"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

EMBRACED BY GOD by Babbie Mason

[About the book]

Have you ever wondered, "Does God really love me? Do I really matter to him?"


As a matter of fact, God loves you just as much as he loves His own Son.
In the pages of this heartwarming, thoughtful and life-affirming 21-day journey, award-winning gospel singer, songwriter, and teacher Babbie Mason reminds you, when you know you are loved by God and that you are in His eternal plan, you’ll never again wonder if your life matters.
[About Babbie Mason]
Babbie Mason is a Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated gospel singer, songwriter, author, creator of the Embrace: A Worship Event for Women ministry, professor of songwriting at Atlanta Christian College and Lee University, and a television talk-show host. She was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs. Babbie has been honored perform for Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, Steve Forbes among many others. Babbie performs a holiday special at Carnegie Hall every year. Babbie lives near Atlanta on a farm with her husband Charles. 
[About the Giveaway and Party]

Embraced by God is a 21-day encounter that shares the unconditional love of God. "If you watch what the media says as to where we should find our identity--" says Babbie, "--money, beauty, power and technology--you'll just be confused about who you are and what your purpose is. As a culture we are trying to buy or sell what can only be administered to the soul by Jesus."

Celebrate with Babbie by entering her Nook Tablet Giveaway!


One beloved winner will receive:
  • A Brand new Nook Tablet with Wi-Fi
  • Embraced by God by Babbie Mason
  • Babbie's Embraced by God Music CD
  • Babbie's Embraced by God Notecards
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/5/12. Winner will be announced at Babbie's "Embraced" Facebook Party on 3/6
. Babbie will be hosting an evening of chat, music, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, Embraced by God music CDs and Notecards, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club.) 

So grab your copy of Embraced by God and join Babbie and friends on the evening of March 6th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun! RSVP today and tell your friends via Facebook or Twitter and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

[My Review]
Embraced by God: Celebrating Who and Whose You Are is a 21 day devotional. There are seven themes that are broken down into three days. Each theme covers a specific subject: God's Passion for You is Unconditional, God's Picture of You is Beautiful, God's Presence in You is Perpetual, God's Provision for You is Immeasurable, God's Plan for You is Exceptional, God's Power in You is Accessible, God's Promise in You is Incomparable, and then The encore: A Legacy of Love.
I don't know which theme or day was my favorite. I loved it all. Just reading about how much God loves me and thinks I'm beautiful and His favorite... I was overcome. Sometimes we women need to hear from our Heavenly Father those very things and Babbie has certainly been His voice to our eyes and ears and hearts.
Each day ends with an Embrace. Here I had the opportunity to pray about what I read, think about what He was saying to me, and read a scripture about the particular topic that was covered. I also was encouraged to apply it to my life.
Embrace by God is a wonderful devotion for women of all ages. Though there really isn't anything new being said here, Babbie has brought the love of the Father for His daughter forth in a clear, warm, embracing manner.
This is one devotional I will truly recommend to any woman I know who is looking for one that will bring encouragement to her heart and soul.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publishing for the purpose of review. I am not under any obligation to present a positive review.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reasons for Hope: In the Mosaic of Your Life by Carl Kerby

An interview with Carl Kerby, author of
Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life
“The two most important pieces of information I will take away from this book: stay bold and be prepared to give a defense of your faith. This book will inspire Christians to do just that. Your story, from your checkered childhood to your resistance to God’s path for you, is a strong reminder that God has a plan for us all. Your explanation of how the Bible fits into the modern-day world, tackling issues such as evolution and race, is crucial to today’s Christian.”
~ Rich “Ace” Franklin, three-time UFC MMA Champ
Life is often not picture-perfect, and difficult times can make it hard to see a plan or purpose for our lives. In this inspiring story of one man’s journey, you will learn to see life from a different perspective. No matter what your circumstances, God can gather up the broken pieces and random elements of your life and form them into a beautiful mosaic—making you a useful vessel for His glory.

Questions and Answers with Carl Kerby
Q: In what ways are our lives like mosaics?
To me, a mosaic is a fitting illustration of the way God can take the broken pieces of our lives and create something beautiful from them. My life has been filled with boulders and broken stones. Yet God, in His grace, has put those stones together in a mosaic to make me into a useful vessel for His glory.
I once saw a large mosaic but was too close to understand the design, so I backed up to get a better view. Just as the mosaic picture didn’t make sense until I got a broader perspective, I had to do the same thing with the struggles I’ve encountered. As I look back over my life from a different perspective, I can see why God has allowed me to undergo some of the challenges I’ve had.
I also realized that the more broken pieces in the mosaic, the more beautiful the picture and the greater its value. The more we’ve gone through, the more amazing the picture our lives can be when we have God’s perspective.
Q: How can Christians use the mosaic of their life to bring hope to others? 

People are often encouraged by my story, when they realize that God can use anyone to do His work—even the messed-up son of a professional wrestler who ended up earning his livelihood as an air-traffic controller and then a public creation speaker. Growing up I struggled with a lot of things other people do: an absentee father, my parents’ divorce, alcohol and drugs, run-ins with the law, even being homeless at one point.
No matter our background, we can all share our own life stories, our mosaic, to tell others how God has taken the broken pieces of our life and made something beautiful and valuable. Those rocky areas in our life can be steppingstones for sharing the love of Christ with others.
Q: You address the topic of racism in Reasons for Hope. Why was that issue important to include?
Sadly, evolutionary teaching promotes the idea that people are divided into different “races” with some “races” better than others, leading to all sorts of prejudice, hatred, and bloodshed. I know I was wrong in my racist attitudes when I was young, and many still believe the same way I did. That’s why I take such a strong stand on this issue today.
Ultimately, the issue of racism comes down to this: where did humans come from? When you reject what the Bible says about man’s origin, you will end up with all kinds of wrong beliefs. But biblically and scientifically, there is only one race of people—Homo sapiens—all made in the image of God. So we need to abandon the term “races” and instead talk about “cultures” or “people groups.”
We have to teach people the truth about racism, but what bothers me the most is that the church has dropped the ball on this issue. In fact, the church (in some instances) is one of the last bastions of racism and prejudice in America. And if we, as Christians, cannot grasp the need to eradicate racism, how can we expect the world to do that?

Carl Kerby's Bio...

Carl’s passion is to proclaim the authority and accuracy of the Bible and to engage the minds and hearts of believers and unbelievers in today’s culture so that they may experience the realities of the Word of God.

This happens whenever Carl speaks. Whether he speaks to youth or adults, large or small crowds, churches or schools, Carl has a way of connecting with almost everybody; and that is one of the reasons he is a much sought-after speaker both in the United States and abroad.  He has spoken in Bermuda, Canada, England, Greece, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico the Philippines and Wales just to name a few.

Carl was a founding Board Member of Answers in Genesis for 10 years and served there for over 15 years before stepping out in faith to become President and Founder of Reasons for Hope.

Though Carl has played many roles in his life, (son of a professional wrestler, air-traffic controller at O’Hare International Airport, Founding Board member and widely known speaker for Answers in Genesis), his most cherished accomplishment is his marriage to his wife, Masami, for over 28 years, and his role as a father to his daughter, Alisa, and his son, Carl, Jr., and grandfather to his grandchildren, Trey and those he’ll meet in 2012.

Carl's website

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading Reasons for Hope. I found Carl's writing style easy to follow, clear and direct. One of my favorite parts of the book is found on pages 28 and 29. Here he is talking about when the Hebrew children were crossing the river Jordan. (Joshua 3:15-17)
...As a reminder to the current and future generations of what a great thing God had done for His people, God commanded Joshua to build a memorial. Twelve men (one from each tribe) went to the riverbed, and each removed one stone. They carried these stones to where they camped on the western side of the Jordan and piled them up as a memorial.... The stone memorial on the riverbank testified to His faithfulness and served as a reminder to them and future generations that only God is their deliverer and their source of strength. The stones "cry out" the message to every generation that God is steadfast in His promises to deliver and bless His people.

Reading how God had His hand on Carl was insightful. I caused me to stop and look at how God has kept His hand on my own life even when I didn't realize it.

Being familiar with Answers In Genesis, I hadn't realized how close he worked with Ken Hamm and the organization. That was quite informative, especially since it caused Carl to step out of his comfort zone and begin public speaking.

A well written book, Reasons for Hope, is one I would chose to read again and recommend to those who may be struggling to find hope in their lives. Carl does a wonderful job in pointing his readers to our Great Hope, Christ Jesus. He also gives great arguments in why we should place our hope in the one true God, Jesus Christ.

This book was provided for review purposes by The B and B Media Group, Inc. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Straight to the Heart of Moses: 60 Bite-sized Insights by Phil Moore

I have read many commentaries on the various books of the Bible. Some good, some not real informative and some I would never read again. However, I found this commentary to be informative, well written, easy to read, and applicable to my life today.

Phil Moore leads a thriving church in Wimbledon, London. He also serves as a Bible teacher and evangelist within the Newfrontiers family of churches. After graduating from Cambridge University, Phil spent time on the mission field and then in the business world. He had devoted many years to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and he brings them to life inthe language of today in the Straight to the Heart series. When Phil is not writing, he likes getting beaten at football by his young children.

Out of all of the books in this series I chose to review this one because Moses and the first five books of the Bible are dear to my heart. (As well as the rest of the Bible.) I especially wanted to see what he would say about the tabernacle the Israelites built in the wilderness. (Only because I wrote an indepth teaching about the tabernacle in the wilderness.) Also I wanted to see how Pastor Moore would take such a huge chunk of the Bible and make it into a manageable commentary.

I was not disappointed. For example: 

Could anything speak more loudly about the humility of God's presence? The same God who defeated Pharaoh, a ruler whose name was Egyptian for Great House, condenscended to make his dwelling place in a lowly desert tent.... The book of exodus goes out of its way to express that the glorious, transcendent God the Savior is also the intimate, immanent God the Indweller.... The mighty, invisible God of the Hebrews is humble enough to dwell in a tent among his People.... [pp 99, 100]

Through out the whole time I read this book, I was brought to tears. He showed me my God, God the Savior, was also God the Indweller, God the Holy One, God the Faithful One, and God the Covenant Keeper, in a fresh way that was relevant to me.

This book definitely has encouraged in my walk with Jesus, given me more ideas to think and write about and helped me to see my Lord in a fresh way. Sometimes we just need a fresh reminder of who our Lord God is, and this series will gently remind us if we keep our heart, eyes and spirit open to the Lord.

I am adding a link for you to click on to read a sample chapter from this book. Be sure to do so... you won't be disappointed.

Click here to read a sample chapter from this book.

Also, here is the link to Phil Moore's other commentaries. There are more sample chapters you may view.

Here is an extra bonus for you!

Beginning February 22 and continuing through Easter Sunday, Kregel Publications will be tweeting links to Straight to the Heart of Romans. The entire book will be posted as short, five to ten minute, daily readings. I want to encourage you to check out this fresh, and free, engagement with the Bible. Find it by following Kregel Publications  or #Straight2Heart on Twitter.

Kregel Publications made this review possible by providing me with a review copy of Straight to the Heart of Moses. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.