Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are you Giving IN or Giving UP??

Two young wives dealing with the same issue, but responding to it so differently…

Both women have been extremely restless and unhappy in their marriages.

Both have sought out wise counsel.

Both have considered the hearts of their precious children.

Both women have had to make some hard choices.

In the end, they chose very different paths - one stayed and one left.

One gave up on the marriage, and the other gave in to her marriage.

Giving up and giving in – what’s the big difference?

To give up is to quit,

To walk away,

To abdicate responsibility,

To hang it up,

To renounce something,

To desert something or someone,

To check out,

To resign,

To go away from it all. 

Initially, giving up seems easier and more pleasant. Walking away relieves some of the stress and gives one a fresh start.

However, quitting doesn’t fix the problems. Walking away typically solves very little. Those same issues we left behind usually surface again – only the next time they surface, they seem harder, worse, more difficult and multiplied in pain.

To give up on people, relationships, and situations also can lead to incredible remorse, emotional pain, loneliness, and even some challenging physical issues.

Giving up doesn’t really solve anything.

So, what’s the alternative?

The second young wife in my story chose to GIVE IN.

Giving up and giving in – what’s the big difference?

To give in is to surrender,

To yield,

To wave the white flag,

To submit,

To willingly lay down your rights,

To abandon yourself,

To do what’s right instead of what’s easy,

To let go of the fight,

To rest.

This second young woman decided to stick it out and to hang around – seeking to make her marriage better. Things have not been perfect, but she is glad she has chosen to surrender.

And, she has experienced something amazing by choosing to give in to the relationship rather than giving up on it. She has found deep and abiding hope in the depths of her being. She has found Jesus to be real and the joy of the Lord has been her continual strength.

There is a spring in her step and a lift in her voice because she has chosen to yield her situation over to her Savior. Surrender has brought joy into this young woman’s life.

So, what makes this choice so difficult for the rest of us? 

Why do we so often choose to give up rather than to give in?


~ Maybe it’s because our world pushes for us to do what we want to do, to demand our way, to clamor for our rights?

~ Maybe it’s because that doggone grass always looks so much greener and more lush on the other side of the fence?

~ Possibly it’s because we feel so out of control when we submit and surrender – trusting God to take care of those things that matter so much to us?

No matter the reason – surrendering all to Jesus is hard.  Really hard.

And yet, surrendering all to Jesus is the key. Consider this equation:

Pushing God away and going our own way = 
Anxiety, Pain, Remorse.

Surrendering to Him and resting in His plan = 
Joy, Hope, Inner Strength, & Peace.


The Message Bible gives a great rendering of surrender from Romans 12:1-2 under the heading,

“Place Your Life Before God:”

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,

God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”


Today, like the two women mentioned at the start of this post, we all have a choice, an opportunity to decide.

We can decide to give up and walk away – doing our own thing in our own way.

Or, we can choose to give our lives over completely to Jesus, trusting Him to wisely, graciously, and perfectly order our steps.

As I close, the words to a favorite old hymn come to mind. 

Do you remember it?

All to Jesus I surrender;

All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His name!
I Surrender All
Text: J.W. Van Deventer
Music: W.S. Weeden 

Blessings to you as you choose to give IN rather than to give UP today!  


Melanie

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A great book idea...

Looking for a positive, encouraging read this summer?  This book is for you! 

Published by Olivia Kimbrell Press, the book is called A Beautiful Reflection.  It’s a Christian love story written by Sarah Maddox.  Although the author has written several other titles, this is her first novel. 

The book is available in both paperback and Kindle formats.  (The Kindle Edition is only $3.99 right now at Amazon.com).

Written in the vein of Grace Livingston Hill, this story will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to a purer, better day in America.  It’s almost like a book written from better days gone by.

The characters come alive with real emotion, hurt, joy, and promise.  Their story is sweet and believable.

It’s almost like watching a favorite from The Hallmark Channel.

I found myself pulled in from the first pages, and I read the entire story in one afternoon sitting.  Here is a little more about the story from the Amazon page...

Susan Strasbourg, a beautiful and very conservative Christian girl, and Jim Hitchenson, a handsome, sophisticated Atlanta bachelor fall for each other at a company convention. They soon discover their lifestyles are miles apart. In his world she would be considered prudish. In her world he would be considered “wild.” It is no surprise that when their values and beliefs intersect, the result is conflict. Will they really be able to resolve these seemingly unsolvable conflicts? Will their love prove to be true and lasting?

The book is an enjoyable read, and I’d like to recommend it to you.

(And, it’s written by my sweet little momma.  That makes this suggestion even sweeter!)

To obtain to your copy, use this link...

Blessings to you,

Melanie

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FOUR Books to Check Out This Summer!

Last week, I put out a request on Facebook for suggestions of great books to read over the summer.

My inbox and Facebook wall brimmed over with a wonderful treasure trove of book ideas. I heard from friends all over the world about fabulous books I should read. And, I hope to read many of their suggested titles.

One of the most amazing things that happened as I put out the “book net” was this – I found several authors I personally know who have recently published books. Each of these authors is a friend, associate, or the spouse of a friend or associate.

I thought it might be fun to read their books over the summer and to pass along their information to you as well.

None of these authors asked me to do this. But, I know how much time, effort, energy, blood, sweat and tears goes into the completing a book project.

To write a book is to give birth to your dreams, hopes and ideas. And, each of these writers has given birth to a special book that I’d like to share with you.

I hope to read each of their books over the summer months. However, I have not had the chance to read any of them yet.

In this post, I will present some information about each book, share information about each book in the author’s own words, and let you know how you can obtain a copy.

I would love to hear back from you if you do read one of these books, and I will pass along any of your feedback, suggestions, and encouragement to these authors. Or, you can contact them directly to ask questions and to tell them how their book has blessed you!

1} And It Came to Pass by Miracle Kaye Hall…

What the book is about - Miracle shares her inspiring story of how she overcame a very abusive relationship. After numerous vicious attacks, finally decided it was time to leave. Unaware that this decision would almost cost her life. But through God’s Grace and Mercy has missed death.” (jacket cover)

Author’s heart on the book'Life as a teenager was far from being typical. Instead of general studies and hanging out with my friends, I was involved with abusive guys that led me to jump out of moving cars, dodge AK 47 rifle bullets, and cover up black eyes. God allowed me to escape death and compelled me to help others survive that are in similar situations. I have written a book titled, “And it came to Pass”, started Miracle’s House of Restoration Inc, and have passed my first Bill in Tennessee in efforts to save victims of domestic violence. God’s purpose for my life is evident. He is using a miracle to bring out the hope and miracles in others.'  (Miracle K. Hall)

To Obtain a Copy of this Book – Go to Miracle’s website at www.miracleshouseofrestoration.org


2} The Crucifixion Catalyst  by Don Woodruff…

What the book is aboutThis book “was written to inspire people of all walks of life to read the Bible, meditate on God’s Word, and know God’s will for their lives… Don believes that when we read God’s Word, we develop a closer fellowship with the Lord. This relationship can be the key that opens the door to subtle instructions from the Lord to assist us in living as believers and coping with daily challenges.” (jacket cover)

Author’s heart on this bookI don't consider myself a writer, but I really felt the Lord was encouraging me to write this book. Consequently, I feel more like a scribe than an author. My hope is that anyone who reads The Crucifixion Catalyst will have a greater appreciation for the importance of having an intimate relationship with the Lord. Life has its challenges and we need this fellowship with Him daily.”  (Don Woodruff)

To Obtain a Copy of this Bookwww.Amazon.com

  
3} Game Over  by James R. Green

What the book is about – “Katherine Forrester didn’t plan on being a single parent any more than she was prepared for her husband’s premature death. Neither was she prepared for what her job and boss expected of her as the world was coming apart at the seam and there was no one to break the fall. What do you do when religion fails you and friends abandon you..." (jacket cover)

Author’s heart on this bookA few minutes ago I got word that Tonya McBeth, a young lady in our disciple group, died last night. You would have never known by looking at her beautiful expression that her cancer was invasive and her life was almost over. Her family disowned her for past indiscretion and she was kept from seeing her young daughter and making things right.  Had it not been for those of us who loved, wept and prayed with her, she would have died alone—without family.  Instead she died victoriously and the short time I knew her is now blended into my life's story.

I'd written books on discipleship and intercession, and taught countless lessons on the subject, only to find a few people interested.  Then I decided to do what Jesus did by telling a story and teaching through the fictional characters.  I call it "Game Over." I didn't know Tonya before I wrote it, but in a way, it's her story:  How will I spend this day knowing that tomorrow may not come?  "Game Over" is about making your life count by building and nurturing relationships that will never end—like Jesus did. Game Over doesn't mean you're dead and going to be with Jesus.  It means you're tired of playing games and fully surrendered to follow him in the time you have left on earth.”  (Jim Green)

To Obtain a Copy of this Book – Contact Jim Green via email at jgreen@jgpro.net


4} Waiting on God  by Cherie Hill

What the book is about –“You pray, but God doesn’t seem to be listening. You trust Him, but it appears He’s letting you down. You believe His Word, but His Promises are coming up seemingly empty in your life. You seek, but you do not find… you knock, but there is no answer. If God is doing anything in your life… you can’t see it. The fight of faith intensifies, as it appears that not only is God running late… He may not show up at all…” (Jacket cover)

Author’s heartI'm just a sinner, saved by God's AMAZING grace, with one desire: for my life to be poured out as a servant to Christ, in order to bring glory to God. God has given me the great joy of spreading His Word around the world through Scripturenow.com And even though I have a BA in Psychology and I'm trained in Biblical Counseling through the AACC . . . it is truly God who has qualified me, through my daily surrender, as I walk intimately with Him one day at a time.”  (Cherie Hill)

To Obtain a Copy of this Bookwww.Amazon.com

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Thanks to each of these authors for sharing your books and your lives with us. We pray that God will bless your ministry and encourage your hearts today.

Looking forward to a great summer of reading!

By the way, if you have written a book, I’d love to hear about it and maybe have the chance to read it!

~ And, if you are in the process of writing a book, keep going. Yes, it is a challenging work, but you can do it!

~ Also, if you have any suggestions of other great books to read, please share your ideas:

~ Via email:(helloredds@gmail.com)

~ Or in the comment section on my blog (www.melanieredd.blogspot.com).

Blessings to you,

Melanie