This and That 01-10-15

January 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Toplady and Arminians. Or “You should pray, and get out more.” – So, as my good Arminian friend, and great ornament of the church, Fred Sanders, rightly says: “When publicly disagreeing with other believers, try to keep some sense of perspective. If a Wesleyan is the worst thing you can imagine, you have a weak imagination. Wesley’s influence is not what’s driving the godless spirit of the age. The same moral applies, of course, to Arminians, too: If you think the main problem with the world today is Calvinism, you should get out more.” – Lee Gatiss

7 Reasons Not to Worry – Reason #2: You are too important (Matt. 6:26). We not only insult God when we worry about food and clothes and money, we insult ourselves. Worry says to the world, “I’m not valuable.” Anxiety is an affront to the kindness of God and the worth of men and women made in his image. Let the birds and squirrels be your preachers. God’s feeding them. When you see them peering at you through the window, they’re saying, “What are you looking at? Trust God.” When you hear the birds sing, they are singing a song to remind you of God’s provision. God takes care of little animals; he’ll take care of you. – Kevin DeYoung

 

 

 

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Free E-Book Alert – Christian Music Through the Ages: The Psalms in Christian History

From a very early time, psalms were used both in private worship and public gatherings. Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1 contains numerous allusions to the Psalms, as does Zechariah’s song in the same chapter. Most scholars think the “hymn” sung by Jesus and the disciples to conclude the Last Supper was the Hallel, Psalms 113-118, regularly sung by Jews at Passover.

Download the book here.

(The discount will be taken off at checkout)

Categories: Free E-Book Alert

A Shopping Spree at Family Christian Store

January 5, 2015 1 comment

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Among my conservative Evangelical friends, its common to hear complaints about modern Christian bookstores.  Some suggest that because of the internet, such stores will be obsolete anyway.  Others suggest that these stores are just filled with “Jesus junk” – cheap, knock-offs of popular items yet with a Bible verse or some Christian theme thrown on it, or just plain cheesy, feel-good stuff too Christian to wind up in a Hallmark store.  Yet, despite this criticism, I must admit I still love wondering through a good Christian bookstore.  Yes, there’s some stuff in there that isn’t exactly my taste, but to me there is nothing like roaming through a section of new books, discovering new authors and titles that peak my interest.  You can’t underestimate the friendly staff and the opportunity to bump into other believers walking through the aisles.  I love Christian bookstores.

Recently I began doing some blogging for Family Christian Stores.  Since moving to the Midwest I have the chance to visit several stores in this chain.  I’ve been impressed with their selection and overall store-setup.  However, this past Christmas I became impressed with them for a whole other reason.  A few weeks ago I received word that Family Christian Stores was offering bloggers $50 just to be a blessing to someone else.  Our assignment was to choose a child whose family suffered economically and give this child a $50 shopping spree at our local store.  I jumped at the chance.

The Soderstrom Family have been faithfully attending my church ever since I’ve been attending there.  They are a family who love Jesus and His Body.  Five years ago, Brett and Ann-Marie were blessed with the birth of their only child, Sam.  I enjoyed having served in a life group with the Soderstroms and recall my days playing with Sam when my wife ran our junior church program.  I consider them all friends.

My families have found themselves struggling in this sluggish economy, and the Soderstroms have seen their fair share of economic difficulties.  So, when given this assignment, immediately thought of how great it would be to see little Sam in a Family Christian Store picking out a few things that would put a smile on his face.

IMG_1704Sam was first attracted to an orange Puffer Ball that was on clearance.  He loved it immediately.  Then came the Veggie Tales…  He found a pretty cool little drum that I’m sure his parents (and neighbors) are just going to love late at night.  He also was attracted to a Veggie Tales Christmas dvd, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas.  Next, Sam picked up a flower whose blades turned into a fan.  While maybe not the best winter item, I’m sure it will come in handy this summer.  I think the coolest thing Sam found was a green truck made IMG_1713from Send the Light.  I know that’s something I would have fun with.  Finally Sam picked out a set of Castle Blocks that look as if they would keep his imagination busy for quite some time.

By the way, a very special shout-out needs to be given to the employees here at our Family Christian in Rockford, IL.  They were incredibly helpful and patient with us.  Not only that, I think they even joined in the fun themselves as they watched Sam look for his toys and gifts.   Thank you for great service!

I had a blast with the Soderstoms and they were greatly appreciative of the gift.  Sam gave me a great big hug before saying goodbye.  Thank you, Family Christian Store for giving me this opportunity.    So whenever I hear someone complain about Christian bookstores today, I’ll think of Sam’s joy this day and rejoice that God used Family Christian to be a blessing to at least this blogger.

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This and That – 01-03-14

How not to read the Bible in 2015 – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!”  This hackneyed high school yearbook quote is bad advice for most things, Bible reading plans not excepted. If you shoot for and miss the “moon” of six chapters a day, you won’t quietly land among the “stars” of three. You’ll just be lost in space. It’s better to read one chapter a day, every day, than four a day, every now and then. – Matt Smethurst

Let’s Rethink Our Holly Jolly Christmas Songs – In a time of obvious tragedy, the unbearable lightness of Christmas seems absurd to the watching world. But, even in the best of times, we all know that we live in a groaning universe, a world of divorce courts and cancer cells and concentration camps. Just as we sing with joy about the coming of the Promised One, we ought also to sing with groaning that he is not back yet (Rom. 8:23), sometimes with groanings too deep for lyrics. – Russell Moore

 

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Tullian Tchividjian on New Year’s Resolutions

Besides Mike Barnicle botching Tullian’s name (and who can blame him), I thought this was a great interview.  Our standing before God is fixed firmly in Christ’s work not our own.

Buy the book, It is Finished, here.

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This and That: 12-27-14

December 27, 2014 Leave a comment

Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies – “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” Taxation is also a form of theft. In a truly free society, citizens should pay only as much as they are willing for the services they require. —Three stars. – Mallory Ortberg

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Book Giveaway and Review – George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade

December 22, 2014 1 comment

Title: George Washington’s Secret Six:  The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution
Author: Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
Publisher: Sentinel
Publishing Year: 2014
Pages: 252
My Rating: 4 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Family Christian Stores for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Ever since I was a child, I have loved history – especially American history.  As someone glued to the conservative political scene, I can’t help but spend time learning more about our Founding Fathers.  With all this in mind, I was quite excited when Family Christian Stores gave the chance to review Brian Kilmeade’s George Washington’s Secret Six:  The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution.

I have been really looking forward to this book, since for the past year or so most of what I have read are textbooks for seminary.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done any pleasure reading.  Let me say, this book did not disappoint.  It’s a history lesson that captives you like a novel.  I enjoyed the chance to sit down and enjoy it.

The book begins with the fledgling American rebels in a difficult situation.  Capturing New York was the key to the British plan for victory and a loss Washington could not afford to lose.  Greatly outnumbered, Washington realized he needed something else, some advantage to capitalize on.  Intelligence gathering would be just the edge he believed would save this young nation from ultimate defeat.

Washington’s first attempts would end in catastrophe with an inexperienced Nathan Hale hung by the British.  Next Washington would turn to Benjamin Tallmadge lead a spy ring that would hand him the info needed to eventually take bake New York.  Tallmadge recruits his crew of unknown, yet Patriotic men and women who go undercover in the midst of the enemy at risk of certain death.

If you are into espionage and cloak-and-dagger type of tales, this is your book.  If you are into history, this is your book.  Even if you just enjoy stories of ordinary citizens stepping up and doing extraordinary feats out of love for their country, go out and buy this book!

Purchase the book here.

Click for your chance to win this book for free!!!  The fine folks at Family Christian are allowing me to give away one copy of this book.  http://is.gd/SeSkbR

Categories: Book Review
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