Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Garden by Kari Jobe: Review and a Giveaway!


"Premiere worship leader and songwriter Kari Jobe follows her Majestic live performance with a fresh studio album of vibrant new worship offerings! Intertwining anthemic songs of praise with more reflective moments, The Garden includes lead single "The Cause of Christ" plus "Heal Our Land," "Fall Afresh," and more. Deluxe Edition includes 3 bonus songs."-Product Description, Christianbook.com


Today I am giving away a copy of Kari Jobe's new CD, The Garden!  I have listened to this worship CD for a few days and it is very moving and soulful. There are lots of beautiful lyrics.

One of the things I really like about the lyrics is that The Father, Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are all mentioned in this CD.  They are all addressed and that is something that seems important to me.

The song list includes:

1.  The Garden
2.  Let Your Glory Fall
3.  Heal our Land
4.  Lover of My Soul
5.  Speak to Me
6.  Fall Afresh
7.  I Will Sing
8.  Miracles
9.  Closer to Your Heart
10.  Oh the Power
11.  The Cause of Christ
12   Here as in Heaven
13.  Come Alive
14.  On the Throne


The CD would be a good choice for your personal quiet time with God.  Two of my favorite songs are "Miracles" and "Here as in Heaven."  Below is a link to the video for "Miracles" from the new CD.

Capitol Christian Music Group sent me two copies of this CD, one to review, and one to giveaway!

To enter to win a copy of this CD, simply comment below.  I will randomly choose a winner from the comments and announce the winner on the blog on Saturday, February 11.

Many blessings on your journey with Jesus!

Beth

Congratulations Shawna!  You are the winner of Kari Jobe's new CD!  Please message me your address to bethlisteningtohim@gmail.com.  Blessings!!!




To learn more about the artist, visit her official website at http://karijobe.com/.


To hear a sample of songs on the album, visit Christianbook.com.  Or you can go to Kari Jobe's channel on YouTube.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

For the Work of the Ministry



And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
-Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV)

Every time I read or hear this passage of scripture, I think about when I worked at Ryan’s Steakhouse.  I was in my early twenties, and in college.  Waiting tables was fun for me because I got to do something I enjoy the most, talking.  I talked to people all day!
After I had been there a while, they made me a lead or head waitress.  That meant I trained new wait staff when they came in.  There was a format for how they did things in that restaurant, as I am sure there is in every restaurant.  Our main function was service.  We were there to serve and wait on the people, meeting their needs as they partook of a meal.
The same is true with the Kingdom of God.  Service is what we do.
Jesus said,
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
-Matthew 20:28 NLT 
As Believers, we are called to serve as well.
It seems to me that the office of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher is much like my position was as the lead waitress.  When new people become part of the staff, I train them to serve.  When new Believers become part of the Kingdom, those ministry gifts also train people and develop them in some way to serve.  Those ministry gifts have different responsibilities. But, no matter how you look at it, we are all serving.
The beginning of the verse says that those five ministry gifts are for the perfecting of the saints.  When I trained my staff, I had to make sure they did things the proper way.  I had been there longer.  I knew my way around, so I knew what to teach them and how.  
The verse goes on to say, “for the work of the ministry.” Ministry is service.  If you look up the word in the Greek, it is the word “diakonia.” One of the definition of that word literally means, “waiting at a table.”
Notice also that Jesus is the one who gives the gifts.  We don’t get to decide which one we are.  A few verses above this passage, it says “grace was given to each one us.” (Ephesians 4:7 HCSB) So, everybody in the Body of Christ has a gift to serve. Everyone has a place to fit.
Toward the end of this passage, it says that the work of the ministry is for the edifying of the Body of Christ.  The word edify means to “build up.” So, when we are all ministering, we are building the rest of the body up.  We are making it better than it was before.  That means we are not tearing it down.
One final thought.  When I was training wait staff, I was still waiting on tables too.  I was still meeting the needs of the people.  I didn’t just train people and then leave them to wait the tables. We all worked together to make sure the restaurant was functioning smoothly and that the people were served.  

Many blessings to you as you take your place,
Beth

To read more about serving in the Kingdom, check out my friend Heather's post, The Kingdom of God is Like an Applebees.



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn



"Come in! Come in, and know me better."
-Spirit of Christmas Present
from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens



"By beloved author Robin Jones Gunn, two timeless, heartwarming Christmas novellas bound together for the first time in an omnibus edition.


In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson's search for her father leads her unexpectedly to London with only a few feeble clues as to who he might be. Immediately welcomed into a family that doesn't recognize her, and whom she's quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can't bear to leave.

In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet … maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all."

-Book description courtesy of Faith Words.



It is always enjoyable to read a novel set during Christmas, at Christmastime.  I have wanted to read these two novellas for a while, so I am glad I finally got a chance.


There were many things I liked about these two books in one.  First, I liked the setting.  It was set in England, although in a fictional town.  The description of the place at Christmas was very warming and comforting. I have always wanted to visit England, and hopefully, one day I will have the chance.


Another part of the setting was the theatre and the Christmas play, a Christmas Carol.  I taught this play when I taught 7th Grade Language Arts.  It is a great story, a story of redemption, one I love to hear again and again. The author, Robin Gunn, found a way within the novellas to tweak the way the story was presented in the theatre and it made it most endearing.  It is also a central part of Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas.


Finally, I love the protagonist's journey, because at one point in life, it was my own journey too. In book one, while Miranda is searching for her real father, someone she only knows by an old photograph of him dressed in a Santa suit, she is also on a journey, to know the real Father Christmas and the Son, who is THE central figure in the stage of life.  In book two, Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda's story continues, as her hopes and dreams are revealed and God demonstrates He has good plans for her life.


I recommend this book for anyone who likes to read good stories at Christmas.  If you are a fan of Robin Jones Gunn, you will like this story too.


Many blessings this Christmas!


In Him,
Beth

***Just for fun, and since it is Christmas, I thought I would do a quick book giveaway!  If you would like to win a copy of this book, simply comment below with a favorite story, scripture, or memory you have of Christmas.  The winner will be drawn on Monday, December 19th.

Congratulations to Jen! You are the winner of the copy of Finding Father Christmas/Engaging Father Christmas omnibus edition!! If you could please email me your address to bethlisteningtohim@gmail.com, I will get your book in the mail!! Merry Christmas!

To read an excerpt from the book, you can go here to Amazon.

To learn more about the author, visit her webpage at


P.S.  Finding Father Christmas was made into a movie this year by the Hallmark Channel!   There is another showing on December 20th, so check it out!


Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher, Faith Words, in exchange for my review.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

31 Days of Healing: Peter's Mother-in-Law


Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. –Luke 4:38-41 (NKJV)

The writer of this Gospel is Luke.  Luke was a doctor.  I like to remember that when I am reading about healing in the Gospel he authored.  He would have been familiar with natural healing practices, but was not present during the accounts.  They were later relayed to him.
The healing of Peter’s mother in law takes place in Capernaum.  Jesus had just left the synagogue. So, it was the Sabbath.  Jesus repeatedly healed people on the Sabbath, even though it was a source of contention for the religious leaders, and I believe there is a reason for that.  But that is another post.
He goes to Simon Peter’s house and his wife’s mother was sick with a high fever.  We don’t really know what was causing the fever.  Modern medicine will usually say there is a cause for the fever.  The fever in and of itself is not the disease.  The author of this Gospel was a physician, and I assume as such, he would have been thorough and told us the cause, but he doesn’t.
Some also say that fever is a good thing, that is shows the body is working. But I think we should look at what the Bible says, and how Jesus felt about it.  The Gospel says he “rebuked the fever.” I looked up the word “rebuke” in the Greek and it is the word “epitimao.”  It means “ I rebuke, chide, admonish, warn.”  So, rebuking doesn’t seem to be favorable, right?  When he rebukes the fever-this means he was speaking to it-it leaves.  It, the fever, leaves.  Does that mean that Believers can speak to illness and it will leave too? Hmmm….
Instantly the woman was relieved and her body was restored to its normal state, so much so that she was able to serve them.  And she immediately did so.
Healings and miracles in the Gospels often precede other healings and miracles.  In the next passage of scripture it says,
When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
Key phrases to notice in this passage are “all those who had any that were sick”, “various diseases” and “He laid His hands on every one of them.” All the people that came to him and that were sick were healed.  They all didn’t have the same thing like Peter’s mother-in-law, a fever.  They had different diseases.  He laid his hands on every one.  Every one.  And healed them.  All of them. 

He is still healing.  He is the same yesterday today and forever.  And He still wants to heal them all.


To read more in the series go here:




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