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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Awakening to God - Gerard Long

Discovering His power and your purpose.  Foreward by Bill Hybels. The author is Executive Director of Alpha USA, which is a "course of interactive sessions exploring the basics of Christian faith.  This book asks the question, Do you ever wonder if God has a bigger purpose for your life? Chapter titles include Awakening to God's Love and purpose, Awakening to Brokenness, Awakening to Eternity, and Awakening to our calling.  In the chapter titled Awakening to God's provision, he writes, "It doesn't depend on you."
A lot of this book encourages evangelism through reminders such as love one another, be patient, and demonstrate kindness.  God truly does have a plan for your life made out of perfect love.
On page 73, in the section titled What's in Your Hand? he states, "God has been-ans is-working in you to prepare you for such a time as this.  He has placed in your hands various gifts, abilities, and experiences-including, perhaps, some brokenness-that you can now use to accomplish the purpose He has set before you."
The author writes about losing two of his children, one to a suicide, the other to an accident, and how it effected himself and his marriage.  His honesty and openness is heartbreaking and hard to read, but it can inspire others that Bod brought him through this tragedy. It is good that he includes this persona account, "A journey filled with incredible joy and devestating brokenness."
He describes his personal faith journey, background and upbringing, and while working in the banking industry had a "Godly discontent." As you can tell by the notes section, there are many references to scripture and is Bible based.
After you read this book you will realize that "God is on the move and He is calling your name."
Published by Tyndale House publishers.
I have received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Walls Fall Down - Dudley Rutherford

Hope for those up against the wall moments n your life. 7 steps from the battle of Jericho to overcome any challenge. Hope for those up-against-the wall moments in your life.  What can we learn from the story of Jericho? If you grew up in the church you have heard the story many times how the walls of Jericho fell down because God's people were obedient. But how does this apply to us? This book answers that question.
There are 7 chapters in the book to match the 7 days God's people marched around the city. At the beginning of each chapter is a fictional narrative of what could have been taking place behind the scenes.  There is some historical license taking place any time anyone writes historical fiction because the only events we know for sure is what is written down.
There is a prayer for each day at the end of each chapter.  The author relates the issues that Christians face today with walls coming down. The author puts it this way, "Joshua and the Israelites followed God's unusual plan to walk around the heavily fortified walls of Jericho for 7 days." and by following God's instruction, the walls fell down. "Whatever walls you may be up against, you don't have to stay stuck behind them."
Chapter titles include, Shrinking the wall, Make it a holy exercise, Obedience brings the blessing, and the perfect number. Mr. Rutherford says in the chapter titled The discipline of consistency on page 148. "Consistency leads to victory, and victory begins in the mind."
Also in that chapter, one of my favorite in this book, he references Malcolm Gladwell and his theory that it takes ten thousand hours to be an expert at anything. And this quote, "One important key to consistency is focusing solely on today, knowing that God will provide everything you need." This is a paraphrase from Matthew 6:25-27.
About fear he says, "Don't allow fear to rob you of the value of a deeper relationship with the Lord and the joy of obtaining ultimate victory."
The author is Senior pastor of Shepherd Church in Los Angeles, CA and is the author of 4 other books.  I believe this is an overall good analysis of the Jericho story, and how it realtes to us today.
Published by Thomas Nelson books.  I have been provided with a complimentary copy for the purpose of this review.