All 3 little kids were sleeping at the same time this afternoon and I longed to sit down and read something, even if it were only for 15 minutes. So I went to the bookshelf and browsed. "Hm, no that one doesn't interest me right now." " Well, I could look at that one but maybe there's another one that would be better."
When thoughts like those run through my head, the indecisive thoughts, I then know that what I'm craving isn't going to be satisfied in one of those books (even though they are all very good books.) It's the word of God that I need. That is the only thing that will satisfy.
I normally don't pull out my copy of The Message. I usually open my NIV Bible. But today something led me to Eugene Peterson's version and I opened up to the book of James (that was due to a conversation that a friend and I had this afternoon.) Once I read the introduction I thought, "WOW! This needs to be shared!" So for today, I'm just sharing a small excerpt from the introduction to James that spoke volumes to me in the 15 seconds that it took for me to read it.
"When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is nothing to the religion business except, perhaps, business- and dishonest business at that. Insiders see it differently. Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It's similar with sinners outside the church.
So Christian churches are not, as a rule, model communities of good behavior. They are, rather, places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open, faced, and dealt with."