I once heard God’s attributes described as the many facets of a finely cut gemstone. One can spend an infinite amount of time gazing at the beauty of each facet. All of the facets combined create a beautiful, unique, mesmerizing gemstone.
God as my Refuge is one of His many facets or characteristics that brings me much comfort. A Strong Tower and a Hiding Place are a couple of ways I think of God as my Refuge. I find a lot of different scripture verses when I search on the word refuge. Many describe God as a mother bird covering her chicks with her expansive wings. Or as God protecting us like a mighty fortress providing a safe place for us to rest from the things that attack us or come our way.
During the first 25 years of my life I can count how many times I lost my temper, really got angry, on one hand—then I got married. Hold on now, it’s not all my wife’s fault. In fact it’s my problem not hers. Before marriage I either ignored my emotions or withdrew from the irritant so that I wouldn’t lose my cool. Not so easy when this other person we marry invades our space resisting conforming to our demands.
Over 20 plus years of marriage I have given the Holy Spirit plenty of material to work with to teach me how to repair my relationship with Danielle quickly. Even though I still hurt Danielle by getting angry, making stupid decisions and committing hurtful actions, we are better at repairing our relationship.
This week Chick-fil-A founder, S. Truett Cathy, passed away. For me Chick-fil-A represents a welcomed option to take my almost four-year-old son for a more than decent meal that both he and I will enjoy. And in most of their restaurants, he can expend some of his unlimited energy in their playground. For this I am also grateful.
But for many others, Chick-fil-A represents hatred and intolerance. You will remember the national coverage that Chick-fil-A received a couple of years ago after some comments CEO Dan Cathy made about their stance on marriage. The Cathy family hold deeply to the conviction that the biblical intent for marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
We say we want others to know Jesus. We spend hours at church crafting the “perfect” mission statement that will surely hook the non-believer. Yes, I do think that most Christians want others to meet Jesus, but our actions show that it’s not that important to us.
Sometimes absurdity wakes us up, so I put together some ideas to help. Maybe you can add one or two in the comments.
Compared to some of my peers I don’t have that many pairs of shoes. But, I have three pair of dress shoes, a pair of boots, work boots, golf shoes, basketball shoes, three pairs of sandals, running shoes, water shoes, shoes to wear when I cut the grass…And, I spend a lot of money on most of my shoes. I want to “take care of my feet”.
I don’t put much thought into the fact that I have several pairs of shoes. I know some of my friends, guy friends, have a lot more shoes than I do. It’s common for them to have 2-3 different colors of the same shoe to go with different outfits. Sigh.
I can easily mock them for having so many shoes, and how they can be a little snobbish about the fact that I tend to wear the same shoe or boot over and over with all my different “outfits”. But compared to much of the world who have no shoes at all, I am much more like my friends who have a closet full of shoes.
I invited you along for the journey as I work on my next book, so here is an update. When I began I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the self-publishing or traditional publishing route. I finally decided. I will share with you what I decided, a couple of reasons and where I am in the process.
Why I chose traditional publishing
Westbow Press published Adopting the Father’s Heart. Many call this way of publishing assisted publishing. We used my money; I made the final decisions on design, editing, when to release the book, etc. Westbow provided their services I purchased.
I like the outcome, and Westbow continues to offer support and guidance.
With this book about toxic shame I am looking for some things that I don’t think self or assisted publishing provides.
I met Wendy Neat shortly after Roasters Coffee Cafe “re-opened” in early 2013. I was excited to find out that someone had bought the coffee shop where a few months before I spent a couple of days a week working on my blog and book. Now I had my offsite “office” back.
The new staff immediately impressed me as I began to frequent the coffee shop. Something felt different about the place. I soon met Eric and Wendy Neat. Then I understood.
The Neats have created a family atmosphere in their coffee shop. Over time I have come to feel like a part of this family. I walk in, many staff call me by name or at least greet me with a “I know you” hello. They often ask me if I wanted my medium latte before I say a word. One day I ordered at the drive through window. As soon as I pulled up to place my order the barista cheerfully said, “Hello, want your medium latte?” I just laughed.
Consider all the things you do without having to think about how to do them. Brushing your teeth; putting on your clothes; typing that email without looking at the keyboard. And how many times have you pulled into your driveway and thought, “I really don’t remember driving home!”
A musician’s fingers flying over the piano keys; a gymnast sticking a perfect landing after a difficult tumble; a surgeon successfully repairing a damaged knee. None of them have to sit down first to think through how to do what they do. At least I hope they don’t!
I can hear them now. Those who tout knowledge of the truth over everything else. I can hear the scripture they might quote or the list of theological truths necessary to “be saved.”
My interactions with believers in foreign countries who only have a portion of God’s Word in their heart language lead me to believe that a person, any person for that matter, becomes a believer on a fragment of the Truth.