Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review: The Gospel Call and True Conversion by Paul Washer

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

This book is the second in a series of three books entitled Recovering the Gospel. The other two books are The Gospel's Power and Message and Gospel Assurance and Warnings. This book was incredible to read. Simply because I live in a culture where most people think they are saved. Often it is simply because we live in a church culture. The gospel is shared but many already believe they know Him because they go to church or do this or that. There are not ears to hear. I find this so frightening! This book helps clarify what a true conversion will look like. Many people need to know this!

This book is clearly written. It is thoroughly biblical. It takes an in-depth look at the Scriptures as if moves through this very topic. I do believe it would be helpful for all believers to read this. It is very helpful and affirming in your walk with the Lord.

There is a great sale you can take advantage now to get these books linked below. Also an interview with the author that you may be interested in.

E-book Sale (through next Monday):
  • The Gospel Call & True Conversion - $4.99: KindleNook
  • The Gospel's Power & message - $2.99: KindleNook

Interview with Paul Washer:

Book Review: Clear Winter Nights by Trevin Wax

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

The subtitle of this book is; a journey into truth, doubt, and what comes after. This is a fictional account of a college aged guy who is struggling with the faith he was taught by his parents. He has suffered a few hard issues in his life and is struggling through how God fits into those. It is a great way to watch someone working out their faith through struggles and doubts.

The book also features discussion questions that go along with each chapter. They are a good resource that you do not want to miss. They will aid in great discussion if you were to read this as a group.

Too many of our young people are falling away from church in their college years these days. It is probably because they have misunderstood what real faith in Jesus is. It is good to ask the hard questions and struggle through what real faith is as an individual. This book would help with that. The fact that it is a fictional story helps open up this time for discussion. This would be especially good for young adults to read.

You can pre order a copy from Amazon here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review: Reclaiming Love by Ajith Fernando

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

I loved this book so much! I am not sure how to even express it rightly because words cannot even do justice to the fact that I adored this title. I have for years now been struggling with what love was suppose to look like for a Christian and this book just solidified all I needed to hear. It was amazing balm to my soul.

The author takes a look at mainly 1 Corinthians 13 but keeps it within context of the overall writings of Paul. It was very eye opening, and convicting, challenging, and grace packed all at the same time. I am a better person in HIM for reading it and I am certain it is one I will need to read again. I especially loved how the author unpacked the Scriptures and explained them little by little.

He used great examples through stories of what this is suppose to look like fleshed out. He also took time to correct some main misconceptions about what love looks like. I do recommend this book for all Christians because God tells us we will be known by how we love. He is love. If we belong to Him and want to bring glory to His name we must get this concept and know how to rightly flesh it out before a dark and dying world.

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

Book Review: Is God Anti-gay? by Sam Allberry

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

To be honest I probably would not have picked this book up if society had not been drastically changing lately making it legal for two of the same sex to marry bringing these issues out onto Main street USA. So this book is timely for me. Especially when my children are now losing their innocence by being exposed to these issues now because they are in mainstream society. However I am so very glad I picked this book up for a review! It was amazing and was completely biblically based.

The author is a professing Christian who struggles with feelings of same sex attraction. He is the perfect one to write this book because he understands first hand how some truth from the Scriptures is hard to hear. I love how he explained in love and truth what all the bible has to say about same sex attraction, homosexuality, and sexual sin in general.

I was especially encouraged at how he explained that God is not just addressing homosexuality as immorality but any kind of sex outside of a committed one man and one woman marriage because biblical marriage represents a higher picture of Christ and His church. I also like how he addressed the issue of struggling with feelings of sin and sinning to be different. That may be very freeing for some people. As with any sin the thoughts of doing the sin and then actually entertaining those thoughts or following through with them are much different. God always gives us a door of escape when tempted.

I think this book is good for help in loving others who struggle with same sex attraction, homosexuality, or any sexual sin. I also think it would be good for help in knowing exactly what the Bible says about the topic and God's heart. Really in these times all Christians would be better off for reading this book so we can rightly love our homosexual friends in truth.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here. 
I very rarely rate a book five stars just because five should be valued. I give this one a five of five star.




Compassion Photo Contest

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Hey all! I just love the ministry of Compassion International. I love what they do and how they help. I love my "adopted" child as well. Our "child" is really 19 years old. Her name is Sylvia and she lives in Uganda. I am so thankful that our small donation each month really helps her and her family. I am so excited every time I get a letter from her. It is something the entire family participates in. The biggest way we love to help her though is to keep her lifted in prayer. Do you have a compassion child yet? Tell me about them. If not you can sponsor one here.

If you go to this link, Compassion is sponsoring a really neat photo challenge. Read all about it here 
Then participate! You have until July 31st. There are 12 items to take photos of. I have five so far.

 A flip phone that is old! It is my daughters for emergencies only and well someone has her number named Marcus because she got a text that said, "Dude, this is Marcus. I need my clothes and phone!"
                                                          This is my daughters sewing machine.
                                                         This is the grain or seed we eat on a regular basis.
This is a food staple. We love fresh grown garden food! From our neighbors garden because my garden was a bust this year.
Pictures of cows! This is probably a cheat but I thought it was funny! Fact is I grew up with cows outside my door in the pasture but don't see them so often where we live now.

My photos are really bad but this is what I have thus far. :) Go out and join us! It is fun and you can be real creative, more creative than me for sure!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Idol Lies for Tweens - Week Five

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I chose to not watch the video again this week. Sin has a strong pull on us and this chapter is so important so I am taking a more kid friendly look at the seriousness of sin. We took a journey through the book of Exodus from Exodus 7 to Exodus 15.

We played a game making it more interactive for learning and memory purposes. We went through the plagues in order. Each child took a turn drawing a plague on the white board. The others would then try to guess what it was. We then listed them all on the white board in order.

We then discussed the Red Sea crossing, God's deliverance and the passover. Relating it all to the Savior who would come. How He came down to save us.

The children will ponder things God has done in their past to deliver them. We will discuss how we can trust God always.

Then we will look at Numbers 11:5-6. We will see how easy it is to complain when we are in the wilderness with God like the Israelites. Then we will discuss how keeping our eyes on Jesus and trusting what He has done can help us stay focused and not complain. Whenever we feel like complaining it means our eyes are off the prize and we need to redirect. Sin does have a strong pull and only by knowing Jesus great love for us can we resist. He gives us the power to resist by His Spirit in us who believe in what He has done through Christ.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Learn by Imitation

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                                                      photo credit: pigeon.psy.tufts.edu
I always find it interesting that our little guy who came to live with us was practically non-verbal yet after six months was very verbal. After a year he obtained a vast vocabulary. Now you may wonder what happened in this time period? How did he progress in such a wonderful way?

The answer is simply imitation. Our little guy came to live with us when he was three years old. He could say 2-3 words. A three year old should have much more to say than this but he was from circumstances that did not give him much opportunity for imitation.

When I took him to the doctor with a grand scheme of speech therapy because I was convinced he had some sort of neurological deficiency my wise pediatrician said, "let us wait six months and see what happens."

After those six months he was saying so much! I was astounded! We did not do anything special. He was just given an opportunity to watch and imitate. We talked to him about everything and he loved it! He had no prior knowledge of how to navigate his world due to his life's circumstances. He was a very curious boy and he copied and practiced saying things and started learning what they meant.

He also had no idea how to behave socially. He had no respect for rules. He started to watch and learn what was acceptable behavior and imitated it. God made us this way. We were made to learn in this fashion. It is the very reason we tend to become more like the people with whom we spend the most time.

The apostle Paul said to his friends at the church in Philippi, "Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example" (Philippians 3:17). This imitation is helpful in our spiritual lives as well. In the home we have the perfect environment to practice imitation. We must be what we desire our children to become.

It can be scary to think of this. In my eyes I see all the bad I have done. I see the cup I tossed angrily in the sink because I had had enough of things not going my way this day. I see the desire I have to run away from everything. However, God's grace is what gets us through. God's grace and love is what is poured on us who belong to Him. It is not about our performance or our perfection. His love and grace covers every sin. They have been paid for on the cross. We, even in our faults, must pick ourselves back up, apologize, and make things right with those who observe. This speaks volumes.

We all strive to attain the goal. We must do this in community. God does not expect perfection because Jesus accomplished this for us already. God already sees us perfected with our warts and all. Jesus said, "It was finished so it is." We must walk as we believe this, love like crazy, and be what we want our children to become. Be what we want them to imitate. What an amazing privilege our God has given us in this!
 
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