Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Excuse Me, Can I Get A Blessing?

I read the following encounter between a mother and daughter and thought, how many times do I do the same kind of thing as this little girl!

"It was a busy week night. I was caught up in the whirlwind of coming home from work, preparing dinner and helping my son with homework. In the midst of all the activity my four year old sneezed. I was busy in the kitchen. I felt a tug on my  shirt. I looked down to see my daughter staring up at me, hands on her hips. She had an expectant look on her face. She was so serious I had to smile and ask "What is it K?" To which my cherub replied "I sneezed. And, excuse me, but can I get a 'bless you?'

I find myself busy with this, that and the other, and after a while I go to Father God and pull on His robe with, "Can I get a blessing here?" It seems I have this expectation when certain things happen certain other things should follow. After a while the blessing feels overdue. If God "is too busy" and doesn't play accourding to my scripting of events I feel compelled to make my presence and my needs known. I want my blessing and right now would be nice, thank you. As if a blessing is something I deserve! It's all grace! As if any of us deserves the outrageous love, salvation, and yes, blessings He gives day after day. (Insert shaking head!)

Every now and then something like this little girl stops me short. I realize that I tend to think that just because I'm a grown up chronologically that I am also grown up spiritually. Guess the Lord just wanted to remind me that I am young beyond my years! And that I can be grown up without having grown up!

The beautiful thing in the way God points out an area of weakness is that there is no condemnation, no chiding. He simply presents the parable and waits for me to figure it out. My spirit stops short and then my mind asks, "God, why am I looking at this?" That's the open door He was looking for and the awareness floods into my mind. I'm busted. Amazing!

Let me know how "Jehovah Sneaky" sneakes up on you and teaches truth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Melaise

We took a vacation over Thanksgiving thinking this would be our family time and then we would have the whole month of December to do the Christmas thing--the parties, the baking, the letter writing...you know. Oh, ya, the gift giving!

Upon our return I had a horrible time with the differences in time zone. Added to that was the crunching effect of the lack of daylight during the week in Alaska. My days and nights have been horribly confused. I'm still waking up at 9:30-10:00 a.m. I have been ineffective as far as Christmas preparation. Today as Hannakah begins the light dawned on me. Part of the problem is Christmas melaise!

I've learned that from the 10th to the 30th of this month we have a special window in which to align with God's time. If satan can distract us with the busyness of preparation, refocus our attention on giving and getting, and wear us out with "holiday cheer," he can subvert the Lord's plan for us to reposition ourselves in His will and His timing! All this time my spirit was trying to get me a message and my soul was in a fog! I am so grateful the light came and scattered the darkness...and the fog!

This season I am celebrating that God came and lived among us. God came and saved us and continues to save us. He had a plan and He is sticking to it! Instead of feeling bad about what I have not gotten done I look at it as a piece of cultural baggage that I don't have to carry! I'm dropping "Christmas obligations" as fast as I can to have more time with Jesus, enjoying Him and coming into His timing!

I encourage you to think through all the activities and sort out what is just cultural "stuff" that can be easily dropped in preference for time our Savior!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Family, My Tribe!!

A copy of Chuck Pierce’s latest book, A Time To Advance came in the mail. I bounced around in the book and ended up reading a chapter on the order of the tribes of the children of Israel. The tribes of Asher, Naphtali, and Dan brought up the rear. They were at the back of the lineup when moving or in battle. Okay with me—I’m not a fighter either! Let the big rowdy guys go first and take all the flack!

Dan was a tribe of skilled craftsmen—these were the guys who worked with Moses to construct the tabernacle. They were tapped by Solomon to oversee the craftsmanship and construction of the temple—they were good with wood, metal, stone, fabric, leather—you name it. Asher had a special ability to make the land produce and from this tribe come the farmers, bakers and chefs. He worked the land and cooked the food. Naphtali brought forth “beautiful words.” Here we have the poets and writers. He was also like a deer let loose—these were the worshipers and dancers. (I wonder if they had a special relationship with Judah since they were warrior dancer--worshippers, hmmm.) Not exactly the kind of guys you want watching your back if an enemy were to come from behind!

Then the author (Linda Heidler) went on to say that these tribes were tasked with expressing the glory of God which actually was the rear guard! Scripture tells us that creation is the handiwork of God, it expresses the craftsmanship of God and that is what Dan was doing—taking the patterns he saw in the heavens and nature and expressing them in/by his handiwork and craftsmanship. Asher causes the land to flourish. “The fullness of all the earth expresses the glory of God.” There is something about the land flourishing that is a reflection of the glory of God. “Naphtali had the ability to bring forth beautiful words. The word beautiful means “to glisten.” His words had the glory on them. They were to shine.” Naphtali was also agile and nimble like the deer leaping. He brought glorious words accompanied by glorious movement into worship in the sanctuary.

The reason the highlighted words struck me was that when I was writing the manuscript for The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity I showed it to a friend for feedback. After reading it she sat for some time, looking for and choosing her words carefully—she wanted to express how it had affected her. She finally said, “Your words are beautiful. They are like sunshine on the water—you know, how it skips and moves? They glisten; they dance; they are lively!” As I read those words I remembered her words and my eyes widened; I gasped! It was almost verbatim!

Being Christian means my roots are Jewish; I have often wondered what tribe I would belong to if I were Jewish. Perhaps I have found my tribe? And my people?

If I have found my tribe, what does this mean for me personally? It brings a sense of belonging and of being “home” where I can let my hair down and really be me. I think it also means that I must hold closely to my calling so I do not lose sight of my assignment in all the familial hubbub! The calling is to make plain (understandable) the mysteries of God which necessitates having time away with God to delve into whatever mystery He chooses to expound upon. My assignment for the time being is to learn the tools of the age (ugh, computer) and walk one step behind Jesus so that I can hear what He is saying and write it down. I have His word to me that He will provide. I have not figured out if there is some way that I need to position myself differently so that can actually happen. I seem to be supporting my own habit rather than the books supporting themselves . . . why is that?

Specifically, what does finding family and tribe mean in relationship to John 3:16 marketing network that I’ve joined this year? I think being part of a tribe is a noisy, busy, distracting enterprise. At this phase of my life, that equates to overwhelming and exhaustion. I believe God wants me to be part of this group but to allow the life of the network to swirl about without it distracting me. That’s a tall order. How exactly does one do that? Firstly, by acknowledging that I cannot do everything. I think, for me, it is by finding my niche and sticking with that without guilt or condemnation. From that place of freedom I can look up from my work and applaud someone else’s performance. Perfectionism would condemn and foster guilt and shame—that is not to be part of the picture! They are foreign elements—rude Philistines not to be long entertained!

How I see the purpose of John 3:16 Marketing Network.

· To nurture the spirit, and soul (mind, will, and emotions) of our brothers

· To fill them up so they do not become discouraged and languish

· To keep them encouraged so they can complete their assignments without falling away in unbelief

· To foster awe and love of God

· To come alongside those who are discouraged and languishing to bring comfort and point the way out—to be the evidence of the hope they once had.

· To repair emotions through laughter and unwinding of the mind with the enjoyment of a good book of one’s favorite genre

· To do what we do with excellence and to call others to excellence by example rather than dictum

· To find the heart, spirit and life of God so that our words are infused with His essence; they cause life to spring up—faith to spring up

Oh, ya, there is that bit about doing our part in changing the cultural environment by flooding the secular market with good, clean Christian literature—quality literature!

When I look at Jewish families and culture I see that they work hard, study hard, practice diligently, perform for each other regularly and enjoy each other immensely! Well, mostly. Sometimes the study is grueling, the practice tedious and the performance terrifying—ah, but we get over it! So we push and cajole and exhort and support because we know we are chosen, special, and are here to express the heart, nature and craftsmanship of God. This is our part in bringing heaven to earth!
What about you? Have you found your place, your niche?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Party Time!

Today, I'm featuring author April Gardner as she celebrates the release of her second novel Warring Spirits. There's a party going on over at her website, and you're all invited!





As a special thank you for visiting her site, she's extending an invitation for you to enter six different drawings with a total of 15 different winners!!

On top of that, she's giving away a personalized, signed book plate to everyone who buys Warring Spirits today. One for each book purchased!

Wounded Spirits, the first book in the series, garnered wonderful reviews, won the Grace Award, and on its launch day last year, thanks to the John 3:16 Marketing Network, hit #1 in Christian fiction and #2016 in Books!

Help Warring Spirits reach #1 too, and buy your book TODAY!
LeARN MORE!! (link--http://tinyurl.com/2u8bbj2)









Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Night of the Cossacks—a review

I downloaded the first chapter of the Night of the Cossacks and that was it—I ordered copies for my teenage grandsons far enough ahead of Christmas that I could read the story before I gave it away! Tom Blubaugh has researched the type of life the Cossacks lived and woven a fascinating tale of Nathan, a sixteen year old Jewish boy kidnapped by a Cossack soldier and forced to become a Cossack. He is renamed Stephan and learns to completely suppress his Jewish identity.

Night of the Cossacks is a story of loss and perseverance—he first loses his father in an accident and then the rest of his family and his way of life when he is kidnapped. He adjusts to the ways of the Cossacks and quickly earns his place in the unit he is a part of through his marksmanship. As the unit’s “hunter,” responsible for getting meat for the unit. He appears to be progressing in the Russian army when he loses Nikoli, his mentor/captor whom he had grown to love. Then he loses again when his apparent promotion turns out to be a betrayal and he must flee for his life from his boyhood friend and the Russian military. Nathan/Stepan’s wits, his ability to discern and think his way out of a jam, the innate eye-hand coordination and the skills learned in the military keep him alive through a series of life threatening, harrowing circumstances. Through it all he perseveres; he doesn’t give up hope, and struggles to not become bitter and resentful toward God.

The Russian secret police has a reputation for always finding their man. Once they are on your trail they will pursue wherever you go, so Nathan had a knowing that he would be a hunted man for the rest of his life. However, in his flight he learns of far away America and decides to go. This decision means he must say a gut wrenching goodbye to the horse who has been with him since boyhood—a difficult decision. He perseveres, hops a ship as a laborer and works his way to his new homeland. Even on the ship a Russian soldier appears to take him in! So close to escape and yet so far! Only quick thinking on the part of the captain saves the day. Nathan succeeds in his attempt to escape to America and begin his own family. After all the losses, finally he has the opportunity to have love and family once again.

Thomas Blubaugh’s characters are strong; a reader quickly identifies with Nathan and cheers for him all the way. Scenes are vivid and emotional; a strong story line pulls the reader in. You have to find out what happens! With all the adventure, the suspense of life and death close calls and Nathan’s quick reflexes—you can see why I immediately bought copies for my teenage grandsons! They would love the adventure and suspense, and identify with the main character who flees from Russia, all across Europe on his way to America. There is a hint at romance but no torrid love scenes; just enough love to hold the interest of girls! I appreciated the fact that Nathan’s character, ethics and principles were guided by his early childhood training as a Jewish boy—which means that they followed biblical principles. A believer can see that God was watching over this one to keep him safe, to ensure that he would live to do the good works which God ordained for him to do! The ending hints at what may have happened next . . .This is a good, clean story and suitable for any teenager (or oldster).

The story behind the story is also intriguing. Tom’s grandfathers all died before he was born so he never knew them. When he became a grandfather himself, he had no model. There was a gaping hole in his life experience so he began to research with the little information he had—that his grandfather had been a Cossack. How could a Jew be a Cossack? This book answers that question and paints a vivid picture of life as it was a generation or two ago. He researched to leave a legacy for his grandchildren and somewhere along the line it morphed into a novel!

Bravo, Tom! I join you in wishing I could have known your grandfather! I've read some comments about Tom's book that people have been encouraged to research their own heritage. I think that is a good thing. . .it's as though we fit more solidly where we are when we know who we came from and how we got here.

Anyone buying a book through Amazon on the 8th can also receive free gifts. Look here to choose: http://nightofthecossacklandingpage.com/

Friday, December 2, 2011

If you care, dare!

I know the Sassy Pants series of books are written for children but every now and then I feel the Lord grin and say, "uh, huh..." Every now and then when I am feeling particularly old and decrepit The Ancient Of Days puts it all in perspective. I realize that, like Moses, at age 80 I will just be getting started! In comparison to The Almighty, I am a mere babe in arms. So what's this little ramble about?

Sassy Pants Makes Amends is about her deep repentance for her bad behavior. The natural consequences of her actions resulted in the loss of friends and relationships. She was deeply sorry for what she had done, but her changed attitude came too late. The damage had been done to the relationships and trust was destroyed. That is just the way the mop flops. Jesus warned us this would happen (Luke 6:37).

When we do wake up to the consequences of our choices, what then? How do we fix the relationships we broke? How do we rebuild trust? I didn't write this story for adults--really! God just plopped the story line into my mind and we keep unpacking it! It may be a kid's story, but even adults can hear the truth of the lesson in it. Sassy Pants and spoiled rotten kids of all ages who seriously want to repair what they broke will find that amends works. Amends--finding what is important to the one you hurt and making that important to you too--and keep doing it for as long as it takes for trust to grow again. It goes way beyond sorry. It gives the hurt one a reason to trust again. It repairs what was broken; that is if you have the courage to dare to try to make amends.

If you care, dare. I'd like to hear the stories of those of you who cared enough to dare to make amends! Drop me a comment and share how amends works.

Blessings, Carol

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Blessings Of The Wilderness

Today the Lord tweaked my brain to think about The Wilderness. Trips into The Wilderness are of His doing and for His purposes. Wilderness is an essential part of the life of a believer because of what it accomplishes in a person’s life. It is very similar to the vitality of tree growth being linked to storms. The swaying of the tree loosens the dirt so that roots can grow into the newly opened spaces. Wilderness is like that for the believer—it facilitates growth.

Now look at Jesus in the temple—a kid. Maybe, maybe not had his Bar Mitzvah? Not dry behind the ears and teaching the rabbis. He was no slouch. He went to school. He knew His Torah... (Torah consists of the first five books of the Bible, the books of Moses. This along with the writings of the prophets were the scriptures of Jesus day.They constitute our "Old Testament.") And He had the audacity to think it meant what it said!  God wants and blesses that kind of diligence and excellence. I don’t think all Jesus was saying to the rabbis was a result of a heavenly download—some of it was because He studied and applied Himself to Torah study. He committed it to memory and ruminated on it while while building a wagon or sanding a yoke!

He went home with Mary and Jo and was obedient. Don’t hear anything of Him until He bursts on the scene with John the Baptist. So He was learning and doing/running the family business—He did what his “father” did, the way His father did. And in His ministry, He only did what He saw the Father do the way the Father did.

Humble—He didn’t set himself up to be something He was not. He submitted to baptism. If we do not fight The Wilderness by trying to get out of it, will humble ourselves and submit to the rigors, the disciplines and lessons of The Wilderness, it will strip away all the dressing we wrap ourselves in--it will help us see who we are and who we are not. It will help us see clearly so we can come to repentance.

Dependent—Each of us He takes to hard places. When we make the godly choice in our hard places we can only do it in His strength. We come to know that it is in His strength that we do anything, and especially it is His strength in us that helps us make godly choices. Each time and every time we make godly choices in hard places, when it would be so much easier to not, God credits that to us as Holiness! When we are wrestling, all hot and sweaty, dirty and grimy and make that call—perhaps even saying it through gritted teeth, “I choose God’s ways. I refuse to curse God, murmur and complain. God is good! I may not understand but I choose to say God is good, His mercies are new every morning, and His loving kindness endures forever! He is my God. He will lead, guide, protect and provide!” To declare that in the face of overwhelming circumstances—God sees that as holiness. We can’t do it without His strength. He is our life. We are dependent upon Him for our breath.

Authority and power—Our hard places become transformed into places of power and authority. When you have faced off what you feared and what devastated you at one time. In the face of fear and devastation you choose to follow Jesus and do life His way, that choice, that stance is what connects you with Godly power. You have earned authority in this area. No one can say to you, “but you don’t understand” because you do understand. You know that God gives strength to the weak. You know that through His strength you conquered and that it is possible to conquor! You can speak with authority because you have been there and you know. God can trust you with His power; He knows you are a safe person because The Wilderness has stripped away the dead flesh that would use power to aggrandize self or build a little fiefdom. He knows you will use power and authority to build His Kingdom.

Intimate--Then when we come out of The Wilderness we come leaning on the arm of our Beloved. There will be a new and wonderful intimacy with Jesus—who also went into and through The Wilderness. He came out in power and authority. When we have been stripped down and are naked before our God and experience His full acceptance and love with no condemnation, we experience and know love and grace. The knowing of our salvation and belonging drop from our head into our heart. We come to that emotional knowing that, “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine!”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Christmas Give The Gift of Healing Knowledge


About The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity: In a society that values production and performance, highly sensitive people struggle to make sense of the overwhelming data stream that daily bombards them. The Mystery gives voice and vocabulary to how highly sensitive people experience life; helps them understand the dynamics that wounded them and caused them to hate the way are, and brings healing to those wounds. It calls such people to consider that they may be a “natural” burden bearer, one who naturally comes alongside to help with what is overwhelming. The book also touches on how this high sensitivity can facilitate and/or muck up marriage and parenting relationships. It explains why God made some 20-30% of the population this way—to be His burden bearers continuing on with the ministry of reconciliation Jesus began. Highly sensitive people are wonderfully and uniquely designed to be His “special forces” in a spiritual war. Highly sensitive people are not crazy, just different from many—and that is a good thing!
Gift set of seven copies of The Mystery for $70.00 - Shipping $6.00
Single copy $12.00 - Shipping $2.50
Combination gift set 1 copy each of The Mystery and Highly Sensitive - $20.00
Highly Sensitive: is about learning how to live with this “gift” before it kills you! It is about things you can choose to work on under GOD’s direction which will help a highly sensitive person reign life in so that it is manageable. This book is about the issues highly sensitive people wrestle with (trust, boundaries, identity) and the inner structures needed to live a joy-filled life as a burden bearer. It provides guidelines for building in the structures, habits, and disciplines that will enable you to do “the good works that were designed for you to do from the beginning” (Ephesians 2:10)…It will help you learn how to walk in destiny. . . to walk, talk, live and love like a son/daughter of The King!
These books are for any adult, highly sensitive or not, who is seriously seeking relationship with God and people; anyone wanting to grow spiritually, those who wonder what in the world is wrong with them, or what God was thinking when he made them! Couples who read it together find it helpful in improving their marriages, grandparents interceding for family members, ministry leaders wanting to understand those they lead, and counselors and prayer ministers who “repair the saints.” People “not so sensitive” will find help in understanding their weird relatives better! Understanding is the most loving gift you can give the highly sensitive people in your life—and the remaining 70-80% not so sensitive can learn from them! But fasten your seatbelts. Jesus does not slow down on the learning curve!
Gift set of seven Highly Sensitive for 70.00 - shipping $6.00  
Singles $11.00 plus  $2.50 Shipping
      

About Sassy Pants: Sassy Pants is a cute little pig, with a big attitude. She came to view herself as “a people, not a pig.” Her resentment at being returned to the pig pen became an obsession to return to “the big house.” She became the barnyard bully, ignored fences or boundaries, and did not listen to correction. She did not even listen to the Boss Hog!  Her “jokes” made no one else laugh.
Sassy Pants insisted upon having her own way with no regard for others feelings. “She neither noticed, nor did she care!” She caused Mrs. White to have a tizzy; ruffled feathers and tied fur in knots in the barnyard and out of it until the animals turned to Farmer White for help. In the end she learned that her choices always had consequences. Some she didn’t like! “Some learn the easy way and some learn the hard way!” Find out how Sassy Pants learned! Sassy Pants is the first in a series of four.
Gift sets of seven Sassy Pants for $49.00 plus $3.00 Shipping
Singles - $8.00 plus $2.00 Shipping
Other titles to follow:
Sassy Pants Makes Amends—About how to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it! (To be released approximately February, 2012).
Sassy Pants and the Strange Creature—About getting along with those who are different from yourself.
Sassy Pants and The Boss Hog—About finding her place in her father’s heart, and her place in the herd.

To order contact the author directly by email at godsheart@comcast.net.






This Christmas Give The Gift of Healing Knowledge

About The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity: In a society that values production and performance, highly sensitive people struggle to make sense of the overwhelming data stream that daily bombards them. The Mystery gives voice and vocabulary to how highly sensitive people experience life; helps them understand the dynamics that wounded them and caused them to hate the way are, and brings healing to those wounds. It calls such people to consider that they may be a “natural” burden bearer, one who naturally comes alongside to help with what is overwhelming. The book also touches on how this high sensitivity can facilitate and/or muck up marriage and parenting relationships. It explains why God made some 20-30% of the population this way—to be His burden bearers continuing on with the ministry of reconciliation Jesus began. Highly sensitive people are wonderfully and uniquely designed to be His “special forces” in a spiritual war. Highly sensitive people are not crazy, just different from many—and that is a good thing!
Gift set of seven copies of The Mystery for $70.00 - Shipping $6.00
Single copy $12.00 - Shipping $2.50
Combination gift set 1 copy each of The Mystery and Highly Sensitive - $20.00
Highly Sensitive: is about learning how to live with this “gift” before it kills you! It is about things you can choose to work on under GOD’s direction which will help a highly sensitive person reign life in so that it is manageable. This book is about the issues highly sensitive people wrestle with (trust, boundaries, identity) and the inner structures needed to live a joy-filled life as a burden bearer. It provides guidelines for building in the structures, habits, and disciplines that will enable you to do “the good works that were designed for you to do from the beginning” (Ephesians 2:10)…It will help you learn how to walk in destiny. . . to walk, talk, live and love like a son/daughter of The King!
These books are for any adult, highly sensitive or not, who is seriously seeking relationship with God and people; anyone wanting to grow spiritually, those who wonder what in the world is wrong with them, or what God was thinking when he made them! Couples who read it together find it helpful in improving their marriages, grandparents interceding for family members, ministry leaders wanting to understand those they lead, and counselors and prayer ministers who “repair the saints.” People “not so sensitive” will find help in understanding their weird relatives better! Understanding is the most loving gift you can give the highly sensitive people in your life—and the remaining 70-80% not so sensitive can learn from them! But fasten your seatbelts. Jesus does not slow down on the learning curve!
Gift set of seven Highly Sensitive for 70.00 - shipping $6.00  
Singles $11.00 plus  $2.50 Shipping
      

About Sassy Pants: Sassy Pants is a cute little pig, with a big attitude. She came to view herself as “a people, not a pig.” Her resentment at being returned to the pig pen became an obsession to return to “the big house.” She became the barnyard bully, ignored fences or boundaries, and did not listen to correction. She did not even listen to the Boss Hog!  Her “jokes” made no one else laugh.
Sassy Pants insisted upon having her own way with no regard for others feelings. “She neither noticed, nor did she care!” She caused Mrs. White to have a tizzy; ruffled feathers and tied fur in knots in the barnyard and out of it until the animals turned to Farmer White for help. In the end she learned that her choices always had consequences. Some she didn’t like! “Some learn the easy way and some learn the hard way!” Find out how Sassy Pants learned! Sassy Pants is the first in a series of four.
Gift sets of seven Sassy Pants for $49.00 plus $3.00 Shipping
Singles - $8.00 plus $2.00 Shipping
Other titles to follow:
Sassy Pants Makes Amends—About how to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it! (To be released approximately February, 2012).
Sassy Pants and the Strange Creature—About getting along with those who are different from yourself.
Sassy Pants and The Boss Hog—About finding her place in her father’s heart, and her place in the herd.

To order contact the author directly by email at godsheart@comcast.net.






This Christmas Give The Gift of Healing Knowledge

About The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity: In a society that values production and performance, highly sensitive people struggle to make sense of the overwhelming data stream that daily bombards them. The Mystery gives voice and vocabulary to how highly sensitive people experience life; helps them understand the dynamics that wounded them and caused them to hate the way are, and brings healing to those wounds. It calls such people to consider that they may be a “natural” burden bearer, one who naturally comes alongside to help with what is overwhelming. The book also touches on how this high sensitivity can facilitate and/or muck up marriage and parenting relationships. It explains why God made some 20-30% of the population this way—to be His burden bearers continuing on with the ministry of reconciliation Jesus began. Highly sensitive people are wonderfully and uniquely designed to be His “special forces” in a spiritual war. Highly sensitive people are not crazy, just different from many—and that is a good thing!
Gift set of seven copies of The Mystery for $70.00 - Shipping $6.00
Single copy $12.00 - Shipping $2.50
Combination gift set 1 copy each of The Mystery and Highly Sensitive - $20.00
Highly Sensitive: is about learning how to live with this “gift” before it kills you! It is about things you can choose to work on under GOD’s direction which will help a highly sensitive person reign life in so that it is manageable. This book is about the issues highly sensitive people wrestle with (trust, boundaries, identity) and the inner structures needed to live a joy-filled life as a burden bearer. It provides guidelines for building in the structures, habits, and disciplines that will enable you to do “the good works that were designed for you to do from the beginning” (Ephesians 2:10)…It will help you learn how to walk in destiny. . . to walk, talk, live and love like a son/daughter of The King!
These books are for any adult, highly sensitive or not, who is seriously seeking relationship with God and people; anyone wanting to grow spiritually, those who wonder what in the world is wrong with them, or what God was thinking when he made them! Couples who read it together find it helpful in improving their marriages, grandparents interceding for family members, ministry leaders wanting to understand those they lead, and counselors and prayer ministers who “repair the saints.” People “not so sensitive” will find help in understanding their weird relatives better! Understanding is the most loving gift you can give the highly sensitive people in your life—and the remaining 70-80% not so sensitive can learn from them! But fasten your seatbelts. Jesus does not slow down on the learning curve!
Gift set of seven Highly Sensitive for 70.00 - shipping $6.00  
Singles $11.00 plus  $2.50 Shipping
      

About Sassy Pants: Sassy Pants is a cute little pig, with a big attitude. She came to view herself as “a people, not a pig.” Her resentment at being returned to the pig pen became an obsession to return to “the big house.” She became the barnyard bully, ignored fences or boundaries, and did not listen to correction. She did not even listen to the Boss Hog!  Her “jokes” made no one else laugh.
Sassy Pants insisted upon having her own way with no regard for others feelings. “She neither noticed, nor did she care!” She caused Mrs. White to have a tizzy; ruffled feathers and tied fur in knots in the barnyard and out of it until the animals turned to Farmer White for help. In the end she learned that her choices always had consequences. Some she didn’t like! “Some learn the easy way and some learn the hard way!” Find out how Sassy Pants learned! Sassy Pants is the first in a series of four.
Gift sets of seven Sassy Pants for $49.00 plus $3.00 Shipping
Singles - $8.00 plus $2.00 Shipping
Other titles to follow:
Sassy Pants Makes Amends—About how to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it! (To be released approximately February, 2012).
Sassy Pants and the Strange Creature—About getting along with those who are different from yourself.
Sassy Pants and The Boss Hog—About finding her place in her father’s heart, and her place in the herd.

To order contact the author directly by email at godsheart@comcast.net.






Friday, November 18, 2011

Giving Thanks--the exercise!

We have our tickets! We are going to spend this Thanksgiving week with daughter # 2 and then have an extended visit with #1 on the way home. As the holiday approaches I have begun to think about giving thanks. It is so easy to become wrapped up in daily chores that although I do have a grateful heart most of the time, I often forget to say "Thank You" out loud.

Sure, God knows everything and He knows my heart, but He still likes to hear me say it! So I am enbarking on a little exercise that I found on a homeschool site, http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com/2008/10/thanks-and-giving.html The writer of the blog says, "Autumn is my favorite time of year. One of the main reasons is because I LOVE Thanksgiving. I think it's wonderful to celebrate all the bounteous goodness God has blessed us with. To gather round with family and friends and enjoy good food and great company. It also helps that Thanksgiving is not so commercialized as other holidays have become.

When my oldest was 4 we started a little tradition that has helped my children focus on not only being grateful but on giving as well. We call them our Thanks & Giving trees. I print off two bare trees for each child. Every evening starting November 1st we put one leaf on each tree. On one leaf we write something we are grateful for and stick it on the Thanks Tree. On another leaf we write something we have done to serve or give to others and place it on our Giving Tree. Serving can be as simple as smiling at someone, singing a song to a crying baby, sharing a toy, or writing a letter to Grandma."


And then she gives the PDFs for making a "thanks and giving tree." Each day you write what you are thankful for and add a leaf to the tree. Even though all the kiddos are out on their own I think it will be good for Grandpa and me to actually see some of the things we are thankful for. I encourage you to give it a try!

Blessings, Carol

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Book Review and a Wake Up Call!

As I said in an earlier post, I would be blogging at times about books and authors and writing since I have joined John 3:16 Marketing Network. In my excitement to be part of what the Lord is doing I didn't think to use an abundance of caution and move into involvement slowly. I was quickly asked to be a partner in a book launch, which of course, I didn't understand. Never mind, you learn as you do, right? So I agreed to do a review and blog and offer a free gift of the first chapter of my book. Lesson learned--read before you agree! So here is the review I wrote:


The Book of Ruth by Deborah Bateman

This bible study of the book of Ruth is more of a reading guide, breaking the book into bite sized pieces for adults “on the fly” who have time to read a bit but not do an in depth study. It is simply written, easy to read and follow. Because it is so simply written I could see it also fitting nicely in a series on character traits of Bible personalities for young girls, pre-mid-teens. The lessons are appropriate in length for the age group. Vocabulary is limited as is the use of “Christian terminology.” I can see this study being part of home school curriculum or a child’s personal devotion as they begin to take up the spiritual disciplines of bible study and journaling.

Young people are drawn to role models and Ruth is certainly a model of devotion, self control, and perseverance as well as strength, courage and beauty. Boaz could certainly be a role model for boys/young men in that he did what was right; he accepted responsibility and he went through proper channels. And the Lord’s response to their obediently living within the boundaries God had drawn was to bless, and demonstrate His provision before the whole community. Although the character traits are not developed in the study itself, I believe adults would find their thoughts settling on this aspect of the story and find points of identification with some of the struggles these people went through.
Rating: 4 stars
Okay, now comes my reaction and pure opinion--my tastes, nothing else. I was excited to read a Bible study book, and I love the book of Ruth. The more I read, the more I thought, "Well, this is a reading guide, not a study book!" I guess I was expecting something in depth about the main characters personality traits and linking it to other scriptures that expounded upon those traits, word studies that shed light onto meanings or something new that I didn't know about the land, culture, and times.  That's what I like in a Bible Study, but, hey, who is to say there are not other styles of Bible study--of course there are! It just rocked me back on my heels for a bit until I got my equilibrium and could see that this is a good fit for busy people and youngsters starting out. To her credit, Deborah did make good connections and underscored points we should all remember. I have learned a valuable lesson that I should read before I commit! That's sort of like "look before you leap," eh? I wonder how many other times in life I make assumptions and committments without properly thinking about the natural outworking of the consequence. It was a good wakeup call!
Here's to some good reading!
Blessings, Carol


Friday, November 11, 2011

For the Birds?

Birds of a feather flock together, so the adage goes. As a highly sensitive person I have been looking for my “tribe,” for others like me. Maybe I got that wrong. Maybe I should be looking for my flock!

My husband has often referred to me as his “canary!” The reference is to the way miners detected methane gas by taking a canary in a cage with them into the mine. If the canary stopped singing, they checked to see if the poor little fellow tipped over. The small body of the bird succumbed to the gas much more quickly than the much greater bulk of the miners. If the poor bird lay with its feet in the air they knew they had some time to exit the mine, but not much!

David began calling me his canary because if there was concern about spiritual contamination, he would send me in and watch! If I tipped over or broke out itching, etc., he knew more prayer was needed to discern what the matter was. I have a friend who is truth based; she can’t stand it when someone messes with the truth. Poor thing will break out in hives—now that is what I call an allergic reaction! I’ve wondered how much of the rise in immune disorders like MS, RA and fibromyalgia and neurological problems like autism are related to sensory overload of highly sensitive people—wearing out and wearing down a finely turned system.

God designed us to be so sensitive even though He knew what was coming. I know He had a good reason. It must be important for us to be here! You and I cannot see the really big picture. I have some answers and you can find those in my books The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive. I’m working on a third manuscript that has some more answers. But I am sure the Lord has only shared the beginning of the answers to the mystery!

One good use of our sensitivity is that we can act as an early warning system for the Church. If The Church is willing to listen, those who are highly spiritually sensitive react to the schemes and wiles of the adversary and alert the congregation. I think this will become increasingly important as we come closer and closer to the Lord’s return.

I’d like to hear from some of you birds! What makes you tip over or break out in a rash? When do you want to go away and hide?
Blessings, Carol

Friday, November 4, 2011

Parenting Sensitive Children #3

Accomplishing The Common Parenting Task—(excerpt from The Mystery Of Spiritual Sensitivity p. 202ff)

By watching, listening and praying. . .

You must become students of your children. You must prayerfully listen to the heart, and watch relationships and interactions to discover the way for each child to live life. Look for the design the Lord built into the child by which the child will accomplish those good works the Lord had in mind for him to do from the beginning (Eph. 2:10).
By giving your blessing . . .
You bless your children by giving abundant appropriate touches, by telling them the truth about themselves and their value to you and to God. You bless them by speaking abundant words of love, encouragement, and affirmation, and by giving them word pictures of a positive future. It is not that you do not see weak areas in their lives, but rather that you focus on the good and come alongside to strengthen the weak areas. You do not focus on the weak points and deride them for weaknesses to the neglect of the strong areas. You bless them by providing for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. A blessed child will be able to trust, risk, and venture in life. A blessed child has strength of character and a sense of identity. He knows who he is. (For an in-depth discussion of parental blessing, see The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent.)
By teaching and modeling . . .
In Bible times, a child learned the parent's craft or business by working alongside. When and where that is still possible, it is best because of the bonding and the modeling that happens between the two. When a parent cannot instruct a child because the child shows an obvious interest in areas outside the parent's expertise, the parent's task is to find someone who can teach them! This models for a child that being "me" does not have to look like the parent--it is okay to be unique. Sometimes the Lord reveals the way of a child in a moment, a flash of insight, an epiphany, or sometimes slowly over time. So study your child.
In addition to helping a child discover her calling in the natural, (such as doctor, teacher, lawyer, merchant, mom, businessperson, etc.), our parental task is also to help a child discover their spiritual giftings, and and teach her how these become heart motivations--prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing, leading, showing mercy. Include a look at the pastorate, music ministry, interccession, or mission work as possible occupations, which allow for the full use of natural gifting as well as spiritual. (See Romans 12:6-8.)
Spiritual gifting should fit with the occupation or profession in the natural. If one precludes the other, the result is frustration, unhappiness, and stress. Regardless of the secular work focus or spiritual focus, those who have a burden bearing or highly sensitive personality will discharge the burden bearing function of their being within the context of those other callings. This appreciation of the uniqueness of a child, and training and equipping the child to be all she can be--that is the parenting task common to all.
By providing boundaries for emotions . . .  
On his own, a child's emotions can become so big they crowd out logic. The brain literally shuts down the thinking portions of the brain and puts all energies into "fight-flight" responses. Such a child cannot reason. He is flooded, overwhelmed. Trying to talk and reason is a formula for futility! During these times, as much as you would like to use logic and reason with your children rather than be physical with them, the quickest way to diffuse the situation may be to physically remove them from their trouble spot and provide safe boundaries until reason can return. The sequence should be to comfort and calm, then teach.

Provide perspective, corral, harness, and give direction and purpose to the emotion. Give direction in what to do with emotions--bring emotions down below the panic mark, and then bring them to Jesus. After calming and prayer, you can help look with more logic and reason at whatever else may be appropriate. This takes the confusion and tyranny out of emotions. A key to learning is that emotions can inform, but need not be allowed to control. As you provide boundaries, banks, stopping places, and prayer, the child experiences relief and he learns that he can come to you for help. As you help him sort things out he learns in time that he can come to the Lord in the same way. He will come to know that he can gain perspective, direction, and relief with the Lord. Praying releases the burdens so that the child does not carry weight unnecessariy, or be hurt by inappropriate burden bearing. Of course, answered prayers are always great faith builders! : )

Parenting a highly sensitive child, a potential burden bearer, is challenging. It is a blessing because this child takes you to heights and depths you would not choose to explore given the choice. This child challenges just about every aspect of your personality.
 
If you have raised a highly sensitive child we would love to hear from you—what worked and what didn't?
Blessings, Carol

Friday, October 28, 2011

Parenting Sensitive Children #2

The Common Parenting Task

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). This verse has been interpreted as meaning that Christian parents should know the way a child is to be raised so that he will keep the faith throughout his life time. A one size fits all approach. It would be more accurately rendered from the Hebrew as: "Educate and train a child according to the way God designed him to be, and when he is old he will not stray from it." We are to make sure our child is educated and trained according to his individual design! If a child grows up knowing who he is, of course he will remain true to himself when he is old--he will know how!

This is the parenting task in a nutshell, and true for parenting any child. We are to listen to the Lord and listen to the child and reveal to the child the parth the Lord designed for him to walk. It is the parents responsibility to educate him, and to equip him to go that way, to learn to be himself by means of modeling and instruction. If you cannot do the job yourself, your responsibility before God is to find someone who can teach, model, mentor your child in the area you are not equipped to do so. The overall responsibility for parenting remains yours--you do not turn over the task of parenting to someone else. For a highly sensitive child, part of the modeling and instruction will also relate to burden bearing, so that the child learns to bear burdens to the Cross, rather than wound or destroy himself and others by wearing them.

When raising a highly sensitive child, the parenting task does not change. It does take on added emotional intensity and has the additional task of teaching and training the child to bear burdens in a manner the Lord desires.

The added diminsion of intensity and the additional task of teaching and training how to bear burdens properly are the only things differences in raising a highly sensitive child--but that is a lot!

Any of you who would like to share your stories of how you discerned the Lord's design for your child I would love to have you comment!

Next time: How do you accomplish the common parenting task?

Blessings, Carol