Journey To Paradise

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:5

If you read my first book, Journey to the Center of the Heart, then you

know some of what this Journey is all about. You know this Journey is

for people who are ready to begin living the life that God created them

to live. You know that it’s a Journey with Jesus. And you know that it

takes courage and the willingness to step out of the ranks of the crowd

to start.

The whole purpose of this Journey is becoming a follower of Jesus

Christ.

Many of you have received my story with joy, embracing the message

of delighting in God and receiving the desires of your heart. But the

fact is that some people have yet to begin the Journey. And even for

those of us that have, sometimes we simply forget that in God’s

Kingdom, conventional wisdom is turned upside down. In God’s

kingdom, the first will be last, the last will be first, and the weak will be

made strong.

I was reminded of God’s perfect “upside down” wisdom in a

conversation with a godly man. The man recounted a story that

happened many years ago to him. He said that at as a young man he

was called to preach and attend a Nazarene college. Therefore, he went

to his place of employment and turned in his two-week notice before

leaving for school.

On one of the last days of his notice, an old man came into his place of

employment and inquired into why he was leaving the job and entering

college. He explained what he was going to do. The older man offered

to pay his college tuition if he would attend a Methodist college in his

town of residence. In addition, the man offered to build him a church

when he graduated!

The young man said, “No, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my

mouth. I have always worked for the things that I have gotten.

Furthermore, I have seen too many people who get things handed to

them and then fall into ruin.”

I thought to myself, This man is very principled and hardworking. But

is it possible that God was offering him a free education and a church

that could bless many people? Is it possible that God is offering him a

free gift and that his hardworking, principled upbringing became a

hindrance to receiving the desires of his heart?

The truth is that salvation from sin is not the only thing God offers us

freely. There is only one fountain of grace and that flows from Jesus

Christ. All of God’s blessings and hearts desires come to us through

Jesus Christ by faith.

I think that too many times Christians don’t apply the spiritual

principles of God to their earthly lives. We miss out on receiving the

desires of our hearts. I don’t know if this is the case in this man’s life,

but I do know it has been the case in my life on several occasions.

That’s why I have been consumed with the passion to write a second

edition to help others on their Journey. What you are holding in your

hands now, seeing with your eyes, and smelling with your nose is . . .

drum roll, please . . . the completion of the promise I made at the

ending of Journey to the Center of the Heart.

In its infancy, this second edition, Journey to Paradise, was meant to

be a simple little workbook. But it has grown, like any living

organism, into more than it was at its inception. It’s like the words of

Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:20–21, “Now to him who by the power at

work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we

can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus

to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” This book has become

more than I was able to imagine. To God be the glory, forever and

ever. Amen.

This second edition will take you step by step through the daily

practice of “delighting yourself in the Lord” so that you can receive

the desires of your heart. It’s a workbook that is practical and easy to

follow. It’s based on the principles that I have learned and applied in

my life. Remembrances of my past failures have pushed me onward as

I’ve recounted the tools that have benefited me.

Are there any desires and blessings you are missing because you think

that you have to work for everything that you receive? Are you

thinking to yourself, I don’t have enough education for the job? I don’t

have enough experience to get a good job! I can’t kick this addiction!

I’m too fat or too thin, I’m not strong enough or outgoing enough! If

people only knew me they wouldn’t like me!

I want to travel with you on your Journey to Paradise. I’ll help you

navigate through the pitfalls and setbacks that will certainly come your

way. That’s because this journey can only be traveled in community

with others. Too many people have tried to launch out on their own,

only to be stranded by the weather or devoured by the wild animals

along hidden pathways. God made people to be together. There is no

such thing as a “Lone Ranger” follower of Jesus Christ.

Together, we’ll discover how to delight in and receive our hearts’

desires for the glory of God, not ourselves. We’ll be less inclined to be

tossed to and fro by our life circumstances and more directed towards

being people who are joined together with a common purpose as we

mature and become who God intended us to be. We’ll be happier and

healthier people.

Now that I focus on delighting myself in the Lord, it seems like I am

receiving more grace-filled blessings — free gifts that I have not worked

for. I’ve received them simply because I believe God wants to give me

the desires of my heart.

I believe in you, and more importantly, God believes in you. God

wants to help you find and follow the desires of your heart. So what

are you waiting for? Delight yourself in the Lord today and be willing

to receive some grace-filled blessings through Jesus Christ by faith.

Will you join me on the Journey to Paradise?