5 Books Worth Reading and Why

5 Books Worth Reading

I thought that I would tell you about some of the books that I have read and why they are worth your reading. There are three that have helped me personally and two that were for leisure reading. I do hope that you will take the time to read at least one.

2 Books that Will bring about Positive Change.

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Here is a book that I do believe is worthy to be read by everyone. We all could use a refresher when it comes to personal boundaries. I know that I did when I first read it and then worked through the workbook that goes along.

One more important thing I learned was about personal responsibility. For example, I am responsible only for my reactions and interactions but not for others’. Yet I am responsible to others. This means I am to be forgiving and honest with people. This helped me not to try to “fix” others when they are unhappy or angry with me. I had to learn to let others have their own feelings and deal them for themselves.

There is so more I could say but I want you to explore this book for yourself.

Beyond Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend

This book was a great help to me following the previous book. In it, Townsend helped me to work on restoring relationships. Two key points from this book are how to reestablish appropriate connections in strained relationships and restore former relationships to a healthy dynamic.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this made a difference in my life. Just let me tell you that I have improved relationships with certain family members that I thought I had lost. I give Thanks to God for the relationships I now have with people I love.

I Can’t Say Enough About This Book.

Never Go Back (10 Things You Will Never Do Again) by Dr. Henry Cloud

Do you want a read that will make you think and bring about some much-needed change? Well, this is it!

The first four chapters struck a chord with me. Each chapter begins with Never Again…. For instance, this first chapter is “Never Again…Return to What doesn’t Work”. This chapter talks about not repeating old habits that failed like relationships with unhealthy people. One must break the cycle in order to improve.

In chapter four, you are to Never Again…Believe that You Can Please Everyone. Yet again, this struck a chord with me. I grew up wanting to please people. Dr. Townsend gives good reasons not to please everyone.

Don’t take my word for it! Read it for yourself

2 Books that You Won’t Want to Put Down.

Not By My Own by Whit Devereaux

Once you start reading it you will not want to put it down. She tells her own story in the third person which makes for an intriguing read. Yet, this is not a read for the light of heart. Whit went through some really tough times, however, she brings it to a beautiful ending.

I still highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to be inspired by someone else’s life story. You can find it by following this link; Not By My Own.

Emily 1873 by Marie Bockman Cariker

Do you love a good mystery?

Well here is just the book for you. I had a hard time putting down. Marie writes a wonderful story of mystery and faith. There was just the right amount of the gospel in this well-written tale. I was moved to tears at one point. Marie takes you back in time.

You can find her book at Xulon Press; Emily: 1873.

Other Books I have read: The Truth About Happiness and Finders Keepers Losers Winners.



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Church, Gotta Love it! I do!


Five Things I Love About My Church

Let me tell you the five things that I love about my church, Faith Lutheran. This helps confirm my reason for staying. No church is perfect but I do love where God has called me to be.

1. The Bible Taught Faithfully.

Our motto is Know Christ, Live Christ, and Make Christ Known. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. During our worship service, we often have an Old Testament,  Epistle, and Gospel reading. The Epistle is taken from one of the letters that were written to the church either by the Apostle Paul, James, or Peter. This is done interactively with the congregation reading the words in bold. We stand for the Gospel reading out of respect. The sermon is taken from one of the either of the Bible readings.

2. We are Growing Congregation.

We hold a new member’s class once every quarter. My church has as many as 15-20 or as few as 5 members added. In our Bible class for members with special needs, known as the Rock House, we have experienced growth. We added as many as 10 members in this group and a new member is seen on occasion. This makes for a total 25+ members. I do like seeing new members added to our congregation. Furthermore, there are some really swell people to get to know. I love you all!

3. Blended Worship Music

During our worship service, you will hear both traditional hymns and praise music. We also have talented soloists and we recently added a Praise Music Vocalist. Another point that I would like to make is that our Senior Pastor on occasion teaches us a new hymn. I enjoy the blended music and I feel that it reaches out to most everyone. The hymns centered on God or on Christ and Him crucified.

4.  Opportunities to Serve are Plenty.

At Faith, you will find plenty of opportunities to serve both for the young and for those young at heart. I happen to serve with the Rock House as do a number of very special people. Not only do I serve with them but I also serve with a group of wonderful women in Lutheran Women’s Missionary League’s evening group, Joy Mission Circle. We collect mites which is the change from our pockets to help fund missions outside of our local congregation. We have a ministry for Braille and we are a Stephen Ministry congregation. Let’s not forget our youth. They, too, have opportunities to go on servant trips.

5. Last but not least, Our Newest Staff Member!

Most noteworthy is our Vicar. I am excited and pleased that Vicar Bill Crowe will be ordained and installed as our associate pastor on July 24, 2016, @ 3 pm. Every opportunity that I have had to speak to him, he has impressed me as a man after God’s own heart. He is open and friendly. He is quite knowledgeable and loves the Lord. Hence, I know that God has blessed us with him and his family as well.

In conclusion, I would like to invite you to come for a visit when you are ever in Georgetown, Texas. To God be the glory!

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
    and begun to reign.” Revelation 11:17

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Fun with Song Titles!

Using Songs & Hymn
 Titles to Express
My Faith!
Song links are underlined, songs in blue.
I love music and God often puts a song in my heart. I love traditional hymns as well as contemporary praise songs. I had a creative streak to put song titles together to make sentences that expressed my faith. Some have links to the you tube version or the song is highlighted in blue. i do hope the you can enjoy this as well.
I Know Whom I have Believed and It is Well with My Soul. 
Be Though My Vision, oh, Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
My Faith Has Found a Resting Place and I will forever sing O Worship the King. O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go is found in the O Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.
Mercy Me Songs
I have a New Lease on Life. Jesus has made me Flawless and Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. It is not Wishful Thinking to believe that God will Finish What He Started. I say Welcome to the New and I will Shake because God has done a great thing in me.
Different Artist
People Need the Lord and I need to tell them My Story. Through prayer and study of God’s word, I am Learning to be the LightIn John 8:12, Jesus tells me that He is the light of the world, therefore He is My Lighthouse.
King & Country
My prayer: Dear God, help me to Fix My Eyes on You. You sent Your son, Jesus, to be the Proof of Your Love. When I am down and I feel that I can’t go on, I turn to Your Shoulders to gain the strength to continue. Amen!
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To Forgive or Not to Forgive…

To forgive or not forgive

That is the Question.

I am instructed to forgive other regardless of the other person’s reception. For it is about me and not them. In Matthew 6:12, I am to forgive others in order to receive forgiveness of my sins. In doing so, I receive grace, peace, and freedom because holding on to a grudge is only hurting me and my relationship with God and others. I have acrostic for this.
Others            Matthew 6:12
Grace             Ephesians 2:8-9
Virtue to         Colossians 3:13-14
Grace is a freely given gift. I am, in turn, to freely share grace with others. Jesus made it all possible. I am grateful for this because on my own; I would fail.
To forgive is a virtue for every believer in Jesus. It is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. I am to pardon others as Christ first forgave me. I did not deserve it and there were no conditions to be filled before I could receive other than believing and confessing Him. He will help me work to absolve others of their sin against me. All need to do is ask Him to help me.

What it Means to Forgive.

Forgiveness is not that we forget but in choosing not to pick up and mistreat/gossip about it. Matthew 18:15-17, provides instructions on how to go to someone and offer forgiveness for a wrong that has been done to you. Reconciling is a healthy and right thing to do. I heard it said in a sermon that if that person refuses after every effort has been made you are to treat the person as an unbeliever and try to win them back. Reconciliation is the ultimate goal. Yet, this passage is often abused because people will quote it but rarely is it ever modeled in the church. I would like to see it modeled in a sermon via a skit.
Max Lucado put it this way; when I forgive, it sets the prisoner free and that prisoner is me. I can honestly say that I am free! There is no excuse for me not to do this for others. Therefore, I will choose to do the right thing.
I choose to forgive. Is there someone that you need to forgive?
My Prayer: Dear God, forgive me as I forgive others. Remind me that holding on to a grudge only hurts me more than the other person. Cause me to embrace Your forgiveness that I may, in turn, forgive those who have hurt me and offer amends to those I have hurt. Amen.
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Be Glad in the Lord and Rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord Always!
Psalm 32:10-11; Philippians 4:4-9
The word rejoice is found 202 times in the Bible. In Philippians, we are called to rejoice and let our reasonableness be known to everyone for the Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be known to God. When you look up rejoice in the Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, you will find that it gives you several reasons for rejoicing; His presence in our lives, our salvation in Jesus, the gospel just to name a few. Rejoicing makes one cheerful. A glad heart makes a cheerful face (Proverbs 15:13) and the cheerful of heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15). James 5:13 reads, “Is anyone among suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” I have found that when I am struggling that if I offer praises to God, my heart is glad and I receive His strength to carry on. 
One can make a decision to rejoice in the Lord despite the circumstances because God is in control and will see you through. Remembering what Jesus went through to bring us reconciliation to God, I would hope, would give anyone cause to rejoice. I rejoice in the Lord because of His steadfast love.
 Psalm 40
16 But may all who seek You
    rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who love Your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!
What reason do you have for rejoicing in the Lord? Rejoice and be glad!
My Prayer: Dear God, I rejoice in You for You are my salvation and my deliverer. There is no one like You in all the earth. Amen. 
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Give Thanks unto the Lord

For He is Good 
His Love Endures Forever
I rejoice in my Lord and Savior for I have been blessed with a niece as of last night. What a joy it is to see new life! It makes my heart happy to see her and the happiness she brings to her mother. I will give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever. This little one comes to our family after ten years of marriage and a long hard delivery but, my, what a pleasure to see! I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done. Yes, it is easy to rejoice and give praise at a time like this and I should and will. I will also give Him thanks in all circumstances. 
I thank Him for the opportunity to see her and to love on her mother. I am thankful for no stress when I went to see them. I am thankful that I can operate from a place of love and not people pleasing. I am thankful for the happiness on her mother’s face and the joy of her daddy holding her. God is good! His love endures forever!!!
To God be the glory now and forever!!
My Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I rejoice over this new life and I give You praise for the joy she brings to her family. Please pour out Your blessings upon this family. Amen.  
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Friendship Acrostic

An acrostic for friendships

 Characteristics of Friendships

Here is what to look for and cultivate in your friendships.

Forgiving             Colossians 3:13
Reliable               Colossians 3:13
Interdependent    Ecclesiastes 4:9
Empathetic          Romans 12:10
Nurturing            Ephesians 4:29
Devoted             1 Corinthians 13:4
Supportive          Ephesians 4:32
Humble              Ephesians 4:2
In Harmony        Ephesians 4:3
Patient               1 Thessalonians 5:14
It was a joy today to attend a one day retreat at my church where I made a new friend. The focus was on love and ways to show love because God first loved us. We put together a quilt of hearts for World Relief and there were skits that taught us what being a true friend really looks like and what wasn’t. In our meditation on God’s word, we asked God to help us to be more patient, kind and to show true humility to others. This included those who are hard to love.
It was a pleasure to make a new friend with whom I have a lot in common. Friendships, I believe, are another way in which God shows us that He loves us. We may have friends that we don’t always see eye to eye with but when we find that friend with whom we can truly connect, with is inspiring and makes our hearts grow. To have someone who gets us is such an encouragement when days are not going so well. 
May we encourage and inspire one another onto good deeds.
Blessings to all my friends!
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I am thankful that You call me friend. Help me to be the friend that I would want. May I, too, encourage others onto good deeds. Amen.
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Jewels in the King’s Crown

That is What We Are as Christians.
Zechariah 9:16 NIV
The Lord their God will save his people on that day
    as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
    like jewels in a crown. 
 Malachi 3:17 KJV
 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 
This is what I read in my devotion today. It focused on the passage in Zechariah 9:9-17. Jesus’ sacrifice washed us clean so that we now shine like jewels in God’s crown. God no longer sees our our sin. When He looks at us He sees the righteousness of Christ. This is what makes us shine like the jewels that we are. What comfort there is in that when the world tells us differently. May the good Lord help us all to see ourselves the way that He sees us now.
 My Prayer taken from a hymn: O Father, thank you for sending Your Son, the bright jewel of Your crown, from sin and sorrow to set me free. Amen 
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How I Know that God Loves Me

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him; His praise was on my tongue. Psalm 66:16-17
My son likes to watch top ten list so I thought that today I would make a top ten list of ‘How I Know that God Loves Me.’ It is my way of telling you what He has done for me. So here it goes;
  1. Jesus died for my sins and rose again that I, too, may have eternal life. This is first and foremost. Eternal life is a changed life now and to live with Him forever in the next.
  2. Even though my son was diagnosed with Autism, I am blessed to be a mom and he is now a strong young man of faith. I see his disability as a blessing now because we did not have any troubles with bad behavior.
  3. When I was widowed at 25 and three months pregnant, I was able to fly from Germany to the U.S. God gave me the strength I needed to make it home.
  4. In both my first and current marriage, God gave me men who love and treasure me. I am married to my heart’s desire since 2006. I am blessed to be a part of a family of six now. God has gifted me with three wonderful children of my heart. I am honored to be a part of their lives.
  5. God sustained me through the loss of loved ones; my baby brother in 1977, my first husband in 1990, the passing of my maternal grandparents, and the death of my biological father this year.
  6. Before my bio father died, I was able to visit with him and make amends. God also gave me little hidden treasures along the way.
  7. God brought about reconciliation between my mother and I in 2014. We now have a better relationship.
  8. God continues to change me from the inside out. He made uncomfortable at times in order that I would grow. This occurred more than once, I assure you.
  9. God has blessed me with so many wonderful people to be connected with.
  10. I am not who I used to be. I no longer live in my past and I know who holds my future.  

These are just a few of the ways. There are so many more. To God be the glory for things that He has done and yet to do.

I challenge you to think of 10 ways that God has shown His love for you.

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I cannot possibly begin to tell you how grateful I am to You for all the ways that You have revealed Your great love to me. I want to tell everyone what You have done for me. All praise and glory belong to You. Amen. 

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What is in a Name?

Everything When the Name is Jesus!
Philippians 2:9-11 (AMP)
Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has [a]freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee [b]should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 And every tongue [[c]frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Think about it! There is power in the name of Jesus. Look at how it easily empties a room or causes division. For a believer, it means everything and has power in prayer. For the unbeliever, it causes people to become hateful or critical of those who believe. The name of Jesus has the power to heal and bring reconciliation. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His name is wonderful, counselor, prince of peace. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is more than just a prophet or good teacher. For He died a horrible and excruciating death yet rose again so that believing in Him we have everlasting life and will spend eternity with Him. If there were no power in His name, there would be no conflict and His name would be forgotten. Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Rejoice in the Lord again I say rejoice! Sing praise to His Holy Name!
Interesting Bible Fact: The name of Jesus is in the New Testament 1058 times in the ESV according to Bible Gateway.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I praise the name of Jesus. All glory and honor be Yours. Amen. 
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