Hey Everyone- Can I just tell you I am over the moon excited by Kate Battistelli’s new book The God Dare which launches June 1st! That’s right THIS SATURDAY! So if you pre-order by June 1st then you are eligible for an amazing bonus bundle. But more on that I a minute.
I have been a part of this launch team for the last six weeks and can I just tell you it has been so much fun being a part of this book birthday!
Are you ready for the Dare? aka about this book!
God has called us to something….whether we like it or not. sometimes those things look really scary- ok if we are really honest most times that is the case. Is this book Kate asks some hard questions about our willingness to go where God has called us to go or do what God has called us to do. I just love it when Authors pair people from the Bible who have been in similar shoes to my own and kate has done just that. I have found myself in the shoes of Esther- do I keep my mouth shut, or speak out for justice? I have traveled with Abram and Ruth when I have left all that I know and love to follow where God leads and I can tell you right now that each of these instances. Sometimes it is just making an unpopular decision that may look like you are absolutely off your rocker to the rest of the world around you. The question Kate asks is Are You Willing? and If no why not?
Each chapter concludes with soul searching questions that dig deep into where or what God is calling you to.
Who is this book for?
EVERYONE, No seriously are you confused about where God wants you? Or is He REALLY calling me to do THAT? How about a hard situation that seems above our understanding and we are left on our knees asking what now or why or how? And if you aren’t in any of those places I promise you are heading there. And when you get there this book offers a HUGE blessing and that blessing is perspective. And many times perspective changes many things especially hearts!
SO what about this bonus bundle you mentioned?
So if your order your copy of the God Dare before June 1st- then you can claim your free bonus bundle.
Here’s what is in the bundle-
– Companion Small Group Book or Bible Study PDF
– “Those Who Take the God Dare” printable PDF
– “The God Dare Secrets” printable PDF
– “Backstage behind-the-scenes” video discussing how The God Dare came to be
Here’s how to claim your bonus bundle.
Step 1: Order the book from your favorite retailer
Step 3: Watch for my email containing your bonus bundle to arrive after June 1st!
Here is the Amazon link (this is NOT an affiliate link)
And one more thing:
And don’t forget when you get your book don’t forget to either screenshot the cover on your device or snap a picture of your physical copy and use the hashtag #theGodDare and Tag Kate in the post! @KateBattistelli
DISCLAIMER: I was given an advanced readers copy of this book by the publisher
This blog post is a long time in the making and by a long time I mean my whole life! No, I’m not kidding. Being faithful in our relationship with God is not a wake up one day accept Jesus as your Savior and BAM! you have all the faith in the world! Oh, how I wish it were the case! But it is not.
Faithfulness is a long time in the making. It is built out of learning, from mistakes, and blessings, miracles, and hardships. And I want to get this out in the open that just because I am writing this post does not mean that I have somehow arrived at this amazing level of faithfulness. It is however just the opposite. This is my processing ground. Working out my faith in some areas that can’t really be explained.
I know that there are those who think that Pastor’s families have some sort of unique “in” with God, but that is just not true. I have learned much over the last few years about my humanness. My desire to know the answers NOW in my time. The idea that things couldn’t get worse than they are now. That truth will prevail…SURELY TIS TIME. I’m gonna pray this way- and God’s gonna my answer my prayer? (which by the way he always does, but as of late I have been left standing with my hands on my head saying Lord THAT is NOT what I meant! The whole verse that says “His ways are not our ways” Has been an ongoing theme in my life and I’m standing there wondering how and why God answered Just how I prayed and things got worse…NO JOKE!
It’s in those moments my faith in God has been tested! And tested and tested…and tested again.
I’m not the type of person who stands before God and stomps my feet and shakes my fist at God and says I want this and I want it now God. I’m am the type who passionately prays for needs and lifts up those who are hurting and I seek God’s will And I can *usually* see God even in the negative fairly quickly but there are times when all of it doesn’t make sense. This is usually when this involves justice. And this year I have learned a very valuable lesson in this area that will I’m sure to unfold slowly BUT God’s justice is sometimes slow to us. The key is “to us”. And in these moments, we have two options. We can either remain faithful and say “Ok God even if you don’t_________I still will remain faithful to you and your word” or we can turn our backs on God and try to force our hands and get our own way. Sadly I have seen too often that people do just that and in the end, they may get what they want but it costs them……their faith in God and their faith slowly becomes rooted in what they can do, or what others can do for them.
So starting tomorrow we are gonna hash out and discuss Ecclesiastes 3. So, for now, you can read it here, and then tomorrow we will jump into verse one!
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What Christmas Traditions are your favorite? Have you ever wondered where on earth we get the traditions we use when we celebrate Christmas? You know, things like Christmas Cards. Advent, and Christmas trees just to name a few. Well, Ace takes us back in time to the times and places that these traditions became an indelible mark on our holiday celebrations. 26 chapters you will learn about the history and heart behind each of these traditions!. Ace definitely did a lot of in-depth research that left us with some very interesting facts. The chapters are short and could easily be read each night leading up to Christmas.
Some of the interesting facts learned in reading this book :
Many of our Christmas traditions were started or carried on through the Vikings. Especially since the Vikings had the reputation of being a brutal people group. But after the Vikings became Christians it became very important that they made remembrances of their faith.
Christmas Seals. They have been talked about and I never knew what they were-Stamp like stickers used on Christmas envelopes and I most certainly had no idea what they were used for. Well, they were used for raising money in helping people beat the disease Tuberculosis.
Boxing Day and Epiphany- As Americans we don’t usually celebrate these but it was fascinating to earn about these traditions and I must confess I have mentioned to my husband that celebrating and teaching on Epiphany would be neat for our family!
Well, I enjoyed this book immensely. Though I didn’t get it finished in my timeline I will say that it really doesn’t matter when you read this book. I do think it would be cool to read a chapter a night with our family in the days leading up to Christmas.
It’s so amazing just how much of our Christmas traditions are tied back to the Birth of Baby Jesus too. It’s a great teaching tool for kids, and it’s easy to understand. And it would also be very simple to turn into a teaching tool for even younger kids! ANYONE can enjoy this book. It is a delight to read for sure.
I also appreciated the few times throughout this book when the author admitted that he just didn’t have the answers to when exactly a tradition started. Sometimes details like a specific person, place or time are not available and I thought it was neat that he admitted to not knowing.
I honestly cannot wait till next Christmas season when we will delve into this book as a family!
I give this book 5 Christmas lights! Check out this book on Amazon.
And a super Big THANK YOU to BookLook Bloggers for giving me a free copy of this book to review! I always give my honest review and am expected to do so!
I have been here in our camper for the last four days.
Just me…ALONE, me and Jesus that is.And we have been working.Yesterday I began reading a PDF book I received in my Ultimate Homemaking Bundle a few months back.The title is Revival by Christi Gee.She walks you through portions of the book of Nehemiah where Israel is transformed.One of her thoughts really struck me and got me thinking…
Christi Says about Nehemiah 8 & 9:
Israel went through a process to experience confession and repentance. In that process the Israelites spent THREE HOURS listening to the law being readand the history of Israel’s failures and sins by Ezra and that brought them to their knees crying out, confessing to their God for repentance for ANOTHER THREE HOURS! (paraphrased from Revival)
It took Israel concentrated and extended time in God’s Word to experience growth and yet in today’s American churches we complain, moan and groan if the pastor goes over his “allotted” 30 minutes by 15. I have even read discussions from pastors on reducing preaching to 15 min total. We as Americans have lost sight as to why we NEED church (Church is for the teaching of believers.Instruction in how to live the Christian life and encouragement to keep fighting the hard Battle for Jesus!). It’s become a deed we check off our “good Christian checklist” so we can get on with our week.
There are People groups in this world who “count itall joy” to be taught God’s word for hours at a time, there are even churches (though they are few and far between) in this country that still sit and listen to their pastor teach from God’s word for an hour or more. We sit in churches week after week and we say to ourselves “I’m so thankful we live in a Christian nation,” when in reality we lie to ourselves, not only about being a Christian Nation BUT being in a Christian Church. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Churches today look more like social gatherings than sitting at the feet of our teachers soaking up truth because we need it to thrive in our daily walk as believers of Jesus. It was theirfuel that kept them motivated to keep walking forward rather than running and hiding in fear of persecution. Yes our country was founded on Christian principles, but our forefathers sat in church each week from about 9 in the morning til noon.They then took a break for lunch and came back for another 2-3 hours of teaching depending on the pastor and time of year. That is what a Christian nation was built on. That was the foundation that was laid.
(Did I mention that in many of those churches the people stood all of that time and others sat on hard wooden benches with no backs- thats dedication)
I have been re-reading some past blog posts, and do you know what I realized? I don’t blog very much about my husband!! That’s mostly because I respect his desire to not be put into the spotlight and it’s not that I am choosing to disrespect his wishes today BUT there are some days that you have to give credit where credit is due.
I was doing some prep work for a blog post for later today and I was overcome by the amazingness of my husband. The things not everyone gets to see . The things this man does and I get to support him in. The things I am sometimes guilty of taking for granted.
His Many Hats
He wears many hats and God has gifted him the ability to do them well. He and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have 4 kids ages 12,11,alomst 10, and 7. One has Autism and another has a learning disability known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder. This is a huge part of his life but the other huge part is his calling to be pastor. We have been at our current church for almost 9 years. I have watched him spend countless hours ministering to people in some very unconventional ways. He has the unique ability to meet people where they are, work side by side with them and create a relationship with them. My husband is so dedicated to his call that he is constantly seeking to grow in it, to learn and grow deeper his relationship with Christ. I have watched him pour countless hours into people, to shed tears on their behalf and still treat them with the love of Jesus when he is hurt by them. He is a real leader who can lead without an iron fist or micromanage the people he is leading. He also takes time to to fix broken things at church. He runs errands for church. he runs errands for home and as I looked at the calendar page for October I noticed there were things missing from his weekly activities
people in crisis
last minute meetings
Prep for sermons
prep for 2 Bible studies a week
And this doesn’t even begin to cover family things like convent care trips and the like.
He as a person
Though he will tell you otherwise he is intelligent and skilled in communicating the word of God. I have watched him painstakingly pour over God’s word sometimes changing his sermon multiple times to be sure to bring God’s truth, even if it stings deep within his own soul. and with that goes transparency of his heart sharing both from the pulpit and in private his struggles. He does not view himself as higher or better than another. He has strove to continue to grow in his education, that enables him to sharpen and fine tune his skills.
One of the greatest things about this man that I count as a blessing from God is his desire to do whatever it is he has set his hand to, and to do it well. Many people don’t get a chance to see this, but I count it a privilege to get a front row seat. To the countless hours counseling in person at our table, on the phone and via text message (yes that really can happen). I get to watch him wear himself thin as he goes from one meeting to the next, ones where he spends hours, days and weeks praying for and pouring over. I count it a privilege to Get to be the one who shares in his greatest joys and his deepest sorrows. I have watched him help others try to pick up shattered pieces of great disappointments.
People are important to Him
He makes time for everyone though that is rarely seen . It is done in secret to protect those who are hurting. He holds so much between him and God even I do not know all that he has been told. He drops his plans, and desires to run to the aid of another. He changes his work schedule to meet others needs and has done so, most jobs would have fired him. And this is why some days our grass is not mowed or the garbage has not been taken to the transfer station. He views our cars and home as not our own but those things belong to God, things to be used for His service. They are just on loan to us to be used for God’s work.
Care for our family
Most people don’t realize that he is the sole driver of our family. Something he committed to nearly 16 years ago when he asked me to marry him. He knew it was highly unlikely that I would never be able to see well enough to drive. So sermons are prepared as I take care of kids appointments, emails are sent and visits are made in-between all the craziness. He is an amazing multi-taskr. he uses every spare moment he can.
A week ago I posted this picture of something that is rare.
We had already
y picked up kids at 11:45
took headache medicine to the other child at school
gone to two parent teacher conferences
The poor guy had a migraine. And had about a half an hour before we had to eat dinner and leave for Awana. When I posted the picture to social media it was about the cat. She doesn’t snuggle with just anyone. She likes him a lotAnd there were very supportive comments on social media. BUT comments came outside of social media that were not so kind. And that is sad. For a man who rarely if ever takes time for himself, who pours so much of himself into others. Who seeks to build community and build others up. Who gives everything he has and then some. Who bends over backwards for anyone who asks his help.
I am truly sorry I posted it….for the flack he has taken.
So for all of this I want to take the time to thank God for all that he does both the seen and the unseen. The 80+ hours per week for church the 10-20 hours a week for his other job and the countless hours for our family. His ministry is so far deeper than most can imagine, even within the community.
I am grateful that he loves us and takes care of us. Enough to step up and provide in different ways. that he makes sure we always have working vehicles. that he makes sure that we are cared for.
I am thankful that I get to watch. I get a front row seat to his ministry, our ministry together.This also means that sometimes the seats up close see the messy things too. Those moments when people are so wrapped up in themselves to see what is really going on. Im so grateful he includes me. so many pastors and wives live two separate lives. I saw it while we were in seminary. Couples who did their own things, separately. When I am leading Bible study, he is watching the ladies kids. He helps with the RGT conference. He has mentored young men alongside me at the Pregnancy center, reaching deep into the messiness of our community.
I am so grateful to get to watch him grow into the man God always knew he would be. It’s huge blessing to see him step out and try new things to gain boldness.
To watch him give his whole life to Jesus in service. That he holds nothing back. To sacrifice.
To My Pastor
In Short during this month dedicated to showing appreciation to our pastors. I want to say a great BIG thank you.
Thank you for being a selfless example of what a godly man should be, not only for our own children but to the kids who know and love you!
Thank you for reaching me every Sunday , and every other day what the Bible teaches. I love sitting under your teaching and I learn so much.
Thank you for teaching me how to show love and grace through the good, the bad and the ugly.
AND THANK YOU for asking me to be apart of this journey with you 15 years ago. Thank you for seeing me as God does, as a women with potential NOT just as I am a broken imperfect person.
I will gladly serve with you another 15 years and until God sees fit to call us Home!