The Church In Babylon Study Guide: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness by: Erwin W. Lutzer

The Church in Babylon Study Guide: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the DarknessThe Church in Babylon Study Guide: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness by Erwin W. Lutzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are plenty of diseases in the church that create rot; the hollowing out of bible doctrine, the strife between members, and the lack of urgency and failure to feel the weight of the momentous task we have been given. All of this is evidenced by the casualness of many Christians; their stinginess in giving; and their lack of vision beyond themselves. Add to that our self-righteousness and lack of transparency, and no wonder are not having the lasting impact we should.

Ouch! Hard words to hear but a reality that we need to face. I have not read the accompany book to this study guide however, that being said the study guide is helpful and should be read along with the book to deepen the study of the church. The Church in Babylon is relevant to the church today and is meant to be studied together as a church.

The study deals with the reality of the church and I think that is what makes Lutzer such a good teacher. He is not squishy but teaches with authority of the scriptures. Each chapter is in sessions that encourages conversation and digging deeper into the word of God. Starting with a summary of the session into what the word says, ending with questions and prayer.

The sessions are:
Welcome to Babylon
Conflicts of Conscience
When the State Becomes God
The Church, Technology, and Purity
Transgenderism, Sexuality, and the Church
Islam, Immigration and the Church
Five False Gospels with the Evangelical Church
Taking the Cross into the World
Jesus at the Church Door
The Church that will Survive Babylon

Some highlights for me was technology and how we lose our souls to escapism and addiction. Immigration and the role of the church and the state. The state is to protect and the church to minister. We must work together not be pitted against. The five false gospels that undermine the cross and salvation.

A great bible study to further along our faith and to keep our ground in God’s word. Highly recommend.

A Special Thank you to Moody Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Therefore I have Hope: 12 Truths That Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy by: Cameron Cole

Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths That Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in TragedyTherefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths That Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy by Cameron Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Christ has risen from the dead”. There lies the most significant sentence of mankind. To the mother, whose family ultimately falls apart, engages in the one deadly sin of grief: She fails to face reality. This temptation to avoid reality entices many people in suffering. Some people hide in addictions. They seek escape from their anguish through alcohol, painkillers or porn. Where are you hiding?

Cameron Cole knows something about facing reality. His own young son was found not breathing in his bed where his mother found him. Facing the reality of death when it comes unannounced and with a small child leaves anyone asking why? This book does not answer the why but helps the reader to face the reality that we want to hide and where we can cling. Where we can put our hope. It is not a simplistic faith, even though that is how I find myself at times, but one that is complex when it deals with our emotions. Dealing with emotions is healthy and is meant to be shared. This family broke the statistics of staying together and facing it together. Feeling the pain of grief and the loss of the future with their son. Grief does not have to be losing someone but it can be losing a relationship, a job, a season of life.

The 12 truths are basic truths of Christianity.
Grace
Gospel
Resurrection
Faith
Empathy
Providence
Doubt
Presence
Sin
Joy
Service
Heaven

Cameron Cole offers hope in these basic truths of Christianity and brings it together that we can face reality. It is a process and the text shares that process. Taking steps at a time, one day at time. Going forward and remembering the goodness of the Lord. Highly recommend.

A Special Thank you to Crossway Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

An Amish Family By Kathleen Fuller

An Amish FamilyAn Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes when you least expect it, a friendship blossoms into love

A Gift for Anne Marie-A romance of friendship. Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been friends since they were four years old. They have a friendship that has been faithful and true. Now in their 20’s, they still have game night every Saturday night. Annie Marie is gifted in candle making while Nathaniel works on clocks. They admire each other as a good friend would. However, when Annie Marie friend Ruth confines in her about her feelings for Nathaniel, Anne Marie knows she must let Nathaniel go. Why is it so hard? When an unsuspected move comes to her family, her feelings become more confused.

A Heart Full of Love Ellie has overcome so many obstacles. Now blind, she and her husband will have their handful with their new baby twin girls. Ellie’s mother Edna has offered to help however, tension rises when Edna has a fear for the safety of her granddaughters. Ellie and her mother must overcome that fear in love. Love cast out all fear.

Building Trust Grace and Joel have been secretly dating for months and they are both ready to start their new life together. After asking Grace for her hand in marriage, Joel must ask Grace’s father for her hand. At the family dinner, Grace’s father is terribly angry at Joel and forbids the marriage. Joel is determined to find the cause of the anger and is willing to do anything to build that trust. A story on reconciliation and the healing it provides.

Surprised by Love Emily Schwartz is in no hurry to get married. However, it is a different story with her mother. Always pushing Emily to socialize, Emily feels the pressure. All she wants to do is study the stars. She knows God will take care of the rest. While running the family store, Rueben who would be considered an Amish player of sorts makes a delivery to the Schwartz store. It is there he saves Emily from her mother’s constant nagging. Feeling the pressure from his own family to find a frau, he and Emily agree to have the appearance of dating. A charming romance as they begin to learn about each other and find that their feelings run deep.

Each of these stories give a sweet reminder of love, hope and grace. Loved each one.

A Special Thank You to Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Bring Me Back by: B.A. Paris

Bring Me BackBring Me Back by B.A. Paris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars
Scared that the despair I felt would take me back to where I’d been before, I tried to rein it in.

A triangle of suspense. I know the comparisons of books can be a bad call, however, depending how it strikes you, this one has a twist that is unique but totally reminded me of Gone Girl.

The narration is back forth retelling the past and the present in the main character’s voice Finn who lost his wife Layla. No one knows where she is or what happened to her. Ellen, Layla’s sister now is engaged to Finn after ten years. Ten years of waiting, ten years of wondering of what happened. When an appearance of Russian Dolls come at random times and sightings of Layla, Finn believes someone is behind a sick joke.

Finn becomes torn between the sisters and what has happened to cause Layla to disappear. Fighting his conscience, and choosing to live in the past or hope for the future, Finn must find out who is behind the Russian dolls. The implications are a matter of life and death.

A page turner of solving the mystery of what happened to Layla and believing who Finn really is. What kind of man is he? Does he have any secrets? And how does he really feel about his missing wife and future wife. It all comes to an complex thrilling ending.

A Special Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

From Eden to Bethlehem: An Animals Primer by: Danielle Hitchen

From Eden to Bethlehem: An Animals PrimerFrom Eden to Bethlehem: An Animals Primer by Danielle Hitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All children love animals and with that love of animals, you can share with your child the love of God. From the snake to the camel, from Eden to Bethlehem, a short scripture reading with the name of the animal included followed by a beautiful illustration. I love sharing these books with my grandchildren as it gives us a special moment together. It also gives opportunity to teach about the love of God. A love that is shared! Highly recommend.

A Special Thank you to Harvest House Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Let There Be Light: An Opposites Primer by: Danielle Hitchen

Let There Be Light: An Opposites PrimerLet There Be Light: An Opposites Primer by Danielle Hitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic way of teaching your small ones the opposites in creation. Learning about what God has done in contrasting words brings the gospel to the heart of your toddler. I have purchased these books for my grandchildren and will continue to do so as they are a great tool to know who God is and what he has done.

A great book to share with your children.

A Special Thank you to Harvest House Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

The Gift for All People by: Max Lucado

The Gift for All PeopleThe Gift for All People by Max Lucado
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Had Jesus been forced to nail himself to the cross, he would have done it. For it was not the soldiers who killed him, nor the screams of the mob; it was his devotion to us. So call it what you wish: An act of grace. A plan of redemption. A martyr’s sacrifice. But whatever you call it, don’t call it an accident. It was anything but that.

A small devotion of the gifts we have in Christ. The gifts of mercy, grace, salvation and of himself. Each short chapter reminds us how he pursues us even when we don’t recognize him. It also serves as a reminder of the goodness of God that we can be so blind to.

I am very thankful for this book and how it ministers to the weary.

A Special Thank you to WaterBrook & Multnomah and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews