This morning I talked to distant loved ones. The topics were real and hard: decreasing physical and mental abilities, loneliness, covid-19 and death. I sit down at my desk with two books -- I call the authors friends because their words impact my life and become part of me.
May I introduce you to Carolyn and Randy?
Dr. Carolyn Leaf’s book, Switch on Your Brain, is a challenging study of how the Lord has given us brains that have the ability to change. “Neuroplasticity” is by definition “the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experiencing or following injury.”
Carolyn places the science in a biblical perspective when she confirms:
“Suddenly, biblical principles such as ‘bringing all thoughts into captivity,’ ‘renewing your mind,’ ‘casting all your cares,’ and ‘being anxious for nothing’ become less difficult when we realize God has equipped us to do these things.” Her book teaches us how and concludes with a “21 Day Brain Detox Plan.” Talk about hope!
I once invited a friend to a seminar entitled, “Exchanging Anxiety for Peace.” When I told her the topic, she laughed and replied, “Oh, I’m a natural born worrier. My Mom worried. My twelve-year old even worries. There’s no hope for me! Thanks for the invitation but no.”
Would God give us these instructions if they were impossible to accomplish? I’m glad to join a small group of ladies as we together work our way through the challenges of this book with great hope for less victimhood and more ownership on the other side of it.
The other book on my desk this morning is Randy Alcorn’s Heaven. I first read this book when my husband left for heaven, but I need to read it again…not just to look forward to heaven but to live more fulfilled on earth.
While I believe God wants me to become more and more like Jesus while I’m alive, I also believe He wants me to spend time imagining a different world -- the one I’ll inhabit much longer than this one.
I’m thinking I’ll expect (maybe a better word is “demand”) less of humanity if I think more about eternity: perfect love, beauty, kindness, justice, purpose… all of it.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
I used to think I’d spend all my time in heaven singing which, to be honest, seemed terribly boring to me. And then one day I realized that most of what I know about heaven comes from Sunday morning song leaders. Of course, they are looking forward to this part of heaven.
But what about the carpenters who may be building the mansions, or chefs who may be cooking for our banquets, or gardeners who might be busy preparing table bouquets?
What about those coaching new swimmers and skaters or teachers leading discussions or authors training story tellers to put their thoughts on paper?
Yes, I need to balance my time better between the pains and challenges of this world and the delights and the beauty of the next.
I’m grateful Randy and Carolyn’s books were on my desk this morning.
What have you been reading lately? Are you giving time to considering both this temporary living place and the one where you’ll be forever and ever?
Thank you for joining me as I open up a little part of myself to you each week. What an amazing journey this walk of faith is.
I’m grateful for my author friends who open my mind to consider more. And I’m grateful for you who listen and join me one step at a time.
Thanks for sitting still with me today. :-)