At first glance, this might just be a diverse list of new books. For me, I see the people who wrote them, and I am amazed. I call them friends, and champions. Not kind that strive to surpass all rivals in a competition, but champions who fight on behalf of others.
All of these women have been poured out, heart and soul, to bring words of freedom, truth, encouragement, beauty, and grace into this world for us — so we may be equipped, strengthen, encouraged and free to fulfill our purpose in God.
Some of these books are releasing soon, and some have been recently released. I have read, or am reading all of them, and will be writing about each one. I wanted to give you a little peek into by my bookshelf.
Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, Companion Workbook by: Kris Camealy (Release Date: February 6, 2014)
For the one who desires to live a life of greater surrender to God, inviting Him in to do a deep work in your heart so you may continue to be transformed into His image. This workbook is written as a companion to the book “Holey, Wholly, Holy”. I love that it is not organized by days or weeks, which can feel more like a burden when I fall behind. Rather, the way it is organized allows us — invites us — to take time to ponder and answer the questions when ready, mediate and study for as long as desired, and give space and time for God to speak to our hearts. Read my post about the author, here.
Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes by: Jennifer Dukes Lee (Release Date: April 1, 2014)
For the one who struggles with self-worth and needs to know that you are already known, recognized, valued, respected, loved, and pre-approved by God.
“It is a book about making peace with yourself and with whom God made you to be. It is for people who crave approval and who fear that at any moment the world will see what a mess they really are.”
Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom by: Lisa-Jo Baker (Release Date: April 1, 2014)
For the exhausted, amazing, resilient, remarkable, run-down mama who needs a reminder — motherhood isn’t about meeting impossible parenting expectations, but about the wonder and joy that can be found in raising children, and how we are changed through it.
“…it’s about what motherhood prepares us for while we are busy preparing for it — how a new identity brings new meaning for our future and a new appreciation of our past…”
A Promise in Pieces: Quilts of Love Series by: Emily Wierenga (Release Date: April 15, 2014)
For the one who would love to read a fiction book by a Christian author and beautiful writer.
“After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.”
Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats with the Savior by: Barbie Swihart (Release Date: November 19, 2013)
For the one who would like their heart awakened to the love God has for you. It is a compilation of intimate letters from the heart of God for His daughters written as a 31-day devotional. Each day has a devotional, a reflection and a prayer, as well as space for you to write down what God shows you during your time with Him. In addition, there are 15 recipes included.
Restless: Because You Were Made for More by: Jennie Allen (Release Date: January 7, 2014)
For the one who believes they have a holy call of God on their life, but fear and unknowns may be holding you back.
“Our passions have a purpose—they were engineered for God’s greater plan and he intends for us to use them for his glory and purposes.” Jennie explains how your gifts, passions, places, and relationships aren’t random; they’re deliberate and meaningful. And your suffering—it’s possible it has produced the very thing you want to give back to the world.
Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse by: Mary Demuth (Release Date: February 10, 2014)
For the one who does or knows someone who does need healing and hope after sexual abuse.
“You do not have to be forever marked by sexual abuse.
You are resilient even if you believe all your strength is gone. You are worthy of being made whole-even if you can’t believe it’s possible. And you are as stunning work of amazingness-even though your heart can’t even start to grasp that. Yet.”
(The post contains links to Amazon, of which I am an affiliate. It means that I get a few cents when you click through and make a purchase.)
We want God to call us to something great.
So, which is it? What is the greatest call from God?
Sometimes God will ask you to leave places, positions, and people. Though, the onlookers seeing from the outside in, may disqualify you by counting your absence, your decision, your “no” as unfaithful.
Except they didn’t hear God when He asked you to follow Him. They cannot see how you’ve sought hard after Him in the secret place. There was no one around when you served in the shadows.
Only God can count you faithful or not, because only He knows what you had to give-up in order to be. Living for Him to call you faithful is the difference between being a God-pleaser and a people-pleaser.
Because the importance of the work isn’t determined by the number who see it.
What if God is calling you to bloom in the dark? What if He is asking you to be content with an obedience that only He sees? And what if He is promising only more of Him as the reward for your obedience?
Is more of God really enough?
And what if you desperately want your answer to be yes, making God your greatest pursuit because He is your everything?
During this Lenten season where people may choose to give up personal indulgences, it wouldn’t be so bad of an idea for me to give up coffee, dessert, or media. Yet, God isn’t asking me to give up more things, but to give up more of me.
“…Perhaps what God calls us to give up, really, is ourselves. The paltry offerings we prefer to give up, while they feel challenging, are perhaps less pleasing because we fail to give up the one thing that stands between us and Christ. Ourselves. Only when we have given up our own ambitions and desires, from that death to self, can we be used to produce much for His kingdom.” — Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy
I went away for a personal retreat as a gift from my husband. It was not much more than twenty-four hours, but the work God did in my heart — eternal.
God revealed my sin, unveiling parts of me are standing between God and my full surrender. He was gentle, as I’ve always known Him to be. It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. There must be less of us in order for there to be more of Christ. There’s pain in the cutting away of ourselves, because no one can give up their own desires without inward bleeding.
And my sin? I labor for the Kingdom of God, yet I still desire my own glory.
And it’s time to get over myself. None of this Kingdom work is about me and my plan. It’s always been about God and His plan. The lie is that these things — accolades, promotion, fame, success — will satisfy my soul. The truth is they never will. Only God Himself can fill and settle a soul.
He is calling me to seek Him. To know Him. To press in. To run hard after Him. And He’s saying all the while, to the degree I seek Him will be the degree that I see His greatness in my life.
Not to the degree I work.
Not to the degree I perform.
Not to the degree I strive.
Not to the degree I succeed.
Not to the degree I’m known.
To the degree I seek to know Him.
God has called us all to greatness, yet we have to allow God define what greatness is. Sometimes, all times, God calls us to Himself.
What call could be greater?
Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes by Jennifer Dukes Lee. It is due to be released on April 1, 2014
Jennifer writes, “It is a book about making peace with yourself and with whom God made you to be. It is for people who crave approval . . . and who fear that at any moment the world will see what a mess they really are.”
There’s a movement inspired by the book: “The Love Idol Movement” where others are coming free from their need for approval from others and running hard after God.
This post contains an affiliate link.
There is so much I want to write and tell you, and I want to all at once. I know I can’t. So, I am asking God how. How I can prepare these words and posts for you? How can I blog in a way that would help you run your race?
It does no good to tell you of my struggle, unless I also tell you of God’s redemption in it. I cannot waste my time, nor yours, telling you where I am weak, without telling you where Christ is strong.
We are running this race together. If you call yourself a Christ follower then you are running together with every other Christ follower to know Him more for this reason — that others would come to know Him, too.
My writing here in this place must always have the same end in mind — that your eyes, your passion, your devotion, your heart would be turned toward Father God to know Him more because of what you have read here.
I want you free to run your race, so others may also find freedom, especially freedom from fear. Fear doesn’t just steal from you. There are people on the other side of your obedience to God that need what He has put in you to give.
The last 24 hours, counting from the time I am actually typing these words, I’ve been at hotel in a city nearby my home. For my birthday, my husband gave me a night away to spend alone. I dedicated this time to God, seeking hard after Him.
I came needing guidance, and desperately wanting to hear His voice. I came honest and real, especially about my dreams, wanting to know what He’s asking me to fight for and what He’s asking me to surrender. I want to dream His dreams for me and release all my own ambitions.
I only had so much time, but I wanted come away with a renewed sense of purpose and with clearer vision for every area of my life. I needed God to come honest and real. I did my part the best I knew how, and God just needed to show up and do His.
And I can’t say I don’t have words for what God has revealed, and what has happened in my heart as a result. I do. What I need is wisdom.
Wisdom about what to write and when to write, is what I am praying for. I am also praying what God has done in my life, remains. I don’t ever want to go back the same. I don’t ever want to go back to being held captive by the lies of the enemy.
And as much as God would allow me to have a time and place to write, to speak, to share, I will use it declaring the Truth of God’s word and His love to His people so they, too, can run free no longer tied by the lies that bind.
I look at my weakness
as an opportunity for God
to display His strength
and grace through me.
(1 of 6 free printables when you sign up for my devotional newsletter “As You Think”)
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christʼs sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB
Our weakness opens the door for Godʼs strength to be made perfect in our lives…in our situation…in us. Paul pleaded with God for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed. (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)
I recently heard it might have been an actual physical ailment. But whatever it was, Paul first saw it as a hinderance, and God changed his perspective, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And God wants to change our perspective, for us to see the weakness in our life as an opportunity for His grace and strength to be revealed in and through us. When we are weak, we are strong in Christ.
(Excerpt from “As You Think” Devotional Newsletter, Week 4.)
Joining my friend, Deidra Riggs and the Sunday Community.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted a Five-Minute-Friday post. Today, I wanted to, and today I could. Lisa-Jo Baker is still the faithful, gracious host after all these years. There is a whole community of writers that join come together to write for 5 minutes, and bravely share. Here’s mine, tonight.
We need to know when God changes the course of our life and follow Him and it’s not always the same time or way as everyone else or even your closest friends.
We can sense it before it’s time. We can feel the subtle changes begin to happen. A gentle turning here and a whisper to go there, signs leading up to it, until it’s time to choose.
I stood at the fork in the road. I’ve come to three I can name in my journey with God, this being the third. Each time I’m faced with a choice that is all my own to make. Each time I know I have to weigh the cost. Because each time God is asking me to choose.
I look down one road, and I see the way a little clearer than the other. It’s predicable and not much different from the course I’m already on. I see success, or at least a success I can measure. And, it’s safe.
But somehow I know this is the lesser way. It takes less bravery. I give-up less, and yet I gain less.
And I hear God say, “You can choose to continue on this way. But I want you to choose the other.”
And I look down the other road, and the way isn’t as clear. I cannot see more than a couple of steps ahead. Success isn’t predictable or even measurable. And it doesn’t feel safe.
Yet, I know this is the greater way. I know it will cost me. I know it will take greater faith and my sight to won’t work for it. It will require courage and greater surrender.
But, He’s calling me. And when I choose to lose my life for His sake I’ll find it. I know, because I have God’s word on it. And whatever I give up when I choose to follow Him, is never really loss when it’s Him I gain.
I have a little confession.
I’ve fallen behind with keeping up with my own list of truthful proclamations — the ones from my newsletter. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do have Weeks 1-6 nearly memorized, but I had a slight advantage seeing that I spent weeks preparing the whole list of 48.
But, I am behind a few weeks with my own kiddos. This week, I began with my son, whom I homeschool. As I listened to him declare the truth over and over, I realized I underestimated the life-shaping power of it.
Hearing my boy who struggles over even the simplest decision, like what shirt to wear, say over and over, “My steps have been ordered, established, and directed by the Lord,” made me realize these are seeds of God’s Truth that are being planted deeply in my boy’s heart that will grow through out his life, be an anchor to his soul, a sword for his fight of faith, and a light to his path — a light our children so desperately need to navigate the future world they are walking into.
He’s got week one down, and has already begun memorizing week two. ”I have not been given the spirit of this world. Rather, I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me.”
We will continue with week 3, “I receive Godʼs wisdom when I ask in faith, and He gives it generously without finding fault.”
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
Believing this cancels out all the lies and fear that may stand in our way of coming to Him and saying, “I need your wisdom.” Come in confidence before the throne of grace, and receive mercy when you are in need. He is an ever present help.
We need to know this. Our children need to know this.
Scripture References for Truth-Filled Proclamations:
Wk1: Psalm 37:23, Wk2: 1 Corinthians 2:12, Wk3: James 1:5
[I compiled the list and designed the prints for the newsletter, because I want to help you and your family easily bring God's Word into your heart and home. You can sign-up here, or on the blog. FREE.]
««« Older Posts