Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope you've had a great beginning to your new year. We had a wonderful time of fellowship on New Year's Eve up at the church, starting at 9:00PM. We had several folks bring their Wii games and we set up 5 stations, which was a lot of fun! We were going to show a movie, but everyone was enjoying the fellowship so much that we never got around to it. I figured we'd be out of there shortly after midnight but it was around 2:00AM before we left. That's just how good the fellowship was (... and the food! ).
The Shack, by William Paul YoungA lot of people are making New Years Resolutions right about now but this post isn't about that. But I did want to tell you about a resource you might enjoy here at the beginning of the year. Many of you have read the book "The Shack" by William Paul Young. It's somewhat controversial in its protrayal of God. (If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. If not, I won't ruin it for you!) It's written as a parable, not so much an allegory. (There is a difference - see here, here and here - mainly that a parable uses imagery to make one big point and in an allegory every facet of the story has a parallel in truth.) If you'll read it as a fictional story, a parable with a "big picture", and if you don't get caught up in the details, it will bless you. Especially if you've experienced some level of loss in your life or if you've been stuck on a "performance" level of Christianity. This book will challenge a lot of your conventional, traditional thinking. But it will also free you to fall in love with our Abba, our Papa, our Heavenly Father.
One of the things that will help you appreciate any book is if you can get a glimpse into the author's heart and intentions. I came across a link to some videos of Paul Young speaking at a church in California and I wanted to share the link. Mariner's Church has four weekend services and he spoke at all four, plus a Q&A session the Wednesday before the services for those who had read the book. In addition he shared his life story during a talk at one of the leader's homes and they recorded that. I would encourage you to take the time to view at least his testimony or the Q&A session. I think you'll be highly blessed. Here are the links:
Paul speaks the way he writes - sort of rambling, but very enjoyable. The "life story" video is 73 minutes long and the Q&A session is 97 minutes long. There's some of the same information in both but unique information as well. Pour a cup of coffee, turn your speakers up and take the time to be blessed.
I'll write more later - hopefully there will be more blog entries in 2009, making it worth your while to drop in for a visit. Thanks for your emails and comments. I appreciate the encouragement! And most of all ...
I *LOVE* serving Jesus with you!
Nathan
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