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Book Review #5: Red Sea Rules

redsearulesHave you ever wondered what it must have been like to be the children of Israel facing the Red Sea? Think about it….

You have just watched God bring an entire country to its knees. Though you were slaves and conditions were far from optimal, it was still the place your family had called home for nearly 400 years! Now, you have had to pack up your families, your belongings, your animals – everything that you could carry with you – and follow a shepherd into the desert. You don’t know exactly where you are going or how long it’s going to take you to get there, but you know that you must follow! You are thrilled to finally be free from the clutches of a dictator who valued you only because of what you did for him; yet you are unsure of the path ahead. Immediately before you is the Red Sea. As if the water in front of you were not troubling enough, in the distance beyond you there are mountains. In the trail behind you, there is a cloud of dust beginning to rise. It is not long before word spreads that Pharaoh is coming for you! He’s angry at you, at your leader, at your God, and he wants revenge! You begin to feel an all-to-familiar knot forming in the pit of your stomach! Now what?

Do you know that feeling? I do! If you are a living, breathing human being, you will, at some point in this life, come to place where you do not know what to do. Beyond you, there will be mountains. Before you, there may be deep waters. Behind you, there are opposing forces. What do you do when you don’t see any way to escape?

In The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-given Strategies for Difficult Times, Robert Morgan reminds any Christian facing difficulties that God has a proven track record! He worked miracle after miracle for the children of Israel just to get them out of Egypt and to the Red Sea. That was not the end of their story; it was only the beginning! By applying the following ten strategies to our lives during times of difficulty, we can witness the miraculous power of the same God who led His people through deep water on DRY ground:

  1. Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
  2. Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.
  3. Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
  4. Pray!
  5. Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
  6. When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
  7. Envision God’s enveloping presence.
  8. Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
  9. View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
  10. Don’t forget to praise Him.

I could elaborate on each of these principles with specific examples from my own personal life, but that would defeat the purpose of encouraging you to read the book for yourself and apply it to your life! No matter what impossible situation or circumstance you may be currently facing, there is a God who sees your tears, hears your prayers, and stands ready to lead you through deep water! Follow Him! This could be just the beginning of your story!

The hardback copy of this book is available for $8.99 from www.amazon.com. You may also purchase the paperback or Kindle editions here. If purchasing is not an option for you, check with your local library. This is the resource I used when a friend recommended the book to me!

**As noted in a previous post, in the interest of complete honesty for those who may want to know ahead of time, not all of the verses quoted in the text are from the KJV.

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Book Review #4: Slow-Roasted Hope

slow roasted hopeWhen I picture the word hope, I think of the tiniest little ray of sunshine peaking through a sky filled with dark, ominous storm clouds! Sometimes, that is what hope is in our lives. We are surrounded by stormy situations and circumstances. It appears that all is lost.

When I came across the Kindle version of this book last year, I was, quite frankly, lacking hope! I had let the unexpected storms in our lives crowd out that little ray of sunshine. There were so many more questions than answers running around in my mind, and I had a hard time imagining that there would ever be much to be hopeful about again! (A bit of an over-reaction, I know, but it’s where I was at the time!) However, as I was struggling to find hope, it seemed that the Lord kept bringing that word to my attention just about every time I turned around! It popped up in my Bible reading on a daily basis! Some sweet friends sent me a birthday card and wrote a Scripture reference with their kind note. The reference belonged to a verse about hope! I went to two different ladies’ meetings at two different churches where two different speakers talked about waiting on God and hoping in Him. When I saw this book in my Amazon recommended reading list and then read the description, I decided that maybe the Lord was trying to tell me something!

Mrs. Chumley faced her own storm when doctors discovered that her almost two year old daughter was completely deaf in both ears. She was, quite understandably, shaken and faced a time of great despair and darkness. It was then that she began to search through the Scriptures to find out what God had to say about hope. This book is the result of that research. It is the story of how God used the deafness of her first daughter to prepare her for the same diagnosis with her second. It is the story of how God used His Word and His people to comfort her hurting heart and prepare her to comfort others in the future. It is story of how one little ray of hope led to another, which led to another, which led to another. It is the story of how God changed her perspective and gave her the ability to see hope in the darkness, instead of just looking for hope to get out of it! Incredibly, it is also the story of how, years later, God answered the prayers of those two little girls and surprised the family with a third daughter – who has no hearing problems at all!  You can read about her journey out of darkness and into hope by purchasing the Kindle edition of this book for $3.99 at www.amazon.com**

Maybe you are still in the darkness. Seek God! Go to His Word! Surround yourself with His people! Remember that finding healing and hope, like brewing a good cup of coffee, takes time! It is often a slow process, but one that will leave you stronger and better able to strengthen those around you who are weak. Perhaps, God will change your perspective. Instead of seeing only the threatening clouds of doubt and despair that are filling your thoughts, maybe you will find that one little ray of hope, pushing its way through the darkness and fighting to make its presence known.

“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.”

~~Psalm 71:14~~

 

**In the interest of complete honesty for those who may want to know ahead of time, I should note that not all of the verses quoted in the text are from the KJV.

If I Never Had a Sorrow

sun-and-rain-shannon-story-7250I am currently mulling over a few different topics for my next article, but I thought I would share a couple of blogs that have been an encouragement to me recently. My husband has begun writing a series of articles about dealing with hurt. He has posted the first two already, and I have been blessed by what he has written. You can view them at his blog, http://www.iknowwhom.com. Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to make a quick, last minute trip up to Avon, Indiana, to see Jennifer, a college friend of mine who was in town for a pastor’s wives meeting. Though we only had a little while to chat (while we shopped at Goodwill – Who can beat that combination?!), I thoroughly enjoyed our time. She introduced me to another wonderful pastor’s wife named Leah, who blogs at http://embracingrace.com. I believe this was a God-ordained meeting, as I needed some encouragement that day! Leah, Jennifer, and the other ladies in their group were and have continued to be an answer to prayer! Last Sunday, a special speaker at church read this poem at the conclusion of his message. (It was written by his wife, Ashley Allen. You can check out her blog at http://lcid-counsel.blogspot.com) It spoke to my heart, and I thought maybe you would enjoy it, too. Continue reading “If I Never Had a Sorrow”

Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month

While browsing through Instagram recently, I came across this picture.

pastors-wife-month-blog

I knew that October has been designated as “Pastor Appreciation Month,” but I had no idea that someone had chosen March to honor pastor’s wives.
Having grown up in a pastor’s home, I know that the role of a pastor’s wife is often filled with joy and heartache, blessings and burdens, triumphs and trials. Pastor’s wives come in all shapes and sizes.  All live with the knowledge that God has called their husbands to minister to people who are broken, bruised, and battered. Continue reading “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month”