Some Excerpts From “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado; Food For Thought

I started reading this book over the weekend and thought that I might share some of it as I go.  If you have never read any of Max Lucado‘s books, I highly recommend that you do.  He is extremely insightful and easy to read.

Chapter 1:

Goliath stares down from the hillside.  Only disbelief keeps him from laughing.  He and his Philistine herd have rendered their half of the valley into a forest of spears; a growling, bloodthirsty gang of hoodlums boasting do-rags, BO, and barbed-wire tattoos.  Goliath towers above the all; nine feet, nine inches tall in his stocking feet, wearing 125 pounds of armor, and snarling like the main contender at the World Wide Wrestling Federation championship night.  He wears a size 20 collar, a IOI/2 hat, and a 56-inch belt.  His biceps burst, thigh muscles ripple, and boasts belch through the canyon.  “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other” (I Sam. 17:10 NIV)  Who will go mano a mano conmigo?  Give me your best shot.

No Hebrew volunteers.  Until today.  Until David.

David just showed up this morning.  He clocked out of sheep watching to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers on the battle-front.  That’s where David hears Goliath defying God, and that’s when David makes his decision.  Then he takes his staff in his hand, and he chooses for himself five smooth stones from the brook and puts them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch that he has, and his sling is in his hand.  And he draws near to the Philistine. (17:40)

Goliath scoffs at the kid, nicknames him Twiggy.  “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (17:43 NASB).  Skinny, scrawny David.  Bulky, brutish Goliath.  The toothpick versus the tornado.  The minibike attacking the eighteen-wheeler.  The toy poodle taking on the rottweiler.  What odds do you give David against his giant?

Better odds, perhaps, than you give yourself against yours.

Your Goliath doesn’t carry sword or shield; he brandishes blades of unemployment, abandonment, sexual abuse, or depression.  Your giant doesn’t parade up and down the hills of Elah; he prances through your office, your bedroom, your classroom.  He brings bills you can’t pay, grades you can’t make, people you can’t please, whiskey you can’t resist, pornography you can’t refuse, a career you can’t escape, a past you can’t shake, and a future you can’t face.

You know well the roar of your Goliath.

David faced one who fog-horned his challenges morning and night.  “For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army: (17:16 NLT)  Yours does the same.  First thought of the morning, last worry of the night – your Goliath dominates your day and infiltrates your joy.

How long has he stalked you?  Goliath’s family was an ancient foe of the Israelites.  Joshua drove them out of the Promised Land three hundred years earlier.  He destroyed everyone except the residents of three cities; Gaza, Gath and Shadod.  Gath bread giants like Yosemite grow Sequoias. Guess where Goliath was raised.  See the G on his letter jacket?  Gath High School.  His ancestors were to Hebrews what pirates were to Her Majesty’s navy.

Saul’s soldiers saw Goliath and mumbled, “Not again.  My dad fought his dad.  My granddad fought his granddad.”

You’ve groaned similar words.  “I’m becoming a workaholic, just like my father.”  “Divorce streaks through our family tree like oak wilt.”  “My mom couldn’t keep a friend either.  Is this ever going to stop?”…

Pretty thought-provoking, isn’t it?!  I love the way he writes.  

I’ve had my Goliaths in my days; alcohol, shop-lifting, lying, abuse, drugs, etc.  None of them were easy battles either!  My Goliaths chased me for 40 years before I had the courage to fight back.  When I was at my lowest point in my life, when I had nothing to lose, I finally realized that I had EVERYTHING that I ever needed to win, God!

What about you?  What are your Goliaths?

I’ll give you some more pieces of the book as I go, but I truly do suggest that you get a copy for yourself ’cause I have a feeling this is one of those books that I will read through more than once, with highlighter in hand!

Love and blessings to all,

Terri

Lenten Journey Day 35; Received

*image source: google.com/images

27-Mar-12:  Acts 2:14-24

4 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17        ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams.

18        Even upon my slaves, both men and women,

in those days I will pour out my Spirit;

and they shall prophesy.

19        And I will show portents in the heaven above

and signs on the earth below,

blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

20        The sun shall be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood,

before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

21        Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power

 

http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/7454/

http://cloakedmonk.com/2012/02/20/join-me-in-a-lenten-journey/

Lenten Journey Day 17; Fights

* image source: google.com/images

9-Mar-12:  Acts 7:30-40

30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 ‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. 33 Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.’

35 “It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people as he raised me up.’ 38 He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’

http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/7454/

http://cloakedmonk.com/2012/02/20/join-me-in-a-lenten-journey/

New E-Mail From My Mother – “If My People…” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Subject:2 Chronicles 7:14 – please read

 
> I remember reading about the children of Israel who turned from God
> time and time again, only to realize their mistake and pray for
> forgiveness. Each time, God would forgive them and they would walk
> with him for a time. So, I am going to ask you to join me in praying
> for our nation every day. Please read the email below. God is in
> control.
When I was in Atlanta last week, there were signs in people’s yards
> that said, ” America , prayer is our only hope” – with 2 Chronicles
> 7:14 underneath.. We certainly need God’s help!
> After a day of contemplation and soul searching, I have decided to
> reach out to my friends and relatives and ask you to do something
> that has been troubling me for a long time.> Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you
> look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a
> steady move away from the things that made us great. The principles
> upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone.
> However, we can reverse this trend.> 2 Chronicles. 7:14 in God’s Word, He states,
> “If my people who are called by my name
> will humble themselves and pray
> and seek my face and turn from their
> wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven
> and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
> I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and
> ask for forgiveness. So I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord.

> Would you please send this to people in your address book? Ask them to pray EVERY DAY. (25 to the 5th power is 9,765,625 people.)
> IMAGINE if each person reaches TEN others… Or all TWENTY FIVE!

> If you do and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of
> prayers each day to our Creator. He will hear us, and in faith will
> answer.

> Here’s a quote from Ronald Reagan:
> “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be
>  a nation gone under..”
> I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the
> shape it’s in today.

> Most people have forgotten that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.