Nurturing Community through Adult Bible Fellowships


My Monday Musing – January 25th

Nurturing Community through Adult Bible Fellowships

What a blessing it is to look forward to Sunday Morning Worship with the body of Christ at Woodland Shores Baptist Church…and to be a part of the ABF team.

In our ABF Manual (Growing Adults on Sunday Morning) Pastor Knute encourages us to look at our ABF classes as a step beyond traditional, adult Sunday School classes and to see them as “a congregation within a congregation” providing:

• Organized Fellowship
• Defined Caring
• Accountability in Ministry
• Teaching Time, and
• Outreach Opportunities

I count it a privilege to be a involved with the members of the Legacy Class as we have intentionally been incorporating these principles.

Even with the shaky start during the month of January, due to the icy roads, wind and snow on two consecutive Sundays; as I talk with Teachers, Leaders, and members of others classes, I am getting an overall sense of encouragement as they move forward as a class in accomplishing these same goals.

Pastor Craig’s sermon from chapter four of Mark provided insight into the Parables of Jesus. We examined these verses in our ABF classes to make more specific application to our lives.

“…He who has ears to hear, let him hear” the words of Jesus from Mark 4:9

Unmasking the Devil – Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy By John Ramirez – A Book Review


Unmasking the Devil – Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy
By John Ramirez
Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768408904, $ 15.99, 2015, 180 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Discern the Devil’s Deception – Activate a Strategy of Spiritual Warfare to Defeat him and his Demons

In his book “Unmasking the Devil – Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy” John Ramirez explores the realities of the devil, the dangers of demonology, and the subtleties of angelology. He also exposes the devils deception in the teachings of other religions, the new age movement, and spiritualism. He alerts the reader to the ways Satan blinds man’s spiritual eyes and captures their imagination through horoscopes, paranormal phenomena, Ouija boards, horror movies, music, and pornography.

Ramirez writes with authority, is relevant in content, written for a contemporary audience. The book is arranged in a reader friendly format, with topical headings, and step by step instructive strategies which encourage review, retention, and activation.

“Unmasking the Devil – Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy” is written with the prayer that readers will learn “how to expose and combat Satan and be inspired to live sanctified lives and fulfill their God given destiny…” He challenges his readers to fight the devil through spiritual warfare and provides a guide to finding spiritual freedom. John Ramirez, a former high ranking priest in Santeria, spiritualism, and the occult had an encounter with Jesus Christ, became a Christian, and is now an international evangelist, speaker, and author

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Hearing God through Biblical Meditation by Mark Virkler – A Book Review


Hearing God through Biblical Meditation – Unlocking Fresh Revelation Daily
By: Mark Virkler
Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768408812, $ 15.99, 2016, 180 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Meditation – A Journey of Discovery – Read, Explore, Reflect, Activate

“Hearing God through Biblical Meditation – Unlocking Fresh Revelation Daily” is made up of easy to follow exercises designed to help the reader understand and experience the process of prayerful, reflective, contemplation on the Scriptures, while allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate the passage, and to provide guidance while pursuing God’s purpose. Each of the 20 short chapters is filled with practical tools for communicating with God and knowing Him experientially.

The chapters contain instructions on basic principles for encountering God through the Scriptures, reflection exercises, space for journaling, a suggested Scripture of mediation, and meditation prompts. I found the suggestions for Spirit led observation of a Bible story, especially interesting, and helpful. The discussion on how Bible study and meditation work together, provided practical observations on man’s doctrine versus sound doctrine and how “the conditions of one’s heart is crucial in coming to truth.

Mark Virkler is recognized internationally for his ministry in helping others how to receive healing and develop intimacy with God through prayer and Biblical mediation.

“Hearing God through Biblical Meditation – Unlocking Fresh Revelation Daily” is intended for anyone desirous of hearing God more clearly and for those willing to commit to pursuing a deeper more intimate relationship with the Savior.

A complimentary copy of this book was made available for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Created with Purpose by Johannah Clark Leach and Victoria West Henady – A Book Review


Created with Purpose
By: Johannah Clark Leach and Victoria West Henady
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257
978-0768408553, $ 14.99, 2016, 190 pages
Reviewed By Richard R. Blake

Identity and Destiny – A Message of Hope and Redemption

In their book “Created with Purpose” Johannah Clark Leach and Victoria West Henady share their stories that are testimonies to the grace of God in their lives. The authors write with transparency identifying personal vulnerabilities experienced in their youth. They pass along the lessons they learned by breaking a pattern of destructive choices and of being healed of brokenness.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One looks at the personal journey of discovering and becoming “yourself.” These chapters can become a tool for the reader to find encouragement, comfort, and hope, especially for anyone facing difficulty in discovering their identity in Christ.

Part Two helps the reader in areas of living with grace, sharing your story, fulfilling your destiny, and unlocking your dreams. I received new insights into the stewardship of the mind, taking control of our thoughts, communicating effectively, and the importance of a positive attitude. I also liked their approach to guiding the reader by providing practical specific steps to hone in on activation in their walk of faith that ignites faith in others.

Johannah Clark Leach founded Dance Revelation. Victoria West Henady has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and works with Johanna’s father, Dr. Randy Clark, in the organization Global Awakening and in the dance studio with Johannah. Johannah and Victoria have a passion for mentoring young teens and youth, in Christian values, social skills, and working through finding their identity and destiny.

This is a book that will resonate with a new generation of youth who are focused on Christ’s mandate to discipleship, discovering purpose in life and stepping into their destiny through understanding the deeper meaning of loving God, self and others in light of the redemptive love provided in Jesus.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Focus, Eliminating Distractions for Enhanced Spiritual Vision by Margie Fleurant – A Book Review


Focus – Eliminating Distractions for Enhanced Spiritual Vision
By: Margie Fleurant
Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, Pa 17257
978-0768408973, $ 15.99, 2016, 186 pages
Reviewed by Richard R.

Practical, Powerful, Tools to Identify Distractions from Maintaining a God Centered Focus

“Focus – Eliminating Distractions for Enhanced Spiritual Vision” helps the reader discover a new reality in Christ providing spiritual insight, enabling a clear vision for fulfilling and living out God’s intended destiny for their life. Fleurant encourages the reader to undertake a self-examination with the intent of identifying the diversions that keep them from focusing on God.

Part One considers ways to restore our spiritual focus based on Biblical principles and standards. Part Two looks at the “10 most common distractions” that keep us from focusing on God’s vison for our lives. Each chapter opens with a thought provoking quote from a highly respected leader and closes with a powerful prayer for reflection, affirmation, and application, providing specific steps to finding our spiritual identity.

I liked Fleurant’s layman friendly writing style and familiarity with finding ways for an active spiritual walk with God in a fast moving technical age. Her practical illustrations, Christ honoring content, enlightening commentary reflect spiritual understanding, and discernment.

“Focus – Eliminating Distractions for Enhanced Spiritual Vision” is an important read for genuine Christ followers sincerely seeking to Find God’s purpose for their life or desirous of regaining lost vision.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunrises and Sunsets, By Holley Kelley – A Book Review


Sunrises and Sunsets, Final Affairs Forged with Flair, Finesse, and Functionality
By: Holley Kelley, M.S, C.P.G.
Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
978-1934759974, $ 19.95, 2016, 212 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Template for a Life Long Planning Guide – Preparing Your Own Personal Living Legacy

In her book “Sunrises and Sunsets” gerontologist and journalist Holley Kelley helps the reader’s perception of end of life issues from a taboo subject into a non-threatening road map or planning guide; leading the reader into an exciting exercise in finding a life of fullness and a legacy for experiencing a new richness in family relations, and a unique sense of peace through simplicity.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is devoted to a discussion of life and death, and your thoughts on these. I enjoyed her insights into the origin of the term “bucket list and of the benefits of having one.

Section two covers the importance of having: Advance directive, a will, preparing a written record of your finances, insurance policy. This section also includes important insights into making your final wishes and funeral preferences known.. Valuable sample forms, templates, with important commentary help the reader think through and record each of these issues. Interesting illustrations and stories reinforce the need for advance planning.

I especially liked section three. Forms are provided that will helped me create a summary of special dates, events, family traditions, early memories, core values, family history, and some parting “words of wisdom.” A sample chart is provided for tracing your family tree, final planning checklists, and much, much more.

I enjoyed Kelley’s writing style, appreciated her expertise, and plan to incorporate her suggestions in my advance care planning, with the intent of deepening family relationships and continuing a memorable and honorable family heritage. The importance of the content, reader friendly format, and universality of the subject make this a “must” addition to the family of every household at whatever stage of life being entered. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.