Author Archives: Ana

Habits of the Heart

If you’re anything like me, you need fuel for the day. Having a daily devotional is a wonderful tool, but a lot of the time the task of finishing your typical 3 page devo when you’re in a rush is too daunting to even begin. With habits of the heart, I never have the “I didn’t have time” excuse.” when I need a pick me up on my lunch break, or a quiet minute with the lord in my parked car, this is my go to. It may be small, but the weight and depth of it is heavy. Those few words will have me pondering and questioning all day long. It keeps me on the one specific topic and helps me to remember what I learned since it is so focused. One of the best features this book has to offer is it’s ability to keep you on the same subject all week long. Habits are repetition and this allows you to really soak in all you can get out of whatever heart habit needs to grow in you. Habits of the heart is going for lasting change.
You will be amazed at how beautiful it will align with whatever season you are going through. God will use this book as a way to teach you the lessons he wants all his children to learn and it will truly create things in your heart that will benefit your walk with the Lord long after you finish this beautiful little book. I would recommend this to any and everyone on a journey with the Lord.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book. Habits of the Heart.png

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The Book of Amazing Stories

the book of amazing storiesWho doesn’t love a good story? One of adventure, intrigue, and world change? There is something about learning the behind the scenes details of what made up the lives of the greatest world changers that really excites us.

The Book of Amazing Stories is a gem. It is full of detail yet concise and to the point, easy enough for an adventurer who can’t stay still or the avid reader who finds adventure within the pages to both enjoy. It is so beautifully written that you will want to keep flipping the pages day after day and learning the stories of our most beloved heroes. You will be so eager to get to the next day and read the next story! This book does not discriminate. It tells the stories of both the sinners and the saints and finds the golden nuggets of truth and wonderful lessons to be learned in all of them. The end of each day comes with an applicable verse that has quickly become my “life verse” for the day I’m in. Dr. Robert is a mastermind at plucking out the best life lesson and summarizing what can be absorbed, giving us a quote to live our lives by. You will quickly see how this book can be read as a devotional, giving you so much to reflect upon throughout the day and live by as you go through your routine. You will take comfort in seeing how these world changers went through many of the same things as us.

The Book Of Amazing Stories will no doubt inspire, captivate, and strikes a chord with something deep inside our human hearts: passion, to make a difference. No matter what age race, or gender, this beloved book will create a flame in you to change the world too.

Anatomy of an Affair By Dave Carder

I adore my husband. He walks in the room and I still can’t understand how attractive he is, to the point where everyone around him pales in comparison. He’s my favorite person to talk to and the only male attention I crave. He makes me laugh the hardest no matter my mood. Cheating on him is the last thing I would ever do. But I genuinely believe everyone feels this way and we become to naive so quickly. We are at our most vulnerable when start to believe it could never be us. The enemy hates marriage and our flesh loves sin. This book made me look at affairs in a totally different light. They are just a few short steps in the wrong direction for everyone. Pastor Dave’s writing made me see real life experiences mixed with real life wisdom on the subject and my eyes have been opened to what to look for, what to avoid, and what I would’ve seen as innocent before I now see with much more clarity and therefore, move with much more caution. I think acknowledging that an affair can happen to even the most committed and loyal person if certain factors are in place really would shock and educate so many people. The engaging questions discussed in this book are ones that make you eager to sit down with your spouse and explore. This book gives a platform for this kind of open communication and growth in a marriage. As a newlywed, reading this book was a precautionary measure that I know will benefit my marriage forever. It also has made me want to share with my married girlfriends and has given me so much more wisdom on the subject. I am thankful for this book!

20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty Something Selves!

As believers, we know that everything in our lives God works together for good in the end. We know that we go through experiences to learn pivotal lessons for our growth, to become sanctified, and to transform more into the image of Christ. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t soak up great advice in the process. That we can’t take all the wisdom we can get BEFORE the storm in the valley and apply it so that we grow quicker and experience less heartache. That’s what this book is all about. We gain real wisdom from those who have walked before us. This book brings to us real life application and reflection on where we are at this stage, our 20’s. It questions everything and makes us really stop and think and examine ourselves. Our motives. Our choices. Our mindsets. I could not get enough of it. The lessons I took from this book will stick with me forever, and I know the friends I have been sharing it with will gain so much from it as well. Kelli and Peter write with honesty and grace and meet us right where we are and I am forever grateful. I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review.

Few Things Are Needed

Restlessness is one of the enemy’s greatest tactics in my life.
The root of most of my downfalls is in my inability to simply sit down and be still.

Putting time with God after my to do list.
Allowing busyness to overtake my time building relationships.
My need to prove points and be right.
Exhaustion and anxiety.
Discontentment.
Failure to see beauty.
Missing God’s voice because I am lost in noise…
These are all stems from the root of restlessness and misplaced priorities.
This restlessness is the enemy of creativity, imagination, and ideas. This restlessness gets in the way of all the Lord has to speak. I believe it is this restlessness that keeps me constantly busy with generally unimportant things gets in the way of my calling.

Yes, my calling.

Carrying out your calling takes focus. You do not just stumble into it, you need concentrated steps and goals. Getting caught up in the mundane prolongs and sometimes even gets us off course altogether.
I am a busybody and I shun those around me who are not. It shows when there is company over and all I can think about is the things that need to be done. It shows when my plan is complete rest and time with the Lord and I end up saying yes to too many activities. It shows in meticulous cleaning. It shows when I sit down to have my time with the Lord but cut it short because there are dishes in the sink. It shows when I try to read my bible but have to write down something that came to my mind that I need to do later.

It shows all over me, and it showed in Martha too. She was even reprimanded by Jesus for it.

Martha’s sister Mary had the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him, and she took it. Meanwhile, her sister Martha was too concerned with what needed to be done that she did not take this life changing opportunity.
“…the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
This isn’t to say we don’t need to get things done. But the importance we place on things need to be set appropriately. At the end of the day, few things were really needed. Much of what takes up our time does not matter. I would even go so far as to say that most time consuming things can be cut out. It may look different for everyone. Social media, too many extra curricular activities, even serving too much within the church (I know it has been for me many times before).

Over extending yourself is not God’s will. God sets aside designated times for us to rest. The Lord is found in the silence, and he will not yell. He is in the stillness and he will not compete with the raging clutter in our minds. Every single second does not need to be filled up with something or another to do.

Few things are needed.

Indeed, only one is.

Perspective. Focus on that one thing and the rest that needs to be done will become clear. Focus on the steps you need to take to walk in what you’ve been called to. Open your eyes to what has been set before you. You’ll see what’s truly important and your priorities will be rightly placed. Peace will overtake you when you sit and calm when you wait on the Lord. He will reveal things to you that you never knew before and questions will get answered in his presence, or they will simply fall away.
Focus on the one thing, and choose what is BETTER.

After Acts Book Review

After ActsHey guys! Something not many people know about me is that I love history. I especially love history surrounding the Church. There is so much to learn!

This book is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the prominent Biblical characters that we see throughout scripture. It brings life to them and reminds us that they are real people. As someone who was always curious and wanted to know more about the behind the scenes lives of those who penned the Scriptures, this book was so helpful to me. Litfin truly speaks from an unbiased point of view. He allows us to know the myths, legends, and probability in order to draw our own conclusions. There is no pressure to think one way or another, but only to learn the information that is out there as well as it’s possible credibility. He wrote this book gracefully, not only giving facts, but always bringing it back around to the Gospel, the entire purpose of these legends’ lives. He is an engaging storyteller and makes it so that it is not read as a textbook, but a storybook. This book allowed me to dig into background knowledge of the beloved Bible characters, show me the things people believed about them throughout history, as well as challenge my initial beliefs when it comes to the legends and stories that I have never second guessed before.

 

 

 

Beware of Churchgoing a Religious Activity

I woke up this morning to my alarm clock and instantly knew it was not a good idea to get out of bed. It is important to know your limits. When it comes to your health and your body, overexerting yourself always ends up affecting your Spirit. I’ve learned this the hard way as someone who likes to always be going, going, going. I’m learning how to listen and know when to rest.

But this particular alarm was for church.

I can’t think of a time where I haven’t made it to a service on a weekend. Whether that be a normal Sunday morning service, an “untraditional” Saturday night service, or the last 12:30, church going is important to me as a believer. The weekend service refreshes you, gives you a time of fellowship, and feeds your soul. I believe in the power of corporate worship, and I don’t miss out on many opportunities because I’ve considered the gathering of the Saints to be my safe haven in many ways since I met the Lord.

But the unexpected guilt that followed after I woke up late, made myself coffee, and sat down for a quiet time was unnerving. “Why where you so lazy this morning? Where is your commitment to God?” These thoughts kept coming until I took the them captive and examined them.

Love and loyalty can often times become bondage and laws, if we aren’t careful. Yes, I am implying that being a good church goer can become bondage. Because ANYTHING that ties us to a “must do” instead of “desire to do”, is then, religion.

If my dedication is in going to a building with other believers on a Sunday (as tradition calls for) in order to worship, instead of worshipping God in my living room, I am missing the entire point.

Of course, church going is important. We are told not to neglect meeting together. But when it invites overwhelming guilt to take a day off; that is religion. It has then become something it was never intended to be. The significance of your walk, instead of a tool to grow your walk.

The list of people who attend church on a strict weekly basis but do not have a personal relationship with God is disheartening. Living in the Bible belt for even a short period of time will teach you this. If your faith is in what you are doing to prove your Christianity, to yourself or to anyone else, your faith is not being put in God in that area. It is important to constantly recognize wrong thinking, renew your mind, and catch yourself. Many things we do can go against His design, becoming stale religion instead of fresh inspiration when it comes to our walk with God.