Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So, of course all of this makes me think of books
I used to often write more than once in a day, in the first months of this little blog. I would even write three times a day since it looked so lonely. That was nearly five years ago. It is no longer lonely. I thought I was doing pretty good when I went over 500 on Google Reader (not bad for a blog like this). Then I saw where The Pioneer Woman has 65,000 and it took days to come out from under the covers.
Anyhoo, I digress (as usual)...
I was thinking of legalism and how I had a hard time understanding why people would not want to be around someone just because they were dedicated to Jesus Christ. Come to think of it, why some people don't want to say that name unless they are swearing.
I still can't relate as I have had friends of all spiritual flavors since my teens... Christians raised in the church, homeschooling Christians (and we are a peculiar people!), iffy Christians, Christians hanging on by their thumbnails, atheists, agnostics, close Jewish friends, New Age, and really almost any kind of person you could think of at one time or another... except I've never even known a very devout fundamentalist type Muslim. But I smile at them in the grocery store.
I know that absolutely no one can talk me out of my faith. It is not an idea... He is a person... my Best Friend. Nothing anyone can say would draw me away from my Friend anymore than they could make me stop loving my husband or children with words. So having people not like me in my world does not pose a problem.
As with most things, it was in the reading of a book which helped me understand. I read Philip Yancey's book, Soul Survivor; How My Faith Survived the Church many years ago for two reasons... I really liked his previous books and how can you not be intrigued by that title? In it, he shares his story of growing up in a legalistic and racist church and the affect it has had through the years in his relationship with God.
I read it at a time I had been deeply hurt by church people... pastors, friends, and leadership... people who should know better. It wasn't the first time, either. As I read this book, it helped me understand my mother and her aversion to anything having to do with the Church. There was deep hurt and rejection in her. I found myself much like Yancey, loving Jesus but realizing men and women in the Church are only human and one must continually "let it go". Only the Savior is perfect.
I've seen it on many library shelves and as with all his books... don't be afraid of him. He doesn't bite. He just makes you think and once you read a Yancey book (Where is God When It Hurts, etc.) you will know what it means to "read to know we are not alone". You may not agree with everything he writes but then again... that is just fine... but you will most likely read and realize someone else has the same feelings that you thought were only in you.
While I'm thinking about Christians who live in countries where walking with Christ threatens their life, my all time favorite book on this subject is Randy Alcorn's Safely Home, a novel about the underground church in China. This is one of those rare novels which left me a different person after reading it and it is among my all time favorite reads.
I recommend both fiction and nonfiction from Alcorn. Some may remember his book Heaven was listed as one of my favorite books for 2010.
I have company coming over for dinner on a day the weather has brought on a migraine headache. Thankfully, I no longer expect perfection as a cook and hostess. I made a cake using a cake mix and I'm putting together a casserole with Alfredo sauce from a jar as its' base. Thank God for my Hospitality Pantry!