The final chapter of Same Lake, Different Boat was perhaps the most convicting for me: "On Change: Revolution or Reformation."
Having taught through a fiction title based in the French Revolution this year, and loving Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, the very word revolution conjurs up various and sundry graphic images. Once fully persuaded in our minds of the need for implementing the truths in Same Lake, Different Boat, truths founded clearly in Scripture, it is only natural to want to convince everyone else of their need to change too. But the manner in which we educate others and exhort them to change must be full of grace. I am so thankful for this timely admonition from a sister in Christ.
"Revolution," Stephanie writes, "is energized by frustration, promotes the forcible change of external behaviors, values the attainment of its cause above the worth of others, and focuses on the acquisition of power from its enemies" (224). Ouch! She doesn't mince words here. And she shouldn't. "If we conform to the world's pattern--revolution" (216), we will very likely end up with wounded souls in the process.
"Reformation is energized to promote change as a heartfelt response of gratitude toward God for His merciful intervention in our own lives" (216). "God's pattern for transformation--reformation--always starts with with personal Spirit-led change from within the human heart" (217). It is an "ongoing" process in my heart. It "retains a sense of personal perspective while simultaneously valuing all people, and focuses on the expression of love toward others" (224).
I love the way she sums up this idea of "reformation": "the narrow road ... a long obedience ... small beginnings, quiet faithfulness, and a humble reputation" (ibid).
It is my sincere desire that these posts have been helpful to you. I am convinced that you will be encouraged by Stephanie's book. And whereas Stephanie is from the Presbyterian theological perspective and utilizes the word "covenant" far more than I am used to having grown up in a Baptist church, how can we not love and learn from this woman who clearly embraces the cross of Jesus Christ and so obviously has a vibrant personal relationship with Him, a woman who doesn't just tell others what they should do but sets the example--and sets it high.
Thank you, Stephanie, for your "justice, mercy and faithfulness" in sharing with us the things God has so graciously taught you. You have been an encouragement to my heart and made an impact that will be enduring.
And so, book read, highlighter expired, and truths still working their way in, I commend to you Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability by Stephanie O. Hubach, published by P&R Publishing.
And if a condensed audio format is helpful, visit http://www.archive.org/details/StephanieHubachSameLake_DifferentBoat_IdentifyingwithandMinisteringAlongsidePeopleTouc or click on the title to part 1 of these book reviews.
Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, and power from the Spirit of truth and love,