The Antidote to Restlessness

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“People look desperately for things to make them happy, often without realizing what they’re missing spiritually.”  ~ Jan David Hettinga

A BOOK REVIEW

Jan David Hettinga in his new book Still Restless: Conversations That Open the Door to Peace does an excellent job explaining that our restlessness comes from within – a longing that is in our DNA. We were all created for a kingdom bigger than ourselves and yet we try so hard to find inner peace and contentment our own way.

31yemfd3il-_sx321_bo1204203200_Spiritual peace is available to us and often comes with our being real with Christ, asking the hard questions, and finding true peace. These one-on-one conversations (thoroughly examined throughout the book) show us that we build kingdoms that crumble but Christ offers peace to our restlessness when we are willing to step through the door of repentance, faith and trust in Him.

Our straight forward gut-wrenching communication with Christ will allow us to “abandon our failed experiments with independence and self-rule” and be replaced “unexplainable peace” our “antidote for fear and restlessness.”

No book explains the kingdom of God, our profound purpose and God’s ultimate plan of redemption and peace any better that this. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who are Still Restless.

Thank you to Jan David Hettinga and Kregel Publications for a copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Max Lucado’s “Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café”

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What do you get when you add one part hometown comfort and two parts nostalgia to a mixed up and boiling bowl of struggle, throw in a pinch of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” mix in some Skywalker and top it off with an frothy espresso for a Hallmark ending? You get an easy-to-read, page turning first novel written by one of everyone’s favorite inspirational storytellers – Max Lucado.

I am not an avid novel reader, in fact, ninety-eight percent of my reading bookshelf consists of non-fiction titles. My top 100 books list only includes a few pieces of fiction. So, why even offer to do a blog review for Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café? Because the author is Max Lucado and I love his short attention-getting illustrations that frequent his books. I’m glad I gave this novel a chance.

Chelsea Chambers, Higher Ground’s protagonist, is doing her best to move on in life after a very public split with her formerly famous NFL husband. She takes big steps forward by restarting the family’s old-fashioned coffee house. The café reminds everyone of simpler times; however, the struggle to move on continues to nag at Chelsea as she does her best to be entrepreneur and a hard-working, heartbroken mother to her children Hancock and Emily. “Baking was therapy for Chelsea . . . The complexity of her recipes had a funny way of matching the complexity of her problems.” We learn early on that these complexities also include a torn relationship between she and her father, who’s life is slowly being stolen by alzheimers.

The book is about prayer and miracles but most of all about a God who never leaves or forsakes Chelsea and her family. It takes awhile for her to see exactly what is going on behind the scenes, but just like in real life, she eventually sees that every mishap and struggle “works together for good” and that God never lost control of her situation even when it was at its worst.

Miracle at Higher Grounds Café is about misfortune, struggle, God-sized questions and the meaning of life. The book was a delight to read and even for someone who reads little fiction, I anticipated each new chapter searching for the answers and blessings that God had in store for Chelsea and the happy ending planned for all of us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I received my complimentary copy of the book for review from Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson.

Max Lucado and Thomas Nelson would like to invite you to have coffee with MaxTuesday, March 24th join Max and his daughter, Jenna Lucado Bishop, via a LIVE webcast where they will be chatting over coffee about Max’s new book and much more. Click here for more details and to RSVP.


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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A copy of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on the Litfuse blog.

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WHAT GOD’S PEOPLE NEED?

art-pope-620x349The Pope retires.

I read the following excerpt this morning written by NBC News staff writer Alastair Jamieson: “Pope Benedict XVI assured a huge, cheering crowd at the Vatican Wednesday that he was not abandoning the Catholic Church, saying he would remain at its service through prayer. I ask each of you to pray for me,’ he told tens of thousands who gathered in the sunshine to watch his final general audience before Thursday’s abdication. Referring to the many turbulent moments of his papacy, he acknowledge its moments of joy but also difficulty when ‘It seemed like the Lord was sleeping.’ ‘There were moments when the waters were choppy and there were headwinds,’ he said.”

Asking for prayer . . . admitting doubt . . . a bad thing? OR possibly what we need to see from even more spiritual leaders? Humanity, honesty, and humility.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://tinyurl.com/ahqph2q

My Prayer Today

My wife gets this devotional in her email and today the prayer was the perfect prayer for us . . .

Today’s Prayer
God, I have heard that you are never late, seldom early, but always on time. When I think back through the experiences of my life, I can see the truth in that statement. Thank you for always being on time. Thank you for the lessons you have taught me through waiting, through suffering, through the storms and valleys and for your faithfulness always. Thank you for the rays of sun that peaked through the clouds in the way of a praying spirit and helping hand from other Christians. Thank you for the sun that shone brightly after the storms and cloudy days, and for your son who is my sun and shield, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you had always been on my time schedule, I wouldn’t have learned much in life, so I am thankful that you are always on time according to your schedule. I praise you for who you are and all you’ve done. May I be found worthy in your sight through the blood of the Savior. In His name I pray, amen.

Jitters

d3b6feef-a200-4e8a-bddf-aa3f274c9ba31OK, so this piece is all about jitters.

Jitter
Pronunciation: \ˈji-tər\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown

1 plural : a sense of panic or extreme nervousness.
2: the state of mind or the movement of one that jitters.

As defined by wikipedia, a jitter may be seen as the interval between successive pulses. Jitter period is the interval between two times of maximum effect (or between two times of minimum effect) of a jitter characteristic.

OK, so this is a description of my last 24 hours. Watched Heath Ledger’s great performance in the Dark Knights – gave me the jitters. You’ve got to see it! Been nervous about finding a job and house – the jitters. Found a local coffee house that was so peaceful (amidst my jitters) called Jitters.

I am reminded that locking up the jokers in the world, knowing the future and finding His will without waiting, or a good coffee break doesn’t take away the jitters! There is only one place we can go when the jitters take us over . . .

“Every ‘why?’ passage in the Bible indicates that the person or group did not understand; they were living the mystery and had to pray in the midst of it. In fact, they wove ‘why?’ into their praying. As long as we can pray our ‘whys?’, we will not be paralyzed by mystery. And we will discover that prayer is not so much about getting answers as about gaining perspective. We can never know God through the power of our own reasoning, speculating, or calculating. The finite cannot understand the Infinite.”
Steve Harper, Talking in the Dark

“The best reason to pray is that God is really there. In praying, our unbelief gradually starts to melt. God moves smack into the middle of even an ordinary day.” Emilie Griffin

“When the train goes through a tunnel and the world becomes dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.” Corrie Ten Boom