Thursday, December 15, 2011

On the Path with God by Erwin W. Lutzer, photography by John and Debora Scanlan

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karri | Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR and PHOTOGRAPHERS:


Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor of The Moody Church since 1980, is an award-winning author of more than 20 books including Walking with God. He’s a celebrated international conference speaker and the featured speaker on three radio programs that are heard around the world. He and his wife, Rebecca, have been married for 35 years. They live in the Chicago area and are the parents of three married children.

Visit the author's website.

John and Debora Scanlan are partners in life and in creating Scanlan Windows to the World™ Fine Art Photography. They are internationally renowned for capturing the beauty, intrigue, and romance of the world while presenting the essence of every scene. Their work is featured in galleries, special exhibitions and juried art shows, on numerous products including cards and calendars, and in their breathtaking fine art photography book Windows to the World.

Visit the photographers' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Inspiring meditations from the heart of popular pastor and author Dr. Erwin Lutzer join breathtaking photographs of winding country paths and cobblestone streets and invite readers to take time to walk with God. The joy-filled promises of faith await those who treasure an enriched journey with the Creator.



Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939369
ISBN-13: 978-0736939362

AND NOW...THE FIRST FEW PAGES (The images were scanned so that you may see what this delightful book looks like, but the words were placed here from these scanned images, so that you may read and be blessed.) Please click on the images to see them larger:



Why Walk with God?

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12



A tour through a cemetery can be beneficial and educational. I like to read epitaphs because they often say something interesting about the person who is finished with this life and has gone on to the next. Maybe epitaphs should be required reading for everyone once a year. They are a reminder that life is short and that eternity is near.

Most epitaphs are serious, some are tragic, and yes, there are at least a few that are funny. I’m told that this poem is found on the tombstone of a lady named Anna Wallace in England:

The children of Israel wanted bread.

The Lord sent them manna.

Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife.

The devil sent him Anna.

Here is a poem I learned in grade school, though I doubt it is on a tombstone—it could be. It contains an important message about automobile safety:
Here lies the body of William Jay,

Who died while maintaining his right of way.

He was right, completely right as he sped along,

But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong!

My favorite epitaph is found in the Bible, embedded in a long list of genealogies in the fifth chapter of Genesis. To read these verses is like walking though a cemetery. The names are difficult to pronounce and we are left to guess what life was like so many centuries ago. Like the tolling of a bell, every tombstone bears the same message; six times we read the simple phrase “and he died.”



Then unexpectedly we discover that there was a man who did not die! His name was Enoch, and of him we read in verse 24, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Twice we are told that Enoch “walked with God.” In fact, He walked with God right into heaven!

This epitaph is perhaps one of the most beautiful phrases in the entire Bible. If it could be said of you and me that we “walked with God,” nothing more need be said. Those few words contain an eternity of meaning.

An Invitation to the Journey

Walking with God is both difficult and simple. Difficult because it takes thought, discipline, and commitment; simple because the same characteristics that apply to walking with a close friend or a loved one apply to walking with God.

Enoch walked with God in the midst of a society filled with temptations and obstacles just like those we face. He is a powerful reminder that we can be faithful to walk with God in our day as well. When we accept the invitation to begin the journey, trials and distractions need not keep us from our time with the Almighty.



Interestingly, Enoch was motivated to begin this journey after his first son Methuselah was born. Maybe he felt a new sense of responsibility as he held the baby boy in his arms. Perhaps as the child reached out to touch the stubble of his father’s beard Enoch said to himself, “I need to reorder my priorities and begin to take God more seriously.” Evidently he realized that the greatest contribution he could make in life was to guide his family on the right path.

Spend some moments reflecting on what motivates your heart to walk with the Lord today. Have you faced a trial and found yourself ready to give your sorrow to God? Do you long to leave a legacy of faith for your children? Maybe you’ve been in fellowship with the Lord for many years and you are ready for refreshment. Together we can explore how to walk with God and embrace the meaningful, remarkable, and abundant life He has planned for you. Let’s take a step forward toward the light of life.

You have declared this day that the LORD is your God

and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees,

commands and laws, and that you will obey him.

And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people,

his treasured possession as he promised, and that

you are to keep all his commands.

Deuteronomy 26:17-18



Help for the Journey

I’ve often thought about what others might say of me after I die. I don’t mean the beautiful eulogies often given at funerals. Instead, I wonder what people will really think—what they will really remember about the impact for good or ill I have had in their lives. God of course, will give the final evaluation, but imagine our legacy if it could be said that we “walked with God.”



If an epitaph were written for you today, what would it be? Are you satisfied with that? What do you hope you will be remembered for?

Consider Jesus’ simple invitation to brothers Simon and Andrew referenced below. Think about how wonderful it feels to have Jesus call to you today in the same, simple way. What is your response to Jesus as He waves to you and says, “Come, follow me?”

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:16-17).
God provides what you need each step of the way. What worries or weaknesses do you want to give to God—need to give to God—in exchange for His hope and renewing strength?


Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105


My Thoughts:

Full of breathtaking photographs and conversational prose, "On the Path with God" will not only be a delight to read, but a true delight to look at. This is a book you will return to again and again because of the beautiful photography, but then the eye drifts to the text and the next thing you know, you are reading and thinking and meditating on what has been discussed.

I really enjoy how Mr. Lutzer speaks through the pages in a conversational tone, like he is walking along side you and talking to you. The whole feeling that I take away from this book is one of peace and serenity.

This would be a wonderful book to give as a gift and certainly one that you'll want to keep in your own library.

Scripture quotes are mainly taken from the NIV with some from the NASB & NKJV as indicated.

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