Not Another Dating Book By: Renee Johnson Fisher

Just like the title says, this is not another dating book. Fisher has created a devotional that reminds us that having a relationship with God should be our goal and focus, not the relationship with another person. Fisher shares stories from her own past, as well as comments from others regarding their relationships and how when we develop a crush, or like someone our focus shifts off of God and we began to idolize the person whose attention we are attempting to capture.

Fisher reminds us that our sole purpose should be a relationship with God, and to remember that He is and always will be our first love and that He will always be there to guide us and in His timing not in ours we will find the person who will become our spouse. Throughout Not Another Dating Book you will come across topics of idolatry, jealousy, and forgiveness.

This book is a must read for teen girls who find themselves caught up in the idea of relationships and boyfriends. You will be reminded of the one true relationship we should be seeking and to glorify God with our thoughts and focus.

This book was provided complimentary from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

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52 Weeks 52 Verses: A Gentle Reminder

 “Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? 
And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. “
-Psalm 73:23-26
 
I love this, and really need this as a reminder this week.
 
Also this is one of my new favorite songs, kind of where I am at right now and thought it was worth sharing.
 
I’m a man in need of a miracle
But all I have is hope
God I need to see Your power fall
Like it did in the days of old
I know You’re who you say you are
Cause You’ve proven that to me
But this time seems impossible
Won’t You help my unbelief

I need to see You move
I need to see Your hand
I’m trying to live by
I don’t know if I can
But I know You’ve not changed
There’s nothing You can’t do

I’ve done all that I can
The rest is up to You
I need to see You move

Like Moses in the wilderness
Like Daniel when he prayed
Like Simeon in the temple
When he finally saw Your face
Lord like them I’m just a man
And I’ve got everything to lose
So what You did for them
Would You do for me
What I’m desperate for is You

 
-Move, NewSong
 
-Elle

Sharing my Heart: 1 Peter Graduated Blog Tour Week 7

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

1 Peter 3:15-18

‘Always be prepared to give an answer’ this verse has always scared me.  We are called to share the truth. To share Jesus. To spread the Good News. We should be prepared to have an answer to give when others ask about our beliefs, and are curious about the hope we have.

When people ask me about my faith I am always nervous, my words often times don’t make sense, I jumble them around in my head and even worse when I speak up. I’ve always had a struggle with words and talking to people. Opening up these doors to relationships and conversation scares me a bit, I get flustered, I hide behind my shyness or behind people I know. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I steer them further from Jesus because I explained something wrong?

I have words to say. I actually have a lot of words, but often times it takes a while for me to think through them completely, to know how to articulate and share what is in my heart without them all tumbling out backwards. It’s partially why I started blogging, on a blog I can control my words, I can edit and revise, I can make sure I didn’t say something out of turn, now I admit that sometimes when I am really passionate about something the words just come and I don’t have to do any of the above. Other times not so much.

I want to be prepared to share Christ’s love with others! I want people to ask me why and who I have hope in! The best way to prepare is to truly understand who God is and what He does for us, when our passion is on fire we cannot help but share and proclaim to the world who Jesus is.

Through reading and study, church and leadership we can all be fully equipped to share without worrying about stumbling over words. We don’t all need to be amazing public speakers, just look at Moses (See Exodus 4) he struggled with words. We just need to learn to be transparent and share our hearts.

-Elle

The 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times was provided to me complimentary from Kregel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This is an inductive Bible Study by Sue Edwards which I will be going through for the next 2 weeks

52 Weeks: 52 Verses- Something Beautiful

“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” – Romans 8:28 (The Voice)

I’ve really started enjoying the new Voice translation, the way verses are read is just simply beautiful. ‘God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful’ what an amazing reminder! When we love God and live according to His plan everything we go through has a reason! The good and the bad, and in those bad times it’s hard for us to remember that.

During those moments we just ask why God? Why me? Why this? Why am I going through this..again? We may not understand what good can come from our problems, and sometimes we may not even be the ones to witness the good that will come out of a situation but remember that everything we go through will turn out good and beautiful. It will turn out wonderous and God will get the glory!

In those moments when you are not quite sure what is going to happen, or how you will get through, just remember God has us in His hands, He won’t ever fail us, although at times we give up on Him, He will never let us go and everything will work out to be beautiful.

-Elle

Sweeter Than Birdsong By: Rosslyn Elliott

   Sweeter Than Birdsong By: Rosslyn Elliott

About the Book:

In this second in the award-winning Saddler’s Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. “I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives,” says Elliott, “knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one’s beliefs with passion and commitment.”

 

Rosslyn Elliott has done it again! With the second book to the Saddler’s Legacy Sweeter than Birdsong will capture your attention and transport you to another time. Elliott knows how to pull you into a story and keep you there and invested in each and every character. She has entwined fiction with history of the Hanby family that will keep you wanting to know the rest of the story.

Sweeter than Morning is the story of Kate Winter who spends her time trying to please her mother and find an escape from her family problems, Kate has always been quiet and shy, when she comes across Ben Hanby, abolitionist with strong speaking and musical skills. An accident brings Ben and Kate together and leaves both questioning their futures and forces Kate to find the courage to speak up.

Kate Winter is a diverse character that you will find yourself relating to her struggles throughout the story. Elliott has once again created a story that will keep you reading from beginning to end.

I was provided this book complimentary from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this “sweet giveaway”.

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner’s choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, season 1 of DowntownAbbey, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

-Elle

Running After Peace: 1 Peter Graduated Blog Tour Week 6

1 Peter 3:8-12 The Message, emphasis added

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.

When I first read this section it really didn’t hit me, alright so we are supposed to be nice, but reading it in the Message made it hit home a lot more. There are no wishy washy words used. The message is clear and to the point. We are to be agreeable, sympathetic, loving, compassionate, humble. At first my mind wants to tell me that I try my best at all of these, and convince ourselves that when you have been less than loving there was a valid reason behind it.  But than comes the next part, are you ready for this?

“That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm.”

Ouch. No exceptions. No excuses. No sarcasm.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

I make excuses, I attempt to find reason behind my actions when I do not want to be compassionate. I don’t want to be loving. Sometimes I just want to be angry. I want to be mad. I want to retort with sarcasm and be passive aggressive to make it seem like I am still attempting to be nice and forgiving when I am really not.

That’s not what we are called to be though. Patsy Clairmont likes to say that sarcasm is anger in clown shoes. We use it as a tool, to try to appear like we are not that angry. In those moments we need to stop and breathe. Send up a prayer for peace and help in getting past the emotion and being able to respond with love.

Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do:
      Say nothing evil or hurtful;  Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things. ”

Bless. That’s our job. Wow. That is something to write down and memorize, especially in those moments where we don’t feel like being much of a blessing. I want to try my best everyday to live out this verse. To glorify God through my words and actions. I want to run after peace for all I am worth. I love that. For all I am worth. I haven’t been doing that, I don’t think I’ve been running after peace for half of what I am worth.

It’s time to take that step. Pay attention to my words. My actions. It’s time for me to be a real reflection of Jesus’ character.

-Elle

 

 

The 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times was provided to me complimentary from Kregel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This is an inductive Bible Study by Sue Edwards which I will be going through for the next 3 weeks

Straight to the Heart of Moses By: Phil Moore

Straight to the Heart of Moses By Phil Moore

This book comes from the Straight to the Heart Series and is amazing! After going through this book on Moses I want to add all the other books in the series to my collection! The Straight to the Heart Series adds insight and revelation along with your daily Bible readings. This is an excellent and easy to read commentary.

This book has ’60 bite-sized insights’ that are packed through with knowledge about language, cultural relevance and answers to the questions that may confuse you while reading through Exodus. These books are written in such a way that you do not need to be a scholar to glean from them. This book helped discover new information about verses that I previously glanced over not realizing the importance of what was being said. This commentary is well written and researched and very thought-provoking.

I highly recommend the Straight to the Heart books to read alongside your Bible. Each day you will be amazed at the little things that were missed and how words were interpreted and the relevance of cultural concepts that are lost to us today.

I was provided this book complimentary through Kregel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

From the Heart of a Woman: Love Letters to my Lord By: Sylvia Hensel

When Sylvia Hensel prays she often times finds herself in another place, she finds herself in the presence of God, and through her prayer time Sylvia began to journal her experiences, feelings and emotions and how she is bringing scripture to life.

In Love Letters to my Lord, Hensel has shared her thoughts and personal experiences through her prayer time, she challenges each of us to make time to spend precious quiet time with God to come to know Him better and to grow in his presence.

This book will show you a new way to look at scripture and your prayer time, the pages of these books read like love letters and poems and will bring you into a new understanding on how prayer time really matters and what it can bring to your relationship with Christ.

This book was provided to me complimentary from the publisher through the booksneeze program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

52 Weeks: 52 Verses – Constantly Growing

“I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them. I will say ‘These are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.'”

-Zechariah 13:9

I’ve always been fascinated with fire, not in a crazy pyro-maniac type of way, but the idea of fire as a purifier, a bringer of new life. In nature, although on the outside fire looks very damaging and devastating it also clears away the dead life that once thrived in a forest to make way for new life. There are pinecones that will not release their seed until they are exposed to extreme heat! And only after going through fire will they bear fruit! Fire brings new nutrients to the soil! It helps in creating new life! How amazing is that! Something that many of us look at as bringing death and destruction actually brings new life!

When gold and silver is refined it is continuously subjected to fire where the imperfections rise to the surface and are scooped away over and over until the silver and gold is purified and all the imperfections are removed!

And that is what Christ is doing to us every day!!! Isn’t it a relief  to know that we are constantly being refined! That through Christ we are always being challenged and growing in a new way? In a direction that will lead us to Him? Let’s rejoice in the knowledge that our God will never give up on us! That He is constantly refining us and bringing us into something new!

-Elle

 

Mornings with Jesus Give Away!

 

Mornings with Jesus 2012: Daily Encouragements for your Soul

-Judy Baer, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, Tricia Goyer, Sharon Hinck, Keri Wyatt Kent, Erin Keeley Marshall and Camy Tang

Leave a comment here or on the give away page to be entered to win a copy! Be sure to include a valid e-mail address to be contacted by in case you win!

Mornings with Jesus has brought together the collaborative efforts of many of your favorite authors. This book will give you a fresh perspective and help in building a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior. This book will encourage you to seek His Word each morning to experiences various attributes of God’s character, from Healer to Comforter to the Son of God. These authors have shared their experiences and teachings of Jesus through 366 daily devotionals.

Each day you will begin your morning with a verse from Jesus’ teachings as well as a devotional around the Word followed by a daily challenge to take a step of faith. This book will not only encourage you but help you to dig deeper and to challenge your daily walk with God.

The devotional from January 24th, from Tricia Goyer revolves around Colossians 3:23-24

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Goyer reminds about how we are all motivated by rewards, as kids star charts and contests, certificates and trinkets for good grades and good behavior. With Jesus we receive an eternal reward, an eternal inheritance, we don’t receive a certificate for serving Christ. Our days are filled with rewards for the things we do, raises and promotions for a job well done, even in social media we are rewarded with comments, likes and retweets for saying things others enjoy, when we don’t get a response we wonder, is anyone reading this? Why hasn’t anyone responded?

It’s hard to keep our focus, to remember that these earthly rewards are not what matters, Jesus will not be stamping your degree, your certificates with stickers or good job stamps, our reward is Jesus. Our work should always be done for Him, not for earthly rewards. Today lets remember that everything we do should be a reflection of Christ, and every step we take should be to honor and glorify God. To let His light shine through us.

This book was provided complimentary from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle