Ekklesia by Ed Silvoso, A Book Review

EKKLESIA Rediscovering God’s Instrument for Global Transformation by Dr. Ed Silvoso

Salt and Light.  Are we? Have you felt like we are failing as a church?  How are we impacting the world? Are we doing church things, but losing our children and our communities to addiction and countless other traps?  Are we called to invite people to church or are we expected to go out and be the church to the world?  What is the Great Commission we are actually living?

I didn’t even really understand what the word ‘Ekklesia’ meant until reading this book. In the chapter, ‘Transformation Is a Journey’, Dr. Silvoso says, “Light dispels darkness, which is exactly why Jesus defined the function of His Ekklesia as an operation of light against the spiritual darkness covering the world.”  ‘Ekklesia is the ‘corporate expression of the Body of Christ, as opposed to an individual…’ (p.190).

We talk a lot about ‘going out’ as a church; as people of God to the lost and dying world, to seek and save the lost.  But what are we doing out there?  This book answers through deep teaching of the truth of the scriptures. We are shown exactly how to create an atmosphere of transformation and to engage in that true transformation according to the way that the Lord has shown us in the Bible.

Most of the chapters begin with the words, ‘A Fuller Understanding of…’ and in these,  you will discover an easy to understand teaching that gives exactly what it promises.  There is so much to be gleaned here that I intend to continue to study and to share the vision, and use it as a model for what I am pursuing in my life.

‘Prayer Evangelism’ as a concept is an important missing tool in most church groups today.  Ed Silvoso simply describes this as, ‘…talking to God about the lost before talking to the lost about God…’ and goes on to detail the process from Luke 10:2-9 for changing the spiritual climate; bless, fellowship, minister and then preach.’

Instead of taking Jesus with us into the marketplace, we tend to hide Him there in the daily doing of life.  This book will give you the bold courage and inspiration necessary to step out into the truth of our destiny as the ‘Ekklesia’ we are called to be everywhere.

Dr. Silvoso shares accounts of numerous miraculous transformations in institutions and cities that will amaze and inspire you to the greatness of your calling.  I have been so moved already to begin to implement the ‘Adopt Your Street’ initiative within my circle of influence.  These alone are worth the read!

If you are looking for excellent teaching and a way to find your place in ministry, this resource will clarify your focus and straighten the course of your efforts!  It has given me a new vision for ministry and I thank God that Chosen Books sent this free copy to me for review.  (They also encourage an honest review, so don’t think I’m just trying to sell you a book.  It’s one of the best I have ever read and an essential for the church right now.  That is what I believe.)

If you lead a group study, absolutely use this book next.  If you don’t love it, please let me know and I’ll buy your copy from you to share with someone else.  That is how much I believe in this word for those who desire to walk in a restored compassion for the world!  I do not say this lightly.  I believe the teaching within this book is an essential tool for equipping of the saints to transform the world.

Go out and get the book, and then GO OUT and change the world.

“…so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church {the Ekklesia} to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.”  ~Ephesians 3:10

With love & belief, Jill

Anointed to Heal by Randy Clark and Bill Johnson

What a pleasure to receive my free copy of this book from Chosen Publishers. This wonderful conversation between two of my favorite teachers puts the reader right there with them, hearing the encouraging stories of true healing. These stories and practical insights for praying for the sick provide exciting evidence that indeed, God is still a God of miracles, the same yesterday, today and forever!

In a most personal and relatable style, these men of God share the truth of the impartation of healing in such a way that anyone can understand and receive the blessing of the anointing. This book is a gift to those in honest pursuit of God. You will find Him in His gifts, but more than this, you will find Him by the intimacy of working in sync with Him.

A sharing of the real stories of co-laboring with Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, this book will infuse your faith to move forward in serving God.

Church, reading ‘Anointed to Heal’ will empower your will and belief to touch the world for Christ, in brave and courageous trust.

With love & belief, Jill

Review of Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman

Get free from the prison of self and cast your vision toward the God who IS LOVE.
This breath of fresh air comes from a woman who consistently shares the love of God for everyday life through an authentic and practical voice.  Being love means doing loving acts.

Listen, Love, Repeat ~ Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World is a great read, but also a handbook of reference you will want to return to again and again. Showing the love of the Father in everyday life examples, sharing classic stories of the Bible, and offering creative ideas to engage in actually being loving, this work not only emphasizes, but supports the care of others above self.  Opportunities to reflect and respond further offer the reader important encouragement to engage in loving acts.

Challenging the reader to live the adage of ‘Being the change you want to see in the world,’ Karen reminds us of the daily opportunities we have to live the love of Christ by giving first. Especially sharing the importance of loving the hard-to-love, the command of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ comes to life within these pages.

Shedding light on what to say when you don’t know what to say or do, along with sharing recipes to share with those in need; Karen gives practical ways to share God’s love with absolutely everyone.

This is God’s way of loving. Others first at every opportunity, beautiful and real.

This book will make a perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list.

Listen, Love, Repeat is something to Partake, Enjoy, and Share!

With love & belief, Jill

The Healing Breakthrough ~ Creating an Atmosphere of Faith for Healing by Randy Clark

The Healing Breakthrough Creating an Atmosphere of Faith for Healing by Randy Clark is an ESSENTIAL read for anyone desiring to understand how to truly move in faith for healing.

I am rejuvenated and thankful for the great timing of this essential work of clarity in producing an atmosphere of faith for healing. This truth has somehow gotten lost along the way for the church and is now being revealed and revived by amazing experiences and unfolding of scripture by the author.  The timing of this is crucial to our work here on earth.

Randy Clark presents a balanced and excellent portrayal of the work of faith in healing in the body of Christ. Expectancy is our key to watching the mighty miracles of God. I am floored at God’s timing in my own personal receiving of this free copy from Chosen Books that the word of ‘Expectancy’ had been resonating in my spirit heavily just prior to beginning this wonderful read!  Even as I took in more, my eyes were more widely opened. I am grateful for teachers such as Randy Clark and pray for the fruit of this work to be widely spread.

If you have a heart to know the truth of God in His desires for our healing and wellness, EXPECT to have this world of scripture opened up to renew your faith for the journey ahead.

Just READ it. Truly, this is an essential handbook of faith for your armament. With love & belief, Jill

 

THE JESUS FAST – The Call to Awaken the Nations by Lou Engle and Dean Briggs

If you are in a serious and passionate book study group, here is your next book. Prepare to be changed and to be a change agent for this urgent call. We are truly living in the most exciting times on earth!

THE JESUS FAST – The Call to Awaken the Nations by Lou Engle and Dean Briggs is more than a significant work calling the passionate followers of Jesus Christ to a new level of focus and determination. I believe with all of my being it is an essential word to carry us forward in reaching the nations.

Moved deeply, I found the words in this book piercing my heart with wave after wave of confirmation of numerous words the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me this year. I found myself weeping as I read, shaking my head, as the words are identical to word after word I’ve received.

Back in February, the Holy Spirit spoke the word ‘Nazarite’ into my spirit. I did not know what that meant, yet He spoke it again, along with telling me that He has called me to this. Intrigued and pulled to know more, I searched for information and found the meaning as ‘consecrated’, and ‘set apart’. Followed by words from God of being covered with the mantle of Elijah, this was all too much for me to completely grasp.

You can imagine my reaction when I began to read the chapter entitled, Nazarite DNA.  Here, Lou Engle writes, “ I recently had a dream that I was issuing a new call to the Nazarites, only this time it was not only for the young, but for the old!”  The understanding of the Nazarite call that I had been needing came in the form of this book right to my door!

Engle goes on to share in depth the dream God gave him in recognition of those who have been ‘walking steadfastly for twenty or thirty years or more’ as being given a ‘new sense of mission and purpose’ and being given this ‘Nazarite consecration’.

Listen, I am just a regular middle-aged woman with a long time passion for God and the things of God, being given this confirming word of consecration in a time of urgent need for prayer and fasting for the nations. If this is come to me, right here in little old nowhere, middle of West Virginia, what is our greater urgent call, but to collectively go forth in a much greater army than ever before in history?

I am sparked, set on fire, and brought to a new hope for this army of the dawn!

When choosing to review THE JESUS FAST, I could not have imagined that, in fact, this book chose me.  How could I have known this work would be deeply meaningful to my own life and call? I cannot thank these authors enough for passionately and obediently following as God continues to lead them forward in The Call to Awaken the Nations.

I am certain this is a MUST READ for anyone who longs to hear and serve the Lord in seeking to save the lost. I received my free copy of this book from Chosen Books for review and can only thank them for this newest fuel for my arsenal of passion in impacting the world for Christ. I am blown away!

Following here is the word of the Lord from my Communion time January 16, 2016, which God led me to share as I was preparing to publish this review:

I have instituted a fasting in the hearts of My people – starving for Me, they come ready to worship and receive. These hearts of My true worshippers, will be filled to overflowing and abundance of joy with gifts and all other means of GLORIFYING My Holy name, and these FASTERS will be FIXERS.

FIXED on Me.

FIXED on My Glory, they will fix and make ready for My coming and return to My people, pouring out indeed on all – My Spirit – My Holiness will OVERTAKE you!  In a new way, you will find and follow My ways in all you do!  Fix on Me. FAST and HOLD FAST to Me!

We have much to do together now!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! I have no words to express the depth of the impact THE JESUS FAST will certainly have on this generation of believers.

With love & belief, Jill

Book Review: Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler

082Have you ever felt marginalized by your status, shut out because of your past?  Have you wondered how God could use a woman like you?  In Ann Spangler’s new book, Wicked Women of the Bible, you will find reassurance that our God is the God who creates and uses His creations in the most wondrous ways!  Your lack of qualifications, lack of status, lack of confidence, lack of good judgment; in all of your weakness, only give Him the perfect set up to be glorified!  The adventure is proven in the outcomes in these stories, finding unlikely women being used for His heavenly purposes.  You will see, just as these women of the Bible, that in every unique circumstance, God is able!  He has a plan far beyond your imagination!

This delightfully wicked portrayal of twenty women of the Bible comes through honest eyes of both scripture and human understanding, and proves God’s power and sheer goodness triumph over all, in every woman’s story.  This is good news for us, indeed!  Showing His love as the empowering force within the humanity of every woman, Wicked Women of the Bible, ministers hope to genuine people through the real life encounters of these real women.

Ann’s gift for storytelling flows easily with a rhythm that creates a sense of lovely anticipation in the heart of this reader. Digging deeper into the thoughts and feelings of these “wicked” and “wicked good” women, every woman will find herself in all of her vulnerability, fear, doubt, curiosity, faith, wisdom, and strength; drawing closer to the God who loves her just the way she is.  Ann reaches the emotions of these women in the true context of the story, and gives us deeper insight into ourselves.  While she imagines the feelings of each character, she draws you in to a place of understanding and identity with them.  Even the ‘wicked to the bone’ women have a lesson to share that is worth remembering.

A couple of helpful features for your study group include ‘The Times’ and ‘The Takeaway’ sections at the end of each chapter.  ‘The Times’ offers helpful background information, interesting footnotes, and more insight into the historical setting of each story.  We are offered a fuller context of the time, place, and biblical significance of each event.  In ‘The Takeaway’ section, we are given questions for reflection and discussion that enhance our individual application of the experiences that are highlighted.  These investigations are a perfect avenue to deeper study. My large study group is itching to get into this study in the month of October!

From Eve, in her terrible shame of disobeying God, to Sarah giving in to manipulation in her earnest desire for a child, to women without names; the Samaritan woman, the  medium of Endor, a real witch, to the beautiful devotion of the ‘possessed’ Mary Magdalene; the range of personalities of real women will touch your heart and remind you of the loving God you need to know in a closer, more intense and personal way.  My own tears fell hard while reading my favorite woman’s story. The prostitute who brings the alabaster box and wipes the feet of Jesus with her hair and tears moves my soul.  My heart overflows with love for her purity in worshiping him with all she has, at great cost, and with absolute abandon. Ann’s portrayal of her is especially precious.  I relate to her.  The revelation of so much forgiveness draws out unspeakable depths of love and worship.

Although I have read other studies of women in the bible, the shining thread that runs through this particular work is the intimacy and closeness with which we experience the character.  Up close and personal, I had a greater connection with these women than in any other study I have read.  Even across time, I felt like I was actually with them in the moment, experiencing the thoughts and concerns that are common among women of all kinds at various times in history.  Feeling loved, rejected, lost, afraid; manipulating our circumstances for perceived gain, trying to control our destiny, desiring to make things work out according to our own plans; all of these can be turned over to the God of Everything to make His work and His name known.

You will be moved and satisfied that you took the time to join Ann Spangler in getting to know these Wicked Women of the Bible.  I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to check this book out in advance of release, and am honored to be a part of Ann’s launch team for this wickedly wonderful project!

I do have a signed copy to give away!  If you would like a chance to win it, please share Godsip with your friends by inviting as many as you can to ‘like’ Godsip on Facebook, and to consider subscribing to the blog.  Then just comment on this post!  Thanks!

The winner will be announced October 3rd!

With love & belief, Jill

Wicked Women of the Bible

I have a great opportunity to share with all of my readers and I would encourage each of you to take this opportunity for a great deal! Below I’ve included a link to the pre-order page on Amazon for the upcoming book entitled “Wicked Women of the Bible” by Ann Spangler. This great new book is designed for use and study by both individuals and small groups.  Here is a quick summary:

What can Jezebel, the Bible’s wickedest queen, reveal about God’s holiness and power and even about his sense of humor? What about the Woman at the Well—the one with five husbands and a live-in lover? And what of the prostitute whose tears bathe the feet of Jesus in front of people who despise her?

There are also “wicked good” women like Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, and more. What do their lives tell us about God’s invincible love and his determined plan to save us?

In Wicked Women of the Bible Ann Spangler tells the stories of twenty wicked and “wicked good” women in greater detail. At the end of each story, Ann provides a brief section including additional historical and cultural background as well as a brief Bible study in order to enhance the book’s appeal to both individuals and groups.

The stories of these women of the Bible reveal a God who is not above it all but who stoops down to meet us where we are in order to extend his love and mercy.


 

But wait…there’s more!

Here’s the best part, for Godsip readers! Ann has offered to provide our readers with a FREE, 40-page e-book, titled Wicked Men of the Bible if you pre-order her upcoming book!  All you have to do is email Ann a copy of your pre-order receipt before September 22 to [email protected] and she will send you your free e-book!

To pre-order the book via Amazon, simply visit this link or click the book below!

wicked-women   wicked-men

Receive a copy of Wicked Men of the Bible FREE with your pre-order of Wicked Women of the Bible today!

 

With love & belief, Jill

 

Praying Upside Down by Kelly O’Dell Stanley

Short story is that I committed to review a book and my time became out of control busy!  I prayed for help and the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask my dear friend Beth Moore to check it out for me & see what she thought!  Turns out, she was blessed by it, and of course, so was I.  I think you will be, too!

Isn’t that just like our good Father? Thank you, Lord! and Thanks, Beth!

Guest Book Review by Beth Q. Moore

PRAYING UPSIDE DOWN By Kelly O’Dell Stanley

How do you pray upside down?  Could this be a spiritual yoga experience?  A one-too-many glass of wine sort of praying experience?  Praying upside down is certainly not what I expected it would be.

The author, Kelly O’Dell Stanley, is an artist/business woman raised by an artist father.  She has spent her entire life exposed to and influenced by perspective.  How many times have you been unable to see/believe/accept a concept, but experienced an ah-ha moment after someone else pointed out a different way of looking at the issue?  For me, this happens a lot.  We all get stuck in a comfortable way of dealing with life and settle in a pattern of predictable responses to life’s curve balls.  The author urges us to break free from our customary response modes and to discover a way to refresh and expand our prayer life.  I’m all in for that!

Ok, back to perspective.  What does this have to do with prayer?  Most of us get so frustrated at times with our inability to say in prayer what we truly feel that we essentially quit praying and command God to fix us:  “God, please cure my daughter’s addiction; Help me get the job so I can pay the rent?  Just heal my sister of this cancer; Give me peace from my depression.”  We become exhausted with our problems, and in our desperation, we give God a grocery list and beg for Him to deliver.  Stanley suggests that in praying upside down, we change our perspective and pray for the person(s) on the other side of our needs.

She “painted” – pun intended—the beautiful example of the time she needed to sell her house and was going broke because she had two mortgages.  In her praying, God spoke to her and urged her to pray instead for the woman who was destined to buy her house.  Yes, the woman.  God was specific.  Trusting God, Stanley prayed in that manner.  Prayer focus of this nature took the attention away from Stanley’s personal worries and placed it on someone else who also needed prayer.  The other woman relocated to Stanley’s town and soon found out that her husband wanted a divorce.  She needed to buy her own home.  Stanley discovered that praying for herself evolved into praying for someone else who also urgently needed answer to a prayer.  Perspective, looking at the situation from the point of view of another person who is involved in your particular prayer circumstance, eventually led to Stanley’s selling her house to that woman.  Yes, a woman!

Similarly, any of us can apply this upside down concept to situations in which we have been hurt, angered, or disappointed.  Don’t we tend to pray for our side of the story and forget that there is someone else on the other side, someone who may be hurting as much as we are?  In praying for someone else, we can’t help but start a dialogue with God about perspective issues:  selflessness, acceptance, understanding, and cooperation.

Blind Contour Drawing — drawing the outline of a subject without ever looking down at the paper or lifting the pencil — is another artist skill that the author compares to prayer.  This drawing method forces the artist to keep her eyes on the subject at all times.  Likewise, in prayer and in all aspects of life, we need to keep our eyes and our focus on God.  This forces us to look to God, not to ourselves, for direction and strength and to take our attention from our worries, fears, dread, or pain.  If we focus on God and not on our problems, we will see Him.  That’s what He wants.  He wants us to see Him and He wants us to talk with Him unceasingly.

Stanley likens art to prayer in so many more ways:  minimalism, symbolism, simplicity, pointillism, and realism.  Savor this book; take a chapter a week and apply Stanley’s concepts to your prayer life.  I know I have already begun to pray upside down in that I have begun to focus some of my prayers on the people on the opposite side of my prayer issues.  And quite honestly, sometimes this is not easy.  Some of the people on the other side of my prayer needs are people whom I do not particularly like or respect.  However, the feeling I get after such prayers is incredibly powerful and liberating.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I thank the lovely sister friend who loaned it to me.

Our Latest Book Giveaway Winner!

The free copy of the book, Contagious Disciple Making, goes to Penny Gage!

Penny is a faithful sister in Christ who has endless energy and a heart to spread the word of God!

Congrats, Penny! 

Thanks everyone for sharing Godsip & let’s keep on sharing the Good News of Jesus with the world!

More reviews and giveaways are coming soon!

With love & belief, Jill

And Our Winner is …

As promised, we have a winner of the DVD of the beautiful film we reviewed,

The Master Designer ~ The Song.

Thanks to all of you who commented and shared the post!

 

The winner of the DVD is Peggy Carpenter!  

Congrats Peggy!  

Next up~ Only posted yesterday, we need some feedback on the review of the book

Contagious Disciple Making, Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery

by David L. Watson and Paul D. Watson

Share the Godsip blog or Godsip on Facebook with friends and let us know about it to have your name placed in the drawing for a free copy of this excellent resource for spreading the Gospel of Christ.

Our hope is that you are blessed by what we publish here and that you will share the blessing with others.

Drawing for the book will take place on March 5th.  Thanks for sharing!

With love & belief, Jill