July 22, 2003, 1:14 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

So this past weekend, after my first week working part time, I began feeling a little discouraged, in part because I felt like I hadn’t “done anything” in the area of the church plant. And then I remembered why I took the job in the first place – to meet people in the community and begin developing relationships. So I’m pleased to report that I met a bunch of new people in the community last week, and I’m beginning to develop relationships with them!

I was also encouraged by a thouht that popped into my head as I was pondering the whole church thing, and what the heck I’m supposed to be doing with my life. It goes something like this – “God wants me to plant a church more than I do.” I guess I could take that in a couple of different ways, but I chose to receive it as encouragement. God’s desire is to be glorified, and I have the privelege of doing my own little part.

One more thought for the day. It concerns a book that Michelle and I have been reading together devotionally. It’s not a book I would have bought in a hundred years on my own, but because it was a gift, and I promised to give it a shot, we’re reading it. I won’t mention the title, but it’s in the top five NY Times best sellers in the advice category right now. We’re not quite half way through the book, and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I’m finding it so inadequate. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of things I dislike about the book, but if I’m honest, I have to admit there are some good life principles to be found in the book as well. But it finally hit me – my dislike for this book and the multitude of others like it (formulaic readings of scripture which are translated into absolutely essential principles for success with God) is that it’s a person-centered approach to growth. “Do these things in the right ways, and you’re guaranteed to have a better life, because God wants to reward you for doing them!” Do you see how there is more emphasis on the person than on God? Spiritual, personal growth are more a result of our efforts than God’s grace at work in us. But I’ve noticed the difference between this and the kind of reading that really fires me up. I discover truths about God in a new way, and it has almost nothing to do with what I do – God’s gonna be God, and worthy of my complete devotion whether or not I fulfill the principles laid out in some book. The cool thing is that when I discover these things of God, I get so captivated by his beauty that I end up doing a lot of those things as a natural response, and not out of some self-oriented effort at personal blessing. To test this line of thinking out, Michelle and I read a chapter out of NT Wright’s For All God’s Worth, a book on worship. Sure enough, without me having set Michelle up, after only a couple of pages she said something like, “This book is waaaaaayyy better than the other one!”

O.k., enough said for today.

Alright, I lied. I just had one more insight that I gained this morning: a Starbucks lemon scone may be very very tasty, but at 4:45am, nothing in that store looks good but the coffee.


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