Monday, January 28, 2013

Secret Shadow by Loreen Plett - A Book Review

By all appearances Lawanda's father was a conscientious Christian and dedicated family man raising his children to be respectful and obedient. But this carefully cultivated image was far from the truth.

Lawanda and her siblings knew all too well what their father was really like. Living in the dark and secret shadow of her father's abuse and hypocrisy, Lawanda suffered silently, nursing a terrible load of anger and rebellion. She struggled, wanting to do the right thing, but often yielding to fear and bitterness. Lawanda needed help - desperately. But who could help her? Who would love her the way she was? She trusted no one.

What I Loved about the Book:
I will admit upon seeing the cover, my attention was drawn to what lie beyond the cover. Opening that book, I knew not what lie there, but as I read, I found a young soul crying out to be heard. Secret Shadow was written in a way to protect the family and all those involved in this situation and I commend the author and "Lawanda" for being willing to do this. It allows the reader to focus on the life's experiences without having any preconceived ideas or thoughts about those involved. As I read the experiences of the Plett family, my heart cried out for the family. At times, it left me wondering what could be done different.

This book can show a victim of abuse that there is hope, that others have walked this road before and can identify with what you may be experiencing. The book can also be of great help to adults who focus on helping abuse victims by showing them how others have dealt with abuse victims.

I highly recommend taking the time to read this book and I challenge you to take time to breathe a prayer before you crack the cover. Ask God to allow it to speak to you, whether showing you how to deal with a "Lawanda" near you. Or maybe you are a "Lawanda" looking for answers, feeling that you have reached the end of your rope-know that you are not alone in this battle. The battle has been fought before by other "Lawandas."

This book is available from Christian Light Publications and Amazon.
Note: Secret Shadow was written in a discreet manner, but is not recommended for children.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


In serving Christ Jesus, we as His children are to follow in His footsteps to wherever and in whatever situation, including our attitudes. I don't know about all of you, but for me, many times my attitudes can be one of my biggest downfalls in my Christian life. If we are His children, fully surrendered to Him, why do we struggle with right attitudes?

1. Satan is determined to gain control!
Satan cannot stand it that we desire to serve the Lord and go to Heaven. He is determined to knock us down by aiming His fiery darts at our weakest part. If he can cripple us in our weakness, he can gain better ground if we become down and out.

2. It reflects who we are!
Psalms 23:7 tells us that as "he thinketh in his heart, so is he" and Ephesians 4:22 reminds us to put off the former man. In dealing with a bad attitude, it has revealed to me the cold, hard truth that I have not totally put  off the old man in showing what is truly in my heart.

As daughters/sons of God, you and I each desire to "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" as Paul had challenged the church at Philippi. This requires action on our part. Are we totally ready to submit it to Him, and allow Him to work in our lives, even if it causes pain? As with our physical body, pain can also reveal healing in our spiritual body.

In identifying our bad attitudes, we than become responsible to repent of our actions/thoughts and submit them to the power of our Lord. Upon submitting them to Christ, we have now created room in our life to fill our lives with positive and good attitudes.
These verses concerning attitudes struck very close home this week and I realized that I had allowed bad attitudes to creep into my life. Satan was determine to control my thought life under his thumb, but praise God, with the strength that we have through Christ, we can be VICTORS!

Blessings to all! Serve Him fully today, tomorrow, and until He returns!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Who Shall Dwell - Psalms 15 Review

David starts this Psalm with a question for us all to ponder. "Who?" The next verses clearly state those will dwell. As we look into the next verses, we soon realize that there is more than a single action.

He who walks uprightly and worketh righteousness,  and speaketh truth in his heart: What is uprightly? According to Strong's: complete, whole, sound, entire, healthful, innocent, having integrity, that which is complete and entirely in accord with truth and fact - this is he who walks uprightly! As I look over my personal life, is it complete, sound, healthful? Or is it lacking integrity and full of half-truths? In my everyday life, do I do that which is right and just, or do I slide into the background, afraid and ashamed to do what is right?

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor: To backbite not with my tongue-not only does that mean slandering with my tongue, but being a tale-bearer and/or a spy. Do I go out of my way to "spy" on my neighbor, so I can advise my friends of the bad that my neighbor is doing? As I interact with my friends/neighbors, am I aware of what I say or do I intentionally say something that I know might hurt them. In my relationships, do I make it my main goal to  be approachable or am I always at odds with my friends? When differences of opinions arise, do I listen with an open mind, or do I refuse to listen?

He that doeth these things shall never be moved! Though I only expounded on a few of the many challenges that God revealed through the Psalmist, there are many others listed in this short Psalm. Revealed at the end of this Psalm, we are reminded that if we do this things, we shall stand firm. 

And as I looked at these verses and the rest of the chapter, I realized that so often I fall short, but I questioned myself. Am I willing to change and strive to serve and grow more in my relationship with God, since the Lord has revealed His standards to me. Or will I sit back and sulk and say that I never will attain that which He desires?

My challenge that I received is to step up to the plate today and ask God for the strength to change my life and live more like Him.

Blessings to all as you desire to grow more like our Lord!


PS: We will be turning to Psalms 16 this week!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joey's Story (A True Story) - A Book Review

Joey lied, swore and fought. She smoked in secret and shoplifted when she had half a chance. And she was only a child...But behind the tough shell, Joey's heart ached and cried out for help. A loving God, already working in her life, heard and answered her cry.

...How the book blessed/challenged me...
Hearing tidbits about this book as it was being written peaked my interest and I waited for the book to be printed. As I read the back of the book, I opened  the book with anticipation, but also much reserve. I was shocked by the reality of the story, but I commend the author for writing Joey's story in a unique, but reserved way. The book was not written to be read as a passing whim, but the author has written in a way that pulls you into the story. You will weep with Joey as she experiences many extreme trials, but you also will rejoice with her as she relates the many joys that blessed her life. 

Joey's Story is the experience of so many lives, relating to families as they open their homes via adoption/foster to many young hurting souls out there. Sadly, it is also the experience that many young people encounter in their homes today. In Joey's Story, the author portrays that the story is not written as "pity-me" book, but rather it was written to be of help to others out there that can relate to Joey's experience. Both Joey  and the author wish to portray the story in a way that it might reveal the peace that can be found in Christ. The reader is also challenged to look around them for the Joeys in their lives and to take time to reach out to them.

Joey's Story was the type of book that I picked up and read from front cover to back cover without laying it down. Joey has shown the reader that as a hurting person, you can find victory and strength for tomorrow. She has shown that God is there...all we need to do is call out to Him.

...About The Author...
Ruth Ann Stelfox lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband. She has written "Tears of the Rain", the family's personal story of moving from Alberta to Monrovia, Liberia. Joey's Story was the 2nd book that Ruth Ann has written. 

Joey's Story can be purchased from Christian Light Publications.
Note: Joey's Story was written in a very discrete manner, however it is not a children's book.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


What a wonderful reminder I heard on Sunday.
 Psalms 56:8b says "Put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" What a comforting thought it was being reminded that not only does God know the number of our every hair, but He knows how many tears we have cried, whether they were tears of sorrow or tears of joy. He records them in His book. They are a language He understands.

But we as Christians are reminded that in Revelations 21:4 that God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes and there shall be know more pain, sorrow, or death, because the former things of this world will pass away. What a wonderful comfort to know that He keeps count of every tear, but also promises to wipe away all our tears! We serve a God, who knows every little microscopic detail about us, even when we think no one sees!

He truly cares about little me!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Psalms 4: Recap

I don't know about the rest of you, but this first week of studying Psalms has been such a blessing. It is amazing how much one can draw from even one or two verses. What I found very helpful was to read the chapter once or twice each day and then to spend time to focus on one or two verses. The memorization has been a little hard for me, but I decided to write them on index cards and keep them with me as I commute daily.

What really stuck out to me in Psalms 4 was David's continuous cry was to be heard of the Lord and he passionately cried out. His heart broke with the reality of the ungodliness around him. He wondered "how long" they would continue to dabble with sin. I was struck with the realization that this needs to also be my daily and passionate cry.

However I was blessed with how amidst the anguish of all this sin that surrounded him, David still realized that he was set apart for God and amidst all this anguish he could still lay down at night and be sheltered in the peace that only God gives. 

But even amidst it all, human tendencies tend to flare, such as becoming angry. God admonished David not to sin in anger, but rather to meditate and be still!

My motto for the coming week: Be Still! Selah!
Blessings to all!

This week, starting 1/7/13, is based on Psalms 8.

For more info on these studies, either refer to my info post or Radiant Purity's info post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Radiant Purity and Beauty: 52 Weeks of Psalms is here!

Radiant Purity and Beauty: 52 Weeks of Psalms is here!: Well, it’s officially 2013 ! Happy New Year! Today is our first day in our 52 Weeks of Psalms challenge . This week, we are studying Psa...