I love the story of Jonah. I have always love this book of the Bible; there is so much hope and love shown within it. A testimony to how, no matter ho...moreI love the story of Jonah. I have always love this book of the Bible; there is so much hope and love shown within it. A testimony to how, no matter how far we run, no matter how deep our sin, He always makes a way.
Jonah is a Prophet on the Run. And this book is an amazing revelation and reminder of so much that we can learn from this little, yet so very deep, book within the Bible. A devotional but not a devotional; a commentary but not a commentary. Baruch Maoz beautifully and practically breaks down this book showing amazing jewels within.
We all too often read the Bible and forget that all of those tales within; all of the people we read about, are there to teach us and to edify us. But what happens when we read the Word and do not apply it to our own lives? Just today I was hearing a preaching on how important it is for us to, daily, examine ourselves. How aligned with the Word of God is our life? In this little book (which was so very hard for me to put down once I began) we see just what we can learn, and how we can apply, lessons from the Book of Jonah, to our daily lives.
This is a book of repentance. A book of deliverance. There is so much that shows His mercy and His grace. It is also a wonderful reminder that sometimes, the God of love, is not a warm fuzzy one but one that is full of sorrow and anger. "We are reminded of our deserved punishment" with those harder messages. We are taught that sometimes, correction and punishment is needed, in order for us to truly turn from sin and toward our Lord. So often, I am chided for not being softer, gentler, and more loving in messages I have shared and yet the people of Ninevah...they were given a "terrible" message, and they responded by clothing themselves in sackcloth. They repented and fasted and prayed. They turned to the ONE true God. They saw and responded.
Would we? When someone comes to us with a less than savory message how do we respond? We want to be able to be "someone" in the eyes of the world. But how concerned are we with being the "apple of His eye"? (less)
Have you ever been in that place where you have given in? To temptation? To sin? Or maybe you know someone who you see falling into temptation again a...moreHave you ever been in that place where you have given in? To temptation? To sin? Or maybe you know someone who you see falling into temptation again and again. We wonder - how can this happen ? We have this amazing truth; we have this wonderful, merciful and grace full Saviour - So how can anyone possibly turn around and give in to sin after having all this revealed to them?
Having been washed in the watery grave of baptism; having received the infilling of the Holy Ghost I know all too well that it does not end there. At no point when we are born again does life become "easy street". In fact if remember correctly, my life got more challenging after I was born again. It seemed in some cases that there was more around every corner to tempt me than ever before.
And having people in my life who were not born again, who did not have the revelation that I had - well that only complicates things all the more. To friends we used to party with suddenly we gave up alcohol, we stopped smoking; we changed our dress and maybe we gave up all that profanity. We are different than before. And they wonder if we are trapped, following some church's crazy rules. Because frankly most of Christianity is so watered down; many churches barely preach sin or if they do it is "a sanitized view" of sin, as says Nathan Ward in Daybreak - A Guide to Overcoming Temptation.
This is a little book but one that grabs you. Lots to contemplate as you read too. I admit to being rather surprised at all the questions, all the scripture - the many gems within this book that really made me think about my sin. And the things that tempt me. Where am I? Am I overcoming?
"God doesn't want us to be happy so much as He wants us to be crucified." I have heard this said another way too; that God wants us not happy, but holy." What does it mean to be crucified? Why is it so important? We hae to understand the denial of self; the sacrifice of self. We have to know that our worst enemy is not Satan at all; it our our own self. If we do not know ourselves well enough; if we are not honest with ourself, our walk is likely to be more often in the flesh than in the Spirit. Point being, e need to not just believe, but to KNOW that He doesn't want any thing from us. He just wants us. Ad for us to follow Him we must be willing t give up everything we own and everything we are, trusting Him to provide a way that is greater. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20).
So what about Satan? First of all we need to understand that God is God alone; there is none other. Satan does not have the power to do anything that God has not already allowed him to do. Let's take some of that power away from Satan; remember self? It is far more damaging to us than Satan can be in any ways. If we go back to the Garden, where Satan first tempted man, we must remember that "Eve chose to think of what she could not have rather than thinking of all the good things she was blessed with." How many of us can understand this? Haven't we all fallen for this at some point? We want something new, something better. That temptation stares us right in the face and we forget the blessings we have feeling a desperate "need" fr that which we do not have. Until we have it. And something new comes to tempt us. We desire and feel the need to provide for ourselves; suddenly we distrust God's word. We maybe question, or forget, His promises to us. And we fall. Do you see how important it is for us to have that firm foundation> To know His word and have it hidden in our heart? Barclay says, "every man is a walking Civil War....pulled in two directions...if temptation truck no answering chord than temptation would not be temptation."
We need to control our desires. We need to listen to God and not self. Let us go to His word when we are feeling a need. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for he shall receive the crown of life...let no one say "I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one...But each is tempted when he is lured and enticed y his own desires...desire gives birth to sin and sin when grown brings forth death (James 1:12-15).
It is a battle. We are in a war. We need to remember that. And we need to plan ahead. Be a prepper if you will. Let us not forget how revolting sin is; nor that we are alone in our fight against sin. There are numerous examples of those in the pages of God's word, who fought sin. From their playbook we can learn how to prepare for the battle before it strikes. We can better understand how and why we are tempted. Have we already determined to sin? Is our attitude one of defeat or are we sure of the victory we have in Christ? Have we set anything unworthy before our eyes; are we walking in integrity?
What would Jesus do? Its cheesy but there is much we can gain by considering this when trials come our way. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16). Let us be prayerful in all things. Let us have a plan; who we shall call and where we shall turn when temptation comes our way. And not just for ourselves. We all know others who struggle with sin; some who continue to lose the battle again and again. As Stott says " it's too easy to pray sometimes with some perserverance for some of God's people....to replace some with all...introduces us to a new dimension of prayer." Much like being called to love your enemies and to pray for them that do wrong to you. The challenge comes in looking beyond ones sin and shining the truth of God's word on the lie that sin is. See it for what is it; expose it and it cannot live.
Let us never forget, in any trial we face; He will provide a way of escape. It may not look the way we think it should but it will be there. Let us know it. Let us grow in it. And let us do it. Look to Christ, our example, our advocate, our Lord and Saviour...And we shall never fall.
As home educators we are always on the look out for fun ways to incorporate learning into our day to day life. Bake through the Bible is one of those...moreAs home educators we are always on the look out for fun ways to incorporate learning into our day to day life. Bake through the Bible is one of those books. We can call it home economics; we can call it Biblical training, or we can call it snack time. hehe
I was so excited to have the chance to review this one. We love to bake. All three of my little ones spend much time in the kitchen with me. We bake bread, we make our own pizza; we blend smoothies, attempt our own peanut butter and yogurt and almond milk. We dig the seeds out of just about anything we can and plant them and wait and see what grows (If anything at all!). Needless to say we really like our kitchen. And you can tell when you visit. haha
Now I have to admit we have not completed this one. Yet. Due to a bout of bronchitis that had me down for almost three weeks there was very little that we did that took place outside of the couch or my bed upstairs. But this arrived at the same time the rest of our materials came. Did I mentioned we are taking this year to journey through the Bible? Beginning to end – atlases, commentaries, timelines, concordances…We are journeying through His word for the year. And its exciting. Turns out its a tasty trip now too. :-)
Back to Bake through the Bible. There are 20 recipes; that means 20 stories, in all within this book. And they take you from Creation to Revelation (God’s new creation its called). From tasty treats, to smoothies, tuna wraps, fruit tarts, bread, and lamb burgers each recipe goes along with a Bible story (we prefer to read our KJV for each story). With very simple directions, even pictures to show the way, these are all great recipes for little hands (still, with mommas help of course) clearly listing the ingredients and the equipment needed for each recipe.
I really like the discussion questions too! As we are new to narration and notebooking these really help to direct conversation with my older son and allow freedom artistically for my younger ones to create an image as it comes to them, for the stories we study. Some are for while you cook others are for while you eat. I have to say it is harder to engage conversation when we are eating so we usually save the while you eat for, after you have eaten.
Did I mention each recipe and lesson also has a specially written prayer? Cool hey? If you are teaching your children how to pray, this is one more bonus. We did add to some of them as we went along, and some we had to change up a bit due to wording that was a bit confusing but its just one more oportunity to help your children to learn His word, enjoy His word yumm yumm) and spend time with Him in prayer and thanksgiving.
I highly encourage taking the time to Bake through the Bible if you have the opportunity. Its a delicious time for everyone!
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.(less)
Eternity Changes Everything is another book I was given the chance to review. It's a deeper read; mostly because of how it has caused me to begin look...moreEternity Changes Everything is another book I was given the chance to review. It's a deeper read; mostly because of how it has caused me to begin looking at things. Most of us don't (Or do we) consider our actions and how they effect us and others in the long run. Unfortunately, I know I myself, can tend to act rashly at times. Sometimes react without really considering things seriously. So where does this leave us? What does eternity mean for us when we look at the things we say and do today? Let us consider, seriously and like with "eternity on my eyes" as Jonathon Edwards has said. Let us live for that great eternity, with Christ; truly we will see and feel a difference (as will those around us) This is a quick and easy read you will complete in what feels like no time at all. (less)
My three year old got this for his birthday and he just loves having his own Bible. The stories are great; short and sweet for the littler ones. And t...moreMy three year old got this for his birthday and he just loves having his own Bible. The stories are great; short and sweet for the littler ones. And the illustrations are so colorful and fun! This is a great treat. Even my daughter who is only one, loves to carry this around the house! DID I mention the awesome little handle for carrying along the spine of the book! :-)) (less)
This was an amazing book-truly answered many questions for me. Although the accuracy to the Bible should be taken very lightly, this is a read everyon...moreThis was an amazing book-truly answered many questions for me. Although the accuracy to the Bible should be taken very lightly, this is a read everyone should check out! (less)