Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Review: Galatians for You by Tim Keller

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher, The Good Book Company, for the purpose of an honest review.

It is no secret that I am a huge Tim Keller fan. Of course when the opportunity came to review this book I knew I would love it. However, a good reviewer will put favoritism aside and read it like a Berean would. This is what I did. I took this book and read it alongside the book of Galatians examining them together and this was the most marvelous thing! Galatians really came alive to me! Keller's applications were magnificent.

If you want to grow in Christ I highly recommend this book. Read it alongside your Bible study of Galatians. Of course you do not need it. The Holy Spirit is the only real teacher you need however, God has given differnt people different gifts through that same Holy Spirit. Tim Keller has been gifted with expository teaching so reading this will only enhance your study.

I was drawn closer to Christ and affirmed in reading this alongside the Bible. The main overall focus of this book is the gospel. Paul is affirming and restoring his teaching of the gospel to these people. They had lost it because they were listening to others and being swayed. Paul is reminding them that Jesus is all you need. Live by that. This book is timely for today. Often we see false teaching on television or hear it in conversation. When you are rooted solidly in the gospel you can stay centered and come alongside those people to remind or teach them the truth. This book helps with that.

To get a copy from The Good Book Company go here.
To get a copy from Amazon go here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: The Romance of Grace by Jim McNeely III

I received a copy of this ebook free of charge from cross focused reviews for the purpose of an honest review.

This book is incredible and life changing. It is based on this question, What if God sees us the way a man sees a woman he is infatuated with, and His main question is not how to make us moral but rather how to get us to fall in love with Him?

First I will go into the technical things regarding the book itself then I will tell you how this book was personally life changing for me.

This book is all gospel. It starts by exploring our desires and where things went wrong. It addresses how that can be fixed by grace alone. It addresses the law and love. It discusses how to live under grace more practically. Each chapter is packed full with Scripture and wonderful examples. It explains the concept of grace in such a simple yet eloquent way. Then concluding each chapter there are questions for reflection.

This book takes time to really explore the great romance that we have in Christ. It goes back to the concept that we are the pearl of great value that the merchant (who represents Christ) gave all things up for. It is His amazing love that drives this. Then by His grace we respond to His amazing love not out of the sake of having good morals but because we love the One who first loved us.

How this book was life changing, God has been growing me in grace for a while now. This book through every chapter drew my heart more and more toward Christ. It grew my view of Him and His love for me. In this process I find myself responding more in that grace. If a book is written in such a way that draws you toward the Savior helping you fall more madly in love with Him it is worth the time to read and purchase. I highly recommend this book. The kindle version is only 3.99 while the paperback is under 9.00 on Amazon.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cd Review: Take Heart by Shannon Wexelberg

I received a copy of this cd at no charge for the purpose of an honest review from Discovery House.

This music compilation was beautifully done. It is encouraging and uplifting. It has a melodic way of drawing your heart toward God. I listened along with my daughters and we were greatly encouraged. My favorite track is Hope in God. It reminds you to keep your hope in the right place, on God alone.

Here are a few of the lyrics:
I will remember how faithful You are
The mercy You have shown
Here in this desert, so thirsty and parched
I'll remind my soul

Put your hope in God
Put your hope in God your Savior
Put your trust in the name of the Lord
Yet, I will praise
Yet, I will praise His name

The description of this cd says this was written through hard times. The music is so helpful in directing your heart toward its rightful focus. It is a good project that will strengthen anyone's heart as they listen and meditate on God's promises to them. Overall we like it and recommend it.

You can get a copy at Amazon here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Do Your Children Fear Punishment?

Let me ask you a question:

Are you more apt to get angry with your child when she spills red nail polish if

it is on white carpet or on an old towel?

What is the difference? Why is one harder to stomach than the other?

I have been pondering things like this in my own heart. I have noticed that if my child does something that is wrong, (mostly as an accident) I respond based on how I feel. This is not how it should be!

An example of this is if my child spills the nail polish on the floor and has the capability to clean up their own mess then I do not get angry. An accident occurred and was remedied. No effort on my part.

However if the child spills this staining liquid and it requires much effort on my part to remedy the situation like getting out the stain cleaner and working on this stain over and over for a while I tend to be angry.

In each situation the problem was the child spilling something. They are already saddened or upset that it happened. My response should be kindness. Always. No matter how I feel. No matter how it affects me.

These verses I have been pondering for a long time;
"God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first."
1 John 4 17-19, The Message 

It is so rich! I do not want my children to make a simple mistake and then look up with fear because they do not know if I am going to "punish" them or not. Yet when we mess up in some way we, if in Christ, never have to fear God's "punishment" toward us. He simply says to us, Christ has taken all your punishment on the cross already, get up and move forward child. I love you. Simply astounding.

To be that example to my children I need to remember Christ's substitute for my punishment. If I am hidden in Him I never have to fear it. His love is never changing or stopping regardless of what I do. As I meditate on Him, He will mold my heart to respond more like Him toward my children. We can only love this way because He first loved us. It is an overflow of the love that He pours out to us. 

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