Once again, I am delighted to be able to have an article on Encouragement Café. The following is just a sample. Be sure to head over to Encouragement Café to read the rest.
I open my appointment calendar and immediately feel my stress level rise. Staring back at me is a crazy schedule filled with kids’ activities, family functions, spring chores and everyday tasks, there does not seem to be time to breath let alone anything else. Looking at my calendar, there would be no doubt that my life is full. But at the same time, it is also empty. I have found that if I do not make time for spiritual growth, I cannot keep up with the other demands. I cannot run on empty and neither can you.
Attending church is very important, but that time of study, encouragement and worship will not last all week. So what is the answer?
Every one of us is wanting a place to belong. We long to feel noticed, heard and cared for. Even surrounded by a room full of people, we can feel completely alone. However, we are not alone. God sees us, hears us and truly loves and accepts us. This is the idea behind Lisa Troyer’s devotional, Come As You Are. It is a small book packed with scriptures and encouragement.
The book is not really divided into chapters or sections, so you can read as much or as little as your schedule allows or even just randomly open it up and hear what God has for you.
It also includes additional resources in the back of the book. These are a One year Bible reading plan and tips for leading a small group. Both of which add real depth to this little book.
I would recommend Come As You Are, not only for yourself, but also as a great gift idea. It is very uplifting and encouraging.
Being a mother of two incredible girls, I knew that I wanted to check out this Bible, God “Hearts” Me. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up to review this Bible. Obviously, I knew that it was the Bible, but I wasn’t certain how they were adapting it for young girls.
This Bible is specifically geared for girls ages 10 and up. It has a limited vocabulary of 850 words. I was not certain how that would work. After careful examination, I truly believe it works for this application. These young readers are able to get into the Word and allowing them to soak up God’s Truth without being overwhelmed and frustrated. This Bible is not changing the message of the Bible; it is simply presenting it in a way that is accessible for these younger readers.
I would recommend this Bible. It allows girls to get into the Word and satisfy their hunger for the Word. It would make a great gift.
As a leader for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Studies, I was drawn to The Leadership Style of Jesus, in an attempt to gain some additional insights and principles of leadership centered around Christ’s example.
The book is broken down in four distinct parts:
- The beginnings of Leadership
- The qualities of Leadership
- The temptation of Leadership
- The problems of Leadership
Each chapter starts out with Christ’s example and then shows how it can be directly applied in our lives today. The chapter concludes with the principle learned within the chapter. This makes it easy to find a specific principle that you are looking for.
Michael Youssef does a great job of adapting Christ’s leadership style for today’s leader. He uses scripture to back up the principle her presents. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in a leadership position or would simply like to learn more about Jesus’ leadership style.
I thoroughly enjoyed Katie Ganshert’s last book, Wildflower from Winter, so when the opportunity to return to the community of Peaks, Iowa in her new book, Wishing on Willows, I immediately signed up.
Wishing on Willows centers around the main character, Robin. She is dealing with grief over the sudden death of her husband, Micah, raising little Caleb and now fighting to keep her café, Willow Tree, from being bought out. The question as to whether Robin will get to have another chance at love keeps the reader engaged in the story. For added tension, Ian’s family wants to come into Peaks and build condos. This means taking over the businesses in downtown, including the Willow Tree Café. What will Robin have to give up in order to get a second chance?
I love how Katie creates another wonderful story in the delightful small town of Peaks. Her dynamic characters really make the story. The reader feels for Robin and the struggle she is dealing with.
I would highly recommend this book. Katie’s small town and characters are so delightful. Be sure to put this on your summer reading list.
[I would like to thank my wonderful OBS sister, Amber James, for creating this wonderful visual reminder of the reflection verse for the week.]
I have something incredible to share with you today, in the midst of chaos this week I have felt peace. I know that the difference is not because of a decrease of activities or duties that need my attentions; it is the sheer fact that I made Matthew 6:33 (the reflection verse for the Stressed-Less Living Online Bible Study) my choice this week. I made the decision to seek God first. By simply incorporating this into my day, I have found that I am craving His presence even more. There have been times this week that I am just sitting in God’s presence and longing to draw closer to Him.
Growing up in the church, I have read and heard this verse numerous times. However, I have purposely taken this “head knowledge” and moved it to “heart knowledge”.
In the middle of a flurry of end of school activities, helping out family members, health concerns and everyday trials, God has given me a precious gift – peace.
I can honestly say that my stress level this week is less than is has been in awhile and I attribute it to taking the message of the Stressed-Less Living study and God’s Word to heart and focusing on my Savior instead of drowning in my circumstances.
There are still several areas unresolved in my life at this time, but I am resting today in the knowledge that God has it all under control. Everything, every minuscule detail, will be taken care of in His time and His will.
Today, I am choosing to seek the presence of God and leave my anxiety and stress at His feet.
I challenge you today to find some time, even if it is only a few minutes, and get alone with God. Seek His Presence and lay your concerns and stress at His feet. He will gladly exchange that for peace.
- How are you choosing to seek God first?
- How has the message of Matthew 6:33 impacted you?
- Share what you discovered when you crave God and actively pursue time with Him
I am so honored to be teaching on Melissa Taylor’s blog this week. Whether you are participating in the Stressed-Less Living study or not, I would invite to venture over and check out the teaching and interactive, loving community. Today’s post, we are digging into Matthew 6:33, so grab your Bible and join us. There is also a give away for an assortment of stress relief goodies – you are entered in the drawing every time you comment on Melissa’s blog.
Besides being on Melissa Taylor’s blog this week, I also have the privilege to share part of my story on Encouragement Café. I would love to have you pop in and leave a comment about your story.
Looking forward to hearing from you dear friends on Melissa Taylor’s blog as well as Encouragement Café. Have a wonderful day!
Lysa TerKeurst’s book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, had such a huge impact on my life that when her devotional for this book came up for review, I knew that I wanted to check it out.
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional consists of 40 daily devotions. Each chapter has the same general format:
- Key verse
- Thought for the day
- Brief devotional
- Reflect and respond
It is a wonderful way to take a small portion of the information that is in the book with the same name and be able to focus on it daily. These two resources work really well together. This devotional is a wonderful way to jump-start your day. It gives the reader a scripture and thoughts to focus on each day. These devotions paired with quiet time with God will guide the reader to the freedom and joy found in saying yes to God.
I would encourage you to not only pick up this wonderful devotional and the accompanying book, but also to participate in Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study over this book starting July 28th. Be sure to check out Melissa Taylor’s blog for more information.