A DISTORTED PERSPECTIVE (from chapter 2)
A woman was driving home alone one evening when she noticed a man in a large truck following her. Growing increasingly fearful, she sped up; trying to lose her pursuer, but it was futile. She then exited the freeway and drove up a main street, but the truck stayed with her, even running red lights to do so. In panic, the woman wheeled into a service station, jumped from her car, and ran screaming. The truck driver ran to her car, jerked the back door open, and pulled from the floor behind her seat a man that was hiding there. This lady was fleeing from the wrong person. SHE WAS RUNNING FROM HER SAVIOR! The truck driver was perched high enough to see into her back seat, and seeing the would-be-rapist he was pursuing her to save her, even at this own peril. 43
People run from the pursuit of a God who desires to save them from destruction. Christians are known for turning away from the very things that will save their marriages, their children, their jobs and a multitude of other areas. Are you distorting something God has said in His Word? Our society has been inundated with good people distorting God’s Word to fit their agenda. The Apostle Paul tells us clearly how to address this problem, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” 44 Are you distorting the Word of God knowingly? Maybe you’re doing so without knowing it. It would be beneficial to search your heart about this matter and correct any areas you are distorting God’s Word. It is extremely important to have the proper perspective on serving, tithing, loving others, forgiveness and other Biblical principles. This will make a huge difference in your life.
ONE LITTLE HUG (from chapter 1)
The second conversation I recall with my step dad has a much healthier ending. I was about twelve or thirteen years old and we were going on one of our weekend motorcycle trips. I was fortunate enough to ride dirt bikes from the time I was eight until I left for Bible College. Riding motorcycles remains one of my fondest memories. Little did I know, this trip would greatly impact my life.
It was a bright summer weekend in Kettleman City, California. There were three of us on this trip; my step-dad, my uncle-in-law, Scott, and me. The camp was ready, the bikes were gassed up, the chains were oiled and we had our gear on. Everything was set for our first ride of the weekend. Just as I was getting ready to jump on my Yamaha YZ 80 my step-dad walked over to me. He did something strange, something he had never done before, nor since. He put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a slight squeeze, but never looking down at me. I didn’t know what was happening; I think I was in shock. While he was still hugging me, he said, “If something happens to me, I want you to look behind the back seat of the truck. There is something there I want you to see.” I just said, “okay.” Then he gave me another little squeeze and let go. I remember feeling closer to him in that moment than at any other time before. This brand new experience left me dazed on the outside, but smiling from ear to ear on the inside. I never did see what was behind the back seat of our white El Camino truck, but I did witness a side of my step-dad that I had never known existed. That sunny day, in the wide open hills and valleys of Kettleman City, I realized my step-dad loved me. It was truly a pivotal moment of truth in my maturing as a Christian. One little hug showed me, proved to me, I was loved by the only man in my life. Something changed in me, because he showed me that he cared. Because of that moment almost thirty-two years ago, I don’t let a day go by without giving my two children one little hug. If one could change me forever, then a multitude over a life could do wonders. A hug is a worthwhile investment in a child’s life. It’s astounding what one little hug can do. William Shakespeare said, “They do not love that do not show their love.”
Testimonies and Quotes
As a new-believer and a door to door salesman in steak products, I came to pastor Danny's door. At that time in my life I needed help. He handed me his book and suggested that it might help me. Because of his sincere interest in my pain, I was motivated to read it that night. Reading it has had a tremendous impact on my walk. Over the rest of the year, I had a new zeal and boldness in witnessing to others.
Whether a new believer or a mature one, the stories inside this book are from the heart and will move you. – Rich Harms (Medford Oregon)
D. L. Formhals attended Bethany University. He and his wife, Michele, are pastors at the Abundant Life Center in McKinleyville, California, where they live. He currently serves on the Redwood Teen Challenge board and on the Redwood SAC committee for the Northern California/Nevada District of the Assemblies of God.