Monday, June 28, 2010

Mystics are we all


A first glance of the title may lead you to think that this was another new age book. However, Ken Wilson’s Mystically Wire is about prayer and how to bring one’s life of prayer beyond the norm of the few-words-before-you-eat or grocery-shopping-list kind of prayer. The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the author takes us through his journey and understanding of prayer. In the second and more practical part, he guides the reader into steps to take to build a life of prayer.
I found the book enriching as a whole, though I was rather bored reading through part one.  Ken Wilson attempts to persuade us that we are created with the desire for the mystical in us. Perhaps his target audience are the Christians of the western world. I have for a long time, known that Christianity is originally an eastern religion and therefore didn't need convincing. The second part of the book was enriching as I found myself almost immediately trying to put into practice his practical advice. 
Mystically Wired is a practical guide for those who find it difficult to get started in prayer and those who want to put some "oomph!" back into their prayer life.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, June 18, 2010

Twelve Lies You Hear in Church

Tim Riter, the author of the book states that there are lies that are reinforced in churches either intentionally or ignorantly. Here’s the list of twelve:


1.  I Believe in Jesus and that's Enough
2.  We must be Perfect
3.  We can't be Perfect
4.  Little Sins aren't really aren't that bad
5.  One Sin does destroy us
6.  I'm not perfect, but compared to ...., I'm a saint
7.  I married the wrong person
8.  I'll never be a Billy Graham
9.  Christianity is Great on Sundays
10. I'm like this because my mom was a nag
11. Only good things happen to good people
12. We have the Truth

What do you think? 
Do you agree that these are lies. 
If yes, what is the truth? 
If not, why?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Manifest Manifold Majesty and Mystery of Christ

CHRIST in us, the hope of Glory! Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola seek to remind us that being a Christian means following Christ not a set of values or regulations. Christianity is a relationship not a religion. This they do by declaring that Christ is the centre of the human history. The focus of the Old Testament and the highlight of the New Testament. Everything the Father and the Spirit did was for the Son. Christ as the focus.  We who call ourselves Christians, have Christ in us. That the life we live is not our own. We live Jesus. 
Jesus Manifesto got my attention from the start. I felt the opening statement were strong for my liking but I decided to give them a hearing. It turned out to be an enlightening experience. Backed with quotes from the Scripture to support their thesis, the authors brought a fresh way to Look and the Book (Bible). 
I finished the book convinced that indeed many churches have bought into the culture of performance and many christians are missing out on abundant life while trying to live the right way.
I want to eat of fruit of the forgotten tree. You would too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prodigal Prince -Thinking Out Loud

Who am I? That is probably the most perplexing question that I have to answer. Most times when most people are asked: "What do you do?", their answer seems to be something like : "I am a teacher." or "I am an architect."
However, "I am ...." seems to be more of a statement of a person's identity (of being) rather than a person's occupation (of doing). 
Most people would find their identity in what they do. Who they are seem so wrapped up in what they do and how well they are at what they do. What happens when they are no longer doing that job or vocation? What happens to them then? Do they lose their identity? No longer knowing who they are. Losing meaning and purpose in life?
I, myself, have placed my identity in being a youth worker, youth pastor and more recently a "IT officer." What happens when I am no longer any of these? Who am I then? That is the question I now must ask.  
I know in my head that I'm a child of God. My heart for many years didn't see things that way. I was taught  that we were servants of God. So God was more of a nice Master rather than a Father. Perhaps my past 25 plus years I have been trying to keep in His good books. Seeing myself more as a servant as in the context of the parable of the talents. Living like a pauper when I am actually a prince. Choosing to sleep in the swine pen when I have a place in the palace.
Reminds me of the Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The First Love ...

What does First Love have to do with my previous post? Well perhaps nothing or perhaps everything? We can only give what we have received.  He who is forgiven little loves little. He who forgiven much, loves much.


So what is the first love that is mentioned in Rev 2?
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. - Rev 2:4(NKJ)
Does it refer to our first love for God or God's Love for us? Maybe both, after all:
We love ... because He first loved us.1 John 4:19(NKJ)
When these words were spoken to the church of Ephesus, the church was commended for their fervency in upholding doctrinal truth. However it was doctrinal truth without compassion. They had become a loveless church. They had forgot the love they first received from God.- He first loved us.  In forgetting that they forgot how to love. Only in remembering and returning to that first love we experienced can we love him and other.

Remember the love God had shown you.