Courageous Women of the Bible

Courageous Women of the Bible

Recently there has been a slew of books that have come to market and several blog post series about being brave, fearless, and courageous. I believe we are living in a time where God is speaking to His daughters and calling them to live boldly in their faith by looking beyond their circumstances for such a time as this. Understanding who we are in Christ and boldly trusting God to live courageously for HIM!

From the moment I picked up Courageous Women of the Bible: Leaving Behind Fear and Insecurity For a Life of Confidence and Freedom by Latan Roland Murphy, I knew this was an extraordinary book and couldn’t wait to dive in.

I began highlighting and underlining words that ooze with wisdom from the first few pages in the introduction. Words that caused me to pause. Words I needed to hear at this very moment my journey with the Lord. Words I know my sisters need to hear.

Latan sets the stage by laying down these principles in the introduction.

Courage advances us into opportunities we would otherwise shrink back from and avoid.

Courage comes as we point our feet toward the path leading to obedient living

When we cannot do it all perfectly, we can do all that we do courageously

As we draw wisdom from past mistakes, we can make courageous future choices

Godly courage is mobilized by an obedient spirit- knowing the power of God is greater than the circumstances we face

Courageous behavior comes as we realize we are living for a higher cause, greater good, and better story that is being written across our beautifully imperfect lives

“Courage by God’s standards is the ability to act, regardless of human fear or frailty, and enables us to do supernatural things because we are not acting alone – God is with us. And sometimes, godly courage is manifested in the ability to not act outwardly, but to wait, pray and be still in God’s presence. To linger, listen, seek His best way to live. Real godly courage is laced with an attitude of obedient gratitude, knowing that He is able to lead, guide, and direct our lives.”

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Latan then examines the lives of eleven courageous women of the Bible and challenges the reader to think about her own life and how these brave women of the Bible can help her to grow in her faith. Come sit at the feet of each of these women and soak in the goodness.

Deborah

The Woman with an Issue of Blood

The Widow with Two Coins

Jael

Abigail

Bathsheba

The Samaritan Woman

Mary Mother of Jesus

The Shulammite Woman

Jochebed

The Shunammite Woman

Through the study of these eleven women, Latan provides thought-provoking study questions along with interactive journal questions to take you deeper into your faith.

From the back cover. “Whether you’re facing struggles with singleness, the mounting challenges of marriage and motherhood, health issues, a financial crisis – God has equipped you to walk in freedom and confidence as you abide in Him, strengthened by His power and provision.”

LaTan Roland Murphy is an award-winning author and speaker and has been featured in WHOA women’s magazine and numerous other publications. She is the author of Becoming a Woman of Interior Elegance and co-author of God’s Provision in Tough Times. She is also the founder of The Colors of His Love Women’s Conference. She and her husband, Joe, have three adult children and two delightful grandchildren. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina. She would love for you to stop by and visit her on her website at latanmurphy.com.

A special thank you to LaTan Roland Murphy, Bethany House Publishers, and The Blog About network for providing me with a copy of Courageous Women of the Bible: Leaving Behind Fear and Insecurity For a Life of Confidence and Freedom to review and one to give away.

To be entered to win share this post and leave a comment below stating which of these eleven women in Courageous Women of the Bible you most likely relate to and why! The giveaway will run until June 15th, 2018, and the winner will be randomly selected from the entries and will be announced on this post.

Lies Moms Believe

Lies Moms Believe: and how the Gospel refutes them is a book that addresses lies mom believe about themselves and motherhood. There is also a companion Bible study for those who want to delve deeper into the word, both by Rebekah Hargrave.

Rebekah tackles 32 lies moms believe and the book is divided into five parts.

Lies About Motherhood

Lies About How God Views Us as Moms

Lies About How We View Ourselves as Moms

Lies About Our Children

Lies About our Parenting Choices

I think my favorite chapter is lie #23 I don’t Have Time

Rebekah addresses several things mom say that they don’t have time for including:

  • Too Busy for God
  • Too Busy for our Husbands
  • Too Busy for Creativity
  • Too Busy for Community

INCLUDED IN THIS CHAPTERS IS….

Three Reasons Christian Friendship is So Crucial

  1. Christian friends are there to help us in times of need.
  2. Christian friends edify you and are used by God in your sanctification process.
  3. Christian friendship is a powerful tool for keeping your heart in close fellowship with the Lord and His ways.

 

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The Bible study follows the book and dives deeper into scriptures it also includes the following sections: Apply the Word, Pray the Word and Memorize the Word. For more information about Rebekah and her book visit HargravesHomeand Hearth.com.

A special thank you to Rebekah Hargrave, and The Blog About network for providing me with a copy of  Lies Moms Believe: and how the Gospel refutes them and Lies Moms Believe: The Companion Bible Study to review and give away.

Leave a comment below indicating an area of motherhood you struggle with to be entered to win a copy of Lies Moms Believe: and how the Gospel refutes them and Lies Moms Believe: The Companion Bible Study between now and April 30, 2018.

 

Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.

My husband can always tell when I read a new book that excites me because I instantly start implementing ideas from the book! I don’t know about you but I love a good bargain, saving money excites me, and living a life of intention and purpose is right up my alley. I tend to talk a lot about intentional living here on By His Grace.

Which is why I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the book, Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.: The Life You Want With The Money You Have by Kim Anderson.

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The book is divided into three parts:  LIVE, SAVE, SPEND

LIVE

In this section, Kim shares some thoughts on what holds people back, and you’ll get an idea of your financial picture, including what type of spender and saver you are. The book includes several worksheets to create a budget to help you become more intentional with your money, along with thrifty little tips.

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SAVE

This section gets into the nitty-gritty of saving through planning, patience, and persistence, and helps you think through your goals and track your goals and dreams through momentum milestone exercises so that you can start living the life you really want today! Filled with fear bursting encouragement, Kim helps you create both financial goals and other life goals by creating momentum milestones for all areas of your life.

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SPEND

I love this part because it talks about ways to strategically spend your money so that you can spend without regret! Along with helpful ideas to make sure that you are being intentional with your money.

If you are tired of the cycles of work, spend, worry, repeat, then this book is definitely for you! Be sure to visit my Instagram where I am giving away a copy of Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.: The Life You Want With The Money You Have and leave a comment on the post with this picture.

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Kim and her husband paid off $93,000 in debt in two years on one income, and I couldn’t wait to hear her strategies for saving money. You can learn more about Kim Anderson and find even more create saving ideas at her blog: Thrifty Little Mom.

A special thank you to Kim Anderson, Harvest House Publishers, and The Blog About network for providing me with a copy of Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.: The Life You Want With The Money You Have to review and one to give away.

Summer Reading – Hope Prevails

Things don’t always go as planned. Life comes at you sideways sometimes and knocks the wind right out of your sails. You can go from smooth sailing to rough waters in the blink of an eye.

Have you ever been through a tough time that you are now thankful for?

I know I have had my share of difficult circumstances, but God has been so faithful to see me through! I can look back with a grateful heart on things that I never would have chosen, but God in His infinite wisdom allowed me to endure.

Pain and suffering are not something that we would necessarily want for ourselves but sometimes it is the vehicle that God uses to sanctify us. No one knows this better than Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Bengtson. As a Doctor and a Christian, she shares her journey through depression from her perspective in her new book, Hope Prevails.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Michelle writes about what worked for her and what can help you if you are battling depression. Michelle wants you to know that you are not alone. She wrote this book to offer you hope and to dispel some of the myths and lies about this condition.  Michelle’s approach treats depression physically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually, treating the whole person. Traditional treatment doesn’t address the spiritual side.

Dr. Bengtson does a great job of addressing the spiritual side of depression throughout Hope Prevails. She addresses what depression is, where it comes from, and ways to treat it, but most importantly she addresses what depression does to a person spiritually and how that perpetuates depression.

Each chapter in Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression is filled with truth and biblical wisdom along with practical steps to take. At the end of each chapter, she gives you a prescription, Your Rx, these thought-provoking questions and action items are steps that you can take to help you find healing. She also includes a recommended playlist of praise and worship music to uplift you and concludes each chapter with a special prayer.

An Excerpt from Hope Prevails:

In the valley of my depression, the enemy tried to convince me that no one cared, not even God. For a while he had me convinced, and I took my pain and anger out on God. Can I share with you a little something I learned, though? God is big enough to handle my anger and yours.

One evening the pain of the darkness dragged me so low that I wondered aloud where God was in my suffering. Did he even care that I felt like a surfer battered against the rocks within a vast, lonely ocean? In my agony and desperation, my wonderings turned to angry venting. I told God of the pain deep within my soul. I held nothing back as I lost control in an angry outburst like a volcanic eruption.

When I had no more words to say and was physically spent from my vulnerable expression of the depths of my pain, I sensed a quiet gentle voice whisper within me, “Well, at least you’re now talking to me.” It wasn’t a condemning correction but more a lighthearted reflection to help me see the truth in my ways.

View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume2015

Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and mental disorders in children, adults, and seniors. She has been in private practice for more than a decade of that time. Speaker, author, and doctor, Michelle is also a woman—a wife, mother, and friend. She has experienced her share of trouble and trials and knows the pain of losing someone she loves as well as the despair that can follow trauma or illness.

Combining her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith, Dr. Bengtson is on a mission to instill hope in the hearts of those who are suffering from or caring for those with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders, head injuries, dementia, and the neurological side effects of illnesses such as Epilepsy, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Cancer, as well as psychiatric disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder.

Everyone goes through hard times, but you are not alone. Hope is the key to the survival of your soul. Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. She instills hope to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm.

I highly recommend Hope Prevails for anyone struggling with depression, or if you have a family member or friend who suffers from this condition. Visit Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s blog where she offers a free book on how to help a loved one with depression.

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A Special thank you to Dr. Michelle Bengtson, The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency, and Revell for providing me with a signed copy of Hope Prevails for me to review and giveaway along with the goodies above!

Leave a comment about a tough time that you have been through and are now thankful for in the comment section below and share this post on social media with the hashtag #HopePrevails for a chance to win a signed copy of Hope Prevails, along with this beautiful scarf, hope bracelet, and dog tag all reminders that hope prevails!!

 

alongside

Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!

We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman

I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.

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In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.

How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?

There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman

We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis?  The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.

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This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.

Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.

Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.

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For more information visit Sarah Beckman’s website.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away! 

From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

This week’s Linkups:

 

Creative Ways to Engage with God!

  Where are my creative peeps?

You know who you are! My right-brained people who just need to create. Our Heavenly Father is the original creative! In the beginning, God created the heavens and filled the earth with such Majestic beauty! Even the Heavens declare the glory of God!

We do not serve an in-the-box one-size-fits-all God.

So why not communicate with God in creative ways? 

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God is always ready to connect with us, and we have access to throne room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can boldly approach the throne at any time, no matter where we are! No longer do we need a High Preist to offer sacrifices or atone for our sins. Jesus is our mediator and great High Priest. Have you ever thought about communicating with God through your art or another innovative way?

You have got to get a copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God: Designed to Pray!

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Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray is not your typical prayer book! This little gem is filled with both wisdom and fun ingenious ways to connect with God in a visually stunning way.  Creative Ways to Engage With God takes you on an eight-week journey that includes quotes, Scriptures, reflection questions, prayers, and songs. Whether you are new to prayer, have been praying for years, or just want to infuse new life into your prayer time, this book is for you, especially if you appreciate both art AND the importance of prayer!

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Explore, Play, Pray

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

This week one lucky person will win a copy of this inspirational prayer book! There are two easy ways to be eligible to win your very own copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray:

  1. If you are new to my blog – Follow MistyPhillip to enter to win
  2. If you are a current MistyPhillip subscriber – Comment on your favorite way to engage with God!

Kelly O’Dell Stanley books were featured at the book tables of the Belong Tour, a spin-off of Women of Faith events. Learn more about Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

 

Women of Faith Bible Study Giveaway!!

Looking for a Bible Study for the New Year? Well then look no further. This week I am giving away not one, but three Women of Faith Bible Studies! What a great way to start off the new year, by digging into the word of God. I just love Bible Study and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to shares these beauties with you!

Building Your Strengths and Praying with Power and Giving God Your Future

In the late 90’s I attended my first Women of Faith event. I laughed, and I cried, and God met me in that arena in a very real and tangible way. So when I had the opportunity to review this new Bible Study series I was thrilled!

Each Women of Faith Bible Study includes twelve weeks of study, and each chapter includes practical illustrations and thought-provoking reflection on topics that are relevant for women of all ages today.

I am currently working my way through the Building Your Strengths book that includes a forward by Patsy Clairmont. Building Your Strengths is full of wisdom and practical application. We all have God-given gifts, given to us to help us share the gospel and we all have strengths to use for His glory. This study helps you examine your gifts and strengths so that you can better minister to others and grow your faith in the process. I am excited to see what all the Lord will reveal to me in this study!

At the end of each chapter, there is a section called Digging Deeper that challenges you to go a step further in your study. A Section to Ponder and Pray, and Trinkets to Treasure – with each chapter you are presented with a symbol to remind you of the gifts you have been given.

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These studies can be used on your own or in a group. Included in each book is ample room for notes and prayer requests. At the end of the book, there is a leader’s guide provided to help facilitate use in a small group. Each chapter is only a few pages long and can be completed in just a few minutes each day.

For more information about Women of Faith check out their website. Women of Faith

Women of Faith exists to point women to God. They believe:

The Bible is the inspired word of God and is true.  — 2 Timothy 3:16-17

There is only one true God, existing as three Persons in one: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Spirit (The Holy Spirit).
— 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 1:1-5, 1 John 5:7-8

Salvation is found only through Jesus Christ.
— Romans 10:9-10, John 1:12

The greatest command is to love God and love one another.
— Matthew 22:36-40

Enter to win the Women of Faith Bible Studies bundle by following this link to                  a Rafflecopter giveaway!

The giveaway will be announced on February 1, 2017,  in the comment section on this post and will also be announced on social media.

The Women of Faith Bible Study Bundle includes:

Building Your Strengths (Thomas Nelson, 2016) foreword from author and speaker Patsy Clairmont. Learn what Patsy means when she says this about gifts: “It comes so easily to us that we don’t get the big deal about it.” This is a 12-lesson study series where you examine what God says about your gifts and how He has given them to you to shine for Him. Learn how to embrace your strengths and know that they are needed in the kingdom – and how to access them! This book is about leaning on God in all situations and using your gifts to shine his light and glory.

Giving God Your Future (Thomas Nelson, 2016) foreword from Thelma Wells. “It sure makes life a lot easier to handle when all the responsibility of planning your future is left up to the Master of the Future.” – Thelma. In this book, you will explore what Scripture says about giving everything to God and surrendering to Him. Throughout the 12 lessons, you will be able to pray your way to giving up control and give Him your future. This study looks at what the Bible says about trusting God enough to give Him our all and being able to say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

Praying With Power (Thomas Nelson, 2016) foreword from author Patsy Clairmont. Patsy says, “Learn how to enter the privileged sanctuary of prayer.” This book has 12 lessons of reflection, exploring, and journaling prayers and scripture to help the reader understand your prayer attitudes and to find ways to get out of prayer ruts. The study inspires you to accept the invitation from God to pray boldly and discover prayer in the two-way conversation it was meant to be. Readers will navigate journaling prayers and how to pray their way through a desert or valley.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

 

Move Toward the Mess

Move Toward the Mess

I love God’s timing! It amazes me the things that only He can orchestrate. When you answer the call to follow Jesus, you just never know where you may end up. Following Jesus is definitely not boring! During the Wednesday evening service this week, my pastor talked about how when God calls you, He will most likely call you to a place that is out of your comfort zone. God will never call you to mediocrity. If God called you to something that was easy for you, then you wouldn’t need Him, or have to rely on Him. Hmm… Interesting. Hold on to that thought.

I just finished reading the book Move Toward the Mess: The Ultimate Fix for a Boring Christian Life (David C. Cook 2016) by John Hambrick. Little did I know that the timing this book would correspond with a day I won’t soon forget.

img_0864Last fall, my Ladies Bible Study group wanted to do some kind of service project together. Today was our appointed day to volunteer at a local soup kitchen by the name of Fishes and Loaves. This soup kitchen feeds 200-400 hungry people in downtown Houston six days a week.

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As we pulled up to the to the building, there is already a huge line of people waiting to be fed. For some of these people, this may be the only meal that they eat today. It is a cold day here in Houston, and the temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s, and it is damp and overcast. Most of the men and women we served, live under the bridge near the kitchen on the east side of downtown Houston.

Our group today consisted of mostly men, and a few women. The people thanked us and said God bless you for serving food to us. However, one woman in particular caught my attention, and it struck a cord with me. She came in with a black eye, and I wondered what she endured to get her to this place. Life on the streets is messy.

The Houston food bank along with other generous sponsors help provide the food. Our family donates money to the Houston Food bank every year, but today I locked eyes with the hungry men and women of Houston and I will never be the same.

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Magnificat Houses is the umbrella organization over Fishes and Loaves that serves some one the neediest people in the inner city of Houston. It has been serving the mentally ill, homeless and disadvantaged since 1968. Magnificat house provides hope, food, shelter, half-way houses and rehabilitative services to people in the Houston area. It is completly led by volunteers, and operates by donation. Visit Magnificat Houses to learn more about this incredible organization.

Julie Batsche at Fishes and Loaves was our tour guide for the day. Our group served along side some of the most joy filled people that I have ever seen, their countannce radiates Jesus! We began with a tour of the facility, the chaplin shared the history of the organization, and we started with prayer. Today we served fresh salad, and gumbo made by Cedrick Broussard the cook, and his assistant, along with a roll, crackers and dessert to 205 people.

fullsizeoutput_1852The murals on the wall were painted by one of the homeless men who used to come the shelter many years ago. Below is a depiction of the miracle of the fishes and loaves from the gospels that the kitchen is named after. The workers here today see this miracle played out before their very own eyes, because God provides daily for Loaves and Fishes to feed the hungry.

fullsizeoutput_1855Our world is full of lost and hurting people who desperately need to know the love of Christ. In Move Toward the Mess, John Hambrick challenges American Christians who are bored sitting in the pews each Sunday, to get up and follow Jesus into the mess to minister to the lost and hurting in the world. I found this book to be both challenging and exciting.

In the first part of the book, John provides several examples of people that live their lives right smack in the middle of the mess, and in the second half of the book, he outlines practical ways for us to move toward the mess. There is a nice flow from chapter to chapter, and each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions that would make this an excellent book for individual study or small group discussion.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Move toward the Mess:

What gives Paul peace in the middle of the mess is God’s outrageous, unconditional forgiveness.-John Hambrick

Move toward the mess is a love story.  It is the ultimate love story of a mighty Savior who came to earth to bind up the brokenhearted, wipe every tear away, save the lost, and lavish his amazing grace on us.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”U46xi” via=”yes” ]Jesus is on the move today are you willing to answer the call and move toward the mess?[/ctt]

There are lots of different ways to move toward the mess. Last Spring when our community experienced devasting flooding we mobilized hundreds of church members into the community to help flood victims. You can read about how we moved toward the mess in The Church Has Left the Building. It is time for the church to leave the building, and move toward the mess.

I love the message of this book, and would love its message to go viral! Share this post on social media for a chance to win your very own copy of Move Toward the Mess between now and January 15th!

John Hambrick is no stranger to the mess. He is the Director of Starting Point and Staff Development at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA – one of the North Point Community Church campuses in Atlanta that bestselling author Andy Stanley founded. John has served in other churches as an associate pastor and pastor. He has also been a staff member for Young Life and was one of the chaplains at Kings College, University of London. John and his wife, Patty, have two children and reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.