Wednesday, April 07, 2010


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.


Tricia said...

I didn't take the time to watch/listen to the clips, but wanted to say: did you know that the audio version of SCL is available for free download this month? (from a site called christianaudio or something like that) I think it's all month - he posted about it last week, and I've got it on my iPod so I know it was at least free that day...

Janet said...

I enjoy reading sermons... I'd listen, but I'm not often in a position conducive to it. My husband showed me a site where you can download them, but you probably already know about it!

I think the great stories happen within the ordinary, and effectively show us that there is no ordinary.

Ruth said...

Tricia, I didn't even know there was an audio version -- wait, do you mean an audio version of the blog or of the book?

Janet, I listen when I'm exercising or walking anywhere. These days I am walking everywhere so I listen more than I usually would at home. I have heard some great sermons lately.

Now I need to think of examples of both kinds of stories -- within the ordinary, and out of the ordinary. Usually there is some kind of incursion into the ordinary, wouldn't you say? A new person comes to town, or a crisis happens...