One God One Plan One Life Devotional by Max Lucado

_140_245_Book.1063.cover One God One Plan One Life

One God One Plan One Life by Max Lucado is a devotional aimed at the teenager. Each day of the year, the reader has a Scripture text, usually from a new modern form of the Bible, the Title and article, and ending with a section called One More Thought.

In my opinion, the teen will be better able to understand the Scriptures by following this devotional. I would recommend this devotional to people of any age group, especially teens and new Christians, who also need a little extra help with the Bible.

My one complaint is that Max Lucado uses the modern so-called Bibles for all his Biblical references. One thing everyone should bear in mind is that the new modern bibles are written in today’s English using the authors’ viewpoints and understandings of the Scriptures. I have found several instances where a verse in a modern bible does not agree with the same reference in the Authorized King James Bible. One needs to be careful accepting the new works.

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A Good Study Text for Anyone

_80_140_Book.1015.cover Preacher's Sourcebook

Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Source Book by Various Authors

O.S. Hawkins, Editor

Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Source Book is a compiled text written by various authors who are also ministers. The Contents is divided into two sections: sermons and articles. There are 535 pages in these two sections followed by Special Occasion Registries covering forms for Baby Dedications, Baptisms and Confirmations, Funeral Registrations, Funerals Log, Marriage Registrations, Marriages Log, and Sermons Preached. These forms are empty so a Minister may use them for record keeping, I think. This section is followed by NOTES showing where each author obtained references for their topics. The Index is mainly a listing of words and on what pages of the text each word can be found…much like the Concordance is arranged. Last is a CD of the text which can be used by either a MAC or PC.

I have always wanted to read one of these books out of plain curiosity. My question had been, Do preachers really use a book of sermons and outlines to plan their own weekly sermons? Now I knew it could be done, but would not a preacher want his sermons to reflect him/herself and his/her beliefs? However, I can imagine many ways in which this book can be used. A minister can indeed take the book and follow it from page one in planning a whole year’s worth of sermons whether he had to have one, two or even three sermons a week. A preacher could even choose a topic and look up articles and sermons in this book to assist him in putting his thoughts together. My favorite idea is one in which a lay person could take this book and use it as a devotional book. Beginning with the first sermon/article and reading/meditating on one a day would be fantastic for those of us who have studied the Bible in so many ways we may be looking for a different approach.

The thoughts and ideas of the contributors of this source book have given me new insights into scriptures I already understood, but I still appreciated the new thoughts. I have also been able to get new understandings of scriptures which I had not been able to fully understand before. For these reasons I not only recommend this book to ministers, but also to lay people. Read the book. Meditate on what the authors are saying, pray God will open your understanding and enjoy finding out how experienced ministers think and feel. But most of all, enjoy the stronger relationship between you and the Lord Jesus Christ that this book should help develop.

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31 Days to Happiness by David Jeremiah

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31 Days to Happiness is based mostly on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Pastor Jeremiah brings out the message that almost every chapter in that book has to give us, which is: Without God, all is in vain. No matter who you are, what you do, where you go or what you think or believe—all life is vain without God.

I agree with Pastor Jeremiah and say that the book’s overall message is simply telling its readers that without God your life will have no meaning or purpose. I recommend all people read the book of Ecclesiastes before or during the reading of Pastor Jeremiah’s book. This is an accepted method for Scripture study. Ecclesiastes will give one wisdom and, if more wisdom is needed, one can ask the Lord and He will gladly give it.

The thing that hit me hardest in Pastor Jeremiah’s book is the fact that I am one of those who think I know best and the Lord should always do what I want Him to. I forget that God has a plan for my life already and the best living I can do is written in His plan. Indeed, we should all walk with the Lord moment by moment and let Him deal with our futures.

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The Beauty of Broken by Eliza Morgan

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Elisa Morgan tells her life story, describing the bad and good events she has experienced. She talks about how friends gave their support during the rough times. Being the President of MOPS–an organization of moms for preschoolers–she realized early on that only God could have given her that position because she was certainly no example of a perfect parent. She discusses how her faith in God helped her in every event despite the heartache gendered by some of those events. However, Eliza got the repentance/forgiveness thing wrong. Repentance can only happen if God calls us and we heed that call. Forgiveness can only happen if we repent. The Bible states clearly that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. When we recognize that we are not worthy to come before God, then we have seen our sinful nature. At this time we ask God to forgive us of our sins. He will forgive. From then on, we must acknowledge any sin we commit and confess that sin to God in order to gain forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an automatic thing. However, Eliza is correct is describing how one is reluctant to confess and it may take some time for one to truly admit and ask for forgiveness.

The bad thing about this story is that reading it is like listening to someone tell all of her problems to us. We have no patience to sit and listen to someone do this. The best thing about the book is that Eliza shows how, by holding on to God, she and her husband gained the strength and wisdom to endure what came against them. This, then, is the purpose of this story: to show how we must continually go before God seeking His help in all things. This story will encourage any reader who can see beyond the reciting of problems.

The message I find is that God alone can help us through the rough times, can prepare us to do the job He wants us to do and that ‘all things work to our good’ if we only let Him have His way with us. By the time I had read to the middle of the story I realized that everything Elisa had described in her life had happened already in mine. This reminded me of Ecclesiastes 9:2 [KJV] “All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.” But, oh, how blest are those that have the Lord in their lives for He gives us strength to endure and hope in a heavenly eternity where we shall have no trials, no tears, no heartaches. We have but to endure this life and love and worship Him. Eliza and her husband were able to endure because of the Lord. But those who have not the Lord in their lives must go through life alone only to end up with more trouble in eternity than they had ever experienced in this life. Thank God for salvation.

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The End of the World?

_80_140_Book_893_coverAnomaly by Krista McGee
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Anomaly is fiction. The story begins many years after a nuclear war has destroyed the earth’s surface. Only ten scientists survived because they had been in the process of creating a safe haven for the VIPs of the government. During the years prior to this story’s beginning, these scientists worked with DNA as a writer might cut and paste various paragraphs together to make a book or magazine article. They created untold numbers of clones. Each clone was given a special talent to make their underground world a perfect place. Every clone was created without emotions which the scientists said caused all the wars. Religion was taught to be a bad imaginary concept and the clones were forbidden to practice any form of it. If a clone revealed any emotion whatsoever, he or she were labeled an anomaly and were brought to the scientists building to be annihilated. This story tells the story of one clone who was given a wonderful expert ability with music—playing any kind of instrument and creating songs. Thalli develops emotions as the story is told. We experience her ups and downs, her fears and joys, all the way to a satisfying end.

Stories of what life would be like after a nuclear holocaust are not new, but this one is certainly different than any I have read before or watched on television. Just when I thought I had a hold on what exactly was happening, the story took a surprising turn—sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. At one point I nearly cried, at another I laughed a little, and still at another I thought, ‘I should have known…’. I believe the teenager of today will enjoy this book and may even be able to empathize with the heroine. I also believe the older generation from young adult to the elderly who can still see enough to read will enjoy it. On the serious side, the story makes one think of what will really happen if the earth’s surface is destroyed in a nuclear war.

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Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Review copy provided by: BookSneeze at BookSneeze.com

Nearing Home is a book written about the life of Billy Graham as an elderly man. He tells what it is like to be getting older. He talks about the health problems which causes a person to be unable to do as they once did or go where they once went. It is a 182 page book filled with information that will be beneficial to teenagers and older people. For teens, the messages found in this book would help them to accept the elderly which would improve relations between the two age groups. Teens would also better understand their parents and this is only my opinion. For the young adults, not only would they better understand the older person, but the older person would feel loved and needed. For the message is clear: The elderly can be used by God as well as the younger. The elderly have a lot to offer, if only the younger person would listen and heed their advice.

The message that even at my age today I can be used by God to help others despite my inability to perform the tasks I once did is the message that meant more to me. I had somehow became selfish and wanted only to go home to be with the Lord. Instead Rev. Graham has reminded me that I am still here for a purpose and that is to be used by God in whatsoever state I find myself. How moving! How uplifting! Remembering how God used the older person in the Bible stories is enough to give me hope that there is something else I can be doing if it’s only to pray more. Now I have purpose. To pray and fast for those around me and for those that are still lost throughout the world. The Bible says we must pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out someone to reach those we can not talk to face to face.

I recommend this book to all who have to deal with an elderly person in their own families for I am convinced if they read this book both they and their families will benefit greatly.

 

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Away with this manuscript??

Should I or should I not give up on this old manuscript? It seems each time I touch it to edit, I end up changing some scene or other so drastically that it not only makes the rest of the MS read silly, but it gives me new ideas for new beginnings. The ending I want so badly nothing touches it [lol].

I question this often, but it does me no good. One reason is that I can’t seem to stop creating something without finishing it. I had it finished once upon a time, then an editor of a publishing house told me I needed to delete the first 5 chapters and strengthen my heroine and hero [who she thought was stronger than the heroine, but not strong enough.] Ever since then I’ve been re-working the thing and losing hope that it will ever be finished, and still I can’t give up.

Well, back to the planning, re-writing, and re-writing of my first novel.

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