An Unexplainable Life {Book Review and Giveaway}

unexplainable-lifWe had just finished a lesson about creation when she appeared at my side. With glistening brown eyes and a head full of curly hair, she looked at me with her small frame and said, “Where did God come from?”

Excited about her curiosity I said, “Well, sweetie, He’s God. No one created Him. He never had a beginning and He will never have an ending.”

“But I don’t get it,” she responded. “Where did He come from?”

I tried to answer her again, but nothing I said seemed to satisfy her.

“I just don’t get it,” she proclaimed.

The truth is, I don’t’ get it either. But, here’s what I know: with God anything is possible. His wisdom is infinite and his power is unlimited; therefore, somethings will always be “unexplainable.”

I want a life like that. A life that’s lived in the power of God; and therefore, is unexplainable. But sometimes (okay, most of the time) this seems like a goal I’ll never reach. When I wake up in the morning and see toys scattered across the floor, clothes still waiting to be put away and a kitchen floor that bares the crumbs from yesterday’s dinner, I wonder how I will ever live a life for God that is unexplainable.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a copy of Erika Wiggenhorn’s Bible study, An Unexplainable Life. In the middle of my mess, this study spoke a message to my heart that made me believe it is possible to live an unexplainable life – even in the midst of laundry piles and dirty kitchen floors.

An Unexplainable Life takes readers on a ten-week journey through the first twelve chapters in the book of Acts. Warmly written and powerfully engaging this book isn’t your typical study. It will take you from being a sideline observer to an on the field player in the book of Acts.

Each week, Wiggenhorn presents a portion of scripture, along with just enough thought-provoking questions and prayer prompts to make each week’s study uniquely applicable and powerfully transforming.

Wiggenhorn says, “The purpose of this study is not simply to reiterate a message…Our purpose here is to reignite a movement of the power of the Holy Spirit in each of us individually and in our churches collectively.”

Whether you are looking for an individual study, small group or a church bible study, An Unexplainable Life is applicable for women in all stages of life.

To win a copy of An Unexplainable Life, leave a comment below telling why you think it’s difficult for Christians to live an unexplainable life. If you are running short on time just say, “please enter me.”  (Open to US residents only.)

Winner will be announced Monday, October 3, 2016

When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough

Defined 2

“Are you wearing Riders®?”

Shame echoed across her words, plunging a dagger of embarrassment into my middle school heart.

For six hours I had pulled at the tail of my shirt attempting to hide the label of my jeans. But now, as we walked up the stairs my efforts failed. The very thing I didn’t want anyone to know had been discovered.

I was wearing Riders®.

Desperate to remain accepted, I reduced the reality of my jeans to a joke. She laughed. We reached the top of the stairs, and we both turned, going our separate ways.

Minutes later the dismissal bell rang. I gathered my belongings, headed outside and made my way onto Bus 20. Greeting the driver, I found the first available seat and sat down, but not before her words leeched to my heart.

Riding home I rehashed the experience in my mind. “Why did I forget about my shirt?”  I vowed to never wear those jeans again.  Once home, I stuffed them deep into the dirty clothes and questioned if I’d ever fit in.

I wish I could go back to that day. I’d look at my middle school self with all sincerity and say, “you are not defined by how others see you; you are defined by Jesus.” I would assure myself that my worth is found in Christ alone and not the clothes I wear.

1 Peter 2:9 tell us, “… you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Our culture defines success by the things we have or the work we do, but the truth is God never intended for His children to be defined this way. Rather, He created us to be defined by His Son, Jesus.

Feeling left out or not good enough can affect anyone at any age. The temptation to compare ourselves to others is great, but God’s Word will always be greater. Therefore, we must attach our identity to who God says we are. And, He says… we are chosen; we are a royal priesthood; we are His special possession! And that, my friends, makes you and I extraordinary!

 

Are you struggling with self-worth? Let these truths sink deep into your heart today.

  • “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10
  • “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
  • “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15
  • See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1

Back-to-School Prayer {with FREEBIE}

BACK-TO-SCHOO

Does the new school year have your momma heart in knots? Releasing our babies from the security of our homes and into a world where crazy seems to abound is not easy, but thankfully, Jesus makes it possible. Below is a prayer for our children based on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10) . Whether your child is starting school for the first time, leaving for college or schooling from home may the Lord be near each one and cover your momma heart with peace.

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Heavenly Father, please bless ____ with the revelation that his/her greatest need is for you. When the temptation to follow the world is great, please increase his/her remembrance of you and give him/her an insatiable desire to honor you regardless of the cost.

“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

                Heavenly Father, when ____ makes a wrong choice may he/she quickly recognize his/her sin and turn to you in repentance. Help him/her receive your forgiveness and learn from the mistake.

 “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.”

                Heavenly Father, the world teaches us to settle for nothing less than first place. But you say, humility is honorable. May ____ value humility when pride tempts his/her way. May he/she never see humility as a weakness, but rather as a choice to honor You.

 “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice (righteousness), for they will be satisfied.”

                Heavenly Father, may ____’s life reflect an earnest desire to honor you. May he/she know that righteousness is found only through Jesus. May his/her choices be guided by the wisdom that comes from following hard after Jesus. And, may his/her soul only find satisfaction in a personal and intimate relationship with you.

 “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

                Heavenly Father, may ____ always consider the mercy you have shown him/her, and in turn offer it to others. When hurt comes, may forgiveness and kindness well-up inside his/her soul and compel him/her to offer love instead of hate.

 “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.”

                Heavenly Father, as ____ grows please protect him/her from any force that would seek to contaminate his mind, body and soul. Please bless him/her with a desire for purity in every area of his/her life.  May Jesus always be the strong foundation for every choice he/she makes.

 “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”

                Heavenly Father, may ____ take delight in peace. May he/she always do his/her part to maintain peace wherever he/she goes and in all he/she does.  May he/she help others find peace and value it in their lives as well.

 “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs”

Heavenly Father, may ____’s desire to be accepted never be greater than his/her desire to honor you. Please protect ____, but also strengthen him/her for the tough times. May a spirit of perseverance rise up in his/her heart when the path before him/her is not easy.

For a FREE printable copy of this prayer, click here.

 

You Make Me Smile {Giveaway}

Hi Friends!

I am excited to be back with you on the blog!

July brought a bit of an unexpected break from blogging. Our family’s schedule ended up being filled with vacations, a conference and a host of commitments, some of which were spur of the moment. It was a fun and exciting month, but I must say, I missed you!

Being away taught me something though. You gals (and guys) are a significant source of encouragement for me! When you visit the blog, I smile. When you leave a comment or share a post, I smile! When you tell me a post blessed you, I smile! Basically, you keep me smiling!

So, as we gather back together I have an exciting announcement!

I’m hosting my first giveaway!

That’s right! I want to bless you for the many blessings you bring into my life. Because, I may have been away, but you were still on my mind.

One of the stops I made during my break was to tour Richwood Creations, a non-profit company offering high-end wood products and rustic home décor. Their products are absolutely beautiful, but here’s the best part. The company was created to support Young Life Ministries in central Appalachia. A portion of the income from every purchase goes towards making ministry to teenagers possible.Richwood Creations 2

In keeping with their heart to give back, Richwood Creations is sponsoring our first giveaway: a set of four hand-crafted drink coasters. Each coaster is engraved with a scripture from God’s Word.

You can enter the giveaway by completing any of the following:

Subscribe to this blog – 2 entries (If you’re already a subscriber, comment below with, “I already subscribe” and you will still receive this credit.)

Share this post on Facebook (tag Raising An Arrow for credit) – 1 entry

Leave a comment below – 1 entry

The more options you complete; the more entries you’ll receive!

Have a blessed week, my friends!

CONGRATULATIONS to AMANDA BROWNING! You are the winner of the 4-piece coaster set. 

 

Praising God When Life Hurts {wrap up}

Praising God When Life Hurts

What a joy it has been to go on this journey of “Praising God When Life Hurts” with you.

Over the past three weeks, we have been blessed with three different bloggers who shared how praising God in the midst of their greatest storms has led them to victory.

Our first guest, Micah, led us through a time when her life felt like it was spiraling out of control. Vividly, she told us about falling to her knees and crying out for the Lord to help. His response was, “I have a plan. Praise me in the storm, Micah. Trust me.” And, so it is with us. No matter what plagues our hearts or torments our souls, God has a plan. Praising Him through our storm, doesn’t mean the storm will end immediately, but it will give us courage and strength to carry on knowing God is sovereign and in control.

Our next guest, Carmen, shared about not one, but two near death experiences when she delivered her children. Laying on a hospital bed, in and out of consciousness, Carmen thought, “am I going to make it?” My friends, there may be times in our lives when we think the same thing. We may not be lying on a hospital bed, but life can be hard in other ways. Regardless of our circumstances, praising the Lord in the midst of our pain is key to having our spirits lifted.  Like Carmen shared with us, “Praise isn’t easy when life hurts. But that’s when it is the rawest and the most real.”

Finally, we were visited by Chelsey, who shared about her hidden struggle with depression. Sadly, depression effects more people (both men and women) than we may realize. Chelsey shared how depression come in spurts for her. This is true for many people; however, the effects are no less real. Chelsey has found hope in these times by remembering God’s promises. If you are struggling with depression, please seek medical help, but also speak God’s Word out loud every day. For God’s Word has the power to “demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

My friends, when circumstances look bleak and you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel may you know that God sees you. May you feel His love wrapping you up and may you be certain that He is for you! Though it may not come naturally, may your heart be strengthened to praise our Lord. For as you turn your thoughts upon Him, you’ll be strengthened and encouraged to continue on no matter what storm rages around you.

For God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God.” Hebrews 13:15

Thank you for joining us for this series. I pray you have been blessed. You are, indeed, a blessing to me!