“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28
I recently read “I Want it All,” by Gwen Smith and below are my thoughts about the book. 🙂
About the Book:
Gwen Smith knows how easy it is to dismiss God’s plans with the thoughts, I can’t make a big difference for God because I‘m just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. Yet God created us to join Him in doing amazing work in the world. He created us to live with abundant joy, courage, and influence. But not the joy, courage, and influence of the world. He offers His grace for each failure, His love that shatters hate, His peace that soothes the turmoil, His comfort, guidance, wisdom, rest, power, and significance. Every blessing He has for us is ours for the taking.
I Want It All will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you.
“I Want it All” is one of the most encouraging and uplifting books I have read in a long time. As someone who has been in a difficult season lately — the words from this book were not only the encouragement my heart needed, but a challenge for me to press on and trust the Lord, even in the midst of trials.
Gwen’s book reminds us that we have everything we need in Jesus — salvation, peace, provision, security, wisdom, and grace. When we start looking to Him and His almighty power, we can accomplish goals and dreams we never thought possible. Us in our own power fail miserably, but with Jesus we can have it all when we make Him our all in all. Before this book, I knew who Gwen was but I had never read anything by her. However, I plan to read her other books next. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few copies of this for you and your friends. If you read this with an open mind and heart, I know that God will use it to impact your life in great ways.
I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. To read what other reviewers are saying visit here –
Purchase a copy of the book here : http://bit.ly/1oDu9W9
About the Author:
Gwen Smith is an author and volleyball enthusiast who lives in sunny North Carolina and has been married to her college honey, Brad, for 23 years. They are tired parents to three competitive-sport-playing teens who keep them on their toes and on their knees. Her online friends meet at GwenSmith.net to connect and be encouraged, and her goal is to help women think big thoughts about God and be inspired to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. Gwen speaks, leads worship, and eats potato chips at women’s events everywhere, and she is a co-founder of the conference and devotional ministry Girlfriends in God.
I recently read the book “Playing the Part,” by Jen Turano, and wanted to share my thoughts.
About the Book:
Can they accept who they are behind the parts they play in time to save the day?Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucetta’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.
Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.
Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.
“Playing the Part” is the third in a series by Jen Turano, but it was the first time I had ever read one of her books. That being said, “Playing the Part” can easily be read as a stand-alone title, but after reading this one, you will most definitely want to read the others. This book had the perfect mix of humor, wit, romance, and mystery.
When a fan’s stalking becomes dangerous, Lucetta Plum has to quickly find somewhere to escape, and her friend Abigail Hart decides that her grandson’s estate is the perfect solution. Bram Haverstein is a man of wealth and mystery, but there is more to him than meets the eye. Even though Lucetta is not amused with Abigail’s matchmaking ideas, as the book unfolds Lucetta has a hard time avoiding her attraction to Bram as well as the odd things that continue to occur around the house. Lucetta is determined to learn who Bram really is, and who is the source behind the weird happenings. If you are looking for a new book that is light and funny with a bit of mystery this book is for you.
I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my review. Read what other reviewers are saying here – http://litfusegroup.com/author/JTurano
This past week has been a hard one. My body is struggling with infections. I have been dealing with staph/skin infections and now a sore throat. Yesterday was spent in bed, and today will be much of the same. My body is in total rebellion at the moment. Earlier as I was thinking about everything and feeling overwhelmed, God gently reminded me of the verse in Matthew 11:28-30 that states,“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In the quiet of yesterday afternoon I was reminded that even in the hardest circumstances I can always be at rest, and the reason for that is Jesus. Jesus will carry my burdens so I do not have to. He loves me and desires to give me freedom. God does not intend for any of us to live as overwhelmed, anxious, or tired when He offers His rest. This does not mean God will never allow us to have trouble, but that He will carry and give us His strength when troubles come.
Sickness may be present, jobs might be lost, marriages failing, discontentment abounding, but Jesus wants us to let go of these stresses and come to Him. He is ready. He is waiting. He will fight your giants so let Him. I am so guilty of striving and wanting to do more, more, and more.However, God has shown me lately that it is not how much I can do for Him, but instead how much I rest in Him.
He wants all of me, and to be the king of my heart in both the good and hard times. He wants my trust in every area of life, including the trials.
Rest can only come when you are fully surrendered to Christ, and trust Him to care for you in the way He feels is best no matter the circumstances.
I would ask that as you think of it please remember me in your prayers as you think of it. Pray that the Lord will provide healing and rest for my body. Thanks friends. How can I be praying for you?
Spend some time today in the Word getting to know the only One who can give you the rest that you so desperately desire. Jesus will never let you down.
Below is a song that has been a source of great encouragement to me lately and I hope it encourages you as well.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” ~Colossians 3:12-15
As a woman I love a good outfit. I enjoy shopping, putting together outfits for special occasions, and feeling pretty. What woman doesn’t, right? While there is nothing wrong with desiring to look nice outwardly, so many times we fail to work on how we are looking on the inside. If we are honest, we could all use a character check occasionally, and that is exactly what the passage in Colossians 3 gives us. If we are to be the people God us intends then we should strive to glorify Him in every area of our lives.
Verse 12 begins by stating, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” — this statement is the entire motivation for why God’s children should be clothed with the qualities that are mentioned later in these verses. We are chosen and beloved by God, and as mentioned in Deuteronomy, God calls us His treasured possession.
No matter who we are or what we have done, God loves us with an everlasting love. The day we accept Him as Savior, our lives become new.
As a believer we are to put aside the former ways of life, and display the love of Christ by having compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, and peace. These qualities are not always easy to live out, especially during hard seasons. When we are not actively pursuing Jesus and His Word, we cannot glorify him in the way that He deserves. To another person, the life we live may seem perfect. However, even though we may appear to have it all together on the outside, if others do not see Jesus in us then nothing else matters. This passage calls each of us to live out these characteristics regardless of what our circumstances are.
Also, it is important for each of us to be on guard focusing daily on renewing our mind, and guarding our gate. The things we allow in will eventually spill over into how we live. If not, thoughts of anger, bitterness, and selfishness will consume us instead of love, gentleness, and compassion.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will sharing about each of these characteristics and what God is teaching me. I would encourage you to study this passage in Colossians along with me because I would love to hear how God is using it in your life as well.
Be sure to check back on Monday for my next post focusing on compassion.
To view more posts in this series please visit here.
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Over the past few days I have been overwhelmed. Sometimes the weight of life seems too heavy, and due to not feeling well I’ve not spent as much time in the Word as I should. This is when the devil wants to creep in and steal one’s peace of mind.
Last night, I was reading the latest issue of Set Apart Girl Magazine, and one of the articles listed Psalm 62:5. When I read this verse I immediately stopped and prayed. I realized that my discontentment and worry came from resting in my desires and control rather than in God. Putting too much emphasis on my circumstances, I was allowing those old familiar feelings of anxiousness and restlessness to take residence in my heart. This did nothing to improve my situation, but instead muddied my outlook. I am thankful that in my craziness the Lord remains patient and faithful. He is always kind and loving and never fails to give me the perspective I need from Scripture.
My circumstances may not reflect much hope, but my God does and so I will put my trust in Him, and Him alone.
What are you putting your trust in today? If you are feeling overwhelmed and burdened — open the Bible and cry out to the Lord. He is ready and waiting to give you the rest you desire.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and for many it is a day to celebrate with the ones you love. However, not everyone has a spouse or significant other to celebrate with, and on a day filled with lots of love, flowers and chocolate, it can be very depressing for single folks. While others are waiting to receive a special gift, singles go into the day not expecting anything. For us, it is another reminder of what we long for but do not have.
As I have been pondering this over the past few days, the Lord has gently reminded me that on Valentine’s Day I am not alone because I have Him. He is greater than a boyfriend, husband, friend, or any gift that I could ever receive. He is the greatest gift. He is enough. I have everything I need in Him. As Isaiah 54:5 states, “For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”
Because of Jesus, I am able to go through life completely fulfilled and content even if He never chooses to bless me with an earthly love story.
No love story is complete without Him because He is the greatest lover of all time.
With or without a husband, Jesus should always be the greatest lover of our souls. Nothing or no one should ever take the place of His rule in our hearts and lives.
During the past week, the Lord has brought to mind several verses that displays His great love for us. I am calling these my “Love Letters from Jesus.” Take a moment to read them and be encouraged. Whether you are married or single today, evaluate your relationship with the Lord. Are you allowing Him to be the Lord of your life? Do you make His relationship the most important one in your life?
When we put our relationship with Jesus above all else, every other relationship in our lives will become more beautiful.
Please know that you are not alone. Jesus loves you with a perfect and everlasting love. Unlike people, He will never let you down, and will always remain faithful. Allow these words from Scripture to penetrate your heart and mind, and choose to believe them —
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” ~Jeremiah 31:3
“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~Isaiah 43:1
“He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.” ~Song of Solomon 2:4
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” ~Zephaniah 3:17
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” ~Deuteronomy 7:6
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” ~Song of Solomon 6:3
“For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” ~Isaiah 54:5