Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Titus for You by Tim Chester


I loved this book! The "For You" series of lay commentary books are a must read for Christians desiring to understand the Bible in a Christ centered way. They are easy for any person to read, encouraging, and helpful in keeping you staying true to the word of God.

What I love most about this book is that it gave practical suggestions as how the book of Titus relates to us today and how we can live it out in the context of our day to day lives. Not only did the word to Titus apply then but it also applies now in our daily lives. The author did a great job conveying the meaning, context and application. It is written in a way that a new believer could easily understand it but also a seasoned believer would appreciate.

The author broke up the three chapters of Titus as being about "ensuring the gospel is central to the everyday life of the church, so that the world can be reached for Christ."
Chapter one is "about keeping the gospel central."
Chapter two is "about ensuring the gospel is central to everyday life."
Chapter three is "about ensuring the gospel is central for the sake of mission."

Honestly I really appreciated chapter two because being a woman, Titus two as an example to me is taught often. However, I can appreciate the teaching to women and conduct much more in the context of this entire book. It is a breath of fresh air. I was especially thankful for that.

I was glad I read this book. It helped me see the picture of Titus more clearly and I am better off for reading this book. I recommend it to anyone desiring to understand the book of Titus more fully.

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

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: Body and Soul by Bethany Hamilton


This book's focused audience is young girls which is a good audience for someone like Bethany Hamilton to reach. Bethany Hamilton is very sweet, real and loves being healthy based on the vibe I got from this book. It was an easy read that any middle school or high school girl could easily read.

Cons of this book:
I love that the author loves being healthy and loves eating organic and clean but realistically this is not always possible for girls these days. She doesn't pressure anyone to do it exactly the same but I can see how this would add more pressure on things young girls must do instead of the freedom they have in Christ. It is indeed important to eat healthy and exercise but it could convey some pressure in some ways.

Pros of this book:
The author included tons of exercises for a girl to do. The exercises are described in detail along with pictures which prove to be very helpful. The variety is also helpful. The author also includes an entire week's worth of recipes that are healthy and foods that she loves and eats. It would be very helpful for one to get started.

Over all the author is encouraging. She does stress also in the last section of the book the importance and most important thing being your relationship with God. There is Scripture sprinkled throughout as well. However, the one key it lacked was the freedom we have in  Christ. I felt like it gave girls alot of things to do instead of being free to live in freedom. I am pretty certain the author did not mean this but it is a point that could be lost on the reader. With all that being said, this book was okay, it was not a waste of time but it could have come off more spiritually strong which is what I was initially hoping for.

I received 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 here.

Book Review: Active Spirituality by Brian Hedges


I found this book to be balanced addressing the topic of grace and work as how it is God's responsibility to sanctify yet also man's to do work alongside. It was compiled of 31 letters written to a fictional friend in response to letters or questions he had as he was growing and learning in his faith. I was not sure initially if I liked this format because I really wished I knew what the fictional friend's actual letters said but the responses made the gist of them come to light.

The book was creatively done. Because it was written in letter format, it gave a more relational feel and made some harder theological information easier to digest. The author loves many classic reformers of the past and quotes them often which I loved. He does this to make his points more clear through out the letters.

I also appreciated how the author took time to consider how people can be unbalanced on this topic so he was able to creatively format these responses in this unique way. It was an interesting read and if you struggle with the balance between grace and work then this would be a good read for you. I found it very informative.

You can get a copy from Amazon here.

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

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Gospel and a Women's Work


145 women submitted articles on this topic. They articles basically fell into five common categories. This is the compiled article on the gospel coalition site regarding those. There is so much we do as women! I think this is why I have such a heart for women's ministry.

Here is my article about the gospel and work.

What do I do every day? This question is almost comical to me regarding my work. I am a mom who stays at home with her three children. Not only that but I homeschool them. I am also the manager of the home; keeping things running. I am the lover and encourager of my husband. I am a blogger, writer and teacher. I have many roles and responsibilities to play well; people are depending on it.
As a homemaker, I take care of my home which requires much cleaning, cooking, teaching, and loving.

As a homeschool teacher, I teach my children the things they need for a well-rounded education.

As a manager of the home, I get to manage meals, budgets, and schedules.

As a wife, I get to keep my husband well-tended.

As a blogger and writer, I get to meet deadlines and encourage others around the world.

As a teacher, I get to disciple others in the word of God. I get to help foreigners understand English and American culture through ESL.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I do not like my work even to the point of resentment. Yet what I am realizing is that during those times, I do not have my eyes fixed where they need to be. I get overwhelmed because I lose control of how I think things should look on a given day. I do not like my work when I lose the focus of doing everything for the glory of God alone. This is where faith and work meet.
I must keep my eyes on Jesus when I am wiping a dirty butt. I must keep my eyes on Jesus when I am crying with my oldest over an algebra problem. I must keep my eyes on Jesus and trust that my child with special needs will eventually be okay in adult life. This is where my work and faith meet.

It is imperative we understand that God is sovereign. We must be flexible to let God rule our day. It is wise to plan but even more so to hold those plans loosely because people get sick, accidents happen, and life changes. We live in an unpredictable world, holding our plans loosely will help us find joy in all of our work.

In the many stresses of my work I am reminded that I need a Savior! I am desperate for one to save me from myself! If I can capture those frustrations quickly enough they can be replaced by the affections of Christ. He lived on this earth in flesh like me, He understands it, He chose me, He even chose my good works, I just need to trust and walk in them. I need to trust He lived perfectly what I could not. The pressure is off whether I am doing work that I naturally love or work that is messy and I would not chose, either way I can trust and walk and do it all for the glory of God because He chose me and loves me. He did the unthinkable for me so no matter how hard the work I am given, I can do it in Him because He gives me strength.

As women it is important we do not isolate in times of frustration, we need community to help point us back to Christ when our eyes veer away from Him. We need one another no matter our position in life, women are very relational and we need to support one another in our work, whatever it is. This is when things are truly meaningful in regards to our faith and work; women walking together shoulder to shoulder for the greater glory of God despite our differences and roles we play.
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