I put another item in my "Favorite Sermons" folder this morning. (Yes, I have a "Favorite Sermons" folder. Doesn't everybody?) It was called "Storms and Fish" (part of a series about Jonah) and was another good one by Rob Bell. (Here it is.)
Some favorite lines (though not exact because I listened to it while exercising and didn't write them down at the time): "We think we need to be rescued from the storms and fish. But sometimes it's the storms and fish that rescue us." ("C'mon!" as Bell would say.) "The place where God isn't turns out to be one more place where God is." "Sometimes the storm carries you into completely new territory."
By the way, this is a tangent, but Jon Acuff does a really funny impersonation of Rob Bell in this video. I love Jon's blog, Stuff Christians Like, and the book sounds funny, too. (If you can't make it play from here, as somehow I can't seem to, you can watch it at YouTube here.)
I posted here about how ordinary is beautiful, and how much I miss it. But isn't it true that all the great novels happen outside of ordinary? There's a trip, or an encounter, or an adventure - a place outside of ordinary when something entirely new can happen. Your categories are suddenly different, and you can think about things in a new way.
I have to say this, though: God sent the storm. God sent the fish. Did God send the earthquake? Some would say yes but I say no. And I wouldn't be so unbelievably arrogant as to say that the earthquake killed almost 300,000 people so that I could think about things differently. It wasn't the purpose (if indeed there was a purpose), and yet God can redeem these things - that I do believe.
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