Friday, August 01, 2014

Two Cups of Tea: One for Me and One for the Wall

This is an amazing story of passing a good deed forward. Based on a true story.



conrade

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Midweek Meditation: "Tell God Everything" (Francois Fenelon)

Tell God Everything

"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend.
     Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you;
         Tell God your joys, that God may sober them;
              Tell God your longings, that God may purify them;
                      Tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them;            

Talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them:
     Show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them.

If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God."

(Francois Fenelon, 1651-1715)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Touching Video of Love Despite Cancer

This is another weepie, all the way from the Philippines.

From the Youtube description of what the story is about.

"Published on Jun 18, 2014 Early this year, Rowden and Leizl decided to get married on July 8, 2014, Rowden's 30th birthday. Together with their adorable 2-year-old daughter, they already had a perfect family.

Then a twist of fate, Rowden got diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer in late May. His last request was to marry his one true love. After 12hours of preparations, his dream was fulfilled. Unable to take him outside the hospital, we brought the church to him. It was like a heartbreaking fairytale.

Rowden Go, at the age of 29-years-old, passed away on June 11, 2014. Less than 10hours after he said his vows.

He is survived by his wife Leizel May, daughter Zakiah Rowzel, mother Lorelei, and brothers Hasset & Hisham."


conrade

Monday, July 28, 2014

BookPastor >> "The Underestimated Gospel"

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on June 3rd, 2014. 


conrade

TITLE: The Underestimated Gospel
AUTHOR: Jonathan Leeman (editor)
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: B&H Publishers, 2014, (224 pages).

There has been much division through the centuries. Churches have split up in many different ways. History has not been kind to the Church. This is especially so when the gospel has been undermined, under-emphasized, and underestimated.   For the gospel is one that is able to bring people together in the truth, to be like what Paul writes in Philippians 2:2 to "make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."

Under the umbrella of T4G (Together for the Gospel), Leeman gives readers a flashback on the First Great Revival during the time of Whitefield in North America, and to affirm that though the time is different, the longing for revival remains the same. Originally presented as papers at a pastor's conference of the same title in 2012, the essays have been re-edited for the reader instead of hearers. It is the underlying conviction that the gospel is more than mere words. It is power that comes forth from the faithful preaching of the gospel. It is power that transform people. It is power that empowers the Church to do the work of God. It is the power of the gospel that encourages pastors and ministry leaders. It is the power of God that is made manifest through the gospel. Unfortunately, for many people in many parts of the world, this very gospel of power has been underestimated. This book seeks to bring back our awareness of the power that lies within the proclamation of the gospel.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Touching Love Story - "Forget Me Not"

What happens when one spouse loses memory? Does that halt love? This beautiful love story is making its round on the Internet. Even when memory fails, love never fails.




conrade

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Midweek Meditation: "Letter From a Friend" (Margaret Fishback Powers)

Margaret Fishback Powers is a Canadian author, most well known for her poem, "Footprints." This poem is taken from her book that traces the story of that world famous poem.

conrade

LETTER FROM A FRIEND


I am writing to say how much I care
  for you and how much I want you
to know me better.
When you awoke this morning
          I exploded
           a brilliant sunrise
            through your window
trying to get your attention.
You rushed off.
  Later I saw you walking and talking
   with some friends.  I bathed you in
    warm sunshine.  I perfumed the air
          with nature's sweet scent.
     You rushed off.
     You didn't notice me. 
Then I shouted to you in a tornado.
  I painted you a beautiful rainbow
  in the sky.  Then you gave me a glance.
     Still you rushed off. 
That evening I spilled moonbeams
  in your face.  I sent a cool breeze
     to rest you and take away your fear.
     I watched over you as you slept.
          I shared your thoughts.
           You were faintly aware
            I was so near.
             I've chosen you.
I have a special task for you.  I hope you will
talk to me soon.  Only I brought you through
the storm.  Others saw no morn.
     I remain near.
     I am your friend.
     I love you very much.


          Your friend,
               Jesus

Monday, July 21, 2014

BookPastor >> "Invitations of Jesus" (Trevor Hudson)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on January 20th, 2014.

conrade


TITLE: Invitations of Jesus
AUTHOR: Trevor Hudson
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books, 2014, (96 pages).

This little devotional is written by a Methodist minister based in South Africa. He begins with a reflection on a wedding invitation that he had overlooked. It was something very special for the couple, but he had embarrassingly forgotten all about it in the midst of his work and busyness. Once over, "our loss is forever" so says Trevor Hudson. As he looks at the relationship between Christ and us, so many of our relationship with God is on the basis of our own needs instead of on the basis of faith and love. For Hudson, it is important not to be straitjacketed in a BSH relationship that believes in Jesus, Saved from sins, and straight to heaven after death. Christianity is not about a project to escape hell and enter heaven. It is a response to the invitation of Jesus to open and receive Jesus' gift; to explore and to know God; and to respond to God affirmatively. The key is to learn to be fully alive to God, and in turn be fully alive to one another, and to the world that God so loved and gave his only Son.

The six weeks of "invitations" is a journey from spiritual wakefulness to hopefulness in God. Week One sets the tone of the trip. It encourages readers to open the invitation and to respond with eager hearts. Week Two looks at "transforming intimacy" where Hudson reminds us about the importance of passion for God. Love is not a burden. It is a passion. When we look at our faith from the lens of passion, obeying the commandments of God will be most natural and beautiful. He connects this intimacy of God and relates it also to intimacy with people. True spiritual intimacy is never isolated from intimacy with people. Week Three talks about "transforming discipleship," Hudson poses a challenge to us:

"What is your life's greatest opportunity?"

He urges readers to consider growing in God as that opportunity.  We learn to be accepted by God. We learn to accept ourselves. We learn to connect our individual small stories with the Big Story of God.

Week Four moves to "transforming solitude" which is an invitation to dwell in the gospels, to walk with Jesus in solitude. Underneath Jesus' busy agenda, he frequently takes time to be alone, to pray, and to spend time with God. We learn about rest, refreshment, and renewal. The intriguing thing about solitude is that true solitude is never lonely. It is an awareness that God is right there with us.

Week Five reminds us that the Christian life is never inward looking. It has a "transforming mission" focus. As our relationship with God deepens, we feel a greater urge to share of this intimacy with others. Those who have personally tasted the sweetness of the fruit of spiriual life, will be most happy to share the experience. Without any such experience in the first place, how then can one share about anything? Transforming mission is also about sharing, especially in the suffering of people in the community.

Week Six is an invitation to a "transforming mystery." Sometimes, we in the modern scientific and technological world can arrogantly think we can solve all things. Even our saying of certain things that are impossible comes across more as lip service. The key is not in terms of our knowing or unknowing. It is in God revealing Truth to us, according to his own time and purpose. Just like we do not know when we will die, our losses can be a mystery in itself.

So What?

Do not be deceived by the brevity or the simplicity of this devotional. There are many stories and illustrations to drive home the message of Jesus inviting us to walk with him more closely and more intimately. Far too many Christian books and resources have tried to give us tools to get things done or to make things happen. As a result, many people become more activists instead of reflective respondents. We become more fixated on the visible stuff of life and ignore the invisible things. We fall into the habit of trying to do things in our own strength instead of depending on God's strength. This book of invitation is open-ended enough for us to be creative in our practice of it. It is closed-ended enough to limit our scope to six weeks of transformative exercises. Do these with much prayer. Be patient. Be open. Be intentional. Most importantly, learn to remember that Jesus has already given us an invite. We need to RSVP our response.

Rating:4.5 stars of 5.

conrade

This book is provided to me courtesy of Upper Room Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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