Fresh Start Bible Book Review

Gateway Publishing’s Fresh Start Bible is filled with insights from Pastors Robert Morris, Jimmy Evans, Jack Hayford, and other key leaders, designed to help build a strong spiritual foundation. The Bible comes in several different cover choices, but the only translation choice is the NLT.

There are divisions called Fresh Start Journey which answers questions about the foundations of faith. Intersections offers commentary on key Bible characters and events. Road Signs provides practical teachings meant to relate to scripture to inspire spiritual growth.

Worship Way discusses elements of worship. Freedom Path speaks to the spiritual freedom believers enjoy. Bible Reading Breakthrough emphasizes the importance of daily Bible reading.

There is also a Leader Guide for Small Groups, Bible Book Introductions, Cultural and Historical Articles, Topical Scripture Lists, Charts, Tables, and 18 Full-Color Maps at the back.

One of the things I appreciated is the inclusion of background information in the maps section regarding the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Jesus’ ministry. I found both helpful.

Have you read this Bible? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Gateway Publishing provided me with two complimentary copies of Fresh Start Bible through Blog About Blogger Network. I gave one of the Bibles to a teen in CPS-ordered foster care, praying it will be beneficial in guiding him on the path he should go.

Stay Where God Puts Us

It’s been my experience that sometimes we are reluctant to stay where God puts us.

We believe we could be of more use some place else. Our talents and skills could serve a better purpose in other arenas. That kind of thinking removes God’s sovereignty from the equation. It says we know better than the One who spoke the world into being. The One who created us for such a time as this.

God knows where, when, and how we can best serve him throughout each stage of our lives. When we look back, we usually see that. Until the next time God tells us to stay where he puts us, and it is a place or time we aren’t so sure we agree with, that is.

Right now I’m going through an in-depth study of Gideon from the Book of Judges. One thing I read today, which I’d like to share with you, is that God uses our weaknesses to exhibit his strength. Especially when we stay where God puts us.

The following poem taken from Streams in the Desert speaks to this.

I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord,

Though I wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the “rank and file,”
Yes, I wanted to lead them, You know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
 
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be neglected, and stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Your own, only give me the seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where You’ve put me.
 
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting You fully; when sunset has come
I’ll lay stalks of grain at Your feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely will find
It was better to stay than go;
I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2:13 (NLT)
I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Pause for Poetry-Real Riches

The following poem, Real Riches, comes from The Will of the Wind Inspirational Thoughts on Christian Virtues by Idalee W. Vonk.

Real Riches

If all the world were yours to win,

And all the wealth and land therein;

If coffers heaped with golden store

Would line your walls and gilt your door;

If men would loudly sing your praise

And children would bedeck your ways;

You still would be a beggared lot

If honor somehow were forgot.

If you had naught but daily bread,

A humble cot, a path which led

To where your friends and loved ones wait

With eager smile and open gate;

If none but friends e’er hear your name,

If you are ne’er to taste of fame;

But if self-respect has been your creed,

You are a millionaire, indeed.

In 1986 Carita Swanson Vonk, a woman I met at a writers conference, gifted me with a book of poetry written in 1969 by Idalee W. Vonk titled, The Will of the Wind Inspirational Thoughts on Christian Virtues. The following poem comes from Idalee’s book. Interesting side note. Carita was the second wife of Idalee’s widowed husband. Dr. Vonk also happened to be Carita’s philosophy professor at the University of Miami thirty-two years prior to her giving me this book. J

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Gluten-free Pumpkin Spoon Bread Recipe

This delicious gluten-free pumpkin spoon bread recipe is perfect for adding a touch of autumn to your meal. Although it is more involved than most recipes I post, the extra effort is worth it.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (Don’t be like me and misread that as 1 CAN.)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle.

Lightly coat a 2-quart high-sided baking dish with butter.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk and butter. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and stirring all the while, gradually whisk in the cornmeal. If you don’t add the cornmeal gradually, you’ll end up with lumpy batter.

Simmer, stirring frequently with a whisk, until the mixture thickens. About 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, thyme, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture until incorporated.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 1 to 2 minutes. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture until just incorporated, then pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

Bake until golden brown on top and set in the middle. 40-45 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

You Alone Know

In a valley full of old, dry bones scattered everywhere across the ground God asked the prophet Ezekiel if the bones could become people again. Quite an impossibility to human thinking, is it not? But the wise prophet knew who asked the question. He replied, “You alone know.”

Ezekiel was a prophet to Israel during their time of exile in Babylon. One of the things he prophesied was the Israelites would return to their homeland strengthened. That seemed as impossible to a people in captivity as a valley full of dry bones coming to life. Still. We know the prophesy came true when the first wave of captives began to return fifty years later.

Ezekiel’s vision of being in a deep valley of despair matched the feelings of the Israelites at the time. When the prophet said, “You alone know,” he didn’t say yes the bones could be restored to former glory and come to life again. Nor did he say no they couldn’t come to life again.

He didn’t state a case for either scenario. Ezekiel knew God could do anything he wanted to do. Even when doing so seemed impossible. Ezekiel understood God’s ability was limitless. He didn’t try to put parameters around God. He simply left the decision up to God to do as he saw best.

In the vision God raised those dead, dry bones to life. He restored them just as he would later restore the nation of Israel. He restored life to a despondent people who lost hope in their future.

In our times of despair or loss we might feel as dry as the bones in Ezekiel’s vision. Submitting our plans, will, and circumstances to God tells him we believe you alone know what’s best for us. You alone know how best to solve our dilemma. You alone know what will bring life.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The power of the Lord was upon me and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley full of old, dry bones that were scattered everywhere across the ground. He led me around among them, and then he said to me:

“Son of dust, can these bones become people again?”

I replied, “Lord, you alone know the answer to that.” Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NLT)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!