Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S. and in this book he asks us the big question, “What does God expect of us?” He calls us to embrace the whole gospel by being active in our faith. To demonstrate the importance of this, he carries the reader through his personal journey from success as a corporate CEO, to a more profound success by carrying out God’s will in his own life.
By asking, “Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?” Richard took me out of my comfort zone just as he was taken out of his. And for this, it is well worth the read.
The book shines the most through his personal experiences and the stories he tells of the real people he encountered in the poorest countries of the world. The book, however, slows down in the middle because, although at times astounding, he’s a little too heavy on the statistics for my liking. He also had a tendency to be a little repetitive.
Apart from that the book is well worth reading and covers some important issues in today’s world.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
When we turn our mind toward our Lord, acknowledging Him as our Saviour, Master and Friend, we are changed.
With every breath that we take, it’s taken for the Lord. With every sight we see, we can see beyond the physical and behold the power and glory of the Lord at work. With every sound we hear, it becomes the song of the Spirit prompting us to respond in love.
Even our very thoughts are changed. We understand more fully the strength of the Lord. We are able to acknowledge his power and majesty. We are humbled by his grace and love.
When the Lord becomes our Centre, we become more prayerful, more thankful, more trusting, more open and more willing to do all that we can for the Lord. As a result, a deep-seated sense of peace overcomes us and we are able to know a satisfaction and a sense of belonging that we didn’t know before.
A few years ago a need arose in my church for someone to run a service, including giving the sermon. I had never done anything like it. I was shy, I stumbled over my words, I blushed and I was just not into the public speaking thing. It was an impossible task.
Jesus asked the disciples to find food to feed thousands of people. It wasn’t like they could pop down to the local shops and buy supplies. They didn’t have enough food, they didn’t have enough money, and they didn’t have enough time to mess around because the people were hungry now. It was an impossible task.
But nothing is impossible with God.
I put pen to paper and then God gave me the words. God gave me the courage to stand in front of the entire congregation. It wasn’t my strength or my steady voice. That was all God. I only listened, trusted and obeyed.
The disciples listened to Jesus and obeyed him. They found a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. It was Jesus who did the impossible and made the food plentiful enough to go around.
God doesn’t ask us to do the impossible, He asks us to listen, trust, and obey.
I’m back from a week’s break. I had a wonderful time, and thank you so much for all your comments. Even though I was sick with flu, I managed to relax, read and write (all my favourite things).
To my delight, while I was away, I received an award. Thank you to Betty at Cut and Dry for giving me the “Super Comments Award”. According to the rules I’m supposed to
1. Answer the questions below.
2. Name seven bloggers to pass the award on who have left super comments on my blog.
3. Come up with ten new questions and pass them on to the winners.
Like Betty, I’m not going to come up with new questions but use the questions provided already
Ten Questions/My answers:
1. What is your favourite colour? : - Purple
2. What is your favourite flower? : - Roses
3. When you go out to eat what is your favourite restaurant/or meal? : - Summer Salt. It’s right on the beach at Cronulla/ Fav restaurant meal is the duck.
4. Have you been to any of your high school reunions? If so did you have fun? : - Nope. I was overseas at the time.
5. If you had a couple of free hours to go play hooky on a weekday, what would you do by yourself? : - Write
6. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your closet right now and why? : - Cow slippers. They are so comfortable and keep my feet warm this winter.
7. Pearls or diamonds? : - Diamonds. I like all things that sparkle.
8. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? : - triple chocolate with swirl
9. What is your favourite Holiday and why? : - holiday means a different thing in America as it does in Oz. In Oz it means vacation. My favourite vacation destination would be any of the Queensland Islands. My favourite holiday season would be Christmas.
10. If you could have a $1,000 shopping spree anywhere, in which store would you spend it? : - um. No idea. I desperately need a new oven.
Just letting you all know that this weekend is the Queen's Birthday long weekend here in Australia. I get to spend some extra time with my husband and I'm looking forward to it.
I will also be taking this week off from blogging to have a rest and a refresh. I'll be back on Monday 21st June.
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
Winter is approaching here in Australia. We’ve had only two dry days in Sydney since May 17th. That’s a lot of rain. On the weekend my husband and I enjoyed a morning of sunlight (before it rained again). We went into the garden only to discover the weeds had taken over – again.
I’m not a huge fan of weeding. I prefer to do the job when there isn’t a lot to do, when the garden isn’t completely overrun. It’s easier and the sense of satisfaction is rewarding rather than just exhausting.
Weeding is much like maintaining our faith. We need to weed the sin out of our lives. It’s easier when we do it on a regular basis before sin takes hold and overruns us.
And it’s easier when we use the right tools:
God’s word equips us with the protection we need, like gloves that protect us from the thorns.
God’s truth lets us recognise the weeds in our lives so we can pull them out the moment they appear.
God’s salvation gives us the power to change. We are no longer slaves to the weeds.
God’s strength helps us to persevere. Weeding is not a thing that is ever finished. They try to take root in even the best maintained garden.
God’s love is our motivation. Because of God’s love for us we are able to love Him and because of this we want to glorify God with everything we do.
Only through God do we find true satisfaction in our lives because He gives us purpose and fulfilment. So, what is satisfaction?
Satisfaction is contentment: being satisfied with everything we have no matter our circumstances. (Philippians 4:12 NIV)
Satisfaction is the absence of fear: we are able to trust God with all aspects of our lives. And in that trust we don’t need to fear anything. (Hebrews 13:6 NIV)
Satisfaction comes from being equipped: The more we learn about God, the more we are prepared to face anything that life throws at us. If we learn His ways then we will respond more in His ways also. And peace will be ours. (Philippians 4:9 NIV)
Satisfaction is dependant on saturation: The more we allow God in our lives the more His power becomes evident and the less likely we will take Him for granted. (Luke 9:23 NIV)
Satisfaction is dependant on fellowship: Through fellowship we are encouraged, strengthened. We find a sense of belonging in the family of Christ. (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)
What areas in your life do you know your satisfaction takes a hit?
I read an interesting statistic the other day. Apparently people who argue on a regular basis are twice as likely to live longer than those who suppress their feelings.
This surprised me. I’ve always related arguing with stress and stress is a known factor for shortening lives.
But what that particular statistic tells me is that it’s not about the arguing; it’s about the need to express ourselves. It tells me the importance of being real and honest – with ourselves, with our partners, with every relationship we have.
And I think it’s most especially important to be honest with our Lord because this relationship, more than any other, matters most in our lives. This relationship will have the greatest impact to our lives and it will affect every other.
So, tell God about your happiness, tell Him about your delights. Tell Him about the things that upset you and the things that make you angry. Tell him your hopes and your dreams. Tell Him your secrets.
God will never turn away from you. He won’t think less of you. He will love you. He will give you His time, His patience, His forgiveness, His guidance.
He will give you everything you need.
Do you find it difficult to be honest with our Lord?
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
What does it mean to you to pray continually?
To me it means to be in constant conversation with my Lord. I try to chat with God and think about God as regularly as possible. It’s a switch I try to keep in the perpetual ‘on’ position.
I won’t tire Him out as I would a friend. I won’t shock Him or bore Him. It’s how I include Him in every aspect of my life.
I can kneel at His feet, I can bow my head and I can recite an eloquent prayer of worship. But I can also pause for a moment from what I’m doing and say, “Thank you,” and in that breath encompass everything. I don’t even have to stop. I can think of God while I work. I can praise Him while I write. I can glorify Him while I clean. I can offer my all in everything I do.
It is His desire that we share with Him all that we have. This is what it means to me to pray continually.
Do you remember Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t worry, be happy”? It was a catchy fun song of the 80’s that quickly turned into a real groaner. I think this happened because it lacked any real truth behind it. It rang of falseness because we all know that no one can be happy all of the time. We face inevitable failure if we try.
A very real part of life is the ups and downs of our emotions. We will feel agony, pain, devastation, misery. We will feel happiness, elation, delight.
But God is our constant.
He is our peace through the hardships, the mood swings and the challenges.
He is our joy through the chaos that life so often brings us.
My prayer to you today is from Romans 15:13 (NIV): May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Can you think of other verses that express God’s constancy in your life?