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Book Review: Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday

Simply Open is written by Greg Paul, a pastor who works with an inner city ministry that provides a Sanctuary community to some of the most hurting and excluded people in the city. _225_350_Book.1455.cover He lives out each day what it means to love perhaps even those considered unlovable, and He says he has learned to love like this by being open to God.

In his book Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday. he shares how we can experience more of God by being more open in our awareness of how God is revealing himself to us daily through our 5 senses.  “No matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter how busy we get, our senses are engaged – even when we are largely unconscious of them. Scripture makes it abundantly clear, as does personal experience at some level for almost everyone. that our five  senses, along with our minds and hearts, provide a path deeper into the great mystery of God.”  He spends time in each chapter discussing a different sense as it is experienced through our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart.  He provides a simple prayer to be prayed for God to open us to more awareness through each of our senses and provides beautiful illustrations and reflections about each sense and how it can connect us to a more intimate experience of God.

I enjoyed reading this book and highlighted many parts for further reflection.  This book seemed in many ways an elaboration of the meaning behind such timeless sayings as “Stop and smell the roses.”    I agree with the author that God longs to connect with us in many ways and through all of our senses.  It made me more aware of how much more open I could be in my daily life to all the simple ways God may be trying to connect to me. The mystery of God is revealed uniquely to each of us, just as we uniquely learn and experience through our senses and interpret these experiences differently.  This is definitely a book worth reading if you are at that point in your spiritual walk with God where you want to be taken to a new level of experiencing His spiritual mystery and feeling more intimately connected to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

 

Book Review: The Real House Of God

The Real House Of God by H. Dele Davies, MD is a very informative spiritual book that provides an in depth look at the Temple of the Old Testament and correlates it to the believer being a temple of God’s indwelling._140_245_Book.1005.cover

If you are like me, and have read through the long, very detailed passages in the Old Testament that talk about the Temple, you found the information hard to digest and the significance of all the layout and items hard to grasp.  In this book, Dr Davies, looks piece by piece at each described article and detail of the Temple and he takes the time to explain to the reader what the significance and purpose is meant to be.  He also relates corresponding scripture passages and events to further explain the spiritual importance and impact.

More importantly, he provides explanation of how the temple reflects Heaven as the dwelling place of God, and how the temple also reflects the current believer’s body as the new Temple and dwelling place of God. He provides significant applications for our spiritual understanding of grace and how to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

I enjoyed reading this book and plan to keep it as a valuable reference source that I will read again.  The author is passionate about the subject matter and passionate about providing a resource to help Christians grow in their understanding of God’s Word and His purposes for each of us.  My rating: 5/5!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

Boundaries In The Bible

Psalm 19:7-11

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;8484808_s the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

God is a Holy and Righteous God.  Because of his holiness He establishes boundaries throughout Scripture. To accept those boundaries brings joy, peace, and blessing.  To reject those boundaries brings heartache, misery, and death.
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Where I End and You Begin


“You need boundaries…even in our material creations, boundaries mark the most beautiful of places, between the ocean and the shore, between the mountains and the plains, where the canyon meets the river.” 
― Wm. Paul YoungCross Roads

Boundaries

There’s a place where I end and you begin.
It’s called a boundary.29034145_s
This place defines who you are.
Separate from me.
It protects your thoughts, and ideals
Your own vision to see.
It lets you choose the path you walk
Your own guide to be.
If I push and prod my way
Across this boundary,
You cease to be uniquely you.
In fact, you become me.
                                                   —-E.Austin

I wrote the poem above  to reflect  a simple but important concept….that boundaries are essential to a healthy relationship.  Without boundaries…dysfunction and heartache thrive.  Please join me in a series on boundaries. Read the rest of this entry

Overcoming the Voice of Discouragement

Have you been listening to a voice of discouragement? 11882514_s Has that voice caused you to have doubts, fears, or worries that you didn’t have before? Has that voice dampened your enthusiasm and clarity of purpose?  Has that voice distracted you from hearing God’s voice speaking in your life?

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.-Psalm 16:8

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My Words and Your Words Matter

I am human.  I have a tendency to say things I should not say.  Sometimes, it’s not what I say, but how I say it that inflicts the damage.
Today I am convicted as I realize that within my choice of words is the power to edify or destroy.4415345_s

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

God has bestowed grace upon me.  I have been given a chance to bestow grace as well, HIS GRACE.
God wants my words to MINISTER.  When I minister, I help attend to the wants and NEEDS of others. Read the rest of this entry

Book Review: Death By Living

Death by Living, written by N. D. Wilson, is a reflective look at life, and his perspective on how life and death intertwine and give each other meaning.download

 

In the form of stories retold, the author places memories of his childhood, his relatives, and his own children under the microscope lens and dissects how the moments captured have spiritual value.  He awakens in rich detail the telling of everyday events, happy moments and sad, the joy of new birth and childhood fun, as well as the bittersweet farewells of final days on Earth.  He emphasizes how our individual and unique life experiences deeply connect us to each other and to God.  God’s Sovereignty and grace are predominant themes, and the author wants us to realize that the richness of life is realizing that God is the one who gives meaning and purpose to every facet of its continuum.
I enjoyed reading this book when I had ample leisure time to savor the storytelling aspect. The author uses a lot of colorful, descriptive wording that many may find distracting and not easy reading.  There are many layers of reflection and spiritual significance explored, that are nice to chew on in small segments at a time.  If you are a deep thinker, and like finding spiritual nuggets in the everyday circumstances of life, then you will enjoy this author’s deeply reflective and philosophical style.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> 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

 

Surrounded by Buzzards

Wisdom is: Knowing How To Run off the Spiritual Buzzards Who Take Up Residence In Your Life
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident.” Psalm 27:1

This is a strange post, I admit.  But what faced my husband and I early this morning, was strange as well.  When we arose and the early morning fog was still lingering, we looked out of our windows to find ourselves surrounded by an intimidating gathering of buzzards.  Every where we looked, we saw a mix of turkey buzzards and black buzzards perched in our yard (front, back, and yes even a few on the roof of our home).
1426155_217534451760479_565200121_nWe counted at least 50 of these ominous birds, and it definitely placed our home place in the “eerie” category.  Even though the birds were no immediate threat to us or our pets, what they represented still made us eager to be rid of their presence.  As I looked up information on the internet about legal ways to deter these birds from making our yard their favorite new hangout, I couldn’t help but think about the spiritual comparisons: Read the rest of this entry

Making Your Home A Haven

Wisdom is:  Making your home the place where God’s love and grace abounds.  12659800_s

It’s back again: Women Living Well’s Annual Making your Home A Haven for October.  This is my favorite annual thing that Courtney does and my kids love it too.
Please check out her site for all the details and join the challenge.

http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/09/making-your-home-a-haven-fall-challenge-is-back-with-an-ipad-mini-giveaway/#comment-87695

“By wisdom a house is built, & through understanding it is established.”
Proverbs 24:3

Week One starts Oct 7.  Light a candle in your home daily and when your eye catches the flickering flames, let it remind you to pray for peace to abound in your home. Read the rest of this entry

Your Legacy Matters

Wisdom is Building and Leaving a Godly Legacy.1229852_197676970412894_1325368701_n

We all enter this Earth, live our life, and impact others with the legacy of that life.  Through our legacy, we remain connected to others and influence their own life experiences, decisions and beliefs.  How precious it is when we can impart a legacy of faith that draws others closer to God.

This past weekend, we traveled to Columbus, GA to celebrate the 95th birthday of Jewel Austin.  She is my husband’s grandmother and without a doubt the “Jewel” of the family.  As loved ones and relatives gathered near, words were spoken in love and tenderness to honor her.  One of her granddaughters spoke of Grandmother’s great faith and how much that had impacted her whole life.  She said, ” I didn’t know any other way to live because she filled my heart and mind with such stories of faith, and she lived as an example of that faith.” Read the rest of this entry

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