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Chapter 10: Favorite Quotes


#1

What in this chapter really resonated with your journey?


#2

Nothing more clearly reveals Jesus’ family than when people are loved, not used.

We don’t have to find a church, or plant one. This is a family to engage, not a program to implement

Those who do not trust Jesus to build his church cannot imagine church life without leaders and followers.

They trust the Spirit to work as he wills, and they can support each other even if they don’t see eye-to-eye on everything.

I have a lot of highlights in this chapter. The last one I can definitely see taking shape in my family. I am starting to believe my family is growing more content with the differences and growing together more in our relationships. I think they are willing to trust God with me and our unresolvable issues.

Ruby from Calmar Alberta.


#3

These are my favorite quotes from all over the chapter.

1st

Extravagant love— not imposed order— is the nature of his church.

2nd

Religious settings are laced with guilt and fear as people constantly question whether they are doing enough for God. They employ the language of accountability and pressure people to live up to the expectations they ascribe to God. People have to pretend to be better than they are in order to please the leadership and stay out of trouble.

3rd

As we freely love the people God has put around our lives, it will become evident who is able to share that love in return. That’s the church taking shape.

4th

We don’t have to find a church or plant one.

I have seen the problems in #2 played out, yet the more of Gods love that I see, the more I like to see stuff about His love like # 1 & 3… and I really love #4 which turns a lot of IC’s and house church & organic church stuff on its head… We don’t need to start a group, plant a church, or plant a house church… We simply accept and enjoy God’s love, and then as it inspires us to share it with others, we can freely do so.


#4

I also like the first quote Ruby included in her response…

Nothing more clearly reveals Jesus’ family than when people are loved, not used.

I’ve talked here and on the God Journey blog about a long-time Christian friend who I considered a spiritual mentor for many years, until God allowed me into what I call a ‘growth spurt’, and could no longer relate to his concept of the church, or what he perceived as my role in his life. The friendship continued for many years under the guise of false hope, until I could no longer handle the superficiality and decided to back away.

It has been a heartbreaking experience for me knowing that I allowed myself to be duped by his religiosity for so long, not realizing that he may not even be aware of what is going on. The wounds are still too soft for me to consider relating to him as though he doesn’t have a concept of what love is, I really think he couldn’t/wouldn’t admit that to himself or to me.

Religion puts one into so many guises, its hard to distinguish between the actor for the world’s sake, and the real human being for Jesus’ sake, if a person ever allows that to develop.


#5

“…learn to zero in on the signal of his love and grace as you tune out the noise of human manipulation.” I stopped listening to Christian radio a long time ago for this very reason. I often felt manipulated and guilty.

‘Its people won’t have to boast about their strengths or hide weaknesses, and others won’t try to fix them with advice or tell them what they should think or how they should feel’.

‘Those who know Jesus know that he invites people into his life; he does not force them…you will open to truth faster when you are not coerced.’ I have learned so much about this in our small group. All of our thoughts and sharings add to our own understandings of Jesus. We don’t have to try to make other people fit into our own theologies!


#6

I too, stopped listening to Christian radio, which I strongly believe led me to insanity for a time. I can understand their model from simply a financial perspective…if they can convince you are broken but fixable, and they have that fix for you, as long as you contribute money to their organization. But you never get fixed, instead you get hooked.


#7

I listen to a local radio station that plays 70’s and 80’s light rock music. It’s amazing how much inspiration for the soul one can find from listening to John Lennon or Phil Collins. I remember how much slack Amy Grant got from the “Christians” for having her music play on "secular stations.

I think one my favourite parts of the Shack was that Papa was in the kitchen listening to funk… and Mac was surprised, somewhat expecting him to listen to the Mormon Tab Choir. But Papa was listening to her kids… the heart of every song comes from a heart of one of God’s kids…

Music is the language of the soul and how a lot people communicate with God. A lot if not most music found on Christian stations is primarily for marketing the brand we call “Christianity”. I have found many songs on “secular” radio that are God songs. They just aren’t marketed as “Christian”. I am the same… don’t much care to listen to “Christian Radio”… but every year, my favourite 70 and 80’s classic radio station plays Christmas music for all of December.

Beautiful music doesn’t need the label of “Christian”… in fact, there are a lot of beautiful things in this world that don’t need the label either.


#8

For me, it was more about a demand about the way I should think…about politics, people, faith. I found myself so troubled if I wasn’t thinking that same way, like something was wrong with me. And then I started questioning WHY I was being told what to think…


#9

For me the most soul-numbing input in my life were Christian magazines that constantly wrote about performance and celebrity in which almost all of the ads were boasting by various Christina organizations and churches about how great they are. When I felt nudged to end my subscriptions it amazed me how much clearer the air got. They appealed to the worst in the old me, wanting the same notoriety and attention. It was one of the best decisions I made to live in clearer air with Jesus.


#10

page 100…“As his love wins you, you will find yourself increasingly free to share in the life of his family. That’s how Jesus said the kingdom would make its way into the world-not by human activity or religious practice, but watching love reveal itself in a growing circle of friends and friends of friends.”

My relationships consist of my son and daughter, a few clients I clean house for and a couple people on facebook whom I have history with (high school) etc.but not a sharing of life together. Also I do have my parents who live in another state but as far as a “circle of friends” I’m struggling with this. I imagine it would be pretty wonderful to experience it. I see people who I grew up with (facebook) and they seem to be so connected and are always doing things with people. I think partly I’m introverted. I get overwhelmed when I’m around people for to long but at the same time I do enjoy people and getting to know them. I’m a paradox. I wonder if I will ever have a “circle of friends” to do life with or if it will never be realized on this side of eternity. I do find comfort in the fact that all of you in some form or fashion are experiencing similar relationship issues. Longing for deeper everyday connections.

Johanna Lemmon
Federal Way Washington State


#11

Again, I suspect it has everything to do with marketing. It’s called groupthink. If enough people feel the same way about something, to the level of becoming passionate about it, they will put their full support behind it.

It wouldn’t be prudent for Christian radio, for example, to have conflicting views which would fragment their audience, or when they do, they are obvious in favoring one view over another. Just like the plethora of sports and hobby television networks that cater to a particular taste. I wouldn’t go to the Home and Garden channel to learn about cooking a meal, nor would I go to the NFL network, to get my golf news.


#12

Wayne, I always thought it was near to impossible to be both a celebrity and a Christian, with all the compromises you have to make. But yet you have celebrities all over entertainment and politics professing their faith in God. Is it truly possible?


#13

Rare, Ron. But possible. I’ve met precious few with a tender and generous heart, but it’s almost impossible to live there. Once surrounded by agents, lawyers, and managers whose soul purpose is to live off your income-generating potential by being selfish for you, and telling you what you want to hear to inflate your ego, it is a siren call almost no one can resist. Can they still be selfish Christians? Of course they can. God doesn’t love them less, but they become a shadow of their former selves. It’s why celebrities are always drawn to other celebrities. It increases their cache and they need each other’s selfishness to compare themselves to so as not to hear the inside drawing of the Spirit to freer and more generous space. Our society does a horrible disservice to someone when we make them a celebrity and yet the masses crave to exalt people. It’s truly warped.


#14

I think churches do the same thing on a smaller scale when we make a big deal out of a new Christian who has “a great testimony.” Put them out front, tell the sordid details over and over, trot them around to every meeting. They just don’t need it. They need to begin living out the life with new friends and look ahead.


#15

Thanks for the explanation Wayne. We especially see that when someone in the celebrity realm dies. They are almost deified, and then the truth of their death comes out which defies their deification. I’m thinking of the musician Prince, who was addicted to painkillers, and the pitcher from the Miami Marlins who was found to have cocaine and alcohol in his system when he died. This happens all the time, and I’m certain won’t stop anytime soon.


#16

That happened to me when I first joined a 12-step group at 20 years old. I was the youngest person every group I went to, and was applauded for being so young finding such a place. No, it was because I was so messed up, I needed it that young (lol)!


#17

In the new creation people value friendship over achievement and will fight to save relationships through confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation. They accept the fact that we are all flawed and will make mistakes as we learn to follow him and relate to others. They know being right with one another is more important than being right about an issue.

They trust the Spirit to work as he wills, and they can support each other even if they don’t see eye-to-eye on everything.

People who know Jesus are not manipulative and care more for the people involved than advancing their agenda.

. . . . . the gifts people have to build up others are best shared alongside them rather than above them. [This is the big lesson I learned on a mission trip out of the country. I went with the good intention of helping. I discovered they didn’t need my help; they just wanted us to accompany them. Really enjoyed it.]

The church Jesus is building will defy all human attempts to replicate it because it is the fruit of a life well loved. It is simply the way people share life together when Jesus is their growing preoccupation and they are learning to listen and follow him. IF PEOPLE ARE NOT ON THAT JOURNEY THERE IS NO WAY TO ORGANIZE THEM INTO ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE HIS CHURCH. [Caps added by me for emphasis. A constitution and by-laws will not make a church.]

Everything God needs to accomplish on earth will be achieved through loving others the way he loved us.

This is a family to engage, not a program to implement. Defining a program destroys the family.

Good stuff!!


#18

Extravagant love-not imposed order-is the nature of his church. That’s why his church is a family: a Father inviting us to take our place in his home; an older brother, Jesus, who empathizes with our struggles and offers us grace in time of need; a Spirit who empowers us; and brothers and sisters who can live alongside us with love and honour. The church reflects the best of what a family can be.

A little further

The family way, encourages friendships to flourish because people enjoy being together and genuinely care about one another.

This chapter is full of the delights of family and this is where I want to be in amongst it all. However it is still something that I look forward to finding.
Having had a lot of time on my own following some corrective knee surgery I have come to understand just how urgently I want that some days.
I live on my own but rarely feel lonely, is that due to just a knowing that God is here? I say a big yes to that and although there are sometimes long periods where I do not notice/feel/hear anything, not even a nudge in my heart or hear that soft gentle voice. I still know he’s there. My son who does not believe because he can not see God thinks I’ve lost the plot. My daughter does believe but will rarely bring up the subject of Jesus. I feel sad about that a little too often and wish it would be different. I do however believe God is at work there on both my children. True or false?? I’m not giving up on that and the reason is if he can love me there is a lot of hope for my kiddies.
This chapter gave me plenty hope and there is a lot of bits I am taking out of it to put some intentionality on during my run around in my daily life. Things like,

As we freely love the people God has put around our lives, it will become evident who is able to share that love in return. That’s the church taking shape.

Those who don’t know they’re loved need our affection…

Wayne mentions John 13 so I have been mulling over John 13: 34-35 for a few days, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I believe that command is key to me finding his church, as I love with the love I have experienced and experiencing so I will find that family love. His family.


#19

I too, live on my own. And I too, rarely feel lonely. Work helps. Sometimes, diversions like the television or the radio helps. I would like to attribute most of my lack of loneliness to God, but there are times I feel that I am too caught up in the world, that I am actually hiding from God. Yet I know there are many people more caught up in the world than I am. To be in the world but not of the world proves difficult at times.

About love, I struggle with the very defintion. There was a song that was popular about 30 years ago now, called ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’. I feel that way as well. Growing up, love was about having food on the table, clothes on your back, and a roof over your head. I don’t think those things apply anymore. Love has to be at a deeper level, no?


#20

Interesting what you said here Ron and I hope I’m hearing your words correctly,

I too, live on my own. And I too, rarely feel lonely. Work helps. Sometimes, diversions like the television or the radio helps. I would like to attribute most of my lack of loneliness to God, but there are times I feel that I am too caught up in the world, that I am actually hiding from God.

I have wondered that in similar terms, I start enjoying a TV series or like I mentioned before I love reading fictional novels and felt that I should pay more attention to my walk. A good dose of the “I should’s,” comes on and I stop. Another side of this is I have felt God enjoys watching us enjoying things like reading novels, watching TV . What led to this thinking came from the fact that I enjoy watching my children enjoy themselves so why would Father not enjoy that too. I did feel once whilst I was reading that God was reading the story with me. Was that me or not I have left it open to see if more comes…

Love has to be at a deeper level, no?

Yes to that,
Your song, “I want to know what love is”, by Foreigner, has some great lyrics and could easily form a prayer to Father.
I’m going try this if it works great but once at the You Tube site click the drop down and the songs lyrics are there… PS I loved the tune when it came out… 1984… Phew 32 years ago good memory there Ron :slight_smile:
I Want To Know What Love Is

For me the definition of Love is God, leaning into Him and allowing Him to love me daily is what is teaching me what Love is. I feel a lot of what I previously learned has and is being rewired by Father to show me a better way to love. How close I am is what I am I suppose is something I need to know, I get worried that I could be making a God in my own image?? I think I’d like to ask Wayne in the questions section.