Friday, November 11, 2016

Incredible Books

 I read Kerrie's second book Revived over the last week, and it is phenomenal. I can't even describe it -- so I'll let Kerrie's book descriptions tell you about them, but you simply MUST pick up a copy or put it on your Christmas list! If you only choose one for now, I'd pick Revived and start there. Her newest book is out for pre-order, but it won't deliver until February 1st.

Kerrie is my sister's best friend, and just an amazing woman. I've heard her stories, I've been in her home. I've even had the pleasure of having Kerrie pray over me at my nephew's coming home party. To know Kerrie is to love her, and I sincerely hope that I can make it to one of her Revived Conferences at some point in my life.

The grace of God can completely transform an ordinary life, for an extraordinary purpose. This is the liberating message found in this book and in Kerrie Oles life and ministry. In Invisible Chains, Kerrie and Olivia wrote the inspiring and encouraging story of Kerrie's own departure from living in the shame of her past to discovering what it means to live a life covered in God's grace. Readers will see: - how being a prisoner to the past can hold them back from a promising future - that discovering the grace of God can set them free from a life of shame This book reveals that the chains of our past weigh us down and keep us from knowing how truly loved we are by God. It is an invitation to receive the grace of God and step into the call on your life. 

You can order your copy here.

Come with me. Let Jesus take your hand. No matter who you are or where you’ve been, you’ve experienced pain in your life. He can heal it, bringing life where there was death. Jesus brought life everywhere he went; it seems he couldn’t help it. And not only did He raise dead bodies, He sought out those who were dead on the inside. He took their hands, and He healed them. He revived them. Let Him take your hand. Let Him pull you to your feet—alive. Revived.

You can order your copy here. This book also has a study guide that you can work through as well that you can order from Kerrie's shop as well.

In For Real, author and sought-after speaker, Kerrie Oles helps us understand how to navigate through the turbulent seas of this life with great faith. She offers life-transforming insights how God will reveal His faithfulness and build our faith through each and every trial.

How do we take an age old story, and make it real to us?

Kerrie Oles, does just that. As she journey’s with a humorous style through her life, others, and the life of Job. Her stories and spiritual wisdom will inspire readers to listen for God and apply His Word and encouragement to their lives.

Job’s story is all of our story. We suffer in this life, but inside each of us is an overcomer, that can grow from hurtful experiences, and be equipped and empowered to help others. And, along the way, to our destination, it will build great faith!

Come with us. Get on board, let’s journey to being-For Real.

Pre-order your copy here. (This is the only one you can get via Amazon)
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Where it begins...

So, we've elected a new President. Like it or not, it is finished. All that is left is how you deal with it.

More than that, remember that the children are watching and hearing everything that you are and are not saying. They are picking up on all of it, and learning a lot more than you think they are.

Sadly, we are quickly learning that our issues are much deeper than what they seem on the surface. They are much more than the simplistic labels that are placed on everyone from both sides.

We have taught a whole generation that they are all winners. That everyone gets a trophy, and gets credit for just showing up. That isn't how the world works, and we're learning that people out there don't know how to win or lose graciously.

I see two sides of this going on in America today. I see those that are being horrible winners, and those that are being horrible losers. Fundamentally, America didn't change with the outcome of one election. Some won and some lost -- just as it has been since the very beginning of our system of government. Some will be happy and some will not.

What has changed overtime is that we have lost the ability to deal with opposition.

I believe that in my heart of hearts, we are all the same. We want to be heard. We want to be brought to the table, and given a voice. Somewhere in the middle of all of this - we started putting labels on those of us that are different, and began demonizing the differences.

I learned the hard way how to lose, and how to win. I learned that kindness always wins, no matter the outcome. I won't change that, and in everyday America - things work just fine. I don't see your political views in our everyday exchanges in the grocery store, lines at the Post Office, or anywhere else. I see a fellow human being, and I act accordingly. If I see you struggling, I will help. If I see you in need, I will try to the best of my ability to fill your need. If I see you crying, I will offer a shoulder. If I see you bleeding, I will offer a band-aid.

I happen to be a Christian, that's no secret. The message of that has been lost by some very misguided individuals that are spreading hate in the name of my Lord and savior. I don't believe in that. I believe that we are to love everyone no matter what. We are to reach out and offer our hand in love to people. We are to welcome them in.

Just like all other groups -- there are good and there are extremists that are bad. My vote, doesn't boil down my belief system into one category or another. You don't want me to do that to you, so please don't do that to me.

Ultimately, it all begins at home. We have to live it out -- our beliefs -- outwardly. We have to teach our children what is okay and what is not. We have to be diligent. More than that, we have to act like humans. If you are happy or unhappy with the outcome of the election - take your moment to gather your thoughts, and then start working kindly towards your solution. Spread your message in a way that is kind.

 Remember that we can't all win all of the time. Life will go on... and there will be another election. If you don't like the way it turned out, or even if you do. It is up to you to spread your message without all of the hate that we will be remembered for in 2016.

If you voted for Trump - I love you.

If you voted for Clinton - I love you.

If you voted for Johnson - I love you.

If you voted for Stein - I love you.

If you voted for McMullin - I love you.

If you wrote in a vote - I love you.

If you didn't vote at all - I love you. (we need to talk, but I love you!)

Be the light, friends. Make the world sparkle with your message, instead of spreading darkness.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Scripture and Loving One Another

I've been reading and hearing about the Jen Hatmaker interview for a couple of weeks now, and I have definitely got some thoughts on this.

I don't even really want to go there because I think that her position is just a bit outside of what the Bible commands of us. Ultimately, we all are sinners in every aspect of life... we all fall short of the example of Christ, but that doesn't mean that we as Christ followers need to stay quiet on the subject either.

I think that the Bible commands us to tell someone when they are about to jump off of a bridge, but to do so lovingly and with complete regard for the person's heart. Meaning that the Bible is clear on what is right and wrong, but it is also clear on things like redemption. We all sin differently, and that is what makes us human.

Where we go wrong is how we deliver the message of the Bible. Sometimes it is not an easy message to hear, because we all tend to read it while using the lens making our own sin okay. I feel like some of us are aware of our sins while others tend to say to themselves, "My sin isn't as bad as theirs, so I'm okay." If only it worked that way.

Here is the thing about the Bible... it is the same today as it was thousands of years ago... the base message hasn't changed. So we can't filter it on what society thinks is okay in 2016 -- it is the same message of right and wrong from all those years ago. I shutter to think what some of these incredible biblical figures would say about all of the petty things that we are dealing with in 2016.

The insanity of the whole safe rooms on college campuses and the constantly offended culture we have today is just beyond the imaginable. Why is it that we can't disagree on things today without having a march and tear gas being needed? What happened to the days when we disagreed, and everyone went on about their day without having to scream and yell to defend your opposing viewpoints?

It's okay to disagree. One dear friend of mine and I are at complete odds over the whole Jen Hatmaker saga, but we can still love each other and respect our differing viewpoints.

Ultimately, what the whole Jen Hatmaker deal is about is that you can't change the scripture to fit 2016 society. You can't decide, this is now okay -- even though the Bible says that it is not. The main issue I have with her is that she does so with people knowing she is a Christian writer and speaker, so she has a large audience that has to hold her accountable when her message isn't what we believe to be the truth. Now, how you choose to handle it is completely up to you. You can choose to love all as you would hope that they would love you -- OR -- you can spew hate that makes everyone think that Christians are a bunch of bullies with Bibles.

I personally, choose the former as my point of view. As with any sin, I can't possibly know about someone else and their relationship with Christ. People that go to church on a weekly basis, can just as easily be living a lie as someone that doesn't go to church. You just never know what is in someone's heart -- so it's a dangerous assumption.

You just have to love others as they are part of your family, and know that one day, they will meet their maker too. They alone will deal with the choices they made, and they have to know for themselves where they will end up. It's not for us to judge or even condemn them for.

I just wish that everyone would stop making the opposing view point the villain in their own story, just remember that the people with those opposing view points are people that deserve to be loved too.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Dream of Writing a Book

I've been kicking this idea around for YEARS. Literally since the moment the story was clear on how it would end in terms of our journey toward being parents. The road toward having our crazy little family was a very long 8 year and 1 month trek through many of life's ups and downs.

We went through a diabetes diagnosis, infertility treatments, almost split up, weight loss surgery, infertility treatments a second time, being told we wouldn't have a child on our own, adoption, finding out you're pregnant the day you bring your newborn home, and so much in between.

In the middle of those last few, I worked through a 13 week bible study reading through the entire New Testament. I wrote a journal every day and took some detailed notes through that study that are just incredible to go back and read today. So I'll be sharing a bit of that...

Some of my old blog posts may come up as well, and just the emotions of everything that we endured while God had us waiting for our parental journey to begin. It's often not until you have crossed to the other side of things and had some time to look back in reflection that you can truly see the beauty and love that Jesus has for us as he shows us how much better his plans are than anything we can think of on our own.

I hope to have an update from the publisher in the next week or so, and I can't wait to share more as I get more written and am able to go through the process toward getting it published.
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Monday, November 7, 2016

Menu Monday - 11/7/16

We typically have a big Sunday Night dinner together before the week starts running and none of us get a chance to sit down all together.  I typically sit down with the boys to do their prayers before dinner and also to work on our Turkey on the Table project for November... we've got a Shepherd's Treasure deal coming for next month to go along with our Elf on the Shelf. Our elf, Dash, is pretty tame in his adventures because the boys are just not self controlled enough at this time in their lives for that yet.

Anyway, as soon as our Shepherd's Treasure comes in -- I'll show you all about that -- I know that the company had a limited quantity so you may not be able to get one anymore. (At the time that I added the link, they still appeared to be available)

Our menu for this week:

Sunday: Chicken & Rice with peas
Monday: Pasta e' Fagioli Soup *
Tuesday: Garlic Grilled Chicken *, Chicken Ricearoni, and Salad
Wednesday: Pork Chops, Long Grain & Wild Rice, and Roasted Broccoli
Thursday: Mediterranean Chicken * over Rice
Friday: Baked Chicken Parmesan, Pasta Alfredo, and Salad
Saturday: Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

These are freezer meals that I had prepped ahead on the MyFreezeEasy plan. It's a really simple concept of prep and freeze -- no precooking on most of it -- and you can get 10 meals done in about an hour! Who doesn't love that!?
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