Hope for American Evangelicals by Matthew Bennett

Hope for American Evangelicals by Matthew Bennett

Hope for American Evangelicals by Matthew Bennett

Inspect the American evangelical church through the eyes of a missionary

Hope for American Evangelicals: A Missionary Perspective on Restoring Our Broken House by Matthew Bennett is a timely message. Inspired by missionary Leslie Newbigin, this book examines the modern church through the eyes and wisdom of a missionary. It’s a unique perspective to see the modern church from this view. 

Bennett writes with clarity that is easy to understand. He effectively uses the metaphor of a home to elaborate the message. I found the book intriguing and helpful to the modern challenges happening inside churches today. The author has a good understanding of church weakness and how to address these issues based on the Leslie Newbigin method. 

I found the book relevant and interesting. It would be useful for a college textbook, missionary course, or church administration course.

Book Description

Is the American evangelical house in order? Or is it in need of a remodel? Or—even worse—should we sell the house altogether and look for another home?

In Hope for American Evangelicals​, professor, and former missionary Matthew Bennett inspects the American evangelical home. Perhaps, like him, you love evangelical doctrine, love the community in which you’ve been spiritually nurtured, and want to see it again become a thriving, hospitable environment for guests. But perhaps, also like Bennett, you think the home needs some touching up before this can be true.

In this book, with insights from Lesslie Newbigin, Bennett helps readers inspect the American evangelical house through the eyes of a missionary. As you join him on the tour, you’ll learn about:

  • American evangelicalism’s neighborhood: how we can contextualize the gospel in our communities
  • Our dining room: ethnic diversity as proof of the gospel’s truth
  • Our living room: the connection between our theology and the actual lives we live
  • Our bedroom: sexual idolatry in the church
  • Our yard: the difference between a manicured ministry and a missional ministry
  • Our address: the relationship between our heavenly citizenship and our national citizenship

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by Christine Abraham @BibleCafeCoach

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Revival leader. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries. She has been a nonprofit Executive Director and womens ministry leader for almost 15 years. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies.

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The Awe of God by John Bevere

The Awe of God by John Bevere

The Awe of God by John Bevere

Holy Fear is not a topic you’ll hear much about these days

The Awe of God: The Astounding Way a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life by John Bevere is a very good book on the topic of holiness. The book has a surprising opening. Rather than explore the positive attributes of King Solomon, the author looks at his weakness and faults. Unexpected negativity, before the author has earned my trust as a reader, is a unique writing structure.  As I continued beyond chapter one, I looked for a bigger story. And then I enjoyed this book!

Bevere is on a journey to discover and teach about holy fear. And he wisely teaches about the huge difference between the “spirit of fear” and the “fear of the Lord.” That is an interesting topic for a book. He does a good job convincing the reader about the fear of God. I found his illustrations and personal stories very helpful in understanding his message.

Each chapter ends with a Bible verse passage, a key point, a question to ponder, and a prayer. I enjoyed seeing the Greek and Hebrew definitions in addition to many Bible passages. This would be a good study book for small group discussions. It is especially helpful for pastors and ministry leaders, as a warning about the consequences when we fear people more than God. That’s a book worth reading!

Book Description

Do you long for an intimate relationship with your Creator, but He seems elusive? Perhaps it is because something utterly essential is missing—the fear of the Lord. Don’t let this frighten you. Fearing God is very different than being afraid of God. It’s the key to everything.

Holy Fear is not a topic you’ll hear much about these days. But if you want to build a faith that stands strong through troubled times, you cannot afford to ignore this book.

In The Awe of God, John Bevere invites you to take a fresh look at what it means to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. This healthy, holy, and largely forgotten virtue is the uncommon path to a more fulfilled and fruitful life. In this book you will see why godly fear is the foundation of:

  • Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge
  • Foresight, clarity, and divine direction
  • Maturity and conformity to the image of Jesus Christ
  • Building an eternal legacy
  • Confidence, fearlessness, and security
  • Freedom from the fear of man as all lesser fears are eclipsed

If you look at the men and women in Scripture, the ones who lived and finish well all have one thing in common: they are marked by holy fear.

The Awe of God was designed to be read slowly and intentionally. At the end of each of the 42 chapters are five tools to help you deepen your understanding and apply what the Spirit of God is teaching you. Experience the intimate relationship with God that you have always longed for by unlocking this countercultural message.

This book references paraphrased Bibles such as The Amplified and The Message Translation. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and purchased a copy for my library.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by Christine Abraham @BibleCafeCoach

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Revival leader. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries. She has been a nonprofit Executive Director and womens ministry leader for almost 15 years. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies.

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A Praying Church by Paul E. Miller

A Praying Church by Paul E. Miller

A Praying Church by Paul E. Miller

When believers gather and pray together, powerful things happen

A Praying Church: Becoming a People of Hope in a Discouraging World by Paul E. Miller is an encouragement for pastors and church leaders. And it will be useful for small groups and church members. The book is an encouragement for anyone who desires an improved prayer life. I found the concept of “prayer resisting” helpful to understanding.

Miller admits that not many have the luxury of praying for an hour and a half each morning. He wisely encourages readers to cultivate prayer habits over time. Everything begins with prayer.  “I have no interest in doing anything that hasn’t been prayed for and prayed over,” he explains. By example and his testimony, he encourages the reader to pursue prayer.

This book quotes The Message Translation. Scripture quotations marked AT are the author’s translation. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.

Book Description

Paul Miller, Bestselling Author of A Praying Life, on the Transforming Power of Praying Together

In our current culture, the church and prayer are often dismissed as irrelevant. But when believers gather and pray together, powerful things happen: the Spirit equips the saints for ministry, the helpless are met with help, and believers experience the joy of being led by the Spirit of Jesus. In this ebook, Paul E. Miller, bestselling author of A Praying Life, casts a vision for a return to the simple yet life-changing practice of praying together.

Through personal stories and biblical examples, Miller teaches the whywhat, and how of praying together. Readers will learn how praying with other Christians can transform their communities into beacons of hope and be given practical strategies—such as finding a prayer partner and prioritizing a structured prayer time—to implement these changes in their own church.

  • Ideal for Group Study: Small groups, Sunday school classes, and others will find helpful strategies to think through and discuss
  • Engaging and Personal: Features real life stories, word pictures, and charts to help readers understand the content 
  • “A Word to Pastors”: Miller closes several chapters with thoughtful reflections specifically for church leaders
  • Foreword by Dane C. Ortlund: Author of the bestselling book, Gentle and Lowly, who praises A Praying Church, calling it “winsome and compelling”

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by Christine Abraham @BibleCafeCoach

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Revival leader. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries. She has been a nonprofit Executive Director and womens ministry leader for almost 15 years. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies.

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When believers gather and pray together, powerful things happenA Praying Church: Becoming a People of Hope in a Discouraging World by Paul E. Miller is an encouragement for pastors and church leaders. And it will be useful for small groups and church members. The book...

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Choose Your Story Change Your Life by Kindra Hall

Choose Your Story Change Your Life by Kindra Hall

Choose Your Story Change Your Life by Kindra Hall

Take complete control of your self-stories and create the life you’ve always dreamed you’d have

Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out by Kindra Hall is written by a popular keynote speaker. Step by step, readers are drawn into a transformation experience. Storytelling is a popular theme in leadership courses today. I found the writing easy to follow and the book ideas very positive. The author includes many stories to elaborate on the overall message of change. I enjoyed her writing so much, after reading this book I purchased her first book Stories That Stick!

This book continues the message of similar books such as Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen, and Rewriting Your Emotional Script by Becky Harling. Similarly, the message is based on changing how we tell our stories from within.

Book Description

The things we tell ourselves affect how well or poorly our path in life goes. It’s time to flip the script on the internal stories you tell yourself and live life on your terms.

Most of the “self-stories” you tell yourself—the kind of person you say you are and the things you are capable of—are invisible to you because they have become such a part of your everyday mental routine that you don’t even recognize they exist.

Yet, these self-stories influence everything you do, everything you say, and everything you are.

Choose Your Story, Change Your Life will help you take complete control of your self-stories and create the life you’ve always dreamed you’d have. Author Kindra Hall offers up a new window into your psychology, one that travels the distance from the frontiers of neuroscience to the deep inner workings of your thoughts and feelings.

In Choose Your Story, Change Your Life, Kindra will help you:

  • Uncover the truth of how you have created the life you have;
  • Challenge everything you think you know about how your life has been built;
  • Uncover the clear steps you can take to create the life you want;
  • Take control of your self-story to become the author of who you are; and
  • Live your life in a way you never have before.

This eye-opening, but the applicable journey will transform you from a passive listener of these limiting, unconscious thoughts to the definitive author of who you are and everything you want to be.

Changing your life is as simple as choosing better stories to tell yourself. If you can change your story, you can change your life.

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by Christine Abraham @BibleCafeCoach

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Revival leader. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries. She has been a nonprofit Executive Director and womens ministry leader for almost 15 years. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies.

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40 Bible Verses About Alcohol

40 Bible Verses About Alcohol

40 Bible Verses About Alcohol

Learn the difference between drinking alcohol and drunkenness, from a Bible perspective.

Friends often ask me “What does the Bible teach about alcohol? That’s a great question! There are some memorable moments about alcohol in the Bible. A positive memory is when Jesus performs His first miracle by turning water into wine. Or the famous Last Supper when Jesus speaks about the cup of communion.

But there are also stories of drunkenness in the Holy Bible. Because these verses can be confusing, I recommend reading these verses in context. This means you should read the surrounding verses and consider the original historical audience. Learn the difference between drinking alcohol and drunkenness, from a Bible perspective.

When coaching women at the Bible Cafe™ I encourage them to consider their family history of alcohol, their medical history, and their local church traditions. Some church denominations have zero alcohol traditions. And yet, others manufacture and sell it! As a teenager, I attended a high school retreat at the Christian Brothers Winery in Napa California.

Bible Verses About Wine and Alcohol

Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. (Genesis 9:21 NKJV)

Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father. (Genesis 19:32 NKJV)

Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. (Genesis 27:28 NKJV)

Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. (Genesis 49:11 NKJV)

Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean… (Leviticus 10:9-10 NKJV)

“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. (Numbers 6:2-4 NKJV)

And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. (Deuteronomy 7:13 NKJV)

And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. (Deuteronomy 14:26 NKJV)

And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ (Deuteronomy 21:20 NKJV)

For their vine is of the vine of Sodom And of the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of gall, Their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of serpents, And the cruel venom of cobras. (Deuteronomy 32:32-33 NKJV)

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.” (Judges 13:3-4 NKJV)

Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:13-15 NKJV)

And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. (2 Chronicles 11:11 NKJV)

Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them. (Nehemiah 5:11 NKJV)

Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. (Nehemiah 13:12 NKJV)

And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king. (Esther 1:7 NKJV)

You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion. (Psalm 60:3 NKJV)

So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. (Proverbs 3:10 NKJV)

Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1 NKJV)

Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise. (Proverbs 20:1 NLT)

For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:21 NKJV)

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. (Proverbs 23:29-30 NKJV)

Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. (Proverbs 31:6 NKJV)

Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! (Isaiah 5:11 NKJV)

Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged. (Jeremiah 51:7 NKJV)

I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. (Daniel 10:3 NKJV)

(Jesus said) “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17 NKJV)

They gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. (Matthew 27:34 NKJV)

For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15 NKJV)

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.” (Luke 21:34 NKJV)

And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:10 NKJV)

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30 NKJV)

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:7-8 NKJV)

It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. (Romans 14:21 NKJV)

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17-18 NKJV)

Deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. (1 Timothy 3:8-9 NKJV)

Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:22-23 NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality. (Revelation 17:2 NLT)

A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement. (Revelation 17:5-6 NLT)

Bible Copyrights For This Article
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by Christine Abraham @BibleCafeCoach

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is a Writer Redeemed by Christ. Lifetime Bible Reader. Coffee Drinker. Beach Walker. Mother of Girls. Bible Teacher. Revival leader. Founder at Bible Café™ Ministries. She has been a nonprofit Executive Director and womens ministry leader for almost 15 years. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies.

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