 1979 of National Underwater and Marine Agency. Many of his books are adventure stories based on the history behind the ships and other lost artifacts that they have gone hunting for. If you watched the movie Sahara, then you have experienced one of Cussler’s books turned movie. I follow his writings from a website called Cusslermen. These are my easy reading so I have been able to get through 15 or so of his NUMA and Oregon series in 2 years. Recently, I completed Sea Hunters, which is part fiction and non-fiction. It is the historical story of a number of sunken vessels and the actual story of NUMA’s search for them.

So, there you have it.

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