Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HARRIET BEAMER TAKES THE BUS by JOYCE MAGNIN

Joyce Magnin grabs my heart with laughter. I take a look at the cover of the book before me and I can just picture what's inside. I know I am not going  to be disappointed. She takes  you on a memorable journey and gives you a gift to treasure as you walk away.

Oh Harriet is a wonderful character. She is filled with just about every emotion as she is getting older and things are not as easy as they once were, but she isn't giving up any time soon. I love that!

Circumstances arrive and Harriet is willing to face them, but she feels the need to do it her way. What I love is the fact that although she thinks she's doing it her way, God is really at the wheel here, doing the guiding. Harriet is moving to California. She has a lot to come face to face with and one thing is her pride. Ouch!

Something I can carry away from this story is, when things get rough, I don't have to give up, I just have to allow God room to take the wheel and trust Him along the ride.


This book was a gift from Zondervan for its review.

Joyce Magnin is the author of five novels, including the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond Series and the middle grade novel Carrying Mason. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. Joyce lives in Pennsylvania with her son, Adam, and their crazy cat, Mango, who likes to eat nachos.


STAND BY ME (A SouledOut Sisters Novel) by NETA JACKSON

Have you ever found yourself being really irritated by another person, not really understanding why, but in that first meeting you really just don't like them? Yes, me too. This is at the center of this book. Two ladies. One strong willed and ready to shout glory everywhere she goes and another, a new Christian, a little quiet and reserved. God has great things in store for these women and those who surround them. Watch out, just when you think that person irritates you, well, she just might be the girl God has in store to walk the journey with you.

I loved the story line. The characters were so real. You got to see the good, the bad and the ugly. Neta Jackson writes about real people and real issues. Although you could read this book alone since it is the first book in this new series, it would be a blessing for you to read the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series along with the Yada Yada House Of Hope Series.

This is defiantly a book of faith. A book filled with faith, hope and love. We see redemption, forgiveness and love blossom in the hearts of those who live for the Lord. Kat is new to faith and trying to stand on her own is not easy when she has a family who doesn't stand with her. Avis is that woman we all want in our lives. That woman who is there to lead us and keep us in line when we stray. What I really loved seeing was the growth of the characters. Whether they had been Christians a long time or a short while we got to see a glimpse of their growth through the circumstances in their lives that brought them closer to the Lord.

We see the mother-daughter relationship, along with its ups and downs and we get to witness friendship take root and blossom. I really enjoyed reading this book. One thing I took away from this book was the importance of remembering God's perfect timing and how I must remain still and listen for His call.

This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for it's review.

Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 400,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books—a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.5 million in sales—and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4). They live in the Chicago metropolitan area, where the Yada stories are set.






Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Can't Do This!

"I just can't do this anymore!" Oh, the times these words have flowed from my lips. The times fear has hit me and smacked me to the floor. Anger that has come ragging like a river flowing out of control. When the impossible stands toe to toe with you and your left with a feeling of uncertainty. Have you been there with me?

You have words with your husband that cut like a knife and you just want the hurt to end. Your child is rebelling in every way and all you want is for peace to enter your home and make rest. Your parent finds themselves in the hospital and now you must make all the decisions. Your job is controlling your life. The in-laws are not making life easy. The doctor calls with news you were not ready to hear. "I can't do this anymore!", flows from your lips as despair hardens your heart. Your trying to protect yourself from the pain of unrest, so you push everything aside. Even those you love so you can feel some sort of ease. The pain is still there though. It isn't going anywhere until it is dealt with head on, and lets be honest. That's not an easy thing to do. I hate confrontation. When there's a problem, I just want it solved, so life can be smooth again. I would just like to sweep it all under the rug and forget it's there. But the dust still stirs and your heart is left an emotional wreck waiting to explode as you step lightly on the glass surrounding you.

"I just can't do this anymore!"

I speak the words and I hear my Savior say, "Yes you can, sweet daughter. You can do it with Me." I tell Him, "No, I can't. I don't want to!" He gently says, "This is a road we must travel down to get to our destination."

I have made situations worse by saying, "I can't do this anymore." It's almost as if I am ready to just give up. I was looking at things all wrong. I didn't need to give up. I just needed to surrender to the Lord and allow Him the room He needed to work.

It's like taking a trip with your child and ten minutes out of the drive way you hear, "Are we there yet?" So I surrender and find peace in the Lord for the moment, but it seems as though I am asking Him, "So, are we there yet,cause I'm really tired?"

I hear Him tell me, "Rest daughter. Rest in Me."

It has taken me a long time to understand what He was meaning. He didn't mean all around me would be just perfect. He meant that in Him all would be complete. I could trust in Him no matter what. In my depth perception I could only see a few feet ahead. He could see years ahead. He knew and He knows the depths of despair we are in today. He knows the pain in our hearts. Sometimes the road less traveled is the very road we are on today. It's the road He has us on and friends, we don't have to spin our wheels. He is there to pull us out of the pit. He is there to give us all we need for the journey. We might be in to packing a heavy load, but He knows what we need for the journey and what needs left behind.


"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:8-10

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

The Lord is here cheering you on today! He is saying to you, "You go girl!" He has all the strength and courage you need. There is no Goliath too big for Him. No problem He can't handle. Find yourself wrapped in His love today. In our weakness, His mighty strength lifts us up and sets us on higher ground.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

WORDS SPOKEN TRUE by ANN H.GABHART

Okay, at just the mention of Ann H. Gabhart book, I am excited to see what is to come. You hold in your hands a gift  that you  will soon not forget. She never disappoints. She has the ability to take you on a journey. One in which you travel with her to another place and time. You don't just know the names of the characters, you walk away as if they were family. I have had the honor of reading many of her books and I have yet to read one I didn't like. In fact, I LOVED each and every one I have picked up.

So far, this one just might be my favorite. From beginning to end, Ann grabbed my heart. This is a story that beckons you to grow in faith. To take a journey in the shoes of another and learn what faith and grace are all about.

This story is woven in such a way that your heart is stirred with each sentence. The main character is fearful of the dark. The light gives her solace and freedom from the fears that overtake her. When I got to the last chapter I didn't just read it, I soaked it all in, friends. I even read it twice. I must say, I have never done that with any book I have read. This last chapter was my favorite. It is just like reading a love story between my Savior and me. A story of healing, safety and rescue. Redemption flows through the words penned.

Newspapers, murder, intrigue, deceit, love, forgiveness and trust. It's all there, wrapped in pages that will hold your attention until you soak up the very last words.

Ann Gabhart is at the top of my favorites list. It doesn't matter what she writes. They are all absolutely lovely. This latest gem will not disappoint. It is one that will leave an impact on your heart.

This book was a gift from Revell for it's review.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm An Original. Not A Reproduction

Your not a reproduction. Your an original. Do you know the Lord has been telling me this all morning. I am still trying to let those words soak in and find meaning there. You gotta love a God who tells you exactly what you need to hear. There's only one me. He created me just as I am. Shouldn't that be good enough?

You would think so, but as humans we are always trying to change ourselves. We are always comparing ourselves to others. We look at all the things those around us are doing and then we look at our life. I ask myself daily, "Am I really making an impact? Am I really where I need to be?

We live in a world where we are always hearing what we should be. What we need to do to find success. How to improve our lives. How to..how to..how to. Do we ever just stop to think, "Lord, what do You see?" We are always trying to recreate ourselves. Isn't that a gentle job of the Lord? That job doesn't belong to the fashion magazines or what the red carpet has on for show. There is only one self help book out there we should be reading.

It's so hard to share truths about our own lives. You ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you my life is an open book. But there is no one who knows me like my Savior. You know, each morning I walk past my mirror and look at myself and think, "Ugh, what a mess". I don't think it's getting older. I think I have always done this as far back as I can remember.

I sit and think of all the things I need to do, and at the end of the day I am kicking myself because I didn't get them all done.

I look at the projects before me and I wonder if this is even what God wants me to do. I see writers who pen thousands of words a day and shine light on all they do. I sit here at my desk and wonder, "How in the world do they spend that much time on the computer accomplishing so much?" Sometimes I just feel like giving up because I see the task before me as just too big. How do you divide that time and make room for everything? I simply can't.

I try and I try and I try.

But then I get an email from a reader who was touched by something I have penned. I receive a card in the mail from an author who just wanted to send encouragement. I get a simple text from a friend that says, "Thank you". Best of all, my hubs will take my hand and say, "I love you". I will hear one of my children say, "Thanks so much, Mom". My mother will call and say, "Rob, thanks for doing my laundry". Then, it all makes sense. It's like God opens a window and lets the Son shine in on my cloudy day.

Whether I get that book done or not. Whether I pen 20,000 words a day or not. Whether I accomplish everything on my to-do list, I am still a child of the King. I am His daughter. I am His princess. He created me. I am therefore created in His image. Even on those days where I wouldn't make run way material, in His eyes, I'm already there, and He is there to lead me down the aisle.

Friends, we don't have to compete with others. We don't have to measure up to anyone else. It's okay to get rid of that to-do list and simply just do what you can. See, I am realizing as long as I have my eyes on my Savior, I am who I am suppose to be. I am right where I am to be when I am focused totally on Him.

We get caught in a trap when we begin looking for encouragement through others. Sometimes it just isn't there. There are always going to be people looking at you as if you are a never going to be anything or do anything. But then again, you will have those in your life who cheer you on with love. Those who look up to you, not because of what you do or who you are, but because you have loved them.

I'm an original. Saved by grace. Created by a King.

With each stroke of a brush He creates in me. He uses every color and every angle to design me into beauty. He uses every tool to complete in me so that my finished work is perfection. He doesn't erase, He only adds. I know I am a work in progress, but to Him I am already beautiful. I don't need to look to others to see what I need to change or add to my life. I only need to watch what my Master Designer is doing and follow Him.

Sometimes I think it would be great for us to throw out all our mirror and scales that we look at in despair. When faced with the mirror too often we are not there to see the beauty before us, but we are there picking out every single flaw. As for that scale. Ladies, we allow that scale to determine whether we are happy that day or not. If not, that fridge is the closest thing to happiness we are going to find and then it's back to the scale all over again.

As mothers we compare ourselves and boy, is that bar set high. Why do we do such things? As mothers we often say of another, "I would never do that to my child", or "I would never allow that to happen"? Really? Have you been there? Have you faced what they have faced? Do you know all the details that have led up to that point?

Even as friends, we skip out on one another when things aren't going perfectly. We don't make time for one another and often when we do, it's all about us. I often wonder how many times do we say to  another, "So, tell me all about what's going on in your life today? What's the Lord doing for you today?" We live in a me centered world.

Joy..Joy..Joy..

I hum the words to the song today, "I've got joy joy joy down in my heart..down in my heart..down in my heart..I've got joy joy joy down in my heart today". Do you have that kind of joy? Not the happiness we search for in this world. Not the things this world can offer or the things we buy to make us smile. Not the high of having a great day where all is perfect, but the joy that makes everything okay. The joy that makes you smile from your heart outward. The joy of being loved by a Savior who chose you! The joy of simply being a daughter of the King of kings. The joy that overrides all wrong. That joy that keeps us centered and away from selfish behavior. The joy that captures the intimate moments of the day. Real joy that lasts.

See, my Savior, doesn't want me to be like anyone else. He wants me to be the me He created me to be. He wants me to look in the mirror and see Him. He wants me to make my day around Him, not my plans and then Him. Whether I pen 10,000 or just 10, as long as they honor Him, those words hold power. If I get my toilet cleaned today, that's great. Life is too sweet to live by checking job by job off a list. Our daily lives should be filled with gratitude and kindness. It is in that sweet attitude that we can face those tasks before us with a whole new attitude.

Each day brings something new. We don't have to wake like we are attacking the day. Why not wake enjoying each moment without dreading the next and simply waiting for Friday to arrive? We need to fill our days with passion. It's that passion that draws us nearer to the Lord and seeks His will for our daily lives. Passion is an outward action that begins inward with the Lord.

Friends, I hope today as you pass by that mirror you can see the beauty that God has created in you. It is my prayer that you feel loved just by knowing your Savior created you because He wanted the world to see Him through you. I encourage you to not look to your neighbor, your friend, that person who seems to have it all together and think you have to keep up. Your doing just fine. Settle in your day focused on the One who gave you today as a gift. Get comfortable in your own skin. Love those very people around you. Most importantly, allow the Lord to love on you today and accept all He has for you.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be outnumbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!"
Psalm 139:13-18

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NOT THIS TIME by VICKI HINZE

First of all, I just gotta say, I hate when reviewers give the story away, chapter by chapter. Goodness, don't ruin the story! So, not this time, friends. lol Vicki Hinze is a ROCK STAR writer who grabs hold of your heart and doesn't let go. Even after that last page, your left with an imprint of the power novel you have just spent the night reading. Yes, reading Hinze at night is a must!

She sets the stage and takes us for a ride once again at the Crossroads Crisis Center. Goodness, the more good these characters try to do the more evil that gets twisted into their lives. Pretty much like our real life walk with Christ.

We get to follow the lives of Beth and Joe. Characters that I fell in love with from the start. We too meet the characters who grabbed our hearts in the other books, but it's these characters that really stand out in this third installment of this series. I must tell you, reading these books in order would give you a greater impact of the story.

Friendship, deceit, love, kidnapping, suspense. It's all here in these pages of this thriller. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Wham! Something else gets tossed in the picture and once again your on the edge of your seat. Well, I suppose you never leave the edge. Hinze has a powerful way of keeping you there.

What I love about her is the fact that she ties in faith with the story your reading. Every novel is a life lesson. Her characters are real and stand out as they face their demons. Friendship is not always what it seems. Judgement finds a way into our lives, but truth always prevails. Betrayal takes us to the edge and we find ourselves wanting revenge. The past has a way of haunting us when we are not grounded in faith. Even in our faith attacks still come. This is the very thing I love about Vicki Hinze. She can take all of these things and turn it into a page turner that leaves you searching God on a whole new level. That my friends is a powerful writer.

At the end of each book Hinze shares a reader guide where she asks questions. I loved pondering over these questions. I love reading a book and when I set it down it's message still remains in my heart.

This book was a gift from WaterBrook Multnomah for it's review.

Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of multiple novels including Forget Me Not and Deadly Ties. Hinze’s willingness to take risks in writing and genre has earned her a reputation for trail-blazing skill. She holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and a Doctorate in Philosophy, Theocentric Business & Ethics and served as vice president on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. She lives in Florida with her husband.

HEART ECHOES by SALLY JOHN

This book grabbed my attention from the first pages. Tragedy hits through an earthquake. You can't find your family and you witness something horrific before you. Sally John is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. This is the third book I have read from her and I LOVED it! The first book I read by Sally John was entitled,  Ransomed Dreams, and the second, Desert Gift. I quickly knew this was an author I was going to love. This is the third installment in this series. You do not have to read this series in order. What I love is the powerful impact all three books make. In each she touches on a different subject. One that has reached us all in some form.

We have a family that is going through some difficult times. Teal, River and Maiya make up this family. I love how Sally John uses an earthquake and after shocks to perfectly capture the shaking foundation of this family. On the surface all seems fine, but all it takes is one moment to change everything. One earthquake can cause major damage, but the aftershocks are just as frightening. What happens after an earthquake? You rebuild and that is what Sally John has captured here in this beautifully written novel.

The characters were so real and I could relate to each of them on some level. John shows us that after the earthquake we can always find grace in God's comfort. Even during the earthquake He is still here unmoving and present in all around us. Even on shaky ground, He is in control. He's in control even when you have a teenager who is rebelling. This is a book about marriage, raising children, facing your past and letting go so you can move forward. Some how we all rebel against something. It's in facing those fears that we find the strength we need to move forward. Sally poignantly pens a story that is rich in truth of today's world. Touching on issues that we all face.

Sally John takes us on a journey of faith, hope and love through a family we can all relate to. This is surely one you will enjoy too. I love walking away from reading a book that not only took me to a new place, but one that I enjoyed and learned from as well.

This book was a gift from Tyndale for it's review.


Sally John:
When the going gets tough—or weird or wonderful—the daydreamer gets going on a new story. Sally John has been tweaking life's moments into fiction since she read her first Trixie Belden mystery as a child. Now an author of more than fifteen novels, Sally writes stories that reflect contemporary life. Her passion is to create a family, turn their world inside out, and then portray how their relationships change with each other and with God. Her goal is to offer hope to readers in their own relational and faith journeys. Sally grew up in Moline, Illinois, graduated from Illinois State University, married Tim in 1973, and taught in middle schools. She is a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. A three-time finalist for the Christy Award, she also teaches writing workshops. Her books include the Side Roads series, the Safe Harbor series (coauthored with Gary Smalley), The Other Way Home series, The Beach House series, and In a Heartbeat series. Many of her stories are set in her favorite places of San Diego, Chicago, and small-town Illinois. She and her husband currently live in southern California. Visit her Web site at www.sally-john.com.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We All Need An Advocate

Everyone needs an advocate. We must stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. This is what Jesus Christ did for us. This is what He does for us. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot experience heaven on our own account. We are saved through the blood of Christ. We experience His love daily. We don't have to be saved to experience His love. But for us to see the other side of heaven, we must accept Him into our lives and into our hearts. This is what true love is. He gave us the perfect example of unconditional love. He continues to love us even when we choose to not love Him in return. We have value in Christ. He sees us as we were created to be.

It is Jesus who connects us with our Heavenly Father. Without Jesus there would be no way to reach God. Jesus is our Advocate. He is that middle man who chose to step in and stand in the gap for you and me.

We are perfected through Jesus Christ as He lives in us. Plain and simple, there is no greater love than the love of Christ. When He is alive in us, it shows through our actions and words. Our life is a living testimony of His gracious love. Our relationship with others is a reflection of our relationship with Him.

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him", and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." 1 John 2:1-6

Friends, these are powerful verses. In just six verses alone, it gives us so very much. Sin disconnects us from Christ. Our sin is like a brick. One by one, we build a brick wall between us and our Savior. Because of our sin we can no longer get to Him. We must knock down that wall we have built up. How do we begin? Brick by brick. Sin by sin, we ask forgiveness from our Savior. We ask that He forgive us of the sin that has overtaken us and it is then that we feel the grace of God wash over us. In that grace we find forgiveness and peace. We cannot allow that brick wall to stand. We must realize that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin. The Holy Spirit is our guide and reinforcement to conquer the sin and the temptation before our very eyes. It is through Him that we can not only knock those bricks down, but see them before they begin to stack upon one another.

Plain and simple, we cannot say, "I love the Lord", and sin against Him. In God there is no darkness. There is no love in sin. Sin can only be made in darkness. There is no light in sin. When we keep our eyes on Christ we remain in His light and it is His light that makes our path clear.

We say, "Oh yes, I know Sarah", when in fact, we do not. We may know of her. We may have heard of her name, but that doesn't mean we know her. We may be friends with someone who is friends with her. That doesn't make us friends. In order for that friendship to form, we must spend time with her. We must get to know her. We must allow her to get to know us. We form a bond, a kinship, a friendship. It is through talking and listening that we grow intimate and have a knowledge of one another.

Have you been away from Jesus? Has He become an acquaintance to you? Just someone in passing? Today can be reunion day for you. I think we all need a reunion, don't you? A time where we can look back and a time where we can see moment by moment of the blessings that have been poured out. A glimpse at the times we have missed and an opportunity to catch up.

We should be able to ask ourselves, "Am I closer to the Lord than I was a year ago?" If not, we are in need of that reunion with Him. As our Advocate, He is waiting to step in and show us His great love that reaches all. We must remember, we are on a journey. There will be days where we are on fire for the Lord and those in which we fall short. But that is where our Advocate steps in. He knows we are going to fall short. He is there to pick us up and place us where we are to be.

I know there are times in my life where the Lord is shining through clearly for all to see. Now, even I know, that's not me, that's all Him. But I too have those days where I know those around me are not seeing even a glimpse of Christ through my actions. It's on those days I hear Him saying, "Daughter, why are you not obeying Me?" Too many times I choose to ignore His call to mercy. Our flesh is an evil thing. I fight my flesh daily. Praise God, I am a work in progress and He isn't finished with me yet.

Many times we skip out on reunions. We don't want others to know what we have become or where we have been. It's funny really, we tend to put on a show for everyone. It's when that mask comes off and we show our true selves that others do the same. Jesus doesn't care where you have been. But He does care where you are going. He can take care of your past just the same as He holds your future in His hands. We want others to see us doing good and being a success. Well, the Lord has another definition of success and it has nothing to do with this world's view. Success is when we follow God and totally sell out for Him. It's when we allow Him to live in us and through us, touching the lives of those around us. It's making a difference for Him. Success is hearing our Heavenly Father at the end of our last breath say, "Well done, my good and faithful child". Friends, we must allow this world to witness our missteps. Through our failures God can create beauty. He is in the business of reconstruction.

We need to see growth and change in our lives. Each year we should be moving toward Him. Too many times we get caught up and sin and think there is no way back. Friends, lets not look at it as a way back. Lets look at it as a moving forward. Reaching new heights and growing in ways we never thought possible. God has a way of taking our sins and turning them into blessings. If He can turn ash into beauty, He too can take your sin and turn it into something usable for His glory and honor.

Our obedience to Him shows our love for Him. If we are not obedient to His Word than our love is missing. We can't say, "I love you, God", and turn around and ignore His Word. We are not powerless against sin. The closer we are to the Lord, the closer we are to the person He is creating us to be. The more our eyes are upon Him the less we will sin. We will never be sinless, but we can sin less.

The Holy Spirit will help us conquer our sin. Friends, today is Valentines Day. A day to celebrate love. This can be your reunion day with your Savior who has written you the greatest love letter ever penned. Allow His words to penetrate your heart. It is His Word and His love that will change your life forever. Although Valentines Day is celebrated one day a year, His love is everlasting.

Monday, February 13, 2012

His Word Is Our Delight

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to To Your Word." Psalm 119:9

A question we all ask and one in which we have an answer. We wonder how a young man sways off path. How does a young woman end up crumbled in a corner? We remove ourselves from the path God has chosen for us. Many times we don't even search Him for the answer to our life. It should be Him we are seeking for purpose. Is it really that simple? We remain pure as long as we remain with Him? I believe so. It's when we allow our flesh to run our lives that we find ourselves running to find reason and rhyme to all that is.

I found myself in Psalm 119 this morning. Oh, these words bring comfort. We see the heart of one calling out to God. A place I have been and a place I will be again. This chapter is the longest chapters in the Book of the Psalm. It is repetitive. I think there is a reason for that. God wants us to really get it. He wants our attention. We should be repetitive in His Word. We should be searching His Word over and over again. This Bible is our guide to life.

"With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your Word." Psalm 119:10-16

This is the picture of a humble heart. One who knows God is in control. One who has seen His wisdom and knows of His love in an intimate way. This is the relationship I want with my Savior. Can you hear Him calling? What I love here is God is showing us how to remain pure. Pure in Him. As long as I keep my eyes upon Him I am going to remain in Him and His will. The very moment I pridefully take my eyes off Him, even for only a moment, that is the moment I will fall. By the grace of God, He picks me back up, sets me on my feet and points me in the right direction again.

We see recurring words throughout this chapter. According, treasured, teach, rejoiced, meditate and delight. My favorite word here is, delight. God wants us to be delighted in His Word. It is through that delight that we find treasure. In that treasure we find that we can rejoice! Meditating on His Word will teach us. It is here we will find understanding to His wisdom. According to our walk with Him and just how much time we spend with Him will determine the rest of our walk on this earth. Oh, how much sweeter this life is with Jesus Christ.

"How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:103-105

I love the heart of this writer. It is so pure. Searching. Wanting. We see him say in verse 27, "Make me understand". In verse 18, he says, "Open my eyes". In verse 33, he says, "Teach me". In verse 34 he continues with, "Give me". In verse 33 he goes on to say, "Make me walk", and in verse 40, he says, "Revive me". This is the heart of a man after God's own heart. This makes me consider if David is the writer. I want to be a girl after God's own heart. I want to know Him. I want to walk with Him for the rest of my days. I want my life to be His and to honor Him in all ways.

Seek Him today, dear friend. Search your heart. It is there you will find your treasure. May the Lord be the treasure you desire.

"For where your treasure is, there you heart will also be." Matthew 6:21

FAR FROM GOOD (The Trial Of Sam Cray) by STEPHEN VAN ZANT

Far From Good is a tale of friendship during changing times. I really enjoyed this read. It was like going back in time and for a first time writer, Stephen Van Zant did an amazing job at bringing the characters to life.

This book shows us the many personalities of those around us. We all come with a story. We call carry baggage. Our actions and attitudes reflect the pain we carry in our heart. Prejudice comes in many forms and whatever the form it is ugly to the extreme. I thought the writer brought that out very poignantly.

This is a story that belongs in the hands of every child. A story read to them by their parents or shared in the school room. It opens us discussion and brings to the forefront just what one man's choices can do to another man's life.

This is a well written gem. A story that takes you to the heart of a matter and changes you as you read the pages. Bullying is one topic this book touches. We see both sides and the effects it leaves on the heart. Again, this is a book for all to read. One that has the power to bring awareness to today's world.

This book was a gift from WinePress Publishing for it's review.


Stephen Van Zant:
While growing up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Stephen Van Zant loved to read. He even won an elementary school award for reading the most books. He played varsity basketball and football in high school and was a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar. At age fifteen, he ran real-estate titles for his father and uncle at their law firm. In 1990 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. In 1993 he graduated from the University of Louisville School of Law, becoming the fourteenth lawyer in his family’s history. He is now a partner in the law firm of Bell, Hess, & Van Zant, PLC, practicing primarily in the areas of real estate, probate, and contract law. For five years he served as chairman of Elizabethtown’s Civil Service Commission, a body that oversees the police and fire departments. He is also general counsel for the Kentucky Board of Auctioneers. His interest and experience in sports have led him to do color commentary for radio broadcasts of high school basketball games.Van Zant was five years old when his parents sold their home to a family with a three-year-old daughter named Kelli. When Stephen and Kelli grew up, they married. Now, in addition to being life partners, the VanZants are also business partners. They co-own the Basketball Academy (http://www.basketballacademy.org/), a 60,000-square-foot basketball and volleyball facility.The Van Zants have four children: Zack, Katie, Abbey, and Adam. They live in Oldham County, Kentucky.






Thursday, February 9, 2012

Run Asa Run!

Well, after teaching a lesson on King Asa last night in Awana I knew there was a post to write. Who knew he could teach us so very much? I sure didn't. I must say I had read a little about King Asa over the years, but never really got deep into his life. Well, that has all changed now. I dug in and loved it!

You can read all about King Asa in 2 Chronicles 14-16. One scripture I do want to begin with today is from 2 Chronicles 14:2. It reads, "Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God." Isn't that our hope? It should be, shouldn't it? Oh, how we should want to look good in the sight of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Ya all, it isn't what this world thinks of us that matters. They are not going to be standing in front of us come judgement day. It's going to be the Lord front and center.

King Asa reigned for 41 years. He started his reign on fire for the Lord God. The thing is, he didn't finish so well. He gets busy when he begins his reign and removes all the idols and false worship. He too builds cities and fortifies each one with walls for protection. He had his eyes focused on God! He was all about God. Forty-one years is a long time to reign and many things can happen during that time frame.

King Asa was going into battle with His focus on God. He walked away from the battle in victory because of God, not because of those around him. God was blessing this king for keeping his gaze on Him. As soon as King Asa took his eyes off God things started to go wrong. Instead of Asa going to God for help, he went to other kings. Not the kind of thing God wants us to do.

God sent the prophet Azariah to speak to Asa. Now, if Asa was in right thinking he would have taken his words to heart, but he didn't. In fact, he got mad because this prophet came and tried to lead him in the right way. He put this prophet in prison. Talk about totally telling God, "Hey, I'm gonna do this my way!" Do we really ever think God is okay with that kind of reasoning? God looks at us and says, "Really? Are you sure it's going to go your way? Cause I'm thinking I'm still God!" He has our best interests in His hands. He isn't out to get us. He is out to help us. Lift us. Build us up through Him. He wants us to succeed for His glory and honor.

I can't look at Asa in judgement. Goodness, I too have been there. I think each day is a battle for us. Each day must be a choice of following God or seeking our flesh. It's totally up to us. We just gotta be prepared for the consequences. Our choices not only effect us, but those around us. Our decisions can touch those generations from now. We should be asking ourselves, "What impact do I want to make on this world?" I mean really, we can't have it both ways. It's gotta be God's way or our way and I tell ya, with my record, I'm going to stick with God's will for my life. When I place things in my hand and begin making choices without His consent I mess up in big ways!

I look at this as when I begin a new project I am all gung ho and can't get enough. I start off on fire and then after a while my fire dwindles down to just doing it a little bit and then finally it's off in a box or bag somewhere out of sight. I am then on to my next project that has my attention. We cannot look at our walk with Christ as if it's a project for the moment. It's a journey we must stay with and remain focused. I know that the more of God I have, the more of Him I want. He fills us like nothing else. Look how awesome we feel when we finish a great project at hand. We have put work into it and it's blessings do not just fall upon us, but on others too.

So, Asa's life doesn't end well. He gets a disease in his feet. Yep, those very feet he walks with. Those very feet that carry him with each choice. Do you think it's by chance this disease was in his feet? I don't. I think there is much to learn here. We must be careful of where our feet take us. We must make sure we stay on the path of faith and not steer to the right or to the left. There isn't any such thing as a little wrong. But we can make a U-turn! Praise God for His continual grace as I learn this journey of faith. I don't always make the right choices. But in seeking God, He always brings me back where I am to be. First, I must make sure I have a humble heart so I can hear Him when He says, "Hey Rob, come this way. Follow Me. Get away from that!"

As King Asa dies, his son now takes over. Jehoshaphat now has his work cut out for him. Just think of how things could have been as this young man takes over if his father would have continued in his walk with God? We have the power to bring others to know Christ or to turn them away. Our actions carry lots of weight when it comes to others coming to faith. They see our lives. They are seeing if our words match up with our actions.

Friends, as we run this race, we can run it with God leading us and we can finish with honor. It's all up to us in how we run. We aren't in a sprint. We aren't in a race to hurry and cross that finish line. It's more like a cross country run. We must take our time. Prepare and enjoy the journey. With placing one foot in front of the other and keeping our focus on God, He is sure to lead in the path of righteousness.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all sun, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When Trial Comes Knocking, Let God Answer The Door

You have been having a great week. Everything has it's place. All are wearing smiles. The house is clean. The car is running great. Your parents are healthy. Your children just rocked their report cards. The job doesn't even feel like a job. You are loving your life this week. Then it happens. It seems to come out of no where. Trial is standing at your door. It's knocking and matter of fact, it's just going to walk on in whether you are ready to answer or not. In fact, it's going to have itself a seat in your living room. Oh, yes, the family room, where everyone gathers.

Why do we always say, "It just came out of no where"? No it didn't. It certainly came from somewhere. We just weren't looking when it approached and capsized our yacht right in the middle of our sunshiny day.

God doesn't bring everything to us in punishment as some would like to teach us. Just because trial comes it doesn't mean you have done something terribly wrong. We often ask, "God, what did I do?", when in fact we should ask, "God, what do you want me to do?"

Trials enter our lives whether we are living a life as a Christian or not. The difference is in how we react to the trial. We can either curse God and all around us or we can look to Him for support and comfort as we praise Him through each and every fiery step.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation."
1 Peter 4:12-13

In studying I am learning there are four things we should do when trial comes knocking.

1. Expect it
2. Rejoice in it
3. Evaluate its cause
4. Entrust it to God

Isn't that good stuff? Of course, in this life we should expect trial. Why should we be exempt from pain? Rejoice knowing that God has a purpose and reason for allowing it. Always pray and seek His face asking Him to reveal it's purpose. The best yet is to simply trust God with whatever is at the door. Why not even let Him answer the door instead of us standing there in fear and shock? We certainly can't run from everything. There are those things in which we must face. In Christ we can know we can face them without fear, because Christ has given us everything we need for this life.

Through the testing of our faith we are cleansed from our unrighteousness. We can be found washed in the grace of God as we grow closer to Him, calling Him and seeking His face with each step we make.

Instead of screaming out, "Oh no, not again!", may we stand in strength and peace, saying, "Yes Lord, show me, teach me, and bring me to the being you have created me to be." So friend, today be in prayer. Be ready for all that is to come and be prepared and grounded in faith. Always choosing to focus on God and not the trial at hand. Through our steady gaze at Him, He will show us just we are to experience and grab hold of through our trial. I am learning that everything in life is a teaching tool. A lesson that brings me closer and closer to my Savior.

So, don't be so surprised today as trial comes knocking. In fact, answer the door in praise and rejoice, knowing God has big things planned for you!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

PROMISE ME THIS by CATHY GOHLKE

I'm going to go out on a limb and say this just might be the book of the year! I know, it's only February, but friends, this book is AMAZING! It grabbed my heart from the very first pages and carried me through to the last and left me wanting more.

This is one of the most beautiful stories I have had the pleasure of reading. In fact, it was an honor to read these words penned by Cathy Gohlke. Yes, she has a new fan!

We have the Titanic. Countries near and far.  Family and friends. Tragedy and beauty. This book simply takes you away to another time and place and I must tell you it captivated me. There are so many valuable lessons to carry away from this book. This is one to pass on to your family and friends. Through the lives of these characters we find the love of Christ. We find His intimate grace and powerful strength that draws us near to Him. We see His sacrifice and His gift everlasting.

These characters were powerful and strong through the weakness that touched them. We see a young man come from a tragic life and find peace. We see a young girl who loses all come to find a love that lifts her from the bondage of circumstance. Cathy brings us to the forefront of forgiveness and leaves us with the beautiful picture of hope.

We see a young man give all for those he loves and those he has just met. Honor means something. Valor is something to claim and hold dear.

Dreams are real and hope is alive when we live in faith. I loved this book and it is one I will share with my friends. I would say, this book could be life changing as it portrays God's love.

I say, come sail the seas and see what lies beyond the boundaries of disappointment and trial. These are characters you will fall in love with and admire as they grow before you.

This book was a gift from Tyndale for it's review.

Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland. Visit her website at http://www.cathygohlke.com/.

THE SCENT OF CHEERY BLOSSOMS by CINDY WOODSMALL

This was one amazingly beautiful book. I loved my time spent in Apple Ridge. First, this is a gorgeous book. The cover is just lovely. I think just by looking at the cover it would make you want to pick this gem up and a gem it is!

The characters were so likable. Each one struggled with life. Situations occurred. Tragedy came knocking and challenges were at every corner, but do you know, these characters persevered. They over came the obstacles before them. What I love is that Cindy allowed us to see the struggle and the imperfections of the characters. That made them real to me.

I loved the setting. A cafe for friends to gather and family to serve. A farm to restore a broken generator. I love how these folks come together to help one another. They stand on principles and they value a man's word. I seem to learn so much about the Old Order Amish and the Old Order Mennonite communities. Such loving people. I  find it hard to understand many of their ways. But what I love is the fact that they are grounded in their belief and they serve God with all they have. Just like in this book. Love is being kept apart because they cannot find love outside of their own order. I love this depiction of Christ's love. There is nothing to separate us from Him. Nothing can stand in the way except for our own selfish and prideful ways. We must learn to overcome and surrender.

This book holds such valuable lessons for each of us. The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms is a gem and one that I found as a blessing. I enjoyed this book and once I started reading I just couldn't put it down. What a gift it is to enjoy a book so much you can't put it down!

This book was a gift from WaterBrook Press for it's review.


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of six novels, two novellas and Plain Wisdom, a work of non-fiction co-authored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend. Cindy lives in Georgia with her family.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS by LYNETTE EASON

Wow! Lynette Eason is at the top of my list of favorites when it comes to suspense and intrigue! This girl has a gift, whew! She continues to blow me away with her writing. I first fell in love with her with her first series, "Women of Justice". Now she brings us a new series, "Deadly Reunion". Wow, does she take off running with this first book. I literally did not put this book down until I finished!

This is a hold on to your seat kind of read. There is one thrill after another. I kept thinking, "Wow, this girl is gonna get blown up at some point!" LOL Alexia Allen ROCKS!! I LOVED this character! This girl never gives up! What a great message! She is blessed with protective friends who are seeking the truth and has a God watching every step she makes!

I love how Lynette brings faith into her books. It's not over powering. It's in places where the reader must realize there is more to life. In this book it takes a fire to refine Alexia. Sometimes we must go through the fire to see ALL God has for us.

In this book we see that we must face our fears, our pasts and our regrets. We wanna run, but running doesn't get us anywhere. Just another reminder of Philippians 4:13. Anything is possible with Christ!

Many people compare Lynette Eason to Dee Henderson. They are both AMAZING ROCK STAR WRITERS, but they each have their own style. I cannot wait to see what the next book brings.

This book was a gift from Revell for it's review.

Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home, Don't Look Back, and A Killer Among Us. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning Stillness One Move At A Time

Don't you love how the Lord teaches us through experiences and lessons along our journey? Some are hard lessons. Some take a bit longer for me to learn, but slowly I am getting there. I love the idea of learning. We have a Teacher who gives us His undivided attention. It's like having a tutor. A one on one lesson. If I can only get myself to slow down enough and listen. Focus on what is before me, not behind me.

Lately I have gotten back into doing Yoga/Pilates. I love these work outs. Again, I try to learn something from everything I do and here on this mat before me the Lord is teaching me once again.

In this type of exercise you must learn to control your breathing. My One Word for 2012 is Breathe. Funny how that just worked out isn't it? Nothing is by coincidence in this world. We have a God who plans and sets forth our path. We just have to realize it and match our steps with His.

Not only is this type of exercise about controlling your breathing, but stretching yourself beyond your limits. With each movement I am able to stretch more in more in ways I never thought possible. Oh, how the Lord has been trying to get me to move outside of my comfort zone. In this type of exercise you learn to get comfortable in being uncomfortable. The Lord doesn't want us to just sit in comfort. It is in that very cozy comfort zone that we get lazy and lose focus.

My stamina is growing each day as I make a choice to exercise. My body is getting stronger and my mind is more focused as I make a clear and conscious choice to do so.

"Be still and know that I am God!"
Psalm 46:10a


In this type of exercise you also have to hold in positions that are difficult. It is through that hold that you begin to shake and sometimes you must come out of the position and take a knee. Oh, this life lesson is so much what I am in need of, friends. How about you? When things are difficult I tend to want to move away from it or move out it. When things are shaky I can fall into that and get off balance myself, but the Lord wants us to remember when things become difficult He is still in control. We don't have to shake with them, but we can take a knee. Bend in prayer. Take a few moments to breathe and focus on Him. Again, realizing He is in total control.

Some people call this type of exercise their practice. For me, I don't get into the weird stuff of yoga, but I do push myself past my limits. This mat is becoming a place for me to focus and to practice taking one move at a time. Not thinking of the next, but focusing in the moment. Strength comes from balance. I am learning when I'm off balance, my center is totally out of control. God is my center. It is in Him that I find strength. It is in His Word that I can find balance in a world I cannot understand. In a world that is shaky I can learn to be still and know that He is God.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Step Back Away From The Scissors

Have you ever had a haircut that made you wish you would have never entered the salon doors? It was just a year ago that my hair was getting long and I really loved it. I had gone into the salon for a trim, but oh no, that wasn't enough for this girl. I had to pick up the hair magazines. You all know them well, don't you? It's the magazines we just pick up and glance at thinking, "Well now, isn't that a cute hair do?"

We turn the pages and now we have it in our mind that a trim just won't do. We must have something new and different. Paleeez, I wish I had an inch of hair for every time I got the itch for something new.

So, here we are. We find the photo of the cutest short haircut ever and we begin thinking it's going to look great on us. The thing is, we are not at all the girl in the photo and our hair happens to be totally different than hers is, but we tell our self, "It's going to look amazing!"

But what happens? The stylist says, "Are you sure you wanna go that short?" You pipe up with a smile and say, "Yep, it's time for a change", only in about twenty minutes or so you are going to be wishing that change hadn't taken place.

It seems I can never learn my lesson. Not only did I go in for that short haircut and come out hating it, I decided to grab myself a perm not too long ago. Why do we do these things to ourselves? I know why. I really can answer that question at least for me!

I can tell you each and every time I have entered a salon there has been an issue or a situation in my life that has driven me to tears and to the breaking point. I end up thinking, "I will go get myself a new do and feel better." This is almost laughable, but wearing that new do isn't so laughable as it's growing out. I spend the better part of my time now wishing for my hair back.

Do you ever find yourself wishing for time back? Time that is now lost. Time that has now changed and you find yourself wanting to go back to the way things were so badly. The thing is, we can't go back. Growth hurts at times and no matter how much we wanna trim off, we need to realize sometimes we just need to back away and give God the time He needs to work things out.

But isn't that life with us? I mean really, we think something will make life easier, but we later find out that very choice made things worse. We have an issue and we get in our mind that we gotta make it better. We don't sleep, we don't eat or we eat everything in sight. We see that circumstance and we want to change it so badly, but like the change I bring to my hair, it doesn't always turn out like I think it will.

So, what do you do? Don't walk into that salon! Take a step back and focus on the beauty before you, not so much what you think needs changed or fixed, but the very blessing before you. We tend to take things to the extreme as my baby girl would say. We over ponder issues when all we need to do is step back and allow the Lord to do His thing. Sometimes just throwing that hair back in a pony and waiting a few days makes you rethink the whole trim idea. You then realize things aren't so bad after all. In fact, they look pretty good now that you have really taken the time to really think about it.

Just like growing out my hair, it takes time. I can look in a picture book and think, "Wow, I wish I had that hair do" or "Gosh, that would be great". Sometimes we just need to put down the book and take a look at what we do have. Is is really so bad? Could it be worse? Of course it could. It's just the same as thinking the grass is greener on the other side. That's not always true. We only see the surface picture, not what's underneath, what the frame holds and what's not in the picture. We can't see what it took to for them to get there at that picture in life. Just maybe they had to go through a few trims of their own before they were content.

It's tough waiting on God, isn't it? Patience is hard, but Jesus never said life would be easy. He just promised He would be there for us. We allow our emotions to take hold of us and stir us in ways we never handle well. We feel resentment, anger, hurt and bitterness. We get upset at our husband, our wife, our children, our friend, that co-worker who just never seems to stop and what do we do? We end up taking it out on ourselves. We end up sitting in front of the mirror asking ourselves, "Why did I do this to myself?" But just like life, sometimes we make issues worse by jumping the gun. I am slowly learning to step back and wait on the Lord. It's not easy, but I'm getting there with practice.

I look back at some of my pics over the years and am reminded of the battle scars through those little trims and changes I thought I needed. We don't need to change the outward appearance. We need to allow God to change our inward appearance. Once He does the make over there, the outward appearance comes next and boy, it just seems to glow. It's then that everyone says, "Hey, I love your new look. Where did ya get it?" That is your open door to share the Lord with that person standing before you.

Be careful ladies, those stops at the salon can make us feel worse than when we walked in, so take your time. Think about the reason your entering the salon in the first place. Is it because you really do need a trim or is it something emotional taking place? Maybe what you really need is to just step back, throw your hair up in a pony tail and spend some one on one time with the Lord. It's through Him that we get that real make over and He is pretty much the greatest Artist we could pay a visit to.

"Be still and know that I am God!"
Psalm 46:10a

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Romans 12:2

"Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always."
1 Chronciles 16:11

THURSDAY'S TREASURE with ALISA HOPE WAGNER

Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Written by
Alisa Hope Wagner





When I was 10 years old, I got really good at riding my bike. In fact, I was so proficient that I wouldn’t use my hands to steer. I’d let my arms dangle by my side and use my body to balance. I remember one beautiful sunny afternoon I was leisurely riding my bike around my neighborhood. A wonderfully long stretch of road extended right in front of my cul-de-sac, and I enjoyed taking a rest on my bike as gravity pulled me down the gentle descent.



With the sun hitting my face and the breeze blowing through my hair, I decided to close my eyes. I woke up several hours later on my couch. Bruises, scrapes and grass stains covered my body. I had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed onto a small, thin patch of grass on the curbside. As I tried to pull my aching body up, I wondered how anyone could take a nap while riding a bike.



Now, as an adult, I can see how easy it is to “fall asleep at the wheel” of our lives. We become over-confident in our faith, relationships and responsibilities; and we allow gravity to pull our valuable seconds into aimless stagnation. We are tempted to close our eyes and slowly let the zeal for our God, husband, children, friends, health, church and purpose fall asleep.



I understand that God gives us much needed seasons of rest; but even in our respite, we can maintain a godly awareness of God’s Kingdom coming to fulfillment around us. We are called to be good stewards of the amazing people, possessions and passions He has given us; and we are to use our God-given free will to promote God’s best in all aspects of life. Each day and every decision no matter how mundane or how small contains great significance and purpose. God’s wisdom and favor encompasses the singleness of one breath and the scope of all our breaths combined.



The fact remains that we will never be as proficient in life as Jesus. Jesus is perfect, and we can maintain a hunger for His likeness that is seasoned with grace and drenched in love. If we strive to achieve an honest perspective of our strengths and weaknesses, we’ll be able to rejoice in how far we’ve come while staying focused on where we need to go. There is immense joy in knowing that we still have much to learn, room to grow and time to change. Our lives aren’t complete until we see Jesus face to face; so until then, we need to keep our eyes on Him and our hearts on eternity.



“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”
(Philippians 3.12-13 NLT).










 
Alisa, thank you so much for visiting my Nest and sharing this beautiful post with me and my readers. What a blessing. I love this so very much! Yes, to keep our focus on the One who makes our path known is so very important. Even when we can't see up ahead we must trust that He knows the best way for us to get there. He will make our path clear. We too must remember to enjoy the journey. There is such sweet blessings in unexpected places that we want to be sure not to miss.  I must keep reminding myself that I am a work in progress. Each day is an opportunity to learn more about Him and about myself as I grow in the Lord.
 
Sweet lady, may you be blessed today and may your ministry continue to grow as you reach this world for Christ!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some Mornings We Just Need A Reminder

Do you ever just wake up and say, "Okay, whatcha got for me today, cause yesterday wasn't the greatest"? It seems one thing happens and then another comes along and pretty soon you are just assuming every phone call, every message is going to bring more bad news. It's as though the sun is shining and you are standing there just waiting for the clouds to come over head and the rain to begin pouring. Maybe even having hail drop on your head.

There are times I sit here and think, "Ya know, today is a good day. Every thing is going just the way I planned it." We like it that way, don't we? I can sit here alone and just ponder over the Bible. But then out of no where comes a whopper and slams down on me so hard, I just wanna give up.

Do you all just ever get tired of trying? I mean I put one foot in front of the other and sometimes it feels like I'm walking backward. Today, I feel as though I have fallen in a giant hole and it feels dark and lonely. Now, don't get me wrong. I have a husband who loves me and cheers me on every day. I gotta say, he is my biggest fan. But sometimes it really doesn't matter the love around you, the friends by your side or what you know to be true. We just have bad days. Days in which we wish with all our might that we could change or fix in some way. But, life just isn't that easy, is it?

I wonder if after Joseph was tossed in that well, he thought, "Um, really? Are ya kidding me?" Then a group comes along and he is sold into slavery. Talk about a day going from bad to worse. But as I ponder over Joseph, I can only see God's greatness! He brought Joseph out of that well, out of slavery and used him for a mighty purpose. Each and every step Joseph took God was still in control. Even when he couldn't see what was up ahead, God was already there! He was already there! Friends, that should give us the encouragement we need to meet that next minute.

Sometimes all we need is a reminder to look up instead of at all the junk around us. Each day as I write I come across scripture. There are times I feel as though I am writing for someone else. But there too are those days, just like today, where I know without a doubt that God is speaking straight to my heart.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I don't even know what this afternoon will leave on my door step, but what I do know is that God is in control! I have nothing to fear with Him as my God. There is no Goliath that God cannot handle. I may have a few Goliath's in my path today, but God will take care of each one of them.

Just maybe you woke this morning and you are ready to crawl back under the blankets. Friends, I want to encourage you not to do that, but get out of that bed and turn to Jesus. Let Him cover you with all you need. I know things might seem out of sorts and you may be afraid of what is to come. Whatever touches our life goes through the hand of God first. There is nothing that touches us that He doesn't know about first.

So, don't get overly excited about that situation in front of you. Don't lay awake at night in worry. Don't allow that anger to take over and steal away the joy God has for you today. Remember, He's got your back.



"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31


"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6


"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...