Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Happened To Our LORD AND SAVIOR?

I just opened an annual statement from a church I used to attend. It was for tax purposes and to summarize what the church funds had been used for over the year. Also, the tell all the good that had come from the tithes and offerings. A normal thing for a church to do.

What really got my attention was this... it gave the number of people who had made Jesus their "leader and forgiver." Leader and forgiver??? What happened to LORD and SAVIOR?

Am I wrong for being offended by this? I know we always have new Bible translations with current wording... but this seems to be totally watered down. I feel the new generation of believers will totally miss the sovereignty of God.

Leader? That could be anyone? Your parents, your boss, your teacher, even your pastor? But only ONE can be LORD! Leader is someone who shows you the way and you follow. Yes... Jesus can be considered a leader. But to make Jesus the LORD of your life... well, that's a big difference. It means you submit to His will and not your own. It means that you lay every area of your life at His feet. It means every decision, every choice, every step you take in life is guided and directed by HIM. He knows what's best for us... He wrote the book. We follow His Word.

And forgiver? What is that supposed to mean? You could go to any person and ask their forgiveness. Just like a priest. They would then become your forgiver. But they could NEVER be your SAVIOR! Only Jesus can be our Savior! He died so that we could live!

I'm tired of the Gospel being twisted to fit what people want to believe. To make them comfortable with God or even with the sin they want to hold on to. I don't understand that. If heaven and hell are real... then tell them the truth. I would want to know the truth. Better yet... I'll go look for the truth myself. I don't want to leave such a great decision for my eternity in someone else's hands. What if they're wrong?

We can't hide the truth to attract more people. Jesus didn't disguise himself. And He certainly didn't need to water down what He said. He spoke boldly. No gimmicks. Everyone had the same choice then as they do today. Choose to believe... or walk away. No offense to anyone... but if you want to go to Heaven and spend eternity with God... you will do it HIS WAY. You can't pick and choose what part of the Bible you want to believe. It's all or nothing.

A lot of people today have an 'idea' of who God is or what they think He should be like.... and then proceed to find a church that 'fits' their way of thinking. That's backwards. We need to read the Bible, find out who God says He is... and adjust our lives accordingly. Find a church that teaches His Word.

I believe we don't give people enough credit. As if they can't handle the truth. But they can. We don't need to shield them from it. If we love people... we will tell them what they NEED to hear. The TRUTH. And then it's up to them to either accept or reject. We don't need to try and make Jesus more attractive to them. And we don't need to fill their heads with the false lies that life will be trouble free or they will never sin again... "in this world we will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world."

We won't be perfect... we're human after all. We still need direction in life... that's our need for Jesus to be the LORD of our lives. And we still sin... fall short even when we try our best... and that's why we need Jesus to be our SAVIOR. He does for us what we can't do for ourselves. So why would we want to water that down?

...Whew! I just had to get that out. If you read to the end... thanks. Sometimes I just need to rant.

God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Time To Embrace by Karen Kingsbury

This is the first book I've read by Karen Kingsbury... and it will be the first of many. I think I just found a new favorite author!

A Time To Embrace is the story of John and Abby. A couple who have survived the road to divorce, only to recover and find a love greater than before. The story takes you through the ups and downs of learning to trust again. Not only trust in your spouse... but trust in God.

The story was written with great detail. John's struggle with his coaching career; parents wanting him fired, kids losing respect for him, and his lifelong love of football. And there's Abby with her willingness to trust and forgive to restore her marriage, yet having the doubts that come in at a moments notice. Then we have Jake. A student of John's who learns a great lesson in forgiveness and restoration through one life altering decision. It moves on to their children. Mainly their older daughter and her marriage... dealing with her own doubt and lack of faith in hard times.

This was the second in a series but I didn't feel at all lost. The details of the past are brought to life in conversations with the main characters, as well as in flashbacks. I could easily imagine John and Abby's house on the lake and their 'dance' on the pier. Beautiful. I also enjoyed the supporting characters. A pleasant mix that made the story even more believable and enjoyable.

It was inspiring to read a story of renewed romantic love. A saved marriage in the midst of life and the trials that come with it. The faith of the John and Abby was refreshing and motivating. It reminded me of why I love Christian fiction. To be encouraged in my daily walk. This is a book I will be sure to pass along. :)

Thanks for reading!
Mary Ann :)

*Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.-Thanks Thomas Nelson! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Real Christian... A.W. Tozer quote

A Real Christian is an Odd Number, Anyway.

He feels supreme love
for One whom he has never seen;

Talks familiarly everyday
to someone he cannot see;

Expects to go to heaven
on the virtue of another;

Empties himself
in order to be full;

Admits he is wrong
so he can be declared right;

Goes down
in order to get up;

Is strongest
when he is weakest;

when he is poorest

when he feels the worst.

He dies
so he can live;

in order to have;

Gives away
so he can keep;

Sees the invisible;

Hears the inaudible;

And knows that which passeth knowledge.


A.W. Tozer

Monday, January 24, 2011

Moving Forward

This is my all-time favorite song. When I'm by myself I love to turn it up so I can't hear anything else... and then I play it again. And again. You ever have those days when you feel like you just can't keep moving? This is a great reminder to keep... Moving Forward. I've posted the video below the lyrics. I hope you like it.

Moving Forward

I’m Not going back
I’m Moving ahead
I’m Here to declare to you, my past is over
In You all things are made new
Surrendered my life to Christ
I’m moving moving forward

What a moment
You have brought me to
Such a freedom
I have found in You
You’re the Healer
Who makes all things new
Yeah Yeah Yeah

You have risen
With all power in Your Hands
You have given me
A second chance
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Yeah Yeah Yeah

You make all things new
You make all things new
I will follow You forward

If you like this song, you will probably like the whole album. It's called Moving Forward by Free Chapel Live and the worship leader is Ricardo Sanchez. It's really a great cd.

God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

"First Things First" by Kurt & Brenda Warner

This is a book, not about the celebrity of Kurt Warner, but rather a book about a husband and wife doing all they can to put their family first in the midst of all the celebrity and daily life itself. Yes, it does touch on Kurt's career with stories here and there, but it equally shares of Brenda's background. Kurt is not the center of the book and clearly he is not the center of the family home. He is a husband and father before anything else. He and Brenda are partners... in parenting, marriage, and life in general.

I found some very useful ideas for parenting. With seven children, one being a special needs child, they have found rules that work for them and share those rules in hopes that they will work for us as well... or at least show us how to find what works for us. They really stress to their kids, by rules and example, to put others first, treat others well, and be their best.

They also set a good example of how to put your marriage first. Even above your children. They teach their kids by the way they treat one another. And what better way to see how a future spouse should treat you than by your parents' example. Love and respect are shown throughout the entire book. They each write part of every chapter. Kurt first, then Brenda. Two sides, but with common rules and respect for one another.

If you're married, if you have a family or planning to start one someday, I would recommend reading "First Things First". There is so much great advice. If Kurt and Brenda can make it work in world of celebrity... there is hope for the rest of us!

*Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. -Thanks Tyndale House!  :)

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)


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