Monday, September 24, 2012

Faith Matters: Book Review

"Are you as close to God as you would like to be?" asks Carol Round in her devotional Faith Matters.

Carol Round is the type of person who takes her faith seriously. She wears a cross around her neck to remind her of what Jesus did for her on that old rugged cross 2,000 years ago. She also keeps a daily prayer journal to keep her in tune with what she's learning throughout the seasons of her life.

Each selection of Faith Matters begins with a scripture verse and then a short text where Carol expands on the meaning of the verse by using an anecdote from her life. Some are self-explanatory, with titles like, Get off the Pity Pot, Called to be an Overcomer and Fully Rely on God (F.R.O.G.). Carol writes each one in an upbeat style. She doesn't sugar-coat a believer's walk with God. She knows there are trying days.

For Christians, it’s not so much a question of whether we’ll have to face a trial but a matter of when.~ Carol Round in Faith Matters

For a sound, positive way to start your day, pick up a copy of Faith Matters. The book is also available in Kindle format.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Night Stories: Book Review

Do you ever wonder about your dreams and what they mean?

Do you believe that God might be using your dreams as a way of reminding you of His truths?

Kimberley Payne's booklet (it is short, so I'm naming it a booklet), Night Stories, deals with some of her dreams and the interpretations she gives them.

Here's one example:

My parents’ home served as the setting of this dream. I attempted to enter their house through the front door but found the frame and door handle covered with thousands of creepy bugs and swarming bees. I dashed in through a cloud of yellow jackets and bumblebees. I rushed to the bathroom frantically checking my clothes to make sure bees didn’t get under any layers. I cried out as I felt a sting to the right side of my nose. I swatted the bee away and looked at my face in the mirror.

Just then, I heard a voice in my mind that sounded clear and strong, “You don’t know what you’re getting into.” I knew that the ominous voice referred to my attempts at righting a wrong and facing up against an enemy – a definite threat and warning to me.
Still busy swatting away the pesky bees I said out loud, “You’re right. I don’t.” However, my response did not come from fear but rather it remained a childlike statement. I thought it obvious that I didn’t know what I was getting into but that didn’t bother me because I felt that it wasn’t my battle. It belonged to God. I allowed God to use me and work through me to face this enemy. Although I would’ve felt fear and threatened from the enemy if I intended to go up against him on my own, I didn’t plan to. It wasn’t my fight. I prayed to God and let Him do the battle.

This dream reminded me of the story of David and Goliath. All other men were afraid to fight the giant because they were relying on their own strength. They knew they were not as strong as him and they knew they would perish if they even tried. But, David relied on God’s strength when he went into battle. He believed that he served as God’s instrument and put the outcome of the battle in God’s hands. David placed his confidence solely in God’s power. We can too.

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands (1 Samuel 17: 47 NIV.)

Reading the above and other chapters, made me think more about my own dreams and what they mean. And I always enjoy a book that makes me think.

Pick up a copy of Night Stories at Smashwords today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: Adjust your attitude and land that job

I just finished Sidney Frost's Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide. And I'm ready to try out some of his tips and land a job.

In his easy-to-read upbeat style, Sid understands the job seeker. He knows that there may be anger and frustration, even blame, when a person suddenly finds himself unemployed. But Sid doesn't let you stew and fret, he wants you to adjust your attitude and carry on.

As you read his short, informative chapters, you'll note the importance of the things Sid stresses when looking for a job:

1) Set daily goals
2) Make lists
3) Stick to your lists
4) Be patient
5) Be willing to put in hours
6) Network
7) Stay focused and organized

Along with how to prepare for an interview, what to wear and how to better yourself within your field, Sid offers encouragement. He tells you to believe in you, to speak words of affirmation, to be your own cheerleader, and even to make time for laughter. He knows looking for employment begs the support of others. Because Sid believes that having someone who will listen to the ups and downs of the tedious task in landing the perfect job, he suggests finding a progress mentor. Daily reports are to be sent to this mentor, sharing what has been accomplished during the search, as well as honest feelings encountered during the difficulty of the journey.

Looking for a job? Pick up a copy of Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide and believe that success is around the corner.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning

For years I've wanted to write a book about grief, loss and the brokenness of life. I've journaled and written articles, edited newsletters, spoken on heartache, taught writing workshops, cried, wondered, and pondered. Thanks to Leafwood Publishers, my devotional comes out in January! Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache holds forty different entries that each have prayers, scipture verses (many from the Psalms), and tips on reaching out to a God who sustains on every rocky journey.

Here's a little taste of my devotional, starting with the preface.

I set out to write a book about me—my anguish, my loss, my pain, my doubt, my questions. Instead I was pointed to God and wrote about His grace, His love, His faithfulness and His forgiveness. In those are His answers.

We often think it’s all about us—how much we suffer, how much we cry, how tormented we feel. But when we weigh all of our misery against His grace, His grace outweighs it all. God’s compassion is stronger, fiercer than our struggle, His love more constant, radiant and healing than any problem in our den of lions.

If you are early in your grief, you may not understand what I’m talking about. You might still be at odds with God and while you like the title of this book, as you flipped through the pages, that’s all you like. That’s okay. God meets us wherever we are and no amount of disbelief, anger or frustration keeps Him from loving His children. It has taken me fifteen years from the worst heartache of my life to come to this place of comfort, this stream of beauty. And I never thought I’d be here. When my son first died, I told God that we would only communicate in passing, like a neighbor I don’t like when I see her over the fence. I almost wished I had had no past with God—no history, no conversion story—so that I didn’t have to be angry with Him for my loss. God would be distant from now on. I would not expect anything from Him again as I learned to adapt to my heartache.

I am one who had to wrestle. Like Jacob, I did. I groaned and I fought and groaned some more. And through it all, I was surprised. What I thought I’d discarded for good instead became a new song in my mouth. I welcomed a stronger, genuine, more realistic faith—a possession I keep within my broken heart, a gift no moth or thief can steal.


With the pre-launch of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning, I've created a blog called Broken Psalms. This blog will be a plce where we can share heartache and comfort from a Old and New Testament perspective. I hope you'll join me there.