Saturday, May 24, 2008

((deep)) -- tonight's team thought...

The following is my thought for the ((deep)) team...

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I am presently rereading Shaine Clalborne’s “The Irresistible Revolution” and this jumped out at me...
“...few things have more transformative power than people and stories.

...The things that transform us, especially us “Post-Moderns” are people and experiences. Political ideologies and religious doctrines just aren’t very compelling, even if they’re true. And stories disarm us. They make us laugh and cry. Its hard to disagree with a story, much less split a church or kill people over one. And certainly no one hurts others with the passion of those who do it in the name of God, and its usually over ideologies and doctrines, not stories. Besides people seem to loosen up after a good story. I think that’s why Jesus told so many stories - stories about ordinary first-century Mediterranean life, stories of widows and orphans, debts and wages, workers and landlords, courts and banquets.”
((deep)) is about storytelling. Its about opinions. Its about who I say Jesus is... either as the guest speaker or as one participant coming alongside another. Its about the power of personal experience... in the here and now experience... what God is doing right here... right now.

The Salvation Army has a great tradition for testimonies... and tonight, in a way, we are having a testimony meeting. An open mic and a sense of the spirit working... and I, for one, can’t wait.

We read in Matthew 13:10-17 (The Message) the following...
The disciples came up and asked, "Why do you tell stories?"

He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it. I don't want Isaiah's forecast repeated all over again:

Your ears are open but you don't hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake but you don't see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
so they won't have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
so they won't have to look,
so they won't have to deal with me face-to-face
and let me heal them.

"But you have God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.”
Stories don’t just loosen people up... but prepare the way... just as a farmer prepares the her soil... stories prepare the ground for the seed that is God’s good news for the poor.

Tonight... we are storytellers... we have our own unique experiences that are valued. Please use them. Don’t rely on doctrine or a sales pitch - that’s done and gone... tonight is about stories... Let’s release the transformative power that God has given each and everyone of us for His benefit.
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((deep)) tonight... from 7pm...
@ Salvation Army - City Centre Corps... 1 Houldsworth Street... Glasgow
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