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Looking for God in All the Wrong Places Paperback – March 14, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
MARIE JONES is a New Thought minister and widely published writer of inspirational essays, gift books, short stories, and magazine articles. She is also a screenwriter, and has produced a childrens storybook video series for Gigglebug Farms Productions, as well as several direct-to-video projects. She holds a Masters degree in metaphysical studies and is a licensed pastoral counselor. She lives and writes in California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from LOOKING FOR GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad Any Day
It's the old schoolyard battle cry all over again as modern religions fight for recess ruling rights. Christian leaders argue with Islamic elders over who has access to the "real" God. Jews and Muslims blow up opposing forces in suicide bombings in an attempt to out-Holy each other. Meanwhile, everybody picks on the Wiccans, and the Buddhist monks must consider taking up Uzis to protect their monasteries from hostile Westerners anxious to wipe out pacifism.
All this because one group of people is convinced that they and only they know the right way to God. Just like the next-door neighbor who insists his weed killer is better than yours, or the parent-to-be at your birthing class who insists that the Ferber method outweighs the Sears concept. Or the gas station attendant who swears on his mother's grave (even though she's still alive) that the only way to get to the Grand Canyon is to take a right when going left would be a heck of a lot faster, at least according to the map you purchased from said attendant.
The problem is, there's more than one way to read a map. Furthermore, on the road to the Divine, there's more than one map.
Think of what Jesus said about His Father's house having many mansions within. Even Jesus knew that all routes ended at the same truck stop. Some of those routes even share the same viewpoints and rest stops.
Why then do we continue to look for God in all the wrong places, or insist that we know where God is when in our hearts we don't have a clue? My guess is that we will really only know when we actually visit those wrong places. We need to check them out for ourselves to see what the attraction is. It's like when you were a kid and you thought the local carnival was to die for, only when you finally convinced your parents to take you on that warm summer's eve, you couldn't believe how dirty and grimy the whole place was. The cotton candy was stale, the rides were all down for repairs, and those awful, horrible, misshapen freaks gave you nightmares for weeks -- and I'm referring to the other kids and their parents, not the sideshows! Personally, I found those carnivals really frightening.
By exposing the people, places, and things we mistake for that which we really seek, we can finally figure out the Mystery of Mysteries. The key to a successful search is to take our time, have some fun, and keep our eyes open wide for clues along the way. And there will be clues. Plenty of them.
Just don't get so caught up in looking for God that you miss finding God when you finally get to where God is. Remember the Biblical saying, "Be still and know that I am God." The key phrase is "Be still." Slow the pace, enjoy the ride. Too much movement often leads to confusion, exhaustion, and discouragement, unless you're a ballroom dancer or a one-armed man on the run from the FBI.
It's the process that counts, not the destination -- because in this case, the process is the destination. This probably sounds confusing now, but you'll see what I mean as we go along.
We've got a lot to cover, so let's begin without any further ado. I hope you will enjoy this journey we are embarking on together. There will be roads that take us to serious places, and roads that take us to silly places, because life, like God, is both serious and silly. I will speak of things reverent and irreverent, relevant and irrelevant, but rarely will I be reticent in my revelations, as we motor along the highways and byways of life.
© Marie D. Jones 2003
Top customer reviews
Are you one of them? Are you LOOKING FOR GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES? Marie D. Jones can help you. According to Jones, "...our society can only see God in the pretty, the shiny, and the expensive. But God is everywhere..." (p. 57).
In LOOKING FOR GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES, Jones enlightens the reader as to where God is really found, despite all the misguided attempts by society to find Him in only "the pretty."
Marie D. Jones, a New Thought minister as well as a licensed pastoral counselor with a master's degree in metaphysical studies, has given God much thought and study and is well-versed in the subject, which couples quite nicely with her lengthy experience as a writer. Jones has been widely published and is even a screenwriter who has produced a children's storybook series.
According to Jones, we as a society spend way too much time looking for God in places we'll never find Him - sports and movie icons, wealth, power, so-called "gurus," and co-dependent relationships, just to name a few. Her goal is to help the reader find the real hiding place of God, saying, "...you never have to go any farther than your own Higher Power within to find wholeness, abundance, and prosperity in all areas of your life" (p. 30).
While the subject of the search for God is a weighty one, Jones manages to keep it blithe throughout. LOOKING FOR GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES is light on the dry philosophy stuff and heavy on the jokes, puns, and catch-phraseology. Still, Jones manages to make some good points that somehow worm their way into the subconscious of the reader and while he may think he may have gotten only a few chuckles out of the book, he just may find himself worshipping a little differently after the last page has been turned.
At the same time, Jones's jokes occasionally work against her ultimate message, as she pokes fun a little too personally and unintentionally sounds a bit taunting. Thus a sensitive reader might find offense at a statement that contains, "... a bunch of spiritually inept yuppies with bad shoes and worse breath..." (p. 82) and wonder if derision is working against the tolerance and inner love Jones preaches.
Furthermore, Jones uses real life experiences to back up or further explain some of her points of interest. This is a good technique in reaching the reader through having been there/done that just as the reader may have. However, Jones seems to have experienced it all - every trap, every bad habit, every broken hearted experience. Opening up one's weaknesses on paper can be healing and humanizing for a writer, but too much of a humble thing can take away from the message as a reader might wonder just how to trust a messenger who's so easily bent and broken.
The overall success of LOOKING FOR GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES is that it's an easily understood and lighter look into spirituality that teaches its readers how to look inward and find God. It's a pleasant read unusual in its belief that you can find God and still have fun looking. If you've been struggling, looking for God in those wrong places, this book would be the right place for you.
Review by Tiffany Snow, author of FORWARD FROM THE MIND - DISTANT HEALING, BILOCATION, MEDICAL INTUITION AND PRAYER IN A QUANTUM WORLD.THE POWER OF DIVINE: A HEALER'S GUIDE - TAPPING INTO THE MIRACLE.PSYCHIC GIFTS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE - TOOLS TO CONNECT