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Saying Yes to God

Doing good work for Jesus doesn’t make us special or extraordinary; it shows we’re Christians.

– Kristen Welch, author of Rhinestone Jesus

In her book, Rhinestone Jesus, Kristen Welch begins by painting a picture of her early life that I found to be very similar to my own. I didn’t wear the rhinestone lapel pin, but I had the What Would Jesus Do? bracelet that I wore for a time. I also had a number of “salvation bracelets” that I had made over the years – bracelets made before mission trips to assist me in telling others about Jesus.
Kristen’s story shifts when she recounts her trip to Kenya with Compassion International bloggers. She witnesses first-hand the poverty, the stench, the sickness, the death and it changes her and breaks her apart in the best possible way. She goes back home and says “Yes” to God, which turns into opening a home in Kenya for young pregnant women. She gives an account of the ups and downs they have experienced thus far in this yes journey – things felt in Kenya and things that have affected her family at home. Kristen doesn’t mince words. She doesn’t make this all seem pie in the sky, happy-go-lucky. She’s honest. It’s good work. And it’s hard. Sometimes it’s really hard. But she continuously emphasizes that it’s for God and that she wouldn’t turn back from watching Him move for anything.

I live a pretty safe life. It’s not easy. Somedays it’s hard to be me and to inhabit this life. But it’s safe compared to people just down the street from me. And I wonder what I can do? I ask God, “What have you put within me to do for someone else?”

Perhaps your work for God is raising your littles. Perhaps it’s caring for aging parents. Perhaps it is spent on your knees as a prayer warrior for others. Perhaps it’s going half-way around the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus…or maybe just next door…or down the hall. Kristen Welch speaks a sweet and powerful word in her book that safe faith isn’t enough. But saying yes to God is radically wonderful.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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When It Seems God isn’t Fair

Let me give it to you straight.

I don’t know if I would have bothered reading this book if it wasn’t written by Jennifer Rothschild.

I took part in a Bible study several years ago that was written by Jennifer. And the thing that just blew me away about her was the fact that she is blind. On top of all of that she is a good teacher and writer, she has a lovely singing voice, and seems so pleasant. But for me to watch those video sessions of her teaching and then to dig into God’s Word with her was transformative because I wanted to know how she still trusted in God after her eyesight failed, AND after praying so many times for healing just to still be blind.

So I was intrigued. I wanted to hear what Jennifer had to say about God not being fair. I figured if anyone had a reason to think that He isn’t fair it would be someone like Jennifer.

In her book, God is Just Not Fair, Jennifer Rothschild addresses six specific questions that anyone may find themselves asking God at some time or other:
- God, are You there?
- God, do You err?
- God, do You hear prayer?
- God, do You care?
- God, are You aware?
- God, are You there?
Honestly, this book wasn’t easy for me to read. It wasn’t easy staring my own doubts in the face. It wasn’t easy realizing that I put way more emphasis on “me” and not nearly enough on God. It wasn’t easy looking at questions about disease, abuse, murder – just to name a few – and walk away still without a concrete, solid answer.

Perhaps the most important thing I will take away from reading this book is that life is hard. Being a human is hard. Sometimes it is down-right horrific. But that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. In fact, Scripture tells us that He will never forsake us. He is always with us. He is always good. He always has a plan. Sometimes I don’t always “feel” this, but I can KNOW it. Especially if I believe the truth of Scripture.

Looking through the lens of my humanity I might scream at the top of my lungs that God isn’t always fair. But I know He loved us enough to send His Son to die for the sins of all mankind. And that deserves a great, big shout from the highest mountaintop.

You can learn more about Jennifer Rothschild on her website.

*I received a copy of this book in return for a review. All opinions are my own.*

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Satan is a Chatterbox

I’ve never known the term “chatterbox” to mean anything positive. My own definition of “chatterbox” would be a person who talks incessantly, sometimes about things that make no sense or have no true bearing on the poor listener. And I think that definition pretty much describes Satan, the enemy of our souls. He’s a liar – the Bible tells us that. And he would stop at nothing to trip us up, keep us from following God, and totally destroying our lives. So why do we listen to him?
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