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Showing posts from January, 2010

Today's Daily Devotional

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 05/11/09 It is apparent that God creating a pure heart in us and renewing a steadfast spirit are two entirely different things. It’s not just that one is about the heart and the other is about the spirit, but that’s a significant difference. We’ve discussed Ezekiel 36:26 previously that says God will give us a new heart and put a new spirit in us. Well, that’s not renewal. That’s installing something new! By installing that new Spirit – the Holy Spirit – God repairs our spirit, refreshing our soul. God renews a steadfast spirit within us by giving us a close encounter of the holy kind! You cannot run into the Holy Spirit head-on and not come away changed, renewed, repaired, and refreshed.

Today's Daily Devotional

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 05/06/09 The New American Standard version of this verse begins with the word “Now.” The Greek is “de” which means but, moreover, and, etc. This implies that we are to attach this verse to the previous verse. 1 Thessalonians 3:14-15 begins this thought. In the New International Version, these verses say, “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” The instructions in the letter were designed to bring about repentance. Those who disobeyed weren’t persevering in the Christian life, and we who obey need to warn our brothers not to live in sin and defeat. We need to share the reason for our peace and set an example by our endurance through Christ.

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 13

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Stacey Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 13. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 13:2 – compare with Exodus 3:22 and 12:36 – Abram left Egypt wealthy, as his descendants will also do (led by Moses). 13:10-11 – Lot chose selfishly. 13:10 – appearances can be deceiving. The land was beautiful to look at, but it was filled with corruption, sin and evil. 13:12 – Sodom had a reputation for wickedness, so Lot knowingly flirted with disaster. (NIVSB) What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Today's Daily Devotional

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 04/20/09 God will give you rest. “Anapauo” is the Greek word used here for “give rest”. The definition is amazing! In essence, this phrase means that Jesus makes us stop moving or working so that we can recover and collect our strength. He refreshes us. He quiets us. He calms us. He stops us from fighting and kicking and struggling. When we recognize our weariness or burden, we run to Him. And then what? He holds us. He makes us sit a spell with Him. He pours peace over us. Zephaniah 3:17 says that the Lord quiets us with His love. He stops our struggling against Him by loving us. He renews our strength. He actually exchanges His own strength for our weakness! Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Are you allowing Jesus the opportunity to give you rest? Why don’t you take Him up on it right now?

REVIEW: Love Finds You in Poetry Texas by Janice Hanna

Janice Hanna’s “Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas” is a touching romance novel set in the west at a time when the men greatly outnumbered the women and one way to rectify the imbalance was to send for a mail-order bride. In this charming story, Belinda Bauer is playing matchmaker. She wants to find a bride for her friend, Georg Kaufman, the town barber, but the bride she sends for falls for someone else. She tries to match up others as well – some work out, some are horribly mismatched. But will Belinda come to regret sending for a second bride for her best friend when she finally realizes that she is in love with him? I adore Janice Hanna’s writing! Her contribution to the “Love Finds You…” series is entertaining and inspiring. That said, I must admit that her more modern Texas love stories (the Weddings by Bella series penned as Janice Thompson) are my favorites. Hanna’s humor seems to be more conducive to contemporary plotlines. Still, I would highly recommend this novel for entertai

Today's Daily Devotional

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 04/17/09 God doesn’t want you to be harmed. Considering all of the catastrophes in the world, this may be difficult to believe. But it’s the truth. Our inability to readily accept this idea is primarily that we think about our own definition of the word “harm” which may include any painful or uncomfortable circumstance. Whereas, ultimately, God’s concern is for our souls. God knows our earthly bodies are temporary homes while we consider them to be all that we have. The Lord wants to save us from eternal harm which equals separation from Him. His plan is specific to each of us and includes distinct opportunities and motivations to know Him, love Him, pursue Him, and participate in the plan that He has designed exclusively for each one of us! Where is He trying to get your attention?

REVIEW: Lessons From the Fairway by R. McKenzie Fisher

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to R. McKenzie Fisher and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Lessons From The Fairway" to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, and I am trying to improve at being consistent in taking the time to thank these wonderfully giving individuals in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me. R. McKenzie Fisher has penned a charming gift book for the golf enthusiast in your life entitled “Lessons From The Fairway”. This little book is a collection of 30 devotional offerings – stories from the links that teach valuable life lessons for all ages. Each offering is a short read that is packed with valuable wisdom that applies to life, in general as well as the golf course. This book would not only be a good gift for the golfers you know, but also a good book to set out for friends and family to peruse when they visit.

January CSFF Tour: North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson There's also a site for this book series. Click here . I would love to have reviewed this book. I was really looking forward to reading it. But I never received a copy. My library has it, but I had to reserve it, so I won't have it in time to read for the tour, either. If you've read the book, please leave your comments about it, here. If I'm not scrambling to read a book for another tour when my library copy comes in, maybe it will influence me to drop everything and read it. Or perhaps your comments will inspire me go buy a copy and add it to my "read as soon as I have time" pile of books. Check out what others are saying: Brandon Barr Justin Boyer Amy Browning CSFF Blog Tour Stacey Dale Jeff Draper April Erwin Todd Michael Greene Ryan Heart Timothy Hicks Becky Jesse Cris Jesse Jason Joyner Julie Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Dawn King Rebecca LuElla Miller New Auth

Today's Daily Devotional

I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4 04/10/09 I returned recently from my first women’s retreat. I was reluctant to go because it made for a busy weekend, which wasn’t really conducive to relaxing at Jesus’ feet. I was asked by one of the ladies running the event to call a woman who might need a ride, and I kept forgetting or was too tired, excuses, excuses – imagine the guilt I felt when that lady walked into the lodge by herself an hour late. I had an argument with my husband the morning I left, which put my heart in a bad place – angry, bitter, not willing to admit my fault in the matter. But Jesus met me in the mountains. He led me to befriend another first-time retreater and a lady who is routinely misunderstood. He helped me to see the graciousness of women I thought were in ministry just for show. He revealed Himself and blessed me from my head to my toes! He has never been so beautiful!

Jenna’s Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater

Romance on the Ranch: When Jenna’s cowboy returns to their small hometown in Texas, she discovers that the memories of the past aren’t so easy to shake after all Popular author Sharon Gillenwater releases a new novel, Jenna’s Cowboy, set in the beautiful part of West Texas where she grew up as the debut novel in The Callahans of Texas series. Readers meet Jenna Callahan, who has a young son and is working hard at her father's ranch. She's content with her life. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town—the first guy she ever noticed, the very same one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever. Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him—and become the man Jenna deserves. With an emphasis on simple acts of lo

Today's Daily Devotional

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8 04/09/09 I learned something while studying this verse today. The Greek word for “end” is telos. It means “termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time ), eternal”. WOW! This definition teaches me that the Lord strengthens my participation in His plan even after my death. God will use what He has called me to do until His plan is fulfilled at the end of time and possibly beyond. The description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation shows that the very architecture of our heavenly home is built upon God’s people. Their involvement in God’s plan is eternal. So is ours! Hallelujah! After all, I’m a Christian, and I assume you are, too, if you’re reading this. That means that the message of the 12 apostles reached you! Their legacy lives on. What legacy is God building

Today's Daily Devotional

Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Psalm 150:1-2 04/08/09 Today was a difficult day to start praising. I walk outside this morning to find one of my car’s tires nearly flat. That was going to make me late for work. Nausea set in. My husband was going to send me to work driving on a tire inflated with a can of fix-a-flat! I think not. I learned from a co-worker about a week ago that he had a flat tire on his truck, so he took it straight to the shop to have it fixed. What a novel idea. So, I took my novel and drove to Pep Boys and waited for them to open at 8AM. I was in and fixed and out the door before 9. Sure, I was two hours late to work. But I have vacation to cover it. Praise the Lord. For that matter, I HAVE A JOB!!!!! Praise the Lord. Besides, I learned that the car is in dire need of an alignment that won’t cost me very much and can save me lots. God is

Today's Daily Devotional

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 04/20/09 I love the “keep” part! It means that the Lord will keep watch over you. It means that He will protect you. It means that He will not allow any harm to come to you. It means that you belong to Him. It means that anything that touches your life must first touch His. I am floored that the King of the Universe cares that much about me! This is what it means to be truly cherished. We are loved so deeply, so completely, that everything else pales in comparison. There is no greater love than this. Christ laid His life down for us so that we would be spared. He paid the penalty for our sins by spilling His own blood, and now we belong to Him. Paid in full. He gets to keep us. Forever. Hallelujah!

Today's Daily Devotional

“Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:12 04/22/09 The praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength mentioned in this verse belongs to God. The word for God used here is “Theos”. It refers specifically to the Trinity. Our proclamations of praise and worship glorify the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And those praises belong to the Trinity forever and ever. The “forever and ever” part of this verse is really incredible. The same word (aion) is used for both terms, which means for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity. In essence, this translates as “forever and forever” or “for eternity”. Isn’t this just the coolest verse of scripture. If praises belong to the Trinity for eternity, wouldn’t that be a verse to support the idea that we will be praising God when we get to heaven? How will you praise Him?

Today's Daily Devotional

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 04/27/09 Anxiety is defined as worries and distractions. We experience anxiety for many reasons – bills, relationships, the future. But if you really think about it, the things that worry us and distract us are either things we can control or things we can’t. If we can’t control them, there’s no sense in worrying about it. Right? If we can control it, we need to step up and do it because we are responsible for creating worry and distraction in our own lives! Matthew 7 flat out tells us NOT TO WORRY! And what do you think the Lord is talking about in this verse? What are we being distracted from? Him! Our focus falls on our worries rather than Him! That is a sin – it’s called idolatry, and there are many examples of that in the Bible. The golden calf story in Exodus 32 comes to mind. STOP WORRYING! FOCUS ON JESUS!!!

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 12

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Stacey Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 12. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 12:1-3 – God preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand. See Galatians 3:8. (A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place – Moore) 12:1 – “your father’s household” – they had become rich. Abram was leaving his affluence. Not sure if Abram was firstborn and entitled to double-portion of inheritance. He did have one living brother (11:26-28). 12:2-3 – the 7 promises of God to Abram. bless – barakh – to bend the knee. “There was a close association felt between kneeling and receiving a blessing.” (The Complete Word Study OT: KJV, p. 2298 - A Woman’

Be Authentic by Warren Wiersbe

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Warren Wiersbe and the book: Be Authentic David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010) ***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty yea

Today's Daily Devotional

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 04/27/09 Yada-yada-yada. We’ve heard the phrase. We may have said the phrase. But it doesn’t mean “blah blah blah.” The Hebrew word “yada” actually means “to know.” What does that have to do with our verse? The New American Standard Bible says, “…He knows those who take refuge in Him.” He cares for us. He knows us. He ministers to us. Personally. Intimately. Lovingly. As only the King of the Universe can. As only a Loving Father can. As only One who knows and cares for my innermost being can. The Lord knows each of us so well that He is the only One capable of giving us the care that we truly need. All we need to do is trust in Him and put our hearts in His capable, nail-pierced hands.

REVIEW: The Amazing Grace of Freedom

“The Amazing Grace of Freedom: The Inspiring Faith of William Wilberforce – the Slaves’ Champion” is a beautiful gift book that blends historical fact with images from the film “Amazing Grace”. Quotes from the actors in the film season the pages alongside quotes from the historical figures they portrayed. This book is filled with breathtaking photographs and poignant writing about the life of William Wilberforce as well as the other men and women who were instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade in England. There are also plenty of eye-opening drawings and historical posters that will shed light on the practice of slave trading. Although it is not an exhaustive resource, this is an easily readable book that is bound to become an invaluable source of historical information and an inspirational journey into a dark time in history. It will whet the appetite of any reader interested in the person of William Wilberforce or the slave trade that he fought against.

Today's Daily Devotional

Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth. Isaiah 42:10 03/31/09 “You break the glass, try to hide your face. Recorded lines that just will not erase and buried in your loss of innocence, you wonder if you’ll find it again. Was I there for the worst of all your pain? And was I there when your blue skies ran away? Was I there when the rains were flooding you off your feet? Those were My tears falling down for you, falling down for you. I’m the One that you’ve been looking for - I’m the One that you’ve been waiting for. I’ve had My eyes on you ever since you were born. I will love you after the rain falls down. I will love you after the sun goes out. I’ll have My eyes on you after the world is no more. Did I arrange the light of your first day? Did I create the rhythm your heart makes? Could you believe when your candle starts to fade? I want to be the One that you believe Could take it all away, take your heart away. Isn’t My life a clear si

Us by Daniel Tocchini

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Daniel Tocchini and the book: Us David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010) ***Special thanks to Audra Jenningsn of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel L. Tocchini has worked with more than 5,000 couples through personal marriage coaching and the unique and life-changing marriage seminars offered through his organization, the Association for Christian Character Development. An ordained min