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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Colorado Power Pack - Gabby Mom Review & Giveaway

Wow! May has flown by!
In the busyness I have been blessed and encouraged from two great places. 
One is the wonderful ladies who shared the resting posts with us for the month of May. Their insights on resting and their kindness to me were wonderful. Please review their posts if your May was as crazy as mine and be encouraged! (links below)
The other source of encouragement was Lorrie Flem's talks included in Encouragement: Colorado Power Pack Audio Set. This set includes eight lectures Lorrie has shared along with notes for seven of them! I did not listen to every one. I was encouraged by every one I did listen to. I even listened to some of them more than once because the perspective Lorrie shared was just what I needed to hear. Keeping priorities is hard when life is busy, but no less important. It helps to be reminded frequently so the time off track is short. 
Lorrie is an encouragement to me and trying to narrow down what would be most helpful is tricky. The bundles available at the EE website are a great solution. For the price of just two or three messages you get far more. Many of the bundles contain ebooks as well.

You can win the Colorado Power Pack that I have been encourage by. Simply follow the link above and enter the requested information. I know you will be blessed.

Disclaimer: As a Gabby Mom with Eternal Encouragement I was given the Colorado Power Pack Audio Set in exchange for my honest review.

Resting Posts for May

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sought Out by Jeannie Pallett

As I was thinking of things I needed to do before traveling to help my mother-in-law for a few weeks I thought about my blog. I really want to keep going with my weekly posts on rest. I also want to be realistic and not set myself up to fail. God blessed me with the idea to ask fellow authors and bloggers who have blessed me with their writing to share their thoughts on rest. The next few weeks I will be doing just that. I hope you are blessed as I was.
Welcome Jeannie as she shares a beautiful message on resting.

Sought Out by Jeannie Pallett 

God is so amazing in the clarity of His answers to our generic questions.

The other morning I asked Him what He wanted me to do that day ~ my usual plan has been to attend Aqua fit classes three mornings a week ~ admittedly I was feeling very much as if I hadn't been spending quality time with Him or my duties in my sphere of influence.  However, I still wanted to go to the pool...

Anyways, I was on the loveseat with coffee, notebook and my Bible, rearranging things, asking Him the Question, when my Bible slid off the arm of loveseat and plopped, open into my lap.  Now I am not a point and read kind of girl but here is the underlined verse my eyes landed on:

"And you shall be called Sought Out."  Isaiah 62:12

My heart! My heart just melted within me as I realized He, the Mighty God, Lord of All Creation is seeking after me, and He wants time spent with me.

"To perfume and prepare me for service."

He is saying to me, as He is seeking me, "Be still,  hush, quiet, slow down.  Know Me as your God, as your Salvation and Redeemer.  Be still My child. Be still.

I know your desires and I know My plans and purposes for you.  Be still ~ allow the alignment of your will, desires and dreams to click in place with the plans of the Spirit I have for you.

Be still.  Can you see how close you are?  Be still, you will hear the click of the alignment.

Be still for I seek after you, I desire you to be in My Presence.  I have sought you out and marked you as My Beloved, I have sought you out as one who loves Me and longs to be of service to Me.

Do you have any idea Child, how much it pleases Me, pleases My heart when My childrens' deepest longings and desires are to be of service to Me? That is why I have called you Sought Out.  Will you yield and will you surrender?  Will you say, "Here I am? Send me!"

You can only go if I have prepared you. That is why I say, "Be still." I search your heart.  I love getting to know you, watch as you walk in the ways I have taught you.  I take such great delight as you present yourself to Me.  Truly, your presence is such a precious gift to Me.

Come, for I have called you Sought Out.  I have already found you, and now I am calling you out.  Now I am putting my finger upon your life and saying, "Jeannie, Gracious Gift, I have called you Sought Out.  I know where you are, but I long to hear your heart and thus I seek you out."

"I don't want to worship from a distance, Lord; I want to come into that holy place, that place where holiness dwells.  Cleanse my heart by the Blood of Jesus.  I ask You to forgive my sin that I might enter, whiter than snow and yet dripping red ~ You have harboured me Lord, kept me in a safe place in the midst of the storms of life.

You seek me out.  I have no gift to bring my King save for a heart that longs for You.  I seek You out, Lord; I seek to know the essence of You.  What constitutes that beautiful fragrance, what constitutes your heart?  I want to know.

I am undone, for how shall I ever touch Your holiness ~ how shall I ever gaze upon Your fiery brilliance... Father, thank You.  You understand that I keep wondering, "What about me?  What about me, what is my purpose?  It seems to be the question of my life.  What about me, Lord, what is Your plan and purpose for me?

And in part, Your answer is, "I have called you Sought Out."

Romans 9:18 tells me that You have had mercy for me.  I receive Your mercy O God that You have laid up for me.  I receive Your mercy.

You reveal my heart in verse 20 ~ "Will you say to Him who formed you "Why have you made me like this?"

The Potter has power over me ~ He has chosen to make me a vessel for honour.

Romans 9:23 is telling me that He wants to make known to me, ~ a vessel of mercy ~ the riches of His glory ~ He long ago prepared me to be a vessel who carries His glory for His honour and glory.

And so again He says, " And I have called you Sought Out, Sought One, My Beloved, I have made you for Myself"

2 Timothy 2:21 " Therefore, Jeannie, because you have repented and are dripping red with the Blood of Jesus, you will be a vessel for honour, sanctified, set apart (because I have called you Sought Out) and you are useful to Me, your Master, prepared for every good work."

You are prepared because you have allowed yourself to be the Sought One.

You have allowed stillness to be active in your life so that you would see My hand and My power at work on your behalf.  Powerful.

As My servant, you will pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on Me with a pure heart.  You will not be alone; you will be with those I have called you to serve with.  As My servant, you will be gentle to all; you will be able to teach.  You will be patient walking with humility and with gentleness and humility correcting those in opposition.

When I call you "Sought One" it means I want to be in your presence Child. Our relationship is ongoing and it is built upon the bricks of truth and revelation is the mortar."

Jeannie Pallett is a woman who is being molded and shaped by the hand of God and is learning the joy of surrendered obedience to her King. He is bringing her through tragedy into triumph and she writes and speaks from a perspective of victory knowing that Jesus is truly the Overcoming One in her life.
Jeannie has discovered that it is the lessons of the heart that impact and change lives and is passionate about the family of God learning to live in the fullness of faith.
Jeannie and her husband are currently facing the biggest battle of their lives and yet choose to declare victory and inspire and encourage many.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strive to Rest by Amy Layne Litzelman

As I was thinking of things I needed to do before traveling to help my mother-in-law for a few weeks I thought about my blog. I really want to keep going with my weekly posts on rest. I also want to be realistic and not set myself up to fail. God blessed me with the idea to ask fellow authors and bloggers who have blessed me with their writing to share their thoughts on rest. The next few weeks I will be doing just that. I hope you are blessed as I was.
Today I share my blog with Amy, blessed indeed!
Strive to Rest
by Amy Layne Litzelman

“Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].” (Hebrews 4:11, AMP)

Resting is a very interesting concept. You could probably ask a hundred people what it looks like to them and get a hundred unique answers. At different points in my life I might have pictured reading a good book while the kids were asleep, a week at the beach, or waking up refreshed. Others would say, “A day off of work,” or “The feeling after a project is finished.” All of these would fit into the definition of rest, in both the English dictionary and in the Bible.

Our human bodies need consistent blocks of time to recuperate after a day or season of activity. When Jesus walked the earth, He regularly took time away from serving the crowds and urged His disciples to do the same. This anapauō type of rest is a ceasing from labor in order to recover and regain our strength.

There is a rest, however, which far surpasses a physical recuperation. Katapausis (pronounced kä-tä'-pau-sēs) does not depend on our level of activity, remaining constant even when the body is exhausted. This rest does not hinge on governmental peace or if we live in abundance or lack. Katapausis is a resting place during the greatest storm; a peace unshakable.

I recognized glimpses of it as I read the words of Katie Davis in her book Kisses From Katie this week. In the midst of thousands of starving, hurting people in Uganda, this young lady strives to look past the vastness of the task, beyond the impossibilities that surround her, and into the truth of Who Jesus is. She walks out one day at a time, obeying His leading while trusting in and relying on His goodness, His strength, His wisdom, and power. And at the end of each day, she looks back to see all of the mighty things He has done and knows joy beyond understanding.

As the world seems to be going faster and faster and the trials and tribulations increase with each passing year, having a higher level of rest available to us is of irreplaceable value. Yet, it does not come without cost. The author of Hebrews urges us to strive diligently to enter this rest. What does that mean? How do we strive to rest?

·         First, one of our highest priorities should be to have a soft heart before God.

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel]…” (Hebrews 3:7-8a)

A soft heart is an open heart. A soft heart is vulnerable and honest, allowing God to show us the truth about Himself, ourselves, and our circumstances. It is often painful, but only in this place can we avoid devastating lies and snares of our enemy and walk in the joy and freedom God desires for us.

On the other hand, if we push certain sins and issues back in the corner in an effort to not deal with them or keep them hidden, our hearts will become more and more hardened and deceived by sin. We will begin to think we know how best to live out our lives. This pride and rebellion will separate us from the One Who is our only hope of freedom.
·         Second, we must obey what the Father tells us through His Word and by His Spirit.

“So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.” (Hebrews 4:6)

Obedience is the litmus test of humility. A step of obedience reveals that our heart has not completely hardened against God and opens us up to see the loving sovereignty of our Maker. In obedience we come to understand that God knows all things and moves in perfect wisdom, power, and love.

I John 3:24 tells us that those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with Him. I love the picture the Amplified Bible paints: “They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.” In this close communion, katapausis can be found.

·         Third, we must come to a place of absolute trust in God alone.

“For only we who believe can enter his rest…” (Hebrews 4:3a)

God does not ask us to have blind faith. He constantly shows Himself to be perfectly wise and powerful. Although the Israelites left slavery in Egypt with many great signs and wonders, they failed to enter into the rest God desired for them because they did not come to a place of trust. When difficult circumstances arose, they quickly fell back on their own understanding instead of placing their faith in the faithfulness of their Savior. They believed in their weakness more than they believed in the power and goodness of God.

We are faced with the same dilemma today. To enter into the fortress and hiding place of peace, we must choose to look beyond physical circumstances to the truth of Who God is. We must choose to rely upon His goodness, wisdom, and power when all of the facts around us yell out that failure is imminent. We must choose to put our faith in God over the cries of our emotions or weaknesses.

This choosing may start out as a gritting of the teeth and a holding on with all we have, but as our God reveals His faithfulness over and over again, we learn to lean back into Him and truly rest.

Now, before we get too overwhelmed at what we must strive to do, read further in Hebrews 4. Our Father does not leave us to work these things out on our own.

Ø  First, He gives us His Word – alive and full of power, sharper than any two-edged sword – to expose, analyze, and judge the very thoughts and purposes of our heart. We don’t have to wonder what is right or wrong. When we read the Word of God in humility and hunger, the Word itself will penetrate into our hearts and reveal within us what must remain and what must be changed.

Ø  Second, God gave us His Son, Jesus, Who has shared in all of our weaknesses and assaults to temptation, and so understands what we are walking through. Because He walked in perfect relationship with the Father and without sin, He is able to give us mercy in our failures and grace to help with every need. And, He beckons us to come fearlessly, confidently, and boldly to His throne.

“Striving to rest” seems like an oxymoron. But as we lay aside our pride and live before our God with a soft heart, as we exchange our sin and rebellion for His plans and purposes, as we believe that He loves us perfectly and can be trusted explicitly even in the things we don’t understand, we find a place of rest that no one can take away. A rest that cannot be shaken.

It was in this rest that Paul was able to write letters full of hope and thanksgiving even while sitting in prison. It was to this rest that David returned in Psalm 55:23 after wrestling with his fears. It is into this rest that our Father calls us today. Amazing. Be zealous to enter in.

*  *  *  *  *

How have you experienced katapausis? What do you do to remain in His rest?

Amy Layne Litzelman 
Author, Teacher, Worship Leader 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Real Rest by Victoria Stankus

As I was thinking of things I needed to do before traveling to help my mother-in-law for a few weeks I thought about my blog. I really want to keep going with my weekly posts on rest. I also want to be realistic and not set myself up to fail. God blessed me with the idea to ask fellow authors and bloggers who have blessed me with their writing to share their thoughts on rest. The next few weeks I will be doing just that. I hope you are blessed as I was.
Today I am privileged to welcome Victoria Stankus.

REAL REST by Victoria Stankus

Are you weak in spirit? Is your heart heavy with a burden? Read what it says here in Matthew 11:28:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Its not just a physical kind of rest Jesus is talking about here. (Taking a nice warm bath, or getting a massage can help with that for a little while.) Its REAL REST He’s talking about - the kind that comes from within - the kind that comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus and allowing HIM to carry our burdens. 

Think about this past week for a moment....
-How often have you lost your self-control?  
-How often have you yelled at your children for something they did wrong?  
-How often have you raised your voice to your spouse because he/she wasn’t meeting your expectations?  
-How often have you chewed out a friend over something that was rather unimportant? 

Losing your self-control in these ways is usually caused by being tired, stressed, overworked, and feeling unappreciated. I admit I am among those of you who have felt this way recently; and I know ALL of us do at one point or another. It is a typical human response as we seek fulfillment from others, rather than from the Lord.

It is a good reminder for us all to realize sitting at the feet of Jesus is what will bring more rest for weary souls than anything else. Lorrie Flem, the Publisher of Eternal Encouragement Magazine has said,
 “You cannot be a nurturer unless you yourself are nurtured.”  But, it’s a matter of choice. If we neglect Him, or don’t take the time to rest in His presence, our feelings of frustration and despair will get the best of us. So, what do YOU think would be the better choice? 

I love this old hymn that talks of this very thing...
Words by: Joseph Scriven, 1855
What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer! 
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Are we weak and heavy-laden, Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge Take it to the Lord in prayer; Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He'll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there. 

Victoria Stankus has been married for 20 years, and is a homeschooling mother of two children. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching a good movie, organizing, bargain hunting, and writing for her blogs. You can visit her main blog, where she uses a variety of topics to encourage others in their Christian walk, at: http://he-holds-my-right-hand.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And the Dove Rested by Lynn Mosher

As I was thinking of things I needed to do before traveling to help my mother-in-law for a few weeks I thought about my blog. I really want to keep going with my weekly posts on rest. I also want to be realistic and not set myself up to fail. God blessed me with the idea to ask fellow authors and bloggers who have blessed me with their writing to share their thoughts on rest. The next few weeks I will be doing just that. I hope you are blessed as I was.

Today I am honored to share my blog with Lynn.

And the Dove Rested by Lynn Mosher
For forty days and forty nights...

The floor of the great abyss ruptured, spewing skyward enormous streams of steam from its belly. It roared in agony as it billowed into a surging mass of catastrophic power, pounding angrily against the ark, which cradled the nucleus of humanity in safety from the judgment upon the earth.

The once calm seas broke open their storerooms and heaved forth their reservoirs as frothing waves. Never having rained before, the windows of heaven now threw open their sluice gates, unleashing their inner resources as great torrents.

And the ark, listing from side to side, rose up with the waters.

“And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.” (Gen. 7:24 NKJV)

God then restrained the waters and made a wind to pass over the surface, and, as the waters began to decrease, the ark rested on top of Mount Ararat.

The definition for Ararat is interesting. The Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew Lexicon says it means the curse reversed: precipitation of curse. Noah means “rest,” and its root word basically means to settle down, cause to rest, to deposit, and so on. As the curse reversed, the waters deposited the ark, causing it to rest on Ararat, and so, too, did Noah, probably heaving a big sigh of relief.

After months of the waters receding, Noah sent out a raven that went “to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.” (Gen. 8:7 NKJV) Noah also “sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.” (v.8 NKJV)

The dove went out into the world, searching upon the waters of “drifting waste of sin and judgment” (A. B. Simpson) for a resting place. But “the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot” (v.9a NKJV), so she returned to the ark. And Noah “put forth his hand and drew her to him into the ark.” (v.9a Amp)

“And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark.” (v.10a NKJV) This time the dove returned with an olive leaf, which is not only a symbol of peace and reconciliation but is also a symbol of prosperity, divine blessing, beauty, and strength. The sign that judgment had passed and peace was returning

Each time the dove returned, Noah welcomed her back, putting forth his hand, and drawing her to himself, to her resting place in the ark.

Isn’t that a comforting thought of our Lord? When we encounter chaotic circumstances, do we go out into the world searching for rest, peace, and satisfaction? We will not find them there.

The Lord’s graciousness to us is the same as Noah’s was to the dove. Christ is our Ark of safety, our resting place, and in our wanderings, He reaches out His nail-scarred hands and pulls us to Himself for comfort and protection. As scripture says, “The Lord will certainly deliver and draw me to Himself.” (2 Tim. 4:18 Amp) Interesting. Draw means to rush or draw (for oneself), rescue, deliver, or preserve from.

He lovingly says to us, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jer. 31:3 NKJV) “In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved.” (Isa. 30:15 Amp)

Christ clutches His Bride in His eternal arms of love, “And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isa. 62:5 NKJV)

Do you roam the earth, flitting about from place to place in search of a place to light upon for rest, peace, or safety? Do you find it? In your unrest, let your weary wings take you back to the Lord, to seek that secure resting place in Him alone.

The Lord continually draws you to Himself by His Spirit. Return to the Ark and find rest unto your soul.

From His feet, Lynn

At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, Lynn embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby of 46 years in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets but visited by three grand chicklets.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eternal Encouragement Facebook Party

As a Gabby Mom I will not have a review for you for April.  I have something better - the Eternal Encouragement Facebook Party! Come and hang out with Lorrie Flem and other moms on Eternal Encouragement’s Facebook page.
Come and be encouraged!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Resting in His Calling

1 Corinthians 7:20  Let every man abide [stay, rest] in the same calling wherein he was called. 2 Thessalonians 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
 2 Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
There is so much pressure in our culture. Perhaps it comes from comparing.  A few weeks ago ThePower of Moms posted Your Children Want You. It created quite a stir. April shared how easy it is to feel like a failure in our culture. We look around at the store, at church, and even at home thanks to the internet. In all these places it’s easy to compare our worst with everyone else’s best. I haven’t seen too many project failures on Pintrest.
I struggle with this even when it comes to how I spend my time. As an author there is more advice than I could ever even read about what I NEED to be doing to make my books successful. If I can’t even read it all there no way I can DO it all.
I homeschool my children. The list of options and possibilities is again more than could be done in a lifetime, much less a school career, or this year.
 I’m a Christian. I’m sure you are aware of how many great Christian causes and organizations there are out there, all of which need volunteers and support. If I’m not careful I can feel the pressure to be and do more all the time- even within the church. Maybe it’s my people pleasing personality. Someone shares how they experienced God or what God is leading them to do and I receive it as pressure to be like that, too. Sometimes it comes across as “If you’re not doing xyz, you’re missing God.” God made us all different and we will each live out our faith differently according to our personalities, gifting and seasons of our life.
To combat all these influences I must rest in what God has called me to in this season. To rest I must know. What is His calling for me?
As I was searching for verses on calling I found the word used is not as much of a vocational call as we often use it but an invitation. How like our Father? He is inviting us to believe. Inviting us into relationship.
Ephesians 1:17-23  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  (18)  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,  (19)  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  (20)  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  (21)  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  (22)  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  (23)  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
He also has things for us to do.

1 Corinthians 1:24-28  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  (25)  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  (26)  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  (27)  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  (28)  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

We are to confound the wise and mighty and bring to nought things that are against our Father’s Kingdom.

I can’t be pressured for that to look the same in my life as in anyone else’s.  God has called me into relationship with him. He has called me to care for my family. So, though I do want my books to be successful; I do believe they are valuable tools for families, they didn’t make my list. If my books are a success and I don’t have a lasting relationship with my children I have failed. My children will be grown all too soon. I can work on marketing my books, after I have taken care of the things that matter. Making my home beautiful, serving in ministries, writing more books all have to come after God and my family. Taking care of my home and making it functional and beautiful is part of blessing my family, if I don’t neglect them in the process.
I can rest in God’s promise that if I seek him first, his calling, his invitation, ALL these things will be added to me. (Matthew 6:33)
I can rest knowing God will give me the wisdom and resources to handle everything he has called me to do. There’s no promise of resources for the tasks I give myself.
Question: Do you feel pressured to be or do more by our culture? By others? By yourself?
Challenge: Ask God what he is calling you to. Commit to rest in his calling regardless of any pressures to be or do more.