What quotes particularly resonated with you and why?
So far, this is my favorite chapt. I felt like someone (Wayne) was putting a voice to my struggle. And at the end of this chapt. some rays if light on the path.
“They were supposed to work. Everyone said so. How can you fault studying the Bible, praying, trying to be righteous, being active in a local fellowship, and learning from the teachings of others?”
“If we let our hunger grow, however, we will begin to see through the emptiness and futility of our own labors and something more will appear.”
“The new creation is that space in our hearts where we are deeply loved by God and where we have a growing awareness of how he thinks and invites us into the world.”
Dawna in Sacramento CA
In paragraph 7, it hit me that this is what started it all for me in the 1990’s…
Frustration at the disparity between your hungers and your experience is a telltale sign of the new creation awakening in you.
Later on in the chapter, it describes where I am at now in life…
The new creation is that space in our hearts where we know that we are deeply loved by God and where we have a growing awareness of how he thinks and invites us to live in the world. It is not guidelines to follow, but insight inside our circumstances— the law of God written in the heart. Jesus didn’t teach his disciples a new code to live by; he taught them how to live alongside his Father without the guilt and fear that drive our religious systems.
“He told his disciples that they were not going to exercise authority over people the way the world did it, but like him, find their fruitfulness in serving others.” Amen.
“I kept trying harder to be a better person. As genuine as that may seem, it always proved a side road back into the swamp of failed self-effort and frustration.” Finding real freedom because “It is Finished” has been the pathway of the past few years for me. Sometimes, it has led me into trouble because I can rationalize sin; mostly, it has led me to peace and joy. “Losing confidence in our human effort is a big step on this journey.”
“What we need is not a better system to manage but a different kind of person who is learning to live in a new creation.” “If you are already part of a generous faith community that isn’t performance-based, you may be able to embrace that life without leaving.” I have found many of these “different kinds of people” through my current faith community. They have been the true church to me.
“If you want to be a part of the church I’m building, you have to leave the one man is building.”
I wonder why more people don’t hear that one.
Ruby from Calmar, AB.
I too enjoyed this chapter, I re-read it yesterday and as happens many times I noticed more pouring from the pages than on my initial read. One in particular is
As I’ve watched people go through this process in the last twenty year, it seems that deeper longing continues to surface in two expressions: There must be something more or Something seems wrong here.
For me the Something seems wrong here, came first, as I read that I vividly remember me sitting in one of our Sunday services and those very words came to mind. I was a l shocked at myself to be honest, guilt set in and I thought I should mention it to someone. Sort of a “walking in the light” exercise. Probably and lucky for me I kept quiet but the thoughts and feelings where inescapable and where increasing. I had felt disillusioned with so called church life in a differing situation and was struggling to think I was right and was God awaking me to a new reality all over again? I have mentioned in previous postings about a cult I was in but this was what I thought was “normal church” the more I though about things after that moment I notice there was a vast increase in the number of time I longed for something more than what I was experiencing.
As DKM says in the 1st post "
I felt like someone (Wayne) was putting a voice to my struggle.
So true. I found my re-read a very freeing moment as well as so encouraging as I showed how far I have come since sitting there in that pew.
Ian in Colnbrook. Berkshire UK
I heard this one loud and clear. I have just ignored it for a long time. But this past week, we had family home to visit and both of my daughters who are in college came to church with us and we had a guest there who led worship. He was a country gospel singer and I won’t mention his name but he made some comments and sang a song about the condition of our country spiritually and how we need to get "America " back and how we need to repent of things like abortion, homosexuality, and taking God and prayer out of schools and how we need to be willing to stand for the truth and get back to what the Bible says if we expect God to revive this nation. My one son in law who was visiting got up and walked out. Our whole family was very uncomfortable and I felt that Jesus does not have the agenda of fixing America and making it Christian again, but that He loves all people and is drawing them to Himself through love. I was uncomfortable with mixing political agendas and the gospel and blood of Jesus with patriotism and nationalism. I came to the conclusion that to be a part of the church that Jesus is building, that I needed to leave this one and try to see the world and people the way God sees them not the way conservative evangelicals see it. My response to this whole service was anger and I asked myself the question, why do I and my family want to continue to attend a church where we are uncomfortable and scared to bring people to worship with us as visitors when stuff like this is said and portrayed. So this was the final nudge we needed to finally listen to the Spirit and make a change.
Brilliant response to that service Ron,come back to your description here in say five years time and then look at where you will be, I have little doubt you will be amazed. It’s a great adventure travelling the road that is less travelled.
I had to say the road less travelled, which it certainly has been for me and my journey. Walking along this path I have had some incredibly lonely moments but looking back at those today, I see that I was not alone but had someone that always walked it with me, Jesus, and that is the part I wouldn’t change for all the tea in China.
Had I stayed where I was I doubt I would of discovered how deep and personal the relationship can be and is with God so refreshing.
We don’t have to read very far in the gospels to see Jesus calling Matthew the tax collector (tax collectors were thought of as traitors to the Jewish people for collecting taxes for Rome) and Simon the Zealot (and the zealots wanted to overthrow Rome by force). These 2 disciples were further apart politically than Barack Obama and the tea party. Obviously Jesus was not calling these 2 disciples into a political movement. The kingdom of God transcends human politics just like it transcends religious tradition. One of the little known Christian happenings of the 2012 presidential election was something called election night communion with meeting places posted on a website. The idea was, whoever you voted for, or if you felt you shouldn’t vote at all, at election night communion we would come together for repentance concerning anything we did to divide the body of Christ during the election and to celebrate where our REAL hope lies. I’m hoping it happens again this year and that it will be bigger that it was in 2012. Any kind of a Jesus plus gospel, including believe in Jesus and vote for those he would vote for, waters down the gospel and takes away from its power and love.
*From page 64 – Wayne wrote, “When I am with like people, I am more aware of God and my conversations are more honest and more filled with love and generosity. I laugh more in sheer delight, cry more when touched by people’s pain, and come away encouraged and wiser. In the new creation no one has to pretend to be better than they are and people’s weaknesses only make them more endearing.”
This reminds me of my best friend. I always feel closer to the Lord when I’m talking with her. Even her occasional rebukes are safe. Drawn closer to Jesus in her sistership.
**From page 65 – . . . . .where Jesus told Jack the surgeon, “If you want to be part of the church I’m building, you have to leave the one man is building.”
We were forced to resign a small town church a few months ago. Contrary to much criticism of pastors these days, my husband is not ambitious to build himself a kingdom. He believes the Word of God will do God’s work, and Jesus is the head of the church (the real one). It was the members who wanted to “grow our church,” and they faulted him for not “leading” them to do it. One woman said, “If your business isn’t growing, you need to look at your product.” I’ve had a hard time getting my head around it all. But “the one man is building” just summed things up in one little capsule. Sometimes a few words can bring a lot of clarity to a situation.
Trying to play catch-up here…
On page 61, what jumped out at me was the quote ‘There must be something more,’ which is the tagline of the book.
It reminds me of the story of two young kids, each sent into different rooms with a pile of horse manure. In the first room the kid was sitting away from the pile as far as he could, holding his nose. In the second room the kid was covered with manure, and manure was all over the room. ‘What’s going on here?’ the kid was asked. The kid replied, ‘If there’s manure here, there must be a pony!’
I was like the first child for many years, thinking it got no better than the dung, if I just stayed away from it and held my nose somehow I could overcome it. But, as in the story, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We’re not sure if the second child finds or gets a pony, but he was at least hopeful. He looked beyond what was for what could be. And he wasn’t afraid of getting some dung on him, if it meant finding a pony.
And neither am I. In my case, disagreements, estrangements, lost relationships, loss of reputation, emotional, physical, and financial challenges. But along the way, gaining a peace that surpasses all understanding, and finding security and rest in God, no matter what life brings.