"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"PILGRIMAGE ..." First Encounter


Cover Art

Pilgrimage

My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked


Since I am not an avid reader of fiction for adults, I have totally missed out on all the award winning books written by Lynn Austin, so "Pilgrimage ..." was my first book of introduction to Lynn Austin. She has now won me over to want to read more from her as one of her new fans, starting with "God and Kings" after reading this "pilgrimage".

Her "Pilgrimage ..." in the land of Israel and her life, was one that I could completely relate to and actually felt as if I too were a traveling companion with her as we discover the Biblical places and deepen our faith walk together. Her vivid descriptions definitely made me feel as if I was walking in her footsteps and that of others in the land of Jesus. I have always wanted to go to Israel and reading along through her journey somehow allows me to get a "taste of " the goodness of the Lord and what it would actually be like to venture from "the Wilderness" of Zin or "Judean" through the "Crossing of the Jordan River" to "Jerusalem" through "Galilee" and the "Far North" to behold the "Temple Mount" and "Holy Week" (each one of these was an actual chapter among the 12 in her book). 

Lynn Austin's ability to weave through biblical history, with such grand knowledge of tying places and events together, with scriptural insights and also her own personal application to reawakening her faith as she traces and walks us through the land where Jesus and others walked before us, is absolutely intriguing and amazing. I learned so much about my own faith and spiritual journey as Lynn openly penned her struggles with "spiritual dryness" due to loss and change in her own life, which is right where I was, at the time I chose to read and review "Pilgrimage..."


Israel 09 054


Reading Lynn Austin's honest depiction of her "Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked"
... moved me,  to also deepen my own faith walk as I became so engrossed in all she was contemplating as she hiked along and sharing her most intimate, inner thoughts that encouraged a renewed passion in me. I loved and began to pray the prayers that she included at the end of each chapter as if they were my heart's desire also, because I understood her and felt so honored to be able to have a glimpse of the Holy Land through her insights and masterpiece way of drawing you a visual picture. I, too, as other reviews have noted, may have liked some actual photos, but the digital book I read had images that seemed hand sketched included. On Lynn Austin's blog, I saw actual photos that would have been nice to include some, as quaint and precious as the sketches are, there is nothing like the REAL actual photos I saw. However, as I mentioned, Lynn Austin's superb descriptions definitely gave me as a reader, the image I needed of the place, even having never been there. (maybe the actual book does, since I read this on a digital reader)


Israel 09 039

I have many highlights and favorites throughout this book, upon reading each chapter that one became my new favorite until I arrived at the final chapter as my favorite: "Going Home" (although I have favorite parts in every chapter marked by significant importance in my own journey) ...  I chose this one, because I would have to concur with Lynn Austin as she ends her book with these words: "My Pilgrimage to Israel might have come to an end but the next step in my journey is just beginning." added to these previous wise words from this same chapter:


"All of these Old Testament people accepted God's invitation to walk away from their settled, comfortable lives and begin again."

... As will I ... begin again, with a better understanding and appreciation of the biblical and historical knowledge that Lynn adds to this journey. I will be back for more reading of Lynn Austin and hope she will write more like this one. Her chapter of "Crossing the Jordan" brought me through a personal crossing as other chapters did also speaking to my spiritual walk, which then made each chapter more alive and real to me. I was intrigued and filled with awe and interest as I discovered more about me along with the Biblical insights and points that Lynn shares on her own personal journey on her holy tour of Israel. I just couldn't get enough and paused often to really grasp the magnitude of Lynn's archaeological and biblical insights and the difference she experienced as I did with her.

Thanks to Lynn Austin, even if I am never able to visit the Holy Land, I now am satisfied that I have seen it, with an additional insight that I would never had have, had I not read her book. My hunger and thirst has been filled once more with a renewed spirit, giving me the HOPE that I needed at this point in my life and blessed me with so much more. I am sure I will journey back through these pages again and again, discovering more hidden truths that will deepen and awaken anew my life experiences and faith. I would have loved to linger longer in this "Pilgrimage". I do hope I enjoy the fiction novels as much.

I recommend this book to others traveling through a "dryness" in your own spiritual journey, in need of a lift, fresh perspective or some hope, as well as those who have traveled or will travel to Israel. This book is well mapped out from the south to the north, from the beginning with an actual map to the end with Lynn Austin's conclusions. It's 5 stars for me!!! (which is well earned with the Star of Bethlehem of this blog for this season)!!

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255


*[photo credits: Lynn Austin's blog]
I would have loved to included more of her photos 
but it's best if you go read and see them over at her blog.
I wonder if she has more on her blog elsewhere from her journeys in Israel?
Truly Fascinating!!! 
Wonderfully written.
Thanks Lynn. 




Monday, December 2, 2013

"COFFEE TALK WITH JESUS" Intimate Chats with the Savior {a GIVEAWAY}!!!

"Coffee Talk with Jesus" 
Intimate Chats with the Savior
by Barbie Swihart
book cover white with shadow 1300x1300


Delicious and intimate? 
even for a non-coffee drinker like me

Have you ever just wanted to sit down across the table
and chat with Jesus about 'life'? 

Well, I have and often do

Thanks to this new author, Barbie Swihart, and this sweet aroma from her new book "Coffee Talk with Jesus" I have and do chat, just like in my prayers. It's as if Barbie knew exactly what I needed to hear from Jesus or wanted to chat with Him about, like one of my best friends, after all He is! Barbie giftedly shows us how to listen and hear Jesus speaking to us as they chat. 

As I read her initial conversations, I could sense Jesus actually saying this to me, similar to other books I love and treasure by Sheri Rose Shepherd and Sarah Young. If you know and love those writers, then you'll love Barbie as well. She has a gracious way of sharing what the Lord reveals to her precious heart to encourage her and each of us on our journeys. I found that indeed Jesus' words just seemed to wash over me as I read and waited with an expectant heart through each of the 31 short, yet ever so full chats with "words" of love and encouragement that were ever so real to me! I could visualize Jesus actually sitting there and speaking this to me right where I seemed to be. 

Most of Barbie's "chats" include an actual scripture from God's Word included in it or woven in her words as she pens them so beautifully and honestly. She walks us through "who we are in Christ" as we search together, talking it over with Jesus and realizing the Truths written in His Word are now being spoken to us in "chats" like: "You are loved"; "You are Free"; "You are Forgiven"; "You are Valued". I actually begin to feel like I am; and He gets me and my doubt, or insecurity, or any lack I have had or have. I really needed what Barbie wrote in "You are not a failure" (one I really have battled with) that I seemed to read at just the right moment for me. I can see myself going back to different ones at different times to be reminded of how Jesus sees me, loves me (anyways) and speaks to me intimately. 

Barbie expresses some of our heartfelt issues then walks us through a talk where Jesus actually reassures us by helping us, holding us, quieting our hearts, hearing us, believing in us, carrying us, tearing down our walls and setting us free to dream once again {each of these are actual chats in Barbie's book} that deeply touched and stirred my heart to listen more closely.

As I read these the first time (then again and once again), I knew that Barbie should turn these "chats" into a gift that would be lasting for many of us to go back to time and time again. It's a great gift for any occasion for any age woman (although her chats are directed to "My Child" or "My Beloved One" some are to "Daughter" but are actually suited to either gender in my opinion yet I'm not too sure men would appreciate it as much, however they too need to hear these messages more from Jesus). I especially love that Barbie has added 3 sweet "ingredients" to her book: recipes, reflection questions and a precious prayer.

I highly recommend this book as a wonderful companion to my last review "His Treasure..." because both books are noteworthy "gems" of how God cherishes us, speaks to us and in "Coffee Talk with Jesus", He actually sits down as we listen to His heart as He has listened and heard our very own heart then calls to us to delight, dream, trust, believe and rest.

Barbie has a gift of expressing simple truths with tender words and such a sweet aroma, not just from coffee, but from Barbie's penned life rising up to God with a Christlike fragrance (2 Cor. 2:15) and hopefully there are more books to come from this new author. 

***

* I received a free pdf copy of this book in exchange for my review. I am so delighted that I was given the privilege to write this review on Barbie Swihart's first book, "Coffee Talk with Jesus: Intimate Chats with the Savior". It's a gift that keeps on giving. 

Barbie can be found on Facebook and at her beautiful blog: My Freshly Brewed Life!  You can also check out others that have reviewed her book (perhaps *their giveaway will still be open too, to give you other chances to win):
Days & Thoughts
*Simply Striving
more posting today and this week
Running this thing called life
Laura Rath~Journey in Faith
Holly Barrett ~ Reclaiming a Redeemed Life
Melanie Wilson ~ Psycho with 6

GIVEAWAY Time:

She has also made a GIVEAWAY of her book available to ALL of you that leave a comment here and on her blog, as well as others to WIN an autographed soft copy. I will leave this open all this week, closing at midnight on Dec. 7th. Be sure that you leave your email or a way for me to get in touch with you if you're the winner.  Books will be mailed en masse to All the winners by December 15th

Whether you win or not, Barbie's book is well worth the fantastic low price and makes a great gift either in soft copy or on Kindle!!!

C'mon y'all
out of 107 visits so far to this
only this many entries
My question wasn't that hard.
Final countdown
clicking away
WAITING for the WINNER
who is
---

a Rafflecopter giveaway
need to notify me of the address you want the book sent
within 24 hours of notification
or
I have to pick again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"HIS TREASURE..." is MY TREASURE


"His Treasure ... Gems of Love from Your King"
by Sheri Rose Shepherd

From the gorgeous front cover to each page by page, Sheri Rose Shepherd beautifully captures your heart with "gems of love from Your King" in her newest book, "His Treasure ..." once again she has penned beautiful love letters from God, this time reminding us of our priceless worth in Christ. 

"If you have ever struggled to find a way to connect your heart to your heavenly Father, "His Treasure" is the book for you. In the tradition of Sheri Rose Shepherd’s bestselling His Princess series (with over one million in print) comes this book of beautiful “love letters” from God that will remind you of your priceless worth in Christ. Each scriptural love letter is written in language that speaks to the heart of every woman. You’ll discover treasures of truth, real love, and wisdom from God’s Word. Get ready for an amazing encounter with your King!" - See more at: Tyndale Blog Network 

Since the first book I read written by Sheri Rose Shepherd, I have loved her style of writing these love letters from God to us, and in some, our response to Him. However, this "Treasure" seems to have been written specifically to encourage me right where I am at this point in my life and I bet that anyone who picks of this book would feel the same way(even men, if they overlook the feminine part) because Our Father speaks directly to us through her words that basically come from God's Word, the Bible, which is His love letter to each of us. 

Sheri Rose beautifully takes a scriptural truth and then writes from God's heart to our very own. I was touched as I paged through love letter after love letter of encouragement and comfort. In fact, the actual pages of the book (even in digital format) seem like an actual letter with the texture and the vintage manner in which they are illustrated (if that's the right word). Definitely a gift and a treasure that you may like to give a special person for Christmas, their birthday or any meaningful holiday! I know that I will return to "His Treasure ..." often when I need a lift or just a fresh word that I am often in need of hearing. 

Sheri Rose Shepherd is a gift and has a gift of presenting God's heart to us. She covers such content from opening with "His Love," and onto "His Encouragement," then "His Plan", to others among the hundred or so given like: "His Roadblocks", "His Bride", "His Masterpiece", "His Promise", "His Hope", "His Salvation", "His Answer to Prayer" and on and on. I had hoped to choose my favorite, but I can't, because they each are and will be a favorite on the day I (or you) read them when we need them just to be reminded that we are "His"! We are His Treasure and that is how you will feel as I did as I read each one. 

Each love letter also captures one "treasure of truth" framed from the letter and the scripture that goes with that love letter. Perfect! I wish my words could convey how precious this little "gem" really is ... yes, I say "little" because it is small enough to fit in your purse or bible yet the letters are large enough to be able to read these "treasures" whenever you have a spare moment or need a word of renewal from God that are spoken to you as "My Beloved Daughter" (that's the part men would have to overlook) but also some are addressed to "My Child" (which would include them) making this small package a grand gift. That is what every page is for me, "His Treasure ... " and a "gem of His love" written to me, touching my heart through Sheri Rose Shepherd's inspirational ability to reach me as she will you as she does in every one of her books, but this one is the best to me so far! 

Have you ever held a rare gem in your hand or seen one up close and personal? Let me assure you that this will be similar to that experience as you read and allow God's Word to be held by you like a rare gem, up close and very personal, is how this book will touch you. 


Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Tyndale House through the book review blogger's program with Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255

*My other blog posts for this month of November will follow below this one!
I am trying to keep it on top

since I do not want to ever bury
"HIS TREASURE..."
this is one worth keeping
that I most certainly would DIG for however if it was buried.

God's Word written especially to my heart, 
carved on my heart and in my mind
indelibly.

This is one GIFT that I will TREASURE forever!
I wrote a personal PREVIEW to this Review back here.




*Plus this book was/is suppose to be part of a Blog Tour and since I am new to Tyndale and Blog Tours, I had no idea what or when or how I was suppose to do it, other then publish my review on my site. So if anyone reading this knows, please let me know, thanks! 

IMPORTANT update:I still do not know all the details of a "Book Blog Tour" yet, but I have learned that part of it, is A GIVEAWAY of this book. I will need your address, if you are selected, so be sure if you comment to include your email so I can contact you about your address (most comments are connected to your email if you are signed in to Google acct., I think). My official date to publish this should be Nov. 11th, 2013(I will keep this at the top of my blog until then, so chances to win will close at midnight that date). Thanks Tyndale for the blessing! Tyndale is in charge of mailing "His Treasure..." to the blessed winner! I will let you know via email, if you are chosen when I forward your address to them. 

TO READ my NOVEMBER (1-10) NAMES of GOD THANKSGIVING posts, please scroll down to the next one listed below after they publish!




Thursday, November 7, 2013

THE REASON FOR MY HOPE

"THE REASON FOR MY HOPE: SALVATION"
by
Billy Graham

Billy Graham

Thomas Nelson Book Description 
"America’s Evangelist presents his masterwork.

Who would refuse rescue? This is the question Billy Graham asks throughout this book. The answer is sometimes surprising because there are actually people who refuse to be saved, even if they are in a hopeless situation. Why? Each chapter draws the reader in by posing questions for contemplation using relevant illustrations about what the world thinks in contrast to what the Bible says.  
As Mr. Graham has expressed for decades, his purpose is to engage the reader in considering his or her life in light of the here and now and the hereafter.  Who would refuse rescue from a plane crash, a sinking boat, an automobile fire, or an assassin’s bullet? True accounts are given that cause readers to ask what they think and how they would respond to similar experiences and to ultimately bring them to life’s most important question.
In what could be his final book, Billy Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, Graham once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can. The book coincides with a massive campaign of the same name by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that will mobilize millions of people in the United States to invite friends and neighbors into their homes to hear the message of Jesus Christ through customized video and a new message from Mr. Graham."

Happy 95th Birthday Billy Graham!
Happy Birthday Billy
[source: faithgateway]
What an honor this is for me once again!

When I read the book description by Thomas Nelson of "The Reason for My Hope:Salvation" by Billy Graham, especially the last paragraph, I knew that I had to get, read and review this book of Hope, not only for America, but for each person that the message of salvation must reach as America's Evangelist Billy Graham has shared for most of his life; in books, in crusades, in global outreaches and campaigns to win the hearts and lives of people throughout the world, giving them the only lasting hope that there is, in the gift of salvation that Jesus Christ gives us. Mr. Graham has always pointed us toward Jesus as Our Hope! And indeed, this book, is a treasure for me and a masterpiece of putting the message of salvation together with testimonies of real life to bring more souls to Jesus. 

I don't often give the book descriptions in my reviews however I'm not so sure that what I have to say about this book will be any better than what the book description has already made clear so beautifully and concisely. This is one book with a message that you will want and give to those you love as well as reach the many others in need with his great message of HOPE through this massive campaign of SALVATION: the key to our hope. No one can better deliver this message than Billy Graham with Jesus. 

Once again, a wonderful, hopeful masterpiece that I highly recommend adding to your collection that I know I will return to read again and use to bring the message of salvation and hope given by Billy Graham to all of us, but mostly for a nation and world so in need of the REAL HOPE that only comes through Jesus Christ! Don't just read "The Reason for My Hope"; use it and live it each day!

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255

My Hope for America 
with Billy Graham


Click here to watch a trailer of “The Cross.” For nationwide TV listings of “The Cross,” visit www.watchbillygraham.com.
"The Cross"
{there are other videos of each of the testimonies given}

Please share this with as many as you can

with 
LOVE

bring HOPE to others in Jesus Christ

share your FAITH, your HOPE

it's never too late


"Millions of people are searching for answers to the crushing problems and fears that they face today..." - Billy Graham


PLAYLIST
of great songs done by 
Christian artists
to accompany
MY HOPE
Album

like
"Jesus, Take Me Home"Michael W. Smith
"Jesus, Take all of me" Amy Grant
"We Believe" Newsboys
"The Cross is My Confession" Kari Jobe
"Be my Rescue" Nicole Nordeman
"The Reason" Lacey Strum (testimony in video)
"Broken Pieces" Israel Houghton
and many more

Photo: "The Cross," the long-awaited message from Billy Graham debuts tonight. Join us in praying for and celebrating Mr. Graham's 95th birthday and sharing the message of My Hope. www.watchbillygraham.com

* Readers: All my Giving Thanks posts from Nov. 1st - 11th should publish below this as November Names of God Thanks Giving ... for 2 days and then the rest you can check in the Blog Archive of November 2013 in the right hand sidebar or above under the label GIVING THANKS PAGE below header of blog title and above blog verse of Isaiah 61.

This originally posted on Nov. 7th and remains until the 11th when I have another one planned to publish on another "treasure". 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BEYOND HOPE ...

then
read
"LET HOPE IN"
by
Pete Wilson


because
HOPE.CHANGES.EVERYTHING!

Or even if you're not really beyond hope, but need to find more hope in your life, your immediate circumstances, a change in your life with a fresh dash of hope, then this is a great, easy to read book to renew your walk with God or life by learning how to make choices and "LET HOPE IN - 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever" by Pete Wilson.

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you." Ephesians 1:18 NIV 

This seems to be a season of many seeking HOPE and this theme is a key ingredient right now in so many books, movements, sermons, etc., because HOPE changes everything, just like prayer; and there seems to be a deep need in many of us searching for answers in HOPE that this will end our struggle. Most of us have areas in which we struggle and hold on or search for HOPE! Pastor Pete Wilson's book will help you get UNSTUCK ... and find freedom and HOPE!

Ask yourself these questions: Do you ever feel as though your life has become a broken record? Do you have any regrets in life? Do you struggle with your past?  Do you have fears or worries? Do you struggle with pleasing others and God? Do you ever wonder if you are good enough or how much is enough? Do you have guilt and deal with sin?  Do you struggle with anger? Do you need to be more loving? Do you need to learn how to forgive better? Are you looking for a hopeful future? Will you transform or transfer? Will you choose to be okay with not being okay? Will you seek to trust or please? Will you free people rather than hurt them?

Then "Let Hope In" is the book to open the door to Hope and Healing. It's the beginning of a long conversation as if you were sitting down with Jesus, or Pastor Pete Wilson, who writes as if you are there with him and he relates to you like a friend that has been down this road and knows so well as he encourages you to "Let Hope In" and how. 

"Your past is not your past if it’s still impacting your present." ~Pete Wilson~

The book is broken into sections for the 4 Choices we need to make in this process of letting hope in, with chapters under each one explaining more about each:

Choice #1: Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer
Choice #2: Choosing to Be Okay With Not Being Okay
Choice #3: Choosing to Trust Rather Than Please
Choice #4: Hurt People, Hurt People, But Free People, Choose to Free People 

I'd like to tell you which chapter was the most beneficial or difficult for me, but at this point, every one of the 14 had something to impact my life, past and present with choosing HOPE for my future. Right from the start, "leaving shame behind" (Chapter 2) and "no regrets" (Chapter 3) all the way to "trusting vs. pleasing" (Chapter 7), to "breathe grace" (Chapter 11) and "trusting fully"- the last chapter, let me know that this book was definitely meant for me and I could not put it down. As a Christian, our hope is in Jesus Christ and God's promises in the Bible for our eternal destiny, but I think this book would help even someone not a Christian if they are willing to look at the biblical stories just as people in need of hope in their messy lives as we all are if we admit it. It has good counseling insights with great wisdom in processing our pain or poor choices in exchange for a better plan showing us "anything is possible" when we "let hope in." Everyone needs HOPE, we just look at it differently once we believe in the hope that God calls us to embrace. We can fill our past with the light of His hope. 

I'm looking forward to joining Pastor Pete Wilson and Cross Point Church in January 2014 as they do this as a series together, especially after reading the book and having "Let Hope In" to blend with another one and a personal purpose that I have chosen for me for 2014, before encountering all these books, God spoke His Hope to me. Pastor Pete just gave me the tools to challenge me to transform my practical life with my spiritual one through God's Word, through Biblical truths and stories like (once again Joseph) David, Tamar, Hosea and Gomer, King Hezekiah, etc. as well as his own and other's personal life experiences. Pastor Pete illustrates God's ultimate plan for healing by letting hope fill the dark places of your past.

I highly recommend this book for everyone, it will change you, transform you and help you make practical choices. His writing style is much like he is, very approachable and compassionate, down to earth real. He puts you at ease as he relates to us not having it all figured out and making mistakes. I do not know him personally but feel like I do. You really need to read this book and share it with others. 

I will choose Hope and this book hopefully has given me a fresh plan to
"Let Hope In"
as it will for you
as
Jeremiah 29:11
reassures us

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (NKJV)


Pete Wilson
"Let Hope In" website

Songs I chose to accompany this as I:
"Let Hope In"
"Hope for the Hopeless"
"Hope for the Hopeless" Sheila Walsh
"Oh You Bring Hope for the Hopeless" Hillsong United


Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255



* Note to Blog readers: I hurried up with my last wonderful book so I could read this one and review it with hopes of getting another one before November by Billy Graham to go with his campaign, yet I had another one in the waiting as well, so I had to squeeze these reviews in between my series or I may have missed being able to review them in time. Otherwise, I might have waited until 2014 for this one. Booksneeze does not let you have your next book until you review your current one (makes sense), so when another one comes along or you see one that you want, you need to hurry up. I'm sure that I will be going back to this book again especially with the church doing it the beginning of 2014. I know I will gain much more from this and it will be a book I will return to ... and I know that I need it. Thus, "Beyond Hope" ... as you might of thought I was ... when you read this title, I am not, I'm fine. Thank you! 31 Days "Revealing Jesus as Our Peace" and Letting Go series follows below and continues ...

Monday, October 14, 2013

"YOU'LL GET THROUGH THIS" offers HOPE

* SIDENOTE: It seems like midway through these month long journeys and series that I've been doing, we need a break, at least I do, because I shared this book back here last month, but not as a review like today's, more like a promotion when it was being released to let you know about it! 

Little did I know then, that I would have this opportunity to read Max Lucado's book plus review it. In a way, a review is the best way to promote a book. But as far as Max Lucado and his books are concerned, they promote themselves, through the marvelous way in which Max weaves his message in all of his now 30 nonfiction books, not only as an author, but as a pastor, father, husband, fellow sojourner, he still delivers as the best story teller, captivating you even in a well known Bible story like Joseph. As Max encourages us with ...

"You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times"
by Max Lucado

does exactly this

... as he walks us through the Old Testament, well-known story of Joseph, of how Joseph triumphs from the pit, in "what satan intended for evil, God redeems for good", as God shows us through Joseph's story that we too can hold on to this same promise that He will see us through whatever we face with the sweet assurance that Max reminds us of in this new book once again ... in this phrase that Max repeats so we get it and then he shows us:

"You’ll get through this.

It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or naïve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this. "

And we can depend on this! Max Lucado offers us hope in our situations. This book is the perfect blend of inspiration and personal stories from biblical ones to real life now stories. 

For me, I can sit down and read Max Lucado's books from beginning to end without stopping, in one setting, because of the way he engages you in the story. He personally relates so much that you not only can relate the Bible story of Joseph to your own, but also the other ones that Max uses to connect with us the truth of God's Word and HOPE. This is what I needed and Max delivers, as God delivered Joseph and others in the Bible, as we pass through our life journey, we can wipe our tears, push through the pain and press on to what God will accomplish if we hold on to the kind of HOPE that Max shares, for indeed we are not alone even when we are alone, or feel like we are.

There is an accompanying study guide available but as usual included in the book itself is a section of "Questions for Reflection" prepared by Christine M.Anderson, which I always appreciate having it included in the actual book. "You'll Get Through This ..." has 15 wonderful chapters, whereas the study guide has only six sessions that go with the book's chapters 1, 2 & 3 combined, 8, 10 and lumping the final chapters together showing us "how God can use this for good" and God will and does "use our mess for good", as Max shows us to persist in hope and continue to fight the good fight, never giving up because it will be worth it and everyone can relate to the struggles shared in this book.

I highly recommend this, not just for you, if or when you're going through something turbulent, but any time and especially to help you encourage others while they may be going through something that you may not have the answers, but God does and this book will remind you of the many ways God uses our circumstances to give light and life to another as Max Lucado once again successfully accomplishes. I know that my hope has been restored enough that I want to share Max's practical wisdom, faith, and inspiration to launch others to the HOPE we have in Christ Jesus.


Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255



And at the end of reading this book from Max Lucado, not only will you realize that "You'll Get Through This ..." from his "Hope and Help in Turbulent Times" but through God's help and "Revealing Jesus" as Our Peace (my 31 day series this month), will become another of the benefits: Jesus, our Hope of Glory and our Prince of Peace! pushing back those turbulent times for triumphant ones of perseverance and power in Our Lord!

Max Lucado
Other resources:

You'll Get Through This Small Group Bible Study by Max Lucado (the start of the book)


Zondervan playlist Small Group studies

Max Lucado with Official 700 Club (shorter than above)
Max Lucado with CBN

Max Lucado through Q & A 

Max Lucado at Women of Faith event 


"You'll Get Through This" book site where you can download the first chapter (and see if you like it as much as I do)





*The post for "31 Days Revealing Jesus as Our Peace ~ Day 14" is below and today I am LETTING GO of ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  (you can go there and find out) 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

CAREGIVER? ME?

* Whoa... 2 book reviews in a row! This was/is a different and difficult choice of a book to read and review, so I must preface this book review with 3 explanations to be fair to the author and her book or topic (however if you don't care just scroll down to the book and my actual review starts there):

1) I am not a caregiver currently, although my recent news and circumstances from back home in MN, may or should make me one, I am not, nor have I ever been one for either of my parents, or even in these later years, for my spouse, as he's aging, with his diabetes (which gratefully he has kept under control for some 20 yrs. and does not even need to use insulin) and now with this discovery that he is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's; he would not want me as his caregiver and more or less has told me so (and he's not even a stubborn Swede or Irishmen like my father, he's pure Mexican).

2) I am not the caregiver, gifted kind of person, nor do I possess the characteristics of one. I have the heart but not the patience and wisdom to do well. I am not of the care giver personality or type, or better said, I have a hard enough time taking care of myself. With that said, I am not using this as an excuse or a crutch, because if the rubber hit the road, I could and would. There was an urgent time in my life when I was a caregiver for my precious daughter (though adopted, she became my daughter from this experience, through and through, since I needed to learn to care for her while bedridden as she regained her capacities to do for herself.She was a tough fighter and withstood a great deal of pain and my inadequacies as a health provider, but I was more than willing to learn and put aside my own lack for her gain.) For a short time, I was a semi care-giver of my youngest brother with love and support as he battled AIDS. 

3) Most chronic or terminal illnesses, need a REAL caregiver. Alzheimer's is no exception. I am learning all I can, but once again, from a distance. These battles with health are worsened by stress. I am an easily stressed person and I'm sure I cause much stress to others. My lack, as I mentioned above, does not excuse me or justify me for being away... I just am and have arranged for others much better able; qualified and tenderly able to care to do what I probable cannot. I do battle against my own problems and those of loved ones best on my knees, giving it to God. God knows and knew long before this news, how this would and will play out and my part.

I am reading all I can on Alzheimer and now this book, made available through Booksneeze, so I had to choose it ... just from the title alone... "Caregiver? Me?" ... as if this title was designed to fit me ... I knew that whatever was shared I may need. I was determined to take advantage of this book now and read through it as if I had a deadline: God's timing. Just the right book for just the right time. I don't often choose a book from BookSneeze for such an important aspect for my personal journey, however, God has His way of putting in front of me, just what I need when I need it. For such a time as this ... (sigh) God is so good and all encompassing, mindful of every detail beyond what our own minds can fathom.

I have also read some blogs of some dear bloggers, who have also had to watch this disease rob their parent's life of so much, so I was able to eavesdrop on their experience and glean from them. But no matter how much one reads or prepares, there is nothing that compares to living and doing whatever it takes. 


Yet this is not my parent, but someone who was suppose to be my life partner, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" under the best plan of God's. Mine was not. Only a Sovereign God can resolve or make better a relationship and a health situation may be one of the ways He chooses to do this! Totally in God's hands, whether I'm there or not, whether I'm a caregiver, wife, friend, or support ... God will use people and situations for His good! I trust that this is another one for 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;…" Romans 8:28

His purpose, plan and completion ... So I quickly chose this one to quickly read and review for today, knowing that it will be hitting close to home and great for future reference, ... in honor of the one I love, with HOPE for him, FAITH for our journey with God's help, and LOVE that makes all things seemingly impossible - possible.
***
by Lynda Bush

"A Caregiver? Me?" by Lynda Bush struck me right away personally with the question asked in the title, yet Lynda's shared journey is also a precious tribute to her lifelong mate as she lovingly documents their journey and his care, with a warning in the forward, that they handled his terminal illness with a "bizarre sense of humor," so that is exactly how she has chosen to write this, so if you lack their sense of humor, stop reading before you start (which I almost did and considered choosing a different book since for me, and perhaps others, this is far too serious a topic to grasp and to be taken lightly). Then I realized that this means of coping is scripturally sound (Proverbs 17:22) ... and therapeutically recommended, so I ventured ahead to read it.  Also there are many lessons learned, with the first one being for me, how indeed that humor helps blunt the anguish, heartache, pain and sadness one confronts as they embark upon this most difficult part of their journey together ending in a goodbye (but, of course, as believers, we hope, it's "until we meet again" beyond this side of eternity). A quote from another book that I decided I'd need, becomes a reality through what Lynda Bush teaches me here, "From early on, I made up my mind to do 3 things: I wasn't going to raise my voice, I wasn't going to argue, and I was going to keep my sense of humor any way I could," and now I value this in a new way, knowing the importance in keeping and doing this from Lynda's example.

There are eleven chapters in this book that cover everything from helpful tips for the caregiver, family and friends, to preparing legally, to preparing for the funeral, talking about death, facing the final weeks, even misconceptions about hospice services. Lynda Bush offers comfort and hope as she answers many questions that perhaps I would not even think I may need or ask. However, in some cases, I wish that she had elaborated more with specifics.

Although I read this in the Kindle ebook format, the image on the front of the cover of this book drew me in and definitely is as endearing as the quote from Virgil: "No day shall erase you from the memory of time" and the love in which Lynda Bush shares from their experience and journey. Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? This one captured my heart and me with respect, love and the decision to give it a try anyways. And I'm so glad that I did, because I intend to use this as a handy guide and reference in my journey, thankful to have read how someone else paved the way when they were not so sure about being a caregiver or how and even where to start.

Lynda's down to earth and also heavenly bound, knowing that each of our journeys are or will be unique. Lynda Bush has used this enormous challenge of being a caregiver to her terminally ill husband, from cancer into a useful guide for others, yet as she wrote, "a gift to her late husband, who not only taught me how to live well but how to die well." which truly is a great legacy and exactly what she has done in this brief, easy to read, short manual of "Caregiver? Me?" I know I will go back to her practical suggestions again and appreciate that Lynda included a wonderful part of taking care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one. This was not a book filled with Biblical scriptures yet spiritual in its content and is loaded with great advice. I can't say I loved this book, since dealing with death is such a bitter pill to swallow and face, yet this author has compassionately and practically dealt well with a rather difficult but timely topic: caregiving! After all, giving care is exactly what Jesus has called us to do for one another in love and then cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us! 

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher WestBow Press through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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Peggy