Thank You…

I thought about this today…

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

ALL I can say is THANK YOU JESUS…

Smooches,
Regina


Please visit my other spots: https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/ http://reginasoldschoolfridayspot.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

My Imaginary Jesus – Book Review

“My Imaginary Jesus” 

Title – My Imaginary Jesus
Author – Matt Mikalatos
Publisher – Barna Books/Tyndale House Publishers
Date of publication – April 2012
Number of pages – 274
* Barna Books/Tyndale House Publishers have provided me with an advanced, complimentary copy of “My Imaginary Jesus” to read in order to write my honest review.*
About The Book:
Matt Mikalatos liked Jesus a lot.  In fact, he couldn’t believe how much they had in common.  They shared the same likes, dislikes, beliefs, and opinions.  (Though Jesus did have better hair.)  So imagine Matt’s astonishment when he finds out that the guy he knows as Jesus . . . isn’t.  He’s an Imaginary Jesus: a comfortable, convenient imitation Matt has created in his own image.  The real Jesus is still out there somewhere . . . and Matt is determined to find him.

About The Author:

Matt Mikalatos received his BA in writing from the University of California Riverside.  Like many future world leaders, he began his career as a clerk at a comic book store.  Having discovered that such work caused women to shun him, Matt took control of a high school classroom and taught American literature and drama (although he was best known for his riotous “study halls”).  Then Matt, in an unexpected move, joined Campus Crusade for Christ.  In a moment of weakness, his best friend, Krista, agreed to marry him.  He and Krista were briefly expatriated by Crusade to East Asia, where they ministered for three years.  Now back in the States, Matt provides leadership to the international ministries of Crusade’s northwest region.  Matt has published articles in Discipleship JournalThe Wittenburg DoorRelief, and Coach’s Midnight Diner. Matt and his wife live near Portland, Oregon. They have three beautiful daughters.
Now the good stuff, MY review!

I am trying to gather the words… this book was refreshing, engaging, and hilarious!  This is the best Fiction/Non-Fiction/Suspense/Thriller/SciFi/Theological/Self-help/Comedy/Drama that I have read in a long time!  The book was funny, sad, and enlightening all at the same time.  It was like reading C.S.Lewis/Rod Serling/Frank Peritti/Tim LaHaye all wrapped up in one book.  It has been a while since I actually laughed out loud while reading a book!  I love how I was able to picture the different Jesus’ throughout the book (AND sad that I actually knew whom they were)!  My favorite Jesus’ from the book were Magic 8 Ball Jesus and Televangelist Jesus (In my mind Steve Martin is the best picture of Televangelist Jesus but he has the voice of Bennie Hinn, which is creepy).  This book may make you re-examine something about your own relationships with Jesus.  My FAVORITE line of the entire book is in chapter 37, when Matt says,  “Not because of who he was once upon a time, but because of who he is today, and because of who he promises we can become”.  This line is the absolute TRUTH!
This book would be a good book for a book club, women reading group, men reading group, and for the churched and un-churched alike.  The book has a question and answer section which gives a good insight into the mind of the author Matt Mikalatos.  The book even has a discussion section that addresses key portions of all the chapters.  This book is a must read and on a scale of 1-10 I give it a solid 9.5!  I took away .5 points because I wanted to see a few pictures of the various Jesus’!
This is an AWESOME book! ENJOY!!

You can join Matt at
http://www.facebook.com/matt.mikalatos
https://twitter.com/#!/mattmikalatos
http://mattmikalatos.com/

Happy Reading!
Regina

Please visit my other spots:
https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/
http://reginasoldschoolfridayspot.blogspot.com/

The Jesus We Missed – Book Review

Title – The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth about the Humanity of Christ
Author – Patrick Henry Reardon
Publisher – Thomas Nelson
Date of publication – February, 2012
Number of pages – 229

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ** 
About the book:
While taking special care not to minimize the Godhood of Christ, Patrick Henry Reardon helps readers come to grips with his real flesh-and-blood humanity—the confession of the Christian church for 2,000 years.  If we are to grow in our understanding of Christ, growing in appreciation of His humanity is key. 

About the author:
Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints’ Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a senior editor of Touchstone magazine.
Father Patrick was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY), St. Anselm’s College (Rome), The Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome), and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary (South Canaan, PA).
He has authored many books including Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, The Trial of Job: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Job, Chronicles of History and Worship: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Books of Chronicles, and Creation and the Patriarchal Histories: Orthodox Reflections on the Book of Genesis.
As a Christian, I was very interested in reading “The Jesus We Missed” because of the topic.  We, as Christians often see or perceive the Deity in one way and that is as a supernatural being.  We see Jesus as the risen Savior, crucified, dead, and buried and risen again for our sake.  Even when we read that Jesus became flesh, He became man, birthed of a woman, He became like us, we still do not grasp the magnitude of that transition.  We do not understand that he really became like us!  We overlook or discount His humanity.
It was good to see a book that tackled the issue of Jesus, the person.  However, I believe that the title of the book is a little misleading.  There was no real surprising truths about Christ’s humanity.  The humanity of Jesus is a fact, and people choose to embrace it or ignore it

Some religious people have frowned upon seeing the Savior as a person because they think it tarnishes the image of His Godliness.  On the contrary, knowing that Jesus grew up in the flesh, knowing that he may have had many of the same feelings that we have experienced should inspire us.  Jesus ran and tripped like us, he got bloody noses, and scraped his knee like us, he woke up with morning breathe like us, He went to the bathroom like us, HE BECAME ONE OF US!  
Much like us Jesus had to come to a place where He realized exactly what his purpose was, a realization that He was destined for much, much more than he was.
This book is good a source for those seeking to see Jesus on a more personal level.  This book is also good for those who want another depth of studying into the Savior’s life.  Layman, theologians, clergy, and scholars alike can learn from and enjoy this book.  “The Jesus We Missed” is a good look at Jesus who was fully God and fully man.

I hope that you pick up this book and decide for yourself.  
To read other booksneeze reviews go HERE.

Blessings,
Regina

Please visit my other spots:
https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/
http://reginasoldschoolfridayspot.blogspot.com/

12 Pearls of Christmas – Day 12

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoyed these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you missed a few posts, I hope you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog over the next few days. If you’d like to keep up with Pearl Girls and our new book project, Mother of Pearl, coming this spring, just click this link and sign up for our newsletter (lower left sidebar).

Also, just a reminder that today is the last day for the pearl necklace and earrings giveaway! Enter now by filling out this {form}. The winner will on 1/1 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Jesus — The Reason For the Season

By: Rachel Hauck

Through the narrow scope of 2000 years, Mary, the mother of Jesus, appears to be one lucky woman. Chosen by God to give birth to His son, the Savior of the world? All right, Mary, way to go.

“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you,” Gabriel said.

How many of us would like a declaration like that? Highly favored. The Lord is with you. But Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

The angel told her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Mary’s seems confident and resolved when she responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

She’d just been told the Holy Spirit will come upon her, that God’s power will overshadow her, that she’d become with child even though she wasn’t married, and she said, “I’m the Lord’s servant. Let your words be true.”

I find this amazing! A young woman. Ancient Bethlehem. Unwed mother. They stoned women for such things in her day. But Mary believed in God. And submitted to His will. He gave her the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit given to us. If He gave her confidence, He will give us confidence. Even though, like Mary, our situation seems impossible.

Listen to Mary’s song later on in the first chapter of Luke.

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me Holy is his name…”

Conceiving a child out of wedlock, by Divine intervention. Not a girl’s every day existence. Yet she had a Yes in her heart to God. She rejoiced. She boldly said, “Generations will remember me!”

How we struggle to trust God with our children. Our finances. Our emotional well-being. We worry. We fret. And wonder why we have no peace.

Christmas is the season where words like joy, peace and love are bantered around like Christmas candy. Let’s not take them as just words, but as truth. Let’s be like Mary and embrace God’s favor on our lives. Boldly declare “He’s done great things for me!”

Out of the grit of our own souls, we can reach His heart, and feel Him reaching for ours. No matter the pain of our past, present or future, God is there for us. He is able. Best of all, He is willing. “My soul glorifies the Lord this Christmas!”

***

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, best selling author who believes God has done great things for her. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and ornery pets. Her next release is Love Lifted Me with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, January 2012. Then in April, look for The Wedding Dress. www.rachelhauck.com.

That is the end of the 12 Pearls of Christmas! I pray that you found something in these 12 days to inspire and motivate you! Did you enter the pearl giveaway?
Merry Christmas!
Smooches!
Regina

Please visit my other spots:

https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/

12 Pearls of Christmas – Day 11

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 – 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

The Panhandler’s Breath

By Robin Dance

He slipped in sideways between the closing elevator doors, as if he were late to a meeting; he pressed the “5” without looking. Instead of suit and tie, though, baggy pants and faded navy hung on his tall, slim frame…and his stealth entry stiffened the hairs on the back of my neck.

I had noticed him a few seconds earlier, just after we had parted a sea of clamorous teens. He was smiling, grandfatherly, standing maybe 30 feet away where the electric shuttle picks up.

I had no idea he had been watching us, studying us, predator patiently awaiting his next prey.

The four of us were sealed in a four- by six-foot metal tomb. Tomb–that thought really scampered across my mind. I wondered if he had a knife in his pocket. I wanted to protect my son. Fight or flight pumped adrenaline but there was no where to run.

Extreme and ridiculous, these thoughts – and more – flashed through my mind. The Stranger began speaking.

“Yessir, I see you’re a family man with your wife and your son here…” and he nodded in my and my son’s direction.

“…you see I’m homeless and all I’ve got…” and on queue, he reached into his left pocket and pulled out two old pennies blackened with age. Two cents to his name?! It was all too contrived, too practiced, and I didn’t believe a word he was saying.

It was then I smelled it ~ the small space lent itself to that ~ and I doubted my doubt.

His breath.

It wasn’t the scent of alcohol. His eyes weren’t red, his voice didn’t waver; his wizened face matched his graying hair.

His breath was morning’s, zoo breath, the pet name I’d given to the scent inhaled when kissing my children awake when they were little.

He needed to brush his teeth. I wondered how long it had been since he brushed his teeth.

The elevator door opened and I handed him my leftover pizza as my son and I brushed past him. My husband handed him a bill and the Stranger thanked and God blessed him.

The elevator door closed behind us. Conflicted, I was relieved.

We got in the car and blurted first reaction–

“I didn’t believe a word he said.”

“That made me nervous.”

“I wonder if he’ll really eat the pizza.”

In the quiet, we were left to our own thoughts, contemplating the right thing to do. At the end of the day, this is what I decided: It doesn’t matter whether or not his story is true; for an old man to resort to begging, he has to be desperate. The money my husband gave him will never be missed. It was a reminder we’ve been entrusted with much and given much. Materially, yes, but more so spiritually. Loved, chosen, forgiven, redeemed, graced, lavished–every spiritual blessing. E v e r y.

There’s a part of me that wishes I would have been brave enough to ask the man his story, made sure he knew he was loved…and bought him a tooth brush.

Later, it occurred to me he could have been an angel. Doesn’t that mean generosity, kindness and hospitality is always the right response? Then it’s not about you or the stranger or the circumstance, it’s about a simple, God-glorifying response.

Had we entertained an angel unaware? We’ll never know.

But it wouldn’t be the first time the Breath of Heaven smelled like a zoo.

***

In a decades-old, scandalous affair with her husband, Robin also confesses mad crushes on her three teens. As Southern as sugar-shocked tea, she’s a recovering people pleaser who advocates talking to strangers. A memoirist, Compassion International Blogger, and Maker-upper of words, Robin writes for her own site, PENSIEVE, and also for (in)courage by DaySpring (a subsidiary of Hallmark) and Simple Mom. She loves to get to know readers through their blog comments and on Twitter and Pinterest. www.pensieve.me .


Tomorrow is the last day! Do not miss this!

Smooches,

Regina

Please visit my other spots:

https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/

12 Pearls of Christmas – Day 10

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 – 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Inside Out Christmas

by Debora M. Coty

My veterinarian friend, Dr. Katie, tells the story about the December when a woman brought a very sick black lab into her clinic. The dog was only ten months old, so she was really just a big puppy, but she’d been vomiting incessantly and her worried owner didn’t know what was wrong.

“Why don’t you go on home?” Dr. Katie told the owner. “I’ll need to run tests for about four hours. We’ll give you a call when we’re finished.”

Dr. Katie’s assistant took x-rays and hung them on the light panel for Dr. Katie to examine. Hmm. Something looked a little peculiar. Dr. Katie called her assistant over.

“Is it just me, or does that look like a … a camel to you?” she asked incredulously.

“Matter of fact, it does,” replied the astute assistant. “And look, there’s an angel here, a shepherd there, and down there in the colon, it’s Baby Jesus!”

At that moment the phone rang. It was the dog’s distraught owner. “I can’t believe this! I just got home and glanced at the coffee table where I put my manger scene yesterday. There’s nothing there but an empty stable!”

As I thought about this quite literal technique for internalizing the true meaning of Christmas, it occurred to me that sometimes I have the opposite problem. With all the bustling busyness, my inner joy in celebration of my savior’s birth never really makes it to the outside.

Oh, I have plenty of glittery, festive evidences of the holiday in decorations, baking galore, and gifts under my tree. But those things are for show. They’re merely the pretty wrappings, not the gift itself.

Can people really see the core-deep joy that radiates within me when I think of the true gift that Papa God sent the world in his son, Jesus? Is my immeasurable gratitude for eternal life evident as I dash through this hectic season?

I’m afraid all too often, the answer is no.

I’m just too preoccupied to allow my outside to reflect my inside so that nonbelievers recognize that I rejoice because of the hope that is within me. My joy is obscured by the mounds of clutter. Gratefulness is sucked out of my soul by the vacuum called urgency.

“But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy” (Psalm 68:3, NLT).

This verse has become my prayer this Christmas season – that I would make the time to give priority to rejoicing, being glad in God’s presence, and letting my inner joy show for those who may be silently desperate to know the giver of true joy.

Yep, there’s a better way to internalize the gift of Christmas than the black lab technique. We can lodge the Little Lord Jesus in our hearts rather than our colons.

***

Debora M. Coty is a humorist, inspirational speaker, and award-winning author of twelve books, including Too Blessed to be Stressed, and coming in March, More Beauty, Less Beast: Transforming Your Inner Ogre. Debora would love to swap Christmas hugs with you at www.DeboraCoty.com.


Come back for day 11!

Smooches,

Regina

Please visit my other spots:

https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/

12 Pearls of Christmas – Day 9

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!


Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 – 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Simple or Sparkle?

by Tracey Eyster

It’s a simple ornament made of thin cheap metal and it looks quite out of place on our CHRISTmas tree. But each year I lovingly and safely nestle it amongst its expensive and sparkly peers, without a care as to how unglamorous it appears.

Many of our CHRISTmas ornaments have a story and an uncanny way of welling up emotion in me, but this certain one causes an intense stir.

You see the ornament is engraved with the name of my grandmother, Sara, and was given to me by my mother, who ordered it from Hospice, after Grandmama’s death. Yes, the months leading up to her death carry memories of a frail and failing grandmama, but that ornament carries my thoughts to sweet CHRISTmas memories of the past.

CHRISTmas Eve dinners in her home, laughing, singing, gathering and celebrating a year filled with blessings as we remembered the birth of our Savior. CHRISTmas mornings, she was always there participating with glee, in our raucous CHRISTmas happiness. Her gifts were always bank envelopes gently tucked into the pine needles of our CHRISTmas tree, fresh cut from the property she grew up on.

All memories of my Grandmama make my heart swell. You see she was my Jesus with skin on. She lived her life full of joy, serving others and approached life selflessly with an attitude of, “What can I do for you?”

Just months before she left us, even as the Alzheimer’s was robbing her mind she shared her love of Jesus with a sweet little old lady friend, who came to know the Lord – a divine appointment. The very next day that little old lady silently slipped away to meet in person the One Sara introduced her to just the day before.

At the time I wept, realizing that regardless of our own frailties and failings, God can still use those of us who are willing to do His work and are well practiced at hearing His voice…no matter our lack of sparkle in comparison to others.

A simple life lived for Him, a simple ornament in memory of Sara…a simple truth for you to ponder.

***

Tracey Eyster wife, mom, relationship gatherer and Creator/Editor of FamilyLife’s MomLife Today is a media savvy mom making a difference where moms are, on-line. Through speaking, writing and video interviews Tracey is passionate about encouraging, equipping and advising moms on every facet of momlife. Her first book, Be The Mom will be released August 2012. You can connect with Tracey at http://www.momlifetoday.com, her personal site www.traceyster.com or www.twitter/momblog.com.

Please visit my other spots:https://reginathinks.wordpress.com/http://reginasoldschoolfridayspot.blogspot.com/

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: