Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Missing - End It Movement Experiment

The end it movement is wonderful and you should do what you can to help them along with other organizations out there involved in helping those who have no voice, those who are trapped in the life of slavery. Modern day slavery. It is a very sad thing! It must stop. We each can do our part to help.

I participated in disappearing from social media for a day. I am pretty involved in social media in my own little sphere so this was kind of big for me. Here are the things I thought about through this process.

1-I could disappear at any moment like these other people and really life would go on. No one would really miss me except my family and close friends of course but most everyone else would just move on. I would be forgotten. This hurt my heart because these people in slavery have had lives at one time. They had a family. They had a home. Yet there comes a time that even the family might give up any hope of finding them. Let's not let them be forgotten!

2-My impact on the world is not as much as I would like to think it is. I am not so important as I would like to think I am. So what if I disappeared off the social media market all together. Really life would go on. However it should never be about me in my opinion, I want to use all my energy to bring the most glory to God. However, He does not need me for this task, He allows me to be.  He values me as a precious jewel and regardless of what I do that is enough. All human life is of true value to God.

3-When something like slavery happens some people just like to pretend it is not there. This breaks my heart the most. We must take a stand. We must fervently pray. God will move to break these captives free. His justice will prevail one final day.

Watch this...Give them a voice.

End It Movement


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women by Julie Coleman

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

I requested this book because I am completely dedicated to ministry to women. I am all about anything that applies to that area of life so this book was an obvious one of interest for me. Often though I am disappointed in these books because they do not always continually direct me toward Christ. That is not the case with this book. I loved this title.

The author looked at the conversations that Jesus had with nine women in the gospels. The Scripture was presented for context of these events. Then the author painted beautiful pictures of what these scene may have looked like. She then takes it further to help us enter into the scene by fully researching what the times of Jesus were like for women addressing each situation to the best of her ability with the information we have today. It was brilliant!

The author then takes it a step further and shows us how we can apply this aspect of Jesus to our own lives as women. It beautifully points to Christ and His character. It draws you and helps you see Him for who He really is. I love that about this book the most!

However the author takes it two more steps further and gives us a section that allows further Bible study for you individually or as a group. Then a section to give you ideas that you can journal.

The author was humble and compelled to glorify Christ. I could see this in her writing! I would love to met her. This was a great book. Worth your time. You can get a copy from Amazon here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mothering with Disability - A God Centered View


First forgive me because this blog looks like all I do is book reviews. I have a bad habit of taking on lots of books at one time then of course reviews have to post...However mainly I want this to be a place of encouragement in Christ. I want it to be a salve to a wounded heart or soul. I want it to encourage you to look to Christ. Keep your gaze upon His beauty regardless of what is warring on around you. I hope it accomplishes that. For Christ is truly all we need. He is the end of all things. It is all for Him and His glory. Keep that focus friend and remind me of it as well! I need that reminder.

My confession to you is that often I find myself slipping into a mopey-oh-I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself place. This is not good people! It is not a safe place to be at all. However, God opened my eyes to something magnificent that I want to share with you, especially anyone raising a child with a disability or if you yourself have a disability.

This "disability" whatever it is, though so hard and bad in some instances has a greater purpose or good. Let me tell you what I mean by this. If my world was easy and my children were very obedient and my body held lots of energy to maintain a squeaky clean house, have dinner ready, (I mean a perfect candle lite one) every night as my husband came in the door, then I had enough energy to have amazing family time where we sang together and had wonderfully intelligent times of discussion together. Then the children went to bed perfectly on time leaving my husband and I lots of great time to bond. Oh what a world that would be right?!

In that alternate world I would be so tempted to be the center of my universe. It would be me who raised these perfect children and me who took care of my husband. It would be me who had this energy to maintain the perfect home. Quite honestly I would have little need for God. I have accomplished much on my own and therefore become the reality of my worship. I am an idol.

Our home is quite the opposite of this. Life is not an easy to solve thirty minute sitcom. Life has many challenges. Life can be very hard especially if you live with disability amongst you all the time. The last time I was having a little poor me pity party this is what God impressed on my soul.

Consider yourself blessed because the temptation to idolize the good things that He surrounds me with is minimal. It is a great way for Him to keep me humbled for it is in weakness that His strength shines through.

Wow! Now instead of looking at these various hardships as bad things (though they are bad) I can now look at them as gifts that keep me focused, dependent, and hanging on His strength. He is the only thing that gets us through. I know that full well so my temptation to take credit is minimal. He is so good to give us even this gift. 

What is your biggest struggle in motherhood? Have you ever thought about looking at it this way, as an opportunity for dependence instead of an inconvenience? No matter where you are in life there is a struggle even if you do not have a certain disability in your life. The key is getting the focus off yourself and the present problem and instead focusing on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Focus on His beauty and love for you then know He will get you through as you cling tight to Him. Trust Him.

Outrageous Courage by Kris Vallotton

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

This book is composed of many stories of Tracy Evans and her life. She is a friend of the author who has lived quite an extraordinary life of adventure. This book is is an easy read and encouraging. It was like reading most Christian biographies where people have been challenged to believe God in the midst of hard circumstances. The story of the Christian life. However, Tracy has taken a path different from most through out the world. Her life cannot be explained as the typical American life.

I was encouraged by her challenges and how they pushed her to trust in God even more. She is living a life of complete trust unlike many who can create a fake sense of security with their income or house, etc. forgetting that God also provides that. Instead she is living day by day trusting God for His provisions. It is a story of what God can do with a life surrendered to him.

I especially like how the book ended with the epilogue stating that they realized her life was not for everyone. It was not a story to induce guilt on others not living that way. It was written with the intent to encourage. It did this. It was a good story overall.

If you would like to get a copy of this book from Amazon you can here.

Book Review: Jesus is ________ by Judah Smith

I received an advanced copy of this title for the purpose of an honest review.

This book was written specifically to explain aspects of Jesus' character and personality. It was a very easy read and is fit for anyone wanting to know more about Jesus. I liked the flow of this book and though the author used some cheesy examples he was trying to make a point. Jesus was the master storyteller and used this same teaching technique.

I did not know anything about this author prior to this book and after reading it it seems that he is an ordinary down to earth guy that could easily be your friend. I liked this about his style of writing.

Overall this book is probably for a newer believer or an unbeliever but I enjoyed being reminded to lighten up a bit and walk in the joy of Jesus. I am for anything that points others to Jesus and brings Him glory. If you read this book the entire way through it does that. So with that said I liked it. It was a good read.

To get a copy from amazon go here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Your Beautiful Purpose: Susie Larson

I received a copy of this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of an honest review.

I have to be honest, I chose this book for three reasons.
1-I liked the look of the cover, it drew me in.
2-I liked the title, Your Beautiful Purpose.
3-I liked that Ann Voskamp gave it a foreword.

Now sadly I have to tell you I did not really like this book. It was filled with the typical fluff that discourages me from reading many titles. I really only want to invest my time in reading things that will keep Christ at the center. A book that reminds me to maintain focused on Him alone. Though this book drifted in and out of that it is not one I would consider completely Christ centered.

Now after saying this it hurts my heart because I never want to cause any pain or negativity to my brothers or sisters in Christ. I really want to be an encouragement so I will say this book was interesting filled with personal stories from the author. I like her honesty and vulnerability. It does also give some great encouragement for others to find their purpose and that God has a purpose for them however it would have been nicer to see this title center more on we get to do these things because of what Christ has already done. It instead seemed to be more based on our works which may or may not have been the authors intent.

Each chapter did have a reflection section that gave opportunity for more Bible study on these topics. This was nice as well. Also discussion questions if you do this as a group study.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cook Book Review: The Irresistible Table by Mary DeMuth

I received an advanced copy of this book at no charge for the purpose of an honest review.

First I have to say I really love Mary DeMuth. She is an amazing God loving woman who I am convinced if she lived in my town we would be fast friends. I have loved every book that I have read that she has authored, however I have not read them all because she is an amazing writer who just keeps cranking them out! She writes non fiction and fiction well and both keep me interested and pointed to Christ as I read. This is indeed a rare thing. When I saw she wrote a cookbook I was interested of course and wondered how this new genre would go for her.

This cookbook was great! It had a great variety of different foods ranging from appetizers, main courses, to desserts. They are an unique collection different from any other cookbook but laced with jewels of helpful tips and tricks that worked for her. It is a great cookbook worth having in your kitchen. You should give it a try.

The recipes are easy, not too costly, and mostly the book encourages you toward hospitality to others. I loved this aspect of this book. It is so important that we open our homes to others for a real sense of community. This book helps you do that if you feel ill equipped. With easy step by step recipes you can easily open your home up to others for an easy meal and fun fellowship.

You can get a copy of this book from amazon here. It comes in kindle and hard copy version for your preference.

Visit the authors website here too, she is doing a give away which you might enjoy.

Book Review: Brass Heavens: Reasons for Unanswered Prayer by Paul Tautges

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

I first want to say that I really like Cruciform books. They produce great quality gospel centered content for a very practical price. You must check them out here. You will not be disappointed.

Brass Heavens is a book about exactly what the title states: Reasons for Unanswered Prayer. It was very informative and filled with great biblical and practical information. It was never condemning but filled with grace laced words all the way through. It was probably the most encouraging book that I have read on the topic of prayer. I highly recommend it to everyone.

This book also addresses more than it's title states. In the beginning it gives a basis for prayer and talks about why we pray and how God delights in this. This is by far my favorite book this year. It is a must read. If I could afford to give you all a copy I would do that. That is just how wonderful I thought this book to be.

I am not sure what else I can say about this book besides what I have already. If you are interested in prayer, which all of us should be, then this book would be a beneficial read. It will grow you in a deeper understanding of prayer. A must read. If you do not buy any other book this year get this one.

To buy a copy from Cruciform go here. Also check out their interesting subscription book program.
To buy a copy from Amazon go here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Drug addiction, Birth and Beyond

I love someone dearly who was born addicted to drugs. It wasn't their fault, they could not help what their mother did while they were being formed. Yet people like my friend live among us everyday. We cannot always tell who they are because we do not know their past histories yet they are probably functioning differently on some level.

This particular person is causing great pain in my life currently. It seems to me that there is an inability to understand things. There is something just not right about them, something that is not connecting. It breaks my heart. I cry aloud to God and pray for them. I plead for their healing. I watch and wait. It is unknown what they will become.

Sadly, we have too many babies these days born addicted to substances. It is epidemic and the research of how it effects them is not out there. They are the first line. I struggle with this so much. The tug of my heart aches in ways that are unspeakable.

I pour forth my tears to the Creator. I have to trust, really trust that God knit my friend together in the mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). I must trust my friend was fearfully and wonderfully made despite all of this (Psalm 139:14). I must remember though drugs were meant to harm my friend, God has other plans and will use this all for the ultimate good (Romans 8:28-29).

This is what true faith is like, believing these words spoken by God because no matter what I can trust Him, though I do not see the end result. He will help my friend. He can even heal. He will show me how to be the best friend I can be in the meantime. The Creator makes no bad thing even when sin is involved. I must etch this in my heart so when the going gets rough or continues to be rough I will remember this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review: Quiet by Susan Cain

I received this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

This book was on the topic of introversion. When I received the book I did not expect it to be as big as it was however I was greatly impressed with how well this topic was researched throughout. I wondered how a book on introversion could be so long, how could it possibly be a good read?

However, this book greatly surprised me. I was very intrigued. It held my interest and I learned a lot from it. I am what you would classify an introvert so I could relate to much of the information. It also helped me have a bit more freedom with the way God created me in this extroverted world.

The book explored the whys and how the American culture became a more extroverted place. How it helps and hurts those that are introverted. Then research on why introverted people in society are just as important seeing how they should make up just about half of the population.

I found it even more interesting when other cultures were addressed. They typically do not have the same ideal of extroversion and its importance like our culture does. Over all this was a good and interesting read on the topic of introversion.

Though there was a little discussion here and there that included Christian thought I would not really consider this a "Christian" book. Perhaps it is a book written by a Christian author so some of those thoughts flowed but over all it should not be classified as a "Christian" book.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book from Amazon you can go here.

How My Worship Pastor Showed Me Jesus

My young energetic yet often destructive tyke decided that he owned the church sanctuary on Sunday. In the way owned I mean, thought he could climb, jump, or play with anything in his path. During these shenanigans he cut loose from his brother and ran straight up the stairs toward the drum set. Do you even know how much these things cost?!! This is a real no no that he should get by now but on this day he wanted things his way.

I run to the front, gather the boy and bring him back scolding him. I made him sit in a time out for tiny bit but I was the one who really needed a time out. I felt the need to continue to tell him how this bad behavior is unacceptable. I did not want to let it go. He did say he was sorry but I wanted more. I wanted to see repentance first.

Our worship pastor came up and I told little man he needed to apologize to him for messing with the drums which little man did. Our pastor took little man into his arms and spoke kindly to him. He forgave him and asked if he liked the drums then went further and asked if he would like to learn how to play them. He offered lessons!

This pierced my heart because where I wanted to condemn and not show gospel grace the person that this offense was against did the opposite. He not only forgave but then offered to let this boy play these drums. That is gospel grace. It is going that extra mile and putting others first. It is like Christ who "while we were still sinners died for us." There is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus. I need to remember that not only for myself but also when I am disciplining my kids. Let there be more grace, gospel centered grace!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Free Bible Study for Teen Girls Until 2/4/13

You can get my teen girl's Bible study free for your kindle reader today until 2/4/13! If you get it would you mind doing a review on Amazon for it? I would appreciate it! Either way enjoy this study!

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