Monday, July 21, 2014

God Has Been Teaching Me This Truth and Thus Drew Me To This Book: A Review of The Surprising Grace of Disappointment

One of the lessons that I have learned admittedly late is that too often we pray expecting God to answer our requests our way. We get disappointed when His way is different than ours and His timing is longer than our desired end. If we would be honest, we want a way out rather than a way through, even if the way through is God's best for us.

The Lord doesn't want us to have faith in an outcome but in a person. Yet we pray fervently for outcomes and get seriously upset with God or disillusioned when He doesn't do as we will. Is it that we forget that Jesus prayed for the cup of suffering to pass by Him and He didn't get what He wanted most? Unlike Christ, have we been insincere in our prayer that "Not my will but Yours be done?"

Then there is our life's vocation. We plan, we pray and feel called or led to certain work or ministry. Our expectations are that we will be successful. Within our hearts and minds is an idea of what success looks like. Yet how many of us have come to a point in which we look back with disappointment? What happened to those dreams? Why didn't things turn out as you or I thought they should; as you and I dreamed they would?

John Koessler dives deep into our disappointments and into the Word to unlock what is going on and why. He provides answers, encouragements and insights that are much needed when you or I feel like our lives haven't turned out as we expected or our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.

Is it okay to be disappointed with God? Can we complain to Him? What examples of the saints from the Scriptures shed light on our struggles? How do we process our pain and crises biblically to the glory of God and our ultimate good? Is God present and powerful in our disappointments? Do we see things the way He does or is that part of the problem that clouds our vision and fills our eyes with tears?

This book is worth the reading. Perhaps it will help you to learn a bit earlier and easier than I did what God is up to with the surprising grace of disappointment. I pray that it is a big help to you and many others. To God be the glory. 

I have received this book at no cost to me for review purposes by Moody Publishers

About the author: John Koessler (D.Min., Trinity International University; M.Div., Biblical Theology Seminary) is Chairman and Professor in the Pastoral Studies Department at the Moody Bible Institute. He is author of a number of books including True Discipleship, God Our Father, and Names of Israel. John and his wife, Jane, live in northwest Indiana and have two sons.

Get The Surprising Grace of Disappointment from Amazon in either Kindle or paperback

or from Moody Publishers directly

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The United States Will Soon Be Entering Decision Time, Twice Over: Mid-term elections in November and Then the Presidential Race While the World Burns.

Watch and Pray: 

Two More Soldiers Killed in Gaza
One shot dead "by a terrorist in a tunnel;" another by a missile defense system's activation in a tank

Meanwhile, rockets continue to rain down on Israel

Anti-Israel protesters rally across France, defying ban imposed after synagogue clash
Thousands march through French cities in protest of Israeli operation in Gaza Strip; French president says will not allow violence to spill over into France.
Article by Nicholas Vinocur, Joe Bavier Jul. 19, 2014 | 10:40 PM

source unknown

Russia supplied missile launchers to separatists, U.S. official says

The United States has confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after the Thursday shoot-down of a Malaysian jet liner, a U.S. official said Saturday.

“We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems,” the official said. U.S. intelligence was “starting to get indications…a little more than a week ago” that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, said the official.

My note: pro-Russian militants are acting awfully guilty, not allowing full access to crash scene; allegations of tampering with evidence and bodies, etc. 

God at Work in Ukraine reports:

Ministry to Ukrainian soldiers continues. Natasha, who is a member of a Baptist church in Odessa, recently took part in a trip to take supplies and encouragement to soldiers. In addition to much needed supplies, they were able to provide a music program and a gospel message. Natasha shares that many soldiers were grateful and excited to receive the New Testaments that were brought to them, and listened attentively to the program and gospel presentation. Some of these men were sent to the area where the fighting is the most intense the day after this ministry team visited them. Pray for teams such as these as well as local believers who seek to minister to the soldiers camped in their areas. Pray for the salvation of these young men and women.

8thirty8 reports:
A challenge to set your alarm for 8:38 PM and pray for believers who are either in prison, persecution, or danger. Romans 8:38-39.

The Remaining Christians in Mosul, Iraq (Ancient Ninevah) left today under threat of death from the 'Islamic State' terrorists. An Iraqi pastor just called and said that each Christian family departed with the clothes on their back. Their houses were spray painted with signs: "This House is Now Property of the Islamic State." This announcement was then made over Mosque loudspeakers: "Today is the day you must choose to convert, pay the jizah tax, or die." Mothers were not allowed to take diapers or formula. Everything was left behind. They headed for Kurdish controlled areas like the city of Erbil.

Most Christians had already left Mosul after the Islamic State took control of the city on June 10th. This is another humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. We are looking into ways to send aid to help these poor displaced families. Will you pray for them? If you're in, let us know. Also, pray that The Good Shepherd leads us to the right way to send in relief. This is often tricky in the Middle East, as governments are strict when it comes to sending in funds. Often, the government wants to control this. Don't want to say too much, but you get the picture. Thank you for praying.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Read Answers in Genesis Books Online for Free, LGBT Numbers Less Than 3%, God and The Gay Christian Response, Free Women's Devotion from Women of Faith, Persecution News from Ukraine, Crimea, ISIS

Many of Answers in Genesis’ books are available for free to read online
Health survey gives government its first large-scale data on gay, bisexual population

Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation.
Original source from the CDC, p. 3 specifically – “Results: Sexual orientation” 

God and The Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines free pdf book

Free e-book: 10 Days of Devotions for Women – Women of Faith

must sign-up for emails (can unsubscribe after)

Slavic Gospel Association shares update from eastern Ukraine

If you thought fighting was over in eastern Ukraine, you might want to read this report. Vice President of Ministry for Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), Eric Mock, just returned from the region.

“There’s a tremendous amount of scary, difficult military action going on that people have to endure every night,” Mock shares. “We’re hearing stories of people venturing out to just get food and being held at machine gun-point with a revolver next to their ear.”

Though government troops took back key cities over the weekend, rebels reportedly regrouped in the city of Donetsk. With nearly 1 million residents, Donetsk is the region’s largest city. Innocent lives en masse would be on the line if a government-rebel showdown took place here.

“80% of the population of these towns [in eastern Ukraine] have left for fear of their lives. A lot of the buildings are bullet-ridden,” Mock reports.

ISIS threatens Lebanon; presidential candidates talk faith

Lebanon (MNN) -- Politicians are admitting their mistakes in Lebanon--a country struggling to elect a president. Worse yet, ISIS threats against the country continue to grow. SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is airing a series of interviews with presidential candidates regarding their faith.

Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for a string of suicide bombings, according to the Associated Press. On Monday, a Lebanese military prosecutor charged 28 people for belonging to ISIS and planning attacks within the country. ISIS reportedly has vowed to take over Lebanon.

The Daily Star says that leaked documents indicate that ISIS is planning more attacks in the country. Iran is offering to help Lebanon fight against the threats of ISIS.

Restricted Crimea churches and Christians in Ukraine running out of resources

Crimea (MNN) -- Events in Crimea aren't hitting headlines, but they are hitting Christians. Hundreds of persecuted Muslim Tatars from Crimea seek refuge in Ukraine from the only people who will help--Christians. Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says, "In the middle of great conflict we're seeing the Ukrainian believers stepping up for the sake of the Gospel

Under Ukraine’s rule, Crimea had incredible freedom. While the Tatar and Jewish populations were often under attack, they are now fleeing the peninsula due to increased violence and persecution under Russian rule.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NATO Peacekeepers in Holy Land? Free E-Book on Christian Living, Prison Fellowship Helping Prisoners Read to Their Children, How You Can Help Meriam Ibrahim from Sudan, Christian Woman May Be Forced to Marry Muslim Man, Stretching the Truth about the Hobby Lobby Case and Militants Attack Jonah's Tomb

(from article linked below)

Let NATO Keep the Peace in Palestine
(this article may help us begin to see what the Anti-Christ peace treaty would look like)

Under a Bosnian model, the United States and its most capable European allies might form an ‘implementation force’ to fulfill the peacekeeping mandate for a limited period of two to five years [emphasis mine], followed by a longer-term ‘stabilization force’ that would include countries beyond the NATO alliance.

He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." Daniel 9:27 (NIV)

Seeing the Unseen: A Daily Dose of Eternal Perspective  [Kindle Edition] Randy Alcorn
Free for a limited time

60 meditations that will inspire you to live each day with an eternal perspective.

Spiritually speaking, we live in the Country of the Blind. Sin has blinded us to the truth about God and Heaven, both of which are real yet unseen. But just as the physically blind must accept by faith there are stars in the sky, we must remind ourselves what Scripture tells us about eternal realities.

In daily doses, author Randy Alcorn offers insights on the Christian life along with Scriptures and inspirational quotes that can transform the way you think and live today.

It’s time to open your eyes—and see the unseen.

Love this new initiative from Prison Fellowship:  

Fatherhood Found in Storybooks
By Kate Campbell | Posted July 9, 2014

Meriam Ibrahim, her husband & children are safe for now at a U.S. Embassy in Sudan, but she's facing death threats from relatives. It's crucial that she be granted safe and swift passage to the United States.

Here's how you can take action & continue to be a voice on her behalf:  
Mission Network News
(Photo cred: VOM USA)

A note about the smear campaign vs. Hobby Lobby (Hillary Clinton is one of many on the Left that includes mainstream media who are spreading this smear):

"In truth, Hillary Clinton’s direction is deeply disturbing. These employers are not imposing their religious beliefs on anyone, and they’re not denying women contraceptives. As is widely known, Hobby Lobby already covers the entire cost of 16 out of 20 FDA-approved contraceptives under its insurance plan for employees. The Hobby Lobby owners aren’t against birth control. They object to paying for pills or devices that kill a human embryo [emphasis mine]—that is, abortifacients (drugs that produce an abortion). They’re against the abortion element of the HHS mandate."

Read more at:  Hillary Clinton’s Move to the Far Left  (their title, not mine)

ISIS Militants Destroy Churches, Mosques and What is Believed to be the Prophet Jonah's Tomb