Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Making All Things New by Powlison

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This is a must read for all Christians. This is the go to book for our time. We live in a sexualized culture and many people have been a victim or perpetrators of sexual sin. We all need to hear the truth of God's love, judgement and grace in this mess.

This book is unique in it is written for the  sin struggler and the hurt all at the same time. Both issues are addressed side by side. It is a beautiful thing to see both issues equally addressed. This makes this book a must read for everyone.

As a biblical counselor, I would like to pass this book out to as many people as I can. It is worth the time. I think if you read it you will feel the same way. It takes a look at biblical passages to help navigate this topic and years of wisdom gleaned from the author.

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 from Amazon.com here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: Alive in Him by Furman

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This is a great companion book to read alongside your study of Ephesians. Gloria is witty and clear in her writing. She helps biblical truths become practical for our everyday life. This book will enhance your bible study time.

The book of Ephesians is helpful to enrich your study of doctrine and practical walk. The book is interesting and easy to read. It is helpful for any student of the word. It is worth your time and will be a tool that God can use to help draw you nearer to Christ.

I was encouraged personally and grew in depth of my understanding of Ephesians after reading this. One thing I especially like after reading Gloria's books is her increased understanding of different cultures and points of view. This increases understanding of the word which she passes on to the reader. She lives in the culture of which the bible was birthed. There is something about that that enhances her writings but also makes it practical enough for the western reader. That is a great gift.

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.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: Nothing to Prove by Allen

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I loved this book! I think it is definitely worth your time. It is helpful and applicable in a world where "selfie" is a regular daily term. We live in an age where we are so consumed by what people think of us. We wonder if we are good enough? We wonder if God loves us if we just rest in Him alone? We have lost or way. We think we  need to earn our way in God's kingdom. We equate this world with the world to come. Yet, sadly we have it all wrong. God's kingdom is an upside down kingdom. This book will help you find that freedom.

I just felt peace over and over after reading this. And peace is good because Peace is also a person; Jesus. As I read, I was continually pointed to Jesus. This book was focused on Him; not us. It did give practical tips on how to walk out our walk in a God honoring way that is filled with hope in Him alone, not striving.

This book is divided up so that you can read it alone or in a group. At the end of each chapter there are practical steps you can take or study further.

I was encouraged by this book and would love to see more written like this out there. We don't have to be a product of the selfie culture. We don't have to strive. We just have to train ourselves to be. In that being comes the good works He has given us to do for our good and His glory.

I received this book free of charge for the purpose of an honest review.

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

How God Revealed My Love of Money

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"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  

So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
what can man do to me?” 
~Hebrews 13:5-6

When God drew me to Himself, I had a dream. In that dream He rescued me from death and said very clearly, "I will not leave you or forsake you." I had no idea that was scripture at the time. I was only twelve years old and did not know the benefit of being in God's word. 

However, later on in life, I discovered that those very words were Scripture! I also learned that context is important when interpreting scripture. The words around, "never will I leave you or forsake you", would give me the context of the deeper meaning. I was astonished to see that these words are framed around contentment and the love of money. (Though these verses do occur first in the book of Joshua encouraging him not to fear entering the land of promise.)

This season is tough. My husband is losing his job as a contracting company comes in to restructure. It is a time of revealed trust or lack there of in our Savior as provider. The pressure from this situation helped me see that I was loving money. Not because I am wasteful or like expensive things. I lack trust when I don't know if money will come in. This is a lack of trust in my Savior as Provider. I was trusting money as my savior.

Once that was revealed it was necessary to confess it. Then walk forward in faith that he will provide as He always has. It is only through trials or pressures that our hearts will reveal what we truly worship. If I was not walking through this season, I would think I was trusting God for our needs, but really, I was trusting in a steady paycheck.

I am thankful for this revelation. I am thankful God cares enough to reveal our hearts so we can confess this idolatry and move in fuller allegiance to Him. He gives more grace. In the process of dying to worry and dependence on a paycheck, we become more Christ like because we walk without fear knowing that God will provide. It is His promise. We must walk in it. This doesn't make it easy but a regular realization that I need to trust Him instead of any other thing. 

As we journey this path of the unknown for the next few months, I know God will provide. And at the end of this test, He will strengthen our faith. He is a good Father. He is always there. He truly will never leave or forsake us.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Struggling with the Unknown

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Did you know that nothing is under your control?

Nothing. Let that sink in a minute. Because this perspective will save you from much pain.

Often in life we have the illusion of control. We think, if we plan hard enough, if we do this or that, we will be in control. Yet, it is all an illusion. We are fooled by it until something crushes our grip. Then we grasp for any small bit of control left but we come up lacking.

The good news is that God is in control. He is also a good Father who loves His children. He holds the world in His hand and the lives of His children. He is the one who establishes our steps. We can let go of grasping and fall into His loving care and leading guidance. Life is much easier when we learn to do this.

The alternative is making an idol for ourselves to worship called control. That is going against God. It is sin. Plans are fine until they become demands, then they are idols. The quickest way to determine if you are dealing with an idol of control is having your plans ruined. This exposes your heart in this area. Do you respond in trust or despair?

We have the opportunity to trust God with all of our plans. We can plan, order is wise, but learn to plan loosely. Leave room for change. Then we are trusting when God alters our plans which we can more easily walk in faith.

I am currently living in a state of unknown and it has been painful because I have held onto my plans too tightly. I am thankful that God is a loving Father who loves me enough to show me this error and discipline me toward trust and faith in His perfect plan. We know His love by His discipline in our lives (Hebrews 12).

Walking with God is an adventure and as we grow in grace, God will be certain to help us grow in Christ-likeness because His Spirit lives in us working change. Let us let Him do His work because it is glorious.

How do you struggle to trust? Are you a hard core planner? How do you respond to change? Did you ever see control as idolatry? How is God using change to make you more like Christ?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: How Does Sanctification Work? by Powlison

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I respect David Powlison and his work in bringing Christ back to counseling. I like reading anything by him and this was no exception. He, again, speaks to us with wisdom that comes from a life of walking with God and His people.

This book is instructive for the reader because it helps you think through progressive sanctification. It helps us see that as humans, we are complex, so the sanctification process is not simple. God uses many things to work and draw people to Himself. He continues this work through our life as we are conformed more and more into His image.

Christians could benefit from reading this for a good understanding of how people change. It is helpful for learning how to do life together. 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 it from Amazon.com here.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: Reformation Women by VanDoodewaard

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Biographies are always encouraging reads. This one in particular was encouraging to me because it focused on the long left out women of the time of the reformation. It is unique to have a book that recorded the importance of women in the events of the reformation so this is a much needed resource.

I love to give my girls a resource that will show them that women have equally important roles in their Christian walks. God places and purpose our lives and times to bring Him supreme glory. It doesn't matter who you are, if you are His, He is at work in you and using your life to bring glory to His name. This book brought this thought home for me.

The book is written in an interesting way that keeps the reader interested. Some biographies are dry and hard to digest but this book was not like that. It will keep you desiring to read all about each life included. It will spur your faith and encourage it. It is worth the time.

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 here.
 
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