Monday, October 24, 2011

Review of Refuge on Crescent Hill

Title:  Refuge on Crescent Hill
Author:  Melanie Dobson

     When I began to read this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it.  The first two chapters seemed to me to be slow going.  I kept reading, and soon I was immersed in the story.
     The author has done her historical research about the setting of the story very well.  I enjoyed the dual story lines, running parallel throughout the book and finally converging.  There are multiple themes present in the storyline.  The prodigal child returning home, both physically and spiritually, is present for more than one of the characters.  Characters must deal with their pasts, and how the things done in the past affect the lives of others as well as themselves.  Runaways from the past and present seek shelter from the same source of safety and security.  Grace, compassion, and love are shown to those in need of rescue.  Of course, there is evil present in the story as well.  Justice is served by the bad characters getting what is their due.
     It is so easy to see how God works through these characters for their good, and to bring them into close fellowship with fellow believers.  He also draws them close to Him for an intimate relationship.  Sometimes in our lives it seems not to be so easy to see the good that God does, but if we stand firm in our faith, we will be blessed beyond measure.
     I enjoyed this book, and I will be looking for further books from this author to read.  There is something for just about everyone in this book:  a little romance, mystery, suspense.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Playing Hurt Book

Title:  Playing Hurt
Author:  Brian Goins

                This book is written for husbands so why would a wife want to read a book like this?  First of all, I believe women can learn a lot from what a man reads.  I will use the information presented to pray more effectively for my husband.  It is a good tool for discussions of the heart, which is what most women want to know about their man.  In a culture that is fast-paced, sex-saturated, not to mention a possible host of other stresses and challenges, having time to talk deeper is becoming even more important.
                It is a book of hope.  The author reveals himself and his struggles as part of human nature.  He speaks compassionately yet pointedly.  I found the book will not only challenge the husband, but any wife who makes time to read it as well.  It is interesting that this book is published at the same time as a  movie entitled COURAGEOUS is released and a CD by Casting Crowns entitled COME TO THE WELL, which both tie in well with the content of this book.
                The song on the CD is called COURAGEOUS, and it is a call for men to stand up by kneeling with lifted hands.  While many would agree that men have to change, women do to.  In order for our husbands to take their place we have to be willing to let God tell us as wives how to get out of His way so He can work, how to not enable bad cycles, how to encourage them and not destroy them.  So it is apparent if we listen to the Lord that both men and women need to be courageous in that they obey God’s Word and leading.  We all have to be willing to be transformed more into the image of Christ.  We must stop reflecting back to the world what it looks like, as we are to reflect the image of Christ, an image which is vastly different than the world.
                It takes courage to stand up and whether others go or not, we follow the Lord.  The beauty is that we are never alone for He has given to us a precious gift, the Holy Spirit.  He is always present with us in our day-to-day activities.  He hears all, sees all and knows all.  May we all humble ourselves and let the Lord give us courage to be more like Christ and less like the world.  Shut out and off all the electric stuff and reconnect with each other.  It starts at home, and from there it ripples out.  Remember it is not to just impact today, but future generations as well.  So go ahead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  As you are transformed, so your home will then be also and the world will see that Christ is Who He says He is.

Monday, October 3, 2011

World Tilting Gospel

Title:  The World-Tilting Gospel
Author:  Dan Phillips

                When I first saw the title of the book, I was drawn to it.  I have seen many changes within the Body of Christ universally speaking that I didn’t have a peace about, but why?  In this book, Dan very adequately puts in words what I was experiencing.   The Gospel is in itself , world tilting, myth busting, powerful Truth.  Not because it is true, it is a Personified truth in the Person of Jesus Christ.
                The author very well points out what is Gospel and what is not.  It is a call for the Church to repent and awaken to speaking the Truth unashamed.  It is a call not to fear man or fearing another person’s feelings, but calling them to see what is reality.  The reality as God sees it and calls it.  Though the reality would hurt and profoundly cause us to gasp, it would then wonderfully show us the Person Jesus Christ.  While the world wants Christians to “blend in”, “shut up and sit down”, we need to stand up and make the Truth known no matter the cost.
                Some think this means we are called to go overseas as missionaries, maybe some are.  More profoundly though we are all called to be missionaries, ambassadors.  We represent not a denomination, particular view of doctrines, programs but a Person.  We must look at the Word and let Him show us where we fall short of living out a life that draws attention instead of repelling it.  We need others to know there is someone, named Jesus Christ, who loves them.  They cannot come to Him on their terms or in their own ways but in the only way a Holy God provides.  No matter what the “world” or the “god of this world” says, there is one way and again it is Jesus.  There is no other way, no way to work out through “good deeds” our way into heaven.  We must bend our knee, humble ourselves not exalt ourselves.  We must admit with all that is within us what a mess we are, how sin has utterly destroyed and separated us from a Holy God.  It doesn’t matter to me whether people agree or not.  Why doesn’t it matter that people agree?  Truth is Truth whether people want to see Him, acknowledge Him as well as embrace Him.  Turn away they can, ignore Him, curse at Him, deny Him none of this is new to Him, He has known this all before.  He has experienced it as a man before.  He sympathizes with our weaknesses, but He cannot turn away from it.  He shed His precious blood so we can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.  Man has choice, free will.  There are no other choices before humanity.
                Whose Truth will you embrace?  Is it what somebody tells you what truth is or are you going to read the Word of God for yourself, check it out, study it, believe it?  He turned my world upside down several times since He and I first met in 1980.  I know He will never stop, for I must become less in order for Him to become more in me.  I am His, He is mine.  What about you?