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Showing posts from October, 2009

Today's Daily Devotional

Give thanks to the God of gods. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:2-3, 26 06/01/09 The Hebrew word for God in this verse is “elohiym”. It is the plural term used to describe God. So, this verse specifically identifies the entire Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Are you thankful for all three? I am. I am also thankful for the plan that the Trinity came up with from the beginning – plans to prosper me and not harm me; plans to restore all people to fellowship with Him (Them); plans to show His (Their) love for us by being born as a human with the purpose of dying on the cross to become the atoning sacrifice for my sin and your sin; plans to weave the Bible together so that we might know Him (Them) and His (Their) plan and His (Their) love for us. Those are lots of plans all rolled into one big plan for mankind. I suppose that’s how the Trinity works as well – lots of God rolled into One!

Bible Study: For Such A Time As Now - Esther - Chapter 10

10:1 And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea. isles i.e. coasts. (Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)) 10:2 – Chronicles, &c. - These are lost long since, and buried in oblivion, while the sacred writings remain throughout the world. When the kingdoms of men, monarchs and their monarchies are destroyed, and their memorial is perished with them, the kingdom of God among men, and the records of that kingdom, shall remain as the days of heaven. (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible) So, what are you supposed to be accomplishing for God in your present circumstances? Sometimes it's difficult to look objectively upon your own situation. Even if you believe you've got a good handle on what God is trying to do with you, I suggest that you ask a trusted Christian friend what they've observed. Not only is it a way to share with others what you've seen the Lord doing in your life, it's also a way

Today's Daily Devotional

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 05/15/09 Several times previously, I’ve mentioned that peace is moving and active, not reticent and certainly not quiet. But WHAT is peace? It is security, safety, and prosperity. And it is so much more. It is salvation – the very thing that leads to security, safety and prosperity. It is the assurance of salvation through Christ. That certainly describes peace! And I think it reveals one of the most powerful weapons in the devil’s arsenal: most people who don’t place their faith in Jesus don’t believe they are bound for eternal torment. I didn’t know. I thought that, because I was a good person I would go to heaven. I didn’t fear God. And I definitely didn’t have the assurance of salvation that leads to peace! Now that I know Jesus, I know better and have such an awesome respect for the Lord. He gave me His peace.

REVIEW: Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus

“Stand-In Groom” by Kaye Dacus is the first novel in her series located in Bonneterre, LA. Although I’ve read these books out of order (I reviewed the 2nd novel in this series “Menu For Romance” earlier this year), these books can easily be read and enjoyed independently of the other novels. In fact, knowing what I know about book 2 actually made me enjoy this novel more, I think. Anne, the wedding planner, is the focal point of this beautifully written romance. Even though I already knew the outcome of this book from reading its successor, I was gripped in the first chapter, sympathizing with Anne as she’s stood up on a blind date. I was immediately drawn into the intrigue of the story by an insatiable need to know what was going to happen next. That pace was consistent throughout this wonderful novel. A case of misleading identity is at the crux of the conflict of this book. George is pretending to be the groom of a wedding that Anne is planning. He is under contract not to disclos

Today's Daily Devotional

“Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23 05/14/09 Can you even imagine everything being possible? If you are a believer, everything is possible! This means that, through Christ, you are able to do mighty and powerful things. As a child of God, you are capable of excelling in something. I can attest that, during my ten years working as a computer support professional I learned, God is more adept at repairing PCs than I am. Sure, I had developed really good customer service skills, and I could figure out software issues with the most competant programmers, but technical hardware problems were not my specialty by any means. I would be sitting at someone’s computer attempting to fix an issue and an idea would pop into my head that wouldn’t naturally occur to me. That was God!

REVIEW: Why Did God Give Us Emotions by Reneau Peurifoy, M.A.

Here is my review of this terrific non-fiction read: “Why Did God Give Us Emotions” by Reneau Peurifoy, M.A. is an engrossing read. Many people are of the mindset that emotions are a display of weakness and irrationality. So, I was completely fascinated by how much the Bible actually addresses emotion. It makes complete sense since God created us and we are emotional beings. This book contains questions for reflection and group discussion as well as suggestions to help you find a good church and develop a regular prayer life. There is plenty of opportunity for self-evaluation throughout the book. I’m sure that I will refer to this resource often.

Today's Daily Devotional

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people. Isaiah 49:13 05/11/09 A day is coming – perhaps it has already come – when the heavens will shout! First, there will be a trumpet blast announcing Christ’s return. Later on, (and I can guarantee that if you’re reading this, it hasn’t happened yet) the heavenly host will return with Jesus to wage war against the devil and his minions. I can only imagine what that will sound like - the sky filled with the army of God, waiting – perhaps impatiently, marching sounds – maybe wings flapping in unison, banging sword on shield (will we have battle gear?), singing praises as cadence. WOW!!! That will be one noisy sky. And I really look forward to being a part of that crowd!

REVIEW: Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA by Miralee Ferrell

Miralee Ferrell’s “Love Finds You in Last Chance, CA” is an entertaining romance wrapped in a mystery with strong characters, a delightfully wide-open setting, and solid Christian values. Alexis Travers has just inherited the ranch she worked with her father. His heart attack couldn’t have come at a worse time. Neither could the news that he just mortgaged the ranch at the bank, or that the money he got for the loan is missing, or that someone else picked up the gold samples he had appraised along with the report on the content. And not even the trusted ranch foreman, Uncle Joe, knows where Alex’s father found the gold on the property. Justin is a father with a young son, traveling to Last Chance to repay the debt of his father to a friend. The telegram said that there were mysterious happenings and that they may be in danger. So Justin packed up and headed toward the Travers ranch. Sworn to secrecy about his true mission, Justin manages to get hired on at the ranch as a wrangler. And

Today's Daily Devotional

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 05/08/09 The condition of our hearts is of supreme importance to God. When we pray to ask Jesus to come into our hearts and save our souls, we are doing more than just asking Him to prepare a place for us in heaven. We are entering into a formal binding agreement with Him. It is called a covenant relationship. We enter into this covenant with Him through the broken body of His Son, Jesus, and it is not something to be taken lightly. We make Jesus the Lord of our life, and He gives us eternal life, a new heart and His Holy Spirit to live inside of us. And we bear some responsibility in caring for that heart. We must expose it to the Bible and to prayer to nourish it with His Word, keeping it morally, ethically and spiritually pure and clean. Then that heart will grow to look more like the heart of Christ and we will grow in Christian character. Praise the Lord.

Today's Daily Devotional

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 05/05/09 The Lord of peace can give us peace because peace belongs to Him. He has the power to decide whether or not to give peace. He is the Lord of peace. That is what it means to be the Lord of a thing…or a person. It means that person or thing belongs to Him. It means that He has power over it. It means that He is Master and Commander and Leader and Provider and Protector and Shelter, etc. Is He your Lord? Do you belong to Him? Does He have power over you? Is He your Master? I pray so. If not, but you’d like Him to be, pray right now. Use your own words or mine: Jesus, I want You to be Lord of my life. I want to belong to You. I thank You for dying for me on the cross. And I invite You to come live in my heart and change my life. Amen.

Today's Daily Devotional

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 04/17/09 The King of the Universe invites us to approach Him! Is that awesome or what!?!? I am reminded of the book of Esther in the Old Testament where the king could have you put to death if you approached without being invited – even if you were the queen! In fact, Queen Esther did just that. She approached with king without being summoned and he had to extend his scepter to her to indicate that the guards who were ready with swords should stand down. But our King has issued an invitation to us to approach His throne. And when we do approach, we don’t go alone as Esther did. We are accompanied by Jesus Christ, Himself! The Son of God escorts us to the Father and literally ushers us into His presence. WOW! I’ve got goosebumps. How about you?

REVIEW: The One Year Bible, NLT Version, and God Sightings

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to the publisher for sending me a copy of "The One Year Bible - God Sightings" to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, and I am trying to improve at being consistent in taking the time to thank these wonderfully giving individuals in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me. The One Year Bible is a long-time friend of mine. I’ve read through the NIV (New International Version) Translation several times. I’ve recently begun enjoying the NLT (New Living Translation) Version of scripture, and was excited at the opportunity to read this version in this format. But what makes this set of books really special is the focus on “God Sightings”. This Bible and its companion journal book lead the reader to a deeper relationship with Jesus because they work together to help the reader see Christ’s activity in their lives on a routin

A Loner No More?

I don’t trust people. At least not anymore. Not for several years. I grew up with a very naïve and trusting nature and I got burned. A lot. People I trusted to protect me became the source of betrayal. People I thought were my friends let go of me way too easily when I really needed them to hang on to me. People I gave my heart to beat that heart until it was numb and couldn’t feel anymore. I’ve prayed that God would fix this part of me. That He would bring true friends into my life. That He would teach my loved ones to take care of my heart. For years I’ve prayed for this, but the friends still disappointed. The loved ones continued to take me for granted. Pastors cared for me as long as I was volunteering and taking some of the load off of them. Then, a brand new verse appeared in my Bible. Don’t you love when that happens? John 2:24 was part of my BSF homework a couple of weeks ago. I read it again today for another study – a study I’ve done previously, so I know I’ve read this ve

Today's Daily Devotional

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 04/17/09 God knows… I am comforted by that thought. Nothing takes Him by surprise. Like a parent guiding a child, the Lord holds His hand out to us so that He may keep us safe by keeping us close to Him. If we are obedient and take His hand, we will stop when He stops and move when He moves. We will change direction as we respond to His lead. But if we are rebellious and run ahead of God, we may run right into trouble that we cannot see because we aren’t big enough to have that “bird’s eye view”. But God is that big, and bigger! He knows… And since He knows, since He is big enough to see the clear paths and the trouble, the safest place for you and me to be is right by His side, holding tightly to His hand, letting Him guide our steps.

Double Cross by James David Jordan

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: James David Jordan and the book: Double Cross B&H Books (October 1, 2009) ***Special thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James David Jordan is a business attorney in Texas and was named by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the most influential leaders in that legal community. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri as well as a l

The Jewel of His Heart by Maggie Brendan

Breakthrough Author Captures Romance and Rugged Adventure Big Sky Country holds two treasures: rare jewels and Juliana's love. Which will he choose? Romance readers have taken to the soft, romantic style of Maggie Brendan in her runaway-hit debut novel No Place for a Lady. Now, the second book in the series releases with great anticipation, taking readers back to the Big Sky Country of the American frontier—and the life and love that awaits. The second book in the Heart of the West series, The Jewel of His Heart is set in 1890s Montana. It is here that Juliana calls home when she meets Josh McBride, a handsome, gentle sheepherder. When he discovers a rare kind of sapphire on his property and considers striking out on his own path in the world, he is forced to decide what’s most important to him: the world’s riches or the eternal value of love in a woman whose eyes rival the rarest of gems. For fans of Lori Wick and Kim Vogel Sawyer, Maggie Brendan’s beautifully woven story cap

Today's Daily Devotional

I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4 04/10/09 The author of this Psalm, David, had many experiences that could have kept him from praising God. Yet, he declares in this verse that he would praise God for as long as he lived! After being anointed as Israel’s next king, he may have been impatient to begin that calling upon his life. But he waited for God’s timing to make him king rather than sinning against God by taking the life of Saul, God’s anointed. He didn’t allow adultery to come between him and the Lord. He accepted God’s forgiveness for his murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to hide his own sin. He grieved, but acknowledged God’s will when the Lord took the life of his and Bathsheba’s son. A thoroughly dysfunctional family sat around the king’s table. Do you commit to praising the Lord everyday even though your life is no more a bed of roses than David’s was? Do it, now. Praise Him!

Bible Study: For Such A Time As Now - Esther - Chapter 9

9:2 – No man - Their enemies, though they did take up arms against them, yet were easily conquered and destroyed by them. (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible) 9:6 – Shushan – In the city so called. Slew – Whom they knew to be such as would watch all opportunities to destroy them; which also they might possibly now attempt to do. (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible) 9:9 – they did not lay their hands on the plunder – see 1 Samuel 15:2-3. 9:10 – But, &c. – Because they would leave it to their children, that it might appear what they did was not done out of malice, or covetousness, but out of mere necessity, and by that great law of self - preservation. (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible) 9:12 - What - In which doubtless many more were slain. So that I have fully granted thy petition. And yet, if thou hast any thing farther to ask, I am ready to grant it. (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible) 9:1

Today's Daily Devotional

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8 02/27/09 The first Bible study I ever wrote was called “Living the Blameless Life: A Study of Psalm 15”. Blamelessness seems to be an impossible goal, but it’s really not. Perfection, on the other hand, is for Christ alone. But blamelessness… Think about the word “blameless” for a moment. What does it mean? “Innocent”, ”without guilt”, “clean” are all terms that are interchangeable according to my word processing software. That status is achievable. It is certainly not easy, though. When we permit God to teach us through His Word, but don’t allow that teaching to change us, we are not blameless. We must rely on God to change us daily into the likeness of His Son. Then, we must allow Him to do just that! We have to let the Lord mold our character and guide our behavior.

The Year of Living Like Jesus by Ed Dobson

Here's my review of this thought-provoking book: First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Ed Dobson and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Te Year of Living Like Jesus..." to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, and I am trying to improve at being consistent in taking the time to thank these wonderfully giving individuals in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me. My copy of “The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do” by Ed Dobson arrived late. Fortunately, I was able to read the first couple of chapters through the Zondervan Breakfast Club email that I get during the week, and I was able to get a really good taste for where this terrific non-fiction book was heading. Written in diary format, the author shares what he learned during his year of living like Jesus. From lessons in behavior, how to eat, lo

Today's Daily Devotional

Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Psalm 150:1-2 04/07/09 Do you ever find it difficult to praise God? I know I used to. But it has become a more natural response for me to fall on my knees and praise Him. How did it become a natural response? Because of God’s comfort and peace I’ve experienced through tragic circumstances. In 2005, my Father-in-law passed away in August, my Mother-in-law passed away in November and my Grandfather passed away in December. Those four months seemed to gut my family. But, at least for me, God used that time to show me that He was in control. That He never intended for my in-laws to divorce. He freed my Grandmother from caring for my Grandfather just in time to care for my Aunt who had a stroke a few months after his passing. I can see the truth in Romans 8:28. Sometimes, I still stutter before I praise. It’s okay to grieve. But my Gr

Emmy's Equal by Marcia Gruver

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Marcia Gruver and the book: Emmy’s Equal Barbour Books (October 9, 2009) ***Special thanks to Angie Brillhart of Barbour Publishing for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcia Gruver lives with her husband in Huffman, Texas, and has published various articles, poems, and devotionals. Her novel, Love Never Fails (renamed Chasing Charity ), won third place in the 2007 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest

Today's Daily Devotional

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 02/12/09 – In this week’s Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) study of the Life of Moses, one of the exercises was to re-write this blessing and indicate when you would speak it over someone. I wrote the following: “May the Lord bless you and sustain you. May He smile upon you and bestow grace upon you. May He give you peace.” I said that such a blessing would be appropriate for any new venture. Upon what are you embarking that you would appreciate such a blessing? How could you re-write this passage to bless someone else just starting out on a new adventure?

The Longview: Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders by Roger Parrott, PhD

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Roger Parrott and the book: The Longview: Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders David C. Cook; New edition (October 1, 2009) ***Special thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: At age thirty-four Roger Parrott became one of the America’s youngest college presidents. Parrott is currently the president of Belhaven College, an innovative liberal arts institution recognized as th

Today's Daily Devotional

“Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:12 04/21/09 I love the book of Revelation! It is absolutely LOADED with images of God’s glory. The word “glory” is “doxa” in the Greek. It means opinion, judgment, view. This verse is saying that God’s opinion – God’s judgment – God’s view is what matters – FOREVER! The Greek word for wisdom is “sofia”. It means broad knowledge of very diverse matters, supreme intelligence. The Lord knows everything! There is nothing that can take Him by surprise. This verse is a statement of worship. It’s a great verse to memorize and recite when you really don’t feel like praising. As you realize that God has the right to judge and that His wisdom is supreme and unsurpassed, the praise and worship will naturally begin to pour out.

October CSFF Tour: Haunt of Jackals by Eric Wilson

Haunt of Jackals by Eric Wilson Check out the Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy website, too. Here is my review of this tremendous novel: First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Eric Wilson and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Haunt of Jackals" to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, but haven’t been very consistent in taking the time to thank them in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me. Eric Wilson’s “Haunt of Jackals” is book 2 in the Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy. It’s a fascinating suspense read surrounding two groups of undead: those who were raised when Jesus Christ was resurrected, and those mysteriously raised when Judas Iscariot’s blood was spilled. This is brilliantly written fiction that tantalizes the imagination as its characters span the globe, making the heart race with each blood-pumping scenario! After only a few pages