For example, I have thought, for some time now, that someone needs to write a book entitled; "Distances and Times in the Bible". Though the title of the book may not be a best seller (you can work on that), the content seems important to me. We often underestimate the amount of time it took, and the distances traveled in the Bible. For example, when the Bible says, "Jesus then went from Galilee to Judea" it doesn't give the impact of the distance traveled by Jesus and the disciples. The trip from Galilee to Judea is a good two to three day journey over rocky, arid, and mountainous land. Jesus and the disciples must have been totally winded after those journeys. No wonder the Pharisees were so annoying to deal with at the end of a long journey.
Another book I don't have time to write (but maybe I will someday) is the main focus of this blogpost:
The full title could be, Flex: How God Works Best in the Lives of Flexible People
A lot of energy and time has been spent on the best way for Christ followers to prepare their hearts to receive God's grace, mercy, and fruit. Many authors have pondered the exact posture that the human heart must assume in order to be most useful to God. The bookshelves filled with books on, "Listening to God's Voice", "Deep Contemplative Prayer," "Having a Holy Heart" are numerous. My big new idea is that, while all of these factors are important, they are not the most important thing. And here it is. Flexibility is the key! God works best in flexible hearts.
By and large the disciples were highly flexible people. Anyone who has gone on a fishing trip knows that the key to being a good fisherman has:
Flexibility. Some days you may catch a fish or two, some days you will not. Some days the morning will begin with sunshine on the water, and then storm clouds will begin to form and the torrential rains will begin to fall. Some days your fishing lines and nets will work perfectly, and then, all of a sudden, they will catch a snag, or a hole will emerge in the net, and you have to spend the whole day mending the nets. I believe that Jesus knew this as he was walking around the lake of Galilee and when he said to Peter and Andrew and James and John: "Come and Follow Me! I will make you fishers of men!" The fact that the disciples left their fishing professions right there and then, shows just how much they were able to:
Some of the most powerful stories of conversion in the Bible are really stories about flexibility. Take the story of Zacchaeus for example. Here was a very wealthy and corrupt man who had more money and power and wealth than any person could ever hope for. But then he met Jesus, and was moved to the core to;
To become flexible in his heart. Zaccheaus gave back 4 times the amount he had stollen through the years, and he followed Jesus. The other rich young ruler in the Bible, who came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit the kingdom of God, and was unable to be flexible, to give back his money.
There is a reason that Jesus was so drawn to the ministry contributions of women in the Bible (Mary Magdalene, Salome, Mary and Martha). I believe it is because, basically, when it boils down to it, women are more flexible than men. Of course, women in general are much more physiologically flexible than men. But I believe they are also more spiritually flexible as well. While I don't have the scientific data to back up this basic point on this Monday morning, one example of this is that women tend to live longer than men after their spouses pass away. If a wife passes away first, the chance that a husband will live on much longer is around 20%. On the other hand if a husband passes away first, the chances of her living long after her husband are well about 50%. Women are more flexible after periods of change and loss in their lives. Somehow, they are more able to pivot, to mold, to alter, to change to:
Having just started a new church development here in Camarillo three weeks ago, I can say without hesitation that flexibility is the key to success in a new church. On any given Sunday, the speakers won't work, the security guards are being persnickety, the computer system is down, the offering plates aren't in the place they should be, a key leadership person gets sick, or what have you. The successful new church is able to:
On second thoughts, maybe I should be more flexible and write this book after all:-)
All For Now,