Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family from Spiritual Attacks by: Jim Logan

Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family from Spiritual AttacksReclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family from Spiritual Attacks by Jim Logan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is it possible for a believer to give ground to the enemy, then if it is, it then becomes crucial for that believer, in the power of the Holy Spirit to take back round he or she has yielded to the enemy. This is the heart of the book. To understand the ways that God’ people can give ground to Satan.

Mixed emotions on this study. I believe what the word says that we should guard our hearts and that the Satan’s mission is to deceive, destroy, and ultimately death to those made in the image of God. I do believe in Spiritual Warfare and that no matter what you believe, we are in the middle of it. That the battle ground is the mind and the goal is for God’s glory. Do I give Satan ground? Yes I do. The book is broken out by chapters in how we give Satan ground that affects our joy, our ministry, and how we love God and others. Logan gets it right that the question is not Do you have Victory? But are you standing in the victory you already have in Christ? There is a difference.

The definition of a stronghold is most helpful A stronghold is a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes me to accept as unchangeable something that I know is contrary to the will of God. I also was encouraged by his stand that being fixated on the enemy and his power is not helpful but that our focus should always be on Christ. Knowing how the enemy operates and becoming obsessed with him are two different things.

Each chapter also includes Higher Ground in which we can take steps to identify the stronghold and to bring to prayer. Being mindful of these strongholds is the first key to unlock as we walk thru scripture to breakdown the strongholds that keep us in fear or in sin. Breaking a stronghold always begins with repentance.

One strong disagreement I have A final reminder I want to leave with you before we get into the discipline of renewing the mind is this. simply having a wrong thought does not make you sinful or guilty,. If it did, Jesus would be sinful, as He received (but did not act upon) wrong thoughts, which were suggested to Him by Satan in the temptation in the wilderness. First of all, those were not Jesus’ thoughts but Satan as he attempted to tempt Jesus thru the desires that Adam and Eve failed in the garden. I think sin does go deeper that action but our thoughts as well which Jesus did teach when he taught on lust of the mind or calling a brother a jerk. Our thoughts reveal the heart.

The book was helpful in recognizing the strongholds and the hope we can lose because of those strongholds. However, I am thankful that I can call on the name of Jesus and know that he will never forsake me. That his mercy is new everyday.

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

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The Secret of the Village Fool by: Rebecca Upjohn

The Secret of the Village FoolThe Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca Upjohn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe. From the Village Fool to the Village Hero!

The story of Anton who is known in his small Polish town as the Village fool. With his unusual ways, many do not see the goodness of his heart. Anton knows that his Jewish friends are in danger and since life is precious to him, he has the courage to hide them in his home. With determination, he digs a hole in the earth to hide several families while risking his life to keep them alive and safe.

The dialogue gives hope as it depicts the friendship between families and the courage it took not to give up. A great resource to share with your children the value of any life and the courage it takes to not to give up.

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

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Failure: The Back Door to Success by Erwin W. Lutzer

Failure: The Back Door to SuccessFailure: The Back Door to Success by Erwin W. Lutzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is written for those who believe they are failures and for those who falsely believe they aren’t! It is a message of hope for those who are filled with regret; it is a message designed to disturb those who mistakenly feel they have “made it” in life. What is success? What is God’s perspective of success?

There are many reasons why we struggle with failure just as there are many reasons we struggle with success. It is easy to compare our lives with others and in doing so we go directly to despair. We focus on ourselves instead of who God is. The trinity is a great example of working together for one common goal instead of comparing what the other is doing, receiving, and worth.

We may struggle with our understanding of who God is, sin and the provision he provides for those who trust in Him. Because God is good, it is sin that drives us to his goodness. Joseph and his brothers are a great example of that. We don’t have to be in despair.

The quotes that I found encouraging

Let me say it once more. If your defeats and failures cause you to turn away from God, you don’t understand God’s grace. Christ died so that we have the basis of acceptance before God that has nothing to do with our fluctuating experiences. Our acceptance depends on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

God has not chosen to destroy evil by one sovereign act. Rather, He has chosen to let it exist and redeem us from it. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.

If we ask people to dedicate themselves tot he Christian cause, we often are simply employing the same motivations used by sects all over the world. And this, I believe is why most so called dedication services have little or no effect on the Christian community. It is not a lack of sincerity but a lack of understanding that is at stake. Perhaps this is why one Christian, after dedicating himself to God countless times borrowed a line from Alice In Wonderland to describe his spiritual experience. I have to run real fast just to stay in the same place.

Lutzer has become one of my favorite bible teachers. The gospel he represents is whole and not one sided. He brings his reader to the feet of Jesus and not on the treadmill of despair. If you struggle with despair and the pride of success, you will be encouraged that God offer’s more! HIMSELF!

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

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God For the Rest of Us: Experience Unbelievable Love, Unlimited Hope and Uncommon Grace by: Vince Antonucci

God for the Rest of Us: Experience Unbelievable Love, Unlimited Hope, and Uncommon GraceGod for the Rest of Us: Experience Unbelievable Love, Unlimited Hope, and Uncommon Grace by Vince Antonucci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

Because God is for all of us and God is love. Would love be a better motivation for faithfulness? Conformity to rules doesn’t last. Being coerced into obedience gets tiresome and burdensome. Love is what leads to lasting life change. Because God is for the rest of us; it doesn’t mean sin is ok. What it does mean that our hearts need to change that we realize that we need salvation. It means God is for everyone and everyone needs to experience God’s unconditional life changing love starting with us.

It starts with us. How does a sinner love another sinner? It’s not easy because we usually get in the way of what God has done for us by loving us. This book is a great reminder of that and how we can love others well. Antonucci’s own experiences come into play. Not growing up in a Christian home, he has a perspective that many might miss. He knows where he came from and he also sees how far he has come. Taking biblical accounts and people from his church in Las Vegas, he compares how God is for the drug addict, the prostitute, the pimp, the cross dresser, even the hypocrite.

For those that have been in the church for awhile, it is a different perspective and calls us to mission. For the one who may not feel that God is for you, it is a call to soften your heart to God’s call to draw near to Him. Don’t play the blame game and using others actions to declare that God is not for you. He is! And as a follower of Christ, begin to serve and love those that don’t know him.

I am somewhat conflicted because even though the gospel was displayed, it was not evenly displayed. For me, I do need to be reminded of the love of God for myself and for others and applicable ways to live that out. I appreciated how Antonucci’s heart lives that out and encourages others as well. What fell short for me that the many attributes of God was not addressed along with the love of God. It is God’s holiness that expresses God’s love. It is God’s justice that expresses God’s love. It is God’s wrath that expresses God love. It is our need that expresses God’s love. Our rejection of God is a heart issue, not an intellect issue, or a victim issue, or even a misunderstanding of God’s love for us. Know that I am God is terrifying and encouraging when we rest in His love for us.

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

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Wake the Bride: Facing These Last Days with Your Eyes Wide Open By: Jeff Kinley

Wake the Bride: Facing These Last Days with Your Eyes Wide OpenWake the Bride: Facing These Last Days with Your Eyes Wide Open by Jeff Kinley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So instead of looking for signs, bride, listen for His voice and look for the Lord Himself! Are you ready? Are you awake? Realizing our time is limited and viewing Jesus’s return as imminent causes us to live a life filled with urgency, hope and purpose.

With the rebirth of Israel is one of the many prophecies that have come to pass and is marker of the return of Christ. Revelation is a book for the church to WAKE UP and remember our first love of Christ and the church. It is a book to encourage, comfort, and to give the church warning of “sleeping”. It is and should be an urgency for us all. It was after Christ was crucified and rose again and it should be for us today.

This book is not another read on how Jesus is a ticket to heaven, but that Jesus is the reason for heaven. I loved what he said that Christ 2nd coming is not to be a salvation scare tactic but a romance. It is a call to trust Him and his word. Have we lost our anticipation for Christ’s return? Does it show in our church and every day life? How many sermons have you heard on this important doctrine?

This study of this important doctrine gives the reader guidance in the Book of Revelation all the while pointing to Christ. The purpose of the Church and the significance of the 7 years. I highly recommend this book.

A Special Thank You to Harvest House Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an review.

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I was Blind (Dating), But Now I See: My Misadventures in Dating, Waiting, and Stumbling into Love by: Stephanie Rische

I Was Blind (Dating), But Now I See: My Misadventures in Dating, Waiting, and Stumbling Into LoveI Was Blind (Dating), But Now I See: My Misadventures in Dating, Waiting, and Stumbling Into Love by Stephanie Rische
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know you, God seemed to be saying, and I know that if you stored away my provision, you would forget the one who gave it to you in the first place. I will give the grace you need. Just enough for today!

No I am not dating. I am happily married (we have had our share of happy and not so much) and have been for over 30 years but I have to tell you, what I have learned from Stephanie Rische’s account on dating and waiting for Mr. Right has taught me much about my own broken heart. She has shared her longing for a husband to share her life with, have kids, and grow old with. A marriage where she is known and she knows another. That is the longing for all of our hearts and I think that need also drives us to the feet of Jesus. It is the waiting that we all share whether we are married or not. We are always waiting for something…better…something to make us more complete….something to make us more happier. It is in the waiting we learn to trust and wait on God and His timing. It is in the waiting we draw closer to Him and desire to know him better.

There is also humor in waiting and I appreciated the wit and humor of the “blond dates” that with a Ebenezer rock with a name written on it ended up as a tangible symbol of God’s faithfulness. The torture of a blind date and checking off the list can do damage to anyone’s well being. But in those blind dates, how do you learn about God’s faithfulness. In the same way, it is not always the successes in life, but in the failures that I cling to who God is. What a great reminder.

This is not another testimony about being single but about the gospel. I love when a testimony speaks to my heart as well. My longings for God’s presence and how my desires turn into what God desires. Rische reminds us a sermon on marriage or a book on marriage only isolates those that are single, divorced, or whose spouse does not go to church. It is in the how to we lose the Gospel.

Some quotes that I found encouraging.

The Psalms never answered why. Instead they answered another question. Who? Who is this God we’re praying to? Who am I in relation to this big God?

As a family of one, I could embrace parts of the abundant life that my married friend couldn’t. And there were aspects of abundance that she as a mother of 2.5 kids, could experience that I couldn’t. But we were both sheep in the same pasture, led by the same shepherd.

Maybe that’s the definition of true contentment; choosing to rest in who God is, regardless of the circumstances.

I was truly blessed by this sweet and humorous testimony and reminded that our true longings are of God.

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

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Tea and Crumples by: Summer Kinard

Tea and CrumplesTea and Crumples by Summer Kinard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tea and sympathy. Tea and friendship.

A lovely prose of Sienna an entrepreneur that has recently opened up her own tea shop serving her community. Sienna has gone thru some pain of her own, she lost a baby and now her husband is in the hospital battling cancer. From her employees to her patrons, she discovers that she can face her pain while looking at the face of God. Sienna is not your average business owner, she builds relationships with her customers and brews the perfect tea for them. As she is building her relationships, she is also discovering how God brings her thru her tribulations. She discovers grace, where grace lacked and is able to give grace in return. The best of grace found in relationships when we most need it.

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

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