The Girl’s Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs—-A Book Review

The Book of Ruth is absolutely one of my favorite books of the Bible. I have read Ruth many times and I always find something new within the pages that I had not noticed before. When I got the chance to review “The Girl’s Still Got It” by Liz Curtis Higgs, I jumped at the chance! I am glad I did.

I have read a few of Liz Curtis Higgs’ books which include, Bad Girls of the Bible and Really Bad Girls of the Bible and I enjoyed reading them. I knew The Girl’s Still Got It would not disappoint me and it did not.

Liz Curtis Higgs has put a different “spin” on the Book of Ruth. You not only “read” about Ruth and Naomi, you “live” each  moment of their life.  Step by step you walk along with them on their journey.  Liz Curtis Higgs does an incredible job of allowing you to live each moment of their lives and their journey with God.

She breaks down each verse of the Book of Ruth. She writes in such a way that you can see your life within the pages. Many times I would sit back and reflect on my life. Moments like when I first met my mother and law and how “scared” I was at first.  How my walk with God has “evolved” from the moment I accepted Christ as my Savior until now. I related to so many aspects of this book. I saw my life within the pages.

I liked at the end of each chapter there is a section entitled “Ruth in Real Life where real women share moments of their lives which go along with the chapter.  Liz Curtis Higgs also allows us a “glimpse” into her life as well. There is a Bible study at the end of the book which is awesome! There are so many parts of the book that I liked that I can not list them all. My advice to you is to buy the book and see for yourself.

To read an excerpt of the first chapter go here: Which Girl’s Still Got It.

To read about Liz Curtis Higgs and buy her books go here: Liz Curtis Higgs (The Girl’s Still Got It will not be available to buy until July 10, 2012)

She has an awesome video on YouTube that you must see: Ruth’s Righteous Rap

As Liz Curtis Higgs so beautifully said, “Even thirty-two centuries later, her shining example of boldness and faithfulness still blows us away”. Yes, Mrs. Curtis Higgs, Ruth still blows me away and your book allowed me to walk along her journey step by step. Thank you for writing such a wonderful and beautiful book. Who would think a book of the Bible written so many centuries ago would have such an impact on many lives. It has impacted mine and I know it has impacted many others.

Liz Curtis Higgs Liz is the author of nearly 30 books, with more than 3 million copies in print. Her popular nonfiction books include Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Unveiling Mary Magdalene, Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible, Rise and Shine, and Embrace Grace. She’s also a best-selling novelist, creating both contemporary and historical fiction, including her latest award-winning novels, Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night. And she’s written five books for young children, including Go Away, Dark Night.

Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved!) parents of two college grads, Matthew and Lillian.

For His Glory,

Valerie

 “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

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Prayer

“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” William Cowper

“Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.”  E. M. Bounds

When was the last time you prayed? When was the last time your poured your heart out to God? A song that we sing in church reminds me that “having a little talk with Jesus” will make everything all right.

My last post “Troubled Heart” received a comment from a blog that I follow. 8 kids and a business commented:

“Valerie, how timely your post is! My heart is troubled by some news I received today and have been worrying all day. After reading your post, I realized that I was keeping it all to myself and not letting go. Ironically, there is a prayer by a Catholic saint, St. Teresa of Avila, that I like to pray when I’m worried. I was so focused on myself that I forgot all about it until you reminded me. God bless. Here’s the prayer:

Let nothing disturb you
Let nothing frighten you
All things are passing
God never changes
Patience obtains all things
Nothing is wanting to those who possess God
God alone suffices

The above prayer by St. Teresa of Avila, is a powerful prayer. Christians should not let anything disturb them,  yet at times they do. Christians should let anything frighten them, yet at times they do. God knows our deepest, most inner thoughts. Why do we hold on to problems, worries, hurt and pain when God already knows about them. Why don’t we turn them over to God who already has the problem worked out? (I am so guilty of this)!

Prayer is powerful!  Praying to God about what we are going through puts Him into action on solving our problems. A friend once told me, “God can not react until we act“. God is waiting on us to come to Him and say, “Father, I can not deal with this any longer. I surrender all to you. I know you will take care of it. Thank you Father that my problem has been solved. In Jesus name, Amen”. It is that simple! We make it so complicated!

So my friends, the next time you are troubled, STOP! DROP! AND PRAY! Turn your cares and burdens over to God. You will feel better. God will begin to work!

For His Glory!

Valerie

Thank you 8 Kids and a Business for your comment and beautiful prayer! God bless you!

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Troubled Heart

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Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

(John 14:1) 

Have you ever read the Bible and although you have read a particular verse over and over, it seems to “jump out” at you as if you are reading it for the first time? Well, this happened to me Monday. I read John 14:1 a hundred times, yet this time I could not get past it.”Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, also believe in Me”. The Message Bible reads, “”Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me”.

In my prayer, I asked God, “why is this verse hitting me like a ton of bricks? What is it you want me to know? What is it you want me to do”? I knew in my spirit what God was saying to me. A pastor once told me, “when you open the Bible, God speaks”. God was speaking to me in a major way.

I have been worried about something lately. Something which has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time. Did I give my problem to God and let Him take care of it? No, I clung to it hoping I could solve the problem myself. God spoke to my heart loud and clear, “why are you trying to solve this problem yourself? Why are you worrying yourself over something you can not fix? Why haven’t you gave your problem to me so I can take care of it? Don’t you trust me to solve it for you”?

It was at that moment I knew I had to turn my problem over to God. He does not want us to worry. He did not create us to worry. He created us to live in peace, joy and love. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10). We can not live in peace, joy and love if we are constantly worrying. God is the only one who can take our problems and solve them. Yet, we try our best to come up with a solution ourselves. It is only after we have worn ourselves out that we turn it over to God, (which is exactly what I did).

My mind was so tired and worn out, I could not think. My body was tired because I could not sleep. Last night, I finally surrendered my problem to God. I told Him I was sorry for trying to solve this problem myself. I turned my problem over to God and let Him deal with it. I laid down and slept so peacefully last night. Oh what a blessing that was!

My friends, if you are troubled or burdened with something you have tried to fix yourself, turn it over to the “Problem Solver”. God already knew about your problem before it happened. He will not help you with it until you let it go to Him and allow Him to fix it for you. Don’t spend you days worrying about something you do not have control over. A favorite song of mine by Kurt Carr says,

That problem that I had
I just couldn’t seem to solve
I tried and I tried
But I kept gettin’ deeper involved
So I turned it over to Jesus
And I stopped worryin’ about it
Turned it over to the Lord
(He worked it out)

My friends, turn your problems over to the Lord. He is able to work them out for you.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) 

For His Glory!

Valerie

Scripture from New King James Version and the Message Bible

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A Symphony of Seasons Book Review

What an honor and a blessing to review another book written by Connie Arnold.  Connie Arnold is a dear friend of mine. We met through the internet as I was browsing for inspirational blogs to read. God has truly blessed me with her friendship.

I have had the honor of reviewing all four of Connie’s poetry books.  Each one has been a page turner after another. Her latest book, “A Symphony of Seasons”  is by far my favorite (although I have to say I love all her books), but there is something about this book that truly touches my spirit and soul.

A Symphony of Seasons” takes you through each season, Spring , Summer, Winter and Fall. What I love about the book is that it begins with “Songs Of Each Season” and then you begin your beautiful journey within each season through words beautifully written from the heart of Connie.  I love Spring so I chose a little “excerpt” of poetry on this beautiful season:

A Season of Hope

When spring returns to the earth

It’s a time of renewal and birth,

With a promise of better tomorrows;

When you’re trying just to cope,

To reach and blindly grope,

It’s a season of fresh hope,

With a chance of relief from your sorrows….

Connie has been given a gift which can only come from God. You not only read her words, you feel and live her words. You are uplifted, encouraged and given hope through her gift.  If you have a love of poetry (and even if you don’t), I highly, highly recommend you buy this book as well as the three other books she has written: Abundant Comfort and Grace, Abiding Hope and Love and Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace.  

Connie Arnold and her husband Tom, have two beautiful children. Connie was diagnosed with Lupus in 1987. She says, “The good that has come from it has been in being more open to God and being inspired, and in a greater understanding of the suffering of others.  Many of my poems are influenced by that and express how important it is to rely on God and how God’s love can sustain through the hardships of life.  Having books of my poetry published is a way to reach out to others in hopes of inspiring as I have been inspired, offering moments of beauty, as well as joy, peace, hope and love”.

Connie Arnold’s bio: Connie Arnold

Connie Arnold’s  blog:  Inspirational Poetry of Joy and Peace

Purchase Connie Arnold’s books and read excerpts:  Inspirational Poetry of Connie Arnold

For His Glory,

Valerie

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One Month To Live 30 Days To a No-Regret Life-Book Review

Kerry and Chris Shook have a television ministry I watch on TBN. It is called Kerry Shook Ministries. His style of preaching reaches from the youngest to the old. He explains concepts of the Bible which you can relate to and understand.

The first sentence in the introduction gives the reader what the book is about. “If you only had one month to live, what would you do“?  We really do not think about what we would do if we only had one month to live. We go along living day-to-day in a “rush and hurried” society. We take the “I’ll get around to it”, “when the kids are grown”, or “maybe someday” attitude in life. We take for granted that each day is given to us, when in truth it is not.

One Month To Live makes you take an evaluation of your life.  Are you putting things before you family? Are you putting things before yourself? Are you truly living your life as if you have “one month to live”? Are you living your dreams that you have put on hold? Are you going to your children’s “one in a lifetime” events or is someone else taking your place because you have to work or you have “other things to do”. The biggest of all, are you living the life God created you to live? Are you doing the things God has created you to do?  You do not want to regret not doing something later down the road.

Kerry and Chris Shook stated, “the pages of the book carry the vital message to which we’re devoted-how to experience life to the fullest by living passionately and purposefully, the way we were created to live. By embracing the fact that our time on earth is limited, we can live deliberately, no longer postponing the joy and peace that comes from fulfilling our God-given destiny”.

The book is written in “first person” not like other co-authored books.  The book is designed to be read daily. The book has “Principles” not chapters.

  1. Live Passionately
  2. Love Completely
  3. Learn Humbly
  4. Leave Boldly

In the “days” reading  are “Make It Count Moments” with questions the reader is to answer and think about. The end of the “daily” reading  is “Make It Last for Life” which allows the reader to react on what they just read.  As you can see, the book is not to be rushed through.

I enjoyed reading this book. I am going to read it again.  It made me sit back and take an evaluation of my life. I highly recommend this book for personal or group study. You will  sit back and reflect on your life and start living each day as if it were your last. What are you waiting for! Take the 30-Day Challenge!

You can read the first chapter of the book and also purchase it here: waterbrookmultnomah.com.  To learn more about the book go here: One Month to Live. Kerry and Chris Shook are also on Facebook: Kerry and Chris  Shook.

One Month To Live is a Christian Living book  by Kerry and Chris Shook. Kerry  and his wife, Chris, are the founders of  Fellowship of  the Woodlands Church. The church is located in The Woodlands Texas which is just outside of Houston. Kerry Shook is the pastor and his wife Chris is the Director of Missions and Women’s Ministry. They have been married for 25 years and have four children.  This book is the updated version of the original written in 2008.  The new book contains “true stories of lives transformed by the 30-day adventure”.

FTC disclaimer:

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

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Why God? Why?

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Why God why? Is a question that is asked often. It is a question that is asked from parents who have lost a child. It is a question that is asked when someone loses a father, mother, brother or sister. Death is hard for anyone. It is especially hard when a child leaves this earth before the parents.

I do not know how it feels. I have never been through this. But, I do know how my mother felt when my brother died.  When my brother died, she had a hard time. She would say, “Joe was not suppose to go before me”.  I believe a part of her died that day. Her eyes which was always so bright had now become a little dull. The bright smile she displayed so beautifully had now become a little faded. Her age was now showing on her face. A part of her had definitely died that day. Two years after my brothers death, my mom died. I believe she was ready to go. I believe she wanted to be reunited with all her family that had gone home to glory before her.

Why God why is a question that I do not have the answer to. The only thing I can say is that God knows what’s best. He knows when we will be born and when we will die. All we can do is trust in Him and know that He knows what is best. Is this easy? No,  because we are so full of grief that we do not want to believe that “He knows what’s best”.

I think about how Jesus died. His one and only Son. He died a horrible death. He was beaten, tortured, whipped and spit on. He endured all this suffering because He loves us so much. God allowed His Son to go through this because He loves us. God could have stopped it at anytime. Jesus could have stopped it, but He didn’t. He endured. He finished what God had sent Him to do. I believe the hardest part for Jesus was when He was separated from His Father for that brief moment when all our sins went upon Him. I know God’s heart was breaking. Yet, His love for us was greater than the death of His Son. The best thing is that Jesus defeated death. He rose from the grave and is alive and sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is alive!!!!!!!!!!

There is hope for those who have lost loved ones. There is a Savior who knows sorrow, pain, suffering and grief. There is a Father who will comfort you and heal your broken heart. We simply have to allow God to heal us. We have to allow God to mend our broken heart. We have to trust and believe that God knows best.

We may not understand why people die or why bad things happen.  We simply have to believe and trust that God does.

These are some scriptures which have seen me through:

 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing. Jeremiah 31:13

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 137:3

For His glory!

Valerie

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Hardship, Pain and Suffering

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

These last few weeks, well actually the last few months, have been difficult. I have attended the funerals of two people whose lives where cut off to soon. I have experienced many deaths in my life. Many of the deaths were back to back. Yet, I made it through.

Death is not unavoidable. Death is inevitable. We are born and we must die. This is a fact. Yet, I do not believe we actually think about dying until someone close to us dies. This is when death becomes a reality. This is when we realize that each passing day is a blessing. We do not know when our time upon this earth will be up. Only God knows the day and hour we will breathe our last breath.

Yet, when we read the Bible, God did not say our life would be easy. He did not say we would not suffer hardships, go through pains and troubles. In fact He said we would! One of my favorite scriptures is John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  Jesus told us we would have many trials and sorrows, yet we should not worry about them. When we are rooted and grounded in Christ and His Word, we can have God’s peace which goes beyond our understanding when we go through pains, trials and hardships. Jesus tells us he overcame the world and so will we! We simply have to go through to get to the other side. In other words, we will have to go through pains, hardships and suffering in this life before we spend eternity with our beautiful Lord and Savior!   God promises us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Rev. 21:4) In our Heavenly home we will not have to worry about death, sorrow, hardships, pains and sufferings! 

Those of you who are going through hard times. Those of you who have lost a loved one. I know how you feel. The only way I got through it all, was by the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I had to lean, depend on and trust in Him to see me through. I am here as a living witness to the powerful healing of Jesus Christ. He has healed my broken heart. He has brought me through many storms. I am so thankful I have learned to trust in Him!

My friends, place you hope in Christ! Only He can heal your broken hearts. Only HE can heal your wounds. Only HE can turn your sorrow into joy. Only Christ can get you through this life and to the glorious other side in Heaven. Call upon Him today and ask Him to take you broken pieces and make you whole again. He will. He did it for me and I know He will do it for you!

For HIS Glory!

Valerie

(all scripture from New Living Translation)

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