Pursuit

“Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace, Biblical grace, is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.” –  Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

 

 

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The Beginning of Life

“No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence.
Whether we are young or old makes no difference. what are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God? And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal? That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up – that is for young and old alike to think about. Why are we so afraid when we think about death? … Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.
How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world?
Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Storyteller: A Life’s Narrative

A friend shared a MontanaPBS Presents story last night that has been on my mind all day. The documentary followed the story of retired Montana back-country outfitter Smoke Elser.

http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/2176749351/

The documentary was excellent. Montana is beautiful and the story surrounding back-country outfitting was very interesting. I highly recommend you watch it but what really had me interested was an underlying message throughout the video.

In the final 3 minutes, one of Smoke’s daughters refers to him as a master storyteller; a true teacher. Smoke spent 40+ years taking groups through the Montana back-country sharing his stories. Informative, Funny, Moving. He was teaching people everyday about themselves and the world around them. They may have not even realized it.

We come to understand and explain the world around us through narrative. I am of the opinion that every good story should be teaching us something. (a la Frecherick Buechner – thanks Beam)

Something about ourselves. Something about who Christ is. Something about who Christ desires us to be.

I have never claimed to be a writer and you don’t have to be one either. Just like Smoke, our life’s narrative should impact people. Be mindful of that – the story your life is sharing.

I love a good storyteller.

Bradley

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Book Review – I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives

I AM SECOND has evolved into a widely known catchphrase.

Bible Studies, Bracelets, and Videos.

It is quite a movement!

I recently had the chance to read the new I AM SECOND book. The book is excellent. Simply put – a look at Christ working in other’s lives. It is not groundbreaking writing but an honest look at our lives and how Christ steps in during our darkest moments.

He is first! I am Second! Find rest in his arms!

Matthew 11:28 – ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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Why Men Hate Going to Church

Excellent Read on the downfall of Men in the church. If you are looking for ways to stay relevant with the men in your community pick this book up. It will get you on the right track  – asking the tough questions of your congregation.

More than anything this book revealed where I am sitting on the sidelines. How can I jump in.

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Book Review: More Lost Than Found – Jared Herd

We are all on a journey for purpose. For those of us who claim the Christian faith, our journey is most often a time of deconstructing what others pushed on us. Jared, in More Lost Than Found, presents us with his own journey and the simple truth that it is OK to search, to define, to claim for ourselves. I highly recommend Jared’s book for those who are searching and the calming feeling of knowing someone is right beside you on the same journey. We may take different paths but we are all journeying. The key is the bedrock -the beautiful life and sacrifice of Christ.

P.S.: For the Frederick Buechner fans out there pay special attention to the final two chapters of the book. Jared has definitely plugged into Buechner’s thoughts on the dynamic beauty of the the Christian story.

“The Gospel is bad news before it is good news.”
He sees the story of Jesus as saturated with the tragedy of human failure, the comedy of being loved overwhelmingly by God despite that failure, and the fairy tale of transformation through that love. Specifically, he pushes teachers of the gospels to teach them in light of these categories. (Thanks Brandon Vogt)

Pick up the book. It is well worth your time.

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Mind is Racing Tonight

Buechner is on the brain tonight.

“The Gospel is bad news before it is good news.”

He sees the story of Jesus as saturated with the tragedy of human failure, the comedy of being loved overwhelmingly by God despite that failure, and the fairy tale of transformation through that love. Specifically, he pushes teachers of the gospels to teach them in light of these categories. (Thanks Brandon Vogt)

Do you comprehend the beauty and complexity of the Gospel Message?

 

 

 

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