Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

A Lesson From 10-year-old Boys March 26, 2013

Are you ever blown away by the gospel? Do you ever cringe when you think on or imagine the brutality of what Christ endured both before and during his time on the cross? Or does the intensity of it all escape your thoughts, leaving you dulled to the horror and extent of Jesus’ sacrifice for you? These are some questions that I have been asking myself today.

Each Tuesday morning some of the fourth grade students from local elementary schools come to our church for one hour during the school day. During this hour they are taught from the scriptures, learn memory verses, play games, sing songs, etc. It is a truly amazing opportunity and an immense blessing. I have the privilege of teaching one of these classes. My class is made up of three boys, whom I have become rather fond of. Throughout this school year we have been working through the Bible. We began at creation, and now, as we near Easter, are exploring Jesus’ crucifixion.

Having grown up in a Christian home, being active in my church, and being homeschooled, I have grown up hearing the gospel, which is a true privilege. My WRE (weekly religious education) kids have not had that. So this morning when told them the story of Jesus’ beating, the cat o’ nine tails, and the crucifixion process, I watched their reactions. The boys, all about ten-years old were wincing, cringing, and shocked by the details that I was describing. They were blown away by what Jesus endured. This got me thinking.

Do I take what Jesus endured too lightly? Do I sometimes take for granted the fact that he was beaten with leather, glass and bone to the point where he was not even recognizable? Do I? Do you? Do we sometimes hear that Jesus died for us, and fail to grasp just how intense and excruciating this death really was? I am sad to say that sometimes this is the case with me. Sometimes I breeze over the gruesome details of his death and instead focus on the happy ending. Why? Maybe because it is painful to come to the realization that I deserve that death. It hurts to think of and picture myself in Christ’s place, which is where I deserve to be. I deserve to be the one beaten with the cat o’ nine tails. I am the one who deserves to be spat at. I am the one that deserves to drag a massive cross — an emblem of shame– up a mountain in humiliation. I am the one who deserves to die on a cross. And so are you, as harsh as that may sound. But no, Christ took our place. How awesome is that?!

Today I was reminded of the extent of Christ’s sacrifice, and the depths of his grace.  I was once again brought to the startling realization of the pain, ugliness, and disgrace brought about by sin. I was once again shown the love, glory, and magnificence of my savior. And what did it take? Three ten-year-old boys. What will it take for you?

 

‘Dirty God’ Book Review December 21, 2012

images (2)Title: Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches

Author: Johnnie Moore

Date I Finished Reading: December 20,2012

My Rating: 5/5

I have always known that Christ was gracious. Yet at the same time I did not realize just how saturated by grace his life and ministry were! Dirty God brings our attention to the extreme grace of Jesus Christ from the time of his birth to his resurrection, and then calls us to that same level and life of grace towards others.

The first half of this book is on Christ giving grace to ourselves and others. It discusses how every aspect of Christ is gracious, even when that grace hurts. It discusses how we tend to have an entitlement mentality, which lessens our view of God’s grace, and perhaps even cause us to miss it!

The second half of the book follows the thought that since we have received the grace of God, we ought to extend that same grace to others in our lives. He shares how grace can be big, grace can be small, can go unnoticed, can change a life… can be hard.

I thought that this book was GREAT. It opened my eyes to aspects and details of the scripture that I too often look over without much thought. It caused me to examine my own life, to see where grace lacks (which was very convicting) and seek how to live out Christ’s grace to others around me.

I also really liked Moore’s writing style. He writes in a very easy-to-read way, with amazing illustrations and threads of humor woven in (which not only made it a beneficial read, but an enjoyable one, too!).  I didn’t have to force myself to read, but was excited to come back to the book.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. I really had no complaints. I found it to be an enjoyable, yet eye-opening read that would greatly benefit any Christian who is seeking to better understand Christ’s grace, or apply it to their own lives!

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-God-Trenches-Johnnie-Moore/dp/0849964512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356098615&sr=8-1&keywords=dirty+god

 

‘Call of A Coward’ Book Review November 6, 2012

Title: Call of A Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife

Author: Marcia Moston

Date I Finished Reading: November 6,2012

My Rating: 5/5

I have often asked myself what my reaction would be if God called me to foreign missions. How would I obey? Would I question? I think that is why I was so intrigued by Marcia’s story of the call God had for her and her family.  When Marcia’s husband informed her that God was calling them to foreign missions in Guatemala, she was hesitant. She attempted to excuse herself, convinced that her life in New Jersey was full of work for the Lord. However, God worked in her heart. They went.  This book is the story of the ups and downs of the Monstons’ time doing God’s work in Guatemala.

I was quickly drawn into this book. Mission work has always interested me, and I love to hear about the work being done abroad. I literally found myself smiling and laughing at the family’s higher points, and nearly in tears as she recounted the trials they experienced. God’s hand was at work in every situation, which was interesting to see unfold. Call of A Coward was an easy read. It is written in a simple format, and with small chapters. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to you!!

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Call-Coward-Moses-Middle-Class-Housewife/dp/0849947308/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352225892&sr=8-1&keywords=call+of+a+coward