A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes {Book Review}

So I reluctantly chose A Sudden Glory- God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More  as a book to read for review. Why was I reluctant? After all Sharan Jaynes is an international speaker and author of 17 books. She served as vice president and radio co-host of Proverbs 31 Ministries for ten years…stop right there. I just thought to myself, without realizing it, another Christian Woman book. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah. But still, something in the description compelled me to choose it despite the fact I expected less than anything grand.  As you can see I am getting cynical now that I am a bonafide book reviewer! Ha!
Well I was wrong, it is a truly grand book! This book is filled with life changing truth and seasoned with extraordinary levels of grace expressed in a way that I found to be easy to move through yet profoundly beautiful and uplifting.
So let me tell you about the greatest book I have read this year and why you need to read it too. 
Are you ready?
One verse of scripture should tell you :
In Him we live, and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28
Sharon bases her whole work on this premise. 
On this prerequisite for life in Christ. 
That this living and moving and having our being can be attained, 
is in fact being attained. Moment by moment. 
Glory to glory.
We can choose every moment and
 can see holy ground everywhere…
 or nowhere.
Momentary glimpses of God when He makes himself known to 
each one of us uniquely, is what Sharon refers to as moments of sudden glory.
She says it like this, “I call those moments when God makes Himself 
known to you personally a sudden glory – 
an intimate moment with your Creator, the Lover of your soul,  a glimpse of heaven.”
Sharon begs us the question to ask God what He wants
  for us instead of what He wants from us. 
She begins with God’s glory in Chapter One and continues the upward journey throughout the entire book coaching us on to greater depth than we have dared to consider before. 
Here is a journey through chapter topics and titles:
 His pursuit of us;
learning to live in sacred union;
 joining him in continual conversation; 
daring to raise our expectations; 
saying yes to his invitation to dance;
 trusting him in difficult times; 
seeing Him through a lens of gratitude and grace;  
choosing intimate relationship over routine religion.
Each chapter takes us closer to the beautiful reality and potential we all long for.
Intimacy with the One True Living God.
She reminds us that all things are possible when the sacred and the secular
merge together in a divine and miraculous sudden glory, in the daily ordinary moments called life. 
I received this book (see Blogging For Books)
for the purpose of review.
 The opinions I express are my own. 

The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr. {Book Review}

The Necessity of an Enemy: How the Battle You Face Is Your Best Opportunity

“Sometimes a Goliath has to get in your face to bring about needed changes.”
Ron Carpenter, JR.

Are you facing an enemy in your life today?
Can you identify it?
Have you faced enemies before and still are trying to figure out 
what was the purpose in the scheme of it all?
Ron Carpenter, Jr. addresses the reason behind the enemies you are facing and how they have been handpicked specifically to advance you in God’s purpose for your life.
Looking at the enemies of the Bible greats such as Moses, Joseph, David, Samson and Jesus, 
we see how each enemy when confronted ultimately furthered the advancement of God’s purposes in time. 
If you are feeling discouraged and need a reminder that whatever your are going through now is not for nothing. If you want to see beyond the superficial and immature Christianity
that views life as a toy store and God as a super sized Santa Claus.
If you feel like you have been facing one setback after another and can’t catch your breath.
If you want to make sense of some of those circumstances that still have you scratching your head, I think this book will  be useful and uplifting to you.

There were a few points that Mr. Carpenter made that I found especially powerful.
This is one of those books where you will be mulling over some of your own past experiences with new insight that is really helpful. That was my experience. I hate to use this phrase but, I really had a few “Uh-huh” moments.

The idea that God uses tests as a teacher does was one of those.
A teacher test a student not to teach them something BUT to reveal what has been learned already.
So often people think God is testing them to teach them something,
but Mr. Carpenter makes a subtle but enlightening point! I just loved that.
 There was a light bulb over my head when I read it, I’m sure of it!

The other point I appreciated and which we recognize as common to believers but sometimes I think it’s forgotten in the heat of battle. The enemy is not fighting what we are doing.
He is fighting what we are becoming.

Well, in the end, we are reminded that every single painful battle we encounter and enemy we confront brings us closer to the Victor’s crown.
God has a purpose and plan for each one of us, and His will will be done.
“Every conflict, if embraced properly, will reveal itself to you as a necessary step toward purpose and destiny.”

The author, shares his own personal journey and battles along the way. Much of  what he has learned and shared has shaped the way he lives now and balances his ministry, and family life. He touches candidly on boundaries, misplaced trust and the many other internal and external distractions that can keep you off track in your spiritual journey.
I think this book was useful and encouraging pointing out the confidence we can have in God’s
plan for us for good, even when things look bad.

About the author: Ron Carpenter, senior pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina, is recognized worldwide as a leader of leaders. As both a senior pastor and an entrepreneur, Ron’s relentless passion for developing potential in others permeates his organization. After graduation from Emmanuel College, Ron and his wife, Hope, founded their church in 1991 with three members and a passion for breaking down walls of racism, crossing cultural lines, and changing poverty mindsets. Today the congregation numbers over 16,000 and the ministry of the church includes 150 community outreaches, television and web programming, and a worldwide network of over 1,500 affiliated churches, Ministers, and leaders. Visit his website at RWOC.org.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
All opinions expressed are my own.

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In The Face Of Evil: Movie Massacre Madness

This morning, I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed downstairs to my Mom’s pad. As in Mother-In-Law apartment. She had the day off from work and I ventured down for a chat and visit. As I curled into a corner of the couch, I looked toward the television, which is usually on anyway. My mom asks incredulously, “Have you heard the news?” The answer is no, as I barely ever watch it. My potential for getting sucked into moment by moment ground  breaking news is overwhelmingly strong. I steer clear. But on this morning, we sit and stare at the screen as the reports come in on CNN describing the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre. 
Once more, evil seems to take lives needlessly.
To what end?
We cannot understand all that transpired. 
We cannot be consumed by the reality of evil.
In times such as these we lean hard on faith and cleave ever closer to our King.
Coincidentally, as I sat down to write this post touching on the tragic events of this day, I received an e-mail from my friends at Blogging For Books sharing a wonderful word from Randy Alcorn’s
book, If God Is Good.
I pray it blesses you today.
Ironically this morning before my time with my mom, I had met with my Lord. 
The focus of my praise and prayers this morning was on the His goodness. 
Is God good all the time?
In face of evil and injustice our faith is stretched. 
Sometimes, it feels shattered.
Yet, God remains faithful to His character.
To His name.
We rely on Him to be Good, as sure is evil is evil, God must remain good.
He is an unchanging God.
Let’s pray for those families, friends, officers and others involved in the details of what has happened and what is to come in the days ahead.
May God glorify Himself, bring healing, justice and mercy to those touched.
In the end we are all touched by such tragedies.
In His Grace with you today, Friends…

If God is Good by Randy Alcorn (Chapter 4)

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