Friday, April 19, 2013

Blessings

This week time has stopped for so many people.  They will forever remember where they were in that split second that their life changed forever.  They will remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news and this week has been filled with horrible news from Boston to Texas and so many places in between.  My heart has been heavy for these people that I don't know, I won't ever know, and I can't even (nor do I want to) imagine what they are going through.  It has been a hard week watching the little news that I watch and seeing the images of horrific events.  It has been hard explaining to my children that we live in a world where people would choose to commit such horrible acts and take innocent lives.  It is just mind boggling.  I don't understand all that has happened this week and at the same time I know it is not for me to understand.  I know that no news will explain it and that we only get to see what they choose to report on and how they choose to spin it.  I have to admit that I don't really watch the news much because I go so tired of all the negativity when there is so much good they could be reporting on.  I know that we need to hear about the bad things too, but quite frankly I find the news depressing and I get very frustrated by the way they choose to report some stories and not others.  I did flip on a certain national news morning show the yesterday to hear about the explosion in Texas and if they knew what had happened.  I watched as the anchor interviewed an eye witness to the explosion only to be angered when the anchor spun the interview around to be so insensitive to ask the man if he personally knew anyone in this small town that died in the explosion or if he knew any of the people critically injured.  I know that this seems like a valid question, but it was so completely insensitive.  Here was this man giving his eye-witness account and then the anchor eagerly points out how small the town is and how so many people there know each other and then nonchalantly and casually asked, "So do you know anyone who died in the explosion or was critically injured?"  I was just done at that point, the question had nothing to do with the rest of the interview.  It was a prime example of why I don't watch the news.  Anyway, I am getting off my soap box now.  So I have been trying to make sense of all the things happening this week and it all comes down to we will never know why it all happened.  As a Christian I do know that God has been a part of every situation that has occurred this week.  I don't know why He has allowed these things to happen and it is not up to me to ask, "Why?"  I don't want to question my Creator because I know that His plan is greater than my and He uses every situation for His glory.  I know these events are tragic and people say "How could God be using this horrific tragedy for His glory?" and I have to tell you, I don't know how He is using it for His glory.  I do know that people around the world were praying after hearing the news this week, I know people were showing compassion, and people were gathering together.  I don't think anyone but God knows why these events occur or how He uses them, but I do know for sure that God is at work in this world and I know without a doubt that He has heard every prayer this week.  I haven't made these comments to start a debate, but rather just to share what I feel and I know that not every one will agree with me and that is okay, but I am not here to start any debates.  I have made no secret of my love of music and this week I keep thinking of a specific song.  I keep thinking of the song, "Blessings" by Laura Story.  She wrote this song when she was going through a very tough time in her life and I think it just sort of puts this week in perspective.  We don't know why things happen the way they do, but I believe that there is a blessing in everything that happens and that is exactly what this song is talking about.  So this week when the news has been horrific, bleak, and mind boggling, I choose to cling to God and pray for those affected by the events this week and I am taking comfort in these beautiful lyrics by Laura Story and seeing that the blessings aren't always obvious, but sometimes the blessings do come in the rain.

Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Authors I Have Been Reading Lately

I have made no secret about my love of reading.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read.  I wish I had more time to read, but being busy with my family, church, and my new business doesn't leave me with as much time to read as I would like to.  I thought today I would share some of the authors whose books I have been reading lately.  I read a wide range of books although I do tend to get hooked on certain authors and will return to them time and again until I have read all that they have written.

1.  Sandra D. Bricker - She is an Christian fiction author and she keeps my attention with humorous, yet relatable books.  I love the fact that in her series I read that started with the book, Always the Baker, Never the Bride, she developed the characters in the first story and then used them with added characters throughout the rest of the series.

2.  Lynn Austin - She is also a Christian author and I love her historical based writing.  I started by reading her Refiner's Fire series set in the Civil War and I couldn't put it down.  I am currently reading through her Chronicles of the Kings series and it is another series I find myself staying up way too late to read "just a few more pages."

3.  Nicholas Sparks - What can I say?  I am a sucker for a good tear jerker that sucks you in from the first few pages and captures your attention so that you have to keep reading.

4.  Kathy Herman - She is a Christian suspense author.  I love a great suspense book and I have read through her Sophie Trace Trilogy Series and am currently reading through her Secrets of the Roux River Bayou Series.  Both have been excellent and just as you think you have it figured out the book does a great turn and keeps you flipping pages.

5.  Cynthia Heald - She is a Christian author.  The book I am currently reading by her is the first book I have read of hers, but I am really enjoying it.  It is set up as a study book for growth in your Christian life.  She has some great insights and has brought up some valid points I never thought of before.

These are just the authors I have been reading in the last couple of months.  I have a bazillion books to read on my Kindle App and the list just grows every day thanks to all the free books out there.  I hope you love reading as much as I do and I would love to know what authors are your favorite.

*I am not affiliated with these authors in any way and they are not compensating me for posting this, I am sharing of my own accord who I have been reading.