Book Review: Reasons For Belief by Normal L. Geisler and Patty Tunnicliffe

I might have mentioned a book called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” before and if not, then it is an AMAZING book on apologetics.  So before I digress too much, what is apologetics?  Apologetics is the defense of Christianity.  Its how you can lay out an argument to defend your faith.  “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” does this in spades…but I struggled through it.  It was very hard to read because, honestly, I am not that smart.  And the writing was WAY higher than my poor, child addled brain.  (Seriously, once you have kids…you might as well kiss your ideas of intelligence out the window.  Kids make you stupid.)  The ideas were wonderful, made sense to me and were so spot on, it was fantastic.  Just, I struggled with the academic bent to it.

So, now back to “Reasons for Belief“.  Guess what?  Norman Geisler also helped write “IDHEFTBAA”  This is a great introduction to Apologetics AND it’s like the “Cliff’s notes” version of “IDHEFTBAA“.  Whoopee!!  It was so much easier to read and follow.  Everything made sense (again) and it helped reinforce ideas and cement new ones that might have been lost in the original translation.

“Reasons for Belief” takes you through many different areas which all point to the proof that the Bible is an accurate historical account of Jesus, that Jesus is real, he was resurrected and Christianity is the one true religion of God.  It discusses the 3 different major religions, different thought processes on how life started and much more.  It follows a common sense path with common sense ideas that are fairly easy to understand.  I am a common sense kind of gal, gentle reader and this type of thinking and writing is a no-brainer for me.  And what is unreal, is how mind blowing the information is.

If you have struggled explaining why you believe the way you believe, why you believe Jesus is who he is; then this would be a beneficial read for you.  It helps the non-academics like me really understand historical data and hey, maybe even sound a little smarter than I am!

I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about apologetics, delve deeper into their faith or just brush up on ways to have meaningful discussions with persons who do not believe or who want to argue with you why you are wrong in your belief!  (And, none of us has ever had that, right???)

I was sent this book by Bethany House Publishers to read and review.

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Book Review: A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days by Jonathan Bernis

I was sent this book by Bethany House Publishers and I have to tell you…it took me a while to get through, Gentle Reader.  The book itself has a lot of great ideas and teaching but there were parts of it that I didn’t so much as struggle through, but they didn’t apply to me.  This was my stumbling block.

Jonathan Bernis’ A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days helps Christians understand that the word of God is still applicable to Jews as it is to Christians.  Mr. Bernis is a Messianic Jew.  I appreciated the explanation of what a Messianic Jew is and how he came to be one.  This is a question that I have had in recent years.

There is history of both the Jewish nation, the Christian religion and how the two, both Jew and Christian have been intertwined through out the ages.  It opens the door to further reflection on how both Jew and Christian have moved away from the what Jesus wanted, what God wanted, and how they can come back together so that He can come back to Earth and rule.

My challenges with this book include how to talk to Jewish friends about Jesus.  I don’t have Jewish friends so this was rather unnecessary for me…but, if I ever happen to be involved with a Jewish person, then I will have a better understanding of how they view Jesus.  I have a better understanding of how to answer questions if they had any of me.

A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days was an eye opener into the Jewish mindset, how Christianity has hurt God’s Chosen people, and how we need to prepare, both Christian and Jew for the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

God is Faithful to the Desires of the Heart

I posted recently about being in radio and how to record your voice.  Which got me thinking about how I ended up in radio to begin with.

When I was very young…still a teen to be exact, I wanted to get into voice over work.  I “auditioned” to be a part of this company…only to get suckered into spending $800.00 for their specialty classes.  Snort, snicker.  Yup, I was a buffoon.

Fast forward about 7 years and I hear an ad on the radio that the local station is looking for some help.  I go in, get an interview and the rest is history.

I have mentioned before how good God is. How He does listen to our hearts desire.  I didn’t know it then…but God gave me the opportunity I had always wanted.  He got me into radio.  I don’t think I used that time wisely.  It wasn’t coincidence…He gave me this talent and Loves me.  Oh…I wish I could have seen what I see now!  And he wanted me to do something with it…and I failed him.  I had ample opportunity to be the one to effect change…to be a voice bringing hope and faith, and I chose to be rebellious and unrepentant.  Sigh.

I learned many things about radio, but I did not use my platform well.  I know that now.  I am so blessed that God is giving me another chance.  Thank You Father God for believing in me even when I didn’t know You.  You are so good.

So…what I am saying is this:  If you have a dream in your heart…a God Sized Dream…or maybe A GOD SIZED DREAM…if you are afraid to even voice this dream…God knows your heart.  He knows you.  You are not foreign to Him and He will not forget you.  It may take 7 years or 10 or 40 or even 80 (think about how long Abraham and Sarah had to wait for Isaac)…He will fulfill the desires of your heart.

Psalm 20:4 NIV (This one needs to be highlighted in my Bible.)

“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

Psalm 37:4 NIV (this one is actually highlighted in my Bible.)

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I just watched www.LifeWay.com and Phil Robertson from Duck Commander.  He spoke on his decision to follow Jesus, how it all started and what he wants for the legacy of Duck Dynasty.  It’s worth the watch…and I want Phil to Preach it!  Preach the word, brother!

As Phil Robertson of Duck Commander said, “We’re all counting time by Jesus.”  Amen, brother.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer Revisited

I sometimes have a challenge going to sleep at night.  My mind races.  My heart quickens and I start to slide into worry.  I have learned that breathing helps…counting backward from 300 by 3’s helps…but nothing works as well as when I contemplate The Lord’s Prayer.  Last night, as I tried to get my mind to rest…these were the thoughts I was thinking before I fell asleep.  I hope, gentle reader…that you enjoy my ramblings…and next time you say the Lords Prayer, you contemplate the commitment you are making.  God’s Blessing Be on you today…and every day!

“Our Father…”

He is Our Father.  He is my father.  He is the father of all.  Wait.  He is My Father.  HE is MY Father?  Wait.  HE IS MY FATHER!  I have a heavenly inheritance from the MOST HIGH GOD.  He says He formed me in my mother’s womb.  He knew me (HE KNEW ME?!) before I was born.  He knows the plans He has for me.  And His plans, are so much greater than what I know…or can even imagine for myself.  And He is MY Father.  He loves me.  He made me fearfully and wonderfully!  What an amazing inheritance!  I am a child of the Most High God.  Hallelujah!

“For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. [14] I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. [12] Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. [13] You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

“Who Art in Heaven…”

Your resting place, Your home is in heaven.  It is more than what I can see or even imagine.  And You have promised me a room in Your heavenly kingdom.  This is part of my inheritance!  Amen!

“He said:

“[3]Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  [4]Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  [5]Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  [6]Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  [7]Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  [8]Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  [9]Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  [10]Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5: 3-10 (NIV)

“Hallowed be Thy Name…”

Your name is SO powerful.  You are “El Shaddai” God Almighty, “Elohim” Creator, “Jehovah Jirah” God will Provide, “Jehovah Rapha” God who Heals, “Abba” Father.  Your name is to be revered and meant as blessing, a praising, not a curse.  Never to be taken in a funny or distasteful or ugly way.  Father God, I ask that You forgive me for ever thinking that Your name was just something to say.  It is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!  I call upon you in times of strife and abundance and I thank You all the days of my life…because I woke up this morning.  I have a family.  We are healthy and happy.  Thank You Father God for this wonderful crazy plan You have for me.

“Thy Kingdom Come…”

I am waiting.  I want to be there.  I will be there.  But Lord, You know my fickle heart.  I want to see my children grow old.  I want to hold my grandchildren.  Can You please make that happen?  Can You be so kind as to grant us, Your ungrateful children, some more time?  I cannot promise that we will be better as humans.  In fact, You know the spiritual warfare everyone on earth is facing…but we are fighting.  With Your word, and Your love and Your Spirit…we are fighting the good fight.  We love You, Father God.

“Thy Will be Done…”

Your will is so plain.  You gave us Your son, Yourself…and told us how to behave.

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. [40] All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

“On Earth as it is in Heaven”

What would happen if, we as humans, behaved like our angelic hosts in heaven?  From what I have read…from folks who have gone to heaven and then returned…there is only Love.  There is only music and light.  There is no illness, no anger, no fear.  Just pure love and light.  We CAN emulate that here on earth.  We could if we wanted to.  How difficult would it be to be nice and courteous?  Oh, but our flesh is weak.  And so we sow seeds of discontent and allow others to sow those seeds in our lives.  Let’s be thankful.  Let’s be grateful.  That we can inherit the kingdom of heaven.  I can imagine what Eden was like…Heaven on Earth.  No death, no sin, no envy or anger or fear.  We had it here…and we, lowly humans that we are, decided to throw it away.  Sigh.

“Give Us This Day…”

Every single day is new.  You created this beautiful world for me and mine.  And every single day is a blessing, a covenant.  It holds something NEW every single day.  How great You are, Father God.  You make beauty from ashes.  And You gave this all to us.  Thank You for waking this morning.  Thank You for the breath that fills my body, unimpeded.  Thank You that live in this nation, on this earth.  How can I serve You better, Lord?  How can I be what You want me to be?  Show me…speak to me…

“Our Daily Bread…”

You word.  Every single day.  Write it on our hearts.  And in our minds.  You already have.  That was the new covenant that You made with us.  Instead of being written on stone and being unattainable, Your wrote it on our hearts and want to have a personal relationship with us.  Thank You.  We just need to take the effort to pick up the scripture and make it a daily habit.  Like drinking coffee which wakes my body up, Your word is a precious balm to my world-weary, heart sore, soul.

“And Forgive Us our Trespasses”

You have promised to forgive us.  When Your Son, Jesus, died upon the cross and then was resurrected…it was your covenant with us that our sins would be forgiven.  Oh, Lord…I am so unworthy of that great love.  How great Your love for us, that held your Son upon that lonely tree.  How great the gift!  How great the Love!  That He would DIE for even me. (Lyrics-How Great the Love)

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. [9] He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. [10] All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. [11] For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” Psalm 25: 8-11 (NIV)

“As We Forgive those Who Trespass Against Us”

We are commanded to forgive others because is we cannot give those folks the grace that our Good Lord showed us…then we are lost.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

He forgives our iniquity, our greed, our slovenly behavior, our lust…all those things that the flesh fights against.  Confess with your mouth and you will be forgiven.  Turn away from the sin…and you will be forgiven.  He is so good to us and we do not deserve his graciousness.

“And Lead Us Not into Temptation”

Would the Lord, our Father God lead us into temptation?  This could be argued, I suppose…since God did make us.  He gave us the ability to have free will.  I do not think he intended for us to be tempted…but there is the great tempter, Lucifer, who wants us to be less than him.  Remember, gentle reader…we were given free will, while the Angels in heaven were not.  How jealous and angry do you think some of the Angels were when they found this out?  Pretty mad I would say.  And now, thanks to the devil…we have sin.  We have all these things.  And he still wants us to turn our backs against God.  By telling us lies…by making us believe there is no God…when ALL of creation (and ironically, even the devil himself was formed by God) was formed by God’s own hands.  You ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS, dear one.  And Father God, He wants all of you!  Take your ugly to Him.  He, who heals…who loves…who forgives.  He wants You!

“But Deliver Us from Evil, Amen.”

Thank You, Father God.  From keeping us from despair.  For giving us life and hope and light.  You are amazing and I am so grateful that you believe in us lowly humans.  We can never do enough for you.  And the worst thing would be to be separated from you forever and ever.  I know my place is in heaven.  I know I have a room in Your magnificent palace.  A home…a heavenly home.  Filled with love, and joy and light.  Thank You.