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Dancing with God | James McReynolds

Front Cover.JPG
Front Cover.JPG

Dancing with God | James McReynolds

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We all live in a world of pain and suffering—of wars, poverty, disease, mental instability, moral impurity, aging, and death. Our daily news reports are crammed with negative messages and images. Many of us feel inundated by problems and reasons to be unhappy.

What could be more important, in such a world, than James McReynolds’ message about joy and love?

This isn’t a new message from Jim. He’s been beating this drum for many years now. He has had his own problems. I remember a night when I was away from home on a speaking trip. Jim phoned our house in the middle of the night. My wife Anne answered the call and heard his desperate voice on the other end, threatening to end his life. She talked to him until dawn, and then sent a friend of his to his house to make sure he was all right.

Then Jim discovered the concept of joy. He tells about it in this book. It changed his life. He has been an evangelist for joy ever since, flying all over the country and even the world to tell people how important it is.

How many of us experience real joy on a regular basis? Not many, I’m sure.

I had my own brush with depression a few years ago. I had gone from being a professor in an elite university to being the pastor of a busy church. I was working my fanny off being an administrator, a counselor, a preacher, and all the other things a pastor must be. And it wasn’t long before I began to feel blah and think maybe I’d made a bad move.

There was a young lady psychologist who had come to me for help with some of her patients’ problems, so one day I told her she owed me some free counseling and started complaining about my depression. After listening to me for a few minutes, she said, “I’m giving you an assignment. Next week, when we talk again, I want you to show me the lists you have made of the small joys in your daily life.” I started keeping a list. Usually there were ten or fifteen things I might not have noticed as joys if I hadn’t been looking for them. Small things. Little bursts of pleasure. I ran across these lists only recently. There were such things on them as “Watched a bee sucking nectar from a flower,” “Felt the dew on my ankle as I walked through the grass to fetch the morning paper,” “Enjoyed the taste of a good jambalaya,” “Admired the overspreading of stars in the night sky,” and “Loved the feeling of my wife’s chin nuzzling against my neck as I left for work.”

Within six weeks, I was a new man. My depression was gone, and I was thrilled by the sensations of my common, everyday life. I continued to make the lists for a long time because it was always a pleasure to think back on each day’s sensations and write down the things that had moved my heart and emotions.

So, I know the importance of James McReynolds’ work. If more people noticed all the joys that surround them every day, exploding like fireworks in their dark and glorious skies, there would be fewer wars, fewer crimes, and more sheer excitement about being alive.

This book bristles with Jim’s thoughts about the joyful life. He talks about it on every page. No one can read the book without coming away thinking about joy and what it means to his or her life. I wish it were required reading for everybody, regardless of age or stage of life. There would be an immediate and noticeable leap in the world’s wellness quotient!

 John Killinger  






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