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BONHOEFFER

    FAITH?….CONVICTION?….GOD’S WILL?…..PURPOSE?…..SURRENDER?….SACRIFICE?  These are the attributes explored in Eric Metaxas’ biographical account of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German martyr who gave his life to make a stand against the evil of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
In times of adversity, when being a Christian and taking action for your beliefs comes at a heavy price, men like Bonhoeffer reveal to us an example of a life lived for extraordinary purpose, and with extraordinary circumstances.  This book is a very detailed account of a brilliant and courageous life, a life that impacted millions and still holds relevant insight for the Christian of modern times.  It explores his passion for having a very intimate relationship with Jesus, and for teaching others how to separate from mere religious ceremony and regulation so that they could reach into the lives of others with purpose and compassion, and to make Jesus real and personable in everyday life.  It explores his thoughts on grace, and portrays how deeply a true understanding of God’s grace can penetrate a heart and feel it with deep conviction and purpose.  It explores the grey areas of decision that all Christians must face in times of war and unusual circumstances and Bonhoeffer’s deep convictions to honor what he believed God wanted him to do even if others misunderstood or did not agree.
I enjoyed reading this book, and found myself being able to relate to the time period and events through Bonhoeffer’s eyes in new and insightful ways.  It was quite disturbing to me, actually, to comprehend how drastically Germany changed in a very short period of time.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility that Christians today could find themselves in similar circumstances.  If such were to transpire, I wonder how many modern Christians would be able to come forward and embrace pending death for the cause of Christ with the conviction and gratitude that Bonhoeffer and his comrades were able to do.  I highly recommend this book, and believe it will challenge you to look closely at your own beliefs and convictions.

We Each Have A Castle To Gaurd.

This is Dunrobin Castle in Scotland.  It is a majestic thing of beauty and yet it represents all the strength and fortitude a castle should.  Many of us will never get to travel to an authentic ancient castle, but we each have our own castle to gaurd…it is whatever God has entrusted to us on this earth.

He loves us enough to give us the resources that we need to defend our castles.  Castles have high walls and many are built on high hills or mountaintops so that the view upon the enemy is an advantage.  If we are his child, our  castle is built high upon a rock, the ROCK WHICH IS CHRIST.  He is an unmoveable, unchangeable, solid Rock.

Castles have many windows and vantage points.  These serve the dual purpose of letting in the light of the sun (they didn’t have electricity back then) and providing a view of the surrounding grounds and terrain.  From such a vantage point, an approaching foe or friend could be identified from miles away.  Our castles have windows to let in the LIGHT of God’s direction.  If we keep a vigilant watch, He will show us any approaching enemy and he will allow us His perspective and view on the surrounding world.

Castles often have protective features of  a controlled approach and entrance.  Many even have drawbridges and moats.  A moat is the water that prevents the enemy from being able to get ladders against the walls of the castle or otherwise provides a barrier to challenge the enemy’s ability to get close enough for a full fledged assault.  This forces the enemy to keep a distance in attack and makes it easier to defend the castle.  In biblical terms, WATER represents the LIVING WORD.  By staying in the Word of God, we add a protective defence to help us gaurd and defend our treasures and to keep the enemy at a distance.  The Word teaches us the battle plan and strategies for living a safe, protected and honorable life.  The Word keeps us holy, pure, and seperated from the world around us that is full of ungodly living, and wrong choices.  We need to monitor carefully what we allow to enter our castle for the enemy can often sneak in through something we allow, and then have the advantage of launching an ambush from within.

Did you also know that the castles of Medieval times had dungeons.  I think our castles should have a dungeon as well.  What goes in the dungeon?  The wrong thoughts, the wrong influences, the wrong associations, anything that is contrary to God’s will for our life, that would hinder our relationship with him and dishonor Him.

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ  2 CORINTHIANS 10:5

What are  my treasures?  My home, my family, the Earthly blessings I have been given to be a trusted steward over, and most importantly…

My relationship with my Heavenly Father, the most high King and gaurdian of my life…for I am his castle to gaurd.

Father’s Day Reflection: SHE HAS HER DADDY’S BRIGHT BLUE EYES

 My husband has beautiful, penetrating blue eyes.  When I first met him during my college days in Atlanta, he was intrigued by my mysterious, quiet personality, and I was intrigued by his friendly charm and bright blue eyes.  Those are the eyes that I looked into when he proposed, the eyes I looked into when I said my sacred marriage vows. and the eyes I still find captivating on a daily basis.  His eyes are like the ocean, not just because they are blue, but because they reflect the depths of his soul…and it is a tender soul that feels every human emotion, but more importantly, reflects the One who resides inside his heart….Jesus.

The first date that I ever had with my husband, he spent hours talking to me and getting to know me.  As he told me about himself, he told me that he was a Christian and came from a close, loving Christian family. My husband is very passionate and sentimental about certain things, and when he talks about something that has deep meaning in his life, his eyes soften and reflect tenderness and joy.  When he talks about his values and especially his relationship with Jesus, those eyes become the most tender I’ve ever seen.  Like any marriage, our marriage has had it’s shares of trials and tribulations, and it is when those eyes become tender and reflect his faith in a higher power and his support and encouragement for our family, that I am the most comforted.

My husband is the father of 2 girls.  The first born also has blue eyes like her father.  On Father’s day in the year 2000, I reflected upon how much a father passes on to his children in genetics and in personality and values.  I captured my feelings and sentiments in this poem:      

SHE HAS HER DADDY’S BRIGHT BLUE EYES:

She has her daddy’s bright blue eyes
And thinks he hung the moon and the skies,
She has his compassion for tender things,
A hug, a kiss, and the whole world sings.
She shares his love of things of the past,
That sentimental side that hopes “now” will last.
Childhood memories are held so dear. 
“Family” means loved ones are always near.
Yes the passing onlooker often spies,
That she has her daddy’s bright blue eyes.

 My oldest was only 7 at the time I wrote that poem, and now she is 17.  And yes,  I see within her eyes that she still has these same qualities.  She is growing and blossoming into a young lady.  I know that one day, I will see another look in my husband’s eyes…the look of pride he will feel on her wedding day, when he entrusts her care to another.  The years may pull them further apart as she embraces a life and family of her own, but she will always share her daddy’s eyes,  from the deep ocean blue color to the deep steadfast strength of a heart that knows Jesus, family, and love.

Book Review: Max On Life by Max Lucado

Like all of Max Lucado’s books, Max on Life is inspirational and thought-provoking.  Compared to the traditional Max Lucado books, this book is different in that it is set-up as a question and answer format.  Max has received numerous letters over the years from people of all walks of life: young, old, male, female, faith assured and faith tested.  This book addresses some of the letters and questions he has received, questions that many people commonly ponder in their search for truth and meaning in life.

The questions are categorized as follows: HOPE: (God, Grace and Why Am I Here?), HURT (Conflicts, Calamities, and Why Me?), HELP (Prayer, Scripture, and Why Church?), HIM/HER (Sex, Romance, and Any Chance of a Second Chance?), HOME (Diapers, Disagreements, and Any Hope for Prodigals?, HAVES/HAVE NOTS (Work, Money, and Where’s the Lifeline?), and HEREAFTER (Cemeteries, Heaven, Hell, and Who Goes Where?”

I found the book very interesting.  It reminded me of an apologetics book  in that it presented scriptural cases and references for why to believe something, but the wording flowed easily and logically, making complicated concepts appear simple.  I was encouraged and enlightened by reading this book and I highly recommend it.  This book would make a great gift.  It would also make a great devotional book for personal use or small group study discussion.

I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

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