Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sweet Life: One Thousand Gifts Chapter Five

Chapter Five Video:

Since I am behind in chapter discussions, I am going to share a few of my favorite points on this chapter. This chapter is one that took me awhile to "get through". There was so much thought provoking material that spoke deep into my heart. I go to a weekly bible study called Community Bible Study (phenomenal and world-wide if you are looking for something) and we have been studying 1 Peter. This chapter went hand in hand with our study of 1 Peter - hmm maybe God is really trying to get a message through this mind.

I may be bottling this chapter up differently than others but I think words on a page can speak differently to each of us and what we are battling at the moment. After spending time over the last few chapters writing down our gratitude towards God, Ann leads us into the thought of how do we find gratitude within the struggles, sufferings, and injustices?

Here are some of my favorite excerpts to think on:

On page 87, it reads:
"To read His message in moments, I'll need to read His passion on the page; wear the lens of the Word, to read His writing in the world. Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the Word, because The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, his eyes look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, "I know. I know."... the lens I wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of God-Man who came and knows the pain."
Page 88
"Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened and just as I have planned so it will stand. Isaiah 14:24. As God it stands."
 "All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? That which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows. Above the clouds, light never stops shining."
Page 97:
"It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace. And grace that chooses to bear the cross of suffering overcome that suffering."
"God wastes nothing-"makes everything work out according to his plan." Ephesians 1:11"
Ann talks about how this is the HARD eucharisteo. We need to step back and examine our lens. Perspective makes a HUGE difference. In my trial of this moment in life, I have had to make a daily choice for perspective. That doesn't mean that every day I stray far from the "this isn't fair" mindset, but that instead of saying "why me" I ask "why not me". Why wouldn't God choose to show His glory and grace to me not just in the beautiful times of life, but also in the ugly, tear-stained times. What perspective will you choose? Will you choose to see God's grace and allow Him to reveal His glory even in the hardest of hard?

Page 99:
"The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace."
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