24 February 2012

Inside the Cover – GOD’S GUEST LIST

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover, but you can tell how good a book is by the impression it makes on you. Was it heart-felt - bringing you to tears or creating feelings of overwhelming joy? Did it spark curiosity, making you want to learn more about the topic? At the end of the story, did you want to read more? Was it entertaining, shocking, surprising, mysterious, educational?

What about those books that inspire you? Did you finish reading the last page and feel moved to take action?

I’m a huge fan of New York Times bestselling author, Debbie Macomber. I have read her romance novels for years, and have also enjoy her books that have been made in to TV movies, such as the holiday story of Mrs. Miracle.  Recently I read one of her non-fiction books that truly inspired me.  
  As Christians, our lives are all about relationships – with God and with others. We meet people every day. Some become our instant friends, but others we never think about again. Some we think about years later, and ask ourselves what ever happened to them. And then there are those that you think about and are reminded of the impact they have had on your life. I am a firm believer that God brings people into our lives for a purpose, a season, a moment or a lifetime.

In her book GOD’S GUEST LIST, Debbie Macomber shares how God prompted her to make a list of the people he had sent in to her life. As she explored the names on her list, she wrote down how each person impacted her life. Her book explains how each of us have “influencers” that have changed us or made a difference in our lives – through encouraging words or deeds, through teaching, sharing, or mentoring. God has used others to help us become the person we are today.

Who is on God’s “guest list” for your life . . . and why?

The answers may surprise you.

I highly recommend this book. Macomber’s personal stories and brilliant insight will definitely change how you look at the people in your life - past, present and future.

The author’s journey to compile her “Guest List” was so inspiring that I have started working on my own list. As I have been journaling, God has brought to mind so many people that I had completed forgot about or lost track of. Not only has this become a great way of preserving memories, but I plan to send notes to some of the people just to let them know how they have influenced my life.

By pausing to recognize the influences that other people have had in our lives, we can only begin to grasp the extent of God’s plans and desire for us to be in “relationship” with others.

Woven throughout the book, Debbie also uncovers the power we have to shape and influence others. So keep your eyes open, because we might just be invited to be on God’s guest list in someone else’s life.

It’s Friday, Let’s “Sparkle” ... action required ... Books that inspire our Christian life don’t always have to be filled with theology. Sometimes an easy read, such as God’s Guest List” can help us see God’s work in our life. Talking about our favorite books and sharing them can be a great way to witness to others.

Here is a great tip: If you like going to thrift shops, keep your eyes open for Bibles, Christian devotionals, Chicken Soup for the Soul and other books that you can pick up at pretty reasonable prices. I once picked up an NIV Study Bible (in great condition) for $3.75. It’s a great way to have books handy, just to “pass on” to others.

I’d love to know ... “What was the last book you read that inspired you to explore your faith or take some other kind of action?”

See you back here Monday – have a blessed weekend.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

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