Awaken September 2019

We have started up Awaken, our women’s brunch and Bible study, for this year at One Church Scottsdale.

We are reading “Relentless” by John Bevere this year. We have just started it & it is so good.

We started off discussing the verse that starts off chapter 1.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/ecc.7.8.NIV

Right off it reminds me of the phrase: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Though sometimes, it is simply, did you finish? Did you make it to the end?

We talked about being relentless and persevering to finish what we start.

Some synonyms of relentless, if you look it up in the thesaurus are “determined, fierce, uncompromising, unstoppable, unyielding, adamant, inflexible.”

This is how we should be with our relationship with the Lord & living our life the way He would have us live it in obedience to Him. I know I need to work on this. I got to thinking that I need to spend more time in the presence of God than in the presence of the world.

This book reminds me of a song that I really like. “You Won’t Relent” by Jesus Culture, which talks about how God is relentless in His pursuit of us.

If God doesn’t give up on us, should we give up on us? And if God is relentless in His pursuit of us, shouldn’t we be relentless in our pursuit of Him?

I do not own any rights to this song/video.  They belong to Jesus Culture & producers.

God is My Happy Place #29

books on wooden shelves inside library
Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Pexels.com

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“If you had to write a book, what would you call it, and what would it be about?”

This is an interesting topic at this time. I’m working on writing a book, but I’m not prepared at this time to reveal the topic to everyone yet. It is just in the starting phase right now.

But there are many different topics of books that I have thought about writing.

I have thought about writing an autobiography. I have written my testimony on here before, if you’re interested in reading. I wrote it in 4 parts. Here are the links, if you would like to read them.

My Story: Part 1

My Story: Part 2

My Story: Part 3

My Story Part 4

I have also thought about writing a book of letters to my daughter about things I might like her to know. I still might. You never know.

I have also thought about writing a book for mothers who have given up their children for adoption. I haven’t found a lot of literature on it. Or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. There is a lot of information out there for adoptive mothers, but not many for the other side of that story.

I’ve even thought about writing a devotional book at some point.

Who knows. All or some of these could happen. Or maybe something completely different.

I feel like God has been giving me a lot to write & I know there is more coming.

God Always Looks Out For Me

He is always with me.

Monday, after work, I discovered that my car battery was dead. Not fun. After texting the wrong person, I was able to get in touch with my husband, who was able to come get me. I had to wait on him to get there.

Ironically, I was just complaining about how cold it was in the office. Then I get outside and have to wait about an hour and a half in the heat.

However, The blessings are that it wasn’t 120 degrees outside & I wasn’t stuck on the side of the interstate during rush hour traffic.

My husband picked me up, we went to a couple of places to price a battery. Those places being more than we could afford right now. We made it home & ate some dinner.

On the way to work Tuesday, we stopped at another place & discovered that it was way cheaper there & we were able to get the battery before friday. We purchased the battery & my husband took me to work.

After work, I was able to change my battery.

The car started right up & I made it home safely.

God kept me safe through the whole thing.

No one wants to have their car break down. But I love that God had his hand in all of it. He knew it was going to happen & set up the right circumstances to keep me safe & provide what we needed.

God is so amazing. He gave me peace through the whole thing.

I had all sorts of contingency plans in my head about how I would have to alter my work schedule this week to take care of the car. God had plans to get it taken care of without having to miss work to do it.

I had plans to go home & get some things done at home. But God had plans to get the car fixed.

Proverbs 16:9 NIV

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Somehow God never ceases to amaze me.

God is My Happy Place #28

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“God has given you everything you need.”

There is so much that I want to say here, so we will get started.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.19.NIV

I got such a blessing today. God has restored & provided for me.

A little over a year ago our apartment was broken into & our laptops were stolen, among other things.

Over the last year, I have been writing the blog & doing research for a book all on my phone.

Recently, God provided the money for me to go get the laptop & accessories I needed (mouse/laptop bag). I am so grateful. I got it today & was able to get it all set up. I am currently writing this blog post on it.

What’s even better, is that it is a much better laptop than the one that was stolen from me. God is so good.

For a long time I was wondering how we were ever going to replace it. But I had the wrong thinking. I had to change my mindset & trust God that He would provide. He is in charge of providing my needs. I started praying and believing God for this need. Then He provided it.

I know he went ahead of me & provided the way. He set up all the circumstances. He put everything in order to provide for me. I can see what was happening now, but not before.

There will be lots of writing to come. Stay tuned.

20190907_184652

Book Review: Jack & Jackie Portrait of an American Marriage

“Jack & Jackie Portrait of an American Marriage” by Christopher Andersen

I finished this book the other night. It was a very interesting read. I learned some interesting facts. Such as, Jackie had a person to write in her journal everyday for her.

I saw a different view of their relationship with each other. I had heard many negative things about their relationship. There were negative things for sure, but there were also some very great things. They struggled with many things that normal marriages struggle with. They were a great team. Maybe not at first, but as their relationship grew, they became closer and learned to work together.

I was not paid to write this review.

God is My Happy Place #27

The next writing prompt from “God is My Happy Place” is:

“The older we get, the more we realize we don’t know. What is something you would like to learn more about?”

Right now I’m into learning about Operation Christmas Child, which is a program started by Franklin Graham, which sends out shoebox gifts to children around the world & sharing the gospel with them. There were over 2 million decisions for Christ last year because of this program.

My husband and I will be helping with this outreach at our church this year. We got to go to a training a couple of weeks ago & we have an event at the end of the month to learn more. We are so excited about it. We’ve already started packing our shoeboxes. We’re starting to ramp up to be prepared for collection week, which is the 3rd week of November.

You can follow the link below to find out more about it & to send your own shoebox.

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

Start somewhere

Some things can look overwhelming. If I can just find a starting point, it starts to come together.

I’m going to illustrate this with an example of my coloring.

I start with a blank coloring page. This one I got from Dover Publishing.

Sometimes I have pictures that I’m not sure where to start. If I can find a starting point, I can usually then start to see a course of action to get the rest of the picture done.

Sometimes it’s only a little at a time. But as I take each step, I can at least see where to make the next one.

And the next one.

Each step revealing the next one.

Then the final result.

Our destination, heaven, is far more exciting than this coloring page. God reveals my journey a little at a time. My starting point should always be asking God where to start & what each of my steps should be. I need to seek His direction at every turn & He will reveal every step at the time I need to take it. The final picture of my life will be amazing.

God is making a mastepiece out of your life. One detail at a time. He knows exactly where to take you. I urge you to listen to His voice & follow His direction. He won’t steer you wrong.

Blessings to you all.

Book Review: Really Bad Girls of the Bible

I have just finished reading the book “Really Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs.

It is an amazing book. I enjoyed every word & I learned a lot as well. This book was hard to put down. I wanted to soak in what was being said, yet really wanting to know what was next.

Each chapter starts with a modern rendition of a Bible story. Then she takes you through the story in the Bible, verse by verse. After that is a lessons learned section, followed by questions.

This book helped me see these stories from a different angle. There are still lessons to be learned, even from characters commonly viewed as bad.

I am not being paid for this review. I only want to share what I’m reading with you. I want to start sharing more book reviews. So as I finish books, I will write reviews.

God is My Happy Place #26

The next writing prompt from “God is My Happy Place” is:

“What is your favorite childhood memory?”

I don’t really have one specific favorite.

However, some of them are playing cards & board games with my maternal grandparents, camping with my cousin, bottle feeding a calf at my paternal grandparents farm.

There are other memories that I have more because I’ve heard the stories.

One such memory is going with my paternal grandfather to his fields, when I was really little, & looking for green bugs. There was a little magnifying glass he let me use to try and find them. I was too young to actually remember, but I have heard the story so many times. Recently he sent me the little magnifying glass in the mail. I’m so glad he did. It came with the note “This in case you have green bugs. Popy”. 💜

I’m sure there are more I could sit & think of. But these are some of my favorites.

God is My Happy Place #25

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“Word of the Day: Focus. What do you need to focus on today?”

Focus.

Straight ahead.
No worry about the past.
All that woulda shoulda coulda.
Leave it behind.
Lose my past identity.

Think life changing thoughts.

Goals to become healthier.
Think healthier.

Writing goals.
Set aside time to work on it.

Relationship goals.
Define & work on what needs to be done

Spiritual goals.
Seek the Lord

Striving towards them, instead of apathetically letting life happen.

God is the primary goal.
His will be done.
Focus on Him.
Everything else will come.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.6.33.NIV

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.12.2.NIV