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The Shack

I’m right in the middle of reading The Shack by William Young. This book is just unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s absolutely exploding through the book world and I tell you: you gotta read it! It’s very difficult to describe, which makes it all the more miraculous that it’s soared to the top. The reason for it’s great popularity, I believe, is that it deals with going to the dark and painful places of your history, and meeting God there. While it’s official genre is “religious fiction”, it’s very prophetic in addressing the stuff we keep hidden in the back rooms of our lives that are secretly shaping and distorting our picture of who God is.

Pick it up at Barnes and Noble and let me know what you think. I promise it’ll challenge you and mess with your thinking…don’t give up on it, though. I think it’s a really important book for everyone who’s ever been hurt or felt abandoned.

January 21, 2008 - 8:16 pm

Helen - Hi there Bo,

I just bought this book on Cheryl’s recommendation…I brought it with me in my purse when meeting a friend and she was reading it as she waited for me…I haven’t started it yet…I have some continuing education that I have to get busy on and I know that I will pick a book over the necessary task…but I plan to tackle it soon and I will let you know my thoughts!

I am so glad to have your blog address again…looking forward to reading what I have missed.


January 23, 2008 - 10:24 pm

Bo - Oh goodness, Helen, I can totally identify with the big trick it is to fit a work of fiction into the rest of the required reading! This one sat on a table for days before I had a chance to pick it up…and I’m still trying to get back to it and finish. Tomorrow! Tomorrow it shall be accomplished!! ๐Ÿ™‚

February 10, 2008 - 9:57 pm

Cher - Hello Dearest Bo,

It’s nice to get to be reading your posts again!

I was wondering if you had snagged this book. There are moments in the story that are etched on my mind and continue to make me think about some of the questions asked in deeper ways than ever before. I continually wondered…”How did he know all of the questions I’ve had…?” and I believe the answers were divinely inspired. So much laughter and tears all from one book. Just like life…

February 10, 2008 - 10:02 pm

bolovesjoe - Yep – I snagged it the very day you told me about it. Then I recommended it and our bookstore at church has been selling out…such a cool thing to read something so unique, compelling and meaningful. The first night I read it, I tossed and turned thinking about it all and it’s been a long time since a book has had that kind of effect on me.

September 6, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Kikilicious - I was given this book by a friend and I really got into it until his cabin experience.. it all of a sudden turned into a comedy for me.. It lost me there!! I thought it might make a really great movie!!

September 6, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Kikilicious - … and I was just curious!! Who’s Joe (in BolovesJoe)!! ;))

September 7, 2012 - 3:58 pm

bo - Joe is my son and he was standing next to me when I chose a new email address a lotta years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are We Still Talking About the Apple? Seriously?

I recently read one theologian’s viewpoint on why women should not teach, preach or pastor. Turns out, it all goes back to that crazy apple (I Tim. 2:8-15). Eve was deceived and ate the apple and disqualified every other woman from ever having significant insight to impart to a man, henceforth and forever. Amen. So be it. Selah.

It’s interesting to note how many other scriptures have to be eliminated or re-invented in order to build a whole philosophy on I Timothy 2:14. These include Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 4:12 (“the” and “saint” are gender-inclusive words so Paul is saying, “Equip men and women for the work of the ministry”), as well as all the Biblical accounts of women who did amazing things like Deborah, Jael, Miriam, Huldah, Esther, Phoebe &Priscilla. (He mentions these women, but says they’re too rare to establish a pattern. Sigh. Don’t even get me started, Mr. Theologian.)

Anyway, I’m not here to duke this one out…just interested in how we arrive at our opinions. Most people I know who have disqualified women from leadership would not really be able to tell you why. They usually have picked a comfortable viewpoint without applying much muscle to analysis and you’ll generally discover a wide load philosophy teetering on the tiny shoulders of I Timothy 2. (If you wonder how I know this, you’re welcome to stand next to me on a Sunday after I speak and listen to the conversations that ensue.)

It’s taken a long time for me to build a philosophy as well. I’m blessed to be married to a man who loves what God is doing in my life as much as he loves it in his own. I’m also grateful to have a pastor who frees me to speak without fear of reprisal or rebuke. If these human men in a fallen world want that much for me…wouldn’t my Father in heaven want even more? Or am I – 2000 years after the greatest act of redemption and release in all of history – still silenced by an apple?

January 18, 2008 - 12:01 am

Paige - Thanks for being so great Bo. This post touched my heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

January 19, 2008 - 3:14 am

Eric and Lindsay - I wanted you to know, I just ordered Naked on God’s Doorstep! If you keep recommending books, I’ll go broke!

January 19, 2008 - 8:10 pm

Bo - Sorry, Linds…but I plan to lure many helpless victims into the web of my book obsession so that I am not alone. ๐Ÿ™‚ That book made me cry in a good way. And what makes that book worth the money is that it will make you very grateful for your life…that’s a good deal for 14 bucks!

January 22, 2008 - 5:20 am

Tara Jeanette - Hey Bo. we were going through Genesis in one of my classes and started talking about Eve and what it means for her to be a “help mate” and how people use that to mean lower than man. But how that word is used to talk about God everywhere else…interesting! I miss your preaching! and you!
Love you!

January 22, 2008 - 6:35 pm

Janna - Thanks for being such an encouragement Bo!Keep on Keepin on!Much Love-Janna

January 23, 2008 - 1:58 pm

Bo - Tara and Janna! Come home! I’m praying for both of you and know you are where you are on purpose but still…come home! : )

January 23, 2008 - 4:12 pm

Helen - Amen and Amen…so glad that the Lord compells you not to stay silent!


January 29, 2008 - 8:20 pm

Keri Schulz - Bo. you always encourage me. I appreciate your balaced, yet uncompromising pursuit to know and share truth. You blow wind into my sails so I can keep leading worship, and speaking as God gives me opportunity. I miss you.

February 2, 2008 - 8:20 pm

Bo - Oh Keri – wonderful girl! So glad to see the teensy little picture of you there! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been praying for you: that Jesus’ presence is so real and true and overwhelming that all of your questions are either being answered or fading to insignificance by comparison. Much love from Oregon to California, Stern to Shulz.

February 5, 2008 - 7:24 pm

Victoria Ashley - Hehe, I’m so excited to be a preacher too!!

February 6, 2008 - 4:39 pm

Bo - Tori…you’ll be a great one!

March 10, 2008 - 8:58 pm

Kaci Bullis - Okay..this is the number one thing I have to answer for when I travel and speak…AAAAUUUGGGHHH As a wise woman in Bend once said “if God can use a donkey he can sure use me”

Beautiful Anna

Luke 2:36-38 (The Message)

36-38Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

I love Anna and I love her story.

Born in the last quarter of a 400-year silence, her life – with all of it’s tears and tragedy – is wedged somewhere between Malachi and Matthew (a dark season if ever there was one.) In addition, she has the distinction of having been married just seven years before becoming a widow – not for 5 years or 10 years, but for 84 – for all the years she has left. The woman has so many reasons to give up or get mad, but she chooses a completely different plan. Instead of sitting around, soaking in the puddle of her circumstances, she runs to the House of the Lord for refuge…and it becomes her reason for living.

Day and night, night and day, Anna prays.
And worships.
And waits.

All that time in the presence of the invisible God positions her to recognize the flesh-and-blood-God the minute she sees Him. In fact, it seems like her spirit sees Him long before her aging eyes ever catch a glimpse, and as soon as the facts sink in, she’s telling the world about what she just found. I don’t think Anna would have traded her 84 years of aloneness for that one look at God.

There must be some seriously significant principles in this tiny little story, because rarely do I run into a life story that looks so sad and yet makes me so envious. I want to see God. I want to run to His House and find my hope there. I want to announce His arrival to a dying generation. I want to worship day and night, night and day, in the good and bad and dark and light and quiet and noisy seasons of my life. Such a lovely story.

Beautiful Anna.

January 14, 2008 - 6:16 pm

Cassie - such a lovely post! and 2 days in a row!

thanks for the insights Bo!

January 17, 2008 - 9:39 am

Yessica - You’re insight is awesome, God has blessed you with such a rad talent for thinking outside the box and presenting it in practical ways… so thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are stinking inspired without a doubt! I love reading your take on… everything.

February 10, 2008 - 10:04 pm

Cher - Bo,

This post made me cry…and also relate to your emotions of envy and sadness too. What an amazing woman and what an amazing example of LIFE!


March 5, 2008 - 5:45 am

helenw13 - I missed this one…lovely…truly lovely.

Lord we run to You…because no one else will do!

One by One


Luke 4:40-41 When the sun went down, everyone who had anyone sick with some ailment or other brought them to Him. One by one He placed his hands on them and healed them.


I love the words, “one by one”. Earlier in the chapter, Satan offers Jesus many ways to use and demonstrate His power and all of them involve some kind of mass-produced, impersonal result. Jesus refused to wield His power apart from relationship. He is focused on the needs of each individual and His relationship to them is critical to His “Lord of All” character. Clearly, He could have waved His arms and healed everyone and fixed everything, but He instead insisted upon demonstrating that He is the God of every person…not just the God of mankind. This awareness builds the groundwork upon which we construct our understanding of His most powerful act of all. As we watch Him take the long walk to the cross, we know that this is not just for “all people”, but for every person. It was for me. And Steve. And Josiah. And my neighbor, Berta.


One by one, He healed them all. One by one, He still does.


However, I wonder: when we serve the “one by one” God, why we so often work mostly to become like each other. He constantly demonstrated a passionate desire to maintain a real relationship with individuals…and yet we tend to model our lives after those around us, hoping that our friendship with Him will look just like their friendship with Him.


Someone told me recently that they absolutely would not read a certain translation of the Bible because their small group leader didn’t like it. Another person mentioned a specific philosophy that they had disregarded without evaluation because their mentor was not a fan. I understand following leaders. I get that we all need discipleship…in fact, I’m really passionate about that fact. I don’t, however, want to ever assume that as followers of Jesus we will all look, speak, pray or even believe exactly like one another.


The image of God – stamped on each one of us – allows for some really beautiful and startling diversity if we’ll truly get to know the one-by-one God.

January 9, 2008 - 1:28 am

Lorelei - I love this post, Bo. Joann just came over to visit me and she’s always been a friend to challenge me in this area which is so needed. My destiny is unlike any others and it’s going to take some different preparation from my ‘one-by-one’ God in order for me to walk in that destiny. Such a great and huge reminder and revleation. Thanks for that.

January 9, 2008 - 3:08 am

Jennifer - I agree as well. I think that, maybe, finding out who God has made me to be sometimes just seems too hard. Its a lot easier to just try to be like someone you look up to…I think it plays into the “microwaveable,” generation I am from that wants everything right now…no matter what the results are in the end. If you think of fast food, its faster, and usually feeds our craving for instant gratification, but in the end it clogs our arteries, gives us thunder-thighs, and decreases our quality of life.
At times, I have felt like I have to at least look put together as quickly as possible. So its easier to make a quick, cheap imitation of someone else, than to risk not knowing who I am at all.
But I too have come to the realization that this is no way to live. God did not give us any imitations! He gave us the best of everything He has, including His own image in each of us. He is too big of a God to be contained in any one person, so to avoid knowing myself as He created me is to avoid knowing the part of God He created me to reflect. And hands down, this has to be the longest comment in blog history! It means a lot to hear this from you Bo…Thanks!

January 9, 2008 - 6:29 am

Katie Scott - I just wanted you to know that I’m officially copyrighting everything you’ve written in this blog (yes including suckling pig) and I’m going to publish a best selling book with it. I just thought I should let you know…

Watch for Flying Time…

Tonight I landed on my blog through a link on someone else’s. That’s not – in itself – remarkable, but the journey to this post made me really nostalgic.

I saw Luke and Kristin’s beautiful engagement picture and so vividly remembered the day he talked with Steve & I in Steve’s office and asked our thoughts about him asking Kristin out for coffee. If I remember right, our answer was “Go for it!” but our real thoughts were, “Good luck!” cuz we didn’t really think that was gonna go anywhere. Now, they’re going to be married in 2 weeks and I just goes to show: we’re wrong a lot, and that’s why we often say, “Uh, yeah…give it a shot!” : )

I also ran into the blog of Caleb & Ashley Brown. Caleb put in a full year of weekly meetings with me – mostly because he found that girls were mad at him a lot. He talked to me about Ashley – one of my favorite girls EVER – before she even returned from Australia, as he stared lovingly at her picture on my fridge. I think with him, I actually said, “Uh, yeah…well, she’s WAY over your head, but go ahead and ask her!” And sure enough, it was good and God and they are serving Kingdom purpose in Kansas and are going to be a family of renown.

Brent and Virginia Earwicker. Jump with me into the wayback machine and travel to 19something – before Brent even had a drivers license. We met him and loved him immediately and wondered and prayed about the way he would someday change the world. Now – wow – look at him doing just that in Africa, alongside the incredible woman of God that he convinced to marry him. AND – can we all just imagine for a moment the level of cuteness and prophetically-gifted-musicianship their baby is going to possess upon arrival? Wow and wow again!

And I mosied through the blogosphere of one Samuel Spedick. Can I just say that this is my favorite boy in the “under 7” division? He’s just been so “him” from the moment he was born and I have a special and significant affection for him. So, I watched the video of his first steps and so clearly remembered the meetings that Jenni and I had when she and Chris were falling in love and the profound discoveries she was making as God led her through the process. And also – this one great road trip that we took with our friend, Russ Devos, and this heavily-pierced guy to see a Master’s Commission program in Olympia. Steve and I talked extensively about the qualities that we saw in Chris and how we hoped for young men exactly like him in Westside’s internship. Turns out, God totally answered our prayers with exactly a guy like Chris in our first year of CMC! Now, we see his wife and son and realize: his legacy is in full flight.

And I also remembered meeting Eric Parnell for the first time at Applebees…and Tara Jean at Red Robin…and Lindsay when she visited while she was still in high school and I thought, “that’s the cutest girl EVER.”…and Clif while HE was still in high school and was still deciding whether or not Jesus would really be worth it (and man, I admire his choice more than ANYTHING)….and Annalisa, when she tossed away her return ticket home and stayed to do CLC, even though she knew no one and it cost her just about everything.

These are the people that remind me that God is a generational God and what He does is for now and for tomorrow and for years to come. So it makes me wonder: who haven’t we met yet? What stories are yet to unfold? And who will be the children of the children of these people who’s lives I have watched grow and change and become?

I don’t know – but bottom line: I have just about the best job ever.

June 26, 2007 - 4:58 pm

Kristin Downs - did you land on your blog through OUR blog.. because that would make me quite happy and proud. (so if you didn’t, you should probably just lie to me and say that you did) ๐Ÿ™‚

June 27, 2007 - 1:38 am

Bo - I did! I did! Good job leading me right back to, um, ME. ๐Ÿ™‚

June 29, 2007 - 7:12 am

Cassie - hey bo…
i like your blog traveling story, because i am sitting here wondering how i came upon your blog!

You amaze me. That’s all i have to say.

Cassie Diacogiannis

July 13, 2007 - 1:41 am

Brandy - I like it when other peoples thoughts and writings make me think.. good stuff

August 15, 2007 - 1:55 am

Katie Scott - And then let’s talk about Lindsay and Eric…that deserves a blog all its own! ๐Ÿ™‚