Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: Townsend's "Beyond Boundaries"

Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships by John Townsend

In his latest work, Beyond Boundaries, well known psychologist Townsend meets those of us who were left on the edge of wondering after reading the Boundaries book, "getting it," and then waking up to find that we still had these people in our lives or wanted to know how to make sure we don't just get different versions of the original boundlessness relationships we had in the first place. I should pause here and tell you that I was given a copy of this book via Net Galley (a fabulous way to read the latest and greatest on your e-reader) and that Zondervan has not paid me for my comments, nor have they required that I leave a positive review. This is all me.

As you might have guessed, I was one of the people who got to the last page of Boundaries and thought, "well, that's great but now what?" When I saw this followup was due out, I was excited to move a little further. And, in some ways, I think I did. What left me sort of hanging about this is that Townsend focuses more on how to form NEW relationships with totally NEW people. For those of us who are hoping to form boundaries with the people we had issues with before and learn to trust them again, this might help but it's not the ace in the hole I think all of us look for when we turn to so called "self-help." All in all, it is a nice followup, though, just not in the direction I wanted it to go in. Townsend does mention re-trusting those who have broken trust in the past but not at the level that I think people who are staring down that barrel need to find. That being said, I respect Dr. Townsend and will always be interested to see what he has to share next. For those starting new relationships, read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend first, then, when you realize you are doing some things kind of wacky in your relationships (as I believe we all do from time to time), go with Beyond Boundaries.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Narrow Gate & Some Big Buts

Well, if the title didn't get you here, thanks for coming by anyhow. The little bloggie has a bit of a face lift since I've been on blogging hiatus for several months now. Here is one of my latest musings:

I have conversations that go on just between the Lord and I. Granted, since a lot of them seem to happen while I'm driving, people who see me talking to myself probably think I've got some kind of exhaust fume problem happening. A few weeks ago I was having a bit of a debate about some decisions that I've been facing that all of us deal with at some point or another and I was replaying my ramblings to myself when I realized something: every statement I contributed to the conversation started with, "Well, yes, BUT..." and then I would fill in the blank with why the truth that I knew from God's word just might need an exception - you know, just this one time.

We all have big "buts" in our lives that we have to deal with... some of us, more than others. If you think about it, you know how they start out: "I should tell that person about Jesus, BUT they might think I'm weird." / "That's probably not what I should be doing, BUT its what is accepted by the majority right now." / "I know what God's word says about this, BUT I don't like that right now." and on, and on. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't want to be guilty of making a decision when I know that I'll have to ask for forgiveness for it later. When we get right down to it, there is no excuse we could come up with that would trump the word of God. Period.

Back to my title for the evening. You see, there's this narrow gate Jesus told us about. He said that there is a narrow gate that leads to life and only a few find it. There's also a wide gate and it leads to destruction. That reminds me of a car company's commercial a few years ago that said that wider is better. I beg to differ. Wider might seem more comfortable and many choose a wider road because it's more accommodating for those of us bringing our big buts on board. The only problem with that is that road leads to death and last I checked, that was the opposite direction we wanted to go.

So, I don't know about you but I'm thinking I need to get on the narrow road and leave my big buts behind (pun intended). It's not nearly as spacious and might require me to leave some things behind but really, if it's not getting me to the feet of Jesus, it's just extra baggage that I don't need anyhow.


Friday, February 4, 2011

A dog in snow... with boots!

Ok, so I haven't blogged since September. I was finishing a Master's degree and preparing to reopen a public library. Today is a snow day so I might have more to say later on.

In the meantime, please enjoy my too cute dog, Lucy, as she plods through the snow in her snow boots.

"He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.'" - Job 37:5-7