Freedom: April 2005

Held as we are by the cords of our sin, it is a great mercy to find not only forgiveness, but a loosening of the bonds, a freeing from the cycle of degradation--from continually finding ourselves doing again what we know is not good.

This active forgiveness is more than, "there, there, it's all right, nobody is perfect;" more than the sentiment which is often served up by well meaning friends. Instead, true forgiveness is the power of the resurrection blasting through the wages of sin, creating an entirely new reality.

Staggering in the light of new found freedom, awash with gratitude and astonished by the presence of such love; we can only point in slack-jawed amazement, and hope that others will also find the way.


THE GLORIOUS SECRET is a small book, a "one evening condensed book" it says on the cover. The nice thing about a small book is you don't stay awake until 2:00 am cramming several evenings into one. The unfolding "glorious secret" is to give the burden of managing your life to the Holy Spirit, just as we give the burden of our sins to Jesus. The book has been sitting on our Holy Spirit shelf for 4 years at $1. It blessed me much more than the Caramel Frappuccino that cost three times as much. Fewer calories, too. I typed up a half page from THE GLORIOUS SECRET to put in my Bible. The book is by Harold Wildish, which I find amusing. Wildish. I've raised the price to $2.

It was a wildish answer to prayer, to a recognition that I had come to the end of my particular rope and was in need of serious help. Yet it only spawned more prayer, a beginning, not a finale. The book that next fell into my hand was THEY FOUND THE SECRET by V. Raymond Edman. It was, interestingly enough, the same secret, clothed in the lives of 20 Christians, who had also come to the end of their ministerial ropes only to find a new beginning in the power of the Holy Spirit. Finney, Moody, Bunyan, Taylor, Price, Chambers...I read through the lot of them in two or three praying evenings.

Next came FEAST OF FIRE by John Kilpatrick, the pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God Church in Pensacola Florida. Herein was a picture of the secret unleashed in waves of revival. I'm still praying. I hope you are too.

Meanwhile, we've had two huge waves of book donations in the last month and a half. One from the right and one from the left. Amazing books all around. The sound of two hands clapping.

BREAD AND JAM: Thursday, May 5 is National Day of Prayer, with many different opportunities throughout the country to join in prayer between 12:00 and 1:00. You can come to The Word Shop deck. Prayer and song, music by Gracenotes...a lightly structured gathering. If you can't come here, check out other Monterey Bay locations at 5/5/05

Simone Weil and Dorothy Sayers are communing on my footstool. Two brilliant women, who shone the light of their astonishing intellects on the faith. I found Weil's WAITING FOR GOD priced at $2 when I was trying to cram more books into the "W's." I gasped, tripled the price and brought it home to read. Madelyn L'Engle, who is also no slouch, joined the throng and I stayed up til 1:00 last night reading CERTAIN WOMEN, a modern-dress novel based on King David's wives.

Of the three, Dorothy Sayers is my favorite because of her steel-trap mind, rapier wit and bottom line orthodoxy. CREED OR CHAOS, which I plucked from the latest donations, is published by a Roman press. The introduction states that the only unorthodox thing about Sayers, is that she is Anglican. <grin> Her MIND OF THE MAKER is one of my seminal books. It looks at our creator God through the eyes of the trinitarian, creative process.

Which reminds me: the summer class, DRAWING CONCLUSIONS, now has a subtitle: "A Practicum on Spiritual Formation and Creative Interplay." This is what comes of going on College Tours. Hopefully by next month I'll know what we are actually doing.

"I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this." -Emo Phillips, comedian, actor (1956- )

Keep Praying.

Alliee +