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Showing posts from September, 2015

The Expectation of Perfection

As you wake this morning, what is it that you are looking for? As your feet hit the floor are you wishing for a great day at work where everything seems to go your way? Is it that promotion you are deserving of? Maybe the approval of all around you? Could it be something like hoping that as you put on your coat and hop in the car no one will pull out in front of you? Maybe something as simple as the perfect cup of Starbucks coffee on your way to work? A day where the kids do everything you say and come home with a happy smile. A phone call from a friend. The words you have been waiting to hear. The email that will change your future. An easy day of chores. Maybe a quiet day where no one in the world seeks you out.
It's funny really. We wake with hopes of all kinds of things, but are they our expectations or what we think is perfection? Here we go. Are you ready? Disappointment is sure to follow when we are expecting things from others. The truth? Those things may never happen i…

He Loves Me More

I have a Jesus who rights my wrongs and covers every mess with an undeserving grace. "Oh, Jesus, my hands are undeserving to raise in glory to You, but yet You take me as I am. You fill me with all of You. You love me anyway." 
Am I perfect? Not by any means at all, but what I am is a perfect mess made in the image of Christ and through Him, only through Him, is there a perfectness in me that exists because He created me for greatness, for a purpose, and to bring Him glory and honor. So, if all that's true, there is NOTHING that can hold me back. Living in self I am limited to what I can do, but with Jesus, only through Him there are no limits at all. Only possibilities!!
Are you hearing voices of doubt and shame today? Remember this: Satan has no jurisdiction over you!  Jesus doesn't use shame to bring us to Him. He uses loving conviction. Satan uses shame and condemnation. Be careful to what voices you allow your heart to hear today. 
"You're nothing to me.&q…

Glory Days by Max Lucado

Max Lucado is a favorite of mine. He has been a great teacher for this Jesus girl. All of his books are keepers, but this one just may be my fave of all time. My copy is highlighted on every page. I absorbed these words and dug deep into the Word as I visited Joshua once again. Thank you, Max Lucado for encouraging me to travel back with Joshua to learn new lessons and to embrace living a 'glory days' kind of life right now!! 
As I turned the pages I found my heart beating a little faster as I was newly excited. These black and white words were leaping off the page and brilliantly filling my heart with something that had been missing. Where had that kind of excitement gone? I found myself saying, "Yes, Max, you go!! I have everything in Jesus, why am I NOT living it? Why am I not embracing EVERYTHING today and living the excitement of Jesus?" This is exactly what I needed to hear. 
What a great time of year for this book to release. A new season. An old is passing a…

God Bless Our Fall by Hannah Hall Illustrated by Steve Whitlow

Children will love this little gem of a book. What a sweet read to cuddle up with as we enter this new and beautiful season. 
I think little ones will love the animals and coloring that will open their imagination to a world of color and sweetness. It is just enough to keep their attention and one that they will adore reading again and again. 
I love books that rhyme. This will be a treat as you can share all that you and your little one are thankful for this season. 
This is sure to bring a harvest of smiles. I can't wait to share this with my grandchildren. 
This children's book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.
Hannah C. Hall estimates that she has read around 4,500 bedtime stories to her children over the last few years. She is thankful to get to add her own books to their daily rotation. Hannah and her husband, Josh, have three children and live in a small town in Arkansas.
Steve Whitlow lives in Yorkshire, northern England, on the top of a (very…

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is an absolute gem. She is in the top of the best of the best. She's one of those writers who pens a story deep with lessons of life to be learned. As each page is turned you not only begin to love the characters, but you find yourself within the story. She is a gifted writer who brings stories of hope through the characters who are believable. 
This is the  first novel in her new series, Waves of Freedom. I enjoyed everything about this novel. We travel back to 1941 where war is right around the corner and we find two main characters, Jim and Mary, who have a romance building. I love the sweetness and the pace of this novel. 
This novel is a bit different from others penned by Sarah that I have had the pleasure of reading. I enjoyed it immensely. This is filled with adventure and mystery. These characters are enchanting and it's such an easy read. Much of this story is lighthearted as we see Mary seeing a story in everything. She's always assuming and ponder…

Make Room For Love

If we listen long enough to what people say about us we can begin to think we are nothing more than the words being spewed at us. Egg shells were never meant to be walked on and glass shatters easily with just a little weight. If it's heated it'll just burst. Why can't we just be real? You know, unafraid to be ourselves and share from our hearts? Sometimes it's for the reason that if we overstep our boundaries, boundaries that aren't always known, we hear the words, "I'm done". We live terrified that our relationships will be broken if we overstep or make a mistake. 
If our relationships are so vulnerable that a disagreement or a mistake shatters everything between us then our relationship wasn't as strong as we thought. We will not always agree. You know what? Sometimes we may even disagree much more than we agree, but shouldn't love be enough to hold us together? It's in those disagreements that we learn and grow with one another. A disa…

A Well Meeting

What a meeting place. Why did Jesus meet this woman of Samaria at the well? I found myself reading the story of the woman at the well found in John 4 and was filled with a new insight that showed me a well of mercy from the Savior. This woman was a Samaritan. Jews didn't associate with them. They were the low of the low. This woman would travel to the well, which was also Jacob's well, in shame and discomfort. Did she feel like all eyes were upon her? Did other women wait to gather their water until after she was done just so they didn't have to come close to her path of walk? 
As she drew water from deep for Jesus, He drew from her a heart ready to pour, to be refreshed, to drink Jesus in new. Jesus drew from her what had been buried deep. If this woman could have seen her reflection in this well of deepness what would she have seen? A woman lost, living in a world where freedom was not found for her kind. 
Jesus has asked for a drink. He has met her right where she is. S…

September 12

My windows were open allowing a soft breeze to grace my morning. Coffee brewing as traffic passed in a hurry. I was just getting started with my day of cleaning and then planned to have an afternoon with pen in hand writing what my heart was ready to pour. Across at our neighbor's home I could hear her readying the school bus to pull out of the drive. Just a normal morning.
Just a few moments later my phone would jingle an early tune. Too early for a call. Who would it be calling me? I answered to hushed sobs. "Rob, you have to go to Bobbie right now. She needs you. Donnie has been killed." 
Another call. Broken sobs once again. The voice on the other end telling me to go. My phone dropped from my hand. I don't know how hard I fell. I went to my knees. Screams escaping. I was on my face crying, "No, no, no. Sweet Jesus, no. Not Donnie." 
My phone rang me back to wiping tears from my face. I didn't want to answer. It would be my daughter's voice on t…

When is it my turn, God?

"When's it my turn, God? When is it my turn for the "Good Stuff" in life to come my way?" My neighbor just purchased a new truck with his new raise. I can't even find a job! My girlfriend just had a baby to add to their growing family of six. I can't even have one of my own! A couple at church just shared their 50th wedding anniversary. My parents are both suffering from Alzheimers and can't even remember what year it is. Have you been there? You see all the excitement around you and your wondering, "Well, God, is it my turn today?"
The barn door flies open and the chickens run wild and you're home all alone to do what now?  The kids run through the door screaming at one another and your wondering, "What in the world happened on that bus ride home?" It's time for dinner, but the fridge is just about empty. No money left to do any shopping this week after payment after payment has stretched your checkbook as far as it wi…

Finding Strength To Battle The Giants

Today I found myself reading in 1 Samuel. I wanted to find David once again within the pages of this Book that gives me such strength and courage to beyond any fear. 
God calls David. He sends Samuel to find the Lord's anointed. He searches Jesse's sons, but none are the one whom He has called. David comes out of the fields. There in the young one of the family, the unexpected, the unknown, the anointed is found. 
David's job watching over the sheep was not an easy one. I think at times we ponder the sight and come up with a diluted vision of David just playing music as he sits underneath a tree keeping watch. David fought bears and lions to protect the sheep under his watch. He took his position seriously. This entire time God was molding David for the path ahead. To face a Goliath much stronger than any lion or bear he had yet to face, but through those trials God gave David the confidence and courage he needed. He knew he could overcome. Not by his own strength or fight…

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere out there today is a girl hiding in a deep pain that she tries to escape from, but isn't finding peace. A mother just trying to make it through the day without falling apart. A husband trying hard to provide, but just doesn't feel he is enough. A young man trying to make his way but forever being held back from the mountains that seem too high to take alone. 
People everywhere are hurting, struggling, and so fearful of where their next breath will take them that they are frozen in a pain that seems indescribable. We look everywhere for encouragement and inspiration, but let's be honest. Sometimes it just isn't there. We hit one road block after another and pretty soon we just want to give up. 
We try to so hard to keep up. So much is thrown at us throughout the day. How can we endure one more blow? We hide the bruises. We keep our thoughts to ourselves. Why? Because those around us seem to be all put together. Their lives are like a dream. Family postcard hap…

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston

This is a wonderful book for children to learn and grow in thankfulness. In our day children are consumed with everything. It's often hard to purchase a child a birthday gift because they already have everything imaginable. We are living in a time where thankfulness is often left to the side and more is always better. 
This would make for a great read sitting on a blanket underneath a tree as the leaves are changing. As Thanksgiving is upon us this would make a wonderful gift for children. A blessed bedtime read to go over all that we can be thankful for that has been given throughout the day. The writer gives a wonderful grouping of things to be thankful for. Not overwhelming. Not too long or complicated for little ones, but just the right touch. The illustrator did a magnificent job at giving little ones a visual and captures the heart of thankfulness through color. 
This little gem is a reminder to be thankful for not only the big things, but in the little things we often take …