At Peace in the Storm – Book Review

20 Oct

OVERVIEW: Bestselling author Ken Gire weaves together stories from the Bible, history, and his own life to reveal how we can find strength and encouragement through the storms of life. Experience the joy of knowing the God who is always there to reach out a hand and pull you out of the waves. (From the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: Ken Gire (ThM.Dallas Theological Seminary) is the author of twenty-four books, including the bestselling Moments With The Savior Series and Windows of the Soul. He has won two ECPA Gold Medallion Awards, and two of his titles were selected as C.S. Lewis Honor Books. Ken teaches weekend seminars on writing throughout the country.

MY REVIEW: I really enjoyed this book by Ken Gire. Chapter after chapter he gives us wisdom on how we can find strength and encouragement walking through the storms of life. With the exception of a couple of the chapters I was so engrossed with this book. A couple of them seemed slow when he was talking about other books. But I do recommend it, and will keep it handy for reference. I underlined so much of it as I read through.

This book delivers exactly what the title promises and how to’s. It is a light read. Ken uses many, many beautiful verses, quotes and stories throughout.

Thirteen chapters and just look at the titles that guide us to peace from beginning to end:

Peace through Perspective
Peace through Prayer
Peace in the Hospitable Art of Listening
Peace through Friends and Strangers
Peace from God’s Word
Peace in and through Music
Peace through Deep Rest
Peace through the Body of Christ
Peace from a Balanced Brain
Peace from Insightful Books and Movies
Peace Through Serving Others
Peace in God’s Creation
Peace through Recreation

He offers us so many ways that we can find peace.

Whether you are going through a trial right now or just gotten through one, I highly recommend you pick up this book.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing a review, but the views expressed are my own.

Work – Are You Working Heartily???

18 Oct

I have been participating in Kate Matoung’s 31 Day October blogging challenge, and it’s been a challenge.  Can I say I am behind, but God knows our hearts, and I know I will have the time to write when the time is right?

Blog-Colossians 323

I love that verse because it reminds me why I do all I do and how I should do it and for whom.

Whatever you do.  Whatever I am doing no matter what the task might me, no matter who I am visiting with, no matter where I am, no matter how frustrated I become, this verse says whatever I am doing.  That means all, that means every single thing, every moment.

Work heartily. Whatever I do, I need to work heartily in my home, on my job, at school, at my church.  I should be doing all I do with enthusiasm.  Do you always tackle things around the house, those menial things – the laundry, the dishes, yard work, cooking, mopping, buying groceries, changing poo poo diapers, packing lunches, chasing toddlers heartily?  How about your marriage – are you working at it heartily?  And then there are those to-do lists?  It is so easy to get caught up in doing and not who we are doing it for?

As for the Lord and not for men.  All that we do should be for the Lord – not for men, not for ourselves.  All that we do should not be for rewards, admiration, approval, compliments or praise by men, but for the Lord.  Are we doing things with a joyful heart or a selfish heart?  Are you enjoying the work your hands are doing?

 The Lord’s inheritance is your reward.  Our inheritance from the Lord is our reward – not those raises, promotions, or thank yous.

We have no higher calling than the work that God has called us to do in every season of our lives.  Yes it  changes.  Believe me!  We have seasons of singleness, seasons of college, seasons of marriage, seasons of toddlers and teenagers, seasons of taking care of parents, seasons of work, seasons of retirement, seasons of illness, and seasons where we may be widows or widowers.  Whatever season we are in we need to bend down our knees with outstretched hands and go through them as unto the Lord. Do you outstretch those hands because of what others think or see ?  Do you outstretch them because of whose you are? Remember that God, the Father sees all we do. He is the only one we need to please.

LORD, today may all we do be done heartily.  May we offer it all up to You!

blog-heartily

 

 

REST

16 Oct

Blog-Psalm 621-2

Today I am feeling a little bit down and worn out – perhaps a little virus, perhaps too much rich food and spices but regardless for about a week now my tummy has been nauseous, my head feels like it is going to pop, and I’ve been dizzy.  I am not one to be sick often and it takes a lot to get this lady in bed.  Nope I haven’t ended up there so today my husband said why don’t you stay home and rest.  So when the phone pinged for substitute job last evening I said no.  I am resting today – not really – but it’s restful to be home working on my Bible study, doing a little washing, doing a little cleaning and resting in between with maybe a nap and a walk before the day is done.

As I think about that word rest this morning it brings a lot of different thoughts, and I wonder how much do I actually rest.  It seems to me the older I get the less I rest.  You know things like hormones or just being so involved with life.  I am one that my head seems to be turning and churning all the time with something – whether it be good things or that dreaded word worry.  My husband commented on that the other night and how my mother would stay awake at night – not that she went all the time like I do because she didn’t – but she would stay awake worrying or thinking.

One of the things that pricks my heart today about rest is how I spend my time and what I am doing for the Kingdom because that is what really matters.  There are nights I can’t sleep – yep it’s the hormones.  My husband does not get it.  Years ago when I was young my head hit the pillow and I could be out in seconds.  Today I will lay there and can’t sleep so I’ll pray, I’ll think about my to-do list and you know an hour later I am still laying there so I get up.  I would like to clean or organize but that would wake him so I pray more, I read my Bible study or another book I have in the pipeline, I go on Facebook and check in on my Bible study groups, or I blog.

In resting I think some of that means we need to stop and rest and care for our family.  How often do we get consumed with technology, our to-do list like getting the ironing done, the washing, the folding, the mopping and ignore our families in the evening.  We are all busy.  We have doctor appointments, kids to get to school, homework, sports, taking care of parents, church, hobbies, and ………….Multi-tasking has become the norm.

Are you stopping to rest and spend time with your loved ones?  Are they getting your worst or your best?  I find myself getting too involved sometimes, especially when my husband says “I thought you were getting off of that computer” or “let’s watch a movie”.  I am trying to do better – get my housework and most of my study time done before the evening, but so often I am not home because I’m subbing, meeting a friend for lunch, buying groceries, picking up things we need here or keeping my grandson.  Am I there yet? NO!  Will I ever be?  I don’t know!

One thing that I do know today is that I need to stop and spend more time with family and I need to stop and spend more time with my Holy God!  They are all waiting and expecting us to show up.

 

 

TEACH

14 Oct

Blog - Proverbs 22.6

I loved the topic for this 31 day post with Kate Motaung because as a child I always wanted to teach.  I would get out tablets and books and grade papers, and that’s what I played instead of dolls.

In my high school typing class our teacher called the Civil Service Commission out to give us shorthand and typing tests.  I know some of you are too young to know what shorthand is but that was taking dictation from someone with all sorts of symbols for words.  I placed really high on both tests and immediately started get job offers right after I graduated high school so I didn’t go straight to college and I didn’t teach.

After I married at the young age of 19 and later having kids, I became the nursery/preschool director at church and I taught the 4 and 5 year olds, but my heart was always with women but I was still a little shy, but would organize retreats to go out of town to hear speakers and stay at a hotel.

Fast forward, I went back to finish college with my college-age children only because I was not going to be the only one in the house without a degree.  I was working full-time, running my home, running the nursery, was the church clerk, sang in the choir and went back to college.  I knew the college degree would not help me at work.  I had worked myself up thru the ranks and there was no place else to move but I did find the public speaking and presentation classes helped me better at work during meetings and I was giving many luncheon speeches.

I was working as a team leader at work for over 25 years.  I loved leading and teaching my team.

I retired in 2011.  Shortly after that I began on-line Bible studies and eventually was ask to lead a group.  After much prayer I accepted that and later was asked to lead a team of group leaders.  I still do that as a volunteer.  I love it.

The next school year after I retired in December, I decided I wanted to teach and would do it on a small scale only at the two schools close to my house – a junior high and an elementary.  Guess what!  I could not have done this without that degree.

I love teaching.  I love sharing.  I love leading.  I am thankful that God placed me where I needed to be just in time.

God Paints An Awesome Canvas

14 Oct

I’m participating in The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge, and running a little behind.  Life well it just gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it?

Good morning!  As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning and think about this beautiful fall day and how the colors are starting to change at my home, I look out at the sunrise and see God painting a beautiful universe.

Blog - Lamentations 3.23 -2

Have you walked out in the morning and watched?  Have you thrown open the blinds and watched a sunrise or sunset lately and seen how glorious .  Have you stood in awe thanking God and welcoming a new day or the end of a day?

What’s not to like about fall!  I love the decorating, I love the mums.  I love the cooler temps and opening up windows so that I can hear the birds outside chirping.  I love how the trees are just now beginning to change a bit, and can’t wait until they turn yellow or orange.

As I think about how God paints our world, I am in awe of every single bit of it.

Blog-Psalm 191-3

Just walk out and look at the sky any time day or night.  Look at the canvas that God has painted.  It never gets old to me.  I love looking at the clouds and the designs, looking at the stars twinkle, cloudy skies, dark clouds, billowy clouds, puffy clouds – all of it.

Blog-Nehemiah 96

It’s up to each one of us if we are going to enjoy God’s handiwork.  How long has it been since you watched a sunrise or sunset?  They are spectacular and breathtaking.

blog-Psalm 8.3

Blog-Psalm 65.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARE

13 Oct

Blog-Mark 12.31

 

I am participating in  Kate Motaung’s Five-Minute Friday.  Actually it’s Monday but I was out-of-town.  Friday’s word was care so here goes.

As I thought about the word care, I could not help thinking about how Jesus cared for others.   Most days we will come across someone who needs to feel our care, our concern, our love, or just a touch if we just stop and take a second to look.

Caring for others takes the focus off of ourselves, and not on us.

Blog-Galatians 6.2The Message says it like this – Galatians 6:1-3 “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

Here are just a few ways to care for others:

  • First  – I would say there are so, so many opportunities to pray.  For me it’s many each day at home, school, my church, my family, my friends and that list just grows.  How do you feel when someone cares enough to pray for you?  I can remember the most trying times in life when I knew people were praying it just encouraged me and blessed me like during those times when my baby was laying in an neonatal unit and we did not know if she would live, when I lost my dad, when I lost my mom, when I broke my wrist and it did not heal right and another surgery was required, when our grandson was born with a horrible disease, when we watched as our daughter was struggling with getting pregnant.  Those are just a few times but they were the hardest times.
  • Second – How can you encourage someone today?  Maybe it is just a word of caring, maybe it’s listening, maybe just a card in the mail, an email, a phone call, and maybe just a gentle touch – simple things that can turn a person’s day around.
  • Third – Beyond that promise that you will pray for someone, how about taking them a meal, offer to drive them to an appointment, pick up some groceries or prescriptions, offer to keep a baby for a Mom who needs a few hours to re-energize, or set with an elderly parent to give a caregiver some time away.
  • Fourth – Do you care enough about what is going on in our world to do something about it?  Have you refused to watch programs because of the content?  Have you gone to a school board meeting?  Have you protested in a Christian way (for me it was when some plaques recently in our city were ordered to be taken down by the Freedom From Religion Organization) and I with many, many others protested, a lawyer from an institute stepped in to help and thinks they will stay, but what if we had sat back and let our freedoms be stripped?  What are you doing today to step up and be heard for Jesus?
  • Fifth – Do you help with the poor?  I try to do the Christmas shoe boxes with Franklin Graham.  My husband and I sponsor a compassion child.  We have kept foster children.  When we see a need, we donate.

I would love for you to share some thoughts on how you have taken some time to care for others.

Kate Motaung Five-Minute Friday

JOIN

9 Oct

JOIN me in some of my favorite blogs over the years:

MISCARRIAGE

WHATEVER

GLORIFY GOD WITH HOW HE MADE YOU

ARE YOU CARRYING BAGGAGE OR SINGING HIS SONG

STICK WITH IT

HE KNOWS ME BY NAME

 

SAY

9 Oct

blog - say what

Say – Say What?

God is looking for each one of us to say “Yes”!  I looked back over the last two years at the growth that has occurred in me and realize what a difference saying yes has made.  Every day if we will only listen, God speaks to us.  Have you heard Him, have you heard His whisper – not audibly but a tug at your heart, have you heard Him call you?  I have many times and even more so the last few years as I have grown closer to Him.

I heard him nudging me to retire back in 2011.  Really, I would normally have given months and months of notice, but He nudged me one November day and I retired December 31.  You see He know we were going to lose my Mom about 14 months after that.  It gave me many more moments with her than I would have had if I had continued working running by there in the late afternoons tired, running up there on Sunday after church tired.  God knew, He nudged, and I said YES!

A few months after I retired He lead me to on-line Bible studies and then He said it was time to be volunteer to be a group leader and I was like what, what!  Later as I was approached to be a team leader it was like No Lord, I’m not capable.  He said I will equip you.  I love it.  I love meeting women all over the world.  Many I have met personally and recently got to spend time with 200 of them at a retreat.

Well a few months after that He said it was time to teach.  I said say what!  I am not a teacher. Guess what?  I AM because of who He is!

Romans 9:25-26 – I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies: I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.”

I’d love for you to share you say what moments!

GO!

9 Oct

I am already a little behind with Kate Matoung’s 31-Day Challenge.  I’m posting Day 7 of the 31 days and should be on Day 9, but because of that word GO and what it means in my life, it seems that is all I do is go.

This is not something new with me.  I can’t remember ever having a boring day in my life.  I hear people complaining about being bored, and I think how can you be bored.  I wish I could find a boring moment.

I love doing, I love going – not that we are going on trips or anything like that.  It just seems with two grown, married children, a mother-in-law next door, the schools calling for me to substitute teach, a grandson, being involved in on-line Bible studies, loving to blog, loving to read, loving family tree research well I’m doing all the time.  I love, love naps but seldom get one.

I love this Bible verse about going.

Blog-Go

 

How am I going?  Today I participate in on-line Bible studies.  I am a volunteer group leader and a team leader.  Love to join us – check out Proverbs31.Org.  I also am active at my church and we sponsor a compassion child, and I substitute teach finding every opportunity I can to talk about my Jesus to teachers and students.

When my grandson comes to visit I am running like a crazy woman keeping up with him.  He’s one, and he is running all over the house constantly.  Here he was yesterday in a cute little costume that my Mom made for my son 33 years ago.  I just had to try it on him for a few minutes.  Precious memories of Mom as I did.  He can push this little toy faster than I can run.

colt - halloween

 

 

I love vacations but we seldom take them.  Sometimes we go to a cabin in south Texas.  It’s fun, it’s in the deep woods, far from town and I love just sitting and watching birds, deer, turkey, cows and flowers and cactus.

I recently took a trip to North Carolina with my on-line Bible study sisters.  Here are a few pictures from that.

retreatcollage

So how about you?  What does GO mean to you?

 

KNOW

9 Oct

One of my favorite verses about knowing.

 

Blog - Psalm 46.10

Many, many years ago a man came to our church and drew while playing this song.  I fell in love, bought the CD and it still speaks to me each time I hear it.  I hope it does you.

Do you KNOW?

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=09JBBFNU

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