Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Review: Awaken by Terry Nance

Subtitle: Letters of a Spiritual Father to This Generation

               Pastor Terry Nance has penned 13 letters to the generation who will very soon lead the church for the Lord. Although he speaks to younger Christians, I found the messages relevant to those of my generation who desire to serve God.

               I especially liked an observation Terry made; “If all you do is complain about your circumstances, then all you will have is more circumstances to complain about,” This touched me in my heart.

               Pastor Nance writes from his heart. In the preface, he says he is going to be very real in these letters. In them, he deals with such topics as what is the definition of leadership. God took him to Hebrews 11:32-38. He states that after he read it, “The Holy Spirit stopped me, and said, ‘You asked Me for My definition of leadership. There it is—men and women ‘of whom the world [is] not worthy.’” (Hebrews 11:38.
               Another feature of his book is the way he sets important points apart from the general text. When I saw the set-apart sections, I knew he had something important to tell his readers.

               I recommend this book to any mentoring pastor who has a congregant who believes God has called them to His service. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to grow closer to the LORD.

               I received this book free of charge from Whitaker House publishers through the Book Club Network. All they asked of me was that I give an unbiased review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Look to the Interests of Others

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“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
 but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
 Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
 but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:3-4 (NIV)

               This passage, written by Paul, speaks of attitudes God’s children display as they go through life on earth. The Apostle lists attitudes that he must have seen in people of his time.

               “selfish ambition” Ambition can be good—as long as we do not put ourselves ahead of the others around us.

               “vain conceit” As a teenager, I heard of kids saying that someone was conceited. It was an observation told about the attitude of another person.  When someone used this word it was an evaluation of the other person’s make-up that told of some selfishness seen in their lives.

               “humility” When we learn that we have habits that are viewed as not liked by God and we admit we have them and strive to eliminate them, we become humble in His eyes.

               “own interests, interests of others.” I once heard an older woman state an acrostic for the word joy: Jesus, Others, Yourself. Our own wants, likes, and dislikes are to come last.

               What do we see in the 21st Century? I see people striving to live for God; however, I also see people acting in selfish ways. Yes, conceit is still around.

               What can we do to live how God wants us to live?

Monday, September 19, 2016

In Humility Consider Others

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”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.”
Phil. 2:3-4 (NIV)

               Paul gives us some very basic thoughts here. We should not think how conditions affect us. We should place the feelings of others ahead of our own. He tells us we should do this with humble hearts.

               The last sentence of this passage speaks to my heart. It tells me I should not allow my thoughts about other people’s needs, attitudes, or conditions color my perspective as I try to minister to them.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...