So on to spiritual matters...
I finished reading Chapter 3 of Unstuck and it was truly eye-opening. Would you believe that people who read the Bible 4 or more times a week engage in destructive behaviors statistically significantly less than those who read the Bible 3 or less times a week?!? The graphic in the text is quite astounding. As Cole puts it,
"This finding alone is truly groundbreaking!
The Bible changes our lives.
We can be radically better
(actually strengthened and renewed)
if we can allow God to speak to us
through His Word - that is,
if we listen to Him through what He says
and ponder what it means."
I'd like to share a few more quotes to best present this chapter's message.
"Please understand this:
It's not only what's written in Scripture that will get your heart pumping;
it's also what happens when you let the words into your heart.
No one can explain the Bible's supernatural influence and impact
- it must be experienced.
The more I engage God's Word and respond to what He says,
the more my life is molded into what He intends it to be.
Even though I believe Scripture's worth reading for what I can learn,
there's something even more exciting and worthwhile on a relational plane.
God's Word gets past my head, touches my heart, and revives my soul.
It renews my mind and begins to reproduce God's heart and character
in my life."
"The scriptures contain our Creator's personal message to us.
Regardless of the situations we face,
within its pages are hope, wisdom, direction,
and the keys to getting unstuck."
If you have doubts about this last insight, just check out Exodus 18. A post from Michael Hyatt that focuses on how to be an effective and efficient leader led me to this wonderful chapter of Exodus.
In this passage, Jethro, Moses's father-in-law, has just returned to Moses with his wife and children in tow. The first half of this chapter (verses 1-12) relates a beautiful relationship between a woman's father and his son-in-law; this in itself is truly inspiring and definitely shows a Godly view of how in-laws should relate with each other (compared to the type of relationship consistently portrayed in the media).
But then, in the second half (verses 13-27), it goes on to reveal a wonderful bit of advice. Jethro sees that Moses's work load is far too much for him and is weighing him down with exhaustion. In response to what he notices, Jethro tells Moses:
17b "What you are doing is not good.
18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out,
for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.
19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice,
and God be with you!
You shall represent the people before God
and bring their cases to God,
20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws,
and make them know the way in which they must walk
and what they must do.
21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people,
men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe,
and place such men over the people as chiefs
of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens
22 And let them judge the people at all times.
Every great matter they shall bring to you,
but any small matter they shall decided themselves.
So it will be easier for you,
and they will bear the burden with you.
23 If you do this, God will direct you,
you will be able to endure, and all this people also
will go to their place in peace."
This is such a practical and helpful piece of advice for anyone! And it comes straight from the Word of God!! With this passage in mind, how can you doubt the Bible as an ancient text that still miraculously speaks to us today??
And finally, a truly uplifting message from Unstuck:
"He made us in His image,
and after we've stubbornly, arrogantly rejected Him
to pursue sin (self-centeredness),
He pursues us with incomprehensible passion
to the moment of our very last breath.
God loves you and me so much,
He walked in our steps,
wearing skin and feeling what we feel,
and then took our sin to the cross,
giving His own life to offer us eternal life with Him."
The God that created the Universe wore skin to be closer to us! What love can compare to that?
These are things that I actually started/completed a few days ago, but hey, they're still worth mentioning.
1. Magazines - I discovered 15 Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazines that I have kept for over a decade. Man, once you start digging into what all's there, it's amazing how things seem to multiply! I'm doing the same thing with these that I did with the Star Wars Insider magazines. Looks like I may end up with 3 notebooks of page protector-ed "memories." But that'll be okay since compared to the amount of space it all took up before, it's still a lot smaller :-)
2. Books - Since I'm going to be giving a number of books away, I wanted to make a little bit of cash in the process. I just found out about rentscouter.com and am going to be using this website to see what I can get for some of my old books (all of which are in barely-used condition). I'm also seeing what I can get through the University Supply Store. Wish me luck!
I guess that's really it for now. I'm gonna be doing some laundry and going through some more books today, but besides that, nothing really new to report. It's just nice to finally be able to relax a bit :-)