God Has A Name by: John Mark Comer

God Has a NameGod Has a Name by John Mark Comer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maybe the truth is that we want a God who is controllable because we want to be God. We want to be the authority on who God is or isn’t and what’s right or wrong, but we want the mask of religion or spirituality to cover up the I-wanna-be-God reality.

Comer takes the verses of Exodus 34:6-7 for us to relate to God by his name of Yahweh. Why does God have a name, and what does his name tells us about him and what he is doing. At first, I wasn’t sure which way Comer was going to go but right away he affirms who God is by not what he thinks of him but what the bible says. And it all starts with us desiring to see the Glory of God. I came to see that this phrase is God response to us as he is. In God’s love, justice, mercy and his wrath.

It is these attributes that we respond to the gospel and the culture. Our response is not what we feel is owed but who God is. We lose sight of the gospel when we make it about what has been done to us and what we are doing. Because God does have a name and his name gives us hope of the gospel, we can be a people of hope that gives hope.

The text is done quite well and is very readable for all readers. He starts with a foundation of the mountain top that Moses experienced with God that we may experience God in his attributes.

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

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12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by: Tony Reinke

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I am a social-media junkie, my lack of self-control feeds the social-media addiction in you. And the more I text and tweet and Snapchat, the more I drag you and others in the digital vortex of reciprocating obligation. This is the secret to how social media giants grow their valuation into the billions. They need me to entice you.

No matter what your stance on social media, what extreme you hold, it behooves us to know the implications of social media. This is not shame text but a text that will empower you to not be manipulated and to get back to reality of real relationships.

Social media traps our heart in ways that that our grandparents never had to deal with but I do think it reveals our hearts like no other generation as well. Not that we are worse generation before but that we are the same. Social media is a distraction that we need to control. In all things, there is good and evil and Reinke gives a great word on both.

He explains the challenge in the digital age is twofold.

On the external front: Are we safeguarding ourselves and practicing smartphone self-denial?
On the internal front: Are we simultaneously seeking to satisfy our hearts with divine glory that is, for now largely invisible?

Our insecurities are put in play with the social media world that we lose reality and become more narcissistic. Our need for validation, likes, applause does the opposite of what the gospel calls. This is a battle that WE all face.

The twelve ways:
We are addicted to distraction
We ignore our flesh and blood
We crave immediate approval
We lose our literacy
We feed on the produced
We become like what we like
We get lonely
We get comfortable in secret vices
We lose meaning
We fear missing out
We become harsh to one another
We lose our place in time.

I think this last presidential election really speaks to this. I think social media in all its efforts to grow love they have only grown hate. Not addressing that differences are good in our efforts to love another. This text is so needed for our time as Christians to fight for the gospel and those that do not see the beauty of the Gospel.

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

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The New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds by: Collin Hansen

The New City Catechism Devotional: God's Truth for Our Hearts and MindsThe New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds by Collin Hansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know God loves me because he would give up everything for me. is much different from saying I know God loves me because he did give up everything for me. One is a loving sentiment; the other is a loving act. While we may try to make God more loving by diminishing the reality of hell and God’s wrath, all we’ve really done is diminish the love of God. Without a real
hell we can’t understand the real price that Jesus paid for our sin. and without a real price that was paid, there’s no real love, there’s no real grace, and there’s no real praise for what he has done.

A catechism is a question (What is our only hope in life and death?) and the answer supported by scripture. “That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. romans 14:7-8. This particular text takes 52 questions with answers supported by scripture and commentary by current teachers and teachers in church history. The author explains the importance of catechism in our daily devotions for family and for ourselves. It solidifies our faith and in the process, God becomes known to us in word and in deed. It also keeps our hearts looking forward eternity for what really matters.

The text is done in 3 parts. Part 1 deals with God, creation, fall and the Law. Part 2 deals with Christ, redemption, and grace and Part 3 deals with Spirit, Restoration, and growing in grace.

In doing the question and answers, we also see our heart responds to the question and how we can reason with the answer. I love this because God takes pleasure in our searching to know him in truth and in spirit. This devotion puts you in the right track for that.

Will be buying this devotional for family. I highly recommend.

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

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The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money by: Tommy Brown

The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle MoneyThe Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle Money by Tommy Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Only when we realize a right relationship to money entails a right relationship to God, ourselves, and others can we experience the well-being for which we long. Money then becomes a tool to achieve our desires and do good in the world. Money, in the biblical tradition is the raw material God uses to teach us to trust, to love, to serve one another, and to restore God’s creation.

Do we help others with our money or do we honor them? Is there a difference?

How we handle our money and what we think about money is a reflection on our emotional disciplines.

There are seven ways we can handle our money that is biblical. With the help of Old Testaments giants Abraham/hospitality; Isaac/discipline; Jacob/beauty; Joseph/connection; Moses/endurance; Aaron/humility; David/leadership. Each of these by example of strength and weakness can help us discover how to relate to our resources that give the Lord glory and keep us from our resources owning us.

The text starts with you taking a test of money type and also shows the shadow of your money type. Where you might get in trouble in how you handle or relate to money. This is the part that I found most interesting and I found true. I did have hard time with the “broad brush” of money types and the biblical characters. Money with experience and background makes how we relate to money very complex and not so easy to put a type to it. Fear and love is the driving force behind how we relate to money and is at the root of our money problems.

All in all, I think some would benefit from this read and others might want to pass.

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

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Written In Love (Amish Letters, #1) by: Kathleen Fuller

Written in Love (Amish Letters, #1)Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is so easy to get stuck on rules and appearances that you miss finding grace.

Such a sweet story of grace in the midst of turmoil. The narration begins with a letter that was sent in error to Phoebe’s aunt house. Phoebe in a letter returns the letter to Jalon and with a sweet letter, a relationship begins. Each of them hiding in pain of shame and regret. The letters turn into something more when they both realize how important these letters are to them. Jalon takes the plunge and expresses his feelings in a letter hoping that those feelings will be returned. However, when Phoebe does not respond, Jalon with the encouragement of a friend, goes to Phoebe’s aunt to check on her. This meeting starts a friendship of learning to trust in love and the love of God.

Each of them dealing with past sins and hurt to move forward to love again. A real do over! The relationships were tender and raw has Phoebe and Jalon walk in faith. It was easy to fall in love with the characters as they struggle with faith and fear. Loved this one!

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

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A Mother’s Love by: Charlotte Hubbard

A Mother's LoveA Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Mother’s love is a love to hold onto

Rose Raber is now a widow and an orphan with a little girl of her own. As Rose says goodbye to her mother, her mother shares a secret of Rose’s past. She was actually adopted and her biological mother is now married with an Amish family of her own. The mother that she has always known as kept letters of her mother to her in hopes that she would come to understand her decision to give her up but it only leaves Rose broken and with questions.

A kind widower Matthias Wagler meets up with Rose as she is getting ready to bury her mother. Seeing her need and being totally enraptured with Rose’s daughter Gracie, he offers to help. There is an Amish chemistry between them including Rose’s daughter that is for me pure delight.

Rose takes a job as a cook at Health Care center in the town that Matthias lives in and also where her biological mother’s family lives. It is there that hearts begin to mend with the help of a precocious little girl and how motherhood heals wounds. There is a contrast between forgiveness and pride that reveals our own hearts as you share in the story. I loved it.

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

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Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God by: Courtney Reissig

Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God (The Gospel Coalition)Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God by Courtney Reissig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The work of the home is nothing to be ashamed of. It is valuable, important work. It is necessary work. It is work that God sees as integral to his work in this world. In fact, because you bear his image, you are imaging him with every task you accomplish in your home on any given day.

There is glory in the mundane however, we live in a world that always questions, does not value stay at home mothers, pits stay at home mothers with mothers that work, pits mothers that work with stay at home mothers. No wonder we question the good work of being home for our families.

Myself did both and to be honest I was pulled into the work force for many different reasons. What was sad is the lack of support to stay home. This is not to put blame on others, but to shed light on the turmoil that women go through. This text starts with the turmoil between staying home and going back to work. It is not a guilt trip but a longing of what is right and good. The text defines the competition of work and making a way for yourself, what is success and how competition produces money and care produces people. The work of caregiving in the home is valuable to the ones that God has called you to love. We may desire for our family to come first but the reality maybe that our loved comes last. We only have 24 hours to a day and 8 of those we need sleep, and after sleep, our 24 hours comes down to single digits very quickly.

Even with all my children now gone having children of their own, I have a new insight of what home is. A place of refuge, less chaos, and a place to wind down. It is not the job of one, but of the whole family. Where a job well done reflects well in a community. It is time that we do value the work of home and the security it can bring.

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

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