Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Shack - a first thought

So, as I started reading, I came across this paragraph about the main character, who's life has been rocked by tragedy:...But in spite of his anger and depression, Mack knew he needed some answers. He realized he was stuck, and Sunday prayers and hymns weren't cutting it anymore, if they ever really had. Cloistered spirituality seemed to change nothing in the lives of the people he knew.... He was sick of God and God's religion, sick of all the little religious social clubs that didn't seem to make any real difference or affect any real changes. Yes, Mack wanted more, and he was about to get much more than he bargained for."

I began to identify with the lead character at this point ... getting interesting.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Study Resources

Despite the mangled doctrines the Worldwide Church of God promoted for many decades, there was an underlying respect for studying the bible with a whole mind and heart -- which you could say, is what eventually saved the church from mis-interpretations originally injected by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Interesting how that worked out.

At any rate, they now publish some of the best biblical reference sources available. After experiencing how pride and failing to differentiate the main plain things from the secondary things, can easily lead folks astray, there is a continual humility in their works and a willingness to acknowledge those areas where Christians differ.

Just a re-discovery I share....

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Shack

This book has been getting a lot of attention - sometimes from surprising sources - It's not often that people claim that a book drastically changed their perceptions of God. Especially a little work of fiction as this is.

I'm usually leery of "the latest fads" within Christendom ... but I sense there may be something authentically different going on here. I'm going to get hold of a copy and I'll report my own insights. FWIW

The Bakery - By Max Lucado

A beggar came and sat before me. “I want bread,” he said.
“How wise you are,” I assured him. “Bread is what you need. And you have
come to the right bakery.” So I pulled my cookbook down from my shelf and began to
tell him all I knew about bread.

I spoke of flour and wheat, of grain and barley. My knowledge impressed even
me as I cited the measurements and recipe. When I looked up, I was surprised to see he
wasn’t smiling. “I just want bread,” he said.

“How wise are you.” I applauded his choice. “Follow me, and I’ll show you our
bakery.” Down the hollowed halls I guided him, pausing to point out the rooms where
the dough is prepared and the ovens where the bread is baked.

“No one has such facilities. We have bread for every need. But here is the best
part,” I proclaimed as I pushed open two swinging doors. “This is our room of
inspiration.” I knew he was moved as we stepped into the auditorium full of stained-
glass windows.

The beggar didn’t speak. I understood his silence. With my arm around his
shoulder, I whispered, “It overwhelms me as well.” I then leaped to the podium and
struck my favorite pose behind the lectern. “People come from miles to hear me speak.
Once a week my workers gather and I read to them the recipe from the cookbook of life.”
By now the beggar had taken a seat on the front row. I knew what he wanted.

“Would you like to hear me?”

“No,” he said, “but I would like some bread.”

“How wise you are,” I replied. And I led him to the front door of the bakery.
“What I have to say next is very important,” I told him as we stood outside. “Up and
down this street you will find many bakeries. But take heed; they don’t serve the true
bread. I know of one who adds two spoons of salt rather than one. I know of another
whose oven is three degrees too hot. They may call it bread.” I warned, “but it’s not
according to the book.”

The beggar turned and began walking away. “Don’t you want bread?” I asked him.
He stopped, looked back at me, and struggled, “I guess I lost my appetite.”
I shook my head and returned to my office. “What a shame,” I said to myself.

“The world just isn’t hungry for true bread anymore.”

I don’t know what is more incredible: that God packages the bread of life in the
wrapper of a country carpenter or that he gives us the keys to the delivery truck. Both
moves seem pretty risky. The carpenter did his part, however. And who knows-we may
just learn to do ours