Tuesday, April 8, 2014

God First Life {Giveaway}

 You know those books you open and start reading and immediately cannot put it down? I love those books. “The God First Life” written by Stovall Weems, pastor of Celebration Church, is just one of those books. I found myself wanting to shout “Amen!” before I even made it through the first chapter. I couldn’t get enough of it and I couldn’t stop telling my husband how good it was.

The theme of the book centers on living our life with the goal to put God first in everything we do. “Whatever force has first place in our lives will drive our decisions and shape our futures.” 1 Everything in our life will be competing for first place in our line of priorities. That is the way the enemy works. So many things will be competing for our attention, and we will be tempted to put those things ahead of God in order to find happiness. The truth is we won’t find true happiness until we have allowed God to have first place in our lives. “Jesus wasn’t against happiness – he just redefined how to get it.”2 Putting God first in our lives doesn’t only bring genuine happiness into our lives; it makes it possible for that happiness to flow into every aspect of our lives. We reap blessings when God is first in our lives. Those blessings flow into every aspect of our lives. We in turn become better spouses, parents, friends, daughters, and people when we are living the God first life. It is truly incredible how that works!

Weems brings it into four main truths that help you to live the God first life:

1. New Priority
2. New Family
3. New Life
4. New Freedom

I don’t want to give too many details on each of those topics because I want to encourage you to read the book to “hear” for yourself. I do want to elaborate on two areas just to give you a little taste of what this book has to offer.

Weems talks about how when we choose to follow Christ, we become a part of His family. I know if you have been a Christian for awhile, that is no surprise to you. But as someone who is in ministry I have seen from a different perspective how many people are missing out on the true purpose of the church. The church exists for God’s people, and in the church we can truly “experience the God first life.”3 Being planted in a church takes the God first life to an entirely new level. We can encounter God in new depths and discover things about Him we might have otherwise missed when we aren’t planted in a church. “Many people never flourish and experience fulfillment of their potential for kingdom purposes because they see “planting” as optional.” 4 That last statement really struck me; it is in being planted in a church that we can have greater potential for impacting people for the Kingdom of God.

Weems brings up this new freedom that we have when we are living the God first life. We are free from past sin, we are free from guilt, and we are free from anything that the enemy may try to entangle us in. In my life, that thing that I need freedom from is my tendency to worry, my tendency to walk this life out in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what is to come. Give me a blank page and I will worry about everything that is going to fill it. Weems directly called out the tendency to fear and worry in his book and it spoke straight to my heart. I have consistently prayed against my tendency to fear, but something about what Weems said when covering it in his book really stuck with me. “God is perfect love, which means the presence of God dispels, or drives away, all fear. The presence of God in us, the presence of his perfect love, is the power we need to dispel fear.” 5 “If you give those fears to God, the more opportunities God will have to show you that he is faithful, and the more he proves himself faithful, the more your trust in him will be built.” 6

This book references a lot of basic concepts to those who are beginning their walks with Christ and just discovering what that means. I believe it really points out the importance and blessing of living a life with God first. Though the concepts may seem simple, I believe this book has something to offer everyone no matter what stage they are at in their walks with Christ. There is tremendous blessing in living the God first life. Weems explains how you can walk in that, and what can be born out of a life lived with God first.

On behalf of Zondervan Publishing and Icon Media, I am offering you a chance to win a copy of the book yourself. Enter in the rafflecopter below, winner will be announced on Friday.

*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Source: 1 –God First Life, Page 21 ; 2- God First Life, Page 27; 3 – God First Life, Page 47; 4 – God First Life, Page 48; 5 – God First Life, Page 143; 6 –God First Life, Page 144

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Currently {Vol. 1}

A Mama Collective

Thinking about: Our trip to Springfield this week. We have not gone back for a visit since we moved and I am so excited for this opportunity to do so. It will be so nice to see people we haven’t seen for a few months. I am especially eager to see some of the kids we used to lead in ministry. Plus, we have a pretty nice new van to take the trip in.

Reading: The God First Life by Stoval Weems. I actually just finished it this last weekend, I will be posting about it tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that.
Listening to: The new radio station. We have this new Christian radio station in Saint Louis and I absolutely love it. It is a lot of upbeat stuff, some hip-hop thrown in there. It’s music you can dance too…and I love to dance. Especially when it’s warm enough to roll my windows down, blare the music, and dance my heart out.

Watching: Chad and I love to watch Once Upon A Time. It will be coming on this evening and I am already looking forward to it. I know, I am a nerd.

Thankful for: I am really thankful for our new vehicle. God has truly blessed us and answered an incredibly huge prayer. Beyond what we could have even asked for, and that is the best answer to prayer we could receive!

Monday, March 31, 2014

We're Not Invisible - Hunter Hayes Blog Tour

This space is mine. There aren’t words that I can really think of that can accurately describe how much this space means to me. I set out on an adventure to share the words that God speaks to me through writing. I set out to share the message that penetrates in my very soul, the burning passion to encourage women that they are more than somebody else’s definition of them. What started as a post every few months grew into so much more. This became a place where I have discovered my voice. Here I found my platform to where I have the opportunity to encourage woman, no matter what their walk of life. A place where I seek to reach women no matter what season of life they find themselves in. Here is where I found my voice in taking those passions that burn within me and putting movement behind them.

Sometimes as a stay at home mom it is easy to forget about the things you love. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day of taking care of children and keeping the house put together. Sometimes it is easy to find yourself feeling invisible in the midst of all that. I believe that can be true for anyone no matter what stage they are in life. Whether it be the hours you are putting in at work, the hours you are putting in at school, or the hours you spend taking care of things day to day it is easy to forget about who you are and what you love outside of what you do. I believe there are a great many of us who are blessed to do what we love to do. I love being a mom more than I can even express and I love being in children’s ministry just as much. I believe the way to keep that love and passion alive is to remember it is about why you love what you do more than it is about what you do. We love what we do because of who we are; the passions that burn within us that drive us in doing what we do. The challenge is not allowing ourselves to become invisible in the day to day of doing, but to remember who we are. In remembering who we are, we can remember why we love what we are doing.

This space is my way of not being invisible; it is my way of having a platform to share all those things that I love. This is a place for me to use my voice and put words with the passions I have, the things I love doing. Where I put my voice out there in hopes to touch the lives of those it comes in contact with. I started this space with hopes of it touching the lives of those who read the words on their screen, but I believe it has touched me even more. I believe it has helped me find a place to use those giftings and talents in my life to make a difference. It has given me the chance to not waste what has been placed in my hands, or leave it on a shelf collecting dust, but to truly make a difference in even just one life.

I believe that what is inside us isn’t meant to be invisible. It doesn’t matter the mistakes we have made in our life or whether we feel qualified or not. What matters that we have a voice and it deserves to be heard. We have talents and giftings that deserve to be used. We have purpose that deserves to be fulfilled.

This blog was selected to be a part of the blog campaign promoting country star, Hunter Hayes. His incredible hit single, “Invisible,” is encouraging everyone to find their voice. Hunter is out to encourage people that everyone has a voice, that YOU have a voice. You have the opportunity to be seen and heard; you are not meant to be invisible.

This space is just one of the ways that I have found my voice. How have you found yours?

Hunter Hayes song and his mission to help people realize that they aren’t invisible inspired me. This campaign seeking to hear how bloggers are using their voice to be heard was so incredible I couldn’t pass it up. Even more exciting for all you Hunter Hayes fans, I am giving away TWO TICKETS to TWO SEPARATE CONCERTS. There are two shows in Missouri and I am giving you a chance to win tickets to either of the two shows.
There are two rafflecopters below. The first is for his show on April 11th at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. The second is on April 12th at the JQH Arena in Springfield, MO. You can enter both giveaways, but you will only be allowed to win one of the giveaways. You DO NOT have to be a resident of Missouri to enter, but you will need to provide your own transportation to the show, so you will need to be in the surrounding area. The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win. Share this post via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and you will receive extra entries for every day you share. Be sure to tag me and/or hashtag #YouAreMoreBlog in all your shares so that I can count them towards your entries.
If you just cannot wait to see if you win the giveaway, and you really want to go you can purchase your tickets here. You can also find out all the details here. For more be sure to follow Hunter Hayes on Facebook or on Twitter. Or you can visit his website here. Winner will be announced on Saturday, April 5th.
And remember, you are not invisible! Use your voice, your talents, and your giftings to make a difference. You deserve to be heard!

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