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2014 Bible Reading Goal

I'm a participant in the Perpetual Bible Reading Challenge and Operation Deepen Faith Challenge hosted by Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible.
I wish I'd kept a count of how many times I've read the Bible through. Several times I've read it from Genesis straight through to Revelation. A good guess would be at least a dozen times I've read the Bible. Such a minuscule amount considering I've been a Christian for nearly forty years. 
My goal is to read the Old Testament once and New Testament twice, in addition will be reading 1 Corinthians twelve times in twelve different translations.
I do not adhere to a particular Bible reading plan. Certain portions of the OT I read in-sync, for example the first five books of OT will be read this way. The first time reading the NT will be read in-sync. I try and read the harder OT books first, for example: Ezekiel and Job. It is difficult to read Job in December.
I plan to read the OT using the New Living Tran…

My Favorite Fiction and Non-Fiction Christian Books Read in 2013

What Does It Mean to Follow Jesus?

I watched this DVD recently and have thought about the question: What Difference Does It Make? and further, what does it mean to follow Jesus?
I asked a few people yesterday: What does it mean to follow Jesus? They did not answer me. I was shocked. Further, they did not act as if they wanted to explore the answer. Was there a failure to communicate somewhere? Am I not getting something? I'm aghast at people who sit in church Sunday after Sunday (possibly for decades) stating to be a Christian; but cannot answer, what it means to follow Jesus?
Dallas Willard remarked in the DVD: "There is a difference between a Christian and a disciple."
I became a Christian at age ten, during Vacation Bible School.
I became a disciple in 1995 during Bible Study Fellowship. For me, there is NO other way but to be in Bible reading and study, continuous prayer, and to be His servant. It is not me at work, it is Christ Jesus working in me and through me.

Lesson One in my reason for reading…

Closing Out 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014

In 2013 I read the Old Testament once; the New Testament read twice, although a few of the books were read multiple times, for example 1, 2, 3, John; Jude; 1 and 2 Peter; were all read three or four times each.
The Old Testament was read from the New King James Version MacArthur Study Bible.
The New Testament was first read from the New King James Version MacArthur Study Bible, second time from English Standard Version Crossway Study Bible.
The New Testament book of Revelation was read twelve times in twelve different translations.
The translations read:
1. King James Version
2. New King James Version
3. New American Standard Bible
4. New English Bible
5. Common English Bible
6. New Living Translation Study Bible
7. English Standard Version
8. The Holman Illustrated Holman Christian Standard Bible
9. The Interlinear Bible Greek/English
10. The New Testament An American Translation by Edgar J. Goodspeed
11.The New Testament in Modern English Translated by J.B. Phillips
12. Amplified …

Merry Christmas!

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Twelve

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


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A Teenage Pregnancy
by Robin Jones Gunn
It was early, early mo…

The Apple of Your Eye

The Apple of Your Eye is usually on Sunday's. I felt it was more fitting that it should be posted today, on Christmas Eve. The readings over the past week have centered on prophecies fulfilled in Jesus and in His birth.

Over the past week and a half I've read the following.

Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ:
2 Samuel 7:12-13
Psalm 2; 110
Isaiah 9:6-7; 42:1-7; 53
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Joel 2:28 -32
Amos 9:11-15
Zechariah 9:9-10
Malachi 3:1-4; 4:2

Scripture telling the story of Jesus' birth and childhood:
Matthew chapter 1:1-25; 2:1-23.
Luke chapter 1:1-80; 2:1-52.

The next posting of The Apple of Your Eye will be January 12. I plan to take a little break before beginning a new year of blogging.
Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible has a January Bible Reading Challenge, beginning 2014 at the very beginning-Genesis.
Link for more information: http://operationreadbible.blogspot.com/2013/12/read-with-me-genesis.html

A Christmas Story Timeline from Bible Gateway: 
http://www.bib…

[Review] What Does It Mean To Be Born Again? Crucial Questions 6 by R.C. Sproul

Title: What Does It Mean to Be Born Again? Crucial Questions No 6
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust Company 2010
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Defining "born again."
Format: eBook, Kindle
Age: Adult or young adult
Pages: 69
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Source: Free copy from Ligonier Ministries. I chose to read and review.

Summary:
The term "born again" is one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in defining a Christian, both in the church and in the secular world.
It is considered an evangelical term; subsequently, I'm not sure how a person of any church denomination can ignore Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3.
R.C. Sproul explains, "a person is born again and then they become a Christian." A person does not become a Christian first and then later is "born again." A person is "born again" once, and it is a work of "regeneration."
What is regeneration?
It is a work of God.It "proc…

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Eleven

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.



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Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Cynthia Ruchti
To shepherds? Really…

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Ten

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


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Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required
by Jodi Murphy
For …

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Nine

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.



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My Gift to the King
by Sheryl Giesbrecht
It was a week before C…

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Eight

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.



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New Beginnings
by Sharron Cosby
Christmas. The mere mention of …

[Review] The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs

Title: The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna
Author: Liz Curtis Higgs
Publisher: WaterBrook Press September 17, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, Christmas
Theme: Study of three women who were important characters at Jesus Christ's birth.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 226
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from WaterBrook Press for the purpose of review. The review was first posted at The Christian Manifesto. 

Liz Curtis Higgs has a wonderful website: http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6214.Liz_Curtis_Higgs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizCurtisHiggs

The Women of Christmas, is the story of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. They were the three women of the first Christmas, when the babe Jesus was born. They were women of varying personalities and age differences; however, they shared a common bond of faith in God. Each of them were called by God for a distinct role and they waited in faith …

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Seven

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.



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Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
by Ginger Ciminello
I have hig…

[Review] Who Is Jesus? Crucial Questions 1 by R. C. Sproul

Title: Who Is Jesus? Crucial Questions No 1
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust first published 1983, then 1991 and 1999
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Learning who the "real Jesus is."
Format: Kindle
Age: Adult
Pages: 105
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free eBook Kindle. I chose to read and review.

Summary:
R. C. Sproul began by utilizing a well-known saying: "will the real Jesus please stand up." Sproul teaches that we need the "real Jesus," the Jesus of the gospels. We do not need an inauthentic, misquoted, "scissors and paste," "false," Christ.
There are several titles in the gospels used in reference to Jesus:
Christ.LordSon of ManThe Son of GodThe Logos Sproul distinguishes and defines each of the names used for Jesus.
Examples of chapters: "Jesus As Savior," "The Birth of Jesus," "The Baptism of Jesus," "The Temptation of Christ," and "The Resurrection of Jesus."   
In the ch…

[Review] The Key To The Middle East by Derek Prince

Title: The Key To The Middle East: Discovering The Future of Israel in Biblical Prophecy
Author: Derek Prince
Publisher: Chosen Books/Baker Books Publishing reprint November 5, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Bible prophecy pertaining to Israel.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 209
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Source: Free copy from Chosen Books/Baker Books Publishing for the purpose of review.

Summary:
Derek Prince was a soldier in the British army and stationed in the Palestine area at the time of his discharge. He had recently married and they would continue to live in Palestine a few more years. During this era World War II had just ended and the Jewish people wanted a nation of their own. Derek Prince witnessed first hand the new nation of Israel struggle against hostile neighbors.
He also began a life long love of Bible prophesy.
In the preface the author acknowledges a natural resource in the Middle East that the world depends on, Oil. It's given the Middle East "political …

[Review] What Is The Church?: Crucial Questions 17 by R.C. Sproul

Title: What Is The Church: Crucial Questions 17
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust October 7,  2013
Genre: Non-Fiction
Theme: Defining the Christian Church
Format: Kindle
Age: Adult
Pages: 82
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free Kindle copy. I chose to read and review.

The Kindle copy of this book is FREE at this time. 

Summary:
R. C. Sproul begins by giving the Council of Nicea's defnition of the church.
"The church is one.""The church is holy.""The church is Catholic.""The church is apostolic." Sproul explains each of them in nine short chapters.
The first point, "the church is one": "this would be the last thing we would say the church is now." Later in the first chapter a quote from Sproul gives a thorough explanation.
"When the church was called to unity in the New Testament, however, we must remember that the Apostle Paul spoke of unity in these terms: one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. This unity is …

12 Pearls of Christmas, Day Six

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!



Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.



We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.



If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.



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Perfectionism
by Steven Estes

(Excerpt from A Better December***…

[Review] Chasing God by Angie Smith

Title: Chasing God
Author: Angie Smith
Publisher: B and H Books---January 1, 2014 for hardcover, December 10, 2013 for Kindle.
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Stop chasing God. Stand still and focus on Him.
Format:Unproofed Manuscript Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 192
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Icon Media Group and B and H Publishing Group for the purpose of review.

Angie's website: http://angiesmithonline.com/  

Angie's Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Angie-Smith/e/B003745CCW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Book details @ B and H Publishing Group: http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/chasing-god/

Summary:
"For most of my Christian life, I have been chasing God." Page 2. "The goal of this book is not to present you with a formula for living out Christianity. It's to offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him. And maybe you, like me, have been spending your time going after the wrong objectives (without realizing it) and…

[Review] What is the Lord's Supper?: Crucial Questions 16 by R.C. Sproul

Title: What Is The Lord's Supper? Crucial Questions 16
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: The Lord's Supper
Format: eBook, Kindle
Age: Adult
Pages: 74
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy. I chose to read and review.

Summary:
The Lord's Supper. In the early Church it was also called Agape Feast, Love Feast, the Eucharist.
It is a solemn ceremony celebrated by Christians who are in a "proper attitude" before God and fellow man. The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church each view the Lord's Supper with a different definition. For the Roman Catholic they believe in transubstantiation, the wine is actually Christ's blood and the bread is actually Christ's body. For the Reformed, Protestant, the wine and bread are symbolism.
R. C. Sproul has written a brief lesson on the Lord's Supper. It covers areas needed in order to understand the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

Thoughts:
What…