Friday, December 11, 2009

"Scouting the Divine" a review

This morning I finished reading Scouting the Divine and have been challenged through the journey that Margaret Feinberg took me and her readers on.  In this book she writes about her plunge into the Scripture of things that nature and creation might teach us about God.  

She begins with a visit to a shepherd named Lynne who helped to unlock the vault and treasury of sheep and shepherds in the Bible.  I felt like I was on her journey when she described the peaceful place of being with and taking care of the sheep.  The portions of the Bible that Margaret and Lynne discussed have added much to my understanding of how the sheep deal follow their shepherd and how the shepherd cares for their sheep.

The next leg of the journey took Margaret on a visit to see a friend named Joe and his uncle Aaron was is a farmer in the mid west.  I love how she describes meeting and getting to know Joe, but the best piece is Margaret driving a big John Deere tractor.  I remember doing that on a friend's farm back in Oklahoma when I was a young teen.  Aaron and Margaret and Joe take the reader into some interesting portions of the Bible that talk about the harvest and how God has created farming, deals with workers and understands the heart of God.

My deepest learning may have taken place when Margaret met Gary the beekeeper.  I was mesmerized by the way bees create and care for the honey God designed them to make.  The way that Gary uncovered his art and love of honey and caring for the hives opened some of the things we don't see when we read about bees and honey in the Bible.  I love illusions to a land "flowing with milk and honey" and how their conversation uncovered reasons why God says what he does.

Margaret's last visit was with Kristof who is a vintner in the Napa Valley area of California.  John 15 is one of my favorite pieces of the Bible which meant I was so ready to hear what this conversation opened up.  Their conversation not only gives the reader insight in the growth and harvest of grapes but of the great love God has for us, His children.  The vinedresser is one who have great skill and great love as he does all he can to help fruit grow for a long time.  The connections to our lives and the vineyard are powerful truths.

The book was a gift to all of us at the Catalyst Conference in October.  Inside the front cover is a signature in blue ink that I treasure.  Margaret has led me to love God and to teach better.  In this book, I was taken each time I picked it up. By the way, I am not a reader, but as I finished the book, I am hungry for more.  Get your copy.  Underline as I have and continue to grow finding the deep love God has for us laced through the verses of Scripture.  Some of those things are not easy to understand when I have never found myself at those precious places God created.

Here are a few quotes:

As I read, the Author changes me - reigniting my imagination and rekindling my hope. Page 10

Lynne described each sheep with the same tender attention to detail as a mother... Her affection reminded me of the psalmist who describes every person known intimately by God (Psalm 139:13-16). Page 29

(Speaking of shepherds who were not well looked in that day) God who in His tender love sent a host of angels to ensure that those who are marginalized in our world were invited to witness the greatest moment in history alongside the kings and wise men. Page 62

Though my faith may be weak - at times, nonexistent - God is still preparing the soil of my heart for greater things. Page 85

When a church, like a hive, is filled with people working and serving in the roles God has given them - in a rich blend of uniqueness, responsibility, and unity - what amazing sweetness naturally abounds! Page 134

Any land that boasted excess mile and honey had to maintain extensive pastures, which meant plenty of water as well - important when you've spent time in the desert. Page 143

Overly stressed vines will struggle and produce fruit of lower quality for wine. Page 179

Jesus hadn't come to patch up old religious traditions.  He was offering a new garment, a new wineskin, a way of life that didn't abolish the old ways, but fulfilled them. Page 187

Personal Biography

I first met Margaret and Leif when my family was vacationing in Washington, DC.  She was speaking at Mark Batterson's National Community Church.  From that day until now, she had encouraged me to fall more and more in love with God.  This book and The Organic God are my favorites.  We were honored in 2008 to host Margaret and Leif at The Community where I serve as pastor, and we hope to have them back soon.

She is a popular speaker at churches and leading conferences speaking to nearly 100,000 people. You will find her relational teaching style and invitation to discover the relevance of God and His Word in a modern world so refreshing.  Recently named one of the '30 Emerging Voices' who will help lead the church in the next decade by Charisma magazine and one of the '40 Under 40' who will shape Christian publishing by Christian Retailing, she has written more than two dozen books and Bible studies including corresponding DVD Bible studies. 

Margaret currently lives in Morrison, Colorado, with her 6'8" husband, Leif. When she's not writing or traveling, she enjoys anything outdoors, lots of laughter, and their superpup, Hershey. But she says some of her best moments are spent communicating with her readers

Looking for More?

Margaret has written several books and continues to encourage people daily through her insight and encouragement.  Here are some places for more Margaret:



Books and more: Click Here

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happy birthday, Julie

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