Friday, June 24, 2011

Streetwalking with Jesus

Book:  Streetwalking with Jesus
Author:  John Green

For over two decades John Green's vocation has been ministering to inner city men on the margins of society in downtown Chicago.

Green didn't set out to be another Dorothy Day or Mother Teresa, and would be quick to tell you he hasn t become one. A product of middle class, church-going comfort and values, he heeded God's challenge to found Emmaus Ministries, which serves some of the modern-day lepers that are in our midst. Struck by the words of Micah 6:8 and the act of a homeless man who gruesomely ended his life in Green's presence, Green vowed to constantly ask himself: How can I live justly? To whom do I show mercy? How may I walk humbly with God?

Deacon Green's lessons learned regarding these hard questions are set against stories of men who struggle to escape poverty, addiction, and sexual sin while encountering Christ in the process. But this book is much more than the account of how one ministry combats a social problem to which most of us wish to remain blind. It is about finding joy in service to others and experiencing love in reaching out to the suffering, all under the shelter of God's unconquerable, abiding love.

Yes, Streetwalking with Jesus will sober you, but with links to evocative songs, a scripture selection to reflect upon, discussion questions, and a prayer at the end of every chapter, you ll come away challenged and inspired to live a deeper, more missional life.

First Line;  Meeting & walking with male prostitues might seem far from the road to Emmaus that Jesus walked after his resurrection.

"Under the Overpass" is one of my favorite books so when I saw this title & knew it was a story about a Christian going into the streets to help the homeless, I was intrigued.  I didnt realize it was a story of a man who had a heart mainly to help men in prostitution... I didnt even realize that existed.  I learned about myself that I am in the group of "learned blindness" that the author talks about...

This book is really great.  First - it touches in 3 different sections on Micah & how we are to act justly, love mercy & to walk humbly with our God... & it breaks it down into how this man is doing it in his mission to help these people that see no God in their life.

Its an easy to read book, in the sense that its an "everyday" kinda talk.  Like you can imagine this man sitting down & telling you these stories face to face... not easy in the sense that some of these stories are TOUGH.

I especially love at the end of every chapter, there is a moment to stop... reflect.... John's wife is a musician & she has written songs that you can go & listen to after each chapter... & there are scriptures or quotes that reflect on the thought of that chapter... then questions for you to reflect personally.  Because of that - I think it would be a great "study" for college kids - those who are ready to change the world.

This is a book that I wrote down MANY MANY quotes from as well... powerful thoughts... (that is one reason why I have started using Goodreads.  You can write down quotes there)

My Rating:  5 skeins ... was going to give it a 4, but the end of the chapter reflections made me go ahead & give it a 5

Last:  Perhaps God is begging us to remain.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Heaven Revealed - with a GIVEAWAY!!!

Book:  Heaven Revealed
Author:  Paul Enns

Not one of us has been there.  But we all have questions about it.  Where is heaven?  What will we do there?  Who will we know? How do we get there? 

These questions & more are what Heaven Revealed was written to answer.  In this personal & biblical study of heaven, Paul Enns draws upon Scripture to answer our questions about life beyond the grave.

Whether you wonder about a loved one now in heaven or are curious about your own future destination, Heaven Revealed will help with any fears you might have about the lift to come.  You'll discover that heaven isnt far away.  That your new body will be much improved - & new!  And that actually being in heaven is a far cry from floating in the clouds.
First Line;  After I had parked the car, Helen & I walked to the sanctuary, holding hands as we always did when we walked together.

The topic of Heaven always interests me.  I know Randy Alcorn had a big book about Heaven that was popular... which I did not personally care for.  So I was leery going into this one.

I have to say - I was very impressed with this book.  Mainly because it is totally based off Scripture.  And while a lot of things are repeated in this book with the same scriptures, it applies to all the questions that are asked.  The book is broken up into different questions for each chapter - like "What is the Transition to Heaven"  - "What will life be like in Heaven" - "What kind of Body will we have"... & in each chapter, it is broken down with answers that are all based on scriptures... so yes, some of the scriptures apply to different chapters.

For me- its an easy read - easy to understand with personal touches in it.

This is a topic that really, when it comes down to it - something we'll never know until we're there.  And until then, its all based on faith... but its good to be reminded on what God's word says about it.

One of my favorite quotes though from the Bible really made me look differently at death:

"God prevented Adam & Eve from eternal sinfulness by giving them the gift of death, the ability to exist this life & arrive safely in the wondrous life to come.  Death, though it would appear to be man's greatest enemy, would in the end, prove to be his greatest friend.  Only through death can we go to God"

Isnt that a different view?

I was lucky enough to be given an extra book to give away.  So if the topic of Heaven interests you, then all you have to do is comment.  I'll leave it open until the end of June & then draw a name...

My rating:  3 skeins ... only because it got a little too repetitive & also because some of the questions, they personally didnt hold my interest.  That's just my personal taste.  Those questions may be exactly what someone else is searching for....