Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hey, pilgrims... time to make some progress...

The first draft of the book "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian" included the following introduction.

Pilgrim in Progress: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:14

Entry – PILGRIM – (noun): 1. A child of God who experiences faith as an ongoing journey. 2. A Jesus-follower on a deliberate quest for the consecrated life. 3. A purposeful traveler.

Entry – PROGRESS – (noun): 1. Movement toward a goal; advance. 2. Development or measurable growth. 3. Steady improvement. (verb): 1. To advance; proceed. 2. To advance toward a higher or better stage; improve steadily.

Entry – PILGRIM IN PROGRESS – (description): 1. A person of faith moving into the challenge of living a kingdom life. 2. A committed disciple or Jesus-follower. 3. A more tentative or peripheral Christian who is taking positive steps to move forward.

I am still but a pilgrim, humble in determined progress. God often teaches me through others, and when I am wise I remember to listen. But this pilgrim path, it seems, is often jarringly at odds with the culture we inhabit. And so I search, carefully, my spirit open to catch glimpses of grace. And I study, purposefully, a type of divine woodcraft, learning to identify the footprint of heaven, listening to hear the still small voice, growing accustomed to following the Savior.

As a fellow traveler I want to share such insight as I have into the pilgrim craft, and in putting pen to paper I intend to pursue an ongoing and candid conversation about what it means to make this kind of life-long journey. Because - and in the spirit of the disciples, Peter and John, “I simply can’t help myself!”

Remember the story at the beginning of Acts chapter four, when Peter and John were arrested by the temple authorities in Jerusalem? They were held overnight, lectured, threatened, and then warned to keep quiet about the controversial subject of Jesus.

“They called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; but as for us - we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:19-20)

This book comprises a journal of what I have seen and what I have heard.

No systematic theologies, no carefully nuanced world views, no doctrinal slants, and no denominational plugs. Rather, I’m excited to be able to tell anybody willing to read or listen about what I have seen, what I have heard and what I have experienced.

  • Tales from the pilgrim way
  • Stories about following Jesus
  • First-hand accounts of God breaking into time and space
  • Narratives detailing this life-changing pathway
  • Entries from the living journal that my pilgrim life has become
  • Moments of clarity when God’s word has jumped from the ancient page and become living ink, written indelibly into my journey…

It’s the pathway Paul describes as, “The Heavenly Call..."


Christi Oakley said...

I am leading a Sunday School class on your book in Wamego, Kansas. We enjoyed the first chapter. The class is small, about 2 couples and 3-4 women. The name of our class is "Faith Builders" and it seems that we have been studying some of the same topics, stories, etc. without much change in ourselves. I am hoping that your book will be just what we need.

Derek Maul said...

Glad to have you on board, Christi. I'll be praying for your group.