Thursday, January 31, 2013

Immediate Answers from God...



"Lord, I don't want to say I read through the Bible in a year chronologically but not be closer to you. Don't let it be about crossing off a to-do list, without being brought closer to You."

God answered my prayer. 
Why does it still astonish me when He immediately answers...
Why do I doubt Him answering...
These are just a few of the ways My Savior is still working on me. 

I shared on my personal FB that God showed me a part of Job, 
which had not been fully comprehended before and today I share with you.  

 "Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.  Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job."
Job 32:2-3 (emphasis on 'wrath' mine)

The word, wrath, jumped out at me. Elihu had not spoken until know. Remember he starts by saying, "he was young" we all can normally recall that part of his speech. Yet, wrath not so much. What does wrath mean? Also, wasn't God the only one in which the word, wrath is normally used?

Dictionary.com defies it as a strong, stern, and fierce anger. What caused Elihu to have such anger?
It was two things, according to verse 2 & 3:

~ He had wrath against Job, who justified himself rather than God
~ He had wrath against Job's friends for finding no answer. Yet, condemning Job

Have you been in either of these places? Where you justified your actions instead of God? 

Things such as: 

~ If God had been there I wouldn't have fallen into that temptation
~ God didn't stop me therefore, God is to blame

Or have you been condemned by others even though they had no answer for your trials?

~ Like Job's friends, stating their must be guilt or sin for you to be in such a trial
~ Or being told you didn't have enough faith to bring you through

We could list many more but I believe we get the gist. Elihu was "aroused to wrath" but what did he do with his wrath? This is where our journey takes us next...

I thank God for answering my prayer immediately. Share in the comments how God immediately answered a prayer for you. This is a community and we love to interact with each of you.




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spiritual Simplicity: A Book Review

This past Friday, I finished a preview copy of Chip Ingram's new book, "Spiritual Simplicity" which released on January 8th.



My first reaction while reading:

"Where was this book last year when I needed to hear these words?" 

Then slowly and lovingly God revealed to me, a year ago, I would not have received the words and wisdom written by Ingram in his latest offering. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have finished the book. Ingram is raw, real and relational as he writes about our attempts to:

~Be it all
~ Do it all
~ Have it all

and how this as Ingram states, "..has created a complex world that"

~ Moves too fast
~ Delivers too little
~ Demands too much

Ingram's words stung for this blogger, as he explained, we may not say these words out loud or even consciously try to live these "all's" but we are doing exactly that..."trying to live the all's" to the fullest.

Why did his words sting?
 Because this blogger was there. I was one of the busiest people for God out there. Deaconess, Sunday School teacher, Media Director, you name it and I was doing it for God. I held a degree in doing more. 

Then came August 2011. When my 'major life event' happened.

Ingram explains, in the book, how it is usually some type of major life event... for me a breakdown (insert your own major life event here) 
which opens our eyes to the fact we are trying to 'be, do, and have it all'. 

Here is the great part...Ingram doesn't leave us there. 
He uses the rest of the book to show us how "loving people" is what matters. 
The main concept of the book is "Love More and Do Less." 

Many of you are thinking right now, "That would be nice but not possible in my life!" 

That is where I was when in the throws of life before August of 2011. 
Then my major life event happened. 
My life changed and is still changing each day as I learn to "Love More"
I have not arrived, but I am learning to "Love More and Do Less." 
Does this new lifestyle of "Loving More and Doing Less" ruffle the feathers of some? 
The people who are still tying to be, do and have it all. For some yes. They feel as if I have given up and am doing nothing for God. This is farthest from the truth.
 God has more of me know then He did 18 months ago. 

Ingram's major life event...when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. 
He shares, "When Theresa was diagnosed it was easy to say, no. No, to the speaking engagements. No, to anything that would take me away from Theresa."

I leave you with these words from "Spiritual Simplicity":

"Whatever you are doing with your time and life, you're wasting it if you're not loving people."

I would give "Spiritual Simplicity" by Chip Ingram 5 out of 5 stars.


**The publisher provided a preview copy of the book in return for an unbiased review of the book**



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Resolution for Accountability: Michelle Lazurek

Today's post is from a She Speaks Sister, Michelle Lazurek. 
Michelle challenges women to live out their stories. 
I am blessed to have her guest post on Dawn's Dialogue. 
Visit her website from the information at the end of the post. 


A Resolution for Accountability

As we celebrate the New Year, we always think about resolutions. Normally those resolutions revolve around losing something: losing weight, quitting a bad habit, etc.  Sometimes it involves starting something new: exercising more, drinking more water, cleaning up your credit card debt. We do these individually, expecting that we will meet our personal goals by ourselves. 
But how successful is that?

Do you know which weight loss program is by far the most successful? Weight Watchers. Why? It is not the food, or counting points, but it is the meetings. The meetings give members the ability to achieve their goals through the accountability factor. Once a week, each member steps on the scale and weighs in publicly. No opportunity to make excuses, fudge numbers or slip out the door.  We can say we have worked hard to lose weight, but the number on the scale tells the true story. 

If accountability is so successful in other aspects of life, why don’t we utilize it in our church lives? As Christians, we do things individually. We think spiritual growth is achieved alone. Yet, statistically, members lose more weight attending the weekly meetings than they do at home. In order to grow in Christ, we need to bear each other’s burdens.

So, how do we achieve accountability within the church body?

Attend small groups- Small groups help people share their burdens, display spiritual gifts and achieve relational intimacy necessary for a vibrant walk with God. Meeting weekly establishes trust among members and makes it easier to share struggles and personal prayer requests.

Be hospitable- Jesus spent a portion of his ministry eating at others’ homes. So should we. Hospitality helps acquaintances become friends. 
It breaks down walls and lets people experience the joy of fellowship.

Find a prayer partner- If larger groups make you feel uncomfortable, find one person to pray with you each week.  It does not have to take a lot of time to pray with someone. You may find someone else has similar struggles.

As we approach the New Year ahead, make a resolution to become accountable with someone in your church body today.

Michelle S. Lazurek is a pastor's wife, a mother, an author, and a speaker. She has been published in numerous publications, including www.womensministry.net, and christiandevotions.us. Please visit her website at www.michellelazurek.com

Monday, January 21, 2013

 Today, I have the wonderful opportunity to share over at one of my favorite places


Come and learn how the concept of One Word became introduced to me. 

My One Word for 2013 is "Diligent" and I shared more about this word here

Go ahead...jump on over to Encouragement Cafe to learn more about One Word. 



Thanks to all the staff at Encouragement Cafe for giving writers the opportunity to write for them. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hi My Name is Dawn...

Hi My Name is Dawn...



In August 2011, I had what would be termed as a mental/emotional breakdown.
The events leading up to the break down are not what is important at this time. 

What is important...
I have learned a lot about myself and my JESUS since then. 

Jesus has shown me ...the breakdown does not define me but it has changed me.

Jesus has declared on multiple occasions:
My status as His Yahweh Young-un is what defines me. 

Therefore, the question becomes how have I changed? Are they good changes or bad changes? 
The answer to these questions may differ depending on who you ask.

These are some of the changes Jesus has revealed over the last few months:

~I am not STRONG. 
It is Christ who is STRONG.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2nd Corinthians 12:9 ESV

There will be no more of me always being the strong one. The one who has to handle everything. I will admit to my weaknesses and let Jesus handle them. 

~ I am a DIFFERENT person. 

This has been the most difficult aspect for people to come to grips with over these last 18 months. 
Even after moving back to VA, reconnecting with friends here has been challenging. 
Plugging in with people, talking to strangers, or even socializing is no longer easy and simple. Actually, it never really was but I played an "extrovert" role for so long that I almost lost who God created me to be. For now on there will be more embracing the personality to God gave me.

Upon telling my Sweetie, since I am no longer the woman he married it would be totally understandable if he left me.
 His response, "I meant the vow spoken when we married and am here until death do us part." 

Yes, my Sweetie is a GREAT GUY!!!




~ I am an Introvert

For years, I saw this as a weakness and did everything in my own power to be an extrovert. Our society looks down on introverts. Jesus is showing me there are introverts in the Bible. He wants me to be who He created me to be. This means I am not at every event anymore. I take time alone to refuel. 
As I learn about being an introverts, it is becoming clear why the perspective and passion of this blog, "Connecting in a Communcation-saturated World" is so dear to me. 

Jesus is teaching me everyday what He is doing in me. He is preparing me. My job is to trust Him. 
Thanks for being here as I journey through this adventure with my Jesus on Dawn's Dialogue.












Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beautiful Purpose: A Book Review...


One thing I strive for in my book reviews is honesty. When first starting to read Susie Larson's, "Your Beautiful Purpose", my thoughts were not what would be considered complimentary. 

HOWEVER, as I have continued reading the book, my click and highlight section in Kindle is growing. Larson may have started out slow but she definitely doesn't leave it there!

Her Chapter on "Face Your Fears" is one of the strongest written on the topic of understanding the enemy is a loser and God is working HIS PLAN in each of us.

Here is one nugget of truth shared by Larson, 
"Peace isn't ultimately a place. Peace is ultimately a Person. And the Person of Christ has an ultimate purpose in Christ---just for you"

Larson tackles some of the following:

 ~ Jealousy and she shares a prayer for Sisters in Christ that is inspiring
~ Facing our fears 
~ Realizing Relationship is what Jesus wants with us

This only names a few of the topics covered.
You may be thinking haven't other books covered these topics?

The answer is "YES..." 
BUT...Larson has a way of bringing them into a fresh perspective. 

Therefore, I can and will recommend this book to others. 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free for review. However, all reviews are the opinions of blogger and not influenced by the publisher.

Friday, January 11, 2013

God is still Good...

People seem to be improving and then die....

GOD IS STILL GOOD!!

Houses burn...

GOD IS STIL GOOD!!

Innocent children die...

GOD IS STILL GOOD!!

Job's wife wanted him to curse God...

"His wife asked him, 'Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!'"
Job 2:9 GW

 However, Job stood fast and replied:

"You're talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. 
Shouldn't we also accept the bad." 
Job 2:10a GW 

The next part of verse 10 is what trips this "Yahweh Young un"* up:

"Through all of this Job's lips did not utter one sinful word."
Job 2:10b GW

Job was diligent. 
Read the second half of verse 10 again..
Here is how it reads in The Message:

"Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God."

Job's loss included all his fortune, all his children and his health. 
Yet, he did not utter one sinful word or say anything against God. 

In my lifetime of 45 years so far: 

~ I have experienced the loss of one child through miscarriage, 
~ Never had any fortune to lose
 ~ Have been battling with various health issues for the last 18 months

Yet, unlike righteous Job, I can NOT say:

I have NOT "uttered one sinful word"

God is slowly revealing to me this is the reason "diligent" is My One Word for 2013. 

JOB WAS DILIGENT.

Diligent is described in the following ways and these are all qualities and characteristics in Job,
which I want God to put in me:

~ Marked by persevering, painstaking effort
~ Persistent and hard working
~ Characterized by a steady, earnest and energetic effort

Job understood Joshua 22:5:

"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."

In adversity Job, cleaved to God and served Him with all His heart and with all His soul...

Job knew that circumstances, whether good or bad, did not change one specific REALITY...

 GOD IS STILL GOOD!!

Are you walking in circumstances that have caused you to forget GOD IS STILL GOOD?
You are not alone, I have been there. 
Yet, today I choose to have the mindset of "Diligent" Job and cry out:

GOD IS STILL GOOD!!!




**Yahweh Young un: One of God's children.** 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Dividing Wall: Guest Poster Shelly Hollis...


Today's guest poster is Shelly Hollis from SHINE Ministries. 

"In a word, Shelly is a teacher. She has a passion for studying the precepts of the Bible and has taken Ezra 7:10 to heart: “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” STUDY~PRACTICE~TEACH – that is her calling." 

To learn more about Shelly or her online Hebrew Inductive Bible Study
 click the corresponding links below:



Enjoy Shelly's guest post and show her some love.


I am going to ask you a very personal question in this post, friends. Is there someone in your life with which you are not at peace? Something happened – something little – that slowly built a wall of hostility brick by brick by brick.
When the “incident” first happened, you didn’t think too much of the first brick, or even the first row of bricks, that was laid down. As a matter of fact, you may have even supplied some of the mortar that is now keeping that wall in place. But now – oh now – you have a massive brick wall blocking the view and separating you from someone you once loved.
You have prayed for peace in the matter, but it just has not come. You have pounded on the wall, but it has not fallen. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:14 that Jesus Himself is our peace and that He broke down “the barrier of the dividing wall.”
What wall was Paul referring to in these verses? The reference is to a very real wall in the temple that separated the Gentiles into the “outer” court. It was also called the middle wall of partition.
The Jews fully believed that Gentiles would defile the temple if they entered. They even posted a sign that threatened death to any Gentile who was bold enough (or stupid enough) to enter. It was truly a dividing wall of hostility that separated two nations of people.
But Christ abolished that enmity in His flesh by dying on the cross and brought forgiveness of our sins. The cross was not just a great equalizer of Jews and Gentiles, but rather, it created a whole new breed of people - Christ followers. In one felled-swoop, Christ symbolically knocked that dividing wall to pieces, “thus establishing peace” (Ephesians 2:15).
Goodness, don’t you wish Jesus could do that for you right now? Newsflash – He can! The enmity and hostility that built that dividing wall between you and a loved one was built brick by brick. But when you are submissive to Christ, He can demolish that wall immediately for both parties.
What does it take? It takes a lot of humility – maybe even some facedown time before Christ. You see, pride so often keeps one or both parties from allowing Christ to abolish the wall.
The choice is yours…you can choose to continue to hold the grudge or you can choose today to reach across that wall and extend forgiveness with all humility and then watch that wall crumble.
If Christ was able to reconcile two nations into one new man, surely He can reconcile your relationship with your spouse, a friend, or a family member. Choose forgiveness today and let Christ be your peace and your demolition crew!
Note from Dawn: The subject of this guest post hit hard for me. Bricks seem to sneak in and build the dividing wall quicker than I like to admit. Thanks to Shelly for the reminder of where I need to go to have the wall removed. 

Cold-Case Christianity: A Book Review...


If you like crime shows, such as "Law & Order" or "Cold Case", then J. Warner Wallace's, "Cold-Case Christianity" should be a definite addition to your reading list.  Wallace's experience in the law enforcement field with decades in cold cases is woven through-out the book. 



He starts each chapter off with a case from his files. As he teaches you a specific aspect from the "Tools for The Call Out Bag" within his case file; we are then shown how this tip can be applied to the Scriptures. 

Wallace, a former atheist, turned to his investigative and cold case specialty to look at Scripture from  a purely cold-case perspective to see if how the Scriptures would hold up in a court case. 

The majority of the terminology and lingo is used in a way to draw the reader into the process. Some may find the topic not to their liking, but Wallace's book would be a good read for anyone who is put in a position to defend the Scriptures. 


Disclaimer: A FREE Preview copy of this book was provided by David C. Book in return for a review to be written. However, all reviews written are not influenced by the publishing company. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

"Reading the Bible": An Encouragement Cafe Guest Post

I get the absolute pleasure of guest posting over at Encouragement Cafe today. 
This ministry is wonderful. They not only provide a great outlet for writers
 but a community of support for believers. 

Below is the beginning of my devotion about reading your Bible. 



"A simple question but it had all of us squirming in our seats. “Have you ever read the whole Bible through one time?” We all looked sheepishly around the room to see if anyone had raised their hand. Our teacher clarified, she didn’t mean in a year but the whole bible ever. Still no hands went up..."

Go on...

ENCOURAGED!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My One Word 2013...

My One Word for 2012 has been "Focus" and my Word for 2013 is "Diligent"

Button courteous of onlyabreath.com

The culmination of 2012's word and the beginning of 2013's word happened all in one night for me... Saturday night, December 29th when my parent's home caught fire. 

Focus because as Job spoke in Chapter 2:

"Should we take only good things from God and not trouble?"

It will require focusing on God and choosing to praise God.

Praising God that my family and their pets are alive and possessions can be replaced.
Focusing on the fact that God is good even when what you want to be a bad nightmare is reality.

Focusing on God instead of the "What If's" when they try to take over
 as they did early on Sunday morning....

- What if the smoke detector hadn't worked? 
-What if they couldn't have gotten out of the house?
- What if....What if...What if and What if...

FOCUS ON GOD IS IN CONTROL AND HAS A PLAN.

It will be my choice to focus on praising God through this storm.



2013's word "diligent" will be required this week as we walk through the rebuilding process with my parents. To be honest, I am not fully aware of the magnitude of "diligent"
but that is okay, I have a whole year.

"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged to you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." 
Joshua 22:5

As we prepare to walk through this next week, here are a few specific prayers and praises from me:

Specific Prayers:

~ To remember that God is in control of all things
~ That we must praise God in all things (whether good or bad)
~To be the child of God & daughter that my parents are going to need 
~ Strength and Rest for my parents and family as we journey through this storm
~ My parents health (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) during this storm

Specific Praises:

~ All my family is alive
~ My Dad & Nephew saved his dogs & bird 
~ Family that is there when you need them
~ A loving God who is in control even when our focus is impaired during the storm 

Thank you for your prayers. 

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