CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
& LIVING

Was blind, but now I see.

2 : 6 May 2003


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Copyright © 2001
M. S. Thirumalai

SOME RECENT BOOKS

LETTERS FROM HOME
by Pastor Ted Haggard
Regal Books, Ventura, CA. 2002.


Letters From Home by Ted Haggard

FOR PEOPLE WHO WOULD SOON TRAVEL ON THE ROAD OF LIFE

Pastor Ted Haggard is senior pastor of New Life Church, a mega church of over 8000 members, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Letters from Home by this well-published and anointed servant of God is actually a collection of letters Pastor Ted wrote for the benefit of his teen-age children, Christy (19 years old when this book was written and published last year) and Marcus (17 years old). They have reached an age ready to go out into the world, "to pursue college, internships and job offers," and soon they "will be raising families of their own!" As a parent, Ted felt that it is his duty to prepare them for these tasks. The letters are for all young people who will be "traveling on the road of life."

TWELVE LETTERS, TWELVE GARLANDS

There are twelve letters presented in this very interesting book of manual of life for young people.

  • Letter 1 ---------- Live As If There Are No Secrets
  • Letter 2 ---------- Fear God, Not People
  • Letter 3 ---------- Realize How Much God Values You
  • Letter 4 ---------- Acknowledge God in a Pagan Culture
  • Letter 5 ---------- Cooperate with the Holy Spirit
  • Letter 6 ---------- Maintain Power Under Pressure
  • Letter 7 ---------- Become Rich Toward God
  • Letter 8 ---------- Seek the Kingdom of God
  • Letter 9 ---------- Be Dressed and Ready to Serve God
  • Letter 10 ---------- Understand the Consequences of Your Beliefs
  • Letter 11 ---------- Discern the Times
  • Letter 12 ---------- Learn to Manage Conflict

THE STRENGTH OF THIS BOOK

In the Introduction, Pastor Ted tells us,

Each letter is based on an idea from Luke 12, a chapter in the Bible where Jesus addresses so many of the key principles that determine the degree of success that we enjoy in life. In this chapter, Jesus discusses self-image, money, how to treat other people, how to think about the future, leadership, managing conflict and many other issues. I believe that Luke 12 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible.

The strength of this book lies in Pastor Ted's focusing on present-day events and people of prominence young people are familiar with, even as he discusses biblical events and characters to illustrate the principles that he elucidates for the benefit of his readers. Pastor Ted always ends his letters with a note of hope and appreciation for his children. The word of exhortation goes very well with the word of caution. It is easy reading with great depth and lessons.

SOME QUOTABLE QUOTES

Let us consider some of the points that Pastor Ted makes in this book:

  • "Think of people who tried to keep something secret. Richard Nixon thought no one would ever know about Watergate, but that's the only thing most Americans know about him. Today's biggest headlines are stories about people who thought they were doing something that was secret . . ." (p. 14).
  • "There we have it. From Genesis to Revelation, in the lives of some of the most influential people in biblical history, the Bible is saying: "Fear God!" It's foundational to our very existence. . . Christy and Marcus, it's important that we all know the grace, love and forgiveness of God. But it's equally important that we fear, honor and respect Him, knowing that He is holy and that He is dedicated to working His life into us" (pp. 31-32).
  • "I don't want that to be the case with the two of you. I want you to find your finest purpose. God knew the circumstances of your birth and design and the purpose for your life before your mom and I ever met. He loves you and designed you to accomplish a task. Everything about you can be used to contribute to that task, or you can, like so many others, squander your uniqueness and miss God's reason for creating you" (p. 41)
  • "Christy and Marcus, we can acknowledge Christ through everything we do. This is why we are so determined to be responsible about movies we watch, places we go, how we drive, how we dress and how we relate to others. We're not timid of afraid-we just want to communicate Christ in our daily lives, from the way we buy and sell property to the way we entertain ourselves" (pp. 56-57).
  • "Many who call themselves Christians do not have a revelation of Christ from the Scriptures. Many who call themselves Christian scholars don't have the Holy Spirit teaching them. God has to show you His truth as you pray and study the Bible. In order to know Christ truly, deeply and clearly, you need a friendship with the Holy Spirit and a love for the Scriptures. Somehow this balance opens the gates of heaven for you, so you can know Him and His power, which will make you great spouses, workers, parents, citizens and thinkers. God will show the way" (p. 89)
  • "Now that you are growing and becoming mature, it's time for you to make some decisions about the type of person you are going to be. Will you stand alone if necessary? Will you stick up for principles and ideals, even if it may cost you imprisonment or potentially your life? Do you stand for anything? Are you doing the things you need to do to grow in strength, or are you doing things that will ultimately make your weaker?" (p. 83).
  • "Leadership starts from within. Leaders must have a central, compelling purpose. Leaders must have a capacity to persuade. Leaders must have the ability to work within a system-or build a better one. Leaders must find and keep strong, prudent friends and advisors. Leaders must be able to inspire others to carry on the mission" (pp. 91-98).
  • "The money that comes our way is often a symbol of our time, influence, relationships, abilities and spheres of influence. Money is power. But it is power that God has put in our lives to use for Him" (p. 99)
  • "Everything we think is a seed that forms future thoughts and values. Everything we think we say is a seed that forms future relationships. Everything we do is a seed that establishes our roles with God and with others. Most of the things that happen to us are a result of the seeds that we have sown. Sometimes these seeds sprout quickly; other times they take years before producing a harvest. But they always produce" (p. 101)
  • "Some people get confused about the idea of the kingdom of heaven being on Earth because had things still happen. They assume that since God is sovereign-which He is-everything that happens on Earth must be His will. That's just not true. Everything that happens in His kingdom must be His will, but things do happen outside His kingdom that are not His will" (p. 123)

LET PARENTS ALSO READ THIS BOOK!

I have only listed a few, rather, a very few interesting thoughts of Ted Haggard in this presentation. Ted Haggard fills the book with so many anecdotes that illustrate the points that he wishes his children, all young people, to remember, cherish and follow. This is a great book not only for the young people but also for the parents. You will learn a lot that will ask you to review your own life and your relationship with your children. Are you prepared for it? You will be greatly blessed if your read this book and do your best to build your relations with your children accordingly. Youth pastors, you all must read this book! I will recommend to all seniors in college to read this book for a meaningful future life.

IMPARTING INSTRUCTION THROUGH LETTERS

Imparting instruction through letters is a time-honored tradition and technique. It is a great genre, but not all could succeed in mastering this genre. Ability to think, and communicate clearly with passion the content of your thoughts are two essential ingredients here. But all great literature is, in some sense, an anointing and gift from God. Ted Haggard touches on matters of current importance from the perspective of eternal values. Even when the outward form of the relevance of current issues may be weakened or lost, I do believe that the foundation on which the letters are based will give this book influence and power over those who read it.


THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BAPTISM OF JESUS | LETTERS FROM HOME, introducing a book by Pastor Ted Haggard | THE LAW IS HOLY | MORAL ARGUMENT FOR GOD | A TESTIMONY TO THE LIGHT | FASTING KEY, introducing a book by Pastor Mark Nysewander | LEARNING FROM RENAISSANCE EDUCATION | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR


M. S. Thirumalai
E-mail: thirumalai@bethfel.org.