It Ain’t In There #1

Posted April 18, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2   

I’m going to start a series this week I’ll call “Things You Thought Were in the Bible – But Aren’t.” (I guess I shouldn’t expect to see bumper stickers popping up with that on there, huh?) However, these are things a lot of folks have always heard, been told, or assumed were in the Bible.

For example, today’s is – “God helps those who help themselves.”

Nope.

While God does not expect us to sit on our hands and wait to be spoon fed like a baby, the philosophy behind this one is flawed.

You see, God helps us when we realize we CANNOT help ourselves. When we realize we are finite, limited creatures with very little understanding of the deeper things of life, we come to the knowledge we can only call on Him in our time of need.

Most often, as long as we try to “fix” things or handle them ourselves, He will let us flounder on our own. When it finally dawns on us, we are making a bigger mess out of things and hand it over to Him, He will do what needs to be done.

This is deep and I’ve made it very simplistic, sometimes we are left to struggle to teach us a lesson, to strengthen our faith, and at times to discipline us – after all, He is the Heavenly Father.

The verse for today reminds us our help, even the strength we use to “help ourselves” comes from God.

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi

Posted February 9, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi is a challenging work for which to write a review. The content is good, the stories are compelling, and the characters are presented with compassion and care.

The difficulty I encountered was in the way it was written. The information is not chronologically presented in what, to me, would be a logical fashion.

This book is about the siege of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

There were activities taking place in several different areas and under the command of different generals (and these commands changed over the days leading up to the height of battle).

I say all that to say, it would be complicated to present this information regardless of what method he used – chronological, geographical, command,etc.

That aside, the premise of the book is that God, through His Providence, led, guided, and directed the actions leading up to and during the siege and during the fierce battle and fighting which followed.

The book is well researched and the resources are wide ranging. Diaries, news accounts, after action reports, verbal histories, etc. were consulted and information gleaned for this work.

I’m glad I read it and I would recommend this book to my friends who are into military history. While the information goes much deeper than just the military aspect, the military theme woven throughout is indeed the core of the book.

I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program. I receive a free copy of the book, but am not required to give a positive review.  Check it out at http://www.booklookbloggers.com

“In God We Trust?”

Posted February 5, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” – Genesis 50:20   

In a recent news story, a blind woman was talking about how important her seeing-eye dog was to her.

She has incredible trust in this dog. She trusts the dog will be attentive and watchful. She trusts the dog will not let her come to harm. She trusts her dog will see the things she cannot and keep her safe – no matter where she goes or what is happening around her.

God asks us to trust Him the same way.

In the verse above, we see Joseph forgiving his brothers after they had been horribly cruel to him. They had intended to kill him, but instead sold him into slavery which resulted in many years of one tragic event after another. He was falsely accused of trying to rape his master’s wife and thrown into prison where he was forgotten. Ultimately, however, he ascended to the second most powerful position in all of Egypt.

Years later, he was reunited with his brothers, they thought he would seek revenge. In a wonderful example of grace, he tells them in spite of their actions, God had a plan for him and God’s plan always wins in the end. It may take time, it may not always be clear, but God’s will always wins.

We are to trust Him to be attentive and watchful, trust He will not let us come to harm. He calls us to trust He sees the things we cannot and that He will keep us safe – no matter where we go or what is happening around us.

My prayer this week is that we will, by the faith He has given us, trust God and live in the freedom that trust brings.

“Not That Good”

Posted February 1, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“…as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10   

A headline caught my eye this week which read, “(Richard) Sherman says Tom Brady isn’t the Clean-cut Hero Everyone Thinks He Is.” The article goes on to say “while people seem to carry on with their compliments and talk of Brady as someone who does everything right, Sherman says he and his teammates ‘know him to be otherwise.’”

Now, let me clear on this, I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl. And, I’m not a fan of Sherman or Brady. But, this isn’t about them, it’s about us – you and me.

The headline is what got my attention. Because the truth of the matter is NONE of us is all that nice. None of us is as “clean-cut” as others may think. And, there is always someone who knows it.

We are all broken people who deal with some sort of sin in our life. Most often we try to hide it, but inevitably it will rear its ugly head and we (and others) must face the fact that we are not perfect people.

My prayer this week is that we will realize our brokenness and turn to God, who loves us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way.

Spiritual “Gridlock”

Posted January 22, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:17   

Listening to news from the world of politics can be depressing.  Whether they use the term or not, it seems the media is always telling us of the threat of “gridlock” – one party pulling one way, the other pulling another way, and the end result is nothing gets done and we go nowhere. Disheartening indeed.

But, what about the gridlock in our life? What about when we “know the right thing to do and fail to do it?” We know in our heart we should say the right thing in, do the right thing, act the right way, and yet our pride, our lack of faith, pulls us in another and we do nothing.

As depressing and disheartening as gridlock can be in the world of politics, it is even greater in Christendom. All the things accomplished (or not) in the halls of government will one day amount to a pile of ashes. The things done on behalf of the Kingdom of God have eternal relevance.

C.T. Studd wrote a poem with this line as the refrain – “Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

My prayer this week is that we will, by God’s grace, overcome the gridlock in our life and move forward in His strength.

Thanks for nothing!

Posted November 21, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.   When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” – Acts 11:22-24

Thanks for nothing!

Have you ever heard someone utter these words? (Truth be told, we’ve probably said them a time or two as well.)

But, in the case of Barnabas, many had much to be thankful for, because of nothing. Many folks today are so concerned about being something, Barnabas was content to have nothing.

John Maxwell, in The Maxwell Leadership Bible, explains it like this:

(Barnabas) initiated and did whatever it took to raise morale, men, or money. He led with charity and by example by becoming a servant. He considered no task too small. What allowed Barnabas to demonstrate such a lifestyle? He had…

Nothing to prove – Barnabas didn’t have to play games. He never sought the limelight. When he mentored Paul, he happily let the emerging apostle rise above him.

Nothing to lose – Barnabas didn’t have to guard his reputation or fear that he would lose popularity. He came to serve, not to be served. This enabled to him to focus on giving, not getting.

Nothing to hide – Barnabas didn’t maintain a façade or image. He remained authentic, vulnerable, and transparent. He could rejoice with others victories.  

My prayer this week is each of us will have “nothing” in the same way Barnabas did.

“Kidnapped by the Taliban” – by Dilip Joseph with James Lund

Posted November 21, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“Kidnapped by the Taliban” was a very good read.

The book is written very much in the style of a man just telling the intriguing story of what happened to him.

Because of that style, the reader gets drawn into the emotion of the events. The fear of the initial capture, the relief in discovering death isn’t immediate, the isolation of not understanding the language, and so on.

The story begins when Dr. Joseph is in Afghanistan to help the local people learn how to better themselves and have a brighter future when he and two Afghan nationals are kidnapped by the Taliban. The account unfolds over the next few days as they travel from one location to the other, never knowing whether they will be killed, ransomed, or sold to other terrorists.

Obviously, he survives or there would not be a book about it, but I won’t ruin the end of the story for you.

I enjoyed reading this book and I think you will as well.  

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booklook” Program www.booklookbloggers.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.


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