I am supposed to be writing a 5 to 7 page observation for one of my ECE classes today. I started it yesterday and as I was typing I got completely irritated because I can't even begin to tell you how many of these I have already done and will have to do to get my degree. The only good thing about where I am at right now is that I can make up my observations where as when I get closer to being done with my degree I have to give away many free hours of time to prove I am ready to work with children. Wait...what?? Yes, this is where my frustration came in yesterday. I have been in school( off and on mind you ) since 1993. That's right I graduated high school spring of 93 and that fall I started taking college classes at WNCC(so there Laura another person who survived WNCC). My frustration is that I should have a bazillion degrees by now. They don't give out degrees for being the mother of 4 children or for working at so many preschools, day cares, latch keys, and or sunday schools that you can't even count them on two hands. Nope, no degree for real life experience. They still want your free work and your countless observations to know that you know for the bazillinenth time that you know the difference between a large motor skill and a small one.
Thanks for listening to me rant and rave I am off to go write my paper now.
Chapter 4 is entitled , "People equipped to Serve" and it has many many quotes in it's small content but here are my favorites;
"The gifts of the Spirit as I understand them, are God's means of getting to men and meeting their needs through believers. I do not believe that spiritual gifts were meant primarily for the sanctuary. Some of them can operate there, that's fine. But many of them were primarily designed for the street."
I had a chance to operate in hospitality in the most unlikely place. During my daughter Emma's parent/teacher conference I noticed that every time her teacher would speak of Chicago where she recently moved from her eyes would well up with tears. Even though we were there for Emma and her education(of which I am not worried about in the slightest, her mother is a teacher after all) I decided to derail the conference from it's usual course and ask her teacher how she was adjusting to living here in Nevada. Long story short I invited her over for dinner. Strange, I know but that is what I think Jerry is talking about in the above quote.
"Christianity is not difficult to communicate. It's simple. We make it hard by our extreme efforts."
"We specialities out of ministry. We make Christian service difficult. The reason we make it so tough sometimes is to massage the ego of those who want to be specialists. I've seen specialty ministries come and go. God uses them for He will use anything as much as He can , but the majority of the time they are raised up for the ego satisfaction of men."
Finally, here is my favorite quote of maybe the whole book;
"The fastest most valid way to originality is to be oneself. You see , I am an original(and so are you). As I forgive myself for being as I am , as I learn to trust God's good judgement in creating me as He did and begin to accept myself, I am original. I can't help it. God has put my brain together and tutored it so that no one else can pick up the Word and see exactly what I see in it."
I think that is why I enjoy so much reading scripture with others because I love to hear the spin that their brain might have on a particular passage. It is what the makes the world go round all our differences and how we see things and I LOVE IT!!
Well, I have to say that I am extremely happy about our new President. I am disappointed that more friends and family are not as excited about this as I am. I understand that the media put out alot of information about Obama that would cause people to be afraid or alarmed but I thought my friends and family were smart enough to know that you can't believe everything you read and hear.
I have read Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" and am planning on reading his other publishing's but for everyone who has only been listening to the media or the 700 club version of life as we know it I would encourage to take a second look at the man who will soon be your president too.
I would have to say that I wasn't an Obama fan until I went to see him in person way back when he was still running against Hillary. At that event I saw in this man the President I always read about in history books been never actually experienced in my life time. He has a way with words that not only inspires but makes you want to stand up and shout. I believe he will prove to be the right man for the job ahead of him. What a job it is.
Time will tell if he brings hope or more of the same but I would have to say I am already more hopeful about America's future than I was yesterday. You have to give this man credit for getting the most voters out there than we have seen in a long time.
And to all you Nay-sayers who have nothing but gloom and doom to project now that he won I say, give him two seconds to prove you wrong. You will not be disappointed.
Chapter 3 of Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness is titled "The Church as a Force" and really if any of you have read Monday Morning Church then this chapter is just a pre cursor to that book. Still some of my favorite quotes I will post here in case you haven't read either.
"When people differentiate between the church and Christ, when they say, 'We're going to write off the church but we surely do love and believe in Jesus,' something is seriously wrong."
* This is something that I felt for a while. Never will I turn my back on my Savior, where else would I go but if I stop going to Hillside I doubt I will ever step foot in another church again. That's how tired I am of the things that go on when people gather together for the purpose of glorifying God and encouraging each other, this isn't what I have seen over the years. More like a social club that makes each other feel good and isolates, judges and criticizes everyone including themselves all in the name of church.
"When we think that the believer's meeting place is where the work is to be done, we have departed from the concept Jesus originally established. Instead of the world being the field, we have made the church the field."
*Again nothing happens up on that Hill and in those four walls that couldn't be happening in my living room or in my car or at the Grocery store. In fact I think the more powerful life changing moments don't happen there.
*This is the part of the book that really changed my whole way of thinking about church.
"Ministry becomes a positional identity within the organization. That is, if you are going to minister you must be a director of something or minister of something or associate of something. You will have a title and a position within the organizational structure. As a result, the individual member is easily misled about the meaning of Christian service and is often reduced to a spectator. You see, once he's in the field, unless he wins a position he has little relevance except to help keep the machine going"
*I remember reading that for the first time and it was like a light bulb lit up and I finally realized why it made me want to vomit in my mouth every time I was introduced as a position instead of a person. It still makes me sick the way that we as human beings look to a person for a position only Jesus and Jesus alone should fill. So then what are we to do with the church as a field instead of a force mentality? How do we change ? Do we want to change? I do believe this kind of change takes time and alot of changes that are uncomfortable and even frightening. In the end though it is so worth it and really is what I believe Jesus would want us to do.
This chapter really is so good. There is one part that made me laugh when he talked about in the early days he wanted to start a commune, sound like anyone else we know? He then says,
"This was how I finally awoke to the fact that God didn't want us to be separate subculture, He wanted us to penetrate every segment of the society in which He had placed us."
*This is something that I want to be about.
One final quote that gets the wheels spinning, "Among other things, I'm saying that we need to direct the church away from professionalism and into the hands of people who do not know what they are doing."
* What does that look like, really? Why isn't it happening right now? How do we get to this place that sounds so right and yet seems so far off?
Okay maybe just one more quote, "People get bored just waiting for heaven. So what do they do? They start complaining, griping, gossiping. The reason they are bored is that they don't know what they are saved for. They know what they are saved from and what they are saved to but not what they are saved for."
* This reminds me of that scripture that says, " Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and for which you confessed the good confession of faith before many witnesses." 1 Tim 6:12
That's what I want to do. I want to remember always why my life is different because of what Jesus has done and continues to do for me and I want to spend my time and energy on thanking Him in everyday ways by loving Him and His people. Still if I am being honest I get tired and weary and I need to be reminded of this and do you know who reminds me? My friends, family and others who are walking out this fight of faith. I am thankful for them. For their honesty and sincerity in their personal struggles for they remind me of why we need each other , why there needs to be a walking church everyday.
Chapter 2 of this book is titled, " The Need for a Guiding Philosophy". It basically talks about how when a church gathers together they need to know what their guiding philosophy for gathering should be about and then BE about that. It also talks alot about what the role of the Pastor is supposed to look like. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Chp 2;
"One basic premise in my own philosophy of the church is that people themselves are the ministers.."
"Two things are necessary: people must be trained to use their own gifts in ministry; and the church must grant the people the right to minister in crisis situations on the spot."
"We must begin to see what Christ is seeing and respond accordingly. He didn't start a political movement. In fact He shunned politics. Yet He was involved politically, not from a movement point of view but because what He did had fantastic political implications. The prophetic lifestyle is person oriented."
"To live prophetically in the world is to speak Christ's love and redemptive power into the heart of the individuals caught in sin. We see Jesus doing this. He didn't speak generally to the world but He did confront individuals- He touched this sick person, He released that demon-possessed person, He forgave the other person who was notorious sinner."
"The dynamic for church growth is Spirit-filled people meeting other people's needs in Jesus name wherever they are. You can't reduce that to methodology."
There were so many things in this chapter that made me happy I go to a church that does exactly this. There were also some things that convicted me to do better. I could've quoted the whole chapter but I will leave you with this last one that is so true and right on as far as I am concerned;
"If we are isolated from others, living within the context of monologue so far as church life goes, we will probably accept uncritically many practices which have no validity. Or if they are valid, we don't why and therefore cannot use them to best advantage. And we are totally unaware of alternatives that might suit our particular situation better."
For a first time experience of a place that I have heard about and even been invited to go to for many years, I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. These are just a few of the several photogenic moments this spot on the planet provided. I am now enjoying not only my apples but the tool I bought to peel and cut them. I will post more Halloween pics later but just so you know this year our theme was Wizard of Oz. Emma went as Dorothy, Chloe was Glenda the good witch, Sol the Scarecrow, and Isaiah was a perfect Lollipop kid. Jordan Lear is also in one of the pics here he would have made a great Tin Man but alas, better than that he was a Baseball player, because you know he is.
Every stop we made they got freebies left and right and I am thinking that if we make Apple Hill a traditional spot for the Scofield's we might have to go in full costume mode every time.