“Perfected: God’s Best Reserved for You”

Perfected_Book_Cover__76267.1443461480.1280.1280Colorado is lovely today with a blanket of fresh snow.  It’s ideal weather for staying by the fireplace with a good book and a hot drink, and I have the perfect book for the occasion!  I’ve been enjoying “Perfected:  God’s Best Reserved for You” by Erynn Sprouse.

I’ve been looking forward to this book because I love Erynn’s mind.  She’s the brilliant creator and editor of Come Fill Your Cup, and every time I hear her speak I think, “I wish I had her brain.”  She is a real student of the Bible, but even more impressive is her ability to present what she has learned from her studies in a practical and interesting way.  This is exactly what she does in Perfected, which is a study of Hebrews.

Whether you’re ready for growth and challenge in your personal Bible study or you’re looking for a new book for your ladies’ Bible class, I highly recommend Perfected.  For that matter, I think it would be a great study for teen girls, too.  They love to be challenged!  This book is no light-weight.  Erynn goes deep into the Word (both Old and New Testament, which is appropriate for Hebrews) to help us understand one of the most pivotal books of the Bible.  Why is this an important study?  The answer can be found in one of Erynn’s own comments on Hebrews 5:11-14:

“Did you know that if one stops consuming meat for long enough,the stomach will stop producing the acids required for their digestion?  Similarly, when we fail to challenge ourselves in learning God’s word, we begin to find difficulty in understanding.”

Here are some of the things I love about Perfected:

  • Wonderful, engaging writing style
  • Erynn’s delightful sense of humor
  • Thorough teaching on subjects such as the purpose of miracles, the purpose of Jesus’s suffering, and the possibility of falling away
  • Interesting illustrations for easier understanding of the text
  • Suggestions for Bible-marking in every chapter (yay!)
  • “Side Studies” sprinkled throughout
  • Variety of interactive opportunities, like thought-provoking questions, fill-in-the-blanks, charts, and outlines

Each chapter is noteworthy, but I particularly appreciated a couple of them.  Chapter three (“Confidence Required”) is about the hope and assurance we can have as heirs of God’s promise.  It is faith-building, comforting, and oh so needed in a world of doubt and insecurity.  Chapter five (“Beware of Complacency”) is a real eye-opener.  See for yourself:

“Failure to grow doesn’t just lead to falling away; failure to grow is falling away.  Take a moment to absorb that thought and reflect on your own spiritual life.  Are you growing?  Where are you now as compared to a year ago?  Are you stronger?  More able to resist temptation?  Bolder in proclaiming the faith?  Less anxious and more trusting of God? More apt to pray than worry?  If not, then you need to heed this warning!”

Erynn then includes a list to make it easier for personal introspection in areas of spiritual growth.  You will also enjoy the last chapter (“Tips on How to Run”), which includes several  suggestions and assignments for growth in the areas of hospitality, marriage, Christian sacrifice, and a renewed appreciation for the magnificent God we serve.

Thanks to Erynn’s hard work, I now have a greater understanding of the life-changing truths found in the book of Hebrews.  I also have a new Bible and can’t wait to mark up the pristine pages of Hebrews with Erynn’s Bible-marking suggestions!

Perfected:  God’s Best Reserved for You is a brand new book by Kaio Publications, Inc., and can be found here.



An Exercise for Our Christian Walk

Christians are to “walk in the Light” (1 John 1:7), “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), and “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10).   How can we make that real and personal?  Here is an activity that can help accomplish that.  It’s a simple activity to work on with your children, to discuss with a group of teens or in ladies’ Bible class, and to incorporate into your own daily to-do list.  It’s a practical way to help us take our Christianity from the generic to the specific.

Brainstorm:  List some verbs that are a part of Christianity.

LOVE (Col. 3:14)

SERVE (John 12:26)

GIVE (Acts 20:35)

SACRIFICE (Rom. 12:1)

FORGIVE (Matt. 6:14)

GROW (Eph. 4:15)

TEACH (Matt. 28:19, 20; Tit. 2:3)

CONFESS (1 John 1:9)


Perform:  Next to each word, write down how you (personally) can fulfill that command.  Be specific.  Serve whom?  How?  Sacrifice what?  Forgive whom?  Grow how?  Teach whom?  When?

This would be a great exercise (for personal reflection or for family devotionals) to do every first day of the week.  For extra study, find as many Scriptures as you can that teach about each command.  For instance, some verses talk about loving and serving God while others talk about loving and serving others.  This activity can help us take some of these big, general concepts and make them personal and real.  It’s one way we can intentionally walk in the Light.


Sin is Gross

For the past week, my family has been taking turns with the stomach virus.  Carl the Culprit brought it into our home a week ago.  A couple of days later, Gary got it and ended up in the E.R.  48 hours later, Neal and I stayed up all night with it (not the most romantic thing we’ve done together).  Dale got it the next day.  That’s all of us, so we should’ve been in the clear.  But then at 3:00 this morning, Carl was in the bathroom being sick again.  And literally, as I type this, I can hear Dale getting sick.  He just said, “I didn’t get it all in the bowl….”

I thought we were supposed to be immune once we already had it?!  I now know that this monster virus comes from a persistent germ.  You have to use a bleach-based cleaner to get rid of it.  Neal hates the smell of bleach so I’ve been using other cleaning products and disinfectant spray.  I also learned that you’re contagious for three to seven days after you feel better.  We are a household of cootie carriers, surrounded by germs, and I hate seeing my big strapping teenagers doubled over in pain.  This week alone we’ve missed or will miss Teens in the Word, Wednesday Bible class, tonight’s soup and singing, and Sunday’s worship and Teacher Appreciation dinner.   This virus has become the enemy and I want it out of my house.

I can’t help but make the analogy:

  • Sin is pervasive- Isa. 1:4-6
  • Sin is “crouching at the door; and it’s desire is for you, but you must master it”– Gen. 4:7
  • Those who engage in willful sin miss out on the Good Life– Gal. 5:19-21
  • It’s possible for sin to rule over us– Psa. 19:13
  • The cords of sin hold us down– Prov. 5:22
  • Sin is described as an “unclean,” “filthy,” “withering,” “powerful” thing that “takes us away”- Isa. 64:5-7
  • Sin separates us from God– Isa. 59:2
  • Sin is contagious– 1 Cor. 15:33
  • Sin can only be removed by the blood of Christ– Rom. 6:1-18; 1 John 1:7-9

We all struggle with it and I’m thankful for God’s grace in covering it, but may we never gloss over it.  Sin is sin.  It’s contaminating, poisonous, and can take down loved ones.  It has lingering effects.  It makes us weak.  The world may embrace it or rename it, but let’s always see it the way God does.  May even the thought of sin cause us to shudder with revulsion.  Let’s want nothing to do with it (not sinners, but sin itself). Let’s determine to keep it out of our homes.  Jesus suffered for it, and that alone makes it vile.



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