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We’re All Chasing Something

6 Feb

A few months ago, I bought a book for Jordyn called, The Chase by Kyle & Kelsey Kupeky.  I wanted to read it first because it’s about trusting God with your happily ever after,  and I needed to make sure it was aligned with our standards on the  topic of dating,  courting, etc., before I let her get her hands on it. I was pretty pleased with it, aside from some minor things that we as a family have decided to steer away from, but nothing that took away from the point of the book.

So basically the book is their story on what it was like trying to serve God as a teenager/young adult and be set apart from this world in high school and college. It’s their own personal testimony on how they both grew up in Christian homes, they both attended church & youth group regularly, and what they both struggled with when it came to what& who they were, and/or weren’t chasing. They were both very transparent on what they struggled with. Kelsey told her stories and gave her advice from a girl’s point of view, while Kyle gave his from a guy’s point of view. I really liked that he did that because it gives the young readers a little insight on what guys really think about certain topics. There main point is encouraging the youth to chase God.

I started thinking about that: to chase God.  Our youth aren’t the only one’s who struggle with that. It’s in all of us.  We’ve all struggled from time to time in chasing the wrong things or people. We live in a generation that is yearning for love.  They are searching and giving anything to taste and feel love. They are chasing the things of this world in hopes to find love, but only to be left with heartache. It portrays sex as love. Sex isn’t love, and it surely doesn’t fill that void you’re looking for. It does the opposite…leaves you feeling even more empty than you were before.

So what I did was, I bought all the girls in our teenage bible study a copy of The Chase. I bought a box of conversation hearts Candy and found a cute printable on Pinterest about God’s conversation and tied it all together.

Like this:

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I’ll be giving these to the girls tonight! 

Chasing the world always leads you so empty, so broken, so lost.  It takes you farther than you wanna go and lasts longer than you ever planned on staying. Sure, at first it seems cool and fun, but that’s temporary. Before you know it, you find yourself deeper and deeper in a hole, with nothing but broken dreams, broken promises,  and a broken shattered heart.

Chasing God is so much more fulfilling and satisfying and permanent. His love for us never fails.  He loves us like no one in this world could ever love us! He fills us with an everlasting joy and peace. He leaves you feeling worthy and whole, and He keeps His promises. He died for you!

We’re all chasing something.  Who or what are you chasing?

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Books I’m Reading

3 Feb

Hello there, friends! 

As you may have figured out by now,  my daughter has been blogging on here quite a bit lately.  She’s been asking to start a blog of her own for a long time now, so we decided she can start on mine until we’re comfortable with her having her own.  That’s a big deal, ya know!? Thankfully,  she’s happy with our compromise.

Right now I’m reading 3 books. 

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Fervent by Priscilla Shirer is a book from the movie, War Room.  Although, I must warn you. This is not a book just talking about prayer, nor is it a book that’s meant to sit on your coffee table for curiosity. Priscilla Shirer says that we don’t have the luxury of playing nice with prayer. The enemy’s  strategies and schemes against our lives stop when we start praying…fervently.  She gets down and dirty exposing the devil’s lies that a lot of Christian’s have believed regarding the subject of fervent prayer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is sick and tired of the enemy robbing you of all that God has for your life, your marriage,  your kids,  your finances, etc. This is definitely a Must Read and I’m not even completely finished with the book yet! 

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All Things New is a historical fiction book by one of my favorite authors, Lynn Austin. I actually just finished it and I LOVED it!  (Which doesn’t surprise me) It’s written in the 1800’s, during the aftermath of the Civil War. The Weatherly Family is trying to adjust to life as they once knew it, while the slaves they once owned have all left to try and live this new life of freedom…All except one slave family. Lynn Austin does an excellent job at focusing in on every type of person living in that time; the slaves, the slave owners, soldiers,  the abolitionist, and the freed slaves. She really zoned in on all the chaos, confusion and fear that each character had to endure. For some, it caused them to draw closer to God, while others pulled away from him.  There is so much emotion in this book, that I couldn’t put it down!

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The next book on my list is From Foreign to Familiar: A guide to understanding hot and cold climate cultures by Sarah A. Lanier.  We’ve been praying about a certain country for a few years now and so this book was recommended to us by a friend of ours who was a missionary in Sri Lanka. (Not the country we’re praying about.) 🙂

Are you a bookworm like me?  What books do you have on your list to read or have read lately that you recommend?

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Redeeming Love

13 Feb

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What’s your favorite love story?

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve read this book at least once a year for the past 5 or 6 years and I’ve got something different out of it every single time.

That’s how good it is!

I’ve come to know Angel, the main character, quite well. And I seem to relate to her in more ways than I’d like to admit.

This allegory of the book of Hosea, is set back in the 1800’s. Before you even get to chapter 1, you experience a gut wrenching description of 8 year old Sarah being initiated into the life of a prostitute.  From then on her name is Angel.

Though Angel is meant to be Gomer in the bible, it pains me how much I see myself in her. I never was a prostitute, but I know what it feels like to feel rejection from your father. I know what it feels like to be used by guys. I know what it feels like to feel dirty. I also know what it feels like to think that there is absolutely no hope for you.

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I’ve felt all those things before and AFTER salvation.

Gasp! Did I just say I’ve felt that way AFTER salvation!?!?

Yes, I did!

Like Angel, I was pulled out of a life of sin and perversion and lust. I grew up in a broken home. My father left when my mom was pregnant with me and as early as I can remember I was very insecure.

Always scared. Always sad.
Always searching.

Before you know it, I went searching for love. Since it didn’t come to me, I would go to it. I would hope & pray that maybe this relationship would work, but it never did.

Until one day, I gave my life to Jesus! He was what I was searching for. He was everything I needed.

After some time my now husband asked me on a date.

I was flabbergasted… And flattered!

Why would a guy like that want to date a used up girl like me!?!?! He obviously must be mistaken. (Angel felt the same way when Michael Hosea was pursuing her.)

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We dated clean. We didn’t kiss, hug,  hold hands… Nothing, until that beautiful day we said, I do!

But deep down inside, I still struggled with my past. Not that I wanted to go back to it, that wasn’t it at all. It was more like, how can this man and God love me knowing what I’ve done?

But God used my husband to show me what it truly meant to be loved and to show me how to love. He was so gentle and patient and loving and forgiving.

He could’ve threw his hands up in the air and gave up on us, but he didn’t.

He chose to love me… Because love is a choice.

I fought my husband’s love and God’s love for quite a few years, actually. It was like I had this voice in my head filling me with lies, which I know now was Satan, the father of All lies. In my head, I knew I was forgiven, but not in my heart. I was a prisoner to my past and I needed to be set free, but that meant really trusting Jesus with my whole life and my whole heart.

Not just verbally saying that I trusted Him, but actually meaning it.

At some point, I came to a crossroad in my life where I was either gonna fully trust and believe God or not.

I surrendered.

I let go of the guilt and shame and the bitterness and resentment.

I gave every single piece of my broken heart to God and repented.

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He forgave me. He redeemed me. He set me free.

I cherish mine and my husband’s love story, but my most favoritest love story ever is with Jesus, my Lord & Savior, my Redeemer, the Lover of my soul.

What’s your favorite love story?

I’m attaching an awesome song by Big Daddy Weave called, “Redeemed.” 

If you’ve not had a chance to read Redeeming Love, then you definitely have to. You’ll be blessed by it. Don’t forget to have plenty of tissue handy because you WILL need some!

Not a fan

25 Sep

Last night our church had our first Ladies book club. We’re reading a book called Not a Fan by Kyle Idelman, which I highly recommend, especially if you want to be challenged in going all out for God.

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He first starts off by defining the difference between a fan and a follower.

Fans are not willing to follow Jesus if it means hurting those they love, such as family and friends. Fans want to share Jesus with other “things.”  They want to compartmentalize Him and put Him in a little box to make them feel good about what’s really in their heart.

We can’t mix Jesus with our fleshly desires.

“He said to them, Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 8:34

As followers of Christ, we must love Him more than…..(you fill in the blank)

*Family/Friends
*Job
*Education
*Material things

The list can go on & on and it’s different for everyone. But the point is, Christ has to be #1 in our lives, above everything…and yes, even above our loved ones, as much as that may hurt.

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16 years ago, I made a decision to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Jesus.

In this time, I’ve had my high times, where it’s been easy to “take up my cross” and follow Him and I’ve had my low times, to where taking up my cross was a very difficult thing to do…but I did it anyway.

Just because we’re followers of Christ doesn’t mean we’re exempt from trials.
Trials are a part of life, but I’d much rather go through it with Jesus by my side, that’s for sure!

A follower makes a decision everyday to follow Christ.  They are so committed that they are willing to die for Him.

Am I really willing to die for Christ?

To some, that may sound a bit radical, maybe because it is,  but a Completely Committed follower won’t even give it a second thought.

That’s an extreme case, to actually die for Christ. But on a smaller level, as followers we  should be dying to the flesh on a daily basis. Like waking up early to pray, reading our bible, overcoming temptations, whether that be blatant sin OR not eating that donut that you know isn’t good for you. 🙂

I choose to be a follower of Christ. To keep Him #1 in my life. To be the ruler of my heart. He is the Light to my Path, and wherever He leads me is where I’ll go.

I love Chris Tomlin’s song:

Where you go, I go. Where you stay, I stay. If you move, I move. I will follow you.

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Jesus doesn’t want fans…He wants followers.

Completely. Committed. Followers.