Friday, May 25, 2012

‘Continuer in Christ: Being Stubbornly Faithful to the Call’ by Lona Bailey – Book Review + Giveaway

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One of my favorite things about blogging is introducing a new author and book to my readers. Today is one of those days! The author is Lona Bailey and her debut book is ‘Continuer in Christ: Being Stubbornly Faithful to the Call.’

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Being Stubbornly Faithful to the Call.Regardless of our past mistakes, present circumstance, or future barriers, it’s important to continue in our faith – to be a continuer. In Continuer in Christ, author Lona Bailey defines what it means to be a continuer, and shows believers how to be faithful to what Christ has called us to do.

Birthed out of an impromptu Bible study, Continuer in Christ demonstrates what can happen when a group of believers sit down together with nothing but their Bibles and an opening prayer to discuss the meaning of being faithful. Bailey presents the important keys for those who want to grow deeper in their faith:

·         We must know our place.
·         We must dig.
·         We must listen.
·         We must believe.
·         We must charge ahead.
·         We must refuse to stop.


Based on personal stories and reflections and filled with practical advice, Continuer in Christ encourages and provides insight into how we can be faithful disciples of Christ.

Here is the biography of this author:

Lona Bailey is a poet, songwriter, and former newspaper columnist. She is pursuing a Master’s in Christian Leadership degree from Liberty University to become a women’s minister. She lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with her husband, Chris.

In the Preface, Lona explains the intent of her book:

This book is intended for all Christians who want to grow deeper in their faith and who yearn to hear God sweetly say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” This book is meant to encourage and provide insight into how we can be faithful disciples of the Jesus we love so dearly. If you are a sojourner of faith and desire to be stubbornly faithful to the call Christ has given you, this book is for you. (p. ix)

Lona explains what she means by the term ‘continuer:’

What is a continuer? A continuer is a Christ-follower who is stubbornly faithful to the call he or she has received. Continuers are people who cling so tightly and so boldly to their relationship with God that they abandon everything else, even in the wake of disaster. Continuers are those who believe so strongly in God’s promise that they refuse to walk by sight and choose only to walk by faith. A continuer is an unshakable disciple of Christ.

How can we be continuers? In order to be a continuer in Christ:

v  We must know our place.
v  We must dig.
v  We must listen.
v  We must believe.
v  We must charge ahead.
v  We must refuse to stop.
(p. 2)

This definition reminds me of this photo:



We definitely need the power of the Holy Spirit in order for us to persevere!

Lona urges us to study on our own beyond what we learn on Sunday mornings; she also has an admonition:

Today, we are blessed to have fun access to God’s word in many different translations and languages. We also have the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit who guides and counsels us when we listen. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13)

Before blindly giving in to those who are selling things such as doctrines, philosophies, or sob stories, test these products against the truth, and then make the decision to buy. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). (p. 22)

This is SUCH an important reminder in this age of never-ending input from so many sources.

Lona contemplates a world in which all Christians took advantage of their faith and power:

What if we had the faith to call fire down from heaven? What if we believed in our position as coheirs with Christ so strongly that we dared the enemy to refute us? What if we had such undoubted conviction in our relationship with God that we could literally call things into action according to His will? The challenge for us is to pray for tenacity like Elijah, acute hearing of God’s plan, and for faith to fervently call it into action by Jesus. Calling down fire from heaven in front of an angry (and probably armed) militia is setting the bar pretty high, wouldn’t you say? (p. 49)

I found Lona to be an incredibly gifted writer! I think the passages I have shared so far in this review prove it, but I was particularly impressed by both and words and the message in this paragraph; in each, she talks about God’s calling on our lives:

So, the next time we stare at that impossibly huge calling, let’s remember that He gave us this gift, anticipating our growing into it one day. He is the God of preparation. We may not be expected to fit into it tomorrow, but growth is inevitable if we seek His willing earnestly and obey. For those of us who wish to take after Moses, remember how the Lord answered him.
And God said, “I will be with you.And this will be the sign to you that it is I who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12). He is saying that to us now,” (Insert your name), I will be with you through this task I have called you for.” (pp. 59-60)

Lona closes out the book with this encouragement:

Until the day Christ returns, we will never overcome our flesh entirely, but we know the One who has. Although life is bumpy and unfair, I want to encourage you to continue. God is ever-present and all-powerful. He knows what we need before we ask. “For your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). No matter what season of life you are traveling through, I urge you to be a continuer in the faith. Take the hand of Jesus, and walk on. Know your place in Jesus, dig for the truth yourself, listen to the One voice above all others, believe stubbornly, charge ahead full force, and refuse to stop. Be aware of the many barriers that can interfere with your continuance: doubt, the past, the present, the future, neatness, and timidity. Jesus will meet you right where you are and guide you through. Press on, brothers and sisters. The call is worth the cost. Will you be a continuer?
“In those things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). (p. 61)

I was really impressed and encouraged by Mrs. Bailey’s literary debut! This book would be a wonderful read for all; it would be a great gift for the graduate and those who need encouragement in their Christian walk! I thank Lona for writing this wonderfully well-crafted and spiritually uplifting book!

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Lona has graciously offered a copy of ‘Continuer in Christ’ to one blessed reader of my blog; thanks, Lona! And I’m sure she’ll be happy to sign the copy for the winner! There are several ways to enter:

1) ‘Like’ Lona’s author page on Facebook.  Please leave a comment to that effect, and make sure you leave your email address in this format – name at domain dot com.

2) Follow my blog as either a Google Follower or a NetWorkedBlogs Follower. If you already ‘follow,’ that counts, too! Please leave a comment to that effect with your email address in this format – name at domain dot com.

3) Follow Lona on Twitter. Please leave a comment to that effect with your email address in this format – name at domain dot com.

4)  Follow me on Twitter. Please leave a comment to that effect with your email address in this format – name at domain dot com.

The deadline to enter is Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 9, 2012 by the Random Number Generator www.random.org. The next to all of you!


3 comments:

gloria mckellar said...

‘Like’ Lona’s author page on Facebook-gloria nimtz mckellar

kngmckellar at hotmail dot com

gloria mckellar said...

follow gfc as gloria mckellar

kngmckellar at hotmail dot com

gloria mckellar said...

Follow Lona on Twitter @kngmckellar
kngmckellar at hotmail dot com

 
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