Book Review: Good or God

Good or GodThis is the most significant book I’ve read all year.

Pete and I just spent a fabulous week in a lovely cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Our aim was to stop, reflect, relax, and refresh. Some days we played tourist, enjoying the scenic drives, wildlife, and golden aspen and cottonwoods. Other days we hung around the cabin, reading, talking, and praying. After a crazy year that included moving both our home and Pete’s ministry office, it was just what we needed.

I had a stack of books to read, and managed to make it through several of them. They were all excellent, but if I could pick one to recommend most highly, it would have to be Good or God: Why Good without God Isn’t Enough, by John Bevere.

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Will “Life As We Know It” End September 28?

We’ve now survived the (non-) economic collapse of September 13 and the lack of destruction on September 23. If we’re still here reading this, then the rapture has not yet occurred and Jesus has yet to return. Aliens didn’t arrive to conquer Earth, tsunamis didn’t destroy the east coast, and while we continue to complain about the weather, it still supports life. In fact, everything still looks pretty much the same.

But wait, the month isn’t over! Let’s not forget about those blood moons. (The term “blood moon” sounds dramatic, but it’s simply another name for a full lunar eclipse. The “blood” part comes from the reddish color of Earth’s shadow.) The last blood moon of the current series, which started in April, 2014, will fall on September 28, which is Sukkot—the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

As a result, some believers are predicting that the world will end on that day—September 28. Should we be concerned?

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Will “Life As We Know It” End September 23?

September 23 is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. There are an amazing number of predictions focused on this particular date, from the plausible to the absurd. For instance….

One entertaining website managed to tie together Norad, gay marriage, the Pope), the rebuilding of the temple, China, the UN, Iran, the stock market, and some sketchy astronomy, and focus it all on mid-September.

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Will “Life As We Know It” End September 13?

For the past few years, the internet has been full of prophecies of doom and judgment, disaster and destruction, all predicted to occur in September 2015. Well, it’s finally September. Will this month bring the end of the world, the end of Life As We Know It? Is Jesus going to return, or will the rapture finally happen? Or, depending on your theology, will this month mark the beginning of the “great falling away” and the Great Tribulation?

There are three major dates on the Jewish calendar this month that have garnered a lot of attention. Since I have a lot to say on this topic, this will be the first of a three-week series. That should take us through the month—if the world lasts that long!

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In Search of a Good Book

Monday was Labor Day, and I wanted to take it easy. It had been a packed week, it was time for a break, and I desperately wanted to collapse into a recliner for several hours with a good book. The only problem was, I couldn’t find one I wanted to read.

There are lots of non-fiction books out there and I have several that I’m currently wading through, but this was a holiday and I wanted to escape into an exciting, well-written page-turner. Since the library was closed, I turned to their online collection. (I love that you can choose and download a book from home!)

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Read This Book. Understand Muslims.

JabbourWhen you consider Muslims, what comes to mind? A terrorist? A suicide bomber? Or perhaps a woman swathed in a black burka? How about the family next door, or your college professor, or perhaps the engineer in the next cubicle?

Because many Americans don’t personally know anyone who is a Muslim, our mental image may not match reality. Sure, some Muslims are terrorists, but many more are our neighbors and business associates—and perhaps our friends.

If you’d like to go beyond the front page news stories and discover how the “average” Muslim thinks, (if there is such a person), I highly recommend that you read The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian, by Dr. Nabeel T. Jabour. If you’d like to know how Muslims view Christianity, then I recommend this book even more highly. And if you want to move past stereotypes and fear and learn to love our Muslim neighbors, then get your hands on this book as soon as possible! Continue reading

But What About Us?

As I continue to read through Jeremiah, I’m constantly struck by the similarity between the moral state of their nation and of ours. The Israelites were intentionally ignoring God while sacrificing even their children to idols. Instead of seeking holiness through obedience to the Lord who loved them, they were focused on feeding their appetite for power and wealth. Over and over God decried the lack of justice in the land. He sent prophets to warn them, and they mocked God’s word.

Sound familiar?

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