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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FIRST WILD Card -- 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Joyce Meyer





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!











Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



100 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




JOYCE MEYER is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, Look Great, Feel Great, and the entire Battlefield of the Mindfamily of books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life® radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.



Visit the author's website.



Product Details:



List Price: $16.99

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0446509396

ISBN-13: 978-0446509398



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:





Introduction



Everyone has them: those days where nothing seems to get done, except maybe what you’ve added to your already lengthy to-do list. Are you tired most of the time? Are you spent? Do you find yourself wish- ing for a better day—a simpler day? Too many things compete for your limited resources of attention, energy, and time. You may be suffocat- ing and not even know it. If you feel like this, you’re not alone.



Most people today live complicated lives that leave them frustrated and confused, weary and worn out. But I have good news: your life does not have to be that way. You can choose a life of simplicity, fruitfulness, fulfillment, peace, and joy. I want to warn you, however, unless you are determined not to, you will do what everyone else does. You will get sucked up in the system and spend your life wishing things were different, never realizing you are, in fact, the only one who can change things. Unless we are resolute and remain undaunted in our quest for simplicity, we are destined for complication and frustration.



I recall a time when I was complaining to God about my schedule being absolutely insane. How could anyone be expected to do all I had in front of me? Then the realization hit me that I was the one who made my schedule and nobody could change it but me. You can spend your lives wishing things were different, but wishing won’t change anything. Smart decision making and decisive action is what changes things. If you picked up this book looking for change, are you willing to make a decision and follow it up with action?



I wasted many years hoping life would change and things would calm down until I finally realized life itself doesn’t change; in fact, it has the potential to get worse. I understood my only real option was to change my approach to life. I had to say no to another day of rushing around and feeling frustrated. I didn’t want the doctor giving me another pre- scription to mask another symptom of the real problem—stress.



In my search for simplicity, I have come to believe life can never be simple unless I learn to approach all things simply. It is my attitude toward each event in life that determines how easy or complex each situation will be. Perhaps life is complicated because people are compli- cated. Is it possible that life is not complicated, but rather, individuals complicate life in the way they approach it?



I discovered it wasn’t really life or circumstances or other people as much as it was me that needed to change. My problem wasn’t the problem—I was the problem! When you spend your life in frustration trying to change the world and everyone in it, you fail to realize it could be you just need to change your approach to life. It can be very easy for someone to live an entire lifetime and never entertain the notion that the way they do things is the real problem.



Have you ever attempted to have friends over for what you initially intended to be a simple afternoon of food, fellowship, and fun, but somehow, it turned into a complicated nightmare? I remember those days vividly. I’d be at church on Sunday and, without much forethought, invite three couples over for the following Sunday to a barbecue. My initial thought was hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, potato chips, and iced tea. My motive was fellowship and fun, but by the time the guests arrived, I didn’t even want them there. Fun was not going to happen, at least not for me. Why? I turned my simple get- together into a nightmare of preparation, expensive food, and fourteen people instead of the original six. My complicated approach to life and my complicated thought process convinced me hot dogs and hamburg- ers weren’t nice enough so I bought steaks we could not afford. My potato chips turned into a huge bowl of homemade potato salad. The simple baked beans became four side dishes I labored over.



Insecure and wanting to impress everyone, I had to spend the week cleaning and getting everything in the house to the point where I thought it would be impressive. Of course, the lawn chairs were old, so I bought new ones. I got angry at Dave because I thought he wasn’t help- ing me enough, and by the time our friends arrived, I resented them, wished they hadn’t come, and had a miserable day of pretending to be the happy hostess when in reality I was frustrated and miserable.



I could not figure out why I wasn’t able to enjoy much of anything in life until God revealed to me I was killing my joy with complication. For years, I prayed God would change the people and circumstances around me when, in reality, He wanted to change me and my approach to life. He wanted me to simplify so, ultimately, He could be glorified.



Let me share with you 100 ways to approach living that can simplify your life and, in turn, release and increase your joy. I believe they will dramatically improve the quality of your everyday experience if you incorporate them into the way you do things. Jesus said He came so we might have and enjoy our life in abundance (see John 10:10). His prin- ciples are simple. Faith is simple! Trusting God is simple! A childlike approach to Him is simple! The plan of salvation is simple!



Jesus offers us a “new way of living,” and I believe it is a simple, yet powerful way that enables us to enjoy everyday life. Are you ready to simplify your life? Are you ready to say good-bye to the complexities you’ve allowed to take over? Let’s get started.





Do One Thing at a Time



The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything elseówe are the busiest people in the world.



ÓERIC HOFFER






Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].



—Hebrews 12:2




When we do things without truly focusing our minds on them, we immediately decrease our strength to do the work before us and do it well. By putting our hands to one thing and our mind to another, we divide the muscle behind our abilities and we make the task much more difficult. It’s like removing an egg yolk from the egg white—both can be used separately but the result isn’t as effective (or tasty) as it would be if we leave the egg whole. However, by directing all of our faculties to the one thing we are doing on a particular day, at that hour, at that moment, we find it much easier to do. The ability to concentrate and stay focused can only come from discipline.



The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing. Anxious people are always trying to live ahead of where they currently are. They spend today trying to figure out tomorrow and the result is the loss of simplicity. God expects us to trust Him with tomorrow just as He instructed the Israelites to do when they crossed the barren wil- derness, pressing toward the Promised Land.



Practice living one day at a time; give yourself—your thoughts, your conversation, your energies, every part of you—to the day at hand.





100 Ways to Simplify Your Life



1. Develop an ability to give yourself to what you are doing. You will sense an awareness enabling you to enjoy the current activity, instead of going through each day in a blur of activity and confusing thoughts which leave you drained and exhausted.



Do you fear you will not accomplish as much if you try to live this way? It’s true you may not do as much, but you will also enjoy what you do a whole lot more. One key to simplicity is realizing that quality is far superior to quantity.



My review: Practical, practical, practical! Joyce Meyers is engaging in her delivery of 100 ways to simplify your life.

As soon as 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life came in the mail I snapped the book up and began to read. This is not to say that my life is complicated, but my life has been pretty darn full for the past....ummmmmm...two decades!!!!!! One of the reminders I walked away with (and I say it is a reminder because I have been aware of this in myself) is a lot of the issues I have are of my own doing! They are probably a lot of your own doing as well. As a young child, I pretty much did as I was told with a little grousing thrown in. My schedule for the most part was loosely monitored. As an adult, the ball has been in my court, and I have not only picked the basketball to play with but the tennis, volleyball, and football as well. Not to conducive to getting any job done properly nor to winning any game. Heck, I didn't even know what game I was playing half the time.

Joyce Meyers has given the reader 100 ways to simplify their daily life and even their spiritual life. There are some golden nuggets in this book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a little wake up call in esspresso sized doses. Each step toward changes you can make are only a page or two long and are written in a style that opens up your mind with life experience which you can relate to. Let's face it, if you want to simplify your life, spending too much time reading a book on how to do so is not going to get you there fast or simply for that matter.

I have had several "Aha!!!" moments, and I think you will too. Check out number 23: Define Personal Priorities. I have been working on this one. What is important to you is what you are going to spend time on. Of course put God first and make that time for your relationship with the Lord. Really think about what is important to YOU. Joyce makes it quite clear not to worry about what other people's priorities are, because again you are living YOUR life. Make YOURS work for you. :)

Okay...nuff said, I have a husband ready to read this one now! :)

4 comments:

Cloud 9 said...

That was a great review. Now I want to read this one to. Thank you for the information!

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

I really enjoyed this book, and it is one I will go back to as I get better at some of the tips!

I've posted my review of this book here and added a link to your review!

:) Wendi

Sunny said...

What a fun review! I like how you said "espresso size" chunks! That fits it perfectly since they are short but power punched.

(sorry, I'm a little behind on my blog hopping!)

Lindsey said...

Great review, I should read this one... :-) Since I had my baby it's been hard to keep my brain from being scattered all over the place, lol. I especially like this, "Joyce makes it quite clear not to worry about what other people's priorities are, because again you are living YOUR life." because I'm prone to worrying about what others think.