A review and a giveaway

It has begun. The season of Christmas is upon us. The great reminder is that the joy of Christmas is the gospel.

The season of Christmas is upon us. The great reminder is that the joy of Christmas is the gospel.

The great reminder is that the joy of Christmas is the gospel.

As a family we have been reading portions of The Jesus Storybook Bible for our family advent. It is a stunning reminder of how the gospel is woven from “In the beginning” to “Amen.”

That is why I feel it is a perfect time to tell you all about my new Bible and how you could get one, too.

Before I get to all the details I am also praying that you might find a renewed passion for the gospel in the coming days no matter which Bible you choose as your own.

So here goes. A month or so ago I got the opportunity to review the She Reads Truth CSB Bible. I was given the Bible to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media. While they gave me the Bible all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

What I know

The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of “Women in the Word of God every day.” The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.

Features include: almost 200 devotionals, 66 artist-designed key verses, 35 full-color timelines, 20 full-color maps, 11 full-color charts, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, carefully curated topical index, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking.

What I think

Prior to receiving this Bible, I was very curious about it. Throughout the past few weeks, I have tried to answer the questions I had asked myself.

I knew it was very pretty, but how would I categorize it? Is it a journal Bible to study and use the extra wide margins to express creative worship? Is it a study Bible to deepen my understanding of the time, space, and culture surrounding the events of the Bible? Is it a devotional Bible that has unique story perspectives to teach certain truths?

As I unwrapped its packaging, I started to discover that this was all three.

As I did a more thorough search I found that it was not trying to be all things to all people at the expense of excellence. While I am usually for keeping things simple I found that the diversity was very balanced.

I also found myself questioning the new version of the Bible. I think that we always need to be careful when handling the word of God especially when it is being translated or transliterated.

Over the past several weeks I have used this new version in church and in Bible study. I have compared it very closely with the ESV, NASB, and LEB versions of the Bible. I even did a comparative study of 1 John.

I found the translation very close in meaning to all three versions I use on a regular basis. This may not become your favorite version because it is better than the version you use, but it will not make you shudder when contrasting other versions.

I have seen versions of the Bible that almost change the meaning when translated differently. I am no scholar, but I find the new CSB version easy to read without losing the agreed-upon meaning of most theologians.

I found both the diversity of the style and the choice of the text to be refreshingly challenging.

What I get to share

The exciting part of this review is that I get to share a chance for you to win one of seven copies that B&H Publishing and FrontGate Media is giving away. Merry Christmas, right?

Go HERE for your chance to win. Seven winners will be selected on December 10th.

Or don’t risk the chance and get one for yourself HERE.

I was so excited to be able to say that I can recommend this as a great version for new and seasoned believers alike.

I pray you receive a renewed passion for the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ this season. This new Bible might be one of the sparks for you or someone you love (it would be an amazing addition under the tree).

Continue Reading

A banner of love on a foundation of friendship

It wasn’t love at first sight. His pants were hiked up and he had a foreign style mullet. It wasn’t your red neck variety. It was your other-cultural variety.

I remember riding to our associate pastor’s house. We were going to meet the family that my parents would start teaching Sunday School.

They each seemed so timid. They were very respectful. The most adventurous of them was the four-year-old who kept being put back in his “good little boy” poses.

This began several years of watching this family grow. This began several years of mutual respect and love for each other. Though it was many years before I fell in love with their oldest boy, that love had a firm foundation of friendship.

Continue Reading

My Ebenezer year

The Israelites stood before another body of water this one led to a fulfillment of the promise God gave them generations before they crossed the Red Sea. Now those grown children were seeing a promise they may have barely believed was real anymore.

This time their leader Joshua was instructed to have the priests carry the presence of God into the Jordan before the waters were stopped. It then dried under the feet standing in it.

After all the people had crossed dry and safe, Joshua did something different. He called 12 men from each tribe back to where the priests stood. Following God’s instruction, He told them to each gather a stone of remembrance.

They placed the stones one on top of the other and left them at Gilgal. They were to remind their children that God had stopped and dried the water for them.

Earlier in their history, God protected the Israelites from an attack from the Philistines. After God responded with their deliverance Samuel set up a stone of remembrance. It was called an Ebenezer meaning “stone of help.”

This year I will have several milestones, and I would be remiss to not pile my own stones of the faithfulness of God.

In the next year (from July 2017 to June 2018) I will set up the following stones:

A stone of covenant

In August, I will celebrate 15 years of covenant with my spouse. I cannot tell you how good God is to have given me such a man to walk alongside in this life. About the time I could really complain, God does something in him or in me that brings life back into the promise we made on the cranberry carpeted steps of our church. God has been our help.

A stone of testing

In September, I will turn 40. I’m really not stressing it since age has never been a big thing for me. (Plus I was 40 when I was five.) The number 40 has represented a time of testing in the Bible. I feel that there is a very real sense of having accomplished something by now. Some very hard tests have come in the first 40 years of my life.

Stones of generations

The number 40 also represents the coming of a new generation. This will not surprise me as I place the next stones. In December and May respectively, I will place two very similar stones. A “parenting a teenager” stone will be followed by an “I don’t have any grade schoolers” stone (don’t worry I’ll have a few years and Snickle will knock this one over for a while).

A stone of anguish

In April, I will place perhaps one of the heaviest and hardest earned stones. My mother will have been in heaven for 10 years. The number ten represents completion in scripture. And while grief never truly leaves you, nothing shows you how complete God is like the loss of one you hold dear.

As I stack them one by one, I cannot begin to tell you how much my heart resounds with Samuel’s words as he set up the Ebenezer. “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

Thus far the Lord has helped me, friends.

I pray you’ll let him be your help, too.

Continue Reading

I get to keep him this time

“Squished up like a raisin” is not the description you want to hear about a lung, but that is the way the doctors described my Daddy’s condition this week.

A few weeks ago Daddy got sick with the flu that turned into a sinus and upper respiratory infection. My crazy Daddy (also stubborn as a mule) finally went to the doctor and got medication, but at the time it was supposed to work, his condition actually worsened.

Being the stick-it-out, toughen-up kind of man that he is, he failed to call anyone early enough. Pneumonia turned into Empyema. This condition causes the infection to make the walls of the lungs stick together and keep the lung from inflating. He soon found himself carted to the hospital by my baby brother with little choice in the matter.

Continue Reading

A celebration and a giveaway

celebration and giveaway

There are several milestones happening for me this year. One is happening this week.

If you hang around with me for any amount of time, you would know that one of my favorite responses to most anything is, “I am 100 years old.”

I have an old soul. Things always appear more childish than they should be. My view of the world was critical and caustic even when I was a small child.

Thank you, Jesus, for making me a new creature.

Needless to say, 100 is a regular part of my vocabulary.

But this week I get to say (and am kind of excited that I get to join the grade schoolers in a 100 celebration) it in a different way.

Guess what? Guess how?

Are you ready?

This is my 100th blog post.

Continue Reading