Size 13 Footprint

I received a Father’s Day gift this year from my son, created with “encouragement” from my wife. I have received many Father’s Day gifts over the years and I am sure many fathers have received a gift similar to the one I am writing about today.

However, I suspect few have received one in the same size as the one I received. You see, my son is 18 and has a size 13 foot.

Fathers Day Card_20140615

This gift marks a milestone for us. You see, this is our youngest child who is now away in college leaving us at home without children in the house for the first time in 27 years. We are quasi-empty-nesters. I say quasi because we do still have two children in college so they will be back pretty regularly until they finish college but they are gone now more than they are here and that will likely be a permanent condition.

We are now living in the second half of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will stay on it.” TLB

For the most part, we are done with the first half of this verse. He is now older and free to make most day-to-day decisions on his own. We will now have to sit back and observe to see if we really did teach him to choose the right path.

I am as confident as one can be when looking into the future he will make wise decisions. Does that mean he will make wise decisions every time the first time? Of course not. That is how we learn the most and gain wisdom – from our mistakes and unwise decisions. As long as he keeps learning and not repeating the same mistakes then those experiences will just become learning opportunities. I do hope he can learn from our mistakes too so he doesn’t have to make the same ones we did.

Will we worry? Of course we will. If I answered that question any other way I would lose all credibility.

Will we pray? Absolutely! We will Pray without ceasing as we are exhorted to do in I Thessalonians 5:17. I think many parents really heed this exhortation when their children leave for college or move away. It is nothing new for us to pray for our children. The focus of the prayers just changes over time. I hope our praying will outweigh our worrying but I am sure the balance of those scales will move back and forth as we grow. We are still learning too.

Our prayer for all our children includes but also follows the more familiar Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

This prayer will work in all situations for all of us.

Until next time…

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What is it? Where did it come from? Who wrote it?

It is only natural for anyone to have questions about the Bible if you have not grown up with it and learned about it in addition to reading it as I did. I will forever be grateful to my parents for affording me that opportunity. I will tell them that when I see them again.

If your primary knowledge of the Bible is what you have read about it or heard someone else say about it then your knowledge of the Bible is weak and probably not accurate and definitely not complete. That last one puts you in the same boat as all of us. None of us have a complete knowledge of all the Bible contains.

I will try to answer some of those questions here today but this is by no means an exhaustive answer to all these questions.

My goal is to give you enough information to make you curious to learn more about its origin, author, and purpose. I recommend you read it on your own because I do not know the message God has for YOU in His Word. That is something YOU have to discover on YOUR own.

What is it?

The Bible has been described as…

  • The best-selling book of all time
  • A book of fairy tales and fables
  • A history book
  • Not relevant for today’s world

Can I share a few facts with you about this book? 350px-holy_bible

I use the letters in BIBLE to help me remember these facts.

The first B stands for Books. The Bible not just one book. It is a collection of 66 books, all about the same subject – Jesus.

Who wrote it? Where did it come from?

 

I stands for Inspired. All of these 66 books were inspired by God. It is not just the writers’ opinions. These are actually God’s words that He inspired the writers to write down for future generations.

The second B stands for By. As I mentioned earlier the Bible was inspired by God and written by men. All throughout history God has chosen to use men to achieve His purposes. He does not need men but chooses to use men.

L stands for Love, Life, and Letters. The 66 books that make up the Bible are actually 66 love letters from God to us. As mentioned earlier they all point to Jesus who is Life.

E stands for Eternal. We all have eternal life. The question that each of us must answer is where will we spend eternity. The Bible helps us by giving us the answer as to how we can spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus.

Does that make sense to you or make you curious to see what is contained in this book instead of hearing someone else tell you what is in it? If so, find yours if you have one, get an electronic version for your e-reader or read it online at http://www.biblehub.com.

If you are curious and have never read it before why not try it now? Are you afraid of what you might find?

If you know all of this and this is just a refresher or reminder for you why not read it again this year. Every time the Bible is read you will see something different you did not see before based on your life at the time or the knowledge you have gained since your last reading.

There are numerous plans available today so if your excuse in the past was I don’t have a plan to follow or it is too confusing or I don’t have time those are just as described, excuses.

What I do know and can state without any doubt is God loves you and wants you to know and love Him. The way you do this is through reading his love letter to you, the Bible.

What do you have to lose?

What could you gain?

It is up to you. If you are looking for God you will find Him. He has not moved.

Until next time…

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Have YOU Read It?

In this post, prior posts and probably future posts too you will see me reference the Bible. I don’t do this as any type of authority or Bible scholar. I do believe the Bible is inspired by God and it is His love letter to us. The principles and precepts taught in the Bible are the lens through which I see the world. If I am not quoting or referencing it explicitly it is still there in my thoughts and view of the world. If you don’t share this belief then I would not expect you to understand this perspective. It is really not possible for you to understand.

That does not mean that we cannot have a dialog on this subject or we have to just agree to disagree.

My intent is never to force my beliefs on anyone but when sharing my beliefs I will be honest with you about what I believe. If that is offensive to you then, as mentioned earlier, I would be happy to discuss. I will not apologize for any part of it. However, my suggestion should this ever occur will always be for you to go to the source, the Bible, and read it for yourself and come to your own understanding. It doesn’t matter what your current belief or understanding is right now. Just as I would not expect you to understand the Bible if you haven’t read it, the flip side of that scenario is your arguments based on what you have heard or read about the Bible will not have any credibility until you have read it.

God’s Word – The Bible – is the standard and guidebook we as Christians use as our instruction manual for life.

English: The Bible
English: The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

Just so there are no misunderstandings this does not mean we are perfect and do not get it wrong…often. There was only one who was perfect, Jesus Christ, and that standard is what we strive for but will never reach. I am a sinner just as you are. My sins have been forgiven and yours can be too but you will have to make that decision to accept the gift of salvation God has given us all. You cannot be “good enough” to earn your salvation. You just have to accept the gift.

That seems too simple for some but God wanted it to be simple so someone as simple and me could understand His plan of salvation for everyone. You see, God does not want anyone to perish or go to Hell. Yes, I do believe in Hell too. However He leaves that choice to accept His gift of salvation up to each of us.

If you have children it is easy to understand. Just as you would not force your children to love and obey you, God has chosen not to force us to love Him. He gives us free will and the ability to make that choice. An excellent way to learn more about this is to read His Word, the Bible.

I challenge you, if you have never done it to give it a shot and see what you learn.

Zig Ziglar said and I paraphrase, it’s not what people don’t understand about the Bible that bothers them. It’s what they do understand. Read it for yourself and see what you understand.

There are numerous Bible translations or versions and Bible reading plans available so there is one that will work for you if you really want to find out for yourself, what this book says. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can get the YouVersion Bible for free on either. With this software you choose from among many different reading plans and you will get a reminder every day reminding you to read. It is what I use for my daily Bible reading and I recommend it to anyone. I may address other tools, versions, and plans in a future post but my prayer and challenge for you is you will be curious enough to pick up a Bible or download a software version and read it for yourself.

Of this I am certain; God has a message in His Word for YOU but you have to open it and read it to receive it.

Until next time… 

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Do You Like the Bible?

Do you like the Bible?

I didn’t ask if you read the Bible or if you believe what the Bible says. I asked if you like the Bible. Think about that for a few seconds.

I recently discovered an author and speaker, Keith Ferrin, who suggests that many of us don’t really like the Bible. We read it out of an obligation or habit but we don’t really like it, not really. If that doesn’t apply to you or if you are completely satisfied with your relationship with Jesus Christ through his love letter to you, the Bible, then there is no reason for you to read any further.

However, if you would like to see maybe a different perspective on this subject that might revolutionize your regular reading of God’s Word and your relationship with Jesus then you might just want to read a little further. It will only take a few minutes and it might just change your life.

I think I know what you are thinking, “Not another book about how to read or study the Bible!” I was skeptical myself as I do believe God’s Word will teach you what you need to know if you will spend time with it. If you were thinking that, just stay with me a few minutes and hear me out. By reading this far you did say you are not completely satisfied with your relationship with Jesus and your study of His word, the Bible.

10 Tips for Liking the Bible (Because Believing It’s True Is Not Enough)  was the original name of the book when this post was published in 2013.

Since I wrote this post the book title has changes but the content is still the same. It is now called How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible. It is a short book. I read it in one evening. However don’t let the length fool you. There are ideas – tips – in this book that make a lot of sense to me and I plan on trying some of them myself.

I fall into that second category I described above. I do regularly read the Bible. This year I have been following a plan from YouVersion Bible App and it has helped me to regularly read the Bible. I know I have benefitted from this. However, I don’t believe I am where I should be in really liking the Bible as Keith describes in this book and in my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I definitely do think there is room for improvement.

I have often thought about memorizing scripture but have used any number of excuses to not really act on that thought. What translation do I use being one of the questions/excuses I use. The Watch The Whole Movie chapter will help me with this. In this chapter, he says,

 He suggests reading whole books of the Bible instead of one chapter as many of us do. Once you have read the whole book a number of times you will understand what the book is about, the big picture, then you can go back and dive deeper on a chapter or verse or passage. You will also have memorized some scripture by following this tip.

I am not going to go through all of the tips here but will list them to give you an idea of what you will see in the book. I will show you a couple of ways you can get your own copy below.

Here are the chapter titles:

1 Remember Why You Are Doing This

2 Set Your Expectations Really High

3 Have a Strategy

4 Watch the Whole Movie

5 Learn from Your Shampoo Bottle

6 Raise Your Voice

7 Read Alone

8 Don’t Read Alone

9 Go on a 60-Day Adventure

10 Take Two 4-Month Challenges

I do want to highlight one more chapter here. In Chapter 1 Keith builds his case for the purpose of and hope for this book. Here is an excerpt quoted in blue.

If our time in God’s Word was primarily relational, instead of informational, then it would have a significantly higher probability of being transformational!

Is there information in Bible? Yes. Do we learn some things about God in His Word? Yes. Does spending time in the Bible lead to a better understanding of God, His will, and His ways? Yes, yes, and yes. 

But the context of that information is the relationship. The umbrella under which all that information sits is the relationship.

So…how do we keep the focus on that relationship?

And so begins the journey.

Let’s review. If you have read this far then you have admitted to yourself that your reading and study of God’s Word is not what it should be or what you want it to be and there is room for improvement. So is it worth an evening reading to see if there is a tip contained in this book to see if there is something here that will help you? I cannot answer that for you but can and do suggest it is worth a couple of hours to find out.

I would love to see your comments either now or after you have had a chance to read How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 11/09/2013

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Emotions

I was recently given the opportunity to receive a PDF copy of Emotions by Charles Stanley if I would be willing to read it and write an honest review. I thought about it for about 3 seconds and jumped at that opportunity.  As my tagline says, “I believe there is always more to be learned.” My review is what appears below.

emotions-product

For those who know me you know you would not describe me as being emotional. You would likely describe me as wearing my emotions up my sleeve as I generally don’t express them outwardly very often.

For that reason a book with a title of Emotions is probably not one that I would have thought would be very interesting  based on the title or have caught my eye on the bookshelf of my local book store. This book is not about the “Rah! Rah! Go Team!” expression of emotions but the emotions we all feel and experience but seldom discuss with anyone else because we think we are the only ones experiencing them.

The fact that it was written by Charles Stanley of course did catch my eye and does give it credibility for me as I have listened to hundreds of his sermons on his In Touch radio program and podcasts over the years. I am glad I decided to accept the opportunity to read it as I have once again learned some things or been reminded of some things I needed to be reminded of which is the benefit I expect to receive when reading any book.

Summary

Dr. Stanley first builds a case for what emotions really are and where they originate and makes two very important points at the outset.

1) Trusting Jesus Comes First – If you cannot trust Jesus enough to save you, then nothing I write here will do you any good.

2) Saving Faith Models Trust In God – The second reason I am talking about salvation at the beginning of a book about emotions is because your saving faith is a model for the kind of trust in God you’ll need for healing.

Once that foundation – that for any of this to apply you must be a believer – is established, he describes several types of emotions including rejection, bitterness, guilt and despair and how we can deal with each using God’s word as the basis for his discussion.

 

The format he uses at the end of each chapter includes 5-10 questions for personal reflection or group study. It has been my experience when there are questions such as these provided if you read these before you read the chapter you will get more out of the reading since you have clues as to what the author is trying to communicate in that chapter. That does hold true for this book as well.

 

Many of the chapters also have a “The Enemy’s Lie — God’s Truth – Our Defense” table with an issue or situation we often face and discussed in that chapter on the left and the truth from God’s word on the right we can lean on to face that situation. For example in the Guilt chapter:

God’s Truth – Our Defense – 

There is also a prayer at the end of each chapter that is an example you can use to pray yourself through that situation when you are dealing with it yourself. These end of chapter conventions alone would be worth the cost of the book.

I did learn much from this book and now have a reference to reach for when these emotions arise in my life or in the lives of those I care about. I think anyone who invests the cost of this book and time it takes to read it will find something they identify with that can help them whether that is a revelation or reminder. We all need both.

You can learn more here about In Touch Ministries and read many more reviews at Amazon.com at Emotions.

Deeper Dive

Taking a closer look at Emotions, here are some highlights that stood out to me. Quotes from the book are in blue.

Chapter 1 – Choosing to Triumph

He begins by asking the questions, Can we heal and harness our emotions — taking control of this powerful influence within us? And can we choose to express the positive, life-enhancing emotions rather than the destructive ones?

His supposition that is supported and defended throughout the book is stated as: Only the Father can pinpoint where we’ve been injured and what destructive coping mechanisms we’ve developed to protect ourselves. Only He recognizes what lies we believe about ourselves and which attitudes keep us in bondage.

Chapter 2 – What’s Going On Here?

God will work through your emotions to help you understand His purpose for your life.

Many people try to manage their feelings in unhealthy ways that are not at all helpful.

  1. The belief that emotion is a weakness
  2. The inclination to suppress or stifle emotion
  3. The drive to drown out emotions
  4. The need to express all emotions without a filter

Chapter 3 – The Root of All Painful Emotions

“Starting With Fear – …I believe that the origin of every other negative response we face is some kind of anxiety.”

Chapter 4 – Reviewing the Evidence

…if you ever find yourself driven by the thought, If I don’t act now, I’ll miss the opportunity and may never have another chance–rather than whether or not that choice is God’s will for you–then it is likely that you’re acting out of anxiety and you will not come to a wise conclusion.

…fear generally causes us to be pessimistic, self-focused, and unwilling to take risks. We ask, Why me? instead of Father what is it You are teaching me?

Freedom Through Change

Do you experience any of the symptoms of anxiety? Does a persistent lack of peace plague you? Are you tormented by a divided mind–your life characterized by a lack of focus, progress, and wisdom in making decisions? Do you constantly second-guess yourself because of the fear that you’ll be rejected, deemed unworthy, or found to be inadequate? Are you relationships strained, unfulfilling, and, at times, even alienating? Is your body deteriorating as a result of undue stress? Have you found yourself unable to grow spiritually as you hoped you would?

If you answered yes to any or all of these, then there is evidence that some form of anxiety is driving you…you need to deal with your fears in God’s strength and wisdom in order to enjoy the freedom He created you to experience.

Chapter 5 – The Courage to Stand

It is exceedingly important to find the origins of your fears so that you can then deal with them–and the thoughts they generate in you–effectively. Otherwise, you are only addressing the surface symptoms of you anxiety, rather than the profound issues that make you feel helpless and out of control.

…I would still fret about the sermon right up until the moment I reached the pulpit. I didn’t have freedom from the fear until I pinpointed the true reason it bothered me.

Origins of Fear

  1. Attitudes we’re taught as children
  2. Our imaginations
  3. Lack of information
  4. Wrong view of God’s nature

 

Triumphing Over Abiding Fear

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

  1.  Acknowledge your anxiety to God
  2. Identify the root causes of your fears and confront them – The spirit of God working through the Word of God in a heart dedicated to Him will always succeed.
  3. Change your focus from fears to God
  4. Give the Lord praise and thanks

Chapter 6 – Rejection

Rejection strikes at the foundation of our identity, distorting what we think is true about who we are and what we are worth.

And the truth of the matter is, if we fail to recognize the presence of rejection in our lives and deal with it, it will continue to cause us pain and corrupt every relationship we have. Therefore, we must root out every false message of being unloved, unwanted, and unworthy that has been implanted in our lives and replace it with the truth of Scripture (Ps. 107:20)

Chapter 7 – Bitterness

At the outset of bitterness we must recognize two truths.

  1. Denying that your bitterness exists doesn’t work, so acknowledge it.
  2. Bitterness continues to wound as long as it persists–so root it out.

What bitterness and unforgiveness produce spiritually

  1. Bitterness hinders our prayer life
  2. Bitterness impedes our worship
  3. Bitterness prevents peace in a church body
  4. Bitterness damages a person’s ability to represent Christ

Reasons People Choose Not to Forgive Others

You cannot live a happy, healthy, effective, fruitful life if you are harboring unresolved resentment.

Gaining Victory Over Unforgiveness

  1. Ask God to reveal any bitterness in you
  2. Assume full responsibility and ask God for forgiveness
  3. Ask God to help you forgive the offender
  4. Pray, with thanksgiving, for the person who wounded you

Chapter 8 – Guilt

In this world, there is most likely no one who is as critical of you as you are. In fact, you have the potential to pick yourself apart with greater intensity and cruelty than anyone else ever could or would think to. No one else can torment you with negative thoughts every waking minute as you can.

He knows the pain, insecurities, and fears you face, and He wants to help you break free from them and from the unforgiveness you feel toward yourself. You don’t have to live under a terrible cloud of shame that suffocates your soul.

So, in summary, we must understand these two things:

  1. Legitimate guilt comes from violating God’s standard
  2. False guilt comes from wrong thinking

…it is not pardon they struggle with, but self-condemnation. They have not let the sin go, even though the Lord has.

Friend, you only have to turn your iniquity over to the Father once for it to be forgiven. Psalm 103:12 promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” You may repeatedly recall what you have done, but God does not. In His mind, it is absolutely forgotten. He promises, “I…will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again” (Isa. 43:25, NLT).

The Consequences of Guilt

  1. Guilt stops you from achieving your goals
  2. Self-reproach drains your energy and destroys your peace
  3. Guilt makes you feel insecure
  4. Persistent shame can cause physical and mental illness
  5. Self-condemnation can cause compulsive behavior
  6. Guilt can make us vulnerable to manipulation

Chapter 9 – Despair

The Challenge of Choice

  1. A Negative Inward Focus
  2. A Poor Testimony
  3. Self-Destructive Actions
  4. A Desire to Quit – Permanently

John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”

So the Lord reminded Elijah of one of the most important principles any of us will ever learn: Whenever problems arise, get alone and listen quietly for God. Take time to intentionally kneel in silence before His holy presence. He will speak to you. Dwelling on your problem will never make it go away, but focusing on the Father is always the pathway to success.

Like Elijah, you can hold on to God no matter what happens or how discouraging your situation may become — knowing that your greatest moments of victory are often preceded by moments of seemingly insurmountable defeat.

Zephaniah 3:17 affirms, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Chapter 10 – All The Way To Victory

He taught me that I was so occupied doing His work that I was actually missing His voice. I was not taking time to listen to Him.

So make the most of the opportunity God has given you. Share His love with others verbally, physically, patiently, gratefully, generously, tenderly, forgiving, devotedly, cheerfully, and honorably.

Conclusion

The preceding highlight are just that, highlights. There is no way I can convey to you the full depth of this book in this review. There is too much there. What I have attempted to do is give you some examples of the subjects Dr. Stanley discusses in this book. If you see some that do resonate with you then you will likely receive some benefit from this book. If you don’t then you might need to re-read them. I think most people will see something that reminds them of themselves.

Will Emotions by Charles Stanley resolve every emotional issue you are experiencing right now or in the future? No

Will Emotions by Charles Stanley teach you something new or remind you of something that you once knew that will help you face and walk through many of the emotional issues you are facing right now or will face in the future? Yes

For that reason I believe it is worth the investment of a few dollars and your time to purchase and read Emotions by Charles Stanley. It will be a worthwhile investment.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

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Outrageously Good

 

The Outrageous Life

In the OUTRAGEOUS life Dwayne Morris challenges the reader, and himself as well I believe, to live the outrageous life that God has planned for us instead of settling for any plan we can devise and try to execute on our own. God’s plan is always better and we have to have the faith to trust God that his plan is the best for us. That statement sounds weird but it is how most of us live our lives, thinking we know better than God. This book WILL challenge you – so if you don’t want to be challenged then I suggest you look for something different.

Here are some highlights from my first time through this book.

“In our attempt to make sure our plans are part of His plans, we must seek Him through the pages of His Word and build in time to simply listen in silence.”

“We need a healthy level of fear to keep us dependent more on God and less dependent on ourselves.”

Something I learned or realized for the first time in reading this book, although I have heard and read the story from the Bible many times when Jesus fed the multitude with two fishes and five loaves of bread, is the twelve baskets of food left over was just enough to feed the 12 disciples. I am sure some of them shared theirs with Jesus.

One line that really resonated with me is, “For years, I have felt like I had a book in me…” as I have and still do have this feeling. Maybe this book will challenge to do something outrageous and write it.

If you are looking for a book to challenge you as Gideon was challenged in the Bible to live an Outrageous Life then I highly recommend you purchase the Outrageous life and ‘let God take you from ordinary to outrageous’.

You can also learn more about the author, Dwayne Morris, and connect with him at his web site at MorrisMatters.com .

In case you were not aware you do not have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books. Amazon.com has free Kindle readers you can download to your PC, tablet, or smart phone that allows you to read the books wherever it is most convenient for you.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 10/25/2013

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Carried by Angels

Carried by AngelsWhen I decided to read Carried by Angels by Phillip Hatfield I was not sure exactly what to expect. After finishing the book I no longer have to wonder.

A lot in common with the author

I knew he worked for the Ziglar Corporation and that is an endorsement that carries a lot of weight with me. Zig Ziglar has had a positive effect on my life since I first saw him speak on November 12, 1991 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He encouraged and continues to encourage me, as he does millions of others, even after his death last year.

I knew he had a motorcycle accident which resulted in his leg being amputated. Two of my daughters were hit head on by a drunk driver 8 years ago so I thought I could identify with the accident part of his story. If you are interested in that story you can read more at Unlike Any Other.

I knew he was a Christian. I am a Christian so I knew I could identify with that.

I knew he was a real person in that I had heard him speak on the radio and via webinars. I am real person too.

Another book about angels?

So there were several things I knew I could identify with and were all indicators I would enjoy and learn something from this book and Phillip’s journey so far. However, even knowing all that, I was still not sure what to expect – another book about angels? I wondered what his take on angels would be and would it agree with or be at odds with mine?

No longer have to wonder

As mentioned earlier, before reading Carried by Angels I wondered. Since I have now finished the book I no longer have to wonder. I know I was moved by the story, inspired by his attitude, and challenged by the examples of service from Phillip and all those around him, his angels, throughout his life and during his recovery from his accident. I suspect most who read the book will experience similar enjoyment and benefits.

The description of his accident, which became his greatest tragedy and his greatest blessing will draw you in and have you wanting to learn more about what led to this event. The story of the black radio preacher will make you laugh. There is also murder, gambling, business, and dating in this book so there is something there for most anyone.

What I don’t know and what I do

I don’t believe you have to have all of the markers I had in common with Phillip to enjoy, learn, laugh, and cry while reading this book.

I do know if you do get a copy and read it, and do share just one commonality, you are a real person too, you will benefit from having done so. I am glad he heeded Zig’s encouragement and wrote the book.

Get your copy of Carried by Angels today. It might just change your life.

Until next time…

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Fog

It was very foggy here on the way to church this morning and that got me to thinking.   Anyone who knows me very well knows that can be dangerous, not really in a physical sense but in the sense you just never know where that may lead.

Fog in Seattle
Fog in Seattle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does fog make you think of? 

Anything other than you need to turn your headlights on and pay more attention to the road and possibly slow down?

For me, this morning, it made me think of God and His plans for us, His children.   There is a Steven Curtis Chapman song called God is God that has the lines, “God is God and I am not.  I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting.”  That came to mind for me this morning in the fog.  You can see a live performance (well it is a recording of a live performance) here God is God (Live).

Me? A Masterpiece?

God is painting a masterpiece, which happens to be our lives, and He does only show us a part of the masterpiece He is painting.  It can be — usually is — frustrating for us because we want to see the end of the story or three steps ahead but we are only shown the next step.  After we take that step, then we can see more.

We can fight against this reality as much as we like but God will not show us our next step until He knows we are ready for it or until we have learned the lesson He is trying to teach us where we are now, which is one way He shows how much He loves us.

Have children?  Do you act like them or do they act like you?

For parents this is much like we try to teach our children.  We love them and want the best for them but we know if they do not experience the challenges and setbacks that are often painful for us to watch they will not grow or learn and are destined to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and will never achieve the victory they strive for.  As much as we might like to take the fall for them we know that the lessons we have learned well are the hard ones so I suspect that is how they will best learn them as well.

If you are anything at all like me you have given your son or daughter a task to do, knowing that if they are obedient and do the task with the attitude and effort required to do their best job, without complaining, you have a reward for them.  That reward could be taking them to get ice cream or to the movie or a new video game or whatever would be fun and a reward for them.  You don’t tell them you have a reward in mind because you want to see if they will be obedient first.

God does the same for His children.  He requires and expects our obedience to do what He is telling us to do without complaining.  He has a reward for us.  The fog this morning reminded me of that.  Maybe it will be a reminder for you too.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 03/17/2013