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Book Jacket

0825427924
Trade Paperback
160 pages
May 2004
Kregel Publications

More Than Meets The Eye: Finding An Extraordinary God In Ordinary Life

by Dennis E. Hensley

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt  |  Interview

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

An Act of God

Three days after I gave a motivational speech to a large crowd of business executives, I received a phone call from a woman who was the chief financial officer of her corporation.

“I was captivated by your optimistic outlook on life and your entertaining sense of humor,” she told me. “Our company—and particularly our accounting and finance department—needs a dose of that. Can you come by my office to discuss some bookings?”

The next afternoon I was seated in front of her desk, telling her about my workshops and seminars. Suddenly, in the midst of my presentation, she interrupted me.

“This isn’t it,” she said bluntly.

I paused, looking at her quizzically.

She waved her hands. “I’m sure these programs of yours are excellent,” she explained, “and we’ll probably have you do one or two for our people. But this . . . this ‘training’ isn’t what I want personally. What I want is to become like you. I want the optimism and happiness you have. I want you to be my role model.”

I shook my head. “I’m flattered,” I said, “but I’m the wrong choice. I’m as prone to failure and poor judgment as anyone else.”

She seemed terribly disappointed by my candor.

“However,” I continued, “I can point to Someone who is worthy of patterning your life after. He never fails at anything and His judgment is always perfect. In fact, what you envy about me comes from my relationship with this Person. And you can develop that same relationship.”

I pulled a tract from my briefcase and spent the next ten minutes sharing the message of salvation with her. She seemed genuinely interested, although not totally convinced that this was what she needed.

“I’ve given some thought to religion,” she said at last, “but I guess I’ve always found it hard to believe that God really exists. I’m a very pragmatic person. I deal in cost factors, work hours, contracts, insurance . . . things that can be determined in black and white.”

I weighed that a moment, then asked, “Do you oversee the insurance coverage of this building for fire, vandalism, and the like?”

“Yes,” she said, “that comes under my department. Why?”

“Get the policy, will you?”

She hesitated, but then left the office and came back with the paperwork. She handed it to me and I flipped through the pages. I found what I was looking for and pointed to a paragraph.

“According to this section of the policy,” I said, “you are covered for ‘acts of God.’ What are those?”

She grinned. “You know,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “An ‘act of God’ is something we have no control over. Like if lightning strikes our building or the river floods us out or a hurricane blows in. Things like that.”

“And do you believe that’s possible?” I asked. “Could an ‘act of God’ really occur?”

“Sure it could,” she insisted. “You live around here. You remember the tornado that came through this very area last spring. It knocked a dozen buildings flat just eight blocks from here.”

“That’s true,” I said. “So, then, you feel that the $3,000 your company pays each year to insure this entire building is worth the money?”

“I’m not saying we enjoy spending that money,” she admitted, “but one ‘act of God’ without insurance and we would be in a hopeless situation. It just helps us all breathe easier knowing that we’re covered in case something ever happened.”

“Exactly!” I said. “And that’s the difference between you and me. That’s the element of life that I have but you’re missing. It’s what you see in me that you can’t define but you know you want.”

“What?” she said, almost chuckling. “An insurance policy?”

“Yes, an insurance policy,” I responded seriously. “One day there is going to be ‘an act of God’ in your own life. You’re going to die. There’s no avoiding it, and you know it’s true. It could be today or next year or several decades from now. In time, however, it will happen. I’ve accepted Christ as my Savior and He’s assured me of a home in heaven with Him for all eternity. So, I don’t dread that forthcoming ‘act of God’ in my life. But you . . .”

She stared at me.

“You’re saying I’m walking around uninsured,” she said, finishing my thought. “You’re telling me that I can’t breathe easy because in the back of my mind I know that, if something should ever happen to me, I’ll be in a hopeless situation.”

“Yes,” I confirmed, “that’s it. I believe that’s why you really asked me to your office today. You needed to find out what was missing in your life. And now you know.”

The room went silent for a moment, and the woman sat looking at her folded hands in her lap.

After a time, I asked, “So, how about it?”

“W-what?” she said, lifting her eyes.

“Are you interested in getting an insurance policy?” I asked. “The premiums are free and the dividends are immeasurable. Best of all, one policy gives you coverage for all ‘acts of God.’ Would you like one?”

She let out a long breath of air, smiled slowly, then said softly, “Yes. Let’s go over this tract once again. I want to see how I can get a lifelong policy.”

Scripture Verses to Ponder

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

—Genesis 1:1–5

Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

—Mark 6:39–44

Questions to Consider

        1.      In his quest to explain the phenomena of nature without giving credit or praise to God, sinful man has created everything from false gods to false science. In what ways do you think such things as humanism, evolution, and other unbiblical teachings are impacting our world today? What can we do to present an opposing view and to share our message of God’s creationism?

        2.      How many great “acts of God” can you recall from the Old and New Testaments? In what ways did God use the great flood, the parting of the Red Sea, the forming of the Bethlehem star, and other great miracles to proclaim His deity?

        3.      Despite the fact that Jesus performed such “acts of God” as walking on water, raising the dead, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and forgiving the sinful, He was rejected and scorned. Why do you think the heart of man finds it so difficult to accept the claim of Christ that He and the Father are One?

Suggested Additional Reading

Jones, Peter. Pagans in the Pews. Detroit: Regal, 2002.

Rima, Samuel D. Leading from the Inside Out: The Art of Self-Leadership. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.

Sjogren, Steve. Conspiracy of Kindness: A Refreshing New Approach to Sharing the Love of Jesus with Others. Ann Arbor: Vine Books, 1993.

Strohmer, Charles. The Gospel and the New Spirituality. Nashville: Nelson, 1996.