Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter 11 and Afterword

The vlog for Chapter 11 and the Afterword of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts is now online!  I have been so blessed by this book... I truly do not want it to end!  But one thing is certain --- although the reading of this book has come to an end, the practice of eucharisteo is going to continue for me!  As Ann writes in this chapter, The Joy of Intimacy, it is God's will for us to always give thanks in all things.

Here are my favourite quotes from this chapter...
He's singing that song!  The one I really didn't believe He sang!  "He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs" (Zephaniah 3:17).

Years of Christian discipleship, Bible study, churchgoing had been about me thinking about God; practicing eucharisteo was the very first I had really considered at length what God thought of me - this ridiculous and relentlessly pursuing love, so bold.  Everywhere, everything, Love!

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you" (John 15:4). He's calling me to graft on, to become one with the True Vine, the vine the biblical symbol of joy, festivity... fullness.  He's calling to come and celebrate being made one, and in Him, by Him, to bear the fruit of the full life round.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name" (Psalm 100:4 KJV).

Not take anything. Not ask anything, demand anything, petition anything.  I could simply give something to God.  A gift to Him!  Like He had given one thousand, countless, gifts to me!  This I could do!

I could bless God - caress with thanks!

... we're called to do more than believe in God; we're called to live in God.  To enter into Christ and Christ enter into us - to cohabit.  Is this why it is His will for us to always give thanks in all things - the unbroken communion?

Communion with God, what was broken in the Garden, this is wholly restored when I want the God-communion more than I want the world-consumption.
Then came what Ann wrote in the Afterword...
"A-I-M-E-E." Loved one.

God is always good and I am always loved and eucharisteo has made me my truest self, "full of grace."  Doesn't eucharisteo rename all God's children their truest name:

"Loved one."
Aimee is the name of Ann's sister... the sister whose tragic death Ann wrote about in the starting pages of this book.  The tragedy that marked the beginning of Ann's journey towards full communion with God.

Tears fell as I read the portion I quoted above from the Afterword.  This book and the practice of eucharisteo has indeed transformed me.  Eucharisteo has allowed me to see Grace every single day.  Each new day, I am on the hunt for grace-gifts!

And... eucharisteo didn't need to rename me... like Ann, it has made me my truest self, "loved one."  For my blog readers who do not know me in real life, that is my name.

Aimee --- it means loved one! :-)
God is always good and I am always loved...
Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

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