The Powerful Purpose of Introverts – Book Review

Yes, I am an introvert.  I certainly never thought I was until I read this definitive study of the subject.  I also took all the tests, answered the questions, did some research of my own, and discovered I’ve been denying parts of my personality.  What a difference!!!

I want to take a few moments of your time to share what I have learned and with that encourage you to read The Powerful Purpose of Introverts by Holley Gerth.

I am a creative person. I like to move furniture around, use color to enhance my home.  I like to sew, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and design my own projects.  I like to read, write, and think in quiet places where I can totally focus. I love to teach, sing, and play the piano for God’s glory.   I like to share my work with others.  Trust me, I am not shy about it.  Now you might think, like I did for so long, that makes me an extrovert.  Not so!  All these things make me who I am.  Holley Gerth says, “When we become more aware of ourselves, we become more aware of others too.”

I used to think that people who want solitude, time alone, were some kind of weird.  I love being with people, talking with people, interacting with people, but it sometimes drains me.  All these things are not the opposite of solitude.  Allowing myself time ‘alone’ increases my creativity, deepens my Christian growth, and helps me focus on what is really important.

Through this book, I discovered to be the best me I can be I must take time to make and grow positive personal connections.  For me, this means listening well, being patient and persistent (always working on this one), and sharing the limelight.

I could almost hear myself talking at one point in my reading.  A loud noise of any kind is so deeply offensive to my sensibilities that I will choose not to involve myself in activities that have that potential.  Concerts of any kind, including the symphony, require me to always carry earplugs.  When Holley commented that she does too I was truly seeing myself.  I absolutely love music and good speakers, but they can be overwhelming for this introvert.

Holley Gerth writes about being an introvert with great passion, with the sensitivity of being an introvert, but most of all with the desire to help everyone understand both themselves and the people around them.

Oh, how I have grown through reading this book.  Read it!  You will grow too.

Blessings on blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an ebook copy of this book from Net Galley. 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.”

 

STAND ALL THE WAY UP – Book Review

My favorite reads are those that motivate, encourage, and make me more aware of what is happening in this crazy world. Not self help so much as books that say ‘I’ve been where you’ve been and this is how ‘we’ dealt with it. We? Never alone, always with God and the great people He placed in our lives for the purpose of coming alongside.

Sophie Hudson’s (Stand All The Way Up) writing style is straight forward, say it like it is, and downright funny.

Here are a few concepts that are covered in this book.

Quit faking it! You are who you are, what you are, and God loves you just that way.

Whenever it’s OK with God then it’s OK with me.

Being prepared in all situations (Yes, life WILL throw curveballs.) is a nod of respect to yourself and those around you.

I don’t have to keep everyone happy in every situation.  I can choose to react my way simply because I want to.

When God clearly tells you what He wants, do it!  Stand firm on your decision to obey!

God can, will, and does, make a way in every circumstance.

Personal is ALL about personal comfort. Once again, quit trying to be someone or something other than yourself.

Strong relationships and fellowship in the local church matter. Pursue them. If the groups of the church are so tight they don’t have room for you then create your own or find another church.

When my life is all about what I can do for you, IT MATTERS!

Pretending is lying. Be who you really are, not what you think you should be.

I truly hope this motivates you to read Stand All The Way Up by Sophie Hudson. It’s worth your time and will definitely cause you to think in some new ways.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN.  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 FTC’s CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them I may receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

 

 

 

Chasing Vines – – Book Review

I love it when a book relates to my personal life and circumstances. (Don’t we all?) I am a farm girl/gardener at heart. I know the taste of milk straight from the cow, cracklins fresh from the hot grease, tomatoes, and green beans hand-picked. Yet, grapes, the how and why of them, and their relationship to my Christian growth, is a new concept.

Using John 15:1-8 Chasing Vines covers our growth as branches of the One Vine. She covers such topics as, personal growth, abiding, bearing fruit, pruning, fertilizing, manure, and much more. In her matchless style, she brings these eight verses to life, giving insight into the growth process of the grape as it relates to our own lives as Christians.

Beth’s comment, “I’m pretty sure most people who serve an unseen God for enough years, trying their danged hardest to obey His inaudible directions and love His confounding people with their own contorted hearts, live a quarter-inch from sheer madness much of the time,” (pg. 56) resounded with me.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a celebrity preacher/teacher or sojourn with a small group of Believers, people are people.  They’re difficult, demanding, denying, disturbing, dusty, deliberate, defying…  I get it.

Throughout the book, the reader is made aware of the need to be a good fruit producer.  Ms. Moore contends it is not only possible but probable that the branches (believers and unbelievers, alike) can produce bitter and bad fruit.  Her solution: Galatians 5:22-23. If these 9 qualities are in any way being compromised it’s bad fruit.  If, on the other hand, they are supported, then the fruit is good.

Although I highly recommend this book, and since this is a review, I must say that I did find a bit of insensitivity to the elderly in her discussion of pruning.  From time to time I also found way more discussion of a concept than was necessary.  But as I said before, all in all, all of it, is worth it.

I want to leave you with these words, directly from Miss Beth, “If you’re in Christ, He is your true Vine, whether you realize it or not. But a whole new way of flourishing begins when you know it. When you count on it. When you live like it. When you let go of the vines you thought were giving you life.” (pg. 129)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Fresh Start Bible Review

As a Small Group, Bible Study leader I was (and am) very excited about this new resource, the Fresh Start Bible.

There are many kinds of study Bibles. Some are historical and archeological. Some are topical. Some are word referenced, giving the reader specific guidance as to meaning usage. Some are paraphrased into modern language usage for better understanding. All are intended to point the Believer to a better understanding of His Word and how it applies to daily life. The Fresh Start Bible is no exception. Using the New Living Translation it has hundreds of articles written by various people that enhance and provide understanding. Several short ‘side-bars’ provoke deeper thought about known concepts and stories. It includes many articles about questions that both the new and seasoned believers might have. Personal comments, historical facts, and suggestions for personal, everyday use abound.

I decided to use this Bible as my main resource in preparing and teaching a series of lessons on how the Tabernacle of the Old Testament applies to contemporary worship. It was helpful and informative, leading not only me but also my fellow learners to new insights and thoughts about the subject.

In a future upgrade to this work, I would suggest more ‘side-bars’, commentary and articles for the Old Testament portion.

I highly recommend this resource for both Bible study leaders as well as learners.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy free from Gateway 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.”

Thoughts on the Book of James

I have been honored with the privilege of reviewing a new Study Bible. Each time I agree to do one of these I read my favorite books first and note anything new. The Fresh Start Bible is jam-packed with great side notes throughout.  Here’s what I’ve gleaned from the Book of James. (Yes, my absolute favorite book of the entire Bible.)

Robert Morris referring to James 1:17-18:

Understanding God’s goodness makes a huge difference in our relationship with Him. (pg. 1094)

The only reason why we aren’t immediately destroyed the first (or hundredth) time we sin is because God is good. (pg. 1094)

Robert Morris referring to James 3:1-12

The default setting of the tongue is to destroy, and unless we change this setting, we will always do more damage than good. (pg.1095)

The good news is that our tongue can produce good fruit. You can use it to bless your job, your finances, and your family. (pg. 1095)

Robert Morris referring to James 4:3

God gives to us so we can have the joy of imitating Him and giving to others. (pg. 1095)

Next, we’ll look at what is interesting in the book of Esther.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Amazon Affiliate Commission Earned

Pre-ordering is happening right now at http://gatewaypublishing.com/bibles and if you pre-order it from the publisher you will receive it in mid-November rather than Amazon’s release date of Dec. 1st.