Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review- A Sacred Journey Charles Foster

I was excited to receive this, I was disappointed early on in the read. I agree with the author about the need for us to take our spiritual life and journey on it, to make a pilgrimage, and that this is not accomplished by sitting on the couch.
Foster tries too hard to prove his point and in doing so takes Bible verses out of context, or stretches applications from some past what is intended. I was also concerned with the vast amount of referencing he made to sources outside of a biblical mindset.

I had some red flags pop up with some of the ways he phrased things, in particular, with reference to person and acts of Jesus.
On page 25 he quotes,”Jesus fascination often led to Jesus following...”and the context is all about just journey with Jesus, but he is very unclear in that chapter about the need to have a Kingdom transference, a point, in the journey, where the person makes that decision and becomes a child of God. The whole “just walk with Jesus and it is all good” mentality unsettles me in light of Scripture clearly saying salvation is a gift you need to receive and that you must transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light and there is a definitive time that happens. He also makes and quick and positive reference to the Toronto Airport “spiritual revival” which again brought up red flags. Even for balanced charismatics that event did not cast a positive light at all, spiritually, on them. A third strike(that I will comment on) came later in the book(page 181), in talking about the Temple and peoples fascination with focussing on tangibles as part of their spiritual journey, says about Jesus,”...he was the temple and that soon he would be the only temple. Whether or not he was right, Romans razed the temple in 70AD...” the part “whether or not he was right”...of course he was right, He is Jesus...there were a number of little red flags through the book. I am used to reading with “radar on”, we shouldn’t be passive about anything we let into our mind, but I found the frequency of flags unsettling and really took away from the other stuff he was right about.

You can tell he is passionate about the need for the Christian church to explore this missing spiritual discipline, and I applaud him for that, but I feel he was also short on providing good directions in how one is to do this, ways to explore it without leaving everyone and everything and going on a “walk about”. Yes, each journey will have unique aspects, but there ARE some clear principles to help guide folks on this journey, but this author missed so many of them that this was not a sacred journey, it was a concerning one that took me AWAY from journeying meaningfully with Jesus, to having to filter waaay to much stuff to try to find a few good, solid, or practical points to walk with from this book. This was a sad journey, but I will keep looking for a solid book that speaks to this important principle.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

repost from June 2006- Poem for My Julia

Wrote this back in 2006, felt like I needed to repost it as it still reflects my heart these days...

Far Away

I love you and I have loved you before you were born,
And I miss you, you’ve been far away for far too long.

I keep dreaming you'll be with me,
I will not stop trying, I will not give up,
Until I see you face to face,
Wash away your tears of pain with my tears of love and joy.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

I need you to hear me say, “I love you, I miss you.” Do you hear that even now?
Far away, far away, but in the closest part of my heart.
My heart aches to have you close and love you.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

One day there will be no distance, there will be no doubt,
And in your heart you will know you are wanted, needed, loved and cherished.
And the pain and loss you now feel will be far away, far away.
You’ve been far away, far away, for far too long.

I love you.
I have loved you before you were born,
And I miss you.
You’ve been far away for far too long.

June 2006 Randy Burtis

4-6 months

Got word from FOI(our Agency) that they expect we will get a referral in "4-6 months". They are conservative and have not given an info out, in any areas of this process, unless they are assured of it. I have appreciated their integrity in this, and so this excites me(obviously).So a Sept- November 2010 is our window and then travel 6-8 weeks after that.

So we know Julia has been born(as we expect the referral will come with her at 6-9 months old,give or take).

This is exciting but also adds an urgency in my Daddy heart that my little girl is out there and I want her loved and cared for. So my prayer is that she would, ideally be in foster care, and GOOD foster care, getting loved on, held, fed and cared for. If less than that, that the care givers in the orphanage will be exceptional and caring and that she will come to us developed enough that she can be cared for to be "whole", developmentally, and that we can nourish her body and spirit to catch up to where it needs to be.

Monday, May 03, 2010

ReChurch-Healing you way back to the people of God by Stephen Mansfield

The point of this book is to help those who have been hurt by someone in the church be restored and healed from that hurt, and frankly it is a book that,sadly, is needed and the author does a really good job of explaining the scriptures and bringing out insights in practical and essential ways.

Having walked through this process myself, prior to reading this book, I can affirm that his points are sound and discerning and will help others walk through this, if they are willing to put the work in to being restored.

He has an EXCELLENT section on walking through forgiveness, bringing some insights that are not often heard yet are directly tied to the right understanding of the Greek words used in scripture.

The first part of the book reads a little slow, but the entire book is a quick read. That said it is full of deeper processes that, if the reader wants to experience healing, needs to take the time to process, do some soul searching and some work, but it is guided by solid biblical principles and is explained in clear language.
He brings up some interesting thoughts on predestination, but not in the way you would typically think, so there is some material that challenges your thinking as you work through the processes he outlines.

I would recommend this book for those who have traveled the church circles in the past but have become disconnected from the church due to experiencing some hurt from leadership or church members.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, but I am free to post openly my own thoughts, positive or negative, on this publication.