"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2011

IT'S NOT ABOUT ME

Max Lucado reminds us that it's not about us, it's ALL about God. The world does not revolve around us nor are we the center of the universe. Misconceptions that we are taught by society throughout our lives. But the rest of the title " Rescue From The Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy" sets the premise for this non-fiction, once again wonderfully written book by Max Lucado. He has such a way with words and story telling with humor and wisdom combined. It's not hard to tell that he is one of my all time favorite authors, even if the last book I read of his was so long ago "He Chose the Nails"; I do receive his UpWords weekly and there is one available daily and MP3s of 1minute messages. So when the opportunity to select one of his books in e-book form came, it was a welcome and a blessing for me, which I read in one sitting. I have so many parts highlighted, I'm not sure where to best begin telling you what I like. Yet I will emphasize that this is a timely book for me and I boldly would say for YOU.


"It's Not about Me" is wisely divided into two parts: God Pondering and God Promoting. "We move through me-focus to God-focus by pondering Him. Witnessing Him. Following..." this centers us on a life that works: God centered and rescues us from the one that doesn't: self-centered, self-ish. Whatever "self" you want to add... works for us to leave this behind and behold God. 


I love how Max than distinguishes between "beholding" and "reflecting" God. This is even wisely carried over in the excellent, though provoking study guide included in the back, written by Steven Halliday. Each chapter is separated into two sections: Beholding and then Reflecting.


The reason these two words are important is because different translations accurately use this for "katoptrizo"... but you'll have to read his book to clearly understand.  Yet, I see that it is crucial
to know since it is our human job description to REFLECT GOD'S GLORY! This is summed up beautifully by Max in these words: "Beholding leads to becoming. Becoming leads to reflecting."
Then Max proceeds to show us that God's message we are to mirror through: our message, our salvation, our body, our struggles, our success - all proclaim God's glory. "God sends the message, we mirror it." This takes us through the God-promoting part with each of these mirrored parts toward upward thinking. We exist to give honor to God's Name and a cleverly written exchange of a discussion between him and a Jewish passenger with Max on a flight.


The ending brought a tear to my eyes and a sweet nod of HOPE preceded by this sound, BOLD statement that expresses the heart of many of us (I hope):


"MAY WE HAVE NO HIGHER GOAL THAN TO SEE SOMEONE THINK MORE HIGHLY OF OUR FATHER, OUR KING."


I strongly encourage you to get a hold of a copy of this book to BEHOLD HIM CHANGING US:
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
[we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, 
even as by the Spirit of the Lord "
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

... and if at all possible, doing the study with a wonderful small group that will be blessed and changed in doing it together. I know that I'm considering it. Plus there is a bonus chapter of another one of Max's new books: "Outlive Your Life"... now I'm curious about that one, too... I can't get enough of Max Lucado's style of writing but you might of me reviewing his books. 


IT'S NOT ABOUT ME ~ It's ALL about HIM!!!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”


Thursday, July 21, 2011

GOD'S LOVE LETTERS TO YOU


I received "God's Love Letters To  You: A 40-Day Devotional Experience" by Dr. Larry Crabb  in E-Book format just in time to enjoy this summer, a refreshing look at God's Love for us, written and expressed in God's Word, the Bible and Dr. Crabb's heart through a unique conversation between him and God. I loved reading the "66 Love Letters" and could not wait to receive this by mail to read, so I was fortunate to get it in e-book format immediately to compare it to the full version of all 66 Love Letters.  Although as a devotional, it is only a morsel of the the other book, it whets your appetite enough for more of Dr. Crabb's enlightening way of questioning God, how each book in the Bible is God's LOVE letter and how it shows us or leads us toward understanding the bigger picture of God's story in a special and more clear focus. Since it is a 40 day devotional, it leaves out some of the 66 love letters but you do not miss so much that the  glimpse doesn't draw you to want more. Dr. Crabb entices you to read and examine your own story as you read God's story in the Bible. 

Since each devotional daily includes a title which captures your interest like this: "I HAVE A PLAN: TRUST ME" for Genesis; a well selected Scripture reading; a short devotional message, thought provoking questions and a closing prayer, it works perfectly for your daily quiet time. Since reading "66 Love Letters", I had been waiting for a study guide or something to accompany using this as a study and this works perfectly. This has given me a fresh, life changing encounter with God as I read His Word and apply this to my life. It has once again stirred a core within me, to desire to get more out of my reading of the Bible than just routinely reading it. Reading with Dr. Crabb's perspective, I am able to listen better to what God may be saying to me personally. Each chapter or book of the Bible, as a love letter, convicts and impacts you with a powerful message to think more deeply of your relationship with God with a new level of intimacy. I personally enjoyed having the prayer with each love letter to spur you into drawing closer to God and continuing the conversation. I would like to strongly recommend that you read this prayer as a sample of the heart of Dr. Larry Crabb's from the intro and allow God to speak words of life into you by adding this book along to your daily Bible reading:
"I pray that people across the world, people of every age,... will hear the love story God is telling us in words that reveal His heart, words that speak life into ours."
"Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, mark us for life with Your words of life. Undo the power of every death word we’ve heard. Empower us to speak life into others by speaking life into us. Pour living water into our parched souls. Thrill us with the privilege of relating to others in a way that reveals Your heart to them and releases Your life into them through the words we speak. Thank You for speaking life into us. Open our hearts to hear Your words and to receive them. In Jesus’ name, amen. 
Since this is my 3rd book that I have read of Dr. Larry Crabb, I would recommend it for all ages, because the words do speak life into ours. I  found the complete book of "66 Love Letters" to be a better choice to add to your personal collection for study, whereas this one is ideal for a quick daily read. I am so glad that I have it in e-book form and know that I will go back to reading often when I am in that section of the Bible to hear God's voice in what I'm reading. I do believe that the insights of Dr. Larry Crabb will inspire you to hear or listen for God's voice and delight in reading "God's Love Letter to You", cherishing the message rather than struggling to study.  I found many of his ideas to challenge me and mine. Personally my favorite was "a Joy that frees you to endure hardship" for 2 Timothy. I now am looking forward once again to reading through the Bible with a refreshed attitude and response of a passionate longing to hear the Spirit speak and flood my heart with God's Love.


A personal note: I would also like to add a special request that we continue to pray for Dr. Larry Crabb and Rachael, his wife and family as Larry faces a 3 in 1 surgery the 1st week of August.
(from June New Way Ministries newsletter)





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”


I saw that Amazon is offering a good special combination price for both of these books 
66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God That Invites You into His Story+God's Love Letters to You: A 40-Day Devotional Experience



APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy