Gospelbound – Book Review

I had just spoken to one of my ESL students who said she has little or no hope for the world in which we live. Her vocal tone was almost a monotone and she rarely smiles. I am not sure how I can help this beautiful young woman. I want to help. I want everyone to understand that they were put on earth, at just this time and place, because God has a plan and purpose for their lives. Then I came across this book – Gospel Bound by Collin Hansen and Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra.

The authors of this book suggest that the key to living a hopeful and rewarding life is ‘to think big and small at the same time.’  What does that mean? Thinking big for me means trusting God for everything. Thinking small means helping others. Buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk and take it to the young mother who commented she didn’t have any. Call the friend who is making some tough decisions and simply listen to her talk. Giving what I can when I can is often just a little thing but it makes a God-sized difference in someone else’s life.

One of the problems in the US right now is that we do not understand or perhaps even recognize the amount of suffering that is going on around us. We have isolated our thoughts and actions to our own small group of people and rarely reach out to others. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. The question becomes – is what I’m doing making any difference at all?  Gospel Bound suggests that it’s rare to be able to change someone else’s habits. But we must keep on helping others. Some will eventually see the Light. Others will go on as they always have. The Bible doesn’t say each endeavor will be successful, it just says do it! (Be obedient!) We are not asked to do miracles, that’s God’s job anyway, we’re asked to use what we have been given and get on with it.

How do we show God’s love in this topsy-turvy world? Here are a few examples from the book:

God’s Word is and must be our guide.

Live and work with integrity.

Give the best we have in all circumstances.

Show hospitality by sitting with newcomers in worship.

Volunteer in ways we never thought we could.

GET INVOLVED. Don’t just sit back when you see a need.

Be holy, godly, diligent, at peace (2 Peter 3:11,14).

Work while we wait because our minds are set on heaven.

Invest your love (of Jesus) in all your relationships. Take the focus off yourself.

Visit the lonely, feed the hungry, care for the sick.

Do what’s right even when you don’t want to. Even if no one notices. In other words, live with honor. Romans 12:17

Plant a church.

Pray through all your decisions and then stick with them.

Favorite Quote: “When billionaires like Bill Gates give away their fortunes to fight diseases and help the world’s poorest people, we recognize God’s provision, even if Gates does not recognize God.”

Although I recognized the value of this book I was a bit disturbed by some vulgar language and way too much explicit description of sexual activity. I simply want to warn you with this statement. I hope it doesn’t keep you from reading it.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This book will be published on April 6, 2021

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Net Galley/Walter Brook & Multnomah Press. 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.”

 

Disappointment God’s Way

Have you found yourself in a state of disappointment at times during this unusual season? Are events and normal daily occurrences being postponed or rescheduled starting wear on you? Me, too! So how should we deal with this?

First, and foremost, stay connected to God. How? Read His Word. Pray. Talk to other Believers by calling, writing to them, videos, podcasts… Enjoy His creation by walking, biking, just getting out in some way and focusing on Him.

Are there things happening that you cannot control which lead to a sense of disappointment? Of course there are. Stop trying! Make a list of what is in your control. Be creative! The things I can control, with God’s help are:

  • My thoughts – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
  • My words – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
  • My actions –“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:37-38

Above all focus on how much God loves you! Commit this verse to memory!

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us.” Romans 5:5 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Promises

 

God’s promises are words He always keeps!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.               Isaiah 41:10

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 3:18

“… THE WORD OF OUR GOD WILL STAND FOREVER.” Isaiah 40:8b

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is part of a flash mob of writers who write for 5 minutes on a word given each Friday by Kate Moutaung at https://fiveminutefriday.com. Come join us and see what others have written.

Commandments

Exodus 18 brought these thoughts to mind.

The Israelites had escaped from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and defeated Amalak so far. There were probably more than 1.5 million people at that point. (The Word tells us there were 600,000 men, not counting women and children.)

Moses was doing all of the judgings himself when his father-in-law came to him and advised him to make some changes. I’m sure Moses talked to God and his advisers (see Genesis 18:12) about it, too. The plan was, there would be men in charge who knew the 10 Commandments well and would judge in hierarchies of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

It was so simple.

But then, would it be perfect again? Probably not! Since the fall men and women have gotten progressively farther and farther away from His Word. I wish I could shout it to the multitudes. God’s Word and God’s Law matter!

Can I get an amen?!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Words of Grace – Book Review

This is certainly not just another devotional.  It’s better than that.  It’s full of thoughtful, inspiring articles that drew me closer to my God.  It led me to a deeper level of thought on what the Word is trying to say.

Best of all, I can pick it up or put it down at any point.  Meaning, it’s not dated so I didn’t feel pressured to read a certain part on a certain day.  I can open it anywhere and read something important about my walk with Jesus any time I want.

It is thoughtfully divided into three categories.  Who God is, how He works in our lives, and how we are to respond to Him.

Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me:

  • “In the realm of morality and money, family and friends, work and play, God has a will and a way for us to live.”  (pg. 13)
  • “What is the message of Good News? God’s favor is on all mankind.” (pg. 25)
  • “We must know, feel, and acknowledge our sin before we will turn to Christ for salvation.  We must turn to Christ for salvation before we will have freedom from our sin.” (pg. 51)
  • Regarding the truth of Romans 8:1 – “You don’t have to justify yourself to others.  Imagine relating to others without being defensive.  You are not condemned, and no one can condemn you before God, so when you interact with others you can focus on truth, love, and edification.” (pg. 87)

I had only one drawback as I read through.  Scott Patty is a deep thinker and with that came sentence structure that was sometimes difficult to read.  But then, that forced me to think more deeply on God’s Word.

I’m sure I’ll be keeping this devotional in my book basket for months/years to come.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman and Holman Publishers.  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.”