Monday, May 05, 2014

Rejuvenated by the WORD!

You  (GOD) STAY the same through the ages!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to a conference to hear Leonard Sweet speak.  Strange as it may be, I've never really heard of him prior to the conference.  I haven't read any of his approx 60 books but I did hear about Soul Tsunami once!

So I was going with no expectations and wondered what I was in for!  The Conference began with Joel Auge who sang a beautiful song that he wrote for his wife. (again, never heard of the guy either!)  But WOW his voice is incredible!

Leonard Sweet spoke about Revival and the 3 things that are important to keep in mind:
1.  People return to Scriptures
2.  People read Scriptures in language of the Culture

He talked about advertising being sermons.  How we are inundated with sermons all day long, everywhere we go.  Advertising in our culture today is telling stories.  They use few words if any, a great soundtrack and great imagery.  Culture isn't about words anymore, it's about a story.  In all respect advertising is about having the best story, because the best one wins.  As Christian's we have the Greatest Story that is never told and each one of us has a story, yet it's secondary to the GREATEST Story (The WORD!)

Do we know the word?  Or do we know 'words'?  Do we know key verses in the bible which we can say at the drop of a hat?  Do we know the back story to those verses and do we know the root metaphors?  Can we get past verse-a-titus and can we tell a compelling story where people will re-discover Jesus?

Some of the thoughts that came to my mind as Leonard spoke was:
a.  Don't build your life story on another persons life story but build it on THE STORY.  (word of God)  This way we won't be disappointed when our story doesn't look like another persons story.
b.  That peeling an artichoke is much better analogy than peeling the onion because the artichoke heart is the treasure and at the core of an onion is nothing but onion!
c.  Jesus calls us into tribes of HIS making, not our choosing.

In all honesty, I was compelled.  I needed rejuvenation in the area of reading the word and this enlivened my faith to read the word in a different way.  To dig for the back story and find the root metaphor.  Even by using one word only...and finding the rich narrafor (As Leonard says which is a mix of stories and metaphors) in this place. 

I'm also reminded that in this place of being rejuvenated, my trust and faith comes first and foremost not in the compelling speech of man, but in the word of God which brings life and the ultimate rejuvenation that I need.  Leonard is far from perfect.  He's well read, and has controversy by his name in the midst of being a compelling speaker.  We need to be mindful and alert when we listen to anyone speak.  Are they speaking mysticism?  Truth?  Maybe a mix of both?  And learn to dissect what people say, not holding everything they say as truth, just because it makes us feel good.

I walked away refreshed to read the word of God.  That is a great thing.  Because the TRUTH is that the Word of God brings life, renewal and grounds us in knowing Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.  

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