Thursday, April 30, 2015

Movie Review: NOBLE


I was invited to watch a screening of the movie, Noble. It was about a woman who found the courage to follow God to the unknown. It is a true story of the life of Christina Noble. It proved to be an inspirational movie. I enjoyed it and was encouraged by her tenacity even at life's hard and unbearable blows thrown her way. She rose above and I like movies like this. I think we all do. We want to believe we are brave and when we watch brave stories it encourages us to march on in that braveness.

It did deserve its PG-13 rating because it truthfully dealt with life's hard issues like assault, the sex-trade industry, and death. These issues were not graphic but require a level of maturity in the viewer to understand. It portrayed the challenges well that one faces when they start trying to help others without hurting them by entering into the messy situation to make a true and lasting difference. Christiana is an example of what it takes to make a difference in the place she believed she was called. That takes faith.

This movie debuts in theaters May 8th. If you are going to see a movie then this one is worth the time. Encouraging stories of those who defy the odds instill courage and I think we need more of that in the world. I hope you check it out! Here is the trailer:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: Uncovering the Life of Jesus by Pippert


This was a simple and straight forward book that looked at several vignettes from the life of Jesus. It was a very easy read. The Scripture passages from the Bible were in the book so they are easily accessible. The book gave readers a better understanding of who Jesus is.

The book also included several questions to help the reader think through the Scriptures and address what they really are saying. It also features plenty of room for notes.

Overall this book would be good for a new believer or someone just curious of who Jesus is.

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

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

Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview, Book Review, and Give-away: Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell


This review was super fun for me because I got to ask Trillia Newbell some questions about the book. I love when you get to hear straight from the author so this is what she had to say.


Q-What was the inspiration for writing a book on the topic of fear?

A-I wrote Fear and Faith because I know what it’s like to struggle with paralyzing fear and I knew that I wasn’t alone. I wanted to write it so that women would also know that they are not alone. Fear is incredibly common. I’ve also experienced the power of the gospel that helps me fight that fear with faith. Through my struggles, I’ve gotten to know God more deeply and I also wanted to share how the Lord has met me.

Q-What is the most challenging thing personally for you when you are in the midst of fear?
A-The most challenging thing for me when I am fearful is simply to believe the truth. I think fear is ultimately rooted in unbelief.  When we are fearful we question God’s wisdom and goodness, for example. So, for me I have to fight to believe that the God of the Bible is who he says he is. He always proves to be faithful.

Q-Practically how would you encourage readers who feel like their lives are stuck in the throes of fear?
1)      Be honest or transparent to God: You don’t have to hide this fear. God has grace for you to fight and he is not surprised by your fear. Go to him and confess your fear. God’s word says that if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to purify us (1 John 1:9). Run to the throne of grace and receive help in your time of need.
2)      Be honest or transparent to a friend: I am thankful to have a good community (a great local church) where I can go and share my fears and struggles. Find a trusted friend who can help point you to the truth in God’s word.
3)      Preach to yourself more than you listen: Preach the gospel to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth in the Scriptures. Remind yourself of the character of God. Sometimes getting out of your head helps.

Book Review:
Just being completely transparent here, fear probably has to be the biggest issue of my sin struggle on this earth. If it is not in one area, it just creeps back up in another and the most wonderful thing about a fear battle is that you do not have to fight alone. This book helps the reader see this.

The next best thing in considering a fear battle is knowing there is hope! The author conveys the hope of Christ through the good news of the gospel all throughout. She uses great practical examples of fears in various areas that most women struggle with from time to time.

The author is such a sweet spirit (I have heard her talk before and her speaking is as authentic as her writing) who makes a tougher topic of sin struggle easy to digest. She walks you through this book in such a welcoming and loving way you will not want to put it down. It is definitely worth your time.

I personally was challenged and have grown from reading it and that is what I consider makes a book good and worth your time to read so this is a win. I hope you take the time to read it too!

You can get a chance now because you could win this book! Just leave a comment of a fear struggle you have and I will randomly draw a winner.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon here.

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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: Bedeviled by Duriez


This was a great book about the life of C.S. Lewis and his friends in the group called The Inklings. It is an in-depth look at certain titles written by these authors and how they relate to the world around them. Story always points to bigger things and this book helps connect those stories to that. In particular this book looks at the problem of evil and how the authors handled it through story.

I really enjoyed this book because I like to hear the back story of how things came to be. This book gives much information on many of my favorite stories written by C.S. Lewis and his friends. It helps the reader to understand the stories better when they know what inspired them.

This is an interesting and good read if you enjoy the works of The Inklings. It was an easy to read yet informative book.

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

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

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson and Give Away


There are books that are memorable. Books that are helpful. Books that are strategic in your growth in Christ. There are books on grace. However, there are not many who hit all of these markers. I am quite picky in calling a book my favorite. That term needs to be reserved for the very best of books, the books that are useful for true and lasting heartfelt change in Christ. With that said, this book is on my top ten books of all time.

Oh my goodness, there is too much good about this book to even properly give you words about it. From chapter one all the way until the end the author gives you exactly what you need for life in Christ. It is not another "how to" book which are overflowing in bookstores today but don't help facilitate true and lasting change. This book is a practical, flesh out your walk by glimpsing at the Savior throughout all of life. It is a must read.

The book is about "infusing all your relationships with the love of Jesus." Each chapter deals with different kinds of relationships we have in life. The author however has an amazing gift of helping you see Jesus in each of those relational places rightly. As we are able to see Him better He equips us to live more like Him thus comes the grace. Grace is needed each moment of every day and God is working it within us all the time.

The author writes in a way that is easy to read and is filled with personal application stories on each topic. Anyone can read this.

This book is just complete gospel goodness. You would really be better off and stronger in the Lord after reading it. It is a must read for all Christian. Seriously you will want to get this one.

You can get a copy of this on Amazon here.

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weakness - Where Glory Can Shine Through


I hate needing help. It is one of the most humbling and painful experiences of life as an American. Our culture is bad at seeing those who are weak and aiding them in general. There are scientists who want to kill off those who are weak. In general, the weak are not regarded as living, breathing, human beings with eternal souls made in the image of God. The strong prey on the weak. Weak people are taken advantage of all the time. I hate being weak.

I imagine other cultures do not suffer this ailment as we do because I observe in other cultures their high esteem for the elderly. When you grow older you become weak. Other cultures are communal so they don't mind being a unit and working together to help one another, it is natural. They don't see the weak as a burden.

In America we are individualistic. We are raised to take care of our own immediate family and take care of ourselves. We are raised to be independent, not needing anyone, believing we can do anything. This is not biblical. I am learning it the hard way because I am afflicted with weakness.

It hurts to feel like a burden. To feel like you cannot give back to others as they give to you. It is uncomfortable to be the receiver of care and help. It feels like a continual drain on others. When you do not look sick you feel this even more. A real or perceived judgement weighs in the air because you look able-bodied but you cannot do what the others do to contribute. You appear lazy.

As I journey this part of my life with waves of weakness and unpredictability I am reminded of what is really important and what is truth no matter what the culture defines as truth. I battle my mind to hold tight to biblical truth. It is a battle.

This is some of what God says about weakness:

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

These are just two truths. The Bible speaks about weakness all throughout because we are frail and broken, every one of us even if we don't want to believe it, yet it is in the weak place that God can actually use you. It is in the weak place where His glory bursts forth. This is where He gets the greater glory. This is where we want to be. Lord help us embrace the weak places and let your glory shine through.

Lord, forgive us for being independent. Help us to be hungry for your glory alone and in that help us to embrace the weak spots because it is in those that your glory shines brightly through. Lord help us see all we need is You!

Book Review: Rejoicing in Christ by Reeves


Delighting in the Trinity, another book I read by this author, was one of my favorite all time books so of course seeing this book by the same author, I had to check it out. I was not disappointed. Rejoicing in Christ is first an excellent title but the content in it was great as well. It was written along the same style of Delighting in the Trinity but was all about Christ specifically. Honestly, Christians need to know how to rejoice in Christ and this book helps with that. The Bible tells us that even angels long to look into salvation. This book takes you deeper into the works of Christ. It was excellent.

The book also includes excerpts from some of my favorite theologians all throughout which is a nice addition to this as well. I highly recommend this book to all believers and non believers  because Christ is the most important thing to Christianity. Everything hinges on Christ and what He did. This book only takes you deeper into that. It is worth your time.

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

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

Video Series Review: When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey


This is a well done video series on the topic of marriage. It is broken up into eight individual sessions that last between 20-30 minutes each. The entire series points you to the good news of the gospel all through which is important. It is all done in an easy to listen to format.

I really enjoyed this series. The sessions were great reminders to me personally regarding my marriage and my relationship to Christ. It was definitely worth the time to watch. I do think marriages would benefit from this product. There is a companion study guide that you can download to go along with the videos. This would be a good resource for churches to use in a group environment.

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

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

Book Review: The One O'clock Miracle by Mitchell and Echeverri


This is the sweetest little children's book. It is beautifully illustrated and conveys a the picture of Jesus and His miracles, a man's faith, and Jesus's promises. Saying I liked it is one thing but my six year old son loved it. Not only did he like the story but his own faith was strengthened as He listened. 

In the back of the book it explains that this story is adapted from the book of John. It was exciting for my little guy to read a book that is an actual true story that happened in real life. He says he would like all his friends to read this.

You can get a copy of this title from amazon here.

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review: Soul Friends by Parrott


Soul friends is a book of vignettes about life and friendships. It was not what I expected when I chose it because I thought it was a deeper book on friendship but instead it was a light hearted read which is fine just not what I originally expected. The stories are easy to read and make you think about friendships in your own life as you read the author's accounts.

The author has a way of taking a story and relating it back to life and God. This was nice. Reading it was like sitting and listening to a friend talk over coffee. The author's perspective on her friendships through life is sweet. She broke the book up to address various stages of life. It set an example for us all in our own friendships though life. Each chapter also has questions to ponder at the end.

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

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review: The Things of Earth by Joe Rigby


This book is a great read for all Christians. I make this statement because in some ways I see a lot of unbalance in our walks as Christians when it comes to our possessions. We seem to like to take extremes (by living with nothing or overindulging) when deciding what to do with the gifts that God gives us or perhaps we do not see all things as gifts from God. Either way, in America, especially, I see an unbalanced stance on this issue and that is why this book is needed!

Joe Rigby is a great writer who is engaging and able to talk (in words) in a way that is full of wisdom and by wisdom I mean the wisdom that comes from God that is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and 
sincere" (James 3:17). 

I appreciated this book because at times I felt conviction from the Spirit but then immediately washed anew with the grace of the gospel. God used this book to open my eyes to the ways that I am tempted to lean on the edges of either side of the extremes and has corrected me by His word and the author's words through out this book. I honestly feel freer after reading it which is why I think all believers should read it. Of course the author also comes before us humbly by his words knowing he can error and people can misunderstand the message but if you have a grasp of the gospel you will come out stronger in the Lord after reading this. 
This book addresses the things we have, helps us see them as gifts given by God, instructs us on how to enjoy these things without guilt and with generosity not holding them too tightly. It is wonderful and worth your time. I believe it is an important book for a time such as this.

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

I received an e-book of this title from Crossway free of charge for the purpose of an honest review.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Some Words on Autism from My Autistic Child and Her Sister


Above is my family. We look "normal" on the outside but honestly our home is anything but "normal." It is complicated living with special needs which we all have at varying forms but God is the one who helps us to love better experiencing the difficulties we experience together.

Since today is world autism day, I asked my two daughters to write something about autism.

From the oldest:

"Having a sister with autism is a bit tough sometimes. By "tough" I pretty much mean she's tough to understand. Sometimes she will whine about something that i don't quite know why she cares so much about it. Sometimes it is hard to know if she loves or cares about me. She usually needs a lot of attention from her big sister. :)
And even though you don't quite know what's going on in her head, and even though she doesn't show it, she gets sad too. When she is sad she usually does not show it, she likes too remain happy, all the time, everyday. The times she does show it, I imagine her as a shy five year old little girl with her big brown, puppy eyes. :)
I get angry with her a lot. Mostly because I don't "understand." Even though I don't understand her most of the time, I love her so much, with all of my heart."

From the youngest:
Being autistic is sometimes hard, uneasy, confusing, and odd. And some of us act different, walk different, talk different, and look different. Now I’ll walk you through these things step by step. Today we will talk about how we are made perfect in God’s eyes.

Now, have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself “I am not beautiful.” If you have, that’s a LIE. A lie sent to you by the Enemy. Scripture says, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This means we are Beautiful, In HIS eyes. And God did not make a mistake when he made you, he made you with love and respect. He cares for us even when we are feeling odd and ugly. We are all made with love even non autistic people. LOVED. Loved by HIM. CARED. Cared by HIM. BEAUTIFUL. You are not ugly, odd, or weird, you are BEAUTIFUL. You are perfectly made, even when people say “You’re ugly”. You should not believe that you are ugly, weird, or stupid. You are God’s Child. And God is the best parent you can get. 
Being different does not always seem easy, some people don’t want to be around different people. Some of us Talk different, Walk different, Act different, all of the above. But it does not mean we do not fit in, we are just…… Special, Awesome, And God made us different for a reason. A great reason. This is to help people that are different understand being autistic. And one reason I know a lot about being different, is because I have autism. 
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  
                       1 John 3:1

Happy Autism DAY!!!!!!!!!!

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