Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart – Book Review


I was recently blessed with the opportunity to review Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart. This book is a somewhat new way to do a Bible study. Sheri Caruso opens each week of the 8-week study with an insightful look at one of the churches of Revelation. This is followed by 7 days of verses to contemplate and pray. The unexpected format was a gift because I decided that I would totally immerse myself in the process. I’m so glad I did. 

I chose the book because of its title and expected a great story of someone who had greatly sinned and through a season of repentance and prayer (Sackcloth and Ashes…) was totally forgiven. By the end of the book I discovered that person was me. Praying through the verses each day in my own words helped me understand that not only are the Revelation Churches about individual groups but they have issues that directly apply to me. Wow!

I highly recommend this book to groups and individuals. It is definitely worth the time.

It’s free on Kindle right now! Right here – Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart

Blessings to you and yours!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Capture Books. 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 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!


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.


Heaven Is!!!

thCA8GZJYEA sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die.  Tell me what lies on the other side?” Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?  You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?” The doctor was holding the handle of the door;  on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my god?  He’s never been in this room before.  He didn’t know what was inside.  He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.  I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…” “I know my Master is there and that is enough.” On this Memorial Day Weekend take the time to remember those who have gone into the Master’s arms.

Oh, How He Loves You and Me!!! Worship Him in song…   Thank You by Ray Bolz.

Revelation 21:1-5      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 22:1-5     Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be any curse.  The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.  There will be no more night.  They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.  And they will reign for ever and ever.  

Revelation 22:20-21      He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.  

Heavenly Father, make it so!

Heavenly Music

Does God sing? 

I know the angels do.  The Christmas Story tells us after Michael announced the birth of Jesus they sang, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men’. 

John tells us in Revelation that he heard and saw the angels around the throne singing heavenly music (my words). 

 I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing, Hallelujah!    Revelation 19:1 (The Message)

The Prophet Zephaniah not only says God sings but that He rejoices over us when He does.

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

How can I say thanks when Your word so clearly says You care so much that You not only sent Jesus but that You rejoice in me with Your song.  What a mighty God I serve.  Oh, Lord, let everyone who reads this feel Your great delight in them.   Make it so!