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It’ll Be Okay – Book Review

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Book: It’ll Be Okay

Author: Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Growth

Release Date: April, 2018

It'll Be Okay Cover UPDATE1Is it okay for Christians to doubt?

When we don’t get answers or see God’s guiding hand, it’s hard to keep praying or walking forward in faith. Difficult times often cloud our perspective. Does God see me? Does he hear me? Does he care? Many Christians confuse doubt with unbelief and are afraid to admit those fears, but God is not threatened by our questions, and doubt does not negate our faith.

Our doubts express a yearning to be sure of what—and who—we trust. When our questions are answered by trust, faith is fed and our doubts transform into deeper belief that pushes us toward a decision.

· When we address doubt head-on, faith can grow.

· God has a plan in the good and bad that life brings.

· God can heal our wounds and turn our past mistakes around.

Join nationally-known Bible teacher Sheryl Giesbreacht Turner as she guides you toward a deeper understanding of the role doubt plays in your spiritual growth—and how learning to ‘doubt your doubts’ enables faith to prevail.

Click here to get your copy!

It’ll Be Okay…Really!

When I began reading this book, I was a bit reluctant because the subtitle to this book is “Finding God when doubt hides the truth” and I didn’t think I was struggling with any of that.  As I began to read, I found out that this book is applicable to any and all situations and while reading the book, I faced some challenges that made this book a lifeline to me.  Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner’s easy way of relating and writing made me feel like I was sitting at my table having tea with a friend.  She shares her faith journey and her life in a genuine and helpful way. Rich with scripture, she relates stories from the Bible into battles you may be facing and she sets the stage for you to further investigate your own doubt and then to fully restore your faith in Him whom you can believe. Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner gives you permission to be totally honest and doubt and then brings you back to a place of rest and peace.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own. I hope you will take some time with this book and be guided into biblical truths in a positive way.

About the Author

Sheryl GiesbrechtSheryl Giesbrecht Turner holds a bachelor of arts, a master’s in ministry, and a doctorate of theology. Her television and radio show, “Transformed Through Truth,” is nationally and internationally syndicated; it’s seen and heard daily by millions of viewers and listeners on audio, internet, Roku, and YouTube networks across the United States and through The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network worldwide. Sheryl is the author of three books and hundreds of columns, articles, and devotions. As a Lead Like Jesus facilitator, a blogger, and a missionary with Freedom in Christ Ministries she has personally equipped hundreds and facilitated the training of thousands of national and international leaders. She and her husband, Dr. Jim Turner, live in California’s Central Valley where she enjoys running 5K races with her eighty-five-year-old mother.

More from Sheryl

I’ve always been the one to ask the questions. As a kindergartener, I embarrassed my mother when I inquired, “Where did I come from?” Years passed, as a teenager, I made unhealthy life choices, experimented with alcohol and street drugs, and wondered, “What am I here for?” As a young adult, in Bible College; I asked God to take control of my life and questioned, “What’s my purpose?” Maybe you, too, have had or now have questions? These concerns may even keep you up at night? Doubting ourselves or God may be criticized as a lack of faith. I disagree. Doubt is the in between. Doubts need to be addressed. If doubts are not considered, they will rot our faith from the inside out. When we doubt, we are able to be honest with ourselves and God. We should not be afraid to doubt.

As a delivered drug addict, stage four cancer survivor, and former widow, I’ve faced many types of situations which caused me to question God’s love, goodness and compassion. As I have gone to His word, I’ve discovered He hasn’t changed, His word continues to speak and revives my faith, taking me to a deeper level every single time. I am reminded of this in Lamentations 3:21-24 (NIV) Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Thank you so much for being part of this blog tour. I am excited about what God is going to do with His truth in us as we bring our questions to the Answer – Jesus.

Love and prayers, Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner

It’ll Be Okay….Really!

When I began reading this book, I was a bit reluctant because the subtitle to this book is “Finding God when doubt hides the truth” and I didn’t think I was struggling with any of that.  As I began to read, I found out that this book is applicable to any and all situations and while reading the book, I faced some challenges that made this book a lifeline to me.  Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner’s easy way of relating and writing made me feel like I was sitting at my table having tea with a friend.  She shares her faith journey and her life in a genuine and helpful way. Rich with scripture, she relates stories from the Bible into battles you may be facing and she sets the stage for you to further investigate your own doubt and then to fully restore your faith in Him whom you can believe. Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner gives you permission to be totally honest and doubt and then brings you back to a place of rest and peace.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own. I hope you will take some time with this book and be guided into biblical truths in a positive way.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, January 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 8

janicesbookreviews, January 9

Older & Smarter?, January 10

For the Love of Literature, January 11

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Artistic Nobody, January 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, January 13

God is Love, January 14

Genesis 5020, January 15

Inklings and notions, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Emily Yager, January 18

All 4 and About Books, January 19 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 19

Beck To Basics, January 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sheryl is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f465/it-ll-be-okay-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Create in Me

IMG_1150“Help me to choose to forgive many people. Oh Lord, I have such a mean spirit in me. Create in me a pure heart.”  Wait.  Where did that come from?  I was journaling my grumbles, complaints, and grievances about others and then all of a sudden that scripture popped into my head. Wow. I didn’t even know that scripture was in my head, but since it popped out like that, I thought I better listen to it.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. —Psalm 51:10       

I decided to explore some word definitions and give this scripture some serious meditation and thought.

Create – Bring into existence

Pure- Free of contamination

Renew- Resume after an interruption

Steadfast – Dutifully firm and unwavering

Pretty easy to understand. It’s only 8:05 a.m. and my attitude about others makes me certain that the Lord needs to create in me a pure heart because it doesn’t currently exist. However, the renew part makes me feel that my pure heart has only been interrupted so I can get it back!  God will do the creating of the pure heart, but I think that I need to do my part to keep my heart free of contamination.

This morning I recognize that some of the events of the last couple of days have contaminated my heart.  Hanging out with grumpy people, watching trash on the TV, allowing bantering political analysts to be the background noise of my day are just a few of the things that may contribute to the pollution in my mind and heart.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. –Psalm 51:10-12

I’m going to take my willing spirit and look beyond the rain that is falling outside today.  I’m going to seek out godly people to converse with and I’m going to turn on some praise music.  God can create in me a new heart and I will do my part to keep it that way.

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The Season of “Aha!”

IMG_1095I had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year and now …Aha! I am in a new season.  Actually, I truly am in a new season.  The Season of Epiphany.  Growing up in the church, I was aware of the Christian seasons and the altar cloth and flower colors changing, but I never really studied the seasons or knew much about them.  I still don’t, but I intend to learn more in that area in 2020, but this year, I have decided to acknowledge the true Christian seasons in a new way.

First off, Christmas.  In a culture of one and done, it seems that Christmas is all build-up and little follow-through.  We celebrate Advent for four weeks and anticipate Christmas and then many times when it arrives we are too tired to give the holiday more than one day of celebration when in the Christian calendar, Christmas lasts 12 days.  Aha!  The familiar Christmas song of the 12 days of Christmas! There really are 12 days of Christmas and Christmas Day is Day #1.  So, on New Year’s Eve we should be celebrating Swans-a Swimming and on New Year’s Day maids-a-milking and finally, today we should be listening to Drummers drumming.  (Maybe I should let the organist know so our hymns can reflect that today?)

This year, I have been mindful of the twelve days and I firmly decided to enjoy each of the 12 days of Christmas. Of course, I didn’t host a dinner or a party each day, but I did enjoy the sweets this year instead of dumping the crumbs on the 26th. I’ve continued to ask family members to play board games or do an activity with me and I’ve continued to say “Merry Christmas” to friends. (Isn’t it something how the Christmas music on the radio disappears immediately after the 25th…talk about sudden withdrawal!)

But today is it.  The 12th day of Christmas.  Christmas is over and the season of Epiphany begins. Aha! I’m saying the season because Epiphany lasts until February 23rd this year! (Annually it ends the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday.) We all know how we traditionally celebrate Christmas, but what does one do for Epiphany? Well, in the past, I’ve done nothing, but this year I have hopes of taking the symbolic light we received with candles on Christmas Eve and taking it forward. In the hopes of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive a bit longer, I am embracing the season of Epiphany. Epiphany recognizes how a star led the Magi, the Kings, the Wise Men (I always got confused as a kid with all these different names) to the baby Jesus and for us, I believe it is to prompt us to lead others to Jesus as well.  That light we received on Christmas Eve, the gift of Jesus we received on Christmas morning is still here and we are to light the way to Him for others.

Others who have recognized this season have many ways of celebrating, but for me, I’m going to end my Christmas Season and head into Epiphany by allowing my light and some lights in my home to remain on for a while (not sure I can hang on until Ash Wednesday but we will see.)  I’m going to keep some twinkle lights on my mantle, battery-operated candles in my windows and I’m going to light candles more often. I’m going to do this intentionally to remind me to take the light and go forth as Epiphany intends. Aha! (Did you catch on to my wordplay there? Having an Epiphany about Epiphany?) Aha! Go Forth and shine your light!

let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  –Matthew 5:16

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Why Give Thanks?

IMG_0424I have written about this many times and it seems to be a life’s mission for me.  We are supposed to be thankful for everything.  Last year, I attended a seminar where the presenter suggested that people write down at least 3 things to be thankful for each day.  One woman spoke up and said, “But what if we don’t have anything that day?”  Are you serious?!  Uh, you’re breathing! That counts for one! There is always something to be thankful for!

So, we’ve all seen articles and heard interviews where people share why it is important for us to give thanks.  In the United States we believe we even have a holiday to celebrate: Thanksgiving, so regardless of religion or faith, our nation is to be a thankful nation.  Other cultures and countries also celebrate festivals to express gratitude during the harvest season. It seems this is a great time to be thankful.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., the author of Gratitude Works!: A 21-day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity suggests 5 reasons why giving thanks is actually good for you.

  1. Counting blessings boosts your health by lessening depression and lowering blood pressure and creating more optimism.
  2. A daily practice of gratitude even slows down some of the effects of neurodegeneration that occurs as we age.
  3. Positive emotions like appreciation significantly lowered levels of cortisol which is the “stress hormone.”
  4. Being thankful increases oxytocin, the “bonding hormone” so it helps you in your relationships.
  5. Gratefulness is good for the heart and the waistline and may achieve a 10% reduction in systolic blood pressure and decrease dietary fat intake by up to 20%.

These are all great benefits of being grateful, but I’d like to add one more reason we should give thanks. In 52 A.D. the apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I think he may have been on to something.  It seems this concept of gratitude has been around a long time. Why give thanks? There are many reasons and benefits, but I do because the Bible tells me to.

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So Close, So Far

I28Haiti-articleLarge go onto my computer in the morning to check Facebook.  Another typical day.  I have a couple of messages from friends, both asking me how I am doing.  I respond to the first one, giving the details of my busy schedule, the chores like grocery shopping and preparing for the holidays and I complain a bit about how much clutter I have in my home.  The other one asks and I reply, “We are well.”  Because we are.  You see my first friend who asked lives a few miles away in a home similar to mine with a family similar to mine.  The second friend lives 1577 miles away in Haiti, the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. It is difficult to admit to my Haitian friend that the things that make me busy, also make me blessed.

Only 706 miles from Miami, FL is a country where 50% of the population is undernourished. 2,500,000 people live in extreme poverty and they are currently going through dangerous civil unrest.  It hasn’t been safe for the children who are blessed to afford school to even attend and the schools have not even begun for the 2019/2020 school year yet.  How can this be?  How can a country be so close and yet so far away?

I’ve had the privilege of going to Haiti and meeting some wonderful, hard-working people who want to improve their situation but are fighting an uphill battle. They face uncertain conditions because they were born in an unstable country. They are raising families in a country where 2 out of 3 people live on less than $2 a day. I am blessed to be raising a family in a country where most people I know spend more than $2 a day on junk food we don’t even need.

I share this with you to let you know that I want to help my neighbors.  I want to help the Haitian people. Last year I was able to go and help them physically.  At this point, it wouldn’t be safe for me to travel there to help, so I hope to raise funds to send in place of me.  I hope you will join me in this effort. If you ever want to take the money you spend on junk food and put it to good use instead, feel free to give it to Hearts 4 Haiti and we will see that it helps someone in Haiti who needs it.

So how are you doing today? I hope you can answer “well.”

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Bible Study Tidbits

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“What will you do the next time you find yourself being suspicious, exaggerating, guessing, or making assumptions about someone’s behavior?”

This morning brought cold temperatures and a member of the Wednesday morning Bible Study couldn’t make it because her furnace stopped working! As I was preparing to fill her in on some scriptures and thoughts she missed, I decided that I would write a blog about it and share it with all.  We are working very slowly through the book Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. We are working through it very slowly because it is so full of information.  (I have an extra copy if you’d like to borrow it!)

Playing Mind Games – Do you regularly entertain any of these thoughts about other people? “I don’t think he/she means what he/she said.” “I wonder what I’ve done wrong.” “I wonder what he/she thinks about me.” “I wonder what he/she wants from me.”  Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What truths in these verses could help you with your nagging thoughts about what other people are thinking?

Read Phil 4:8 – How will asking yourself “What is true?” help you to stop second-guessing your relationships?

Read Matthew 18:15 – How can obedience to this command assist you in your relationships?

What is a similar command in James 4:17?

If no one comes to you with a personal issue, what can you assume?

How does remembering the wisdom of Proverbs 28:1 help you proceed in your relationships?

Now, it’s time to apply God’s principles to your thoughts!  Consider what you’ve learned from Philippians 4:8 and what the guidelines “true” and “real” offer for your thoughts.  What can you do, and what can God do to keep you from torturing yourself with unfounded (& therefore, probably inaccurate) thought about what other people are thinking and feeling?

What will you do the next time you find yourself being suspicious, exaggerating, guessing, or making assumptions about someone’s behavior?

How would your relationships improve if you accepted people’s words at face value? Can you think of one specific instance where this would have helped?

Of course, we had a lot of discussion with these questions.  We will discuss the following next time!

Read Hebrews 4:12.

How is the Word of God described? What is God’s Word able to do? How does the Bible help you in your thought process?  What must you do to tap into this power?

I always look forward to our time together.  If you are online and want to comment, feel free!  And, if you are local….give me a call, I can loan you my book!

 

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Love Is…Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

50bc8f7d17f66d15e99c5cf35a5ce407“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  — John 13:34

Many of you may remember the Love Is…cartoons from the 1970s.  It depicted a boy and a girl drawn nude (with no private parts showing.)  They had sentiments like “Love is never having to say you’re sorry, having his picture on your mirror, taking one day at a time.”  These cutesie cartoons had some light sayings and also some meaningful sayings.  Though we may know of a cartoon that answers the sentence “love is…” I hope we are even more familiar with the scripture that states “Love is….”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 has a long list of what love is. We probably remember this passage from weddings.  Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy or boast, it is not proud and the list goes on.

We have access to lists of what love is, but the scripture I started out with may make love a little more challenging.  We have been given a command to love one another as God has loved us.  That makes love about more than cutesie phrases and also more than loving your spouse because they read Corinthians at your wedding, it means loving one another.  It means loving all the people you come in contact with each day whether you choose to or not.  It means loving the neighbor who runs their chainsaw before you wake in the morning, it means loving the person who is tailgating you when you drive to town and it means loving the person who yells at you when you accidentally bump into them in a store. Because we are loved by the most high, we also need to love others, even them. In order to do that, we need to stop and consider them and their possible circumstances and assume the best of that individual.  Instead of being offended by someone, we need to have compassion for them. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32

What does that look like? Instead of being angry at your neighbor waking you, have compassion for him that he has so much work to do that he has to start before dawn. The lady riding your bumper even though you are driving 5 miles above the speed limit? She may have received a call to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The angry person in the store may have just lost his job and is there to cash his last paycheck. In all instances, the truth is that we don’t know why others act the way they do, but we are commanded to love them.

We need to let go of petty offenses that are offered by others and put those offenses behind us. Our calling to love is greater than the offenses behind. We are called to love others. Love is….giving the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

 

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