This week, thanks to a friend of mine, I read the trilogy by Penelope Wilcock called The Hawk and the Dove. Without writing a book report on it—although I may do that later—I’ll briefly say that the book is a collection of stories a mother tells her daughter about their ancestors who lived during the middle ages, two of whom were monks who lived in a monastery. Most of the stories are of the men living in community in the monastery. Now I’ve made it sound like a dull book, but it was just the opposite, and the characters in it were very real people. The Hawk and the Dove contained very honest portrayals of human struggles and suffering, and the questions we face in life. I’m still digesting all I read. But, to get to the quote I wanted to share…

In book two, entitled “The Wounds of God”, Melissa’s mother (she is the one telling the stories in the book) shares with her daughter:

…[W]e can offer no solutions, no easy answers, to other people’s tragedies. We can only be there. It is Jesus they need, not us, and even he offers no answers. He offers himself. It is when people find their way through to him that the pain of their life becomes the pain not of death, but of birth. A thing of hope.

That is so true. So often, there is nothing to say to ease someone’s pain. Simply being there, and loving them like Jesus, and pointing them to Him and to His love and His comfort is enough, and better than trying to say something.

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After reading, “Through Gates of Splendor”, and “The Savage My Kinsman”, I took up this book for more of the same. I was not disappointed. This book was filled with excerpts from Jim Elliot’s journals, and interspersed with Elisabeth’s commentary and additional information that put the entries in some context. This book moved slower then the previous two, but was absolutely worth the read.

This book was powerfully inspiring and motivating. The journal quotes breathed such love and fervent, passionate devotion to God. His preoccupation with the things of God, the way he viewed all of his life as a sacrifice for the service of Christ, helped reveal to me the areas of my life in which I still viewed my life as “my own”. Reading this book stirred a lingering desire in me to be a missionary and share the gospel with those who have never heard, as it laid bare how empty this life is if not devoted to things that matter in eternity.

Although his passion was extraordinary, at least when compared with the majority of Christians today, he did have times of discouragement and despair. He was not without his weaknesses, yet he did not let those times or temptations dissuade him from seeking his treasure–Jesus Christ.

Jim Elliot was encouraged by friend and family to remain in the states to stir up the American Christians. He did not, saying that Americans had the Scriptures, and he could not stay while there were other peoples that had never heard, and didn’t have the Scriptures. I find it a marvelous working of God that in following his calling to go to Ecuador, Jim Elliot did both–was a witness in an unreached people group, and yet, also stirred up, and continues to stir the American Christians who hear his story, and read his story–a life lived passionately for God.

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I kneel in awe…

23 May 2008

Have you ever been absolutely inspired by the gospel? Ever felt in awe at it, at the very thought of it?

When I think about it—really think about it—I cannot imagine why He chose to save me. All that comes to my mind is “Thank you! Thank you!”

Amazing love; how can it be? that you, my King should die for me…

I’ve been reading such wonderful, edifying books lately: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew, and Through Gates of Splendor and The Savage My Kinsman by Elisabeth Elliot. In each one, I was overcome with the love these people had for the Father. They were truly willing to give all; to spend and be spent in His service that others might know and be reconciled to God. Through Gates of Splendor impacted me the most. Jim Elliot’s expressions of devotion were so moving, and deepened my hunger for a close, intimate relationship with my Savior.

Is there any way to really describe the ache one can feel to know Him, and to walk in His ways; to tell others of His marvelous, unfathomable grace? I can only say…

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you: (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20

May we never, never lose our awe of the miracle of the gospel…

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Do Hard Things

01 May 2008

Reading Brett and Alex Harris\' new book, \

Yes, I am late in recommending Brett and Alex’s new book, Do Hard Things, but better late than never, right? You need to hop right over to theRebelution.com and take a look at it, then continue on to Amazon.com and place an order (for two copies, ideally!).

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I’m reading.

I’m reading.

In one instance, I’m reading from a book, and another time I’m reading on a computer screen. (Here’s a grammar question: do you read from, or on a computer screen?) These days I find myself reading on the computer more than from paper books. I greatly appreciate the variety of material available, and the ease of taking my laptop with me, and with it, a multitude of reading material (more than I could carry with me in paper!).

I’ve noticed, though—rather to my dismay—that I tend to read too fast when I’m reading on my computer, especially when I’m reading through blog posts in Google Reader. I tend to “skim” more than actually reading, and then realize what I’m doing and slow myself down. For some reason I seem to associate “computer” or “online” with “speed”. :) Maybe this isn’t an issue—maybe I’m saving myself time? It just seems like a waste of time to skim something and not remember very much from it. I’m seriously thinking about cutting back on Google Reader. Maybe limit myself to five blogs at a time, and rotate which blogs I follow?

Do any of you read faster on-screen than you do when reading from a book?

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