Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have A Say In My Next Book!!

Greetings all and Happy New Year!!!

With the completion of What If God Is Like This and the arrival of 2012, my resolution is to turn my attention to book two which will be titled: The Human Side of Christ.

This book is going to examine Jesus as the human being that actually walked this Earth. How much did God limit Himself when he took on the flesh of man? Just how well is He able to relate to our plight? So as I research this book I'm curious as to what questions you all might want me to explore? Are there questions you have or concepts you have wondered about when it comes to the "man" Jesus Christ? Think about it and if you come up with something feel free to send me an email.

Also, if you feel like it, one of the things that will help me promote my first book are reviews. If any of you would be willing to leave a review on the book's Amazon or Barnes and Noble page I would deeply appreciate it. Right now, to find the book on Amazon you have to search by title. If you search by my name it is like the 40th option. It humbleing to be the only Will Hathaway on Amazon and still be the 40th pick......haha. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Amazon Update

Greeting all,

What If God Is Like This is now up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! For some reason the picture of the book is not yet up on Amazon but it is on Barnes and Noble. You will notice that the price of the book is significantly higher on the two websites and that is due to their mark up to make a profit. You can order a signed copy for 19.95 plus shipping on my website: will-hathaway.com. But if you do order a copy and if you are willing to, I would really appreciate people writing a little review of your thoughts on Amazon.

Again thank you all for your encouragement and support during this process!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

AND WE ARE LIVE!!

Greetings all!

The first shipment of What If God Is Like This? has arrived!! For those of you who preordered copies they are on their way!!

The book will be popping up on Amazon in the next week but if you want to order a copy now you can do so from my website: will-Hathaway.com. All copies ordered from the website will be signed. And no, there is not an additional cost:)

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

I was on my way into church tonight for Christmas Eve service and passed a car pulled over on the side of the road. As we got closer, I could see a guy down in the ditch kneeling at a well maintained roadside cross. It broke my heart to be honest. Christmas is a lot of things to us, not the least of which is a time to draw near those who are closest to us. I felt sadness at this man's loss and a deeper appreciation for my family. But I also felt a surge of hope that it is because of Christmas that the grave is not the end for us. Thank you Lord Jesus! Thank you for coming for us, thank you for overpowering death, thank you for setting us free! And please Lord on this tender night hold close the man on the side of the road.

Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Update!!

Well, the process has taken a little longer than expected but the hard copy proof of What If God Is Like This? arrived Wednesday. Everything looked great so the bulk order was submitted. For those of you that preordered thanks for your patience!! As soon as the order arrives they will be shipped out. I was notified today that the book order is actually printing today.

A few have asked about Kindle. An electronic copy of the book will be available this January and the book should pop up on Amazon early next week. Thank you all!! It's getting close!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Following too Closely

One of the cardinal sins of driving is to follow another vehicle too closely. It doesn't really matter who is in the other car honestly. Suppose you are following a friend to their house, you would want to follow, but for safety, you would still want to leave some distance between your car and their car. That way if something happened you would have a better chance of avoiding an accident. Another advantage of leaving space is that it allows you a more full view of the entire environment. You can follow your leader but still take in the surrounding view. The closer you drive the more you have to focus on the car in front and the more narrow your field of view will become.

I think this can work very much the same in religion. It's great for people to follow a belief system but when we follow too closely, I'm afraid we tend to lose perspective of the world around us. Jesus accused the religious leaders of his day of doing this when they created all kinds of silly additional rules for people to follow.  My pastor shared with me this week that he heard of a church where the congregants would play marbles in the isles because Jesus taught we are to be like children!

I think the fastest route to radicalism at worst and legalism at best is to follow your belief system so closely that you lose touch with the world around you. I think a test for this is to ask how certain one is that the people around them are going to hell. The more certain, the more likely someone has probably lost touch with the rest of humanity. If we aren't careful we will latch on to a smaller portion of the belief system than what is available simply because we are following so closely that our view is narrowed.

So with that I say, I want to follow Christ, I want to study the Bible and learn from its teachings, how to love and how to live. I will follow.............just not too closely.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Is It Bad to be Selfish??

Is it bad to be selfish?  After all, isn't self the main motivator for humanity in most cases.  Even our acts of selflessness can often be traced to at least a hint of selfishness in that we draw pleasure from being kind.  We feel better about ourselves when we are selfless......in general anyway.

Jesus taught us to live lives that are free of sin in which we are to "deny" ourselves put others first.  Is it possible that it is in the act of attempting to live a selfless life that we can obtain the greatest levels of peace?  Perhaps it is by loving others before ourselves that we will actually be the most happy?  If thats the case, selflessness and love can actually be a selfish persuit.......so, maybe it isn't all that bad to be selfish......sometimes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Forgive Me

You ever do something kinda bad and then beat yourself up over it of a long time?  I've heard it said that when we learn to forgive we need to also remember to forgive ourselves for things.  Most of my life I wasn't really sure I agreed with the idea of forgiving yourself but I've definitely softened on that over time.  Lately, I've really been contemplating what Jesus meant when he said we must become "like children."  I've been applying a lot of aspects of life to that perspective. 

You ever notice how quickly a child will forgive them self for something?  They can be crying in shame in one moment and then as soon as we let them know the issue is dealt with their are laughing and ready to jump on you again and start wrestling and playing.  They immediately accept our forgiveness and shed their guilt. 

Why can't I do a better job of that with God?  When He say's I'm forgiven, why don't I just accept it, laugh and jump back in his arms?  Like a child.......

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday

If you are camping out in front of a store and willing to forsake Thanksgiving to be first in line to do something you can do all year long. You.............are a fool.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Simplicity

Ever wonder why Jesus lived such a simple life?  That seems to have been a common theme among the most "enlightened" in the world.  The Gandhi's and Dalai Lama's and what not.  Jesus said that the "Kingdom of God" is within us.  Maybe that's why He lived so simply, He peeled away every other distraction of life, possessions, power, money, and the like, until He was simply left with Himself and God.  Perhaps it is when all is removed and all we are left with is who we really are, that we discover the God in who's image we were created.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Power of Being Offended

There was a day when it was a bad thing to be offended.  It was a feeling we actually avoided.  Nobody liked to feel the pain of experiencing something offensive.  I'm not sure that is the case anymore.  It seems that the quickest way to get what you want these days is to proclaim from the mountain tops that you are offended.  With the echoing of those words, people tend to immediately back down and attorneys will appear out of nowhere, climbing out of storm drains and man hole covers. 

There is power in being offended.  I can now force great things from society if I am offended by something as the masses will have to contort to make sure I am no longer upset.  Strangely, things have seemed to flip flop as there once was a time where the offended was the victim of a situation, but today it seems the offended can actually become the aggressor, using their emotional stress to bully others into submission.  As a result, things that are truly offensive get diluted in a lake of trivial matters.

I'm afraid society is losing the ability to simply "get over it" when it comes to a lot of issues.  Sometimes I wonder if we have not started to swing the pendulum of civil rights too far in some categories and instead of fostering a more tolerant society, have actually prolonged the plight of those who have worked so hard before us to level the playing fields of the oppressed.  Instead of tearing down barriers, the power of offense has now begun to rebuild the dividing walls between us.

As civil issues begin to gain momentum and society begins to change, sometimes we need to stop pushing the pendulum and allow it's momentum to bring it into balance, lest we push too far and swing things too far the opposite direction.

At some point its healthy to grow some thicker skin and endure the remaining sentiments of ignorance, responding with love rather than offense as forgiveness provides the final steps of healing for us all.   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Update

Greetings all, unfortunately we were not able to pull off our goal of a November 1st release date......BUT the book is off to typeset this week so we should be looking at a fairly comfortable release date of Nov.15th.  That's provided I don't get into anymore car accidents to slow things down :) 

Thanks again to everyone for the interest and support!  We are getting close!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wall Street and the NBA

I've really been irritated by the recent strikes and "labor negotiations" that have taken place in professional sports. I have a problem with a bunch of millionaires arguing with billionaires over how much money each should make to workout all day and play a game. It seems insensitive to me that during a bad economy while people are struggling that the richest among us would worry more about lining their pockets with extra cash rather than lowering ticket prices or paying the popcorn vendor more during a recession.

Then a friend of mine posted a picture this morning of the Wall Street protesters contrasted with starving children else where in the world. I have better tents sitting in my garage than many of these people have houses to live in. I had to pause and ask myself what my complaining must look like to them? Probably not much different than a whiny millionare......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spinning in Circles

It is interesting some of the thoughts that pass through your mind as you are spinning in circles down a freeway during rush hour.  I encountered this last week on my way home from work.  I've always hated that feeling you get when traffic comes to a sudden stop and as you are slowing down to avoid the car in front of you, you are peering into your rear view mirror praying that the car behind you can stop in time. 

As my tires halted, I breathed a sigh of relief as the vehicle behind me also made a successful stop.  Traffic then started up again and I was off, free and clear from any collisions...........then I heard it........the sound of screeching tires..........I looked in my rear view just in time to see a car fishtailing out of control directly at me.  As the vehicle collided with my rear bumper and I began to spin, my first thought was, "Wow, death can really come quickly and unexpectedly."  Once my vehicle had made a quarter turn, I then thought, "Dang it, I've been trying to take such good care of my truck."  After completing a revolution I realized I was now rolling backward toward the cement barrier that divides the freeway.  I tried to slam on the breaks as I was worried about smashing the back of the truck against the wall..............before I remembered that a car had just crushed the back end, so what was I really trying to save......

Now, I know this story pales in comparison as to the accidents many of you have had, but one thing that I quickly realized was how eager people are to help each other.  As I went to check on the driver of the other vehicle, after regaining her composure, her thoughts immediately turned to me and my well being.  The next day, I had three separate friends offer to lend me a car.  Bad things will always happen in this world, earthquakes, tidal waves, accidents, and sickness but each of these are opportunities for beauty as we step out and assist each other.  When our lives are spinning out of control, normally our biggest problems are not that we don't have help available; it’s that we are too proud to accept it.  I woke up more thankful that next morning than I had the day before as I was given one more reminder of the blessings that surround me.  Those blessings are not cars or houses, they are people.  The relationships of family and friends are the true blessings, they are what really matter.  Thank you all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Would You Do If You Knew You Wouldn't Get Caught?

Ever wonder that? If deep down in our heart we knew we would never get caught, what kinds of things would we do? Would you rob a bank? Have an affair? Experiment with a drug? Spend more time in Vegas? The fact is almost all of us have answers to this question that we would never reveal but deep inside we know the truth. And whether we like to admit it or not, that is the real person inside us. If all the restraints were taken away, who would be the person left?

Ever wonder why it was the thieves and prostitutes and the like that Jesus seemed to love hanging out with. We tend to think it was because they were in such need of his love, which they were, but maybe it was more than that. Maybe he liked hanging with these people best simply because they were the most like him? Oh, he wasn't out doing all these "terrible" things of course but Jesus was a real guy. He was genuine, the last thing that could ever be used to describe him was fake. And these people, as flawed as they were, were not fake. What we keep secret about ourselves they lived out. We look down at them but really they just have the courage to live out our unspoken desires.

It was the religious fakes that he couldn't handle. It wasn't that they tried to live holy lives, it was that they pretended these things weren't issues for them as well. I don't think we need to go out and live lives of debauchery to draw closer to Christ, we just need to stop pretending that we wouldn't if we could.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Former NFL Star Randy Robbins and Recording Artist and Producer Andy Frank endorse What If God Is Like This?

A big thanks to my good friends Randy Robbins and Andy Frank for taking the time to read the manuscript for What If God Is Like This?

Randy Robbins, a former defensive back for the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots had this to say after reading the book:

"Will has captured what most people think during their personal relationship with God and our quest to find Him.  He eloquently raised the issue that the world is not perfect and God doesn't expect us to be, either, which is inspiring.  God has given us the gift of free will and the responsibilities that come with this gift.  In the end, God hopes we choose Him."


Andy Frank is a Worship Leader in the Phoenix area and is also an accomplished recording artist and music producer. He said this after reading the book:

"Will Hathaway's What If God Is Like This? speaks right to the heart of profound questions being asked within our culture about God, His characteristics and purposes, and our roles and responses to Him in the midst of the freedom He gives.  Very few books have recently challenged me to "work out my faith" like this one has."

Thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules to read the book and offer the kind words!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Richard Dawkins and the "God Delusion"

I was on the internet today and happened to come across a Bill O'Reilly interview of the famed atheist scientist Richard Dawkins.  After watching the interview, I really had to say that in my opinion Mr. Dawkins did a much better job of representing himself and his beliefs than Mr. O'Reilly  After watching the clip I was intrigued so I did a search of different interviews with Dawkins and was quite disappointed in what I saw interview after interview.  For the most part, it seemed like it was Mr. Dawkins who would conduct himself in a much more "Christian" manner than the religious folks interviewing him.  Over and over they were very defensive and rather rude to him while he would calmly and patiently present his case, never really getting flustered.

I actually found myself getting angry as people who considered themselves followers of a religion of love treated this guy with such contempt.  Let's face it, is it really that surprising to us that there might be people in the world that have a hard time believing that the  Earth was created in 6 days, 8,000 years ago and that mankind was tricked by a talking snake?  If we would remove our religious lenses for a moment and look at the story objectively, perhaps as one would look at the stories of Roman or Greek mythology, we might be able to at the very least admit, "Well, okay, I can see why you might have a hard time with this."

I find a certain amount of irony in that we believe in a God that even the Bible itself states pretty clearly can't be "proven". Time and time again the point is made that we must live by "faith."  Why?  Because He can't be proven!  There might be evidence to support His existence, but if solid "proof" existed, then society would not be talking about a "belief" in God as there would be no debate.  So, if we believe in a God who can't be proven scientifically to exist, then why are we so worried that science will prove He doesn't exist?  Let's be honest, religion doesn't exactly have the greatest track record when going up against science in the past.  We were the ones that were persecuting people, even killing them in some instances, for believing the Earth wasn't flat, or that the Earth was the center of the universe, or that it was the sun that revolved around us.  For some reason when science attempts to provide theories about existence, religion has historically felt threatened.  It's as if the idea that the Sun revolves around the Earth was somehow an attack on the credibility of God.

In the Bible, God is never seen challenging his followers to go about the Earth and prove He exists.  No, instead we find the challenge to be to love one another.  That was the main objective.  The story of God has never really been one of science but rather the story of us as people.  It's much more about who we are as humans and how we are to interact with each other than it is about anything else.  In some cases we have taken stories that were clearly meant to be allegorical in nature and tried to treat them as scientific fact, and in doing so placed ourselves in some very awkward positions as we find that we have to try to explain some rather fantastic view points.  When we allow ourselves to focus on proving something rather than loving someone, then we ultimately lose track of the main point. 

I really wish we would spend a lot more effort on learning how to treat each other with forgiveness, dignity, and love rather than trying to prove God exists.  When it comes down to it, if God is going to be discovered, it's not going to be in a test tube or by looking through a telescope, He's going to be discovered when he is put on display by the hearts that embrace and share His love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

To Be Like God..........

The Bible doesn't have a whole lot to say about this character named Lucifer.  In fact, the word, Lucifer isn't even in the Bible, that's a name that was added later.  But the truth is, we don't know a ton about this guy or his story, there are some things that we have speculated in that he was an archangel, and that his greatest flaw was his desire to be God.  Interesting isn't it?  Wasn't that very close to the same temptation that Eve was presented with prior to eating the fruit?  Didn't the serpent tell her that she would be "like God" when she gained the knowledge of good and evil?

Is our greatest struggle the fact that we just are not content with what we have?  That all we tend to see is what is missing from our lives rather than what is already there?  Ironically, Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus didn't "consider equality with God something to be grasped."  As a man, he didn't worry about being God.  He was content with being a man.  He knew his place and accepted who and what he was, and in doing so was perfect. 

What if Lucifer or Eve or you and I, understood that?  After all, Eve was already created in the image of God, did she really need to be more like Him?  Do any of us?  Maybe it's more about accepting what we already are rather than craving what we aren't? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What are YOU insecure about?

I'm currently sitting in a school board meeting and it is interesting to see the process of people approaching the board and presenting their concerns. They say that the greatest fear for people is public speaking. I can see this in the trembling hands and voices of those approaching the microphone, yet I'm impressed with each of these people for facing their fears and embracing the opportunity to speak in this public setting. I'm especially impressed with those whose speaking skills are lacking as their act is all the more courageous.

It got me to thinking though about why public speaking is so scary.  The best thing that I came up with is that we are terrified about what people will think of us.  Ultimately, the fear of doing anything public is rooted in our own insecurities.  What is interesting is all of us are insecure but we live in a society that frowns upon that.  We worship those who appear strong and confident, insecure about nothing.  As a result we hide our insecurities at all costs, trying desperately to hide from the world who we really are.  The sad thing in all of this is that our insecurities are what make us most alike.  They are the most real things about us, yet we hide them.  Essentially, holding back the very things that could and would unite us the most. 

When we assume we are the only ones that feel the way we feel and we are kidding ourselves.  That is why our favorite forms of comedy often focus on those awkward moments we can all relate to.  It resonates with us because we all know the feeling.

I've decided I want to connect with my fellow human beings and as a result this will require that I become much more vulnerable.  I'm insecure in that I really like to be liked.  I have a hard time accepting the idea that someone might not like me and I have a tendency to act in different ways around different people so as to increase the my chances of being liked.  Most of the time I don't feel qualified to do any of the tasks that I take on but I don't want others to know that, I want to appear squared away so I don't like asking for help.  Just ask my neighbor who had to help me with the mess I made of trying to install my water softener.

Sometimes I will ask one of those fishing questions, where you ask a question where the indirect intent is to seek some sort of affirmation.  I'm also insecure in the idea that perhaps my wife will not be impressed with me or that now that she knows me well might second guess her decision to be with me.  She's done nothing to cause this, it's just my own private insecurity.  I'm also very concerned about being a good enough father to my kids.  I fear I lack the wisdom to guide them during their teenage years.  Why?  I don't know....It's just a fear of mine.  Why am I sharing this?  Really, its just to practice being real.  And to be honest, that really wasn't that bad.  Actually, it felt kinda good.

Hmmm, interesting.  So, how bout you?  What are you insecure about? 

P.S.  I'm also very insecure about my speling.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

The First Endorsement Is In!

I'd like to say a big thank you to Chris McGuire, who is the Area Director for Young Life in the Burbank, CA area. After having an opportunity to read the pre-edited version of the manuscript he had this to say about What If God Is Like This?:

"In my almost 20 years of ministry and following the Lord I have come to realize how few answers I truly have about God.  In fact, I now recognize that I have many more questions than I have answers.  Many times I don't even realize I have those questions; I just know that my heart longs for more.  This book does a phenomenal job at getting to those questions and peeling away the layers to get at truth."
 
Chris McGuire
Area Director, Burbank Young Life


Thanks a ton Chris!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Update!!

Greetings all,

Just a little update on What If God Is Like This? Everything is moving along on schedule and we are still looking for a release date in the next 3 to 5 weeks. Just a reminder that this is the last week to preorder a copy at the current discounted price as the publisher will be raising the price next Saturday.

Thanks for all of you who have already made purchases!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What We "Deserve."

For a while now I've become very aware of the word "deserve" in our culture. I turn on the TV or the radio and I hear on commercials that I "deserve" a vacation or a new car or a well made hamburger. I'm really starting to become concerned about our use of this word. It sure seems to be thrown around a lot and I'm afraid our culture is starting to buy into it. This is becoming especially true of our younger generations. We have become an affluent nation, so much so that even those of us who fall into below average incomes still experience levels of comfort that surpass that of royalty in previous times. In the past kings and queens would ride in carriages while today most everyone travels much greater distances in much shorter times in automobiles.  People used to wait months, even years for messages while we pick up a cell phone and communicate immediately. 

I'm not suggesting that we stop striving for a better life for all, but in order to fully appreciate that life, we can't feel as if we "deserve" it.  The moment one feels they deserve something is the moment one loses the ability to be thankful for that very thing.  Those who came before us worked very hard for us to have what we have today.  If anyone deserves the luxuries of today it is the generations of yesterday who laid the foundation for us.  Since they aren't here, to enjoy the fruit of their labor, lets at least not act like we somehow deserve what they sacrificed to give us.  The only reason we have what we have is because we were lucky enough to be born where we were born.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What If The Story of Adam and Eve isn't About The First Man And Woman?

Hopefully I won't get too much hate mail for this one :)

Since I was a child in Sunday School I've been taught the story of Adam and Eve. That famous account documented in Genesis that chronicles the fall of man through the failure to resist the temptation to eat from a mysterious tree. From the time I can remember, this tree has always fascinated me. Mainly because I was mad at Adam and Eve for eating from it and spoiling everything for the rest of us.

The last few years I've been revisiting this story and as an adult I tend to look at things a little differently. For much of my life I never took the time to examine the possibilities that would present themselves if the story was looked at from a symbolic perspective.

So, what if it is? What if this story really is symbolism? I find it interesting that Adam and Eve were "sinless" until they gained the knowledge of good and evil. After all the only criteria given was not to eat of the tree. So would this mean that prior to eating of the tree they could have done things that would be considered sinful and not been held accountable for it? If Eve got mad at Adam and slapped him would things have still been okay as they had not yet eaten from the tree?

It really goes back to the age old question of whether someone can sin if they honestly don't know that what they are doing is a sin. In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul makes some interesting points about the relationship between knowledge and sin. He says in verse 7 that he would have never been aware of sin were it not for the "law" which is essentially, God's rules for living. He then uses coveting as an example. He says that he would not have known what coveting was were  it not for the law.  Once he learned through the law that coveting was wrong, he began to covet like crazy.  He actually states: "Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died."  (Romans 7:9 NIV)   Essentially, he was alive until he came to the knowledge of sin, then once he became aware, that knowledge led to his spiritual death.  Does that sound at all familiar?

Clearly the significance of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not for nourishment but for knowledge.  What gives us a greater understanding of the knowledge of good and evil than the "law?"  Is it possible that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil actually represents the law? 

Think about it, Adam and Eve begin completely innocent of right and wrong.  They honestly don't know the difference.  They even run around naked and think nothing of it, then they become aware of right and wrong and "die."  Sin takes the opportunity through their new knowledge and "kills them."  Why do they die?  They die because now they are fully accountable for their actions.  They are no longer innocent, they know the difference between right and wrong so when they choose wrong, they are left without an excuse. 

Now, compare that to each of us.  You may have heard it said that what is cute at 4 is not cute at 14.  When a child throws a tantrum we are not as critical due to the child's innocence.  But when an adult throws one, we are much more disturbed because the adult should "know" better.  In essence, the story of Adam and Eve isn't just the story of the first man and woman, it is the story of every man and woman.  We all begin our lives naked and innocent and as we grow older we begin to take bites of that tree of knowledge of good and evil and the more we learn about right and wrong the more accountable we become for our decisions.  When we choose evil our consciences are slain as we know some things are wrong yet choose them anyway. 

I guess I can't really get mad and Adam and Eve anymore because their story is really my own.     

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Would Most Christians be "Christians" If Heaven and Hell didn't exist?

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if heaven and hell weren't realities?  How many people would live the wildest lives possible if heaven and hell didn't exist?   Obviously, most Christians believe in a heaven and hell, but if a great deal of us were honest, we wouldn't live this "sacrificial" life if we didn't have the reward of heaven or the fear of hell.  Think about it.  How authentic is the "Christian" life of sacrificial love if the true motivator is just to avoid "hell" or just get into "heaven?" 

That doesn't seem very genuine.  How legitimate can our faith actually be when it is coerced by the threat of an eternal punishment or the reward of everlasting paradise?  The true person is revealed when we no longer have a threat to fear or a reward to strive for.  The fact is, most people would not necessarily live the life Christ presents if they didn't have some sort of motivation to avoid the worst or gain the best.  Perhaps this is why the road to heaven is "narrow." 

The true "follower" of Christ is the one that would follow even if heaven and hell didn't exist.  Honestly, if this life is so great, should it need a reward or punishment for not following?  Why would anyone do this?

As parents we teach our children to live a certain way.  Don't lie, cheat, steal, etc....  Now, most children will only obey their parents under the pretense that their parents will either reward them for their obedience or punish them for the lack thereof.  As the child gets older, the child will begin to recognize that the best way to really live is not to lie, cheat and steal.  As a result the child will begin to avoid these things simply because the child now realizes through maturity that this is the best way to live.  The child now begins to live the life the parents have taught them, not due to fear of punishment or desire for reward., but because they recognize the intrinsic benefits. At this point the child will move from being "obedient" to the parent to being "like" the parent. 

In the same way, when we learn that the life of love taught by Christ is really the best way to live, we will move from being "obedient" to Christ to actually being "Christ like."   When Christians learn to love simply because love is the best way to live rather than to avoid hell or gain heaven, then we will finally have attained the standard that Christ came to demonstrate for us. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 We Swore We Would Never Forget......But Did We?

As we remember the 13 year anniversary of the Septebmer 11th attacks, naturally one does a lot of reflecting on the events of that day. Where was I, how did I first learn about it etc.. In the weeks and months after, we swore that we were a changed people and that we would never forget what happened, and for the most part, we have succeeded, I believe we have done a pretty good job of remembering "what happened" but do we remember how it changed us? Remember how nice everybody was to each other for the next few weeks? For a brief moment in time we didn't scream at the guy that cut us off in traffic, we slowed down and valued what really mattered. Everybody seemed to have this desire to help each other even if it was just to give up a seat on the bus. It was quite beautiful actually, but what happened? Where did that go? Honestly, wouldn't that be the greatest way to honor the heroics and sacrifices made, to forever live our lives changed? Oh, yes, we remember the events, but I'm afraid we have forgotten the most important thing, we've forgotten how it changed us ever so briefly, how for a few weeks we weren't Republicans and Democrats, black or white, rich or poor, for a while we were just people and we treated each other with dignity.

I'm afraid we remember the planes and the lives lost but in the hustle and bustle of life we have forgotten ourselves.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What If We Ignored the Miracles?

I was talking to a friend the other day who mentioned that the miracles of Christ had been a distraction to him for most of his life.  He couldn't believe that anyone ever walked on water or calmed storms or rose from the dead.  As a result, he never really looked farther into this historical character who had such an affect on the world.  After all, how believable could any of the rest stories be if some of the most popular stories about this man were so unrealistic? 

Buddha was said to have walked on water, Mohammad ascended into heaven on his horse.  As Christians we feel that those ideas are preposterous until they are applied to Christ.  When we consider Christ walking on water or ascending into heaven, then it becomes very "believable" for us.  But what about for everybody else?  What are they to think?

The fact is, every religion has their miracles, and all of them have miracles that can compete with the miracles of Christianity.  But, the one thing that I think really sets Christianity apart are the teachings of Christ.  If we were to take the miracles out of every religion, all that would be left would be the teachings.  I have a hard time comparing the miracles of Christianity with the miracles of any other religion, but I have no problem comparing the teachings of Christ with the teachings of anybody who has ever lived.  Who can compete with unconditional love?  Who can beat the idea of loving your enemies or unconditional forgiveness?  The fact is Jesus was way more amazing for what He taught and the way He loved than he was for His miracles.  It should be the power of the teachings that validate the miracles rather than the other way around. 

In fact, in my mind, the most amazing miracle of all was His love.  Who can beat that?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Life Lessons from Bowling

After almost 13 and a half years of marriage, I finally beat my wife at bowling.  Yet, the satisfaction I feel is still curbed by the fact that I wasn't able to beat her at her best.  See, when we first started dating and what not, I would "let" her win because I just figured that was the polite thing for a young man to do while trying to win the heart of a fair maiden.  Little did I know at the time, I wasn't really letting her win at all......she was just beating me.  It wasn't until we had been married a couple years that I figured it was time to go ahead and drop the gloves to show her the fullness of my bowling skills.  Only then did I learn that I really am a terrible bowler.  Tonight in the first game she nearly tore her entire thumb nail off on her third attempt.  Even still she beat me two games.  The third game her hand was hurting so bad that she suggested we all try to bowl left handed.........only then did I finally win..........somehow it doesn't feel like a true victory. 

Thankfully, I'm the sort of guy that only needs some perspective to help him enjoy life more.  If I get the wrong order at a restaurant I try to think about all the people in the world who don't have the luxury of having so much food the order can be wrong.  Tonight, as I was pouting over my bowling inferiority, I went to use the restroom and noticed two pairs of shoes from under the toilet stall that were facing the same direction and standing in very close proximity to each other.  From the muffled noises I was hearing it was clear that someone was having a very hard time in there.  I went about my normal business and shortly after I left a young man and women came out of the restroom together giggling.  As they returned to their group they were greeted with cheers and laughter.  That's when it hit me.  Here I am pouting about a bowling game when this poor chap can't even go to the bathroom by himself without the help of his girlfriend.  What a sad state for this poor guy and what a selfless young lady that would sacrifice her pride as to enter the men’s room to be a helper.  The idea of people helping each other is really quite beautiful isn’t it?  I immediately felt extremely sorry for him and realized that if my biggest problem tonight is that I can't win a bowling game then my life is pretty good.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Huge Thanks!

I wanted to take a second and thank everybody for the interest and support you all have expressed reference this book project! The pre-orders for What If God Is Like This? have been extremely encouraging! For those of you who are still interested in a copy remember the discounted price of $17.95 will still be available until Sept 30th before the publisher raises the price to it's set amount of $21.95.

Thank you all! To be completely honest with you, promoting my own project is rather awkward for me but with all the feedback I'm getting it is becoming clear that a lot of us share the same thoughts, questions, and fears. Its exciting to see how inter-connected we all are in that regard. I also hope you all will feel free to use this blog to share your thoughts and feelings as well. I don't want this to just be a place for only me to vent but a place where we all can learn for each other!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saying Good-Bye's

Well today was the funeral for my co-worker.  It was strange that someone who seemed so healthy just a few weeks ago could be taken so quickly.  Over the past several months I got to visit a few times with her at her house.  She was very optimistic about her battle but was also very honest about her fears, which her eyes would confirm at times.  It was a helpless feeling to be positive for someone who had everything to lose while standing in a position of little risk.   

What is it about death that is so dreaded?  Death is as much a part of life as birth is yet one we celebrate and one we fear.  The fact is that death just seems wrong to us.  It is almost like there is something deep within us that rejects the idea of it.  We can embrace life so willingly and with excitement.  We fear non-existence but its not like we look back to the time before we were born with any sort of dread.  We didn't exist then, but that doesn't bother us the way it does when we think about time after our death.  I heard it said once that the human being is the only creature on Earth that knows it will die one day.  A gift I suppose to remind us to fill our days with meaning, a curse in that we know we face an inevitable demise. 

The Bible indicates in Genesis that we were never intended to die.  If that is the case, I wonder if this dread stems from something in our sub-conscience that knows death is not supposed to be our nature?  Some primal understanding deep inside that knows we were not designed to die and rejects the notion?  Who knows. 

What I do know is that the Bible also says God fixed this problem for us.  There are a lot of things about God that I struggle with in life, but this is one in which I find some comfort.  Thank you Lord.....and cheers Jules....rest in peace friend.   

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Selfish Daughter.......

So last night my wife takes my daughter to see Donny Osmond in concert. As fate would have it he called her up on stage and sang her a song. That's nice and all but she missed a great opportunity to promote my book! What's the matter with this kid!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Right Now

I was just enjoying a video game with my youngest son today when I realized how big he's getting. With the recent loss of my friend it reminded me how fleeting life is. Death is really just the conclusion of life's experiences. Actually death is always occurring. Each passing day is locked away forever in the vault of time. Never again will I hold my infant children again, gone are the days of fragile steps and babbled words. It reminded me that bedtime stories and good nite prayers are only going to take place for a few more years before they too are gone.

Today was a great reminder for me not to worry about tomorrow but to embrace the moment. Life is lived now. I need to be better at enjoying it for what it is.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Would You Rather??

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to a co-worker of mine. She concluded her year long battle with an agressive cancer. One of the wierd things about death is that it is unexpected even when it is expected. Knowing she only had a short time I was still surprised by the phone call advising of her passing.

I was tempted to try to write something profound and insightful about death, but then realized I didn't really have anything like that to say.

So instead I'd like to pose a question: Would you rather die painless and suddenly but you didn't get to say goodbye to your loved ones or would you rather have an idea of when you would die and therefore could make peace with those around you but had to suffer greatly in the process?

I don't suppose there is really a right answer to this, just interested in your thoughts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Some Thoughts About Running Around Naked.

Have you ever stopped and thought about the fact that there are millions of species of animals on this Earth and only one that wears clothes? Believe it or not this thought occurred to me as I was planning a sermon this past weekend.

Think about it, we are the only ones. And not only that, we are the only ones that notice. Do you think dogs ever look at each other and are like, "Hey Rex is naked!". Or do you think other dogs really notice when owners put those sweaters on their canine friends?  I mean other than to laugh at them of course.  But how is it that of all the creatures on Earth only one became so self conscience? I understand clothing for the purpose of staying warm or for protection for the elements, but beyond that, how did we get to wearing them when no other creature does? Why are we so obsessed with image and appearance. As the highest thinking creature on Earth, how did we become so concerned with something that really doesn't matter? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that we all start running around in our birthday suits, (most of us anyway........just kidding.......don't write me letters) I'm just wondering how we got to be so different.

What was interesting to me is that when Adam and Eve took of that fruit, or did whatever that fruit represented, the first effect was that they became aware that they were naked. For the first time ever a creature went, "Hey, I'm not wearing any clothes............and neither are you!"

Why?  What made that so bad?  When you think about it, the thing that really makes running around naked so awkward is the presence of other people.  Most of us are fine with the idea of being naked until you introduce the idea of doing it in public.  And for those of you who don't feel awkward about being naked in public, I assure you the public feels awkward about you. 

You see, when nobody is around, we can be ourselves, we are more likely to be completely comfortable with who we are, but when you introduce others, all of a sudden our focus shifts from me just being me to what does that other person think of me.  By covering up, we can be less concerned with what people might think of our bodies because now they can't see them.  As a result, we tend to only accept the most physically perfect among us to show more of their anatomy, while the rest of us hide behind our clothing...........or should hide behind our clothing. 

The same thing happens emotionally, instead of being "naked" emotionally, we hide our emotions from others.  Just like revealing ourselves to another person physically, we take time to analyse and assess that person before we begin to reveal ourselves emotionally.  We show them what we think they probably want to see from us, but hesitate in emotionally "baring all" until we are completely comfortable with them.

What is interesting is that Jesus said that if we are to experience heaven we have to come like a child.  Now children have absolutely no problem running around naked.  They don't think anything of it.  They don't worry about how they look or what anyone will think.  They will just run in all their glory and not worry about it.  In fact, its not until we teach them that it is "wrong" to run around naked that they begin to become self conscience about their bodies.  What is also interesting is that children also have no problem being "naked" emotionally.  They will tell you exactly what they are feeling with no concern for what others might think.  The are truly genuine and honest.  In fact, its not until we start teaching them to tell grandma that "her meat loaf tastes good no matter what" that they start to become fake emotionally as well. 

Children are the closest things we have to genuine people because they are the most real among us.  It isn't until someone wounds them by laughing at them or making fun of something or chides them to "grow-up" that they start to become self conscience emotionally.  Then bit by bit they begin to "cover up" their emotions, chipping away the rough edges they were born with and eventually sculpting themselves into whatever society dictates for them to survive.  In the process, letting go little by little of who they really are, essentially becoming less and less the "human" they were made to be. 

Is that what Jesus meant when He said to come like a child?  Think about how much the presence of other people affect the things we say or do.  In one crowd we act one way, in another crowd we act another way.  We always feel refreshed when we feel we can "be myself" around someone.  Maybe part of heaven is learning to "be myself" around everyone.  Only then can people really determine if they like us for who we are or not because they get to see that person.  Essentially, I guess I'm wondering if our world might not be a better place if we all learned to be more like little kids and spent a little more time running around naked...........emotionally I mean. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What If God Is Like This? Is now available for pre-order!!

Hey Everybody,

We have now reached the next milestone in the publication process of What If God Is Like This?  The book is now available for pre-order on the website: Will-Hathaway.com. 

The publisher is going to set the retail price of the book at $21.95 but between now and Sept 30th, it can be purchased for $17.95 via the website.  You will notice that there are two different purchase options for the book, one for a signed copy and one for a regular copy.  If you happen to want a signed copy and happen to live in a part of the world where I do not......... then the shipping will be a little more for the signed copy, as it has to ship from the printer to me so I can sign it and then ship again to you.  If you happen to live in a part of the world in which I do live......... then order the regular copy and I can sign it when I see you....don't pay the extra shipping. 

Once the book is released, which will be between mid-October to early November, it will be shipped to you!  Thank you all for your support in this endeavor.  I really believe this book is going to help people with questions about who God is and what He is like as a Being.  Thanks to everybody for their support!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why are we so scared of death?

There are several songs out about living life as if we were dying.  It's interesting to listen to people talk about what they would do if they only had a short time left to live.  A lot of us talk about doing all sorts of extraordinary things in our final days.  This got me wondering about life and death a bit. 

Is the reason most of us are scared to die because we know in our hearts that we haven't really experienced life?  When given the option of a limited time to live we suddenly want to cram as much life as possible into the remaining days.  What if we lived our lives this way anyway?  What if everyday we got up and lived life to the full?  Maybe we would be limited to some degree by finances, but what if in every other way we did it?  Would we still be as scared of death if our meeting with it were scheduled?  Perhaps if we truly lived we would be able to shed our fear of death, knowing that we are leaving nothing unfinished behind. 

Perhaps the fear of death isn't the fear of death at all........perhaps it is simply the fear of life unlived. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Web Site is Up!

Greetings all,


Well the next step in the process is now completed with the launch of my new website, will-hathaway.com!  Thanks a ton to Gary Thompson for all his help in that!  I would like this to be more of a public thanks to you Gary, but since you are the only follower to the blog at this point.......well, I guess it's still just between you and me. 


Anyway.  There will be further changes to the site as we draw closer to the release of What If God Is Like This?  Within the next few weeks we should have the artwork for the book cover, which will then be displayed on the site.  We will also be posting the official release date, which will be in either late October or early November, soon. 


I have to admit, this has been a very interesting process for me as it has taken me a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I enjoy preaching to my home church audience, but stepping out into a forum in which anyone in the world could check in is a little unnerving.  As we get a little farther down the road, I will begin including some discussion ideas here on the blog.  One of the suggestions that has been made is to do a chapter by chapter discussion of the book when it comes out, since some of the ideas might be new to a lot of people. 


I also want to use this format as a place where readers can contact me with their thoughts and questions about the book.  I want to be available to anyone who wants to talk about it!


Talk to you all soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here is the book description for the soon to be released: What If God Is Like This?

Have you ever looked at all the injustice, pain, and suffering in the world and wondered how a loving God could be behind it all?  With all the travesties we see in life, it can be troubling for many of us reconcile the belief that God is good.  What If God Is Like This takes readers on a reflective journey candidly addressing some of the most difficult questions by providing a unique look at Christianity and God’s interaction with humanity.  It challenges some of the traditional perspectives provided by religion and draws out strong evidence that God’s greatest desire for mankind is freedom.  It also examines the crucifixion of Christ from God’s perspective and how this event was eternally impactful on God as a Being, pushing Him to His very limits as an omnipotent creature.
Who is this personality in the sky and why can’t the world agree about Him?  Even various branches of Christianity have drastically different perspectives on who He is and how He operates.  What If God Is Like This is a book written for those with questions, and who yearn to stretch the boundaries of traditional thought.  This is a book about freedom, freedom to think, freedom to love, and freedom to ask, “What If…..”

Well Here Goes.......

Greetings All,

Well, after four years of on and off writing, I am now on my way to the publication of my first book: What If God Is Like This?  I'm using CTRG publishing who so far have been hugely helpful.  This book is basically a collection of a number of my sermons that have been worked into book form along with a few other ideas. 

For those of you who already know me, I like to ask questions.  During my life I've always had a hard time with the idea that God can be wrapped up in a tidy little theology and be understood completely.  There are so many factors that play into this world and how any religion, let alone Christianity, play into it.  I know there are a lot of people out there with a lot of ideas about God and I'm not claiming to know more than any of them.  But what I am looking to do is generate discussion.  I think part of the process of knowing Him better can be the interactions of the creature that was created in His image sharing their thoughts and ideas. 

If you like to ask questions, this is a place for you!