Coffee and a Reading Wrap: What I’m Reading and Why

Today’s Coffee of Choice: Seattle’s Best Café Moulu, Level 2, Black

Today’s Scripture: And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (I do pray for you!)

As promised a few weeks ago, I’m going to be focusing more on updating you on what I’m reading. There are so many amazing resources and stories out there, and it is my hope you will be encouraged to check out some that I share. If so, let me know! I also love to give books away, so keep an eye on my Monday posts for that to happen in the future. Here are some thoughts on what I’m reading for you to chew on:

2 Thessalonians
I’m studying through Paul’s letters in Scripture right now. The reason for this is twofold: 1. I love Paul’s example as a leader; 2. I love how he used the written word to encourage and equip those he visited. This week I’m working through 2 Thessalonians while digging into the history behind Paul’s visits to Thessalonica, the people he traveled with, and the reasons behind his visits. Scripture is the number one source of encouragement and instruction for me, and, if you can’t say the same, I encourage you to try it out and discover its appeal.

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
I have been studying through A Confident Heart for awhile now and am also leading a small group through it. Look for it to be a part of what I’m reading for a couple months in the future because of this. Renee Swope offers relevant truths and engaging anecdotes for today’s woman within its pages, and the book is especially helpful for anyone who has struggled with self-confidence or is looking for more confidence as a leader.

112 Christian Authors and Publishing Professionals Share Their Best Advice for Novelists by C.J. Darlington
I will always be reading some kind of book on writing. This year I’m striving to become a better writer, and books on writing and the writing industry are an important part of my learning process. This particular book is a wonderful compilation of many recognizable names from the Christian industry. I am so encouraged by the advice it offers and will be quoting from it on my Facebook page this week!

Beyond the Reflection’s Edge by Bryan Davis
There will always be a fiction book in the mix of what I’m reading. This particular book jumped out at me in Ollie’s one day. (Ollie’s is a dangerous place for this book lover!) What grabbed me initially was the cover, which had music notes all over it. Any book with a music theme will draw me in. When I picked it up and read a random excerpt, I immediately saw it’s a novel like the kind I aspire to write: fiction with Christian and speculative elements. So far, I’m enjoying the creative ideas behind the plot. To read more about this book, click the title above to jump to Goodreads.

Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read this book until now. I’ve had it on my bookshelf for awhile, but I didn’t buy into the initial craze of it because I had so many other books to read and I wanted the opinions around me to die down before I dove in. Recently, my husband and I have been reading powerful testimonies (whether in book or blog/vlog form) of the reality of Heaven. We are doing so to help encourage our faith. I love when he initiates plans like this because we can come together and talk about what we’ve read or seen. This effort to strengthen our faith with these types of powerful testimonies led me to finally pick up this book. I’m looking forward to finishing it soon.

Blogroll Highlights

As always, I’m reading through the blogs I highlight on my blogroll. Here are some good ones from this past week to check out:
1. Following Jesus: Our Light Through the Storm, Laurie Coombs
2. How To Develop More Discipline, Michael Hyatt
3. Don’t Feed Your Discontent, Rachelle Gardner
4. Compel Women’s Conference, Renee Swope
5. Four Pink Shiny Boots for 20 Beautiful Little Girl Toes, Stephanie Clayton

Choosing Hope, Part 2: A Call to Pray

Today’s Coffee of Choice: Dunkin’ Donuts Medium Roast with Peppermint Mocha Creamer

Today’s Scripture: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

What do we do when we are at the end of ourselves? Where can we turn when all else seems to fail? What can we do when we can’t be physically present in the lives of those who are hurting? One way we can choose hope is to join others in prayer. On this, the one week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, please join Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave and Unglued, over on her blog to pray for all who have been affected by the tragedy.

Christmas Giveaway Update

On Wednesday I posted a giveaway at the bottom of my blog. Here’s a reminder:

Christmas Giveaway 2012

If you comment on that post or on today’s post, you will be entered for a chance to win. If, by some sad turn of events (I know it’s a busy time of year), I don’t receive any comments by midnight tonight, I will choose one winner at random from my list of blog followers. May God bless you all, and may you choose hope in everything you do!


Sipping the Way Into the New Year

Today’s Coffee of Choice: Sheetz Dark Roast Coffee with an inordinate amount of creamer

Today’s Scripture: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” – Psalm 62:1-2

We have just ended one of the busiest times of year. The December and early January holiday season can often leave us exhausted and drained, despite the joys of spending most of it with close family and friends. Although this year’s Christmas and New Year celebration was not the most exhausting I’ve ever had, I’ve still found it necessary to intentionally rest afterwards.

I’ve been focusing a lot on God’s grace lately. Well, let me just tell you that God has given me the grace to recover from all of the running around. He’s also pointed me toward a couple of amazing blogs from fellow writers. These blogs have helped to inspire and focus me in the midst of a crazy schedule. Let me (as well as the authors of these blogs) know what you think. Happy sipping!