Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Child Pleases the Spirit

I just finished my second Brennan Manning book while I was on vacation. It was ABBA'S CHILD. It was not as fantastic as the first one I read, RUTHLESS TRUST, but it was great. I truly recommend it.

To really boil down ABBA'S CHILD, it's about this: There is a battle within us. We should completely identify ourselves as a child, a beloved son or daughter of the loving Abba and the beloved love of the Rabbi Jesus. What is in conflict against this child? That would be our inner-pharisee and the person in us whom Manning calls the impostor.

There is so much in this book worthy of talking about, but I wanted to share one brief passage. You must know that I read this passage right after a friend of mine left me a loving voice mail telling me how honored, proud, and lucky he was to have me as a friend. The message warmed my soul, filled the tank of this feeler, and then I read this passage from Manning. The bold print below is mine because, as I read the words on the page and I heard the words of my friend replaying in my ear, the words that I bolded below seemed bolded to me, they jumped out. Here you go:

The child spontaneously expresses emotions; the pharisee carefully represses them . . . . The issue is whether I express or repress my genuine feelings . . . . To open yourself to another person, to stop lying about your loneliness and your fears, to be honest about your affections, and to tell others how much they mean to you--this openness is the triumph of the child over the pharisee and a sign of the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life.

That's it. That passage above from Brennan Manning really moved me. Combined with a genuine expression of feelings from a friend, those words were fuel in my soul. Incidently, the friend is a remarkable man that is a member of my home church, Canyon Hills Church. He is just one of the reasons I am so thankful for the wonderful church home I have. As I think of all the remarkable, loving, self-sacrificing, and real humans that go to my church, I am overwhelmed with grattitude for my loving Abba's blessings and expressions of love. Truly, as I think of the names and faces of people at Canyon Hills that do a pretty darn great job of living out the above Manning quote, I am filled with joy and thanksgiving.

This post was written by Doah-child, pictured left, a blogger, yes, but first and foremost, the dearly beloved of the risen Nazarene Rabbi.

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