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God.com is a refreshing, unflinchingly honest approach to seeking our Creator. Witty, poignant, and surprising text draws today's techno-savvy readers to God's "home page," where they can learn to more fully understand and communicate with Him. In these pages, author James Langteaux boldy tackles some of our toughest questions about maintaining a relationship with an invisible being-discussing God as Father, Lover, and Best Friend. God.com helps readers identify and break down walls of fear so they can allow ...
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God.com is a refreshing, unflinchingly honest approach to seeking our Creator. Witty, poignant, and surprising text draws today's techno-savvy readers to God's "home page," where they can learn to more fully understand and communicate with Him. In these pages, author James Langteaux boldy tackles some of our toughest questions about maintaining a relationship with an invisible being-discussing God as Father, Lover, and Best Friend. God.com helps readers identify and break down walls of fear so they can allow God's love and purposes to change their lives in profound ways. It invites us all to face the piercing, unpadded truth of God's passion for us and respond, reminding us that our maturity is at stake.
About the Author:
James Alexander Langteaux has worked in many forms of communication and entertainment on an international basis. After receiving his master's degree in communication at Regent University, he worked as writer, producer, and director for The 700 Club for six years. His work on the NBC miniseries A Woman Named Jackie earned him an Emmy Award nomination. In the mid-nineties Langteaux hosted a weekly, four-hour live music television show in New Zealand, where he also promoted mentoring programs for young people. Today he works in Los Angeles with Media International, which creates videos with strong moral messages for public school audiences.
And the word is BELIEVE.
We are all dying to believe. And dying because we don't. I think believing is a little like looking past what we can see to stare into the eyes of God while falling forward into the blackness-forward, ever forward-free-falling until finally we can see. When we do, what we see is what He sees. But only after becoming His pupil.
Falling into blackness is not my idea of fun, especially when I don't know when, where, or how the blackness will finally end. Or, more frighteningly still, if it ever will end.
Belief requires a beginning, and that is where we are.
For me, belief began a few years ago with a falling experience-falling from a comfortable life working for a television network; falling, falling nearly off the planet to learn to listen, obey, and trust.
When the God of the universe asks you to believe, your response will ultimately depend on where you are standing, because where you are standing will affect what and how you are hearing.
Monty Python made that point in The Life of Brian. It captured something powerful in the scene where Jesus speaks to the crowd of five thousand. If you think about the logistics of thatendeavor in light of the lack of technology, amplification, and lapel mics, you'll realize that there would have been a lot of people who wouldn't have heard exactly what Jesus said. What they heard would have depended on where they were standing. Even though Jesus' words to the crowd were "Blessed are the peacemakers," the guys in the back heard "Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they shall inherit the earth."
"What's so special about cheesemakers?" they asked each other. An argument ensued-as discussions involving God and cheese so often do.
The first time God asked me to believe, I was standing knee-deep in the decadent decade of the '80s. Jesus asked me, just as He asked the rich young ruler, to sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Him. Despite what Jesus said, I heard, "Buy all you can, wave to the poor, and I will follow you."
So I did. And He didn't.
God is patient and loving. He waited a while before He asked me again. He waited until my proximity had improved my ability to hear Him. It took me about seven years of moving closer to be able to heed His call. When He asked again, I heard correctly.
This time, however, selling all I had involved letting go of a comfortable job, world travel, a home, car, and friends and moving ten thousand miles from warmth and safety to the bottom of the planet. In short, I had an opportunity to create a new model for television at a quarter of my salary, at a facility with a fraction of the equipment and resources I was used to, at a two-bit TV station on the south island of New Zealand.
It was glamorous and exciting-right up until I landed in Christchurch and was denied the standard three-month visa. Instead I was given three days. This can't be a by-product of belief, I thought. Following that moment of defeat, my new boss dropped me off at a cold, dreary motel, and through cloudy eyes and with a misty mind, I watched a dark sky begin to gently weep. After twenty-four hours of flying forward and flailing faithwise, I found myself falling fitfully into a dark and dreamless sleep.
Falling off the planet into an abyss called belief is probably the most frightening decision a person could ever choose to make. Maybe that's why the journey called believe is one people seldom take.
When I woke disoriented, dazed, and confused, with my internal clock completely askew, I wrestled with waking dreams of my friends in the States, at the pub, near the beach where we used to sit late into the summer nights talking endlessly about life, love, God, and friendship. The camaraderie only intensified when I shared my plans to move to New Zealand. It's funny how people will drop their guard and let their walls fall when they know you are about to leave. Their secrets are safe with you, and they will tell you how much they love you, because you'll soon be gone, and their vulnerability will have no consequences.
But this isn't a story about moving to New Zealand, or anywhere else for that matter. The story of believe involves moving all over or nowhere at all, depending on what your unique calling may be. We all have a purpose and a destiny, but we only begin to see it when we let ourselves go falling forward into the dark land of belief.
OFTEN IT IS MUCH HARDER TO BELIEVE AFTER YOU TAKE THAT LEAP.
As hard as it may be, this adventure is worth every hardship, doubt, and fear you must wrestle with until you come to that gentle place where you can sleep, nestled close to the one who calls you to believe no matter how the storms rage or the waves threaten.
Will you stare deeply into the eyes of God and look past what you can see? Will you fall forward into the blackness of belief while you flail and fight until you learn to rest in the knowledge that you don't have to see when you truly believe?
I WANT TO BELIEVE.
And I believe you want to, too, or you wouldn't be reading these words. But I don't want to believe that I'm supposed to love a god I've learned to fear, a god I've run from, and a god I don't understand-like some bipolar boyfriend who has suddenly moved in with my mom. Just because she loves him doesn't mean I have to, will, or can.
But what if our preconceived image of God is not the real God? What if He has been misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misplaced? What if the one true God has nearly been erased? What if the God we are longing to know could not be controlled, so another, a phony clone, was placed upon the throne? That way the one who usurped control can remain on-line while the true God waits on hold.
I want to believe that a God who cared enough to create companions would be interested in interacting with His creation. Why would He have begotten children whom He only wished to ignore?
It's logical to assume that the God who set our lives in motion would have deep emotion and be consumed by the ocean of tears many of us shed as we make our way on this journey called life.
God is our Father. For some of us, that doesn't help at all because we don't have a healthy understanding of what a father should be and how a father should love. But God is the perfect Father-the mother of all fathers.
He loves us as any good father would love his children. Only more so, because He is God, and He sees from an eternal perspective. He is able to look past the here and now and see the us in the there and then. Our God, our Father, is longing to spend time with us. I don't think He wants us to do all the talking. I think He wants us to give Him room to speak.
BELIEF IS REALLY ONLY THE BEGINNING.
If we really believe, then we will want to do something about it. If we want to discover the truth, we need to find a way to access this God: the true God. Not your god, or my god, or a pleasant potpourri. We need to meet the God. The one who is not of our design or making; the one who did the making-the making of you, of me, of our world, and all that we see. We need to log on to His page and become interactive with Him.
IF WE REALLY WANT TO BELIEVE.
Being interactive with the God of the universe requires the simple belief that He is willing and able to speak to us, to become involved in our daily lives, to care enough to send the very best. He does. And He did. That is the hallmark of who He is and why we should believe. This is the unique story of a God who cares about the outsider, the disenfranchised, the underdog. This is the story of a God who was so moved by the pain of His creation that He was willing to become like us to lead us. It cost Him His life. Now all He wants is for us to become like Him so we can lead those who do not believe.
Maybe it's about more than just belief. Maybe the problem has been the object of our belief.
"Beware of God"
That was not a dyslexic moment. Once when I was working out at the gym, I saw a guy with a goatee wearing a T-shirt that said "Beware of God." The words were huge, bold, and screened in danger red. They screamed danger as I read. I wanted to talk to him and ask him what had prompted him to warn the world of a big, scary God who bites. Then I realized there was nothing strange about that particular man wearing that particular shirt. Many of us wear that warning in one way or another.
Those are the words many of us would use to warn the weary to be wary on their spiritual journey. "Beware of God" captures the wariness we feel on varying levels and to different degrees toward the God who Christians claim has set us free. Free indeed. Why is it, then, that so many of them, so many of us, don't seem to be free?
The God I've heard about sounds like a crabby old man with a lot of outdated rules and laws that keep me from being me-at least who I perceive myself to be. But maybe our "Beware of God" sign should instead read:
"Beware pf Dogma" IT CAN BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN YOU COULD BELIEVE.
Dogma is our interpretation of God, and interpretations (when they are ours, not His) often become muddled, manipulative, and frighteningly fallible (like us). When that happens, dogma divides. The God of all creation loves and unifies.
Are you willing to take down your "BEWARE OF GOD" sign? A decision like that involves significant risk and a willingness to believe that there is a reason to take it.
Will you risk your reputation, your loves, your money, your will, and your life in order to believe? If not, relax-you seem to have it all under control. But if you are at all like me, and you've come to realize that "your cheese tends to fall off your cracker at fancy cocktail parties" (as an old friend used to say), it couldn't hurt to take that risk.
It is a risk to believe. It isn't safe, and often it isn't fun. It is real and painful. But when you make the leap of faith, astonishing things-things you never could have dreamed-become a powerful part of your waking world. Miracles happen when you risk. When you believe. Dead people come alive; ordinary types defy gravity and other assorted natural laws; captives are set free. And God laughs.
He does, you know.
This God is a champion of risk. Who in his right mind would create living beings free to either love or not love their Creator? To trust or not trust; to believe or not to believe?
That is the question.
This God risked all He loved most by giving us the right to choose. This risk even touched His one beloved Son, who told the truth in His living, though the telling meant dying. He risked and He believed. There is nothing safe about either of those things. Laying your life down, naked, on a rough piece of tree only to have those you love hammer you with insults and nine-inch nails takes great belief. And love.
It doesn't end there. Jesus believed that His Father was a good Father and had a plan-a death-defying plan with a supernatural twist. If His Father was telling the truth, and that truth included seeing life on the other side of the grave, He had to believe there was a good enough reason to take that risk-us. He believed that we were worth dying for. He believed His Father, and He believed in you and me. He continues to believe in us.
HE RISKED, AND WE WON.
THE ODDS ARE APTLY NAMED.
Are you willing to risk it all to believe? Are you willing to lay it all down? It will cost you everything and nothing at the same time. It will turn your life upside down by allowing you to become who you really are in Him. It will allow you to live like Jesus lived while you become who He intended you to be. This involves sacrifice, but when you risk, you win more than the lottery. The dividends are paid out each year for twenty years and then some.
And then sum.
What kind of fool believes? I'm beginning to believe, and I'm betting you are, too. It's really not as difficult as it may seem. All we really need to do is to ask a couple of questions: God, will you help me believe? Will you help me get past me and my stuff so I can move into You and Yours to see my world and my softwhere dramatically changed? Unrecognizably so? Uncompromisingly so?
If so, log on to begin your search. If you don't ask, you haven't got a prayer. And that's all prayer is-a simple conversation. The wisdom of the world says we should believe only after we see, but the foolishness of God asks us to believe before we really see. Paradoxically, God asks the impossible while moving mightily through the improbable to make even the immovable unstoppable.
Love is not blind. Doubt is. Believe it or not.
"I have come into this world, that those who do not
see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."
AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH
At the very beginning of this journey, it is important to recognize the power that lies dormant in the words that we use and abuse to plan, to praise, to curse, and to connive.
There is intense power in the Word. One man said the pen is mightier than the sword. I doubt he was advocating a rumble with a Rollerball. It's safe to assume he meant words. From the beginning of time, from the mouth of God, all creative power has rested in the Word. Everything that was to be was first in Him and in His Word.
Some things never change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His Word remains constant. His Word is liberating and life-giving. When His Words become our words, we too hold power-power to bring life, healing, and freedom.
His words are the foundation of everything that is and everything that will be. If only we could truly understand the vast power contained in these tiny capsules: His Words.
Before there was, there were Words.
WWW.(WORLD WIDE WORD)
Although believe is just one little word among many, it has great and eternal power. When it comes alive in your life, you naturally begin to see. I mean really see-supernaturally. And sometimes seeing can be more difficult than believing, because once you see, you can never go back. And once you begin to see, you may also begin to hear-voices.
WELL, A VOICE ACTUALLY.
Excerpted from GOD.Com by James Alexander Langteaux Copyright © 2000 by James Langteaux
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Posted March 3, 2004
Awsome book...easy to read...very refreshing to the over-churched! It's about having a REAL relationship with your creator. In light of Matt.7:21 where Jesus says in so many words, 'I don't care how many good deads and miracles you've seen or done, I never knew you...your going to Hell!', it has helped me put a few anxieties and fears to rest thru a brand new closeness to God I did not have before.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2000
Posted September 14, 2000
God.com is a relevent, refreshingly honest book about the God people are searching for, but so often miss in church. James' honest account of his journey of faith is so vulnerable . . . it perfectly communicates what God wants our relationship with Him to be like: real, interactive, adventurous. This isn't a preachy book. It's a story. A story that tells you about the real God and the real Jesus of the bible. If you're searching for truth, you must read this book. And if you're looking to revitalize and better understand your reationship with God - this book willl help you do just that!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2000
This is not your typical Christian book that chronicles a man having a spiritual experience. No, this book chronicles a spiritual man having a very human experience. James Langteaux takes us on his journey of belief. This journey cover four continents and about 12 years. Though the natural path of this journey is uniquely that of James, the spiritual path of this journey is that of every man. Written in a simple and easy to read style, the 16 chapters of 'God.com' address the complex and difficult issues we face daily, sometimes hourly, in our struggle to believe God--believe what He say about us and what He says about Himself. The soul-baring honesty of this book is both startling and refreshing. It's about real life, real issues, real struggles and a very real God and His very real mercy and grace. In the past I reviewed books and researched guests for a national Christian talk show and I can say I have never read a book where the author was this raw and honest about who he is without losing sight of who he is in Christ. This is a must read! The A.D.D. Moments are great! Especially the one about windex and cabin fires...Get the book. 'God.com' is a bold book. On the inside front cover, Norm Mintle, President of Pure Media write, 'You've never read anything like this before.' Folks, he ain't just whistlin' Dixie!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2000
Just read James Langteaux's excellent, excellent book, God.com. One of the best books I have ever read! It rocks! It's frank, honest, very witty, humorous, a bit irreverant and it speaks to the very generation we're ALL living in. (O.K. and I also got more than a little teary eyed reading it). God.com engages so well the disenfranchised, the disaffected, to those that maybe have grown up in a Christian home but never made the leap to their own faith. It also speaks to the millions who have grown up as products of divorce, who have longed to have a Father they could trust unflinchingly with their very lives. James Langteaux gets high marks for his very innovative style, prose, and layout of the book. He has done a bold thing with the release of God.com. I'm sure some won't get it and maybe others it will offend, but that's O.K. It's not intended for those who have arrived on their spiritual journey, or I should say who think they have arrived, but in reality have never left the station. James Langteaux has really broken some barriers with this call to a revolution to believe beyond what we can see; a call to extreme intimacy with a highly interactive God. It's clear from this book that God has rocked James Langteaux and God.com will rock the reader.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.