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Monthly Archives: June 2009

A “Must Read” book…thanks, Andy

I finished a book that I wish I had read many years ago.  Andy Stanley’s “Principle of the Path”, provides wisdom gleaned from a very simple principle.  To paraphrase – where you end up is determined by which path you choose.  What an obvious conclusion, yet one that so often eludes those on a particular journey.

Andy shares some vivid examples of his own not great decision making – especially the driving into the Piazza in Italy…and then dives into the lessons learned from these.

I found myself having “aha” moments all the way through the book.  One of the stories Andy shares is of a gentleman who came into his office quite upset with God for sending him so far into debt.  Andy helps us (and him) ponder the point that if we track our spending and savings patterns – we set ourselves on this path, why would we expect any other outcome.  God’s Word shows us a better way – when we choose not to follow his directions, we head out on our own path and the ending is inevitable.

For me though, it was the final chapters looking a David and his “Jerusalem” moments, that was the most poignant.  David – King of Isreal and great, great…great grandfather of Jesus, had watched as the last of his dreams die.  After many bad choices (if you’re not sure of David’s story, check out 1Samuel 16 – 2Samuel 24, it will take a while, but you’ll know the author of the Psalms so much better, David is watching as his own son prepares to wage war on him.

In an effort to save the city he loves – he prepares to leave it behind.  Without bitterness, yet sadness he says “Let him do to me whatever seems good to him” ( 2Sam 15:26).  That him is God.  David cries as he leaves, but accepts the future God has planned.  David had dreams that because of varing circumstances never came true, and now he is prepared to leave them all behind and trust God with his future – “whatever”.

I have had dreams that have never come to pass as well.  Some were fairly easy to let go, others – not so much.  Yet the life God has led me into has been so much more than I could have ever imagined. 

Letting God mark and prepare the path is so much easier, than when I try to do it alone.  Things tend to fall in place, just as they should.  “Whatever” is a much better place to be in, so much so, that I have a “whatever” wall hanging in my office.  It’s a good reminder to me, when I’m not having a really good day.  I could have a hanging that echoes David’s words, or even the words that Jesus cried out to His Father in the garden – “not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).

Letting the principle of God’s path work in my life – that’s a much better way to travel.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in book reviews, Uncategorized

 

“…we will come out better.”

marriage shadow pictureI am not one to publicly comment on reality shows.  In fact, I rarely watch them.  But I have been completely captivated by a TLC reality show – Jon and Kate plus 8.  I have gotten caught up in the development of all the children, and have for a long time,and have not wanted to believe the tabloids.

What first caught my attention was the fact that Jon and Kate were quite open about their church involvement and the faith that they are teaching to their children.  To have watched the kids at the Creation play, and hearing Alexis sing praise songs to herself – made me want to applaud this family as they raise their children in Godly ways.

Yet, tonight, as I write this – they have announced that they have filed court papers to dissolve their marriage, just less than one year after they made a huge production about renewing their vows, “to show our kids that we will always be together”.  My heart is very heavy – these are not actors, the children are not living out a script – a family, a very public family – is falling apart.

I cannot begin to imagine, nor will I pass any judgement on the reasons for the dissolution of the marriage.  I have not walked in their shoes, nor do I have the ability to see inside their lives.

What bothers me most the fact that those who seek to discount faith in the God of Scripture and the Christian Church, will be able to point another finger of blame, and reason to not trust in God.

It is my prayer for this family – as well as all families – that they will (they may have already) seek Christian counsel with their pastor.  That they have bathed this decision in prayer, and that they will seek to show their children God’s love through all of this.

For all families – I know that life is hard, and can only imagine how difficult it is to be a couple and parents at the same time.  Know this – God planned designed family, and no where in scripture do we see a flawless example of parenting.  God uses our story to show the proof of His grace, and is redemption.  The family is what He uses to show the world, unconditional love.  Even when words and behaviours have hurt us deeply, we are able to move beyond it, only through showing the Grace that He first showed us.

It is also my prayer any church that has a family going through this kind of trial, will rally around them.  Too often the Church is far to quick to back away from a dissolving family, instead of supporting all the members.  That support means prayer, shoulders to cry on…whatever they need.

And that would be an Orange response to a breaking family.  For the church to come along side the family, and be the light to all the members of the family.  There will always be families in crisis among us – God calls us to love them just the same, if not more tenderly than anyone else among us.  Will you extend them the Grace He has showed you?