December 30, 2011

10 Great Reads of 2011

I'm looking forward to this brand new year. I haven't had much time to write many 'thoughts on books' the last few weeks, but hope to get right back to it. I've redesigned my blog for the new year, so come by and visit anytime and see what you think. :)

I'm a little shocked I actually read 61 books this past year! I thought I'd share 5 great non-fiction reads and 5 great fiction reads from my list. So here they are in no particular order:

5 great non-fiction reads:

My thoughts: Oswald Chambers

  My thoughts: What really happened that first Easter?

My thoughts: The Well

My thoughts: Unbroken

My thoughts: God as Master Artist
                     A Great Story from Charles Spurgeon
                     Heaven and five people I'd like to meet

5 great fiction reads:

My thoughts: Pompeii

My thoughts: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

My thoughts: Fade to Blue and Hearst Castle

 My thoughts: To Win Her Heart

My thoughts: Petra

December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my readers and visitors a very Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2011

Foretelling and Proclaiming

The Bible is the greatest piece of literature, inspired by God Himself. It has stood the test of time, been the most popular book in history and is continually being proven completely actuate. God never leaves His children in the dark, but throughout the Bible He foretells what is to come and proclaims the Truth. The more I study it the more amazed I am at how prophecy is fulfilled exactly as God foretold it. I love that so many old testament scriptures foretell the coming of Christ. Here are a few of my favorites:

"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days." Micah 5:2

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:6-7

I also love how God chose mere shepherds to proclaim that Christ had come. They must of been pretty excited to go see who the angel of the Lord had spoken to them about!

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:9-15

One of my favorite Scripture passages is Isaiah 53. It foretells not only the coming of Christ but exactly what would happen to Him. It all came to pass, every last detail. Here in this passage we see why Jesus came:

"All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6

Thanks-you Jesus for coming into this world as a babe, so you could take my sin upon yourself by giving your life for mine. I love you.

December 12, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God."  C.S.Lewis

December 9, 2011

Compassion International

During this Christmas season of giving I thought I'd share a little about my journey with Compassion International.

"Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:9

I have been sponsoring children through Compassion for over 25 years and I just love this organization!

I first heard of Compassion, when I attended a Steve Camp concert when I was 18 years old. During his talk on what they did and how we could help, I felt a strong stirring from the Lord to sponsor a child. I didn't have a job at the time and wasn't sure how I was going to pay for it, but I trusted God's prompting. I believe that when God asks something of you financially he will always provide it.

It is such a wonderful experience to sponsor a child in need and get to know them a little through correspondence. I have been so blessed by the letters I have received. I write to encourage them, but often  find their letters encouraging me. I pray for them and their families and they pray for me and mine. I love that Compassion provides the basic needs for these children, but most of all it is so good to hear my sponsored kids talk about the Lord and what he has done for them through this program.

I hope to encourage anyone who has been thinking of sponsorship and hasn't taken that final step. Pray about it and maybe God will speak to you and bless you with a needy child. You won't regret it...I never have. :)

Here is a link to their website: Compassion International

"She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20

"Jesus said: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matt 25:40

December 5, 2011

Simeon and the Cure

Since the Christmas season is upon us I thought I'd share a few paragraphs from a book I just finished by A.W. Tozer, that reminded me of what Christmas is really about:

"Mankind is still inventing new ways of self-treatment and medication for failures and weaknesses and wrong-doing, even in our own day, not recognizing that the cure has already come.

Simeon, the old man of God who had waited in hope around the temple, knew that the cure had come! When he saw the baby Jesus, he took Him up in his arms, looked down at Him and said, 'Lord, now lettest thou they servant depart in peace...for mine eyes have seen they salvation." (Luke 2:29-30)
We live in a world that is always coming up with a new remedy, a new plan, or a new way of doing things. When in reality this world really has nothing of worth to offer us. Nothing that will matter in the end.

Oh, but what joy Simeon must have felt as he held Jesus in his arms! Knowing this was the Son of God who would take away the sins of the world! The One that would make things right. The One who is the cure.

"And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 

So he came by the Spirit into the temple. 

And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 

"Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;

For my eyes have seen Your salvation 

Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel." 

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, 

"Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against "(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 
                                                Luke 2:25-35