I'm behind. I have all sorts of good stuff to share with you, but a couple really good books are sucking my time (along with a husband, 4 kids, a dog etc etc etc)
So, lets start backwards and begin with the books I'm reading simultaneously.
The Bait of Satan by John Bevere. I'm moving through it at a snails pace because I really, really want it to settle deep into my soul and stick there. The "bait" it's referring to is offense. Turns out, being offended happens waaaay more often than I realized, and sticks around waaaay longer than I thought it did. Not for me, of course. *cough*
Let me share a little gem that I read this morning. He says, "hurt people become more and more self-seeking and self-contained. In this climate the love of God waxes cold." And then he gives a very cool analogy, which I'd like to put into my own words and thus butcher for you.
Here goes: The Sea of Galilee has water flowing into it, and then flowing out of it. It has all sorts of plants and fish living the dream. The water of the Sea of Galilee flows into the Jordan River which feeds into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea takes in the water, but GET THIS, it does not give it out. There are no living plants or fish. The living water from the Sea of Galilee become dead when mixed with the stagnant waters of the Dead Sea.
He goes on to say, "an offended Christian is one who takes in life but because of fear (of being hurt again) cannot release life. As a result, even the life that does come in becomes stagnant within the wall or prison of offense."
Being offended happens all the time really. Why just this morning, I logged on to facebook only to find that someone referred to anyone who voted a particular way in the election (which would be me) as judgmental and a bigot. My already elevated blood pressure skyrocketed. How dare they, I thought to myself as I deleted their newsfeed from my reader.
Soap Box Minute: Why is it that my opinion that is contrary to theirs is considered "judgmental" yet they can call me a bigot and it is not judgmental? Really? Is my vote being judgmental? Ab-so-lute-ly! Is theirs? Um, yeah. Same thing. AND, if they call me intolerant ONE MORE TIME, I may scream....because they have no idea how tolerant I am being.
Stepping down now...anyways, see...totally offended. Fortunately, the offense came from someone distant, so it doesn't hurt deeply. The ranting releases it. But when the offense comes from someone close...that's where it bites. And festers if not dealt with.
Good book. Go read it. Unless you're the type who's never offended. In which case, you need to find a book on denial. ;) Feisty today, no? It's the season, I can't help myself, I'm a political junkie...
The other book is Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It's all-consuming right now. I never thought I'd say it, but I. Love. it. God is bringing some much needed peace and direction through this books plan, and through other resources we never even imagined. It's humbling, and hard, and wonderful all at the same time. I can't stop talking about budgeting and such. I'm quite annoying.
So there you have it. Have you read either?
Next time, I promise cute pictures and no ranting. Or less ranting at least.