Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Review: Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges

Jerry Bridges wrote an amazing book on the topic of grace. So often we as Christians subconsciously try to work for salvation or favor with God. We often believe that God's grace can be earned by our own merit. But the truth is that God's grace is simply a free gift. It can never be earned and it is not deserved. God is amazingly gracious and freely bestows this grace upon us.

This book is Scripturally sound and filled with info that takes a close look at the Scriptures. Walking through God's word we see up close and personal this grace at work. The subtitle of this book is, "Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love." This explains well another aspect of this book. We do take a look at how God loves us and how we need to grasp that to live in grace.

We also need to accept God's grace and then in turn freely extend it to others. We need to realize we are spiritually bankrupt before God. We need to completely depend on Him in all things. The Holy Spirit that lives in us then does the work in us that God desires. It is all an act of amazing grace.

This is a must read for Christians.We must understand God's grace. I highly recommend this book. It is now on my favorites list.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.
*Purchasing this book from the Amazon link will earn me a commission.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Health Update

I have been feeling much stronger. I am still on a number of supplements to aid me in this process of rebuilding my immune system and helping me cleanse my system of bad things. They seem to be helping a lot.

I am still avoiding dairy, wheat, and sugar for the most part however I do eat it once and awhile. Like today I had one of each of these things. I am not stressing about it just avoiding it most of the time. It would be easy to go to extremes and I do not want to do that.

I have had enough energy and strength in fact to start working out again. That is a huge blessing. I even can stamina a run for a small amount of time. We have a treadmill with a heart monitor that helps me with this. It will be a process of rebuilding. It all takes time. It is a journey. Though my illness set out to kill me and almost did. I have a long way to go. Seeing these positives are so good for me.

A very sad thing happened where that staph infection came back while we were away from home. I have been battling it again for about a month. It is hanging on like last time however I am fighting it with natural antibiotics this time and on this day I can say it is going away. I hope it continues in this direction. But so far so good. I think. I am sticking with these natural methods now so I can continue to clean my system. Oh the journey is hard and I am praying it cleans up before the beginning of September because church directory pictures are coming. I would hate to have this ugliness preserved for years to come but I guess I can look at it as a privilege of bearing the scars of service to our Lord. I will always remember and pray for the one I got this from. May God heal him too.

Thoughts on Ruth 1 Continued

Ruth Section two here.

This is an emotional scene. Naomi gets word that the Lord has come to the aid of His people back in Bethlehem. So she heads out to return with her daughters-in-law. They are on the way and all of a sudden Naomi decides to send the girls back to their parents. She realizes she has nothing to offer them and the road ahead will be hard. Naomi is really feeling sorry for herself. One of the daughters-in-law go back to her parents home. The other named Ruth clings to Naomi. Ruth declares she will not leave her and will follow her wherever she goes and follow her God.

Ruth decides to leave everything she knows to go with Naomi. Though Naomi is a basket case here and bitter(which we will see in the next few verses) Ruth goes with her. During their 10 years together Naomi must have made an impression on Ruth. She must have made much of her God. Even in not waiting on God and making some poor choices in Naomi's life there was still something there that drew Ruth to God. Has God ever used you in this way? I like this because it takes the pressure off of us. There is absolutely nothing we can do to thwart God's plans. He works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Now that gives me some great relief!

Finally The last verses of Chapter 1
The women in town are stirred that Naomi is back. She is accompanied by Ruth her Moabitess daughter-in-law. The ladies call Naomi's name and Naomi says, "call me Mara not Naomi." Mara means bitter. She goes on to say she went away  full and came back empty. If I was Ruth I might be offended. She was something that Naomi had. Plus Ruth did leave everything to accompany her mother-in-law.

The story still seems sad. But things are changing and as we keep going we will see how God brings restoration in unlikely places.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Love This Pic! Love it When They Unite!

How good and pleasant it is when brothers (or sisters) live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review - Voices of the True Woman Movement Chapter 5

"A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Janet Parshall
This was a really good chapter. I really like Janet Parshall. I was first introduced to her at a Precept Conference here in Chattanooga. She spoke on this topic but not in the detail that is listed in chapter. It was pure joy for me to get to read this.

This chapter was about Hannah and her struggles with infertility. It explores her response to this in dealing with the difficulties in her life and her relationship with God. It was a good read. We can learn alot from Hannah. Especially in waiting on God and fulfilling our promises to Him.
I am encouraged by this chapter.

A Great Junior/Senior/College Girls Conference


My friend Stephanie is on a team putting together a conference for junior/senior/college girls. It will be great! If you can go please do you will be better off for going. It is August 27-28 in Chattanooga. Cost is $25.00.

Go here for more info on the FB page.

Thoughts on Ruth 1

Ruth is a small booked packed full of great information. We have only taken a look at the first five verses so far and the theme here is great loss.

Loss 1-A great move to a foreign land(loss of home, job, friends, familiarity).
Loss 2-Loss of a husband (Naomi is widowed in the foreign land).
Loss 3-Loss of her two sons (Naomi is left alone in this foreign land).

If this was all of the story it would be so sad however God writes great stories. There is a happy ending through this horrible tragedy. We will see this as we go. We will see that God is in control and works out His plans regardless of our choices. We may have consequences for our choices that are not pleasant but our choices never interrupt God's plan. He works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

The biggest thing that stood out to me was this family choosing to leave their promise land. It had not been that long ago that Joshua led the Israelites over the God-parted Jordan river to take possession of this land He was giving them. Joshua had each tribe set up a little monument of stones from the center of the river so that everyone would remember this event when they saw it. God worked on their behalf in miraculous ways so they could take possession of this land of promise. However, in the time of the judges people started doing what was right in their own eyes and stopped following God. This has consequences.

The consequence of the time period of the book of Ruth is a famine in the land. Naomi's family decide to leave their promise land through this trial. They move to a foreign country that housed their peoples enemies.

Consider this:
How often do things start to get rough or dry in our life and we decide to take some steps away from God? We distance ourselves and walk away like they did. Instead of by faith pressing into God knowing He is there though we cannot see Him we distance ourselves. But this is the truth we know and need to cling to in these times.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

"7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons." Hebrews 12:7-8

How about you? Are you clinging to your spiritual promise land? Where God has placed you are you keeping your eyes fixed on Him? Are you persevering through a tough time? Hang tight dear one it will not last forever. God is there. God does not change and He loves you more than you can even think or imagine. Just cling to Him and keep your eyes fixed on Him. The end of your story has not yet come. He has more in store. Wait for it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Frustrations


Friendships can be incredibly hard at times. I have some friends who seem more “spiritual” because they never give you a direct answer to a question as simple as, “can you help me out with this?” I get that we need to speak to God about everything we do. But to me that seems to be more of a pray without ceasing kind of issue.

If we are truly praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) like Scripture states then shouldn’t we be able to get a sense by the Holy Spirit (who lives within us in power) to a simple question like that? God usually just gives me a peace about some things and uneasiness about others. Yet still my feelings about something can betray me. Sometimes it is just doing something by faith because after all everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Hoping this can still be applied though it is used in a different context here.

Sometimes I just don’t know how to respond to this behavior. There are times that it takes so long for an answer to come that I think it is just procrastination. Let us just let our yes be yes and our no be no (James 5:12). It can be that simple. However, I think we try to complicate things by thinking too hard. I am preaching to the choir when I say this because I am saying it as much to myself.

We can get into wrong motives in our decisions so that is a good time to sit with God and let Him search our hearts. We sometimes need to see the why or why not of situations. Like, do I not want to do this because I am being selfish? Or do I want to do this because it will make me look good? So many heart questions to address here. Also, sometimes we just need to say no because we are stretching ourselves thin. But we should know that and feel confident enough in our Lord to say no when this situation arises.

We also have been given certain gifts and abilities so serving in those areas should be first and foremost. The areas that bring God the most glory. For instance today I was at the grocery store. There was an elderly couple in front of me who did not have enough money for their remaining groceries. I overheard this conversation; I eyed the amount of groceries in their cart and knew that I could cover that expense. I offered to pay for the remaining. Now, as this was going on my only motivation that I am aware of is Christ. I want to bring glory to Him. His Word talks of helping those in distress and the poor. So to me this was a no brainer. God provided the finances for this and it was in line with His Word so I responded. (The couple did not receive this help but that is another story.)

I believe whole heartedly that God speaks to us. He communicates to us regularly because He lives in us. He is always accessible. The problems come when we do not listen or try to take things on ourselves. It is not that hard to just sit with Him and know what the right thing is to do. We have the Scriptures, we have His Spirit. It is and can be that simple. Unfortunately sin complicates things. Mostly that sin comes in the form of selfishness. So what do we do? Agree to encourage one another in the truth of His word and speak to one another in the truth of His word. Be honest, peace-loving, pure, and love one another with a pure heart. I may be overly simplistic but this one relationship with Christ is one that is not supposed to be that hard. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Him the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

For Review


Just got these from Bethany House today to review.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Sweet Blog by a Sweet Friend

Hey y'all I just wanted to point out a wonderful blog. I just love Shelley. I know we would be hanging out all the time if we lived near by one another. In fact we don't even share the same country but I feel like we are sisters. We have never met in real life yet but one day I hope this will change. I think she is the sweetest, most humble, authentic blogger I have ever met.

Go over and check her blog out. Show her some bloggy love. You will not be disappointed. I am a better person for just knowing her. I thank God for putting her in my life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am over at Heart of the Matter today.

Even when you don’t know it they are watching. You do not get a break at anytime. When you think they cannot hear, they hear you. When you think they cannot see, they see you. The little eyes of our little ones are watching–always. Read more.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bible Study Update


I think it is long due for me to update what I am studying Bible wise. I have been working on the Bible study I am writing on the book of Jonah. I love how God works things out because my pastor is now preaching a sermon on this book! Great to glean wisdom from him on and you can listen to the sermons here if you like. Really good stuff. Again I see it as confirmation for me to move ahead with it even though I am having a hard time moving forward. My other studies seemed easier for some reason.

Also, my Sunday School class is going to be starting a study in the book of Ruth. I just love this book and love the Old Testament so much. I love how it all points to Jesus. It is so exciting for me to be entrusted with walking these precious ladies through this book of the Bible together. I love them so and am excited at what God is showing me already. I will share off and on as I go.

What are you studying now?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

Got this in the mail today from Thomas Nelson! Love Max Lucado.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Tough Day Indeed


So today was a tough day. I have been in incredible pain for the past two days. Starting to have the tingling/numbness I get. Allergies are acting up badly. I have been feeling run down. This is the place on the process of this journey to better health that I usually give up. I am at a cross road. It seems it is not working because my body has gone all wacky. But this time is different because I know it is working and I am not going to give up. Not this time. I am walking through this with a doctor who is understanding and helpful. I am so thankful. This is a rough road but I am still on it.

Turns out my body is reacting negatively to wheat/gluten. So I now have to add this to the list of foods I am cutting out. This will be the hardest part for me. But it is possible in Christ. I need to get to a place of better health and feeling better and that is addressing the root issue. I am sensing this is going to be a long journey. But I have faith it is the right way and will pay off in the end.

I made an amazing fruit smoothie today in my new blender and the bottom came off and spilled all over my counters. Then I got a visit from some "religious" organization wanting to encourage me in Bible study. Showed me some verses which were helpful at that time but they were not concerned for me just pushing their little publication. I kept sharing with them that yes life was hard but it is "in Christ" that all things are possible. It is "in Him" alone that we can even do anything. I think they grew tired of hearing this.

It has been a tough day. But God knew. He ordained my days. Before it all started I picked up my wonderful devotional called, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I highly recommend this. But this is what it said for today's date.

Let Me show you My way for you this day. I guide you continually, so you can relax and enjoy My Presence in the present. Living well is both a discipline and an art. Concentrate on staying close to Me, the divine Artist. Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work My ways in your life. Pray about everything; then, leave outcomes up to Me. Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you. Take a deep breath and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me. Underneath are the everlasting arms!

Pretty good to prep me for my day. Everything was okay in Him. I had several good friends encourage me with Scriptures that went right along with these thoughts as well. God is good. All things are possible in Him and in Him alone. This is not a journey I want to travel alone or in my own strength.

This is why I LOVE Dance!

Ballet gone Hip Hop!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

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