We live in a noisy world. Globalisation, urbanisation, and the dynamics of the information-age have ensured that!
The inevitable outcome is growing isolation. Ride on public transport in any major city in the world and you’ll be amongst people who are riding together alone. The dearth of interaction is palpable. Today’s people hear so much from so many that they end up listening to very few, and are listened to by even fewer still. Amidst this ceaseless clamor for attention, nothing is easier than being rendered a cipher – a zero – one who is relentlessly talked at, but almost never talked to.
But people are individuals. Hand made. There might be accidental pregnancies, but there are no accidental people. With frenetic malaise the backdrop to modern living, and lives abuzz with internalised stresses and strains unimagined by past generations, it takes little to call someone out of the crowd. A smile, a compliment, a kind word or a thoughtful deed – perfect weapons all for piercing the fragile armor of hearts and minds bent on survival on a battlefield called typical day.
Opportunity surrounds us. Don’t be deterred by the “do not disturb” tokens that first meet the eye. The doors might be closed, but they may not be locked. Knock away, and opportunity might ironically answer. And don’t be dismayed if rebuffed. Consistency is the name of the game. Whoever opens to us opens to God, remember, for it is He who abides in us.
Today it’s a great big thank you to Technology. Thank you for enabling a book giveaway absolutely free.
Putting pen to paper to capture the Gospel in it’s rich, multi-faceted beauty is something I’ve always known that I would do. (I bought my first small typewriter when still at school, and edited the school newspaper in my final year). Had this been a few years ago, the writing would’ve been the easy part. Funding the printing and distribution of the book would’ve been the challenge.
How times have changed. E-publications are by norm less expensive than hard copies, but with a bit of ingenuity it is possible to offer e-publications of the highest quality absolutely free, and to do so through the finest distribution channels available.
Over the longer term the books that I’m writing will be for sale, albeit at relatively nominal prices. But from time to time, like now, I’ll have the privilege of offering one or another of them completely free. Doing so gives me the greatest joy imaginable. Please download your copy of “How To Read The Bible & Not Get Confused”, but more than that, share the links to Amazon and Smashwords with friends, so that they can get a copy too. (Use the share button below to share using just about any electronic means imaginable, including e-mail).
Please help me get the word out! We love the Gospel, and thanks to technology, we can put it in the hands of others absolutely free, and with the greatest of ease.
Enjoy this modern-day parable by Ross Penniall, lover of Jesus, lover of life, and lover of SoMuchGoodNews.
The Kingdom of Heaven is Good News. There are a number of parables in the Gospels where Jesus taught on the kingdom. Most notably, regarding this kingdom parables, He said, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Funny how He never went into great depth trying to explain His parables. Those who were hungry for truth got it. Those who never really listened heard only a story. A parable is a story with an underlying message that explains God, His heart, and His kingdom. Those who are searching for one of those, if not all, hear the hidden code. Below is a modern kingdom parable with no explanation. My hope is that you’re hungry.
The kingdom of heaven is like a father and his two sons. The father gave his sons a two bed-roomed home to live in. It was fully furnished. It had a tennis court and a pool. He gave each child R10 million and said, “Go start a business. Invest in property. Buy land and build. Employ people. Build brands. Do whatever you like, but use this start up money and make as much as you can”. The father left them for three years. At the end of the three years, he returned to the city of his sons. He found the home run down, the pool empty, and the tennis court vandalized. Inside he found both boys passed out in the lounge with beer and spirits bottles strewn all over the floor. There was graffiti all over the walls, The carpets were alcohol stained and some of the furniture was even missing. He woke his boys only to be told by them that they squandered their R10 million. Not one investment, no business, and no property. The food and alcohol they were now living on was bought by money made selling their furniture.
The father was disappointed at this wastage by his sons. But he was a father who loved his sons more than anything else. So he said to them, “My dear sons, I love you both very much, and I desire for us to be a family and to live under one roof. I forgive you for your waste and squander. I choose not to hold this against you. I want to give you another chance, except this time I want us to do this together. Come and live with me in a brand new home. It has 20 bedrooms, a cinema, three pools, two tennis courts and an amphitheater. Each of you can work with me in my business. I will pay you each of you R50 000 a month. Let’s be a family together. Let us live our lives together. Let us change the world together!”
His one son fell on his face and asked his father to forgive him for his unappreciative behavior, and for not doing more with what he had been given. He repented of the way he had treated his father with utter disrespect, and thanked him for another chance. Going with His father, and living with Him, was what he desired. They embraced and reconciled. The other son shook his head and blamed his father for not doing more for them. He believed that his Father should have left them more money and with better opportunities for making a success of their lives. He wasn’t interested in having his Father involved in his life. He wanted a second chance, but without His father in the equation.
The Father left with the repentant son. His heart was glad that his son desired Him and accepted the new chance as offered. At the same time, his heart was sad that his other son refused Him. As he drove out the driveway, he told the son staying behind that He was only a phone call way, and that if he ever had a change in heart and wanted to reconsider, his arms were open to receive him.
Complete at last, with an additional chapter on the Eternal Covenant, and with the kindest of forewords by Rob Rufus. Here is some of what he had to say …
“The entire time I read this book, not only was I encouraged, but I kept thinking “Oh Lord, if only all of your people understood this truth”. In my opinion there are too many optical distortions that parade themselves as legitimate Christianity but still leave people confused. This book will evaporate so much misery that precious brothers and sisters carry as a burden that they think is from God, but is not. It will demolish cynicism and feelings of hopelessness, and flood people with confidence in God.”
The idea is to get this material into as many hands as possible. The price has been set at $0.99 on Amazon.com and at a comparable entry-level price on all the other platforms. For those who would like to download a copy now, click here (the book’s page), and then use the links at the bottom of that page to take you to the online vendor of your choice.
In other news, I’ve been working hard on the next offering in the NOT CONFUSED series, and hope to have it published within weeks. Why the Gospel is the Best News Ever!‘s preliminary blurb reads like this …
The Gospel is the good news about who Jesus is, what He did, and why He did it. What He did was so extraordinary, and its impact so enormous, that it will affect everything for all time. This book describes the richness of the Gospel, and outlines what the Gospel does when believed, for the Gospel believed is the power of God unleashed in one’s life.
It, too, will retail at $0.99 or the comparable across platforms.
Please spread the word. If you enjoy one of the books, please go back to the point of sale and write a review. The more books that sell, and the more reviews that are written, the more visible the book becomes on line. It will be so appreciated if you help where you can. Thanks for subscribing to this website; invite and encourage others to do the same. Interact with the site. Comment on the blog posts. Like my author Facebook page and follow me on Twitter (click on the links to take you there). Like and share the Facebook posts and tweets. It only takes a moment but contributes substantially to SoMuchGoodNews‘s visibility, helping a great deal with the dissemination of this very Good News.
The sultry PE evening turned turgid with sounds rich, mellow and pleasing. The middle-aged crowd stood and swayed appreciatively as the legendary Rodriguez rolled through his playlist. I puzzled over the urge to grow my hair again as I soaked up the atmosphere. None of us cared that the star was past his prime. Those of his caliber have nothing left to prove, and the obvious challenge of his deteriorating eyesight only increased our respect for the beloved septuagenarian.
The unexpected delight of the evening, though, (and there was much to delight in), was the man’s one-liners. Randomly tossed to the audience with casual aplomb, I found myself eagerly snatching them from the festive atmosphere with unexpected glee.
“Long live Nelson Mandela”, he said, reminding us of what a wonderful nation this could be, and of the attitudes it will take to make us that. “It’s descriptive, not prescriptive”, he said of Sugarman, a song extolling the virtues of recreational narcotic use. “Don’t do drugs”, he added. “Don’t start”. Sage advice from one likely more knowledgeable than most of us. And towards the end of the evening, “thank you for giving me a life”, in gratitude for South Africa’s role in turning talent to stardom; obscurity to adulation. The way in which it was said left us in no doubt that Rodriguez is grateful. Humility is an attractive virtue, we learned.
But the uncontested pearl of the evening, in this blogger’s book anyway, was when Rodriguez preached the Gospel, even though it’s possible that he did so inadvertently. “I know it’s the drinks”, he said, “but I love you too”. We might never know the specifics on this, but it is the Gospel nevertheless. Allow me to illustrate it this way: When a fellow Christian tells me that he or she loves me because Jesus says they must, it assures me of two things. a) They are under law, and b) They don’t love me at all. But fortunately there are other brothers and sisters who really do love me. They a) Never have to persuade me that they do, and b) It’s not because they are under orders, but because of what God has done in their hearts. They’re not trying to love me; they do love me. Big difference! This is why the Scriptures encourage us to be filled with the Spirit as a superior alternative to being drunk with wine; the result is authentic Jesus. Yep, Rodriguez said it well – it’s because of the drinks that we love each other!