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I Made the Mistake of Reading George MacDonald (aka C.S. Lewis’s “Master”)

I didn’t even know who George MacDonald was until recently. I think the first time I heard his name was last summer when my good friend Matt Perkins of Northwest Anglican and my mother-in-law Tiffany Seppala were discussing his books over lunch. They said he was a great influence on C.S. Lewis. So I started reading, Discovering the Character of God by MacDonald recently and realized his writings aren’t something I can just quickly read through and say, “Oh that was good,” and move on with life. No. I say “I made the mistake of reading George MacDonald” because I can’t do that. I can’t read a chapter, smile and then just go on with life like nothing happened. For whatever reason, his writing has challenged me at the core of who I am. As he writes about the character of God I begin to think about who God really is. And I want to share a statement that really rocked me last night. So much so that I had to sit my book down, sit up straight in bed and really consider what I had just read. But before I share that let me give you a little background on George MacDonald in case you aren’t familiar with him. Here are some quotes from the introduction of Discovering the Character of God.   “In a life of eighty years and a literary career spanning nearly five decades, Scotsman George MacDonald (1824-1905) produced some fifty-three books of tremendous diversity…Though he was said to have considered himself a poet first, a preacher second, and a novelist third, almost three-quarters of...

They Broke Through and Jesus Called it Faith – We Call it…?

What happens when you or a loved one has a need. A need that only Jesus can meet? A need that can only be met by a miracle? When it comes to having these needs met I’ve noticed there are primarily two schools of thought in the church. 2 schools of thought regarding breakthrough in the church   The first teaches that you can, and should, press in for breakthroughs. And even if circumstances seem to oppose this need being met you should still contend for the breakthrough and overcome the obstacles by the power of God that resides in you. The second is more of a passive approach. This belief system teaches that God will move in His own time and there is nothing we can do to influence Him to move. And the breakthrough is not what’s important anyway, what’s more important is “accepting” that God has ordained these circumstances and that they are all part of a bigger plan. I’ll be honest. I have a problem with the second school of thought. I believe it’s this kind of thinking that has crippled much of the church. When we are not allowed to press in for breakthrough we are sentenced to a life where circumstances become our lord instead of the Lord. I want to share a story I read this last week that relates to this. A biblical account of breakthrough   The story is found in Mark chapter 2. Four friends bring their paralyzed friend to the meeting where Jesus was. They could not get in through the front door so they dug a hole in the roof and...

Does God Love Me More When I’m Snowboarding or Sharing the Gospel?

Do you think God loves you more when you’re busy doing “kingdom” work? Does He get upset when you spend too much time watching TV or hanging out with your friends? Is He just so frustrated because right now you’re reading a blog about God instead of standing on the street sharing the gospel? You probably don’t ask yourself these exact questions but I’m willing to bet you’ve had some variation go through your mind. I know I have. It’s easy to feel like God loves us when we’re doing Christian things. Leading a Bible study, sharing the gospel or feeding the poor. But last time I checked God loves me because when He looks at me He sees Jesus. He sees me as a son and therefore He loves me as a father loves his son. We all know that we can’t earn God’s love. But personally, I need to be reminded that God loves me just as much as when I’m snowboarding as when I’m sharing the gospel. There is something truly amazing about God’s grace. About Josh MonenJosh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.More Posts...

Does God Send Storms Into Our Lives to Shape and Mold Us?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/theswedish I recently heard a sermon preached about storms. More specifically, it was about God ordained storms in our lives. I agreed with most of what this man of God was preaching but when he started talking about God sending storms into our lives to shape and mold us I just couldn’t say amen to that. I’m not going to mention any names I disagree with because it’s not a fight against flesh and blood, it’s the thoughts and ideas that spread like cancer that I want to confront. These ideas infect people’s souls like a virus and they paralyze the church.   What Would (21st Century) Jesus Do? The Jesus many preach today would have acted much differently 2,000 years ago. The 21st century Jesus would not have rebuked the storm. Instead He would have turned to the disciples and gave them a three point sermon about how those waves and the wind were going to humble them. He may even have closed His sermon by telling them that even if their boat capsized they would all go to heaven so don’t worry. Well the real Jesus didn’t do that and I’m so glad He didn’t. Instead He took authority over the elements and commanded the storm to cease. The reason I’m talking about this one story about Jesus and the storm is because Jesus is a perfect reflection of the Father. He is the best image of God we have. And if Jesus did not bless any storms then why do we insist that Father God does? Is Jesus Christ perfect theology or not?...