Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Real" by Jamie Snyder

Quick Summary
Real by Jamie Snyder is a good book about asking the question of are you Sunday only Christian or do you live the faith everyday.  It dwells in many different subjects around our faith in Jesus from our joy, generosity, our love for others and more.  At the end of each chapter is some questions that you can answer for discussion or more reflection and a prayer at the end of the chapter.

My thoughts
Now I have to admit at first I was not sure if I would enjoy this book but I really did.  Mr. Snyder really asks and makes you think about are a Sunday Christian in other words if someone seen you outside of church on Sunday would they know that you are a Christian.  I have to agree with the question cause sometimes it seems like our attitudes are lets hid up in our Churches and hide our faith the rest of the week.  That is wrong when there are Christians in other countries that are dying just cause they are Christian and I mean dying not just oh they called you name.  He wrote one thing that really stood out to me and I realized he so correct.  He said, "Why is it that some of the same people who once ran hard and fast toward Jesus in the Gospels are now running equally hard and fast away from Jesus' church?"  The prostitutes, the tax-collector, the people who society called low used to run to Jesus now if you say that you are a Christian they usually run from you as they figure they will be judged and not shown Jesus' love.  We need to remember as church to love others not just hole ourselves up with others who act just like us.  Will you show love to person not dressed like you, the homeless, the mentally ill, the smoker, who comes to your church or you see every day or will you ignore or look down on them?  This book really reminded me to show Christ love to everyone especially the ones that are hard to love or society says they are hard to love.  I recommend this book highly.

I received this book from BethanyHouse publishing for my honest review and was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Christian Non-Salvation Issues

Warning I am not soft peddling my feelings on this subject of Christian non-salvation issues so if you are offended easily then stop reading. And I will not accept any nastiness in comments about non-salvation issues. Here is a light hearted spacer to enjoy if you don't want to read the rest of the post, the picture is of my shoes that my husband bought me, yep platform Converse.


Still reading well then you have been warned

  Seriously people this time of year seems to bring out the nastiness in all sides on non-salvation issues.  I don't know why it does.  Here is some examples of non-salvation issues that I have seen lately that have had more debates on that need be. We should have an attitude on them of if thats your personal conviction fine as neither side is wrong.

Non-Salvation Issues (my belief after the example and if you feel opposite of me that's fine with me)
Home school or Public School (We do both, 1 home schooled and 1 public schooled)
Halloween or no Halloween (Nope not for us and we used to be big fans of it, except we do pass out candy with verses attached to them)
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (Doesn't matter to me on which one is used, I know shocker but its not a salvation issue.  Besides I get more mad about Christ being removed from some so called Christian churches than a holiday that is not in scripture.)
Vegan or meat eater (I am a meat eater I physically get sick without meat products in my diet regularly)
TV or No TV (we don't own a TV but watch some shows on-line)
Republican or Democrat (I am neither, I am an independent.  I have seen some of the underbelly of the Government personally in DC when I was 17 and it cemented me as an independent.)
Dresses only or non dresses (I personally am skirts/dresses only and I don't believe every woman should be like me) 10/30/15 Update now I wear pants as my hip used to pop out a lot now it doesn't as much thanks to wearing pants.

Why do we allow these non-salvation issues to divide us as Christians?  Or why do we get annoyed or snippy or nasty or uppity with others who believe differently on these non-salvation issues.  I am sick of seeing followers of the Lord Jesus Christ arguing over non salvation issues while their Lord and Savior is being ignored or even replaced by other things by churches and people that say they are Christians.  We are to be spreading the gospel and not fighting/arguing over non-salvation issues.  I am just sick of seeing these things taking our eyes off of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

When did us Christians get such a thin skin about non-salvation issues and not get upset about salvation issues?
Rant over

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Take Time to Be Holy 365 Devotional from the writings of Samuel Logan Brengle

Take Time To Be Holy by Samuel Logan Brengle is a 365 daily inspirations that are meant to help bring you closer to God.  Samuel Logan Brengle was a preacher and Salvation Army officer in the 1800's and early 1900's.  It has a scripture verse on each page and then an excerpt from some of Mr. Brengle's writings below as the devotional.

This is a good devotional from what I have already read as I just received it a couple of days ago.It has already helped me think of my relationship with God. Another feature I like about this devotional is that it is a small book that I could easily fit into a purse if I wanted to take it with me.  However there is one feature of it that did rub me the wrong way knowing the time frame that Mr. Brengle wrote his writings  in the verses in my opinion should have been quoted from a Kings James Bible not any newer version.  As he wrote using that version of the Bible and not any of the newer ones.  To me that dropped it to a 3 star rating out of a 5 star rating for me.  So if the use of modern Bible versions with Mr. Brengle's writing does not bother you then this would be a good devotional.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me a free copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Excellent Book Return To Me by Lynn Austin

Return To Me by Lynn Austin is her take on events that surround the books of Ezra and Nehemiah from the viewpoints of the exile Iddo, his grandson Zechariah, and a young girl named Yael. We start off in first with Daniel translating the message that God wrote on the wall of the party that King Belshazzar had.  After that the story continues in Babylon then goes to some of the Jewish people deciding if they are going to leave Babylon to go back to Jerusalem.  We see how different families that are around Iddo's decide if they are going to go back or stay in Babylon.  We also see how the pagan religions of Babylon have affected peoples beliefs.

This was a very good book even with a side store that I knew from the start where it was going. Usually that ruins a book for me but not this time.  I really enjoyed that she wrote about how being in Babylon did effect the Jewish people and how it influenced a lot of the people on their beliefs.  Plus it showed he people will compromise once they get away from God's truth.  I like how she also does not make the people look like superheroes and that they have their own faults.  The scripture never shows people as superheros and this book didn't either.  But remember this one author's view of events around biblical events do not take it as scripture.  A very good book I highly recommend it, I even plan on down the road buying the not digital copy.

I was given this by via e-book for free from via NetGalley from Bethany House Publishing and was not required to submit a positive review.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life is a crazy rollercoaster ride

First this post is probable going to be all over the place thought wise. Life is not easy for anyone rich or poor, American or not.  We need to remember that before we judge anyone.  I haven't wrote much on here except book reviews lately cause we have had a major change in our household.  My MIL lives with us right now as her and my FIL have separated (family that are reading this for the first time please private message me about it not public).  So we have rearranged our home and now I am trying to get back on a normal schedule with homeschooling.  The boys are enjoying getting to know their dad's mom (my youngest until now only had seen her a handful times in his life and my oldest we lived near them until he was about 2 then they moved away).  But it is interesting as our lifestyle is very different that what she was used to.

My walk with the Lord has been a struggle lately but I am getting back on the path. It has really helped that I lead a women's Bible study we just started the Book of John.  Also I getting ready to start a bible study on my own with a workbook by Paul Washer if you have never listened to him you are missing out.  The blog Women Living Well has been a blessing also. Like I said this post will be all over the place.

I have also been thinking about how blessed my family has been most don't realize how many times my family has been just days away from being homeless or that we have even lived way way below the poverty level.  We are better off today than we ever been in the past but still struggling some days(its hard feeding a family with multiple food allergies and other diet issues on our income) and we still not very well off according to society thoughts even sometimes other Christian's idea of well off.  For example our newest vehicle which is mine is 15 years old and my dh's truck is 28 years old both have their issues (his truck has to be parked a certain way otherwise it don't start it needs a part that is no longer made) but both are paid off.  But we are stilled blessed by this we used to have $500 vehicles that we would bounce between or vehicles that leaked carbon monoxide into the car.  No I am not saying yeah me but saying that God has blessed us many times and in many ways that we would not expect.  Life is not always easy and we need to remember that when we see the mom angry at her child, the homeless person or family on the street corner or the park, or the person that is not wearing the latest style and is wearing stuff you know they have had for years (trust me I have had those looks as some of my clothes are about 7 years old at least).  Please don't look down on them just realize you don't know what is going on in their life and pray for them.  You also may not realize that God has worked with them more than you realize even though they are not at the standards you think they should be at.

Okay I think I am done for now please pray for my family as God works with us and shows us things that we need to change or is changing for us.  With Christ we don't stay in our comfort zone very often.  Life is good even if it is a roller coaster.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Powerful book about helping the down and out in our society.

 Strangers At My Door by Jonathan Wilson-HargroverJonathan Wilson-Hartgrover is a very very powerful book about the man, his wife, and the people they have helped in their life.  They have taken the bible verse from Matthew 25:35 "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in" to heart and is doing exactly what it says.  They did not care if the person was homeless, what race they were, if they had just gotten out of jail or disabled they helped them.

I have to admit I went into reading this book with skepticism but after reading it touched me and reminded of what Jesus tells us to do.  We are to give the gospel to whoever is out there not just those who look good or are nice to us but to everyone.  We are to even pray for our enemies.  This wonderful couple has taken in the homeless, criminals, and anyone who comes to their door needing help even if people are worried about their lives.  I really don't want to give away any of the stories they have told and they all do not turn out peaches and cream.  

We need to remember as Christians that we are to help everyone no matter who they are.  I know growing up in not so nice areas (yes I have lived in drug riddled areas and poverty areas) that sometimes not always the neighbors in the bad areas where more friendly and caring in those neighborhood than some of the nicer ones I have lived in.  Sad but true I know of people who were burned by Christians cause they felt they were only helped cause it was on the "Christian's" check list of to live like "Christ" list not out of true love for a fellow human that Christ also died for.  This book reminded me that no matter what a person does or who they are I am to love them.  That means the druggie, prostitute, poverty stricken, the mentally ill, the criminals, and etc, it means everyone.  This book is reminder to get out of our comfort zone.  Yes, it convicted me I have been to comfortable lately in this area.  Before you judge me and say oh you are just a privileged white woman, my family is mixed race (yes I know we don't look it but we are) and we have lived way below the poverty level and more than once been very close to being homeless. So please don't judge by looking at a person now you may not know where Christ has brought them from is working on them through right now.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and was not required to give a good review.  This book was a pre-publication copy it will be released in November I recommend it highly.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Bride For Keeps By Melissa Jagears

A Bride For Keeps by Melissa Jagears is a historical romance book about a poor farmer named Everett Cline who has tried a few times in the past to find a mail order bride and a young woman named Julia Lockwood who comes from a well to do family from Boston.  

When will I learn not to choose books to review that are romance books.  Anyway this book is not your standard man sees mail order bride its rough but fall in love right away type. Right away we find out that Everett has sent for 3 other mail order brides and has lost each one from death to another man marrying them.  While Julia is running from an emotional abusive dad and a man that only wants to marry her for her dad's business connections.  Everett did not send for Julia his friend Rachel has sent for you and he has no idea that she is coming for him.  Everett is a sweet man who needs a wife to help him in the rural area of Kansas that he lives in but he has no interest in sending for a wife.   While Julia is trying to get as far away from her father and his business associate as possible even if that means being the wife to a poor Kansas farmer.  Everett is shocked that his friends send for him a new bride and even more shocked to see how beautiful and refined Julia.  He thinks she is too good for him and is afraid of loosing such a nice and pretty woman.  She is not sure what to think and wonders if he even cares for her.  Throughout the book we find out both of their history and see how they slowly fall in love with each other.  An accident Julia has brings them even closer to the point they fall in love.  It is slow at first but it finally picked up after awhile.  If you are into a Christian Historical Romance novels then this book is for you.

I received this book from BethanyHouse publishing for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund is a Christian historical romance fiction.  The story is about a young woman named Susanna Smith from a very well off family in 1763 and of Benjamin Ross poor rural farmer. The story takes place a the eve of the Revolutionary war.  Susanna finds a woman in danger and it tests her faith in the English crown and her normal day to day life.  While Benjamin who has feelings for her is helping her and working in the underground revolutionaries.

For me this was the worst type of historical romance fiction as it was way more romance than I like in any other historical fiction I have read.  It does have adventure/mystery section however that section of the story can be a little on the rough side as it details murder and hints at rape.  The first couple chapters were the worst for the romance for example talking about the sexually nature of Susanna's ankles and feet.  The characters fell flat for me.  So this not a book I recommend its just not my cup of tea.

I received this book from BethanyHouse publishing for my honest review.

Light From Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker

"Light from Distant Stars" by Shawn Smucker is a novel about Cohen Marah in the present and in his past.  We see Cohen coming to...