Monthly Archives: November 2015

Why I Find it Hard to be Grateful

prayer

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Gratefulness is, essentially, a heart issue.

However, it is one that can be cultivated.  I’m finding more and more that I need structure and ritual to help cultivate the heart issues.

Basically, being grateful or not comes down to habits.  Specifically, habits of thought.  Habits of thought can be trained.  I’ve learned a lot from Ann Voskamp.  Her book, One Thousand Gifts, addresses this issue.  It includes a challenge to give thanks for one thousand gifts we’ve been given, at the rate of three a day.  Stopping life on purpose to give thanks.  Stopping life to search our minds for gifts that we’ve forgotten.  Pausing to be grateful, to give thanks, instead of rushing on.

1000gifts Buy now from Amazon

The natural way is to see the one black spot on an all white page.  Maybe because we’re blessed in so many areas, it’s easier to see what’s missing, what’s wrong. I fall into bad habits.  Worry. Fear. Envy. Robbing me of gratefulness. Eclipsing the thankfulness.

So I need to re-commit to developing the habit of pausing to remember gifts.  I need the structure and the ritual.  I need a pause planned into my day.  Because my natural habit of thought leans towards the negative.  Without the guard rail of ritual, I slide down the slippery slope of ingratitude.

A word from Ann Voskamp.

What helps you develop the habit of gratitude?

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Power of Habit, Part 2

If you haven’t read my first post on the Power of Habit, go here.

betterabshabit

After 28 days in a row of getting up (and out of bed) at 5:45, I’m 15 days into my next habit:  getting out of bed at 5 am.

I am currently using the same reward: one hour of fun reading.  As an interesting twist of fate in the last six weeks of “getting up discipline” is that the time changed.  One hour of Spring Forward means my body is confronting even more inertia.  Some days are harder than others, but I think my body is getting used to the new routine.

I’ve also implemented a weekly review of our budget.  Keeping up with our personal (and business) finances can be overwhelming.  But, I have high hopes that 28 weeks in a row of budget review will make a significant difference.

I’m looking forward to implementing the next few habits . . .

PowerofHabit

The Power of Habit

Discipline is a good thing, though not on par with loving God and loving people.  It feels good to keep promises to yourself.

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What has worked for you in establishing new habits?

 

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What I’m Reading November 2015

Readingnov15

Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World by Michael Hyatt

Platform

I’ve followed Michael Hyatt’s blog for a while and find his advice practical and succinct.  I even self-hosted this blog on his recommendation and with his affiliate link.  Even though the book was nothing more than a collection of blog posts, some of which I’d already read, I found the information helpful. Especially interesting to me were the collection of short chapters about using Twitter: a new world for me.  All his writing rings true, down to the necessity of building a platform and the step by step on how to do it.

The Man Who Owned Vermont by Bret Lott

ManWhoOwnedVermont

I am admittedly a fiction snob, and search high and low for fiction I truly enjoy.  So, after I liked Jewel by Bret Lott, I naturally looked for more of his novels, hoping for another home run.  Unfortunately, The Man Who Owned Vermont did not fall into that category. I haven’t finished it yet, but I have to say I was disappointed.

Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine

MoneyMakingMom

Not many people will tell you that the path to business success takes extremely hard work, risk and failure.  But Crystal Paine does. She also tackles the “why” of making money,  a topic easily ignored in the quest for “how-to”.  On her blog, MoneySavingMom.com, she is known for her transparent posts.  In this book, she takes transparency to a new level, evidenced by the detailed story of her first failed business.  Realistic, practical, hopeful.  Great read.

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

ColdTangerines

I’ve been wanting to read Niequist’s books for quite awhile, but have been having trouble getting my hands on them.  I figured Cold Tangerines would be a good place to start.  I like the fact to you really have to dig to find out Niequist is Bill Hybels’ daughter.  It would be easy to play that celebrity card to boost your own renown. I haven’t finished this one, either, but I’m enjoying it.

When We Were on Fire by Addie Zeirman

When-We-Were-on-Fire

I read Zeirman’s memoir on the recommendation of Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.  It started slowly, but picked up speed and intrigue towards the end.  The real questions she wrestled with in her life are the very ones I struggle with in ministry: namely how to teach faith to the next generation.  As a devout teenager, she got tripped up in the legalism which didn’t sustain her adult faith.  I completely identified with her missionary zeal and commitment to purity.  She found grace, but I wonder how to communicate that to teens– how to help them cultivate a relationship with God without focusing unduly on the rules.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a small percentage of your purchase helps to maintain the expenses of this site.)

What are you reading this month?

 

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War Room DVD Release Date; and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

December 22, 2015 is the confirmed release date for the War Room DVD.

WarRoomDVD

What are reviewers saying about War Room?

Christianity Today

“Lazy Writing, Cheap Restoration” is the title of Kenneth R Morefield’s article about War Room.

“College English professors teach their freshmen a common axiom: if you pick a thesis for your argument that nobody could, or does, disagree with, it’s a bad thesis for a paper.

That goes for films, too. In this case, the thesis is that ‘prayer changes things.’ It just does. End of story.

Christian Films frequently avoid controversy by being innocuous. They smooth the edges and elide the elements of our faith that we struggle with or argue about. This is a problem.”

Morefield outlines the problems he sees that the story falls short as a good fiction piece.  See more here.

Rotten Tomatoes

Out of 30 reviews, 11 were positive and 19 negative.  However, audience ratings were much higher, 90 % rating 3.5 or above on a 4 point scale. See more here.

The movie was number two at the box office on opening weekend, and hit the number one spot  the next weekend, Labor Day Weekend.  “Holdovers led as the low-budget faith-based hit War Room rose from second to first place thanks in part to a 34 percent boost in screens. The Sony title grossed an estimated $9.4 million, off 18 percent, and raised its total to $24.7 million. It only cost $3.5 million to produce but may reach about $50 million by the end of its run.”  See more here.

RogerEbert.com

Matt Fagerholm takes issue with the movie’s message saying it preaches theology that is black and white and won’t interact with the gray areas.  “It may not be as brazenly offensive as ‘God’s Not Dead’ or as spectacularly inept as ‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas,’ but it’s still awful, offering all the forced humor and superficial substance of a half-baked homily.”  See more here.

Huffington Post

Jonathan Merritt headlines, ” ‘War Room’ Has The One Thing Many Christian Films Don’t Have — A Black Cast“.  According to creator, Alex Kendrick, “There is an element to the way we tell this story that has power and desperation that would be different if we tried to tell it any other way.”

Merritt notes,” ‘War Room’ was produced on a $3 million budget and is expected to make much more in ticket sales. The Kendrick brothers’ films have always earned back their budgets. Their last movie, ‘Courageous,’ for example, was produced for $2 million and earned $34.5 million in box office receipts to become one of the most successful independent films of 2011.”  See more here.

Plugged In

Adam R. Holz admits to some “cinematic idealization”, but still feels the message is valid. “So what War Room does effectively is model what it really looks like to create space for prayer in our lives amid the real struggles that inevitably conspire to crowd it out.” See more here.

Three easy ways to order:

  1. Click on our affiliate link and order from Amazon for $19.99.
  2. Call Bibles & Books at 574-269-4169 and order for $17.99.
  3. Email Bibles & Books at biblesnbooks@gmail.com and order for &17.99.

Bluray also available.

Note:  No shipping charges for in store pickup.  129 N Roosevelt St. Warsaw, IN 46580

$3.99 shipping & handling to destinations in the continental US.

Have you seen War Room?  What did you think?

 

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War Room DVD Release Date: Prayer Works

WarRoomDVD

According to our supplier, the WarRoom DVD is set to release on January 5, 2016. Unconfirmed reports put the date at December 22, 2015.

The story revolves around Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s faltering marriage and an aging prayer warrior, Miss Clara.  The focus of the movie is the power of prayer.

Books connected with the movie have rocketed to the top ten Christian bestsellers list for two months in a row.  Fervent by Priscilla Shirer,  and the Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen Kendrick and War Room by Chris Fabry (a novelization of the movie).

Fervent BattlePlanWarRoom Novel

Three easy ways to order:

  1. Click on our affiliate link and order from Amazon for $19.99.
  2. Call Bibles & Books at 574-269-4169 and order for $17.99.
  3. Email Bibles & Books at biblesnbooks@gmail.com and order for $17.99

Bluray also available.

Note:  No shipping charges for in store pickup.  129 N Roosevelt St. Warsaw, IN 46580

$3.99 shipping & handling to destinations in the continental US.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a small percentage of your purchase helps to maintain the expenses of this site.)

 

 

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Top 5 Books for Home Managers

 

Home management covers a variety of areas and skills. These are my top picks for resources to make you a pro.

Dive in for the first time, brush up or master the area of home management that you enjoy most.

the life-changing magic of tidying up

by Marie Kondo

MagicTidying

Kondo’s little book is getting a lot of buzz, for good reason.  Kondo attacks common myths, such as do a little every day. Simple, profound principles to help you get your living space in order.

Getting Things Done

by David Allen

GettingThingsDone

Getting Things Done is written for executives to help them manage their time and paperwork.  Practical suggestions on how to store and file papers and manage your schedule, your inbox and your to-do list.

Sink Reflections

by Marla Cilley

SinkReflections

Marla Cilley calls herself the FLYLady, an acronym that stand for Finally Loving Yourself.

Marla explains that keeping house is a collection of habits.   She takes you a step at a time to building those habits into your routine; the first step is– shining  your sink. Her book, Sink Reflections, is just the start.  She has an entire online support system to help you develop all the habits you need for total housekeeping.

Total Money Makeover

by Dave Ramsey

Unknown

The Whys and Hows of budgeting.  Uber practical.  Also, lots of online support.  Read more here.

Nesting Place

by Myquillen Smith

NestingPlace

The subtitle of The Nesting Place is “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”  Home decorating on a budget, or even without a budget.  Making your home useful and beautiful as a process, not to be showpiece, but to serve the family.

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What are your favorite resources for home management?

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