I’ve been amused at the hundreds of times I read “Like me” on Facebook. All it takes is a click and you are one who likes, whether it be a business or a picture on someone’s Facebook page. What does “Like me” mean. The question is similar to a topic in my book Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith. People say, “Love ya” as they hang up the phone or end a conversation. McDonald’s uses the logo, “Lovin’ it.” A pastor stated in a sermon that people can say “I love you” and not mean it at all. When people ask me about my book and show interest in buying a copy, I usually say, “I hope you like it.” I probably should say, “I hope you are encouraged, or benefited, or blessed by it. Those would surely have more meaning than “liking it.” The meaning of McDonald’s “Lovin’ it” could refer to the fact that their drive through is bumper to bumper, to the extent that many of them have added a drive through to take care of the traffic. Someone made a related comment about being nice. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, he or she is such a nice person?” Unfortunately, many who are viewed as “nice” are not really, just as love is not always true. Paul didn’t say “Love must be sincere” for nothing. If we are going to love, and as Christians, we have no choice, since God is love and we are to love Him and our neighbors. In His love He died for us. Jesus said that there was no greater love than that a person lay down his life for a friend. Too many who claim the name don’t really back it up in their hearts. Read Matthew 13 and ponder the meaning of the parables. They are as much or more about hypocritical action and thought as they are for the positive. If you buy my book, my prayer is that you will more than like it or find it nice, but be strengthened and encouraged by it. Love ya.
In our previous home we frequently heard a POP and the lights went out. It didn’t take long to discover the problelm. The electrical transformer that provided us with power was shorted out–dead. A squirrel, hopping along the power line and landing in the wrong place was the cause. Because we had a cell phone we could call Idaho Power and the problem was fixed in a short time. Sometimes our lives, as Christians, become short circuited, and instead of reflecting the light of Christ in a dark world we only add to the darkness. We can’t blame a squirrel, but we can take an inward look at ourselves and identify the problem. God is our source of power and if we are willing He will restore that light by transforming us by His Spirit. My book, Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith examines three issues that affect our relationship with the Lord. The first problem is that of worry and anxiety. Number two is hypocritical or insincere love and the last is pride. Each one can be defined as sin. A reader questioned how anxiety could be classified as sin because it sneaks into your life. That isn’t the problem. Many sins creep into our lives. The problem is: what do we do about it? John writes that if we confess our sin, God is faithful to cleanse us from it and forgive us. Paul gives an alternative: prayer which leads to peace. Trusting God in every circumstance is the solution. When the electrician answers the call, he reconnects us with the power source and the lights shine again. The same is true with God, our source of spiritual power. He always answers the call and is there to transform our minds and hearts. Our connection is restored.
My parents were married as the great depression began. However, there was no depression in their partnerships. Dad farmed 60 acres and milked a dozen cows and sold the cream to the local creamery. Most of the milk went to the hogs, which became bacon and pork chops. We had all we needed and more. Dad laughed when I, at the age of about 6, asked him if we were rich. We were, but not financially. In my memory they had three interests: church, grange and pinochle. I’m wrong on that. There was more. Those things were only a cover for their real richness, relationships. They were friends with everyone in their church, people in a dozen granges and their pinochle parners. Between them they had seven brothers and sisters and all their kids. Hardly a week passed by but what we got together for dinner or fishing or working together. Our house was a log cabin Dad built with help from his brother. It was only a short distance from the railroad track between Twin Falls and Kimberly, Idaho. Freight trains passed by frequently, usually with hobos as passengers. They were not tramps, but men looking for work wherever theycould find it. Many would knock on the back door looking for something to eat. Most offered to work, but Mom always had food at no cost, not just a snack, but a dinner. She did the same for relatives and friends who happened to drop by for a visit. It was her life. Mom and dad had relationships– real, deep and meaningful. God wants the same with us. We are the hobos. Our physical needs may be few, but our spiritual needs are many. Jesus said He was the bread of life. His dinner is always ready, just like Mom’s was. When the hobos plodded through the garden to our house, they found what they were looking for. The same is true of God. Seek and you will find, He said.
Transformation is a book intended primarily for Christians. The target of the Christian life is to be like Jesus. Why? Because God condescended to sinful humans and came to earth as a man for the purpose of giving His life to pay the price of our sin. The motivation was love, extended in humility and to insure a life of peace. An understanding of what God did is a reminder of our obligation to Him. The root is an intimate relationship with Him. Everyone knows that certain attitudes or actions affect relationships. Transformation addresses three issues that rate our fellowship with Christ. The first is anxiety. The Bible is adamantly against anxiety as an influence in the Christian life. Worrying produces nothing but a damaged relationship because it reveals a lack of trust in the ability of a sovereign God to manage things. Transformation uses many scriptures to prove that anxiety is a sinful act that must be dealt with, as with any sin.
Of the thousands of Christian books written and published none come close to equality with God’s Word. When John 1:1 declares the Word to be Christ Jesus it becomes obvious that knowing His Word goes so far beyond our intelligence that it blows our minds. At the same time God has given us the key to understanding His Word and knowing Him through the Word, Jesus. The key is the Holy Spirit, His gift who dwells in us. It has been said that the more we try to rely on our intellect, the less we will know Him. Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus didn’t answer, but went to the cross to prove the truth of God, His love for us. Through our faith in believing that His Word is true, we come to know Him as the Truth. We can rely on this because He is faithful and can be trusted. I am amazed at the number of Christian books that are published each day. I’ve discovered that it becomes a challenge when it comes to getting many people to read your book. We can’t read them all, nor should we, but all authors obviously feel that their book should be included in the must read list, because they believe it’s message is important. I certainly feel that way about Transformation The Servant’s Heart–A Life of Faith. If I didn’t feel that way, I certainly would have wasted my time, effort and money in publishing it. Transformation is not intended to compete with the Bible, but it is intended to lead someone in that direction. Some readers have commented on how much scripture is in the book, but as I continue to study the Bible I run across verses that I wish I had included, but didn’t. The subject of pride is constantly reminding me how subtle it is, but I want to say that I’m not being proud when I say that some readers have read Transformation and had changes in their lives for the good. What I am is thrilled beyond measure. That is one intent, but the better hope is that many will be directed to His Word, that it’s just a step in the right direction. May my words point to His Word.