Evening Prayers: For Every Day of the Year

“Deliverance Leads to Healing and Revival”

eveningprayersEN

Click to buy

To understand this book of prayers entitled Evening Prayers: For Every Day of the Year by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, I think it’s important to understand their context. The only way to understand their context is to know more about the man who wrote them. The history of this author is fascinating.

johann_christoph_blumhardt_5616

Johann Christoph Blumhardt

In 1838, Blumhardt’s father, Johann Blumhardt, answered the call of pastoring in the small German town of Mottlingen and became legendary because of his part in the healing and exorcism of a young girl in his congregation.  After this healing, people came to Blumhardt from seven in the morning until eleven at night. There were nightly prayer meetings that he called the “Awakening.” Miracles and healings occurred. Even a child who had spilled a boiling pot of oatmeal was completely healed. Infirmities of all kinds vanished at the prayer meetings: eye problems, tuberculosis, eczema, arthritis and more.

jesus-healing-the-sick

Jesus healing the sick

But the government and organized church looked upon the meetings with disgust and by 1846 he wasn’t allowed to include healing as part of his ministry. Eventually, he decided to leave Möttlingen and purchased a run-down sulphur springs in Bad Boll, Germany where many came seeking healing. However, Blumhardt always pointed people to focus on Christ, not the miracles. It was at this time that his son, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, the author of Evening Prayers, was born.

Christoph_Blumhardt

Christoph tried attending seminary, but became disillusioned with empty rituals and seminary teaching and returned to help his father at Bad Boll. In time, he gained his own reputation as a mass evangelist and faith healer much like his father. But after a very successful “crusade” in Berlin in 1888, he drastically cut back both activities, saying,

“I do not want to suggest that it is of little importance for God to heal the sick; actually, it now is happening more and more often—although very much in quiet. However, things should not be promoted as though God’s kingdom consists in the healing of sick people. To be cleansed is more important than to be healed. It is more important to have a heart for God’s cause, not to be chained to the world but be able to move for the kingdom of God.”

prayer

Blumhardt was an extraordinary man of faith. The prayers in this book aren’t flowery prayers or even what one would consider terribly inspiring prayers. These are simple, Christ-honoring prayers, prayers that point believers to God and His Sovereignty.

I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life when I haven’t known what words to use in prayer. For those who are shy about praying to God with their own words, this book would be a great aid.  This would make a lovely gift for a new Christian or someone who wants to lead a more prayerful life and needs a place to start.

I give this book three out of five stars.

twitter-logo-birddfdTweet this: Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year

 

 

 

 

I got this book for free-2

 

 

Justice


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the Letters I and J

384089378_4c0e6a2853_z

I missed the letter “I” last week, and since I’m a bit OCD, I have to include it before I can move on to the letter J. So, briefly, here is the letter “I”–for “Instamatic.” And below is an Instamatic photo of me in my wedding dress 32 years ago (my anniversary is December 3). This was taken by my childhood Sunday School teacher who loved to take photos and record me singing. This was in the days of innocence and ours was a unique father-daughter bond. I don’t think I can even describe it to you.

wedding7Me in 1982 a few days before my wedding

Did you know that Instamatics are making a come-back? It’s a new art form!

Now for the Letter J

J is for Justice

J

I’ve been thinking a lot about this word, justice. People have been protesting in hopes of bringing it to pass. And it’s true that while we live on this earth, we are to seek justice and be proponents of it. God commands us to “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3).

Injustice anywhere is a threat to-2 (2)

But as long as justice is meted out by fallible people, there will be no true justice in this world. Where is the justice in children going hungry, being abused and neglected, or dying of cancer? What is just and fair about me going about my Christmas shopping and decorating while young children are beheaded in Iraq because they refuse to deny Christ?

103096-01-08

ISIS holding up their weapons as they pose next to the trademark black and white Islamist flag at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Anbar province. (Photo: AFP-Youtube, Bing, free use image)

Life on this earth simply isn’t fair. My day to day life is better than many people’s, and countless others have it better than me. There is no equality while living on this side of heaven.

Which makes our need for true justice all the more obvious.

For we must all appear before the-4 (2)

People tend to look at Jesus as a sort of Santa Claus whom they pray to about all their wants and desires. I admit doing it myself because I believe that my Lord is interested in everything I’m fascinated with. He’s not surprised I like pretty things, and dream of a more user-friendly house. I talk to Him about it often. However, He is so much more than a Friend I can go to about my heart’s desires. 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed:

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” — Isaiah 11:2-5

He that is without sin among you, let (2)

There are no just judges or juries in this land. There never will be. Our souls yearn for justice because we long for a heavenly home. Our souls yearn for something “more” and I believe that’s because we yearn to be forever in the very presence of Justice Himself.

There is something inside of all of us that knows there will be a day of judgement when the wicked must pay. The thing many people don’t realize, however, is that all have sinned, are wicked, and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). They compare themselves with others instead of with the righteousness of God. Without the cleansing power of Christ, not one of us will be justified on the terrible day we stand before the Lord and account for our lives.

_If we say that we have no sin, we-1 (2)

But my Savior, Jesus Christ–He is my advocate and will tell the Father, “her sins are paid in full.” Only because He loved me enough to die for me. What kind of justice is that? It’s certainly not fair to God. It’s not fair at all.

But this is grace, my friend. Beautiful, boundless, amazing, undeserved grace.

I, for one, don’t want justice for my sins. I don’t want what’s coming to me.

And what blows my mind, and what I can’t get my mind around sometimes, is that He doesn’t want that for me, either.

 “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee” (Isaiah 30:18 & 19).

flying_birdTweet this: As long as justice is meted out by fallible people, there will be no true justice in this world.

 

 

 

 



Strong Girls aren’t ashamed of their Christianity

Stronggirlslogo2We are living in troubling times as Strong Girls. Which is why now, more than ever before, it’s important to remain strong and firm in our faith.

persecution

Christians throughout the world are dying for believing in Jesus. Maybe you think this will never happen to you, but I’m sure other Christian women and girls in the world thought the same thing.

persecution2

Mariam Yehya Ibrahim is one of those women. She was put in prison in her own country (Sudan) for being a Christian and for marrying a Christian. Even though she had her little boy with her in prison, and was also expecting a baby, she refused to renounce her faith.

meriam2

All she had to do to get out of prison was tell the prison authorities that she would become a Muslim and deny Jesus as her Savior. She was hungry. She was carrying a child. Her little boy was hungry, too. But she refused to renounce her faith. What a strong woman.

meriam1

I wonder — are you that strong? Am I?

Mariam revealed the secret to her strength in a recent interview on Fox News. It wasn’t that she had her own superpowers, but the power of faith: “The situation was difficult but I was sure that God would stand by my side. I relied only on my faith.”

Meriam-Ibrahim_2986677b

“When I was in prison I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was most scared of giving birth in prison…I gave birth chained — not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t even open my legs, so the women had to lift me off the table.”

Meriam Ibrahim with her daughter, who was born in Omdurman women's prison last week

Because of the way she was forced to give birth, her baby girl may never walk.

While you watch the video below, think about what you would do in these circumstances. Someday you may need to take a stand for your faith. As a Strong Girl, you, like Mariam, will need to draw on the strength that comes from faith in God.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” Zechariah 4:6b.

Be Strong Christian T-shirt

Tweet This: Is your faith strong enough to be tested?

My kindle does the work of 400 camels

camels

It is said that a Persian Grand Vizier named Abdul Nassam Ismael took his entire 117,000 volume library with him everywhere he went on the backs of 400 camels. And get this–this is the best part–he trained the camels to carry the books in alphabetical order. Can you believe it?

Makes me thankful for my kindle.

kindle_2366549b

I can’t imagine having that many books or that many camels! Imagine how much it cost to provide food and shelter not only for the camels but the camel handlers, too. Now that’s what I call an investment in knowledge.

I used to have a thousand books (I’ve never owned a camel but I’m certainly open to the idea) and I gave about half of those away. 117,000 books would fill several large rooms from floor to ceiling. Clearly, this was a man of importance and wealth. Books were a lot more expensive in those days than they are now.

I just ordered about seven cookbooks for free last night via my Kindle unlimited plan. Information is so much more available now it’s almost scary.

aaapressure

One thing’s for certain. There are a lot of camels happy about the invention of the Kindle.

super-happy-baby-with-a-super-happy-camel

Oh, and hump day, of course.

camelhumpday

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a $25 Gift Card! Contest ends Monday!

backtoschoolgiveaway2014

Click to enter!

twitterbooks

Tweet this: How do you tote your books ? Camel, Kindle or something else?

 

 

 

Leave me a comment and let me know how you transport your books! For me it’s a Kindle and books on CD in a pink tote bag!

 

 

Book Review: Take this Cup by Bodie & Brock Thoene

_225_350_Book.1151.cover

I have been reading Bodie Thoene since her release of The Gates of Zion in 1986. She is truly the reason why I fell  deeply in love with Christian Historical fiction.

She didn’t disappoint me in this book, either. Take this Cup is book 2 of the Jerusalem Chronicles Series. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it as much as I did. I got excited about many new insights I’d never thought of before regarding the history of the Israelites and the prelude to Jesus Christ as Messiah.

SPAIN-RELIGION-GRAIL

That Thoene is an artist there’s no doubt. But what makes her books, including this one, so special, are the Spiritual Truths and revelations that knowing details of history bring out in the story. For example, I’d never put together that the people of Nineveh worshiped Dagon, a god that’s half fish and half man, and that God used a large fish to swallow Jonah and spit him out preach to these fish-idol worshipers about the One True God. Pretty cool insight.

index

There are many others in the book.

I think this book would be a great read-aloud to middle grades and an excellent book to give to a high school student as a Resurrection Day gift. There are several scenes regarding a white hart that kids and teens will especially enjoy. However, it’s definitely an adult book, too. But I can see a classroom of kids really enjoying reading this book together or listening to their teacher read it aloud.

317461_white-hart

http://www.markduffin.net/

From the blogger review website:

Though there have been many stories about the Cup of Christ, the Holy Grail, after the Last Supper, this is the first imaginative account of the Cup’s previous history and significance. Nehemiah, the young son of a Jewish woman, a weaver from Jerusalem, is born and raised among the Jews who didn’t return to Jerusalem from the Exile. Educated by Rabbi Kagba, one of the magi present at Jesus’ birth thirty years earlier, Nehemiah grows up with the expectation of a soon-coming Messiah. Could the Yeshua of Nazareth, who is walking the earth, reportedly doing miracles, be that Messiah?

When young Nehemiah must travel the long caravan road to Jerusalem, he is charged with an unusual mission—to carry a mysterious object back to the holy city of Jerusalem . . . an object whose reappearance heralds the Messiah’s arrival.

Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem just as the final events of Jesus’ earthly ministry are coming to a climax: the Feast of Dedication, the Triumphal Entry, the last cleansing of the Temple, and culminating at the Last Supper in the Upper Room. Only Nehemiah understands the true sacrifice that is to come as he makes the cup worthy of his Savior.

I give this book 5 stars. It’s a flawless, beautifully written story with a unique point of view. I hope parents will share it with their children and teachers with their students. It’s an excellent book for any home or church library. I highly recommend.

woodprint twitter bird sepia small

Tweet: I give this book 5/5  stars.

 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Vintage Easter

As you may know, I love vintage postcards and graphics. Here are a few for you to enjoy and laugh at and wonder what on earth they were thinking when they made them.

You could print the ones you like to use as place cards at your Easter table. Although, I must say, I had a difficult time finding any cards that exuded the true blue meaning of the Resurrection of Christ. With the exception of the lamb, which I suppose, could kind of be pertinent. Didn’t anyone celebrate with Christian symbols back in the day?

Which one is your favorite? I can’t decide between the blimp, the blue flower balloon or the pink egg. Which one is the weirdest? For me it’s the dancing rabbits dressed as eggs. Creepy!

Enjoy!  (Click to enlarge and/or print.)

nephiew pinkegg

lamb2 lily

lamb ladyegg

girl lady

elehant french

easter-rooster001-443x499 EasterEggRabbits

 

 

 

ducks2 ducks

duck chick

cross bunny

bunnyandgirl bunnies

bluebirds birds

blimp bike

birdies balloon

baby2 baby

Vintage Easter bonnet4

bonnet5 bonnet6

 

 

bonnet8

twitter01smaller

Tweet This: What were they thinking when they made some of these!?!

World Autism Awareness Day

I believe in confirmations from the Lord that I’m on the right track. And lately, with the hardships my family has experienced, I needed a little boost of confidence.

Today is Autism Awareness Day. It’s a very special day for me because I am a Mom of twin adults (age 19) with autism.

twins

L to R: Isaac (with Chevy) and Isaiah (with Jake)

And it’s also a special day because I received my contract from Beacon Hill Press to write my proposed book, Pie in the Sky: A message of Hope, Healing and Hallelujahs for families living with autism.

PieintheSky

My sell sheet book cover

You might call it a coincidence that the contract arrived TODAY, on Autism Awareness Day, but I don’t believe too much in coincidences. I’m one of those faith people. I believe that when a soul talks to God, He talks back.

I’m excited, yes, but I’m more concerned that I get this book right. That it touches lives and helps people. That it makes a difference.

If you’re a family living with autism, I’d love your input. What do you need this book to address?

If you’re a friend and know someone with autism, what questions do you have?

If you’re a church and you want to know more about how to reach families living with autism — shoot me your questions!

I am constantly amazed when I look at the world around me at the Lord’s ability to pay attention to us individually. His Presence is the most precious thing to me. And I covet your prayers that I’ll continue to seek Him and write what HE wants me to write in this book.

Thank You, God, for being so big and able, and yet so personal to order our steps and speak to us where we are.

twitter15smallbrown

Tweet This: I love someone with autism!

April Fools Day

thI don’t care for pranks as a rule. However, I admit to being party to a few. But I can honestly count on one hand the number of high jinks I’ve participated in.

The worst prank played on my husband and I was when so-called friends put Vaseline all over our van’s door latches. I had my arms full of young twins and Eddie’s hands were full carrying stuff. It was late. We were tired. We didn’t find it funny.

vaseline-781187The Bible has a lot to say about fools. There are at least 93 scriptures referring to the fool. You can read them here: What does the bible say about fool?

I’m sure the movie I went to see last night, entitled Noah, is a big April fool’s joke. Yeah. Has to be. Only explanation.

In fact, I’m thinking Obamacare and my taxes are an April Fool’s joke, too.

Whew. Good thing I figured that out before I paid them!

knit-twitter-birdsmallsepia

Tweet this: A fool says in his heart there is no God.

 

Why kicking and screaming is not the best idea

On Sunday I was feeling like I wasn’t very good at much of anything I do.

Ever feel that way?

On this particular day, I felt I wasn’t a very good pastor’s wife.

2386609101_05ce301709_crop380w

It’s been a difficult year and a half or so of transitions at our church. And we’ve been through a lot of battles and broken hearts. And sometimes I think to myself, “I just can’t do this anymore.”

On Sunday I prayed, “Lord, I’ll keep doing this if you want me to, but I need your grace to do it. I’m just not feeling like I’m very good at it and I’m not sure I want keep on trying.”

lowesteem

You’d think after 32 years I’d hit my stride or something, but nope. I still have self-doubts. I still wonder if I’m doing something wrong.

I know that in my heart I’m doing the best that I can. But I do have a fear of growing bitter and not better with each struggle. It never gets easier. It’s always very difficult work. And God called me, the most unlikely of mortals, to do this loving-difficult-people thing. I don’t have a rhino skin. I’m a sensitive soul. Very tenderhearted. I get hurt easily.

index

Why on earth would God call someone like me to do His work?

Makes no sense, does it?

So I prayed and I felt the Lord nudging me. “You can trust me, Karla. I have a plan. You can’t see the big picture. I can.”

Oh, to rest in that trust.

hand of god visualisation 444IMG_0417

I tend to go kicking and screaming into rest. It’s not my nature. I’m a fixer. A doer.

Just rest in His plan?

Not as easy as it sounds.

But it’s a command, isn’t it?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

jesus_holding_hands_with_child

God never intended for me to do this by myself. He never wanted to burden me down with His concerns. These kingdom things are all His to figure out, aren’t they?

I’m still learning how to trust Him with my life even when it doesn’t make sense. I thought I’d learned that lesson long ago. But apparently, I must still need some practice.

twitter12small

Tweet This: Come unto me and I will give you rest — Jesus.

Strong Girls aren’t mean girls

strong_woman

Strong doesn’t mean you have the right to be rude. The Bible tells us that our tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). Strong Girls use their words to build up, encourage and not tear down (1 Thess. 5:11).

But how do you do that when you’re in the habit of gossiping and being negative?

gossip

Wait upon God before you speak. Seek Him to take control of your thoughts, and when you do that, your tongue will express the sweetness that lives in your mind.

Give your words and your life, Strong Girl, the Philippians 4:8 test:

“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

bannerImage4

cupcakemojo.com

Think cupcakes. Are your words sweet? Are your thoughts following Philippians 4:8?

  • True
  • Honest
  • Just (as opposed to unfair)
  • Pure
  • Lovely
  • Good reports (as opposed to negative gossip)
  • Virtue (good things, pure things, nice things)
  • Praise

I don’t see any nasty gossip in there, do you?

twitter53smaller

Tweet This: Strong Girls aren’t mean girls.

Tweet This: Strong Girls don’t believe what the world and its media says they are.

Tweet This: Strong Girls are what God says they are.

 

Can you think of one way you can use your words to build someone up this week? Let me know in the comments below!