You are having a chat with a friend. There’s laughter here and there. When all of a sudden, someone taps you on the shoulder. It’s someone you know. Then you realize, this someone is aware of what you and your friend have been talking about the whole time. He’s heard everything. This is crazzzzy! What an abrupt transition from fun into embarrassment!
When things become stressful, you need to breathe. When your sanity is almost about to leave, there’s that friend who is able to convince it to stay. Do you have that someone with whom you can share almost everything without worrying about being judged even for a single second? If so, then you’re blessed; and so am I. Things have been much more bearable since then. Thank God for these wonderful people He sends our way.
God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader
Kenneth Richard Samples
This was my first scholarly read about world religions as I’m not used to reading books that are overly objective like this one. Consequently, I thought I wouldn’t finish the book as I got kind of overwhelmed by the amount of information being presented.
The book discusses details about the world’s major religions alongside their leaders in a comprehensive manner. It also includes tables which are helpful when recalling the major points previously presented. Readers are given tips on how to share Jesus with others using the very information discussed in this book, which makes for a useful reference.
The book is impartial in that it presents not only the weaknesses but also the strengths of the leaders of the religions other than Christianity.
I recommend this book to people who are eager to gain clear-cut facts about how Jesus compares to other religious leaders. I also recommend this to those who are pursuing apologetics.
Pick up a copy of God Among Sages through the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
The message below was sent by one of my best friends from high school on the very day her father passed away. I felt the keen sincerity that came along with it. I was not aware that I was making an impact at that time just by behaving as I normally would—cracking jokes and laughing out loud. What came out naturally to me became something she still heretofore remembers.
“Thank you, rachel..thank you for making Dad laugh whenever you visit us at home.”
Likewise, making other people’s burdens lighter doesn’t always require too much effort on our part. It can just be a tap on the shoulder, a “hi” or “hello,” a minute or two of our time, a simple text message, a “thank you,” a smile, or a short prayer. How are you making an impact on the lives of the people around you? Whether or not you’re aware of it, you’re making a difference. Make it a good one!
Among all the household chores, one of the most detested (if not the most detested) is doing the dishes since the use of dishwashers is not yet prevalent in this part of the world (I’m in the Philippines). I can still remember how my brother and I used to divide the labor in order to accomplish this seemingly tedious task. I would always be the one to soak and scrub the dishes, and he would be left to rinse them afterwards. It was just a few years ago when I realized that it’s easier to do the rinsing; I’ve been tricked!
Some circumstances in our lives remain the same no matter how hard we pray about them, but it matters how we look. Perspective is the key. This activity that you once considered dreadful can now be therapeutic or even divine. The time you spend with the dirty dishes is also time you’re left alone with your thoughts. How did you do in the past hours? Did you hurt someone with your words? Were you able to thank the people around you? What do you want to tell God today?
Here’s an allegory. We’re like the dirty dishes; sin makes us so as we entertain bad thoughts, speak unpleasant words, and behave badly. We don’t just throw away dirty dishes, right? Similarly, when we get bedraggled because of the sins we commit, God still keeps us—He picks us up, wipes away the dirt, and rinses us until we become fit for use again. None of the dishes will ever be too crummy for Him.
Are you excited to do the dishes now?
Whenever my father would ask me to do something or go somewhere, I would normally say no. My usual reason was either I was doing something else or I didn’t feel like going somewhere. For years, I’ve given him the same response; so I thank God for the patience He’s given to him during that season.
This morning, he woke me up asking me to attend a meeting as his replacement. Guess what? I said no. As his excuse, he said he had a cold; I told him I was sick, too, so he should go instead. Then I remembered my #oneword for this year—FOLLOW. Hence, I mustered all the motivation I had to get out of bed and go out of my way.
I would be with a group of pastors during the trip, so I never thought the next hours would be fun or even anything close to that; but God has His way of surprising us almost all of the time. I went home smiling and grateful that this time, I said yes.
P.S. When it was time for me to say goodbye, they uttered: “Bye, tropa!” I couldn’t laugh any harder!