Learning to Love God’s Way: Equipped to Love

equippedtolovenewEquipped to Love: Building Idolatry-Free Relationships by Norm Wakefield

“Every relationship is an opportunity to love, and every situation is an opportunity to trust.”

In honor of it being Valentine’s Day week, I thought I would repost my review of this excellent book. No matter how much we love someone, it’s hard to always love them the way we ought to. And we can never love others perfectly as God loves.

John Calvin is quoted as stating, “Our hearts are idol factories.” An idol is something or someone to which we look to supply what only God can supply. From the day we are born, we naturally seek to have our needs and our desires met, when and how we want them to be. Before knowing God, we only know to look to our parents and our surroundings to make us feel satisfied, happy, and secure. Without realizing it, we have begun the process of manufacturing idols in our life, controlling and manipulating others around us in order to get what we want. Of course no one but God can completely and perfectly meet our every need, so inevitably we become frustrated, dissatisfied, disappointed, or resentful. Eventually we turn to new idols, but mostly we make an idol out of Self – depending on our own wisdom, strength, etc. to get what we want for ourselves.

Continue reading “Learning to Love God’s Way: Equipped to Love”

Is “Mere Christianity” Barely Christianity?

CS-Lewis-onReligionMere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

“A man can eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him. A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it.”

I first read Mere Christianity in college and decided it was time to give it another go. This book has been very influential and almost 70 years after its original publication is still quite popular. The question I had for myself was, what would I take from it now, 30 years more knowledgeable and mature in my faith, than I did on my initial reading of it? So here are some of my observations – both positive and negative. Continue reading “Is “Mere Christianity” Barely Christianity?”

Learning Contentment in a Material World: The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, it seemed this would be an appropriate book to highlight. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (1648) was very profitable and helpful to me in this day of materialism, covetousness, and greed. Even though I have a very comfortable life, I still find myself complaining and worrying – whether outwardly or in my heart – about trivial matters, and this book really helped put everything into proper perspective.

Continue reading “Learning Contentment in a Material World: The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment”