Monday, July 30, 2007

Underlined Bits

I'm currently reading "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Patterson.

I have never read a book before that compelled to underline things (it reduces the resell value at my recycled book store!) but this book had me pulling out a pen. And, since I don't have any friends that will read this book I'm going to steal the concept of "
Underlined Bits" and share the little bits that I've underlined. My comments will generally follow the segments.

I think the church has fixated on sins of commission for far too long. We have a long list of don'ts. Think of it as holiness by subtraction. We think holiness is the byproduct of subtracting something from our lives that shouldn't be there. And holiness certainly involves subtraction. But I think God is more concerned about sins of omission -- those things we could have and should have done. It's holiness by multiplication. Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Those who simply run away from sin are half-Christians.

I know, I know. I wrote today about cleaning up the low traffic areas for holiness' sake. I think both are right.

Is anybody else tired of reactive Christianity that is more known for what it's against than what it's for?

This statement should be followed by a loud mental "Amen".

[On Success] "Think of every opportunity as God's gift to you. What you do with those opportunities is your gift to God. "
"But right at the top of the stewardship list is what I'd call opportunity stewardship."
"But Benaiah did what lion chasers do. He defied the odds. He didn't focus on his disadvantages. he didn't make excuses. He didn't try to avoid situations where the odds were against him. Lion chasers know God is bigger and more powerful than any problem they face in this world."

The Benaiah reference is from 2 Sam. 23:20,21. The premise of the entire book Benaiah chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. Who on earth chases a lion? Not me. But I've certainly got lions in my life. Anyone that could relate to my "What if" post certainly has lions in their life.

"There is a pattern that I see repeated throughout scripture: Sometimes God won't intervene until something is humanly impossible. And He usually does it just in the nick of time. I think that pattern reveals one dimension of God's personality: God loves impossible odds."
"Too often our prayers revolve around asking God to reduce the odds in our loves. We want everything in our favor. But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions."

I never really thought about how much of my prayers focus on me trying to get the odds more in my favor. I see it now though. I didn't get excited about the possibility of the impossible hitting my life. But when you serve a God of the impossible, and you really do trust Him wouldn't you just see those impossible moments as opportunities?


Anonymous said...

Great book isn't it? Even he does get a little too excited sometimes!

It helped propel me a little further down the road the Lord has been leading me on for a while now!

- Louie

flyawaynet said...

Yes, it definitely is. And I believe you were the one that recommended it to me. Thanks Louie!

Mikey's God Talk said...

God is big enough to conquer all the lions we face in this life. However, we must be willing to submit to God and let God be who He is and not place limits or doubts upon Him.

flyawaynet said...

Absolutely Mikey. I'm just glad God's willing to give me opportunities to take risks and step out in faith. He could do it all Himself. But He chooses to allow me the pleasure and responsibility. That's the best kind of Father.