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Review & Giveaway: Not My Jesus

This book was given to me (no money was exchanged) for my honest opinion and that’s what you’ll get! I am not an affiliate and receive no money from this or any purchases.

Warning: this book is not for the faint of heart. If that front cover doesn’t get that message across, nothing will! 😂

I began explaining the book to my first-grader (mainly because of the cigarette) and he wound up taking over saying, “Plus, Jesus was brown, with brown eyes because He was Jewish!” #HomeschoolWin

Ever heard the hashtag #NotMyPresident? If not, you’re probably not reading my blog and therefore I don’t need to explain😅. If you have, then you know that many have voiced their negative opinions of our current president by tagging their statements with #NotMyPresident. Bob Fabey, an Anglican priest, plays off this notorious hashtag with his book titled Not My Jesus.

This book is not about politics. It’s not about hipsters, cell phones, smoking, nor homosexuality. It is about who Jesus is not and who He is. More importantly, it’s about who Jesus is … to you!

I recently asked, on my Facebook page, “Who is YOUR Jesus?” These are some of the responses I received:

“The Way the Truth and the Life, never changing, never failing….. I do have to say “Your” Jesus…. is The Jesus… He can’t be changed to fit my needs or my wants/desires.” – Dawn L.

“My Deliverer! I’m so blessed that my Jesus thought enough of even me to sacrifice Himself and I will do my best to live my life to honor Him. Thank God for grace!” – Sabrina M.

“Interesting and difficult prompt. I would say that “my” Jesus, the one I normally think of, is less passionate, less humble, less concerned about me, less confrontational, and less interesting than the Jesus that I encounter in reading, meditating, and praying.” – Patrick M.

“My deliverer and strong tower, yet my precious God who holds me in every instance of my life. He never fails and is always there when I need him, gently leading and guiding. I love my Jesus!” – Sue G.

“Love.” – Victoria R.

“My Jesus is a radiant light that guides me on my path. He’s my savior, my redeemer, and His love knows no bounds. Even when I’ve gone astray, his mercy and love pulls me back in. ” – Tiffany R.

“Creator – through Him everything was made that is made. Healer – by His stripes we are healed. Savior – no one comes to the Father but by Me. Redeemer – full of grace and truth (John‬ ‭1:14‬). He has redeemed me from the bondage of sin and given me life everlasting and joy unspeakable and full of glory.” – David M.

For myself, Jesus is so much. He is an incomparable friend, yet one that holds me accountable. He is grace and mercy, yet soul-jarring conviction. He is healing and provision, yet also guidance and wisdom.

Fabey starts right out the gate, grabbing you by the ears, describing many people’s versions of who Jesus is. He even references the now infamous Talladega Nights prayer many of us know where Ricky prefers his Jesus to be 8 pound, 6 ounce, newborn infant Jesus.

He goes on, after describing everything from Santa Jesus and black Jesus to judgmental Jesus and blonde Jesus, to share some “Jesus tweets.” Many of these “tweets” will be shocking to a lot of readers. What’s sad is that they should not be. Because Fabey is doing nothing more than quoting Jesus from the Bible.🤷🏻‍♀️

Fabey challenges his readers:

“We frequently see Jesus as of looking through a keyhole, unable or unwilling to see a bigger picture. In fact, the sad truth is we make Him out to be what we want. In short, He looks like us. He carries our wants, wishes, ideas, and leanings with a spiritual spin. This gives us the divine right to feel, act, or think the way we do because Jesus did it that way. He is used to justify our biases and, in turn, becomes nothing more than a caricature of the flavor of the day – our preferred flavor.”

After reading this book – a book full of humor, sarcasm, bluntness, reality, and truth – I was left with the question, “Who is this book intended for?” Is this book for mellenials, the confused, new in Christ, people looking for a laugh? After all, Fabey goes off the rails if you compare his book to mainstream Christian books. I can’t imagine anyone of my grandparents snuggling up to this one. He doesn’t mince words nor does he cater to sensitivities. So… I simply emailed Fabey and asked.

His response:

“I am targeting the millennial crowd. Especially the de-churched.”

Honestly, his response gave me a lot more peace about this book. Millennials (many but not all) have developed during a time of segregation. There is now segregation of thought, belief, feelings. Fabey actually addresses this in his book and how detrimental it can and will be. This is one of the points that he makes that I wholeheartedly agree with – that at one time we could simply agree to disagree. Now, if we disagree we can’t be friends. We’ll take our ball and go home. No, it’s not as simple as that but in some ways…it is.

For instance, it’s very difficult to understand how one person can know that there is a living being inside of someone else and be OK with the killing of it; yet, if I shut down all dialogue with them how will I be any different from those that would simply turn a blind eye? Am I not to open up a conversation with those people on how precious that life is, possibly changing their minds into a direction that is not my perspective but that of Christ’s?

He talks about the power of “Othering.” Othering is when we have a “Oh…them 😒” mentality.

Fabey, I believe, is trying to redirect a generation from the “My Jesus is okay with me just as I am” mentality to the truth of Christ and who He was (and is) that day He met a woman at the well.

Let’s be honest: Christ called her out. She was living a life many would call a Jerry Springer life and Jesus called a spade a spade. He didn’t leave it there, though. He gave her hope and a reason to change her life. That is who Jesus really is – He is truth even when it hurts but He’s also grace and love. The problem, as Fabey points out, is that many want one without the other – truth and judgment (without grace) for their oppressors, or grace and love (without truth) for themselves. That’s simply not who Jesus is.

So that being said, if it takes Fabey being somewhat controversial or “in your face” to get a dialogue going about who Jesus really is, then who am I to say that his delivery is shocking or insensitive?

In all, I wouldn’t say that I disagree with Fabey. I would say we share different perspectives about a few things and we would certainly differ in our delivery. I can imagine that we would have a very colorful and interesting conversation over coffee if he and I were to sit together.

I found myself disagreeing with Fabey, or at least the way he conveyed something. Some of his views and opinions are pretty extreme to me. Yet, many times I found myself saying, “Yes! Exactly!”

One such example is when Fabey references Matthew 13:38 where Jesus is calling people weeds that can potentially choke things or other people out. They – weeds – grow in the wrong place. If you’re in the wrong place you’re a potential problem. You need to know where you belong otherwise you are going to “clog up the works.”

His book takes you from who you may think Jesus is, through a journey of how dangerous misinterpretation can be and onto the promise and potential of who you – and this world can be – if we can grasp who Jesus truly is.

I would agree with Fabey that this book is for millennials and the de-churched. I would add that this is for the prideful, somewhat close minded, those that are absolutely convinced that their mind cannot be changed. This book is for the Christian and the unbeliever. I would also say that this book is for people who simply like to see different perspectives. This book is for groups who like to just talk about Jesus and how this generation, or world, relates to Him today.

*I would probably not give this book to someone brand new in Christ as many of the topics are for people who are already at one extreme or the other, not someone who is in a transitional period with God.

There is a lot of information packed into a very small book. This is not just a book of flash and fancy but a book that is referencing who the messiah is, how important He really is, why Jesus is the way that He is.

If you read this book, I cannot wait to hear your take on it! I would definitely say that this is a book club book. This is a conversation starter to be sure. With such topics as, “Who is your Jesus?” “Which generation should we turn back to?” “Are our Jesuses the same?” “What is truly a zealot?” I could go on!

Can’t wait to see if you’ve won? Buy it here…

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Review & Giveaway: Paul, Apostle of Christ DVD

I was given this DVD, no money, for an honest review and that is what you’ll receive. 

Paul Apostle of Christ

If you missed seeing Paul, Apostle of Christ when it was in studios, have no fear – buy the DVD today! I recommend the Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital combo that’s available. That way you can watch it anywhere, anytime.

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“Paul (Faulkner), who goes from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ’s most influential apostle, is spending his last days in a dark and bleak prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero. Luke (Caviezel), his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit him. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius (Martinez), the prison’s prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul‘s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.”

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Check out the trailer here:

Pretty awesome, huh?

For those that may not know, Paul – or Saul of Tarsus as he was also known – was an apostle who taught the gospel to the first century world. He was both Jew and Roman Citizen. This gave him both opportunity and strife, but more importantly it gave him perspective and a path to lead many to Christ. A man who was once dedicated to the very persecution of Christ’s followers becomes one of those that he would have put to death before. Paul’s story is an amazing one, an intriguing one, and certainly one can understand why everyone – Romans and Jews alike – would be curious as to what (or Who) would make a man change so extremely! Truly only a real encounter with Christ could make such a man turn from everything he believed to be true only to lose all of his earthly gains but gain his Godly calling.

You cannot go wrong with such a cast as Jim Caviezel, Olivier Martinez, and James Faulkner. This film is from the same studio that brought to you Risen and War Room. If you loved watching Jim Caviezel play Jesus, you’ll be blown away by his representation of Luke – friend and physician – risking his life to venture into Rome and visit Paul as he spends his last days in a prison awaiting execution.

“Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.”

Get to know the man that wrote many of the books you hold so close to your heart and teach to your children. Add this DVD to your collection and allow his life to come alive before your family’s eyes.

Want to win your own copy?banner

 

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Review & Giveaway: Born to Wander

I was given this book, without financial compensation, for my honest opinion of it and that is always what you’ll get from me. 

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Why are we so restless?

All of us have a little wanderlust—a desire for that next thing, that new place, but this competes with our longings for security, control, and safety. We don’t like how it feels to be unsettled and uprooted. Whether we’re navigating a season of transition, dealing with the fallout of broken relationships, or wrestling with a deep sense of restlessness, we are all experiencing some form of exile. And most of us do whatever we can to numb the feelings of unbelonging, powerlessness, and unsettledness that come with it. But the truth is that exile has a profound purpose if we can just learn to lean in.

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Over and over again Scripture tells us that the people of God are exiles and wanderers. And this is good news because exile is what transforms us into pilgrims.

In Christ, we are no longer directionless wanderers, but pilgrim followers who have a clear purpose and a secure identity.

In Born to Wander, Michelle Van Loon weaves together personal stories and keen insights on the biblical themes of pilgrimage and exile.  She will help you embrace your own pilgrim identity and reorient your heart toward the God who leads you home. Engaging and thoughtful, enhanced with practical suggestions, prayers, and questions, Born to Wander will teach how to trust God even when you don’t understand what’s happening around you and follow Him even when it hurts.

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If you keep chasing security, you’ll never find it. Embrace the purpose behind the wandering and discover the freedom and safety of resting in God alone.

“Every one of us carries a restlessness that runs as deep as the marrow of our born-again bones. Our relationships shift like tectonic plates. We change jobs. We switch churches. And our culture tells us the cure for our restlessness is to buy a new mattress, a new car, or a new tube of toothpaste.”

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This book is an interesting one for SO many reasons but I really felt like it was on time for my husband and I because we’re in this place where we feel like God is trying to position each of us for movement but we’re trying to be good stewards and be what we’re called to be – good providers, lenders not borrowers, etc. There’s a balance there between finding security in God and not allowing your own mission to secure your family come between you and His will for your life. We want to make sure that we’re not getting in His way even if we’re doing so with the best of intentions.

Michelle Van Loon, a master storyteller and Jewish follower of Jesus, is helping me to navigate a little better through this place that I’m in in my life. I also think this would be a great book for anyone in a transitional period of their life: marriage, divorce, college, graduation, relocation, and more.

Here’s a sneak peek at the Chapter titles:

  1. Uprooted
  2. Sent
  3. Waylaid
  4. Displaced
  5. Warned
  6. Divided
  7. Remembered
  8. Trekked
  9. Sojourned
  10. Diverted
  11. Revealead

I don’t know about you but some of those titles jumped out at me and others flat-out screamed. I hope you’ll consider picking up this book today, or for someone you care about. I was impressed with the way this book helped me to change perspective and remember God’s picture is so much greater than my mere snapshot of today.

Can’t wait to purchase your own? Click below!

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Review & Giveaway: This Dangerous Book

I was not paid for this review but was given a book for my honest opinion and, as always, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you intentionally built your life, your family, and even your business around and upon God’s Word? Well, that is exactly what Steve and Jackie Green did. You may recognize their names. Steve Green became President of Hobby Lobby in 2004 and since then the CEO and his wife have opened the Museum of the Bible smack dab in the middle of our nation’s capital.

This Dangerous Book, written by Steve and Jackie Green, is an amazing book highlighting the power of the Bible, the lengths people have gone to to preserve it, and how it is still able to change people today.

Rick Warren says it best in the foreword of this book when he says, “If you want to become all that God has designed you to be, you must build your life on the Bible. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.” And let me tell you: if you’re living life like that then you will be a danger – a danger to sin, a danger to oppression, a danger to those and that who would attack your family.

This Dangerous Book is probably one of my favorite books because it highlights the most important book in history without weighing down the entire book with a person’s opinion and their own personal translation of It. Rather, this book is a journey and the Greens want you to go on that journey with them.

This Dangerous Book talks about how the Bible has been a very controversial thing. How could it not? It has disrupted and interrupted sin and chaos and in its place put peace and abolished death wherever Its words have been spoken.

One thing that I find myself often asking people is, “How can anyone dispute a religion with such documented history?” This Dangerous Book is a great book for your arsenal if you appreciate Apologetics or simply want to be able to defend your faith. And, have no fear! This book is not merely a coffee table book, nor is it a book to make you look good to your fellow Christian friends. This is an outstanding book of reference. In the back, just as with any good reference book, there are notes, credits, and an index. I know I sound a little like a nerd right now but most of you know that I am one!

If you are a lover of history, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who likes to challenge themselves, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who reads the Bible and wants to understand even more about the Book that feeds you every day, get…this…book. This book is for anyone – yes, even the unbeliever.

I encourage you to buy for yourself or gift this book this holiday season. This is not an affiliate link. I get no kickback from this. Just like the Greens, I simply want to spread the power of the Bible. So….what are you waiting for?! Get it! You can buy it anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, etc.

Want it for free? Awesome! I’m giving one away! Click on the the Dangerous Book below and find out how!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39884d163/?