The Three Heavens – Angels, Demons And What Lies Ahead

by John Hagee

Woh. If there is a book that I would recommend you pick up this year, it is this one.

In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul describes how he visited the Third Heaven. It would seem that if there is a third heaven, there must be a first and second. John takes us through the different “heavens” described in the Bible and what he believes it is talking about. He uses a lot of Bible verses to back up his beliefs and makes some really solid points.

He also goes in depth about how our battle is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12). He shows a lot of verses to back up what a demon is and what it can do. How real the battle is for our souls. He has a number of stories that he has personally dealt with involving spiritual warfare.

Now, let me say that I don’t necessarily agree with every single thing that John puts forth in this book, but the basic truths are VERY real. I absolutely believe that it is so easy to open a door to the evil in this world without even knowing it. It is a difficult subject, but very encouraging to see how amazing it is to serve a God that we know will win this battle. It is amazing to really dig into what Heaven is and what things can be expected. I love that there is no fear in death!!

So, please pick up a copy of this book! You will definitely want to read it. It’s a game changer!!

Thank you, Worthy, for this incredible book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Abandoned Memories

by MaryLu Tyndall

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

Breathtaking. Suspenseful. Terrifying. Beautiful.

There are so many words to describe this book. You know when a book sticks with you? After you read it, you think on it and think on it? That is what this series will do to you.

Abandoned Memories is the third book in the Escape From Paradise series and it is a WHOPPER! Through the series, we get to know a bunch of colonists that left America after the Civil War. They all left for different reasons, but they basically wanted to start a “new south” in Brazil. The cool part? All of this is true! It was the only recorded exodus in the history of America. You should check out this article to find out more about it!!! (Link is in the pic)

confederados-brazil3-550x366

In this final installment, the battle with the forces of evil in their town has escalated and they must seek God to fight it. We also get to FINALLY see Angeline’s and James’ stories. They were my favorite from the start!! This book is NOT for the weak of heart. It is surely going to open your eyes to the battle we don’t see. It is a beautiful story of grace and redemption. I wish I could give it 10 stars!! (Looky there! I just did!!).

Bravo, MaryLu! As always, you have given me a book I really enjoy. However, you went above and beyond this time. *still trying to catch my breath*

— If you would like to see our fun FACE-OFF, just head on over there and enjoy. BTW, there’s a giveaway so you have a chance to get this book in your hands!!!

From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel

Christine Hoover

“Working myself up into a frantic, over-scheduled mess, I just grow burdened and weary and do not love anyone or anything. When I do this, I miss the point of the gospel entirely and, inadvertently, make the Christian life all about me and my own abilities and efforts and practices.”

In this new book by popular blogger, Christine Hoover, we have a REALLY important message. Life is NOT about me. It’s not about MY achievements. It’s not about Me having a glamorous life all in the name of “God’s will”. We MUST be content to take the little steps and know that God is leading us to a freedom in Him. Freedom from worry, stress, and need for achievement. We are loved. We are treasured. We are important and special to God. It’s OK if we miss a devotion time one day! We should always desire to be in the Word, but God isn’t sitting there upset because I didn’t get my 30 minutes of devotion time in.

Life is not a legalistic, chore list. It is simply about letting God’s grace make us fall desperately in love with Him. He takes care of the rest. We need to get rid of the guilt that plagues us so we feel inferior and like we need to do more. Once we think we need to do more, it becomes about us again!! (Tricky little thing!!)

I HIGHLY recommend this book to ALL women. (Link is in the pic above) 5 Solid Stars

Thank you, Baker Publishing, for this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— If you would like to win a copy of this book, or read my fun Face-Off with Christine Hoover, just head on over HERE!!

The Day I Met Jesus

by Frank Viola and Mary Demuth

What a beautiful book! This is an in depth look at five different women that were affected by Jesus while He was here on Earth. We have the woman caught in adultery, the prostitute that covered Jesus’ feet with perfume, the Samaritan woman He met at the well, the woman that grabbed His cloak and Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

To start with, each story is told from the first person point of view, then the actual Scripture is produced. After that, there is some theological musings on what transpired. I found it very interesting. I’ve never really seen a book written in this style before. I enjoyed it immensely.

Most of these stories are a mere few verses in the vastness of the entire Bible. Easily overlooked or breezed over. I liked taking the time to think about it and what it really meant. It is obviously in the Bible for a reason and we shouldn’t overlook it. I highly recommend this. It is co-authored by Mary Demuth and Frank Viola. It’s well written and will appeal to many genres. If you would like to pick up a copy, the link is in the picture above.

Thanks, Baker Books, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Jesus > Religion

by Jeff Bathke

Youtube sensation overnight. Skeptical. Watched the video. Won over.

I have heard much about Jeff Bethke and his “poem” on youtube. I finally got around to checking it out and I was so impressed. I thought that it was awesome to see someone who really, REALLY gets it! Still, good at poetry and making videos, not sure if this book will be full of filler to ride the waves of fame.

Absolutely not. This is one of THE BEST “Christian Living” books I have read (well, technically listened to as I drove to visit my parents in NY). This book is full of so many truths and an incredible insight into God’s heart. I don’t care what stage of life you are in, or where you are in your walk with God. Anyone can get something out of this book. I try to live my life “to the glory of God”. I get what he’s saying, but sometimes it just takes hearing it again, and in a different way, to remind you of the truth.

Please pick up a copy of this book! It is absolutely powerful and full of the SIMPLICITY of being a Christian. I am not saying that Christianity is easy, I am saying that we don’t have to do anything besides surrender to Him because we aren’t the pursuers, we are the pursued.

Link to the book is in the pic above. You can also get a free audio version  of this book (plus one more book) FOR FREE!!!

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Thank you, netgalley, for getting this book to me. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!

Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry and Into the Arms of the Savior

by Annie Lobert

This book stuck with me. This book stuck with me for days and days. How quickly, how easily women can be sucked into this lifestyle. Can be treated as if they are worthless and love is a beating, slavery and selling yourself.

Annie has shared her heart, her testimony and her bared her soul in this book. God is using this beautiful woman to bring Him much glory. I ask you to please take a look at this book. Please read this and share it with others. It is so frightening to see how quickly a young girl can be “broken” and become hopeless. This needs to be in the hands of every friend you know.

As the title indicates, Annie was in the sex industry for many years. As life became more and more hopeless, God showed His love to her. She is now free from the bondage. Free from the guilt. Free from all of it because there is freedom in Christ!!!!

Instead of turning her back and running away, she looked into the eyes of the girls she knew and realized what she must do with her life. She began a ministry called Hookers for Jesus. Yes, I realize that is a bit awkward to say, but it is based off of this simple verse:

Jesus called out to them: “Come follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  Matthew 4:19
“Hookers For Jesus is a non-profit organization which addresses the harmful effects of prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry.

The primary mission of Hookers For Jesus is to Hook (Outreach) Give Hope (Jesus) Heal (emotional & spiritual restoration) and Help (Transitional Assistance) for those who have been negatively affected by sex trafficking and the adult entertainment industry.”

I asked Annie a few questions and she was gracious enough to answer. I asked her if she was fearful of staying and living in the same town where she was threatened and beaten so often.

She is not.

I asked her about bringing God glory, and she wants to use her past to help as many people as she can.

As for her favorite verse? Jeremiah 29:11

A few fun questions, she DOES NOT go Black Friday shopping! She has eaten a Sea Urchin!!!! She does NOT hang out with Chumlee and Crew (Pawn Shop). Her dream is to travel the world non-stop (but I know that comes second to her amazing ministry). Oh, and she’s a mac (as in apple) girl! I love her even more!

So, how can those of us outside the city help? How can we contribute to this amazing ministry?

“The best ways to be involved from outside of the Las Vegas area is to pray, contribute financially, and spread Hookers for Jesus information via social media.”

So, here is a beautiful picture. You know what’s even more beautiful about it? It contains a link to contribute to Annie’s mission. To help those that are stuck in the sex industry to have a hope and a future.

PLEASE USE IT!

God is love?

tumblr_lzj219CmOU1r6cg73o1_500

I teach a high school/college/graduate student Bible study about Tough Questions. The most often asked questions is…

Well, what’s your guess? If you guessed:

“How can a loving God send someone to Hell?”

you were right!

I find that I can’t even comprehend the question. I mean, I totally don’t get it. It’s so backwards that we would never apply that question to anything else in our lives and think that it made sense.

Why in the world would it be considered “loving” for God to force us into a place we’ve spent our lives trying to avoid? Why would it be “loving” for God to force us to spend time with the One we spent our lives hating? Why would it be loving for God to force us into an eternity that we spent our lives denying and calling a fairytale? In what other situation would you ever call that “loving”?

If I spend my life hating God, why in the world would I want to spend an eternity in His presence? Somehow, that makes God cruel? To give us what we spend a lifetime striving towards is heartless?

NO!!!!! Like I said, it doesn’t compute. A loving God cares enough to give us what we desire even when it breaks His heart.

godslove

This verse has a whole different meaning when you look at it from that perspective. An everlasting love. A love willing to give us up to our desires despite the pain it causes Him. Even though He gave up everything to show us His love, He will ultimately give us our desires in the end.

Stop questioning God and His love. He proved it. He proved it in a big way.

cross-370x280

The hardest thing…

I am pure blond. Many of you do not know that because of my need for constant change (the only things I won’t change are my God and my family). So, whether you know me as the red haired Charity, the blond, brunette or black haired Charity, it is true. My secret is out.

Of course… Secrets are not my strong point anyway.

That being said, I go through life happily strolling along thinking everything is just fan-tastic. Out of nowhere, BAM! Someone is hurt, offended, angry, or who knows what.

This is my disclaimer: It is most definitely not personal if I upset you. I have no idea what I am doing in this thing called life.

It is so hard to respond well when I am blindsided by someone’s anger. What I am learning to do is realize that the anger is actually hurt. Hurt from some other area in their life. Hurt that I may have inadvertently inflicted, reminded them of, or simply was at the wrong place at the wrong time and felt it coming through.

I am reminded of a verse my sweet Momma made me memorize when I was a wee thing. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger” – Proverbs 15:1

It is never easy to choose kind words and a soft response when we are attacked. In the heat of the moment, or even the surprise, it is our nature to defend ourselves. Unfortunately, nobody cares.

In that moment, what they need is not my defensiveness, but my love. They need me to care about them, not about my own reputation. They need me to see how they are really feeling, how they are screaming out from the inside. They don’t need my reasoning.

It’s not about me. Life never is. It’s about representing the Father and His perfect love and grace. It’s seeing others how He sees them.

I challenge you today. Join me in seeking those that most need our compassion and grace. Pray with me, brothers and sisters. Love on those around you with all of your being. They are worth it. They are eternal. Your viewpoint, honor and reputation are not.