Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fulfillment Principle: Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Leafwood Publishers (July 5, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Bob Westfall is president of the Westfall Group which serves charities and Christian ministries in financial stewardship and communications. He frequently speaks at national conferences and to charity boards, philanthropists, churches and other groups. Previously he served as the director of development for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries (WTB). He currently lives in Suwanee, Georgia, with his wife, Kim, and is the parent of four children.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Bob Westfall asks readers, “Are you ready to dream God’s Dream?” in his new book The Fulfillment Principle: Experiencing a Life of Pure Joy and Fulfillment. He invites those who are overwhelmed and unfulfilled to realize this simple but profound truth: “When you use the gifts God gives you to live out the dream He has birthed in you, then you experience the joy of fulfillment that comes straight from heaven.”

Drawing on the challenge from Jesus’ Parable of the Talents, Westfall shows readers how the creator of the universe hands his children a clear, concise blueprint for pure joy. They will see the extraordinary impact individuals can have when they choose to use their gifts and not bury them. They will learn:

How to discover their God given talents
How to invest the talents God has given them and
How to realize a life of joy and fulfillment

The Fulfillment Principle is packed with stories, encouragement, and motivation to help readers pursue their God given gifts in order to experience the joy of a lifetime—for a lifetime. Fulfillment isn’t impossible or unreachable. It starts with the understanding that God created each of us with a glorious dream for who we are. Westfall encourages, “It is not up to you and me to worry about results. It is up to you and me to figure out what God wants us to do—and to do it. If he is with you in the dream he has placed in your heart, nothing can stop it from unfolding the way he wants it to, no matter how impossible it may seem.”

“The Fulfillment Principle will find you wherever you are on the path to joy, meet you there, continue on the journey with you, and lend some remarkable energy and inspiration along the way. Whether your joy has been wearied from circumstances, disappointments, waylaid dreams—or if you are simply searching for a way to expand the broad shoulders of already-present joy in your life - this book is for you,” says Bruce Wilkinson, a New York Times #1 bestselling author.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Leafwood Publishers (July 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0891122877
ISBN-13: 978-0891122876

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

EXPERIENCING TRUE JOY

God wants you to “enter in”

It is vanity to love that which passeth away, and not to hasten where eternal joy abideth.

— The Imitation of Christ 1:4, Thomas รก Kempis

There’s something you want, we all want. In fact, our hearts ache for it. Some of us realize it sooner than others. Unfortunately, some of us never realize it at all.

It’s joy. It’s fulfillment.
It’s a pleasure and contentment and peace—an unending spring of living water—that runs deep within our very being.

Do you have it?
Books have been written about going from “good to great” and from “success to significance.” But this little book is different. It’s intentionally written not to give you a temporary high or take you on a mountaintop experience, only to let you fall back to reality again, unchanged, trying in your flesh to cling to the concepts you read in some manual.
The 100-proof fulfillment principle conveyed through the stories and scriptures in this book is bulletproof. Fears arise, uncertainty looms, storms hit, but the joy is there, inside you—a rock that can’t be rolled, a fire that can’t be quenched, a contentment that can’t be contaminated.
Many people have heard the story of the talents in the Bible. A man—who is a picture of Jesus—is about

to go on a journey. Before he leaves, he calls his servants— a picture of us—and doles out his possessions

to them. One servant is given five talents, one is given two talents, another is given one talent.
Before I get further into the details of the parable, however, allow me to jump to a segment of the story that most people overlook. I did, until the winter of 2001 when a life-changing nugget from this tale hit me like a semi-truck sent from heaven, proverbially altering the way I live and move and have my being.

You see, at the time I was experiencing some incredible personal challenges with my life feeling unfulfilled. I was successful at work, but feeling as though I had missed my mark and my calling.

The words I’m referring to—the ones that changed the landscape of my life once and for all—are those of the man who went on the journey, the man who represents Jesus in the parable.

When that man returns from his long trip, he sees that the men who were given five talents and two talents had invested the money, each making double what he’d left them. In response, the master says: “‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master’” (Matt. 25:21, emphasis mine).
Hold it right there.
“Enter into the joy of your master?”

Where did that come from?
Everyone knows the part that says, “Well done, good and faithful slave.” And some people know about the, “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.” But how many people realize that in this oft-repeated text, the creator of the universe hands his children a clear, concise blueprint for pure joy?

And we’re talking about you and me, entering in to his joy—a joy unspeakable and unending—right now.

Not tomorrow.
Not next week or month.
But today.
Not only pastors or missionaries.
Not only scholars and saints.
But you and me. School teachers and business people, housewives and home school moms, mechanics and mill workers, computer geeks and career women.

How many people realize that in this oft-repeated text, the creator of the universe hands his children a clear, concise blueprint for pure joy?
How do you get to that place where you can almost see God smiling as he whispers those words: “Enter

into the joy of your master”?
Perhaps the easiest way to get you there is by going in the opposite direction. . . .
Discussion Questions

1) Do you believe God wants you to have joy here on earth?

2) Read the parable of the talents in Mathew 25: 14-30. What, in your opinion, is the main overall message in this passage?

3) In the parable of the talents, what do you think the Master means when he says, “Enter into the joy of your Master?” Is it meant for you, today? How do you attain it?

4) Are you fulfilled in your current work or occupation?

My thoughts:
We all want to feel fulfilled. It's not always easy and we sometimes let ourselves not experience joy because we are too worried about finding it. This book is a great little read for helping us to see how we can find what we are looking for.