Monday, September 10, 2007

Our Next Book Club Post-Fields Of The Fatherless- Chapter 3

Hey there book club buddies!! What happened to all my passionate feisty commenters last week?? Come back to me!!! :0) Hee hee...

Well, chapter three is short and sweet. Good stuff as always.

EVER WONDER WHAT GOD LOOKS LIKE????

We have touched on this subject already in the last two posts. What does God look like in our world???

Mathew 25

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

It isn't how we imagine God is it? When we imagine the face of God do we see a homeless man on the street? When we think of the holiness of God do we see an orphan across the ocean? When we think of worship do we imagine visiting prisoners?

Most of us have heard this scripture in many sermons. How many of us have really thought about what it means? How many of us KNOW what this looks like in our lives? I'm not sure I do. I'm just trying to figure it out. I struggle to see God in the every day people around me. I struggle to remember that THIS is how I serve Jesus. He wants me to love them. In this way I AM loving God. More than ANYTHING this is what we are called to do in this life.

Luke 10

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[
c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[
e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

This is what God has for us. When we walk through life as a good Samaritan we will KNOW God.

We must also realize that WE ARE that person in need. It is so hard to accept that. I had the hardest time during our adoption accepting help though we needed it desperately. I thought I didn't want to "burden" anyone. Now I realize how prideful and wrong I am to have that attitude. When I don't allow others to be a "good Samaritan" in my life I deprive them of serving God.

We are all in need and we all have something to give. We should freely give and freely receive.

I love what Tom says here....

Right now Jesus is hungry. Jesus is thirsty. Jesus is naked. Jesus is in prison. Jesus is sick. Will you do what it takes to minister to Him? For the joy set before you...search for the treasure in earthen vessels... and you'll find Christ himself.

So many of us say we want to know God. We say we want to just know what God has for our lives. Do we REALLY want to know?? Do we want to know if it means we might feel uncomfortable? Do we want to know if we have to step out of our box and see reality? Would we rather just stay in the fantasy?

See the thing is... as much as we "search" for what God has for us we don't always want to see it. He made it so plain. It's all right there.

I love this song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "What Now." The words are so powerful. It's the first song on my blog music list. Just push play to hear it and then you can read the words below.





I saw the face of Jesus In a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner

On the other side of the world

And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my heart

Didn't you say you wanted to find Me
Well, here I am, here you are

So what now
What will you do now that you've found Me?
What now
What will you do with this treasure you've found

I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you'll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?

And I saw the face of Jesus

Down on Sixteenth Avenue
He was sleeping in an old car
While his mom went looking for food

And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my soul
Didn't you say you wanted to know me
Well, here I am
And it's getting cold

So what now
What will you do now that you've found Me?
What now
What will you do with this treasure you've found

I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you'll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?

So come and know Come and know, know me now Come, come and know, know me now Oh, come and know Come, come and know, know me now Come, come and know, know me now


Hugs, Angel

QUESTIONS FOR MY BOOK CLUB BUDDIES

1. What stood out to you most in this chapter and why?
2. Do you have trouble receiving?
3. Is there a way you know you need to start giving?


7 comments:

Holly said...

The Good Samaritan Story is so powerful because it reminds us that we are called to be "neighbors" (love your neighbor as yourself) to those people who we would rather not associate with... I have to look hard at my heart and think about those people/person/etc that I just don't feel comfortable with, that I shudder away from... that person is my "neighbor" too. The man asking the question to Jesus was hoping to find an excuse for not loving and dealing with the Samaritans... one of the most despised groups for his people. But Jesus turned his world upside down when he told that story and revealed that the Samaritan is INDEED your neighbor.

I know I need to give (time/resources/money/a smile/etc) when I feel the spirit of God nudging me...Unfortunately, honestly, sometimes I ignore that nudging... but the best feeling in the world comes when I do follow through on something that I know God is calling me to do.

Natalie C. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Skipping question 1 since I have started another book- "the volunteer revoltion" by Bill Hybles- you should read this one next. Our church is reading it as aa group in prep for the next step in the vision of where we will be.

question 2: yes, I have trouble receiving. I don't like to be needing/requiring help, assistance. I have gotten better over the years (that whole wisdom with age thing), but I still struggle. I remember talking to the wife of one of the elders at church and describing how much I was sacrificing for my adoption and the fact that I lost my job ofr 3 months while in process. I was at a point that I had to make some difficult choices- possibly selling my house and moving to the east coast (tons of jobs in my field there). But I knew I wanted to stay in my hometown, near my parents since my dad has some serious health issues. I told her how others fund their adoptions thru donations from the church and how I felt uncomfortable doing that since I had/have more than others in the church. She looked at me and said "you need it as much as they do, why shouldn't the church help you". I never pursued it further, it was enough for me to know that one person was willing to help. Ruthanne posteda comment to one of the previous chapters that as a single, she never saw herself as one of the fatherless (my interpretation of her comment in case I mis quoted her) and it struck a chord with me. I am a single mom and I know that I choose this life for Aidan and me. I know that I need help at times (last week being one of those times), but it is so hard to let go and be served- I want to be the one serving. I guess that is the bottom line- to let go and be served while at the same time serving someone else. That is who we are as Christians- we need each other, we are the body, we are the hands and feet of Christ. Our hands need rest, while our feet work, our feet need rest while our hands can work, but everyone can not rest at the same time- but we can all serve at the same time. I hope that made sense to you. If we are recieving, we think it makes us look weak- but instead we are made strong becuase we can rest and allow others to serve (not an invitation to sit back and always be the receiver).
Question 3: I do feel called to be serving in other areas- children's church is calling now becuase Aidan really needs to be with me at church- he is struggling in toddler church and if I stayed and taught in his class, then he would be OK. But, I am struggling, becuase I want to get back to choir. Choir is a joy to me and I find rest on Wednesday night rehersals after a busy work day. Even though reheresal is hard work- I alway walk out feeling so much calmer and at peace- I am able to serve others while being served by them. So I am struggling on this one. The one I am not struggling with, is the call to be more contributing in the field of orphans/the fatherless. This process has changed my thinking so much- there is so much to do, so many children/families waiting. I am starting classes to be a foster/adoptive parent (took them previously and I am licensed adoptive parent). While I hope to adopt another child or 2 or 3, while I wait for God's plan to unfold, I can be ministering to families and children that need love right now. God's grace is all sufficient, he hears our cries and he holds us close. I can not think of anymore right now- but God is leading me to a new life serving families and children who need arms to hug them, hands to dry their tears, feet to play games with them, and a hear to love them enough to have my heart broken.

Love to you,
Deb (Momma Bug)
www.lifewithlittlebug.blogspot.com

McDonald Clan said...

That was a great post! Thanks for sharing.

Kerry said...

I'm coming back, I promise! It's been a crazy couple of weeks!

amber said...

Okay, Okay... I'm back! (CRAZY week here, too... plus I just got my book this last Friday -- they aren't kidding when they say that media mail may take a looonnnggg time to get to you!!)

I was so convicted reading this chapter because of the number of times I have LITERALLY driven by someone who was by the road and wanted to stop but because of time constraints or safety considerations just thought "someone else will stop"... aaghhhh... VERY CONVICTING. I think in my idealistic mind, I have these "romantic ideas" about helping orphans in poor countries and yet I miss out on the hundreds of opportunities RIGHT in front of me to minister and sow hope into people's lives and possibly CHANGE their lives by what seems insignificant to me. I was convicted to stop and really look around and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in compassion toward those around me who are "Fatherless".

I was also so impacted by the truth that genuine compassion in our hearts comes from a deep understanding and awareness of the fact that we have been (and are still in many ways) in the EXACT position as many of the people we see -- we are in need of "food" (oh, God, I'm hungry for you!)... we are in need of a drink (As the deer pants for water, so my soul longs for you, Lord)... we are in need of being "saved" -- It just puts it in a different light. I am no better or worse than anyone. My heart to show compassion to others comes directly from my deep gratitude for the compassion I have been shown by a gracious Father. I have been given LIFE freely... so I want to turn around and give freely to those in need.

Great book... I am really enjoying it. Thanks again for the recommendation and I'm sorry I missed a couple weeks.

Amber

amber said...

Okay, Okay... I'm back! (CRAZY week here, too... plus I just got my book this last Friday -- they aren't kidding when they say that media mail may take a looonnnggg time to get to you!!)

I was so convicted reading this chapter because of the number of times I have LITERALLY driven by someone who was by the road and wanted to stop but because of time constraints or safety considerations just thought "someone else will stop"... aaghhhh... VERY CONVICTING. I think in my idealistic mind, I have these "romantic ideas" about helping orphans in poor countries and yet I miss out on the hundreds of opportunities RIGHT in front of me to minister and sow hope into people's lives and possibly CHANGE their lives by what seems insignificant to me. I was convicted to stop and really look around and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in compassion toward those around me who are "Fatherless".

I was also so impacted by the truth that genuine compassion in our hearts comes from a deep understanding and awareness of the fact that we have been (and are still in many ways) in the EXACT position as many of the people we see -- we are in need of "food" (oh, God, I'm hungry for you!)... we are in need of a drink (As the deer pants for water, so my soul longs for you, Lord)... we are in need of being "saved" -- It just puts it in a different light. I am no better or worse than anyone. My heart to show compassion to others comes directly from my deep gratitude for the compassion I have been shown by a gracious Father. I have been given LIFE freely... so I want to turn around and give freely to those in need.

Great book... I am really enjoying it. Thanks again for the recommendation and I'm sorry I missed a couple weeks.

Amber