Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges


Description:

We all admire humility when we see it. But how do we practice it? How does humility―the foundational virtue of the normal Christian life―become a normal part of our everyday lives?

Jerry Bridges sees in the Beatitudes a series of blessings from Jesus, a pattern for humility in action. Starting with poverty in spirit―an acknowledgment that in and of ourselves we are incapable of living holy lives pleasing to God―and proceeding through our mourning over personal sin, our hunger and thirst for righteousness, our experience of persecutions large and small, and more, we discover that humility is itself a blessing: At every turn, God is present to us, giving grace to the humble and lifting us up to blessing.

My Thoughts:

Really, I could just give you a few of the many quotes I highlighted throughout this brief book to give you an idea of what a magnificent book it is. I'll attempt to say a bit more about it, though.

Bridges takes each of the beatitudes and discusses them separately, while also connecting them to others. While this book has a small page number with under 100 pages, not counting the extras(notes, introduction, discussion guide), it has a great deal of challenging, thought provoking ideas within it. The author gets right to the point and doesn't fill the pages with words just to add pages to the book. I want more books like this!

It's requested to read The Blessing of Humility straight through, which won't take you long, and then to read it again, but more slowly. I recommend the same. There's so much good stuff in here that one read just doesn't do it justice. It's really one of the best books I've read, and it has showed me just how lacking I am in my life.

There's not a single person out there that won't benefit from this read, so I highly, highly recommend it. It is truly a wonderful book, and one that I will open up often, Lord willing, as long as I'm still on Earth. Jerry Bridges was a wise man, and I'm looking forward to reading more of his books now.

*I must add that Bridges and I have/had different opinions on some matters, particularly predestination, which isn't my opinion. Therefore, some of his beliefs clash with mine within the book. It's still a wonderful book, though, and I still recommend it. (And I still want to read more from him.)

Now, I'll leave you with a few quotes, though I highlighted a great deal!

"The person who is poor in spirit recognizes that his or her best deeds are always mingled with the corruption of one's sinful nature, with impure(that is, mixed)motives, and with imperfect performance. This person recognizes that he or she never comes close to obeying the law of God as Jesus defined it in Matthew 22: 37-39: to love God with all our being, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
At the same time, those who genuinely see their spiritual poverty do not wallow in it and say, "Oh, what a miserable Christian I am." Instead, they look to Christ and His Cross for cleansing from their sin." (page 12)

"It is so easy for us to stand apart from the culture and do no more than express self-righteous judgmentalism toward it. But those of us who grieve deeply over our own sin will not do this. Instead we will mourn over the sins and wickedness of our nation and will pray most urgently that, just as we want God to be merciful to us, so we want Him to be merciful to our nation as a whole."(page 25)

"To be a peacemaker means we must seek to be delivered from self-interest and not look at everything in terms of how it affects us. Instead we must be concerned about the glory of God and how we can best promote that glory in situations of conflict." (page 71-72)

"Instead of loving those whose actions and lifestyles we oppose, we seem to engage in some form of action that is inconsistent with Jesus' admonition to love our enemies." (page 78)

**I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


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Friday, July 1, 2016

FREE 14 Day Trial Is Now Available for the Odyssey Adventure Club!

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Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Tullus: Adventures of a Christian boy in Roman times by Joe Newton, with illustrations by Bob Magnusen



My Thoughts:

I have to admit that though I love comic books, I try not to read too many of them, nor keep too many of them in our home. (They deaden the brain, right? **eye roll**) ;) Seriously, though, most of them just aren't worth keeping around. Thrillingly, THIS one is one I am more than happy to keep in our home, and will make an excellent supplement to our Ancient Rome study next time around. Best yet, it has old fashioned Christian values that are greatly lacking these days, especially in comic books.

Tullus is a Christian in ancient Rome. The story revolves around him and his friend, Nereus. Tullus was featured in "Sunday Pix" from 1949-1976, published by David C. Cook. It was created and written by Joseph(Joe) Hughes Newton, with illustrations done by his wife, Barbara. This issue is illustrated by Bob Magnusen, and is edited by Rick Norwood. I love that there's information about the comic in the front and back, so you'll get a bit of the history surrounding it. This particular issue is a reprint of the comic from the 1952 edition of Sunday Pix.

The book is put together through what used to be weekly installments, all in full color. Each page gets a week's comic, with a "to be continued" at the end. It is a year's worth of installments, and it does end with a "to be continued" on the final page. Reading along, I was able to read through the year's worth of comics quickly, but I couldn't help feeling a little nostalgic as I did so. I could just picture a young person excitedly reading each week's new addition, and then impatiently waiting another week for the next installment. The story continues on and on, though, so I also wondered how annoying it would be to get a story so slowly. I really do imagine this comic created special memories for many!

Tullus definitely has an old fashioned feel to it, and some parts of it are corny. I say the same thing about almost every classic I've read, though, even if I adored it. It seems to come with the territory of older books, especially with comic books. Helena, the female lead, made me roll my eyes a bit at her love story, but I loved the bravery and trust in God that was shown by the Christian characters. It was refreshing to read, and I want more of things like this for my boys. I greatly enjoyed making my way through the book, and I hope there will be another installment.

It appears that right now, you can only order the kindle version at Amazon. You CAN order a paper copy for $4.99, plus $3 shipping at www.comicsrevue.com/. I do love my kindle, but I really do recommend the paper copy in this case. If you're ordering for Sunday school classes, or from a Christian bookstore, you can get a discount of 40% for 10 or more copies, and 50% for orders of 100 or more. (Free shipping on discounted orders!) Go to www.comicsrevue.com/ to buy copies and to see what other classic comics are available.

I loved it, and I'm thrilled to add it to our bookshelves!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Grow Your Child's Faith This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Make Your Children World Explorers

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Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!




Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.




Click here to sign up and receive your free summer adventure kit.




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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Adventures in Odyssey Summer Challenge 2016

This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey's Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate summer challenge!




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The Problem

Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there's a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.




Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.


The Solution

Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don't have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.




You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here's what you can do:




1. Go to to Whitsend.org/summer.


2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you'll earn!


3. Ask your family and friends to sponsor your efforts.


4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016.




For participating and submitting your information, you will get a free Adventures in Odyssey episode from Album 51. You will also get 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Faith – eBook and the audio book of Imagination Station #1, “Voyage with the Vikings.”

Make the most of your summer—exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!




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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with over 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.