Reviews

Listen, Love, RepeatOther-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World

By Karen Ehman

“A heart drop is something you notice when another person directly or cryptically gives you a peek into his/her heart. A heart drop sticks with you rattling around in your head, pressing on your heart, reminding you of another person God loves dearly.”

 

                What does one do when a heart drop is felt? How can I listen attentively enough to feel these heart drops? Do I need to be a special kind of person to feel another’s heart drop? What about God…do I need to have a close relationship with God so that I can feel the hearts of others?

 

Karen Ehman’s new book, Listen, Love, Repeat answers these and many other ponderings about the uniquely specific nature of feeling another person’s heart drop. The quick answers are as follows; What do I do when I feel a heart drop… You turn your listening into an action. How can I listen attentively…You focus your attention on the person right in front of you. Do I need to be a special kind of person…YES. YOU! You are enough. Do I need a close relationship with God…no matter the situation; the answer to this one is ALWAYS a resounding YES! When our minds and hearts are attuned to God’s mind and heart we become more attuned to the minds and hearts of others. God is magical.

Each chapter defines an important aspect in learning to love people as Jesus does.  Chapter one defines the heart drop’s origin and exemplifies it through Ehman’s personal life stories. These are my favorite parts of the book, the personal stories of the author. Chapter two emphasizes the importance of relationship, friendships with people and connection to God. In chapter three, Ehman delivers a poignant chapter about time and how incredibly valuable time becomes when we realize how much time costs others and how much it is worth to us.

Relating to the cost of time Ehman, encourages readers to help someone with their To-Do List. I sat stuck on this concept of helping someone else with their To-Do List while I still have my own to think about and accomplish. People often find it much easier to keep to themselves, mind their own business and figure out their own To-Do Lists rather than working with their neighbor as God calls us to do. I am just as guilty as the next person, which is why I think this concept struck me so much. I have enough on my plate, how could I even think about helping out with someone else’s To-Do List, especially when mine is nowhere near completion? And then I step back, away from myself, for a moment and remember, It Is Not About Me. It Is Always All About God. And lending that hand to another when my list is uncompleted is a great example of being the hands and feet of Jesus. (A concept I wrote about in the previous review on the book The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp). Hugged between pages in chapter three are five go- to meals to cook, freeze and share with someone in need, what a cool addition to this book.

The title of chapter four intrigued me; “Who Makes Your Day. Noticing the Necessary People”. I sat questioning its command, who are the necessary people in my life? According to Ehman a ‘necessary person’ is one who helps you get life done each week. What a great title to give people who work as postal carriers, teachers, church leaders, hair stylists,  grocery checkers and baggers, garbage collectors and so many others. They do so much for me in my life, I wondered, how I could show my appreciation to them in a creative, unique way. This chapter provides ideas for making all the ‘necessary people’ feel thanked.

Chapter five is a perfect one for me. I seem to get tongue tied when speaking with someone who has gone through a tragedy. “What to Say or Do When You Don’t Know What to Say or Do”.  Notice. Simply notice this person and be with them in their grief. This is the clear message from chapter five; an easy enough thing to say but, still, often a hard thing to do.

This gold nugget of a book continues on with lots of stories, tips and tid-bits about how to share yourself with others in a way that is pleasing to God. The emphasis of this book rests on people. Ehman guides her readers to stop overlooking those faces of God before us each day, to stop focusing on ourselves and to start focus to more on others while scattering the kindness to all. Because every person is a loved child of God and should be treated as such. She gives specific ideas for ways to implement this kind of love; these are easy and do-able ideas that often require more love, time, patience and selfless-ness than money, which are some of the truly important qualities of life anyway.

The last chapter is not the end of the book. Ehman packs the end with a list of Bible verses, motivational statements from the book, recipes and fun gift tags to add to a prepared meal for a friend.

 

I am GIVING AWAY a COPY of this BOOK!!! Want to enter? LIKE my blog, or LIKE me on Facebook or Twitter. You will be entered in the contest. The winner will be announced NOVEMBER 18th!

A STUDY GUIDE will also be offered.

Happy reading,

Christina

THE WINNER OF THE BROKEN WAY IS……KELLY S. Make sure you email me your mailing address!

 

 

 

 

 

The Broken Way

The Broken Way—A Book Review

“You’ve never stood in the majesty of an oak that didn’t come from a busted seed.”

Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way; a daring path into the abundant life, is best summed up in her quote above. All the broken pieces of ourselves we think are detritus are really fractured seeds awaiting the nutrients needed to bloom.

Through the heartache and unhealed pains life etched on Voskamp’s heart she was able to grow deeper in her walk with Christ, closed to her children and husband and gain footing on her childhood wounds. This book is her story of how she found life after loss, life after tragedy and life after death.

Voskamp’s memoir recounts her journey from brokenness to wholeness as she kept her eyes on Christ she inked in cruciform on her wrist. Her wrist; an area of her body that once held the pain of her childhood is now a site of remembrance, holding God’s love and sacrifice.

In The Broken Way Voskamp details many beautiful examples of her pain, her loss and God’s love and repair. One such example is the acronym GIFT. Instead of accepting gifts for her birthday one year, Ann decided to give gifts, all over her town, to unsuspecting people. With this “Give It Forward Today”, as she called her act of generosity, she realized an important truth. “Allow Christ in you to give away the gift of Himself right through your brokenness. God gives God so we can be the givers. The gift-ers.” Her husband, “The Farmer” (I love that nickname), restates this GIFT idea; The best way to de-stress is to bless.” Simple, focused, deeply profound. Give until your basket is empty, and then allow God to refill it and give until empty again. In this emptying of our God gift baskets we find healing, joy, love, peace, comfort— we find God! I love this!! To be the church (the body of Christ) that God calls us to be, we may actually enjoy healing from our own hurts, all because we blessed others through our desire to live like God.

The Broken Way is Ann’s story, but it relates to us all. Everyone has a hurt in life that has gone unresolved, unhealed and even untouched by God. Untouched, because we are often afraid of the pain acknowledging that hurt will unearth. But take comfort in Ann’s story as an example of what Christ’s hand can do with the broken pieces even when we are only a little willing to let Him in.

 

A copy of The Broken Way is up for grabs starting TODAY! There are three ways to enter to win a copy of this awesome book!

LIKE me on FACEBOOK (ChristinaRhoadsStreaking)

LIKE me on TWITTER (ChristinaRhoad7)

LIKE this BLOG POST

The winner will be announced Friday November 4th, 2016. I know you LIKE me, come on and show it!

 

66 Ways God Loves You

66 Ways God Loves You

Experiencing God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible

A new book by Jennifer Rothschild

 

I was very excited to get this book in the mail. The title and subtitle intrigued me. Four key words stood out to me… Experience…Love…Every…Book. Sign me up! I want to experience love in every book of the Bible. More excited than skeptical, still I questioned finding this “love” in the rule oriented Leviticus and lineage laden Numbers. This experiencing of God’s love even in the hard books felt like a personal challenge direct from the author to me and I was willing to accept the offer.

When the book arrived at my doorstep, I could not have been more pleased. This small, square book fit so nicely in my hands as I gazed at the lovely cover. I wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall. The colors and textures present were so pleasing to look at and brush my hand across, that I found myself engulfed in simply staring at the cover.  The beauty of the cover and the promise of the title began to beg me, in the midst of my staring, to open the book.

As a third grader, Jennifer Rothschild, first fell in love with her red leather Bible and thus in love with God and His word. But by age fifteen, she could no longer read the Lord’s beautifully breathed words. Jennifer’s eyes had succumbed to retinal disease and she became blind. Though illness prevented her from reading, nothing kept her from God’s poignant truths. She found that audio books and eventually Bible apps. would become her new norm for imbibing God’s word.

As the Bible begins at The Beginning, so does Jennifer’s book. Starting with Genesis and continuing right through to Revelation. Each section is headed by a beautifully flowered title page.  For example, the first one is, “In Genesis God Fashioned Me with His Hands”.  Each section of the book follows this heading structure making it crystal clear to the reader what the meat of the section is about. Each section title in turn becomes the take away for the reader to remember, a short summation of the commentary Rothschild includes following each section title. In each of these phrases, she has brilliantly gift-wrapped each of the 66 books of the Bible.

As with all good books, we as readers are compelled to devour and apply the hand-crafted words on each page. Rothschild’s book induces such actions. The commentaries, one for each of the 66 books of the Bible, are short but full. They are easy to read and delicious to digest.

Intrigued by the book’s promise of experiencing God’s love even in the hard chapters, I was drawn to the sections on Leviticus and Numbers. “In Leviticus God Grants Me Access to Him”. Such a simple sentence, nothing difficult in the verbiage, but so laden with depth and love! When I read this I thought to myself, to boil down a meaty book like Leviticus with this sentence makes me see the book in a new light! The whole book of Leviticus, right there, laid out in one phrase. One phrase that carries so much meaning!

Okay, she nailed Leviticus…but what about Numbers? “In Numbers God Shelters Me in Cities of Refuge”.  When I think of the word Shelter I do not normally connect it to the word Love. I usually think about shelter as a necessity, not a comfort. I think of shelter as what is needed to get by, to get out of the rain temporarily, not as a permanent structure. But, that is not how God uses the word shelter. God becomes our shelter, not just as a Band-Aid, but as a warm embrace designed to lift us closer to Him. God as our shelter is love.

Jennifer Rothschild continues on with each book of the Bible in this fashion, bringing to light each book’s simple yet deeply profound truth. Each truth is rooted in the love God has for us. And each truth is addicting to read.

Image result for 66 ways god loves you image

   

GIVE YOUR CHILD THE WORLD

THE WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED!! Kim Isenhower is the proud winner of this book! I hope you enjoy the book Kim!

I adore books!

Hi, I am Christina and I am a self-professed, overflowing bookshelf, book hoarder.

I can’t help it, I just love books; the binding, the smell of the pages, even the publication information page.  The dates always fascinate me. Oh! And the covers, front and back with enticing pictures, creative font and the cleverly written titles and subtitles. I study book covers out of pure love and intrigue for what they promise…a journey to somewhere far away or even in my own backyard. The promised journey captivates me every time I pick up a  book.

A new book fell into my hands this past week.

Give Your Child the World; Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time, by Jamie C. Martin piqued my curiosity and sense of adventure with the title typed against the cool teal background of the book. Wow! I want to give my kids the world, how can I ever do this on my shoestring, single –income budget? I wondered this as I flipped through the book curious what secretes this book held. As I turned pages I landed on the Table of Contents. Ripe with unique chapter titles, the Contents invited me in with phrases like; Bring the Rain: Africa, Silent Music: Middle East, and How to Raise a World Changer. These and the other chapter titles called me to investigate the book further, where I next found a deliciously simple yet complex poem by the author.

The poem is called The World in Our Homes, and in its deep simplicity it expresses a truth that often goes unnoticed, especially in my home I am afraid. Martin writes about how the world is right at her fingertips all around her home from the bed sheets made in Vietnam to the storybook she read to her kids that was set in Germany and the dishes her family uses that were made in Thailand.  Mexican take-out food, a movie set in London…Martin makes a clear visual that while the world may seem out of reach, it is really all around us, all we have to do is open our eyes and notice it. She ends the poem with my now favorite quote from her book, “Could it be we’re already more connected to the world than we realize?”  I answer her question with a resounding, YES! With excitement I turned the page. My awareness was roused and my eyes and heart were open to learning a new truth in the pages of this book.

Give Your Child the World is a valuable reference book. It is a book about books! What self-professed book hoarder wouldn’t love a book about books? The last three quarters of the book is a highly organized reference section of globally minded books for children. Most books are fictional, but Martin does include some non-fiction throughout each section. She brilliantly organizes each section based on country and/or region and then by age. Her goal was to, “choose the age in which I believe a child would get the most out of the book’s message”. Therefore, age ranges for books are broken down as follows; 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8-10 years and finally 10-12 years. The hundreds of books listed in Give Your Child the World have such yummy titles which, alone, made me underline many and dog-ear several pages. Martin the goes a step further, beyond just listing the titles of spectacular books for children, she annotates each one briefly. Each description gives an interesting glimpse into the book noted.

While the majority of the book is a full listing of globally minded picture books and novels, there is more to the book than a book list. The first quarter of the book is all about Jamie C. Martin. Through her story of adoption, parenting, homeschooling and her own sense of wonder and adventure I felt connected to her.  Not only did I learn about her and her particular story I also learned that making globally minded children does not have to cost an arm and a leg. I do not have to be a jet-setter, nor do I have to spend a fortune to bring the world to my sons.

All I need is a library card and a sense of wonder.

 

I hope your sense of adventure and intrigue has been set on fire…and if it has then I have a book for you!

LIKE this post and I will pick a name out of a hat by Friday August 26th, 2016. If your name is picked I will send you a free copy of the book Give Your Child the World

by Jamie C. Martin.

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