“God is Good,” you say?

“Yes, God is good!” we like to affirm. We want God’s goodness all of the time and in all that we do. But I wonder how clear our understanding is regarding God’s goodness. Actually, I don’t think God’s goodness would fit in to most definitions of “good.” The definition and references that I hear regarding the term “good,” and especially regarding God’s goodness, is dictated by what people see and experience rather than by the source of all good—God.

I wonder how many people would agree with Corrie Ten Boom’s view of God’s goodness. She wrote:

“Often I have heard people say, ‘How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!’ Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. ‘No, Corrie,’ said Betsie, ‘He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” ” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available—there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love—whatever the circumstances.”

Is God only good when circumstances are to your liking? I didn’t say, only if they were to your benefit. That is completely different. God’s goodness is always to our benefit, but we aren’t always inclined, or able, to see circumstances from His point of view. That is why we must believe that God is good, always, faithfully, and perfectly. And why should learn what “good” is and what it is not.

I challenge you to examine your definition of good, which cannot be separated from God who is the author and originator of good. It may be a scary trail to go down, but it will be beneficial. Deepen your understanding and awareness of God’s goodness. He has revealed Himself in the scriptures. Search them for the truth about God, about true goodness.

Future posts will open this subject up and look inside the beauty, wonder, and fearful nature of the goodness of God. Yes, I said fearful. I hope that you will follow along.

Finding & Choosing Good Books

baby readingIn one of those “end of the work week conversations” I asked a co-worker what her plans were over the weekend. “Relax and read a good book” was her answer. Obviously being a book lover and an author I asked what kind of books does she enjoy reading. “Religious books,” she replied. My ears were even more attentive. Our conversation, of course, led to mentioning my books and she was excited to download and read them over the weekend.

This conversation led me to write this post and ask these questions.

I’m curious to know what influences your choice of Christian literature and where you go to get it. I wonder how much effort we put towards the choice of literature, whether it be entertainment or educational. If you’re going to enjoy something, don’t compromise. If you want to learn a subject, again, don’t compromise. What I mean by “don’t compromise” is two-sided. Why eat stale bread when you can have fresh, out of the oven bread. Why read something that is shallow and a waste of time just because it is something to read. Find a book that grabs your attention and holds it, and … gives you enjoyment. More importantly, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, DON’T compromise truth; don’t compromise your values; and don’t compromise your character for temporal pleasure. The book can be written well, but does it cause you to compromise your faith, your values, and your character to read it?

As a Christian, you want to love your Savior and God; you’re a lover of righteousness and truth. Don’t feed on the bottom of the pond. In all things, at all times, let the Word of God from Philippians 4: 8-9 guide you.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (NKJV).”

God made us to enjoy Him and to find joy in life. Our joy is fulfilled when we live life the way that He made it to be lived.

A Couple of Questions for the Book Reader:

1.  What are the influences / determining factors / criteria that you use to choose a Christian book to read?


  • I am specifically referring to Christian books.
  • Examples of criteria include:  the cover of the book; the author; the publisher; the genre;  the price; reading a sample chapter for the writing style.

2.  Do you read to learn or for entertainment, or both?


  • Fiction – entertainment and pleasure
  • Non-fiction – learning
  • If both, what percentage of each? 50/50? 80/20?
  • Do you purposefully rotate between Fiction and Non-fiction?

3. Where or How do you search to find the Christian book?


  • Referrals – do you mostly read books that friends have recommended?
  • Blurbs –
  • Reviews –
  • Online Blogs and Book Forums –

4. Do you consider the theology (what is said about God and the things pertaining to your faith) within the book to be important, whether it is fiction or non-fiction?


  • Does the author’s theological perspective carry any weight in your decision to read a book?
  • Does faith only matter if it is non-fiction, but not so much if fiction—for entertainment?

5. Do you read ebooks or paper, or both?

6.  Do you recommend books to friends?

Okay, there are more than “a couple” of questions. But they’re good ones. I think these questions are interesting and contemplative, and therefore helpful.

Back to my story.

Was I shamelessly promoting my books in my conversation with my co-worker? I could have been, but I don’t think that I was at all. I suggest my books because I believe that they serve a purpose–to help the reader know the living God and walk closely with Him, and most importantly—to glorify Jesus Christ. Why wouldn’t I recommend a book that I passionately believe would do those three things in a person’s life? You and I recommend the things that we enjoy all of the time. We’ll promote our sport’s team, a recipe, a restaurant, or song. Why wouldn’t I do that for a book?

A Favor?

I’d like to hear your answers and comments on these questions. I welcome your response either by commenting on this blog … OR … in an email at:  books@jeffbeardbooks.com.

Enjoy a good read and grow in joy.

(Photo from: flyhigh-by-learning.blogspot.com )