So my reading has continued and has pushed me deeper into discomfort, disguist and frustration with the culture in which America lives. I have become gloriously ruined. This current book, "Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren has given great words to the state I have found in my heart. This alone has brought me comfort in hearing her describe her feelings as she came home from Africa back to her affluent Orange County, California... Kay says, "Everything looked different; everyone seemed strange. I looked at my possessions differently. Suddenly a full refrigerator was an insult. The crowded grocery store shelves were excessive. The displays of fashion at the mall were trivial. Television was disgusting and moronic. Politics made me sick. Church was superficial. I was a mess."
Gloriously ruined is a term Warren and her friends have coined about how they have felt in their own discovery of the evil and unjust world around us..."I was ruined for life as I had known it before, but gloriously ruined!"
I can no longer see our way of life in Oklahoma the same, everything has a new slant on it...people are dying, starving to death, without water and without hope. While I am broken for the fact that I have been aware and chose to look away, I also have more freedom in Him than I ever have...this is a closeness I have never experienced. I am only halfway through this book and it's amazing and inspiring as well as gives me answer to what exactly did Jesus mean "take up your cross and follow me."
Last week we finished Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World? What a book! 3 pastors started this in 2006 with a bold decision to cut back all excess that didn't focus on Jesus during the season and celebrate His birth. What a novel idea, huh? A year after they started THOUSANDS of churches joined in. Lives were changed both within the church, and those looking from the outside. Get this: they saw something different in those churches at Christmas time. Numerous lives have been saved because these churches brought their money saved and gave it to building wells where people did not have access to clean water. If we could all boldly follow the example of the sheperds and wisemen, share the good news and give gifts to Jesus, not to the blessed, but to the least of these...that's when we are giving to Him. I highly recommend this book anytime of year, but especially now! They also have an awesome website.
As an update on us, we have finished all our trainging hours and are waiting on our homestudy write up to be complete and get our CPR training and we'll be open. We are still hoping it will be before Christmas!