Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

I first began reading Mark Batterson's book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" about this time last year. It was a book that proved to change my life dramatically. God used that book to put me on a path that would cause me to make one of the biggest changes of my life. His next book "Wild Goose Chase" caused me to take the next steps in leaving the cage I had been bound up in and embark on something new for the Glory of God.

When I first heard about his latest book, "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" I was very excited, but at the same time I wondered what God would challenge me to change after reading this book. While I haven't been able to finish the book just yet due to my homework load this quarter... already I have begun to feel God's whisper to my heart... it is calling me to pursue Him in a new and deeper way.

One paragraph that spoke to my heart stated:
"...I couldn't help but wonder if our generation has conveniently forgotten how inconvenient it can be to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I couldn't help but wonder if we have diluted the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities. I couldn't help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced."

Already God has used this book to challenge me to look at the Great Commandment in a new light. Do I really love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength? Do I even understand what that means? Do I obey it or do I merely think it is another great verse in the Bible? Is it just a "warm fuzzy" or does it mean more in my life? I want my love for God to be more... I want to love Him with ALL of my heart, ALL of my mind, ALL of my soul and ALL of my strength.

"The decent down this flight of stairs into primal Christianity will be convicting at points, but the end result will be a renewed love for God that is full of genuine compassion, infinite wonder, insatiable curiosity, and boundless energy. Anything less is not enough. It's not just unfulfilling, it's also unfaithful. The quest is not complete until it results in catacomb-like convictions that go beyond conventional logic. The goal is a love that, as our spiritual ancestors understood, is worth living for and dying for."

My gift to you this Christmas is a strong recommendation to make Mark Batterson's new book "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" the next book you read... make sure it is the first book you read in 2010!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yesterday in church, our Pastor read this scripture:

Romans 12:2:
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing a perfect.

I then heard the Lord explain to me part of the issue of the previous day and the previous post. He showed me how I expect things to look a certain way based on how the world says it should look. It's so easy to pick up the behaviors and customs of this world and just assume that's the way things are supposed to be. For me, God showed me how I was locked in to thinking that Christmas should look a certain way... I have been thinking that way for years. If you don't have "this" then Christmas just isn't Christmas... if you can't give lots of gifts then it just isn't Christmas like it should be... if you don't have a tree... well then it just isn't Christmas. Really? Is that really what Christmas is about?

This little book I have been reading during my morning devotions added to this by stating, "Jesus was not attached to the form of things... Often we think a relationship or project should turn out a certain way, but, if we are wise, we must be willing to have it take another form. ... People who are too attached to the form of things are locking themselves into "realities" that are almost always sure to change."

This Christmas I want to look at Christmas differently... I want to be open to doing something different for a change... I want to be willing to see Christmas from God's eyes. I want to allow Him to transform me by changing the way I "think" Christmas should look. I have the feeling He wants to show me something AMAZING... He usually does!

Thank you for letting me ramble my thoughts out here and for your words of encouragement... May you have a very blessed Christmas and may it take on a new form for you as well!


Saturday, December 5, 2009


I hesitate to even write this post... partly because I don't want to sound like I'm complaining when I know I have so much to be thankful for and yet needing to voice these thoughts out in writing... and partly because I don't know how to word this without having it sound bad but you know what?? I need to just say it!

I struggle with this whole time of year. My inward struggle begins November 1st each year as I remember my parent's anniversary and how much I miss them. I also know it heads into the whole season of being thankful and then the Christmas season hits... Once I have managed to make it through Thanksgiving then December 2nd comes... the date of Gerad's birth and last year, it was the date of Nick's funeral...

I just tend to have a blah feeling during the months of November and December. Just a missing of my baby and my parents and the struggles financially that we always seem to walk through at Christmas time when the world says it's all about the gifts and the decorations and the love and the festivities and lights and everybody's joyous! For me.... I just want to crawl in a hole with a warm blanket and hibernate until the New Year. I love New Year's... the promise of something new and hopefully better coming ahead... a time when I can put behind me the sadness of the last couple of months and look forward to the freshness of Spring. Each year I pray it gets easier and yet at the same time... I don't want to forget them. I can't forget them...

Last night as I watched this little boy skip across the lobby at the theater... it reminded me of another little boy... so long ago. My heart once again told Gerad... "I'm sorry"... and then I heard his sweet little voice speak to my heart and say... "It's okay mommy. I love you and I'm having so much fun here!" My heart's reply was... "but I miss you honey." and he said, "I know but I will see you again soon.".... So I smiled and turned away to focus on something else before I started to cry.

Today I wonder... Do all mom's who have lost a child struggle with this time of year? Or is it just me? Whenever I see the snow flakes in light of the streetlights I always remember the night of Gerad's birth and the feeling of wonderment I had that night... wondering if Mary had that same feeling of wonder... I remember standing and wondering what was so special about this child because he felt different in my arms. I knew there was something unique about him. Little did I know what was ahead... I don't think Mary really understood the depths of how special her baby boy was the night He was born. She knew He was special but she couldn't have known how it would feel to watch Him die... to give up His life so that we might live. Thank You Jesus for being willing to give up your life for me. Thank you Mary for being willing to be the vessel used by God to carry such a special child.

That night as Jesus was laying in a manger there wasn't a Christmas tree decorated with lights. There wasn't a whole bunch of gifts because the gifts technically came later. There was just a little family gathered together in a little stable... filled with love for each other and the God who had blessed them so very much. Isn't that what it's really all about anyway? Just being together and being filled with love for each other and the One who has loved us SO much more then we can possibly imagine.

Thank You Jesus for once again... bringing my focus back to you....