Sunday, February 7, 2010

Enlarging my Borders in Ways "Prayer of Jabez" Fans Might Have Issues With!

"Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my border!" - from the prayer of Jabez.

Sunday afternoon: Resting my brain a bit and posting a few snippets from the last couple of days.

Friday Rebekah and I drove over to Clearwater Beach to have lunch with Sally - one of my very close friends from growing up in Folkestone. She has spent a couple of weeks out at Indian Rocks every winter for the past 15 years - a connection we didn't realize until two years ago when we found each other again after more than thirty years!

Sally has travelled the world doing documentary film-making, then more recently with Help International, a Christian relief and development agency. More and more she has moved into interacting with people based on their spiritual needs and she has some amazing tales to tell!

God has used Sally in many miraculous ways, especially in places like Africa, India and Afghanistan - stories that would be difficult to believe if I didn't know her. The stories sound fantastic, but they have a ring of authenticity that is more compelling than unbelief ... or disbelief ... or the inability to believe.

Our conversation dovetailed nicely with the ongoing study my Sunday-school class is doing around the limitations Western thinking and ideology tend to place on creative thought and spiritual formation. We have placed God in a tidy - easy to manage - box, limited our engagement with the divine to stylized anthropomorphized images that feel comfortable, and thrown pretty-much everything else under the bus - or at least filed it away in our "does not fit with western cultural orthodoxy" box.

The truth turns out to be that the Bible is much more encompassing and generous that we typically allow. The challenge is going to be to learn how to read God's word in a way that continues to honor what we know while giving the Holy Spirit enough room to shake us up and lead us into deeper pathways.

The older I get (and that's a relentless progression) the more I understand that God's love is always more generous than I am. Judgement turns out to be a huge waste of spiritual and emotional energy. God's love is big enough for everyone; my task is simply to help point the way.

The best way that I can point people toward Jesus is to live the kind of life that honors such generous love and such selfless sacrifice.

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." - John 3:17

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