“I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko, Book Review

“You can’t live right if you don’t think right.” Levi Lusko, “I Declare War.”

We have no control over the thoughts that enter our minds daily, but we can filter them. Not every thought leads us in the right direction. Not all we hear or think about every day is true. Deciphering lies and distortion between our ears is an important life skill. It can launch us into our purpose or it can severely trip us up along way. This book meets us in that practical struggle, and provides applicable lessons to harness our thoughts.

From beginning to end, Lusko weaves personal stories into four basic lessons that are easily relatable and entertaining. The Biblical roots of the “4 Keys to Winning the Battle with Yourself,” give Lusko’s message strong legs to stand on. After reading it, I felt a little better equipped to walk boldly into my daily life than I did before. It created a renewed sense of purpose and better understanding of how hard work and Holy Spirit power work in tandem. 

The detail of the stories, especially in reference to middle school life and amazon prime, are hilarious and relatable. The book is broken up into four major sections with great take-aways, making it easy to read through quickly. Lusko’s passion for helping others tap into the power of Christ in their lives is evident, and the Scriptural teachings along the way make the inspirational tones credible and applicable. This book goes just deep enough to intrigue and inspire change, but not so much that it reads like a Bible Study or research heavy material.

I recommend this book for anyone struggling with self-confidence, doubt, anxiety, discontent, or for those simply seeking a little extra motivation to dig deep and accomplish everything God has laid out for them to do. 

“Time doesn’t change you, it just makes you more of who you are.” Levi Lusko

Click here to purchase “I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko.

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A Prayer for Peace in the Job Search

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:19 (NASB)

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and you get the feeling that what they are saying isn’t what they really mean? It can be hard to extract a straight answer in this world. We’re so obsessed over keeping the peace and accepting everyone’s truth, that we’ve muddled the conversational waters with FOOP – Fear of Offending People.

God doesn’t operate like this. His Word is Truth. When we are unemployed or desperately seeking for another career to replace the one we have, it can seem hard to understand God’s good plan for our lives. But take His Word to heart. When He says that He will supply all of our needs, He means it. However, it’s not always what we think we need. He knows, beyond our own ability to discern, what we truly need. “According to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Click to continue reading …

# Powerful Ways Dads Can Forge Relationships with Daughters

Without words, my dad faithfully repaired the doorframe every time my teenage angst slammed it off its alignment. No one ever asked him to check on me after an outburst that ended in tears behind that slammed door, but he always did. My dad loved me despite the massive cloud that took over from time to time during those hard, teen years. When I was wrong. When I overreacted. When my heart was broken by some boy. My dad always checked in to make sure I was OK. He reminded me who I was and that he loved me.

I realize not everyone is blessed with the same story, but from the outpouring of mine, I share ways that fathers can forge lasting and real relationships with their daughters. It’s not rocket science. Rather, it’s simply putting the door back on the hinges, wiping the tears away, and lending hugs to let them know they are loved more than they could possibly understand.

Click here to continue reading …

“Marriage,” a Book Review

“Marriage,” Edited by Curt Hamner, John Trent, Rebekah J. Byrd, Eric L. Johnson, and Erik Thoennes.

“Personal union is the ground for all human being.” -“Marriage”

This book met me knee deep in the frustrating fights repeated in my marriage over the last decade. The educated stance and Biblical root of this book seek to give sound answers and understand instead just a feel good motivation to keep staying positive through it all. It tackles the hard topics, and digs into the foundational cause for many quarrels within and misunderstanding about marriage. I feel more equipped to walk into the next decade of my marriage after reading this book, because I understand why things go wrong and what to do in the middle of good times and bad. 

The contributors to this book were passionate about the topic of marriage, and it’s Christian foundation and institution, and every page oozes it. They wanted to get it right, give people answers to their questions, and affirm and better understand the Biblical purpose for marriage. 

I felt less like an outcast for having questions and problems and empathy and equipping that will help strengthen my marriage.

This book is research heavy and Bible study laden. It’s a good thing! The language is easy to read, and the book is well-organized. For those seeking answers, you’ll find them here! But it takes time to read through it thoroughly. This is not a book to rush through, rather savor and keep on hand for reference. 

From my perspective, I recommend this book to married couples and singles, alike. It’s a book that can be re-read as life goes on, and I believe will be applicable at any stage. 

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to receive a copy of “Marriage.”

Happy Reading!

Megs

#saywhat?! …What’s Up With My Mouth?

Hashtags are now a part of verbal communication. The words we # have power the power to create searchable content. The words we verbalize, type, text, share and air hold the power to dignify or deflate. 

My current parenting resolution is #dontraisemyvoice. Once I factor out school, playing with friends and extra curricular activities, I only have to hold it together for 3 or 4 hours on weekdays. Most would say my odds are pretty good, and I wish I could tell you it’s been a smashing success … but there’s a reason for resolution. #stillyelling

“The more you talk, the more likely you will cross the line and say the wrong thing; but if you are wise, you’ll speak less and with restraint.” Proverbs 10:19 VOICE

“Mom, you don’t have to apologize to us …we don’t even deserve you.” 

What did I have to apologize for? #yelling. Unfortunately, lofted above the apology are the hashtags formed while I was losing my patience. My careless words distort and begin to plant seeds of deceit …#lies.

Psalm 119:165 says “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” We don’t always like, much rather love, God’s law in our everyday lives. Which is why our bad attitudes drip down into our words, and the opportunity to water lies in the minds of their recipients.

Great peace. “Complete security and well-being,” to be accurate. (NIV Study Bible Notes) People that have peace don’t need to make #dontraisemyvoice resolutions. What was I missing? Love.

Proverbs 10:12 says that “hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.” (NIV) The love in this verse is different. This love accomplishes what we cannot: love for a law that we don’t understand, like, or want to follow in the moment. The love of the Law, Himself. (Strongs 157/160) 

My mouth represents my heart, which could be undergoing all manner of spiritual battles at any given time. The risk of blowing up at my kids is that they will start to believe and apply the wrong hashtags. Above the endearing and encouraging words I speak and pray over them for the 3 hours and 58 minutes I have with them some weekdays …they start to carry around …wear around …the other 2 minutes that I was overly critical and terribly impatient while they acted like the 8 and 10 years olds they are. 

“Oh, yes I do have to apologize,” I explain, “because no matter how disobedient you are or impatient I am …I know better than to react like I did.”

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1Peter 4:8 NIV

Again, same English word, different definition of Biblical love. This time, “brotherly love, affection, good will, love.” This New Testament love is possible because of Jesus. Through Him, we can love each other with the same love that covers a multitude of sins. We can become living channels of His love. 

When my bad attitude leaks out of my mouth, it’s a heart problem. My problem. Not my children’s fault. Not my husband’s fault. Not the ridiculous pendulum of a midwestern winter’s fault. (And not the Brown’s fault for not clinching a spot in the playoffs …OK a wild card spot -let me dream.)  It’s a hearth issue. So, how do I fix it?

“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:8 

  • Get the Right Advice. The way to peace and love is through their Author. There’s no shortcut to this. I have to set aside time to read God’s Word before I talk to anyone else. Maybe you can handle conversations before Jesus and coffee, but I can’t. 
  • Listen to Your People. God doesn’t do coincidence. He places us purposefully. I can choose to walk through daily life paying attention to the people in my live, and focusing on how to love them well.
  • Do it. Submission means to drop my way for the right way. Repeated, it becomes a reflex. In the case of my bad attitude controlling my mouth …I can consciously reroute that authority, choosing to apply wisdom before my words fly out. 

Matthew 12:34 reminds, “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” 

I speak love when I know who I am. Forgiven in spite of my 2 minute meltdown, and loved before I can find the discipline to fix it. When I wear those hasthags, I’m more likely to pass them on. #neverlovedless #alwaysforgiven.

Happy #-ing …

Megs