Monday, December 31, 2012

Hero has released.


Hero- just released from Resounding Music. 
Go to to buy your copy, and to listen to samples.

 Resounding Music

HERO is an album of legends; a chronicle of journeys and of those who take them; musical tales of overwhelming odds, imminent danger, stubborn courage, and final victory; a point of departure for flights of imagination set for destinations unknown.

HERO invites the listener to take a daring trip; to set forth boldly through treacherous terrain and against insurmountable odds; to fight, to die, and to conquer. It is a journey fraught with turmoil but founded on hope, knowing that the just God Who reigns over all will be victorious in the end. It is a journey which roams from the wild west to the wild oceans, from city streets to ancient citadels.

It is the journey of heroes.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

When a Woman overcomes life's Hurts.

book title frontI want to be a confident, capable Child of God!  Many women know this cry, and yet they feel they never can be.

Their past holds them prisoner. Someone hurt them deeply and never cared to help them heal. They were neglected, abandoned, broken and feel no one will love them- so they fall for the first man who says he does and find their heart hurt again. Or a choice they made torments them- they think God cannot forgive them, and they cannot "forgive themselves".

Women with stories just like these have come to Cindi McMenamin over the years, and she has had the honor of leading them into the Scriptures, and leading them to the Cross of Christ, where healing is for all of life's hurts. This book was born out of those stories. 
     We hear about women growing up to fend for themselves, their parents drug addicts and dealers. We hear about girls who were abused as children and think they have no value. We hear about women who killed their child in an abortion, and live every day with the searing pain of knowing they have taken their baby's life. Hurt. Hurt. The abuse victim was hurt because of someone's wicked perversions. The mother who aborted her baby wonders if she can ever be forgiven, and if the hurt and sin can be redeemed. 
The common thread between all these hurt women and why they stay hurt is that they have believed a lie, and lost the truth. Often it is because no one ever told them the truth, and their hearts were vulnerable to the enemies lies, or some times they girls were told lies in cold blood. One woman in this book was told by her father she should kill herself, no one would ever want her. All these lies about themselves were not bad enough - most of these women grew up with depraved views of God that must be corrected before they can heal.  The answer is to root out these lies, about  God's identity and their identity and stock their hearts with Truth from God's Word. This book is not a psychology book,  based on the ways of the world. It is a book to begin giving hurting women Truth through the Therapy of Theology. The Therapy of Theology is understanding who God is and who we are in Him as revealed in His Word.
   If you are ready to heal, to be rid of the lies about God and your self, and to bless others with the comfort you can receive, to HEAL, then this book would be helpful. There was one story I thought could have been left out-, so read discerningly.  I give When a Woman Overcomes Life's Hurts Four stars.

Cindi McMenamin is a wife, mother and lover of the Scriptures, and her passion is to help lead other women into the healing God has for them. When a Woman Overcomes Life's Hurts is her latest book.  Her blog- Strength for the Soul – Blog.  She has written many more books including When Women Walk Alone.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Harvest of Rubies, a Novel.

Harvest of Rubies  -     
        By: Tessa Afshar
Harvest of Rubies.  Given to me free for a review by Moody Publishing.

Harvest of Rubies was a book I was waiting for. I have heard wonderful interviews with Tessa, and I think her story was a wonderful idea- a young female scribe raised by a distant father and doing a man's job. Sarah does not know how to be a woman and at 23 is an unmarried scribe for the Persian empire. She lost her mother at a very young age and the person who watches out for her is Nehemiah, her cousin, who is cupbearer to the King.  I admire the story, the writing, and the idea of a girl who comes to know that she is not worthy of Love based on her performance- but because she is God's child.

I love the Biblical metaphor of the Grape vine and the Husbandman who tends it that Tessa incorporates in her story.  The gardener who tends the grapes seems to cut them so that they will die- pruning them until Sarah is sure they will never live and bear fruit again. Her life has been pruned and she too fears she will never live again. She lost her mother at seven and although the words of the Hebrew Psalms remain in her mind, this Jewish Maiden does not trust God's pruning. It is only when her own life begins to bloom again that she understands that the grapevines pruned the most by the gardener are the ones who bear the harvest- a harvest of rubies.
"How like the vine I had felt that day, stripped almost to the point of death, everything I held precious taken from me. 
How I had longed for my old life back. And yet... God had intended to do me good by dismantling my world. 
I had thought that my work was the measure of of my worth. I had made my accomplishments more important than friendships, more important than my heart, more important even than God. The more I clutched at my achievements, the sicker my soul had grown. 
And God in His mercy, in His uncompromising Love, had torn the sickness out of my chest. 
I remembered suddenly the Words of the LORD through the prophet Hosea. 

          “Therefore, behold, I will allure her
             and bring her into the wilderness,
                and speak tenderly to her.
                    And there I will give her her vineyards
                         and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.

                       And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,

                as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt."

 I think the premise is fascinating. I wish this book had been written without any of the "romance" though. I had to skip chunks of this story to get around the "love story." Novels- no matter how well written that contain romance do not foster thoughts of men as "brothers in all purity." And so, very reluctantly because of the goodness of the story idea, I give this novel two stars.      

Friday, December 28, 2012


 Living the Psalms, by Charles Swindoll.   
This book is the perfect companion to Living the Proverbs, Insights for the Daily Grind.It is obvious that the Proverbs are full of insights for the daily grind- after all, they are hard hitting wisdom in short pieces. The Psalms are Wisdom and Beauty combined perfectly- not like the proverbs though. A friend of mine reading the Bible for the first time straight through loved the proverbs, and needed help with the Psalms. This book came just in time for them.  

The Psalms have been comforting, soothing and refreshing us for centuries. The Proverbs have been convicting us, giving us wisdom and teaching us for centuries.  The Psalms are the most beautiful poetry ever written and have poured from the lips of thousands of Christians through the centuries, yet, as much as we have heard them, sung them, read them, whispered them, cried over them and through them, there is still new wine to press out of them, as Charles Spurgeon said. Charles Swindoll wrote this 324 page book to help us taste the joy, majesty, wisdom, and Praise of the Psalms as we search them for insights for the daily grind. 

God Sovereignly gave us the book at the perfect time. Some of the readings even spoke to my heart as my heart's own cry the very day I read them. Psalm 139 spoke to my heart the night after meeting a very sad young person who does not know the LORD. He felt lost and alone in the world. He needs to know God has his days in His Book, that there is nowhere he can flee from God's Presence- neither heaven nor sheol can hide him from God's eyes. Psalm 139 needs to be pressed into his heart indelibly, and I pray it will someday be his song. 

                 Lord, you hem me in, behind and before! 
                 You have searched me and know me! 
                 Such knowledge is too wonderful, 
                      too high for me to attain!  
After reading Pastor Swindoll's insights on Psalm 139, I prayed it through as a prayer and was overwhelmed with the meanings in it I never saw.   I was blessed to receive this book from Worthy Publishing free for a review.  Pastor Swindoll is beloved world wide for his clear, passionate Bible teaching. He can be visited at  The book trailer can be watched here Living the Psalms - YouTube 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas.

Our Christmas Tree.


   I AM THAT I AM is a Bible Study, a reference book, and a book for just plain reading.

If you need a reference book this one catalogs every Covenant, every Parable, each Healing miracle and God's Names.
If you want to do a Bible study you can study through the Parables, miracles, Names of God and Covenants using this volume to help you understand the meanings.
The reason the book was written is to lead us into a better understanding of God by studying Scripture and understanding Christ's Love for us by seeing the Covenants as His Promises to us, His Healing Miracles as expressions of His care toward us, and the parables as Him revealing Truth to us.  The beauty of this big book is the fact that Judy Leblanc has gathered together 75 theologians and given us their insights in one volume. She does not attempt to give us the meanings, she gives us commentary by Dr. Warren Wiersbe, Dr. Norman Geisler,  Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Scofield, Dr. Hagner, Dr. Lockyer and many other theologians and scholars and lets us sift through their  ideas about what the meaning is, and her carefully written comments knit their thoughts together. The quotes from pastors and scholars are very interesting, and they give you a lot of good interpretations on what everything means. Was the servant who buried his talent a Christian or not? Was he saved or was he a tare? Was he cast into hell when he was cast into outer darkness, or did he just lose his reward?
 Barclay is quoted quite a bit- a very Liberal man,  who thought the Virgin Birth was optional, and that walking across the lake may have meant walking around the lake. This is tempered though by quoting Matthew Henry, Spurgeon, and even Calvin. It is sharpening to read a liberal sometimes, to be able to argue against him. None of his miracle-denying quotes were included, however, I was pleased with that. The section on the healing miracles was fascinating. I tend to read the miracles without studying them. This book helped me see themes in the miracles I would not have seen. I enjoyed the New Testament especially, two thirds of the book is New Testament- the other third is the Old Testament and Covenants. It is worth reading. That is the meat.

There are bones to avoid, however. First is the "Re-creation"  that espouses the Ruin-Reconstruction theory. The book begins by giving the date for the universe at 4 Billion years old, a date we by no means need to support- visit and search age of the universe. Throughout the years Christians have attempted to reconcile this billions of years age with the plain six literal day reading of Genesis, and one of the theories used is Ruin Reconstruction. The idea is that when the angels fell- which they believe happened prior to Man being Created- God destroyed the earth and then made it again, and all those years fit in there somewhere. That is a large bone, because although the age of the earth is not a salvation issue, it is an authority issue. Whose word do we believe? Holy God or sinful man?

Aside from this, I am very glad that I received a copy of this book to review from Crosslink in the Bookcrash program. Thank you to the author for putting so much time into collecting all the commentary on these verses, and writing a book full of insights!
The commentary by all the scholars and pastors on the New Testament and the Old Testament made this a helpful book.
I Am that I Am.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Potentially Life Transforming.

I love the beautiful outside of this lovely book and would have been likely to recommend it solely because of this- but the contents of the book are even better. Living the Proverbs- Insights for the daily Grind.
I was so thrilled to see that he handled and addressed the daily grind so well in these short but in-depth chapters. He also addressed daily grind matters like encouraging others, guarding your tongue, gossip, anger and sorrow. I expected to hurry through this book but I found myself answering the questions mentally, looking forward to applying the Scripture within, and being amazed by how well written, applicable and good this book is. Especially important was the chapter on Biblical illiteracy.
The chapter on sluggardness is especially illuminating to me, excuses that I often made like "I could do it if I only had such and such" suddenly looked woefully lacking. A wise person will not fear "failure" they will learn from it and acknowledge God's sufficient Grace that can work through their lack of confidence, skill, or desire.
The end of the chapter on Lasting consequences is very powerful, "Many flirt with the temptation, thinking they are  strong enough, moral enough, wise enough, or smart enough to avoid sinning, how sadly true.
I also like how the author gives the original meaning of some of the words, they give even more significance to the verses.
I know this book was sent into my life at this time by God as it is a potentialy life transforming, It helped to uncover areas of my life that are in sin and showed me ways to come out of it, An awesome book, I will definately be rereading it soon likely as a daily devotional.
This book could effectively be used as a Bible study or a Daily Devotional for anyone struggling with the daily grind.
I received this book free from Worthy Publishers in exchange for an honest review 
 Living the Proverbs, Insights for the Daily Grind  is a beautiful new book from Pastor Charles Swindoll.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

When you ask why.

   "A broken heart yearns for revelation rather than explanation.
    It is God we need, a sense of His presence."

   With these words, Pastor Daniel Johnson begins calling out to us, calling to us in our suffering. This book is passionate, first person, true.  This book speaks for itself. 

My father once told me that Christians never say goodbye for the last time. And Cindy says, “In heaven we’ll all live in the same town.” But until we get to the same town, we have this little problem: How do you say goodbye without hurting?
You don’t. You really don’t.

 He has been in the Valley of Grief, and is transparent about it

“Grief is something you live with,” Joe told me. “You see a little girl in a restaurant,(like the little daughter who went home to be with the LORD at five) hands reaching to the top of the counter, her nose pressed against the glass. Something about her hair, her height, the wistful look at an item in the counter — and the wound is raw again. It’s like an ambush.”

 Keep moving. Resist surrender. Avoid isolation. Face up to life. Somebody needs you. You’re not alone. You must live again, live fully again!

This is the message a grieving person needs! 
Grief is a normal response to an event which runs counter to what we think life should be. Doug Manning wrote, “Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hungry. . . . It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart.” 
So often we want to smother grief- do not do it. In our grief is when God gives His peace.

This is the peace of God. It is strikingly different from the world’s concept of peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

He points us to Heaven - the realness of Heaven, the joy and lightness of heaven, where no good thing shall be lost. Our loved ones are working in Heaven- they are with the Lord! And they are breathing the dear, sweet air of heaven where all the work is joy! 

Your loved ones who died in Christ are with the Lord! Think of it! Can you imagine what it’s like? Think of the people they have seen: patriarchs and prophets, apostles and martyrs, loved ones and old friends. Let your imagination run wild. Little wonder the Apostle Paul said, “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better (Phil. 1:23)." 

Your Loved ones are even working in Heaven! That is how real Heaven is!

 "It is work as free from care and toil and fatigue as is the wingstroke of the jubilant lark when it soars into the sunlight of a fresh, clear day and, spontaneously and for self-relief, pours out its thrilling carol. Work up there is a matter of self-relief, as well as a matter of obedience to the ruling will of God. It is work according to one’s tastes and delight and ability. If tastes vary there, if abilities vary there, then occupations will vary there."

How do we help others in grief? How do we comfort them? 

Be spiritually sensitive. The claims of Christ can be presented when the heart is tender.   
This book is passionate, pleading, tender. Looking death and pain in the face and looking to God and the Comfort God offers Now, and the complete Healing God will give in the very real place called Heaven. For if I go, said Jesus, I will return and Take you there.

                                               Dear friend, I will meet you — 
                                               in the morning — 
                                               just inside the Eastern Gate — 
                                               over there. 

You can find Daniel E. Johnson’s book, When You Ask Why, in digital format for $0.99 now through the end of January 2013. New Leaf Publishing Group’s mission is ink on paper to touch eternity and bring balance to the body of Christ. New Leaf prays that this book and Ken Ham’s How Could a Loving God? will minister the truth of God’s Word and His nature to the hearts and minds of Christians and skeptics alike.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Diamonds in the Dust.

   This book is beautiful- it just feels good to hold it. It is a thick book, a 365 Day devotional, with a lovely cover and a beautiful title.
Diamonds in the Dust, 365 Sparkling Devotionals. The title comes from a woman with a two year old daughter who was undergoing chemotherapy.  Joni asked this little girls' Mother, whom she had met at a prayer meeting, How do you walk through this? The woman responded with tears in her eyes that God was walking them on a long and dusty road, but when they were brought low that is when they found diamonds in the dust. That story touched Joni, and she wrote this book as a collection of her favorite Diamonds, ones she has often held up to the light.
This book is full of Scripture, each verse is a Diamond and each diamond's beauty made me gasp more than once.  I rediscovered beautiful verses that, like diamonds, I had lost in the dust of life.
Each one page devotion has a Diamond Scripture and a story from Joni that helps us meditate on the Scripture. Her stories and quotes give us rich theology lived out in daily life. She ends each devotion with a prayer from her heart. Every book written to exalt Christ must do what this devotional does, convict and comfort. This book has been called her best book, and Joni has written a lot, blessing the Body of Christ with her stories of Christ's faithfulness, so calling this book her best says a lot about it! If this is the only book of Joni's that you read, you will be blessed. I hope to read many more. I was blessed to receive this book free from Zondervan.

If any woman could be a Titus Two woman, it would probably be Joni EarecksonTada. Mrs. Tada has known suffering, and she has known the care of God in her suffering. She has reached out her hands to those in need,  and has been a voice for those who suffer. Most of all, she has been the one who can honestly assure others that Jesus was a Man of Sorrows, who knew Grief, and that He never leaves us in our pain, our cry never falls on deaf ears,  and our sorrow is never wasted. Joni is married to her beloved husband Ken, and she never stops doing the work God has given her.

Monday, December 17, 2012

If you are a parent you must read this book.

You, Your Family and the Internet: What Every Christian in the Digital Age Ought to Know  -     
        By: David Clark
If you are a parent than you must read this book.
I know that most parents aren't informed, they might say that they have all the filters on their children's computers, they can trust their children but I would ask is your child's computer personal? are they on Facebook? have you screened their friends?
The blessings of the internet are amazing, but with the good comes evil, the sad fact is 90% 
of 8-16 year olds have viewed pornography online mostly while doing homework.
There are 4.2 million sites of pornography and 90% of e-mails are spam, one in four searches are related to pornography. This book seeks to use the gifts and blessings from God including the internet for His glory, it is full of practical advice about addiction to the internet for both parents and their children, pornography, internet games, and safety.
Parents must find the time to be informed about their children's safety, before it is too late.
The chapter on pornography is amazing, with so much useful information, I can't find the words to describe how great this whole book is and how parents really need to read it.
It is written for parents by a parent and fellow Christian so for full use of application a parent should read it.
The chapter on internet games is a hard chapter to read as it deals with a dark subject but absolutely necessary.
This book is a well written and Biblical, I hope every parent reads it.

I received this book free from the Cross focused reviews in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is free in ebook until December 31. 

A Sudden Glory.

A Sudden Glory: God's Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More  -     
        By: Sharon Jaynes
 A Sudden Glory is an almost poetic book, the theme of this book being that God pursues us, that God shows us His Glory, that we have a Glory Ache, a longing for God to fill.  God pursues us for He has been pursuing the human heart through the centuries, as Sharon reminds us. "The entire Bible from Genesis Three to Revelation 22:21 is a record of God's passionate pursuit of the human heart. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, a string of kings both good and bad, intermingled with prophets both wooing and warning God's people. We ended the last chapter of the Old Testament with silence. And then four hundred years later God breaks the Holy Hush with the Cry of a Babe in a manger as the story picks back up in Bethlehem."

The greatest Saints have always know they are pursued. Saints have always called us the Beloved, the Bride of  Christ the Bridegroom.  Spurgeon's best sermons, I think, are on the Song of Songs. A W Tozer knew how to pray that he would be pursued.  Francis Thompson wrote The Hound Of Heaven, the poem about our flight from God, the relentless Pursuer.

This is Sharon's prayer, that we would know we are pursued by God and we would respond.  Many women have come to Sharon and asked her how to feel closer to God. They all have one thing in common, they have a Glory Ache. They have a hollowness in them that they need filled, and God alone can fill it. They want God to reveal Himself to them. And these are not wrong desires.It is not wrong to desire to know that God is pursuing us, it is not wrong to ask God to overwhelm us with Himself.  It is not wrong to ask Christ to bind us on His arm as a seal, as a seal on His Heart. And that is the Promise we have! We have the promise that we can abide in Him. Not just during Church and spiritual activities, but during all of life. Pray without ceasing, Give thanks in everything. Sing to one another with Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs. These are things to be done all day as we go about our days. All these commands in the New Testament can be summed up in one verse. In God we Live and Move and Have our Being. 
 Perhaps one of the reasons we do not feel God with us is that we have divided the Sacred from the Secular, forgetting that all work done to the Glory of God in noble and sacred. I love this Luther quote.  "What you do in your House is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.We should accustom our selves to think of our position and work as Sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position or work, but on account of the Word and Faith from which the obedience and the work flow." When we Live and Move and have our Being in Christ, we have no secular days, for with Christ all is Sacred.

Perhaps part of the reason we feel far from God is that we are not looking for Him? God is pursuing His children, all day and every day. We are not seeing God's love and gifts in the beauty of sunlight shining over the wood kitchen floor. Of making soup. Of seeing bulbs sprout. Of the glow of Christmas lights. This is all part of Living and Moving and having our Being in God. When we live in Christ, we find God lavishing His glory on our life. We find God with us in suffering and trial as well as times of peace. That is when the Sudden Glory comes.

It is also worth thinking about how God speaks to us today. I do not believe that Christians are getting revelations from God, but I most certainly believe that God does reveal things to us through Scripture His perfect Word to His children, through circumstances- such as a loved one calling to give us a Scripture verse He had laid on their heart that very day, or a sparrow at our bird feeder that reminds us that a little sparrow cannot fall, unnoticed Lord by Thee, that is Sharon's perspective on this, when she says God speaks to us.

I am glad I read this book, there is much meat in it.

 A Sudden Glory, From WaterbrookMultnomah Press, is written by Sharon Jaynes.  I am blessed to have received my copy free for a review.  You may read her interview with 

Sometimes we get so busy doing, that we miss God's gentle whisper drawing us closer. It is not a matter of if God speaks today, but if we'll listen. When God extends His hand and invites you to the dance floor, make sure you dance card isn't full. Moments of Sudden Glory abound if we will take the time to recognize them. 

 Visit her at her website,  
What is the "glory ache"? from Sharon Jaynes on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


 I have a method of book reviews, and I hope soon to compile a Theology of book reviewing with Scripture verses on Discernment, Encouragement, Knowledge and Wisdom in Light of the Cross. I love finding wholesome meat in a book, yet I know that in books written by men we will find bones to avoid.  Only God's Perfect, Precious Word is all meat and never a bone. The joy is to discern the bones and eat the meat.  
Now that I let you all know this, I want to announce the newest book I have read, given to me by Worthy Publishing. Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg.

Our lives often lack wonder, because we do not open our eyes.This is what Margaret Feinberg is writing about. Her book is full of things that made me underline them, things that make sense. Her writing is bright, the word pictures are fresh in my mind from when I first saw them. Her book reminds us that we are in an Earth full of wonder all around us. She writes about the beauty of Creation, of relationships, of rest.
  These are some of the word pictures that she wrote:
 The evening alpenglow of a Colorado sunset when it looks like God has scattered thousands of rose petals across the snow for our pleasure.

The woods of Scotland, looking like a forest in Middle Earth- dark, green, misty, and elvish, on a walking tour.

The aurora borealis on an Alaskan night as you stand before a window when you should be asleep to watch the sky. 

A horseback ride through a pine wood where the trees are holding as much snow as they can bear, and every time you touch a limb you are powdered with crystals. 

These are the Wonders of life, the wonders that most of us miss.  That is the meat.

The bones to avoid include the fact that Margaret has defended the egalitarian position in the past. In 2008 she defended the nomination of Sarah Palin  for Vice President in a debate on CNN against Dr. Baucham. I am a complementarian, and I hope I could defend why I believe in Biblical roles as timeless.  The Biblical gender roles are eternal in their commands and have many applications that look different for each family within their God ordained sphere.  In the interview, which can be accessed on youtube by searching Voddie Baucham on CNN, the host, a woman, asks if Dr. Baucham, is "sounding a little sexist" because he said that Isaiah was right when he told us that women rulers, Deborah included, are a sign of Judgement upon a rebelling people, not a sign of egalitarian progress. Margaret responded that his stance on Scripture was "questionable", and later called it narrow. 

The second bone is three commentaries on Genesis, mentioned in this book, all written by evolutionists, one of whom also believes in homosexual "marriage."  I am a No Death Before Sin Six Day Creationist, a position that even skeptical Theologians agree makes the most hermeneutical sense.  

Note:  One of the commentaries was written by Bruce Waltke, who has accepted evolution and who is hailed by Biologos ( an organization well known for the rejection of Scripture in the name of "science")  as "courageous"- for accepting evolution and denying the plain reading of Genesis. 
Walter Brueggemann, who believes in so called homosexual marriage,  and also evolution, and is hailed as a leader in "progressive" Christianity. 
The third commentary was written by Nahum Sarna, also an evolutionist.  
I agree with Mr. Ham in a statement he wrote about this issue. "For Christians who believe in evolution, although it is not a salvation issue, it is an authority issue as they are undermining the authority of the Word of God." 

Evolution is a bone the Church will choke on. Don't believe me? Go to the National Education Association, and the National Science Teachers Association and look up how to deal with Creationists. Evolution is poured down the throats of children to help them adjust their "schema", as one teacher said in a forum. She said she enjoys seeing their minds"open up", and adjust to this new, Godless, Darwinian "schema". In other words, they delight in removing any parent instilled morality and Christianity and replacing these with naturalism. They delight in scrambling your presuppositions, and replacing them with theirs. They hold an intense bias toward Creationists, parents and Children, saying they are "flat earthers" raising their children to be useless in modern society, who will never progress. 

If you are unconvinced of this I suggest you visit,,,, as well as read the comments made by some evolutionists who profess Christ and then excoriate their Brethren such as Ken Ham, saying his belief in Adam is equivalent to believing in Bilbo Baggins, and allowing their followers to call Ken's teaching dogma. Calling the word of God dogma! Calling Truth dogma! Spitting it out like a dirty word at the Word of God!  May God bring us to repentance!  And they do not even know that dogma is n. [Gr., to think; L.] A settled opinion; a principle, maxim or tenet; a doctrinal notion, particularly in matters of faith and philosophy; as in the dogmas of the church; the dogmas of Plato. 

Dogma, then is a settled opinion. It is a belief that is not swayed by "majority opinion" and therefore it is to be ridiculed. It is to be mocked. They are to call anyone who is not led astray by science, falsely so called, a cult leader. Truly the Church will choke on evolution. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Whitney I knew.

 The Whitney I knew, by BeBe Winans. This biography of Whitney Houston is written by a dear friend of hers, BeBe Winans.  Having loved Whitney's music for a long time I was blessed to be able to meet her through this book.
    The best part of this book was the personal stories shared about Whitney, how family was so important to her and what a generous and wonderful person she was, even generously making a loan of 50,000 dollars to the author for the house he wanted to buy but didn't have the money for, never asking or expecting him to pay her back.

This book will open your eyes to the abuse of celebrities and how Whitney who craved deep loving relationships, was hurt by people who misused her and attacked her.  It brought to light the fact that often the world abuses the people in the spotlight making incorrect assumptions about them and hating them for it, never comprehending that whatever their social status they are people too.
    I doubt until reading this book anyone will know how close she was to the Winans, I certainly didn't.  BeBe, CeCe and all the Winans were her adopted brothers and sisters, who she could always count on to be there for her.
    I was glad to see the way the author wrote wrote about her life, in a loving honest way, wanting the world to see past the tabloids and magazines and their lies and distortion to the true Whitney, also from a Christian perspective thus being able to write about her faith in God.
I would recommend this book that I so enjoyed to anyone who loves her or her music.

Bones are minor, and include a quote from T D Jakes.

 BeBe Winans is a Gospel singer, writer and producer, and has six Grammy Awards.  He and his sitser CeCe were brother and sister in Christ with Whitney. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mr. Mike Quarles new book Helping Others Overcome Addiction.


 "And Such were some of you..." With these words the Apostle Paul proclaimed his Corinthian readers, former drunkards, homosexuals, fornicators, and liars, free. Paul stamped their sinful past Finished, and proclaimed they are now sealed by the Holy Spirit, their identity is complete in Christ- an identity as Saints, with their birthright of freedom. This declaration, And Such Were Some Of You... is what every Christian who is struggling with alcohol or same sex attraction wants to hear.  How did those brand new Christians at Corinth leave behind their past like that? How did they get free from their besetting sins?  Mike Quarles would argue that that is the wrong question. The true question is Who set them free? Answer- Christ. The Christ whose ministry is sight to the blind, strength to the lame, and freedom to the captives, including those who were captive to drunkenness, homosexuality, adultery and lust. Jesus was the Man who changed them. Jesus alone. And we Christians still affirm that God alone can save us- but we usually think there is something we are doing that is keeping us saved, or sanctifying us. It is the same with addiction. We tell the Christian addict that God can help them, but they have to "help themselves"- something not one of us can do. We tell them that God can save them, but they must do something to stay that way.  Men like Mike who struggled with drunkenness and men like Steve who counsel them are told there is an answer out side of Christ, or in addition to Christ, an answer found in programs and meetings and mentors and medication and detox and therapy: an answer found in our own will power. Can those programs help some people? They do. But for someone who just "can't seem to make the program work" can't  "stay on the wagon" and can't get it all together, is there any hope for them? Not in programs- in the Person of Christ. And why should this surprise us?
The message Mike and Steve proclaim is one found all over the New Testament- not one they invented. The message that you can be free from your addiction because you are free in Christ is almost startling. The message is that you are dead to sin whether we look like it,  feel like it, understand it or not! You are alive to Christ, dead to sin. Romans Six teaches this, we are dead to sin, because we are in Christ, and we who are in Him were crucified with Him and are now dead to our sins . We are free from this, this thing that holds us bound, simply because we are in Christ.  
This book is a written both for the spouses, children, or friends of addicts or for a person who had formerly been a drinker and is now free in Christ and wishes to help others. Mike knows the pain of being an addict, and he knows the harm he did as an addict. As he says, he destroyed everything good in his life, and because he has seen the hurt he caused he can speak lovingly to the drinker and his family.
 I found the resources in the back very helpful, and I really appreciated the section on giving the addict an ultimatum, and then giving them the consequences, but never out of vengeance, out of love that is willing to be tough. As Mike says, "Your motivation needs to be because you want to stop enabling someone with addictive behavior to live in a way that is sinful and destructive. It must be because you no longer want to be part of the problem. For them to find their freedom they need to come to the end of themselves and their resources. Only God can bring them to the end of self, but you can choose to stop being a major part of their resources." This is a book that is not about what you can do, or the drinker can do. This book is about what Christ has already done. This book is not written to help us cope, or to help us just barely stay sober. The premise of this book is that Grace can give us lasting freedom, founded in our eternal identity as Christians.We can be free by realizing that we have been given the righteousness of Christ, we are not  filthy sinners anymore, we are the Saints. There is much hope, true hope, for When the Son sets you Free you are free indeed. By Grace we truly can walk in the newness of life. 
   How God's Grace brings lasting freedom.   His ministry is Grace Walk Recovery, along with his coauthor Steve McVey. His website is Together they are dedicated to leading the Body of Christ "back to basic, addiction-breaking truths of His Word. The authors explain these for readers who want to help someone or who struggle themselves, because freedom from addiction is found only when Christians
  • Fully believe what God says about their identity
  • Move beyond the 12-Step concept of inescapable “addict identity”
  • Stop harboring unforgiveness, get radically right with God, and dwell in who they are in Christ, which excludes engaging in addictive behaviors as a lifestyle" 
 Harvest House Publishing gave me this book for a review.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Thoroughly Biblical little gem...

What if your blessings came through raindrops?
What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?   -     
        By: Laura Story
Read chapter one here.

The Authors facebook page here. 


What if Blessings came in raindrops is one of the best books I have read.
It is Biblically sound and full of amazing insights, that helped me understand how to live in faith and the meaning of Biblical hope. I really enjoyed the selections of quotes included with each devotion, and within the devotions the continual emphasis on Gods unfailing love, Sovereignty and His eternal perspective and plan for us, even when we cannot understand why rain is falling on our lives God has planned and seen the future and how our life or someone eles'es will be blessed because of it. This is the central message of this book.
    The passages dealing with bitterness and anger were the best I thought, she writes with so much Biblical insight and love for the word of God, humbly ending each chapter and the book with Scripture and saying that though the battle has been won and Heaven awaits us the Word of God is the only lamp unto our feet while we journey home.
    I would recommend this book to anyone seeking comfort and assurance of Gods love as I was edified by it. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Superb Book.

   This book is an excellent explanation of the Cross, and the Questions and Answers in the back are worth the price!  

I always knew that Jesus had died for my sins on the Cross, and as I grew I began to have the vague idea that this was what was meant by Substitutionary Atonement. I never thought there was another view of it. I surely would not have been wise enough to defend the Biblical view against the heresies. I had heard that I had the Righteousness of Christ, but did not know if that was different from having my sins forgiven. I do know that what God did on the Cross was the most important event to ever happen, the Cross and the Resurrection, and I want to tell others that. 
I am commanded to go and tell others how they may be saved, and how can I if I do not understand the way their salvation was purchased for them- on the Cross? If you are in a state like that, or if you love the Cross passionately and need to be freshly shown its agony and purpose, then you must read this book. If you are studying the Cross and would like a volume to get you started, this would be a good one. 

 The Truth of the Cross opens with this statement.

"One of the most important subdivisions of theology is Christology, which is the study of the person and work of Christ. Within that field of study, when we want to get at the aspect that is most crucial, the aspect that we may call the “crux” of the matter of Jesus’ person and work, we go immediately to the cross. The concept of the cross is at the very center and core of biblical Christianity. In a very real sense, the cross crystallizes the essence of the ministry of Jesus."

We know the Cross is the symbol of Christianity. We all know it. Christians love it. Non Christians hate it. Ground zero Cross anyone? Mojave Desert Veteran's Memorial Cross anyone? And we rightly sign petitions and write letters to the editor and debate the anti-Theists who are attacking the Cross. Yet there is a greater threat to the Cross than the anti- Theists who attack the symbol. The greater threat is apathy and ignorance of what that symbol means in the professing Church. There is apparently a question within the professing about whether the Cross is even necessary, symbolic or otherwise. There are mega "Chuches" removing the Cross from their buildings to "avoid offense", and removing the Cross from their preaching to avoid offense even more thoroughly. Without an understanding of the Cross no one there can be saved. Are we offended by the Cross? Can we defend the Cross from the other views? Are we outraged that a Church would remove the Cross? Or do we think we should remove the offensive Cross so that the unsaved will "feel more comfortable"? The challenge is hostility outside the Church, and apathy and ignorance within the Church.

 R. C. Sproul says "I doubt there has been a period in the two thousand years of Christian history when the significance, the centrality, and even the necessity of the cross have been more con- troversial than now. There have been other periods in church history when theologies emerged that regarded the cross of Christ as an unnecessary event, but never before in Christian history has the need for an atonement been as widely challenged as it is today."    This book made me ask myself,  Do I know the meaning of the Cross? Do I love the Cross?  And this book helped with both questions.  To rightly understand the Cross, we need three things. We need a true understanding of God's HOLINESS, a true understanding of Man's Sinfulness, and a True understanding of Salvation.  This book provides that. First, God's Holiness.  "God is loving, but a major part of what He loves is His own perfect character, with a major aspect being the importance of maintaining justice and righteousness. Though God pardons sinners and makes great provision for expressing His mercy, He will never negotiate His justice. If we fail to understand that, the cross of Christ will be utterly meaningless to us."
Then Man's SINFULNESS, defined by the Westminster Shorter Catechism as “Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.” The words want of conformity to and transgression of indicate a failure to keep the Law of God. So in this sense, sin is a crime.Neither does He give suggestions or recommendations. He gives commandments—“Thou shalt . . .” or “Thou shalt not . . .” ......Dr Sproul then quotes Anselm, "Each of the three characterizations of sin that we have considered—a debt, a state of enmity, and a crime—constitutes a violation of that divine righteousness, which necessitates satisfaction. When we incur a debt by failing to meet an obligation before God, that debt must be satisfied—that is, the requirements must be met in a satisfactory way... How is such satisfaction to be achieved? It is accomplished by the other actor in the drama of the atonement—the Lord Jesus Christ."

 We also desperately need to understand Salvation, for if we do not have a Cross focused view of Salvation, we will not go to it to be saved, and we will never tell our friends they must go to the Cross to be saved. It has always been the Cross that sets Christianity apart from every other religion. It is the Cross of Christ that says it is Finished. No prayer beads, no candles, no tantra, no mantra, no karma, no dharma, no yogi could bring us back to God. Christ from the Cross said It is Finished. The work is done. He has reconciled us to His Father in a way we never can in our pitiful, poor, blind efforts. This book is also for the loved one in our life who has no idea why the Cross had to happen, who views it as "primitive and obscene", and possibly claims that God does not require a blood offering for sin. Of course, that person betrays a twisted understanding of Sin, Holiness and Salvation. 

"As we have seen, the atonement is a multifaceted event—Jesus is shown providing surety for our debt to God, mediating the enmity between us and God, and offering Himself as a substitute to suffer God’s judgment in our place. But He is also seen in the New Testament as the Redeemer, the One Who redeems His people from captivity, setting them free by offering Himself as a ransom."

This is too amazing,GOD Redeemed us by offering HIMSELF as my, and our ransom.  Once we have all of this foundation, and only with this Foundation, we can understand the atonement."In light of the facts of God’s justice and our sinfulness, it is not difficult to see the absolute necessity of the atonement."  Once we understand all of this, we can read this with joy that we are covered with the Glorious Righteousness of Christ, and our sins were borne by Christ.

This book is one of many excellent books that Dr. Sproul has written.  And after reading this I understand afresh with joy, that My sins went to Christ, he bore them in His Body,and His perfect Righteousness was given to my account. What Christ did on The Cross was the focus of God's redeeming plan throughout the ages, and the transaction on the Cross can still save a sinner today. 

 This is the first of Dr. Sproul's books I have read. I hope to read many more. I received a free copy of this book for this review. 

 Read the first few pages HereDr. R. C. Sproul is a well know Pastor and Preacher, beloved for his many books and sermons. You can hear him on radio, Renewing your Mind, and visit his ministry Ligonier Ministries.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Killing Calvinism.

   Killing Calvinism How to destroy a perfectly good theology from the inside out.  

Dutcher364I am a new Young, Restless and Reformed person, just beginning to love studying Postmillenialism and Amillenialism, and to work out Calvinism in my mind as I seek what is true.   I needed to read this book NOW- Early in my Reformed journey. I needed it NOW because of all the times it poked me with truth.
 I may be new in Calvinism, but I am a sinner and that is who this book is for. This book is for sinners who have been saved by Grace and who love good, clear theology and Biblical truth, but who are still sinners, and we tend to ruin things.  We do not want to ruin Calvinism!  So what have I learned? That I will tend to make Christianity undesirable to my friends. That I might love my solid, serious study more than God. That I might grow prideful that I am part of this strong, healthy Theology Revival. That I might begin to label people as Calvinist and Non, and avoid the Nons like the plague. That I might find myself  not just rebuking the heretics, but the Non Calvinists. That I might make Christianity an intellectual exercise instead of a wholesome Discipleship. That I might believe that growing in my theology is equal to growing in mercy, and working out my Salvation with fear and trembling. In other words, we all need this book. This book had a lot to teach me. He hits hard!

"Christ is worthy of lives well lived. May he help us do just that!I am concerned that many Calvinists today do little more than celebrate how wonderfully clear their theological windshield is. But like a windshield, Reformed theology is not an end in itself. It is simply a window to the awe-inspiring universe of God’s truth, filled with glory, beauty, and grace. Do we need something like a metaphorical windshield of clear, biblical truth to look through as we hope to marvel at God’s glory? Absolutely. But we must make sure that we know the difference between staring at a windshield and staring through one. Frankly, it is indeed cool to be a Calvinist right now, and more resources are available to the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” crowd than ever before. Don’t get me wrong: I celebrate this resurgence and hope to see it flourish. Yet we should be careful to make sure that we are not busy polishing windshields just to mutually admire each other’s techniques."
"Can I say that I differ with John
Wesley, C. S. Lewis, or Billy Graham on their doctrine of salvation but still see them as wonderful Christian men whom God has used mightily to advance his kingdom in this world?48 There is something tragically ironic about
a young Calvinist who may never have shared his faith with an unbeliever looking down on some of the very men who should be looked up to as gospel champions."
 This one hurt, because I have begun to label preachers as Calvinist, Post Mil and Non. BIG MISTAKE.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). When Paul reflected on the doctrines that make up what we call Calvinism, he was moved to rejoice in God. This is the key to not killing off today’s Calvinist upsurge. When we read our books, attend our conferences, and “Piper- up” our iPods, the primary goal must not be to gain a better understanding of 16th- and 17th-century doctrine. It must be to be blown out of the water by the God who has chosen us in infinite mercy and wisdom. It seems that the Calvinist heroes of church history knew how to do this. They stared through Calvinism to get the best view of God’s splendor and the gospel’s glory.It’s clear that what supremely interested him was “Christ and him crucified,” and he allied himself with Calvinism because it was supremely interested in the same thing."  That is Calvinism.

This book reminds us that the point of calvinism is not to master Reformed theology, but to be Mastered by Jesus.
"It is interesting that Mark did not emphasize that Jesus would first train these men in order to send them. Rather, the emphasis is on the fact that they were simply with him. Discipleship is first and foremost about being with Christ. Learning his teaching, following his footsteps, and participating in his mission are all vital elements of discipleship, but they flow from being in his presence. One commentator captures this concept:  If, as Genesis 3:4–5 indicates, the essence of sin is substituting a false god for the true God, being with Jesus becomes the way of forsaking human idols and honoring the true God, thus recovering
the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27). From now on his person and his work determine the existence of the Twelve"  

"I have found that many Christians simply assume that learning more and more about the Bible and theology— Reformed theology in particular—is the same thing as growing as a disciple. It isn’t. Robust theology can be a powerful catalyst in this process, but like anything else, we can turn it into an idol...At that point, daily living is more about mastering Reformed doctrine than being mastered by Jesus and his total claim over every area of life."
Because he hits so hard on the way we live out our Calvinism, we might be tempted to think he doesn't really love Calvinism.  Nothing is further from the truth! He is not calling us to water down passion and Truth, he is calling us back to the real Christianity we became Calvinists to know and love better! Real Calvinism is the solution!  "How could one who revels in man’s spiritual impotence ever become proud? How could a worshiper who sings that he is “a worm” and a “wretch” as “vile” as the thief on the cross ever be smug, especially to a fellow sinner saved by grace?"

Greg Dutcher's own journey to Calvinism is so much like mine. He called himself a Theological Train wreck.  He was brought to Christ by a friend who said there are two things I know for sure. You have to be Born Again to go to Heaven, and you are not Born Again. He and his friend were new Christians in the days of Rapture movies and Televangelists. When he found Calvinism,  he knew he had found something wonderful. And he began to study it, buying every book he could and every tape. How did he know I did the same thing? Today they are both Reformed pastors and remain best friends. They preach at each others Churches. As a lover of Calvinism, and a Preacher of Calvinism, he is the man to write a book to help us keep our Calvinism alive. Greg Dutcher is the Pastor of a Church he planted, Christ Fellowship Church. He is the author of Killing Calvinism, from Cruciform Press,  Living Free in Enemy Territory, and  You are the Treasure that I seek- But there is a lot of cool stuff out there. He and his wife have four children.

 Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy A Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside (Sample)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

O Little Town of Bethlehem.

What John Bunyan was

Why, this man is a living Bible! Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline—the very essence of the Bible flows from him! He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. Said by Charles Spurgeon, quoted in Killing Calvinism

Finding God in the Hobbit.

I first read the Hobbit at age 13. Neither my Mother  
nor my Father had met Bilbo Baggins  as children, nor Balin or Dwalin or Gandalf. We met them together, me reading aloud. A year later we read The Fellowship of the Ring, starting in June, a time that will always be connected to Lorien, the Lady of the Golden Wood,  Legolas who can string his bow faster than sight, Aragorn and his kingly bearing, who teaches us that under his worn rangers cloak beats the heart of a King. Then we read the Two Towers, and we saw the treachery of Boromir, and the nobility of his brother Faramir. We saw Merry and Pippin, two of my favorites, as they changed from young hobbits wanting adventure to toughened warriors. We saw them enslaved by the orcs and rescued by the Ents.   Then the Return of the King, and the utter foulness of evil, and the joy of Purity, and Wholesomeness, and  Yes, I did weep when Frodo and the Elves left Middle Earth for the Far Country. I hope all readers do.

I talked about Tolkien and Middle earth for the whole summer. The next summer I was blessed to receive a copy of Gladys Hunt's book, Honey for a Teenagers Heart. Here was a woman in her eighties, writing glowingly about Middle earth, and the Truth, Beauty and Purity, Bravery, showcased there. She understood the lure of Lorien. The admiration of Legolas andhis bow shooting.  Her book made her a friend of mine.  I had not read another book that explained the love of Middle Earth so perfectly until I received a copy of Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware, from Tyndale House free for a review.  Finding God in the Hobbit is the third book in a series written by  Jim Ware, and  Kurt Bruner. Their first two books were Finding God in the Lord Of The Ring Finding God in the Land of Narnia and now  Finding God in the Hobbit.                                                           

 This book is like a Hobbit, small and full of unexpected wisdom. Jim Ware shows us things in Tolkiens books that I never would have seen.  Let us start with something Tolkien was very familiar with, something we see often in the adventures of Bilbo and Frodo, something that enriches my world here having met it there in Middle Earth.   It is the Eucatastrophe, or good catastrophe. A eucatastrophe is defined as "rather than an invasion of sorrow it is the surprise of joy bursting onto a seemingly hopeless situation, the certainty of death and destruction undone by the unexpected intrusion of life and resurrection. In a word, the Gospel." Yes, the Gospel is in Middle earth, and not because Tolkien wrote a wooden allegory, but because all good books are about the themes of this world, and this is one of the core themes. We find this theme as the Gospel in God's word, and we find this theme coming out in books by discerning men. Tolkien was a discerning man, and he knew that the Gospel came into his books. He wrote a letter to Deborah Webster in 1958, saying "I am a Christian," and this "can be deduced from my stories."  And that is what Jim Ware does. He deduces the Christian Truth in these wonderful stories. As a student of both Scripture and The Hobbit, we will find our time in Middle Earth and our time in our earth richer after seeing what Jim Ware saw.  There are problems in our world that Middle earth will help us solve.  The eagles are one of those. In the Hobbit, and in the Return of the King, when the hobbits are in danger and there is no way out by their own strength, the Eagles come flying in and carry them away. In most fantasy stories this might be the author's way of getting his heroes out of a corner he wrote them into, and we would have to enjoy the story but know that that rarely happens in life. Also, in most stories there would be a glaring contradiction, because as one of Jim's friends points out "If the eagles can fly anywhere and save the heroes, why didn't the elves just have them fly the ring to the mountain and drop it in the crack?" That at first seems unresolvable. But study resolves the question. What at first seems a slip of the author turns out to have profound truth in it. "There is a pattern to the eagle rescues that dot the pages of Middle earth history. This pattern points to a certain wonderful and startling conclusion. It suggests that we might be justified in seeing these majestic  birds as a beautiful symbol of Grace, Free and Sovereign Grace... Because Grace isn't something you can control. Like Bilbo and Frodo, you can only look up and receive it with a sigh of relief. You can only give thanks and shout Hallelujah! when it swoops down to save you out of a hopeless impasse.  To experience Grace is to be left speechless and awestruck- not wondering how you might have found a way to take advantage of it earlier on." 
 The Eagles are not ordinary eagles, they are the Eagles of Manwe, and they are controlled by the King of the earth. They are not for hire, by Elrond or anyone else. Their Master knows the Hobbit's plight, and when he wills he sends them to save. In Biblical terns the eagles can be compared to The Eyes of the Lord, that run to and fro throughout all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." 2 Chronicles 16 verse 9. "They function as executors of the divine will, extensions of Love that defies mortal comprehension and reaches down to men and elves from a place beyond the boundaries of the world."  These Eagles also will only save when their Master commands them to, and for reasons not understood by man the eagles could not carry the ring. Frodo and Sam had to carry it for a time.

Another beauty of this book is the same thing that made Tolkien beloved of all of us. The "good liking" in his books. The love of hearth and Home, the love of pipe and supper and stories and slippers. Stephen Lawhead called Tolkiens work a Praise Hymn for the Goodness of Creation, the goodness of the physical  universe. This book celebrates that. from the Hobbits who loved the good comforts of Home to the dwarves who loved skillfully worked gems to the Elves who loved beauty and purity.  
 Read this book. Read it in one evening on a comfortable sofa in December, with a woodstove burning, and a few Christmas lights glowing. Read it and marvel at all you will be enjoying next time you read the Hobbit that you never saw before. 

This book reminded me a little of this fine book- Not a Tame Lion, by  Terry Glaspey. I got my copy for 2.99 at, but they seem to have sold them out. After reading that little paper back biography of C. S Lewis which had his life story in the front and some of his thoughts on Love, Heaven, and other topics taken from his writing, my Dad vowed to read everything C. S Lewis had written.