Tag Archives: Desiring God

Review of A Godward Heart

A-Godward-Heart

 

In Christian circles, John Piper needs no introduction. If you are a Christian, chances are you have heard of him. He has written numerous books on various topics. He would easily be considered one of the leading theologians of this time. He is a sought after speaker, teacher and writer. From the first time I heard him speak at Passion One Day in 2003 on a farm in Texas, I have loved what God has used him to produce. From Desiring God to When I don’t Desire God, his books are worth the time. Though they might be deep and hard to understand at times, they are books full of truth from God’s Word.

A Godward Heart is a compilation of 50 short devotionals from various other works by Piper. It is arranged in such a way, as the front of the book says, to help you “Treasure the God who loves you.” So often, in our walk with the Lord, we go through periods where our heart for the things of God weakens. It is not that we do not care about our walk with the Lord, life just happens and sometimes gets in the way and ultimately distracts us from what truly matters. This book will help you through times like this while also strengthening your hunger and desire for the things of God.

Topics range from “How is God’s Passion for His Glory not selfishness” to “Rebellion of Nudity and meaning of clothing” to “Christian’s voting” and “How the cross conquers Satan’s work.” Needless to say, this short book will be a great addition to your devotional life and most readings can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes. So if you are looking for a supplement to your devotional life, check out A Godward Heart. You will be challenged, encouraged, enriched and your walk with the Lord will be renewed.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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A Thought about Life and the Weekly Scoop

Life can get extremely crazy. Just when you think it might settle down a little bit and allow you to get your head above water, another wave hits you and leaves you struggling even more. Life many times seems like a never ending struggle against life. As you get older, life does not easier. We wish it did but unfortunately it does not. However, even in times like this, God manages to make known to us He is in control and when we do come to Him and strive to rest in Him as He calls us to do, life can begin to make sense. We have a hope that this life is not all there is. We have hope that in the end, when see Jesus, all this life hit us with will pale in comparison to that moment. May we be guilty of one thing while on this earth: Longing for the day when Christ returns. I am not speaking of being so heavenly minded we are of no earthly good. I am writing about the longing that motivates us to be at work, that pushes us away from laziness. While Jesus was on this planet, He was always about His father’s business. He challenged His followers to do the same. As we come to this longing, it pushes us, it prods us, it motivates us to be about our heavenly Father’s business because we realize there is no greater business for us to be about. Even in the busyness of life, God provides ways for us to be about His business in a way that glorifies Him. May God open our eyes to these ways to the end that we cry “Not to us oh Lord, not to us but to YOUR NAME be the glory.”

I pray this in some way encourages or challenges you. I did not plan on writing that but as I sat down to post my weekly scoop, it just came to me. Feel free to share any thoughts you might have.

Now, here are the links for my weekly scoop.

This post is from a guy only truly known to the world as “The Unappreciated Pastor.” He has almost 23k followers on Twitter and only he knows who he is. Here is a blog he wrote for the Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-unappreciated-pastor/hello-my-name-is-church_b_4124322.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Ever since my wife heard about Ann Voskamp and read her book, Ann’s blog has never disappointed my wife. Almost daily my wife shares with me something Ann shared on her blog that spoke to her and encouraged her. If you have not yet checked it out, you should do so. I will make it easy for you to do so: http://www.aholyexperience.com/

In this post on Thom Rainer’s blog, Chuck Lawless shares about his dad and leadership: http://thomrainer.com/2013/10/22/being-a-memorable-leader/

This week on Trevin Wax’s blog with the Gospel Coalition, Matt Rogers, teaching pastor at The Church at Cherrydale in Greenville, SC shares a way of reading the Bible they developed to help their people read and understand the Bible. It is worth checking out: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2013/10/22/7-arrows-for-bible-reading/

This post might open a can of worms but if you haven’t been exposed to the idea of women serving in all levels of church leadership, here is a post from Eugene Cho, a pastor at Quest Church in Seattle, WA on the topic. I feel Eugene covers this topic with grace and tact. Check it out: http://eugenecho.com/2011/03/08/supporting-women-in-ministry/

A post from Desiring God about helping retrieve your mind from the gutter after pornography has taken it captive. This would be worth men and women checking out: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/hijacking-back-your-brain-from-porn

And finally, remember the story about the women who sued McDonald’s after spilling a cup of coffee on herself? Well, there is more to the story: http://www.upworthy.com/ever-hear-about-the-lady-that-spilled-coffee-on-herself-at-mcdonalds-then-sued-for-millions?g=2&c=ufb1

 

Thanks for taking the time to check out TheToddLynn and if there is any post you feel I should have included, leave it in the comments and maybe I will include it next week.


Weekly Scoop

Well, I have decided to call this new category the “Weekly Scoop.” This post will contain links to other pages, sites, news stories that I have read throughout the week that stood out to me and I believe to be worth your time. So, with that said, here is the second set of links you should check out:

The first link I want to share goes out to us fathers. This is a story about a girl who desperately wanted to be loved by her father, but she never received it. Listen to her share her story about all she went through and let it challenge us fathers to love our children: http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/annie-lobert/.

Here is John Wesley’s secret to making disciples. By now, it is no longer a secret as many people have seen this post, but it is still worth your time, especially if you work or volunteer in a church or ministry:  http://www.transformativechurch.org/2013/01/23/john-wesleys-secret-to-making-disciples/.

This is a story I stumbled upon about a mother helping her daughter get an abortion has me shaking my head in disbelief. It also hurts my heart. I love the conclusion the writer makes but I am not going to ruin it for you, check out the link: http://liveactionnews.org/pro-abortion-mom-year-dont-regret-helping-15-year-old-daughter-get-abortion/.

Another post on work, but this one by John Piper. I love his thoughts and you should take time to read them as it might help change your mindset if you view your position as one you are just trying to survive: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/work-is-a-glorious-thing

Scotty Smith of the Gospel Coalition writes a great prayer about relishing God and loving difficult people: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/2013/09/18/a-prayer-for-relishing-gods-favor-and-loving-difficult-people/

Last, but not least, here is a website for all you athletes. Axiom United, started by Tyler and Nicki McClure, has led Tyler and Nicki to England to run Axiom UK. Their target date to move is January so check out the site and consider helping them out as well. They are truly about making disciples and using sports as the means to reach people of all ages for Christ: http://www.axiomunited.com/

Thanks for taking the time to check out these links. I pray they will challenge, encourage, or open your eyes to the needs of the world around us.


Thinking. Loving. Doing.

Matthew 22:37 states that the Great Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Christians, and even non-Christians today, have lost the ability to truly unleash their mind. Colleges try to teach people how to have an open mind but in essence they want their students to believe what they believe, feel what they feel, etc. If they teach that there are no absolutes, they want their students to absolutely believe it. We want young people to use their minds but we do not teach them how to. In the church, we have done even a greater disservice in this area. David Mathis makes the point that “Healthy Christianity clearly appreciates the life of the mind.” (p. 15)

True Christianity encompasses all of the emotions. Thinking. Loving. Doing. Is a book that truly challenges how we use our mind. It challenges us to even question whether or not we are even using our mind. As I sometimes do in my reviews, here is what the back of the book has to say:

“Here is a call to holistic Christianity. A challenge to be thinkers, engaged and serious about knowing God. And to be feelers, pulsing with passion for Jesus and His gospel. And to be doers, endeavoring great acts of love for others. Our Savior himself shows us that holistic Christianity is comprised of mind, heart and hands. And he shows us that the Christian life is multidimensional – irreducibly and inseparably thinking, loving and doing.”

I use the back many times because the way they word the description or purpose of the book is the best way to put it. This book is all about challenging Christians to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to do that, we must be engaged in all of our emotions. That is how Jesus set the example, He loved, He felt and He did so why should we be expected to do any less as His followers. With the great commandment being to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, why do we think that is an option? The best way to live the Christian life, and the only way to live the Christian life, is with all of our being; anything less than that subconsciously says that we do not have to obey the greatest commandment.

This book began as actual messages spoken at the Desiring God Conference from 2010 and has contributions from Rick Warren, Francis Chan, R.C. Sproul, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Thabiti Anyabwile. Each of the contributors adds their own unique ability to communicate to the book which makes this book a great read and challenge for anyone desiring to truly walk with the Lord.

Rick Warren begins the book with speaking of the battle of the mind. We face a war for our minds each and every day. There is so much trying to grab our attention and get us thinking about it that for us to truly begin thinking in a Christian way, it will take effort on our part. Albert Mohler follows with speaking on the way the world thinks and how the natural mind is at work within all of us because of the fall of man. R.C. Sproul then moves us on to thinking about the Bible because it is what actually gives answers to life’s biggest questions. Thabiti Anyabwile speaks on Islam and Muslims and how our thinking has affected our reaction or thoughts towards these people. Francis Chan then gives a great challenge to think about whether or not we truly love God and love others. John Piper concludes the book with a challenge on how thinking is what will actually help lead us more fully into experiencing true and lasting joy.

Over all, this book is a great read for any Christian who wants to be challenged. And yet what this book will lead you to is actually begin thinking, and even thinking about thinking. That is what it did to me. After reading many portions of this book, I would find myself sitting and actually just thinking. Our minds are powerful things and as one famous quote states, a “horrible thing to waste.” For the Christian, this is extremely important because the greatest commandment says we are to love with ALL. If we are to love with ALL our mind, it must cause us to think and to think deeply. Not to become more knowledgeable and prideful because of our knowledge, but to think because thinking leads to loving which leads to doing; and that is what the Christian life is all about. So go ahead and pick this book up and read it. You will find yourself challenged and glad that you did pick it up.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.