Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Eight Women of Faith by Haykin


I adored this book because it took a close look at women who shaped our faith history. I agree with the author, that we do need more books like this. Women's voices and actions have shaped much of history but the information on them is usually lost. The author did a magnificent job collecting  information on these women to give us a credible biographical account.

This book was interesting and an easy read. I was encouraged by it. I think it is a read that all Christians would benefit from. Learning the past and from "a great cloud of witnesses" whether male or female is always a good thing. It encourages growth in faith in Christ.

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 here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: Home by Fitzpatrick


This book was timely. I started reading it when I was going through a really rough health battle and found it super encouraging. It was a balm to my weary worn out soul. It takes a look at the New Heaven and New Earth and what that means for us in the here and now.

It is packed with Scripture and insight that continually points you toward what is to come for us that are in Christ. It is a book that helps you see that the here and now is worth it because what we do now matters and will carry on there.

I remember reading Randy Alcorn's Heaven and being greatly encouraged as well. This book is a little like the other but focuses on different things, particularly hurts we endure here. Alcorn's book appeals more to the imagination. Both are excellent and worth the 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 on here.

Book Review: Good and Angry by Powlison


This has been the best book I have ever read on anger. It is worth your time to pick up because we all deal with some form of anger from time to time. It is a universal emotion that we all have experienced so it would be good for us all to learn how to deal with it biblically.

This book first takes you through a bare bones look at what anger actually is. This was most instructive because it helps you see what you are actually dealing with.

The book then gives you some very practical ways to work through your anger. It gives great heart assessing tools that you can use to work through it. Anger can be good or bad. It depends on how it manifests. Anger is a desire for something that is perceived as a wrong to be made right. It is how we deal with that wrong that usually what gets us in trouble. When we learn to deal with our anger biblically and as God deals with it, it will help us significantly. God after all is making all things wrong right.

The last section of the book addresses some harder issues in overcoming anger which was also helpful because anger is something that may take a while to work through in certain cases. It will always vary from person to person. Since we all get angry and know people who get angry, it would benefit us all to get this book.

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 here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

How Murder Shaped Me


1994, my high school graduation year, hope abides. Life has no limits. I feel as if I can rule the world. I endured suffering and fear at the tension and anxiety the class bully threw on everyone but this year I was in college. My life was finally free from the tension. Or was it?

That year, two girls were heinously murdered by three kids, all around my age. One of those perpetrators was this class bully we all feared. By all aspects of what information I have seen on the matter the crime was intentional. Some kids, 17 year olds, decided they didn't like some other kids so what did they do? They murdered them in cold blood. Kids, I went to school with, in my small town. The story gets even worse, to cover up what they did, they tried to burn the bodies. The mother of one of the perpetrators helped and then made them a pizza. What?! Is this the world I live in?

I didn't realize it then but this instilled a deep rooted fear in my life. Because I didn't know what to do with this horrible information, and didn't know how to grieve or filter it through a biblical worldview, for the next 21 years I would suffer with an unknown depression. A darkness that overwhelms me every anniversary month of these murders. The mind amazes me at how it tries to cope with hard things.

How does this shape us? Any trial or pressure we experience in life exposes the things we worship or don't worship. In my experience with these murders, I erected an idol of self-protection with some companions of control. These idols control our behaviors and responses to life.

What it exposed, despite the catechism and all the sin stained world I had seen, I wanted to believe that all people were inherently good. Much of the world wants to believe that too. Our fictional media often molds our thoughts to fit this box. Yet, we are born sinners. Nothing can deny that. I was glad to replace these thoughts with truth.

Yet, when I replaced these thoughts with truth of the real world, the idol of self-protection and control took over. If I can only control my environment then I will be safe. If only I can protect my self then I will be okay. I will do this at whatever cost possible. Then knowing this is not possible, depression hits and hopelessness takes over. Every anniversary month.

When God revealed this thought pattern, freedom came. We cannot trust ourselves to be sovereign. That job belongs to God alone. If we trust in God and His perfect plan, despite the confusion, we will be at peace in His capable hands. Nothing can come our way without His permission. Nothing. We have no need to fear or try to fix things or build walls of self protection. God is in control and God is good. That is all. I do not understand His thoughts. I do not understand why murder takes place besides the fact of the wicked condition of man. We are all capable of murder. We are all slaves to the sinful flesh apart from Christ. As the Bible says, "There is no one good. Not even one."

But in Christ, all things will be made right and all things will be restored. In Christ there is justice. In Christ there is hope.  So this October, I will be able to rightly tell this depression to leave because there is hope. "God is my refuge and strength, a very help in times of trouble." I pray this for each person involved or effected by this horrible incident so many years ago. I pray that we learn to put our hope and trust in Christ alone. May His peace comfort and strengthen each one.

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