Friday, July 15, 2011

Won over by "Love Wins"?

After hearing so many mixed reviews ranging any where in between love and hate, I decided to read "Love Wins" by Rob Bell for myself.
My overall opinion is confused and cautious. As I read through the book I found myself offering an equal amount of "yay"s and "nay"s. Rob Bell was bringing up points that I whole-heartedly agreed with and other points that I was saying, "uh...not too sure about that."
Then it got to a point where Rob brought up a question that I was not at all comfortable with hearing and I was ready to close the book and never look it again thinking, "How dare he ask that." But then I thought, "What am I so afraid of? He's asking questions that 1000's of people ask everyday." So I pressed on.
The more the pages on the right dwindled the more I found myself disagreeing. Scriptures refuting his points were popping into my head. I repeatedly was unable to understand his interpretations of Scripture and failed to see how he sometimes got from one point to another. Then it got to the point where I found his words and insinuations downright dangerous; questions and statements challenging God, challenging His character, verging on idolatry.

What worried me was that he didn't boldly state his ideas and then draw a thick circle around them to exclude them and say, "these are my ideas; right or wrong." But rather it was as if he loosely insinuated his theories and then drew a dotted line around them, leaving room for other ideas and questions to slip out; then you're not sure if he actually said ____ or if he just insinuated it, if that's where he's leading, or if that is an idea coming out of you. Definitely uncomfortable quick sand in my opinion. My biggest issue with it all is that in the very last chapter he pretty much refutes every point he made against hell in the previous chapters and leaves you feeling irritatingly confused. I'm still not sure if the same person wrote that last chapter.

Now that I've got that out of the way, onto what I liked. I really like the questions that he raised concerning life as we know it. I found it beneficially challenging. I also appreciated his thoughts on heaven; they really got me thinking and inspired me to search Scripture more on the subject. Since neither he nor I, or anyone else for that matter, know what heaven will truly look like; it's not something that I worry or wrestle with. Nonetheless, he had some really interesting thoughts on the subject.

Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes and No.
If people around you are talking about the book and are discussing it, it might be good for you to have an opinion on it yourself instead of going off of hearsay. On the other hand I can't really say that my life was changed by it, my relationship with the Lord is better because of it, or that I'm better because of it; so I have a hard time recommending it with the same enthusiasm that I have recommended other books with. My only real concern is the way in which his ideas are so loosely conveyed, as I previously discussed. So if anything I would say to be careful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Trip vs. A Journey

I've been contemplating the difference between a trip and a journey these past couple of days as I've been getting support letters ready. I've been looking back over my DTS experience and summarizing it, cutting out the highlights to be shared with those who helped me get there. All in all, to convey that what I went through was not a trip but rather the beginning of a journey; a journey that carries over into my next move to Australia which is also not a trip but a point along the same journey.

If it had been a trip then it would have a beginning and an end, a start and a finish, a opening and closing. But if it's a journey then it's apart of something bigger that's integrated, carried on, and continued.
So stop and examine what you are doing and ask, "Is this a trip or apart of a journey?" Is there purpose in what you're doing? Is there a reason? Do you have goals that you hope that this "thing" you're doing right now will help you get to? OR, is it just a tumbleweed thing; you're just going where you're being directed without any real say or resistance; it will end someday, somewhere but you just don't know when or where?

Life is a journey and there's nothing wrong with a few trips here and there, we're not a connect-the-dots kind of drawing after all. In fact, we're more like freehand drawings; mistakes and slip-ups are good for us and add to our beauty. But don't waste your time taking trips to avoid facing the journey.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dream, Decide, Do

One thing I hear really often is how lucky I am to get to travel; how jealous they are of my life.
Fact: I am extremely blessed
Fact: So are you!
There is nothing wrong with your life, however, if there's something you don't like about it, then do something. If you want to do something; what's stopping you?
money, timing, job, family, etc
Those may be very valid obstacles but they don't have to be impassable. Let your passion be bigger than the obstacles you face.

If you have a dream then you need to make a decision if you're going to let that dream remain a dream or if you're going to commit to see it become a reality. Then all that's left to do is live.

Monday, July 4, 2011

21 for 21

I turned 21 today and really felt that I should blog about it. 21, in the United States, is more looked upon as the age someone is an adult since you can't drink alcohol until your 21 (and for the record, drinking alcohol is a lame rites of passage ceremony compared to other cultures). But instead of writing a blog about all that I've learned, which I was tempted to do; I decided to write 21 things that, at 21, I still don't know. Enjoy.
in case you were confused
  1. I have no idea how to pay my own taxes
  2. I'm terrible with fractions and need a calculator for most math
  3. I don't know how to work Microsoft Excel 
  4. I don't know how to keep weight off that I loose 
  5. I don't know much about my own country's history
  6. I still don't know where all the 50 states are located, much less most other countries. 
  7. I still don't know all the States capitals...I never learned that song
  8. I don't understand economics...AT ALL
  9. I still don't know what happened to my "Yak Bak" 
  10. I still don't know what color my eyes are
  11. I still don't know exactly where that "line" my mom always talked about is.
  12. I still don't know if I want to get married or not
  13. I still don't know why some people get healed and others don't
  14. I still don't know how to cook without a recipe
  15. I still don't know what working a 9-5 is like
  16. I don't know how to drive a stick-shift 
  17. I still don't know why Eve listened to a talking snake
  18. I still don't know what heaven will be like and if we go straight there or if we "fall asleep"
  19. I still don't know what to do when I get up to a bank teller, I always freak out and do the wrong thing.
  20. I still don't know what this next step is going to look like
  21. I still don't know why I was born into the privilege and the wonderful family that I was born into while others are born into terrible situations
There's a lot I don't know but there is a lot that I do know thanks to these 21 years of vast and rare experiences. All I truly know for sure is that God is good and I'm so thankful for the 21 years He's given me and for the breath that He continues to supply.