"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

Showing posts with label Devotional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Devotional. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"FINDING PEACE and REST ... " ...

in the

[credit image: faith gateway]

actually the title is

"Devotions from the Garden"
Finding Peace and Rest in Your Busy Life

By Miriam Drennan 

... who doesn't want to "find peace and rest" whether your life is busy or not; however the reason I found this to be the key part of this title that drew me into choosing this book IS because as you read the devotions, you can actually find this peace and rest. 

Miriam Drennan starts each 2 page devotion with a passage from Scripture, then a daily reading drawn from "gardening" with a spiritual application to our life, really wonderful analogies in so many of the devotions, ending with a simple personal prayer, filled with breath-taking, full color gorgeous photographs of garden scenes and nature. Just the cover itself invites one to "come to the garden alone and fill your soul with His Presence" as you sit awhile on this welcoming garden swing. Such a delight as you take in the imagery of the words and photographs as you read each beautifully written devotion of the 90 included, that can be read in a brief amount of time, or you can linger over them on a wonderful walk in the garden. It is there you encounter Him, and the peace and rest.

As I anxiously began reading the book, I thought I would sample just one a day to get the feel of using this as my daily devotional, but I found myself continuing from one to the next, and I could not put this easy reading book down. I was totally inspired and in awe of how close I really felt to God with an amazing sense of peace and desire to want to connect with more and more of the awesome insights that Miriam Drennan illustrates from the Master Gardener and our growth. I could certainly see that Miriam Drennan was more than just an author writing daily devotions, she actually knew her topic of the garden very well along with spiritual and biblical inspiration. Even though I am far from being any kind of a gardener with a green or otherwise thumb, she was able to help me understand and learn not just about a wide variety of gardening themes but also deepening my spiritual growth and understanding. This book would be a great gift for the avid gardener or anyone that appreciates the beauty of God's nature like me. The author's own garden knowledge and her explanations are extremely helpful, informative and her analogies from the garden to our own lives are inspirational, insightful and indicative of Miriam's expertise and my own need for growth.

Each devotion covers so many different gardening topics and spiritual themes that I would love to list them but there are 90 so ... let's just begin with some of my favorite ones which fit in so perfectly with my "Gardens of Grace":

 "God's Transforming Grace" 
"Grace in the Garden"
"The Riches of Remnants"
"Blooms but No Fruit"
"The Forgotten Crop"
"Neglected Beds"
"Grafted to Him"

Other gardening themes include: Perennials; Crop Rotation; Soils; Roots; Drought; Weeding; Pruning; Seasons; Fruit; Harvesting; Companion Planting; Seed Cleaning; Mustard Seed; Mulch; various kinds of Gardens - Butterfly, Herb, Rain, Straw bale; and Gardening - Pallet, Rock; and of course, the insects like Ladybugs, the Mantis, Honeybees, Earthworms; and so many more that enrich our lives and our gardens. Beautiful photos make her words spring to life. Miriam has such a way with words and connecting garden themes to our lives as she plants, nurtures and tends to our spiritual gardens. I have so many highlights throughout this devotional which seems to point out that my garden was in such a need for attention and that I have such thirst for so much more by the Master Gardener and Miriam Drennan's capacity to tend to our gardens, the areas in our lives that need tender gardening skills and care: from our soil and our roots to the blooming parts and harvest. I knew that there are many spiritual themes from or in a garden, I just didn't have the touch or knowledge of expertise only the love for the Master Gardener and His daily care. 

This is absolutely one of the most beautiful, inspirational and timely devotionals that I have had the pleasure to read, for whatever season you may find your personal life to be. It is one that I will go back to read often to soak in the beauty of God's design in the garden and us in His Grace! Miriam Drennan refreshes our souls, encourages our hearts and cleverly communicates God's peace as we find rest in the garden. Our relationship with God through these daily feedings breathes afresh in us as we deepen our quiet time with walks in the garden with Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Book Description~ from Book Look Bloggers

"Come to the garden alone, and fill your soul with His presence.
There's nothing on earth like the peace and loveliness of a magnificent garden. It's the place where Adam and Eve first fellow-shipped with God, and where you, too, can escape from this chaotic world into His loving arms of beauty and serenity. Devotions from the Garden takes you to that place where senses are restored as dewdrops settle and butterflies gather to witness the miracles of God's creation bloom and grow. These ninety devotions explore the parallels of life with the elements of the garden to help you see God, to sense His presence, to soothe your soul, and to rest in knowing He is with you throughout each day. Included are striking photographs with a fresh, contemporary design for timeless appeal.
About the Author
Miriam Drennan is the author of Devotions for the Beach and the Days You Wish You Were There and Soar Above the Madness: Surviving Office Politics Without Losing Your Mind, Your Job, or Your Lunch. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she enjoys gardening and playing with words. 
Drop her a line at www.that-writer.com. " Published by Thomas Nelson

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


"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. 


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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