“It’s the most stressful time of the year . . . “

busy

Besides the holidays – the end of the school year seems to bring on incredible busyness and stress: state assessments, report cards, behavior challenges, proms, award ceremonies, graduations, financial burdens, illness & injuries, ball games, deadlines, paperwork, sales quotas, etc., etc., etc!  In our crazy, busy lifestyles – we all seem to have forgotten that one of the original Ten Commandments was to take a Sabbath Day (a day of rest) at least once a week.   I wanted to share a few quotes from a book I would strongly recommend to anyone who feels like they are running at full speed on a hamster wheel. It is called Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd, and can be found at:

https://amzn.to/2HYH7sb

See if any of these quotes resonate with you:

  • “If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath – our pneumonia, our cancer, our heart attack, our accidents create Sabbath for us.”  (pg. 33)
  • “Ultimately, every problem I see in every person I know is a problem of moving too fast for too long in too many aspects of life.”  (pg. 44)
  • “God is not merely a peaceful person; God, in fact, is peace.  When we sit in God’s presence, we’re sitting in the presence of peace.” (pg. 56)
  • “I have a theory on this, which is that busyness is our means to impress.  If I’m busy, then I’m important, and if I’m important, then you’ll be impressed.  Right?”  (pg. 70)
  • “I’ve been to Jerusalem on several occasions, and each time I’m there over a Sabbath, I’m struck by how seriously the Jews take their day of rest.  In Jerusalem, you can’t get anything done on the Sabbath.  Nothing.  The whole town essentially shuts down. . . . I guarantee all Jewish shopkeepers are closed for the day.  They’re at home or at a synagogue with their families, enjoying a Sabbath meal, enjoying the pleasure of one another’s company, and enjoying the inner strength that comes when we rest.” (pg. 83-84)
  • “‘Jesus obeyed a deeper rhythm,'” . . . . Absolutely, he does just that:  engage, engage, engage, withdraw . . . . engage, engage, engage, withdraw . . . . It’s how we’re invited to live too.”  (pg. 105)
  • “Something always interrupts our rest, because real rest is always opposed.”  (pg. 164)

And in conclusion – my favorite part:

  • ” . . . . we think if we don’t get every room vacuumed, every bookshelf dusted, every meal made by hand, every child’s homework folder initialed, every birthday party attended, every plant watered, every inch of grass mowed, every load of laundry folded, every lacrosse practice made, every book read, every app mastered, every televised sporting event watched, every everything done, we will somehow be lesser human beings. I myself had lived according to that philosophy for far too many years.  I’m here to tell you it’s bunk.  The whole philosophy is bunk.  The universe will keep on spinning, and you will keep on being a great person, even if a few things are left undone.
  • A New Zealand Prayer Book has a fantastic prayer in it called “Night Prayer,” and one of the stanzas reads,

“It is night after a long day.

What has been done has been done;

what has not been done has not been done;

let it be.”    (pg. 89)

Great advice “let it be.”  Or, as the psalmist once wrote:

“Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)

 

Blessings,

Dave

https://www.amazon.com/author/

P.S. If you’re in the book buying spirit – another quick read that can help you develop inner peace and create more margin is my book Five Prayers That Can Change History found at https://amzn.to/2jxlioV

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The time YOU were prayed for in The Bible . . .

Have you tried reading the Bible and it feels distant?

You gave it a chance and could not make a personal connection?

Could you use a little bit of hope right now?

Stick with me during this sequence and you’ll see when Jesus mentions YOU in the Bible – and a glimpse into his future plans for YOU!

So go back with me over 2000 years. Jesus is having a pretty intense and extended conversation with his followers called “the disciples.” Chapters 14 -17 in the book of John are a combination of Jesus talking, teaching, and praying. He just compared himself to being “the good shepherd” and his disciples are “the sheep.” (John 10:11)

He then says, “I know my own sheep, and they know me . . . I have OTHER sheep, too, that are not of this sheepfold.” (John 10:14-16) He is referring to more besides his disciples and the nation of Israel (which would include us as the OTHERs)!

But then it gets even more personal while he is speaking to the men, he states: “I am not only praying for these disciples but also for ALL who will ever believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20) What was their message? Be sorry for our sins > believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead for us > and choosing now to live for him. If that describes you – then YOU are a part of the ALL he was talking about! Isn’t that cool?

Like a well-crafted movie trailer – the story seems to take a turn for the worse. A few verses before he is praying for the ones in his care (which would now include US). He says to God, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15) Wait a minute – “the evil one” is part of this deal??? Keep safe – how is the evil one trying to hurt me???

The trouble keeps piling on – Jesus forwarned them earlier, “Here on earth you will have MANY trials and sorrows . . . ” (John 16:33) Why did he say many and not a few? Take a brief glimpse into our world and our own narrative for evidence:

Innocent lives being taken

Financial hardships

Broken relationships

Incurable diseases

Unanswered prayers

Natural disasters

However, like any great story – a hero rises! There is a second part of the many trials comment – “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. BUT take heart, because I have OVERCOME the world.” (John 16:33) So why all the problems if he has overcome? Great question! I don’t have all the answers. What I do know – we get to experience a partial overcoming of our situations and circumstances, and a complete overcoming when we finally experience Heaven. For now – some diseases are healed, some relationships are restored, some disasters are avoided, and some financial situations are reversed for the better. But not all. How does He decide which ones? That’s what makes him God and not us.

And in conclusion of this great story – I go back a few chapters with some words of hope that Jesus started his message with:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

He’s had over 2000 years to prepare a place for us – that is the ultimate Fixer Upper! He probably keeps adding a little more to it every day – he just can’t leave well enough alone. 🙂 I don’t understand it all – but when he will always be with us – all wrongs will be righted, all diseases will be healed,  all disasters will cease, and the evil one will stop pestering us -forever!

We could all use a little bit of hope right now . . .

Blessings,

Dave

https://www.amazon.com/author/davidrische

P.S. I mentioned at the beginning that reading the Bible might sometimes be a challenge. Some people feel the same about their prayer life – they don’t know where to start, what to say, or is anyone listening??? I wrote a book called Five Prayers That Can Change History. This book seamlessly takes you step by step on how to pray powerfully straight from the Bible. You can get instant access by clicking right here: https://amzn.to/2pO2Qew

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When The Magical Kingdom Isn’t So Magical After All . . .

A year ago I painstakingly planned the “perfect” vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios for Spring Break. This ended up being one of my most popular blog posts that many people commented they could completely relate to. Here’s a recap of my story:

Are you a “Planner”, or do you like to “Fly by the seat of your pants”? I’m a total Planner. Thus, the inspiration for this blog. I had extensively planned for about 8 months an Orlando Spring Break vacation for my daughter’s senior trip. We had never been there as a family – so I read endless books, conducted extensive interviews and interrogations with those that had been past visitors, and combed the Internet for anything related to this magical place. This was going to be the greatest family trip we (or anyone else in history) had ever taken. This time, I was going to do everything right. No room for error. Pure joy. Every activity would be on a precise schedule – just like Robert Deniro’s character in Meet the Parents.

The trip got off to a rough start when I noticed a sharp discomfort in my lower back around 5:30 am at DFW Airport. Thought it was a cramp, nerves, or some other nuance that would go away. We boarded the flight, and those uncomfortable airplane seats were even more uncomfortable. Three hours later, I was writhing in pain – I literally started crawling on the floor of the terminal at the Orlando airport. Was this “The Big One” like Fred Sanford used to say? Was one of my major organs giving out? Appendix bursting? We found a saint of a cab driver that sped us to a close and quality ER. About 5 hours later, I had passed my first kidney stone! Okay, this wasn’t in the plans. However, the medical staff patched me up – and I was screaming in exhilaration as we rode The Everest Expedition Roller Coaster that evening. Slight “blip” in the plans, but we would hit the next few days with a vengeance. Universal Studios and Harry Potter World were tomorrow.

In spite of getting up at the crack of dawn, it seemed as though tens of thousands of other people had that same idea. As the lines allowed, we rode every ride we could between the two Universal Parks (some marketing genius out there conceived the idea of splitting up the Harry Potter World into two worlds – I would love to say it was for the benefit of the consumers, but it was so they can double their moolah intake). We were exhausted, but tomorrow was The Magic Kingdom – and I was determined to see my plans to fruition.

Our hotel was about 20 minutes away from The Magic Kingdom. They offered a “free shuttle” that left at 7 am and dropped everyone off at Epcot (which I was informed is the central hub for all Disney park transportation). Thought we’d save a few bucks and not use a taxi or Uber. Sounded perfect – The Kingdom opens at 8, leave at 7, arrive between 7:30-7:45, scan our tickets, and we would be in! Everyone had advised us to get there right as the park opens, and you can experience at least 3 major rides before the crowd hits. That advice combined with 3 Fastpasses – I envisioned myself joyfully singing, “Yo-ho, Yo-ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me!” We had the potential of enjoying 6 major rides before the clock struck noon – boom!

The trend of the majority of my plans not going as I had hoped once again began to rear its ugly head. I first became suspicious when our “shuttle” was a giant charter bus. “Wow, that’s nice of them to provide such a big bus for one hotel,” I thought in my ever increasingly fatigued, naive, and delusional mind. Even though we are not Orlando residents, after about 10 minutes we noticed, “Hey, this isn’t the route to the park.” The bus, oh excuse me – the “shuttle” literally made 7 stops at other hotels before Epcot. The driver dropped us off around 8:15 am in an empty parking lot the size of the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz. It took about a 10-minute walk to get to the Monorail. Phew, finally made it. Oh, but wait – you have to get off this Monorail and transfer to another one. Stood in line for about 15 minutes. Rumors circulated throughout the tense crowd that there was a delay.  We waited about 15 more minutes to get on a ferry headed for Disney World. 20 more minutes on the boat ride – and we finally arrived at the entrance around 9:15 am. We soon discovered that half of humanity had already beaten us to the ride (and food) lines – realizing it’s not really such a Small World After All. As the day unfolded, I soon began to fully immerse myself in the spirit of the dwarf Grumpy – along with some of his lesser-known brothers: Pushy, Pouty, and Rudey.

A few days after we returned home – I had some quality time to reflect. I then realized that one of the most important events of our trip was that crummy shuttle ride. That experience served as a great reminder of what it is like to walk with God. So many unplanned stops along the way that test my patience. Not having control over situations and just having to go with the flow. Disappointment. People getting on my nerves. Me getting on people’s nerves. Unexpected barriers and delays that get in the way of me reaching my envisioned destination.  Which leads to the question we can ask in every situation: Is my envisioned destination His envisioned destination?

Plus, I had so much to be thankful for. We were able to save up for the trip instead of charging everything. I could have been stuck in that ER for days, or possibly have had to have surgery, or it could have been “The Big One”. The family had several spontaneous moments of belly busting laughter. A ticket snafu that “entitled” us to 3 any time any ride Fastpasses at Disney Hollywood Studios. And finally, embracing every second of having lunch in Epcot Italy knowing that my daughter is only a few months away from going to college.

This trip was a continual reminder that I want comfort, control, and predictability. God offers wild, uncomfortable uncertainty – covered with many promises that He will be with us every step of the way. May your journey find you somewhere between the happy medium of planning and pants flying.

Dave 🙂

https://www.amazon.com/author/davidrische

P.S. If you or anyone you know plans to interview in the near future – please check out my new book on Amazon called:  Top of the Class Teacher Interviews: 55 Strategies to Maximize Preparation and Supercharge Your Confidence. Although designed to help teacher candidates through the mental and physical preparation of the overwhelming process of an interview – it can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their interview skills. This is the second weekend it has been featured as Amazon’s #1 New Seller in the Education Research category. Click here for instant access: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1974560686/ref

Thanks!!!

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Are You Part of the 81%?

Research conducted by entrepreneur Chandler Bolt discovered that approximately 81% of people would sincerely like to write a book – but don’t. Eight out of ten – that’s a fairly large amount. So if you are one of those eight – the good news is that it is easier than ever to self-publish your own book – for free!

Sure, you’re saying, “What could I write a book about?”

Anything and everything!!!!

You could write about a particular subject you’re passionate about. Maybe you’ve uncovered some amazing family history using Ancestry.com? Is there a creative work of fiction or a children’s story that has been brewing in your brain? How about all of those family recipes that are written on sticky notes or scraps of paper? Your job or life experiences from an insider’s perspective. A book of hope for others sharing a major obstacle you’ve overcome. A bonus manual to sell in the back of the room after you give a speech. The possibilities are endless. Does this help get the wheels in your mind spinning?

A short stroll down memory lane concerning the world of publishing. Before the explosion of online sales, the historical route was to create a manuscript you felt was worthy of being sold in bookstores. Next, you would then submit the manuscript and a proposal to publishers hoping that against all odds they would sign you on to a deal. I can recall at least 4 people I know that were blessed to be able to go that route.

Fast forward to the publishing world of 2018. Here is the sobering truth. Less than 5% of all submissions get a deal from publishing companies. If you do – they take over a portion of your creative content, potentially give you 2%-10% of the net profit of each book sold, and you are still responsible for marketing your work. Unless your last name is Grisham or Rowlett – it is tough to join this exclusive club and stay in it.

Going back to my point in the first paragraph – now is the best time in history to self-publish your book! Amazon accounts for 70% of all book sales (which saddens me since Barnes & Noble is my favorite store). Amazon owns Createspace, one of the largest self-publishing companies (you can Google for others). The great thing about Createspace – you can do the entire process for free (they offer paid services, but you are not required to use them). They print on demand – so if you sell 3 copies or 30,000 copies, it doesn’t cost you a dime. They ship directly from their warehouses, so the middleman and your packaging and shipping costs are eliminated. Your book can be as short or as long as you’d like. Research conducted by Leadership Expert Michael Hyatt reveals that books less than 100 pages have the greatest likelihood of being read from cover to cover.

Yeah, but what about . . . . ?

  1. “I’m waiting for just the right time.”  That would be today – it is never the right time.
  2. “I don’t have enough hours in the day.” Nobody does – you have to create small blocks of time.
  3. “It’s too much work.”  True, but not if you break it down into a 10-minute commitment every day. You more than likely will bounce back and forth between a love/hate relationship with your manuscript.
  4. “But I want it to be perfect.” As author Sean Wes says, “When creating something original – get past the perfection mindset, or it will never be good enough and you’ll end up not doing it because you’re overwhelmed. Shoot for a 90% standard – that takes so much of the pressure off.”
  5. “Okay, I did it. But all I see are the flaws and mistakes.” Chandler Bolt proudly declares, “Your crappy, self-published book is far better than someone else’s ‘perfect’ book that is an unpublished manuscript sitting in a desk drawer or in a computer file.”
  6. “I don’t know how to use the technology involved in self-publishing.” Perfect! Createspace walks you through one step at a time and offers text and video supports.

Do you know why I’m so familiar with these “What about excuses”? Because I’ve used every one of them on my own journey multiple times. I had notes and a rough draft of my book Five Prayers That Can Change History sitting in a box for about 3 years. I didn’t want to face rejection from publishing companies – so I eventually put in the work and self-published it.

And now . . . . it is currently rocking the Amazon Best Seller Charts at #2,236,996 (seriously, but it’s out there)! 🙂

However, a college student shared how she had a copy of Five Prayers That Can Change History and decided to read the first chapter one night. She ended up staying up all night reading it cover to cover, highlighting sections that spoke to her, and writing her own anecdotal notes in the margins.

That is why I write. You can too.

Here’s the deal. If you write a book between now and February 28, 2019. And you are blessed with a publishing deal or decide to self-publish – I promise to purchase a copy. Even if the topic is something like Five Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy (I’ll give it as a gift). There – you already have one preorder from a paying customer. Email me at david.rische@gmail.com when it happens.

Your book can be a lasting legacy. It may impact one person, or it may impact over one hundred thousand. Enough said!

Dave 🙂

https://www.amazon.com/author/davidrische

P.S. Since we’re on the subject of books – my third one will be available on Amazon February 17th! It is called Top of the Class Teacher Interviews: 55 Strategies to Maximize Preparation and Supercharge Your Confidence. It is designed to help teacher candidates through the mental and physical preparation of the overwhelming process of an interview, especially for the first time. Besides personal insights, I used over two dozen reference sources from the world of education and business. So maybe someone looking to reenter the workforce or at potentially switching jobs would also find it beneficial. I’ve been working feverishly on this one since July – so I’m anxious to finally get it out there!

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Who Are You C.S. Lewis To?

I thoroughly enjoy The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia books and movies. My wife has had the experience of visiting the pub in England where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis would sit by the fireplace discussing their stories, characters, hopes and dreams regarding their work. However, I recently discovered that The Lord of the Rings came close to never happening. We were almost deprived of one of the greatest literary works of all time. Here is the story from Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever (pg.177-179):

After the surprise success of J.R.R. Tolkien’s children’s novel, The Hobbit, in the fall of 1937 his publisher asked him to write a sequel. The public, he wrote, will be “clamouring to hear more from you about Hobbits!” Tolkien had no plan for a follow-up at first. “I am a little perturbed,” he responded. “I cannot think of anything more to say about hobbits.

The issue might have ended there, but it didn’t.

Tolkien mentioned that he had written more about Middle Earth, the imaginary world in which The Hobbit transpires. He offered to let his publisher read the material, even though it was missing the star attraction. “I should rather like an opinion, other than that of Mr. C. S. Lewis and my children, whether it has any value in itself . . . apart from hobbits.”

A cog was turning in Tolkien’s mind. For nearly two decades he’d hustled at uninteresting, sideline writing projects to make financial ends meet. But now, despite having no real plans for a sequel, he was imagining how he might pull it off. “I must confess that your letter has aroused in me a faint hope,” he continued. “I begin to wonder whether duty (the need for cash) and desire (his passion for the stories he loved) may not (perhaps) in future go more closely together.”

You can hear it through the tentative language: Here at last was his big chance to tell stories he loved and simultaneously improve his family’s financial situation Tolkien knew this was a life-changing opportunity. All he had to do was write another novel – preferably with more hobbits. Easy, right? It seemed so at first. By Christmas he finished the first chapter of the sequel. He was on his way! But then life happened.

Personal distractions, professional duties, and health crises seemed to pile up and prevent him from making any progress. Several times he gave up work on the project. “I have no idea what to do with it,” he admitted. Reading through his letters, you can spot a familiar zigzag pattern. He went back and forth between feeling confident and close to finishing, and running out of inspiration and energy to complete the project. At one point he said his “labour of delight” had been “transformed into a nightmare.”

So how did Tolkien overcome the distractions and discouragement to finish The Lord of the Rings, one of the top-selling books of the twentieth century? The answer starts back at the beginning with Tolkien’s friend, C.S. Lewis. At several critical moments, Lewis encouraged Tolkien to stick with the project when he had given up. “Only by his support and friendship did I ever struggle to the end of the labour,” he said in 1954 as the first reviews began coming in. Over a decade later, he still was quick to credit Lewis for his support:

“The unpayable debt that I owe to him was . . . sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my “stuff” could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion.”

 

Leadership expert Jon Maxwell has a simple litmus test to know if someone needs encouragement or not: “If they have a pulse, they need encouragement.” Why don’t we make it our ambition this year to be excessively liberal with our praise and encouragement to those around us? What great work is being stalled or perhaps extinguished because a person is fed up with it, and no one around them is speaking life to them?

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1st Thessalonians 5:11)

Blessings,

Dave 🙂

 

 

 

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It Was a Merry Christmas! . . . But When is He Coming Back?

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. The Book of Acts talks about Him ascending into Heaven. Various portions of the Bible talk about Him returning to claim His people who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Him. So even with the focus of the holiday season is on His arrival – our natural curiosities question when will He return? Today? Next week? In one hundred years? Even though Jesus’ return is a separate event, many have linked “the end of the world” with it.

I still remember back in the 80’s borrowing a book from a friend called “88 Reasons Why The Lord Will Return in 1988”. I don’t think He came back then, maybe the author needed the 89th reason?  We had the Y2K scare in 2000 – not much became of that. Maybe Y3K will be the big one? A lot of attention was focused on 2012 being the end of the world due to the ancient Mayan calendar. In fact,  I bought a very persuasive book that had convincing scientific theory and facts behind it. Anyway, as far as I know, it didn’t happen in 2012. Switch the numbers, and possibly 2021 could be the year? And finally, I didn’t read the story – but I remember a headline in late September of 2017 claiming numerologists had determined the world was going to end that weekend. If memory serves, I think we had a brief thunderstorm – but the world definitely didn’t end. So when will it end?

As mentioned earlier, the Bible shows that Jesus returning and “the end of the world” are two different events. First, regarding His return:

But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Mark 13: 32)

So that pretty much sums up trying to predict the exact date when He is going to come back. His Father knows and will reveal that information in His timing. Second, without going too deep – many believe that the Bible teaches the Earth isn’t going to be wiped out, blown up, or destroyed. In fact, the opposite is true – it is going to be restored, and Heaven is going to come down to Earth. Eden will once again be as God originally intending it to be. Think of the ending in Beauty and the Beast to get a visual. I strongly recommend the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn if you want an amazing, scripture backed perspective regarding what the future holds. Check out these verses:

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  (Revelation 21: 5) (Notice all things new, not all new things – my words.)

“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne . . . ” (Matthew 19: 28)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away . . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,  (Revelation 21: 1, 2)

So what do we do in the meantime besides speculate dates and write books about when He will return? Oops – forgot that He said no one knows the date. If you have time, read the entire chapter of Mark 13 as Jesus is directly telling His disciples what to look for. Toward the end, He speaks a universal message to all of us that has an overriding theme in five verses (Mark 13: 33-37):

  • Take heed (which means “watch out!”) . . . (v. 33)
  • . . . keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come (v. 33)
  • . . . to stay on the alert (v. 34)
  • Therefore be on the alert – for you do not know when the master of the house is coming (v. 35)
  • And just in case we’ve missed His point – “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!'” (v. 37)

What does being on the alert look like for us? What steps and choices can we take today so we will be ready whether He returns today, next week, or in one hundred years?

He closes the last book of the Bible with a message of hope and anticipation:

Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me . . .  (Revelation 22:12)

 

Blessings,

Dave 🙂

 

 

 

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The Stories Behind The Story . . . .

A few days ago I was waiting on the world’s slowest printer to finish a job. I know – new ones are very affordable and high quality. However,  I can be cheap, er . . . uh, I mean “frugal” at times. While I was waiting for the papers to come out, I started staring at the two shelves packed with books above the printer. I looked closely at each book spine and started to reflect on why I had that book. Memories of people and places started flooding my mind. I also started to think about if it was given by someone, or what made me purchase it, and even what was going on in my life during that time period.

Special thanks to my grade school teachers and my mother for encouraging me to read and develop a love for it. However, I do have a horrible habit now of reading 2-3 books at a time (anyone else out there does this?) Below is a tiny sample of a few books that stood out and why:

  1.  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – I originally checked out these from our school library back in 5th grade (the 70s!) – those tales were unlike anything I had ever read before. It still is my favorite non-fiction story. Those books also helped me discover the fantasy genre and peaked my interest in drawing.
  2. Building Your Mate’s Self Esteem – one of four required reading texts during our premarital counseling over 27 years ago. Timeless advice regarding the way we speak to our spouse. We learned the concept of how our words can create an upward or downward spiral in our relationship. That once you verbally proclaim something – it’s out there! The entire book is based on Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
  3. Wild at Heart – I was visiting a church for the first time on Father’s Day almost 17 years ago. At end of the service, the pastor casually mentioned picking up a copy of it for the men. No thanks, I had read enough men’s books to last a lifetime. About 3 months later – I saw one copy of it on the shelf at Half Price Books. I felt like it was whispering to me to buy it. To avoid hearing any more voices, I hesitantly purchased it. The book then sat on my shelf at home for about 3-4 months. For whatever reason, I picked it up one day and decided to start reading it. Besides the Bible, it has been the most impactful book on my life. It was if the author, John Eldredge was having a one-on-one counseling session with me over a cup of coffee. I had the chance to meet him at one of his retreats back in 2004, and now I read everything he cranks out.
  4. Paul Harvey’s The Rest of The Story – Was published in 1977, but given to me by my late grandfather when he saw I had an interest in reading it when I’d visit his home. Thinking about this book brings back great memories of both sets of my grandparents and the times that we shared. It also triggered thoughts of listening to Mr. Harvey on the radio while we drove to and from school – anxiously awaiting – what was the rest of the story??? (Some of you youngsters have no idea what I’m talking about).

It was an amazing mental exercise – almost every book had either people, a feeling, an event or a place attached to it. My encouragement is for you to give it a try. Find a quiet moment. Take a look at your book collection. Think about why you bought it, or who gave it to you, and what was going on in your life during that time? Get lost in the people, sights, and sounds. Maybe it was a difficult time period of your life. It could be time to pray for healing and extend forgiveness to the offending party. Or it might open a vault of happy memories and remind you of how far you’ve come on your journey.

If you’re comfortable – please share a title or two in the comments or on FB, and why that book is important to you.

Blessings,

Dave 🙂

 

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