Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur

From the back cover:  Simple definitions can make grace feel like an obvious- even mundane- concept.   Best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur illuminates this profound concept with verse upon verse of Scripture.  He also shows that misunderstandings about grace have led to some of the church's greatest problems, perhaps because grace is her most precious gift.

We often hear, when asking what grace is, that grace is undeserved and unmerited favor.  While that is true, God's grace goes far deeper than merely extending His favor upon us... I wanted to explore the depth of God's grace and what it looks like in the lives of His children, so I was excited when the opportunity to read and review this book came along.  Grace Defined, Grace Received, Grace Misunderstood and Twisted, Grace Realized, and Grace Lived Out are the five areas of grace the author explores, though the dry, scholastic manner in which he communicates was not quite what I had expected or hoped for.  (I really desired a devotional/study type of book.)  All-in-all 'The Truth About Grace' was a great platform for me to take what the author has written about and use it in more of a devotional style, and is a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to explore the depth of God's grace. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Friday, June 1, 2012

Be Dangerous, But Be Safe

Well, I think I've given up thinking that my 2 boys (11 and 8) will gain common sense any time soon... though I am still consistently praying that the Lord would give them just an ounce of common sense to get them through these "tween"  and  "teen" years alive.  Since my boys were tiny, I have consistently prayed that God would show me their strengths, weaknesses, and the gifts and talents He's given them, and I'm not surprised to say that He has given me great insight into each boy's character.  I have one who struggles with fear, is a self-admitted 'messy', is compassionate, yet courageous;  and one who struggles with selfishness, is a strong leader, very detail oriented/organized (just one look at their desks will tell you which is which).  :)   Anyway, quite a long time ago God showed me that I've had a deep root of fear in my life, and that one of my boys also has that struggle.  :(    However, even though he struggles with fear, he has the in-born desire to live an adventurous life... one day he said, "Mom, I'm dangerous... I love danger!"  Then proceeded to tell me of an experiment he wanted to do involving gun powder, a gas tank, and a stick of dynamite...  Wow!  Quite honestly, as a woman, I really have never had the desire to 'be dangerous', and as a mother, I always want my boys to be safe and careful... though that's not God's design for them.  God designed them to love adventure and challenge, to get out in the world and take it by storm, not sit quietly by in the 'safe zone'.  So, against my natural mother's instincts I've resolved not to say to them, 'be careful' when they're headed out to the sledding hill, or driving the golf cart or mini bike on the trails at my parent's house (even though they've crashed), or even when they visit a friend's house... instead I say, "Be dangerous, but be safe!"  (Again, common sense has to come into play somewhere doesn't it?)  My desire for them is that as they grow, they'll use their gifts and talents to further the gospel, and they'll face what the Lord has in store for them with courage (even in the face of fear).  

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8