Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: "STORM - Hearing Jesus for The Times We Live In"

As I do this review, I am reminded that I have not read any books by Jim Cymbala in over a decade - I guess I could say I forgot how good he really is as a Bible teacher.  He teaches a lot on prayer, and this book is no exception. In "Storm" you will learn a lot about prayer and a lot about revival.  He also points out how we have gotten away from the ways of the early church, and that much of what we call church today has no resemblance to the true Church. He discusses the many problems we have in the modern day churches, and how we need to get back to simple Bible believing and get away from all these "new things" that we think we need to do to have a successful church or to be a successful Christian. He also takes a break from teaching in 4 chapters spaced throughout the "Storm" to have some people share their testimony, I think they are included to show real life examples of prayer and the mighty power of God.  

I am very impressed with this short book (only 182 pages), and I am sure it will be a blessing to many.  Since reading this book, it has inspired me to listen to many of his sermons on line, especially one life-changing audio sermon, "My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer."  Also, this book has inspired my prayer life, which was definitely in need of something to spark it.  While I gave the book 4 stars (actually 4.5), as to its impact on my prayer life, it is beyond even 5 stars!  Read it, it's not deep, it's an easy read. Maybe it will be a life changer for you, or at least remind you how important prayer is in our lives, and that we serve an awesome God!

Note: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the words expressed here are my own.

Bonus video:

Please spend 50 minutes to listen to this powerful message.
If you can't access it from here go to:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Devotional: ”Life is a VAPOR"

Life is a lot of things, but today,  I would like to briefly share that life is a vapor.  This truth is found in the Bible: "You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).

Sadly, I lost a cycling friend Sunday.  While we never met in person, he wrote me after every ride (3 times a week for over 2 years) with words of encouragement.  I was devastated to find out Monday that he had been hit by a car and died at the scene. This isn't the first time someone I knew online died while cycling.  Yet, I will continue to cycle my average 65-70 miles a week (thankfully I'm not on roads most of my rides as I live near the Silver Comet Trail with no cars), knowing that this activity, or any for that matter, could be my last.

Over the years I have known many who like a vapor appeared for a little time. Yet, not one of them knew that that day would be their last and their life would vanish away.  Even a "long life" is little time in light of eternity.

I cried and have had much grief over my cycling friend's death this past Sunday. One because I never thought this would not happen to him as he was a very experienced cyclist (I felt like I knew him personally), but mostly my grief is that I am not sure of his spiritual state and it just hurts so much.  I have all kinds of questions running through my head.  Did I show him Jesus? And even more, did I not seize opportunities to share Jesus with him?  This isn't the first time I have battled these questions as people around me or cyber friends pass away suddenly.  While we don't want to live in guilt (that doesn't accomplish anything),  I do think a good question to ask ourselves is, "Am I sharing Jesus as often and unashamedly as He would have me do? Or do I keep my mouth shut because I don't want to offend anyone even when God has placed an opportunity to share Jesus with someone?

Now, onto my next thought, are YOU absolutely sure that you are ready to meet Jesus?  Through a myriad of circumstances (and the fact our days are numbered) your life could end soon, maybe even today!   ARE YOU READY?  You just never know and you don't get a second chance after death to make things right - what a sobering thought!  As Hebrews 9:27 states: "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment."

Closing words from Psalm 39:4-7 "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my day are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. 5 My life is no longer the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you human existence i but a breath. 6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. 7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.  

I have no desire to scare you into becoming a Christian.  The Lord has to touch your heart, and you then need to repent of your sin and guilt before an almighty God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a believer in Christ, you no longer fear death, but you live for Him knowing your days are numbered and you have a God given purpose on this earth in your allotted days on earth. My prayer for you and me is that we will "finish this race" (II Tim 4:7) and hear the words of our Lord say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21)

Is there some one you have delayed talking to about Jesus? Please don't delay any longer! 

Maybe you don't personally know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and the Lord is speaking to you today, don't resist His love drawing you to Himself (Almighty God and Savior Jesus Christ).

Please feel free to forward this to others.  Actually, please do forward it

Thank you.

Jim Mazzulla