faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Awaken to God’s Voice

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Today I am reviewing —

“Awaken”(90 Days with the God who speaks) by Priscilla Shirer.

This is a devotional with 90 short devotions.  I loved reading this book!

The devotions are short, but packed with encouraging insights.  Each devotion ends with Scripture and a question about your life or about your own relationship with God.  After each question, there is room for you to write your answer inside the book.  Since I have a Kindle version, my answers are in a separate notebook.  Because of this you may want to buy the print version of the book.

–>Go HERE to purchase.

Priscilla says that she wrote this book now, because she felt she had enough life experience as a Christian to write with some wisdom and depth.  She surely did that!  I highlighted a lot in this book!  There is so much good advice.  She is writing from her own life and revealing what has been helpful to her.

Priscilla also points out useful Scripture verses.  I need to memorize some of those!  How about this one?  – Elisha’s prayer in 2 Kings 6:17 is “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.”  I can pray this for someone else, but I can also pray this for myself. Please open my eyes and let me see!  I want to see God working through the people around me, and I want to see where I can step in and be helpful.

Here is another Scripture that would be good to memorize: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32) Most of us have someone we need to forgive. I know I do!

I will definitely be following up on some of the things Priscilla suggests we do to get direction from God and to stay on the right path. 

One way to read this book is to read one devotion each day and answer the questions, then pray for God to show you how to apply it in your day or week.  If you have some days with more time available and other days too busy, you could read several devotions in one day, answering the questions that are easy for you, then return to the harder questions later, after taking time to think about them throughout the day.  I chose to read through the whole thing fairly quickly without answering the questions, and then go back and read more slowly, taking the time to answer each question. 

Whichever way you read this book, challenge yourself to answer each question.   Answering the questions will  “Awaken” you to how God is working in your life, and how you can include Him in your everyday life.

As Priscilla says, God is always there in your prayer times, in His Word, and in your heart.  Just open your eyes and see!

–>Click HERE for the book’s website with more information from Priscilla!

 

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Reading and Reviewing Books

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Yes that is what I do on my blog.  I read books and review them.  

I just finished “Reading with Patrick” by Michelle Kuo.

Funny enough, this book is about reading books and poetry, and writing too.  This book is a memoir about a teacher and her students, and one student in particular, Patrick.  Ms. Kuo is the teacher and the author, and in her book she tells the story about how once we are a teacher, we cannot stop teaching.  She loves teaching.

I enjoyed the story about her desire to help her students in a poor southern town. She was a good teacher in a school where most teachers and their students didn’t care about school.  It was interesting to read about a good teacher and her viewpoint.  

What is different about this story, is that years later she follows up on her students, and finds out what has happened to them in their lives.  It is mostly not good news.  She decides to help one student change that.  This is their story.

I did not like the author’s tendency to self analyze.  She goes into long discussions in her mind trying to figure out her own motives and what she wants to do in her life.  I didn’t like those parts of the book much.  Ms. Kuo is definitely not a psychologist or counselor.  Overall though, I did like the book.

The book also enlightens us by showing that it takes more than one year to change a child’s life.  It takes commitment and years of input and help.  Besides our own children and grandchildren, we don’t normally spend that much time with a child.  Most teachers have a student in their class for one or two years.  Maybe we need more people like the author Ms. Kuo.  We need people who care enough about kids who made a mistake, and give them the opportunity to change and turn their life around.  This book is about such a person, and the one kid she helps.

–>Click HERE to get the book or read more reviews.

Next I will be helping with some new book launches.  Just when I thought I would step back from book reviews and not review every Friday, I have been asked to get more involved.  Since I have been praying about this, I seem to have my answer from God.  I will continue to read and review books every Friday.  One of the book launches I am on, is “Awaken” by Priscilla Shirer.  I will be reviewing this book later in the summer.  I am a fan of Priscilla.  She writes well and she is a great speaker and teacher. Watch for her new book to be out in August!  You might remember her from the movie “War Room”.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should.

–>Check out the movie HERE.  

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Living Life God’s Way

JoeyPlusRory Hymnscdfrt_1024x1024Living life God’s way describes the book “This Life I Live” by Rory Feek.

Rory lays out how his life changed for God when Joey came into it and became his wife. They tried to live their life God’s way.  They tithed 10% of their earnings.  They prayed about decisions.  They took his blessings gratefully and shared them with others.  They even accepted the gift of their child, Indiana, who has Down’s Syndrome.  She is a ray of sunshine! I looked on Rory’s Facebook page and saw some videos of her. –>Check it out! She certainly brightens up their life! (Rory also has two older daughters from an earlier marriage, and they just love Indiana too!)

Rory is a song writer, singer, blogger ( –>Find the blog HERE. ), single father, and widower.  Yes, Joey dies.  I am revealing that because so many people already know that, since Joey and Rory were a popular country music singing duo. –>See their album CDs! Many people followed their blog and watched their TV show.

I had not heard of them until I got this book.  I was starting from scratch, but still I found this book interesting.  Their life is unusual in that it is small farm with chickens and a garden, yet they are famous singers.  Although they are not perfect, this book can be an encouragement to others to also try to live God’s way.

–>Go HERE to get the book!

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The War in Syria

WarinSyria

I am combining my Monday and Friday posts today into one, because I have granddaughters coming for a visit this week.  The Monday topic is truth.  Tuesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day.  The Friday book review is “Under the Wire” by Paul Conroy.

This is not a Christian book, but it gives us important information about truth.  Truth is often difficult to hear, but truth is important to know.  Truth is so important that some people are willing to risk their lives to get the truth out to the world.  This book is the true story of people just like that.  Brave people, many who died because they wanted the world to know what was happening in Syria.

This book is about several news reporters, and how they got into the war zone, what they found there, how they lived there, and how they got out, and how some of them died. Paul Conroy, a news photographer, is the author.  He witnessed what has been happening in Syria to the citizens living there.

The people of Syria have been under attack by President Assad for years.  Their homes have been bombed to ruins.  Their children have been shot or blown up.  They have little food and water.  They live under the constant shooting and bombing that threatens their lives and shreds their nerves.

Why don’t they leave?  Many do escape, but it is dangerous.  Many are shot and killed trying to escape.  The military is not letting them leave.  The government wants to kill them all.

Why are the news reporters there? They want to get proof of what is really happening in Syria.  They want to get back to their home countries and tell and show everyone what is truly going on in Syria.  It is a horrible truth, but we need to know.  Then we need to decide what we will do about it.

Will we help the people who do escape? They are refugees now with no home.  Right now, few countries are willing to help them.  Will we provide medical care to the injured?  Or will we turn our backs and allow them all to be killed?

These are tough questions, but we need to know the truth to answer them.  People like Paul Conroy and other news correspondents, and the Syrian people, are risking their lives to get the truth out.  If it is that important to them, to risk their lives so we will know the truth, then we should read the truth.

This is why I picked up this book at a book sale, to read the truth.  It is a difficult story to read.  It is important to read.  It is important to decide what we will do to help the people of Syria.

Will we donate to charities that are helping the refugees and the injured?  

Will we encourage our governments to provide a place for refugees to live?  

At the very least, will we read their story and hear their witness of the truth?

Lies need to be challenged with the truth.

>Click here to find ways to help.

Jump here to get the book —

 

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Forgotten Girls

ChildBrides001aChild brides with their husbands

I picked up this book  “Forgotten Girls” at a book sale.  It tells the stories of girls caught in slavery, so they won’t be forgotten anymore.  Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett wrote this book for just that reason.  The stories are sad and scary, but there is hope for these girls, who are no longer forgotten.

Michele Rickett is the founder and president of “She is Safe”.  This is a charity that rescues girls caught in slavery, and also educates girls and their families to prevent other girls from ending up there.  Girls are the key to a better future for their families.

There are over 4 million victims of enforced slavery every year.  They and their parents are usually uneducated, illiterate, and live in poverty.  Girls are often seen as a burden, so they are abandoned or sold into slavery.  These are the girls “She is Safe” wants to help before they end up in slavery.

In some countries it is allowed to force a girl to marry temporarily.  The husband can have sex with her, and then abandon her in a few months, all legally.  It does not matter what age the girl is.  Abandoned and no longer a virgin, she typically ends up in the sex trade for the rest of her short life.  In other countries it is quite common for the men in a family to sexually abuse the girls.  It could be an uncle, grandfather, or cousin. The girl is expected to stay quiet about it.

It is hard to read the stories in this book, but is important to read their stories, so they are no longer forgotten.  We can help them through prayers and with donations to organizations like “She is Safe”.  “She is Safe” works in some of the poorest areas of the world: India, Mali, the Middle East, northern Africa, Sudan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal.

>HELP save a girl from slavery …

>WATCH this video 

>Get the book “Forgotten Girls”

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Mist of Midnight

MistofMidnight SandraByrd

The title suggests mystery and dark secrets…

And you will be pleased to find them in this intriguing historical novel —

>Mist of Midnightby Sandra Byrd.

I love historical novels, but have never read a book by Sandra Byrd before.  Other book bloggers gave her books good reviews, so I decided to give this one a try.

I loved this book!  It kept my interest throughout.  It combines two cultures — India and England, which helps add to the mystery.

The main character is Rebecca, the daughter of missionaries who are killed in India.  Alone in the world, will she be penniless? Who will help her?  Will English society welcome her home?  Will she be charged with a crime? Who is guilty?

This would make a great book to read this weekend!

>Touch THIS to get a copy.  

“Mist of Midnight” is part of a trilogy — Daughters of Hampshire.

The other 2 books in the series are —

>”Bride of a Distant Isle” and “A Lady in Disguise.

I got my copy at the library.  I plan to read “A Lady in Disguise” too.

Let me know how you like the books!

 

 

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The Big Picture Interactive Bible

BigPictureBible Cover

So this week I am reviewing a new children’s Bible that is different in that it uses technology, making it interactive with the reader.  There is an app to download to your mobile device.  Throughout the Bible are full-color pictures that when scanned tell a story.  A narrator explains the activity happening in the picture.

BigPicture Bible

I recommend that most children will get more out of this Bible if a parent or teacher goes through it with them.  The text is written at adult or at least 6th grade level.  The interactive pictures must be viewed on the phone or mobile device while looking down onto the Bible.  If you pull the phone away, the voice and picture stops.  Children under 6th grade will probably need help with that.

Also throughout the Bible are “Big Questions” that ask a question that Bible readers might have, and gives the answer.  There are also sections called “Christ Connection” that explain how that verse in the Bible refers to Jesus.  These sections are written for kids to understand.  Parents can use these sections to give their children more background or insight on those verses in the Bible.

This is generally not a Bible you would buy and give to your child, unless you give it to a child in 6th to 8th grade.  In my opinion children older than 8th grade would not be interested in this Bible.  This is a thick, heavy Bible with small print and uses vocabulary of 6th grade or above.  I believe this Bible was designed with the idea that a parent would read sections of this Bible with their children, certainly for younger children.

If you are looking for a way to bring the Bible to life for your child, and to find sections to explain or highlight important verses, then this could be a good Bible for you to consider.  This Bible is in the CSB, Christian Standard Bible translation.

>Click HERE to get more information or to purchase.

>Look HERE to read a sample in the Bible.  This will let you see the vocabulary and reading level of the text by clicking on the cover that says “look inside”.

I did receive a free copy of this Bible from Lifeway.com in order to write a review. The opinions I give here are my own, and I had input from my husband, a retired minister, who teaches 4th and 5th grade Sunday School.

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Let It Go

LettingGo

Ok, we know the popular Disney song “Let It Go”.  

But do we know how to let it go?

I just finished reading the book “The Way of Letting Go” by Wilma Derksen.  Wilma is an expert in letting go!  All I can say is “Wow”! 

This book is so real, so honest, so true.  This book is about letting go, and about living life in an imperfect world.  Wilma Derksen has lived what no one should have to live through, but she did it, and did it well.  What is the “The Way of Letting Go”?  It is about facing tragedy and finding forgiveness by letting go.

Don’t turn away from forgiveness.  You may want to, but don’t.  Forgiveness is the way to healing.  Forgiveness is the way to peace.  If you have struggled through difficulties and pain in your life, then read this book.  It will help you let go, live your life, forgive, and move on.  It will help you find hope for a better day tomorrow.

The author was not born knowing how to forgive.  She did not get a degree at college on forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not taught in school.  Wilma learned how to forgive by experiencing tragedy and not having any other way to cope and survive. She learned how to forgive in “the school of hard knocks”, real life.

I went through six years of battling cancer.  I used forgiveness to help me heal.  I can relate to some of the chapters in this book — Letting go of fear; letting go of the happy ending; letting go of the old me; letting go of my expectation of fairness. Other types of letting go that I didn’t know, that is where this book taught me the most.  Letting go of guilt and blame; letting go of my ego; letting go of closure.

This letting go process is very healing.  Some of it is difficult.  It doesn’t need to be done in any specific order. It shouldn’t be done in a hurry. Letting go is a process that brings forgiveness.  Forgiveness brings peace and healing and allows us to move forward with our life.  

If you are stuck in blaming someone; or feeling life has not been fair to you; or you keep searching for a happy ending, then maybe you need to read this book.  

Look for it  >HERE.  Read a bit of it online just click the book cover >HERE.

If every time you think about moving forward, doing something new, you say — “Yeah but…”, then you need to do some letting go.

If you can’t stop crying, you need to do some letting go.

I am going to re-read this book, at least some of the chapters, so I can make more progress toward real forgiveness.  Wilma is a great role model to follow.  Read her book slowly, don’t rush it.  This is not a book to speed read.  It is full of useful information.  Wilma uses her own life to explain how to let go, so you can forgive.

This is a really good book.  It made me yearn for more forgiveness in me.  It gave me a better understanding of what victims of crime go through.  Wilma is good at sharing that.  I don’t want to spoil the impact of the book, so I won’t tell you the details here.

If you read it, you will be surprised what you learn.

Buy the book HERE.

 

(I did receive a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers, so I could write an honest review.  Everything you read in this book review is my own opinion.)

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Hidden Figures Book and Movie

HiddenFigures Book

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly is the book behind the movie.

(I did read the adult version of the book, but it had this picture on it, instead of the movie picture, so I used this cover pic since it showed the real women not actors.)

Did you see the movie “Hidden Figures”?  I did, and it was great!  I enjoyed learning about the history behind the space race.  The situations of the lady “computers” were sometimes funny and sometimes gut-wrenching.  If you didn’t see it, I recommend it!  It was an exciting time in our American history.

After seeing the movie, I knew there must be a lot more to the story, so I decided to read the book.  I got on a wait list at my local library.  I was 48th on the list! It was very popular.  I finally got it last week, and finished reading it pretty quickly, since I wanted to review it for you.  I was right; there is a huge amount of information not included in the movie.  That said, the book may have delved into all the details more than necessary.  It is still a very interesting book.

It is a biography of 4 African American ladies in the west computing section of NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which later became NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  The book and the movie tell the true history of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.

I am glad I saw the movie first, because it gave me a better idea of what the book was about.  It is a complicated history, because it involves so many people, several towns, many schools, and the politics of the time.  If you enjoy learning about history, then the book is definitely worth reading!

The movie made NASA the main reason for having all these women mathematicians, but really it was airplanes and WWII. It was NACA that hired the women.  Because of the war, there simply was not enough qualified men to fill the jobs. The government wanted many more airplanes and wanted them to fly faster.  So Black women started working at Langley Aeronautical Lab in Hampton, Virginia, in 1942.  The space race didn’t start until 1958, and boomed in the 1960s.

The movie also didn’t explain the beginnings that made it possible for NACA to hire so many mathematicians, engineers and physicists.  Many black families wanted their children to have a better life than they had.  They believed that education would get them there.  This was very shrewd planning.  As a result there were many black men and women studying and teaching math and science.  These were good jobs and they enjoyed teaching; however, they were educated and smart enough to work as engineers, mathematicians, researchers and physicists.  Because they were black, they had been overlooked for the better jobs before, but when Langley needed to hire hundreds more employees that had the education of engineers, mathematicians and physicists, they found them by looking at high school teachers and new college graduates at Black schools.

Many African Americans were hired at Langley, and they were accepted, but some segregation was still apparent, as with the colored bathrooms and colored lunch table.  The riveting scene when Kevin Costner knocks down the colored bathroom sign with a sledge-hammer, does not happen in the book.  But over time, many of these types of prejudices did gradually stop, at least at Langley.

I want to end my review by giving kudos to one of the ladies in the book.  Her name is Katherine Johnson, the most famous of the group.  In 2015 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama!  This is our country’s highest civilian award, the same award given to Astronaut John Glenn.  Ladies of Langley, we owe you a debt of gratitude for your service to this country!

>View HERE the 1 minute video of the presentation!

>Click HERE to buy the book.

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Break Out and Go

BookCover BreakOutwww.jedsbook.com

It is not very often that I can say it was such a joy to read and exciting to share the review of any book.  But that is how I feel about today’s book –

— “Break Out” by Jed Lindstrom!

“Break Out” is the story of Jed’s life, beginning with his childhood, then following him into drugs, robbery, and prison.  It is a true story of how evil can take over a young person’s life.  It is unfortunately true of many young people in the world.  Drug addiction has ruined the lives of millions of people.

Thankfully, Jed’s story does not end there.

While in prison, Jed is led to Jesus.  He gives his heart to the Lord, and his life begins to change.

When he gets out of prison, he is determined to follow Jesus.  He starts a ministry of leading others who are down and out to Jesus.  He does this in the most unusual places!  He talks to anyone who is desperate enough to listen on the streets and on the subway of New York, in Los Angeles, and on the bus in Minneapolis.  Yes he really did what he called “subway church”, telling his testimony to the people in the subway cars and praying with them.  You can read about how he did this in the book.

If you meet Jed, you will see that he loves people.  He genuinely cares.  Most of all, he loves Jesus with his whole heart and mind and strength.  Nothing keeps him from sharing Jesus with people. I was lucky enough to have met him earlier this month.

It was only a few years after prison, when he started his official full-time Christian ministry –>“Let’s Go Ministry”.  Which tells what he does himself, be willing to go to the no go places to reach people for Jesus.  Jed’s story may seem like fiction, but it is real life.

The book tells the true story of Jed Lindstrom. 

He was lost in darkness, in a pit from drug addiction, and locked in prison, but God reached him there.  God can reach anyone, no matter your circumstances.  If you have a friend or family member who is in a dark pit of drug addiction, pray for them, and don’t stop.  Prayer has the power to release God into any situation to reach the person you are praying for.  It will take time, but don’t give up.  Ask others to pray too.  I have seen prayer work a great healing and free a person from despair and drugs.  Jed’s mom prayed for him, and she did not stop.

This book tells a powerful true testimony about the love and grace of God. God loves each of us with a love that overcomes any pit of darkness.  God loves you no matter what you did, no matter what you do, God wants to heal you, and He wants you to love Him the same way He loves you.

This book can be the inspiration that changes your life, or the life of your friend or family member.  Read this book, then give it to someone else who needs it.  Can you tell I love this book?

Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram …. Help get this book in the hands of everyone who needs to make a change in their life! 

There are people praying for every person who reads this book!  

kneeling Prayer

Yes they are praying for you, and every person who even begins to read this book!  We know that this book will pick people up out of a pit, and turn people around.  Many people will give their heart to Jesus.  This book will inspire anyone to seek God’s help and change their life.

The quickest and cheapest way to get this book is to order the Kindle version –

–>Click HERE to download it now for less than $4.

If you want to hand the book to someone else, then order the paperback version –

–>Jump on IT, to order “Break Out” paperback expanded edition.

You can also read part of the book >HERE, just click on the book cover on Amazon.

Write a review on Amazon to encourage people to read this book.

It’s easy!  (On the book page, click on “Write a customer review”.) After you —

–>Click THIS to leave a review on the book page.  

To find out more about Jed’s story –

–>Go to Let’s Go Ministry.com

Where are you going tomorrow? 

Do you need to make a change? 

Don’t wait. Read this book!

LET’S GO!!  A better future is waiting for you.

You can —>follow Jed on Facebook HERE.

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