Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Advice for Seekers (Charles Spurgeon)

God loves you.  God hates sin.  Therein lies the dilemma.  Charles Spurgeon's age-old book, Advice for Seekers, addresses you.  You, the sinner.  Me, the sinner.  When Jesus reached out to this sinner, I had nothing to offer in return.  All I could do was reach up to grab hold of the hand that would never let me go (and even that very act was God giving me the strength).  Forgiven.  Redeemed!  I was bought with a price that was impossible to ever repay.  With Jesus' last breath on the cross, he uttered, "Tetelestai."  A commercial word that meant "It is paid; the debt is paid in full."  It is finished!

Spurgeon draws on Scripture to reveal Jesus' promises to give us life everlasting and for us to rest in the abundant life that He offers us.  So, why do we settle for the sublime, complaining, discontentment,...the things of this world?  Are you living the life of faith that God has called you to?  Spurgeon had his own frustrations as a young man and with a gentle spirit, shares with us how he came to surrender his life completely to God.

Christ has called us and desires us to come up out of the pitiful bogs we live in.  Are you a seeker?  Seeking to find meaning and purpose in life, seeking to shed the weight of sin on your heart, seeking forgiveness, seeking love/understanding/compassion, seeking grace, seeking....ever seeking.  Perhaps you are already a Believer and you are seeking to share the gospel message with others, seeking a deeper relationship with the One who called you out of the pit.  I encourage you to read this book and be inspired, encouraged, and assured.

To quote Mr. Spurgeon: "The way of salvation has in all ages been one and the same.  No man has ever been saved by good works.  The way by which the just have lived has always been the way of faith.  There has not been the slightest advance upon this truth; it is established and settled, evermore the same, like the God who uttered it.  At all times, and everywhere, the gospel is and must forever be the same.  'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.'.....Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God's Word shall never pass away."

A 19th century reproduction, Advice for Seekers is a beautifully bound collection of Charles Spurgeon's writings, words, and faith-filled insights. There is something to be said for pages that are "made to look old".  Something timeless, classic, and comforting to hold.  I think for this very reason, I would be hard-pressed to ever convert to digital books!

Thank you to New Leaf Publishing for the gift of this book.  It was a joy to review and share!

Book Review: Tower of Babel ~ The Cultural History of Our Ancestors (Bodie Hodge)

Master Books has never failed to disappoint in the books they publish.  Author, Bodie Hodge, takes the reader through impeccable research and Biblical truths that reveal the hand of God that moved people across the globe after mass disobedience on the plains of Shinar (which means "between two rivers").

Bodie Hodge details how the true history of the Tower of Babel is being attacked: evolution-based racism, mythological ideologies, and the reinterpretation of historical events into philosophical ideas.  Each attack is on the authenticity and authority of God's inspired Word and attempts to hold man's ideas higher than the almighty Creator God.

It's both fascinating and horrifying to read that the Tower of Babel began construction about 106 years after Noah's worldwide flood.  To think that God's grace saved Noah's family, yet their descendents went right back to the sinfulness of their forefathers; the very sin that destroyed them.  It reminds me that none of us are immune to sin and it's destruction on our lives and those around us.

Mr. Hodge expands on different areas that are quite interesting.  He discusses (in detail) the difference between the continental shift that occurred during Noah's flood and the splitting up of people into various new lands, the possible location of the Tower of Babel (Iraq), how much of the tower was built, Babel's purpose in being built, who tore it down in years to come, where languages came from, genealogies back to Noah's time, the ice age (which peaked about 400 years after Babel) and migration, where various families/groups moved/settled, extra-Biblical supports for the Tower of Babel/dispersion of our ancestors, why people now don't live as long as they did pre-flood, the origin of written languages, dispersion at Babel to gathering of saints at Pentecost (to spread the gospel message), the ancient book of Job, and much more highly informative research. 

If you have ever thought that the Tower of Babel is inconsequential to the world today or if you are the person who has always wanted to know more about Babel; I encourage you to read this book.  It is full of illustrations, maps, and easy-to-follow genealogies that will keep you interested from beginning to end.  I'll have to make time to read it again just to soak up all the information available.  It's a wealth of research and Biblical truths, confirmed by both the Bible and sources outside God's Word.

I received this book from New Leaf Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I hope you will take the time to find/read Tower of Babel for yourself.  A review could never come close to revealing the depth of knowledge contained in these pages.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Freefall to Fly (Rebekah Lyons)

Rebekah Lyons opens raw emotions to readers, exposing hopes, dreams, disappointments, and fears playing on her heart.  A smooth, quieting writing style makes her book more of a personal diary that relates to the unseen emotions, questions, and guilt that many women carry with them.  Rebekah's journey brought her through those moments when you can't even muster the strength to look ahead.  In slowly gaining ground to allow herself to freefall from her comfort zone and the safety of close friendships in Georgia, she discovered that God Himself was drawing her into a closer relationship with Him; one in which she was freed from expectations that bound her. 

While all of us leave different stories behind, my guess is that more women than we realize will relate to Rebekah's story.  For myself, it brought back the memories of anxiety attacks that hit after moving to a big city.  On a previous visit to Milwaukee I was thrilled to drive the twists and turns of the freeways to find the way to the Childrens' Museum while my husband was taking a weekend class.  Moving there was a different story; I felt confined to our house and fear overtook any desire I would have to drive anywhere.  Grocery trips had to wait until my husband came home from work so he could take us to the store.  The seemingly  millions of roads, highways, and massive amount of people in one location was stifling.  I was anxious about our unsold house that was left behind, resentful of the very act of relocating to somewhere I didn't want to be,.... The list was endless.  The first anxiety attack in front of my children was frightening and something that caught me offguard.  I thought I was so good at hiding my emotions...until that moment.  It was a long climb out but God graciously stood by my side and drew me closer.  (...that story for another day...)

I hope women will find Rebekah's book to be encouraging, motivating, and freeing as they read through the pages.  I hope women will open their Bibles and seek God's Word daily, claiming His promises as their own.  Reach out to those around you who haven't heard the Gospel message because if you don't tell them, who will?  Pray, Read, and Fly.  God WILL bless!

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review...and I really enjoyed it!