Book Review “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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If you can’t stop singing “Everything is Awesome” because of the cover that reminds you about the Lego movie, then it’s OK.  Because this book is indeed awesome!

Revolutionary Work tackles on the biblical view of work. This book is based on a series presented at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate by William Taylor. Revolutionary Work shows us the work as God’s gift because of our stewardship role in creation. Therefore, it is essential to us. Also it shows a balanced view of it as all vocations are equal and we should not call one as “special”. Despite of being a gift from our Creator, futility can be seen as we are fallen humans as we toil for ourselves, our family and for God’s mandate. However, work should be done knowing God is our boss and the means for us to bring the gospel to our co-workers.

There are four chapters which are a bit long but you can read their summaries at the end of each chapters, which is cool. If you want to skip all of it and distill the essentials, you should go for the summaries.  However, as much as possible read all of it.  The indexes and the Q and A section are must reads also, so don’t put this book down yet.

I love how Taylor’s treatment of  John 4 on the work of God which is the end goal of all our work. The work of God meaning evangelism. That’s on chapter four, which for me is the most engaging part of the book.

All in all Revolutionary Work, though it’s a slim volume, delivers a meaty content that you can find in a thick book. So this is my third time to give 10 of Those and this book a two thumbs up! Now sing some more “Everything is Awesome”

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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By God’s providence, my phone’s down time helped me to slow down and gave me this mini digital sabbath here and there. It allowed me to focus more on what matters. I still get to write for my blog but in a slower phase (and a slow laptop). I get to join a FB group that is very active in prayers so I grab the opportunity every time I open my FB and there is an update from that group, I’ll stop and pray for these brethren who covets my prayers. Its was a blessing to me.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by William Taylor, Revolutionary Work published by 10 of Those Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“Work is good and work is grim, but work should be governed by the gospel. Therefore, you need to be thinking how you can be of greater service to the gospel in your particular position.”

 “So how does God do his work? It is through his word. He brings people in to the harvest through his word; he keeps people to the end of the harvest through his word; and he brings people to himself and builds people up and sustains them as harvesters through his word. This is how his work is done.”

“…the God of the Bible is a worker: he made the universe. Unlike the pantheon of Greek gods or Eastern deities, he gets his hands dirty, as it were. God himself dignifies work. Since God made man in his image, we find that we are workers too.”

“God is the ruler and God is a worker but humanity is to rule and work under him. This is a delegated task, given to us by God, and therefore we are answerable to God for the manner in which we undertake it. We are to rule over the world and care for it in an accountable and responsible way. We are to develop it and to design within it, but must not forget that it has been given to us on trust.”

“Realising that all jobs are dignified should have a profound impact on how we view ourselves and the position in which God has placed us, and indeed it will influence what kind of work we are prepared to do for the sake of the gospel. All roles are of equal value.”

“All work is delegated to us by God and designed by God for our human good and for his glory. Therefore, no area of work is somehow of higher value or more important or more significant than another.”

“Our contemporaries are ignorant of the way God’s world works. They have only their own dreams to guide them. They do not have a word from outside explaining the universe. Yet in the Bible God speaks to us and makes clear the correct way we should perceive work.”

“Many companies issue business cards or uniforms that make clear to others that their employees work for their company. Every Christian’s emblem should be, ‘I work for Jesus’. He is our ultimate master; throughout our entire working week we serve him.”

Book Review: Abide by Warren W. Wiersbe

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I think it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with a Wiersbe book. His Bible commentary and Be Series  are a must have for Christians. And having 10 of Those reprinting a Wiersbe book is a great move, not just it will sell but how a believer will really profit from the pen of this great author.

With great clarity and precision, Wierbe unpacks John 15 revealing the “secret” of living for Christ. In John 15, we are told that we are the branches and God is the vine dresser. Wierbe made that pivotal episode in the ministry of Jesus Christ unforgettable, endearing and comforting as he deals with the issue of fruit bearing for the believers. Abide is not a stiff or cold lesson rather a vivid and lively excursion to John’s gospel that will excite believers to get their hands dirty for God.  Every chapter drips with pastoral care only Wierbe can deliver.

 Abide is simple, practical and thoroughly biblical, something you’ll expect to Warren W. Weirsbe. The secret is out! Live for Christ by following and knowing these secrets. This book will push you back to the Scriptures and look at God’s best for His elect. By far one of my best reads from 10 of those and I’m looking forward for more . Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Fearless Faith” by Jonathan Stephen

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Our 27th year church anniversary was a blast last Sunday. It was by God’s grace successful. The special numbers, the fellowship and most importantly the preaching of the Word was edifying. Not only that, the Lord added 3 new members in His church during the afternoon baptism. Will you keep us in prayer as our church grows and spread the gospel in our community?

Anyways, here’s a book by Jonathan Stephen, Fearless Faith published by 10 of Those Publishing. This book is part of the series of books from Union Theology and with Michael Reeves as senior editor. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“What we ultimately trust in, where our hope really lies and what we love most of all not only reveal our true selves but also determine the direction of our lives.”

“faith, hope and love as the three huge propellers that drive the church of Jesus (and you as a member of that church) safely through the perilous seas of life.”

“The truth is that fear cannot coexist peacefully alongside faith, hope or love. There is a constant battle between them until one or other takes control.”

“the antidote to great fear is a strong faith in the true Person of Christ.”

” If our lives were always pleasant and never challenging, our faith would scarcely be required and never grow. We would not be much use to the Lord in this life, nor would we be prepared for the life to come.”

“A Christian’s trials and troubles are a normal and necessary part of our training for glory. So let’s be thankful that our times are in the Lord’s hands, and not in our own (Ps. 31:15).”

“Let your experience of God’s goodness in the past feed your faith in his loving purposes for you now. While there is no promise that we shall be delivered from all our trials and troubles, by faith we shall pass safely through them. “

“Ultimately, nothing strengthens the believer’s faith more than a full realisation and understanding of the Saviour’s unique identity.”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Abide” by Warren W. Wiersbe

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Our church anniversary is on Sunday and other than the New Year or Christmas, this is a good time to reflect the goodness of God to my family through the blessings he extend to the church. Through preaching, teaching and fellowships the church had served us and in return we served the church with our God given possessions and talents. We hope and pray that God will bless this mutual exchange that extend from this side of heaven to the next life.

Anyways, here’s the book by Warren W. Wiersbe, Abide published by 10 of Those Publishing.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those. Stay tuned for more quotes and review of this book.

“The Christian need not have an identity crisis. Jesus tells us who we are and why we are here. We are branches, and he is the Vine. We are here to bear fruit. Once you accept this simple fact, you are on the way to making your life meaningful and useful.”

“If you are growing in holy living, and experiencing victory over temptation, then you are abiding in Christ. The absence of temptation is not a proof of abiding; the presence of temptation and testing is the proof.”

“It is the Holy Spirit who encourages and enables us to abide. He teaches us the Word; He enables us to pray; He reveals our sins; He gives us the inward desire to obey God. “

“God works in, we work out. As we surrender, God works in; as we obey, God works out. Abiding involves keeping in fellowship with the Vine so that God can work in us.”

“The Christian who abides in Christ and shares his life will produce the fruit of holiness. You cannot manufacture holiness. The Pharisees tried to do this and Jesus called them hypocrites.”

“Holiness is nothing else but the beauty and character of God displayed in our everyday lives. Holy living means more than victory over sin; it also means growth in character so that we become more like Jesus Christ.”

“One of the reasons God saved you is that you might bear fruit in this world. You are living in a hungry world where people are starving for spiritual reality.”

“When you yielded to Christ, a living union was formed between you and the Lord. Just as the branch gets its life from the vine, so the believer gets his life from Jesus Christ.”

Precious Gems Found in the Book of Revelation

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There are lots of things going on on The Book of Revelations that you might missed the main focus of this book. The wrath of God, the number 666, bottomless pit, Armageddon etc. are the enough to keep us busy when we read Revelation. Of course, all of that, all the chapters and all verses that compose this book are important. However there are verses that should be highlighted that points us to the goal of the Apostle John in writing this book. The goal of this book is encouraging persecuted believers that God is in control. In my meditation of Revelation and highlighting some verses, its such a blessing that in those passages, I can see the main goal set by the book.

Of course there are lots of lessons you can derive from this book and in any books of the Bible.  I’m highlighting a few of them here and hoping that, as you study this you’ll find more.  Also we should remember that although these are great verses, they are meant to be read in context to get the full meaning and impact. Lastly, have a desire to read God’s Word daily.

God’s Sovereignity

“For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.”– Revelation 17:17 NASB

Perseverance of the Saints

“Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’  “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” — Revelation 14:12‭-‬13 NASB

“I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary.” –Revelation 2:3 CSB

“Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” — Revelation 3:10 CSB

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’ — Revelation 2:11 NASB

Glorious Future of the Believer

“…and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” — Revelation 1:5‭-‬6 NASB

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” — Revelation 20:6 NASB

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them ,” — Revelation 21:3 NASB

True Worship 

“us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:7 NASB

“Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” –Revelation 19:10 NASB

The Power of Prayer 

“Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.” — Revelation 8:3‭-‬4 NASB

 

Book Review: A Week in the Life of a Slave by John Byron

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I think this is my second time to review a fictional book and this one is my first biblical historical fiction.

At first I’m abit surprise on how Paul, Philemon and Onesimus was portraited. Adding to that Demas was also in the story and had moments, knowing in the back of our mind, he will be a backslider according to the Bible.

A Week in the Life of a Slave delivers an interesting and page turning story of Onesimus and Philemon. It follows the fugitive slave to his journey to escaping his master, meeting Paul, the crisis with his presence in the prison where Paul was in, his conversion and his return to Philemon.

If you think this is just a simple and boring story about slavery in Bible times, well you’re mistaken. I was mistaken till I got that light bulb moment. It gives you the glimpse on how we as Christian are heir to Christ.

There are no boring or dragging parts in the book. You’ll find this book a delightful read every time you jump back in.  The supporting characters are interesting and had all been given a fair share of spotlight both real and fictional ones. Then every conversation are spot on. You can feel the emotions jumping over you without being over the top.

The latter chapters before the conclusion for me are the best conversations that I read from the book. The sub plot was well executed and it really helped the main plot.

If the narrative itself is good, the “information box” that accompanies the story is superb. Well written and with great images, it gives out the backstory in every twist and turn of the story. It feels like your reading book within a book. You can use it in either; read it so you’ll for the some cultural background of the story; ignore it and still the story is solid or for future reference material. But if you ask me, the information box will definitely enhance the reading of the already solid narrative.

A Week in the Life of a Slave is a must read that tackles Christian issues of equality and forgiveness that can’t be easily done in a non-fiction format. It doesn’t just fill your mind but this book wins your heart. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

 

(Review copy of this book was provided by Inter Varsity Press)

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “True Friendship” by Vaughan Roberts

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Yesterday, I lead our youth small group to cultivate their awareness with our persecuted brethren. Our activity was to write a letter of encouragement for these Christians who are undergoing trials. We wrote letters to two Chinese pastors currently in prison, a Nigerian mother and parents of the Chibok girls. I hope and pray that these letters will strengthen the spirits of these persecuted believer and our youth will open their hearts to fellow Christians who are suffering. Would you include that in your prayers?

Anyways, here’s Vaughan Roberts book True Friendshippublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming soon.

“Healthy Christian marriages do not have an exclusively inward focus, but are fuelled by looking up to Christ and strengthened by looking out to others, both to give and receive.”

“God’s plan of salvation is designed not only to restore our vertical relationship with God, but also to create horizontal relationships of loving friendship between human beings in his family.”

“The theme of friendship takes us right to the heart of the Bible’s message. God is relational.”

“The fundamental relationship in our life must be with the one true God, the sovereign Creator. The Bible insists that true wisdom begins when we ‘fear’ him: recognizing who he is and what he has done for us in Christ, and then responding with a worshipful, trusting submission. “

“Marriage is the exclusive, covenantal commitment of a man and a woman for life. The Bible teaches that sexual intercourse, which is designed to express and strengthen that covenant, should only take place in that context. Friendship should not seek to copy marriage by either demanding exclusive commitment or containing sexual expression. We are free to develop deep friendships, which can be a great blessing, as long as these boundaries are not crossed. “

“If we are hoping to marry we should be looking, above all, not for the perfect partner for romantic dates, but for a friend who can travel with us through all of life. For Christians, that must therefore mean someone who is on the same path, seeking to follow Christ.”

“Our Facebook profile might tell us that we have 464 friends, but how many really know us? How many would we be willing to make real sacrifices for? How many are there on whom we can rely in times of need? “

“We too can be friends of God, not because of any innate worthiness in us, but because of Christ’s death for us on the cross. “

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:

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Essentials” by Lee McMunn

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Living with my in law who needs a dialysis twice a week, me and my wife need to adjust. I have a graveyard shift so my time in the morning is flexible. But I need to make much of those dialysis sessions. So I decided, since I’ll be taking my father in law two times a week (Tuesday and Friday) at the hospital for his 4 hour dialysis session, I might as well bring some digital “baon”. Aside from e-books, I’ll be listening to various podcast from Spotify. It’s a mix bag of Reformed theology, business, comics and kid lit. I want those 4 hours to count as I listen, enjoy and learn.

Anyways, here’s Lee McMunn’s book Essentialspublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming up.

“The Bible teaches that the God who is responsible for all the good and beautiful things, from the tiniest particle to the grandest planet, is a united family of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“The Bible says it’s because the God who made us is a relationship of three persons, and we have been created to live in a similar way. That’s why relationships are so important to us.”

“The reason God has the right to rule our lives is because he created us. We know from our everyday existence that those who make things, whether small or grand, have ownership rights over their creations. “

“Passionate commitment to God and his way is for our happiness. Living with God in charge is not drudgery, it is delightful.”

“Rejecting God spells disaster for our eternal future. Cosmic treason is expensive. “

“Forgiveness alone would have been amazing. But the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit offers us much more. As well as forgiveness, we are invited to enjoy a relationship with each member of the Trinity.”

“Obeying Jesus in a world where many people don’t inevitably brings Christians into conflict with competing ideas. Therefore, anyone who follows Jesus should expect turbulence.”

“Relationship with the Father is very personal, but it is never to be individualistic. Anyone who follows Jesus instantly has lots of siblings!”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “A Week in the Life of a Slave” by John Byron

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Though it’s a dark providence that we are going through in my extended family, my father in law is improving. Good to see that his hemoglobin is going up. Despite having kidney failure, he was able to attend church and was able to thank the church for their constant prayers and encouragement. Thank you for praying for him and can I request another prayer item from you? My father (the biological one) will undergo surgery. Please pray for strength and financial support for him. Most importantly, may God use this surgery to get to know God and be saved.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from John Byron’s book A Week in the Life of a Slavepublished by Inter Varsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the IVP’s website.

“Brothers and sisters? You consider these people your family?”“Oh yes, that is how we often refer to one another. God is my Father, and all these my siblings in Christ. I assumed you were a believer too,” Eutyches said, “but I see you are not.”

“Jesus became a slave to save us, Nympha. He commanded that we become slaves to one another. If we follow his example, humbling ourselves and becoming slaves to our brothers and sisters in the Lord,…”

“We worship a God who became a slave and died a slave’s death in order to save all of humanity, including slaves,” Archippus replied gently.”

“You understand the difference between slavery and freedom in a way that many do not. I suspect that your new life in Christ has helped you to appreciate freedom from a variety of types of slavery, including from that of sin.”

“Indeed,” answered Archippus, “there are some who wonder whether Philemon’s generous gifts and support are the result of his love for God or a desire to attain honor among the more prominent Christian citizens. I, for one, think his generosity is real and comes from God.”

” Paul looked at the slave and asked, “Tell me, Onesimus, do you worship the God of heaven and his son Jesus? Were you not in attendance at the gatherings in Philemon’s house?”

” Paul’s message was not merely
about another god. It included the claim that the Jewish God was the only true god and that Artemis and all the other gods of the empire were in fact not gods at all.”

“Nympha,” Archippus replied, “when the church gathers in your home to worship, we don’t come before the Lord as Jews and Gentiles or men and women. We are all one in Christ. It
should be the same for those born free and those who were not. In Christ, there is neither slave nor free, and this is how it should be when we meet and gather to eat together.”