Israel – God’s Heart

by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

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Ron Gafni is a professional aerial photographer that has taken many beautiful pictures of the landscapes in Israel. Even if you have had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land (as I have), you will enjoy seeing it from a completely different perspective.

image2(1) I really enjoyed seeing all of the breathtaking views! So, for photos, I highly recommend. Unfortunately, I found that the narrative left a little to be desired. There were definite editing issues and I failed to really get how it all went together. It seems forced – as if they were trying to get a lot more theology in than what works with a picture book.

Overall, it’s fun to look at and I definitely recommend checking it out. The link to Amazon is in the first pic.

Thanks so much for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Want to see a flipbook of this? Check it out!

 

Happiness According to Jesus – What it Means to be Blessed

by Bobby Schuller We all know that the Sermon on the Mount is a very controversial text. To someone that has been a Christ follower, it is basically second nature to quote it. However, looking in on our relationship with God from an outsider’s point of view, it sounds like shackles.

Bobby takes a look at the flip side of that coin. What if following God’s “rules” was actually freedom? What if it was the key to happiness instead of the key that locks us in a cage? This is such an important topic and I am glad to see a book focusing in on it. I am a firm believer in the “Freedom in Christ” idea. This book breaks down the Sermon on the Mount and looks at the ways it can cause happiness in your life.

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

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!!

Dare To Answer – 8 Questions That Awaken your Faith

by John Busacker

In his latest book, John tackles some of the questions that Jesus asked while He was here on earth. Jesus was often responding to questions with a question of His own. He liked to make us actually think for ourselves…When John the Baptist’s disciples pointed Him out, Jesus replied saying, “What do you want?”. Ha!! I love that!

The layout of this book is great. John points out a question that might be easily missed in the vast text. For example, I had never noticed Jesus’ reply to those disciples. He then challenges us to really think about how to answer that. There are quotes from many good scholars like Oswald Chambers, Brennan Manning and St. John of the Cross. Overall, great book with eye opening statistics and stories. At the end of each chapter, there is a Reflect and Respond section to dig deeper.

Pick up a copy for yourself and a friend! Link is in the pic above. And, remember, you can “look inside” of a book on Amazon and see if it’s something you are interested in.

Thanks, Worthy, for this great book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

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!!

Thank You

God, thank you for my family. Thank you for a husband that is kind, attentive, supportive, seeker of You and imitator of You. Thank you for children that are becoming the same way. They are so selfless and in love with You. That’s all I could ask for as a mother.

I thank You for the freedom we have in this country. I pray it won’t be wasted, but used to worship You in everything we do and say. I pray that You are brought glory throughout the world. I pray people will see You in the flowers, the sunset, the clouds in the blue sky and in the beautiful rainbow You gave us as a promise and symbol of Your love.

I thank you for loving me. You loved me enough to give up everything and come here as a man. You humbled Yourself and made Yourself lower than anyone here on earth. You came as a servant. You came to love and serve others and to show us an example of how to live through the power of the Spirit and the Father.

You were fearful, crying and tortured. You bled, hung and faced the wrath of God for me. You, who knew what it was to see the wrath of God. You love me that much.

You rose from the dead and showed Your loved by returning to the very ones that left you alone in Your darkest hours. You still loved them. You are all I want. You are all I need. My heart belongs to you completely and fully.

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A Stab in the Heart

Today, I was reflecting on Jesus and His last hours on earth before the crucifixion. I was thinking about His terror and fear. In those last hours, before He was lead off to offer Himself up as the Sacrifice for all humankind.

As He prayed in the Garden, He was in his human form. He was terrified, frightened and begging His Father to show Him if there was any other way. Imagine Your God, giving up everything and coming to be in human form so He could feel what we feel and prove that He understands us. He could have easily just sacrificed Himself without going through a life of humanity. No, He came here, terrified in those last few hours. So scared, in fact, that he was sweating blood.

When He asked His very best friends to pray with Him, how could they not see the anxiety written all over His face, in His sweat and blood? How could they not? I don’t understand. They couldn’t even be there for Him when He was in that state. Not even then.

Here’s the kicker: During His best friends’ greatest betrayal, He offered Himself up still. In that moment of unbelief that they could be so selfish and not pray with Him, though He asked them many times, He still loved them. He still loved you. He still loved even me.

Unbelievable. Un-sticking-believable. I can’t believe that’s the awesomeness of the God I serve. ❤ Forever mine!

The Story of King Jesus

by Ben Irwin

What a sweet little story. So many children’s books are just full of “fluff”. I don’t usually buy them because people seem to think kids can’t grasp concepts, I suppose. It seems that Ben Irwin thinks differently and I love this. It talks about how we should love others and displays Jesus’ example throughout. A great gift for someone you know. (Link is in the pic)

The story is well written, it has bigger concepts than most children’s books and the illustrations are wonderful. I give it 5 Stars.

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

Q & A’s with David Nowell


A few weeks back, I did a review of the book Dirty Faith. I hope that EVERYONE took my recommendation and picked up a copy for yourself and one for a friend.

I asked the author, David Z. Nowell, a few questions about his ministry, so I would like to share the info with you, plus some fun question/answer too (: You know I have to enjoy life!

He runs an incredible ministry helping children that have nobody else. Being Jesus to them. The face of God. In other words, he doesn’t show up on a short term mission trip, tell them he loves them and then disappear, thus leaving the message that God is the same way. I am CERTAINLY not against short term missions, I just believe that we are to be faithful in whatever area God wants us to be and remain steady. It can be anywhere, but follow through and show love that doesn’t go away.

I have added a list of categories (with links included) so you can see what different areas that are addressed on the website.

1. How do you guys spend Christmas, holidays, birthdays, etc…with such a large group?

David – The same way we would with a smaller group. our kids are divided into families, with each family having 12-16 children in the own home on campus. We celebrate family time within the context of these smaller group. 

2.  Do you take on interns?

David – Rarely, It would have to be someone fluent in Portuguese, or having the intern would be more work than contribution.

3. What is one of the funniest stories you have? I am sure there are plenty! Kids are always full of fun!

David – See http://www.davidznowell.com/oh-lord-hear-my-prayer/

Charity – I see! Please check out the website for some great info on what’s going on there. Plenty of fun and incredible stories!

4. Is something like that home a possibility in the States? We have tried to adopt teenagers for almost 4 years now, with absolutely no luck. We passed our home study with high reviews. Social workers don’t want to get around to it.

David – I am not sure it would; there would be a lot of culture to overcome. Have you talked to the folks at Bethany Christian Services? Another option would be to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Nashville, and meet some of the adoption orgs there.

Charity – Thank you! We actually are going through Bethany Christian Services and they are wonderful. It happens to be the state workers that THEY have to deal with that are problematic. I have not heard of the event in Nashville! Something to pray about, for sure!

5. Weirdest food you’ve had to eat there?

David – Really, nothing too weird. Brazilian prepare wonderful foods, with heavy emphasis on grilled meat and great desserts.

6. Does your family enjoy life at Hope Unlimited?

David – We actually live in the US. My daughters are grown, but my wife absolutely loves to travel to campus in Brazil with me.


I want to thank David again for taking time to talk to me. Please check out the website and his book (which was just released!) The link for his book is in the pic at the top of this post.

http://www.davidznowell.com/

The truth about God, Jesus and religion. Spot on.

What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?

What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?

Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,

And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?

Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?

Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced

Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,

Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,

Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,

Not realizing that’s just like sprayin perfume on a casket

Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,

It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.

Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,

Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,

Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,

Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your facebook

In every other aspect of life you know that logic’s unworthy

Its like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey

But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,

I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.

I’d go to church on Sunday, but on Saturday getting faded,

Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.

Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,

But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,

Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken

I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,

Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.

because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,

God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”

Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called em fools

Don’t you see hes so much better than just following some rules?

Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin

But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?

Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by  “religious men”

The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.

Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,

How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,

One is the work of God one is a man made invention,

One is the cure and one is the infection.

Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.

Religion says slave, Jesus says son,

Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.

Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.

This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.

Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,

Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.

Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face

He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.

While being murdered he yelled “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”,

Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you

He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,

Which is why I’m kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room

So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,

Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.