Monthly Archives: June 2016

06/27/16

Un-usual.

“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” — Luke 5:1-11 

I read this familiar scripture again last week during a morning quiet time, and the thought struck me about how the Lord reveals Himself to us in unusual ways.

I mean, think about it.

These men were professional fishermen. They had been out to see all night, when you have higher likelihood of catching fish, and not one single bite.

Jesus sees these boats coming into shore, asks to borrow the boat, and begins to preach from it to all the people gathered on the shoreline. After He is done preaching, He tells the fishermen to go back out and let down their nets into deep water one more time.

I can only imagine the thoughts passing through their minds.

This teacher sidesteps from His message to publicly embarrass us and tell us how to do our job. Yeah, I don’t think so…

But, they do it.

And the results are no less than staggering. And because of their faithfulness and obedience, their belief is strengthened and they are the first of His chosen disciples. And so they leave their nets and follow Him.

Have you ever had a “leave your nets and come with me!” moment?

Have you ever been that awestruck by the Lord’s calling on your life?

Has He spoken to you and revealed even more of His character to you in an unconventional, unusual way?

In the past year, I have felt a tug on my heart to do something, to accomplish something, that in my own power, intellect, and reason, is impossible. And so, I tried to ignore it. The mounting fear was just too great. The tide of my doubts was just too swift. The remindings of my failures just too frequent.

And the tug on my heart continued.

Why me? When so many others have tried and failed?

But the idea persisted. Until I broke and I joined Him. And I prayed and I dreamed. And so, I began.

Only you can do what God has created for you to do. You have everything that you need, or ever could need, to answer His call. It’s already all inside you!

Inside all of us.

Isn’t that just a miraculous thought?

In discussion about this very topic this week with a friend and coworker, he shared with me his Romans 8:28 philosophy about stepping into the purpose that God gives you. His illustration came from Exodus, and he began to speak about Moses and the miraculous and unusual calling on his life. Moses would never have been the chosen to approach the throne Pharaoh, a god in ancient times, if he had not spent his formative years as a member of Pharaoh’s household. He would never have been granted an audience with Pharaoh if he had not first called Pharaoh “brother.”  He would not have been able to shepherd and guide the people of Israel through the wilderness and to the very edge of the Promised Land if he had not been so familiar with shepherding the fields of Midian along with his father-in-law Jethro.

He was quite literally perfectly positioned to accomplish God’s perfect plan. Speech impediment and all.

We should embrace our limitations. Embrace our shortcomings, our fears, our doubts, our failures even, because we serve a God who can and one who will provide exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine.

So many fish that we need a 2nd boat to come help us unload all of our nets.

So, here me when I say… Bring on the fish!

xoxo…

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06/15/16

My Favorite Beach Reads

Beach reads.

They should be their very own book category. Right next to Fiction & Chick-Lit.

And I love reading on the beach. It is the absolutely ultimate for me in the category of vacation relaxation. Nothing but me, the sound of the surf, some darkly-tinted sunglasses, and a great book in my hand. Or kindle for those of you high(er)-tech beach reading folk.

So, in honor of Summer 2016, I have compiled a list of my favorite beach reads. Ever. Some suspense, some romance, some historical fiction, and some that are just plain old fashioned fun!

You can thank me later. After you have read these books, of course. Because I think these reads are the a shore thing…

Did you see what I did there?!? … 

Sorry.

No. 1 | Angels & Demons by Dan Brown 

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Because this is one of the first books I read while on a beach and I flew through it in less than 2 days. I can still remember frantically flipping from page to page with no awareness of where I was on the beach and how dangerously burned I was about to be…

This is a truly absorbing, pulse-pounding read you won’t forget.

No. 2 | Unwritten by Charles Martin 

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My love for Martin’s prose is no secret, and I figured a book with the beach on the cover makes for a pretty good beach read, I’d say.

You will be completely transported from the remote Ten Thousand Islands off the Florida coast to the French countryside as one man and woman, inexplicably linked, will find the secrets of their pasts and the keys to their future.

Loved everything about it!

No. 3 | The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

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A book I read last summer on the beach, and one I still cannot get out of my head. It’s the book that made me fall in love with Susanna Kearsley’s writing and with great historical fiction all over again! I have read countless of her books since picking this book up.

I promise you will not be disappointed!

No. 4 | The Lake House by Kate Morton 

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One of my alltime favorite authors, and her latest work, and perhaps her best yet!

The perfect blend of intrigue, mystery, and romance. I enjoyed every last page of it and it will have you all caught up in the story and the vivid details until the end.

No. 5 | What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 

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Who could believe that a book about a woman losing her memory could be so uproariously funny at one moment and so deeply poignant the next? In the end, our heroine Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start all over again.

A book I highly recommend!

No. 6 | Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry 

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A sweet summer read that I found on the local authors table at the Barnes & Noble bookstore while on HHI, SC a few summers ago. A tender read about 3 sisters and unlikely circumstances that bring them all together one summer.

No. 7 | Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews 

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Best friends since Catholic grade school, now all in their mid-thirties and at the crossroads of their lives, rent a beach house all together in a small coastal North Carolina town. What’s the worst that could happen?!?

Mary Kay Andrews sizzles in this sultry little summer read.

No. 8 | Where’d you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

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Because this was honestly one of the most unique and amusing books I have ever read. To date.

Some absolutely hysterical, laugh-out-loud moments. And who doesn’t want that on the beach?

No. 9 | The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth 

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Because sometimes a modern day cult classic is the only thing that will do.

Say what you want to about these books, they are pure gold on vacation. They are like a vacation all in their own instantly transporting you into a world of factions, post-apocalyptic Chicago, and a rapturous adventure that will keep you spell-bound for days at a time.

No. 10 | The Look of Love by Sarah Joi 

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An easy, breezy, light-hearted (but not too much so) read with an element of surprise. A quintessential beach read.

What are some of your favorite beach reads?

Share them with us…

 

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