Friday, July 30, 2010

A Time to Embrace: I Have Overcome the World

A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series)
John 16:33  "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
"In this world you will have trouble"? What peace could be gained from that?
But over the years she'd come to understand it better.
Troubles were a part of life...even events like losing ... a daughter...or having her mother killed.  Some troubles were brought on by a person's own actions - like the years she and John lost because of their own selfishness.  Other troubles were part of a spiritual attack.
...Troubles would come. ...The point of the verse wasn't to dwell on the certainty of hard times, but rather to be assured of God's victory through it all.  If the Lord walked [into the room] right now, He would cry with them and feel for them.
But before He left, He would give them a certain, knowing smile, and these parting words:  "Cheer up!  I have overcome all of it!"
This is an excerpt from author Karen Kingsbury.  Read more comforting passages like this from her re-released book A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series).  My review is available at our sister site - Our Out-of-Sync Life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hands Closed

Shades of Morning: A Novel
I had a friend that I called "my open-hand friend."  The reason for this is because she was always reminding me to release my fingers and give to God.  Stop holding on so tightly to things that I couldn't control. 

Here is my final quote from the new book Shades of Morning (read my review):

Kinda hard to received something new when your hands are closed tight around something old.
How many times has God wanted to bless me but I couldn't let go of what I knew - no matter how painful it was?  Take just a moment.  With your hands tightly closed, think about that thing that you are refusing to let go of.  As you pray, ask God to take that issue.  Literally release your fingers and give it to Him.  With open fists receive the peace that only He can give.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is a Baby the Answer to Infertility?

Shades of Morning: A Novel

I had the privelege to review the brand new book Shades of Morning.  You can read my review at our sister site - Our Out-of-Sync Life.  This book provided me with some thought provoking sentences.  Maybe I am not struggling with the exact same things as the characters in this book, these are still comments that the Holy Spirit used in my life. 

Read this conversation between two characters.
 Here come the tough questions.  What are you struggling to surrender?  Are you looking at it as a gift from God?
"It's amazing how much infertility and being single are alike.  Change a few words and it's the same questions, the same comments, the same prying, know-it-all advice."
Marnie pointed to the stroller behind Kinna.  "Nice to have that all behind you, huh?"
Kinna gave her a long look.  "I'll tell you a secret.  A baby isn't the answer to infertility, just like a man isn't the answer to singleness."
"What is, then?"
Great, just what she needed.  A riddle.  She frowned.  "Surrender to what?"
"Grace.  Love."
"Love can hurt."
Kinna nodded.  "So can healing, but it's still a good thing." ... "You know what?  I've learned that God works in the barren years.  When He seems the most absent, that's when He's doing His most intimate work."  She ... tapped on her chest.  "In here, where no one else can see." 
"If you say so."
"Listen, honey.  if you future husband walked through that door right now, would it change who you are or who God has made you to be in all these years of being single?"  ...  "That's why we just take the gifts God gives as He gives them.  Infertility, singleness, or a boy named Emmit.  We do it because we surrender to love.  His love.  We accept it, even when it hurts."  ...  "Sometimes, God's love-gifts aren't what we want, but they're gifts all the same."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Time to Embrace Excerpt - God

A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series)

This conversation about God is taking from the re-released book A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series) by Karen Kingsbury. 
Tears nipped at the corners of her eyes and sorrow overwhelmed her.  Had she really thought she could get through life without a relationship with her Creator? A relationship so vital she'd build her life around it?  The answer resounded in her soul.  No, she could never have walked away from God forever.  She was merely mad at Him...
But God never promised life would be problem-free....  Never had to wrestle with the dichotomy of an all-loving, compassionate God who didn't stop terrible things from happening. 
And she lay there, she thought back over all the years, all her life, all the ways God had touched and blessed and moved.  He'd proven Himself over and over.  And His Word proved even more.  It told her the truth:  God promised peace amid pain, and He promised life everlasting.  Wasn't that more than anyone could hope for?  Especially since this life was so fleeting, so unpredictable.
Read more in A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series).

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Time to Embrace Excerpt - Divorce

A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series)

This conversation about divorce is taken from the re-released book A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series) by Karen Kingsbury. 

"The problem---" John's voice was gentle once more---"is one that's gotten mankind into trouble since the beginning."
"Which problem?"  ...
"Pride."  John smiled.  "It's why Adam and Eve took the apple---because they thought they were smarter than God.  They wanted to be like God.  And it's why good couples---loving couples like the two of you or Abby and me---start going in different directions and wind up believing divorce is the only solution."  ... "When really, the only solution is to grab tight to each other, forgive and go on."
..."Remember, the devil has always been behind the sin of pride.  He wants us to think we can't forgive, can't live humbly with each other.  But the devil has an agenda.  He wants us to be miserable."
..."And you think that's all divorce is?  Two people listening to the devil's lies?"
"Most of the time, yes.  When we say those wedding vows, the last thing on our mind is divorce." ... "So only a lie could change that."

1 Peter 5:8-10
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 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.
Are you believing the lie?