Reflections Of A Ragamuffin: The Practice of Faith

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Yesterday I was really struggling with the loss suffered by the family victimized in the shootings at New Life Church. Two teens who lost their lives needlessly. It was very difficult because it reminded me of a boy who lost his life almost a year ago due to the common flu. This year I have struggled immensely in the area of faith and trust. I sat down yesterday to do my devo’s and Brennan Manning rang my bell with this:


The Practice of Faith

There is no need to multiply examples of what is so patently an essential condition of the Christian walk. We are saved through faith – an unflagging , unwavering attachment to the person of Jesus Christ.

What is the depth and quality of your faith commitment? In the last analysis, faith is not a way of speaking or even of thinking; it is a way of living. Maurice Blondel said, “if you want to know what a person really believes, don’t listen to what he says but watch what he does.” Only the practice of faith can verify what we believe. Does faith permeate the we of your life? Does it form your judgement about death, about success? Does it influence the way your read the newspaper? Do you have a divine sense of humor that sees through people and events into the unfolding plan of God? When things are turbulent on the surface of your life, do you retain a quiet calm, firmly fixed in ultimate reality? As Therese of Lisieux said, “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God alone remains.” Does your faith shape your Advent season this year?

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Ephesians 3:12

This really helped me perhaps it will help you as well.

Book: Going all the Way.

goingallthewayFirst off I would like to say that I received this book for free from Craig and his publisher. I was not told nor encouraged to say positive things. They simply said read the book write about it on your blog. So here goes.

What I liked:

Loved the candor. I have read a decent amount dating books and have even done some premarital classes. I love the fact that Craig tells it like it is. He was honest. He shared areas where he found success and areas where he failed.

Loved the humor. I don’t laugh or cry often when I read a book. I found myself laughing out loud a few times. I was totally blind-sided. I had no idea Craig was that funny (this is the first book I read by Craig).

Loved the practical and biblical application. He offered practical ways to deal with the singleness issues. I loved how he brought out that we should find our fulfillment in christ before we find it in someone else.

What I didn’t like:

I wish there were more questions and things where you could you this book as resource for premarital class.

I wished it would spent more time on the communication skills needed for a healthy marriage.

I wished he would have delved a bit more into expectations. They are huge. What does he expect and what does she expect.

Overall I loved the book, it was fresh easy to read and I have already borrowed it to a single friend of mine and recommended it to a few others. I think that it is balanced and well written for todays 20 somethings.

Family Concluded: What makes you feel better?

The Power Of Family.

At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory it adds a few scenes that were not in the original movie. For me these last few scenes made the movie so much more powerful than the original movie with Gene Wilder. It really drove home the fact that the four kids and their parents who didn’t make it out of the factory misunderstood one thing. The power of family.

Charlie didn’t have all the things that the other kids had but he had so much more. He had a family that loved him enough to believe in him and give him boundaries to keep him safe.

Family is God’s idea he created it to be a vehicle to demonstrate his power and love. When functioning well it is a shining beacon on a hill. But we must teach our kids self-control, right priorities, we must refrain from giving our kids everything they want while giving them appropriate boundaries and teaching them to respect their elders.

Family is important we must never forget the power of family. We are bombarded daily by so many things that call themselves important but really aren’t. The spouse and/or kids God has given you are your main assignment. You only get one shot. Make the most of it.

Thoughts and Prayers for New Life Church

newlifeChurch_ColoradoI received the news today as did most of you that two lives were tragically taken in the foyer of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The two people killed in this senseless act of barbarism were two sisters 18 and 16 years of age.
When I found out their age I felt sick. This year has been a rough year for me. A five year old kid from our kids church died suddenly from the flu, almost a year ago. I don’t think I will ever be the same again. I have never experienced anything like that. The hospital, the house, the funeral. It all hurts in ways words don’t describe. I sometimes feel stupid because it wasn’t my son who died. I can’t describe it but it still hurts.

It is with a heavy heart I ask you to pray for the family of these two girls whose lives where brought to and end far to early. Pray for the family, the friends and the church. Then give your kids a big kiss goodnight, I know I am going to because our lives are but a vapor.

James 4:14
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.