Quotes to Live By

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

It takes ten years to build up a reputation, but only five minutes to ruin one. (Anonymous)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

God’s Payment Plan

“For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:30-31 Someone may be in debt to you. They may owe you money, a reputation, an apology, a job, or a childhood. But God is asking you to let go and let Him. Let Him handle this. He has a payment plan for those who are in debt to his children. It may mean He wipes their slate clean with minimal repercussions. It may mean their stiff neck forces God to bring them to the end of themselves through trials and tribulations. Or, it may mean that what awaits them is an eternity of reaping in hell what has been sown on earth. But God’s position is one of judge and jury. You do not have to carry this burden or responsibility. Your role is to forgive and to trust God with the proper judgment and consequence.
Life gets complicated and draining when we take on the responsibility of making sure a person gets what he deserves. This is arrogant and unwise on our part. How can we know what others deserve for their injustices, neglect, and self-absorption? Our role is not to play God, but to serve God. Playing God is a never-ending disappointment. We were not made for that role. Only the Almighty can fill these shoes. And He does have it under control. There is no indiscretion or blatant injustice that is off His radar screen of sensitivity. He picks up on every “little” sin.

So, rest in the assurance of knowing God will pay back in His good timing and in His good way. Give this person or issue over to God. Do not bear the responsibility of executing payback time. Your role is to forgive and let go. God’s role is to establish a payment plan of justice and judgment. Yes, your parents may have blown it through their own selfish tirades. Their immature choices may have built up over time and led to divorce. Because of their indiscretions and unwise decisions, you grew up in a less than favorable home environment. But look at their faces. The hurt and the consequences are etched in their countenances. The results of their wrongs have caught up with them. They need your grace and forgiveness. Be a good son or daughter, and by this you may facilitate healing for your parents’ soul. Sin has its own harvest of heartache, not to mention breaking the heart of the heavenly Father. Trust God with your parents. Let Him worry about what they deserve.
You can bring reconciliation to a fractured family relationship by forgiving. Once you have forgiven, trust God to administer whatever punishment He sees as fitting. He may see a broken and contrite heart in your offender that leads to their salvation and freedom in Christ. Your forgiveness and unconditional love may be the very thing God uses to illustrate what they can experience up close and personal. Forgive and give. Forgive them of their hurt, insensitivity, and selfishness; then give them over to God. Trust Him with His repayment plan. He owns the payback process. His vengeance may be swift, it may be delayed, or it may be dissolved. Regardless, you do the right thing, and trust God to do the same. Vengeance is His, not ours. Payback time is up to God. We have enough in our own lives to consider. Pray for yourself and others to avoid falling into the hands of the living God, for it is a dreadful thing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

God's Will Waits for No Man

Susanna is a lady of principles who values family above all. Johann seems to represent all she despises . . . but appearances can be deceiving.
In 1875, Susanna Hanby is headed off to college in Westerville, Ohio, when she discovers her sister Rachel and Rachel’s children have disappeared. Susanna suspects that Rachel’s alcoholic husband knows more than he’s saying and she vows to uncover the truth.
Johann Giere is heir to a successful German-American brewery in Columbus, but longs for a career in journalism in New York City. When Johann signs on as the supplier for a new saloon in Westerville, his and Susanna’s paths cross and sparks fly. A fiery temperance crusader, Susanna despises Johann’s profession, but she cannot deny the attraction.
When Susanna learns that Rachel’s children have been indentured to orphanages in the city, she despairs that her family will be fractured forever. But Johann makes Susanna an offer she can’t refuse—pitting her passion and her principles against one another.
If she can find a way for her head and her heart to be in harmony, a future lovelier than daylight awaits her.

I'm finding out in these few recent days that God sometimes lets things happen for the good of our own future. Even though we think it's the most terrible thing ever, God lets these trials build up our character so that He can break us into workable clay so that we can be a beautiful jade vase someday, shining for His glory.

I got this book from Booksneeze!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Past Life

Long Trail Home is part of a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896.  Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancée again. But he soon learns that his parents are gone and the woman he loved is married.
Riley takes a job at the Wilcox School for the blind just to get by. He keeps his heart closed off but a pretty blind woman, Annie, threatens to steal it.
Through painful circumstances, Riley and Annie learn that the loving and sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted.

The sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted....I'm seeing that in my own life now. My heart was hurt so bad when I was a child, I kept huge walls of steel around my heart and God is now breaking down the walls, little by little. I'm fighting it at every turn, yet even my mom knows that God is trying to break down the walls so that He could use me greatly in the future.

Even though I went to Liberty University, all my roommates were double-standard Christians. I have roomed with every kind of person, yet they all still profess that they love God with all their heart. I have had racist roommates, violent roommates and verbally abusive roommates. This year, my roommate is an only child and she has had a 24/7 maid with her all her life until this semester.

Life has been tough, but I feel as though God has been putting me through all these trials to break down the steel walls of my heart, so that when I finally surrender myself to him, he'll be able to use me for his greatness in the future. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life's Unsuspected Turns

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn. 

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?    

Life often throws curve balls at you, and sometimes it's hard to dodge them. Some of them make your life go down hill and when it's down hill, it gets hard and you have to get muddy.

I have been down that path many times. I can see the pretty side of the hill, but no matter what, I am stuck in the mire of the mud and trudging slowly up the hill. But when I finally get up the hill, I find that I was much stronger than I was before I started up the hill.

If I had taken the easy side, I wouldn't have felt as prepared as when I took the hard side because I see another similar-looking hill in front of me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

To Speak or Not to Speak

We often find ourselves in situations where we don't know what to say, or when to say it. Some people will blurt things out (guilty), while others wait to say it. There are pros and cons for both sides of these situations often leading to guilt and regret.

Almost everyone has found themselves in a situation where they don't know if they should bite their tongue or speak their mind. When is silence golden and when is it better to speak up?

When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up offers practical guidelines for people who want to improve their communication skills. It will help readers explore the cost and purpose of silence, how to ask good questions, how to overcome pressure to remain silent, and more. Using biblical and contemporary examples, this book shares important strategies for discerning God's direction, acting on his word, and building better communication within your workplace, church, and home.

I have learned a lot from this book. I always say the wrong thing at the wrong time or don't say something I should've said. This book helped me to learn tact, God's way and I am thankful I got to review this book for free.

I got this book from Bethany Publishers. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Letting Go

We all deal with anger in our lives, whether it be in a subtle or violent manner. Being angry can involve such emotional expressions as frustration, irritability, annoyance, aggravation, blowing off steam, or fretting.

The good news is anger can be managed. In The Anger Workbook Les Carter, Ph.D., and Frank Minirth, M.D., offer a unique 13-step interactive program that will help you:
  • Identify the best ways to handle anger
  • Understand how pride, fear, loneliness, and inferiority feed your anger
  • Uncover and eliminate the myths that perpetuate anger-"Letting go of my anger means I am conceding defeat" or "No one understand my unique problems."
  • Identify learned patterns or relating, thinking, and behaving in your life that influence your anger.
After I read this book, I understood anger a lot better. I was in the category of: pride and that fed to my anger. I was too proud to let go of my anger and that ate me up, quite literally. Because I was angry at one person, my whole life was all about how that one person made me feel.

Not to worry, my silent audience. It's not a boyfriend, BUT it is a guy. I even went to the police station to file a report and it's all solved now, at least the physical part of it. The emotional part wouldn't go away, and my heart just refused to rest in peace. This book gave me insight as to how to let go and control that part of me. I'm not saying that this book is a miracle and I read it, so POOF! All my anger did not disappear in my night. All I'm saying is that this book has some good advice and it spoke to me.

I got this book from: Booksneeze