Books, Books, Books
At the beginning of the year I wrote a new years resolution. I haven't gone back to re-read it, waiting till the end of the year. One thing I did write, is that I wanted to read more. I wanted to read books that inspire me, encourage me, and teach me things. I wanted to make a page to add to as I read books and do a little review on them. So here it goes...
1) The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gains
What I took away:
"It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there's always going to be that fake illusion that once you get there- wherever "there" is for you- you'll be happy. But that's just not life. If you cant find happiness in the ugliness, you're not going to find it in the beauty, either." -Joanna Gains
I love that. Because it comes down to our personal choice. We choose to thrive or just survive - as Joanna mentions in the book. I found myself having to make a choice to choose joy, daily. I was stuck in a darkness and loneliness and blamed others for it. I started with opening my eyes one morning and saying "today I choose joy, today I choose to thrive". I remember that morning because the sun was shining (rare on Portland winter days), and because I had such a wonderful day. I saw joy in everything that day, and I never let it go. We are meant to thrive.
This is not a complicated book. It's written by both Chip and Joanna Gains about the start of their career and the ups and downs they faced. I loved that it shows their struggles and that things always happen for a reason. That in every situation not to be discouraged. That being optimistic is key. I love that Joanna writes, "We were now both out on the limb, and we looked up and saw God right there with us". Guys, our Heavenly Father is always with us. Always waiting on us to get out on the limb and just trust Him to take care of the rest".
I'm inspired is all I gotta say.
2) The Masterpiece, by Francine Rivers
This is my favorite book right now! I love the way Francine Rivers write. She draws you in and paints the most beautiful picture of love and redemption. Not just between characters, but between God and his sons and daughters. I don't want to say much, not to give anything away. I just really recommend this book. I don't typically read fictional novels, but, when I do - they are Francine Rivers'.
3) The Power Of A Woman's Words, by Sharon Jaynes
You always hear, "there is power in words..." Well, I wanted to learn to use mine with that power. This book is such a great tool! I recommend this book for a woman's book study group. We did it over a few months and I - for one, saw a difference in the way I talk to my friends, family and my husband. I am more aware when gossip is knocking at the doors to my heart and I am just more aware of the power that words really do have in my life and everyone around me.
"Oh, friend, we should never be stingy when it comes to speaking good words to children, but rather sow them profusely. Scatter compliments! Plant affirmation! Sow courage! Water with kindness! Fertilize with prayer! There will be plenty of other people along life's journey who will sow weeds of doubt, dread, and discouragement. We have the power to wash those seeds away before they have a chance to take root or pull the weeds before they choke out the tender shoots". - Sharon Jaynes
I love that!
"Encouragement is Oxygen to the Soul" George Mathew Adams.
At the End of the study, I ordered a few wood burning pens, had my husband cut some rings from a tree and wood pieces, and we made reminders of words that have been on our hearts during this study. The Book Study Party was pretty cool. I'll include ideas for each study we do.
4) Outrageous Women, bible study by Charlotte Gambill
I've done this study twice now with two different groups of girls. I love studying the woman from the bible and their outrageous Courage, Commitment, Trust, Love, Persistence, and Strength. If you are looking for a study to do with a group of women, I strongly recommend this study. I looked on amazon so I can link it, but I only find the used copies of the book and cant find the DVD for you. You gotta go to www.charlottegambill.com to order the DVD teaching series and the work books.
5) In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson
How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars
I love this book! I love the way Mark Batterson writes as well. I've read a few of his books now. He writes in a way that you can just imagine talking to him at a coffee shop. Easy to read, relevant and Bible teaching. It's a must read. I feel people are stuck in a pit with life "lions" all around. We cave, we feed the lions (lies) or we succumb to the lions in our lives instead of killing those lies in our own pits of what seem like snowy days. I feel encouraged and fearless after reading this book. No joke. I can do anything with childlike faith!
I'm linking all the books bellow, just hit the book and it will take you to Amazon to shop.