Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lava Rock - witness, from L.L. Barkat

From Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places

Deb and I had the privilege of meeting L.L. Barkat. I remember her peering at us, and we at her. Both with questioning looks, like: are you the folks/person I'm/we're expecting to meet? At the end of a busy day, L.L. graciously met us where she was staying, and we had an hour together to get acquainted. But after reading L.L.'s book, I feel so much more acquainted. She knows what it means to be finding grace in hard and hidden places.

And this wonderful chapter on witnessing is no exception to that! We find L.L. struggled wanting to save people, just as her father did. And that while L.L. learned to accept that she is neither a Billy Graham or Paul, yet she enthusiastically and creatively finds ways to witness to people in sowing and watering, while others get in on the reaping end of that.

I too have not seen much fruit (an understatement) as far as professed conversions from my witness. And I must admit, that unlike L.L., my witness has not been as strong as it should be. But I'm awakening to addressing that. I always want to share Christ with others, I mean as a goal- though that can be lost in all the busyness and choices of life. And I think in terms of having a neighborhood Bible study at our home. Hopefully someday through prayer and love that will happen.

This chapter is both realistic and encouraging in an area in which many of us Christians are weak. Read it, along with the entire book! And slowly. And don't forget the helpful "discussion questions" in the back. Here are a couple on this chapter: "4. When it comes to telling others about the gospel, do you feel a sense of guilt or freedom? Explain. 5. If you were to conceive of yourself as a grace-bearer instead of someone who tries to save others, would this change anything in your life?" (p. 165)

What would you like to say on this?

1. Stepping Stones - conversion
2. Christmas Coal - shame
3. Tossed Treasures - messiness
4. Heron Road - suffering
5. Sword in the Stone - resistance
6. Howe's Cave - baptism
7. Palisade Cliffs - doubt
8. Holding Pfaltzgraff - inclusion
9. Indiana Jones - fear
10. Old Stone Church - love
11. Goldworthy's Wall - sacrifice
12. Clefts of the Rock - responsibility
13. Olive Press - gratitude
14. Forest Star - humility
15. Seedstone - healing
16. Sugar Face - forgiveness

Next week: "Climbing - Justice"

6 comments:

Lanny said...

Okay real quick ( I exaggerate) and then I gotta go huckleberry picking. I find it much easier to deal with my life day in day out and everyone's ideas of "ought-to-dos" when I reflect on Philippians 2:14-16 and especially these words: "in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life." The picture in my head as we get to "hold out the word of life" has always been a group of people holding torches as they go through the dark places, attracting others with the lovely glowing light. Unfortunately the "ought to look likes" rear their ugly head often and the guilt creeps in.

I read your words on L.L.'s first two chapters, and yes I will read her book, and found myself rethinking something that I thought last Thursday when Dirt and I met with good friends.

We have a tendency to think other people's spiritual lives, or the life we think we ought to have had, as how a life in the Spirit ought to look. Sitting in my silly little living room with cracks between the wall and the floor where slugs come in and a gigantic TV are so incongruous with themselves let alone with my ideals of how my life in the Spirit ought to be. I am constantly having to dump out of my brain ideals, my ideals, and listen to God for what he wants out of my life, repentance yes, self abuse no. As a young girl I read about the Saints and their lives and marveled at them, wanted to be them, a Saint for God. Unfortunately I was horrid in my high school plus years, yet it was the shame I heaped upon myself that kept me from returning to Christ sooner than later. Years wasted. Which could of course be the cause of more shame and more paralyzing guilt. I try hard to learn from that lesson the dividing line between repentance which frees us and self abuse which binds us.

preacherman said...

Wonderful thank you brother for sharing your life with us.
I know that L.L. has been a blessing to many.

NaNcY said...

i agree that this chapter is encouraging. encouraging all to think about the many ways that God uses each of us in reaching out to others in Love, and how it all can be a part of someone coming to believe in Jesus and become a new person in Him.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
I like what you say here. Shame and paralyzing guilt ends up in condemnation quite easily. But God's convicting work of the Spirit by the word, helps us to repent. And we need to accept both God's verdict and God's remedy in Christ, by faith, regardless of how we feel about it at the time. That's important for those of us whose feelings seem out of control, and I know what that's like.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Yes, thanks. And the more one digs into this book, the more they find. It's a keeper. I look forward to her next one.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Well expressed, Nancy. Amen.