Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: 40 Days Without Food

I have a friend who has done a 40 day fast.  I also have a friend who has done a 39 day fast.  The former accepted a call to prayer and fasting Bill Bright gave years ago.  The latter prayed for her son who wasn't a Christian at the time. 

So, when I saw the book "40 Days Without Food", I was intrigued.  I knew it wasn't a guide to fasting but while I enjoyed the book, it still wasn't quite what I expected.  I expected more nitty-gritty details than the book seemed to give.  I wanted to know more how it felt to be tempted by the aroma of delicious food.  How did this change his outlook?  What did he learn from this?  What were the postivies?  I learned more that he was extremely tired, slept a lot, didn't feel up to having sex, more like his life became blah.  I'm not really sure that I learned what the positives were.

Yet, for some reason this book highly entertained me.  It was well written, the people he introduced us to seemed like people we would love to know.  (I think I may have had that same Sunday School teacher years back as he described.  I know that's an impossibility, but he sure does sound like one who taught me when I was younger.)  And Mac?  I'd love to read a book Mac wrote, but I figure he's too busy reading classics in a Super 8 to bother writing a book!  (But Mac, if you see this, PLEASE think of writing a book!) 

If you're looking for a fun, enjoyable read, this is it, which is NOT what I expected from a book about fasting.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Minute Friday: "Relevant"

Relevant.  What is relevant?  "Is THIS relevant?" is a question I always asked myself in college when I was writing a paper and needing to add extra information to get the word count high enough for the requirements.

Now that I'm no longer in college the word "Relevant" is often used in church.  We want to be relevant to the world.  Be in the world but not of it, be relevant and not cheesy.  I'm sure everyone remembers some of the 1970s Christian movies and TV shows that are just laughable.  The church tried to be hip, but in the end got laughed at.

Do we really need to model the world to draw people to Christ?  I don't think so.  The love of Christ is relevant to all generations, and we don't need to make it popular because it's just not going to be.  Who is going to think that sacrificing your life for the will of God is going to be the cool thing to do?  The Bible says many are called but few are chosen, so I'm not sure that trying to make the Gospel cool, popular, and the 'latest thing' is really honest because when we strip away all the fun, what is left is still the Gospel truth that whoever wants to find his life will lose it.

Being relevant is all about showing love and compassion, not about being cute-sy or fun.


This is part of "Five Minute Friday" where we write for five minutes on a topic.  It is unscripted and unedited.  Then we link back to to encourage others to join in with the writing fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: {W}hole

This is a book with more than just a cute title making a play on the words whole and hole, it is a book about giving God your pain to fill.

The author, Lisa Whittle, writes from experience.  She grew up in the role of a pastor's daughter.  She found comfort in this role and knew how to work it so she would be admired.  That is, until someone saw through her facade at church camp and called her on it.  She was upset, but realized that man was right, she wasn't what she appeared to be.  Later, her father lost his church because he transported a deer head across state lines without a $2 licence.  Sounds harmless enough but the fish and game commission and later the IRS investigated him, and he could have landed in prison.  No church wants a pastor who may be facing a prison sentence, so he resigned, and the role of pastor's daughter -- the role that defined her -- was left gaping.  And the people at church she had grown to love?  The people who swarmed around her popular father?  They were no where to be seen.  Her role became a hole.  What now?  She still adored her father, but life was so changed.  Later when she was in seminary, a speaker at chapel didn't know she was a student and used the story of her father as a sermon illustration, and didn't even have all facts correct. 

Everyone has pain.  Everyone has issues.  No two lives are identical, but Lisa Whittle tells her story while weaving together a plan on how we can rid ourselves of our pain by allowing God to make our holes into wholes. 

I would expect a book with this cute-sy of a theme to be fluff, but this is not.  It's a deep book.  This is not easy reading, it will challenge you in many ways.  After all, are you living for your role or are you living for all that God has destined you to be?

I highly recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading more from this author!  Also be sure and chck out her website as there is a free ebook guide on sharing your story with others! 

You can watch the book traier  here

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thrift shopping! $17 of treasures

I love vintage Christmas items.  I was thrilled to find they were out at one of my favorite thrift shops today.  I got this egg nog set for $3.

I also bought the following:

brand new skirt with a $60 retail price tag on it
FIFTY FIVE hotel bottles of shampoo of my favorite shampoo ever that has been discontinued
2 packages of several sheets of vintage gift wrap
Trivial Pursuit Book Lover's Edition
What Is the Gospel? book
The Broken Image: Restoring Personal Wholeness Through Healing Prayer
The Complete Tightwad Gazette
Creative Glass Techniques: Fusing, Painting, Lampwork
Origami Holidays
Floorcloth Magic: How to Paint Canvas Rugs for Decorative Home Use
Betty Crocker's Cookbook (5-Ring Binder)
Christmas ornament craft kit
Ziploc bag full of stickers from the 1980s
current magazine a friend has an article in it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blog Tour: Zombie Church

Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Pastor Tyler Edwards, Zombie Church (Kregel Publications, October 2011)! Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards highlights and challenges the problematic attitude of today's believers. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church is an accessible, humorous book that challenges readers to turn away from Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.

For all of us who have ever attended First Church of the Frigidaire, Edwards' book will be warmly welcomed. It is a fair-minded and tenderhearted critique. . . . This novel lens of zombies allows the reader to see afresh the desperate need for awakening in the church.
-Mark Moore, PhD, Professor of New Testament, Ozark Christian College

Kregel Publications is sponsoring a $50 giveaway!

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using @litfuse) about Zombie Church or share about it on Facebook, your blog, GoodReads, etc...!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy.

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:

TWEET THIS: Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards - a fair-minded & tenderhearted critique of the church @litfuse RT for $50 to @amazon

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Edwards - a fair-minded and tenderhearted critique of the church. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus. Share this for a chance at $50 to

My review: 

Zombie Church is a strange name for a book.  However, this book is not strange, it's fantastic.   Ever been in a church where you can't wait until the final "amen" so you can get lunch somewhere?  You're not alone.  This book is written for the person who is in a lifeless church, but it would also be ideal for ANY pastor or anyone who doesn't want their church to become something out a "living dead" horror movie.

This book is filled with great quotations such as "Would the community around you notice if the church stopped meeting?"  and "Bombs have kill radiuses, churches should have love radiuses where anyone living within twenty miles of a church should know it."  Unfortunatately this is the case for many churches.  It's become more of a social event or country club and not what it was meant to be.

I rarely recommend books to friends who are pastors and missionaries, but this is one I certainly will. 

I expect this to be one book that will be talked about in Christian circles for some time.  After all, as a quote in the book says "Faith without heart is what scares people away from organized religion".  And I believe that's true because how many people in the United States say they are born again and how many of them actually go to church?  What is the main reason for that?  Many times it's people who have been cruel to them instead of loving them as Jesus called His followers to do. 

This book is a wake-up call to the half-alive churches, and a warning to those who are alive to stay that way!  It's an excellent book, and I highly recommend it.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review of it.  The opinions are my own.

About the book:

A creative, entertaining approach to resurrecting the undead church. There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is “supposed to do” but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.

Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today’s believers.

Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.

While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.

About the author:

Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus—so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor’s degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.
Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the Dead, The Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town  Connect with the author on Facebook.

Want to read more reviews? 

Here is the blog tour schedule

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 24 of being sick

I wanted to let everyone know I haven't abandonded my blog -- it sure feels like it as little as I've been posting lately, but I've been sick with a cold and ear infection for weeks now.  For some reason when I get a cold it lingers and lingers and lingers and really wipes me out more than it does the average person.  I've had an impressive cough with it too.  I was on the phone with friends the other day and they were passing the phone between people and I tried to cough while the phone was being passed only to have my deep cough resonate in someone's ear.  Ooops.

Anyway, I'm starting to feel better after I went on antibiotics Friday so hopefully I'll be back to my chatty self soon!