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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Am Second - Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett

Real Stories. Changing Lives. This book can be summed up with this quote from the cover - Becoming second means recognizing God is first. This book tells the stories of famous and not so famous people that have been changed by God, and continue to live for Him. People such as Tony Dungy, Brian Welch, Bethany Hamilton and 18 others share their honest and very personal stories. There are also links to videos of each story through smart phone scans in the book, and on the website, iamsecond.com. where you will find information on finding and starting a small group based on I am second.
This is an important book because we all need to know and be reminded of the changing power of God over people's lives.
Sections on the back titled "How do I become second?" and "What Now?" are the shortest, but in my opinion the most important. In it, the authors detail our need for God in our lives, and how to have a personal relationship with His son, Jesus.
The authors are missionaries, church planters, and work with e3 partners, a parent organization.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There is a time for cutting grass, and a time for not cutting grass. Today was not the day.

My grass needs cutting
Last week the grass in my yard needed cut. I intended to do it in the morning on this day, my day off. But, always open for free entertainment, I took our three kids to the free movie that our local theater offers during the summer. We got home around noontime. I then sat outside with my wife and talked for a while.
Then we all came inside and had a nice lunch, and the grass still needed cut.
After lunch my son wanted to show me a new video game and wanted me to play it with him, which I did. After that, my youngest daughter brought me a book and wanted me to read to her. The afternoon was continuing, and the grass still wasn’t cut.
My son and I then played one of his favorite computer games, after which my oldest wanted me to see her website she had just designed and read her latest blog. Then, we all played a few board games as a family. The afternoon turned into evening and my two youngest picked out books, I read to them and put them to bed.
I went to bed that night and the grass still needed cut.
I got thinking that a lot of people would have said that I didn’t accomplish anything that day. However, I would rather have weeds in my yard, then weeds in my family relationships. I have read that people spend the most time on things that are the most important to them. I have known men who clean and polish their cars, but their family is rusting.
Now, there certainly is a time for cutting grass and yardwork, but today was not the day. The grass can wait.
I didn’t think too much more about it until the day after our “family day”, when the neighbor girl asked to come over and wound up staying for supper and playing with our kids. I always wanted our family to be an example to others, but I was unprepared for what happened next. After a few hours at our house, the neighbor girl said “I wish YOU were my brother and sister!.” She was saying “I wish I could live here.”
I know she sensed something different in our home. I am hoping it was love, commitment, security, and a family that loved God and each other. She saw a mother and father who was first and foremost a husband and wife that were committed to God and to each other.
I learned something through all this. I was reminded to invest time where it really matters.
The little neighbor girl wanted to spend time at our house, even though the grass still needs cut!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge - Tony Dungy

"This year, dare to be uncommon every day." This book consists of a years worth of devotionals for men, one page for each day. It is meant to be started on and day of the year, and continue on. There are seven themes throughout the book, Core, Family, Friends, Potential,  Mission, Influence, and Faith. This book is a continuation of his previous book, Uncommon.
 Even though I am not a football fan, I have a lot of respect for Tony for being so open about his faith and being such a public figure. This book will appeal to anyone who wants to start or end the day with inspiration from the Bible. Each page per day includes a Bible verse, and an uncommon key, plus an interesting story or observation from Tony. Several websites are also available including, www.uncommonchallenge.com, www.coachdungy.com and www.daretobeuncommon.net. It is good to see successful  high-profile sports pros being so open about who they are and what they believe.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tim Tebow

Something Tim Tebow said after his team’s loss to the Patriots on Saturday night: "What I pray before games, during games, after games, is regardless whether I win, whether I lose, whether I'm the hero or the goat, that it doesn't matter, that I still honor the Lord because He's deserving of it, and just like my effort shouldn't change, neither should that. So that's how I try to approach it, and sometimes even in a loss you can honor Him more. For me, I pray that my character and who I am doesn't change even though you can be dejected, you can still feel hurt, you can be disappointed, but you can still honor the Lord with how you handle things." Thanks, Timmy. I appreciate you as much when you lose as when you win. - Randy Alcorn

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nearing Home - Billy Graham

Life, Faith and Finishing Well.
Billy Graham needs no introduction. Even those vaguely familiar with Christianity will recognize the name Billy Graham. He has been an advisor to many presidents and preached to many thousands in his lifetime.
 This book was written for for people at every stage of life, not just for old people. At just over 93 years of age, Billy Graham has seen and experienced many years of service to God. He admits that there is still a reason why he is here on this earth. We should all realize this, that God has us all here, for as long as He does for a reason.
Chapters deal with issues such as retirement, work, influence on others, and leaving a legacy. This book along with "Just as I am", his previous auto-biography, one gets a complete picture of a man used by God in so many ways to help so many people. He also addresses the grief he felt with the death of his wife, Ruth, and how he has dealt with it at the time, and continues to look forward to the day when he will see her again.
I would recommend this book to anyone, even if they have not read any of Mr. Graham's other books. This one is worth the time, and will influence many for many years to come.