The Illuminator’s Gift – Book Review

I was recently given a book as a gift that I wanted to share with you. The Illuminator’s Gift The Illuminator's Gift is a wonderful Christ centered adventure that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. I believe this is Alina Sayre’s first published book and she hit a home run.

The story telling reminds me of a C.S. Lewis type fantasy story. Usually I am not one given to fantasy stories. Other than Lewis, I have mainly avoided the genre. However, since it was a gift, I decided to at least start reading it. After I started I could not put it down.

The story is about Ellie, a twelve year old orphan girl and her adventures as she learns to live for Ishua (Jesus) and fight against the forces of evil determined to destroy Ishua’s kingdom. There are wonderful descriptions of regeneration and sanctification and the battles that every Christian faces in this life. Ellie’s desire to be part of a family and to belong reflects the desire of many today. Also, her growth in understanding her role and place in Ishua’s kingdom is instructive and important for all of God’s people to understand.

I highly recommend The Illumintor’s Gift. You will not be disappointed.

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Positive Lessons I Learned from Steve Jobs

I recently finished Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs.  It is a mammoth book.  But as a person who uses Apple products I found it to be very interesting.  Jobs asked that Isaacson not hold back and present a full picture of the now deceased CEO of Apple Computer.  The result is a balanced view of the good, the bad, and the ugly about Jobs.

After reading the book I found Jobs to be both a man to emulate and a man whose character and qualities at times ought to be avoided at all costs. Today I want to mention four positive lessons I learned from Steve Jobs.

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Will You Count the Cost?

It is fairly painless and easy to profess faith and live as a Christian in America.  We have been blessed to live in a Christianized culture that still retains the values, to some extent, that were passed down by previous generations.  People might not understand why we are Christians but they usually do not create problems for us because of our profession.

This is not the case in many parts of the world.  In his book, Speaking of Jesus, J. Mack Stiles tells the story of the hardship and triumph of a young man from Kenya.

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How Important Is Predestination?

Would you be willing to die for the doctrines of grace? Is holding to God’s sovereignty in salvation that important?

I was given a copy of Pillars of Grace, volume 2, a book written by Steven J. Lawson.  It is part of a series written to show that the doctrines of sovereign grace have been held by faithful men in every era of church history.  This volume covers the period between AD 100 to 1564.  This is, in my opinion, an important work for reformed people to be aware of since it shows that the doctrines of predestination (Calvinism) is not recent but goes back to the founding of the New Testament church.

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Politics Will Never Save the World

Recently I read two books, which though the subject matter was quite different, they both drove home the same danger I believe the church faces today: too much reliance on conservative politics.

The first book was a recent biography of Deietrich Bonhoeffer written by Eric Metaxas.  It is a large volume that gives great detail to the life of the German pastor .  Bonhoeffer was executed towards the end of World War II for his involvement in a plot to kill Hitler. The part of the book that fascinated me was the conflict that Bonhoeffer had with the German Lutheran church leading up to and during the war.  The German Lutheran church sided with Hitler and the Third Reich early on and taught that a nationalistic view was an important part of the German Lutheran faith.  Anyone who was not supportive of Hitler was viewed as a less than faithful Lutheran.  For this reason Bonhoeffer and some others were forced to leave the national church and he began to train future pastors in an independent seminary.  Metaxas makes the point throughout the book that the German Lutherans, so eager to overcome the shame of Germany’s defeat in the First World War, were willing to give up what orthodoxy they had left to side with Hitler, who was seen as the one who would bring redemption to Germany.  Their faith and their politics became so entangled that there was no longer any distinction.

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