Wednesday, August 21, 2019

God is Faithful and Merciful - A Linkup


God is truly faithful. He is there when things seem so out of control and you know all you can do is rely on Him to see you through safely to the end. I know this because He has been there for me, faithfully, time after time. No situation is too big for Him and, even if things don't go exactly as we would like, He is faithful to bring peace and comfort into our lives.

In May, I had another emergency surgery. I was totally taken off guard because it was the same situation I had found myself in the year before. I had another blockage of my intestine only this time,, it was twisted and I didn't have any idea that there was even a problem. That day had started joyous with family over to celebrate Mother's Day and after everyone went home, I started feeling sick. I knew if felt exactly like the problem I had a year before but I couldn't comprehend that it would be the same thing. Finally, the pain got so bad, I told my husband I was going to have to go to the emergency room. Oh how I dread those words. They did a CT scan and, sure enough, there was a big problem that was going to have to be dealt with.

However, God is faithful and my surgeon, that I had the year before, was available and came to see me. He did the surgery and, while he informed me that I'm put together with stitches, staples, rivets, and more, he did a great job and I'm so thankful. It's been a difficult recovery in some ways - mainly the pain from cutting through the muscles and nerves - yet it's been easy in that I feel much better in so many other ways.


The Lord is merciful. While this Scripture from James refers to Job and all he went through I think a lot of us can relate to the hardships that Job went through. He had one thing after another happen and he must have wondered what was going on. I've had days like that since my surgery. Just before my surgery, I had a back injection and it had given me a lot of relief, however, when you have surgery, you are moved around in ways that you would not move yourself if you were fully awake. I woke up from surgery with horrible back pain and have been dealing with it since. I have had another injection but had a medical test and they had me lie on the table in a way I would never do normally and, again, it has undone the relief that I had. Still, I know the Lord is merciful.

I am able to rest when I need to, use the heating pad and know that there is a plan in all of this. God is full of compassion for my pain and I know I will not have to endure more than I'm able. I also know that because he is both faithful and merciful, He will provide a way to get relief again. He always does. I can look back at all He has done and stand on that knowledge. It brings great peace to know that He hasn't left me nor will He.

Is it difficult? Do I have times where I feel so down, I wonder if I can crawl back out of the dark hole I feel I'm stuck in? Absolutely! However, they don't last because God gives me people around me to encourage me and He gives me His Word that comforts me.

No matter what you are going through, remember that God is faithful and merciful. He will hold you through it all and bring you through to the other side. It may be a long journey or a short journey, but He will be there.

Blessings - Julie

You can find out more about the Scripture I share on the Bible Gateway website. They have the Bible in multiple translations plus a lot of other study information. You can go HERE to check it out.

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Would you like to share something from your blog? I'd love to have you link up below! I will leave this open for a week so share away!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Book Review - Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Preserving a family legacy can feel like a daunting task, but this new keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to capture memories, wisdom, and stories in one beautiful package.

Being a grandparent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dear Grandchild, This Is Me--designed for any grandmother or grandfather to complete--will allow grandparents to collect these priceless memories in one heartfelt keepsake.

Special Features:
* Built-in envelopes to stash special, private letters for specific occasions in your grandchild's future.
* A sheet of adhesive photo corners to adhere photographs and special memories throughout.
* Off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories.
* A family tree to track your ancestry.
* Space to share your favorite recipes, or those passed through the generations.
* A world map to showcase your travels.

Within these pages you'll find a place to answer questions that speak to a grandchild of any age from the simple questions about favorite things to deeper questions about childhood memories, identity, and faith. This book will be a tangible way to keep a loved one close at all times.

MY REVIEW:

This is a wonderful book to share all about yourself with your grandchild. I really love that it allows us to s hare things we might not think to share about! The author really thought about the questions that children might ask about you and your life.

There are wonderful illustations that are delightful to look at. I think this adds to the whole beauty of the book and will encourage children to read it. I also love the envelopes for attaching special mementoes, pictures or other papers we might want to hold on to and pass on for posterity.

I really enjoyed this book and think it's a wonderful way to leave our legacy for future generations. I really recommend this to grandparents to share their lives with future generations! I give it 5 stars.

*I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.


Blessings - Julie

Monday, August 19, 2019

New Movie from the Kendrick Brothers - OVERCOMER


I am so excited about this new movie coming out.  I have seen (and bought the DVD) for each of the Kendrick Brother's films because they are always so good! They are family friendly, inspiring, and always bring a happy tear to my eye! I know that Overcomer is going to be the same!

ABOUT THE MOVIE:

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth ... until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.

Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box- office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson. Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

ABOUT PROVIDENT FILMS:

Provident Films, a division of Provident Music Group, a Sony company, develops, produces and markets faith-based films. A pioneer in the genre since 2006, Provident Films’ partnerships include Sherwood Pictures/Kendrick Brothers (WAR ROOM, COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF and FACING THE GIANTS), The Erwin Brothers (WOODLAWN, MOMS’ NIGHT OUT and the $83 million box office surprise, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE), Kirk Cameron (CONNECT) and Graceworks Pictures (INDIVISIBLE released Oct. 26, 2018). For more information, go to www.providentfilms.org.


ABOUT THE KENDRICK BROTHERS:

Kendrick Brothers Productions is the company of brothers Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick that exists to honor God and share the truth and love of Jesus Christ through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By blending engaging stories with doctrinal integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire audiences with resources that positively impact their lives and strengthen their faith, families, and personal relationships.

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the release of FLYWHEEL, the Kendrick Brothers’ first feature film. Produced with a shockingly modest budget of only $20,000 and intended for Albany, Georgia residents where the brothers served on staff at Sherwood Baptist Church, FLYWHEEL went on to sell over a million copies in DVD format.

“We’re just amazed at what the Lord’s done with it,” says Alex Kendrick.
2018 also marks the production of the Kendricks’ 6th film, OVERCOMER. Between those two milestones, the Kendricks’ first film and the production of their latest film, the Kendrick Brothers’ body of work has been credited with creating a subcategory known as faith-based films.
With more than $150 million in box office receipts across five films plus millions more in DVD and on-demand sales worldwide, the Kendrick Brothers are recognized as leading the genre.

WHY IDENTITY?

“The movie OVERCOMER is about identity, an issue that everyone deals with. Everyone needs to answer the questions: ‘Who is God?’, and ‘Who am I?’, and the Scriptures deal with both of those things. When a person discovers who they are in Christ, it opens up an understanding of how they can live that out in a daily basis in what they do in their relationships with others,” said Stephen Kendrick.

“When we started the process with OVERCOMER, Alex began to unpack this idea of a cross-country runner who’s dealing with the issue of identity, and at the same time, I’d been studying Ephesians 1 and 2. We can see how the Lord was paralleling our paths to specifically make this movie.”
“Cross country is a very difficult sport. From the time you start, you do not stop or pause until you cross the finish line. And in many regards, that’s like our life; that’s our journey of faith,” said Alex Kendrick.

“As people are walking out of the theater, we hope that they begin to ask questions about where their identity is found, because too often we find it in our circumstances, in our titles, in what other people are saying about us, in our jobs, in our positions or awards. Those things can be taken away,” said Stephen Kendrick.

“I hope moviegoers will realize their salvation is about much more than just having a ticket to eternity. They were actually given a brand-new identity. Which means, they have access to spiritual blessings, they have an inheritance, they have all this stuff that’s available to them, this side of eternity. And when you realize that, that means the decisions you make, the relationships you have, the trajectory you choose, the ambitions that you hold, all of that stuff will reflect, and be indicative of your brand-new identity. That changes and transforms the way you live,” said Priscilla Shirer.


WHAT IS AN OVERCOMER?

“OVERCOMER in many regards, is a discovery of who we are in Christ, who gets to determine our identity and what we have to overcome to embrace the life God has for us,” said Alex Kendrick.
“Overcoming is about powering through and realizing that on the other side of it you are stronger and more courageous than when you started,” said Shari Rigby.

“Being an overcomer means you keep your head up and you know that you’re going to get through it; you figure out a way to get through it, you keep your faith strong, you get through it, and you just thank God,” said Aryn Wright-Thompson.


“Being an overcomer means there is pain, discomfort, inconvenience, life’s tough, and yet you have joy and peace and all the stuff that you can only have if there is an anchor in your soul,” said Priscilla Shirer.


There is a wonderful parent guide that you can download HERE

You can also find out more by following the Overcomer movie on Facebook HERE 

Find them on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM as well!

Overcomer will be in theaters August 23 and I hope, like me, you'll be going to see it. It's so important to support the kind of great family films that the Kendrick Brothers make.

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Review - Breathe Again, How To Live Well When Life Falls Apart


\ABOUT THE BOOK:

You can thrive, not just survive, no matter what life throws at you.

No one gets to skip the tough stuff. Niki Hardy knows. After losing both her mother and sister to cancer, she too was diagnosed. Eventually she discovered that it was possible to find hope, peace, trust, joy, and even laughter in the midst of it all and that life doesn't have to be pain-free to be full.

With plenty of her British humor and loads of practical advice, Niki shows you how to

· replace soul-destroying myths of suffering with the hope-building truths of God
· escape the suffocating mire of survival mode by learning God's life-giving practices for thriving
· uncover more joy, peace, comfort, and connection, despite your circumstances
· laugh when all you want to do is cry, scream, or dive headfirst into a gallon of ice cream

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Niki Hardy is a speaker and writer who, alongside her husband, Al, founded CityChurch in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they now live with their three kids and two crazy Goldendoodles. A cancer survivor, tea drinker, and teller of bad jokes, she'd love to connect with you at www.nikihardy.com if she can't hug you in person.

MY REVIEW:

The greatest thing about this book is that Niki teaches us how to thrive rather than survive. I had always thought that if you survived the hard things, you were doing well, but she shows us how we don't have to just survive but we can actually live abundantly through Christ during the difficult things that life throws at us.

This was not always an easy book for me to read as she went through having an ostomy, bag the same as I did and that was one of the absolute hardest things I've ever been through. It brought those hard times slamming into my head again and I had to really not get too caught up in those memories. However, having said this, her encouragement far outweighed any uncomfortable feelings I had reading about this.

I really like how she gives us questions throughout the book for us to ponder and answer as we focus on thriving. She encourages us to grieve the hard things but also to embrace the lovely things that are also a part of our life even when things are hard.

The fact that she opens her heart and truly shares her life and feelings makes this a book that's easy to read. You really feel like you're sitting down with your best friend over tea and having them share their heart with you. I found myself in tears and also laughing with joy while reading this book.  It's real and straight from her heart.

I can highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Revell. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.


Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Awakenings


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Awakenings is a collection of Ryan Phillips' responses to the truth of God's Word that came during a season of solitude and reflection in the remote and beautiful hills of Laupahoehoe, Hawaii, as he awoke every morning and had time to reflect on the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit.

This time of beautiful surroundings, quiet devotion, and writing helped Ryan grow spiritually, and his hope is that you will also be awakened to who God is calling you to be and become, and that his devotional journey will encourage you to deepen your walk with God and to embrace your identity as a believer in Jesus.

MY REVIEW:

This is a lovely little book that has one page readings that are full of wonderful writings and observations about the world and God's creation in it. Each writing is based on a Scripture and then the author shares his own insights regarding these Biblical wisdoms.

This was such a great book to read for making me open my Bible and read further and also for giving me an encouragement when I needed one. Because of how the book is set up, it would make a wonderful devotional for your quiet time. The subjects of each Scripture will also give you a book to turn to when seeking Biblical help in an area - for instance, there is a page on jealousy, holding your peace, sacred things, and more.

I really enjoyed this little book and think you will, too. It's an easy yet profound little book that I give 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Ambassador International. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.


Blessings - Julie