Sunday, March 7, 2010

No going back

I like this thread by Motte Brown over at Boundless. He polls everyone about whether they’ve been “messed up” by a pastor, as in deeply convicted by a particular sermon, and moved to act.

While I can’t pinpoint a particular sermon, I can, of course, recall factors that changed my life. “Ruined for the ordinary” is another phrase that gets tossed around, although I can’t seem to find the original source.

I can remember a few times when I wished I hadn’t ever gone to Russia or gotten involved. I was in too deep and I wasn’t sure if I liked that feeling. I wanted to keep one foot planted on safe ground, but it was too late to go back. It wasn't that it was bad, just overwhelming. continue/-

Since I was receptive to hearing about missions during college, I suppose Urbana 2003 would have held some of those sermons that “messed up” my life. I will have to find my notes again the next time I’m home.  You can listen to some of the talks from that year in the archives.

Why is it that the messages that tear us apart the most often bear the most fruit in our lives?

The following verses come to mind:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
       a broken and contrite heart,
       O God, you will not despise.
(Ps. 51:17)

Those who sow in tears
       will reap with songs of joy. 

 He who goes out weeping,
       carrying seed to sow,
       will return with songs of joy,
       carrying sheaves with him.
(Ps.126: 5,6)


  1. What a great question.

    I know that we wouldn't have adopted our four Russian children if I hadn't run into a woman at an Irish Dance competition, who was older than I am, and had adopted two Russian children. In talking to her it all came about because she and her husband were so convicted by a missionary priest who came and spoke to their parish about all the orphans in the world who needed families. It impressed me a lot tht this priest's homily would have made them step out in faith like that! But, when you think of it, his homily is the reason we adopted, too!

  2. "Forever Ruined for the Ordinary" is a book by Joy Dawson. Do you think her title is original?

  3. I think Joy Dawson probably popularized it. I'm not sure if the phrase was around before that.

    Annie, I thought of you when I was writing, especially since the Boundless article talked about adoption.


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