Summer Reading – Coffee for your Heart

Don’t you just love summer? We tend to give ourselves some time to rest, relax and enjoy a slower pace.  I am enjoying some great new books that are coming out on the market this summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you over the course of the next few weeks in my Summer Reading Series!

“Take a deep breath, grab a cup of something cozy, and let God’s love fill your heart with whatever you need most today.”
—Holley

Everyone enjoys opening packages and receiving something in the mailbox besides junk mail. One of the things that I love about being an author, blogger and online influencer is that I have access to Christian books before they are available for sale on the market. I am a bit of a non-fiction Christian book nerd. Some people love to read romance or thrillers, but my jam is books that stretch me and challenge me to grow as a person, and help me love God and His people more.

I love the way that God uses men and women today to share the timeless truth of His word in new and refreshing ways to His people.

In Coffee for your Heart, Holly Gerth touches on the issues that we all struggle with at our very core being from feelings of acceptance, to know that we are cherished and loved, and forgiven. This book contains 40 life-changing powerful reminders of how much God loves you!

Holley’s book was a cup of love for my soul.

Filled with God’s love and encouragement each short devotion begins with a scripture that corresponds with the theme of the day’s reading is packed full of wisdom and ends with three sections entitled Reflect, Respond, Remember. At the end of each devotion, there are thought-provoking questions for you to Reflect upon and answer. Followed by a written prayer section entitled Response, and concludes with things to Remember.

IMG_2835This book was previously published as God’s Heart for You and is available online and in stores on July 1, 2017. 

Holley Gerth is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of You’re Already Amazing. You can learn more about Holley on her blog at Holley Gerth. Holley Gerth is a natural born encourager, and if you are in need of encouragement or to know how much God loves you then this book is for you!

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*I was given a copy of this book to review compliments of Holley Gerth

What books are on your summer reading list? I would love to know what you are reading. Leave me a comment below and tell me what you are reading!

 

10 Ways to Reach Millennials

This past weekend I went to meet up with His Girls Gather, a group of authors, bloggers, speakers, social media marketing and technical support girls from Texas and Louisana. Many of us are members of Compel, a writer’s training program which is part of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

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We had a wonderful time of prayer, fellowship, and training. While I was there I met an adorable millennial Jesus girl named Shelby Howe. We struck up a conversation about how to impact the millennial culture for Jesus.

Many faith communities and Christian organizations are struggling with how to make space for Millennials—not just appealing space in their buildings and gathering places, but also space in their institutional culture, ministry models and leadership approach. – Barna

If we want to impact future generations for Christ then we need to know how to reach them. I have asked Shelby Howe to share her thoughts with you on today’s blog concerning what the Lord has put on her heart in regards to reaching millennials.

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 10 ways to reach Millennials

We’re a generation connected in all the wrong places. Consumed with what’s happening on a screen, the majority of millennials miss the richness of real life. Being one of them, and living the struggle of screen-time versus face-time, I’ve often been asked – how do you reach millennials? What gets us off our phones and listening intently to the person before us? I hope it’s to your delight to know it’s not another piece of tech or a silly video. 

  1. Speak my language

When my phone rings, I automatically think something’s wrong. Phone calls are for dire situations, just send me a text. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Once I forget what you told me, I can go back and read it again. Friend me on Facebook, follow my Instagram, that’s where you can keep up with what’s going on with me. Speak my language.

  1. Meet me on my terms

Unfortunately, I struggle with accountability so if we’re going to meet face to face, it’s got to be on my terms. Be prepared to cancel and reschedule ten times before we actually meet. Once I know that you’re committed, I’ll get committed too, but I need grace at first.

  1. Don’t ask me what I’m doing, ask me what I want to do. 

The first thing people always ask is, “So what do you do?” What I’m doing right now is not what I want to be doing, and it just reminds me of that when you ask. Start with “What do you want to do with your life?” then follow up with “So what are you doing now?” This tells me that you care about my dreams, but it’s okay that I’m not there yet.

  1. Don’t tell me what I should do unless you’re going to help me. 

I don’t respond well to “you should do this” or “have you tried this?” Someone has probably already suggested that and I probably have some lame excuse you don’t want to hear anyway. If you think of something that I should do, help me do it. If I need to study for a certain test, schedule a time to study with me. If I need to make a resume, sit down with me and show me how which leads to our next one…

  1. Show me instead of telling me.

It’s one thing to throw words at me just for them to bounce off the rim like basketball, but if you actually practice what you preach, I’ll take notice. If you want me to read the Bible, let me see you living it. I’m a newlywed, and I want to cook made-from-scratch meals for my husband, but I don’t know how. Invite me over one day and show me how you make homemade biscuits. I need to see it. Let me see you do real life and I’ll want to live it with you.

  1. Be consistent.

My world is fast paced and ever changing, having a constant helps keep me grounded. If I know when you’re available, I’m more likely to turn to you. When you respond quickly to my call for help, I’ll remember. The next time I’m in a sticky situation, I’ll crave that relief and look to you. Then, hopefully, I’ll work to avoid sticky situations.

  1. Hold me accountable.

Remember when I said I struggle with accountability? Once I’ve seen that you’re consistent, I’ll answer your call for accountability. The next time I cancel or reschedule our meetup, I’ll care about your frustration, and it won’t make me feel good. Give me some time to get to this point, but hold me accountable for my actions.

  1. Be real, transparent, honest.

Talk is cheap, and I know it. I don’t sugarcoat things, and I don’t want things sugarcoated. If you’re upset with me, let me know why. If you’re having issues with something in your own life, don’t hide it from me. I need to see you solve problems, so I know what to do when I face them.

  1. Cover me in prayer.

I’m probably not doing this for myself so cover me in prayer. Pray with me before we eat or when we’re talking about a hard situation. Let me see and hear you pray so I can take note. Pray for me until I know how to pray for myself.

  1. Don’t give up on me.

Please, please, please don’t give up on me. If you give up on me, I give up on me. Speak life to me, encourage me at my lowest point, reach out your hand when I’ve fallen down. I will fall, time and time again. I will let you down. Love me anyway. Show me, Jesus.

The overarching theme here is love. Love me like Jesus. I’m not so different from his followers when you think about it. Learn my love language and speak it back to me. Walk the hard road with me, and I’ll meet you on the other side. But most of all… Love me like Jesus.

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Hey, Y’all! Just another Millennial here and one southern raised, Bible-believing Christian. The soil I call home is in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I know the love of a good family but was transformed by the love of a Savior. The love I receive from him I try to duplicate to others. A passion for God’s word and advancing his kingdom is what compels me to write. Growing in the knowledge of Him is what I hope you, and I accomplish. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

FB: Shelby’s Facebook

Twitter: Shelby’s Twitter

Please like and share this post if it ministers to you, and make sure to visit Shelby on her social media channels. I would love to hear if you have other ideas about how to reach millennials for Christ. Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts. 

What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day!

I have seen a lot of really great pics on Pinterest about cool things to buy Dad for Father’s Day this year. Beard oil, a badger hair brush to lather up shaving cream, tools and various and sundry things made from leather.  However, I think the thing that Dad wants most can’t be bought in any catalog or store. He doesn’t really want another tie or another set of tools. Okay, he may want a new putter or has his eye on the latest technological gadget, but I think the thing that dad really wants this year for Father’s Day is simple.

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Appreciation 

Appreciation – Dad doesn’t mind working hard all week providing for the family. Sure, he probably dreams of the day he retires, but a real father loves to provide for his family. In fact, Proverbs says A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. Instead of going to the hardware store and looking for that perfect gift to buy Dad, may I suggest that what he really wants is to be appreciated? Tell him that you are thankful for his provision for your family, and for working hard to take care of you! He wants to feel appreciated, so tell him that he is doing a great job and that you are thankful for all he does for you.

Respect

Respect – Men desire to be respected by both their wives and their children.  You can’t put a pricetag on honoring dad, and it means the world to a man to know that he is respected by his family. Value his advice and wisdom and listen to him. Esteem him, admire him, and revere him. Hold dad in high regard and let him know how you feel. Your words of respect can be life changing to a dad.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. – Deuteronomy 5:16

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Love

Love – Finally, love him. Shower him with words of affirmation and kindness. Write him a note, make him a banner, or spend time with him doing the things that he enjoys doing. Make dad feel special and feel loved by making his favorite meal or taking him to his favorite restaurant for dinner.

Whatever you do this year for Father’s day whether you make or buy dad something, or you spend quality time together, just be sure to make sure he knows that he is loved, appreciated and respected.

 

Update from California

This week I am on vacation with my husband while he attends Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. This is the event where Apple announces all of the new and exciting Apple things!

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Yesterday we spent the day hiking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Wow! The weather is amazing here!

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It is important to take time for your spouse, have fun and make memories. Life can get hectic in the midst of raising kids, so find something that you enjoy doing together, and do it. We love to hike and the Redwoods didn’t disappoint!

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Wanted to give you a quick update on what I am working on outside of the blog.

First, Thank everyone who voted for me in Jen Weaver’s writing contest!  I am one of the finalist’s and won a publishing appointment with Leafwood! I will be preparing for that meeting, and I would really appreciate your prayers!

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Second, I will be pitching a Bible Study that I have been working on for the past year. I am currently teaching that Bible Study to the fabulous Bible Babes, and am getting great feedback from them!! Over the course of the next few weeks, I won’t be posting as much on the blog as I prepare for the upcoming appointment and finish writing and teaching my study. I would really appreciate your prayers, as I write, edit, and teach this study.

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Third, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of Glynnis Whitwer’s new book Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest! I am excited to be a part of the launch team for this book! The book releases July 4, 2017, but you can get a sneak peek here at Doing Busy Better. I will be talking more about this book in the coming weeks, but if you are busy and struggle with overcommitment or feel like you are not experiencing the soul rest that God has for you, then you are gonna want to pre-order a copy of this book for yourself!!

One of the things that God showed me when I started reading Doing Busy Better is that I am always busy and that I am in need of soul rest. So even though I am in the midst of a busy season, I am trying to approach it from a place of rest.

Be blessed today my friends!