Category Archives: books

Books

Picked up a few books during the conference, some on recomendation, others out of interest. Will post some thoughts on them as I read them, A Generous Orthodoxy – Brian McClaren, Church Next – Eddie Gidds & Ian Coffey, Seizing Your Devine Moment – Erwin McManus.

Radical Living

How do we represent Christ today? How do I represent the one who gave his all for me? If Christ was to come and live my life for a day how would my attitudes, priorities, values and actions change? These are all thoughts that are on my mind at present, as I continue my walk with God, seeking to better represent his grace in how I live my life. Many of these thoughts were considered towards the end of the week at Reach Out, and, as is often the case, they said as much to me as they did to the kids in my small group. That’s one thing that amazes me about Gods word, how it challenges you right where it matters in your life. As I have considered the life of Christ recently, much of this brought about as a result of my reading Philip Yancey’s book The Jesus I Never Knew, I have been immensely challenged.
A section I was reading today dealing with how Gods kingdom is in complete contrast to worldly kingdoms in its values, and how in Christ we see a radical way of living. A couple of comments that struck a note with me were the following:

“To Jesus, the person was more important than any category or label.”
What a challenge this is to society today, and if we lived out this godly principle as Christians, how massive an impact would we not have for the right reasons…….

“ A political movement by nature draws lines, makes distinctions, pronounces judgement; in contrast Jesus’ love cuts across lines, transcends distinctions, and dispenses grace”

What a challenge to those of us who bear the name of Christian, are we living grace filled lives. As I walk past the homeless guy, the drunkard, the glue sniffer, barely giving them the time of day, not even looking up to give a simple smile. How am I representing the one whose grace has saved me from despair?

Father I pray that you would help me look on others with grace filled eyes, to have the courage to act when I see someone needing your grace in their lives, taking the time because ultimately you took the time for me when I was running away from your arms of grace. Forgive me father, help me to be a better witness of your Son to those I come into contact with, change my heart Dear Lord I pray, in His precious name

Bruchko

Just finished reading the above book about Bruce Olson, a teenager who followed his God given dream of bringing the Good News of the gospel to the Molitone tribe in the South American jungle. Amazing story of a guy who passionately pursued Gods calling in his life, no matter what the personal cost. An interesting point when reading that struck home with me : others had tried in the past to reach the tribal peoples with the gospel with limited success. Olsons approach was to spend time learning the language, investigating the culture and customs, and only then did he attempt to present the gospel to the people. And when doing so he didn’t present it in a way that was threatening, he used customs and legends familiar to the tribal people in order to present te key elements of the Christian faith, the breakthrough coming when he found a way of presenting Jesus as a molitone who walked the jungle trails.

Struck me heavily that as we carry out our youth ministry programmes, we need to find new ways of presenting unchanging biblical truth’s in a format relevant to the culture of our day. This is where the challenge begins!!

Books

Started reading abit of the book by Lee Strobel: The Case For Christ. A few interesting points that have arisen in my reading so far:

· Jesus claimed to be God, a claim that ultimately got him killed. Was Jesus willing to die for a lie, or was he willing to die because he believed he was telling the truth? In reading the gospels it becomes apparent that Jesus didn’t just claim to be God; he believed it.

· Other religions of the world are based on people doing something to earn the favor of God. They must do good deeds, or faithfully follow religious drills. However Christianity is based on what Christ has already done on the cross. Nobody can do anything to earn Gods favor; rather, Jesus offers forgiveness and eternal life as a gift.