Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review: Teach Us to Want by Michel

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Have you ever thought about having a biblical theology of want or a biblical theology of desire? It is important. You have a belief system in this area already because we all interpret the world based on our beliefs about our desires. It determines our behaviors and responses to life. It is something we need to learn to discern biblically. This book helps us think through it.

Our hearts are made to worship. If we are not rightly worshiping God, our desires can be tricky and replace God's rightful place. This book is filled with stories from the authors life and honestly that helps us think about our struggles with desire. It is the only book I know like it on the market that is truly gospel-centered in its approach (though I could be wrong). I really think it would benefit any believer to read.

It is written in an easy to read format. It is not incredibly long. If you have little time for reading you can easily read a chapter and then think about the questions at the end.

You can get a copy of this book at amazon.com here.

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Impossible People by Os Guinness

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Os Guinness is an author that I really enjoy reading. His look at society and trends in a historical context are helpful and worth reading. This book gives us hope and encouragement in challenging us to confront the age of the times in a Christ-like manner. The goal of the book is to help make us as Christians, these "Impossible People."

In the secular west we need to be able to address the times with the love and truth of Christ. This book helps with how to do that. I found it extremely informative and believe it would benefit any believer. I am personally encouraged to press on in Christ while sharing His truth and love to the watching world. It is not the easiest read but important. It is a book to read a little at a time, pray and respond to.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon.com here.

I received a copy of the book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Review: Gratitude Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal by Tyndale

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This is a really cute journal. Its cover is made from a hard cardboard-like paper. It makes it cute and sturdy. I like the uniqueness of that. It also allows it to open well enough for drawing and journaling. Each page is creative and leaves room for coloring or drawing. The designs are beautiful. There are prayers on many of the pages and Scripture to meditate on.

If you are a fan of the adult coloring book fad this journal is for you! My daughter is over the moon about this journal so I am giving it to her. She is one who likes to draw and color. It will help her maintain focus which is good for an active mind. It will also help her meditate on God's truths as she does that.

Follow Tyndale's pinterest board for ideas here Inspire Creativity board on Pinterest

     Check out www.livingexpressionscollection.com for the latest news and information on our coloring and journaling products.


I received this journal free of charge from the publisher for an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book here from amazon.com.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How I See Hope as an Invisible Chronic Illness Sufferer

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As I type this now, my left hand is buzzing with the pins and needles of numbness. It looks normal, but it is not. Pain pinches and knocks on my joints, running down my bones, but you cannot see it. My heart is fighting sadness because I want to be with the body of believers at church this morning but I cannot. Everything I do is a sacrifice of love. But you cannot know that. Easy things can be hard for someone with chronic illness. Hard choices are always being made. This week I chose to do too much so today my body is needing to recover.

Choosing what to do each day doesn't seem hard but it really is hard for someone with chronic illness. There is only so much that each person can give of themselves until their body shuts down. This is true for all of us but I look at the Olympians and how their bodies sustain long and grueling marathons and triathlons and I am amazed. These people may collapse after a marathon but I doubt they have to determine if they should use their strength for the day in going to the grocery store OR cleaning the house? Playing with their child OR helping them with their homework? Making breakfast OR taking a shower? These are the hard choices and sacrifices that those with little strength must weigh and determine. Otherwise the simplest thing will cause their body to crash. This is probably why I am such a control freak. I want to avoid a crash by any means possible.

I struggle with pride and contentment in this state I am in. It is the lot I have been given but sometimes, I just want to feel "normal" like I have no limits. And God does allow me great glimpses of limitlessness at times. Great glimpses where I can soar. I feel as if I can do anything! I love those moments. Yet, honestly they are just a moment, a taste, a shadow of what it will be like in Heaven to live with an unlimited body. Oh how I long for that day!

Guilt and shame are often companions of the chronically ill. Guilt because they don't feel as they can contribute so what is the point of them being there at all? Shame because no one can see the disability so they feel condemned by others who can bodily do the work. Grief is another common companion. If you are like me, those glimpses of strength often deceive you so when great weakness returns, you often grieve it all over again. Loneliness likes to companion you, depression likes to extend a hand of friendship, and despair likes to draw you and rope you in.

People mean well but often they don't know how to enter into someones pain and suffering. Those special people of grace do enter in and believe me it is not easy. I am hard to love. I don't want help. These are the people who know how to show Christ-like love. They give me hope. And hope is enough to resist the pull from despair. Then the hand of depression isn't as easily accepted and loneliness leaves because someone truly cares who can show Christ-like love.

That hope given is light exposing the darkness for what it is. The Light of Christ and He alone is what fills us with hope. Hope comes in one form through God's people loving well. Hope gives light which makes the darkness flee. Hope gives one courage to face another day with strength in the grace of Christ, which gives us the hope of the resurrection. Sin still runs rampant. We are in a fallen world. Sometimes our bodies fall apart and nothing can be done about it but the good news is, this is not our home. This is not the final destination. In Christ, there are pleasures forevermore. In Christ, all sad things will be made right. So we wait. I wait. With hope in the coming resurrection at the return of Christ. Will you wait with me?

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Fear of Man Crippling our Gifts

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I stopped disciplining myself to write on this platform a while ago. I enjoy writing. I enjoy pointing others to Christ in the everyday things of life. Yet, I often felt judged. A writer often feels exposed because they often share personal stories of real life happenings. These real life stories are laid open for the entire world to see (if they find a humble blog like this) and that is risk.

However, to model love and real humanity, risk needs to be taken and there is a point where trust in Jesus has to be enough. We are told to not "hide our talents" in the gospels. We are told it is wicked if we do this. I don't want fear to drive me toward wickedness. I want to bring glory to God in all I do, in word or deed, and for that purpose I must make myself write.

I have learned through this process that even if there is just one reader who is pointed to Christ or loves Jesus more or finds their voice for Him or feels braver after reading my stories then it is worth it.

So I will jump back in. I don't know what it will look like yet but I will do it. It will probably be rough and I know it will be hard but I am jumping back in to share my voice in the already noisy web but hopefully my voice will reflect and point to the One whose voice is the one that really matters. Grace!
~Ang

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Book Review: Taste and See by Piper

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This is a great book. It is filled with 152 brief devotions that are small but pack a big punch. Each day points you to the glory and supremacy of God in the seemingly mundane. We all need to be reminded of this. We often forget God in our lives when it comes to our day to day tasks. This book will help remind you. It spurned my soul toward worship of God.

I was encouraged by this book. Piper consistently does a great job in pointing us back to the greatness of God. I really enjoy reading anything that he writes because of this. It is not easy to keep God's goodness and supremacy at the fore front of your mind continually and it is tools like these that are needed to help us. I am thankful for this book and recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no charge for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from amazon.com here.

Book Review: Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting by Furman

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I loved this book and was greatly encouraged by it. As an invisible illness sufferer myself, I have desired to see a book like this that could help my friends better understand the sufferer. This book fits that need and is important because it fills a gap that is missing in addressing this area of suffering.

Who should read this? All Christians would benefit from reading this because Christ calls us to care for the sufferer. We live in a fallen world where every one of us will suffer in some way at some point so this book is for everyone.

My favorite thing about this book and the way it is written is that it continually points the reader back to Christ and what He has done for us, and continues to do, while we wait for His final return. The author also writes in an easy to read, relate-able style which makes this book effortless for your already busy schedule, especially if you are a full-time caregiver.

The goal of this life and our time in history is Christ. This book is filled with Scripture that helps keep us focused on what is really important. You won't find 10 steps to do in order to best help those suffering but you will find wisdom that will help you be a good helper and friend. You will also receive insight into the mind and heart of one who continually suffers. It is a needed glimpse into the life of suffering. It is honest, real, and encouraging.

I am currently undergoing a season of suffering through physical pain. I found this book to be helpful for me to express these things to my friends who want to help but are often unsure of how to help. It is a book I desire to give or recommend to my friends so they better understand how to help. I am really excited about this book. You will not be disappointed if you chose to read it. It will grow you in Christ and hopefully in helping others in the process.

You can pre-order a copy of this book from Amazon.com here.
It releases August 31st.
I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
 
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