Archive for the ‘God’s Love for Us’ Category

Book Review – Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Product Details Over my vacation I read Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love (not to be confused with the summer blockbuster, Crazy, Stupid, Love). I have a lot of respect for this man, so I was really looking forward to this read. I have seen him speak and I feel like he can be a riveting and powerful speaker, but I found the book to be a bit dry at times. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy or feel inspired by this book in many ways.

I really, really did!

In fact, there were many very convicting chapters and concepts, especially towards the middle section of the book. But both the beginning and the end of the book did not hold my interest as much as I was expecting they would. I did appreciate the fact that he included video clips on his book website, crazylovebook.com. I felt this resource enhanced my reading experience.

Overall, I do feel as if I have been challenged to be more giving and loving. I really felt convicted during chapter four, “Profile of the Lukewarm.” It was almost painful to read through that chapter! I felt the same way about chapter eight, “Profile of the Obsessed.”

Francis Chan has a gut-level honest way of saying the truth that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite modern-day “prophets,” the late Keith Green. You feel convicted to your core, but also a little bruised and weary at times too. Don’t get me wrong. He never says something in a judgmental way. He simply brings light to the sharp and penetrating* power of God’s Word.

After reading this book, I am moved to be more loving, more givingmore like Christ. I don’t want to live my life for my own personal desires and goals, but instead for Christ’s purposes and glory. To do anything less than that is falling short of my calling as a believer, as a Christian.

Even with my slight disappointment, I still feel like Francis Chan packs a powerful punch in Crazy Love . . .

So I would give his book an A- rating.

If you are a believer and looking to hone your purpose in life, this book will give you many things to think about and even more things to get busy doing!

*Hebrews 4:12

Today’s post is linked to – No Ordinary Blog Hop and

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My Miracle – A Boy, a Dog and a Cop

I’m a Hearts at Home blogger and beginning this month, HAH bloggers will be participating in a “blog hop” every third Thursday of the month. This month’s topic is “what miracles have you experienced in your life?” Here’s a miracle or two that I’ll never forget…

God was in miracle-working mode back in 1998 when my youngest son, Braden, was only two years old.

Braden, Graham and Jordan with "Jet" in 1998 - Unfortunately, I cut the nose off our miracle dog!

It was a warm spring day and I had lots of housework I wanted to get done. So I welcomed the chance to let my three sons out to play in the backyard of our new house. At some point, the two older boys, Jordan and Graham, who were about eight and five at the time, climbed the chain link fence to play with the neighbor boy. Unfortunately, this left my youngest son alone in our yard. Apparently, he didn’t like that one bit.

I suppose he wandered around for a while thinking of ways to get over to where the action was. Meanwhile, I was still totally engrossed in cleaning my house. So when Braden managed to find a gate in the far, far back of our yard hidden by huge evergreen trees, I had no idea that he was wandering off into foreign territory.

In fact, just behind our house was a busy street that led to an even busier street. Braden wandered out of the gate and started walking down the road in search of a way to get to where his brothers were. But here’s where the first miracle came into play—our black lab, Jet, stayed right by Braden’s side as they wandered down this busy street. Then shortly after that, our second miracle happened. A policeman was cruising by and noticed the odd scene—a little tot in the middle of a busy road with his loyal lab by his side.

Just in time, the policeman scooped Braden and Jet up and somehow managed to find our home, even though based on Braden’s location that probably wasn’t easy (but then, miracles are never easy!).

At some point I heard the doorbell ring. To my surprise, I answered the door to a policeman. He didn’t have Braden with him, so I wasn’t sure what he wanted. He asked to come in and see a family picture. I showed him one and when he saw Braden in the picture, he told me he had our son and dog in his cruiser. I couldn’t believe my ears!

I immediately took the policeman to the backyard to try and solve the mystery. I showed him that the only gate I knew about had a lock on it. But then Braden showed us where he had gotten out of the yard—the hidden gate that we, as new home owners, knew nothing about. The policeman dismissed the situation as simply an accident. But we called it a miracle and I thank God to this day for watching out for my little boy and his dog!

Braden gained a love for all dogs, even stuffed ones, after the miracle!

“Be careful. Don’t think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that they have angels in heaven who are always with my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10 (NCV)

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Earthly vs. Heavenly Father – Which One is Winning Out?

I never had a strong relationship with my dad. He was a pastor and kept himself super busy “visiting” members and prospects of our church when I was a child. But when he was home, we didn’t interact much there either. He just didn’t seem to know how to interact with others, especially loved ones, on anything more than a surface level. I don’t blame him for that. I also don’t ignore it. I accept it as the way things were.

As I grew into adulthood, I tried to reach out to him more. He was much older when I was born, so the generation gap was wide. But this age difference gave me even more incentive and urgency to get to know this mystery man in my life on up to his death in 2007. I am so glad that I made that effort. I had no regrets after his death. I felt content that I had done all that I could to bridge the gap.

Here’s where my story is going, though,… I feel like I’ve applied some of those same awkward and distant feelings to God, my heavenly Father. I’ve viewed Him at times as detached. I’ve viewed Him as someone who doesn’t truly care for me or have affection for me. I’ve tried for years to work on my perspective toward my heavenly Father, and I think I’ve made progress. But there is much more work to be done in my heart and mind.

In fact, just recently I’m challenging myself to refer to God in my prayers as “Father,” rather than “Lord” as I’ve done all of my life. This little adjustment has been slowly moving my heart to a warmer, closer place with my Father.

Rather than focusing solely on His heavenly and holy attributes, like some ethereal, majestic Spirit on a gleaming bright throne (which tends to make me feel removed and unworthy of Him), I’ve begun to give attention to His Fatherly attributes. I’ve pictured Him still as King, but also as my Father, who’s welcoming me into His presence. And I’m not just being asked to come and bow at His feet, but to climb up into His lap and feel Him wrap His loving arms around me!

This new perspective shift is changing my relationship with God. And it’s changing me too! It’s making it so much easier to trust Him. It’s bringing a lightness to my step. It’s healing the old wounds that were left by an earthly father who didn’t really know how to love. This new perspective is giving me a hope and joy like I’ve never known before!

I hope that you are experiencing an intimate view of God our loving Father. And if you aren’t, tell me about your struggles, so that others won’t feel alone in their struggle, and best of all, so that we can pray for each other!

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a (NIV)

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