Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Update: Coming May 2018

Hello readers! This is personal update as my husband and I would like to share some very exciting news with you!

  I can't believe I'm going to be a Mommy! And little one's going to have a wonderful Daddy too!

                                                    Little Baby, we love you SO much!

                                                        So much to "Be Thankful" for!

Baby Coburn is due May 6, and we are very excited! I have always wanted to be a mom, and I am very thankful (and a little scared) about this little human growing inside me! I’ve had some mild sickness (all-day mild stomach ache type thing) earlier, but overall have been feeling pretty good! It's been an interesting experience! We were able to hear baby's heartbeat for the first time the end of last week which was SO precious! Please join us in praying for a continued healthy pregnancy/development and safe arrival of our little one!  Thank you!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reading List: October 2017

Sacred Marriage by Gary Chapmen
This is a great book for married, engaged or single. It has great foundational advice for how we should view marriage as Christians and how it is really all about our relationship with Christ. What does it mean to love another person when it’s hard? Are we willing to do that? Are we seeking to serve others when we don’t feel like it? Your spouse will be your closest neighbor, and someone who will on occasion frustrate or annoy you. What does it mean to love and serve and forgive and overlook faults? Are you practicing that now as a single person? Marriage builds your character in a way that only a very close, intimate relationship can, and it doesn’t come naturally. We practice with our parents and siblings and roommates. We practice by serving the church or others where there are needs – especially when it’s not easy or convenient. We practice by being open with others, sharing when we need encouragement, listening to correction. In all these things we are growing to be more like Christ – which is the ultimate goal of every Christian. God calls us to be faithful wherever we are, single or married, working in a business office, on the mission field, or at home. Marriage is to be sacred, because it belongs to God first and He must always be our first love.

Hitler’s Cross by Erwin Lutzer
On occasion I come a across a book that I believe every Christian should read. This I think is one of those books. Not only is it a fascinating account of how Hitler was impacted by and devoted to the occult and how this shaped his worldview, not only does it show us how he deceived and won over the church in Germany, but it’s a lesson for every Christian. Who is your god? Is it really God Himself, or is in the church as an institution, or is it the political party you support, or a person you think will “fix” societies problems. The people in Germany were in desperately bad economy after World War 1. They had been humiliated as a nation and longed to see their nation become strong and prosperous once again. Most Germans were passionate patriots, their country was everything to them. Even among the Christians the church and the state had equal attention and importance. Nationalism was pushed more and more, to the point where Christians were being taught that serving God meant serving their nation – no matter what. When Hitler first took over he did a lot of amazing things for the economy and for winning back of German pride. It’s no wonder everyone loved him, not to mention the fact that he had a rather frightening ability to win people over. As he moved to “befriend” the church but slowly take authority over it, many saw him as their “savior” who would deliver them from their humiliation and make their nation great again. Nationalism was more important than the Gospel – a Gospel that tells us we should not seek human glory but humble ourselves before God. A Gospel that tells us to love others and protect the weak. The church had already been leaning towards anti-Semitism – many liberal leaders were teaching that the Jews should be judged for their rejection of Christ. Thus, when Hitler started his campaign against the Jews, many “Christians” went along with it. The church had at best become weak, at worst apostate. Many in the church were not Christians, and many who were were not willing to choose God over the State. In reality, they were not willing to suffer. The books does tell us about some who did speak out for the truth, and while they did suffer, their faith was proven genuine and they were rewarded in Heaven. In the end, everyone suffered. Germany lost the war, their cities were bombed, many were killed. The only ones who really “won” were those who were willing to stand up for the truth, even if they lost their lives in the process.

This book was rather convicting. What do we Christians in America worship? Are we more caught up with “saving” politics or the nation than we are about honoring God and seeing individual’s saved? Of course we want America to have revival, to get back to her Christian roots, but this goal must never become primary. Our patriotism must be subject to Christ. No politician can save or reform America. God may use a leader, but it’s more likely that He has a different plan. Much of the church in America, like Germany, is liberal. It’s more concerned with society and politics than it is about the Gospel. The story of the fall of the Church under Hitler is a warning to us all. You should definitely read this book!

 Mike and I also just finished listening to the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy on audio, which was fun!

Currently Reading:
I’m reading a book for with ladies from my church by Kevin DeYoung (Taking God at His Word), but haven’t decided what else to read next.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Reading List: September 2017

It’s been a busy season so I haven’t gotten to update and post this till now! (But hey, better than the year it was last time!)

Picture Perfect by Amy Baker
This is a book for people who struggle with perfectionism and those who want to help them. Maybe you just joke about having OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) but you’re anxious and/or frustrated… life isn’t going the way you want it to. Or maybe you call it exhaustion – because you’re wearing yourself out trying to please everyone. To many, it’s an actual diagnosis of anxiety or OCD. Whatever it is, you’re caught it a cycle of thinking that you can’t seem to get out of and it’s leaving you anxious, frustrated and sometimes in despair. How do you change? How can y ou help a friend or loved one who’s in this situation? This book gives us some case studies (examples) of individuals who have struggled with perfectionism in different ways. Is it wrong to want everything to be “just so”? Doesn’t God call us to be perfect? Yes… but no. God, being perfect, does demand perfection…. But we cannot deliver. It is only because of Christ that we receive perfect righteousness…. We cannot achieve this on our own. This book is full of practical examples and reminders of what it means to struggle with the tendency to want things “just so” and trusting in God when things don’t go the way you want. If you live your life seeking for things to go your way you’re going to dishonor Christ and hurt the people around you. Growth means trusting God with things that aren’t going the way you’d like and seeking to put others before your own desires and goals. True success is not meeting your goals (what you consider good enough), it’s honoring God and loving others.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

This was a really powerful and educational book! Nabeel was born into a devout Muslim family in Virginia; a part of the Admadis sect of Islam which makes up a majority of western Muslims, but yet overall it is a very small minority within worldwide Islam (Shia and Sunni being by far the largest). Nabeel explains a lot of the theology and worldview of Islam and the different sects within it. He was well-trained to be devoted to Islam – he had much memorized from the Quran and from Islamic teaching and also some Christian Scriptures that are used to defend Islam. He many times shook the beliefs of Christians he came into contact with. Islam was his whole world and his journey to discovering Islam’s and the Quran’s true teaching shook his very being. If you want to understand Islam and/or why Muslims believe as they do, or why they love Islam and why it’s so difficult for them to see otherwise you need to read this book. If you have friends/neighbors/acquaintances who are Muslim and you want to know how to reach them – you MUST read this book. It was extremely enlightening as to why they are so devoted to their faith, and how western Muslims view the extremists in the Middle East and elsewhere. How do they reconcile history with Islam when so much contradicts? How do they not know the true history of Mohammed? Why is it so difficult for them to leave Islam? Even faced with all the evidence, Nabeel struggled for months and begged God/Allah for dreams to show him the truth. God graciously did and made it powerfully clear that Christianity was the truth, not Islam. It was only then that he had the courage to embrace Christianity.

This book also reveals the great importance of Apologetics in defending Christianity and how it can be a powerful tool in bringing people to Christ. If you do not know why you believe what you believe and be able to defend it – your faith can be shaken when tested. How grateful Nabeel and other converts are that there were Christians in their lives who were well trained in defending Christianity (and who also studied Islam enough to refute it).

Becoming More by Lysa Terkeurst
This was a good book, very practical. I’m very theologically-read so this was pretty basic (and not really very deep). But I so appreciate Lysa’s heart for God and how honest she is about her struggles. Again, very practical and filled with great reminders! A great one to recommend to others – especially women who are newer/younger Christians or who are struggling in their walk with God.

Currently Reading:
Sacred Marriage by Gary Chapmen.
Mike and I are also listening to The Lord of the Rings trilogy on audio, which has been fun!