Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jesus Mentor Me - becoming a personal apprentice of Jesus by Edward Keith Pousson

Nobody goes into the kitchen of an established chef to seek apprenticeship lightly. At any point of the apprenticeship, you are aware of the reality, as Heidi Klum so famously pronounces in the reality TV show 'Project Runway':  One moment you're in, and the next, you're out!

Likewise, 'Jesus Mentor Me' is for those earnestly seeking apprenticeship with Jesus. To treat this book as inspirational reading will not get you any more mileage than reading a cookbook to fill your stomach. Producing food on the table is the work of the cook, not the cookbook.

I probably know more about President Barack Obama than Edward Pousson, but I like the man I'm getting acquainted with through the many anecdoctal narrations in the book that show the landscape of his walk with God. It is one that induces a desire for and seduces you to a similar intensity and authenticity with God.

For me, the title 'JESUS MENTOR ME' is the necessary buzzword for every believer in these times where believers need to awaken to the disciplines of loving God that produce authenticity in our lives and relationships. While Leroy Eims' 'The Lost Art of Disciple-Making' is a handbook for leaders, 'JESUS MENTOR ME' is a handbook for all committed believers. Part I sheds light on Jesus and His teachings - important for any apprentice. Part II covers the requisite posture and disciplines of the apprentice.

Here's a typical raw truth from the book: 'Without the passion, the vision, the burning desire to strip off the old self and put on Christ, it's all just wood, hay and stubble. What I have observed about people who have made some progress toward becoming an imitation of Jesus in their world are these four things:

First, they are not satisfied to remain where they are and what they are. they really want to change and grow spiritually. Second, they are detached from worldly cares and material possessions. They love God and their neighbor more than anything [and I'd add 'especially when no one is watching']. Third, they achieve an intimacy with God, a union with God, even a familiarity with God that enables them to live, speak and act from the centre of their being where God lives with them. Thus they know who they are and who they are not. This frees them from the pressure to pose before any human system, be it religious, cultural, or political. Fourth, they are men and women of character and deeds. They are at peace and rest with God, themselves and others, even when shouldering great responsibilities. They are an imitation of Jesus.'

One thought summary: I used to sit with a tennis racket for hours chit-chatting in the tennis court in my school. I signed up for tennis as an extra curricular activity but only mingled with players between their games. Needless to say, I never went beyond picking up balls. So I liken salvation to believers gaining a lifetime membership to gym. The membership does not guarantee that you will be in top form. Yet, many of us spend our time milling around the gym, chatting about our problems and shortfalls, seeking out therapies and counselling to solve our problems instead of working at the equipments, beating sloth out of our bodies, resistance out of our minds, and altogether doing what it takes for greater fitness.

Spiritual disciplines take the excessive weightage of importance off ourselves, and keep our minds on training towards the fullness of life that becomes a giving life. Losing the excess weightage keeps us lean and fit to function in daily life, in relationships and in service.

Where you can get it: S$25.00* by email to leechen1@singnet.com.sg [*subject to stock availability and price changes]
Level of impact'Jesus Mentor Me' must become the new buzzword in place of all else we're saying
Timing of book: Like Pizza Hut delivery - timely: just when I needed an extended voice of persuasion to others that it's simply really about Jesus.