I Blog For Books

11 September 2009

Where Were You?

Nine years ago, America collectively gasped and watched our illusion of safety crumble to the ground when not one but three immediately recognizable buildings were struck by terrorist controlled airplanes. Since that day, we have studied videos, listened to countless commentaries, read hundreds of stories and articles, and wondered.

September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in the memory of most Americans for a very long time. For my parents' generation, it ranks right up there with November 22, 1963. Just as our parents could tell you where they were and what they were doing when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, most people of my generation remember quite well where they were and what they were doing on 9/11/01. I was at work when one of my employees walked in and said "A plane just flew into the Pentagon." My first response was a thoroughly professional "Nuh-uh ... you're kidding, right?" There were no tv's available to us, just radio ... which obligingly within moments broke in with the shocking news that she was indeed correct. A few frantic phone calls later, it started to sink in with a gut-wrenching reality. Our safe haven had been violated not once but three times, and it appeared that there would have been a 4th attempt but the plane had crash landed. Within a two hour time period, both the north and south towers of the World Trade Center had been struck by aircraft, the Pentagon had been hit, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania was a horrific ending to what might have been yet another terrorist attack.

Within the days, weeks, and months that followed, America pulled together like never before in my memory. We were Americans and we would stand against those who dared to invade the sanctuary of our borders. We cried, we held hands, we hugged, we prayed. We knelt down, we looked up. We stood up ... and we stood tall. Eight years later, it is a horrific memory, and a realization of our vulnerability. Terrorism does happen; it happened here.

Where were you eight years ago? Did the events of 9/11/01 effect a change in your life? The last eight years have brought changes both good and bad into my life. Fortunately, the most recent changes have all been good. I thank God every day for the blessings He has given me.

We all have the capacity for change. Fortunately, most change does not require an earth-shattering event like we lived through in 2001. If a major change in your life were to happen, traumatic or otherwise, will God be your guide? If you can't answer "YES!" without hesitation, take some time to ask Him to fill that role for you. Believe in Him, and He will guide you in all things.

Jesus, lay your Hand on our hearts and minds today as we reflect on those who lost their lives in the tragedies of 2001. Guide their families to peace, guide us as a nation to stand strong. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

"... Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror."~Isaiah 21:1 NIV

06 September 2009

A Fresh Start

As you may have noticed, I am a reader. Sometimes, I write about what I am reading because it has touched me in some way that I feel a need to share with you. The book I recently finished reading has done just that. Finding an outlet that allows me to do so was part of what drew me to Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers. Working with Thomas Nelson publishers allows me to read (which I love), write about what I've read (which I also love), and to combine the two in a way that will make you want to read what I've just read (which I hope to do).

The first thing that drew me to this book was not the title, but the cover artwork. Simplistic? Maybe. But take a look before you dive inside. Cool, clear water is the impression that you receive, and water does what for us? Refreshes us and quenches our thirst. Fresh Start, written by teaching pastor Doug Fields, invites you inside to learn just how "God's Invitation to a Great Life" can work for you.

You immediately discover that Fields is not your typical self-help book author. He uses humor, common sense, real-life examples, and scripture that drives his point home to bring you into the world of change. His introduction tells the tale of Thomas Edison. Not of his amazing discoveries, but of the destructive fire that obliterated much of his work. Edison's reaction? " ... I am not too old to make a fresh start." With that simple statement, Doug Fields begins to walk us through just how to make such a change happen in our lives, and what effect even simple changes will have.

Fields uses the word stuck to describe our spiritual habits, and how accurate this description is! He reminds us that through the maze of self-help, we need to focus on the one thing that can indeed bring us from "stuck" to starting over, and that's simply that "change comes only because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4:13)," and that "real, lasting change comes from God's unlimited power." Over and over, throughout the 193 pages of this work, Doug Fields makes a point, questions your understanding, reinforces what he is teaching, and moves you forward. I just wanted to keep reading, and read this book in one day!

From defining "Unstuck," to inviting you "To Boldly Go," to "Analyzing Anger," and realizing "What You Value Most," Doug Fields has written a book that draws you in with a timely message for today's hurry-up-right-now-I-want-it-all society. Why not see what Fresh Start means to you?

"I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland!"~Isaiah 43:19 NLT