ISRAEL! #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

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Pray for Israel #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

“51. Jabez for enlarged coast (33 words; 1 Chron 4:10). Answered because of God’s word to give Israel all the land (1 Chron 4:10; Gen 15:18-21).”

Today

GROW #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

Read 2 Kings 20:3 and 2 Kings 20:5-6

A longer life, if spent doing “safe” things, isn’t a life at all, but a life shrinking in fear from the unknown. It is a life where fear controls you, and trust in God doesn’t exist. In order to grow, you must first take a step into new territory, with eyes open and hands holding God’s, trusting Him to lead you through great adventure.

 

grow

 

 

*affiliated links

For Such a Time Review

suchIn the classic re-telling of the plot from the Book of Esther, Kate Breslin brings us to Nazi Germany in 1944 in her novel, For Such a Time. It begs the question: What could you have done to save the Jews?

Aric first sees Hadassah (or her assumed name, Stella) in Dachau. He appears to rescue her from certain death and takes her to his transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia where Stella becomes his secretary. From here, the plot follows as closely as possible to the story from the Book of Esther. Stella’s Uncle is one of the prisoners in the camp appointed by the Nazi’s to choose who will go to Auschwitz. When telephone lines go down, Stella gets a bag of cards to type up from the captain of the camp. Aric, in spite of his compassion, doesn’t stop the Jews from getting on the train, and Stella does the unthinkable and courageous by taking 160 names off of the list. 160 Jews were saved.

Stella lives in fear of being discovered and struggles with her choices. She wants to save all the Jews. Aric detests his job, too, but does his job anyway knowing he could lose his life if he takes any chances. The question that is asked throughout this book is: What would you have done in their place? You can’t save everyone without losing your life. If you lose your life, more die. If you save some, but not all, you live to save more people. Many stories in history show us the courage of people in Nazi-occupied territory and in Nazi Germany who struggled with this question every day of the war.

The book of Esther show us a similar recounting where Esther braved the wrath of a king to reveal her true identity, and in doing so, saved his life and the life of her people. We can choose to go along to get along, and someone else will be chosen to save people; or you can choose to do the right thing no matter the risk. While this is a work of fiction, Kate Breslin gives us a history lesson on the back of the book. I encourage you to read that when you are finished reading this novel.  For Such a Time is a romance novel set near the end of World War II–an unlikely set up of a Jewess and a Nazi Wehrmacht Officer who runs a transit camp. It was riveting. I gave it five stars.

Buy book here: For Such a Time

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by publisher to review.

Critical Condition Review

indexCritical Condition by Richard L. Mabry (M.D.) kept my eyes to the page. Life would tear me away from the story, but I would hurry to return to discover Shannon and Meghan Frasier’s tumultuous relationship and whether Shannon could put behind the past to marry Mark.

Dr. Shannon Frasier witnessed her boyfriend’s murder when they were both in medical school. In later chapters, she is a doctor in a relationship with Mark, but unwilling to commit to a marriage. Meghan, her sister, is a typical family drama creator. But during the first chapter, Dr. Frasier witnesses a man get shot on her front lawn. Meghan’s boyfriend is also shot. The police question, and even suspect Meghan and Shannon. Detective Steve Alston is attracted to Shannon. The plot tightens as the police wonder if Meghan isn’t connected to a gang who robbed a bank. The money from the robbery never surfaced. While the plot fascinated me, the book had some minor issues.

I thought Shannon’s grief over her boyfriend, Todd’s, death was too quickly dealt with in the prologue.  The later chapters, however, showed the damage of her trauma better with Shannon’s inability to make lifelong connections. Her dislike of guns made sense as it was a reaction to the trauma with her boyfriend. The distance between her family and her, and her sister’s on-again, off-again drug issues all bring this plot to a boil.

Critical Condition showered us with all the pieces of the puzzle. I often felt impatient to turn the page, because I did wonder about the guilt of one character. The romance Steve felt for Shannon led me to believe Shannon and Mark would break up. Mark’s attraction to another girl didn’t need to be in there as it didn’t add to the plot. The emotion between Mark and Shannon felt too stilted and distant. Steve’s background with his deceased wife sparked my interest, and he popped back into the picture near the end when he is suddenly with Meghan. The initial pages suggested he would try to break up Shannon and Mark, and was almost dishonorable about it, persisting when he knew she loved Mark. So while I enjoyed the novel, I thought these problems could have been tweaked. I gave this novel three and a half stars.

Buy here: Critical Condition

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by publisher to review.

An Amazing Life Change #HondurasMissionsTrip2014

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Do you want to hear about the projects we completed or the change that happened in our hearts? Or how the people left an indelible mark on my soul? Or how their sense of community is better than ours? The projects are the tool.

It helps ministry along like a railroad helps an engine through the wilderness. But it’s what takes place in those buildings that change people. It’s the fellowship and the stories shared when the crickets are singing their songs in the trees outside and the wind is rushing through the pine boughs. It’s when the power goes out and you scramble for matches to light a candle where the laughter and relationships occur. We built a cabin. That was our purpose in going to Honduras.

IMG_20140517_114348_410The cabin was built fast and efficiently. The men built it, dulling drill bits through green, hard wood, sawing siding, trim, and support, and bending nails. Fellowship happened between the frames, as the trusses were built, and the tin roof went up. The jokes happened with each learning from the other one’s culture–Honduran working with American. Despite the language barrier, we communicated, and we worked hard. The women painted the siding, cleaned up the camp, picked wild blackberries, and shoveled horse dung.

Michelle wants to host missionary retreats, pastor retreats, and continue her disabled camp ministry. These cabins are the key to her dreams and the dreams of those who have put their heart into the camp.

Sometimes, I feel like the questions I am asked are about what we accomplished. It robs the story and emotion out of the trip by using business wording, like report. The impact was practical for the most part, another cabin built, with a team from Pennsylvania coming soon to finish the cabin and paint the larger building. Perhaps even to add a mural to the dorms!

The long-term impact is felt in every person that went on that short term missions trip. From one who met his Compassion International child to this church secretary who so desperately wanted to rid her soul of the cyncism that had come upon her of late. Others on Facebook shared with me how their short term missions experience changed them, too; that they are still processing their trips from years prior.

I still stumble over the question, “How was the trip?”

It’s been only a few days yet since I returned home. When someone asks me, “How was the trip?,” I want to say, “Do you have an hour to sit and hear the stories?”

Our lone ministry, located in the capital of Tegucigalpa, is focused on youth leader training, working with handicapped children and the development of a Christian camp for them. READ MORE

Why Your Words Matter

People like Fatima define the words courage and hope. In America, we go to church without fear. We blog without fear. In Saudi Arabia, Fatima had to cloak her blog through the use of a pen name to hide her identity for fear of losing her life. The blog comments she received were hate filled, but she continued to courageously blog about her faith in Christ.

So what are we, in America, doing to influence the culture?

Are we building relationships through the use of free technology? Is it all about platform or is it about missions? Are we doing all we can to reach our community in real life and online?

Or are we content with a six-second ‘like’?

Do we shy away from controversy because we might offend someone?

Fatima offended her brother. See this video to learn about this amazing woman. I can only hope to live with such courage. In my world, I won’t lose my life for my beliefs, but these days, I could lose my livelihood. Words are stronger than the sword.