Saying Yes When No Is Easier

Joni Eareckson Tada is no stranger to pain and difficulty.  Following a diving accident, she became a quadriplegic.  She did not let that stop her and founded Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates  Christian outreach in the disability community.  This organization provides practical and spiritual support to special needs families worldwide.  Tada is also a world renowned author of numerous books including a Gold Medallion Award winner.

One such book is A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day a devotional that to help you “embrace your eternal purpose.”  Tada uses both simple and beautiful language to connect with the reader.  Her daily selections help the reader to both discover how to show God’s glory and how to say “yes” even in the face of difficulties when you want to say “no.”  I loved reading the encouragement that she and her fellow author, Larry Libby, used in the daily selections.  Each day also includes a short prayer and Scripture so you can use this book in your quiet time with God.  You will not only grow closer to God, but increase your own faith as you read and journal each day’s entry.

I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing.  I receive no compensation for a positive review.

Joni and Friends

Buy the Book

Advertisements

Meaning Follows Surrender

“Meaning follows surrender,” that is what Rebekah Lyons discovered when she faced a kink in her preplanned life path.  That kink was debilitating panic attacks and anxiety.  Here is how Rebekah describes one such attack, “The anxiety reached a crescendo on Thanksgiving Day.  How I wish I had anticipated this scenario….we were taking the kids to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade…we had big expectations, and even the craziest throngs of people would not stop us…These veteran Macy’s paraders were not going to let me and my three tykes push through to Daddy.  Cell service was gone.  The crowds even suppressed text messages.  I had no way to communicate as I helplessly stood two hundred feet away.  Finally my call to Gabe went through, and my frantic voice screamed above the noise, ‘I can’t do it!  If you want the kids to see this, you will have to come get them!’  Tears fell as my kids bore witness to my weakness once more. I didn’t have what it took to push through.  Not the strength.  Not the ability.  Not the will.  Who was I becoming?  The Rebekah I once knew was fearless and aggressive….Gabe wormed his way to us and grabbed Pierce and Kennedy’s hands.  I tugged Cade to the back of the crowd – he’d be no match for this moment.  I hailed a taxi to head home to baste my turkey and lick my wounds.  I’d watch the parade from the comfort of my living room like every other sensible American.”  Anyone who has suffered from panic attacks and anxiety understands completely what she was describing.  You might even be shaking your head while reading this excerpt.  However, Rebekah did not stop there in her book.  That is the beginning of her journey that she calls Freefall to Fly A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning.

Lyons’s book is poignant and revealing. Readers can understand where she started and where she eventually ended up as she began to understand the meaning behind surrendering to God. The freefall does no lead to a devastating ending but rather an ability to fly and soar above the storm clouds. In another excerpt, she writes, “For seven months, I’d been consumed by panic attacks and letdowns, loneliness and change. But I saw it now. God was telling a story. A specific kind of story. A daunting, frightful story. He was revealing meaning to me. In the midst of my own blizzard, light was shining through. I needed only to open my eyes to His tinkering and intervention. I was searching desperately to find meaning in my life, unaware that God had been leading me the entire time. I was in an uncontrollable freefall, but God wanted me to learn to fly. Perhaps this painful season of transition was closing for me.”

I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing and would highly recommend this book for your bookshelf!

Rebekah Lyons website


win books weekly


handlebar publishing member

Boldly Go!

I recently received a book from Handlebar Marketing to review that I must admit is a MUST READ book. Bold as Love What can happen when we see people the way God does by Bob Roberts, Jr. is one of those books that causes you to ponder God’s Word and your faith. God’s Word tells us to love our neighbors and it does not specify only certain neighbors or the distance between neighbors or even only Christian neighbors – it just plainly says neighbors. This includes Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and even atheists. That can be a difficult task sometimes, but to live and love radically as Jesus did requires each of us to step out of our box – not to a soapbox, but to just stand up and go boldy where we have not trod before.

Roberts dissects what bold faith and connectivity looks like when we “love our neighbor” locally and globally without boundaries of likeness. His book is radical and his point of view is challenging of your faith. The synopsis on the back of the book includes this statement, “Take the risk! Your faith wasn’t made to live in isolation. It’s something you do face-to-face, heart-to-heart, hand-to-hand. Whether you are in a suburb of Houston or a village in India, put away the fear and suspicion and, instead, answer the call to radically love others the way God loves.” Roberts does not merely write about what is means to live radically and boldly with love and faith. He stepped out first in his community by connecting with religious leaders of other faiths and brought that relationship to his church. One man reaching out to another spreading to others. Are you willing to take the risk?


win books weekly


handlebar publishing member

A Path to Healing

Death.  That one word brings to mind heartache, lost moments, grief, and questions of why.  Death by a bear attack.  Those few words bring even more pain and horror as well as a deeper questioning of why.  When that death is your parents the pain is buried so deep that it leaves you crying and heaving in the dust while tears stream down your face and your heart feels as if it will disintegrate.  How do you cope with that kind of pain and keep living?  That is what Shannon Huffman Polson both faces and answers in her memoir North of Hope.  Polson combines her path to healing along with the story of her journey to retrace the steps that her father and stepmother took while traversing a river in Alaska.  She brings to life the flora and fauna of the wilderness of Alaska which were the sights before her own eyes and the journal entries by her parents.  As she travels to the very spot that her parents were killed, she draws closer to healing and acceptance of the event.

Polson’s memoir is one of those books that you will find yourself torn between wanting to voraciously read the pages and desiring to read slowly while mourning with her. It is a wonderfully written story of her grief and healing, her faith, and her acceptance of life and death. I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing and find the book to be excellent.


win books weekly


handlebar publishing member

A Tangled Tale

I have just finished reading a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in the Lebensborn program that Heinrich Himmler began during World War II.  Michele Phoenix has written a book that has two distinct stories that are also interrelated.  Tangled Ashes is the story of romance, intrigue, recovery, and history.  Readers will find themselves immersed in France during the renovation of a chateau in the present day and at other times in France during the occupation of German forces at the same chateau.  The storyline follows the lives of two French girls who begin working at the chateau during the occupation as well as the German officers at the chateau. It also follows the story of the angry, alcoholic  contractor who is in charge of the present day renovations as his path crosses with the nanny and children of the owners.

Marie and Elise are young French girls who begin working at the chateau before it becomes the site of one of the Lebensborn programs.  The Lebensborn program provided maternity homes to wives of the SS and to unmarried women.  It also was a program that espoused the ideology of perfecting the race with racially pure children.  Elise falls in love with a German stable boy and begins to embrace the ideology.  She becomes pregnant and a resident of the chateau rather than an employee.

Becker (Marshall Becker) is both battling demons from his past and heads the renovation team of the chateau.  Jade comes face-to-face with Becker and forces him to battle those demons and overcome them with her confrontational style of “friendship.”  While all of this is going on, there are also late night happenings, a reclusive old man living in the gatehouse, and a French interior designer who clashes with Becker.

This story is filled with so much to capture your interest!  It is a wonderful story both in the past and present of the chateau.  I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing.

Author’s Web Site

Ancient Blessings Spoken

There are many Scriptures that foretell of the blessings that will flow from God but none are as impressive as  the blessing given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 which states, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land [Israel] that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you [Israel and the Jewish people], And I will curse him who curses you: And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (p 6, The Power of the Prophetic Blessing).'”  From that one blessing flow the blessings for all mankind.  John Hagee, author of The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, outlines the meaning behind the blessings detailed in the Holy Bible as spoken for His prophets, how those blessings pertain to the current generation, and how to claim the blessings for yourself and your family.

Hagee strongly ties the blessings to the Jewish people through which everyone else is blessed and also warns against any prejudice or malice toward the Jewish people to avoid the loss of the blessings.  His book is written so the average reader is able to follow his thoughts.  He backs all of his opinions with Scripture.  I enjoyed reading his perspective and would recommend his book for those interested in delving into this topic.  One specific highlight of this book was a description of a demonstration that his wife, Diana, uses in her Women of God seminars based on the book God Uses Cracked Pots by Patsy Clairmont.  “…Diana displays two urn-shaped vases on a table.  She takes a candle and places it in the first vase, which is beautiful and flawless in every way.  Diana lights the candle, covers the opening of the vase, and holds it up for the audience to see.  The vessel, though perfect, does not allow the light within it to shine through its unblemished exterior.  It is useless to light a path for those needing to find their way.

Diana then places a candle in the second vase, which is cracked and scarred.  She lights the candle, covers the opening, and holds up the ugly vessel.  The radiant light from within the vessel floods through the broken places, providing a beautiful glow that guides those who have lost their way.

And so it is with out lives!  We all have ugly cracks and scars caused from the heartbreaks of our past.  Maybe those cracks and scars were caused by sexual abuse; perhaps they were caused by the rejection of your mother, your father, or even both your parents.  Maybe those cracks were caused by a bitter divorce, or a secret abortion, or the time you spent in the penitentiary in the dark past no one knows about.

God, the Master Potter, could have allowed your life to be flawless – but those ugly cracks caused by the setbacks of life allow the light of God’s love to shine through you to give guidance to those searching for truth in life’s journey.  Blessed are those who are cracked pots, whose imperfections of the past are the source of courage, strength, and inspiration for those searching for the Light of the world (p 169-170).”

I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing.  You can win this book by commenting on this blog!  Winners will be chosen by Random.org on September 10, 2012.

Order from Amazon

Author’s Website

Questions and Lessons on Faith

In my lifeftime, I have had questions about faith, God, His will for my life, and the big one – why does God allow suffering in the world.  It is hard to reconcile the loving God with the violence, starvation, hatred, and desperation found around the world.  I, as well as many others, question how can God allow this to happen and yet expect me to only believe in His love and blessing.  Andrea Palpant Dilley, author of Faith and Other Flat Tires: AMemoir Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, travelled this path as well.  Dilley had been born into a missionary family who served as Quaker medical missionaries in East Africa during the first six years of her life.  By age twenty-one, Dilley was facing that road of doubt over the dysfunctionality of the church, the perceived silence of God, and the age-old question of suffering.

Faith+and+Other+Flat+Tires+Sample+Chapter

This story is her story.  Her story of doubt, questions, searching, and her journey of being a Christian refugee.  Her journey is similar to many others including myself.  She pushed the limits of what she had held sacred, she clung to the fleeting security of men, and she questioned everyone about their faith.  This story is also about her journey back to the security of God and the outpouring of His blessings.  I found her book to be truthful and upfront about the struggles of many to reconcile the church, God, and the world – especially the younger generation.  Her chapters are not too long and keep the reader interested in the next marker on her journey – whether that marker be an obstacle or an insight.

If you are facing that rough road of doubt, or know someone who is, then this book is for you.  I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing and I would like to offer it free to a reader of my blog.  Please leave a comment on my blog and I will choose a winner using Random.org.

Author’s Web Site