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Blinders

I want you to imagine a horse with blinders on. Blinders are used to keep the horse focused on what is in front of it. Since the horse can’t see everything in it’s peripheral vision, it keeps the horse from becoming distracted or scared.

The horse looks towards the end of the row – it’s goal. So, for instance, if a dog runs up from the house, the horse will hear it; but, the horse will stay the course. If a snake should come into its path… it will tread on and over it; because, the horse’s goal is in sight – nothing else.

I would like to encourage you to first ground yourself in God’s word, assuring that you are walking as Christ did (1 John 2:6).

Then know this, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20)

Don’t take the time to rejoice in your authority. Stay the course, focusing on God. Keep your blinders on. Once your with our Heavenly Father, look back and witness the trail you took in life and how it’s littered with snakes and scorpions that you were never even aware of; because, you were too focused on your goal, the end of your row, your God.

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Bible Review & Giveaway: (in) courage Devotional Bible

*I received this book for an honest review and that’s what you’ll get. No money was exchanged.

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I was asked to review the new (in) courage Devotional Bible by Holman Bibles, written in the Christian Standard Bible translation. For those of you unfamiliar with CSB (Christian Standard Bible), don’t feel bad. It’s still fairly new. “It is a modern English Bible translation of the Christian Bible. Work on the translation was completed in June 2016, with the first full edition released in March 2017.”**

“The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a major revision of the 2009 edition of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB incorporates advances in biblical scholarship to improve upon translation decisions, word choice, and style. It also removes some of the novel features[which?] of the HCSB, based on feedback from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers.
The HCSB was translated by an international team of 100 scholars from 17 denominations. The HCSB New Testament was released in 1999, and the entire translation was released in 2004.
Work on the CSB revision was undertaken by the Translation and Review Team, a trans-denominational group of 21 conservative Evangelical Christian biblical scholars. Backgrounds represented include Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican, and non-denominational Evangelical churches.”[4]

To put it short, Holman Bibles has taken the Bible and tried to make it easily readable without leaving out or discounting the Word Itself. My personal opinion is that this is a great starter translation. I have a 16 year old little cousin that is receiving one of the CSB Bibles from me as a gift soon. I truly believe this is a great translation for those who find it hard – for whatever reason – to sit down and delve into God’s Word.

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I often say this to people: I don’t care which translation you read so long as you start reading. A lot of people freak out when I say that but here’s my philosophy: if you’re really hungry for God’s Word, you’re going to want to know more and delve deeper. People can experience a church and walk away. People can experience Christians and walk away. A person doesn’t experience the true text of God, with a hungry heart, and merely walk away. They don’t have a true encounter with God and walk away. I’ve yet to meet one. So, my belief is that most Christians that hunger for God and His word will do as I did – they will evolve as their relationship with Him does. I didn’t start reading KJV.

I know. That’s shocking for many of you. Settle down. The fact is that when I was 16 it wasn’t doing it for me. The first Bible I actually read was The Precious Moments Bible. Know what translation that was? NKJV. That’s right – New King James Version; and, I really didn’t start delving into until I was around 15 or 16. If I had access to something like CSB, I would’ve delved much sooner.

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The beauty behind (in) courage Devotional Bible is that in this era of creative Bible journaling, Bible distributors are beginning to realize that many of us want to make notes and do devotionals within the one book. In a sync-my-phone-with-my-laptop-and-ipad world, we seek to simplify. Honestly, I like this because seeking God and reading about Him should be simple. Life is complicated, seeking Jesus shouldn’t be. 9781535924955.in01 (1)

The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible invites every woman to find her story within the greatest story ever told—God’s story of redemption.

As you study God’s Word, 122 women from the (in)courage community come alongside you with 312 devotions, sharing stories of how God’s story has changed their lives. Because of His grace, they have found beauty in the brokenness and hope in the hard. With each devotion, they sing the praise of the One who has authored their story.”

Some of the features that are included in the (in) courage Devotional Bible are:

  • 312 devotions by 122 (in) courage community writers – women just like you and I
  • 10 distinct thematic reading plans
  • 66 book introductions connecting each book of the Bible to the whole biblical narrative
  • stories of courage from 50 women of the Bible
  • journaling space
  • topical index
  • two-column text
  • them verses
  • specialized presentation page

Not sure you want it just yet? Easy, you can actually download a sample!

If you are not quite sure if this is for you, I want to encourage you to consider picking a woman in your church – maybe a young woman or a new-to-Christ woman – and gift them this Bible. That’s what I’ve decided to do with my copy. The Lamb’s Book of Life has recently acquired a new name within it and I want to gift her this to show her how loved she is and to give her a stepping stone closer to Christ.

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**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Standard_Bible
[4]“Holman Christian Standard Bible: Original Translation Team and Translation and Review Team” (PDF)A PDF document containing the full list of original translators of the HCSB, and translators of the CSB.
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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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Book Review & Giveaway: BibleForce

I was given this Bible for my honest review and as most all of you know I only want to share with you guys the things that really work for my family and I’m always honest about my thoughts. I received no financial compensation for this.

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BibleForce is a brand-new Bible storybook that is illustrated with exciting, comic-style artwork that kids will love. My six year old absolutely loves it. I have to be honest…I’m 40 and I love it.

I grew up with The Children’s Bible “in Colour.” There’s nothing wrong with it. It was awesome. In fact, around 15 years ago, when my daughter was my son’s age she read it from cover to cover by herself. We were very proud. I think we can all agree, though, that for this next generation of kids… some (not all) of our books are a little like watching a black & white television for them. I mean…I grew up on this:

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 But my son is all about this…

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See the difference?!

I can’t blame him! Look at the detail and imagery! It’s amazing. Adam being made out of dust, alone, is awesome and looks like a work of art! All kidding aside, I want that image of Adam on his knee framed to gift to my husband. It’s … wow.

Your children will love the detail and action of BibleForce, and parents will love having a book that gets their children engaged in reading Bible stories. Vivid art, incredible detail, and easy-to-follow text will get readers of all ages enthusiastic about reading this chronological and fast-paced retelling of the Scriptures. It includes nearly 200 fully illustrated stories that take children through the adventure and action of the Bible and help kids understand the full story of the Bible. The focus on Bible heroes makes the stories even more thrilling. After all, that’s what each parent wants – to get their kids hooked on the Bible so that they want to read it themselves, want to delve deeper on their own!

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BibleForce is a great book to be read together and is simple enough for young readers to read on their own. Kids won’t be able to put down this book! We’re reading it nightly in our house and it’s even had to travel to Nana and Papa’s, too!

Want to read something even cooler? (I know – I sound like I’m way too psyched out about this to be an adult. No one told me I had to grow up in all areas, though.) Here it is: With your purchase of BibleForce, you get a FREE AUDIO APP! That’s a $29 value FOR FREE

I’m not going to read the whole Bible to you but I really wanted to show you guys why I’m all about this Bible. So, check out this brief video and consider picking one up for your kids, grandkids, etc.

Want to try and win one of your own before buying? Click below!

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Hearing God In the Now…

Buckle up…this is a long one and I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers.

I am overwhelmed with the repeating words, resounding in my mind like a trumpeting horn, “not my will, but Yours be done.”

I’m increasingly concerned with the people of God, their leaders (not just pastors, but leaders, teachers, praise team members, etc.) especially, not being led by God in the NOW. I will explain my use of “in the now” in a moment.

Jesus Christ – Himself – said in Mark 14:36, “…Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou will.”

Christ knew ALL things were possible; but, He did not want it to be His way. He wanted it to be God’s way. I’m sure Christ, in his infinite wisdom, could have constructed a great way; but, it would not have compared to God’s PERFECT way.

How did Christ know what God’s way was? He didn’t have a Bible to finger through and find the section on “fearing for your life and carrying the weight of the sin of the world on one’s shoulders.” I’ll tell you in three simple words, though He be a very complex and overwhelming being: the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:16 tells us very clearly that Christ received the “Spirit of God.” It says, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” In the English Standard Version it says, “the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.”

There is such a thing as a “rhema” word. I really like the way James Rae explains the term “rhema” on Sharefaith.com. The word rhema means, “an utterance.” It’s used to refer to a word received that applies to your current situation or need. He goes on to say, “With this understanding, Christians can count on the written words contained in the Bible to have deep and personal meaning to their lives. And it is the Holy Spirit who enlightens believers when reading a Scripture, with the goal of imparting wisdom, knowledge or understanding in order to have an immediate impact.”

Not every Christian is fully aware, but rather it’s tucked away in their subconscious, that the Bible has been translated many times before you get your handy-dandy Message version. Keeping that in mind, also be aware that there are words in our language that cannot be interpreted in other languages; because they have no word for it and that works vice-versa as well. The word “rhema” is one such word. The best way we can put it is as James Rae does when he says that it is (forgive my abbreviation) an on-time utterance.

Now, if we are to refer to Matthew 4:4, where it says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceeds out of the mouth of God” and In John 6:63 where Christ confirms the use of this rhema revelation by saying, “The words [rhema] that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” then each Christian has an imperative, possibly life-changing, question they must answer for themselves.

Do you believe God speaks today?

Notice I did not say, “Is His written word speaking to you, today?” That is understood, it’s a given. His word is always fruitful, always valid, and will always speak to someone willing to hear it.

Further, as a side note to avoid any confusion, I would like to add that a rhema word, whether delivered by reading the Bible, the utterance of tongues, or a word dropped into one’s heart or mind, will NEVER contradict God’s written Word. If it does, that’s not God.

In 2 Timothy, Paul says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” So, please do not for even a moment assume that I am saying anything other than exactly what I am – that God speaks through us through His written word but ALSO through His Holy Spirit, TODAY. That is to say He speaks to us in addition to His written word. The Word of God is just as valid today as it was when it was first being chiseled and penned; and, a word given by the Holy Spirit – by whatever method – is equally as valid.

The key ingredient that we must not miss, though, is “rhema.” Why would God speak a rhema word? Because you need to hear it NOW!

He is not a God that sits atop a thrown, inaccessible to His children. Your earthly father would be called “a dead beat dad” if he never spoke to you. Wouldn’t he? How much more of a father is God to us than our earthly father? If we know how much greater a father He is, then we should logically assume that He would want to speak to us, currently – now, in our every day endeavors.

To give a more specific example: If I were standing on a ledge ready to jump and my dad, saw me, he would lovingly tell me that he was there for me and that I didn’t need to give up – he would help me through whatever was going on. How much more would my God do?

I’ll tell you. When my daughter was a toddler and her father and I were going through a lot, life became very overwhelming for me. The only person who knew that I had seriously considered taking my own life was my husband. Long story short, I was at the end of my rope and sat, numbly, in a pew one Sunday as a visiting pastor preached a good sermon that had nothing to do with what was going on in my life. At the end of the service, though, he called everyone who “desperately needed a touch from God” to come forward for prayer.

I will be honest, I didn’t even really realize I was standing at the alter until I looked up and saw that I was there with my husband at my side. I waited, silently crying, for this visiting pastor to come over, pray for me, and for me to walk away disappointed. After all, I had lost all hope. I wasn’t in that place where you run to God expectantly. However…we froze, stunned, as this man laid his hands on my head, began praying, and then suddenly paused and then lowered his voice and said with authority, “And, devil, I rebuke this demon of suicide plaguing this daughter of God! She is a child of the King!”

As the weight of the world and all of my hurt – feeling as if I was not even a blip on God’s radar, washed away. The Holy Spirit descended upon me in such a powerful way that I can truly say that I will forever remember how soothing the Balm of Gilead truly is.

You see, in that moment God knew that the only thing I needed to know was not how to fix my problems, where to find direction in His written word, but simply that God was aware and was there with and for me.

That pastor spoke a rhema word, given to him by an utterance of the Holy Spirit, that FOREVER changed my life. Sure, the devil tried to tempt me with suicide again. The thing is, not only has it never been a temptation since receiving that revelation; but, whenever depression descends upon me, I remind myself that God is aware and watching me, with love, knowing that through Him I have the power to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

Why did I tell you all of that? Because a rhema word is what this world needs. This world is suffering from problems never before conceivable to mere man. Now, more than ever, we need to hear from God.

Please note that I did not say that we need another prophet. Prophets are great (when authentic) yet they come and go. Some are false and some are as true as the day is long. You don’t need a prophet, though, to hear from God. God is just as accessible to you as He is to anyone else. When apostles laid hands on people, the Holy Spirit was not coming from them. Acts 19 tells us that when Paul laid hands on some believers from Ephesus the Spirit came epi, upon them, not dia, through him.

We were given this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, from God, so that we don’t have to walk through the desert following after a prophet to whom God only speaks to. The only thing you need to hear a rhema word from God is to have the Holy Spirit residing within you.

A prophet has to be followed; but, God is accessible everywhere at all times. Didn’t Christ say in John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I am going to the Father”? We can hear from God just as Christ and his apostles did.

I’m always blown away when we read that Christ – Himself – and His apostles did things a certain way but we seem to either think it’s beneath us, we’re too smart to have to do it that way, or we’re just too careless to assure that we’re doing it His way – that the very foundation of our every day lives be constructed in His way. I want to repeat that: “to assure that the very foundation of our every day lives be constructed in His way.” The very basis of our foundation should be believing that God manifested Himself into man; He died for our sins, so that we could live again; and, He sent us a comforter, the Holy Spirit, that should reside within us to direct our paths. Why are we skipping the third part? That’s like leaving the water out of the concrete mix and then wondering why it’s not setting up properly!

In Acts 19:1-7, Paul met some disciples of John the Baptist. He thought that they were believers in Christ, after hearing their talk of repentance. Paul, sensing something was missing, asked them the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” This passage, and others, proves that Paul believed that it was possible to be a believer in Jesus without receiving the Holy Spirit. If receiving the Holy Spirit was automatic upon receiving salvation, then why did Paul ask, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

Christ, during his ascension, told us that he would leave us “a Comforter.” If Christ said He was leaving us a Comforter, we need this Comforter!

Why would the Bible refer to the Holy Spirit as a “comforter?” What is a comforter? A comforter is “a person or thing that provides consolation.” “Consolation” is defined as “comfort received by a person after a loss or disappointment, a person providing comfort to a person who has suffered.”

Allow me to take you back to the beginning of all of this where I referenced Christ’s illustration of choosing God’s way over His. A counselor can be a wonderful person to go to who will have good ideas of what to say to you; but, I want you to think about how much more your grief would be sated if you heard from the one person who actually knows exactly what to say to give you a peace that passes all understanding. I want you to consider how awesome it would be to have access to someone who is so inundated with the Holy Spirit that, if you’re too blinded by grief, confusion, hurt, etc., they can be a conduit of God to deliver a rhema word to you just as that visiting pastor did for me that day.

Yes, His written word can be a comfort to us, guidance, and more; but, Christ was leaving with us a living Comforter, in addition to a written account of His words.

We need to receive the Holy Spirit because God is a personal God – a God that wants to tailor His conversation specifically to you, not merely give you a generic word that you can apply to every situation.

Again, he is just as accessible today as he was 2000 years ago. The only question each of us needs to ask ourselves, and our leaders, is why are we/they not following a path set before us paved by His rhema word in our lives? Why are we following a generic path that we have drawn based on the few things we have assumed we fully understand from His written word. Our senior pastors, associate pastors, worship pastors, youth pastors, children’s pastors, counselors, Sunday school teachers, praise team singers, praise band members, missionaries, …all of those people that would teach the Church about discipling should be anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit and be in such constant communication with God that they have vision, words, and specific application to add to His kingdom. Just as they should have this, so should each and every one of of God’s children.

In conclusion, I just want to finish out a word from THE Word, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

America, Apologetics, Artifacts, Bible, Children, Church, family, Friends, Giveaway, History, Holiday, Israel, Ministry, Uncategorized

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/?