Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review: Graciousness by Crotts

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This was a great book on balancing truth and love. It was convicting and helpful. It took the reader through stories of how people sometimes do one end well and are weak on the other. It was nice to see how too much truth without love is hurtful yet too much love without truth did the same exact thing.

The book also walks you through the Scriptures and examples of truth in love done well, God's way. Jesus, of course, is the perfect example of this and we studied His approach as well.

It is an easy read. A short book. It is beneficial to read and ponder then ask God for the grace in your life needed to walk this out better. We all need that!

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 at Amazon.com here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Review: Kiss the Wave by Furman

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As a chronic pain sufferer, I found this book to be extremely encouraging. As a biblical counselor, I found this to be a helpful resource. This is a needed book for our time. There are too many resources out there about suffering that are not beneficial. This author is balanced. He takes a clear and honest look at suffering and the sovereignty of God.

He writes as if you are talking over coffee in a practical manner. It is an easy read while packed with edifying truth. It challenged me to draw nearer to God through my pain. Dave shares stories that are relate-able to other sufferers. But most importantly he guides us through the scriptures for courage in Christ through the hard times.

I highly recommend this book. It is worth your time to read if you are someone who is in the middle of some sort of suffering or if you know someone who is suffering. This book paired with his first book, Being There, would be the perfect set of books to offer to anyone in your life who is hurting.

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

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

Monday, December 25, 2017

Book Review: True Feelings by Mahaney and Whitacre

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Have you ever considered that God uses our feelings as opportunities to point us to Him?

This book was a helpful tool to show the reader how our emotions are indicators of where we are with God. Emotions are not bad but God-given. They are part of every human. Jesus felt them. Jesus had a big range of emotion. The Bible does not irradiate the emotions that the characters feel. Emotions are part of being human. Some people feel them in a big way, some feel them in a smaller way. It all depends on how God made each unique individual.

How we interpret our emotions is important. It will matter to the well-being of our soul. Different emotions are different occasions for us to be directed to God. For example, if you are feeling self-pity, you are focused on self. This feeling shows us where our hearts are focused. We can evaluate, is it on God or self? It is time for joy when our hearts are drawn back to God through repentance and faith.

This is a book that all Christians should read. It sheds light on something complicated like emotions but makes it simple to understand biblically. You will benefit from reading it.

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.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Blessed Are The Peacemakers...Holiday Edition

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Every Christmas, I remember drama when my extended family got together for the holidays. It unsettled a young me. However, these times were used by God to draw me close to Him, like a magnet to metal.

I remember retreating to a sky light window, the closest place I thought I could get to God. I cried out to God. I didn't know at the time what I was doing but I believe now it is what God desires us to do (pray) in the face of conflict.

Conflict, in and of itself, is not bad. We all have varying opinions and perspectives. It is healthy. We learn from one another. However, conflict is bad when it turns into fights and quarrels. It is bad when it is not loving or assuming the best of the other party. The evil of it comes from our hearts.

                                            WISDOM FROM JAMES
What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don't they come from your passions that wage war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don't receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:1-3, CSB




God doesn't pull any punches. His word shows us exactly from where the trouble comes; within us. And if it comes from within us, why do we fight with others? Maybe it would make better sense to fight within ourselves.

WHAT THEN DO WE DO WITH CONFLICT?
Practically, how does this play out at our various gatherings?
In the face of conflict, how do we respond?

The main question to ask is, what is most loving in this situation?


We must wrestle with our own hearts and honestly ask, why do I want to fight about this? Is it a selfish motive? Do I want to win? What do I want? Do I want to be right? Do I want the best for that person? Do I just like to hear myself argue? Am I representing Christ well as I disagree?

We must make our own hearts submit to Christ. This is when we cry out to God and ask for the grace to humble ourselves. We must walk as He did and die to our own selfish motives for the sake of love.

Further on in James it explains, "But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says:
God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 

Don't criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:6-12, CSB.

We must learn to humble ourselves before a mighty God. The one and only proper judge will convict and work in the persons heart with whom you disagree. At the same time God will work in your own heart. There is no room for pride in Christian love.

Now, what if there is a certain family member who just won't let peace reign?

You can walk lovingly in grace toward them and refuse to engage. The best thing to do is say, "that is an interesting viewpoint." If they persist just ask non defensive questions (your tone goes a long way). Questions like, "How did you come to that conclusion?" What makes you so passionate about this point?" Seek to understand. In doing this, it may give you room to speak into their life as well. 

However, most importantly, we need to keep our eyes focused on Christ. When we remember what He did for us, the lengths and depths of love He has for us, what He endured for our salvation, we can die to our own self. He will give us the grace. Just remember and ponder;

Philippians 2:6-11

Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.
Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth
11 and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 



Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Review: Adorned by Wolgemuth

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This book is a look at Titus 2 in depth. It is challenging and asks hard questions that help you assess how you are living this out in your own life. It reminds me some of the author's previous book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. However, this book focuses on Titus 2.

Since Titus 2 is short, this book takes a deep look at it and how to apply it to your daily life. I have been challenged in many ways, convicted, and encouraged. God has used it to move and change my heart. That is always a good thing. Sanctification is a journey and this book has played a good part in my own sanctification.

This book is better than a commentary because it is personal and makes it feel like you are in a friendly teaching session, full of stories and practical real life examples. It has questions at the end of each chapter as well. It is appropriate for a group study or as an individual.

The layout is easy to read. The spacing and font make it pleasant as well. It is a book that is written for young and old women alike. It is for the full range of ages.

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 from Amazon.com here.

Book Review: Sing a New Song by Brownback

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This book is brilliant.

 Do you desire to read the Psalms in a deeper way?
Would you love for them to just come to life before your very eyes?
If you answered, yes, This book helps with that! Each Psalm is listed for you, separately and in order. The book gives you the basics of why it was written, what was happening, and further Scriptures that connect it to the New Testament.

It is a must-read aid to help grow you in prayer and worship of our One True King. I was so drawn to worship that a new passion for the Psalms burned within me. I know I will use this book over and over again. It is one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend it.

It is a book that you do not need to sit and read in its entirety. You can go to whatever Psalm you are studying. Either way it is a wonderful resource. It is written more like a devotional, not a stuffy commentary so it is helpful in getting you to think for yourself as you read the Scriptures.

Whether you are a new Christian or have been one for years, this resource is helpful.

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

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

Book Review: Lies Moms Believe by Hargraves

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This is a great book for young moms. It is written in a way where a lie is listed that many moms are tempted to believe, then gospel truth is presented to combat that lie. It is a needed book today that helps assist moms in "taking those lies captive in order to make them obedient to His promises". This is freeing for moms. It is also important because the mind is our biggest battle ground. Especially in motherhood when it is difficult to get out and be with others.

The book lists many different lies that moms are tempted to believe. You could read it straight through or flip to the lie that is a struggle for you and read that. As a biblical counselor I found this book helpful and important. It would be especially nice to read in a group. That could be very encouraging.

I am an older mom, I wish this resource was available for me when I was in this early stage of life. It is extremely important that we keep our minds surrounded by the Word and train them for right thinking in those promises. This is why I highly recommend this book. It is worth your time.

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

Today is book launch day and you can get a copy from Amazon.com here.
 
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