Bookish Musings, Banter & More
It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book’s FIRST chapter!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
About the Author:
Stuart Migdon was raised in Reformed Judaism. He married and became a father at the age of 18. He supported his family, and in four years he graduated college with honors. Through persistence he became a CPA and later a successful insurance agent. With a commitment to hard work and excellence, Stuart continued to achieve every goal that he set for his life. However, all the success in the world could not fill the emptiness that was growing within. In 1991, Stuart came to know the Messiah and began learning what it meant to let Jesus take the wheel of his life. Since then, Stuart has become an avid student of the Bible. Over the last five years, his thirst for more has led him into a detailed study of Gods Word, and specifically the lives of the Bibles two central figures, Jesus and Moses. His book, Jesus Take the Wheel 7 Keys to a Transformed Life with God is the result of that study. He and his wife Jeanne have two grown children and one grandson.
(ISBN#9781579219321, 288pp, $24.95)
Pack the Car/Get Ready for the Journey
â€œWe are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.â€
Where are you going?
If life were a road trip, what kind of journey would you say yours has been so far? Are you cruising along on a wide-open stretch of highway under clear, blue skies without a care in the world? Or, like most of us, do traffic jams, unexpected detours, and frustrating dead ends seem to hinder you from getting where you need to be at times? Have you run out of gas latelyâ€¦lost your wayâ€¦or realized, after blowing a tire on that last pothole, that your spare was also flat? Would you like to enjoy your journey a little more, and get the most out of it no matter what obstacles you may have to face?
The Christian life can indeed be an incredible journey; unlike any other road trip you have ever taken. Because before you even thought of putting the key in the ignition and starting the engine, the One who created you already had a perfectly planned route mapped out for you to travel on. It is the journey of your lifetimeâ€”the one God prepared specifically with you in mind. Ephesians 2:10 says, â€œWe are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.â€ If you want to experience Godâ€™s incredible journey for your life, the question you need to ask and answer today is: Whoâ€™s really behind the wheel? Is it Jesus? Is He in control of your life, or somewhere along the way have you decided to venture down some back roads, all on your own?
What matters most isnâ€™t the wrong turns you may have made in the past or even that the road you are on today looks a little tricky up ahead. What is most important is that you know who is in control of your life right now. Asking Jesus to take the wheel is more than just a catchy phrase it is the only way to fully enjoy the Christian life. Unless Jesus is truly in the driverâ€™s seat, you will not be able to live the life that God prepared for you, and you wonâ€™t feel the peaceful breeze that comes from being on Godâ€™s route. Who controls your life is your choice, and it is a choice that you are makingâ€”whether you realize it or notâ€”everyday.
In Jesus Take the Wheel: 7 Keys to a Transformed Life with God, I will be sharing some of the lessons I have learned as a Christian, and how by letting Jesus take the wheel, my life has been transformed. Like many Christians, when I first came to know the Lord I was filled with enthusiasm and wanted to share what I knew about Him with others. However, early on in my walk with Jesus, I also felt a strong desire growing within me to live a life that would really be pleasing to Godâ€”a life that I somehow new was radically different than the one I was currently living. Something was missing in my experience with Jesus. It wasnâ€™t that I was given over to any particular sin, it was just that I sensed within me a knowing that there was so much more to this new life that God had called me to, and with every ounce of my being, I wanted to live that life. The only way I new to find what I was missing was to open up the Word of God, which is what Iâ€™ve done for the last seventeen years.
Over the past five years, my thirst for more has led me into a detailed study of Godâ€™s Word, and specifically the lives of the Bibleâ€™s two central figures, Jesus and Moses, which has literally transformed my life. I was intrigued and challenged each day as I delved deeper into the biblical accounts surrounding their lives. I developed insight that was humbling me and transforming me as I grew more acquainted with these two biblical personalities. I also began to realize that what had been driving me in my own study was more than just a personal quest for knowledge, it was actually a calling from the Lord. I felt strongly that what had become an apprenticeship in Godâ€™s Word, was not just for me personally but for others as well, and this book is the fruit of those years of study. My hope is that what is contained on these pages would encourage others to begin a journey with the Lord that would transform their lives.
The Key To Maximizing The Principles In This Book
By picking up this book today, you are acknowledging a desire that is already in your heart to have Jesus take the wheel of your life. Perhaps you are like so many, who long for a more intimate relationship with the Lord, but arenâ€™t exactly sure how to go about getting started. In essence, you are hungry for more.
Jesus Take the Wheel will not only help you to become disciplined in your time with God each day, but through applying the biblical principles and truths it contains, you will begin to discover that what has been impossible for you alone, is very possible with God. He will open your eyes to new horizons, as you slip out of the driverâ€™s seat and let Him take the wheel.
This book is written in such a way that you can read a little each day. You can use it as part of your own personal devotional time, or with others in a larger group setting. Each dayâ€™s reading is followed by an application. This Daily Action Step in the section entitled (GPS) Godâ€™s Positioning System is a short, practical reflection that is aimed at helping you apply that dayâ€™s biblical truths and principles to the circumstances of your life. To get the most out of this study, it is essential that you commit to spending time each day both reading the daily entry and working through the application. As you proceed in this manner, you will notice an accumulative effect as one day builds upon the next.
Plan to do one chapter per week. At that pace, you will complete the study in approximately two months. Each chapter, with the exception of the last one, is broken into seven daily readings. The last day of each week summarizes each of the main points that were covered throughout the week. Your application on that day should be to reflect upon all that youâ€™ve learned during your study that week.
You will also find that the GPS Daily Action Step is a directive that will help navigate your life with Jesus. Assimilating these concepts is so important that you should consider keeping a daily journal. Jesus Take the Wheel: Daily Journal for a Transformed Life is a tool that you may find helpful for this very purpose. It is a journal, that has been designed to be used in conjunction with this book and is filled with additional soul-searching questions, which correspond to each chapter. It is available for no additional cost, at http://www.letjesustakethewheel.com.
While many of us know we need and want change, we often neglect to allow Jesus to have His rightful place behind the wheel of our lives. As you work through each chapter, realize that no matter how great your initial desire was to draw closer to the Lord, it is not going to happen without a renewed commitment to the process each day. Start the journey today by yielding your life fully to Jesus, fastening your seat belt, and expecting Him to do a transforming work in you.
In order for us to truly grow in our relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to change our lives, itâ€™s important to be moldable and teachable like a little child.
Ignition: Who is at the Wheel? /Be a Humble Passenger
â€œWhoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven.â€ (Matthew 18:4)
DAY 1â€”Let Go and Letâ€™s Go!
Iâ€™ve Always Had An Interest In Being Behind the Wheel
Family drives were a big deal when I was growing up. Whenever all four of us kids piled into the car, we were always bickering and fighting over who got what seat, and who sat behind which parentâ€”position meant everything back then. So, on those rare occasions when I actually nabbed one of those prized window seats, life couldnâ€™t be better. My dad always drove in those days and I can still remember the sense of security I had as I watched him sitting behind the wheel of our car. I felt safe knowing that dad was in control not only of the car, but also of our family and where we were going. Perhaps that memory still means so much to me today because that feeling of security was shattered at such a young age. My parents separated when I was fourteen, and suddenly it seemed as though no one was in control of our lives anymore.
Like most teenage boys, when I turned seventeen I couldnâ€™t wait to get my driverâ€™s license. I equated being behind the wheel of my own car with having more control over the direction of my own life. My first car cost $150, but the promise of newfound freedom it brought was priceless. However, that freedom didnâ€™t actually last very long. The car broke down the second day I owned it and cost me another $125 to repair. On the third day, the engine blew and that was the end of my car, my money, and my short-lived independence. Not one to give up easilyâ€”I drove my momâ€™s old Volkswagen Beetle around until I found a way to get myself back into the driverâ€™s seat of my own car once again. With such an urgency to be in charge of my life, it didnâ€™t take long for me to save enough money to buy another $100 clunker. I didnâ€™t care what the car looked like as long as I was sitting behind the wheel. Freedom! It meant so much to me. It meant I could drive wherever I wanted, when I wanted, without relying on anyone else. Yet, even with that sense of freedom and control, I was still uneasy about so many of the decisions I had to makeâ€”I was unsure of my lifeâ€™s direction.
Then at the age of eighteen, my life took an unexpected detour when my girlfriend, Jeanne, told me she was pregnant. That is when I moved out of my motherâ€™s house to start a new life as a husband and, shortly thereafter, a father. With the birth of our daughter, Jennifer, I was now responsible for two precious lives, and I still hadnâ€™t found a direction for my own. We had no money and barely paid our bills each month. At the time, I couldnâ€™t even afford to fix the car we owned, which had a broken defroster and heater. I remember driving to work on cold winter days wearing an extra layer of socks and two pairs of gloves so I could keep warm. I also had to drive with the driverâ€™s side window open in order to clear off the frost that kept blocking my vision. Being at the wheel of that car was both an interesting and uncertain experience, which seemed to parallel my shaky life as a husband and father at such a young age. Although I tried to make it seem as though I was in total control, life was difficult then and continued to be for a number of years to come. I needed someone to go to; the only problem wasâ€”I was the only â€œgo toâ€ guy I knew.
The New â€œRideâ€ That Changed Everything
A few years later, at the age of twenty-five, I started a new job and bought my first brand new carâ€”a maroon, 1984 Toyota Celica. Iâ€™ll never forget the night I picked up that car. Our three-year-old son, Jason, was antsy and hungry, so Jeanne kept buying him peanuts from the vending machine. After a few hours, we had completed all the necessary paperwork and the four of us eagerly jumped into our new car and headed home. It was the first time I ever experienced that new car smell that everyone talks about. But less than five minutes into that brave new world, we heard Jason complaining that â€œhis belly hurt,â€ and without any further warning he threw up all over the back seat. Goodbye new car smell! As you can imagine, I was a little upset. Later that night when I had settled down enough to realize the slight humor in the situation, Jeanne and I decided that Jason had officially christened our first brand new car.
For the next several months, I was on top of the world whenever I was behind the wheel of that car. I actually looked forward to my drive to work each morning. What a difference it made not to be behind the wheel of a clunker! In fact, life in general had taken a turn for the bestâ€”a new car, a new job, a new sense of control.
However, before long, some complicated issues began creeping into my life creating â€œroad-blocksâ€ that I had to learn how to maneuver around. The stress eventually caught up with me. I felt an overwhelming lack of peace and purpose. Being behind the wheel of my life in those days became exhaustingâ€”I was running on empty. I had nowhere to turn, and once again, no one who could help me. That is when I finally turned to Jesus.
Being raised in a Jewish home, the idea of becoming a Christian was not something that I had ever really, seriously considered. But, hearing the gospel made me realize that my greatest need was for a Savior, and that Jesusâ€”the Jewish Messiahâ€”had paid the price for my sin on the cross. So, I gave my heart to Him. At that moment, I knew that the sense of security I had once known as a child watching my father behind the wheel, was now fully realized by asking Jesus to take the wheel of my life. The secret of being able to live a transformed life in this world is first to know Jesus as your Savior, and then to give Him full control over the direction of your life, as Lord.
At the age of thirty-three, I now had a fresh perspective and I was eager to experience all the Lord had for meâ€”the peace, purpose, and freedom that came from being His child. At this point, I no longer wanted to be in control. I just wanted to sit behind Him and watch Him as He steered my life in a brand new direction. I possessed a renewed sense of security knowing Jesus was in charge and would always be there for me. The more I trusted Him, the more secure I felt, and I quickly began to realize that my only struggles came when I once again tried to assume control and go off in my own direction. I learned that what I needed most was to let Jesus take the wheel, every day.
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