This excerpt is right out of my new release – E-pistles For An i-Generation – from the very front of the book. I thought you’d enjoy it.
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My latest book just arrived back from the publisher! e-Pistles for an i-Generation. I’m excited to share it with you!
I want to tell you about the cover (directly below). Notice the title: e-Pistles For an i-Generation: Relevant in a Digital Age . Your generation. Our digital age. The front picture portrays that 1st and 2nd Corinthians can get from an ancient scroll into your i-pad (and then into your heart). The back cover is an i-pad with a critical message.
Will 2020 be a 666 year or a 777 year for you? Numbers mean things. You can put them together in various ways to increase meaning. They measure things, identify patterns, and organize systems. Numbers point to specific events. For example, 2020 not only points to the new year, but also to a new decade. 2020 can mean excellent vision (2020 Vision for the New Year: Setting Goals).
The number 2 often means a companion. 3 can be a trio or a triangular endeavor. It also makes a sturdy stool on uneven terrain. 12 can refer to a dozen. 6 and 7 mean things, too.
Encouragement is always easier to receive than rebuke. Yet, we all need both. Truly we do. Unfortunately, most people put all their energy into defending and protecting themselves instead of opening to whatever truth is being presented. That’s a sign of insecurity, and possibly pride. A secure person who is humble doesn’t worry too much about their defense. Maybe a little. But they rally with courage, receive an honest message, pray through it, filter out whatever is irrelevant, and apply whatever is helpful. It’s as if they are saying, “It is what it is. And that’s OK, because I’m aiming for more of Christ.” They are willing to accept the bottom line: we affect each other.
As I developed today’s article, an alarm triggered inside me – “How ever will I write anything to encourage people to love God more deeply? How ever will I develop credible thoughts to accurately present God’s new fresh love to readers? Love is a wonderful concept, and at times, almost impossible to carry out! I fail more often than I’d like to admit when it comes to loving God and others.”
Every morning, I take certain medications. Perhaps you do, as well. Some people take a daily vitamin pill. Many meds are critical to promote health and bring balance to systems that need assistance. If you need a chemical your body is short on, there are options in most cases. Sometimes in the middle of a day, you just need something for a headache. Pills and creams of every kind help you maintain a healthy body. Too bad there isn’t a pill for courage, or a cream for confidence. I wonder. Is it possible to take a daily dose?
The topic for today is fresh new life. You know life can shift pretty quickly. Mostly it’s in the small stuff. I’m sure you’ve been in a jam at some point. Caught in bad circumstances. You have that dreaded, instant panic feeling. It could be you lost your wallet or left your purse on a shelf in a store aisle. Perhaps you forgot to pay an important bill. You may have broken something very special or ruined a plant you were nurturing. Your keys to a public building, a safe, and your own home are missing. Maybe you ran your car into someone’s fence or got pulled over for speeding. Maybe you said something you later regret terribly.
These kinds of things make your stomach churn. You just hope for some way to reconcile things with as little pain and upset as possible. Many of these scenarios are minor and temporary. Some scenarios are the big stuff – serious and life altering with long-term losses.
Think about the words that have impacted you the most. Sometimes you remember words spoken into your life for many decades . . . burned into your memory. Some words have been encouraging with powerful positive impact in your life. Perhaps other words have been negative and damaging. Regardless, words have power.
I’m sure you have held an infant, completely helpless, very hungry, in your arms. They depend utterly on you to protect and nourish them. Their intense, desperate delight as they grab the bottle you offer, shows their utter focus on themselves and their complete dependency on you for survival. It’s a precious memory to feed an infant.
Picture an older child, teen, or adult in that same scenario, however, and you get a completely different reaction inside. It’s repulsive. They should be actively engaged, handling a fork and knife (or chop-sticks) as second nature. The expectation is pretty simple – lose the bottle! Grow up!
Life is hard! How do you get through it all? When too many painful seasons chain together, we start asking serious questions. Most people’s questions flow out of losses, disappointments, and pain.