|This book gives a lot of ideas on how to instill Christian values and faith in your child in subtle but effective ways. Moreover, it would also help you create and maintain a positive and loving relationship with your child. What I really appreciate about this book is that it shows how you can influence your child during your everyday life at home or outside and at almost every occasion, without sounding like you're preaching. It includes topics like: when getting up, when your child wants to help, going to church, spring, summer, moving to a new home, death of a pet, and a lot more. You might want to read one topic at a time until you have applied and adapted your own style and personality. It also includes a scripture that you can talk about for each topic.|
This is a very good material for every Christian parent.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I love reading and re-reading this book "Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It" by Jerry B. Jenkins. He tells of some practical ways to protect your marriage and family from the sin of adultery. He writes about safeguard practices (what he calls hedges) that he religiously applied based on his own personal weaknesses (flirting, inappropriate joking with the opposite sex) to avoid temptations even before they start.
As human beings with a sinful nature, nobody is exempted from being tempted to have an affair outside marriage. That is why I personally, feel scared even at the thought of having an affair, other than my husband of course. And I firmly believe that that’s where it starts. If you know that you are vulnerable and you love your family, you will at all cost, put a safeguard around you and your marriage so you do not fall into the enemy’s trap.
Jerry also clarifies that the guidelines that he wrote are what he practices and encourages the reader to make one of his own based on his/her own personality and weaknesses. At the very last chapter is the Study Guide that the reader will find helpful in pinning down the hedges he can carry out in his own home.
Do you love your marriage enough to protect it? What hedges should you plant around your marriage?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Are you bombarded by negative thoughts like "I am so dumb!" "I’m ugly." "I’m worthless." "I’m inadequate." These are berating words that we tell ourselves and what Marilyn calls "shame language." This also includes comparing ourselves to others. "Why can’t I be like him/her?" Neil Anderson, who wrote Victory Over the Darkness (and other healing and deliverance books), also calls it "nagging thoughts of self-defeat." These are lies from the enemy, the devil. We should not believe these lies because it is contradictory to what God thinks of us. The bible says we are God's beloved (Song of Solomon 6:3) and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)." Marilyn Hontz, our senior pastor's wife at Central Wesleyan Church, tells more in her book the "Shame Lifter."
When I heard Marilyn Hontz’s message at our church two Sundays ago, where she told part of this book she wrote, I wanted so much to write a book review about it so I can share it with all my friends and those who need a shame lifter in their lives.
You might want to grab a box of tissue before reading this book. I consider it an easy read, but not really. I had to put it down several times to ponder, pray and wipe my tears and blow my nose. In a very brief summary, this is the story of Marilyn’s life – her childhood, her adolescent and adult life. She tells of how our Heavenly Father took hold of her hand and showed her the areas of her life where she needed healing. The awesome power of our God healed her and continues to heal her.
After I read this book, three thoughts stood out:
- Sometimes it takes only one person or one circumstance in our life for shame to start taking its deep root in our hearts. Once shame is there, branches, leaves and fruits will come out. Unless the Lord intervenes and reveals it to us, it will continue to grow until it controls our whole being. Marilyn’s unmet longing for the love and affirmation of her father caused her a deep emotional pain. I have seen this happen many times in people’s lives, mine including, and I really wonder why her emotional depravity overshadowed even the greatness of love and acceptance she received from people who loved her deeply? Marilyn answered that on page 158. "…why did the lies I believed about myself overshadow all the truth that God loves me as His child? One reason was my tendency to feel that I must do something in order for Jesus to love me." In our "pay for performance" culture, that concept of God is so easily imbibed into our relationships, even our relationship with our Maker.
- God knows us better than we know ourselves — from the more obvious material and physical needs, down to our deepest emotional and spiritual needs. He is willing and more than able to meet those needs. Sure, we all know that. We’ve heard that so many times. But unless we become aware and own that need and let Him meet that need, we will never experience the filling and the healing. Marilyn’s healing began when she was made aware and acknowledged that she was in pain and needed healing. The Lord did not fail her. He will not fail us.
- Healing from shame and its pain is a loooong process. Did I say long? I, together with my husband underwent a healing and deliverance session about three years ago. I did the entire list, forgave all my transgressors, renounced my affiliation and involvement in bad activities in the past, and prayed all the prayers. And I thought I’m done! I’m delivered! And I was—from the mentioned issues. But God is not yet through with me. There are more issues buried deep down my core being that need acknowledgement and healing. Healing from shame and woundedness does not happen overnight. It is a process, often a painful one. God is our "ultimate shame lifter." He knows when we are ready to be healed and He will gently and lovingly nudge us to go on until we receive our healing.
There is so much more in this book that I want to share but I don't want to give it away. Please read it and tell me what you think.
Monday, March 23, 2009
This book by Abanes is divided into two sections. Part 1 composes of the summary of each book and Abanes’ review, presented alternately, i.e. Brief Summary of Book 1 then the "Closer Look" into the book and so on. and Part 2 provides an "overview of the many issues relating to Rowling's books: occultism in society, the use ce of fantasy in Christian literature (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) and the controversies surrounding the use of Harry Potter in public schools. Also, Part 2 "clearly explains why God is so against occultism and where it is condemned in scripture."
Abanes clearly defines the Harry Potter books as not entirely fictional. Specifically that the characters, events or circumstances and practices of the characters were partly imaginary and partly derived from, (or should I say inspired by) real accounts on witchcraft and occultic practices. Just how much of it is from the real deal, we do not know. That’s what makes it scary and dangerous.
Abanes made mention of J.K Rowling admitting that she had to do a study on witchcraft. And I do know that that’s what good writers do, doing some research to make the story close to being true. And that’s what scary about this. It makes me think, "while people (children in particular) are reading this book, are they not being oriented into being witches/sorcerers themselves?" or on a more subtle note, "Are they not being suggested to embrace witchcraft as an acceptable practice?"
In defense of the HP series, many, including Rowling herself maintains that it is about "battle between good and evil." However, Abanes argues that there is "no battle between good and evil" in these books. Rather, there is a "conflict between a horrific evil (Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters) and a lesser evil (Harry Potter and the "good" characters)". The "good" characters "routinely steal, lie, cheat, seek revenge with clear consciences." They showed "no remorse" and are even "proud" of it. Based on scriptural standards, Harry Potter and his allies do not qualify to be "good" and morally upright characters just because they do less harm. Their intentions do not justify their means.
Abanes succinctly states, "the Harry Potter series is not morally acceptable with Christianity, which stands in direct opposition to using evil actions to conquer evil. Christians are instructed to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21)."
So what is the danger? According to Abanes, "This positive portrayal (of Harry Potter) might stir in some children an unhealthy curiosity about divination, fortune-tellers and related practices." Many children from across the world have already been deceived by the Harry Potter series, desiring to become witches too and to be able to enter the Hogwarts School. If they realize that Hogwarts school is not real, they might try to find what they want in the real occult. Robert Knight of the Family Research Council says, " Harry Potter gives children an appetite for the occult."
Let us please responsibly watch over our children. Some schools are now teaching ethics and morality using the Harry Potter books. Please pray and keep watch.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Listen to Dr. David Jeremiah as he casts light on who the Antichrist is and when he believes Jesus would come.. What are the signs? What does the scriptures say about it?
I would like to know your comment after you listen to this message. Just click on "comments" below this posting, please let me know what you think.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Here's the review:
"A friend from church wrote a brief review of The Shack that touches on some key points as to why we should be cautious about this book. Or maybe even disregard it all together. He gave me permission to share this review.
SHACK ATTACK - OR A CALL TO DISCERNMENT?
“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” -Charles Spurgeon
At the encouragement of friends, I recently read The Shack by William P. Young. A national bestseller widely embraced by some churches and many professing Christians, The Shack is a work of fiction that embodies lengthy conversations between the main character, a man named Mack, and three persons who represent a version of the Trinity.
Frankly, I was dismayed at many messages conveyed by The Shack and have been surprised that many of my Christian friends have read the book uncritically, finding it a charming and heart-warming story. Some say that it is unfair to have theological expectations since the book is fiction. However, The Shack is marketed as a spiritually transforming book, and it being received that way by many.
It seems to me that a more critical reading is required of The Shack than a secular work of fiction because the author creates characters that purport to speak as God and to guide Mack on his spiritual journey. The fictional story becomes a device to have characters representing the Godhead explain a particular theology. As believers, our spiritual antennas should be fully deployed when we approach such a book.
In The Shack, God the Father appears to Mack as a large, jovial black woman whom Mack calls “Papa.” The Holy Spirit appears as a small Asian woman, and Jesus appears as a Jewish man. Putting aside gender confusion and the attempt to give human form and voice to the Father and Holy Spirit (“no man hath seen God at any time,” John 1:8), it is critical for the Christian reader to carefully consider the message author Young has those voices bring and to weigh their message in the light of the clear teaching of the Bible. That is to exercise discernment, a requirement – not an option – for Christians.
When we read The Shack with discernment, I submit that we find many distortions and untruths. Consider just a few of the words Young puts in the mouths of his created Trinity (my comments are within the parentheses):
Papa to Mack: “We [the Trinity] have limited ourselves out of respect for you.” (Isn’t this Open Theism – God choosing to limit Himself?)
Jesus: “God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things . . .” (Isn’t this Pantheism – God in all things?)
Sarayu (Young’s Sanscrit name for the Holy Spirit): “We [the Trinity] carefully respect your choices, so we work within your systems even while we seek to free you from them.” (“Neither are your ways my ways . . . my ways are higher than your ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9. Does God respect man’s choices, or does His Word demand that we repent of our ways and that we enter His narrow way?)
Sarayu: “Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence . . . Light and Good actually exist.” (Really? Does the Bible teach that evil has no actual existence? Was the biblical Jesus aware of that when He conversed with Satan in the desert temptation?)
Papa: “I don’t need to punish people for sin Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It is not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” (Certainly there are consequences of our sin which we realize in this life and which impact other people. And certainly God has provided the cure for sin. That “cure” is the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross. Most certainly there is punishment for sin. Christ suffered the punishment for us. However, the implication of Papa’s statement is that the only punishment for sin is sin’s own punishment in a person’s life. The Bible is clear that punishment for the unredeemed, those who refuse Christ’s atonement, is the sting of spiritual death and eternal separation from God. The Shack makes light work of the cross.)
Young’s Jesus character states that he, Papa, and Sarayu are “indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be . . . . In fact, we [the Trinity] are submitted to you [Mack] in the same way.” (Why, then, did the biblical Jesus submit Himself to the will of His father? Does the Bible teach submission to authority in spiritual and family and secular environments? What do you make of the claim that the Trinity is submitted to us? I believe that Young’s anti-authoritarianism is risky in human terms and that it is blasphemous to attribute such egalitarian sentiments to God.)
When requested by Papa to forgive the murderer of his young daughter, Mack balks. Papa says, “Mack, for you to forgive this man is for you to release him to me and allow me to redeem him.” (So God can only redeem those whom humans have forgiven and have released to God for redemption? The effectiveness of redemption for the unrepentant murderer is to be accomplished with Mack’s participation? Find biblical support for that, my friends!)
Christian, what about this assertion by the Jesus of The Shack? “I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” (This is a false Jesus. The Jesus Christ of the Bible does not say that He is the best way, He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:16. He is not the best way – He is the only way.)
The Shack evidences a low regard for Scripture. When Mack mentions biblical events or concepts, Papa brushes them off and glibly explains how it really is, thus suggesting that the Bible is the work of man, not the divinely inspired work of God. Yet, some argue that The Shack has value in that it demonstrates a loving God of grace who invites man to a relationship. But it does so with grievous distortions about the nature of God, the nature of the Trinity, the authority of God’s Word, God’s hatred of sin, the requirement of repentance, and the nature of conversion and salvation.
My brothers and sisters, even in reading and discussing a work of fiction, we must be prepared to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and to do so without apology to the world. The Shack may, from its human author’s viewpoint, be in all sincerity intended as an inviting look at a highly relational God, but would you place even a drop of poison in pure water and invite others to drink? As Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, The Shack “contains undiluted heresy.” Don’t you and I have a responsibility to be equipped to recognize heresy and to shine the light of truth so that we and others are not deceived?"
- Wayne Elliott
"Young covers a wide variety of theological topics in this book, each of which is relevant to the theme of Mack’s suffering and his inability to trust in a God who could let his daughter be treated in such a horrifying way. The author is unafraid to tackle subjects of deep theological import—a courageous thing to do in so difficult a genre as fiction. The reader will find himself diving into deep waters as he reads this book.
Much of what Young writes is good and even helpful (again, assuming that the reader can see past the human personifications of God). He affirms the absolute nature of what is good and teaches that evil exists only in relation to what is good; he challenges the reader to understand that God is inherently good and that we can only truly trust God if we believe Him to be good; he acknowledges the human tendency to create our image of God by looking at human qualities and assuming that God is simply the same but more so; he attempts to portray the loving relationships within the Trinity; and so on. For these areas I am grateful as they provided helpful correctives to many false understandings of God.
But the book also raised several concerns. Young covers many topics and time would fail me to discuss each of them. Instead, I will look at concerns with some of the book’s broader themes and will do so under several theological headings.
Young teaches that the Trinity exists entirely without hierarchy and that any kind of hierarchy is the result of sin. The Trinity, he says, “are in a circle of relationship, not a chain of command or ‘great chain of being’… Hierarchy would make no sense among us.” Now it’s possible that he is referring to a kind of dominance or grade or command structure that may well be foreign to the godhead. But a reading of the Bible will prove that hierarchy does, indeed, exist even where there is no sin. After all, the angels exist in a hierarchy and have done so since before the Fall. Also, in heaven there will be degrees of reward and there will be some who are appointed to special positions (such as the Apostles). And the Bible makes it clear that there is some kind of hierarchy even within the Trinity. The Spirit and the Son have submitted themselves to the Father. The task of the Spirit is to lead people to the Son who in turn brings glory to the Father. Never do we find the Father submitting to the Spirit or to the Son. Their hierarchy is perfect—without anger or malice or envy, but it is a hierarchy nonetheless.
There are other teachings about the Trinity that concerned me. For example, Papa says “I am truly human, in Jesus.” This simply cannot be true. God [the Father—a term that the author avoids] is not fully human in Jesus. This melds the two persons of God in a way that is simply unbiblical. Some of what Young teaches is novel and even possible, but without Scriptural support. For example, he teaches that the triune nature of God was an absolute necessity since without it God would be incapable of love. His reasoning is not perfectly clear but seems to be that if God did not have such a relationship “within himself” he would be unable to love. But this is not taught in the Bible.
Overall, I had to conclude that Young has an inadequate and often-unbiblical understanding of the Trinity. While granting that the Trinity is a very difficult topic to understand and one that we cannot know fully, there are several indications that he often blurs the distinct persons of the Trinity along with their roles and their unique attributes. Combined with his novel but unsupported conjectures, this is a serious concern.
Young’s understanding of free will seems to follow from submission. “I don’t want slaves to do my will,” says Jesus. “I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.” Speaking in veiled terms about conversion or something like it, Jesus says, “We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But, we will never force that union with you. If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side.” God, it seems, has already forgiven all humans for their sin and has willingly submitted himself to them, though only some people will choose relationship. He is fully reconciled to all human beings and simply waits for them to do their part. Never does Young clearly discuss the consequences that will face those who refuse to accept this offer of union.
Overall, Young presents a God who is unable or unwilling to break into history in any consequential way. He is sovereign at times, but certainly not so in conversion (a topic that receives only scant attention) and is limited by the free will choices of human beings. Scant attention is paid to God’s fore-ordination, the understanding that nothing happens without it somehow being part of His decree (even while God cannot be accused of being the author of evil). Papa explains to Mack, “There was no way to create freedom without a cost.” But nowhere in the Bible do we find that God is somehow made captive by human free will and that He has to allow things to proceed in order to maintain His own integrity as Creator. Always God is sovereign, even over the free will choices of men. Our inability to understand how this can be does not preclude us from the responsibility of believing it. "
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I think about eternity a lot so I was interested in seeing what someone who had some experience there had to say. This book isn't as much about heaven as it is about the author's road to recovery, the lessons God taught him, and how God is using his experience to help others.
I won't give away a lot of details in case you want to read it, but it tells of the horrific accident that crushes him and kills him, how no one even tried to get him out of the crushed car for 90 minutes because he was dead, and how a preacher driving the same road was prompted to pray for him while he was dead.
What was interesting was that the preacher was not prompted to pray him back to life but instead to pray that there would be no internal injuries. All the while Don was at heaven's gate being greeted by people who had gone before him. People who had played a part in his salvation, and those who he had helped lead to Christ. His descriptions of heaven definitely give you something to reflect on and look forward to.
I loved the way he described the people but he did say that it was not really possible to give an accurate description of anything because it was all beyond anything we could imagine. Everyone looked as he remembered them but they were all beautiful and overflowing with love, and happiness. He said that there was singing that was like nothing he had ever experienced. That seemed to be what stuck with him the most.
One of the lessons he learned after he came back resonated with me. While he was in the hospital people would come to see him and would always ask if there was something they could do for him. He always answered no. He said he didn't even sound too appreciative either and these people who loved him, would end up looking quite dejected when they left.
Don was a preacher and now it was time for everyone to be able to give back to him some of what he had given to them over the years. God showed him that these people wanted to minister to him. That this was their ministry and that he was depriving them of it.
When he realized that, he forced himself to start saying yes when people would ask if he needed anything or if there was anything they could do for him. One man asked and so he said sure he could use a magazine. That guy went from dejected to excited, hurried out of the room and came back with an arm load of magazines. He was thrilled to be able to minister to Don.
I can really relate to this from both perspectives. I have been in a number of situations where I really wanted to help a friend who was facing a trial but wasn't sure what to do. When I would ask, the answer would come back nothing. I have had that happen just recently with a couple of good friends. It really frustrates me that they won't let me help. As Don learned, saying no all the time prevents others from the privilege of doing the ministry God made them to do.
By the same token, I have been on the side that says no a time or two also. It's very easy to let pride get in the way or to think I can handle it without help sometimes. But God is teaching me too, that saying no to people who want to help deprives them of their blessing. So when someone does something for me I try to say thank you and remember that God will bless them for their kindness.
Overall I think this was a pretty good book even though it didn't make my favorites list in my sidebar. God is clearly using this book to touch hearts so I do recommend it, especially to those who are dealing with or facing death. The unknown can be frightening but for those of us whose salvation is secure in Christ, we are simply stepping from this life into the next. The better life that is filled with unfathomable peace, contentment, and happiness with our Wonderful God. I do look forward to it.
Book Review by Edie
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
In this book, Gary Chapman talks about five different ways people define love or five things that make them feel loved, namely: spending quality time, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch. It is important to note that we are all different and the thing which makes me feel loved may not be true for my husband and vice versa. I think my top love language is spending quality time with him, while his I think, would be acts of service. He said he feels loved when I cook for him and do things for him. While I feel loved when he spends time with me listening to me and giving me undivided attention.
The principles discussed in this book, according to Chapman are not only helpful for husbands and wives but also for other relationships as well, like between parents and their kids.
Find out which of the following makes your love tank full, what makes you feel loved, then ask your lovey which one makes him/her feel loved:
Quality time - you like undivided attention, you like doing an activity or going places together, spending time together, quality conversation
Words of Affirmation - words of appreciation, expressed in simple, straightforward statements - hearing words like: You look very nice in that dress! ; I appreciate your doing that for me. ; Thank you for the delicious meal! ; encouraging words ; kind words ; humble words - making requests, not demands
Receiving gifts - it's not the amount of the gift but the fact that you are remembered and loved, it is a reminder of love - receiving tokens or gifts, bought or made, gift of physical presence, especially in times of crisis
Acts of Service - your mate does the chores and other things to please you or to express his/her love for you
Physical touch - lots of hugs and kisses, or simply touching to know he/she is there for you
What is your love language? Please let me know if you have questions. I am not an expert but I may have some idea. Our friends here are welcome to add something too!
it's not about me..
it's all about Him..
it's not about myself..
it's all about GOd..
it's not about what i want..
it's all about what HE wants..
"it's all about You, Jesus..
and Lord this for You,
for Your glory and Your fame...
it's not about me.
as if You should do things my way.
You alone are God and i surrender to Your will..
Jesus, lover of my soul..
all consuming fire is in Your gaze
Jesus, i want You to know,
i will follow You all my days..
for no one else in history is like You
history itself belongs to You..
alpha and omega, You have loved me,
and i will share eternity with You.."
im just so glad i read that Lucado book. "It's not about me" truly taught me so many important truths, truths that i often forget. God used that book to make me realize that it's not about me and not about my wants and needs. it's all about God. It's all about giving Him glory. It's all about living for Him.
now i know why it is easy for us to be focused on ourselves. simple. its because we like to live a "me-centered" life. From the day we were born, we've been wanting our own ways, and we continue to believe that "It's all about us. Every thing's about us." we always want to feel good and comfortable with our lives. Minding our own sake has been with us ever since, so we tend to be selfish. in other words, we love ourselves so much. that's the truth. we're all born with a default drive set on selfishness.
but then GOd is so good to show me that it's not the way i should live my life. im so grateful He did that. here are some of the lessons i learned and i hope you'll ponder over these and try to evaluate yourselves and the way you live your lives:
*"God does not exist to make a big deal out of us. we exist to make a big deal out of Him. its not about you. its not about me. its all about Him.
*our goal is not to absorb the glory but to reflect it back to the Maker. WE should not try to be the sun, instead we must try to be the moon--reflecting in our lives the light of the SOn.
*we are all born with a default drive set on selfishness.
God, i want Your will to be done in my life. enough of the "i-want-this" stuff. im ready to change course. it's not about me. it's all about YOu.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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