Tag Archive | Christian Books

Book Review: That’s My Son

That’s My Son

by, Rick Johnson

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At the time of reading this book Joshua was 5, Joseph was 2 and Benjamin was a newborn. I have 3 boys (as of now) to help raise to become good Godly men and I feel as though I haven’t a clue how to do this! I bought a couple of books that looked like they might be helpful to start pointing me in some direction alongside prayer for God to show me what to do and say to my boys as I raise them.

I wasn’t too impressed with this book overall. I always have a little pet peeve when a book seems to be filled more with quotations from other authors than good information from the author who is actually writing the book. A majority of things I underlined came from other people’s books (so maybe that’s where I should go next in my readings?). There were a few subjects I disagreed with and found this book to be a lot more opinion based rather than Scripture based and Jesus exampled. This is really only the first book I have read to a mom about raising boys so I have a lot more learning to go in this area. My biggest take away is to remember whether raising a son or daughter or discipling an unrelated high school student or mentoring a fellow mom or goal in all of this is to help others become more like Jesus. What kind of a person was Jesus? What behaviors did he model? What example did He set for us? There is loads of wisdom right here from Jesus that can apply to raising a male or a female as we are both image bearers and are both called to model after Jesus’ behavior.

“… the energy, competitiveness, and corporal daring of normal, decent males is responsible for much of what is right in the world. No one denies that boys’ aggressive tendencies must be checked and channeled in constructive ways. Boys need discipline, respect, and moral guidance. Boys need love and tolerant understanding.” p. 40 as quoted in the book The War Against Boys by, Hoff Summers

“… our goal is to raise a boy to be a man who is responsible for himself and others around him – a man who nurtures, provides for, protects, and leads his family courageously and accepts responsibility for his own actions.” p. 47

“Mothers, because of their nurturing tendencies, are often overprotective of their children. After all, it’s a mother’s job to civilize a boy. Without a man’s influence in this area, boys can end up failing to learn the valuable link between taking risks and attaining success in life. Getting hurt physically, failing, persevering, and succeeding (despite overwhelming odds) are key factors in a male’s growth towards manhood.” p. 49

“… as parents, [we] have been entrusted by God to protect our children’s innocence. I’m convinced that parents need to possess a godly jealousy that ruthlessly protects our children from evil.” p. 80 as quoted in Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

“By running too quickly to rescue their sons when things get tough, some moms are teaching their boys that the way out of hard times is to find someone (a woman) to get them off the hook rather than to be accountable to the one in authority and step up to the plate.” p. 105

“When we do not provide our adolescent boys with elders to become friends with, when we do not help guide them in their choice of friends, when we allow overreliance on the media to distract them from the bonding process, and when we push them (or allow them to gravitate) toward female bonding before they are emotionally ready (e.g., letting them date before they are sixteen or so), we make their emotional disadvantage into nearly an assurance of lifelong emotional immaturity.” p. 158 as quoted in A Fine Young Man by, Michale Gurian

 

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How Many Unread Books Are On Your Bookshelf?

So I looked through my book shelf as well as my Kindle “shelf” to calculate how many books I have collected and not read over the last 15 or so years. I am now more than ever determined to try to just read them instead of purchasing any more books! I have 60 books on my shelf! 60! And 68 Kindle books! That’s 128 books I have thought “hmmm, this will be good to read” and purchased and just left on my shelf. To my defense there are a few given to me for free and some that are too good of a deal at the thrift store to pass up and most of the Kindle ones were free downloads but still… 128 books. Okay and that’s actually not all of them… that’s just the Christian non-fiction books. I am not even going to bother calculating how many fiction books I have on my shelf and Kindle. So let’s just say I can average 1 book per month (which is a challenge for me in this stage of my life) it would take me 10 1/2 years to read all of these books! 10 1/2 years… so should I rename this page Reading List 2018-2028 ?!?! Amelia will be a Senior in high school and this baby who will be born next week will be 10 years old. So anyways, I’m not sure how I’m going to battle this plan and/or if I really am but I have something to evaluate and that is my hoarding of books and not reading them and I will see where this journey takes me. The list below are books I am already in the middle of reading and I am going to add to the list as the year progresses instead of trying to pick out books for the year in advance. I also know that I will have to be okay with not finishing a book if it’s leading me in a direction that is not where God wants me to go. There are not a lot like that but I will be praying for sensitivity to the Spirit in leading me to which book to read.

Fiction:

Parenting:

Marriage:

Christian Growth:

  • The Other Side of Infamy – James Downing (Kindle check-out through library. I met this incredible man who is one of the original founders of the Navigators as well as the last living Pearl Harbor survivor… he is 104 years old. I couldn’t not read his book after meeting him!)
  • Growing Deep – Chuck Swindoll (I found I was only halfway done with this and remember it being a good book so I will finish this one first.)
  • The Possibilities of Prayer – E.M.Bounds (Another one I was only halfway done with; I have this on paperback as well as Kindle which is always good for reading while feeding a newborn late at night… one handed and lit up.)

Bible Study:

  • Immersed – Katie Orr (This is a friend of a friend who wrote this study. Another I only finished half of but really liked it. Once the baby is a little older and I will have my hands free to write bible study notes I will finish this one. They do not make any more copies of this particular study but her other Focused15 studies are worth looking into.)

It is also worth noting that I found 7 Bible studies on my shelf I have not completed. Beth Moore, Henry Blackaby, Precepts. All are great studies and I remember with each of them I found them at a thrift store and/or church garage sale for free or a small price and those are diamonds in the rough for me. But as with the books, now I need to get down to doing them!

Podcasts:

And if everything above is not too much already what about podcasts? Podcasts are great to listen to when doing housework and driving on roadtrips or back/forth to work or up to Denver as well as exercising at the gym. I have about 5 I subscribe to and will load up my iPod before a road trip and recently loaded up also in anticipation of late night baby feedings when I need something to stimulate my mind but maybe want my eyes closed at the same time :  ) Here’s my list:

  • James MacDonald
    • Prayer Series (15 podcasts)
    • Holy Spirit Series (14 podcasts)
  • Chip Ingram
    • The Real God Series (16 podcasts)
    • Jesus Unfiltered Series (41 podcasts)

The Bible:

I am adding this at the end although it really should be at the beginning. I also know that the meat of my learning does not necessarily come from the latest book I read but rather from the Word of God itself. I do not want to overlook this as I have in the past and notice a significant difference when I’m just reading books but not the Bible. I love working through different plans from Blue Letter Bible. I read through the bible chronologically (in 3 years instead of 1 year!) and really enjoyed that chronological aspect. Now I’m reading the OT and NT together which I also like going back and forth.

Now I’ve also got Dr. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible commentary books and also subscribe to his podcasts and have referenced them on occasion but have always wanted to commit to being on “The Bible Bus” at some point in my life which is a 5 year commitment.

 

Book Review: Experiencing God

Book Review: Experiencing God

by, Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King

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I really enjoyed this book and some day hope to do the bible study. In fact the ideas in this book are what opened my eyes to see that God was asking me to host a women’s bible study in my home for a season of my life. I was not wanting to host and plan but it was clear that God was trying to get my attention to His will and not my own hopes and desires, which was to join a bible study that was already in progress that was on the perfect morning and with childcare… and didn’t exist!

This is a book I had heard a lot of and found awhile back at a thrift store for pretty cheap. It’s always interesting to me when I find books that have inscriptions at the front from being given to someone and they’ve chosen to give it away. This book happened to be given to a Joshua from his grandparents. I feel like I’m invading their privacy a little bit but I also appreciate whoever gave the book away that they gave it away instead of just throwing it away. So here I am, invading privacy but thankful for finding a good book at discount : )

“… we do not find God’s will – it is revealed. God always takes the initiative.” p. x

“I dreamed great dreams of what I was going to do for God… this time I would not try to work my own plans. I refused to dream my own dreams of what I would do for God… then we watched to see where God was at work so we could join Him.” p. xi

“The Scripture says that God’s very nature is love. God can never function contrary to His own nature… Because His nature is love, I am always confident that however He expresses Himself to me is always best.” p. 17

“Your relationship with God right now reveals what you believe about Him. It is spiritually impossible for you to believe one way and practice another.” p. 19

“No matter how big the assignment He gives you, He is able to accomplish His purposes through you.” p. 24

” ‘What is God’s will for my life?’ is not the best question to ask. I think the right question is simply, ‘What is God’s will?’ Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him and His purposes… the plan He has for your life is based on what He is doing in His world… His desire is for you to become involved in what He is doing.” p. 29

“Sometimes individuals are so busy doing things they think will help God accomplish His purpose that He can’t get their attention long enough to use them as servants to accomplish what He wants. We often wear ourselves out and accomplish very little of value to the kingdom.” p. 30

“If you are experiencing a time of fruitlessness right now, you may be trying to do things on your own that God has not initiated.” p. 30

“Don’t, however, focus on your talents, abilities, and interests in determining God’s will. I have heard so many people say, ‘I would really like to do that; therefore, it must be God’s will.’ That kind of response is self-centered. We need to become God-centered instead. When He is Lord, your response should be something like this: ‘Lord, I will do anything that Your kingdom requires of me…” p. 32 (this reminds me of so many Biblical characters… Moses and Mary are the first two to come to mind).

“He is more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.” p. 35

7 REALITIES OF EXPERIENCING GOD:

  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
  5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

“He does not ask us to dream our dreams for Him and then ask Him to bless our plans. He is already at work when He comes to us. His desire is to get us from where we are to where He is working.” p. 55

“When the love relationship is right, God will be free to begin giving you assignments at His initiative. Whenever you do not seem to be receiving assignments from God, focus on the love relationship and stay there until the assignment comes.” p. 72

“The common approach to spiritual gifts also can become very self-centered, rather than God-centered, if you take the initiative to decide on an assignment that you think fits you.” p. 73

“Moses’ success was not dependent on Moses’ skills, abilities, likes, preferences, or past successes. God first gave Moses an assignment, and then God equipped him with His Holy Spirit to administrate and lead… God was at work through Moses doing things Moses could not do on his own.” p. 74

“… thinking that God gives them some thing – like an ingredient called administration. No, He doesn’t give some thing; He gives Himself. The Gift is a Person. The Holy Spirit equips you with His administrative ability.” p. 76 (or whatever spiritual gift you need for the task He’s calling you to)

“The smaller assignments of God are always used of God to develop character. God always develops character to match His assignment. If God has a great assignment for you, He has to develop a great character to match that assignment before He can give you the assignment.” p. 148

“If I have been working and praying in one direction and I see God working in a different direction, I adjust my life to what God is doing… decide whether you are going to do what you want and ask God to bless it, or go to work where He is working.” p. 180

… we pray and then never relate anything that happens to our praying. After you pray, the greatest single thing you need to do is turn on your spiritual concentration. When you pray in a direction, immediately anticipate the activity of God in answer to your prayer.” p. 180

“Sometimes God is silent as He prepares to bring you into a deeper understanding of Himself. Whenever a silence comes, continue doing the last thing God told you and watch and wait for a fresh encounter with Him.” p. 183

“If you put yourself in the middle of the circumstances and try to look at God, you will always have a distorted understanding of God.” p. 189

“You may face a situation like Job experienced where God does not tell you what He is doing. In those instances acknowledge God’s love and sovereignty and depend on His sustaining grace to see you through the situation.” p. 192

“… if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it probably is not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are always beyond what people can do because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world.” p. 220

“You cannot obey Him unless you believe and trust Him. You cannot believe and trust Him unless you love Him. You cannot love Him unless you know Him.” p. 250

“Although obedience is costly, it is always worth the cost. In fact whenever you are tempted to consider the cost too high, you need to consider what it will cost you not to do the will of God. That cost is even greater.” p. 261

 

 

Book Review: Ruth & Billy Graham

Book Review: Ruth & Billy Graham – The Legacy of a Couple

by, Hanspeter Nuesch

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I stumbled upon this book at Mardel’s in the clearance section. I have never read anything by or about Billy Graham but one thing I’ve been wanting to read more of is biographies and I thought this was a great place to start. I am so thankful I picked up this book. It was really good! Nuesch did a very thorough job of writing this biography and has wonderful pictures and stories and I love how he layed out the topics of the different chapters. If you want to read anything about Billy Graham I definitely recommend this book. I also am excited to utilize his reference index as there are a lot of books listed there that I want to read now!

“Nowhere are we able to express our deepest feelings better than in our prayers. That’s why there is no better recipe for a good marriage than to pray together frequently, because in this way you sense your spouse’s heart. That is what unites you as nothing else can.” p. 73 Ruth Graham

“Graham emphasized the fact that God does not say in his Word that we should ask for humility but rather that we should actively humble ourselves, and then God will grant us grace.” p. 81

“… all of their problems stem from one basic problem, which is the sin of human nature. The problems of the world are not economic or political; they are spiritual. We continue to wrestle with the problems of human iniquity and human failure. Nations have reached agreements only to have them broken time after time. Why? Because they were building their hopes and agreements on the cracked and sinking foundation of human nature… The only cure for sin lies at the foot of that cross.” p. 218-219 Billy Graham

“The ultimate possibility of lifting human nature to the place where it will love instead of hate and will practice honesty instead of deceit and will keep its agreements with integrity is found only at the foot of this cross. The reason we do not have peace in the world is that we do not have peace in our souls. There can be no peace in the hearts of men without reconciliation to God. … We can never build a better world until we have better men and the only way men can be made better is by the transforming and regenerating power of Christ.” p. 219 Billy Graham

“… the efforts toward peace and justice, however important they are, should never replace the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” p. 233

“He should focus more on what a person can become by God’s grace and the enabling of the Holy Spirit than on his or her present condition.” p. 252

“We must learn to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in order to assist him in his plans and not misuse him simply to fulfill our own plans.” p. 259

“Growth normally takes place slowly, nurtured by God’s Father-love. Our heavenly Father does not love us because we help to fulfill the Great Commission; he loves us for ourselves, even when we fail him again and again. If we lose sight of this fact, life and ministry become a joyless and fruitless struggle.” p. 315

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” p. 316 Ruth Graham

“We look at death from the wrong point of view. We think of how much we are missing the one going home. We are not looking at it from God’s point of view: a child is coming home.” p. 323 Ruth Graham

“As personal pleasure and instant gratification have increasingly become the only purpose left in life, the main question has become, ‘What will I get out of it?’ and no longer, ‘What is right before God and man?'” p. 342

“The inflation of mere words has devalued them. People no longer believe our words and constantly question whether we are trustworthy… an individual’s subjective judgment of the sincerity and trustworthiness of the speaker ends up being the sole determining factor as to whether they listen at all.” p. 342

“We might still regard Jesus as our Savior but not as our master.” p. 346

“Christians need to develop the ability to see things and people not primarily as they are now but as what they can become by God’s transformational work.” p. 349

Book Review: The Women of Christmas

Book Review: The Women of Christmas

by, Liz Curtis Higgs

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I was looking for a book to read this Christmas season that would help me see a different point of view of the birth of Christ. I also wanted a bible study about Christmas to learn some more about the history of the time but I wasn’t able to find exactly what I was looking for in that respect and not to mention having a newborn I wasn’t sure how into a bible study I could be. This book met more of the first aspect I was looking for and I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve never read a book by Liz Curtis Higgs. Her writing is very easy to read and follow with so this was a pretty quick read. Nothing too deep but some different perspectives and things to ponder this past Christmas season.

“Though it’s tempting to praise people for their goodness, it’s better to praise the One who made them.” p.7

“What made Mary worthy of her calling was not her virtue; it was God’s virtue. That’s why her story gives every woman a generous measure of hope. God takes us as we are and uses us as he will, for our good and for his glory.” p. 46

“Clearly it’s okay – more than okay – to ask God how he will accomplish something. Even if his answer is ‘Trust me,’ we can be sure he hears us.” p. 51

Talking about Mary: “As a devout young woman, she surely knew the prophecy of Isaiah… Did she begin to tremble all over, realizing Isaiah was talking about her?” p. 56

“To say yes and not be afraid of what others may say about our dependence upon God, about our abundance of joy. If people talk, so what? People always do.” p. 72

“… the first person to hold the newborn Christ was Mary of Nazareth, and the first person to touch the newly risen Christ, however briefly, was Mary of Magdala. God placed himself in a woman’s care when he came to earth, then entrusted a woman to announce his resurrection when he came back to life.” p. 122

Book Review: 1,000 Gifts

Book Review: 1,000 Gifts

by, Ann Voskamp

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This book was a pretty quick read for me. The way Ann Voskamp writes is so different and very enjoyable and it helps to read a book quickly. I felt like I was inside of her head and she was a good friend describing things in a way only good friends can and I really appreciated that. I loved how humbly she wrote. You can see that this book was written alongside a journey she took to understand and learn the content. She wasn’t preaching to anyone but simply fellowshipping and writing so we could all journey along with her. This also was a challenging book and really opened up my eyes to seeing our circumstances with a thankful heart.

“His [God’s] intent, since He bent low and breathed His life into the dust of our lungs, since He kissed us into being, has never been to slyly orchestrate our ruin.” p.17

“That was the fall! Non-eucharisteo, ingratitude, was the fall – humanity’s discontent with all that God freely gives. That is what has scraped me raw: ungratefulness.” p.35

“Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him and yield a bounty of joy… Do I really want this way?” p.36

“…moving the ink across the page opens up the eyes, that he may not understand how it sheds light, focuses its lens, but he only knows ‘that there are eyes in pencils and in pens’…the picking up of a pen isn’t painful and ink can be cheap medicine.” p.49 (first part is a quote from John Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God)

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry.” p.65

“But time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.” p.77

“But awakening to joy awakens to pain. Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” p.84

“You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies – though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet [God’s] beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.” p.125 (as quoted by Jean-Pierre de Causade in Reuben Job’s A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People)

“When I choose – and it is a choice – to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective – more expedient – than giving thanks?” p.126

“Only self can kill joy. I’m the one doing this to me.” p.177

Reading List 2015

Here is my list for 2015. I did not do so well on my list in 2014 and much had to do with working full time for the first 5 months followed by my 4th pregnancy and a move to a new city! We had a lot of changes in 2014 and I fell greatly behind in blogging as well as reading. I have high hopes for 2015 although it’s almost the end of February and I am only just now putting up my list! This time I put the blame on having a newborn on January 8th : ) it’s always something right! Well… here goes!

I should also preface by saying that God has really brought to my attention my need to focus on my marriage. I have spent the last few years reading a lot of parenting books which have been significantly helpful but there are some areas in my marriage that need some real work and I am making 2015 a focus on that as far as my reading goes.

Fiction:

Marriage:

Bible Study:

Book Review: The Mission of Motherhood

Book Review: The Mission of Motherhood

by Sally Clarkson

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I really enjoyed this book. I love reading these books where the author talks about some of the specific things they have done in raising their children for Christ. It is so great to read some personal examples and then to hear from the kiddos and how they were affected by it. This book reminds me of The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot in that regard.

I also really liked how much this book focused on your heart as a mom. Several times she emphasized that even if your circumstances mean the mom has to do some work outside of the home, it does not mean her HEART is not at home. This was so encouraging for me because of our recent change in circumstances now that I had to go back to work full time. I really struggled with transitioning back to work even though I didn’t go back because I wanted to but out of necessity, I still felt like I was abandoning my heart which desires so much to just be home full time. I was encouraged to hear about other women in the same situations and to know that my presence at work does not change my heart status.

“… the fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully.” p. 3

“For thousands of years… Motherhood was seen as a noble and important calling. Women considered themselves blessed to bear many children, and it was considered normal and good for home and family to be the central focus of a woman’s life… Somehow, over the course of the last century, traditional motherhood had become a lifestyle option – and to many, a lesser option – rather than a divine calling.” p.9-10

“As important as my role is, and as important as my children are, they are not to be the center of my life, and my central calling is not to motherhood… My calling as a mother is the same as any other Christian’s: to fulfill God’s will for our lives and to glorify him.” p.14-15

“The mission of motherhood is strategic in providing the next generation with whole-hearted, emotionally healthy, and spiritually alive adults… It is a divine calling that will indeed affect eternity.” p.16

“When God’s commands are obeyed, people flourish because they are living in harmony with the way they were designed.” p.29

“Children do not accidentally become righteous leaders or emotionally healthy and productive adults – any more than seeds thrown randomly to the wind grow to be part of a thriving garden. Simply throwing children into a cultural tornado and hoping for the best gives them little chance of living up to their potential or coming out unharmed.” p.43

“… a divided mind that comes from a lack of wholehearted commitment to the home, as well as the simple time pressure that comes from supporting a dual career of home and family, tends to rob mother and children alike of the freedom they need to grow and thrive.” p.47

“Each of us is different, each of us finds herself at a different point on this path of motherhood, and our individual decisions will reflect the difference in our circumstances. But once we commit to embrace the vision of motherhood, God always provides the creative guidance we need to keep moving toward our goal.” p.51

“All that God requires from any of us is a desire to serve him and a trust that he can make up the difference for the things we lack… He will use our willingness and or efforts, then fill in the gaps of our inadequacies, to prepare their hearts for what he has in mind.” p.84

“… unless we take the initiative to gently and lovingly confront our children’s sin and selfishness, they will not learn to be mature adults… The wise mother takes the time to correct her children over and over again so they can experience the peace and freedom of knowing how to govern their lives in such a way as to be mature, wise, and at peace with God.” 91

“Children do not accidentally become mature adults of strong character, great faith, gracious relational skills, effective leadership qualities, and sharp intellects. God’s design includes the presence of a hands-on gardener, a mother, to tend and cultivate their hearts, souls, minds, and relationships… a child whose growth is unsupervised or left to chance will likely grow wild and undisciplined or stunted and unfruitful.” p.142

Book Review: Beth Moore A Woman’s Heart

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This was a phenomenal bible study. Every single one of Beth Moore’s bible studies are phenomenal. God has really gifted her to teach among women it is just amazing. This is a revised study and I actually had already completed the first one about 8 years ago. A lot has changed in 8 years. There were some points that I remember really standing out to me then that really stood out to me again now but there was so much more this time. This bible study and this particular time in my life and just God doing what He’s doing in me has really changed me. I also absolutely love watching her videos that accompany the bible studies. I cry at EVERY SINGLE video. Her passion, her sincerity, her compassion is so moving. She gets it and she wants everyone to get it and God is using her. Here are some of the incredible things the Lord taught me through her and this study:

God pursued Adam AFTER his disobedience (from the Viewer Guide Introduction). God didn’t stand back waiting for Adam to suck up the courage to confess to God about his sin. No. God pursued Adam. “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9. When I sin and am afraid to come to God and think if I just ignore Him and continue on it may eventually just go unnoticed but God is greater than that. He pursues me. He pursues you. When you and I sin He comes after us because He loves us so much and wants us to repent and restore our relationship together.

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (from the Viewer Guide Session 7). Jesus always lives to make intercession for His people. Christ thrives on interceding for us. What do you live for? This is what Christ lives for. Jesus and God are talking about us. They are carefully thinking through the plan for our lives. Nothing that happens to us is haphazard but is carefully thought out. And they love us so much. “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:28. “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.” Jeremiah 29:11. “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.” Psalm 139:17-18.

  • In Romans 8:28 when it says “according to the will of God” the Greek word for will is “boule” which means: “will, project, intention, as the result of reflections; counsel… deliberation and reflection”… denotes the final result of inner deliberation. Her point here is that Jesus and God are reflecting and deliberating what our will is. Again she reiterates in the video that nothing that happens in our life is haphazard but carefully deliberated and reflected on and then decided on. This is profound and incredibly deepens my trust in God that He loves me and cares about everything that He allows to happen in my life.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (from the Viewer Guide Session 10). She pointed out in talking about where the final tabernacle will be that when we get to heaven notice how God ordered these things. He begins with no more death… then sorrow… then crying… then pain. It is in order of worse things to more tolerable things. Of course in heaven we would expect there to be no more death… and of course we would assume no more sorrow. But there’s probably going to be some crying right? Nope. Well, then there’s going to be some kind of pain right? Physical? Emotional? NOPE… NOT EVEN ANY PAIN. How incredible is that?!?!?! If you have never longed for heaven before then that truth surely should put the longing within you. I know for me this verse and her pointing this out has significantly impacted my desire and longing for heaven. Praise God.

There are so many more amazing things I learned through this study but those were the 3 that really stuck out to me and changed me the most. I would highly recommend anybody anywhere at any time… no wait, right now, not anytime… choose now to do this study and watch the videos (or you can listen to the audio but seeing her emotion and passion in real life is so much more moving). May God be glorified in our pursuits of Him!

Book Review: The Power of a Praying Wife & Family Prayer Journal

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I must first start by admitting this has been a 2 year read : ) Not because of the content or at all because it was boring or anything like that. I just simply did not keep it a priority but kept it on the list to finish “someday” : ) This book is amazing! It is just amazing how much God has blessed Stormie with an ability to pray intensively and according to Scriptures. The book is laid out with 30 different topics to pray for over your husband. Each topic is about 3 pages long where she gives a brief intro of the importance of praying for this area and usually a real life example of either herself or someone she knows who saw a significant impact in their husband’s lives because of praying for that particular area. She then finishes up with a prayer and some “power tools” at the end which are 4 or 5 scriptures to pray over for that area. The whole book is saturated with scriptures… it is amazing! It really opened my eyes to “praying without ceasing” and praying for everything. I never thought about needing to pray for over half of these things and even if I thought about it I wouldn’t have known how to or where to turn in Scripture to pray over it. This is such a helpful book. I am also finishing The Power of a Praying Parent at this same time. The book 2 years ago inspired me to make our family prayer journal. In it I basically have pulled from this book all of the topics and summed up what she said in a prayer and added in my favorite verses relating to that area. Over the past 2 years I have added personal prayer requests for our marriage and family. Last year I added 2 new sections… one for “generational sins” that I was noticing were being passed down to our children and began seeing the importance of praying for a breaking of those since in our generation and the generation from us. I also added a “praise” section : ) I love my prayer journal and am so thankful for God using this book to have sparked that in me. I use a reusable sticky tab as my “bookmark” and will pray for one section and move the bookmark to the next section for the next time I pray out of the journal. I cannot wait to see some real fruits in the years to come from this.

We can take a stand against any negative influences in our marriage relationship and know that God has given us authority in His name to back it up. p. 15

Praying for your husband will be an act of unselfish, unconditional love and sacrifice on your part. p.21

Before your prayers are answered there will be blessings from God that will come to you simply because you are praying. That’s because you will have spent time in the presence of God, where all lasting transformation begins. p.22

It’s impossible to truly give yourself in prayer for your husband without first examining your own heart. p. 26

Dying to yourself is always painful… But this kind of pain leads to life. p. 28

When we pray we enter into the presence of God and He fills us with His Spirit of love. When you pray for your husband, the love of God will grow in your heart for him. p. 29

The safeguard you have with prayer is that you have to go through God to do it. This means you can’t get away with a bad attitude, wrong thinking, or incorrect motives. When you pray, God reveals anything in your personality that is resistant to His order of things. p. 33

I’m not going to give any more quotes from the rest of the book those were just the introduction and beginning section of the importance of praying for your husband’s wife : ) Yup… that’s you : ) That’s the first chapter and she goes into great detail of the great importance of getting your heart right and honest before God before going on this journey:

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

Psalm 66:18

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The inside of the prayer journal with an encouraging verse. At the top are our kiddos names and birthdates… in case I forget haha! Just kidding : )

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The first section of prayers for our children with the prayer requests and scripture that accompanies.

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Prayers for myself, Adam and our marriage

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