“The Privilege of Worship” (BookLook)

Worship Wars

In “The Privilege of Worship,” Stewart Holloway addresses worship in a new vibrant way. We all know the “worship wars” that can happen within our churches and relationships. We spend far more time arguing or sharing our puffed-up opinion about how we want to worship, than we do simply worshiping. And the result of such actions, is destruction rather than peace and brokenness rather than the wholeness Jesus gives to us. There is no beauty in “worship wars”. I have seen its effect on a personal level, and it reminds me of the need to focus on worshipping God (not myself or someone else). What if we worshiped God in all His holiness and splendor, rather than arguing about the way we worship?

Help Wanted: Jesus!

As Holloway stated, many Christians are missing out on the privilege of worship. We get more excited about a football game, than we do about worshipping our Savior. We should be more excited about Jesus Christ and the opportunity given to worship Him. This is why revival is the only word to kindly express our need as the Church.

For many of us, our worship needs a revival. We need to remember what worship is honestly about. These days, we aren’t treating worship with the reverence it deserves. We need to remember the design of worship. Through worship, we get the opportunity to “communion with God” as Holloway states as he describes worship. God has given us a way (worship) to meet with Him and pour all that is building up in our hearts.

Worship is the beautiful communion and celebration between us and God.

Thoughts on “The Privilege of Worship”

As I read Holloway’s book and reflect on its key principles, I am able to gain a clearer picture of worship and its importance in my life. However we worship, it needs to be the center of our lives. Holloway shows his heart for worship in “The Privilege of Worship,” and God will change our own hearts as we read this book. Our hearts will become excited about worshipping the Lord our God. We will have a more intimate relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. We will see peace flow through our church lives, as we give ourselves to God, His Church, and choose to not participate in worship wars.

There are many good things God will give to us, as we give ourselves to Him and commit to worshipping Him.

This book has been a blessing for me to read. While I am not done reading or using it in my Christian life, I do think it is a good book for any Christian to read. We all need to remember the amazing privilege we have been given, in Christ, to worship. (Psstt: The book is only $3.99 for the Kindle edition)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Befriend (Tyndale)

befriendScott Sauls has come out with a new book, and I am very pleased to bring it to you today in review.

In his book, Sauls opens up about the truth regarding friendship and even ourselves. While we all crave friendship on different levels, we were all made for relationships. Authentic relationships.

In Befriend, we are given direction and insight on how to pursue real friendships with others.

Sauls makes his case for befriending. In relationships, there are specific types. Many of us are familiar with one sided friendships. While we ache for a friendship resembling something that David and Jonathan of the Bible shared, we face a difficult reality. We find it difficult to have authentic friendships, where we can be vulnerable and build a common connection of two lives shared. I know, this struggle quite well.

Real friendships, for many of us, seems just too far out of reach. In the world we live in, surface level friendships seems to be what is made available to us. It seems to be the norm in the world of Facebook, to settle for inauthentic friendships. Let’s become unsettled, friends, and remember the gift of authentic friendships. In this book, we are reminded of the abundant beauty found only in real friendships. In real friendships, we find belonging and a support system.

We all want to belong. Even in today’s world, we can find the tools necessary to turn our relationships into something more.

This book hits home for me. I have written about my ache for real friendships before. I am loving this book. It has been exactly what I have needed to read. While I am not finished reading the book, I can definitely say I would (and do) recommend grabbing a copy to read for yourselves. Not only does it talk about authentic relationships that seem far away, I find a friend in Sauls. As soon as I began reading his book, I just felt like it was exactly what I needed to read. Sauls offers much needed advice.

Befriend reminds us the better friendships must include vulnerability and love.

There are twenty essays collected in Befriend. Not only are the chapters short and relevant, Sauls hits a different aspect of real friendships too, giving us a fuller picture of friendships.

Be sure to pick up your copy of “Befriend” today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale’s book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart (Blogging-for-Books)

higgsHave you ever wondered how to memorize Scripture? I have a wonderful study tool to share with you all today!

Liz Curtis Higgs’ latest book is on this very important topic – memorizing Scripture. As Christians, we know we need to make an effort to memorize the Word of God (see Ps. 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:1-11; Col. 3:16; Rom. 10:17). But, have you ever asked yourself how to do this important task? I know I have found myself in that very place, which is why I am pleased to bring this review to you all.

In her book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, Higgs takes us on a beautiful journey. We will not only come away with having spent memorable time in the Word of God and learning to memorize Scripture, but will have also made a good friend and learned much about God and His Word.

This study is available for personal use, but there is one more benefit to this book. The study guide, located in the back of the book, makes it ideal for a small group study as well. This study is absolutely amazing! I hope you all have an opportunity to check it out!

Specifics on the Study

These are 31 verses that we desperately need to know by heart. When we learn the Scriptures, by heart, they will come to mind at the very moment their presence is needed. A short list of the set aside verses include –

  • Philippians 1:6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Proverbs 3:3

… among many other treasured Scriptures that remind us of God’s truths.

In each day’s reading, you can expect to find 5 key elements…

~ A devotion
~ Time of prayer
~ The daily tip for memorizing Scripture (which means we get 31 tips designed to help us memorize Scripture!!)
~ The Scripture of the day in New International Version (NIV)
~ A space for us to write out the verse in our favorite translation

My Last Thoughts

I love to pore through this book. There is so much truth found within the contents of this book, that comes from God’s Word. In her devotions, Liz takes us through the Scripture word – by- word, phrase – by – phrase. Higgs is a researcher, which is one of my favorite things about her way of teaching, so we get to glean all that she is learning and has to share with us.

Not only is Liz knowledgeable, when it comes to the Word of God, she is witty. Whenever I take a journey with one of her books, it is like I am reacquainting with an old friend. This study will challenge us in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Plus, it isn’t a time consuming study – which is a must for many of us. As we dive into 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, we will be challenged to seek after God and to come as we are. This study is a blessing, and I highly recommend it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Fearless by Jo Ann Maxwell (A “BookLook” Review)

_225_350_book-2103-coverIn her book, Fearless, Jo Ann Maxwell shares her faith in Jesus Christ and how she is learning to cope with MS. While MS is a roller coaster none of us want to try and ride, she shares her journey of the crazy ride – which offers honest God-sized hope to any sufferer of chronic illness or pain.

I am thankful for Jo Ann and her book. If I could say anything to briefly describe this review, it would be a heartfelt “thank you” and “you seriously need to read this“.

While there are many books on suffering, even Christian life and suffering, this is one of those we can classify as a “must read”. This book is a Bible study, sort of book. It is not based on other people’s random ideas, but Jo Ann pulls out her Bible and actually does Bible study with you (example below). While it is a rarity to find a book that combines real life suffering and the earnest desire to see God in it, she does it (and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit)!

Jo Ann shares her journey. She doesn’t share just the pretty things. She shares her entire heart, and pours it out as an offering to God through her writing. This book is consumed with hope we, too, can have in our lives. She offers much encouragement in Fearless.

In Jesus Christ, there is an abundance of hope!

Throughout this book and the Scriptures shared, we learn how and why we can come to God – even in times of great suffering. God is for us. While we may carry a tremendous weight of suffering, God is absolutely for us and wants to be our ever-present help!

While sharing in a Bible study with her readers, she shares some insight into Mark 6:45-52 –

He sends me into the storm, sees my struggle, comes to me, talks to me, is in the circumstance with me, and the storm ceases. Perhaps my circumstance doesn’t cease, but the storms in my thoughts and emotions cease when I allow Jesus to “come into the boat” with me.

Let’s allow Jesus to invade our circumstances, friend! I cannot tell you what He will do, once you invite Him into your circumstance. He may remove it, but He might not. He might choose a different way. A more relational way, like staying with you in the storm – making you completely certain of His love for you. I invite you to join me, as we learn what it means to live Fearless and enjoy the presence of Christ!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Jesus Always (Sarah Young, BookLook)

Friends, I have two wonderfully uplifting books to share with you the next few days. Both of these books are encouraging my spirit, and we all need more encouragement going on in our spirits.

Today, I have a bonus book review for you. Usually, I wait a few days before releasing the next review I have in store. However today, we are doing things a bit differently. So, I will be sharing with you the newest book by Sarah Young.

_225_350_book-2036-coverSarah Young is the author of Jesus Calling, which quickly became a favorite in the hearts of many believers since its arrival in 2011.

Jesus Always is her newest 365 day devotional. This book has been such a joy to have on hand. Even on the days, when life is most difficult, we are given the encouragement to remind us of the joy found in Christ.

While our human joy is often in short supply, God’s joy is unending. There is joy found in the presence of God.

With each devotional, we are reminded of the hope and joy found in Christ. These devotionals, by Sarah Young, have proven themselves to be such an encouragement in the life of the believer.

For me, I have been able to use my copy of Jesus Always to stay encouraged in the moments where it is most needed. I have been blessed with a copy of this timely devotional, to accompany me to a particularly dreadful time of medical testing. I have been blessed with this devotional, to keep me encouraged – even when I can only read for a few moments at a time. Actually, this devotion is perfect for those moments. I have been able to keep it near my bed. So, it is always available when I need something Spirit-led to read. When I need to be reminded of His truth, this is one of those resources.

While it is a good resource, it is never meant to be a replacement for our daily Bible study time. We need to allow it, to draw us deeper into His Word.

God is using Young greatly, through her writings, as others use them to draw nearer to God.

While Young writes each devotion from the perspective of our heavenly Father, we are reminded of the exact biblical references – where we learn these things are from the heart of God.

To increase our study time, we would benefit even more by taking these biblical passages and writing them upon our hearts. We are given the tools to lead us deeper in the Word of God. This is one of those tools, as we have a devotion that will cause our hearts to swell up with joy and desire to study these passages more intently.

You can find Jesus Always (and the rest of Young’s devotionals) on Amazon. Right now, Jesus Always is available for $9.99 in print or kindle form.