Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July Check-In

What Bible(s) did I read from this month? NIV Life Insights Bible, KJV Daily Chronological Bible

How many books by J.C. Ryle did I read this month? None. I've been reading Expository Thoughts on Matthew.
Favorite quote(s) by J.C. Ryle:
The Word is the sword of the Spirit. We shall never fight a good fight, if we do not use it as our principal weapon. The Word is the lamp for our feet. We shall never keep the king's highway to heaven, if we do not journey by its light. It may well be feared, that there is not enough Bible-reading among us. It is not sufficient to have the Book. We must actually read it, and pray over it ourselves. It will do us no good, if it only lies still in our houses. We must be actually familiar with its contents, and have its texts stored in our memories and minds. Knowledge of the Bible never comes by intuition. It can only be obtained by diligent, regular, daily, attentive, wakeful reading. 
Am I keeping up with my Morning and Evening devotional by Charles Spurgeon? YES. I am almost shocked.
Favorite quote(s) by Charles Spurgeon:
If you can wait for Christ, and be patient in the hope of having fellowship with Him at some distant season—you will never have fellowship at all; for the heart that is fitted for communion is a hungering and a thirsting heart.
How many books by R.C. Sproul did I read this month? 1

Favorite quote(s) by R.C. Sproul:
In prayer we have the opportunity to learn of the character of the Father. Indeed, prayer is one of the most effective means we have to discern the invisible hand of Providence. The more we understand the character of God, the easier it is for us to see His hand at work in our lives. 
Did I read any Puritans or Reformers this month: No. I've started reading William Gurnall's The Christian in Complete Armour and I'm still working on Matthew Henry's Commentary on Genesis.

Favorite quote(s):
The soul's strength to hear the Word is from God.  He opens the heart to attend, Acts 16:14, yea, he opens the understanding of the saint to receive the Word, so as to conceive what it means... He sits in heaven that teacheth hearts. ~ William Gurnall
Tears are a tribute due to our deceased friends. When the body is sown, it must be watered. But we must not grieve as those that have no hope (1Th 4:13); for we have a good hope through grace both concerning them and also concerning ourselves. ~ Matthew Henry

Did I complete at least one book from the TBR Pile challenge? Which one? No. But I am currently reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and the Living Insights Bible.

Other Christian nonfiction books read this month:

Christian fiction books read this month:

How many "new" books did I read (published 2000-present)? 4
How many "old" books did I read (published before 2000)? 3
Which book was my overall favorite?
More Than Meets the Eye. Karen Witemeyer. 2018. Bethany House. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: Prayer

Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church. John Onwuchekwa. 2018. Crossway. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence from the introduction: If you were to walk into most churches next Sunday, what would you find? You would hear music and singing. It might be loud or sparse, the songs new or old. But you know what you probably wouldn’t see a lot of? Or participate in? Prayer.

First sentence from chapter one: Well, here you are reading another book on prayer. Maybe the last one didn’t make you feel guilty enough, and you’re a glutton for punishment. What good is a book on prayer without an initial quote that surfaces your shortcomings as a pray-er? Without further ado, here it goes: “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing!”

When was the last time you read a book on corporate prayer? I think this was my first. The Bible speaks many, many times of the importance of praying together as the people of God.

Onwuchkwa isn't saying that most churches are prayerless, lacking in prayers altogether. He is saying that churches could be--should be--doing a better job at praying together in church services and prayer meetings. We should, he writes, be praying bigger and better prayers that reflect how BIG our God is. Our tiny prayers reflect our puny God.
"Do you see the danger in too little prayer? Where prayer is present, it’s saying something—it’s speaking, shouting. It teaches the church that we really need the Lord. Where prayer is absent, it reinforces the assumption that we’re okay without him. Infrequent prayer teaches a church that God is needed only in special situations—under certain circumstances but not all."
What is prayer? What does biblical prayer look like? What should prayer in our churches look like? How do churches learn to pray better together?

This book does focus mainly on corporate prayer, on prayer in our churches and for our churches. But individuals can benefit from reading it as well. The book is practical and thought-provoking.

Our self-centeredness is like gravity; it pulls us down. Jesus is teaching us to aim higher. He wants our prayers to soar.
If we really believe Jesus is good enough to give something to us, we must believe he’s good enough to give it to others. Praying with plural pronouns as Jesus taught is one of the best ways to love our neighbors because, even when they’re out of sight, they should never be out of mind.
We run out of things to pray about when we pray vague prayers for vague people. It’s easy to cover our bases and leave God’s presence just as unimpressed and underwhelmed as when we came. But if our prayers begin to be filled with particular requests for particular people, we remove the dangers associated with silhouettes.
Your prayer lists essentially serve as price tags on current events and church concerns—assigning value or diminishing it. Therefore, don’t populate the prayer list in isolation. Populate the list with the concerns of all the flock.
Prayer is the link in the chain that connects God’s sovereignty to our responsibility. We can try to ease our discontentment by doing something, or we can do the right thing. Prayer is that right thing; it’s where we should start. Prayer—praising God for his attributes and calling out to him with his covenant promises in mind—is essential and necessary for creating a culture of evangelism.
All of the requests in the Lord’s Prayer will be unnecessary in heaven. God will have already provided everything we need. We’ll need only to spend the rest of eternity thanking him.
When Christ teaches us how to pray, he does so with a fractured world in mind.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, July 30, 2018

Classic Club Spin #18

The number willbe posted on August 1, 2018. Here are my twenty. THE NUMBER WAS NINE.

1. J.B. Phillips New Testament (1958)
2.  I Dared To Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh
3. Exposition of Matthew by J.C. Ryle
4. Joyful Christian of C.S. Lewis
5. Savior of the World by B.B. Warfield
6.  Tozer on Worship and Entertainment by A.W. Tozer
7. The Way of Life by Charles Hodge
8. Faith and Life by B.B. Warfield
9. The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink
10. Through Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot
11. Sixty Days with John Owen in Hebrews
12. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Better
13. Valley of Vision (Puritans, collected, first published 1975)
14. Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards
15.  In His Image by Paul Brand
16. The Saints Safety in Evil Times by Richard Sibbes
17. The Wartime Sermons of Dr. Peter Marshall
18. Matthew Henry's Commentary on Genesis
19. A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall
20.  Tyndale New Testament (1534, modern spelling edition, 1989)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Joining the Classics Club

The Classics Club
50+ classics by July 2022

1-15 were completed in 2018; 19-    were completed in 2019.
  1. ✔   New English Bible (1970) The New English Bible. Oxford University Press. 1970. 1502 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. ✔  New International Version (1984) Living Insights Study Bible. 1996. 1606 pages. [Source: Bought]
  3. ✔ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Genesis "Commentary on Genesis." From Matthew Henry's Commentary on The Whole Bible Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Matthew Henry. Updated by Martin H. Manser. 1710 for the original. [Source: Bought]
  4.  Joyful Christian of C.S. Lewis The Joyful Christian. C.S. Lewis. 1977. 256 pages. [Source: Bought]
  5.  The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God. Arthur W. Pink. 1917. 272 pages. [Source: Bought])
  6.   Thru the Bible: Genesis 1-15. J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 204 pages. [Source: Bought]
  7.   Thru the Bible: Genesis 16-33. J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 188 pages. [Source: Bought]
  8.   Thru the Bible: Genesis 34-50. J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 180 pages. [Source: Bought]
     Exodus 1-18 (Thru the Bible #4) J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 170 pages. [Source: Bought]
  9.  Exodus 19-40 (Thru the Bible) J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 156 pages. [Source: Bought]
  10.   Leviticus 1-14 (Thru the Bible #6) J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
  11.   Leviticus 15-27 Leviticus 15-27 (Thru the Bible #7) J. Vernon McGee. 168 pages. [Source: Bought]
  12.   Numbers Numbers. (Thru the Bible #8) J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 204 pages. [Source: Bought]
  13.   Thru the Bible #9: Deuteronomy. J. Vernon McGee. 202 pages. [Source: Bought]
  14.   Thru the Bible #10 Joshua and Judges. J. Vernon McGee. 228 pages. [Source: Bought]
  15.   Morning and Evening. Charles H. Spurgeon. 1866. 470 pages. [Source: Bought] -----Completed in 2019
  16.   Ruth. (Thru the Bible #11) J. Vernon McGee. 1976. 96 pages. [Source: Bought]
  17.   Thru the Bible #12: 1 and 2 Samuel. J. Vernon McGee. 308 pages. [Source: Bought]
  18.   A Book of Comfort for Those In Sickness. Philip Bennett Power. 1876/2018. Banner of Truth. 97 pages. [Source: Bought]
  19.   Through Gates of Splendor. Elisabeth Elliot. 1956/1996. Tyndale. 219 pages. [Source: Bought]
  20.   Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. J.I. Packer. 1961/1991. IVP. 126 pages. [Source: Bought]
  21.   What is an Evangelical? D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. 1992. Banner of Truth. 80 pages. [Source: Bought]
  22.   The Practice of the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence. 1691/1982. 96 pages. [Source: Bought]
  23.   New England Primer (1777 edition). Various authors. 90 pages. [Source: Online] 
  24.  The Christian Book of Mystical Verse: A Collection of Poems, Hymns, and Prayers for Devotional Reading. A.W. Tozer, editor. 1991/2016. 177 pages. [Source: Bought]
  25.   Tozer on Worship and Entertainment. A.W. Tozer. 1997/2006. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

My Classics Club Checklist

  1. _ Darby Translation (1890)
  2. _ American Standard Version, 1901
  3. _ Tyndale New Testament (1534, modern spelling edition, 1989)
  4. _ Wycliffe New Testament (1388, modern spelling edition, 2002)
  5. _ J.B. Phillips New Testament (1958)
  6. _ The Living Bible, Paraphrased (1971)
  7. _ Good News Bible (Today's English Version), 1976
  8. _ New King James Version (1982)
  9. _ The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text: A New Translation. Jewish Publication Society of America. 1917. 
  10. _ Giant Print Holy Bible NASB 1977 edition. AMG Reference. 

Autobiographies, Biographies
  1. _ John Newton From Disgrace to Amazing Grace. Jonathan Aitken. 
  2. _ The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne. Andrew A. Bonar
  3. _ The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond
  4. _ The Life and Diary of David Brainerd 
  5. _ The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes by Mark Dever
  6. _ Foxe's Book of Martyrs
  7. _ Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards by Steven J. Lawson
  8. _ The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield  by Steven J. Lawson
  9. _ The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven J. Lawson
  10. _ A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall
  11. _ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
  12. _ Autobiography of George Muller by George Muller
  13. _ Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century by J. C. Ryle
  14. _ God and Churchill by Jonathan Sandys
  15. _ John Huss: HIs Life Teachings and Death by David Schaff
  16. _ I Dared To Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh
  17. _ Tyndale by David Teems
  18. _ Majestie by David Teems
  19. _ A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  20. _ Warfield on the Christian Life by Fred Zaspel
Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
  1. _ 1 and 2 Kings
  2. _ 1 and 2 Chronicles
  3. _ Ezra / Nehemiah/ Esther
  4. _ Job
  5. _ Psalms 1-41
  6. _ Psalms 42-89
  7. _ Psalms 90-150
  8. _ Proverbs
  9. _ Ecclesiastes/ Song of Solomon
  10. _ Isaiah 1-35
  11. _ Isaiah 36-66
  12. _ Jeremiah and Lamentations
  13. _ Ezekiel
  14. _ Daniel
  15. _ Hosea and Joel
  16. _ Amos and Obadiah
  17. _ Jonah and Micah
  18. _ Naham and Habakkuk
  19. _ Zephaniah and Haggai
  20. _ Zechariah
  21. _ Malachi
  22. _ Matthew 1-13
  23. _ Matthew 14-28
  24. _ Mark
  25. _ Luke
  26. _ John 1-10
  27. _ John 11-21
  28. _ Acts 1-14
  29. _ Acts 15-28
  30. _ Romans 1-8
  31. _ Romans 9-16
  32. _ 1 Corinthians
  33. _ 2 Corinthians
  34. _ Galatians
  35. _ Ephesians
  36. _ Philippians and Colossians
  37. _ 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  38. _ 1 and 2 Timothy / Titus/ Philemon
  39. _ Hebrews 1-7
  40. _ Hebrews 8-13
  41. _ James
  42. _ 1 Peter
  43. _ 2 Peter
  44. _ 1 John
  45. _ 2 John / 3 John / Jude
  46. _ Revelation 1-5
  47. _ Revelation 6-13
  48. _ Revelation 14-22
Other Commentaries
  1. _ Exposition of Mark by J.C. Ryle
  2. _ Exposition of Luke by J.C. Ryle
  3. _ Exposition of John by J.C. Ryle
  4. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Exodus
  5. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Leviticus
  6. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Numbers
  7. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Deuteronomy
  8. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Joshua
  9. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Judges
  10. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ruth
  11. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Samuel
  12. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on 2 Samuel
  13. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Kings
  14. _ Matthew Henry's Commentary on 2 Kings
  15. _ The Letters of James and Peter by William Barclay
  16. _ The Gospel & Epistles of John by F.F. Bruce
  17. _ Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther
  18. _ Exposition of Hebrews by A.W. Pink
  19. _ Exposition of the Gospel of John by A.W. Pink
  20. _ Exposition of First John by A.W. Pink
  21. _ Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon

  1. _ Mornings with Tozer (he died in 1963; this was first published in 1991)
  2. _ Valley of Vision (Puritans, collected, first published 1975)
  3.  _ From the Library of Charles Spurgeon: Selections from Writers Who Influenced HIs Spiritual Journey. James Stuart Bell Jr. 
  4. _ Come to the Waters by James Montgomery Boice
  5. _ Sixty Days with John Owens in Hebrews
  6. _ The Scottish Psalter. General Assembly Free Church of Scotland. 1650. 

  1. _ Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards
  2. _ The Wartime Sermons of Dr. Peter Marshall
  3. _ Twenty Sermons by Thomas Manton
  4. _ Volume One The Sermons of George Whitefield
  5. _ Volume Two The Sermons of George Whitefield
  6. _ An Exposition of Psalm 119 by Charles Bridge
  7. _ 158 Sermons on Psalm 119 by Thomas Manton

  1. _ In His Image by Paul W. Brand
  2. _ Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice
  3. _ The Sermon on the Mount by James Montgomery Boice
  4. _ The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges
  5. _ Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
  6. _ Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin
  7. _ Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock
  8. _ Knowing Christ by Jonathan Edwards
  9. _ Justification by Faith Alone by Jonathan Edwards
  10. _ Our Great and Glorious God by Jonathan Edwards
  11. _ The True Believer by Jonathan Edwards
  12. _ History of the Work of Redemption by Jonathan Edwards 
  13. _ A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
  14. _ A Lamp for My Feet by Elisabeth Elliot
  15. _ How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Gordon Fee (1981)
  16. _ The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall
  17. _ The Way of Life by Charles Hodge
  18. _ Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
  19. _ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  20. _ Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  21. _ Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  22. _ The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
  23. _ The Faithful Promiser by John Macduff
  24. _ The Words of Jesus by John Macduff
  25. _ The Mind of Jesus by John Macduff
  26. _ Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
  27. _ The Letters of John Newton
  28. _ Communion with the Triune God by John Owen
  29. _ The Glory of Christ by John Owen
  30. _ The Ability of God by A.W. Pink
  31. _ Gleanings from Paul by A.W. Pink
  32. _ Our Accountability to God by A.W. Pink
  33. _ Gleanings in Exodus by A.W. Pink
  34. _ Knots Untied by J.C. Ryle
  35. _ Light from Old Times by J.C. Ryle
  36. _ A Christian Manifesto by Francis A. Schaeffer
  37. _ Days of Heaven Upon Earth A.B. Simpson
  38. _ What the Bible Teaches by R.A. Torrey
  39. _ Experiencing God's Love by R.A. Torrey
  40. _ The Dangers of a Shallow Faith by A.W. Tozer
  41. _ The Crucified Life by A.W. Tozer
  42. _ A Disruptive Faith by A.W. Tozer
  43. _ Grace and Glory by Geerhardus Vos
  44. _ Faith and Life by B. B. Warfield
  45. _ Saviour of the World by B.B. Warfield
  46. _ Real Christianity by William Wilberforce
  47. _ Godly Prayer and Its Answers by John Brown of Wamphray
  48. _ Christ All in All by Philip Henry

Books in Bundles

  1. _ The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Horatious Bonar
  2. _ The Night of Weeping by Horatious Bonar
  3. _ The Morning of Joy by Horatious Bonar
  4. _ E.M. Bounds on Prayer
  5. _ Phillip Keller: The Inspirational Writings 
  6. _ The Collected Works of Catherine Marshall
  7. _ Discipleship by G. Campbell Morgan
  8. _ Wherein Have We Robbed God? G. Campbell Morgan
  9. _ God's Methods with Man by G. Campbell Morgan
  10. The Hidden Years at Nazareth by G. Campbell Morgan (20+ more)
  11. _ The Saint's Safety in Evil Times by Richard Sibbes
  12. _ Christ is Best by Richard Sibbes
  13. _ Christ's Sufferings for Man's Sin by Richard Sibbes
  14. _ The Church's Visitation by Richard Sibbes
  15. _ Bowels Opened by Richard Sibbes
  16. _ The Spouse, Her Earnest Desire After Christ by Richard Sibbes
  17. _ A Breathing After God by Richard Sibbes
  18. _ The Returning Backslider by Richard Sibbes
  19. _ The Marriage Feast Between Christ and His Church by Richard Sibbes
  20. _ Commentary on the First Chapter of 2 Corinthians by Richard Sibbes (+4 more volumes)
  21. _ Tozer Speaks, Volume One
  22. _ Tozer Speaks, Volume Two

Feel free to copy/paste this. You can replace the _ with an X or a ✔ (copy/paste it) when you finish reading a book.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Week in Review: July 22-28

NIV 84

  • Exodus
  • 1 Samuel 16-31
  • 2 Samuel 
  • 1 Kings
  • Psalms 36-84
  • Matthew 23-28
  • Mark
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, July 28, 2018

My Victorian Year #29

This week I'm sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on Matthew.

From Morning and Evening:

  • Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
  • Hope ever! For God fails you not.
  • We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot—to be less troubled with our afflictions and woes. We have but to see His sorrows—and we shall be ashamed to mention our sorrows. We have but to gaze into His wounds—and heal our own. If we would live aright—it must be by the contemplation of His death. If we would rise to dignity—it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.
  • Forgiveness of sin is a present thing—a privilege for this day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus—he is fully forgiven.
  • Our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone forever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one gives himself to sleep.
  • If you would know experimentally the preciousness of the promises, and enjoy them in your own heart, meditate much upon them. But besides meditating upon the promises, seek in your soul to receive them as being the very words of God. My soul, it is God, even your God, God who cannot lie—who speaks to you! This Word of His which you are now considering, is as true as His own existence.
  • He is an unchangeable God. He has not altered the thing which has gone out of His mouth, nor called back one single consolatory sentence. Nor does He lack any power; it is the God who made the heavens and the earth—who has spoken thus. Nor can He fail in wisdom as to the time when He will bestow the favors, for He knows when it is best to give and when better to withhold. Therefore, seeing that it is the Word of a God so true, so immutable, so powerful, so wise—I will and must believe the promise.
  • When the guilt of sin was taken away—the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand—nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father—but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except “I have absolved you—you are acquitted.”
  • For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Christ.
  • There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome—if he will only rely upon his God to do it. Those who wear the white robe in heaven, overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ.

From Expository Thoughts on Matthew, Matthew 5-7

  • Would we know what kind of people Christians ought to be? Would we know the character at which Christians ought to aim? Would we know the outward walk and inward habit of mind which become a follower of Jesus? Then let us often study the sermon on the mount. 
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are poor in spirit. He means the humble, and lowly-minded, and self-abased. He means those who are deeply convinced of their own sinfulness in God's sight.
  • Humility is the very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity. We must begin low, if we would build high. The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who mourn. He means those who sorrow for sin, and grieve daily over their own short-comings.
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are meek. He means those who are of a patient and contented spirit.
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who hunger and thirst after righteousness. He means those who desire above all things to be entirely conformed to the mind of God.
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are merciful. He means those who are full of compassion towards others.
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are pure in heart. He means those who do not aim merely at outward correctness, but at inward holiness.
  • The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are peacemakers. He means those who use all their influence to promote peace and charity on earth, in private and in public, at home and abroad.
  • Lastly, the Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are persecuted for righteousness sake. He means those who are laughed at, mocked, despised, and ill-used, because they endeavor to live as true Christians.
  • Let us learn how entirely contrary are the principles of Christ to the principles of the world. The very characters which the Lord Jesus praises, the world despises. The very pride, and thoughtlessness, and high tempers, and worldliness, and selfishness, and formality, and unlovingness, which abound everywhere, the Lord Jesus condemns.
  • Let us learn how unhappily different is the teaching of Christ from the practice of many professing Christians.
  • Above all let us learn how holy and spiritual-minded all believers should be. They should never aim at any standard lower than that of the sermon on the mount.
  • True Christians are to be in the world like SALT. Now salt has a peculiar taste of its own, utterly unlike anything else. When mingled with other substances, it preserves them from corruption. It imparts a portion of its taste to everything it is mixed with. It is useful so long as it preserves its savor, but no longer.
  • True Christians are to be in the world like LIGHT. Now it is the property of light to be utterly distinct from darkness. The least spark in a dark room can be seen at once. Of all things created light is the most useful. It fertilizes. It guides. It cheers.
  • It will never do to idle through life, thinking and living like others, if we mean to be owned by Christ as His people. Have we grace? Then it must be seen. Have we the Spirit? Then there must be fruit.
  • "Salt" and "light" evidently imply peculiarity both of heart and life, of faith and practice. We must dare to be singular and unlike the world, if we mean to be saved.
  • Let us beware of despising the Old Testament under any pretense whatever. Let us never listen to those who bid us throw it aside as an obsolete, antiquated, useless book.
  • The religion of the Old Testament is the embryo of Christianity. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the bud. The New Testament is the Gospel in full flower. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the blade. The New Testament is the Gospel in full ear. The saints in the Old Testament saw many things through a glass darkly.
  • Let us, for another thing, beware of despising the law of the Ten Commandments. Let us not suppose for a moment that it is set aside by the Gospel, or that Christians have nothing to do with it.
  • In the last place, let us beware of supposing that the Gospel has lowered the standard of personal holiness, and that the Christian is not intended to be as strict and particular about his daily life as the Jew.
  • The Lord Jesus enjoins on us a spirit of universal love and charity. We ought to put away all malice. We ought to return good for evil, and blessing for cursing. We ought to "love even our enemies."
  • A son should be like his father. But where is our likeness to our Father in heaven, if we cannot show mercy and kindness to everybody?
  • Unfailing courtesy, kindness, tenderness, and consideration for others, are some of the greatest ornaments to the character of the child of God. The world can understand these things, if it cannot understand doctrine.
  • Those who fancy that true religion has any tendency to make men unhappy, are greatly mistaken. It is the absence of it that does this, and not the presence. True religion has the directly contrary effect. It tends to promote peace, and charity, and kindness, and goodwill among men.
  • Observe that our Lord takes it for granted, that all who call themselves His disciples will GIVE ALMS. He assumes as a matter of course, that they will think it a solemn duty to give, according to their means, to relieve the needs of others.
  • Observe again that our Lord takes it for granted, that all who call themselves His disciples will PRAY. He assumes this also as a matter of course. He only gives directions as to the best way of praying.
  • Thousands, and tens of thousands, who never saw a Bible, or heard the pure Gospel, are acquainted with "Our Father," and "Paternoster."
  • Happy would it be for the world, if this prayer was as well known in the spirit, as it is in the letter!
  • The first sentence declares to whom we are to pray--"Our Father who is in heaven." We are not to cry to saints and angels, but to the everlasting Father, the Father of spirits, the Lord of heaven and earth.
  • The second sentence is a petition respecting God's name--"May your name be kept holy." By the "name" of God we mean all those attributes under which He is revealed to us--His power, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth.
  • The glory of God is the first thing that God's children should desire. It is the object of one of our Lord's own prayers--"Father, glorify your name." (John 12:28.)
  • It is the purpose for which the world was created. It is the end for which the saints are called and converted. It is the chief thing we should seek, that "in all things God may be glorified." (1 Peter 4:11.)
  • The third sentence is a petition concerning God's kingdom--"May your kingdom come." By His kingdom we mean first, the kingdom of grace which God sets up and maintains in the hearts of all living members of Christ, by His Spirit and word.
  • But we mean chiefly, the kingdom of glory which shall one day be set up, when Jesus shall come the second time, and "all men shall know Him from the least to the greatest."
  • The fourth sentence is a petition concerning God's will--"May your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth." We here pray that God's laws may be obeyed by men as perfectly, readily, and unceasingly, as they are by angels in heaven.
  • The fifth sentence is a petition respecting our own daily needs--"give us this day our daily bread." We are here taught to acknowledge our entire dependence on God, for the supply of our daily necessities.
  • The sixth sentence is a petition respecting our sins--"Forgive us our debts." We confess that we are sinners, and need daily grants of pardon and forgiveness.
  • The seventh sentence is a profession respecting our own feelings towards others--we ask our Father to "forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors." This is the only profession in the whole prayer, and the only part on which our Lord comments and dwells, when He has concluded the prayer.
  • The eighth sentence is a petition respecting our weakness--"Bring us not into temptation." It teaches us that we are liable, at all times, to be led astray, and fall.
  • The ninth sentence is a petition respecting our dangers--"deliver us from evil." We are here taught to ask God to deliver us from the evil that is in the world, the evil that is within our own hearts, and not least from that evil one, the devil.
  • The last sentence is an ascription of praise--"yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory."
  • What do we love best? Are our chief affections on things in earth, or things in heaven? Life or death depends on the answer we can give to these questions.
  • All the care in the world will not make us continue a minute beyond the time which God has appointed. We shall not die until our work is done.
  • Half our miseries are caused by imagining things that we think are coming upon us. Half the things that we expect to come upon us, never come at all.
  • Do we know anything of this asking, seeking, and knocking? Why should we not? There is nothing so simple and plain as praying, if a man really has a will to pray. There is nothing, unhappily, which men are so slow to do.
  • Do we ever really pray? If not, we shall at last be without excuse before God, except we repent. We shall not be condemned for not doing what we could not have done, or not knowing what we could not have known.
  • Do we indeed pray? Then let us pray on, and not faint. It is not lost labor. It is not useless. It will bear fruit after many days. That word never yet failed, "Everyone who asks receives."
  • What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear.
  • Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.
  • A religion which costs us nothing, and consist in nothing but hearing sermons, will always prove at last to be a useless thing.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, July 27, 2018

Scripture Chain for 1 Chronicles 16:11

  • Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11
  • Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God...1 Chronicles 22:19a
  • And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
  • The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! Psalm 22:26a
  • Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation, for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5
  • One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4
  • You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek. Psalm 27:8
  • Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14
  • Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalm 33:18
  • Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
  • Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
  • Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. Psalm 34:5
  • Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8
  • Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
  • Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; Psalm 37:7a
  • But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is for you, O Lord my God, who will answer. Psalm 38:15
  • And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7
  • I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
  • But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!" Psalm 40:16
  • For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1
  • O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
  • You who seek God, let your hearts revive. Psalm 69:32b
  • For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Psalm 71:5
  • But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
  • Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Psalm 105:3
  • With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:10
  • I will delight in your statures; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:16
  • Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24
  • My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:81
  • To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Psalm 123:1
  • I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6
  • It will be said on that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9
  • In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. Isaiah 26:8
  • My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9
  • But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
  • Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
  • Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
  • You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
  • The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. Lamentations 3:24
  • The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25
  • It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:26
  • Break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12b
  • But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
  • But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
  • Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
  • For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. Galatians 5:5
  • But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil. Ravi Zacharias. 1996. Thomas Nelson. 272 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: If there is an image that mirrors the mind of the West today, it is strikingly reflected in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias is in large part about the secular ideas that shape modern society and culture. What ideas shape the culture? Are worldviews being shaped--created--intentionally or unintentionally? Is it even possible to be objective? What biases shape us and shape others? In light of this secularization and privatization of society how should Christians live?

If the book urges anything--and it does--it is asking Christians to THINK, to be mindful, to be aware, to be awake. It is encouraging Christians to read and know the Word of God so that they have something to measure ideas by.Don't be so open-minded that you accept--shallow whole--any and everything you're told. In this world you will be surrounded by ideas by views that counter the truths of Scripture.  The Word of God is the truth by which we should see the world--the lens we use to judge ourselves and the world. It should impact how we think and how we live.

The book is divided into three parts: "The Moods of the Present," "The Voices of the Past," and "The Face of the Future."

The book was first published in 1996. In some ways--many ways--it is as relevant today as it was when it was published. However, some of the examples are slightly dated.

Overall, I found the book to be quite thought-provoking.

Behind an act is a thought or a belief, and those thoughts unleashed in anti-social behavior make the headlines. (xv)
The ideas we now popularly espouse are reshaping our culture, redefining our destiny, and are at the heart of the rampant evil that we now witness. (xv)
Truth is stranger than fiction, it is said, but as G.K. Chesterton has appropriately declared, that may well be because we have made fiction to suit ourselves. There is possibly a more disturbing reason for our estrangement from truth, particularly if that truth signifies a reality that is terrifying and unchangeable. Our inability to alter what is actual frustrates our grandiose delusions of being sovereign over everything. (13)
The greatest scrutiny must be paid to how and why we make our individual and societal decisions. (17)
The implications of our choices carry over into what we call lifestyles. Individually they may seem to be insignificant, but when the mind-set of a whole culture is altered in accordance with those choices, the ramifications are staggering. (17)
Secular belief grants itself privileges that it does not equally distribute. (59)
Shame is to the moral health of a society what pain is to the body. (64)
To raise a child without shame is to raise one with no immune system against evil. (66)
Actions, though sometimes impressive, can be premeditated and designed to deceive, but reactions come from the overflow of the heart and are impulsive. (76)
It has been correctly stated that religion is the essence of culture while culture is the dress of religion. (82)
The assumption that all ideas are equally true is false. (85)
Most people are guided in life by a handful of ideas, and therefore it is all the more important that there be a way of measuring why one idea is chosen over another. (85)
Life affords us the privilege of making connections and finding relationships, not only with people, but also with ideas. And sometimes the most exhilarating conversation takes place when one name or one event, shared between two individuals, unlocks a storehouse of memories and a wealth of emotions. (103)
The extent to which Christian conviction is muzzled reaches new and bizarre dimensions each succeeding year. (106)
Privatization insists that though one may choose to believe whatever one wants to it must be kept private...This allowance for private belief supposedly distinguished democracy from totalitarianism, where one's personal belief is dictated. But in effect the same public outcome results; life's deepest quests and most cherished values are sequestered. Every thinking person knows that to imprison a sacred belief within the private realm is ultimately to fracture, if not to kill, the belief. (106)
How ironic that sexuality and nudity, which are meant to be private, are now fare for public consumption while spiritual convictions, which are meant to strengthen public polity, are now for private expression only. (108)
Does it make sense to entrust those who are immoral in private with the power to determine the nation's moral issues, and indeed, its destiny? One of the most dangerous and terrifying trends in America today is the disregard for character as a central necessity in a leader's credentials. The duplicitous soul of a leader can only make a nation more sophisticated in evil. (111)
We cannot put into living what we do not have in life. We cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves or know where to find. (113)
In the fragile path of living, where relationships intersect and passions collide, God in His wisdom has provided fences, walls, and boundaries for our well-being, that we might not stray into terrain that destroys the very essence for which we were made. And it is these fences and walls that are coming down today with thundering force. (131)
What are we doing to our children when we tell them there are no moral boundaries? When we ridicule sacred things? When we leave them vulnerable to any philosophy of life that comes around? (143)
Human beings have a limitless capacity to raise the question of the problem of evil as we see it outside of ourselves, but a disproportionate willingness to raise the question of evil within us. (148)
How a culture responds to the cross will determine its face for the future, for the cross alone can transform the heart. (187)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Book Review: The Invisible Hand

The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good. R.C. Sproul. 1996. 220 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: I had just pulled my car into the garage and stepped out of it when the door to the kitchen opened and my daughter, Sherrie, appeared. Her face was ashen, and there was a look of horror in her eyes. She rushed into my arms, blurting out the words: "Oh, Daddy! My baby is dead!"

R.C. Sproul writes of the providence of God in his book The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good. He tackles the subject from all angles. I would not say all perspectives because my meaning may not be clear enough. What I mean is that he handles the subject in the abstract, as a scholar and theologian, and in the concrete as a son, husband, father, minister. Here we have lessons drawn from Scripture and from his own experiences.

I also chose the word angle because I thought it fit. He examines many, many subjects in light of God's providence. God's providence becomes the lens through which he views the world past, present, and future.

Providence covers not just the BIG, BIG, BIG picture--all of humanity from creation on--but the smallest, tiniest details of individual's lives. Though God's providence might feel impersonal and far removed from where we are and what we're experiencing, God's providence is personal. We're never far from God's thoughts--not because we're so mighty and important, mini-sovereigns in our own right, but because our God is THAT big.

Providence is something believers should be thankful for, find comfort and hope in. God's providence is a GOOD thing.

Hard Providence
The Invisible Hand
Providence as Provision
The Cry Heard Round the World
Everything Is Against Us?
Providence and Government
The Visible Hand
The Mystery of Providence and Concurrence
Primary and Secondary Causes
Providence and History
The Intersection of Redemptive and Secular History
Providence and the Church
To God Alone the Glory
Train Wreck
Providence and the Problem of Evil
All Things Work for Good
Providence and Miracles
Counterfeit Miracles
Providence and Prayer

To what end or purpose does God uphold all things? It is to the praise of His glory. This is a difficult concept to embrace in full measure because it suggests a kind of self-centeredness in God, and we are taught to see self-centeredness as sin. Indeed, to be self-centered is a sin for any creature. We mortals are called to be God-centered in our thinking. For creatures, God-centeredness is a virtue, and self-centeredness a vice. But for God, self-centeredness is pure virtue because it is also God-centeredness. For us to be God-centered is to fix our attention upon the most perfect Being. So it is for God Himself. Though what God does in His providence benefits us, its highest virtue is found in its glorification of God Himself. (21-22)
There is no 'what if?' in God. He is a God whose providence is in the details. (44)
The issue is not so much, Is God on our side? but, Are we on the side of God? (66)
If God is not sovereign, He is not God. It also seems that freedom belongs necessarily to the idea of a moral agent. If man is to be deemed responsible for his actions, he must have some degree of freedom. That freedom need not be absolute; it need not be autonomous. If the creature has some freedom, however limited, then the creature is responsible to whatever degree it is free. The concepts of divine sovereignty and limited human freedom are not mutually exclusive. We know from Scripture that man is not sovereign. I have heard it said that man's freedom limits God's sovereignty. If that were so then man, not God, would be sovereign. It is not that human freedom limits God's sovereignty. God's sovereignty is absolute and unlimited. Rather, it is God's sovereignty that limits human freedom. God's sovereignty transcends human freedom and rules over it. We are free only to the degree that God allows that freedom. (82)
All moments of history, the entire chronology of time, are in the hands of and under the supervision of Providence. (116)
When the people of God gather for worship, there is an intersection between time and eternity, between heaven and earth. (129)
In prayer we have the opportunity to learn of the character of the Father. Indeed, prayer is one of the most effective means we have to discern the invisible hand of Providence. The more we understand the character of God, the easier it is for us to see His hand at work in our lives. (207)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Book Review: Even Better Than Eden

Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible's Story Changes Everything About Your Story. Nancy Guthrie. 2018. Crossway. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Nancy Guthrie examines nine themes or nine stories of the Bible illustrating that what God has planned for us is even better than Eden. She writes, "Christ came to accomplish what was necessary to open the way for us, not just back into the garden of Eden, but into a home that will be even better than Eden and a life that will be even better than the life Adam and Eve enjoyed there."

The nine stories are as follows: the story of the wilderness, the story of the tree, the story of his image, the story of clothing, the story of the bridegroom, the story of sabbath, the story of the offspring, the story of a dwelling place, and the story of the city.

Guthrie traces each story throughout Scripture often beginning in Genesis and concluding in Revelation. She never pushes too far trying to weave each and every book of the Bible into each story. Some stories might pull more from the history books of the Old Testament, others might pull more from the Old Testament prophets. But all nine stories include illustrations from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Most--if not all--have a beginning, middle, and end. The end being the future glory, the future fulfillment or consummation of God's promises.

There is purpose, intentionality in the Bible and how it unfolds. It can--and should--shape us, shape how we see ourselves, shape how we see others, shape how we see the world, shape how we see God, shape how we live, think, act, speak. Guthrie wants you to be excited about being a citizen of heaven; she wants you to look forward to a new heaven and a new earth--to be eager for the kingdom of God.

I love how each chapter relates to the here and now but also builds anticipation and longing for the future. To those perhaps unfamiliar with how the Bible unfolds it might create an interest--or might be used by the Spirit to spark an interest a curiosity to read and see for yourself, to delight in God's Word. To those familiar with the Bible it might be a good reminder of why the good news is the good news.

Guthrie's book is a great read.

From chapter one:
"Have you ever thought about the emptiness you feel in this light? Do you think, perhaps, that God has let you hunger for whatever it is you are so hungry for so that you might become more desperate for him, more convinced that he is the source of what will fill you up? Do you think he might want to retrain your appetites, redirecting them away from this world, this life, even this age, so that your anticipation of the age to come might begin to shape your perspective on whatever it is you lack?"
From chapter two:
"The tree of life is not simply a thing of the past. It’s a promise for our future."
From chapter three:
"So how are we meant to see ourselves? And how can finding a solid source of identity keep us from floundering with a fragile or distorted sense of self?"
From chapter four:
"As we bring ourselves naked and exposed before the Word of God, this living and active Word goes to work in the interior of our lives, discerning our impure thoughts and ugly intentions of the heart so that we can confess, repent, and truly change (Heb. 4:12–13). The Spirit does his work of transformation so that we are increasingly wrapped in the robes of the righteousness of Christ—not simply in a judicial sense, but in the reality of our lives."
From chapter five:
"It makes sense that the Bible would begin with this poetic exclamation of love because the Bible is a love story from beginning to end. It’s the story of God choosing, gathering, and beautifying a bride for his Son. She’s not necessarily the prettiest or the most loving in return. In fact, as we read the story of the bride, we’re a little shocked at times that God would chose her. We see that she often has a hard heart; she’s often resistant to his affections and wholly dismissive of his gifts. Yet the Father is relentless in his pursuit and preparation of this bride for his Son. So far, it’s proving to be an unexpectedly long engagement. The Father has set a date for the wedding, and the invitations have been sent out. Of course, as much as we anticipate that day, the wedding will be only the beginning. It is the eternal marriage, the one in which we’ll never have to say “till death do us part,” that we anticipate most—a marriage that will be even better than the marriage Adam and Eve enjoyed in Eden."
From chapter six:
"This life was never meant to be an aimless existence; it has always been headed somewhere, somewhere better than Eden. The destination out in front of us should shape how we live day by day, week by week, and year by year. “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest.” How? By resting in Christ’s finished work and by spending a day, every week, anticipating the rest that is ahead for us because of it. The day is coming when we will rise from sleep to an eternal day of rest that will never end. Wouldn’t it be nice, in the restlessness of this world, to just spend a day, every week, in anticipation of that day?"
From chapter seven:
"Though God ordained a world in which evil and rebellion were possible, he didn’t create them. He is, however, clearly sovereign over them. Just as his word has the power to bless, so his word has the power to curse. He made clear that the days of this Evil One are numbered. One day a baby would be born, a descendant of the woman Satan had just deceived and so cruelly harmed. Her offspring would do the job Adam should have done. One day her offspring would crush the head of evil for good."
From chapter eight:
"Many of us would have to admit that our relationship with God is not nearly as passionate as we might wish, and our desire to be with him isn’t as strong as it ought to be. We sometimes find that we want to keep God at a safe distance."
From chapter nine:
"The story of the Bible is the story of two cities—the city of man and the city of God."
"We’re called to live in the tension of being in the world but not of it. Do you feel that tension?"

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible