Saturday, November 28, 2009

Your Jesus is Too Safe

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful. The Packers beat the Lions! In the afternoon, we headed over to my mom's house for a big meal with the extended family. My uncles Kenny and Howard were there along with Howard's wife Nancy, plus my brother Jeremy and his wife Krissy and her brother David. The best part was having all three of my children for a Thanksgiving meal for the first time in ten years. (Doogie and Molly's dad had them every year for Thanksgiving and I got them on Easter, but now that Doogie's in college, he had lunch with his dad and supper with me!) It made the whole day wonderful for me.

It's amazing that we still have Uncle Howard with us since we expected last Thanksgiving to be his last. He's been through a lot of physical struggles this past year, and it's truly a miracle that we have him.

I don't think I've had a Thanksgiving with my Uncle Kenny since I was a very little girl. He lived in Connecticut for most of my life serving in the Navy and working on submarines. I remember whenever he'd come home for a visit, we'd all go to the airport to wait for him (because he was the only person I knew who ever flew on a plane, I assumed, as a child, that every airplane that flew over our house had him in it, so I waved at them all). He'd walk into the airport looking so handsome in his navy whites, then pick me up and swing me around, making me feel like the most special girl in all the world. He reminded me of Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh. I only saw him a few times as a child, but he moved back to Oconto Falls a few years ago, and now I run into him at the grocery store or around town, and I love it. After the meal, Jeff put on the Military Network that was running a special about subs. Kenny gave us commentary during the program, and it was fascinating listening to all of his stories. He made sure though to tease Mia and swing her around in his arms, making her feel like the most special girl in all the world.

Friday morning, Doogie and I were out of the house by 4:30am to hit the Black Friday sales at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately the store did not wait until 5 am (as stated in their ads) to start their sales, so many items were sold out by the time we got there, but I got most of the items on my list, including a child's size guitar for Mia which was supposed to be a Christmas present, but her daddy insisted on giving her early. They spent a couple of hours tuning it and learning how to strum it last night.

Overall, the last few days have been full of deep contentment for me. Doogie is home. I've spent time with family. We've had terrific home-cooked meals. There's been no rush or worries, just time to relax and enjoy the four day weekend. I hope yours has been equally blessed.

Your Jesus is Too Safe by Jared C. Wilson is a intriguing look at the different aspects of Jesus. Jesus has lost much of His majesty and wonder in recent years as pop culture views him as a huggy/make-you-rich/non-judgmental guru without any of the message of the gospel. Wilson focuses on just twelve sides of Jesus to emphasize the real Jesus, straight from the Bible. The message of the gospel hasn't changed in its two thousand year: we are broken, sinful people and Jesus died to reconcile us to God. Only by acknowledging those two vital points can we truly come to know Jesus. He didn't come to make us rich or healthy or to bless our lives with great jobs or marriages or to feel good about ourselves. He came to save us from the sin to which we were lost. Wilson has a sardonic, occasionally snarky, tone in writing that keeps him from becoming self-righteous. He is earnest in his desire for the reader to understand the real Jesus, not the one churches are misrepresenting through the flash and bang of services catering to every need and interest. Wilson reminds readers of the true message of the Bible: Jesus saves, and everything else is a distraction.

Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing me with a copy of this book for review!

The winner of the pair of children's books by Julie Cantrell was Trisha Brown. Congrats Trisha! I'll be starting a contest for another pair of amazing children's books on Monday, so make sure you come back then!