Tag Archives: books

The Beloved Daughter Book Review

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the beloved daughterWould you practice Christianity knowing that, if caught, your family would be sent to a concentration camp to endure a lifetime of suffering and pain?  Would you stand for Christ knowing the consequences would be torture and starvation?  Are you willing to put your life on the line for the sake of Jesus Christ?  Would you denounce your faith to save the life of your child?  Would you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord or cave under the hands of those who persecute Christians?

Alana Terry’s new book, The Beloved Daughter, is nothing short of a masterpiece.  The story unfolds in North Korea when officials arrest a father and mother and their twelve year old daughter Chung-Cha for their belief in Christianity.  The family’s middle of the night capture is only the beginning of their nightmare.  They are quickly imprisoned in separate concentration camps and persecuted for their love of Jesus Christ.  They are starved, beaten, physically and mentally abused, sexually assaulted, and forced to work long hours for meager rations of food.

At just 12 years old, Chung-Cha’s life of security and love are ripped away from her.  She is separated from her father and told he denounced his faith.  She lives in and out of solitary confinement and fights daily for her survival.  She questions the sincerity of every person she encounters and her eyes are kept wide open, always suspecting danger around her.  The grief-stricken young girl is forced to make exceedingly difficult decisions when desperate and hopeless.  She questions her faith when sexually and physically abused by detention officers and is punished for her perseverance to live.  But through the pain and devastation, Chung-Cha continues her fight for freedom.

How would you react to these living conditions?  What would you do to survive?  Would you befriend your abusers for extra food and easier work?  How would your faith play out in your daily life inside a concentration camp?  Would your love for Christ turn to hate?  Or would you keep the faith and trust in His plans for your life?

This is a story of the present-day persecution of Christians in North Korea and how faith trumps all evil.  You will never again take your freedom for granted but will be left with a desire to be a part of change.  Your eyes will be opened to the liberties we have and that our problems compare nothing to those being victimized every day of their lives, all for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Your compassion and love will grow for those facing deprivation and torture in the attempt to make them deny their faith.

The Beloved Daughter is a work of fiction, but the book is both educational and informative of the many sacrifices and hardships faced in concentration camps and underground churches today.  The story is both heartbreaking and redeeming as Christ reveals himself to the characters time and time again.  Even as their faith waivers and they question His presence, His love for them never fails.  You will read this book in the safety and warmth of your own home, but the story will transport you into the horrendous living conditions of modern-day concentration camps in North Korea.  While most of us still have our freedom of religion, the truth is that others are fighting for their devotion and love for Jesus Christ.  The captivating journey you will take while reading this book is frightening and life-changing.

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What does the Bible Say About Pornography?

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james115The term “pornography” is not mentioned in the Bible because books, movies, cellphones, computers, magazines, and televisions did not exist in biblical times.  However, God did know the sinful thoughts of man and gave us plenty of warning about sexual sins.  He gave us very solid moral teachings that can be found throughout the Bible about the many different types of inappropriate sexual behaviors.  Forbidden sexual acts specifically mentioned in the Bible as sin include homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9), sex with animals (Exodus 22:19), incest (Leviticus 18:6-18), idolatry (Deuteronomy 5:21), fornication and sex outside of marriage (Matthew 15:19), orgies (Galatians 5:19-21), adultery (Exodus 20:14), and even rape (Deuteronomy 22:25).  The penalty for these sins, as stated in the Bible, is death.

Romans 8:5-8 tells us, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”  God wants our minds and hearts to be pure of sinful thoughts and feelings.  He wants us to keep our focus on heavenly things and ignore the sins of the flesh that crave our attention.  When we view pornography, when our attention is focused on lust and adultery, we cannot do the will of God.  We must be “transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Christians also need to remember that our bodies are not our own.  1 Corinthians 3:16 reads, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  As believers, the Holy Spirit lives in our bodies.  He is there to help us discern right from wrong; He is our conscious who speaks to us in times of need.  Our bodies are meant for the dwelling of our Lord, not for immoral sexual pleasures.  I dare say that it breaks our Father’s heart when we disrespect and use the good and perfect body God created in His very own image.

Pornography and lust destroys human relationships!  It dictates the satisfaction of your heart and only leaves you wanting more.  Pornography robs your joy and steals your heart.  It leaves broken hearts and shattered marriages, broken and molested children, addicted adults, wrecked and shamed teenagers.  God didn’t intend for those things to attract our hearts.  He wants us to hold true to His teachings and wants us to experience sex and love fully when married.

It is true that Christ died for our sins.  While we have freedom and redemption in Christ, we do not have freedom to sin.  As fully committed Christians who have given our life over to Christ, we must strive to live a life like Christ.  While we can never truly achieve this goal because Christ was the perfect and sinless man, we can make it our goal every day to attempt to live sin-free.  Fighting sin and temptation is part of walking with Christ.  Taking those temptations and handing them over to Christ and then leaning on Him for strength is part of walking with Christ.  Christianity is about avoiding sin and keeping our minds and hearts pure.

Christianity is also about forgiveness.  Jesus dies for us, while we were sinners.  He chose to walk this earth and take the brutal punishment of death on a cross so that we would be forgiven of our sins and live a life eternally in heaven.  Forgiveness is not a license to sin.  Once we commit our lives to Christ, we make a stand for Christ and adhere to immoral sexual behaviors.  We must strive to fight sin at all costs.  Fight the urge to look at pictures, to gawk and lust after a stranger or famous person, fight the urge to stop at the bar or adult club on your way home, and fight the desire to befriend members of the opposite sex.  Satan wants nothing more than to find your weakness; he will take hold of it and make it his goal to ruin your walk with Christ.  Give God the glory and fight temptation!

Turn your back on all kinds of pornography.  Ask a fellow Christian of the same sex to hold you accountable.  Keep your hearts and mind focused on the things of Christ and fight the temptation of satan.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect
will. For by the grace given me I say to every one
of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than
you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober
judgment, in accordance with the faith God has
distributed to each of you.
Romans 12:2-3

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You might also like:
1. Dating and Sexual Purity
2. Christians and Modesty
3. Christians and Biblical Marriage
4. Homosexuality and the Bible
5. Biblical Judgment

It Starts at Home Book Review and Giveaway

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Tools_Books_It_Starts_At_HomeChurches worldwide are seeing a decline in the attendance of children who were raised in the church and have made a decision to walk away from their Christian roots.  Bill Hybels is quoted saying, “If the local church is the hope of the world, then we must take seriously the church’s responsibility to call couples, parents, and grandparents to create God-honoring homes.  Only then will we see the tide turn on declining generational faith transference.”

Authors Kurt Burner and Steve Stroope who both serve as ministers at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, have shifted the focus of the church towards helping parents reclaim their duty and responsibility to raise their children in a Godly home where biblical principles are not only taught but also witnessed through daily application.  Together they have written It Starts at Home: A Practical Guide to Nurturing Lifelong Faith, a book that proves the purpose and lasting success of intentionally raising children, families, and marriages where Christ is at the foundation and center of all homes.  Home is where the family lives and breathes; it makes sense that the home should also be the central location for spiritual development and where growth should continually be occurring in all members of the family.

The book presents strategies and goals for intentional couples, parents, grandparents, as well as church leaders.  It’s imperative to recognize that parents and families should not be waiting or expecting the church to teach their children but that faith formation begins at home.  Included in the book are parent report cards and tips and activities to building strong faithful families.  There is also a 120-day challenge for intentional marriages, parenting, and grandparenting that will inspire you to cultivate the faith of the future generations.

Christian home leaders are challenged to restore their homes and step into their God-given role to strengthen their family and become the central point for Christian growth.  It Starts at Home is a must-have for all family libraries.  It’s not a quick one-time read but a lifelong program about being intentional and strengthening the home.  The book is scripturally sound and full of biblical truths and at-home applications and strategies that families can easily apply to their everyday lives.

The Judgmental Christian was blessed with the opportunity to give away one copy of It Starts at Home.  What a blessing to be able to share this inspirational book to one of our faithful readers!  Thank you Lake Pointe Church for this unique opportunity!

Click HERE to learn how you can enter for multiple chances to win a free copy of this book.

This book can be purchased online at the Lake Pointe bookstore.  There is also a coupon online for 20% off any book or Bible.  It Starts at Home was donated to The Judgmental Christian and I was not compensated for my Review or Giveaway. 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Waterproof Bible Review and Giveaway

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I admit, when I first heard about the Waterproof Bible published by Bardin and Marsee Publishing, I was not only intrigued but skeptical as well.  I couldn’t quite grasp the concept of an entire Bible, inside and out, being fully waterproof and not being bulky and awkward to handle.  But the publishing company has succeeded in fashion!  The *new* Waterproof Bible fits perfectly in your hand and holds up to its name as both waterproof and durable!

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Now you can take the Word with you everywhere you go and know your Bible will withstand any climate or environment, whether you travel as a missionary, tour in the military, swim all summer, relax outdoors, or unwind in the bathtub.  The pages and binding, both made of synthetic paper, doesn’t crinkle when wet.  And the water just wipes off leaving the pages completely dry.  You can write and highlight in your Bible (a must for me) and it doesn’t bleed through or smudge.  The Bible is definitely sturdy and durable enough for years of travel, just as described.  But then again, that’s why it’s been created, to travel all of God’s creation!

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The Bibles are available in English Standard Translation, King James Version, New International Bible, New King James Version, and New Living Translation.  The Bibles are $44.95 and the New Testament Bibles with Psalms and Proverbs are just $24.95.  They come in varying styles and trendy colors as well; any adult, child, and teen will be pleased with their cover options.  Bible accessories also available through the publishing company include waterproof Bible jackets, highlighters, index tabs, and book mark magnifiers.  You may also print or foil stamp your name or logo on the Bible cover or heat burnish your name or logo on a synthetic leather cover.

I definitely recommend this Bible to anyone!  I’m completely impressed with the resilience of the Waterproof Bible and the simple fact that all things that would generally ruin a Bible, simply wipe right off.  It’s definitely worth the investment.

Click HERE to enter for a chance to win your very own Waterproof Bible!

I received this Bible for a review and giveaway on this blog.  I was not compensated for my Review or hosting the giveaway.  These opinions are my honest, personal opinions.