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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Fireside (November 3, 2009)
Kathleen McGowan is the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Expected One and The Book of Love, which are the first two novels in The Magdalene Line fiction series. This series is based on 20 years of research on four continents into the history of women in Christianity and their long-forgotten role in the development of global spirituality. Kathleen McGowan has been interviewed frequently on network and international television, including segments with Diane Sawyer, CNN, Fox News and the BBC. She has appeared on radio programs worldwide and has been profiled in hundreds of publications, including the New York Times and USA Today. She lives in Los Angeles.
Visit the author's website.
List Price: $22.00
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Fireside (November 3, 2009)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Introduction—The -Lord’s Prayer
On Easter Sunday in the year 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that two billion people worldwide were united by one powerful common denominator: the -Lord’s Prayer. On that date, nearly one third of the -planet’s population recited that prayer in their native languages as an expression of faith.
While Christianity has been divided since its inception into factions with theological differences, this single prayer unifies all of them. The content of the -Lord’s Prayer cannot be affected by dogma or politics. Even while different denominations may make minor variations, the essential words and the teachings they impart remain unchanged since the day that Jesus first taught them to his followers. The two billion souls who call themselves Christians often differ in more ways than they are alike, yet this single prayer is the common ground for all of them. Jesus gave us a prayer so universal and impactful that it would endure for thousands of years and against the harshest odds. It is not only indelible, it is eternal.
The -Lord’s Prayer is now, as it was when Jesus lived, the incorruptible formula for personal and global transformation.
Most Christians learn the -Lord’s Prayer in early childhood and can recite it by rote and without effort. It is so ingrained in our memories that we -don’t even have to think about it.
And therein lies the problem. We -don’t even have to think about it.
While most of us can rattle off this greatest of prayers and know that it is a cornerstone of Christianity, the full extent of our understanding often ends right about there. Many of us have forgotten the extraordinary power and meaning behind the words, if we ever thought about them to begin with. I learned the -Lord’s Prayer when I was three years old, in preschool, many years before I would ever know what words like hallowed, trespasses, or temptation meant. There -wasn’t a child in my class who could have told you the meaning behind the prayer, and yet we were all able to recite it flawlessly on Parents’ Night. We were taught to speak it on cue, like obedient little parrots who could make the appropriate sounds come out after endless repetitions but had no ability to understand the somewhat exotic--sounding syllables.
I can assure you that we were not taught the origins of the prayer as children, and even if someone had tried to explain it to us, we were far too young to understand it as a dynamic spiritual practice and a foolproof recipe for creating a joyous and fulfilled life.
So we grow up never knowing that, with the -Lord’s Prayer, Jesus was giving us the formula for manifesting miracles—not only when we most need them, but on a very regular basis.
While interviewing a random selection of Christians from different denominations, I was stunned to find how few of them even knew that this prayer came directly from Jesus. “Wait a minute—Jesus created the -Lord’s Prayer?” was the shocked question I heard over and over again. Even some truly devout churchgoers looked at me in surprise when I said this prayer was the work of Jesus. Some -didn’t believe me, even when I cited the gospel accounts that attest to this origin. One replied, “But they -didn’t teach us that in school,” as if such an omission in our spiritual education were unusual!
But Jesus was, in fact, the author of this most perfectly constructed blueprint for spiritual change. In the New Testament, the -Lord’s Prayer can be found in the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 6, verses 9–13, as a component of his Sermon on the Mount, and then again in Luke, chapter 11, verses 1–4, when one of the disciples asks Jesus to “teach us to pray.” And teach us he did. In doing so, he gave us this priceless treasure: a set of simple and unchangeable directions, in the form of a prayer, for discovering the real secret of how to have the life you truly desire: a life filled with love, happiness, and yes, even wealth. The prayer shows us that all these wonderful gifts come about through an increase in faith: faith in God, faith in ourselves, and faith in our fellow humans—in that order.
The -Lord’s Prayer addresses the issues that hurt us, confound us, and impede our progress, and illuminates the way in which we can overcome these obstacles. The prayer is our guide to purifying our spirit of anything that troubles it and holds us back from being “fully realized” human beings—which is to say, human beings functioning at our highest potential, a potential that leads directly to happiness and abundance. Using this prayer regularly as a spiritual practice creates real and lasting change at the soul level, change which becomes manifest in very earthly, visible ways.
When spoken with faith and intention, these are literally magic words.
On the eve of my thirtieth birthday in the spring of 1993, I became an ordained minister as an expression of my commitment to studying and understanding the teachings of Jesus. Fifteen years, thousands of pages of reading, and hundreds of hours of spirited discussions later, I have come to what some may consider a simplistic, and therefore perhaps controversial, view of Christian teachings. I believe that if you study and hold tight to the -Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, a handful of parables, and what Jesus tells us in Matthew 22, verses 37–39—love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and love thy neighbor as thyself—then you pretty much have everything you need to live a perfect life and encourage peace on earth. But foremost of these gifts, the center from which all blessings spring, is the -Lord’s Prayer. While the other elements teach us valuable spiritual lessons, this great prayer is the tool that connects us immediately and directly to the source that is within each of us: the source of faith, the source of love, the source of for-giveness. And in combination, those things are the source of very real miracles.
My own life has been transformed dramatically by utilizing the -Lord’s Prayer as a regular spiritual practice. As a result, I have witnessed the most miraculous events, including wonders of life and death. I have been blessed with extraordinary abundance and joy. But this was not always the case.
To show you how I came to truly know the -Lord’s Prayer as the perfect formula for dramatic transformation—and how you can do the same—I must first take you with me into the past, through the once locked doors of a secret society and into the heart of a medieval mystery school.
I must first introduce you to the Mystery of the Rose with Six Petals.