10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever [NOOK Book]

Overview

A revolutionary biblical plan that is sure to change a person’s life forever. Many people see their lives playing out like a movie they cannot control. They have come to feel like spectators watching a story unfold, unable to stop the stampeding consequences. They feel the die is cast, and nothing they do can alter the outcome. James MacDonald believes that is a lie. In 10 Choices he says, while people are where they are in life because of the choices they’ve made, they don’t have to stay there. This book is ...
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10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever

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Overview

A revolutionary biblical plan that is sure to change a person’s life forever. Many people see their lives playing out like a movie they cannot control. They have come to feel like spectators watching a story unfold, unable to stop the stampeding consequences. They feel the die is cast, and nothing they do can alter the outcome. James MacDonald believes that is a lie. In 10 Choices he says, while people are where they are in life because of the choices they’ve made, they don’t have to stay there. This book is about getting beyond self-help and blame shifting and changing at the deepest and most profound level...the will. A person’s will is what he uses to choose and act. This book helps readers to discover the heights to which their wills, truly surrendered to God, can actually soar and the “10 choices” that can take them there. This impactful book will prompt readers to make 10 Choices that are sure to change their lives forever.
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Editorial Reviews

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"A veteran broadcaster, pastor, and author invites people to accept more control over their lives. His 10 choices involve familiar Christian issues such as having faith, standing by your commitments, and accepting God's love and forgiveness. They also include universal choices such as being authentic, letting go of anger, and serving the people you love. MacDonald's smooth writing and storytelling are served well by the voice work of former Moody Broadcasting host Wayne Shepherd. While delivering the steady optimism in MacDonald's message, he expresses a tasteful measure of his own enthusiasm without calling attention to his microphone skills or devotion to his faith. A complex, textured reminder that living well means more than just waiting for God to tell us what to do." 
T.W.  © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418573447
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 389,852
  • File size: 552 KB

Read an Excerpt

10 CHOICES

A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever
By James MacDonald

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2008 James MacDonald
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-7344-7


Chapter One

I Choose God's Love

I choose to believe there is a God who knows me perfectly and yet loves me unconditionally.

I'm kinda feeling the pressure now! I mean, what a title—10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever. That's really promising a lot, isn't it? And if you're like most readers, I get about ten minutes to start delivering on that promise; so let's start at the top. Let's go for the mondo, massive, monumental choice right now. Let's go for the summa cum laude of choices, the absolute mind-bending, life-altering choice ... (drum roll, please).

Choose God

The most important choice you will ever make in your life is to choose God. To choose to connect with the God who made you and me and everything in this twisted universe. Not that He made it twisted; He did not. He made it perfect, and we snarled it up with bad choices. But we can still regain most of what we have lost just by choosing God again, on His terms.

Now I know for many who are reading this, God is just some vague, foggy notion. You may even feel that you really can't choose God because He's not the kind of thing you'd choose, right? Have you bought into the notion that either you believe in God or you don't, and that nothing can alter your current condition? Maybe you have said, like so many people, "You know, I have never had faith, not genuine faith, not like my sister/ friend/mother/other. Sometimes I get a bit of the vertical in a crisis, something like, 'Oh God, save me from that truck that just swerved into my lane!' but when He does, the feeling passes, and faith fades into, I don't know, numbness or something." Is that you—crisis faith for a moment and then nothing?

Possibly you have thought that the faith-in-God thing is a trait you're born with (or without), like blue eyes, brown hair, or a dad with a membership at the country club. Have you concluded that believing is a characteristic you may or may not have but one you most definitely cannot obtain simply by choosing? Well, let me promise you that God is not like that. God is most assuredly someone you choose, and choosing Him does make a huge difference. He is less like the options on a new car and more like the person you decide to marry. Faith is for people who want it and are willing to go for it with passion. In fact, God only shows up for people who are looking, and He chooses to reveal Himself exclusively to people who really want to know Him. In the Bible, God asserts, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:13–14a, emphasis mine). Listen, God advertises! What else could the Psalm mean when it says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun" (Psalm 19:1–4). God's Word and God's world are full of advertisements about Him, but as with even the best-marketed products, you still have to choose what God is offering.

Yep, no question about it, you can choose God. Don't let some stale seminarian talk you out of it. We've all heard the well-worn declaration that we don't choose God, but He chooses us. You've heard that, right? The fact is, both are true; God chooses us, and we choose God! The other way is like arguing that I didn't choose my wife; my wife chose me. At the human level, we may kid each other over who chose whom first, but to try to describe a relationship in which only one party gets to choose doesn't make sense. Do you see? Since we're talking about the God who created us, there's not much point in arguing over who chose whom first. I suggest we get over the distracting discussions of who chooses who and go at this from the only angle we actually experience—our own. We choose God. That's the way it feels, and that's the way it functions. And until you get out of your armchair or ivory tower and choose God for your life, you will always be missing the main ingredient for human happiness.

I'm not trying to say God's not in charge, but the fact about God's choice of you being the original choice can cause apathy in humans. We must not lose our sense of responsibility in the ocean of God's sovereignty. One of the first decisions God made when He planted our ancestors in the garden of Eden was to give them the capacity to make significant choices. Adam and Eve got to choose names for the animals and which of a wild assortment of fruit to eat. But there was only one fruit they were told not to choose. The rest, as they say, is history. Constant choices.

When Joshua stood before the nation of Israel and challenged them to make a decision, he was not snickering up his sleeve that it was actually God who would be making all the choices. He didn't say, You really don't have any options in this, just sit tight, and we'll see what God does. If you're the "faith" type of person, something will work out. No, Joshua faced the nation and raised his voice with an incredible offer ... What's it gonna be, boys, the idols your fathers worshipped or the one true God? "Choose this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15). Faith is a volitional thing. You flat-out choose to believe, and there is incredible factual evidence for faith in God upon which to base your decision. Trust me when I tell you, you can choose God. Want some of that evidence?

Factual Evidence for Faith in God

Hang on to something tightly! We're going to move quickly through some staggering landscape. I want to give you a bird's-eye view of three rational reasons to choose faith in God. Yes, you'll be making a choice. I'll explain the arguments and then invite you to choose whether you believe them or not.

First, the Cosmological Argument

A commonly accepted rational argument for the existence of God is the idea that for every effect there has to be a cause. I would never do this, but just imagine if I slapped you. The cause—my slap—would create an effect: a red, stinging handprint on your face (and maybe a further cause—your strong reaction—would produce another effect: me flat on my back).

Do you get the idea of cause and effect? Scientists agree that for each and every observable effect there has to have been a cause. For instance, a science professor was out walking in the forest with one of his students. Along the way, the student said, "Hey, look, there's a little glass sphere on the ground." And so they picked it up and examined it.

The professor said, "I wonder where that came from?" They looked around but didn't see anybody.

The student said, "Yeah, I wonder." Then, with a little twinkle in his eye, he said to his science professor, "I wonder, if it were ten times bigger, would we know where it came from then?"

And the professor said, "Well, it had to come from somewhere; I don't think it just showed up."

The student responded, "Yeah, I agree with that. But what if it were, like, a hundred times bigger than it is?"

"Well," said the professor after a moment, "all the more reason to know it had to come from somewhere."

The student asked, "So let me ask you this. What if it were, like, a million times bigger?"

The professor finally picked up the student's drift and said with a chuckle, "Well, then it would have gotten here on its own."

How foolish! But is that not exactly what people do? They look at the universe that God created, which is so incredibly immense that the numbers are mind-boggling, and quickly reach the conclusion that nothing is bigger or greater than the universe! Light from the closest star in our galaxy takes more than four years to reach us. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, one of countless other galaxies in the universe, would take 150,000 years to cross if we could travel at the speed of light. People are more impressed by the size of creation than by the thought of what miraculous cause would be able to create such an effect! The human mind cannot even comprehend the universe that God made, yet so many people arrogantly say, "No. That is the one time that there was an effect without a cause. Yes, that one time we got this whole thing from nothing."

The Bible calls that "suppress[ing] the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18 NKJV). The fact is, when people accept the universe as the ultimate and deny that it had a cause, they are often doing so because they don't want it to be true. Admitting that the universe has an intelligent cause has far more implications than admitting that something found in a forest had to have been placed there. Admitting the cause of the universe is perilously close to admitting an ultimate accountability for my choices. Because most people are not ready to answer for the choices they make, they don't want to believe what is painfully obvious: there must be a God who made all of this. All that we see couldn't possibly have emerged from nothing. Choosing to believe in a God who made the universe is far easier and more logical than delaying the inevitable moment of accounting to Him. It takes pride to choose to ignore what is obvious in every sincere reflection. There is a God—or there wouldn't be anything else! That is the cosmological argument for God's existence. Its details are extremely compelling and can fill several books, but that's the gist of it. What do you think?

Second, the Evidential Argument

Creation itself has design, not just size and scope, but actual, obvious features of design. There are consistent patterns everywhere. The intricacy and the design of creation and the order in the universe insist that it came from an intelligent source. Hugh Ross, a well-known astrophysicist, has calculated fifty-nine things that are "just right" about our earth's place in the solar system, things that are needed for life to exist. If one of those circumstances were off, life would be impossible on this planet. For example, here are two of the Earth's characteristics that Ross details in his article, "Fine-Tuning for Life on Earth":

1. The Earth's proximity to the sun. If we were closer even by a few degrees, we would be incinerated. If we were farther away, we would freeze to death. Most of our planets have elliptical orbits with a broad variance of proximity to the sun as the seasons come and go, but we have an almost circular orbit, so there is a constancy to our climate that other planets do not enjoy. 2. The Earth's speed of orbit. We're going around the sun at 68,000 miles per hour. If it were any slower or faster, there'd be no life. Again, the precise alignment of our place in the solar system in a way that allows our existence seems to be far more than coincidental.

Let me ask you, if you went down in your basement and saw a thousand dominos standing up on their ends in perfectly ordered succession, would you say to yourself, I wonder what blew up down here? Of course you wouldn't, and the logic of that needs to extend beyond dominos in your basement to the way you view the universe and the solar system and the planet you live on—and especially the way you choose to view the God who put it all in place.

We have already mentioned the words of Psalm 19, "The heavens declare the glory of God." Creation itself is shouting, There is a God! There is a God! Some choose to listen while others choose to ignore the demanding sound of God's created order. In the cosmological argument, we acknowledge God as the source of the universe itself. In the evidential argument, we choose to admit that design is proof of a designer. To do otherwise would put us right in the sights of Psalm 14:1, which says, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" What do you think?

Third, the Moral Argument

More than six billion people in this world have the same moral DNA. God Himself engraved a moral code on the human heart. It's one of His fingerprints. You don't have to teach a kid that it's wrong to lie or steal. We have that moral code within us—I know I sure did!

When I was three or four years old, all the kids in my neighborhood played with marbles. We'd make a hole in the dirt with our heels in the middle of a large circle. Then we would try to roll our marbles from outside the circle so they would land in the hole (maybe that was what set me up to love golf!). If the marble went in the hole, it was safe, but if it stayed outside the hole, it was game to be taken by another player. We could aim for the hole as well as the "sitting duck" marbles. Every time one of your marbles hit another one, you got them both. It was a brutal game that left a lot of kids crying when they literally lost their marbles. All of the big kids walked around with sacks full of marbles. One of my earliest memories is of going over to a friend's house to play marbles. He had this amazing silver sphere, which was a large ball bearing about the size of a child's fist. In my young imagination, I pictured all the marbles I could take out with this giant one. So I stole it. My sinful heart wanted it, and before I could stop myself, it was in my pocket and I was out the door. What now? Well, when I left my friend's house, the little ball weighed a few ounces. But, of course, by the time I walked the two blocks home, that sphere in my sweaty palm weighed a thousand pounds.

I dragged myself into the front door and looked up through drooping eyes to my mother behind her apron, with her hands on her hips. She knew right away something was very wrong.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

I produced the contents of my pocket and became pathetically unglued. "I stole the marble!" I cried as I collapsed into a bundle of tears and regret.

How could that be? How could that little four-year-old boy be so gripped by the wrongness of what he had done? Surely you could tell a similar story. It's God's moral law, written on our hearts. Every one of us has it, even if we deny or ignore it, stuff it down or sin against it. Animals don't have that. Only people created in the image of God have a moral compass that points in the same direction no matter what corner of the globe they were birthed onto. It's God's fingerprint upon you. It points directly to your moral center and shouts the reality that you are more than an animal and the product of chance. You were made by God and for God, and your heart will always be restless until you choose that identity as your center.

* * *

I have given these arguments for God's existence in a superficial way on purpose. Most people don't require more. According to recent polls in the United States, over 90 percent of the population still believes God exists. However, if you are one of the few whose intellect calls out for a deeper consideration of these and other proofs, please don't believe that I have come remotely close to exhausting the subject. Volumes by Lee Strobel (The Case for Faith) and Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods), as well as numerous other books, discuss these issues in greater detail. My prediction is that the further you honestly dig, the more it will bolster your faith. The bottom line is that there are plenty of good, rational reasons to believe in God, and if you don't believe, it's because you choose not to.

Hugh Ross's Reasons to Believe Web site is a trove of helpful information. All in all, Ross and his team have listed dozens of these highly improbable features of our earth's design. Among the fascinating statistics on that site, I found this statement: "Much less than one chance in a hundred thousand trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion exists that even one such planet would occur anywhere in the universe." We live in a universe that demands an explanation outside what is observable or provable by traditional means.

Some people stand off at a distance with phony intellectualism and say, "Well, I don't see the proof for God." Why don't you go out on a starlit night and look up at the skies. Now what's your answer? "What's your proof," you ask? I'll tell you—the heavens are declaring the glory of God. The scientific world has no substantive, satisfying explanations for the existence of the universe. They just have speculations.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from 10 CHOICES by James MacDonald Copyright © 2008 by James MacDonald. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................xi
Introduction: You Have a Choice....................xiii
Part I—My Identity Choices....................1
Choice 1: I Choose God's Love....................5
Choice 2: I Choose God's Forgiveness....................25
Part II—My Authority Choices....................53
Choice 3: I Choose Jesus Christ as Lord....................57
Choice 4: I Choose the Bible as God's Word....................81
Part III—My Capacity Choices....................113
Choice 5: I Choose to Forgive....................117
Choice 6: I Choose to Trust....................145
Part IV—My Priority Choices....................163
Choice 7: I Choose to Love My Family First....................167
Choice 8: I Choose to Be Authentic....................191
Part V—My Destiny Choices....................215
Choice 9: I Choose to Serve....................219
Choice 10: I Choose to Stand....................243
Epilogue....................265
Appendix A: That's My King....................270
Appendix B: Scriptures to Pray....................272
Notes....................275
About the Author....................278
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    MOST INSPIRATIONAL BOOK I'VE READ IN YEARS! MOST DEFINITELY LIFE-CHANGING

    James MacDonald is well renown for his knowledge and insight to the Bible. With 10 Choices, he definitely challeges the reader to make the most important choices or decisions of life. This is Spiritual Meat (as opposed to Milk) for a Christian's walk. I plan to give this book as a gift to all my family members. If a person reads this book and applies the lessons to their life, I'll see you in Heaven.

    Easy reading, very thought provoking. Life changing...

    CCW
    Kernersville, NC

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted July 7, 2010

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