"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

Monday, June 10, 2013

ORGANICALLY CHANGED

with

"The Organic God"
by
Margaret Feinberg

As this video starts out with the pure beauty of God in a scene, this is how Margaret Feinberg describes and illuminates Him as she draws and compares to beautiful places in the wonder of God to the nature all around us but mostly from her own life experiences in Alaska from the waters to the mountains to the glaciers. It's ...



"Natural. Pure. Essential.

Margaret Feinberg - popular speaker, author, and one of the “Thirty Emerging Voices” of Christian leadership - asks you to imagine what it would look like to have an organic relationship with God. One that is stripped of all pollutants and additives of this world.

The Organic God helps remove the unhealthy fillers and purifies your relationship with the God of the Scriptures.

Through personal stories and scriptural insights, Margaret Feinberg shares glimpses of God’s character - big-hearted, kind, beautiful, mysterious - that point to an authentic and naturally spiritual relationship with Him, allowing you to truly discover God in a healthy, refreshing new way, and fall in love all over again."

I have waited, what seems like forever, since I met this "wonderstruck" author via her Lent Challenge (I shared here on my blog) to be able to read any one of the books, or studies written by Margaret Feinberg, so I was more than excited when Booksneeze announced that "The Organic God" would be one of the available choices this past month. [the reason I hurried to post my review of "Nearing Home..." by Billy Graham and now sharing this so I can quickly make my next selection for another book that's been on my 'wish list' since it came out.]

Meanwhile, I read and viewed all I could about Margaret Feinberg's books on her blog, from her samples to all of her blog posts just to absorb more of her wonderful, enthusiastic love of God and His Word!

Margaret Feinberg flows naturally with an enjoyable, likable, contagious, personable, intelligent approach and her writing style draws me in. Her expressive, descriptive way leaves me wanting more of what she has and I love the way she writes so richly from her heart and her intimate experiences.

"The Organic God" is an easy, enjoyable, quick read, of two days for me, that challenges, refreshes and encourages me to seek God in a new way and deepen my relationship naturally. Although Margaret covers deep questions of our relationship with God, she does so without actually speaking theologically, but weaves all of this through many delightful and beautiful personal life stories. Her knowledge of scripture and the pure beauty of her relationship with God and His Word is so evident and phenomenal in every part she writes, but she does not fill the 10 chapters with actual scripture references, so as not to take away from her flow of the story and God's glory. She does however add footnotes to the scriptures and additional notes in the back as well as some other great extra features: a list of songs to accompany you on your journey through her book (which, of course, I just had to make a You Tube Playlist of her "Organic God soundtrack" and other related videos of her), a section of "rainy day reflections" with an inspiring study guide of questions to personalize your journey along with hers. I know I will return to reread this and reflect with awe the questions and "dig deeper" (a wonderful bonus) and even a 'behind the scenes' section!

My purpose for so wanting to read this is in the subtitle of "The Organic God ... Falling in Love with Him All Over Again" and that is exactly what Margaret helps us to do and enjoy through sharing her life and discovery of a personal God of beauty, simply in love with us, making me want to pursue and be pursued even more deeply. I am ready to fall in love again and again, being refreshed by Him. I was 'Wonderstruck' and that's a totally different book of hers to experience.

I cannot say enough about this book! Every word and section deepens my desire for a relationship with "The Organic God" as Margaret Feinberg makes Him so vivid and alive. I found this to be truly inspiring, as I laughed, cried and enjoyed her nature adventures and life. I have so many highlights in her book to emphasize to me all of God's many splendors, attributes and ways that He intimately calls us His own and invites us to discover more. It's evident that Margaret's Jewish-Christian family has radically rooted and established her with a deep connection to God through His Word and His beautiful interactions with her in her life, which comes vividly alive in the pages of her exchanges with God and her family, especially her dad, which warmly touched my heart and made a deep connection for me to our Heavenly Father's relationship with us. 

Even the cover of the book, makes me want to take the plunge and go deeper being refreshed in a natural, non-pollutant, non-additive relationship with the beauty of Our Creator. I never thought anything "organic" was possible in a relationship nor that I would be so taken in by wanting that with God Himself until Margaret drew me to be interested in the awesome wonder with a much better understanding of the raw beauty and His. Almost makes me want everything "organic" now and view more details in my relationships and nature with a new, fresh perspective.  

Margaret's descriptive beginning with the 'luminescence' and all her beautiful descriptions of nature that she's experienced, to the very end, tying it all together with this 'luminescence', captivates the great moments of God's attributes (which I totally love) as she displays throughout her journey from "His bigheartedness, His amazing wisdom, His outrageous generosity, His abundant kindness, and of course, the deep mystery of how He can use people like you and me to change the world" and that "...there is still so far to go" makes me want to discover more from "The Organic God" allowing me to be aMazed even more as my "hunger for God lives on" with hers and I, too, "see a flicker of light as something stirs in the depths of my soul" beckoning me to seek a more purified relationship with the Holy of holies, the Lord God Almighty, personified in Jesus Christ! This is a 5 star keeper and go deeper!!! Thanks Margaret!

By the way, Margaret has a Summer Bible study on her blog that you may want to check out and be astonished by "the lengths God will go to reveal Jesus" ... from the Gospel of John. 





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com®  book review bloggers program. 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 

Friday, June 7, 2013

"NEARING HOME ..."

Posted before than added back to this date as planned ... the man behind this book is very wise with godly wisdom and my deepest respect ... my book review at Amazon (same as this one without the added commentaries) was entitled:

"IN NEED OF BILLY GRAHAM'S ADVICE for "NEARING HOME"


by

"Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well"

"Nearing Home:Life, Faith and Finishing Well"
by
Billy Graham

[*the book cover is not as distinguishable as the man on the cover and that it's in paperback should not deter you from reading or getting this great keepsake]

What an absolute honor and privilege this is for me or you to read and *"join Billy Graham as he shares the challenges of fading strength but still standing strong in his commitment to finishing life well" as the book description shares or in my own terms, aging and the faith to finish the race as well as Billy Graham, as he completes such a filled life, lived for Christ since his very first decision to follow Jesus Christ to his last breath. Beautifully written as always from this great evangelist of faith, now nearing his 94th birthday on Nov. 7th, 5 months from now, as he allows us to explore with him the challenges of aging while truly *"gleaning foundational truths from Scripture", which at this point in my life, I so need and appreciate any encouragement to press on and 'fight the good fight'.

"Billy Graham invites us to journey with him as he considers the golden years while anticipating the hope of being reunited with his wife, Ruth, in his heavenly home that eclipses this world. “When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice,” says the author. “Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ from the Book description itself, as well as the *previous ones quoted above, which are all very accurate and true of this keepsake book. 

I could not put this down until I finished this compelling journey. I so desire to grasp and absorb every spiritual insight of wisdom Billy Graham shares with us, which is not just for the aging, but for all in every stage of life, ordinary individuals as he shows us others in the Bible like us, with extraordinary faith, guiding us with the hope of "nearing home with triumphant expectations" and preparing us to meet the challenges of old age and the purpose of God for us, the reason God has still kept us or left us here. We walk with him, through aged people of the Bible, and the realities of life with a new "hope, fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day." After all, each day, we are all "nearing home" ... young or old, and with God's help and through this victorious life of a man of God, we "learn what it means to grow older" and do it "with grace" finding "the guidance needed" through Billy Graham and God's Word "to finish well". I know I did and will go back often to this book when I feel the better part of aging catching up on me and trying to discourage me from living for Jesus and the need to be strengthen from this truthful look at questions like these: 

"... what is His purpose for these years, and how can we align our lives with it?"

"How can we not only learn to cope with the fears and struggles and growing limitations we face but also actually grow stronger inwardly in the midst of these difficulties?"

"How can we face the future with hope instead of despair?"

and so many others shared honestly by Billy Graham, like nothing I have ever read with such wonderful spiritual implications. I loved and hung on to every word because aging forces us to reflect and deal with life as a whole! 

From the first pages of the book through each of the 10 chapters, we are encouraged, comforted and truth is spoken clearly and biblically. The chapters include: "Running Toward Home", "Don't Retire from Life", "The Impact of Hope", "Consider the Golden Years", "Fading Strength but Finishing Strong", "Death's Destination", "Influencing the Impressionable", "A Foundation That Lasts", "Roots Strengthen in Time" and "Then and Now". 

I cannot even choose a favorite chapter, because each one is fresh and written as if Billy Graham is sitting in front of us, like a spiritual father, imparting his richness to us from Our Heavenly Father and him. I am so appreciative for the many years of service, teaching and evangelizing of Billy Graham. He shares vignettes of his life and his precious wife, Ruth, her words, their years, lives and experiences shared and their family. It's because of this personal approach, I sense the feeling of being family, part of God's family, sitting at Billy Graham's feet as I would with Jesus, listening to him tell his story (stories) to a captive audience ... me. Tears well up as I hear him share from his heart and love for his earthly family, God's family, and Our Lord! I am touched and blessed by this man of God.

I will treasure this book (though I read and have it in Kindle) as much as I do my first actual, devotional book that I received and reviewed for Booksneeze, "Unto the Hills". His final chapter, starts with this quote that I hope to find out is as true for me as it is for Billy Graham "the last chapter of life can be the best." For yes, it is "unto the hills" that we must keep our gaze until that final day of being called home, because "we were meant for heaven, our final home." I will admonish you as Billy Graham does over and over again, to come to Jesus Christ, accept Him not only as your Savior, but Lord of your life ... I long for the home in heaven that Billy Graham describes and will have eternally as I turn my eyes toward "nearing home with assurance" ... a home that is a place of rest and peace; a place of love and joy and security - our ultimate place of complete PEACE! (my One Word for 2013)

So I close with the author's final invitation in this book and words of assurance, because after all this is what this great evangelist has done his entire life as we should with others:
"My friend, do you know the way? Jesus told us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). No one ever grows too old to accept Christ’s forgiveness and enter into His glorious presence. When we look back over our experiences along life’s journey, we may have regrets about the choices we made, but remember, that was then . . . this is now. We may recall the times we have failed our families, but that was then . . . this is now. Some reading this book may say, “But I rejected Christ my whole life. It’s too late for me.” I say to you, my friend, that was then . . . this is now. The Bible’s promises were true then, they are true now, and they will be true forever. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV, emphasis added)." 
"For those who have received the most precious gift of Christ’s redeeming blood . . . you have reason to look forward to the glories of Heaven, for you will be perfected, you will be joyful, you will once again be active, and right now you can be certain that you are nearing home." ~ Billy Graham

Billy Graham. "Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well (Kindle Locations 2479-2488). Thomas Nelson. 
Isn't it time you surrender and look forward to "nearing home"?



Note: I received this book for free from BookSneeze.com in exchange for writing a review. My review was not required to be positive.

I could not agree more with the many reviews I read on this book as I added mine! WOW! Humbled and in awe! I gave this 5 stars and read the others who also did!!! 

* personal sidenote: I could have shared this back in the week after Mother's Day weekend, and I did so with Amazon on May 13th, since I read it so quickly, with great enthusiasm, but I wanted it to post on his birthday to honor him and always remember him on his b-day (however waiting until Nov.7th is a bit too long to wait for my book review, so I'm sharing it now, then moving it to the 7th of June, 5 months from his actual b-day, in honor of Mr. Graham's upcoming 94th birthday, wishing him a wonderful celebration, in advance)! Happy Birthday Billy Graham and thank you so much for this book and all your books and many years of service to Our Lord Jesus Christ! When you have your homecoming, I pray it will be exactly as you describe and I hope for with all my heart. May it be a joyful, well deserved reunion! I can't imagine the many that will be in your line to say "thank you, Billy Graham, I came to Jesus because of you." I watched many of your (Billy Graham) Crusades but I already had the privilege of knowing Jesus, yet I prayed along with you often, with assurance and God's aMazing Grace that has been my blessing too!

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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always

Peggy