Sunday, November 11, 2007

Steve Brown's A Scandalous Freedom

I just finished A Scandalous Freedom by Steve Brown. I never would have chosen to read this book without the indirect nudging of my sister-in-law Elysa and the Holy Spirit. I listen to the Steve Brown Sessions podcasts when I remember too. He interviews all sorts of people including Renee Altson, Stumbling Towards Faith and Anne Lamott who wrote Traveling Mercies and a book I just complete called Plan B: More Thoughts on Faith. Anne Lamott and Steve Brown probably as far apart on the political spectrum as you can be yet they both love Jesus.

I love Anne Lamott. She has helped me to break through the structure and restrictions that organized religion places on us. Don't get me wrong, I love my church. I love the ritual. But there are things happening in churches that only dampen the spirit; meanness, pettiness, judging other others, holier-than-thouness. I am sure you can name your own experiences that overwhelm your church experience and make you forget you are in a place of worship. Anne Lamott, with all her swearing and irreverence is still more of an example to me of Jesus than many people I know.

Steve Brown, scary Steve Brown, a conservative Republican kinda scary, is also a wonderful Christian example. It took me some time to even believe that might be the case. But I heard him interviewing Anne Lamott through his podcast Steve Brown, Etc and he was actually fun and nice and insightful. He names who he is but he doesn't judge you for who you are. And he uses humor, as does Lamott, to bridge the gaps. I like that. If you have humor you are ahead of the game. Those people that take themselves too seriously are neon signs for "Road Closed. Find Alternative Route".

So I picked up A Scandalous Freedom. And I loved it. I am still loving it. Because even though I finished it my plan is to pick it immediately up and read it again. This is too importantly a book to read once and hope you "get it". When I finished the last page I was a bit depressed to think it was done. But then I realized it doesn't have to be. I can LIVE it. I can read this book again, yes, which brings great comfort BUT I can LIVE it daily which is the most powerful thing I can get from this book.

Freedom through Grace... what a wonderful gift. How am I going try to l make it come alive in my life? Well off the top of my head, here is how I'm thinking:

  1. When I can not be the perfect parent, when I think maybe I have damaged my children irreparably forever, I will remember that I am human and imperfect. And that God understands my struggles and will be for me if I turn to God for help.
  2. I will speak truth without fear of offending people. I will not hide who I am and what I believe just to keep the peace or maintain some false image of what a Christian should be.
  3. I will remember that as sure as I think I am right there is an even greater chance that I am wrong and that I do not have it all figured out. I will rely on God to take care of it all and I will be humble in the face of my humanness.
(NaBloPoMo note: I started writing this Sat. evening the 10th. But I did not finish it nor post it until the 11th. However, the post date said the 10th so I changed it manually.)

1 comment:

Elysa said...

Oh, Stephanie! How incredible.

I've not read SCANDALOUS FREEDOM though I am the one who "nudged you" BUT I have attended Steve Brown's SET FREE weekend seminar and it did just that...set me free from so many things that were holding me back. I really never understood grace til that weekend nearly 10 years ago. And I'm still learning about it and its a constant fight to stay free and not go back in those prisons that had me my case, my main prisons were those of guilt and being obsessed with being a people pleaser.

Can't wait to see you over the holidays and talk about all this.

Love you!!!!