Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Truth Project: Lesson Eleven – The American Experiment: Stepping Stones

These tours just get better and better. Each one challenges me more deeply. And I believe, after watching this one and participating in discussion with my small group, I am finally on fire to take action. So, here we go…

Our founding fathers came from a comprehensive Biblical Worldview. These Pilgrims and Puritans wanted to use a Biblical model to establish the civil authority. Isaiah 33:22 identifies the Lord as judge, lawgiver and king. This is the basis of our three branches of government (judicial, legislative and executive).

In colonial times in America, the second best-selling book (after the Bible) was The New England Primer. It was used to teach children to read. This book is filled with catechisms and prayers and morality. What a wonderful foundation for colonial children’s education. No wonder there was a deep belief in God in past generations. Universities were originally established on Christian values as well.

Outsiders to our culture even noticed that the American notions of Christianity and liberty were so tightly woven together that one could not conceive of one without the other! That is the foundation of our country. Where did it go?

Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence using legal language which included the knowledge that men “…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” Endowed by their Creator. Not the state!

Back in the early days of our country, when a new law was being presented for adoption in government, it would not have been considered an affront to ask the presenter where in the Scriptures the law found its basis. That is how we remained in God’s will, by making sure our laws lined up with His! Paul tells us to be like the Bereans and test everything against the scriptures. From now on when I vote, I will be asking myself how the law/candidate lines up with the Scriptures. I can feel the empowerment already.

I learned that, ten years after Origin of the Species was published, Harvard University got a new president who believed in that the theory of evolution was true. One year after that, an unqualified applicant found himself heading the Harvard Law School because he happened to agree with the University president that evolution was true. This is probably the time frame that legal textbooks ceased being evangelical tools. Dr. Tackett said that there are probably very few law students who come to Christ because of reading a textbook today.

We must remember, repent and return as Revelation 2:5 says. Remember where we came from and Who our Creator is. Repent of our sins, apathy and tolerance. Return to the service of the Lord. This is a powerful lesson. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This has ignited a fire in my belly. I have allowed my children to make bad choices, including not attending church. After watching this video and some other study that I’m doing, I feel the conviction to be the parent that my kids need…the parent that this nation needs to grow up the next generation of believers.

I have been hiding my light beneath a basket. Well, no more. Lord Jesus, get rid of the basket and fill me with Your fire to make the light shine! Hallelujah!

Monday, October 29, 2012

At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver

About At the Feet of Jesus:
You were made for more than serving God; you were made to know Him.

Intimacy with God-to know Him and be known by Him. It is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted.

For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, At the Feet of Jesus extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver's beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and "Going Deeper" sidebars are also woven throughout.

Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus-where true life begins!

Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/erC31
Meet Joanna:

Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna's greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor's wife.

Find out more about Joanna at http://www.joannaweaverbooks.com/.

Here is my review of this wonderful devotional:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Joanna Weaver and her publisher for sending me a copy of "At the Feet of Jesus" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Joanna Weaver’s new 366-day devotional book, “At the Feet of Jesus” is a beautiful guide for time spent with the Lord.  The devotional text is comprised of excerpts from Weaver’s wonderful books:  “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World”, “Lazarus Awakening” and “Having a Mary Spirit”.  This encouraging volume would be a great holiday gift for yourself or someone else.

The “Going Deeper” sections offer encouragement, tips and techniques for activities such as journaling, memorizing scripture, praying God’s word, creating a unique quiet time, personal Bible study and prayer.  The unique, do-able Bible reading plan and instructions for how to create a personal reading plan at www.becominghis.com is another great feature.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 10

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Joshua, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong and very courageous. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 10 of the Old Testament book of Joshua. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

10:1-5 – A ripple effect – now the king of Jerusalem has heard about Israel’s conquests and the treaty with Gibeon. So, he convinced the other Amorite kings (Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon) to join him in attacking Gibeon.

10:6-7 – Gibeon requested help from Israel and Joshua marched.

Would you come to the aid of someone who deceived you?

10:8 – The Lord assured Joshua that the Amorites’ land was Israel’s.

10:9-10 – Israel defeated the Amorites at Gibeon and chased them until they fled.

10:11 – The Lord killed more Amorites with huge hailstones than were killed in battle.

10:12-13 – Joshua asked the Lord to stop the sun and the Lord did so for a full day.

Why this interruption in the chase of the Amorites?

10:14-15 – It was declared that the Lord is fighting for Israel, then they returned to their camp at Gilgal.

10:16-21 – The Amorites hid in a cave and Israel blocked the entrance with rocks and attacked them from the rear, killing almost every man.

10:22-24 – They brought the five kings out of the cave and subdued them.

10:24 – What is significant about putting their feet on the necks of the kings? Public humiliation.

10:25 – Joshua tells Israel to be strong and courageous. He explains that the Lord will do this for all of the enemies that Israel fights.

10:26 – Joshua killed the kings and hung them from five trees until sundown.

10:27 – At sunset, Israel took down the bodies, threw them in the cave where they hid, and piled rocks at the mouth.

10:28 – Joshua took Makkedah, leaving no survivors. He did to the king of Makkedah what he’s done to the king of Jericho. What was that? I don’t recall reading anything specific about how the king of Jericho was treated. Do you think this means he was treated differently than other kings? 6:21 says Israel destroyed everyone living in Jericho. Wouldn’t that include the king?

10:29-30 – Israel conquered Libnah, leaving no survivors.

10:31-33 – The next day, Israel conquered Lachish and Gezer (a kingdom that came to Lachish’s aid), leaving no survivors.

10:34-35 The same day, Israel conquered Eglon, leaving no survivors. How tired was Israel at this point? Or do you think that God was doing most of the work?

10:36-39 – Israel conquered Hebron and Debir. There is no mention of when. I wonder why not.

10:40-43 – The Lord fought for Israel and conquered the entire region in one campaign! WOW! Then Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal. This happened in a very short period of time. And, yes, the Lord did most of the work.




• The book of Joshua teaches us many things including the fact that we must pursue a relationship with the Lord for ourselves rather than leaning on others’ relationships with Him. Joshua followed Moses as leader of Israel, after all. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• How do you observe God proving to Israel that He is with Joshua as He was with Moses in today’s text? How does it apply to your own life and relationship with Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman


Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.

Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.

As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart-that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?


Summerside Press 2012





About Anita Higman

Anita Higman is the author of 24 books, including fiction, nonfiction, children's books, and plays. Among her published romance titles are Larkspur Dreams, The Love Song, and Castles in the Air, all coauthored with Janice A. Thompson. Her mysteries include Another Stab at Life and Another Hour to Kill. Anita is a member of ACFW and the Christian Humor Writers' Group, and she has been recognized for her involvement in literacy programs. A Texan for the past 24 years, Anita has coauthored an award-winning book about her home state, A Tribute to Early Texas. She lives with her family near Houston.


To learn about Anita, visit her online: www.anitahigman.com/


Here is my review of this wonderful holiday romance:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Anita Higman and her publisher for sending me a copy of "A Merry Little Christmas" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“A Merry Little Christmas” by Anita Higman is a lovely Christmas romance about a man and a woman chasing after their dreams, which leads them across each other’s paths. Franny grew up on an Oklahoma farm, but she has dreamed of “being near the music” for as long as she can remember. So she puts her family farm up for sale and waits for her opportunity to become a radio disc jockey.

Charlie Landau is a rich man who has failed at every venture he’s pursued. He wants to prove to his father that he is ready to run the family businesses, but he’s always dreamed of living on a farm.

Filled with charm and romance and godliness, this charming love story shows how long-term bondage can be conquered by love and truth. This book is a wonderful way to spend a winter day by the fire.

The Truth Project: Lesson Ten – The State: Whose Law?

Dr. Tackett begins this lesson by saying that the student may not love this tour because it’s where many students learn that they’ve been captivated by the world. Whoa! He is not pulling any punches. Praise Jesus! According to the Webster’s 1928 Dictionary, politics is the science of government and a part of ethics. What? Ethics? Really? This definition goes on to say that politics is supposed to preserve and improve our morals. Did I miss something? That is so not what politics in the USA looks like! We must ask ourselves how God sees the ethics vs. morals dilemma. Dr. Tackett talks about stealing. The taking of what is not yours implies ownership of property. Tackett poses the question: Can the state steal? The answer is a resounding YES! Did you know that there are some laws that allow the state to steal half the property of a dead man? Look it up. Then take the time to have your Last Will and Testament drawn up!

We must remember that God is in control. He is sovereign over all kings and has placed over each of us the “rulers” to whom we must submit. The contents of the “state” sphere are God, the king and the citizens. And this sphere can become the most terrible monster of all! The state sphere is not sovereign over all of the other spheres (Family, Labor, Church, God & Man, Community). The idea of sphere sovereignty is absolutely critical to God! Take a look at 2 Chronicles 26. Tackett calls this one of the saddest chapters in the Bible. I would have to agree. It shows how the state blurs that line of sovereignty and the corruption that ensues.

Romans 13 tells us that the king is supposed to be God’s servant. This is a powerful responsibility. And sadly, it’s a responsibility that is too often taken lighty and its power is abused. The role of the civil authority is to punish evil and condone good. This means that both good and evil exist and that the civil authority must be able to distinguish between the two. Therefore the civil authority is the delegated agent of God’s wrath. Does this even remotely resemble our government? I wonder what standard our leaders are using to determine right from wrong.

What has happened in our nation and others is that the state is exercising sovereignty over the other spheres. In doing so, God becomes a problem and must be eliminated. The New World Order tells us that we must save ourselves. Then the state becomes the savior to the people that God alone should be.

There are five attributes that marked the Roman Empire when it came to an end: A mounting love of show and luxury; An obsession with sex; Freakishness in the arts; Enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; and An increased desire to live off of the state. Sound familiar?

Dr. Tackett ends our tour with a few questions that we need to ask ourselves: Am I wanting the state to do something because it benefits me and I don’t care if the state “steals” from someone else? Is that the Biblical role of the state? Have we entered into partnership with the state when it violates God’s laws?

Three compelling questions. But what I want to know is how do I change things? Once I’ve asked myself those questions and gotten a less-than-stellar answer, how do I make a difference? Do I live under man’s law as the authority that God placed over me? Or do I take a stand for God’s law? It looks like I have a lot of praying and studying to do.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller


Can a marriage of convenience ever become one of true love?

Ingrid Larsen arrives in Michigan in 1871 with little more than the clothes on her back and a determination to find her brother, who has disappeared into the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely hanging on to hope, the young Swedish immigrant crosses paths with Joshua Hunter, a newly widowed farmer with eyes the color of the ocean she had crossed and five rambunctious children to raise on his own.

Marriage would solve both of their problems, and Ingrid finds herself proposing in broken English to a man she barely knows. Many difficulties lie ahead--but the hardest battle of all will be winning the heart of her new husband.

Here's my review of this incredible romance novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Serena B. Miller and her publisher for sending me a copy of "A Promise to Love" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Serena B. Miller’s latest novel is a wonderful work of romantic historical fiction called “A Promise to Love”.  This well-crafted and meticulously detailed story of a young Swedish woman, Ingrid Larsen, who has traveled to America to find her twin brother, Hans, plucks at the heartstrings.  When Ingrid impulsively offers to marry Joshua Harris, a recently widowed farmer who is threatened with having his 5 children taken from him, the emotionally charged love story takes flight.  As a drought threatens the Michigan farming and logging communities, the story transforms into an action-packed adventure.

This book has it all:  warm, likable characters, humor, romance, action, conflict and a thread of faith that inspires.  There are many moments where a tear may trickle and a sigh is the only appropriate response to the narrative.  “A Promise to Love” is an educational, entertaining and inspiring read that I confidently recommend as an addition to a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 9

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Joshua, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong and very courageous. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 9 of the Old Testament book of Joshua. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

9:1-2 – The “ites” joined forces to make war with Israel.

9:3-6 – The Gibeonites laid an elaborate plot to trick Israel into making a treaty with them.

9:3 – The Gibeonites were afraid because they heard of what happened at Jericho and Ai.

Why do you think this made them nervous? Gibeon (aka Gibeah) was 8 miles northwest of Jerusalem, and about the same distance south of Ai.

9:7 – Why does Israel think the are talking to Hivites? Were the Gibeonites a sub-group of the Hivites? Hivites were found in Gibeon and other cities.

9:8 – “We are your servants” – false humility? Trickery? Seeking to be under Israel’s protection? This claim turns out to be prophetic!

9:9-10 – The Gibeonites knew a lot about Israel: all that the Lord did in Egypt, what happened to Sihon and Og. Can you recall these stories? Can you name all that the Lord did in Egypt? If not, look these things up. If the Gibeonites knew these things, shouldn’t we?

Notice that the Gibeonites didn’t mention what happened at Jericho and Ai. This adds authenticity to their claim that they were from a far away land since these events were fairly recent and a normal scouting party wouldn’t have gotten such information back to them, yet. Or perhaps this omission is a tell-tale sign of deception because there would have been a scouting party ahead of the main traveling group. Either way, these Gibeonites are crafty. What do you think?

9:11-13 – The Gibeonites convinced Israel that they were from far away with some old clothes, stale bread and cracked wineskins.

9:14-15 – Joshua commits a fatal mistake again (see 7:2-3) by not inquiring of the Lord before making the treaty. I wonder why he didn’t. Perhaps he thought that the Lord would initiate contact like He did in Achan’s case. But even in that instance, damage was done prior to Israel getting right with God.

Do you inquire of Him so you don’t end up suffering unwanted consequences? Do you wait on His answer before proceeding? I still struggle with putting both of these into practice.

9:16 – Three days after the treaty was made, Israel heard that the Gibeonites were their neighbors.

9:17-18 – When Israel came upon the Gibeonite cities, they didn’t attack because of the treaty. This made the people grumble against the leaders. Grumbling is bad even if there are squatters on your land and you are powerless to remove them because of a promise.

9:19-21 – The leaders kept their promise not to kill the Gibeonites, but put them to work as water carriers and wood cutters.

This may seem harmless and even a bit beneficial for Israel, but what negative affects can you see besides losing some land and mingling with one of the “ites”?

9:22-27 – When Joshua confronted the Gibeonites about the deception, they explained that they were clearly told about how the Lord commanded Moses to give this land to Israel and wipe out the inhabitants. They deceived Israel to save their lives and were willing to accept the “curse” of servitude. Look back at 9:3. When the Gibeonites heard that Israel had conquered Jericho and Ai, do you think they saw the Lord moving against them and getting closer?




• The book of Joshua teaches us many things including the fact that we must pursue a relationship with the Lord for ourselves rather than leaning on others’ relationships with Him. Joshua followed Moses as leader of Israel, after all. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• How do you observe God proving to Israel that He is with Joshua as He was with Moses in today’s text? How does it apply to your own life and relationship with Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

The Sons of Jude by Brandt Dodson


The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job.

It soon becomes clear, as another young woman--a potential witness--is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, a payback for bringing cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman? Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.


About the author:

Brandt Dodson comes from a long line of police officers dating back more than seventy years on both sides of his family. In addition, he was employed with the Indianapolis office of the FBI. He has lived in Chicago and travels to the city annually.

Here is my review of this suspenseful read:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Brandt Dodson and his publisher for sending me a copy of "The Sons of Jude" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

I don’t know why I was surprised by Brandt Dodson’s “The Sons of Jude”. This wonderful novel captured my attention from page one and held me hostage until I devoured the last words. Dodson writes from experience, and it shows. The details of our protagonist’s story engaged me on several levels: emotional, spiritual and intellectual, primarily. These details could only be penned by one who experienced them.

Frank Campello is a seasoned police officer who has recently lost his partner in a shooting. Andy Polanski is a recent transfer to the 28th precinct and a “troublemaker”. When Frank is saddled with Polanski as his new partner so he can keep an eye on him, his troubles intensify. Although resistant to the pairing, Campello maintains professionalism as these colliding worlds begin to crumble. Reporter

Christy Lee is staying close to Polanski, waiting for a break in what promises to be a juicy story of police corruption. But the nightmare that has unleashed itself upon the Chicago cops has found its way to Lee’s doorstep as well. The three must work together to defeat the true foe in this thrilling, suspenseful read.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Truth Project: Lesson Nine – Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?


This is my absolute favorite tour yet!  Unio mystica means “mystical union”.  Our mystical union with the infinite King of the universe is the heart of our belief as Christians!  We share a divine intimacy with the Lord.  Apart from Him, I am a dry stick on the ground.

Because I am a believer, the infinite God of the universe dwells in me!  Do I act like I believe this?  Not really, no.  How about you?

The topic of social laws was touched upon.  There are “Unique and Particular” social laws that apply to specific relationships.  These relationships are represented by the spheres at the top of the temple drawing that has been shown and discussed throughout The Truth Project study.  There are “General and Universal” social laws that apply to everything.  When we blur the social laws by applying the wrong law to the wrong relationship, we distort God’s design.  For example, with regard to “labor”, a man refusing to work for a woman and citing a verse about “family” is blurring the social laws that apply to “labor” and “family” relationships.

Another potential danger is blurring the relationship spheres themselves.  For instance, if you go to “church”, you may feel that you have satisfied the “God and man” relationship.  And, conversely, if you enjoy “God and man” fellowship outside of “church”, you may think that you don’t need to attend “church” at all.  We must know and apply the appropriate social laws to the proper relationship spheres.

Here is some phenomenal news about relationships:  God has adopted us as sons, inviting us into the Godhead because the Holy Spirit indwells us.  HALLELUJAH!  He is interested in oneness.

What keeps us from intimacy?  Deep fellowship?  Unity?  Oneness?  That is the root of our problem.

We need to remember and obey the Lord’s commands.  When we don’t, we prostitute ourselves by pursuing the lusts of our hearts and eyes.

We are hungry for significance.  This is beautiful when it is satisfied within a covenant relationship.  But this hunger has the potential  to destroy us if we attempt to satisfy this hunger  outside of a covenant relationship.

Monday, October 15, 2012

At The Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver

About At the Feet of Jesus

You were made for more than serving God; you were made to "know" Him.

Intimacy with God--to know Him and be known by Him. It is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted.

For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, "At the Feet of Jesus" extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver's beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and "Going Deeper" sidebars are also woven throughout.

Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus--where true life begins

Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.

About Joanna Weaver

With more than one million books in print, Joanna Weaver is the best-selling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, Lazarus Awakening, and the award-winning gift book With This Ring. Her books have been translated into several languages around the world.

Weaver's articles have appeared in such publications as Focus on the Family, Guideposts, and In Touch. She has also appeared on a number of national TV and radio broadcasts such as The Harvest Show, Midday Connection, HomeWord and others.

She is also a highly sought-after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high-profile events each year.

As much as she loves writing and speaking, her greatest joy is found in being a pastor's wife and a mother. The parents of three, Joanna and her pastor husband, John, live in Montana.

Learn more about Joanna Weaver and her books at www.JoannaWeaverBooks.com. Readers can also keep up with her via Facebook and Twitter.

Here's my review of this wonderful devotional:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Joanna Weaver and her publisher for sending me a copy of "At the Feet of Jesus" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Joanna Weaver’s new 366-day devotional book, “At the Feet of Jesus” is a beautiful guide for time spent with the Lord.  The devotional text is comprised of excerpts from Weaver’s wonderful books:  “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World”, “Lazarus Awakening” and “Having a Mary Spirit”.  This encouraging volume would be a great holiday gift for yourself or someone else.

The “Going Deeper” sections offer encouragement, tips and techniques for activities such as journaling, memorizing scripture, praying God’s word, creating a unique quiet time, personal Bible study and prayer.  The unique, do-able Bible reading plan and instructions for how to create a personal reading plan at www.becominghis.com is another great feature.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 8

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Joshua, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong and very courageous. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 8 of the Old Testament book of Joshua. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

8:1-2 – God told Joshua to take Ai by ambush, and they could take the plunder this time.

8:3 – Joshua chose 30,000 men and sent them at night. Why? Sneak attack? No, to plan and lay the trap.

8:4-8 – What a brilliant battle plan! Take a minute to sketch it out. What was similar about this plan to the taking of Jericho?

8:9 – The place of the ambush was set between Bethel and Ai. Joshua stayed with the people. At Jericho?

8:10-13 – Joshua marched to Ai, set the trap and entered the valley.

8:14-17 – Ai and Bethel pursued Israel and were led far from the city.

8:18-19 – The Lord used Joshua’s javelin to signal the ambush party to take Ai and burn it. Was Israel tempted to take Bethel, too?

8:20 – Ai knew they’d fallen into a trap. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Surrounded with nowhere to go? How did it feel? What did you do? What lesson(s) did you learn?

8:22-23 – Only the king of Ai was spared. Why? See verse 29. All of the men of Bethel are dead, too.

8:25 – 12,000 people of Ai died.

8:28 – heap of ruins – another monument? To what? What can happen when you obey God?

8:29 – He hung the king of Ai on a tree – cursed? For all to see? He only hung there until sunset, then was taken down, thrown at the city gate and covered with rocks. It is likely that only Israel saw him.

8:30-32 – Where have we seen this type of altar before?

8:30 – Mt. Ebal was where the curses were shouted from in Deuteronomy 11:29 (also see Deuteronomy 27 & 28).

The altar is described in Exodus 20:24-26.

This very altar is detailed in Deuteronomy 27.

8:34-35 – Joshua read all that Moses has written to the people after offering sacrifices on the altar. Joshua had the original – and at this point, probably the only – copy of the scriptures. This is the very first Torah, Tanakh, Bible! Perhaps written in Moses’ own hand…




• The book of Joshua teaches us many things including the fact that we must pursue a relationship with the Lord for ourselves rather than leaning on others’ relationships with Him. Joshua followed Moses as leader of Israel, after all. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• How do you observe God proving to Israel that He is with Joshua as He was with Moses in today’s text? How does it apply to your own life and relationship with Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

When A Heart Stops by Lynette Eason


The highly-anticipated second installment in the Deadly Reunions series, When a Heart Stops will have readers staying up late as they race to the finish to find out what happens. Full of the suspense and romantic tension reader have come to expect from Lynette Eason, When a Heart Stops is intense, emotional and fast-paced.
Spunky and outgoing, nothing much bothers medical examiner Serena Hopkins--except for the thought of falling in love again. But when a serial killer is picking off her former classmates, Serena's life becomes intertwined with her old high school crush, FBI agent Dominic Allen. Is the secret she's keeping putting her next on the killer's hit list? Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it's too late?

Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home, Don't Look Back, A Killer Among Us and When the Smoke Clears. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina. Visit her website at www.lynetteeason.com and follow her on Twitter at @LynetteEason.

Here is my review of this wonderful suspense novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Lynette Eason and her publisher for sending me a copy of "When a Heart Stops" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Lynette Eason’s “When a Heart Stops” is the second action-packed novel in her Deadly Reunions series.  Serena Hopkins is the medical examiner performing the autopsies on the victims of a copycat serial killer.  FBI Agent Dominic Allen is working the same case from another investigative angle.  When Serena and Dominic meet in the professional arena, the beautiful ME’s childhood crush on her best friend’s brother blossoms into more and it isn’t a one-sided infatuation.  But when it appears that the killer has targeted Serena, the two work feverishly to discover his identity before Serena’s time runs out.

This well-paced, suspenseful romance is a wonderful weekend read!  The reader will enjoy this novel as a standalone book, and those who have enjoyed the first book in the series will be thrilled at the continuing subplot regarding the disappearance of Serena and Alexia’s best friend the night of graduation, and the reunion with characters they’ve come to love in “When the Smoke Clears”.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Truth Project: Lesson Eight – Sociology: The Divine Imprint


Before each session, I go through the materials I found online submitted by others.  They include transcribed notes from the teaching sessions and lengthy fill in the blank sheets.  Doing this gives me a decent overview of what is going to be presented in class that day.

This week I actually had the opportunity to use what I’ve been learning through the sessions and my debriefing as I write these blog posts.  I read online where Bill Nye has recently blasted Creationism and lauded evolution.  When I first read the article, I couldn’t think of a single response to refute what was being said.  So, I went back to my notes and re-read Darwin’s thoughts on how the geological record doesn’t really support his theory of evolution and how what has been learned in molecular biology supports intelligent design.  But are those two nuggets of fact enough to refute a gung-ho evolutionist?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  What we must remember is that it’s God’s job to draw men to Him.  It’s not our job to convict or convince.  Does this take the pressure off?  I hope so.  Just stay informed and keep researching the truth.

Now, onto sociology.  I loved this subject in college!  Apparently, my Pastor/Facilitator loved this subject, too.  Psychology for the masses…  It’s a God thing that our Pastor preached last weekend on relationships with others.  Wow!  God sure does know how to drive a point home.  Doesn’t He?

Del Tackett opens this week’s lecture with readings from Psalm 19 and Job 12.  The Job verses begin by saying “…ask the animals, and they will teach you…”  Really?  Who put that in Scripture while I wasn’t looking?  I need to pay better attention when I read and study the Word!  Anyway, Tackett spoke about the chicken egg and how it is structured and how perfectly God created it to produce the chicken!  The science of this is amazing.  Really.

This brings us to our key thought for this tour:  God is a God of order.  Is this a surprise to anyone?  Del Tackett says that “random, purposeless, mindless forces should produce a random, purposeless, mindless cosmos.  But that is not what we have!”

The teaching continues as Tackett shows the triune nature of God and how the three Persons of the Trinity relate to each other.  He then shows the parallels of the structure and function of the Trinity with that of the family and the church.  It’s all about relationships.  The fall of man damaged those relationships.  The secular worldview distorts those relationships.

There is nothing more honorable or powerful than submitting to God’s authority.  I take this a step further and include submission to the authority He places over me.  But the world has made submission an ugly word, a weak word.  But God is honored when we submit to Him and when we live our lives in accordance with how He created the family to be.

What one thing might you change this week to live more in accordance with what God desires for your family and your church?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Trouble With Cowboys by Denise Hunter



Only one pair of boots-and the cowboy wearing them-can get Annie out of the mess she's in.

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek's premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew.

When Annie's column is cancelled, she's given first shot at a new lovelorn column-and she can't afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie's never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town's smooth-talking ladies' man Dylan Taylor: She'll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he'll help her answer the reader letters.

Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can't risk getting hurt now.

The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister's antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn't know what to trust-her head or her heart.

The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.


Thomas Nelson 2012


About Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is the nationally published author of bestsellers Sweetwater Gap and Surrender Bay. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't writing she's busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.

You can learn more about Denise through her website www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by joining her FaceBook group.


Here's my review of this terrific novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Denise Hunter and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Trouble with Cowboys" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Denise Hunter’s “The Trouble with Cowboys” is an incredible romance.  Annie Wilkerson, a gifted horse whisperer of sorts, writes an advice column about horse care.  Or at least she used to.  Since her column has been cut from the magazine, her editor went out on a limb to get her another assignment.  But writing advice to the lovelorn isn’t Annie’s forte.  So she seeks the assistance of an expert on the subject, Dylan Taylor, an obvious ladies man in Annie’s way of thinking.  His help with her column seems to be the perfect trade-off for her help with his horse.
 
The trouble is that Annie finds her attraction to Dylan growing, but she doesn’t trust cowboys.  And Dylan is ALL cowboy!  On the flip side of the coin, Dylan has been burned by love and even though his feelings for Annie run significantly deeper than his usual companions, he is having a tough time trusting his heart.

This terrific love story warms the heart and reunites the reader with several characters from Denise Hunter’s other novels.  It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend!
 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson



Two families on opposite sides of the globe are shaken by the rise and fall of the Titanic, "queen of the ocean."

When pampered Jacqueline Abington makes secret plans to elope with the family gardener, she concocts a scheme for another woman to take her place on the much-anticipated maiden voyage of the Titanic. From a poor corner of London, Tessa Bowen has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime-a ticket to sail to America aboard a famed vessel. But there's a catch: she must assume another woman's identity. For the first time in her life, Tessa stays in expensive quarters, dresses in luxurious gowns, and dines with prestigious people. Then a wealthy young American man takes an interest in her, and Tessa must struggle to keep up the ruse even as she finds herself falling for him. When tragedy strikes, the game is up, and Tessa's life is forever changed.

"I absolutely loved this novel. Janice Thompson captures the true heart of the voyage and makes us feel as if we are a part of the Titanic. She also makes sure God's love shines through this tragedy and shows that He has better things in store!"

-Cathy Peeling, great-niece of Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic


"Janice Thompson has concocted a tale I couldn't put down. Queen of the Waves is a deft weaving of deceit confronted by truth, shame confounded by love, and guilt swallowed in forgiveness. Beautifully written, this is a very different take on Titanic's many stories-one you won't want to miss, one you won't forget."

-Christy-Award winning author Cathy Gohlke


About the Author

Janice Hanna (also published as Janice A. Thompson) has published more than thirty novels plus devotionals, magazine articles, and several musical comedies for the stage. Janice has four daughters and four grandchildren, and she makes her home in the Houston area.

Read more at www.janiceathompson.com.


Here is my review of this wonderful historical romance:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Janice Thompson and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Queen of the Waves" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Janice Thompson’s “Queen of the Waves” is not your usual Janice Thompson fare.  In this intriguing twist of events, Tessa Bowen, a poor English pig farmer’s daughter, finds herself impersonating the wealthy Jacqueline Abingdon as she embarks on the journey of a lifetime.  Meanwhile, Jacquie has plans of her own:  to run away with her family’s gardener!  This novel is full of plot twists, romance and drama.  Knowing the history of Titanic actually makes the heart pump harder and the pages turn faster as the story approaches its dramatic conclusion.

These talented authors have painstakingly researched these subjects to portray the most accurate stories possible.  I even did some research myself while reading the novels to verify some of their facts.  I highly recommend these two amazing books.  Each is a wonderful way to spend a weekend in front of the fire sipping cider now that the fall season is upon us.  These emotional reads have the potential to take the reader to new heights in their own relationship with God as they imagine the Lord’s planning and provision in the lives of those who really lived these adventures and translate that loving care to their own lives.

Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson



A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1842 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety. But whom can she trust with her heart?

For two thousand miles along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her family must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. Together they weather autumn storms, hunger and thirst, and the dangers of a wild and unfamiliar country. But when their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they must rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to rescue them from the icy water.

Alex escorts Samantha and her young brother, Micah, to Fort Vancouver. There Samantha is overwhelmed with men vying for her affections, but the only one who intrigues her-Alex-is the one she cannot have. When his betrothed arrives unexpectedly from England to escort him home, Samantha becomes determined to create a home for herself and Micah in the fertile valley far away from the fort. But how will an unmarried woman support herself and her brother in the wilderness alone? Then Micah disappears into the wilderness one rainy night, and Samantha must rely on the man she loves-the man she's trying desperately to forget-to rescue her brother before it's too late.

"A lovely, well-paced novel with enchanting characters and surprising plot twists. This is not your typical Oregon Trail story-there is more love than loss and more hope than grief on this wagon train west. Melanie Dobson gives her readers the delight of what happens after people arrived in the Oregon territory, with the assurance that the end of the trail is really not the end after all."

-Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of All Together in One Place

About the Author

Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside's Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.

Melanie and her family enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn't writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

For more about Melanie Dobson and her books, visit www.melaniedobson.com.

Here is my review of this incredible historical novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Melanie Dobson and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Where the Trail Ends" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Where the Trail Ends” by Melanie Dobson is a fascinating dramatization surrounding a wagon train’s travels on the Oregon Trail in the mid 1800s.  Samantha Waldron and her brother, Micah, are living a perilous life as their father steers their wagon westward.  Under the leadership of the grumpy Captain Loewe and the protection of handsome Jack Doyle, the challenges of trail life take their toll on this family and others in the caravan.  Enduring hardship is only the beginning.  Alexander Clarke’s presence at Fort Vancouver takes Samantha’s heart by surprise until she learns that he is engaged and leaving the country to marry his fiancĂ©.
 
These talented authors have painstakingly researched these subjects to portray the most accurate stories possible.  I even did some research myself while reading the novels to verify some of their facts.  I highly recommend these two amazing books.  Each is a wonderful way to spend a weekend in front of the fire sipping cider now that the fall season is upon us.  These emotional reads have the potential to take the reader to new heights in their own relationship with God as they imagine the Lord’s planning and provision in the lives of those who really lived these adventures and translate that loving care to their own lives.

Friday, October 05, 2012

You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren

Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.

To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She's a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband's mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O'Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.

Twenty years later, Annalise couldn't be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?

For the story behind You Don't Know Me, visit: http://ow.ly/cM5QW



Tyndale House Publishers 2012


About Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of thirty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she's also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women's events speaker, she's a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer's workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Find out more at www.susanmaywarren.com.


Here is my review of this wonderful book:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Susan May Warren and her publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "You Don't Know Me" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Susan May Warren’s latest addition to her beautiful novels about Deep Haven, “You Don’t Know Me”, blends the Deep Haven drama and romance with the author’s gift for suspense and intrigue. When her husband’s political career draws Annalise Decker into the spotlight, Witness Security Agent Frank Harrison shows up to inform her that Luis Garcia, the man she testified against and sent to prison, has jumped parole.

The last twenty years Annalise has spent in the Witness Security Program comes crashing upon her and the family that knows nothing about her past. In the midst of high school plays and volleyball practice, Annalise weighs her options to protect her family from danger. Decisions must be made, confessions must take place. Should she relocate alone or take her family with her, destroying her husband’s political career and her children’s lives? And this is only the beginning.

This is one of SMW’s best novels to date! Warren’s passion for family and sporting events shines through in her narrative. The fast-paced plot is like a roller coaster ride that keeps the pages of this amazing book turning. I definitely want more of this extreme Deep Haven suspense!

Bible Study: Be Strong and Courageous - Joshua Chapter 7

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Joshua, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong and very courageous. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 7 of the Old Testament book of Joshua. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

7:1 – “acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things.” Achan, a member of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things, angering God.

7:2-3 – Joshua sent spies to Ai who informed him that there were few men there and to send only 3000 Israelites to take the land.

What didn’t Joshua do? Why do you think he didn’t do it? If Joshua had sought the Lord, what do you think would have happened?

7:4-5 – The men of Ai defeated Israel, killing 36 men and Israel was afraid.

Do you think these men were from the tribes of Ephraim, Gad and Manasseh? Why might they have been from there?

7:6 – tore his clothes – a sign of distress.

Fell facedown before the ark – submission, petition.

Remained there till evening – how long have you remained like this before God?

The elders did the same and sprinkled dust on their heads. The sprinkling of dust is a sign of mourning. For Israel’s sin, yet undiscovered? For the 36 men who died? For their realization that they should have consulted God before attacking Ai?

7:7-9 – Joshua’s prayer asks “why” and “what will the Lord do for His own name if Israel is wiped from the earth”. What does this tell you Joshua knows about the promises of God?

7:10-13 – God answers Joshua’s prayer by saying there is sin in Israel and it must be destroyed if Israel is to stand against their enemies.

7:11 – “taken some of the devoted things.” See 7:1.

7:14-21 – An elaborate selection process is planned and executed revealing that Achan took the devoted things. See verse 1.

Why such an elaborate selection process? So everyone would know it wasn’t Joshua making the decision against Achan. Israel had to know it was God identifying the guilty one. Why might that be important? Can you imagine the build-up of tension?

7:18 – What do you think was running through Joshua’s mind when his own tribe was chosen? As his tribal brothers came forward? As Achan was selected?

7:20 – Achan admitted his sin immediately when confronted. Do you? Can you think of another instance in the Bible where a sinner was confronted and admitted their sin? David with Nathan? The unbelieving father with Jesus? The Samaritan woman at the well?

7:21 – Why do you suppose the Bible describes the devoted things Achan stole? How can you apply this to your own life to help you in your walk with Christ?

7:24 – “Achor” means trouble. The word looks a bit like Achan’s name, doesn’t it? It is actually another form of his name. Do you know the meaning of your name? When we get to heaven, the Lord will give us a new name. What would you like your new name to mean? How about allowing Him to live up to that by letting Him work through you!

7:25 – What trouble did Achan bring on Israel? What was God’s punishment for Achan’s sin?

In our notes for verse 20, we mentioned other passages where a sinner was confronted with and admitted their sin. How were those stories similar to Achan’s? How were they different? How did those stories end in comparison with the end met by Achan and his family? Why do you think they ended differently?

What lesson does this passage hold for us, today?

Israel stoned Achan, first. Did he try to run, maybe? His family watched. Do you think they just stood there silently? Maybe they cried or screamed. Did they know what was coming? Then Israel stoned his family and cattle. This must have been chaotic! The cattle would have trampled smaller animals and people. After it was over, Israel burned them. Why do you think they did this?

7:26 – Israel buried Achan under rocks. A pile of rocks has been a monument to Israel in the past. What type of monument was this pile of rocks?




• The book of Joshua teaches us many things including the fact that we must pursue a relationship with the Lord for ourselves rather than leaning on others’ relationships with Him. Joshua followed Moses as leader of Israel, after all. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• How do you observe God proving to Israel that He is with Joshua as He was with Moses in today’s text? How does it apply to your own life and relationship with Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Truth Project: Lesson Seven – History: Whose Story?


Oh, what an incredible video teaching and discussion!  Are you a believer?  The Bible IS your history.  Throughout the Bible, God calls His people to remember.  This is crucial for us to do.  We need to remember what God has done in the past so that we can trust in His abilities for our future.

Del Tackett teaches that what you believe in the future is determined by the past.  Because of this, history is critical in the cosmic battle.  During this tour, lots of $5 terms are thrown around:

Historical Revisionism is a process by which history is revised to meet an objective or accomplish an agenda.  If you rewrite the past, you can make people believe whatever you want them to in the present.  And it actually happens.  Scary!  The first historical revision took place in the Garden of Eden when the serpent asked, “Did God really say…”  The Mayflower Compact was even revised to remove God and the purpose of the trip (for the glorie of God) from history.

To be honest, this tour created several questions in my mind.  How can I trust ANY recorded history?  I suppose if it mentions God, it is trustworthy.  But if it doesn’t mention God, how do I know that something having to do with God didn’t motivate whatever the event in question happens to be?  I am growing increasingly convinced that this is part of why we need to develop a Christian worldview.  God DOES color everything we think and do.  And He should.  And since we are His creation, He is our history.  And since He is our history, He is involved in some way in every aspect of our past, present and future.

Tackett also says that we have a problem with forgetting what we should remember and remembering what we should forget.  Did this statement punch anyone else in the gut?  This totally knocked the wind out of me.  I have to admit that I absolutely do both.  I don’t want to be this way, but I spend more time dwelling on failure than success.  I ponder how people have hurt me more than on how they have helped.  But how to break the cycle?  One thing I do is journal.  Especially when God answers prayer or something wonderful happens.  I suppose I need to add to my writing habit a practice of reading what I’ve written so I can remember…

God’s attributes and character are recorded in His Word for our benefit.  One of those attributes is His sovereignty.  He is absolutely in control!  His plans stand firm forever.  We have been created with free will but we are also subject to God’s sovereignty.

What is history?  Is it His story?  Or is it a tool?  We are all part of His story.  What part is He calling you to play today?