Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thankful Tuesday

Thankful Tuesday

-morning breakfast dates with Sarah
-a teapot from my daddy 

-trip with family to the Wilds camp

-delicious dinners and desserts for supper before Sarah left for college

-visits to the beach with Sarah on Tuesday, August 22nd.

-time spent with sisters and aunt cleaning grandparent's house on August 21st.

- road trip with Mommy and Sarah to Pensacola

- meeting up with a pen pal :) 

What things are you thankful for today?

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  ~Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Every Piece of Me ~ Book Reivew

Every Piece of Me
By: Jerusha Clark

About the book:
Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself as the Great I AM. He does not define himself with reference to any thing, person, or trait. He is, and that is enough. When women introduce ourselves, we typically describe ourselves in terms of our relationships (the wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend of someone else) or our accomplishments (our title, position, education, or accolades). When our identity is wrapped up in these external things, we inevitably--and exhaustingly!--strive to prove ourselves worthy of love, attention, or affirmation.

But God never meant for us to focus on whether we are "enough," whether we measure up. He made us--every piece of us--to be just as he is. Jerusha Clark discovered this while exploring the seven powerful "I am" statements of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John. Now she invites you to join her in embracing the life and truth of these words, relishing the freedom of an identity fixed on Christ alone while leaving behind fear, bitterness, busyness, and toxic thoughts that steal our joy and limit our power.

My thoughts:
This may very well have been one of my favorite books I've read so far this year. I was so encouraged by it and learned quite a lot. I really enjoyed each chapter as the author talked about a particular "I am" statement of Jesus. He is the: I Am, the resurrection and the life, the door, the bread of life, the light of the world, the good shepherd, and the true vine. My favorite chapter was probably the one exploring the "I am the good shepherd" truth. I love how the author tied Jesus' statement in John 10 with Psalm 23. The similarities between us and sheep are amazing and humbling.  Clearly, the book was well-researched and written, but there was one chapter that I didn't think belonged and wasn't pertinent to the theme of the book or the other chapters. It could have easily be read without this chapter and wouldn't have left a gaping hole in the overall flow. (I chose not to read this chapter.) There were also wonderful chapters on how much Christ loves and treasures you. If you are one who is interested in learning more about Jesus through his "I Am" statements or are struggling with feeling loved, this book is for you. I give it a thumbs up. :)

I received this book from BakerBooks in exchange for my thoughts.


Just to  give you a heads up, September is Creation Moment month which means I'll be sharing a new creation moment every day, so get ready for that! 

Psalm 23:1-4
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Sisterly Coffee Chat

Good morning, friends! 
I'm here enjoying a lovely breakfast with my wonderful sister Sarah. Here's a little chat we had together. My questions are in bold, her answers are in italics. Enjoy! :)
Hi Sarah, thanks for joining me today. 
Hi! It's my pleasure. :) 

To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself. 
My name is Sarah, I am 19, and am currently going into my sophomore year of studying nursing at Pensacola Christian College. I currently am a cashier at Chick-fil-a. Sadly, I don't have much time to pursue my hobbies, but I enjoy hiking, canoeing, bike-riding, reading a good book and going to the beach. 

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life so far? 
Give your life to God and always follow him. Follow his commandments and you'll avoid many hardships and trials that come your way. 

What are some things you're most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my salvation, for being raised in a Christian home, my family, Pensacola Christian College, and for being homeschooled. 

You said you work at Chick-fil-a. How do you find opportunities to witness in the workplace? 
I  usually have opportunities on my lunch break or when I've just gotten off shifts to just sit down and talk with my co-workers. Something they say may give me an opportunity to share the gospel. 

You're going to be returning to college in a couple weeks. :( What advice would you give to incoming freshman? 
Hmm. I would say study hard, pray hard and have some fun. College is not all about studying. It's also about the relationships that are formed and the many different opportunities you have to reach out to others. 

What's your favorite Bible verse and why? 
I really like Psalm 18:1-2. I love these verses because they're such powerful reminders that God is with us. He is our strength. 

What's your favorite book of the Bible? 

Has God been teaching you anything lately? 
Just to live a life that is sold out to the Lord.

What's your favorite drink? 
Hands down, coffee. :) 

What's one of your favorite things you did this summer? 
Worked at Chick-fil-a and went on a vacation with my family to Virginia. 

Well, that's all the questions I have for you, Sarah. Thank you so much for answering them. Do you have anything else you would like to add? 
I'm excited I got to do this for you all, and maybe the next chat I have with Ashley can be about my nursing. lol. :)

And to end, I'll share this picture of a cute coffee cup I found. :) 

Have a wonderful, good and godly weekend, ya'll! 

Psalm 18:1-3
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. ; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Little Girl's Tea Party

On the Saturday of July 29th, Sarah and her friend Casey hosted a tea party at church for girls age 8-13. The theme was 'Honoring Your Parents' and it was so much fun to help with. I think the girls really enjoyed it. :) Enjoy these pictures from the party. 

At each place setting there was a menu, a coloring page, and a Bible quiz.

Isn't this watermelon tea pot cute? Sarah carved it and filled the inside with a variety of fruit.

Blueberry Scones
Sarah also made these pretty, delicious peti-fours. 

Sarah (and Casey) did a wonderful job at giving the devotional. 
 All nine girls, ready to play musical chairs.
This sweet little girl won musical chairs and received a tea cup as a prize. :) 
The girls also played several rounds of four square and made a tea cup craft. Everyone had such a fun time and hopefully there will be another tea party in the future.  :D 

Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, Lover of My Soul
By: Charles Wesley

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, 
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high:
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last. 

Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Leave, O leave me not alone, still support and comfort me:
All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want; more than all in thee I find:
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick and lead the blind:
Just and holy is thy name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am, thou art full of truth and grace. 

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within:
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee;
Spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity. 
Charles Wesley, author of this hymn, was born in 1707 in Lincolnshire, England and was the youngest of eighteen children. His father, Samuel, was a poor country parson and his mother, Susannah, taught her children from the Bible as well as to sing psalms and spiritual songs as they did their chores. As a child, Charles demonstrated an unusual interest in poetry and composed verses on any subject at hand. Despite his family's poverty, Charles was sent to Westminster School in London at the age of nine, where he joined his older brother John. After he completed his schooling, he went to Christ Church College, Oxford, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1730. While at Oxford, Charles and a group of like-minded young men formed a Christian group that was known as the "Holy Club." The members adhered to strict rules and methods of living, studying, and practicing their faith. Because the followers of Wesley followed a different method, they were later called Methodists. In 1735, Charles Wesley was ordained a priest in the Anglican church. He was assigned as secretary to George Oglethorpe, the governor of the colony of Georgia. That same year he tried to travel to North America with the governor, but he fell sick in the fall of 1736 and set sail for England. He encountered a tremendous, alarming storm while on the journey, and Charles underwent spiritual transformation. In Wesley's journal he records the following concerning this even: "In this dreadful moment, I bless God, I found the comfort of hope; and such joy in finding I could hope, as the world could neither give nor take away." Wesley sought to comfort the other passengers and "urged them to resolve, if God saved them from this distress, that they would instantly and entirely give themselves up to Him." The vessel finally arrived back in England on December third. Wesley wrote in his journal: " I knelt down and blessed the Hand that had conducted me through such inextricable mazes." While Wesley has not specifically indicated that it was this experience that prompted the writing of "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," one reading may see the parallels in the first two verses of the hymn. 

A second life-changing experience occurred eighteen months later in May of 1738. Wesley was bedridden with fever, dysentery, and pleurisy, and despaired of ever returning to health. As he lay alone in his room in Aldersgate, he had a vision of a woman named Mrs. Musgrove telling him: "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise, and believe, and thou shalt be healed of all thy infirmities." From that hour his health rapidly improved and he embarked on the intensely evangelical lifestyle for which he is remembered.  It was just one year after this dramatic conversion that Charles Wesley wrote "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Although Charles' brother John disliked the hymn for being too sentimental, it has become one of the best known and loved hymns and has been translated into all the languages of the missionary world. 

As the Methodist movement spread throughout England, he traveled on horseback from place to place. His mother died on July 23, 1742. Her last words were, "Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God." Later, while preaching in Wales, Charles met Sally Gwynne, a young lady who was half his age. A courtship followed, and Charles wanted to propose, but he was virtually penniless with no way of supporting a wife. That's when he decided to publish his Hymns and Sacred Poems, as well as his journals and sermons, hoping the royalties would provide an income. Charles and Sally were married on April 8, 1749. Charles noted: "Not a cloud was to be seen from morning till night. I rose at four, spent three hours and a half in prayer or singing, with my brother...At eight I led my Sally to church...It was a most solemn season of love!" They left immediately on a preaching tour, and Charles continued his ministry until 1756, when at age 49, he and Sally settled down. He busied himself preaching, visiting, counseling, fretting about his three unsaved children, trying to keep Methodism within the Church of England, and giving unsolicited advice to his brother John. All the while, he worked on his hymns and poems. Early 1788, Charles was bedridden, not from sickness, but from a lifetime of fatigue. By March, too weak to write, he dictated his last hymn to Sally: 

 In age and feebleness extreme, who shall a sinful worm redeem? 
Jesus, my only Thou art, strength of my failing flesh and heart;
Oh, could I catch a smile from Thee, and drop into eternity!

I hope you all had a blessed Lord's day.

Sincerely yours, eternally His,

Psalm 46:1 
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Andora's Folly ~ Blog Tour // Book Review

Hello everyone!
You may remember author Abigayle Claire; she wrote Martin Hospitality, which I posted about here. Well she has just published a second book called Andora's Folly. It's a medieval retelling of Pandora's Box, if any of you are familiar with that book. I haven't ever read Pandora's Box, or any medieval re-telling for that matter, but I really enjoyed Abigayle's Folly. It was well-written and mystery filled. The characters were well thought of and intriguing. There was even a deathly sword fighting match, which I think Abigayle did a very good job describing. There were a few parts in the beginning that left me slightly confused and wondering why the characters would say and do certain things, but I really liked the attention grabber that Abigayle used to capture the reader's curiosity. Andora's mother gives her a letter and tells her to never open it, but one day about 3/4 of the way through the book, she does. Everything eventually gets explained and the mystery gets solved. Overall, it was a thrilling read and I would recommend it to teenagers and up due to some of the medieval content such as the fighting scene.
Abigayle, thank you for allowing me to be a beta reader for your new book, and I hope the rest of the blog tour goes well for you. :) 
You all can buy the book on Amazon, (it's only available in e-book form; paperback may come out later) or you can enter the giveaway for a copy by commenting on Abigayle's post.
About the Book: 
A Pandora's Box retelling

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant's wife can save her from her folly.