Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
When Rivadeneira was disappointed by life, she didn't feel like shouting a hallelujah. But then it occurred to her . . . maybe she could grumble one! Sharing candid stories and inspiring Scripture, she encourages you to stop blaming yourself, circumstances, or God for the challenges you face---and praise him for things that make your life worth living.
I am sure we have all had that time when we really don’t feel like shouting for joy, but we know that joy is not supposed to be dependant on what we feel like.
This book focuses on the age old question of how to find God in the midst of suffering.
And it does it well.
The book is a great mixture of real life examples, and practical applications. Each chapter contains a little bit of both.
The author makes her story both interesting, and inspiring, without becoming too preachy or holier-than-thou.
I was a little worried it might seem too trite, but altogether it delivers on what it promises.
I think it is saved by how honestly the author opens up about her own shortcomings and difficulties. It makes it very heartfelt, and relevant.
3 stars out of 5.
I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
These two words echo the heart-defining call of our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples.
Sadly, this life-changing invitation has lost much of its original meaning. Immersed in a society that worships success, we have succumbed to a trendy fixation with leadership.
In I Am a Follower, author Leonard Sweet explains how Christians in a twenty-first-century corporate-obsessed culture have shifted away from a Jesus art of following toward a popularized form of leading.”
I read this book, because I thought this sounded like a good principle: That we need to move away from a culture of leadership (actually it says cult of leadership) and focus on followership.
Which is a good idea.
However I felt that the author spent too much time focusing on why leadership is bad, and leaders are misguided, and how we need to stop focusing on leadership.
BUT HE NEVER DOES.
I would have preferred to hear more about how to develop as a follower, and less about how bad leadership is.
I agree with the basic premise of this book,that we all want to be leaders, when we are called to be followers. But I think we can't undervalue the gift of leadership as a calling, provided it is secondary to the followership.
I also found the book a little disjointed. It starts out with a very good prologue, which tells a story about a YouTube video. Of course it assumes you have seen the video, which I have, but it might make more sense if they spent more time explaining what happened in the video, not just what it means. Then it has a section which seems to be part of the prologue, that compares following to dancing. Then it has in introduction, which is actually about 25% of the book, so I think I would have called it something else, like “Followership”. Then it gets to the three areas it wants to focus on (The way. The Truth. The life) which read like short snippets from a sermon or thoughts for the day.
I guess it just confused me more than it enlightened me, because it made it hard to follow any logical thread other than “LEADERS ARE BAD”
Not a book I enjoyed, and not one I would recommend. I am however led to believe that his other books are quite good, so I will try another one at a later stage.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I will be focusing on the Books of the Old Testament during Lent. Not reading the whole Old Testament, because that would be
insane challenging, but rather meditating on each book for a day.
If you are interested, you can join me here.
However I came across another Lent Challenge where the participants are reading the entire New Testament during lent.
Not just thinking about it, but READING it.
I chose the Old Testament for a number of good biblical reasons, but the best was probably because… there are 39 book in the OT, and 40 days in Lent, so the maths is easier than 27 books.
Plus some other really valid theological reasons.
I like what they are doing though, and I might try it in the future. Maybe next year.
But one of the things I really liked about it was this from their instructions.
4. If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. No guilt. No shame. Just more Jesus every day!
I think that is good advice for our Christian walk in general, and all Bible study in specific.
If you miss a day, pick up where you left off.
Just more Jesus.
Hoo Ha Ha!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
If you have been following my blog for a few years, you will know that I have a mixed approach to Lent.
I don’t do lent in the sense of fasting or giving up something. (Usually)
What I normally do is decide what I need to do or change about my life for the next 40 days that will help me to be more focussed on God, and feel closer to Him on Resurrection Sunday.
Sometimes that involves giving up something, like sleep or reading, so that I can use that time for prayer. Sometimes it involves just being intentional about focusing on something relevant to my walk with God each day.
This year, I will be revisiting an old project of mine. About four years ago, I wrote a Haiku for each book of the Bible. I called this project Biblios Hokku, because it sounded snobbish and pretentious. (Actually there were/are good reasons, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t also being pretentious.)
So this year, I will be looking back at each book of the Old Testament, one day at a time. I will spend some time meditating on each book, and on what it means to me as a part of the whole Bible. I will take the day to think about the message of that book.
In this way, I hope to get through the whole Old Testament by Easter.
(Not reading all of it, but looking at how it fits together.)
One of the interesting things that I noticed when I was reading the Bible to do the Biblios Hokku was how we often miss the recurring themes and messages of the whole Bible when we jump around and read some books and leave others. Being “forced” to consider them all, in order, makes new truths jump out, and reinforces old ones.
As usual, I will not be posting the Lent Posts here. Rather I will do them on a separate, dedicated, blog called FISH for Lent. If you are interested in sharing this journey with me, then I invite you to swim over there and have a look around.
Just a little something to whet your appetite…
By faith, for service
our worth only in His eyes
we are saved for Him.
If you want to find out what this poem means for me, visit http://lentfish.blogspot.com
Join my little Lent Group…