Thursday, August 31, 2006

The book world is an interesting business. Not a week goes by that I don't come across two or three books to add to my reading list. On the flip side, not a week goes by that I don't come across books that I simply have to wonder what was the point in killing trees to print them.

Today was another find to add to the second list: The 100 Minute Bible abridged by Michael Hinton and illustrated (yes, illustrated, and no, not a kid's book) by Helen Jenkins.

The question I ask: when did God's Word become a matter of ease and convenience? When did the Word become such an ineffectual teacher that it needs to be "cliff-noted"? (I checked, by the way. There is a Cliff Notes version of the Old Testament and the New Testament. I'm proud to say that Barnes & Noble's version of Cliff Notes, Sparknotes, does not publish Bible Sparknotes.)

What do you guys think? Has the Bible lost its potency in today's society?

Monday, August 28, 2006

My first seminary class is tomorrow. Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen, Amanda Peterson is officially a seminary student. My first class is Dynamics in the Spiritual Journey.

Course synopsis: "The foundation of this course is the Christian spiritual journey with exploration of several biblical and extra-biblical models of spiritual development. Soul care involves the ability to discern where directees, in their God-created uniqueness, are on the journey, how hostile spiritual forces oppose progress, and how advance is achieved through the Holy Spirit and the ministry of soul care givers."

In lay man's terms, it's a class on learning to care for my spirit and learning to care for the spirits of others. The class is part of a certificate in Christian Formation and Soul Care which I am thinking about pursuing along with my degree.

My second course this term will be a distance learning course which has not been nailed down yet, though, I'm leaning to a systematic theology course titled Reconciliation and the Healing of Persons. It takes an in depth look at Jesus' healing ministry and its applications for healing of the physical and the spiritual.

I'm very excited to get started and will likely be abuzz with all the fascinating things I am learning. Pray for me as I begin the journey.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well, this is the second time that I've seen this image appear on a friend's blog in the last 24 hours, and both times I felt my heart drop into my stomach.

I want to pass along this image not to condemn those who spent the hundreds of thousands to build it, but to simply ask simply wonder when Jesus lost the power to speak for Himself, and to ask why a lady who's voice has grown almost silent after a century of crying out for the "poor and huddled masses" can cry that better than the Lord Jesus.

The image below is the newest addition to a Memphis church:

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Ogre's are like onions," Shrek told Donkey. Well, people are like onions, too.

In fact, I think we are much more complex than a simple onion. There are parts of us--hurt parts of our souls from childhood trauma, horrific events, painful memories, etc.--that are like onions, as well. We carefully wrap those hurt parts in layer after layer of anger or sadness or antipathy to the point that healing the hurt is almost impossible.

Humans are like mutated onions.

In the last week, I have been peeling off the last few layers of protection around a core hurt that has needed healing for sometime. It has been a most painful process. But tonight the inside lay exposed before both myself and God.

There was a moment of decision. Do I accept the hurt, feel the hurt, confess the hurt, and allow God to heal it? Or do I wrap it back up in a new layer?

I seriously thought about the latter. For whatever reason, it felt safer. After all, we are dealing with a cosmic God here. He can be rather intimidating, and the truth is that the healing process can be rather painful--as a dear friend who recently had foot surgery can attest.

But I went with the former choice instead. While I can honestly say I'm not exactly joyous right now, I am hopeful and expectant of the healing to come. And more than this, I believe that a cosmic God is the only safe place to turn. I have proof in the love that He showed His son Jesus and in that love that was then turned upon us through grace.