Thursday, June 19, 2008

Like Ointment Poured Forth

The other day, as I was listening to another one of Eric Ludy's online discipleship sessions, he read from a list he had compiled containing dozens of Names for Jesus Christ found in Scripture. It was such a powerful experience to hear the names of my Lord read "like ointment poured forth!"

This morning, to start out my prayer time, I played the audio clip again - twice! - kneeling before my Savior and worshipping Him for who He is as each name was declared. It was an incredibly moving experience. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of Christ's character and the depth of Person He possesses. He is truly worthy of all glory, all honor, all praise...

If you want to recieve a blessing and draw closer to the heart of God, click here to listen to names of my Beloved proclaimed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Recommended Listening

Since I shared reading suggestions yesterday, I thought today I'd pass on some dynamic musical recommendations! I just received two new CDs this week that are absolutely gorgeous! Both come from my favorite music group, the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team, which can be found online at I have nearly all of their CDs and can recommend each one heartily!

The CD, Gentle Voice, is a collection of vocal and instrumental songs performed by Matt and Christy Taylor. It is so beautiful it gives me goosebumps when I listen to it! Click on the song titles to hear a short audio clip played.

Gentle Voice

We Rejoice In All Your Ways

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

The CD, How Firm A Foundation, contains both lively and soothing instrumental arrangements, many of which are played with a distinct Irish flair (much to my delight)! See what you think!

How Firm A Foundation

Before the Throne

Love Divine All Loves Excelling

Saved By Grace

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Books That Are Worth the Read!

There is a common quote that I have often heard - "You'll be the same person five years from now except for the people you meet and the books you read." I believe there is a lot of truth to that statement. There is a certain power that a book can wield over a person; a distinct influence for better or for worse that it can have. Books can shape our thoughts, inspire our actions, help cultivate our dreams, enlighten our understanding, teach us many things, and serve as cozy companions on chilly winter nights or lazy summer days. Books feed the mind and the soul; therefore, how vitally important that what we are feeding our minds and soul be food of which our Heavenly Father would approve!

Of course, the most important Book of all time is the Bible; the very Word of God which has been carefully preserved and enlivened by His Holy Spirit. It is living, it is powerful. It contains an answer, an encouragement, an example for our every need. Most importantly, it reveals the very heart of our Creator, our Savior, our Heavenly Bridegroom. We should read it daily, cherish it as a sacred love letter, seek to know Him in every paragraph, derive strength from its life-giving exhortations, and couragously live out His Word in our lives.

In addition to the Bible, if any of you are looking for some engaging and inspiring summer reading, here are the promised book reviews of my recent readings that you might like to consider:

For those of you who are familiar with the ministry of Voice of the Martyrs, the name Sabina Wurmbrand might ring a bell. Sabina is the wife of the late Richard Wurmbrand, Romanian pastor and later the founder of Voice of the Matryrs. Though Sabina herself is no longer living, her story lives on to inspire us all.

The Pastor's Wife is the account of Sabina's life as Richard's wife in Communist Romania during a time when Christians were being severely persecuted. Both Sabina and Richard were imprisoned for their faith several different times, not always knowing if one another were living or dead until years later. Despite the extremely trying times they faced and the excruciating pain, they clung to the Lord, remaining faithful to Him and to each other even during years of separation.

I must admit, this book was not an easy one to read. The accounts of Sabina's suffering are not pleasant descriptions, but they are the real experiences of persecution that many Christians around the world experience daily. Her story is one of a real-life woman whose faith in an extraordinary God kept her going when life was at its bleakest points. I was greatly challenged as a result of this book to pray for strength of faith in my own life, especially should I ever be called upon to suffer for Christ's sake as Sabina did. I also came to a renewed gratefulness for the freedoms we enjoy in this country called America.

When the book, Do Hard Things, by twins Alex and Bret Harris, was first announced on their website as a work in progress, my interest was piqued. Their message fascinated me and I looked forward to reading the final product.

Let me just say that the book totally exceeded my expectations! The subtitle, "A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" is the bottom line of the Harris twins' eloquent challenge to the young people of this generation. Rather than live according to the culture's expectations for being lazy, unproductive, and obsessed only with video games and immorality, Alex and Bret send out a call for young people to join them on the mission of living as an example of the believer in their youth (1 Tim. 4:12) in every way possible. Their book details practical ideas for walking with God, building character, learning life skills, striving for quality work, and amazing the world in the process!

Even though I am not a teenager any more, I found this book to be incredibly refreshing and just as inspiring for a 23-year-old. :) The Harris brothers embody and proclaim our motto at Maiden's Quest Ministries - "On a quest for God's best" - only they do it from a guy's perspective...which is so rare...and so appreciated. Young people who are truly serious about living for God will eat this book up! It will build your vision in an incredible way. Let's not be afraid to do hard things, but pursue challenges with enthusiasm!
The Harris brothers' website can be found online at

Good fiction is one of my favorite things to read! But it's hard to find good fiction that isn't completely focused on gushy romance. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against a wholesome love story that is God-honoring and a balanced part of a good story. I just have a problem with all the "Christian fiction" books out there that revolve the entire novel around a passionate romance that has the potential for feeding discontentment in a girl's life.

With that said, let me tell you about a fictitious series of books that is worth the read! I just recently finished the book, Dream of Love, which is the third and final volume in the American Dreams series - a historical fiction series by Michael Phillips that has become one of my all-time favorites! Set in the time period of the Civil War, these books interweave several intruiging plots that will keep you on the edge of your seat as well as numerous engaging characters with whom you will laugh and cry! Besides being incredibly well-written, I especially appreciate the spiritually enriching content of these books. Author Michael Phillips causes the reader to draw closer to God and rejoice in His ways right alongside the characters one is reading about.

The story of this series ultimately focuses on a particular Christian family in Viriginia who operate a sizeable plantation. When Richmond Davidson frees his slaves as a matter of conscience and instead hires them for wages as free workers, his action causes quite a stir throughout the South. Soon, the Davidson plantation becomes known as a station along the Underground Railroad where traveling passengers are always safe. Meanwhile, the Davidsons are dealing with issues such as conniving relatives, a prodigal son, an atheist friend, and the everyday joys and challenges of family life. They live in simple and complete devotion to God, while pointing all whom they come in contact with to the wonderful love of our Heavenly Father. Interwoven throughout the story are themes of freedom, justice, Christian conduct, family love, forgiveness, revival, generosity, and faith. There is a sweet romance that unfolds, several mysteries that are solved, and numerous Underground Railroad escapades that portray a realistic picture of American history.

I could go on and on about how edifying and delightful these books are, but I will instead encourage you to read them for yourself! The titles are Dream of Freedom, Dream of Life, and Dream of Love and can be found at most local libraries.

K.P. Yohannan, the founder of Gospel for Asia ministries and the author of dozens of books, has had a tremendous impact on my life. His books Revolution in World Missions and Road to Reality have given me a view of the harvest fields and an understanding of true discipleship that I am so grateful for!

In this book, Reflecting His Image, I was so encouraged and inspired to seek Jesus more, to pray more, and to live for His glory in every way possible. I highly recommend reading a chapter a day during one's morning quiet time or right before bed at night.
This is the kind of book that is so full of rich insights, I am going to have to go back and read it again and again to completely digest and apply all that is written in its pages!

You may have noticed that several quotes have been appearing on my blog of late from a book entitled, When God Writes Your Life Story. This is because I have found this book to contain incredible inspiration that is worth the sharing! :-)

Eric and Leslie Ludy are probably my favorite authors of all time. I have read almost all their books, and re-read certain titles on numerous occasions. There is a spiritual depth about the Ludys that is rare in today's modern version of Christianity. I never cease to walk away from one of their books or audio messages refreshed to the bottom of my soul, inspired to love my God more, and often, challenged to the core of my being to live for Him in every way. In addition to rare spiritual insight, the Ludys write with an engaging, colorful style that is truly fun to read! Their love for Jesus and love for each other and love for life spill out on every page.

In this book, Eric and Leslie challenge the reader to passionately pursue a God-scripted life by living in complete surrender to Him, by dreaming big, and not settling for less than God's best in any way. It is a book about adventure with God and living the set-apart life every Christian is called to.

If you're truly desirous to grow in your relationship with the Lord, not only do I encourage you to check out this book, but also, take some time to listen to Eric's incredible online discipleship sessions while you fold laundry or wash dishes. They can be found at:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Meditations from Job

Lately, I have been reading through the book of Job in accordance with my Bible college studies. In the midst of beautiful, and sometimes hard-to-understand poetic expressions from Job and his friends, there emerge many nuggets of glorious truth about the Lord and our relationship with Him! I encourage you to slowly read through each of the following verses, taking time to adore and worship our Creator-Father, for He is truly wonderful.

"He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength:
who hath hardened himself against Him and hath prospered?"
- Job 9:4

"God doeth great things past finding out; yea and wonders without number."
- Job 9:10

"Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about...Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favor, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit."
- Job 10:8, 11, 12

"In [the Lord's] hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind...With Him is wisdom and strength, He hath counsel and understanding."
- Job 12:10, 13

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him...He also shall be my salvation."
- Job 13:15-16

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
- Job 19:25-26

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept and not declined...I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."
- Job 23:10, 12

"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds...He holdeth back the face of His throne, and spreadeth His cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds...He divideth the sea with His power, and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud. By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens."
- Job 26:7-13

"All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils."
- Job 27:3

"He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth He forth to light."
- Job 28:11

"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding."
- Job 28:28

"The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me light."
- Job 33:4

Friday, June 6, 2008

Today's Reflection

"To know God, we must learn who He is, how He feels, how He thinks, and even how He acts. God is not at all like us in nature. He is completely "other than" us; or as the Bible says, God is holy. He is without fault, perfect in every way.

He is eternal, meaning He has no beginning and no end - He has always been and will always continue to be. He knows everything, is everywhere, and is in control of every detail from the workings of the infinitesimal quark to the movement of every star in every galaxy. But though He is all-powerful and could destroy the entire universe with a single glance, He is Love itself.

He is perfect peace, amazing grace, matchless joy, marvelous mercy, and boundless kindess. But though He tenderly and graciously lifted us from the jaws of destruction, He is a God of fierce fire and holy wrath. He hates sin and cannot, no matter the pain to our lives, allow it to remain in our souls. He is the truest justice, the most excellent righteousness, and the purest goodness. He is majestically patient, perfectly faithful, and passionately in love with His children.

He is more beautiful, more powerful, and more wonderful than any description that could possibly be mustered with the limited vocabulary of human beings. And such is the God we have only begun to know.

If you spend your lifetime becoming acquainted with the marvelous and breathtaking attributes of our amazing God, you will not have wasted even the smallest moment of time. It's a pursuit that will never end, even throughout eternity."

- When God Writes Your Life Story, by Eric and Leslie Ludy