Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Reflection: A Work of Heart - Commonplace

I finished reading A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal last night.

Very good read.  The last chapter was particularly good.  He went through the pains and joy of following God.  A very good way of looking at how a spiritual leader requires at utmost relationship with Him. If we take a look at all the great leaders in the Bible, Jesus, David, Abraham and Moses, the commonality that string through them are their closeness to God.  They are so close to Him in the good times and the bad times.  Always willing to seek Him and to see where He is leading.

Just a few quotes from the chapter called seek God in everything and the ordinary....

"God uses the commonplace to shape the leader's heart....Moses memorized the Sinai desert through countless shepherding experiences.  His knowledge kept the Hebrews alive in the wilderness..."

On pain

"C.S. Lewis gave us that fabulous insight that God whispers to us in our pleasure,but shouts to us in our pain...The leader who accepts pain as the work of God in the commonplace grows from it rather than being diminished by it."
"You have prayed for deliverance, but everything feels like more shots and surgery.  Knowing that God is not happy about your hurt, the key is to keep looking into his face and talking with him while the soul surgery takes place."
"The cross reminds us that in this world there is no wholeness without some pain."
"They [Great spiritual leaders] have all asked God for relief, but they also asked God not to take them off the operating table until they learn all he wants to teach them.  This reveals the heart of the spiritual champion.  These spiritual Olympians would rather walk with a limp to possess life wisdom and a closer relationship with God than to escape the trauma of the match.  [I was in tears in reading this quote.  It reminded me of the training days of triathlon and how far I was willing to go.  To go beyond one's expectation in midst of pain and suffering.] They learn, like David, to take their pain to God.  Like Paul, they come to exult in their thorns."

On joy

"God exults in our accomplishments."

"When joy is chosen, it always give rise to hope.  Hope always leads one to God."

"heaven means that pain passes, but laughter is eternal"

On hearing

"Coincidence? Only to those who do not know the power of hearing and obeying God's voice in the commonplace."
"a gentle spirit can open up a chance to share God's heart with another..."

The best quote to wrap things up....

Living in obedience is a courageous way to live.  It requires gutsy faith to believe that God is at work in everything.

Give me some guts, Lord..for I rather go after the Kingdom that do not rust nor pass away.  Everything else is nothing but a fleeting moment.....

1 comment:

Tara said...

Those are some powerful quotes!