Sky Links, 10-13-18

(updated 10-14)

What if God interrupted our plans? What if the Holy Spirit took over?

Mike Bickle:
Charismatic conferences have been wonderful and useful for many years, but now risk missing the point entirely if they are not deeply attuned to the whispering voice of the Holy Spirit. When the “cloud and fire” disrupt camp to move us into new territory, we must follow...
...I am convinced that we stand on the precipice of a new era in the prayer, prophetic, and missions movement. I want to say boldly but tenderly: our house is on fire. I mean our nation, the Church, society itself...

...I urge you not to miss the signals that the Holy Spirit is giving the Church in this hour. These are days of high transition. God is speaking, but His whisper demands revelation and unique focus. Voluntarily choose to adjust your life’s signal-to-noise ratio. The global prayer movement is entering its next critical phase, going far beyond the theater of an event into the Father’s deep desire for the total supremacy of His Son to be known among the nations and to raise up a close knit family who deeply values and loves one another.
An open letter to the prayer and prophetic movement





Question about new churches: Are the people who attend just transfers?

Tim Matthews:
The Church Army’s extensive research, over time, on Fresh Expressions found that 25 per cent of the people who join such plants were already Christians, 35 per cent were de-churched, and 40 per cent unchurched. Researchers remarked that, “nothing else, as a whole, in the Church of England has this level of mission impact.”
Our own 2018 annual church survey found that only 13 per cent of respondents regularly attended another C of E church in town before joining us, whereas 14 per cent of our respondents previously had no regular church attendance anywhere. Twenty-eight per cent of respondents did not consider themselves a Christian before joining us; 86 per cent do so now.
Let's dispel some myths about church plants 

Love Church






Write down your goals, to refine, remember, and achieve them

So why does writing your goals help? It’s an important thing to know; after all, it might seem like a lot of extra work to write something down when you can just as easily store it in your brain, right?
Writing things down happens on two levels: external storage and encoding. External storage is easy to explain: you’re storing the information contained in your goal in a location (e.g. a piece of paper) that is very easy to access and review at any time. You could post that paper in your office, on your refrigerator, etc. It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know you will remember something much better if you’re staring at a visual cue (aka reminder) every single day.
But there’s another deeper phenomenon happening: encoding. Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.

Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them -Mark Murphy





The news media (about 80%) is the enemy of the American people
The results show that, over the past four months, nearly two-thirds of evening news coverage of the Trump presidency has been focused on just five main topics: the Russia investigation; immigration policy; the Kavanaugh nomination; North Korea diplomacy; and U.S. relations with Russia. The networks’ coverage of all of these topics has been highly negative, while bright spots for the administration such as the booming economy received extremely little coverage (less than one percent of the four-month total).
 

Study: Economic Boom Largely Ignored as TV's Trump Coverage Hits 92% Negative




The real world
As feminists were busy peddling their “War on Women” narrative in the U.S., Yazidi sex slave survivor Nadia Murad was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting a real War on Women in the Middle East.
Nadia was honored for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, together with Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been a relentless healer and advocate for women.
Their stories serve as an important reminder that as American women debate what constitutes enough evidence to block a nominee from taking a seat on the Supreme Court, corroboration and evidence are abundant in places such as northern Iraq, where hundreds of women and girls are still enslaved and routinely subjected to rape.
A Rape Survivor Just Won the Nobel Peace Prize -Kelsey Harness






Spygate: the bigger picture
Remember, back in August, 2016, when Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were obsessively texting one another? One exchange went something like, well, exactly like this:

"[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Page texted Strzok.
"No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it," Strzok responded.

Fast forward a couple of years and here we are in October, 2018, just about two years after Trump's electoral triumph, and for reasons best known to themselves Ben Rhodes and Jen Psaki have decided to reveal to NYMag that the Russia Hoax was a key part of the Obama Administration's--and presumably the Clinton campaign's--contingency plan to, well, steal an election: Obama Had a Secret Plan in Case Trump Rejected 2016 Election Results. We're all adults--right?--so there's no need to quibble over the meaning of words like "results." Here's what Rhodes and Psaki are saying:
The Russia Hoax As Contingency Plan -Mark Wauck



Spygate outline and overview for newbies
Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate—the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign—remains surprisingly simple:
 1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, gathered foreign intelligence and fed it throughout our domestic Intelligence Community.
2. The FBI became the handler of Brennan’s intelligence and engaged in the more practical elements of surveillance.
3. The Department of Justice facilitated investigations by the FBI and legal maneuverings, while providing a crucial shield of nondisclosure.
4. The Department of State became a mechanism of information dissemination and leaks.
5. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided funding, support, and media collusion.

6. Obama administration officials were complicit, and engaged in unmasking and intelligence gathering and dissemination.
7. The media was the most corrosive element in many respects. None of these events could have transpired without their willing participation. Stories were pushed, facts were ignored, and narratives were promoted....

...Spygate represents the biggest political scandal in our nation’s history. A sitting administration actively colluded with a political campaign to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Government agencies were weaponized and a complicit media spread intelligence community leaks as facts.
Spygate: The True Story of Collusion -Jeff Carlson




It's China
Vice President Pence, China policy speech





Plagiarism: Is Ann Voskamp a fraud or just a copycat?

Do we understand the seriousness of the problem of plagiarism?  What does it say about a person, if they give a moving vignette, in a talk or a sermon; about what their father said; and that story is an illustration about how Christ works in our lives, but it is a lie, a falsification, cribbed from someone else?
In Chapter 1 of her best-selling book The Broken Way (Zondervan, 2016), which explains how personal brokenness is often essential for spiritual progress. It’s not a new thought, but Voskamp conveys it poetically, and climaxes the theological musing with a homely lesson about seeds that her farmer-dad gave her: “For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone. The shell must break open, its insides must come out, and everything must change. If you didn’t understand what life looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction.”
It wouldn’t be surprising for Voskamp’s dad to say something like that, but the problem is that the words attributed to him matched almost word for word the writing of author Cynthia Occelli on her social media pages. It appeared that Voskamp (or perhaps a researcher for her) had copied the seed quote from Occelli and then put those words into her dad’s mouth.
When Occelli found out, she contacted Zondervan. She was particularly upset by a Zondervan promotional video featuring Voskamp telling the seed story as coming from her dad: “The passion and drama with which she speaks my stolen quote are nauseating.” Occelli has an uphill battle to reclaim the quotation, because Occelli has 60,000 Facebook fans to Voskamp’s 488,000. (Voskamp turned down my request for an interview, and Occelli did not respond to my attempts to contact her.)
Back to the Sources -Emily Belz


This was not an isolated incident.  Jules (Jules Diner blogger), did a series of posts documenting Ann's problem:
I want to begin by stating, for the record, that I take no pleasure in writing these posts. This process leaves me discouraged and weary, but biblical integrity demands that this information be made known. Plagiarism is a serious charge. Exodus 20:15.
Ann Voskamp and Plagiarism, Part V -Jules (Jules Diner)

Jules Diner Ann Voskamp posts all in one link





Home libraries are good for children
We've known for a while that home libraries are strongly linked to children's academic achievement. What's less certain is whether the benefits they bestow have a long-term impact.
A new large-scale study, featuring data from 31 countries, reports they do indeed. It finds the advantages of growing up in a book-filled home can be measured well into adulthood.
"Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies," writes a research team led by Joanna Sikora of Australian National University.
These reading-driven abilities not only "facilitate educational and occupational attainment," the researchers write in the journal Social Science Research. "[They] also lay a foundation for lifelong routine activities that enhance literacy and numeracy."
Home Libraries Confer Long-Term Benefits -Tom Jacobs


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Photo Credit: Spacebridge by longobord C 

Sky Links, 10-6



SJW's drove DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver out (Andrew Klavan)




Catholic clergy 
The recent publication of a devastating report on Pope Francis in the German news magazine Der Spiegel marks a new phase in the continuing crisis in the Catholic Church. The report (as yet unavailable in English) is entitled: “Thou shalt not lie: The silence of the shepherds.”
Contradicting the widespread image of Pope Francis as a “reformer” concerned to expose clerical sexual abuses within his church and punish the offenders, the report reveals a pope who for years has been indifferent to the complaints of abuse survivors, and has surrounded himself with an inner circle of close advisors, several of whom have been accused of cover-ups.
As Catholic Scandal Unfolds, Pope Francis Looks Increasingly Blameworthy -Robert Delahunty

The Sex Abuse of Deaf Orphans in Pope Francis’ Backyard -Barbie Latza Nadeau





The Democrat leadership and their media allies have united the right
Frankly, Trump does not have the character or strong Christian faith I prefer in a President. But he is positively angelic compared to his political opponents and the press. Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.

Progressives believe Trump is an authoritarian tyranny barely constrained by the rule of law. With a straight face, these same progressives argue the accusations against Kavanaugh are proof of his guilt, he should not be presumed innocent, a lack of witnesses is confirmation he did what they claim, all women must be believed except the ones who defend Kavanaugh, and any dissent is just white male privilege. Progressives may claim President Trump is Caesar at the edge of the Rubicon, but they have embraced the bastard love child of Joseph Stalin and Franz Kafka and enlisted the American political press to smear, defame, and attack anyone who stands in their way.

The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts. There is much in this present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain. President Trump is not my enemy and too many progressives view me as theirs.
Trump 2020? -Erick Erickson




Facebook employees are mad 
Hundreds of Facebook Inc. employees have expressed outrage about a top global policy executive’s decision to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and appear at his hearing last week, people familiar with the matter said...

...Mr. Kaplan’s appearance came in the midst of a difficult week for the company. Last Monday, the co-founders of Instagram abruptly resigned after clashing with Mr. Zuckerberg on strategy. Friday, the company disclosed its largest-ever security breach...

...Mr. Zuckerberg was questioned earlier this year before Congress about criticisms that his platform has unfairly punished conservative figures—an allegation he denied—and fellow tech giants Google and Twitter Inc. have pushed back against similar complaints. Google in particular made headlines last month when a 2016 video surfaced showing senior executives visibly upset about President Trump’s election.
Mr. Kaplan, who oversees global public policy for Facebook, was a former official in President George W. Bush’s administration, and was present when Judge Kavanaugh was sworn in as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. Mr. Kaplan was also at the White House when Mr. Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Mr. Kaplan was seated in the second row behind the judge at the hearing, during which Judge Kavanaugh responded to questions about allegations raised by Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual misconduct. At the time, a Facebook spokesman said he was there in “a personal capacity.”
His appearance at the hearing shocked many Facebook employees, including senior leaders who hadn’t been told about his plans and learned about his attendance after the image surfaced, according to people familiar with the matter....
...Mr. Zuckerberg also noted Mr. Kaplan’s close friendship with the judge and the fact that the two men were in one another’s weddings, according to people familiar with the remarks.
His comments failed to calm employees, many of whom were also upset that Ms. Sandberg wasn’t weighing in on the controversy publicly, according to the people familiar with the matter.
Zuckerberg Faces Anger Over Facebook Executive’s Kavanaugh Support -Deepa Seetharaman




Matt Chandler: The gift of prophecy






Heresy hunting is fun right? No.
I agree with George Gillespie, “Heresy is a gross and dangerous error, voluntarily held and factiously maintained by some person or persons within the visible church, in opposition to some chief or substantial truth or truths grounded upon and drawn from the Holy Scripture by necessary consequence.” But this is different to being in error. All heresies are errors, but not all errors are heresies. As Augustine said, “I may err, but I shall not be a heretic”. When calling someone a heretic or a false teacher, you’d better have really good grounds. And if you’ve done it more than a handful of times online, then you’ve probably done it too often.

The Gospel Coalition and that heresy hunting thing they do -Michael Frost






China has used microchips to hack 30 U.S. Companies

There are two ways for spies to alter the guts of computer equipment. One, known as interdiction, consists of manipulating devices as they’re in transit from manufacturer to customer. This approach is favored by U.S. spy agencies, according to documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The other method involves seeding changes from the very beginning.
One country in particular has an advantage executing this kind of attack: China, which by some estimates makes 75 percent of the world’s mobile phones and 90 percent of its PCs. Still, to actually accomplish a seeding attack would mean developing a deep understanding of a product’s design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location—a feat akin to throwing a stick in the Yangtze River upstream from Shanghai and ensuring that it washes ashore in Seattle. “Having a well-done, nation-state-level hardware implant surface would be like witnessing a unicorn jumping over a rainbow,” says Joe Grand, a hardware hacker and the founder of Grand Idea Studio Inc. “Hardware is just so far off the radar, it’s almost treated like black magic.”

But that’s just what U.S. investigators found: The chips had been inserted during the manufacturing process, two officials say, by operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army. In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.
One official says investigators found that it eventually affected almost 30 companies, including a major bank, government contractors, and the world’s most valuable company, Apple Inc. Apple was an important Supermicro customer and had planned to order more than 30,000 of its servers in two years for a new global network of data centers. Three senior insiders at Apple say that in the summer of 2015, it, too, found malicious chips on Supermicro motherboards. Apple severed ties with Supermicro the following year, for what it described as unrelated reasons.
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies -Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley





Politics has actually been much worse than it is today.  The post Civil War period, culminating with the 1884 election:
The nation was shocked. The president of Amherst declared that only voters of debauched moral sentiment could support Cleveland. Ministers throughout the country preached sermons on his sins. The Reverend George Ball of Buffalo proclaimed: The issue is evidently not between the two great parties, but between the brothel and the family, between indecency and decency, between lust and law. between the essence of barbarism and the first principles of civilization, between the degradation of woman and due honor, protection, and love to our mothers, sisters and daughters.
This set the tone of the campaign. Would Victorian America elect an unchaste, “immoral” man President? The answer, after months of vicious “moral” warfare, would turn on such unrelated events as the collapse of an ex-President’s business, the support of Cleveland by a famous Protestant minister who had himself been charged with adultery, and the last-minute emergence of the “Catholic problem.” But most of all, it would depend on the strange character of Cleveland’s brilliant Republican opponent, James G. Blaine, one of America’s master politicians.
Elegant and polished, passionately ambitious, Blaine was a dangerous complex of strengths and weaknesses, of intellectual perception and moral obtuseness. He grasped power easily, but he used it mainly for power’s sake. He was a superb congressional tactician, first as Speaker of the House, then as senator; he was known as “magnetic” the country over for his power to charm and persuade; but he was also called “Slippery Jim” because the most conspicuous end of his subtle manipulation of men and laws had been to protect himself and his party from investigations by the Democrats.
There was much to defend. Authority came too easily lo the Republicans after the Civil War. With the Democrats disorganized and disgraced as the “party of treason.” their southern strongholds in the hands of carpetbaggers, the Republicans’ power was enormous, and they were enormously corrupted. There has been more spectacular malfeasance in Washington, but nothing to match the persistent, hungry stealing that honeycombed Grant’s administration.
The great Panic of 1873 laid bare the corruption, and the angry Democrats roared back to win the House. Blaine found himself in the middle of Republican civil war. Grant’s henchmen, the Stalwarts, led by the formidable Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York, frankly held to the spoils system as a means of retaining the party’s power, and bitterly attacked the “rancid, canting self-righteousness” of a rising band of reform-minded Independent Republicans, called—at first scornfully and then popularly—the Mugwumps, who set out to rescue their party and nation from the spoilsmen. Blaine moved restlessly between the Stalwarts and the Independents, identifying himself with neither but choosing a third faction—more responsible than the Stalwarts, more “practical” than the Mugwumps—who were known as the Half-Breeds.
The Dirtiest Election -Dorthy Rosenberg




Ford becomes an Edsel

Rachel Mitchel's Report -Jessica McBride
Ford's Ex-FBI Ally Lobbied Friend in Denial, to 'Clarify' Story -Wall Street Journal 
Unreleased, Ford's Therapy Files Will Leave Lasting Mystery -RealClearPolitics 
Ex-Boyfriend Contradicts Ford Testimony on Polygraphs -Fox News
Suppressed Blasey Ford Yearbooks: Fast Times at Holton-Arms -RealClearInvestigations
TV Quiet on Prosecutor Memo Clearing Kavanaugh - Bill D'Agostino, Nicholas Fondacaro, NewsBusters

Leyland Keyser was blindsided -Daily Mail
Ford's BFF Monica McLean -Conservative Treehouse
Pressure to change her testimony -National Review
Felt pressured to change her statement -Fox News
Ford's BFF McLean, former FBI, pressured witness to modify testimony -Conservative Treehouse



Spygate

DNC Lawyers at Firm Funding Dossier Met FBI Before Spying OK -The Hill






The fraud of academia today: Camille and Jordan




"We are heading toward late Rome"



The War on Boys: Christina Hoff Sommers




Steven Crowder talks to students about "rape culture"


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Photo Credit: Spacebridge by longobord C 

Sky Links 9-28-18


The hearing
"It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know. Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we’re just gambling on probabilities — we may be wrong. We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don’t know. Nobody really can. But we have a reasonable doubt, and that’s something that’s very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s sure." -Juror #8, "Twelve Angry Men"
Ben Stein:
We have entered a genuinely Stalinist world in which all it takes is an accusation from the favored clique, in this case, “progressive” women, to wreck an honest man’s career. There is no trial on facts or law any longer. As others have pointed out, we now have “guilt by accusation.” If you are a member of the elite class and simply make the accusation against a member of the disfavored class, his life is over. He’s ruined. He’s through. There’s no defense because the accusation itself is its own proof...
...To stop Donald Trump, the Democrats have tossed out the whole basis of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence — innocent until proven guilty. They’ve taken the greatest deliberative body in the world, the Senate —and made it the chapter room of a sorority at a tenth rate college. Is there no end to it? Stalin would approve. So would Goebbels. If this Democrat trick works, there simply is no meaningful legal protection in this country any longer.
This is a defining moment for the Constitution. Republicans. Democrats who still love America. All hands on deck. This is about protecting the whole country and our future. If the gossip of the beautiful people overrule the Constitution, it’s a catastrophe.
Stalin Would Approve -Ben Stein



John Zmirak:
Again and again, the Democrats bayed for Mark Judge to testify, though he’d already said clearly and under penalty of perjury all he has to say: He didn’t see or take part in any such events....
... No wonder the Democrats (who know exactly how the story was concocted, and how it was meant to unfold, destroying Kavanaugh) fumed and sputtered at Judge’s wise decision to avoid testifying. They did everything but stamp their feet like Rumpelstiltskin. The Republicans wisely denied them the use of their secret weapon: a vicious attack on a penitent, recovering alcoholic for the gaps in his memory. Into those blank spaces they wished to shove Brett Kavanaugh’s good name (and Judge’s). All in a grab for power over our nation’s highest court.
Kavanaugh’s testimony was clear and confident, impassioned and persuasive. There is no good reason to believe Ford’s account over his. In fact, since the witnesses she herself named all contradict her, and there is not one scintilla of evidence to support her charges, it would be a travesty to believe them. And a deadly, chilling precedent.
Make no mistake, this hearing didn’t mimic a real court of law. What it seemed more like was a show trial, of the kind that leftists run on campuses all across America, railroading falsely accused students on flimsy evidence. Or the back room decisions of a social media monopoly, deciding whom to silence. Or the proceedings of some “human rights” commission deciding which Christian business to bankrupt. If we let this show trial end in a politicized conviction, let them toss Brett Kavanaugh onto the ash heap of history, our country faces a bleak and dangerous future.
The Farce of The Kavanaugh Hearings 



Perfidy; deceitfulness; untrustworthiness.
Synonyms: treachery, duplicity, deceit, deceitfulness, disloyalty, infidelity, faithlessness, unfaithfulness, betrayal, treason, double-dealing, untrustworthiness, breach of trust.
Latin: 'per' (to ill effect) + 'fides' (faith) = treachery

The perfidy of Dianne Feinstein
Senator Feinstein. She dropped this bomb upending the process and dealing contemptuously with her own witness, Judge Kavanaugh, her Republican colleagues, and her fellow Americans. When the original hearing didn’t go as planned, when the only dirt was baseball tickets and beer, something drastic had to be done.
This last-hour desperation meant expending a cartel-load of political capital but things like Senator Feinstein’s future was at stake — never mind the Senate control and the Supreme Court balance and most of all, the cultural control that leftists hold so dear. So Senator Feinstein lit everything on fire and burned it all.
This ugly sham will be the Senator’s legacy and her shame. At the end of her career (because win or lose, her career as Senator is over), Dianne Feinstein upended the rule of law and laws of common decency. She abused a fragile woman and attempted to destroy a decent man and his family for one reason: power. Her power.

Hope the spectacle was worth it. It won’t be videos of the male Republicans that will be the legacy of this farce, it will be Senator Feinstein: fumbling, shocked, caught in a trap of her own making. She should pay for her malice dearly, she’s caused incalculable damage to many innocent people — not least of all the American citizens she claims to represent.

Dianne Feinstein's Mess -Melissa Mackenzie



False memories
"Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics -- and raises some important ethical questions."






The elephants outfox the donkeys
Although few things may seem more frustrating to Judge Kavanaugh’s supporters than to wait yet another week for an anti-climactic seventh FBI investigation into his background, the extension of time does offer several potential benefits for both the judge as he prepares to ascend the nation’s highest bench and for the Republicans as they go into the November elections.
First, hidden behind the Democrats’ cynical charade of seeking “only the truth” is a huge tug of war between the parties over the suburban white female voter. The brilliance of having Rachel Mitchell, an experienced sex-crimes prosecutor, conduct the questioning of Christine Blasey Ford becomes more apparent in that light. The Democrats wanted the nation’s women to emerge appalled by the harsh mistreatment they hoped would unfold brutally as Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee presumably would tear into her story’s inconsistencies and uncertainties. Yes, the Charles Grassleys and Orrin Hatches would win litigation points, but they would lose undecided voters, particularly reasonable open-minded women. The GOP masterfully avoided that trap as Ms. Mitchell uncovered enough inconsistencies, curiosities, and uncertainties in Dr. Ford’s testimony to justify non-Resisters moving ahead with the Kavanaugh selection and voting Republican in November.
As Democrats on the committee saw their early morning gains dissipate after Judge Kavanaugh powerfully and persuasively defended himself, his name, and his family, they gathered around one last tactic: the demand for an FBI investigation to “clear Kavanaugh’s name.” Oh, how they joined in concern to defend the good name of the man whom they had besmirched for months! “Wouldn’t you want that?” they asked Judge Kavanaugh over and over again. “Why would you not want your name cleared by a non-partisan FBI investigation?” Among the five nominees for best actor in the coveted “Don’t You Want Your Name to Be Cleared by the FBI for a Seventh Time? Category,” Dick Durbin was most compelling, a wonderfully acted performance.

Certainly, half the country sees through the charade, the nonsense — the outright mendacity.
Why One More Frustrating Week Helps Kavanaugh and the GOP -Dov Fischer





A story of forgiveness in the face of tragedy

Patricia Hall's son Mike was killed on his bicycle, by an errant driver:
“I came half way across the world for my boy. I attended the Inquest and sat for three days listening to the evidence. I knew whatever the findings will be that I have to live with it. There is no blame no anger and no recriminations. I went for my son who always asked people to be kind to each other and have empathy. I saw a young lad with fear in his eyes with sorrow in his heart and I took him in my arms and held him tight as he sobbed that he was sorry for what he had done. I hugged him and his girlfriend, told him I forgave him and asked him to try to move on and find a way forward to look after his young family and to have a good life . I came to Australia to find answers and I did. I found the answer all around in the courtroom I saw destructive anger that is negative. I saw people so wrapped up in their own need that it destroyed what my son stood for. But I also saw incredible steadfastness and the ability to reach out and have compassion. I came away with clarity. I had done want Mike would have done. I forgave. Be kind to us.”
The Power of Forgiveness -Eric Hatfield




Ambition in the church
But is ambition a virtue? Should it be viewed as a virtue from a Christian perspective?
What role does ambition play in our church? What role should it play?
I’m skeptical. It seems to me that ambition is playing with fire. It is not inherently negative, in fact it is good to have goals and to work for those goals with perseverance. But ambition uses people, destroys relationships, and destroys community. Ambition is intimately coupled with envy, pride, and perhaps greed. We are fully embodied creatures and ambition feeds on our chemistry and biology and it shapes our natural responses, it is addictive.
I’ll go one step further. Ambition, although not always clearly recognized and acknowledged as such, wreaks havoc in the church. Sexual sin, despite the attention payed to it, is of less significance if we consider impact on community and pain caused. The difference in impact is primarily because we recognize sexual sin as sin – there are consequences. In contrast we often value and reward the result of ambition. We brush under the rug or rationalize away its impetus in envy and pride. This is a spiritual problem and a physical problem.
Ambition ... Virtue or Vice? -RJS



Why your preaching is ineffective

Joshua Reich:
-You are a boring speaker with bad stage presence, a monotone voice and you don’t have an interesting delivery or content.
-How did the passage you are preaching on make an impact in your life? How were you convicted this week as you worked on your sermon? Tell us. What changes are you making in your life because of this passage? Tell us.
-Many pastors and church planters preach to the podcasts they listen to or the blogs they read instead of the people filling the seats.
-You need to take breaks from preaching so that you can recharge and stay fresh. I’ve learned that 10 weeks in a row is the maximum I want to preach, and then I need a week off from preaching. This is good for my church, too, because they get to hear other communicators.
-You didn’t have a clear next step for your sermon. Your sermon prep is not done until you can unpack how we should live in light of the passage.
Why Your Sermon Gets Ignored



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Am I Called? (by Dave Harvey) Book Notes 1

As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.  “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, preparing their nets, and he called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
-Matthew 4:18-22

Calling, as in being "called to the ministry", has been a painful topic for me.  It used to bother me when guys would say, "when I was called", or "God called me".  That painful feeling was a clue, about me, my makeup, and my personal destiny.  I wanted to be called, I wanted to be special, and I wanted to serve God with my whole life.  So, "going into the ministry", made perfect sense.  But I also had a belief that one must be called, have a special calling experience from God, in order to become called to the ministry; which would be full-time vocational ministry.  Right?

I got even more confused as I adopted and integrated the belief that all Christians are called to the ministry.  You know, the priesthood of all believers.  I am very passionate about there not being a clergy-laity dichotomy.  I am very passionate about 'every-member ministry'.  I believe in leadership in the church that is very different from leadership in the world and I believe in elders and ministers and ministries.  And I believe in offices, that are functional and relational, and not hierarchical/institutional positions.  I believe that the 'org-chart' of the church is 'flat'.  Jesus is the head and we are all under him.

That's me, and this is Dave:  I picked up Dave Harvey's book, Am I Called?, after I read J. I. Packer's endorsement that reads, "This is the fullest, most realistic, down-to-earth, and genuinely spiritual exploration of God's call to pastoral ministry that I know."  Dave is 58 years old, and is a teaching pastor in Naples, Florida.  Dave came to Christ in his late teens and earned a DMin from Westminster Seminary.

The forward is written by Matt Chandler, who reflects on his personal journey in ministry, and laments that he wishes that a book like Dave's had been put in his hands, twenty years ago, so that he would have been saved from so much pain and loss, from his brokenness, sin, and blunders in ministry.  Matt gives us a preview, that the book is going to be more about character formation, roots, and foundations; in a word, Christ.

I went from feeling like Dave was going to disqualify me, to being thrilled that this is really a book about knowing Christ and living the gospel, and that Dave and I have a ton in common.

Matt writes that Dave asks these questions that unpack if you are called:
  • Are you godly?
  • How's your home?
  • Can you preach?
  • Can you shepherd?
  • Do you love the lost?
  • Who agrees?
Lastly, Matt says that after working through these, Dave talks about waiting on God.  Sounds good to me.



In part one, chapter one, Dave clarifies that his book is written "for men who may someday be pastors".  He's not an egalitarian.

Dave tells his story.  When he started out in his Christian life (age 19 and early twenties), he needed a lot of work, probably just like all of us.  "I was arrogant, self-indulgent, selfishly ambitious, impatient, and intrinsically rebellious."

But Dave had stirrings, specifically when a preacher presented a sermon in church.  His calling began to take shape.  He began to wonder about himself being in ministry someday.  Stirrings and desire, but what were the next steps?  Dave asked himself, "How do I know if God was calling me to be a pastor?" (p. 25)

It's Time For Your Vision To Come To Birth

 
5779

(Updated: More from Lance Wallnau, after Robert)

These are my notes from:

"Head of the Year 5779" - Robert Heidler



  • The Hebrew Calendar year 5779 is the Roman year 2019.


  • 5779
    • 70 = Ayin
    • 9 = Tet
  • Ayin is associated with this whole decade. 2010-2019
  • Ayin was originally associated with "eye".
    • God has been getting us to see what we can not see: the invisible, angels: recognition of spiritual warfare.
  • Ayin (70) also means, "end of captivity", "empowerment", or "release into ministry".


  • Tet means "womb", or "wineskin".  
  • Words for "good" & "pure" are "tet" words: clean, pure, purity, cleanse, purify, clear, and splendor.  
  • Words for impure & defiled are "tet" words too!: defiled, impure, to soil, defile, dirty, and sink down into mire.
  • This is an important year to learn discernment.  Good and evil, pure and impure.
  • The picture of the letter Tet, is a person standing and another person bowing before them.  It is a picture of being good: honoring God as King in everything: bowing down and worshiping in your life
  • The picture of Tet is also a picture of a snake.  If you don't submit your life to the King, the snake is waiting to overtake you (this year).

  • Tet = womb and Ayin = vision.  
"The vision God has given you is in your womb.  This year, it is time for that vision to be brought to birth.  Welcome what God is birthing in your life this year."
    • Same for the church.  Outpouring of the Spirit, worldwide.  This vision has been in the womb of the church and will be brought to birth this year.  It is time for a new movement.


  • Tet = wineskin 
  • Ayn + Tet = Vision for new wineskin.
    • New wineskin: Apostolic Church, Saints' Movement : been forming, but still in the womb.  Will fully manifest this year, so that we can hold the new wine.


  • Summary:  
When you see that symbol... know that it's time for your VISION to come to birth!
So...  Bow before Him as KING and worship Him!
Receive a fresh outpouring of the Spirit!
Taste and see that the Lord is good!
"The new movement has begun!"
"For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." 
-Jeremiah 29:11


Update: Lance Wallnau shares his insights about this year:


Bonus:




notes:
  • We are on God's side.  He isn't on our side.  We choose.  We just have to show up.  We lose by default, when we don't show up.  Show up with a sincere heart, and make an honest effort to obey him, he's gonna do what he's gonna do.
  • "Out of shaking, glory will begin to rise." -Chuck Pierce
  • Barren, barrenness: 
    • This is a year when God is going to bring forth His life from the barrenness. God is going to hover over those areas and release His glory.  Then reproduction, life will come forth.
  • What is coming is more than saving, it will be transformational.
  • Word and Spirit movement
  • Multiplication year: healing and miracles
  • Prodigals returning to Father's house
  • Nations are going to change, when Holy Spirit hovers and activates the word.
  • Scripture:
    1. Genesis 1: Holy Spirit hovered and life came.
    2. Abraham & Sarah: unable to reproduce.  God hovered over them and they got pregnant at ages 99 and 90.  25 year old promise fulfilled.  25 years of barrenness broken.  More than a son, but a nation, a redeemer.  Transformative event for the entire planet.
    3. Exodus 19: God hovered at Mount Sinai.  The government of God in you, your house, business.
    4. David and the house of God, presence of God.  The ark of glory at your house.
    5. Isaiah 35 & 40: the glory of the Lord hovers over the desert.
    6. Mary: pregnant with God.  We are too, with Christ's Spirit. (Romans 8:11)
    7. Peter: his transformation

Sky Links, 9-15-18


What is discipleship?
Jesus didn't invent the concept of being a disciple. The rabbis of Jesus' time undertook students and followers in a "follow, listen, imitate" relationship as a typical form of rabbinic training. John the Baptist had disciples. The graduate seminar was replaced with meals together, weeks on mission, and hundreds of hours of conversation. Disciples in Judaism were not learning three hours a week. It was a life-consuming, life-transforming vocation.
...Discipleship with Jesus was crucially focused around coming to understand Jesus himself. The midterm exam was not "tell me what you've learned about the kingdom," but "who do you say that I am?" This reflects the primary course material in Jesus' brand of discipleship: Have you come to grips with what it means that God has come to you?
...The contemporary model of the pastor is, on the one hand, the entrepreneur, the "vision caster," and the likable, unifying motivator. For others it is the ideal of the "Edwardsian" pastor, spending hours alone in his study to emerge on Sundays preaching sermons with irresistible theology. What about what Bill Hull called the "Disciple Making Pastor"? The Epistles and the Book of Acts show leaders taking intense interest in the process of the behavioral/devotional formation of their converts. Paul's own methods reveal an intense concern for discipleship using the methods of Jesus, investing hours, months, and years in developing relationships that allowed him to say "follow me as I follow Christ" and to use himself as a living illustration of applied Christianity.
Contemporary church life seems designed to create a kind of Christian who looks to the church itself for information, motivation, and direction. If the church can produce its own brand of disciples, then it has done its job. But are church programs imitating the discipleship we see in the Gospels, or are they redefining discipleship into church-sponsored activities?
Discipleship Isn't What You Think It Is -Michael Spencer




News or acting?





-Aggression (Projection) -Suppression (Fascism) -Censorship (Narrative-Dogma)





Mockingbirds sing out their hearts for us




Bias? Nothing to see here.




"How much the media has lied to me my whole life."




"I'm in tears right now. Ain't nobody like Trump."




RGB on the Kavanaugh hearings: "The way it was, was right, the way it is, is wrong."





__________________________________________
Photo Credit: Spacebridge by longobord C 

25 Books Details

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach.
-Acts 1:1 (NLT)

These are the details on the 25 books I would recommend to a young Christian.  Every word below is a quote from Goodreads or Amazon's websites.  Links provided throughout.

My advice about your reading life:  Pray first, then read the Bible, ask questions and pray some more.  Journal daily.  Read numerous translations if possible.  Take notes, think and pray some more.  Worship always.  Meet with people or phone a friend and share about what you are learning and what God is doing in your life.... Then read books, that aren't the Bible.

These are in no particular order, thumb-nail sketch biographies first:


Watchman Nee

Born into a Methodist family, Watchman Nee experienced a religious revival, and joined the Church of Heavenly Peace, Fuzhou in 1920 at age 17 and began writing in the same year. In 1921, he met the British missionary M. E. Barber, who was a great influence on him. Through Miss Barber, Nee was introduced to many of the Christian writings which were to have a profound influence on him and his teachings. Nee attended no theological schools or Bible institutes. His knowledge was acquired through studying the Bible and reading various Christian spiritual books. During his 30 years of ministry, beginning in 1922, Nee traveled throughout China planting churches among the rural communities and holding Christian conferences and trainings in Shanghai. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. (1)

The Normal Christian Life

Watchman Nee's great Christian classic tracing the steps along the pathway of faith and presenting the eternal purpose of God in simple terms. Its central theme: "Christ our Life. (1)


An inspiring look at Ephesians and the believer's association with Christ, the world, and Satan. (2)



Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers was born to devout parents in Aberdeen, Scotland. At age 16, Oswald Chambers was baptized and became a member of Rye Lane Baptist Chapel. Even as a teenager, Chambers was noted for his deep spirituality, and he participated in the evangelization of poor occupants of local lodging houses. Oswald married Gertrude in May 1910, and on May 24, 1913, Gertrude gave birth to their only child, Kathleen. In 1915, a year after the outbreak of World War I, Chambers was accepted as a YMCA chaplain. He was assigned to Zeitoun, Cairo, Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops, who later participated in the Battle of Gallipoli. Soon his wooden-framed "hut" was packed with hundreds of soldiers listening attentively to his messages. Confronted by a soldier who said, "I can't stand religious people," Chambers replied, "Neither can I." Chambers was stricken with appendicitis on October 17, 1917 but resisted going to a hospital on the grounds that the beds would be needed by men wounded in the long-expected Third Battle of Gaza. On October 29th, a surgeon performed an emergency appendectomy, but Chambers died November 15, 1917 from a hemorrhage of the lungs. He was buried in Cairo with full military honors. Gertrude, for the remainder of her life published books and articles for him edited from the notes she had taken in shorthand from his sermons. Most successful of the thirty books was, "My Utmost for His Highest", which has never been out of print and has been translated into 39 languages. (3)


For nearly seventy-five years, countless millions of Christians the world over have trusted the spiritual companionship of Oswald Chambers's daily devotional, "My Utmost for His Highest." These brief scripture-based readings--by turns comforting and challenging--will draw you into God's presence and form you as a disciple of the Risen Lord. You'll treasure their insight, still fresh and vital. And you'll discover what it means to offer God your very best for His greatest purpose--to truly offer Him your utmost for His highest. This edition includes Chambers's text, updated by editor James Reimann, along with helpful subject and scripture indexes. (3)



Henry and Richard Blackaby, and Claude V. King

Henry Blackaby is founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, an organization built to help people experience God. He and his wife Marilynn have five children and fourteen grandchildren and live in Rex, Georgia. (4)


Dr. Richard Blackaby is the president of Blackaby Ministries International (www.blackaby.org) where he works with his father Henry. He is an author and a popular international speaker. Richard is married to Lisa and they have three amazing children: Mike, Daniel, and Carrie. Richard has a Ph.D. in history. He loves reading biographies and hockey. He works with leaders in the home, church, and business community, helping them develop their leadership to higher levels.(5)


Claude King serves as Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources. He and his wife Reta are natives and current residents of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. After attending school in New Orleans, Claude began work as an editor at the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee. After a writer cancellation, he coauthored his first book ("WiseCounsel: Skills for Lay Counseling" with John Drakeford) out of sheer necessity to meet a deadline. He met and began working with Henry Blackaby in 1986. That relationship led to their developing "Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God" which was first released in 1990. (6)

Most Bible studies help people; this one changes them forever. (7)  Experiencing God is based on seven Scriptural realities that teach us how to develop a true relationship with the Creator. (8)



Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. He was also a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943 and his subsequent execution by hanging in April 1945, shortly before the war's end. His view of Christianity's role in the secular world has become very influential. (9)

The Cost of Discipleship 

One of the most important theologians of the twentieth century illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus in this classic text on ethics, humanism, and civic duty.

What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." "Cheap grace," Bonhoeffer wrote, "is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."

The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty. (9)



C.S. Lewis

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures. (10)


The Screwtape Letters

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a senior tempter in the service of "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written. (10)



A.W. Tozer

Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American evangelical pastor, speaker, writer, and editor. After coming to Christ at the age of seventeen, Tozer found his way into the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination where he served for over forty years. In 1950, he was appointed by the denomination's General Council to be the editor of "The Alliance Witness" (now "Alliance Life").

Born into poverty in western Pennsylvania in 1897, Tozer died in May 1963 a self-educated man who had taught himself what he missed in high school and college due to his home situation. Though he wrote many books, two of them, "The Pursuit of God" and "The Knowledge of the Holy" are widely considered to be classics.

A.W. Tozer and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, had seven children, six boys and one girl. (11)


“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” This thirst for an intimate relationship with God, claims A.W. Tozer, is not for a select few, but should be the experience of every follower of Christ.

Here is a masterly study of the inner life by a heart thirsting after God. Here is a book for every child of God, pastor, missionary, and Christian. It deals with the deep things of God and the riches of His grace.

In The Pursuit of God, Tozer sheds light on the path to a closer walk with God. (11)


The Knowledge of the Holy by popular evangelical author and Christian mystic A.W. Tozer illuminates God’s attributes—from wisdom, to grace, to mercy—and in doing so, attempts to restore the majesty and wonder of God in the hearts and minds of all Christians. A modern classic of Christian testimony and devotion, The Knowledge of the Holy shows us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God’s presence in our daily lives.  (12)



John Bunyan

JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688) was a Puritan preacher and writer in England. Bunyan had very little schooling. He followed his father in the tinker's trade, and served in the parliamentary army from 1644 to 1647. In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching. He experienced marked success from the start and was the pastor of the Bedford church. (13)


The Pilgrim's Progress

This famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim's trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.

Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.

An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language. (14)



Jerry Bridges

JERRY BRIDGES was an author and conference speaker. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold over one million copies. Jerry was on the staff of The Navigators for over fifty years, and currently served in the Collegiate Mission where he was involved primarily in staff development, but also served as a speaker resource to the campus ministries. (15)


"Be holy, for I am holy" commands God to His people. But holiness is something that is often missed in the Christian's daily life. According to author Jerry Bridges, that's because we're not exactly sure what our part in holiness is. In The Pursuit of Holiness, he helps us see clearly just what we should rely on God to do--and what we should accept responsibility for ourselves. (15)



W. Phillip Keller

W. Phillip Keller (1920-1997) wrote more than thirty-five books on Christian subjects, including his most popular book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 The son of missionary parents in Kenya, Keller grow up in Africa before becoming a world citizen as a photographer, agronomist, and author. His books have over two million copies in print. (16)


As a shepherd, Phillip Keller shares his insights into the life and character of sheep— and of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for them. This beloved classic will give new meaning to the ageless Shepherd Psalm, enriching your trust in and love for the Lord who watches closely over you. (16)





Gene Edwards

Gene Edwards is one of America's most beloved Christian authors. He has published over 25 best-selling books, and his signature work, "The Divine Romance," has been called a masterpiece of Christian literature. He has written biblical fiction covering nearly the entire Bible, with titles that include the following: "The Beginning," "The Escape," "The Birth," "The Divine Romance," "The Triumph," "Revolution," "The Silas Diary," "The Titus Diary," "The Timothy Diary," "The Priscilla Diary," "The Gaius Diary," and "The Return."

Gene grew up in the East Texas oil fields and entered college at the age of 15. He graduated from East Texas State University at 18 with a bachelor's degree in English history and received his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gene is part of the house-church movement, and he travels extensively to aid Christians as they begin meeting in homes rather than in church buildings. He also conducts conferences on living the deeper Christian life.

Gene and his wife, Helen, reside in Jacksonville, Florida, and have two grown children. (17)


For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join the thousands who have been profoundly touched by this incomparable story. (17)



Hannah Whithall Smith

Hannah Whitall Smith, (1832-1911) was a speaker and author in the Holiness movement in the United States and the Higher Life movement in the United Kingdom. She was also active in the Women's suffrage movement and the Temperance movement, helping found the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Hannah was no stranger to the difficulties of life. Although she had seven children in all, only three survived to adulthood. (18)


The Christian's secret of a happy life guides readers to reply not on the shifting sands of emotions but on the constant and unshakable faithfulness of God.

This title really seems a bit trite for the magnitude of wisdom and mature Christian discipleship which it's pages contain.

Plan to be enlightened (seeing biblical principles and scripture in a new way-even though the book was authored in 1875). Plan to be challenged (all our modern self focused-self absorbed Christianity is refuted bit by bit). After all this we see through a clearer glass, a more simple Christian life which does indeed bring happiness- or what I would refer to as true biblical joy. In the 1800's I imagine that the line was thinner between happiness and joy. Today's Christians are learning to discern that joy is a heart condition relating to contentment regardless of perfect circumstances and one's happiness usually is based upon a sense of comfort without trial. The later can never be sustained, but joy is eternal. I believe the author's desire for the time was to help the reader discover truer 'joyful' happiness- really encompassing both states in the best sense; before recent generations' quest for the quick fix, instant ease and satisfaction of desires became the current measure of one's happiness.

The author's classic wisdom based on scripture and her ability to dissect personal motive from a Godly motivation makes this an especially refreshing and thought provoking read. Not guilt based but truth impartation does the convincing. (18)



Hannah Hurnard

Hanna Hurnard was a twentieth century Christian author, best known for her allegory Hinds' Feet on High Places.

Hurnard was born in 1905 in Colchester, England to Quaker parents. She graduated from Ridgelands Bible College of Great Britain in 1926. In 1932 she became an independent missionary, moving to Haifa, Israel. Her work in Israel lasted 50 years, although she would later maintain a home in England as well.
Hurnard's early writings (especially Hinds' Feet on High Places and the sequel Mountain of Spices) were embraced by the mainstream Christian community, but later on in her life she seems to have departed from orthodoxy. (19)


With over 2 million copies sold, Hinds’ Feet on High Places remains Hannah Hurnard’s best known and most beloved book: a timeless allegory dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. In this moving tale, follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey as she overcomes many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and is transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd. (19)



Richard Foster

Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of Renovaré, an intrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the Church in all her multifaceted expressions, and the editor of The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible. (20)


Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth is hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality with millions of copies sold since its original publication in 1978.

In Celebration of Discipline, Foster explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith to show how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. (20)



Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom and her family were Christians who were active in social work in their home town of Haarlem, the Netherlands. During the Nazi occupation, they chose to act out their faith through peaceful resistance to the Nazis by active participation in the Dutch underground. They were hiding, feeding and transporting Jews and underground members hunted by the Gestapo out of the country. It is estimated they were able to save the lives of 800 Jews, in addition to protecting underground workers.

On Feb. 28, 1944, they were betrayed and Corrie and several relatives were arrested. The four Jews and two underground workers in the house at the time of the arrest were not located by the Nazis and were extricated by the underground 47 hours after they fled to the tiny hiding place (located in Corrie's room).

The ten Boom family members were separated and transferred to concentration camps. Corrie was allowed to stay with her precious sister, Betsy. Corrie's father (Casper), her sister (Betsy) and one grandchild (Kik) perished. Corrie was released in December of 1944.

These acts of heroism and sacrifice became the foundation for Corrie ten Boom's global writing and speaking career which began after she was released.

Ten Boom has received numerous awards for her writing and speaking. Notably, she was honored by the State of Israel for her work in aid of the Jewish people by being invited to plant a tree in the famous Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, near Jerusalem. She was also knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of her work during the war, and a museum in the Dutch city of Haarlem is dedicated to her and her family. (21)


At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. However, with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, a story did ensue.

Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch Underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their help, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp. The Hiding Place is their story.



William Paul Young

Wm. Paul Young is a Canadian author. Young was the oldest of four. He spend the majority of his first decade with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani, a tribal people. When he was six he was sent to a boarding school.

The manuscript, that later became The Shack, was intended only for his six kids and for a handful of close friends. After multiple rejections by publishers, Young and his friends published the book under the name of their newly created publishing company. The Shack was one of the top-selling fiction books of 2008 and will be a major motion picture in Spring 2017.

Young lives in Happy Valley, Oregon with his wife and has six children and several grandchildren. (22)

The Shack

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book! (22)



Rick Joyner

Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The Oak Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam. (23)


This panoramic vision was given to the author over a period of one year. It includes an unfolding of the last battle between light and darkness.



Steve Sjogren

Steve is considered by many in the church world to be the father of servant evangelism – the notion that “the kindness of God brings us to repentance” (Rom. 2:4). Steve is a multi-faceted pastor and a sought-after conference speaker. He is a leadership coach through his network and he leads several popular websites that include ServantEvangelism.com, ChurchPlanting.com, and Kindness.com. (24)


"The cold voice of the anesthesiologist recited the typical 'count backward from 10' cadence. Darkness closed around me before he got to 7. That's when I found out what it's like to die--and to come back from the dead."

It was a beautiful winter's day, showing no signs of what was to come. Steve Sjogren, pastor of one of America's fastest growing churches, went into the hospital for routine gall bladder surgery and died--twice. What began as a tragic medical accident led to Steve's encounter with death, an experience of unimaginable peace and some surprises, with comforting words from God, a meeting with an angel, and seeing those who had died before him.

If you, or someone you know, are fearful of dying, curious about heaven, or simply desiring to live life to its fullest, this encouraging book could change how you view life and death. (25)



Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in Hériménil, near Lunéville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern day eastern France and as a young man went into the army due to his poverty. At the age of 18 he received what he felt was a revelation of the providence and power of God. He went on to fight in the Thirty Years' War and later served as a valet, but within six years joined the Discalced Carmelite Priory in Paris.

Nicholas entered the priory in Paris as a lay brother, not having the education necessary to become a cleric, and took the religious name, "Lawrence of the Resurrection." He spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for many of these years and as a repairer of sandals in his later years.

Despite his lowly position in the life of the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him. The wisdom he passed on to them in conversations and in letters would later become the basis for the book The Practice of the Presence of God. (26)


Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence.

As a humble cook, Brother Lawrence learned an important lesson through each daily chore: The time he spent in communion with the Lord should be the same, whether he was bustling around in the kitchen—with several people asking questions at the same time—or on his knees in prayer. He learned to cultivate the deep presence of God so thoroughly in his own heart that he was able to joyfully exclaim, “I am doing now what I will do for all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, adoring Him, and loving Him with all my heart.”
This unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day. (26)



Charles H. Kraft

Rev. Dr. Charles H. Kraft is an anthropologist and linguist whose work since the early 1980s has focused on inner healing and spiritual warfare. He is the Sun-Hee Kwak Professor of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication in the School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, teaching primarily in the school's spiritual dynamics concentration. He joined Fuller's faculty in 1969. In the 1950s he served as a Brethren missionary in northern Nigeria. He has been a professor of African languages at Michigan State University and UCLA, and taught anthropology part-time at Biola University. He holds a BA from Wheaton College, a BD from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the Hartford Seminary Foundation. (27)


Explains what spiritual authority is and isn't and describes the responsible and legitimate exercise of such authority in key areas. (27)  

This book shows how to properly exercise the authority we have been given through the Holy Spirit. When we awaken to our spiritual authority, every aspect of our lives will be transformed and freed from the oppressive but limited power of Satan. It is simply a matter of recognizing and using the great gift of authority we have from God in Christ, and opening ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. (from the back cover)



Henry Cloud

Dr. Cloud has written or co-written twenty-five books, including the two million-seller Boundaries. His most recent books are Boundaries for Leaders and Necessary Endings. He has earned three Gold Medallion awards, and was awarded the distinguished Retailers Choice award for God Will Make A Way.

As president of Cloud-Townsend Resources, Dr. Cloud has produced and conducted hundreds of public seminars around the country. He speaks on relationships—marriage, parenting, dating, personal growth, and spirituality. His seminars are often broadcast live to over two thousand venues at a time. (28)

John Townsend

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, co-host of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and a cofounder of the Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He has written or co-written twenty-seven books, including the bestselling Boundaries, Safe People, and Hiding from Love. He and his wife, Barbi, live in southern California. They have two grown sons. (29)


Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves. (28)




Frank Peretti

Peretti is a natural storyteller who, as a youngster in Seattle, regularly gathered the neighborhood children for animated storytelling sessions. After graduating from high school, he began playing banjo with a local bluegrass group. He and his wife were married in 1972, and Peretti soon moved from touring with a pop band to launching a modest Christian music ministry. Peretti later spent time studying English, screen writing and film at UCLA and then assisted his father in pastoring a small Assembly of God church. In 1983, he gave up his pastoring position and began taking construction jobs to make ends meet. While working at a local ski factory, he began writing This Present Darkness, the book that would catapult him into the public eye. After numerous rejections from publishers and a slow start in sales, word-of-mouth enthusiasm finally lifted This Present Darkness onto a tidal wave of interest in spiritual warfare. The book appeared on Bookstore Journal’s bestseller list every month for more than eight years. Peretti’s two spiritual warfare novels, This Present Darkness (1998) and Piercing the Darkness (1989), captivated readers, together selling more than 3.5 million copies. The Oath was awarded the 1996 Gold Medallion Award for best fiction.

For kids, Peretti wrote The Cooper Kids Adventure Series (Crossways and Tommy Nelson), which remains a best-selling series for children with sales exceeding 1 million copies. In August 2000, Peretti released the hilarious children’s audiocassette series titled Wild and Wacky Totally True Bible Stories, reprising his role as Mr. Henry, the offbeat substitute Sunday School teacher found in two Visual Bible for Kids videos.

Peretti released his first-ever non-fiction book, The Wounded Spirit in 2000, which quickly became a best-seller. The book addresses the pain of “wounded spirits” and was writted as a result of painful childhood experiences.

Frank Peretti and his wife, Barbara Jean, live in the Western U.S. In spite of sudden fame and notoriety, Frank still lives a simple, well-rounded life that includes carpentry, banjo making, sculpturing, bicycling and hiking. He is also an avid pilot. (30)


Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful, hardworking pastor begin to investigate mysterious events, they suddenly find themselves caught up in a hideous New Age plot to enslave the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. The physical world meets the spiritual realm as the battle rages between forces of good and evil.

This Present Darkness is a gripping story that brings keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer. Since its original publication more than 2.7 million copies have been sold. The companion volume, Piercing the Darkness, continues the story of the battle between spiritual forces. (30)




Charlie W. Shedd

Dr. Charles W. Shedd was an American Presbyterian minister and a master communicator of homespun wisdom. Dr. Shedd served as a Presbyterian minister for over 50 years. He was the shepherd of small country churches and big city cathedrals. Along the way, he walked alongside janitors, farmers, physicians, senators, and presidential cabinet members. "Pastor Shedd" never met a stranger, or left anyone who did not feel richer for being in this presence.

He authored over 40 books, wrote nationally syndicated columns, and was a favorite guest of numerous television and radio personalities. (31)


Here is a warm, witty, and wise book for every young man who has ever wondered what to do and say in difficult situations with the opposite sex. Dr. Shedd offers helpful hints on how to turn a complaint into a compliment and much more. (31)

"Heard of this book from a friend as one of the best relationship/marriage books he'd read and recommends it for all men to read. I would agree. Straight from a father to his fixing to get married son, absolutely love his letters about how to treat your wife. Very simple, yet profound in how it can change your marriage just by treating her right, and simply loving her in simple consistent ways! Highly recommend and a great price too :)" (34)


Karen Shedd, away at college, had recently become engaged. Looking forward to a long and happy union, she wrote to her father for advice. (32)

"This book is different than Letters to Philip, so don't expect it to be its companion manual on "How to Treat a Man". It's more about how to be a truly great wife, how to love your role as a wife, and how to nurture a marriage that grows more rich and fulfilling every year. The advice has a feminine focus, but husbands would do well to read it too. It's a little dated by the old-fashioned roles of the bread winner and the home maker, but the core advice is so timeless that it transcends this social context. We can have non-traditional roles in the world but still celebrate and relish the wondrous intrinsic differences between men and women. The book is honest and straightforward about all facets of marriage, including sex. He is not shy about the importance of deep intimacy and mutual sexual fulfillment, or a wife's resplendent role as her husband's lover. I think the best summation of the advice is to talk, talk, talk, and listen, listen, listen. The moment you sweep something under the rug is the moment you start drifting apart, which is a slow and painful death for a marriage.

P.S. I'm a 50 year old lady engaged to the man of my dreams. This advice was most welcome." (33)




H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Date of Birth: 1940

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is an American author best-known for his book Life's Little Instruction Book which was a New York Times bestseller. Before becoming famous as a writer, Brown acted as a creative director of an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. It was simple words of wisdom gathered from other people and his own experiences that made him a best-selling author.

Brown first published A Father's Book of Wisdom, which was quickly followed by P.S. I Love You, a collection of sayings and observations from his father and mother. Both were very popular and led to Life's Little Instruction Book, which was originally written as a going-away present for his college-bound son, Adam. This book contained 511 reminders about "how to live a happy and rewarding life" and became a phenomenal best-seller worldwide. It has logged more than two years on the New York Times best-seller list, including more than a year at the number one spot. Life's Little Instruction Book was the first book to ever occupy the number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list in both paperback and hardback formats simultaneously. Live and Learn and Pass It On followed and also became a New York Times best-seller.

Brown's books have been translated into 35 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. They have spawned calendars, posters, apparel items, daily journals, greeting cards, audiocassettes, screensavers and even fortune cookies. Brown is also said to receive thousands of letters from readers all over the world. Their content ranges from the simple, "I enjoyed your book and I read a page or two every night before I go to bed" to the humbling "your book convinced our family to adopt a special needs child."

Remarking on his books, Jackson has said, "Most of us know what we need to do to make our lives more fulfilled and useful, but sometimes we forget. My little books are gentle reminders of those simple things which, if done well and in a spirit of love, can significantly change our lives." (35)


H. Jackson Brown, Jr. originally wrote Life's Little Instruction Book™ as a gift for his son who was leaving home to begin his freshman year in college. Brown says, "I read years ago that it was not the responsibility of parents to pave the road for their children but to provide a road map, and I wanted to provide him with what I had learned about living a happy and rewarding life." Life's Little Instruction Book™ is a guidebook that gently points the way to happiness and fulfillment. The observations are direct, simple, and as practical as an umbrella.

"But it's not just for young people," says Brown. "Most of us already know how to live a successful and purposeful life. We know we should be more understanding and thoughtful, more responsible, courageous and appreciative. It's just that we sometimes need reminding." Life's Little Instruction Book™ is that reminder, as well as the perfect gift for a relative or a friend who needs encouragement at any time of the year. (35)




Footnotes:
___________________________________________
3, My Utmost Goodreads page
4. Henry Blackaby's Amazon page
5. Richard Blackaby's Amazon page
6. Claude King's Amazon page
7. Experiencing God Goodreads page
8. Experiencing God Amazon page
9. Cost of Discipleship Goodreads page
10. Screwtape Letters Goodreads page
11. Pursuit of God Goodreads page
12. Knowledge of The Holy Goodreads page
13. John Bunyan's Amazon page
14. Pilgrim's Progress Goodreads page
15. Pursuit of Holiness Goodreads page
16. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 Goodreads page
17. A Tale of Three Kings Goodreads page
18. The Christian's Secret Goodreads page
19. Hinds Feet Goodreads page
20. Celebration of Discipline Goodreads page
21. The Hiding Place Goodreads page
22. The Shack Goodreads page
23. The Final Quest Goodreads page
24. Stevesjogren.com "about Steve"
25. The Day I Died Goodreads page
26. The Practice of The Presence of God Goodreads page
27. I Give You Authority Goodreads page
28. Boundaries Goodreads page
29. John Townsend's Goodreads page
30. This Present Darkness Goodreads page
31. Letters to Phillip Goodreads page
32. Letters To Karen Goodreads page
33. Letters To Karen Amazon page
34. Letters To Phillip Amazon Page
35. Life's Little Instruction Book Goodreads page