Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Outlaw

I've read several books by John Eldredge and enjoy his writing. The imagery, language, and stories he uses to illustrate different concepts really bring into better light the nature of Jesus. While I didn't love Beautiful Outlaw, I did like it.

At times, it was difficult to engage with the book and while the material was good, in places it seemed to miss a driving theme. As the book progressed though, it became more apparent that it was written during a time of recent difficulty in Eldredge's life. This vulnerability does help to more fully appreciate and believe the guidance he offers and understand how to interact with Jesus even in times of brokenness.

It is apparent that Eldredge knows Jesus intimately and talks with him like he would a friend or family member. The most helpful parts of the book were when he asked the reader to stop, pray, and ask Jesus to speak to particular areas in the reader's life and/or heal brokenness. This further encourages people to talk with him throughout the day and not just at dedicated times.

As an overarching theme, the book looks at the personality of Jesus and how he had emotions and a personality like any person does. In turn, it discusses how to use this understanding of him to better engage with him. The book is certainly uplifting and will provide encouragement whether you're experiencing hardship or would just like a different take on the personality of Jesus and how he interacts with us. (hint, it's not just in a church building)

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tell You Bout Jesus

Tell You Bout Jesus
by: Andrew Allen

Troubles in life can push you around
holding you back and keeping you down
but you can break free it can happen today
It don't cost a thing no you don't have to pay

Let me tell you bout Jesus and all that He's done
Let me tell you bout Jesus God's only son
Let me tell you bout Jesus He came for everyone
Let me tell you bout Jesus and how the victory is won

You can believe and trust in His name
He helped the blind see and healed the lame
His power to save is also for you
just open your heart and He'll make you new

Let me tell you bout Jesus and all that He's done
Let me tell you bout Jesus God's only son
Let me tell you bout Jesus He came for everyone
Let me tell you bout Jesus and how the victory is won

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Pendulum of Work and Rest

Old Pendulum Clock
Image via: WikiMedia Commons
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." -John 15:4

In the book Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen and Steve Cockram, they use the concept of a pendulum in describing the ebb and flow of work and rest in life. For those who are driven, type A personalities, the concept of rest can seem like a foreign one. Even outside of the professional realm there's a tendency to always be on the go whether in ministry or other pursuits. Slowing down and abiding in God's presence just doesn't come naturally.

It's so critical to do this though. Burn out is a risk when the pedal is always on go. If the pendulum stays pegged on the work side of the equation, at some point, it's going to come off the hinges and rest won't be optional.

There is a temptation to think that doing ministry work is abiding in Jesus. If He has not called you to it, you're operating out of your own power and are on shaky ground. As Oswald Chambers wrote, "Active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work may be the counterfeit of spiritual activity." -My Utmost for His Highest Only out of time abiding with Him is it possible to be fully alive and functioning how He's designed you. A good resource for learning to abide in Him is The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Of course the opposite is true as well; there are times when the pendulum needs to swing back the other way and you engage in the work that God has called you to. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10 

Is your work/rest pendulum in a healthy place right now? If not, take a few moments to pray about it.

In pursuit of His best,

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