Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zap the Gaps!: Target Higher Performance and Achieve It!

Zap the Gaps!: Target Higher Performance and Achieve It!Zap the Gaps!: Target Higher Performance and Achieve It! by Ken Blanchard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always enjoy reading Ken Blanchard's books. In "Zap the Gaps" he is joined by Dana Robinson and Jim Robinson. They lay out a plan that helps one find the root causes of the gaps in business performance and then how to correct the causes. If you enjoy business books then you will enjoy this one!

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The DaVinci Code: A Quest for Answers

The DaVinci Code: A Quest for AnswersThe DaVinci Code: A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an excellent books that takes the claims of the book by Dan Brown, "The DaVinci Code," one claim by one claim and looks to see if the claim is true. If you have read "The Davinci Code" or saw the movie I highly recommend this book. It is a very quick read (112 pages) but is a tremendous resource. It is written like a novel but with footnotes to establish facts. 

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Embraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God

Embraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with GodEmbraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God by Charles R. Swindoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chuck Swindoll is my favorite Bible teacher. His writing is such a joy to read. This book is a very encouraging book to read. It is helpful to know that "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. I highly recommend this book. The following quotes are from the book:

The life that He lived qualified Him for the death that He died. And the death that He died qualifies us for the life that He lived.   ~Ian Thomas  p. 13
He enables you to face today’s trials. He empowers you to meet tomorrow’s demands. He gets you past the divorce. He guides you to your mate. He goes with you to the funeral home. Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, He is with you. Wherever you are—hospital room, dorm room, at home alone, in a difficult work environment, with a sick child, standing by a fresh grave—you have an inner Helper. He has “come alongside” to assist you. The Spirit of God has been provided to comfort as nobody else can. He loves you. He’ll never leave you. He supports and strengthens you. And because of His indwelling presence, you have an amazing life open before you. p. 34
We need to be a collective body of individuals whose lives are unexplainable apart from the supernatural work of the Spirit—growing us, transforming us, loving us to good works, as we increasingly look like Christ. pp. 86-87
People aren’t looking for the amazing; they’re looking for the authentic. p. 87
At critical moments in my own life, I have sought the counsel of seasoned individuals—and they’ve seldom been wrong. But you must choose your counselors very carefully. Wise and trustworthy counselors are persons who want for you only what God wants. Such persons will stay objective, listen carefully, think deeply, and answer slowly. p. 100
The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God sized. They are always beyond what people can do because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, His kindness to His people and to a watching world. That is the only way the world will come to know Him.  ~Henry Blackaby p. 102
Following Christ means that we must believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. p. 103
God does not want us to substitute the good for the very best. p. 104
Anytime you force a door, thinking you’ll find satisfaction by getting your way, ultimately you will regret it. Leave it closed. Back away. Accept it. In acceptance lies peace. pp. 106-107
Four Guidelines That Will Help
If you’re struggling with a closed door, I have four guidelines to share with you that have helped me in my own process.
1. Since God is sovereign, He is in full control.
Read Revelation 3:7: “[I am the One] who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens.”
2. Being in full control, God takes full responsibility for the results.
Don’t try to carry that burden. It’s not up to you to make the divine plan work; it’s up to God. Your job is to walk in His will, regardless; it’s God’s job to make everything come together.
3. The closing of a good opportunity occurs in order to lead you to a better one.
Often in the winds of change we find a new direction. God took over and turned a jolt into joy.
4. Not until we walk through the open door will we realize the necessity of the previously closed one.
As a result of obeying God, accepting the closed doors, and walking through the open ones, God will honor you with a perspective you would never otherwise have. Henri Nouwen wrote, “The years that lie behind you, with all their struggles and pains, will in time be remembered only as the way that led to your new life.” pp. 114 – 115
Ask Him to soften the soil of your heart that has been hardened by bitterness or sadness or resentment or blame because of previously closed doors. Ask God to create in you a spirit of willingness and availability. p. 119
You must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. – The Message, (vv. 12-14) p. 137
How to Live Free
First, only God can bring relief to a soul this wretched.
Second, learn to recognize that a life lived in the energy of the flesh centers on self.
Third, a life lived with the Spirit in control leads us into grace. pp. 140 – 141
The original creation of man and woman is in God’s likeness, but when Adam and Even had a son, he was in Adam and Eve’s likeness. Something significant had changed about that image. Sin damaged the created ideal, but that damage must not have been complete. For this reason, one may say that the image of God has been defaced but not erased. It has been tarnished but not destroyed. p. 148
God allows our suffering. Don’t doubt for a moment that circumstances of suffering are used by God to shape you and conform you into the “image of His Son.” Nothing enters your life accidentally—remember that. There is no such thing as “luck” or “coincidence” or “fate” to the child of God. Behind our every experience is our loving, sovereign Lord. He is continually working things out according to His infinite plan and purpose. And that includes our suffering. When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible individual . . . and crushes him. Being crushed means being reshaped—to be a vital, compassionate, useful instrument in His hands. pp. 190 – 191

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Eve's Diary

Eve's DiaryEve's Diary by Mark Twain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Very disappointed in this book. I've always enjoyed Mark Twain's books, but this one was bad. He wrote this as Eve's daily diary, but was not true to Scripture. He seemed to poke fun at Christianity. The is only 109 pages and every over page is a picture. I do NOT recommend this book.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We SharedThe Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a fun book to read. It is about a father and daughter who enjoy reading. When the daughter is about nine years old they decide to set a goal of the father reading to his daughter for 100 (or if the father's story is correct 1000) consecutive days. This becomes the "streak." The book includes a quote to begin each chapter of one of the books they read. Alice does a great job retelling the story about the incidents that happen along the way. I just loved this book and recommend it to everyone! Oh "the streak" lasted 3218 days!

Here is the website for the book!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In His Shadow: Growing Up with Reggie White

In His Shadow: Growing Up with Reggie WhiteIn His Shadow: Growing Up with Reggie White by Jeremy White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this autographed book at a used bookstore for $3.00. Reggie White was one of if not the best defensive player ever in the NFL. He retired then came out of retirement to play for the Carolina Panthers. I lived in the hometown of the Panthers, Charlotte. So I heard a lot about Reggie White and have been interested in learning about him. His son, Jeremy, wrote this book. Reggie died Sunday, December 26, 2004 of sleep apnea. This book really is more about Jeremy than it is about his Dad. However, I did learn a lot of new things about Reggie. He studied Hebrew sometimes over seven hours a day so he could learn more about God's Word. I have to say that he had a lot of beliefs based on his study that I had never heard before I read the book. Also, I learned that when he was playing football he trained 12 months out of the year. He was in top shape. He seem to love football and love God.

I believe Jeremy  wrote this book when he was in college. The writing (from the language used and the things he writes) seem to come from a young person. I think if he had been much older the book would have been written from a whole different prospective. A person who reads this book can not help but have a love for this family If you are a football fan or a Reggie White fan you would enjoy this book.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke FreeDancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emily Colson is the daughter of the late Chuck Colson of Watergate fame. Emily's son, Max, has autism. This is a story about Emily and her son Max and their life dealing with autism. It is also a great story of unconditional love a mother has for her son. A highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in autism, unconditional love, or Chuck Colson.

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Calico Joe

Calico JoeCalico Joe by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My wife knows how much I enjoy reading Grisham so when she saw this book on sale at Target she bought it. It is a very easy read but an excellent read. Calico Joe is a rookie playing for the Chicago Cubs. He is setting all kinds of records and is on pace to be the all time rookie ever until his career is cut short when a pitcher throws and hits him in the head. The son of the pitcher years later when his father is dying sets off to meet Joe and try to sit up a meeting between the two. Grisham weaves both fact and fiction into the story. Many former Cubs players are mentioned in the book. It reads like a true story. It is so close to reading like a true story it makes one want to do research to find more information about the fictional Calico Joe. If you enjoy a good fiction story or enjoy baseball you will love this book.

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The Divine Embrace: An Invitation to the dance of intimacy with Christ. One exhilarating, ennobling, uncertain step at a time.

The Divine EmbraceThe Divine Embrace by Ken Gire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I have read by Ken Gire. He is a gifted writer, a former editor for Chuck Swindoll's  Insight for Living. In this book Ken compares the intimate relationship with Christ as a dance. I have several quotes below that spoke to my heart. I trust they will also speak to your heart.

. . . the Christian life is about intimacy, not technique.  p. 7
Before Jesus called the disciples to ministry, he called them to intimacy. Following came first, fishing came later. Before he called them to represent him he called them to be with him. Jesus appointed the twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority over demons (see Mark 3:14-15). Before he sent them out, he drew them closer. He went out with the publically so they could hear him teach and see him heal the sick and cast out demons (see Luke 9:10).  Even as he was leaving the earth, he promised he would always be with them (see Matthew 28:20). And later, Luke tells us, the credential by which the disciples were recognized was that of “having been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). p. 24
In the last words of that prayer, Jesus, speaking to his Father, asks “that the love you have for me may be in them” (John 17:26, NIV). p. 28
Duty destroys relationships, because duty reduces relationships to a to-do list. p. 38
Duty also destroys joy. Whatever joy we may derive from our duties is related to a performance, not a person. If our performance is the source of our joy, it will also be the source of our pride, which in the end will undo us. p. 38
Our activity for Christ should grow out of our intimacy with Him. If we are near Him, continually beholding Him, He will tell us what He wants from the kitchen and when he wants it. pp. 38-39
Being useless and silent in the presence of our God belongs to the core of all prayer in the beginning we often hear our own unruly inner noises more loudly than God’s voice. This is a times very hard to tolerate. But slowly, very slowly, we discover that the silent time makes us quiet and deepens our awareness of ourselves and God. Then, very soon, we start missing these moments when we are deprived of them, and before we are fully aware of it an inner momentum has developed that draws us more and more into silence and closer to that still point where God speaks to us. ~Henri Nouwen pp. 39-40
We are not transformed by a curriculum; we are transformed by a person. And we are transformed not by studying that person but by beholding him. p. 54
Love changes us in ways that law cannot. Spiritual formation, a term used to describe the process of being changed into the image of Christ, doesn’t happen by following disciplines. It happens by falling in love. When we fall in love with Jesus, all the other loves in our life fall into place. And those that once competed with Christ now subordinate themselves to him. Everything in our life finds its proper value once we have properly valued him. p. 54
That is why busyness is lethal – it keeps us from beholding the face of Jesus. And that is why stillness is essential – to get the best possible look at his face, for the longest possible time. p. 55
“To be loved by God,” said C.S. Lewis, “not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son – it seems impossible,” but that is the picture of God we see in the Scriptures. If that’s the picture we have, it will change not only the way we see ourselves, it will change the way we see everything. Including the Scriptures. Now as I read them, I try not only to hear what the people heard but to see what they saw. p. 73
The Christian life is about us following Christ’s lead, not about him following ours. He doesn’t ask us to write the notes to the music or choreograph the steps to the dance. He asks us merely to take his hand and follow him. To move when he moves.  To speed up when he speeds up.  To slow down when he slows down.  And to stop when he stops. p. 89
He comes in such a way that we can always turn him down, . . . comes to us in the hungry man we do not have to feed, comes to us in the lonely man we do not have to comfort, comes to us in all the desperate human need of people everywhere that we are always free to turn our backs upon.  ~ Frederick Buechner pp. 94-95
The Father never measured his Son by how successful he was, only by how faithful. p. 97
It seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that if God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks.  ~Frederick Buechner  p. 105
C. S. Lewis once wrote that a doctrine never looked so threadbare as the one he had just successfully defended. One can defend a fortress, he explained, but not a landscape. When we reduce our faith to arguments, it becomes a fortress of manageable and therefore defensible size. But our faith is not a fortress. It is a sprawling landscape of rolling hills and pathless woods, rutted with steep and sometimes shadowy ravines. There are shimmering moments of wonder. There are also terrifying moments of wandering in the dark woods of our most looming, moss-covered fears. pp.  110-111
A Russian writer, whose name escapes me now, once said: “I don’t know the heart of an evil man, but I know the heart of a good man . . .  and it’s bad.” p. 111
Our work is not about trying to find movements that are uniquely our own and finding innovative ways to express them. It’s about trying to find movements that are uniquely His own and simply following them. p. 140
The dance we have been invited to participate in is not about the realization of the self but rather the relinquishment of the self. Surrendering Himself is the way Jesus lived his life, from the day of His birth to the day of His death. Each and every day He was faced with the temptations to live for Himself – to defend Himself, advance Himself, exalt Himself. Yet each and every day He resisted them. pp. 140-141
The fear of criticism is silenced by falling in love, If we fall in love with Jesus, not only will nothing on this earth attract us, nothing on this earth will intimidate us. p. 177
I wonder myself sometimes. And I wonder if Jesus were to come back, would He be as impressed with all that goes on at church as we sometimes are? The New Testament uses different metaphors to describe the church and how it was meant to operate. A family is one of them. And a body, another.  But a business?  Never. Yet the way the church has evolved, it seems closer to the image of a business than to a body or a family. p. 187
Our responsibility is to surrender. The result of our surrender is not our responsibility. p. 207
Not only are the days of our lives in God’s hands, but also the shaping of our lives. All these incremental surrenderings of self are part of the process God uses in shaping us into the image of His son. Jesus was a man of sorrows, we are told. That was part of His beauty. Our sorrows acquaint us with His sorrows. Apart from suffering, there is a part of Jesus we cannot know. If there is a part of Him we cannot know, there is a part of Him we cannot love. And if there is a part of Him we cannot love, there is a part of us that can never be beautiful. p. 208
Jesus says: “The trouble is that you have been thinking of the quiet time, of Bible study and prayers, as a means for your own spiritual growth. This is true, but you have forgotten that this time means something to Me also. Remember, I love you. At a great cost I have redeemed you. I value your fellowship. Just to have you look up into My face warms My heart. Don’t neglect this hour if only for My sake. Whether or not you want to be with Me, remember I want to be with you. I really love you.  ~Robert Boyd Munger p. 219

If you are interested in being inspired to having more of an intimate relationship with Christ then this book is for you!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Amendment One - Marriage Amendment

BEST Pro Amendment One response I have heard/read! From David Chadwick.

On May 8th, North Carolina voters will vote on a Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that will be recognized by our state.

I cannot, nor will I, tell you how to vote. However, there are times when I must, by my commitment to Jesus and his Word, give you facts about issues. This is one of those times.

Here are objections some are raising and my responses:

1. North Carolina already has a law defining marriage between a man and a woman. That is true. But it's already been challenged, as early as December of this past year. The only way to prevent this definition from being changed by aggressive judges is to have this law be immutably stated in the Constitution. 2. There will be unintended consequences from victims of domestic violence. This objection is based on appellate cases in Ohio (which states a similar perspective in its Constitution). But this challenge was overturned by Ohio's Supreme Court. North Carolina domestic violence laws already protect people, regardless of their relationships. This will continue even with this Constitutional addition. 3. Children of unmarried couples lose their insurance coverage or custody or visitation rights if this becomes a part of our Constitution. This will not impact what employers already do. Plus, custody and visitation rights are determined by law by the relationship of the parent to the child, not the relationship between parents. 4. How does a marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman hurt my marriage, or any marriage? Let's be very clear: the assault on marriage didn't begin with this amendment. It first began with the fallen human condition that always seeks our will. It was aggravated by the sexual revolution decades ago that invited promiscuity and adultery. It was exacerbated further by "no fault" divorce laws decades ago. If you want an example of where all this may go, simply look at many western European countries where marriage is considered unimportant, only 20% marrying. This view towards marriage is the natural consequence of a culture that continues to diminish marriage as God intended. Is that where we want to go? What may be next? 5. It will be bad for business. The ten fastest growing business states in the United States all have a similar kind of statement about marriage between a man and a woman in their Constitution. What is the only one that doesn't? North Carolina.

There are 30 states that have already approved a similar statement on marriage for their Constitutions. Each one was voted on by the people. The 7 that define marriage differently were all decided by the judicial branch.

Finally, for followers of Jesus, the Bible - God's Word - is very clear. Marriage is not a right for humans to have. It's a gift from God, an ordinance written into creation. Its definition by God is not only for Jews and Christians, but a creation creed for all people everywhere. God defined marriage, not us!

In original intent, God clearly defined his will for marriage in Genesis 2:24. Please read the verse carefully. It's what I've taught consistently over three decades of ministry. God's will for marriage is one man, one woman, in a committed heterosexual, monogamous relationship.

Because of the Fall in Genesis 3, humans for centuries have tried to abrogate God's original intent. Whether it's pre-marital sex, adultery, pornography, polygamy, divorce among others, our hardened, selfish hearts deny marriage as God intended it. Whenever the prophets in the Bible saw these aberrations from God's original intent, they called God's people back to Genesis 2:24.

What did Jesus think and teach? In Matthew 19, he was asked his opinion about divorce. To where did he direct people? Genesis 2:24. Although Jesus never directly addressed homosexuality per se, he did address God's intent for sexuality in marriage. He quoted Genesis 2:24 (as did Paul in Ephesians 5 when addressing marriage as God intended it). Being under his Lordship, I must too.

Every study I've read says that marriage between a man and a woman is the healthiest way to raise children. It's the best way to produce good health between a man and a woman. It's the foundation for the health of a nation.

Finally, the Bible says that God's blessing is upon a nation that honors him. Above all, I yearn for God's supernatural blessing upon all citizens on our great state. I believe we will need this blessing like never before in the years to come.

In the end, you must do your own research. To read further regarding some of the misinformation and false innuendo you may be hearing and seeing, please go to

Finally, you must vote your own conscience. I do ask you to do your research, both intellectually and Biblically. Then ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

My passion is for all people to come to faith in Christ. I try to speak prophetically to the Republican and Democratic parties, to spiritual seekers and believers alike, to all people everywhere. I always want to speak the truth. But I also want to speak the truth in love.

I pray I've done so in this letter to you all.

Under God's Grace and Mercy, David

The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012