Mary Kay Ash – Miracles Happen

Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc.Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc. by Mary Kay Ash

I received this book from Mary Kay Inc in my starter kit and since I’m the type of person who wants to know everything, I started reading. Mary Kay Ash has a way of motivating you while telling of a harder time in American history. Her stories are wonderful, and very personal. This inspired me in a cheesy “I can do it all” kind of way. Mary Kay was born at a different time and struggled because she was woman. Because of this, she was inspired to create a new business to help other women. The model of business based on the golden rule was unique and most were skeptical. Her motto was God first, Family second, Career third. By putting everything in perspective, she was able to become very successful.

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Brooklyn Girls Review – ARC

Brooklyn GirlsBrooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC from Goodreads.

I really liked this book. Pia just can’t get her life together and as a privileged young adult, her parents are on her case. I love living with roommates in my own life, and I’ve always wanted to live in New York. I could really relate to this book and the characters in it. It was kind of predictable, but it was an easy read. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was because of the harsh language. I feel like a lot of it was unnecessary.

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Financial Peace

Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your FamilyFinancial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family by Dave Ramsey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First point – This book was a little outdated to be of much use. I was hoping to get into the envelope system more, but I think I’ll have to look elsewhere for that information. At this point in my life (single, just enough to pay necessities, student) I’m not seeing how I can squeeze anymore out and save for anything. I don’t really agree with his “no credit cards” stance because having credit cards can get you great deals with cash back and extra savings if paid off every month. Overall, I think I want to read some current information from Dave.

My second point – the reviews on this book are either LOVE or HATE. As I was reading I found it important to live your life by certain principles to even make this a viable option. As a single woman with no children I was reminded of values that I hold in high regards. One, choose who I marry wisely. If he can’t handle money beforehand, he wont be able to handle it after we are married either. This goes for me too. I need to learn these principles now. Two, and this has been my motto for years, don’t have children I can’t pay for, and with men that wont pay for them. This will set me up for financial failure. I think this is where some of the hate comes from with this book.

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Nevermore – Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe

Nevermore -  Novel of Love, Loss, & Edgar Allan PoeNevermore – Novel of Love, Loss, & Edgar Allan Poe by David Niall Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book from the author and he sent me an autographed copy with an inscription made out to me. I was a little skeptical because I’m not normally interested in this genre, but I was willing to give it a go anyways. I’m so glad I did because I LOVED this book. I started out reading with a very critical eye and as soon as I got into the story-line, it won me over. The story was about Edgar meeting a lady (Lenore) in an inn in the Great Dismal Swamp and the magic that the two are blessed (cursed?) with. The writings of Poe were mixed in with Grimm’s Fairy Tales a a little bit of magic to make the plot line just a little bit more awesome. I carried this book everywhere and read a paragraph every time I could get one in. I couldn’t put it down. When I finished the book I immediately looked up Poe’s work just to refresh myself and see how the two tied together. Wilson has done a great job portraying his interpretation of what led to the writing of The Raven. This book is saying in my library for a long time!

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Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets

Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and EarthIntercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth by Dutch Sheets
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not for the spiritually unresolved or those lacking in faith. Must be firm in your beliefs to read and take this book for what it is. I LOVE the translating parts of it where Hebrew and Greek words are given, however I don’t agree with everything that Sheets says. Even though he gives scriptural backing for his opinions some of what he deducts seems to be taken out of context in the passages. I would’ve put it down if a trusted mentor had not recommended it to me, and even then it took me 2 years to finish because I kept putting it down.

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Readings: Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets

It all started about 2 years ago I had the privilege to join a 9 month class based on the scripture 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”  I had some wonderful teachers and guides in this process.  I am a very logically minded person, someone who would rather read and follow than meditate and figure out any day, so one of my weak spots is prayer.  The lady who taught on prayer during this class is very well known for being a prayer warrior, someone I would be happy to imitate   When she suggested I read Dutch Sheets Intercessory Prayer, I ordered my copy immediately.

I’m sad to say it took me a very long time to open this book and when I finally did, it took a very long time to get started.  I made it to chapter six and I was stopped dead in my tracks by this section.  Enjoy.

Governing Principles

Whether or not God directly controls every event in the life of a Christian can be answered by stating that the basic laws of sowing and reaping, cause and effect, individual responsibility and the free will aren’t negated when we come to Christ.  All promises from God are attached to conditions – governing principles.  Most, if not all, of these conditions involve responsibility on our part.  Protection is no exception.

Most of us don’t like that.  It threatens us and somehow weakens God in our minds to imply He’s not in total control of everything.  And the majority are greatly offended if anything is taught implying that a failure to receive protection, provision, healing, an answer to prayer, or anything else from God could be our fault.

I can understand how it might threaten us – I’m threatened by me – but I don’t understand why it offends.  Are any of us claiming perfection?  Aren’t all of us going to fail once in a while?  Then why are we offended when a teaching suggests that these imperfections and failures might hinder us?

Why are we offended and opposed to a teaching that says our unbelief kept us from receiving something when so often the Bible says if we believe and do not doubt or waver we’ll receive (see Matt. 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Jas. 1:6-7)?

Why are we offended when it is implied that our inability to persevere created lack when the Bible says that we “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12, emphasis added)?

Why are we confused of angry when it is suggested that our not doing something caused failure when the Bible says if we’re “willing and obedient” we’ll eat the good of the land (Isa. 1:19. KJV, emphasis added)?

As many as 80 percent of those who consider themselves born again don’t tithe, thereby opening themselves to a curse.  Yet they are offended when someone implies that their lack of provision might be their own fault (see Mal. 3″:8-12).

We don’t forgive and still have the gall to thing God will hear and answer our prayers (see Mark 11:25-26).

Often, we eat poorly, don’t exercise and abuse our bodies in other ways.  Then we blame our sicknesses on God’s will.

We don’t properly train our children, yet we’re offended with the suggestion that their rebellion might be our fault (see Deut. 6:7; Prov. 22:6).

We don’t abide in Christ and His Word.  Still we blame it on “God’s will” when we “ask what we will” and it isn’t done (John 15:7).

We know faith come through hearing and meditation of God’s Word (see Rom. 10:17), and most of us do very little of that.  But let someone imply that we didn’t receive a promise because of unbelief and we’re irate.

The Scriptures teach that “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High” (KJV) receives the protective promises of the remainder of Psalm 91…that I have an armor I must wear and carry, including the shield of faith, to ward off Satan’s fiery darts (see Eph. 6:13-18)…that Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and that I am to resist him (see 1 Pet. 5:8; Jas. 4:7)…and yet, let someone suggest that my lack of protection from some destructive happening could be my own fault and I’m offended. How about you?

I’m certainly not implying that God never allows us to walk through difficulties, that all our problems are because of disobedience or that all unanswered prayer is because of unbelief.  I’m simply saying that many of our failures and difficulties are our fault, not “God’s will”; we have a part to play in the securing of protection and other heavenly provisions.

Let’s try to lay down our fears, insecurities and tendencies toward offense.  Let’s accept the fact that the Scriptures are filled with principles that put responsibility on us, which must be met to receive God’s promises.  Let’s realize this doesn’t cancel grace and promote salvation by works.  Grace does not imply “no responsibility” on our part.  Let’s realize the love of God is unconditional, but His favor and blessing are not.

Oh to live by these words.  I’ve heard it said before that God’s circle of blessing is like a playground enclosed in a fence.  We can play on anything in the playground.  We are free to choose the swings, the slide, even the sandbox; but if we climb over the fence and into the outside world we can no longer be guaranteed God’s blessing – because we are not in his will.

I know I need to check myself and see where I’m standing.  Am I outside the fence?  Are you?