To write is to be vulnerable. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
vulnerable: 1: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. 2: open to attack or damage. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
For the writer, vulnerability comes with the territory. The writer is unsure and uncertain of the potential outcome of their writing. But the writer is willing to risk it. Writers share a part of who they are with their reading audience. To be authentic requires vulnerability. A writer is writing to convey a message. Then they must document their message. Sometimes the best way to do this is through personal experience. Other times it is through formal documentation.
This book contains insights for the spiritually minded person. Reflections: Memoirs Reflecting God’s Word, written by Joan Risch, contains a collection of analogies, scripture verses, and insights. I first met the author at my church. She had come to hear me speak and to also purchase one of my books. At the time, she was in the process of writing this book, and she promised me a copy. I received it a week ago. I wasn’t able to stop reading it until I finished it last evening. Every day I would spend some time reading and reflecting on the book’s insights and concepts. It is both enjoyable and profound.
Risch loves the Lord. She has an intimate walk with God and is quick to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. I found its words to be motivating in my spiritual walk. This book is both a delight and a challenge. She does not try to convince anyone that she is right. It is a memoir of God’s liveliness in her life. I appreciate her positive spirit and that she doesn’t distract us with unnecessary side eddies. Risch gives enough personal information to help us understand but not overwhelm its message. She keeps focused on the truths that God has elaborated in her life.
This book is both an encouragement and a blessing. It should be read as a personal journey, one packed with depth of meaning, highlighting the spiritual walk of a person devoted to her Maker and Keeper. A comment about the book’s presentation. The story analogies are presented in small groupings along with many scripture references. It is written in small print.
Most of us have been there, side-lined from the action and hating it. We take a hit when we had planned for success.
It may have been an emotional undoing not visible to others, or it may have been an outward doing that is openly (and miserably) visible to others. Regardless, it was a hit that caught our breath, stopped our progress, and silenced us in some way. I call it a “quiet place” because it forces a person to slow down and take personal inventory. Fighting the circumstance is not helpful or productive, it makes a person angry and bitter. Accepting the circumstance, learning what we can learn and then making positive choices will initiate and bring about some positives during a “quiet place” in our lives.
I can group the things I have learned, and continue to learn, from a few side-liners in my life into two groups. I learn about myself, this is helpful and enlightening, and I learn in my spiritual walk, and this is helpful and enlightening. I believe both are essential to health and well-being.
Failure in the Church
On social media, a minister shared a link to an online article about a rising star, a person of influence, a minister of the gospel, who is now on the hot-seat. This is due to his ungodly and disrespectful behavior, behavior unfitting for any minister of the faith. He is immensely popular and has a multitude of followers. Because of his misbehavior, deceitfulness, and other self-glorying actions, some Christian organizations are pulling his books, and he is being removed from upcoming speaking engagements. I have followed some of his missteps over the past few months.
We have been here before, in recent years and also a couple of decades ago, when television evangelists and preachers have been exposed for walking a walk that doesn’t match the talk. It is a shameful business. I am sure these ministers didn’t start out that way. But the success and popularity got their eyes off Christ. This one is a big story and has been months in coming. However, it doesn’t make me want to add my voice to the condemning mantra, which many delight in doing. Rather, it makes me want to go to him and say, don’t you realize what you’re doing? This is man-serving not God-pleasing. This is bringing shame to the name of Christ. As fellow-believers we react to such things. Our reputations are also affected albeit distantly. The unbelieving take notice. My first thoughts were sad and judgmental but also wondering and desirous of a spiritual cleansing for this minister of the gospel.