I was given a copy of “Normal is the Watchword” by the author, Jasmine Tru, in exchange for an honest review. This is a paranormal fiction that I think is suited for teens. The story line is a popular one right now with half-angel’s running around unknown to the population. Some are good and some are evil. If you are looking for biblical fiction, this isn’t it, but if you are looking for plain old make-believe fiction, you’ll enjoy the read. On the positive, I like the two main characters. On the negative, it is a repeated theme. Also, it sort of just ends. It is a series and though I hate cliff hangers, I do like to see some kind of closer at the end of each story. Over all a good read. No sex, and no swearing. There is fighting and violence. I give it a solid 3 stars, I “liked” it. In fact I will probably read the rest of the series.
So loved this book! I purchased it long ago and it has been sitting in my kindle. Had I known how great it was going to be a would have read it earlier. One of the best Christian fantasy I have read. This is a fiction/allegory that just impressed upon me how good God is and how much authority we really have, if we would only use it. Prophet has all the elements of a good fantasy, swords, intrigue, supernatural, and some romance. There is heart touching scenes, battle scenes, humorous dialogue, what more could you ask. Oh, I forgot the best part, no swearing or sex! Great for teens on up. I give it 5+ stars. Though it is the first in a trilogy, it can be read as a stand alone. I for one am moving right on to the next book.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (ESV), “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Proverbs 18:4, 6-8 (NIV), “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.”
Proverbs is full of good advice about our mouths. You can’t read too many wise sayings without the subject being addressed. We, in the western world, are too careless with our words. We say whatever pops into our puny minds without counting the cost, without asking ourselves if what we are saying is helpful or hurtful. Yet God clearly tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue. What are you confessing? Do you whisper and gossip? Does your words bring peace or strife?
James understood the power of our tongue.
James 3:1-12 (NLT), “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”
Read that again and if that doesn’t make you want to control your tongue, read Matthew 12:36 (ESV), “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”
Somewhere in heaven there is an angel recording what you say. How many of us have stuck our foot in our mouth and sputtered something stupid, hurtful, or embarrassing? We all have. Then we prayed that everyone who heard would just forget what we said. It was too late to take it back, we just had to apologize, and hope for the best. What if they never forgot, but wrote it down so that they could bring it up again and ask you to explain what you said…
A smart little Disney bunny once said it this way, “if you don’t have somethin’ nice to say, don’t say nothin’ at all.” Sometimes the best thing we can do is-shut up.
Proverbs 17:27-28 (NIV), “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
Of course if we have something good to say, don’t hesitate! We are to encourage and build each other up. We are to have a ready testimony to witness to the lost.
Proverbs 16:24 (NASB), “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Proverbs 25:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.”
Matthew 12:35 (NIV), “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”
The only way we will have good things stored up in us is to put it in there to begin with. God, through His Holy Spirit does deposit revelation in us, but mostly we get it there by reading God’s word. Meditate on His goodness. Think about all the blessings in our lives. Where were you before The Father called you into His family? How much have you changed? Get to know God. Stand on His word and build your faith. Then if anyone cringes when you speak it will be because the Spirit is convicting them, not because you just said something foolish.
Our words reveal our character.
Do you have the character of Christ, or the character of this world?
You are Holy, Lord.
Your love is excessive.
You are Just, Lord.
Your generosity is extensive.
Who am I, that I caught your attention?
Who am I, that you lavish your affection?
You are faithful, Lord.
Your hand never fails me.
You are powerful, Lord.
Your strength never leaves me.
Who am I, that You would pay my penalty?
Who am I, that You would love me in my frailty?
You are my Father, Lord.
As Your child, I am loved.
You are my Bridegroom, Lord.
I am your beloved.
copyright Jodi A. Woody 2014
I was given a copy of “dreams: The Burning Trilogy” by the author, Missy Reynolds, in exchange for an honest review. Dreams is a YA Christian Paranormal. I liked the story line. he characters need some rounding out, they were a bit shallow. I liked the fact that it was supernatural good versus evil story. The message of faith isn’t too sappy, it follows the storyline. This can be a stand alone story as it ends in a good place. My opinion is that the book is best suited for ages 12-18. I give it three stars, I liked the book.
Isaiah 30:15-17 (NIV), “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.”
God gave them a choice. Trust Him, repent, and find rest. In peace and quiet they could find strength. What did they choose? To run. How many of us do just that. When faced with the old choice of “flight or fight,” we fly, we flee…we run away. God offers peace and rest and yet instead of running to it, we run away from it. Maybe the road looks scary, but He promises strength and rest.
Paul new all about this choice. He went through some stuff. Viper bites, stoning, beatings, jail time, ship wrecks, and then a messenger from Satan comes to buffet and harass. Notice what God says when Paul asks Him to remove this “thorn.”
II Corinthians 12:7-10 (AMP), “And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).”
God doesn’t take the thorn away. He basically tells Paul to take His strength and “man up.” God’s grace is sufficient. I used to hear it preached that Paul was supposed to suffer, so God left the thorn. There was even a popular song that said something like, “if the thorn needs to remain,” thankfully the Holy Spirit clarified this for me. I had lots of thorns! His GRACE , His power and strength are fulfilled and completed in our times of weakness. That’s when He comes through. That way we don’t get the glory, He does. He never leaves us in a mess. He always gives us a way out! He promises us that. So He would never leave us to suffer any messenger of Satan. What He does do is give us the authority and the power to overcome any attack. Isn’t that good news?
Paul figured it out and then he instructs us on what to do.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV), “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We fix our eyes on Jesus, not the thorn, the trouble, the evidence of Satan’s attack. Then we stand and fight like men (or women of God). An older lady from the south said it this way, “play the man.” When Jesus was faced with a hard choice, He didn’t run. He endured the cross.
So maybe you have run in the past. Maybe that is all that has been modeled for you. It’s not too late to change. God is gracious. He longs to be gracious to you.
Isaiah 30:18,21 (NIV), “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him…Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
What is the reward for staying to fight?
Revelations 3:5 (NAS), “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
I remember when I used to think 50 was old! Now I feel in better health than I did in my 30’s, my marriage is better now than then, my spiritual life is more fulfilling, everything about life is good. My eyesight is a little impaired and my joints complain every now and then. I haven’t ever had a “hard” birthday where I wanted to be younger or lied about my age. I turned 50 today and am proud of it! I earned every gray hair, and God has richly blessed me. I plan on things only getting better the closer I get to the end!