Living the Dream by Daniel Floyd

I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The reason is not always clear, and oftentimes isn't clear until sometime after the occurrence. I was raised a Roman Catholic, and while I have always believed in God, I never really felt connected to my church. I had faith, just no connection to the institution, the religion. I also had a tough childhood. While it wasn't all bad, there were times when it was downright miserable and it certainly had a profound affect on me and my faith. I stopped going to church, except on Christmas and Easter. In many ways, I felt abandoned by God.

This went on for years, until my best friend convinced me to go to LifePoint Church. I was hesitant at first because I have been to similar churches and they just never felt right. LifePoint couldn't have been any different from the traditional stand-sit-kneel of the Catholic Church. It was slightly overwhelming, but I felt more at home there than I ever did in the church I grew up in. When I heard Pastor Daniel preach that day, I swear he was preaching to me. It almost brought me to tears. I have been attending LifePoint for a little over two months now, and I know that God was acting through my friend. Before I felt disconnected, couldn't relate to the sermons I was hearing, and I felt faraway from God. While I don't pretend to have everything figured out, I can say that I am further along in my faith journey now than I ever was before.

A lot of that has to do with Pastor Daniel and his amazing ability to "unpack" the lessons of the Bible in a way that is both relatable and understandable. I used to leave church feeling like nothing the priest said related to me and my life. At times I had trouble understanding sermons that were bogged down in dogma. Not the case with Pastor Daniel. Each week I walk away with something. Something that makes me think, that clarifies something, that gives me hope. I also appreciate the fact that he doesn't pretend to be perfect, that he is honest with his own struggles in faith. I used to resent the "holier-than-thou" vibe I used to get from the priests. We're all human and we all make mistakes, and I appreciate Pastor Daniel's willingness to recognize that fact, not only in us, but in himself.

This is what led me to pick up his book. I never in a million years expected to have the epiphany that I did while reading this book, but like I said, things always happen for a reason. Once again, Pastor Daniel's straightforward style (mixed with a little humor) led me to a greater understanding. I think that we all have our own personal struggles when it comes to our relationship with God. Mine is trust. I am not a trusting person by nature. I have been disappointed too many times by those around me. I have always felt that there is something holding me back in my faith and now I know what it is. It seems so obvious now, but sometimes you can't see what's right in front of your face. So while, I still have a ways to go, at least now I feel like I have some direction.

If you are interested in learning more about LifePoint or Pastor Daniel, check out http://visitlifepoint.org/

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