Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs

Liz Curtis Higgs has a way of bringing the women of the Bible to life, which no other author can do. As with her previous books, Higgs has taken women who lived so many hundreds of years ago and made them relatable to today’s woman. The prose she adds to the beautiful wording of the Bible carry your heart into another place and time, and your heart is forever changed by the beautiful retellings of hope and love displayed by the three woman this book focuses on. We are greeted by a patient Elizabeth, an obedient Mary and a devout Anna. The presentation of characters by Higgs will capture your heart and forever change the way you see these ladies.


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
—Isaac Watts, “Joy to the World,” 1719

Let Every Heart
Prepare Him Room

Long before silver bells jingled, Christmas lights twinkled, and horse-drawn sleighs went dashing through the snow, God reached down from heaven with the best gift of all.

Love, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Hope, nestled in a manger.

Three women played vital roles in the Messiah’s birth: Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. Even if you’ve met them before, I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them better. And I’ll love sharing the journey with you!

Their lives were markedly different. Elizabeth was married, settled, mature. Her kinswoman Mary was young, still living at home, and engaged to a carpenter. Anna was an elderly widow whose every waking hour was wholly dedicated to God. Before we reach the final page, we’ll understand why God chose them. And why—this part boggles my mind—God has chosen us too.

We’ll also spend time with the men in their lives, including an old priest called Zechariah, a new husband named Joseph, and a brother of the faith known as Simeon.

Still, it’s the women who carry the story, teaching us by example to wait upon the Lord, to trust him with everything that matters to us, to pray until our prayers are answered. We’ll also hear from more than two dozen women who shared their comments through my online Bible study. Their honesty and humility bring these ancient stories right into the present, showing us what it means to surrender our lives to the One who loves us most.

And he truly does love you. Always has, always will. If only one message from this book finds a home in your heart, let it be that God’s love for you is wider, longer, higher, and deeper than you can ever imagine!

Christmas is so much more than a holiday. So much more than buying and wrapping and cooking and eating and trimming with tinsel and mailing out cards. It’s a season for reflection, for preparation, for renewal. The perfect time to put aside our shopping lists and reach for our Bibles, where the story of the Christ child awaits us.

Curl up in a comfy spot, and let’s dive in.

This year I want to look up and be refreshed anew by the true meaning of it all.”

And so we begin with Elizabeth, our first woman of Christmas.

Anticipation builds as we turn to the book of Luke. We know what’s coming. Or do we? The forgotten details, the overlooked truths may catch us by surprise and teach us something new about God and his love for us. The birth of his Son is a story that never grows old, never loses its power to alter our thinking and realign our priorities.

Mary is, of course, the most famous of our trio, yet her older kinswoman Elizabeth moved into the limelight first, along with the man she married.

  In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah,…
 Luke 1:5

Just an ordinary priest. The streets of Jerusalem were full of them. Depending on the translation, his name is spelled “Zacharias,” “Zachariah,” even “Zachary.” Same guy. Zechariah was not only a good man; he was also God’s man, descended from a long line of holy servants.

     …who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah;…
 Luke 1:5

Abijah was just one of twenty-four divisions, so there were
 lots of priests. Since the time of Aaron, their duties included handling various offerings, giving thanks, and singing praises at the gates of God’s dwelling place. A worthy calling, though with so many priests, few were singled out for ministry within the temple’s Holy Place.

Now that we have Zechariah sorted out, here’s the woman we’ve been eager to meet.
     …his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
 Luke 1:5

A popular name, much loved through the centuries. My mother was an Elizabeth, I’m one too, and so is my daughter-in- law, though each generation picked a different nickname: Betty, Liz, and Beth. The meaning remains the same: “God’s promise” or “oath of God.”

Like her husband, Elizabeth was in Aaron’s lineage, which made her a fine catch since marrying a woman of priestly ancestry was a special blessing. Among her many tasks Elizabeth kept her husband’s priestly garments in good repair and welcomed visitors into their home to discuss temple matters.

We know this couple. We’ve seen them at church, exchanged smiles in the parking lot. Happily married people, busily serving the Lord, always doing good.

     Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
 Luke 1:6

They lived “honorably before God” (msg ) and humbly as well, knowing the Lord alone was their source of righteousness. It may sound as if Elizabeth and her husband were obedient and so earned God’s approval, but, in truth, it was the other way around. God’s power and strength at work in their lives made it possible for them to do the right thing in the first place.

The same is true for us, of course. Though it’s tempting to praise people for their goodness, it’s better to praise the One who made them. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

After such cheery news about Elizabeth and her hubby in the opening verses, it’s time for the other shoe to drop. When God’s blessings are piled on our heads, it’s easy to be faithful. The real test comes when disappointment calls and sorrow pulls up a chair.

     But they were childless…
 Luke 1:7

Oh no. Not these two godly souls?

Afraid so. Even with all their goodness and righteousness, sadness had crept into their home. In their world children were seen as God’s reward for faithful service. We can guess the desperate questions that threaded through their minds as each year went by without a child in their arms.
 Are we not faithful enough, Lord? Have we dishonored you in some way?

Whenever they heard the psalmist’s words “The fruit of the womb is a divine reward,” Zechariah and Elizabeth must have steeled themselves, hiding their pain, even as they avoided sidelong glances from their neighbors.

     …because Elizabeth was not able to conceive,…
 Luke 1:7

Excerpted from The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs Copyright © 2013 by Liz Curtis Higgs. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. - See more at:


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,

Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: Take Flight!

Book Review: Take Flight!
By Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan

This book is a collection of devotionals, intended to provoke thought and to inspire the modern woman. I did find most of the prose pleasant and some of the anecdotes were delightful, but these devotionals were definitely not time friendly. There are several pros and cons to a book of devotionals that take longer than 5 - 10 minutes to read through, on the other hand, for busy mornings, this was not the best option for me. It was nice to spend some time with these devotionals on my weekend morning when I did have a little more time to spend with them.

That being said, I would recommend this devotional book for a woman who needs just a little inspiration. There are also some very insightful quotes at the beginning of each day and the collection was put together thoughtfully and carefully so that each quote relates to the subject matter it precedes.

From the publisher:
Dig In, Soar Up!
Spread your wings and really go places with Take Flight , the first devotional/ponder/prayer/make-it-what-you-need book in the Sisterchicks in the Word series! Robin Jones Gunn and her Sisterchick, Cindy Hannan, offer a collection of fresh, insightful devotions that will rejuvenate the quiet time gone dry. Along with key Scripture verses, they kick in travel tips, wisdom (such as, when a woman knows she’s loved, she can do anything ), Sisterchick locators (find me the best scone in the world!), and more. Complete with ideas for Sisterchickin’ (slang for Sisterchicking; activities for Sisterchicks to do together, as in, “Don’t bother us now; we’re Sisterchickin’!” Not to be confused with Sisterchicken). New. Deep. Different. Fun!
Open the Door and Soar! 
SISTERCHICK® n.a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister, and provides a reality check when you’re being a brat.
Ready to spread your wings and really go places? No more flitting. No more dawdling. It’s time to dig deep into God’s boundless grace and take flight!
Maybe you’re stuck in a quiet time gone dry. Or perhaps you’re an early bird, eager to get the worm. For every Sisterchick seeking a fresh time with God, this devotional/ponder/prayer/excuse-to-gather-together book will send you soaring. Straight from Robin’s nest and Cindy’s perch, you’ll find a collection of insightful devotions, key Scripture verses, and wit ’n whimsy wisdom for the journey, along with Sisterchickin’ suggestions, space to pen a peep or two from you, and more! bids me fly and gives me wings.- See more at:
A brief excerpt from this book can be found at:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Review: For Women Only

Book Review: For Women Only; Revised and Updated Edition
by  Shaunti Feldhahn

In this revised and updated edition of For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn interviewed and polled men across the country, from different walks of life in order to help us women understand some of the disconnect and missed communication that can happen in our relationships with men. Shaunti does a great job, not just of telling women how men think and process information and events, but of reminding women that we cannot force men to process and consider life in the same manner as us. 

As a newlywed, I find it difficult to sometimes understand how my husband translates events into emotions and feelings, I also sometimes forget that love and respect are both important in different ways to my husband and me. We also have very different perceptions of the two thing, I need love in a different form than my husband does, and reading For Women Only has helped provide me with some much needed insight into the male mind. My marriage will most likely never be perfect, but with the information and the Christ based foundations included in this book, I feel like I can come a little closer to maintaining peace within my marriage, even during times of disagreement. 

Light Bulb On!
How I Woke Up to What I Didn’t Know About Men
The other half of the people on the planet already know what you’re going to read in this book.
As newlyweds, my husband and I lived in Manhattan, and like all New Yorkers, we walked everywhere. But I quickly noticed something strange. Quite often we’d be strolling hand in hand and Jeff would abruptly jerk his head up and away. We’d be watching in-line skaters in Central Park or waiting to cross the street in a crowd, and he would suddenly stare at the sky. I started to wonder, Is something going on at the tops of these buildings?
Turns out, something was going on, but it wasn’t up in the buildings.
Have you ever been totally confused by something the man in your life has said or done? Looking at your boyfriend’s rapidly departing back, have you ever wondered, Why did that make him so angry? Have you ever been perplexed by your husband’s defensiveness when you asked him to stop working so much? Yeah? Me too.
But now, after interviewing and surveying thousands of men, I can tell you that the answers to those and dozens of other common perplexities are all related to what is going on in your man’s inner life. Most are things he wishes you knew but doesn’t know how to tell you. In many cases, they’re things he has no idea you don’t know. This book will share those interviews and those answers. But be careful. You might be slapping your forehead a lot!
I can tell you that the answers to dozens of common perplexities are related to what is going on in your man’s inner life.
How It All Started
Let me tell you how I got here. It all started with the research for my second novel, The Lights of Tenth Street. One of my main characters was a devoted husband and father. Because I had to put thoughts in his head, but had no idea what a guy would be thinking in a given situation, I interviewed my husband, Jeff, and many other male friends and colleagues. (“What would you be thinking if you were the character in this scene?”) It took me a while to figure out how to handle what I found.
You see, in many cases, what I heard stunned me. Not just because what the men were thinking was so surprising but because it was so foundational. These weren’t feelings that popped up every few months but were deep fundamental needs, fears, doubts, and thought patterns that occur in men every single day. It didn’t matter whether the man I was talking to was old or young; what his racial or cultural background was; whether he was married or single, a churchgoer or an atheist, a corporate executive or a factory line worker—I kept hearing similar things.
The character in my novel was a good guy who loved his wife and kids, was a devoted churchgoer and godly man, and a successful businessman. But he struggled with his thought life, especially the visual temptations that beckoned from every corner, from the secret traps of the Internet to the overt appeal of the miniskirt walking down the street. So, in short—and this is what shocked me—I discovered that instead of being unusual, my character was like almost every man on the planet. Including the faithful husbands I was interviewing.
That revelation led to a host of others, and following those trails led me to the thousands of personal and written interviews with men—including several professional, nationally representative surveys—that form the core of this book. I interviewed close friends over dinner and strangers in the grocery store, married fathers at church and the single student sitting next to me on the airplane. I talked to CEOs, attorneys, pastors, technology geeks, business managers, the security guard at Costco, and the guys behind the counter at Starbucks. I even interviewed a  professional opera singer, a household-name movie star, and a former NFL offensive tackle with a Super Bowl ring. No one was safe.

Excerpted from For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition by Shaunti Feldhahn Copyright © 2013 by Shaunti Feldhahn. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher - See more at:
For more information about For Women Only, and Shaunti Feldhahn click this link

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reblog: Images from 2013 Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal

These are absolutely stunning!!
Sculptures from the 2013 Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal competition of horticultural art.
This year’s theme is Land of Hope, which is made up of 6 components: the interdependence of man and nature, positive actions for the environment, endangered or at-risk species or ecosystems, nature in the city, the beauty and fragility of life on earth and peace as the key to planetary survival.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sharing a post from Devotionals Daily: Forgiveness For All by Matthew West

Here is another daily devotional I subscribe to. Every morning from a different author and book, and all are wonderful. I hope you enjoy!

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Romans 3:23
Forgiveness For All by Matthew West
I came across an interesting online article this morning. The headline read “38 Stars Who Were Arrested in 2012.” My curiosity compelled me to click on the link. The article showed some of our beloved Hollywood A-listers, B-listers, even C-listers in a less than flattering light. We’ve seen them in movies. We’ve listened to their music. We’ve celebrated their athletic accomplishments. This time, however, they were posing for mug shots.
One celeb was sporting a brand-new black eye from a barroom brawl. Another looked as if she hadn’t showered in a year. And with each unflattering profile picture, a detailed description of their indiscretions was published for all to see.

Our celebrities may have grown accustomed to living above the law, but in these particular instances, the law won.

There were stories of drunk driving charges, drug possession, tax evasion. And the list went on. These celebrities seemingly had everything life can offer, but they apparently wanted more. And now they were paying the price.

A very public price, I would add. As if it’s not enough that these high-profile celebrities have been busted by the police, then the whole world is given a front-row seat from which to watch their weakest moments play out like a bad reality TV show. With the manner in which media covers this news it would appear that we, the public, certainly do love to see our celebrities fall.

We build larger-than-life heroes, put enviable icons on pedestals, and imagine beautiful people with pristine personas. Then we spy on them, following their every move, just waiting for them to slip. When that happens, those magazines that plaster these celebrity images on their covers, bragging about their beauty or abilities, don’t hesitate to put them on display again, but for a much different reason.

The religious community has its celebrities as well, and I have witnessed some of the harshest judgment ever from fellow believers who have misbehaved. More than a few celebrity Christians, ministers of megachurches, big-name gospel singers, and charismatic television evangelists have made a mistake, fallen short of perfection, and paid a painfully public price. And every time this occurs, we Christians appear shocked, stunned, disappointed, and appalled by the revelation that even the celebrity Christians are, as the old hymn says, “prone to wander.”

This is my point: Sin levels the playing field. Sin humbles the superhuman. When it comes to shortcomings, the scales between white collar and blue, between celebrity and non-celebrity, balance out in a hurry.

Maybe as you read this, you are thinking, I’m far from famous. What does this have to do with me?

The truth is, celebrities are just like everybody else. Whether you are a professional athlete or a professional plumber, you can add another title to your resume: sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV, emphasis added). If you’ve ever thought you have nothing in common with a celebrity, now you know you do. And as much as you might wish that what you had in common is the amount of cash they have in a bank account or the villa they own in Tuscany, it’s a far less desirable similarity you share. It’s sin.

We all sin. We all struggle. We all wander from God’s way. We all need forgiveness. And God offers a solution that is just as inclusive as the sinful nature that plagues us all.

Even King David

I think of King David as one of the first celebrities in history. This guy could do no wrong — or so it seemed. Take down a bear? Easy. How about a lion? Sure. Kill a giant named Goliath that everyone else in the land was afraid to face? No problem. Become the king of Israel? Done. Have your pick of the most beautiful women in all the land? Can you say “Bathsheba”? And I would call King David a rock star if only the Bible had left out the little detail that he played a harp. (That’s not really a rock star instrument.) But on all other counts, David had clearly surpassed his shepherd status and exchanged it for royalty. Scripture says, “The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went” (1 Chronicles 18:13).

Yet even David — the only person in the Bible described as “a man after God’s own heart” — could not escape the all in “For all have sinned.” And like the celebrities featured in the article I read this morning, his weaknesses and sins have been recorded for all to see. The Bible’s detailed description of David’s indiscretions reminds us that not even a man after God’s own heart is beyond needing God’s forgiveness. Not only are we given a window into David’s world as it shattered around him because of sin, but we also have the chance to gain great insight from his journey to forgiveness. Psalm 51 captures this fallen man’s earnest prayer as he comes to grips with his sins of adultery and murder:

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins (Psalm 51:1).

In many other psalms a forgiven David sang the praises of the God who saved him:

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2–3).

David’s prayer is proof that even though he was king, he knew he did not possess the power to meet his greatest need: David needed forgiveness. The same is true for me. The same is true for you. Everyone from the highest of us to the lowest, from the richest to the poorest, from the most well-known to the least known — “allhave sinned.” Nobody is able to avoid sinning; no one is able to free himself from the consequences of sin. And nobody has to be bound by those consequences either.

The Bible erases the less from the word hopeless. God’s Word makes no mistake about the seriousness of our sin — “For the wages of sin is death” — but Scripture also presents the solution: “the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). And this solution is not only for a select few. God’s grace goes out to the same all who have sinned. Read these Scriptures and notice their inclusive language (emphasis added):

*  "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
*  “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
*  "To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." (Ephesians 4:7)
All of us have sinned. All of us have been offered forgiveness by God. And one day all of us will stand before Him.

*  We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
*  At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10–11)
Hopefully, you will never have to know how it feels for your sins to be on display for the world to see. And you’ll never see your mug shot printed in the pages of a magazine or your private sins described in great detail for all to read. But you will stand before the Lord one day. All of us will. Every knee will bow before God and every tongue will one day confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 14:11). Perhaps the thought of standing before the Lord like that one day frightens you. Maybe you shudder at the thought of every day of your life being on display before the almighty and holy God.

Take heart! God has provided a way so that when you stand before Him, you can stand unashamed and totally free from any guilt. The step to take sounds too simple: like David, you must simply receive God’s gift of forgiveness.

Following the example of King David, pray as he prayed:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love” (Psalm 51:1). Then you can be confident that, regardless of your rap sheet, you are forgiven, and you can continue to follow David’s lead spending the rest of your days on earth singing, “Let all that I am praise the Lord!” (Psalm 103:1).

Remember, God doesn’t see people as celebrities or non-celebrities.

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

He sees the hearts of His children and recognizes our need of a gift that only He can give. And He offers that gift to all of us. Forgiveness . . . for all.

Excerpted with permission from Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible by Matthew West (Thomas Nelson, publication July 2013)
* * *

Your Turn

Have you felt fear that the Lord wouldn't forgive you because your sins, your mistakes, your disgraces have been too public? Too big? Too much for Him to handle? Isn't it amazing that His forgiveness is a free gift if only we ask for it? Pause now and ask the Lord for His gracious forgiveness that He is eager to offer us all, no matter how great our sin. We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on our blog! ~Devotionals Daily

Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: You Don't Need A Title To Be A Leader

Mark Sanborn brings us real life examples of how ordinary people are very much extraordinary when you see them through the eyes of those around them. We see how inspirational, your average Joe or Jane really can when they go the distance every day. This books is full of great ideas and tips to help every individual find ways to effectively manage their time, to spread encouragement to their team members and to become an inspiration and a leader to those around them, whether given an official title or not. "If you're like me, you do fifty, seventy-five, or even a hundred different things a day. The dilemma is that only a few of those activities really count for much." Sanborn reminds the reader to take  few moments and ask if an appointment, meeting or schedule blocking is really going to add value to your schedule or not. I must say, I found the lighthearted real life stories to be pleasant and uplifting. I definitely ended this book feeling like I have been a leader without a title myself.

You can preview the executive summary for Mark Sanborn's You Don't Need A Title To Be A Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference:

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Proverbs 12:16

Proverbs 12:16 tells us "fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult." 
I recently transitioned from working in a home based office to working in an actual office, and let me tell you, there is definitely a touch of culture shock! Most offices that are predominately staffed with women experience quite a bit of what one expert referred to as "estrogen overflow." One major difference, which even I had a little trouble with at first was that some individuals, when confronted with change, resort to anger, irritation or hostility and usually, the root of these negative emotions is fear. The factor that has changed some aspect of their daily life is unwelcome and resisted because with change comes uncertainty. So, what do you do in this type of environment? Honestly, the same thing you are supposed to do in all situations, give it to God. Be respectful of other people - regardless of how they react towards you - share kind words and always remain courteous. You may not be able to control other peoples behaviors and attitudes, but you can definitely control your own; and ultimately, you will never really know what anyone else is going through, so pray for compassion and empathy, remember the words in Proverbs. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Excerpted from The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris

One of the greatest joys in my life is simply enjoying the fact that God made me a woman. I cannot claim every experience that accompanies being a female, but for those I can claim,  I am proud. There is nothing like the freedom of putting on a sundress, some pink lip gloss and rock star shades during the summer, to really take pride in the beauty and wonder of being female. =)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
We’ve come of age in revolutionary times when women are making more decisions than ever before. Unlike our mothers and grandmothers, we’re buying houses on our own, heading up corporations, and working on cures for cancer. We’re fixing dinner, soothing a crying baby, and teleconferencing a board meeting all at the same time. We’re wearing hard hats and work gloves so often that hardware companies are designing tools specifically for women. In many ways, this is a fabulous time to be female. But it’s also a complicated time. In fact, without God’s guidance, it can get downright confusing. 
I was reminded of that a few years ago when I read the book Love Has a Price Tag by Elisabeth Elliot. In it, she shared how she once gave her college students the unusual assignment of defining femininity in as few words as possible. Her description of how both male and female students struggled with the challenge intrigued me so much I took it on myself.
After searching and searching my heart and mind for an appropriate definition, I finally came up with an answer. Are you ready? Drum roll, please: Because we as women are fashioned wonderfully and uniquely by God, femininity is living in all the splendor of who God created us to be! Which brings us back to Eve.
The original first lady and our first biblical mentor, Eve, showed us that as women we are, above all, divinely created to be springs of life: to conceive, carry, bring forth, and nurture that which will enliven the world. God has woven into our DNA the capacity to give birth and to mother—not just physically but also spiritually. And as I’ve discovered both from the Bible and from experience, it’s a capacity we never lose.
Excerpted from The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Proverbs 3:11-12

I still find hope in reading these reminders that even in moments of great pain, sorrow or trial, God has a plan. He knows what He is preparing us for, we can’t always see it, and we definitely cannot control it, but we can rest in His arms during difficult time and know He is carrying us through the storm. Be blessed today!
Posted: 20 May 2013 09:15 PM PDT
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
– Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)
Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

God has a purpose for every trial that you and I go through. Because of the work of Jesus upon the cross, we are not set up for judgment but for growth, even if the struggles that we face are great. This may cut against the grain of our quest for comfort and convenience, but God is interested in more than having us feel good about ourselves—He is a faithful and loving father who delights in bringing us into what He has made us to be and do.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thoughts on Obedience

Sometimes, the hardest part of having relationship with Christ is being obedient. I love my Lord, I love reading His Word, I love praising and worshiping  but when it comes down to actually being obedient  I often find myself struggling. I received the following daily devotional last month, and have been thinking about it for a little while... James and John literally walked away from everything to follow Jesus. As Pastor Whitehead points out, they didn't procrastinate or make excuses not to follow, they simply followed. I pray that I learn to do the same, I know the last time I called out to God and asked for direction, He showed me how many times He's pointed me toward my path and I've held on to one thing or another instead of just following. I made the decision some time ago to just go; it's hard and there are times I want to turn back around and say "forget about it!" Nevertheless, something always pops up to remind me, God will never stop me from turning around, He will try and encourage me if I actually listen, but ultimately the choice to be obedient is mine. So today I'm going to pray for myself and for you, but mostly for myself ;) for the strength to be obedient. 

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
– Matthew 4:21-22 (NIV)
Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

Notice that Jesus didn’t ask them to make sure that everything was in order before they left their father’s business to follow Him. This is the nature of God’s calling. He does not tell us what is ahead. He does not check with us if we are ready. He simply calls to us and expects us to leave what we are doing, obey and follow Him. This pattern is as true today as it was back then.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Each morning, my inbox has about four or five different daily devotionals, and I don’t read them all daily, but some mornings, I find I need just a little more God time, and I can go back to a devotional I’ve skipped, did that this morning, and the message below just needed to be shared.
As someone who is barely learning how to really take charge of their life, this reminder is a big one for me. The Lord is the source of our strength, and when we seek Him and truly trust that He will guide our way, fear of failure disappears. 
‘When I am afraid, I will trust in you.’ Psalms 56:3
Mary loved being a homemaker. She’d been married for thirty years to John, a successful businessman. Because John had always taken care of things, Mary had learned never to take risks. As a result, her biggest fear was that she’d be left alone one day. Sometimes she would tell her friends, ‘I hope I go before John because I don’t think I could handle things by myself.’ But then John became ill and Mary was placed in the position of caring for him, plus having to make all the decisions for them both. It was nerve-wracking at first. But once she put her trust in God and decided to take charge, she made an interesting discovery: Security doesn't lie in having things, but in handling them! She found that facing her fears was easy compared to the years she’d spent feeling inadequate, helpless and dependent. Facing your fears is always easier than living with helplessness. In fact, when you let fear stop you, you end up living with feelings of dread and helplessness that are a hundred times worse than if you had just faced your fears and moved forward. The truth is, if you tell yourself often enough that you can’t do something, you will be unable to do it-even though you have the talent, time, resources, strategy, and friends to accomplish it. Only those who say they can, do. Saying you believe in yourself and the God who lives within you may not guarantee your success, but saying you don’t will guarantee your failure. So today, face your fears head on, and watch them shrink.
© 2013: This devotional is produced by UCB, free of charge through the generosity of our supporters. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sharing Joy

Life gets kinda busy sometimes, and even simple things we enjoy - like blogging - get tossed to the back burner to make room for other things. New adventures in my life have recently distracted me from some of my favorite releases, and you’ll be happy to know, I’M BACK! The most adventurous step I’ve taken the last few months is marrying my best friend. He is my rock and definitely the man God created to balance the crazy in me. So this blog will be brief and nothing more than a chance for me to share some pictures from my wedding- for the five of you actually following my blog….lol 
God bless!!

Book Review: Wild Goose Chase

In Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson once again takes us on an honest and intense look at our lives as "Christians."

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….
Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” --from the introduction

Batterson's unique writing style encourages us to really look at what it means to pursue the Holy Spirit, and dares us to question whether or not those of us who actively pursue God, really stop and listen to where God would have us seek Him.

I definitely recommend reading this book for yourself, no matter what stage of growth your faith is in, you will not be sorry you did.

To read an excerpt from Mark Battersons Wild Goose Chase, please click on this link from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing: Wild Goose Chase Excerpt

 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,