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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration, or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.
Slaying The Giant–Practical Help For Understanding, Preventing, Overcoming Depression by French O’Shields is one of the few books I’ve read that can literally be a life-saver. The author, a pastor afflicted with clinical depression after a physical condition brought an end to his pastoral work, is well-qualified to write about depression, both as a pastor and a former sufferer. The depression he went through was not simply “the blues” but rather the kind that sucks all joy out of life.
Here’s some humor to start out the work-week:
Now that I am a certain age, I “overhear” conversations between my mind and my body frequently. Years ago, things were quiet.
My mind says that I should be able to do a specific thing–for example, work twelve-hour shifts standing on a hard floor–and do it consistently. My body, on the other hand, says, “Yeah, right!! Are you ever dreaming!!” My mind thinks I should be able to do what I used to do with no more effort than I used to do it with, and work as long as I used to work without sitting down. My body says, “Get a reality check! You really are dreaming!!”
My mind thinks I should not need to do stretches and other exercises to be as flexible as possible. My body sighs in exasperation. “You just don’t get it, do you? This body is OLDER. You are NOT twenty years old anymore. You need to be more flexible, get with the program and accept some limitations.”
Eventually my mind and body will come to some kind of an understanding. They better–I have to live with them! 🙂
Note: Those around my age will have no difficulty agreeing with me on this one. Those younger: be thankful you have the energy you’ve got, and can move with ease. Try not to take that ability for granted, (but if you’re like me, you will anyway). Practice good health habits; treat your body with respect; it’s the only one you get.
“…the women…found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:1-3) (NIV)
Although I didn’t go to church often when I was growing up, I knew Easter Sunday was the day Christ rose from the grave. I didn’t connect that fact to anything else in my life–it was just a “religious fact”. Christ came; He died; He rose. The tomb is empty. That’s good–but what’s that mean?
Years later, that empty tomb–that knowledge I have by faith–gives me hope. The empty tomb gives me hope because Christ was (and is) too big to be held by it. If He is too big for that, He is certainly big enough to handle any and all of the problems I have now or ever will have. He is not at all bothered by any of my problems. He is not fretting about what to do. He has it under control!
The empty tomb gives me hope because it means Christ is living. If He is living, I can reach Him through prayer. I have access to all His comfort, all His kindness, all His understanding of me. He can give guidance, ease my fears, cancel my worries.
That is what the empty tomb means to me now. It takes faith.