Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace

Sometimes you fall in love with a book because of the approach an author uses.  Sometimes you fall in love with it because of the passion that is poured into the written words.  Heck, sometimes you fall in love with it simply because of the cover art. 

While all three of these are true for me with this book, I have to say that the thing that made me fall in love with it was that I couldn't even get thru the intoduction before I felt the desire to lay bare all the hidden places of my heart.  Lured into His presence by great humor and a knowing, conversational tone, I realized that it was no accident that this book was the one I picked.  This book is for me...and I am savoring each step as I move forward from it.

Lisa Harper is a very funny woman...and that alone is enough for me to heart her.  Using her own life's humorous moments, she carefully weaves the reader around to a full view of Christ and His desire for us to let go and trust.  Each chapter is set up to tackle a certain area of a woman's walk with God...and I appreciate that she ends each with a prayer, a set of questions (that could be used in a group setting or individually for alone time) and a journal starter.  It is as tho each and every chapter takes you full circle in the area she is addressing and, for me, that means a lot in that it helps me to fully process before stepping into another deep issue.

Cover Information:
Humorous yet poignant stories from Lisa's life help readers relate to spiritual truths found in the life and ministry of Christ.
Stumbling Into Grace is the diary-devotional of one woman's honest, ongoing, bumbling journey of faith and how she finds encouragement through a deeper understanding of Christ's time on earth. Within each chapter she alternates her often humorous memoir with stirring portraits of Jesus and his own encounters as recorded in the New Testament.
Both intimately relevant and refreshingly inspirational, this book will help readers to jettison the theological misconceptions, guilt, shame, and hypocrisy they struggle with, exchanging them for a vibrant, passionate relationship with Christ that results in a more abundant, joyful life.

This one gets two thumbs up, followed by a cart-wheel and handstand...because while I have enough info from it to write this review, I know that my heart and my mind need to spend a lot more time swimming in the Truth that Lisa shares. 

I review for BookSneeze
**Thomas Nelson provided me this book for review purposes & is allowing me to keep this title once finished. I get no other compensation...other than the chance to fill my heart and soul with an excellent read :) **

Still Reading...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stained Glass Hearts

What's not to love about Patsy Clairmont?? She has an amazing sense of humor, an honest approach to letting you into her own heart and mind, and a desire to let her own past affect the future of others for Christ.

Like the rest of her books, she lets her personality shine thru humor and transparency...and yet the tone of her newest title is deeper and more quick-to-the-point than most of her others.  She starts out with a plea for others to follow her into the delicate pieces of "stained glass" that exist, both in the world and in our own hearts...and she follows up immediately with the reminder of who our Great Redeemer is and how He longs to use each and every piece. I really liked that she ended each chapter with highlights for things like nature, art, books, and music...almost like she is longing for us to go on a sight-seeing adventure from right where we stand.

For any woman whose life has dealt her a hand that has seemed to blow her heart to bits...Patsy works to show you the beauty that comes from re-gathering the tiny shards as you allow the Lord to place them.  We often can't see the beauty that comes from the pain, but from His perspective...what we see as destruction and waste, He sees as colored beauty needed to complete the picture.

Cover Information:
Much like stained glass, life's broken pieces become the prism through which God's grace shines most brightly and beautifully.
"Life is no doubt full of difficulties, but it is also filled with promise and possibility," says best-selling author and WOF speaker Patsy Clairmont. In Stained Glass Hearts Clairmont guides readers to view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of God's grace. Using art as a theme, and likening people to stained glass windows, she shares that it's when we're surrounded by darkness that His healing light shines most brightly within us. Encouraging women to step back and see life from this new perspective, Patsy offers help and hope for the dark places of life.
Along with character studies of women in Scripture, and modern-day, relatable stories, each chapter includes:
Chalice—memorable quotes
Mosaic—recommended music
Spires—scriptures and readings
Litany—sample prayers
Am still working to process how all that she has to say can be used in my life (or by me in the lives around me), but I never have anything negative to say about this amazing woman named Patsy. :)

I review for BookSneeze
**Thomas Nelson provided me this book for review purposes & is allowing me to keep this title once finished. I get no other compensation...other than the chance to fill my heart and soul with an excellent read :) **

Still Reading...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fresh-Brewed Life

With wit and wisdom,
Nicole Johnson leads readers in a journey of awakenings.

The opening line for this book's description sums up everything I would say so simply...but I wouldn't be me if I didn't add my own view in my own rambling fashion.

I first discovered this book 10 years ago.  I was at a Women Of Faith event with some great girlfriends and I snapped this baby up because of the way Nicole's talk spoke to my heart that day.  I brought it home, caressed the cover...and then sat it on my shelf and left it there.  It got moved when I did...and when I pulled it out of a box two years later, I cracked the cover on the first page.  As my eyes drifted, my heart felt invited in to sit and listen to Nicole's easy-going, arms-open approach...and I sat there for an hour, unable to pull myself away.

While I realize that the Holy Spirit is the One who does the work on an open heart, I can whole-heartedly say that He used this book to really open my eyes and my God, to my own heart and to the walls I had built between both.  She addresses anger at God, sexuality, friendships, surrender, and so many other topics that a woman on the path to giving into the heart of God.

I wasn't sure what to expect, having read the book once before...but as I opened my new revised and expanded version, I found myself sinking back into the same position ~ openly listening as a sweet, transparent woman shares from her heart in order to draw mine back to the feet of our Lord.

Book Description:
Living a fresh-brewed life requires that women encounter a beautiful awakening in three areas. First, to God as they respond to His tender, passionate love for them; second to themselves as they embrace their identities as women, their gifts, and their dreams; and third to others as they learn to love and communicate in ways that bring joy and closeness.

In this substantial revision—including new chapters and a study guide—of the successful 1999 Fresh-Brewed Life, Nicole offers a freshly brewed, wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee guide to living life to the fullest. She encourages Christian women to recognize the areas in their lives where they are sound asleep—and let God wake them up again.

Readers will find a heartwarming, honest book that’s good to the last drop.

If you are anything like me (hungry for God, not sure where to start opening up, and willing to be led by another's tender heart)...I would recommend this book to you with 100% confidence.

I review for BookSneeze
**Thomas Nelson provided me this book for review purposes & is allowing me to keep this title once finished. I get no other compensation...other than the chance to fill my heart and soul with an excellent read :) **

Still Reading...