During the early stages of writing Live ABOVE the Chaos, I took my young daughters to an event that required me to wait an hour in the hot sun. That’s when I spotted her, a giant oak tree. Artistically gnarled and well established in her old age, she beckoned me out of the intense heat and into her shade.
As I entered the haven of her dappled light, I remember hearing a distinct crunch underfoot and looking down to see what I was walking on. I was literally standing on a mattress of acorns several inches thick! I was being cooled by a mama oak tree shedding acorns at an immeasurable rate.
Standing there under that beautiful oak, I received a vision for my book.
I knew I couldn’t discuss everything in-depth, but what if I filled the pages with so many seeds that readers would hear the crunch of acorns as they turned the pages? What if God would then used those acorn thoughts to produce immeasurable spiritual growth in each reader?
I wrote the book I would want to hand to any person who has:
- questions about why God allows suffering,
- discovered their faith is too weak to handle the stress and strain of life common to us all,
- has questions about Christianity, or has
- recently decided follow Christ.
Do I provide comprehensive answers to all of life’s big questions? No.
Do I provide enough answers to settle a tired soul and inspire to investigate further? I hope so.
Do I explain all there is to know about how God controls the chaos of difficult circumstances? No.
Do I provide enough information so that a person can start to see how God uses difficulties (even tragedies) for good? I think so.
Do I reveal all there is to know about what it takes to stay on the path of spiritual maturity? No.
Do I present enough of an understanding that a person can begin walking more closely with Him starting today? I believe so.
Have fun reading my first book. I wrote it for you, whoever you are.
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Other Great Books
Joni: An Unforgettable Story / Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni’s life as a quadriplegic following a diving accident when she was a teen is an inspiration. Talk about living for Jesus no matter what your circumstances. Wow.
Hiding Place / Corrie Ten Boom
I can only hope to respond to tragedy with as much strength. I love her sister, Betsy, too!
End of the Spear / Steve Saint
This is the first book that ever made me weep. I was so moved by the second to the last chapter that I thought the author made an error because anything more would be anti-climactic. Then the last chapter made me weep even harder. You can’t skip to the end though. It’s the book content leading up to the end that allows your heart to understand the finale.
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert / Rosaria Butterfield
This is book is moving from several angles. The rough road Rosaria traveled in order to walk with her Savior took my breath away. (I cried for her.) The intricate descriptions of the mistakes Christians make were convicting. (I cried for all of us.) The love one man extended to her that broke through was inspirational. (I thank God for him.)
Glimpses of Jesus / Heather Bock
Heather is a writer who works diligently at honing her already competent ability to write well. She blogs sweet, heartfelt thoughts about Jesus and uses her platform to spotlight other writers who are not famous (yet).
She gets it. Heather understands that every author - known or unknown - labors intently to fill a blank page. And she understands the Holy Spirit inspired thoughts are magnificent no matter who the person through whom they are shared.
I like her heart.
My Title: Church, let's simplify our ways to get the job done (Official Title: The Pressures of Ministry and the Promise of Making Disciplemakers) / Francis Chan
At the end of this talk, Francis shares his thoughts about how the church needs to change. I believe He is hearing from the Lord and it's BRILLIANT. We can ALL participate in the Great Commission this way. Time to simplify, adapt, be involved in the smaller way but more effective way for FREE.
THRIVE Conference, May 2-4 2013
Undaunted / Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell has been a hero of mine my entire life. His book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict has always been on a nearby bookshelf for ready reference. His personal testimony is shocking and powerful. His explanation of how to begin a relationship with Jesus at the end is brief and clear. You can search on-line for Undaunted, Josh McDowell or visit his resource page that offers a link entitled, I want to know God and another entitled, I need help now.
This video must be rented or purchased, but worth every penny.
Joni Eareckson Tada / Biloa University Chapel - Centennial Chapel Series
Joni shares the theology of suffering from a wheelchair. Powerful. Was it God's will for her to suffer? She answers the question from personal experience and biblical truth. This message is about all suffering...so it applies to everyone.
No Bright Lights / Personal profile of Networks Romania
No Bright Lights is a documentary that challenges our view of missions in such a thoughtful manner. Filmed by people who are living their message. Have my respect.
This video must be rented or purchased unless you are an Amazon Prime member.
Stay Strong in the Lord / Francis Chan
What a motivational talk about serving the Lord with strength in this short life because we have all of eternity to enjoy forever.
Four Truths We Must Know (Isaiah 6 and Isaiah 53) / David Platt
David Platt provides the most careful explanation about the love of God juxtaposed with the holiness of God that I have every personally encountered.
Marriage in Light of Eternity - Navigators 2015 / Francis and Lisa Chan
BEST TEACHING ON MARRIAGE I HAVE EVER SEEN
Culture of Development / Jessie Reeves, Austin Stone Worship Conference 2015
BEST TEACHING ON WORSHIP I HAVE EVER HEARD
Beth Moore Bible Studies / Beth Moore
Beth Moore’s Bible Studies have changed my life. Her studies aren’t for the faint of heart but they have suited me. More recent studies are purposefully formatted so you can pick your level of involvement with the at-home assignments and still participate in group meetings watching and discussing each week's accompanying video. Just pick any of them!
Gideon / Priscilla Shirer
This is a great Bible Study with manageable homework assignments and straightforward video messages for each week's chapters. I was particularly taken by the last DVD lesson that presented a new thought that changed me...I still think about it nearly every day.