Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Publisher: Crossway, June 8, 2009.
Genre: Non-fiction, study/sermon on John 14:1-12.
Format: pdf/Kindle.
Pages: 144.
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent.
Source: Free ebook copy from Crossway in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinions and feelings.

Further links on Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
MLJ Trust-This link has a bio, and audio messages from Lloyd-Jones. Amazing to be able to listen to his voice. I highly recommend this link!
More sermons available at Sermon Audio.
This link will give a detailed history of Westminster Chapel.

Links to purchase @ Amazon, Lifeway.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so longtime with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of mysef: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14: 1-12. KJV. Holman Rainbow Study Bible.
Scripture link by Bible Gateway.

Summary:
Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Welsh Protestant Reformed pastor. For thirty years he was minister of Westminster Chapel in London, England. In 1951 he gave a series of eight messages on John chapter fourteen, the first twelve verses.
These eight sermons are given in three parts. They teach that in order to have a "quiet" heart we must "believe" in Jesus Christ, to trust in Him and to seek encouragement and sustenance only in Him. Our future is not this world. We are a sojourner on this earth, our future is with Jesus in heaven. The last part is Jesus is coming again.

My Thoughts:
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled is my first experience in Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I knew about him, but now I know him through his words and listening to him in audio. A phenomenal and dynamic preacher. His sermons are convicting, stirring, applicable in any era, and memorable.
The first part or section is on having a quiet heart, a heart at rest in Jesus. The next two sections expound on this state. A state of being in which we are at complete belief and trust, and resting on that belief, that no matter what happens in our life, Jesus Christ is sovereign. We can search for other means to have a quiet heart, but they are transient and temporary. It is easy to become distracted by the troubles of life. Sometimes it is not just one thing that sets me on a tangent of worry, but a series of events that happen that sends me over the edge. I need to be reminded that God is sovereign, this life is not all there is, and Jesus is coming again to take me to my eternal home.

Favorite quotes:
"To believe in God also means to believe what he has said about life." Page 37. 
Life in this world-"It is temporary and transitory. It is moving but a great journey; the world is something through which we are passing." Page 67. 
"...we have been trying to persuade ourselves that we can make a certainty of life." Page 67.
"The greatest need of any person is to know God, to arrive at God." Page 112.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Green Prince, a movie adaption from the book Son of Hamas

In 2010, I wrote a review of the book: Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices by Mosab Hassan Yousef.
The book has now become a film. The title is The Green Prince, from Music Box Films. For more information click on the link: The Green Prince.  


In July the author of Son of Hamas was interviewed by Shaun Hannity on Fox news.


A second interview from CNN.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, September 30, 2014.
Genre: Christian non-fiction, prayer.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192.
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

Litfuse Publicity Group Blog Tour: Before Amen.



About the author: More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max: websiteTwitter,Facebook

Summary:
Praying when there is a problem or an emergency is the most common time people pray. The busy life we live pushes free moments away when we could talk to God as we would talk to a friend. Prayer can make us feel clumsy, feeling as if we're using the wrong words. We don't know if we should be formal or relaxed. If we're too relaxed does this mean a disrespectful attitude to God.
Max Lucado reminded me that "the first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested."
In patience, clarity, and transparency, Max teaches us how to pray. He uses a formula that is easy to remember and follow.
The first step is "Father." Calling on the name of our heavenly Father.
"Prayer is conversation with God." Page 10. 

My Thoughts:
Max Lucado is a teacher, writer, pastor, who any type of learner can understand. He speaks "plain" as my dad used to say.
I appreciate Max expressing his own frustration at praying. He stated he has a tendency to fall asleep while praying. I'm reminded that once upon a time, my prayer time was right before I fell asleep at night, and most of the time I fell asleep before ending the prayer.
In chapter one Lucado reminds me that God waits for me.
"Jesus waits on the porch. He stands on the threshold. He taps...and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is to open it. Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart." Page 11. 
Lucado reminds me at several points in the book to go to God first, not after a disaster.
My favorite chapter is on intercessory prayer. Lucado declares, we "actually have a 'seat with [Christ] in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6).'"
Before Amen, is not a theologically deep book on prayer, and I don't believe it's meant to be, the book is written for a large audience of readers who need help in prayer.
The book has a study guide included for small group or individual study. My advanced reader copy does not show this feature.
If you are looking for a basic book on prayer fundamentals Before Amen is a great choice. If you are wanting a deeper look in to prayer, I recommend With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. Another wonderful book is by E.M. Bounds simply titled Prayer. 


Max Lucado Before Amen
 


Monday, September 8, 2014

The Psalms, ESV

Publisher: Crossway, June 30, 2014.
Genre: Bible.
Format: TruTone Over Board, imitation leather, held in a hard slip cover casing.
Pages: 384.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: Self-purchase. Bought at Lifeway.

Available @:
Christian Book
Amazon
Lifeway

The Psalms, ESV from Crossway on Vimeo.

I decided to read Psalms this summer by purchasing the new Psalms edition by Crossway. I read through the Bible every year, but reading the Psalms in this edition was extra special. The book is gorgeous, easy to hold, and easy on my eyes at 11 point type size. This is not a study edition, nor does it have reference verses, nor a concordance, nor a dictionary; it is a stand alone book of the Psalms. The pages are matte, thick, an off white (which I think helps to not have a glare). The ink is in a soft black. The Psalm chapter at the top of the page is in a brick red color. The Psalms is a single column format book. A brown satin ribbon is attached.

"I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable." Psalm 145:1-3. ESV. 

"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." Psalm 121:1-8. ESV. 

Bible links courtesy of Bible Gateway.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins with James S. MacDonald

Publisher: Worthy Publishing, August 27, 2013.
Genre: Historical Fiction, New Testament.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 400.
Rating: I struggled with giving a 3 1/2 or 4 Stars, decided to round it off to 4 Stars.
Source: Self-purchase.

Jerry Jenkins website




Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Christian Book
Lifeway

The second book in the series is I, Paul, publishing date August 5, 2014.



Summary:
Two time periods.
In the present day, Dr. Augustine (Augie) Knox, a professor at Arlington Theological Seminary, receives a frantic text from a friend in Italy. Augie is in the middle of a lecture when he gets the emergency text. It's impressed upon him that he must go to Italy. Augie is in love with Sofia, a Greek woman. He hopes to continue their relationship, and take it to a permanent status.
The second time period is first century AD, Saul of Tarsus.

My Thoughts:
I've read one other book by Jerry B. Jenkins, Riven. I've not read any of the Left Behind novels that he has written. Last fall I was drawn to and purchased I, Saul, because of the title, not paying attention to its two time period theme. I was disappointed by my error, but not entirely disappointed by the book over-all. I gave the book a 4 star rating which is very good, because of the story of Saul/Paul. This part of the book is the jewel.
I was amazed that the present day story is located near my home. I'm familiar with the setting, and places the author refers to. For example, Arlington Memorial. The exact name of the hospital is Texas Health, Arlington Memorial. The seminary Augie works at is stated as Arlington Seminary, but I believe Jenkins is referring to B H Carroll Theological Institute. There is also an Arlington Baptist College. I had fun trying to figure out the exact places Jenkins "renamed".
Augie has a detached relationship with his father, who he idolizes, yet can't reach him on an intimate level. This is an all to often scenario. An adult child who never grasped a solid relationship with a parent. I can relate to this. But, my dad and I were extremely close the last thirteen years of his life.
The dysfunction theme of adult child and parent gave the modern day story an added bit of humanity. A situation many readers can relate to.
The mystery, suspense, which escalates at the end of the novel, needed to be brought up a notch. It did not hold my attention like I wanted it to.
My favorite part of the book is anytime the story went back in time to first century AD and Saul/Paul. Several bible characters came to life, Luke, Timothy, Mark.
The degrading, abysmal prison Paul was in is literally a dark hole. I compared the place where his physical body was to the places his soul was. Paul despite the horrific situation is full of joy for Jesus Christ, and he is rests in Him.