Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review: This Changes Everything by Crowe

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I wanted to review this book because it was geared toward teens. I am a mother of two teens and I know that there is a lack of strong biblically sound resources out there. They are really hard to find so when Crossway published this book; I had to read it.

I loved it! It touched on all things that teens need to know and be encouraged in. It is written in a friendly manner by someone who is close to their age. It is biblically sound in doctrine and life. It is a great resource to give to a teen you love or read along with them. There are great discussion points.

The book also encourages the youth to not waste their youth. They are to live for the sake of the gospel now. They don't have to wait. They can serve wherever God moves them now. As this is addressed there is sound advice regarding authority and life choices.

It addresses clearly issues of identity, the over arching story of the bible, community, sin, discipline, growth, time, and relationships.

I highly recommend this book for any teen in your life.

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

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: Crossing Cultures in Scripture by Newell

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This is an incredible book that is a helpful aid for deeper Scriptural knowledge and study. One key to reading Scripture is to understand the original hearers context. Only after this can we rightly begin to apply it to our own lives. This book does an incredible job at relating the Scriptures to the original cultures for whom they were first written. I have grown greatly in my study of the word through reading this book and using it as a tool to aid in my deeper study.

The book begins in Eden, at the beginning, and spans the redemptive historical timeline of the Bible ending in Revelation. It is beneficial to read and helpful to any student of the word. It is important to understand the culture to rightly understand the word. This book also helps you understand how the Scriptures can be applied to similar cultures today. The stories are engaging and helpful.

I think this book would be helpful for any Christian. It will help you understand the word better. I received a copy of this book free of charge from publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here (Aff link)
 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Why Killing Sin Should Be Violent

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I have been reading straight through the Bible and find myself located in Leviticus. I am praying, each time that I read, that I do not give up or become discouraged as I read things that I do not understand in this Old Testament law book.

These people had rules and regulations from a different time. Yet, even this Scripture points us to Christ. Sometimes it takes work to find the connections but they are worth it. I pray and ask God to connect things for me to help me understand how to apply this to my own life today and to see God clearer for who He truly is. One passage that really made this connection was Leviticus 4:27-31.

Basically, it speaks about someone sinning unintentionally. This would be something that I did not intend to do yet it was still a sin. The passage says once the person is aware, he is to place his hand on a goat as a sin offering and kill it. Can you even imagine that? It would be bloody, smelly, and messy and your sin caused this innocent animals death. All for something you were not even aware that you did; at least for awhile until it was made known or you realized it yourself.

Sin is serious business. Yet, when I sin today, I do not have to kill a goat. How does this even apply to me? Why do I even care?

First, I can be thankful that Jesus died once for all (Romans 6:10). It was His sacrifice that took away all my sin. That once for all sacrifice is a BIG DEAL. It appeased the full wrath of God; forever!

However, in the here and now, we must also have a hand at killing the sin that tries to reign within us. We must get a handle on it and slaughter it, just like the goat. We can do this by trusting Jesus finished work on the cross taking our deserved wrath but also taking the door He gives us to chose not to sin when tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Colossians 3:5-10 states, "Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."

We can either trust Christ to bear the wrath or we must bear it. Once in Christ, we are a new creation. We can now confess our sin and He is faithful to forgive us, restore us, and make us right again. As we are being renewed by our Creator, we will desire sin less and less but even the unintentional sin must be put to death. I am thankful that the New Testament, gave us a better way. Sin must be dealt with and taken seriously but Christ, in His love, took the full wrath of it that we deserve. This is truly a gift of the best kind.

Have you trusted Christ to take the full wrath of your sin for you?
How are some ways that you kill sin in your life? 
Have you thought much about the sacrificial system, Jesus, and modern day confession of sin?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review: Modern Psychopathologies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal

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This is very much a comprehensive guide because it is packed with lots of information! I found it to be an interesting read because it takes an Integrationist approach to Christian counseling. What that means is they mix Christian faith with secular counseling methods. This guide was written to help a Christian counselor properly view or apply Christian approaches to a variety of counseling issues and diagnosis's.

I am not an integrational counselor so I do not agree with this approach in every way but found this book to be very helpful. It is well done for someone in that camp of Christian counseling. And it really does cover tons of information. I think if this is your field of study you will not be disappointed in this book.

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

You can get a copy of this book from amazon.com here. (Aff. link)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: No More Faking Fine by Fleece

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Lament. It is an important concept that the Christian needs to understand. Esther Fleece explains it well in this title. She uses her wealth of personal stories to practically explain what the art of lament looks like. 

She has lived a hard story but her dependence and love for the Lord is encouraging and evident to the reader. I was encouraged by watching the process of growth in grace work in her life. It is eye-opening when you can see theology walked out practically.

This takes a good look at a theology of suffering and the proper response of lamenting. I believe this would be helpful for others to understand. Lament is a lost art that many neglect to this day. There needs to be more stories that show others how to live this. Living out lament truly sets the sufferer free in Christ.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book on Amazon here.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Book Review: Enjoy by Newbell

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This is a book that should be read to help believers know how to delight in God's good gifts. It addresses specific areas of gifts like relationships, food, and work and takes the reader through practical ways to enjoy them and why it is good to enjoy them.

Some believers are better than others at accepting God's good gifts and enjoying them. This book would be good for everyone even if it is only a reminder. We all need to be reminded to enjoy the good gifts that God gives us as His children.

At the end of each chapter we have something called the enjoy project. It is a list of practical steps that the reader can practice in each area addressed to help them learn to enjoy the gifts that God gives. There are also discussion questions in the back of the book making it easy for a group bible study.

This book is easy to follow and read. It is a good read.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book here. (aff. link)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review: Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures by Georges and Baker

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Have you ever had an interaction with someone who is different than you that made you feel completely awkward? I think this comes from not really understanding the person in context of their cultural background.

This book is a great resource for understanding other cultures. In the west, we see things differently from the majority of the word. The reason for this is the cultural upbringing we are raised in. We are very individualistic as westerners. Because of this, we don't rightly understand the importance of group approval in many other cultures. We are tempted to think we understand this because we do want group approval in certain situations but our entire lives are not truly wrapped up in a collective group for survival. We don't live and breathe in groups as westerners. Our very well being is not up to a certain group.

The westerner is able to leave a group and find another to join. They are more to themselves and view themselves as an individual whose actions don't affect everyone else they come in contact with. There is a distinctive difference between those of us raised in the West and those in the East.

The answer to understanding and helping others; is in understanding those cultural contexts. The author reminds us that Scripture was actually written in this collective cultural mindset. Viewing scripture in this way is natural. The authors give examples of this throughout.

The interesting thing about this book is showing how the gospel has power in both cultural contexts but how you approach each cultural context with it will be very different. We have the same gospel but a different approach. You have to read this book to understand more about what I am saying here but it is well worth your time.

If you do any kind of work or have friendships with others from different cultural backgrounds, I suggest you read this book. It was eye opening to me and a resource I will go back to again and again.

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

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