Outlive Your Life

Outlive Your Life by Max LucadoMax Lucado does an excellent job of conveying the simple truths of the Gospel in his latest book Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference. The author uses very simple and plain language to give us the why and how of getting back to the original message of Christianity. He uses a very conversational style that is a pleasure to read. He fills it with many personal examples from his and others’ lives as well.  This book is a call to action that every Christian needs to read and implement in their lives.

While reading the book, I was reminded of another book I recently read and reviewed The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Mr. Stearns book is a little more missional minded but does contain much of the same call to action as Max Lucado’s. I greatly enjoyed reading both of these books and am very thankful to BookSneeze.com for providing me with complementary copies to review. It has definitely given me a new perspective on my faith and challenged me to live out my faith in a way that will make a difference in the lives of others that will ultimately outlive my life.

Hope or Hope?

Wish or Hope?

photo courtesy Ken Lee

I was reading my devotional today and there was a particular comment that really jumped out at me. The author referred to the change in the word hope as we tend to think of it today versus the way that it was used in the Bible.

We tend to use the word hope more as a wish, “I hope it doesn’t rain”, “I hope I get a Nintendo for my birthday”, and the worst is “I hope I’ll have a good retirement”. We’re looking forward with a desire for something we feel we have no control of.

A more positive and appropriate use of the word hope is more of a knowing. It’s the kind of hope that stirs something in us. A hope that causes us to look forward to something better that we know is coming.

As a christian, I have the hope that there is something better for me beyond this life. We can also have hope in this life. It’s a hope based on plans and dreams, not on wishes upon a star. If we are being wise with our money, we have the hope of a good retirement. If we’re restoring a car, we have a hope that we’ll be driving a slick hotrod in the future. It’s a faith with action.

The first kind of hopes provides nothing but a momentary pleasure or more likely a sudden disappointment. The second kind of hope provides a lasting drive and anticipation of the better things to come and a knowledge that what we do today has a purpose. Are you wishing or hoping?

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Book cover - The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard StearnsThe book The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns is a call to action for Christians wrapped in the story of the author’s journey from the executive boardroom of a large and prestigious corporation in the east to the headquarters of World Vision U.S. in the state of Washington. This story in itself is an awe inspiring tale of following, and fighting, God’s will in his life. The more thought provoking part of this book however is what he shares about the level of poverty and disease outside our little corner of the world. He does this through the use of stories of the people and through the statistics surrounding them.

It is almost impossible to not be impacted by what Mr. Stearns shares about the world around us. He shares many unbelievable statistics, but manages to bring them into a context that we can grasp. For instance, he shares that 26,000 children die each and every day from preventable causes related to the poverty they live in. He compares this number to 100 jet liners crashing each day. Wouldn’t we be shocked by that headline if it happened even once, let alone every day?

He also shares statistics about the number of Christians in our nation and the amount of wealth that we have.  The amount of that wealth that we dedicate to helping those around the world is shockingly small. The Bible is full of verses regarding our duty as Christians to care for those around us and Mr. Stearns refers to many of the most powerful ones in his book. If we call ourselves followers of Christ, but are not acting on many of these commands, doesn’t that mean that there is a hole in our Gospel?

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Welcome!


Welcome to our log home photo

Photographer: Pat Kullberg

Welcome to my latest blog. As I’ve pursued my new Financial Coaching business, I’ve come to realize how important continuous growth and improvement is to me. I am constantly analyzing my behavior and actions to try and do better the next time I encounter a situation. I’m always reading books that are designed to help me improve at the things I do and that are designed to create growth in me. I tend to associate myself with people who can help and encourage me in that growth.

Some of the areas I like to focus on are first and foremost my relationship with Jesus Christ. If I improve in that area, I know everything else will follow because that is the nature of being a true follower of Christ.  Additionally I try and improve my relationship with those around me, my wife, my children, my friends, and my acquaintances.

Lately I’ve been spending A LOT of time focusing on how to develop a business based on serving others. I’ve discovered a great group of people online that are helping me in that area, and I will be meeting with them soon at an intensive event in the Colorado Springs area to go even deeper in that.

Through all of this, I’ve decided that it might be beneficial to me and to others to blog about this and share my experiences with others. Hopefully through my experiences, others can find growth, and maybe they can share back with me some of the things that they have learned.

So, be prepared to learn along with me, and PLEASE comment and share back. I look forward to interacting with everyone. I will try and keep this light and fun as well as insightful. I hope to include plenty of the resources that I have encountered along the way through book reviews/summaries as well as links and references to some of the people and sites that have contributed as well.

Most of all, please be patient with me, because I’m Still Not There.