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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Defiant Joy

Stasi Eldredge is a New York Times bestselling author.  Her books have sold more than 3 million copies and changed women's lives all over the world.  A teacher and conference speaker, Stasi is the director of the women's ministry at Ransomed Heart and leads Captivating retreats internationally.  Her passion is to see lives transformed by the beauty of the gospel.  She and her family make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

We are called to live.  And, miraculously, to live with joy.

We all spend a lot of energy reaching for happiness, but we are never quite able to hang on to it.  Real life happens, and our circumstances take us on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  So the Bible's call to "be joyful always" sounds almost crazy - and out of reach.  But it doesn't have to be.
Joy is meant to be ours, a joy that is defiant in the face of this broken world.  This joy is not simply happiness on steroids; it's the unyielding belief that sorrow and loss do not have the final say.  It's the stubborn determination to be present to whatever may come and to interpret both goodness and grief by the light of heaven.
Stasi Eldredge invites us with courage, candor, and tender vulnerability to a place beyond sadness or happiness.  She shows us how to maintain a posture of holy defiance that neither denies nor diminishes our pain but dares to live with expectant, unwavering hope.

My Thoughts:
The past couple of years have been hard for our family.  Life has just been heavy and at times I've been so overcome with anxiety, I haven't been able to breathe.  Eldredge's book, Defiant Joy, could not have come my way at a better time.
"Defiant means to stand against the tide.  It means to go against the flow, even when the flow is composed of a strong current of despair and difficulty."
Eldredge's genuine sharing of her own story and transparency regarding her fight to hang onto joy has been a balm to my soul.  She holds high where the source of our joy comes from - Jesus.
"And then we turned our hearts to the One Who is our hope in the face of loss and untold grief.  Because of Jesus - His death, His resurrection, and His ascension - we chose to honor Him and celebrate that He has won and is winning still."
I appreciated the candor in which Eldredge shared truths from God's Word and how they transformed her mind and heart and have emboldened her to be defiantly joyful.
" By the life of Christ in us, we oppose death and destruction.  We dissent by casting our vote against the belief that sorrow and endless suffering win.  Instead we welcome life, love, and the full work of Christ to bring all of His goodness into every aspect of our and His domains.  We comply with truth.  We obey our God.  We respect His authority and His final say.  We overcome evil with good.  We defy hatred by embracing love.  We choose joy."
If you find it hard at times to be "joyful always"...Eldredge's book will and the truth she shares will be a welcoming salve and encouragement.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

(in)Courage Devotional Bible and Giveaway

The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible is an invitation for all women to find their stories within the tapestry of the greatest story ever told - God's story of redemption.
Featuring devotions by over one hundred writers of the (in)courage community, the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible provides resources for women to explore the Bible, dive deep into Scripture, record their own stories, and find themselves among friends.

  • 312 devotions by 122 (in)courage community writers
  • 10 Distinct thematic reading plans
  • 66 book introductions connecting each book of the Bible to the whole biblical narrative
  • stories of courage from 50 women of the Bible
  • journaling space
  • topical index
  • two-column text
  • theme verses
My Thoughts:
The (in)courage Devotional Bible is an aesthetically beautiful  Bible.  This Bible carries the CSB text which is widely becoming a chosen and trusted version by many.  
Devotional themes covered are:

  • Beautiful Brokenness
  • Better Together
  • Daily Grace
  • Everyday Leadership
  • Friendship on Purpose
  • Hope in the Hard
  • Imperfect Hospitality
  • Intentional Gratitude
  • Second Chances The Scared Brave
Beautiful colors are used throughout the Bible making it easy to follow the devotional themes and reading plans.
I especially appreciated the journaling space provided on each page of the biblical text.  My only criticism is that the pages are really thin so I would provide a word of caution as to the choice of pen/marker used.  I have found the Pigma Micron 05 pens to be the best in not bleeding through the thinnest Bible pages.
The (in)courage Devotional Bible would be a great Christmas gift for someone special in your life and a great way to encourage consistent time in God's Word.  This Bible is not only beautiful in its aesthetics but more so in the clear way it exalts God's plan of redemption from Genesis to Revelation.

Learn more about this resource by visiting HERE.

*I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher.  All opinions stated here are my own.

You can enter to win your own copy of this devotional Bible by going HERE.

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Hidden Peril

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including Dangerous Illusions.  In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of TWA'a elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.  All of her suspense novels have been ECPA/CBA bestsellers.
Connect with Irene on her website:

The most dangerous enemy is the one who has nothing to lose.

As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place.  Twenty years later, she's fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world.  All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why.  Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue -  and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly scheme.  Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die...including Kristin?

My Thoughts:
Irene Hannon has long been a favorite suspense author to me.  She writes great suspense that keeps me engaged until the last page is turned and weaves a romantic piece into her stories that never comes across as forced or syrupy sweet but genuine.
Hidden Peril was a ball knocked out of the ballpark for Hannon.  I loved how she peppered the backstory for Luke and Kristin in a way that as the story progressed I felt like I was gaining two new friends.  Hannon is a master of in-depth characterization and edge of your seat suspense.  I thought I had an idea about this one due to the way Hannon expertly wrote the "bad guy's" character, but still in the end I just sat back and said, "Wow!"  Grab Hidden won't be disappointed!
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,