Archive for November 2014

Thanks for nothing!

November 21, 2014

“The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.   When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” – Acts 11:22-24

Thanks for nothing!

Have you ever heard someone utter these words? (Truth be told, we’ve probably said them a time or two as well.)

But, in the case of Barnabas, many had much to be thankful for, because of nothing. Many folks today are so concerned about being something, Barnabas was content to have nothing.

John Maxwell, in The Maxwell Leadership Bible, explains it like this:

(Barnabas) initiated and did whatever it took to raise morale, men, or money. He led with charity and by example by becoming a servant. He considered no task too small. What allowed Barnabas to demonstrate such a lifestyle? He had…

Nothing to prove – Barnabas didn’t have to play games. He never sought the limelight. When he mentored Paul, he happily let the emerging apostle rise above him.

Nothing to lose – Barnabas didn’t have to guard his reputation or fear that he would lose popularity. He came to serve, not to be served. This enabled to him to focus on giving, not getting.

Nothing to hide – Barnabas didn’t maintain a façade or image. He remained authentic, vulnerable, and transparent. He could rejoice with others victories.  

My prayer this week is each of us will have “nothing” in the same way Barnabas did.


“Kidnapped by the Taliban” – by Dilip Joseph with James Lund

November 21, 2014

“Kidnapped by the Taliban” was a very good read.

The book is written very much in the style of a man just telling the intriguing story of what happened to him.

Because of that style, the reader gets drawn into the emotion of the events. The fear of the initial capture, the relief in discovering death isn’t immediate, the isolation of not understanding the language, and so on.

The story begins when Dr. Joseph is in Afghanistan to help the local people learn how to better themselves and have a brighter future when he and two Afghan nationals are kidnapped by the Taliban. The account unfolds over the next few days as they travel from one location to the other, never knowing whether they will be killed, ransomed, or sold to other terrorists.

Obviously, he survives or there would not be a book about it, but I won’t ruin the end of the story for you.

I enjoyed reading this book and I think you will as well.  

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booklook” Program ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.