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Pivot Points

November 20, 2010

Some days I get up and jump into my life, rolling along like I have every other day for more days than I can count. Just the same ole same ole that is comfortable and overall non-stretching, easy way to live.

Once in awhile I sense God doing something. It has a rolling, twirling-all-around feel to it. Something of seemingly little consequence will happen, or will be said, and it gets me thinking. Then there’s that ‘echo’ a pastor told us to watch and listen for. Do I hear it being repeated, see it being played out?

We chose our new church for a number of reasons, but it finally came down to choosing between two really good churches. One had an outreach to the hispanic community in our town, and the other’s main outreach was to the needy. We’d been feeling a pull, or ‘hearing an echo’ as our pastor put it, for several years, toward doing something about poverty and hunger and homelessness. The church we chose sits smack-dab in the middle of a part of town that has HUD homes nearby, run-down houses with littered yards, and such. Our church family has run a Care Center for over fifteen years, so this isn’t a new ministry.

The path we take to drive to church turns onto a street in a part of town that, being honest, I’d be uncomfortable walking around alone. Every Sunday morning we pass aimless people; people sitting on their front porch, staring out at time going by; people walking with what looks to me to be everything they own fastened to their backs; lost people, hungry people, hurting people.

I’ve had a book on my nightstand for a good six months – ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’. I finally read it a few weeks ago, and now Don is in the middle of it. Life-changing! The fact that it takes place where I now live – not a coincidence.

A day after serving at the Care Center for the second time, we went into DFW and toured the new Cowboy Stadium, a $1.2 billion structure. It was an incredible building, but the shock of being there, one day after handing out food and clothes to the neediest in our community was an indescribable feeling. All that money spent to watch a football game for three hours? And what it could do if spent differently?

The next day I talked to my daughter, Leslie, about a book she’s reading, Radical. I picked it up at Walmart that evening, and am making my way through it. It’s described as ‘a book you’ll want to put down.’ It’s bound to be life-changing, or shaping at least.

I don’t believe in chance, luck, or coincidences. I do believe God takes our lives, running along in one direction, and then he offers us a pivot-point turn. It’s up to us whether we make the turn or keep going the direction we were headed before.

Any thoughts? Anyone read either book? How did it /they impact you?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2010 3:18 pm

    Heyyyyyy … look at your new blog cuteness!

    Oh, I am SO with you on these thoughts. So agree with your take on how we Americans spend and what our priorities are. Not that we have to feel guilty for having a nice home or going out for good entertainment. It is the culture we live in after all. But that we, in the process, should not forget those who are in need and help where and when we can. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something,

    I’ve read Same Kind of Different that Me and loved it. Life changing indeed. Jerry, I think, is reading Radical right now.

    Emailing you with some silly news.

    • November 20, 2010 9:41 pm

      ‘No one can do everything, but everyone can do something’ – Amen! Surely somehow, in the midst of living in our culture, we can still make a difference. I’m hungry to find out how.

  2. November 20, 2010 4:10 pm

    My copy of Radical arrived yesterday, Bev. I will let you know what I think when I have read it.

    • November 20, 2010 9:40 pm

      Linds, I’d love to hear your thoughts, either here or by way of email. I’m about to head to the tub for another chapter.

  3. November 20, 2010 4:29 pm

    Haven’t read either of these books, but just by the titles I can sense the message. I truly think God is calling many of us to set our priorities right. I know when we came back off the road and our 4 years of enjoying traveling around our wonderful country and Canada the Lord spoke to us to “redeem the time”. We’ve been doing our best at that since returning here to our little town of Coweta 6 years ago. I’ll be excited to hear all that God will be doing with you!!!!

    • November 20, 2010 9:40 pm

      ‘Redeem the time’ – LOVE that! When I hit 33, I was struck by the fact that I’d lived all the years Jesus had on earth, and what had I done with them. Now that I’ve passed 50, I’m even more struck by how fleeting time is, how precious it is, and making sure every day counts for eternity. It’s encouraging to know others, near and far, feel the same way, and are making a difference in their part of the world.

  4. Nancy permalink
    November 20, 2010 9:12 pm

    I read the first one a few years ago and loved it. The author was just in our town about a month ago but I wasn’t able to go hear him speak. I’m just finishing up the last chapter of Radical. There was an online read-along organized by Marla Taviano (marlataviano.com). We read it one chapter a week and then several people posted their thoughts about the chapters on their blogs. I’m not a blogger so I just read what others had to say and sometimes left comments. There are links on Marla’s blog if you’re interested in reading what people had to say. Lots to digest! I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

    • November 20, 2010 9:38 pm

      Nancy, thanks SO much for letting me know. I’ll take a look at her website, and soon as I’m finished with the book, I’m planning to post my thoughts and give away a copy 🙂

  5. November 21, 2010 1:46 pm

    I had the same thoughts after reading “Same Kind of Different as Me”. Probably the most life changing book I have read, and one that resopnates with me still a year later. I have been feeling those same tugs from the Holy Spirit, the sense that God has something for me and my family, so I am listening and seeking. It is as if blinders have been removed the last few months and I am overhwlmed with all we (as a society) have compared to those who have nothing… very much like your feelings after visiting the Cowboys stadium. I suddenly just don’t “get” how we have starving people with so much wealth at our disposal. I’m excited at what I see happening to Christians everywhere… an awakening to reaching out and being the hands and feet of Jesus, a change from the selfish perspective permeating so much of society for so long. I know I personally have been blind to so many opportunities as I have been consumed by raising my daughters, but as they have reached middle school I am seeking opportunities for ways we can reach out as a family.

    It is thrilling to see God at work, and as always, your words are refreshing and encouraging.
    (I am eager to read Radical. I think I may have recently purchased it and put it away for reading over Christmas!)

    • November 21, 2010 6:04 pm

      kelly, thanks so much for taking time to share your thoughts. I am touched to see how God has different, personal timing for each of us, for when and how he works in our lives. I’m excited every single morning to get out of bed and see what he has in store for us today, what he will put in our path, who he will put there. it’s easy to forget, or ignore, that there are people doing without what we would consider basic necessities, all around us. I can’t wait to read the rest of Radical, and see where it takes us.

  6. November 21, 2010 6:52 pm

    yep, im in the middle of doing a group study on Radical AND Crazy Love (Frances Chan). Both are so awesome but Radical is definitely a book you have to put down. It is so much to think about.

    • November 22, 2010 7:32 am

      Melanie, I also read Crazy Love last year. just another layer God put in there, working on my heart. I’m reading Chapter 4, on mission outreach – suspect this is going to rock my little world before Im done.

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