"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

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

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 here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"MESSY BEAUTIFUL LOVE... " by Darlene Schacht

The most important part of this title for me comes after the "Messy Beautiful Love... " part with ..."Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages" because as most of us know the "message" comes from the "mess" so believe me when I say that Darlene Schacht (also known by her blog title as "Time-Warp Wife") gives an inspiring message throughout every page of this book and also "challenges" for us, as the reader, at the end of every chapter. I have signed up for her Marriage Prayer Challenge for October, as I read this book and do her study guide ... so I can be filled with more HOPE than ever for the redemptive power in my marriage, because that's what it will take to revive and restore our "mess"; but now I know it's redeemable, beautiful and do-able after reading the wonders of Darlene's testimony to Grace ... and Love in this book, wonderfully written, with an honest portrayal of love and respect in marriage! Darlene and her book show me that "hope and redemption" are still possible with God in:


The book description could not be more TRUE:

... "Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God's way, exchanging our ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

Perhaps you've picked up this book because your marriage is messy already-now is the time to make a change. If your marriage is tidy, thank God-there is no better time to prepare for the future.
Married life is never straightforward or simple for long. But the reality is this: when you surrender your relationship to God; when you lay your marriage at his feet; when you finally cede control; then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as he intended-this is the blessing of obedience.
Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. An invitation to surrender. The cynical world says marriages don't last. God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible-it's inevitable. That's something to be excited about. "

The "Time Warp Wife" does "Keep Christ at the center of their marriage" 
and by her book - ours, too!

OK, true confession, although I did not pick up this book because of my marriage, it is/was a mess, so the challenges that I face will be helped greatly after reading all that Darlene shared in her 15 chapters. The last, of course, was my favorite ... although I certainly need what was shared in Chapter 4 and 7

I learned the most from the example in "Walk in Compassion and Grace" (2) and "Be Content with the Life that You're Given" (13) which I believe is where we both are in our marital relationship and have made unconventional adjustments to continue, but I want to "handle your /our conflicts wisely" with God and "walk in virtue according to wisdom" which has not been Godly and needs to be. For this reason, the most difficult chapter for me is Chapter 6 with much wisdom. "Messy Beautiful Love" is contained in each of these chapters, even though the first's entitled this ... each one is woven and spun showing this love:

One: Messy, Beautiful Love
Two: Walk in Compassion and Grace
Three: Be Patient and Kind When the Going Gets Tough
Four: Give Up Your Right to Be Right
Five: Appreciate Him for Who He Truly Is
Six: Step Back and Allow Him to Lead
Seven: Handle Your Conflict Wisely
Eight: Communicate with Loving Respect
Nine: Be the Woman Your Husband Needs You to Be
Ten: Be Affectionate in Ways That Are Pleasing to God
Eleven: Seize the Day and Capture the Joy
Twelve: Build a Strong Friendship
Thirteen: Be Content with the Life That You’re Given
Fourteen: Walk in Virtue According to Wisdom
Fifteen: Pray for Your Marriage  

Each chapter is informative, encouraging, challenging and inspiring with Darlene's down-to-earth honesty of the realities of struggles, trials, tests and triumphs from her own personal experience and also those of others, who had written to her on her blog/ministry. I am motivated to tackle my "mess" once again applying the insights I gained reading this. I have one more obstacle added to my marriage of both needing to be believers first before we can make our marriage Christ centered, but I can do my part and will continue to pray. 

I'm looking forward to being able to try the challenges, hoping that I'll notice a difference when I can step back and allow him to lead. I don't think it matters if your marriage is Christian or not, because each marriage has struggles with love and messes ... which are real, however, having Christ in your marriage will make all the difference and really help in resolving issues by asking Him for His guidance, love and focus. Christ in the center will bring balance and harmony to that beautiful love, changing the bad, sad and ugly parts into His glory through His redemption power. I especially love how Darlene shows AGAPE love through 1 Corinthians 13 --- my favorite part! Much can be applied to all of our relationships to be better and filled with Christ's love. I recommend this book for married and yet to be married, to tune in and make your love beautiful even if it seems a "mess" --- there's HOPE, "it's not only possible but inevitable!"

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Thomas P. Nelson through the BookLook Bloggers.com book review blogger's 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

This book review is the right way to begin my month of prayer and my other fun series

first and foremost
I will spend time in October and focus on my marriage in prayer
{since I'm not at home with my spouse to apply it}
then on to my giving thanks which follows in November
for my next 30 days starting with
Day 1 ~ Love
November 1st

of my
"special fun series"
31 Days
OCT. 1
that's tomorrow
right here

{oh, and did you know that the 31 day Challenge has its own blog this year, check it out; maybe you'll try blogging for 31 days or just come along with me!
or others that may have a great topic that interests you}

I had this at the end of October but finished the book sooner so I moved it ahead in case something reads out of order still.


"THE ONE YEAR HEARING HIS VOICE DEVOTIONAL" by CHRIS TIEGREEN, is his newest devotional just released in September of 2014. A dear friend of mine used another one of his devotionals, so since then I have been wanting to get one of his devotionals from an excellent choice of at least 8, and this is a perfect fit for the upcoming year. I can't wait to take my time each day to better hear and recognize the voice of God and what He is saying through the insightful and thought provoking devotions of one page, that start out with a Scripture verse or two (usually exploring the questions we have about hearing God's Voice and what He says and how we hear) followed by a 3-4 paragraphs of a brief devotion, ending with a prayer to lead the reader into communicating with God and listening for His Voice in response. Clearly, we need to take more time to listen for God to speak to us as we know throughout the Bible that God speaks to His people. "Throughout the pages of Scripture, time after time, He guides, instructs, corrects, inspires, encourages, and reveals. Inspired writers even call Him “the Word.” He has always been vocal, and He always will be."

"Chris Tiegreen will help you discover patterns and practices you can adopt to hear God better. Listening to God is a process, a journey, and an adventure. He promises that those who seek Him will be rewarded with His presence and His voice. And the words of the living God are powerful and life-changing."

From the very front cover of this devotional, with its beautiful scene of a lighthouse perched high above the waters on a sturdy Rock ... I was drawn into to each page of every month with that lighthouse at the top as a guiding source. This book is not a page by page, step by step program for hearing God's Voice, rather I found it will be an invaluable way to draw near to God in a more intimate relationship. There is no set pattern or approach to hear God's Voice but this devotional will help you position yourself to hear Him better. Simply turning your attention to hearing each day from God by using this devotional, will stir up God's Voice within you and in His Word, the Bible. As you proceed daily for a year, according to the author, you'll start knowing what God is saying intuitively, even if you don't know how you know. Those who hunger for Him, as I do, will be satisfied. (paraphrased by me of what the author himself says in his introduction and continues with the following description):

"There are 365 devotional readings in this book, and they cover many issues related to hearing God. 

One devotion each week is based on a story or a post-biblical example, some from Christian history and some from Chris Tiegreen's own experience and acquaintances.

Another is a "first person" devotional from the heart of God - things that Chris has heard Him say and he believes God wants to share with others who are listening."

I really enjoyed this variation and the balance, but I looked forward to my favorite style yet found the others helped my learning and understanding too.

My favorite devotionals were the ones from the heart of God, yet all are precious and I especially love that each devotion ends with these brief prayers, seeing that there is a point to them and not skipping them but using them to help you in asking God daily to hear Him better, an invaluable practice --- asking and persisting until God answers. The first "from the heart of God" was on January 7th ... and I truly needed to hear the Words from Isaiah 30:15 and God's sweet invitation to be still to hear Him as He trains my spirit to hear. In October, one devotion gives "a divine parallel" that gave me a glimpse into God's heart and helped me recognize His thoughts and feelings with hope for more and what I need to know as I go forward with hopes to hear His distinctive voice. 

"Listening to God is a process, a journey and an adventure. This can take time, but it's well worth the effort."

For me, starting out with John 1:1 for New Year's Day is the perfect verse to begin this journey, inviting the Living Word to speak. I am not only looking forward to reading this every day but eagerly pursuing to hear God's Voice better. I desire to be tuned in to One Voice only, in the depths of my spirit, I want to learn to recognize that voice and distinguish it from all others. I can't wait! With an expectant heart and ears to hear, I will hear and know the Voice of the Shepherd calling to me as one of His sheep. I recommend this for light reading but for much personal growth in your intimacy with God and hearing Him. I will look forward to reading other devotionals and books written by Chris Tiegreen, now that I have had such a great first taste with this book choice offered to me by Tyndale's Blog Network program.

post about this devotional
excerpt and more from this book
Chris Tiegreen also has a "Writer's Blog" with tips to become a better writer.
Other links:

Chris Tiegreen

Insightful and thought-provoking, Chris Tiegreen has inspired thousands of people through his popular One Year devotionals including The One Year Walk with God DevotionalThe One Year At His Feet Devotional, and The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional. He is also the author of Unburdened and several other books. His experiences as a missionary, pastor, journalist, and university instructor bring a unique perspective to his writing. He is currently an editor at Walk Thru the Bible.
- See more at: http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/1_title/author-bio.php?authorID=658#sthash.ZiefHrmg.dpuf

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Tyndale through the book review blogger's 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

* I wanted to share this when it was released but since the book has to be sent to my USA address and then they, in kind, mail it to me, it took a while to get and read enough to review. Then I had to squeeze it in between these month long series. But I'm sure it's in time for choosing your devotional for next year, and I believe this is an excellent choice or actually any of his. 

To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!