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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman is one of those writers who travels beyond the boundaries. In her newest book, this too passes all boundaries that is known to us. We see that grief has no boundaries. It can take us prisoner. It can touch us all and bind us in chains.  Here walk the path of grief with the main character of this book as she travels back to her husband's home town.
I love the setting of this book in the Ozarks of Missouri. A place I know very well. I admire the character, Corrie Saunders. She has lost her husband and in a odd way she is desperately trying to find him. She is at a loss and just wants her life back with the man of her dreams. I've not known the depths of this pain. But if I were, I would think it tempting to go to any cost just to have a moment longer.
Bateman weaves a story around grief, healing and surrender. Most of all we see sacrifice. Corrie's husband is killed in battle and she isn't handling this sacrifice well.
I too love the character of Eli. Ther…

ONE BIG THING by Phil Cooke

I chose this book simply for the title. ONE BIG THING (Discovering What You Were Born To Do). I opened the pages thinking the ONE BIG THING would be Jesus Christ. After all, without Him we are nothing and through Him all things are possible. I have learned that when I totally focused on Him my vision is made clear and I find myself right where I am to be.
There was a lot of great information in this book, but without Christ, none of it would be possible. For me, there wasn't enough focus on Christ. For me to figure out where I am to be and what I am to doing, I need to be searching Him. After all, He is my Creator.
If your looking for a book based on how to make in business or how to get your name out there, this book is for you. This book focuses on making it big in that ONE BIG THING your created to do and how to do it right. Phil Cooke does a great job at that. I mean, you cannot close this book and not be ready to tackle tomorrow. It gives encouragement and gives you a sense o…

All Day Long

"Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are my God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." Psalm 25:4-5

I was reading over this verse yesterday and what caught my attention this time around in reading was my hope is in You all day long.
I pray for the Lord to teach me and show me His ways. I pray for His guidance. I pray for His truth to be alive and well in my heart. I seek Him and praise His name. I can see the heart of David here in these words.
But what really grabbed my heart and I mean grabbed was ALL day long. I began thinking, do I really do this all day long? Is my hope in God ALL day long?
When I wake and my bones are aching and my head is pounding, is my hope in Him?
When it's noon and I receive a phone call that brings me to my knees is my hope really in Him?
When I'm all alone and it feels like no one really seems to care, is my hope in Him?
When my husband gets that call that he is laid off agai…

NIV Archaeological Study Bible by Zondervan

I wish I could show you the inside of my new Bible for review. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I am a visual learner and a history lover, so for me, I am head over heals for this new Bible from Zondervan. It is colorfully illustrated. The NIV format is easy to understand. It is gorgeous inside and out. I really like the hardback form.
The pages have this ancient look to them and with the illustrations and history information it adds to my understanding. To know what these times held in customs and traditions is very helpful in understanding God's Word. It seems to make things  even more clear to me. It makes what I'm reading precise. If you are a visual learner this Bible would be perfect for you.
Now, this is a large Bible. I'm not sure I would carry it to church, but it will remain by my bedside for my daily study. The maps are beautifully colored and large. It gives us a glimpse into each book written and goes beyond that with all the history. The people, lands and rule…

Through A Holy Hush Comes Peace

"So then, my beloved brethern, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." James 1:19-20
"In the multiude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." Proverbs 10:19
"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." Proverbs 17:27-28
"A quick tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated." Proverbs 14:17

Have you ever been steaming and ready to blow like a tea kettle? More like an erupting volcano. You know what I'm saying, right? A situation occurs. Someone says something totally out of line. Your hurt. You feel attacked. Assaulted. Sometimes it isn't even an action so much. Not even words. It can be a look that is intended to set you blazing.
Sadly, I have been there. I tr…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

I received this gorgeous hardback study Bible from Thomas Nelson last week. I have been making my way through the pages. This Bible also comes in leather bound form if that is what you like better. For me, I like the hardback. The pages are beautiful. It is written in paragraph form which makes it an easy format to read. I often find myself googling information needed for a study, but with this Bible there is no need. There are explanations, definitions and a meaty concordance. This Study Bible is filled with great tools to help you in your reading. Whether you want to read it devotional style or chapter to chapter this Study Bible is a great choice. Maybe you are searching for information on a specific subject you will be sure to find it and more. 
In the hardback you are able to take the cover off and it is bound in solid black. Whether you are looking for subject or reference tools this Study Bible is loaded to make your reading easier and of more comfort. You will find solid expla…

Give Some Morning Praise

This morning I woke with the beginnings of a migraine. Something I dread to see coming my way. Especially when I have great things planned for the day.
I get up with a hurried attitude. Trying to get the coffee made, I realize Daisy is waiting on me to take her outside. As I am getting to the door I see a few things that need attention. Shoes put away. Dishes need to go out of the dishwasher and back into the cabinets. You get the picture. All the time Daisy is looking at me like, "Are you kidding me?"
I venture outdoors with Daisy and the fresh breeze hits my face. Something I wasn't expecting. I was assuming it was already HOT. I think to myself, thank You, Lord. My eyes move to catch a glance of bunnies in the garden. They are just taking their time, nibbling on the greenery. Then I see something move off to the side. It's a little Chipmonk Squirrel. She is just darting from one place to the next as if she is happy as a bee with the morning sun shining down upon h…

Can We Really Blame It On The Times?

"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I believe we are in the last days. I believe Christ will be returning soon. I look for Him daily. Are you ready, my friend?
We seem to look at these last days and blame everything on the times. Can we really? Do we not have some responsibility in what is going on today? Sure, we like to complain. We like to add in our two sense, but what do we really do about it? I think we spend more time talking about it than we do in prayer. That is our first mistake. When things do not line up with God's Word shouldn't we be in prayer over these very issues asking for His guidance and wisdom? I think we all expect someone else to do the work while we sit back and complain.
I found myself in 2 Timothy yesterday and I simply got lost in God's Word. In chapter three it ta…

The Three T's

When we live a transparent life we allow others to see the real us. That can be hard, yes, but when we take off that mask there is a freedom and true beauty that lies beneath. Once that mask is off, a trueness is revealed. No more hiding. No more pretending.
We are a work in progress. Why not reveal our struggles as well as our trophy moments? When we congratulate someone it is because we have witnessed them working hard to overcome an obstacle. We have been cheering them on and when they cross the finish line we see in them a beauty of continued faith. They were able to look beyond the hardship and see a value in their accomplishments. We accomplish when we overcome.
It would give great hope to others as they are in trials if we would share what happens in those hours that no one is looking. Look at the glory God would gain if we simply lived a transparent life.
Transparent Permitting the uninterrupted passage of light. Easy to see through, understand, or recognize; obvious.

A Million Reasons

We can think of a million reasons why we don't want to attend church. Reasons that begin with just being tired and wanting to sleep in for a change. Maybe we have been offended. We have been hurt. But really, all we need is one reason to go. Jesus Christ.
We can think of a million reasons why we want to give up. We are tired of trying. It just isn't working. We don't know what to do. But really, we only need one reason not to. Hope.
We can think of a million reasons why we Jesus shouldn't forgive us. We come with a past. We have done things that are unspeakable. We sin daily. We are undeserving. But, we shouldn't focus on the why not, but on the why. Mercy.
We can think of a million reasons to be frightened of tomorrow. Goodness, even scared of today. But that would be giving Satan room in our lives. No, we should think of the one reason we have to not be terrified of what is to come. Faith.
We can think of a million reasons to stir anger in our heart. The ang…

"Word Spirit Power" by R.T Kendall, Charles Carrin and Jack Taylor

Okay, all of my Baptist friends, hold on to your hats. I am about to tell you I loved this book. Yes I did! I wasn't so sure when I picked it up and began reading these "Calvinistic" teachings that go against most things I have been taught, but you know, there was great wisdom penned within these pages.
So, let me begin by correcting my first statment. These are not Calvinistic teachings. They are Biblical based and although I can't understand everything, it encouraged me to dig deeper into God's Word and isn't that what it's all about any way?
This book was grafted by three men who love the Lord and want to see His kingdom grow. They are doing this by bringing to light the Holy Spirit. The One we often leave out and the One often misunderstood. They share that the Word + Spirit = Power. That I can totally without any doubt agree on this.
R.T Kendall blew me away and helped me see things I was missing. Charles Carrin helped me see I was placing limits …

"What Matters Most" by Leonard Sweet

If you are looking for one of those life changing, life altering books, Leonard Sweet has given us a great recipe for a new life. A life more abundant. One that we have been missing and putting on hold for so long now.
In "What Matters Most" we learn that relationships top everything. Without relationships we cannot share the gospel. Without relationships we cannot love. In giving of ourselves we open the door for God to do His work in our lives and the lives of others. In relationships we learn the most important things, love, forgiveness and grace.
I truly loved this book. It is at the top of my favorites list and one that I will repeatedly go back to for wisdom.
We seem to let people fall through the cracks in our standing for the rules. How did we get where we are in this world today? By doing exactly that. Allowing people to fall through the cracks. We know the gospel. We know we are to share it, but we fail to do so and we must get out of our box, remove ourselves …

Lets Not Compare

The mall might be the place ladies love to shop, but it can also be the place where we take a beating. Have you ever been walking along with your bags in hand and pass a window that catches your reflection? You look in horror at what you see. Did I really leave the house like this? Wait, I didn't look like this when I walked out the door.
We can see beauty in others, but it's hard for us to see beauty in ourselves. We can walk the mall floors and gander at the women before us and ponder the questions that live deep in the crevices of our brain.
We do this physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I am not imagining men having this trouble when they get together. But get a group of ladies together and before the night is over and we are tucked in bed, we are going to be thinking about what Kathy wore to the party and how in the world Susan keeps her house in order with four children and we can't even do that with one.
Lets be honest. We struggle, don't we? We compare…

A Desire Greater Than Food?

I came across this verse in my reading this morning.

"I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:12
Here we have Job and a Word that hit me hard. Do I really desire God's Word more so than food? Meaning am I so in love with the Lord and His Word that I desire it more than lets say, going shopping for that new dress or filling myself with that meaty pizza for dinner? Am I desiring God's Word more than my day to day needs and wants?
I had to begin asking myself these questions and more. When I wake, is it His Word that is upon my lips before, I utter the words, "Ugh...I have so many chores ahead of me today"? Do I go about my day concentrated on my wants or am I concentrated on God's Word? Am I thinking about all the struggles and needs more than I am standing on God's promises in His Word?
When I think about it I have to be honest with myself and realize I tal…

"The Gifted" by Ann H. Gabhart

I am just loving this series. I would have never thought I would love reading a book about the Shakers, but it turns out, I surely do. Ann has this gift of drawing you in and placing you right there among the characters. The story takes us on a journey very real to many. Through the characters Ann has created, we learn great life lessons.
Harmony Hill is becoming one of my favorite places to visit and I am sure it will be for you too. Here in this novel we see how our devotion to God is first and foremost in our walk with Christ. I recently read that rules are not everything. The most important thing in life is relationships. I think that can be applied to this novel. It's our relationship with the Lord and Him alone that sets the stage for our life and all that it holds. That is something missing from the Shakers. They don't have that relationship and they set rule after rule to follow.
Jessamine Brady is a character we can all relate to. She feels pulled from all sides and…

Five Miles South Of Peculiar by Angela Hunt

I am a huge fan of Angela Hunt and love her writing style. I have many favorites. This wasn't one of them for me. I love the premise of this story. Three sisters. All in different places in life. All facing challenges unlike the other. Angela Hunt pens a story deep in faith and life lessons. For me, this one held valuable lessons on forgiveness, love, and letting go.
The characters each bring something different to this story. I just couldn't connect. There are books that grab our attention and others that just simply don't. The title intrigued me. The cover gives great meaning. Angela Hunt is still at the top of my favorites list even if this choice isn't. But that is the beautiful thing about reading. You may pick this book up and find an unexpected blessing.
Visit Angela Hunt for more information on her books.
This book was a gift from Glass Road Publications for it's review.

Trusting God (A Girlfriends In God Faith Adventure) by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith and Mary Southerland

I was excited when I opened the pages of this Bible study. As you skim through the pages you quickly see that it is a 12 week study. I am all about digging into God's Word and this devotional is a great tool to do just that.
It's a great study to do as a Sunday school class, with your girlfriends, or with a great cup of coffee and an open heart. It's one of those studies that makes you feel right at home. It's like you have known this group of ladies for a lifetime although you have never met before. From the very first pages they pour their hearts into it and most of all, God's Word.
Twelve weeks of study. Each carrying six lessons. You begin with, "Today's Truth", where scripture is shared, then the lesson begins with a great devotional, written by one of the three ladies. It's called, "Friend to Friend". Don't you love that? Each devotional ends with, "Lets Pray". Isn't that the best way to begin and end each stud…