Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: Apostate

In Apostate:  The Men who Destroyed the Christian West, Kevin Swanson presents "the story of the decline and fall of Western civilization.  It is the story of uncommonly powerful men, unfathomably evil men...apostates."

Author Kevin Swanson accomplishes a phenomenal feat in presenting the apostates, their ideologies, and its consequences in an understandable manner.  The reader is immediately captivated by the subject matter since it is presented in a relative manner.  Apostasy is not a church problem, but a human problem with grave consequences.  Its tragic consequences are evident in the decline of families, societies, and nations.  

The author moves through a chronological order thus allowing the reader to see for themselves the growth of ideas and their influences on people, the society in which they live, and eventually the West. Great detail is given to the exploration of each apostate's work, its anti-biblical worldview, and its influence.  The author provides many footnotes but more importantly a lot of Bible verses to show the opposition of these ideologies to the truth found only in God's Word.  

Whereas the author took great care in providing many references, I did question the "devout Christian parents" portrayed in the lives of these apostates.  The author often makes mention that these Nephilim are raised by devout Christians which bears to question where is the author receiving this information?Is it by their own admission, by the testimony of others,  or by their fruit?  The author would do well to either leave these comments out or state the source of these suppositions.

Overall, this book is a wake up call for the Church, the true Church.  Avoidance, ignorance, and living in unawares is unacceptable.  The Church must come to grips that the spiritual world exists, there is a war, and we will win!  In the meantime let us not grow weary, compromise, or become negligent.  

I would highly recommend this book for parents, educators, and church leaders.  

I received complimentary copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Monday, September 23, 2013

But I Prayed

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed." But I prayed, " Now strengthen my hands."
Nehemiah 6:9

How many times can this be said of me?

The enemy has come around and frightened me, weakening my hands?

How many times have I given in and left the work deserted, unfinished, incomplete?  I can look back at those times and see the rubble staring right back at me.   Mocking me.  Reminding me again of yet another failure.  

I made mistakes.
I failed.
I doubted. 
I feared.
I sinned.

But I prayed.   And prayed.  And  others prayed.  And they prayed. And prayed.  And we prayed together.  And we prayed and prayed.  And continue to pray.

And I beg Jesus to strengthen my hands so that I will complete the works He prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).  

And He does.  He strengthens my hands, my heart, my mind, my body.  He strengthens.  

And in prayer He has shown me that He not only strengthens, but He is my Strength.  

And so after failure, half-hearted attempts, good intended tries, I pray.

Yes, I have made mistakes, failed, doubted, feared, and sinned.  But today I pray, "Now at this very moment, in the midst of this rubble, contrary to the opposition, Jesus, strengthen my hands to lift them up to You.  May fear never grip my heart so that I become weakened and leave what You have assigned to me incomplete.  Rather, may Your perfect love cast out all fear and may Your love continually sustain me.  I pray in Jesus' Name.  Amen"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Recap

Summer is not officially over until September 22 but around here in NYC, let's face it-it's over!:)

Our summer unofficially began around April 29 since our family headed to the Dominican Republic to visit a dear family we love.  When we returned the whether was warm, so we just got into the grove of summer.

I am so grateful to the Lord for all He allowed us to do this summer but more importantly what He has done in our lives.  There is always ministration and growth and in the name of Jesus we trust in Him there will always be.  He is AMAZING!

Here are a few snapshots of our summer (or at least what our camera captured:)...Enjoy!
 our trip to Dominican Republic
you can see more here and here

Me & my Girls, Daddy & his Girls (celebrating the end of another homeschool year), beginning a Bible Study group in our home,  beginning another semester of teaching Sunday school

Husband with his father and uncle, Syd and I shopping (this is dangerous), and all 3 sisters spending time together:)

Celebrating birthdays, carnival fun, and remembering all the wonderful family in Christ we have

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: Red Like Blood

Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington, authors of Red Like Blood:  Confrontations with Grace, introduce "story after story of brokenness and the grace that entered it."

In theory, this is a great idea for a book but the materialization was a disaster.  The stories seemed disjointed.  There were examples of make-shift, hyper grace with no apparent Biblical base.  The language made the book almost unreadable.  One of the authors is a pastor and his use of vulgarities was more than disappointing.  The need to use such filthy language for shock value seemed immature.  

There were some some stories that had redeeming value such as the AA meeting and Phil & Euretta.  The M&M illustration was helpful.  However, anything the reader may have taken from the book was trumped by the distasteful language and incongruity of the stories.  

Overall, the idea of the book to showcase God's grace to everyone, those in the church and those finding their way back is great.  But it failed to deliver.  Few Biblical references, rare glimpses of Biblical grace, and foul language make this book not a recommended reading.  

I received complimentary copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jesus is...

Three thoughts I have been meditating on are:

Jesus is all I have
Jesus is all I need
Jesus is all I want

I am challenged by these statements and convicted.

Is He truly all I have?

Is He truly all I need?

Is He truly all I want?

Are these mere words or even desires of my heart but not reality? Ummm, there is a lot to think about.  Lately, these statements have been working in me when I am tempted to depend on my own strength, seek comfort elsewhere, and look outside of Him for anything.

I know it's not enough to desire Jesus to be all I have, all I need, all I want.  And I also know that this has to be His work in me.  

13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13

I am trusting on His Word to accomplish this and NOT my best efforts.  I will not try!  I will trust!

81My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 119:18

114You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114

Friday, September 6, 2013

Empties: August 2013

1.  Renpure Originals shampoo-already repurchased another one
2.  Renpure Originals deep penetrating reconstructor-won't repurchase because I didn't notice a difference from this and their conditioner
3.  Gillette shaving gel-jury is still out on this one:)
4.  Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub-have six minis to work through
5.  Bath & Body Works Juniper Breeze shower gel-have quite of few of these to work through
6.  DenTek floss picks-have one more bag of these to work through
7.  Swisspers rounds-I keep buying the wrong ones and now have like 200 more to work through:(
8.  Crest 3D White toothpaste-still debating on whether to buy a fluoride toothpaste
9.  Bath & Body Works Paris Nights body lotion-have two more to work through
10.  Act Kids fluoride rinse-Sara didn't like it (she prefers the spicey ones:)
11.  Crest Kid's toothpaste-see above

I really feel like we are making progress over here clearing out the clutter!  Last month 15 items and this month 11 for a total of 26 items out of our house!!!!!