"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"DISCOVER GOD'S HEART..."

NIV DEVOTIONAL BIBLE

"... Explore the King's Love for His People ..."
"... on a cover-to cover journey through the Bible"

I definitely hoped to review this NIV Devotional Bible before the holidays are upon us so that if you are looking for a new reading plan or a perfect gift for someone, "whether they are a seasoned traveler or just starting out on their first steps" in God's story through the Bible, you would consider this one. 

There are 6 Reading Plans made available right within this Bible; of course, the devotional part is the reason that I chose this for my new reading plan to discover God's heart by opening my eyes to His good heart as I hear Him by reading His Word and experience Him more intimately as I "walk thru the Bible." In fact, this Zondervan/HarperCollins NIV Bible is in partnership with "Walk Thru the Bible". This cover-to-cover journey is beautifully done!

Although I would much rather be holding the actual print version of this Bible in my hands, I have the ebook version. Just looking at the cover of this book, drew me in to wanting this one. Its "medieval castle door" look with a bronze trim and a carved keyhole gazing in to a path leading straight into the Light and the heart of God. I was so intrigued by the cover of this Bible, I knew that the 365 devotions, indexed beautifully, would engage me better in what I was reading. I downloaded the sample, well ahead of the release or when BookLook Bloggers made it available to choose to review. 

I never thought I would ever be reviewing a Bible, but this is one that I could not pass up! This is my first Bible review. So I took the book description at its word that this NIV would "help me through the tough spots such as Numbers and Leviticus while giving them me deeper understanding of the Scriptures and connecting them me with the heart of its Author." That as a "Readers (I) will experience rich insights into the original contexts of Scripture, and God's heart will be unveiled in new ways." This became my motivation to put this to the test and read specifically those books, one of the major prophets and a sample of the New Testament to give my honest opinion in my review of whether this is true and does help me. I considered doing one of the 30 day reading plans but then I decided that I wanted to save those for later. {Trust me, I will be using and sharing much more from this Bible here on my site.} I also considered trying the 90 day tour but that would only postpone me getting this review out. I am not one to readily challenge a publisher's description, but considering myself a "seasoned" NIV Bible reader after 50+ years, this was one that I was ready and glad for the opportunity to do. 

This "NIV Discover God's Heart Devotional Bible..." continues with, what I call a "medieval golden door frame" inside the cover for each devotion and opening introduction of each of the 66 books of the Bible, easily distinguishing those pages from the rest. I found this new read through format to be divided into manageable portions for the most part. I love the indexes and found the introduction instructions (especially for an ebook) to be extremely helpful to be able to refer to or have available to ease the access to reading. 

Each devotion includes 3 parts: a summary section of the Scripture passage ("God's Story"), an application section that reveals God's good heart ("The King's Heart"), and an "Insight" section that ties each passage into the rest of God's great story. As I paged through the Days in each book and the "titles", I began to journal the 365 days index and titles to take visual note of how this is woven together and I clearly could see the "divine fingerprints" of God relating each story together from beginning to end. I enjoyed the experience of detailing the imprint knowing that as I take time each day in God's Word that I actually will encounter Him and His heart in a much deeper and fuller way. I have no doubt that I will be "exploring the King's love" by "discovering God's heart" in these devotions and pages of God's Love Letter to us that I will treasure anew.

I anxiously await the 2015 new year to begin this reading plan with a new passion in this lifelong pursuit of God and His Word and you will also. If you don't believe me, download a sample and see for yourself or better yet get a copy for you and/or someone that may need God's Kingly and Fatherly love in their heart by getting to know His heart. Clearly, you can tell that I highly recommend this NIV version so that you, too can "discover God's heart" afresh.

This review is really done at this point however, I'd like to entice you to come along and take this journey cover-to-cover, at least for a minute longer here and then with God and this NIV Bible. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. 

Here is a glimpse of one, through this keyhole into God's heart ... and the introduction to each book is just as concise and understandable, giving you the author and dates covered (whenever possible), the audience, and Theme (which connects each book to the concept of "discovering God's heart" and ties together surveying the entire plot line of God's story with His Heart for us). {I really wish that I could do my white "box" here like the keyhole this Bible has ... and as authentic as an opening to see God's Light reflected in Jesus} My choice was made for this season: Jesus' birth


"Matthew 1 – 4
God’s Human Family Tree

God’s story

Finally God unveils the masterful story-plan he has been crafting for centuries.
The Redeemer he has been pointing to and promising is none other than his own Son. Audacity of audacities, God has stepped into a single cell in the womb of a woman — to become the God-Man. Deity has a human family tree.

God’s Spirit visits a young woman, Mary, who is soon pregnant with God’s Son.
God sends an angel to Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, to explain the incredible thing he
has done. Soon God’s Son is born. He is Immanuel, “God with us.” Following the angel’s instructions, Joseph names the baby Jesus — “Yahweh saves.”

Following the star God has positioned in the sky, scholarly magi from the east
come to Bethlehem. Through their visit, Herod, the evil Roman-appointed king of
Judea, hears about Jesus and orders an infant massacre. God leads his Son’s family to safety.

Years pass and Jesus’ relative John begins to prepare the people for Jesus,
challenging them to change their lives and baptizing them in the Jordan River.
Jesus comes to be baptized too, and God declares how deeply He loves His Son.

The Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to fast. After 40 days Satan comes
to tempt Him — perhaps he can cause the Son to sin. Jesus clings to the truths He knows about His Father. Beaten, Satan leaves.

John is imprisoned and Jesus calls his first disciples — it is a changing of the
spiritual guard.

The King’s heart

It’s a story line so astounding that God had to reveal it in pieces over centuries:
God the Creator became one of His creations.

Most of the religious leaders never were able to wrap their heads around it.

But it was God’s plan all along. God could have arrived on earth at any point.
Instead he chose to cultivate a family tree over centuries, to graft himself into the story of His people and then to graft us in too.

Perhaps God knew that if He just arrived on earth without preparing us, no one
would have believed Him. It is just too audacious. But since His goal was to convince His people of His love, God came slowly — loving long. God chose that the way He would save us would be personal, working through people. It declares God’s sole heart-intention: “I want to be close to you.”

Insight

The book of Matthew arranges Jesus’ genealogy into three groups of 14 men — or six groups of seven men. Seven was a highly significant number to God’s people.

Jesus being born as the seventh group of seven made it clear — God was doing
something wonderful.

For your next reading, go to page 1147. "


Disclosure of material connection: I received this book free from the publisher Thomas P. Nelson/Zondervan through the BookLookBloggers.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"MESSY BEAUTIFUL LOVE... " by Darlene Schacht

The most important part of this title for me comes after the "Messy Beautiful Love... " part with ..."Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages" because as most of us know the "message" comes from the "mess" so believe me when I say that Darlene Schacht (also known by her blog title as "Time-Warp Wife") gives an inspiring message throughout every page of this book and also "challenges" for us, as the reader, at the end of every chapter. I have signed up for her Marriage Prayer Challenge for October, as I read this book and do her study guide ... so I can be filled with more HOPE than ever for the redemptive power in my marriage, because that's what it will take to revive and restore our "mess"; but now I know it's redeemable, beautiful and do-able after reading the wonders of Darlene's testimony to Grace ... and Love in this book, wonderfully written, with an honest portrayal of love and respect in marriage! Darlene and her book show me that "hope and redemption" are still possible with God in:

"MESSY BEAUTIFUL LOVE"

The book description could not be more TRUE:

... "Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God's way, exchanging our ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.


Perhaps you've picked up this book because your marriage is messy already-now is the time to make a change. If your marriage is tidy, thank God-there is no better time to prepare for the future.
Married life is never straightforward or simple for long. But the reality is this: when you surrender your relationship to God; when you lay your marriage at his feet; when you finally cede control; then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as he intended-this is the blessing of obedience.
Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. An invitation to surrender. The cynical world says marriages don't last. God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible-it's inevitable. That's something to be excited about. "

The "Time Warp Wife" does "Keep Christ at the center of their marriage" 
and by her book - ours, too!

OK, true confession, although I did not pick up this book because of my marriage, it is/was a mess, so the challenges that I face will be helped greatly after reading all that Darlene shared in her 15 chapters. The last, of course, was my favorite ... although I certainly need what was shared in Chapter 4 and 7

I learned the most from the example in "Walk in Compassion and Grace" (2) and "Be Content with the Life that You're Given" (13) which I believe is where we both are in our marital relationship and have made unconventional adjustments to continue, but I want to "handle your /our conflicts wisely" with God and "walk in virtue according to wisdom" which has not been Godly and needs to be. For this reason, the most difficult chapter for me is Chapter 6 with much wisdom. "Messy Beautiful Love" is contained in each of these chapters, even though the first's entitled this ... each one is woven and spun showing this love:

One: Messy, Beautiful Love
Two: Walk in Compassion and Grace
Three: Be Patient and Kind When the Going Gets Tough
Four: Give Up Your Right to Be Right
Five: Appreciate Him for Who He Truly Is
Six: Step Back and Allow Him to Lead
Seven: Handle Your Conflict Wisely
Eight: Communicate with Loving Respect
Nine: Be the Woman Your Husband Needs You to Be
Ten: Be Affectionate in Ways That Are Pleasing to God
Eleven: Seize the Day and Capture the Joy
Twelve: Build a Strong Friendship
Thirteen: Be Content with the Life That You’re Given
Fourteen: Walk in Virtue According to Wisdom
Fifteen: Pray for Your Marriage  

Each chapter is informative, encouraging, challenging and inspiring with Darlene's down-to-earth honesty of the realities of struggles, trials, tests and triumphs from her own personal experience and also those of others, who had written to her on her blog/ministry. I am motivated to tackle my "mess" once again applying the insights I gained reading this. I have one more obstacle added to my marriage of both needing to be believers first before we can make our marriage Christ centered, but I can do my part and will continue to pray. 

I'm looking forward to being able to try the challenges, hoping that I'll notice a difference when I can step back and allow him to lead. I don't think it matters if your marriage is Christian or not, because each marriage has struggles with love and messes ... which are real, however, having Christ in your marriage will make all the difference and really help in resolving issues by asking Him for His guidance, love and focus. Christ in the center will bring balance and harmony to that beautiful love, changing the bad, sad and ugly parts into His glory through His redemption power. I especially love how Darlene shows AGAPE love through 1 Corinthians 13 --- my favorite part! Much can be applied to all of our relationships to be better and filled with Christ's love. I recommend this book for married and yet to be married, to tune in and make your love beautiful even if it seems a "mess" --- there's HOPE, "it's not only possible but inevitable!"


Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Thomas P. Nelson through the BookLook Bloggers.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

This book review is the right way to begin my month of prayer and my other fun series

first and foremost
I will spend time in October and focus on my marriage in prayer
{since I'm not at home with my spouse to apply it}
then on to my giving thanks which follows in November
for my next 30 days starting with
Day 1 ~ Love
November 1st

HOWEVER
DAY 1
of my
"special fun series"
for 
31 Days
starting
OCT. 1
that's tomorrow
right here

{oh, and did you know that the 31 day Challenge has its own blog this year, check it out; maybe you'll try blogging for 31 days or just come along with me!
or others that may have a great topic that interests you}

I had this at the end of October but finished the book sooner so I moved it ahead in case something reads out of order still.




"THE ONE YEAR HEARING HIS VOICE DEVOTIONAL" by CHRIS TIEGREEN


"THE ONE YEAR HEARING HIS VOICE DEVOTIONAL" by CHRIS TIEGREEN, is his newest devotional just released in September of 2014. A dear friend of mine used another one of his devotionals, so since then I have been wanting to get one of his devotionals from an excellent choice of at least 8, and this is a perfect fit for the upcoming year. I can't wait to take my time each day to better hear and recognize the voice of God and what He is saying through the insightful and thought provoking devotions of one page, that start out with a Scripture verse or two (usually exploring the questions we have about hearing God's Voice and what He says and how we hear) followed by a 3-4 paragraphs of a brief devotion, ending with a prayer to lead the reader into communicating with God and listening for His Voice in response. Clearly, we need to take more time to listen for God to speak to us as we know throughout the Bible that God speaks to His people. "Throughout the pages of Scripture, time after time, He guides, instructs, corrects, inspires, encourages, and reveals. Inspired writers even call Him “the Word.” He has always been vocal, and He always will be."

"Chris Tiegreen will help you discover patterns and practices you can adopt to hear God better. Listening to God is a process, a journey, and an adventure. He promises that those who seek Him will be rewarded with His presence and His voice. And the words of the living God are powerful and life-changing."

From the very front cover of this devotional, with its beautiful scene of a lighthouse perched high above the waters on a sturdy Rock ... I was drawn into to each page of every month with that lighthouse at the top as a guiding source. This book is not a page by page, step by step program for hearing God's Voice, rather I found it will be an invaluable way to draw near to God in a more intimate relationship. There is no set pattern or approach to hear God's Voice but this devotional will help you position yourself to hear Him better. Simply turning your attention to hearing each day from God by using this devotional, will stir up God's Voice within you and in His Word, the Bible. As you proceed daily for a year, according to the author, you'll start knowing what God is saying intuitively, even if you don't know how you know. Those who hunger for Him, as I do, will be satisfied. (paraphrased by me of what the author himself says in his introduction and continues with the following description):

"There are 365 devotional readings in this book, and they cover many issues related to hearing God. 

One devotion each week is based on a story or a post-biblical example, some from Christian history and some from Chris Tiegreen's own experience and acquaintances.

Another is a "first person" devotional from the heart of God - things that Chris has heard Him say and he believes God wants to share with others who are listening."

I really enjoyed this variation and the balance, but I looked forward to my favorite style yet found the others helped my learning and understanding too.

My favorite devotionals were the ones from the heart of God, yet all are precious and I especially love that each devotion ends with these brief prayers, seeing that there is a point to them and not skipping them but using them to help you in asking God daily to hear Him better, an invaluable practice --- asking and persisting until God answers. The first "from the heart of God" was on January 7th ... and I truly needed to hear the Words from Isaiah 30:15 and God's sweet invitation to be still to hear Him as He trains my spirit to hear. In October, one devotion gives "a divine parallel" that gave me a glimpse into God's heart and helped me recognize His thoughts and feelings with hope for more and what I need to know as I go forward with hopes to hear His distinctive voice. 

"Listening to God is a process, a journey and an adventure. This can take time, but it's well worth the effort."

For me, starting out with John 1:1 for New Year's Day is the perfect verse to begin this journey, inviting the Living Word to speak. I am not only looking forward to reading this every day but eagerly pursuing to hear God's Voice better. I desire to be tuned in to One Voice only, in the depths of my spirit, I want to learn to recognize that voice and distinguish it from all others. I can't wait! With an expectant heart and ears to hear, I will hear and know the Voice of the Shepherd calling to me as one of His sheep. I recommend this for light reading but for much personal growth in your intimacy with God and hearing Him. I will look forward to reading other devotionals and books written by Chris Tiegreen, now that I have had such a great first taste with this book choice offered to me by Tyndale's Blog Network program.



CHRIS TIEGREEN
BLOG
post about this devotional
excerpt and more from this book
Chris Tiegreen also has a "Writer's Blog" with tips to become a better writer.
Other links:

Chris Tiegreen

Insightful and thought-provoking, Chris Tiegreen has inspired thousands of people through his popular One Year devotionals including The One Year Walk with God DevotionalThe One Year At His Feet Devotional, and The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional. He is also the author of Unburdened and several other books. His experiences as a missionary, pastor, journalist, and university instructor bring a unique perspective to his writing. He is currently an editor at Walk Thru the Bible.
- See more at: http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/1_title/author-bio.php?authorID=658#sthash.ZiefHrmg.dpuf

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Tyndale through the book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

* I wanted to share this when it was released but since the book has to be sent to my USA address and then they, in kind, mail it to me, it took a while to get and read enough to review. Then I had to squeeze it in between these month long series. But I'm sure it's in time for choosing your devotional for next year, and I believe this is an excellent choice or actually any of his. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

"THE HOPE QUOTIENT... YOU'LL NEVER BE THE SAME"

"The HOPE Quotient"
by
Ray Johnston

raised my HOPE level immensely after I "measured it",
 filling me overflowing, as I am sure I will continue to study 
and "unleash HOPE" with this excellent book, 
going back to it often, and following the steps.

So giving this book the highest recommendation of 5 stars
just does not suffice 
for all that I've gained from reading


"The Hope Quotient"

discovering mine
and the areas I need to improve

"I will NEVER be the same!"
if I do them

...nor will YOU, if you grab hold of this...

I'm looking forward to going back now and methodically dissecting all the wonderful information, stories, insights and practical steps applying them to myself, my family, my marriage, my kids, my career, my church, my community, my world(which is Part 3)

HOPE 
for my life
came 
in the simple package of this book

I have found out that truly the
greatest gift you or I can give anyone
is
HOPE

After reading the book description (actually just the title really did it for me, with My One Word for this year, given by God for a specific reason, for such a time as this, being "HOPE"); I clung to every word morsel and saturated my being with HOPE and a much better understanding ... and a passion to pursue HOPE with the 7 key factors (Part 2), presented so well, stirring up in me --- HOPE to thrive --- that I want present in my life in 2014. This book was written for me, sent by God, through Ray Johnston through the many personal life stories and Biblical ones that finally clicked in a new, applicable way and struck deep chord of HOPE within me. Throughout my life, I have teetered with hopelessness and easily fall into that pit. This time, I fell "hook, line and sinker" for my Anchor in Christ Jesus, with the knowledge from this book and this one truth, along with so many others below that confirm this:  

" ... because when HOPE rises - everything changes."

And I believe it! just like another book I have that says "prayer changes everything" by another author. Even the book flap of "The Hope Quotient" motivates us with this: 

"Hope: It’s the one thing that can change everything!

When you have hope, eleven things are unleashed in your life:
  • You have more satisfying relationships.
  • You’re more productive.
  • You’re less affected by stress.
  • You’re more successful.
  • You’re more satisfied.
  • You’re more compassionate.
  • You’re more willing to help people in need.
  • You’re physically healthier.
  • You hold yourself to higher moral and ethical standards.
  • You’re more likely to assume leadership.
  • You’re more likely to see God as loving, caring, and forgiving."

Can you feel it?

my HOPE rising

your own HOPE rising

That's what reading this does and then motivates you for more.

Each chapter is filled with highlights and so many quotes that I want to share, and most likely will later, but these are some of the ones that stand out and even this is difficult to limit these ... however, to read more, if you're still not convinced that this is worth your reading and purchase it, you can read some of it on Ray Johnston's blog for "The Hope Quotient"


  1. Hope liberates. Hope releases you from your past.
  2. Hope motivates. Hope helps you bounce back.
  3. Hope initiates. Hope sets you free to dream again.
  4. Hope activates. Hope is the fuel that makes the world a better place."Ray Johnston

Ray Johnston writes with compassion and passion in how he willingly admits his human faults or failings, not a holier than thou attitude, as he comes across directly addressing us like one of us, only it's clear that God is using this 'pastor' mightily to communicate to us whether we are Christian or not, a sense of something that takes us beyond where we are at, to something better: HOPE! Although he uses biblical stories, his overall points and informative 224 pages are filled with insights that would fit anyone's life. His rich and varied professional background is evident throughout the book as a leader and communicator and yet he doesn't hold back from sharing personal and family stories. I will come back to this book often as a great reference and help personally and for others.

"Some wise person once said that we can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air—but not a single second without hope. And that is why . . . " To read the rest of "The Greatest Gift You Can Give" just click on it. 

Here is the part that I read that sank in and became my lifeline, because it rang so clear to me deep within, letting me know, if I DO this ... it will unleash HOPE ... I really will NEVER BE the SAME! I so want that by the end of 2014 ... (OK, maybe it'll take a little longer, depending on my HOPE QUOTIENT results, but I'm HOPEful)

"Let me tell you how important this is to me. Every year, I set goals. Sometimes they go well; sometimes they don’t. Five years ago, I had one goal for the whole year. I was going to work for 365 days to do one thing—raise my hope level. My goal was to be more hope-filled at the end of the year than I was at the start of the year. {this is mine also with My One Word being HOPE}
By that time, I had learned that hope would improve my relationships, my marriage, and my impact, and I would be a whole lot more fun to be around. Not too long into that year, though, I realized I couldn’t raise my hope level by wishing to be more hopeful.{after reading Part 3 and working through Part 2, I see this as do-able }
You raise your hope level by investing in The Seven. Why is raising your Hope Quotient job one? Simple—the ripple effect. Raising these seven leads to hope, which leads to fresh vision, which leads to great new things in your life, health, finances, and future. In short, raising your HQ changes everything, because you will finally be living with a solid, secure, emotionally healthy, and spiritually solid foundation.
{this is exactly what I want and need, how 'bout you?}
(emphasis in bold, underline and blue words are all my input briefly to what Ray Johnston wrote & how it hit)

So, how do you measure HOPE? and how do you raise it? ... by reading this book and doing what it recommends (after taking the test about your HOPE level), you'll know how much you need to RECHARGE your HOPE battery to become a person of HOPE; defeat discouragement, build a new future as you thrive with genuine HOPE and unleash this HOPE for others, too! 

How do you measure the success of a book and highly recommending it for you, your church or others? By whether the book and the author convey what you need through personal experiences with biblical truths and spiritual, practical ways to apply to your life and make an impact on you that changes or will change you for the better --- so "you'll never be the same"! Then you know and HOPE is unleashed in you. I consider this to be one of my top books

I would love to be in one of the churches that is piloting or promoting this book and doing 50 days of "Unleashing HOPE". What a great church study!


I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 
I am so thankful that Thomas Nelson made this available to me.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"GOD IS JUST NOT FAIR ... FINDING HOPE ..."


Deciding between Jennifer Rothschild's new recent release, "God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense" or her bible study "Missing Pieces" was a difficult choice, because I wanted to choose the BEST possible sampling by her as my first book, since I have waited so long to read one of so many of hers that are on my "wish list" but had not yet done so to learn the lessons that Jennifer shares of HOPE in the midst of life's struggles. If anyone knows about "missing pieces" and the fairness of God when life struggles keep us in the dark, reaching for the light, it would be Jennifer, who since her teens has encountered many dark moments after loosing her sight combined with all the other problems life throws at us all. She seems to handle it all so well and with such grace as she is so successful as a person, writer, speaker, singer, wife and mother ... yet in this recent book, she bares and bears, all in an honest, straightforward approach, daring to ask God what many of us may want to know (but don't admit it) with these 6 basic faith questions that show up when we encounter life's hardships: 

"God are you fair?"
"God do you err?"
"God, do you hear prayer?"
"God, do you care?"
"God, are you aware?"

"God, are you *(even) there?"
*{my insert}

These six questions form the parts to her book with 30 different "stories" sandwiched between "What I didn't want you to know" and "What I do want you to know?" with a wonderful "wrapped up" concept that Jennifer calls our "blanket of faith"; what we believe and what we experience in our relationship with God and our life journey. Some may be brand new or well and worn with "holes" yet each tatter and woven fabric show God's truth revealed to us. Jennifer Rothschild takes each of these questions and honestly deals with each one with real life situations faced while examining them in the light of Scripture and biblical examples like Job, Hagar, David, Jacob to New Testament parables and others, right up to current day ones. One of my favorite parts at the end of each section was "Threads of Truth" for your blanket of faith, which I will use to help me whenever I wrestle with my own questions of faith ... 

"If you are hurting, confused or just need a little reassurance that God does care, is there, is aware and hears your prayers, these “I promise” verses are for you. " So go READ Jennifer's "10 Promises for When You're Hurting" (Scripture verses of Hope) also grab a copy of her "Peace Giving Scriptures for Your Missing Pieces"

By the time, I had gotten to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Questions, I knew that this was God's lifeline to me with even more for my heart while my head pursues the answers, because so much of what Jennifer was sharing resonated with my spirit and life, knowing that even if I had never asked those faith questions aloud, I had quietly whispered them in moments of frustration, disappointment, depression, failure or just times of "giving up" and in need of some real Hope. Since I have struggled with "clinical depression", I value how Jennifer shares hers. I don't think when I started out that I had ever asked God the first 2 questions, so I read on with an open mind searching, and knew when I hit the 3rd one that I had asked that one many times. And the pages of her book kept speaking deeper and deeper to me, from someone who understood and could justify asking God what I was not willing to face or voice until Jennifer spoke it forth. I know without any doubt that God cares, He's aware, He's here and there, but I just was not too sure about whether He hears my prayers until it hit me! He does! EVERY ONE! Because God is just! and God is fair! He IS so much more than just a vending machine God, He is a God that cares and loves unconditionally as He listens to me go on and on. No one cares for me as much as He does! 


I'm so thankful that Jennifer walked me through this with such candor.  I recommend this highly for anyone dealing with thoughts and questions common to Christians and non-Christians alike in our struggle to make sense of life, especially when trials, tests and the hurting world around us brings them to light. When our life or world unravels around us, we need the hand of Almighty God to mend and end the pain with raw, honest answers. This is what Jennifer does and shares (you get a better glimpse of this if you read her "True Story Behind Why I Wrote..."). 

I'm so glad that I chose "God is Just Not Fair ..." because I think that it still gave me the "Missing Pieces" (which would have been the ideal choice, if I was doing it as a study with a group of sisters in Christ). From what I've read, I believe I made the better, more complete choice for me. Because on my own, these 30 lessons served a greater faith purpose on a personal level going deeper with God and me, through Jennifer and her use of God's Word with her real life situations and struggles. 


For now I'll just say ...


"the NOT FAIR prayer"
NotFairBook.jpg
shared beautifully on Jennifer Rothschild Blog website

this Book's blog postsFacebook; Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter

... and REST IN GOD ...
placing my HOPE where it 
makes sense for my life

Looking forward to reading more of the books that Jennifer Rothschild writes on my "wish list" or future ones as I continue to check out her blog updates. 


I'm
FINDING
HOPE
wherever I read


Clearly, this was another great book for MY ONE WORD for 2014: HOPE! And rather than seeking if God is FAIR, or God is JUST or  God is just not FAIR, I was leaning in to Finding Hope, although in Jennifer's particular situation and desire for healing of her sight restored (which I totally get and empathize), she gives HOPE in her struggle and life journey to all of us, no matter what our struggle and need to have answers to these basic profound questions. 


***
I received a free e-book copy of this text from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

My only regret is that I did not have my review ready on March 25th, when it was released. My apologies to this great author, Jennifer Rothschild and Book Look Bloggers for waiting and gifting me with this blessing. My dilemma was with my old laptop which contained the ebook copy and my new one with Windows 8 not being able to download it.

Zondervan Product page
for a book description and Scribd sample

***

Her teachings on LIFE Today for "Missing Pieces" (1) (2) shares many of the same ideas 
and stories that are in "God is just not fair" in better detail

This clip from the Life Today will help you understand  "blanket of faith" even though it's from "Missing Pieces", Jennifer shares much of the same in "God is just not fair ... Finding Hope ..."


So much more I'd love to share
but it's best if
you get any of her books
or 
subscribe to her blog or follow
her various sites.

Friday, February 21, 2014

IMPORTANT UPDATE

I am officially done making trips here



to legally abide 


with my vehicle 


HERE
for now



Explanation, if you're curious or interested (for once I have something I can share about my life here that doesn't involve anyone really but me):

This was the year, I could have changed my status to Permanent Resident in this country and still remain a USA citizen living abroad (although when I returned home by airplane and went through the airport procedure in presenting my MN driver license, passport, etc. they told me I was more from here than there, USA, because I now spend my time here. I explained that I was born in USA and still consider my home there as my residence). So it only was logical to considering applying for Residency (not citizenship, not even dual married to a Mexican whose parents came from Leon, Guanajuato) but the law does not allow me to remain here with a foreign vehicle. 

Well, although my van is in its last years, I still depend on it quite regularly, especially for going or moving back home (USA) with my dog family. Since that was part of the stipulation, I did not want to apply and have to take my van back to USA, but continue as I have since 2009-2010 with an FM3 {because what would I do with my dogs then or in the future?}. Before 2009, I use to make trips to the border or home, every 6 months with a tourist permit (FMM) and a temporary importation of my van. As you might imagine that was very costly and put alot of wear and tear on the van and me. As it has become less safe to travel that distance, I have not wanted to make the trip north via a land vehicle, especially alone with 3-4 or last time 6 dogs on board. Each year or every 6 months, a permit is required to be here for me and thus my van (we go together) even the dogs (need papers too). Except they were all born in Mexico.

{missing 1 in photo from current ones here}

Anyways, the situation was changed by me wanting to remain with my MN vehicle ... so I was informed that I would have to leave the country and go to a MX consulate in the USA to reapply. There was no way, I want to travel home in the winter, not even to the AZ border (16 hr. trip one way) and wait for the process of the FM3 permit, I would probably have gone tourist once again for 6 months ... but I just really was not up to a trip at all. So it was recommended, I allow my permit to expire, pay the fine for that and then solicit reapplying for my FM3. This is why the long process and why so many trips back and forth where I live rather than driving to the border. At least I did not have to leave the country and wait somewhere until I was able to get a permit to return.

At first, I went in December to inquire about the truth in me not being able to keep my van here (which was true so... )it's been a long process, but I am done! And thanks to my spouse, paid until 2018. By then, I hope to have moved my van and dogs back to MN safely, even if I continue here. I now have permission until then when I will be able to apply for Residency once again. Once I have that, I no longer have to pay each year but I cannot have a vehicle from USA here. So that means flying, which I would not put any of my dogs through, so they have to leave in a vehicle driven from here to MN ... we'll see what God wills for the next 4 years and after that ... it's ALL in His hands.

And it's almost time for CARNAVAL, which starts next Thurs., so big time for ministry and evangelism here, people from all over come ...

2013
{I'll have to go and take my own photos for this year now below because the ones I selected were not showing, so I added the 2013 one above} and now these from ...

2014


They're already getting ready!

Time to pray for souls to be open to Jesus!


*Oh, and if you think this legal process seems ridiculous, it's even worse and less available for those wanting to go to USA from here (legally or illegally) ... it is multiplied, much more difficult and with much more "red tape", danger and seemingly hopeless chance for a better future ... the American dream ... broken and at a great risk. 


***

As of 2/20/14, it seems that I am encountering another setback once again with "laptop problems" (black screen on start up). So, I'll be waiting this one out and praying once again for a God sent miracle (it's happened before). Meanwhile, I do have many upcoming posts in place (just not completed) due to me being a bit involved, I try to set these up ahead. I clearly had no idea, I'd be encountering computer tech problems when I set these up, so I am thankful for that ... I must be really hard on computers. Please pray with and for me, and do not stop visiting me or being in touch, because I will continue somehow, God willing. I have 40 days set up for Lent, that I hope you'll enjoy along with me, even if I can't respond as often as I'd like. 

Should I leave the comments open or close them for Lent?


well,
COMMENTS
are closed
here
once again


but as always, your reaction checked below
let's me know someone was here

Thanks!
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
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To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy