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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2009
Availability: In Stock
There are two works of art that help me think about the presence of God. The first is the painting of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Apparently one of the messages that Michelangelo wanted to convey is Gods great desire to reach out to and be with the person he has created. If you look carefully at the painting, you notice that the figure of God is extended toward the man with great vigor. He twists his body to move it as close to the man as possible. His head is turned toward the man, and his gazed is fixed on him. Gods arm is stretched out, his index finger is extended straight forward; every muscle is taut. It looks as if even in the midst of the splendor of all creation Gods entire being is wrapped up in his desire to touch this man. His hand comes within a hairs breath of the hand of the man. God is as close as he can be. But having come that close, he allows just a little space, so that Adam can choose. He waits for Adam to make his move. Adam, for his part, reclines in a lazy pose, leaning backward as if he has no interest at all in making a connection. He doesnt move forward, he doesnt hold out his hand, he doesnt lift a finger. He appears to be indifferent to or even unaware of the possibility of touching his Creator. All it would take is the slightest effort, the merest movement. This picture says that the great desire of God is to be with the human beings he has made in his own image. This picture reminds usGod is closer than we think. He is never farther than a prayer away. All it takes is the barest effort, the lift of a finger. But I also remember another, humbler work of art. It involves a series of books all centered around the question Wheres Waldo? Waldo will never make it to the Sistine Chapel. He looks nothing like the majestic deity of Michelangelo. He is a geeky-looking, glasses-wearing nerd with a striped shirt and goofy hat. Waldo is supposed to be on every page. Whoever writes the book claims that it is so. But you couldnt prove it by me. Hes often hidden to the untrained eye. You have to be willing to look for him. When you find him, there is a sense of joy and accomplishment. Surely Waldo was in the place, and I knew it not. In fact, developing the capacity to track him down is part of the point of the book. If it was too easyif every page consisted just of a giant picture of Waldos faceno one would ever buy it. The difficulty of the task is what increases the power of discernment. Part of what makes it hard to find Waldo is that he is so ordinary-looking. On some pages, hes surrounded by hundreds of look-alikes; Waldo-wannabees. He just seems to just blend in. You can be looking right at him without even knowing it. Wheres Waldo? Why doesnt he show himself plainly? Why does he hide his face? He may not be absent, but he is elusive. He is Waldus absconditusthe Waldo who hides himself. Let every dayevery momentof your life be another page. God is there, the Scriptures tell uson every one of them. But the ease with which he may be found varies from one page to the next. So lets explore the truth found in both of these works of art: God is closer than you think.
John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who is this Man, The Life You've Always Wanted and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. John and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.
MattZatOak Forest, ILAge: Over 65Gender: male2 Stars Out Of 5Milk-level LearningOctober 18, 2013MattZatOak Forest, ILAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 2This may be great for seekers, new Christians or those who like light reading. I found it filled with stories that take up much space but do not 'move' the content of the chapters along. However, when the book is used along with the study guide and the DVD material in a small group Bible study the book gets supplemented. In other words, there is a significant investment in other resources which are extraneous to the book. Hence my low level rating for the book.
Timothy Mueller4 Stars Out Of 5November 29, 2007Timothy MuellerI really enjoyed this book very simple and rewarding if you have an open mind and willing heart you will love this book.
W. Archabald5 Stars Out Of 5August 16, 2007W. ArchabaldI look forward to any book by Ortberg. Read this book a couple of years ago lent it to someone and haven't got it back, so I ordered a new copy!
Gary WagonerChamplain, NYAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5August 9, 2007Gary WagonerChamplain, NYAge: Over 65Gender: maleWhat I most enjoyed about the book is the author's manner of expression and his way of wording anecdotes which bring the reader realistically, easily and personally closer to God.
Susan Stafford5 Stars Out Of 5January 6, 2007Susan StaffordJohn Ortberg explains a closer relationship with God with humor, insight, and imaginative analogies. This is a fast read but provides a lot of food for thought after the book is finished. I keep a copy handy for giving to others because John Ortberg explains these ideas so well. This book can indeed change your life for the better.
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