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The Look & Tell Bible

So even as you are reading this right now – your brain appears to be translating the page into meaning as fast as your eyes scan the sentence. But what we learning about the human mind is that your brain recognizes printed words as pictures instead of their meaning. In other words: when we read – we recognize familiar words as pictures an we hear them spoken out loud.

 

The new Look and Tell Bible from Thomas Nelson takes that idea and replaces key Bible places, tools and characters with their corresponding picture to make reading fun.

 

On the left page – the pictures are all identified and then on the right page – the parent and child can read the story together.

 

My son is almost 3 and really can not read anything at all – so what we do is I read all of the “words” on the page and he reads the pictures.

 

This little Bible covers all or the “major” Bible Sunday School stories like Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and David and Goliath, exactly what you’d expect.

 

It’s all printed on a board book and the pictures are bright and fun

 

Well recommended.

 

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Why is Dr. James Dobson so afraid?

This has been a very long and trying election year for me – the back and forth between the candidates, the exposure, the accusations and the media circus has made me very sad and very angry as a voter.

This is the only election in my lifetime where I am not excited about the outcome. The office of president has always been for me a place of respect and dignity; and the person that we place there should be a person whom we as a nation we feel “represents the very best of all of us.”

Sadly right now, that person is not running for office.

So, in the meantime… everyone is scrambling to endorse their lesser of two evils. It seems the way to vote this year is not for what our candidate stands for, or for that personals character…  this year we’re voting AGAINST the other person.

Right?

Most of Hilary’s supporters are not actually casting a vote for her, they are casting a vote AGAINST Donald Trump. This year we are voting in fear…. we are voting in panic.

In an election we should be voting for a future, for a cause… for a nation! But sadly this is not a red white and blue election, the white of purity and innocence has been trampled and all that is left is red versus blue.

This didn’t come more visual for me until I read Dr. James Dobson’s endorsement of Donald Trump. I’ve read Dr. Dobson’s books and I have always respected him as a teacher and as a man of God – and personally he can vote for whomever he wants, but I wish he had chosen his words more carefully.

On his http://drjamesdobson.org/ website - he says….

” All I can tell you is that we have only two choices, Hillary or Donald.  Hillary scares me to death.  And, if Christians stay home because he isn’t a better candidate, Hillary will run the world for perhaps eight years.  The very thought of that haunts my nights and days.  One thing is sure:  we need to be in prayer for our nation at this time of crisis.”

There are 3 words in Dr. James Dobson’s quote that I disagree with.

scares

haunts

crisis

Tell me something… why do we look to Dr. James Dobson as a Christian leader in our country? Why would you go to a pastor for counsel and advice? I would assume because that person can give you comfort and assurance? I would assume because that person has a closer walk with God and you would seek them out for a divine word?

Or maybe because that person has modeled a lifetime of stability and maturity and your life needs some of that “solid ground?”

But nothing about Dr. James Dobson’s article gives me comfort, assurance, stability or maturity.  Why? Because Dr. James Dobson is scared…. of Hilary Clinton?

She haunts his sleep? With her as our president our nation would be in crisis?

And I’ll tell you why I disagree with Dr. James Dobson, because his statement defies the scriptures. And a person who knows their Bible as well as Dr. James Dobson claims to, should be offering you (the American voter) better wisdom and better counsel.

1. First, we should not be afraid of any mortal human.

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?  (also Hebrews 13:6 & Psalm 56:11)

Jesus said Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

In the times of Jesus, the Hebrews lived with a government that ruled over them in tyranny. They were taxed with no representation, they were tried and condemned to death with no justice or fairness. Each and every day the Hebrews either cowered in fear or plotted to overthrow Rome.

Jesus comes along and says “do not fear the Romans” (in other words, do not fear your oppressive government).

In fact, the Bible states 29 times “be not afraid.” The New American Standard Bible includes the phrases “do not fear” 57 times and “do not be afraid” 46 times. Some even argue that “fear not” and similar phrases are present in the bible 365 times – one for every day of our calendar year.

What is the bottom line? A Christian does not live in fear. Nobody should “scare you” or “haunt” your dreams. Why? Because you worship a God who is sovereign and in control of everything.

Yes we have the right and power to vote – and we should all exercise that right, but if you actually think that you can cast a vote AGAINST God’s sovereignty you are sadly mistaken.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Psalm 1515:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

You see, there are Christians in your life who believe that the devil controls the world and that God’s hands are tied. There are Christians who will try to scare you into believing that you are casting a vote against the devil’s darkness.

But believing that is a belief that your god is wimpy. A god who can’t control his own creation and his own world; is a god that I can tie up and lock away in a box and that is not the god I worship.

Even Job, whom God “allowed” the devil to interfere with said…

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

I don’t live in a world ruled by evil, so I am not afraid of anyone or any future with any world power or leader.

“The Lord is on my side, and I am not afraid.”

2. All of our world leaders are put in place by God

Romans 13:1

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

What is Paul trying to say? Simply what it says; you don’t have to “read into” this statement. Remember, Rome was the power in place over his people at the time of this writing. Trust me, Rome was worse than Obama or Hilary Clinton. Rome was worse than right wing rhetoric or left wing ideology. Rome was worse that Marxism, Rome was worse than communism, Rome was worse than socialism.

And what does Paul say? “Be subject to your government.”

I would remind Dr. James Dobson that the words “be subject” in the Greek is the word hypotassō and it is a compound word that means UNDER APPOINMENT.

Your government is put in place by God. No matter who or what it is. Why does Paul believe this? Because Paul also knows that God is sovereign. Paul says that there is “no authority except God.”

Which means the voters will not elect Hillary and the voters will not elect Trump. God will and when it happens our job as Christians are to obey the scriptures and to be “subject to the governing authorities.”

3. A Christian does not worry

Saying that you are afraid, or that a candidate haunts your dreams or that you fear the world is heading towards crisis is vote of worry. And yes… worry and fear are as different as they are the same.

In Matthew 6, Jesus spends a good portion of his sermon instructing his disciples not to worry… he says

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on…..which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? ….. O you of little faith. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

What does Jesus say? Those who worry about tomorrow have “little faith.” Why? Because Jesus is teaching you…. that God is sovereign. He is in control.  Yes, jumping off the side of the pool is scary, but when you see your Father already in the water and he is motioning  you forward with his arms wide open… then you should not be afraid.

You should not worry.

You should trust.

When I read Dr. James Dobson’s statement, I read a story of a man who doesn’t believe in God’s sovereignty. I read a story about a man who does not trust God’s choices for our country; and lastly I read a story of a man whose home is here. But….

4. Your home is heaven

Paul says in Philippians 3:20 our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

If you are a Christian, your Kingdom is heaven and Jesus said that his Kingdom was not of this world – John 18. Jesus also said about his disciples “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” - John 17

You see when Jesus was here he continually said that he preached “the Kingdom of Heaven” and that is our job as His followers.  Does that mean that a Christian can’t make real world change or that a Christian can’t take an active role in government? Of course not. Rather each of us is a missionary to make this world more like Heaven in any way that we can.

But we are only able to do that if we believe and act in boldness, confidence and trust that God has it all in his control.

You know when I look at Jesus’ life and ministry, I notice a lot of things, but one thing for certain stands out. Jesus was never afraid.

He wasn’t afraid of Rome.

He wasn’t afraid of Pilate.

He wasn’t afraid of Herod.

He wasn’t afraid of the Pharisees.

He wasn’t afraid of the Sadducees.

He wasn’t afraid of angry mobs holding stones.

He wasn’t afraid of what other people would say about him.

He wasn’t afraid of being arrested.

and He wasn’t afraid of being killed.

So to follow Jesus is not to cower, and it’s not to fear.

But we still do, don’t we?

In truth what Dr. James Dobson’s article tells me is that he is human and that he is flawed just like me…. just like you. You know sometimes we hold these men and women of God on very high pedestals and we think that somehow they walk on clouds far above us. We are led to believe that our leaders of faith can’t be tempted and that they can’t be subject to doubt and when they fall…. they fail.

But the truth is we all fall and we all fail – that is why God is not only sovereign, but He is grace.

I get that you’re afraid in this election, I really do. But if you were in my office, I would not try to steer you towards one candidate or another. Rather I would put my arm around you and tell you not to worry. I would pray with you that God would continue to lead and direct our country in the foundation in that it was first established. And I would pray that God would give you (and me) courage and bravery.

Yes I know that red vs blue will continue to divide our country, but we as followers of Jesus are called to be menders, healers and bringers of peace (Matt 5:9)

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The Wired Soul: Finding Spiritual Balance in a Hyperconnected Age

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101 Ways to Have Fun

No two teenagers are alike. But many teens like to spend their free time doing similar things. But from time to time, many teens get a little bored, especially during summer vacation. So what can you do to while away those Summer blues?

 

Of course there are the obvious stereotypical suggestions like; shopping, going to parties, being with friends, using technology for games or other online activities, social networking, texting, watching movies, reading and going to the beach or park.

 

Maybe a teen can get involved in a Summer sports program or an art camp?

 

Well have no fear, in the new book 101 Ways to Have Fun: Things You Can Do with Friends, Anytime! The publishers of Faithgirlz (Zondevan) have thrown together a bunch of suggestions.

 

The book is full color with lots of pictures laid out a lot like a popular teen girls magazine. However, the topics and suggestions are really targeted at much younger girls – note the grade level and age in the add copy.

 

This book is chock full of crafting fun, pajama party ideas, DIY projects and even a few ways your pre-teen girls can make a few bucks.

 

It’s cute, it’s girly, it’s fun and the suggested ideas are simple enough to wile away the hours.

 

Thanks to Zonderkids for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

 

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Return to Joy: Finding Healing in the Arms of Your Savior

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