Sunday, May 24, 2015

Heaven...I'm Depending On It

Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what You ordered-- You set the earth going. Psalm 119:91(MSG)

Heaven...I'm depending on it.
It's especially fitting that I find myself reading this particular verse in Psalm 119 today, on this Memorial Day Weekend. As I work my way through the 119th Psalm, verse by verse, letting the Word guide my writing, it has frequently been the case that the words of scripture completely correspond to the happenings of the day. 

As I sit listening to the rain and watching the storm clouds roll overhead, I ponder today's verse. What I realize is that I have a decision to make. I either depend upon the word of God, or I don't. Oh it sounds so simple...but it's really not. Not for me anyway, and if I'm guessing, it's not always easy for you either. As I reflect upon this Memorial Day and I think about those that have gone before me, the questions seem to outweigh the answers as it relates to heaven. I think this is especially true when we lose someone who is extremely close to us. Where did they go? Why did they have to leave when they did? Why is it that we all must die anyway? Why did they have to go to a place where we can't communicate with them? If there is a place called heaven, what's it really like anyway?  

We live in a temporal world. The here and now is all we know. To imagine a place that exists beyond the clouds and rely on an afterlife beyond this present time frame, seems a bit shaky, does it not? Seems like the makings for a great fairy tale, right?

The older I get, however, the more I recognize the faith that it takes to really depend on the Word of God. To accept the truths from the chapter of John where Jesus tells us that "He goes before us and prepares a room for us"...that in "His father's house there are many rooms.." takes a lot of courage to believe. We just don't know what to expect. It's nothing like what we have ever experienced before. And yet, here we are, needing to grasp that He set the world in motion. Attempting to comprehend that all things were created by Him and for Him and for His glory is a challenging task for our finite minds. I find myself reaching into the depths of my heart to accept that our time on earth is but a sniff of our life and this really isn't our home. 

Hmm...yes...I'm depending on heaven, because if I'm wrong, then I've lost nothing. If I'm right, I've gained an eternity with the King of Kings and a guaranteed reunion with my loved ones!

You know my heart today, and the burden within. May you comfort those who are deeply grieving the loss of a loved one. Place their heart in the palm of Your hands and give them the assurance of a heavenly home with You. Clear our minds and cradle our spirits today, I pray. Help us each to depend upon You to an ever increasing measure. Place us in the center of Your will each day that we reside here on earth.
Thank You Lord~

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: 7 Men and The Secret Of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known―but not well understood―Christian men, each of whom uniquely showcases a commitment to live by certain virtues in the truth of the gospel.

A MUST read for every parent!
This book brings a clarity to the
definition of "greatness" as defined
by the lives of seven men from
Written in a beautiful and engaging style, Seven Men addresses what it means (or should mean) to be a man today, at a time when media and popular culture present images of masculinity that are not the picture presented in Scripture and historic civil life. What does it take to be a true exemplar as a father, brother, husband, leader, coach, counselor, change agent, and wise man? 

What does it mean to stand for honesty, courage, and charity, especially at times when the culture and the world run counter to those values?

Each of the seven biographies represents the life of a man who experienced the struggles and challenges to be strong in the face of forces and circumstances that would have destroyed the resolve of lesser men. 

Each of the seven men profiled―George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson―call the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.

My Personal Review:

7 Men And The Secret Of Their Greatness  by Eric Metaxas is a wonderfully well written book that brings to light the intentions of seven men, who by their own selfless actions, changed the course of history for countless lives. 

7 Men  by Eric Metaxas was an excellent read! I chose this book specifically because I had the privilege of listening to Eric Metaxas a few years ago as he spoke about his book, Bonhoeffer. His undeniable attention to detail  combined with his obvious intelligence level (glad I have a Kindle to quickly decode some of his vocabulary) will hold the reader captive. 

In this book, 7 Men the author chooses seven men in history and proceeds to summarize their lives and highlight their convictions and courage to stand up for what they believe in. The men span across cultures, countries, and centuries, however, they all have a common thread running through their life, and that is the spirit of humility driven by a desire to serve others.

I found this book to be an essential tool for parents in general, but specifically for those who are trying to raise up Godly men in the 21st Century. 7 Men by Eric Metaxas, gives tangible examples of men in history who have lived a life filled with challenges and yet these men were able to rise to each occasion and bring about an outcome that was reflective of a love for God and His people. This is a fast and insightful read that I am confident you will find not only enjoyable, but useful. 
Pre-order this book today.

After reading this book, I am very excited to read Eric Metaxas' new book which will be released in September, 2015 titled: 7 Women and The Secret of Their Greatness. He gives a sneak peek to this new informative work on "great women" in history at the end of his book, 7 Men. It includes my "faith hero", Corrie Ten Boom! I canNOT wait!!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for this review copy of 7 Men by Erick Metaxas provided through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review of this work. The opinions expressed within this review are my own.