Black Cat · Christian · Monday · Uncategorized

Monday, the practice of private worship…

A Black Cat Book Review 

I Exalt You, O God by Jerry Bridges

We are to worship God in the way we live, this is the public part of our faith.  But there is a  personal worship we are called to and it this private worship that is explored in the 31 devotions in I Exalt You, O God.

In his book Bridges makes clear that we must come to God through Christ and open to the work1162464 of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  He gives suggestions from his own private worship, and from the practices of others, to help the reader in their time of worship.

The four parts of the book explore; His greatness, His holiness, His wisdom, and His love.  When we begin to understand these four attributes of God then we can begin to truly worship Him  more fully and in the way that glorifies Him as He is meant to be.

Each reading has a bible passage, with commentary and personal reflections by  Bridges, followed by scripture guided prayer.  The readings are fairly short and concise that bring your focus to God then the prayer which is where, in my opinion, we find the real substance of the teaching and how to worship.  

To begin, and continue, a practice of private worship takes time, commitment, and perseverance.  A good starting place is this book, I Exalt You, O God.

This book was sent to me (as an e-book) by WaterBrook Multnomah
   free of charge in exchange for this review.

Black Cat · books · Monday · Uncategorized

Monday, just a little book…

A Black Cat Book Review

Simply Jesus by Joseph Stowell

Joseph Stowell has written a  little book that is Simply Jesus.  It is not a long complicated highly intellectual treatise on what it means to know Jesus.  The discussion is more like a conversation with a caring teacher.

There is a richness in not just knowing Jesus but in experiencing Him; and this is what Stowell writes about–experiencing Jesus.  He tells us of some attitude shifts that must be made before we come to the place of experiencing Jesus.  Then he writes of three meeting places; in the Power of His Resurrection, in the Fellowship of His Sufferings, and in Sweet Surrender.

This would be a wonderful book to give a new believer or one who is wandering and wondering. A Christian who is feeling alone and lonely but doesn’t know why would benefit as would anyone who just needs a reminder or nudge to rekindle their faith.

I highly recommend this little book. It is easy to read but has surprising depth and is encouraging in it’s simplicity.

This book was sent to me without charge
by 
WaterBrook Multnomah
in exchange for this review.

Black Cat · books · non-fiction · Tuesday · Uncategorized

Tuesday, who do you trust…

A Black Cat Book Review

Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, Mary Southerland

This is a thoughtful and interesting book written by three women as a devotional and bible study.  The authors are  Girlfriends in God.   They share stories from their lives openly in an engaging and conversational way.  Almost like talking with your girlfriends.  Their stories tell you about who and what they are about, and more importantly, about the One they trust.

In a twelve week format, each week has five devotionals that start with a truth from scripture, then a short thoughtful devotion, and ends with a prayer.  The sixth day is the bible study part.  There are questions for reflection and space to write your own thoughts and insights.  The devotions seem light and easy reads until you get to the questions the Girlfriends in God ask.  The reflections of day six are, at least for this reader, heavy-duty, thought-provoking, sometimes very difficult questions to ponder.

I found the devotions were short enough to read in just a few minutes yet left me with much to think about; where I have been, where I am, and where I want to be in my experience of trusting God.  And as I said, the study part takes some work.  Work worth doing.

The book can be read simply as a devotional or you can include the sixth day “Now It’s Your Turn” as a bible study.  However you decide to use Trusting God, as a personal time with God, sharing with a friend or prayer partner, or in a small group study you will learn a lot about yourself and why you can trust God.

Trusting God
was sent to me free of charge by
Waterbrook Multnomahin exchange for this review. 

Black Cat · Friday · non-fiction · Uncategorized

Friday, I liked it, I really liked it…

A Black Cat Book Review

The End by Mark Hitchcock

With his overview of the end times, Mark Hitchcock has taken a difficult, often confusing, and always controversial subject and written about it in a refreshingly simple way.  That is not to say his book is simplistic, but that it takes complex prophecy and presents it in a way that is easier to understand than what most authors write. 

The End is written to be understood not only by scholars and intellectuals but also by the layperson who does not have a seminary or university background.  In a conversational way, with many scripture references and citing many scholars and experts of eschatology, past and present, Hitchcock brings light to prophecy that often seems unknowable.  He gives the different views and chronology of the Rapture, the Millennium, and the Tribulation;  what they are, what they mean, and how they will unfold.  He gives the strength and weaknesses of all the views and tells the reader his thoughts and opinions and why he believes as he does.

Where many authors tend to sensationalize the prophecies of the end times Hitchcock writes thoughtfully and carefully about things found in scripture that are not easily understood.  He takes what can be dark and frightening and brings it from a science-fiction-like genre to non-fiction  reality.

This is a book for Christian believers and for those who are not Christian in their beliefs.  For believers it is insightful and encouraging.  For unbelievers, perhaps, it will help make the unbelievable believable.  Anyone who reads The End will find it well written and thought-provoking.

This book was sent to me, without charge, by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for this review.

Black Cat · books · Christian · non-fiction · Saturday · Uncategorized

Saturday, beauty that matters…

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A Black cat Book Review

Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder

In her book of true stories Kim Meeder tells women the truth about beauty, what it is and what it is not.  She writes of the beauty she sees in the women and girls around her and in her own life.

“You were not created to be a princess of entitlement but a warrior, fighting to bring love and hope to the world.”

It becomes clear through the stories that the world’s quest for beauty is insatiable, there is never enough, it will never be satisfied.  This beauty imprisons women making their world small and confining.  It cannot endure, it can only fade.

Just as clearly true beauty is revealed in the lives of imperfect women who have chosen the joy found in the freedom of the warrior over the prison of the princess.  This beauty does endure, it is eternal.

“God is calling women to be beautiful, not just the way our world portrays.  God’s desire is that we choose to lay down our princess crown of entitlement, pick up His sword of encouragement, and start fighting for those around us who are losing their battle for hope.”

Meeder writes captivatingly and deceptively simple.  In her book you can find easy surface lessons or dig deeper and discover wisdom rarely found in a book with beauty in the title.  From beginning to end the heart of Kim Meeder is exposed.  She encourages and inspires.

There is an honesty and transparency here that gives the reader much to ponder.

I received this book free of charge by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review.