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Monday, February 09, 2009

Sharing the Love

It's amazing to me how God used a donkey, a story, and suffering in Scripture to draw people to Him. I've never heard a donkey talk, but He has used the other two examples to get my attention.

Sure wish I listened better, regularly!

This past week, God used another thing to speak, and this is one item (actually two) I'm thrilled for Him to use.

Books. I love it when He does that. :-)

The two books are right in time for Valentine's Day and are all about love. The first is a devotional, Love as a Way of Life Devotional, by best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman.

Here's an official blurb first: Each devotional entry showcases biblical truths that guide a life of love, offering fresh insight and practical guidance in how to make love a lasting habit. Readers will learn to follow God’s lead as they practice the characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.

Now here's a favorite quote that really jumped out at me from page 7-8 of the book: "Knowing the reality of our weaknesses, we can find great freedom in realizing that the key to becoming a loving person lies not with us but with God."

To an all too often control freak, these words were freedom.

I'm still sorting out the lessons in this book. Too many times I go into analyzing mode and think about how the words are good and I how I understand them and should apply them to my life.

But I'm not yet at the experiencing point, the place where the words are alive and I find myself living them without the analyzing. And that's where I want to be.

Another fascinating book that came at the right time for me is I Do Again by Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs.

I feel a bit like a voyeur, peeking into the details of this couples real-life story. At the same time, I'm blown away by their honesty, and it's helping me understand a little more of the communication struggles in my own marriage.

Another thing I've enjoyed about this book is how not alone I felt after reading Cheryl's struggle to listen and obey God's voice. There's something powerful about knowing you're not the only one to struggle and to see someone triumph even when it took a while to get there.

Here's the official blurb: I Do Again details the fascinating real-life story of a couple whose relationship seemed shattered beyond all hope until a spiritual awakening led them to reconsider their definitions of “happily ever after.”

A riveting account of the power of prayer and redemption, this remarkable book offers renewed hope for even the most troubled marriages—and reveals why the rewards of restoration are well worth the wait.

So wherever you are on your relationship journey, these are two excellent books for turning your thoughts to the Lord and the real meaning of love this Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Now it’s your turn…what books would you recommend to a young couple? How about a single or someone like me, who’s been married a while?

Let’s share the love and the learning as we grow in Him.

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