RUN, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Fully Alive–A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Ken Davis! You’ll laugh so hard and cry so hard your endorphins will be off the chart! And THAT’S a good thing!
I was excited to tote Ken in my Kindle to Florida recently. I took it everywhere. I prefer the beach, but we also sat by the pool. What you must know about where we stay is there’s a rule board taller than my six- foot- four husband.
“No jumping” is one such rule I have trouble with. No jumping in a pool? Are you kidding me? What are we s’posed to do, slither in???
One particular day, we were already lounging at the pool. There happened to be nary a chair left there were so many people sunning. Few talk. Some read, some sleep.
Before I reached a certain part of Fully Alive, I’d already read aloud (but softly) a couple of parts I knew John would like. (He’s now reading the whole book and loving it!) More library-like than an outdoor swimming pool, we whisper. “No talking” doesn’t appear on the rule board. Guess it’s an unwritten rule.
Well, this part I want to tell you about is very, very, v-e-r-y sad. Grateful I was sporting sunglasses, I could feel tears dripping down my face…Unbelievably, it got sadder! Then, on a dime, Ken added another component to the story which is the single funniest thing I’ve ever read. Ever. It hit me so hard I exploded. Howling followed–akin to a volcanic eruption. (Remember, we’re at the very quiet pool!)
John looked at me with a let’s-get-a-grip glance. Of course the more you try not to laugh, you laugh harder. By this point, I was kicking my legs up in the air I was so tickled. Trying to tone it down just made me wheeze and gasp. By this point I didn’t really care what all the “pool people” thought.
What I should have done was read out loud the subtitle of Ken’s book: A Journey That Will Change Your Life. Of course I wanted to tell the “pool people” to GET a life, but we are Christians here, aren’t we now?!!!
Forgive my tirade, let’s dive into the book. (Pool pun intended.) I’ll share a couple of highlights from this excellent resource, but I promise NOT to spoil it for your reading pleasure!
I commend Ken for being so brutally honest. For me, and I suspect for you, his being vulnerable made me think, “Huh, well if HE can do this, I’d say ANY of us can do this.”
What does he do? He takes us on his journey of losing sixty pounds! He confesses his non-athleticism, toting us along while he learns to bike, jog, and swim. Each exercise is its’ own escapade. Some successful, and some, well, not so much. More hysterical tears.
Check out Ken’s attitude: “When it comes to living, it’s the never-ending adventure of being a follower of Christ that keeps the wow in my life.” Wow.
Oh, but how he gets there, reaching his goals, is completely enthralling. Ken’s writing is so visual, you are right there with him, cheering him on.
Look at one of his conclusions: “…it’s never too late to open your eyes and look around to a broader view. Making choices means making commitments, taking a position, risking failure. Your approach to the process will either move you forward or hold you back.”
I’m also dying to meet Diane, his wife. She seems to possess the patience of Job coupled with a keen sense of humor. She can be tough when necessary. If there’s such a thing as a very frank cheerleader, she’s your go-to gal.
Those of you who know me know I’m really not a fan of exercise. I’ll do it when push comes to shove, but a nice nap following a large chocolate bar would be my preference.
Ken was the same way. So, what made him change?
You’ll love this: He cites the “Oh nooooooo” photo! He even includes it in the book! Brave man.
The picture is a snapshot of him with his youngest grandchild, when he was sixty pounds heavier. This was the turning point for him because he came to two realizations: #1 – He wasn’t looking so svelte, and #2 – If this precious child got into trouble out in the water, he probably couldn’t swim fast enough to rescue her. Makes you think, huh?
Ken says, “…taking the initiative to do something different is one path that leads to living fully alive.” Here’s one of many arguments you simply cannot argue against: “A healthy body gives you the ability and stamina to keep moving ahead. It increases your mental sharpness and makes it possible for you to more effectively glorify God by living fully alive.” Excellent motive!
He reminds us that “consistency is much more important than intensity.” And, we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ken’s initial work-outs depict his attempt at building Rome, better known as a buff body, in a day. More hilarity…Thru’ the pain, Ken realized we need to pace ourselves which requires rest.
“God offers moments of respite and peace for your soul. Rest is an important part of pacing yourself. Studies show that the people who live the longest on earth are those who take advantage of a day of rest.” (Remember our time spent on the Sabbath last week? Click on Part 4 of 4 on Beating Busyness …for more information.)
In addition to addressing all that comes with diet and exercise, Ken broaches real friendships. That little four-letter word “time” plays a big factor. Time is directly proportionate to the intimacy of the friendship. Hello…..(A dream, or more like a recurring nightmare literally awakened Ken to re-assess his friendships. Don’t miss this part!)
My dear friend and mentor, Jane, always reminds me when the going gets tough to remember God and the blessings He has lavished on us. She’ll often say, “We need a lunch date so I can just see your face.”
Ken parallels this concept: “God sent Jesus to meet people face-to-face. The tablets and burning bushes were replaced with dinners, embraces, personal touch, and holy blood spilled on barren ground.
I’m so glad God didn’t text, e-mail or tweet His message of love to us. Only the appearance of God in the flesh could consummate the relationship He desired with us. It was this act of love that gave us the ability to lighten up and live fully alive.” Love that!
Another issue we all struggle with is balance. Ken’s on the road a lot. He candidly shares his challenging schedule. He also coaches us on forgiveness and everyone’s nemesis: guilt.
My favorite aspect of the book is how Ken applies Scripture and teaches us some of Jesus’ pearls of wisdom without making us feel like we’ve blown it. His lesson on God’s Sovereignty will take your breath away. Total trust.
To be honest, while reading Fully Alive, I felt compelled to seek the Lord even more because I realized I do not have total, one hundred percent trust. Please forgive me Lord.
One of many favorite highlights captures the theme of the book “The glory of God is man fully alive. When we are fully alive we function at the capacity we were created for in every area of life. We operate on all cylinders—mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually—doing what most glorifies God and brings Him joy.” See how his enthusiasm is contagious? Lace ’em up and let’s get going!
Bottom line: I pray two things: (1) I pray you’ll read Fully Alive. I pray we will all be challenged, and committed to what Ken calls our Apostle Paul’s “better focus”: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9) and (2) I pray we may all be able to answer a question Ken poses: “How has your life changed in the past few years because of the power of Christ living in you?”
‘Til next time!
(This week’s blog post is dedicated to this most honest, talented author and speaker: Ken Davis. Blessings to you Ken in your ministry, your marriage, and your family. Thank you for sharing your joys and struggles with us: your readers, and your audiences. Bravo! We’ll be praying for big impacts for all of us! God is faithful.)
To learn more about Ken, please visit his website: www.kendavis.com
Super news!!! Ken is coming to Louisville in July! He’s one of many excellent speakers coming to the North American Christian Convention July 9 – 12. Tickets are already available! Go to: www.gotonacc.org