Be The Truth

I am currently reading a book that I'll be reviewing later.  In the introduction, the author reminds us that truth, especially scriptural truth, does not just belong in classrooms and discussions.  It belongs in life.

For truth to fulfill its purpose, it needs to be part of everyday life.

A great example of this is 1 Corinthians 13.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails."  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NASB)

You can read this passage three times a day.  You can memorize it.  You can study the Greek translation of every word.  You can debate Paul's meaning by choosing one word over another.

But if you aren't living a life that's loving, you're missing the point.

Theological study and discussion have their place.  Bible reading and memorization are important.  But you must be living out those things in your daily life for it to make any difference.

In what ways do you try to live out the truths of scripture?


Margaret's Ark (Book Review)

Last week, I read a book that is way out of my comfort zone.  It was available from my local library as an ebook, and I thought the premise was interesting.  

It got to the point where I would not allow myself to read it at night, for fear I would have nightmares.

It wasn't a horror story, but it was apocalyptic.  Like The Day After Tomorrow.  Or I Am Legend.  Knowing.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.  

Really, I don't like those kinds of movies, and here I am reading a book in somewhat the same genre.  By the time I realized I was uncomfortable, I was hooked on the story and the characters.  So . . . no reading this one before bed.

But I'm glad I read it.  

In the book, hundreds or thousands of people on earth start having dreams . . . visions if you will . . . of angels telling each of them to build an ark.  They are given specific dimensions and directions.  Each ark is built to hold 30 people.  No more, no less.

These people are faced with a similar choice as Noah was.  Do you believe what you've been told, that you're not crazy, and head to the lumber yard?  Do you decide that you are crazy and ignore what you've seen and heard?  Or do you believe but choose to succumb to the pressure of those around you and take no action?

I realize that the Bible clearly says that God will never flood the earth again.  And so when I started reading, I found the premise ridiculous and almost not worth reading, but then I read Harry Potter and Twilight, so. . . .  I kept reading, and surprisingly. the story had an explanation for this discrepancy.

What makes this different from the typical apocalyptic story is that this is clearly a religious book.  I think it could make you introspective, make you wonder how you would act in a similiar situation.  It also made me think a lot of the second coming, for obvious reasons.  I actually didn't notice much theologically that I took serious issue with.  Like I said, they even gave a plausible explanation that allowed another flood.

I absolutely do not recommend it to everyone, but if you like end-of-the-world stories, this is an interesting one.  

If you've read it, let me know what you thought of it.

If you decide to read it, make sure you wait until it's not raining.

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What are you praying for?

It seems like there are so many more things to be praying for today.  Maybe it’s just that communication has improved and hearing prayer requests isn’t limited to a few minutes during the Sunday service. 

It would be an easy thing to pray all day and not run out of people or situations to pray for.  Our cities, our countries, our world needs prayer.  Our families.  Our friends, both the most intimate and the most casual.  Our friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law.  I remember once when I was younger, I made a list on the inside cover of my Bible of people I wanted to pray for.  It was at least fifty people long.

How do you choose what to pray for?  It’s an honest statement to say that there are only so many minutes and hours in the day we can spend in concentrated prayer.  And of course, prayer is communication, so here’s hoping that a good amount of your time in prayer is spent listening and not talking.

So how do you choose what to pray for?

Here are some suggestions:

Pray for what and who you have authority and influence over.  Praying for your spouse, your children, your subordinates at your job, your own home, and other areas that you have authority over is more effective than praying for your friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law.  We are in a battle.  Make sure to take care of your own front line.

Pray for what is important to those who are important to you.  Besides being a method of change and interacting with God, prayer is encouraging to those who receive it.  I have prayed over friends’ injuries and concerns, knowing that the knowing that someone is praying for them is almost as important as the praying itself.

Pray for what God tells you is important.  Sometimes God stirs us up about something.  I remember a few years ago finding out that someone I knew casually was ill.  To be honest, most of the time, I pray for a person and then don’t return to it, but for some reason this time I felt compelled to pray for her regularly.  Other times you might feel like you need to pray for someone without knowing why they need it.  That’s the time to pray.

Pray when you tell someone you will.  If someone asks you to pray for them, do it.  Even better if you do it right that moment, with them.  That way, you won’t forget to do it and because they get the extra blessing of eavesdropping on your conversation with God.

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by what needs prayed for?  How do you choose what you are going to pray about?

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The Dust From My Feet

Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension and Essential Tremor, among a myriad of other issues mostly stemming from these two. She had brain surgery in 2012, to install a VP Shunt, and had a revision in January of this year. She now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at

And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate. - Luke 9:5

We are called to bring the message. Our feet are dusty from the roads we've traveled to do it. Actual roads. Figurative roads. Cyber ones.

Once the message is delivered, our job is done. Besides prayer, what more can we do?

Are you discouraged by negative comments? Are you baited into fighting with those who would pull us off course?

If you're wondering what to do now... if it's time to quit... take a look at advice straight from the Master's lips.

And if they're not welcoming you, just remember that it's not really you they're rejecting.

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. - 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

May God shore up your spirit as you continue to walk with Him. May He give you more opportunity to shine your light in the way that only you can. May He grant you grace and mercy on the discouraging days.

Shake off the dust from your weary feet. And then gather more.

Lord, help us to go on walking in Your light, shining the good news of You into all dark places. Help us never to let the darkness discourage us, as if we expected to find none. In Jesus' Name, Amen...

photo credit: Mike Rodriquez via flickr
photo credit: artmonstergirl via flickr
photo credit: benleto via flickr

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Deliver Us From Evil (book review)

Deliver Us from Evil by Don Basham was an interesting book about a Christian man's journey from believing that the devil and demons did not exist and had never existed to recognizing the influence of them in our world.  The tag line of the book is "A Pastor's Reluctant Encounters with the Powers of Darkness."  It is really an apt description.

At the beginning of this story, Mr. Basham was a minister at a church that was in the midst of revival.  They had regular prayer meetings.  People were being healed, and miracles were happening.

But he, and many or all of the church members did not believe that the demonic had any influence in the lives of people.  They didn't even believe they existed.  Demons were just an old, archaic way of explaining the sinful nature of man.

Mr. Basham soon found himself in multiple situations where the demonic was evident, but he still didn't want to admit this was real.  He decided to conduct an experiment where he chose to assume they did exist and see what happened.  Before long, he was convinced, both by his Bible study, conversations with other Christians, and his experiences.

The book tells about many of his experiences with the demonic, but I think one of the most useful parts of this book is his notes.  Throughout the story he will explain how he processed his thoughts and experiences.  Often, he made lists and notes which he included in his book.  Seeing how he came to believe these things is beneficial for those who are already convinced and those who are not.

Because this book begins with a person who is at stage even earlier than the skeptic, this book is useful for those who are curious or who have had experiences they can't explain but doubt that demons exist.  It is also useful for the one who is already convinced but wants to learn more.

If you want to read this book, it is available on Amazon as a paperback.  If you decide to read it, I hope that you'll use my affiliate link above or here to order.  Your ordering experience will not change, nor will your price, but Amazon will compensate me in a small way for introducing you to this book.

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen in exchange for my review.

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Red Lights and Low on Gas

Saturday night, I found myself across town with about 30 miles worth of gas in my car.  My husband had told me he would get gas in the morning, so I headed toward home.  I knew there was enough gas to get home and to the gas station in the morning, but I asked God to help us extend that gas a little farther by helping me not have to stop at any red lights.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that it didn't take a great amount of faith to ask this because it had happened before, but it was an uncommon occurence, considering the number of stop lights involved.

And the only stoplight I had to stop at was the one where I tried to slow down a bit, way in advance, expecting the light to turn at any minute, with the intention of giving the light time to turn yellow, red, and back to green before I reached it.  Once I realized I had miscalculated, I sped up again, hoping to make it through, but the light turned yellow too soon, so that I had to stop rather than try to make it through the intersection before it changed to red.

I apologized to God there in the car, for trying to take care of it myself, and I did not have to stop at another light.  There were a couple close calls, and there were a couple I had to slow down coming up to them, but I didn't have to stop and wait at any light the rest of my way home.

The whole thing reminded me of the story of Abraham, Sarai, and Hagar.

Honestly, any time I try to make my own way, I am reminded of this story.

God had promised Abraham an heir, more specifically, a son.  And Abraham grew frustrated and decided that God must be needing his help to get this accomplished.  Sarai (later to be renamed Sarah) offered her servant Hagar to have a child with Abraham in her place.  This was a common practice in that day, though not necessarily something God approved, particularly in Abraham's case.

A child was born and caused no end of trouble, especially once Isaac, the child God has promised was born to Sarah.  I've talked about this story in the past, so I won't go any further into the story, but I simply want to make the point that we as humans have a tendency to *help* God along, when He doesn't need our help, and sometimes our help is even a hindrance.

I would love to hear about a time that you tried to help God and the lesson you learned from it.  Please leave your comments below.  I would love to turn one or more of the comments into an opportunity for some of you to guest post here, so I hope you'll tell me your stories!

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Grumpy Old Men: Mad About Hypocrisy (Video)

It's been a while since I've shared a sermon with you, and it's been a while since I've listened to one from my alma mater, so I knew it was time to find something worth listening to and worth sharing.

I was pleased to find one about David, since I've been reading so much about him lately.  (You can see my posts about that here and here.)  This is a great look at David, Bathsheba, and Nathan.  I hope you'll listen and share.

There is also an audio only version here.


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