Book Review: Beyond the Big C by Jeremy Marshall

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If you’re a Christian with a terminal illness, how would you share the gospel to someone? Will it be hard to convince people to believe? Will they listen to you? What if you have a handful of facts to share to someone? What if your illness hinders them to believe you? These are the questions that came up as I turn to this book by Jeremy Marshall. Perhaps he has these questions too and took it as a challenge to open up a conversation about Jesus. That conversation will likely be this short book, Beyond the Big C.

Beyond the Big C is not a brief bio of Marshall on his journey with cancer but as his mention it over and over the book, it about someone else (which is Jesus).  He gladly admits that he is an ordinary Christian meaning he’s an average Joe with a few (but essential) things he knows about Christianity and why it is true. As you will find in this book, his pain, fear and doubts are the same as what you might experience. However, he is placing his trust whatever the outcome of his battle to God.  And he is challenging you whatever your struggling to place it also to God.    

As Marshall shares his beliefs you’ll find that he’s not arguing Christianity as an excellent  apologist or well learned theologian. He comes in the book as a friend with enough convictions that will not turn you off because it’s becoming preachy or technical. Nor Marshall over loads you with information. Consider him as a stranger starting a conversation with you in a coffee shop, at a park bench or at a hospital lobby.   Marshall is sharing the Christian message with a comforting and encouraging tone without compromising it. 

Beyond the Big C is a one sitting read that you’ll share to people that might be struggling in their life. It’s also for people who is just as he is, ordinary that doesn’t want to do with any religion. I don’t recommend Beyond the Big C for those looking for elaborate, detailed and long arguments on Christianity. Look for something else. It’s a good read and you’ll find it a worthwhile read.  

My verdict:

4 out of 5

(Review copy of this book is provided by 10 of Those)

The Freebie Round-Up #59

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Happy weekend guys! I hope your all OK as we prepare for our  Sunday service. May we meet and worship our sovereign God this Lord’s day and receive blessings and grace through our thankful heart.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. I also include some giveaway contest you can join and win. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

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Free ebook “Victory Over Error” by David Dickson – New free ebook commentary on the Westminster’s Confession of Faith from Monergism.

FREE ebook “Vocabulary of the New Testament” by Moulton & Milligan – The UK website this great free ebook to help you in studying Greek New Testament.

FREE talk handout –  Wesley Huff offers this free talk handout “Good News or Fake News?” that discuss the reliability of the Bible.

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FREE ebook “The Gift” by Glen Scrivener – Just in time for Christmas, this is the free book of the month from The Good Book Company.

FREE lesson/devotional “Jesus Will Guard and Defend His Church” from Truth 78– This freebie will help your kids appreciate the Reformation.

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FREE ebook “How Much Is A Little Girl Worth”? by Rachael Denhollander-  This is children’s book that will teach our daughters their value as an image of God. It’s free for a limited time.

Free sermons by Martyn Lloyd Jones- There are lots of sermons by Martyn Lloyd Jones online but this free download filters the most popular ones.

…And here are 2 online giveaway contest you might want to join:

RHB Thanksgiving 2019 Giveaway

Ultimate Systematic Theology Set

By the way, to my Pinoy friends do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round-Up #58

Freebie Round-Up #57

Freebie Round Up #56

Freebie Round Up #55

Freebie Round-Up # 54

Freebie Round-Up #53

Freebie Round-Up #52

Freebie Round-Up #51

Freebie Round-Up #50

8 Favorite Quotes From The Book “Beyond the Big C” by Jeremy Marshall

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Beyond the Big C by Jeremy Marshall is a nice diversion from reading Write Better which I’m at the half way point of it. I usually do this to reboot my mind and when I’m through with it, I’ll go back to the main book I’m reading.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from the book, Beyond the Big C published by 10 of Those. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering here.

“I am convinced that God has allowed cancer to happen to me for his own reasons which I don’t understand at the moment. But I am also convinced that when I meet God face to face, everything will fall into place and I will see how he used me (and all his children) for his own glory.”

“God’s answer to suffering and pain is not theological truths, useful though they can be, but the humanity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means that, if we are Christ’s, we are never alone.”

“Cancer is the great disrupter –changing, complicating and sometimes even breaking relationships. Cancer (and death in general) is awful not only because it makes communication difficult and painful, but because, ultimately, it will end communication completely.”

“Being a Christian is not an insurance policy against disaster: if anything, it’s perhaps the reverse. Crucially, suffering and cancer is not a sign of God’s displeasure – because we are not accepted or protected by God on the basis of how good we are.”

“When I first had cancer, I didn’t go to the doctor because I didn’t know I had it. In the same way, the biggest danger is thinking something like ‘well, I never did anyone any wrong’. Even if that’s true (which I very much doubt), our biggest wrong is not against each other – but against God.”

“The amazing message of the Christian faith is this: that while, by nature, we are rebels against God, God came into the world as a human being and died on a cross for us. He did this not while we were his friends, but while we were his enemies; not while we loved him, but while we hated him.”

“For the Christian, death has lost its sting. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, those who trust Christ have nothing to fear for our bodies in death, for they will be changed: we will rise again, wonderfully remade in the image of the Lord. All of the pains and suffering of life will be gone.”

“God’s ultimate ‘treatment’ is not a philosophy or theology or morality – but a person. When nothing else makes sense, and nothing else is left, Jesus is there and he will hold us fast: if we will only trust in him.”

8 Favorite Quotes from The Book “Write Better” by Andrew T. Le Peau

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I’m half way in reading this great book from Andy Le Peau and I decided to share my first eight favorite quotes from the book (as of now there are many quotes I love). I’ll have part 2 of my favorite quotes once I finish reading this book. Also please watch out for this blog for the interview of Andy. What’s the interview about? Well of course about his book, Write Better and the other one is something I’ll keep for now to give you some suspense. Just wait for the interview guys!

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book, Write Better published by Inter Varsity Press. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at IVP.

“Essentially, creativity isn’t concocting something entirely unprecedented. Rather it is bringing together two things that have been around for a while but previously hadn’t been combined. Innovation almost always involves building on the past.”

“We all know titles are important for the success of a book. If we are
self-publishing or titling a blog post, readers will decide to keep going or not based on those few words. Titles can even be important in getting a project a second look from an editor or agent. They are the first audience we may try to capture. So we shouldn’t be satisfied with a placeholder title, the first thing that comes into our head, even when submitting a proposal. We beer to work at it.”

“Always carry a small notebook or a smart phone with a note-taking app so you can put things down right away. Ideas can come to mind at any time—while talking to someone, watching a movie, taking a walk. Write down anything that could be developed later—a character’s name or a piece of her backstory, an illustration for a point in an article, a news item, or a vivid descriptive phrase.”

“Rhetorically, word-for-word repetition is far more effective in speaking than writing. In speaking, repetition can drive home points and implant them firmly in our memories. Repetition in writing must be done carefully and subtly. Too much direct repetition in writing is usually boring, tedious, and boring.”

“Stories aren’t just window dressing. They are every bit as much part of your content as the information or advice you might include. They are bound to stick with us long after the information has been forgotten. In fact, stories can be better than mere data because they are richer, embracing more depth, detail, and dimensions than a statement can. A story can tell us more (and in many ways it tells us more accurately) than a series of propositional statements which inevitably must leave out much.”

“Simplicity extends beyond vocabulary to the overall ideas you want to communicate. If you can’t explain the main concept of your piece in thirty-seconds, you are probably in trouble. This means you may need to limit the range of topics covered or keep working till you can express your key thought in a sentence or two.”

“When thinking about our audience, we should try to be as specific as possible—age range, economic status, religious background, ethnicity, geographic location, life experiences, and so forth. In fact, I encourage writers to pick out one person they know that they would love to have read their work. Then write for that one person.”

“The lesson for nonfiction authors. While opening with a strong, compelling story is always a good option, be sure the story is consistent with your main point as well as your target audience.”

The Freebie Round-Up #58

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Happy 502th Reformation! May we stand for what our Reformed fathers stood and fought for. Let us pray that the church will continue to reform and be a blessing to those who are coming to Christ.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. I also include some giveaway contest you can join and win. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

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Free Bible downloadable – Tour the Bible has some free downloadable that will enhance your Bible reading.

FREE study materials- Three study materials on prayer, Belgic Confession and Canons of Dort, completely free from Free Reformed Church of Baldivis.

 

FREE seminar on evangelism – Titled “Relationship Evangelism” was presented at Free Reformed Church of Southern River by Rev. Den Hollander. The free resource includes videos and a printable hand out.

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FREE training courses for children’s ministry- Truth78 provides free training courses for those who are involved in children’s ministry.

FREE e-book “Awe” by Paul David TrippYou probably heard great things about this book and you still didn’t buy it. But now here’s your chance go have it for free courtesy of Crossway.

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FREE ebook “God’s Heart for the Nation” by Jeff Lewis-  Something to fuel your heart for the mission, this free book is a latest offering from Radical.net.

 

***How about listening or watching some Pinoy preachers online? Here’s the list:

 

Free documentary and study guide “Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer” – For a limited time and in celebration of Reformation, Ligonier Ministries offers “Luther” documentary with study guides for free.

And here are 3 online giveaway contest you might want to join:

Reformation Celebration Giveaway

ESV Bible Giveaway from Tour the Bible

Crossway Instagram Giveaway

By the way, to my Pinoy friends do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round-Up #57

Freebie Round Up #56

Freebie Round Up #55

Freebie Round-Up # 54

Freebie Round-Up #53

Freebie Round-Up #52

Freebie Round-Up #51

Freebie Round-Up #50

Reformed Young Poet: Delighting Grace Interviews Leah Paula Villanueva

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It pays to “Like” Facebook’s page suggestions on your newsfeed. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t stumble to a page that show case some good poetry. And not just poetry but solid, biblical poems. Delighting Grace reach out to the page owner and poet Leah Paula Villanueva to talk about poetry, inspirations and her poems.
Delighting Grace: Hello Leah! So tell us what poem had an impact to your life?
Leah Paula: Hi Delighting Grace and to its readers. This is the poem that has made an impact in my life:
I asked the Lord that I might grow 
In faith and love and ev’ry grace, 
Might more of His salvation know, 
And seek more earnestly His face. 
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray, 
And He, I trust, has answered prayer, 
But it has been in such a way 
As almost drove me to despair. 
I hoped that in some favored hour 
At once He’d answer my request 
And, by His love’s constraining pow’r, 
Subdue my sins and give me rest. 
Instead of this, He made me feel 
The hidden evils of my heart 
And let the angry pow’rs of hell 
Assault my soul in ev’ry part. 
Yea, more with His own hand He seemed 
Intent to aggravate my woe, 
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, 
Humbled my heart and laid me low. 
“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried; 
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?” 
“’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied, 
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.” 
“These inward trials I employ 
From self and pride to set thee free 
And break thy schemes of earthly joy 
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.” 
JOHN NEWTON
Delighting Grace: Wow, that is one great poem from John Newton. So when did you start writing poetry?
Leah Paula: I started writing poetry way back in college.
Delighting Grace: Do you have a poet hero someone who you look up to?
Leah Paula: I don’t have a poet hero but I have friends — classmates in college — whom I look up to for their writings inspire me to write.
Delighting Grace: What was the first poem you wrote?
Leah Paula: The first poem I wrote is about Indepence Day, a Tagalog poem.
Delighting Grace: When did you decided to put up a FB page for your works? By the way, I really like your poems.
Leah Paula: Thank you. It was when a Facebook friend asked me if I have a Youtube channel for my sign language covers. I told him that I have but the videos just got deleted right after because of the coppyrights so he suggested that I should atleast have a page so that it will be easier for friends to look for it. I listened to his advise so on that day I created a Facebook Page for my sign language covers and also a page for my poems at the same time so that all the poems that have been stocked in my phone will be saved because I was actually planning to compile it on something and delete every poem in my phone to save memory.
Delighting Grace: How do you get inspirations or poem prompt specially in writing love poem? Do you have certain habits or rituals when you start writing a new poem?
Leah Paula: I get inspiritations in writing love poems by reading other people’s works or by re-reading the previous works I’ve already written. Or sometimes it just depends on my feelings. If I feel hurt or in love, or if I feel the hurt and pain that people experience, it triggers me to put everything into words. And I don’t really have any habit or ritual every time I write a new poem. But there are times that when I learn a new vocabulary that just sounds good to me, I feel like I need to include it in my poem just because it’s very pleasing to my ears.
Delighting Grace: How about in writing poems that has a biblical message? Is the writing different with other poems you have done?
Leah Paula: When it comes to writing theological poems, I can say that I do it ultimately to help me in my sanctification.  I have learned from John Piper that one of the ways to meditate on God’s Word is to write a poem so I try my best to practice it. I have poems that is rich in doctrine, and there are others that is purely emotional prayer.
The difference with other poems is because it actually takes a lot of effort and energy to write a theological poem since I really make sure I only write what is biblical and I also desire that through my writings, people will be blessed.
Delighting Grace: Among the poems you have wrote so far, which one is your favorite and why?
Leah Paula: My favorite poem I have written is I Am Adam because every time I read it, I just feel in awe of Jesus’ person and work as our Federal head. He is the second Adam who came to rescue us from ourselves
Delighting Grace: Do you agree with the notion that if you want a heart felt love poem, you need first to have an experience or had a relationship to write one?
Leah Paula: Not really. I’m not 100% sure, but I’ve experienced writing a heartfelt poem when one of my bestfriends in college got cheated on. I felt like I was the one who’s in pain and who got betrayed that’s why I was able to write a poem. But I think that I was also able to write that because somehow thru my friend’s pain, I felt that all the pain I’ve experienced became a reopened wound.
Delighting Grace: What do you think can poem convey that other forms of writing say essay or prose can’t do?
Leah Paula: All writings convey a message to the readership or to the audience. The only difference is just the method on how we want our message to be expressed. But the good thing about poetry is that it is more entertaining to read. The metaphors and other figures of speech present in the poem make us think critically about the message and by understanding the meaning gives us pure delight.
Delighting Grace: For readers who want to try poetry what piece of advice can you give them?
Leah Paula: Writing is never easy specially poetry but by practicing everyday will help us improve. No matter how fast or slow our progress is, what matters most is the improvement we make. Besides we cannot fill a glass with water without having all the droplets combined.
Delighting Grace: I also want the readers to know that aside from poetry, you have this sign language video thing. Can you tell us about it?
Leah Paula: Yes. Senyas is the page intended to promote sign language to our hearing community and for them to be aware that deaf people exist and that they need to be understood and prioritized, too. It’s also my goal to help the deaf community understand the songs we sing so that they’ll be able to enjoy it as well. Please “Like” or “Share” if you enjoyed the videos.
Delighting Grace: Thank you, Leah. Please invite our readers to check you and your poems.
Leah Paula: Hi friends! Please do follow my FB page and I hope you’re blessed thru my poems and please react or write a comment for me to know your feedbacks. Thank you!
Delighting Grace: Thank you again Leah. Guys check her out OK. Till next time!
How about listening or watching some Pinoy preachers online? Here’s the list:

Book Review: “Enjoy Your Prayer Life” by Michael Reeves

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Before you dig in with this review, I would like to invite you to read my favorite quotes from this book by clicking this link just in case you missed it.

The first book I read from Michael Reeves is Delighting the Trinity which is awesome. Reeves wrote it as if it’s not introducing the doctrine of the Trinity for the reason he lifts up the preconceive burden of understanding a complex doctrine. Instead, he pointed out the relationship of the between the Godhead. In similar vein, the same treatment can be found with this short book, Enjoy Your Prayer Life

  Reeves acknowledge that we struggle with prayer. The reasons might be the lack of time, becoming a dead routine or just plain boring. Reeves attempts in this book to convince us that prayer is not just important but it is enjoyable. Enjoyable? Yes, prayer is enjoyable. Well this book doesn’t present a new method of prayer or drive some guilt for your lack of praying. Instead, Reeves states that prayer is more than an abstract thing. It’s  a natural expression of faith that flows from the relationship of the Godhead. Reeves focuses on how each of the Godhead relates to the praying believer. Like what Reeves treatment with his award winning book, Delighting the Trinity , he handles the subject of prayer well and penetrating.

A short read but has meaty content,  will give you a refreshing perspective on prayer. Praying is truly enjoyable in the light of who we are praying to. If you want a new light for your prayer life let Enjoy Your Prayer Life shine on it.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

Pinoy Preacher List #8

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After a couple of months hiatus, this series is back for it’s eight (and hopefully not the final) list of Filipino preachers and their sermons. If you miss out the other seven installment, they’re provided at the end of this post.

Xley Miguel – Xley leads Christ’s Heritage Church located at Libis, Quezon City. You can watch his sermons over YouTube and connect with their church by visiting its FB page.

Lance Filio – Down South of Manila is Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church at Imus Cavite. Rev. Lance Filio pastors the church. For more information about the church, head over to their FB Page. To listen to Rev. Lance’s sermons with transcript, you can access them at their church website.

Ramil Corpus – Back in Manila specifically at Old Sta. Mesa is Ramil Corpus. He pastors Sola Scriptura Christian Church. He also writes and translates articles for an apologetics website, GotQuestions. He has a weekly FB live program called, Narrow Gate which tackles doctrines and other biblical topics. Find the latest episode by check their FB page.

If you have missed out the previous installments here are the links:

Pinoy Preacher List #1

Pinoy Preacher List #2

Pinoy Preacher List #3

Pinoy Preacher List #4 

Pinoy Preacher List #5

Pinoy Preacher List #6

Pinoy Preacher List #7

Would you like to help me grow this list? If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

The Freebie Round-Up #57

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I’ve just finished reading Carpe Diem Redeemed by Os Guinness and The New Testament in Seven Sentences by Gary M. Burge. And if you want to read some of my favorite quotes from those books, click this link for Os Guinness book and this one for Gary Burge’s book. And if you want to read my review for The New Testament in Seven Sentences go here. My review on the Os Guinness book will be live on this blog probably within this week.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

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Free e-book “The Story of God” – Derick Parfan wrote this new edition of this free Tagalog book that the one central theme of the Bible.

FREE leader’s guides from The Fellowship Community – There are a couple of free study guides for some books of the Bible and topics that you might use in your next Bible studies.

FREE hymns, music and piano sheets – This is a great compilation of hymns with free downloadables by Jonathan Landry Cruse that you’ll enjoy playing at you church worship service.

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FREE “New Horizons” magazine- This free digital magazines is from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and their current issue is about “Addiction”.

FREE e-book ” Letters from Samuel Rutherford– This free ebook from Monergism collects various letters of Rutherford to individuals with diverse spiritual need.

FREE Keynote/ PowerPoint “Six Events That Shaped Christianity” – Credo Courses might not be sending freebie alert over the email but a simple digging on their website you’ll find something free just like this one in the list.

Free ebook ” Judges For You” by Tim Keller- Let’s end this post with a bang with this great freebie from The Good Book Company’s free ebook of the month.

By the way, to my Pinoy friends do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round Up #56

Freebie Round Up #55

Freebie Round-Up # 54

Freebie Round-Up #53

Freebie Round-Up #52

Freebie Round-Up #51

Freebie Round-Up #50

Book Review: “The New Testament in Seven Sentences” by Gary M. Burge

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I’m so pumped up this set of new books by IVP that I never think twice of getting this book and Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau. I think I’ve  been reading and reviewing books that are either about salvation or Christian living that I long to read something about the Bible. This new book by Gary M. Burge really rewarded me of that craving.

The New Testament in Seven Sentences tackles the major themes of the Bible and not just the New Testament as the title may suggest. These themes helps us better understand the Bible and it’s message. Further it helps us focus on what God’s sovereign plan through Jesus from here and eternity. Burge crafted this book that as you read, you’ll find the Old and New are inseparable and indispensible. Burge is absolutely good in this part stitching both OT and NT together, that you’ll get glued in reading this book. He imparts his skill to provide a solid read that requires less illustration that won’t overwhelm or bored you to death. I was hooked that I read a big chunk of it the moment I started reading it. And I hope you’ll find that enthusiasm over connecting youself with the topic of this book.

The seven sentences in the title are seven verses in the New Testament that presents the seven themes. They are Matthew 16: 16, fulfillment;  Mark 1: 15, kingdom; Luke 9: 22, cross; 1 Peter 2: 9, covenant; Romans 8: 9, spirit; and Revelation 21:1, completion. Some of these verses are familiar and you might know what they convey.  You might dismissed this as another one of the books that will have the same content discussing themes of the Bible. Think again! Burge breaks the familiarity and brings insights that you might have missed as he digs deeper to the OT to bring light to these themes.

My favorite chapter of the book is Burge tackling grace. Burge excellently delivers the the familiar mash up with insights that will further elavate the familiar and illuminate insights you might not heard of. The well balanced blend in the book is a delight for the readers.

The New Testament in Seven Sentences is an engaging book that supersedes its intention as an introduction for the major theme of the Bible. It’s not an introductory book that you will feel hurried or summarized that will leave you wanting but gives you a satisfying read. Please don’t supplement it for something less or it might steal the other book’s thunder. In fact, you might just need this one to do the job in understanding the crucial themes in the Scriptures. Highly recommend!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)