Biblegateway Verse of the Day

A Matter of Heart


By Benjamin H. Liles

          In recent days protests not only have mounted across these American States but worldwide as well. Overall, many people are saying that those in the minority ought to and need to have equal rights as everyone else. To this I add a caveat as well. What about the Native American, the Chinese-American, Filipino-American, among the few who are also marginalized? Some of these folks have fought and died for the freedoms we so richly have and hold dear in the States.

Dare to be Transformed

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I'm back to listening to and/or watching American Gospel: Christ Alone yet again with my wife, Tanya. One of those things I'd rather dare to be is to be transformed by God's Word, the Bible, through His Son, Jesus the Messiah. Paul commends us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2, New King James). The thing about the gospel message isn't that it's about daring to be a Matthew, a Daniel, an Isaiah, or even a Jeremiah. Each of those books I just mentioned speak on an aspect of the person-hood of Jesus the Messiah.

A Radical Love

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I've been wrestling with this idea from the start. How can man, been born of a woman, claim deity, die on a cross, and then "supposedly" raised from the dead? I know I'm phrasing this from a non-Christian point of view when in fact I am a Christ-follower. The debate has been a hot one for years. The Catholic Church alone has said their position is that -- at the outset of the Council of Trent, "If any one [says], that by faith alone the [godless] is justified...let him be [cursed/damned]." I have more of a problem with a position of a church to claim they speak on behalf of Christ, when almost everyone in this day and age has at least one Bible.

Is Having an Innocent Heart the Same as a Pure Heart?

By Benjamin H. Liles

          When I say this it's not to demean any part of the Bible, either in part or total, but one of my favorite verses comes from Psalm 24, it says: "Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from the God of his salvation" (Psalm 24:3-5, Berean Study).

A Biblical Understanding of the Gospel

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I want to say this to make this fully clear: the prosperity message that some "teachers" give and exclaim is one centered on their own greed. It's their "word of faith" that has them "name it and claim it" they say the rest of us can achieve. But, and this is a great big HUGE BUT - we're told within the pages of the Bible, Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand" (Romans 14:4).

Standoff (Book Reviews)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          The biggest thing I can say about Patricia Bradley's book, Standoff, is that from start to finish is that it is suspense-filled. If I had to put it in terms of what professional reviewers, as some authors would say about her work, I'd say it this way: "Patricia Bradley has the skills needed to write relevant, life-changing stories; filled with romance, the love of Christ, and enough suspense to keep you wanting to know more throughout this fast-faced read." Normally, I'd stop there, divulge a bit about the book and maybe talk a little about who Patricia Bradley is. But before I even get to the book at hand, let's go through who Patricia Bradley is.

The Sacred Chase (Book Review)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          In a day and age where it's hard to connect with one another, much less be inseparable and confidential, Heath Adamson has done a really great job with this book The Sacred Chase. The definition for intimate means "marked by a warm friendship developing through long association; suggesting informal warmth or privacy." Jesus said to the disciples, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15, Berean Study).

I Still Believe (Movie Review)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I believe we all have a story to tell, and some are easier to write than others. Yet, when it comes to re-telling someone else's story to movie I have to say it's best to keep things as close to reality than to make up things that never happen. In Jeremy Camp's life, he has found immeasurable faith, happiness, and a love to keep Jesus Christ front and center. I first heard of Jeremy Camp and his music as the music ministry of Petra was coming to a close.

The Vision Driven Leader

By Benjamin H. Liles

Most people who have a singular vision of defining themselves and how they see things operate by what some of us call odd behavior. Take for example Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and numerous others who dared to make things happen and to get their organizations going. Now imagine applying this through Jesus Christ! Michael Hyatt, in my honest opinion, goes all out on giving the best possible advice in honoring Christ, putting people before ourselves (the leader), even so far as to giving special offers in order to position their brand, their company even better.

Highland Lakes McDonald's receives Face Lift

The way the former McDonalds looked on the outside.
By Benjamin H. Liles

          The local McDonalds in the Highland Lakes area of Texas has been receiving a face lift the past few months. Located at the address of 1605 Highway 1431 W, McDonalds has been in the area for at least thirty years, according to James Stewart, the contractor of the job. "If there are no other problems we're looking at an opening of May 13," he said.

Tired and Lazy

By Benjamin H. Liles

I know it's been a number of weeks since I last posted. Some possibly wonder if I'm even going to keep doing what I have set out to do from the beginning: review Christ-centered books (fiction and non-fiction), as well as talking about the Christ-centered walk, how to be a Christ-centered follower, and so forth and so on.

The Traitor's Pawn (Book Review)

By Benjamin H. Liles

While I have at least one other book that Lisa Harris wrote, I have to say I found this book to be a true heart stopper. She starts this book off with a character either dying or being close to death, due to a sniper aiming for the main character but missing. Most books I glance through and get the gist of, and then there are books like this one that Lisa has written that just hooks you in from page one.

Staying Power (Book Review)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          It is a very interesting thing to me just how long my wife and I have been married. For a total of eleven years together, as a married couple we've been through some amazing things together. It takes a lot for couples to even begin to stay the course, as it may be, any more. In this day and age, what with Coronavirus (COVID-19, a SARS-like disease) spreading and killing some, things are even more tough and difficult. What will help in a time like this?

Welcoming the Future Church (Book Reviews)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I love how, in this day and age, we in the Church are being called to lead others to be the future church. But how can we do that when it is far possible we weren't taught right? Let me explain this better: I believe Jonathan Pokluda does a wonderful thing with and in this book. He explains things rightly, but I want to show from scripture, as does "JP" with his book, a biblical approach to doing exactly that.


Chasing the White Lion (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          The last book by James Hannibal earned worthy praise from me, The Gryphon Heist. He has done a superb job yet again, this time with his book Chasing the White Lion. James Hannibal, the way I understand it in the sense of what Louis L'Amour would say of his characters, is the kind of guy who can wake up sensing something is wrong when the day is bright and clear as day. In fact, what can be known of James Hannibal is that he "is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries, a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron ops series, and a Selah Award finalist for his Clandestine Service series" (from the book cover of this book).

Made to Move Mountains (Book Reviews)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          At the time that I write this a pandemic has taken a vise-like grip on the world. There are those told by their nation, their state, their leaders to -- in short -- "Stay calm and carry on." I find that it's not only a great segue into Kristen Welch's book about being made to move mountains, but that in this time our focus ought to be on the One who heals all when we look at Him. He told Nicodemus, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15, Berean Study)

The Successful Speaker (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          When I say what I do it's not that this is by any means a spoiler alert: I don't know who Grant Baldwin is. Aside from that, have I enjoyed this wonderful book? Indeed. He has wonderful ideas about what makes for a successful speaker and how to make it happen. Let's dive in a bit more, shall we?

Out of the Embers (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Amanda Cabot's new book, Out of the Embers, is a quick-paced, well thought out story with believable characters as well as a strong suspenseful story. While Amanda Cabot resides in Wyoming, she also has written the bestselling books A Stolen Heart, A Borrowed Dream, and A Tender Hope. She has also written numerous series: Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, among others.

Remaining in Christ in this Moment


By Benjamin H. Liles

          It's tragically funny how things are in this world at the moment: there are those who struggle to get things done, abusive relationships, some losing their jobs, and to top it all off we have COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus). Store shelves in the local arena around the states in America are either emptied or becoming empty. Countries abroad are also as well in panic mode. Yet there is a word for you today: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2, New King James).

Star of Persia (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

        I've read a few of Jill Eileen Smith's books and every one of them are beautifully well-written stories. So, it comes as no surprise that Star of Persia: Esther's Story is as wonderful as her other works. In this version of Esther's story, she meets Vashti, the wife of Xerxes, as a young girl and is told by Vashti, "You have a place in history" more or less. Just as we're told within the pages of the Bible about Esther, her story here is just as perilous.

The Basic Bible Atlas (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

         When I think about the heritage of any group of people there's no other that I can say has a depth and beauty as those of the Hebrew faith. Beck does an amazing job with in-depth maps, pictures and explanations of places, people, and things that even though this isn't a comprehensive atlas, it gets the job done. For my wife and I we enjoyed going through this book, honestly. In our genuine faith of being more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah, we believe this is a must have book for those who see him as their Lord.

Courageous (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          As a peculiar people God calls out from the world, Christians (authentic and bold), are called to stand strong and firm. Regardless the many dangers and threats to themselves. Robert Jeffress has written this book to help many of us who feel bombarded daily to hold even stronger to our faith. Jeffress is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. He has written countless numbers of books that have done well: Pathway to Discovery, Pathway to Victory; Second Chance, Second Act; and finally, Hearing the Master's Voice. 

Yes Sister (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Considering this is a book review of Angelia White's Yes Sisters, I just want to briefly say there are some women out there who undeservingly resemble a form of Cinderella: they are beautiful, they have something to offer life and to the community, but also they are often marginalized, mistreated, and even held back by those who either love them or who don't care about their dreams. With that said, I believe everyone ought to rise to their full potential, men and women alike.

Managing Worry and Anxiety (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

        What comes to mind when you think on the word worry? Anxiety? A need to run away? Maybe to fight? Or do you feel like you can't do anything at all? There's no need to panic. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the phrase popular when he said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Jesus the Messiah said it this way: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:25-34, Berean Study).

No Payment Required


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Believe me when I say I know it's been a while since I've written anything on faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Yet, I want to quote two very different men who had seen the risen Lord Jesus. The first being John Mark, who wrote his gospel narrative we know as the Gospel of Mark, wrote, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45, Berean Study).

Collision of Lies Book Review


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Warning - This book is about as dangerous as an amusement park thrill ride that you just keep wanting to get back on! Tom Threadgill hammers home a beautifully crafted suspense/mystery within the pages of Collision of Lies. While him and his wife live in Tennessee, the plot of the story is set in San Antonio. He is also a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), too.

Standing Firm (Updated Article)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          In the last article I said that the Christ-follower will do all to stand firm, awaiting the hope of the Lord and Savior bringing salvation. In this article I will outline how we do that, but to quickly go over it, we're told in Hebrews 9:28, "the Messiah...will appear a second time...to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Within scripture, especially in the New Testament, we see a people the Lord has carved out who belong to Him who endure and can endure according to the strength of the Lord and not on their own merits.

A Time for Hope


By Benjamin H. Liles

So, I'm reading tonight a bit of my Bible. I was listening to a video about "Am I Truly Born Again?" and the points being made. Here are those four points, quickly:

The Way of the Brave Book Review


By Benjamin H. Liles

          One of the newest books out, which is been highly anticipated from Revell, is master storyteller Susan May Warren. Way of the Brave is the latest in a line of books she has come out with that will pull the reader in and keep you until you have read the very last word. Other books that have done well for Warren are Storm Front from the Montana Rescue series as well as Flee the Night and It Had to be You.

Still Book Review


By Benjamin H. Liles

          The first book this month I get the utmost pleasure of reviewing is Jenny Donnelly's book, Still. She has a wonderful way of telling stories and giving advice that centers around the point she's making. The graphic alone, for the book, looks chaotic and busy (just like how our lives work day in and day out). The whole point of that here is of what Jesus told the disciples as well as us today: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid" (John 14:27, Berean Study).