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Braving Sorrow Together

Braving Sorrow Together by Ashleigh Slater is a good book of encouragement and challenge for every one of us because we have or will deal with sorrow, grief, loss, and fears. The author attempts to prepare us and guide us through these trials through sharing several of her own personal stories as well as some of her friends. The stories show a wide variety of experiences of suffering and sorrow.

In each story, Slater vulnerably shares her weaknesses and how community helped her and gave her strength. The book continually reminds the reader of the important role our friends, church community, and those around us have in our lives and how this is particularly helpful when dealing with hard times.

There is advice for being a supporter as well. Advice including what to say and what not to say and how to be a help and serve. The book also acknowledges how each of us responds to hard times in different ways, but despite the different personal needs we have, the answer always comes back to community and those around us in support.

Throughout the book, Slater not only shares her own experiences, but stories from Scripture that are similar in terms of loss, suffering, failures, and fears. This is a great book for someone who has recently gone through or is currently going through a loss. It is also a great book or someone who has a heart for those going through hard times. It is easy to read, the stories are engaging, and there is much there to make one think and grow as a believer.  (Mike)
 
You can find this book at Amazon.
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.



Come Let Us Adore Him

Every year, I feel the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas passes by more quickly. I’m sure it is because I seem to cram more and more in those few weeks each and every year. Even to a believer, the focus of Christmas becomes gifts, decorations, concerts, dinners, and get-togethers. I need a tool to help me take time to not lose my focus on what is most important.
Paul David Tripp is well-known as an author and speaker. As a pastor, I’ve benefitted from several of his books including Dangerous Calling, Awe, and Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands. His new Advent season devotional, Come, Let Us Adore Him, is a great choice to help you focus on what is most important this holiday season.
 
The format is similar to another good devotion book he has produced titled New Morning Mercies.
 
He shares some perspective and some thoughts to help the reader get their mind on Christ. Then, there is a short Bible passage to read and reflect. I appreciate this, as while Tripp writes well and shares good wisdom and insight, he doesn’t leave it there, but challenges the reader to dig in this short passage on their own. My hope is that the reader would do that. I could see that being an easy thing to skip over during busy days, but that requires one’s own personal discipline. This requires a little more commitment than the average devotion book that provides the reader with a nice thought. This book challenges you to think on your own.
 

Something he added for this book is one of its best features. For those with families, including children of any age, there is an added paragraph to encourage discussion. It begins with a “central theme” and then there are some suggested questions. The discussions are great and will be very helpful for one who leads their family through them helping each in their family have a deeper understanding of Christmas.

Anything that can help me refocus on the “right things” at Christmas and during the days leading up is something that I need and this book provides that assistance and from a clear God-centered perspective pointing the reader to the glory of God. I highly recommend using this tool this month of December. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway Publishers in exchange for an honest review.   (Mike)
 
You can find this book on Amazon


He Is Our God

I’m excited to introduce a new song this weekend. The title is

He Is Our God, and it will be released publicly this Friday, Nov 17, on Sovereign Grace’s new recording, Prayers of the Saints Live.

Who can light the fires
Of a thousand burning suns
Blazing in the heavens?
There is only One
He is our God
 

This song declares the Kingship of our creator God. It reminds us of His power over all and the ultimate act of power and grace that saves us.

Romans chapter 5 beginning at verse 12 reads:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many…Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Rom 5:12-17)

Holy, You alone are holy
Matchless in Your glory, holy God

 

I hope you enjoy the song and take some time to listen to it a few times to get to know it before we sing together on Sunday morning.

Keep worshiping!



Biblical Foundations for Global Missions

The 9Marks “Building Healthy Churches” series is such a great set of books for churches. Each book is small and concise—something you can give as assigned reading to even the busiest of leadership teams and find that they enjoyed the reading assignment. Better yet, it is good reading for anyone including congregation members and not just church leaders.
 

“Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global” continues this tradition. The entire book is based in the Biblical foundations of missions. The key goal of global missions is bringing God glory. Many other mission books begin with the need for the lost to be found, the opportunities for serving, the call for workers to the harvest. None of these are bad things, but missions is about bringing glory to God. Glory to God as the lost is found. Glory to God as lives are changed—both those being served, and those who are doing the serving.

The book helps to define missions and missionaries as many things seem to be called missions. The book challenges churches and church members how to support missionaries as we develop a Biblical mission strategy for our churches and live out the Great Commission.

As in each of the “Building Healthy Churches” series books, pastors and church leaders will find the information most relevant and useful, but any believer will find the information helpful and challenging as we are all called to lead from our own place in leadership. I highly recommend this book to anyone to get a good understanding of Biblically-based missions.  

I received a copy of this book from Lifeway Publishers in exchange for my honest review here. (Mike Fischer)