Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Mondays with My Old Pastor by Jose Luis Navajo


Mondays with My Old Pastor is a beautifully written memoir about the wisdom and insights which an 83 year old pastor imparts to a 46 year old pastor who struggles with spiritual exhaustion. Through successive visits with his old pastor, the younger pastor learns important lessons on so many topics such as humility, honesty, our true value, relationship/fellowship, importance of prayer, intimate communion with God, unconditional love, untimely death, grief, marriage, forgiveness, faithfulness, discipleship, ministry, and more. The old pastor offers a combination of Biblical wisdom, anecdotes, fables, and practical insights. I found this book to be very interesting, inspiring, and encouraging. It is not only beneficial for pastors but also for any believers who have ever experienced discouragement in serving God or bumps in their spiritual walk. The author presents the message in a way that draws readers to want to find out what the old pastor has to say in the next visits. Casual, comforting, captivating, and Christ-centered counsel! When I read the book, I felt like I was there sitting and listening to their conversation. The main message can be summed up in 15 principles. I highly recommend this excellent book!

"I firmly believe that there is no worse arrogance than spiritual pride; it is the kind that stinks the most. Do you know what happens with pride? It's like bad breath. Everyone notices it except the person who has it." (page 23)

"God is not as interested in our productivity as much as He is in our life. He loves fellowship much more than production." (page 27)

"Minutes spent with God produce great gains for every second of our lives. Focus your attention first and foremost on God rather than on men. That way when you stand before them you will have treasures to share." (page 36-37)

"It's easy to serve when everything is going well, but the hard times in life will lend credibility to your service and depth to your words." (page 81)

"A long time ago I came to a very logical conviction: Why should I worry? It's not my responsibility to think about myself. My responsibility is to think about God. It's God's responsibility to think about me." (page 130)


~ I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #74

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. Last Friday, I made Christmas Popcorn Balls, Reindeer Sugar Cookies, Decadent Truffles, and Chocolate Cashew Craisin Clusters. Our family had a wonderful time delivering treats and visiting with our lovely neighbors.

2. Last Saturday, I took part in a Christmas Flash Mob at Washington Square Mall. Great time was had by all. Below is the video my daughter took. Enjoy :)! May Christ be glorified!


3. On Sunday, we hosted a Christmas celebration/dinner for our relatives, eight Chinese college students and a Taiwanese friend. After dinner and before gift-opening, in order to acknowledge the Greatest Gift of all, each person took turn randomly picking a memory verse card (from the Scripture Treasures box that I already have) and read a Bible verse about Jesus, Who is the Reason for the season (all seasons). Fantastic food and fellowship! Also delightful time in Gospel sharing and gift-giving :)!

4. We had a blessed & joyous CHRISTmas. I love this simple but beautiful poem written by Judy Howe.


Thank You, Jesus
For coming to earth.
Born as a Baby
Giving us true mirth.

Thank You, Jesus
For coming to earth.
Died on a cross
Giving us real worth.

Thank You, Jesus
For coming to earth.
Rose from the dead
Giving us new birth.


Christmas never ends when Christ lives in us and we live for Him...when we live a grace-filled and Christ-centered life of love & light, compassion & celebration, service & sacrifice everyday! Remember that J.O.Y. = Jesus. Others. You. :)

5. My husband takes 2 weeks off (starting on Dec. 24th). We love having him with us all days all nights all the time :)!
We've been having lots of family fun playing with Nerf guns and BB gun.


Have a blessed & fruitful new year, everyone! Happy 2013!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Signazon Custom Vinyl Banner

I was given the opportunity to review a custom vinyl banner from Signazon. I was very pleased with their fast and friendly service. The ordering steps were easy to follow. I decided to make a Christmas banner. I used one of their templates (lots to choose from) and just added the words I wanted. I received the banner within a week after placing my order. Signazon notified me when the banner was shipped and when it was delivered. In addition, they included the link to the instructions for installing and caring for the banner. Very helpful! I love my Christmas banner! It is bright and beautiful. The banner is 2ft x 4ft. It has metal grommets on 4 corners for easy, balanced hanging. I hung it up in front of our property on the wooden fence next to the road so that it can be enjoyed by all who pass by. It goes perfectly with our nativity set, don't you think :)?
















Check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/signazon.
You can also follow Signazon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/signazon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Embracing Obscurity T-Shirt Giveaway

In October, I posted a book review for Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous. Excellent book! You can read my review here. Now I have an Embracing Obscurity t-shirt to give away :). It will be a great reminder for those who wear and those who see to embrace humble, obscure living for the glory of God.

Size: XL
100% cotton (soft)
Made in Egypt
FRONT:
















BACK:

To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share your family tradition(s) for Thanksgiving or for Christmas.
Deadline: Nov. 30th at midnight (Pacific time)

For Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review: All to Jesus by Robert J. Morgan

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Books (October 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert J. Morgan is a best-selling, Gold Medallion Award-winning author whose over twenty-five books include Then Sings My Soul, The Red Sea Rules, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart and The Children's Daily Devotional Bible. A staff writer for Dr. David Jeremiah and Turning Points Magazine, he has also served as pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, for three decades. Morgan and his wife have three daughters and ten grandchildren.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


"Cast all your cares on him." "Love the Lord with all your heart." "I can do all things . . . ." Most would be surprised at how often the word "all" appears in the Bible-literally thousands of times. And with each description of God's comprehensive promises, each reminder of our complete blessing in Christ, each appeal for our full and total surrender, His reputation grows larger before our eyes. We see again what He can do. We see again who we can be.

Based on the Bible's sizeable emphasis on this tiny yet powerful word "all," best-selling author and pastor Robert J. Morgan has created a remarkable 365-day spiritual growth experience in his new devotional, All to Jesus: A Year of Devotions (B&H Books, October 2012). A choice sampling of the Bible's most "all"-encompassing statements, All to Jesus will surround believers each day with inspiring stories, personal reflections and the encouraging assurance that they are cared for in ways they never imagined.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433677865
ISBN-13: 978-1433677861


MY REVIEW:
I collect devotional books :). I'm so pleased to add All to Jesus to my collection. I really enjoyed devouring this book of 365 devotions, based on the Scriptures that contain the word "all". Each devotion is a page long and begins with a Bible verse. Many of them include wonderful, insightful stories, poems, parts of hymns, or quotes. I didn't realize that so many Scriptures have the word "all" (5,675 according to the author). This book helps me to take time to really ponder these Bible verses and thank God for all He is and all He does. He is truly all I ever need! Some of my favorites (I have tons) are Day 16 (Genesis 14:20), Day 22 (Ecclesiastes 3:20), Day 26 (Isaiah 38:16), and Day 33 (Job 1:22). Bonus: This book also includes a link for readers to get free downloads of more than 40 hymns. There are 9 blank prayer pages at the end of the book where you can write down your prayers. All to Jesus would make a lovely gift for any Christ's followers! 

"There are many philosophies in the world; but really, only two: Hope and Despair. Without Jesus Christ and His Word, all other philosophies ultimately end in existential gloom...Life is ultimately meaningless without God." ~Robert J. Morgan (from Day 22)




AND NOW...THE FIRST WEEK:


He is all in all to me,
And my song of songs shall be, Hallelujah, O My Savior,
I am trusting only Thee.

Fanny Crosby

Introduction

One evening several years ago when troubled about a particular matter, I sat at the dining room table and picked up my Bible. I turned to a little book near the back and read through 1 Peter, thinking the old fisherman might have an encouraging word for me. When I got to the last chapter, I came across verse 7: “casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.” It was a verse I knew well, indeed had memorized it; but now I saw something I’d never seen before. It said: “casting ALL your care upon Him.”


Q&A with Robert Morgan, Author of All to Jesus
Permission to reprint is authorized with credit given to Robert Morgan


Can you tell us how your new devotional, All to Jesus,
came into being?

One night when I was troubled, I found 1 Peter 5:7, a verse
of Scripture I had known for years:Casting all your care on
Him for He cares for you. The word "all" struck me. I'd
never seen it before.
The verse would have been wonderful
without it, but its inclusion lifted the promise to infinity.
No burden or problem was beyond the reach of 1 Peter 5:7.
I could cast "ALL" my burdens on Him without limitation.
That mademe wonder if there were other verses in the
Bible that were similarly modified with that little adjective
and I found over 5000 of them. We selected 366 "alls" for
this book.


What is "the largest little word in all the world" and
why do you think so?

Someone said: "A
ll means all and that's all all means." We
often use the word "omni" to describe God--He is
om
nipresent, omnipotent, and so forth. The little word "all"
is the earthly appl
ication of God's omni-qualities. It takes
His infinite nature and shows us what it means to us here
and now. The Lord doesn't waste words in His
Book. In the
verses above, the alls could easily have been left ou
t; yet
there they are. See
ms it's one of God's favorite words. He
used it thousands of times
, often in passages that would
have read nicely without it; yet
the all maximizes the
meaning to the absolute. It's the largest little word in the
world, taking already-strong statements and broadening
their applications to virtual in
finity, which, after all, is what
one would expect from an omnipotent Father.


How many times is “all” mentioned in the Bible? Why do you
believe God uses the word so frequently?
The word “all” appears in the Bible 5,675 times. God loves to speak
in all-encompassing superlatives because He is eternal and infinite.
According to 2 Corinthians 9:8, He is able to make all grace
abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all
things, may abound to every good work.

What are a few of your favorite “all” verses and why?
All things work together for the good of those who love God
Romans 8:28
You have thrown all my sins behind Your back—Isaiah 38:17
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted—Matthew 10:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart—Matthew 22:37
Trust in the Lord with all your heart—Proverbs 3:5-6
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened—Matthew 11:28
Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life—Psalm
23:6 (NIV)
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
these things will be provided for you—
Matthew 6:33

What do you hope readers will take away from their daily
readings of All to Jesus
Each of these devotions is excerpted from my pulpit ministry and
represents what I believe to be solid exposition of Scripture,
sprinkled liberally with stories, quotes and interesting tidbits of
truth. Each reading calls us to total faith and total obedience,
based on the totality of God’s grace. Because He is our All in All,
we can say, “All to Jesus.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FIRST Wild Card Tour: How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Hannibal Books (August 21, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jennifer Nelson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dr. Jeff Brawner is chairman of the Department of Missions at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, TN. In his ministry he has experience as an overseas missionary, pastor, and youth minister. He and his wife, Christy, have two daughters—Anna and Elizabeth.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Around the world people are becoming more multi-cultural and have more interaction with people of different faiths. In whatever neighborhood you live, someone likely has a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist person living nearby. Many Christians desperately want to get to know someone of another faith,
but they don’t know how.

How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith gives the reader practical, specific advice on how to form relationships with adherents of another religion. This book contains interviews with missionaries and pastors who work with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, Mormons, animists, Catholics, and Protestants throughout the world. Each chapter gives a thorough, practical, step-by-step guide about a specific religion in how to: a) form friendships; b) build conversational bridges to presenting the gospel; c) share the Good News of Jesus; and d) respond to questions that might arise during a gospel witness.

Missions leader Dr. Jeff Brawner has not written a volume of theory but a how-to book that covers every base in how to work in our multi-cultural world.


Product Details:
List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Hannibal Books (August 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613150245
ISBN-13: 978-1613150245

MY REVIEW:
I love this book and I'm so thankful for it! Since 2006, my family and I have been involved in a ministry that reaches out to the international students who attend our local university. Most of the current students came from China. In the past, we have had students from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam (besides China). I try to share the Gospel with the students whenever I get an opportunity. Sometimes I feel like I should have done more or done a better job at sharing Christ. This book shows how to witness to your Roman Catholic friends, Protestant friends, Animistic friends, Muslim friends, Buddhist friends, Hindu friends, Mormon friends, and Atheist/Humanist/Agnostic friends. Dr. Jeff Brawner gives a practical, easy-to-follow guide to help readers confidently evangelize to people of different religious backgrounds. I especially paid close attention to the chapter about witnessing to Budhhist friends :). We all are called to share the Gospel with others (the Great Commission). The success/result is up to the Holy Spirit. Our part is to trust and obey. This book helps us to be well prepared to do our part (1 Peter 3:15). I highly recommend this book to every Christian!.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Why Share Your Faith?



Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).



No matter how “open-minded” and inclusive my culture tells me to be, I just can’t get around John 14:6. My bet is that most sincere believers, deep in their hearts, can’t get around this verse either. I’m not sure Christ could have stated His case more clearly. He is the “way” to the Father. No other “way” is available, no matter how fervently one practices his or her beliefs.



• What if someone sincerely worships a Hindu god? In John 14:6 sincerity, while admirable, never is mentioned.

• What if someone fervently follows the five pillars of Islam? In this verse obedience, while difficult and honorable, isn’t mentioned either.

• What if you take away all desire and reach Nirvana as Buddhism teaches? In this verse self-control, while fruitful, also is not discussed.



Truly the beginning and the end of this verse have a common theme—Jesus. John 14:6 starts with “I” and ends with “Me”. If I start and end a proclamation about myself, I border on being narcissistic. However, when Christ refers to Himself, no ego is involved. He simply is stating a fact, or as this verse references, He is stating Truth. Christ is the only One in all eternity Who is worthy to speak of self as the Solution to our problems.



The exclusivity of Christ threatens commonly held notions we have in the United States. For example, our government runs on pluralistic ideals. We are a hodgepodge of diverse people with different ideas—people who join together to hammer out compromise for the good of all. Our government, the representative body of our nation, runs on this principle. Pluralism starts in the government and filters down into all aspects of life. Just as most Americans, when asked, will claim to avoid being on the fringes politically, they also want to be viewed as open-minded and compromising in all aspects of life—even in their religion.



However, Christ’s dictates do not function in the same manner. When you and I get together on the political stage, regardless of education, creed, economic conditions, or ethnicity, we are peers. We must hammer out compromise, because none of us ultimately has all the answers. Christ, with His proclamations, works differently. Christ knows what is best—in all situations, at all times. He doesn’t need to compromise what He says, because our input does not balance His. He knows best. The best is . . . Him.



Consequently, Jesus has stated that the plan for our salvation is only through Him. In a world of compromise this is an uncompromising position. If we want to be popular in all social circles, we cannot hold to this truth. Christ already warns us when He states, “In the world you will have tribulation . . .” (John 16:33). Holding to Christ’s exclusivity will be a position that costs us.



However, if what Christ states holds true, then you face a dilemma. By definition the only way to salvation is through Christ, but many of those moral, honorable people around you do not follow Christ. Many of them follow another “divine” entity. Other friends may pay lip-service to Christ, but by the fruit of their lives they exhibit no true life change. Other friends even might be NICER than a lot of Christians you know but are doctrinally incorrect about Christ. Your dilemma quickly becomes evident. Do you believe what Christ states about Himself? If so, do you actually care enough about your friend/acquaintance or co-worker to risk sharing your faith with him or her?



If our neighbors who are Muslims, Hindus, animists, Buddhists, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, or atheists have not given their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they do not have salvation.1 How moral, how pleasant, or what kind of solid citizens they are doesn’t matter. To fit into His plan they must surrender their lives to Christ.

This book is designed to help you share your exclusive faith in Christ. Your faith did not start with you, nor does it end with you. Your faith is about Jesus. You can share only what He commands you to share. And He certainly commands you to share:



“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you . . .” (Mt. 28:19-20a).



And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).



“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8b).



Christ’s message is readily apparent. Jesus always intended for His disciples to go into the entire world—among all peoples—and share HIM. You and I are to do the same.



This book was written to show you how to follow Christ’s command about sharing your faith. This book is purposely designed to be different from any other book on evangelism/world religions. The book assumes the following:



• You have an inward desire to share Christ with someone of a different faith but don’t know how.

• You are not looking for a treatise on every religion in the world. You need a brief summary of your friend’s religion so you can work with him or her.

• You need a STEP-BY-STEP plan in sharing your faith—a guide telling you exactly what to say from the moment you walk in the door until the time you might lead someone to pray to give his or her life to Christ.

• You lead a busy life. Time for pleasure-reading is a luxury you do not have. Consequently, the chapter on your religion of interest needs to be brief. You might not even have time to read this entire book. In fact, the book needs to be designed so that as you witness, you can read only the chapter about your friend’s particular belief system and do fine. You want this book to be as simple and hands-on as possible.



I think these four assumptions express the situation of many believers in Christ. After 16 years in the ministry as a youth minister, then a missionary, then a pastor, and now a professor at a seminary, I have observed that many good books about world religions have been written by very godly individuals. I strongly suggest supplementing this book with some of the titles listed at the conclusion of my book. However, I also have noted that when the time arrives for you to really describe how to share your faith, most books become disappointingly vague.



One of my mentors in the ministry once told me, “Most people have a difficult time going from the theoretical to the practical. You MUST make ministry practical.” I believe he’s right. Most people do not need general ideas about how to share their faith. They need a specific step-by-step plan. In light of this fact each chapter of the book will have three parts. Each chapter gives—



1) A brief overview of a particular belief system (religion).

2) A detailed summary of a plan(s) to witness to the individual. The plan will detail all necessary steps to a gospel witness. It will show how to start a conversation, how to find a bridge in conversation to the gospel, and how to use specific verses while you share the gospel. The idea of this section is to show you a STEP-BY-STEP conversation. Obviously you don’t have to follow these plans exactly, but this book gives you patterns to follow.

3) Questions an adherent to that faith might ask you.



I hope this book will give you a beginning step in the process of sharing your faith with someone involved in a religion or belief system. My prayer is that you will see your friend arrive at the point of accepting a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second Peter 3:9 says, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (NIV).



As believers, we often toil to learn God’s will for our lives. The truth is, we can KNOW one aspect of God’s will. He longs for your friend to repent. Sharing your faith most certainly will fall within His will.

In closing, some words of caution:



First, no presentation of the plan of salvation is guaranteed to provide success. If someone had designed the perfect approach to witness to Muslims or Hindus—a method that always brings someone to salvation—his or her plan by now would be a best-seller. We would have seen, in mass, Muslims or Hindus trust Christ. No evangelistic techniques in this world guarantee salvation. Why not? Maybe the Lord knows that if He gives us a step-by-step plan that guarantees that someone will trust Christ every time a person hears it, then we would start putting our trust in the plan rather than in Him. Just share your faith. The results are up to Him.



Second, always use the plans given here as a base, but adapt as you become more confident. We are trying to give you a practical step-by-step guide. The book contains plans that you can follow. However, do not become bondservants to these plans. As time progresses, make these plans your own. For example, change this book’s suggested bridges to the gospel and suggested illustrations to fit your individual scenario. Jesus modified His approaches to fit the situation. He approached the gospel in radically different ways—whether He spoke to the woman at the well (John 4), a blind man (John 10) or Matthew (Mt. 9). He always found ways to personalize the message to the hearer.



Although I have written this book in a manner in which you can read only the chapter that pertains to your individual friend, I encourage you to read through the chapter either on Roman Catholicism or (Nominal) Protestantism. In those chapters I give a very detailed outline of how to utilize five verses from the book of Romans. Each of these chapters contains such detail that if you become nervous about what to say as you witness, to complete the witness you actually could just READ those sections to your friend. However, these five verses actually explain the gospel in a way that you can use for all chapters in this book. If you want a thorough review of how to share the gospel message itself, you would be wise to take five minutes and read those sections regardless of what religion on which you are focusing.



Third, don’t change the final message. You can change the bridges, illustrations, and even verses that you might use. However, the gospel DOES NOT CHANGE. What is the gospel? The Bible gives a simple answer. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NIV) says,



Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.



What is the gospel? The gospel simply is that Jesus died, was buried, and three days later rose from the grave for our sins. You never change that part of the message. That part of the message is not part of a technique. Instead it reflects the core truth in all the universe.

Fourth, don’t preach; just share. Leave the preaching to the preachers. Be the concerned friend who, in love, is sharing the best news you’ve ever received. I’m a preacher. When I hear a preacher using his “preaching voice” off the stage (and oftentimes on it), I just cringe. Imagine how people in a lost world feel when they hear someone move from “speaking to them” to “preaching at them”.



Fifth, Scripture says that today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Anyone can get saved at any time. However, the Bible doesn’t say that you must bring your friend to salvation today. Don’t be afraid to take your time. Share your faith with boldness. If your friend is not ready, that’s OK. Let the Holy Spirit move you to stop or proceed as He sees fit.



Sixth, someone once told me that the joy of working among a harvest is not how many people trust Christ but how many people give you a chance to share with them. It’s the OPENNESS of people that defines a harvest. Will someone make a decision to follow Christ every time you follow these steps? I hope so! However, realistically, this will not be the case. Instead remember that part of the glory of sharing your faith is the joy that obedience brings in your life. Witnessing brings you the realization that you were obedient to God and that because of your obedience He will reveal Himself in ways you never could have imagined.



Seventh, form the habit of keeping a Bible in your car, pocket, or purse. You never, ever know when an opportunity to share your faith will arise. I love being able to share my testimony. Telling what Christ has done for me is powerful. However, nothing replaces being able to point to specific verses that apply to an individual’s life. Visually you can show your friend that the authority of your life isn’t your experience but is the Word of God.



Eighth, and finally, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you after I find the answer.” You cannot imagine how a humble response works in a Western culture. This book hopefully provides an example. Do I feel as though I am an expert in witnessing to all of these religions? No. Do I have experience with all of them? Yes. However, when I wrote this book, I realized I had colleagues that knew more about witnessing to Muslim, Buddhists, and Hindus than I did, so I contacted them. Huge portions of this book are attributed to individuals who know far more than I. In like manner, you’re never wrong to pause and say to your friend, “I need to ask someone else about that issue.” This takes the pressure off you and off the person to whom you’re witnessing as well. The person will respect you for your transparency. No one likes a “know-it-all”.



God bless you for taking the time to read this book. You can read it in its entirety or skip to the chapter that deals with your friend specifically.





A reader might ask, “What about other religions, such as Judaism, Taoism, Scientology, that are not specifically addressed in this book?” Obviously adherents to those faiths need Christ and are infinitely valuable before the Lord. Many of the general principles we have taught in this book will work with those groups as well. Hopefully, future editions of the book can expand to a variety of other faiths.




Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review: What Every Christian Ought to Know


About the Author:
For over fifty years, Adrian Rogers consistently presented the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong conviction, compassion and integrity. One of America’s most respected Bible teachers, he communicated to millions through his Love Worth Finding radio and television ministry that continues to be broadcasted today in more than 150 countries around the world. Dr. Rogers was also senior pastor of the 27,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tennessee, and a popular author whose books include Unveiling the End Times in Our Time and The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority.
A leader in his denomination, serving three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Rogers was honored to be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame in 2003 by the National Religious Broadcasters. He passed away in 2005. His son Steve Rogers continues to run Love Worth Finding, as well as the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute. Dr. Rogers is also survived by wife Joyce, three other children, nine grandchildren and one great‐grandchild.

My Review: 
Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? What Every Christian Ought to Know is very appropriately titled! Pastor Adrian Rogers explains in details the foundational, essential Biblical truths that every Christ's follower should/must know to be able to stand firm in the faith and grow spiritually. The book covers important topics such as the assurance of salvation, eternal security, faith, the Holy Spirit, how to understand the Bible, and how to handle temptation. Each chapter starts with the Scriptures and ends with 7 thought-provoking questions. I really enjoyed reading this book and appreciated Pastor Adrian Rogers' no-nonsense, Biblically-based teaching, sense of humor, play with words, and use of analogies to make things clearer and easily understandable.

What Every Christian Ought to Know would make a perfect gift for any new believers! However, it is still valuable and beneficial for any believers, young and old. I've been a Christ's follower for many years and I was so encouraged by this awesome book. It confirms what I believe and reminds me why I believe it. So refreshing! I definitely recommend this book to every Christian :)!

"I'm not endeavoring to keep myself safe; I know I am saved. I'm saved by the grace of God; therefore I can be productive with grateful service. When we are confident of the future, we can concentrate on the present." (p.54)

"The joy of the Lord is constant, and the joy of the Lord is your strength. Happiness is like a thermometer; it registers conditions. Joy is like a thermostat; it controls conditions." (p.80)

"Your great desire ought to be to know His will. Your great delight will be to do His will. Your great danger is to refuse His will. Nothing is right for you if it is not God's will." (p.145)


~I received a copy of this book free from The B&B Media Group, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.





Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous


Would you believe that I don't know who wrote this book I just
finished reading? Really! I have no clue. But that's the point!
The author (who desires to remain nameless) wants to get a
message out about doing things for God's glory, not our own.

The author invites readers to become nothing in light of God's
everything. What a novel and noble idea! I love the book and
the concept behind the book.

True humility/ Christlike humility is never easy to embrace. Can you honestly say that you're simply satisfied and completely content with being unknown to the world and that you only care about the Audience of One? I know I have not quite arrived yet but I hope I'm getting closer to that goal. In our culture, people would think you're crazy if you voluntarily desire to be a nobody. This book challenges us to examine our heart's attitude...whether we seek to make God known or to make ourselves known. The world is chasing after success and significance. Are you willing to silently sacrifice, serve, and even suffer, instead?

I highly recommend this must-read book. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking discussion questions. Get ready to be challenged to anonymously live out Philippians 2:1-11 in an authentic way! Soli Deo Gloria!

"The trouble with you and me and the rest of humanity is not that we lack self-confidence (as we're told by the world) but that we have far too much self-importance." (p.10)

"That's what embracing obscurity is all about: being content with being 'relatively unknown' so that Christ can be made more known." (p.13)

"Serve Him by serving others. Meet others' needs out of the overflow He has given us, through our words, compassion, hospitality, wealth, courtesy, and all the menial tasks that get opportunity when people live in proximity to one another." (p.98)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of Embracing Obscurity!
Deadline: Oct.14th at midnight (Pacific time)
To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. What is a Biblical or modern day example of someone who embraces himself or herself as small in relation to all God has done? Why is that person or example important to you? You can read about a great example of a humble servant here.

For Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- "Like" Embracing Obscurity on Facebook
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter


~"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #73

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. Lunch at Pizza Schmizza. Fun at Oaks Amusement Park. Dinner at Panda Express. We had a great time celebrating our Before-Back-to-Homeschool weekend :)!

2. Our 14th year of homeschooling took off to a great start. Both boys are doing well and getting all their stuff done by lunch time :). 

3. My husband and I have enjoyed watching our 13 year old son's football practice. He has had lots of fun and has been a great asset for his team. We're excited about their first game tomorrow.

4. Praise God! He answered my prayers once again in a way that's beyond what I asked or imagined. "Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

5. Today, my husband and I celebrate our 21st anniversary! How blessed I am to be married to my best friend/the love of my life/my spiritual mentor/my hero! 21 years already :)? I guess time
flies while we're having fun... Everyday with Eric is a celebration ♥! May Christ always be glorified in our marriage and our family!


 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Christ-centered Marriage

“Blessed are the husband and wife
who humbly dedicate their lives and their home to Christ
and practice the teachings of Christ in their home
by being unselfish, loyal, and loving.
Author Unknown
This coming Friday, my husband and I will be celebrating our 21st anniversary. I can never thank God enough for how He has blessed my marriage and family. I love this quote because I wholeheartedly agree with it. Christ-centered marriages are successful, lifetime-lasting, blessed marriages! Both my husband and I are far from perfect but we both love the Lord and put Christ above all else. "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12b) Christ holds us together through trials and storms. When your spouse's goal is to please and honor God in all he does and says, you definitely benefit and are blessed beyond measure. And vice versa. I'm so grateful that I'm married to a man after God's own heart. I keep telling my husband that I feel like I'm the most blessed wife :). We sometimes fail in our attitudes, actions, and words but thankfully, we are pretty good at forgiving :). Great marriages take lots of prayers and lots of work...ongoing work ("practice the teachings of Christ in their home").

Unselfish
Love is not self-seeking! "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:3-5) In my opinion, self-centered people should never get married. I believe most problems in marriages can be traced to self-centeredness/selfishness. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. In your relationship, are you more interested in giving/serving than getting/demanding or the other way around?

Loyal
Love always trusts! Husbands and wives need to be able to trust each other completely. Loyalty is the key. Keep your heart loyal/faithful to God ("humbly dedicate their lives and their home to Christ"), your spouse, and your family always. Guard your eyes, ears, lips, hands, and heart from temptations and avoid putting yourself in vulnerable or compromising situations. Not even flirting.

Loving
Love like Jesus! Unconditionally, selflessly, and sacrificially! God spells out what true love looks like in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love encourages rather than envies
Love notices rather than neglects
Love comforts rather than complains
Love appreciates rather than aggravates
Love makes sacrifices rather than makes excuses
Love seeks to understand rather than demands to be understood


I'm truly blessed to be married to my best friend/the love of my life who is as much a Jesus freak as I am :).
You're invited to share your thoughts about the quote above on your blog and then link up your post here. To learn more about "In Other Words"(what it's about, how it works, and how it originated), visit here.

 

This post is also linked up with Faith-filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Take My Life and Let It Be



Take My Life and Let It Be (originally written by Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879, sung by Chris Tomlin)

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31) Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be all the glory!

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
I dedicate myself completely to Your glory and service, Lord! Take me, mold me, and use me, please. In Jesus's name, I pray. Amen!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #72

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. I'm glad that my daughter is taking Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense). Very practical and effective :)!

2. At a Twitter party yesterday, I won $50 JCPenney gift card.

3. "Get to Give"! Hoops of Hope founder Austin Gutwein is celebrating his new book "Live to Give" with a give-back giveaway. One winner will receive a Kindle Fire and have $250 donated on their behalf to the charity of their choice! Click to enter and for more info.: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13528976/livetogive

4. I'm excited about the new game show, "The American Bible Challenge". You can read about it and enter to win a The American Bible Challenge t-shirt and a Zondervan NIV Quest Study Bible at http://fivesavedbygrace.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-american-bible-challenge-and.html . Ends 8/31

5. My 19 year old daughter, Alyssa, entered Intel's A Momentary Lapse contest. Please view and vote for her entry (Slow Motion Basketball...only 1 min. 8 sec. long) at http://youtube.com/myinteledge?x=us_showcase_2091_4. Thanks so much! You can vote once per day through Sept. 11th.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Making Sense When Life Doesn't by Cecil Murphey

About the book:

Beloved author Cecil Murphey empowers readers to discover the good in every situation and to make life better because of adversities.

Sometimes life gets messy. It’s cluttered with too many demands. Companies downsize. Love relationships end. Trauma hits. When chaos erupts, every person has a choice to make—to decide whether it’s the worst time of life, to find comfort in the way things used to be, to move on because change is forced, and then resent everything that happens, or to say, “This can be the best time of my life. I can try the things I wanted to do but never did.”

In Making Sense When Life Doesn’t, Cecil Murphey’s compelling stories, hope-filled insights, and gentle encouragement move readers with messy lives to the stunning realization that life won’t ever be perfect, but it can be good…even exciting!

Meet Cecil Murphey:

Cecil Murphey has written or co-written more than 125 books, including the bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

Murphey stays busy as a professional writer and travels extensively to speak on topics such as writing, spiritual growth, caregiving, significant living, sexual abuse, and recovery.

Prior to launching his career as a full-time writer and speaker, he served as pastor of Riverdale Presbyterian Church in Metro Atlanta, as a volunteer hospital chaplain for ten years, and was a missionary in Kenya for six. For more information, visit www.cecilmurphey.com


MY REVIEW:
This book reminds me a lot of The Noticer by Andy Andrews. “After all, every one of us is always in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis. Crisis? That's just part of being on this planet.” (The Noticer, page 83)

It seems that life gets messy, sooner or later :). You may even be experiencing its messiness right now. Don't lose hope. In Making Sense When Life Doesn't: The Secrets of Thriving in Tough Times, Cecil Murphey offers wisdom, practical insights, and encouragement to help readers get excited about living their lives, not in spite of crises, but because of crises. We can use our trials as lessons from which we learn and grow stronger.

There are 58 chapters in the book. Each chapter is short and concise. When I was reading, I felt like I was being given a pep talk by a coach on the game of life. Each chapter ends with a sentence or two that captures the heart of that chapter (a take-away point). I'm a bit curious why the author who used to be a pastor, scarcely quotes Scriptures in his book. Maybe he doesn't want to appear too preachy? Mr. Murphey uses real-life stories (of his own and others) as examples to demonstrate his points. He repeats several times that he is a serious Christian and for the most part, he seems to have Biblical worldview on life in general. This book covers many topics such as failure, change, rejection, pain, mistakes, waiting, exercise, forgiveness, secrets, jealousy, anger, enemies, power, success, principles, and more. It's an easy read and it's motivational. I appreciate the author's transparency and his sensible advice.

"My hurting friends don't need my advice; they need my compassion." (page 71)

"If I expect certain behavior that I don't get, I can become angry. Or, I can change my expectations." (page 116)

"I need my opponents. They often speak the truths that my friends won't." (page 134)


~I received a complimentary of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are my own. You can find more reviews on this book here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: Living by Faith by David Venable


This book was written to be used as weekly devotions for 78 weeks. However, it can easily be used for daily devotions. Even though these devotions were originally given as sermons, they do not sound preachy at all :). Each devotion starts with a Bible reference for reading and meditation and ends with a prayer. Each devotion is about 2 1/2 to 3 pages long. It's easy to read and the author gets the points across quite effectively.

Living by Faith
addresses how faith affects different aspects of Christian living, such as trials, temptations, giving, worship, unity,...even voting. The author shares his own experiences, offers practical insights, and encourages readers to live for God and live by faith. Faith is the backbone of Christianity. The author shows us how relevant faith is to our daily life and how we can apply God's principles while living a life of faith and obedience. When I was reading the book, I felt like an older brother in Christ was just having a conversation with me, giving me great advice. This is an encouraging devotional that will help strengthen your faith and challenge you to grow closer to God!

"We need to reckon ourselves dead to the world in Christ...Our real life is in heaven, not here. Do not compromise eternal life for an earthly reward. It is not worth it." (p.33)

"Jesus came to save us from our sin. He did not come to save us from trouble...The Christian life is the most difficult of all to live. It is the narrow way, not the broad road. You must die to self, not indulge self." (p.205)



~I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review: Great Day Every Day by Max Lucado

Can every single day be a great day? Even those days when everything seems to go wrong? According to Max Lucado, the answer is "yes!" It depends on our perspective. This book is an excellent book of encouragement. Mr. Lucado directs readers to embrace God's perspective and to focus on God's grace, mercy, peace, hope, purpose, and promises, instead of any challenges we may face. He also shows us examples from Jesus and other real life people such as "the Society of the Second Mile" (demonstrating a servant's heart/kindness).

I've always enjoyed reading Max Lucado's writing. This one is no exception. He's a gifted writer who has a great sense of humor. I sometimes laugh out loud while reading his books :). He occasionally uses sarcasm and exaggeration. I like "Daily Compass", the section after each chapter, which sums up the take-away points. At the end of the book, you will find insightful discussion questions for each chapter and Scripture reading suggestions for digging deeper into God's Word. In addition, this book includes a bonus section called, "Change Your Day, Change Your Life: A 30-Day Journey” written by Lance Wubbels and based on the Grace-Oversight-Direction formula (Saturate Your Day in His Grace, Entrust Your Day to His Oversight, & Accept His Direction). It is there to help readers apply the concepts learned in the book through daily exercises including Scripture, prayer, and practical application. Great Day Every Day is an easy, encouraging, and enjoyable read!

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"To take up the cross, then, is to take up Christ's burden for the people of the world." (p.90)
"Daily do a deed for which you cannot be repaid." (p.101)
"If today were your last, would you do what you're doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there's no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again." (p.105)


~I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shelter Me by Selah

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in Whom I trust'...He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:1-2, 4

I'm very saddened by yesterday's tragedy (shooting in Aurora, Colorado).
Please continue to pray for the injured (physically and emotionally), the families, loved ones of the victims and the gunman: http://prayersforaurora.com/ . Yet we know we can always trust God who is our Refuge and Strength. 

Trusting God doesn't ward off evil and suffering
but trusting God gives us hope and life everlasting.


"Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation
;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge
."

Psalm 62:5-8


A Must-See Video for Every Christian

Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails