Saturday, March 22, 2008

Velvet Elvis

You know, all truth is God's truth. Therefore even though some books we read may contain false teaching they also will contain some truth. I just finished reading Rod Bell's book, Velvet Elvis. Even though I think he is off on several points, he still makes some good points. I have listed them below:

First, no amount of success can heal a person's soul. In fact, success makes it worse. If you have issues surrounding your identity, those issues will not go away if you "make it." p. 110

There is a great saying in the recovery movement: "Whever you go, there you are." That's why when we talk with people who are itching to leave town because they "just need to get out of here," we know they will be back. Often they find out whatever it is, it went with them. The problem is not the town. The problem is somewhere inside of them. p. 111

Success doesn't fix anything. We have the same problems and compulsions and addicitions, only now we have more stress and more problems and more pressure. p. 111

Superpastor is always available to everyone and accomplishes great things but always has time to stop and talk and never misses anyone's birthday and if you are sick h's at the hospital and you can call him at home whenever you need advice and he loves meetings and spends hours studying and praying and yet you can interrupt him if you need something - did I mention he always puts his family first? p. 115

I began to sort out with those around me what God did make me to do. What kept coming up was that my life work is fundamentally creative in nature. And creating has its own rhythms, its own pace. Inspiration comes at strange times when you create. And inspiration comes because of discipline. And discipline comes when you organize your life in specific, intentional ways. It means saying yes to certain things and no to other things. And then sticking to it. p. 115

I went to the leaders of our church and shared with them my journey as it was unfolding. I told them if they needed to release me and find superpastor, I understood. If we don't know who we are or where we're trying to go, we put the people around us in an uncomfortable position. They are doing the best they can with what they have, but sometimes we haven't given them much, have we? p. 116

And when we begin to pursue becoming the people God made us to be, we give them more and more to go on. p. 116

Sabbath is taking a day a week to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my efforts.

Sabbath is a day when my work is done, even if it isn't.

Sabbath is a day when my job is to enjoy. Period.

Sabbath is a day when I am fully available to myself and those I love most.

Sabbath is a day when I remember that when God made the world, He saw that is was good.

Sabbath is a day when I produce nothing.

Sabbath is a day when I remind myself that I am not a machine.

Sabbath is a day when at the end I say, "I didn't do anything today." and I don't add, "And I feel so guilty."

Sabbath is a day when my phone is turned off, I don't check my email, and you can't get ahold of me. pp. 117-118

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