The Book Of Amazing Stories – Book Review

 

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Robert A. Petterson, Dr. is a spellbinding storyteller, weaving intriguing, life-changing stories into his books, speaking engagements, pilgrimages, personal interactions, and counsel to community and industry leaders. He has done so throughout his career as a pastor, acclaimed public speaker, expert fundraiser, and compelling pilgrimage host. All of these roles reflect his rare gift of making history relevant in a contemporary world – a world of the story at its very finest.

In his book “The Book of Amazing Stories” Peterson shows us how God used the lives of these ordinary people to change the course of human history.

Ninety moving and inspiring stories—each about two and a half pages in length and ending with a quote and a scripture for reflection. These easy to read chapters made it a beautiful addition to my daily quiet time in the morning.  The book could also be used as a great conversation starter in a small group setting.

If you’re looking for inspiration when life is weighing you down, or if you find yourself asking God, “Why?” This book will offer you encouragement and will help you find the light in the darkest areas of your life.

You can get the book HERE   My rating for this little gem is 5 out 5 stars!

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Be good to each other, Jay

God & the little girl.

“A young girl is sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he reads her a bedtime story.
From time to time she takes her eyes off the book and reaches up to touch his wrinkled cheek, then she strokes her own cheek then his again.
Finally she speaks up.
“Granddad, “she  says,”did God make you?”
“Yes darling,”the old man replies,” God made me a long time ago.”
“Oh,”the little girl says.
Then after a pause, “Granddad, did God make me too?”
“Yes,indeed poppet,”he says,”God made you just a little while ago.”
After stroking their respective faces again the little girl says,
“God’s getting a whole lot better at it,isn’t he?”
Don’t you just love Children?

God Set You Apart

God planned and packed you on purpose for his purpose. Heaven’s custom design.

At a moment before moments existed, the sovereign Star Maker resolved, “I will make _____________.” Your name goes in the blank. Then he continued with, “And I will make him/her _________, _________ and _________ and ____________ and __________.”

Fill those blanks with your characteristics. Insightful. Clever. Detail oriented. Restless. And since you are God’s idea, you are a good idea. What God said about Jeremiah, he said about you: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.”

 Set apart for a special work

Cure for the Common Life

How have your unique characteristics prepared you to do a special work for God?

From Thomas Nelson’s Grace for the Moment: Morning and Evening Devotional [2008] [Max Lucado] Learn more here

Today, be the hands and feet of Jesus.  God Bless, Jay

A Day At The Beach – Book Review

9781496414878_p0_v3_s192x300A Day At The Beach – Devotions to help you relax, refresh and renew by Jedd and Todd Hafer has become not only my favorite summer devotional, but my go to book when I need to reflect, refresh, and renew my spirit.

This beautiful, orange leather pocket size devotional is filled with short stories and reflections centered around the Hafer brothers love for the beach.  And their style of writing, storytelling at its finest!

If your the type that finds peace and quiet from life struggles at the beach, or hears God small voice in the roll of every soft wave, this book is for you.  As you read through the devotionals, you’ll find yourself transported to the beach and the warm sunshine of Gods love.

There is no right or wrong way to read this book.  One devotional a day, or sit and read it in its entirety, in order or jump around.  It doesn’t matter, any way you decide to read through it you will find yourself renewed and refreshed.

“When we are present in the everyday moments, we find that God is present with us.  And where God is, the flicker of a holy flame can help us see the commonplace in a whole new light.”  “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

I loved this book so much I feel it deserves 6 out of 5 stars!  You can get this little gem HERE.

Todd & Jedd Hafer’s Bio:
Todd Hafer, a veteran writer with fifteen books published, is editorial director for Hallmark, Inc. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Jedd. He lives with his family in Kansas.

Jedd Hafer is a stand-up comic who has performed with some of the top comics in the nation and is the director of a home for troubled teens. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Todd. Jedd and his family make their home in Colorado.

Visit Todd & Jedd’s website at www.haferbros.com

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

The Bad Habits Of Jesus

Bad Habits

Review: The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong
Leonard Sweet
Tyndale House Publishers
2016

Leonard Sweet’s book, “The Bad Habits Of Jesus”, presents to us the offensive and scandalous side of Jesus that’s described in the Bible.

  • Did he disappear when people needed him most? Yes.
  • Did he refuse to answer questions directly? Yes.
  • Did Jesus offend the people of his day? Absolutely, yes.

By all accounts Jesus did have bad habits, and Sweet presents them in a way that will have you yearning to have those same bad habits if you want to be a follower of Christ.

“Bad Habits” is an examination of how Jesus had habits that defied cultural expectations.  It could be said that Jesus was a “rebel“!  Jesus loved to party, he broke the rules, spit, procrastinated, hung out with bad people.  The list goes on.  Sweet reminds us that Jesus came for the least of us.

Too many times we view Jesus as quiet, timid, gentle, soft spoken.  Sweet blows that picture apart and shows another side of Jesus that most of us overlooked.  Throughout scripture we find that Jesus truly was a rebel.

At the back of the book is a discussion guide that is perfect if you wanted to use this book as part of a small group study.  I highly recommend this book.  You can get it HERE.

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

Under Our Skin

Watson, an NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints and a widely read and followed commentator on social media, has written in my opinion one of the most thought provoking books of our time.  Watson has remarkable insights about some of the most sensitive and charged topics of our day. In Under Our Skin Watson, delicately and sensitively  examines both sides of the race debate and appeals to the power and possibility of faith as a step toward healing.  Drawing from his own life as a young boy and young man, his role as a father and husband, and his family legacy.

Under Our Skin does a wonderful job of presenting the race issue that was hi-lighted with Ferguson.  Watson does a brilliant job of illustrating how history and human nature has gotten us, as a country, to this point. He points to how the music we listen to affects the way we perceive things and how we can so easily get caught up in thinking of it as a race war. Watson gets straight to the heart of the issue and shows how we can change for the better.  I thought one of the best parts of the book was his thoughts and the background that he gave of his own story and that of his father and Pop Pop.

This is a read that I highly recommend for men young and old. 5 out of 5 stars!

Benjamin Watson is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, a writer and speaker, and a widely read and followed commentator on social media.

He attended Duke University as a freshman and transferred to the University of Georgia, where he majored in finance. After an all-SEC senior campaign, he was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring in his rookie season and appeared in another Super Bowl following the 2007 season. After a three-year stint with the Cleveland Browns—including the 2010 season in which he led the Browns in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns—Watson signed with the Saints in 2013.

Watson serves on the executive committee of the NFL Players Association and is the founder of the nonprofit One More foundation along with his wife, Kirsten. They live in New Orleans with their five children.

I am blessed to have received a copy of this bible for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

I am A Broken Reed

Isaiah 42_3

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 
Isaiah 42:3

This verse speaks of ‘bruised reeds and smouldering wicks’. Jesus isn’t looking for just perfect reeds. He came looking for those of us who know we need Him. Jesus doesn’t care if we are perfect reeds or bruised reeds, a light that burns brightly or a dim smoldering wick. What this passage is telling us is that even if a lot of us are like broken and bruised reeds, or are dimly burning wicks with just a hint of smoke and a little bit of light, Jesus isn’t going to extinguish us or throw us away!

Sadly, today’s world has more and more people battered and bruised and with very little light. All of us feel this way at times, I know I do.  And maybe you do today. We all have to realize that there are some problems in this life that only Jesus can deal with.

Take time today to remember that God plays the most beautiful music out of the most broken reed. Never give up on the vision God has put on your heart! We serve a limitless God so DREAM BIG and step into the empowering GRACE He has given you.
Thank you Lord God for sending your Son to this world, to minister, to live, die, and to be raised again so that He can come into our hearts and fill us with the hope, strength and encouragement that we need. Today I sing your praises Lord for I know your Son is not one that will ever turn His back on us.  Amen

Sticks and Stones Can Break Our Bones, And Words Can Surely Hurt Us

james

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 3: 9-12

There once was a frog that wanted to cross a large lake but he did not have the strength to make it on his own.  So he tried to figure out a way to get across the water and finally came up with a fantastic idea.  He noticed two birds nearby and he talked the birds into picking up a pretty good size twig, a sturdy twig, and holding it in their mouths while he grabbed and held on with his mouth between them.  The idea was that the birds would fly across the lake holding the twig while he held on to the twig.  Now the birds thought that the frog was quite intelligent for coming up with such a plan to overcome what seemed an impossible situation.  The frog latched his mouth to the twig and the birds took flight.

As the birds started their ascent, there was  a man nearby who saw this most unusual sight, two birds carrying a frog across the water.  He yelled, “Hey! Who came up with that brilliant idea?”  The frog said, “I……”

Don’t be like the frog, remember, opening your mouth at the wrong time in the wrong way can do great harm.

Bring The Rain – Unanswered Prayers

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Mom and Daughter on Easter Morning

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

Prayer is God’s appointed means to receive what is best for us and others and to realize what Paul called “what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2) Sometimes a delay is necessary to fit into God’s overall program.

Last year my father in law lost his battle with cancer.  The family spent countless days praying for his recovery, that God would spare him and restore him to perfect health. Those prayers went unanswered. They were prayers not so much for him but for our own selfish desires, we wanted more time, we were not ready to lose him.  But I learned a lot during the last weeks of his life as he and I talked about life and death.  We weren’t ready for what God’s will was, but he was.  He talked about the life God had blessed him with and he helped me understand that God’s will, God’s plan, was far greater than our own.  In the days following his death I was able to reminisce with my children, nieces and nephews, and share with them the insights that their grandfather had shared with me.  From this, a glorious thing happened with one of my nephews.  In the past few years as his son and daughter got older, he had forgotten how important family was and that being a parent means that you are your child’s favorite toy, and that children spell love T-I-M-E.  Through this lose that he felt so deeply, he became a better father.

Weeks later my mother in law was told that she had advanced cancer. We were told that she may not make it to Christmas, the family took this hard.  I’ve prayed for my mother in law more than any other person in my life. I’ve prayed that she would be healed completely. I’ve prayed that she would receive wisdom and strength in life situations. It seems like many of those prayers have gone unanswered. But are they really unanswered, or is God using my mother in laws life to stretch her daughters faith as well as the rest of the family’s faith?

Perhaps he does it so that the soul will remain humble or grow in humility; perhaps to purify it; perhaps to make it hunger and thirst all the more so as to satisfy it all the more. Or he may delay for other reasons which we cannot even guess, but which will be revealed to us some day and show us God’s mercy. This is why it happens that a soul, who has been asking God all his life to overcome some fault, remains with it until perhaps his last days, and finally sees the prayer answered, even abundantly answered.

It’s now April 2013, and my mother in law is still enjoying everyday of her life and all the tender moments that make up each of her days.  Recently she made the decision to stop treatments.  She wants her days to be filled with quality not quantity.  The treatments were wiping her out for 3 weeks only to have a few days of feeling good.  And we support her wishes.  We all have been blessed to have this extra time with her.

On Easter Sunday I was able to sit and visit alone with her before I took her out to Easter dinner with family.  We talked about the time she has been given, family, lessons she has learned, and we prayed.  She is truly happy and at peace, her only wish, to smell the breeze of a Spring day one more time.  She talked of her love for her family and all the blessed moments they gave her.  She is ready to go to her Father and be with her husband that I know she misses terribly.

There is a song by Mercy Me called, “Bring the Rain.” When I first heard that song I couldn’t even imagine how much spiritual maturity it would take for someone to sing, that was until an Easter Sunday morning talk with mom.

“Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free.
Bring me anything that brings You glory.
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain,
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain.”