Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Sign from God

I have a rose bush that was a cutting from the bush that is on my Grandmother's grave. I got the cutting in 2002 and brought it back and planted it right near my front door. It bloomed a single rose, one time and has never bloomed again. I could never understand why it wouldn't bloom again. I have many rose bushes and they all bloom wonderfully every year. I have fertilized it, watered it, and babied it, but to no avail. Until this year...

(I apologize for the blurry picture. The wind has been blowing wildly here and the bud was moving about.)

My son was out working on the deck he's building on the front of the house and shouted for me to come see my Grandma's rose bush. It's absolutely loaded with buds, dear friends!! I literally started to cry. You see, after the horrific year I had last year, I looked at it as a sign from God - a gift from Him, really - telling me that everything is going to be okay. Perhaps you think I'm a bit over-reaching, but truly, I'm not. This rose bush means so much to me and to have it bloom at this time, is truly a miracle and a gift. I'm so thrilled!!  I feel that the Lord does give us signs to let us know that He is with us and hasn't forgotten us. This is my sign.

I will take more photos (and less blurry ones) as the roses bloom. I just had to share this wonderful event as it has renewed my hope and fills my heart.

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up

I'm sorry I've missed the last two weeks of the link up. I have been dealing with some health issues and was not feeling well. I always miss counting my blessings and I always miss coming by your blogs and reading what you share. I am so thankful that you take the time to link up with me and I hope that God blesses you abundantly this week!

29.  I can't tell you how much doing the Bible journaling has blessed me! When I first saw it, I knew that it really spoke to my heart. It has been so exciting and has added a new dimension to my time with God and reading my Bible. Here's a couple of new pages I did.

 This page is my representation of Revelations 21 where God tells us that He will make all things new. The flowers blooming are my idea of new growth and beauty. I did these with the Tim Holtz distressed markers.

This page is for Revelations 19 where the angel calls down the birds to eat the flesh off the dead. I know my angel is a little sweet looking for such a task, but I really like her and decided to stick with her kind look. You can see the birds behinds her in the sky. I did this with colored pencils.

30.  I hope your Easter was wonderful. We had a nice day and I sat and did this page in my Bible for that day. It shows the empty tomb and the cloth that was covering Jesus. I had such a wonderful time doing this! This was done with colored pencil and a white marker for the cloth. The lettering is done with a colored pen.

He is alive! This is the greatest blessing of all!

31. 
My husband and I had started this study, but I wasn't feeling good so we put it on the back burner. Then the Women's Bible Cafe announced they would be doing an online study of this. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to get started again. I really love my group I'm in and it has encouraged us to get going on it again. It's such a wonderful study and I am learning so much! There is nothing better than getting into God's Word!

32.  I love fresh flowers in the house and so when my hubby and I went to Walmart three weeks ago, my hubby bought me these.

Aren't they beautiful? They have lasted so long and they were only $4.00! I think they will last another week, easily. If I get flowers again, I'm going to choose this  kind as they last and their fragrance is so wonderful, too. Such a blessing to have fresh flowers!!

Please share your own blessings on the link up. I would so appreciate it if you would grab my button and put it on your blog! Have a very blessed week!!


Blessings - Julie

Book Review - A.D. - The Book of Acts by David Jeremiah

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A.D. The Bible Continues: The Book of Acts is a perfect gift for those who want to explore the true story behind the riveting NBC television series A.D. The Bible Continues.

Popular author and Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah will be your guide to the book of Acts, which tells the true story of how the first band of followers of Jesus quickly grew into an international movement after his death and resurrection. Discover what motivated and inspired this small group and how the message of Jesus set the world on fire.

It’s the beginning of a whole new era, and you can have a front-row seat with A.D. The Bible Continues: The Book of Acts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A dedicated family man, Dr. Jeremiah believes that without the support and encouragement of his wife, Donna, Turning Point would have never been brought into existence. He and Donna have four grown children and twelve grandchildren.

Dr. Jeremiah’s commitment is to teaching the whole Word of God. His passion for people and his desire to reach the lost are evident in the way he communicates Bible truths and his ability to get right to the important issues. Dr. Jeremiah continues to be excited to see what God is going to do in broadcast ministry around the world through the ministries of Turning Point.

MY REVIEW:

This book is so wonderful and I just couldn't put it down! I loved the whole concept and how easy it was to read and understand.

This book is all about the book of Acts in the Bible. This book is about the resurrection of Jesus, his appearances to people, and his teachings during this time. He speaks about the Holy Spirit, what he wants the disciples to do and then ascends into the heaven. After this, we see the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples in a miraculous way and then they go out and spread the Gospel as Jesus instructed.

Acts is just that; the acts of the disciples and followers of Christ. We see Saul persecute the believers and then come to Jesus himself in a most dramatic way. We follow them as they are persecuted for their belief and we learn so much of Jesus' teachings through this amazing book.

Another thing I loved about this book is the biographies and definitions given in the book. I especially love the pages about the Crucifixion and what it means. I learned so much from these few pages! The biographies were great, too, because they gave me an insight to the people I was reading about.

This book was so very easy to read. It would be great for a person who has never read the Bible or one who is a new Christian. I could definitely see using this book to bring others to Christ as it's just a very profound yet easily understood book. I just can't say enough good about it!

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's a wonderful book, all very Biblical and written by a wonderful Bible teacher, David Jeremiah. It really is a must have book! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale Blog Network


Blessings - Julie

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

I was watching Beth Moore on Living Proof on my Roku. She spoke to my heart today, as she usually does. I have been having some difficult days lately. I've been having a stomach issue for months and it plagues me. Just when I think I'm over whatever it is, it comes back with a vengeance and I'm Im so sick again. I'm also dealing with severe knee pain in the knee that wasn't replaced and I'm hobbling around and my knee is grinding and popping. I did get a shot in my knee this past week, but it didn't give me any relief. I've been weepy and discouraged. So, when I saw the Beth Moore teaching called "God of All Comfort", I knew I had to tune in. One Scripture she shared was Lamentations 1:2

Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to    comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her

Now, I can't relate to the "all her lovers" part, but the part that says "bitterly she weeps; there is no one to comfort her, all her friends have betrayed her", I can relate to. That's why it's vital and I must understand that our comfort does not come from others. It can only come from God. This was the teaching that Beth was sharing. The light bulb went on! I have been focusing on how I don't hear from my church or most of my friends anymore, and I haven't for months and months. This has been shocking to me and I see now that I have been looking to them for something that only God is capable of doing. His mercies are new every morning.
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:23
 
I must look to God for my comfort when I am in pain. He understands what I am going through because Jesus, himself, endured pain and suffering and the betrayal of His friends. Remember Peter denyed he knew the Lord the night of His arrest? I always think about how Peter must have felt when Jesus looked him in the eyes after the third crow of the rooster. 
 
I'm sure I'll have other days where I am feeling discouraged and forgotten by church and family, as I am only human. I thank God, though, that He directed me to listen to this teaching and be reminded that I am comforted by Him. I am also thankful that God gave me such a wonderful family whose mercies are abundant and their love unending. Why is it that we humans have the tendency to focus on what we have lost and not what we have? I don't know but I do know I need to change my focus!
 
If you're feeling alone, abandoned, or betrayed, remember the Lord loves you with an everlasting love and He is your comfort. If you have the opportunity to watch this Beth Moore teaching, I encourage you to do so. It was so excellent and it will be a blessing to you!
 
Blessings - Julie
 
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review - Savor, Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Part devotional, part cookbook, all Shauna!
Focusing on food, faith, and Shauna's genuine, heartfelt voice, this devotional for women will be as comforting as a pan of homemade mac 'n' cheese on a cold winter's night.

Combining content from Bread and Wine, Cold Tangerines, and Bittersweet with takeaways, this devotional from Shauna Niequist speaks spiritual truths to women in easily digestible bites that are perfect any time of day.

A foodie, gourmet cook, and master entertainer, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life-friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shauna Niequist is the author of Bread & Wine, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life - friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.

MY REVIEW:

I became a huge Shauna Niequist fan after reading her book "Bread and Wine". I love her style of writing and how honest and open she is. I loved "Savor" and am even more of a fan!

This book is written like a devotional, and you can certainly use it in your daily quiet time,  however, I read it from cover to cover in short order! I would definitely recommend it as your daily devotional because there is so much to enjoy and ponder in each devotion that I really do recommend taking the time to think over each day. I am using it for myself as my daily devotion, but I am so glad that I read it through first because it was so inspiring and wonderful.

Shauna shares a Scripture each day to meditate on then shares from her heart a short, yet very profound devotional. I also love the quotes at the end of each devotion. Everything comes together so beautifully. Shauna keeps everything very Biblical so your focus is always on God.

Another wonderful thing are her recipes throughout the book! She had recipes in "Bread and Wine" and I loved them. She encourages us to share with family and friends our faith and food and these recipes are just wonderful! I think it's so wonderful that she encourages fellowship within our family and friend circles.

I really love this book and I highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This e-book was provided to me for my honest review by BookLook Bloggers


Blessings - Julie