October 28, 2013

No Longer a Slumdog

Jesus on every page.


This is how I felt reading this book. Jesus was honored on every page. Every page shone with the hope and love He can bring to the lost, the lonely, the unwanted.

K.P. Yohannan says of these:

"Throughout the world, more than 150 million children between the ages of 4 and 14 are involved in child labour. There are 1.2 million children bought and sold every year."


150 million children working for nearly nothing??

1.2 million children sold into doing horrific acts??

How do we comprehend this. It's easy to be put off by the numbers, but each one of these children is a real person.

Joesph Stalin once said:

"One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."

Let's not  think like Stalin, let us remember each one of these millions of children is an individual with worth in the eyes of God.

K. P. Yohannan is the founder of 'Gospel for Asia' an organization dedicated to helping the least of these all over Asia.

Francis Chan says of him:

"There are few (maybe no) men I respect more than him. In our day and age, it is hard to find a man who can lead thousands while diverting attention away from himself and onto Jesus. God has graced K. P. Yohannan with this type of humility while he leads millions."

In his book, K. P. Yohannan, talks about the devastation of the caste system built on the religion of Hinduism and how it has keep so many in bondage. He talks about the begging children on the streets of India and how they are pimped out to make money they rarely see themselves. He talks about the filth they live in and how no one even gives them a second look.

Then he talks about Jesus and how His love can change a heart and set it free.

The book also contains many beautiful stories of how God has changed children through this program. How these children now have hope in knowing they have worth. How they have been set free from the bondage of reincarnation and the caste system of inequality.

Click on the link below to hear one of these stories:

Nibun's Story

Yohannan also included some great quotes to ponder. I've included a few here:

"The more often we feel without acting, the less we will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less we will be able to feel."           
                                                                                                               C. S. Lewis

"Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action."
                                                                                          James Russell Lowell

"You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." 
                                                                                                     Amy Carmichael


*K. P. Yohannan is giving away his book for FREE.  You can click on this link here for your own copy:  No Longer a Slumdog Website

October 25, 2013

if


I crave hungrily to be used to show
       the way of liberty to a soul in
       bondage,
     instead of caring only that it be
       delivered;
if I nurse my disappointment when I
       fail,
    instead of asking that to another
       the word of release may be
       given,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                       Amy Carmichael

October 21, 2013

Victory over Fear

I'm not much of a TV preacher fan. But I love Charles Stanley.

Fear is something many Christians have struggled with and Charles Stanley wisely shares on this subject.

Fear - an uneasy feeling, a feeling of dread, a feeling of an alarm warning us, feeling threatened by something.

He begins by telling us there is good and bad fear.

When the Bible speaks of fearing the Lord it means being reverent, acknowledging Him for who He is, to respect God as God, a holy righteous God.

This kind of fear does not mean being afraid.


But when we are afraid in life we should remember what the Lord has said and that He means what He says:

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10
                                                              
And its also important to know fear does not come from God:

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2Timothy 1:7 

He then shares these feelings linked with fear:

A. Greed is fear of not having enough.

B. Rejection is concern about not being accepted.

C. Guilt is apprehension that our wrongs might be discovered.

D. Discouragement is a fear of failure caused by a lack of confidence.

E. Anger is caused by a fear that we may not get our way.

F. Jealousy is the fear of losing control of what we desire.

G. Indecision is caused when we worry about making a wrong choice.

I can especially relate to the fear of rejection. It's a fear instilled in me from my childhood, but a fear that I'm learning is not from God.

Because of this fear of rejection as a child, I also feared God rejecting me.

I loved this sermon because Charles Stanley went through some of the same fears as me. I appreciated the part where he explained how having the wrong view of God can keep us in fear.

He explains here:

Growing up he says some people were - " fighting to hold onto a belief that if they sin against God and sinning while they die they will go to hell." In other words if you were a Christian and sinned, and then died before you repented, you would go to hell.

He continues: "I would not hold onto that belief one second!" 

But this is what was taught when he was growing up and what I often heard as well. It scared the life out of me and I often, as Charles Stanley says he did, went to bed feeling scared and asking God to save me over and over again.

We must look to the cross for the answer.

He continues saying:

"Jesus payed your sin debt in full. He has atoned for your sin, past, present and future. It doesn't mean you will not sin again but that when you do He will discipline you."

Jesus payed your debt in full!!! There is no need to fear rejection from Him.

"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross."      Col. 2:13-14

I love this quote by Francis Chan:

"To call someone a Christian simply because he does some Christian-y things is giving false comfort to the unsaved. But to declare anyone who sins 'unsaved' is to deny the reality and truth of God's grace."

Charles Stanley goes on to say:

"I was a pastor for a long time before I genuinely, emotionally felt, oh I knew it, I preached it, but before I emotionally felt God really loved me as a person. It was a long time. It was a wrong view of God."

If you are a believer in Christ then you are saved and you need not fear.

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21

Here's the full sermon:




Here's the Sermon Outline 



Charles Stanley has recently written a book dealing with emotions, one of them being fear. It's called Emotions: Confront the lies. Conquer with Truth.

I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Buy it  HERE on Amazon



October 11, 2013

if

the moment I am conscious of the
      shadow of self crossing my
      threshold,
         I do not shut the door,
   and in the power of Him who
      works in us to will and to do,
         keep that door shut,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                     Amy Carmichael


October 7, 2013

5 books on my future reading list

I'M NO Angel

I actually just started reading this book and I'm touched so far by Kylie's courage to write it. Kylie is 23 years old and has a beautiful story to tell.

She was once a Victoria Secret model, now she strives to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

In her book she shares how God has been working in her life and how He is slowly but surely changing her.

I'm really looking forward to reading more.

Here's a little about the book from Amazon:

"In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model.

In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her story—from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her “big break” winning the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty.

Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ."

                                                                          

Jonathan Edwards: On True Christianity

This is one of five books in a series on the thoughts and teachings of Jonathan Edwards.

I really enjoyed the other four and I'm excited to read this one as well.

Jonathan Edwards was a puritan pastor who loved the Lord. I personally have found great inspiration from his writings.

If you would like to know more about him you can read my thoughts HERE on one of the other books in the series called, 'Jonathan Edwards, Lover of God'

A little on the book from Amazon:

"What is a true Christian? What is the church? Though these are fundamental questions they often go unanswered in our current evangelical context. Far too many pastors and thinkers celebrate the trappings of faith and the mere benefits of Christianity, ignoring the biblical testimony on true conversion that shouts from countless texts from Scripture.

This has fed an age-old problem: nominal Christianity. Though Edwards is sometimes presented as a scourge, a mean-hearted parson who lived to belt out thunderous damnations, a careful study of the historical record and of Edwards' writings shows that he was in fact a Christian man devoted to the cultivation of true and saving faith in a spiritually fickle people he tenaciously loved."



The Dancing Master 

I've always wanted to learn how to dance.

It looks like so much fun. It was something I wasn't allowed to do growing up and I remember once being scolded by an older babysitter when I was caught watching performers roller skating to music! She thought I was watching dancing.

Well this book is by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors and its about dancing!

Here's Amazons description of the book:

"Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.


Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?"



Road trip to Redemption 

This sounds like a really moving story. I read about it on another blog and right away added it to my TBR list.

I think this will be an encouraging book for all of us who have or are raising children.

Amazon says here of the book:

"Brad Mathias thought everything in his family was fine. A busy, contented dad, he had vaguely noticed that Bethany, his middle child, had become withdrawn and moody, but he assumed it was part of being a “teen” and didn’t look any deeper. 

Until the night God spoke clearly to Brad and his wife: Ask her to reveal what she has hidden. They did—and learned the secret Bethany had been carrying, one that rocked their family to the core. In a desperate attempt to reach their daughter and to reconnect as a family, Brad and his wife piled everyone into the car and embarked on a wild, crazy, seven-thousand-mile, what-are-we-thinking trip across the country. 

As they drove, they realized how far apart they’d drifted, found unexpected blessings along the way—and journeyed together from pain and loss to recovery and redemption. In this book, Brad shares stories from the road about God’s grace, gives practical tips on what he learned about reconnecting as a family, invites you to consider your own epic journey as a mother or father, and calls you to trust wholeheartedly in the amazing love God has for your kids"


Pearl in the Sand

I love the story of Rahab,  a story of God's love and redemption. A story that is part of His great plan.

It's also a story of forgiveness, acceptance and how God changes a harlot, to a woman crowned a daughter of the King.

I also read a great review on this book and can't wait to read it!

Here's a bit from Amazon:

"Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? 

Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes. 

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well- walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith...of pride; a marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God."


October 4, 2013

if

I myself dominate myself,
   if my thoughts revolve around
     myself,
   if I am so occupied with myself I
     rarely have 'a heart at leisure
     from itself,'
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

                                      Amy Carmichael

October 1, 2013

Intercessory Prayer

Ok, I promise this is my last post on Charles Spurgeon's book, The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life! It was just such a great book. : )


Intercede: to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition

Spurgeon says:

"Do you go into prayer and in the face and presence of God not thinking of anyone but yourself? Surely the love of Christ cannot be in you, for the Spirit of Christ is not selfish."

Interceding for others is taking them in prayer to the throne of grace and laying them down at the feet of Christ. It's asking on their behalf for something they need. If you are a Christian someone did this for you.

Spurgeon continues here:

"How can you and I repay the debt we owe to the church unless we pray for others? How was it that you were converted? It was because somebody else prayed for you."

When he refers to the church here he is not talking about a building or an organization that promotes Christianity. He's talking about human beings. He's talking about people who have surrendered their lives to Christ and follow Him.

He's talking about someone who interceded for you.

He later goes on to talk about grace for others in our prayers:

"It is utterly impossible that you should have a large measure of grace unless it prompts you to use your influence for others. If your soul has grace at all and you are not a mighty intercessor, that grace must be but as a grain of mustard seed - a shrivelled, puny thing. You have just enough grace to float your soul clear from the quicksand, but you have no deep floods of grace or else you would carry a rich cargo of the needs of others up to the throne of God. and you would bring back for them rich blessings that they might not have obtained without you."

"It is impossible for a mature saint to live or pray for himself alone."

Have you ever been frustrated with someone's doctrine which you felt was just a bit off? You wanted so badly to correct them and make them see what you see?

Spurgeons advice:

"It is better to pray than it is to argue. Sometimes you think it would be a good thing to have a public discussion upon a doctrine. It would be a better thing to have prayer over it. Carry your dear friends who are wrong in practice - not to the discussion room - but before God, and let this be your cry, 'Teach me if I am wrong, and teach my friend wherein he errs, and make him right.'"

Finally, here is my favorite quote from this chapter on intercessory prayer: 

"Remember that intercessory prayer is the sweetest prayer God ever hears."

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