Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"The Jesus You Can't Ignore" by John MacArthur

Jesus You Can't Ignore -MacArthur In The Jesus You Can't Ignore Dr. MacArthur wanted to show from scripture how that the Jesus whom some of our current-day churches have minimized to a meek and mild Messiah is not the full portrayal of Jesus.  He is certainly meek and mild, but He is also confrontational and did not allow distortion of truth to get in the way of the gospel message.  This is evidenced numerous times in the Gospels when He provoked the Pharisees by performing miracles in their presence or intentionally breaking Jewish laws.

I found the book to be fascinating because I've never seen the Gospels laid out cohesively to gain a better understanding of how Jesus' three year ministry progressed.  Each chapter presents different miracles of Jesus, and then MacArthur expounds on what was going on behind the confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus.  I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the Sermon on the Mount as he explained the meaning of Jesus' points and why He was preaching those specific truths on that day.

If you've never read a book by MacArthur, be warned that he uses big words.  I found it difficult to wade through both the prologue and introduction because he used vocabulary I am unfamiliar with.  Once I reached the first chapter, it was easier reading, for the most part.

In spite of that one complaint, I would recommend the book.  It helped me see Jesus from a different perspective, a part of His character that really cannot be ignored.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Entering a New Era

Wordless Wednesday


Look!!!  Never thought I'd want an e-reader, but this is such a fascinating tool.  I'm drooling over the books that are just a download away.  My reading passion has definitely been KINDLED.

I guess I've just entered a new era.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Lesson in Trust

Teddy We had a bit of a scare in the last 14 hours.  Late yesterday afternoon our cat Teddy started acting strange, meowing strange, and then some sort of contraction thing started in his belly.  Never saw anything like it before.

His belly would contract, and he'd let out a groan.  He walked kind of low to the floor and looked thoroughly uncomfortable.

This is the part about having pets that's so hard.  If they're in pain, they can't tell you where it hurts, how bad, or what's going on.  It makes me feel helpless to watch them suffer.

Fear gripped my heart because I didn't know what was wrong or what to do.  I truly had to pray and give my cat to the Lord's care.  I knew that I was totally helpless, but God is fully in control and He cares about my cat.  I stirred a lot during the night, and then I'd pray and give my cat to the Lord again. 

We all made it through the night without any incident, and this morning I was encouraged to see Teddy looking normal again.  No more contractions, moaning or walking funny.  We'll watch him and see how he is throughout the day.

I know those who don't care for cats or pets in general may not be able to relate to my struggle, but I know that God uses anything in our lives to teach us and cause us to depend on Him.  Even a cat.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Memory Monday: Zephaniah 3:17

It's the start of a new week and time to put another verse to memory.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

I like every portion of the verse.  It lifts my spirit to meditate on it.memory monday

  • God is in your midst (He's near).
  • He's mighty!
  • He rejoices over me.
  • He quiets me.
  • He exults over me.
  • He exults over me with singing.
  • He exults over me with LOUD singing!

I just love the fact that God sings over me.  It makes me want to sing to Him.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Chat Pack: Most Wanted

Chat Pack Chat Pack is back today after a long absence.  Today's question is...

If you could be one of America's "most wanted," but wanted because of some great skill you possess, what skill would you want to have?

I'd have to say that I would want to be wanted for my writing skill.  Obviously, no one is gonna be knocking down my door anytime soon to get ahold of anything I'm writing. 

You know, if truth be told, I don't think I would actually want to be "most wanted" for anything.  That's a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure.  I think I'd rather be a nobody.  I'm not saying a little recognition for something wouldn't be appreciated or exciting, but I don't think I could handle the long-term demands.

Is there something you would want to be "most wanted" for? 

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

True Womanhood: Part 5

True Woman This is the fifth installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I received a complimentary copy from Revive Our Hearts ministry just for sharing my thoughts on each chapter.

Chapter 5: "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Janet Parshall

Do your problems drive you to your knees?  They should.  Looking to scripture at the example of Hannah, we see that her desire to have a child was great.  She was barren. She was provoked constantly by Peninnah, her husband's other fertile wife.  She was desperate, and it sent her to her knees. 

One day she could take it no longer.  She stood up from the dinner table at the Feast of Tabernacles and headed to the temple to pour her heart out to God.  She had to settle the matter in her heart once and for all.  She was ready to surrender to the Lord.

It was at that time that Hannah vowed a vow to the Lord.  She vowed that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God.  Now I'm not saying you should make deals with God in order to get what you want.  Vows are extremely serious matters, but it's evident that Hannah was very serious about her faith in God.

And so... He blessed her with a son, Samuel, and after weaning him she took him to the temple to serve the Lord.  She never went back on her promise to God, even though it meant she would see him only once a year when they would go up to the temple.  She gave Samuel back to the Lord with a thankful heart for His faithfulness to her.

Prayer is the theme of this chapter, and we're taught that prayer accomplishes mighty things.  When we go to God in prayer, we are able to have a dialog with Him and have Him change our desires and get our thoughts aligned with His will.

Hannah's desire to have a child was poured out in earnest prayer to the Lord, but it didn't stop there.  Once the Lord answered her prayer, she had to continue praying through the experience of motherhood.  She knew that Samuel was not hers to keep forever.  In a few short years, she would leave him at the temple.  I imagine she prayed continuously for Samuel to be used of God, and she prayed for strength every year when she'd make the journey to see him and then leave him behind once again.

I want to become a true woman who prays about everything.  I fail again and again.  I attempt to handle lots of things in the flesh, but then a day or even a week later I realize that I should've been praying all along.  I think we miss out on the abundance of power from the Holy Spirit and opportunities to see God move in big ways by forgetting to pray.

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. ~ James 5:16b (NASB)

If you'd like to purchase your own copy of this book, you can purchase it at

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Picture of Contentment

Wordless Wednesday

                                                                    Baby Liz sleeping-modified

Liz at 3 months

This is one of my favorite baby pictures of myself.  I still get this much enjoyment out of napping.  Aaahhh...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Won't Let Go

I walked at the park the other day, and the setting was so beautiful.  The sky was blue with little wispy clouds.  There was a nice breeze.  The sun was shining bright and hot. 

On days like that I get energized and inspired, and I think about my relationship with God a lot.  I had my headphones on and listened to all my favorite spiritual tunes, and it helped my mind get set in the right place. 

I thought about how He's changed me so much in the last 5 years.  Not that I was living some immoral life or had some deep, heinous sin prior to that.  But still... just living so much according to how I feel rather than by faith and not having an awareness of God in every aspect of my life is... well... wicked and sinful.

And He's changing me.

I'm just feeling thankful to know who I am in Christ.  To know I live by grace.  To know He gives me new mercy every morning.  To know He knows me to my very core.  And to know I know Him... at least, I know Him better now than I did 5 years ago. 

I don't want to let go of all of this.  Life has been hard these last 6 months, but I don't want to give up.  I want to keep going and pressing forward. 

To whom would I turn, Lord?  For you have the words of eternal life.  I won't let go.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Memory Monday: Ephesians 2:10

My memory verse this week is Ephesians 2:10.  It follows up that very familiar scripture that says we are saved by grace, and our salvation is not a product of our own works but rather a gift given to us from God.

Verse 10 goes on to tell us that we have been created in Christ to do good works.  Did you know that we weren't saved just to go to Heaven, but truly to do the work that God has prepared for us?  memory monday

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

What are you memorizing this week?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

True Womanhood: Part 4

True WomanThis is the fourth installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I received a complimentary copy from Revive Our Hearts ministry just for sharing my thoughts on each chapter.

 Chapter 4: For Such a Time As This by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I finished reading this chapter three days ago, but I didn't have time to write down my thoughts until today.  As I looked back over the notes I jotted in the margins and all the paragraphs I had highlighted and in light of the uncertainties of my life these days, it is clear to me how much I needed to be refreshed today in the truths that are contained in these select pages.

You see, I struggle to be a true woman -- a woman who is surrendered to God and His purposes.  I shrink back from suffering and keep asking "why?" every time I'm caught off guard by some new and fearful circumstance that I didn't see coming.  Yet God continually takes me back to His Word and His truth to show me how He wants me to respond and what He wants me to be. 

Being a true woman means being courageous in the midst of uncertainty, believing that God is fully in control and working His purposes behind the scenes in the realm of the Unseen.

As Nancy recounts the story of Esther from scripture, we learn that there are two realms.  There is the physical realm and circumstances that are seen, and there is the spiritual realm where God is working His good plan behind the scenes in amazing and mysterious ways that are past finding out.  It comes back to what Pastor John Piper says, "In every situation and circumstance of your life, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know."  Oh, how I must grab that statement and run with it!

I won't rehearse the story of Esther for you.  If you need to refresh yourself in the history, you can click over and read the Book of Esther here.  The fact is that if any woman had reason to shrink back, lock herself in her room, and cry her eyes out it was Esther.  She was taken from her home and family, forced to be queen to a bully of a man, had to keep her nationality a secret, and by the deception of an evil man at the king's right hand, her Jewish people were threatened with death. 

Rather than falling to pieces in fear, Esther's spirit was bolstered when her cousin Mordecai sent her word, saying that she may have been placed exactly where she was "for such a time as this."  Esther took courage and, though it could have meant imminent death, approached the king about the plight of her Jewish nation and exposed the evil man, Haman, and his deceptive plan to wipe out her people.  God moved and worked His plan through Esther, and her nation was saved from death. 

If we believe in the sovereignty of God, we can say the same of ourselves as Mordecai exhorted Esther.  We have been put exactly where we are, even with every challenge and heartache we face, for such a time as this.  All we can see is, well, the seen.  If we look with spiritual eyes, though, we can see the Unseen, and that's where God wants us to focus. 

When we choose to be a true woman, believing that God is working in a thousand ways for good that we cannot see, God can do any and every thing with our seemingly puny lives, even when the circumstances are painful and we can't imagine what kind of good could come of them. 

Please, Lord... help me to become a true woman by surrendering to the seen and believe that You are working in a thousand different ways for my good in the Unseen.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Memory Monday: Hebrews 4:14-16

When you have an interruption in routine, it's sometimes hard to get it back.  I'm still trying.  Slowly but surely I'm getting back to implementing all the important daily things that are of benefit to me -- exercise, study, and scripture memory.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV)

memory mondayThis week the memory verse for First Place is Hebrews 4:16, but I feel like I need to connect the previous verses to complete the thought.  In my Word of Life daily quiet time in June I had been reading through Hebrews, and I really appreciated all that it spoke about both Christ's deity and humanity. 

The Savior is so beautiful to me in that He -- God -- left Heaven and came to live in a flesh and blood body.  He experienced the weakness of my flesh, yet experienced it without committing sin.  This section of scripture speaks to me of a wonderful truth.  He is my perfect and great High Priest who intercedes for me to His Father, knowing exactly what I need because He knows what I feel.  He knows my weaknesses.  He knows my pain.  He knows my suffering.

If Christ knows my experience full well, then He knows exactly what to ask the Father to provide for me.  He beckons me to come boldly to His throne, and it's a throne of grace.  Not a throne of reproach.  I obtain mercy there, not beratement.

I want to approach Him boldly.  Don't you?


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Life In Bullet Form

What my life looks like this week...

  • I've been reading *Rescuing Ambition by David Harvey, and I really am enjoying it.  Learning new things.
  • Ate too much on Monday when I was over to my parents' home for the holiday (Note to self: Do not eat both a bratwurst and a burger)
  • Woke up Tuesday at 3:00 AM to a dizzy head -- the arch enemy of my life -- and took half a Dramamine.
  • Tuesday night I took the other half of the Dramamine, which was a big mistake.
  • Spent Wednesday morning walking around half awake, half in a coma.
  • Still feeling like I'm on a boat from time to time.
  • Yesterday I chose the first book I'm going to write an official book review blog for at, and I'm very excited about receiving it.
  • I sooooo need to exercise!  Jeans don't fit.  Bummer.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

True Womanhood: Part 3

This is the third installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I received a complimentary copy from Revive Our Hearts ministry just for sharing my thoughts on each chapter.

Chapter 3: You've Come a Long Way, Baby!  by Mary Kassian

In this chapter Mary Kassian takes us back through the history of the Feminist Movement.  It was good for me to read up on it because I wasn't aware of what influenced the major swing toward feminism, which pervades our society today.

Basically, women decided they must abandon the Judeo-Christian model of womanhood, and they needed to create their own truth about who they were, who men were, and who God is because they were tired of being treated like second-class citizens.  At least, that's how they perceived themselves to be treated. 

As the movement progressed, women fought the model of submission to gain equality with men and eventually to viewing themselves as better than men.  They desired to remove the gender differences. 

As I read through the background of feminism, I found it so disheartening to see how quickly was the downward slide of values and morals in both women and our society as a whole.  My dad has made the statement that you can measure the morality of a society by the values and morals of its women.  How sad is the state of women in America today, and it is a reflection of how morally depraved we are as a nation.  Women dress provocatively, speak crassly and crudely, and they vie for independence and superiority, seeing no need for men.

But where is God?  Does a woman need Him?  If we throw out the Bible's model of a true woman, there is no room for God.

Quoting Mary on page 68,

As Christians, we must allow God to name Himself, to name His world, and to name male and female.  This belief contains the only hope for getting life right.  The only hope for discovering our true identity and purpose.  The only hope for untangling the gnarled, knotted mess that sin has made of gender and relationships.  The only hope for experiencing ever greater measures of healing and joy.  And above all, the only hope for reflecting and exalting the beauty of the gospel and the glory of God.

There is that phrase again... the glory of God.  You see, that's always the desired end of God and His people.  We can't glorify Him when we're vying for independence and control and trying to make our own rules and determining our own roles.

I rather find that if I'll follow God's ways and set myself to walk out my role as He has established it to be, there is a contentment there.  There is a peace that comes in trusting that God's way is right. 

Why can't we let Christ be our identity?  Not our marriage.  Not our children.  Not our singleness.  Not our career path.  Not our education.  Just be settled on being a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and obeys His Word, and God will give you a contented heart in whatever season you are in.