Posted in books, christian living, Faith

Something Needs to Change

I started reading David Platt’s “Something Needs to Change” the other day and while I haven’t gotten very far into it, I can tell it’s going to be something worth reading.

Synopsis:

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.


For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Romans 10:13-15
Posted in anger, bipolar, bitterness, books

Everybody Always

So a friend from church loaned me a book called “Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People.” by Bob Goff. I’m really excited to read this because woo boy do I have difficult people in my life, as I’m sure we all do.

I haven’t started it yet but will be either tonight or tomorrow.

What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it?

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.

Have any of y’all read it? What did you think?

I need prayers lifted for my 15 year old nephew. He is so addicted to his Xbox and this stupid game called Fortnite. He gets so worked up when something goes wrong in the game and will slam his controller down and rant and rave. He sits in front of the screen for hours at a time. Guys, please pray for his spiritual life. He got saved 2 years ago at camp but is definitely not living the life he should be. He lets this game get to him and misses church because he was up too late playing. He didn’t go to bed until 4:30 this morning because he was playing the stupid game.

Pray for ME that I don’t lose my mind trying not let this get to ME! I have a really bad habit of letting things get under my skin.

Sounds like I need to get off here and start reading this book! LOL.

Posted in book review, books, christian living, christianity, Faith, Jesus

A Fan or a Follower?

Kyle Idleman, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has written several books that I absolutely love. The very first book I ever purchased of his is “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” In this book, Idleman discusses the difference between being a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. Here’s the synopsis

Are you a fan or a follower? The dictionary defines a fan as “an enthusiastic admirer.” Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants? Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It’s not fans he is looking for. Not a Fan challenges you to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian. With a direct frankness that you’re not likely to hear in Sunday school class, Kyle invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with Jesus. His call to follow may seem radical to us, but Jesus desires it for every believer.

I’ve read this book several times and get something new from it each time. Some quotes from the book include:

The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits but not so close that it requires anything from them.

Ouch. Idleman doesn’t mind stepping on toes, does he? But hey it’s the truth! There are plenty of so called Christians who want to experience the good things Jesus has to offer and that’s it. Following Jesus? No way. It’s too hard. Too much to ask.

Jesus doesn’t expect followers to be perfect but he does call them to be authentic.

No one is perfect. We live in a fallen world. The second Eve took that bite, perfection was something humans would never achieve. However, Jesus does expect authenticity from us.  We are called to be real, to be legitimate.

It’s much easier to talk about following Jesus when you are making general statements rather than specific commitments.

Easier said than done, right? It’s so much easier to SAY you’ll follow Jesus. Actually committing to Him? A lot harder…but it’s what Jesus expects of us. To commit.

I highly recommend this book. You’ll get your toes stepped on, definitely. But the book really makes you think.

 

Posted in books

The Prayer Jars series by Wanda E Brunstetter

 

The Prayer Jars Series by Wanda E. Brunstetter 

Y’all!!!!! I devoured this series in several days! I absolutely LOVE Amish fiction. And Wanda E. Brunstetter is a very gifted writer!

The last book in the series, The Healing Jar, doesn’t come out until August 1 but I was able to receive an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll leave you with the synopsis of the first book, The Hope Jar.

What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

Have you read this series? Let me know!

 

Check out my 2nd blog, All Things Books!

 

Posted in books

Benefits of Working at B&N

Okay, so most of y’all know I work at Barnes and Noble! Well, twice a year for about two weeks,  we get an extra 10% off making our employee discount 45%!!!

Today was payday so after I got off work I did a little shopping. My birthday was this past Wednesday so I was shopping for ME! The excitement is real, y’all!

I purchased 4 books, some Frixion pens, and highlighters (Frixion pens are the absolute best because they ERASE!!! And the highlighters I bought are also made to erase! How cool!

The four books I bought were:

  • Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • The Epidemic by Suzanne Young
  • The Adjustment by Suzanne Young.

The last two books are part of a series called The Program. Really really good books!

 

Working in a bookstore can be dangerous, you all! I literally could spend my whole paycheck there. Especially during the extra discount!

 

 

 

Posted in book review, books

My First ARC

I just finished Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre. It was my first ARC and I loved it! The storyline kept me guessing until the very end!

Synopsis:

Heartwood Box is a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…


I signed up to receive these ARCs on NetGalley It’s a really cool site that will let you have books that haven’t yet been published in exchange for a review on the book.

Have I died and gone to heaven? Free books?? Loving this!

The next book on my list is The Healing Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

I just noticed that it is part of a series so I’m going to have to find the other books.

Synopsis: 

What if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes?
 
Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.
 
Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?


I’m finally getting back into reading! I seem to get into these ruts from time to time where I stop reading. I’ll then end up picking up a new book and it gets me hooked, leaving me thirsty for more!

Posted in blogging, book review, books

WWW Wednesday-June 5th

I’ve never done a  WWW Wednesday post before. So here we go!!

To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

~What are you currently reading?
~What did you recently finish reading?
~What do you think you’ll read next?

~What are you currently reading?

I recently signed up with NetGalley which will send you books to read in exchange for a review of the book. I saw this book, Heartwood Box and was instantly intrigued by the synopsis so I requested it.

Heartwood Box:

Heartwood Box is a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…

 

I am also rereading the Hary Potter series. I’m on book 1

“Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!


~What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished reading The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.

Synopsis:

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

My thoughts: The Flatshare is a book I most likely won’t read again. The storyline is good but there was too much foul language. This book was a recommendation from a coworker who absolutely LOVED it. I liked the premise of the book but can’t get past the foul language.

I also finished reading Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I highly recommend it!

Synopsis:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best-laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke

My Thoughts: I’m not normally a big reader of historical fiction. However, this book changed my views. I absolutely LOVED this book and intend on buying it to add to my collection. I am going to start giving historical fiction a chance now!
~What do you think you’ll read next?

There are tons of books I want to read. I haven’t decided which to read yet. As you know, I work in a bookstore (Barnes and Noble) and for two weeks twice a year we get an additional 10% on top of our 35% discount. Well, the extra discount started on Monday and once I get paid on Friday I plan on buying some books!!!!

Posted in books

I Love to Read….Do You?

books on bookshelves
Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

It is no secret that I love to read. I’ve been reading all my life and came out of Kindergarten reading on a 2nd grade level. (I had the best teacher….my grandmother! She was my kindergarten teacher. But don’t for one second think I got special treatment. Nope, none. Nada. Well, actually, maybe on the occasion that the boys were bothering me. I was the only girl in a class of 5 so when they were bothering me my grandmother let me switch to another table.)

But I digress. LOL

Naturally, I’ve hit reading slumps from time to time but oh, when I pick up that book that makes me want to read,read, read….it’s exciting!

I just finished reading a book called Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. It was recommended to me by a coworker. (Oh yeah, I work in a bookstore…..it just adds to the madness of my love of books!) Anyway, she recommended Edenbrooke to me and I checked it out from the library and man! Y’all…I will be buying this book to add to my collection. Here is the synopsis:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

My friends all know that my absolute favorite author is Karen Kingsbury, the queen of Christian fiction! She has written soooo many books that I’ve lost count. My favorite series of hers is definitely the Baxter series which starts with the book Redemption closely followed by the Angels Walking series.

Reading is a way for me to unwind from the stressors of life. To engage in another world for a little while. Karen Kingsbury has a wonderful way of drawing the reader in. I have been known to finish one of her books in 1 day. Yep, 1 day.

How about you? Do you love to read? What are some of your favorite books?

 

 

Posted in book review, books, christian living

Soul Detox, Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth

Some quotes:

As we see ourselves through the lens of our experiences, beliefs and perspectives, we all have our blind spots.

No matter how objective we hope to be, our viewpoint is always distorted to some–sometimes large–degree.

The longer we view ourselves through a distorted                                                           lens, the more likely we are to believe a distorted truth.

Groeschel really has a great way of grabbing the reader’s attention. I’ve already been underlining like crazy.

In a subsection entitled, “Flattery Will Get You Somewhere” Groeschel goes on to tell us that since we can only see ourselves from only one perspective it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of ourselves.

He’s totally right! Sometimes, well almost all the time, it takes other people to see what we can’t see in ourselves. We are in such denial that we have a problem that eventually we begin to believe the lie.

So why can’t we see these toxins in our own lives? Groeschel points us to the Bible where David writes in Psalm 36:2-3 that “in their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.” We fail to notice because we become so good at self deception.

close up of white syringe

Basically, we manufacture our own poison and administer regular doses to ourselves.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

WOW!! That quote really spoke to me. We get so caught up in the struggles and stressors of life and fail to pay attention to that small little white lie that we say won’t hurt anyone. Then the lie becomes bigger and bigger and soon we aren’t even under the realization that something is wrong. We believe we are fine. It’s the other people who are wrong. “I don’t have a problem, it’s you with the problem.”

We deny, suppress or minimize what is true. By default, we assert, adorn and elevate what is false. When we finally see the truth, we think the truth is a lie.

Groeschel presents another question to the reader: “how do we begin identifying our self told lies and replacing them with the truth?” According to Groeschel, we do a very thorough internal self examination. Spiritual toxins will “infuse your thinking as you wade through our culture.” We must examine our life and eliminate these toxins.

  • Examine your life for toxic behaviors–anything that distracts you from your eternal mission
  • Look within  for toxic emotions–any deep feelings that lead you away from God and not toward Him.
  • Take a long look at unhealthy consumptions–the media you consume, the web sites you visit, the people you spend the most time with.

I know that with me, social media definitely takes up a large chunk of my time. It’s something I’m trying to work on. I went on a media fast a few years ago. It’s probably time for another one.

I also struggle with my emotions sometimes. I allow Satan to use my weaknesses and have been known to fall into a deep depression. Being bipolar, sometimes I have a hard time with my emotions. Luckily, I’m on a medication that has me stable currently. If I sense a shift in emotions or if I begin to feel uneasy I try to focus my attention on the good things in life and what God has blessed me with.

Groeschel warns us that “the closer you get to uncovering a toxic killer in your life, the harder the enemy will fight to keep his grip.”

He’s right! Satan is always on the offense, looking to bring us down in any way he can.

When you clearly identify what is slowly killing you, you can take the toxic influences to Jesus for cleansing, purifying and healing.

There comes a time when we must come clean with these toxic behaviors. Because once we do, once we surrender it all to Christ, we will be set free! God’s truth sets us free!!

 

 

 

Posted in book review, books, christian living

Our Responsibility

sky sunset person silhouette
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hey guys! I hope your Saturday is going well!

I just wanted to share a couple of quotes from the introduction to the book, Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel that really got my attention.

Everything that we allow into our minds, hearts and lives-everything that we spend out time and money on-has an impact on how we grow, or don’t grow, spiritually.

It is OUR responsibility to discern what we let into our lives and what we keep out.

No one can do it for us. We must realize that what we say, or do can definitely have an impact on our lives. And no one can change us. Only the Lord can do that. We must surrender everything to the Lord and allow Him to be at the center of our lives.  With Him at the center, we will have an easier time discerning what is right and what is wrong.

Soul Detox is broken into 3 parts: Toxic Behaviors, Toxic Emotions and Toxic Influences.

I am starting Chapter One today: Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth.

Groeschel really has a way with words. I love reading his books and I’ve occasionally caught a few of his sermons online.


I hope and pray you all have a great Saturday!