Saturday, December 9, 2017

Reading List: December 9, 2017

Finished this month:

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity by Mark Noll
I love reading about history, especially how it related to the Bible and Christianity. This was a really interesting book on key events in the history of Christianity. There are many others of course, but the author has carefully chosen 12 that he believes are the most impactful. They include The Fall of Jerusalem, The Council of Nicaea, The Great Schism (division between Eastern and Western churches), the Protestant Reformation, Counter-Reformation, the French Revolution (this was a very interesting one!) and more. Interesting read, well-written and I learned a lot!

Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung
The ladies Bible Study read through this book this semester. It’s filled with good reminders about why God’s Word is “knowable, necessary, and enough”. It has chapters dedicated to the authority, necessity, clarity, sufficiency, and power of Scripture. I found this book a little basic (I’ve been to seminary and read a lot more detailed stuff on this subject) but for newer/younger or not as well-read believers it’s a great resource! Very encouraging reminders of how wonderfully sufficient and powerful the Word of God is!

The Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophesy by Jack Deere
If you haven’t read Deere’s book Surprised by the Power of the Spirit you should read that first, but this is a great book if you are interested in learning about and pursuing the gift of prophesy, or if you want to know how to be more discerning when it comes to listening to prophets. How can you learn to discern the voice of God? What pitfalls do you need to watch out for? How do you know when to believe to a prophet or not? What about when a prophet is wrong (i.e mis-understands/mis-applies) what God is speaking to him? This was a very helpful book that was also convicting… the human heart is easily deceived and easily proud and those are big dangers that not only greatly hinder our growth and ministry, but we constantly need to fight against.

You May All Prophesy by Steve Thompson
This was a very interesting and balanced book. Informative about what prophesy is and how to grow in or encourage the gift in the church. The author also gives many warnings about how pride and other sins get in the way of this gift being used rightly, and how to learn to be discerning in things you “hear”. Great follow-up book to the previous one I read!

Mike and I also finished listening to The Hobbit which was fun.

Currently Reading:
Five Views on Sanctification edited by Stanley Gundry. Also listening to some fun fiction with Mike, and also currently reading through Baby-Wise by Gary Ezzo (there are various opinions about this book – some have found it to work and love it, for some others it hasn’t and they hate-talk it, but it’s interesting at least and there are good principles to put in place. Stay tuned I guess!)

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.