Archive for the ‘Personal Sacrifice’ 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 Life – A Cake Walk

Recently, I read a stirring account of how each disciple died—giving their life in martyrdom for Christ—on Mark Batterson’s blog evotional.com.  His post made me think about my own life.  The little difficulties I face pale in comparison to what the disciples experienced.  Consider how my life parallels some of the disciple’s lives . . .

James (the son of Zebedee): King Herod had James “put to death with the sword,” which was likely a reference to beheading. (Acts 12:2)

Me: I lose my mind because my kids leave candy wrappers and dishes everywhere.

Andrew: He was hanged on an olive tree or crucified around 70 A.D.  Tradition holds that he proclaimed as he was facing his death, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.”

Me: I struggle with a chronic disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis) that I find myself complaining about more than using as an opportunity to empathize with those who are afflicted.

Thomas: He was thrust through with pine spears or a lance, tortured with red-hot plates, and burned alive.

Me: The only cuts I’ve experienced are the occasional paper cut or cutting board blunder.  The only hot plates I’ve come close to are the sizzling dinner plates they hand you at Olive Garden.  The only burns I’ve had are sunburns or burns from my curling iron.  Yeah, I know, life can be rough.

Bartholomew: He was flayed (removal of all skin) by a whip after he refused to recant. Afterwards, tradition holds that he was crucified.

Me: I give in to the pressure and stress of the moment, losing my temper when easily provoked.

Judas (Thaddeus): Legend holds that he was beaten to death with sticks.

Me: Sometimes I experience the pain of people’s critical remarks or the abandonment of those I feel should stick up for me, but I’ve never had them come at me with sticks.

Matthew: He was killed by a sword, possibly beheaded sometime after 60 A.D. in Ethiopia.

Me: I get these killer headaches every once in a while that Tylenol cannot touch.  So I have to wait a whole day or two before it subsides.

Matthias: He was the disciple who replaced Judas Iscariot.  There are conflicting accounts about his death, but he was either stoned to death while hanging on a cross or stoned and then beheaded.

Me: I hang on to past hurts much too long which can easily turn my heart to stone.

James the lesser: He was taken to the southeast pinnacle of the temple where a crowd gathered. When he refused to recant, he was thrown from the top (over a hundred feet down). When the mob discovered that he survived the fall, they beat him to death with clubs.

Me: Sometimes I feel beaten down by the burdens and responsibilities of motherhood, the challenges of keeping a tight budget or the weight of helping to carry other’s burdens as a counselor.

Peter: He felt unworthy to die in the manner in which Jesus died, so he requested that he be crucified upside-down on an x-shaped cross.

Me: I feel unworthy of the criticisms my husband occasionally makes of me, and I usually defend myself in those instances rather than humbling myself.

John: He stared down death when he was placed in a huge basin of boiling oil, but miraculously suffered no injuries.  Afterwards, he was sentenced to exile in the mines of the prison island, Patmos.  Years later he was freed, dying of old age probably in his nineties.

Me: Several times in my lifetime, I’ve exiled myself to the “Island of Depression or Grief,” each time I have been rescued by God’s grace and forgiveness.  But I’ve never fully opened myself up to the kinds of persecution that the disciples, apostles and other martyrs of the faith have surrendered to so willing.

I cannot speak for you, but this is a sober reminder that my life, however difficult, is really just a “cake walk.”  Thinking about the sacrifices of these men, and so many more not listed here, gives me perspective on the harsh and not so harsh realities of my life.  So, I say with trepidation, I want to have the kind of devotion and abandon that the disciples had to their Lord and Savior.  How about you?

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A Mother’s Sacrificial Love

I am participating in a blog tour for the book, A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth.  I, along with many other bloggers, have been asked to write about someone whom we feel has exemplified sacrificial love.  One of the first persons to come to my mind was my good friend Tori, who has demonstrated tireless devotion to her autistic son, Eli.

From the day that Tori learned of Eli’s autism, she did not waste one moment feeling sorry for herself or the dreams she might have had for her young son.  She immediately set about to find the best ways to care for him. She researched the disorder, as well as the methods and treatments available to her son.   She’s learned how to cook special meals for him, eliminating gluten, casein and limiting sugar.  She’s sought the assistance and expertise of an internist who has helped her to develop a treatment plan that has resulted in steady and encouraging improvements over the years.

A few years back, when a local Elk’s lodge found out about Eli’s disability, they wanted to provide for some portion of his treatment.  Tori realized that Eli could really benefit from a Far Infrared Sauna which would help him to sweat out impurities that his body cannot release effectively otherwise.  The Elk’s Lodge graciously paid for the $900 sauna.  And although Tori is grateful to the Elk’s Lodge, she gives all the credit to God for bringing her son to their attention.

Just this past spring, Tori learned about the promising effects of hyperberic chamber treatments with autism.  Like most experimental treatments, her insurance would not cover the cost.  So Tori did more research and found a reasonably priced treatment center in a remote part of North Carolina.  Even though this treatment center was reasonably priced compared to many similar centers, it still cost over $4000 for all 40 treatments.  Again, this did not deter Tori and her husband Drake, from moving forward to meet the need of their son.  Tori and Drake organized a Trivia Night where more than 200 people came to support them in their efforts to raise the funds.  To make a long story short, Tori and her son were able to travel to North Carolina for the treatments this past summer with the expenses being completely covered by the funds raised at the Trivia Night.

When I think of all the wonderful and selfless acts that Tori has done for Eli throughout his brief 8 years of life, I am more than moved by them–I am convicted by them! I only hope her story is as inspiring and motivating to you as it has been to me!  Tori, if you read this, know that you truly are a great and sacrificial mom who makes me want to be a better mom too!

If you are interested in learning more about Mary DeMuth’s book, A Slow Burn, check out this link: amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310278376And if you’d like to check out Mary’s blog you can go to: marydemuth.com/If you are interested in writing for a blog tour to come, follow this link: blogtourspot.com/writing/ One more thing–if you’re interested in reading other stories about sacrificial love or reviews on Mary’s book, A Slow Burn go to: blogtourspot.com/slowburn-tour/slowburn-tour-stops

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