Weekend Walk: 10/15/2011

Welcome to the weekend readers!  Don’t forget we’ve got a giveaway going on to celebrate the 150th post.  To find out all about it, just click here for yesterday’s devotional.  Entering is easy and the winner will get some real goodies!

Hiding the Word:

There are seasons when the prayer requests you hear in small group are heavy and cumbersome.  They weigh down your heart because of the vastness of the need and the depth of the hurt they represent.

There are seasons when you feel the bruises on your soul from where God has been busy shaping your character or you feel pulled and stretched like taffy almost to our breaking point.

There are seasons when stress and annoyances, broken things and unexpected expenses, and the plain out yuckiness of life can fatigue even the strongest soul.

And there are seasons when one overarching trial breaks you down and sends you to your knees.

This week, the verse I’m meditating on reminds me of how God can bring us through anything and even strengthen us along the way.

I’m posting this on an index card on my stove and bathroom mirror to meditate on all week.  I hope you’ll do the same with the verse of your choice!

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10)

Several months ago, I heard Mandisa in an interview on the radio and she quoted this verse before singing her song, Stronger.  So, here’s a song to bless you this week also!  You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emgv-VRtMEU or by clicking below from the blog.

Book Reviews:

Normally on the weekend I rerun an old post for the newer blog readers to enjoy, but this weekend I have two book reviews for you!

Whole: An Honest Look at the Holes in Your Life and How to Let God Fill Them

by Lisa Whittle

When I picked up Lisa Whittle’s book, I expected a “yeah, yeah, yeah” read.  You know the kind where every page tells you things you’ve heard a million times. I think the subtitle tricked me into thinking this book would rattle off the familiar mantra: we have a God-shaped hole in our lives that only He can fill.  But I was wrong.

The beginning chapters didn’t rock my world.  Her personal story spoke volumes about the way churches sometimes fail the people in them, especially those in leadership.  Still, she didn’t give a clear, practical picture of what she meant by loving the church and yet not suffering from religious addiction.

Her chapters on the Hole of Roles and the Hole of Experiences, however, were real, vulnerable, and challenging.  If you’ve ever wrapped up your identity in the roles you fill or allowed it to depend on your past experiences, this book will walk you through laying that down, as well as dealing with both failure and loss.

Lisa Whittle shares personal stories with more openness and honesty than most authors do, which makes this read compelling and personally relevant.  While she undergirds her thoughts with an occasional Scripture verse, mostly the book is driven by her own story.  I’d have liked a little more grounding in Bible study, but that doesn’t negate the powerful reminder to find freedom and wholeness in God’s presence.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Love & Respect Experience:
A Husband-Friendly Devotional That Wives Truly Love

By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I’ve heard it before.  Wives telling me that they “accidentally” left a book on marriage where their husband would see it, hopefully read it, and miraculously make all the changes the book prescribes.  What I’ve never heard is a single time that actually worked.  So, I’m not certain that the claim that this is a “husband-friendly devotional” works.  Some husbands will love it and may be open to reading it together as a couple; others won’t.

Still, the baseline concept in this book is absolutely the best marriage principle I have ever heard taught.  Period.  End of story.

Based on Ephesians 5, wives are reminded to respect their husbands and husbands to  love their wives.  Eggerichs is careful not to make generalizations about women and men in marriage and doesn’t define submission as wives serving as mindless automatons or tolerating abuse.  But, he does challenge wives to accept their husbands’ choices, stop nagging, choose not to speak badly about their husbands and not to mock them, joke about them, imply ineptitude, or make comparisons with other men.

This is the same material in the regular book Love & Respect only broken into 52 “devotional” segments with both prayers and action points to finish off each section.  It’s accessible, practical, and full of some good advice for couples.  For a more comprehensive discussion of each topic, though, you may want to read the original book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King