Castle

 

Isn’t it time for us to take down our defenses and unlock the doors of heart? Isn’t it time for us to experience a greater level of love?

The heart is full of hidden chambers and rooms; like that of a castle. Each place reveals a facet of your beauty and essence. It holds your deep longings, dreams, and hopes. The very passions that make you come alive, flows through those passage ways. Only you hold the keys to your castle and you are the only one who can open its doors. No man can force his way in; nor will God thrust Himself into a place He is not welcomed. You are the gatekeeper to your heart.

Each one of us, have the choice whether or not we want to open up our heart to people and to God. Past experiences may have brought us pain causing us to bolt lock the doors and build a large rampart. We are now secure and protected from those who stand outside wanting to come in. Our castle will remain unthreatened, but it will become a damp and dreary place; lacking life and beauty. You will not be able to fully love and let someone fully love you. Yes, you will be safe and no one can hurt you, but the sting of fear will come back around to hurt you more greatly then any person could.

We have heard so many times that faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Taking a risk to open up your heart will increase your capacity to love, trust, and hope. We need to be willing to partner with God and trust Him with our keys. Paul states it clearly,

“and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20.

If we have truly surrendered to God then our precious castle is not even our own. But there needs to be an understanding that God in all His power, glory, & majesty will never force His way in. He is gentle and kind. He will knock on the doors of our castle, but we have to be willing to open up to Him.  We can be a passionate revivalists, but we still have our own free will. Our choices will dictate how open we will be with man and with God and our openness will reveal how much love we can receive and give. So, I ask you again, isn’t it time for us to take down our defenses and unlock the doors of heart? Isn’t it time for us to experience a greater level of love?

NKJV STUDY BIBLE Review

About This Bible

The NKJV Study Bible, Second Edition is the most comprehensive study Bible available! It has the most complete study system for pastors, teachers, or students who desire accurate study in God’s Word. Using the trusted New King James Version, The NKJV Study Bible has “the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor.” Thomas Nelson’s skilled team of scholars has produced the study system to reach for when accurate study in God’s Word is the goal.

Features include:

More than 15,000 verse-by-verse study notes 150 Bible times and culture notes 114 articles on key Bible doctrines 350 word studies with Strong’s numbers “Christ in the Scriptures” feature Topical index Deluxe Nelson concordance Full-color maps

My Review

Well, to be truthful it’s not my review but my friend’s. I hope you enjoy this:

I’ve really enjoyed this Bible. The binding seems nice and strong, which is important when you’ve had Bibles where they come apart or pages fall out after a few years. As a study Bible it has some really great tools. There are charts in the back such as prayers of the Bible, the parables of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus, a subject index, prophecies about the Messiah and their fulfillment. I’ve loved reading through those.

And one of my personal favorites are the short cultural commentaries in the text, they give great nuggets of information. I wish there were more! My only qualm about this Bible so far is that with so reference letters and annotation numbers, it gets hard to tell them apart from the actual verse number. So I’ve been reading and I see a number and it takes a moment to figure out if it’s a verse number or something else because there are so many and they look alike. Maybe the verse numbers could’ve been in bold. But not the biggest problem, and other than that, I love it!

I received this book/bible for free for my honest review.

Punderdome

I was super excited to change things up and review a game verses my usual book reviewing. I thought Punderdome would be a fun and something different. When it arrived I looked through the cards and directions and were a little shocked. I was shocked by how hard it would be able to play. I did what the instructions indicated grabbed two cards and tried to make a pun in 90 seconds. Uhhh yeah not easy! But I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt. About a month ago my friends came over and we decided to play some board games. After awhile I pulled out punderdome and it was an instant flop. We literally played two times and called quits since it was to hard to come up with random puns like that. I will probably never bring it out again for a game night. Really disappointing, glad I got it for free to review. Otherwise I would be returning it.

I received Punderdome for free through Blogging For Books program for my honest review of the product.

NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible

About this Bible:

The Bible that allows you to study Scripture in the order of events as they happened

The Chronological Study Bible presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order – the order in which the events actually happened – with notes, articles, and full-color graphics that connect the reader to the history and culture of Bible times. It is the only NKJV study Bible arranged in chronological order.

Features include: •The entire NKJV text with translators’ notes, arranged in chronological order, provides absorbing and effective Bible study •Full-color illustrations of places, artifacts, and cultural phenomena give the reader a dramatic, “you are there” experience •Fascinating articles connect the Bible text to world history and culture •Daily Life Notes explain how people lived in Bible times •Time Panels and Charts show the flow of Bible history •In-text and full-page color maps of the biblical world assist study

Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles

Chronological Study Bibles sold to date: More than 400,000

My Review:

First off I have never seen or used a chronological Bible before. I was excited to see it was offered to review so I could learn more about it. And I have to say this Bible is beautiful! It is chockfull of colorful photos and pictures. The pages are designed to look old. This Bible is broken down into 9 Epochs (Epoch: a period of time in history or a person’s life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics.) Throughout the pages you will find commentary and these little sections that will give insight to Biblical history and culture. Fantastic for the person who loves to geek out on Bible stuff, which pretty much sums up me.

It is of course a study Bible so it’s big. I know some people love big Bibles and some don’t. I personally do and have no problem lugging one around to church services. But most people would use this only in study time or in daily reading. I would use it for all 3.

In the back the glossary and concordance are huge! Probably the largest I’ve seen in a study Bible. Very helpful for studying when you don’t pull out all the big books out to look things up. Overall an amazing Bible and I am looking foreword to using it.

I received this Bible for free for my honest review.

Culture of the Few Giveaway and Review!

Culture of the Few by Brad Mckoy

 I was blessed to receive an email from Brad McKoy last month to review his new book Culture of the Few. As an avid reader, I go through many Christian growth books in a year. The thing that stood out to be is that this book is such a timely word to the church right now. So, many times we think bigger is better, or more extravagant is the way we change the world for God. But Culture of the Few blows our idea of how things should look and work. Mckoy brings it all back to Jesus and His disciples as our key examples on how to be agents of change. For me, personally God has been speaking to me about these very things and it was such confirmation when I read through the book. As a minister, it’s so easy to get caught up doing and going. I have seen this in my own life and the lives of church leaders I have known. This book was such a reality check of getting back to the simplicity of the gospel and reaching out to those around us in our everyday life.

 McKoy breaks down the book into 5 clever sections: Identity, Invitation, Intentionality, Intercession, and Intimacy. He hits on the basics, but then expands and brings to light certain scriptures that really begin to get you thinking. There is a lot of things that really popped out to me in these sections. I will share just a few that really spoke to my heart.

I learned in the Invitation section about the greek word for household “oikos” a.k.a “Pocket of People.” It’s like I never really understood what Jesus was saying in Luke 10 about the disciples having their peace rest on a home until McKoy shed light on what it really meant. They were impacting a family, a “few” that would impact the whole town! That just blew my mind. The following chapter there is this huge revelation on how God has called us to be fishers of men, not just to cast the net to catch fish, but also to mend the nets. Mckoy then begins to expand on both casting and mending nets. One last thing is I loved his section on Intercession, it so spoke to my heart on everything the Lord has been speaking to me about prayer and intercession just recently! I wrote out a teaching two weeks ago on the topic and McKoy just confirmed so much. It really blessed me. I don’t want to give too much away. My goal is just to wet your appetite a bit on this great book!

GIVEAWAY
With all that said, Kairos (the ministry I work at) has connected with Brad McKoy to host a giveaway bundle of his newest book, workbook, and journal! All you have to do is click the photo below to take you to the giveaway page!

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The Prime by Kulreet Chaudhary

About the Book:

Integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary discovered a beautiful side effect to the eating and lifestyle tools she gave her brain patients–spontaneously shedding excess pounds. In this, her first book, she shows us how to sharpen the brain, and smarten and heal the gut. Weight gain is not about the food, but about the body’s environment. Excess weight is a result of the body being in a toxic, inflammatory state. If your body is not prepared or ‘primed’ for weight loss, you will fight an uphill biochemical battle.  Her program is not about what you can’t have or do, it’s about adding simple teas and herbs, and succeeding without giving up any foods you love. With The Prime, Dr. Chaudhary has reverse engineered our way of eating, so we can stop dieting backward and start losing weight instead. You’ll learn:

–The importance of neuroadaptation, food addiction, and the brain (or, why your brain and gut have made it so hard to lose weight in the past!)
–Why it’s not about what you eat, but what you digest
–How to determine if you have a Leaky Brain—and what The Prime can do about it (hint: everything)
–How to easily crush cravings (no willpower required), ignite energy and fat, and biohack your lifestyle habits.

Lastly, you’ll learn how to live fully Primed, the secrets of the Super-Primed, and when you’re ready to explore new foods, how to eat according to your unique constitution.

PREPARED TO LIVE AT YOUR PRIME?

My Review:

Dr. Chaudhary really opened my eyes to the importance of gut health and how it plays a key role in overall health and your mental strength. I have researched gut health and knew some of the importance but her insight on how our tummies are part of our thinking and brain. That blew me away. Chaudhary stays close to her roots in her ayurvedic cleanse. I really liked her recommendations and I do think I have a lymphatic issue after all that she wrote about. I would say my favorite parts of the book were the first half, the second half not so much. It was a little hard to get past her push for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. She did do well not pushing on us. But her whole this is the healthiest way to eat is not fully scientific. There is research both ways for meat eaters and none. It really just depends on your body. Anyways, I hope to try the Prime within the next couple of weeks. It will be an easy process for me since I am really familiar with ayurvedic medicine. For those who are not it will be much more difficult. I received this book for free from the publishers for my honest review.

The Comeback by Louie Giglio

About The Book:

Have you ever longed for a comeback?

We all know what it feels like to have life disappoint us and not work out as we’d hoped. We all know what it’s like to long for something different, something better, something more.

The Comeback celebrates new beginnings. It offers encouragement and perspective, and it’s for you if you feel frustrated or confused, if you’re sorrowing or in pain, if you’ve made mistakes or are grieving, if you’re disappointed or feel as though life doesn’t make sense.

The good news is that God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people. He gives hope to the hopeless. Direction to the directionless. Help to those who need help. God is always good, all the time, and God’s plans will always prevail, even when our plans don’t.

God already knows what the solutions are. No matter what kind of disappointment or grief or pain or trouble or heartache you encounter, God always offers a new beginning, a change of heart, or a powerful spiritual turnaround. God offers the way forward, and his pathways are always good.

Your current circumstances will not get the final say in your life. God is the God of the comeback, no matter what kind of challenge you’re facing.

And your story can become a great comeback story too.

My Review:

Louie Giglio shares a lot of stories about individuals and characters of the Bible that had great comebacks. It really does encourage you in your faith that you are not defeated, that God is with you and will help turn things around. I have gone through a lot in this past season and it was uplifting in this time to realize I am not the only one who has gone through stuff, and that no matter what God is faithful. I love how Giglio doesn’t shy away from stories that are painful and always brings back to Jesus. His writing style is clean and easy. I would recommend this book to anyone who has gone through hardship and needs to be reminded that God is faithful and that comeback is coming.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words written are my own and have not been swayed by the publisher or author

 

Rooted by Banning Liebscher

I have had the great honor and privilege to have Banning as my youth pastor and overseer in my 2nd and 3rd of School of Ministry, now I have the honor to review his book Rooted. He truly is walking example of his book. Rooted really ministered and encouraged me in the season I am in right now in my growth and ministry. To be honest it really gave me courage. It was such a reminder to me to keep steady, stay on course, and remember what is truly important. It’s not what usually man looks at. I’m going to be real this isn’t a light read, it’s real. It’s about what it truly means to follow Jesus. What it looks like and how it feels.

As for Banning’s writing style it’s is crisp and to the point, but what kicks it out of the park is his revelation of scripture and illustrations. They bring to life Biblical truths in a way you take to heart and apply to your life. He opens with several chapters that bring you into 3 sections; Soil 1: Intimacy, Soil 2: Serving, Soil 3: Community. He makes it clear that we need to cultivate those 3 soils in our life if we want to be rooted and have fruit that will last.

Overall an incredible book that I would recommend to any believer. Thank you for writing it Banning!
I received an advance reading copy for my honest review.

Make Up Sponges

I got these makeup sponges to try. I have never used any other kind of makeup sponges. I liked how they blended and felt, but during the first week it already ripped. So, I haven’t used it often because of that. I tried putting the amazon link in this review but apparently it’s no longer there.  I would not recommend this product. I’m sure there is way better make up blenders out there

http://goo.gl/1gRmDR

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