Younique by Will Mancini — Book Review

Are you curious as to what God put you on this earth for, at this particular time in history? Are you sensing God calling you to something new? Let me recommend a practical, basic, instrument all wrapped up in an incredible book titled Younique by Will Mancini.

This is not just another how-to that will make your life better manual.  It’s a life-changing, realistic set of tools to help you discover the person God created you to be and the purpose He intends for your life.  Utilizing the Word as the constant foundation of God’s plan for you permeates the pages of this work.

There are several resources, geared to additional study, mentioned in this book that can be found in his online store. (Some of these are quite pricey.)

All-in-all this book was worth the reading time. I highly recommend it.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman & Holman Publishing. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

WORSHIPFUL WAYS

A Satisfied Spirit

The words of a well know praise song by Tim Hughes have been ringing in my heart for days.

Here I am to Worship – Worship is not about me.  It is about God.

Here I am to bow down – Time on my knees is necessary to reminding me of my position as a Believer.  Although I am much loved by the Holy One I am not Him.

Here I am to say that You’re my God – There can be no other god in my life.  This includes stuff, people, pets, food, clothes…That is not to say I’m not to have it but whatever in my life is taking His place, has to go.

You’re altogether lovely – You have allowed me to discover You in the beauty of ALL Your creation.

Altogether holy – Completely set aside for Your plan and not able to be less than who…

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That Darn Snake

Adam and Eve were enjoying the garden (Genesis 3) when a talking ‘snake’ approached them.  Have you known a couple of those?  I’ll bet you have.

How about the ‘friend’ who talks you into doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  Like, just run the red light or stop sign.  Or, no one will ever know if you cheat on …  How about, I know it’s late but just one more … Gossip, put-downs, bullying…

Rationalizing can get us into all kinds of trouble.  And yes, both Adam and Eve started the whole ‘passing the buck’, it’s not my fault, the other person made me do it.  Some no’s are meant to be no.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Adam and Eve had everything?  By God’s design, they had each other, the perfect home, great health, plentiful food and water, God’s presence…  It wasn’t enough.  It never is.  There’s always something more, isn’t there?

That’s what that darn snake wanted them to think.  That it wasn’t enough.  That they could have more.  That God doesn’t always know everything.  In fact, the snake wanted to replace God in their thoughts and lives.

Now, here’s the thing.  Any time we consider replacing God with anything, good or bad, there’s going to be a consequence.  That’s what they didn’t take into account.  The fruit looked good, smelled good, probably even tasted good.  But, God had said no!

Can you imagine the scene when they heard God walking in the garden that evening?  He was looking for them.  He wanted to talk to them.  So, here’s the rub.  It’s impossible to hide from God.  He knows where you are, always.  He knew where Adam and Eve were but, He wanted them to come to Him.

And they did, dressed in leaves.  “What have you done?”  Adam said she made me do it.  Eve said the snake made me do it.  The snake snickered at the whole thing.

God put them out of the garden.  You know the rest of the story, right?  Adam would have to work for all the things that had been his.  Eve would have painful births and would desire her husband.  Both were banished from the garden.

But God knew the rest of the story.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

Simeon and Anna

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Story is that of two people who waited patiently for the Messiah.  Simeon and Anna were both New Testament witnesses to the Christ Child. Their stories are as follows (from the NIV, Luke 2):

Simeon at the Presentation of the Child by Rembrandt

Simeon at the Presentation of the Child by Rembrandt

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…

     

Anna by Rembrandt

Anna by Rembrandt

Luke 2:36–38 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Simeon and Anna were the first to see Him in a public place.  They were the first witnesses to who He really was.  More importantly, they were not afraid to say, to other worshippers in the Temple, who He was.

Simeon and Anna were the last of the Old Testament prophets.  Their entire life purpose was to listen for and to God.  Also, they shared with the other worshippers what they had heard God say in the temple.  They did not sugar-coat the words but spoke clearly and with conviction.

Both of their names point to a strong, long-lasting faith.  Simeon means obedient and listening.  Anna means gracious, one who gives.

Dr. William Smith in Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that she was probably more than a hundred years old when she spoke over Jesus.  (If she was married at approximately 14, lived with her husband for 7 years, and had spent 84 years after that in the temple, then she was at least  105 years old.)  It is possible that Simeon was also quite old.  Tradition has it that he was one of the 72 translators of the Septuagint.  If that is truly the case he was over 200 years old at the time of this incident.

So, what is in this story for us.  First, Isaiah 40:31 pops into my mind when I think of the words ‘they that wait upon the Lord…’.  In all the years they waiting for the Birth neither one gave up on God’s promise and they were rewarded with seeing Him personally. We often wonder when God will finally act on one of His promises or our requests.  Simeon and Anna are a great example of waiting and waiting and waiting…  Second, a life of prayer is important in seeing God’s work.  Although the scripture says Anna had lived, prayed, and fasted in the temple since her husband’s death, it does not mean that we have to live in our churches to experience God.  He is everywhere!  And finally, we can trust that God will follow through on His promises.  God will and can do what He says He will.  Our trust and obedience in matters of faith always lead to God’s blessings.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Each New Day Is A Gift — Wordsmith’s Desk

Quote

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) _______ Each new day is a gift. The tomorrow talked about…is the yesterday to be. There are new opportunities and challenges with each sunrise. Maybe choices you made yesterday could have been better. Today gives you another chance […]

via Each New Day Is A Gift — Wordsmith’s Desk

back roads to Belonging – Book Review

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review simply because I needed to give myself a break from the bazillion thoughts that were roaring around in my head from all that I had been reading. However, here we go again. I have just completed a powerful book that has had and will have an impact on my choices in the days ahead.

My thoughts as I read through Back Roads to Belonging, Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People by Kristen Strong

Have you come to the end of yourself, realizing you simply can’t do it alone? Do you know you are loved even when you’re left out or determine a different path? Knowing God’s unending love is more a winding road than a straight line. Sometimes little ‘bunny trails’ are necessary to find the purpose He intends. There will be many sharp corners in our lives but only our Savior can smooth them, and straighten the road to home.

Sometimes I get myself into the comparison trap. Yes, everyone does it but there’s a big catch in doing it. Comparing myself to others takes me further away from actually belonging. My heart needs to be centered on connecting with others not becoming just like them.

Finding a quiet place, to hear God’s voice, as I travel my own unique back road is of the utmost necessity for my growth as a Christian. Especially so as God has called me to a new place and people. Let me be honest with you, I kicked and scratched (not physically) and fought and dragged my feet through the whole route. He did not give up and I finally gave in. I had to deal with the truth that there are some people in our lives who are simply not for us. Just because they’re church members does not make them safe or beneficial. I needed to learn, the hard way I might add, that my comfort in a certain group was keeping me from walking the road He intended. This book has been a huge help in dealing with these issues and deciding the way forward. (Thank you, Kristen!)

One of the exercises in this book is to make a list of belonging (pg. 107), In working through this list I was amazed and delighted at the boost to my sense of belonging. So here’s mine:

I am a much-loved Daughter of the KING, wife of Ray, sister to Stella, Ruth, Rick & Joyce, loving and crazy aunt to 29 nieces and nephews, Bible teacher, and friend to/of Spirit Sisters, part of the church fellowship at Living Hope, sister-in-law to the Bungard Family, part of the Hallock Community …

One last thought from the book that will have a profound effect on my forward journey.  We all find ourselves alone from time to time (Yes, Jesus is ALWAYS there!) on our personal back road. (Yes, Jesus is ALWAYS there!)  There is something we can do about it. We can use what we know and combine it with what we enjoy (paraphrased from pg. 191) to encourage others on their own back road journey.

Blessings to you and yours on the way!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revel, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Think On This – – Noah

What was happening while Noah was building the ark? The people of the known world were going crazy. Sin was rampant.

Did Moses ‘just’ build the ark or was he also busy trying to get the mockers and scoffers to believe and understand?

Are we destroying ourselves again? Chaos, sin, violence, corruption, perversion…

Save our sons and daughters, friends and neighbors… Come quickly, Jesus!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Read more in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith

Mended — Book Review

Several weeks ago I received an invitation from Blythe Daniel to review and launch a book she and her mother had written. To be honest I was a bit hesitant because my own mother and I did not have a good relationship. (To be honest, we didn’t have a relationship.) My hesitancy came because I’ve really wanted to understand and forgive her and  I’ve not been able to do so. Plus, she passed away several years ago and it’s hard to rebuild a relationship with someone who isn’t here. But…

Through reading Mended I’ve come to understand a bit more of the person. This book contained some of the most healing words I’ve ever read. Most importantly, we are only responsible for the words we’ve said and the things we’ve done. We cannot and should not let ourselves think we can fix everything. Nor should we make ourselves totally responsible for the healing that must take place. We can only handle what is ours.

Forgiveness is a huge part of mending any relationship. We can always choose to forgive even if they don’t deserve it. Jesus did!

Verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse was part of daily life for me. I was a hostage in a very controlling situation and truly felt I was the person at fault. It wasn’t until I left home for college and had very limited contact that I was able to put the situation into some sort of focus.  Through these words of Helen McIntosh I was able to reach a level of forgiveness that hadn’t been possible before: When we are the victim and need to forgive someone who has hurt and offended us… They may never even apologize or make amends. They may be deceased or in jail or another place you can’t reach them or oblivious to their offense. But we remain their prisoner until we let the offense go. pp.94 Letting the past go and committing to not dredging it up again has given me a kind of peace that has freed me from the pit of my mother’s words and actions and my own self-condemnation.

For me, this book was worth every word. Did I regress into the bad memories? Sometimes? Did I have moments of clarity when I started to understand? Yes! Can I move on and begin to understand the person behind words and actions? Yes! Can I forgive? I have to! There’s really no other choice.

Thank you, Blythe and Helen, for these incredible words! I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to rebuild (or build up) any relationship. It’s truly powerful and worth the time.

Consider these Words that are gems of light scattered throughout the book:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Words kill, words give; they’re either poison or fruit–you choose. Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Books and Blythe Daniel. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

 

A Praying Marriage

Do you want the best possible relationship you can have with your spouse? Try praying for and with them.  So, how do you do that?

Set aside part of your daily prayer time to intercede.  To know and name his/her struggles you’re going to have to communicate those to one another.  Talk about what your goals are as individuals and as a couple.  Find out what challenges they’re experiencing.

In your prayer thank God for them. Thank God for the person they are, for their provision, for their love.

Ask God to show Himself in and through them.  Support them in their daily walk.

Be willing to change so that they can grow.  If you’re part of a problem they’re having give it to God.  Humble yourself!

So, what happens when you pray for your spouse?  It connects both of you with and to  God.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

 

 

Need/Want Haiku

Want Haiku

I have all I need!

God. Ray. Family. Friends. Food.

What more could I want!