A Holy Pursuit by Dianne Jago–Book Review

I’m known in my congregation as “the woman with a thousand ideas” so a book about dreaming really attracted my attention.  If you distill the content of A Holy Pursuit down to its’ foundation, you will be left with this question:  “What is the biblical approach to dreaming and how do we know if our dream is in God’s will?

Although Dianne Jago contends it’s fine to have dreams, we must hold them loosely and examine them carefully.  Her stated purpose is:

“…. to remind you of who you are in Christ first and then to encourage you to use the truth and hope of the gospel when pursuing a dream.”

We all have gifts and talents given by God, but we must keep in mind the reason gifts are given:  to build up the body of Christ.  Our dreams are not worthy if they are fueled by selfish ambition or if they are not used to glorify God and encourage His people.  There are also times in every life when we must put others first:  our spouse, our children, our congregation.  Our dream should not render us unable to fulfill our primary responsibilities. In fact, in the final analysis, the pursuit of God is our dream!  Knowing and serving Him is the greatest thing we will ever accomplish.

Here are some of the questions the author suggests we ask ourselves about any dream:

  • What does my personal walk with God look like right now? (this should have priority)
  • Does this dream line up with biblical standards for Christian living?
  • What are my motives for pursuing this dream?
  • What season of life am I in right now?
  • Have I sought counsel in this?
  • What logistics are required to make this dream happen?

In the course of reading this book, you will learn about Dianne’s own dreams– which ones worked out and which ones didn’t.  She is careful to say that every person’s circumstances are different and there are no pat answers to determine what dream is appropriate for any individual.

VERDICT:  FOUR STARS.  As an encourager, I found it to be more of a cautionary tale than a motivator.  However, the advice given is both biblical and practical.  It is a good source of information for all Christian dreamers.

Fir you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/a-holy-pursuit-P005816356

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

 

 

Who Do You Serve?

Let’s be honest, ladies, we all serve somebody.  So who do you serve?  I suspect the answer for most of us is “myself.”  That’s not only our sinful inclination, it’s what our world tells us to do.  “Look out for number one.”  “Follow your bliss.”  “Do what feels right for you.”  Our culture bombards us with messages like this every day.  Let’s label it with its’ true name –SELFISHNESS.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this sin every day.  Here are a few examples:

My husband forgets to pick up the something I needed on his way home from work.  My default response?  How could he!  I do so many things for him, and he can’t remember this one thing for ME?

My daughter calls and asks me to go to the Dollar Store and pick up something for her class (she is a preschool teacher). She lost track of time and didn’t get to it last night.  REALLY?  What makes this MY responsibility?  I have my own plans for the morning.

Somebody from church calls.  We’re selling  cobblers at the local Peach Festival and need somebody to work at the stand.  OH NO!  I’m an introvert and I’M JUST NOT COMFORTABLE around a crowd of strangers.  Don’t ask me to do that.

My friend is totally uninterested in the new project in which I’m so involved.  She’s MY friend,why isn’t she being more supportive of ME?

Anyway, you get the idea.  My first response is to think of myself, what I want, and what seems most comfortable and convenient for me.  Here’s what Jesus says about that:

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27

That means our priorities should go like this:

  1. God
  2. Others
  3. Me

This doesn’t mean we can never say no.  Sometimes we must say no;  sometimes it is better for the other person if we say no;  sometimes we need to say no because something is definitely out of our skill set. It also doesn’t mean we don’t hold folks accountable or express our feelings — but we need to do this in a gentle, respectful way, not in anger.  It does mean that as God’s servants, we can’t allow a selfish mindset to control our actions.  Following our own impulses (i.e. serving ourselves) will lead to conflict and broken relationships.  Serving God and doing His will leads to peace with God and others. So who do you want to serve?