Friday, April 30, 2010

Time to Celebrate the Ordinary


When do you take the time to celebrate? Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, births of a new baby, but what about the ordinary days, like today for example. Did you celebrate today? Why?


Celebrate the Ordinary

"Every day cannot be a birthday, and this day may be a very ordinary day for you. Perhaps you have just finished spring cleaning, and sometime before the week is over you need to visit your mom at the nursing home, take her to a doctor visit, go to the grocery store, make it to a parent-teacher conference, take little Johnnie to soccer practice, and watch your husband bowl on Friday night so he feels that you are a good wife who is interested in him.

My suggestion to avoid bitterness, resentment, and perhaps a mild nervous breakdown is to take time between the spring cleaning and all of the rest of the things on your schedule and do something that you really enjoy that would qualify as celebration. The first thing your mind is going to say is, "You don't have time to do that." But I am telling you that you need to take the time. And if you do the rest of your tasks will go more smoothly and joyfully. If you don't take time to recharge your batteries, then you are probably headed for some version of sinking emotions - discouragement, depression, despair, anger, resentment, or self-pity. When you start to feel down, just take the time to something "up" that lifts your mood and helps you feel better about life in general.

Cleaning house is an ordinary thing, but getting the job done can still be celebrated. Perhaps we could enjoy ordinary everyday life more if we learned to celebrate the ordinary. I am actually inviting you to creatively find reasons to celebrate. We cannot always celebrate for days at a time like I just did for my birthday, but even small celebrations can refresh us. Eat a cookie, buy a pair of shoes, go to lunch with a good friend, sit in the sunshine, go for a walk, or put a spoonful of whipped cream in your coffee. Take the time to do whatever is special to you. It doesn't even have to take a long time, but it is necessary for optimum joy and maintaining a good attitude. So are you ready to celebrate?"

These were some of my favorite words from Joyce Meyer's newest book, Eat the Cookies...Buy the Shoes. I was rereading it again today and I felt the need to share this.

I want to hear what you are celebrating and what are you doing to celebrate it? For me, I am still recovering after a doctor's visit yesterday. I have a couple more weeks to take it easy and slow and go like the turtle. I did get a refill on my pain meds for those days when I wake up feeling great and over do it. I really pay for it in the end. So I am celebrating by having a small slice of brownie and milk like Deb suggested to me in an email because I have made it through the worst part. I am coming home finally!

Please share your ways with me, I think it would really inspire us all and remind us we all need to take time to celebrate the little things we do each day that get us through life. Can't wait to read all your comments.

*********************************************************************************

Speaking of celebrating.... Here are the winners of copies of the book, Green Like God! If you can please email me your mailing information, I can get the book out to you. The winners are:

Greg C at Greg's General Store
Michelle at Psalm 104:24
Niecy at LiveLoveLaugh

Don't forget winners, NO P.O. Boxes and Congratulations again. Tell me how you are going to celebrate your win!

Everyone else, remember tell me what you are going to celebrate today in your ordinary day and how you are going to do it in my comments!

ReChurch



The United States is a huge, populous nation. As such, it is home to numerous epidemics. One of them is the dreaded but widespread ecclesia exitus disease - the Latin term for church drop out.

Perhaps you've experienced it - the decision to permanently withdraw from a congregation you had considered to be your 'church home'.

Our stories are all too familiar. The church we once loved broke up or or favorite pastor was fired or the musicians all left when the elders cracked down on the style of worship. The former pastor had an affair or the new pastor doesn't support Israel or the youth leader rebuked the teenagers for wanting to date. Enough to leave a sour taste in your mouth?

If you think about it, though, the cause of ecclesia exitus have been affecting the Lord's people since the beginning of church history.

Jesus was sent to save the Jews, whose leaders rejected and conspired to orchestrate His murder, in defiance of the spiritual laws and principles that they taught fellow Jews.

Paul's letters were written to churches that were distorting the principles provided by Jesus and consequently hurting many people through the misapplication of His truths and admonitions.

The description of the five of seven churches depicted in Revelation 2 and 3 reflect congregations that did a poor job of handling Jesus' teachings and God's people.

Even the early church leaders were guilty of infighting and bitterness. Paul had a less than amicable parting of ways with John Mark and Barnabas despite a successful initial missionary journey.



Want to know how to get through the pain, bitterness and feelings of rejection? Then join me in reading Rechurch, Healing Your Way Back To The People of God, by Stephen Mansfield. He was a pastor for twenty years and loved what he did. Then he learned a church can hurt. Thankfully, he also learned how to dig out of that hurt, break through the bitterness and anger, stop making excuses, and get back to where he needed to be with God and his people...but only if you're willing to ReChurch.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and being one who has been hurt from previous churches, this book comes highly recommended to help you resolve those hurts from the past and move back to being with God and His people once more.

For more information on this book including how to get a copy for yourself, please click on the links below:

http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/1_products/details.asp?isbn=978-1-4143-3328-1

To download the first chapter, click on the link below:

http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/FirstChapters/978-1-4143-3328-1.pdf

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diva Nomics How To Still Be Fabulous When You're Broke


So many people today are affected by this current economic recession. When you lose your job, there is a trickle-down effect that will begin to affect you ability to make payments on your credit cards, mortgage payments, car payment, groceries and just making a living for your family.

In Divanomics by Michelle McKinney Hammond, she herself has gone from having it all and losing it down to a negative balance in her checking account. In her latest books and one of the best for everyone in this time, Michelle outlines some great ways to get back on your feet and begin to start over. You don’t have to hit rock bottom for this book to benefit you.

She provides some outstanding and creative ways to stay within a budget, live rent free, yes you read that correctly, and even how to save money so you can still look great everyday while saving money. In one section of the book, she shows you how you can cook chicken 5 different ways for under $5.00.

The resource section alone is worth getting her book. Yet through it all, Michelle has kept her faith in God and passes along God’s wise wisdom along the journey back to recovery. If she did it, so can we!

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to make ends meet. If you would like to know more about this book including where to purchase a copy for yourself click on the link below:
a
http://tyndale.com/x_products/details.php?isbn=978-1-4143-3382-3

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Restoration Road



What would happen if you were generous with your time, talent and treasure? Would you be content enough in Christ to give to someone in need? Would you spend extra time with your spouse or children, allowing them to set the agenda? Would you invest your talent into a coworker? Would you give some of your treasure to a neighbor who is struggling? Imagine if you let life’s bad pitches go by and lived content in the peace of God in Christ, the focal point of the eyes of your heart. This is yet another step you can take as you travel Restoration Road to live restored to authenticity. (Pg. 187, Restoration Road)



I was provided with a complimentary copy of Restoration Road by Mitch Kruse, to review for B & B Media Group. This book is amazing at walking you through obtaining a better life and quality of life through a life of being restored by Jesus Christ. Mitch Kruse is a man who has spent a lifetime pursuing excellence in all things in his life with one goal in mind, to make a billionaire dollars by the age of 40. Yet along the way, things don’t happen exactly as Mitch would like and in the process you learn how Mitch puts his life back together when brought to the brink of losing it all.

For more information on this book and where to purchase a copy of it, please click on the link below:

Restoration Road by Mitch Kruse with Derek Williams
Credo Communications/March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935391-31-9/316 pages/hardcover/$24.99
www.TheRestorationRoad.com www.MitchKruse.com
Become a fan of Mitch Kruse on Facebook. Follow Mitch on Twitter http://twitter.com/mitchellkruse

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Facing Fear and Winning


The choices we make determine the life we will have.

Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to others, wanting want they have, their lifestyle, their families, their money or possessions or even the gifts God has bestowed upon them like singing or the ability to preach?

What we fail to realize in the process, is that God bestows us the gifts, but it's our choice to use those gifts for Him. Sure we may do well with public speaking or singing in a Christian band, but we will never get the credit. God does. Why?

Because He gave us those very gifts. We chose how to use them. We need to stop looking at what others have, and use the gifts God has given all of us.

What we need in this life is not more wishbones, but more backbones!

We need to stop letting somebody's bad choices, rule our lives.

If we are determined enough, we can do just about anything to get our lives back on track.

How many times have you heard the words No Way! There is just no way, I am ever going to get well. There is no way I am ever going to find a better home. There is no way I am going to survive this marriage. Come on, fill in the blank. We have all used them and have heard them as well.

However in John 14:6 ," Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (NIV)"

Jesus didn't say He was a way, but the way!

Isaiah 43:19, " See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."

God uses this scripture reference above to show the situation of something impossible becoming possible, but we need to be determined to get there.

It is the way we approach life that gets in the way. We can talk ourselves into a fit in such a short time, with all our negative self talk. Yet, what we fail to see, is that we can also talk ourselves out of our problems too.

Do you realize we have the ability to know peace all the time? It's true! Yet most of us spend so much of our days in worry and being upset that if we were to be at peace, we would be utterly bored. We'd have nothing to trouble us, to be upset over, to worry about. Peace is possible.

Once you have God's peace, you will see just how much of your life you have invested in worrying. You will see how much time you will have in your day. This is the reason for so many references to scripture to avoid worrying.

We need to change the way we talk, to think and even our attitudes towards life. Everyone has the same opportunities in life. God is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

In Luke 5:18-20, we read about a paralyzed man who was taken to Jesus for healing by his friends. When they arrive, it's too crowded so they climb to the roof, remove the tiles and lower him down in front of Jesus.

That's what I would call determination! Jesus loves that kind of determined faith!

What we need to do when facing storms is to take these steps.

1. Step out and find out. Our faith comes by walking in faith, step by step. So be willing to take a chance and take that first step. If you are waiting around on God, it's like the story of a man stranded on a island that is waiting for rescue and God drops him all kinds of ways off, but he doesn't see it because he is waiting for something bigger to happen. Take that step of faith!

2. What does it feel like in your heart? This situation you are facing, how does it feel in your heart, what does it tell you to do? Trust in that and take your faith steps and see how that feels after doing it.

3. Don't talk to other people. They don't know your situation and sometimes we bounce the idea off of so many people it makes us more confused than we were in the first place. If you really want to talk to someone, talk to God.

4. Proclaim by faith, it will happen! But what if it doesn't. Then get back up tomorrow and do it again, and again and again. Waiting on something means, expecting, hoping and looking for it to happen. Not just sitting there. Tell yourself, I have faith God is going to lead me today!

Then believe it. Tell yourself I can do it, I will not quit or give up. Be determined to know God.

The world needs to see courage more today. Too many people are living their days filled with fear. Did you know the opposite of faith is fear?

Fear steals what God has promised us.

Fear is the enemies perverted form of faith and too often we live our lives more in fear than in faith. We need to be more determined to live our lives for God and live lives of faith instead.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder



Imagine living your life in a small town called La Luna in Louisana your whole life. You can remember spending time at the corner grocery store getting a bottle of Coke from the old red and white cooler while sitting under the ceiling fan on a hot and muggy summer day hoping for the afternoon thunderstorm to come and cool you off. Other times, you would spend lazy days with friends and a picnic lunch at the river taking turns on the rope swing and seeing who could do the biggest cannon ball.

One day your mom gets breast cancer, something that you hardly can understand back then but something you think will get better the more times she goes to the doctor and the more treatments she gets. Your mom and you have a close relationship, closer than anyone in the world could possibly understand.

Your mother has been teaching you about healing hands while she makes the customers in her beauty shop, called the “Crowning Glory” feel more beautiful and alive than when they came in. She shows you that you too, have such a gift and you decide that when you grow up that is just what you will do, follow in your momma’s footsteps.

In The Crowing Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood, we read of Calla Lily Ponder’s childhood as described above and how she grows into the woman she is today. The losses and loves that come and go in her life and how the call of her small town of La Luna beckon her back like the moon she talks to when she gets lonely at night.

I had the wonderful privilege of receiving a complimentary copy of this book from TLC Book tours and have to tell you this is one of my most favorite books I have read so far. I felt like I was living the life of Calla Lily and the charm of the town she called home.



If you would love to know more about this book, the author and even where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

http://tlcbooktours.com/2010/03/rebecca-wells-author-of-the-crowning-glory-of-calla-lily-ponder-on-tour-aprilmay-2010/

More information about the author Rebecca Wells can be found here:
http://www.rebeccawellsbooks.com/

I will be giving away one copy of this book to a lucky follower of mine that leaves me a comment. The giveaway winner will be announced on May 3rd.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trusting God With Your Fear # 8


In part 8 of our continuing Bible Study from Beautiful Things Happen When Women Trust in God from Shelia Walsh, we pick up at study 8, Trusting God With Your Fear.



One of the most transforming truths I have embraced on my journey thus far is that whatever God calls me to do, he has already equipped me to do it. That sounds so obvious, so simple, and yet I believe we struggle to live that way.

We live in a culture that quantifies giftedness, beauty, leadership by its own set of rules. In the kingdom of God our culture's rules don't apply. Our culture looks at what appears to be true but God sees what is true.

When God looks at a man or woman he sees who we are to becoming in Him. So God looks at Gideon cowering in the wine press and called him a mighty warrior. Jesus looked at Peter and said, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build me church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".(Matthew 16:18 ESV).

This was before Peter denied even knowing Christ. This was before Peter disappeared into the night and left Christ to die. When Jesus looks into the heart of a man or woman he sees all of who we are and all of who we will become in him by trusting and taking the next step. So if God says move, I move. I trust who He knows me more than who I see myself as.

FIND ~ One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Oprah that belong to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, "God is with you, O mighty warrior!" Gideon replied, "With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us?" ~ Judges 6:11-13 MSG

Read Judges 6:7-10.

7-10 One time when the People of Israel had cried out to God because of Midian, God sent them a prophet with this message: "God, the God of Israel, says,
I delivered you from Egypt,
I freed you from a life of slavery;
I rescued you from Egypt's brutality
and then from every oppressor;
I pushed them out of your way
and gave you their land.

"And I said to you, 'I am God, your God. Don't for a minute be afraid of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.' But you didn't listen to me."

God reminded the Israelites of his goodness to them. If that passage had been written to you, what are some of the things God has done that he would have called for you to remember?

Oh this one really hit home for me and is a constant reminder even now whenever fear creeps us. I am reminded how childish my fears are when God has been present in so many situations and brought me through it all. Remember when you had pain no one could diagnose and I led you to a perfect doctor who would listen. Remember when you thought you would have to live with that pain forever yet, I have brought you through a surgery to eliminate that pain; Remember when you thought you would lose everything because your husband lost his job and when you turned everything over to me and became faithful to my ways once more, I not only brought you through it all but I restored it all to you once more.

The Israelites had seen God do some incredible things, yet they still rebelled against Him and failed to trust Him. Describe a time when you have been rebellious against God or refused to trust Him. Why did you respond the way you did?

When Steve had to go out on disability due to a work injury and then subsequently got laid off when he returned, I couldn't believe that God would allow that to happen to us. We were faithful in attending church and trying to live up to His ways for a Godly life, but I think I rebelled because when we prayed, it seemed like nothing happened. Like God was too busy to help us. We wanted answers in our time and not in His.

Read Proverbs 3:5-7.(MSG)

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline;
don't sulk under his loving correction.
It's the child he loves that God corrects;
a father's delight is behind all this.
Rewrite these verses in your own words and then commit these verses to memory.

The only thing I would changed because these still ring true would be to add my name in there throughout and offer this up as a prayer when I find myself doubting again.

FEEL ~ You are going about your daily routine and you are greeted by an angel saying, "God is with you, O mighty warrior." How would that make you feel?

I would have to say pretty surprised that God would see such value in me. I have trouble sometimes seeing the positives in me that others see. This would be a huge Ah Ha! moment in my life.

We don't have experiences like that very often, so how do you know God is with you?

By faith, and looking back at His promises and what He has already done for me. He loves me that much that He promised to always be with me, not only when I need Him but always. That is sufficient for me. I just need to remind myself when I doubt.

Gideon said, "If God is with us, why has all of this happened to us?" How did Gideon's view of the situation compare to God's perspective?

God already knew the outcome and had put His faith and trust in Gideon, He just needed him to trust and put his faith in God. Gideon had doubts because it's human nature at times to have self doubts or low self esteem. Sometimes we need that push!

How does God's perspective of your life compare to your perspective of the things you are experiencing?

God always sees the very best in us and the end result if we are willing to get up and try things His way. Too often we are prone to listen to the enemy and join in his pity party for us. I say, if the devil invites you to a pity party, refuse to go!

FOLLOW ~ In verse 14, God asks Gideon, "Haven't I just sent you?" God's sending always includes his power because God never asks us to do something he doesn't equip us to do. In what areas of life do you need to accept God's commission and depend on His power?

In my recovery. I have come across too many people that have told me I should be back up and feeling fine by now, and therefore feel lazy like I'm not doing enough to make myself better despite my prayers. Then God brings someone in my life that has gone through something similar that lets me off the hook and reminds me that I need to heal more. I am doing to much. I need to trust Him more and back myself out of the equation for now.

What keeps you from trusting God to empower you to do those things he asks you to do?

I lack the trust in my ability to do it. However after reading this, if God calls me, I need to remind myself that He will provide me with all I need to get through it all.

Gideon recognized that God is peace. Is this a truth that is evident in your life? Explain your response.

Yes this is because the more I turn things over to God and learn to rely on faith in Him for what He has brought me through in the past and what His words promise me for my present and future, the only thing standing in the way is me. I need to learn to TRUST in Him everyday without a doubt and let go but be ready to move if He says MOVE!

God uses external circumstances to get our attention. What is God using right now to get your attention?

He is using others right now to reinforce the need I have to spend more time resting and less time pretending I am at 100% when I know I am not.

The key to this transformation is found in Judges 6:34:'God's Spirit came over Gideon' What will happen in your life when God's Spirit comes over you?

I will have peace and assurance that I am following in the path that God has directed me to follow in my life at this time.

Gideon expressed victory because he did what God told him to do. If you want victory in your life, what are some things you must do?

I must rest more and let others help. I must spend more time reading God's words and His promises of restoration and faith. I must put all my faith and trust in Him to bring me through this final leg of my recovery as long as it takes.

Summarize the instructions of Proverbs 3:5-7 by completing the following statement:

Because the Bible says to trust, listen and honor God I will trust, listen and honor God because He is the one that will bring me through whatever life has to offer.

Now write a prayer expressing your desire to trust God more every day. Use this prayer as part of your daily time with God and as an expression of your desire to give God the honor and trust He deserves.

Abba Father, Lord, you are truly my father who has the very best interests in mind for me from the very beginnings of my life until I breathe my last breath here. I need to trust in the promises that Your words have to share with me as reminders in Proverbs of the things you require of me. In doing so, Lord, I will have that peace that passes all understanding and in doing so, will honor and glorify You in all that I do. In Jesus name, AMEN!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cornerstone Bible Commentary 1-2 Chronicles


So where do you put information that wasn't included in Samuel and Kings? Chronicles, that's right!

These are the important details that are missing from the books of Samuel and Kings from the Bible, and because they contain some very relevant historical information for that time, they are placed in books called Chronicles 1 and 2.

Like all commentaries pertaining to the Bible, The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary of 1 and 2 Chronicles by Mark Boda, makes understanding these books even more understandable. You are given the background information, the time period that it all historically took place, but so much more information.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book to review for Tyndale House Publishers and found it a more in depth study than a Bible Commentary which contains information about all the books of the Bible. Since this one is so devoted to the material found in just 2 books of the Bible, there is so much more to study about. This comes with the highest recommendation for anyone looking for relevant Bible Resources to use when studying the Bible.

If you would like more information on this book including where to purchase your own copy, click here:

http://tyndale.com/x_products/details.php?isbn=978-0-8423-3431-0

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Toy Soldiers



Do you ever remember toy soldiers when you were a child? Not army men but something similar to those the ones from our childhood stories that stood tall and straight but unmoving, unyielding?

Some of us are just like those very same toy soldiers going about our day to day lives thinking that we are quite literally standing on the top of the world and nothing can knock us down. Yet we are lulled into the false sense of security because the enemy does not come when we are standing guard, waiting for the full on attack.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV).

So we must always be prepared for those ordinary days when the enemy will come around prowling. Let us take two very different circumstances to see just how that can play out in the real world.


On September 11, 2001, we can all recall just where we were that day. It would be a day that would impact our country forever and still does to this day. Evil become personified that day when so many would lose their lives while we laid completely unaware of what was going on around us. We weren't prepared for that day.

Yet on December 31, 1999, the world prepared for what we all felt would cripple us around the globe and our economies. Y2K! For months, banks and financial institutions met with computer programmers to determine if their systems would fail or stand firm. At 11:59pm the final seconds ticked by and what happened? Nothing. The day came and went and nothing failed as predicted by so many.

It reminds me of the song Toy soldiers from the 80's and the word are this:

"Step by step,
heart to heart
left, right, left,
we all fall down, like toy soldiers.

Bit by bit,
torn apart,
we never win,
but the battle wages on
for toy soldiers"

So what does this mean for us? It's simple do we want to be like toy soldiers that can fall down easily or do we want to become spiritual prayer warriors which understand that to prevail against an enemy we must become equipped with armor, sword, shield and helmets to prevent falling like toy soldiers against the enemy.

Satan waits for the ordinary moments and days to wage war against us. We must stand guard daily or we shall fall. The great news, is that we can pick ourselves back up again and do battle another day. Yet wouldn't it be better to prepare daily against those attacks?

So what is the Christian's armor exactly.

We all need to put on God's full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong with the Belt of Truth tied around your waist, and the protection of right living on your chest, On Your feet, wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also the Shield of faith with which you can stop all of the burning arrows of the Evil One. Accept God's salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need.

This is why we need to stand grounded in doing God's will and living our lives as Jesus would want us to as we are able. He doesn't expect perfection. Only He could do that, but He set an example during those 33 years He walked among us that we can use as our guide on how we should be trying to live our lives each day.

You know what...the closer we are to Him, the easier it is to stay close, to avoid being picked off by the enemy and to spend time reading His word each day. Commit it to memory so that we can hide it in our heart for when the enemy comes crawling. Jesus used the Word of God when Satan came to tempt Him in the desert.

Let us not become like Toy Soldiers that can fall down.


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Giveaway Update for Should We Fire God?

I just wanted to let you all know the winners of the copies of the book Should We Fire God and they are:

Marj at Frugal Tumbleweed Acres
Denise at Free to Be Me
Kurt at Some Things I Have Learned

Congratulations to all of you and please email me with your mailing information so I can get these out to all of you.

Everyone else, please keep entering to win. Sometimes there aren't that many people entering so it makes your chances even better. All the giveaways are on the right hand side bar, just click on the ones you want to enter and leave me a comment. That is all there is too it. Lot's more to come next week!

9th Judgement Giveaway


Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.

The Most Personal – A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence; a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in bloodred lipstick.

The Most Dangerous – The same night, the wife of an A-list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burgular who is about to steal millions of dollars’ worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.

In the book, 9th Judgement by James Patterson, you find yourself in the perfect blend between CSI and Criminal Minds while deciding if the two cases are separate or the same killer. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Hachette Book Groups to review and again, being a fan of this genre, I loved it and would recommend this book for anyone who loves crime and mystery fiction.

If you would like to know more about this book and where to obtain a copy for you to purchase, please click on the link below.

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316036276.htm

I have the special privilege of providing two copies of this great book, simply be a follower of mine and tell me what your favorite crime or mystery show in the comment section. The giveaway will end on May 1, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Are You A Spy for God?



Did you know that God created us all unique to His will that we are for a special purpose?

We may not all have been asked to step into the ministry but we all have been called if we say we are believers in God. We all have jobs to do. We have been called by God to be a light in this world. Did you ever notice that no matter how darkness surrounds us that something as small as a match can keep the darkness out, but nothing can put out the light no matter how dark it gets?

Imagine what would happen if there were more Christians in the government willing to let their light shine?

Do you know that Jesus washed people's feet? If you really think about it, it was a pretty messy and dirty job. Yet we can all be feet washers. Not in the literal sense but I am talking about getting involved with messy people.

People who can use some love and encouragement in their life.

Too often however, we are afraid to talk to people who don't act or talk like us. Yet if we can't find something to say to people, we truly don't know anything and are useless. You can't say Good Morning or Hello to someone?

Once we find ourselves stuck in our habits, it's hard to get unstuck. But we need to keep trying.

Joyce Meyer is quoted as saying "I want to be the coolest old person ever!"

We need to learn how to fellowship with people and the more different they are, the more we should like it.

It's amazing how much God will bless you if you just step out in faith and try ~ if you just get rid of your religious phony baloney!

Sometimes when you ask people about God, they tell you that they are 'spiritual'. What that simply means is that they are trying to find the answer and they are looking for the love of God and the truth, and they are not finding it.

Are we too busy looking to clean the fish without catching it first?

That's what overly religious people do, look for people to clean up, judging them and criticizing them because they are not like the rest of us.

1 Corinthians 5:9-12, "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?"

It's not what goes into you that defiles you, it's what comes out.

We can’t hide from unbelievers because they make us uncomfortable. What these verses are asking us to do is for us to not hang out with believers not unbelievers. Don’t judge others, but look at yourself and the people you hang out with.

The people who are like us, act like us and talk like us, believers, are there for us when we need encouragement and motivation to continue to be lights in this world to those who don’t know Jesus yet!

Luke 15:1-2, “Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

This verse is stating to not get intimately involved with unbelievers, sharing personal details about your life and your family.

Jesus came for the sick not the healthy. Don’t compromise yourself but don’t hide also.

Consider the rest of Luke 15:3-24

Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."


The Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

The story begins with 100 things. Out of 100, one is lost. It’s still valuable. Then the story turns to 10 in 1, even more valuable and thus finally 2 of 1 and the response is still the same, rejoicing when lost people get found.

They need people to love them. To meet their needs. To show them patience. Whether sheep, coins or sons, we all have value and none is insignificant that they don’t need to be found.

Love is helping people on purpose.

Job 29:16 “ …the cause of him I did not know. I searched out.

Let us all keep up the search and continue to be spies for God.

Glaen

This has been updated below by the author!




Ever wonder what you would write about if your college professor provided you with a task to write a Original Non Fiction book to pass his class?

All the while you have discovered from a conversation with your parents that they feel after years of being married and staying together for the sake of the kids, now is the time to finally get a divorce?

Then your mom has these parting words for you when you ask her why she has waited until just now to realize that life with Dad hasn’t been all that she had hoped, “well you don’t really understand relationships either, so make sure that you don’t have any doubts when it’s time for you to get married!”.

Thinking you have something to write about after all your failed attempts at dating only to break up again and again, your parents are divorcing and your best friend is dreaming of her wedding day, you decide to write a book on relationships. How to make one last from dating through marriage til you can finally live Happily Ever After!

Sounds easy enough until her professor challenges her throughout the entire course to see things she has never really taken a look at before and see things as they are. Her perception is changed along the way and some delightful surprises are in store for her test subjects throughout the year.

I received a complimentary copy of book Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand, from B & B Media Group to review. This is one of the best relationship books I have read in quite some time, because its written in a story form instead of a self help book lay out. The reader can really identify with either the boyfriend or girlfriend roles outlined in the book and you really come away with a smile and a sense of wonder after reading it all?



For more information about this book and where to purchase a copy of it, please click on the link below:
Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand
The Barnabas Agency February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5/softcover/171 pages/$14.99
Website: www.glaen.com ~ Blog: www.glaen.wordpress.com
Become a fan of Glaen on Facebook!

Update:

I wanted to share my comment on Fred's blog that he felt had more power than my original post. So here is the comment I left for Fred:

Fred,

I just finished your book and will be reviewing it on my blog this week. It is a must read for any parents of kids or planning on having kids. They need to read this. I posed a great question to both my oldest daughter, 16, and my nephew, 17 that if a book existed that offered you advice on how to make a relationship succeed without all the pain of breakups and heartaches, would you read it?

They both replied, without a doubt! Then I posed another question and asked if you read it would you follow it?

A longer pause. But they both agreed that if sadness and heartache could be avoided they would gladly read and apply the principles of the book.

Later that night, I handed my daughter the book Glaen and told her to read it and let me know what she thinks. It’s opened us both up to some great communication now that she is dating and not sure if this is the right one.

She is seeing insights into this book I didn’t being married that she does dating and she can’t put it down. She said she is probably going to feel really sad when it ends because she will want more.

She is also looking at handing the book down on to another friend going through a break up right now to hopefully help prevent mistakes from occurring again.

I think you did an amazing job at this book and one that anyone who is announcing they are thinking of dating or even getting engaged should read. Well done and I can’t wait to see if you decide to write another one.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

I can't think of a more outstanding book on any dating before marriage or even pre-marriage books out there than this one and its easy reading. You can easily get through it in a couple of hours but you will want to savor the wisdom on each page.

Currently, Caitlyn has added that this book has completely changed her outlook on dating and relationships prior to marriage. It has also allowed for more intimate conversations into her insight into the conversations she is having with her friends both male and female. She is even taking this into her high school because she believes what it is telling her. No where in the Bible does it state we should date before marriage, so this book really does fill in the missing pieces of what should you do?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kat's Newest Addition and Giveaways!


With so much going on this week, I wonder, just where do I fit it all in. I have so much to share with you. I'm still in recovery mode this week and I have Steve here for one more day. He is back to work on Monday. Some days are still challenging but it's better than where I started. Praise God! Let's start with pictures because I know how much you all hate long posts with lots of words.



I received this wonderful package in the mail from a giveaway I won with Lisa Shaw at Sharing Life with Lisa. I was so blessed with the "Faith" plaque because my faith has gone through some trials and has emerged with so much more than I could have ever imagined. She also sent me a beautiful card full of so much love and some refrigerator magnets that I have added to my refrigerator. Now every time I see them I think of Lisa!

Now you all know this last week, I fried my laptop of 7 years. It's not nothing but a holder of information and can see but nothing more. It has no sound and nothing can be uploaded or plugged into anymore. It's my deaf member of my home now.

Not even the Geek Squad could fix this. All of this from uploading pictures from my camera to my computer. Nice huh?

So we have a new member added to our household.



Yup that's right, if I have a cat named Moo, I can have a computer that looks like one too!



Isn't he beautiful? So I am going to have a giveaway for what to name my computer! Leave me a comment and on Tuesday, April 27th, I'll announce the winner with some very special handpicked surprises in store for you. You have to be a faithful follower of course, cause you know how much I love giving stuff away! Tis better to give than receive right?

In the meantime, I'm back to visiting you all again. I hope you missed me as much as I have missed you too! Thanks for those of you that keep stopping by and leaving me comments. I promise to start visiting again. Here was my view today? Did I mention that God woke me for a special surprise this morning at midnight? SNOW! Yup just some traces remained this morning but He blessed me with seeing it last night.


Yes! It's even starting to rain here and if you know me at all, I love the rain!

In the very near future I've been able to convince some of the publishers to offer more giveaways on their titles. I mean who doesn't love free stuff right? So keep commenting and I promise to offer lots of good stuff in the future.

I may even hold giveaways for my faithful commenters. Hmmm! I sense a possible giveaway in the future for the most comments in a month? Perhaps that could be one for May??

Don't forget leave me an idea for the name for my new computer and you'll be entered in a giveaway special! Don't forget to make sure you've entered in the giveaways that end this weekend by clicking on any of them to the right on my sidebar. Leave a comment and you're in!

Green Like God Giveaway, For Earth Day!


We have all heard about it, global warming, green house gases, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore, and so much more but what does it mean for the Christian believer. What does the Bible say about environmentalism and being an environmentalist, a recycler or even a tree hugger? Does it say anything at all about any of this or will God supply all our needs regardless of what we do in the here and now?

With Earth Day occurring today, what should we as believers of Jesus Christ be doing if anything? The answer might surprise you as much as it did for me!

Scripture says that God is “loving toward all he has made”(Psalm 145:17). As Christians we must love what God loves. Genesis 2:15 tells us why God placed humans in a garden – so we would “work it and take care of it.” Other translations render that phrase, “ cultivate it and keep it” (NASB), “Tend over it and watch over it”(NLT), “Work it and keep it” (ESV), “Take care of it and look after it” (CEV), “Work it and watch over it” (HCSB), “Work the ground and keep it in order”(MSG). Therefore, God’s command for us, is to be good stewards of the things He has created and left us in charge of it.

Humans are created by the Creator to care for His creation, Genesis 3:23, “ So the Lord God forced Adam out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” (NCV)

So with this basis for scripture, we, as believers, must take care of what God has given to us, like our children, our spouses, our homes, and our Earth. We can not think of it as something God will replenish as we use it up. There was a reason in the Old Testament when God told the Israelites to wait a year after every 6 years of crop growing to allow the ground time to heal. We no longer do that and thus are wondering just what is going wrong with our Earth when it no longer produces for us.



The book, Green like God, by Jonathan Merritt, gives the most compelling arguments for Christians to step up and lead people on how to care for what God has given all of us. He will bless us when we do and curse us when we don’t.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review by Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. It is wonderful because it answers the question of what do believers need to be doing to take care of our world and I would highly recommend this book.

If you would like to know more about this book and even where to purchase a copy of this book, click on the link below.

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446557252.htm

For three lucky followers of mine, I will be drawing three names on April 30th, to win an amazing copy of this book! Winners must have a shipping address within the United States or Canada only and No P.O. Boxes! I must have a way to reach you so please provide me with an email address if it’s not linked to your account.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes!

You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes, by Lisa McKay from David C. Cook on Vimeo.



God is calling you to do what?

Such was my reaction fifteen years ago when my husband, Luke, told me he felt God was leading him into the gospel ministry. Even though I supported him wholeheartedly, I naively believed this calling was somehow just a gig. My job was simply to accompany him while he did his “thing.”

Reality didn’t hit until a well-meaning gentleman enlightened me on the expectations of a minister’s wife. He said, “The best thing you can do for Luke is learn how to play the piano. He’ll have a much easier time being called as pastor of a church. Congregations love it when the pastor’s wife can contribute. It’s like they are getting a two for one!” If I knew then what I know now, I would have had a serious fight with the flesh to keep from sharing my thoughts on the buy-one-get-one-free concept.

The restraint of the Holy Spirit is a beautiful thing!



In my latest book review, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes, and Other Great Advice From An Unlikely Preacher’s Wife, by Lisa McKay, she takes you on her personal journey of what it was like to walk in those very words and shoes. I received this book compliments of B & B Media Group and would love to give a copy away to a minister’s wife or any one who is feeling their lives are being called to do the will of God in the church.

This book is high recommended to give all of us a reality check of what it’s like to be the wife of someone who is called to serve in the church, from what the congregation is expecting, what the wife puts herself through and what God really says is necessary.

If you would like more information on the book and where to purchase a copy, please click on the links below.
You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes by Lisa McKay
David C Cook February 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6726-4/208 pages/softcover/$12.99
www.davidccook.com
www.apreacherswife.com


If you would like to enter the giveaway and win a copy of this book, please leave me a comment on how you think this book would help you! The giveaway will end on Monday, April 26th.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Meeting of the Waters

The Meeting of the Waters, by Fritz Kling from David C. Cook on Vimeo.



A young Christian from Ireland moves to India – not to evangelize but to help girls escape prostitution. A middle-aged missionary in Brazil who long ago left all remnants of home encounters a twentysomething, laptop-carrying family man who rarely stops texting the States as he begins a short term stint in the jungle. A Kenyan pastor struggles to inspire a congregation that watches a foreign megachurch pastor on television every Sunday before church.

The community of Christians around the world – the global church – is stunning in its scope and spiritual impact. But what is happening to the church as technology, the global economy, generational transitions, and other cultural shifts make their mark?




In Meeting of the Waters by Fritz King, he identifies seven trends – such as Migration, Machines, and the growing Mercy generation – impacting today’s global church. Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, this breakthrough book is for anyone eager to understand and make a difference in a changing world. (excerpt from back cover).

In my review of this book, compliments of B & B Media, I was surprised at just how different missionary work is around the globe now, to what it was some twenty to thirty years ago. With technology changing and impacting this, people are still needed but not as much as you would have thought. Big Screen TV’s are being brought into remote locations for multiple broadcasts for churches, while Christians still continue to learn about cultural ways and languages to bring the message of Jesus to parts of the world where persecution is likely.

This book is a must read for any church that works through and conducts missionary operations as well as anyone thinking of entering into the missions field. Things are changing more and more and thus the need to be sensitive to the needs of the people we are there to help not to change them into our way of thinking.

If you would like more information about this book and where to purchase a copy please click on the link below:

The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling
David C Cook/March 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6484-3/256 pages/softcover/$16.99
www.davidccook.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Life of Christ In Us # 7


In continuing on our Bible Study lesson on "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God by Shelia Walsh, we pick up our lesson number 7 with, The Life of Christ in Us.

The fact that Tabitha is the only woman in the New Testament to be given the title, "disciple" is arresting to me. When you think of the word, disciple, what comes to mind? When I think of the twelve men that Christ chose to share his three years of earthly ministry, it's clear that they saw so much. They witnessed miracle after miracle. They sat with Jesus as he shared things with them that the crowds did not get to hear. They were there when Lazarus stumbled back into his own skin and into daylight. They shared that last precious meal that Christ would eat on earth and watched as he was dragged away to a mockery of a trial. They lamented and hoped during his ultimate execution. They saw the resurrected Christ, heard his voice again. They looked into those eyes of blazing love again.

Peter, who had once denied even knowing Christ, at his own crucifixion declared he was unworthy to die in the same manner as his Savior. He asked, instead, to be crucified upside down. But what of Tabitha? She didn't see any of that but she was called, "disciple." She was called disciple because she "got it." She understood that whether you are in a crowd that witnessed the spectacular or in a quiet room making clothes for the destitute, every single thing you do matters when it is motivated by a heart of love for Christ.

FIND ~ Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha...She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room...All the widow stood...weeping and showing tunics and other garments that (Tabitha) made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. ~ Acts 9:36-41 ESV

Tabitha was a follower of Christ and her death saddened those who knew her. She was known for her faithfulness. If your life ended right now, for what would you be remembered?

I would say it would be for being a great mom, wife and friend to anyone who knew me.

Read Psalm 16:1-11

1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.

2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."

3 As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. b]">[b]

4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, c]">[c]
nor will you let your Holy One d]">[d] see decay.

11 You have made e]">[e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

How would you characterize the mood of the psalmist as he wrote these words?

I would have to say hopeful and full of expection of something better to come.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the maximum, rate the psalmist's trust in God - 10!

Using the same scale, rate your trust in God, 10!

Explain any differences between the two ratings.

There technically shouldn't believe, if we really trust God like we say we do, however I don't think we think or act like it most of the time, especially when doubt comes creeping in when things don't go the way we would like. God never said it would be our way, but His way in our lives. Once we accept that, it really does change your outlook but it must be something looked at everyday in our lives, in our hearts and in our minds.

Review verses 9-11, and rewrite them as your expression of your trust in God. Be completely honest as you express your trust.

9 God may might heart be filled with gladness and my words reflect those feelings; then will my body and mind rest in the confidence of your promises for me.

10 You will not leave me in the grave to die but will be reunited with you in a new spiritual body so I can stand in your presence, holy and pure.

11 By your promises of believing in You, I have eternal life, and I will rejoice in that promise and the hope to come that my salvation is assured and I will never again be separated from you or the ones I love.

FEEL ~ Think about your most recent experience with the death of a loved one or friend. What emotions did you experience as you lived through this experience?

I was sad that we would no longer be with that person here on Earth any longer, but joyful in knowing that she was going to be reunited with our Lord and Savior and receive her eternal reward in heaven. I know I will see her again.

How did that experience affect your trust in God? Explain your response.

It is what God has always promised, the simple belief in Him and in knowing what all He had to do to assure us that our relationship was restored once more with God the Father. I just need to stand on those promises more when doubt comes in to my thoughts.

Tabitha was well loved and those who loved her were not ready to say goodbye. Yet, she died. Why do you think the people sent for Peter?

I believe it was to bless her and not necessarily heal her but to give comfort to those who had lost her presence in their lives.

Peter had faith in God's ability to raise Tabitha because he had seen Jesus raise Jairus' daughter. What have you seen Jesus do that gives you assurance of his ability to intervene in your life in the future?

He answers prayers. Sometimes it takes a year, 6 months or just a day but He does answer them and He will never ever leave you in the midst of your struggle. He is simply waiting for you to reach out to Him for help!

FOLLOW ~ The raising of Tabitha from the dead caused many people to put their faith in Jesus. What is Jesus doing in and through your life that would draw other people to have faith in Him?

I would hope that those that have read through my blogs each and every day and personally read my struggles and see the truimph that comes from my faith, will in turn realize that it is available to everyone who believes in God. I have nothing special just a love for my God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

When we have had an encounter with the risen Christ, and he transforms our lives, he changes our hearts too. We want to serve, love and show mercy - these things are evidence of a maturing faith, especially when the things that move the Son of God move our hearts too! To what extent does your lifestyle reflect Christ's transformational power? Do you want to serve, love and show mercy? Why or why not?

How can we not after witnessing ourselves what God is capable of doing in our lives. It's remembering those times long after they are gone that keep that belief and love alive in our hearts. The enemy loves to remind us of our short comings but staying close to God at all times and not just when the going gets rough, helps us stay on the right path of serving Him.

Summarize the instructions of Psalm 16:1-11, by completing the following statement:

Because the psalmist said, trust in God no matter what,

I will do just that and stand on those promises of hope.

Now write a prayer expressing your desire to trust God even when the circumstances seem impossible. Use this prayer as part of your daily time with God and as an expression of your desire to follow him even when the path is uncertain.

Abba Father,

You alone make everything in this world and beyond possible just by the single word you speak or a thought you have. In the midst of circumstances that seem out of control, I need to remember that nothing that happens does not pass first through your hands and with your knowledge. Help me to stand with you despite the uncertain path ahead and trust that with You, whatever Your will is, I will stand united with you and You will bring me through it all. In Jesus, Mighty Name ~ AMEN