Friday, February 19, 2016

Defying Normal by Skip Heitzig with Jeff Kinley – An Encouraging Challenge to Come Up Higher



Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to read Skip Heitzig’s latest book Defying Normal – Soaring Above the Status Quo.  This book focuses on the exemplary life of Daniel from his youth to old age.  Skip challenges readers, to not just go with the cultural flow, but come up higher and defy normal and live for the glory and honor of God.

Consistently and throughout his life Daniel was a man of integrity and one whom God used to influence national leaders and the people around him.  Most of us probably won’t rub elbows with presidents and kings.  But we will come into contact with family, friends, fellow believers, neighbors and co-workers.  If we live in a manner that honors and glorifies God, He may choose to use us to strengthen and encourage others or speak the truth, without compromise, from His Word. 

In Defying Normal, Skip looks at how Daniel lived in regards to self-control, faith, humility, integrity, dependence, courage, hope and balance.  At the end of each chapter he exhorts readers to deliberate and think through how that quality or character trait can be exhibited in their own life and impact others for good and please God.

When I read about Daniel, I can’t help but admire him and wish I was more like him.  It’s easy to forget that he grew and developed his godly steadfast moral character over time in faithful obedience as he walked with God. 

I recommend Skip Heitzig and Jeff Kinley’s book Defying Normal – Soaring Above the Status Quo.  I would like to thank Worthy Publishing Group for the opportunity to read Defying Normal in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Parables by John MacArthur – An Excellent Read and Resource




Pastor John MacArthur’s latest book is Parables The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through The Stories Jesus Told.  I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to read this book because of the solid Bible teaching it contains. 

Before diving into the parables, Pastor MacArthur explains, from Matthew 13, why Jesus started teaching in parables.  He had specific truths He was trying to convey to those who had the ears to hear.  It wasn’t to make it easy for the common people to understand what He was teaching.  Instead, the symbolism used in the parables was to hide the truth from those who had no desire to know what Christ was saying. 

Pastor MacArthur brings clarity and helps the reader understand the truths contained in these stories.  Unlike allegories, not everything in a parable has significance, but there is a profound truth to be understood.  In this book a parable is defined as, “an ingenious simple word picture illuminating a profound spiritual lesson.” 

This book covers select parables in ten chapters, including the parables of the soils/seed, the good Samaritan, and the rich man and Lazarus.  Some of the parables are only a sentence or two long, but there’s a meaning that Christ wanted His followers to understand.

In this day and age, it is important for Christians to be wise and discerning and know when a pastor or teacher is accurately teaching God’s Word.  This book will help you to be equipped as you study God’s Word for yourself.  One of the benefits to the reader is that you will be able to take what you’ve learned and apply it as you study the Bible and read Jesus’ parables and teachings for yourself.

I greatly appreciate Pastor John MacArthur’s high view of God and Scripture.  He is thorough in his study and exposition of the Bible.  He is insightful and courageous as he speaks the truth about what’s happening in our culture and in today’s churches. 

I highly recommend Parables by Pastor John MacArthur.  This book is a great resource for anyone who loves to read and study God’s Word and for those who are new to studying the Bible.  Whether you are a new Christian or mature, you’ll want to read this book.

I would like to thank BookLook and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to read Parables by John MacArthur in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

A Little Wrong




I know it may not be popular
Some might take offense
But can I just say
Perhaps I’ve gotten it a little wrong

We often see it passed along
A picture of a little girl
Straightening her crown, reminding herself
She is a daughter of the King

Something about the picture
And the sentiments expressed
Appeals to my nature and tendency
To make much of myself

Scripture tells me I am to humble myself
Under the mighty hand of God
I am to worship the Lord my God
Him only will I serve

Along with the other saints
I rejoice and give thanks to God my Father
Amazed that He has adopted me
Made me His own

Here and now
I don’t have a crown to wear
But a cross to carry
And orders follow Christ

One day if I run the race well
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
The Lord will graciously give me a crown
But it won’t remain on my head

Instead, I will fall before Christ
The King of Righteousness
The One who paid the price for my sin
Seated at the right hand of the Father

I will joyfully place my crown in the pile
Amidst many crowns from all the saints
As we bow down and worship the Lamb
We will cry Worthy is the Lamb


By Susan Wachtel
February 5, 2016

Praise God, by His mercy and grace He has made me one His own.  May I spend the rest of my life glorifying, honoring and singing the praises of Christ Jesus my Lord.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Election Confessions




Lord, I confess
As the election begins in earnest
There are times my heart is anxious
My mind filled with worry

I look around and see a nation
Seeped in sin and unrighteousness
Will You rightly and justly
Give us over to the judgment we deserve

Or will You respond with patience
In Your lovingkindness and mercy
Will You raise up a Josiah
Give us a godly leader who fears You

I see candidates of all kinds
Prideful, arrogant, rude
Contemptable, dishonest, liars
Who believe they are above reproach

Yet there are some
Men and women of integrity who fear You
Who desire to be upright and blameless
And humbly serve this nation

I see people deceived
Even believers have been taken in
I ask that You give Your people discernment
Help us to choose wisely

I confess my anxiety and worry are a sin
I have failed to trust You fully
But You are God who is sovereign and in control
You raise up kings and leaders and bring them down

When I feel anxious
Help me to repent and pray
Trust the One True and Living God
To whom we will all give an account one day


by Susan Wachtel
February 1, 2016


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

I love a good mystery, and that’s what drew me in and want to read, Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer .  This is the first book ...