Category Archives: devotional

A Review of Captive to Conqueror by Harold Wildish

Captive to ConquerorSomewhere or other, I found a copy of a rather unknown book by a Plymouth Brethren missionary named Harold Wildish who died in the early 1980’s. His story is remarkable. This is an English book and its contents are from a meeting at Filey of the Christian Holiday Crusade put on by the Movement for World Evangelization. The speaker, Mr. Wildish, had a topic of Romans 5-8 and Romans 12: 1-11 and that is the content of this book. Each chapter began with the exact Scripture reading and then his exhortations from each passage. He reminds us that the battle of sin and death has already been won by Jesus Christ and of the great truths we need to appropriate from Romans 6 and 7 about being dead to sin, alive to God, and married not to the law, but to Christ. These are teachings we need to sink our teeth down into. For we can’t appreciate the victory that Romans 8 describes without knowing what Christ has done, once and for all, with our sin.

One part of the book particularly moved me. Wildish described being away from his wife and preaching in a hot, “sin soaked village” in South America. He said at the time it was one of the hottest spots in the world, and he lived at the time in the back of a building where the mosquitoes buzzed all night and oily food nauseated his stomach. He went down to the muddy Demerara coast that evening, and the slightest breeze refreshed him in his spirit, and gave him the fulness to preach to sweaty, sin filled souls.

Somehow, although he felt like quitting, the Spirit touched the hearts of all those who attended his message that night. After he dismissed the group, everyone stayed in their seat, they all wanted to get right with God that night. Two years later, people were still talking how he ministered to them mightily through the Spirit of God. Lives were changed because he persisted through adversity.

I love finding books like these! I consider them little gems among the many voices of Christianity today. This man ministered in Africa and Jamaica and in the Amazon area. His messages are still available to listen to today at sermonindex.net. http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=1408

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Review of Time Travelers of the Bible by Gary Stearman

I just finished this massive 500+ page book by Gary Stearman and received so much encouragement, I wanted to share it. Don’t be intimidated by the page length, for the print type is large enough that the pages went by quickly for me. I kept telling myself as I read it, “I want to read this again.”

The main emphasis that I received from this book was how God exists outside the boundaries of time. He is not limited to past, present and future as we are, but to Him, He is already existing in eternity. As believers in Christ, though we have to live our lives in the time dimension, it is possible to have our lives strengthened by the knowledge that God sees us already there with Him in eternity, that there is a purpose for our pain, and that our losses will be compensated one Day.

I learned so many new things reading this book, for example, that there is a symmetry to time, and how the time that was lost in Joshua’s long day in Joshua 10: 11-14 probably corrected later in the time of Hezekiah when the clock was turned back in II Kings 20: 9-11.

Another thing I learned was that the book of Isaiah makes an outline of each book of the Bible. There are 66 books in the Bible, and 66 chapters in Isaiah.Each chapter corresponds with the number of the book that it goes along with. Chapters 1-39 have been noted to be quite different from the remaining chapters 40-66 in the book of Isaiah. (Isaiah 40 begins with “Comfort ye my people.”) Chapter 40 corresponds with the beginning of the New Testament, the book of Matthew, the very first gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Comfort did not come until Messiah arrived!

Stearman also shared that when Christ appeared in post-resurrection form, He existed in more dimensions than the four the rest of us exist in, and that explains how He could walk through walls, and appear and disappear at will. He also explains about the size of the New Jerusalem, how massive it will be, and how our chief end now is to prepare for that next life.

To those who have suffered from losses in life, I believe this book will give geat encouragement to look forward in eager expectation to our life in the eternal state. For our lives here are passing by like a shadow, but then the shadows will flee away.

There is much more, but I have given you a few examples to whet your appetite! Read the book and be encouraged.

Gary Stearman is on the program “Prophecy in the News,” founded with the late J.R. Church. He also is pastor of Grace Fellowship Bible Church in Oklahoma City.

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Resolve to Read the Book!

Resolve to Read the Book!God’s bestseller through the ages!
So many books, so little time!
I have a friend who once prided herself on being well-read. While that certainly is commendable, one day the Holy Spirit spoke to her and said,
“What are you going to do about My Book?”
Since I heard this encouragement from this friend (whom I consider my mentor), I try to make a priority of reading “the Book” each day. The Word of God is like no other book. It perpetually remains a bestseller. In it we find answers to the most difficult problems of life. These answers do not come from men, but from the Holy Spirit as He inspired men to write them. The Apostle Peter called it “the more sure word of prophecy” in II Peter 1:19 in which we “do well” to take heed to.
In doing this, it serves me well as I listen to men preach the Word of God. I do not have to just accept what I hear as gospel truth, but test it against what I have read in the Book.
I just read yesterday this verse from Solomon, the wisest man on earth:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing:
But the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25: 2

I can be like a king and search out the matter! And it all starts with just reading the Book.
And so, as this New Year starts, I ask, would anyone would like to join me?

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Much Encouragement from Don’t Waste Your Sorrows by Paul F. Billheimer

I recently finished a book called Don’t Waste Your Sorrows. It gave me so encouragement, I already passed it on to someone else who needs it. I saw the name of the book somewhere in passing, and was already familiar with the author, so I wanted to get a copy. I was not disappointed, not in the least.

If you are a believer going through some kind of difficulty or sickness and you prayed for relief from it but it did not come (yet), this book is for you. Paul F. Billheimer was a ministry leader and founded TBN. He has been with the Lord since the 1980’s. In this book, which is a sequel to the book, Destined for the Throne, he gives us a brand new outlook on the purpose of suffering. God can only create agape love in us through breaking us. Yes, you read that right. God uses (only) broken Christians. Remember He did not come for the healthy but for the sick.

I remember coming to a point in my life where I told God that if He could not use a broken vessel than I had better just quit the Christian life. But it is through our difficulties that we seek hard after Him, not when everything is going our way.

Billheimer shares that each believer in Christ is appointed their own particular set of sufferings. If we only complain and grumble through them, we have wasted our sorrows, and the chance for God to form agape love in us. If we accept them as from the Lord, it gives us a whole new outlook on life.

He says that agape is the “throbbing pulse of the universe.” We won’t need agape when we get to heaven, for there will be no sin there. Now is the time we get the opportunity to share God’s agape love to the lost and dying world. If we allow the trials to form His love within us, it will be the basis of great reward. No matter what we have been handed in life, we have a chance to gain a reward by letting Christ be manifested as we go through confusing and difficult trials. We can still be happy, knowing that God is working them for the good if we love Him.

So if you are going through a difficult trial, and like the Apostle Paul have prayed but have not seen the answer I recommend you get this book. It can give you a fresh new dose of hope, no matter how dire the circumstances. The reason it does that is that is based on God’s promises, which are always true. Hope will not disappoint, if it is pointed in the right direction. (Romans 5:5)

This book (in the original version, the one I read) is a quick read but do read it thoughtfully as there is much there to meditate upon. It could change the direction of your life.

 

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Baby Jesus ABC Story Book

100_1538Today I review an oldie but a goodie, a Happy Day Book by Standard Publishing called Baby Jesus ABC Story Book with illustrations by Cecile Lamb. This one I remember sharing with my own three children, who are now grown. In beautiful full color pictures and sharp text, the Nativity Story is told plainly for little ones. I found this old treasure at a yard sale, it is copyrighted 1979. I read it over and over not so many years ago, and now with two little grandsons coming, I will be sure to read it again to them.

The window of opportunity to teach our children is so short. In the book of Deuteronomy, the Israelites were told, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in the house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-9) If this was true for them in the age when there were no distractions from technology and the media, how much more is it important today? Children will be accosted with many worldly ideas all too soon, it is never too early to tell them of the God who loves them, who sent His Son to die for us all on the cross.

Dare I say that teaching the Bible is more important than promising them presents from Santa? They will one day find out Santa is not real, but the Incarnation is a fact of human history. It actually divided it, even if some try to change A.D. to the C. E. (Common Era). Sometimes I find the old fashioned books spell things out more clearly, because back then (in the late 70’s even!)  people weren’t worried then about being politically correct.

This book starts with the story of the angel (A) bringing news to Mary about a baby (B). It goes on to talk of camels (C) and donkeys (D), and the baby coming to earth (E). I think you get the idea. Nothing added to make Christmas a fairy tale. No, just the real, incredible fact that God reached down to us in the form of a human baby to become Immanuel, GOD WITH US!

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” II Corinthians 9:15

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December 9, 2013 · 12:06 am

Book Review: Peaceful Moments of Love and Light by Connie Arnold

I am reviewing today Connie Arnold’s second book, Peaceful Moments of Love and Light. Besides Connie’s talents as a children’s writer in the book review I gave previously, Connie is also a wonderful devotional poet. We share a mutual interest in devotional writing, as I also have a book of this type that is presently undergoing editing for publication by 4RV Publishing.

Connie reminds me of the poet Helen Steiner Rice. She has a knack for putting some deep thoughts together in each small poem that is a guide for an entire year. Each day of the week has a poem, and there is also one for the weekend. Published by RPJ and Company, Inc., this thought provoking book is also illustrated beautifully in full color.

The neat thing about this book is how each week has its own theme and all the poems for that week are organized around that theme. She has a week for “Don’t Worry,” “Mercy,” and “God’s Comfort,” for examples. Each poem is a quick read for those with busy schedules, but the poetry can inspire a meditation for the entire day. These poems remind us of God’s great love for us, and how He tenderly cares for each one of us. That is always something good to be reminded about, in these days of uncertainty. No matter how crazy this world may get, we can always find comfort in knowing God is in full control. This book is like throwing out a lifeline to a weary soul. Further reading of Scripture encompassed around each theme would bring even more help to readers.

You can purchase Connie’s book  ($14.95 softcover, or $18.95 hardcover) at her sites:

http://www.conniearnold.webs.com/

http://conniearnold.blogspot.com/

If you enjoy being inspired by poetry that reminds us of God’s faithfulness, I encourage you to check out this beautifully illustrated work! It would be a nice Christmas gift to share with others as well.

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