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Book Jacket

0787964778
Hardcover
384 pages
Dec 2003
Jossey-Bass

Deep Focus: Devotions for Living the Word

by Stephen Graves, Thomas Addington

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Excerpt:

Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part One: Romans: The Heart of the Gospel.

Part Two: 1 Corinthians: Order in the Church.

Part Three: 2 Corinthians: Sad History of a Brief Revolt.

Part Four: Galatians: Living Free.

Part Five: Ephesians: Higher Ground.

Part Six: Philippians: Perpetual Rejoicing and Thankfulness.

Part Seven: Colossians: Christ Is Supreme.

Part Eight: 1 and 2 Thessalonians: Jesus Is Coming Again.

Part Nine: 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: A Manual for Christian Leaders.

Part Ten: Philemon: A Repentant Runaway Comes Home.

Part Eleven: Hebrews: Moving from Good to Better.

Part Twelve: 1 and 2 Peter: A Letter to Suffering Believers.

Part Thirteen: 1, 2, and 3 John: Letters from a Very Old Man.

Part Fourteen: Jude: Apostasy Unmasked.

The Good Rumor Mill

I thank my God for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. —romans 1:8

Agood story carries itself. When someone does a good deed, going to extreme measures of sacrifice and commitment, others pick up the story and pass it along. Paul certainly heard lots of stories, both good and bad, in his travels around the first-century world. And it seems that whenever he landed in a port or harbor, someone gave him another good report on the church at Rome. So in his letter to the Romans he presents them a verbal trophy—an accolade for the “good rumors” he had heard about them.

Are people passing good rumors about you? Like the men and women of Rome, all of us are building reputations by our lives and our words. Unfortunately, many times our lives do not offer enough substance for people to carry on a good rumor mill about us. If we did live such a life, the stories others passed along would create the ripple effect through the good rumor mill.

It’s not our job to make people talk about us in good manner.

Our job to live a life that gives people the substance, the fodder, with which to start this good rumor mill.

At the same time, we should ask ourselves whether we are known as carriers of good news or bad. Are you someone who retells a good story when you hear it? Do you generate good stories about others? One of the best ways to start the good rumor mill at the office is to praise an employee or coworker in the presence of other people. Those who hear the praise are likely to pass the good word along to others.

Men and women of faith should be the tracks on which the good rumor mill runs. Every job has great stories about great people. We should be the carriers of those stories.

Ask yourself today, am I living a life that generates traffic on the good rumor mill? Am I building smooth tracks for good news to run on? Or have I developed a negative way of looking at my boss and coworkers—a point of view that creates or adds to a bad rumor mill?

Set a goal for yourself to become a person about whom others will say, “That’s somebody I continually hear good things about.”