Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Christian Spirituality

"True Christian spirituality is not a search to discover ourselves, or to be enlightened, or even to add a new dimension to our lives. No. Christian spirituality is a relationship with God. This search is initiated by God, empowered by God, and made possible by God. He is out desire. not power, not experience, not the supernatural... but God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ."

Thirsting For God, Gary L. Thomas

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Give Up

The word for today is "road" and my first thought was my road bike.

First, I have a beautiful road bike. I'd never heard of the brand "LOOK" but after test riding several bikes, my favorite was this beautiful white bike. Since it was the fifth bike I tried out, there's a chance that one of the reasons I liked it most was because I was simply becoming more relaxed at riding bikes in general, but I also believe that it simply was a nicer bike to ride. It certainly was the more expensive of all the bikes I tried out! It cost more than my first car, which doesn't say much because my first car costed me about 1000.

Though I love my bike and love how cute it is, how lightweight it is and all that, I'm a bit afraid of it too. Being married to a cyclist, I am well aware of how scary it can be and how many near misses David's had, and he's a highly skilled rider! It just seems so ominous that I will crash someday, and that scares me. Of course, I have fallen a number of times, but only because I haven't clipped out of my pedals correctly.

Sunday I took my bike out on the road to do the course of a race I'm planning on participating in (notice I didn't say "compete"). a race. It's a big hill (that's a relative term but for me... it is a BIG hill!) and last time I tried I turned around. Sunday, with a lot of encouragement from David, I managed to go up the whole thing without stopping. I wanted to stop, but I started playing the songs that I hear in spin class.... Michael W. Smith's "Don't Give Up" song kept playing in my head.

Before I did the race course I was seriously thinking of not following through with the triathlon that I had committed to several months ago. I know I can swim, now I feel I can bike. The only thing I can't do is the 3 mile run. But... I can walk it. I don't want to walk it, but I can do that.

So this is my "road" post. I wish I could think of something deep and meaningful to tie it to, but right now I'm simply excited that I'm not giving up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our Last Great Hope

I was fortunate enough to review Our Last Great Hope by Ronnie Floyd. Everyone knows the Great Commission, and this author is passionate about evangelism. This book is a call to living al life worthy of our calling and to become missionaries to our community and world. But not out of legalism or a set of rules. He writes: "... I didn't realize the difference between devotion to His work and devotion to Him. I found that quite thought-provoking. Another quote I enjoyed is "To know Christ is to love him. To love him is to share Him."

How sobering and yet how true is that? And yet..... how are we doing at sharing Him with those around us?

More than just a commentary on our culture, the author attempts to spur people to action in the cause of evangelism. At times, I do admit to feeling a bit guilty, but his points were all well taken and his passion for the lost and motivating folks to reach the lost is commendable.

I was given a courtesy copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a review. All views and opinions articulated are my own. I did not pledge a positive evaluation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heaven is for Real

I'm a skeptic and not sure why I agreed to read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, but since it is a bestseller that all my friends are raving about, I did and have to admit, that it is a sweet story. Do I take it as a "true" story? Not sure..... it's hard to believe a four year old would talk in the manner that he did; seems so grown up!

While I don't agree with this being full of "theological truth" I can see why it'd be a comfort to many and yet, I have to wonder why Scripture isn't comforting or informative enough? Do we really need to hear about others' experiences to bolster our faith and give us assurance that Heaven and our faith is real? This concerns me deeply.

Still a sweet story and I can see its appeal.

I was given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program and was not required to write a positive review

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


What is the church supposed to look like? What does it mean to be "unleashed"? Is that a good thing, to be "barbaric"? While I enjoyed some of this book's call to leave complacency and be bold, I am not sure I followed all that he was saying. I simply couldn't get into this book. I did hear that it was a re-release of his book "The Barbarian Way" and I'm glad they retitled it but it would've been good to have better defined "barbarian".

All in all, I enjoyed the heart behind this book, I just didn't like the way he presented it. I think it is more than just living boldly or "barbaric".

I received a copy of this book free through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a favorable review.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Permission to Speak Freely

Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson is a rare book that combines honesty with beauty. Her honesty is beautiful and rare as she recounts her story. She grew up as a pastor's kid yet deeply broken. It is hard not to read this and weep at the brokenness yet it is done in such a way that you feel hope because she has found hope as well as the courage to help others. In fact, this whole book is an effort in helping others, to help us understand and to help those that struggle with the reality there is much hope through Christ.

Pornography is an issue that is difficult to discuss, especially in church circles. I think this book is a great tool to open a dialogue about it and allow people to seek healing.

Disclosure of immaterial Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Max On Life

Max on Life by Max Lucado is almost more of a reference book and certain sections seemed very similar to some of his prior material. Basically, this book is broken into sections by topic, making it easy to use as a reference. It is written as a question or letter that Mr. Lucado then spends a page or two providing his insight and answers. It is enjoyable to read, but not a book to read cover to cover in one sitting.

Still, this is a book that is worthy to have on your bookshelf.

I was provided a complimentary copy for review by Thomas Nelson's booksneeze program. i was not required to write a favorable review.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Like Old Times

When I was in jr. high and high school I loved going to conferences like Dawson MacAllister, and all the Christian concerts at our local theme park. I couldn't wait for these events. I also loved drama tours, retreats, camping trips, I loved being in a group of people that I was familiar with.

The funny thing is that I'm a complete introvert and yet, I loved this stuff.

I think I'm more timid and introverted now than I was back then and I can't figure out what is so radicaly different. Is it that I didn't care about perception then? And isn't that ironic because aren't teenagers hyper sensitive to perception then? Perhaps I just didn't realize what a goofball I was?

Not sure but I do know that today things and larger groups are harder for me.

Yet I still love conferences, and right now I'm so excited to be signed up for several in the upcoming months. One is called Ignite and it features teaching from D.A. Carson, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler and others. I've never heard these folks live, though I've listened online and have read books by 2 of them. I also have tickets for another conference and 2 concerts! One is U2, the other is David Crowder with Gungor and John Mark McMillan.

Oh, I just can't wait!