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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Listen

Take the few minutes that you would usually take to read this blog and get on your face and listen. Listen for your Father's voice.



I took these pictures about a month ago at my grandparent's childhood church in Norse, TX.
© stephaniecherry.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin

My friend Anne lent me a book recently that her aunt had written. The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin was a gift to my spirit. Mostly, I hung on every scripture she included in the book. I needed to read them over and over. The book chronicles her husband's death from liver cancer and the beautiful things that unfolded in the life of her five children as a result of their life. It is an encouraging picture to anyone who has lost a loved one. God is using the very thing that brings us so much pain to grant us so much growth.
© stephaniecherry.com

Monday, October 19, 2009

Michelle Methvin

On Sunday evening, Denbigh and I caught the tale end of the Art for Texas festival that is located on a ranch out by where we live. I love art. I love how the beauty of it can free your soul to experience a deeper and richer life. I was thankful for art that day. The creative beauty of God ministered to me.

There were many artist at this venue (along with musicians and the amazing Danish hot dog). My favorite artist was Michelle Methvin. I bought a few of her prints.

Michelle's Bio: "1982- Michelle was born on an Air Force base in Germany and spent her childhood at various military bases from Massachusetts to Texas. She now resides in San Marcos, TX where she makes her home with son, Elijah. She came to San Marcos in 2004 and is a 2008 graduate of Texas State with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with specialization in painting, Suma Cum Laude.

Michelle draws upon the tumultuous mix of pain and pride that colors the events of her life - most notable the tragedy of losing her husband to the war in Iraq and finding herself alone to raise their 2 year old son at the age of 21. It is a tragedy that marks her as she explres the possibilities of finding love again.

You will see Michelle's passion for philosophy and how it has deepened her understanding of romantic relationships coming through in her art to explore the effects of "fairy tales" ripped away, the joy and pain of love and loss, and the role of women in today's society.

Michelle's work includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and fiber arts. She is currently the VP of the San marcos Art League and you can see her art displayed at various locations around Texas and on her website Michelle Methvin"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Top Ten Children's Books

I was asked for my top ten favorite children's books. Keep in mind, I have a two year old, but several of these books would be good for all ages. You won't believe this, but I am extremely picky about what our daughter reads. These books have been measured against the gospel and come up approved. I hope you find some great selections in here.










Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I must confess something to you. I have a literary crush on Donald Miller. I have never gone through a book he has written unchanged. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to leave the book different. I wanted to get to the end of the book, but I did not want the book to end. I fell into literary love in Blue Like Jazz and have been shaped as a human being in part by his story telling.

The subtitle of this book is "What I learned while editing my life." As Donald began writing a screenplay from Blue Like Jazz, he learns about story and the art of story telling. We see him contemplate if his own life is a good story and follow him on his decision to make it one.

There were things I gleaned from this book. One thing is that it is very important who you hang around. If your friends have boring stories, you probably will too.

"Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in."

I learned about how much conflict adds to the story. It makes room for a hero, an overcomer. The stories we are most attracted to are about people who have beaten the odds. Why then do we panic when the odds show up? The conflict is what changes us. It molds us. "Every conflict, no matter how hard, comes back to bless the protagonist if he will face his fate with courage." When we stop expecting God to end all of our troubles, we will be surprised by how much we'd like spending time with God.

"...I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me that the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree."

Truth be told, I had it set in my heart to change my story some time back. I started praying for and asking for hard things. I wanted to join in on other people's struggles and intertwine our stories. I wanted to give something to someone instead of hording it for myself. I am hoping that as the story of my life is written out that it changes and inspires you to give something and to take the hard road for the sake of the change it will produce.

Donald was sharing his theory on how our lives are like stories that others watch play out with a friend. That friend had a young daughter who was struggling with drugs and a dangerous boyfriend. After much contemplation, the man realized he had not written a good story for his family to follow. They were going through the motions of life. He then felt led to pay to build an orphanage in Mexico and got his family involved in raising the money and going to visit the people there. Shortly after this, his daughter stopped using drugs and broke up with her boyfriend. Her father had showed her how to be the hero of her own story and it changed everything."

This book has easily made it's way onto my top ten list.


A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Jesus Book by Stephen Elkins

The Jesus Book is a children's book that takes little hearts and minds on a journey through scripture. It clearly lays out who many people say Jesus was, what Jesus did, and why He did it. With amazing clarity and depth, it draws out the beautiful characteristics of our Lord.

I must admit, I wasn't expecting much when I requested this book to review. The title didn't seem overly original or outstanding and I thought that would be what would also be contained in it's pages. I was pleasantly met with something much different when I began to read it to my daughter. I am thirty two years old and this children's book ministered to me. Through each page, I was reminded of who different people of the Bible told us Jesus was. I loved the charts and maps that were simple, fun, and interesting. Reading each page about the who, when, what, where, why of Jesus to my little girl was a gift. I loved every second of it. I asked Laomai, my daughter, for her review and she said, "loved it."

*There is also a cd of some of favorite children's songs included.

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Forgotten God by Francis Chan

I could write a blog about every chapter of this book. It is rich and full. There are many things I knew and things I had knowledge of. With deep humility, I realize that I have only gotten to the tip of the iceberg of understanding and living fully in the Spirit of God.

"I know only that when you surrender fully to the Spirit,
Christ will be magnified, not you.(John 16:14)"

"You don't need the Spirit if you are merely seeking to live a semi-moral life and attend church regularly."

"Have you ever prayed that God would so fill you with the Spirit that people would know the change could be empowered only by the Spirit?"

"We are made to be like Elijah, who did not question whether God would show His face that day. He prayed and asked for help, and God sent down fire from heaven in response. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently."

"Think of the fruit of the Spirit. Look at those traits and ask yourself to what degree you possess each to a supernatural degree. Often in Christian circles we talk about truth in lieu of applying to our lives."

"When was the last time I undeniably saw the Spirit at work in or around me?"

"If we never pray audacious, courageous prayers, how can He answer them?"

I would just like to say "thank you" Francis for making me feel a bit normal for always begging people to live with us and driving old cars as a spiritual act of worship. I love that he gave away all the royalties from Crazy Love to help needy children and help those trying to rescue children involved in sex trafficking. He received great ridicule for giving all this money away. He was told that he needed to be smart and keep some for an emergency. I love his reply.

"Is it not an emergency that children in Cambodia and Thailand and the United States are being raped every single day? Why is that not an emergency?"

I wish I could type out the last few chapters in their entirety. Read this book.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Stop Praying and Repent

This blog is updated every Tuesday.
The following passage stood out to me at
Just Give Me Jesus.
Sometimes, we need to stop praying and repent. We must diligently seek out the sin in our camp.

"They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water.


6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?"


10 The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.


13 "Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it."


Joshua 7:5-13


What needs to be removed from your house today? What do you need to take personal responsibility for? Will you take the hard road? Will you get up off your face and repent?


"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. -Luke 6:22


Notes from Anne Graham Lotz