Review: Is the Bible Reliable?

I recently had the opportunity to review Focus on the Family's DVD series:
Is the Bible Reliable?  Here is the DVD's description: The Bible claims to be the direct revelation of our Creator. So if the biblical record is true, it is a primary means by which the God of the universe has revealed Himself to mankind. However, if it can be proved false, then the God of whom it speaks is simply one more pretender in the assembly of gods that man has created.

In Is the Bible Reliable? Dr. Stephen Meyer challenges you to examine the historical and archaeological evidence to determine for yourself the veracity and accuracy of biblical Scripture. Is the Bible true? You decide.

Includes two DVDs, each with five 30-minute lessons, and a 96-page, two-color discussion guide. Discussion guide also sold separately.

This series was excellently done.  The series is taught with a college classroom feel.  The students are watching a professor teach.  The teacher is passionate about what he is sharing about and he is not afraid to inform you of what the skeptics state and then take on those arguments with evidence.  He supports the reliability of the Bible (both OT and NT) from archaeological evidence and from secular scholars.  This series gives you confidence in the historical reliability of the Bible and erases that as an argument against believing in the Bible. It leaves you with the question that if the people and the places of the Bible are accurately described, then what do you do with what else it says?

This is an amazing resource that will remain in our home and definitely will become something I will have my children will watch as they grow older.  While it is directed towards students going off to  college, I think anyone of any age will receive a lot of encouragement and truth from watching it.

In Christ,

I receive this item free of charge from Tyndale Publishing.  I was not paid for my opinion.


10 years ago today I married my best friend.  I knew without a doubt that he was the one I wanted to stay with for the rest of my life.  We married and had many happy years together.  Somewhere, along the way life began to happen and small choices began to be made where those feelings began to diminish.  The emotions, on my end, that began to replace the love were bitterness, selfishness, and self-righteousness.  Luckily, for me, my husband stepped in and fought for us and our love and I feel so grateful today that I can say again I married to my best friend and I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

The last several months, I've been meditating on the concept of movement.  Two separate and unrelated books I read both brought up the concept and it has stuck with me in a way that has helped me to pause and think before I react to a situation.

Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to witness against
you today, that I have set before you
life or death, the blessing and the curse.
So choose life in order
that you may live, you and your descendants.

According to The Blessing by John Trent, the word "life" in this passage carries the idea of movement; a movement towards someone or something.  He goes on to say, that choosing life, means to step towards God and others.  The word "death" in this passage means "to step away from."  In this book, he uses the illustration of marriage to bring light to these two meanings.  He states, how people with a strong marriage have made the choice to step towards each other.  In contrast, he points out that people don't get married expecting to divorce. We also know, that it usually isn't one exclusive moment that causes a a divorce. However, over time, with choice after choice, we begin to see death creep in over many marriages and through those small choices death comes.

I can be a visual learner, and this picture has been powerful to me.  As I reflected on my past, I could see how I often treated situations as exclusive and unrelated.  For example, if I was offended by my husband I would let unchecked anger arise.  I would allow the situation to remain unchecked because I was not aware that my small choices were joining together to be important pieces in a bigger picture.  This visual of movement towards life or towards death is helping me to pause in difficult situations with others.  Our choices are not exclusive and unrelated and therefore we need to be aware of what path are moving on because our choices hold the power of life and death. 

I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for the power of love.

I Peter 4:8 says,
Love each other deeply, because
love covers a multitude of sin.

And I have seen it soo true in my own life.  When I couch my decisions in love, the movement is towards life and it is extremely worthwhile.  The last year of my marriage has been by far our best year.  I don't know where you are in your marriage (or it could be in any situation) but it is worth fighting for and doing things through the love of God and in His way.  It does produce the life, joy and peace He promises us.

I pray this visual of movement, encourages your heart to move towards the people God has placed in your lives.  It is not that we are going to be without trouble in our relationships, but rather, it is how we are going to choose to move within our relationships.  Are we going to allow God's love to move us towards life?

Below is a video my husband made for me to celebrate our love:

In Christ,

Another way to connect

Thanks to the inspiration of The Coffee Cottage and Stiletto Media, I have added another way for you to connect with For His Glory Alone.  I have created a Facebook page.  My posts will should automatically publish to the page.  In addition, sometimes I have short thoughts that don't merit an entire post, so perhaps I will post it there:)  If you are a fan of my page, then it should show up on your Facebook wall.  From what I can see, your privacy is still protected from the masses, although I can see if you become a fan.

Thanks again for all your support,

Ready to dream again

Have you ever seen pieces of your heart written on the pages of a book? Your secret thoughts put into words? It is an amazing experience when it happens and for me it is one of those "wow" moments when you realize this life we are living in is bigger than were are as individuals. I am currently reading An Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus. This book discusses thoughts on how the church was designed to operate. I told my friend that as I read through this book, I am savoring it.  It has been written in a life-giving style that I want to have permeate my own life. This week, I've had a wide variety of thoughts spinning in my own head and as I read the book there were my dreams written out in black and white.


Disclaimer: I don't really know why I write this blog.  I know that I don't write it to be a theological discourse.  My prayer behind this blog is that people will see that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are real, living and active in our lives today.  Hopefully, by reading my story, it will encourage you to look for and see the fingerprints of God in your own life and to receive His love in greater measure.


I had the privilege of growing up in Christianity.  I can remember going to VBS when I was around 7 and learning John 3:16.  I can remember singing, "If your happy and you know it, clap your hands."  It was a fun, beautiful time and I remember the joy and laughter of community.  I then had the blessing of going to a Christian School from 4th grade up.  We had Bible everyday and Chapel once a week.  I remember worshipping God and falling more and more in love with Him.  I remember graduating and realizing that over half of the people in my small class no longer wanted anything to do with God.  I remember going to a secular college and sitting through class after class where I felt my faith was attacked.  I remember being grateful to be living at home and having a landing place to get re-centered.  I can than remember getting the opportunity to teach at a Christian school and again getting to talk about God everyday and worship with other Christians.  At that time, I started attending a beautiful church that shared the message of grace in a way that I had never heard before and I fell more and more in love with this beautiful Saviour that I remember hearing about way back when.  After having my first child, I started my first Women's Group and began having the opportunity of sharing God's love with others.  
A couple of years ago, the peace, calmness and ease of my faith began to shake.  The loss of my beautiful niece, Nevaeh, was a heartbreaking loss.  Part of recovering from that loss, involved delving into theology.  As I entered into this realm, it was like I entered into a different side of Christianity and started realizing that there were large amounts of varying opinions out there on what is salvation, is there healing today, what version of the Bible is the accurate version, what does Hell mean, is Creation literal or figurative....  As I begin to focus exclusively on these things I began to see the discord and disagreement between believers.  At times, it has been shocking and heartbreaking to me.  There have been so many days when I have longed to drop into a hole and return to the innocence of my childhood, when loving God was as simple and joyful as John 3:16 and I worshipped with other Christians in a common purpose of celebrating His love and sharing it with others.  The last several mornings, I have woken up and felt like I have been treading water ~ organizing thoughts ~ trying to figure out what exactly this means and that means...  And then I read the next chapter in An Unstoppable Force and there was peace.  I didn't have to keep kicking to keep my head above water, I could just float.  In that chapter, I heard what my heart's been longing to hear, but haven't been able to connect with my head for a while now.  I was reminded of what I believe and why.  I believe in the Bible and I believe in the God of the Bible who gets involved in people's personal stories and that He desires all men to be saved.  I believe we are instruments in a bigger story and we have the privilege of partnering with God in bringing the depth of His love to others ~ whether through the encouragement of other believers or loving the lost right where they are at and believing that the power of God's love will awaken their hearts to Him.  I want to see God glorified in and through others.  As I look back at the history of my Christian journey I see that community and love has carried me through.  It has drawn me closer to the heart of my Father and it has given me the ability to love people in ways I didn't know were possible.  

So with all that being said, I am ready to dream again.  I am ready to sail through the journey of faith with the Holy Spirit as my wind and the Bible as my rudder and anchor.  I know that at times it will take me into unknown territory and perhaps even failure, but I have seen the hand of God, the power of His redemption, I have felt His love and I want to walk with Him and with those He has put in my life in a way that strengthens and encourages us to run the race set before us.

In Christ,

Continued reflections on spiritual gardening

1st Reflection: Persevering in Planting

Ecclesiastes 11:4
Those who wait for perfect weather
will never plant seeds;
those who look at every cloud
will never harvest crops.

Sometimes in our spiritual journeys we hesitate in stepping out in faith because we are waiting for the perfect conditions.  We allow issues like the fear of man, the fear of failure and/or wanting someone else to make the first move to stand in the way.  As I shared last time in, Reflection on the Kingdom of God, God is quite generous in the sharing of His seed, the Word; He doesn't need us to wait for the perfect conditions but rather He spreads it on all types of soil and isn't concerned about "waste." 

This year, I've been reflecting on the last 4 years of my life and I can recall many different scenarios where I was spreading the seeds of God's love.  Many times those moments were filled with fears, tears, sorrow and sometimes hopelessness.  I often had the feeling that what I was doing was a "waste."  Now, 4 years later, as I look back I can see the power of God's redeeming love in each situation.  I am learning that it is worth persevering in the spreading of God's love.  If we choose to wait for the "perfect conditions" in order to step out in faith, we will never move.  Life rarely provides us with "perfection" so instead of waiting for perfect conditions we should remain faithful in doing things according to God's way and time will show the power of God's love to overcome the weeds of this life.

Early this winter, the Holy Spirit captured my heart with Psalm 126 and it has become a summarizing doxology for this season of my life:

Psalm 126:5-6
Those who cry as they plant crops
will sing at harvest time.
Those who cry
as they carry out the seeds
will return singing
and carrying bundles of grain.

The day after I ran across this Psalm, I "coincidentally" heard this entire Psalm put to music.  Kristene Mueller sings this Psalm in a song called Those Who Dream.  It has been a beautiful way to sing and preserve these truths in my life.


Second Reflection: Weeding our gardens

Below is a Scripture that provides clarity on how to weed the fields of our lives.  If you've spent anytime in your garden you know that there are weeds in it and that we didn't intentionally plant them there:)  As you read through the Scripture below, it will help you look over areas in your life so that you know the things to get rid of and to help you find the things to hold onto as you wait to see the fruit:

James 3:13-18
Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding?
Then they should show it by living right and doing good things
with a gentleness that comes from wisdom.14
But if you are selfish and have
bitter jealousy in your hearts, do not brag.
Your bragging is a lie that hides the truth.15
That kind of "wisdom" does not come
from God but from the world.
It is not spiritual; it is from the devil.
16 Where jealousy and selfishness are,
there will be confusion and every kind of evil.
17 But the wisdom that comes from
 God is first of all pure, then
peaceful, gentle, and easy to please.
This wisdom is always ready to help those
who are troubled and to do good for others.
It is always fair and honest.
18 People who work for peace in a
peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.

God's way                                                                              Weeds of the World
Gentleness                                                                               Selfishness
Wisdom                                                                                   Confusion
Pure                                                                                         Jealousy
Peaceful                                                                                   Bragging
Easy to please                                                                          Bitterness
Looking for opportunities to do good for others                        Evil

I find it helpful to look at these two lists.  One reason is I find these lists so refreshing is that it brings clarity  to God's way of operation.  Sometimes we confuse God's way by adding emotions of disappointment, never doing enough, fear and shame.  However, if you reread these Scriptures you will clearly see that God's way is full of peace and life-giving truths.  The second reason I find these lists helpful is it helps me discern what the weeds are, so that I know what I need to pull up.

If you know me well, you know that I can get very passionate about certain topics, especially if it touches on an issue I care about deeply.  As a passionate person, weeds often sprout forth in the process of discussion.  These particular verses are helping me to filter my passion.  When my passionate conversations get weedy, I am tempted to throw passion out the window.  But looking through this Scripture is helping me to instead weed through my gardens of passion, to keep that which is good and throw out the rest.  When I see that the path of passion should be tamed with gentleness and the results of my passion about a topic should be peace and righteousness, it helps me to direct my passion in a way that brings life to those around me. 

A couple of summers ago I reflected on what gentleness is, so if you think gentleness and passion are contrary ideals check out my post, but in summary I stated that:
Gentleness is
the recognition that you have
the power to break, harm or destroy
the object you are interacting
with because it is precious and fragile
in power compared to you.
Because of this you choose to restrain your
power and instead use it
to protect the object for its benefit.

I pray that you will take time to use these Scriptures to reflect on the gardens of your life and to allow God's way to produce the most fruit out of the situations of your life.

In Christ,

Book Review: The Blessing

I recently finished The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley.  The Blessing, discusses the power behind the parental position to give life to your children through the words you say and the actions that you do.  After reading, Birthright by John Sheasby I was excited to read a book that would give practical advice on effective parenting. However, I ended up being disappointed with the book.

I didn't have any problems with the principles of the book, rather I had issues in the way the message was delivered.  The first thing I disliked about the book was their "1 Million Blessings" initiative.  The initiative is to have a million people sign up on their website committing to blessing their children. While I understand, they believe in what they are teaching, for me, it came across as a commercialization of a truth of God.   A second problem I had with the book is I felt they overstated and oversimplified things.  In their teaching, they have 5 key elements that constitute a blessing.  They restated the same concepts over and over again, without really adding anything new.  I also felt like they oversimplified people's life stories to support their theory.  They spent a lot of time pointing out where the blessing was missed and giving the impression that if we effectively give a true blessing to our children then everything will turn out in the end. 

I personally did not walk away from the book learning anything new and I feel that there are other resources which express these same principles in better ways.

PS I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze.  I was not paid for my opinion.

Daily Prayer

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