Saturday, November 3, 2012

The High Calling

The High Calling
Some of you may know, but probably not, that I have started work full-time. This has been a great change but very different for both me and my family. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 10 years. I think we are adjusting well. Not so sure the blog has adjusted as well. I have relatively no time to read or write reviews. So I have been turning down opportunities that I have hated to say no to. But this week I was given the opportunity to review "The High Calling" blog for Handlebar Marketing. This blog is all about using the job that you find yourself in to live out your calling in Christ. I LOVE IT!!!! This opportunity was so timely for me. I have devoured many of the articles. They are written by various writers including Ann Voskamp, Mary E. DeMuth, Donna VanLiere, Ed Gungor  and many, many others. The articles are encouraging and informative. From their About page:

Welcome to TheHighCalling.org, an online magazine and community founded on the belief that God cares about our daily work. On our site, you’ll discover a broad range of articles, interviews, devotionals, and inspirational stories—all specifically created to help you find God in your work, family, and the broader culture. Our writers and bloggers tell engaging stories crafted to encourage you in the high calling of your daily work.

Honoring God in our daily work is much more than mere evangelism. Our work itself should be a testimony to our creator. That is why we encourage each other to remember the high calling of our daily work.

The High Calling is also a safe place to ask difficult questions about work, leadership, culture, family, and faith. Our community of Christ followers shares differing opinions about matters of faith and doubt. We believe in the power of open dialog, and aim to be a safe place to raise difficult issues. We simply ask that each person be respectful of others, rooted and grounded in love.

The High Calling in more than a blog, it is a community of people encouraging each other to live up to the potential God has placed in each of us.They also have a Facebook page where they post inspirational photos like this:



I hope you will go and get a dose of encouragement to make it through the work week. I know I will be a regular!
I received compensation for my review from Handlebar Marketing. I did not agree to post a favorable review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes


Wow! It has been a long time since a book has caught my soul like A Sudden Glory, by Sharon Jaynes. From the first chapter describing "The Glory Ache" until the last explaining how we will go "From Glory to Glory," I was riveted to the heart of this message that God is all around wooing us with glimpses of His Glory as we "live and move and have our being in Him." Sharon does a wonderful job of casting a vision for what living out that verse from Acts 17:28 looks like. Just reading through the book made me more aware of the "glory moments" all around me and made me desire to experience more and more of the relationship that Jesus came and died to have... with me! Sharon encourages the reader to seek God for more than mediocrity and to expect a greatness and depth in our relationship with Christ. She doesn't sugar coat life and act as though hard times will never come. She faces the issue head on in the chapter titled, "Trusting God in Tough Times." One of my favorite quotes from that chapter is :

"Trying to analyze His [God's] omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of a man." It's simply not possible. But there is one thing we can be sure of. "All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful" (Psalm 25;10), whether we understand them or not.

I am looking forward to re-reading this book with my Bible Study Girls and doing the study questions that are included at the end of the book! I hope you will get this book and study it with a couple of friends as well.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chris August, The Upside of Down

I have a new LOVE in the music world! Chris August has just released his new album "The Upside of Down" and let me tell you it is fantastic!!!! I know that you all think that I write kind reviews about everything no matter what, but my enthusiasm is not feigned in the least over this album. See what you may not know about me is that I have quite a varied palate when it comes to music. I like just about anything and everything that is indeed good music. And I also think I am a pretty good judge of good music. (if u agree with the TV judges :0) ) Anyway, all that said, I love this new album. Every song has a slightly different sound so you don't feel like you are listening to the same three songs over and over again. They range from soulful to pop-py and some gospel thrown in for good measure. One or two sound similar to the Chris August hit "Starry Night."
 
My very favorite, and the one I was singing as I sat down to write, is "I Believe."  The lyrics go like this:
I don't need a rainbow to know who made the rain
Don't need the waters parted to know who made the way
And I don't need a healing to know who is the cure
Of this I'm sure

[Chorus:]
I believe that there is something more than I can see
I believe that there is someone holding onto me
Sometimes I won't feel it, but that don't change a thing
'Cause it's by faith that I believe

This song and others on this album so completely describe where I am currently or have been recently in my walk with Jesus. And this is definitely an album about Jesus. Some "Christian" music  never even says His name, but Chris is "Unashamed of You" Jesus.

Now in his own words, here is Chris telling about the inspiration and writing of this project.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greater by Steven Furtick

GreaterI was super excited to hear that Steven Furtick was about to release a new book. {I am addicted to the Elevation podcast!!} So with high expectations, I read this most recent release, Greater. I must say, I was not disappointed!!! It was inspiring, convicting, fun, deep, and full of Jesus much like most of the content that Pastor Steven puts out.

The premise of the message is to seek great-er lives. Not to be confused with seeking greatness, or settling for good enough. Greater is "The life-altering understanding that God is ready to accomplish a greatness in your life that is entirely out of human reach. It's beyond anything you see in yourself on your best day, but exactly what God has seen in you all along." Pastor Steven preaches tells the stories of the events in the life of Elisha, the prophet of God, to explain how to pursue this "Greater" vision of our life. Through Elisha's ups and downs Pastor Steven chronicles how that we too can see God do great things all around and through us.

As I said, I was greatly inspired and convicted by this book. I think every person who claims Christ publicly should read it and be challenged to live above the line of mediocrity, but not in a worldly get all the money and fame you can way. More like a get all the Jesus and Spirit you can! I believe more people would be won to Christ if more of His followers lived "Greater" lives.

Here's a sneak peek at the book:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/04/01/sneak-peek-greater-by-steven-furtick/

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mercy Me "The Hurt & The Healer"




Several months ago, I was able to see Mercy Me at the EWomen event in Birmingham, AL. I can't put into words how fabulous they were that night. They introduced several of the songs from their new project "The Hurt & The Healer" that night. Usually, I hate when a band plays new music that I don't already know in concert. This was definitely an exception to that rule for me. These songs are so personal and from the heart that they instantly hit the mark somewhere deep inside me.

I was thrilled to return home to an e-mail from my friends at The Media Collective offering me the opportunity to hear the new album "The Hurt & The Healer" in its entirety. Every song on this album is a hit! The heartfelt lyrics really spoke to me and echo some of the same thoughts and questions I have faced. Musically this album is a little different than some of their earlier projects and the songs vary greatly so surely there is at least one you would enjoy!

Now, Mercy Me has released a short film, The Making of "The Hurt & The Healer,"  which I also had the opportunity to review. It is awesome! There are interviews from the band members and producers which not only explain the process of making the album, but explain the heart behind many of the songs. I love to hear about how a songs lyrics were put together and what the artist was going through when they wrote a song. For instance "The Hurt & The Healer" was written about the passing of Bart Millard's cousin and the heartache that followed. I would definitely recommend both the album and the video!!! Go to www.MercyMe.org right now to get both!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord

Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord, by Dave Stone, is a wonderful reminder of what it takes to raise a family. Through story and basic biblical teaching, Stone carefully reminds us that it is our own authentic relationship with the Lord that will have the greatest effect on our children. There is no condescension or accusation but a honest appeal to parents to make God THE priority in our own lives in order for that decision to be made by our kids. Stone covers many areas of parenting from time management and consistent discipline to bible reading and supportive community.

In each chapter I felt that I really could do the thing that he was suggesting instead of hopeless, like many parenting books leave me feeling. This isn't some quick fix, go step-by-step and your kids will turn out perfect angels book. Stone clearly states that the results are in the hands of God. He reminds us, though, that it is our responsibility to place our children in God's hands by our lives lived before them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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."