Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter 10

The vlog for Chapter 10 of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts is now online.  Chapter 10 is entitled Empty To Fill... it might just be my favourite chapter in this whole book!

More on that in a bit...

First off, I wanted to say that reading (in this chapter) Ann's account of her experience at Yonge Street Mission brought me back to my own experience at that same location almost a month ago now, an experience that helped me turn a corner --- one that I needed to turn but couldn't do on my own!  A grace-gift indeed... my God is truly good!

Now... empty to fill.  I love, love, LOVE this chapter because it basically sums up what God has called our family to do!  To do thanks-living!  To act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God!

Here are excerpts from this chapter...
If eucharisteo had led us to let go and open the hand to receive all His shimmering river of gifts, how can we now close the hand?

Grace is alive, living waters.  If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies... waters that have no life.

I receive grace.  And through me, grace could flow on.

I am blessed.  I can bless.  A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.

Eucharisteo is giving thanks for grace.  But in the breaking and giving of bread, in the washing of feet, Jesus makes it clear that eucharisteo is, yes, more: it is giving grace awayEucharisteo is the hand that opens to receive grace, then, with thanks, breaks the bread; that moves out into the larger circle of life and washes the feet of the world with that grace.  Without the breaking and giving, without the washing of feet, eucharisteo isn't complete.

God calls me to do thanks.  To give the thanks away.  That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living.  That our lives become the very blessings we have received.

I could be the joy!

This is what makes us content - the contented, deep joy is always in the touching of Christ - in whatever skin He comes to us in.

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.  The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.  (Isaiah 58:10-11)

It's the fundamental, lavish, radical nature of the upside-down economy of God.

Empty to fill.

Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone.  God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him.

Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.
Amazing!  I can't thank God enough for the gift of His Word and this book... life changing!!!  Grace-gifts...

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

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