Make a Trade

Do you have a shield?
One that serves as your defense?
How is it working?

Is your shield laughter?
Laughing when you want to cry?
Making others laugh?

Is your shield shiny?
Perfect and well polished brass?
Always looking good?

Does your shield hold pain?
Blocking out all the feelings?
Nothing in or out?

Place them in His hands.
Place yourself beneath His wings.
He will shield you there.

(Inspired by Daring Greatly by Brene Brown)

Book Review: Revived by Kerrie Oles

I have to tell you about a new book I just finished. I actually have several books I’ve needed to tell you about and it occurs to me a regular book review post might be a fun addition to my blog. šŸ™‚

The book I just finished actually inspired yesterday’s post. In fact I planned to write this yesterday and that is what came out of my fingers instead. And like yesterday as I begin to think about the book I can’t help but think about the author and the places her life has intersected on my path and influenced my journey, but that is going to have to be another post for another day because I really want to tell you about her book.

I just finished reading Revived by Kerrie Oles. This book is her life story but it is so much more. It is her story of restoration and redemption and, yes, revival. It is a story of how a good and loving God really can change the most broken heart and transform it into something very beautiful and tender. It is an interactive journey with God into the readers own process of redemption and healing in their own hearts.

Sozo is a Greek word which means saved, healed and delivered. (I’ve included a link to further information on this word here if you’d like to know more.) There is Sozo in every chapter of this book as Kerrie takes you on a journey thru her life and encourages you to meet with God in the middle of your own story. She doesn’t just tell the story so that you will know who she is. She tells the story so that you will know who God is and where He wants to redeem, restore and revive your life and your heart. She has a heart for freedom because of the God she serves and the life He has freed her into and she invites you on that journey with Him.

Do you believe in freedom and redemption? Do you believe God can transform lives and hearts that have been broken? Do you believe people change? Well, I know Kerrie Oles now. I didn’t know the person she talks about in her book. I didn’t know her until two years ago. I only knew of the beautiful person that she has become since God got ahold of her life. I’ve now read her story and I can tell you people do change. There is hope for redemption, restoration and revival. Sometimes we just need a reminder.

And since it is Monday and that usually means music on the blog, I’m including one of Kerrie’s favorite songs. šŸ™‚ It really is her story!

Focus on the Feast

16Ā ā€œWhen you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17Ā But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18Ā so that it will not beĀ obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18)

I’ve wondered about this scripture many times.Ā I’ve wondered if this is one of the reasons I never remember hearing much about fasting growing up. Maybe everyone was so good at fasting in secret that no one knew they were doing it? The problem with that is I don’t recall being taught about it either. That would lead me to another conclusion that there weren’t many people in my circle who practiced fasting.

Fast forward to today and it seems like I hear plenty about fasting and what people are fasting. Heck, I’m about to tell you what I’ll be fasting for the next 40 days. I’ll be telling you toĀ encourage you to join me if you are so inclined. I see and hear preachers and ministers talking about their fasts. On some level that bothers me because of the above verse, yet I am thankful for the teaching and emphasis on fasting. Perhaps if I wasn’t judging their motives to share? :/

Since the above verse statesĀ that fasting is toĀ beĀ done in secret and with a joyful heart and expression, let meĀ encourage you to join me on a 40 day Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast.Ā  It could be fun. Your friends and family might enjoy the change in your demeanor. You might even discover 40 days just isn’t long enough. What, you are already fasting something else? Why not double up and give yourself extra incentive to keep that disfigured countenance off your face when you really start missing that other thing you are fasting? šŸ™‚

You don’t want to fast? Then join for the feast! They say the thing you focus on is the thing you become, so forget about fasting negativity and just enjoy the positivity feast and see what happens.Ā Perhaps there is something to the power of life being spoken and feasting on light and declaring promises.

I’m about to find out!