Water Walking

In the last two months, I have read two books about water walking.  One was non-fiction and the other was Christian fiction.  They were both very good  The non-fiction book is called:  “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” by John Ortberg.

In this book, he talks about our fears and courage.  How so often we stay in the boat because we feel safe and we never to water walking.  Sometimes this can really put a damper on our discipleship for Jesus.  We allow our fears to take over.  We want to stay comfortable in the boat.  So John Ortberg encourages us to have faith, trust in God and step out of the boat.

Let me give you an example of walking on water.  Let’s say we are used to going to church and living in a middle class to upper class neighborhood and that’s where we stay.  That is where we are comfortable.  So we don’t go into the projects to help in drug abuse rehabilitation, feed the poor, tutor children who are struggling, or even help young teenagers in gangs to get off the street.  We know that God wants us to do these things.

We can do these things by loving these people and caring for them.  We can do this by trusting in God to guide us in our ministry and discipleship.  But then we start thinking about the gang violence, drugs, murders, robberies, and so on and we start to freak out.  We start sweating, having stomach aches and our hearts are beating a mile a minute.  Then we say “You know what?  I think I’ll just donate some money, kick back, put my feet up and watch TV.”  But that is not what God wants us to do.  He wants us to serve the poor, the drug dealers, the prostitutes and the gang bangers.  He is telling us to “Come on, get out of the boat, walk on water, trust me. I am God.  I’ve got this.”  With God, we can have the courage to step out of the boat and walk on water.

The second book I just read was called “Water Walker” by Ted Dekker.  This book also talks about water walking.  It talks about a girl who is abducted by her biological mother, but her mother is being brainwashed by a cult leader to raise her a certain way, just so they can receive 1.5 million dollars from a trust fund that her father left.  It eventually gets so bad that the cult leader starts physically abusing the teenager and breaking her leg.  The teenager has a series of dreams where she is encouraged by God’s disciple to get out and walk on water.

She eventually finds the courage to give everything to God and walk on water.  She realizes that her body is just a costume.  No one can steal her joy.  Eventually she will have a spiritual body with God.  So her broken leg doesn’t matter.  She gains the courage to forgive her mother and help her to see the truth of the cult leader’s deceitful was.  She steps out of the boat and puts her full faith in God.  She walks on water and helps others see the truth.

So how are you going to walk on water?  Think about ways you can overcome your fears, put danger aside, and have the courage to be an extreme disciple of Christ.  Start off small.  Take a step at a time.  Be a water walker!

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Love Never Fails – Jan 16, 2016

Recently I just finished reading The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker and it had a great impact on my spiritual life.  There were a couple of scenes in the three books that spoke to me.  I am going to try my best to explain one of the scenes for this blog and give my analysis of the scene.  First of all, let me give you a small summary of what the trilogy is about.  It is about this young man named Thomas who dreams about this other reality.  He is from Denver, but when he falls asleep, he dreams of this other reality which resembles Heaven and Hell.

In the first book, he wakes up in Hell and gets to Heaven.  But then the firstborn falls to deception and ruins Heaven and it is taken over by Hell.  So the survivors make a trek across the desert and find a forest.  Thomas and his wife are the leaders of the Forest dwellers.  They are constantly being attacked by the Horde, the desert dwellers.  The Horde are also known as the Scabs.  They have a terrible skin disease, their minds are evil and corrupt.  In order to be cured of the disease, they have to bathe in Elyan’s (God’s) water.  The Forest dwellers hate the Scabs and vice versa.  Then in the second book, the Desert dwellers beat and kill Justin, drown him in God’s water and shed his blood.  But even the Forest dwellers betrayed Justin, who was Elyan in man form.

So now that the people betrayed Justin (God), they were cursed with the disease.  The only way they can get rid of it is by drowning in the lake of blood.  Then they had a new life in God.  This was a beautiful scene, which I will break apart in another blog.  So onto one of my favorite moments in the trilogy: Thomas, the Mighty Warrior of the Forest dwellers, was captured by the Horde (Scabs).  He worked out a deal with a Scab King Quorang to be a slave and help them read the Books of Histories.  He was teaching Quorang’s daughter, Chelise.  She was ugly.  Her skin and smell were wretched.  She was filled with evil and shame.  She refused to worship Elyan or die to become one of his.

Before Justin was beaten and drowned, he was seeking peace between the Horde and Forest dwellers. Justin wanted them to live together in harmony.  As Thomas was helping Chelise, he started to have feelings for her. The same for her too.  Thomas escapes, but decides to go back for Chelise and rescue her from her future husband.  Everyone in the circle did not agree because Scabs don’t live with Elyan’s people.  However, Elyan came to Thomas and said that she was his bride too.  I am trying to make a long scene short.  So he rescues Chelise and brings her to his people.  They don’t really accept her at first, but they realize Thomas loves her, so they accept it.  Chelise doesn’t believe Thomas’s love is true.  So to prove it, he kisses her, but Thomas doesn’t see her as a an ugly Scab.  He sees her as Elyan sees her, as a beautiful woman.  Thomas accepts her for who she is, how she looks and how she smells and even if she didn’t drown and die for Elyan, he still loves her.  He doesn’t push her to drown.  He never mentions it.  He loves her and so do the circle.  He knows that Elyan adores her and loves her just the way she is.

I am not going to tell you how it ends, just in case you want to read the trilogy.  This scene stuck with me and made me think of how we treat people.  We look at someone who is different or believes something different or is from a different faith / religion and we put them in an “other” category.  We fear them, we stay away from them. We neglect them, almost like they have a disease.  For all different reasons, such as race, sexual orientation, mental disorders, poor, rich, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Rasta, Wiccan, fat, ugly, smelly, mean, unlovely and the list goes on.  We shy away from people out of fear or because they aren’t like us.  That is the complete opposite of what God wants us to do.  God loves them.  He uses us to show his love to ALL people.  I challenge you to love the unlovely.  Don’t pound their skull with the bible.   Just show them love.  Care about them.  Allow someone else space in your heart.  You would be surprised how a little love goes a long way.  I forgot to mention one thing about that scene.  He never expected her to love him back, and he was fine with that.  Be fine loving people even if they don’t love you back.  That is the beauty of it all.  God loves, but most of the time, we don’t love him back.  But he keeps loving us anyway.  There are 4 books I recommend you read:  “Black”, “Red”, and “White”, the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker; “Tattoos on the heart” by Gregory Boyle.

I leave you with these bible verses.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  — 1 John 4:7-8