Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Introducing “Experience the Impossible” by Bill Johnson

The next book I’m reading was recommended by my dad. It’s a great book that is written like a devotional, with very short chapters. Chapter 6 talks about how some people value the Bible more that the Holy Spirit. Johnson is very careful to state that he of course values the Bible, as we all should. However, he opens the chapter this way: “It is hard to have the same fruit as the early Church when we value a book they did not have more than the Holy Spirit they did have” (p. 31).
            The disciples did not have the comfort or guidance of the New Testament as we have it. They had to rely on the Holy Spirit to figure things out.  We are so fortunate to have both, and yet I see how easy it is to rely on our interpretation of the Scripture and ignore the nudging of the Holy Spirit that might be asking us to do something that will make us uncomfortable.
            The Holy Spirit will never ask us to do something that is contrary to an accurate understanding of Scripture. But what about the times we understand Scripture incorrectly? Are we clinging to our own beliefs so firmly we’re leaving no room for the Holy Spirit to correct us? Examples in our society abound of Christians behaving in a way that is clearly contrary to the Holy Spirit and a correct interpretation of Scripture. Let’s navigate our lives with all of the treasures we have: Spirit and Scripture.
 Beth Kropf


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Advent, Tom Petty, and gluten

One of my favorite Tom Petty songs is “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part.”  He is so right! Like many others, the concept of Advent is fairly new to me. I love the focus on the anticipation of such a wonderful gift. It is especially meaningful to me this year as I am pregnant. I feel this baby kicking and see my belly expand and I can’t wait to meet her (but stay in there and finish growing, little girl).
            Advent is about hope and waiting. Waiting is so, so hard. It is hard to endure pregnancy and wait for my little one to develop.  I loved Caz’s calling on Sunday to learn how to be good at waiting.  We have to wait daily for small things and hard things, like for a child to choose shoes when we are late. We have to wait for big things, like answers to prayers. There is so much we must wait until heaven to experience. I personally won’t be able to have gluten until I get to heaven. Others have to wait to have whole bodies and reunite with dear ones. How do we get better at waiting? How do we learn to have more patience for others and for God?
            What are we missing by not learning to wait, and by giving up hope?  I am sure I am not the only one who has given up hope that God will answer certain prayers. I wonder how He feels about that. Join me in trying to navigate the territory of patience, and hope. Jesus is real. He is coming back, and He is worth waiting for.

Beth Kropf