April 4 2012

This is “Good Friday” which is a very special day in the church calendar for many, and is pretty much ignored by others. A time of fasting and contemplation and prayer for some. For the past few years I have tried to observe it rigidly. This year I had to be of practical service to my wife, taking her to the hospital and waiting while she had “minor surgery.” It was just the removal of a benign cyst in her back, and everything went well, but I was instructed to stay with her throughout the day and the night, which I am glad to do. So… no Good Friday services for us this year.
I am finding it difficult to write lately. I apologize for that. But I am really excited about the response I have received through the book, particularly the invitations to speak and to share stories from BRTG. I am finding that I can put them in a book store and sell a few, or put them on a website and sell a few, or depend upon friends to endorse it on “facebook” and sell a few, BUT… make a personal appearance and share a story or two in public, and sell a hundred or more! So at this point I am happy for all the invites that have come in.
Before I go, I want to say a little more about what I mentioned last time. I had looked up notes that I had written six years ago when I put myself on a spiritual discipline for a month. It was shocking to me to realize that the thoughts and prayers that I wrote at that time reflected the same struggles that I still go through today! I want you to think about honestly facing this fact: we are, and for the rest of our lives shall continue to be, a mess. Please understand this fact, lighten up, and rejoice in grace!
Every Christian minister and writer has to make this choice: Am I going to be piously religious and preachy and self-righteous, or am I going to be honest and vulnerable and real. Watch out for those who will not admit their failings.
Let me recommend a book to you: “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli. It is funny, honest, profound, and true.
I also am now reading “The Life You Always Wanted” by John Ortberg. It is great.
Although I still struggle with the same stuff of six years ago, there is a difference. I am a little bit more loving and patient and kind. Maybe not much, but a little bit anyhow. That might possibly be the most we can expect.
God bless you, until next time // Jim

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