Posted in Living BOLD, My Books, My Faith

A BIG Ask: A Chance to Share Your Story!

For those of you who are God-led and willing to do so, I have a BIG favor to ask of you.

This is not mandatory, nor is it demanded. This is not a whimsical request or an impersonal one.

This request has a purpose. This request will change lives.

A New Kind of Project

Many of you are already familiar with my book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents Who Found Hope in God.

https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/800343-the-miscarriage-project

Well, I am planning another book with similar format to this one, but not about miscarriage. This is about helping others through a different kind of tragedy.

Abuse comes in all kinds, but it is time to shine light into the darkness of our past. Healing cannot take place until we face the pain of our past head on.

My BIG Request

As a fellow victim of abuse, please hear my sincere request – to share your story, too.

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As a victim, you never forget, but you are not alone in your suffering. My hope is to inspire others who’ve been abused to find true freedom from their pain.

That’s why I’m calling this book, The Freedom Project.

Again, I’m only asking those of you who are ready and willing to share your story of abuse. I am not asking those of you still deep in the suffering of your wounds.

For this project, I am asking for testimonials of abuse victims who’ve found peace and healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Also, for people who’s goal in sharing their story is to help others.

Disclaimer

This is not to mudsling anyone responsible for abuse or use as an opportunity to play the blame game. All persons involved in sharing testimonies and all persons mentioned will be anonymous or names changed. This will ensure protection of privacy.

My Prayer for You

Finally, I am praying for all of you reading this. Whether you’ve been abused or not, we all have struggles. I pray you all find the freedom in Christ you’ve been yearning for.

You can email your story or any questions to: boldandbeautifulblogger@gmail.com

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Scriptures

Galatians 6:2 NIV

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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Luke 6:27-36 NIV

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

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Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51” by Jonathan Parnell

Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51, by Jonathan Parnell, is a great dive into Psalm 51!

Content

Parnell’s focus in on the mercy of God, and seeking God in daily prayer.

He talks about Psalm 51 being written by King David, when the prophet Nathan confronted David about his adultery and murder.

Parnell digs deep into Scripture, while reflecting on his own personal experiences and applications of the psalm.

Review

I like the unique publishing format of this book and I learned a lot from it. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to see God’s mercy in their lives, it will change you!

About the Author

Jonathan Parnell is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis-St.Paul, a church he and his team planted in 2015.

Jonathan Parnell

He is the Send Network’s City Missionary in the Twin Cities, where he also serves as a church-planting trainer.

He is the author of Never Settle for Normal: The Proven Path to Significance and Happiness (2017) and coauthor of How to Stay Christian in Seminary (2014).

He and his wife, Melissa, live in the Twin Cities with their eight children.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, Uncategorized

“I Still Believe” Movie, 2020

After watching I Still Believe tonight, I am in awe of the power of God, yet again!

I Still Believe

This movie is based on the true story of famous Christian singer, Jeremy Camp; of his rise to fame and his beautiful love story of him and his first wife.

My heart both hurts and is joyful. So full of the Holy Spirit, I can’t sleep without telling you all about it.

Our faith is strengthened by adversity and struggles, not cupcakes and unicorns- sorry to disappoint you.

During Quarantine

This time in our lives is so unique in that everyone is struggling. Everyone is acknowledging a common struggle and banding together to find hope.

The problem is, anything they find that’s not Jesus will disappoint and fail them.

Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to share your faith. Time and resources are not an excuse in a quarantined world.

What are you waiting for?

Speak up and let your faith do the talking. Be real, be honest, be faithful.

Scripture

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
‭‭

2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/111/2ti.1.6-10.niv

Continue reading ““I Still Believe” Movie, 2020”
Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“The Way to the Savior: A Family Easter Devotional” by Jeff and Abbey Land

The Way to the Savior: A Family Easter Devotional by Jeff and Abbey Land, is fun and meaningful for the whole family!

Content

This devotional includes 40 family devotions, to be read the 40 days of Lent, leading up to Easter.

It also includes prayers, discussion questions, journaling pages to fill in with Easter memories, and family activities.

The book is sturdy and has the potential to stay nice for a long time.

The illustrations are one of a kind, and make each day stand out.

Recommendation

This devotional is made so that it can be a family staple and heirloom for Easter every year.

I highly recommend this Easter family devotional!

Looking for MORE?

Check out this Bible reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App1

The Authors

Jeff and Abbey Land

Posted in Book Reviews

“Big and Little Activity Devotional” by Rachel Swanson

Big and Little Activity Devotional by Rachel Swanson, is a great book for all ages!

Content

Not only are there activities for kids and adults, the book is laid out so that the child and adult can do the same activity at the same time (and age appropriate to each one). The book literally folds open facing the adult and the child at the same time.

Not only that, each page contains a biblical devotional for you and your child to learn and discuss together.

Recommendation

I highly recommend this activity book for families seeking to do fun, interactive devotionals for their kids.

Posted in Book Reviews

“Little Words Matter JUMBO Coloring Book” by B&H Publishing Group

Little Words Matter JUMBO Coloring Book by B&H Publishing Group, is a good coloring book for kids.

Content

Not only does it include simple pages, teaching your child the ABC’s, counting, and colors, it includes the song “Jesus Loves Me” and a prayer of thanksgiving.

I like the integration of God and of His creation, but I wish there was more of it.

I also would have liked to see the pages be easier to tear out of the book. Since I have four kids, it will be hard to share the coloring pages, but am glad the book is thick enough to have plenty of pages.

Recommendation

I would recommend this coloring book to any parent of young children.

Posted in Book Reviews

‘The Quiet, Crazy Easter Day” by Jill Roman Lord

The Quiet Crazy Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord, is a great picture book for any family celebrating Easter!

Content

As a mom and an author, I love how this book is both developmentally appropriate for children. All the way through the story, the author emphasizes the verbs and sounds the animals do or make.

Jesus and the resurrection are the focus the entire way through, not culturally used icons, like bunnies or chicks.

I also love how the book gives kids the truth about the resurrection.

Kids are told they can talk to Jesus still today, and then gives them an action step, of sharing “the truth of Easter day” with others.

Recommendation

Not only did the author do a fantastic job sharing the resurrection story with kids, the illustrations, by Kelly Breemer, and book material quality are outstanding!

I highly recommend this book for any Easter basket!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Peace, Joy, and Jesus

As a writer, I have been thinking of so much I could say. As a mom, I’ve been overwhelmed, and not sure how down deep and personal to be.

As A Citizen…

As most of you are well aware, this nation-wide, and pretty much world-wide quarantine is less than ideal. No one could have anticipated this happening in our world today.

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Our world has technology, several have access to medical care, and the ability to travel anywhere in the world in record time.

Why would a pandemic be a problem?

As a Christian, I truly believe God is using this time of uncertainty and chaos, to bring peace, hope, and strengthen our faith.

We are most secure when we dwell in the safety of our shelter and fortress, our Almighty God.

As A Mom…

For me and my family, this period of isolation has been both a blessing and a curse.

Right before this virus disrupted our lives, I had confessed to my husband a specific concern.

I was so worried we would be sucked into the busyness that comes with each spring season. Sports, drama, graduations, concerts, outdoor activities, and whatever else you can think of.

Blessing #1

However, because of the Corona virus and the mandatory quarantine, our schedules are wiped clean from last week, until the foreseeable future. I never imagined my prayer would be answered like this.

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Blessing #2

In addition, I have been struggling with maintaining my relationship with my school-age kids. For so long, I have been home with them, and having all the time in the world.

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Deep in my heart, I miss that so much, but God has not led me to homeschool at this time.

Now, I again have all the time in the world with all of my children, this side of Heaven.

I am thankful God has heard the desires of my heart, and is redeeming this time with my kids.

So I choose to see this time as a gift from God.

Curse #1

To be transparent, I am not going to sit here and pretend this time in our world is not scary, unsettling, and discouraging.

Yet, I never imagined it would be a grief trigger, for my son in Heaven.

For me, the mere suggestion or possibility I could lose any of my children, or my husband, took my breath away. This fear caught me dead in my tracks, and I wept with sorrow.

I have no more control now over life and death, than I did almost four years ago.

Defining Moment

Our pastor’s sermon this morning really challenged my heart. Storing up possessions doesn’t provide security, only God can do that for us. True peace can only come from the God of peace Himself.

I can’t stop our family from getting sick.

I can’t prevent my family from dying from the virus, let alone any other cause.

I can’t make toilet paper appear out of thin air, just because we ran out! (Yes, a little humor to lighten the mood.)

Resolution

God is God, not me. God is in charge, not me. God has everything under control, and I have nothing under control, in my own power and strength.

Everything we have is God’s, but He loves us so much, He gives us everything we need.

Yes, I said NEED not WANT really bad or WANT because someone else has it.

As a Christian, as a citizen, as a wife, as a mom, and as a writer, I urge you to take a stand in your heart and mind.

Choose peace. Choose to trust God will take care of you. Choose to find joy in the blessings of today, not live in fear of tomorrow.

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Choose Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you will never regret it, for eternity!

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY church! Don’t lose hope! We serve an all-powerful, mighty, loving God.

Encouraging Scriptures

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

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that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

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2 Chronicles 7:11-16 ESV

“Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,

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if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”

Proverbs 3:5-12 ESV

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

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Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son (to King Solomon from his dad, King David), do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Habit Reflections

I have been doing a study lately, called “Habits” by Life Church, on the YouVersion Bible app.

Habits Devotional

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Though it is a short, well written devotional, it is so convicting! A sword of the Spirit piercing right through my heart.

Yes, I did choose to read this on purpose, because I know I needed to hear truth about my habits from God’s Word.

Our habits don’t just happen – they are triggered by a desire or need we seek to meet.

Habit Loop

Today’s devotional talked about the habit loop: cue, routine, and reward.

For example, you sit down to watch TV at night (cue), grab a tasty snack (routine), and your body feels better from positive chemicals released in your body (reward).

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Ouch!! So convicting! This has been a constant struggle for me to break this habit.

Since our bodies store more fat from food we eat at night, and the food keeps me awake, I’ve been reminding myself of a different reward. Better sleep!

However, when I get the snack craving, mint gum works for me. It actually tricks my body into thinking I’m not hungry.

Also, sometimes you think you are hungry, you are really just tired or thirsty – same chemical in the body is so confusing sometimes!

Scriptures to Reflect

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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James 1:12-25 ESV

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

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But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

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But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Psalms 26:2 NIV

Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

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Be Encouraged

Know you are not alone in having bad habits to break. Don’t be afraid to make the first step, just because you might mess up. Get back up, and try again. God is faithful to help you and give you a way out, to resist temptation.

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Remember, life isn’t just the here and now – with Jesus, it’s forever.

Helps put your life in perspective and ask yourself,

“Will this affect my eternity?

Will this still matter to me later in life?”

Be wise with the time you have in this life – don’t waste it.

Posted in Living BOLD

Challenge to Live by Faith

Too many times, we are running away in fear, when we have just the sword in our hand we need to claim victory over sin, death, and the Devil. Stand firm in your faith in Jesus Christ, and don’t look back.

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When looking at your life, how many unproductive things are in it that are fear based? How many truly stem from a firm faith and boldness in Jesus Christ?

Not This Way

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Don’t be deceived – busyness, stress, fear, sin slavery, and striving all of the time, isn’t what God wants for you.

BOLD & Beautiful

Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking you are doing “good” things and that’s enough.

God commands rest for a reason. We aren’t our best selves if we don’t rest, but resting in Him and His Holy Word.

Rebellion

What is God commanding you to change, but you refuse?

What is God begging you to give up, but you won’t?

Who is God showing you to impact, that you are ignoring?

What is God giving you that you have rejected?

Who are you?

Everything was made by and for Jesus Christ, for His holy glory – not yours.

BOLD & Beautiful
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When we refuse to obey God, we are rebelling.

We are acting as enemies of God, who have no inheritance or part in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Who are you to ignore the God of the universe?

Who are you to pretend you have control over your life?

Today, I challenge you to let go, and let God.

Let go of the passions and sins that enslave us, and cling to Jesus, who frees us from it all.