I said a couple of posts ago I don't believe in coincidences, and I don't. I don't know how you would spell it, but my sister calls them coinkidinks. I think our God works in mysterious ways, not haphazardly.
The preacher who did the service for Donald (my relative that passed away last month) told an interesting story at the service. He is my grandparents' preacher. They are my mom's parents and Donald was on my dad's side.
Donald's office sits right in front of a local city hall. The preacher came out of that city hall one day when a man in the parking lot (Donald) asked for his help. His cell phone wasn't working at the moment. This preacher got to know Donald that day, then later found out he was a relative of ours. Some of us had known Paul, the preacher, for a few years, but Donald had not met him until that day. He said he had no idea that day he would meet this man and later do his funeral service. It is a story that sticks in my mind because God is always working and if we pay attention, we see Him everywhere and in everything we do.
I went to Lifeway bookstore the other day to get mom and dad some books and crossword puzzles to have while my dad is going through his treatments. There will be periods of time in the hospital and at home that they will need to pass the time. Especially for my mom if dad is in the hospital and sleeping. I did a book discussion on The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel a while back on this blog. I had some private messages and some private participation, but I really enjoyed reading the book and the questions it prompted me to ask myself. While looking for books I found two more books by this author. I didn't hesitate buying both of them. I started reading the one titled Weird this morning and just finished it a few hours later. I was trying to explain some revelations I have had over the last year, but didn't feel like I quite expressed what I wanted to. This book is exactly what I was talking about. I started reading it and couldn't stop because it completely confirmed the feelings I have about my relationship with God. It hasn't been good enough for me and the book did a much better job explaining my thoughts while giving me a lot of useful information. The title is Weird and the author, who is a preacher, challenges us to be "weird". In his words, normal isn't working so we need to be weird. As soon as you begin reading the book, you understand what he means by this.
The author gives his own stories, but examples in the Bible as well to express his ideas about checking on our relationship with God. There are so many thought provoking ideas such as the idea that God doesn't give us more than we can handle isn't exactly right. He wants us to need Him. He won't let you be tempted without a way out, but He wants us to learn to depend on Him rather than ourselves. The book addresses our busy lives and how we can help others. It talks about blessings and what we consider burdens. I love the way this author expresses his thoughts.
This is in no way a paid critique nor do I benefit in any way from others buying the book. I have tried to talk myself into using my blog that way, and I have joined a few programs, but I don't want to be obligated to write a post about a product when there is something else I want to write about. I like helping others and if someone asks me to talk about a product I will let them put it on my facebook page or I might mention it with the hopes that I will broaden my audience but my blog is too special to me and I want to be able to write what I want to. If someone mentions my blog on their website in any way, I will do the same in return out of appreciation. In my Thanksgiving post, the lady that I had as a guest post contacted me and asked me to collaborate with her. I made sure it really was her and saw that she had asked a number of other bloggers to do the same. I did it, but she was just going to put our posts on Twitter to get us a little more traffic. Easy, innocent, and fair enough. I found she didn't put anything on Twitter and I was a little concerned about the links after I lost a little faith in her word. I just don't like to be taken advantage of so I deleted her part. I may at some point take my blog in a more advertising direction, but right now I like the freedom of saying what I truly believe in and what interests me to write about.
I found this book at just the right time and not only did it explain what I was trying to say so much better, it taught me a lot and thought it might do the same for others. If there is interest in another book discussion I would love to do another one. In the meantime, the book is entertaining as well as informative. There are chapters that are helpful for parents in dealing with the topic of sex with your kids. I am also very excited about reading the other book, Soul Detox.
I don't believe in coincidences and I really believe I was led to this book this past week. Groeschel adds a few quotes to the book to get his point across. Here are a few:
"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." Robert Fulghum
"Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don't believe they should be given homework." Bill Cosby
"No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else." Charles Dickens
"Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection." Martin Luther King Jr.
Let me know if you read this book or if anyone would like to do a discussion on it. I would like to know your thoughts on keeping a close relationship with God with our busy lives. We know what is most important, but can get lost. What do you do to keep God first?
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