Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Go to Dee's blog here.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
You will like this book if you are very interested in history. This was an interesting account of a king who took his nation to great places through mounting adversity. I found it interesting because there are many things we too can learn from the great kings of the past.
It was impressive to see that this Christian king was given this ability to change and reform a nation. He depended on God and desired that others knew God too. He saw the error of their ways as a nation and went about to correct them and be certain they were on the right path of following God. He studied their past to find the answers. King Alfred lead his people in a way that I wish our own country could learn from. We can learn a great deal from the past. Let us learn from it by reading and studying patterns. King Alfred was a great example of this.
To purchase a copy of this book from the publisher go here.
To purchase a copy from Amazon go here.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
All I can really open with is, "Wow!" I really do think this is the first book you should pick up for 2010. Especially if you are a resolution setting kind of person.
A short summary of the book: The author is moved by ancient catacombs he finds himself in on vacation. It Reminded him of the Christians of the past who were martyred for their faith. We have become too comfortable in America. It is time for a new Reformation that takes us back to the things that are "Primal," A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity.
Primal is also focused on a simple prayer of breaking our heart for the things that break God's heart. This is the second time I have heard this and been challenged to pray it. So of course I have been praying it. God has been moving in my life as I have read this book.
The focus of the book was loving God. Like the Scripture says with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Mark discusses practically how this can be done. After each section I let it all soak in. I meditated on these Scriptural truths and God really moved in each area. He moved me deeper in loving Him. My heart really did break in ways that I could not manufacture. God answered prayer and changed me. I am seeing a little differently and more like Him. I am thankful to Mark Batterson for his obedience in writing this book. If it wasn't for anything else it is a book that spoke deeply to me and has made me more like Jesus in new and fresh ways and for that I am praising God.
To get a copy of the book from the publisher go here.
To read Mark's blog go here.
Lastly I was so moved by this book that I think everyone should read it I am doing a giveaway of mine. So just leave a comment as to why you would like this book. I will have to get another one because it is a book that I would like to keep in my collection to reread over and over again.
Monday, December 14, 2009
This is a great 40 day devotional book that is an easy read but packed with good thought provoking questions and deep truth. It would be a good gift book for someone this Christmas season. I enjoyed reading it and pondering the tough questions. There are not too many gift books like this that I am aware of that actually make you ponder tough questions like:
Why do I want Jesus in my life?
Why is loving others so hard for me?
Why do I care so much about my reputation?
And many many more!
You can purchase a copy of the book from the publisher here.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I will try to be as honest as possible and review what the books do to the depths of my soul. Reading is something that moves you in one way or another. It is a way of learning and keeping my mind active. We never stop learning until the day we die. I love reading books that expand my left brain logical side AND my right brain imaginative side. Though I am more logical it seems those books that expand my imagination have been a great blessing of growth for me. So, I will be blogging this journey for now. I am so very excited about it. I hope you will be blessed as well.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So, to the spam part of this post. I thought this was an appropriate picture because it really looks disgusting. That in fact represents the type of spam I am getting for comments. I am only thankful that my comments are blocked unless I approve them for posting. It started shortly after I made the post entitled, Snake on a Pole and Jesus. Apparently that has triggered the spam bots. Yet, it appears on other titles as well randomly. I suppose the attack of the spam is on. So, as blogger allows I keep rejecting comments. Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so how have you handled it? I may need to go and change that title of the post that seemed to trigger it. Just curious, if you have any input I would love to hear it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I just love you all dearly and hope you have a joy filled Christmas in our Father. I will be posting some book reviews before then but if I do not find words to write anything new until then I wish you all well.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
If you are looking for a good gift book this season this one is a good purchase. I was moved by each story and chapter in this book. It is an easy read but filled with deep truths. That is what I call a great gift book.
To purchase it from the publisher go here.
Monday, November 30, 2009
These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
The book above is the sweetest children's book I think I have ever had the opportunity to read. I am always trying to speak to my children about the concept of love and Jesus and this book explained it perfectly. Unlike many other books I have read for children this was was all about Jesus and I absolutely love that. The focus is Jesus. My children were so excited about this and they were saying, "aww." all throughout it. This was such a blessing to get to review. If you have young ones and want to explain God's love to them then you should get this one.
To view it on the publishers website or purchase go here.
Now as much as I loved the first book I have to say this one I equally loved. I am so impressed by how Jesus is the center of this book as well. This was a precious adventure that a mother bear and her cub went on to discover the true meaning of Christmas. It explained how we can see God in so many things and that Jesus is the real focus and meaning for the season. LOVED it. I know these both will be read over and over as family favorites. My girls just adored it. The pictures in both are also wonderful. You couldn't ask for more. Just good stuff.
To view or buy a copy from the publisher go here.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I loved this title. I am sure it will be one that I will pick up and read again and again. It was very encouraging and full of information to get your mind focused on the right thing in the midst of your pain. I personally can say that being in the middle of a trial of my own that this book was helpful.
One of the best thoughts from this book was the "no pain, no gain statement". When we work out we expect to get in better. We expect that it will be painful so we endure it for a time to accomplish the end result we desire. Trials are no different but do this same thing with us. When we are in pain or trials they grow us up to be more like Christ. That was a revolutionary thought for me. It was a good read and I left the book feeling stronger and more able to endure what I am currently in the middle of.
To get a copy of the book from the publisher you can go here.
For a copy from Amazon go here.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The little girl who wondered aimlessly around the world finally
landed herself into a kingdom that deeply cared for those who
belonged to it--Even to the point of discipline. It amazed her at
the long suffering love that was shown to one another. Yet that love
wasn't exclusive to that kingdom but reached out to others as well.
The little girl watched for awhile because it was so hard to believe
this type of kingdom actually existed. She observed that it wasn't a
perfect kingdom, no not at all. Yet it was intentional in its actions
toward others.The love she observed and received (though she was a
foreigner) was a beautiful thing. The people excepted her as their
The little girl cautiously became a part of this kingdom little by
little. She was afraid though because of all the beating she endured
on her other journeys. She didn't receive beatings here. She could
be exactly who her King created her to be. Yet she still had walls
up of her own. The King gently started using the people of that
kingdom to help her break down those walls and learn to trust again.
She knows the journey will be hard and will have bumps. There will
be challenges and difficulties in relationships but she found a
place to settle. A place where the King can do great works that He
has already prepared. The works He will bring to completion. The
King sees, the King smiles.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Many of the local women work on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees, including Asia. During their work many of the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. In June, the pressure became especially strong.
On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith, with the Muslim women telling Asia about Islam. Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for our sins, then asked them what Mohammed had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammed is dead. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”
Upon hearing this response the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia Bibi. Then some men came and took her and locked her in a room. They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She is currently being held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed that they must go forward due to pressure from local Muslim leaders.
The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi and her family. Further, we call on the Pakistani government to insure that the rights of Christians like Asia are protected.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Dear Mr. Jonas,
Oh I was devastated when you did indeed sell out to the common world
view of the media and relationships. I wrote you a letter earlier
thanking you for not selling out but I was premature in my writing.
Your show would be as equally viewed if you chose not to kiss someone.
I know you are just acting but there are tons of little girls looking
up to you. You are not an idol but you have been put into a position
of influence. That is a God-given gift. You need to use it wisely.
You all wear your purity rings. Purity is so important and a HUGE part
of that is guarding your hearts. Your kiss is special and really it
would mean a lot more if you saved it for your future wife. That is
I am just trying to encourage you in this. The more you
compromise to the standard of the world the easier it will be to
continue down that path. I am writing you from experience not judgment.
I hope you reconsider your future actions because little eyes are watching.
As for me as a parent of those little eyes it is my charge to protect and guard them. So, I must now add your show to my growing list of shows that need previewed before allowed to be seen in my house.
Don't worry we aren't haters. We love you dearly as brothers in the
Lord. We are praying for your decisions and the impact you could have
for the Lord in today's world.
A Concerned Parent.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
H-"Mom, whenever I meet a friend I ask them if they know God."
Me-"Well that is good H, what do you do if they say they don't know God?"
H-"I tell them about God and Jesus."
Me-"Well, that is a great thing honey. Did you ask our friends we met at the zoo if they knew God?"
Me-"Well, why not them?"
H-"Because you and D were already talking to their moms about God so I know they knew God already."
LOL-She cracks me up. Little eyes and ears are always watching and listening whether we know it or not.
Monday, November 16, 2009
When joy embraces pain contentment comes. A quiet surrender the world cannot understand.This lesson can only be learned in the classroom of life. God does not change. God is good. He never leaves or forsakes us. God is what sustains us. When the world looks at the joy contained in the face of pain it cannot understand because it is not a natural thing. It is that of a supernatural power that comes from Christ alone. If you are going through a rough time and do not know what to do, have you considered a relationship with Christ? He is the only thing that brings peace in the midst of any trial. If you want to talk about this further let me know.
Friday, November 13, 2009
"Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."
Right before these verses above, Jesus is talking about His end and said to the Father, "Father, glorify your name!"
Then out loud from Heaven God spoke for everyone to hear, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." Some of the people there thought it was thunder others though and angel spoke but we know from the text it was God. Can you imagine the God of the universe speaking out loud for a crowd of us to hear Him all at the same time? That is amazing.
Now look to the text I posted above in John 12:30-33. Jesus tells us why and what is up. He was telling them how men and women would come to Jesus and what kind of death He would die which we know is death on a cross. He was nailed to this object and lifted up to hang there until He slowly died.
But there are some other amazing treasures through the word that point to this place. I will point out two today that really stirred my heart about how God's word is perfect and complete.
Take a journey to the Old Testament with me. The children of Israel are again complaining after God has provided for them over and over again. When that happens again this is what God does.
Numbers 21:6-9 states, "Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
God had the power to take away those snakes upon repentance but He chose instead to give them a snake on a pole to look at for the cure. He left the snakes with them. Have you ever been in a situation where you just wish God would take it away? Sometimes He chooses not to. Sometimes we have to walk through things but God is always there to get us through if we keep our eyes on Him. That was what was meant in creating the snake on the pole. Unfortunately sometime later the children of Israel chose to worship it. Probably after the harmful snakes were gone. This snake on a pole was to represent their need for keeping their eyes on Jesus to come. Here is how we know.
We also are bitten by the poisonous sting of sin. We need a way to take it away from us lest we die. Just as a poisonous snake bite can kill you. God provided that cure through Jesus. John 3:14-15 states, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
Isn't it amazing how God's word fits together perfectly? Let us keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the only true healer. Any problem in life He can get us through if we keep our eyes on Him. Our circumstances may not change but He never leaves or forsakes us. He is our hope.
Father thank you for your rich word full of treasures! I am amazed by it day by day. Lord open our eyes to see you and know you better each day. Guide us in the right way and help us to keep our eyes on you lest we turn to complaining. We love you. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This book was about a very interesting journey that the author took over a period of a year. Just take a second to look at the beard on his book cover picture. That was just one interesting part of the journey. I found the book very thought-provoking. It continually challenged my heart and how I viewed others.
The book also gave me great insight into what living like Jesus was like under all the traditional Jewish customs of the times. Doing something like that today would be very difficult as Ed finds out. It is a great privilege to be living in the period of grace and not the law.
Though I am not sure I agree with everything Ed wrote in his book it was still his personal journey. It gave me some things to continue to ponder through. The journey in my eyes was a very admirable thing for him to do and I deeply respect the journey he undertook.
As a personal side note there were a couple of sections that ministered deeply to my heart about God and Jesus and illness. God used Ed to minister to those places in need through his journey and insights. I have disclosed my various health battles through these years and Ed is a man on his own tough journey. He did inspire me deeply.
To get your own copy from Amazon go here.
Check out Ed's website here.
To see what others are saying go here.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Want this button?
To my sweet man, I know we started out way rough. Rougher than most. We had all odds stacked against us. We were not meant to last. But through Christ and His most amazing grace we have made it this far. I adore you. I respect you and would not want anyone else leading our family.
Though we were not sure if we would make it so many times, I can honestly say I am thankful. I got to have a front row seat and be a participant of God's amazing redemptive work. I got to see how trash could really be refined into treasure. I got to see miracles take place before my eyes. I would not be who I am today without you.
Thank you for sticking through it with me. Life is hard but we have each other with God at the center and with that we cannot fail. Thank you for being the vehicle that God used to teach me true and lasting love of the unconditional form. I am blessed beyond measure by you. I love you!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I just love that homeschooling can be something the entire family can experience together.
Just as not all people are gifted in all things, so perhaps they should not teach all things.
In our home, I teach from a curriculum just because it helps me stay focused and accountable. I adore the privilege I have to teach my children. I teach them best the things I like the best. All individuals are limited in certain ways and that is why we absolutely need a whole family approach. Read more.
I love the fall. It is probably my favorite season. Yet there is one part of the season I dread. That is Halloween. Though I believe most participate in innocent fun, there is still a connection that this day has with evil. It is a very real evil that many of us fail to remember exists.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:12
My former pastor has written a great post on Halloween. What real evil is happening out there close to home. It is good info and a good read. Check it out here.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
Ponder that question? God came from Heaven with two other men to personally visit Abraham.
The purpose of this visit in the earlier verses was so that they could deliver the news that Abraham and Sarah were to have the child God promised this time next year.
What a personal God we serve! First He didn't have to deliver the news that way. He already told Abraham about 25 years ago when he made a covenant with him. Of course along the way and with too much waiting Sarah told Abraham to take her maidservant and have a child through her. That was not God's plan. They tried to rush it.
I like how normal Sarah and Abraham were. Don't we after all try to rush God as well. He has given us many promises and sometimes we think if we just help Him a bit then it will come to pass in our time frame. God is God. He doesn't need our help or us at all to accomplish anything. Yet the high honor is the He chooses to.
He delights in allowing us to partner with Him in His work. He delights in the personal relationship where He personally shares things with us. He delights in this. He created us for Himself. We are His children and what good-willed Father would not want to enjoy relationship their children?
Verse 17 above is God saying that He wanted to share His work with Abraham. He wanted to tell him what He was up to in the world. I am so baffled by that. God wants to share the things He is up to with us. Here is another verse I like regarding this then I want to get back to the amazing text on intercession.
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
The word for confides in the Hebrew text connotes the term in a way that a person would speak to a friend. I LOVE that. God as our Friend confides in those who fear Him. I believe Abraham had a great healthy fear of God. Was Abraham perfect? By no means. God is looking to people whose hearts are inclined toward Him. Abraham was one of those. He also feared God. The word for fear is simply the fact that we are so in awe of God. He could swish up like a bug but instead He chooses to make us His friend. It doesn't get anymore amazing than that. The God who places each star in place and tells the ocean where to stop. The God of all Creation. The God who raised Jesus from the dead wants to confine in us. He wants to be our Friend. Now that is something to really rejoice about.
Here is some more of the reason that God chose to share with Abraham.
18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
God knows the plans He has for us. It was through Abraham (and Jesus of course) that we became a part of this line of people. Galatians 3:29 says, "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." So because of this he is part of our heritage and the blessings that come with it are also ours in a spiritual sense.
Then God tells Abraham the problem.
Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." ~Genesis 18:20-21
Why would God tell Abraham something so hard to hear? Why would He chose to share this with Abraham? Abraham wasn't the first man God shared hard things like this with. Psalm 106:23 tells us where Moses also plead before God about the people. So we see Abraham respond in a similar way.
Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Abraham is amazing to me. He knew God's heart. He knew He could approach God and ask Him questions about His ways. Abraham could not understand God's ways much like us. God's ways are God's ways, our minds are not like His to understand. Plus we do not see the entire picture that God does. But God loves our respectful questions. It is how we get to know Him better. To know His true heart. What bold question Abraham asked as well, "Will not the Judge of the earth do right?" Wow. That is a bold question. But I know he asked it in respect because he did not understand God's way.
I love God's response to Abraham. He did not have to change anything but for the sake of his intercession God does. Think on that for a second. Because Abraham stood in the gap for the city, God ceased to destroy it so quickly. God listened to Abraham and He did not have to. Yet He delighted in Abraham and His heart.
The rest of the passage Abraham continues to ask God about a smaller number of people by fives all the way until he gets to only 10 being left. God agrees in each request to not destroy it. When you read those remaining passages you get an even better glimpse of Abraham's heart and great fear of the Lord. At each new question he says, "though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if" (v.27), and "may the Lord not be angry" (vv.30,32).
The last number they come to is if there are 10 righteous people left in the city it will not be destroyed. God is so good and merciful. We must understand thought that His ways are bigger than our ways. As it goes, the city was destroyed so there had to be less than 10 righteous there. I love though how God allowed Abraham to speak with Him and intercede for the people. It is an amazing privilege.
What people has God allowed you the privilege to lift before His throne?
Do you ever sense God sharing something with you that you know you need to bring before His throne? Ever been woken up in the middle of the night with someone on your mind? Pay attention to these cues, God may want to share something with you so you can stand in the gap in prayer for the person.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The book is about how God defines beauty. Our world, peers, and many other things influence our opinion on what beauty should look like but if you are a follower of Christ that definition of beauty is different.
Jenna does a great job in defining this God-defined beauty in several relevant life areas. As a bonus there are also great little snippets in the book from her dad, Max Lucado.
I think this is a great read or Bible study for young girls to do alone or with a group. Jenna does give you some questions to ponder all throughout the book as well that would be great for personal study and small group discussion.
To purchase a copy from the publisher go here.
To purchase a copy from Amazon go here.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
With the Spirit of God living in us we need to learn to walk in Him. That means completely surrendering our wants, wills, and desires to Him. Dying completely to ourselves and living completely for Him.
The fruit of the Spirit consists of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. All that is inside of us through the Spirit of the living God within us. It is what we should be able to walk out daily submitted to Him.
Now walking this thing out in surrender is not so hard when things are going well. Sure we can easily walk it out when things go our way. However, how do you walk in the Spirit when you are in excruciating pain? Isn't it justifiable to be grumpy, mean, and hateful? Maybe impatient or demanding? Wouldn't it be fair to act that way when we feel so bad?
The answer to all of those questions is no. If we truly desire to walk in the Spirit then we need to let God teach us to walk this thing out in the difficult times. That is where true maturity is formed. That is how we become mature and complete in Him. That is how He shines brightly through us most. It is easy to walk these things out when life is good. When things are bad however it is not so easy.
This is where I am right now. God is teaching me how to surrender all my pain to Him. He is teaching me a deeper level of walking this life out in His Spirit completely surrendered to Him. After all that is what I desire. That is what I want. Too look more and more like Him day by day.
I wish I could tell you that I am getting a perfect score in this school of walking in the Spirit. I am not! I lose it with the kids, lacking patience. I grumble because I am tired of feeling horrible all the time. I doubt God's faithfulness because He won't just give this girl a break? I lose self-control because I am so angry and frustrated with feeling like I cannot do anything anymore.
I fail often but that is how we best learn. We fall down but we get back up again with God's help. He sharpens us and we learn and grow each time. So if you find yourself in some sort of trial, walk it out in the Spirit. It brings the most honor to God that way. Let Him teach you how to walk it out and do not beat yourself up when you fail at it. His grace is amazing and in this classroom of life we are becoming more and more like Him through these lessons.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I must inform you that you are no longer welcome on my promise land. You had taken back possession of it for way to long now. It is my fault, I didn't guard it well enough and let you sneak in bit by bit.
Yes, you did scheme well, I got wrapped up in those lies and my mind ran away with those false things you spoke to me. Old companions came back. Bitterness, doubt, mediocrity, depression, and hate. They became my companions again. I let them live on my land. Your words are very convincing. This mind believed your lies and ran with them even further than I thought they would.
It is not right how you do not fight fair. But I have a word for you that is truth. You are a defeated foe. God has already beat you. I am more than a conquerer and overcomer because of who my Father is. I am building this house on the Rock of Him.
There will be no more threats, lies or deception allowed here. This is a good land where the Lord is building the house. He will never leave me or forsake me. He fights for me. He has allowed sifting but though you accused me, He continually is interceding for me.
He rejoices over me and cheers for me. For I belong to Him alone. He is my Savior. He has me in His hand. No one can snatch me out of that mighty and powerful hand.
So as God instructs, you gotta go. This ain't your ground and you don't belong here anymore. This is holy ground and we will not entertain you here any longer. Resist the devil and he will flee from you--you have been resisted, so goodbye.
Stay off this land it is holy ground. This is where I dwell richly in my Father's love. Where you tried to steal kill and destroy. God made this girl rich, alive, and stronger. This is abundant land and for the abundant life. STAY OFF MY LAND.
Monday, October 12, 2009
First, I do believe we are to ask God for anything. Nothing is too small or too big.
You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.~James 2b-3.
Now, the principal of this verse still applies to prayer though the situation they are dealing with is a big different in the text. However, I will never be found to not have something because I failed to ask. I am going to ask God for everything.
Four years ago God did heal me of these issues. He took them completely away. Not because I deserved it. Not because I have earned it. Simply because of His great grace. God does what He wants. God has His ways all to work out for His glory. Who are we to question Him?
All I know is that I want to know Him--to really know Him. If this is the case then I must also take into account in sharing in His life. This verse explains it well.
"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" ~Philippians 3:10
I have seen and experienced that resurrection power in my body. I have witnessed many resurrection miracles in my life alone. I love the resurrection part. In fact that same resurrection power lives within us if we are His (Ephesians 1:19-20). We have that amazing power in us! In these decaying jars of clay. Is that not amazing?!
Yet, to truly know Him not only do we have the privilege of of participating and receiving His power we also get to share in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like Him in death. Oh now this is the part we do not like. We don't desire to suffer. But to really know Him is to share in His sufferings. How can we truly know our Savior if all we do is tap into His power and sufferings as He allows us to.
It is in sharing in the suffering where we truly are changed. We are transformed more into His image. We need to take hold of Him in this. We need to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, follow Him (Luke 9:23). This denying ourselves business is a death. It is a death to ourselves that allows us the privilege of becoming more like Him.
What are you suffering with today? Where are you participating in the sufferings of Christ? Take heart you are becoming more like Him and it is temporary. God allows all things in His timing. These things do not last forever.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Today I was exposed. I was exposed of something I despise. My weakness. It is not like I try to hide it so much, I am open about it if I am asked about it. I just like to live like it really does not exist. Like it is not really there.
If we are all honest with ourselves I suppose many of us live that way. There is a thing in our lives that we do not want to be known for. Something we are not proud of. That thing that we do not want to be labeled.
Well, mine is and forever will be physical weakness. My body is weird and I could be on mystery diagnosis lots of episodes. No, I am not a hypochondriac. It is just part of how God made me. That is unless the Lord decides to do something otherwise with it, which I pray for everyday. Yet so far His answer has been no. I am fearfully and wonderfully made regardless.
We are at a new place now with new people. It is very hard for me to make friends because I am not a person who finds common conversation easy. I am the one who would rather sit quietly and listen to God and pray for each person in my eye sight. I am very fine with that except God is showing me that we are made for community. I need to make new friends. And this is struggle for me.
Talk to me about what God is doing in your life or ask me what He is doing in mine. Talk to me about the deeper issues of life and I am good. Yet, the surface stuff is what I am horrible at. It makes me completely awkward in making new friendships and makes me look a little snobby. Not only is this hard enough but then the thing I despise in my life shows up already, I do not want to be labeled it. I am not that. I am a child of the Most High God and a child of the light.
So I am exposing my ongoing struggle to the light. I struggle most daily with my health in someway or another. Some problems doctors figure out and some they do not. I have seen so many miracles in my body that I cannot even count them any longer. I know very personally that God is the God who Heals. He has a dozen or more times to me alone. Yet, these mysteries of weakness and weirdness persist. There is nothing that anyone can do about it but God Himself. So, far He chooses not to take it away completely.
As much pain it causes me and my family, we still chose to trust Him. He has a purpose. He is my King and Lord. It is Him I follow. I only pray it keeps me completely dependant on Him and makes me look more and more like Him as my true heart is exposed.
Today was a day of many tears. My stupid pride is there wanting to portray me as someone normal. I am not that. I never will be. Please do not judge me either if you are one who thinks that I just don't have enough faith or too much sin in my life for God to do anything. That is not how God works. I cannot name and claim anything. God is not my genie He is my LORD and Master. He does and allows what is best for me. I am not arrogant enough to decide what is best for me that is His job. Believe me I have more faith than I ever thought I would to even survive this far. As far as sin goes, I have looked under every rock and crevice. Everything exposed has been confessed. God has covered me with His blood therefore I am clean of all things past, present, and future.
I am just a girl at the mercy of a loving God. If my life best suites His glory in this way then so be it. I have never had nor ever will be loved the way I am with Him. I suppose I would not know some of that if it wasn't for the fire we have had to walk through together hand in hand quite often. And having been through stuff we have grown in love so deep together. His has always been there but mine is growing to match what He has for me until I get to be with Him forever in our Home.
So if you find yourself in my boat. Please be encouraged. These trials are temporary. There is a great glory to come. And it is great evidence of the great love that God has for you. He will never leave you or forsake you my friend, no matter what. Nothing can snatch you out of His loving hand-NOTHING.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sometimes God allows things to come into our life that are beyond our understanding. Sometimes these things are things that we would not chose. These things though serve a greater purpose. They are allowed to bring us closer to Him.
"Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surprisingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." ~2 Corinthians 6-9
Paul's words say it all. I believe this can apply to us all who desire to grow more like Jesus. It is easy to become conceited when you become closer to Christ. When He reveals things to you it is a reason our flesh can take and become puffed up. Though glory ALWAYS should go to God in all things, yet as human it is easy to accept it for ourselves.
God admonishes us to be thankful in all things. In this present trial I am going to thank and praise Him. What is your present thorn? How are you responding to it? Let us encourage one another through these things. God is good. I rejoice that His great power rests on me not because of me but because of Him.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Want this button?
This edition is called How God Renewed Our Marriage Against All Odds.
Our example is such a perfect example for this. We were totally messed up people when we got together. Really we still are yet the difference is that we both have Christ not only as our personal Savior but our first and foremost priority in life. That is what makes us work.
We were like the broken house you often see on Extreme Home Makeover. Barely standing. Ready to fall at any moment. Then the Renovator came in and everything changed and was made new and clean.
When we met, I was a Christian (though you could not tell by my lifestyle) and my soon to be husband was not. The things we did left me with much guilt while he was fine. I had the Holy Spirit living in me and I was grieving Him deeply.
Because of our codependency we stayed together through all the hardships that we went through. Since neither of us was going anywhere else we decided to get married. Unequally yoked we were which is never suppose to work or ever God's plan.
Yet sometimes in God's amazing grace He can and does take these messed up, disobedient people (even though they run in a direction against His will) and pick them back up and turn them around. He can make them beautiful and make them into the thing He always meant for them to be. He can make them completely beautiful. That is what He did with us.
Over the 15 years we have been married we have been through hell and back. We have come from unhealthy in relationship to healthy. From selfish perspective to Godly perspective. It is a miracle that we stand where we do today. Whole, healed, and full of God's grace.
I can just look at where we have been and stand in awe of God's grace. He didn't have to save us or our marriage but He did. He did it while we were still sinners. There was nothing good in us yet He did it anyway. He saw what could be. He did it because of love.
See what others are saying here.
Friday, October 2, 2009
THIS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL JAN. 25th 2010.
A Woman Inspired - Nurturing Creativity
October 5-9 2009
Have you been in touch with your inner creative diva? Do you want to learn to express yourself through paint mediums, culinary masterpieces, vibrant rooms or maybe through your own life as the canvas? Well, you can get inspired here.
Whether you feel stuck in a rut or just don’t know where to begin we can help. I’m confident that many of you have a pile of unfinished projects or maybe put off doing things simply because you feel you don’t have the time. We have all been there and can definitely relate. We would like you help get some momentum going so that you can begin to create and design no matter what your canvas preference is.
Learn how to:
- develop your God given talents and gifts
- push past creative blocks
- further your education in the area of your choice (at no cost)
- be more productive
- be more focused
- let your light shine!
Tricia Goyer, author of Life Interrupted
Larissa Lam of Beautiful Faith, On the Way Up, and Larissa Lam.com
Karla Porter, of Modern Media Mom
Tania Willis, Pinecone Press scrapbook author
Rhoda, of Southern Hospitality
Carolyn J. Carleton, of Unlimited Potential International
Leslie Valeska, of Simple Journey Ministries
Kathryn Bonner, author of Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife
Kathryn Lang, of Successful Freelance Writer
Jill Novak, owner of Remembrance Press
Kris Rhoades, of The Well Ministries
Angela Parsley, of Refresh My Soul Ministries
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I personally found the book to be very helpful. I confess that I often find myself being disrespectful but not intentionally. There are times we can be disrespectful as wives and not even realize it. Also, there are things our husbands can do to us that make us feel unloved and in turn we respond disrespectfully. Then in turn a crazy cycle occurs.
Marriages are ending in very high rates of divorce these days. Couples in the church are not any exception to this fact. I believe this resource could be a very helpful tool to help couples learn how to understand one another and how to best meet each others needs through love and respect.
There are many insightful testimonies from couples who have tried this and have had success. Dr. Eggerichs doesn't claim it works in all situations. He addresses that as well. It is a good read and beneficial in my opinion to any marriage, that is if you desire it to be the best that it can be.
To purchase this book from the publisher go here.
To purchase it from Amazon go here.
Really this preview video tells it all. This second book of the Defiance Texas trilogy is just as good if not better than the first. I have had the privilege of reviewing both of these now. Both great reads. Both stir your soul to search your own heart and faith. Suspenseful and spiritual all in the same read. I love it and highly recommend you reading it. I can hardly wait until the third one comes out now. Mary has done an excellent job indeed.
To see the review for the first book go here.
Buy a copy here.
Visit Mary here.
See what others are saying here.
As an added bonus, I LOVED both of these so much so I want to give you an opportunity to win my free copies. Leave a comment for a chance to win. Will leave it open til Sunday evening then choose a winner.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Donald Miller, author also of Blue Like Jazz, explores his life and how God writes each persons life story. Yet we the main characters also have a big part in that. Some stories are good and others are not. A thought-provoking read on life and meaning. It had me pondering many things in my own life's story. It inspired me to want to make my story count for something.
This book was a book that really kept me reflecting on my own life. As Donald explores his own life when approached about making it into a movie, it forces him to ask the question, Why would anyone want to watch my life on the big screen?
Really if you were to live as if a video camera was taping your every move would you live any differently? That was pretty much the question that kept me pondering. Though it was not directly asked this way in the book it was how I processed this book.
Donald realizes his life could be so much more in order to make it into a better story. He goes on some interesting adventures because of this. He meets some really great people because of the risk. Overall, isn't that what life is really about anyway?
Though I do not agree with everything that Donald says or does in his book, I have been challenged to not be so judgemental of people who are different than me. I have really grown to like this man I do not even know through this review. I also have a copy of Blue Like Jazz that I could not finish earlier. I am now inspired to pick it back up and read it. Perhaps I will review it for you as well.
Because of the great generosity of Donald and the publisher, I have two copies of this book that are up for giveaway. Please leave a comment to be entered to win one of these two copies. I will post the winner on Saturday.
To purchase a copy yourself you can get it here.
You can also get it from Amazon here.
To visit Donald's book tour go here.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I find myself holding a child who has contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease that is feverish. The other child is sweating profusely. Students in the back are very hot, especially the ones sitting over the engine. We were in a very tense situation ourselves.
In the back of the bus grumbling started to rise up. You need to know that at the retreat, God did such great things in each person’s life. There was a new unity and new commitments to follow hard after Christ.
Now it seemed as what ground we had gained was slipping fast. Something within me stirred so strong. I jumped up to my feet and said, “NO! We are not going out like this! We are going to pray over this air conditioner and we are not going to complain. The enemy will not steal the ground that we gained while we were away. He will not have it!” I proceeded to tell them to lay hands on this air conditioner. I prayed a come back Jesus sort of prayer over this thing and I knew it would start right back up. After all God had always seemed to answer most of my prayers the way I prayed.
This not what happened.
I told the students to start singing praise songs to God. They started playing and singing. I took back my seat and wept. I think I wept for several hours. The air did not start working again. Why did God not answer this prayer? What will the students think of me? Most importantly, what will they think of God? Did I hear Him right? It was not my normal practice to pray over air conditioners. Did I let Him down somehow? Did I pray wrong?
I could not understand why God left me hanging out there like that. It took me months to recover from this moment. I am not sure why it took so long but it devastated me. It hurt my relationship with the One who I trusted so much.
God keeps reminding me not to worry about it. He keeps reminding me that I have no idea what He did in that instance. I just needed to trust.
God hears all our prayers. I believe He answers each one too. Maybe the answer was no that time. Maybe it was wait. I have no clue what God is doing in the lives of the others who experienced it.
I will tell you what I do know now.
I do not have a time in my life that I can remember not talking to God. Though no one really explained it to me it seemed to be a very natural thing. When hurts came my way God would draw me away to a quiet place and I would pour my heart out to Him. It was natural. It was a gift.
With that gift I had become spoiled. I have seen so many prayers answered the way I prayed them. It was a blessing. People started recognizing me as the "prayer warrior." The one they wanted praying about the big stuff. It was nice to be recognized. Although I did not intend for this to happen, deep down pride started building up in my heart. I started to trust in the blessings and provisions of God more than God Himself. Something had to be done. God had to teach me and draw me back to Him alone.
This was my too late submission to Pray Mag due to procrastination.
So, stirred by the Holy Spirit and with faith that could move mountains, I prayed that bus prayer. I was a fool in front of the entire bus because God said no that day. A crush to my pride had occurred.
God was not done yet. He had bigger and better things in store. Through this process of healing my hurt, He has deepened my walk with Him as I have learned to trust Him more. He has deepened our relationship and is teaching me to be a better prayer warrior. I am learning to trust His ways no matter what because even when I do not understand His ways are best.
On this side of the healing of my hurt. He has taught me how to pour out my heart like David. He has never ceased to be faithful.
I know can say I fully trust God as God not as anything else. May we will love Him just because of who He is not because of what He can do for us.
Copyright 2009 Refresh My Soul Ministries, Angela Parsley
Friday, September 18, 2009
Remember when we were little kids on the playground? We had silly disputes about our dads. We said things like, “My dad is stronger than your dad” or “My dad can beat up your dad.” Well, our Daddy as Christians is the King – The King of all Kings, God Himself. Read More. I am at Radical Revolution today.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I have been asked to speak at this conference. I am very excited about it because God the master Creator has made us in His own image. We are creative beings because of this. We take after our Daddy! There will be a great speaker line up and the best part is that you do not even have to leave your home.
I am giving away 5 free tickets for this conference. If you are interested just leave a comment about what makes you creative. I will post the winners on Saturday.
Thanks! Also, I would appreciate your prayers as I prepare for this.
To visit the conference website and also see other available conferences go here.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Max Lucado has done it again. I just love his ability to take tough topics and relate them to everyday life through brilliant stories and humor. We live in a society that can easily keep us paralyzed in fear, yet God has something different for us. Max's book will explore common areas of fear in our lives and how to combat them with the Word of God.
This is the kind of book that you do not want to put down. Brilliantly written and easy to read Max breaks down what Jesus has to say about fear. I was so inspired and motivated to walk stronger in the Lord after reading this. Max hits the nail on the head with key areas of fear that we struggle with and in such a timely manner. This book was written for such a time as this as we live in uncertainty of our economy, terrorism, and health care reform.
This book also has a great discussion section built in that would be very beneficial for small group use. I really encourage you to get this one. You will not be disappointed and will be able to move forward more confident in the Lord than ever before regardless of your circumstances.
Check out Max's Fearless Book site here.
You can get a copy of the book from the Thomas Nelson here.
You can also get a copy of the book from Amazon here.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
If you get a chance I want you to read this blog. post.
Prayers are appreciated and show some love if you can. This is a pastor that I deeply respect. He is my former pastor. He has always taught transparency and grace. I am thankful for him and what God did in our family while at his church.
Ministry can be so hard. You live in a fish bowl anyway. People judge you often. People misjudge your heart and intentions. When this happens in ministry it is even
more difficult especially in leadership. Though not perfect people expect it. The only perfect example is Jesus and as we behold Him we will love all of those around us more despite the imperfections. Please just show your pastors and other ministry leaders in your life love.
On a personal note the past two years I almost fell completely off the ministry call because I had gotten complained about, misjudged, talked about, gossiped about, and whatever else you can think of. Just because I wanted to help people to love God more. This almost crushed me. Almost made me quite. I fell into a deep pit of bitterness, anger, and depression. God though seemed too far away to get me out was never far. He was always there. He reached down and lifted me out of that pit. He strengthen me, healed me, and set me back on the Rock. I was free. Now I am stronger and know how to pray for others in ministry. It is no joke and not an easy thing. That is why we are to encourage one another DAILY.
I love you all and your support for me. I am forever grateful. You encourage me in ways I cannot even adequately express. Thanks for reading and loving on this ordinary girl who loves God and desires only to make Him known.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I was honored to be asked to write an article for their newsletter this month. It is a testimony of mine about being lost in Christ so I thought I would post it here for you to read as well. I hope it encourages you in someway.
Finally I had made it to the place I desired in life. I graduated in the top of my class. I was ready to head out to graduate school. I had the job of my dreams in ministry. I was very happily married to my high school sweetheart and we had our first baby on the way. Life was great and all of my plans were quickly falling into place.
Oh, but the danger of all things focused on me. You see, all those things were great things but they were my things. God had other things in store for my life. Other things were coming. I came down with a debilitating illness, had to quit my job, drop my dreams for graduate school, raise a precious child while being very sick, and stay married. Marriage goes through some real tests in life’s school of difficulties.
I was disillusioned. All of my plans and dreams fell to the floor. It took me about a year to really sort that out with the Lord. It was a come to Jesus year. The Lord had other plans for my life but I was too stubborn at first to accept them. I thought I knew better. God sometimes has to teach us the hard way. Oh, and I learned but I didn’t like it at first. I lost the ability to be thankful in all things because again I was so focused on me not HIM.
After traveling through these difficulties and the years that would come along with them, God taught me what it was to be content in all things. He taught me how to grab hold of His Word and find in it His precious jewels to me. He taught me how much He loved me. He taught me how He desired the best for me. His plans were the better plans for my life. He would be my focus now, not me. I had to die to myself to live in Him.
Life is still hard. That is where we all are walking and learning as we journey this together in Him. That is where we need to come alongside one another and encourage one another like the Bible instructs us. We need to keep one another moving toward Him regardless the circumstances.
I can look back now and really honestly be thankful for all of it. I would not be the person I am today if I skipped those steps. I would not love God the way I do. I would not know Him the way I do. I would still try to avoid submitting to His plans. I have learned His ways are indeed the best ways.
Now I am well. I have two beautiful children that He has called me to home school (another story for another day!). He has given me and my husband a stronger marriage and a ministry of encouragement to other believers. He allows me to freelance for others. I get to now do the thing I love by being saturated in Him and His word. He knew what I needed. His ways are best. I hope you too can get lost in Him in whatever path He leads you on. It is worth it.