Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Art of Worship

I'll be honest for a while this book intimidated me. Maybe because I knew that with reading it came a need for change in how I do life, in how I worship God.

and I was right.

Worship in its purest form is a way of life. 

As John MacArthur puts it, nothing we do is more important than worship. It will govern every aspect of our lives.

This book takes us, passage by passage through the Bible showing us not only how to worship but also the importance of worship and why it needs to be a priority.

A lot of times, at least for me, people tend to see worship as the time during service when we are singing unto the Lord (i.e. praise and worship). However John MacArthur paints a picture of worship being more than that and extending beyond Sunday service. 

For the longest, I had thought of worship as just the singing unto God, regardless of time or location. But this book trumps that thought. It informs me that worship is everything. It is in my attitude towards everything I do. Is my attitude nasty? Am I doing things/working as unto man or as unto the Lord? 

And those questions will prompt the change that will accompany reading this book. The next question will be: where does worship lie on my list of priorities? Is far down the totem pole or is it at the top of my priorities, leading the way for my interaction with everything else on my list?

And one thing about God is that He says "He desires those who worship Him in spirit and in truth." And that is in everything that we do.

Even better is the study guide (free) available on Moody Publishers, just scroll down to "free resources."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Jump to Trust God

This book addresses a few different topics of application of the Christian faith: 
  • When we trust God's love for us, 
  • when we choose to walk with Jesus, 
  • when we choose to relax
  • when we take the time to notice God in everything, 
  • when we choose to invest our time and finances into God's kingdom, 
  • when we choose to be kind to everyone, 
  • and when we place our hope in God. 
When we do these things, Rusty then explains the different ways God shows up in our lives. Each topic of application is explain in an "if then" circumstance. IF we choose to walk with Jesus, THEN God will show us how. Too often we forget, all of the Christian life starts with a choice. A choice to trust God, to accept Jesus Christ, to confess our sins and turn our backs on that sin (repentance). But after we make that choice, we must live our lives in such a way that we start to look like Jesus Christ: walk like Jesus, talk like Jesus, point people past ourselves and on to Jesus.

This book is endorsed by Kyle Idleman (he wrote the forward) and I truly have enjoyed his books (Not a Fan & Gods at War). So that helped me become interested in the content of this book. And after reading it, it puts me in the mind of the Believe series of books by Randy Frazee. They seek to aid us in our walk in Jesus, in our relationship with God. And this book does the same.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to the application and benefit of application of walking with Jesus, trusting God, choosing God.

{fyi: I got this book through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for my HONEST review.}

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Color Bible

I saw this bible and even though it is supposed to be for kids, I've thought about using it for myself because it is color coded, thus the name "the color bible."

The color code is organized as:

 Gold: God

Navy: Sin, evil,

Red: Jesus

Orange: washed clean from sin, new life

Green: growth in your new life as a Christian and Faith Walk

Blue: Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving

Purple: Heaven

It is the NKJV, which is a nice version to use, although not quite my preference. For those of us who wear like glasses (speaking about myself here, lol) the print is fairly large and readable. There are no footnotes or study notes to aid in understanding the word of God.

However this bible seems to be aimed at getting kids into the bible and helping them recognize the difference in the passages.I like this bible. I like that it is already color coded according to a system that is explained in the bible. It makes it easy for my daughter to understand the topic of a passage that she reads. For example if she reads a passage and its highlighted in gold then she knows it is about God. Or if its red, it is about Jesus. It also gives her a guideline of how to highlight/underline in her bible for passages she reads that are not already highlighted.

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Prayer for Peace in the Midst of Chaos

Father God, 
I know You see the chaos that is all around the world. 
Every time we look at the news, there's something else that is saddening and heartbreaking.
Father I just want the peace that Jesus said He'd leave us. His Peace, the peace that allowed Him to die the most horrible death peacefully. Peace that assures me in the midst of chaos. Peace that can only come from Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit, You are here amongst us. Jesus called You the comforter, I need the comfort You provide. Jesus said You would be here with me. I know you carry the Peace I am in need of. Peace that sustains my trust in the victory that Jesus has already obtained for the body of Christ. Peace that tells me not to worry about anything man can do because it is only temporary and heaven is eternal.

Holy Spirit comfort the families and friends of ALL those who have died. Regardless to their race or occupation, they left behind a family who is mourning. 

Jesus as we await Your return, I pray that we ready ourselves as a bride readies herself for her bridegroom (she gets in shape, she learns how to be a good wife, she presents herself holy and blameless). I pray we get ourselves in right standing with you. That we confess and repent of our sins. That we go forth and sin no more. I pray we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bush Summer Vacation

So this year we decided to road trip with the kids. At first I was literally anxious and scared of how to do a 16 hr road trip to Austin Texas with our four children (Kaylee is 8, Caleb is 5, Christian is 2, and Cali is now 4 months old). 

Thankfully they did pretty well. Even Christian who is now potty training. Of course, I spent a deal of time sitting in the back seat with Cali because she's nursing and has the belief that she must have eyes on mama at all times or she will scream at us. 

We absolutely enjoyed ourselves at my mother-in-love's home in Liberty Hill which is a suburb of Austin. The kids did NOT want to come home. lol. And honestly? I could have stayed. Texas is one place that I always thought I could live. A place that I really wanted to move to.

So here are some photos (not all, waiting on an email from my mom-in-love with the rest of the photos). I'll post more photos later :)

Cali and her mama after church on Sunday.


Josh, my brother-in-law, and my Superman.


(L-R, my brother-in-law Josh, Caleb, and my Superman Chris).

Sweet little Cali 

The older three children playing at the playground at the Outlet Mall in San Marcos.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Reflections on Becoming a Woman of Excellence {pt 1}

So as you know I am doing the Becoming a Woman of Excellence bible study (by Cynthia Heald). And thus far I am thoroughly enjoying it.

 I love this it is literally a bible study. It is more study to show thyself approved, than read what I think.

The chapters are (on average) 8 pages long. This week I am on the chapter on becoming like Christ. And in that I literally got stuck on 2 Corinthians 3:16-18. I was just to reflect on it as it relates to sanctification. However it went into me cross referencing it through the bible and really pouring over that passage of scripture. 

And the main part that stood out is that sanctification is absolutely NECESSARY. And it is not complete until I reach heaven. It is the difference between understanding the Word of God and not understanding the Word of God. It starts the moment I confess my sins and confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Sanctification is seen outwardly, it is lifestyle and behavior change. 

By definition sanctify means to be make holy. Sanctification means being one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled in Him will rule us. I need sanctification. Each and every person that confess Jesus as Lord and Savior will go through the sanctification process. Some may fight as they cling to their fleshly desires and their comfort zone. Sanctification WILL take us out of our comfort zone. It will call us to deny the flesh and get in tune with the Holy Spirit. 

This is part I in a several part {not sure exactly how many} series of posts that align with this bible study. 

If you've done this study, how has it changed you?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Homeschool Room

Just wanted to give an update on what our current Homeschooling looks like. We don't have a dedicated room in our house. However, I have set aside space in our dining room that is strictly homeschool space. 

I got excited because I was able to find the desks and cabinet in the folders for FREE from an elementary school that was getting rid of it. I think the school is actually closing. So for the most part they are in good condition.

On the walls, I have an alphabet chart (with the numbers 1-20), There's also a dry erase Calendar, I have a list of the books of the bible in order. We also have Spanish and Italian on the walls (those are the languages we plan to learn). 

(my desk)

(The kids desks & the chalk board/white erase board in the corner)

(The cabinet I use to organize our worksheets, printer paper, construction paper, filler paper, spare notebooks, coloring books, etc.)

Toddler Storybook

When I first saw this book on BookLookBlogger, I was immediately drawn to it for my 2 year old. And once I received it in the mail, I knew for sure it would be best for my two year old. The pages are all hard wood-like pages which makes it where she cannot rip the pages out (which she is prone to do because she's so rough and heavy handed). I love that she actually carries it around the house. When I say Gracie, what book do you want to read, this is the book she goes to get. 

The book has a few different stories within it with bright colorful illustrations to capture the interest of small children. It's a bit wordy but thankfully the pictures holds their interest enough to finish a story.

A Woman of Excellence

As a wife, as a mom, I strive to be the best version of me that I can be. 
I know it sounds a bit cliche but its true. I have daughters and their first impression of what a woman is and should be is me. So I try my best to be that for them.

I was recently given the opportunity by Tyndale Blog Network to review Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald. I have the 30th Anniversary Edition, which has some added perks that the original does not have. 

And I cannot be more satisfied with a book. First, this is not a book you simply just read through. It is a literal bible study. While it has its portions that you read, you cannot read the book without writing in it, without being involved in it. It requires that you read the bible and interpret what you read and apply what you read. This book makes you memorize scripture because when I can memorize scripture then I can pray that scripture and that scripture becomes very useful to me.

This book calls for change. For improvement to the woman that you are. As a woman, I don't want to just exist. I want to be the best. And not by this world's standards but by GOD's standards.  God's standards of excellence is far greater than anything than I could ever image. It requires me to lay down my personal desires. To die daily to my flesh, which is saying no to what I want and saying yes to what GOD wants. When I choose to become a woman of excellence, I am choosing God's Will, God's purpose, and God's best for me and my life. And that inevitably affects my husband and my children. It teaches my son the type of woman he should want in his life. It teaches my daughter the type of women to strive to be as they mature.

So is this a book that I would personally recommend? Absolutely! Actually two private Facebook groups will start this bible study next week! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Are you a fruitful wife?

As a wife my greatest goal is to be the best wife I can be.
Not only so that my marriage is enjoyable.
Not only so my husband is happy.
But because my marriage is an earthly example of Jesus' relationship with the church.

The Fruitful Wife

To be a fruitful wife is to embody the nine fruits of the Spirit. Or rather to cultivate the nine fruits of the Spirit.
  • love
  • joy
  • faithfulness
  • kindness
  • self-control
  • peace
  • gentleness
  • goodness
  • patience
Haley DiMarco, addresses the need to be a fruitful wife. Her goal is writing this book is to answer the question: How can you be the woman God is calling you to be, a woman who bears the fruit of the Spirit in your marriage and in the daily grind of life?

She explores and unpacks the biblical significance of being fruitful. Many of us get married and we come to certain passages to help us understand our roles. Proverbs 31 is very popular. So is Titus 2. Ephesians 5 is getting there (although those who do not want to respect their spouses unconditionally may overlook or misinterpret that passage). But then we come to Galatians 5, where Paul gives us the fruit of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, how we will see it in others; how others will see it in us.

I like how Haley shares bits of her personal life in this book, so its not generic. So I, the reader, can feel like she's relating to my daily struggle as a wife and my daily goal as a wife.
I like that I have a visible way to apply the fruit of the Spirit in my life. And the greater beauty is that while I am seeking to improve myself in marriage, it will have a larger impact to extend to others as well. Because I can't truly cultivate the fruit of the Spirit and only use it some of the time, its all or nothing.

#Application is the key to change. It's one thing to read a book and like the message its another thing for that book to give application to reinforce change. Haley gives me meat for change. 

If you are married, get the book. If you are engaged, get the book.
If you are single, STILL get the book.  
This is applicable in ALL stages of life.

{FYI, I did receive this book from the publisher (Crossway) in exchange for my honest opinion.}