Tag Archives: obedience

Review: Dreams and Visions

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: April 2013, 272 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

What would you do if Jesus appeared to you in a dream? What if He came to you in a vision and told you to follow Him? What if these visions continued for over thirty days? would you believe? Would you put your trust in him? Would you devote your life to him?

Would you if you were Muslim?

Pastor Tom Doyle has spent eleven years as a full-time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia, spreading the word of Jesus Christ. Throughout his journey he has encountered a staggering number of Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through a vision or dream so powerful that they eventually turned from their lifelong religion of Islam and embraced Christ as their Savior. Despite living in a culture where converting to Christianity can result in execution, these former Muslims have found hope, peace, and inspiration that comes from knowing Christ. Their stories will amaze you. Jesus is reaching out to the Muslims and they are responding. Did you know that Iran has the fastest growing church in the world?

Dreams and Visions is a remarkable collection of stories directly from the world of Islam. Doyle not only relates these stories, but also addresses the questions: Why would God use dreams to reach the Muslim world? Can dreams be trusted? What happens after these dreams or visions occur? Travel to the heart of the Middle East to meet new believers who have truly been touched by Jesus in the most miraculous way, through their nightly dreams.

Impressions:

Although it is very dense, this book delivers an interesting trip through the Middle East. You will meet many individuals who are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus, moving them away from Islam and closer to Christianity. It describes how learning more about Islam can deepen your discipleship to Muslims and how God is working to help them receive the message of Jesus. I received Dreams and Visions through booksneeze. I recommend it to people who want to know more about the Muslim culture and are interested in discipleship. It may take you a while to get through the book but it’s well worth it.

Thoughts:

Dreams and Visions is completely fascinating. Foremost, it explains how Muslims are receiving dreams of Jesus and coming to Christianity. It explains how these dreams break down barriers and create questioning for them. The book explains Middle Eastern culture and the dangers of converting. It is a way for the author to explain how to be empathetic and disciple Muslims.

In chapter 16, Doyle explains that Judaism focuses on knowledge, Islam focuses on power, and Christianity focuses on love. People are more willing to come to Christ when they feel and see the difference that Jesus loves them. He points out that Muslims have built-in presuppositions. Understanding how the Qur’an depicts Jesus versus statements that are backed/not backed by the Bible are critical in any Christians ability to explain their faith to Muslims.

Quotes:

Minutes after she clicked Send for the last time, Fatima’s brother entered the room. He beat her cruelly, breaking bones and rupturing skin. Finally, he cut out her tongue and dragged her outside where he burned her alive. -p61

The Bibles sewn into my hijab are uncomfortable. But I get twenty Injils each trip to Jordan. -p68

I resigned myself to thinking, God just doesn’t work that way today. But I was really, really wrong. -p126

Dreams and visions break down barriers that keep Muslims from embracing Christ. -p241

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Review: Call of a Coward

Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: September 2012, 184 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

Moses never wanted to be a leader. Jonah ran away from his missions call. And when Marcia Moston’s husband came home with a call to foreign missions, she was sure God had the wrong number. His call conflicted with her own dreams, demanded credentials she didn’t have, and required courage she couldn’t seem to find. She promised to follow where God led, but she never thought the road would lead to a Mayan village on a Guatemalan mountainside.

From the trecherous road trip to their new village home, to learning to navigate a new culture, to a stateside mission field in Vermont, Moston’s journey reveals that God leads just as clearly today as he did in biblical times. Her candid account tells a story of learning to trust and obey when faithfulness seems foolish.

Impressions:

This book is a sweet and humorous insight into Marcia’s relationship with God and pursuing his purposes. She shows courage and strength as she sets out to be a missionary with her husband and young daughter. I received Call of a Coward through booksneeze. I would recommend this book as a story of faith and God’s power to always provide. Some details are lacking as it seems more of a highlight of several years of her life rather than an in-depth experience.

Thoughts:

The goal behind this book is to show that God is always in control and can turn cowards and ordinary people into courageous servants. Marcia relies on signs from God to move her. Marcia’s faith is continually tested as she moves with her family to a village in Guatemala to oversee the orphans and widows home. They experience many difficulties on their trip including the dangers of traveling outside of the United States. This is eyeopening to remember how safe and comfortable we are in the states. She battles between conviction and logic as she forges forward. This book is conversational and light. It’s easy to envision the family on this marvelous trek. Certainly makes you wonder if you’ve got the faith to abandon all that you know and follow God.

Quotes:

At times my faith had the attention span of a four-year-old. I had to keep wrestling down the conviction that God was more in control of her life than I was. -p84

When this life doesn’t make sense, it’s good to remember you are just traveling through. -p129

Hope does not disappoint. -p153

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Review: Heaven In Her Arms

Heaven In Her Arms by Catherine Hickem

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: July 2012, 216 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Jesus is Mary’s son and Jesus is the Son of God. The God of the universe hand picked Mary to raise His Son. Mary was there the day Jesus was born and she was there the day he was crucified. Her story is deep and rich and has myriad lessons for any woman-mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. Mary’s story reveals that a woman’s heart is important to the Father. When God selected Mary,” Hickem says, “He was looking for heart. God set out to find the precise woman who would give her heart to Him, completely and wholly. He wanted a woman with whom He could entrust His perfect Son. This was going to be no ordinary woman.” Heaven in Her Arms will touch your heart if you are facing fear and uncertainty, wondering about leaving your plans behind, feeling a need for community and the support of other women, or wanting to deepen your life of faith. Hickem reflects on Mary’s story and offers practical applications, as well as inspiring real-life stories from contemporary women. With a six-week Bible study for individuals or small groups, Heaven in Her Arms shows the life of faith Mary exemplified and God’s tender heart for His daughters.

Impressions:

I was hoping that his book would be educational and inspirational. This book delivered a learning experience and warmth as I strive to deepen my faith. I received Heaven In Her Arms through booksneeze. This book is interesting and holds your interest. I recommend it to women in hopes of better understanding Mary’s story.

Thoughts:

Heaven In Her Arms hits on several topics that are under told and overlooked. Mary will always be a very inspirational Christian.  Mary was trusting and embraced her fears. She fully trusted in God and knew God as the Master Designer. It speaks about living life for God and His purpose rather than pursuing our own. It spotlights praise, connection to other Christians, reflection, obedience, trust, acceptance, and prayer. Mary doesn’t take on the task of parenting alone– something that I think many parents could begin to realize in their own lives. Children need to base their beliefs off of integrity not hypocrisy.

This book is a chance to closely examine Mary in her role in the greatest story ever told. It shows the intimacy with which God longs to participate in the life of a mother. It also connects Mary’s truths to stories of modern-day moms. Hickem hopes Mary’s life will remind Christians that there are no accidents in God’s divine plan for His daughters.

Quotes:

Every child needs to know that someone bigger is in charge. -p19

The more we are willing to be real and honest with God, the more we will see God  do the impossible in our lives. -p50

The sense of being all alone produced a deepening of the soul as well as a meaningful dependency on God. -p113

Mary teaches us that regardless of what we will face, we must do it with faith, dependency on God, and a commitment to enduring love. -p143

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