Go + Do By: Jay Milbrandt

Go + Do By Jay Milbrandt is a challenge for all of us. A challenge for each of us to ‘go and do.’ We all have found ourselves asking what we are doing with our lives, where are we going to go after we finish high school, college, when our kids move out, when we retire. We consider things that appeal to us, make plans, come up with ideas of things we can do, but many times we push them to the wayside and never go and do them.

Milbrandt’s book will challenge you to take that step, it may even change your career path. Milbrandt will encourage you to take a chance and step out to connect with others and build relationships that will be life changing. Through Go + Do you will feel called to action, to make a difference in someone else’s life.

This book will encourage you to take the next step, to get past your fears and the opinions of others, to take a step that will transform your life. Everyone who has been searching for more, who want to make a difference, who are ready to embrace their calling needs to read this book. Take the dare, start with this book and take the step to ‘go and do.’

I received this book complimentary from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

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Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

Today let’s remember those who have sacrificed to keep us safe. Those who have left families and friends they have left behind. For the families that lost a loved one. The families who pray to see the day their loved one returns home safe and sound.

Let us join in prayer for our country, those who have sacrificed to keep us safe and continue to this day.

-Elle

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking By: Susan Cain

As an Introvert I absolutely loved the title of this book! As an introvert, I have heard all the stereotypes, and felt the push to be more outgoing, and felt the pressures of living in an extroverted world. Cain points out through the first few chapters that being ‘quiet’ is not a negative, that being an introvert is not a bad thing, introverts simply approach problems and life from a different perspective.

Cain approaches this book from a scientific perspective and uses many sources and surveys as well as personal experiences  to back what she is saying. Cain continues throughout the book to remind us of introverts throughout history who have made a difference and has made a powerful impact in the world. This book is research based and focuses primarily on introverts and how they are succeeding in an extroverted world. Cain offers advice for introverts, but it can be advice for anyone.

I recommend this book for anyone to read, especially for those self-proclaimed introverts, this book will open your eyes and help you to realize and understand some of your thought processes as an introvert and why you may feel uncomfortable in certain circumstances.

I received this book complimentary from Waterbrook Multnomah through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

Lord Undo Me By: Blake Williams

“Lord Undo Me”

“I don’t really worship these day
I don’t really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions or with anything

I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion

But it is all just illusion

I am really
Lonely
Lost
Calloused
Jaded
Cynical
Too religious
Too realistic
and well really just to lazy
to worship you anymore

I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory

Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet
To come face to face with your
Perfection,
Radiance,
Goodness,
Holiness,
Awesomeness

I want to stand before you and see you for who you are
and me for who I am
I want to be undone

I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way

You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to

Love me
Care for me
See me
Speak to me
Want me
Communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me

Lord, I want to stand in that place where all I can see is your glory
And my sin
Because in that place I can’t help but worship you.

Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don’t,
I’m scared I don’t know if I can handle this
don’t
But I can’t live this way anymore
I can’t stand here in this half-life
this going through the motions life
this not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must

Cut out the tumor on my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
let me worship you again”

-Blake Williams

We all have those moments, those times we get set in the motions, do what we are supposed to do, we raise our hands and lift our voices but our hearts are not in it. We do it because that’s what we have learned, or because we have allowed ourselves to forget the true reason of why we worship, the reasons why we lift our hands in praise, why we take the time to listen. We make excuses for ourselves, put up walls creating reasons why we are simply going through the motions.

I pray for God to undo me, to break down my walls, take away the lost and lonely feelings that the devil has filled me with to keep me from pursuing my God! It gets hard, no one ever said it was going to be easy, the only thing we can be sure of is that no matter how many times we fall down, God will be there to pick us up, He will be there with open arms accepting us back into His love and embrace. God will never turn His back on us, even when we turn our backs on Him, He will always be there waiting.

-Elle

Women of God can never be like women of the world.

A good reminder of what we are called to be as daughters of the King, we are not called to be like all the other woman of the world. We are called to be something more and to be role models. We are called to let our lights shine for Jesus. We need to be the difference, not giving into the world around us and what it expects us to be and what the world wants us to give into. As Christians we are set apart. As women we need to take a stand against what the world is telling us to be.

-Elle

“Women of God can never be like women of the world.

The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender.

There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind.

There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.

We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith.

We have enough greed; we need more goodness.

We have enough vanity; we need more virtue.

We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”

-Margaret D. Nadauld

Forever Hilltop By: Judy Baer

Ready for a slower way of life? A community where you actually know your neighbors and have dinner with them regularly? Welcome to Hilltop. A small community in North Dakota where most of the land is owned by the families of the original settlers. Time runs differently in Hilltop and Alex Armstrong is about to join this community as a Pastor of the two neighboring churches. Alex is unsure of what he has gotten himself into, after leaving Chicago and wanting to start fresh after a relationship has gone wrong, Alex follows God’s calling to the town of Hilltop where he must learn about the people living in the community and the struggles they face on a daily basis, anything from stray animals, demanding siblings, arguing churches, quilting and cooking, Hilltop has it all.

Forever Hilltop includes two stories, An Unlikely Blessing, and Surprising Grace you will be sucked into the culture of Hilltop and hope to find a dog and some wide open fields to escape too and allow life to slow down for a bit. Judy Baer has created a charming town full of quirky characters that you will fall in love with their stories. Forever Hilltop is a great book to get lost in.

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

-Elle
@JudyKBaer is giving away a Kindle for YOU … and one for a Friend in her Forever Hilltop Giveaway!

Celebrate with Judy by entering to win a Kindle for you and a friend!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi to Giveaway to a Friend!
  • Forever Hilltop by Judy K Baer for you and a one for a friend

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced 5/24/12 on Judy’s Blog.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via TwitterDon’t miss a moment of the fun. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

The Introvert Issue

I’ve fit into the introvert bubble for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been quiet, when I was younger I was beyond quiet, no matter how quiet it was around me you still would struggle to hear what I was saying. I know what the world says about introverts, the stereotypes of being dumb, stuck-up, social outcasts, boring, I’ve heard them all.

Our world is created for extroverts, we are encouraged to speak up, take charge, take control. In school we are painstakingly (at least for me) to go through public speaking, at church the atmosphere is set up for the extroverted person, the media, the constant things happening, that awkward greeting moment that happens every service.

The Meyers-Briggs classifies me as an INF/SJ  Introvert. Intuitive. Feeling/Sensing. Judging. I’ve always wanted to be more of an extroverted person. To make friends easier, to stand out in a crowd, to not be invisible.

But the truth is I don’t mind being an introvert, it is who I am, I am a thinker, I consider things before I speak. It takes me longer to process, I take longer to respond, not because I am dumb or that I can’t keep up with conversation, but because I am considering what is being said and how I want to respond. I’ve been reading a book lately called Quiet: The Power of Introvert in a World that Can’t Stop Talking By: Susan Cain it is has made me realize some things more and more. I am good with being an introvert, the world needs introverts as well as extroverts. It’s ok for me to be quiet and a thinker. It’s one thing when I wish I could be more extroverted, it’s a whole other thing when others decide that my introvertedness is a bad thing. That I need to be an extrovert to be happy.

Dear World,

Stop trying to make us introverts into extroverts, yes sometimes we will choose books over parties, we will choose two friends over twenty. It’s who we are, there is nothing wrong with it. You don’t need to force us to be more like you, to stick out and ask for all the attention in the room. We are thinkers. Introspective. World, I don’t need you to tell me to stop doing something and go meet more people, I will find where I be long. Stop taking jabs at my quiet-side, you may think it’s funny but it’s not and it hurts, especially when it comes from close friends.

So for you extroverts out there, that aren’t sure quite what to do with us, I found this to help. Accept us and love us. Don’t try to make us into what you think we should be.

The only thing I need to be is the woman that God created me to be.

 

introverts

“Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance. My calmness for acceptance and my kindness for weakness.”

-Elle

52 Weeks 52 Verses: I will praise Him

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42:11

We all hit a point where we become discouraged, annoyed, frustrated. Times when we can’t seem to think straight, that things in life have brought us down made us feel sad and lonely. In those times we always seem to ask ‘Why God?” Why am I in this situation? Why aren’t things working out? Why do I feel so alone? When will it be my time?

We bombard God with our questions of why we are feeling all of these and why circumstances are not different. Psalm 42:11 reminds us that we should not be asking why, we need to remember God is in control! He has our futures! Our hopes are in His hands, He knows what is best for us, and although our lives feel like they are spiraling out of control, He is in control. In these times let’s remember to thank Him for the things that will make us stronger and remember to praise God in all of our circumstances, the good and the bad.

-Elle

“Jesus, Friend Of Sinners” By: Casting Crowns

I saw Casting Crowns in Concert last week and I love this song, it just started playing on KLove and thought it was worth sharing.

-Elle

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away

We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart dividedOh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yoursJesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

‘Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours

And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
Yeah…
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

52 Weeks 52 Verses: God is our refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

-Psalm 46:1

 

We’re  only human. Life constantly throws us curve balls, we feel broken and down, and often times attempt to rely upon ourselves or other people in  our lives to get us through. Sometimes when things push us down it’s hard to get back up again, we feel that every time we manage to grasp onto something we are pushed down again and fall further than before.

I know many times I try to rely on friends or family to help me through, but most of the time that is not enough. My friends and family do not mean to let me down, but the fact is they are only human. When I find I can’t always lean on them I try to survive on my own strength, I try to get by on my own will and that ultimately fails.

There is only one who will not let me down, His strength can carry all my weakness, all of my let downs and failures. No matter how deep of a hole I wind up in, God will constantly pull me out, He is where I need to rest. The One I should lean on, He will always provide me refuge. He will be my strength to keep me moving forward.

Put your strength in God, He will always get you through.

-Elle