Blessings from Brokenness: Five Scriptures to Cling to in the Dark
by Baylee Dunn
Many people love the summer time –the sun is shining, children are laughing, and there are memories to be made. For me, summer brings with it joy and sorrow interwoven into one. It is as if the summer breeze brings a palpable heaviness.
Yet, there is so much joy to be found in that space.
I remember the date as if it were yesterday – July 20th, 2018. I laid still in bed unable to stop the spiral of thoughts from encircling in my mind. “Why can’t I just sleep?” I wondered. It had been sixteen days without it, and, unfortunately, I would soon discover the consequences of stress, sadness, and grief when coupled with such drastic sleep deprivation. For me, this cycle of sleeplessness, delusions, paranoia, and panic would ultimately lead to two psychiatric hospitalizations over the course of that summer, and an eventual diagnosis the next fall. “You have Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features,” are words that I will not soon forget. They are etched into my memory and with every breath I take, I carry them. That is my clinical diagnosis, but my identity lies deep within the scriptures. You see, I am not my diagnosis. I am a daughter of the king
Here are five scriptures that I clung to during this season.
I hope and pray that each one of them encourages you in your walk with the Lord. May you always know that whatever you face, you are never alone. May the Lord shine his light upon you today and every day! Friend, you are loved.
Isaiah 26:3-4 “ 3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Hey y’all, I am Baylee Dunn. I write on faith and the struggles that we face in life from a Biblical perspective. I am a college student, daughter, sister, friend, and lover of Chick Fil A.
Blessings From Brokenness
So excited to welcome Baylee Dunn to By His Grace as an intern! I met Baylee through Hopewriter’s and instantly fell in love with her. She is a precious young woman with a huge heart for the Lord. If you don’t know Baylee, you should she is a ray of sunshine! Baylee is a college student who will be working with me as she pursues her dreams of one day writing a book.
A battle rages in the media today over “fake news.” In the news media outlets from television, to the internet and social media. Everyone seems to be talking about fake news from President Trump, the Russians, or the Clinton’s, the world is a buzz with fake news. It is hard to know who to believe anymore and what is true, and the internet has made it easy for false stories to spread like wildfire.
“Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” – Benjamin Franklin
When I was a child, we often played the telephone game. Do you know what the telephone game is? Or am I dating myself? Perhaps you know it by the name of whispers or Chinese whispers. If you are not familiar, then let me explain. You would sit in a circle or form a line and then tell someone an anecdote, word, or phrase by whispering it in the ear of the person sitting next to you. They would tell the person next to them, and this would continue until you got to the last person who would say aloud to everyone what the word or phrase he heard. As children, we would get the biggest laughs because the thing the last person heard and said aloud was never even close to what was originally said.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”Oq_G8″ via=”yes” ]There is nothing new under the sun.[/ctt]
Things are not always as they seem. Fake news and the telephone game have much in common with the whispery lies of the enemy of our soul. The enemy likes to whisper false news in hopes that we will turn away from what we know to be true, and believe the lies, and often he uses well-intentioned people, even good Christians to twist words, and spread lies.
Have you ever read the fictional work of JRR Tolkien or seen the Lord of the Rings Movies, if so perhaps you remember a creepy character known as Gríma Wormtongue. He was the chief adviser to King Theoden of Rohan, and through his deceitful lies and whispery secrets, he cast a spell over the King, until he no longer resembled himself. The lies of a whispery confidant physically, mentally, and spiritually changed his countenance. This is one of the reasons the Bible warns us about the company we keep.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” – Revelation 12:12 ESV
A war rages in this world today for truth, but also for our very souls! The devil knows his time is short and would like nothing more than to divide our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, communities, and nations. He wants to steal our joy, and rob us of our peace to keep us from living the abundant life that Jesus Christ has to offer us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 ESV
Where can we find truth today?
How do we know what to believe? Where do we find truth? Not in the sense of philosophical discussion, or lofty debate, but real truth, the kind of truth that changes peoples hearts and lives. The kind of truth that tears down strongholds can only be found in the word of God.
We are all sinners, but as we turn our hearts toward Christ and press into Him and read, study and memorize his word, we can combat the lies of the enemy and replace it with the truth of Jesus Christ. Through the practice of worship and thanksgiving, we keep our hearts focused on Him.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God.All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5 ESV
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and He is the light of the world and through the power of Jesus, darkness in this world is dispelled. Satan is a defeated enemy. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, not only does He overcome the world, but everyone who believes in Him overcomes the world too! Our faith in Jesus Christ overcomes the world. It is not just at the moment that we believe in Jesus, but it is a continuous action of exercising our faith in Jesus that overcomes the world.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”eB7U6″ via=”yes” ]The world and the enemy would like to deceive us with fake news, we must choose to believe the word and the truth of Jesus Christ.[/ctt]
Friend, do you know Jesus Christ as your confidant and personal Lord and Savior? Jesus loves you and wants you to know the voice of truth. If you have not put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today, I would encourage you to pray a simple prayer of faith. Ask Jesus to come into your life and be the Lord of your life today. Simply ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and ask Him to be Lord of your life. Then I would encourage you to pick up a Bible and begin reading the greatest love story ever told.
For my believing friends, what do you do to combat fake news? Do you have a go-to verse to keep your mind steadfast and focused on the truth? If so, I would love for you to share it with me.
Have you seen the television show This is Us? I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I love it, but I bawl like a massive baby through each episode! One episode really hit home. Dr. K comes out to give Jack the sad news that one of his triplet babies is stillborn. Jack is entirely stunned and is trying to process what has just happened. Dr. K tells Jack that he and his late wife lost a child when they were first married and how he thinks of that baby every day.
He encourages Jack by saying if “you can take the sourest lemon that life hands you, and make something out of it that resembles lemonade, then maybe one day you can provide another man hope.” Wow! I bawled as I watched this… I sobbed uncontrollably.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”8k0m_” via=”yes” ]We all experience tragedy, grief and difficult seasons in life. We don’t all have the same hard, but we all go through difficult seasons.[/ctt]
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
This week, a picture popped up on my facebook memories from 7 years ago. I took a look at this picture and the smile on my face and thought, “I can’t believe all that has happened in my life in the 7 years since this photo was taken.”
When this picture was taken, I was in my 30’s and I have a huge smile on my face, not knowing what the years ahead would hold. My husband had just bought me a BMW. We were living the American Dream with our home in the suburbs, our 3 kids, and a dog. We were surrounded by family and friends, and life was good.
I was homeschooling my boys, living life, and the future was bright. Much to my surprise a few weeks before my 40th birthday, I found out that I was pregnant!
I birthed and buried my baby that following year.
My long-awaited son was stillborn. Within a short period of time, I went from living life on the mountaintop of life to quickly descending into years of agonizing, soul-crushing pain.
Life didn’t stop and I didn’t slow down. I pushed the pain down, put on a happy face and just kept going. In between my days of intense grief, there were happy times too. I helped Jacob start a Model NATO debate league for high schoolers, and host conferences and workshops. Most of my days were filled living life to the fullest loving my sweet husband, homeschooling the boys, going to church, doing Bible Study, cooking tons of meals and washing a million loads of laundry, traveling across the country with Jacob and Ian for Speech and Debate, and driving Connor back and forth to therapy and school.
Jacob later graduated from our homeschool, took a gap year, and it was during this time that the health of my mom rapidly declined. We spent our Christmas that year going back and forth to the hospital. My mom was put on life support, and after many years of pain and suffering and battling illness, she died a few days after Christmas. After her death, I cried nearly every day for almost a year and I was consumed with grief. In between my days of intense grief, there were good times, but this season was marked by agony and major life transitions. We were in a serious transition period. We moved for the first time in 15 years, Jacob started college, and Peter changed jobs!
After we moved, I struggled to get our life back to normal, although I am not really sure our life has ever been “normal.” We moved into our home 2 weeks before the new school year started. On top of that, we began renovations on our home immediately. Things were pretty chaotic.
A few months after we moved into our home, and eleven months after the death of my mom, my dear sweet Mother-in-Law suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. This sent rippling effects through our immediate and extended family. Once again we found ourselves devasted by loss and heartbroken in the valley of the shadow of death.
Fall turned to Winter and Winter turned to Spring.
We found ourselves out of the valley and back on the mountaintop of life again. We continued our home renovations, bought new furnishings, and put in a pool. Things were finally looking up, and it looked like 2015 was going to be a great year, and it was until spring break came, and I broke both of my arms in a bicycle accident and was incapable of doing anything for myself for weeks on end. My guys had to feed me, dress me, brush and floss my teeth, fix my hair and do my makeup. They literally had to do EVERYTHING for me! During my recovery, God was very near and taught me many things. After months of healing and therapy, I was finally beginning to get my life back.
Soon after we discovered that Connor was not Autistic, but that he was suffering from PANDAS and Auto-Immune Encephalitis. Which began months of intense medical inventions and therapies.
Most recently, I hit my head and suffered a concussion, and was laid flat on my back in complete darkness and silence as I healed. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and for weeks I suffered the effects of that concussion. I spent hours in my room by myself in the dark completely overwhelmed by sight and sound. I am still feeling some of the side effects of my concussion today, and hope that the symptoms soon reside.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”SXRd2″ via=”yes” ]Life is uncertain.[/ctt]
It is filled with both personal victories and mountaintop experiences in between the valleys. Life has continued to give us some of the most bitter pills we have ever had to swallow, but through it all, we have become stronger as a family. We have become closer to our Saviour. We have learned that life is hard, but God is good. He gives us beauty for ashes, and His Love for us incomprehensible! It is not just about taking lemons and making lemonade.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”GBklS” via=”yes” ]It is about trusting Jesus with our life and our circumstances.[/ctt]
With Jesus, the scripture says, we can do all things! No matter what the future holds, for those who are in Christ, we are clothed with strength and dignity and do not need to fear the future. We know God is with us and that he loves us and wants good for us. He has given us a hope and a future, no matter what comes our way!
My friend, I don’t know what lemons life has given you. Your hard is not my hard but hard comes in all shapes and sizes. The road ahead may be uncertain, but I am here today to tell you that no matter what you are going through today, it is temporary and cannot be compared with the glory that awaits us in heaven! Press on, and continue to fight the good fight of faith.
Calling all women of North Houston: Do you know about Revive Gatheringyet? If not, then you need to! Revive is a seasonal gathering for the women of North Houston to come together and glorify God through worship, prayer, and God’s Word. Women from several churches and denominations in the area gathered together this past Thursday at Revive Gathering.
To God be glorified, women be unified – Revive Gathering
The worship was phenomenal Thursday evening and women from all walks of life were united together in praise for Jesus under the stars at the Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands. We sang songs of praise and worship to our Almighty Lord and Savior out in the brisk cool evening air. Voices lifted high to our King! It was a beautiful thing to be a part of. Then, Gina Webster brought an incredible message of unity for women to lift up and encourage one another so that Jesus Christ may be exalted!
Gina encouraged women to show forgiveness, love, and mercy to one another and to build up the household of Faith. She said we don’t need to wrestle, envy, or be jealous of sisters. Instead, we should realize that we have received the promise of Jesus Christ and that God has a plan for each one of us that is full of goodness. She concluded her message with a charge for us to be women who fight for our sisters to lift up one another and to celebrate the good gifts that come to our sisters.
We ended the evening gathered in small prayer circles, where we prayed for one word for each woman. I was honored to lead a sweet group of young women in prayer, and I look forward to what God is going to do within their midst!
As women, we were made for community, and we need our sisters to love, encourage and pray for us. The enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to keep us isolated, separated and divided. As women, we must stand with our sisters and build one another up for the Kingdom of God.
Revive will meet again April 20, 2017, and I hope to see you there!
I had a blast at the She Laughs Conference this past weekend in Henderson, TX and can’t wait to tell you all about it! The She laughs Conference I attended was hosted at First Baptist Church Henderson. I went to the conference with my friend and co-laborer, Missy Millspaugh. When we arrived we were instantly greeted by Pastor David Higgs and his beautiful wife, Kim. Kim has an amazing smile and her countenance radiates Jesus! If you are in the area be sure to visit First Baptist Church Henderson.
Katy McCown is the founder of the She Laughs Conference. Katy and I have something in common as we both left our corporate jobs to raise and homeschool our children. Katy is a retired television news reporter and her husband, Luke, plays football for the NFL New Orleans Saints, and they have six children. In her spare time, she writes for Proverbs 31 Ministries and hosts She Laughs.
She Laughs is based on the scripture in Proverbs 31:25.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
Katy is passionate about Jesus and seeing women walk in strength and dignity, and desires women to live a laugh characterized by laughter, without fear of the future. Her opening message entitled, The Path to a Passionate Life, discussed our preparation, position, and pursuit. My favorite quote from that session:
God is far less interested in our motions, then in our motives.
Next, we heard from Lisa Allen, founder of L.J. Allen consulting and coaching, and Executive Director of Ministry Training at Proverbs 31 Ministries. We laughed as we evaluated our personalities in the session, What Shoe Are You?, where I discovered that I am a combination of a Work Boot and a Stiletto—what a combination! I also discovered that God gifted me with a special combination of strengths in order for me to fulfill my calling.
We laughed for the rest of the evening as Shari Braendel of Fashion Meets Faith and author of Help me Jesus, I have Nothing to Wear inspired us to look our best for the King. In her session, Hairspray & High Heels, she reminded us that the King is enthralled with our beauty, and what we think about ourselves matters! Missy and I were both even brave enough to get up on stage in front of the women of Henderson and participate.
Speaking of brave, the ultimate bravery award goes to the men in the camera crew that came all the way from South Carolina from Meade Agency to film a congregation full of estrogen-filled women!!
Saturday morning, we learned ways to avoid burnout in our calling, igniting our passions to fuel our calling, and we were reminded why we need to laugh. The content of the topics discussed at She Laughs was relevant for women of all ages to help them pursue the good works of their calling.
The picture above was the grand finale. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so if you want to know more about the picture above, then you will have to visit a She Laughs Conference for yourself! She Laughs Conference
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.
Last 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.
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.
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.
The 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.
Our 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.
I love the holidays! There is excitement in the air, and for most people, the holidays are filled with peace, love, and joy. For some, however, the holidays can be a time of great poverty, sadness, and loneliness.
This year I am burdened with a loved one, a dear one who is lost and scared, and in need of a Christmas miracle. It is easy to get caught up in our own little worlds and miss the fact that there are hurting people all around us.
Take heart, there is hope, and we have good news…
In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, the prophecy of the good news is given.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.- Isaiah 9:6
This is the beauty of Christmas, a message prophesied so long ago. The Light that breaks the darkness is the Word made Flesh in John 1. The Christ child—fully man, fully God come to save the world. His name is Jesus, and He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He is our Savior, and the only one who can take away our sins, and reconcile us to the Father.
Those that want the gospel, walk in darkness, and in the utmost danger. But when the gospel comes to any place, to any soul, light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine into our hearts, and make us wise unto salvation. – Matthew Henry Commentary of Isaiah 9:6
This Christmas season, let us earnestly pray that the gospel shines through us to bring hope to a lost and hurting world. We as believers are anointed to bring the good news to the weary, the poor, and the lost.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound -Isaiah 61:1 ESV
Jesus Christ came to bind up the brokenhearted, to liberate those who are held captive by Satan and sin. My heart is heavy and burden for those I know who are lost. My prayer is that the Light of Christ will come into their darkness, and they will be saved.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. – Acts 2:21 (Berean Study Bible)
Today I want to share some of our Thanksgiving preparations! I want to start out by saying thank you to all of my blog readers! I am so encouraged by you all, and I thank God for each of you! I pray that you will enjoy a bountiful feast with your loved ones, and that your heart is filled with praise to Jesus our King!
Our dining room table is set for a thanksgiving lunch celebration with our immediate family, along with one lovely addition. Jacob’s girlfriend Jane will be joining us this year!
While out shopping this year I found these amazing chargers, and cute little leaf shaped bowls to add to our table this year! I paired that with dishes we already own, and vintage classes from Peter’s childhood. I just love the way the place settings turned out. So fun!
This year we are mixing things up a bit, and instead of having TURKEY OR HAM, we are having PHEASANT AND DUCK! Along with a wild rice stuffing, 5 cheese macaroni, whiskey Glazed carrots, a healthy version of green bean casserole, crusty bread with onion jam, along with pumpkin muffins, and buttermilk pie for dessert. Yum! I am so excited.
Peter grated a mound of cheese for me, and I made a Béchamel sauce, and viola. A hearty 5-Cheese Macaroni make ahead side dish, that I topped with Panko bread crumbs, and popped in the refrigerator for the big day!
Peter’s brother and his family will be joining us in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day. We will enjoy a more relaxed setting with the kids. Leaving lots of room for the adults to talk, and the kids to play.
A few years ago I started doing crafts with the kids, and it has become a holiday tradition. This year we are painting wooden Christmas ornaments.
I also picked up these fun coloring, bingo, tic-tac-toe pages to keep the littles busy.
As we prepare our homes, our tables, and our food, let’s not forget to prepare our hearts. We have so much to be thankful for, and in the midst of our busyness, let us keep our eyes fixed on the giver of all good gifts.
Psalm 100 – A Psalm for giving thanks.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving! Be sure to follow my blog for a chance to win the Listen, Love, Repeat! bundle. Stay tuned for more holiday inspiration and giveaways from now until the end of the year!
How are you preparing for the holidays? What traditions are you planning to incorporate? Are you doing anything new this year? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know what you have planned.
As the dust settles after a very contentious political season, one thing that is for sure is that our nation is divided. In the midst of this division, how should Christians respond? The answer: Listen, Love and Repeat!
I just finished reading Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman. Wow! What a timely and relevant message for us to consider and apply in our lives today. I was first introduced to Karen Ehman this past spring when I attended the She Speaks Proverbs 31 Women’s Conference and joined the COMPEL writer’s training program. When the opportunity arose to review Karen’s new book and Bible study I was thrilled to do so!
In Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World, Karen encourages us to be mindful, and look beyond ourselves and listen for ways we can can bless others. This book is based off of the principle, Love God, and Love people. In Matthew, we see the Sadducees ask Jesus questions to try to trap him theologically. When Jesus silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees continued to engage in ongoing debate with Jesus.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the great and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40 ESV
This command comes from Deuteronomy 6:5,”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Love God, and love others. In these two commandments we have the sum of the law. Devote yourself to God by loving Him, and then show grace, love, and kindness to others.
Karen has identified a major problem that affects society today. This problem will likely plague the next generation, if something doesn’t change. In the crazy fast-paced selfie culture we live in, how can we love God and love others well? Karen shares both biblical stories and personal examples, along with practical wisdom on how to love others well. Karen shares memory verses for making a difference, recipes for reaching out, quips and quotes, and much more.
I am excited to share one copy of Karen’s book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World along with a study guide and DVD! To be eligible to win, simply follow MistyPhillip.com, anytime between now and December 1, 2016! To follow MistyPhillip.com enter your email address into the text box on the side bar of my website.
Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World (Zondervan, November 15, 2016) is Karen Ehman’s ninth book and has a Bible study with DVD with it. Karen is an encourager to women and her life work is to help women live their priorities and to love their lives.
In Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World Karen talks about listening for heart drops – a heart drop is when a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or her heart – and what to do when we hear them. When we take notice of those who are in our presence we are able to mimic what some refer to as the same ministry Jesus has. Karen says, “Jesus’ real ministry was the person he found standing in front of Him” and asks, “Who is that for you today?”