That Rough Patch Called Transitioning To Adulthood

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I’ve been reminded of late just how tough that period in life where you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you grow up really is. I can remember that in my own life, but it seems so long ago that the memories are in black and white. My oldest, Briley, is at that place where she has to decide, and her brother, Caleb, the meticulous planner, is engulfed in it as well. Sadly, if anything, it’s harder to figure out these days.

An article in National Review by Oren Cass entitled “Teaching to the Rest” highlighted just how tough it is. According to the author, the 3 million recent high school graduates can be divided into approximately five equal categories. The first group didn’t even make it to high school graduation (remember one fifth of 3 million is 600,000!). The second group will pursue no further education. The third group will enroll in college but never graduate. The fourth group will graduate college, but will never work in the field they got their degree in. Only the final group will go through college and work in a field that they studied for. I don’t know about you, but those statistics shock me.

As you can imagine in that particular magazine, the article goes on talking about the political changes that need to be made in our educational system. The author’s ideas were wonderful, but excuse my cynicism in thinking that either the government or teachers unions would give his thoughts the time of day.

He alludes to, and you’ve probably heard it from other quarters as well, that there is a dearth of young people going into trades. In other words, a college education may not be the best case scenario as was universally believed when I graduated high school. Besides the fact that many public universities have lost their way and are so out of the mainstream that they actually steer young people away from success, there’s the issue that you might be financially worse off to go to college. On the one hand, many college students today embark upon their career with a disastrous financial situation because of college debt. A trade could be learned for a fraction of the cost with a similar starting salary but without the oppressive debt.

It grieves me to say this, but even for my children who want to follow my steps into the ministry, the possibility of making a full-time income from it over the course of their whole working lives seems unlikely. The rapid decline of Christianity in our day means that all in ministry may be tentmakers like Paul in the years ahead. That likelihood means even young people considering ministry will need a trade or profession to fall back on. I haven’t lost faith that the Lord can provide what’s needed for our calling, just that He he may actually start calling more to a bi-vocational ministry.

I’m totally sympathetic to my children. The gravity with which they view their choices for the future is commensurate to current events. I never want to be guilty of calling my children to the ministry or any other profession. My wife, Alicia, has already been warning our children of the need to have a trade for some time.

I’ve decided this rough patch of transition into adulthood is tough for parents too. You’d like to make it easier for them. You’d like for them to be able to pick it without reservations and feel perfectly at peace with their choices, but the reality is they go through all kinds of options. You have to balance telling them the ideas they have that probably will not work out well to not being overly controlling and telling them what they have to do with their lives. It’s tough. It’s times like this that I’m so happy that my children know the same Lord that I do. I’ve had times of not knowing the way and being afraid, and had to learn to wait on the Lord.

I guess this post is not really instructional. I really can’t see that I gave any good advice. But I guess I’m just putting in writing a plea to my children to trust the Lord with an acknowledgment that Daddy loves you and has confidence in you. I’m tempted to close my eyes and hide until the Lord grows your faith and leads you through this, but by faith let’s just go through it together.

Announcing My New Book:Following Jesus Through The Gospels

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I’m excited to announce the release of my latest book Following Jesus through the Gospels. The Gospels have been a favorite of mine and the material in this book has been things I’ve studied over the last 10 years. There’s more charts than text in this volume and its designed for the busy person who needs a lot of information in a short read. It’s also designed to be small enough to easily tag along with your Bible.

In this book you will find a brief overview Harmony of the Gospels as well as an outline of the stages of Jesus Christ’s ministry. You will have a complete numbered Harmony of the Gospels that includes all the miracles, parables, personal encounters of Jesus, sermons of Jesus, private discourses of Jesus, cries of Christ on the cross, and Resurrection Appearances. Separate charts for all of the above are included for deeper study.

The final section of the book makes a special synthesis of the birth and infancy of Christ, the Upper Room and Gethsemane, the trial of Jesus Christ, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection Appearances. Perhaps you have seen my “Synthesis of the Crucifixion” that’s shared on this blog here. The others are designed similarly.

If you have interest in checking out this book in either paperback or a Kindle edition, check out the Amazon link below:

Amazon listing

Recommendations

This book is a great tool any student of the Bible needs in their toolbox. I’ve used many books that give Gospel parallels, but this is by far the most user friendly. The addition of geographical information makes this book especially wonderful, as combining the geographical information together gives new and improved understanding of the context of many of Jesus’ sermons and parables. The information is laid out in very easily understood tables that will make studying out common threads through the Gospels much easier. This reference book will be coming off the bookshelf on a regular basis, I can promise that.

Pastor Tom Otto

This book is a result of much careful study of the Gospel Records and is evidence that the author loves to study God’s Word. He answers many questions that most Bible students have had about geography and the harmony of the accounts of our Lord’s ministry. I really enjoyed the charts and notes that synthesized the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. This book is an excellent resource for all students of the Bible.

Pastor Jamin Boyer

This short volume is packed full of helpful charts and list. The research and study involved in this work are a credit to the author and his team. This is solid choice for any serious student of the life of Christ.

Pastor Mike Montgomery

Jimmy Reagan has done a wonderful job of compiling a great deal of information in a very concise format. The charts make this volume extremely useful. I believe it will serve as a good quick reference for those who are serious about studying the life of Christ.

Dr. Scott Pauley

Pastor Reagan is one of the most well-read ministers that I have ever been around. For many years in my own ministry I have gleaned from his wisdom and study. Following Jesus through the Gospels is a culmination of years of study on the life of Christ. In this valuable book, he harmonizes the events of the Gospel records and presents the information in usable chart form. You can now see various aspects of the Gospel records on one page at a time. This is treasure for any student of God’s Word and a handy resource for all preachers.

Pastor Mark Fowler

This book will prove to be most helpful for anyone studying through the life of Christ. It is loaded with information that is able to be both quickly accessible and easily understood. You will find it more study guide than book, but its affordable price and handy size, make it a great companion to scripture while reading through the gospels.

Pastor Allen Gibson

Pastor Reagan shows the ability to simplify the most challenging of topics in this chart filled book. There is no more vital topic for understanding than the life of Jesus Christ! I remember when the topics were first taught and put into chart form; they helped me and they will help you.

Pastor Ryan Brown

 

I’ve Written My First Book

I’ve wanted to write for some time, but have told almost no one. I have a few things in the pipeline, but this first title is on an underappreciated title of the OT–Obadiah. Though little, Obadiah has an incredible message to share with us.

We did the book through createspace.com, an Amazon company, and I am pleased with the product they put out. That attractive cover was designed by my wife Alicia and she helped in many ways. I also owe a lot to my children for especially encouraging me on this project. I dedicated the book to Alicia and my children.

The book is sold online directly through Amazon and here is the link:

Obadiah by Jimmy Reagan

If you live near me, I have a few copies on hand I can sell myself. I also plan to offer it soon as an e-book for those who favor that option. I have to figure out the technology at Amazon first.

To tell you the truth, I’m a little nervous about this project. I’m no where near a known author and have no idea if anyone will even want to read it. Still, I offer it and pray it will be a blessing to those who study God’s Word.

God bless,

Jimmy

What I Learned And Received From My Mother

My mother, Patricia Reagan, is not the bragging type. She has always done helpful things for others. It seems my entire life she has always been responsible for taking people to town for shopping or doctor visits. Many of those folks were on my Daddy’s side of the family ( I have a lot of relatives that never learned to drive and others just got old). 

I owe her a lot too. Every year older I get I realize more what a blessing I have had in my parents. I had a sheltered, carefree, and happy childhood thanks to them. Here are some of the things she gave me:

1. She told me about Christ.

From a very young age she told me about the Lord. She talked often of Him to me in our daily life. She had herself walked to church every Sunday as a child because her parents did not go. It was real to her. Not that she was perfect, but it was real to her. I firmly believe that moved my heart more than lectures that many parents give about a Christianity that has no impact on their lives. 

When I became convicted about being saved she talked so carefully to me. She didn’t have enough confidence in herself and so sent me over to talk to my Grandfather who lived across the road. Then I came back and she and I went into her bedroom where I knelt beside her bed with only her with me and asked Jesus to be my Savior. That is, of course, the most previous memory of my life. She led me to Christ, which is the greatest thing any parent can do.

She also encouraged me to be a Bible reader. (I inherited a love of reading from her). She talked me into reading my Bible through on the one-year plan when I was thirteen. I made it to 1 Kings. That summer she was my VBS teacher and she was telling the class to be Bible readers. She also told them to not be like me and start and quit either. She was not one to ever publicly embarrass me, so this must have been incredibly important to her. I decided that day that if I lived to January I was going to start again ( I have no idea why I didn’t realize I could start then). I did read it through when 14 and have been a Bible reader since. In fact, I try other methods on occasion and always fall back on the one-year plan. You owe a lot to the one who teaches you to be a Bible reader.

2. She taught me about trusting the Lord.

When I was young she went through a period of panic attacks and depression in doubting her salvation. She talked openly of it but sheltered me from the harder parts of it. I remember her finding some good Christian materials. I remember Bible passages that she learned in her life that spoke to her problem. No one had ever trained this young lady (she is only 17 years older than me) about these spiritual truths. I saw her pray, I saw the Lord send help, and I saw her change into a happy Christian. Again, I saw that Christianity was not a game–it was real! Never once have I heard her brag on herself over this victory. She always just thanks the Lord for helping her.

She had to demonstrate this again when she battled breat cancer at 37, and ovarian cancer a few years later. She also lost three of her four siblings by the time they reached 45. She has had hard times. When I went through my own hard times with Alicia’s paralysis, at least I had had an example of trusting the Lord in a crisis.

3. She has loved and embraced my family.

My wife Alicia certainly has no horror mother-in-law stories to tell. Alicia has been accepted and loved from day one. My children have been too. It is a funny sight when we visit my parents now. There is usually one child in her lap and two snuggled up against her at all times. I imagine she is sore by the time we leave. As the kids get older I still see that they love to talk to her and tell her all about their lives and she is always ready for that conversation. I have always received unconditional love from my parents (they have never once failed me in this way) and they have passed it right on to Alicia and the children.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you and thank you for all you have poured into my life.

 

  

I Can’t Believe I’m 45!

I really can’t. That is only old in comparison to your own age–some seniors might think I am still a kid. Other young ones might think it is pretty much over for me. In my mind I don’t feel old, but the other day at a thrift store the cashier asked me if I wanted the senior discount. I tried to console myself that she was either senile or blind. When I thought about how she was holding down a job and didn’t wear glasses I decided to think of something else.

While visiting my parents last week, I looked at a lot of pictures. To look at them and then walk by a mirror was a jolt. Then for a Facebook birthday card my daughter Briley did a 4-picture collage with current pictures of me and one where I was holding her as a baby. All I can say is I am glad that I am preacher and my hobbies are reading and blogging and such things. Can you imagine my diminishing prospects if I were a movie star? Besides feeling a little sorry for my wife Alicia, I think, though, that I won’t lose too much sleep over this part of being 45.

I used to play a game. When I was 20, I would say to myself that I was half way to 40. Now…I don’t want to play that game anymore. On a more serious note, I have had four relatives die when they were 45. My mother, Patricia Reagan, is the oldest of 5 children and she lost her brother when he was 45, then a few years later, her sister died at 45. It is hard for me to believe I am now the age that they were. Then there was a cousin and his wife on my Dad’s side who died at 45. I have been reminding myself that I am a Christian and I am not superstitious.

But there is value in the thoughts that accompany accumulating birthdays. I actually enjoyed reading every birthday wish on Facebook, and the day being about me–two great bookstores as we drove back from Tennessee. More than that, I am thankful to have lived this long, to have been a husband, father, and pastor, and to know the growing joys of being God’s child. I have watched my children all get saved and even had the distinct pleasure of baptizing each of them.

45 even has value over 1-44. You might say that I better watch out for a mid-life crisis, but I really believe my beloved Alicia’s paralysis already provided that for me. I felt like a deck of cards in a card sharks hands getting shuffled all around. That is how it felt, but of course, I was always in the loving hands of my Heavenly Father who loved me too much not to do surgery on many ugly things in my heart. I imagine there is more that needs done, but I don’t want to think of that today either.

Age brings some wisdom. Warped thinking gets exposed when the years stretch a little for perspective. I don’t think the same about myself or my life as I once did. Before I was more infected with the common but misplaced thinking that life was a quest to be great; that success was reaching pinnacles, being noticed, shining a little more than those around me, or gathering at least some measure of fame.

I have had the tiniest little experience with it. My blog, so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, made me more well known than before. I have had plenty of strangers write me or come up to meet me. While I might enjoy it, the little bit of popularity has not made me a better person. I love to help others, and that is worthwhile, but the enlarged presence does nothing for your soul. Then, there is my wife whose disability, and our tagging along in her adventures, really puts us out there. Finally, my children (I love them so much) are gifted musically. People love to hear them and so do I. [I pray I can teach them that having musical talent does not make them one iota better than others who hit a sour note every time they try]. Isn’t it funny that two of the things I mentioned aren’t really about me? The first one that is me would not be so had not one of the main series on my blog been controversial in some circles. Such is fame–fickle, fleeting, and faulty.

Does any of that bother me? Not at all! I have learned what Psalm 75:6 means: “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.” That is to say that God chooses. Why is God not unfair when He promotes one and not another? Because it is not the point of life. It makes no difference. It is not a reward for the value of your life’s work. It is put together by a plan that is for God’s designs. Your privilege is to get to be involved in His purposes, whatever they may be. I pity those who strain and manipulate to rustle fame. Even if you get it, that is but to get to the end of the rainbow and find a leprechaun snickering at you who turns out to be Lucifer himself.

The real success in life is in what God has put right in front of you. The best work cannot be quantified and rewarded. To invest in our children or those we minister to will bring no accolades today, but carry real value. I accomplish more if I go the extra mile in sermon preparation till I really discover what God is saying and lay aside the clever things I am thinking. The audience will never know, but my Lord will. There are plenty of other examples, but I believe you can finish this paragraph as well as I can.

So for all the talk out there about doing something big in the ministry, I am no longer interested. That can too quickly disintegrate into making a name for myself using God’s name in a Madison Avenue-type approach. My goal for how ever many years I get past 45 is to be big in His plans. Big or small, it is about Him. That fills all the self-worth needs I could ever have as I fully believe that life is only about that day my time is over here and I finally look upon His face.

So I really am not worried about being 45. Whether I see 105, or never see 46, I have today to be a willing participant in the eternal saga of His Kindgom. Far from being just satisfied with that thought, I say what could possibly be better?

New Blog Look and Domain Name

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Look at the picture above for the old look of the blog. I have used that style for a long time, but it is time for a fresh new look. Thanks to my Alicia who has an eye for such things and more technical know how to make it happen for helping me. She will be announcing her own changes for her blog and our old enjoyingtherideministries.com website-watch for her announcement!

The blog is also upgrading to this domain name:

thereaganreview.com.

The old address of 

Reaganreview.wordpress.com

will continue to work.

Please note my new email address too:

thereaganreview@gmail.com

 

 

Here at the threshold of my 300th blogpost, I continue to love blogging. The articles and the reviewing of books is something I so enjoy and thank God for the privilege and the people I have met from doing it. It has been rewarding and I look forward to proceeding with it.

May God bless all the readers! I appreciate you.

Why I Don’t Like What My Husband Writes (IBTR #58)

It was surprising. Some time before I came through and asked my wife Alicia what she was writing and she kind of did not answer. I thought little of it. Later, I came through again and she said I am blogging on “Why I don’t like what my husband writes.” As I said, that was surprising.

Words did not come as that was hard to process. She said, “Is that bad?”

I replied, “No, it sounds catchy.” Real catchy! Then she read it to me.

That is when I realized even more fully just what a dilemma dealing with some of these issues I write on in this Truth Revolution series actually is for some folks. That is not to say, though, that I haven’t dealt with some hard things over people incensed with any rocking of the boat I have contributed to. Still, for those who were raised from birth to accept all thoughts pre-thought for you, this can be unsettling.

Perhaps this explains the many who would agree with me and those others who write on this general subject, yet have little to say about it. They carefully leave no public trail that can be followed to their real opinions. I offer no criticism for it, but I must admit to being rather mystified over it at times.

Perhaps what my wife Alicia feels proves just how hard it is. If you know her, you know that speaking her mind is not a struggle for her. That it would be in this one case shows how griping the tentacles of guilt and how strong the ties nailed down in one’s youngest days are.
Does this not prove something is amiss? If you are afraid of what someone is going to say or do, does not that person have control of you? I say the job is not done until we are free to be who we really are and answer only to Christ. So I re-blog my wife’s transparent article as a fine specimen of what the Truth Revolution series is all about.

Find all articles in the series here.

alicia reagan

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I have a problem. For some time now, my husband has been blogging almost every Tuesday morning about the danger in our Independent Baptist churches. I have grown up Independent Baptist. My husband grew up in a little country Southern Baptist church. I went to an Independent Baptist college. My husband went to the University of Tennessee. We met and married in an Independent Baptist church. We have always served in an Independent Baptist church. I was bred an Independent Baptist while my husband chose to become an Independent Baptist in college. All of my siblings attend an Independent Baptist church. Most of our friends either attend or pastor an Independent Baptist church. So, I am well aware and conversed in the practices and methods of the Independent Baptist.

My husband started telling me years ago, not long after we were married, that he worried for the Independent Baptists. He…

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What I Received And Learned From My Father

My father, Gerald Reagan, would never think of himself as a great father. While as with all of us he is not perfect, with every passing year I appreciate him even more. There were many things as a poor family he could not give me, but he managed to give me some incredibly wonderful things.

1. His Time
All of my growing up years when I was home from school and he from work, you would likely find us together. He has always been such a hard worker, and like any child I sometimes got tired of the work, but we were together. We have our memories too– copperheads, close calls with trees falling, me falling and sliding all the way down the mountain repeatedly during my clumsy teenage years. I never once in my life ever felt he was tired of me. It was never just a duty to him either. Years after I left home he told me how lonely he was when he went out to work without me. Sometimes when I go back to visit we go work–he runs the chainsaw and I pile the brush–just like always. Strangely, it refreshes me now.

2. His Support
He has always been on my side. He has always told me he believed in me. He told me to go to college when no one else in our family had ever been. He supported me later when the pastorate took me away and he wished I did not have to go. When I preach and he is there, or my kids sing, I usually see him crying. His support has always been so strong that I have always got the impression that my life is more important than his. It isn’t, of course, but he acts like it is. When I was growing up, I always felt safe as well. I knew if anyone ever tried to hurt me, they would have to deal with him. I never doubted for one second that he would lay his life down for mine.

3. His Unconditional Love

The best lesson for understanding our Heavenly Father’s love is an unconditional love from an earthly father. I have always found it easy to believe that God loved me because my Daddy did without fail. I truly believe that there is nothing I could do to erase that love. Others might be done with me, but his door, his table, and his love would always be there. That kind of love gives one a security and a strength that enriches your life beyond what words can express. If others’ love wavers, what a treasure to know of one whose will not.

Learning

I guess in receiving what I have from my father, I have learned what it takes to be a father. As I reflect on him, I feel that maybe I am not living up to his standard in these great categories. At least I know the way. May God help me to pass on to my children what my father did to me.

I love you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.

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Sorry About That

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Through the kind comment of a Christian lady, I became aware of a potentially embarrassing situation. Actually, someone else wrote me a few months ago and I just forgot about it. It turns out that WordPress, the blog company that hosts this blog, shares ads at the bottom of each blog post. I never see those because those with WordPress accounts never have to see ads on any WordPress blog when signed in. I have no idea what ads you have seen!

WordPress states that it does not share ads that are explicit. While that has hopefully been the case, that does not mean that some may not have been beyond the scope of what is personally acceptable to me. Whatever the ad was that the lady who wrote me saw, it was apparently in poor taste. I do not want any ads on my blog that are not in line with my worldview.

Fortunately, after a little research today I was able to discontinue these ads. I am so excited that these ads are now off Reagan Review. While I was at it, I stopped them on my wife’s blog aliciareagan.wordpress.com too. She had no idea either.

For readers who have a WordPress blog of your own, go to the store and search for the “No Ads” feature. It is $30 a year and money well spent.

If you have seen an ugly ad on my blog in the past, I am sincerely sorry that happened. God bless!

 

I’ve Got To Share This Deal!!

I love to share book resources with others. Alicia is sharing a bundle deal on her website that is phenomenal resource for ladies. If you don’t mind reading on a device, this will be a valuable deal on books.

alicia reagan

No, it’s not Plexus. But it is a wonderful bundle of books that I want to pass on to you! This sale only lasts for 6 days, so for the next 6 days, you may get your fill of me talking about it.

I am so excited about this bundle because it is actually affordable!! I have seen stuff like this before and when you get all excited about it and start into it, you realize it is way too expensive. So, here is this deal in a nutshell. You get a bunch of ebooks (over 70) in PDF format or for Kindle…or both. The books cover topics of parenting, marriage, health, fitness, finance, faith and much more! There are also over 200 bonus offers that go with all of that. And you ready for the price? Less than $30! One book alone could cost you that!

I know…

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