“Daydreams” was given to me by a friend and, I have to admit, was not easy to read at times. I’d put it down, digest it, and pick it back up. But this book is one all should read because we all struggle to live well–physically, emotionally, or spiritually. We all ask, “Why?” and hope for relief. But, until we can look at our trials and struggles from an eternal perspective, until we can embrace them as what they truly are–gifts–we will not be able to live with hope. As Daniel wrote, “…we are indeed different, as Christians, and everything we view, now with eyes hopefully unclouded through the assertions of the Word of God, should be measured with that truth.” We have to have different eyeglasses, so to speak; glasses that help us focus with clarity on our sovereign God. It is then that we receive strength and peace that help us rise above our pain and sorrows. I think it is like leaning back into the river and allowing ourselves to go with the flow. Our God then carries us along over the rocks to the place where His glory shines. Daniel’s book helps us take our eyes off ourselves and place them on our good God so we can do that.
It must be difficult to write such an honest, authentic book not only about your faith, but also about health struggles, especially when they are as severe and life-threatening as Mr. Parkins. Throughout the pages I enjoyed reading his commentary on our postmodern life and thought, and the ways our culture views things like suffering and trials and how God fits in. I found myself agreeing with much of his observations… how our culture wants a “santa claus” God, , how we oftentimes feel we “deserve” a good or better life because of our own merit and how our faith can oftentimes hinge on the answers of these questions.
The illness Mr. Parkins describes is hard to think on; I can’t imagine, even though he’s done a very good job of describing it, all he went through and had to deal with. The physical and spiritual pain he had to deal with is something that most of us (hopefully) will never have to face.
While Mr. Parkin’s experiences, illness and pain may not be something we all can identify with, many of the questions and journey he went through ARE things that many of us can identify with. Personally, I found myself in tears in the first chapter alone, as he recounts watching his grandfather die, but that’s probably because I’ve also watched a family member die. Throughout the book, there was so much I could relate to: the whole idea of questions, of asking the “why” question of God, of believing in Him yet faith in His sovereignty being more difficult. Tell me, haven’t you ever wondered about these things? Yearned to understand God more, and the reasons he allows (orchestrates?) the difficult parts of our lives?
This book both inspired me , challenged me and allowed me to clearly see the blessings in my own life. I am still mulling things over but I am grateful for this book. I am one that lives in the questions yet long to set them aside. Mr. Parkins has “surrendered” the questions, the notion that he can understand the ways of God….. not by “giving up” but “giving in” to a good, loving God that is in control and has a bigger picture in mind that we might not ever understand.
So, even though your situation might be different than Mr. Parkins, and you might not ever go through the pain he endured, I think that the story he weaves, the questions he faces, is universal and I only hope and pray that I’ll emerge even in my own lesser hardships and trials, with the strong, robust understanding of the Gospel that Mr. Parkins has.
This book is not comfortable to read, but it is truly a gift. Well written, encouraging, and with amazing insight, it is simply a gift.
I’ve read a lot of testimonies of God’s work in the lives of His people, I have my own, but I’ve never read such a powerful testimony as this. In fact, if you’d like to read a modern day version of the Biblical book of Job, this is it. Better yet, you’ll find even greater faith in this man’s life … and I don’t make that statement lightly.
Daniel Parkins has endured more in life than I believe any loving God should allow a person to. But as I read through the author’s sufferings, I realized something . . . I saw God’s purpose in it all . . . God’s glory is displayed through this man’s life probably more than anyone I’ve ever known. It’s easy to praise God when you’re “feeling” blessed, but what about when all you “feel” is excruciating pain and suffering that can’t be expressed in words. I’m not sure I could hold onto my faith as Daniel Parkins has. But after reading his testimony in “DayDreams,” his faith has transformed mine in greater ways than I can even say.
This is not a book for those who’d like to have God “sugar coated.” This book is raw and real, just like God. Through it, you’ll find yourself examining your own faith in more ways than you’ll be able to count. You’ll find yourself crying out, at the throne of God, “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief.”
I am astounded at the author’s faith through more pain and suffering than I can even imagine. Yet, I find his pain has eternal gain. The power and glory of God cannot be denied in this man’s life. I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen God’s glory shine brighter than through the testimony of Daniel Parkins. You haven’t seen God’s glory until you’ve read this testimony. Truly, this is a must read for anyone who says that they have faith in God.
I met Dan Parkins in Crowley Lake, California, when he became my daughters teacher. He got very sick that year as his second liver began to fail. We visited Dan in the hospital at Christmas time. He was dying. “Daydreams.” is only a portion of the Daniel Parkins story. Although very difficult to read at times, perhaps because we knew and loved him, the gift that God has given Dan to tell his story is a powerful and poetic one. Dan brings his reader right onto the road beside him as a companion, and then, even if you aren’t quite ready, he pulls you into his skin. You feel his pain, and his joy. But more than that, Dan shows you his God who is savior and redeemer. Dan’s story will change you. It will change your heart.
I was given this book as a gift from a friend of Daniel’s before it was released. I myself have been through some very difficult medical and life issues and Daniel’s ability to be sometimes brutually honest about his feelings toward God was very helpful for me. However he always turns back to hope… I have purchased this book for many of my friends and have heards nothing but good replies.
We prayed for Daniel Parkins to be born before he was ever conceived and rejoiced at his birth. His precious mother gave us our baby shower, so we go a long way back knowing the tragedies that struck this young man’s life. This book is one amazing read by a man so sensitive, insightful, and Godly that it is no wonder that God chose him to endure the heartaches he has suffered. However, his test of faith through trials did not stop in 2006 when he wrote this book. His oldest brother was accidentally killed from his own gun in Sept. 2008, yet Dan’s faith never wavers. Read this book if you want to learn how to handle difficulties in your life and find healing for your own wounds.
My name is Emma Bennett. Daniel Parkins is my pastor. The night that he handed me this book that he read was a night where he told us that his body was accepting his new liver rather well and that he was in good health. Praise God. 🙂 I lent this book to my friend Corey, whom I was not sure about whether or not he was Christian, but he gave me positive feedback on what he thought of it.
Corey let me know that some of the details were brutally specific and honest. That does happen to be Daniel Parkins. Through his ministries and his accounts, he is always very honest and open about everything. He has been through some harrowing times in his life. The joy of God’s love always radiates through it all.
I highly recommend this read, not just because he is my pastor, but because I want you to be inspired to find the joy of God’s love no matter how much the world or anything else hurts you.