This book is a biography with a difference. It tells the story of Joseph in a light, modern way while highlighting relevant issues such as sibling rivalry and temptation. These and other issues would play a part in the spiritual transformation of the reader. Its strong biblical content and simple language would appeal directly to people of all ages especially the under 35 age group.
Pentecost is God’s promise to us: ‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.’ (Acts 2:1)
If we are to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, it means being in the right place to receive. The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions as they gathered in the Upper Room, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’ (Acts 1:4)
If God is going to use us and do new things in our lives, we cannot rely on our own plans and ideas, but trust Him to direct and equip us. Like the surfer waiting to catch the wave, timing is everything.
Come Holy Spirit and set our hearts on fire!!
The resurrection appearances all have the same three things in common. They were:
In all the appearances the people were spiritually and physically bankrupt, demoralized, disillusioned and defeated. why? Because they took their eyes off Jesus. They were not expecting what was about to happen next.
We are sometimes like that, battered by the world we don’t expect God to work powerfully in our lives. Instead we live in fear and worry. We too easily forget that he is a God of the impossible.
The women and the disciples found the stone rolled away from the tomb. The angel rolled the stone away not to let Jesus out but to let others in to see he is risen.
His followers were confused,disbelieving. The world had never heard a message like that before. They just couldn’t bring themselves to believe what they saw. It was an impossible situation, too incredible to be true especially after what they had witnessed on Good Friday.
When everyone saw Jesus they were overjoyed. They saw and believed. It was undeniably Jesus. Any encounter with Jesus changes lives. The people were now filled with new hope and joy and this is the message of Easter.
What a transformation in a matter of days. His followers had gone from fear to faith. Christians cannot live in fear if they have faith in Jesus. How do we know Jesus lives – he lives within our hearts.
To his followers Jesus was the most important person in their lives. What is the most important thing in our lives?
A life of faith is a life of expectation. Do we expect the unexpected from God?
People have been asking me which bible do I use. The truth is I use a youth bible – The Adventure Bible (NIV version). ISBN 0-340-59718-6 Published by Hodder & Stoughton
I use this because first and foremost it reminds me that following Christ is an adventure. You may have plans for your life but God always has something different in mind. It constantly reminds me that he is in charge of my life not me.
Secondly I use it because it contains useful background information pertaining to the text or asks important questions about it.
I think making you think about the text is important to your understanding of the text. This is something I have tried to do in my book ‘A Heart of Dreams.’ We all need to be challenged about our faith on a daily basis.
Many people have asked me about the bible and how can they purchase a copy. It is for that reason I have included the details above.
What is your new year resolution? What do you want most in 2015?
I read today from Isaiah 43:19 ‘See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?’
Can you discern what new thing God is doing in your life? Whatever it is God has planned for you in 2015 it will be for your well-being. Trust in him, our Emmanuel.
Have you read the story of the nativity recently? If you have, you will be struck by the absence of a donkey. Nowhere does it feature in the birth of Jesus yet it appears in every nativity play. What a shock!!
It got me thinking. What things have slipped into our faith that we have invented? It could be a rule or something we do in order to please God but there is no evidence of in the bible.
As we begin the new year,what things do we need to throw out of our lives in order to begin a new year afresh with God?
People have asked how did get started as a writer. Well here it is.
In 2000 I was forced to retire from teaching due to ill health.I was then forced to think what can I possibly do for the rest of my life. I had always wanted to be a writer but never thought I could make a living from it. Now was my chance,but what to write about proved difficult. It was then I remembered a series of talks I had heard at a New Wine Christian holiday camp some years before about Joseph. I was really inspired by them that I said to myself – one day I will write about Joseph so people can see the relevance of his story for people today.
The rest as they say is history!!
Whatever God has created you to do is the best way to spend the rest of your life.
Walk by faith not by sight.
Luke 2:41-52 Jesus is lost and found in the Temple
It was in the Temple in Jerusalem at the age of 12 that Jesus discovered who he really was – the son of God.
His reply to Mary’s rebuke shows this, ‘Didn’t you know I would be about my father’s business.’ This demonstrates a growing maturity about who he is, and the realisation that Joseph is not his only father.
Mary and Joseph were so busy as many of us are that they forgot about Jesus and what was important to him. They had forgotten that he was the Messiah and were beginning to learn it again bit by bit.
Finding Jesus can be a surprise, just like it was to Mary and Joseph who didn’t expect him to be talking and listening to the Rabbis and teachers. It is the same with us, following Jesus always involves the unexpected.
Have we lost Jesus in the hustle and bustle of life? Do we take him for granted?
I am John Berry and among other things I am a writer.
I have written a book ‘A Heart of Dreams’ which takes a fresh look at the story of Joseph from the Old Testament and it’s impact on us today.
The book is available to buy on Amazon. Just search Amazon for ‘A Heart of Dreams by John Berry’ You can buy a paperback copy or a Kindle edition.
It would make a great present for young adults as well as adults.