faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Humbled by Love

medicalcare-africa-1660ke-b-363-1-359x240 (Picture credit: Samaritan’s Purse of Dr. Roskos)

Have you ever been humbled by something another person did?

Kent and Amber Brantly went to Liberia to provide health care in an area with few doctors and little medical supplies.  Kent is a doctor and Amber is a nurse.  They also have two children, and they all moved to Liberia.  They continued to work there even during the deadly Ebola virus epidemic.  Reading their book, >“Called by Life, I was amazed and humbled by their willingness to help strangers, knowing the dangers of helping people with Ebola. 

During their time in Liberia, only one person out of one hundred survived Ebola at the hospital where the Brantleys worked.  Kent did get Ebola, and nearly died.  He was evacuated by airplane to continue treatment in Atlanta, Georgia.  He survived after a month long ordeal.  His wife Amber and their two kids had left Liberia a few days earlier to head to the U.S. for a family wedding.  They did not get the disease.  Yet Kent and Amber had been willing to risk it.  Amazing!

Kent says in the book that he was humbled by all the doctors and nurses who volunteered to take care of him, even though he had a deadly and very contagious disease.  I know that I too was humbled by all the people praying for me when I was battling cancer for several years.  I was also humbled by my cancer doctor, who was available by phone 24/7 during my treatments.  During cancer I never felt so loved, not just by friends and family, but by people who did not know me. 

Part of love is compassion for other people.  Going through a trauma yourself gives us compassion for hurting people.  Whether we experience a car accident that puts us in the hospital, or cancer that requires years of treatments, or get too sick to even get out of bed, the experience gives us a new level of compassion for anyone suffering a serious health concern.

Somehow our fear gets overshadowed by the compassion.  And our heart that did not care about strangers, instead fills with compassion.  It is one way that God can use a difficult experience we suffer through to grow our spiritual capacity for love.  As Jesus said, the second most important commandment is “love your neighbor”.  The thing is, for people like the Brantlys, a neighbor is even a stranger half-way across the world.  Yes, humbling love.

It is so easy to make excuses not to help someone.  When you feel compassion, somehow the excuses don’t matter anymore. 

>Click Samaritan’s Purse for more information on medical missions.

Leave a comment »

Detours in Your Life

detourahead-44160__340

Have you ever been on a detour?

Frustrating right?  Just when you think you’ll get there with some time to spare, there is a detour, and now you are running late. 

And it’s hard to be patient!

You know there are repairs that need to be done, BUT you hate to be late!

This book is like that.  Yeah. Not only is Tony Evans writing about God’s detours that happen, but he has written a book that reads like a detour.  It’s called obviously —

“Detours”!

You start out expecting this book to start like gangbusters as some of Tony’s sermons, but it lays a foundation first.  It goes slowly, so we all understand what is a spiritual detour.

Tony Evans quote –“We think that because of our own hookups, human abilities, talent, contacts, or even our own resources – that if we just toss a prayer on top – we can get to where we want to go. … God doesn’t work that way.”

As I kept reading, the book was getting more interesting, and moving along at a good clip.  Then it jumped into turbocharge!  The points were flying by!  I had to pay more attention, and even re-read a few pages to be sure I understood. 

The detour Tony Evans took us on, to lay out the foundation, was a really good idea.  Without the foundation, I would have missed how God works through detours.  I would have missed that we need to involve God in our detours.

What Tony Evans tells us in general, is that detours are good things when you bring God into your plans, into your problems, and into your daily life.  It is true that detours are no fun, but without the foundation, the structure, and the development of the plans, the outcome would fail. 

If you want God’s plan for your life to be successful, then you have to be willing to take some detours.

This new book “Detours” by Tony Evans tells you how to involve God in your life plans and problems, how to recognize detours, and how to patiently walk through the detours knowing that God has a great outcome planned.

>Click here  if you want to get your hands on a copy of “Detours”.

>Click here  to read part of the book by Tony Evans by clicking the book cover.

Jump on the website!  You will find more of Tony Evans’ teachings and background.

I would so appreciate you sharing this review on Facebook or Twitter.  The buttons are down below this post to make it real easy for you.  Thank you!

I did receive a free copy of this book from B&H Books, so I could write an honest review of the book.  Hopefully you just read my review, so click on the links above and find you a copy to read!

BH BlueBloggerBadge

Leave a comment »

Katharina and Martin Luther

 

blackcloister

The Black Cloister where Katharina and Martin Luther lived.

Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha

This book is fascinating! Who knew that Martin Luther, the reformer of Protestant Christian religion as we know it today, a former Catholic monk and priest, married a runaway nun?  She was twenty-four when she escaped from the convent.  Even so, once married several years later, they lived in an abandoned monastery in Germany, the Black Cloister.  They both had received death threats because of their marriage.  They had 6 children, and many visitors at the monastery.  Their life was very busy, and Martin traveled often to give sermons or participate in religious debates.  Yes, he was instrumental in beginning the Protestant Christian religion, but his personal life was also eventful. 

This is one of the best biographies I have read!

Katharina, Martin’s wife, lived an incredible life as well.  The work she had to do to keep up the monastery and the household for their family is heroic.  I never knew anyone who worked as hard as she.  She also was very talented in many ways, as with natural medicines, butchering animals for food, and running the household finances.  Luckily for the Luthers, Katharina had received good schooling at the convent where she grew up.  At that time, most women were illiterate, but Katharina could read and write (in both Latin and German), and she had memorized portions of the Bible, especially the Psalms.

Martin Luther was also, though poor, well-educated.  He eventually earned a doctorate – Doctor of Biblia- meaning “teacher of the Bible”.  He published many papers.  He taught at a University, and was preacher to the Augustinian monks in Wittenberg.  This was the background of the man who later wrote the “Ninety-Five Theses” that were nailed to the church door of the Castle Church, making the public announcement of the start of the Protestant Christian religion.

Michelle DeRusha tells a fascinating tale of intrigue, rebellions, escapes in the night, illnesses and deaths.  This is like the dramas seen in current historical TV on Masterpiece Theater!  It is hard to believe that church history could be so interesting.  I will definitely by watching for Michelle’s future books.  She can really tell a story!

>Click here to read or purchase this book.

book-katharinamartinluther

I did receive a free digital copy from the Publisher through >NetGalley.com, so that I could write this honest review.

NetGalley Challenge

Leave a comment »

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

sistinechapel-painting-561770__340

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling took 4 years to paint.

Noah took 120 years to build the ark.

The Winchester Cathedral in England was built in sections over 500 years!

winchestercathedral-220px-wincath30je6-4836wiki

It’s hard to understand how people can devote years to one project.  

Today a large church in the U.S. can be built in less than a year.  True they are not as beautiful as the oldest churches of Europe. 

It seems here in the U.S. we are always in a hurry.  We want everything done fast.  I have found that fast can often mean less good.  Also, fast can mean there is no value, no purpose other than to finish as quickly as possible.

For example, when I had a large yard with a garden, I would cook fresh vegetables. 

One of my favorite things to cook was pumpkin pie from scratch.  I would pick a pumpkin I had grown in my garden, cut it open and scoop out the seeds and gunky stuff.  Then I would partially cook it so I could cut off the rind and cut the pumpkin up to fully cook.  Then I would mash it.  Then I would add spices and cook it until soft.  Then the other ingredients like milk would be added.  I would make a crust and press it in the bottom of a pie pan.  The pumpkin filling would be poured into the pie pan and cooked in the oven.  Although this type of pumpkin pie was a lighter color than what we see in a store, it was more delicious.  The pie took me all day to make, but was eaten in a matter of 20 minutes by my family. Those pies were popular, much requested, and made for special occasions only.

Have you ever made a pie from scratch?  Today most people buy a pie in the grocery store or from a bakery.  Some people will buy canned filling and refrigerated crust to make their pie, which is what I would do now.  It’s fast, but the faster the process, the less good it tastes, and the less good it is for you.  Also, when we make it fast, we don’t have time to think about the value of what we are making.

The same is true of a painting, or a song.  If you paint it or write it in 15 minutes, the results will not be as good as if you took days or weeks to create it.  It takes time to think about what result you want, and plan the best way to do that.

When I cook dinner, I sometimes think about how many people worked many hours to provide the meal I eat.  A meal of chicken and potatoes with green beans and carrots, takes someone to prepare the land, people to plant, weed, spray, harvest, ship, clean, process as canned or frozen, then shippers to transport, and grocery store workers to display and sell it.  Of course the chickens have to be fed and transported and butchered.  It humbles me to realize that so many people are dedicated to their job in order to feed all of us people.  Yes they make a living out of it, but think about what we would eat if we had to raise all of our own food.  I know that I would eat a lot less, because it is hard work to prepare from scratch, and to care for a garden. 

If Michelangelo only took 1 month to paint the Sistine Chapel, we would not see beautiful paintings that amaze us.  We would see simple paintings with broad strokes and little detail. They would be nice, but not amazing.

Perhaps to see the beauty of anything, or to create something of beauty, we need to slow down.  

To appreciate what God created for us in our universe, we need to slow down.  We need to stop and smell the flowers and watch the breeze blow through the trees, and listen to birds singing.  We would have time to look for the details and care God took to create this amazing world we live in.  He made this world for us.  It is an expression of His love for us.  Sure He created it in one week, but it continues to grow and change and is still beautiful thousands maybe millions of years later.  It humbles me to know how much God loves us.  It encourages me to slow down and appreciate the beauty of this world, the abundance of colorful plants and the variety of animal species, the sounds of music in many different styles, the power of the ocean…

The whole earth is filled with God’s glory! I praise you God! I thank You. 

I worship You.

Please take time to slow down for just one day, and see the beauty all around you, and appreciate what God and so many people do for you throughout your day.  

I would love to hear what you noticed more when you slowed down for a day.  Tell me about it in the comments below, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

2 Comments »

Prayer Changes Things

praygloriously-1639946__340

My motto is “Prayer changes things”. 

Having grown in my faith, and grown in my prayer life over the years, I see how they interplay.  As faith grows, we turn to prayer; as we receive answers to prayer, our faith grows.  They build on each other.

For several years I led the prayer ministry at a Christian church.  During that time I bought some books on prayer.  Two of them I still have on my bookshelf.  They were instrumental in my own prayer life, and in leading the prayer ministry.  I want to share with you why I am recommending these books.

One is a classic, “What Happens When Women Pray”

by Evelyn Christenson.

The other is a prayer powerhouse, “Let Prayer Change Your Life”

by Becky Tirabassi.

The subtitle of this one by Becky is “How You Can Release God’s Power”.  That summarizes this book quite well.

Evelyn’s book “What Happens When Women Pray”, covers topics you would expect in a classic on prayer.  Here are some of the chapters:

“Prayer is the answer”I love this chapter.  Some people make fun of people who say, “I will pray for you.” But I agree with Evelyn that prayer is THE answer to any problem!  I cherish the people who have prayed for me through Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, divorce, and cancer.  I am alive today and happily married because of those prayer warriors.

“Forgiven as we forgive”.

“Praying in One accord”.

 “How to pray in God’s Will”.

“God never makes a mistake”.

“Where, when, and to whom we pray”.

“Results”.

“Telephone prayer chains”.  I don’t know if you are familiar with prayer chains.  I’m not sure if churches are still using it.  To begin with the prayer ministry I led consisted of a telephone prayer chain with several groups of women on a list.  When a prayer request came in, one person was called in each group, and then she called the next person on her list.  In this way, many people were praying for the same prayer request the same hour, and even more during the rest of that day.  We were a small church, so this was effective for the few prayer requests we got. 

In addition, I had each group pray regularly for one of the ministers at the church and one of the elders.  Each group had a minister and an elder to pray for.  In that way, all the ministers and elders were prayed for throughout each week and each month, all year.  I also added an annual prayer retreat, and a 24-hour prayer sign-up for The National Day of Prayer.  Basically, I had led a classic prayer ministry.

Becky’s book, “Let Prayer Change Your Life”, ramped up my belief in prayer.  My eyes were opened to the power of God that is released through prayer! Please don’t let anyone tell you that prayer is not important.

For example, Becky tells a story about prayer that she experienced.  She was on her way to lead a prayer workshop The location was far enough away that she had to fly there.  At the airport she found out that the airport was shutting down for a couple hours because of construction on the runway.  She called to tell the host for the workshop that she would be arriving there a couple hours later than planned.  The person on the line prayed while they were on the phone.  Becky then went through security, and then heard that the construction was cleared and the plane would leave on time.  She then made a quick call to the host again and told her of the quick answer to her prayers.  Only later did she find out that the delay was not construction, but a bomb.  A local sheriff had decided to remove the bomb himself, instead of waiting for a bomb squad.  Talk about answered prayer!  Not only was the plane on time, but no one was injured by the bomb!

Please don’t ever let anyone tell you that prayer is not important!

Becky’s book chapters include these insights about Prayer:

“Prayer fuels faith”.

“Prayer teaches trust in God’s Plan and our purpose”.

“Prayer releases God’s power”.

And “Prayer unleashes love for God”.

And all that is in addition to the chapter “The Blessings and Benefits of Prayer”.

If that list doesn’t get you eager to read a book on prayer, then maybe I can encourage you by asking you to —

>click on one of the links below to read more about these two books.

Purchase one or both, or find them in your local library. They don’t cost much, and they could change your life, because I believe that “Prayer Changes Things”.

>“What Happens When Women Pray” at Barnes & Noble both new or used plus shipping.

>“What Happens When Women Pray” at Amazon both new with Prime free shipping and available used with shipping.

>“Let Prayer Change Your Life” at Barnes & Noble online only used for $1.99 plus shipping.

>“Let Prayer Change Your Life” at Amazon, available used with shipping.

Leave a comment »

My Heart

myheart-pic

Julie Manning lived a normal life with her husband and young son.  She had gone back to school to become a nurse, and was working with children who had heart problems.

Then on the day she was to give birth to their second son, her life changed.  She found out that she had a very dangerous health condition – heart failure.  Her life and her family’s lives all changed on that day.

What is amazing is that this story is real.  This book reads like a drama, an intense fictional story, but it is a true story.  Julie Manning is living this story.

Reading this book is an awesome experience.  I feel like I did not breathe the whole time I was reading it.  It was hard to put down.  Julie tells her story so well, with so much honesty and emotion, that you can’t help but feel like a close friend worrying for her.

Not only does Julie accept her heart condition, but she lives it with courage and an amazing faith in God.  She does not close herself up in her house out of fear, no she bravely goes about living her life, and being a wife and mother.   I do not know how she can express herself with such calm focus.  I would not have been surprised if she was weeping out of grief, and screaming with fear or anger, and yelling at God, but she does none of those things.

Julie calmly picks up a pen and begins to journal her experiences, and to write letters to her two sons.  She shares some of these journal entries, and letters with us, so we can hear her thoughts about faith and purpose in God.  We hear her love for her sons, and her hopes for them.  I have never heard anyone express these thoughts before.  I never even thought of asking for these things that she is hoping and praying for her boys.  I cannot help but wish I knew her, but at least I learn a lot about her as she tells her story in this book.

I cannot say this to you strongly enough.  You really need to read this book I think it is urgent that you read this book.  Really, this book has the potential to change your life, and the lives of your current or future spouse and children for the better, so much better!  All you have to do is read this book, and use her life as an example of what your life could be.  You can have a life filled with love, hope, and purpose.  Yes you can!  Julie tells you how she does it.

I truly believe that if you read this book, and really listen to what Julie is saying to her sons, and to you, this book will knock your breath away!  This book could change the way you look at your daily life, and your relationship with your family, and with God.  Yes, this book is written that well.  Yes, this book contains an amazing true story, told with extreme honesty and vulnerability.

Julie Manning, I give you a standing ovation!  Your life is a role model for us.  I feel that in my life I missed so much love and purpose that could have been there if I had only known it was possible. 

I hope and pray that you younger women will read about Julie’s life, so you have the chance to know what your life can be, and be encouraged and inspired, to cultivate it in your own life. 

This book will astonish you!  This book will knock your socks off!

Just order this book, >Click HERE!   It will be available to ship on February 1, 2017.

On Amazon read part of the book now >Click HERE.

You can buy this book in book stores beginning February 1, 2017.

If you buy the book before February 28, 2017, you can submit a copy of your receipt to receive a special reward – a FREE prayer journal from Julie.  To submit your receipt >Click HERE, then click “Redeem Today” at the top of the My Heart website page.

Find out more about Julie’s life and the book, at her website >MyHeartBook.site

1 Comment »

We are at a Crossroad

boychoose-whichway__340

Where do we go now?  We have a choice. 

Do we follow Republicans or do we follow God?

Who do we give our allegiance to?

Our allegiance is to God, the Father, and His son Jesus Christ.  Our priority is to follow Jesus, to learn His teachings.  We do not give anything truly valuable to leaders of this world, Republicans or Democrats nor any other political group. 

Laws govern our legal behavior, but not our hearts.  Our personal and family decisions need to be made in line with God’s Word.

Although we may like the sound of what our government says – America first, protect ourselves against the rest of the world.  That is not what God’s Word says.

>In Matthew 22:40, Jesus is asked a question and He responds, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

Does that sound like America first? No, Jesus clearly says that God is first.  We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.

Does that sound like America should be protected from the world?  No, Jesus clearly says that we are to love other people equal to ourselves.

Further Jesus says that all the law depends on these two commands.  That tells us that our decisions need to be made by putting God first, and by caring for all other people as we see their needs like our own.  When we have a need, we try to fill it.  Jesus says we should treat our neighbors the same way, and help fill their needs.

Even if our government strays from our own priorities, that does not prevent us from doing what we know is right.  We follow God first.  We help those in need.  It may sometimes be hard to do, but it is clear what Jesus tells us to do. 

Let’s follow Jesus, no matter what the government does.  That does not mean violence, because Jesus teaches peace, not violence. 

What we do is act in love and peace in the name of Jesus Christ, to love God and help people in need.

Leave a comment »

Great Books by Presidents

white-house-754766__340

Because of the inauguration of a new U.S. President this week, I am reminded that there are many excellent books written by our country’s Presidents that cover fascinating and important historic events.   According to “Good Reads”, there are 117 books written by our Presidents, starting with George Washington.  Many of these books were written before being elected President.  To see Good Reads’ complete list, >click HERE.

Since I am interested in books by Presidents, I thought you might be too.

I will focus today on only the books written by a U.S. President (not written by someone else about a President) because I think a first person account on their own life is more compelling.  I am also focusing on those books written after being elected to the Presidency.  To me these books will have discussions of the most important historical events from the point of view of the top decision-maker on the issues.   I also focus on the more recent Presidents, as I am more familiar with that history, and so more interested in reading about them.

Some of the books I have personally read, and some are recommended on lists.

The top 10 list by CBS includes a book from each of these Presidents:  Obama, Reagan, Carter, Kennedy, Truman, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Grant, Madison, and Washington.  Of these I found several to recommend.  To see the entire list, >click HERE

“The Reagan Diaries” by Ronald Reagan, which is taken from his daily diary that he kept during his Presidency.  No other President has kept a daily diary.

“Memoirs By Harry S. Truman: 1945 Year of Decisions”, called a “must read on the CBS list, because it is written so candidly about the death of President Roosevelt, WWII and the use of atomic weapons.

“Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings”, is recommended because he is said to be the best writer of all our Presidents.  Interestingly, of all our Presidents, President Lincoln has had the most books written about him. 

A #1 N.Y. Times Bestseller, “An Hour Before Daylight”, by President Carter, is written about his boyhood growing up in rural Georgia.  The title refers to the time he would get up each day to work on his father’s farm.  The New Yorker calls it “an American classic”.

Another #1 N.Y. Times Bestseller is “My Life” by President ClintonThe original version of this book, which I read, was 1,000 pages.  Currently it is sold as 2 volumes.  I found this book to be fascinating!  It is amazing how many people President Clinton has met, and vividly remembers.  There are so many good stories in this book it is worth the time to read it.

Because it covers so many important events, I am including here, “Decision Points” by President George W. Bush.  It includes the 9/11 attacks, starting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I must list “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” by President Carter, even though I am still reading it.  This book is a treasure, as the author has 90 years of experiences that he can pull from to share wisdom and reflection.  He may be the only 90-year old President to write a book at that age!

“A Nation of Immigrants” by President John F. Kennedy sounds very interesting to me, as the issue of immigrants was a hot topic during the campaign for our current PresidentAlthough his life was cut short by an assassin, I do not want to leave President Kennedy off my list.  He surely has an interesting perspective.

Although this last book was written before he was a U.S. President, he was offered a book contract because he was elected the first black president of the “Harvard Law Review”. Later becoming the 1st black U.S. President, historically makes this book an American classic.  It was also included in the Top 10 CBS list as well.  This book deals with President Obama’s heritage, and since there was much made of where he was born during his campaign for President, this book does cover his life in Hawaii, and should have settled that issue at least for those who read the book. “Dreams From My Father” by President Obama is a book about a man who never really knew his father, because he left shortly after his son was born in Hawaii, and his father later died in a car accident.  Still his father changed his life, because his father was black.  I definitely want to get my hands on this book to read with poignant recall of connections to his future as a two-term U.S. President.

If you want to read more about these books you can go to Good Reads’ list >HERE.

If you want to purchase one of these books you can go to www.Amazon.com  and in the search window type the title of the book you want.

I hope this list of books by U.S. Presidents has intrigued you.  If there are other books you would like to suggest for my list, >please let me know in the comments below.

In case you are wondering why Donald Trump is not in this list, he only just became President, so there are no books to list.  We will have to see if he writes a future book as President.

 

 

Leave a comment »

A Day For Freedom and Equality

statue-of-liberty-500700__340

Today, Monday, January 16 is a national holiday – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day.

It takes courage to do what is right, even when most people do nothing.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man with courage.  He fought for freedom and equality for all Americans.  He died because he spoke up for what was right.

Today, my husband and I put out our U.S. flag in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in honor of President Obama.  Without the first, in all likelihood, the second would not be the President.

In addition to courage, Martin Luther King Jr., was a man of hope.  He never gave up hoping for a better tomorrow.  He was a Baptist minister, and earned a PhD in theology, so he knew that Jesus Christ was and is our best hope for a better tomorrow.  He followed the example of Jesus to be peace loving.

It is amazing that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, did his protests without guns, without weapons.  Unfortunately he was often met with weapons by opposition and police.  Today, we all have the right to peaceful protest.  The police often protect protesters to give them the right to peacefully express their views. 

Unfortunately, what starts out peaceful, can end up violent.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was murdered by a man with a gun.  He gave his life protecting our country’s freedoms.  I believe he is due honor for that.

I hope you enjoy this national holiday, MLK Day.  Many of you have today off.  Please take a moment to pray for Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, and for men like him, like President Obama.  Courageous men.  Hopeful men.  Thank them for standing up for the freedom and equality of all people in our great country. Ask God to bless the United States of America with peace and hope for equality for all Americans.

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the Image of God. One day we will learn that.”

President Obama has said, “If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.” 

For Sunday January 15, 2017, Scott Sauls, pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church (a mostly white congregation in Nashville) invited the congregation of New Livingstone Church (an African-American church in Nashville) to attend their unity church service on the day before Martin Luther King Day.  New Livingstone’s minister, Pastor Ronnie Mitchell, gave the sermon. 

You can listen to his sermon here  (The intro is long.  His sermon starts about 15:00)

The original blog post about the unity service by Scott Sauls can be read here.

2 Comments »

The Rest of Your Week

hammock-1031363__340

Mark Buchanan says that as a writer and speaker, his job is to remind us of the truth.

In his book “The Rest of God”, he is reminding us of the truth that God created Sabbath for us.  Sabbath gives us a chunk of time and space to rest in, so we can arise stronger and more clear-minded. 

Do you think Sabbath is not something you need?

The author wrote this book, because his life was like a spinning top.  He was exhausted, but was not really accomplishing anything.  He went weeks without even 1 day off.  He was irritable, argumentative, and gloomy.

He finally remembered that Sabbath rest was the thing he had been forgetting.  Sabbath was something he was not taking the time to do.  He remembered that Sabbath rest is healing.  God invites us to find rest in Him, and remember Him. 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a)

If your life is too busy, too exhausting, too crazy, Sabbath can be a solution, not just another appointment.  Sabbath can be a catalyst for change to a better life.  It starts with a decision to take time for Sabbath each week.  It yields a changed attitude.  That progresses to a changed heart.  Soon you will see changes in your priorities, your schedule, and in your thoughts.  Your mood will improve.  You will be more fun to be around. 

This book will show you the benefits of Sabbath, and the depths of God’s love for us.  The last couple chapters of this book had me in tears.  These were good tears.  These were tears of recognition that God really does love us, and tears of hope for a better way to live.  This truly is an awesome book.  Mark Buchanan reminds us of the essential truth that because God loves us, He gave us the gift of Sabbath. 

Will you accept God’s gift?

If you have no idea how to find time for Sabbath, then I would like to suggest another book — “Rhythms of Rest” by Shelly Miller.  Shelly shows how you can find time for Sabbath in smaller chunks.  If you are a working mom, or you have kids that need to be driven to many activities, or you work weekends, Shelly can help you find Sabbath time in just an hour.  Her book gives many examples of how other women practice Sabbath by making even a small amount of time, restful and rejuvenating.  Gradually you will be able to, and want to, bring more time into your Sabbath.

We all know that our culture’s idea of rest is a weekend, but our weekends are even busier than the rest of the week.  So for rest we go on a vacation.  How many vacations have you taken that leave you feeling rested?  If you are like me, most vacations leave you more exhausted than before.

God’s solution of Sabbath brings real rest.  God offers a time of refuge.  Sabbath lets us find a deep peace, one that will carry over into the rest of our week.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Isn’t that what we all want?  

To read a portion of these books, or to purchase either one, click on these links:

 “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan.    “Rhythms of Rest” by Shelly Miller.

To find out more about Shelly Miller’s book, “Rhythms of Rest”, click HERE.

 

2 Comments »