Dr. Seuss and a Motorcycle Gang
click for podcast: http://www.pastorwoman.com/podcasts/560257ae-568f-42a2-88dd-a7b4c18...
I like Dr. Seuss. Along with his wittiness, zany-looking characters and colorful pictures, there is oft profound truth, like this,"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. Indeed books take us places we might not ever go, and some places we are unable to go-like into the past. I simply love books!
When referring a book to a friend, she said, "You are so lucky you love to read." "No, not really," I said. "I do not really love to read; in fact, my eyes kinda burn after reading for any length of time, but I do like what I get out of what I read." Thought about that little exchange a number of times since, and it is still true. That is because I am a learner according to the Gallup's StrengthsFinder1 test, whoop-de-do. I love to read things that expand and challenge my thinking, spur me on to live better, live more fully.
Not for nothing, but I regularly get asked what I am reading, so here goes. [lightening things up some after my last briefing on mental illness: Press On: http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=2981, though you might like to know that it encouraged many a reader.] Just finished the book The Last Arrow2 and man, I loved it! Sharpened my thinking, spurred me toward being more intentional in my actions, living each day purposefully with the gifts God has given me, not saving anything up. Currently, I have four books going, no five - Faith Forward Future--main take away: discipline is good, and living a disciplined life is even better. [The writer is Los Angeles pastor to a number of 'stars', Chad Veach. 'Who cares--about the star thing?' I ask myself, but then I realize that I do because Veach has the ear of those who are influencers in today's popular culture like Justin Bieber. [Can you imagine if Hollywood began to live unashamedly for God?]
Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace the Adventure3 because life happens to all of us, and at various times, throws us curveballs. Turns out how we handle the 'unexpected' oft sets our course for the rest of our lives.
Finding Jesus in Israel4 is a different take on the land. The trip I am leading to Israel in February is filling up, which is oh, so exciting! [Truth be told, I was afraid no one would sign up to go...silly me, faithful God.] The author of Finding Jesus in Israel is a musician and dang funny, and travels to the not always mentioned locales. Oh, I do so love the Land of the Bible! Like Dreamers5 is about the Israeli paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem in the 1967 war and is a historical take on the lives of those who have settled Israel. What sacrifices the military men and women have made to protect the Promised Land from constant threat!
Hot tip: I have a couple of these on Audible as well. Since I was a little girl, I have loved to be read to.6 So, I have recently finished the novels Bridge to Haven and Masterpiece7as well as The People vs. Alex Cross,8and revisiting Grit.9
'Why are you so narrow in your reading?' he asked me. 'Why do you read mostly Christian stuff?' Because my mind is a steel trap, what goes into it has the power to shape me, influence my decisions, thinking and attitude, therefore I choose carefully. Of course, I endeavor to read and stay current with world goings-on, including the plight of persecuted Christians around the globe. And then there's the human trafficking . . . how God's heart breaks! Check it out: https://ourfilm.org/48hr-pass10. I've got to get on board to being part of a solution, you?
Still and all, Friend . . . can I have your attention, please? ~> By far the most influential book I have read is the Bible.
Case in point: today I was shopping for a new dress and the store owner told me how her daughter has gone off the deep end. Seems last year at this time, she was singing in a band at church four times a week, loving Jesus, close to her family. Cut to today-she is completely estranged from her family, involved with a motorcycle gang...and of course, not singing-that which she loved doing so much. What?? "But this-this is carrying me," the woman said, and picked up her phone and started reading aloud in the store:
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.11
Inspirational, life-giving, true. The. Word. Of. God.
2 - The Last Arrow, Erwin McManus - 2017
3 - Unexpected, Christine Caine - 2018
4 - Finding Jesus in Israel, Buck Storm - 2018
5 - Like Dreamers, Yossi Klein Halevi, 2014
6 - I know that is not correct grammar, so don't judge me
7 - Bridge to Haven, The Masterpiece- Francine Rivers
8 - People vs. Alex Cross, James Patterson - 2018
9 - Grit, Angela Duckworth - 2016
10 - Psalm 40.1-3, New Living Translation
11 - "Operation Toussaint" - Operation Underground Railroad