Monday, August 18, 2014

Something for all Ya'll.

This is a must read. 
Been a Christian since you could breathe? This is a book for you.
Been a believer for a long time but need a new fresh wind to blow into you life? This book is for you?
Done with religion/church but not done with God?  This book is FOR YOU!
By chance are you planting a church? This book is FOR YOU!
Just like to read good stuff? This book is for you.
And I urge YA'LL to read it.  (Had to add some Texas flare in here for our Texas author!) 

It's one of those books I just want everyone to read. 
I blogged about it here when it was released. 
Today I'm doing a book review for Jen's "blog tour".

In Jen's post today this hit me . . .

"Church planting is harder than you think. Following Jesus is complicated and not everyone comes to grace on the same path you’ve walked. God has set you ablaze, but you have much to learn still. Be humble, be a good listener, be gracious, be kind. You will regret burning bridges like a pyro but you will never regret gentleness."

This is my life. 
Just wrapped up year one of church planting with my husband in Utah. 
How I pray we've been good listeners, built bridges, been gracious and kind and more than anything lived out the crazy love Jesus has for each one of us.
I've been a believer in Christ for many a years but my heart beats for those who are done with religion or church but are not done with God. There are so many out there needing a fresh look at the gospel. Needing to know it isn't what so many of us (myself included) have made it. 
I'm on a journey to love God, love People, and Serve the World.
Jen's book spurs us on to do just THAT!! 

Jen entered my world in the form of her fist copy of "Interrupted".  I highlighted it like a mad women feeling like someone out there was relating with the inner struggles I was experiencing with God.
The revised and expanded version is even more amazing. Different things are challenging me. Things are REchallenging me! 

A couple pages I'm chewing on from the book . . . 

"Our only hope is to follow the example of Jesus and get back out there, winning people over with the ridiculous love and a lifestyle that causes them to finally sit up and take notice.  Listen, no church can ever do this for me - not one who once hired us, not one we started, not an invented on in our imaginations. This is my high calling: to live on mission as an adopted daughter of Jesus. If people around me aren't moved by my Christ or my church, then I must be doing a miserable job of representing them both."  (page 95)

Boom. There it is. My thoughts exactly.
Live on mission. 
Let's be people who the world "sits up and takes notice". Let's REPRESENT well, not defend but represent.  Jen's book brings a women's voice and experience to the missional conversation. 

And this long quote . . .
"Outside of my spiritual titles - pastor's wife, Bible teacher, Christian author and speaker - there were no radical lifestyle distinctions that would cause anyone to say, "Wow you live a really different life." I realized I was completely normal. But my Savior was the most un-normal guy ever. And it was His un-normal ideas that made everything new. Truly, Jesus never fit in. HE was never the cool guy. He was always wrecking everyone's life. I'm positive the disciples sat on pins and needles  when Jesus talked to a crowd, worried what crazy thing He might say next. But it wasn't just what He said; it was what He did. It was who He spent time with, who He talked to, who He argued with - to say nothing of His very unaffluent life. If we took Jesus' famous teachings away and just focused on the way He lived, He would still be radical. Which, of course, I've heard but somehow I was content letting Jesus do the messy work. I would just talk about it. Or I made it fit, inventing a way to merge it with my normal context. Sure, He hung out with lepers, but we don't really have a leprosy epidemic anymore, so I'll just be kind to customer service reps and telemarketers, which is about the same sacrifice . . am I right?"(page 51)

Oh how we I do this.
In the margin next to this part I wrote . . . "Are we normal? Am I normal?"

Let's get messy. 
It will be worth it. 

Interrupted is refreshing, it's challenging and it spurs you on to live out your faith. 
Like I say every time I talk about Jen's writing or speaking style, she goes deep but gives you comic relief along the way. To me this is a beautiful combination. To me it's an honest dialogue and it's beautiful.

I hope all YA'LL read it. 

(This post is a part of Jen's BLOG TOUR. You can check out all the other blog reviews and read more about Jen Hatmaker here.)

W - I - N - N - E - R
And to announce the winner of the free Interrupted book from my last post on it . . . Gina you won yourself a copy. Shoot me your address and I'll get it in the mail with a fresh highlighter! 


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