“Benefit of the Doubt” by Gregory A Boyd

The first book I read by Gregory A Boyd was discreetly snatched from my friend’s bookshelf (thank you, Dee Robbins) and hungrily devoured, with many long pauses as I digested the deep and nourishing truths he developed in “Repenting of Religion.”  I’ve just finished slurping and chewing my second Boyd book, “Benefit of the Doubt; Breaking the Idol of Certainty.”  I will definitely be rereading this book full of underlined mind bombs.  Every chapter filled my heart and mind like a full course meal- I’m challenged with how to share just a few appetizers.    

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Shabbat Shalom, part 3

It’s time to finish this series of posts about Sabbath!  My desire is to write a little about the books I’m reading (in our Master’s program and my own reading list) as a way to process what I’m learning and also give you a taste in case you might want to read the book as well.  I’d only planned to write one post about about this book, “Dwell, Life with God for the World” by Barry D Jones, and it was difficult to pick one topic/ chapter- and then impossible to fit it into one post!  I highly recommend this book- I found it encouraging, enlightening, convicting and helpful in my walk as a disciple of Jesus.

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Shabbat Shalom Part 2

Sabbath Keeping Part 2

Click here to read part 1

“There is a freedom that comes from being who we are in God and resting in God that eventually enables us to bring something truer to the world than all our doing,” writes Ruth Haley Barton.  Every time I read this line, my heart burns to experience it.  I believe this resonates with me at this time in my life because of some tough lessons I’ve learned (the hard way, of course.)  First, I can no longer deny that I am weak and grow weary quite easily.  When I was twenty, I was certain that with hard work and willingness to make the sacrifices, I could change the world (or at least radically improve it.)  After a couple decades of “go big or go home” living, I’ve been humbled and discouraged to find the problems of the world, and all its inhabitants, are quite complicated; religious pat answers solve nothing, and even when I give my everything, it’s often not enough.  Secondly, no matter how hard I work and how pure my intentions, I am unable to save or even improve a single person, myself included.   Thirdly, I’m coming to understand my true self is not what I do or accomplish or how others see me.  God created me and loves me and wants to be with me! Much of this disappointment and exhaustion I brought onto myself, but my heart still yearns to see healing and wholeness come into the world around me.  The idea of being able to rest in God and fully bloom into who He made me to be, and out of that place of joy, intimacy and fullness to impact the world – Yes please!!  I want that! 

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Shabbat Shalom Part 1 “Dwell; Life with God for the World”

Sabbath Keeping

Our Master’s cohort just finished reading and writing  reflection papers on the book by Barry D Jones, “Dwell; Life with God for the World.”  Jones’ purpose was to help bring a healthy blending of spirituality (spiritual formation) and mission together, as our modern Christian world tends to hold the two at opposite ends.  Spiritual formation can easily become self-absorption, and in Dallas Willard’s words, “sin management”; whereas “missionalism is in the end a form of idolatry,” according to Barry, “and tends to focus the attention on us and our efforts rather than the God whose reign it is.”

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“You are today who you will be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read,” says Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.  I’m not sure this is true, but it lessens the guilt I feel over all the books I own, my ever growing wish list of books, the messy piles of books throughout the house and the fact I’ve grown non-committal with age (instead of disciplining myself to finish before starting a new one, I now allow myself to read four, five, six at a time!)   “Two timing” is not a sin I ever dreamed I’d commit against a good book, but now I’m addicted and can’t imagine going back to the monotony of one book at a time.  I figure if I have to endure hot flashes, reading glasses and stubborn love handles, I’m granted a bit of grace.  So I’ve lightened up and allow myself to drop boring books without explanation and bounce back and forth between interests.  We recently listened to a Ted Talk about “slow motion multi tasking” by Tim Harford https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/719575727/tim-harford-how-can-slow-motion-multitasking-boost-our-creativity, this was all the rationalization I needed to find peace with stacks of books and my  “popcorn” style of reading till I’m bored and trading out subjects. 

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