Monday, December 31, 2012

Parenting By God's Promises by Joel Beeke

I kept being drawn to this book, but hadn't picked it up yet. When I was given the chance to review it, I jumped at it. I am glad that I did too.

Now, let me tell you, the book starts off with the rather controversial topic of infant baptism and how we interpret the covenant of Abraham this side of the cross for our children. I had a parent in the Baptist church and one in the Lutheran one so I saw both sides of the coin. Really, I think the only real problem in this area are the churches that teach infant baptism saves you. Most churches do not teach this. The sacrament is faith in the covenant promises that God gave to Abraham. Each person must come to Christ in faith regardless of if they were baptized as an infant or dedicated. I thought Joel's exegesis on the subject was brilliant, researched, and well thought out. No matter your opinion on this, the rest of the book is worth your read.

The rest of the book was honey to a weary parents soul. He not only tackled topics with a genuine godly perspective, he added practical advice. Tackling the subject of the will and the sin nature, he encouraged the reader to pursue truth and grace in equilibrium.

I honestly was greatly convicted and encouraged by this book. There were so many things addressed about how our character guides our children. I wished I could give a copy to all my friends because I have found great freedom in the words of scripture found in this book. There are always ideas coming at us from every area telling us how to parent. Use discernment in what you choose.

Joel also wrote another little book I love. It is entitled God's Alphabet For Life.

Dr. Joel Beeke is president and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books.

This book was graciously provided for review by Ligionier Ministries.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Talk to me, Abba.

I am here, sweet child. I am here amidst the heartache, the suffering, the loss. Do not be dismayed. I am with you. When you face unexplainable tragedy and the darkness of despair, remember My promise to never leave you. I have not forsaken you. Do what you can to ease the pain and suffering around you. Show people the tender mercy of my face. Remind them that I am a Healer. Tell them I love them.

"O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword,
they shall be prey for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped." — Psalm 63 (NRSV)

For more on this segment, see this post.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Bold As Love by Bob Roberts

I honestly had a hard time getting into this book. In the beginning, it talked about multi-faith worship and having to do things in groups with other faiths. I honestly don't get that. I tried to examine the benefits. I could see where it could help you be more comfortable with a different faith in a one on one setting. I can see how it could divide and how it could bridge a gap. In my mind, I was simply wondering why we couldn't just be normal. Why can't we just eat and drink with whoever is around us and love them. Bob addressed that about midway through the book.

My favorite part of the book started about page 86. Bob wrote about serving others because of the gift of Christ in us. He said we should not serve to make converts, but serve because we have been converted. It really touched on the way we attack people with our evangelism and throw money at the poor. We try to fix everyone, but few of us actually ever love anyone. We operate out of this religious superiority. What we need is to understand our faith and our doctrine so that we can simply explain it to others. Most of us have no idea what the core belief of our faith are.

He stated the idea that our primary objective should be to get to know people, serve where we can, and love unceasingly with the love of Jesus. Don't quibble about theology. Love first. Gracefully discuss second. Eventually, Bob won me over with his ideas about reaching our neighbors and knowing what we believe. The second half of this book is a great challenge and encouragement.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Talk to me, Abba.

I will sustain you. Trust in Me. Through many challenges and disastrous circumstances, I have been there. I am coming up alongside you now and will cover you and reward you with blessing. Praise Me in the knowing of My provision even before it comes. Rejoice in the covenant blessings that you have in Me. Rest in My peace, dear child. Let the lavish love of Christ fall on you.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."
2 Corinthians 9:15

For more on this segment, see this post

Monday, December 03, 2012

Oliver Twist Radio Drama

I have been given the unique privilege to review Focus on the Family's new audio dramatization of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist. I love reading classic literature so hearing it come alive is a special treat. We truly enjoyed all of the characters and the masterful delivery of vocal performances. My five year old was hooked right away. She was continually asking me what would happen next. The performance was so rich that I felt as though I was in a grand theatre with my eyes closed. I also enjoyed the joyful nostalgia of simply listening to something in the way people sat around the radio to hear a program.

We are going to listen to this again in segments for homeschool and discuss it.

I encourage you to listen to this tale of an orphan boy who should have been defeated by his circumstances. Follow this boy with his great hope.

This resource was graciously provided by Tyndale House Publishers.

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