Friday, January 31, 2014

Life Trip

I don’t put my thoughts to paper often but after a string of unexpected twists and turns in life I’ve come to a conclusion how to handle them and felt like sharing.

I love traveling, love road trips, love hiking, love exploring, just the thought of it is enough to have my imagination run wild with ideas and plans for future trips. But this is not about panning my next trip.

During any given trip I love to immerse myself into every moment of the experience, to look out the window, see the sites, eat the food, not waste a moment, not take a glance for granted.

I’ve had some pretty intense trips. Stranded in the middle of the dessert in Palestinian territory without a cent to my name and my plane leaving in a day from another country, threatened to be shot by boarder guards in Russia, caught crossing boarders illegally (long story), sleeping in city parks, beach benches, numerous car breakdowns and countless other unforgettable experiences. At the time the obstacles seemed impossible to overcome but looking back I wouldn’t have changed a second.

I realize my life is a trip. I’ve always prayed to arrive at my final destination asap but what would I have missed if God would have answered my prayers? I had my fair bit of heartache (much more than necessary), I’ve made my mistakes and am living the consequences but the trials, twists, and turns are the scenery along my trip. Just as I wouldn’t want to miss a world wonder or miss seeing a sunset in my rearview mirror I don’t want to miss the beauty along the road I am on. I’ve had some intense trips and though I couldn’t wait to get home those are some of my favourite stories to tell. So in my life, I’ve gone (and am going through) hard times, and though I can’t wait for all life’s wrinkles to be ironed out I know looking back these times will produce my favourite stories to share. 

When things are tough in the moment it’s hard to enjoy the trip we’re on but think of how much more we would get out of it and enjoy our time, good or bad. If we only put our trust that God is in control of the future and enjoy that sunset in the rearview mirror, marvel at the scenery as we pass it by.

'It Is Good' Versus 'I Want'

When all that says, “It is good” has been debunked, what says “I want” remains - C.S. Lewis

Always Express Love

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mark Driscoll's "A Call to Resurgence" Was Not Much Of A Call

Nine out of ten time I really enjoy Mark Driscoll’s stuff, this book happens to be the exception. After chapters 1 & 2 I though right on! Christians are falling away right left and centre and Mark does a great job portraying our crumbling Christian society. But chapter 3 on ward I began questioning Mark’s tactics to try and “resurrect” Christians. Whereas chapters 1 and 2 dealt with the disintegration of our Christian society chapters 3 onward dealt with the different “tribes” we belong too.
First off I hate that word “tribe”. Second, why are we being categorized? CAN you even categorize a whole group of people and each one’s personal beliefs based on the “tribe” aka church they attend and who their pastor is? No! But Mark doesn't see a problem with that. Third, he listed a few denominations and ascribed what they believe on certain issues, well I can’t speak for other denominations but I can speak for mine (my father being a pastor and all) and he got mine completely the opposite of what we believe! Mark should really stick to his own denomination and not venture into unknown territory. Yes I do realize that ultimately Mark does come around and say we should put our differences aside and work together to be disciples (not in those words), but he did not need to spend about 80 pages dishing out our differences only to come to that conclusion – and by the way, I felt he was rather biased to his own beliefs, as if his were more right than those of other denominations. These aren't the only problems I’ve found through this book, another was on his interpretation of the Holy Spirit, but I’ll leave it at that.

I personally feel Mark failed, rather miserably, to try and resurrect Christians with this book. The only new things I learned is how all the other preachers and denominations are different than mine – not a good lesson might I add, considering he did get mine completely wrong so who knows if the others are correct or not.

I love Mark and have a ton of respect for him, but I feel he failed in his call to resurgence. Buy it if you really love Mark, do not buy it though if you are looking for answers and a plan for resurgences, go to the bible for that, you wont find it in this book. Thank you to Tyndale for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Question That Never Goes Away - Philip Yancey

The Question That Never Goes Away is another fantastically written book by Philip Yancey. To those that are familiar with Yancey’s beautiful and articulate writing, filled with quotes and views from other authors, scholars and theologians other than his own, you will once again be left in deep and thoughtful contemplation on the topic of suffering.

The question that never goes away, never does go away, despite reading this book. As in many of Yancey’s works he does not attempt to explain away suffering but instead gives instances from modern day that illustrate the worst of suffering, pain, and tragedies. Although there is no explanation behind them Yancey makes it clear that God is love and healing and comfort can be achieved through Him.

Although you won’t walk away having every question answered you will be led down the path to comfort and encouragement. As Yancey mentions God knows what suffering is, He gave up His one and only son, we can trust Him with our pain.

I highly recommend this book, Philip Yancey is a masterful writer. He never fails to leave the reader in deep thought, encouraged, and blessed. This topic is a hard to dive into, few venture into it and even fewer do it correctly, Yancey is one of those few. Anyone struggling for answers or anyone interested in the question ’why God?’ cannot pass on this book. Thank you to booksneeze and Zondervan for blessing me with a copy of this book.