So I took a quick look at The Rabbits and the Elephants ... and the #1 thing that stands out to me is "a lot of prayer and fasting." And yes! street ministries are included! Oh - and just because a ministry is functioning in a certain place and time and group of people, doesn't mean it has to go on forever: whatever God's plans are, eh?!?! And it may well be that an "established church" (or legacy church, as they call it) would be better off to "release" people as "local missionaries" rather than trying to do "outreaches" that are still closely tied to that church group.... including realizing that these outreaches may never contribute to the size or income of that church, but at the same time may reach many people who would never come to that church... and result in real churches (gatherings of believers) themselves, who can reah ever further into communities/areas where a traditional/ established/
institutional/ legacy church never could.... But again, its all foundational upon lots of prayer and fasting!
So I do want to read the book - me methinks I should start first some serious prayer (and fasting...). (When I kept seeing that "prayer and fasting" emphasis, my first reaction - being honest here, if a bit embarrassed - was basically, "I tried that! Look at the endless hours, weeks, months, even years I prayed and prayed - and fasted - in both our former community and here... and to what avail? (not counting God's amazing work in my kids' lives... and, after all, that was His #1 assigned ministry to me at the time, though I know now that I got awfully distracted back then by "real church ministries" ... which maybe weren't so much...)) (and who knows what answers I simply may not have personally seen, or how God continues to work on those things I was praying for...! yes!) (But anyway, I have been convicted to - and given the desire to - pray in the last week or two... God timing! ... and another thing I saw was the need for corporate prayer... back in the day I (mostly...) wanted corporate prayer but ended up praying alone a lot... when Pastor P. started the new "services" on Sunday, that one guy kept saying, "We need to pray..." And so we do! Only I don't think I've seen him there the last bit... But if he turns us I'm going to button-hole him about it! Oh... Papa? Your will be done!)
... later... walk with my son. I couldn't keep up... and he thought I didn't want to walk with him, so he just walked faster... and I got out of breath and dizzy, and had to sit down, and then walk slow... and I was feeling sorry for myself, thinking he was mad at me.... (having a real good pity party, yes I was...
Back home, rested a few minitues, then posted my blog typing on the regular blog and the church journey blog.
Then checked facebook, saw on Gerry's status that a new GodJourney podcast is posted so decided to listen to it. Listened to most of it, then one of my daughters phoned and we had a nice chat. Then I listened to the rest of the podcast - and now I'm listening to it again, wanting to take a few notes! It's called "Living Beyond the Recipe" - referring to some awesome chocolate chips they were eating while podcasting! And guess what? I was eating some of my own homemade chocolate chips while I was listening too! Felt like I was really part of the conversation, lol! Anyway, here are my notes:
- It's not just the ingredients, but how the baker goes about it too - what she's learned over the years as she's made them over and over - and there's something about the person themself who makes them. So to make them yourself that well, you need a guide, a person who already has the experience - just like in your Christian walk, you need a guide who already has the experience of God, and you watch them and walk with God alongside them. On your own, with just the recipe, you can misapply it, even with the right ingredients and well-written instructions.
- that chocolate chip recipe the baker used is true (like scripture) - and the cookies: well they are like Jesus!
- You can't live without the recipe (scriptures) but you need to sink your teeth into the cookies too! Eat the cookie, not just read the recipe. If you haven't tasted the cookies, you have no idea about what they're really about. We have to get on a journey to experience the life of Jesus.
- the cookie is more than the sum of the parts.
- it's like sitting around a table talking all about golf, but never actually going out and hitting the freaking ball!
- you can't know a person just reading about them, or even reading what they themself have written.
- God's not defined by the ink and paper. He's so much greater.
- maybe the gospel is bigger than just a recipe: it's a person: the life of God is in the reality of the Son (not in the Bible alone or even in the church).
Okay, so a couple of quotes I've picked up here and there:
"If you label it, you can dismiss it."
"By the time you pin the butterfly to the styrofoam, it is no longer a butterfly." (GK Chesterton?)
Be awfully careful when your walk/ beliefs/ ideas/ journy becomes a "movement"... we follow a Person, not an "it"...
... So I spent lots of time this afternoon reading the book "The Rabbits and the Elephants" (and have taken up prayer-walking again as I walk through the community! Yay!). I took a 1/2 hour or so break to go walk-about downtown and sit in the park on the grass for a few minutes... (and pray some) Thank You!