social dropout (part three)...

two funny things happened yesterday...

first of all, i had been talking all of this "social media angst/dissatisfaction/complaining" out with a mentor/friend on sunday.  she should have slapped the love of Jesus into me. but since she knows that no where in the Bible does it say "slap the love of Jesus into someone" (which might actually be in "the message" version but she doesn't really trust "the message" version. she refers to it as Bible-ish.) instead she handed me our book club selection of the month (she has amazon prime and had ordered my book for me) and just listened to me. and was kind to me. and said our favorite catchphrase, "i don't know" a lot. 

and then yesterday her teenage son put up this incredibly heartfelt and honoring status update on facebook about how God had blessed him with his family and his wonderful parents and siblings. and in the deep deep recesses of my heart i laughed and thought that maybe she had put him up to it as a little private joke between us. and i thought it was really really funny. but turns out it was totally sincere on his part. i am a horrible conspiracy theorist...

so later in the day in my facebook message box there was a private message from her telling me that she hadn't seen the message until late in the day and she knew that might have been painful for me (which it wasn't because i was already halfway through reading our book club selection which was PERFECTLY designed and written just for me and this issue i was having.) she then in her private message recounted several things her son had already done that day that weren't so pleasing and wonderful and honorable. just to cheer me up. ha. really, i have the best friends...

then my MOST FAVORITEST relative (because she is the ONLY one who reads my blog), my sister-in-law tagged me in a post on facebook. because obviously i am the world's best aunt. and the one who takes photos of the world's cutest nieces. again... ha. seems that relatives who live several states away find me more precious than ones who live close. i am sure that isn't indicative of my personality at all. ha. and i am sure that one day i won't have to write "ha" after ever things that i say. ha. but not today. ha.

so this is the book club selection for the month...

you may remember elyse fitzpatrick from her much beloved (by me) book (give them grace) which i have quoted extensively from on this blog because it also came at a perfect time into my life... (i sense a trend with me and elyse.)

so i was excited to read this new book, because He loves me, from her. frankly i was a little mad that the title was so close to what i want to name my future book... "because i am His favorite". i noted that the amazon reviews for her book ranged from "changed my life" to "it is basic stuff that every Christian should already know."

i have been a Christian for 35 years. and i did "know" everything she wrote about. in my head.

but one may surmise that the gospel message wasn't making a hill of beans in my everyday life. because as you may recall, I SPENT AN ENTIRE BLOG POST COMPLAINING ABOUT NO ONE TAGGING ME ON FACEBOOK. really, i did. don't go back and reread it. trust me when i say that it was pretty hard core 2 year old whining...

i will now share half of elyse's book with you. well, i would share half if i shared EVERY thing i highlighted. but i will try to hold it to 1/4th of the book (to avoid being sued by elyse.)...

"when i forget the incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection, and ascension, i quickly believe that i'm supposed to be the unrivaled, supreme, and matchless one...i forget that for Him it was suffering here and glory there, and it's to be the same for me, too. when i neglect the gospel, i'll want nice vacations and nice compliments and nice things to make my life nicer. i'll long to be able to compare myself favorably with other and know that i am successful... i'll idolize those who excel. i'll forget that He is preeminent." (page 193-194)

"i don't need to defend myself or prove i'm worthy of respect. very practically speaking, i need to close my mouth while i speak to my own heart... i have been loved and welcomed by the One who is recreating me in his image. His love is to control my words." (page 153)

"every time i look at something someone else has and ask myself, WHAY CAN'T I HAVE THAT? i'm failing to love. instead of envying the blessings they've been given, love would rejoice in their joy (romans 12:15) knowing that the good gifts they have, have been given them by the same Father who loves and gives good gifts to me. love would see their blessings and celebrate the generosity of our Father." (page 145)

"will you transfer all your trust to Him and believe that the One who did not withhold His only Son from you will also freely give you all good things? (page 105)

"His work in our lives is NEVER punitive; it is ALWAYS redemptive. this means that He doesn't punish us for our sin, but rather that, because of His great one, He gently and lovingly frees us form the lies, misconceptions, and idolatries that captivate and enslave our hearts. (page 88-89)

"maturity in the Christian life is measured by only one test: how much closer to His character have we become? the result of the Spirit's work is not more and more activity. no, the results of His work are seen in the quality of life; they are 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controll' (galatians 5:22-23)." (page 158)

she even gives this example of a woman named "mary" (she should have just gone on and named her "lea". really elyse no one who knows me will be fooled by the fact that you changed my name to mary and added a couple of other details slightly different from me life in order to not totally base her on me.) she uses mary/lea's issues show how the knowledge of the gospel could change mary/lea's perception of her "pitiful and unappreciated" life...

"mary is unhappy because she always believed that if she served God, He would provide a nice home for her so that she could prove that she isn't the loser she always been accused of being.... whether her family approves of her or not, her Savior took on the form of a lowly servant for her sake and because of this, she can embrace her role as servant and fight the desire to be worshipped... the anger and self-pity that has fueled mary's retreat is driven by her belief that she has worked hard enough so that she deserves better than what she's getting. of course, she's completely deceived about what she's earned, but the wonderful news is that even so, she's got the perfect record of Another... mary can face the day before her, whether it is filled with the disapproval of her family or the breakdown of her washer (which was really funny because my DRYER broke last week.)... mary's failed to believe that God is really good and has her best interests at heart. she has also failed to believe that He can satisy her. she hasn't seen the depth of her idolatry, her love of approval, her belief that she can be good enough to 'earn' anything... when she's tempted to give herself over to self-pity, she nees to seek out ways to love others and fulfill her responsibilities as best she can-for God's glory." (page 165-168)

thank you elyse for giving me back the love of the gospel. elyse continually quotes tim keller in saying that "we are, each one, more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but more loved and welcomes than we ever dared hope." this book showed me both sides of that. it was entirely convicting by showing me the truth of what i was doing when i ignored Who God was and what He had done for me while also being extremely caring and calming to my soul by Who God was and what He had done for me. because He loves me.