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Category Archives: Books

Freedom from Sin

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14, NRSV)

If we have been baptized we have been baptized into Christ’s death and if we have joined him in his death then we will also join him in his resurrection. We are dead to our old self.

Does that mean we no longer sin? No, it doesn’t. but it means we have the power to resist sin because we are no longer held slave to sin. We are not under the law but under grace, that doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want. as verses 1 and 2 remind us, we shouldn’t sin more so that we get more grace. We can not run after that which we are dead to.

You have been set free to live a life of love to others so that they will see how much God loves them. Live in your freedom and share the grace you have been given with all of the world!

 
 

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Inked: Choosing God’s Mark to Transform Your Life by Kim Goad and Janet E. Kusiak

20130904-200016.jpgAll of us are marked in some fashion. Goad and Kusiak use stories to help us understand ow we should be marked.

You see we have a choice. If we are tattooed we have a choice of what we have inked on our bodies, and who will be the one to tattoo us. We also have a choice in life if we will live out the God giving life.

Goad and Kusiak use a wonderful imagery of being tattooed and how this is being handled in society and how this is paralleled by our life in Christ. A wonderful read for all!

 
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Posted by on 2013/09/04 in Books

 

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the dip by Seth Godin

A little book that teaches you when to quit!

What a wonderful concept because we are told over and over again that we should not quit.

I mean really we have all seen the picture of the frog in the birds mouth with it’s hands on the birds neck with the line “Never Quit!” Is that really good advice? Seth Godin tells us it is not in this easy read that imparts knowledge we already knows but backs up the knowledge with stories of those who actually quit and never looked back.

Godin helps us to focus our energy where we can make a difference and know when we have to push through the pain, or know when it is time to step away.

This is a must read for everyone to help them see their fullest potential as a person, be that in business or just to be the best of who they are!

Godin gives us nuggets of wisdom to help us see our true potential, find the thing we are personally, or our business is, best at and bring it to the next level of changing the world.

 
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Posted by on 2013/08/22 in Books, Missional Community

 

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The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner

“Spiritual transformation does not result from fixing our problems. It results from turning to God in the midst of them and meeting God just as we are.” (page 67)

David G. Benner opens up a topic most Christian think is taboo to show us it is the one thing we truly need to embrace to become the person God is calling us to be. In order to live the uniquely created life God has for us, we must first except ourselves as God has excepted us, just as we are. In order for us to this we must look at the darkness inside of us, and see who we are and acknowledge our sins and troubles. In order for us to change something we can not crucify it on the cross as sin if we deny we do it. We must accept who we are and work with God to use it for His glory!

The gospel is not a method book for sin management. It is not a guideline for avoiding sin and a way to deal with our guilt when we fail as we always do. The gospel is a way for us to understand who we truly are, who God created us to be, and move forward in who God created us to be. “Self-acceptance always precedes genuine self-surrender and self-transformation.” (page 58)

David G. Brenner helps us to look at who we truly are and accept that, and then move forward with God in being who He has uniquely created us to be!

 
 

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If the Church Were Christian By Philip Gulley

What if the church took following the example Christ gave us to be in the world was actually the way the church was?

If we would take seriously the way Jesus lived and follow the example He gave us would we be able to contain the people seeking after God in the confines of the buildings in which we worship?

Philip Gulley writes with zeal and integrity using his beliefs to help us see who God is and how we are to live in life. He gives wonderful examples from his own story to help us see how the church might have gone astray from where God has called us to be.

If you are looking for a book that lays out a plan for you to be a good Christian, this is not your book. If you are looking for a book that helps you see the hard things that Christ has given us an example of and calls us to do, then Philip will help you see who Christ was and who we could be.

This book may push your thoughts and beliefs, but is a good read and will help you see who you are and help you possibly understand what you believe about God and how your faith is an integral part of your life.

 
 

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A Good Neighbor: Benedict’s Guide to Community by Robert Benson

‘”Honor everyone, and never do to another what you would not want done to yourself,” we read in the Rule. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” we read in the Gospel.’

This quote from page 84 of A Good Neighbor is a summery of what it is to live in community. To be a neighbor, to be present to those to whom we have been given, and to those who have been given to us. We need to remember the simplicity of this, and Robert Benson helps us to see the simplicity in all of it’s glorious complexities.

Benson looks at the many communities he lives in and then works through the frame work of Benedict’s Rule for living together in community. Even though we are not monastic we can still learn from the Rule and live in the Spirit in the communities we have been placed.

Benson helps us work through our longing for community, a need for us to be humble in every aspect and moment of our lives, showing us the need for mercy and how it is better to give mercy than receive it. Benson also helps us see how we seek the community that we fit into, rather then welcoming those who have been given to us. He then wraps up his discussion by reminding us we truly show God’s love through our humble acts of caring for the other, and that is why we are here, for the other.

This book is a wonderful short read that reminds us that living in community and being a good neighbor is easy in concept, but hard in execution. However if we focus on the simple and allow ourselves to be humble, merciful, and focused on the other, it will be easier than we thought it would.

 

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God in the Alley by Greg Paul

“However, these stories of my friends reveal a peculiar paradox: I am more likely to find Jesus revealed to me and through me in weakness than in strength, sinfulness than in purity, or doubt than in perfect faithfulness.”

Greg Paul takes you on a ride through the streets of Toronto to meet and see Jesus. He goes to places those of us who are “christian” think Christ would never go, but Paul takes us there and introduces us to Jesus in the characters and people of every day life in Toronto. He shows us that Christ is present and active in the lives of people most church people have written off as fodder for hell.

This book is a must read to help us all understand that God truly does work in strange and mysterious ways!

 

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