The Naked Gospel

By: Jane

Jun 26 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: God, introverts, maturity, Personality Types

6 Comments

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not too long ago I was talking with my boss, and he remarked,
“I hope you know how blessed you are”.
The topic, at the time, was my impending retirement, the years of work I’d been privileged to do as a music teacher, the beautiful classroom from which I was ending my career, the excellent and caring community of teachers and staff alongside whom I taught, the gift of music and, of course, the kids. Truly, I have been blessed. If my life on earth ended now, I’d have nothing to complain about. There have been a few (major) bumps in the road, but in spite of that, I’ve had a good life.

Since that conversation occurred I have indeed retired, which begs the question, “What next?”. That same boss, whose name is Jim, by the way, advised me not to define myself solely by my vocation. So, starting from there, how do I define myself?

Musician.
Teacher.
Wife.
Mother.
Introvert. (Who has learned how to look like an extrovert, but it’s exhausting, so I’m trying to kick the pretending habit).
Reader.
Writer.
Believer.
Beach comber.
Joisey Goil/PA transplant.
Sentimentalist: daughter, niece, sister, cousin, aunt, family historian.
Acquaintance of many, friend to a few.
Coffee hound – A.M.
Wine and cheese/P.M.

Today I’m enjoying the blessing of being an introvert in complete solitude. I’m sitting in a garden near Stone Harbor, N.J. (That place in itself has a large part in my personal history). It’s about 60 degrees this morning, yesterday’s rain having washed away last week’s heat. It’s sunny, breezy, cool….and here I sit with my notebook and pen. Yes. I do
know how blessed I am.

I’ve been reading a book called “The Naked Gospel” by Andrew Farley. I think it will be used to revolutionize believer Jane. The author has found true freedom in Christ, by recognizing that, while there is a growth process for those who have chosen to follow Christ, it is not the believer who accomplishes any of that growth. It happens automatically when we begin to realize that Christ, through the Holy Spirit, really does reside within us, and we start listening for His voice. Furthermore, this growth process does not change our fundamental personality, requiring us to become someone we are not. We are who we are because that’s exactly how God likes us and intends to use us.

What? It’s ok that I’m reserved and not bold? It’s ok that I value solitude at least as much as fellowship? It’s ok that sometimes I don’t really want to go to church? I can actually grow without attending the myriad functions that the church has planned for me? And wait….tithing as law went out with the old covenant?

There’s much more in this book, with in-depth explanations based on a different perspective on scripture than I have ever heard anywhere…scriptures that may have been misunderstood by most followers of Christ, most of the time.

None of this is to say that I don’t need church. Fellowship is important in varying degrees to everyone. Of course I am to give…God blesses me so that I can share what I have with others. But none of this is a legalistic demand that can be placed upon me, either by myself or anyone else. It is all done – or not done – as a result of consulting the Holy Spirit within, confirmed by conscience and written scripture.

So, I don’t get to be anti-social, because Christ isn’t anti-social. However, He is perfectly happy with the personality He gave me, so I don’t have to try and change who I am to please Him.

I think I’m starting to ramble now, so I will suggest that you read “The Naked Gospel” to see for yourself what the author has to say. I’ve been follower of Christ since the age of 17, and I know quite well what the Bible says, even though I, like many others, may have been misunderstanding alot.There’s nothing I have read here that is causing red flags.

Read it, and let me know what you think.

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6 comments on “The Naked Gospel”

  1. I’ll put this book on my To Read list……I’m always interested in those who think outside the traditional box…..didn’t Christ himself do that very thing? The modern church has so much wrong on so many issues…….

  2. I was thinking of you when I wrote this, Chris. I’ll be interested to hear what you think if it. :0)

  3. Hi Jane! Long time no see (read?). I’m also adding the book to my reading list. I love how we all seem to reach that place where Jesus gets through to us and we stop concentrating on the little nonsense things in our life like how we look, how much money we have. That’s freedom! xo

    • Where have you been! I’ve been on all your pages looking for you and Emma Lou! I hope everything is ok.
      Once you read it I’d love to hear what you think. Don’t be a stranger!

  4. Gonna check the library catalog for this one. Thnx


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