Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Shack - First Thoughts - not a spoiler

We started. We began the conversation. We mulled over ideas. We reckoned with Truth. A few hours later it only seemed like a few minutes and the meatloaf was waiting. We aren't done yet. Jill and I have more to talk about. Do you want to join?

Here are my thoughts after I got off the phone with my fellow book-reviewer.

This God that seems so incredibly familiar to me in The Shack; is He the God of my era? is He the God of my limited theology? is He the God of American Evangelical perspectives? is the God of what makes sense today?

OR is He the God of Billy Graham?
is He the God of CS Lewis?
is He the God of Eric Liddell?
is He the God of Martin Luther?
is He the God of St. Francis?
is He the God of the Apostle Paul?
is He the God of John the Beloved Disciple?
is He the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Would the God personified in this book be familiar to the men and women who have walked with God over the centuries? Is the God of the Shack consistent with all we know or think we know about Him? Could He be the God for any where and all time?

What do you think?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Shack - Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity - not a spoiler

I hate Christian fiction. Like a lot of modernized things, it just can’t compare with the richness of classics like Anna Karenina, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Count of Monte Cristo. The moral truths expressed in books of that caliber seldom compare to the books published today. However, I’ve come across an interesting book this last week that ought to be read. When I am done reading it, I may change my mind, but for now, let me just say - I recommend it - pick up The Shack by William P. Young at a library near you. Its content is startling.

People are saying it’s controversial, but I’m not sure why. I am curious enough to read other’s opinions but am afraid that it will color my own; therefore, I have deliberately avoided googling the book and tracking down all the hype.

I’ve got a phone date next week Jill from Adoptyuen who, like me, struggled getting passed Chapter 4. She also promised to push though it with me so we could talk about it. I just got done with Chapter 8 and now I am thinking maybe, that’s the whole point of the book.... To give us stuff to talk about!

Here’s a few excerpts that have got me thinking.

p.122, God, referring to Himself as part of the Holy Trinity explains, “We don’t need power over the other because we are always looking out for the best. Hierarchy would make no sense among us.”

p.124, Jesus, making reference to mankind’s social and political and religious structures says to the man, “If you had truly learned to regard each other’s concerns as significant as your own, there would be no need for hierarchy.”

p.126, God responds to the man’s questions about suffering, “You try to make sense of the world in which you live based on a small and very incomplete picture of reality. It is like looking at a parade through a tiny knot-hole of hurt, pain, self-centeredness, and power and believing you are on your own and insignificant. All of these contain powerful lies.”

p.145, Jesus replied, “To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy.”

When you talk to God, does He say stuff like this to you?

Have you read it yet? What are your opinions?

Will you read it? Why or why not?

Note to my Teeny and Tweeny Blog Readers: The Shack may NOT be a good book for you. Check with your parents before you dive in and/or have your parents talk to me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meet My New Friends

Do you want to meet my friends?

One of them you’ve met before when I blogged about Half Dome. See my old posts in June for stuff about Julie. The real her is being unveiled in the heat of the summer!

I imagine some of you are wondering why the heck we moved to Oakhurst. I wish I understood God’s plans. I don’t. But let’s just say, it’s been one year since we moved here and quite an adventure finding people who we might like to spend time with. One of my old friends who has known me forever said to me when I was whining and complaining about the lack of companionship, “Why don’t you just be yourself?” Then I met Denise. What was God thinking?

This is part of my sad reality. I am actually thinking of asking for a guitar for my 41st birthday so I can be like them....yes, my new friends. If this makes no sense, pop some popcorn and check out their video blogging. They are so silly. They are so goofy. How did I pick them? Or maybe, and here’s the scary thought, maybe they picked me! Or worse, maybe God picked them for me because God knows how much I needed laughter in my life.

The other sad truth is that I wouldn’t know anything about blogging and haven’t had any connection to the bloggedy blog world if it weren’t for my super silly, goofy godly friend, I left far far away in Colorado... Jill.... who loves me so much and inspires me so much.....she taught me HOW TO BLOG!

God has a sense of humor. You can tell by watching Jules and Denise’s blogs. Enjoy... and Meet My New Friends.

PS - I have supporting roles in each of their video blogs... Jules’ Friday entry (8/15) and Denise’s on Thursday (8/14). Maybe I’ll win an an Oscar to go with Jules Grammy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jillian Got Bap-i-tized

Jillian got baptized Monday, August 11, 2008 . She is 7 going on amazingly mature and godly. She is absolutely her parents pride and joy which is saying a lot since her older brothers are extraordinary people. The only problem Jillian has is that even though she has grown in a myriad of ways, she still can’t say “baptized”. Everyone she met this last week she asked, “Do you want to come and see me get bap-i-tized?” THREE syllables. Lots of people came.

One perplexing element of Jillian’s decision to be bap-i-tized is that we don’t recall exactly when she understood the truth about Christ and His sacrifice for her. We don’t remember that she ever prayed the sinner’s prayer. We don’t remember when she may have asked Jesus to come and live in her heart. I have a vague recollection of her telling me she had prayed to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior after a Sunday School class. I must have thought she was too little to remember or know what she was saying. I must have thought she would do it again. Who knew such a little one would know and understand what it is to deserve blame and yet be blameless. Who knew Jesus would never let her go after that? I have to admit I missed the opportunity to rejoice with her. What I failed to do, the angels were doing, however. God’s face has shined on her ever since.

Since 2006, Jillian has been fixated on baptisms. She was always asking questions about what it was like, why they do it, and why did Jesus do it. She had the all the usual questions about the baptismals themselves and how the pastor actually dunks you. At one point she asked, “Can you wear swim goggles?” Jillian has been thinking about following Christ into the water for a long, long time.

But her journey has only just begun. There will be high times, low times and times when God seems distant. I came to the knowledge of Christ through the book of Ecclesiastes... not your usual recommended Bible read for a new Christian. Yet, the truth about the vanity of the world and its ways caused me to cry out for a God.... if He was there. God answered me 25 years ago. Today, I rest in the knowledge that my very good God now has hold of my daughter and by doing so, He answered one of the most important prayers I ever prayed.

For my daughter I am glad she will always know God loves her. He has been there from the beginning. He has been there from her beginning. He will always be there. He won’t ever let her go. Praise God with me and watch this video. Bass Lake is practically in our backyard and for many years, our church has baptized followers of Christ here. Every baptism is wonderful, but this one has a truly wonderful setting to prove it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What about Football?

Futball or football, known in the US as soccer, has a sordid history, apparently. This I did not know. I am becoming a history buff as I homeschool my children and have had a particular fondness for the history of Britain. I read the biographies of Eleanor of Aquitane and Mary, Queen of Scots just this year. I'm not all that interested in the politics of recent years, but boy some of those old movies rock my world. A Man for All Seasons. Anne of a Thousand Days. The Lion in Winter. Even though they took creative license with Elizabeth - the Golden Age I can't help loving Cate Blanchett in the role. Who doesn't relish the history and legacy of the Virgin Queen?

Elizabeth I is credited with one of my favorite concepts of all time. She declared that she had "no desire to make windows into men's souls". Sure would love to have been a fly on the castle walls 500 years ago. However, today I can't help wanting to make a window into men's souls in the UK. What is it about their football? Why don't they have an Olympic Soccer Team?

With the likes of David Beckham at their disposal, why aren't they competing? Does it have something to do with Victoria's fashion sense? Are they closet Scientologists who have a prejudice against anything that worships human achievement instead of aliens? (If you don't get this joke, google Scientology) No! The reason the Brits don't have a soccer team in the Olympics and haven't since 1964 has everything to do with William Wallace. Seen Braveheart? Do a little deductive reasoning or read about it in USA Today.

Fascinating stuff. And I thought I was going to be a couch potato for 2 weeks. Guess not. There is so much to learn in this great big world of ours. But I gotta go. The opening ceremonies are tomorrow night, but the sports have started already. I want to savor every bit of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I'm going to go watch TV.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miracles of Me

The Miracle that was me began in my mother’s womb
I am fearfully and wonderfully made....

The Miracle that made a teen look for hope
There is a time for every purpose under Heaven...

The Miracle that made me question God’s existence were lyrics from a secular song
I am in all....

The Miracle that created joy unimaginable
I was blind, but now I see...

The Miracle that cured a broken heart and soul
He who keeps you will not slumber...

The Miracle that made a heart sing
Delight yourself in the Lord...

The Miracle that made a marriage of 20 years
Treat others the way you want to be treated....

The Miracle that made a mom unashamed
The kindness of the Lord leads us to repentance.....

The Miracle that released a person from the past
I have engraved you on the palms of my hands....

The Miracle that birthed courage in the midst of dry and weary lands
Behold, I am doing a new thing...

The Miracle that made possible next steps
For I know the plans I have for you....

The Miracle that broke the bondage of doubt
Doesn’t He know how to give good gifts to His children?...

The Miracle that lifted me out the deepest pit
Where two or more of you are gathered, there I am in your midst...

The Miracle that makes me believe in Light when all appears Dark
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

I believe in Miracles because circumstances don’t always change, but I do.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Do you believe in MIRACLES?

Do you ever look at your life and see a MIRACLE?

Do you ever pray for one?