Friday, April 22, 2011

Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working....

  Over the past month I have really struggled to keep up on my reading goal of 50 books in a year.  I've started and stopped a few books but nothing really seemed to keep my interest all the way through.  Then a few weeks ago I was at work and came across a bright blue book with the words "Weird:" written across the cover.  Upon a second glance I realised it was by same author who wrote "The ChristianAtheist" (Craig Groeschel) and I decided I needed to read it.  Much like his other book,Groeschel writes "Weird: Because Normal isn't working", in such an easy to read way that he  grabs your attention right from the start and then once again sucker punches you with the reality of things you already know, but often forget.
 The book focus on five specific areas.....Time, Money, Relationships, Sex and Values...that all people whether christian or not struggle with.  Except, as the title suggests, he makes the point that in each of these things there should be difference between how a Christian and the World react to them.  As the bible says in verses like John 15:19....Christian's are not of the world...they have a different mindset that sets them apart and makes them...well... WEIRD!
  The point Groeschel seems to be making is that if as Christian's we are fitting into the world, comfortable living in it's ways, then something is wrong!  As followers of Christ our aim is to please our heavenly father....everything else flows out of our love for him.  But this world teaches us to live for ourselves and allow everything to flow out of our need to be happy and content.  Is it any wonder then as to why Christian's would/should be considered Weird?!?!
  Although this book touches on subjects all people can relate too, I think certain sections will resonate more than others with different people.  For example, as I read the section about Time, I couldn't help but feel convicted for the amount of energy I put towards everything else but in life I "do" so much, but often that leaves very little time to just "be" with God.  Yet as I read the section about sex, although I agreed with much of what he said, it didn't have the same impact as it might have with a different reader.
  Ultimately no matter what speaks to you more, or what resonates most with you, the main point is still the same....and for that reason I think this is a good and timely book for The Church as a whole.  It's time we stop fitting in.....fully surrender to God...and not be afraid to be WEIRD!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Insanity or growth....only time will tell....

  So I am trying to decide if I am being completely stupid or trying to grow up.  You see for the past several years one of my sisters and I have had a pretty strained relationship.  At one point in our lives we were pretty good friends, but then….well life happened…and now there’s a lack of trust and respect between the two of us.  Usually we keep our distance from each other and when moments come up when we have to come together…we do so with as much civility as we each can muster.
  Over the past several months I have been praying that God would change my heart towards her.  For years I prayed that God would just change her and then one day it dawned on me that it didn’t matter how my sister acted or what she did…I will always be held responsible for how I treat and react to her.  So that’s when I changed my prayer.  Most days I have to pray a million times over for God to forgive me for the anger and frustration I have towards her.  And at the same time I find myself asking God to help me to forgive her and to let the love I have for her, just for being my sister, come through.
  Today we had a family party…something that is pretty common in this house.  Yet what was not common about this party was how well my sister and I got along.  It wasn’t until hours into the celebration that I realized that I wasn’t feeling as tense and anxious as I usually am around her.  And it took my other sister pointing out the fact that I actually went out of my way to invite my sister to do a walk with me next month, for me to realize something was truly different.
  The reality is I love my sister….I always have and always will.  But…..there’s a part of me that worries I am setting myself up for a fall.  I know her track record…and I know mine….and the two of us together don’t really mix anymore….. And it seems that someone is bound to get hurt by this new found connection in our relationship.  One the other hand maybe this is all an answer to prayer….maybe this is proof of God working in my heart and really just an opportunity for me to grow.  Honestly I’m scared….but I am hoping for the best….I guess we’ll see what happens….