Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: GRACE by Max Lucado

The book, GRACE (More than we deserve.  Greater than we can imagine.) by Max Lucado was a refreshingly quick read filled with the deep and yet uncomplicated truth of God's unending hand of grace upon the lives of those who accept it.

I chose to read the book titled GRACE by Max Lucado, because the whole concept of grace is a bit confusing to me from an application stand point.  After reading this book, I have cultivated  a deeper appreciation of what it means to accept the grace of God in my life.  As with every book that I have read from this prominent author, I would highly recommend it.  I am confident that if you read this book, you too will experience a sense that enough is really enough and we do not need to do flip flops or run marathons to earn God's approval, we simply need to accept His grace

One of the most powerful and yet basic conclusions reached within the first few pages of the book is that grace is God changing you, rather than you changing first to "clean up your act" so that you are good enough to meet Him.  This premise is the foundation for the remainder of chapters that are filled with relational examples of how God's grace is for you and I today.  Max also utilizes the characters within the Word of God to illuminate the love and power of God's unfailing grace in their lives and thus showing the parallels within our own lives.

As an added bonus, this book has a "Readers Guide" by Kate Etue.  It is organized nicely into twelve studies with the intent to work through one study a week.  This section can be used as a small group study, or individualized for a personal quest to enhance your understanding of God's grace. 

The whole premise of grace might seem overwhelming, however, the book: GRACE by Max Lucado brings tangible meaning to the word with scriptural verification that provides the reader with a renewed sense of hope and a deeper level of responsiveness to the Savior.  

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishing for this complimentary copy of GRACE by Max Lucado provided to me through BookSneeze.  The opinions  given in this review are entirely my own.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Katie's Hope

Psalm 119:59(MSG)
When I took a long, careful look at Your ways, I got my feet back on the trail You blazed.

Trailblazers.  Those people who literally burn a path through the thick brush and tangled web of obstacles that stand in their way to accomplish a very specific goal.  Webster's New World Dictionary defines a trailblazer as:  a pioneer in any field.  A pioneer being one who goes before preparing the way for others.  What an inspiration those individuals are!

I believe the Lord frequently uses people to motivate and inspire us into action.  In fact, this verse today defines God Himself as the initial trailblazer and the ultimate guide for all of our endeavors.  The Bible, of course, is full of people whose stories shake us off the couch and infuse us with a plan of action to change circumstances for God's glory.  My personal favorite trailblazer in the Bible is Esther.  In the book of Esther, I read about a young lady thrown into a kingdom of luxury in which she could have used to absorb herself in personal comfort, but instead, when made aware of a deep need within her Jewish family, bravely chooses to stand before the King on their behalf in an attempt to save them all.  Despite it being against the law for her to do so, punishable by death I might add, she is so convicted of her assignment that she proceeds forward stating, "If I perish, I perish."  (Esther4:16).  Hello?!!  What?!  Who does that?!  Seriously?  Only someone empowered by God with a genuine conviction that the Holy One of Israel has truly paved a trail clear for her!  That's who. 

Katie's hope is to bring clean drinking water to all those without.
Enter my new friend Katie.  She is a modern day trailblazer at the ripe old age of about 18!!  I am so excited for you to meet her.  Her hope in action has ignited within me a fresh fire and new desire to serve Him more!  As you read her story, I'm confident that you will sense the passion that God has given her;  A passion that is highly contagious and graciously given in response to the recent request she laid before the Lord.  She simply asked God to "break her heart for the things that break His."  What a brave prayer.  What an incredible role model.  And now, without any further writing, it is my pleasure to introduce to you~Katie Kearbey.  (Click on her name to go to her story!)    

Thank you for the amazing passion You have given Katie to help Your children all over the world tonight who are suffering from water born diseases.  Please give her new ministry, Splash of H2OPE, funding and resources to provide clean drinking water to those families in need.  Bless her with the wisdom, resolve, and persistence of Esther.
In Jesus Name,