Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"My Favorite Books"

This week's #TheLoft topic is "My Favorite Books."  After reading a sister blogger's post on this topic, I'd better include the Bible, haha, because that should always be number one on our list.  After all, it is full of truth, wisdom, and the source we go to when we want to know God, know truth, walk humbly, and have wisdom.  So, this is my #1.

While I do not agree with every book I read, except the Bible, I love to glean from other brothers and sisters in Christ.  I do not focus on what I disagree with, I may acknowledge it, but it is not my focus. We are all flawed human beings, in the PROCESS of sanctification, not in our glorified bodies.  So there is no reason for me to crucify others but to humbly learn from each and every one of them.  I am not saying to read heretical books, I wouldn't waste my money.  God has taught us different things in our lives and we can learn from one another.  

2.  Behold Your God, by Dr. John Snyder www.beholdyourgod.org

This is a 12 week Bible study that has impacted my life greatly.  It is a continual process of re-thinking God biblically, this will be a lifetime journey of sanctification for me--not a one time deal. Of understanding Him better, of falling deeper in love with our Creator.  To know Him and to allow Him more access into our lives is the goal.    

3.  Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd, by Kent Crockett

This is a great book for everyone in leadership AND every layperson sitting in the pew.  It is a heartbreaking, wisdom-filled book.  It is an abuse that occurs in every church, to every Pastor and his family.  It will help you to watch what you say and do so that you are not one of the sheep attacking your shepherd.  It will also help you to discern when others around you are attacking your leaders. "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."  Hebrews 13:17  God takes this seriously, heed warning.  My advice to the body of Christ; do not jump to conclusions, do NOT listen to gossip and slander about your leaders, ask questions directly to your leaders with humility and grace, pray for your leaders, and be an encouragement.  Sometimes they make decisions based on facts that you are not aware of, do not go directly to judgement but give the benefit of the doubt.  Most Pastors work well beyond forty hours a week, are under constant attack by their sheep, but continue on with humility and serve.  Sadly, some leave the ministry all together because of the damage that is done to them and their families.  It is similar to the persecuted church.  Don't be a persecutor.  Write an encouraging note, a phone call, or give a complement in person.  Offer your help, ask, "what can I do for our church?"  October is Pastor Appreciation month.

4.  Trust Without Borders by Arabah Joy.  Loving these short story daily devotions.  
5.   Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild
6.   Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild 
7.   Cracks In The Crescent by Hussein Hajji Wario
8.   Rescue the Captors by Russell Stendal--God is doing AMAZING things through this missionary
9.   Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He roars by Marilynn Chadwick
10. Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala
11. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
12. Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan
13. Well-Intentioned Dragons by Marshall Shelley
14. Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan & Angela Yuan 
15. The Valley of Vision; A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions compiled by Arthur Bennett
16. One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp
17. In the Backyard of Jesus by Steven Khoury 
18. Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly Smith
19. Secret Believers by Brother Andrew
20. Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"My Kind of Town"


I LOVE my city, was born here, raised here, and we're raising our kids here.  So many people around the country make fun of Midwesterners, they say we never go anywhere or move.  Reasons why? Not sure, maybe it is because the Midwest has so much to offer.

Sure, I love to visit out west, go east, and travel down south.  But there's no place like home!  For many years, my husband and I would dream about moving rural, have fresh air to breathe, beautiful scenery, and fields for the kids to run.  It was a dream for a long time.  We prayed much about it.  We looked.  We prayed and looked again.  Something in both of us said, "no, it's not time."  So we stayed.

At times that longing would come back, but we both knew we needed to follow God's leading, so here we are and here we stay.

                             I love my city of Chicago, it is my kind of town.

Where else can you buy the best hot dog or Chicago pizza?  You can find every people group from around the world!  Ever visit The Moody Church?  Lots of Christians say being in the service is like a taste of heaven because every nation is represented, I have to agree!  Ethnic restaurants? We have them.  Museums, beautiful parks, Orchestra Hall, Auditorium Theater, Lyric Opera House, Navy Pier, Children's Museum and so on. Lincoln Park Zoo with Polar bears swimming?  Here you go!

We have a lake that looks like an ocean.  If you want the Indiana Dunes, 45 min. away, it's like being on an island, ah.  On a clear day you can look 25 miles across and see Downtown Chicago.

O.K., we do get A LOT of snow and I am still recovering from last winter. 

But we'll get through it, we have LOTS of firewood stacked.  And if it didn't snow like this, where else would my husband and boys camp?  Yes, they like to camp in a tent, in the winter with NO heat.  It's a survival man thing.  Us girls stay home where it is warm.  This is only 1.5 hours away.  

And when you get sick of that, there is always summer's return.

Feeling so blessed that this is my town!