Archive for January, 2011

Whenever I write about a specific subject for an article, it gets difficult sometimes to look up a multitude of verses on that topic. Google, BibleGateway, all the resources available… a topical index for the Bible would really simplify my writing career.

I was elated when I first requested a review copy of Nelson’s Biblical Cyclopedic Index. Now whenever I need to write about almost any topic, I can find a large quantity of verses in one book. No websurfing, looking for trustworthy, thorough sites… just one book readily available on my shelf. The Cyclopedic Index covers a large variety of people, places, things, topics, events, and concepts, providing everything you need to pull together any sermon, article, or Bible study with ease. It is definitely the Bible study tool one needs.

This guide will help me for years to come. It is compatible with any translation, and acts as a topical Bible, a concordance, and a Bible dictionary all in one. I can easily access the information I want and jump to the verse in my Bible. It won’t be left to collect dust anytime soon. =)

Please click on the image to buy this book from Christian Book Distributors.


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Are You a Good Person?

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Ever since I heard Sarah’s testimony for the first time, I have been awed by the extent of God’s love. This book details Sarah’s journey from devil-worshipper, gangbanger, and lesbian into a Princess of God through whom God ministered to thousands. She also has a set of messages available for purchase.

Click on the image to view her website, learn more about Sarah, or check out her blog and order her book.

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Tears glistened in Vera’s eyes as she fingered a little cross hanging from her neck. The cross was made of pure sterling silver, and reflected the light shining from the stained-glass window. It was one of her most prized possessions, and for a good reason.

Vera had just been baptized, and was still kneeling before the pulpit with her head bowed. She shed tears of joy of giving her life to her Savior, but there were also tears of mourning. Wishing the person who led to Christ could be there, she thought back to that tragic day…


“Wh-where am I?” Nevaeh whispered.

“Shhh…” Vera replied in a soothing voice. “You’re in the hospital.”

“Hospital? Why?”

Vera sighed. Ever since the car accident, Nevaeh was constantly forgetting where she was. Vera had to remind her every time she woke up.

“Nevermind.” Nevaeh said again, voice straining. “Vera, I remember. All my memories are returning to me.”

“Really?” Vera exclaimed. “That’s wonderful!”

“It is! But Vera, I…” Nevaeh struggled to breath, “I… I’m going to die soon. Very soon. I won’t be around here… on earth… much longer.”

Her words pierced Vera’s heart like a flaming arrow.

“Nevaeh! Shush! Don’t say that! Of course you’re not going to die!” Vera replied— more to assure herself than her friend. She felt tears spring into her eyes as she bent over to hug Nevaeh.

Nevaeh shook her head. “No Vera… I know I’m going to die. I’m go…go… going to go back home to my Father. Listen to me Vera.” She coughed. “I’m older than you by a few years, but we have been… been like sisters since we were children. Now, I-I want to give you this gift in remembrance of the great times we’ve had together.”

Vera opened her hand to accept the object. It was a tiny silver cross on a cord. Her mouth dropped open. “Why Nevaeh! This is your most precious possession!”

“The dead have no treasures, but what reward they receive when they go to Heaven.” Nevaeh said. “Take a closer look at the cross. The vertical bar is me, since I’m older and therefore taller than you. The horizontal bar is you, being the younger and smaller one. Despite our age difference, though, we crossed each other’s path of life and are now connected as… as… as sisters.” Her voice faltered for a moment. “There is more significance to this necklace, but you’ll have to find out what it is on your own. It is a journey worth taking.” Nevaeh coughed. “Goodbye Vera!”

All of a sudden Vera felt like she was in a daze. She didn’t notice the others as they entered and exited the room. She didn’t even know what to make of her friend’s last words to her.


For several years now Vera struggled with Nevaeh’s absence and final words. She never quite understood what the “more meaning to the cross” part meant. However, she still treasured it as the most precious thing she owned; a memoir of her best friend.

But now, at her baptism, she understands what those words mean. Not only did their paths cross, as Nevaeh described, but formed a cross, a symbol of Christianity and the death of Christ that bounded all believers together. She remembered that Nevaeh had always been passionate about her Lord, and a joy surrounded her that made her already attractive face even more beautiful. Even on her death bed, she had tried to break through to Vera.

Vera once more remembered the persistence of her friend, the meaning of her words, and her God-given joy, wisdom and passion.

But best of all, she saw the cross upon which her Savior died, and the love behind it all…

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Imagine being inside a giant palace of gold that is filled with the most exotic and ornate decorations. You enter through a huge pair of doors onto a long, velvet-colored carpet. As your eyes follow its length, you look up at an elegant throne. On it sits the Creator and Ruler of all, Jesus.

All around you people are singing praises to Him, on their knees and humbling themselves before the Throne of Grace. This is home. It is where believers gather in the presence of their God to be close to Him every day. There are no shadows, no representations or things associated with evil whatsoever. The light that radiates from Jesus reveals everything about everyone. But no one cares. They’re there to worship their King, and that task alone.

This is where Christians are to live each day: in the light of the King. Nothing hinders them or holds them back from worshiping their Creator. But what do we do? We live shrouded in darkness and concealment, where the things we do are cleverly hidden from everyone except the Lord.

Being in God’s presence means to be fully right with Him… to be free of anything that will hinder us from talking with our Lord. How would your life be different if you knew that you were always before God, all of you laid out in front of Him for assessment? The truth is, that’s reality. You are always under God’s watchful eyes, and He knows everything you say, do, and think. He is grieved by your sins, but rejoices at your faith.

How will you…

…please your Maker as He looks on in love?

…strive to live in holiness and transparency?

…practice the presence of God?

Think about these questions, and determine how you will live your life differently as you aim to be in God’s presence every day. =)

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I absolutely love stories, especially ones with Christian themes. When I first ordered my review copy of The Lightlings, I was curious as to what themes will be explored within it. It was a short book, 42 pages long, but it condensed and embodied the entire message of the Bible.

I will not give a synopsis of the book, as I feel the message will be more impacting if you read it for the first time. But I will say that it allegorically covers the Fall of man down to the birth of Christ, using vivid metaphors the entire way.

What made me love this book so much was its illustrations. Every page has a picture on it, and several pages have full-color paintings stretched across its surface. It delighted me to see such beautiful illustrations being used to reflect the message, and I believe that this book will be quite popular among children, what with a fairy tale-like style and so many pictures. It would be a great way to introduce the Gospel to kids of your own or in Sunday school or children’s ministries.

Simple, yet profoundly deep in theme and information and truths, The Lightlings will surely become a family favorite that you can pass on to future generations. The book also contains a list of metaphors used and the scripture verses/passages that inspired them, which is useful in preparing Bible verses for children to memorize and think about. If you order The Lightlings as a DVD-and-book bundle, it can also be shown to audiences.

In compliance to the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I will be receiving a free copy of The Lightlings in exchange for this review; I have just read the PDF version.

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I’ll admit it: even within the body of Christ, the attractive and confident brothers and sisters often catch my eye. They seem to have it all together: great education or job, the looks, the good taste… Their confidence is so firm, I usually fall into the trap of thinking that their confidence comes from their looks and works. However, as time progressed, I realized that their confidence comes from their joy, from their faith. These brothers and sisters are strong warriors of the Lord. They have so much joy in finding their identity as sons and daughters of God, their confidence is overwhelming.

God has also shown me more on this mentality. People may compliment others’ looks and/or their works, but how far does that compliment go? One person thinks you’re ugly, and another thinks very highly of you. One person looks down on your grades while another practically worships your intelligence. But with God, His view is always the same. He sees an unbeliever as a wandering sheep He longs to rescue. He sees a believer as His precious child. No matter what you do, He will always love you. He is pleased with you. He loved you even before you came into existence, so what you do will not make Him love you any more than He already does.  Knowing that your identity lies only in Christ and what He has done for you is such a powerful thing. I’ve seen lives changed because of this realization of Sonship. I’ve heard stories about change. I see people living this knowledge out every day. If you find your identity in Christ and Him alone, your life will change dramatically. I’m only a little while into this part of my journey with God, but I’m coming to understand the impact it has on my life. And I can tell you one thing: comprehending this fact is the best knowledge I have ever obtained, second only to knowing the Savior who died for me.

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