Book Review | As Kingfishers Catch Fire

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As Kingfishers Catch Fire
by Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson has long been one of my all-time favorite writers for  both the beauty of his prose and the depth of his insight about Scripture.   His latest release, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, does not disappoint.

None of his books are “easy reads.”  They are best chewed over and savored.   As a collection of 49 sermons spanning decades of pastoral ministry, this book in particular lends itself to slow reading.  I typically read one chapter a day, sometimes even less.

The sermons are broken into sections and systematically walk you through Scripture:   Books of the law, poetry books, prophets, gospels, etc.   He shares both fresh ideas and foundational theology.

For those longing for a deeper walk through the entirety of Scripture or for an awakening about the beauty and wisdom of God’s Word, this book is a powerful and beautiful choice.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclaimer: Heather King is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

[week 2] Overwhelmed Online Bible Study

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Online Bible study is a great way to connect with women around the world and learn about the promises of God! This summer we’ve been digging into a topical study called “Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore the Sanity” with authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. This is a perfect study to learn about Biblical mandates for rest, priorities, and shifting from a worldview to a God view. We’ve already knocked it out of the ballpark with the first four chapters of the study- BAM! Life changing.

In chapters three and four this week we learned the value of personal manifestos and planning ahead for our Future Self. We also learned several ideas for teamwork. We started pre-deciding how we’d answer invitations, map our planners, and evaluate our decisions against our manifesto.

Once I created a personal manifesto this week, my planner now has a new purpose. When my withdrawn teenager comes out of her room I’ve made the decision to invest time in our relationship. Today I dropped what I was doing, made us a pot of tea, and watched The Great British Baking Show when she turned on the TV.  Then I invited her “put on headphones” and walk on the beach together (learning her language). So immediately I experienced the benefits of having a plan for my Future Self. Have you finished your manifesto, and if so, how are you seeing it’s benefits in your life (comment below).

In small groups we’re starting to recognize that we no longer feel guilty for self-care, or a Sabbath rest. This is a redirection point! Keep working on these concepts as we move forward through the book.

Last week Cheri Gregory created a Facebook Live video on The Personality Types- if you missed it here’s a replay!

 FACEBOOK GROUP TIPS for online Bible study

Last week was 100% improved in technology and we really saw an improvement in our live discussion groups! Great job ladies!

  • We’re noticing an attack from porn profiles, they’re now naming their porn groups “Bible study.” Those fake groups are triggering Facebook to post “suggested groups” beside our ministry, and so it’s attracting a SWARM of member requests from porn profiles (bots). We’ve been filtering them out and blocking them from access. to our groups.
  • Your group leaders post their discussion photos the night before you meet. Go to the photo and comment under it- then when the group begins you’ll easily find your leaders.
  • Your Facebook friends DO NOT see your group comments. We’re a “closed group” privacy setting so only members in group can see what you post.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK

  • Pray before you begin, and also pray for our ministry leaders and the book authors.
  • Read Chapter 5: When It’s All Just Too Much: Practical Steps to Get to the End of Your Day
  • Read Chapter 6: Overcoming Overwhelmed: Increasing Your Capacity for Joy
  • Finish your Personal Manifesto
  • Start creating your planners!
  • DISCUSS: Meet and Greet! <– join a discussion group once a week!

BONUS: COMPANION STUDY GUIDE- Click this link below for PDF

We will share a new study guide lesson once a week. Author Cheri Gregory is an educator and does not give out her lesson plans in advance. She wants us to complete the lesson before a new one is published. Print these out and put into a binder so you don’t lose them.

 

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4:16 NLT

All glory to God-

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

[Book Review] Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose by Carey Scott

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Photo by Tirza van Dijk on UnsplashCarey Scott takes the word ‘uncommon’ and unpacks it into a positive experience through the lens of Scripture. You’ll want to read it twice: once alone as you cry, and again with a group of friends on the same journey of uncommon womanhood. Get out your highlighters and get started on this book today! -Christine Abraham

This book lives up to the title, because its uncommon to surrender when the world tells you to conform. Through life experiences and personal stories, Carey takers her reader on a journey of boldness in faith. Her readers self-discover their own passion and a revived trust in God’s Word.

When Carey Scott asked me if I wanted to read a copy of her newest book “Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose” I did not hesitate to say yes. I met this amazing woman online though social media and was immediately captivated by her passion and purpose. Then she writes this incredible book and now I want to drink coffee with her and stay up all night chatting about Jesus.

She’s authentic and every word in her book is soul-catching for me. Because of her book and story, I feel like we’re sisters -though we’ve never met in person. It’s THAT powerful. I’ve enjoyed this book so much it’s one of my 10 Favorite Books of the Year.

 

 

Favorite Quotes

  • I was at the crossroads of questioning God and trusting God, and I had a choice to make. Carey Scott
  • It’s easy to trust God when the stakes are low, but this wasn’t one of those times. Carey Scott
  • You cannot live extraordinary when you live in the bondage of ordinary. Carey Scott
  • Perfection is a lie, and it’s nowhere close to God’s heart for us. Carey Scott
  • We can’t live uncommon lives if we’re so consumed by what others might think of us. Carey Scott
  • This isn’t dress rehearsal, friend. No, we are living on the stage of life. Carey Scott

About the Author: Carey Scott is an author, speaker, and life coach, honest about her walk with the Lord… stumbles, fumbles and all. Her passion is reminding women of their immeasurable worth, something the world is quick to discount. She speaks to women’s groups and writes about the issues that matter most to the heart of a woman.

Published: Shiloh Run Press (July 1, 2017)

ISBN-13: 978-1683222750

READ MORE AMAZON REVIEWS OR LOOK INSIDE BOOK –> CLICK HERE

Disclosures: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Womens Bible Cafe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Christine’s Coffee Talk! When is the last time you did something uncommon? What would it take for you to do something outside your comfort zone? Comment below and share your story…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

[Book Review] New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp

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Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

When you begin the day with a new attitude based on the Bible, you know it’s going to be  transformational in how you look at people and events. Beginning the day with New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp is a trip (pun intended) through power-thoughts! Let me tell you why…

This is a devotional book that does not collect dust on your bookshelf. It’s a “pick-up-and-read” daily book with a power-packed message each day, for 365 days. I am amazed how spot-on these messages are. They’re not long to read but the words linger throughout the day.

It’s similar to Oswald Chambers “My Utmost For His Highest” with convincing words- for both a new Christian and a mature Christian. It’s different in the absence of the actual Scripture verse, perhaps intentionally, so the reader is not struggling with Bible translations. Instead of writing out the verse, the reader will use a Bible alongside the devotional and look up references. I found it helpful to use an electronic Bible for this purpose.

I’ve enjoyed this devotional so much it’s one of my 10 Favorite Books of the Year. Now I have a Kindle version so I can carry the devotional when I travel, a PDF version from my book review, and a hardcover to give as a gift. Yes- I do enjoy this book!

365 Gospel-Centered Devotions for the Whole Year

Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day.

Favorite Quotes

  • I must always remember the grace I am given and extend that grace to the people in my life.
  • In every situation, location, and relationship in our lives there is a war for control of our hearts.
  • The grand delusion of every act of sin is that we can be disloyal to God and everything will work out in the end.

About the Author: Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?Dangerous CallingParenting, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org

Published: Crossway; 1 edition (October 31, 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-1433541384

READ MORE AMAZON REVIEWS OR LOOK INSIDE BOOK –> CLICK HERE

Disclosures: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Womens Bible Cafe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

 

Christine’s Coffee Talk! What is your favorite classic devotional’ “My Utmost for His Highest” is mine.  Comment below and share your story…

 

 

[Book Review] The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness

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The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness by Leith Anderson and Jill Fox is packed with detailed ideas and storytelling from personal experience. The writing style is analytical with identification of problems and solutions to common volunteer challenges. Many biblical references support the volunteer structures outlined in the book.

This is a terrific book for anyone leading a local church, parachurch, or ministry. A wealth of wisdom is tucked into each chapter for recruiting, training, managing, and terminating volunteers. I’ve read several books on the subject and so far, this is the best one yet! The authors repeatedly emphasize exploring the spiritual gifts and adjusting the volunteer into positions where the gift are magnified. A reward system is outlined for thank volunteers- beyond the usual coffee mugs and annual thank-you lunch.

Many levels of volunteer placements are discussed as examples- from the youth ministry, ushers ministry, Bible camps, and small groups. It’s a well-rounded point of discussion from the experience of senior church leadership teams.

The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness was developed out of the ministry of Leith Anderson at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where a vital and vibrant volunteer program boasting 4,000 participants grew under the leadership of Jill Fox. The principles and training have been applied in churches of all sizes and denominations in seminar settings across the country as well as at Wooddale Church.

In The Volunteer Church, leaders will

  • Learn how to effectively recruit and train volunteers
  • Discover how to build sustainable, long-lasting ministries led by volunteers
  • Find methods for encouraging and maintaining your volunteers for success
  • Know how to build teams of volunteers
  • Understand how to find the right service that fits a willing volunteer

By the time I finished the book I was so excited I immediately contacted Sonya Morris Nelson our Director of Leadership, and asked her to read it too! Together we are mapping out a plan for our volunteer team based on the Intel gathered from this valuable book. We were able to identify areas of strength and weakness in our existing program and create an action plan for future growth and development.

As a ministry director, I am exceptionally grateful to the authors for writing this resource handbook. It has already been beneficial to our team and is a handbook we’ll continue using in the future.

Favorite Quotes

  • Religious organizations led the list of volunteering opportunities…at their core, churches are volunteer organizations.
  • Volunteering is one of the primary ways we become Christ-like.
  • The volunteer church is more than a slogan or a nice book title. It is God’s design, and it’s the biblical pattern.

About the Author:  Leith Anderson serves as president of the National Association of Evangelicals. For thirty-five years he was the pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He is a graduate of both Denver Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary.

Published: Zondervan (August 4, 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0310519157

READ MORE AMAZON REVIEWS OR LOOK INSIDE BOOK –> CLICK HERE

Disclosures: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Womens Bible Cafe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

 

Christine’s Coffee Talk! Where have you helped out at your local church or community?Comment below and share your story…

[week 1] Overwhelmed Online Bible Study

By | Overwhelmed | No Comments

Welcome to summer online Bible study! We’re reading “Overwhelmed” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. Last week we had a fabulous time meeting all of you in our discussion groups! This week we’ll be discussing your personality styles from the quiz in chapter two. We’ll also discuss healthy habits, and how we found ourselves in places of being overwhelmed.

The outcome of this study depends on you- not your discussion leaders or the book authors. I think most of you have already realized this because you are super excited as we talk during the week. You’re already having “game-changer” moments and seeing where you can make small adjustments for BIG improvements. We’re walking the journey together…but it’s progressive.

I made a serious mistake the first time I went through the book by myself. Gulp.

I skipped ahead and being a planner junkie, I wanted THAT planner that would solve all my overwhelming issues. Well, that was just wrong. My time was wasted because when I jumped ahead I ended up at the same place where Kathi Lipp warns us not to go..I moved my current tasks into my new (count them, number five) planner this year. Don’t make my mistake.

You see, in order to mindshift from where we are now to being not overwhelmed, we have to get into the heart of our decision making. Walk out those steps one chapter at time with authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. Last week when you read chapters one and two – you started to realize your personality styles (and those of your family or coworkers). You saw your inner sensitivity as a woman and how it impacts your life decisions. You learned the “5 Habits For Handling Decision Fatigue.”

This week as you read chapters three and four- you’ll prepare a deeply personal manifesto. There’s a PDF worksheet in the study guide, and also sample manifestos on the author’s website. It’s a game-changer so do not skip the step. Do the work and get out of the CHAOS that holds you in bondage to “not enough time” or “too many tasks.”

Do. The. Work.

Cheri Gregory has a BIG announcement for you and if you miss the live event, you can visit her page anytime during the week to watch the video. Here at the details:

Facebook Live with Cheri Gregory on Monday June 26 at 5PM Pacific, 8PM Eastern

https://www.facebook.com/cheri.gregory.author/

FACEBOOK GROUP TIPS for online Bible study

Last week we encountered some technical challenges as Facebook started making updates to groups..at the same time we were leading our live events. Oops! As I observed the groups I noticed that:

  • Mondays are very popular so we added a fourth group meeting at 12PM Pacific/ 3PM Eastern  as a place for you to study together.
  • For those doing independent study without a group, we added a place where you can post your answers or ask questions. Look for the blue image with a microphone.
  • It’s easier to read comments with the GROUPS APP for Facebook. There’s an iPhone version and Android version…just search “Facebook Groups” on your device apps store to download free.
  • When you use the “reply” button it slows down and these comments are hidden on phones and tablets. Knowing almost 75% of the women attending are using mobile devices, it you want your comments to be seen type them as new comment and don’t click “reply.” If you want to comment to a specific person use the @ sign with her name and if she allows tagging on account settings, she will see it. Or just copy/paste her name at the beginning of your new comment.
  • A few women were getting warnings from Facebook for clicking the “like” button too many times. If you get ANY warning on Facebook immediately stop because you have triggered an automated “offense” that could land into what we lovingly call “facebook jail.” In jail mode, they block some features for a couple days because you ignored their warning.
  •  On Thursday Facebook CEO announced changes are being implemented for Groups. So expect improvements to roll out in the next few weeks- sometimes they work, sometimes they do not because they are changing millions of groups all at once.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK

  • Pray before you begin, and also pray for our ministry leaders and the book authors.
  • Read Chapter 3: Sometimes I’m My Own Worst Enemy: How to Be True to the Future You
  • Read Chapter 4: Building Up Others While Tearing Down My Overwhelm: Creating a Team Where Everyone Wins
  • Create your Personal Manifesto BEFORE you start creating your planners!
  • DISCUSS: Meet and Greet! <– join a discussion group once a week!

BONUS: COMPANION STUDY GUIDE- Click this link below for PDF

We will share a new study guide lesson once a week. Author Cheri Gregory is an educator and does not give out her lesson plans in advance. She wants us to complete the lesson before a new one is published. Print these out and put into a binder so you don’t lose them.

 

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
Proverbs 27:12 NLT

All glory to God-

 

 

 

 

To get these weekly Bible study updates make sure you subscribe and CONFIRM permission: https://www.womensbiblecafe.com/newsletter/