Posted in Christian Living

Christian Self-Help: Turning Your Trials to Triumph

I’ve long been a fan of Christian fiction books, but recently I’ve gotten into Christian non-fiction books too. I’m fortunate enough to be connected to many fellow Christian authors, one of whom is Karen L. Roberts. Karen is the author of Jack’s Story: A Love Story of God and You. (I read Jack’s Story a few years ago and loved it!) I had no idea, however, that Karen had written another book. As humble as she is, she’s not one of those who overly self-promotes.

Anyway, when I found out about her other book, I knew I had to read it too.

Turning Your Trails to Triumph: 65 Bible Lessons to Overcome Problems & Impossible Situations is what I like to dub a Christian self-help book. You see self-help books on the market all the time. Titles that teach you how to improve your self image or how to make more money sell like hotcakes. I’ve come to love Christian self-help books that teach you new ways to approach your relationship with God and how to deal with different situations from a Christian standpoint.

Easy-to-Read Layout

Karen’s book did not disappoint me! First of all, I love the format of her book. It’s broken down into short sections of lessons. Each lesson poses a question or idea, and then numbered points follow. For instance, there are sections like “How to Get Through Life’s Valleys” and “Lessons from the Story of Hannah.”

Educational Value

I cannot even begin to tell you how much Karen’s book has taught me. Not only does it provide you with many self-help tips and lessons, but it even teaches you things you probably didn’t know. I’ve read the Bible front to back, and there were Bible events Karen mentioned that I’d never really delved into that deeply before. They gave me a whole new perspective on them and made them that much more interesting and personal to me.

Personal Writing Style

Speaking of personal…Karen’s writing style is very down to earth. I love how she interweaves her lessons with real-life examples. One of the common complaints about the Bible and many religious texts is that they’re hard to understand. Karen presents everything in a comprehensive manner and a format that’s easily digestible. This books feels like you’re having a conversation with her, which I loved.

Perfect for Daily Devotionals

I don’t know about many of you, but I find it helps me a lot to read some devotions every day. Because I stay so busy, I like to choose short snippets that give me my Bible food for thought, and I meditate on that throughout the day as I work and so on. In addition to reading a few Bible passages and Dr. Charles Stanley’s daily devotionals, I incorporated Karen’s book into my daily devotional reading. It’s set up just too perfectly not to! Each one of Karen’s lessons makes for a great devotional to go along with your daily reading. They’re short and sweet and to the point, which I love. They impart so much valuable information without droning on and on.

Of course, if you’d prefer to read the entire book like a fiction book or other book, you are certainly free to do so. This is just how I prefer to read self-help books.

A Must-Read

Whether you’re a Christian or not, this book is a must-read. For Christians, this book causes you to think of lessons to be learned from Bible events in ways you never had before. For non-Christians, this book can still offer you valuable advice on how to respond to different situations. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

About the Author

Karen L. Roberts is one of the sweetest and kindest authors you’ll ever meet. A beacon of light, she has this gentle aura that shines through even in her online presence. If you’d like to connect with Karen, you can do so via her Facebook author profile or her author blog.

Posted in Blogging From A to Z Challenge, Christian Musings

D is for Daily Devotions

Part of being an active Christian involves actively seeking out God. How do you do that? By praying and reading the Bible.

Something that I like to do daily is read a devotion. A devotion (in the sense that we are using the term) is really just any kind of reading that pertains to the Bible or the Christian faith. I have found that reading a couple of devotions a day helps me have a more positive outlook throughout my entire day. I like to read my daily devotions in the morning, but if you’re not a morning person or don’t have time to read them in the morning, you can do so on a lunch break, right before bed or at whatever other time is convenient for you.

What do you read for devotions?

Bible Scriptures

Well, first off, I read some snippet of Bible scripture. At current, I am doing Christian Resource Project’s 2019 Challenge. (Click the link to get your printable copy.) Every day when I read the scripture for that day, I cross it off, as you can see. I chose a malleable paperback Bible that’d I’d gotten for free from InTouch Ministries to complete this challenge in. I highlight whatever the verse for the day is. If it’s multiple verses, I highlight all of them or just the ones that stood out to me most.

InTouch Magazine

I also read the InTouch daily devotions that Dr. Charles Stanley publishes. I love the way his devotions are short and to the point, and there’s even a little space for notes underneath. I usually try to jot down a thought or two that I can look back on later. I like to keep my InTouch magazines on my bookshelf so that I look back at some of my notes later on if I need to. You can subscribe to the print or digital version of InTouch magazine online. If you get the digital version, it’s be delivered right to your email every morning. I prefer the printed copies, but if you don’t have the space or don’t want any additional clutter throughout your home, you might prefer the digital.

Whispers of Hope

I also have a lovely daily devotion book that one of my dearest friends sent me for my birthday last year. Like InTouch’s daily devotions, this book consists of short, one-page devotions that say a lot. I like the way this book uses practical examples of applications of biblical teachings.

These are the three types of daily devotions that I do. You don’t necessarily have to do all three. Maybe just reading a bit of scripture is sufficient for you. I tend to have a thirst for knowledge and studying. Ever a student, I love to learn, and this was a feasible, manageable way for me to learn and grow in faith in little steps every day.

What about you? What types of daily devotions do you do?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: D
Posted in Christian Living

Resolutions and Readings

I’m usually not one for making official New Year’s resolutions. Rather, I simply do what I try to do on a daily basis, which is to be a little bit better than I was yesterday. While this isn’t going to a be a fancy resolution, it’s just a little something that I’m going to try to do this year.

As Christians, we should always strive to better ourselves and to emit love and kindness, shining a bit of light in the oftentimes dark world.

While I’ve made progress with my venture to read the Bible all the way through, cover to cover (I’m 44% done with it now), I wanted to do a little something else every day to strengthen my faith. That’s why I’ve decided to start reading Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch daily devotionals every day.

I’ve been subscribing to Dr. Stanley’s In Touch magazine for about a year now, and I must confess that most months, I got the little pamphlet and haphazardly flipped through it. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that the magazine that’s sent out every month is actually designed to be read over a 30-day period. There’s a one-page reading for each day of the month. Each page is probably less than 500 words. Just a short little article that stimulates the mind and causes it to reflect upon certain Christlike teachings or passages from the Bible.

So that is my New Year’s resolution: to get in the habit of reading one of these daily devotionals along with my standard daily Bible reading. While I am a huge advocate of reading the Bible for yourself so YOU can know what it says rather than just accepting what’s told to you, I also think it’s stimulating to take advantage of other resources as well that prompt your mind to reflect on points that you might not otherwise have derived on your own. Just like any type of sharing of ideas furthers discussion and leads to enlightenment, so does reading other people’s thoughts on biblical passages.

Here’s what each monthly pamphlet looks like:

IMG_4058 (1)

Each day’s devotional even includes suggested Bible chapters to read if you want to read the Bible in an entire year. That would have been a great endeavor for me to undertake had I not already started reading it straight through. Plus, I suppose I’m too OCD to jump around chapters (at least for the first complete read-through).

If you’d like to join me on this daily devotional reading challenge, you can sign up for a digital or print subscription to In Touch at In Touch Ministries. It’s completely FREE, so you have nothing to lose. Plus, you’ll occasionally be presented with opportunities to get free Bibles, journals and other gifts of encouragement when you subscribe.

If you choose to embark on this journey with me, please let me know by commenting below. I truly hope you do!