Jesus Called. He Wants His Church Back (Book Review)

I was recently given a copy of Jesus Called: He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston to review from Book Look Bloggers.

 

_240_360_book-1875-cover

As early as AD 50, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.

In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn’t afford to lose: • In the 1950s, we lost innocence • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority • In the 1970s, we lost love • In the 1980s, we lost values • In the 1990s, we lost faith • In the 2000s, we lost security • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future

What can restore what we’ve lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world. When introduced to His words and ways we’ll rediscover the Jesus who:

• Wants His enemies won over, not wiped out • Wants you to stop playing it safe • Believed great things were possible no matter what things are like right now • Was full of grace and truth • Unleashed compassion • Believed no one was too far from God to return to Him • Came to seek and to save that which was lost • Loves the church

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus’ mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

 

My Thoughts

I wasn’t entirely sure what this book would entail and I’m still not sure what to make of it. The book wasn’t bad! Just not what I was expecting. I’m unsure if maybe it;s the fact I’m still getting used to reading more non-fiction or what. I’m starting to ease myself into non-fiction books so sometimes I don’t know what to expect. Aside from that fact I quite enjoyed the book. Though for a non-fiction this one was very factual. In this novel the writer discusses how, since the 50’s, the church and Christianity has changed.  The one thing that jumped out to me was the following statement by the author:

  • In the 1950s, we lost innocence.
  • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority.
  • In the 1970s, we lost love.
  • In the 1980s, we lost values.
  • In the 1990s, we lost faith.
  • In the 2000s, we lost security.
  • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future.

This was definitely a good read with facts on the church and how it has fallen from God in some senses then this is definitely a good read

 

 

Blog Hop: Top 10 Spooky Places + A Giveaway

Blog Hop Tour

FOREST OF WHISPERS & CASTLE OF SIGHS

By Jennifer Murgia

October 21 – October 30, 2017

blog-hop-banner

 

Top 10 Creepy Destinations !

So this is my little portion of the post where I give you a list of my top ten favourite creepy  destinations. I’m not gonna lie, some of these I looked up for writing this post but the first half were all ones I knew. If they were all ones I knew of prior to writing this post it all would have been abandoned fair grounds and amusement parks so… you know. Though I do promise you you will not reget looking into these creepy destinations either.

 

Abandoned Wizard of Oz Theme Park ( Reopens once a year for ‘Autumn at Oz’ )

– In 1970, two businessmen opened a then-cutting edge theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Nestled in the mountains, the park was originally opened to keep local ski instructors and workers employed in the summer months.

 

 

Wonderland Amusement Park – Beijing, China

Wonderland was an abandoned and never completed amusement park project located in Chenzhuang Village. Originally proposed by the Thailand-based property developer Reignwood Group, and designed to be the largest amusement park in Asia (to have covered 120 acres ), construction stopped in 1998 following financial problems with local officials, while a 2008 attempt to start construction again also failed.

The site featured a number of abandoned structures, including the framework of a castle-like building and medieval-themed outer buildings. Land was reclaimed by local farmers to grow their various crops while the site was abandoned. People have reported when visiting the site that, sometimes, there would still be parking attendants in the site’s parking lot, presumably to tend to onlookers and curious sightseers that came to visit.

Pripyat, Ukraine

In the 1970s, the town of Pripyat, less than 3 kilometers away from the reactor, was constructed for the plant’s personnel. Once a beautiful town by Soviet standards, its 50,000 inhabitants were evacuated 36 hours after the accident. Today a chilling ghost town, its buildings bear witness to the hasty departure. Dolls are scattered on the floors of abandoned kindergartens; children’s cots are littered with shreds of mattresses and pillows; and in a gymnasium, where teens once trained, floors rot and paint peels. Amidst the surrounding decay, decades after the catastrophe, nature reclaims the town: trees grow through broken windows, and grass pushes up through the cracks in dormant roads that once were glorious promenades – but the town remains unfit for human habitation for hundreds of years to come.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

Called “the perfect place to die,” the Aokigahara forest in Japan has the unfortunate distinction of the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven’t wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.  In 2003, that record was beat with a number of 105 bodies discovered.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest’s depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil.

Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called “Sea of Trees,” so the police have mounted signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” on trees throughout.

Valley of the Mills – Sorento, Italy

the Valley of the Mills in Sorrento, Italy was abandoned in 1866. This mill ground wheat, and a sawmill operated nearby as well. The mill was isolated from the sea by the construction of Tasso Square, which raised the humidity in the area and caused it to be abandoned.

New Bedford Orpheum, U.S.A

The New Bedord Orpheum is an old theater and entertainment building located in Massachusetts in the U.S. It was opened in 1912 and closed in 1959 – since then, it has stored tobacco and served as a supermarket. Now, the Orph Inc. nonprofit is trying to raise money to revitalize the building.

Salto Hotel, Colombia 

The Hotel De Salto opened in 1928 near Tequendema Falls in Colombia to serve tourists who came to marvel at the 157 meter-tall waterfall. It closed down in the early 90s after interest in the waterfall declined. In 2012, however, the site was turned into a museum.

Abandoned Military Hospital in Beelitz, Germany

The large complex was built at the end of the 1800s and helped Adolf Hitler recuperate from a leg wound incurred at the Battle of Somme in 1916. Parts of the complex remain in operation, but most were abandoned after the Soviets withdrew from the hospital in 1995.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima island in Japan has a wide array of nicknames, including Battelship Island (for its shape) and Ghost Island. From the late 1800s to late 1900s, the island was populated because of the access it granted to undersea coal mines. However, as Japan gradually switched from coal to petroleum, the mines (and the buildings that sprung up around them to support their workers) closed down, leaving an isolated ghost town that reminds some of a ghostly concrete battleship.

The Carlton Villa – New York

The Carleton Villa was built in 1894 for typewriter magnate William Wyckoff as a summer residence and large spot for entertaining. Wycoff’s wife died of a heart attack a month before he moved in, and on his first night in the mansion he suffered a heart attack in his sleep and died. Wycoff’s youngest son inherited the villa after his father’s death, but within a few years the family lost much of their fortune in the Great Depression and the house fell into disrepair.

 

 

About the Author and her Books!

 

shp-author-photo-jennifer-murgia-updated-headshotJennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (ANGEL STAR, LEMNISCATE, THE BLISS), to contemporary gut-punchers (BETWEEN THESE LINES). Her latest, FOREST OF WHISPERS, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. The sequel, CASTLE OF SIGHS, released October 27, 2015 from Spencer Hill Press. She is the co-founder and coordinator of YA FEST and currently resides in Pennsylvania.

Literary Representation:

Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary Agency ~ amanda@macgregorlit.com

 

 

Connect with Jennifer:

Website: www.jennifermurgia.com

Email: jennifermurgia8@gmail.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.murgia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferMurgia

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jennifermurgia/

Goodreads TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18506004-forest-of-whispers

 

About the Books:

FOREST OF WHISPERS

Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago . . . and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to — one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder — a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

CASTLE OF SIGHS

Some secrets cannot be kept–in life or in death.

Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another. After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon, and something darker seems to have been awakened, as well.

Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs–shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping she will find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.

And the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.

 

 

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

 

Blog Hop Participants:

 

10/21: EAPL Teens – Top Ten Witchy Reads – Graphic #1

            http://eaplteens.blogspot.com

10/22: Heather – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #2

            http://yankeedragon4booknerds.blogspot.com

10/23: Penny – Top Ten Creepy movies – Graphic #3

            https://www.facebook.com/penny.k.wright?fref=ts  

10/24: Ashley  – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #4

            https://afterthelastpage.com

10/25: Melissa – Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #5

            http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.com

10/26: Adriana Gabrielle– Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #6

           https://adrianagabriellewrites.wordpress.com

10/27: Zachary – Top Ten Creepy YA books – Graphic #7

            http://www.zachsyareviews.com

10/28: Paula – Top Ten Urban Legends – Graphic #8

            http://herbookthoughts.reads-it.com

10/29: Brooke  –  Top Ten Creepy Destinations – Graphic #9

            http://www.thecovercontessa.com

10/30: Kimberly – Top Ten Urban Legends – Graphic #10

            https://booksaremetal.com

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realise that things so far haven’t gone how I planned. But I guess things never really do…A photo by Rosalind Chang. unsplash.com/photos/qtIsUwoP94s

 

I’m a planner. I plan things and I make lists… I guess you could say i’m a ‘lister’ (only some of you are going to get this and that’s okay)

 

So when things didn’t/don’t or aren’t going as I hoped and planned I often feel lost and/or frustrated.

Why do I do this? Why do I make lists all the time if it frustrates me half the time?

Because it helps me feel like I have MORE control over my life than I actually do.

 

As much as I wish that my lists and planning just went how I wanted I know that’s not how life works. I can pout and be miserable about it but it doesn’t change that fact. So I’ve actually started moving away from planning every little thing in my life and just ‘going with the flow.’ Things like being with my friends and my boyfriend has made me realise the importance of just letting things happen and the relief and relaxation that comes with it.

Learning to just LIVE in the MOMENT. 

 

I’ve learned this all when it comes to my everyday life as well. (Not just more important or significant days or events in my life) ESPECIALLY during my move and the transition to moving and being in a new place. Only now as I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again after feeling not very much like myself (in this transition of moving and a new job.) as, once again, things didn’t go as I planned.

 

I still haven’t really made any friends and being more introverted is also part of my problem. But this is causing problems cause I’m getting bored and stressed out in my own tiny apartment. Adjustment is a lot harder than I EVER would have thought. It feels I’m climbing a mountain I don’t want to be or stuck in some hole going in circles over and over and over again.

 

But despite this all I’ve learned to just trust in God (I’m gonna share the lyrics to a song that’s been helping me a lot at the end of this post) and that my moving here is all part of some plan and as much as I wish I could just make a list to sort it out, I know I can’t and I have to be patient.

 

Lean on God and just let life be…

 

signature

 

 

 

 

 

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

~Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

Upcoming….

So life has been insane…but here is whats coming up.

 

A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

So long story short, my computer bit the dust. ( *weeps* ) its why I haven’t been blogging as of late because work has been crazy, my boyfriend was visiting AND I haven’t had the chance to get to the library long enough to actually write up a blog post or two…BUT here I am. At the library writing away and I’m popping in to tell you whats coming up.

 

  1. Sometime in this next week I have a blog hop post for Author Jennifer Murgia and her spooky novels! (Just in time for halloween!) – long story short it was supposed to be done today but see reasons above relating to my computer and now I have no graphics for the post either 😦

2. November 2nd – Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall Blog Tour

3. Early November (No set date yet) – I’m REALLY excited to bring a music review of a family friends newly released album. Just need some time to listen to the album and write up a post

4. More life posts! 

5 Things I’ve Learned from Moving Out

Its only been under a week and I’ve already learned so much…

 

214h

So here we go! Here are 5 things I have learned from moving out!

1. Time to put your big person pants and adult it up.

Some things your parents may do or have done for you up until you moved out… but NOW its time to do it on your own. [insert dramatic music here]

Things like doing your own laundry, cleaning, dishes, and grocery shopping all need to be done by you. (and you gotta pay for it too. So get ready to pay up 😉 )

Also time management is a pretty big deal. Figuring out your own time and managing it well is still a skill I’m working on…and I already thought I was good at it before I moved out. Depending how things go for you, you might be moving due to getting a job and wont start work the day you move. In that case you might feel like you have a LOT of time on your hands and not know what to do (especially if your roommate is working and has time and a schedule of their own to figure out or live out.)

2. Meet people.

So if you aren’t moving to a new city or town, this may not apply to you…But I’ve found out that I’ve had a lot of alone time as I don’t start work until tomorrow. In the meantime, most the packing has been done and I’m kinda alone and bored during the day.

So go.

Get out.

Meet people.

Find things to do outside of your house/apartment.

 

 

3. Get started unpacking right away.

Pro tip: Start unpacking your room first. I was told that by unpacking that first and getting it organized helps you feel more relaxed and at home at the end of the day and let me now tell you this… It works. Even if you have the rest of the house/apartment to do. Start. With. Your. Room.

 

 

4. Explore. Find out whats around you.

Get to know your local area. Find grocery stores, churches, libraries, grocery stores, gas stations and other such things. Get to know your area. Take a day to wander and explore and know the area around where you live.

 

5. Set up well in advance.

By that I mean power and internet mostly or whatever you might need. For example: My roomie and I didn’t really look into many places as well as we should have and the first power company we were with wouldn’t give us power until October 4th! After switching companies we finally got power today after being 5ish days without it. So plan, plan, PLAN and get it all set up at least a week before your move in date. Power and internet companies say they can have it set up in a few days but give them at LEAST a week so call ahead. I mean unless you want to be eating food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated or taking showers and going to the washroom in the dark… Oh the joys of first time moving out.

 

 

Thus Begins A New Chapter

As one chapter comes to an end, another begins.

write

I feel like this last week has been me adulting like crazy.

I’ve been meeting with some of my best friends.

I’ve been setting up power and internet stuff.

I’ve been buying furniture and dishes.

I’ve been trying to change my cell phone plan to better fit this next step in life and SO much more.

 

Why?

 

Because I’m moving.

Away from home.

To a new job.

With a new apartment.

 

I will still be around and blogging so don’t worry about that 😉 but yeah. I’m moving. I’ve been living with my giant lovable family for 19 years so this is a weird experience for me as I’m also moving 6 hours away from my family. I’m gonna miss them like crazy but I’m thankful for technology so we can talk frequently and stay connected but I’m also so excited.

I’ll  be moving in with me bookworm, writer and nerdy fangirl bestie so that will make the transition a little easier so thats exciting. (Our tea and book collection combined will be envied by all for sure.) I’ll be moving to a new town and away from the nosy people I’ve had major run ins in town this summer. (#villagelife)

But by moving to a new town it means I’ll (once again saying it) be far from my really good friends, my family, and my church family. I know I will meet new people but I know that even when I do, they won’t ever replace the people I have met here.

The people who have impacted and changed my life.

It’s kinda what I’ve been dwelling on but I know that I’m not leaving forever and so my family and my friends who have become my family will see me again. With that I just want to say this:

No matter where you go, your family and friends will still be with you. Their love goes with you wherever you go. SO if you are called to go across the world then go. Or if you are called to move across town then go. If you are called to another town, city, or village, then GO.

Just do it.

Go.

Have fun. Enjoy life and know that as this new chapter in your life begins that the people you know and love go with you in your heart.

Scars to your beautiful

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful, it’s true

11nmjkfjgk

 

Recently I heard the song ‘Scars to your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara on the radio. I’ve really grown fond of her because her music is not dirty, inappropriate crap about sex and drugs..and then when I heard her song Scars To Your Beautiful, I had a new appreciation for this music artist.

I was so happy to hear an artist speak out about this ever growing issue of society making women (and men) insecure about their bodies and who they are as a person.

What I love about people is when they’re just being themselves and not worrying about what they look like.” is a quote from the commentary in the music video (shared below) and it couldn’t be more true. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who is just being themselves. Fully and completely themselves.

 

Its a beautiful thing.

 

Now I’m not saying its easy to forget comments made to you about how you look or what people think. Especially if those comments have been negative or you are a people pleaser like me. Its hard to put the negative or your insecurities out of your mind…Especially when people seem to be brutally honest these days and say whatever they feel whether its true or not…

 

And society is essentially bipolar. It really is.

When it comes to who you are and should be and how you should look and act, society is always changing its ideas.

 

Its unpredictable and constantly changing.

 

Something I’m still learning is to realize that its okay to be me and that I’m beautiful the way I am. And that if people don’t like it, then it doesn’t matter because then they never really cared for who I am as a person.  Its a long hard process to put aside all my insecurities and things people have said to me about my size/body in the past but things are moving in a positive direction for me. Its slow but its there. So know that even though you are trying to love yourself for who you are and it feels like you are going nowhere, know that it takes time. By not loving yourself, you are hating and hurting yourself.

Healing takes time and thats ok.

Think on that and also I hope you are encouraged by the words of this song and what the people in the video have to say. I know I was.

 

 

“Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara

She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,
She craves attention, she praises an image,
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh she don’t see the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away
‘Cause covergirls don’t cry after their face is made

But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving
You know, “Covergirls eat nothing.”
She says, “Beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything.”
“What’s a little bit of hunger?”
“I could go a little while longer,” she fades away
She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that’s hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
(no better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we’re living
(no better life than the life we’re living)
No better time for your shine, you’re a star
(no better time for your shine, you’re a star)
Oh, you’re beautiful, oh, you’re beautiful

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

Time To Fall Into Things

So.

Summer has come to an end and fall begins.

Its my first semester where I’m a graduated human being and so far things have been weird and uncomfortable. I feel I should be doing something but I don’t know what.

 

9f346tuoaq

 

 

So in this post, I’m gonna address the elephant in the room. My blog has changed! The change might seem sudden and maybe I should have warned you all considering I knew about this for a while…but I didn’t. Honestly the reason I didn’t warn anyone was because I was on the fence about it all.

Do I change the blog? or do I leave it? I even entertained the idea of starting a new blog. But then I decided, I have some lovely and wonderful followers here so why leave them behind and hope they find my new blog? and who wants to go back and forth between two blogs? YUCK.

 

Please know that I still love books and writing and will continue to post about those things! But I also want to branch out. Personally I feel that God has put a lot on my heart lately with things going on in our world and I wanna speak up and talk about them. Part of the reason things keep getting worse and worse is because people don’t take action against that ever-growing thing. Talking about an issue won’t fix it…but it can start a movement.

So thats kind of where I’m at with the new blog at this moment but know that all my bookish love and craziness will still continue. There will just be more posts like THIS and THIS.

 

Also if you have something on your heart you want to blog about, let me know! I don’t care if you are a writer or not or have a blog. You can guest post on my blog, no problem. If you’ve got something you want to say then say it. Let me help you get your words out there 🙂

 

Comment below or fill out the contact form on my contact page if you wish. And if you don’t wanna guest post and just read stuff, then by all means go ahead!

 

See you around the blog!

 

signature

 

 

Time for a change

My blog is gonna go through a name change!

m7w3d9bn92

Why the name change?

Because people change and with those changes ones life changes. I still LOVE writing and books and will continue to post about those but on top of that there will be a wider variety of posts. Talking about the media, society, life, mental health and anything else that comes to mind. -Its still the same old me. Just giving the blog a facelift and name change to also reach out to other people too.

 

 

What is it gonna be?

I have two blog names in mind and most likely by the time you read this the name will be changed ( 😉 ) so I guess you will see what it is then 🙂

 

 

Will my posts stay the same?

Yes! I will still write about books and writing but I will just add some more posts and topics! (See above)

 

 

Other things you should know:

My blog URL will stay the same! and its still me! Just broadening and changing things. It will be great!

 

 

Unashamed by Lecrae

Back with another book review! Wooh! Look at me go. I am on a roll!!   *cough cough* ANYWAYS. Today I’m gonna be reviewing ‘Unashamed’ by Lecrae…and for those of you who don’t know. Lecrae is a rapper/songwriter and honestly … Continue reading