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Monday, May 19 2014

Gotta Love Books!

 

I have always loved books and a good story! When I was a teenager, my downtime from my extreme extraversion was to get a good book, a bag of Cheetos (and sometimes M&M’s), and hole up in my room immersing myself in the story. I would lose track of time (and sometimes reality) as my imagination took off with the story.  The well-worn pages would be marked with orange fingerprints as a testament to the journey of discovery through the pages.

I still love books, but what I read now has changed.  As God has stolen my heart and my mind, I get caught up with my growing relationship with Him and now gravitate to books that help me better understand Him and His ways. He has knitted me to care for, be curious about, and desire to grow in knowledge about relationships with Him, myself, and others.

In addition to the Bible (our best human relationship manual), there are other books that have touched my heart. These authors speak God’s truth and have enlightened me and helped me grow in my walk. My list continues to change and grow, but these are some of the books that have been pivotal in my life.  I continue to read and grow, so if you ask me again, I might have a whole new set of favorites! 


Relationship with Him:

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers-

 My all time favorite devotional. Takes me deeper with God every time I read it.

 Never Alone by Joseph Girzone-

This book is a simply profound story of personal relationship with God. This came across my path when I was journeying back to God after wandering away for years and helped me reconnect to Him and His love for me.  I am thankful.

 Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala-

This one helped me grow in the Holy Spirit. The Living God worked on me through the words on the pages!


Relationship with self:

Fully Alive by Larry Crabb- 

His amazing insight educated me in how God knitted us uniquely as man and woman, and how to walk freely in that uniqueness. This teaching from Larry convicted me to the core. God opened my eyes to so much through it! It is helping me grow into the woman of God He designed me to be.  Praise God!

Your Divine Fingerprint: The Force that Makes you Unstoppable by Keith Craft-

 Incredibly encouraging and instructive on how to define, pursue, and implement your dreams.  His words fired me up about embracing who I am and walking confidently in that. A sound mix of biblical truths, wisdom, and practical steps to take.

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers-

Great book about addressing the ungodly thoughts we have that want to dictate our lives. Very practical and empowering.  Our minds are the place for true transformation to be released in our lives! Romans 12:2; Freedom Christ’s way!


Relationship with Others:

Boundaries and Beyond Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend-

These two classic books helped me set God-given parameters in my relationships. This has brought freedom and healthy relations with others.  The books also helped free me from my codependent ways! I had many “ah-ha” moments!

What Did you Expect??: Redeeming the Realties of Marriage by Paul David Tripp-

One of the best books on marriage I ever read. This really helped me to start seeing what realistic expectations are in a marriage.  I also gained an understanding of the concept of Kingdom of Self vs. Kingdom of God. Wow! That was a game changer for me.

Love and Respect by Emmerson Eggerichs-

This book rocked my world regarding the difference between what men and women need and respond to and woke me up to why God calls men to “love” women and women to “respect” men! This simple, but powerful truth brought new life to our marriage.  This book would be helpful for anyone thinking of getting married or already married.

 

As I reflect on the favorite books I’ve shared with you, I cannot help but acknowledge the obvious working of our Heavenly Father. His word flowed through these books as the authors used their God-given talents to allow the Holy Spirit to heal and transform through the power of the written word!   I am forever grateful for the words of life they shared.  They are part of the provision that God gives me to enter into “the exceedingly and abundantly more” that He promises.

 

I pray that you too, have your favorite books.

 Books that bring you closer to God, that help heal relationships, and transform your life with God and others.  

I encourage you to check out my favorites too!

What are your favorite books?

 

 

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 04:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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