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.

Faithful Workouts with Michelle Spadafora

Faithful Workouts was started in 2009 when Michelle Spadafora felt God calling her to bring God into all aspects of her life. The goal was to invite others to a place where they could get healthier physically, spiritually, and emotionally in a caring environment with others on the same journey to encourage one another. 

The major difference betweem Faithful Workouts and other fitness plans is that God is the center of all. Keeping it simple is also stressed. There are simple menus and recipes available, and the workouts can all be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home. The purpose is for good health. 

The benefits of signing up to join Faithful Workouts is access to ✓ 200 Online Workouts for every fitness level
✓ Menu plans, grocery lists, cookbook and videos  (gluten free , dairy free, vegetarian options!)
✓ Faith & Fitness Calendar to make getting healthy simple!
✓ A forum to keep you inspired, connected & accountable
✓ Podcasts so you can take us with you on your walk, bike, or run

Faithful Workout website

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