January 18, 2021

You're Not Enough (and that's ok)

When I was Allie Beth's age, almost 25 years ago, Oprah was in her heyday and I sadly watched. At this time, Oprah was encouraging women to put themselves first, and if they didn't, she informed, they would be useless to help anyone else. I knew this was wrong thinking, but no one was correcting her. Of course this isn't anything new. The enemy has been trying to convince women since the beginning, to question God and look to self.

In the introduction Allie Beth says here:

"If self-love isn't a new phenomenon, if we've been taught for decades that our lives will be made better just by loving ourselves more and feeling confident, why hasn't it caught on? Why aren't we all happier?

In fact, it seems we're less happy than ever before. Americans under forty are more depressed, anxious, lonely, and suicidal than any generation before us. We report stronger feelings of purposelessness than any other generation too. We are isolated and unsure of what we want to do with our lives. Many of us feel empty."

This book sets out to stand up against this way of thinking, but most importantly this book stands up for what God says in His word about this and about us. We aren't enough, and that's ok.

If we were enough than we wouldn't need a Savior.

Also from the introduction:

"The answer to the purposelessness and hollowness we feel is found not in us, but outside of us. The solutions to our problems and pain aren't found in self-love, but in God's love.

The God who created us, who created the universe, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, is the one who provides us with the purpose and satisfaction we're seeking. While self-love depletes, God's love for us doesn't. He showed us his love by sending Jesus to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven and live forever with him. Self-love is superficial and temporary, God's love is profound and eternal."

This book has five chapters which talk about these 5 myths:

Myth #1 - You Are Enough

Myth #2 - You Determine Your Truth

Myth #3 - You're Perfect the Way You Are

Myth #4 - You're Entitled to Your Dreams

Myth #5 - You Can't Love Others Until You Love Yourself


I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces from each chapter.


Myth #1 - You Are Enough

Allie Beth says here:

"The first step to getting out of whatever unhealthy cycle you're currently in is realizing just how not enough you are. That means letting go of the responsibility to be your own source of fulfillment - a responsibility that was never yours in the first place."

As Christians we know that we couldn't have come to Christ without seeing our sinfulness first. Repentance comes from a heart that knows its own sinfulness and repentance always leads to joy. It's never been our responsibility to make ourselves happy or enough, It's always been God who can solely do this.

She continues here:

"There's a reason Jesus describes himself as Living Water and Bread of Life: He satisfies. The searching for peace and for purpose stops in Him alone. He created us; therefore only He can tell us who we are and why we're here."

"And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."  John 6:35


Myth #2 - You Determine Your Truth

This chapter talks about the false way the world looks at truth.

Allie Beth says here:

"While it's true that we have experiences and trauma that shape us, these things don't equate to moral truths. They just happened. And maybe they were significant, and maybe they taught us something. But in order to know whether these lessons we learned are truths worth building our lives on, we have to compare them to the standard of truth, God's Word."

This chapter talks a little bit about the false teachings of prosperity and how it teaches us to love self first.

She continues here:

"The prosperity gospel and Hipster Jesus Christianity are self-worship disguised as genuine faith. They focus on what we think we deserve rather than who God is. They obscure the true Gospel in exchange for a message that appeals to our natural self-centeredness. As John Piper says of the prosperity gospel, they are doctrines that... 'clothe the eternal gospel of Christ in the garments of worldiness.'"

Allie says here of true church:

"The hours we spend in church should be defined by self-forgetfulness, not self-fulfillment."


"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."  Ephesians 4:17-24


Myth #3 - You're Perfect The Way You Are

In this chapter she brings up the Enneagram, a type of personality test that has distracted thousands from the true living God and encouraged them to turn their focus onto self. The man who designed it and its number system says he received it from automatic writing, an occultic practice. (I have left a link at the bottom of this post to a video on the Enneagram with Doreen Virtue, who Allie Beth has interviewed in the past

This was very interesting and disturbing to read about. Her point in sharing about the Enneagram was to show how its basic premise is to find the perfection within yourself and how misleading that is. 

She says here:

"The world of self-love tells us that knowing ourselves is essential happiness. We're told that our inner perfection, once found and unleashed, will empower us to succeed and have peace. God tells us something different: that knowing Him gives us the peace we're looking for and that His love gives us the confidence we're looking for.

Once we realize just how not perfect we are, and how little self-discovery contributes to our fulfillment, we begin to see just how unreliable we are as masters of our own fate and rulers of our lives.

This means that rather than follow our hearts, as we're so often encouraged to do, we should question them."

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?"  Jeremiah 17:9 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. 

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil." Proverbs 3:5-7


Myth #4 - You're Entitled To Your Dreams

This quote pretty much sums up this chapter:

"God made us for Him, not the other way around. He exists as a king to be worshiped, not a genie who grants us our dreams and wishes. When we follow Him, He promises us not to give us everything we want but something far better - Himself." 

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.' " Matthew 16:24


Myth #5 - You Can't Love Others Until You Love Yourself

Allie Beth says here:

"Our minds have so intertwined self-affirmation and success that we're afraid that if we stop telling ourselves how great we are, our lives will take a nosedive into misery. We'll start to wallow in self-pity, our relationships will grow toxic and codependent, and we'll fail at work because we'll be crippled by our own self-doubt.

But that fear ignores the reality that as Christians, our options aren't boiled down to high self-esteem versus low self-esteem, or self-love versus self-hatred. We choose neither. Instead, we operate out of total self-forgetfulness."

She than quotes Tim Keller from his book The Freedom of Self-forgetfulness (which I highly recommend! I'll leave a link to my thoughts on that book at the end of this post)

Tim Keller says here: "the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less."

Allie Beth goes on to say: 

"Believing the lie that we have to love ourselves before we love other people will cause us to miss out on the most joyful experiences of our lives. And even more important, there are people whose needs won't be met because we're too busy meeting our own needs to pay attention to theirs." 

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."  Philippians 2:3-4

This was such a great book! I highly recommend it to those who may be confused by all the self-love philosophies in the world and unfortunately have seeped into the church. Also to those who would think this book would help someone they know caught up in the self-love phenomenon. 

I'll leave you with this quote from John Piper I recently found in his book 'What Jesus Demands from the World'...

"Look away from yourself. Seek from God what He alone can do for you. Moral improvement of the old you is not what you need. New life is what the whole world needs. It is radical and supernatural. It is outside our control. The dead do not give themselves new life. We must be born again - 'not...of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.' John 1:13 That's what Jesus demands of the world."

*Note - Link to my post on Tim Keller's book... The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

*Note - Video link... Talking About the Enneagram: Is it Dangerous? Things Christians Should Know


Buy it HERE on Amazon 



January 11, 2021

Reading Goals for 2021


A new year is always exciting for a reader. We re-evaluate all we want to read and make lists of the books we'd like to add to our TBR's.

This coming year I have a few reading goals I'd like to accomplish.

Firstly I'm setting my annual goodreads goal to reading 50 books once again this year. 

I've also started a book Instagram, you can check it out here... Cathy@Thoughts on Books

I'd love for you to come by and follow and talk books!

Secondly, I'd really like to get to some of the books on my shelves that I've had for years, books like Francis Schaeffer's trilogy.


Thirdly, I would like to read a few more classics than I did this past year,

These are the 6 classics I read in 2020:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Evelina by Frances Burney

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy 


Les Miserables and Evelina were my favorites. : )

This past December, I so enjoyed Paul David Tripp's advent devotional, so I've decided to pick up his yearly devotional called 'New Morning Mercies.' So far I'm really enjoying it!

I would also like to continue with my Bible reading. I read my Bible one book at a time, usually reading a chapter in a sitting. Then studying what stood out to me. Such as looking up a word I didn't understand or looking up a passage in a commentary. (I use Matthew Henry's commentary) I also like to go back and forth from the New to Old Testament books. Right now I'm reading the book of Joshua and finding it really interesting.

Here's some encouraging and sobering words from Joshua 24:14-15

“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”


One more goal of mine for 2021 is the try to memorize more Scripture. I believe it's important to hide it in our hearts, especially in the days we are living in.

"Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

This is the first verse I've memorized this year:

"...faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the word of God." Romans 10:17 

I think this verse is fitting for a year of memorization! 


God bless and I hope you all have a year filled with the peace and joy of the LORD.


January 4, 2021

5 books on my future reading list

 Gentle and Lowly

Something I need to do more of, is to rest in Jesus. I always love it when I find a book that teaches this.

Goodreads say here:

"This book draws us to Matthew 11, where Jesus describes himself as "gentle and lowly in heart," longing for his people to find rest in him. The gospel is primarily about God's heart drawn to his people, a heart of tender love for the sinful and suffering. 

These chapters take readers into the depths of Christ's very heart for sinners, diving deep into Bible passages that speak of who Christ is and encouraging readers with the affections of Christ for his people. His longing heart for sinners will comfort and sustain readers in their up-and-down lives."


The Other Bennet Sister

I love Jane Austen and have read my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice many times. This is a re-telling with Mary Bennet's story at the forefront. I've read the first few pages and found the writing beautiful. I'm looking forward to getting to this one soon!

Amazon says here:

"What if Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice

What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? 

This is the plot of Janice Hadlow's The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Jane Austen fans."

Another Gospel?

I'm really excited to read this one. I've been listening to Alisha on her podcast and have been encouraged by her stand for the Lord and His Word.

Melissa Kruger says here of this book:

"Is it possible to reconstruct faith after deconstruction? Using her own season of spiritual doubt as a backdrop, Alisa Childers explores the validity of Christianity―as well as the inefficacy of progressive Christianity―with precision, insight, and intellectual integrity.  

Another Gospel? is a needed and welcome book that reveals the ways historic Christianity can stand up to our doubts, concerns, and questions."

And Randy Alcorn say of it here:

"Deconstructed faith stories are the new normal. We all know people who once seemed to be solid Christians but have walked away. Alisa’s story of her own reconstructed faith is a breath of fresh air. 

She shares her doubts and struggles and the journey God led her on to rediscover the solid Rock on which she stands. This excellent book is full of hope and sound reasons for faith in Jesus and God’s Word."

At Home in Mitford

This is a first book in a series of books that sounds delightful. I've just started it and really enjoying it so far.

Amazon say here:

"It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. 

Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives."


New Morning Mercies

I recently read Paul David Tripp's Advent devotional and loved it. So I'm excited to read through this one this coming year.

Goodreads says here:

"Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren't enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

Forget "behavior modification" or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we'll be prepared to trust in God's goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day."