Monday, December 28, 2009

Quote-ables.


Today my post will be slightly different, so just follow along with me. A couple days ago I went into Barnes and Nobles, with a Christmas gift card in hand and came out with a book which I am enjoying very much.
It is called FOLLOW ME TO FREEDOM. It is written by two very radically passionate men of God and it is about being a leader as well as being a follower. (and it opens with the words "This book is about leading. Without vision and leadership people perish" ----- "Or at least run around in circles.")
Unlike most co-authored books, it unfolds as a series of conversations, which I found unique and rather appealing. The two authors are very different from each other in almost every way, but both are so zealous about living lives wholly surrendered to God that their words meld together and create a very good read.

The first of the authors is a young man by the name of Shane Claiborne. He is about as radical as they come. Years ago I heard Shane speak at a music festival and it was quite the experience. When he first stepped onto the stage, I was slightly taken aback by his appearance; at the time he had shoulder length blond dreadlocks being restrained by a bandanna, baggy clothes, a scraggly beard, and just an overall Boho/hippy type of look.
But as he began to speak and explain who he was and what he did it became quite fascinating. Shane's ministry, called The Simple Way, goes on in Philadelphia. He is a man who has worked with Mother Theresa and has brought that same passion for the homeless and needy back to his own community. He refers to himself as a recovering sinner and a converted redneck. He is RADICAL. He has surrounded himself with homeless people, heroine addicts, prostitutes, and those that Philadelphia has rejected. He might look a little loco, but he is bringing the Kingdom of God to people that the world looks down upon. He loves the unlovable...like Jesus did.

The second author is a man by the name of John M. Perkins, a preacher, author, and civil rights leader from Jackson, Mississippi. He is almost 80 years old and he has spent the last 50 years of his life speaking out against Racial discrimination and like Shane (and Jesus) reaching the rejected and living amongst the needy.

Now you might think that this rebel, once redneck kid and an 80 year old man from Mississippi wouldn't even be able to write together...but you are wrong. The wisdom (as well as a fair amount of wit) from the two of them is quite fantastic. And while I cannot quote the entire book to you (I would like to, but alas, there are laws against that...) I will give you just a little taste, one quote that stood out to me, amongst the many I could choose from.

In the first chapter, entitled The Promise (Raising the Next Generation of Just Leaders), they spend sometime talking about Biblical leaders, and they eventually get to Moses, one of the greatest leaders of all time.
They talk about how Moses' background was rough, he had every excuse not to live for God...
John says "Make no excuses. First, when we look at Moses and the circumstances of his birth, none of us have any excuse today to be any less than what God says we are."
Moses was supposed to be aborted. Moses was the son of a slave woman. Moses was raised by a family that wasn't his own, in a culture that was totally unlike his own. Moses stuttered when he talked. Moses was afraid. Yet, God used him.
I would recommend this book to you and now I will close with this.
What have people said about you? What do you say about you? I'm sure you can come up with some excuses, no matter what type of life you live/lived.
But...
More importantly, WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT YOU?
That is enough to change your life.

2 comments:

emily michael said...

I'm ready to go out and buy this book just from the few paragraphs you posted. Ps- the name John M. Perkins sounded really familiar, and sure enough, I grabbed the hello hurricane case and read : #4- The Sound(John M. Perkin's blues)

Isabella Kiss said...

is he on the song?!?!

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