Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Still a Christian

     The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against the Resurrection of the Christ by Charles Foster was given to me to review by BookSneeze on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing. Foster, a lawyer in Britain by trade, sets out to give evidence as an opponent for the resurrection and subsequently writes as a proponent. The intent is to give unbiased opposing views, though the fight in Foster seems stronger as he opposes Christianity's claim.
     As I read The Jesus Inquest it dawned on me that possibly he was playing devil's advocate more intently on purpose. Two-thirds into the book Foster remarks that Christians can continue their church attendance. I suppose when someone realizes their beliefs rest on fallacies they argue more adamantly.
      At times I found myself going back to the Bible and remembering when the New Testament speaks of the overwhelming belief in fallacies and lies in the Last Days. Foster did not write this book for those weak in their faith. I would never attempt to hand a new convert a book as the mind can be so gullible when they aren't spiritually mature. I have to remark though that the evidence for Christ's resurrection is set down so pointedly and decisively, exhausting monologues and spinning facts aren't necessary for the believer. Many of the opponent's attempts at evidence are long-winded and pure tall tales at their best.
      The Jesus Inquest is enjoyable at times and can become frustrating at others. The arguments draw you in as some are very imaginative. Foster has enabled my faith to progress as it exercised my belief system. Christ's resurrection is the crux that Christianity rests upon and for that I am assured.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Found a Kick Start

      This morning started off well enough. The kids were fed. I had my coffee and was feeling pretty good. In fact, I was looking forward to our school day.
      I actually was motivated to do some chores and furniture arranging before my energy dropped. Usually by noon, my energy is low and I am looking to find time for a nap. With the fibromyalgia a nap often is a necessity.
      The doctors recommend to get active which is the last thing on my mind these days. However, I decided to conquer the onsetting fatigue. I was having a hard time getting the kids involved with their work at this point anyway, so I sent us all outside. The kids were to pick up twigs and rocks and whatever other goodies they could find for a collage. I saw the sun and was instantly perked up (in actuality it was more like a few minutes). To me though it was a triumph.
     We came back into the house and made abstract faces with the art supplies we found. Art became a part of our lessons today and we enjoyed God's creation as well.  The kids were so happy to be outside after a week and a half illness that they spent some quality time on the swings. Thanks to their youthful energy, I went out again too and found some energy myself all in a homeschool day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joyful Snow

     As I sit in front of the window and look upon the snow falling, I am in awe of God's splendor and majesty.  I have always enjoyed God's creation and handiwork.  My relationship has grown more intimate with Christ over the past few years. Yet, I find myself feeling as if I were a child in a candy shop. The snow is a delight to look upon.
     Today I realized something though. God certainly answers prayer in unexpected ways. I truly didn't expect snow to come. Yet as it falls, I find myself grinning from ear to ear. It seems like utter silliness to grin over snow. It's not just snow though, it's God. I knew that He answers prayer, but it is the surprising part that delights me.
     In Psalm 37:4 it states, "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." I remember when I truly gave my life to Christ I kept praying that I would experience that delight and joy that was evident in other Christians. As I watch the snow fall I am observing God's glory before me.  It saddens me to think at the joy I was missing before. God isn't waiting to show us His glory, He is right now.
     On that note though, I can't wait to see God's glory in fullness someday. That will be something to enjoy for eternity. It's unfortunate that so many are lost and are missing out on what is right before them and will miss out on what is to come. May we pray for them to see God, even in the snow. His joy is the desire of my heart.

Book Review: Hearing God's Voice

      I would like to thank BookSneeze for sending  me a free copy of Voices of the Faithful: Book 2 on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing. Kim P. Davis compiled this devotional to open our hearts and souls to see God at work around the world through the lives of missionaries. Each entry highlights a key verse, contains stories from missionaries and a short prayer.
      Voices of the Faithful was a wonderful read. Some entries brought tears to my eyes, particularly where God is obviously still working miracles. Due to these missionaries that answer God's call to spread the Good News, people's lives are being transformed into something beautiful that only God could orchestrate. Not only are people being changed, communities as well are coming under the authority of the King of Kings.
      As I read this book I was overwhelmed by the sacrifices these ordinary people are making for the extraordinary love of Christ each and every day. As I write this I am sitting comfortably in my warm home with a cup of hot tea by my side watching the first winter snow come down. I must admit I feel a bit guilty of my comforts.  Instead of pitying the missionaries for their lack of comforts, I am in awe of them and their love for Jesus Christ. Though I don't feel called myself to join their ranks, Voices of the Faithful taught me I can help by praying for God's work and sovereignty.
     Voices of the Faithful: Book 2 is an awe-inspiring devotional that can help us keep are focus on God's provisions and work throughout the year. I hope that anyone that chooses the devotional is blessed and in turn blesses others.