Creation as a Performance

3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. – John 1:3 (HCSB)

How did the world we live in come to be? We live in a world where many suggest it was merely a cosmic accident. The right chemicals mingled at the right time and the end result was the planet earth with its myriad of life. On the other hand, the Book of John clearly articulates that all things were created through Jesus Christ. What does the Bible mean when it speaks of creation? The word the HCSB translates as “create” is the Greek “ginomai” (ghin’-om-ahee). Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines ginomai as “to cause to be.” Thayer’s Dictionary adds that it is akin to a man who “come(s) upon the stage” and appears in public with the intention of performing. Unlike an actor, however, Thayer’s continues on to say that there is an element of “ginomai” that is miraculous.

When John writes that all things were created through Him (Christ), he is asserting that there was a point in time when God appeared on the stage of history and miraculously caused everything, as we know it, to come into existence. When we consider the word “ginomai” on this level, we begin to understand how Christ fit into Creation. Colossians 1:15 teaches that Christ is the image of the invisible God. In the context of our study it becomes evident that it was Christ, the image of the invisible God, who appeared on the stage of creation. God the Father was the director and Christ Himself was the actor providing His personal touches to the performance. And what a performance it was! Paul writes in the first chapter of Romans, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made …” (Romans 1:20 NASB). Christ’s performance was one that has provided witness to God’s existence since the beginning of time.

There is an artistry and beauty in creation. So much so that every time we act, write, or perform we are merely imitating that First Great Performance!

We may quibble over the means of Creation, but there should be no debate over the identity of that First Great Performer. Looking at the word “ginomai” at greater depth helps to clarify this important Biblical assertion.

An Open Letter to God

Hello God … it’s me, Clark.

I’ve screwed up again. I know You’ve got to be tired of hearing this crap over and over again, but I can never seem to get it right. Every time I take two steps closer to Your embrace I stumble and fall away. I’m afraid though that this time is different. I didn’t just get my usual scraped up knees and bloody nose. I have serious internal injuries. The brunt of the damage seems to have been taken by my heart. My passion, drive, and even faith have all suffered. I’ve had one of those earth-shattering moments. You know the kind. I feel like I may never be myself again.

Maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve never really been too fond of myself. I’ve always liked it better when I managed to resemble Your Son just a little bit. More of Him and less of me, I suppose.

I guess what I’m really writing to tell You is that I’m weary. I’m tired of making stupid decisions and then blaming You for the lackluster results. I no longer have earthly desires. They’re too fleeting; too easy to lose. I just want you. It’s weird. I’m a grown man and all I want is for my Father to lift me up into His arms and hold me. I want You to tell me it’s all going to be okay; that You’re going to protect me from myself from this moment on.

I want an army of angels.

I want to understand Your Word with the clarity that has too often evaded me.

I want the Holy Spirit to zap me like lightning.

I want Your Son in His glorified flesh to sweep down from the Heavens and establish His Kingdom.

I’m sorry God, but I want it now. I know things work in Your time and according to Your will, but I’m afraid that if You don’t move soon I may destroy things down here beyond repair.

Please Lord consider my request.

Thanks,
Clark

Walking With God

Approximately ten years ago I finally heard Jesus Christ calling out to me. I suspect He had been doing it for awhile but my own arrogance and pride prevented me from hearing His voice. When I finally heard Him, His voice was loud and clear.

Just days after my conversion I dropped to my knees and asked God a very specific question, “You’ve got me, now what do you want me to do?”

I asked the question without really expecting an answer, but the response I received is, to this day, the clearest expression of God’s voice I have ever heard. God responded to my question with a simple command – Walk.

You see, at the time of my conversion I was in pretty bad shape. At thirty years old I couldn’t walk very far without getting extremely fatigued. God’s command to me made sense in light of my condition. He clearly expressed to me that He couldn’t use me in this fallen world if I died prematurely; thus, he directed me to walk. I became vigilant about my task. For a solid year I walked diligently. I walked through snow, rain, hail, and extreme heat every morning for a year without fail. When I first started I couldn’t walk a block without my left leg going numb. When I arrive back at the house I was always dragging a stump of a foot along with me. Before long, however, I was walking greater distances and even jogging up a few hills. I began to use my walking time as my prayer time and looked forward to opening up to God about the things going on in my life. As a result, my health improved dramatically. I lost weight and began to look and feel much better.

However, my conviction to walk lasted only a year. I had a problem that I didn’t understand at the time. I had accepted Christ in my head in an intellectual way. There was no doubt that the claims made by Him and His apostles were accurate. However, I had failed to allow Christ to change my heart. My heart was still living in a fallen world in a fallen state. I was only half-cooked so to speak.

It took just a year before I forgot my walking was commanded by God. I grew tired of it and began to branch out. My new found fitness allowed me to begin a serious pursuit of cycling where I racked up hundreds of miles. I began weight-lifting and playing racquet ball; all endeavors worth pursuing. The problem was that I forgot where I started. When people asked me about the sudden change in my life I was far too ready to take the credit for myself. My response for my lifestyle change should have been that God had commanded me to walk and I had obeyed. He should have gotten the credit.

In the time since I have fallen off the health band wagon. I find myself needing to lose some weight. I’m a border-line diabetic. My cholesterol and triglyceride numbers could stand to be improved. I’m in bad enough shape that I don’t really enjoy those old hobbies. I’d like to someday … and that brings me right back to where I started.

Walking.

I feel like God’s chosen people who disobeyed His commands until they found themselves in exile as a result of their of own stupidity. They forgot where they came from. They forgot it was God Almighty who led them out of slavery. I forgot it was God Almighty who told me to walk.

When the people of Judah found themselves exiled in Babylon, they discovered that God immediately began making plans for their return to the promised lands. God remained faithful despite their disobedience. God has remained faithful to me despite my disobedience and my wasted opportunity to be His witness.

So today I walked. Sure, it was a short walk accompanied by two poorly trained dogs who kept trying to defecate in the middle of the street, but it was still a walk. The point is that today I obeyed a God who has remained faithful to me despite my flaws and disobedience.

How will you obey God today?

Sunday Bible Study: What Role Does Discipline Play in Love?

If you’re a parent, you understand the dilemma of being forced to discipline one you love. As parents, we’re charged with the task of raising our children to be responsible adults, but it’s difficult sometimes along the way. Because children lack the proper perspective they often misinterpret discipline to mean their parents don’t love them. However, the writer of Proverbs says the exact opposite:

11 Do not despise the LORD’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe His discipline;
12 for the LORD disciplines the one He loves,
just as a father, the son he delights in (Proverbs 3:11-12).

It seems the Lord, and the father that imitates Him, only disciplines His children because He loves them. When a father becomes apathetic and no longer interested in his children there is no need for discipline. It is only when the parent still has hopes for his child’s future that he continues to discipline and correct.

God’s intentions are often misconstrued. People wonder how a loving God could discipline the people He created. I submit that only a loving God would discipline His children. If God didn’t have the time to correct and guide us, it would be evidence that He no longer cared about us.

I know what it means to be disciplined by God. I’ve had my spirit and conscious pricked by the Holy Spirit. I’ve faced trials, testing, and seasons of heartache because I had strayed from my Lord’s will. I’ve even found myself complaining at times over my predicaments … wondering out loud why my Lord had left me to suffer.

As I mature; however, I realize that these seasons of discipline have always been the direct result of my choice to stray from God’s will and Word. I’m humbled that the same God who created the universe loves me enough to lead me back onto the correct path. I’m grateful that He hasn’t given up on me.

As I mature, I hope to follow the example of James when dealing with the Lord’s discipline:

2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).

Give thanks to the Lord today for His discipline. Also, if you’re blessed enough to have an earthly father that loved you enough to discipline you and are able to do so, tell him thanks.

Clark

Book Review of The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

Book Review of The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

The Vertical Self is perhaps the most aptly titled book I have come across in quite awhile. Sayers does a remarkable job of contrasting the “vertical life” with the “horizontal” one. A horizontal life is one that is focused on “self” and draws its identity from the world while the vertical life is one that finds its identity entirely on one’s relationship with God.

Sayers exposes how Christians live according to various combinations of their “vertical” and “horizontal” selves. Depending on our circumstances, we may attempt to tap into our vertical identities (say, on Sunday mornings) while at other times we are more than happy to live according to our “horizontal” identity. As a result, our lives become fragmented and our faith is built on nothing more than sand.

It is impossible to absorb Sayers’ message within these pages without conducting a self-inventory. There are times when the reader may get stung a little as they flip through the pages; however, it is all for the cause of discipleship and spiritual growth. For this reason I believe Sayers’ book is a wonderful addition to my shelf. There were, however, some aspects of the book that fell short of my expectations.

Although The Vertical Self does a wonderful job of exposing the blemished way in which many of us lead our lives and will lead to conviction in many of its readers; I believe it misses the mark somewhat in actual application. I believe the reader who truly desires the vertical life may walk away Sayers’ work confused about how to achieve it. Sayers would have done well to explore Biblical text in more detail and to include a detailed discipleship & spiritual growth program. As it stands, he identifies the problem while offering a shallow attempt at a solution.

The book would be a good first step in a Christian’s walk towards a Godly life, but only if it inspires the reader to engage more deeply in Biblical text along with some of the deeper contemporary authors such as Dallas Willard or John MacArthur.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Christian Atheist by Groeschel

Book Review: The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel
Publisher:
Zondervan, 2010

Author Craig Groeschel coins the term “Christian Atheist” to denote a believer who isn’t living his or her life in a way that exhibits that belief. Far from judgmental, this book is an exhortation for the reader to experience a fullness in their relationship with God. Groeschel uses several anecdotes from his own life to explore such weighty topics as shame, love, prayer, worry, and evangelism. Groeschel’s work reads almost like a biography documenting his own journey from Christian atheist to maturity in faith.

The goal for this book is to encourage the reader to strive for and embrace what Groescel refers to as “Third Line Faith.” Groeshell paints the picture of a Christian who crosses three separate lines on their road to spiritual maturity. The first line denotes a Christian who believes in the gospel of Christ just enough to benefit from it. The second line represents the Christian who has matured enough to have the desire to contribute to the Kingdom of God as long as it is comfortable to do so. The third and final line represents the Christian who believes so devoutly in the gospel of Christ that they are willing to give their entire life in service to it.

I don’t want to reveal too much because my hope is that you will read this book. I highly recommend it to all Christians who seek to grow and mature in their faith. Personally, I had a couple of “light-bulb” moments as I read this book; specifically when reading Groeschel’s chapters on forgiveness and worry. This book encompasses enough subjects that any believer who reads it should be able to identify their own obstacles on the road to spiritual maturity.

I’ll be adding this book to my list of highly recommended titles.

Clark

Perfect Discipleship

Over the past few days I’ve found myself wondering what it really means to call myself a disciple of Jesus Christ; imperfect or otherwise. So often we Christians reduce discipleship into good behavior. I’m not suggesting that there isn’t an element of obedience within discipleship; however, I recognize that it can’t all be about behavior. An unbeliever can do nice things for other people. A pagan can be a good citizen and a wonderful parent. An atheist can be an upstanding member of the community. What is it then that separates the disciple of Christ from everyone else? If not behavior or good deeds, what is it that makes a disciple of Christ different? If Christ died for everyone, and everyone is capable of good (as well as bad) behavior, we are left with only one option; belief. It is belief that separates the disciple of Christ from the unbelievers. As His disciples, we believe, that Christ was who He claimed to be. We believe that Christ was both God and man and that He died for our sins and was powerfully resurrected three days later. We believe that Christ is currently with the Father and that someday He shall return.

If it is belief that separates the disciple from the unbeliever, what happens when we no longer live like we truly believe in Jesus?

We have hit critical mass in the western Christian world. Study the news for a few days to see what kind of impression Christ’s “disciples” are leaving on the world. Televangelists are hitting everyone up for money. Priests are abusing children. Preachers are turning away from the Gospel of Christ to preach a gospel of the world. In our attempt to make Scripture palatable to the unbeliever, we have turned our backs on the Bible. We live in a world that values pluralism and relativity and we have sought that world’s opinion over the approval of our Master. There is so much popular culture within the church that they are virtually indistinguishable. The church is like the small child who underestimates the ocean’s tide and finds himself dangerously far from the beach. We have drifted so far out that we can barely see our Father. At this distance, the face of our Lord and Savior blurs in with the crowd.

What then can we do? First, we must ask ourselves if we truly believe. Are we Christians because we truly believe or do we just go to church because that’s what Americans are supposed to do? Does Christ really reign supreme in our lives or do we use Him to support our pet causes or our favorite politician? Have you sought out a pastor who uses Scripture as the basis of his sermons? I’m not asking if your pastor mentions the Bible. Rather, does he begin with the Bible and throughout his sermon teach it in a way that reproves, rebukes, and encourages? Or does he preach a different gospel and occasionally use Scripture to back up what he is saying?

Many of have fallen into a snare that we can’t even see. We call ourselves disciples yet we have no clue what it means to truly disciple Christ; however, it isn’t too late. We have a gracious God who has communicated to us through Scripture. There is still time for us to study the Bible and press the global reset button on our discipleship. But to learn what discipleship truly is we must go to the Word.

The word discipleship(s) occurs in the New Testament over two hundred times. It comes from the Greek word mathetes. It is defined as a learner or pupil. It can be argued that we are all disciples of someone. We have all learned how to live our lives from someone. It may be our parents, our school teachers, our friends, or even reality television. We all disciple someone.

In the case of Christians, we have chosen to learn from Jesus Christ. We have chosen Christ as out Master because He is worthy. This choice is of vital importance. Matthew 10:25 says that if your master is called Beezlebub, those who follow him will be called even worse. Not only was the name Beezlebub another name for Satan, it was also the name of the Chaldean dung god. Roughly translated this means that if the master you choose is a piece of crap, you’ll be an even bigger piece of crap! Jesus is worthy of our discipleship. We can rest assured that our choice of Jesus as Master is well placed.

Once we’ve chosen Jesus, the Bible also teaches us how that choice should be demonstrated in our lives. Based on Scripture, we can create a profile of the perfect disciple of Christ:

  • First, the perfect disciple recognizes that he is not above his master (Mat 10:24). The perfect disciple must maintain a humble spirit and continually recognize his master’s authority over his life.
  • The perfect disciple must love his master above all other things including his wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, and even himself (Luke 14:26). If one of these people is standing between us and Christ, we must hate them as compared to our feelings for Christ. Many people have a problem with the prospect of loving Christ more than their family. I can relate. I love my wife more than I love oxygen. There have been times in my life when my children were what inspired me to keep going. However, if I truly believe in Jesus, than I have to believe that He will teach me the best way to relate to and love my family. The perfect disciple puts Christ first and allows all other relationships to fall into order.
  • The perfect disciple must be willing to carry heavy burdens in her pursuit of Christ (Luke 14:27). The perfect disciple isn’t perfect because she has never suffered. Rather, she is perfect because she follows Christ in the midst of her storm regardless of how difficult it is. She carries her own cross in pursuit of Christ.
  • The perfect disciple is willing to give up all that he has to follow Christ (Luke 14:33). Discipleship to Christ is the most valuable part of the perfect disciple’s life. Think of your most valued possession or relationship. Imagine what it is that you treasure the most in your life. The perfect disciple would give that treasured item up in a heartbeat to continue in discipleship to Christ.

This concept of the perfect disciple seems a little daunting. After all, if any of us were capable of being the “perfect” disciple to Christ we probably wouldn’t be visiting a blog titled “The Imperfect Disciples!” We can take heart, however, in that we serve a gracious and merciful God. The apostle Paul likened our discipleship to a marathon. I’m going to liken it to something a little different. In southern Ohio there is an annual bicycle event called the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV). Every year, on Mother’s Day weekend, cyclist set out from Columbus in central Ohio and pedal all the way to the Ohio River. The next day, these crazy cyclists make the return trip totaling over two hundred miles by the end of the weekend. All of us that live along the TOSRV’s route find great amusement in those cyclists that get lost along the way. They may all set out from the same point and with the same destination, but there are always a few that get lost along the way and find themselves way off course. This is how our discipleship works. We all begin with a belief that Christ is a Master worthy of discipleship. Along the way, some of us get lost. We may not pedal as fast as the other disciples. We may not all be prepared physically and emotionally for the trip, however, we all have to cross the same hills. It takes effort. We may even have to get off of the bike and walk. However, if we strive to keep Christ as our master and to make our discipleship to Him our most important relationship, we will all reach the river!

There may never be a “perfect” disciple to Jesus Christ. Peter’s belief faltered. Thomas doubted. Paul referred to himself as the chief of all sinners. The point is that even Lance Armstrong crashes his bike every once in awhile! Thankfully, Scripture teaches that discipleship to Christ is a process.  Luke 6:40 says that when we are fully trained we will look like our master. We are all still in training, however, if we all profess to believe that discipleship is a journey worth taking, we must begin by making the right decisions now. We must begin by evaluating ourselves and living as if we truly believe Christ is our Lord.

For without belief we are no different than anyone else.

Book Review: Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love & RespectTitle: Love & Respect
Author: Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2004

Review: In this Focus on the Family book, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs makes a very simple proposition; most of the problems between a man and his wife are communication gaps. Furthermore, these divides can be overcome if the couple can embrace the true meaning of Ephesians 5:33, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” While this may seem like easy concepts to understand, Dr. Eggerichs explains the common ways men and women fail to grasp them. Using examples from couples that he has counseled, the author covers the wide array of things that can go wrong when a man and his wife fail to employ the wisdom of Ephesians 5:33. In fact, it is these case studies that will strike home with most readers as they will inevitably see a little of themselves in the examples. After examining the common ways couples can fail to show true love and respect to one another,  Dr. Eggerichs provides clear ways for a man and wife to immediately change their ways.

I was grateful for the following on page 76, “[Wives,] When I talk about respecting your husband, I do not mean being a doormat. I do not mean burying your brains, never showing your leadership ability, or never disagreeing in the slightest way. I do not mean that mean that he is superiorand you are inferior in some way. Nor do I want you to ignore your hurts and vulnerabilities.” In that single paragraph, Eggerichs dispells the misinterpretations of Scriptures that have been used in the past to justify the mistreatment of women.

My only quibble with this book is that Eggerichs seems to belabor his points a little. Long after I had a grasp on his theme of unconditional love for women and unconditional respect for men, he was still going on about it. At over 260 pages, I think he could of shaved off about 75 pages with ease. Otherwise, this is an excellent book that I highly recommend for married couples who would like to strengthen their relationship in a Godly manner.

Recommended

Letting God Out of the Box

In his book, What is Reformed Theology? Understanding the Basics, R.C. Sproul explains the difference between Religion and Theology. He explains that religion is the study of particular types of human behavior, while theology is the study of God. In other words, religion is man-centered while theology is God-centered. It has occurred to me slowly over the last few months that much of what we do as Christians has little to do with God. We seem intent on practicing a religion that is man-centered.

The desire of any Christian should be to focus his life on Christ. We should all be more interested in how God would want our faith to play out in our lives. Too often, we take our cues from our pastors, denominations, authors, small groups, and other areas of influence when we should be taking our cues from Christ.

Sometimes, I think we have created a faith that has little to do with the real living God.

I am beginning to lose interest in the faith we have created. In the faith we have created, we expect God to manifest Himself in a variety of ways. How many times have you heard someone say after a church or worship service, “Wow, I could really feel God’s presence in there,” or, “The spirit was really moving during that sermon.” Have you ever heard someone say that during a moment when you didn’t feel God at all? I know I have. It is in those moments that I feel like the worst Christian in the Kingdom. There’s been moments when I wondered why everyone else seemed to sense God’s presence when I couldn’t. I wondered what I was doing wrong. Then it ocurred to me … those people are lying.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you can never feel God’s presence during church or feel the Spirit moving during a worship session; however, I am saying that we have created a church environment where you fall short as a Christian if you don’t feel God’s presence at the right moments. So much of what we do as a church and as Christians involves creating moments for God to reveal Himself. We create emotional sermons, passionate worship songs, tear-jerking service opportunities, and intimate small group discussions with the expectation that God will participate when and where we say so. There are even some denominations that expect the Holy Spirit to make you jump around, dance, and speak in tongues; and if it doesn’t happen, there is something wrong with you.

It is as if someone says, “Let God out of His box now so we can all feel better about ourselves … just be sure to put Him away when we’re done!”

I am nearly forty years old and I have been a Christian for going on ten years. While there have been several times in my life when I have felt God’s presence and even times when I felt as if Jesus were speaking right to me, I must admit that none of these moments occurred on demand. Rather, God has spoken to me in moments of His choosing. Do we really think that we can demand the Creator of the universe to speak to us because it is Sunday morning and expect to get a response?

When you study the life of Christ it is apparent that He never acted and responded to the people around Him in the way they expected. He changed all of the rules and all the expectations they had for their savior. He was a rebel that refused to be typecast. Shouldn’t we expect Him to be the same now. I fear that far too often, we attempt to turn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into our own personal puppet.

In his book, Real Church, Larry Crab attributes all of this to an addiction to ourselves. I couldn’t agree more. We create these moments for God to participate in our religion because we selfishly want to feel His presence on our schedules. We play worship music not because we feel He is worthy of our praise, but rather because it gets our adrenaline pumping and makes us feel better about ourselves. We create service opportunites not out of a desire to serve our fellow man, but rather because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We pick and choose our churches like we pick and choose our movies … we’re not interested in attending the church where God wants us because we are too busy trying to find the one that entertains us the most.

Our religion has become all about us when it is supposed to be all about God.

Study the life of any saint worth remembering and you will find they lived a life that was God-centered rather than man-centered. Mother Teresa’s life would have been impossible if she had been afflicted with this addiction to self. Rather than wasting her time creating opportunities for God to reveal Himself, Teresa went about the business of serving her fellow humans and waited patiently for God. By her own account, she went decades without feeling the presence of God … but yet continued to wait for Him.

God is not fast food. We can not have Him our way. We can only experience Him in His way and on His schedule. Larry Crabb teaches that this anticipation is more valuable at times than any experience we can have of God in this life. Jesus taught that this life is all about anticipation. Heaven is so close we can taste it. We should look forward to it like a little child does Christmas morning. There is no experience we can have in this life that will come close to the experience of being with Christ in Heaven … we should embrace this anticipation and quit trying to put the cart before the horse.

Church, sermons, worship songs, service, small groups …. these are all good things if they serve to increase our anticipation for God. He will reveal Himself to us on His schedule. The Spirit will move among us … not like a pay per view movie, but rather like the living, breathing God that He is. We should embrace those moments when we can’t feel God’s presence in this world because He has  promised we will live entirely in His presence someday.

Manipulating God into doing our bidding … creating moments that feel religious … these are the things that false religions are made of. These are the things I no longer have an interest in.

Father, my prayer is for you to speak to me and fill me with the Spirit as you see fit. I ask that you help me stop and take notice of You in the moments You are trying to speak to me. In the moments that I can’t feel Your presence, I ask that You fill me with anticipation. Father, I want to desire your presence like a child desires his Christmas present. Lord, lead me to worship, praise, study, and serve with the right motives. Help me to conquer my addiction to self and become more addicted to anticipating You.

Amen.

Further Reading:

Real Church by Larry Crabb
What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul
Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit by Charles Stanley

Book Review of The Cure For a Troubled Heart by Ron Mehl

Book Review of The Cure for A Broken Heart: Meditations on Psalm 37 by Ron Mehl

Rating: 10 out of 10

An assignment for a class I am taking at BBC calls for me to write a research paper on the Psalm of my choice. While I’ve read the Psalms several times over, I must admit that I was at a loss over what Psalm to choose. That’s when Stefanie informed me, rather quickly, that her favorite Psalm was Psalm 37. As I began looking for sources, I found this little book on Amazon for only 70 cents (used). I had never heard of the author, Ron Mehl, but the reviews were positive and the price was right.

I can list on one hand the authors that I have truly felt blessed to read. A few names come to mind; Dallas Willard, Mike Yaconelli, and David Jeremiah all have touched me in a way other writers haven’t. I can now add Ron Mehl to the list. As you read his words, you can actually sense the closeness of Mehl’s relationship with God. It is hard to explain, but having read his book, I actually felt closer to God myself. Stefanie compared it to the feeling she got when reading The Imitation of Christ.

The beauty of this book is its simplicity. Written for anyone to understand, each chapter begins with a verse of two from Psalm 37. The author then offers reflections from his life, experience, and other Scripture to drive home the powerful nessage of the Psalm. The focus of this book is not on Theology or doctrine, but rather on Jesus Christ. It is a humble effort by a humble author.

If I have any complaint at all, it is that the book is too short. Mehl could of held my attention for another 100 pages easily. I am sure that this is a title I will go back to time and time again. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants insight into Psalm 37 or, as the title suggests, anyone who has a troubled heart.