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Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis by Brad Hoefs (@bradhoefs)

By in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

Fresh Hope by Dr. Michael Egger My rating: 5 of 5 stars When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness (bipolar disorder), I had an all or nothing approach that included Option A: a devastated life with mental illness, or Option B: complete and perfect healing by God. That was the only way I could think about it. And, in fact, I believe the church taught me to think about it in those terms. As I worked through the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, I came to realize there was a better choice. I could accept mental illness and overcome it through diligence on my part and faith in God’s part until I reached a point of recovery, which is not the same as healing. Recovery means living with it, but overcoming it with God’s help. That’s what I liked most about Brad Hoefs’ book, Fresh Hope. He emphasized recovery as the goal and that goal gives us hope and...

Meditation: How to Study the Bible in the Presence of God by @MarkVirkler

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Meditation: How to Study the Bible in the Presence of God offers a brief introduction to biblical meditation, which the author defines as “God’s Spirit utilizing every faculty of my heart and mind, bringing forth revelation which ushers in transformation.” Meditation involves asking God to open the eyes of your heart so you can understand (Ephesians 1:18) what He wants to show you. Many times this looks like a verse leaping off the page at you that God says is exactly what you need right now. “Meditation is intently seeking God’s revelation, resulting in God disclosing Himself to you.” – Mark and Patti Virkler, Meditation: How to Study the Bible in the Presence of God Through a process of prayer, identifying areas of personal need, and targeted study of those areas, the process of meditation brings about personal transformation because it is God-guided. Think of meditation as...

Out of the Ashes: How Unplanned Trials Reveal God’s Planned Grace

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“The one who feels that they have ruined their life and whose religion, works, and self-goodness has failed is also the person who can fully understand the love of God.” —Eddie Snipes, Out of the Ashes   Out of the Ashes helps people struggling with difficult circumstances in their lives. The author, Eddie Snipes, describes the beauty of failure and how God can transform our lives and circumstances, but also how God can use our circumstances to teach us to depend on Him rather than rely on ourselves. The author describes God’s love and grace to bring us salvation and new life. He also reminds us that guilt and shame can’t stick to our new life in Christ (I like that analogy). Other chapters deal with receiving God’s gift of abundant life and how to grow in grace. I enjoy reading short books and feel this one is worthwhile if you don’t mind that it’s short.     Tweetables “The person...

Simple Gospel, Simply Grace: How Your Christian Life Is Really Supposed to Work

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Simple Gospel, Simply Grace, a recent book by Bob Christopher, outlines the basic message of Good News while stripping away the distortions of the Gospel we’ve come to believe. We let ourselves develop formulas for living the Christian life instead of living in the freedom of God’s grace.   Apart from Jesus, we make God out to look like a Picasso painting. It’s our inherent fear that paints such a distorted view. We think of him as a mean, judgmental, and angry being who can never be pleased. –Bob Christopher, Simple Gospel, Simply Grace Bob Christopher divides the book into three parts: Life, Forgiveness, and Freedom. He discusses the work of Christ on our behalf as the one-time sufficient satisfaction for our sin. The author then spends one third of the book focusing on forgiveness because we tend to misunderstand our complete forgiveness in Christ so we live in fear, guilt, or...

Creating a Kinder Christian Political Discourse on Social Media

By in Crazy Grace Blog | 0 comments

I wrote this in response to all the hostility I see on social media. Civil discourse has lost its civility, especially among Christians. We no longer politely discuss the issues, granting room for different opinions. Now people attack any person who holds another view. I wish to remind Christians that how we treat others is how we treat Jesus. The world is watching our behavior so we tarnish the name of Jesus whenever we do not love one another.   Dear Christians, I don’t care what your political views are. Please stop verbally abusing those who hold a different view. You think God is on your side, and you’re right. Would it surprise you to know God is on *their* side, too? Both sides can be right in some ways. God loves everyone, regardless of their political views, skin color, sexual orientation, sinful behavior, self-righteous legalism, and a host of other things. It doesn’t matter....