Great Books for Giving and Reading!

A few weeks ago, my friend Bev posted about some books she had been reading and gave away a trade copy of John Eldredge’s new book. Well, in that line of thinking I wanted to share some recent gems that have fallen into my lap lately. And, not to out – do my friend Bev, but I have two books, signed by an author to give away with this post! So get your typing fingers ready and consider your favorite story about your dad or your kids and lets get going!
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The first book I want to highlight is from a wonderful woman who is authentic, transparent and gifted in prophetic ministry! She speaks to many diverse audiences throughout the world and is a testimony to God’s love, His grace and His incredible power to overcome in even the most difficult circumstances. I’ve heard Mary speak on one occasion and am looking so forward to the class she is teaching at Gateway Church tomorrow (Monday) night.
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All of that said, I want to tell you about her personal testimony, “A Glimpse of Grace.” This is Mary’s true story told in her own words. It is the gripping tale of Mary’s transformation from a self-driven successful business woman who had the world at her feet to a woman who had lost everything and faced the most bitter humiliation a woman could find herself in until she discovered the truth and the grace of God in a lonely prison. She is a woman of grace, of power and of truth who lives to see the Kingdom of God grown and fulfilled, people empowered to do His will and she is a woman of extreme vision and strength. Mary Forsythe is the president of Kingdom Living Ministries and a gifted woman of God who testifies whenever she can to the glory and power of her God to change any life. After all He did it for her! A powerful excerpt from this book: This is a quote from the journal of Mary’s friend and fellow inmate in prison, Liz:
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They say it’s so humiliating – that Ashfield. Mary came back looking very weak, but her spirits were good. She was pale; she was puny. She looked very, very bad. But whatever battle she went to fight, she won. I had no idea what she had been through, but she came back with her peace of mind. It was astounding. She was so for more of God so broken – weak in her body, but powerful, so poweful, in spirit.
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“Something happened to her there because she was so different when she came back – more broken. Everything about her was different, dramatically different. It was like she went to the pit of the enemy’s camp and took something back. She came back with power. She was confident in God when she left, but she was bold, so bold when she got back.”
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If you want to read a story of God’s grace in the most desparate of circumstances, of a woman who truly came to the end of herself and found her destiny in the One True God, then read the story of Mary Forsythe in a Glimpse of Grace. You can purchase her book at Kingdom Living Ministries.

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On Saturday, I was blessed to meet and be instructed about the craft of writing fiction by author Martha Rogers. She is a member of our own Beth Moore’s First Baptist Church Houston and a friend to her as well. She had several books for sale including her fiction read “Sugar and Grits” a fabulous fiction novel written by four authors about the lives of four women in Calista, Mississippi. I highly recommend this fun fiction read from Barbour books. However, the two devotions she was selling made my “hit” list from the minute she told me about them. They feature short essays by various authors in the Christian arena about the spiritual influence fathers bring to their children’s lives, and the things we can learn from the faith of children about God.


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“Whispering in God’s Ear” is a compilation of true stories inspiring childlike faith compiled by Wayne Holmes and published by WaterBrook Press. In this sweet devotional, Beth Moore shares a beautiful story about how her two daughters came to Christ as children and were baptized. She shares beautifully her experience as their mother and what it meant to her to be a part of their journey.
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In the second book, “The Embrace of a Father” Martha Rogers writes of the gentle way her father had of influencing her back to Christ as a young adult who had lost her way. She tells eloquently of his love for her and the way he encouraged her without judgment and prayed for her without ceasing, being there for her in ways only a father can. This book is also a compilation assembled by Wayne Holmes and published by Bethany House.

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Now here is the give-away part! Please write your own true stories in the comments to this post about how either your father influenced you spiritually or you have witnessed the faith of a child that inspired you to seek God with a different perspective! The contest ends on Friday, March 14th and the winners will be drawn and announced on Saturday. All of these books are great reads and these last two make great reads or gifts for those you love. There will be two books given away – the books are “Whispering in God’s Ear” and “The Embrace of the Father” – both copies are include stories and are signed by Martha Rogers. Leave your story and enjoy these books! Be blessed friends.

12 thoughts on “Great Books for Giving and Reading!

  1. my heart is so tender to my baby. First off u know I have a child in heaven, Shelby, with your baby girl. My heart aches over your loss.
    Next, Morgan pushes me so much to lean and rely on the love God has for me. This morning she said help…get down (which means hold me) and she was afraid she was going to fall off of the counter and I said mommy won’t drop you Morgan. I felt the Lord whisper to me that He would not leave, drop, or abandon me and just like Morgan in all its simplicity I have to put my trust in Him. IT is childlike reminders daily. I so praise God for this time with Morgan that I sit here with tears welling up in my eyes with this gift of grace.

  2. I have the most wonderful earthly father. He has been a preacher for nearly 50 years. He’s still my pastor and going strong at 74 yrs. of age. He has always shown me unconditional love. I’ve always felt safe. One of the most special memories is when he and my sister, Pam and I were driving to my grandma’s house when I was 8 yrs. old and I asked Jesus into my heart right there in the car. He baptized me a short time later.
    He has been an example to me in many ways, but one way is that he has always been a giver. He’s the most giving person I know. Something I will always remember him saying when someone was in need or just a pitiful, sad situation a person was in: “Except for the grace of God I would be where they are.”
    He said it just yesterday in his sermon and I wrote it down on a church envelope and put it in my Bible. I think more than anything he has taught me to love others and has taught me to be secure in his love and most importantly, His love.

  3. Michelle,
    Thanks for the opportunity first to share and also for the opportunity to win the books. I absolutely love to read and particularly love to read how God has moved in someone else’s life.
    My story:
    I grew up in a home where “church” was always an important part of our lives. My brother and sister and I were taken at every opportunity. I would watch my dad study his Bible diligently. He was the one who lead me to the Lord by taking me through Romans. As time passed things began to happen in our lives and my mom and dad ended a 22 year marriage in divorce. It was very nasty and I saw the enemy attack my dad before my very eyes.
    When my mom remarried my dad could not accept it and basically told us kids that if we had anything to do with our mother and her new husband then he wanted nothing to do with us.
    I did not communicate with my dad for almost 3 years, at his desire not mine! It was such a painful time because he missed the first two years of my daughter’s life. I had always wanted to please my dad and I hurt very much during this time.
    That was 10 years ago, and lots has happened in that time to the glory of Our Most High God! My dad had stopped going to church, but is now remarried himself and is back in church. We have a relationship again, not the same as before, but God has healed some broken places in both our lives.
    What did I learn? To lean and trust in my heavenly Father. To know that He was the source of my strength even when my earthly father could not give me the love I so desired from him. You see, I was looking for my earthly father to do what only my Heavenly Father could accomplish in my life and that was to give me the purest form of unconditional love, acceptance and approval through His mercy and grace! Hallejuah I could shout as I am typing this. Give God the glory!

  4. Jennyhope~ I can relate to your story about your child and learning things about God from them. Thank you for your sweet words about Justin, and I am sorry to learn that you have also lost a child. I am grateful that you continue to testify to God’s glory and grace in spite of your deep pain. Perhaps your girl and my boy have met. I kind of picture him playing with all the babies in heaven – he loved to work in the nursery at church. I would hear the little ones come out laughing and playing, hiding from him. They would say “See that boy over there, He is so funny!” May God bless you richly as you live your life before Him in victory despite your losses.

    Valerie, what a beautiful testimony not only of parents laying the foundation of faith and how God has continued to bless and grow you as a family. What glory must be in store for your dear parents when they arrive in heaven – and how blessed you are to sit under your father’s pastorate even as an adult.

    I did a study on that quote your dad paraphrased a few years back, I don’t remember the man, but it was in England when a man was being led to the guillotine and among a group on the street witnessing the terrible scene a man said, “There but for the grace of God go I.” The weight of that statement never leaves me. God’s grace is so abundant in our lives – even as saved children in rebellion that I think we sometimes fail to count and consider all the could’ve, should’ve and would’ves that we might face if not for God’s divine intervention in our lives. God’s glory shines through your father’s love for people and his care for their needs. I read that God desires for us to meet the needs of others as I read through Isaiah 1 the other day, I will think of your father as I consider that.

    Jennifer, wow – your story is wrought full of painful conflict, but the grace of God’s glory and redemption is fully visible. He has so worked in your father’s life and your own. A much more enabled daughter to your God and your earthly father you are as a result. God is good to us, all the time, even when man may fail our God never will. It empowers us to be gracious to those who hurt us, to see their pain from God’s eyes and to forgive so bitterness does not rear its ugly head. Hold onto God, dear one. He is everything you need. Praise God for redeeming your dad from the pit of despair – I pray that He will redeem the years lost as well.

    BLessings all… and thanks for sharing

  5. I teach in a christian school and am constantly amazed at the awesome simplicity of a child’s faith in Jesus.
    Their hearts are so open and trusting. They worship Him with such adoration that they touch my heart and life in so many ways.
    Just being around them makes me want to be closer to Jesus and for His will to be first in my life:)

  6. My dad and I didn’t have much communication through the years. He was not a man of many words.
    Often I felt as if he just wasn’t there. As an adult I have come to understand some of the wounds he has carried that have caused him to be silent. But for many years I just felt so unseen by my dad, except for one very special time.

    In my early 20’s I battled the loneliness of the desire to be married. It is all I had ever wanted. I played dress-up, held babies, played house…loved to cook and sew. I was just waiting for the man to show up. Most of my friends were already married or dating seriously. I was alone.

    Living in my own apartment near my parents my dad stopped by to pick something up. It was one of those unbearable lonely days. As I greeted him he could see the sadness and the ache on my face.
    As he asked me what was going on I began to tell him how lonely I was, deep tears pouring down my face.

    I will never forget the look on his face. I could see the pain in his eyes as he watched his girl hurting.
    There wasn’t anything he could do for me, but he could hurt with me. He put his arms around me and held me close, telling me how wonderful I was to him.

    It was a gift to me that I have not forgotten, now over 25 years later. He showed me the heart of God. In that moment I saw in my earthly father the picture of my Abba, Papa.

    Wednesday I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary. God answered the desire of my heart and brought my husband to me a couple of years after that sweet day with my dad.

    The memory still etched in my mind as if it were yesterday, the love of a Father was rooted into a deep place in my heart that day.

    Thanks for letting me share!
    Blessings,
    Julie

  7. My dad and I didn’t have much communication through the years. He was not a man of many words.
    Often I felt as if he just wasn’t there. As an adult I have come to understand some of the wounds he has carried that have caused him to be silent. But for many years I just felt so unseen by my dad, except for one very special time.

    In my early 20’s I battled the loneliness of the desire to be married. It is all I had ever wanted. I played dress-up, held babies, played house…loved to cook and sew. I was just waiting for the man to show up. Most of my friends were already married or dating seriously. I was alone.

    Living in my own apartment near my parents my dad stopped by to pick something up. It was one of those unbearable lonely days. As I greeted him he could see the sadness and the ache on my face.
    As he asked me what was going on I began to tell him how lonely I was, deep tears pouring down my face.

    I will never forget the look on his face. I could see the pain in his eyes as he watched his girl hurting.
    There wasn’t anything he could do for me, but he could hurt with me. He put his arms around me and held me close, telling me how wonderful I was to him.

    It was a gift to me that I have not forgotten, now over 25 years later. He showed me the heart of God. In that moment I saw in my earthly father the picture of my Abba, Papa.

    Wednesday I will celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary. God answered the desire of my heart and brought my husband to me a couple of years after that sweet day with my dad.

    The memory still etched in my mind as if it were yesterday, the love of a Father was rooted into a deep place in my heart that day.

    Thanks for letting me share!
    Blessings,
    Julie

  8. I remember leading both my two daughters to Christ. My first daughter grew in grace and knowledge and just powerfully wanted to be saved when she was around 1st grade. My second daughter was not as easy. I’ve never wanted to pressure anyone into God’s Grace but I have flat-out bended the knee to bring them to God’s Grace! I noticed a stubbornness in my youngest daughter. She became angry at God when she was five because He didn’t answer her prayer for snow in August…in the deep south. :).
    She was firm that He just didn’t exist. Well, I started a prayer journal and her salvation was on the top of my list of prayers. And within a year she boldly took my hand while we were standing singing at the end of the sermon. She wanted to give her life to Christ! My heart was so thankful that I had let God work this in her heart and not me. He can work miracles!
    My divorce has left my two daughters in a similar situation as jenmom…except my daughters are angry at me. I have turned this all over to God and know that He alone can heal our broken hearts. God does hear our whispers in His ear. And He whispers in our ears, too.

  9. Hi Michelle..
    Today, on the 11th, I wanted to tell you that I’m thinking about you on your son’s birthday and just know he’s having quite the birthday party with Jesus today!
    Have a blessed Tues.
    Love,
    Valerie

  10. Carolyn – What precious words that remind us of Jesus’ admonition to His disciples… “Let the Little Children come unto me…” They catch our faith and teach us much as they grow up in Him.

    Julie – What a beautiful story of your Father’s love for you and your earthly father’s heart of love toward you in your time of need. How glorious is our God when He comes to us through the arms of our father here on earth.

    Twinkle – precious stories of your girls. I will be praying for reconciliation, forgiveness, healing and peace. I led my eldest girl to Christ after she was mistakenly taken to “King’s Kids” one morning shortly after we began attending church. It opened the door for her to admit she was searching out Christ as her Savior and I sat on the edge of our bed and read Scripture and prayed with her right then and there as she asked Jesus into her heart to stay. What joy!

    Last night she had a bitter night, she is taking a step back from her very serious relationship with her beau. They are not in a squabble, but much to the contrary so taken with each other they need to gain some perspective. It is a beautifully difficult thing to witness. I read Proverbs 8 or 9… cannot recall now I am operating on “sleep fumes” as I only squeezed in a nominal couple of hours of sleep before heading of to the church for a meeting this AM. Anyway – it was a blessed time for us and a time full of God’s grace I shared His heart with her last night.

    Be blessed, and thanks for sharing. Thank you Val, for your sweet words of remembrance. They bless my heart today! The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.

  11. Comments are now closed. Thanks to all who shared their stories. I have two winners and will be posting them shortly. Thanks for the opportunity to share and bless – It is a wonderful thing. I just finished reading “A Glimpse of Grace” last night and recommend it to anyone and everyone! I laughed and cried – it is a poignant and gripping story about the journey to freedom through prison.

    Blessings.

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