Category Archives: Worthy Publishing

What is Happiness According to Jesus?

Each day, I’m on a mission to keep myself happy. I eat what I want to eat, I do what I want to do, and I think what I want to think. My faith is with Jesus and I experience blessings on a daily basis. Is that the meaning of life, though? Really? Am I doing what I’ve been called to do?

 

by Bobby Schuller
 
This very interesting and thought-provoking book, “Happiness According to Jesus” by Bobby Schuller, has touched on many of life’s ups and downs, and many things in between. Eighteen chapters of relating scripture to our daily encounters and suggestions on what makes Jesus happy. 

At church this morning, our pastor reviewed a verse that mentions Jesus rejoicing: 

“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” ~Luke‬ ‭10:21‬ NIV

In other words, the disciples got it, they understood what Jesus wanted them to do and therefore, “Jesus wanted his students to be like him, act like him, walk like him, and talk like him.” (Happiness, p.2).

We go through many emotions, which varies according to our circumstances. I think it’s important to spend more time in scripture, grow closer to God through meditation and prayer with Him. Many of us are lonely in a swarm of people. That loneliness will disappear once we realize Jesus is with us wherever we go and whatever we do. He wants to be closer to you than anyone else you’re physically next to. 

“When the body cries out for intimacy and we give it food, busyness, shopping, or media, these good things become perverse and harmful.” (Happiness, p.55) Without that intimacy with God, we tend to seek that closeness that takes us further from God instead of closer. Sometimes this intimacy replacement becomes an idol for us and that becomes a bondage that can be tough to break from. 

Later, on p. 171, the book continues saying, “If you spend your time looking for only material things, that light will be darkness. But if you spend your life looking for spiritual things and the kingdom of God, your whole body and your whole life will be illuminated with God’s goodness.” 

The basics of this book all ties together beautifully. I recommend it to anyone who desires to please God or are seeking a closeness with God. The examples and suggestions provided are very humbling. 

Do you have what it takes to understand “Happiness According to Jesus”?

Week ONE of book studies

Week ONE is officially over. Was I successful at completing all the book studies I set out to do? Not 100%. But that’s okay. I was able to do the scripture studies with Love God Greatly (Psalm 119) and Good Morning Girls (Proverbs – I’m still missing a day, but I’ll get to it this morning!). The Anything book study with Faith Gateway, I haven’t even started page 1 yet, but I’m supposed to have completed chapters 1-3 this past week and this coming week 4-6. Oops! And I start the Mending Heart book study tomorrow.

In addition, I was able to get my son and me to three libraries for their summer reading program. He got prizes from each and loves being rewarded for his reading. It’s too bad no one does this throughout the rest of the year. Am I supposed to do this on my own?

I’m also trying to finish two other books for Worthy Publishing, First Look. Both, I’m behind and I’ve already notified the coordinator. With the headache I’ve had since April 13 (hemicranial continua) and the occipital nerve block procedure I got last week, I’ve been a little slower at reading and I get fatigued quickly. So, all my reading I’ve planned out for myself is extremely behind and that’s no fun. It’s hard to read when you’re head’s throbbing and an eye feels like it’s going to explode or when I’m sleeping!

There’s a book waiting in my email to review from a Twitter follower and yesterday I received another request to review a book. I am determined to get this all done in the next 30 days and hope I am able to.

I’m also planning to review books for Chicklit Club. They give me 3 months to review, so that’s doable, I hope.

Today is Father’s Day, so HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the daddies and daddies-to-be out there! Please allow today to represent what should being a daddy is like every day.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

The idea of these progress posts is to show my progress in my reading and reviewing as well as what else I’ve placed on my plate for reading. I hope it encourages you to pick up a book in a genre you love and get to reading, 10 minutes a day can go a long way. Keep that brain working!

 Empire’s End by Jerry B. Jenkins

He arrives on a huge black stallion after more than a days journey at full speed, bareback riding, and no stops for food or water to a place he has no clue where he’s at and to a man who says had a dream that a man would arrive by horse with nothing to eat or drink and needs to take in. This mysterious man on horseback says his name is Paul of Damascus. If you have any familiarity with the New Testament of the Bible, you might know him better as Saul of Tarsus. Yes, the Saul who later used the name Paul, the man who persecuted those of The Way and later sees Jesus of Nazareth, who tells Saul to stop killing His people and Saul finds himself blind for a few days due to the bright light of seeing God.   

Getting back to Empire’s End, the man who now calls himself Paul of Damascus finds himself in a home where there’s a rabbi, a recent widow and her little boy. He comes to learn that this widow’s late husband’s name is Stephanos. Paul has a dream that this family learns he is the one who murdered Stephanos, the one the people of The Way say is the first martyr, Stephen. Paul does not dare suggest this information, but continues to seek a relationship with God every morning in a solitary place. Paul soon takes on responsibility in this encampment and lets his majestic horse return to wherever God will send it. He is stranded with this people, but willing to remain because of this relationship he builds while learning more about God. During his moments with God, he is asked to become a slave to Christ, which means no income but continually working for the Lord. Paul is willing, but how does he continue to live with this family knowing he might be the reason Stephanos died?

Jerry B Jenkins has an amazing way of sharing what life may have been like during a time in scriptures and placing more personality and details into daily loving during a time period. The author’s name might be familiar as he is one of the writers for the Left Behind series. Empire’s End places the reader into the possible life of Saul of Tarsus and what he may have went through after he sees Jesus. It is based off of the New Testament scriptures, but places the reader to getting to know the man a little more deeply. Captivating and easy reading, there’s a constant energy throughout the book that keeps the reader wanting more. A book that’s hard to put down once started, I find the book to be excellently written and I appreciate the possibilities of what Paul may have gone through after he learns more about the God he previously persecuted.

Book review: Miracles in You by Mark Victor Hansen

There are many miracles that can be found in scripture. But that was a long time ago, miracles can’t happen these days, right? Or can it? Are we look for these huge events like burning bushes that don’t burn or the sea parting so we can cross it like in the Bible? Or are we looking for miracles in our own personal lives like the birth of a baby or a dear friend accepting Christ as their Savior? What constitutes a miracle to you? 

Miracles in You by Mark Victor Hansen is an easy to read book taking readers through the little things that became miraculous; like sharing the gospel to a lonely teenager, who later becomes an evangelist reaching thousands or hundreds of thousands. It’s one small act created in love that God transforms and reaches the multitudes. 

Miracles are around us every day and we need to live life preparing for it and encouraging it. It is important to be connected with God in order to see and witness these miracles. Miracles in You by Mark Victor Hansen covers many examples of miracles of all shapes and sizes, yet each is centered on a relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we need to train ourselves to focus on miracles and it all starts with our connection with God.

“Take control of your thoughts and prayers and focus them toward positive outcomes for thirty-one days.”

As I read through this book, I was in awe with several miracles in the making stories. It seems so unrealistic for much of these to happen, but I know there’s so much truth in it. It starts with God and our relationship with Him. 

Years ago, I had turned away from God, thinking I can do this on my own. Then I found myself pregnant and as I researched how this baby was growing inside of me from week to week, all I could think of was how miraculous the process really is. How could all this be part of evolution like we were taught in school? There has to be a Master behind all this amazing events! As each week passed I grew closer and closer to Jesus again and now this child is 6 years old; still amazing me each day with how much he learns and grows. It truly is a miracle from conception through pregnancy and all the way through life!

I never considered looking for miracles each day, but I know that it happens all around me. Miracles can happen and you can be a miracle!

Miracles in You by Mark Victor Hansen can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book review: God of the Big Bang by Leslie Wickman

Comparing the Almighty God of the Bible and the notion of earth being created by the “Big Bang”, Leslie Wickman pulls together the scientific reasonings and evidence that both can coexist. We don’t need to choose one over the other, but both God and science is here on Earth and God of the Big Bang explains a lot of it.

God of the Big Bang begins with Leslie Wickman, an astrologist, sharing a bit about her background as a child in a Christian family and a scientist father, where she followed as she grew older. She goes on to share how she was contracted by CNN regarding a blog and it went viral. This resulted in Leslie Wickman being contacted by Worthy Publishing to write God of the Big Bang

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find the author mention Dr William Lane Craig, whom I got to hear debate an atheist at Purdue University years ago and I had the pleasure to meet him at an apologetics while he was in Hawaii for an apologetics conference at Kalihi Union Church in 2011. God of the Big Bang by Leslie Wickman focuses on a variety of biblical background to there is a cause for everything. For example, I put green chilis in my soup which caused the soup to be spicy, which caused my 6 year old to not like the soup, which caused us to make the child something else for dinner. Similarly, the same goes for creation, ultimately leading to there was a cause for this earth, solar system, and universe being created.

The scientific method is broken down and explained with examples and quotes from popular scientists like Charles Darwin and Galileo Galilei. Scientific method, as I recall from high school, is about hypothesis then attempting to prove or disprove the hypothesis. When it comes to the question of “Is God real?” Is there any proof to confirm or deny that He exists?

When comparing science versus God, one does not exist without the other. In the centuries of written evidence of creatures living on earth, there is no evidence that any creature evolving into something else like the theory of “evolution” suggests. If evolution does exist, why is there no written evidence of any creature evolving into something else?

God of the Big Bang by Leslie Wickman explains that earth is the result of the “Goldilocks Effect” where it’s not too hot, not too cold, not too big, not too small, everything is just right. In other words, earth is not too close and not too far from the sun creating the perfect place for water to remain on the ground and toxic gases are too light, leaving the perfect atmosphere for vegetation to flourish. There are many scientific reasons for how life on earth would not exist if anything were even one degree different from where earth is in comparison to the sun, the author goes into all of this and it is quite convincing that she is absolutely correct. 

Never did I expect God of the Big Bang to discuss the reasonings behind UFOs, but Leslie Wickman even described the likelihood of intelligent life out in the universe and how many light years it would take to get here in addition to all the physical challenges there are to travel at speeds to get here from that distance. This was a section I wish I had read before my husband and uncle had a pretty intense discussion about how UFOs and aliens do or don’t exist the other night. It would have been great evidence to share! It will need to wait for the next time we have dinner.

The beauty of the inclusion of various scientists findings as well as actual scripture placed into this book is quite evident that Leslie Wickman’s findings are supported that God and science can coexist. Written with a scientists perspective with education and experiences in the science field while including Leslie Wickman’s Christian background, God of the Big Bang is a book I highly recommend for the Christian apologist, the scientist, and those who are curious about life on earth and other planets. 

God of the Big Bang by Leslie Wickman can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com for $15.99 available April 14, 2015.