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Showing posts from June, 2011

Book Review: Twelve Extraordinary Women

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Author:  John MacArthur

Genre:  Christian

Rating (1=lowest, 5=highest):

Synopsis:  Take a journey into the lives of Anna, Rahab, and Lydia and other Biblical women and see how God worked in their lives!

Like:  I like how MacArthur gives each woman (with the exception of Mary and Martha) their own chapter, therefore giving details and thoughts.  He paints a beatiful and authentic portrait of each woman and how God stirred their hearts.  Theologically sound and very well done!

Don't like:  I didn't find anything that I didn't like.

Conclusion:  MacArthur's study of twelve women from the Bible proved informative, enlightening, and inspiring.  An excellent read!

Heroines of History: Matilda Wrede

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Some of the amazing heroines of the faith are quite famous and you've heard of them; others may be new to you. But may we all be inspired by these women's selfless lives and their willingness to respond to God's call, doing the best they could in any circumstance they found themselves in!

Today's woman is Matilda Wrede: a young woman of conviction. Born in 1864 into a life of privilege, Matilda was a Baroness in Finland. Although her mother died before Matilda's first birthday, there was such an age span over the nine children that Matilda's older sister, Helena, became Matilda's second mother at seventeen, and never married.

Horrified by the conditions of prisons and prisoners that her father and older sister had tried to shield her from, Matilda determined to visit the filthy prisons to preach the love of Jesus. After visiting them faithfully for an entire summer during her teens, the family received a letter from a young traveling minister - the one who …

Summer is for Reading

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In honor of the long, sunny days and your requests for more book recommendations, we thought that today instead of conversations we'd suggest a few to add to your list!
1. Craving Grace, by Lisa Velthouse
A memoir of one girl's search to find God and love Him more deeply - and find her delight and life's sweetness in him.
2. One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp
Can giving thanks for little things really change our lives? Our faith? Yes. It can. This is a beautiful little book. The writing is a bit cluttered sometimes, but it's a very readable and enjoyable book.

3. A Gospel Primer for Christians, by Milton Vincent

This Gospel primer is exactly what the title says - a little book overflowing with Scriptural gems on how to live the Gospel each day.  A definite must-read!

4. Hearts of Fire, by Voice of the Martyrs

Travel along with eight women as they risk their lives for Jesus.  Filled to the brim with passion and authenticity, this book will inspire you to also live wi…

I need God to be God

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I have a confession: when things are going well, I try to make God small. I want Him to be manageable and understandable. It's just too scary to not know exactly What I'm dealing with, to never be able to really understand what He's doing or why. It's so much more comfortable to try to box Him in.

And I want some semblance of control - and when things are going well, I think that I'm pretty good at controlling my own life.

Am I alone in this?

When things are good, I think I can get along just fine with a small god.

But oh, when things are hard – I realize that the one thing we desperately need is a God who is God.

I need Him to be bigger than me, and far wiser and better. I need to know that He is in control and there is a purpose behind this trial. It’s okay that I can’t see or understand the purpose, though I sure wish I could. But I desperately need to know that there is one.

I need to know that He is still in control when control has been wrested out of my gr…

Quotations: Everlasting Love

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The Word that's an Ambassador

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My friend Marie (author of "Song of Joy"  ) sent me this fun riddle that she recently composed.  See if you can figure out the word and then, with God's grace, live it out each day!
The Word that's an Ambassador by Marie Lemelin 
It causes lovely dispositions And this is not just superstition, That when given away to a grump, A smile will come and the frown will be stumped,
Children love it and old people too And all the ages in between – no not a few, It’s a fact of life that seems to grow, How it happens I don’t really know,
The savor is sweet though the cost is great And somehow it is never too late, It is found on every continent, And in order to use it, it requires commitment,
It crosses boundaries made by tongue For it knows every language under the sun, And when regularly given to even the meanest man His heart will be changed like nothing else can,
Some folks think it’s old-fashioned to see, But it’s not illegal yet and never will be, For it is something that…

Friday Footprints

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Carolyn Mahaney, from GirlTalk, posted a thought-provoking article titled "The Secret of Fulfillment".  She writes, "Our culture is constantly telling us to find our life; that we’re the center of our world, and as such, we need to take care of “me” first.  But when I’m the center of my world, my world becomes very small—because I’m the only person in it. When I try to find fulfillment in anything besides loving Christ and serving Him, I will only end up more frustrated and completely unfulfilled."  To continue reading the rest, click here.

Have a joy-filled weekend! Joanna, Jessina & Megan

Conversations: Edition Twenty Seven

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Continuing our weekly conversations...

The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join our conversations two ways:

1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer to your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.

This week's question...

What do you think of when you hear the word "grateful" (as several of you referred to in leper lady's story)?  How could we, as followers of Jesus, exemplify gratitude more in our lives?

Quotations: A Humble Instrument

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leper lady's story

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{Several years ago, while on one of my Romania mission trips, we visited and ministered in a leper village.  Through a translator, I learned the following story, which I have paraphrased to the best of my memory.  May it bless and encourage you!}
She held out her hands to me.  All of her fingers were missing.  My eyes traveled from her battered hands to her face.  Her eyes caught my attention.  They were overflowing with light and hope.  I knew she had a story to tell and eagerly began conversing with her...

"I've lived here for over 50 years, young lady.  You see, when I got leprosy, there was not much they could do for me.  I began losing my fingers and toes and having other deformities.  I was a disgrace to my family and friends.  They didn't want me near them.  They shunned me.  And it broke my heart.  I couldn't stand the rejection, so I moved to these remote mountains.  Here I found fellow leper-sufferers.  We accepted and helped and loved each other.  We underst…

Quotations: What if Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?

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Rather than posting a quote this week, we thought this beautiful song corresponded well with yesterday's topic and wanted to share!

Song: "Blessings" by Laura Story (click here if the video doesn't load)




When Things Go Wrong

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"How was your semester?"

I have a rehearsed answer to this question. "It was great! I mean, there were definitely some ups and downs, but it was a great semester."

And it was. But I elaborate more in my head: There were so many unexpected and utterly fantastic moments. I loved this past spring semester. But then there was that part that just went wrong...Unfortunately, I have a habit of categorizing certain situations like that. They just went wrong.

They brought heartache, didn't turn out like I expected, weren't what I wanted or dreamed. I'm not happy with it, so obviously it just went wrong somewhere.

But I'm uncomfortably reminded of all those verses that tell us to give thanks and rejoice always. What do we do with them when things "go wrong"? I'm pretty sure that by "always", Paul really meant in hard times because it's easy for a happy person to give thanks. Life is falling into place. Thanks, God!

How can I give…

Friday Footprints

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The Long ladies, over at Marie-Madeline Studio, have a great idea on how to share God's love in a practical way for the people of Joplin, Mississippi as they recover from the devastating tornado.  So head on over and see how you can help!

Also, if you've been looking for some Bible memory aids to help you to hide God's Word in your heart (especially since you probably have more time in the summer), the GirlTalkers have some great suggestions for you!

In Christ's love, Joanna, Jessina, & Megan

Conversations: Edition Twenty Six

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Continuing our weekly conversations...

The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join our conversations two ways:

1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer to your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.

This week's question...

What would you like to see more of here at the Bloom! blog?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!