August 18, 2015

I’m “Breaking Up with Perfect”Giveaway

Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say … we feel like it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more and wants better, but it’s never satisfied. Never! Have you been there? I know I have, especially with my Type A personality.

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That’s why I love my friend Amy Carroll’s new book, “Breaking Up with Perfect!” God has called her to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us – plus she’s giving away a copy too

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As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own. 

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding that my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.

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Amy Carroll wants to celebrate the release of her new book Breaking Up with Perfect  with you! Please leave a comment about your struggle with perfection to enter to win a free copy. If you’re living life at warp-speed today, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments to enter. I will announce the winner on Thursday in a new post with a prayer for our children as they head back to school! If you want to get to know Amy better, visit her blog by clicking here.

Blessings,

August 11, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Rothschild and Her New Book, “Invisible”

***WINNERS OF THE “INVISIBLE” GIVEAWAY CAN BE FOUND AT THE END OF THE COMMENTS***

 

A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Rothschild and her husband, fondly known as Dr. Phil by his friends, at She Speaks. I couldn’t wait to meet her because her book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark, spoke into my life at a time when I felt isolated, alone and abandoned by God. And meeting her did not disappoint. Jennifer shines the love and light of Jesus! She is the real deal. Authentic. Kind. Wise. Humble.

So when I learned she had a new book coming out, I couldn’t wait to share it! And the title … so intriguing …  Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are. So please take a few minutes to hear about her new book from the author herself. Her interview below will give you a taste of her beautiful heart, the book, and her deep desire for you to experience the power of God’s living and active Word to transform your life.

And the best news of all, Jennifer is graciously giving away two copies of Invisible! If you leave a comment at the end of  today’s post, I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible.

****Also, if you left a comment on my last post to win a copy of our First 5 Experience Guide, you will find the two winners at the end of the comments on that post.****

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1. Your new book is titled Invisible. What do you mean by the title Invisible?
Sometimes women can feel overlooked, unimportant or insecure. And, when we do, we feel invisible. Think about it—a mom who spends her days changing diapers, driving the mini-van and washing dishes. She can feel only as valuable as she is useful—invisible. Or, a woman at work who is constantly ignored when she gives her ideas—she can feel invisible. Or, a single woman at a party, trying to be a part of a conversation but she constantly feels like she doesn’t know what to say, she feels like she is not smart or cute enough; like no one even notices her—invisible.

2. In Invisible, you share Gomer’s story —from the story of Hosea and Gomer. What drew you to Gomer?
So, I wrote the book Invisible because I have struggled with insecurity and insignificance; I have felt invisible too. And, then I read this story about a woman named Gomer—a woman chosen, loved and prone to wander. Bingo. That’s me! I think she did what she did because she didn’t realize that she was not how she felt.

3. How did you grow and change through writing Invisible?
Well, I learned that there is a big “me” in GoMEr!  I used to judge her—you know, like, I am not her. I could never be her. After all, she left her husband and went for other lovers. She had everything and she left what she had—security and identity—to go find it in all the wrong places.  I learned that I cannot judge Gomer because I am gomer. I have often left my security and identity in Christ to go find it in the other lovers of acceptance, popularity.  So, I was humbled by seeing myself for who I am and then, just plain amazed and overwhelmed to see that God not only loves me and wants me to return to Him, but He goes to whatever lengths He needs to to get me back. Amazing love.

4. The book of Hosea tells the story of how Hosea pursues Gomer even when she turns her back and rejects his persistent love. What is a time you were like Gomer?
I’ll be honest. I don’t have big dramatic Gomer Moments where I turned my back on God, but certainly have had moments where I found myself stuck in a pattern of getting my basic security and identity needs met in the wrong ways and wrong places. I open the book with a story about one of those moments. We were on a drive to a lake get away and by the time I arrived, I had been so drawn in by social media and how everyone else’s life’s were so perfect that I was a walking, talking, face book stalking identity crisis. So, here I was, “in Christ” but in full blown identity crisis.

5. What is one truth you hope readers will walk away with after turning the last page?
Oh, I hope there are a lot more than one! Gomer’s life is chock full of teachable truths that can free a woman from her chains of insecurity and get her out of an identity crisis.

But, if I had to choose just one…I hope the reader embraces that she is a gomer—I am a gomer—we all are gomer because we are all dearly loved and accepted. We lack nothing in Christ—we have the love we long for, acceptance we need and He makes us complete. That is who we are! Sure, we will still feel insignificant and insecure sometimes but I hope the reader will begin to internalize that how she feels is not who she is. I want women to realize that we are not the be-perfect or the be- tolerated, we are the beloved! Yes!  Bring it on!

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing a bit of your heart with us! Friends, leave a comment before Friday and share when you feel most invisible. I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible and announce the winners at the end of the comments on this post Monday. Click here  THIS WEEK to visit her website and grab a copy of Invisible and learn about her great freebies. 

And be sure to help Jennifer get the word out about Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are!

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Jennifer’s new book, Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are is now available! If you order this week, you’ll receive several free gifts as Jennifer’s way to say thank you! Go totheInvisibleBook.org to learn more and grab your copy.

July 29, 2015

Faith Feeds on the Word of God

****Winners of Experience Guide can be found at the end (or near the end) of the comments section in this post *****

How thrilled I am that our Proverbs 31 First 5 App is finally here, fully loaded with God’s Word and content, to take us deeper still with Him!! I’m honored to be part of the writing team for the App and cannot wait to dig deep into the Word of God with you. Our writing team includes Whitney Capps, Wendy Pope, Leah DiPascal, Krista Williams and, of course, our fearless leader, Lysa TerKeurst!

FaithFeedsonWordofGod But WHY are we so excited about getting into the Word with you? Because God makes some amazing promises about His Word, and I don’t know about you, but I want to be the beneficiary of those promises. Let’s take a look at a few …

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:3

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.  Psalm 119:9

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Psalm 119:105

The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.  Psalm 119:130

As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless.  2 Sam. 22:31; Proverbs 30:5

My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it out.  Isaiah 55:11

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  2 Peter 1:19

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.  Matthew 24:35

The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:12

Oh, friends, each time I sit down to write a First 5 teaching, my heart leaps with joy at the thought of men and women around the world gathering in one place to meet with Him. I can only imagine the delight that fills God’s heart as He sees each one of us giving the first moments of our day to Him.

It’s an honor to break apart the Word of God for you and with you. If you haven’t signed up, just drop by the App Store and download our FREE First 5 App. Did you know that in less than a week we have experienced over 200,000 downloads! We’ve had over 6 MILLION screen views. It’s totally crazy and something only God could accomplish.

Clearly, God’s children are hungry for more of His Word. He is after all The Bread of Life! So will you join me in ingesting and digesting more of His Word? John_EG_Cover_for_Karie_large Leave a comment below and let me know if you have signed up, or if you are going to sign up today! I will choose two names to receive a copy of our John Experience Guide.

We wrote the Experience Guide to be a companion to the John study on the App. Each study will have its own Experience Guide. You can purchase the John Experience Guide from our Proverbs 31 Bookstore by clicking here.

Blessings,