james david low

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Donald Miller – Story

I just listen to Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) talk at Mars Hill (Rob Bell’s church) about Stories. About instead of worrying about what you’re doing right or wrong, but worrying about writing a good story with your life. You can get the talk at the Mars Hill page or download the MP3 directly.

Part of it really spoke to me, the bit about being afraid. For so long in my life I was worried about things going wrong, so I didn’t make decisions, either for the fear that the decision would be the wrong one, or that it would put me in a place where things weren’t so ‘safe’, and thus make me more afraid.

But what he says I’ve found to be true, the last few years, I have been more proactive, making decisions to go towards what I want or what I think is right, particularly this year leaving my job. It was scary, but there was something I wanted more, to be able to put time into helping others, to not just go along with what was happneing around me, for my life to tell a good story…

I also watched Rob Bell’s latest Nooma (Name) recently. It goes through labels and things we or others say about ourselves. I started rewatching the video over and over, writing down things I thought about myself, and got to the word scared, it made me cry. Not in a bad way, but simply because I’d opened up part of my heart and expressed something that I needed to, that I’d got to know myself a little more. Life is scarier than its ever been, but its better that its ever been.

16 Comments

    Oh, also, part of what made me able to start making decisions, even if I wasn’t sure what was best was when Ryan Coyle shared this passage in James 1:5-8

    “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

    Haha, I’m not sure why anymore, it just did. Maybe he said something, maybe he called me to step up and do something, or maybe it was being the wave, not liking the idea of leaving stuff up to fate. Its scary that God puts us in control of our own stories but exciting!

    11:38am / Nov 16th / 07 James Low

    thanks for pointing out the message, james. it’s definitely something i need to hear. again and again. thanks so much for sharing.

    1:07pm / Nov 16th / 07 vanessa

    Hey that's awesome. I so needed hear (read) that. Decisions, decisions…really do hate them haha. I remember Jemira's dad speaking at church once and he said that

    When life is lived without Christ, the unknown is scary, we become competitive and unproductive. But when life is lived WITH Christ, the unknown becomes exciting instead of scary and we become effective for his kingdom.

    I think that's amazing. Pastor Victor said at Church camp…that we're not sacrificing anything to live with God…we're giving up 2nd best…for best. And there's no sacrifice in that.

    I was telling my Aunt (when I went to Canada) how I thought I was able to speak in tongues but I wasn't sure and I was scared that it was just me doing weird things on my own and she was like 'no nooo don't doubt…if you doubt then it's not it…if you don't doubt then it is' she said it like…despite of whether or not it IS the gift of tongues…it's all in whether I believe it or not…if I have that faith.

    1:21pm / Nov 16th / 07 Lydia Lee Tang (via Facebook)

    Hmmmm. I think, Lydia, that your tongues issue is very much like the tree in the forest. And I think that even if one doubts it, it still is what it is. After all, if God only used people with no doubts, let's just say he'd have a very small army. I think that doubts are built into faith, and God allows them to be there because He recognises that we have to work through them in order to built a strong foundation for our faith.

    For me, I know that if I thought it was based on whether or not I had the faith, regardless if I did or not I would start doubting whether I had the faith to have the tongues. You might be surprised one day when someone interprets your tongues. :] My mom has some crazy tongues stories. That sounds weird.

    They've done research, also, on tongues. And examined the parts of the brain used when speaking in tongues, and they found that the part of your brain used to form language or sounds isn't used during tongues like it is when you're properly speaking.

    3:22pm / Nov 16th / 07 Corissa Joy Peterson (via Facebook)

    i definately agree wit ms JP that doubting goes hand in hand with faith, and we shouldn't perceive it as a bad thing. Thomas of course was the famous doubter, and yet modern evidence suggests that he actually journeyed as far as India spreading the good news- that's further than any other apostle or Paul, even.

    I also really like that verse from the Thomas story, john 20:29..
    "[Jesus said], "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

    ..YAY!

    5:26pm / Nov 16th / 07 Andy Cope (via Facebook)

    i definately agree wit ms JP that doubting goes hand in hand with faith, and we shouldn't perceive it as a bad thing. Thomas of course was the famous doubter, and yet modern evidence suggests that he actually journeyed as far as India spreading the good news- that's further than any other apostle or Paul, even.

    I also really like that verse from the Thomas story, john 20:29..
    "[Jesus said], "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

    ..YAY!

    6:26pm / Nov 16th / 07 Andrew P. J. Cope (via Facebook)

    i definately agree wit ms JP that doubting goes hand in hand with faith, and we shouldn't perceive it as a bad thing. Thomas of course was the famous doubter, and yet modern evidence suggests that he actually journeyed as far as India spreading the good news- that's further than any other apostle or Paul, even.

    I also really like that verse from the Thomas story, john 20:29..
    "[Jesus said], "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

    ..YAY!

    6:26pm / Nov 16th / 07 Andrew Cope (via Facebook)

    i definately agree wit ms JP that doubting goes hand in hand with faith, and we shouldn't perceive it as a bad thing. Thomas of course was the famous doubter, and yet modern evidence suggests that he actually journeyed as far as India spreading the good news- that's further than any other apostle or Paul, even.

    I also really like that verse from the Thomas story, john 20:29..
    "[Jesus said], "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

    ..YAY!

    6:26pm / Nov 16th / 07 Andrew P J Cope (via Facebook)

    I would say, yes and no. and.. yes and no. Aiya. This is the problem with reasoning/philosophy, you often end up no where. I've got a Lot of thoughts running through my head about the relationship between faith and doubt right now, so i think i'm going to write a note in response, and not flood this comment section. Y'all can read if you want. I think it's going to be long.

    1:17am / Nov 18th / 07 Sherin Siew (via Facebook)

    Did anyone actually go and listen to the talk???

    7:21am / Nov 18th / 07 James Low (via Facebook)

    hahahahhahah

    not yet. Comments are just more accessible. But I've downloaded it.

    12:13pm / Nov 19th / 07 Sherin Siew (via Facebook)

    haha, ok i'm listening to this again, and seriously, go do it!!!!

    12:13pm / Nov 22nd / 07 James Low (via Facebook)

    Donald Miller spoke at Mars Hill?? is it d/l able?!?

    love his books!

    7:49pm / Nov 27th / 07 Anna Tsang

    9:52pm / Nov 27th / 07 James Low

    Yea I love Don and Rob Bell, Nooma, Velvet Elvis, all awesome!

    9:54pm / Nov 27th / 07 James Low

    I find it interesting that you said, “Life is scarier than it has ever been.”

    I guess its because I’ve alawys seen it as great possibilities.

    I mean, aftter absorbing all this inspiration, I always feel that there is MORE to life.

    Its given me more HOPE, FAITH.

    More COURAGE, to believe and act that you can change yourself. Or that you can be a part of changing the world, for the better.

    That you could be part of that story too.

    Its inspiring.

    Its interesting to know that some people I know will sit in their shells because they pecieve it to be a ‘safe’ place.

    Most of the time, when I do sit in my shell, its often because I’m sulking at how the world sucks, when I’ve been beaten down. Or when I can’t be bothered, and am indifferent.

    I never really liked indifference.

    (even though it gets to me quite often)

    I guess I’ve always thought I am, or HOPE that I am the kind of person who, after hearing three inspirational lines, will charge out again, into the sunlight. Believing, Knowing and Willing that something can be done.

    And so much again, wanting to be a part of that. And so often I charge out, bumping into everything… haha, because I forget to look every direction but forward. straight on.

    (Hahahaha so I cause so much turmoil and trouble)

    But I guess to me I always saw it as unstoppable faith, rather than fear.

    12:00am / Nov 28th / 07 Trouble