Monday, August 15, 2005

"The Christian Culture Survival Guide"

When I woke up this morning I had a profound feeling of longing. For the past few months, my spirit has been searching for something more. I bought some tai chi videos a month ago, and even contemplated visiting the Zen center across the street because I have been feeling the need to connect deeper spiritually. I've felt for sometime that there is something to meditation that I need. You can blame it on the fact that I live on the west coast, but I've felt this way for a very long time. I have always enjoyed the quiet moments especially on a summer evening at sunset when the world is still. These moments have always stirred me in ways I can't explain. So, this morning I woke early and was reading my usual blogs. I stumbled over to RLP which led me to another link which led to another and another and before I knew it I was at searching for books on Christian Meditation. I have to admit that I often am at least initially interested in books based on the cover. I know it's crazy and I've been let down many times by books boasting a beautiful cover that only disguised awful writing, but that does nothing to deter my cover judging ways. The first book that jumped out at me was "Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God" by James Finley. The cover was so pretty it took all my power to hold myself in my computer chair long enough to read through a few pages and compare it to a few other books that came up in my search. In the end, I decided to get it. Along with judging books by the cover, I struggle with waiting for anything, so rather than click the buy now button and wait two days for delivery, I drove to pick up the beautifully covered book.
While at the books store, I couldn't help but look around. In my searching I found an interesting little book with, you guessed it, a pretty cool cover. The books title was inticing as well; “The Christian Culture Survival Guide” by Matthew Paul Turner. I flipped through to read a few pages.(What? You think I would buy it solely on cover value? How vain do you think I am?) The list on page 145 solidified the sale.
"Seven Evangelism Don'ts
1. Do NOT leave a Jesus tract for a server in a place of his or her eighteen percent tip. Gospel presentation pamphlets with less that fifteen percent tips don't work either!
2. Do NOT perform "quickie" salvation pitches on streets of foreign cities. It's bad enough we do these in English on the streets of American cities, but give the rest of the world a break and at least have the decency to get to know the person first.
3. Do NOT be a participant in drive-by "evangelizements". I'm not sure anyone has ever come to salvation by hearing people yell Jesus messages from passing cars.
4. Do NOT witness while intoxicated, high, or after having unmarried sex. Oh! You would be shocked to know the stories I have heard.
5. Do NOT go into chat rooms and bash people because of their beliefs of lifestyle, and then try to tell them about Jesus. That rarely works!
6. Do NOT make wagers or bets regarding people's souls; salvation is never a game.
7. Do NOT underestimate the influence your life can have on an individual who doesn't know Jesus. "
I read the book in about 2 hours. Overall, the book is funny, especially for someone who comes from a fundamentalist background.
I'll let you know about "Christian Meditation" once I've read it. I am excited about delving deeper in my spiritual journey, but it is difficult to fight the fundamentalist mentality in me that says anything to do with meditation is evil.


aola said...

63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Sandra said...

Beautiful! Thank you! I'm going to use this before my meditation tomorrow.