Your Sorrow Will Turn To Joy (book review)

Your Sorrow Will Turn To JoyHoly Week is always a good time to slow down to take a closer look at the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. I never want to “go through the motions” and miss out on some new revelation of all that Jesus did for us. An excellent companion for this journey is Your Sorrow Will Turn To Joy by the writers at Desiring God.

This book covers the eight days of Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. Each day has an insightful reading selection for both the morning and evening. The authors pulled together the accounts from all four of the Gospels, to offer unique insights and observations on each step of Christ’s journey to the Cross, the grave, and the empty tomb. As I read, I marveled again at the amazing love God showered on us!

The good folks at Desiring God have made this book available free of charge in its ebook format. Otherwise, the paperback can be purchased at a nominal cost.

Pick up a copy and read through it on the next Holy Week, and I promise you will see something fresh about the joy that Christ’s finished work on Calvary brings to those who will believe in Him!

The Porn Circuit (book review)

The Porn CircuitThere is scientific data, as well as anecdotal data, from researchers and therapists that pornography is an unfulfilling, relationship-destroying, life-controlling habit. Porn is NOT, as some people try to lead us to believe, harmless fun nor is it a victimless indulgence. The data about porn’s destructive potential, and the good news on how to break free from its stranglehold, is the subject Sam Black covers in an easy-to-read ebook called The Porn Circuit

Don’t let the mention of scientific data keep you from downloading this book. You don’t need a biology or chemistry background, because Sam Black explains the brain science of pornography in a way that anyone can grasp. The bottom line: porn is fooling your brain into false pleasure, and creating an addiction that can destroy your life just as easily as an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or any other life-controlling substance.

But the good news is you can break the hold of porn on your life! After Sam lays out the case of how destructive pornography can be for your life and relationships, he then shares some solid strategies for getting the help you need to break free.

This is a FREE downloadable book from Covenant Eyes, so there is no reason for you not to download it right now. Click here to go to ebook page.

Don’t let pornography ruin your life. Get help to get free.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Sins of the flesh are never to be reasoned or parleyed with; there is no more reasoning with them than with the winds…. We must fly. It is true valor in such a case to turn the back. ‘Resist the devil,’ says James, but Paul does not say ‘resist lust’; he puts it thus—‘Flee also youthful lusts.’ When warring with the legions of unrighteousness we shall need all the best powers of our renewed nature, for the conflict will be stern.” —Charles Spurgeon

John Piper and the Desiring God team have a new book available: The Joy Project. You can download the ebook version free of charge.

Detroit Tigers fans (especially those who know the history of the Tigers) will appreciate this article about Miguel Cabrera. I especially think that, in terms of a pure hitter, the comparison to Ty Cobb is right on.

The Democrats in the US House and Senate are making it more and more clear that they are interested in money and position, not in life and liberty. It is unconscionable that anyone could vote against a bill that says a baby born alive after a failed abortion should be allowed to live.

My friend, Pastor Dave Barringer, has some good thoughts on rest and burn-out. Pastors especially should take the time to read this one.

“Porn makes you think you are having sexual needs met, but really they are hollow and leave you feeling empty and lonelier than before.” Read more in this post: What it means to be pro-sex and anti-porn.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says setbacks can be “set-ups” if we handle them correctly—

[VIDEO] J. Warner Wallace explains how human consciousness points to a Creator—

 

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Who among you today is doing the most for your Master’s kingdom? I will tell you. Lend me a spiritual thermometer by which I may try the heat of your heart, and I will tell you the amount of your success.” —Charles Spurgeon

Max Lucado shares A Prayer For America.

A couple of free ebooks for you―

“Someday there will be a community where everyone behaves and no one complains. But it won’t be this side of heaven. So what do we do? We reason. We confront. We teach. But most of all, we love.” —Max Lucado

“It turns out that the most productive thing we can do is to stop working on someone else’s task list and figure out a more useful contribution instead. This is what separates great organizations from good ones, and extraordinary careers from frustrated ones. The challenge is that the final step requires a short-term hit to your productivity. But, if you fail to invest the time and effort to find a better path, it’s unlikely you’ll find one.” Read more of Seth Godin’s post The Productivity Pyramid.

[PHOTOS] Some really cool pictures from the scientific world.

And for some pseudo-science: Was 2014 “the hottest year on record”? Better read this for the facts.

Links & Quotes

link quote

How do you define “healing”? Check out this comprehensive list of Scriptures posted by Eurasia Northwest that may expand your definition.

Parents, beware of the book-turned-movie Fifty Shades Of Grey! Dr. Miriam Grossman has four blog posts about the dangers of seeing this movie or letting your kids see it. Check out the posts here.

“Unceasing prayer may sound complicated, but it needn’t be that way. Do this. Think of prayer less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God. Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness. As you stand in line to register your car, think, ‘Thank you, Lord, for being here.’ In the grocery store as you shop, think, ‘Your presence, my King, I welcome.’ As you wash the dishes, worship your Maker.” ―Max Lucado

Tim Elmore reminds us that the next time a young leader approaches you with a “zany idea,” you might do well to listen to him/her. After all, he lists some really smart people who totally missed the future!

“If there be any deed of kindness or love that we can do for the very meanest and most obscure of God’s people, we ought to be willing to do it—to be servants to God’s servants.” —Charles Spurgeon

John Piper and the Desiring God crew have a list of 24 free ebooks. Good stuff!

[VIDEO]

A beautiful stories about a sister’s love for her brother―

The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible (book review)

The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The BibleI have been a big fan of The Overview Bible Project ever since I discovered Jeffrey Kranz’s amazing Bible-based infographics and study tools. In The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible Jeffrey and his wife Laura give us a helpful and beautiful way of learning more about the men whom God used to write His Word.

I recently had a chance to ask Jeffrey & Laura a few questions about this ebook.

Jeffrey, why do you think that it’s important for students of the Bible to learn about the biblical authors?

One of the most important things to know about any message is where it comes from. We know this from life. If you get a “happy anniversary” card from your spouse, it’s a loving gesture. If you get the same card from an ex … well, you get the picture. The whole message hinges on who sends it!

It’s that way with the Bible, too. If we’re going to understand what the authors of the Bible were trying to get across, we should spend a little time getting to know them: who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve been through, and even what time period they’re writing from.

So what was one of the most surprising discoveries you made while researching this book?

As I went into this project, I hadn’t expected so many of the authors to be from the tribe of Levi. But they are! About 42% of our Bible was written by Levites—45% if you count Matthew. No other tribe comes close.

I had expected a little more of a mix, but then I remembered a certain prophecy. Right before Israel enters the promised land, Moses blesses the nation tribe by tribe. When he gets to Levi, Moses says, “They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, And Your law to Israel. They shall put incense before You, And whole burnt offerings on Your altar.” (Dt 33:10)

And indeed they did.

Laura, what was your inspiration for giving a “face” to the biblical authors? How do you think this will help someone learn about these authors?

Actually, the initial idea was Jeffrey’s. He was working on pulling together the information on the authors, and asked me if I’d be willing to do an art series to go with it. I thought it would be a great way to help people connect the facts to actual people. There’s a lot of information to digest, and I hope that having images to go with it allows more of the personhood of each author to sink in. I also thought it would be a nice way to help visual learners simply find the facts about who wrote the Bible to be more interesting. Obviously, the pictures are hypothetical—we don’t know much at all about how these guys looked—but using the stats and stories Jeffrey compiled to try to draw out personalities and faces was a really fun challenge.

Can the two of you give us any hints on what you next book and/or art project might be?

We have a few in the works:

  1. For the new year, we’re launching a special email course that sends people a 3–minute summary of a book of the Bible every week. This will help new students of the Word to get an idea of what each book is about, and it should be a nice refresher for the seasoned Bible geeks out there.
  2. Thus far our readers have really enjoyed these character surveys, so we’re thinking of launching an illustrated guide to the 40 most important characters of the Bible.
  3. In 2015 Laura and I hope to collaborate with more people in the Bible geekery space. One project on the table is a book of illustrations for the Songs of Ascent (Ps 120–134), which would include more of our friends in the Christian art community.
  4. And of course, plenty of infographics, a few study guides, and possibly some video and music!

I strongly encourage you to download the FREE ebook The Illustrated Guide To The Authors Of The Bible by clicking here. Then also subscribe via RSS feed or email to the great stuff Jeffrey & Laura produce and share at The Overview Bible Project.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein

The danger of redefining marriage: How The Decline In Marriage Is Fueling Inequality.

An important post from Tim Elmore for parents and teachers: How Stress Disables Empathy In Students.

My cousin, Dick Brogden, has an amazing year-long devotional book called Live Dead Joy. Get the Kindle edition now for only $2.

“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It is good to come to the understanding that while God wants us to be holy and Spirit-filled, He does not expect us to look like Abraham or to play the harp like David or to have the same spiritual insight given to Paul. All of those former heroes of the faith are dead. You are alive in your generation.” —A.W. Tozer

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” —C.S. Lewis

%d bloggers like this: