Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Review - The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I have really grown to love the author Jerry Bridges. He writes with a style that lovingly and humbly makes one look at their own heart and really assess it in the Lord. I am continually challenged by his books and it is an amazing blessing to be able to review these.

I am thrilled this is my last book for 2010. I know that if anyone desires holiness or seeing the Lord more fully that reading any of this author's titles will be to your advantage. These books are all packed with Scripture. They are really worth reading but only if you are serious about your walk in the Lord.

This title in particular speaks very much of our need to balance pursuing holiness and grace. We are to pursue a life pleasing to the Lord while at the same time surrender to the Holy Spirit in this so He can do the changing work. The author consistently emphasises the need for us to preach the gospel to ourselves in this process.  I like this as well because it takes away and need to feel guilt or condemnation which I am prone too. Christ took that away. It is a freeing book that allows us to do what we are suppose to and allow God to do His work in us. It was a perfect balance.

To get a copy from Amazon click on the link above.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Praising God for the Window - What's Happening Now in Gatlinburg

I am just amazed! You have to read this story about Gatlinburg if you have been following our adventure.

If we didn't take that small window yesterday we would have been stuck!!! Probably til the end of year atleast. So overflowing with thankfulness to be off the mountain. So thankful!

Please continue to pray for those stuck up there. They are still there. Don't forget.

Thanks for Letting Me Vent

Okay no more posting or ranting about the roads...Thankfulness Journal may need to come again soon!!!

I am thankful for all of you who helped us with your prayers. God is truly amazing how He works through the prayers of His people. I am in awe of Him.

God did some really amazing things in us while we were trapped and I pray we see those through. Cannot wait to see all that comes from it.

Love you all tons!!!

Straight from their Website -Provides Snow Removal


Sky Harbor

Located in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Sky Harbor is a luxury resort community of beautiful home sites. The changing seasons provide spectacular views.

Property Owners Association (POA)

The POA is an important part of the Sky Harbor experience. The Association's responsibilities include
  • maintenance, repair and snow removal for the 35 miles of private, interior paved roads
  • mowing and trash pick-up along the roadways
  • maintenance of the club house, Sky Harbor Lodge
  • electric street lights throughout the community.
The POA elects its board members each year in August.

Super Speedy Exit from the Mountain

I want you to picture a good roller coaster, one that you really need to be strapped into. The track takes you up and down really steep, up and down then twists in crazy ways on you. It is suppose to be fun right? However if you like that sort of thing you know that you are mostly safe. The track keeps the car on the ride well. You are strapped in well. No worries, all fun.

These coasters must have gotten their inspiration from these roads we were on. They were not only steep but there was one complete 90 degree turn. I really wish I had a good picture to demonstrate this. In the best conditions on them I have to close my eyes. There are drop off edges to these as well. No guard rails for safety. Some serious danger if not handled carefully.

We got word yesterday that a guy named Junior was hired to plow these roads. The cabin owners pay $180.00 a year for specific road maintenance which includes snow. Snow happens on the mountains sometimes in Tennessee. This drop of snow which was about a foot was not expected by anyone, even the weather people.

The situation could have been avoided if the plow trucks were out right away keeping the roads clear but because they waited so long to hire someone (because the other contract guys plow broke and he just left the area) the roads got worse and froze over. They were sheets of ice. 32 vehicles tried to get off the mountain but were ditched because of the conditions. Injuries occurred that did not need too if it was tended too like it should have been immediately.

Back to yesterday. Junior took his job seriously. Right away all day he worked on chopping the ice on the roads then had guys behind his work salting it. Then he was going back after that sat for a bit to chop it more. The temp warmed up enough to be above freezing. The roads were looking more like slush making if safer and possibly passable. However, we do not have a four wheel drive but instead a small car.

Word came that the weather was going to be coming in as freezing rain that evening and the day following. That would mean a few more days stuck. So we had a small window to chance getting down. Would the roads be okay on those treacherous drops and twists to make it off safely? I cannot imagine the amount of pressure on my husband to make this decision.

We knew this was a small window of opportunity and decided to do it. We speed packed the car, prayed, and in faith took off. We have never been more scared in our lives. It was quite a bit of slush but still some ice. One the road with the 90 degree turn and twist which had a drop and no guard rails we found ourselves sliding. Then up a hill we almost did not make it because we could not get the traction but finally it came. It was such a dangerous thing but we made it. We are so thankful for God keeping us safe. We know He was watching and guiding us down. We have never been more thankful to be home.

So roller coasters may be fun on the track when safe but they are not fun when they are icy roads with the opportunity of fatal injury. So much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thankfulness Journal While Being Stuck

No matter how nice the place is you are stuck in, you still are stuck. Being stuck has a way of making you feel claustrophobic and weary. Your mind continually wars with you. We are not in the worst of situations because we do have each other, health, electricity, shelter, tons of entertainment, heat, and food. All the things and more we need to survive.

Still the fact is we are stuck. No option to leave this place and that is what wears on you. Sunday morning is when we were suppose to leave. Now it is 3 days later. Very wearing. Unless you are in this situation it is probably very hard to really understand it. We just want to return to our normal life at home. So for my own therapy I am going to make a list of things I am thankful for. That is the only way to win this war of the mind.

1. We do have what we need. We are thankful for that. We were thinking of putting some of our Survivor Man or Man vs. Wild skills in place for food but we opted to take the chained taxi instead.

2. The chained taxi was price gouged. The thankful part is that we got cash in the amount it took to take the taxi for Christmas. Otherwise we do not carry cash.

3. We are getting to see that there are truly good people who care for one another here. Though we are from all over the country there is still a love for each other. People are sharing and kind.

4. A plow finally came through last night. The sun has not risen brightly today. Ice still packed on roads. No salt down. Thankful that finally at least a plow came through.

5. We are creating lasting memories. We are together and seeing God in many things. He is our constant Sustainer.

6. As I type just got word that salt trucks are now out. Good news.

7. God is showing up as Provider. Though we almost ran out of food He has stretched it and provided it through many means.

8. God is showing up as Healer. I experienced one of the worst migraines ever up here. Probably stress and bright lights of the sun off the snow. It made me severely ill but God healed. He is also healing broken things in our family. Things probably ignored or not even seen in normal situation.

9. We are learning the discipline of self-control. I think I may have lost a little weight here. But being mostly sedentary may prove that wrong.

10. We are learning to have fun together and enjoy each other. This is good because it could go the other way being in such tight quarters.

It boils down to seeing God in the center of it all. He knew this was going to take place. He is not surprised. He continually provides for all our needs. We have been so conditioned to be spoiled. Having our needs should be sufficient. Here it is. We can really live on less than what we think we can.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Original Christmas Plan

It is so funny to me that my article about our plans for this Christmas trip and making memories posted on Heart of the Matter and I read it today. I so needed to read my article and the perspective that God gave me then about this trip. Words needed to be heard to myself written much earlier by myself. LOVE how God works that way. He is so amazing to remind us of things that are important. Go check it out here.

Our Cabin Christmas

We took a trip to the Smokey Mountains with the hopes of having a fun Christmas time together as a family. Making memories and bonding. Well that is exactly what we got! Just not in the way we planned or imagined.

We have been challenged in some really good ways this trip. It started as a three day trip. We were to leave returning home the day after Christmas. As I type this (Tuesday am) we are still stuck in this cabin. It is a really nice cabin. But we are starting to get a good feel for what cabin fever is. We are so ready to be out.

When you plan a 3 day cabin trip you plan the food to last that long. You want to leave with the hopes of bringing nothing back. Or atleast that is the way I plan. Unfortunately we got snowed in. We had a little food left but not enough for 3 more days. Again, I am thankful we had something, but it was a test of our survival skills. It took a toll on all of us. It still is.

We have been seeing good in this. God is showing us His provisions. A family came up right before this happenned so they were well stocked with food. Our neighbor got food from them and came over to share it with us.

So people have tried to get off the mountain but cars are turned sideways and upside down in the ditches. This is the worse snow Gatlinburg has seen in quite a while. The temperatures are not warm enough to melt the snow and ice. The police have closed the road coming up to us so no one can come up or down unless they have chains on their tires.

A taxi service started with those requirements. Yesterday Tony got the chance to speed shot for some supplies...What is absolute? That is what he had to decide unknowing how long we are stuck here. Oh and the taxi service, it is $50 down the mountain and $50 back up. Nice, right?

Tony was able to get us restocked with some food. Our morale is up. We have plenty of games and heat and electricity. That is a blessing for sure. But we are all ready to be in our own home. We are making memories for sure. Cannot wait to just be home.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thoughts about Mary

First Merry Christmas! What an amazing Savior we have who left all His splendor to put on flesh, who humbled Himself in the greatest way! I adore Him and He came as Emmanuel which means God with us. If you are His He is not only with you but lives in you. You could never be any closer. Amazing stuff.

Anyway, enjoy Him. Today, my last devotion for Radical Revolution is featured today at Check it out.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Two Hospital Visits in Two Weeks - Yet His Praise is Continually on My Lips

“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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~2 Corinthians 12:9b-10

I had surgery on a Friday that I almost missed because on our way we got locked out of the house. Then could not break into the house but by the grace of God a door (that is difficult to get too) was unlocked (which is NEVER unlocked). We got in got our keys and left.

I pondered if this was a way to stop me from going on with the surgery. It is something that had to be done but maybe not that day, however when things worked out I decided to go on with it. All throughout I had a crazy peace (what my pastor calls it from Phil. 4:7) that can only come through God.

Surgery went well and they found some things that were causing other issues. I was so excited to hear this because though now it was more extensive in the long run that will mean good news. I am hopeful. So we went home for recovery. All was well.

Then a week and a day after surgery I develop this excruciating arm pain in my muscle. I could not lift it without shedding tears. This was crazy pain. My husband insisted we go to the Emergency room since it was a Saturday. So off we went to the hospital again.

Turns out I had rotator cuff tendinitis in my shoulder. How crazy is that? I got it from resting. Not being an athlete or from some repetitive movement, unless if angry birds can cause that. Got a shot to help and now I am told I need to rest some more. Well, I see a key here. The key is REST.

I am not very good with resting. I like to run and do a million things. Yet I am continually humbled by being limited. My health has always been crazy like this. You would never guess a person resting after surgery would end up with a sports injury. But that kind of stuff happens to me. It happens all the time.

I have learned and affirmed that God's grace is continually sufficient in all circumstances. No matter the reason the circumstances come into our lives they are all permitted by God. Whatever He allows has a purpose. It is a way to teach us. He best gets our attention in the stillness. It is where I do hear Him more clearly. I can be thankful because I trust.

I read an amazing quote that really encouraged me. It was a statement made by a man dying with cancer. He said, "I'll be praising God for all of eternity but only during my brief time on earth can I bring Him joy through praising Him in the midst of pain." I love that because in Heaven we will be praising God but with no pain, no tears, no inconvenient circumstances. It will be praise in bliss.

However right now and here on earth it is really a sacrifice to praise in the midst of your trials. So what is it you are struggling through? Can you give God a sacrifice of praise through it now? After all these things here and now are only temporary and as Paul says it best, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

So let us give Him His due praise in whatever season we are in. We can trust that in everything we are being made more and more into His image as we learn to praise and trust.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Fun contest through Tyndale and NLT

See all the details here

You could win some great prizes and three special ministries chosen can as well. Check it out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review: Seeds of Turmoil by Bryant Wright

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I am very interested in the middle east and the reasons for the conflicts over there. The tension is so thick at times. It is an interesting topic in my opinion to study. This book was an amazing write up of the history of the conflict. I learned so much reading this.

Written by a Christian, it fairly looked at the history of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. All centering on one key historical figure of Abraham. The history goes all the way back to him and his one decision. It was interesting tracing the ancestry of his children and how some of them play into this conflict as well. Really to sum it up I would say it is interesting. I really enjoyed the read. If you enjoy history this book would be a good read for you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: If God is Good, Faith in the Midst of suffering and evil by Randy Alcorn

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

It will be very difficult for me to find the proper words to give this book the proper credit it deserves. It was a very long book, 494 pages in all. As much as I enjoy reading I do not think besides the Bible I have ever made it through a book that long.

With that said I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for this book. It is an amazing work that has now made its way to my favorites list. Which if you read me often you know that is not something that happens lightly. I am all about not wasting your time in reading something outside of the Bible. This book is one you will not waste your time reading.

It has a great biblically sound outlook on evil and suffering in this world. It is a topic I wish the church addressed more. This book was right on with all that it discussed. Filled with great stories and testimonies of others and how God has sustained them through trials. It even addressed views of unbelievers and other types of faddish views of suffering and offering a correct biblical perspective on those. This is an extremely helpful book and one I would recommend to anyone because we all experience evil and trials in this world. The question is how do we cope? How do we properly see the trial? How do we view God in it? Trials bring our theology to the test. It is only through those struggles that God can work out the wrong beliefs in our thinking.

Trials challenge us to put God in His proper place. I am eternally grateful for mine. I love everything about this book. I wish I had my hands on it 13 years ago when the biggest trial of my life started with my health. It would have helped me avoid some of the pitfalls of wrong thinking. However though I did not have a book like this I did have my Bible. The challenge of others opinions on the very topic of trials drove me deep into the Word of God and I would not trade that for the world. It was there that God gave me this same perspective written in this book.

So to end I will say what my daughter always says when she reads the cover of this book, If God is good? Mom, the answer is YES! He is so good and this book will help you see that if you cannot see the good in any trials you may be struggling with. Also, if you just need some strong solid biblical encouragement this book is also for you.

Book Review: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the sake of review.

This little devotional book is a sweet and easy read for the family. It covers Days December 1st through the 31st. The devotions are great for the Christmas season. It is good to have a resource that keeps you focused on what the holiday season is really about.

The book starts with a devotion for each day then a prayer. After that there are discussion starters to use with your family and Scripture verses. We would start by reading it out loud and discuss the questions listed. There are also songs listed as well. It was a neat thing to do together as a family.

To purchase a copy of this book click on the link above.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

I am writing this update as I recover from surgery. I gave you this link for an update this year instead of sending a letter. Plus this way we can save paper! Hope you enjoyed the Christmas cards sent and the pictures. I know it has been forever since I have sent them. So I really hope you enjoy. We are amazed by our Savior and love to celebrate His birth.

We are sending our love to you. We are thankful for each of you. So on with the updates.

Tony has been busy with work, teaching, and running his video game ministry, CGO. Check it out. He is good at this and it is an amazing outreach. He even designed the website and I am proud of all of his hard work. Plus this year we are serving at a church we love. Tony has found a place in media. :) Of course. He also had a chance to go to Peru to help with a house church started there. He really enjoyed it.

With all that said though and Tony being so busy I have been like a single mother some of the time and with my various health issues randomly appearing has not made it easy. But God's grace is always enough. I have found a place to serve in our church as well that I love. I get to minister to new mothers in a Sunday School class formed. It is a blessing. Also, I have had quite a few speaking opportunities this year through our ministry Refresh My Soul. But my main dedication has been teaching the children and mothering so Tony could be free to do the things he has been called to this year. I am blessed to do it. My goal for this year is to write a bit more.

Kaitlyn and Hannah are in 3rd and 2nd grade. They are doing really well. I love teaching them and seeing that light bulb go off in their head. Kaitlyn is take charge and likes to get all her work done with or without me. She has an intense drive in her. Hannah has those ADHD, OCD, learning issues and we are learning together how to work with this. She is so incredibly smart and working so hard. She does not let it stop her. I am so proud of her diligence.

The girls are in gymnastics this year and LOVE it. They are coming along really well in it. By the time you read this Hannah will have gotten baptized. She also lost her first tooth this month. They are both growing so fast and it is my goal to treasure it in my heart. It goes by so fast!
Love to you all!
Tony, Angie, Kaitlyn, and Hannah.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Make a Difference this Season by Giving the Gift of Clean Water

My friends at Water Missions International came up with a great idea for this holiday--giving the gift of clean water. It is simple and easy enough and anyone can do it. So let's turn black Friday blue and give the gift to someone in need. What a great way to refresh someones soul by meeting the need they have physically.

Did you know that for only $10.00 you can give the gift of clean water to one person? That is amazing! Only $10.00. So this is my goal this season, From now until Christmas, the next 30 days, I am going to save all the money I would normally spend on soft drinks, juices, and yes STARBUCKS and give it for the gift of clean water. For the cost of my two mocha's a person could have clean water. Now that is a sacrifice worth making. (Now if you see me at SB it is only because I have a gift card no spending my own because it goes for clean water.)

I am pulling the kids into this by the sacrifice of soft drinks. I know that will make them feel excited to be a part and learn to sacrifice as well.  I am excited.

Will you join me? Please check out my friends at Water Missions HERE.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review - Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the sake of review.

This book was a very interesting story of a young man's life as a son of one of the founder's of the Hamas group. It is an interesting story of the middle east conflict. It helped me understand some of the reasons for the fighting in the area. It is a really hard thing to resolve with all the hate and suspicion that goes on there. I was in fact really surprised about much of it. The media airs things sometimes that are off base. I don't need to just believe what I hear, there is much more to it.

It gives gripping information about the inside of Hamas organization, Israel's Army, and other factions. Formerly, a devout Muslim, Mosab, converts to Christianity because he was compelled by the love of Jesus Christ. It is the love of Christ that the author believes is the only thing that will solve the problems. However, tensions and pain run really deep and only God has to power to open the eyes of the people to see this. So there is hope in HIM but only in HIM alone.

I did think this book was a good read. I am so interested in the middle east so it was a book I did not want to put down. Especially hearing this man's personal account. It was informative and opened my eyes to some things. I am so encouraged that He was drawn to Christ even within his strict culture. It shows you that God can call anyone to Himself so don't give up keep praying.

To get a copy of the book click on the link above.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Review - Topical Memory System by The Navigators

I received this product free of charge for the sake of review by the publisher.

I was very excited to receive this product in the mail. I had very good intentions to keep up to date with the process in memorizing my verses but did not follow through. It is a really good system. It is something that I probably needed to use with a group for accountability. Also, being a home school mom, I see it could be beneficial for using in the classroom for memory work. I think the timing was not great for it to be a success with me at the moment. I do however look forward to getting back into it at a later date.

This product was a good one. It includes card stock memory verse cards and even a little case to keep them in. It would be easy to carry in your pocket, wallet, or purse. I kept mine in my purse. They are smaller than a credit card so they are very easy to carry with you. Anyone could benefit from that.

The product also included a book that explained good tools for memorization and how to get the most out of the verses by understanding the context of those Scriptures. I really loved that part of it. It helped you study the passages the verses came from. It is a really good product.

Book Review - On This Day in Christian History by Robert J. Morgan

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

The book description for this title is listed as: Amazing stories of faith from twenty centuries of church history.
From the Roman Empire to the Reformation, St. Valentine to St. Francis, Martin Luther to Billy Graham, On this Day introduces readers to a parade of preachers, popes, martyrs, heroes, and saints from 2,000 years of Christianity.

This introduction to 365 of the most interesting men and women of faith brings a year's worth of inspiration and spiritual challenge and offers an enjoyable glimpse into church history. Each day includes a related Scripture reading and a simple, colorful story about history-making events in the lives of people who loved God wholeheartedly.

I really enjoyed this book. It is set up in a 365 day format so that each day you can review something that has happened in Christian history. I found it very interesting that there were enough things to list for each day of the year. The stories are interesting and inspiring. It is a good read if  you are interested in history and in taking it all in in small pieces at a time.  I also found it helpful for use with my children for history purposes.

To purchase a copy of this title from the publisher go here.
To purchase a copy from Amazon go here.On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Estatic That I Got This Today - Best Purchase of the Year

This is an amazing book that will allow you to pray for the entire world. This is probably the best thing I have bought this year!! Does that make me a nerd? Oh well. LOVE it and love praying through it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review - Voices of the True Woman Movement

This book ends with a call to living counter culturally based on God's word alone. This book was a good read. It is what we as women should look like today in this society. Also, there is a true woman manifesto you can sign if you agree with all that is written there. I added it to this blog under our ministry section as what we believe. This is the link you can go to to sign the petition yourself. Also you can sign up to do the 30 day true woman makeover which I am almost finished with. It has also blessed me immensely. If you do decide to do it let me know. I would love to talk with you about it.

October T.V. Challenge - A Good Ending

So this month's challenge has been really freeing and refreshing. I am so thankful that as a family we all agreed to do this (with a little reluctance from the children). After 30 days we saw that T.V. is something we can live without. We learned how to just enjoy one another better. How to have fun together playing and in activities. We did watch family movies together some over the month but it was a family activity all agreed upon.

The television often distracts us from some of those things because it just draws us in. Something about it draws you to it and you just cannot stop looking at it. Fasting is such a good way to break a stronghold in your life. Whether it is food, T.V., Computer games, etc. Making a break helps you gain a better perspective and breaks the hold that thing once had on you.

So where do we go from here? We have direct T.V. currently and our contract is up in January. We will not renew this contract. We have Netflix and that will be our main source for programming. I like this option better because you can pick and chose what you watch and there are no commercials. Commercials were a big issue for us because it feeds into materialism. We do not need that coming into our house at all.

Plus I added earlier that garbage going into our minds and hearts only brings garbage out through our mouths. We need to guard our hearts fiercely. Avoiding all the worldliness of television programming will help us in this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review - Voices of the True Woman Movement

The next chapter in this book is about leaving a legacy of prayer by Fern Nichols. This was also a good chapter about prayer. Praying makes the most difference in our lives and world. Another good read. This book has been really good. I hope to make it to a True Woman conference sometime.

I have one more chapter to go.

Book Review - Voices of the True Woman Movement

It has been awhile since I have posted about a chapter in this book. However, God's timing is always perfect! I can truly attest to that. This chapter is one that I really needed at the moment. I again am suffering with health afflictions. This chapter was by Joni Eareckson Tada. She is an amazing woman who is a quadriplegic yet in all her suffering she is faithful to God.

In this chapter Joni addresses being faithful to God and through suffering is where He chisels the bad spots off of us making us shine more and more like His Son. This chapter has been the best so far. I may reread it a few times to just let it soak in. Suffering is where we truly learn and grow. It helps expose what is in us and make us like Jesus. We are continually being refined in various ways. These health struggle for me however have been hard and easy for me to lose focus on what the big picture is accomplishing. Oh I praise our great God who will not leave us the same. He is so good to us. He is the Master artist and knows how to best mold and shape us.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dancing with the One You Love by Cindy Easley - Great book on Submission


I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the sake of review.

The subtitle of this book is Living Out Submission in the Real World. Now before you stop reading right there I ask you to reconsider and read on. The topic of Biblical submission has been one of great controversy with women. However, God does ask women to submit to their husbands in Scripture. Now there are exceptions to this rule and I will not get into these in a book review. However, if you are looking for a good solid Biblical book on the topic this is it.

This book is broken up into practical chapters of what submission is supposed to look like in marriage. It even goes into the details of dealing with a chronically ill mate, an absent mate due to job like military, and situations of abuse to name just a few. I found this a very practical and helpful tool for marriage.

Cindy is the wife of Michael Easley who is a great teacher of the Bible you can listen to on Moody radio. I really enjoy listening to him. He adds a chapter in this book for husbands as well. Basically it boils down to submission being a choice that is never to be forced. We can bring great glory to God in our marriage by how we chose this behavior. I do suggest this read. You will be better off for reading this.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Medicate or Not? That is the Question.

Join me over at Heart of the Matter Online today...
"No Not Medication!," I thought over and over again in my mind. I could not believe it finally came to the point that my daughter would need medication to help with her ADHD, impulse control, and OCD issues. I am not sure why it seemed like a huge ordeal in the first place? Possibly because of all the bad side effects you hear about from medication. Also maybe because as Christians sometimes we are guilty of saying things about medication like we are lacking faith for God to heal a situation. All of this and more made it a really hard struggle for me in deciding to medicate. Read more here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October T.V. Fast - More observations

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."~Proverbs 4:23

Two things I am seeing as we detox. One this business of guarding our hearts does need to be taken very seriously. If we can guard them from seeing behaviors and actions that are not pleasing to God then we will not be as tempted to participate in those same actions. Mostly for our family it is in attitudes. So true if you put garbage in your heart garbage will come out. If you guard your heart from that then there will not be as many problems with it.
Two. The real issue that is emerging is not the television being the problem itself because there are alot of good things that can come from good quality programs. We do use it for educational purposes still and selective family movies or shows as family time avoiding all commercials (I will talk about commercials at another time but they are bad for some peoples hearts). The real issue I am seeing here is the issue with authority. At times the girls just want to turn the t.v. on to just watch whatever is there. They do not like being told no or the restriction. It is a submission to authority issue. They have not missed the t.v. all that much. This is good to identify because we are working through it.

Overall I am thankful because God is moving and changing our hearts.

Book Review - City on our Knees by Toby Mac

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Not only did I love the music CD by Toby Mac titled City on our Knees, but now I also loved the book. This book is packed with stories of people who overcame barriers and crossed lines for the sake of Christ. I think it is a good read for any Christian because we get courage and encouraged from stories of other believers overcoming obstacles of different kinds.

It stirred something in my heart to hear these stories. They are stories of just ordinary people who God used to do amazing things. Some we may never hear of until this book. Others books or movies have been made about. Either way we are all human and ordinary and all have a place that God wants to use us all for different accomplishing purposes for His kingdom.

It was a privilege to read all of these stories in this book. If you are looking for a good dose of encouragement then I recommend you read this. But beware, I think it will stir your heart too. Where is it that God wants to use you to make a difference for His kingdom?

To get a copy of this book from go here City on Our Knees or click on the link above.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Excited to get to review this from Navpress

Topical Memory System.

I just love hiding God's word in my heart.

Maybe I will try it with the kids too.

Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

my youngest baby girl random God thoughts.


Without prompting my baby girl made this sweet video today. Makes a mommies heart smile.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review - The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

This was a great book. This is the second book I have had the opportunity to review by this author and have been greatly pleased each time. Jerry Bridge's books really challenge you but in a gentle and humble way. They help you think and desire to be the best that you can be in your walk with the Lord.

Holiness has always been a topic that has interested me. This book was so informative and solid in the word of God. Not a stuffy book at all. This topic is so important for today's church. Are we pursuing holiness in the Lord? Not only do we look at the Scriptures but there is also great application stories and principles as well.

Holiness is a way of daily living that we must pursue in our walk with God. If we do not then how do we bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the sake of review.
To get a copy of this book from click on the link above.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The October T.V. Fast Challenge - A Stronghold Identified

We are now 11 days into our T.V. fast. I was not sure how this would effect me because T.V. is not that big of a deal for me. However, I saw its hold on me this week. If you follow me you know I struggle pretty regularly with health issues. If it is not one thing it is another. When something rises up and I take time to rest usually that is when the T.V. comes on. This is the time I am most vulnerable to let the garbage sink into my head and heart. I think I am seeking comfort of some kind because I feel sorry for myself. This is kind of like comfort food.

Another way I use it is when I feel bad I like to turn it on for the kids to watch to give them something to do so I can be left alone to rest. I know some of you will think that this makes me a horrible mom but until you live in this body of mine and experience all of what I endure physically you cannot really understand this. I do see it and want to correct it though. Because of our commitment to our fast I have been able to learn to manage in a better way. Instead of seeking to comfort of T.V. or distracting the kids with it I can encourage them to play and I can read or interact with them in a different way that fits our situation.

Overall though we are really seeing improvement in family relationships. We are learning to enjoy one another and have fun together interacting more. I am so thankful for this.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Life in the Kingdom - Part 6

Kingdom living was not meant to remain in the castle or the court alone. The Master gave charge for princes and princesses to go out and make disciples. He wanted them to go outside the castle to do this. How else can they know the Master? This Master is not like other kinds of kings. This Master truly desires all people to know Him but He is kind enough to give them a choice to do that or not. He depends on the people of His kingdom to go and share His good news.

There however are some kingdoms who like to keep their castle protected by a moat that is impossible to get over. Not only is there a moat but also a draw bridge so they can monitor and chose who they let in. The Master is not pleased with this but these castles persist in it.

In one of these particular castles there was a daughter of the King. He placed in her heart the desire to reach those who do not usually visit the castle. So she went out with an invitation and many came delightfully. Many saw the delights of the King through this woman and her friends. It sparked a desire in them to know the Master. They desired to know His word. They wanted to be part of the castle. However, they were still a little dirty and didn't understand proper castle behavior.

The Master loves to teach them proper castle behavior but the guardian of this castle didn't want them there. He closed up the draw bridge and kicked them out along with the daughter of the King who brought them. He was uncomfortable with the mess they brought and instead of seeing them as the Master's grand creation, He saw them as a nuisance. The King's daughter got thrown out too. No one from that castle is helping her. You see she got wounded when she was thrown out with the others. No one tended to those wounds of hers though she called out for help. The Master is coming to tend to them though. He is well pleased with her.

Sometimes the castle guardians or the castle courts do not behave the way the Master desires. This should not be a reflection of the Master. The Master is kind and loving and invites all to His kingdom. He doesn't force you to come but if you do decide to come and follow Him, He gives you a precious gift of Himself that works in you to make you look more and more like Him in His timing. Have you been afraid of the castle? Not all guardians are following God. Just keep looking until you do find one that does. Let the Master help you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Facebook and the mysterious "I Like it...."

Serious ladies?! We are doing this again?! Breast Cancer Awareness month is a serious thing. We want people aware of Breast Cancer so we can better fight it. We need this awareness, however there are ways to do this and not be trashy at the same time.

In our sex crazed culture anytime you say, "I like it on the floor or on the kitchen counter or anywhere else" you know full well that it will create a temptation to a perverted thought in a male's mind. It is our job as women to do our best to NOT create stumbling blocks for our brothers in Christ. This is NOT a way to raise Breast Cancer Awareness. In case you are wondering what I am ranting about here is the "secret" email sent.

October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Remember the game last year about what color bra you were wearing at the moment? The purpose was to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was a tremendous success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the news. This year's game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example "I like it on the couch", "I like it on the kitchen counter", "I like it on the dresser" well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let's see how powerful we women really are!!! REMEMBER - DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWER AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE- PUT IT IN YOUR STATUS!!! PASS THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!

Seriously, who is making this up? And seriously why would you blindly just follow this? I am so blessed to be a woman. God made us unique and special. This is not a way for women to become powerful but a way for them to be ignorant or unprotected. Do you want some man imagining you in a wrong manner? I hope that answer is no. So then I say to you STOP IT! Expose this ignorance and just wear pink, add it to your profile picture, post names of survivors or memories of lost loved ones.

The October T.V. Fast Update

We are six days into this T.V. fast. Let me clarify for fairness we still have some media going here and there. The children can earn a show to watch (with no commercials) if they earn it but not everyday. We can watch a movie together as a family time option if we chose this.

My husband and I are limiting our computer time in this fast. Basically we are putting priorities back in order and learning to reconnect as family. We are learning to do more things together and really enjoy one another. We have some games we like playing, activities we like to do, and talk more. We didn't watch a ton of T.V. in the first place but did let it pour into us. There is alot of garbage on T.V. and as we let it pour into our home is starts to seep into our hearts. When those things are in our hearts that is not good. It is failing to guard our hearts like the Bible challenges us to do. So know we are guarding our hearts.

So far I have seen such progress. We are detoxing I can tell because of some of the things that come out of our mouths. That attitude of entitlement that grieves me in my children is fading. Rebellion is fading as well. We are guarding hearts from these things going in. When only good things go in then only good things come out. I have been able to experience more of their creativity. They have time to do things they love to do instead of just flipping on the T.V. So far so good and I am so blessed to be doing this. Will keep you posted on how it continues.

True Woman Makeover

These next 30 days I have been doing a true woman makeover hosted by Nancy Leigh Demoss. It has been convicting and filled with great reminders of what a woman should be doing with her life and time. We are looking at Proverbs 31. I am really enjoying this. Often times in our culture a stay at home mother is a foreign concept. I understand not everyone can stay home with their children but if the option is available we should take it. Nothing is better and no one will raise your children better than you.

Aspiring to walk in the footsteps of this woman (who is not real by the way - she is what a mother desires for her son) is possible in Christ. In Christ we can be what He calls us to be. It is a brave task since culture goes against this much of the time.

Now why did I pick this picture of Belle and the Beast? Because I just love her. I love how she loves to read and is really smart yet gentle and loving. She is a pretty close example of what this Proverbs 31 woman looks like. Is she perfect? No. Will any of us be? No. But we can strive to be the best we can be.

What do you think about the Proverbs 31 woman?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thoughts on Ruth 4

You can read Ruth 4 here.

I just love this chapter because we see Boaz takes action. He goes straight to the city gate to settle the matter at hand. He has a clever plan to get his bride. He identifies the closer kinsmen redeemer and tells him about the land in question. The closer redeemer is interested in this. Boaz then throws in, "Oh and it comes with a Moabite woman who you will need to marry." He is a great business man. Any man would love to obtain land. Land was what was very important in their time. Boaz knew this. However, taking in a wife (of Moabite origin) and having to have a child in her dead husbands name, well that is another thing. So Boaz cleverly gave each piece of information timely as needed.

Boaz said if the nearer kinsman didn't want this then Boaz wanted to redeem the land and take the bride. The closest kinsmen declined, not wanting to jeopardize his own inheritance. Now Boaz and Ruth are husband and wife. The people are happy and pray blessings over them. They have a baby boy named Obed. He is the grandfather of King David. That makes Ruth and Boaz the great-grandparents of King David. Their story is amazing. Also this lineage of people will go all the way to the lineage of Jesus Christ through Joseph in Matthew 1. Some really cool stuff.

Two New Reviews

I am excited about reviewing these two books! One by Jerry Bridges and the other by Toby Mac. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review - Voices of the True Woman Movement

It has been a while since I last reviewed a chapter of this book. Chapter six is written by Karen Loritts. I appreciated her honesty about dealing with fear in her life situations and how to overcome it. She explored what fear does to us. I enjoyed how she broke this down. Also, how she included great Scripture to combat it. The chapter title was, Choosing Faith in Seasons of Change. Good reminder that change can be fearful but God is still in control and we need to continue to trust in Him.

Book Review - The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher (Tyndale House Publishers) for the purpose of review.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven was a shocking story of redemption and grace. I did not expect what I got from this book. It has been an inspiring read about one families journey facing horrible adversity yet still responding the way that Christ calls His followers to respond. It is a rare thing to see these days. The humility and forgiveness that was displayed through this family just cannot help but move you to the very core of your being.

I personally have been challenged by it. First, I love this family. I love the way they taught and raised their children and am challenged by that. Also, I was greatly challenged by how they responded to an imminent and real threat toward their lives for the sake of the gospel. This happened in America! That was so surprising to me. It is hard to read a book like this and really give appropriate words to express its depth. I think anyone reading it would be better off than before. I believe it would help anyone struggling with unforgiveness as well. I was incredibly blessed by reading this.

To get a copy of this book from amazon go here. The Devil in Pew Number Seven

The No T.V. Experiment

The month of October is "No Television" month for our family. We are excited to jump into this adventure because we know that is will not only protect our children's eyes from the horrible things that come on during this month in particular but it will also help us to be detoxed from any garbage that has been allowed to seep into our hearts.

This month we will be taking time to focus on God, family, and getting our priorities in order. It isn't that we watch a lot of television in the first place but it does seem to occupy more of our time than it should. I am excited to see what this will do for our family. I will be posting about it throughout the month.

Just today my husband realized that it really should included limited time with other media sources as well, like Facebook, email, twitter, etc. So that will be part of it as well. We will see what this month holds.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lenoir City TN....What a Speaking Event is Like for Me

So here is the low down on speaking events for me. I do not know if it will ever get easier. The fun part is really digging deep into God's word. I LOVE this part. Praying and listening to what God wants to speak. This part is the greatest. But then the thoughts of the women I will be sharing with come to mind and then I start to get super nervous.

I do like that nervousness because I think it speaks many things in my heart that I must evaluate. First are my eyes on Jesus? Obedience to Him is more important than anything else. Because of that I can press through it. However, am I concerned too much about  what others will think of me? Will that be more important to me than obedience? Am I handling the word of truth correctly? Am I depending on Him alone for this task? After all all He calls you to He equips you for. Do I trust Him to speak through an ordinary and simple girl like me?

That last question is probably the hardest one. Do I trust that God can use even me for any part of His plans or purposes? I want to please Him. Will I trust Him? In Lenoir city He showed up. He always brings me back to the disciples. This verse is what happens to me, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus," Acts 4:13. I can have courage, Jesus in me through the Holy Spirit does the work. It never ceases to amaze me AND I can never take credit for it. It is a beautiful thing to accomplish a task through HIM. All for Him and all for His glory.

God connected me with some amazing women. He also used it to encourage others dealing with chronic medical conditions. At any event I will never know all that God did, His ways are amazing to me. In whatever way we serve it is a blessing indeed. Our Father in Heaven loves us and allows us to work alongside Him. That never gets old. What a privilege.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review - Captured by Grace by Dr. David Jeremiah

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Captured by Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God, is exactly what it sounds like it should be. The book takes a look at the lives of John Newton and the Apostle Paul both me who became aquainted with amazing grace. John Newton is the writer of that famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

Newton was a slave trader who later influenced and started the movement toward the abolition of slavery in England. The Apostle Paul was a strict Pharisee on a spree to get those who joined the movement of the WAY. On his way to Damaucus God got ahold of Him. Both me see themselves as great sinners, both men received amazing grace.

Dr. David Jeremiah unpacks with great detail some of the most famous grace passages in the Bible. With his amazing detail and insight this topic is explored indepth. This book is challenging forcing you to take a look at your own life along the way. I greatly enjoyed this book and am so thankful to the Lord for His amazing grace to all who will accept it.

If you would like a copy of the book you can get it through the publisher here.
To get a copy from Amazon go here.

If you would like a copy of the book you can get it through Amazon here.Captured By Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God

2:21 Autumn issue is out today.

Check out the issue of 2:21 today here.
Love this ministry for teens. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review - Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Max Lucado is always a good read! I just love how the author helps me expand my imagination. He writes with such an amazing flow of words that it is incredibly easy to read and enjoy. I could have read this book in one. I enjoyed every minute of it.

This book is great in several ways. First all proceeds from it go to charity. Now that is a great reason to purchase it. Second, it takes a look at the book of Acts, which is what the early church looked like. Reading through the book of Acts always spurns my heart to desire more of God's movement in the church. The people in that time were so moved by God that they did not forget those who were hurting and poor among them. They helped out equally. They did not just turn their heads and buy a new million dollar building or sports car but instead sold all they had and gave that money to help. They didn't depend on government officials to help these problems. They saw the problems as real human beings suffering who needed to see the love and mercy of Christ tangibly. They not only saw it but did something about it. So often today we turn our heads and comfort ourselves with things when the majority of the world is living at poverty level. Something is truly wrong with that.

Max never rights in a condemning way. He addresses these issues and challenges us to take action. It is my prayer that we would take heed to those words and grow in a deeper understanding then make our faith real by walking it out and taking action. God has given each of us passions and as the author says, "we may not be able to help everyone but if everyone helps one" then that makes a huge difference.

To get a copy of this book from Amazon go here.Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference
To get a copy of this book from the publisher go here.
To see more about the author go here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Parenting the OCD child


Hey all. I am over at the Heart of the Matter today talking about parenting a child with OCD. It comes with certain challenges and blessings. Check it out here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review - Daddy's Delight by Karia Bunting

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I really want to be encouraging in all the things that I write. However this book was not what I expected at all. I thought it would be all about the Father's delight in us and ours in His. This book was just a lot of information about living life.

It is good information for a newer Christian. It seemed to address women in most life situations including singleness (which I really appreciated). I could not  say I actually agree with all that was said in the book either. Just minor issues that I did not agree with but did bother me some.

To get a copy of this title from amazon go here Daddy's Delight: Embracing Your Divine Design
To see what others are saying about this book go here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Review: Coffee Shop Conversations by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher

Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I found this book to be very interesting. It is a helpful tool that teaches you how to talk to other people about Jesus. Not your typical book on this subject. It  addresses us all as humans created in the image of God whether we follow Jesus or not. On this journey we are all just trying to make things work to the best of our ability. As we walk along we will come in contact with tons of people. How do we share? How are we helpful in this sharing? I appreciated the way this book challenged me personally as well as methods used in the past that did not work. It centers on Jesus and His way.

So often Christians get a bad rap because their only interest is in converting people. I often feel frustrated in sharing my own faith. I have been taught so many different ways to do this. Yet no certain method is right. We are all different. God is the one who draws peoples hearts. We are just responsible for sharing where God allows us too. There should not be any pressure here.

This book takes a look at different religions or belief systems and how to ask questions that will promote further conversation. I especially enjoyed this section of the book. I learned some new things about different religions that I did not already know.

This book is written in conversational style that makes it easy to read. It also gives many examples of conversations the authors have had. I found that very helpful.

See what others are saying here.
Visit the authors website here.
To get a copy of the book from Amazon go here.
Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts on Ruth 3

Ruth 3 can be read .here.

Remember the movie Fiddler on the Roof? That song, match maker? This scene reminds me of that movie! (Off subject this song (If I Were a Rich Man) is my favorite from the movie!!)

In Ruth 3 we see Naomi planning a scheme for Ruth. The purpose is for her to go and ask Boaz to redeem her. It is a very peculiar scene. Something that you really need to understand Jewish customs to understand fully. We must remember that this period of time is the time of the judges. Israel was not in its prime as far as following God goes. There was lots of sin that abounded. Because of that Boaz had to stay with his harvest. It was a good time because famine had once plagued the land but now a plentiful harvest had come. It was not uncommon for field owners to stay with their crops all night to guard them from theives.

The plan was for Ruth to quietly approach Boaz on the threshing floor after he was asleep. She was to then uncover his feet with the corner of the garment that covered him. She would have laid down at his feet in a T position. That is where a servant would usually sleep. Something startled Boaz and he woke up seeing a woman at his feet.

Ruth revealed who she was to him. She then asked him to redeem her. The symbolism was covering her with his cover like God covers us with His wings. This was such an important thing in these days. A redeemer could purchase land back for a widow and carry on the name of the deceased spouse by providing children. The redeemer would be a husband to the widow and provide and care for her. In these days that security was important for a woman. Ruth's mother in law knew Boaz was a redeemer who could do this so that is why she sent Ruth to him.

This was a risk for Ruth. Boaz agreed. He was humbled because he knew she could go after any man. She also could go after younger men, apparently Boaz was older. Ruth continues to think about her mother in law and caring for her. Ruth is not selfish. Boaz speaks of her noble character and how all the townspeople know of it. He tells her he will handle the matter the next day at the city gates (which was like the court system). However, Boaz knew that there was a redeemer that was closer than him. Redeemers were people within the family and there was an order of who is closest. This other man had the right before Boaz. Boaz would settle the matter the next day.

What an exciting and anxious time for Ruth. She now knows she will be married to someone. Either Boaz or this nearer redeemer she does not know. Wonder how that made her feel? She slept the rest of the night the same way in a servants position. Then before it was light enough for anyone to recognize her Boaz sent her away with lots of grain for her mother in law.  This was to show his intentions of handling the matter. Ruth then goes home and tells Naomi all about it. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on that wall?

Over and over we see Ruth displaying great and noble character. She never expects anyone to take care of her. She provides for herself and her mother in law. She is a hard worker. She focuses on the important things. She is brave and obedient to her mother in law. She has a good reputation. She seems to embrace the culture of the Hebrews. She is a Proverbs 31 woman.

Just for fun! This is my second favorite song from Fiddler on the Roof. Do you love me?
Do you have a favorite song from the movie??
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