I need a little help from my friends. Lifeway just sent me two promotional videos for the Wonderstruck 7-Session DVD Bible Study (releasing in January). I can’t decide which video should be the primary promotion video for the Wonderstruck 7-Session DVD Bible Study. I may be bias, but I’m leaning toward the one in which Hershey makes a debut.
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As I’ve been proofing Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God (from Worthy Publishing and Lifeway) book and working on the accompanying Bible study, I’ve found myself welling up with tears and prayers that the Holy Spirit will well up in you as you read each chapter.
Years ago someone asked me, “What’s the biggest thing that causes you to sin?” I thought about that question for while. I considered the temptation to overeat at a fancy buffet, the advertisement of that sexy shirtless guy, the juiciness of gossip, the enticement of breaking the rules, the pride that so easily creeps into our hearts, and much more. Temptation takes so many different forms. But as I reflected on the thing that causes me to sin the most, I only had one answer:
Lack of sleep.
That may sound silly at first glance, but when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m more likely to fall into the temptation before me. Any resolve to stay strong, pure, or courageous melts away, and I’m much more likely to take the bait of sin. Without enough rest, I become increasingly impatient and unloving, more susceptible to fear, and easily angered.
Are you more prone to give into temptations when you haven’t gotten enough rest?
With rest I’m in a better place to receive the grace of God to overcome these temptations. With enough sleep, I can more easily locate the way of escape from a sticky situation as described in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I had to make some significant changes in my life including committing to quit work earlier even if projects remained undone, setting an earlier bedtime so I didn’t wake up exhausted, and learning to set apart time to simply be and enjoy this life God entrusts us with. What was amazing was that as I began making these small changes, my hunger to study the Scriptures increased, my sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit heightened, and I found myself filled with joy, awe, and gratitude.
What changes in your own life do you need to make in order experience the wonder of rest?
**Photo courtesy of: here.
A slew of readers have been asking, “When is your next book going to release?” And “What’s it going to be on?”
I’ve been holding back the details until all the contracts have been signed and everything is official. Now I can let you in on the news!
But first, let me provide some context. When I write my books, I try to capture what God is doing in my life-through the study of Scripture, conversations with many of you, encounters, and adventures.
One of the things that I’ve noticed in increasing measure is how easy it is to lose my passion for Christ. Through the day-in, day-out demands of life, I grow sleepy to the things of God. This becomes particularly true in a time in history when uncertainty fills the air-in our world, our economy, our politics.
I try to tell myself that the challenges of life should push us closer to God, but all too often they I find myself a little further away.
Blindsided by unforeseen circumstances.
Knocked back by the story of pain or loss in someone’s else’s life or my own.
Overwhelmed by the daily demands that create a harried busyness that leaves me drained.
Stuck in a situation for which there seems no way of escape.
Maybe you’ve felt a little blindsided or knocked back, too. We’re living in a time where there’s a lot of sucker punches being thrown in all directions-loss of jobs, mysterious illnesses, financial difficulties, and a lingering uncertainty that leaves us all feeling more on edge.
Like many of you, I’ve continued pursuing spiritual disciplines including studying the Scripture, attending church, building relationships with fellow believers, giving, and more. But despite all these things, I can’t deny that my faith seems lackluster. As I’ve prayed and tried to make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all, I found a prayer, a longing, a tucked away.
Quite unexpectedly one day, I began to pray for wonder. Sometimes the simplest prayers prove to be the most critical. If I had known what I was asking or how God would answer, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to make the request.
God responded in the most unusual ways, ones that fill me with a sense of astonishment awakening me to the reality of his presence.
And so in January 2013, my next book on the wonder of God will release through Worthy Publishing. I just signed a contract for the corresponding Bible study with Lifeway. With a tight deadline for the study, I’m hard at work-exploring the Scriptures and noodling on ideas. The tentative title for the book and Bible study is: Wonderstruck: Recapturing the Joy, Awe, & Marvel That Comes With Being a Child of God.
Over the next six weeks or so, I’m going to be exploring some of the themes from the upcoming book and Bible study every Monday. I’d love for you to weigh in with your own thoughts, experiences, and insights.
Because I have a hunch that we all need a bit more of the wonder of God in our lives.