book reviews, Thoughts & Reviews

New Release Book Review: “Like an Anchor Study Guide: The Beatitudes”

Marissa Baker’s “Like an Anchor Study Guide: The Beatitudes” is a cozy, soul-growing read to add to your travel bag while walking with Christ. Marissa presents her study on the Beatitudes with a friendly and welcoming tone, a writing style that is intimate, humble and well researched and allows readers to easily sink into the study and reflect on Christ’s teachings. The author lays out each chapter’s text neatly (organized by helpful sub headers) and includes relevant scripture verses to round out the various layers of meanings each Beatitudes carries. Marissa ends each chapter with several open-ended questions that lend well to journaling prompts, personal prayer time and small group discussions. Each chapter is an approximate fifteen-to-thirty-minute read, depending on how slowly or quickly you want to digest the material, either on a first read or on subsequent studies. It is a book you can return to repeatedly and reflect on exactly what Jesus is still teaching us all these centuries later.  

If you are looking for a smaller, approachable book to grow in your faith and relationship with God, please consider Marissa’s study guide on the Beatitudes. Her blog “Like An Anchor” is filled with further reflections on Bible verses and teachings, the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and more. It is truly a light on the internet and can be explored at LikeAnAnchor.com. For more information on how to purchase a copy of the book, please check out her Amazon’s book page where the study is available to order as a paperback, or as an eBook currently on Kindle Unlimited.

I look forward to possible, future Bible study guides published by Marissa and adding them to my reading list. I encourage fellow Christians to consider adding this to their bookshelves, passing the book onto a friend to share or suggesting it as a book to read in your church’s small groups. Happy reading.

Ponderings

A Phrase I’m Wearied of Hearing: “It’s a Witch Hunt!”

The current political climate in America is, to say the very least, volatile. The sitting president has broken every rule, thrown etiquette to the four winds and buried all sense of decency somewhere out in the Rose Gardens. Like many Americans, I’m persevering through, still somewhat in shock from the election results and wondering what 2020 will bring, indeed.

One phrase of the president’s I’ve heard and read, over and over, reached a crescendo with me today: “It’s a witch hunt!” This has become (for me) the boy who cried wolf. A child’s tantrum cry of “They made me do it!”, “It wasn’t me, it was them!” and “You can’t prove anything!” If we’re honest, it’s a barely concealed boast: “I’m above the law; I can turn around anything you find with my money. I’m a very rich man. Why are you wasting your time?”

What would Orwell think, if he were alive today? I’m sure the Founding Fathers would be spitting their mead across the tables, wondering if someone misplaced their beloved Declaration of Independence in the National Archives somewhere…

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Ponderings

The Impermanence of Legacy

I walked my Labrador this evening. Over hills, through mud, grass, gravel and turf we went, smelling, sniffing and eating things of questionable nature before I could issue a stern “Ka kah!”* Upon our walk, we came across a memorial for local fire fighters. In the sidewalk ambling up laid worn bricks with donors’ names etched. Most of the names were erased by the elements, faint letters visible sporadically, leaving nonsense to be deciphered and speculated.

We lingered only a moment, as my Lab was undertaking a smell inventory. In the pause, I became aware how short human memory and legacies are, despite salesmen’s promises. We are born with nothing; we die with nothing. As a stumbling follower of Yeshua, this doesn’t bother me. I chose to place my trust in him and his words, something I don’t consider transient. This speck of dust does hope to leave some books behind, like the Brontës did in their century.  If anything, someone can use the novels to prop open a door for another. Or level a wobbly table or two on the Enterprise. It could happen.

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