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Breakthrough Faith: Living a Life Where Anything is Possible

By in Book Reviews, Faith & Hope | 0 comments

I’ve always coped with difficult life circumstances by saying, “Well, God either caused it or allowed it so either way that settles it.” Yet, I’ve always been uncomfortable with knowing when to accept something and when to press in through prayer to seek healing. I’ve had trouble reconciling the role of prayer in my life, knowing that God’s going to do whatever He wants. “Lazy theology looks at what’s in front of us and assumes that some boundary or some obstacle is God’s will by default.” – Larry Sparks, Breakthrough Faith So when I began reading Breakthrough Faith, I was in for a bit of a jolt. It rocked my boat and made me reconsider faith, prayer, and life circumstances. Author Larry Sparks weaves through the book the biblical example of the paralytic whose four friends lowered him through the roof (Mark 2). They brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus but couldn’t get to him...

Jesus Behaving Badly: The Puzzling Paradoxes of the Man from Galilee

By in Book Reviews, God and Christ | 0 comments

Jesus Behaving Badly explores the apparent contradictions in the life of Jesus. How can it be that some people view Jesus as a revolutionary and others view Him as a pacifist? Some people view Him as angry and others view him as loving. Some people consider Jesus an environmentalist and other claim He’s an earth scorcher. Some see Jesus through the lens of hellfire preacher and other see a gentle shepherd. Legalist or grace filled, sexist or egalitarian, and on and on. Some people look at one set of Bible passages and come to one conclusion and others gravitate to a different set of Bible passages and come to different conclusions. Mark Strauss has done a masterful job of looking at Jesus from all sides. For each pair of apparent contradictions, he builds a case for one side and then he turns around and lays out a convincing case for the other side. Then, he masterfully paints the...

Sheila Walsh (@SheilaWalsh) on Brokenness, Rejection, and Bummer Lambs

By in Crazy Grace Blog | 4 comments

What’s not to love about a soft, cuddly lamb? Yet as Sheila Walsh explains, sometimes a mother will reject a newborn lamb. Aww. How heartbreaking. Wait until you read what happens to the rejected lamb next. It will truly warm your heart and encourage your spirit.   Book Excerpt from Loved Back to Life I grew up in Scotland with sheep all around me, field after field of white wool and incessant crying echoing throughout pastures. Of all the lessons I have learned from these defenseless, gentle animals, the most profound is the most painful. Every now and then, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and immediately reject it. Sometimes the lamb is rejected because it is one of twins and the mother doesn’t have enough milk or she is old and, frankly, quite tired of the whole business. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. They call those lambs “bummer...

Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew by Frank Viola (@FrankViola)

By in Book Reviews, Favorites, God and Christ | 0 comments

Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew Frank Viola (@FrankViola) 2013 26 pages Available from Amazon for Kindle. I read the Kindle edition.   I have a seminary education, but I found Frank Viola’s brief summary of Christ to be powerful and moving. Epic Jesus inspired me to want to take time looking up the many verses he overviews in the text. From beginning to end, from Alpha and Omega, from Eden to Heaven, Frank Viola describes the role of Christ in history, time, and our personal lives. He makes huge, mind-blowing concepts easy to understand (to the extent humanly possible) and he does so in a comfortable narrative style. Epic Jesus is actually a cleaned-up transcription of a speech he gave, which contributes to the conversational tone. It reads as comfortably as the spoken word. The audio version of his presentation is available at http://frankviola.org/2011/11/01/epicjesus/. He also...