Talking the Walk

I have found a new author whom I am going to track. Marva Dawn is a teaching fellow in Spiritual Theology at Regent College (also there is Eugene Peterson). Ms. Dawn has a vast range of interests…at least judging from her books. She is passionate about ecclesiology, especially regarding worship.
She has written Talking the Walk is the same vein as Kathleen Norris’s Amazing Grace. Each chapter is about a different word used within Christendom. Don’t worry, she is not trying to redefine these words, she is actually trying to bring the church back to using the original & intended meaning of them. She writes in the introduction, “My goal is simply to ask what might be good about the original words, perhaps ‘to rectify the names.’”
Often we talk about walking the talk – making sure our actions match our words. This is very important, indeed. Ms. Dawn says, “Do we realize, as well as do the Jews, that our words become events, that how we speak influences what we become & how we behave?”
I feel I have been waiting for this book to be written for a long while now. Last Fall (2004), I purchased a copy of the Jars of Clay album Redemption Songs. It is truly one of the best albums available. As I was listening to it, I noticed the fact that words like sin, sinner, evil, & wretched – all words that are necessary for redemption. I then went back & listened to a number of worship & praise albums put out by other artists (such as Third Day, Caedmon’s Call, Kutless, among others). The difference was staggering. Very few if any references to sin, our need for washing, the darkness of our hearts.
In my meager opinion, the Church has a music problem. We sing a lot of fluffy praise songs. Now, do write me off as a heretic just yet. I have no problem praising God. However, it seems to me, that is the full extent of the music we sing. Shouldn’t we praise God more, you say? Everything we do should glorify God.
I look in the Bible & see many songs of worship. A few even praise God. Most of them are crying out to God for help, asking God what He’s doing & why He’s not helping us, songs of lament, songs of heartache, songs of exasperation. When was the last time you sang one of these songs in your church? Songs that mention the fallenness of this world, songs that remind us of God’s faithfulness in trying & terrible times.
Let’s “come back to the heart of worship” but in a Biblical way. Sing songs about heartbreak, sing songs about God’s greatness, sing songs about God’s faithfulness in terrible times.

Sorry about that tangent. I loved Ms. Dawn’s book. She divides her words into three sections: God (including words such as Trinity, Behold!, King & Word); Why Do Human Beings & the World Need God? (including words such as Evil, Guilt, Judgment & Exciting); & Actions of God (including Wrath, Atonement, Sanctification & Propitiation). I will tell you that my favorite is “Word”. Profound thinking. I highly recommend this book & others of hers. I am currently reading her Morning by Morning – A Daily Devotional from her writings. It provides a good cross-section of her thought. Seek this thinker out.

Purchase this book 20% off here

1 comment:

personal development said...

Many people try to achieve goals. Most fail. Some strive, work hard and plan for all the details yet they achieve little or nothing at all. Others strive, work hard, plan and achieve huge success. Yet there are a few individuals who do little else than take small steps and seem to achieve a great deal with what seems like effortlessness. What is the difference between these people and which one would you like to be?
Most members of the human race fall into two categories - those who live in the past and those who live in the future. Most live in the past. Many of these are the people who achieve very little in their lives and are so fearful of the future that they dare not strike out to get anything. They are the under-achievers who hang onto bad episodes in their lives and either relive them time and again or look at new situations as similar potentialities. They say things like "all men are deceivers" or "all women are interested in is money" or "I can't do it. I tried before and it didn't work so why bother!". Due to bad experiences in the past they believe that all future events will turn out the same way if they dare to go after what they want.
The other type of person lives in the future. This type tends to create more of the things they want in life. They have a vision of where they want to go and exactly how they are going to get there. They work diligently at making concrete plans and they pursue those plans with a persistent ferocious appetite for success. These people are the high achievers - The Richard Branson and Bill Gates of the world. These people have much to teach us about setting and achieving goals.
However, there is a third type of person who almost goes unnoticed. They are the person who takes life in its stride and yet achieve most of what they want. I am sure you know of such a person in your life that just seems to saunter through life and yet they always come out on top. Or a person who you hear of that has decided to open a shop. You meet them a few months later and they have three shops all doing well! So what makes these people so successful and if they aren't living in the past and aren't living in the future where are they living?
I suppose you guessed it! Whether they are consciously aware of it or not they are living in the present. It is in the 'living' present that we have our greatest power. Everything happens in the present. You live your entire life there - even if your mind does not!

By becoming more aware of the present and by 'accepting' it as it is we are much more in control of our emotions and focus. When we live in the past we are fearful of making bad choices and/or getting hurt. We do not wish to recreate the past again! When we live in the future we can also be fearful of what might happen. But even if your future vision is full of power and worthy of working towards many people can, and often do, get stuck there. By constantly reaching for bigger and better goals they fail to enjoy what they have in the moment.
If you wish to start living a life that is almost effortless begin first by living in the present. Accept your situation the way it is and then you can enjoy what you have. Your focus changes from a memory of what was or a vision of what might be to a realization of what is. You become much more empowered to then see the beauty of life and also look at where you wish to make changes. But to make changes you must first accept the situation as it is. Trying to escape from your present only increases your focus on your problems by creating resistance to what is. Accept your life as it is now. Make no judgement, just accept it and then you will be free of doubt, worry, pain and fear. For you only experience these things when you live outside the 'moment'. hypnosis