I went to Perspectives and sat down at a table that had a young gal (about my age), an empty chair with a Bible (presumably her husband’s) and another empty chair with a coat. The husband and the coat owner (his sister, actually) returned to the table and we exchanged some small talk. We had zero people connections, though one of them has a client in Story City, which my name tag proclaims is my residency. I penciled in the correction, but it’s there for all to see (and my heart to cherish).
Another couple sat down and I couldn’t quite put my finger on how I knew them. During a discussion question it was revealed that they go to Zion in Des Moines…the Awaken home base. Bam! An hour or so later after the first session I finally got to ask them about Awaken and if they are a part of it. Nope. Oops. Better–RLBC employees. He is a UI alum, too. He started asking about things at Iowa and at camp…did you go to campus ministry? 24/7. Yep. Did you play Frisbee After Class? Yep. I started it (he did, not me!). (me) Do you know someone else with my last name? Yep, I lived with him (no way, we’re related!)…it went on and on.
But the connections don’t stop there. Because we were talking about Riverside the initial couple quipped that they knew some RLBC peeps because the gal had roomed with my former youth director’s sister, who also counseled for a summer or two. The whole world is connected.
Granted, you may have a better, outside view of the whole thing and conclude…Patty, you live about 50 minutes from where you grew up, and haven’t left the state for more than 6 combined months of the last 15 years (15 already!?)…of course your world seems small–it is! But I challenge that in my pit of loneliness and the slow recovery to a point of fellowship and friends such a realization that I am not that separated from other times in my life of joy and acceptance and spurring on after all, and I’m not just referring to geographical coincidences.
There is scuttle-butt about Rob Bell all over blogs (I read a lot of blogs). Now on facebook a handful of my fb friends are contesting the arguments that Rob Bell has gone universal. No one has read the book yet, so that determination remains to be determined. I’d like to put it out there that I have so far never found reading any of his previous works to be enjoyable because the stopped sentence style (I want to say I read a SCL blog that poked fun at the. choppy. phrased. sentences. once.) and presentation of philosophical ponderings were too jarred and overly raw…there’s a line between catching your reader by surprise and trying to shock them with every. halting. sentence. I understand he’s reaching an audience…but not me. So we’ll see about this new book, if the hype that’s been released is another drawing-in method that eventually brings people to the truth of the gospel and the reconciliation provided by Christ on the cross. Until then, I am praying that his critics and his critics’ critics would strive to preserve the gospel and live it and cease the competition (especially on public forums, blogs and fb walls…Ephesians 4:29 has some words for us…
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
There’s so much I could share, with joy and jubilation about the work of God in my life at this moment, but the hour is late (Perspectives is much preferred on a Sunday afternoon by this gal…though I am energized, because it’s so late I can’t responsibly stay up and be doing stuff).
Grace to you, and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!