Wednesday, September 21, 2016
So I missed a week here and might miss some more. Here are my top reasons.
1. I was in counseling for learning to deal with the anger of sharing my house with the mouse population.
2. I channeled that anger and went and had a meeting with all the mouse heads of home and recommended that they go to all of my neighbor's houses for the winter as I am sure the accommodations would be better.
3. I then spent the next couple of days distributing jars of peanut butter to the various mouse communities as their reward for leaving my house.
4. I'm back in counseling for conspiring such evil against my neighbors.
I'll let you know when my deep seated issues have been dealt with and I return to regular blogging. In the mean time I will continue to chase mice out of my house.
How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings
This is a book about what heaven will be like, at least to the best of the author's understanding. She works to clear up the image that all we will be doing is floating around on clouds playing harps. She brings out that Heaven will be here on earth, but in a new earth, a perfect earth. I don't fully understand how it is all going to work out and I don't know if I fully agree with her, but I do agree with the fact that it will be beautiful, that we won't be playing harps all day, though I would like to learn to play one, I think.
One of the big thrusts of the book is that we are made for more. So many people, Christians included, are spending their life looking for something to satisfy. They are chasing the dream house, the fancy car, the Caribbean Cruise, the next rung up on the career ladder, etc. etc. in hopes of satisfying the longing in their heart. What they don't realize is that this world is sinful, this world falls short and until Jesus returns and brings perfection, nothing will satisfy. We are made for more. We are made for better and our "hearts will be restless until they find their rest in Thee (God)" I believe this was Augustine who said this.
She talks about the "bucket list" and how that's become such a hype these days and it's a great example of how people are trying to find satisfaction in the here and now. She says social media "has sprung up around our drive to share about how much we're enjoying life." We want people to believe we are having fun and living life to the fullest when in reality we are longing for more. "We've lost sight of our true Home, and are trying to find satisfaction and justification where it will never be found." So very true.
I want to live life to the fullest, to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way, to worship God in the process of all of this, but I want to always keep in mind that this is not my Home. My Home is waiting for me and I want to be ready when it's time to go Home. For me, Home takes on a bigger meaning too when you have loved ones waiting for you there.
She would also discuss Paradise as the waiting place for those who have died before Jesus has returned. I don't know where I go with all of those things. I think she would say they are with Jesus there, at least that's how I would understand it.
This book was given me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
This is one of those books that takes you on a whirlwind ride, challenges everything you ever believed about prayer, raises some questions about the author's ideas, and hopefully transforms your prayer life.
I know that sounds like an oxymoron when you question the writing and yet it challenges you, but it's true. Dutch totally rearranged my thinking on prayer. I know my prayer life has been lacking for awhile, but I want that to change. Dutch talks about prayer that creates a boundary of protection around people, prayer goes between man and God and allows God to work. Sometimes, is it true, that God is simply waiting for someone to pray so that He can work, but nobody does? This was a challenging thought for me and at first, I wanted to write it off. But.... There's a verse in Ezekiel that says how God was looking for someone to build a wall and stand in the gap for the people, but no one could be found, therefore He poured out His indignation on the people. That has haunted me since I read it. Are people going to hell because I am not praying?
He had a lot of other good points in his book. He is from the charismatic Christian circles, so some of it I wanted to just chalk up to their style, but in actuality, I think some of it just stretched me too much and I don't want to think about the fact that God might call me to be that radical.
Whatever the case, I am purposing in my heart to improve my prayer life, to recognize more fully that we are in a spiritual warfare, that I am to be a watchman, and I am called to intercede.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed the book. Two things I wasn't sure about in the book and would love some opinions from people who have read the book. One, he never addresses unanswered prayer. All of his prayers seem to get answered. And two, he can almost give the idea that you have to pray according the Dutch Sheet's instruction book or it won't work. He gave an example of someone who had prayed for years, but was doing it all wrong and after listening to him speak, they changed their way of praying and in just a short time, the person had been saved. I think Dutch has some points about being specific and asking God to meet and pull down strong holds of addiction, etc. but I don't think there's a right and a wrong way to pray unless of course you are asking for things clearly outside of God's will or with very selfish motives.
This book was given me by Bethany House for the purpose of reading and writing a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Friday, September 9, 2016
This is the third in the series and I'm guessing the last.
Abby has been searching for hard evidence to who killed her parents 28 years ago. At times, she has let the search consume her and become her driving force. She threatens to allow that to happen in this book as well, but when confronted with someone who has allowed obsession with a situation to consume her and eat her, Abby is able to take a step back.
In the end of course, there is mostly closure, but the murderer is never charged for that crime. The thing that stuck out to me in the last few chapters of this book was the theme of trust.
Being able to trust that God is a God of justice and even if justice is not taken on this earth, justice will prevail. While I'm not investigating a crime scene, this can be so true in my life when things don't go my way as I wish. God can be trusted and He sees the bigger picture. He knows what I really need and I need to let Him lead me that way.
A quote from the book:
"Just that I didn't get what I wanted, but I guess I got what I needed."
That is how it works when we trust God and leave it all in His hands.
I really enjoyed this book again. There was riveting parts which you knew would work out because it's a fiction book, but did keep you turning pages waiting to see exactly how.
This book was given my by Tyndale House for the purpose of reading and writing a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal
This is a fun looking hard back journal that incorporates praise, coloring, prayers, sketching etc. all in one book. There are pages to color that maybe have a verse on them. There are lined pages and there are blank pages for whatever you want to do with them.
A few examples: There's a page spread with one side saying "I am grateful" and the instructions are to draw or sketch people and things you are grateful for. Now obviously, I would choose writing because otherwise even I wouldn't know what I drew. And the other side is a picture of various birds to color.
There's a page spread that has a title of "learn to DANCE in the Rain" followed by a prayer and a Bible verse. The other side has "He will wipe EVERY TEAR" and some lined journaling space after that for writing down thoughts.
It strikes me as a thought-provoking journal. I use a journal to write down the thoughts or struggles I'm having currently. This journal would be more down the line of consciously choosing to think and journal about different topics.
I really like it and again think it would make a great Christmas gift. I love books like this and I haven't decided if I'm going to hang on to it and go through it myself or if I should pass it along as a gift someday. We will have to see.
I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
What a beautiful book. It's got a leather like cover with a pretty design and just feels classy to hold. Now granted I think someone has to have a pretty big pocket to carry this around, but the idea is it's small and compact.
The content? Very good. I haven't read all the prayers, but I plan to use it and then possibly pass it on as a gift. It would make a beautiful Christmas present. I also like how it's not set up my month and day, it's just numbered, so you can start whenever you want. Every 6th and 7th day are shorter for the weekends, but it wouldn't have to be used like that. There is also a topical index in the back if you're looking for a prayer about a particular issue. Now, I don't recommend this book in exchange for a personal prayer life with God, but I think it can be a helpful asset.
When I do reviews, I often like to quote a few lines, especially if I really liked the book. I randomly flipped the book open when I sat down to write this and this is what I read:
"Restrain me, I pray. I am so slow to listen and quick to speak." Wow, that fits was my initial response and it does. I'm trying to learn, but I think I'm a slow, slow learner.
This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Once upon a time in the beautiful land of "NeverRains" there lived a handsome man with his equally stunning young bride and their adorable little cherub. They lived in a quaint, charming cottage at the edge of a luscious and prosperous corn field. They were madly and deeply in love and would race all over the house in an effort to be the first to do something for the other. Meals were always sumptuous affairs, but never did anyone over eat. Evenings could find them peacefully rocking on their porch rockers or going on a leisurely walk out the back, twisting, winding road.
One day this lovely couple decided to go on a little vacation to "SunAlwaysShines", so they packed up their minimalistic belongings and loaded it into their chariot and off they went. On the way to their destination, they stopped at a specialty store where free donuts were being offered on Saturdays and where there was fresh baked goods and also dented and bented items for sale. After making several wise and frugal decisions and loading the products into their chariot, they were once again off and away.
They had a lovely weekend with the prosperous brother and his immaculate housekeeper wife and their lovable bunch of kiddos who were fast growing up to be charming young men and lady. Also in attendance was the very stunning younger sister who had just returned from a far country in order to begin her duties as a school teacher. Much ado was made over the ruddy younger brother who was the same weekend, in another part of the country, getting to know a lovely young lady of whom the rest of the family knew nothing about. This caused some consternation among the brothers, but they were also equally happy for them. Time was spent laughing, playing games and catching up on the local news from that part of the country.
At last the weekend was over, and with much love and laughter, the extended family parted ways with well wishes and promises of meeting again. The handsome man turned his chariot toward home and the happy, much-in-love couple reminisced and related happy experiences the whole way home. A small stop was made for some health food so that a meal would not need to be worried about immediately upon their arrival home.
They reached their charming cottage and everything seemed calm and at peace. Belongings were unloaded and it appeared that the minimalist had turned maximist, but stuff was unloaded and everything was being appropriated to the correct location.
But then, the mouse appeared and the clock chimed midnight. Mouse turds were found scattered through out the house, bark from the orchid plant was strewn about and other plants had been rousted from their home of dirt. Suddenly the in-love couple in their charming little cottage began to worry that their cottage might not be so charming. The mouse traps seemed to have diminished in supply. The grumpy, whiny wife yelled up the stairs at her handsome husband saying that there was a mouse in the storage room. Handsome husband wondered how he was going to deal with it and in the meanwhile, charming cherub starting working the peanut butter in a different mouse trap.
Finally, all was calm, traps were set and there was potential for the handsome couple to return to their charming cottage, and then "snap" went the mouse trap. The chubby wife went to go see what was up and came upstairs to inform the man that there were two mice caught already and no, she wasn't going to do anything about it, but she did pull front the microwave cart so man could get behind it.
Again, at 2:30 a.m. wife checked one mouse trap and confirmed dead mouse and then went back to bed, leaving man to check and empty ALL THREE of them.
So finally morning dawns. Handsome husband is gone to work where he provides well for his household and the Proverbs 31 wife oversleeps a little and then lumbers downstairs, bleary eyed and ready for her coffee. But lo and behold, can you believe it? All Three of the mouse traps are full.
Now, you must note that once upon a time when said handsome man and beautiful woman tied the knot there was an unspoken agreement in those vows that the beautiful woman would never have to empty a mouse trap, so tired and crabby woman calls husband who only tries to remind her that she has life good while he, on the other hand, is left to go out in the pouring rain to provide for his household. Good byes were said and said woman cries at the lack of caring that seemed to be exhibited for her extreme predicament.
So, she prays for courage, looks on YouTube for how to set a mouse trap and proceeds to empty and reset three mouse traps. Then she admits it only to herself that it really wasn't that bad and goes to town and buys 8 more because she has no intentions of running out of traps again while handsome husband is gone working. Because bad or not, she wants to return to her charming cottage and become that beautiful, skinny woman with the handsome husband and the adorable cherub and she just wants to live happily ever after, except for the newly discovered leaking kitchen sink and the pipe from the roof that leaks in beautiful woman's closet when it rains too hard.
Then the clock strikes 8 and 12 hours have passed since the last mouse sighting and peace reigns once again in the charming cottage.
Then this post was written and published early because handsome husband requested it and all charming wife wants to do is please her husband!!!
And they lived happily ever after.
>>Many parts of this story have been embelished for the sake of a store