The Truth of Believing

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him” John 12:27

During His three-year ministry on this earth, Jesus had performed so many miracles, signs and wonders as witnessed sometimes by a few and other times thousands, yet the people wouldn’t, or couldn’t, believe in Him as the Messiah – the Son of God.

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are over 30 miracles documented. Yet, despite the eye-witness evidence of the lame raised up able to walk, the eyes of the blind opened to see, the lepers healed, the 5000 fed from 5 loaves and 2 fish, the dead raised to life, demons cast out at the mere sight of Him, enabling the mute to speak, turning water into wine, healing at the simple touch of His robe, life-long paralytics restored to complete health, house servants healed by only the words of His mouth, raging storms on the sea clamed by His command, and walking on water just to name a few, and let’s not forget His resurrection from the dead as witnessed by hundreds. Yet, despite all of the evidence, so many people in Jesus’ time would not believe either during His earthly ministry or after His resurrection.

Perhaps some had only heard about the miracles and did not witness them personally. With a skeptical mind, they could not, or would not, believe in what they didn’t see first hand. Perhaps they thought someone was exaggerating the event. Continue reading

God Hates Me

God Hates Me! Okay maybe He doesn’t hate me, but at the very least He is mad at me! He’s just waiting to get a hold of me and punish me. I have sinned so much, there is no way that He could ever forgive me. If I can’t forgive myself, why would He forgive me.
Sadly, that is the prevailing opinion of many Americans today. God is unrelenting. He is vengeful and angry. How could He ever forgive me for what I’ve done?
Gods promise in Isaiah 54: 9-10 gives us the hope and assurance we so need.

9 “In the time of Noah I promised
never again to flood the earth.
Now I promise not to be angry with you again;
I will not reprimand or punish you.
10 The mountains and hills may crumble,
but my love for you will never end;
I will keep forever my promise of peace.”

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Prayer Journaling

I don’t know about men, but most of the women that I know will tell you that we live in our heads. We typically have so many seemingly random thoughts running around, that if you were to take a peak… well let’s just say it might be a bit scary in there. We carry everything from what’s for dinner, did we take something out of the freezer, when does the dog go to the vet, did I take my medicine, when can I get to the gym, remember to pick up daughter for lessons, don’t forget son needs help with project, and oh yes, I am married and he needs me to do thus and such… and usually all of that takes place before the second cup of coffee.

Add to that the chatter and self talk that we’ve carried around with us for so many years. You know those voices, those condemning, hateful voices that work so well at reminding us just what a mess we are. And don’t forget the voices of past friends, relationships – professional and personal- that continue to remind us of other not so wonderful times in our lives.

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The Intercessors Handbook

The Intercessors Handbook: How to Pray with Boldness, Authority and Supernatural PowerThe Intercessors Handbook: How to Pray with Boldness, Authority and Supernatural Power by Jennifer Eivaz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“How to Pray with Boldness, Authority, and Supernatural Power. In a world full of desperate need, we turn expectantly to prayer, hoping to witness the realities promised in Scripture. Most of us, however, seldom see the results we hope for. Why don’t our prayers make more of a difference?

Beginning with her own experiences of breakthrough, Jennifer Eivaz offers much-needed direction and the biblical context for prayer that does make a difference–explaining the intervention of angels and demons, prophetic manifestations, and much more. She helps believers take hold of their authority and spiritual giftings and use them in the battle for victory. The Kingdom principles and study questions will help every believer navigate the spiritual realm of prayer by using the tools that make it truly effective.”
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Praise is My Weapon

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Praise Is My Weapon by Dan Willis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“”I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.” Psalm 9:2

Life is hard. Even as believers, we are constantly barraged by challenges, sickness, attacks, and tragedies. Loved ones die. Good people get hurt. The faithful are besieged. It is no wonder we are often plagued by questions that plant seeds of doubt in our minds.

And yet, we are not powerless or empty-handed in the battle for our faith. As children of God, we are legal authorities in the kingdom of heaven, charged with taking control of our circumstances and enlarging our territory. And one of our greatest weapons in the war is praise.”

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The Country Road through the Book of Matthew

The Country Road through the Book of MatthewThe Country Road through the Book of Matthew by Mike Lovett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Country Road through the Book of Matthew is just that, a road that travels through the entirety of Matthew with stops along the way where the reader can pause and explore on their own. Desiring to live out Paul’s admonition to Timothy that all scripture is inspired by God and useful to us, Mike keeps the reader on the road in hopes that each day will bring new growth in their relationship with Christ as they read about His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection.
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Friendship with God

A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your WorldA Daily Invitation to Friendship with God: Dreaming With God to Transform Your World by Bill Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Your Daily Access to Heaven’s Wisdom, Creativity, Purpose, and Power. When people are in love they dream together. The same is true for your relationship with God. He wants to share the secrets of His heart—His thoughts, plans and purposes—with you. The Maker of Heaven and Earth wants to dream with you!”

A Daily Invitation to Friendship with God by Bill Johnson is a devotional of sorts taken from the writings of his book “Dreaming with God” The book is divided into ten sections that include: Co-Laboring with God, The Creative Edge, The Value of Mystery, The Language of the Spirit, Invading Babylon, The Practical Side of Things, The Spirit of Revelation, Celebrating the Living Word, Redesigning our World and Pulling Tomorrow into Today. Continue reading

Spoken From the Heart: Choosing Grace

Spoken From the Heart: Choosing GraceSpoken From the Heart: Choosing Grace by Cheri Swalwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Do you know what it means to “choose grace?” Do you ever stop to think about all the times God showers us with His grace? Yes, through unexpected blessings, but more importantly through undeserved salvation.

I’m still trying to grasp the full meaning of the word grace in my everyday life. However, I do know this: It comes in many forms, is seen through a variety of people, and God gives us countless opportunities to pass it on to others throughout our lives.”

Spoken from the Heart – Choosing Grace by Cheri Slawell reads just as the title suggests… from the heart – the heart of the author. Over the course of 32 “lessons” Ms. Slawell shares not just her heart, but also her triumphs, failures, joys and heartbreaks all bundled together in God’s Grace in her life.

The easy style of the author made this book a joy to read. It felt more like sitting across from her, sharing a cup of tea while she relates her stories. A very well done book. Thank you for allowing me to read it.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

*Reviews of this book were posted at the following locations:
Amazon, Goodreads

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Created With Purpose

Created with Purpose: Unlocking Your Dreams and Fulfilling the Desires of Your HeartCreated with Purpose: Unlocking Your Dreams and Fulfilling the Desires of Your Heart by Johannah Clark Leach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Become the Confident, Secure, and Powerful Person God Designed You To Be. Do you live in fear of what others think of you? Do you worry about missing out on what God has for your life? Are you lacking the confidence or courage to pursue the dreams in your heart?

You have been created with a unique purpose and divine destiny on your life. There are dreams in your heart that are just waiting to be released! Unfortunately, so many people let their insecurities and fears hold them back from being the world-changes that God made them to be.”

Created with Purpose by Johannah Clark Leach and Victoria West Henady is a must read. So many of us today wonder why we are here. What is our purpose? Are we doing what we were created to do? What were we created to do?
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Your Story Matters

Your Story MattersYour Story Matters by Emra Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We all have stories. Our big stories reveal the direction of our lives and all the things that inherently make up who we are, our personalities, skills, beliefs, fears, longings and experiences. But life is filled with our little stories as well. The everyday happenings that slip by almost unnoticed. It is the accumulation of our little stories that form our big story.”

Your Story Matters by Emra Smith is a little book filled with lots of inspiration. Author Emra Smith opens this book by sharing her own difficult and tumultuous young life story. But, in addition to the transitions of her life, there was a miracle of God that would begin to shape not just her story, but that of her entire family. The author readily shares all of her life, not just the good and pretty, but the not so good and ugly sides as well in open and pure honesty. This is after all, her story and it matters. Continue reading