Here's the link for the book that was referenced in today's sermon. Her life and writings are a good reminder of our calling to live fully in our pain and glory, rather than seeking to erect a safe, gray space where there is neither great suffering nor great pain. My own life has been filled with trials this week, and I'm still some distance from considering them pure joy, but I am making progress, learning to be fully present in the suffering and trials rather than wasting energy complaining, or working hard to avoid the pain. By the way, reading a book like hers is an interesting exercise in itself for many evangelicals, who might be put off by her promiscuity, and so miss the marvelous message that her life offers in other ways. I hope we can be discerning in everything we read, because reading with discernment and wisdom will open up vast new categories of learning for us. We don't need to, nor should we, swallow everything from anyone... and that probably includes me too! Discernment and reading or conversing with wisdom are two of the greatest assets we can have in our Christian life.
I didn't find the 5PM service very appealing because it was dark, and I realized that when I don't see the listeners, I get frustrated, and just presume that I'm not connecting. It's amazing how much dialogue goes on between speaker and listener that's purely based on the body language of the listener!