Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Thoughts


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Isaiah 41:10

There are situations in my life, and I'm sure in yours, that I have no control over. They can over-whelm me, make me sad, and paralyze me with fear. These are the feelings I have when I forget who God is and let the enemy take control of my thinking and, in turn, my emotions. The enemy loves when I take my eyes off of Jesus and onto the dilemmas around me. That's when he can do his best work and bring such doubt and fears into my mind that I will tailspin down into a dark pit of unbelief.

This Scripture in Isaiah is such a beautiful reminder that God can lift me out of that pit of unbelief and despair. His right hand lifts me out and places me on His rock of strength and comfort. He reminds me that He is in control and that He will work things out even better than I could imagine. God's Word reminds us of this in Ephesians 3:20-21...

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

When I look back at how God has worked in my life, I can hand over my current concerns to Him with confidence and joy. It's actually a relief to just give Him everything that worries or scares me. Even those situations that seem so hopeless that we don't know what to do next. He knows exactly what to do and I can be comforted that He loves me enough to handle it perfectly.

Our greatest weapon in these situations is prayer. Prayer over our concerns and, handing them completely over to the Lord during these prayers, is the weapon the enemy can't defeat. Giving Jesus control over our life, mind and situations, is the weapon the enemy can never, ever defeat. We can have rest and peace when we give everything over to Him.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 4:6-7

Pray, petition and be thankful! Present your cares to the Lord and let Him guard you and give you the peace in your heart that you need. That's exactly what I'm doing over my concerns.

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Sacred Rest


ABOUT THE BOOK:

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In Sacred Rest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. Sacred Rest combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, Sacred Rest gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the author of "Set Free to Live" and "Come Empty" (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). She is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a repeat keynote speaker at their annual gathering. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person.

Find out more about Saundra at http://ichoosemybestlife.com.

MY REVIEW:

As someone who has felt un-rested so much, this book is a breath of fresh air. I have always equated sleep with rest, but Dr. Dalton-Smith shows us that they are two totally different things.

She shares with us the seven different types of rest, why we need it and advice on how to achieve it. She uses practical and scientific information to help us in our quest to find rest.

This book is in encouraging in the stories she shares and the encouragement to be intentional in our pursuit of rest. Each day of this devotional is a short section that is easy to read and will have you relaxing the minute you start reading it. I looked forward to opening this book each and every time.

If you find yourself feeling tired and/or burned out, this book is definitely for you. It will help you achieve the true rest that we all need. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group



Blessings - Julie

Monday, January 15, 2018

Counting Our Blessings Linkup!


Personally, I have to stop and count my blessings. Life can be so difficult if all I focus on is the negative, hard things in life. Thinking about all the big and little things that God blesses me with, frankly, keeps me sane! That's a good thing.

10.  I've been doing my Scripture writing diligently. I have found this really helps me in my quiet time to focus on one passage of Scripture, meditate on it, and understand it more deeply. Here are some pages from last weeks writings.



You can click on the pictures to make them large enough to read. If you're interested in joining me in Scripture Writing, you can find my January list HERE.

I have been asked how I do this and the main thing for me is to write the Scripture out but on the side, I write out what the Scripture is telling me. This helps me to make the Scripture clear in my heart and to remember it.

11. My hand has gotten so much better and I've been stitching on my Celtic Santa - Wales.



Here's a picture of my stitching so far


I haven't stitched on perforated paper for years but I'm really enjoying this! The paper is a better quality and stronger than the paper I used to stitch on - oh so many years ago! 😉 It's working up fast, too!

By the way, I found out my hand pain is not from stitching but from holding my phone! My phone is a larger one and it's hard for me to hold it for very long without pain. Evidently, this is very hard on the tendons in the hand so I got these to put on the back of my phone and what a difference!


I use the ring on my finger to hold my phone and it takes the pressure off of my hand. I also love that it has the clips to hang my phone in my car or wherever I want. I'm just so happy I can stitch again!

What are your blessings? Please share on the linky below!



Blessings - Julie

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - Gospel Fluency Handbook


ABOUT THE BOOK:

We slip in and out of believing God's word about us and trusting in his work on our behalf. We forget who He is, what's He's done and in light of that who we are.

Do these statements resonate with you? Then the Gospel Fluency Handbookwas written for you. For those who've realized there are areas of life-your normal, everyday, busy life-where you disbelieve God, His goodness and His gospel. For those who are keenly aware and weighted down by a failure to connect the way gospel truths actually matter to everyday life.

The Gospel Fluency Handbook is designed to help you and your group become fluent in the gospel-in other words, to help you move from unbelief to belief. The discussions and exercises in this 8-week interactive handbook provide a step-by-step immersion of your mind, heart, soul, and life in the gospel. Each week follows a simple format: three sets of personal readings and reflections, a weekly guide for group discussion and exercises that will lead to becoming a more gospel-fluent people. People who are learning to see and then speak the truths of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life. Handbook includes free download code for a companion video series.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Ben Connelly, his wife Jess, and their kiddos Charlotte, Maggie, and Travis live in Fort Worth, TX. He started and now co-leads The City Church, part of the Acts29 network and Soma family of churches. Ben also directs church planting for Soma churches across North America, has taught university classes, and has published a few books. With degrees from Baylor University and Dallas Theological Seminary, he writes for various publications, trains folks across the country, and blogs occasionally at benconnelly.net.


Jeff Vanderstelt is the visionary leader for the Soma Family of Churches and the lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. When he isn't preaching or mentoring church planters, he and his family share life with their missional community. He is the author of "Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life."

Find out more about Ben Connelly and Jeff Vanderstelt at https://saturatetheworld.com.

TO ENTER GIVEAWAY, CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC BELOW:

Gospel Fluency Handbook Ben Connelly Jeff Vanderstelt


MY REVIEW:

This is one of the best, in-depth studies of the Gospel I've ever read. It way exceeds anything I've learned or read in the past. This is not a book/study that you will go through quickly but one you will savor as you dig deep into what the Gospel really means.

I absolutely love all the in-depth questions in this book. They helped me to really focus on what I was learning and apply it to my life. This book is meant to study in a group situation, which would have been great, but I found it a blessing to do it on my own, too.

This book shows us what the Gospel is and how to live it out in our every day life. It's not always easy to do this but I feel more equipped to do so now that I've read and studied through this book.

If you really want to make the Gospel an integral part of your life and truly understand how you can live and breath it, this book is for you! I love this book and plan on going through it again and again because it is truly life changing! I give it 5 out of 5 stars

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group



Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Oath of Honor


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. She knows they'll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Izzy is determined to discover exactly what happened, and her investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll--including someone from her own family. With her dead partner's brother Ryan, a handsome homicide detective, shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

MY REVIEW:

I have never been disappointed in a Lynette Eason book and this is no exception! This story had me on the edge of my seat until the end.

Izzy is a police officer from a family of law enforcement. Her mother is the Chief of Police and her dad is a lawyer. She is committed to God and serving the public. When her partner and friend, Kevin, is killed, she's determined to find his killers.

We are left wondering if Izzy's mother and brother are dirty cops and there is a mob involved. There's an important election of the Mayor that seems like it's being manipulated by the wrong people, too. Izzy is left wondering who to trust in all of this.

There is one turn after another in this story and I absolutely loved it! I never was sure what was going to happen and the ending was a real surprise.

Another thing I liked was the faith that Izzy and Ryan have. Their faith in God runs deep and is the center of their lives. It wasn't unusual to see Izzy talking to God about what was going on and to ask for guidance.

This is a great mystery/romance. I enjoyed every page and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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



Blessings - Julie