March 13, 2015

Why we should all strive to be poor

In a world where material riches is often equated with spiritual blessing nobody wants less.

We all want more.

Things weren't totally different in Jesus' times, either. Those who had wealth were often seen as more spiritual.

They loved to fluent their riches.

Let's not kid ourselves, we fall prey to the very same temptation. We want to measure our worth by what we have.

We want others to do so, too.

February 3, 2015

By Your Side: A Review

The book: ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?

January 22, 2015

What Happened When Termites Ate My Mementos

Sunshine warmed the slightly chilly air on a late spring afternoon. Determined to conquer the dreaded task before summer arrived, with all its sweltering heat, I asked my husband for help getting started.

Four boxes stood in the corner of our garage.

They’d been living there since we moved from out of state over a decade ago. Once in a while when we brushed past them, on the way to the car, I would make a mental note to go through them in the near future.

I never followed through.

January 20, 2015

How Life's Thorniest Paths Can Lead To Great Joy

I lay still that early winter morn soaking in the silence of the house. Our bedroom remained artificially dark by the drawn window shade. My head was pounding and nothing could stop the battle that raged deep within.

The sound of the ringer on the phone interrupted the internal dialogue.

Picking up the receiver I heard the voice of a woman from a Bible study group I’d attended at a local church. We’d not connected in a while due to my ongoing medical issues.

She explained that God had told her to call me and read a page from her devotional Streams in the Desert. She didn’t know why or have anything else to say and only wanted to be obedient.

Here’s an excerpt of what she read... 

January 14, 2015

The Secret To Living A Defiant Joy: A interview with Margaret Feinberg

One of my favorite authors, Margaret Feinberg, has been through a brutal fight with cancer and shares the unexpected lessons she discovered along the way in her new book and Bible study Fight Back With Joy.

It’s been inspiring to learn how Margaret has been practicing a defiant joy. The book is a phenomenal read and on my list of new favorites. I'll be sharing my review of the book and additional thoughts over the next few weeks.

In the meantime,  I thought you might like to get an insider’s look, so I am sharing an interview with Margaret and a sneak preview of the 6-Session DVD Bible Study.

January 12, 2015

Get Your Joy Back: A Review

The book: Parents of specials needs children are exhausted. They've done all the research, consulted all the experts, joined support groups, gotten counseling, fought for the best life for their children. Often just caring for their children's needs and attempting to maintain a home maxes out parents' mental, emotional, and spiritual reserves.

Laurie Wallin knows firsthand the difficulties of this journey. With Get Your Joy Back, she steps forward to make a bold, audacious claim: in the midst of this long-term, intense task, it is still possible to have an abundant life, full of joy. The key to radically changing daily life and restoring joy to the weary is forgiveness. Wallin gives parents a lifeline to find that restoration, pulling them back to shore when they feel like they're drowning.

January 7, 2015

Gospel-Centered Counseling: A Review

 There comes a moment in every believer's life when someone that they care about approaches them in the midst of suffering and sorrow for advice. If you haven't experienced this yet, you will.

Perhaps a "picture perfect" marriage is crumbling, they are dealing with a wayward teen, the company is downsizing and they're about to go under financially, or depression and anxiety is robbing them of sleep. Situations and circumstances vary but one truth is universal. We live in a fallen world--and sometimes it falls on us.

Most of us know how to provide comfort at some level. We validate the pain, offer our prayers, give advice or exchange stories, and when all else fails we give hugs. Lots of hugs.

But what about after the hug?

January 1, 2015

The blessing of getting stuck

Initially I wasn't going to join.

Accept the challenge by Jeff Goins to write 500 words a day in the month of January, yes.

Add yet another Facebook group into the mix of my already cluttered life, no.

Getting stuck the first day changed my mind.

Meandering over to the link for the private group I found myself asking to join. My request was accepted immediately.

A prompt was pinned at the top of the page.

December 3, 2014

Interview with Bob Kellemen on Gospel-Centered Counseling

 Several years ago, after finishing my doctoral studies, I went through the process of becoming certified as a biblical counselor. Along the way, I've met some very knowledgeable people with loads of experience.

One of the people who I have learned tons from is Dr. Bob Kellemen. Bob is the Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, the Vice President for Institutional Development and Chair of the Biblical Counseling Department at Crossroads Bible College, and the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries.

Obviously Bob stays pretty busy. And that's only a partial bio. I'll share the rest when I post my review of the book.

For seventeen years he served as the founding Chairman of and Professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has, also, pastored three churches and equipped many biblical counselors along the way.

Additionally, he has written over a dozen books, most of which I have read, including his latest book Gospel-­Centered Counseling: How Christ Changes Lives.

October 31, 2014

Breathing On Her Own: A Review

The book:
Molly Tipton and her husband are looking forward to retirement, but Molly’s life suddenly spirals out of control when her oldest daughter is involved in a terrible accident. An icy road and a sharp turn leave one woman dead, another clinging to life.

While two families grieve, details emerge that reveal Molly’s daughter was driving under the influence. As she prepares her daughter for the prospect of a vehicular homicide lawsuit, Molly discovers her oldest child is not the only one injured and forced to deal with past mistakes. If it’s true that time heals all wounds, what are we to do with our scars?
The review:
To be honest, because this was the author's debut novel, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would it be slow moving? Will the plot be believable? Will it keep my attention? 

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