Let’s start with Gary Thomas

I recently had the opportunity to present a workshop to a women’s group based on Gary Thomas‘ book, Sacred Pathways.  Have you heard about this book? Really? Have I not talked your ear off about it?

OK, so the premise of the book is that, in the same way that we have personality types and spiritual gifts, there are worship temperaments that help us relate to God and understand how to love him with our heart, soul, mind and strength.  What I love even more than the freedom this book gives us to explore our own “worship styles” (and we’re not talking music here, we’re talking about how we study, pray, spend time with God) is being able to understand others and how THEY relate to God.  Heaven forbid – seriously, Heaven, strike me down should I suppress the worship of God by another. And yet… and yet, this is the tragic tale of many who have either been discouraged by others to worship freely or have pointed the finger and diminished someone else’s worship.

Compare this excerpt from the Author’s Note of Donald Miller‘s book, Blue Like Jazz:

I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve.  But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone.  I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.  It is as if they are showing you the way…

…with this observation from Sacred Pathways:

Instead of learning from others, Christians have often chosen to segregate themselves by starting a new church whenever worship preferences diverge?  Do you know this to be true?  Unfortunately, some believers have a tendency to question the legitimacy of any experience that may not particularly interest them.  Instead of saying, “That’s not for me,” they proclaim, “That shouldn’t be for anybody.”

Needless to say, the God-given wisdom that Gary Thomas has… I just had to add him as a Facebook friend.

Then I found out he was coming to Tyndale University to speak on this book.  I went to see him last week and even asked John-Mark if it would be feasible to do dinner with the guy because of course he would be available?!  The content of his books is so truthful, so powerful and has become so personal, it means I put him in the Top 10 of who I would want to do dinner with, right in there with Bono and Mandela.

Found out unfortunately, he had a previously booked dinner date with the Dean of Students at Tyndale.  I settled for a short conversation with him (an opportunity to tell him the impact his book has had not only in my life but in the lives of others), a photo op and a signed copy.

Gary Thomas

I also bought his book Holy Available: What if holiness is about more than what we don’t do? Check this out:

Incarnational spirituality – the living reigning, and ascended Jesus living through us and transforming us into different people – does not exist to uphold a few rules but rather speaks of a process that creates an entirely new person who sees with new eyes and feels with a new heart, hears with renewed ears, and lives with a new passion.  It is, I believe, the only life worth living.

Doesn’t that just kick your butt?  Because I want this.  I want to be transformed and live transformed.  I’m tired of the excuses I hear myself make. The doubts that get tossed around my head are actually getting on my nerves, they weaken my faith and produce paltry fruit, if any.  Couch-potato faith is no faith at all.  I’m so done with it.

A friend shared a link of extreme surfers catching waves in the Arctic.  The measures these people go to, trekking over mountains, glaciers, camping in frigid temperatures and sacrificing comfort for the adventure.  These people are insane and it’s glorious.

ARTIC SURFERPhoto from MSN’s Surfing the Arctic

I want to be Arctic Surfer insane in my faith. I have tasted the power of the Holy Spirit and I want more, more, give me more.

More to come…

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3 thoughts on “Let’s start with Gary Thomas

  1. Pingback: Deciphering Kim

  2. Love this post – I’m so thankful for your inspiring friendship Friend! Of course it was a great talk- I KNOW its a great book! shoot. Note to self: forget all excuses (reasonable or otherwise) and allow Lori to take me blind-folded on any adventure – I will only regret it if I don’t go…
    … course the ultimate adventure is not only a trip to Africa, or an evening to Toronto- its that last bit you rave about…. :D I hope you know: I’m in.

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