Posted in Devotional, God's Lessons, Spiritual beliefs

The God Who Sees Me

The God Who Sees Me

 

We want to be seen. Seen for who we are, not necessarily for what we may (or may not) do. We yearn for someone to see past our scars, and to see the real us inside.

 

Have you felt this way too?

 

A fiction book I read semi-recently was relating to this topic. The main character, Moriyah (you’re probably familiar with her name now since the last two Monday posts have been related to her ;)) had a visible scar as well as invisible scars. She had a hard time believing anyone would ever look past them and see the real her.

And honestly, I’ve felt something similar. With all my quirks, and my issues, I sometimes fear I won’t find someone who can not only deal with said quirks and issues, but also will see past them and see me.

As I spoke about this to God one morning, He brought to mind a quote from the book where Moriyah’s father says to her that he believes that Yahweh will bring her a man who sees past her scar for who she is.

And with that God affirmed the same to me – He will bring me someone, someday, who will see me. Not just my oddities and struggles, but me.

 

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But even greater knowledge is that He sees me.

He knows me even better than I know myself. That means He sees the absolute WORST of me, but…He still sees me, the me He created in His image. This truth touched me even deeper.

During this last Passover a while ago, my family and I gathered at our table and refreshed our minds about this holiday, and as we prepared our hearts to partake in His communion, I sat there with tears in my eyes because…I’m not good enough. I’ve got scars. Lots of them. I’m not nearly as healed as I yearn to be. But right then, as I was about to take the piece of matza bread, Jesus gave me the picture of Him holding out His wrists to me, showing me His scars. For me. He revealed to me that yes, He sees all my scars, and He offers Himself for me anyway. Freely.

 

 

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

 

 

Jesus sees me, accepts me, cleanses me, and loves me.

The very same truth is the truth for each and every one of His children. He sees you.  He is El Roi.

He doesn’t just see what you try to hide, or what you feel makes you broken, He sees the real you, the beautiful you. Fashioned by Him. And He loves how He sees you.

Regardless if any human person on earth sees you, sees me, we can rest absolutely assured that He sees us, and calls us His beloved.

Posted in Devotional, God's Lessons

The Wall

Happy Monday, readers. This is the Monday where I usually share a devotional/inspirational-type post written by me. But I’ve been dealing with some fatigue and lack of good night’s sleep lately, so haven’t really been up to writing one out. However, I didn’t want to miss this post completely, so I am sharing a devotional written by Joni Todda, that a friend of ours shared with us. I hope it encourages you as it has encouraged me.

 

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The Wall.png

 

 

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” 
Matthew 14:29-31

My friend Dan, a race car driver, was recently talking about a terrible accident in which a NASCAR legend was killed. The driver’s car had been in first place. Slightly bumped, it appeared he overcorrected and then, in the next instant, crashed into the wall. I asked my friend Dan if that kind of thing happens often on the racing circuit. “Oh yes,” he said. “Guys in their cars get into a spin, get bumped, and they see that wall coming! I’ll tell you, there’s one thing they’re trained to do. They must not look at that wall. Their training tells them to keep their eyes on the track, and steer out of the spin. If they look at the wall, they’ll freeze. Your body just reacts — you can’t help it. The answer is to concentrate every nerve on steering toward that open space.”

That answer really spoke to me. Because lately I’ve been experiencing an unusual amount of aches and pains, and it’s had me thinking about… the wall. It’s not going to get easier, Joni. Old age is coming faster than you realize, and boy, you’d better brace for an impact. As a result of my fears, I’ve “frozen up” at times, worrying about the future and its problems rather than the present and its opportunities.

Paul writes, “Set your heart on things above,” and the gospels say, “Lift up your head, for your salvation draws nigh.” It’s advice worth following… or you just might hit the wall.

Lord Jesus, sometimes my life situation makes me afraid. I feel panic rising, my mind locks up, and my fears loom like a large wall.  As best I can today, Lord, I will fix my eyes on You, and not on my problems and fears.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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There’s a wall in everyone’s life, and it’s definitely easy to look at that instead of keep our mind focused on Jesus. What a difference it makes, though, when we do persevere and look to Jesus instead of the wall before us. <3
Posted in Books, Random babblings, reading, Reviews, update

March wrap-up: Aquarium, life, books

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Hello! And surprise – this post is actually being posted while it’s still March!! I must say, I’m rather impressed with myself. ;) Just kidding.

 

So, March. We had the lovely opportunity of visiting the Aquarium this month, and met up with some friends there too, which was very nice.  We all enjoyed ourselves, and it was a very good time. :)  I’m still sad the Aquarium no longer allows visitors to pet the stingrays as they have in years past, but what can you do?

 

In our spare time, my Mum, younger sister, and I have been watching Season Six of Little House on the Prairie. If you’re familiar with that show, you’ll already know that’s when Almanzo enters the scene. ;) I love watching Laura Ingalls try to prove she’s not a little girl anymore, and fail horribly at doing so… ^.^ Though I will admit there are a couple episodes I am not fond of because of the unrealisticness of them…the writers just want drama (and no, not the original book author, Laura herself. The tv show writers).  But anywho!

 

 

I read quite a bit this month, which was nice:

 

 

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #1)  Across the Blue  Milligan Mayhem  Blank 111x148  Ghost Quest (A Milligan College Mystery Book 2) A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge, #1)  The Miracle Maker and the Misfits: Two Supernatural Kingdoms and the Clashing of Swords

Clicking on their covers will lead you to my review of the book. (The one without a cover is “Pop Tops and Smiley Faces” by Ann Naedele”). All of them have been reviewed, except for “A Light on the Hill”, which will be posted soon! :)

 

My favourite of the month? It’d be a close tie between “The Sea Before Us” and “A Light on the Hill”. Both so good and highly recommended!!

 

 

I got a few books this month. Unfortunately our camera also decided to stop working this month, so I couldn’t take pictures. But here are the books I got:

 

  • “To The Farthest Shore” by Elizabeth Camden//Thriftstore find (only 50Cents!)
  • “Refiners Fire” by Sylvia Bambola//Goodwill find
  • “Always On My Mind” by Susan May Warren//Giveaway win from author Valerie Howard
  • “An Elegant Facade” by Kristi Ann Hunter// BetterWorldBooks
  • “It Had to Be You” by Susan May Warren//BetterWorldBooks
  • “The Wonder of You” by Susan May Warren//BetterWorldBooks
  • “The Reluctant Duchess” by Roseanna M. White//BetterWorldBooks
  • “Chasing Jupitar” by Rachel Coker//BetterWorldBooks
  • “Troubled Waters” by Susan May Warren//Bought of a facebook group
  • “My Heart Belongs in Superstition Mountains” by Susan Page Davis//FB group buy
  • “All the Tea in China” by Jane Orcutt//FB group Book Swap with a gal.
  • “Stealing Home” by Allison Pittman//FB group Book Swap with the same gal.
  • “Where the Fire Falls” by Karen Barnett//Blogging for Books review copy.

 

 

I requested my last review copy from Blogging for Books (the Karen Barnett book). I’m so sad that BfB is closing its doors. That was one of my top favourite review-programs, and my first – good ol’ Blogging for Books is what started me into my reviewing journey! <3

 

So yes, quite a few…needless to say, I don’t have much book-spending money at the moment. ;) But it was all worth it. BetterWorldBooks has fair prices and free shipping which is amazing. The condition of the books are often a bit rough, but still readable!

Have you read any of these books?

 

 

I also was super pleased to review a Booksleeve this month, and you’ll see it in future pictures too, because it’s just so cute!

 

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As for other blog posts…

 

March 5th//Author Interview with MacKenzie Morganthal

March 12th//Character Introduction – Haley Hampton

March 19th// “Yet” devotional post

March 26th//Booksleeve post

 

 

And there were also some book-reviews posted between the Mondays. :)

 

 

Be on the lookout for a new Author Interview Post this Monday!! It’s a great one too :D

Copy of Author Interview_ (1)

 

 

 

How was your March, friends? Happy Passover/Resurrection Day :)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Devotional, God's Lessons, Videos

Yet

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“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

 

 

“Yet”

 
That word stands out to me in those verses above.
So many things were going wrong in this passage, disaster after disaster. They had every right to complain, to be down casted, according to the world’s standards. And yet…there’s that word. Yet. Yet I will praise You, O God of my salvation. I don’t know how he managed to utter those words when everything around him seemed hopeless. But maybe that’s just it – Habbaukkuk rose above his circumstances, through God’s strength. He looked at everything that was wrong around him, but he didn’t blame God or be broken down by despair. In fact, he didn’t even let himself stay where he was, neutral or nonfeeling, like could have. In the circumstances he described, it would have been easy enough to just shut down, or go into denial. To lose all hope.
But he didn’t. He decided to pick himself out of that mud and rise above it – to let God bring him to walk upon his high places, and say to the Lord that he trusts Him. No matter what. No matter how terrible things are, he will trust his Savior and praise Him through it all.

 
That is hard. But it is a choice.

 
Just the other week, I was faced with that choice too. My family and I were about to set off for a fun day. We had food, our ‘herd’ were in their stalls, grapes were on the vines (metaphorically); we had lots to be thankful for. But I was having horrendous sensory issues that morning. The tears were uncontrollable, I couldn’t stand what I had on, and I was stressed over ruining the fun we had planned. We had to leave in less than half an hour, and I was still sobbing.
My dear mother encouraged me to go up to my room and seek Jesus. Even just for the 10-15 mins before we had to leave.
As I sat in my room, I cried and poured out my heart to God, expressing myself to Him that I didn’t want to be uncomfortable, I wanted to have fun today. I wanted my clothing to feel fine so I could enjoy the day.
I opened my “Jesus Today” to the “randomly” picked devotional, and one of the verses shared was:

 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

 
The devotional went on to say how we are so strongly inclined to lean on our own understanding and that mindset dies hard. But the truth is, we can’t understand His ways with us. He is infinite. Thankfully we can rest assured that He has our best interests at heart.
I continued to pray and listen, and was just utterly hit with the reminder that Satan is a thief. He was doing his utmost best to keep me thinking on my clothing, keep me focused on the worry that I wouldn’t have a good day unless I was comfortable. He was trying to steal my joy. And I was letting him. Until I said NO. He’s an expert thief who comes in unannounced, but oh so present. I read the verses I had on my wall, each pouring into me the strength of Jesus, of His Word, and His promises. I verbally told Satan, “No” through tears. I had to repeat it over and over, “You will not steal my joy today. You will not ruin my day just because I hate my clothes. No.”

 
We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)

 
I hated my clothing. But because of Jesus, I could rise above that. I could employ the ‘yet factor’.
These clothing pieces may feel awful and they may needle me, but YET I will trust in God. I will give this day back into HIS hands, because isn’t that where it starts?

 
“Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat 6:33

 
I was so focused on my clothing and my comfort because I wanted to have a good day. But a good day is not dependent on whether or not I am comfortable. A good day is not dependent on the circumstances around us. A day is good because it’s from Him and has been submitted into His hands, for His glory.
So as we left the house that morning, I continued to repeat the verse “We are more than conquerors” and I did end up having a very good day. Because I took my focus off the thief and his pursuits, and put them on my Savior.

 
Yet I will praise You.

 

This song is a beautiful one with lyrics that correlate with this post.

 

Posted in God's Lessons, Spiritual beliefs

The Feast of Dedication

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Hello!

I don’t think I’ve ever really mentioned this on here (and if I have, well…memory blank! Just keep swimming ;)), but my family and I have come to learn quite a bit about the Biblical Jewish Holidays over the years, and one of those that we celebrate now is called the Feast of Dedication. Some call it Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights. The meaning behind it is all the same. It’s been a really neat experience to learn more about the Biblical Holy Days. To celebrate the ones that Jesus Himself celebrated, not just man-made holidays.

And yes, it’s been a change to switch to these holidays, but it’s been so good. I can honestly say that. Each year as we learn a bit more how to better celebrate the Feasts, it becomes more enjoyable. I think my favourite feast is this Winter one – The Feast of Dedication.

A family friend wrote a beautiful devotional about this Feast, and I wanted to share that here, because it really is encouraging, and also informative. Let us all shine brightly for Him this season and always! Enjoy reading this devo :)

 

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“Be The Light” by Anita Nelson

“Tuesday night began an 8 day celebration in remembrance of the dedication of the 2nd temple after the Jews reclaimed it from those who had polluted, defiled, and profaned it for over 4 years. It is a time of rededication.

Each year, the Jews remember their countrymen who died for God’s laws when …they were told they could no longer worship God in the way he had taught them. These few men preserved the Word of God so future generations would receive it.

This was a Holy War made up of few Jews in number, but numbers did not matter to them, because they trusted victory comes from God.

Just thinking….
Without Hanukkah, there would be no birth of Christ, no Savior, no songs like Oh, Holy Night.

Think on this!

John 10:22-23 tells us that Yeshua himself, kept the Feast of Dedication .
It is not a Jewish Christmas as so many of us have once thought. It is the story of God’s children refusing to assimilate into other pagan cultures. Let us learn from them!

Let us be set apart, peculiar people who will die to keep, and guard God’s commands!

Yeshua came to be the LIGHT of the World. And, this occasion is a reminder to all of us to be a light to the world.

He brought truths which made Way for all of men to see the path of righteousness, the Way of being right in God’s eyes. Those who don’t have God’s light are not sure where they are, as they are walking with just a small measure of light…the seed of God planted in them. But, just like all seeds, they need light to grow, they need God’s Truth. They need God’s Truth to guide them in what is right. So, those of us who are walking in the light, are to share our light with others who are walking in darkness. We can point them in the right Way!

Just as a light house sends out a beam of hope to guide big, and small ships to safety, our light does the same… When we share our light within us, we help others from having a ship wreck. The more light you and I have, the easier it is for others to know the Way. Many people in this world do not read God’s Word, so our righteousness is an instrument in showing the Way! This, is what Yeshua did. He came in the flesh to show people how to fulfill Obedience to Torah (God’s instructions) by doing it perfectly. We desire to be perfect as He is! And where we fail, there is forgiveness.

Let each one of us be God’s light in whatever sphere of influence he has placed us. Ask God to shine more of His “light” into you. Then, do not hide what truths you have been given, but rather, give them out to others who are seeking light in the darkness. I urge you all to be God’s light today!

God bless you all, in Yeshua’s name, and in his authority! Now, SHINE!”

 

Posted in Book reviews, Reviews

“Jesus Always: A Devotional” by Sarah Young

 

“Jesus Always” by Sarah Young

A Devotional

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

With scripture and new personal reflections “Jesus Always” brings Jesus’ message of joy—for today and every day. Experience true joy—now and always.
Life today is full of difficulties—loss, sadness, fear. In the midst of these challenges, joy often feels impossible or out of reach. But Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain, and discontent. He offers life abundant, life to the fullest, life brimming with joy! Jesus Always, the new 365-day devotional from bestselling author Sarah Young, was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in scripture. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always invites you into a new way of living—a life of joy. 

This deluxe comfort print edition includes easy-to-read large type and the full scriptures printed out.

Reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God, these devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus—the One who meets you where you are. Draw near to Him in Jesus Always.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

I love these “Jesus…” devotionals. They’re so beautiful, and full of Biblical truth, spoken from Jesus. I can be kind of picky when it comes to daily devotional books, but these have been a blessing to me, each day feeling like it came right from Yahweh just for me. The Lord definitely uses them in my life, and I find great encouragement in them.
“Jesus Always” has a beautiful cover, leather-like binding, and lovely script. This book is larger in size than my other devos, and is easy to read.
I definitely recommend “Jesus Always”, as well as the other devotionals compiled by Sarah Young. They’re full of truths and comfort.
Posted in Book reviews, Tyndale House

Tyndale Review: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You – a devo for girls by Kylie Bisutti

Title: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You – a devotional for girls.
Author: Kylie Bisutti
Type: Non-fiction, inner beauty, devotional
Source: Tyndale http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/
Number of Pages: 63
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Description:

Despite what the world leads us to believe, true beauty has nothing to do with outward appearances. The more we focus on what we look like on the outside, the more insecure we become.
Fortunately, God doesn’t measure our worth by how we look. We have value simply because we are His children. The more we focus on getting our hearts right with the Lord and honoring Him, the more secure and confident we will become—and the more we will exude true beauty.
In 30 Days to a More Beautiful You, former Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti gives a complete inner-beauty makeover with succinct devotional readings designed to transform your heart, body, mind, and soul and put you on the path to becoming a happier, healthier, more beautiful you.
The perfect gift for every young woman, this devotional will forever change the way you define the word beautiful.

My Review:

I quite enjoy devotionals, so I was looking forward to trying this one. Some devotionals can be in-depth and good, and others can be lacking. This one, however, was very well-written, and you can tell Kylie Bisuttu shares from the heart. It is all sincere, and past-experience for her. I really appreciate that. This devotional, though very short, has depth to it, and plenty of wisdom.
I haven’t read her whole story, but what I have gleaned from this devotional, I am encouraged by Kylie Bisutte’s testimony, and would be interested in reading her book, “I’m No Angel”.
I think this devotional would be a great influence on young teen girls especially, as they try to find their way in the world. But it is a good devo for all ages, truly.
It’s beautifully crafted, and encourages us that inner beauty from the Lord is more important than outward beauty.

Note: I received this book free from Tyndale for the purpose of this review.