Fan or Follower?

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Fan or Follower? What does it mean to really follow Jesus?

Do you ever go through phases where you feel God is working on you about several things at once? That’s how it’s been for me lately. Among my latest introspections, I’ve been wondering: when it comes to Jesus, am I a fan or a follower?

Fans like Jesus.

Texas is full of Jesus fans. They sport the honk-if-you-love-Jesus bumper stickers. They wear the fish and cross t-shirts. They go to church faithfully; they love the fellowship. They speak fluent Christianese.

The fans aren’t doing anything “wrong.”

They’re just doing what other fans, what their families, and what their friends, expect them to do.

But being a follower requires a level of commitment the fans haven’t made.

Followers love Jesus.

Followers wear Jesus on their lives instead of on their cars and clothes. They go to church to worship, not just for a check mark on the attendance roster. They enjoy fellowship, but to them fellowship is more about people and relationships than it is about having a thriving social life. Even when their spouses thinks they’re crazy, their parents disapprove, and their friends smirk behind their backs, followers remain devoted.

It’s easy for me to be enthusiastic about being a Christian.

My whole support system — my family, my friends — would be disappointed if I suddenly broke ties and let it all go. But what if that weren’t the case? What if, in my social sphere, the idea of Jesus was taboo?

Fan or Follower? Can I really call myself a follower of Christ?

In his book Citizen (thought-provoking read!), author Rob Peabody gives the hypothetical scenario of an all-around good guy he calls Frank. Frank goes to church, works hard, provides for his family, and is involved in a home group with his wife and kids. Outsiders would say Frank was a great family man, a good neighbor, and a man of integrity. The author goes on to say, “But when you start digging deeper, below the surface, most of the things Frank does are either cultural norms, or what he would be doing anyway. . . . He knows where he is going when he dies, is raising his children in the church, and along the way is trying to be the best Frank he can be. . . . Frank is trying to live the ‘Western dream’ and bring Jesus along for the ride as well.”

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Technically, we know Jesus should be at the core of our lives. Even so, how often are we guilty of just bringing Him along for the ride?

Do I make choices based on a deep love for Jesus and my neighbors, or do I make them based on the “good Christian image” I want to present?

If I weren’t a Christian, would I still be pretty much the same person I am now?

Often, wholesome choices and actions come with blessings attached regardless of a person’s motivations. But I want to go deeper in Christ; I want to know God intimately; I don’t want to live by what-would-Jesus-do decisions just because that’s what’s socially acceptable among my peers. I want to know that if all others fall away from God, I’ll still cling to Him with all my heart.

God, help me be a follower and not just a fan!

Okay, I’ve shared what’s on my mind! Feel free to share your own thoughts and comments. :)

Images: DollarPhotoClub

 

 

 


Book Review & Giveaway: Their Name is Today by Johann Christoph Arnold

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Book Review & Giveaway: Their Name is Today by Johann Christoph Arnold

The Book

Despite a perfect storm of hostile forces that threaten to deny children a healthy, happy childhood, courageous parents and teachers can turn the tide. Yes, we can reclaim childhood, says Johann Christoph Arnold, whose books have helped more than a million readers through the challenges of education and family life. In Their Name is Today, he highlights drastic changes in the way society treats children. But he also brings together the voices of dedicated parents and educators who are finding creative ways to give children the time and space they need to grow. Cutting through the noise of conflicting opinions, Arnold takes us to the heart of education and parenting by defending every child’s right to the joy and wonder of childhood.

My Thoughts

This book was a quick, easy read, and it was full of important ideas that society would do good to consider. The book’s premise was that children are one of humanity’s most valuable assets, yet they are often ignored, overlooked, undervalued, and forced to grow up too fast. It offered considerations about why some children misbehave, about the affect of excessive technology on children, and about how as parents and teachers we should live out what we teach — in addition to many other things.

I didn’t agree one hundred percent with every single aspect of the book, but I wholeheartedly recommend this book for parents and teachers, especially if the children in your life are young. The younger they are, the more time there is to make important changes that might positively impact them for the rest of their lives.

Don’t miss the Rafflecopter form below where you can enter for a chance to win this book!

Purchase the book or request a free copy for review.

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About the Author

Book Review & Giveaway: Their Name is Today by Johann Christoph Arnold

People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over a million copies of his books in print in more than twenty languages. A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, education, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years.

GIVEAWAY:

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. An email address is required but will be used only in the event that you win the prize. I do NOT retain email addresses, and I will never send you an email without your permission. Drawing is Tuesday, November 4th. Good luck!
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White Space

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WordSmith Blog: White Space

For over a decade, I longed for more time to write. That finally happened when I became a stay-at-home mom. And let me tell you, there are few things as euphoric as having the freedom to do what fulfills your heart.

And yet . . .

2014 has been a crazy year. From January until mid-October, I worked nonstop.

Each day, I woke up, tidied the house, and took care of the toddlers. After that, I wrote, read, researched, or strategized (in between toddler care & intentional quality time with them) every spare second of the day until I fell asleep. Weeks and months where deadlines loomed were overwhelming, but even so, I enjoyed every project I worked on. Often, I laid awake at night so excited about [insert current goal here] that I was unable to fall asleep for hours.

Healthy way to live? Not exactly.

But it’s been an exciting year. Fun. Full of anticipation and wonder.

Around mid-October, I met my last major writing deadline for the year. I also completed a project I was working on for the ladies at my church, and I finished a personal writing project. Suddenly, all that I absolutely had to keep up with were my assignments for Dainty Jewell’s and a few book review tours.

And you know what?

Now I feel antsy — as if each morning when I wake up I’m looking for that “big project” to work on that “has to be finished soon.” It’s like I have no clue how to savor the moment — like I don’t know what to do with myself without having four things that need to be done yesterday.

When I’m reading to my son or playing with him in the yard, I have to force my mind not to wander to all the things I should work on later, all the stuff I’ve obligated myself to, all my projects — even though there aren’t many of them right now. It’s like something in me wants to continue life at breakneck speed!

I’ve always been a busy person. I’m never bored, and I don’t like wasting time. But I don’t think I’ve ever been like this.

God wants us to have white space in our lives — time where it’s just us, the quiet, and Him. And I’m not even talking about daily devotional time. Because sometimes I treat that as if it’s one more thing on my to-do list. Prayer and Bible study are extremely important, but once they’re done, God wants us to remain in an attitude of prayer and devotion. He doesn’t want us to live the rest of the day at 120 mph letting all our “stuff” crowd out what really matters. Sometimes you can’t help the busyness, but it shouldn’t be the long-term norm.

I’ve written this quickly, so I don’t know how much of it makes sense. :) But it’s what’s on my mind lately, what God’s been dealing with me about: relationships (with others, with my family, and with Him) are more important than my goals, dreams, and ambitions, even as God-given as many of those are.

Have you ever had to slow down and be intentional about white space in your life? I know I’m just rambling today, but feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. :)


“The Bachelor” by Stephanie Reed — Giveaway

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Don’t miss Stephanie Reed‘s newest book in the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor. This compelling second book deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

Join Stephanie in celebrating the book’s release by entering her Kindle giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook launch party on October 28th!

The Bachelor, Stephanie Reed

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/9. RSVP for the Facebook launch party today for a chance to connect with Stephanie and Amish fiction fans and a chance to win some great prizes! Winner will be announced November 10th here.

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Book Review: “The Daughter of Highland Hall” by Carrie Turansky

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The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

The Book

The Daughter of Highland Hall / Book 2, Edwardian Brides / Waterbrook Multnomah, October 2014

What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor . . . what if it isn’t enough?

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the plot of this Edwardian novel. One of my favorite aspects of the story was the overbearing behavior of Katherine’s aunt. The characters were pleasant in general, and the whole idea of debutantes and their “coming-out” seasons was new to me. I liked learning about that aspect of history.

It just so happened that I read this book mostly at night during times I was downright exhausted. It may be for that reason that I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I expected to. There were several conversations between characters that I felt myself skimming over, mostly when the characters were relaying information to each other that the reader already knew. The bigger problem though, was that I didn’t feel the chemistry between Katherine and Jon, the male lead. To be honest, part of me wished Katherine would end up with Edward (ha!), though it was obvious that wasn’t the direction the story was going. :-)

All in all, it was a good read. Most Christian fiction readers would probably enjoy this book immensely. It is book two in a series, and I did not read book one. Who knows, if I had, that might have helped me enjoy this book more. :)

I give this book 3.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Carrie Turansky’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Carrie on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase the book.

About the Author

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has written contemporary and historical romances, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, and they have five adult children and four grandchildren.


Book Review & Giveaway: “The Sea House” by Elisabeth Gifford

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The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

The Book

Scotland, 1860.
Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together — a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home — but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

My Thoughts

I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the second half much more than I did the first. The book had both modern-day and historical aspects. To me, the historical story was more interesting. The writing was excellent all the way through; I just found the historical story more captivating. The setting (though it was the same in both contemporary and historical times) didn’t seem so dreary in the historical account.

There were two things that turned me off to this book: the use of profanity in one scene and the book’s pro-evolution slant. Reverend Ferguson, a Christian in the book, believes God used evolution to create the earth.

Even though the concept of evolution breaks multiple scientific laws, I understand why an atheist would want to believe in it. But I can’t comprehend why a Christian would try to make evolution fit with God and the Bible. It takes illogical and fantastic stretching of the written word to say the first two chapters of Genesis refer to evolution. If we can’t believe what the Bible says about God creating the universe in seven days (and yes, those are 24-hour days, not billions-of-years-long “days”), how can we believe what it says about salvation and forgiveness and grace and love? Why do we think it’s okay to pick and choose what we believe? Why believe any of the Bible if some of it is not true?

(I’ll get off my soapbox now.)   :-)

All that being said, it is logical that someone who believes in evolution would be more likely to believe in sea people and mermaids (as Reverend Ferguson did throughout most of the book).

The ending of this book was great — it wrapped up nicely — and the story kept me guessing in several regards. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if it were purely historical, as I loved that story line. I’m sure many people will absolutely love this book in its entirety; it just wasn’t the best fit for me.

I give this book 3.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Elisabeth’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Elisabeth on Facebook.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Elisabeth Gifford: The Sea House Review

Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She is the author of The House of Hope: A Story of God’s Love and Provision for the Abandoned Orphans of China and has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

GIVEAWAY:

Don’t miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford‘s haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!

E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth’s Blog.

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Watch the trailer:



Hardest Peace: Finding Hope in Depression

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This post is part of Kara Tippetts’ #HardestPeace blogger challenge. You can read a summary of her book The Hardest Peace and my book review here, as well get info on how to participate in the #HardestPeace blogger challenge.

The Hardest Peace Blogger Challenge

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving the year I turned twelve. Our church was small, and I’d been recruited to help teach Sunday school. I sat in the big comfy chair in my family’s living room reading the story of Noah from a teacher’s manual. All was comfortable in my world, but it would not be for long.

One moment I was lost in the teacher’s manual, and the next, a dark, horrible feeling engulfed me—an inexplicable hopelessness that gutted me emotionally. Fear wrapped around me like a straightjacket. Terrified, I locked myself in the bathroom and wept and prayed. I didn’t know what was wrong; I didn’t know what I was afraid of.

The unwarranted oppression did not leave—not that day, that week, or that month. Like a zombie, I ambled around in a fog of dread and apprehension. Fear’s hold was so strong that I was terrified to talk to anyone about what was happening to me—even my parents. I remember going to school one morning, sitting in class, and staring at the clock on the wall, on the verge of bursting into tears. It was 8 AM. How would I make it through the day?

I made it through that day and the next and the next. I dropped weight, but I mostly kept up the façade that I was okay. But I wondered: Would I ever be happy again? Would I always live in this prison of unfounded terror? Every day after school, I locked myself away and I prayed and cried.

Four months after it hijacked my life, the oppressive fog began to lift. It didn’t go all at once, but one day, I realized I was beginning to feel alive again. As if riding on the rays of the springtime sun, beautiful light begin to shine on what had become the black hole of my existence.

Whether it was severe depression spurred by preadolescent hormones or just an attack of spiritual oppression, I don’t know. My family was happy and healthy. In my twelve-year-old mind, the world was safe. My parents were diligent to keep spiritually detrimental influences out of our home. There is no easy answer for what happened to me. 

What I do know is that I can look back and praise God for His faithfulness. Though my nightmare didn’t miraculously disappear during a prayer session, I also never had suicidal thoughts. My grades didn’t slip at school. I never once doubted that God was real. I never had to depend on habit-forming medications.

Almost twenty years later, I’m happy to say I never experienced anything like that again. God has given me joy and a passion for life, and I revel in the beauty of His blessings. Still, I’ve never forgotten the very real terror of the emotions I felt, and over the years I’ve hurt for those struggling with depression.

As Spirit-filled believers, we can take our trials to God; He will break every chain. Even so, life sometimes detours us through the valley. Ask Elijah or Job, both who became so overwhelmed with life, they thought they’d be better off dead. In times like those, we can be comforted by the words of Paul:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Such a beautiful promise from Scripture! Does it mean God snaps His fingers and all our problems go away? No. God allows us to go through painful experiences because He cares more about our spiritual condition than He does our physical condition. Our physical bodies will return to dust, but our spirits will last forever. As unpleasant as it is, suffering often refines us spiritually (Job 23:10).

If you’re dealing with mental or emotional anguish, please talk to a pastor or trusted Christian mentor—and don’t underestimate the power of persistent prayer (see the story of the relentless widow in Luke 18:1-8). Don’t give up; God will bring you out of the valley!

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings” (Psalm 61:1-4).

#HardestPeace Blogger Challenge


Book Review & Giveaway: The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

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The Hardest Peace Book Review & Giveaway

The Book

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.

Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.

My Thoughts

I almost did not sign up for the blog tour for this book because I knew it would be hard to read. Parts of it were hard, but I’m glad I read it. Kara presented a balance of fear, faith, and grace in The Hardest Peace. It would do us all good to stop and consider her observations about life.

I try to live mindfully, appreciating and making the most of every moment. I’ve always realized how fleeting life is. To me, one of the worst possible things to imagine is to reach the end of life with nothing meaningful to show for it — wasted hours, selfish indulgence, and lack of appreciation for the blessings of God.

Even so, reading this book helped me to remember again to appreciate every precious moment of life. I get so caught up in working, I’m so driven to do more, more, more . . . and sometimes I feel guilty when I tell my son I can’t read to him right now or I don’t have time to dance in the kitchen. Reading this book reminded me that someday, I’ll treasure more memories of dancing in the kitchen with two-year-olds than I will memories of sitting in front of a computer screen.

The heart of this book was about peace in the hard times of life — the times that make absolutely no sense. It’s a beautiful message that I hope I remember when those hard times come.

This book is not a feel-good book; it did make me cry a time or two. But it’s not depressing, either. It’s full of hope and truth, and I hope anyone reading this review gets to read it. Kara’s story and inspiration is worth your time to know.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Kara’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Kara on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase the book.

About the Author

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippets

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality.

GIVEAWAY:

I have an extra copy of The Hardest Peace to give away. Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Your email address is required to enter, but it will not be used or retained other than to contact you if you win. Winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen. U.S. mailing addresses only, please.

Best wishes!

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Are you a blogger? Don’t miss this blogger challenge giveaway:

Kara Tippetts‘ brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life’s hard moments.

The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

    • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug

To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace. Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

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Book Review: “Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom” by Rob Peabody

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Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom

The Book

For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship ‘Awaken’.

In
Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It’s a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus’ death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this — setting things right in the world — through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

My Thoughts

Okay, so this book was totally hard to read — so convicting! I’m glad I read it though . . . Technically the concepts presented were familiar, but this book was eye-opening in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

Citizen questions the complacency of this age’s self-centered version of Christianity. There were many thought-provoking statements in this book, but one thing I remember specifically is a discussion about how so many of us are living good lives: we work hard, treats our families well, and try to do the right thing. But really, is that so different from how we’d live if we weren’t Christians? If I weren’t a Christian, I would still work hard, take care of my family, and try to do the right thing. Those values are part of who I am, even apart from being a Christian. Instead of Christianity (and Jesus) defining who we are, Christianity is a just another title, another obligation, another hobby we’ve tacked onto our lives.

At the heart of this book is a call to know and have a relationship with God rather than just knowing about Him.

You’d have to read the whole book to get the point — and I really think all Christians should. When read mindfully, this book will cause you to take a careful, painful look at yourself and your Christianity.

I’ll end with this quote from the book:

“Many of us attend church, celebrate Easter, get our children baptized, say a prayer before meals, have a favorite passage of Scripture, tick Christianity in the ‘religious beliefs’ section of a questionnaire, and might even attend a small group, but we don’t know King Jesus. There is a significant difference between association and relationship.”

I give this book 5 stars.

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Rob’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Rob on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase a copy of the book.

About the Author

Rob Peabody: Citizen

 

Previously the lead campus pastor at an American mega-church, Rob Peabody is now director of the Awaken Movement. He left his church in the Texas Bible belt to start and lead Fresh Expression, a church seeking to engage unreached 20’s and 30’s in northeast London.


If I Had More Lives to Live

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Does anyone else ever wish they had more than one life to live? For example, in my life I’m exploring my passion for writing. I’d love another life to pour myself into the piano and music, another to spend at school studying new things — or doing mission work — and another to try my hand at being The Crafty Mom — the one who does all the cute Pinterest projects, sews, homeschools, and is a great cook.  :-)

What Would You Do With More Lives to Live?

I’ve heard it said before that you can’t sit in two chairs — meaning, you can only devote yourself to one thing. If you try to give yourself to two passions, you’ll only frustrate yourself, and you’ll never be excellent at either one.

God has given me one life to live for Him and a passion to write, and I want to make the most of it — even if it means I’ll never be a fabulous piano player or have a house full of gorgeous DIY projects.

What Would You Do with More Lives to Live?

I’ve been so excited at the writing opportunities I’ve had since the end of 2013! I love writing Bible curriculum and blogging for a couple of different websites, as well as trying to keep my novel (slowly) going on the side. All that being said, my personal blog has been forced to lowest priority. Which makes me sad. :( My book reviews are keeping it alive, but that’s not all I had envisioned for this blog a year ago.

I do have the privilege of blogging weekly for Dainty Jewell’s, an online women modest apparel store. Dainty Jewell’s launched a brand-new blog website as of yesterday: the She’s Intentional blog at www.daintyjewellsblog.com. I am so excited about this launch! Because a lot of my blogging energy goes to Dainty Jewell’s, I wanted to share the link to the new site as well as a link to my launch day post. Some of you know I’ve been blogging about weddings on Wednesdays; from now on, I’ll be writing about a greater variety of topics (with some wedding stuff still thrown in the mix), and I’ll try to share them on the blog.

She’s Intentional: the Dainty Jewell’s Blog
Cranberry-Themed Weddings

Until next time —

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!