“Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”

Falling Rain

Back in November I had the privilege to write a review on the book Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna.  The books title couldn’t be any better, for it is, EPIC.  I have found myself time and time again, picking the book up and rereading the countless passages that I underlined back in November.  Since that time more underlining has been done.  More contemplating, more praying, and more importantly, a deeper understanding of God’s epic grace.

Since my first read of the book I have taken every opportunity to spread the word of this, in my words, life changing book.  A few months ago a co-worker overheard me talking about the book and approached me about the book when no one was around.  She asked about God’s grace.  She was concerned about her husband that had taken ill and was looking at a risky operation, a long hospital stay and recover.  Her concerns were also her husbands, “Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”  I told her I would get her the book and that both of them should read it.  Before the end of the day she told me that at lunchtime she ran over to the book store and bought the book.  She said that she couldn’t wait as her leave from work started that day.  For the next few weeks she would be by her husbands side as he took on the battle of his life.

That was weeks ago, fast forward to just a few days ago.  My co-worker is back to work, her husband is progressing better than expected.  She looks better herself, better than she had for a long time.  Her first words to me when she saw me, Thank you!”  I said for what?  “For the book, it helped us so much, more than you’ll ever know.”  She went on to tell me that while her husband was in the hospital she read the book to him everyday.  Cover to cover, and then again.  “We never understood God’s grace before.” she said.  “My husband was afraid that he had screwed up to much in his life to think God would want him back.  He was wrong.”  She said that the book helped them get through a very difficult and scary time.  The smile on her face said it all.

If you have doubts, questions, or want a better understanding of God’s Epic Grace, please, get the book.  You will not be disappointed.  If you know of someone that is struggling, get them the book.

GET THE BOOK HERE

“If we let him, God uses difficult people to mold us into his image.  They teach us patience.  They teach us how to die to ourselves, how to lay down our lives for the sake of another.  They teach us how to be more like Jesus.  They stretch us into far reaches of his epic grace.” Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna

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No Greatness Without Goodness

The first thing that got my attention about this book was the title, “No Greatness Without Goodness”, the second thing was that it’s a story of a father’s love for his autistic son and how this love brought Greatness With Goodness!  The last thing, I have a nephew who is autistic, and this book resonated in me.  Lewis’s story teaches that we need to concentrate on what can be done, instead of what cannot be done.

Randy Lewis is a retired vice president of Walgreens and his book tells the story of how he introduced an inclusive model in Walgreens distribution centers that resulted in 10 percent of its workforce being staffed by people with disabilities.  Employees that despite having disabilities, are held to the same standards of those without disabilities.  What he accomplished, what all involved accomplished, has changed the lives of thousands and serves as the example that with great power comes great responsibility.

Lewis’s passion for hiring those with disabilities came from his love for his son Austin who was born with Autism.  Lewis and his wife Kay wondered what kind of life lay ahead for Austin.  Lewis writes, “Our dreams for our second child were of the ordinary kind – baseball, Cub Scouts, model airplanes – but we would soon learn that this was no ordinary child.  None of those childhood pleasures were to be his.  Instead, he was to be my catalyst, my inspiration, and my goad.  He would compel me toward action that I never would have thought possible.”

Lewis’s shares the sometimes painful, but also joyful experience of raising a child with autism.  It was Chapter 4, Finding Gold in Dark Places, that I could really relate to.  Lewis writes, “Our son has never spontaneously said he loves us.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t – he just communicates love in a different way.”  I can relate!  He also writes, “He (Austin) began to create new combinations of words to describe things, which we referred to as “Austinisms”.  Orange spring for fall. “Sky flowers” for fireworks.  “Walking rock” for turtle.  Others were more self-explanatory, such as “bottom sneeze.”  Lewis reminds us that we need to look deeper, even into the troubles.  There is gold to be found everywhere.

As I read this book, and how determined Lewis was to make a difference, to do good work, one of my favorite bible verses, in fact my life verse, kept coming to mind.  “I am doing a great work and I can not come down.” Nehemiah 6:3

Nothing, absolutely nothing kept Lewis from what he deemed his mission, hiring the disabled and giving them what we all desire, want and need, the sense of belonging, that we all have value, that sense of feeling that we are wanted, needed and that we each make a difference.

What Randy Lewis did is amazing.  Greatness is not measured by the result but in the attempt.  As writer Beryl Markham observed seventy years ago in her masterpiece West with the Night, “If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.”  Lewis’s ledger is quite impressive.

5 out of 5 stars!  Get the book HERE!

You can read an excerpt of the book HERE

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

When The Door Opens

And When The Door Opens

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was leaving the room after paying a visit, and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.” Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” the man said.

“You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door, on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining. As he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.”

“I know little of what is on the other side of death,” the doctor continued, “but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through with no fear, but with gladness.”

 

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Out Of This Life I Shall Never Take…

Out of this life I shall never take
Things of silver and gold I make.
All that I cherish and hoard away
After I leave, on earth must stay.

Though I have toiled for a painting rare
To hang on my wall, I must leave it there.
Though I call it mine and boast its worth,
I must give it up when I quit the earth.

All that I gather and all that I keep
I must leave behind when I fall asleep.
And I wonder often, just what I shall own
In that other life, when I pass alone.

What shall He find and what shall He see
In the soul that answers the call for me?
Shall the great Judge learn, when my task is through,
That my soul had gathered some riches, too?

Or shall at the last, it be mine to find,
That all I had worked for I’d left behind?

 

40 Different Authors, 3 Continents, 3 Different Languages.

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Among all the books ever written, the Bible is absolutely unique. Actually, it is not just a book—it’s 66 books. And one of its most remarkable qualities is the complete unity of the overall message despite having so many different authors writing over many centuries on hundreds of controversial subjects. Natural explanations fail to account for the supernatural character and origin of Scripture.

The Bible was written over a period of roughly 2,000 years by 40 different authors from three continents, who wrote in three different languages. These facts alone make the Bible one of a kind, but there are many more amazing details that defy natural explanation.

Shepherds, kings, scholars, fishermen, prophets, a military general, a cup-bearer, and a priest all penned portions of Scripture. They had different immediate purposes for writing, whether recording history, giving spiritual and moral instruction, or pronouncing judgment. They composed their works from palaces, prisons, the wilderness, and places of exile while writing history, laws, poetry, prophecy, and proverbs. In the process they laid bare their personal emotions, expressing anger, frustration, joy, and love.

Yet despite this marvelous array of topics and goals, the Bible displays a flawless internal consistency. It never contradicts itself or its common theme.

66 Books . . . 1 Message
Despite writing in radically different times and contexts, the Bible’s many authors all told the same message about God’s eternal plan, from Creation and the Flood to Christ’s work on the Cross and the consummation of God’s plan. You can find the same truths stated by Moses and the Old Testament prophets, Christ Himself, and Christ’s apostles.

The First Creation
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” —Moses

“By God were all things made.” —the apostle John

“At the beginning God made them male and female.” —Jesus Christ

Noah’s Flood
“Noah went into the ark, and the waters increased greatly, and all flesh died that moved upon the earth.” —Moses

“The world that was then, being overflowed with water, perished.” —the apostle Peter

“Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and took them all away.” —Jesus Christ

Resurrection of Christ
“You will not leave my soul in the grave; neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.” —King David

“Christ was buried and rose again the third day.” —the apostle Paul

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” —Jesus Christ

The New Creation
“I will make a new heavens and a new earth, says the Lord.” —the prophet Isaiah

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” —the apostle John

“I go to prepare a place for you.” —Jesus Christ

The unity of Scripture demonstrates its supernatural inspiration. Only the one true, holy God could provide us with such a flawless Bible that reveals such a matchless message: the Lord’s staggering love for His creation.

Men, Have The Courage

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Men these are things to ask your wife and children to pray for you. Have the courage to ask your family to help hold you accountable for these things.

Love Christ first.

By your sacrificial example, encourage your wife to love Christ first.

Love your wife so that she is confident, you understand her deepest thoughts and moods.

Love your wife by honoring her in the presence of your children.

Love your wife by joyful sacrifice to enable her spiritual growth. Also love your wife by being sacrificially involved in the daily household needs.

I miss you Dad.