i am...

In trying to keep current with the times, I often find myself buying books that are the hot topic, reading blogs that everyone reads, and even trying to be the aspiring writer myself by writing these strange topics that come into my head. Better than that, I am always trying to keep current with youth ministry so I will buy the newest and coolest things to keep my youth entertained and to make my job just a LITTLE bit easier.

Horrible intro, I know! However, I did want to share a resource that I am finding AWFULLY AWESOME in the way that it is helping me view my own spiritual life and my ministry as a youth minister, husband, son, brother, cousin, uncle, nephew...you get the picture.

I am currently reading a book by Brennan Manning called, "the furious longing of God". First off, Brennan is someone I have a high respect for. Many years ago, maybe 4, I read his book called the "Ragamuffin Gospel". I was not sure how to read this book. Manning has a tendency to use big words and I am too lazy to look them up. However, reading this book, it has really transformed something in my heart.

At the beginning, Manning mentions about the story of God and how there are different parts to us, but it is not the whole story. I typed this out and placed it on my wall in my office, as a reminder of who i am. Here is what it says:

I am Mark. I am a liar.
How I got there, why I left there, why I went back is the story of my life.
But it is not the whole story.

I am Mark. I am a Methodist.
How I got there, why I left there, why I went back is the story of my life.
But it is not the whole story.

I am Mark. I am a youth pastor.
How I got there, why I left there, why I went back is the story of my life.
But it is not the whole story.

I am Mark. I am a thief.
How I got there, why I left there, why I went back is the story of my life.
But it is not the whole story.

How I got to those places, why I left those places, is the story of my life too.
But it is not the whole story.
I am mark. I'm a sinner, saved by grace. That is the larger and more important story.
Only God, in His fury, knows the whole of it.

At the bottom, I signed my name.

It is a very humbling experience to look at ourselves from another prespective. We all have our own stories as to how we came to know Christ. However, that is not the whole story. Only God, in His love, knows the whole of it.

I suggest taking a look at this book or even purchase it. After that, take it to a used book store or pass it on so that someone else may experience some of the same thrills in the spiritual walk I am finding out right now. Manning is really challenging in his book about finding where God is in your story and making THAT who you are.

What other resources/ books/ etc are out there that might be helpful to other youth ministers who may read this blog?

3 comments:

val said...

Prove all things...
Satan has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9 by his words in the book of the knowledge of good and evil, the Bible Gen 3:22, 2 Cor 11:15 that have not been rightly divided 2 Tim 2:15. The true word John 1:1 of God is now delivered Rev 12:5, 13 at the heel of time Gen 3:15 at http://minigoodtale.wordpress.com Please study this, the truth sets all free to love everyone.
Satan's lies are exposed. Not even one child of God will be cast into a hell fire no matter what their sins. God is not a murderer. There is a punishment for the wicked but it is not eternal death or eternal torture. Christ's sacrifice took away the power of the devil. Love never fails. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Rom 14:11 each in their own order 1 Cor 15:23, Ps 82:6. Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Mark Ashby said...

Val, I appreciate your comment and I disagree with pretty much everything you say. However, I also believe that you misunderstood my post. I was sharing my heart with people about what this book has done for me so far, but I also wanted others to share their resources. I see you share your blog, and that's great, but try to stick to the topic.

CJ said...

Great stuff, Mark. I am a HUGE Brennan Manning fan, having had the chance to meet him once, and The Ragamuffin Gospel changed my life. I will add this to my reading list immediately, having missed it somehow Thanks for your faithfulness.

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