Showing posts from December, 2011


The seminal quote to describe Billy Graham's latest book is found on page 78.

"At my age, I can sympathize with most seniors. The good old days call me back at times, especially when I am with friends who have shared so much. While I choose not to dwell on the past or relive my youth, there are times I long to hike up into the hills with my children or stand in the pulpit to deliver a Gospel message. But the walker, wheelchair and cane near my bed remind me that chapter in life is past. So I thank God for the memories that have enriched my life but look forward to new opportunities, to experiences that can add some dimension to the present. Our attitudes play a major role in the closing scene of life's stage."

Born in 1918, Billy Graham has been an icon of the gospel message for generations. While other evangelists and Christian leaders fall by the wayside, Billy maintains a humility and simple faith that reminds us that the message is true. He is a loving reference po…


With over 70 names and titles of GOD presented in their original language of Hebrew (and a few in Aramaic), we are drawn to the textures and nuances of Eastern tongues. We are drawn into a rich contemplation of God's character as the ancients would have experienced when hearing the Holy Scrolls read.

This translation of the Bible has many practical and inspirational features to aid the reader.
This is God's Word Translation (GW). It is a scholarly and accurate translation that is easy to read and true to the original writing styles of the authors. 
The Scriptures are formatted into a single column on each page, lending to easier reading. 
Throughout the book, Ann Spangler (editor) has written feature pages that explore individual names and titles of God. These make an excellent resource for devotional study and commentary.
LaVonne Neff has written introductions to each of the Books of the Bible. These are easy to read, inspiring and informative.




God speaks clearly about what matters to Him.
Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday. 
Fasting is …


It seems that God was fed up with Israel and sent them a note through Isaiah. The nation had a certain religious appearance and prioritized their disciplines. But something was way off and it bothered God.

Isaiah 58:1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
   Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
 and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
Israel said all the right things publicly. They projected the idea of being a godly nation. They asked for God’s help in many of the same ways as us. We say we want to know God’s ways, His justice and His presence.
But God felt differently. He saw a nation posing as if they were solid with Him and already living right. Even though Israel fasted and observed spiritual disciplines, t…


In Islamic and Arabic-speaking countries, Christians use 'Allah' in their Bible to denote the person of God. (page 17)
Rich Richter has been a pastor in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod for fifty years. Over the past decade he has held workshops on the Qur'an and the Bible from his extensive research into Islam.

Complete with discussion questions at the end of each chapter, this material would be an excellent source for study groups interested in understanding Islam. 

Richter clearly is interested in presenting  a comparison of beliefs that is fair to Muslims. He has treated the subject matter with objectivity rather than objection.

As a Christian interested in understanding people of other faiths, this book is a goldmine. I have long known that the differences in religious belief cannot be blended without destroying the integrity of each. Richter gives us a careful and accurate study comparing key doctrines with parallel passages from each of the Sacred writings. Islam and…






Some people have a very difficult time believing the compliments they receive. No matter how well they perform a task there is an inner voice that tells them it is not true. Their measurement of self is always skewed to devaluing their authenticity.
No matter how many times you praise them, they still believe it to be false. As a young teen I could be that way. I wanted the approval of others and had no way to accept it when given. Eventually, I outgrew that mindset. But what about people that carry that thinking throughout their adulthood?
In 1978, psychologists Pauline Clance & Suzanne Imes coined the term ‘Impostor Syndrome’ to describe people who were unable to internalize their accomplishments.
Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and com…