Lessons I Learned in the Light: All You Need to Thrive in a Dark World

(Paperback - Jul 2006)
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Guidance for Your Journey
Sometimes, God's Word is like candlelight that warms and comforts. Other times, it is a red flashing light that protects. Often, it's a spotlight that exposes your need. And since you are called to walk by faith, you need light--in all its various forms--guiding your steps. Jennifer Rothschild 's path, darkened by physical blindness, is illuminated by scriptural truth. And now she shares the keys to persevering and "clinging to the Sword" no matter what your circumstances. "Lessons I Learned in the Light" is a powerful collection of Scripture, intriguing autobiographical sketches, and pointed Bible study with personal, practical application questions that will encourage you every step of the way.
"Your word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105
Have you known darkness? Are you there even now? There is a ray of hope that brings clarity and guidance: God's Word--the Light that is better than life. And it wields the power to see you through absolutely anything.
Jennifer Rothschild, in her physical blindness, found the secret to persevering with endurance and shares it candidly. No matter what you face today, "Lessons I Learned in the Light" will help you: cling to His Word carry no baggage pray like crazy be God-conscious enjoy the fish bowl
No matter how dark the road, you can travel it courageously, secure in the Light. "For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you" (Proverbs 6:23, NLT).

"Jennifer Rothschild is a sincere and transparent example of what it means to press toward the goal--to live a thriving, courageous life in Christ."
Sara Groves
"Like the Renaissance artists of old, Jennifer Rothschild sees with her heart. Through self-discipline, acute observation, and Christ centeredness, the tapestry of her life has been woven together by an unshakeable faith."
Luci Swindoll
Author and speaker, Women of Faith
"Her gentle, pleasing style first draws readers in and captures their imaginations. Only then does she deliver her more powerful punches."
"Publishers Weekly"
Story Behind the Book
"I don't have the privilege of reading God's Word in the traditional sense, but I still rely on it as my source of power--power to persevere and thrive in a world of darkness. Without it, I would have quit a long time ago. Proverbs 6:23 says 'These commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you' (NLT). While "Lessons I Learned in the Dark" provided principles for walking by faith, "Lessons I Learned in the Light" offers fuel for running with endurance."
-- Jennifer Rothschild


  • SKU: 9781590526569
  • SKU10: 1590526562
  • Title: Lessons I Learned in the Light: All You Need to Thrive in a Dark World
  • Qty Remaining Online: 117
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books
  • Date Published: Jul 2006
  • Pages: 217
  • Weight lbs: 0.65
  • Dimensions: 8.40" L x 5.50" W x 0.70" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product, Bibliography
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Subject: Christian Life - General

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter One

Cling to His Word

They called it "The Accelerator."

For good reason.

Launching into the night sky, screams piercing the air in its wake, the great mechanical contrivance sent a surge of fear through my whole body. Just standing near it made my heart pound. And within mere moments, I would make its intimate acquaintance.

This wasn't the first time I've been stretched in such a way. In my attempts to relate to my teenage son, I have on several occasions ventured beyond the boundaries of sense and prudence.

One such excursion occurred the summer before Clayton's sophomore year of high school. On a balmy August evening, our little family ambled through Celebration City, a theme park in Branson, Missouri. I held Phil's hand, giggled at a clown having some fun with six-year-old Connor, and sipped on my ice-cold Coke.

The night was dreamy. We were finally taking a badly needed family vacation, and my neck and shoulders felt more relaxed than they had in months. (But not for long, as it turned out). The fragrance of kettle corn and cotton candy mingled with music from the seventies and eighties, blaring from speakers throughout the park.

I found myself reminiscing to the sounds of "Dream Weaver" and singing along to "Saturday in the Park" when my perfect, relaxed mood was interrupted by Clayton's grip on my arm.

"Mom, go with me on that ride!"

"Which ride?" I asked.

Phil's slow, painful moan should have clued me in that I would not like the answer I was about to hear. My guys had stopped and were staring in awe at some midway monstrosity. Suddenly, it blasted off directly in front of us, the ground vibrating beneath our feet. I could hear the ride's quick ascent and felt the gust of wind in its wake.

And then came the screams.

I know my sounds, and I knew those riders weren't faking it. They were genuinely terrified.

"No way!" I said.

"Aw, c'mon, Mom," Clayton pleaded. "It's safe." By this time, Phil was laughing. Little Connor emitted a series of gasps and sighs as he watched the ride rocket abruptly heavenward, only to hurtle back toward terra firma.


Okay, now I was in a real dilemma. My teenage son rarely requested my company (especially in public places)-in fact, I had the impression he didn't think hanging out with Mom was cool. And now . he wanted me to go with him. Not his dad . me. I felt a momentary elation that he at least thought I was cool enough to join him on a ride reserved only for the brave hearted.

The ride launched again, thundering off into what seemed to be the stratosphere. How high did that thing go? And what was a mom to do?

I knew that the more I thought about it, the more paralyzed I would become. So, feigning enthusiasm, I stepped forward, swallowed hard, and said, "Let's go!"

Phil whooped and cheered at my bravery. Then again, maybe he was celebrating the fact that it wasn't him who was about to lose his barbecue high over Branson.

Taking our place in line, I held my cane prominently in front of me. There was always the chance that the attendant would regretfully inform me that middle-aged blind women were not allowed on this ride. Then I would not only be spared the experience, but I would still collect the credit for my bravery.

No such luck.

We made it to the front of the line and were ushered to our seats. The Accelerator, I found out later, towers eighty feet in the air. It launches you suddenly into the sky before plunging you back down with back-to-back positive and negative G-forces. When the young man assisting me told me to remove my shoes so they wouldn't fly off, my breathing became shallow. What had I gotten myself into? I was already beginning to panic, and we hadn't even left the ground.

I learned later that the ride was circular in shape, and that all twelve riders were strapped in, facing out around the perimeter of the circle. At the time, however, without the benefit of sight, I really had no idea what I had so impulsively agreed to.

A cage-like set of two bars automatically lowered in front of me, and a set of belts fell down around my shoulders. The attendant helped me buckle in.

"Do you have any idea how high this goes?" he asked me with a chuckle. "Hey, if you're blind, maybe it's easier."

"Agghhh!" I shrieked.

"Mom," Clayton said calmly, "the ride hasn't even started yet."

I felt my "coolness" rating plummeting along with my valor.

Then the ride attendant gave instructions: "Everyone lift your hands in the air before we lift off. This helps you to relax."

I had no sooner obeyed that command than The Accelerator jerked us vertically at warp speed-and then dropped us like a stone. I screamed loudly. I mean, really loudly. Seizing the bars in front of me instinctively, I clung with all my strength, my hands becoming one with the metal. I held on so tight that my fingers hurt-just before they went numb.

After we landed for the final time, the attendant came to help release me from the harness. "How was it?" he asked, unfastening the buckle. He must have enjoyed the expression on my face; I could sense him trying to hold back his laughter.

I don't even know what I said in response. I was too busy catching my breath and thanking the good Lord that I was still alive.

After a brief hesitation, the attendant finally said, "Uh, ma'am? You need to let go of the bars so I can get you out."

My son was so embarrassed that he may not ever invite me to join him on a ride again.

Which is more than fine with me.


There are some things in life worth clinging to. And there are some times in life when all we can do is cling. Life has a way of presenting us with abrupt changes. Often, we can't tell whether we are being pulled up or down. Sometimes we just feel strapped, confined, and totally out of control. That's when we must cling.

Not long ago, I rediscovered a story in the Old Testament about a man who knew how to cling.

Boy, did he ever.

Eleazar was one of King David's mighty men . one of his three choicest warriors. Scripture tells the story of Eleazar's role in an amazing battle with the Philistines.

One time when the Philistines were at war with Israel, [Eleazar] and David dared the Philistines to fight them. Every one of the Israelite soldiers turned and ran, except Eleazar. He killed Philistines until his hand was cramped, and he couldn't let go of his sword. When Eleazar finished, all the Israelite troops had to do was come back and take the enemies' weapons and armor. The Lord gave Israel a great victory that day. (2 Samuel 23:9-10, CEV)

The Philistines had been Israel's nemesis for generations-a thorn in the side of God's people. Time and again through the years, they had raided and harassed the towns and villages of Israel, spilling the blood of countless young Israelite soldiers.

On this particular day, the enemy seemed unbeatable. Overpowering. They were so intimidating that the Israelite army turned tail and ran.

All but one.

The Bible says that one soldier refused to retreat. Eleazar. He stood his ground, clung to his sword, and fought like a one-man wrecking crew. One translation says he "struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword."

The enemy came in like a flood, and Eleazar didn't flinch. How did he prevail? The sword. He clung to the sword with such dedication, such desperation, such determination that his fingers actually "froze" around its hilt.

Can you see that in your mind's eye? The returning soldiers, probably sheepish from running away and allowing their comrade to stand alone, saw him standing there, maybe leaning up against a big rock, sword still in hand, surrounded by the dead.

"Eleazar," you can hear someone say gently, "you can set your sword down now. It's okay. The battle's over. You've won the day. The Lord has given you a great victory."

And Eleazar replies, "I would if I could, but . I can't let go."

I can imagine one lone soldier tentatively approaching the mighty man, kneeling before him, and then peeling each of Eleazar's cramped fingers from the hilt of his weapon. It was hard to see where Eleazar's skin ended and the sword began. He had wrapped every fiber of his being around that weapon. It was as if the two had become one, cemented together in those great moments of terror, courage, battle, and victory.

What a beautiful picture of what it means to cling.

Here's my question for you, my friend. When is the last time you clung to your sword-the Word of God-with that kind of desperation, that kind of determination?

The Bible calls itself a sword.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17, NASB)

It is the weapon God gives us to fight our enemies, to overcome in any battle in our lives. Because of Eleazar's determination to cling to his sword, "the Lord gave Israel a great victory." And it's the same for you and me. Hold on tight to God's Word, and the Lord will enable you to prevail-to utterly defeat the forces arrayed against you.

But you have to cling. You have to stand your ground and hold onto that sword with everything you've got.

As in so many other areas of life, Jesus shows us the way.


As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes God intends for us to face battles and endure wilderness experiences so we can learn to use the valuable weapon He has entrusted us with. This is the example that Jesus set for us. Matthew records that He was "led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry" (Matthew 4:1-2, NASB).

Never doubt that when Satan and his demon army move to attack you, they pick the time and the battlefield. Have you noticed that? The attacks seem especially heavy when we're hungry, hot, tired, discouraged, depleted, or lonely. Our trials ensue just when it seems like we're least capable of handling them.

Why does God allow those dry wilderness wanderings and the ongoing battle with evil? Why doesn't He protect us from such times? The fact is, He sometimes leads us into such times.

Why? Because we will be weak, vulnerable, and useless kingdom soldiers if we never train with our swords.

Is there danger in these encounters? Of course there is. This is a dangerous world, and these are dangerous times. But He has given us a wondrous weapon to wield against the "father of lies." And God assures us that no temptation will come our way beyond our ability to handle it and emerge victorious. We have His word on it.

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from Becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

When Jesus faced the enemy in that desolate place, He could have used any weapon at His disposal to knock him out with a humiliating defeat. Besides the fact that Jesus was God incarnate, possessing unlimited power, consider what else He had going for Him in the weapons department.

First, He was a rabbi-a religious "professional," you might say. Familiar with the Law and the Prophets, He led a tidy, good, religiously upstanding life. He could have pulled out the "religion" weapon from His arsenal during that duel in the desert. That's what we do at times. When the battle gets hot, we pull out our religious experience or our good works or our own virtue in order to deflect the enemy's attacks.

Bad idea.

Scripture says that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). We can't fight a fierce enemy with a filthy rag, my friend-and that's what empty religion is.

Second, Jesus had a great personality. The Gospels portray Him as a kind teacher, compassionate friend, popular speaker, gentle leader, and compelling storyteller. He was obviously persuasive in His speech. Perhaps He could have convinced His enemy not to hit so hard, or to join Him in a peaceful singing of "Kumbayah." He could have pulled out the weapon of personality-plus and fought, but He didn't. Not for a moment. And neither should we.

How often do we muster all our strength and the collective attributes of our personality and try to stand against the enemy of our souls? But it won't work. We can't fight spiritual battles with weapons of the flesh. Our great personalities and charisma are not weapons; only truth is a weapon.

Jesus could have fought with any implement of war at His disposal, but He chose wisely. He engaged the enemy with the only weapon that guarantees victory: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Read the full account in the book of Matthew. Satan attacked three times from three different angles. He tried ridicule, he tried subtlety, he tried a brazen frontal assault.

And all three times Jesus countered the assaults of hell with "It is written ." The living Word of God quoted the written Word of God to beat back the enemy's attack. How can you and I do any less when it comes to our battles? "It is written" should be our weapon of choice. We should never counter the attacks with "It is my religious experience" or "It is my personality." Those weapons will always disappoint us, but God's Word never will.

If God has allowed you to be in a wilderness of trial or temptation, if you find yourself, like Eleazar, on a battlefield utterly alone, don't lose heart. Don't quit. God's Word is the weapon that will bring you victory, comfort, and provision. Cling to it, for your King considers you worthy to possess it.


Along with millions of other Americans, I look forward to my favorite weekly television program: Antique Road Show. It's a marvelous parade of old collectibles and vintage treasures found in the attics of ordinary people. Sculptures, paintings, jewelry, and even toys make up the potpourri of antiquities that are carefully examined and exclaimed over by seasoned appraisers each week for all to see.

One night I was watching the show on location in Charlotte, North Carolina, when a certain item caught my attention. It was a sword. Normally, antique weapons don't pique my interest. But this time was different. I think it was the appraiser's reaction to what he saw that caused me to sit up and take note.

With childlike exuberance and a touch of reverence, Mr. Mitchell, the appraiser, exclaimed, "This is the most exciting military find I've ever seen come into the show." As he held the jewel-adorned heirloom, he asked its owner to explain the sword's origin.

Pleased and proud, the man told the story of a ceremonial blade that had been in his family since 1848, when it was presented to one of his ancestors, a general who fought in the Mexican War. The appraiser quickly noted that at the time of its presentation, such a sword was considered the highest honor bestowed by the United States government.

The impressive scabbard was beautifully engraved, indicating that the President himself had presented it. Because the blade bore such an inscription, the dealer placed an incredibly high value on this rare find.

I own such a sword.

No, better-infinitely better than that old piece of metal.

My sword, too, has been passed down through many generations. I'm not sure that I had really recognized that it was such a symbol of honor. I don't keep my sword in the attic, though. I hold onto it for dear life. I pick it up every day and notice its beautiful jewels.



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