Selection from "Lost Mission"

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. C. S. Lewis

I felt like sharing a quote from one of my favorite fiction authors, Athol Dickson. Every book he writes is brilliant and unique. This particular selection is about a woman named Lupe who has come from her friendly but impoverished village in Mexico, and the cultural shock she encounters when she enters the U.S. A devout Christian, she believes she has recieved a call from God to save “the Anglos” and lead them to Jesus. It is a very interesting theme. He does a very good job of presenting the contrasting cultures through the eyes of Lupe and others. The small community she is from has very little in resources but is rich in many other ways, in contrast the United States in her view is impoverished in spite of all their material wealth……..

When Lupe greets several people on the street and they don’t respond, she is devastated. It is something she has never experienced before….Also she has just been observing a “laughing yoga” where people are faking laughter as part of therapy.

“What evil place was this, where people languished deaf to greetings, blind to neighbors, isolated in the middle of a crowd? What wicked mesmerism numbed them to the undulating glory of the sparkling sea? What devil drove them to attempt this imitation happiness, this counterfeit laughter, when the true delight of God’s creation lay in all directions? Athol Dickson, Lost Mission

I recommend every one of his books……

“Holy Father,” cried Lupe. “Your works are glorious, and you are beautiful beyond description!” She said it very loudly, with her face and palms raised up toward heaven. Arm in arm, a passing man and woman looked away.  Lupe, on seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time

For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4

Jesus, the original people person

 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5: 15,16
Crowds followed Jesus everywhere He went. He was the original people person. He wasn’t a people pleaser though. He wasn’t afraid to say what was unpopular, but He didn’t grandstand. He didn’t bring up controversial subjects to draw attention to Himself, although controversy followed Him because He spoke the truth, and the truth wasn’t always what they wanted to hear. But He always spoke the truth in perfect love. 
Jesus always had time for people. Maybe you feel as if you are in demand now, from your work, your friends, your family? Just try producing a few miracles and see how in demand you would feel then….remember the Calgon commercial? Take me away……..I think Jesus must have felt like that because the Bible says He went often to lonely places to pray. 
People like people who are people persons, not people who are people pleasers. With people pleasers you never really know if they are just giving you lip service. If they are really going to follow through. Do they mean what they say or are they just saying what you want to hear? This is just my humble opinion, mind you. I can say this because I have been a people pleaser at times, and I don’t like that about myself. I want to be more like Jesus and be a people person.
Ever been to a funeral and everyone gets up to speak and says how so and so “always had time for me.” We all know those special people who, no matter what is going on in their lives, they always treat you as if you are the most important person at that moment. They don’t look away, distracted by every little thing when you are pouring your heart out to them. I once knew a very special Pastor like that. People would line up out the door just to hug him. He always had time. He looked in your eyes and made you feel like you mattered….like he was so glad you waited so he could see you!
That is how Jesus was. I want to be more like that. It doesn’t come naturally for me. I think I would have been well suited to the cloister with a stack of books. But God wants us to invest in the lives of people. When I go to Heaven He will not ask me how many books I read. Darn.
When I look at Jesus, I see how far I have to go…….but He is happy when I try. He is happy when He nudges me and I pay attention.
Okay I am closing my book now……
 “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,  with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” Luke 5:1-3

Tuning in to what’s real

“Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real. How often have we seen them, David, jostled and ridiculed by their fellows, pushed aside and forgotten. He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool by the mad mob who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand.

Only when we can no longer strive in the battle for earthly honors or material wealth do we turn to the unseen and more enduring things of life and hear and see the things we have so long refused to consider.” The Shepherd of the Hills, Harold Bell Wright.

I recently found a little treasure of a book published in 1907 about a worldly traveler who longs to escape his sophisticated city life and retreats to the Ozarks where he meets some people who teach him how to truly live. Leaving behind a successful church in the city, he ends up finding his faith and God in the mountains.

While there he meets Pete, the child who claims to speak with God, who wanders at night under the stars and hears the voices that whisper in the wind. When I look at this picture I can just see little Pete standing there in the sun. We can all learn something from the Petes of this world.

I talk to God all the time and though I have never yet heard an audible voice, I know He answers. The main way He answers me is though His word, but He uses other creative ways as well. I think I am going to listen to the wind more, and tune in to the song of the stars that sing. I am going to try to be more like Pete and tune into the Eternal world where God lives. I might be surprised what I hear!

“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.” Ephesians 3:14-18

God loves happy endings

Growing up we spent a couple Thanksgivings at the home of my cousin’s cousins. The home of my Uncle Bruce’s brother and his family. It was an older home in Berkeley California, and I was charmed by it at first sight. It had a Hollywood driveway, the kind with the strip of lawn going up the middle and a big screened in porch just made for curling up with a good book. One of the most enchanting things about it though was the little bookshelf at the top of the narrow staircase. It was magic to me and I couldn’t wait to go up and explore the titles. Jackie was a librarian so she must have recognized a kindred spirit in me, a fellow book lover. I was invited to take any book I wanted. I knelt in front of it while everyone else was out playing, lost in my own universe.

In school I always gave a sigh of relief when they asked us to write a book report instead of solving a math problem. I love long books and I hate for a good book to end. But the great thing about reading is there is always another on the horizon. I am so glad there are those who just can’t stop writing! That, and reading is free.

God loves books too. He wrote a best seller. It is still selling like hotcakes. He is waiting for a happy ending. God is the eternal optimist! “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

The Bible is the one book with no ending, and we are all part of the story. God must not like for things to end either. He never meant for endings at all, only life ever after with Him. Open God’s book today. It will speak to you in the silence.

Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it,
except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book.
~ Thomas ã Kempis