Blog Update of Sorts

For those who follow this blog and the currently infrequent postings, I have decided to move the discipleship part of this blog over to my site @ http://www.tpgames.com/fhionnail/Discipleship.  All of the posts about discipleship that are on here have been transferred there.  All of the other random ramblings have been transferred to the main part of my site @ http://www.tpgames.com/fhionnail.  As I try to figure out life and find a job, I am working on expressing my artistic side more and tying it into the Bible when possible.  Feel free to follow me at either or both links since they are both set up via WordPress.

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Reckless: A CAMPer’s Take on Jeremy Camp’s Latest CD

February 12, 2009 I became a CAMPer.  Four years later I hold in my hands Reckless, the latest CD from Jeremy Camp.  The CD confirms why I became a CAMPer in the first place.  Four weeks ago I tweeted Jeremy letting him know that I was trying to have the song “Reckless” as a prayer for my life.  Listening to the other 10 tracks on the album, many of them have lyrics that also resonate deeply and are becoming prayers for my life.  With each album, I have seen how Jeremy has grown in his relationship with God learning about Him, learning about himself, and seeing parts of what God had planned because of what Jeremy has gone through.  Reckless stirs the soul and moves the spirit to a deeper bolder relationship with God.  I see a spiritual maturity in Jeremy and his music with this album that was visibly a work in progress before. 

Reckless has so much worship built into it that the only thing that keeps it from being a worship album is the album’s classification by Jeremy’s record label.  I would say that someone forgot to tell him that this was not going to be a worship album (and we the listeners benefit).  I listen to all 11 tracks and want to raise my hands in worship while totally rocking out.  I have described Jeremy’s music as rockin’ worship.  This album is no exception.  As much as I think all of Jeremy’s albums are great, this is Jeremy’s best album yet.  Buy the album as soon as you can wherever Christian music is sold.

To learn more about Jeremy Camp and his music, visit his site Jeremycamp.com.

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I Still Believe: My Take on the Revised Edition of Jeremy Camp’s Book

In May of 2011 I wrote a review of Jeremy Camp’s Memoir I Still Believe.  That edition was self published.  He recently revised and expanded the book.  The new edition is published with Tyndale.  I was expecting to get it around February 12 when his latest CD, Reckless, releases.  However, it arrived early.  I received the copy I bought on January 25.  As with the original edition, I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it.  That meant I was up until about 4 in the morning Saturday as I started the book later in the evening.  I don’t recommend doing that, but the book was worth the crazy hours and the original review still applies to this new edition. 

It was easy to tell that the book had been expanded when I noticed more about Jeremy’s early life that I had not remembered reading before.  As I was reading, I did something that I had not done before with a memoir.  I stopped where I was near the end of chapter 4 and grabbed one of my highlighters I use for my Bible and related books.  As I have been going through this season of unemployment and uncertainty, God has been using Jeremy’s music and book among other things to help keep me focused.  For the last few months I have felt that God has been wanting me to dig into His word more, something that I struggle with, and reading those same words at the end of chapter 4 felt like a confirmation to what I needed to do so those words got highlighted.  I went back later to check the first edition and found those same words at the end of chapter 2.  I kept the highlighter with me as I read the book in case anything else jumped out at me.

The most noticeable changes to the book are the thickness, the chapter headings, and a gray band of pages a little over half way through the book.  The book is almost twice as thick as its predecessor; the chapters have been renamed and there is one more of them; and the photos have been added to, put in color, and moved to the gray band of pages.  As much as I liked how the black and white pictures were laid out in the first edition, I like seeing the pictures in color.  It is also nice to see Egan included as he was not born yet when the first edition was released.

I would definitely recommend this book.  It does not matter if you have read the first one or not.  If you did not buy the first one, definitely do what you can to get this one.  Be prepared to need some tissues as there are moments of tears to go with the laughter and the healing that God has brought in Jeremy and through him.  There also comes the slight smile on the face knowing that God is very much active in our lives and does care for us deeply as I think about all that Jeremy wrote in his book.  To find out more about Jeremy or to order his book go to his site Jeremycamp.com.

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Discipleship: A Realization

I have not forgotten about this blog.  However, I have definitely taken some time off.  Over the last few months, I have been reading Timothy Keller’s Prodigal God and another book that I can’t remember the title of.  Every week or so, I have been discussing a chapter with a friend.  The books have been teaching me about myself, especially Timothy’s book.  I have just started reading Gospel by JD Greear who has worked with Timothy Keller some time back at the church Timothy pastor’s at.  After reading the introduction and first chapter, I am already seeing the obvious connections between this book and Timothy’s book.

In the process of learning about myself, I am also learning more about the discipleship process, what it is and what it is not.  I am also praying for a breakthrough in my own life that is desperately needed to grow in Christ.  I can tell that I am close, but still don’t quite have it.  This blog may continue to be a little on the quiet side while I get all of this processed through, but I am still very much committed to discipleship and know that it is important for growing the proper Godly Christian.  Feel free to pray for my breakthrough moment, that it would come soon.  The positive spiritual change from it is necessary to grow in Christ.

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Discipleship: Part 19 Acts 20

Acts 20:

1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia.  2 Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece 3 and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia.  4 And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia–also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.  5 These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.  6 But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.  7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.  8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.  9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.  10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.”  11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.  12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.
13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot.  14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.  15 We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus.  16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.  17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.  18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  25 And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.  26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.  32 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.
34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.  35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”  36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.  37 Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.  (NKJV)

BEC NT:

Paul had 2 goals in mind as he visited various churches. His main purpose was to encourage & strengthen the saints so that they might stand true to the Lord & be effective witnesses. His second purpose was to bring the collection to Jerusalem.

My thought:

-Discipleship-combination of large group/small group & 1-on-1 teaching – Acts 20:20

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