Book Review ~ The Garden of GOD’S WORD

Book Review by Aaron Cerda

Last year I reviewed a delightful book by Fran Rogers called Two Full Plates. If you missed that review I would highly encourage you to go back and read it. You can find it hereThe Garden of God’s Word is another fine book by author Fran Rogers. Mrs. Rogers is a wife/caregiver to her husband of over 50 years, as well as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, When someone of this stature sits down to write a book, we would all be wise to read it. On a personal note, I read Mrs. Roger’s books slowly (much slower than I read most books) because I want to absorb every word written by this dear saint.

As I sat down to read this book (the first time around) I was immediately struck by the chapter titles. The table of contents lays out a very clear trajectory for what lies ahead. The chapters outline the course which you will read for the next hour or so. It is there that we discover that Rogers will be leading us to discover that scripture Informs, Reforms, Transforms, Conforms, and allows God to Perform His work through us. In other words, to quote the author,

God, through His Word and His Holy Spirit, has done all the previous work ~ informing, reforming, transforming, and conforming us, so that He may perform His own work through us.

This is the message of The Garden of God’s Word — That the Word of God is sufficient to not only inform us of what we ought to believe and how we ought to behave, but it is also sufficient to equip us for this life as we are changed by its words into that which God has promised to complete in us. Mrs. Rogers doesn’t leave room for the ruggedly individualistic Christian who believes that he can reap the blessings of God’s word by sitting alone however, and she gives a wonderful explanation of how the unity of the body is achieved by participating in the life of the Word together:

This is the means of unity in the whole body; as each member studies, learns the truths, and joins in like mind and spirit to portray the image of Christ that is seen there.

As with Two Full Plates, The Garden of God’s Word is written in the wonderfully affectionate manner which you would expect to read from a dear friend. I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this extraordinary short book, grab the warm beverage of your choice and take the time to pour over this book as if you were reading it from a longtime friend.Take the words in this book seriously- there is a lot that we have to learn from Fran Rogers as she magnifies the glory of God by unfolding the wonderful garden that is the Word of God.

You can find The Garden of God’s Word at Amazon. The book is available in both paperback and ebook formats — both of which are very (VERY) reasonably priced.

You can read more about this review here.
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You can find all our books on Amazon.
Fran

M&Ms ~ The Delight of Souls

imagesM&Ms are a favorite candy for children, and adults who are still “children at heart.”  It doesn’t take much time to eat these; simply pop them in your mouth and enjoy. Depending on how long you want them to last you either chew and swallow; or if you want them to last longer you suck on them until you have removed the outer coating; then suck on the chocolate, or allow it to dissolve in your mouth.

As this has become a special year for meditation coupled with memorization the idea of M&Ms came to mind. There is a similarity between how one consumes physical food and how we process and digest God’s Word.

Some people do not eat M&Ms. They don’t buy them because they don’t eat chocolate or sugar; or they don’t like coatings. Similarly, there are people who don’t like God’s Word. They don’t buy it, for many different reasons.

There are those who quickly chew and swallow the candy without too much thought of what they are consuming, while they go about their business.   Similarly, there are those who read God’s Word, even daily, but chew only as long as it takes to get through the selected passage scheduled for the day.

Then there are some who take time to relish the moments, the taste and the joy of the sugar and chocolate.   imagesSimilarly, there are some who sit down with the intentions of getting the most and the longest lasting benefit from God’s Word.

At some point the sugar and the chocolate with the other ingredients from the M&Ms kick in and do their work, stimulating and giving energy. In the same way, memorization and meditation in God’s Word have their effect.

Memorization is the outer coating that capsules for our hearts and minds what we want to remember, enabling us to take it with us wherever we go; and making it last longer. Meditation is the process of discovering the inner delicacy; it is the means of experiencing more of the hidden truths of God’s Word, those that most affect the heart and life.

 Fruit of Our Thoughts
What, through the mind is hidden in our hearts, continues to affect our thinking; and eventually our actions. The truths of God, of Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit are the sugar and chocolate that become a part of our spiritual system and activates God’s Word in our souls. But, better than candy, God’s word provides eternal nourishment. M&Ms are addictive; and so is meditation in God’s Word. Once you taste, and experience the delight and goodness, you cannot live without it.

Dear Father, in a fast food and instant gratification culture we need the quietness and stillness of your Spirit to lead us and keep us in your Word daily. Help us; we need you to do this work in us, so that we experience its effectiveness in our hearts and lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

(Excerpt from The Purpose and Delight of Bible Study)