Friday, July 31, 2009

Click on picture to enlarge.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--- NOW WHAT? 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang

Many of us want to take our lives in a new, more meaningful direction. But what is that direction? And how do we make it a reality?

Some of the answers lie in Forgang's extraordinary book, Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction. The book offers a result-oriented program for anyone who longs for a new professional or personal path; has experienced divorce, separation, loss, or relocation; or is a young, mid-life, or retired searcher looking forward to a new chapter in their lives.

Fortgang found that career and life satisfaction stems less from what we choose to do for a living and more from who we get to be while we are doing it. Now What? takes us through the steps to find out what that "it" might be and how to get there from here, in a twelve-week, one week-per-chapter format that encapsulates Fortgang's highly successful 90-day program.

Anne Fisher, Fortune Magazine said, "...This wise, honest, and practical book can help you figure out what may be holding you back, and where to go from here. I'm recommending it for everyone I know. Great stuff!"

Because of my age, position in life and the fact that I feel complete and happy with the life I am now living, this book didn't speak to me directly. Maybe it should have and I wish it would have--but it didn't. I found it extremely interesting however, because of the many people I know who are looking for something more in their lives. I have the opportunity to talk to and counsel with some of these people and I found this book helpful in that way.

I feel this book will be helpful to many people. There are not many young people like the quarterback for the Arizona State football team. Besides football, he is involved in many activities. His mother said of him, "He's present in his life and doing the things he loves. Know who you are and match that with what you're doing. I have admiration for who he is as a person aside from all the things he's doing. He's an interesting kid with a lot of depth. He doesn't do anything that isn't easy to support." Well there you have it. But how many of us are like that? Not many. And he's young. Time changes many things.

Think you need some changes in your life? Check out Now What?. It will help.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--GOD WILL DO THE REST--7 Keys to the Desires of Your Heart by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito

In the introduction to her splendid book, God Will Do The Rest--7 Keys to the Desires of Your Heart, Catherine Galasso-Vigorito says, "Today, the times of change and challenge we face require more faith than ever before. When we support and uplift others, even in small ways, we are serving God. I rejoice in the Scripture that says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the lest of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40 NIV).

The inside flap of the book's dust jacket reads: "For over fifteen years, Catherine Galasso-Vigorito has reached a worldwise audience with her acclaimed syndicated column, "A New You." Over one million readers seeking to strenthen their faith--from homemakers to CEOs to clergymen to teenagers--have written to share their gratitude for her inspiring words."

It goes on to say, "Catheine knows personally about the power of healing words and uplifting thoughts. like all of us, she has had her share of difficult times, but throughout each challenge she knew that faith was the first step, and after that, "God would do the rest."

Catherine writes about seven keys: Faith, persistence, optimism, hope, gratitude, love and forgiveness. This book is filled with stories and illustrations, one after another, to inspire and instruct. Each story touches the heart and reveals a key to His Kingdom. All we need to do is use these keys to open the first door, and then the second, and when all are opened, stand back and watch in gratitude. For God really will do the rest!

I hope you leave a comment saying you would like to read this book. Due to the generosity of the Hachette Book Group I have five copies that I can give away. Please read the instructions below and leave a comment.


The generous folks at Hachette Book Group are allowing me to host this book giveaway for five (5) copies!

  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.

  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments August 12 and pick the five winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).


Tuesday, July 28, 2009



Monday, July 27, 2009


Ginger Kolbaba, editor of Today's Christian Woman said "I couldn't put Blue Like Pay Dough down." I agree with her. Tricia Goyer tells of her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom in a way that captures your attention and won't let you go. Kolbaba goes on to say, "Tricia's love of God comes through on every page as she shows what motherhood is like when God wields His rolling pin and smoothes the rough edges of her life. Before you know it, your heart will be putty in God's hands, too."

In Tricia's story you'll find laughter, understanding, and inspiration for your own story. And in the midst of your daily demands, you'll discover the hands of God at work...and know he has something beautiful in mind.

Tricia Goyer is the author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction. She writes for several Christian publications and speaks to women's groups nationwide. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

I like what author Mary Byers said about this book. She said, "Tricia's story reveals a great truth: that as God uses us to grow our kids. He grows us in the process too." Author Margaret McSweeney wrote, "Tricia's book is a masterpiece on motherhood---sculpted by her hands---shaped by her love for God."

Needless to say, I'm not a mother, but this book had me laughing, almost crying and wondering if I'm the only man that would feel this way. I think most men will find this book honest, gut-wrenching and funny. I liked this book!

You may want to check out Tricia's website at www.triciagoyer.com. And if you go to the Random House website http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601421524 you will see all of the different options where you can purchase the book online.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

In certain stores you will find a section of merchandise available at greatly reduced prices. The tip-off is a particular tag you will see on all the items in that area. Each tag carries the same words: as is.
This is a euphemistic way of saying, "These are damaged goods." Sometimes they're called slightly irregular.

When it comes to people we are tempted to live under the illusion that somewhere out there are people who are normal. In the movie As Good As It Gets, Helen Hunt in desperation cries to her mother:" I just want a normal boyfriend."

"Oh," her mother responds in empathy, "Everybody wants one of those. There's no such thing, dear."

When we enter relationships with the illusion that people are normal, we resist the truth that they are not. We enter an endless attempt to fix them, control them, or pretend that they are what they're not. One of the great marks of maturity is to accept the fact that everybody comes "as is."

Oh how we could simplify our lives if we could just accept this one fact of life.

(The ideas expressed in this post were adapted from John Ortberg's splendid book, Everybody's Normal Till You Get To Know Them.)


Life's made up of little things,
no great sacrifice or duty,
but smiles and many a cheerful word
fill up our lives with beauty.

The heartaches, as they come and go,
are but blessings in disguises,
for time will turn the pages o'er
and show us great surprises.

Mary R. Hartman


Friday, July 24, 2009

"Sometimes when we are down the best solution is to laugh and move on, for some aspects of life just cannot be taken too seriously." Stephen R. Covey

"If you're going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now." Marie Osmond

"Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on." Bob Newhart

"A man without mirth is like a wagon without springs. He is jolted disagreeably by every pebble in the road." Henry Ward Beecher


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The number one problem I have with politicians, from the President on down, is that they just can't seem to tell the truth.

"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
--Albert Einstein


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

By all accounts, Steve McNair, the Titans famed quarterback, was a gifted leader. He led the Titans to the playoffs four times and eventually to Super Bowl XXXIV. He was loved by teammates, fans, and the media. In Nashville, he was a local hero.

a fork in the road

But off the field, his life gradually unraveled. He was arrested for DUI and illegal gun possession in 2003. Four years later, in 2007, he was again arrested for DUI, along with his brother-in-law. He was traded to the Baltimore Raven is 2005 and then retired in April 2008 at the age of 35.

Sadly, just one year later, he was found dead in a rented condominium in Nashville, along with his 20-year-old mistress. Eventually, the police determined that McNair’s girlfriend had shot him in his sleep and then killed herself. Their deaths were ruled a murder-suicide.

I don’t recount this tragic story to judge Steve McNair. We are all sinners. In the words of John Bradford, “But for the grace of God go I.”

But McNair’s story is a cautionary tale. It is a reminder that all of us are only one stupid decision away from destroying our lives and our legacy. It is sobering, isn’t it?

I doubt that McNair woke up one morning and thought, You know, I think I’ll have an affair with a woman nearly half my age. It will be fun for a few months. But then she’ll kill me, then herself. My wife and my four sons will spend the rest of their lives trying to forgive me.

No, we never have that kind of clarity at the beginning. Instead, we make some small decision. Perhaps for McNair, it was simply a decision to flirt with an attractive waitress at a restaurant he frequented. Then it snowballed from there.

One bad decision became two. Two became three. And eventually it cascaded into a violent, unexpected end. Twenty years from now, his family and friends will still be trying to get over his untimely—and unseemly—death.

But Steve is gone. What are the lessons for us? We still have choices ahead. I think there are at least five:

  1. We never make decisions in a vacuum. Everything matters. Our words and actions will echo into eternity.
  2. One moment of indiscretion will be remembered forever. It can wipe away a lifetime of good deeds, all of which will be forgotten.
  3. We are all vulnerable to lapses in judgment. If we think we are not, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
  4. We need to build a support system of family and friends who will care enough to challenge us when we veer off course.
  5. We need to live our lives on-purpose. In my experience, the best way to do this is to create a life plan and review it frequently. If you don’t have a road map, you could end up anywhere.

As humans, we have the privilege of determining our legacy. We can decide how we want to be remembered. But this is not a single choice; it is a series of choices. It’s never too late to change course and make your life count.

Question: How do you want to be remembered? What decisions do you need to make today to move yourself toward that outcome?



Monday, July 20, 2009

I Want To Believe by Mel Lawrenz is not a quick read. It is a book to be read in a quiet setting with slow deliberation. It is just the right thing for a long plane trip or a cold, winter night by the fire. I would not suggest you try to read this book on a sunny day at the beach. I am reviewing and recommending several books as excellent summer reading. This is not one of them. But I do highly recommend this book. It meets a great need that we all have--the need to believe.

Mel Lawrenz has advanced degrees in theology and philosophy. He has been pastor for more than twenty-five years. He knows what he is talking about. The book is filled with stories, both personal and drawn from history. This is the kind of book that can be used by a Sunday school teacher or a small group leader to challenge students' thinking. College students and other thinking Christians will benefit greatly from reading and studying this book.

I retired as a Senior Pastor five years ago after serving for forty-seven years. I now have the time to read and meditate at a slower pace. I read Mel's book one chapter at a time and then pondered over that chapter's contents. I believe this is the way everybody should read this good book.

"Some ideas about God are shared by many of the major religions and are also found in the beliefs of hidden tribes--bits and pieces of spiritual truth in diverse cultures all over the world. But those common threads lead to some crucial quesions: What are we to make of the different religions? Can there be only one way to God? Should we assume that one is right and all the others are wrong? Lawrenz examines several belief systems--atheism, Buddhism, Earth religions, Hinduism, and Islam--comparing their answers to ultimate questions about life and meaning with the Christian gospel. He evaluates their truth claims, and presents the case for the belief that Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer."

Leonard Sweet, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism, Drew Theological School, said, "One chapter alone, 'No More Excuses,' is worth the price of this book."


The green can goes out on Thurday, the blue can goes out on Monday---Blue Monday!

Guess which can I like best.

Green is for garbage. Blue is for things that can be re-cycled.

I'm an amateur at Blue Monday posting. Hopefully this meets the qualifications. There are blue cans, blue sky and two blue doors although one of them is so shaded you can't tell it's blue. You will have to take my word for it.

Ok, trash cans are not the prettiest things in the world---but these are blue!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

I like these words of Max Lucado:

God's love never ceases. Never. Though we spurn him. Ignore him. Reject him. Despise him. Disobey him. He will not change. Our evil cannot diminish his love. Our goodness cannot increase it. Our faith does not earn it anymore than our stupidity jeopardizes it. God doesn't love us less if we fail or more if we succeed. God's love never ceases.

God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.


Some people love pickles. Some people don't.

When I posted about making pickles here, some of you asked for the recipe.

"Granny" died with the recipe in her head. As simple as it was, I couldn't remember it.

But here is the recipe I use for making two jars of homemade pickles--one for you and one for a lucky friend:

2 lbs. (about 10) pickling cucumbers 2 c. water 2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. distilled white vinegar 1 Tbsp. course salt 1/2 c. sugar 1 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill

In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and let stand at room temp. 1 hr.
Fit cucumbers into two 1 qt. jars; pour in enough of vinegar mixture to cover cucumbers. Tighten lids and refrigerate at least 1 week before serving to develop flavor.
(Note: Instead of letting stand at room temp. I heat the ingredients to the boiling point. I pour it into the two jars, wait for it to cool and then put into the refrig. for at least 24 hours. There are very few things I want to wait ten days for. LOL)


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie touched my heart in a way that no other book on human suffering has done in many years. For over forty-seven years I was the Pastor for four different churches. Rarely a week passed that I didn't come face to face with different kinds of sorrow like infidelity, infertility, a spouse's rejection, a child's rebellion, suicide, depression, and death. I was constantly looking for ways to help those who were suffering. I learned that in times of deep sorrow, everything we believe can be called into question.

In this splendid book, Nancy Guthrie gently invites readers to come along with her to hear Jesus speak understanding and insight into the lingering questions we all have about the hurts of life. According to Nancy, pursuing answers to our questions can either take us far from God or cause us to press into him more deeply. It is as we hear Jesus speak into our confusion that we come to clarity about the promises of the gospel we may have misapplied and the purposes of God we may have misunderstood.

Ten years after burying a daughter and then a son and writing Holding On to Hope, a book that has been published in eight languages and has helped thousands of people around the world make sense of their suffering, Nancy Guthrie brings the additional perspective of years and further scriptural study to the issues we all struggle with when life hurts.

Hank Hanegraaff, said, "She does not offer up a panacea but the peace that comes from hearing Jesus speak into our sorrows." Kay Arthur wrote, "The Word of God has the answers, and that is exactly where Nancy Guthrie, a woman acquainted with sorrow, takes us. " And I say again, this is the best book on sorrow I have read in many years and I have read many books on this subject. I will not be giving my copy away. But I will buy copies to give to those struggling with unanswered questions about suffering.


(The following is adapted from The Power to Change Today by Gregory Dickow)

The great king of the forest, the lion, was proud of his mastery over the entire animal kingdom.

One day the lion decided to make sure all the the other animals knew he was the king of the jungle.

He bypassed the smaller animals who weren't even worth his time and went straight to the great bear. He then went to the tiger. They both quickly agreed with him that he was the king of the jungle.

Next he went to the elephant, who stood towering over the lion, ignoring his question altogether. The, the six-ton gaint grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around in the air several times, and slammed him into a tree! When the lion attempted to get up, the elephant pounded him onto the ground several times with his trunk, dunked him underwater in a nearby lake, and finally dumped him out onto the shore.

The lion--bruised, bloody, battered, and seemingly beaten--struggled to his feet, looked the elephant straight in the eye, and without hesitations said: "Look, just because you don't know the answer doesn't mean you have to get nasty about it!"

Friends, that lion knew who he was. And so must you.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


That's the message that you hear on the morning, noon and evening news.

The front page of the newspaper declares it.

There are days that I wonder if it can get any worse. I begin to wonder about myself.

And then I remember what Paul said in Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

And then I smile, say a little prayer of thanksgiving and move on with HOPE.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

President Franklin Roosevelt had grown increasingly tired of the long receiving lines at White House functions. After more than a decade of such ceremonial duties, he complained to his aides that no one paid any attention to the words exchanged. No matter what he said, he would continually hear comments such as "Well done, Mr President," "Congratulations, Mr. President," or "Good job, Mr. President."

So on one occasion, unable to endure the boredom of it any longer, he decided to have some fun with his guests. As each person passed by in the receiving line, shaking his hand, Roosevelt whispered, "I murdered my grandmother this morning!"

His guests responded with "Marvelous!" "Keep up the good work," or "God bless you, Mr. President."

It wasn't until the end of the receiving line, as the ambassador of Bolivia passed by, that the meaning of his words was finally heard. Unflustered, the ambassador leaned over to Roosevelt and responded: "I'm sure she had it coming, Mr. President."

How often in our lives are we hearing but not listening?

(From The Power to Change Today by Gregory Dickow)


Monday, July 13, 2009

If you begin the day expecting to enjoy it, something good is going to happen.

But if you get out of bed feeling pessimistic, or filled with dread, anxiety, and fear, your day is ruined before it even begins. You'll misinterpret even the things that are sent to bless you.

Take the lady whose husband decided, after twenty years, to take a shower at the gym before coming home. For the first time ever, he brought her flowers, walking in through the front door instead of through the garage. When he rang the doorbell, with a smile on his face and a gift in his hand, she opened it up and began to cry.

He asked her why she was so upset and she said: "Billy broke his leg at school, a pipe burst in the basement, your mother called and said she was coming over for a week, and if that's not bad enough, YOU HAD TO COME HOME DRUNK!"

Funny how when our expectations are low we interpret even good things as bad.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fear and uncertainty can be a way of protecting us and challenging us to grow. Yet so many of us have been programmed to believe that uncertainty is a bad thing. What we must remember is that, in our dark times, though we may not see Him, God is always present. Psalm 46:1 says, "He is an ever-present help in a time of need." What a comfort to know this. When I feel Him--and even when I don't--He still IS. When I see his hand in my life and when I don't, His Hand is still on me!

(Taken from The Power to Change Today by Gregory Dickow. Go here to read my review and receive a chance to win a copy of this book)


(The following is from one of my all time favorite devotional books, Keep On Dancin' by Tim Hansel)

Paul...traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. Acts 16:6

Many of the best things that have happened to me came when I found the second right answer. When I graduated Stanford, my first job choice was head coach for the Stanford freshman football team. My second choice was San Francisco Bay area director for Young Life. The coaching job went to the famous Dick Vermeil. my second choice ended up changing my life.

When the Holy Spirit prevented Paul from speaking God's message in Asia, Paul had a vision of a man saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" because Paul went to Macedonia (his second choice) God brought the message of the gospel to the whole world.

Look for the second right answer, the third right answer, and maybe the fourth. Like Paul, it could change lives.

Lord, help me examine even the small decisions of my life to make sure I'm following Your lead.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Never wish you were somebody else.

A man was sick and tired of going to work every day, while his wife stayed at home. He wanted her to see what he went through at work, so he asked the Lord to allow her body to switch with his for a day.

The next morning the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, woke up the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills, and balanced the checkbook. He cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed the dog.

His day continued on from one task to another until late that night he was exhausted and went to bed, where he was expected to have sex, which he managed to get through also without complaint.

The next morning he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and prayed: "Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please, oh please, let us trade back."

The Lord, in His infinite wisdom replied: "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson, and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You'll just have to wait nine months, though, because last night--you got pregnant."

So much for trading places!

(Taken and adapted from The Power to Change Today by Gregory Dickow. Scroll down to read my review of the book and a chance to win a copy.)


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Joe was bankrupt so he turned to God and prayed, "God, please help me. I'm going to lose my house if I don't win the lottery." But the lottery came and went and someone else won it.

Then the next week Joe asked for the same thing and lost again, his faith waning. So he prayed again: "Lord, why have you forsaken me? I've lost my house, my business, and my car. I've asked for your help to win the lottery, and nothing has happened. What's the problem?"

Suddenly a blinding flash of light appears, the heavens open, and Joe is confronted by the voice of God Himself: "Joe, meet me halfway on this: BUY A TICKET!"

Note: I'm not advocating investing in the lottery, just illustrating we need to do more than pray. I read Joe's story in Gregory Dickow's book, The Power of Change Today. Go here for a chance to win a free copy.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No doubt, you've heard the story of the doctor who was deeply worried about his patient.

"You're in terrible shape," he told him, "and you've got to do something about it.

"First, because of your high blood pressure and cholesterol, your wife is going to have to cook you healthier meals.

"Second, you're going to have to stop working so hard.

"Next, you're going to make a budget and she has to stick to it.

"Finally, she should make love to you anytime you want.

"And," he concluded, "unless these changes are made, you're going to be dead in thirty days."

"Doc, the man answered with a smile, "could you please tell my wife all this--because coming from you, it will sound much more official."

The man returned home, looking forward to the good life he was about to enjoy. When he walked in the door, his wife rushed up to him and said: "Oh, honey. Your doctor told me the news. I'm so sorry. You poor thing. I'm really going to miss you!"

So much for hoping someone else will change.

From The Power to Change Today by Gregory Dickow. Click here to read my review and the chance to win a copy of this book.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I preached for forty-seven years. People leaving church on Sunday morning would occasionally make comments about points in my sermon I never made. I would think, "Where did that come from."

Now it happens on my blog.

Frank Page tells the story of a preacher who asked his congregation if anybody needed special prayer. Bubba stood up and said, "I do. I need prayer for my hearing."

The preacher led and the congregation prayed for Bubba's hearing. Then the preacher asked him, "So how's your hearing now?"

Bubba said, "I don't know it's not til Wednesday."

What we think or write is not always what others hear or read.

May your communications be clear this week.


Monday, July 06, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--THE POWER TO CHANGE TODAY--Simple Secrets to the Satisfied Life by Gregory Dickow.

In his splendid book, The Power to Change Today, Gregory Dickow shares sixteen life-changing secrets in his warm, engaging style--captivating readers with down-to-earth storytelling, distinct reflection, and wit. These bold ideas will carry you away from a life of fear, pain, and limitations and bring you toward the unique purpose for which you were born.

The only pathway to true contentment, we learn, is from the inside out--not from the outside in. Yet, so often, we look for the one person or thing that can give us what we're missing in life.

We all want to be happy. And in our vision of happiness, we want to feel loved, secure, and fulfilled. We want to have gratifying relationships, good health, financial security, and, most of all, a reason to get up in the morning---the end result being the satisfied life that God has always intended for us. But many of us go through our days feeling dissatisfied. Sometimes we are so consumed with trying to figure out why we are dissatisfied that we are filled with worry, stress, frustration, or even despair. This book will help to end that dissatisfaction.

Pastor Gregory Dickow is the founder of the Chicago-based Life Changers International Church. He is the popular host of Changing Your Life, an international television ministry, as well as the highly rated Ask the Pastor radio program heard during the afternoon drive-time in a number of cities across the country.

As a retired minister of forty-seven years and now a book reviewer, I have read and continue to read many books. I have never read a book with more valuable illustrations. There is one or two on almost every page. I have tag alerts all through the book. The illustrations and storys are passionate, humorus, and uplifting. They pull you right into the center of the point being made. You may be laughing so hard you're crying or just crying because your heart has been touched. And you will be touched--and changed for the better.


The generous folks at Hachette Book Group are allowing me to host this book giveaway for five (5) copies!

  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.

  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments July 17 and pick the five winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

The little boy didn't want to be in his bedroom alone at night because it was dark.

He was afraid of the dark!

His mother assured him it would be alright. She said"God will be there with you."

He said, "But I want somebody with skin on their face."

I receive great courage from Exodus 20:21 which says, "The people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." (Emphasis mine).

God is not afraid of the dark and you shouldn't be either.

God is in your darkest moment.

You may be in darkness because of financial problems, sickness, marital problems or many other dark things.

But no matter how dark it gets, God is in your darkest moments.


Friday, July 03, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--THE X AND Y OF BUY --Sell more and market better by knowing how the sexes shop by Elizbeth Pace.

Men and women are wired to shop and buy differently, and smart business people not only know it, they know just how to put it to use every day. The wiring is different. Not better or worse, just different. Science has confirmed that men and women use different parts of their brains and thus behave differently in a host of situations, including the way we shop, buy and consume products and services.

If you are not a business person you may be wondering if this book has any value for you. Everyone can benefit from reading this book. Laura L. Lawson, MD said, "It explains human behavior from a scientific standpoint and helps us understand why men and women behave in the sometimes seemingly crazy ways that they do." Ken Cope, Executive Coach, Core Resources, LLC stated: "As a counselor and executive coach for over twenty years, I have read countless books about communication, but I found Elizabeth Pace's book The X and Y of Buy to be full of original, insightful information that men and women could use in their professional and personal lives."

Already this year I have read and reviewed many books. Pace's book will not crowd the top of my best book list. It will rank someplace in the middle of the list of good books to read. Let me say very quickly, however, that many readers said things like, "Wow, what an awesome book!" and "It is definitely a 'must read' for my Leadership Team!" So, men and women are different---people are different!

I'm a man. I report. You decide!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Declaration of Independence Simplified

We are about to do something drastic and rare in human history. This document sets forth our justification to the world.

The Laws of Nature created by Nature's God give any people the right to undo political ties binding them to another nation, and to take their own separate place among earthly powers as full equals. This is the case because the Creator made every person equal, and gave certain permanent rights to them all. These include the rights to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness. All this is so obviously true that it needs no proof.

The reason for government is to make these rights secure. The only rightful power a government has is power that the people give it. Because government exists to preserve the peoples' rights, if a government begins to destroy those rights the people may change that government, or they may do away with it altogether and form a new government designed to make them safe and happy.

People generally realize that they ought not to change old governments without good reason. In fact, most people put up with bad governments longer than they should. But when a government finally starts turning its people into slaves, the people must throw out that government and form a new one to do what governments are intended to do.

We have now reached that point with the King of England, who insists on turning us into his slaves. As evidence supporting this charge, the world can consider the following facts. [The Declaration then details 27 specific things that the British King is doing or is refusing to do which demonstrate his true intent.]

With all this in mind, we ask the world's Supreme Judge to weigh our motives. And now, by the authority of the colonists whom we have been chosen to represent, we officially declare ourselves separate from all connections with the British government and free from the authority of the British King. Instead, from this moment, we declare that these united Colonies are free and independent States, with all powers proper to such States.

We firmly rely on Divine Providence to protect us in making this Declaration. Together as one man, in its support we stake everything we own, our treasured reputations, and our very lives.

"Reproduced from gracEmail, copyright 2009 by Edward Fudge and used by permission."


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--MY HEART'S DESIRE: A Journey Toward Finding Extravagant Love by Mary Singer Wick.

My Heart's Desire is a powerful story of the author's struggle to find everlasting love. Mary Singer Wick walks you through seven years of heartbreaking trials beginning with the diagnosis that, as an otherwise healthy single woman, she may never have children. Desiring to be a wife and mother more than a career woman, she begins her desperate search for a cure. Healing eventually comes, but not in a way she expected.

By God's grace, Mary is drawn into the most powerful love relationship of all--the one with her Savior who heals her broken heart. With her involvement and membership in an evangelical church her soul is nourished and she begins to discover where true satisfaction is found.

You will witness Mary's transformation from loneliness and despair, to hope and renewed faith. As you follow her journey from single-hood to married life, you will profit from the lessons Mary and her future husband, Jon, apply to their dating relationship.

My Heart's Desire is full of hope and encouragement for the over-thirty-five single or single again woman. This book does not guarantee anyone a spouse, but offers the promise of an extravagant life, beyond your wildest dreams, that can only be found in a deep and loving relationship with Jesus Christ.