Rainy Days and Mondays

Just about anyone who listens to contemporary Christian music has heard Laura Story’s song “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops.”  If you have not hear this song before, please listen to it here:

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Story’s book by the same title breaks down the verses of her song into thirty chapters that can be used as a devotional. For instance, in chapter 18 entitled “When We Cry Out in Anger,” Story writes, “Sometimes, it’s very easy to become angry: angry with ourselves, angry with other people, and even angry with God. Sometimes, we face life-threatening situations that shake us to the very core of our souls. but more often than not, our frustrations are of the more mundane variety. More often than not, we are angereed not by earth-shaking events, but by the inevitable distractions and disappointments of everyday living: jammed traffic, difficult people, financial headaches, and a near-endless stream of minor inconveniences masquerading as major hardships. Our challenge is this: to display anger when it is appropriate and to rein in our tempers when it is not. How can we learn to maintain better control over our tempers? We do so by learning to focus our thoughts, not on the inevitable disappointments of life, but instead upon the innumerable blessings that God has given us (Philippians 4:8). When we allow our faith in God to become the cornerstone and the touchstone of our lives, we cultivate trust in the righteousness of His plans. When we do so, we begin to see God’s hand as it works in every aspect of our lives – in good times and in hard times – as He uses every circumstance to fulfill His plan for us. So the next time you become frustrated by the inevitable challenges of life, do yourself a favor: turn away from anger and turn, instead, to God. Turn to Him, as best you can, with open hands, a clear mind, and a trusting heart. When you do, you’ll discover that defeating anger is difficult but not impossible – because with God, all things are possible.”

In each chapter, Story also includes quotes from notable Christians that are related to the subject of the chapter. She also includes Scripture and a section to journal your own thoughts. She ends the book with additional Scripture on a variety of topics. This small book of 220+ pages is an excellent addition to any library or better yet – your coffee table! Share it with friends and strangers alike.

If you are interested in keeping up with Laura Story:

Artist Web Site

Follow on Twitter

I received this ebook free for review from Net Galley at netgalley.com.

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Spirit-led Music

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This is the premise behind K M Logan’s book, The Matthew 633 Teacher, about being a Spirit-led music teacher. Logan answers every question that one would have about becoming either a self-employed music teacher or a teacher employed by a store, school, or other entity. Her book is written with much thought and care concerning both the teacher and the students. Not being a music teacher, I had not realized that there was so much involved preceding a decision to enter the world of teaching music. However, I found this book to be simple in language, engaging to the reader, and complete in the knowledge.

Logan points out that when God is the center of your life and the advisor you seek for all decisions, you will find success in your life by following His leading. She uses both Scripture and her vast span of knowledge to outline the process to parlay your love and education into a successful career. I found her book to be a valuable asset to add to your library if you are either a student of higher education or a seasoned music teacher.

I received this book free for review from the author.

Song Bird

I have never been much of a “lover of the hymns.” That is until I began Robert J. Morgan’s book Then Sings My Soul Book 3. I found his book to be easy to read and loved the “old book” feel of the pages in the paperbook. I cannot read music and have always felt that the hymns were for those that could sing high notes and liked slow music. After reading the history behind the songs and the poetic quality of the songs, I have changed my viewpoint of the hymns. Although I still cannot read the music nor sing the songs, Mr. Morgan advised readers to utilize a hymnal as an additional resource during study and devotion time. He stated that readers could either sing the songs as a time of praise and worship or read the hymn as a poem of praise and worship.

The book is separated into segments discussing biblical hymns, ancient hymns, medieval hymns, German hymns, English hymns, Gospel songs, and contemporary praise. This book helped me to gain a greater understanding of the hymns, hymn writers, and church history. One of my most favorite hymns, that I did not realize was hymn, is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.” I did not realize that this beautiful song was published in 1878 and was written by someone who enjoyed learning as much as I – Edwin Hatch.

I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, who loves hymns, loves poetry, loves history, or just loves God. Your knowledge of music, poetry, praise, and history will grow exponentially. I have gained a love of the hymns and now utilize a hymnal as a resource to praise God even though I cannot hold a tune in a bucket!

I received this book for free for review from booksneeze.com. The book can be purchased at Amazon.

I review for BookSneeze®