Comicbook Review: Eternity by Randy Alcorn

Excitement took hold of me as I unseal this graphic novel from its plastic prison and began reading it. I love the works of Randy Alcorn both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve also participated at the Facebook party for the launch of this comic. Recalling the launch, Randy told us it’s his first time to have his work in that kind of medium. As participants, we were encouraged to ask questions. I asked many questions but the only time Alcorn answered me is when I ask if the artist (Javier Saltares) is a Christian and in which a he answered yes. I had a great time with that launch

“Eternity” retells the story of Lazarus and the rich man is a unique and refreshing perspective. Randy Alcorn weaves the tale by integrating the story with fictional details and biblical backgrounds then blending it with the story of Jesus. If we consider that the story in Luke 16 a true event and not a parable then, most likely this could had happened. This is an astonishing tale not to be missed. If you’re not into historical fiction I think it will bug you a little, but as the story unfolds, you will get the hang of it. As I read the dialogues especially the ones with Abraham and the rich man, I can’t help but remember some lines from fiction books of Alcorn. In this graphic novel, Alcorn explores topics like the afterlife, heaven and salvation served in the way a non-fiction cannot. Javier Saltares gave his talent to make “Eternity” come alive with artworks that are at par with Marvel and DC comics.

The story of “Etenity” is enjoyable as well as unforgettable. This graphic novel will leave its readers a challenge to follow God. Highly recommended.

A Seasoned Servant of God: Delighting Grace Interviews Bro. Simeon Susi Jr.

Previously we featured a book review and free download of an out of print book titled “Can We Find God?” by Simeon Susi Jr. Today we will get to know more of him, his calling and advice for future servants of Christ.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us how you got saved and called in the full-time ministry as a missionary servant of Christ and preacher of  the  Word ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I got saved in 1971, when I yielded my life to Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Saviour. He worked in me for quite a long time convicting me of the truth that I am a slave to sin which is at the bottom of my troubles; preparing me- my heart and my mind to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Since then I resolved to come to Him and now telling others the great things He had done for me.

Delighting Grace: What is your “Life Verse” in the Bible? Do you have a favorite theme or text that you always want to preach  ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I was enlightened through the Book of Ephesians – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9). I always preach the Gospel in whatever topic I touch; and also the subject of “Growing in the knowledge of  Christ.”

Delighting Grace: 
Aside from the Bible and your book, what are the books, authors you’ve read that you may recommend for the Christians?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Here’s my list of recommended books for you edification:
1.) Books written by A.W.Tozer
2.) Basic Christianity and Your Mind Matters by J.R.W. Stott
3.) Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
4.) Books written by William MacDonald
5.) Books written by the late H.A.Ironside
There are lots of good books, but let us be careful- do not substitute them to the Bible.

Delighting Grace: You wrote a book titled “Can We Find God?” can you tell us hows the experience writing one?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I’m not a professional writer, but as a servant of the Lord, being a preacher and a teacher of the Word. I finally thought that I have to put down in writing my convictions. I decided to share God and His Words through writing, and after much prayers, I wrote the book through the guidance of Him.

Delighting Grace: Can you differentiate preaching a sermon and writing it down for everyone to read?

Bro. Simeon Susi: By preaching you share the Word by the word of mouth. In writing, through pen; but the difference lies, in  writing, we present our ideas in a more polished language, and in detailed form; many times quoting authorities  to authenticate our subject which is seldom done in speaking.

Delighting Grace: Any advice to budding Christian writers who wants to get their works published?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Know your subject better- meaning, know the Bible better.  Pray for the Lord’s guidance as you write about Him. Be patient until the work is published: It is hard to published books when you don’t  compromise with the truth of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one lesson every person called to be a preacher of the Word should remember?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Study the Word. We are not called to preach what we know, but what God desires through His Word. God is not interested on the things we learn through secular education, or even in the seminaries if does not conform to the truths of the Word of God.

Delighting Grace: How can a servant of the Lord leave a lasting legacy?

Bro. Simeon SusiBy faithfulness  in  preaching the Word. This includes obedience. Holiness is a by product of obedience. This two important truths will reproduce Christ’s life in us.

Delighting Grace: How do we replenish our passion to go further for God?

 Bro. Simeon Susi: As we daily submit our life to Christ, meditates on His Person, “…we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…” ( II Cor.3:18). Let us always “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ( II Tim.2:1)

Delighting Grace: Thank you brother Simeon M. Susi Jr., if ever they want to contact you how can we connect? You do have speaking engagement?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I have some speaking engagement in churches where the Lord blessed me to plant some in Pampanga and Bataan.  My Contact no: 0920-5448-246 or you may email brother Arlan : arlan2nd@gmail.com. Thank you Delighting Grace, I really appreciate your book review on my book “Can We Find God” and for this brief but interesting interview, Thank you! God bless you!

Delighting Grace: Youre welcome. By the way, if you havent read the book review and free download of the book “Can You Find God?”, check the review below with the download link:

Its a privilege for me to be able to receive books for the book review that this blog is giving out. But this one is a stand out because this book is out of print.

In “Can We Find  God?” Pastor Susi opens the book with a call for Christians get real. He states that the stumblingblock of people coming to God is our slackness of in getting to know Him and how we handle this knowledge. Susi clears things out and acknowledge that we can only know God when He reveals Himself first to us. Then through this short book, he takes us to chapters in getting to know Him.

As I read the book, it draws you in despite of the seriousness of the message it tackles. It will not turn you off but it will convict you. As the book unfolds, Pastor Susi unpacks how God graciously reveals Himself. He also has injects some doctrine and apologetics with a “you never saw it coming” style. i think only a seasoned pastor can hack that style. I would like to point out, some of the chapters are too short. I think Pstr. Susi should expound it more or add more chapters. Their are lots more to be tackled but still this book is a good read.

This book is a quick, one sitting read but the depths of the message of this book amazes me. This kind of message is desperately needed in our churches. In todays Pinoy Christian books scene, this type of book may be forgotten or wont make it to the bestseller list. It wont even sell. But to those who wants to get serious with being a Christian and make an impact, reading this book will take you there. Let us all pray for this book that it may make a comeback to every Christian bookstores. But for now you can download this out of print book for free in PDF format. This is a Delighting Grace exclusive and its for a limited time only!

Click this link to get the free book:http://www.scribd.com/doc/234551016/Can-We-Find-God-S-M-Susi-Jr

Book Review: Controlling Your Anger Before It Controls You by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

Anger may trigger the Incredible Hulk to have his power, but the effects of it leaves everything in the rubble. We might not be the Incredible Hulk, nevertheless we know how anger has devastating effects. CLC Philippines fresh serving titled “Controlling Your Anger Before It Controls You” gets you in the heart of the matter.

The book first introduces us that anger is God-given. But due to sin like all other emotions, we allocate anger in the wrong way that brings ungodly results.

This is not a run-of-the-mill anger management book but a book that you’ll love on a subject that needs to be addressed. Anger in this book is presented not just a visible war but a battle within ourselves that as Christians needs to be put under God’s power. Using real life examples and Bible verses, this book is an eye opener in the subject of anger…and much much more. Believe me, it covered alot of grounds. Dr. Jantz knows what he is talking about at hits it straight on. If you read it without being affected, you might not be human.

It a bit comprehensive but not technical. Its not obviously a quick read but a book that needs time to be read. The contents of this helpful book justifies the heftiness.  It will challenge you to examine yourself and gives out practical things for you to apply.

After putting down “Controlling Your Anger Before It Controls You”, it will leave you thinking and analyzing yourself. Its time to put back joy and happiness in your life. Dr. Jantz wrote a book that is a life changer. Be ready to step to change by getting a copy at your nearest CLC Philippines or online http://www.clcphilippines.com

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something introvert whose passion is to proclaim the good news about God. He wears many hats but he is just an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God. You can reach him at his FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram.

Book Review: The Joyful Heart (Daily Meditation) by Watchman Nee

A collection of bite size messages of Watchman Nee made into a 365 daily entries, “The Joyful Heart” that will not just inspire you with its deep and thought provoking meditations but will also stir your soul. Nee’s writing ministry proves that word’s of this man of God is commanding to the inner being of a believer. This book is a cross between Oswald Chambers and T. Austin Sparks, a delectable food saturated with Nee’s passion for God.

Every entry are climax of a sermon. Thats how this book is written. Novice or veteran to Nee’s writings will get their heavenly treat day by day. Taste something soul satisfying. Turn every page of this devotional and find God as source of true joy. This book reminds us everyday even their is testing and challenges, God is our true happiness. Through His Word we can be transformed and walk blessed through out the whole day. Let “The Joyful Heart” enrich, complete and satisfy our pursuit of God.

“The Joyful Heart” brings you a pace setting of true joy of a Christian that has a willful and obedient love to follow God. If you have gone through “My Utmost for His Highest”, “Morning and Evening”, “Streams in the Desert” put this in your devotional list.

Book Review: Resisting Gossip by Matthew C. Mitchell

I would like to give a two thumbs up to CLC Philippines for putting out this book. Why you might ask? I give two reasons. One, the author is in Calvinist camp via CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) and WTS ( Westminster Theological Seminary). If you are benefiting from authors and counselors like Winston Smith, Ed Welch, David Powlison (my personal favorite) and Tim Lane, you will definately love Pastor Matthew. Second, the topic is very relevant specially to a culture that doesnt stop talking.

Mitchell define gossip as: Sinful gossip is bearing bad news behind someone’s back out of a bad heart. He breakdown the topic into small bits to make it easily to understand to the readers. This book tackles the very essence of gossip from recognizing, resisting, responding and regretting . Saturated with Scripture references and with a pastor’s heart to give hope for those who are gossiping, this book is a winner for those of us who wants to stop this destructive sin. Instead of gossiping, Mitchell tells us to edify believers by speaking well of them or pray for them because God is the only one that change us and truly judge us.

Picking up this book their are two things that brought to mind. One, is the familiar verse of James 3 that we should tame our tongue let it now spew evil things. Second, the book by Jerry Bridges title “Respectable Sins” (which I havent read) that points our sins we tend to overlook as a Christian. If you thought of that too, well “Resisting Gossip” is the embodiment of that. So do get a copy of this book not that you are a gossip or your a gossiping church but a well outline battle plan in combatting the untamed tongue. Get this book at your nearest CLC, PCBS or National Bookstore or online at http://www.clcphilippines.com

CLC Book Review Round Up 3

Before we unwrapped a new batch of books from CLC Philippines, its good that we put our gears in reverse. Lets look back at book reviews that you might have missed and should check out. If you like what we have featured, please do buy a copy at the nearest CLC Bookstore or you can buy it online at http://www.clcphilippines.com. Not convinced? Think about this list of things you will missed out if you dont buy a Christian book:

1. You’ll missed out a chance to spiritually grow.
2. You’ll missed out a chance to help someone get to know Christ.
3. You’ll missed out the chance to build up your local church.
4. You’ll missed out the opportunity to spread the gospel by buying a book.

See what you’ll missed? Convinced now? I hope so. Well here are the books reviews you might have missed:

Mentoring Conversation by Herman A. Moldez

102 Fascinating Bible Studies by Preston A. Taylor

Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes A Day by Daryl Aaron

God’s Answers to Life’s Questions

Life on Purpose for Women by J. M. Farro

Changed in His Likeness by Watchman Nee

Working Successfully With Screwed-Up People By Elizabeth B. Brown

One Church, Four Generations by Gary L. McIntosh

What Does the Lord Require? by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

You might also check out Round Up 1 and Round Up 2….Enjoy!!!!

5 Essential Things to Do After Finishing Reading a Book

Before putting your recently finished book down and telling it on Facebook, here are some tips to do after devouring a book. Bona petit!

  1. Catch the lesson it is driving- not just knowing the theme of the book but what additional wisdom can it give us and put us in action.
  2. Think of someone who will benefit in reading it- if it really made a great impression to you why not share it to someone and make an impact to that person’s life.
  3. Put it in your giveaway list- keep it on the list so when a friend’s birthday, Christmas or any occasion will come, it will be a great gift.
  4. Promote it- write a book review; post in on Facebook or Twitter make some noise about this newly read book.
  5. Re-read it- if you won’t get the lessons of the book or some parts still doesn’t sink in, re-reading it will make a difference.

Does anyone have #6? Please post it on the comment.

3 Essential Reasons to Re-read Your Favorite Book

A dejavu on your favorite lit is like traveling back to time! So let these 5 reasons why you have to re-read your fave book guide you back to relieve the past:

  1. To re-enforce you again – to savor the lessons, the adrenaline rush or remind you again the powerful message of the book.
  2. You might miss out something- re-reading a book will let you find hidden gems that you might have missed reading it for the first time.
  3. You would love to use it in your ministry – is the book worth sharing? Re-read it and teach it to your ministry.

I love to hear your reason. Please put it on the comment section.

5 Indispensable Things You Should Know on Your First Time Preaching

So your pastor asked you to preach next Sunday. You got excited and also got all rattled up. In your mind you keep asking: what should I do? Well here are 5 helpful tips for your first baptism of fire in preaching:

  1. Prepare the sermon at hand – maybe a week or so will be the ideal time for preparing your sermon. Pray, re-read the text, add ideas and adjust it to make it powerful.
  2. Don’t forget the artillery – Bible, notebook, I-pad, and multimedia gadget etc., just the essentials. Don’t clutter the pulpit. It might also distract you. Our pastor advised me not to bring a pen. In my nervousness I might play with it. He was right!
  3. If you’re nervous don’t look at church members faces-Different reactions may distract you. Look beyond the crowd or at corners of the building if you’re not confident enough to take a glimpse.
  4. Be time conscious – not that long preaching is bad but there is another program coming after your delivered your sermon or you pastor set a time for you, then you must follow. He might let you get away with it for the first time but next time stick with the time allotment.
  5. Let the Holy Spirit guide you – with all this preparation I might say we are still human and limited. That’s why we need to pray and ask God that the Holy Spirit will lead us as we preach His Word. Let John 14: 26 and Mark 13:11 assure you He will help. He has done it in my preaching ministry for 3 years now and He will do help you too.

I would like to hear some of your tips for those who will preach. Let me see your reaction on the comment section.

3 Things Books That Are Given to You Say about You

Birthdays or Christmas you will receive a present from your friend. And it’s a great thing if you receive something to read for your spiritual growth. So what does these gifts of books say about you? Here are 3 of them:

  1. You might be in the ministry- you might be a leader or a pastor, a season veteran or new believer etc., that’s why they gave you that book is to empower you in your Christian walk.
  2. You might be a ‘fan’ of the author – aside of the spiritual nourishment of the book, people knows you really like the author or they might convert you to be a fan of this gifted author.
  3. You might be in a situation that needs encouragement – you may not say it aloud but your Christian friend might be discerning that you’re in a crisis that needs a lift. Thank him for giving that book and ask him to pray for you in that situation.

So that’s my list. Do you have number 4?