“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3
I was cleaning my bookshelves a while back and came across a book that I hadn’t given much thought to in many years; it is the Prayer Book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Let me tell you how this little 80-page book blessed my life.
It was just after Thanksgiving time in 1995 while I was working as a pastoral assistant to a Catholic Pastor in Massachusetts. He was a great priest and a great friend. However, he was also great at volunteering me for projects! (I will admit that I really didn’t mind at all)
We traveled to Boston one afternoon to visit with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; what an amazing ministry they have. While taking a tour of their lovely chapel, we noticed that their prayer books were a torn and tattered mess that consisted of a folder of mismatched cards and papers. Continue reading
In this age of free and easy access to answers to our most inane questions and our deepest philosophical quandary’s, the internet, for all its faults and failings is on the forefront providing the answers. For thousands of years, lay people relied on the learned few to share their knowledge and provide us with the answers to our deepest questions. Then one day a few decades ago, the information that we relied on others to provide became readily available to all of us. Sacred texts were now available, holy texts, literary classics, rare – if ever seen manuscripts and scrolls were now ready to be accessed by anyone anywhere that wanted to see them.
It seemed as though all the answers to every question in the universe could now be found. Every question we could ever think to ask could now be answered. Today I can search and find the answer to anything I want to know. Whether I trust the “answer-er” or not, is a topic for another time.
There are several major internet search engines; Google and Bing are the two largest and most accessed. In 2018, there were 5.6 billion searches per day on Google alone. That’s a bunch of people asking a bunch of questions! So it begs the question, what are they looking for. When it comes to faith, what are the big questions that are in need of an answer? I took a look at the results from my own little blog search results to see some of what folks were asking; the results are clear. This is just a brief list of the taken from this year’s statistics.
- I didn’t want to give up my sin
- Bitter truths about rapture
- Jesus and the Cross
- What is cherished sin?
- I believe God hates me
- The truth about rapture
- God are you real?
- Am I saved because of Jesus death
“Life changes overnight for Coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team and state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant shuts down and hundreds of families leave their town, John questions how he and his family will face an uncertain future. After reluctantly agreeing to coach cross-country, John and his wife, Amy, meet an aspiring athlete who’s pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery. Inspired by the words and prayers of a newfound friend, John becomes the least likely coach helping the least likely runner attempt the impossible in the biggest race of the year.”
Overcomer by Chris Fabry
“What do you allow to define you?”
With the upcoming release of Overcomer – the movie – slated for later this month, I decided to read the book. Rarely does any book capture my attention like this one did. Even more rare does any book evoke an emotional response from me, as this one did.
It is difficult to write this review without spoilers, so I will only give my thoughts and impressions of the story and leave the reader to embrace the goodness and pursue their own journey of overcoming.
The Book is divided into 4 parts (The Coach, The Question, The Answer, and The Voice) that will take the reader through a year long journey of 4 distinct characters – John the Coach, Hannah Scott, Barbara Scott and T-Bone (aka Thomas Hill). Through these rich and relatable characters, we are reminded that sometimes God’s plan for our life doesn’t always follow what we want for our life.
We are privileged to journey through this particular year as these characters come to terms with disappointment at the loss of what was, disillusionment of what is coming, apprehension and trepidation of our expectations of ourselves and our lives and the burdens we all carry, both real or self-imposed.
Written in collaboration with Michael Sullivan
“The Cross splits the world. Either you look at it and think – that’s pathetic or you look at it and you think – that’s powerful. If you think it’s pathetic, Paul says you are perishing. But if you think it’s the ‘Power of God’, you are being saved. But it’s one or the other” ~ Billy Graham
“Our faith must begin and end at the Cross. The trouble is that many Christians have bypassed the Cross and are trying to be moral by their willpower and self-effort rather than trusting in the indwelling power of Christ to transform them (Galatians 3:3) But if we attempt to build our spiritual life by any other foundation than Christ crucified, we are doing so by our natural strength.” (Newman, Peter, “The Meaning of the Cross”, 11)
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3 (NIV)
“’We preach Christ crucified.’ This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of blood flowing from Christ’s veins as He hung on the cross. The message of shed blood is repugnant to many, and they turn from such a gory sight, feeling that their delicate sensibilities have been outraged. Many people will accept Christ’s character, but they reject His crucifixion.” (Decision Magazine; April 2007)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 AMP
God Hates Me! Okay maybe He doesn’t hate me, but at the very least He is mad at me! He’s just waiting to get a hold of me and punish me. I have sinned so much, there is no way that He could ever forgive me. If I can’t forgive myself, why would He forgive me.
Sadly, that is the prevailing opinion of many Americans today. God is unrelenting. He is vengeful and angry. How could He ever forgive me for what I’ve done?
Gods promise in Isaiah 54: 9-10 gives us the hope and assurance we so need.
9 “In the time of Noah I promised
never again to flood the earth.
Now I promise not to be angry with you again;
I will not reprimand or punish you.
10 The mountains and hills may crumble,
but my love for you will never end;
I will keep forever my promise of peace.”
Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing by Kathy Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Lavish Grace is a unique, nine-week study of Paul’s teachings about grace and ways he experienced God’s grace in his life. Filled with contemporary examples of grace at work, this well-written format gives you the rare opportunity to combine a character and topical study into one rich, practical approach to Scripture. Lavish Grace is the eye-opening study you need to recognize how God’s grace is being poured out on you and through you. His grace will give you reason to rejoice every day.”
Lavish Grace by Kathy Howard is an interesting book. It is designed to be an interactive nine-week bible study, but I think that it could also devotional of sorts too. The book is divided into three sections: “Grace Poured Out”, “Grace Poured Through” and “Grace Overflowing”. Each section is then divided into three week studies and each week into four sections. Continue reading
Greater Devotional: A Forty-Day Experience to Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life by Steven Furtick
Recently I became aware of a GodTube video of Pastor Furtick that I, as an evangelical Christian, find truly offensive. For that reason, I will not promote any products of Pastor Furtick and have removed my reviews of his books from my blog.
To understand this post, please visit:
The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional: 365 Days of Intimate Communication with God by Chris Tiegreen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“This year, learn to listen for the voice of the One who loves you most. We know for sure that God speaks to His people. Throughout the pages of Scripture, time after time, He guides, instructs, corrects, inspires, encourages, and reveals. Inspired writers even call Him “the Word.” He has always been vocal, and He always will be.
But what does He say to you? How does He say it? How can you know when you’ve heard Him?”
The One Year – Hearing His Voice Devotional by Chris Tiegreen is a great daily devotional to add to your daily quiet time to aid you in learning to hearing God’s voice. And while this isn’t always something we can readily discern, Mr. Tiegreen, helps us to learn to discover patterns and to adopt practices that will enable us to more readily hear His voice. Continue reading
This book is fascinating. It kept my attention from the first page until the last. I cannot stress enough how strongly I feel that this book and the author’s last book, The Harbinger, are on your immediate reading list. Read it, then pass it along to friends, family, co-workers.
The Mystery of the Shemitah: The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, the World’s Future, and Your Future! by Jonathan Cahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The Mystery of the Shemitah: The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, the World’s Future, and Your Future!
The book you can’t afford NOT to read. It is already affecting your life…And it WILL affect your future!
Is it possible that there exists a three-thousand-year-old mystery that…
– Has been determining the course of your life without your knowing it?
– Foretells current events before they happen?
– Revealed the dates and the hours of the greatest crashes in Wall Street history before they happened?
– Determined the timing of 9/11?
– Lies behind the rise of America to global superpower… and its fall?
– Has forecast the rising and falling of the world’s stock market throughout modern times?
– Lies behind world wars and the collapse of nations, world powers, and empires?
– Holds key to what lies ahead for the world and for your life?
– And much more….”
A Rooster Once Crowed: Leader Small Group Study Guide by Bryant Cornett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“A Rooster Once Crowed was built for group study. If you loved the commentary on the greatest story ever told, you’ll love it even more in community. Leading a study can be daunting. Or if you’ve done it before, you know that the time involved in preparation can be a barrier. Consider this Leader Small Group Study Guide like a guidebook to a city written by a friend who loves it and has spent years exploring it. This Leader Small Group Study Guide guarantees a deeply profound experience for you and your group.”
This Leader’s Guide is a great addendum to the book – A Rooster Once Crowed. The Leader’s Guide – via e-book – is packed full of resources that will make the Leader’s role a lot easier. The author has supplied thought-provoking questions for discussion in your small group. In addition, there are Leader’s Only pages with downloadable materials, as well as prayers and a music playlist to go along with the lessons.
It really is a complete guide especially helpful for a novice leader where more time can be spent on the subject versus the overwhelming task of putting together the study, notes, etc. Great job!
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
*Reviews of this book were posted at the following locations:
Amazon, The Book Club Network, Goodreads, and on my blog at http://titus3.wordpress.com
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This e-book is available at the Author’s website at