Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review for: Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston...


This is a book review for Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston. To be released May 2011.

Emily Curtis is 16 years old, misunderstood, judged by her appearance and chosen hobbies, and is very lonely and hurting. She is dealing with a lot of change and tragedy all at the same time, such as the death of her mother and her boyfriend breaking up with her. Her usual coping method of working on cars is not proving to be fulfilling through recent challenges, and she has an emptiness that simply will not be subdued. It seems as if she has stalled to a stop and is signalling S.O.S., but no one is able to understand her needs. And, the worst and biggest problem is that she has forgotten how to pray. It is almost as if she has “spiritual laryngitis”.

Through unexpected friendships with her cousin, Whitney; Zander, the boy next door; and her new school friend, Chelsea, Emily learns to have faith and to open up her heart to trust and to love again. When yet another challenge comes her way, she finds the strength, courage, and will to heal. She is renewed and given a brand new hope as she leans on God, and she finds the void in her heart and her needs filled in God’s perfect way.

Being a teen is a stage in life so full of conflicting emotions, feelings, drama, and challenge. Amy Clipston captures the very essence of these throughout these pages. I recognized many feelings, insecurities, struggles, and doubts from my own life, and I was blessed to see how the messages within the story spoke to me of “When we are weak, He is strong”… God makes “beauty for ashes”… And God’s ability and immense love to romance our hearts back to Him when we forget Him, lose our way, or our hearts become hardened for whatever reason.

I was intrigued by Emily’s interest in fixing cars, and how she related to a world with which I am slightly familiar. That is what originally drew me to read this book. I am a girl who is not afraid of grease, but I certainly do not have the extent of knowledge that Emily does of cars, fixing them, and such. I wish I did, but it does not come as easily to me as it seems it is for her in the story. Being that my dad is also a car mechanic, I recalled terms and processes that my dad used to accomplish his task at hand. Memories flooded me as I stood, as a child, observing, listening, smelling, passing tools to my dad as he had need of them. There are certain scents and sounds of the garage that are endearing to me because of that time. Then as a young adult, I even got pretty good at determining if a car was idling well or not. I even test drove them for my dad to see if certain sounds indicated that something was wrong with the transmission or something else. Haha!! So, as I read this book, memories flooded forward, reminding me of days long gone. Reading this made me miss my daddy, who lives far from me.

While this book is meant for teens, I enjoyed it. Not all adults are interested in juvenile literature, but I am. I find it is good to keep in touch with the “youth” side of life and the challenges that come with it. My own kids are growing up and will soon be teenagers themselves, and I want to foster as much patience, understanding, and unconditional love as I can. I know that I will need them to pass through that time period with grace. The basic points of this book are applicable to all ages: Open your heart to God. He knows where and who you are, your hurts and challenges; and, no matter what, He passionately loves you. Trust Him and find peace, even in the hardest times in your life.

I would recommend this book to any female teen in my life.

By the way, I was not obligated to give a positive review. When I have good material to work with, it is easy to enjoy and to say good things about it. Blessings!

For more information on the author please go to www.amyclipston.com

And for more information about the book or to purchase, you can go to www.zonderkidz.com

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review for: The Brave Young Knight by Karen Kingsbury...


This is a book review for The Brave Young Knight written by Karen Kingsbury and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. (Release Date: April 2011)

In the last few months I have felt impressed of the Lord to give a call to my four little knights, especially, to be young men of honor and integrity. They are not easy concepts to grasp when you are 10, 8, 6, and 3, but this book has been an effective addition to my campaign for their souls.

I am overjoyed to be able to share this book with you. Before I begin I would like to make an observation how the dedications at the beginning of the story express such joy and celebration of the blessing of children. That warms my heart!

This is a story about a young knight who is kind, helpful, smart, fast, and strong. He is always available to one in need and thoughtful towards all. This young knight lives in the West Village, one of four villages that make up the kingdom.

The king of the land is looking for a prince and calls one man from each village to compete for this honor. Whoever can prove to be the bravest will receive the crown.

Before the competition, the young knight’s father reminds him, in spite of his insecurities, “My son, the bravest knight is not always the fastest. Follow God and he will help you run the race… My son, the bravest knight is not always the strongest. Faith in God will give you the strength you need… My son, the bravest knight is not always the smartest. Ask God and he will give you great wisdom.”

The competition begins with, what seems to be, failure, but it ends with a fantastic lesson on the value of integrity, honesty, honor, and a reminder how God “rewards those who diligently seek Him.” It also speaks of persevering through trials; honesty when it would be easier to be dishonest; the importance of dedicating choices to God so He can help us follow the correct paths and do what is right; and, overall, it is about having faith, communication, and trust in God so that He can “help you run the race”, “give you the strength you need”, and “give you great wisdom.”

The story is remarkable in content, easy to follow, and makes its way straight to the heart. The illustrations are warm, attractive, and a perfect compliment to the story. It is a simple and valuable tool that can aid a parent or loving adult to explain the value God puts on a heart surrendered to Him, and the importance of Godly morals throughout life and challenges.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a little boy. While this book is stated to be for boys between the ages of 4 and 7, I would personally extend the age to even 9. The message is clear and is certainly applicable for all ages; not to mention that it is presented beautifully.

By the way, I was not obligated to give a positive review. When I have good material to work with, it is easy to enjoy and to say good things about it. Blessings!

For more information on the author please go to www.karenkingsbury.com

And for more information about the book or to purchase, you can go to www.zonderkidz.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review for: Princess Parables by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson... Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten...


This is a book review for the new and brilliant series called The Princess Parables, in particular Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten. This series is written by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson and illustrated by Omar Aranda. (Release Date: February 2011)

Princess Grace lives in a grand and marvellous castle with her father, the king, and her four sisters- Joy, Faith, Charity, and Hope.

Princess Grace has found five cute, cuddly kittens and dubs the boldest of them, Poppy. They are a handful to take care of, but she is determined to do a good job.

One day, Princess Grace and her sisters become concerned when Poppy goes missing and is nowhere to be found. They go in search of the lost kitten, continuing through each challenge that comes their way until Poppy is found in an unexpected place. Upon returning home, the hearts of each family member are full of rejoicing and gratitude.

This particular story is based on Matthew 18:12-14 which speaks of God’s immense love for His lost children and how He goes after them to offer love, protection, and help, even after making bad decisions or getting into trouble. He desires to bring the “lost into His safety and care”.

I must say that I am very impressed with the illustrations by Omar Aranda. They are vibrant and leap off the page. They could easily be a delightful, animated series for television and dvd. The jacket cover was a hit with ALL of my children, but especially my first three of whom are boys and my fourth being a girl, all between the ages of 10 and 5. They were each highly impressed by the glittery touches and fun illustrations.

I felt that there were mini lessons throughout the story such as the following: showing concern and care for others; working together; taking care of responsibility; honouring your word; utilizing brainstorming and the process of elimination to accomplish something; not giving up in the face of challenge but persevering to the end; and the reminder that prayer helps us to keep going forward in focusing on God. He can give strength and help us to do right even in trouble.

I like how the story ends with a thought by Princess Joy explaining what her name means and what she has learned from her experience. I also like how it gives a simple and direct explanation of the parable as mentioned in the Bible.

I would recommend this book to one who knows a little lady who enjoys “adventure… drama… and keeping busy”. Nearly any little girl will find Princess Grace and Poppy enchanting and endearing. This book is a great way to instill God’s truths into a young feminine heart. My daughter loves it.

By the way, I was not obligated to give a positive review. When I have good material to work with, it is easy to enjoy and to say good things about it. Blessings!

For more information on the authors please go to www.jeannayoung.org

And for more information about the book or to purchase, you can go to www.zonderkidz.com

Book Review for: Princess Parables by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson... Princess Joy's Birthday Blessing...


This is a book review for the new and brilliant series called The Princess Parables, in particular Princess Joy's Birthday Blessing. This series is written by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson and illustrated by Omar Aranda. (Release Date: February 2011)

Princess Joy lives in a grand and marvellous castle with her father, the king, and her four sisters- Grace, Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Princess Joy’s birthday is approaching, and, although she is excited at the prospect of celebrating with her family and prince and princess friends, she is horribly disappointed when none of her royal guests are able to attend her party, aside from her family. After her initial sadness, the opportunity arises to include others from the local village in the activities and fun. What begins as disappointment becomes a tremendous blessing as she takes pleasure in making some new friends and receives their special, heartfelt gifts; but the greatest joy is learning that it truly is better to “give than to receive”.

This particular story is based on Luke 14:12-14 where Jesus shares how we can become children of God, and how we need to invite others to know this as well.

I must say that I am very impressed with the illustrations by Omar Aranda. They are vibrant and leap off the page. They could easily be a delightful, animated series for television and dvd. The jacket cover was a hit with ALL of my children, but especially my first three of whom are boys and my fourth being a girl, all between the ages of 10 and 5. They were each highly impressed by the glittery touches.

I feel that there are many mini lessons within the story. While the main message deals with the parable from Luke 14:12-14, there is a hint of others such as the following: it being better to “give than to receive”; the joy of blessing others; the importance and pleasure of being thankful even in the midst of challenge and disappointment; getting past hurt and disappointment to focus on making a situation better; and problem solving God’s way.

I like how the story ends with a thought by Princess Joy explaining what her name means and what she has learned from her experience. I also like how it gives a simple and direct explanation of the parable as mentioned in the Bible.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a cheerful little lady in his or her life- a daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend- who enjoys “fluffy dresses, shimmering ribbons in her hair, and sparkly shoes” as Princess Joy does. This book is a great way to instill God’s truths into a young feminine heart. My daughter loves it.

By the way, I was not obligated to give a positive review. When I have good material to work with, it is easy to enjoy and to say good things about it. Blessings!

For more information on the authors please go to www.jeannayoung.org

And for more information about the book or to purchase, you can go to www.zonderkidz.com

January 17, 2011... A Thank You To Our Pediatrician...


Title: Thank You!!


We have lived here in Italy for nearly a complete 7 and a half years now. These years have been full of lots of things, one of which is sickness. My kids have had a good long run of illness and medications, some serious, some run-of-the-mill, and some odd. All in all, I MUST say a tremendous "Thank You" to the dearest pediatrician in our lives, Dr. N.

You have been a blessing to us in so many ways. Your kindness, gentleness, professionalism, and care stand out above so many, and I am honored to be blessed with you in our lives.

Your care has extended out to us in ways you were not obligated to show it, and yet, in spite of your busy schedule and high demand for your services, you have made time for me and my family. I cannot thank you enough.

Here is a little "thank you" from my heart. The five leafy plants represent my five growing children. The pink flower (it is a deeper pink in person) represents me, and the blue represents my husband. It is a simple cut, but I like it just for that...

(So you all know... I am going through an artistic slump, and, frankly, I needed a simple project to allow myself to feel okay that I accomplished something, but have not been able to get myself to accomplish very much. I am working on it.)
Anyhow... this simple cut may not be much to look at, but I assure you that it is part of my heart, and actually signifies big things.

Thank you, Dr. N. We love you!!!

December 19, 2010...Geremia 29:11 Follow God's Plans...


Title: Jeremiah 29:11 Follow God's Plans...

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
*********************************************
I created this cut for my niece, Sefora's, 11th birthday. I know that she is entering a critical time of her life, adolescence. While I know that this time period is full of many challenge, I desired to give her a visual reminder that God is always with her, to listen to His voice, and rest in His promises. I believe the idea came across well. My only regret... need to work on cutting letters. They seem a bit choppy. sigh... I still like it, though.

Below is my note to her...



“I passi dell’onesto son guidati dal Signore; egli gradisce le sue vie. Se cade, non è però abbattuto, perché il Signore lo sostiene prendendolo per mano.”
Salmo 37:23-24

(Psalm 37:23-24...
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.")

************************************************
“Confida nel Signore con tutto il cuore e non ti appoggiare sul tuo discernimento. Riconoscilo in tutte le tue vie ed egli appianerà i tuoi sentieri.”
Proverbi 3:5-6

(Proverbs 3:5-6...
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.)
*************************************************
Sefora,

Auguriamo una bellissima 11° compleanno! Veramente siamo grati per la tua vita. Fida nel Signore in ogni cosa. Lui è fedele, non cambia mai, e ti vuole TANTO bene.

Possa Dio ti riempi di gioia e speranza in questo giorno, e possa quest’anno è pieno di cresci mento in Gesù. La cose più importante in questo mondo è di scegliere Gesù come tuo Dio, Salvatore, e Migliore Amico.

Ti vogliamo tanto bene… le parole non bastano per spiegare quanto.

Auguri! E ringraziamo Dio insieme a voi per questo giorno e per come Dio è stato fedele di fare cura di te.

Abbracci

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Review for: Mr. Shipley's Governess by Joanne Troppello...


Mr. Shipley’s Governess by Joanne Troppello

Sophie Baird is an elementary school teacher faced with the challenge of moving on through life while dealing with the fresh wounds of tragedy. Deciding that she needs a change, Sophie takes a position as tutor for the Shipley family: comprised of the young widower, Sebastian Shipley, and his sickly nine-year-old daughter, Anastasia.

This story recounts Sophie’s journey back to hope, faith, and healing; as she finds that she is able, once again, to trust and to love. As the story progresses, it seems that the heart changes are occurring in others of the Shipley household as well. These changes reveal a budding love between Sophie and Mr. Shipley, and complete devotion between Sophie and Anastasia.

The first thing I noticed about the “feel” of this book is that I became very emotionally involved with the characters. They are real-to-life. It was interesting to see that I had difficulty remembering that the story is contemporary. For some reason my mind related to the story as an historical novel, and I was startled several times in the midst of reading by a phrase or exclamation that encouraged me to return, and reassured me of it being, present day. It was an intriguing sort of occurrence.

I was blessed by two incidences of miraculous intervention: once with Sophie, who was battling with doubt, fear and mistrust of God. She received confirmation of God’s passionate love for her from a very surprising and unlikely source. I related to this and was overwhelmed to tears of gratitude and amazement. (God is so good.) The other had to do with Anastasia, her faith in a good God, and God’s ability to speak to the heart of a child.

Other elements that I enjoyed were the references to Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, and the sites around Belfast, Ireland. The details still ring longing in my heart to see what she saw in her travels.

This book can certainly be labelled a “Christian Romance Novel”. It is easy to read and flows nicely. It is not weighty nor overly long–drawn-out. I believe is perfect for busy moms or overly stressed persons who long to read something sweet and something that includes many encouraging reminders, but who do not want to add any more stress to the day. I enjoyed it, and I am actually considering reading it again even though I have just completed the first run-through.

I would recommend this book to other moms or women who miss reading more often, but haven’t a lot of time, or who have become accustomed to light reading based on too much distraction in life and/or a busy and intense lifestyle. It is light reading but thoroughly enjoyable.

As it is an e-book, it was a bit more challenging for me to get to through while maintaining the needs of my home and family. That may not be problem for all, though. I would have preferred having a paperback in hand, but the story was enjoyable enough to help me forgive that point and make time in the evenings to complete it.


To learn more about this e-book or other books by this author, or to purchase, please go to…
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-mrshipley039sgoverness-481158-149.html

I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Blessings…

Monday, January 3, 2011

December 29, 2010... Miranda's Rainbow Panda...



My baby girl has turned 5! The time is flying by, and I am so grateful for God's blessings to me and my family. While there are certainly challenges in our days, I want to make the most of the happy times. I am one who plans the themes of birthdays well in advance. I did animals this past year of 2010, and found that the panda seemed like the perfect theme for my daughter, along with the rainbow, as we love rainbows. :-) My daughter is a vibrant, smiley, twirling, jumping, and loving-to-be-tickled little girl. She loves colors bright and beautiful, and princesses and pretty things, too. So, what better cut than this for my dear baby girl.

I love you, Miranda... More than words can say. I sit here remembering the day I saw your form on the monitor and realized you were a girl... I remember clearly the day you were born, and I got to see you for the first time. I remember, and just feel so blessed. God surprised me with a special gift on that December day in 2005. After 3 brothers, God had given me complete peace about the possiblity, even probability, of having another boy. I was content knowing that God has plans for this family, and He would, and will, give us all we need to teach us, grow us, and help us. I longed for a girl for many years, someone who I could have just a touch more in common with because of sharing the same gender- girl. I longed, and God did not provide (at least not for a long time). When I surrendered that to Him, He knocked my socks off with a HUGE surprise- YOU!!! You are BRRRRRRUTIFUL (!), and Mamma, Papà, and your brothers (all four of them) just think you are the greatest.

Baby girl, always remember to 1)tell the truth, 2)work hard, 3) do what's right for Jesus, 4) do your best. Remember "God leads me..." Psalm 23, verse 2.

"Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

Keep being the unique, happy, and vibrant YOU God created you to be. Remember... He has a purpose and plan for making you as you are. So... Trust Him to help you, guide you, grow you, and most of all LOVE you in a most perfect way, just for you.

He is the Best Friend you can EVER have!

Always, Mamma and your family :-)

December 16, 2010... Gabriele, God's Little Warrior!...


Titled: The Little Warrior (notice 7 arrows symbolizing 7 critical days he spent in the hospital, and that was only a portion of his suffering time. God ministered to him even during those most difficult days. God loves him, and will be near in any coming challenges that are to come. Thanks, Lord.)

One hope is that when one has a brand new baby, life will be all sweet and cuddly and comfortable, but we all know it is not always that way. Gabriele is one of those babies who has suffered alot in the two months since his birth. I was unable to meet him before, but recently went to see him. Here is his "Birth-day" and "Get Well" card.

Dear Gabriele, God's Little Warrior,

We are so happy to have you in our lives. Even though you are small, you are a great blessing. Your life speaks of God's faithfulness.

Psalm 91:1-6 says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday."

In t hese few months you have passed through many challenges, but we know that God has had His hand on you. Hallelujah! We thank God for how He has worked and is working in your little life and in the life of your family.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

Knowing this, we can have faith that He will continue to keep you for the rest of your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, " For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

In every time in your life remember this...

Ephesians 6:10-18 The Whole Armor of God

"10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—"

It is information that is more than useful, it is essential.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

Stay on the path leading to Jesus. The most important decision you can make in your life is to choose Jesus as your Friend and Saviour. He is the most important Person, Place, or Thing in this whole world. Trust in, cling to, rely on, and believe in Him, for He cares for you.

Romans 8:31, 35, 37-39 says, " 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?...35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We love you very much, Gabriele. Your family is very special to us, and so are you. May God "bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you, be gracious to you, and give you His peace." Numbers &:24-26


Love, Celita and family :-)

Late Trade With Carey's Niche...


ATC: Siiri Seahorse...


ATC: Medusa And Goldie...


ATC: Stella Sea Turtle...

I have been a little behind in finishing up some trades. The end of this year proved a little TOO full for me, and so, I am so sorry to those of you whom have waited for me to keep my end of the bargain. Sigh.

Well, here are three ATC cuts that I did for Carey's Niche. Hope you like them!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Review: Voices of the Faithful - Book 2 ...



This book, Voices of the Faithful- Book 2 (by By Beth Moore, Kim P. Davis, International Mission Board), is a year’s worth of devotional chats by evangelical believers around the world doing their best to serve the nations God has put on their heart to reach in the name of Jesus. Each is a glimpse into the lives and experiences of some of the missionaries or those called to minister to other nations.
While I knew that I would be blessed by these readings, I did not realize to what extent. I have had a heart for missions since I was a child growing up in a small church. There were always special speakers and presentations showing us what others are doing to reach hearts for Christ. While I have never truly felt the call to GO into the mission field, I have been led to live in a foreign country. I have seen some of the challenges of living in a nation that is wrapped up in bondage. I have come to acknowledge that, while I have not been called here as a “missionary”, this is still my mission field. I have come to take to heart these verses from Colossians 3:17 and 23, “And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him… And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” I am aiming to use my normal, ordinary, sometimes monotonous and challenging life, to encourage and bless others with the talents that I have. It may seem simple, but God uses the simple things to confound the wise, and He can grow great fruit from even the smallest of seeds. That is what I am seeing in the pages of this book. These fellow workers are doing the same, although to a grander scale and with a deeper purpose.
These daily readings are a challenge to read one at a time as they are short, but stock full of moments I crave… they are like having a chat over some coffee with a friend: sharing testimonies of God’s hand working in challenging situations; lessons on faith and trust; explaining some neat ideas used to try to reach more souls, and just encouraging another to listen to God’s voice, follow where He leads, dream big dreams, and KNOW a living and loving Lord. So many of the verses chosen are ones I have already underlined in my Bible, but some I have just NEEDED to hear again for this time or have not fully become aware of yet. They have been nuggets of blessing to my heart.
As we have entered this new year, 2011, I have been asking the Lord for a clear vision of what He has for me, and surprisingly, He is using this book to stir some things that are not clear, but are sure and being made ready. I am blessed beyond words for the unity I feel with these brothers and sisters in this big, and yet small, world. I am blessed to know that the Lord binds us together in unity THROUGH PRAYER, even while we are separated by oceans, miles and miles of land and mountains, by different languages and cultures and traditions… None of that can separate us from each other, in a way, because none of that can separate us from Jesus, who is the common bond. Nothing can separate us from Him, and while we are drawn to the tangible and visual, His Spirit links us in a heavenly bond that reaches across all spaces and challenges and differences.
I had an incident occur while reading one of the daily devotions. I was deeply touched by the words spoken by one of the missionaries, R.C.H (American Peoples), and became overwhelmed to tears. I put down the book for a time, and had to go off and find something I needed for a birthday party for one of my kids. As I browsed through some boxes I came across one of my old journals and thought I would read through it and remember… Wouldn’t you know, the very words that the missionary used and that spurred him to action, were so similar to a “calling” that I received many years ago but had forgotten. It is time to remember and act, and this book has been used in various ways to encourage me to do so.
“And He has made from ONE BLOOD every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ ” Acts 17:26-28
Those of us whom have chosen to follow Christ as our living Saviour and Lord, we are a family, a body. We each have a part to play, and sometimes, many times, another part of our body needs us. Prayer is the work! As Pat said in the book, “There is victory in prayer!” While this book is encouraging and spurring, more than anything, I join with these loved ones asking for corporate prayer from each part of this spiritual body. For… Amazing things are accomplished through prayer. Many times, God asks us to CRY OUT to Him, and HE does the work. Are you and I doing our part in interceding on behalf of our own body? I am doing some, but… I need to do more.
Beth Moore wrote an introduction that alone is inspiring, and I would like to quote some of her words to you. I believe she has nailed a predicament precisely when she says, “I see an epidemic of boredom in the body of Christ. I am convinced that one issue is primarily to blame: we are protecting ourselves right out of our callings. Right out of our God-ordained destinies. We are comfort addicts… and we keep wondering why we never feel satisfied… to miss our callings out of fear is never to have lived at all.”
“When hard times come, the key word isn’t survival. It’s revival.”
While we may not all be called to “GO” to another country to share the Lord with others, where we are is our individual mission field. What are YOU doing to reach where YOU are? And, remember, even though you may not be called to go, Beth stated this, and I believe it is so true… “your prayers matter immensely. The fact is, they matter immeasurably.” Prayer is the WORK!!!
To conclude, I have a request, please pray for Italy. This is what you may not know about this country. It is known as the "missionary graveyard" because most missionaries who come here do not last more than two years. In general, only 10% of missionaries return to Italy after their first term. Many years ago a reformation swept over Europe but never touched Italy, and we are in desperate need of the Lord’s work here in this nation. Less than 1% of the population is involved with an Evangelical Christian Church. And, even if all of the Charismatic Christian groups were added to that number, it would still only be 5% of the population. Almost all Italians call themselves Catholic "Christians", but less than 10% practice their faith. While this is frustrating, what is even more frustrating is that for as small as the Evangelical Church is here in Italy, there has been great division from church to church throughout its history. Please pray with us that God would deliver the oppressed; encourage those of us living here; purify and strengthen His church with passion for the lost and for the Living Word; and bless this nation with refreshing and changing revival. Thank you.
James 5:16b says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Amen…
There is nothing negative that I have to say about the book except this, a lot of different fonts are used in the print. It gets a little distracting. I enjoyed the prayers at the end of each devotional, and I thought it was a great idea to have an Index listing “Devotion Titles By Month” and then another listing “Scriptural References”. I also liked how there is a section at the end that specifically lets the reader know HOW he can receive Christ as his Saviour, and another section letting him know how he can pray for “International Missionaries and People Groups” across the world.
That is what I have to share about this book and its affect on me and my life. While my review is long, I hope you will read it and be blessed. May you also be encouraged to read the book and be inspired, ministered to, and encouraged to minister to others. Blessings…
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These opinions are my own.