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Online Reviews by Mike Ramey

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“I’m convinced that millions of people today don’t know the Lord because of the long faced, poor, suffering little me, self-sacrificing, tell-everybody-all-their-troubles Christians who act like their second birth was just as painful to them as their first one was to their mothers.”

–Zig Ziglar

“Confessions of a Happy Christian”

In going through a few clearance items at a local bookstore, I happened across a gem that was written by the late Zig Ziglar.  Now, those who are familiar with Ziglar know his classic work “See You at the Top”.  Ziglar was a master salesman, accomplished business owner and highly sought-after conference speaker.  Ziglar was also a Christian.  He used every possible public opportunity (as well as a variety of private opportunities) to share his faith in Jesus Christ.

He admits that it took him a while to get to that point.

In his book “Confessions of a Happy Christian” (1978, 200 pages, Pelican Publishing Company) Ziglar shares a variety of ups, downs, twists and turns on his way to learning how to share his faith with others—regardless of their station in life.  Through 12 chapters, some of the stories Ziglar shares are amusing—even tear-jerking—but always with a touch of class, and an eye toward his Savior.  This work, while it could be listed as hard-to-find is worth the search if one is serious about having the wisdom to tell others about Christ from one who became a front-line solider in the work.

“Fortunately, I don’t give up anything by not drinking.  On the contrary, I retain full control of my senses (in my case I need them all!)”

–Zig Ziglar

The chapters include: “Just A Coincidence”, “It’s “Good” for Them” and “But Lord I’ve Got A Car Payment Ant It’s Due Next Thursday”.  The work tackles a variety of topics related to the Christian at home, on the job, and in the marketplace.  Ziglar’s public and candid views involving his faith are encouraging, humbling, and uplifting.  It is a welcome and forgotten work in the soul-winning field, with practical lessons that are much needed in our modern era.

“Confessions of a Happy Christian” is one of those works that might best be found on line or at your favorite old book store.  Once you find it, and finish it, pass it on.  There are new Christian soldiers heading out onto the battlefield daily, who could use its wisdom and encouragement.

“We are going forward, and we shall keep going forward if we do not let these difficulties which sometimes occur discourage us.”

–Booker T. Washington, Author

“Character Building”

     The Bible.  Hard work.  Thrift.  Community investment.  Education.  Business building by men and women.  These might ‘seem’ like modern innovations.  However, if one knows their history, these items—and more—were the ‘norm’ in the old South after the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.  They were proclaimed by many but put on the record by a small number of individuals.  Booker T. Washington, former slave who grew to serve as founder of Tuskegee Institute was one of them.  While he wrote several books, a small number of people are familiar with this one: “Character Building” (1902/2019 revised, 198 pages, Kakapo Books).

     This is one of those books that is not going to be read in one afternoon.  While the chapters are short, the wisdom packed in them is relevant for today.  Washington, during his tenure as head of Tuskegee was a Christian man.  Tuskegee Institute did not shirk from its Christian roots, as Washington did not turn his back on his Christian faith.  Washington had chapel and religious studies at the Institute regularly.  “Character Building” contains many of the Sunday evening lectures or “talks” which he presented to students and faculty.  Many of the words, as one reads this work, still vibrate off the page, a source of strength today.  Washington clearly was led by the Lord in his efforts.  That’s why his teachings through this work stand tall, among a sea of small men and women.

“You are going to be greatly discouraged sometimes, but if you will heed the lesson of fighting out what you have undertaken, that same disposition will follow your all through life, and you will get a reputation, because people will say of you that there is a person who sticks to whatever he or she undertakes.” 

–Booker T. Washington, Author

     While these lectures were first published in 1902, they have been published again in 2019.  The work also includes a lot of photos and background on Washington, not as a means to detract from his words, but as a ‘gift’ to the reader to know more about the man.  His views on education, race relations, religion, Jesus Christ, hard work and investment of one’s self in their community are worthy of study and implementation.  Some of the topics included in this work are: “Getting On In The World”, “A Penny Saved” and “What Would Father and Mother Say?”

     “Character Building” should be on many a bookshelf.  While it may be considered a hard-to-find item, rest assured that it is worth the effort to track it down.

     Mike Ramey is a Minister, syndicated columnist, book reviewer and consultant.  “On Line Reviews” is one of a variety of regular column titles which Ramey has in cyberspace from Barnstorm Communications International.  If you care to drop him a line, or a whine, feel free to reach him at mgmikeramey@yahoo.com. ©2020 Barnstorm Communications International

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