Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fearless by Max Lucado

I signed up to review books for Thomas Nelson. I'm kind of concerned about maintaining this blog as anonymous because of their sign up process and publishing requirements. But, nevertheless, I entered an agreement to read, review, and post in return for the free book. So, here's the review.

The best part of Fearless is exactly what is best in all of Max Lucado’s books: namely, great stories, vivid descriptions to make a point, and an easy read full of a God of love and grace. Lucado describes well the experience of many today, “Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop” (p. 5). It was via Twitter that I first read Lucado’s response to the shop set up by fear. “Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease” (p. 5). Throughout the book, Lucado vividly describes the desolate and desperate landscape that over exaggerated fear says is our home then he reminds us that our home is created not by hands but eternal in heaven. For every tremor of fear, we have a God who repeatedly and continuously says, “Do not fear.” “For God has not given us a spirit of fear” (2 Tim. 1:7).

I have one major complaint about how Lucado addresses a grieving parent and the questions that come in the face of grief. He says that God understands because, “He buried a child too” (p. 61). I completely agree that God knows humans more fully and more compassionately than any other human can but I do not agree that God should be equated with humans in levels of grief. God is so much more powerful than any human and had options available that no human parent has. God’s choice to not use the power and options available does not equate to the depths of grief of a parent who has no options and no power. Further, while death is a transition to heaven, to say “For those who trust God, death is nothing more[emphasis mine] than a transition to heaven” (p. 64) sounds dismissive of those Christians who do trust God and, at the same time, have profound and devastating grief. The Psalms of lament might be a better choice for acknowledging the depths of grief and profound trust simultaneously.

However, even with this complaint, I think this book is a terrific reminder that “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18). Regardless of the circumstances, God is with us, we are not alone.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Give me Jesus

As I'm working on the texts for Sunday, with Jarius and his many resources, as well as, the bleeding woman and her few resources, I keep hearing this hymn. Where ever you are on the social ladder, what ever your situation in live, our hope is in the living Christ. Give me Jesus

Friday, May 15, 2009

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Friends

Friday Five: Friends as posted by Jan

Ever since I found out I could be the hostess for the third Friday Five of each month, I have not been able to get the thought of friends out of my mind. Being an only child (all growed up) who moved around a lot in my lifetime, friends have always been very important to me. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "The way to have a friend is to be a friend."

So today let's write about the different kinds of friends we have, like childhood friends, lost friends, tennis friends, work friends, and the list goes on. List 5 different types of friends you have had in your life and what they were/are like.

As a bonus, put a link to a new (to you) blogging friend and introduce us!

1. Friends from "back home" I've lost touch with most of them except that a certain well know social networking site has brought some of them back into my life. It happens that I attended K-12 in a school system with only one each of elementary, jr high, & high school. There are 12 of us who went through all those grades together. And, yet, upon graduation, I lost touch with them. So that time suck social network site has brought back some folks.

2. Camp friends Starting in 4th grade I went to church camp every summer and even went as an adult while in college. I really appreciated some of those intense one week friendships. A few lasted a little longer through letters or occasional phone calls. I am amazed at the impact those folks had.

3. nearby clergy friends I have intentionally worked to have friends but in the circles I travel that means mostly clergy. I am grateful for my Lectionary Lunch group and other F2F clergy who are friends.

4. friends who were there For many different reasons during different seasons of my life, there have been the friends who were there. These days I don't talk to any of them very often but they still count as my closest friends because they already know the story from living it with me.

5. technologically connected friends Not surprisingly, there are RevGalBlogPals whom I consider friends. I also have folks that are on other technologically enabled means of connection that I consider, if not friends, close aquaintances. I've been on some preacher-type email lists since 98 or 99 and recognize the personalities even if I could not pick them out of a crowd of 3. Even without the visual, or in real life, connection, I consider them a part of my life, too. I have cried at the deaths of folks I only knew through the internet so I think they count.

Bonus, minus: I added a couple of folks that I follow because of BE 2.0 but I can't get the link to post correctly.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

too long for twitter but worth repeating

I saw this in a longer story about the church at The UM Portal and thought it was worth passing along.

A story tells of St. Francis of Assisi being escorted through the opulence of the Vatican vaults in Rome. The curate said: “See Francis! No longer must the church say with Peter and John, ‘Silver and gold have we none!’”

To which the saint responded, “But can you say with Peter and John, ‘Rise up and walk’?”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

token post

The good news is that I am actually typing this myself so there's physical improvement! I switched from Orencia which seems not to work very effectively for me (it seemed to have some benefit but not enough to decrease the "supportive bridge" medicines or to reach the prior level of functioning that had been reached on Humira or Remicade) to Enbrel. Yesterday was the 2nd dose of Enbrel so I don't know about the total amount of effectiveness yet. I have high hopes because it functions like Humira and Remicade both of which worked well for as long as they were effective.

The bad news is I am typing in a modified way because I have 3 stitches in the end of my ring finger. Other bad news is that the power supply on the desktop (faster with better keyboard) died. The new one arrived and the plug for the hard drive was the wrong kind. So no further training or use of DNS for now and limited typing before I have to quit.

And there have been more hospitalizations and serious illness since Christmas than in the last 6 months. So the dissertation is pathetically lagging. It almost seems like a conspiracy to keep me from working on it in any significant way.

Meanwhile, both girls are significantly involved in sports and music so life is incredibily busy. And, the small raise in salary helped me move forward in hiring, rather than merely wishing to hire, domestic goddesses!
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