Thursday, August 30, 2007

Online Book Club

I'm getting ready to start an online book discussion group through Yahoo. It is an open group and members can invite other people if they would like. The first book to be discussed is "Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands" by Gary Thomas. I'm really excited about this book.

We are going to limit the group to discussion of the book and the questions the author has provided to keep the mail volume down. Currently the plan is to cover a chapter a week starting mid to end of September, but it could change as needed by members of the group. If at anytime you need to you can change your subscription to no mail and just check messages through the website or you can get a daily digest.

The book is available through some libraries and the author's website or here or a host of other online groups and possibly local bookstores.I have set up some polls, links and files that you can check out once you join. Gary is also willing to answer questions from the group when we get to the half way point or finish whichever we prefer.

I'm excited and would love to have others join in this journey. If you are interested feel free to join - see link on the top left side of this blog.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Apples of Gold: A Parable of Purity by Lisa Samson

I just read a short story by Lisa Samson that I recommend mothers, grandmothers or women who care read with to their young teens. Its a fairy tale/parable that can help us teach the next generation about purity.

Apples of Gold: A Parable of Purity
By: Lisa Samson - Random House, Inc / 2006

Product Description
Apples of Gold teaches about sexual purity through a powerful and sensitive parable about two sisters entrusted with a precious gift from the ruler of the land. When the governor's son returns, which young woman will be chosen to serve the prince--based on how the treasure has been protected and cherished?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Grab Their Knees - WWJD?

I'm reading one of my church's missionary books "Africa's Soul Hope: The AIDS crisis and the church" by Ellen Decker and I came across a quote from Charles Spurgeon that really cut to the heart of the matter...

"If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for."

What a task we have...Grab some knees and don't let go.

Near the end of the book this challenging quotes jumps out...

We can ask, "What would Jesus do?" or "What would John Wesley do?" or even "What is the Church doing? But the ultimate spiritual question is, "What will I do?"

What am I doing? What should I be doing? What will I do?

The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas

Some friends and I have just started to read a new book that will challenge us - "Sacred Influence: What A Man Needs From His Wife To Be The Husband She Wants" by Gary Thomas. So far we have only read chapter one and we are going to take it slow so we can digest, learn and apply to our lives and marriages. We just got an email back from the author today with study guide questions, so we are excited to begin this new journey.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

A mysterious invitation appears at the office of the Nick Cominsky to join Jesus Christ at a local restaurant for dinner....

From the website...

"As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt—and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever. A provocative novella set almost entirely in a modern-day Italian restaurant, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger presents the opportunity to listen in as a skeptical young professional confronts Jesus with challenging questions about the claims of Christianity."

For book website or here - This is about the second book in the series. Nick's wife, Mattie spends the day on an airplane with Jesus.

From a web site book review - "What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself?When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?"

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play by John Eldredge

I read "Epic" last March and it really encouraged me to put my hope in Jesus Christ alone - something I have been taught for years, but somehow allowed my heart to forget.

Direct quote from Epic...

“Something stronger than Fate has chosen you. Evil will hunt you. And so a Fellowship must protect you. And you will need yours (Christian friends). You must cling to those you have, you must search wide and far for those you do not yet have. You must not go alone. From the beginning, right there in Eden, the Enemy’s strategy has relied upon a simple aim: Divide, and conquer. Get them isolated, and take them out."

The devil wants to get us down and consumed in our troubles, he doesn't want us to share our trials with fellow believers, he wants us to think our issues, problems, and trials, etc. are unique. Satan wants God’s children to have no hope. He wants us to think that our time on earth is all life has to offer. He wants us to look at lives of people who look good (and appear to have it all together) and then tell us it’s out of grasp for us. This life is temporary... God's gift of eternity with HIM IS within our grasp ONLY because its a gift from GOD. Put your hope in Jesus the author and finisher/perfecter of your faith!

Satan doesn't want us to realize that this life is but a fraction of eternity to come. He wants us to think this life is all we get. People give up and commit suicide because they have lost their hope in this world. Our HOPE is in CHRIST JESUS ALONE! There is an enormous battle waging for our souls - Satan and his demons are fighting us and trying to discourage us... We have to keep our HOPE in JESUS through it all - no matter how long or how hard... Hope in JESUS!

God's Word says...

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:1-11

When I was in college, my Sunday school teacher, Clara Schuster, had our class sing the first verse and chorus of "The Solid Rock" each Sunday before we left her class. There words are...

The Solid Rock for the tune see - or click here

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.


When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.


In, Epic John Eldredge tells us to remember three things...

* First, things are not what they seem.

* Second, we are at war.

* Third, you have a crucial role to play.

We have much to learn as we prepare ourselves for our ultimate role in eternity.

For more on Epic check out the web page