Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's In A Name...

Photo Credit: Jeff Lowe Flickr

While working on a post for my photography blog and explaining the reason behind the name of our business, one question kept crossing my mind...

"What's in a Name?" 

New parents spend weeks and months deciding on a name for their new little one
Girls of all ages spend hours determining what the names of their future children will be

However, do we truly understand what's in a name? 
Sure there are cutesy name books and online ways to find out the meaning of one's name. 

Yet...my initial question got deeper while reading a book for review.

Do I comprehend my name, 
Child of the King?

Photo Credit: Darrell Creswell

We spend our days living as paupers instead of as daughters and sons of the Most High God. 
This is not easy for me to type but it is the truth. Why do I accept less than when my Abba Daddy has so much more for me? The truth: Because deep down there is still a part of me which believes I don't deserve to be a princess. It is hard to admit after all these years this is still a struggle for me. One would think why keep coming back here. This struggle should have victory written all over it. Yet, it doesn't and as I ponder why, victory is not here because I don't fully understand what is in my name? 

My Father God loves me more than any other being ever could or will. 
We tend to think of Him in terms of conditional love when He gives us unconditional love. 

I am reading a book that talks about the fact we tend to rarely call God "Father" even though this is how Jesus spent the majority of His time describing God. There are tons of reasons we don't refer to God as "Father", "Abba" or "Daddy"...what I am seeing is until I come to terms with the truth of my name...victory will continue to be elusive. 

God wants me and you to start walking in the calling of our name.
The one He has given to each of us:

CHILD OF THE KING
May we cry out so all will hear...
My Daddy calls me Princess.


Photo Credit: Dew Photography VA
Let's start today by going on a walk and begin living what's in a name.




Friday, March 22, 2013

Secrets: A Book Review....



"Secrets" is Book One in Robin Jones Gunn's Glenbrooke series. I had read one of the later books in this series and enjoyed going back to Book One to get the rest of the story. In the later book, Jess and Kyle's story is mentioned but it was only enough to be able to build on the story. Now to go back and get their story from the beginning was a nice thing.

The story is a little simplistic at times. However, we get enough of real life everyday and from time to time I like a sweet simple romance. Simplistic is not meant as a derogatory term either in this sense. Take a day to yourself and spend time with the people of Glenbrooke. Real life with all of its issues will be waiting for you when you get back. 


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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Live All Out...A Guest Post

Today's Guest Post is from Jamy Whitaker.


I have participated in two online Bible Studies with Jamy. She is a kind and compassionate woman with a heart for God. She is also the author of "Get Real"which deals with removing the masks we wear and living a real life with and for God. 

Live All Out

I absolutely love roller coasters, from the methodical click-clack up the first hill to the invigorating twists, tunnels and turns. I simply cannot get enough - the faster and higher, the better.  However, even I have limitations on what I will ride.  Some roller coasters, like the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, are just too much for me.  At amusement parks, we have the choice of which rides we will go on and which we will pass on by.  Life, however, does not offer the same kind of choices.  Many times, we are on the ups and downs, twists and turns of life’s roller coaster and cannot get off.  What about you: do you see life like a thrill ride or more like a merry-go-round?  Do you play it safe or take risks?




I truly hope that you are not one of the people that live in the Land of Someday: a person who keeps putting everything off until the timing, finances, etc. are perfect.  Well, let me let you in on a little secret, it will never be perfect this side of heaven.  You have to pack your bags or move out of Someday and live in Today.  This is your life and it is happening now.  We must keep in mind that God did not create us simply to stand by and watch life pass us by, as we wonder why we aren’t fulfilled.  God made each one of us to take risks in faith and to conquer the giants that so often paralyze us with fear.  What are the giants in your life that you need to step out in faith and go against? 

David did this very thing in a literal way when he faced Goliath.  Compared to God, David’s giant, just like the one in your life, will seem so much smaller.  Think about your life for a moment, what are you doing right now that requires faith?  If there isn’t anything, then why not?  Are you living your life with God’s perspective or your own?  God has so many wonderful things in store for each one of us.  However, in order to reach many of those things, we have to sit back and let Him lead. 

I don’t think anyone would argue that our most precious commodity is time.  God has given us the choice to decide how we will spend it.  We need to evaluate our lives and make certain we are using our time wisely.  We need to keep in mind that tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).  Don’t waste another moment.

What ever twists and turns your ride may take, God is right there next to you through it all.  Today, I would like to encourage you to take a risk and let God lead your life instead of fear. Live passionately and love completely – reconnecting with those around us so we do not miss the important things in life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Floundering or Fulfilled....

Is it possible to be both floundering and fulfilled at the same time? 

This the question, I have been wrestling with personally. My conclusion is yes it all depends on whose eyes we are looking through. When my Mom, one of my biggest cheerleader's looks at my life, she sees things I don't.  She sees a successful blogger, writer and photographer who has it all together (don't burst her bubble and tell her differently....lol) 

What about when we look through the eyes of a child? 

Boo capturing her "flags"...

Do we see the wonder of a leaf and the delight in chasing it across a tennis court? The fun in being outside partaking in God's playground for us? Unfortunately, our answer on most days is "No" because....(fill in the blank).

What about when we look through our "fleshly" eyes? When we lean on our own understanding.

"Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

When I look through my "fleshly" eyes. I see:

  • An unfinished book
  • Being overwhelmed by my critique group's suggestion for the parts of my book
  • No prospects of any one being interested in publishing said unfinished book
  • A blog that only a couple of people read
  • A love for photography and a new business venture being stagnant
  • My parent's not being back in their own home yet
  • A house in another state with major decisions still needing to be made
  • No church home after 18 months in a new state
  • Battling health issues since August 2011

Does any of those sound familiar to you?

As I have read fellow bloggers recent post, it is clear my struggle with blogging and whether Dawn's Dialogue is reaching anyone or making a difference is not just how I feel? 



HOWEVER, when I look through God's eyes the view becomes:

  • He is making my unfinished work in progress His work not mine
  • A blog being written for Him...as Kelli Wommack says, "Writing for an Audience of One"
  • God's timing in the business venture...HIS TIMING IS BEST
  • My parent's being grateful for each day they have a temporary roof over their head
  • Trusting God for the decisions on home in another state
  • Relying on God to provide a church home for us...in the meantime, providing a great group of loving Christian Sisters in my life through various online sources
  • Learning God is control of all aspects of my life even health isssues
Whether my life is Floundering or Fulfilled depends on whose eyes I am looking through? Maybe I need to become more diligent (remember this is My One Word for 2013) in seeing my world through God's eyes and less through my "fleshly" eyes? 

Whose eyes are you seeing through today?



 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finding God in the Dark: A Book Review...

"Whatever end of the receiving line of doubt...it all stems from a fundamental disbelief that God is as good as He says He is. We can affirm it in our minds and say it with our mouths, 
but until it penetrates our hearts it will never transform our lives."
---Ronnie Martin, "Finding God in the Dark"




Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin tackle a subject people dislike in their new book, "Finding God in the Dark"... that God allows us to have doubt and suffering in our lives. 

Kluck reminds us, "God's actions are never arbitrary" and "God takes drastic measure for us to have hearts that are transformed by His severe mercy and sovereign grace." This is not a popular message. We don't want to acknowledge God's mercy can be severe.

We want to be blessed. 
We want a gentle loving God and yes, God is gentle and loving. 

BUT...

Kluck and Martin in their own style expound throughout this offering, God's plan for His children is so much more. He wants His children to live transformed lives. When doubt and suffering come along, do we see it as an opportunity for transformation or a time for preservation?



Speaking of writing style, not everyone will enjoy it. 

Originally when reading, I kept trying to figure out why the writing voice and style seemed to change with each chapter. This mystery cleared when I realized the book had two authors. How could such a misunderstanding happen? One word...ebook preview. 

While reading, the "highlight" option on my ereader device was put into use roughly 15 times. It is apparent God wants book reviewing to be a part of my journey. Therefore, since not all writing styles and voices are my favorite, the "highlight" feature becomes valuable. 

Why? 
Because, the readers of the review want more than if I liked the book. At least this blogger wants to know more than whether the reviewer likes a book. We may not have the same taste in writing. You might like dark mysteries. I don't. 

Now, for those of you still reading...LOL, you understand why the "highlight" feature is valuable.

Here is a brief summary:

 ~Some will be angered and turned off by the subject matter
~ Others will not like the writing style
~ If you review a book...don't just tell me you liked it :-)
~The authors have done a good job with a subject people normally deny

My Rambling is done.
Go and check out "Finding in the Dark" and decide if you agree with my summary.

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






Thursday, March 14, 2013

"God Said What???": A Guest Post

I am pleased to have Tracy Steel from One Degree Ministries guest post on Dawn's Dialouge today. 
The best way to describe Tracy...One sweet, adorable, Jesus-loving Mom, who gives awesome hugs.


After reading Tracy's guest post, I encourage you to hop over to One Degree Ministries.
Tracy's blog is a place of life and love fully for Jesus. With no further ado, here is Tracy:

"GOD SAID WHAT???"

"When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son."
~ Hosea 1:2-3 NIV

Do you ever wish that God would repeat Himself, because you probably heard Him wrong? Have you ever thought that maybe the Divine Author overlooked a typo? He couldn't possibly mean what He commanded in that verse, could He?

And what about that persistent "nudge" to be kind, honest, or loving towards someone who clearly does not deserve it. Surely this isn't something that Jesus would do, or is it?
When we start dabbling in the probably, maybe, couldn't possibly, or surely this isn't, we are going to miss out because:

We all have a call similar to Hosea's in our life.
We are called to love as God loves...



I admit that I feel sorry for the prophet Hosea. God told him to go and marry a woman that was promiscuous. Hosea had to have been confused by this. Unfortunately, Scripture does not reveal what his initial reaction was upon hearing the news. We only know he obeyed and married Gomer.

In the verses that follow we learn that God also chose the names of the children Gomer bore after Hosea married her. Commentators believe that these names indicate the declining condition of Hosea's marriage, as well as the deteriorating relationship between God and Israel (who was turning away from Him and pursuing idolatry).
Check out these lovely names and the meaning behind them:

·       Jezreel (God Will Scatter, as well as the location of a massacre),
·       Lo-Ruhamah (No Mercy),
·       and Lo-Ammi (Not My People).

Really? Really.

So Hosea continues to love and raise God Will Scatter, No Mercy, and Not My People. Sadly, Gomer continues to... do her own thing:

"The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
~ Hosea 3:1 NIV, emphasis mine

"As the LORD loves..." This tiny phrase is why I love reading through Hosea.

God called other prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel to address the issue of idolatry too, but these prophets were God's mouthpiece. (They were the "big kahunas" of the Old Testament prophetic world) But this wasn't the call Hosea received.

God called Hosea to marry, grieve, and redeem. Hosea was to love as the LORD loves.

So be encouraged, God may not call all of us to be a "big kahuna."

However, we all have a call similar to Hosea's in our life.
We are to love as God loves (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:7-12).

If God's nudge or call on your life seems a tad bit odd, overwhelming, or impossible, do not dwell in the probably, maybe, couldn't possibly, or surely this isn't.
God may want to use this Hosea-type moment in your life to love the unlovable and unfaithful.

Really? Really.

Have you ever had a Hosea type moment? Did you think that God was calling you to be an "Isaiah," but you ended up in Hosea's shoes? How was God faithful?

Learn a little about Tracy here. Then visit her site.

Tracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (4) and Katherine (2), throughout their toy-infested home.  Tracy graduated from Phoenix Seminary in 2005, and served as the Director of Student Women at Scottsdale Bible Church from 2005-2007. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at www.onedegreeministries.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OneDegreeMinistries, or chat with her via twitter @tracy_steel.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Chance: A Book Review



Karen Kingsbury's latest book, "The Chance" recently released. 
This latest stand alone of Kingsbury   will meet her fans expectation. 

The story revolves around, Ellie and Nolan. Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since childhood . Then when unexpected circumstances separate them as teenagers, Ellie and Nolan concoct an idea. They will write letters to each other and bury them under their favorite meeting spot. The two friends promise each other to meet in eleven years to dig up the box with the letters. 
However, life has changed them both in the last eleven years? Will this be their last chance? 

Kingsbury keeps the reader enveloped in the story until the end. Kingsbury has a true gift for fiction.

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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weapons of Our Warfare: A Book Review...

Available through Amazon

I don't normally read books concerning spiritual warfare. 
However, an acquaintance and brother in Christ from North Carolina, Patrick Bucksot wrote one. I agreed to read and review his book. It took me longer than planned to finish Patrick's book and write my review...for that I apologize to Patrick. He has waited patiently.

"Weapons of Our Warfare" covers 23, yes that says 23, weapons Christians are equipped with by God for building up God's kingdom. Bucksot even includes the "fruit of the Spirit" from Galatians 5:22 in his list. I will not even try to debate if the list in Galatians is one fruit with nine characteristics or nine fruits. That is not the purpose of this blog. 

Bucksot has Scripture throughout the book as examples for the 'weapons of warfare' being discussed. He does use scriptures many will be familiar with and this could be both good and bad. Good because people will recognize the people in his examples but bad for some will skim or totally skip the scripture portions. It is a practice of discipline, even for this blogger, to not skip over sections of scripture which are familiar. When we assume we know it all we are being prideful. 

Bucksot covers pride when discussing the weapon of humility. He further introduces the concept of false humility (a form of pride) in the section on humility. 

Yet, Bucksot is not just spewing a bunch of words in his book and stating this is how it is. He shows humility when he tells his readers, "You should...check out what I write. As much as I want to glorify God with every word that I type, I am apt to make mistakes."

That statement is from a man wanting to see God's kingdom built up not his own. 

On the other hand, it would have been nice to see some not-so well known examples scattered throughout the book. This would have people grabbing their bibles to check out what Bucksot wrote. 

"We cannot treat His (God's) Word like a book of catch phrases."
---Patrick Bucksot, "Weapons of Our Warfare"

Bucksot covers spiritual warfare and the weapons we are given to build up the kingdom of God extensively in this offering. Take time and read through the book slowly, don't rush it and don't skip the familiar. Let God speak to you while reading and take Bucksot up on his challenge...

Check out what he has written. 

**The book's author provided a preview copy of the book in return for an unbiased review of the book**

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