Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review - Whisper by Mark Batterson

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The voice that spoke the cosmos into existence is the same voice that parted the Red sea, and made the sun stand still in the midday sky. One day, this voice will make all things new, but it’s also speaking to you now!

That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close.

Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. Sure, in ancient times and in mysterious ways, God spoke to His people, but is He still speaking now?

Mark Batterson certainly believes so. And he wants to introduce you to the seven love languages of God; each of them unique and entirely divine. Some of them you might suspect but others will surprise you.

By learning to tune in to and decipher each language, you’ll be able to hear His guidance in simple as well as life-altering choices. God is actively speaking through: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Batterson gives you the tools you need to unlock each of these languages.

God’s whisper can answer your most burning questions, calm your deepest fears, and fulfill your loftiest dreams.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church, one church with eight campuses in Washington, DC. Mark is the New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker, and has also written a dozen other popular titles including If, Wild Goose Chase, Chase the Lion , and
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day .

Mark has a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.

MY REVIEW:

I was blessed to be on the launch team for Mark Batterson's new book, Whisper - How to Hear the Voice of God. This was a book that really made me think and got me into the Word of God in a new way.

Mark shares how we hear from the Lord in different ways - just as they did in the Bible. God will speak directly to us through the Holy Spirit, in dreams, through angels and even pain. That last one really spoke to my heart because I've been dealing with pain for years now and I can see that God has been speaking through it.

This was a slow read for me - not because it was uninteresting - but because there was so much profound information in it, I had to read slowly to really absorb it all. My highlighter got a work out on this book. I loved that it had me looking up Scriptures that he talks about to make notes about new things I learned. I also love that Mark focuses on the fact that the whisperings we hear from God must line up with the Bible.

This book will be released October 24th and there's a wonderful pre-order promotion going on. You can receive some lovely gifts. Just order from your favorite retailer and then go HERE to fill out the form to receive the gifts.


I really enjoyed this book and it was a wonderful, insightful read. I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Counting Our Blessings - LinkUp!


I apologize for the sporadic Counting Our Blessings Linkups. I've had a lot going on and it's been difficult to keep up on my blog. Thank you for hanging in with me and being a part of my blog.

55. Here's an update on my Queen Elizabeth cross stitch. I was so tired of the Ecru and Gray's. I decided to start on the grass area for a change of pace. I haven't done a lot since my last update but I wanted to share what I've stitched.


56. My hubby decided I needed to get out and so we went to a couple of stores looking for things we needed. Of course, I found things I didn't need. I love decorating for Fall and when I saw these, I had to get them.


Can you stand the cuteness of my wreath with the foxes? I just love foxes and I found the tea towels with the fox, too.

When I saw the pumpkin that said, Count Your Blessings, I knew I had to have it as a memento of this linkup I love doing so much. This is such a cute reminder to do just that.


Join in on the linkup and share your blessings! 



Blessings - Julie

Sunday, September 10, 2017

On The Outside Looking In - Or Rejection From Those We Love

There have been a lot of Princess Diana remembrance shows on to commemorate the twenty years since she was killed in that car accident. I remember that day like it was yesterday and shed more than a few tears for this woman who I felt best represented my grown up years. She was married the same year and me - only a couple months before me, in fact - she was the same age as me and was marrying an older man. She also had two boys that she loved dearly and so did I. I think what most made me love her is something other than the typical response as to why people loved her then and continue to love her now. My reason is because I knew that she knew what it was like to live in a family or have friendships where you didn't fit in or were rejected. She knew what it was like to be different and to be shunned for it. She knew what it was to have someone in her family who turned their back on her despite her loving him deeply. I often wonder how this couple, who were so obviously loving to each other here


Could go to two people who were obviously in their own thoughts and keeping as much distance as possible on this bench. The body language is undeniable. 



In this picture, they both look like they would like to start running away from each other! Their back on turned to each other and it's quite obvious that they have nothing to say and are keeping each other out of their lives. However, in a situation like this, there is always one who is the one in control and keeping the other in their place - by rejecting them. The rejected partner is then forced, at that point, to turn away from their rejector and wonder what's wrong with themselves, that they are being rejected and pushed out. 

Have you ever felt like the person looking in? Like you're the fish outside the fish bowl where everyone else is interacting and having fun but that you don't fit into the fish bowl. Your own option is to try and be a part of the fish bowl by watching and hoping that someday you will be invited in to the fish bowl. This fish bowl can be a family unit, a marriage, a group of women in a gathering, a church, your children, or anything else where the relationships are important to you.

I'll be honest. These situations can usually not be fixed especially if it's the family you grew up in. Those around you put you in your position within the family and you tend to stay there. However, there is one relationship where we are never just looking in and that's our relationship with Jesus. 

Jesus invites us in to have an intimate relationship with Him. He is always, always there for us and available for us to talk to every minute of the day and night. He cares more deeply for us - as we are - than anyone else. He offers us the love that we so deeply crave and the acceptance we long for. 

Will we never shed tears over the relationships that aren't want we want them to be? No. I have shed so many tears and will probably continue to do so. I do know that God cares about these tears and heartaches because He tells me so in Psalms 56:8, 

"You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book."

He cares about our sorrows and His heart aches for us in our sorrows. He isn't some distant God that turns away like so many in our life. He truly cares and knows what it's like to weep with sorrow. (John 11:35)


If, like me, you are going through a situation like this or have for most of your life, I pray that you will turn to Jesus as He will never leave you. He loves you just as you are and will be the comfort for your heart that you need. If you need prayer over your situation, please let me know and I will pray for you as I hope you will pray for me. You can leave a comment or email me privately. My contact information is at the top of the page. God wants us to hold one another up in prayer and support each other. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus for each other through our prayers.

Blessings - Julie

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review - Deeper Waters

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Satisfaction You Seek
Dwells in the Depths of God's Word

Do you come to God's Word with questions and doubts that arise from life's disappointments and hurts?

Denise J. Hughes, author of the Word Writers Bible study series, has been there, yet she's found a peace that runs deeper than her circumstances. In Deeper Waters, she invites you to...

learn to hear God's voice through the pages of His Word
discover a joy you never thought possible when reading the Bible
make connections in Scripture that transform your way of thinking and living
You don't have to be in seminary to be a serious student of the Bible. God's Word is for everyone. Dive in and experience the joy that awaits in deeper waters

MY REVIEW:

This is an amazing book! I had my highlighter out the whole time I was reading it and there's more green on the pages then white. That's how much I gleaned out of this book.

Denise shares her heart openly, which makes this book really easy and enjoyable to read. She shares her own journey of getting deeper into the Word of God and then shares what she learned along the way with us so we can get more out of the Bible as well.

I have read other books on how to study the Bible but this is the absolute best book I've ever read for giving lots of ideas and information. She gives us the tools to share what we've learned with other women. She shares why it's so important to know God more deeply through His Word. It's all SO good!

I gained so much from this book. It's a book I'm keeping in my quiet time basket because I'm referring it time and again as I study the Word of God. Plus, there are prayers in the back as well as a Bible reading plan. It's the perfect book for making your time with the Lord really count. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by the author and publisher


Blessings - Julie

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Review - Pierced and Embraced

ABOUT THE BOOK:

How would you describe the love of God?

Throughout the Gospel accounts, Jesus engaged women differently than He did men. Sometimes the difference is subtle. Sometimes it is stark. Always it is profound.
Sometimes the love He offers them is gentle. Sometimes it is fierce. Always it is powerful.
Sometimes that love feels like a warm embrace. Sometimes it's more like a piercing jab. Always, it changes everything.

Women today long to experience the same sort of life-changing love that Jesus lavished on His followers 2000 years ago. We still want to be completely seen and known and valued and set free—as painful as that process might sometimes be.

Pierced and Embraced digs deeply into seven encounters that Jesus had with a wide variety of women in the Gospels to show how His love can be equally transformative in our lives today. It mixes attentive Scriptural engagement with personal narrative and relevant application, making the content fresh, accessible, engaging, and practical.

You will:
Understand the unique and powerful and complex ways in which Jesus loves the women of the gospels.
Recognize your own longings for love and the (often inadequate) ways we seek to satisfy them.
Discover how to live in the fullness of Jesus' love for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

KELLI WORRALL has been teaching in the Communications Department of Moody Bible Institute since 1998. She teaches both writing and public speaking courses. She has also directed many of the plays and advises several of the drama teams on campus.

Kelli studied communications at Cedarville University and spent the first part of her career writing church curriculum products for children and youth at Regular Baptist Press. Kelli studied religious education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MRE) and creative writing at Roosevelt University (MFA).

Kelli enjoys speaking and writing. She authored the popular article "20 Things I Wish I Had Known in My Late 20s," published in Relevant Magazine. She enjoys speaking at women's events and retreats. She and husband, Peter, speak together at marriage, college, and young adult retreats, and Kelli blogs at www.thisoddhouse.org. They are parents of Daryl (6) and Amelia (3) through adoption. Kelli's hobbies include running, cooking, and decorating their Craftsman house.

MY REVIEW:

This book spoke to my heart in so many ways. I loved how Kelli shares her heart and gives us a glimpse into her own hard times and piercings.

She shares with us different women of the Bible and how God interacted with them in their needs. We can see how much He cares for us, as women, and how valued we are. There were things she pointed out that I had never really noticed before even thought these women of the Bible are well known to me.

It encouraged me in my struggles and I'm sure it will you, too. We see how Jesus will embrace us and get us through the piercings of our life. There are so many ways in which God comforts us and, no matter what we are going through, He is there, going through it all with us.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Moody Publishers



Blessings - Julie