March 16, 2017
Yesterday morning I bought Dr. Joe Wheeler’s latest book of true stories: My Favorite Life-Changing Stories. I read the entire book today. You can see and order the book at: http://joewheelerbooks.com/
This is the fourth book in “My Favorite” inspirational story series.
2017: Tradepaper. Short, true, life-changing epiphany stories.
Which story was my favorite?
This evening I called Dr. Joe to tell him I had finished reading his newest book. He asked me which story I liked best.
Where could I begin, except to say that I loved them all. They were all vivid in my mind.
Then I decided I should talk about one of the stories, and chose the last one in the book, since I had just completed it a few minutes earlier. The message that stood out to me in that story, was that we should stop brooding over our failures of the past. Instead we should analyze our mistakes, and figure out how to do better next time.
Then I shared with him messages I remembered from six or seven other stories. Then I told him things I learned from his introduction to the book, introductions to the stories, and the Epilogue. In those sections Dr. Joe shares some of his insights, struggles and victories. One of the struggles he speaks of is the temptation to forget and take credit for success, when it is actually God who provides the abilities and opportunities. That is a common human struggle.
Some characteristics emphasized within this powerful collection of stories:
Within My Favorite Life-Changing Stories are found displayed many different important characteristics. Among them are: honesty; compassion; forgiveness; repentance; perseverance even after repeated failures; patience; verbalizing expressions of appreciation; bravery; kindness; self-control; reliability; generosity; determination; and reverence and obedience to God.
The stories encourage us to realize that no matter what our condition in life, we need to look ahead, and trust God. He holds our lives in His hands.
Some more examples:
Some stories demonstrated a generosity that was meant to help others become better people — whether the generosity was shown by giving advice, living by example, or sharing possessions. Selfless love was demonstrated in story after story, causing lives to be dramatically and permanently changed for the better.
Just like the widow in the Bible who gave her last mite (a very small denomination of currency) — some people in My Favorite Life-Changing Stories gave all they had at their disposal, in order to help others, even if all they had was almost nothing. Their gift changed lives.
Some made terrible mistakes in their lives that could not be fixed. Some of these mistakes caused great pain or even death. The main characters who made the mistakes, chose to change, and became exemplary people, serving God and others. Sometimes people who had made terrible mistakes, shared their experience, influencing others to choose not to repeat those mistakes.
As Always, Dr. Joe’s Books Shine Light
Dr. Joe Wheeler has published 95 books. He is in the middle of working on one soon to be published, and he will then begin putting together the stories for his 26th annual Christmas in My Heart book, to be released this Christmas season.
This coming December, at Conifer King Soopers, you will be able to see his books on display and purchase from his collection. (Thursdays and Fridays for three weeks) He will individually sign every book he sells.
You can count on his collections and writings, to be a reflection of the very finest of our country. They always encourage us to keep aiming to be the best we possibly can be, and to bless people around us, with the help of God.
You can purchase books from his large collection at: www.joewheelerbooks.com
About Joe Wheeler – from his website:
Joe Wheeler considers himself privileged to have been homeschooled in Latin America by his mother, Barbara Leininger Wheeler, for fourteen of the first sixteen years of his life. She, a stage-performing elocutionist in her own right, bequeathed her passion for emotive stories to him.
His second mentor into story was Dr. Walter Utt, legendary history professor at Pacific Union College in California’s Napa Valley. History, to Dr. Utt, was Story: life stories of remarkable people. Wheeler would later go on to earn a Masters in History from Pacific Union College, a Masters in English from Sacramento State University, and a Ph.D. in English (History of Ideas concentration) from Vanderbilt University, and teach for 34 years in junior high, high school, junior college, college, and university—all the while infecting his students with his own passion for Story.
Wheeler was later blindsided by a 1992 event, when, according to him, “God booted me out of the classroom into a full-time ministry of stories.” Out of it have come 95 books and counting, 80 of them being story anthologies. Sixteen publishing houses have made this possible. Not just any stories, but rather stories that move the reader so deeply that they prove all but impossible to forget; and the stories incorporate values worth living by. Great Stories Remembered received The Seal of Quality (Family Television’s highest honor), and Christmas in My Heart (now the longest-running Christmas story series in America) was chosen a Finalist for Christian Booksellers Association’s Gold Medallion award.
Wheeler doesn’t take any credit for his books’ 1,500,000 sales, saying, “It’s all a God thing—I’m just humbled that He stoops down to partner with the least of His children.”