Sunday, October 17, 2021

Book Reviews | The Gospel You've Never Heard

Having grown up in church and accepted Christ as my Savior as a young child, then becoming a Bible study leader and teacher and starting my own teaching/speaking ministry as a way to encourage women to dive into the Word and use their creativity to draw closer to the Lord, I was intrigued by the title of Maurie Daigneau's new book, The Gospel You've Never Heard. I've had a personal relationship with the Lord practically my entire life, and, during that time, I've heard lots (lots!) of sermons and Biblical teachings, I've read through the entire Bible myself many times, and I've done quite a bit of in-depth study in groups and on my own; so, I was curious to see what/if this book had something new to share.

This is an extremely well-written and researched book with clear and deliberate wording. However, it is in-depth and requires a slower read (and definitely merits a re-reading) and quiet reflection on the information presented. The reader is reminded of scriptures encouraging us to get understanding (Prov. 4:7) and to abide in the Word (John 8:31) so that we can know and understand the information presented in the gospel. We're also reminded that "the priority of life is to be a consistent reflection of the glory and holiness of God."

The author has done a fantastic job searching and studying scripture and (I believe) spending time with the Lord; however, he reminds us that it's important for each of us to open the Word to discover and confirm the truths he presents for ourselves. He continually points to the Bible and our Lord as the source of all truth, yet there's lots of surveys that show very few people actually spend time in the Word anymore. Each chapter ends with a few Questions for Reflection or Group Study, which are designed to help the reader truly ponder the materials. One example demonstrates the importance placed on time in the Word: Does the amount of time you currently spend in the Bible validate it as a priority in your life?

I especially like the analogy that presented our life as an automobile. When we are born, we are in our car ... and so is Satan (as we are all born with a sin nature due to Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden). At the time that we accept Christ as our Savior, the Lord/Holy Spirit enters our car as well. Unfortunately, Satan doesn't get out of the car, but we can now choose to relegate him to the backseat and allow the Lord to take charge and drive the car. However, many of us often continue to let Satan sit in the front seat!

If you're wondering whether this book has something new to share ... yes and no. Honestly, I didn't find any of the revelations completely new as I have been fortunate over the years to attend many Bible teaching churches. However, this book addresses some issues that are common misconceptions in many denominations and does a fabulous job of placing the focus on understanding what the scriptures actually say by including context and etymology of the Greek and Hebrew words that have been translated (in numerous versions). He consistently points out whether the scripture passages are addressed to unregenerate ("the condition of spiritual bondage into which all human beings were born") or regenerate (born again Christians) persons. The discussion of the various words and definitions for knowledge/knowing and eternal life were especially enlightening and thought-provoking.

So, while I didn't personally find anything in this book I'd never heard before, I did find it presented in a logical, Biblical-based format that makes me want to dive into the Word, pull out my concordance, and review the meanings of some of the original verbiage. And truly that's my definition of a good Christian book - it points us back to the Word and makes us want to learn more so that we can draw closer to the Lord and walk according to His plan for our lives!

(Note: I'd like to thank the author, Maurie Daigneau, who sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Friday, October 1, 2021

SPSH 2021 | A Few Snaps

In all honesty, I didn't do a lot of intentional searching for the items on this year's Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Mary-Lou. However, I had the list in the back of my mind and as I've been processing photos from the past few months, I discovered I actually captured quite a few!

1. A Breakfast of Champions - Anytime I say I'm having the "breakfast of champions," it really means I'll be enjoying two of my favorite indulgences. Obviously I can't start my day this way very often, but as an occasional treat, it really satisfies. I snapped this photo in early September since it's a very rare treat these days.

2. Favorite Time of Day - Honestly, I'm not much of a morning person, but Robbie and I have been getting up early to walk most days and I thoroughly enjoy our time together in the morning sunshine. During the week we get in a 20 minute walk in our neighborhood, but on the weekends we're venturing out for longer walks.  I snapped this photo last weekend on one of the trails at a local nature conservancy.

3. Something To Represent Home But Not The Building - Anytime we've been out of town, the Dallas skyline signals that we're "home" ... although technically we live a few towns north of Dallas. I snapped this photo as we were returning home from picking up our great-nephew Andrew for a visit in late June.

4. Head In The Clouds -  I snapped this photo as we sat out on our back patio and watched the light clouds being pushed away by the dark clouds of the weather front that brought some much needed rain in mid-August.

5. The Art Of The Fold - For an illustration in one of my hymnals, I used a cross template folded to fit in the center crease. This allowed me to use gelatos around the edge to create a cross outline on my pages. I snapped this photo in June during our niece Paige's summer visit. She used the same template to create a similar illustration in her journaling Bible.

6. Something That Makes You Laugh or Happy - When our great-niece Mariah was here in June, she and I spent a day baking and cooking. She also covered a composition book with scrapbook papers and created pages with photos and stories from her visit. This page about our cooking mishaps makes me laugh remembering the FUN we had and it makes me happy that she took time to record all the details.

8. Window Views - Every view (inside and outside) of the windows at our favorite bed & breakfast in Mineola, Texas, is amazing. This window perfectly frames the beautiful roses Robbie ordered before we arrived for my birthday weekend in July.

12. Something That is Cause for Celebration - Seeing Mama and our niece Paige enjoying the scrapbook I created last year definitely makes me smile and want to celebrate this hobby of scrapbooking.

18. Upside Down, Right Side Up - Our great-nephew Andrew checking out one of the life-size animatronic dinasours at the factory we toured in June.

Alternate A: COVID Safety - Waiting at the airport to pick up our great-niece for her summer visit and give our great-nephew a hug as he changed planes on the way to his mom's for the summer.

Did you participate in this year's hunt? How did it go?

[Sending a huge thanks to Mary-Lou for hosting another FUN hunt this year!]