August 13, 2017

Seven Mile Miracle (A Book Review)

This book is amazing! It kept my attention from the beginning of the introduction page to the very last page of the book. Steven Furtick writes about the last seven statements from Jesus as He hung on the cross.
1. A word of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
(Luke 23:34)

2. A word of salvation: "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."
(Luke 23:43)

3. A word of relationship: "Woman, here is your son.....Here is your mother."
(John 19:26-27)

4. A word of abandonment: "
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
(Matthew 27:46)

5. A word of distress: "
I am thirsty."
(John 19:28)

6. A word of triumph: "
It is finished!"
(John 19:30)

7. A word of reunion: "
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
(Luke 23:46)

Pastor Furtick writes in a way that gives us hope! He reminds us of how much Jesus loves us and how we should be living our lives in honor of Him! He also reminds us that "what happened on the cross cannot be undone." Jesus died for us to make a way for us to spend eternity in heaven with our Father! All we have to do is repent and receive God's forgiveness, then live our lives following the ways of Jesus!

Seven Mile Miracle is a book that I have not shelved. I plan to read this book again, and I know that I will be referencing back to it during some of my Bible Studies. 

One of the key things in this book that stood out in my mind, and continues to be on my heart is this question that Pastor Furtick writes in the beginning of the book. "If you were Jesus and you were looking down at the Jewish leaders and their supporters whose schemes had put you there, as well as the soldiers who had actually carried out the criminal deed, what would you want to say? Pastor Furtick states that he won't tell us what he would say, because it's unprintable. I expect most of our responses would be really close to Pastor Furticks. But Jesus's actual words were, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." That, my friend, is deep love! That, is the love of Jesus!

This book made me realize how we all need MOG! (More of God). And the only way to get MOG, is to follow Jesus! Steven Furtick does an amazing job of explaining Jesus's Seven Last Statements from the cross. Reading this book has reminded me even more of just how much Jesus loves us! Pastor Furtick writes in ways that bring Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection alive in ways that I have never thought of before.

This book is a must read for everyone! From the brand new believer to the seasoned Christian. It is a powerful reminder that we are all followers of Jesus, and He is our only way to the Father!

I love the questions at the end of each chapter that allow you to dig deeper into your own heart, as well as journal your thoughts and feelings. This book is packed with awesome teachings and so many A-Ha moments!

You can order your copy here!

I give this book 5 stars!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and opinion. This is my honest review and opinion.

May 29, 2017

UnSinkable Faith

Have you ever been stuck in a pit of negative thinking and couldn't force yourself to change your thinking pattern? I have! In her new book, Unsinkable Faith, Tracie Miles gives us the reassurance that we are not alone. When life happens, and brings us the not so pleasant circumstances that are beyond our control, we can easily become consumed with negative thoughts. The more we think, the more negative our thoughts become. The enemy of our souls will play games in our minds that can lead us to anger, frustration, anxiety, and even depression. The lower we become, the more Satan enjoys our despair. But when we take all of those negative thoughts captive, and turn them over to Jesus, He will replace them with His beautiful truths.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Our negative thoughts, attitudes and mindsets can dictate our lives if we are not aware of something that is causing us to sink into the pit of negativity. No matter how small the issue is, it can become overwhelming when we allow it to slowly build up, and turn us into bitter, negative people. Something as small as struggling to learn a new job, and having a hard time adapting to your surroundings can bombard our life, if we aren't careful. I had this very thing happen. I was miserable at my job, struggling to learn factory work, and didn't realize how my negative attitude and my bitterness was affecting my relationship with my co-workers. One day I realized there was one person who totally could not stand to be around me, and she made it no secret. I couldn't figure out why she treated me so badly. I began praying about our relationship, and God revealed to me that I needed to take a look at my own negativity and learn how to let Him transform my way of thinking towards my job. Once I gave it to Him, this person changed her behavior towards me and became one of my closest friends. You can read more of my story in Chapter 6, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, beginning on page 121, in Unsinkable Faith.

"Understanding how our minds are transformed isn't enough. Every day we need to refuse to let sinking thoughts enslave us and commit to keep rowing our boats." - Tracie Miles

There was a time in my life that I was consumed with fear, regret, shame, misery, and feelings of worthlessness. The reason for my feelings was due to the life I was living. I was living with a man who was not only a raging alcoholic, but he was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive. I did not know Jesus back then. My life became so out of control that I was making one bad choice after another. My self-esteem was so low, and I was masking my pain with medication. I didn't want anyone to know what was happening behind closed doors. I didn't want everyone else to think I was the failure he had me convinced I was. Finally it became too much, and I knew if I didn't get out of the situation my life would never get better. I sought out counseling and shelter, and as my heart and my self-esteem began to heal, I began searching for God. Even though I had a godly counselor who was absolutely amazing, I knew that only Someone greater than she or myself could do that kind of healing in my broken and battered soul. You can read all about my story in Chapter 8 of Unsinkable Faith, Diane's Story, (the author used my middle name).

The water rose over my head, and I cried out, "This is the end!"
But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit,
You heard me when I cried, "Listen to my pleading!
Hear my cry for help!" Yes, you came when I called; you told me,
"Do not fear." (Lamentations 3:54-57)

Tracie has such a beautiful heart for helping women who need to be drawn closer to God. In Unsinkable Faith, she tells stories of her own life, and from the lives of several other women who have been stuck in the storm of negativity, feeling like they are about to sink. Tracie points us towards scripture that shows us how to be the Captain of our own ship by clinging to God's word, and allowing Him to transform our thoughts and our feelings to His truth's. He will rescue us from the raging sea, and guide us to the beautiful shore, allowing us to live our lives filled with Unsinkable Faith!

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17)

At the end of each chapter, you will find Mind Transforming Reflections, Mind Renewing Memory Verses, and a Chapter Challenge. There is also a Companion Study Guide & Journal to go along with this book that is filled with questions, and places for you to journal and sketch if you desire. The Study Guide is a great way to allow yourself to go deeper in your study.

This book would be a great book for group Bible Studies, or a study to do on your own. No matter how you choose to use it, I highly recommend this book to all! This is a book I will not put on a shelf, or in the closet, I will be referring to Unsinkable Faith often. I give Tracie Miles and Unsinkable Faith 5 Stars!

**I was given a copy of this book by the author and this is my honest, personal opinion.**

March 4, 2017

Please Help Him Lord!

Dear Father,

You know that our hearts are aching and broken as I type this prayer. You know that we are feeling anger, bitterness, and resentment, at this moment, towards someone we love very much. You know that we are trying to wrap our minds around where he is in his thoughts, and in his actions. You know every thought, every feeling, and every emotion that has went through our minds today. You also know how helpless, not only we feel, but every one in the family, and even friends, who love him and care about him so very much. Lord, You know how heartbroken my mom is right now, and Father, I just pray that You would hold her close to You. Cover her in Your peace, the peace that only You can provide. Let her feel You holding her Father. Take away her anxious thoughts, replace them with Your truth, and whisper Your blessings in her ear, and let her hear Your voice.

Oh Father, in a perfect world he would just surrender and get the help he so desperately needs. But I am not sure that will ever be the case. I know You have watched over him and You have led him out of situations that there is no other explanation for. Even though he doesn't give You the time of day, You have still been there, carrying him. But how much longer will You be willing Father? How much longer will any of us be willing? How much longer do we continue to listen to his lies, and to put up with his manipulation? Lord, we need Your intervention. We need Your wisdom. We need Your strength, and Your anointing touch. We need Your presence, Dear Father!

We have hope, and we know that You do heal people with the disease of addiction. We are standing on Your word, and Your promises, and we are believing with all our hearts that You can and will heal Lacy.

And call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
Psalm 50:15

Father, we know that drug addictions stem from the need to self medicate unhealed wounds. I pray that You would reveal those wounds to Lacy. Help him to search deep down and find whatever it is that is giving him the urge to continue to use. Bring him back to reality, and remind him that help is just a phone call away. Please remind him that You love him, and for that reason, he can love himself. Remind him that You love him in spite of his mistakes. Remind him that You are more concerned with his future than his past. Remind him that Your love and that our love for him is unconditional. Remind him Father, of his self respect, his dignity, and of the person he truly is. Remind him that there is nothing he can do that will keep You from loving him and forgiving him. He knows these things, and he knows Your promises, but the disease has taken him to a place that only You can restore him from.  Remind him Father, of all these things, and of how his life was when he was so close to You, and that all he has to do is turn to You, because You are there, waiting.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. ~ 1 Peter 5:10

Lord, I know that there is nothing any of us can do to change his ways, but I also know that through You, all things are possible, and I believe with all my heart that You will take care of him and bring him back to You, and to us, his family, who loves him so very much. Help us to hold on to Your promises and Your truth's. Help us cling to Your word as we walk through this storm, and keep us filled with the faith that we so strongly have in You. Be with him Father, and please protect him. 
Thank You Father, that we can come to You with our requests, and that You are always there, ready to listen! I love You and I praise Your Holy Name! In Jesus' Name I Pray, Amen.