Monday, July 17, 2006

Gutsy Faith - Week1

Okay, this is my first post for the Gutsy Faith discussion group. It's a group of people brought together to read and share my friend Jeff Edmondson's new book Gutsy Faith (I designed the cover for the book!). We are suppose to blog on our readings each week and we get together on Tuesdays and discuss what we have read, so let's get started, feel free to follow along, heck, buy the book and really follow along! I am going to go through the discussion questions on here and I may go off on tangents of my own, but it's my blog, so I can.

Chapter 1 - Where Guts Begins

What does it mean to you to have Gutsy Faith? - To me it means trusting in God with everything I am. Trusting God has created me for God's perfect plan, that God's will is the best for my life, is the best for God's kingdom. It means trusting in God's word, in God's promise to me, trusting God without compromise. This applies to EVERY area of my life. I think we (american Christians) have a serious problem trusting God to provide our every need, we feel we have to earn as much as we can, to get ahead because the future is unknown, we have a terrible fear of the future. Fear seems to drive the very culture of this country, to truly trust God we have to learn to rise above that fear. This has got to be one of the most difficult parts for me.

Name at least 5 people in the course of your life whom you see as having gutsy faith. - This one is hard for me to answer. I am not sure I know anyone who lives a completely gutsy faith, I am not sure it is humanly possible, we are a fallen people. Different people in my life, and some outside of it have been great examples of gutsy faith. My wife teaches me each day what it really means to trust and to love God, just through our relationship with each other. Some people who I would look to as really obvious examples of gutsy faith are St. Francis, St. Benedict, John Wesley, Mother Teresa, and Dorothy Day. These people to me had more gutsy in their faith then anyone. They trusted God enough to give EVERYTHING of themselves for God and God's kingdom. They lived their lives in a manner that put God and other before self. They gave up ways of life, completely trusting God to provide, so they could spread the gospel and lay down their lives for others. This, to me is what gutsy faith is really all about.

Chapter 2- Yes, No, or Later?

In this chapter Jeff is focusing on the idea that it is never God's desire to say "no" to God's children. That is an interesting statement, I am not sure I agree with that or not, it is a pretty complicated idea. On one hand, I don't think God would ever say or do anything outside of His perfect will, and therefore I think God would, and does quite often say "no" to our prayers, because our prayers are often driven out of selfishness, or sometimes even out of good, but misguided, intention. On the other hand, if you are praying as you should, for God's will to be done despite what that means you may have to do or give up, then God would only answer "yes". The problem comes down to interpreting God's will, knowing what that looks like in our lives. I don't have the confidence to claim I have any idea what that looks like, so when I pray I try to pray that God's will be done, whether I know or "agree" with it or not. The hard part is making sure you allow God to take control of your life enough to lead you by God's will.

Chapter 3 - Everything He Asked For

This chapter is based on the idea that God always gave Christ everything He asked for (giving Matt. 14:13-23 as an example of this). My first reaction was "what about that whole 'take my cup from me'" scene in the garden of  Gethsemane? But at the end of the chapter Jeff tells me to hold my horses, he will get to that later, so I will take his word on that. I can't wait to see what he has to say about it. The premises of Jeff's statement makes sense to me though. Christ would never  ask for anything outside of God's will, Christ is the son of God, but at the same time also God. God and Jesus share one good and perfect will, they can not be separated, so to me it makes perfect sense that God answered Jesus with "yes" at all times.

If God always answered Jesus' requests with a yes, do you think it's possible for Him to answer all your requests with yes? - I suppose it is, if my will lines up with God's will, which I am sure, as a fallen being it rarely does. But if I keep my desire set on that, on having my will be God's will, then I am at least growing in that direction. And I know for a fact that is one prayer God does not answer "no" to.

So, in conclusion, I would like to ask that God break my stubborn will, mold me into His own perfect will, make it one with His. This is my prayer as I start this journey of  gutsy faith.

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