31 days of forgiveness :: a book review & giveaway

I could not be more proud of my friend, Tracie! Today is the day that her new book releases!  I thought it would be the perfect day to tell you about her book and the little giveaway that is coming along with the release!

Before I stared 31 days of forgiveness {through the eyes of grace}, I honestly thought I had it all together in the ‘forgiveness’ department.  And what does God usually do when you think you have it all together in a certain department?  Ha!  That’s right, plows you over.  Levels you out.  I could talk about the subject of forgiveness and how it’s played a part in my life for days, but I wanted to share a little about how Tracie’s book changed me.  I found myself nodding and saying ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ throughout the whole book.  Through Tracie’s spirit led words, things were brought to my mind that I hadn’t thought of in years that I needed to forgive about and work through.  This book with forever change you…opening up your eyes to things and opening up your heart to a new understanding of God’s forgiveness and God’s way of forgiving.

Forgiveness is a process that we all too often misunderstand.  I want everyone to have the experience I had from reading this book — the experience of God’s grace whispering the truth.  The truth about forgiveness….

That forgivness is an act of faith.  That forgiving doesn’t mean that an act is ok.  That forgiveness is a gift and it’s filled with God’s amazing grace.

So, hop on over to Tracie’s blog and read about her BOOK RELEASE!!!!

Leave a comment AND hop over and leave a comment on Tracie’s blog and be entered to win ALL of these items:

(1) note pads from Day Spring
(2) a copy of 31 days of forgiveness
(3) this cute owl pillow from buttonbird designs 

You can be entered again if you post about 31 days of forgiveness on FB, Twitter, and/or Instagram!  Just leave a comment and let me know!

I also wanted to add the coolest part of it all!  All proceeds from this book go to http://theseedcompany.org —

“Today, nearly one-third of the world’s language groups, representing 350 million people, are still waiting for God’s Word in a language they can understand clearly.  The Seed Company enables you to support local Bible translators as they make God’s message available in the language of their people.”

Isn’t that awesome!  I’m so proud of you, Tracie and can’t wait to give this book as gifts!

SNOW DAY!

It snowed here recently.  We only got a couple of inches, but in the south that is rare so we go all out.  You know, schools close and everything.  The hat he’s wearing goes with a Woody costume.  He’s worn it everyday, everywhere for months.  Won’t take it off.  He sleeps with it.  Literally.  Every.  Single.  Night.

She was the first to touch it.  He’s sort of particular about his hands getting messy.  That didn’t last long though.  ;)

I die.  I have no more babies.  This picture makes me want to go hold her down so she’ll stop growing.  Or, make a baby.  ;)  Perhaps you thought I mistyped and meant “I cry”.  Nope.  I die.

Pure joy.  Belly laughs.  Need to bottle these up.

Getting his aim just right.

Daddy helping them hit the stop sign with snow balls.

That 10 minutes was a lot of fun!  ;)  So, maybe it was 20 minutes.  Baby girl and I went in before the boys.  Her “hands were cold”.   Bless her little southern heart……

 

 

 

what I really need to work on in 2013

I made two lists, one of resolutions and one of goals for 2013.  I’m actually usually not one to even make one resolution, but one to always make goals all year long.  I made a list this year of everything I wanted to do, get better at, change, accomplish in 2013.  Some won’t happen, most will fall through.  But I made the list on paper so I could look at it in one year and see how far I’m come…..but not becasue I got better at making and keeping resolutions.

Reflecting on 2012, I can say that it was a huge year for growth and I made no resolution at the start of 2012.  I did grow and it’s because I finally caught on to why resolutions never work out.  We’re trying to change the wrong thing.

What if we worked on ourselves and then let God take care of all the rest?  What if we just did what the Bible says and watched the blessings flow?

We all have good in our hearts and we all have evil in our hearts.  Since the beginning of time it’s been this way.  We can’t change our situations or others, but we can change the conditions of our hearts and work on our unresolved sin.  That’s all that needs to happen.  When we do this, we can’t help but grow closer to God and that is what He desires — a deep, intimate relationship with us.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!”  (Romans 7:21-24)

The truth is, we can change the actions every year on January 1, but until we start the change in our hearts, no resolution is going to stand firm.  But what if someone’s did stand firm?  What if I kill myself every day running 5 miles like I wrote down in my resolution?  What if I really do it?  That’s fantastic!  But, when running 5 miles daily becomes more of our identity than Christ, that’s when we still have unresolved sin.  What’s the sin?  Idolatry.  When we began to lose any part of our life because of something that has become our identity (and it’s not Christ), we living with addiction and idolatry and begin to lose our life.  We make ourselves feel better by doing it more, working harder, trying harder, controlling more.  This is exhausting……if we even admit that.

It’s simple, when we’re too connected with the world, we’re not connected to God.  When we’re connected to God, we’re listening to God.  When we’re connected to the world, we’re listening to the world.  Who have I been listening to?  Wow.  Sometimes God….other times the world. Sometimes half and half.  But, no matter how you look at it, idolatry is idolatry.  Here’s the problem with listening to the world; It’s biblical, it’s truth and it’s a problem in the lives of believers and non-believers alike — The enemy will lie to us.  he is the father of lies. (John 8:44)  The world will dissolve the word of God and tear it down.  Who are we listening to?  We will never have a heart change, or change the way we think, until we renew our minds in Christ. (Romans 12:2)

I mentioned that sometimes I’m half way, luke warm.  Here’s the problem with that.  It becomes about ME and it’s not about me.  There are offenses, more unresolved sin, anger, confusion.  It’s a vicous cycle.  We continue this cycle or we are forced to fall flat on our face.  Normally in this position we finally turn to God.  How sad that it comes to this, but how wonderful it is that He uses it for good.

“The man on his face can never fall from that position.”  – Pastor Larry Stockstill

I’ve come to really like being on my face.  It’s where God works the most.  I know Him more, trust Him more having now been on my face many times.  I used to come to that place after much strife and many struggles.  Now, I get on my face daily.  Start on your face, you can never fall from that position.

A huge unresolved sin in my life that I’ve had to really work on is insecurity — not believing what God thinks of me and not believing who God says I am.  Insecurity = Not Good.  Insecurity makes the cycle even worse.  Insecurity magnifies the lies of the enemy.  Guess what, the enemy wants to keep you in that place of insecurity.  God wants you out of this cycle.  God wants to bless you.

So, I’m still going to keep my list…only I’m only going to work on two things: the conditions of my heart and unresolved sin in my life.  His promises stand true forever and all I really, sincerely want to do better in 2013 is trust in His timing, rely on His promises, wait for Him and His answers, believe Him for His miracles, rejoice for His goodness, and rest in His presence.  I want to remember to crucify self, to deny MY flesh and remember that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  I want to crucify the world to me….to not let culture define me, but only boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14)  I want to overcome insecurities by seeing God and myself the way His Word states.

Here it is for everyone to see:  God, I don’t know what weight you want me to be in 2013.  All I know is I don’t want to be at this number and I trust You.  God, I want to blog more in 2013.  I’m asking for favor with my time.  God, I want to write a book, start a non-profit organization, start a business with a good friend, and lead a LIFE group.  I’m not sure I can do it all and I know I can’t do any of it without You.  If it’s Your will, speak clearly.   Open doors and close doors, I’m listening.  And last and most importantly:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)