Category Archives: Books

Beautiful Truths

I’m sharing some hand lettering you’ll find in the new She Reads Truth Bible. It’s beautifully designed, with special hand lettered key verses from each of the 66 books of the Bible.

There are also specially designed maps, charts, and timelines for added insights as you read, study, and reflect on God’s Word. I love all the color and hand lettering! You can find out more about it at shereadstruthbible.com.

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!

Sharing at Inspire Me Monday.

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Holding Tight to the Permanent One

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“How quickly things change. Life is a given until it isn’t,” writes Amanda as she shares about her father’s battle with cancer.

“For a long time, nothing was certain except that life was uncertain,” Raechel adds, as she describes the brokenness in her childhood home.

Two women, two stories–different, yet not so different from yours or mine. In their new book She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, authors Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams share experiences in their lives that we all can identify with. As I was reading through my review copy, I realized that even though our stories are different, they’re similar in many ways. Loss, illness, financial setbacks, family relationships–we all can relate to the pain, the stress, the worry, and the uncertainty of life’s ups and downs. But the stories don’t end there. Raechel and Amanda write about how faithful God has been in every situation. And how they found comfort in the Truth of His Word and strength in His promises.

14322622_732489793750_5655470604830158633_nWe live in a world that is temporary and fleeting, but  the authors of She Reads Truth emphasize that in this world of uncertainty, God is permanent, unchanging, and ever-faithful. He is our Rock–the One we can always hold on to, the One who is always holding us. And He specializes in redemption. He redeems our stories in beautiful, unexpected, unpredictable ways.

“Sometimes, by God’s sweet grace, the hard stuff is also the most worth–it stuff.” says Raechel. “Because of God’s proven faithfulness to us, His people, we can put our hands squarely on each other’s shoulders, look one another in the eye, and remind each other that God is at work. Without a doubt. Redemption is always coming.”

In Amanda’s words, “He is the God who penned redemption’s story, from before the beginning of time all the way to the fingertips of eternity’s outstretched hand. He is the God who is not bound by my efforts or held back by my doubt. He is the God who is Love infinite, Love perfected, Love inextinguishable.”

I found this book so encouraging because it points to our everlasting God and His unchanging promises. He is the Permanent One–the Alpha and Omega who is, who was, and who is to come. He has always been there for us and always will be. He takes the brokenness of our lives and creates something beautiful from it. He will never stop loving us and loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend.

He holds us close by the Truth of His Word. Let’s always hold tight to Him!

Authors Raechel Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams also have an online community called She Reads Truth–to learn more about it, visit SheReadsTruth.com.

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Finding Strength in Beauty

Lovely Pansies @ NancyC

51AAkaaspaL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_In some way I feel you here with me as I write, and I hope you feel that I’m there with you as you read, just your friend, across the table at a coffee shop, swapping stories and sharing hope,” Annie F. Downs writes at the beginning of her new book, Looking for Lovely. And as I read my review copy of the book, I really did feel that way–like I was having coffee with a good friend, sharing life…funny stories, disappointments, struggles…and most importantly, seeing together the hope beyond the difficult times.

Annie challenges us to look for the beauty around us in simple everyday moments, because it’s in those moments we see God in unique ways and we’re reminded of His love and care for us. And we draw strength from that–strength and encouragement to keep us going on our journey. Annie explains, “There is a correlation, I’m finding, between beauty and perseverance….Beauty is what makes it possible to keep going. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? It’s not just in the things everyone sees, but it is what YOU see, what sticks out to you, the unique moments God gives you to collect up and hold and draw strength from.” 

Strength for the journey–we all need that! Annie, in her very personal, honest style, shares some of her own struggles–things that so many of us can relate to. And how finding loveliness in simple things like a sunrise or time spent with friends helps her see God’s love and His truths more clearly. God blesses our lives with loveliness in so many ways and it’s all around us, like little gifts He surprises us with every day.

I found that I had a new perspective after reading this book. I realized, as Annie points out, that an everyday occurrence like a sunrise is a beautiful reminder that there’s an end to darkness–it’s the beauty God created for us that helps get us through the hard times, keeps us from quitting, and gives us hope. Annie sums it up perfectly when she says, “I’m believing what I cannot see because of what I can see.” And after reading her book, I’m inspired to do the same.

Linked to Thursday Favorite ThingsCreate With Joy.

Surrender

41PB1RP7MAL._SX293_BO1,204,203,200_I marked a page in a book I had read several years ago and came across it the other day. A Prayer That Moves Heaven offers comfort and hope for those going through difficult times, and we all have gone through or are going through difficult, challenging times, right? As I reread the page I had marked, I thought there were some good nuggets of wisdom there, so I’m sharing a small section of it here. Hope you find it helpful…

God never intended for His kids to live under the pressure and fear and worry of life’s situations. Jesus tells us, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Surrendering is a good idea when you are facing dark and hopeless times. But always surrender to God, not to the circumstances.

There is a very big difference.

It’s one thing to sigh and shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do,” and it’s another thing altogether to surrender your situation to the Lord who loves you. When you surrender your life and your circumstances to God, everything changes.

Yielding to His will and His plan is step number one. Once that is done, you can begin to ask Him some questions as you pray. Perhaps you might say something like this: “God, what do You see?” In other words, “How does this situation look from Your vantage point? Please help me to find Your perspective on my situation.”

The second question you might ask is, “God, what are You going to do?”

Third, you might ask, “God, what should I be doing?”

…In other words, “God, I don’t know what’s going on here. I know what I see, but I want to look to You. So I’m asking You for wisdom to let me see these things as they truly are.” 

–From A Prayer That Moves Heaven, pp. 50–52

When we surrender everything to God, it takes the heaviness and weight off our shoulders. I’m thankful He’s always there with open arms to lighten our load.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  MATTHEW 11:28 NIV

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Unbroken

UnknownI just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. A friend had given me the book a few years ago, and I had it in my stack of books to read. I never have as much time to read as I’d like, so the book sat in my stack for awhile. When I heard the story was coming out as a movie last fall, I thought, I really need to read this now! I finally had a chance to get started on it a few months ago. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it. If you’re not familiar with the story, in a nutshell, it’s about Louie Zamperini, a boy who often got into trouble growing up. His brother Pete, hoping to help change that, suggested that Louie get involved with the school track team when he was 15. And so Louie discovered his love and gift for running–running well enough to participate in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Hoping to participate in another Olympics, plans changed when World War II began and Louie enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He miraculously survived when the bomber he was serving on crashed into the ocean. But the ill-equipped life raft he and two other men were on was not discovered for another 47 days–47 days of fighting off sharks, weathering storms, having very little to eat, and developing blistering sores from the strong sun and saltwater waves. Unfortunately for Louie and the second survivor (the third man had died), they were finally found, but by the Japanese forces–and were held as Prisoners of War, undergoing unimaginable suffering and hardship. As I was reading Louie’s story, I just couldn’t imagine going through all the suffering that he did. But he never gave up–he always had hope. And he prayed. And God answered. One particular chapter told of how Louie and the other men, lost at sea on the raft, had gone without water for 6 days:

On the sixth day without water, the men recognized that they weren’t going to last much longer. Mac was failing especially quickly. They bowed their heads together as Louie prayed. If God would quench their thirst, he vowed, he’d dedicate his life to Him. The next day, by divine intervention or the fickle humors of the tropics, the sky broke open and rain poured down. Twice more the water ran out, twice more they prayed, and twice more the rain came. The showers gave them just enough water to last a short while longer. From Unbroken, end of Chapter 14

Louie would suffer many more hardships before the war finally ended. And even after the war ended. But with God’s help, he was able to endure and overcome them. You could say he ran his race well-very, very well. Louie died on July 2, 2014, several months before the movie came out, at age 97. I still haven’t seen the movie. Have you seen it or read the book?

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