by Michael L. Brown
Michael L. Brown is a columnist on Townhall.com who writes thoughtful essays dealing with Christianity and it’s place in the world today. I receive the “Townhall Daily” email and always read the Michael Brown column as it is informative although often upsetting as it deals with yet another rabid attack by the secular left on Christians and Christianity. Another email I receive daily is from Bookbub, with a daily choice of inexpensive or free ebooks, chosen based on criteria I have chosen for the types of books I would like to read. Recently there was a Michael L. Brown double book listed, Whatever Happened to the Power of God? & It’s Time to Rock the Boat. The price (free) was right and I enjoy his columns, so I grabbed it for my kindle. (The free offer has expired.)
Whatever Happened to the Power of God?
In the book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament the Power of God is very apparent. Paul brings Eutychus back from the dead. (Acts 20:9-12) Paul is bitten by a viper and is fine. (Acts 28:3-6) People touch a cloth that had touched Paul and are cured of all manner of diseases. The power of the Holy Spirit is everywhere, Peter addresses a crowd and about 3000 are converted. The prisoner Paul speaks before Felix and Felix is so afraid at the prisoner’s words that he sends him away before he had finished talking.
What’s the story now? In the USA there is very little of the Power of God visible today. Throughout history the Power of God has seemed to rise and fall. God does not play second fiddle, Continue reading
Can you say you believe Jesus of Nazareth is Christ the Messiah? Doubting Thomas did, as told in John 20, verses 24 to 29 (KJV):
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
If you answered yes to the question above, Jesus is blessing YOU in verse 29. YOU have not seen (unless you are a LOT older than anyone I’m aware of) and yet you believe. Therefore Jesus has blessed YOU. It doesn’t matter if you are a sinner, (we all are sinners) YOU are blessed. It brings comfort to me to know that Jesus has blessed me, and I hope that it will also bring comfort to YOU.
Who Is This Man?:
The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus
by John Ortberg
About 2100 years ago Caesar Augustus was the most powerful man on earth. Everyone knew who he was, and his word was law. Like all other men, he died. As time went on his impact on the world began to fade. Another man of the time was Jesus of Nazareth. He had no position of power in the world. He never wrote a book. He had a few students who followed him around for a couple of years before he was executed as a criminal and they all scattered. But today the influence of Jesus is everywhere, and he has more followers than ever. Caesar Augustus is most known today for ordering the census mentioned in the story of Jesus’s birth.
In Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus John Ortberg shows how through the years the teachings of the humble carpenter who grew up in Nazareth have shaped history, science, and western civilization. I am a Christian and familiar with the life of Jesus from the New Testament. This book astounded me with how pervasive the impact of Jesus’s life and teachings have been throughout the entire span of history since his death on the cross.
Who Is This Man tells the story of Jesus’s continuing and growing impact on civilization in flowing prose that is easy and enjoyable to read, with a comprehensive bibliography for the scholarly inclined reader.
Who Is This Man is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in how civilization as we know it today came to be.
by Will Davis Jr.
When I saw the title of 10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them I needed to know if it was an attack on Christianity or an affirmation. So I bought it for my kindle.
Will Davis Jr. has written a book for all the Christians who have doubts that they are good enough for Christ. Through personal trials, the trials of Christians he has known, and Biblical references he shows that Jesus wants YOU. If you have doubts that you are “good enough” for Jesus, this book shows you that you are. We are all sinners and none of us is “good enough” to make the grade, but it doesn’t mattter. Jesus loves us all and has granted us grace, all we have to do is love him and accept it.
After reading 10 Things Jesus Never Said I’m still not totally clear what the ten things are. But I do know a great many things he DID say about how much God loves us and is willing to forgive us. Only one man has ever lived a sin free life, and he died on the cross so Grace and Forgiveness are available to you, me, and every other man, woman, and child on the face of the earth.
If you believe in God and have any doubts that you will be saved and spend eternity with Christ in Heaven, read 10 Things Jesus Never Said. It will show you that God’s saving grace is sufficient for YOU to be a Christian and be saved.
Three Books of Christian Apologetics
As a Christian I have always been made a little uneasy by the concept of Christian Apologetics. Why should anyone have to apologize for the truth? More recently, however, I have taken the time to actually read some books on the subject.
Jesus On Trial
In September, 2014, David Limbaugh published Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel which I saw advertised as part of a significant marketing campaign. I was intrigued, bought a copy, and read it. I was impressed and overwhelmed by the volume and variety of the evidence presented for the existence of Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The book does an excellent job demonstrating that the Christ Jesus presented in the four Gospel books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John truly existed and rose from the dead. It also shows the New Testament we have today has remained virtually unchanged from what was originally written. Also, the information in the New Testament matches up seamlessly with the other information available about events in the world during the time of Christ. Jesus on Trial is a powerful book and worth reading.
Faith on Trial
I get email everyday from bookbub.com with Your ebook bargains for Tuesday (or whatever day of the week it happens to be) listing ebooks that I can get for free or for greatly reduced rates. Faith on Trial: Analyze the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus showed up in one of those emails. I was intrigued by the similarity between Jesus On Trial and Pamela Binnings Ewen’s Faith on Trial. Both authors are lawyers and both were written to present a case for the truth behind Christianity. I paid the limited time bargain price the bookbub.com email told me about and started reading.
Ever since the 1970’s “WWJD” and “What Would Jesus Do” have been popping up everywhere – bumper stickers – graffiti – conversations and more. Where did it come from? It came from In His Steps by Charles Monroe Sheldon, a Congregational Pastor who lived in Topeka Kansas at the end of the 19th century. To encourage people to come back on chilly winter days to the Sunday evening service he wrote stories to read a chapter at a time on Sunday nights. The stories were popular and people came out for the second service to find out what was going to happen next. The best known of these stories is In His Steps, read during the winter of 1896-1897.
In His Steps was serialized in a Chicago religious magazine. Nobody wanted to publish it as a book because they didn’t think it would sell. Sheldon convinced the magazine to print a paperback edition. It sold out and the same people who previously had no interest wanted to publish it. It was expensive to file for a copyright in the 1890’s so the weekly magazine In His Steps first appeared in was not copyrighted. This meant that the copyright on the book edition was invalid and anyone could publish it. They did, and it ended up with well over thirty editions and was reputed by Sheldon to have sold many millions of copies. Kincaid Books has a trade paperback edition available on Amazon, and we would be thrilled if you bought a copy. But we also want you to read it, so we are making the ebook available for free download. The ebook is available in two versions, in mobi format for Kindles and in epub format for most everything else
Making small notebooks the perfect size to fit a pocket from standard composition books is easy and fun. A smart phone is great for keeping track of phone numbers and other info, but it’s good to have a backup. A small notebook that easily fits in a pocket or purse is the perfect way to keep that backup. It never runs out of battery power, doesn’t break if you drop it, and is even water resistant if you use waterproof ink or pencil.
The picture shows two pocket notebooks, two scratch pads, and a composition book like the one that the notebooks and scratch pads were made from. PVA glue is ideal for this project. A good and readily available example of PVA glue is Elmer’s® Glue-All®.
Step by step instructions on how to make Pocket Notebooks from composition books.
Observing the social scene in America it’s obvious that there is a lot of hate directed at Christianity in General and Christ Jesus in particular. Christianity is being disparaged, mocked, and even violently opposed. Why? It’s because the world has been led astray by evil, falling into the trap of moral relativism where there are no such things as Good and Evil, merely what is expedient at the moment. Jesus and Christianity point out that this is false. There is Good. There is Evil. The right path is pointed out by Christ Jesus, both by his actions and his teachings. Other paths lead to sin, and sin leads to death.
The world desires to carry on however it pleases, without interference from old fashioned, antiquated concepts of behavior. Criticism is bigoted, racist, homophobic, even intolerant, and positively not to be allowed. With these conditions prevalent in the world, Jesus’s words from John 7:7 state plainly why the world hates Him (and through Him all Christianity and Christians.) “Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” The words of Christ burn within the heart of the world because they are truth and truth must be destroyed.
Faith in Christ is more than the mere acknowlegment that Jesus is God, for as it says in James even the devils believe. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble.” (James 2:19 KJV) The devils tremble because they don’t have faith and so won’t be saved. Love of Christ is what elevates mere belief to saving faith.
Many years ago I read a book by Admiral Daniel Gallery. In the book (probably Stand By-y-y, to Start Engines but I don’t remember for sure) he describes riding in a jet fighter over the ocean near sunset. By changing altitude his pilot was able to show them the green flash over and over as they watched the sun slide into the sea multiple times. I decided right then that I wanted to see the green flash some day, but since it usually only manifests over the sea when the horizon is clear I didn’t expect I ever would. In addition to writing several books that I enjoyed, he is the man who led the task force that captured the only German U-boat ever captured at sea.
Forty-five or fifty years later I found myself in the Schooner Bar on Explorer of the seas playing trivia and wishing that the sun wasn’t shining in the window with so much intensity. Then it reached the horizon and began to sink into the water. It slowly went from round to a semi-circle to just a sliver. Then it happened, the last bit of yellowy-orange disappeared and there was bright green flash that jumped up out of the water and had all five of us on the trivia team yelling in excitement that we had actually seen it. The woman running the trivia game looked at us and said, “Did you see the green flash?” We most definitely had, and for me at least it was the high point of the entire cruise.