Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dangerous Fruit?

I was driving home late last night, at about midnight.  As is my custom, I was talking to myself.  (Yes, I am weird like that.)

fruit-of-the-spirit2I was busy thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit, because I am planning a lesson series on it in my small group.  Stay tuned, I might post some of it here if you are good.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law – Galatians 5:22-24

As I was driving, I was considering how one goes about exhibiting and growing the fruit in your own life.  I was thinking about what love really means, and goodness, and kindness. 

Then as I drove down a dark and abandoned road, I saw someone in a bakkie coming around the corner with their hazard lights on. (You would probably know a bakkie as a pick-up truck or utility vehicle.)

The driver pulled off to the side of the road, and stopped their vehicle.  It appeared that they were having difficulty. 

I suppose I should have pulled over to see whether they needed help.  But it was a dark and uninhabited area, and it was not safe.  My country is riddled with crime, and it is one of the first things you learn… never get our of your car at night.  Especially if you are alone.

So I slowed down, but I could not see if the driver was in trouble or not, so I drove on.  Sometimes hijackers and robbers use “break-downs” as decoys to lure people in.  So I carried on home.

It got me thinking though.  The loving, kind and good thing would be to stop and help someone in need.  Sort of like the Good Samaritan in the story.  But what about when it is dangerous to you?  I don’t mind risking my life to help someone, but deliberately doing something stupid when it might be a trap is another thing.

Isn’t it?

What are we supposed to do as Christians?  What Would Jesus Do?
Is it goodness to stop for every person, or just stupidity?

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simple Joy


I was reminded recently of a story that I read about a printer’s daughter discovering the love of God.

She found a scrap of paper on the floor of her father’s factory. 
The scrap had half of a verse printed on it.

For God so loved the world, that he gave…”

That was all.  She was overcome with joy and thanksgiving.  No one had ever told her about Jesus, and her perception of God was someone to be feared.  When she showed the piece of paper to her Mother, she was asked, “What did he give?”

“I do not know,” she replied.  “But if He loved us enough to give us anything, we should not be afraid of Him.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

It’s Not about Me – Max Lucado


Pop culture and psychobabble tell us to make ourselves the center of the universe in order to be happy. Churches have communicated the false idea that God exists to give us all that we selfishly want. In this book, Max Lucado reminds us that it's not about us, it's all about God. It is through this shift in thinking that we can truly live an unburdened, happy life.

This book, as with most of the Max Lucado books I have read, was good solid theology.  The man really knows his stuff.  It is only about 150 pages long, and each chapter is short enough to read quickly and spend some time digesting.

Admittedly not a lot of what he says is original, and is repeated a lot.  However there are some truths that we need to keep examining from different directions until we can move them from our heads into our hearts.  I can’t say that it inspired me to change my life, but it gave me much to think about as I have been contemplating this very theme for a while… what does it mean to say that it is all about GOD, and not about me.

The study guide in the back is also quite good, and it covers the material from each chapter, so you can use the book as a group study, or personal study, as well as just a good read.

Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, but read it anyway.  It really is quite good.


I review for BookSneeze®

I received the book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their BookSneeze programme.  Learn more about the book here.