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Wisdom for Life's Journey is a treasure trove of inspirational stories, advice, and prayers that will help deepen your faith and make your daily journey more joyful. Keep Wisdom for Life's Journey close at hand and discover why it is like having a "pastor in your pocket."
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Herein find wisdom's weavings as Doug's collections sink into the soul, binding broken pieces, to send you on your way. Connelly, a journeyman for all seasons, through these pages walks beside you on yours."
— Phyllis Wallace, radio talk show host, Woman to Woman

Praise for Wisdom from a Pastor's Heart

"As a talk show host, writer, and public speaker, I am always scratching for pithy quotes, keen insight, and noble sentiments. Doug Connelly graces me with just such a collection in Wisdom from a Pastor's Heart."
— Al Kresta, Kresta in the Afternoon radio show host

"Wisdom from a Pastor's Heart is a wonderfully helpful and inspiring book either for ordinary times or for times of crisis and special need."
— James Cox, author of the annual Minister's Manual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787961084
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/23/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Connelly has been a pastor for more than twenty-five years. He is the author of the best-selling books The Bible for Blockheads: A User-Friendly Look at the Good Book, Angels Around Us, as well as Wisdom from a Pastor's Heart and the forthcoming Wisdom for the Easter Journey (both from Jossey-Bass). He lives near Flint, Michigan with his family.
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Table of Contents



"The Lord of Hosts is with us" -- God.

"Worthy is the Lamb" -- Jesus.

"A mighty rushing wind" -- The Holy Spirit.

"The oracles of God" -- The Bible.

"Your life is hidden with Christ" -- Salvation.

"Follow me!" -- Devotion to Christ.

"Your Heavenly Father knows" -- God's Care.

"Lifting up holy hands" -- Prayer.

"A holy nation, a royal priesthood" -- The Church.


"Spring" -- Growing Up.

"Summer" -- Growing Wise.

"Autumn" -- Growing Old.

"Winter" -- The Final Journey.

"Spring again" -- Heaven.


"A steadfast spirit" -- Patience.

"Tenderly caring" -- Compassion.

"Be strong" -- Courage.

"Like a brother" -- Friendship.

"Unless the Lord builds the house" -- Family and Home.

"After he had washed their feet" -- Service.

"Speaking the truth" -- Words.

"Whose God is the Lord?" -- Nation.

"Fall before him" -- Worship.


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First Chapter

Wisdom for Life's Journey

By Douglas Connelly

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7879-6108-6

Chapter One


The Bible

* * *

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. HEBREWS 1:1-2

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

No prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 PETER 1:21

* * *

The Bible is where Christians turn for wisdom, direction, encouragement, and blessing. It's a timeless source of truth that shelters us in the times of storm and that leads us when we can't find our way. The Bible speaks with assurance to our worries, comfort to our cares, calm to our sorrows, cleansing to our guilt, praise to our successes, and forgiveness to our failures. It provides the foundation of our spiritual life. Jesus said, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

* * *

Bread enables people to keep living, but the Word of God enables them to have a life worth living. Roderick K. Durst * * *

The Bible claims for itself that it is inspired of God, that holymen spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and those who have read the Bible and lived by it have not found this hard to believe. James W. Cox

* * *

If you really want to discover the truth and authority of the Bible, you must study it prayerfully, read it carefully, listen to it, be open to it, create the context in which God can speak his word to you through its pages, and then somehow the same Holy Spirit under whose inspiration it was written will convince you of its authority, its liberating power, and its glorious truth. Douglas W. Oldenburg

* * *

More than fifty-five years ago my father told me: "The Bible does not belong on the shelf but in your hand, under your eye, and in your heart." Martin Niemoller

* * *

God speaks to us in the Bible but only if we are humble enough to listen. We don't come to the Scriptures in order to sit in judgment on what is said; we come to let the Scriptures sit in judgment on us-examining our hearts, exposing our motives, elevating our spirits, and enlightening our minds.

* * *

The greatest adventure anyone can have with the Bible is when the Spirit of God makes a verse, a passage, or a whole book come alive, and we are confronted with the claims of the living God and nourished by the deepest truths of the gospel. David H. C. Read

* * *

Knowing the entire Bible by heart, and understanding it so well that you can explain every single verse, is of little use to you, unless the biblical Word penetrates your innermost being, as the rain penetrates the tiniest roots of a tree in order to rise and to fill the whole tree and to bring forth leaves and fruit. Emil Brunner

* * *

What the Christian needs is a teachable spirit. When we have a teachable spirit it means that we are humble enough to learn, that we are able to face the truth without anger even when the truth hurts and condemns, that we can willingly accept the discipline of learning. Many people feel that just going to church is adequate. However, what one hears in church must be lived. Jerry M. Stubblefield

* * *

The Bible is something like a mirror. If an ass peers in, you can't expect an apostle to peer out. William Sloan Coffin


What passages from the Bible do you turn to most often when storms rage in your life? Write one or two of those passages on note cards and determine to commit them to memory. If you are not sure which verses to choose, begin with one of these promises of God's love-Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:31; Matthew 11:29-30.

* * *

A tree's resilience in a storm depends upon the depth of its roots. The power of God's Word in us depends on the depth of its roots in our hearts. Emil Brunner

* * *

The Bible will always be full of things you cannot understand, as long as you will not live according to those things you can understand. Billy Sunday

* * *

The Bible itself is not only a book of faith, it is also a book of skepticism. The Bible is too honest to cover up the weaknesses and faults even of its best men and women. Though the heroes of the Bible scaled great heights of courage and daring and demonstrated amazing faith in God, these same heroes sometimes fell into chilling depths of doubt and hopelessness. James W. Cox, Surprised by God

* * *

Every generation must face its share of those who attack the Bible and dismiss it as the pious fabrication of misguided religious zealots. But long after the critics are dead and their arguments are forgotten, the Bible continues to sustain the spiritual life and passion of millions of people in every culture and on every continent.

* * *

Voltaire, the French philosopher, dared to predict that within a hundred years the Bible would be a forgotten book. These are his words: "One hundred years from my day there will not be a Bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker." Before the century was up, however, Voltaire's home was owned and used by the Geneva Bible Society, from which millions of Bibles have gone around the world. "Heaven and earth will pass away," Jesus said, "but my words will never pass away." Frank Pollard

* * *

A young girl once said to me, "I'd read the Bible more if it were as interesting as the Reader's Digest." Of course, she had not lived very long-or deeply. When she faces what someone has called "the triple tragedy of sin, suffering, and death," she will need more than the gleanings of a monthly magazine from which to draw comfort and strength. She will need the assurance of the prophet: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). She will need the faith of the psalmist: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). She will need the comforting words of the Master: "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1). Clarence W. Carnford


Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Book of Common Prayer


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. King James Version

Chapter Two



* * *

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17-18

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. JOHN 3:16

You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. ISAIAH 43:10-11

* * *

The heart of the Christian message is that Jesus came to seek and rescue lost people. The Gospel is an announcement of good news! While we were going our own rebellious way, God provided all that was necessary for our restoration to his friendship. We were the ones in the wrong, but God was the one who took all the initiative to put things in the right. He was willing to pay the debt we owed. Jesus reconciled us to God before we had any interest in being reconciled. We had carefully constructed a wall that separated us from God, and God shattered that wall with one powerful blast of his love.

* * *

The good news of the Christian faith is that our success, our salvation, our wholeness, our redemption, our citizenship in the Kingdom of God's people, our goal in life, is not based on what we do. Our salvation, our wholeness, our welcome into the people of God is grounded in what God has done in Jesus Christ already. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Rick Brand

* * *

The cross is central to Christianity because, as Paul said, it is "the power of God and the wisdom of God." There is power in the cross of Christ, magnetic power that draws people to God when all else fails. We could resist a God who roars at us and frightens us and simply punishes us for our sins. But how can we resist a gracious God who suffers for our sins and allows them to nail him to a cross? The cross draws us to God because it is the supreme demonstration of his stubborn love for us. Leonard Griffith

* * *


The only appropriate response to grace is gratitude. How have you expressed your gratitude to Jesus for forgiving you?

How do the people around you each day know that you are a forgiven person?

* * *

Grace is God doing for mankind what they cannot do for themselves. Grace is God meeting his own demands himself. Eric C. Rust

* * *

What is wrong at the heart of mankind? The Bible says every person is a sinner. What can we do about this problem? Take a person to a psychiatrist, and he will become an adjusted sinner. Take a person to a physician and he will become a healthy sinner. Give a person a million dollars, and he will become an affluent sinner. Get a person to turn over a new leaf, and he will become a reformed sinner. But he will still be a sinner.

Let a person, any person, go in sincere repentance and faith to the foot of the cross and what will he become? A new creature in Christ Jesus, forgiven, reconciled to God, with meaning and purpose in life, on the way to marvelous fulfillment in God's will. Only Jesus can make a person over into a new creature. Brian L. Harbour

* * *

To "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" is to leave your soul with him and to completely trust him for your salvation. He is able, anxious, and willing to save the person who will trust him. It takes nothing more, nothing less, or nothing else. It requires simple faith in Jesus Christ. Delbert D. Rose

* * *

Christians are compelled by their love for Jesus to share the message of God's grace with others. We don't find it necessary to threaten people or intimidate them into some superficial religious commitment. We simply do what Jesus did. We graciously invite our friends to believe in the Savior-the one person who can change their lives forever.

* * *

Jesus was constantly inviting people, for this is what the gospel is, an invitation to come and see. M. Vernon Davis

* * *

Make no mistake about it, Jesus wants to free us from all that oppresses us. He wants to forgive our sins and heal our brokenness. He will act to deliver those who suffer innocently at the hands of others. We are all invited to share in God's blessings. That is easy for us to accept and believe. The hard part is Jesus' insistence that our enemies are also included in God's liberating grace. The difficult, if not offensive, part of Jesus' message is that God intends to embrace those people we find repugnant. The truly odious aspect of Jesus' declaration is the radical notion that God may work harder to save those outside our circle of respectability than he does to save those within it. Mass murderers can be forgiven and set free. Impossible! Child molesters can be redeemed and restored. No way! Those who are twisted with hate and guile can be reconciled to God. Impractical! If God is in that business, we are not sure we want any part of it. Jim Holladay

* * *

Remember, we don't take Jesus to people. Jesus takes us to people. We never go to where God has never been. We go only to where God is already at work. Effective disciples are ever alert to what God is already doing in the lives of the lost. Rodrick K.


Excerpted from Wisdom for Life's Journey by Douglas Connelly Excerpted by permission.
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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