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Living on the Ragged Edge: Finding Joy in a World Gone Mad [Paperback]

By Charles R. Swindoll (Author)
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Item description for Living on the Ragged Edge: Finding Joy in a World Gone Mad by Charles R. Swindoll...

Overview
Here is an intimate glimpse into Solomon's ancient journal, Ecclesiastes, in which the young king's desperate quest for satisfaction-in work, in sexual conquest, in all the trappings afforded by his fabulous wealth-was as futile as trying to "catch the wind." For those struggling with the anxieties and frustrations of our modern era, the good news is that you can find perspective and joy amid the struggle.

Publishers Description

The ultimate secret for "the good life."

In the never-ending quest for fulfillment, we sometimes convince ourselves that life would be better if we just had a different career . . . more education . . . a new spouse . . . a fresh start in another location. The solution to life's challenges, we think, is just around the corner, a few steps ahead―always just out of reach.

"Living on the Ragged Edge" opens the pages of an ancient journal―the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. In this very personal, unbelievably honest book, King Solomon chronicles his search for satisfaction, experiencing "everything" the world offered. The wisest man who ever lived, he certainly had the intelligence "and" the vast resources to pursue whatever his heart desired―from personal riches to sexual pleasures. Solomon had it all. He did it all with abandon. And he came to the end of his days with the ultimate secret for the "good life."

Do you want to know the secret? Do you want to know how to find joy and peace in this world gone mad? In this bestseller, Charles Swindoll delivers his characteristic insights and wisdom in an exploration of the book of Ecclesiastes and brings home to you Solomon's powerful message for living at its best.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   376
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 14, 2005
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849945402  
ISBN13  9780849945403  


Availability  126 units.
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More About Charles R. Swindoll


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as a senior pastor to congregations in Texas, Massachusetts, and California. Since 1998, he has served as the founder and senior pastor teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. A leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs in major Christian radio markets around the world, reaching people groups in languages they can understand. Chuck s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren."

Charles R. Swindoll has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Great Lives
  2. Great Lives (Thomas Nelson)
  3. Great Lives from God's Word
  4. Swindoll Leadership Library
  5. Swindoll's Living Insights New Testament Commentary
  6. Swindoll's New Testament Insights
  7. Swindoll's NT Comentario Vision Para Vivir


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Swindoll, Charles
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Living on the Ragged Edge?

Living on the Ragged Edge-The Simple Life  Jul 9, 2006
LIVING ON THE RAGGED EDGE is a commentary on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. This was a life-changing book for me in 1986. My whole life had literally collapsed right in front of my eyes. And I also had a nervous breakdown all in the pursuit of success and graduate school. This book seems to advocate living the "Simple Life", knowing God, having a wife and kids, not overdoing work or success. I have received alot of abuse the past 20 years about why I don't go back to graduate school; and the wisdom of this book is part of the reason. I had written to Radio Havana Cuba once and had said that this is a religious book that even Fidel Castro could appreciate! I hear that since then he invited to Pope to come to Cuba to visit.
We do live in an insane money-hungry society that has no values, no philosophy, no religion but the pursuit of the "Almight Dollar"! This ia a major reaqon for why we see American society disintegrating right before out eyes!
It is not deliberate, but I think I see myself as living in the 60's because of circumstances beyone my control. People in authority try to make my life as miserble as they can so as to pressure me into going back to college-this is called persecution.
The amazing thing about our secular achievements is that when we die, we do not get any reward in Heaven for them. Both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Jesus Christ in the New Testament say that we get no reward in the next life for being a successful doctor, lawyer or businessman. Jesus said to lay up treasure in heaven-good works like charity towards the poor.
Also I noticed that it is God who gives man the ability to enjoy life. And contrary to religious tradition in puritalical America, I have found on my electronic Bible the advice to "eat, drink and be merry"{within moderation, of course.) the phrase occured five times in Ecclesiatstes. God gives the common man and the man who pleases him the ability to enjoy life. The life of the success driven rich man is so full of stress that he may have a fancy meal, yet he cannot taste the food he is eating! You can only live in one house at a time. You can only drive one car at a time. You can only spend so much money in this life because when you die, you won't have it any longer. You can have a house full of adult toys and possessions; yet you are unable to enjoy any of them. I would focus on having a couple of things and being able to use them to the full.
Solomon spoke from experience. He was the richest man in ancient Israel as he was the king. He had all the education a man could want. He had sexual pleasure-a harem of 500 wives like the Sultan of Brunei. He had more horses that he could ride. He had more achievement than he knew what to do with. Yet he couldn't find satisfaction. His advice was to fear God, obey his commandments and enjoy the simple pleasure of life. He found out that sometimes more is less.
In an exotic fashion, I had found out about INSIGHT FOR LIVING while monitoring Trans World Radio broadcasting from the island Monaco to England in 1986. They sent me a magazine promoting the book. I bought it and the study guilde and used them both. I have read LIVING ON THE RAGGED EDGE three times since them. This is obviously a message that God wants me to get into my spirit. And this is actually good advice for all of materialistic, worldly America!
Another afterthought is this. I don't think that joining the Army is the place to go to find God. But I had managed to get away from my home, family, church and social influences in Toledo. I read the Bible independantly and did not often attend church. I had found Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament; yet the message seemed to offend and irritate me at age 17. I think that you may have to go through a few things in life, have a few misfortunes and find a need to look to God for answers in the Bible to really appreciate this book and Ecclesiastes! Ecclesiastes is a book of godly philosphy! Philosophy=the study of wisdom!
This book's teaching is completely compatable with the New Testament and Christianity. St. Paul himelf had once written "Godliness with contentment is great gain"
 
A wake-up call to seek God's wisdom  Aug 3, 2005
Quick. Name the author who wrote the famous lines, "Vanity, vanity! All is vanity!"

If you said Solomon, the ancient king of Israel, you'd be right. It's the opening refrain from Ecclesiastes, uttered after Solomon goes on the ultimate road trip, searching the world for meaning and happiness. He goes on to describe his journeys and offers observations including, "A human being is no better off than an animal because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place --- the dust." And, "In this world you find wickedness where justice and right ought to be ... If you love money you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. The richer you are, the more mouths you have to feed." For the most part, the book is a downer.

It would be tempting to skip over Ecclesiastes. To not delve into its hopelessness and wrestle with why it's part of Scripture. But as renowned bible teacher Charles Swindoll points out in his book, LIVING ON THE RAGGED EDGE, Ecclesiastes is as true and relevant and important today as it was thousands of years ago.

"Ecclesiastes has today's world woven through the fabric of every page. Whether or not we are willing to admit it, deep within most of us there is this restless, irresponsible, adventuresome itch. Deadlines and responsibilities grate at us. We find ourselves ready to run --- to escape into the back road of our memories, to travel down the blue highways of life under the sun. 'Surely, there I will find what it takes to fill the void.' Before we are able to crank up the car Solomon's advice brings us back to reality: 'Don't bother, it's a pipe dream, empty as a puff of smoke, lacking in substance. It may look like it's worth the effort, but don't bother, life without God under the sun is despair personified.'''

And that's the catch; life without God is worthless.

Still, Swindoll doesn't blithely skip to that part, spouting platitudes about God's goodness along the way. He doesn't pull any punches in describing the world we live in and his take on life is refreshingly honest as he describes the dissatisfaction, discouragement, and despair so many people feel. We are all living on the ragged edge, as he puts it, and ignoring that fact doesn't make us better Christians.

This book, however, does have insight that can make the Christian life more vibrant and authentic.

"The good life --- the one that truly satisfies --- exists only when we stop wanting a better one. It is the condition of savoring what is, rather than longing for what might be. The itch for things, the lust for more --- so brilliantly injected by those who peddle them --- is a virus draining our souls of happy contentment. Have you noticed? A man never earns enough. A woman is never beautiful enough. Clothes are never fashionable enough. Food is never fancy enough. Relationships are never romantic enough. Life is never full enough.

"Satisfaction comes when we step off the escalator of desire and say, 'This is enough. What I have will do. What I make of it is up to me and my vital union with the Lord.'"

Swindoll is an excellent teacher from the pulpit, in front of a classroom, on the radio, and through his many books (this is one of his best). LIVING ON THE RAGGED EDGE has the potential to be an important wake-up call and reminder for all of us, urging us to seek God's wisdom rather than the wisdom of the world and to embrace the mystery and messiness of life on the raged edge. The edge can be uncomfortable, but the view is amazing.

--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
 
Inheritance for my children  Jan 4, 2004
I read this book about 10 years ago - when I was younger, single, and worked like crazy. It made me reconsider my life and realize that life without God and His purpose is pointless. Even if you choose to deny there is a God and choose to believe in nothing- you can not deny the truths about the purposeless of life and the "race of the rats". No peace or satisfaction at the end of the day. It is funny at times and even may seem depressive and dark too. But there's a lot of light at the end of the tunnel -as you read on.
I loved this book so much that I want to give a copy of it to both of my children (ages 1 and 2) as wisdom or advice for when they come of age. I hope it can impact them as much as it impacted me and will have some insight as to the "race of the rats".
 
One of Swindoll's Best!  May 12, 2003
While many Christian books encourage thoughts about God's love and kindness, it's also good to see life as it really is in this world. Swindoll pulls no punches as he describes the emptiness of living to please self instead of God.

Among the many excellent points Swindoll covers are:

1. People focus on the external appearances while God focuses on the heart.
2. God can work through you in mighty ways if you let Him.
3. Wise counsel for those under pressure.
4. The world's movers and shakers are also often the most lonely people on earth.
5. Different world-views and their weaknesses.
6. How to handle the mysteries of life.
7. Excellent counsel on how to get the most out of life.
8. What keeps us from pursuing happiness.

An excellent and highly recommended book, be encouraged and challenged to seek God's wisdom instead of the wisdom of the world!

 
Living on the Ragged Edge  Jun 24, 2000
This book contains a timeless reminder of how futile it is to enrich our lives with material possessions. It is timeless because the book is based on the Book of Proverbs, taken from the Bible. Who else but the wise (and rich) King Solomon could give a first-hand experience of the lives of the rich and famous? So this is not a case of sour grapes.

Charles Swindoll, the author, translates Solomon's woes into present day terms. Putting it simply, more wealth, more worries. More overtime, less time with the family. But Swindoll's pitch is not reclusive nor a denial of material needs. As Solomon had realized many, many years ago, true wealth and joy is about a relationship with God. In God did Solomon discover reconciliation and contentment. And this is still true even after so many years for the rest of us.

 

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