Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley – A Great Resource – Convicting, Challenging and Encouraging


It was my great privilege to read Pastor Charles Stanley’s newest book The Spirit-Filled Life in which he shared how a Christian can discover the joy of surrendering to the Holy Spirit.

Wow…this was a great read and a valuable resource to understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.  I found the book to be biblically sound and Pastor Stanley doesn’t mince word or back down when confronting people who misinterpret what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  But he does so in a winsome manner.  He goes through the Scriptures that address being filled with the Spirit and presents a strong argument that the phrase does not mean being able to speak in tongues.  He also exposes an issue that arises with an incorrect interpretation, that of second class Christians, the haves and the have nots.

Pastor Stanley also goes through the Fruit of the Spirit and helps the reader to better understand what it means to Abide in Christ.  I’ve got to warn you, this book is very convicting and there were times I felt like he had read my diary and was expressing what I feel when I see a lack of the fruit of the Spirit in my own life. 

Thankfully, Pastor Stanley also shares and encourages Christians how to remedy that through abiding in Christ and by surrendering yourself completely to God and recognize your own inability to live the spirit-filled Christian life on your own.  He stresses the absolutely necessity of reading the Word of God everyday, understanding it in context and gives examples of how the Holy Spirit may use Scripture to help us walk strong in Christ. 

There were a couple of instances where I thought Pastor Stanley could have made a stronger argument on knowing God’s will where he addressed the question of Christians dating unbelievers and if it’s okay to continue to have relationships with people from our past when we were unbelievers and walking in sin.  He approached the subject from the standpoint of making wise choices, but there are scriptures that he could have used to show God’s will on those subjects.

I greatly appreciated Pastor Stanley’s openness and transparency from his own life, both the successes and failures, and seasons of fruitfulness and dryness. 

I highly recommend The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley.  This book is a keeper and one that I will read again.  It would also make a great gift to someone who wants to better understand the Holy Spirit and what He does in the life of a Christian.

I would like to thank BookLook for the privilege of reading this book in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Psalm 5 – In my own words



Vs 1 – O Lord my God, won’t You please listen to my cries for help, even when I lack words and groan in my spirit.

Vs 2 – Please listen to – attend, regard, consider – my cry for help for You alone are my God and it is to You alone I pray.

Vs 3 – In the morning when I rise, I will cry out to You in prayer and You hear my voice.  May I rise and seek Thee with eagerness.

Vs 4 – You are righteous and holy God and take no pleasure in wickedness.  Evil cannot dwell with You.

Vs 5 – Those who boast and brag will not stand before You.  You hate sin and iniquity, evil, mischief, falsehood, unrighteousness, and wickedness. 

Vs 6 – Those who are unrepentant liars and who speak falsely will be destroyed.  For You O God abhor – loath, utterly distain – the man who sheds innocent blood and is filled with lies and deceit.

Vs 7 – Unlike the unrighteous who have rejected You O Lord, it is by Your lovingkindness which flows abundantly that I will enter Your house.  O Lord when I come to Your holy temple I will bow down in reverence to You.

Vs 8 – Please lead me in paths of Your righteousness for foes seek to devour me.  Make the pathway straight before me.

Vs 9 – Nothing that the unrighteous and ungodly say is reliable and true.  Inwardly they are deceitfully wicked and bound for destruction.  When they open their mouth they only speak words of death and destruction.  In deceit they will flatter if they think it will be to their advantage.

Vs 10 – Lord God, I ask You for justice.  Should they continue on in their wickedness and unrepentant ways that You will find them guilty.  Let their deceitful ways cause them to fall.  As their sin and transgressions mount push them away with great force for they are ungodly and rebellious against the One True, Living and Holy God.

Vs 11 – Let all who love You, those who have repented of their sins and received forgiveness in Christ, take refuge in God and be glad.  Let them sing with joy because You keep and shelter them with Your great love and protection.  May those who have been redeemed love You and proclaim and exult Your Holy Name.

Vs 12 – It is God alone who blesses the righteous – those who have been forgiven of their sins and made righteous in Christ.  Your surround him with grace, forgiveness and mercy and are a shield about him.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury – Heartwarming, Touching, Loving and Redemptive



Angels Walking, by Karen Kingsbury, is her newest book about Tyler Ames, a talented up and coming baseball player, whose life takes an unexpected turn.  Just how would Alzheimer’s patient Virginia Hutchinson impact Tyler’s life for eternity?  How would those changes ripple out and affect Tyler’s broken relationships with his parents and former girlfriend Sami Dawson?  How in the world do angels figure into the story?  Well…you’ll have to read it to find out.

I’ve only read one other Karen Kingsbury book, but there was something about Angels Walking that drew me in.  Perhaps it was Virginia the Alzheimer’s patient or maybe I was intrigued by the thought of angels, God’s messengers, at work in our lives.  I knew I would find this book somewhat painful because my mother had Alzheimer’s but I wanted to read it and I’m so glad I did.

Karen Kingsbury is a very gifted writer and has a beautiful turn of a phrase.  She has a way of expressing feelings or a scene in a very vivid way that stays in the mind of the reader.  What came through in this book were love, grace, forgiveness and redemption.  I was reminded to never give up or stop praying and know that God is at work in our lives.  Karen’s Christian faith is interwoven throughout this book in a beautiful way.   

There were a couple of times when Jesus Christ and salvation came up, but I found it fell short of a clear presentation of the gospel because sin wasn’t mentioned.  Without knowledge of my sin, I don’t know of my need for a Savior. 

I recommend Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury and look forward to future books in this series.  Your heart will be touched when you read this book and perhaps some healing will also take place in those broken places in your life.

I would like to thank the publishers at Howard Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Angels Walking in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review. 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Psalm 4 – In my own words



Vs 1 –O LORD my God, I ask You to answer me when I call out to You in prayer.  For You alone are God, the One True Living God.  The God who is my righteousness.  In Your mercy, You provided relief for me when I was distressed.  I humbly ask You to please hear my prayers and be gracious unto me.

Vs 2 – What kind of world do I live in when my honor is viewed as reproach?  Unrighteous men just how long do you plan to love and pursue that which is worthless and try to deceive others?  Do you have no fear of God?

Vs 3 – I want you to know that God has set apart for Himself godly men and women.  May I be that godly woman through His work in me. The LORD Himself hears me when I call out to Him.

Vs 4 – I beg you foolish men to turn from your wicked ways and tremble and do not sin against God.  Meditate on God’s Word all day long, even when you lie down on your bed.  Be still and know that He is God.  Take time to think upon God.

Vs 5 – My own righteousness will never save me.  Yet I  have repented of my sin and received Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior.  My sins have been forgiven through His perfect sacrifice on the cross.  May I be sanctified and offer the sacrifices of righteousness in gratitude and thanksgiving.  May I love and trust the LORD. 

Vs 6 – People who don’t know You and even those who do feel the weight of oppression ask who will show good to us.  But I know You LORD as You have revealed Yourself in the Word of God.  I ask You to show us the light of Your countenance. 

Vs 7 – You alone LORD have put gladness in my heart.  A gladness that does not depend upon things or favorable circumstances.  It’s a gladness that can not be taken away.  It’s greater than when I received grain from a bountiful harvest or when the new wine is poured to overflowing.

Vs 8 – When I lie down and sleep I am at peace.  You alone O LORD make me to dwell in safety and I am secure in You. 


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Whatever you do



If all that I do and say is in the name of the Lord Jesus shouldn’t that impact what I do, what I say and how I do it?

Psalm 3 – In my own words


With a recent move to Texas it’s safe to say that much of my life has been turned upside down.  But thankfully the Word of God has been there to encourage, convict, correct and strengthen me in the midst of all this change. 

Below is my rendering of Psalm 3 in my own words.  Be sure to read this scripture in your Bible and hear God’s inerrant Word for yourself.

Vs 1 – When I look around me LORD, all I see are adversaries and it seems like they have increased exponentially.  Many join their ranks to rise up and come against me.

Vs 2 – Many people speak against me and even say things about my soul.  They mock me and say that “even her God will not deliver her.”  But let me pause and think on what I know to be true from Your Word and from what You’ve already done in my life.

Vs 3 – You alone O LORD are my shield that surrounds me.  You God are my true glory and You lift my head.

Vs 4 – I cry out to You O LORD…out loud.  I don’t care who hears me or what they think because I know that You hear me and will answer me from Your holy mountain above. 

Vs 5 – When I laid down I was able to sleep and got much needed rest.  When I awoke I reminded myself that the LORD has and will continue to sustain me.

Vs 6 – I will not be afraid – even if I’m up against 10,000 people or more.  Even if they came against me in one big force and surround me. 

Vs 7 – I will call out to the LORD God Almighty, “please save me O God – for You have protected me and smitten my enemies on the cheek.  You have raised Your hand and shattered their teeth.  Who O LORD can stand against You?

Vs 8 – Salvation and deliverance comes from You LORD.  His blessing will be upon the people of His own choosing.


Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer – A Thought Provoking Interesting Read

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