Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Excerpt: Two Roads

Below you will find an excerpt from the book I am currently writing, called Two Roads. These two paragraphs refer to previous thoughts on 2 Timothy 2:22: "But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart." I am to have the final draft to the publishers by March 30, and would welcome the comments of my friends on what appears here:

"Our strategy to stand firm in righteousness - to choose the road of obedience, to be "believing believers" with firm faith - calls us to flee from everything that would enflame our lustful desires. We must say "no" to the desires of the flesh. But, as necessary as it is to run from temptation, it is even more important to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. We must consistently say "yes" to the desires of the Spirit. And yet, there is one more component. We need to do both of these in community with other Christ-followers. Paul directs Timothy to flee, and pursue, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

As a pastor, Timothy probably felt very alone in his battles. Maybe he felt like no one understood the pressures and the challenges he faced in Ephesus. If so, he wasn't any different from you and me. It always surprises me that we all think we're in this alone. Satan does a good job of making us think that the sins we've made room for in our lives, and the temptations that continue to haunt and hunt us, are unique to us. We all think that everyone else is probably doing better than we are, and that they would stop thinking of us so well if they really knew what we were doing and what we were hiding. And to top it off, we seldom if ever look at each other as allies in the fight against sin. Embarrassment keeps us quiet, and our silence keeps us alone. And Satan just keeps on smiling."


At 3:01 PM , Anonymous April B Van New Kirk said...

I am so happy to read this excerpt. I like that you point out, it is just as important to pursue love joy peace, as it is to run from temptations. I was moved by the last part when you say embarassment keeps us quiet... that is a great statment.
I really want to read your book and I have always wanted to read the first one. I just never asked about it.(I was embarrassed.)I'll ask around at Northpoint, or look it up. Thank nyou for shareing this.
April Van New Kirk

At 4:10 PM , Blogger DeedieLynn said...

Embarrassment keeps us quiet, and our silence keeps us alone. And Satan just keeps on smiling.

Great way to put it, and so true. I imagine that you unpack the whole community dynamic - very needed since we Americans are such "lone ranger" Christians.

May the Lord bless you in your final editing process, David!

At 5:18 PM , Blogger Debby Cullen said...

Pastor David,
Well written! We do want to hide behind our sin because if we tell someone what will they think of us?
Will they still accept us? I think our care groups are a safe place for people to go and confess sin and get help they need.
I am looking forward to reading your book.
Grace to you!

At 6:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

david your insight into life is amazing and so clearly Spirit led. I've always considered myself very candid about my sinful ways and many short comings. In reality there are always those things that remain hidden maybe even from me. Thank you for causing us to dig deeper.

At 2:25 PM , Anonymous Hal Ring said...

This is my first time participating in an online forum. – I find this an intriguing process. - Participating is stirring my thoughts in a good way. – Does blogging protocol allow more than one comment? – My “comment” is; I want to read the rest of the book. - The following info is what my friends understand as “raw data” coming from me. – That simply means I’m doing the dangerous thing of thinking “out loud”. – I’m not finished thinking about your post David; my friend.

What comments would be helpful? What is David looking for? Who is this book for? What do I hear in these 2 paragraphs? How do I apply what is here to my life?

Find “previous posts” on 2 Timothy 2:22 – (or something related)

There seems to be the primary concept of “unity in strategic planning” in the passage = “… with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.” Pilgrim, in Bunyan’s tome, may provide illustrations, good or not, for this.

The lonely cry of the leader who is hiding; in David’s second paragraph – How do leaders hide? (the size of the pulpit/lectern?) – Who has a “pure heart”? (what motivates leaders and their followers?) – How do I find them? –

“Two Roads” – Flee & Pursue – there is a sense of speed and intention on both roads – there are people on both roads – narrow road vs wide road – easy road vs hard road - choose a strategy and a plan – Paul: “… press onward toward the prize …” – intentionality in life – are we to run from or to run toward? – what about looking back? (Lot’s wife) vs remembering with a pile of stones? -
Check out David’s posts on: “Leadership” – 10/1/09 + “God: Speaking and Guiding” 9/7/09 + “Secondary Separation” 6/8/09 – need to review other posts before these

THOTs: Think on Jesus’ comment re: “the log in your own eye” – the damage done by some in church leadership – directing people into righteousness vs leading them into righteousness – “… lead us not into temptation …” – Unity as a theme in Joshua; God’s insistence that everyone goes into battle together – the first and only failed battle (at Ai), when only a select group went to take the city.
End: - 1/30/10 – Hal Ring

At 2:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, I pray you find super-charged neurons as you continue to climb to higher ground of deeper thoughts. May the Spirit illiminate His Word as you dig in.


At 8:25 AM , Blogger John said...

You write as beautifully as you preach. Your choice of words is enthralling. The syntax of your sentences is amazing. The depth of your knowledge is astounding.
John Colvin

At 4:18 PM , Blogger John said...

I think it is hard to share your sins with others not only because they may think less of you, but also because they may point the finger at you, if only to make themselves look better. The fear of sharing sin with each other, especially sexual sin, is probably the single greatest hurdle to achieving deep, successful relationship with other people -specifically with a spouse or child. I can only imagine it would be extra difficult to share sin as a pastor when pastors are expected to be perfect. Kudos on addressing the issue of the "John Wayne" mentality and I would encourage you to bar no holds if you choose to describe the consequences of trying to fight the good fight alone.

At 2:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the Word teaches we ARE righteous. When we sin we act outside of who we actually are, it's is sin dwelling in me, that is in mt flesh. We must remember to act out of who we are and not out of who we're not.


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