Saturday, October 13, 2018

Made for His Pleasure ~ Ten Benchmarks of a Vital Faith


How can we live lives that please God? This is the focus and question that Alistair Begg asks his readers in this updated book Made for His Pleasure. This book originally was published in 1996, however he has since updated it. This is a short book, but packs a powerful punch! This is a must read for everyone, as the world around us seems to be about pleasing self. Alistair's book has given me much to ponder on and will be one worth rereading. So many highlights and notes! I will be keeping this on the shelf for future homeschool book for my children to read. 

Here are a few of my favorites from his book:
  • One of the key reasons for the flabbiness of our spiritual lives is that a generation of Christians is growing up with little awareness of the necessity of dealing with sin. 
  • We must learn where our personal weaknesses lie—and once they are identified, we must be ruthless in dealing with them. 
  • It is both dangerous and wrong to substitute personal preference for biblical principle, to place pleasing self above pleasing God.
  • All of life can be a sacrifice to God: the ways in which we listen in class, treat our colleagues at work, respect our employers, and serve our spouses.
    Relationships: A Marriage That Pleases God 
  • Learning to trust God and wait upon the Lord is rarely easy, but it is always in our best interest, and it is pleasing to God.
  • Whenever we place our trust in anyone or anything other than God, we sin. 
  •  Learning to trust God and wait upon the Lord is rarely easy, but it is always in our best interest, and it is pleasing to God.
  • To be a witness for Christ is both a duty and a privilege.
  • The Christian faith is like a muscle: the more we exercise it, the more we build it, but when we neglect it, it atrophies. It is in recognizing our weakness that we discover the strength that God provides. It is God who keeps us strong to the end.

If you have not heard of Alistair Begg, he is one worth reading and listening too, he is from Scotland, so he has an accent. Not because of his accent though, he is a biblically sound teacher. I have been listening to his short podcasts weekly over the last year since a friend shared one of his posts to me. You can find out more about him here: https://www.truthforlife.org/

To get this book check out the publisher Moody Publishers here: https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/evangelism-and-discipleship/made-for-his-pleasure/


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

It's FRIDAY, sharing some favorites from the week

So thankful for visiting family this week, so going to keep this short this week, but I want to leave you with some good things.

We sing this at our church often, when I think of the meaning of these words, so overwhelming!!
Before the throne of God above, I have a strong, a perfect plea by Charitie Bancroft  https://youtu.be/-Kh-xgy_Qn0
1 Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
a great High Priest, whose name is Love
who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
my name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav'n He stands
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

2 When Satan tempts me to despair
and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look, and see Him there
who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
my sinful soul is counted free,
for God the just is satisfied
to look on Him and pardon me.

3 Behold Him there! the risen Lamb!
my perfect, spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable I AM"
the King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself, I cannot die;
my soul is purchased by His blood;
my life is hid with Christ on high,
with Christ my Savior and my God.


Quotes and such:

Love is painful, vulnerable - it's what compelled God to create, even knowing man would rebel, knowing separation would occur, the fall would require redemption. True love requires personal sacrifice and sometimes, even death. ~ Fierce Women, Kimberly Wagner

Three examples of real faith: First, faith redirects and recaptures the worship of your heart. Second, it produces in you a heart of obedience. Third, faith causes you to submit to the calling of God. ~ Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

Failure to deal with the presence of sin can often be traced back to spiritual amnesia-forgetting our new, true, real identity. As a believer, I am someone who has been delivered from the dominion of sin and who therefore is free and motivated to fight against the remnants of sin in my heart. You must know, rest in, think through, and act upon your new identity-you are in Christ. ~ In Christ Alone, Sinclair Ferguson

Trust Him!



I am not in control!

Gather with the church!
Favorite posts:
Nobody is big enough to thwart God's plan for your life. http://joyfilleddays.com/in-the-middle-of-your-trial-hes-leading-you-right/ 
8 Unbiblical Notions Christian Women Need to Be Set Free From https://michellelesley.com/2018/09/27/throwback-thursday-8-unbiblical-notions-christian-women-need-to-be-set-free-from/
Death may be a great equalizer, but there's another far greater equalizer. The gospel. When it comes to salvation, there is nothing we can do to merit God's favor. No matter how good we think we are or what sort of spiritual lineage we think we have, those things are nothing. But there is also no one who has sunk beyond the reach of God's grace. There is one Savior for the pharisee, the publican, you, and me. Christ alone paid the debt that we could never pay. Christ alone lived the life we could never live. The only thing we bring to the table is our sin, but Christ brings everything. http://out-of-theordinary.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-great-equalizer.html 
Good, Solid Christian Books That Just Might Change Your Life https://www.kendrafletcher.com/kendra-fletcher/good-solid-christian-books-change-life
 As Christians we have confidence that there is nothing—not one thing in all of time or space—that is beyond the knowledge of God. He knows all that was, is, and ever would, could, or will be. God knows the past because he existed omnisciently and omnipresently in every moment and part of it. God knows the future because he holds the future. He knew the position of every atom at the moment he brought it into being and he knows the position of every atom the day he will bring it all to a close. His knowledge of the future is every bit as extensive and intimate as his knowledge of the present and past. He is the one who “declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isaiah 46:10). https://www.challies.com/articles/thank-god-we-dodont-know-the-future/ 
We cannot look within ourselves to find salvation. We must look to Christ. https://www.ligonier.org/blog/only-righteousness-can-save/ 
Joy looks a whole lot more like “trust,” “rest,” and “peace” than happiness https://www.journeytoimperfect.com/2018/10/09/looking-joy-of-the-lord/

Friday, October 5, 2018

Favorite reads from the web and the choices we make!

Sister's, Be cautious of the choices you make, are they grounded in Truth or the feelology of the world and what you are intaking? This world is loud, don't let it be why you make the choices you do, don't listen to the nay-sayers, the critics, the so-called popular voices. Be cautious of what your feelings are telling you, they can be liars. Go to the Word of God and read His Word, let it speak to you. Go the way the Lord directs you and stay the course because the gate is narrow, don't turn back. If you trip and tumble along the way, pick yourself up, persevere, fight the good fight, and keep your eyes fixed on things above, the things that are eternal. Abide in Him and He will work in you. Don't worry, because Jesus is enough for you, He finished it on the cross. This is me speaking to myself, truth reminders, encourage one another! #unseen #abide #grace #Christalone #journeyofFaith

2 Corinthians 4:16-18   So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.




Favorite quotes this week:
"True womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.
Do not settle fo
r a wimpy theology. It is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious. True womanhood is too strategic. Don’t waste it. Your womanhood—your true womanhood—was made for the glory of Jesus Christ."~John Piper
 
To know that nothing happens in God's world apart from God's will may frighten the godless, but it stabilizes the saints. ~ J.I. Packer

“There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up yourself to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints. ~C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

True Christianity is always a matter of the submission of the heart to God, Something that only rescuing grace can produce. ~Paul Tripp



I am so thankful for my sister's in Christ!

Feelings can be liars!

Prayer is powerful, even if you don't have the words!

Favorite posts on the web:

Essentially we live in a world that can be divided up into three circles: the things you can control; the things you can influence; and the things that you cannot influence or control. https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2018/09/you-cant-change-the-world-you-can-change-your-family/ 
There are no new remedies for old problems. We must come back to old paths. We must capture the centrality and pungency of biblical preaching once again. There must be a decisive return to preaching that is Word-driven, God-exalting, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered. https://www.ligonier.org/blog/answer-modern-day-church/ 
This isn’t a war anyone will win on their own. It is up to writers to be honest about their lives, publishers to be unwilling to publish people who say one thing and act another, editors to ask and not assume when pitching pieces, and readers to be truly discerning readers. This is a job for all of us. If we want integrity and fidelity in Christian publishing, it’s on everyone’s shoulders to get there. http://www.sayable.net/blog/2018/10/1/not-many-of-you-should-become-writers-readers-publishers-or-editors 
Check out 'The History of the Reformation' from Ligonier Ministries https://www.ligonier.org/blog/history-reformation/ 
The following are 10 signs that the Christian authors you’re following may be subtly teaching unbiblical ideas. I say “subtly” because I think most people would spot a problem immediately if a Christian said they didn’t believe in the Trinity. But it’s just as important to identify when less obvious warning signs—like the following—are present. http://christianmomthoughts.com/10-signs-the-christian-authors-youre-following-are-subtly-teaching-unbiblical-ideas/ 
Just imagine how getting out of the moment would change you, or us. Imagine if Christians were steady and faithful because their identity is rooted in something that happened 2,000 years ago. Imagine if the church was a place of great peace because we were able to trust the King who has secured our true treasure in an unbreakable vault. Imagine if Jesus' victory over death and His promises of heaven shone brightly on your current struggles, rather than those struggles casting shadows on your faith. https://gentlereformation.com/2018/10/03/stop-living-in-the-moment/ 
Great article, we already made the decision to leave co-op this year. It wasn't an easy decision, but after it was made we all had peace about it! Many homeschool fads come and go. The homeschool co-operative is a current fad. Like many fads, co-ops can be helpful for some and hurtful for others. Even though they are popular, a homeschool co-op may not work for your family. How do you know when you are cooped up in a co-op? https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/cooped-up-in-a-co-op
 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Horse Gentler in Training~Winnie the Early Years

My daughter is a lover of horses and books, so I was happy to see this book arrive in the mail for review, Horse Gentler in Training~Winnie the Early Years by Dandi Daley Mackall. My daughter grabbed the book right away and could not wait to read it. She read it all in an hour! I love the book because she writes with a Christian perspective, so not only are they reading a story, but also learning about faith. The author also includes in the back of the book the story of her horse, horse facts and information, so readers are also learning about horses. This book is part of series, so now you know what is on my daughter's Christmas list!

This is my daughter's review of the book: the story is about a family that is in jeopardy of losing the family ranch, because a mean boy doesn't want to board his horse, Princess at the ranch anymore. The boy Austin, is not nice to his horse and they try to work with him. Winnie the daughter likes Princess the horse, so the boy is jealous. The parents are running low on money, as Austin threatens to move the horse to another ranch. Winnie hurts her arm on Princess, which causes more bills to be paid. Her sister Lizzy is praying, when her sister gets hurt. While Winnie's arm is healing, she is teaching the horse Princess tricks so that the owner will want the horse to stay at the ranch. Winnie says to Princess, nothing is impossible with God. Winnie shows Austin the horse can do tricks and then he decides the horse can stay. This story is about learning to work together, getting along, horse training, and trusting God in everything they do. 




For more about  Horse Gentler in Training~Winnie the Early Years, check out the Tyndale House Publishers https://www.tyndale.com/p/winnie-the-early-years-1-horse-gentler-in-training/9781496432803


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Day By Day Through the Gospel of John

I am not a big devotional fan, but there are a few out there that are really good and I do recommend. Today I have a new one that I recommend titled, Day By Day Through the Gospel of John complied by Lance Wubbels. The reason I recommend this is because it provides some great deep insights about the Gospel of John by some great Christian leaders and writers from church history, such as: Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor, Matthew Henry, Andrew Murray, John Wesley, and a few others. The compiler included short biographies about the contributors to this book. Those that know me, know I enjoy reading church history and books from classical writers like these. You can never go wrong reading from them! 

This is a 365-day devotional book, that goes through each verse from the Gospel of John and includes a daily reading from one of the classical writers mentioned above. Here are a few short snippets from the book:
  • You and I are meant to be the human lanterns carrying the Light, and letting it shine clearly, fully. The lantern must be kept clean and clear so the light within can be seen freely. The great thing is that when we live clean, transparent lives, the Light within may shine out clearly. We may live unselfish, clean, Christlike lives by His grace. ~ S.D. Gordon
  • Life is a matter of degrees. Some have life, but it flickers like a dying candle. Others are full of life, bright and passionate, like the fire upon the blacksmith's forge when the bellows are in full blast. Christ has come that His people may have spiritual life in all its fullness. ~ Charles Spurgeon
  • Dear friend, see that you seek the Father by Him alone. He is truth; clasp Him to your heart and by patient meditation and continual faithfulness, enrich yourself with all treasurers you have already received from Him. He is your life; cleave to Him, that the life-giving Spirit may make you victors over death, temporal and eternal. Know Him as a Friend, not as a mere historical person or with mere head knowledge, for to know a friend is something far deeper than to know a truth. ~ Alexander Maclaren 



For more about this Day By Day Through the Gospel of John check out Bethany House Publisher http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/day-by-day-through-the-gospel-of-john/388200



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 28, 2018

Some of my favorites around the web, books, and importance of rest and reflecting

God is a God of order and He created the universe with a certain order, He has given us instruction about order, His promises, truth, wisdom, obedience, living, but one thing I think we miss is rest in the Bible. I am not talking the kind of rest where you take a nap or zone out, but enjoy slowness, quiet, delighting and enjoying God's creation, the kind of rest that teaches you to trust the Lord. I think it is important to notice the world around us and not be so busy all the time. Busyness is not holiness, it doesn't glorify God, even if what you are doing may be good. I say that from experience, I use to think being busy and doing things all the time made me more important or that things would not get done, that I was pleasing God and others. However, inside I was falling apart and that is not a good place to be or how God wants us to live. He wants us trusting Him, and rest teaches that we can trust Him when we rest in HIM. If we stop striving, things will not fall apart, the world will not end, God has it! He is in total control of all things! I am thankful I learned that before I crashed!

There are seasons when I am able to do more, and that will look different for each of us. For me, I have learned I need to say no to certain things and step away for such a time. So no matter what season of life you are in, we need to find time to rest. How does that look? For me mostly it is a little time here and there during the week that I allow some time to sit and enjoy quietness. Once in a while, it is a day a week, but that usually involves the whole family! It is not easy with children to find the time, but mom's we can do this, remember my life will not look like yours. Finding time to rest may be a couple hours on a Friday afternoon, an hour a day, a few hours on a Saturday morning, or an evening during the week. Finding time to get away from distractions is so important! During that time I sometimes use it to reflect on how I am living spiritually, my relationships, my worship and serving, how my mind and body are doing, what home life has been like. Let me tell you this is some humbling time! Other times I just sit, enjoy a sunset, read, observe nature, listen to music or podcast, watch my chickens (really I do this), and/or count my blessings (note for me this is not my Bible study time). I take it all to God and thank Him for all the goodness and pray for areas I need to allow Him to work in me. This is a struggle, day to day, more God, less me. These times of rest and reflecting remind me just how much I need the Lord in all areas of my life and how thankful I am that He saved me. I am reminded that God is Lord of all, not just some areas. God loves me and wants my whole heart, mind, and soul, just as the Bible verse says: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.~Mark 12:30

So if you get anything from my rambling here, I hope you try this if you are not already, to set aside time for rest and reflecting weekly, it will only bring you closer to the Lord. Then trust the Lord to do the rest! As you become closer to God, you will begin to become aware of how powerful and present He is in your life.
from Praying the Promises by Max Lucado
The message verse of Isaiah 30:15 God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: "Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me - The very thing you've been unwilling to do.

This month's books read:
Slowly Reading:
New Morning Mercies
Foxe's Book of Martyrs 
Westminister Confession of Faith

Some favorites this week:

Why do we not know the country whose citizens we are? Because we have wandered so far away that we have forgotten it. But the Lord Christ, the king of the land, came down to us, and drove forgetfulness from our heart. God took to Himself our flesh so that He might be our way back. ~ Augustine

A.W. Tozer “There can be no doubt that this possessive clinging to things is one of the most harmful habits in the life.”


Busyness in the wrong things creates poverty within, a blindness to the God gifts staring us in the face.~Shelly Miller

“When we behold the glory of Christ in the gospel, it reorders the loves of our hearts, so we delight in him supremely, and the other things that have ruled our lives lose their enslaving power over us.” Sinclair B. Ferguson

So thankful!




Truth, feelings can lead you astray!

We should ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and try our thoughts (Psalm 139:23). We should ask ourselves the hard question: who are we willing to disappoint? Or who are we unwilling to disappoint? Are we unwilling to disappoint God? Are we unwilling to disappoint others? Are we unwilling to disappoint our own selfish preferences? These questions can help us untangle motivational knots. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/you-must-disappoint-someone 
It is a costly thing to repent https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/j-i-packer-what-does-it-mean-to-repent 
People read and watch more than ever, but with this larger volume comes the need to skim and sample. And that means even as we might know about more of what’s going on our knowledge isn’t as deep. And that can cause problems. https://reformedperspective.ca/the-danger-in-a-diet-of-clips-tweets-memes-and-headlines/ 
When life is pressing in, return to the source of your joy. Realize that God is more satisfying and life-giving than anything this world can offer. This is the greatest act of worship. As John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him.” https://www.vaneetha.com/blog/2018/9/12/rejoice-return-to-the-source-of-your-joy
Our Christian walk is not Christ plus something else. Our Christian walk is not an, I got this, kind of walk. It is not “self-help,” but an earnest cry for a help me God walk!  It is Christ above all else. Colossians teaches that Christ is our life! (Colossians 3:4) http://conformingtothetruth.com/2018/09/14/christian-walk-narrow-focused-walk/
I agree with some of this article (not theological sound, but offers up some good points) and yes this is what I strive for, not bigger, better as it seems that is what is promoted in this world, I am happy with the simple, slow life and I think that is OK! What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between? Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that? https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/want-mediocre-life/
A liturgy is an order of worship in which God gives grace in the gospel and we respond in faith, hope, and love. One reason I attend a church similar to this, but mostly it's about worshiping our Lord and sound doctrine… https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/7-things-i-love-about-liturgical-protestant-worship

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Eternal Perspectives

A few days ago I received this book in the mail from my Tyndale Rewards, a place that I am able to earn free books, click here to join and earn too Tyndale Rewards   So, my first thought was wow, it is huge!! Well, it is over 600 pages. Eternal Perspectives ~ A Collection of Quotations on Heaven, The New Earth, and Life After Death is a book full of quotations and Scriptures about descriptions of Heaven by well-known theologians, poets, and scholars, put together by Randy Alcorn. Randy Alcorn has written a couple books about heaven, which have been recommended by some trustworthy people. Heaven, after all, is a little hard to write on, since we don't arrive there till we leave this earth. However, God has provided revelations in the Bible. I have read a couple books about heaven from other authors that to me didn't really line up with what God's Word says, so they always left me confused. That is not the case with this book, Eternal Perspectives.

Now good thing, you don't have to sit down and read this large book front to back, but you could. What I did was pick out a few sections in the book and read those sections. I have been reading a few pages a day, which is all you need, as some of these sections are thought-provoking. My close friends know I enjoy reading books especially by authors who are from the past, even some from hundreds of years ago. I also enjoy writing quotes from my favorite theologians and authors in my notebooks. So this book is becoming one of my favorites and all Christians would enjoy it!


You will find this book insightful and encouraging. Randy has provided material from his books on heaven and studies, along with quotes from and material from Augustine, Calvin, C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Jonathan Edwards, J.C. Ryle, Max Lucado, A.W. Tozer, Steven Lawson, John Piper, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, J.I. Packer, and many others, along with tons of Scripture from the only authoritative book.

It is Randy Alcorn's hope that this book will be used to touch and comfort hearts of those who are wondering about eternal life, we will grow in the knowledge of God's Word, to set our minds above on Christ, or share with our friends. He encourages readers to hold what he says to God's Word, to test it, as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11) and the Apostle Paul said (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Here are a couple quotes from the book:
  • Make no mistake about it. Heaven is a real place. It is not a state of mind. Not a figment of man's imagination. Not a philosophical concept. Not a religious abstraction. Not a sentimental dream. Not the medieval fancy of an ancient scientist. Not the worn-out superstition of a liberal theologian. It's an actual place. A location far more real than where you presently live... It is a real place where God lives. It is the real place from which Christ came into this world. And it is the real place to which Christ returned at His ascension - really! ~ Steven Lawson
  • Why do we not know the country whose citizens we are? Because we have wandered so far away that we have forgotten it. But the Lord Christ, the king of the land, came down to us, and drove forgetfulness from our heart. God took to Himself our flesh so that He might be our way back. ~ Augustine
  • No one can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasure. ~ Thomas Aquinas
  • The best is yet to be. ~ John Wesley  


For more about this book, check out the publisher Tyndale House Publishers at https://www.tyndale.com/p/eternal-perspectives/9781414345574


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”