July 28, 2014

A Blogging Break...

'Woman Reading in a Garden' by Barbara Jaskiewicz-Socewicz
It's time for me to take a bit of a blogging break.

In my four years of blogging, I've never really taken a break for more than a week or so. I try to take my time with each post I put out there, to make sure it's accurate and pleasing to the Lord, and that can get a bit time consuming and stressful at times. So I've decided to take a break for the rest of this summer.

Feel free to look around and share here while I'm on this break. I'll still check back for comments and will be casually working on some new posts for the fall.

See you in September with some more thoughts on books!

God Bless. : )

July 23, 2014

Inspired to Sponsor

Compassion Bloggers have been asked to post about what or who inspired us to sponsor a child.

For me it was Steve Camp.

When I was eighteen a friend and I went to his concert. There we sat in the bleachers of a school gym. He talked about this organization that helped the poor all over the world. I'd never heard of it before and was instantly intrigued.

That night, I felt strongly led by the Holy Spirit to sponsor a child and I have never looked back since.

I know some people think it's annoying when they go to a concert and the singer starts talking about giving to the poor, but I wonder where I'd be if Steve Camp hadn't, where would my sponsored children be now?

I'm grateful Steve Camp took that step of faith and shared. I thought I'd share one of Steve's inspiring songs  (and yes, it's very 80's) : )

Whatever You Ask

Lord I see the things you ask of me

Faithfulness, holiness and purity

I love your truth, I long to show it to the world for You

So Lord I need your help to understand

The other person who I sometimes am

I never want to live a day that I can't say to You

Lord, whatever You ask I want to obey You

To let my life beat with a servant's heart

Lord whatever You ask I know that you can give me wisdom and courage

To equal the task, Lord, whatever You ask

I think so much, it steals away

The will to make the time to serve and pray 

And there are days I don't take up Your cross and follow You

But I have learned that I can talk with You

You know everything that I am going through

If I just ask I find that You're right there

Providing me with the strength I need

...to equal the task

Lord whatever You ask

"Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him"  Psalm 41:1

Would you like to sponsor a child in need and change a life?

These kids are waiting for a sponsor today: Children in Need

July 18, 2014

Learning from Reading

Friday's Thought:

I read this quote recently on another blog and had to share it here.

"Little learning and much pride come of hasty reading."                      
                                                                                       Charles Spurgeon

I thought it was a great reminder of how little we actually know (compared to God) and what a privilege it is to learn.

I think we honor God when we take the time to understand and learn from Him through reading.

Happy Reading!

July 14, 2014

5 books on my future reading list

Finally Alive

I love the way John Piper writes. There is such joy in it. I've learnt a lot from him and how to enjoy God and all he has made.

This particular book is about being born again.

Here's a quote from the author:

"When Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again" (John 3:7), he was not sharing interesting and unimportant information. 

He was leading him to eternal life... If he does that for you (or if he already has), then you are (or you will be) truly, invincibly, finally alive." 

The Queen's Handmaid

Tracy Higley is becoming one of my favorite Christian fiction writers. Her stories are powerful and gospel-filled. They take us back in history and don't shy away from spiritual warfare that is part of our world.

Goodreads describes this book here:

"Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Introverts in the Church

I've had this book on my shelf for awhile and being an introvert, I'm looking forward to reading what the author has to say about introverts in the church.

Amazon says here: 

"Introverts are called and gifted by God. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it's not as faithful to be an introvert.

Adam McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities. He explains how introverts and extroverts process information and approach relationships differently and how introverts can practice Christian spirituality in ways that fit who they are...
Discover God's call and empowering to thrive as an introvert, for the sake of the church and kingdom."

*Note - I have since read this book and you can read my thoughts HERE 

Mist of Midnight

I loved Sandra Byrd's 'Ladies in Waiting' series,which tell the fictional stories of the ladies in waiting of Anne Boleyn, Kathryn Parr and Elizabeth I, while also telling the true stories of these queens.

This new series is described here on Sandra's website:

"In the first of a brand new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands...

...A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless."

This novel comes out in March of 2015.

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

I started this book awhile ago but only got a couple chapters in. I really want to get into it now and finish it.

I love British history, it's one of my favorites to read about. I think it's because my mom is from England, and so it's history is personal to me.

Goodreads says here of this biography:

"From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? 

Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace...
...Compulsively readable and scrupulously researched, Elizabeth the Queen is a close-up view of a woman we’ve known only from a distance, illuminating the lively personality, sense of humor, and canny intelligence with which she meets the most demanding work and family obligations. It is also a fascinating window into life at the center of the last great monarchy."

July 11, 2014

God's Mercy

Friday's Thought:

I've been reading the book of Acts lately, but for some reason decided to skim through the book of Psalms instead. My last post was on surrendering all to the Lord and it made me think of all the times I've failed Him in this.

Sometimes it's hard to surrender.

As I was skimming through the Psalms I came across this message three times.

It was this,

that His mercy is everlasting.

When we fail, His mercy is everlasting to those who fear Him.

That really hit me.

His mercy is everlasting, never-ending, He will always extend His mercy to those who love and fear Him.


We never have to worry whether this time, this failure, He will turn His back, because He promised His mercy is everlasting to those who fear Him!

I'm so thankful for His mercy.

For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  Psalm 100:5

For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.   Psalm 103:11-12

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him.  Psalm 103:15-17

July 8, 2014

A Powerful Hymn, A Powerful Story

A few days ago I was listening to this modern Christian song on the radio called My Heart is Yours, then it changed into the hymn, All for Jesus I Surrender.

It brought back memories. A time when these beautifully written hymns were the norm in church and helped us focus on the Lord. They always overwhelm me and turn me back to the One who saved me. I wish we sang more in church today.

Have we surrendered all?

This song reminded me of a story I read recently in Amy Carmichael's book, 'Things As They Are.'

In this book Amy shares stories of her life in India as a missionary. I'll try to paraphrase this particular powerful story as closely as I can.

An Indian woman came to Amy and was excited because she had accepted Christ as her Savior but she wanted to know if she really needed to leave her Hindu caste and all their rituals and practices. She told Amy, 'I secretly worship God during these rituals and spend time in my room alone with Him. Crying out to Him.' 

Amy's heart sank. 

She knew that God asks us to surrender all and leave all behind to follow Him. All. What could she tell this woman, but the truth.

This story hit me hard. How many of us haven't surrendered all? Do we still hold onto things that comfort us and keep us in comfort? This woman would have lost everything, her standing in the community, her family, her friends, and most likely her life, but that's what Jesus asks of us.

Complete surrender. Complete obedience.

And He is completely worth it.

It reminded me of the story of the rich man who Jesus told to go sell everything and come follow Him.

"Jesus said to him, 'You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.'

But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!

For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'

And those who heard it said, 'Who then can be saved?'

But He said, 'The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.'

Then Peter said, 'See, we have left all and followed You.'

So He said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,

who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”    Luke 18:22-30

There's that eternal life thing again! If you read my post HERE you read how God wants us to live for the eternal.

These verses can be saddening or bring joy.

Saddening, if you don't want to surrender all, but rather hold onto the things of this world, or joyful if you do and want to live for the eternal. What hope to the one who hears Jesus say, 'the things which are impossible with men are possible with God' and understands!!

This old hymn mean so much because it shares the hope and joy of surrendering to the Lord.

My heart is Yours by Kristian Stanfill:

All to Jesus I Surrender by Robin Mark:

Buy it HERE on Amazon

July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

Friday's Thought:

Today I'd like to wish all my American friends and neighbors south of the border, a happy and funfilled Fourth of July!!