Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Be a Perfect Christian - Babylon Bee

How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living by The Babylon Bee ... Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire. This book from the creator of "Babylon Bee" is very good, but not one you can simply just read through. At least, I couldn't.

I am a huge fan of Babylon Bee on Facebook... even the posts that step on my own toes a little harder than I like. Sometimes it's just my mood, but there are times I think they have gone too far. Of course, most other readers seem to feel the same. The comments are fantastic...ranging from those who need to be writing for the website on to those who just can't get the grasp of satire. I confess, that I also get a bit amused when I share the post and someone takes it seriously.

I do miss the feedback from the social media comments and that I made the mistake of trying to read straight through. Sometimes a little is better than a lot. As with the articles, some chapters were funnier to me than others and some struck a nerve. The photo above describes me better than I am comfortable in admitting. But the "ouch" moments are usually the ones I need the most.

But, if you enjoy reading shorter passages in a book, this is entertaining. Or, if you know someone who does not have access to any of the Babylon Bee sites --- and loves satire --- it's a great gift book. I recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid to take a look at themselves with a good sense of humor. As said in Proverbs
15:15, "For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast." Enjoy the gift of laughter today and have a happy heart.

Many thanks to Waterbrook-Multnomah for the gift copy. A review was not required, and this is my honest opinion.



Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith synopsis: Faith Houston (Chrystee Pharris) believes God has told her to move from Dallas to a small town to work on a Hippotherapy farm helping children. Her family is doubtful, considering that Faith is afraid of animals and children... and is not even a devout Christian. Once she arrives, the farm manager, Bell (Gail Cronauer), laughs at her too, but Marshall Lee () convinces her to give Faith a chance. Marshall mentors Faith as she learns to work on the farm, including cleaning stables, and their relationship begins to blossom. Although Faith is following what she believes is God's plan for her life, her fears continue. When a child is almost injured, the pressure is too much. Doubting she actually heard God, she runs away and returns to her home. Can she step out in faith once again... and will "Steps of Faith" give her another chance?


My Review: I truly enjoyed this film. The characters played well off each other and it was easy to love each of them. Steps of Faith is a dramedy that speaks on hearing God's Voice, obedience and other important matters. But the story is told with a light-hearted touch that had me frequently smiling. The spiritual growth of the two main characters was as much fun as the growth in their relationship as they fall in love with one another. Additional characters, including some familiar faces, add texture to the story. The movie is directed by M. Legend Brown and written by Micheal D. Brown and T. K. Henderson

Steps of Faith website
Steps of Faith on Facebook

Many thanks to LEV3L Digital for providing me with a copy AND offering a DVD to a reader of my blog. Please Enter with #StepsOfFaithL3 on this bog post or in a comment on a social Media post. Deadline to enter is Friday, June 8, 2018.

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 12, 2010 - Links and Lifestyle Changes

I just realized something: May 12, 2010 is both the day I got a home computer AND the last day I smoked. In one way I exchanged one form of bondage for another. 😐 Perhaps my hands were too busy to hold a cigarette, but I also had insomnia for several months... which could have been partly due to my complete fascination with social media. I averaged 3 hours of sleep at night, with a 10-20 minute nap during the day. Cigarettes were gone, but the computer was my new obsession.

I had a Facebook page for over a year, but was limited to what I could see and do until I got my own computer and internet. It was actually a FB friend who wanted to quit smoking and asked several friends if they would join in so we could support one another. I had smoked off and on for 40 years, so I knew I could quit for a while. I always quit when pregnant, and sometimes went a couple of years without smoking. STRESS was always the deal breaker for me. I actually realized one day, following several months of deep, almost to the point of suicide, depression that following one more personally devastating occurrence, I did not automatically return to my usual habit of chain-smoking when very upset. I also withdrew from many Facebook friends I had established relationships with and concentrated on my new career in social media management. Superficial friendships can be hard to hang on to, but it's self-protection for me. Working also became a life-saver, though. Not only did I need to support myself financially, having something to occupy myself was (is) vital.

While it is essential for work, I am not as addicted to my computer as I was 8 years ago. I can turn it off without worrying over what I am missing. Admittedly, Facebook is not as much fun as it used to be. Sadly, the world has become an angrier, sadder, more bitter place...or appears to be if you only read only certain social media pages and posts. But, I do find a lot of beauty, joy, connections, and friends on those pages. And, I need to work harder at being a friend to those I care about rather than withdrawing more into myself. There was never anything good about smoking, but there is good in having my computer...if used moderately and to be a blessing...and a better friend. Trusting others and allowing them to know me is a much bigger battle than giving up cigarettes!

Chains can be a burden or a blessing, depending on how they are used. Sometimes one link needs to be broken and removed and replaced with one that strengthens you instead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You Better Get Ready...I'm Coming Home!

Repost from Aug 8, 2010 Cindy's World:

"You better get ready, I'm coming home!" Those were the words I heard on the phone a few minutes ago from Kote!!

Next was, "I got money for my birthday, so I'll be buying my own stuff now!! Wait!! I want to buy a phone, but YOU can keep buying the rest of my stuff!!" 😎

He is hilarious.

But it did trigger a few thoughts about my life. How often, when things are going good, do I want to tell God that I can handle it now? Just as quickly, I want to put those words right back in my mouth. I can have nothing nor do nothing without Him!! I learned that lesson the hard way...and, because I am mule-headed, more than once!

While only God knows when I will be heading toward Heaven, I think of loved ones already there: my son... parents ... grandparents... a miscarried grandchild. I wonder who else is waiting on me? Most important --- my Savior!! Without Him, there is no way I would get there on my own.

I may not know the day or the hour, but I want to look toward Heaven and joyfully shout.........................


Monday, April 30, 2018

Let Your Light Shine

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with lights.” - Ion Keith-Falconer, 1856–1887, Scottish missionary and Arabic scholar

I love this quote, but am also saddened as I reflect that America is growing increasingly dark. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I do want to reflect the Light of His love to all, yet I struggle in the midst of all of the anger, chaos, and violence we are facing. It can be difficult to love those who ridicule, or worse, get angered by anyone who does not agree 100% with their viewpoint. Yet, when I cannot love through my own strength, I must view people through His eyes and let His love come forth.

And, I do not mean through tolerance or acceptance of sinful behavior...or even ignoring it. Jesus demonstrated righteous anger, but did not sin. But I do have to let go of anger when it consumes my thoughts or bitterness with people who refuse to have a civil conversation that attempts to find resolution to problems. There are some people I will simply always disagree with...and I am okay with that. But, I have to also learn to be okay that there are those who will never be okay with me disagreeing. Matthew 10:22 says, "You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." So, the tricky part (for me) is making sure I am being hated for the correct reason---not because of myself!

"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." - 1 Peter 2:12

 Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:15-16, "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Originally published July 20, 2016 on a blog I have discarded.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When Faith Catches Fire

When Faith Catches Fire by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Dr. Robert Crosby is the story of the passionate fires of worship flaring among Latino and Hispanic churches worldwide. Discover how you can experience a more dynamic walk with God! Sharing compelling insights and personal stories, Rodriguez and Crosby will help you become immersed in the Spirit; transform your friendships, family, and community; and embrace unity amidst diversity in the church.

My review: The book is well written and has some stories and statistics I fully agree with...especially the reminders that ALL Hispanics and Latinos do not think alike or vote alike. I have never understood why the myth of "Group Think" continues to be popular among journalists and analytical "experts." Much of the information, especially stories of Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr., was things I already knew, too. Although I was VERY struck by the statement that many of the White churches were more concerned with handing out hope and the Black churches cared more about help. I am not sure I entirely agree with the statement, but I do believe that we need a combination of both help and hope.

To be fair, I am not exposed much to the Hispanic community, so I am unaware of any bridge being built to inspire the Church by Hispanics and Latinos. According to the book:
 At the core of this dramatic shift is a call to embrace a more soulful, passionate faith. In this powerful book, Christians will gain valuable insights on how to:
  •  Fully experience the joy of God and the passion of His Spirit.
  • Develop a true sense of unity amidst diversity in the body of Christ.
  • Make an eternal impact on their families, communities, and the world.
I have heard Samuel Rodriguez preach 2 or 3 times and am always inspired and revitalized by what the Holy Spirit is doing through him and the message he has. However, I struggled to get through both this book, and another that I read. His fire and passion do not translate into the written word as well for me...but I still recommend him based on what I hear. It was another perspective to look at when trying to see what the Church needs to be doing today, but I did not entirely catch the least to the point of disregarding all other views.

I received a copy of the book at no cost to myself from Blogging For Books.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Can Only Imagine

The story behind the song that went beyond the Christian music charts into the mainstream and brought the group, MercyMe, into prominence in Christian music. The movie is based on the life of musician Bart Millard and the experiences that lead to the writing of the song. Obviously, the film can only touch on a few highlights of his life and career, and J Michael Finley strikes the right note, not only with his amazing musical gift but as an actor portraying Bart Millard. The stand-out for me was Dennis Quaid. I have always been a fan and his performance as an abusive father was outstanding. "I Can Only Imagine" is a film that shows that forgiveness and redemption are always possible and the movie and song tell of the hope many believe in today. There were both tears and laughter from the audience of the sold-out screening I attended and I heard many positive comments. The Erwin Brothers step up their game with each film they make. Congratulations to cast and crew for a job well done.