Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Favorite Things

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I've decided to do book edition.  Or, more accurately, an author edition.

Have you heard of Mark Batterson?  He's the pastor of National Community Church in D.C. and the author a few books, two of which I've read and one is on my list.

I read his second book, Wild Goose Chase, first.   I loved it.  It was convicting, thought provoking and easy to read...I didn't feel like I was reading a Christian College text.  The book engaged me and challenged me.

At the urging of my dad I picked up Primal, Batterson's latest release.  I'll be honest, the $17.99 price tag was quite a bit for me to choke down.  But I did it.  And I don't regret it.  Reading it after "The Hole in our Gospel" has been a great pairing.   Mark and I are reading it slowly, trying to let it seep into our souls, knowing that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us.  Basically, Batterson is bringing us back to the lost Soul of Christianity.  He's talking about loving God with our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength.  It's challenging, it's encouraging.  I think we can all identify one or two areas that we succeed (for me it's heart) and then areas that we really need to work on (umm...mind, anyone?)

I'm going to share a couple of my favorite quotes with you.  I'm only about 60% finished, though, so I'm sure there will be more to add, later.

"Compassion is the Ultimate Apologetic.  There is no defense against it."
Wow.  And it's so true.  This fuels me to be as compassionate as I can because he's right-when we have compassion toward people without an ulterior motive (other than loving them because Christ loves them) we can change the world.

"If you tune out God's convicting voice, you can't hear is comforting voice, either."


"Sometimes loving God with all your heart simply means listening to your heart instead of your head."
Especially in giving, I try and rationalize sometimes why I should do something I feel deep down that I should.  That's not loving God with my heart or mind.

"In essential things, unity.  In nonessential things, freedom.  In all things, love." Rupertus Meldenius

I could go on and on about this one.  I really believe that as the church this should be a slogan we remember.  I realize we can't and won't agree on every little thing, God made us each different.  But if we graciously allowed freedom in non essential things and loved in all things (rather than judge in all things) I really believe we'd see a revolution.

"Learning glorifies God when it's done for the right reasons-to know God more so you can love him more."

I can honestly admit that my brain sometimes will lay dormant for days on end.  Between wiping noses and butts I sometimes let my mind go numb.  But I shouldn't.  There's too much to learn.  I wrote in my journal after reading this passage:

"I need to learn more about God's creation because he wouldn't call it good if he didn't like it-wasn't proud of it.  And you can learn a lot about a creator [or artist] by studying what they have made."

And it's true.  If you scan through the projects I've done this year you can probably deduce a bit about me.  The same with God.  My seeking out what he has made, I can learn more about him.

So, while I'm here in Korea that's what I'm going to be focusing on.  Learning more about our amazing God through the lens of Korea...even if I think it's kind of skewed.

Now that I have finished my tangent, allow me to say that I really think you should pick up Primal and read it.  It could change your life!