This Hallelujah Banquet – Book Review

I was absolutely delighted when I saw that Eugene Peterson had written a new book with the Revelation as its theme. I have long respected this incredible servant of God and have used his transliteration of the Word, The Message, as a resource for both teaching and understanding the Bible. This Hallelujah Banquet is a collection of some of his former sermons and messages that address the behavior of the 7 churches and the invitation to the Hallelujah Banquet. The book is both purposeful and powerful. It gives additional insight into the last days at a time when it is truly needed.

Here are a few take-aways and quotes. (EP in parenthesis and dark print denotes a direct quote from the book.)

The Church in Ephesus – If we do not love, (Which is what human beings do best.) then nothing else we do is adequate to replace it. “For love is not what we do after we get the other things done, if we have any energy left over. Love is what we do, period.”  (EP)

The Church in Smyrna – We must get over the “I” disease. One of the worst effects of suffering is the sense of isolation that it brings. We feel that in our pain we are cut off from God and from all friends. (EP)

The Church in Pergamum – Truth is more than telling it. It’s all about living it! Christ is our comprehensive, personal truth to be expressed in gestures, actions, and conversations when no one is watching.  (EP)  

The Church in Thyatira – We (and they) live in a Jezebel culture. Success is totally separated from God at all cost! While many believers seem to want to retreat from society, there is no way to be a Christian except in the world.   (EP)

The Church in Sardis – Playing spills out when we are being ourselves. Praying spills out when we are being more than ourselves. (EP)

The Church in Philadelphia – We must stand up to the lies, indifference and evil that is all around us, always taking God’s side in our lives!  He gives us the best He has. He also gets the best out of us. He saves us. He also sends us. He cares for us, but He also challenges us. (EP)

The Church in Laodicea – We live in a lukewarm culture. We have so much that we cannot see everything around us (jobs, stuff, successes, families) has taken over what God has done and is doing for us. We are more influenced by the culture than the Cross. Luke-warmness is a human trait. It happens when prosperity takes over life. (EP)

One final quote and something to think on:

If you want to swear, you have to learn a new word in every language. If you want to say, “Praise God,” one word will do that all over the world: hallelujah. (EP)

This book was filled with new revelations. (A bit of a word play, if you don’t mind.) I highly recommend it. It will be available for purchase on January 26, 2021. You can pre-order it here.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links.  When you use them I may receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

 

The Powerful Purpose of Introverts – Book Review

Yes, I am an introvert.  I certainly never thought I was until I read this definitive study of the subject.  I also took all the tests, answered the questions, did some research of my own, and discovered I’ve been denying parts of my personality.  What a difference!!!

I want to take a few moments of your time to share what I have learned and with that encourage you to read The Powerful Purpose of Introverts by Holley Gerth.

I am a creative person. I like to move furniture around, use color to enhance my home.  I like to sew, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and design my own projects.  I like to read, write, and think in quiet places where I can totally focus. I love to teach, sing, and play the piano for God’s glory.   I like to share my work with others.  Trust me, I am not shy about it.  Now you might think, like I did for so long, that makes me an extrovert.  Not so!  All these things make me who I am.  Holley Gerth says, “When we become more aware of ourselves, we become more aware of others too.”

I used to think that people who want solitude, time alone, were some kind of weird.  I love being with people, talking with people, interacting with people, but it sometimes drains me.  All these things are not the opposite of solitude.  Allowing myself time ‘alone’ increases my creativity, deepens my Christian growth, and helps me focus on what is really important.

Through this book, I discovered to be the best me I can be I must take time to make and grow positive personal connections.  For me, this means listening well, being patient and persistent (always working on this one), and sharing the limelight.

I could almost hear myself talking at one point in my reading.  A loud noise of any kind is so deeply offensive to my sensibilities that I will choose not to involve myself in activities that have that potential.  Concerts of any kind, including the symphony, require me to always carry earplugs.  When Holley commented that she does too I was truly seeing myself.  I absolutely love music and good speakers, but they can be overwhelming for this introvert.

Holley Gerth writes about being an introvert with great passion, with the sensitivity of being an introvert, but most of all with the desire to help everyone understand both themselves and the people around them.

Oh, how I have grown through reading this book.  Read it!  You will grow too.

Blessings on blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an ebook copy of this book from Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

STAND ALL THE WAY UP – Book Review

My favorite reads are those that motivate, encourage, and make me more aware of what is happening in this crazy world. Not self help so much as books that say ‘I’ve been where you’ve been and this is how ‘we’ dealt with it. We? Never alone, always with God and the great people He placed in our lives for the purpose of coming alongside.

Sophie Hudson’s (Stand All The Way Up) writing style is straight forward, say it like it is, and downright funny.

Here are a few concepts that are covered in this book.

Quit faking it! You are who you are, what you are, and God loves you just that way.

Whenever it’s OK with God then it’s OK with me.

Being prepared in all situations (Yes, life WILL throw curveballs.) is a nod of respect to yourself and those around you.

I don’t have to keep everyone happy in every situation.  I can choose to react my way simply because I want to.

When God clearly tells you what He wants, do it!  Stand firm on your decision to obey!

God can, will, and does, make a way in every circumstance.

Personal is ALL about personal comfort. Once again, quit trying to be someone or something other than yourself.

Strong relationships and fellowship in the local church matter. Pursue them. If the groups of the church are so tight they don’t have room for you then create your own or find another church.

When my life is all about what I can do for you, IT MATTERS!

Pretending is lying. Be who you really are, not what you think you should be.

I truly hope this motivates you to read Stand All The Way Up by Sophie Hudson. It’s worth your time and will definitely cause you to think in some new ways.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them I may receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

 

 

 

L.E.A.R.N. Book Review

Have you had the experience of reading a book that every page spoke some new truth into your life? (Except for the Bible, of course.) The L.E.A.R.N. Evangelism Handbook – Giving Away The Greatest Gift by Dr. Marshall M. Windsor did exactly that as I read. There are so many passages highlighted in so many colors that the pristine, clean, white pages of this book are now a cacophony of color.

Having trained as a Lifestyle Evangelist (Heart Call) by the Southern Baptist Conference I was very interested in discovering new ideas and techniques for reaching out and telling the Story of Jesus. I was not disappointed! Dr. Marshall is an authentic cheerleader for every believer who knows we are not to be silent!

The book touches everything from styles to stories to silence. The acronym, L.E.A.R.N., covers listening with intention, engaging in the way God designed for you, asking with sensitivity for what the other person needs, relaying through your won lifestyle, becoming a beacon of light in the darkness, and above all never giving up.

It is the job of every Christian, everywhere to share the story, to go and tell, to be the light.  It is my fervent prayer that you will be strongly motivated by this review to read this book.  It is worth every minute of the time it will take.

Some favorite quotes from the book:

  • We are called to run the Christian race well, so our focus should be to share some Gospel seeds whenever and wherever the Holy Spirit nudges to do so. Being obedient to God’s Great Commission is the real goal we all should embrace–one step at a time. (pp. 189)
  • What God really needs is someone who will sincerely pray for opportunities to share the love of Christ to a world that desperately needs Him, in his or her own way. (pp.103)
  • …obedience on our part is so important–eternity for someone is at stake. (pp.103)
  • And the best one of all!!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Chalfant Eckert Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links.  When you use them I may receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

Star of Persia — Book Review

Yes, the story is the one we know and love.  The one about the beautiful Queen Ester, the Star of Persia There’s a bit more to it in this retelling. Along with palace intrigue, politics, and jealousy, add a king who can’t make decisions without others telling him what to do, a queen who wants a ‘normal’ married life, a father who finally comes to terms with who he really is, and you have an awesome, can’t put it down story.

Family relationships abound and add sometimes surprising twists. Personality traits of manipulation, arrogance, scheming, brutality, stubbornness,  and more, clash with strength, internal beauty, loyalty, and love.

Throughout the story the sense of God’s presence permeates. Might that be because of knowing the story so well? Perhaps.   The threads of the story, just like those of the Biblical portrayal, point to the fact that God always has a reason for everything that happens in the lives of His people.

Esther is portrayed as an obedient, loving, and caring person. I would love to have seen more of her internal qualities of strength, wisdom, and leadership.

All in all, this is a really good portrayal of the story of Esther, the Star of Persia.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”