Throwback Thursday

Help Me Be Good Series

The Help Me Be Good Series of children’s books by Joy Berry will teach your five-to-seven year old when certain behaviors are appropriate and when they are not–all done in an animated style that children enjoy and find fun to read.

The normal egocentricity of young children often leads to misbehavior that evokes unwanted responses from others. These unwanted responses can lead to a destructive cycle of negative action and reaction.

The purpose of the HMBG books is to help break the cycle of negative action and reaction. This is accomplished by each book defining a misbehavior; explaining the cause of the misbehavior; discussing the negative effects of the misbehavior; and offering suggestions for replacing the misbehavior with acceptable behavior.

One of the books in the series, “Complaining,” finds Tami trying to negotiate a sleep-over with her complaining friend, Amy. Enter T.J., Tami’s brother who constantly enjoys antagonizing her.

In another one of these books, “Fighting,” T.J. and Tami deal with each other in some hurtful and destructive ways, but quickly learn how to solve problems without fighting.

Tami: “These pens aren’t just yours. Grandma gave them to both of us.”

T.J.: “She’s right. I forgot about that.”

Family pet (thinking): “There are two sides to every story.”

Joy Berry is an experienced teacher and school administrator which prompted her to determine that materials on basic “living skills” were absent.

Joy Berry’s realistic understanding of kids and her pragmatic approach to educating and empowering them began with a childhood vow to one day “…figure out a way to give kids more control over their lives.” Her commitment was spawned by a childhood in which her parents defined successful parenting as getting children to embrace parental standards and goals.

Find these fun books in the Solid Rock Christian Fellowship Library, Prescott, AZ.

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Finding Spiritual Whitespace

bonnie

With plenty of emotion and a special way to draw the reader in, as a writer might craft a story of fiction, Bonnie Gray has written a nonfiction piece of magic in Finding Spiritual Whitespace. She describes it in the subtitle as “awakening your soul to rest.”   

How many of us find ourselves running on empty with no time for rest, no time for ourselves, no time for God? . . . With heartbreaking honesty, Bonnie guides you to discover a better story for yourself, one that feeds your soul and makes room for rest. Infused with biblical encouragement and thought-provoking prompts, this book shows us how to create space in the everyday for God, refreshment, and faith–right in the midst of our stress-frayed lives.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say we must fill every waking moment with busyness. Yet, we do just that all the time. Gray uses stories from her life to grab the reader and startle us by her intense honesty. The truth that God insists we rest. The chapters are very refreshing and give us permission to take a breath and simply rest.

“This journey of rest doesn’t happen overnight. I have to begin this soul adventure each and every day. Many times in the course of a day. Especially at night.” In the chapter, “Lost and Found,” she writes this poem:

Jesus. . .Jesus. . .

All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone to love me.

Now I know why.

It’s true.

No one loved me.

But you chose me. When I was four in the basement, seven in the driveway, and seventeen in the hallway. And you choose me now at forty-two, sunken in trauma and anxiety.

You chose me in all those moments. And you choose me now.     

If you think you are too busy to read this book, you are the one who needs it the most. Pick it up in the Solid Rock Christian Fellowship Library, Prescott, AZ.

  

The Parables

parables

How many times have we read the parables of Jesus? Probably many times over. How many of those have we actually understood completely? Maybe not many. The Parables by Gary Inrig is written for this purpose. To give us greater understanding about what Jesus meant by them. To make us feel as if we are sitting right there with Him as He is speaking.

The book covers twelve parables in depth, all with user-friendly language. Inrig invites us to sit and listen and to try and understand more deeply the stories presented here, but even more importantly, to get to know our Lord more deeply. “Our world threatens to drown us in information; meanwhile our souls thirst for wisdom,” Inrig says.

The author shows us the Parables make complete sense even in our modern world as in the “Rich Fool” from Luke 12:13-21:

Babyboomers did not invent the pursuit of possessions, although they certainly have refined the art. . . We have been nurtured in a society that seduces with the promise of affluence and measures worth on the basis of possessions and positions. There is nothing inherently wrong with professional success, financial security, or personal prosperity. But at some point, a follower of Jesus Christ crosses the line into enemy territory. As the Lord has told us, we cannot be His disciples unless we say good-bye to all our possessions.

Inrig doesn’t hold back in saying exactly what Jesus meant. And that’s a good thing for us. Because each parable explanation in this book will make you think about not only what it means to you personally, but what it meant to and by Jesus Himself. Inrig points out that these stories almost always answer a question we have and therefore the context must be studied alongside the Parable.

Sit now at the feet of Jesus and listen to His amazing teaching ability. Be sure to bring your Bible.

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott, AZ

Shattered Dreams

shattered-dreams

Many of us have enjoyed the Book of Ruth and how she and Naomi related to each other. Author Larry Crabb has used this Biblical account as a backdrop to his book, Shattered Dreams. He asks us to think about what we can learn from tragedies and blessings in our own lives.

When we first met Naomi, she was living the pleasant life of the immature, the good life of the untested. Then her world fell apart. Huge dreams were shattered. We met her then as an honest woman, not a visibly good woman, but an emotional realist. She was heartbroken with life and bitter toward God.

Do we have dreams that never worked out how we expected? How did that make us feel? Did it drive us to God or away from God? What do we do with the loss we experience? Larry Crabb covers so many topics in one book, it’s eye-opening for us. His use of Biblical stories in addition to Ruth, Naomi and Boaz brings us to a desire for more. More insight. More truth. More hope.

If you’re seeking God in the middle of shattered dreams, if you’ve become aware of your desire for Him but are having trouble finding Him, be encouraged that it bothers you. The more you’re bothered by not finding Him, the more aware you’re becoming of how badly you want Him.. . .When you realize that your desire for God is the most passionate yearning of your heart, you’re in the spiritual condition to recognize God’s hand when He makes it visible.

Haven’t we all tried building dreams on our own schedule and then wondered what happened when they didn’t work out? Pick up Shattered Dreams in the church library and find out how God wants to bless you now.  

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott AZ

Wacky Wednesday

laugh

Earlier this year, Solid Rock Library offered some fun ways to look at books and reading. In case you missed it, join us now. 

Christian reading is not all serious and grim. We could ask, where did all the laughter go, people? If you’re in the mood for a little fun right about now, start with a book compiled by Ann Spangler and Shari MacDonald, Look Who’s Laughing! They call it “Rib-Tickling Stories of Fun, Faith, Family and Friendship.” These stories certainly range from delightful right up to hilarious!  

Some of today’s funniest writers and speakers await you inside. Ken Davis has thoughts to share about air bags. Becky Freeman exposes the sensuous woman. Dave Meurer takes a manly look at menopause. Armed with the world’s ultimate vacuum cleaner, Chonda Pierce wages war on the dust mite. Sound familiar?

If you have ever been to a Women of Faith conference, you will know just how much fun this book really is and will recognize some of the writers: Marilyn Meberg, Barbara Johnson, and, of course, Patsy Clairmont. These women always deliver the best in laughter.

But most comics can not out-do children for their blunt, honest and joyful words with these mini-thoughts:

A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, Because people are sleeping.”

Dear God,

Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. – Larry

Dear God,

Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. – Love Joyce

Is that you laughing? You can pick up this amusing and comical book in the Solid Rock Christian Fellowship Library, Prescott, AZ

 

Escape the Coming Night

stormy-sunset

Let it never be said books go out of style. The good thing about excellent Biblical writers, such as Dr. David Jeremiah, is their messages never get old. They are timeless. Escape the Coming Night is one of them. The cover description says it all, “An electrifying tour of our world as it races toward its final days.” Always a fascinating subject and complicated, if not correctly explained. It seems every generation since the beginning of time has believed the end is happening now. And apparently for good reason.

Dr.Jeremiah is an expert in taking the prophetic book of Revelation and making it clear and relevant to this generation of believers. He looks inside the last church on Earth, natural disasters, life in the Millennium, and the famous Battle of Armageddon.

The aim of Revelation is not only to present to us the coming King, but also to tell us the purpose of His kingdom. In America we hear the politicians tell us every four years why we should elect them and what their programs will be if they win office. Revelation is the account of Jesus’ campaign for the rulership of the earth. We are clearly told of His relationship to the church, His appointment by the Father to the throne, His crusade against the Satanic forces of evil, and His final victory. There is no need to count votes, for He knows the results.

Every aspect of the final days is covered in four sections and 20 chapters such as “The Lukewarm Church in the Last Days,” “Revival During Hell on Earth,” and the convicting chapter, “The Church under Glass” which will make every Christian stand up and take notice.

Here, Dr. Jeremiah uses the church at Ephesus as an example of one that looked good on the outside, but had serious “heart trouble” quoting Revelation 3:4, Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. A commentator said, “When it is the Lord who has something against the church, it is time to tremble. . .”      

Be sure to pick this one up in the Solid Rock Church Library, Prescott, AZ

  

Throwback Thursday

aprodigal

Remember those days of your youth when you just wanted to scream at someone, “Leave me alone!” and sometimes they did?

Shock seems to be a natural phenomenon–unusual and often difficult to understand. Jesus spent 22 verses trying to explain it to us in the Gospel of Luke and we still don’t entirely understand it.  

The prodigal son continues to this day to be a favorite subject in art, on stage, in popular music, books, plenty of movies and even a T.V. series!

We can find both fiction and nonfiction book accounts of this subject. Each gives us a different viewpoint to consider. The Prodigal is the fourth book in a series by Beverly Lewis drawing us into a beautiful fictional story in the quiet Amish communities of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.  

If you think, however, this smacks of too much taffy sweetness, Abe, the youngest son, would say, “Aint so!” It’s the story of family relationships each with its own level of anxiety, insecurity and worry: illegitimate birth, deceit, lies, and, of course, runaways. Maybe not such a happy ending after all.   

Looking down a wholly [no pun intended] different path now, consider what a mother might feel about her prodigal son. Oh! The anguish of it.

If you’ve ever had a prodigal, the nonfiction book by Ruth Bell Graham, Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, will change your entire perspective whether you are a mother or a father.

It will move you to, perhaps, ask God, “How have I been praying for my prodigal?” “What am I not doing?” Graham shocks us by using five true stories of the most famous prodigals in history: people whom you have never imagined could possibly be a prodigal!

One of the most well-known figures in history, St. Augustine, addresses God and says, “…I strayed further from You, and You left me alone….” The words could give us goosebumps! How did his mother handle all those years? You might be surprised.

In the Amish tale, it’s hard to take sides. “It seemed to her [Leah] there was much to be joyful about in life, but obviously Lorraine didn’t see it that way, at least not since her younger son had forsaken his family.”

Have you ever asked what the consequences and solutions are for a prodigal and each member of his family, if any? Both of these books encourage us to soak ourselves in prayer, continually.    

Ruth Bell Graham does an excellent job of showing the hurt, disappointment, confusion and fear on both sides of the prodigal son story. She also shares with us many of her personal journal pages and touching poems that can move a person to sobbing tears such as “For All Who Knew the Shelter of the Fold” which I personally am going to frame!

Both books can be found in our church library. But between the two books, if we could only choose one to take to a deserted island, it would be the Ruth Bell Graham book as a lesson in love.

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott AZ

I Really Want to Change, So Help Me God

change

It’s something we all need, but few of us have the courage to explore: change in our character and conduct. James MacDonald, founding pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago, gives us the way to accomplish this aspect in his book, I Really Want to Change, So Help Me God.

Sure, it takes work and that is usually why we resist a book like this one. But God never wants us to remain the same. So this book covers three important sections: “The Preparation for Change,” “The Process of Change,” and “The Power to Change.” Each chapter contains questions and exercises along with a prayer for courage and encouragement.

For real power to change, we need the Spirit’s filling. And remember that we should come back for refilling regularly. . .Four truths about the Spirit’s filling: The filling is commanded. . .passive. . .for everyone. . .not permanent.

This is a practical manual of “how to” change, not a philosophical discussion. We’ve already heard that discussion. Now is the time to “do” it. This is not instruction on growth, but on changing ourselves according to God’s Word. It is written in layman’s terms, not for a pastor or counselor, and is very easy to follow.

MacDonald begins the chapter, “The Power of Faith” with these words:

We experience change personally only when we exercise our faith in the truth of God’s Word; knowledge of the Word by itself is not enough.

So, if you’re serious about following God’s Word, pick up this book and finish it. Don’t put it down because of distractions and find something else. You’ll be better for it!

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott, AZ

Throwback Thursday

prisoner

NEVER GIVING UP

“Not only did prison radically transform my view of life, but the experience also gave me the one thing I thought I would never have again–an opportunity to serve others in significant ways….I discovered the first of life’s great paradoxes: Out of suffering and defeat often comes victory.

Even though Charles Colson’s book, The Good Life, precedes some of his later ones, if you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on finding for one thing, where happiness lies and–as a matter of fact–is it even necessary? Someone once said,

“Happiness does not come from what you have, but from what you are.”    

That idea is what Colson is trying to explain in his chapter on “My Happiness, Right or Wrong.” It will change how you think about truth in your life.

Each chapter of this book could be its own bestseller. It is that interesting. In “Laughing at Death” you will find the most extraordinary story of a young female prisoner in China who came to know Christ. It is worth the entire book just to read how courageous, determined, and bold she was never giving up on her faith while suffering unimaginable tortures..

In “Living Legacies,” once again Colson reminds us “Living for others makes life worthwhile.”

Where else will you hear about Perm Camp 35 in Moscow, Russia, that houses 3,000 prisoners?

It’s a place where Charles Colson was invited to visit. Every one of those prisoners read his book Loving God. In a letter to the missionary who gave them Colson’s book, they wrote:

“When we learned that he [Colson] too had been in prison, we understood that he knew the meaning of freedom. In other words, we who hated, and thought that such feelings were experienced by all people, learned that it was possible to learn to love God and other people.”

So, the question “is happiness even necessary?” makes us really think. Colson does an excellent job challenging our minds near the end of his book.

“The classical understanding of happiness, which is also the Christian view, is in direct conflict with the way people think in today’s society.”

“Freud…made a direct correlation between happiness and pleasure….C. S. Lewis says happiness is found in relationships, not in merely gratifying our own desires.”

We all knew this, right? But Colson makes us think way beyond the common understanding of so many different subjects. If you’re ready for a victory today, pick up this book in the church library.

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott, AZ

 

 

Successful Single Parenting

single-mom-3

Although some of the resource information in Successful Single Parenting, Going It Alone by Pastor Gary Richmond is a little out-of-date, the practical advice and candid suggestions are still quite current and very helpful.

Successful Single Parenting is for both men and women who find themselves in a single parenting situation, which is extremely common today even in Christian homes. It reads like a counseling session with your favorite pastor. Wise advice. Very wise, but Richmond doesn’t hold any truths back to make sure you are equipped with both Biblical accuracy and answers to your most difficult questions:.     

How do we nurture our spiritual lives while going through this period of being single parents?

What do you tell your children when the other parent shows no interest in them?

How much should you tell your children’s school about your home situation?

Another pastor and author, as well as a popular radio show host, Chuck Swindoll, had this to say about Successful Single Parenting:

Personally, I know of no one better qualified to loosen the ties that bind the single parent than my friend and colleague in ministry, Gary Richmond. He not only has much to say, he has the wit and wisdom to say it well.

If you are a single parent, do yourself a favor and read this book! You can find it in the church library.

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, Prescott AZ