Immersion: Live the Life God Envisioned for You

 
Author: Mark McNees. As soon as I turned the page from the copyright, past the acknowledgements (which I read) to the forward, I was hooked. I began reading and couldn’t wait to see where the author was leading. I love history. Have you ever seen a movie on Alcatraz? Did you ever know, watch or participate in the annual triathlon from the “Rock” to the shores of San Francisco? There is an event called “Escape From Alcatraz”. Only 2000 can participate in the event. After being ferried out to the “Rock”, the person must decide to jump or go back to shore. What would you do? If you were to look in a mirror what would you see besides yourself? If you looked for a while, what would you see in the depths of your soul? What would your reaction be and your next step? How would you define loving God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength? What is a masterpiece? Have you ever been amazed at what someone calls a masterpiece only to find yourself looking at it and wondering why? Would you believe me I told you that God calls you and I a masterpiece? With honest vulnerability Mark shares what he learned when he had to “face” and answer similar questions to the ones I posed above. Mark reminds and encourages all of us that we need not be what God hasn’t created us to be. We aren’t duplicates; we are unique. Living this out in his daily life, Mark shares his testimony. If his testimony sounds familiar, it is. Why? The reason is whether we lived at the beginning of time with Adam or today, all mankind struggles to love God with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength. Then, in addition, learning to love others as God loves us. The author comforts us in reminding us of our humanness, but he stretches his readers to see who God says we are and then to live life as God calls us to live it. However we may think or emotionally respond to what I just shared, the Truth is what sets us free to love and live as Christ loves us and died for all of us. The author shares what Scripture says about living for Christ, what it looks like and how God is glorified. What is it you love to do? Have you experienced enough in life to know that for some it changes with the seasons, for others they exhibit the same passion for the same thing all their lives? For me the one passion that has always been part of me is working with my hands. I don’t like housework, but yard work or working with tools is a whole other story. As I have been experiencing more of life, which is a nice way of saying getting older, that passion hasn’t diminished but my ability to do it has. For a while I was wondering what in the world I was going to do with myself when I needed to take a break from the outdoors. Add to that the responsibility of caring for older parents, finishing home schooling my sons and you can see my plate didn’t need another “to do”. What my life needed was something I could be passionate about, work at when I was able and most of all please God. As I read this book, the author was using his swimming, fishing and boating experiences to help us, his readers, identify with the Scripture truths he has learned. Even if you can’t identify with his sport, I am confident you can learn from the Scriptures and apply them to your life’s experiences. I did. I find when authors share their lives authentically it strikes a chord in my heart. I want to read more, learn more and even emulate the lessons learned by the author. It reminds me of what the New Testament says about “a great cloud of witnesses”. Perhaps we think of those people shared in both the Old and New Testaments, which is true, they are examples to us. Witnesses who found the truth that God is who He says He is. Today, we can be the witnesses people see. We are living epistles (letters) for people to read. It may scare us to know people are watching and listening to what we say or do. Yet we must realize that in a way I can’t explain fully, God brings it all together for good. People learn from us things they want to emulate and things they don’t. We also learn the same from them. Perhaps this highlights for us the need to know Christ and to be fully known by Him. Expect this book to speak to your heart. Why? While taking the Scripture to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength” sounds doable, the challenge comes in the second command Jesus says is important, “loving others as we love ourselves”. Boy, is that a challenge or what? We might meet our needs real quickly or sooner rather than later, but do we act or react with the same sense of urgency in caring for others? The author of Immersion certainly challenges us as he himself has been challenged to live out these two commandments in our daily lives. The book includes a study guide that readers are encouraged to do with a group of people. Mark also includes a website that I encourage you to visit and take advantage of as well. So you can see what I am referring to here is the link: http://www.immersion4groups.com/

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