Sunday, May 03, 2009

Review: When God Winks on New Beginnings, by SQuire Rushnell

This book (When God Winks on New Beginnings by SQuire Rushnell) is formatted as a inspirational gift book aimed at new graduates, people getting married, and newly empty nesters. The book could have used one more pass through the editing stage, as there are misplaced commas (in the middle of words!), quotations that never have their closing quote marks, and the title of chapter 7 is printed wrong in the table of contents!

What is a Godwink? Rushnell defines it several places in the book. 1) uplifting messages of reassurance to let us know that God is watching over us. 2) "A personal signal or message directly from God, sometimes as an answer to prayer, and often mislabeled as coincidence." 3) God's "way of reminding you that you're never alone in the tasks you've been handed or the missions He's led you to choose."

My biggest problem with the book is that Rushnell tries to make this a Christian book but at best it is cultural Christianesque. For example, he repeatedly says that YOU determine where you want your life to go and what will make you happy. He completely leaves God out of the equation. Rushnell defines "trust in God" (p.31) as those "who make it a practice to ask for His blessings and who truly expect to receive them". He also says, "you can absolutely EXPECT that He will answer your requests of today." Sorry, God is not a magic vending machine in the sky that you make demands of. It's actually the other way around..God wants us to obey HIM, not us telling Him what He should be doing in our lives.

Finally, Rushnell spouts an emotionally charged and VERY negative view of adoption when retelling Steve Jobs' story. While the Bible is very clear that us Gentiles are adopted into God's family and that this is a very good thing, Rushnell chooses to reword Steve's story (go read the original transcript online for yourself!!) to say that Steve's adoption was a twice-rejection. This is not at all how Steve phrases it! Steve points out that his adopting parents wanted him so badly that they pursued him for months to convince his birthmother that they were the right couple to raise him. His adopting parents saved every penny for years to fulfill their promise that Steve would go to college. I find Rushnell's twisted negative version to be a slap in the face and completely contradictory to his message of positivism in this book.

You'll also get to read a promotional ad for his book and website about the Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between a Man and a Woman, not just once but twice.

I found his summary of What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers to be incredibly helpful, and all of the personal stories are fun to read just like an issue of Guideposts. I liked his reminder from Zig Ziglar that (in sales), the word 'no' is not a personal rejection..."The prospects really had no interest in the offer itself and would have said no to anyone."

I love Rushnell's acronym GPS - "God's Positioning System". This acronym fits really well into Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe where Osbourne is talking about how 'faith' really means obedience: do you have enough faith in your GPS unit to obey it's seemingly wacky directions? Does your faith in God cause you to OBEY Him? Do you seek God's input not only in prayer but also in the Bible and the counsel of wise believers, or do you let license plates tell you that whatever you're doing must surely be endorsed by God?

(PS - anyone know what's up with "SQuire" that a play on "Esquire"??)

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