Monday, April 06, 2015

Book Review - Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice

I enjoyed this book.  It takes you through why to evangelize, how to evangelize and why you may not be taking that step.  While reading the section on “Why we (still) won’t evangelise”, I kept thinking that the only reason not covered was general shyness and inability to strike up any kind of conversation with others.  As I read further, however, I began to realize that if it was important enough to you – if you considered that the people around you may end up in hell if you did not talk to them about Jesus’ saving grace – it may motivate you to take that leap of faith and share.  One comment in particular made me stop and think, “To become a Christian is neither convenient nor comfortable. It means no longer living for ourselves but for Jesus.”  

The author also gives you examples of different types of people and how they witness.  This was also helpful to make me think about what kind of witness I am.  This has been a topic that has been on my mind recently and this book helped me to work through all the ideas and questions that had needed to be processed. 

*I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for writing a fair review.*

Friday, April 03, 2015

Someone has died for you

Today always makes me consider what Jesus has done for me.  Quite frankly, I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.  Think about this - Jesus died for you.  He died for you before you were born, without knowing if you would ever accept him, He died for you.  Did you catch that part - without knowing if you would ever accept him.  Yes, Jesus died for EVERYONE.  He took on the sins and died for every last person.  All we have to do is accept this gift of life - everlasting life. 

There is a Heaven and a Hell.  I like to imagine what heaven will be like but I feel like we get a little taste of hell on earth.  Think about it, watch the news.  All the hatred, all the violence, all the intolerance - did I mention the hatred?  Take all the good that tries to balance the evil out of the world and leave all that darkness.  I think we're pretty good at creating our own hell.  And like Heaven will be so much better than we can imagine, hell will be so much worse - so how bad will it be?  Consider the evil and darkness of this world without hope.  No second chances, no turning back.

Personally, I want to look towards that Hope.  I want to accept Jesus' gift - and that is what it is, a gift.  We cannot get into Heaven or be saved on our own.  We need to accept God's gift of Grace.  We need to ask for forgiveness, give our lives over to God and accept the gift.  It's there for EVERYONE.  Why would you not want to accept a gift of amazing love?  everlasting life?  

Please consider it.  I pray that if you haven't accepted Jesus as your Savior, that you will today. At least consider it.  He loved you enough to die for you.  Don't you think that at least merits looking into what He has to offer you?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: Bible Study - Live: Your Life with Christ by Rebecca Manley Pippert

I really enjoyed doing this Bible study.  Typically I would have taken a week to do each chapter, but given the time constraints I had, I finished the study within a week.  I enjoyed the way the Bible study portion of each lesson went in depth into the specific passage for that chapter and I thought the historical context section was very helpful and something you do not always see in a Bible study.  Listening to Ms. Pippert during the Following Jesus sections of each lesson was interesting and she always raised good points.  At first I was just reading these sections, but there was definitely more on the DVD and it was completely worth watching.

I would definitely consider using this for a small group study and would look into any other studies that Rebecca Manley Pippert has done as well.   It was a very well thought out, comfortably paced study.

*I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for writing a fair review.*

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Book Review: Guiltless Living by Ginger Hubbard

Ms. Hubbard does a good job of going through the different types of sin that we encounter – especially from ourselves – in our everyday life.  I have to give her a lot of credit for being so honest and forthright about her own struggles with sin.  The book would not be the same without the personal stories laced within it that, I’m sure, everyone will be able to relate to.  After discussing the sin itself, she goes on to show us how different characteristics of God’s Grace can be learned by reviewing different events within the Bible. She takes a look at how Jesus, David, and others acted when faced with some of the sins that face us today.  Ms. Hubbard then discusses how Christ calls people to live and gives real life examples of what that may look like.

The book is written with humor and candor and because of that you may be more open to see which areas may relate to your life and struggles, where repentance may be needed, where some work may need to be done.  You can take a look at yourself without feeling judged by the author who is very honest about her own struggles.

*I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for writing a fair review.*

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book Review: gods at war by Kyle Idleman

Every time I read a book from Kyle Idleman I am forced to assess myself and my life under the microscope of a Christ follower.  It’s never easy and it is always eye-opening. 

“You shall have no other gods before me.”  “You shall not make for yourself an idol.”  If you think that these commandments are archaic or don’t have meaning in your life because you don’t worship little wooden statues like the pagans of the Old Testament, you are frighteningly wrong.  This book, gods at war, shows you what kind of gods you may be worshiping.  And, as usual, Kyle brings up points that will make you ponder your life and God’s Word. 

One such point is that God “gives us the freedom to say no but insists on giving us every possible, conceivable chance to say yes.”  Thank God for that!  After reminding us that God is a jealous God, he takes us through the various potential idols in our lives, giving us real life examples of people who have been through the process of realizing that they had put something ahead of God and what happened in their lives after they discovered the truth.  He also shows how this same thing affected some of the people in the Bible itself. 

One of my favorite quotes in the book is not actually from Kyle, it’s from Abraham Kuyper.  “There is not one square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine, that belongs to me!’”  What a comforting thought. 

I would highly suggest this book – if you can handle taking a good look into your own life.  Because you will not have a choice, but you will not be disappointed if it leads to a closer relationship with God.

Book Review: Christ or Hitler? By Pastor Wilhelm Busch Compiled and Translated by Christian Puritz

The stories in this book, from the life of Pastor Wilhelm Busch, are compiled separately; it is not a streamlined story of someone’s life.  This made it a little hard to read at first, but once I got used to that it became an interesting, touching, comical, serious account of this man’s life that gave me a glimpse into a life that I could not have imagined.  I think if I were a Pastor there were times that I would have thought to myself “that’s the kind of ministry I want.”  The book shares both Pastor Busch’s life through World War I, World War II and the time in between, and his message – Jesus died for us on the cross and that means everything to our lives. 

Pastor Busch died the year after I was born, in a different country, having lived a completely different life story and still managed to make me stop short several times during the book with his words.  And as a youth worker in Church, much of his life as a Youth Pastor challenged me and reminded me of what’s important – not just for the youth but for my own life as well.

There was one passage that I thought timeless, he was living through it at the time, I’m sure it’s happening in other countries right now, and I’m sure it will be happening in ours in the not too distant future.  He said “’This is the church of the future’. The church in prison: one is giving testimony and the other, behind a bolted door, kneeling and crying to God.  This is the true church which experiences defeat with Jesus and yet conquers.”  Fighting for Christianity in Hitler’s Germany is beyond something I can comprehend.  I was honored to read the account of this man’s life.

*I received a free copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for writing a fair review.*