Monday, March 28, 2011

Blessings by Laura Story

I don't know if you have a Christian radio station near you, but we do. We have a great Christian station called JOY FM. The last couple of weeks JOY FM has been playing this song called "Blessings" by Laura Story. I enjoyed it and it touched my heart when I heard it on the radio, and then a friend from work mentioned it to me the other day and since then I keep having part of the chorus replaying over and over in my head. So today I am posting two videos for your enjoyment. The first is a behind the music clip from the artist that talks about how and why she wrote this song and the second is the actual song "Blessings". I hope you enjoy and I hope they speak to you as much as they did to me.

Learn more about Laura Story on her website or purchase her music:

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 2011 Prize Giveaway

Here it is...the moment you all have been waiting for!!!

The March 2011 Prize Giveaway is HERE!

Starting today and going through March 31st, you will have the chance to enter in our first ever prize giveaway. The contest will end at midnight CST and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 4th.

Want to know want you can win?

The March 2011 Prize Pack containing:

Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame
(card front)
ITunes Gift Card
Idoleyes by Mandisa10 pack of blank Greeting Cards
designed exclusively by me
$15 iTunes Gift Card

How to Enter to Win:
This prize pack will be given away by random drawing. You can enter the drawing up to 8 times. You are entered to win each time you complete one of the 8 tasks listed below. Each task can only be completed 1 time per person. This contest is only open to residents of the US.

#1 Follow this blog using the "Follow" button and comment on this post saying you have followed the blog. If you are already following the blog, leave a comment here stating that and you will still be entered for this task.

#2 Rate my You Just Said S-E-X book review using the rating tool at the bottom of the blog post and leave a comment on that post saying that you have rated that review.

#3 Rate my Not for Lazy Relationist book review using the rating tool at the bottom of the blog post and leave a comment on that post saying that you have rated that review.

#4-8 Get up to 5 friends to join this contest! When they complete task #1 they need to include your name in their comment about following this blog or you will not get credit or receive an entry for their participation.
Most of all, HAVE FUN!
Again, this prize giveaway contest ends at midnight on Thursday, March 31st. The prize winner will be announced on Monday, April 4th. This contest is only open to US residents. It is the responsibility of the winner to contact me via my blog within two weeks of the winners announcement on this blog so that I can get the address where prizes should be mailed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

FIRST EVER Prize Giveaway Contest

I am proud to announce Life as a Minister's Wife is doing it's FIRST EVER prize giveaway contest!

As you may have noticed, I have been doing book reviews for Waterbrook Multnomah publishers. I have been competing every month to win prizes and free stuff. What could be better than that and free books! So I have decided to share the wealth. The prize giveaway contest will begin on Monday.

So check back on Monday, March 21st, for the announcement of contest rules and prizes. I mean who doesn't want a chance to win free stuff! So remember to come back on Monday and find out what you can win and how you can win it.

After all it's the first Life as a Minister's Wife prize giveaway contest!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Seek Me with all your Heart: A story of healing and finding God even in the hard times

Seek Me with All Your Heart (A Land of Canaan Series)Seek Me with all your Heart by Beth Wiseman is about the love, loss, pain, and healing from an Amish point of view. It is the first book in the Land of Canaan series. The main story centers around a young Amish woman named Emily, a young Amish man named David, and their families. The story is set in a fledgling Amish community in Colorado.

Emily and David’s families left their Amish communities and families in the East to move to Canaan, Colorado, in hopes of a new start. Emily wants to put her past behind her and her mother hopes she will find healing for the tragedies she suffered just before their move. David’s family hopes to find financial freedom in this new frontier where the land is cheaper and their homestead is paid in full. Will they find what they are looking for?

Along the journey we are introduced to many other characters. Each has a unique struggle of their own that they are dealing with. But the resounding theme is that God is telling them all to seek Him with all of their hearts. He is their to help them find what they need, be it strength or peace or healing, if they will only seek Him with all their hearts.

Wiseman does an excellent job of weaving a story that will capture your heart and imagination. Seek Me with all of your Heart was so hard to put down. I just didn’t want to stop reading it! It brings the Amish lifestyle and faith to life for us Englisch outsiders and it deals with real life issues that we all face no matter how we choose to practice our faith in God.

The only difficulties I had in reading this book was getting used to some of the Amish terminology which comes from their Pennsylvania Dutch roots. However, Wiseman has provided a convenient glossary of Amish terms at the front of the book. This made it easy to familiarize myself with the terms and after looking up a few of the words I was able to recognize them when they occurred later in the book.

I highly recommend Seek Me with all your Heart! If you are struggling with forgiveness or dealing with self-worth/self-image issues, this book may hold an especially strong message for you. Once you get started you won’t want to put it down until you have read the very last page!

A free copy of this book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson publishing for review purposes.

Other Books by Beth Wiseman

Pre-Order The Wonder of Your Love
Sequel to Seek Me with All Your Heart
Expected Publication Date: October 4, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hide it In Your Heart

Recently, it was brought to my attention that there is a difference between memorizing scripture and hiding it in your heart. Yes, the two go hand in hand but the more I thought about it I knew that my friend was right. There is a difference! So that's what I am going to talk about today.

According to, memorize is #1 to commit to memory (I don't particularly care for definitions that use the defined word in them--thanks Dr. Fessler!) and #2 to learn by heart.

How many of us have memorized Bible verses to meet mission trip requirements or to earn stickers at Vacation Bible School? Do you remember them later? Maybe. Maybe not. We know them front and back and can recite them upon command--at least for a little while. But is that hiding them in our heart?

Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." The Hebrew word for hidden used here is tsaphan (tsaw-fan'). It means to hoard, protect, and treasure. It goes way beyond committing something to rote memory.

I believe that you can memorize a verse without hiding it in your heart, but you can't tsaphan (treasure, protect) a verse until you have first committed it to memory. If you are hiding scripture in your heart, you are putting it there intentionally with the purpose of guarding it from being stolen and to protect it as a vital part of yourself.

Are you hiding scripture in your heart or are you just memorizing it?

Share a verse that you have hidden in your heart. Wednesday, I will talk about a few of my life verses that I have hidden in my heart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

You just Said S-E-X!!!

Warning! If talking about s-e-x makes you uncomfortable then you will be more than a little uncomfortable reading this review and even more so reading this book.

What Are You Waiting For?: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About SexI really appreciated the way that Dannah Gresh treated sex with respect but dealt with the issues truthfully and frankly. I don’t know that hers was a message that I had never heard before, but it did provide different terminology. Gresh bases her book around the Biblical word for sex between a husband and wife – yada.

As Gresh explains what yada is and what it truly means to experience biblical sex, she also takes time to deal with the many counterfeits for yada that the world is trying to sell us. She talks about how the idea of friends with benefits is flawed in its very principle that you can even have sex without attaching yourself to your sexual partner. Did you know that you are biologically unable to have sex with another person without forming an emotional attachment to them? She talks about same sex attraction and why it happens. Plus she confronts many other common ideas touted by the world and shows the biblical and scientific principles that either refute or confirm them.

You can’t read this book without learning something. I enjoyed this new perspective on sex. The book was well written and easy to follow. It also contained true stories of individuals who have bought into the world’s lies about sex and how they have dealt with the consequences. This book is a great resource for personal or Bible study use. I recommend it to anyone high school age and above, especially Bible study teachers and youth ministers.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Other Books by Dannah Gresh

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Word from an Old Passage

Monday I promised you that I would write about what I learned from Brother Frank on Sunday. As a rule, I try never to break my promises so here it is... (if you don't know what I am talking about read You Never Let Go" )

In 2008, my parents and sisters joined Union Hill Baptist Church in Holts Summit, MO. Three years later I had still never been to their church although I had the opportunity to meet some of the church members and I had met Brother Frank three times before (when mom was in the hospital, at a women's conference, and at my grandma's funeral) so I was excited to finally be able to come experience this church they love and to actually hear Brother Frank preach. I wasn't disappointed.

After Scotty shared his testimony and sang, I knew that God had brought me to Union Hill Baptist Church on this particular Sunday for a reason. I was actually supposed to come the week before but we had to postpone mom's surprise party due to grandma's death. God knew what he was doing sending me here this Sunday instead of last.

The sermon was over a group of passages that I have heard preached several different times. Often you hear the same message from the same passage but not this time. For the first time, I realized several of the verses that Brother Frank was lumping together into one sermon are often preached individually. How many times have you heard a sermon from 1 Peter 5:7, "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you"? or 1 Peter 5:8, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour"? It actually didn't dawn on me until we read them all together that they are actually back to back verses in the Bible (I have a bad problem of remembering the verse but not the reference)! When we read them all together they took on a whole new meaning for me.

"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen." 1 Peter 5:6-11 NLT

Although these verses have great meaning individually, I think they are way different when you consider them all in relation to one another.

Brother Frank shared that Scotty was right. We all go through rough spots in our lives. We take some hits and we feel the sting of disappointment but you have to hold on to God. It all starts with being humble. God promises that if we humble ourselves before Him then at the RIGHT time HE WILL lift us up. But that requires us to first be humble and to submit ourselves to God.

Once we have humbled ourselves before God and submitted ourselves to the power of God and the will of God, then we are to cast all our cares on Him. Why? Because He cares for us. It's not that He doesn't want to hear our concerns and our worries if we aren't completely and perfectly humble, it's just that God gives us freewill and if we aren't submitting ourselves to God then we aren't allowing Him to handle our problems. We are instead choosing to try and handle them on our own which actually causes more disappointment and worry!

Finally, the last thing that really spoke to me was Brother Frank's analogy. This passage tells us to be alert adn stand firm when facing the enemy. Brother Frank said that when he played baseball in high school he was a catcher but he was a small catcher compared to most of the other players. His coach told him that because he was smaller than the other players he was going to get run over. No and ifs or buts about it. They would see his size, assume he was no challenge, and they would charge the plate. The coach told him that his job was to stand firm, take the hit, and hold on to the ball for the win. If he didn't stand firm when taking the hit then he would get hurt. However, if he could stand firm while taking the hit and still hold onto the ball then he would survive the impact and they could win the game. Then he related it. As Christians, we are small against the world. We will take hits in our lives. It's our jobs to stand firm. We need to hold onto our faith and to God so that we too can win the game and defeat the enemy. Then there will be true joy and rejoicing in our lives. We won't be living in disappointment anymore. We will have victory over the enemy. We will have victory over the depression we have been fighting. All the hits will make sense and they will be worth it.

So join me today in standing firm. Hold on to God. Hold on to faith. Defeat the enemy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

You Never Let Go

Yesterday I traveled to Fulton, Missouri, to help throw a surprise 60th birthday party for my mom. I was supposed to come and be part of the distraction to get her away from the church and back again in time for the party. My youngest sister, Gretel, said that I should come down for Sunday morning worship at their church. I decided I would, and I never realized that God would speak to me when I thought I was only there to distract the birthday girl! Today, I want to share with you a little of what God shared with me yesterday at Union Hill Baptist Church.

I don't know about you but I have had a hard couple of weeks. Three weeks ago, I was sitting in the hospital with my mom waiting by my grandma's death bed. Two weeks ago, we were at Grandma's funeral. This week I was supposed to be away from my home church again but I was actually able to be in a worship service with God's people and it felt great! So I get to surprise my mom and tell her that I came to celebrate her birthday which made her happy. Then we went into church.

A young man named Scotty (who has an undetermined part to play in my family as he sent my sister Mary a rose for Valentine's Day...but I digress) gets up to sing special music. Before he sings, he shares a testimony about what has been going on in his life. Scotty has been going through a rough time. He is dealing with the fact that he is in a season of disappointment and that it has been hard to see God lately and that he is waiting for some of his hopes and dreams to be answered with no parent response from God. He tells how this continued inaction and disappointment has led him to continual sadness and even some depression. He is braver than I am. I would never get up in front of church and say those things. Still the tears come to my eyes quickly. But Scotty isn't finished. He then shares about how God has helped him to realize that sometimes God puts these times in our lives so that we will appreciate the outcome and that He is always there with us and He will never let us go. Then Scotty sang "You Never Let Go" by David Crowder Band.

I can't help it. The tears start falling silently but steadily. I understand what he is saying. I know how Scotty has been feeling. I have lived there lately. There are a couple of things that I would really like to see happen in my life--that I feel God has promised me WILL happen in my life--that haven't come. I have been dealing with disappointment and waiting. It has beaten me down again and again. The question is will I claim the same promise that Scotty did? Will I trust that God is using this so I will see and recognize and appreciate the good things that He brings out of it? Will I trust Him to never let me go?

Only time will tell.

I have SO much more to say about all the things that God said to me yesterday through Scotty and Brother Frank yesterday. Come back on Wednesday to find out more.

Dear God, Please be with all the people like me and like Scotty who are dealing with a season of disappointment in their lives. Help us to see Your hand holding us and guiding us. May we seek Your face and find You in the midst of it all. Give us the strength to rely solely on You. Give us the patience to wait for Your timing and give us the joy of Your fulfillment of Your promises. Thank you for being faithful to us even when we lose faith. Thank you for never letting go. Amen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

He Will Direct Your Path

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." Psalm 37:5 ESV

I read this verse in my quiet time this morning. It was such a blessing and reassurance that God is working and directing the way that I should go. The thing that I so often forget is that in order for God to act or for God to direct my path I have to do two things. #1 Trust in Him and #2 Commit to let Him be in control.

When I do those two things then God will act. If I don't trust in Him and let Him take control then He isn't going to act. God allowed us freewill which means that He allows us to get in the way. So He chooses not to move until we freely choose to get out of the way. God will cause things and send promptings in our lives to wake us up and encourage us to move, but He doesn't force it. However, there are times when we suffer the consequences for our choice of not moving.

Trust in Him today and Commit to letting Him take Control then God promises that He WILL MOVE!

More Resources
"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." Proverbs 3:5-6

"The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand." Psalm 37:23-24 ESV

"I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing." Jeremiah 10:23-24