Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rebuilding & Restoring...

Allow me to share some quotes from the final chapter of Gordon MacDonald's book, Rebuilding Your Broken World.

"When you have been pushed or have fallen to the ground, there can be only one useful resolve:  GET UP AND FINISH THE RACE!"

"In recent years we've spent enormous amounts of energy asking how the church in the West might find renewal.  We've sought the answers in the pursuit of powerful preaching, evangelistic marketing programs group dymamics, and upbeat, contemporary public services.  Perhaps there is virtue in all of that.  But I would like to propose that if we were to rediscover the ministry of restorative grace, we might find an enormous number of people crowding forward to receive what God has offered to give through Jesus Christ.  There, in the ministry of restoration, may be a key to renewal.  Both inside and outside the church are broken-world people, and they are there in no small numbers.  They yearn for an understanding and wise ear; they dearly wish for an amnesty that would provide the chance to make things right and new.  If their spirit is right, they are not asking that their sins be diminished or overlooked; they are not asking that people pretend that nothing has happened.  What they seek is what the cross of Christ offered:  grace freely given; healing fully applied; usefulness restored"

"The objective of rebuilding a broken world is not returning life to business-as-usuual as if nothing had ever happened.  That could never be.  No, the objective is to come out of a dark time and finish the race with a depth of grace and humility that might not have happened under any other circumstance.  We broken-world people live with a strange irnony.  Not for one moment would we ever wish to repeat what caused the original collapse.  But we cannot ignore the fact that when restoration has had its way, we may be in a better position to offer insight and grace to others than we ever were before . . . Broken-world people are equipped now to understand other struggling people.  We know how to give grace because we have received it"

"Back in 1923 I once ran an invitational race (one mile) with Joey Ray and Ray Watson.  We three were members of the relay team that set the world record for the four mile relay held for over twenty years.  These two had a better time than I by three or four seconds.  They never beat me in a race; I never did well without competition.  Anyhow in this race we three were running along at a mile rate together--the first lap, then the second lap.  I suddenly hit a branch of a tree, a solid branch, (with) my left shoulder.  It was a terrible blow and stopped me cold.  The blow almost knocked me out.  For two or three seconds I could not think.  I cannot remember whether it knocked me on to the ground, but it knocked me out of my running place, stopped me cold.  I remember trying ot figure out what I should do next.  How could I ever catch them--should I bother to stay in the race.  Everyone would understand that the blow by the tree branch knocked me out.  Somehow I staggered back on the track and stumbled along.  I can see them (now) many, many yards ahead of me.  But I remember one clear conclusion.  I must keep going--even if I come in long behind.  I must not quit.  So I kept going.  I won the race.  This then is the lesson I learned:  whatever the difficulty--the blow--we must keep on.  God will lead to the result that will glorify Him"  --Dr. Raymond Buker in a letter to Gordon MacDonald.

"And some who are the most gifted in the things of God will stumble in those days and fall, but this will only refine and cleanse them and make them pure until the final end of all their trials, at God's appointed time" (Daniel 11:35, TLB).

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