Copyright © 1998 Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz.
All rights reserved.
1. Understand the Nature of God11
2. Get to Know God Better17
3. Realize That God Loves You23
4. You Can Know God's Will.29
5. God Wants You to Grow.35
6. The Bible: God's Message To You.41
7. Give God Time.47
8. Prayer: The Great Connector.53
9. Church: Where God's People Gather.59
10. Appreciate God's Creation65
11. Character: What Happens When No One's Looking71
12. What Would Jesus Do?.77
13. Discipline Yourself (No One Else Will).83
14. Improve Yourself (No One Else Can).89
15. Your Body Is a Temple95
16. Simplify Life and Enjoy It More.101
17. Arrange Your Priorities.107
18. Contentment Is Good for the Soul113
19. Stop Worrying and Start Living119
20. Embrace Adversity.125
21. The God Who Comforts Us.131
22. Learn to Read.137
23. Learn to Write143
24. Communication Is More Than Talking149
25. Encouragement Is a Gift.155
26. Leadership Is an Art161
27. Money: Learn to Deal with It167
28. A Generous Spirit Works Wonders.173
29. Compassion: Much More Than Pity.179
30. Laugh and the World Laughs With You.185
31. Criticize and You Walk Alone191
32. Relationships Take Time.197
33. How to Really Love Your Spouse203
34. The Perfect Gift for Your Young Child.209
35. How to Really Love Your Teenager215
36. When Your Child Leaves Home.221
37. Families Are Forever227
38. You Need Your Friends.233
39. Carpe Diem: Seize the Day.239
40. God Is in the Small Stuff.245
All About Bruce & Stan.255
A popular book suggests that you don't worry about the small stuff. We agree, but we take exception to any idea that the small stuff isn't important. In fact, we want to encourage you to closely examine and cherish the seemingly everyday, ordinary circumstances of your life. Why? Because God is in the details of your life.
Imagine that! The almighty Creator of the universe is interested and active in the details of your life. He cares about what you are doing and thinking. He wants to comfort you in times of despair, pressure, and problems. He wants to uplift your spirit and guide you through life's tough decisions. He wants to weave the everyday "threads" of your life into a divinely designed "tapestry."
Sometimes it's easy to sense God's presence when you observe His handiwork in nature. You see His majesty in the snow-covered mountains; you feel His serenity in a starry night. These are dramatic reminders of the enormity of God, but contemplating God in nature often leaves us with a lopsided understanding of Him. We think about God as vast, immense, and impersonal.
The purpose of this book is to help you see God at His personal best. God created the universe, but He also created you. God knows you, God loves you, and God cares about the tiniest details of your life.
So I tell you, don't worry about everyday lifewhether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.
Matthew 6:25-26 NLT
We are convinced that you will learn much more about God (and yourself) as you begin to recognize God's involvement in the everyday details of life. "What makes God so clear to us," wrote Oswald Chambers, "is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with usHe knows every detail of each of our individual lives."
This book contains forty short essays to guide you on your journey to discover God in the details. At the end of each essay, we've included a list of contemporary "proverbs" and suggestions to focus your thoughts on the "small stuff" in your life.
We hope and pray that you will be overwhelmed by God's love as you begin to see Him in the small stuff of your life . that you will begin to recognize His plan in the details and seemingly ordinary circumstances . and that you will connect with God in a more meaningful way as you choose to follow His personally designed plan for you.
Bruce & Stan
* * *
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding
no one can fathom.
Isaiah 40:28 NIV
THE NATURE OF GOD
Who is God? Is He a mystery to you? Do you want to know Him better? Maybe you wonder if God even exists. That's okay. People have wondered about God for as long as . well, for as long as there have been people. They wonder if He's really out there. They wonder if He made the world and everything in it. And if He did, they wonder if God still cares about what's going on.
Perhaps you've gotten past all of those questions. You definitely believe in God, but you don't know Him. You don't understand His naturein other words, His personality. You aren't alone. For many peopleeven those who claim to be religiousthe nature of God is a mystery. It's like God is behind some dark cloud, occasionally speaking in a deep voice to prophets and such (you know, like He spoke to Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments). Other people think God wants to prevent them from having a good time. If they get close to God, they're afraid they'll have to give up their freedom.
While it's true there are things about God we'll never know (after all, He is God), there are many things we can know. For example, when we look at our universewhether it's through a microscope, a telescope, or the naked eyewe observe incredible design and order and beauty. That means the Designer (that would be God) must be a being of design and order and beauty. And He must be pretty powerful.
When we look at ourselves and see that we all have some idea about God (even when you deny God exists, you have to think about Him), that means the Creator (God again) put that idea in us. Yet God is more than an idea. He is more than a symbol for good or an impersonal "higher being." God is a very real spirit Being who has always existed in the past, who exists now, and will always exist in the future. God is personal. God is involved in our world. And God has revealed His nature to us. All we have to do is stop, look, and listen.
. In The Small Stuff
God knows what's in our hearts. We might as well get right to the point.
Remember that God values you for who you are, not what you do.
True faith involves doing all you can and letting God take care of the rest.
God will never send a thirsty soul to a dry well.
God speaks. Do you listen?
God commands. Do you obey?
God leads. Do you follow?
God is more likely to speak to you with a gentle whisper than with a loud voice.
God won't take away a sin until you give it over to Him.
The times when you need God the most are when you don't think you need Him.
Faith is not an emotion. It is objective trust placed in a very real God.
The way you think about God does not define Him.
One quality of God's nature that should make us tremble is His justice.
One quality of God's nature that should give us comfort is His love.
Don't worry about proving God's existence, because no one can disprove it.
You can't network, strong-arm, or sweet-talk your way into heaven. Your faith is all that counts.
Religion is man's attempt to find God. The Gospel is God's plan to reach man. Don't let religion stand in the way of your salvation.
Thank God that your salvation does not depend on you.