Saturday, January 4, 2014


Most of you know I love reading books.
This is my stack of books (in middle of shelf)  I need to read, plus I have a couple dozen on my kindle. I love to get through all these this year, but that would mean reading a book in a week or two, which isn't possible for me, as I tend to reread parts of a book, take notes and journal about what speaks to me. I am also finishing up two books right now and we will start a new book for our Wednesday night class.

On my Kindle:
Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence
To Live Is Christ
The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Indescribable: Encountering the Glory of God in the Beauty of the Universe
Deeper: Living in the Reality of God's Love
The Heaven Answer Book
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
Relentless Love: Unfolding God's Passion, Presence, & Glory
Scripture Prayers For a Beautiful Life
Plus a few dozen more, but these are my priority list. 

Last month I finished up reading Beyond Ordinary . This is one of the books I got free on my kindle, so I thought why not read it. After reading it, I would recommend the book to anyone getting married or currently married no matter if you are happily married or not. I wrote four pages of notes from it. Having been married and divorced and now happily married, though we have had a couple not so happy times, but we overcame those times and it strengthened our marriage and has made it what it is today, and I am so thankful. I learned a lot from those not so happy moments, has made me a better person and I can now use what I learned to help others. Here are some notes from the book:

This book made me look at marriage differently. You should look at your marriage as a covenant, not a contract, which maybe the reason the divorce rate is so high. Contracts expire, can be renegotiated, have contingencies/stipulations. A Covenant lasts forever, it is a promise, holy, without conditions. 
Quote from the book:
"Extraordinary flows from covenant, ordinary from contract. Ordinary isn't something we choose, it's something that happens by not choosing extraordinary."

So many people are always looking for the next best thing, when that doesn't exists. God is the only one that can fill our hearts desire (Psalm 37:5-7).
We should be thinking and choosing what is best for my spouse and marriage, not what I want, deserve, what is owed to me. LOVE IS: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Quote from the book:
"One thing I know is that you can't be selfish and have an extraordinary marriage. Marriage isn't designed for selfish people." Live is self-sacrificing and keeps no records of being wronged. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Quote from the book:
"In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Jesus didn't just intend to be a servant, he chose to be a servant, He chose to put others (us) ahead of himself, even when this choice was painful for Him." (reference to Luke 22:41-44)

This book also talks about brokeness and forgiveness. At one time or another we have all been a broken mess and need forgiveness or need to give it. During my struggles those are the times I lean into God the most. "Beauty found on the narrow path of brokenness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Which made me think of this song
Better Than A Hallelujah~Amy Grant
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a hallelujah

"Forgiveness is a process but trust is a prized possession." "Forgiveness is a gift that flows from grace."
This is so helpful for any relationship, as forgiveness doesn't always come easily. God gives us all grace, so we need to do the same also. If you are like me, I have struggled with trust, I tend to protect my heart, but now that I am getting older, it gets easier, maybe because I don't let what others say or do bother me as much. I feel more free in my thoughts and in my skin. I believe it is my faith which has helped me the most. "Freedom is the love of a Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!" 

I want to share one more book as right now it is on sale, so I want you to be sure to grab it up, it is for us moms! Desperate~Hope for the Mom who needs to breathe I got this book a year or so ago, with intentions of reading it right away, but I set it aside, something with the title didn't resonate with me, as I don't feel desperate. I got the book because I love Sally Clarkson and her books. Well I started reading the book a week ago, and I am about 1/4 way through it. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I have high-lighted a lot so far for us moms to note, but here are just a few things from the book I will share:
The forward of this book was wrote by Ann Voskamp: "My kids don't need to see a supermama. They need to see a mama who needs a Super God. That maybe being the mama I wanted to be wasn't so much about being more but believing more; believing and trsuting more in the God of Hagar and Ruth and Hannah, the God who sees me, who nourishes me, and show hears me and answers me."
OK I know why I didn't read it last year, because it wasn't right timing, but since God has placed it on my heart He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30  verse as my focus this year, this all makes sense now! 

"Wisdom is my companion, and leaning into God is my hope." 

"Think biblically for ourselves instead of being enslaved to other people's thoughts and opinions. To truly follow God with everything in our lives we must learn to develop discernment."  

"Walk by faith and obedience be yourselves; be the best and most excellent and most righteous self you can be, but live in the freedom of God's call and design on your life."

"Resolve to walk with my God on the good and the bad days. Resolved to trust in who He says I am, righteous and perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:14)" Did y'all catch that we are righteous and perfect in God's eyes! When I read a verse in a book I like to sometimes look it up in the Bible, especially when God speaks to my heart about it. Then I always read a few verses before and after the verse. I did that last night and the verse before 2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors... I then read the message version of this passage:
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

I love how God speaks to me! I have friends going through struggles right now, that are in my hearts and prayers, I see this as a message for all of us.  

From there I created a list of what I must increase and decrease to keep my focus on Jesus. I will tell you it is a long list!

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