First sentence: We live in an age of fear, an age that seems poised for the apocalypse.
Premise/plot: In Michael Youssef's newest book he teaches fromFirst sentence: We live in an age of fear, an age that seems poised for the apocalypse.
Premise/plot: In Michael Youssef's newest book he teaches from the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Each chapter covers a section of verses. He argues that believers have much to learn from the first century church and that understanding what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians will help us make sense of the crazy world we're living in. Understanding Paul's message will make a difference in how we live our lives, how we see the world. These two letters serve as a unified message of instruction on a number of issues: • how to build and maintain a healthy church • the importance of evangelism and church planting • the value of godly living and morality • the necessity of living productively and supporting one’s family • above all, the great theological questions surrounding of the second coming of Christ Youssef writes of an end-times paradox: "The paradox is simply this: There has never been more interest in the end times than there is today—yet that interest is not being manifested in the lives of Christians." He asks his readers: "How can anyone sincerely await the return of the Lord, yet live as if the world will go on forever? How can we be watching for the second coming—yet we do so little to reach out to those who would be left behind? There’s nothing wrong with reading about the end times and learning about Bible prophecy, but shouldn’t we also spend time inviting the lost into the Lord’s kingdom?" Reflect on this a minute or two: "One day, the Lord will return to take us to heaven. This truth ought to motivate every dimension of our lives. It ought to inspire us to serve more, to witness more, to give more, to pray more, and to live in the daily expectation that Christ could return at any moment. C.S. Lewis once made this convicting statement: If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next." He concludes, "In short, if we say we expect the return of Christ at any time, we should live like it."
Genuine believers, he argues, are characterized by faith, love, and hope. He writes, "Each of these traits is outgoing, not inward; active, not passive; visible, not hidden; public, not private. Faith is active toward God. Love is active toward other people. Hope is active toward our expectation of the Lord’s return. Faith is anchored in the past, in actual historic events, as we look back to the Lord’s saving work on the cross. Love is anchored in the present, as we practice Christlike love toward the people around us. Hope is anchored in the future, in the trustworthy promises God gave us in his Word. The Bible does not recognize a “private” faith. Faith is, by definition, visible and active. Faith must work. Love must labor. Hope must endure." Genuine believers have been transformed. The three signs of transformation are renewed character, radical conduct, and reliable compensation.
Youssef points out that if we're living like the Lord could return at any time, we will actively be sharing the gospel. And we will be sharing the true gospel no matter the cost. "The reason many Christians today do not experience opposition or hostility from the world is that they do not preach the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ. The true gospel is offensive to the world. But many Christians walk on egg shells, avoiding any subject that might offend. They never speak of sin, hell, judgment, atonement, the cross, the resurrection, or the blood of Jesus. No wonder they never experience any persecution! They are so bland and timid that there is nothing about them that would offend anyone." "The church in America today needs to teach the uncompromised truth. The church needs to display courage in the face of opposition and criticism. The church needs to build up the saints in wisdom and integrity, so that they will stand firm for God’s Word." "If anyone ever calls you narrow-minded for staying true to the gospel, consider it a compliment. No authentic believer should ever want to be praised for being tolerant of error, falsehood, and sin." My thoughts: Feeling convicted yet? I sure was! I love how thought-provoking Youssef's book was. It challenges readers to rethink their lives. It is one thing to say you believe something and quite another to act on your beliefs and use your beliefs as a foundation to how you live day in and day out. It is one thing to say you believe in Christ, and another to obey Christ and follow Him.
Youssef's book is rich in insight. I love how the basis for this book, the basis for his arguments is Scripture itself. ...more
First sentence: Meet Verb. Verb does things. She climbs. She slides. She twirls. Everyone watches Verb. "Wow!" says Interjection. "An impressive displFirst sentence: Meet Verb. Verb does things. She climbs. She slides. She twirls. Everyone watches Verb. "Wow!" says Interjection. "An impressive display," says Adjective. "Very graceful," says Adverb. Verb is happy. Meet Noun. Noun can't DO like Verb. But Noun can BE. He can be a person. Or a place. Or even a thing. Now everyone watches Noun. "Roar!" says Interjection. "Big, scary teeth...tiny little arms," says Adjective. "What will he be next? says Adverb. Verb notices.
Premise/plot: This picture book is set on a playground and stars the parts of speech: Verb, Noun, Adjective, Adverb, Interjection. But are these parts of speech always on the best of terms with each other? Not always apparently! Verb and Noun seem destined to be enemies until something unexpected happens....
My thoughts: I like this one. I do. I'm not sure I love, love, love it. But the illustrations are bright and bold. In addition they are quite silly and expressive. I think I like Verb the best because of her expressions. Noun was hard to relate to--for me--because he kept changing. This grammar-themed picture book is surprisingly action-packed.
Text: 4 out of 5 Illustrations: 3 out of 5 Total: 7 out of 10...more
First sentence: 10:00 am, Headquarters. "Headquarters. Wilcox, here." "This is Henrietta Hen. My precious Penny is missing." "Did she fly the coop?" IFirst sentence: 10:00 am, Headquarters. "Headquarters. Wilcox, here." "This is Henrietta Hen. My precious Penny is missing." "Did she fly the coop?" I asked. "Oh no! She can't fly." "Did she run away?" I probed. "Oh no! She can't run." "Can't fly or run? I've never heard of a chicken who couldn't cross the road." "She's not a chicken." "Not a chicken? What is she?" "An egg." I sure had egg on my face. "Are you sure she's gone?" "Yes, Detective. I always count my chickens before they hatch." "We're on our way!" I said. "Captain, we've got a Code 0, a poached egg." The captain held up a pot of water. "Not poached as in boiled," I said, "poached as in stolen!" We jumped into our cruiser and flew to the coop.
Premise/plot: This is the second book in the early reader mystery/detective series by Robin Newman. Wilcox and Griswold have another case to solve on the farm. This time it's a kidnapping case. Someone stole an egg. But who? And why? Can these two solve the crime and return Penny to her mother before she's hatched?!
My thoughts: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series. I loved the first book, and I love the second book just as much if not more. I love Robin Newman's writing. I love her puns. I love the dialogue. I love the pace. I also love just the energy these two bring to any case they are working on. I would definitely recommend this series to young readers. ...more