Thursday, September 01, 2005

Book Gleanings: Velvet Elvis

Now, I'm not a big reader. But the past couple of months I've been enjoying dabbling in the realm of reading. I would title these posts "Book Reviews" but I don't think that would accurately reflect my post - it's more just what it says: gleanings. So - here are a few gleanings from my most recent read by Rob Bell: Velvet Elvis

1. Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective. To be a Christian is to do whatever it is that you do with great passion and devotion. We should throw ourselves into our work because everything is sacred. Paul tells us in Colossians whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. The goal isn't to bring everyone's work into the church; the goal is for the church to be these unique kinds of people who are transforming the places they live and work and play because they understand the whole earth is filled with the glory of God.

2. Missions is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there. We are like tour guides to our community. We are to teach people to use their eye to see things that have always been there; they just didn't realize it. You see God where others don't. And then you point him out.

3. You have to kill your "superwhatever". Rob talks about striving to be superpastor. He says what happens is our lives become so heavily oriented around the expectations of others that we became more and more like them and less and less like ourselves. People have this person they are convinced they are supposed to be, and their superwhatever is killing them. He realized he had all of this guilt and shame because he wasn't measuring up to the image of the perfect person he had in his head. I tend to try and be supermom, which just kills me. He suggests stop living in reaction and start letting a vision for what lies ahead pull you forward.

4. God chose me! I've been familiar with the passage in John 15 where Jesus says these words. But the way the Rob expounds on this verse is awesome. He explains the process in which a rabbi picks/chooses a disciple. A rabbi would only pick a disciple who he thought could actually do what he was doing. So when Jesus says this, in his frustration with his disciples, it is not because he thinks they are incapable. No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short, it angers him. It isn't their failure that's their problem; it's their greatness. They don't realize what they are capable of.

5. Tagging on to the previous learning. Jesus also trusts his disciples (you and me included) to fulfill his great commission. Wow! He leaves the future of the movement in our hands. And he doesn’t stick around to make sure they don’t screw it up. He’s gone. He trusts that we can actually do it. A rabbi thinks we can be like him.

Well, that’s a peak into the book. My personal highlights and lessons learned. I highly recommend you read it. And I pray it moves your life like it has mine.

Name: Rebekah
Home: Kansas, United States
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