Wednesday, June 2, 2010

As a Mustard Seed

***What do you know- it's my 100th post?!?  Let's celebrate!  Details at the end of this post.*** 
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  Matthew 17:20

I just finished reading two amazing books, I Dared to Call Him Father and Chasing the Dragon, that widened my perspective of how God can and does work today.  Reflecting on these two reads, I pray the lessons I learned about faith and walking with God will stay fresh in my mind and keep my eyes open for Him in unfamiliar places.

I Dared to Call Him Father has the subtitle The Miraculous Story of a Women's Encounter with God, and that it was!  In it, Bilquis Sheik, a well to do, divorced Muslim woman in Pakistan first comes "face to face" with Jesus through a series of dreams and supernatural experiences.  She decides to find out more out this Jesus and begins to study the Bible side by side with the Koran to decipher which is truth.  I Dared to Call Him Father is Sheik's autobiography and her testimony spills onto the pages with beauty and palpable imagery making it difficult for the reader to tear away from the story.  When the last page had been turned, I found myself asking God to open my eyes so that I can see Him more clearly and that I might know His power more vividly.

Chasing the Dragon: One Woman's Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong's Drug Dens was the perfect follow up read.  In the book, Jackie Pullinger describes her transformation from a nominal Christian young woman living in middle class England to an empowered, zealous lover of and evangelist to the desperate inhabitants of Hong Kong's infamous Walled City.  Again, I found myself unable to put this thrilling story of God's saving power down.  Pullinger skillfully tells the story of God's ability to reach the destitute and His immediate acceptance of their simple faith.  In everyday language and vivid descriptions of locations and events, she describes how countless people without any prior knowledge of doctrine or theology simply accepted the Lord and immediately received deliverance from drugs and His gifts of the Spirit.  Men who had never uttered a prayer immediately spoke in tongues upon conversion.  Those who had never heard a word of Scripture, could offer interpretations of tongues that were word for word from the Word.  Pullinger naturally and artfully weaves scripture throughout her story with footnotes referencing the verses so that the reader can refer to them later.  As I closed this wonderful book late one night, I again asked God for simple faith in Him and His power.

I live what seems like a complicated life- one with little room for quiet, stillness, simplicity.  I live in a complicated culture- one which demands my time, attention and intellect.  Even my spiritual life is filled- Sunday services, personal Bible study and prayer, group Bible study, blog reading about spiritual matters,  prayer boards and more!  All of these things are good and do serve to draw me into the presence and knowledge of the Lord.  But there was something about both of these stories that spoke to me, reminding me that sometimes all one needs is faith as small a mustard seed and mountains will move!  I was also reminded that God is, by definition, supernatural.  And He reserves the right to act in supernatural ways.  If I am not seeing the supernatural in my walk with Him, perhaps I need a "smaller" faith.

***To celebrate my 100th post, I am going to give away a copy of one of the two books mentioned in this post (your choice) to one of you!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  If you are comfortable, please share your thoughts about mountain moving, small faith!  That is, if there is anyone out there :)  I will use the highly scientific 'pull a name out of the hat method' to choose the winner- that is if there is more than one commenter :)  I will leave the comments open for a week and draw the winner next Thursday, June 10th.***


Andrea said...

natalie!! both of those books sound awesome!!! i would love to be entered!! 100 posts!! yay!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andrea, both books sound great. I, too, would like to be entered in your drawing. I am so touched by your blog, just found you this AM, that I am your newest follower...I am touched by your gratitude list, your schedule, so much for me to absorb...the Lord sent me to your blog for a reason. Thank you....peace and blessings....

Anonymous said...

Ditto! How did you find time to read two great books, be a mom & wife, and post 100 times??? See, all that summer planning paid off!
I used to read constantly, but as I'm busier now, I have to be very careful about my personal time because I tend to neglect my other duties. For a while I've even been on a book fast, but I just decided to start up again. These both sound awesome.

Natalie said...

I have had to make some changes in my life to take care of myself as I had waded deep into burnout and it was damaging to my family. The Lord has taught me that I need to take care of my NEEDS (I have to be sure that it what it is and not a want) and only then can I take care of others. I always LOVED to read but simply stopped upon becoming a mom (outside of Bible reading/studies)so I simply started reading again and it has been such a blessing in my life. God wants us to live the abundant lie He gives and I am learning that is true for all the seasons of life- even mommyhood.

So glad you are joining me here!

Natalie said...

Welcome and thank you for your kind words, Mary!


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