«3 Whose Apple Is It Anyway! Copyright © 2014 Linda F. Williams. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a ...»
Whose Apple Is It Anyway!
Copyright © 2014 Linda F. Williams.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical,
photocopy, recording, scanning, or other — except for brief quotations in critical
reviews or articles, or as specifically allowed by the U. S.
Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, without the prior written permission of the
Published by Whose Apple Press LLC, Grand Rapids, Michigan Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.
Scripture quotations designated NKJV are from the New King James Version, copyright 1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data ISBN-13:978-0-615-73863-5 Cover Design: eCovers.com Interior Design: Richard Toland and Linda F. Williams Printed in the United States of America 14 15 16 17 18 6 5 4 3 2 1 4 5 Whose Apple Is It Anyway!
LINDA F. WILLIAMS
To Little Sister, Susan A. Williams, for the spiritual conversation that sparked a forgotten memory of the book you now hold in your hands.
To Baby Sister, the late Judith S. Williams, for inspiring the first chapter and, thereby, spearheading the dream.
Dedicated to the memory Whitney Elizabeth Houston and Debra Foran, who each, through triumph and tragedy, remained steadfast in their love for God.
7 The path of purpose is paved with healing. Healing goes as deep as the wound or as deep as you let it.
- Linda F. Williams 8 9 Contents Preface
Empowerment: Break the Chains of the Past
Plain Talk: Christian Terminology
Plain Talk: General Terminology
Chapter 1 : The Root of the Matter
Chapter 2: The Fruit of the Matter
Chapter 3: Whose Apple is it, Anyway!
Chapter 4: Hone Your Harvest
Chapter 5: Date with Destiny
Chapter 6: Playing to Purpose Higher than the Game
About the Author
PrefaceYou would not believe the spiritual and emotional turmoil I went through finishing this book! Relationships went to heck in a hand basket. I didn’t know which way was up. At one point it was a constant struggle with old issues as I scuffled to wrestle that old Linda back into her cage.
This book emerged as I lived and learned the truths I’m about to share. These lessons were not neatly acquired through academics. They are the result of decades at the University of Hard Knocks. As I conclude this seven-year voyage, it’s evident that absent those lessons this book would remain, in perpetuity, a work in progress.
Mistakes and all, this is my life on these pages. My specific instructions were to be compassionate toward my enemies and wrongdoers and be honest about myself. That’s backwards compared to how we usually live. We usually judge others harsher than ourselves; it’s easier to focus on the perceived weaknesses of others than it is to address our own. But I had to quit running, turn around, and face myself before I could confront hidden, deep-seated issues. It’s funny. I was hoofing it trying to get away from something, the whole time clueless as to what it was chasing me down. It’s been a healing journey.
Concept This book’s concept emerged during a discussion about relationships, the lack of personal responsibility, and the human propensity toward the blame game. I thought of Adam and Eve, who each blamed someone or something else for their individual decisions to “do the goofy” by disobeying God.
Adam blamed both God and Eve, and Eve pointed at the serpent. Each blamed someone or something else for the choices they made, and nobody was claiming that apple. Not even the joker who started the whole mess! Where was the serpent while Eve was blaming him? The truth is, it wasn’t about the apple or the ensuing blame game. What’s really at the core of that fiasco went unnoticed.
I had come up with a book title and concept, but as life’s drama unfolded, I forgot about the discussion and the book. Over a decade later, on December 17, 2005, I received a fateful phone call from my sister, Susan. She said I was going to write 13 a book. That otherwise outlandish statement struck a chord, confirming one of my mother’s earlier predictions. Thinking back I remembered I had come up with a title for a book, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. I hung up, walked into the kitchen, and in one fell swoop asked God for both clarity and confirmation, saying, “Lord, if You want me to write this book, You’re going to have to give me that title again.” Bam! I had barely finished the sentence before in it rushed, and for the next five years, It Ain’t All About Eve, and It Ain’t Adam’s Apple became the title.
I would write off and on over the years, knowing I had more living and learning to do before the book could be finished. Who knew when the final ink would dry? Many asked. I had no answers. About five years passed before I finally hired a writing coach, Nancy Peske, coauthor of Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues.1 She made many informed suggestions, all of which were a challenge. On her advice, I struggled to shorten the title, researching what I had come up with. This story
nailed it! This is my paraphrase:
One day an old man was relaxing peacefully beneath a tree when an irate man walked up and started chewing him out for being a beggar. I mean the man called him everything under the sun until he realized he was receiving no reaction.
Finally, frustrated with getting no response, he fumed, “How can you sit there so calmly while I’m yelling at you? Didn’t you hear what I said?” Reaching into his begging basket, the old man pulled out an apple.
Holding it out to the angry man, he answered with this question: “If I have an apple, and I give it to you, but you don’t take it, whose apple is it?” The angry man answered, “Well it’s yours of course,” to which the old man replied, “You offer me insults and anger, and I choose not to take it, so the insults and anger are yours, not mine.” The story was about Buddha, but it’s a slam-dunk description of the concept for this book. It demonstrates how only we control our own inner emotions, as opposed to others controlling them. We can choose to internalize negative experiences, or we can leverage them. The choice between the two determines whether we remain victims of or victors over our pasts! We choose our reactions to situations or circumstances. Our responses empower or destroy our futures. If not aligned with purpose, calling, and mission, our behaviors can short-circuit our destiny.
14 3d-Broken-Chain-Footage Firm © 2014 All Right Reserved. Used by Permission.
Empowerment: Break the Chains of the Past This is about freedom, my friend! It’s your personal road map to freedom from the insidious fear and bondage that blocks purpose. It’s about empowering life choices in spite, sometimes in the middle, of bad experiences. It’s about courage to step out from behind a façade of counterproductive defenses to conquer one by one the spiritual roadblocks that short-circuit God’s plan for you. It’s about empowerment and leveraging the change it takes to realize your purpose and fulfill your Godordained destiny.
Game Changer Empowerment begins with leveraging choice. This life-changing truth is the answer to any challenge in any area of your emotional or spiritual life. This is a game changer, my friend. It positions you for peak performance in your career.
It facilitates sound professional and personal relationships. It recalibrates your thinking and puts you back on track to destiny.
Take a quick inventory. Is there someplace you’re stuck? Are you going another round with the same old thing? What about your career? Is it a job or a joy? Do you ever get the feeling you might have missed your calling? What would you rather be doing with your life? By the way, remember that childhood dream you had to either do or be something when you grew up? Whatever happened to that? You’ll discover the answers to these questions and more as you leverage what’s revealed in these pages. You’re about to take a powerful journey. So take a deep breath and exhale a hardy good-bye to the current status quo!
No matter how your life has been up to now. No matter what challenges you face, it’s a new day, and you’re about to leverage the power to change it all. That’s right!
Right now, right where you stand, you can take control of it all by simply changing your mind.
Nancy Peske, coach extraordinaire. Without you I’d still be feeling in the dark.
Fredrick “Stay Tuned” Longmire, for numerous spiritual conversations over hair glue and hairdryers. Your sweet and loving spirit is eclipsed only by your love for God.
Bill Carmichael, thanks for knowing when to send an email to kick me in the pants.
Rafael Ramia, for revealing another aspect of the Moses story and cheering on this project, sight unseen.
• Are you baffled by multiple trips to the altar about the same old thing that inevitably comes back to haunt you?
• Are you in a recurring or relentless cycle of guilt after multiple trips through the prayer line that ended with the disappointment of realizing it didn’t auto-magically change you or your life?
• Have you ever accused yourself of having too little faith because nothing you’ve tried has worked the way you thought it would?
• When it doesn’t work, are you left wondering where you’ve gone wrong?
• Have you ever gone through the unyielding grip of shame, fear, victimization, and/or addictions?
• Are you reluctant to talk about these challenges with others? Are you putting on your “church face” to cover up?
• Are you enjoying considerable success in your career or ministry, yet you’re unable to shake the nagging feeling that something is missing or just not quite right?
• Do you see any life patterns that might be holding you back? Do you wind up in the same relationship drama again and again?
A yes answer to any of these questions means you are one of many of us facing similar spiritual challenges. Maybe that’s where we went wrong. We’ve been majoring in the spiritual at the expense of the one thing we all share — our humanity. No wonder we’re stuck. We’ve been duped into turning our backs on the realities of human existence, as if any consideration of it is sinful.
The flesh is to be subdued at all cost. Don’t give in to it. Ignore it. Deny it. If it rears its ugly head, start praying. There’s no room from that perspective for understanding our humanity, and in that, my friend, lies the missing link that stands between you and the inside-out healing only found along the Path of Purpose.
It’s like yelling, “Giddy up!” wondering why we’re not going anywhere. We can’t even claim the cart-before-horse issue as an excuse because the horse is back at the ranch. You need the cart and the horse to make progress. One without the other won’t do. As long as we are human, we can’t ignore the humanity-spirituality dynamic. I’m not saying miraculous things haven’t happened. If God wants to miraculously remove decades of pain, He’s the one to do it. By considerable measure, though, few of us have that experience. When we don’t, we’re faced with self-accusations of too little faith.
As a church we’ve done ourselves a disservice by ignoring the realities of the human condition and its relationship to the soul connection. We can’t turn our backs on our humanity and expect victory. We can’t ignore years of sound behavioral science. It takes a balance of the two to devise a fail-proof war strategy that flips the script on enemy mind games.
What You’ll Find Described as The Battlefield of the Mind1 meets The Purpose Driven Life2 against a backdrop of the Master Plan, here you’ll learn why what we’ve been taught about our flesh is off focus, why the soul is the prime target, and why the mind is the battlefield. You’ll learn to wield the one weapon you’ve had all along and gain the skill to leverage it to navigate enemy mind-fields devised to redirect focus and sidetrack purpose.
• Discover the subtle secret Eve overlooked in the Garden of Eden and how the enemy has used the same old strategy to steal focus and usurp vision. You’ll gain the tools to recognize, root out, and leverage it toward achieving your vision.
• Learn to avoid the perpetual mistake Adam and Eve made after eating the forbidden fruit.
• See what is at the core of why Israel was turned back at their Border of Destiny. Discover what they carried out of Egypt that held them captive to a total eclipse of the mind that landed them within arm’s reach of a dream they could not see. You’ll gain the insight to avoid this destinydestroying pitfall.
• Learn how to leverage adversity and redirect purpose by increasing your Appletude (emotional aptitude), leveraging the APPLE Inventory, and activating the FRUITS Philosophy for destiny-driven results that are based in mission and purpose.