Book Review for “Sonshift”-Christian Non-fiction

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Description: Sonshift is a book about a transformation that takes place when one encounters God as an outrageously loving Father. It’s about a personal journey of discovery that’s not just the author’s but one that’s revolutionizing many sons and daughters in the body of Christ today. This journey changes everything—how we see God and our relationship with Him, how we relate to our family and friends, how we read the Bible, and even the foundations of what we think it means to BE and ACT LIKE a Christian. It’s about a real life lived in the real world, but one that is never lived apart from the Father’s embrace. It’s what you always hoped the Christian life would be!

 

My Review: I so loved this book “Sonshift” by Mel Wild. There seems to be a movement in the Body of Christ as most of what Mel shares in this book has been brought to my own church by our Senior Pastor over the past few years. The book is well written, includes scriptures to back up each precept, and is easy to understand. Sonshift kills a few sacred cows and may step on a few toes, however, a shift in the way we think needs to happen. Empty religion just isn’t going to cut it anymore and this book will help us all change the way we see God, ourselves, and how we interpret the bible. I give it five stars! In fact I had downloaded the kindle version on Amazon as a kindle unlimited book (free). About halfway through, I ordered a paperback so that I could share it. By the time I was almost finished, I ordered ten books for the ladies bible study I lead. Great book and a must read for every Christian. I think that the writing is simple enough to recommend for teens and up.

 

 

Their Last Supper

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Luke 22:14-16 (NIV), “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

It’s Jesus’ last Passover meal with His followers. He knows that His hour has come. He tells the twelve to “eat His body and drink His blood,” and almost as an afterthought, “But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.” He, again, explains to them that “He must die”. Of course they spend the next few minutes asking each other, “who would do such a thing?” Then suddenly they are arguing over who will be the greatest. (v. 24)

Instead of getting angry with their change of thought, He tells them that they should follow His example and be a servant. Jesus even goes farther and tells them that they will be sitting on thrones and judging the twelve tribes of Israel (v. 28-30)

Then Jesus takes the time to warn one particular disciple.

Luke 22:31-34 (NASB), “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

I think Jesus uses Peter’s given name to point out a weakness in him. Peter, a rock, is going to be sifted, shaken. Yet there is hope for Peter, for Jesus has pleaded in prayer for His friend. Jesus knows Peter will deny Him, but He encourages Peter to “repent and then, strengthen your brothers.”

I love and hate the story that we commonly call “The Last Supper.” I hate that one of His own betrayed Him. I love that He is so patient and caring with His followers. I am sad that He had suffering ahead that no man could have ever endured, yet He chooses to spend the Passover with these flawed men. We all acknowledge that this is Jesus’ last supper before His death. However, it was also their last supper. That night those twelve men ate their last supper under the Old Covenant, under the law of sin and death, under the law of performance. Every supper eaten after that day was eaten under the New Covenant, under the law of love and liberty!

Romans 8:1-3 (KJB), “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

It is like a family who live a rough life, barely scraping by, sitting down to the last food in their cupboards. They are grateful for the watery bowl of ramen and a small cup of kool-aid before retiring for the night, only to wake up and find out that they are long lost cousins to the king. Suddenly they are royalty and are swept off to the palace to dine every night at the king’s table. They had eaten their “last supper” as peasants, in their old life, and now they feast with the king in their new life.

We would think them pretty foolish if they kept eating ramen noodle and drinking kool-aid for supper, wouldn’t we?

Then isn’t it foolish for us to still be arguing over who is the greatest, or trying to stand up to Satan and his “sifting” in our own strength? Why do we want to still submit to the law of performance, or worse yet try to force others to, when we have eaten our last supper there? We are royalty! We are kings and priests. We are children of God. We are seated in Heaven with Christ. We need to stop living under the Old Covenant and live under the New! It’s easier said than done, I know… but we need to repent.

We will never change anything (that’s what repent means, changing our direction) until we change the way we think.

They say it takes fourteen days to build a new habit. However, you won’t even try until you make up your mind to do something different than what you have been doing.

The night before you surrendered your heart to Jesus- you ate your “last supper.” It’s all brand new from there.

How is Your Foundation?

Revelations 21:19-20 (KJB), “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.”

In the natural, nothing can be properly built without a solid foundation. The very first house we purchased had horrible one. We had to jack up the house and completely rebuild it. We hired someone who knew what he was doing and the house rested on that strong support. Spiritually speaking, our lives must also have a firm foundation. Not sure how to build one? No problem, God took care of that for us. He placed a cornerstone, the very first stone in the foundation that all the other stones are leveled against. This cornerstone has to be perfect, and perfectly square, or all of the other blocks will be unlevel and off kilter. This cornerstone, Jesus, is “safe to build on.”

Isaiah 28:16 (NLT), “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.”

I Corinthians 3:11 (NIV), “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Trying to build our lives on anything else is like the man who built his house in the sand. When the storms of life came, his whole world shifted and slid into the ocean. However the man who built his house on the Rock, nothing moved him. Sure the storms still came, but his foundation was sure, and “whoever believes need never be shaken.”

II Timothy 2:15-16a, 18-19 (HCSB), “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. And their word will spread like gangrene… Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription: The Lord knows those who are His, and everyone who names the name of the Lord must turn away from unrighteousness.”

It takes some effort to keep a foundation strong. The cornerstone never changes, but the other blocks, or stones need some care. When we are diligent to keep our relationship with the Father close, when we pray often, read our word, hear sound teaching, and press in to fully understand who we are in Christ, our foundation stays healthy. Those storms won’t knock us down. We will be able to withstand them in the strength of the Lord.

If we start depending on ourselves, back away from God, or look to anyone or anything else to “take care of us” our foundation will crumble. Then, even the smallest rain will corrode, and the slightest change in weather will corrupt. Once things start falling apart, it all happens so fast, before you know it, your entire house is gone. A faulty foundation leads to cracks in your walls, rolling and uneven floors, and eventually if not repaired or rebuilt, your doors won’t open or close and your windows will shatter.

Do you feel like I just described your life? Then, check your foundation! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you do a “home inspection”. He is faithful, honest, and very encouraging with this process. Any week area you find will have to be shored up, or rebuilt. If Jesus isn’t your cornerstone, you will have to start over. But don’t despair; it isn’t as hard as you think. It only takes one step back to Jesus. Repentance just means turning away from the direction you have been going and turning back to Him.

Building only on this foundation, and no other, will help you to live your life in such a way that others will notice. They’ll want what you have. No one wants the house on the block that looks like a wreck, the one that has the leaky roof and the front porch that tilts. They will come to you because your “house” will be the best one on the block. It will be the one still standing after the hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes move through. You may have an occasional “shaky” experience, but you will not live a life full of confusion and fear. Others notice that kind of thing. In these times the world needs some strong, courageous people to lead them, a safe house that they can run to when things get rocky. That’s what the Body of Christ is supposed to be. That’s what it means to be “the light of the world,” and “the salt of the earth.”

I Corinthians 3:10-17 (NIV), “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

 

I Choose- Everything

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Luke 12:22-34 (Message),He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more. Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

Jesus was talking to his disciples about “things” or clothes and food and He tells them “fear not” or in another version, “don’t be anxious” about those things. I like the messages version- “don’t fuss”. Babies and toddlers fuss. They get fussy because they are hungry or thirsty and it’s the only way to express this, or they can’t verbalize what they need. We shouldn’t be fussy. Also the message says to relax, don’t be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving.”He wants to give us all we need and even things we don’t need, but really want. The Israelites always had a sense of entitlement. Their title of “God’s chosen people” made them think that they alone were entitled to His goodness, even when they rebelled against Him and behaved like fussy toddlers.

The spirit of entitlement is rampant in the United States. We leave jobs, churches, marriages, friend ships, and sometimes even our country because we think we haven’t received what “we are entitled to.” A common phrase is, “they owe me!” Whether it is used in regards to our parents, pastor, boss, or our government. There are some that even go as far as to think their children owe them “for all we’ve done for them.” Entitlement causes laziness and an “it’s not my job” mentality. How many of us walk past garbage on the sidewalk, or our church parking lot and don’t bend to pick it up? How many of us on our jobs refuse to do anything that isn’t in our job description? In fact that is part of the problem of modern day unions. They breed the entitlement mentality.

The opposite of entitlement is a quiet confidence that God will provide what I need. We need to keep our eyes on God, our source, not on our boss, the government, or our pastor. Now, don’t get me wrong, we need people! No man is an island. God put us together in families, and He told us to bring our petitions before Him. To ask and keep on asking, but keep your attitude right. He doesn’t bless us because we deserve it, or because we are entitled to it. Nope, His only motive is love.

“The only way to break the spirit of entitlement is thru service. Allowing God to use us in any way He asks us.” Pastor Isaac Litke

This world has nothing for us. God is our provider.

Galatians 4:1-7 (NIV), “What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

Jesus came so that we could be adopted into the family. Now we are joint heirs with Him. What does Jesus need? What does He lack? We have what He has, no really! You might not see it in the natural, but isn’t that what faith is all about?

Hebrews 11:1 (KJB), “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Think of it like the money you have in your checking account. You may not have it in your hand, but you know it is there. In fact you are so confident in this fact that you use your debit card to get gas and write checks to pay your bills. We have an account in heaven with “treasures old and new” (Matthew 13:52). Before we can ever see it with our natural eyes, we have to see it with our spiritual eyes.

Who gets everything? Everyone- who surrenders themselves to Him. Surrender isn’t a bad word! When we aren’t God’s we are Satan’s. You can’t serve two masters. So which “Father” do you want to surrender to? Which mission do you want to work under (that’s what the word submit means)? I choose to serve a loving Father. I tried it the other way, even though I didn’t fully understand who I was serving, and it didn’t work too well for me.

I choose God.

I choose Love.

I choose Everything!

Be an Heir Head

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Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT), “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

Before God made this world we live in, he predestined us, or decided in advance to adopt us into His family! He didn’t walk into the orphanage and stroll past all of us who were raggedy, dirty, angry, bitter, and resentful just to pick that pretty little, perfect blonde girl. No, He chose us when we were at our worst. He chose us before we even knew our life was horrible, when we were content to live in rebellion and steeped in sin. He chose us before we ever heard His name. Why?

Because God is LOVE.

Ephesians 2:1:-10 (NIV), “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (emphasis mine)

He is rich in mercy. He lavishes us with His mercy. No one has the compassion that our Father does. How many of us watch those commercials asking us to send money to those sad little ones with distended bellies, fly encrusted eyes, with tears running and think, “I need to do something!” God did! He saw us, abused by our true father, Satan, and living with less than His best for us. Those little ones on those ads didn’t choose to live that way, we did, and He still brought us up out of the mud into His home. Peasants adopted by the King! He made us a joint heir with His dearly beloved Son.

So why do we still live like the orphans in “Oliver Twist” or “Little Orphan Annie”? Are we like the Egyptians who had to be delivered from more than just slavery? Sure they were taken out of Egypt, but a whole generation had to die in the wilderness because they wouldn’t give up their lusts for more. Living as slaves taught them that someone else was responsible for them, they were provided for, if barely enough to keep them alive. They complained “we had cucumbers and watermelon back in Egypt”. They preferred to give up their freedom for some veggies and fruits or for a bite of mouthful of meat. They never recognized their freedom, or Who gave it to them. They never pressed in to get to know their deliverer, but instead sent Moses to do it for them.

We have been adopted. Are we living like our new Father or still expecting the abuse, or provision from our old one? Do we truly believe we are free? Free from our past, free from sin, and free to get to know the Father in the exact way that Jesus did? We have so much junk in our heads and not enough treasure in our hearts.

In the 80’s there was a term “air head” that meant someone who didn’t have a lot of common sense, or someone who had taken too many drugs and had nothing but empty space between their ears.

One of our associate pastors used this term for someone who truly believed they had been adopted by the Creator of the Universe, Almighty God, “Heir head”. I like that one better. Of course our heart has to believe it first before we can fill our minds with the fact that we belong to Him. That we can have what Jesus had, do what He did, and live in constant communication with our Father.

I Corinthians 2:9 (NASB), “but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

We might never be able to understand it, or wrap our minds completely around it. The good news is that we don’t have to! You don’t have to explain to a toddler why you love them, what you do for them, and how important they are to you. They just believe it. Mostly because of your words and actions towards them. What are the Father’s word and actions towards you? Read that verse again.

Then take a look at these:

Jeremiah 19:11 (NET Bible), “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD.’I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.”

Psalms 40:5 (NASV), “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.”

Mark, Matthew, and Luke all tell us that “Nothing is impossible for God.”

So let’s summarize, God loves You, He has adopted you, you are a joint-heir with Christ, (everything He has is yours), He has great plans for you, and nothing can stop His plans except your refusal to be in a relationship with him.

Be an Heir Head!