Living His Love

Wild Flower Presbyterian Church

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Day Break

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Day Break
By Belva Plain

This story is fiction.  It’s about two families who each took home the wrong baby boy from the hospital and raised them for 19 years.  It deals with sickness and death in one family and good health and hatred in the other.

The living son was influenced by the wrong people in college and by his bigoted father.  He became a radical anti-semite.  The story makes one realize how easily a young mind can be led down the wrong path in life.  It tells how the two mothers deal with the volatile situation with lots of love and patience.

Submitted by LaVonne Volzke

God: A Biography

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God:  A Biography
By Jack Miles

This book studies God as a literary figure, giving the reader a distinctly different view of how God moves through history.  Miles sees God as someone who changes and grows along with his creation.  This book is a challenging read but I found it helpful in giving me a clearer view of God’s character.

Miles is a former Jesuit priest turned Episcopalian.  He follows the Hebrew order of the Old Testament, which gives the reader a different take on understanding the Old Testament. Without delving too far into the reasons for the editing of the Hebrew Bible by a Christian, I will just suggest that it helped to link the New Testament with the Old.

This book challenged me to a deeper, more nuanced view of God and enriched my appreciation for the richness of the Bible.

Submitted by Rev. Steve Corum

If God is Love

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If God is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World

By Phillip Gulley and James Mulholland

Gully and Mulholland are both Quaker ministers.  They write a challenging book in a straightforward and thoughtful manner.  The book is easy to follow with ample anecdotal material to illustrate their thesis that God’s love is such that ultimately no one will remain outside God’s grace and salvation.

For those of us taught that we must have a particular conversion experience and an exclusive faith, the authors offer a challenging and inviting alternative.  I quote their concluding paragraph:  “In every soul, in every nation, race and religion, God has planted the seeds of this  (God’s) kingdom.  Some cultivate and nurture God’s seed and  some do not, yet even in those lives God is working, anticipating a garden of grace, a new Eden.  In the heart of this garden will stand a tree whose diverse branches shade all God’s children.  When we eat of its fruit, we will not die, but will live fully, fearlessly, and forever in unity and love.”

Submitted by Rev. Steve Corum

90 Minutes in Heaven
By Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

This book is a very familiar title.  Many of you may have read the book or even heard Don Piper speak.  If you have not, I suggest it is a good book to read.

Don Piper is a Baptist Pastor.  He was driving home from the Baptist General Convention of Texas to his home in Alvin, Texas, near Houston.  On a  two-lane bridge in heavy rain an 18-wheeler crossed the line and hit Dan’s Ford Escort head-on, killing Dan instantly.  Ninety minutes later he was brought back to life through the faithful, fervent prayers of another Pastor.

The book tells of the very serious and complicated medical issues Dan faced and even more complicated mental and emotional issues.  Even this faithful Christian man had to work through questions such as “Why did I return to life on Earth to face so much pain and suffering?”  It is also about the power of prayer and the love and support of many people.

Submitted by Dianne Peterka

Dear John

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Dear John
By Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks writes wonderful love stories, but he also puts other parts of life into the mix. In this story, he helps us get a better understanding of Aspergers, a developmental disorder causing anti-social behaviors. The book centers around a young man serving as a soldier and a girl in college.  Among the many problems they are dealing with are the stresses of college,
demands and unknowns of army life and the temptations of separation–all choices that will affect their relationship.

Love has many facets–this book deals with the love of father and son, friends, lovers and the love of country.
Sparks is the author of Notebook and many others.

Submitted by Lorraine Schmidt

Put Your Dream to The Test
10 Questions to Help you See it and Seize it
By John C. Maxwell

Dr. Maxwell is a great business and church leader who has been successful in communicating leadership and mentoring leaders for many years.  Recently, he gave four significant sermons on the dreams and life of Joseph  (coat of many colors Joseph) on the Hour of Power.  It was the fourth message, “How to Make the Most of Your Dream” that motivated me to buy the book.  Check out www.hourofpower.org for more.

The book has ten chapters which go along with his ten questions.  It is filled with significant quotes and special wisdom insights from Dr. Maxwell.  If you have dreams, goals or plans for a day, year or lifetime you will be challenged and helped.  Anyone can benefit from this book.  For leaders or one who wants to check your leadership dreams it is one of the best books I’ve read.

Chapter 6 entitled, “The People Question:  Have I Included the People I Need to Realize My Dream?” is one of my favorites because he has some significant lessons on teamwork.  He started with a quote from Andrew Carnegie:  “It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you can do alone.”  Later he has a capsule of wisdom of how his team helps him–”It’s not enough to have a dream.  You must also have a dream team.”

Sometimes we need to check on our dreams or dream new ones.  He asks practical questions and provides a checklist at the close of each chapter.  This is a book worth reading or simply checking into to help you with your dreams, goals and plans for your life.

Submitted by Rev. Eugene R. DeHoogh
Moderator of Session at Wild Flower Church
Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church

The Shack

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The Shack
By William P. Young

Romans 8:28 says that “All things work together for good to those who love God.”  Hmmm?  Really?  Even really, incredibly, impossibly horrific things?  Like—your daughter getting kidnapped and brutally murdered while you are on a camping trip?  Are we really expected to believe that anything good could come out of that?  Are we really expected to love a God who would let something like that happen?

In The Shack, author William P. Young tells the story of a man whose pretty typical faith is tested by this kind of trial.  A man who feels his marriage begin to crumble and is helpless as his other children deal with the effects of losing their sister.  Then…he gets a note.  From God.  Inviting him to come back to the scene of the murder.  And what he meets there truly changes his life.

This book may challenge your assumptions about who and what God is—and how God is revealed through the Trinity.  It has created quite a stir.  Some suggest it is a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress, while others say it is bad theology that is caught up in the new age, “feel good” movement that denies the truth of God’s righteous anger.

Read The Shack and find out for yourself what Mack learned about himself and the awesome mystery of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit when he went back to The Shack.

Submitted by Ann Smith

Inside the Revolution
By Joel C. Rosenberg

Sioux Falls residents had an opportunity to hear from Joel Resenberg a few years ago at either Augustana or Central Baptist Church.  He is a best-selling author with more than 1.5 million copies in print.  He has been interviewed all over the world and has spoken at The White House.

In this book the author shares very honestly and openly about the three movements that are going on in the Middle East poised to change the world (The Radicals, The Reformers and The Revivalists). In the first thirteen chapters he shares about The Radicals and what their goals are.  They want to kill all infidels in the United States, Israel and elsewhere..  In the next eleven chapters he tells about The Reformers who are willing to challenge the Radicals (Jihadists).  In chapters 25-32 he shares a message of hope about The Revivalists  (Muslims becoming Christians) which is rarely heard about through the news media.  All Christians may not agree with their theology, but it is refreshing to know that more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ today than at any other time in history.

In his last chapter he challenges people to join the Revolution.  He shares openly about the good news in the Bible, and concludes with four scriptural strategies — (1) Learn, (2) Pray, (3) Give, and (4) Go.  He concludes with these words, “What about you?  Are you willing to join the Revolution?”

JESUS IS WITH US.

Following this last chapter he presents this appendix  “TWENTY TERROR PLOTS AGAINST AMERICA FOILED SINCE 9/11.”  You will be blessed and challenged by reading this book.

Submitted by Rev. Eugene DeHoogh

The Christmas Sweater
By Glenn Beck

Based on a deeply personal true story, The Christmas Sweater is about family, faith and forgiveness.  This book makes us question whether we really know what’s most important in our own lives. The story begins telling about a boy who wants a bike for Christmas and then continues to follow him into adult life.  This is truly a book for all seasons.

If you recognize the author it may be because he hosts a program weekdays on the Fox News Channel.

Submitted by Toni Healy

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
By Mitch Albom

This book is a work of fiction.  It is not based on any particular Scripture, but it is the author’s view of how people on Earth affect each other’s lives.  Everything we do or neglect to do can impact other lives in ways both good and bad.

A man named Eddie had a life of hardships, disappointments and pain, but also a life with a lot of love and goodness.  After his sudden death on his 83rd birthday, he met five people in Heaven who led him to understanding and Peace.

This story is inspirational and thought-provoking.  It may even lead to interesting discussions.

Submitted by Dianne Peterka