Category Archives: Books

Wrap up Of My Draw The Circle 40 Day Prayer Challenge

It’s mind-boggling what can happen in 40 days.

When I embarked on this prayer journey that is (April 30,2020) based on Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle, A 40 Day Prayer Challenge, it was for the leaders and my fellow residents here in Ohio. It was to pray for our Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Director of Health to get rid of their fear, draw close to God through a relationship with Jesus, and to have the Holy Spirit work mightily and powerfully in their lives as they work to jump start Ohio’s economy.

All was going well. I would get up early to read my devotion, write notes in my spiral notebook, and write a prayer for reopening based on that day’s devotion.

Then George Floyd was murdered.

The protests began and turned into riots and looting.

Now I pray not only for excellent leadership in regards to the reopening but also leadership regarding controlling and eliminating the riots and looting.

This prayer challenge has had the greatest impact on me of all the ones I’ve done because it has caused me to think and ponder the most. Praying for leaders who are using fear to control and destroy people’s lives and businesses is not easy. Although I will admit Ohio could be like New York, Washington, or California and still be shut down. At least we have been slowly opening up our economy during my prayer challenge.

A lot of sentences jumped out at me this time that never did before. Here are just a few:

  • When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers never go unanswered. (Day 19; pg 109
  • Goliath held an entire army captive through fear. (Day 14; pg 84)
  • Going back to places of spiritual significance should be part of our spiritual rhythm. Day 38, pg 210
  • Love isn’t repetitive; love is creative. Day 29; pg 161

May you ponder one of more of these today.

While doing this challenge I got a 5 Subject spiral notebook and took notes while reading the devotions. The I wrote out my prayers for our Governor, Lt. Governor and Health Director based on that day’s devotion. I also got creative with using highlighter, watercolor pens, and stickers both in my notebook and in my book because that’s just who I am.

A new Draw the Circle book is necessary as I have marked this copy up so much, I am not sure anything new would jump out at me if I use it again.

And use it again I will because I will be praying through this book starting on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 – 40 days before the November 3rd election. An election that will determine the fate of this country. An election between keeping this country as founded or rioting and looting the Constitution and become more of what you see now – government control of our lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be praying for this country in the meantime but will use this book as a guide for my prayers starting in September. I will pray circles around this country because it is exceptional and pray it is God’s will to keep it that way.

Because…

Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
pg 89

And we need Him fighting for us.

Will you join me starting September 24th?

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

None Like Him – Jen Wilkin – My Review

We think of God as human.

We put limitations on what God can and can not do.

However, limitations apply to us mere mortals and not to God.

In None Like Him, 10 ways God is different from us (and why that is a good thing), Jen Wilkin explains the attributes God possesses that we do not.

They are:

  • Infinite – The God of No Limits
  • Incomprehensible – The God of Infinite Mystery
  • Self-Existent – The God of Infinite Creativity
  • Self-Sufficient – The God of Infinite Provision
  • Eternal –The God of Infinite Days
  • Immutable – The God of Infinite Sameness
  • Omnipresent – The God of Infinite Place
  • Omniscient – The God of Infinite Knowledge
  • Omnipotent – The God of Infinite Power
  • Sovereign – The God of Infinite Rule

Wilkin explains each attribute in it’s own chapter after starting out with an introduction on becoming a God-fearing woman based on Psalm 111:10.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

Psalm 111:10
Jen Wilkin
None Like Him
10 Ways God Is Different From Us
(and why that is a good thing)

pg 11

She points out that this does not mean we are to be women cowering in fear but women of reverence and awe of our God.

IncomprehensibleThe God of Infinite Mystery

Last Sunday’s Weekend Wisdom came from chapter two which is about the incomprehensibility of God.

Because God is infinite, he is incomprehensible, unable to be fully known. Because humans are finite, we are able to be fully known. And the implications of our knowability should change the way we live.

Jen Wilkin
None Like Him
10 Ways God Is Different From Us
(and why that is a good thing)

pg 35

People go through life claiming they know all about God, how He operates and why He does what He does. There is just too much about God for us to fully and easily comprehend.

However, Wilkin points out that while we are not able to fully know God, He has permitted us to know some things about Him. Think about that fact. Then give thanks and worship Him with awe and reverence.

I’ve often said God does not tell us all there is to know about Him in the Bible, but He tells us what we need to know about Him and how to live this life well.

My Favorite Chapter

Chapter 4 in which Wilkin explains why God is self-sufficient and we are not is my favorite. I hate the term self-sufficiency and have for as long as I can remember but more on that in another blog post.

Our God is self-sufficient, needed by all, needful of nothing. Certainly not us.

Jen Wilkin
None Like Him
10 Ways God is Different From Us
(and why that’s a good thing)
pg 59

At the end of each chapter you will find Bible verses for meditation, questions for reflection and space to write a prayer. (I tried to get pictures of this but they would not load properly.)

I highly recommend None Like Him as it explains the ways God is different in a clear and concise manner. It is a book desperately needed for such a time as this. Our world needs to be reminded that God is God and humans are not God.

However God loves us anyway.

That should make anyone stop and give thanks with awe and reverence.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She also does not think or pray like you normal people. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Awakening Your Courage and Living Victoriously In Unsettled Times

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

Well we made it through winter weather-wise. However we now find ourselves in a winter of panic over toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Feeling anxious, stressed-out, or down right panicked over what this Coronavirus is doing to our economy and it’s impact on your job?

Then I have 2 resources today that will help you – Fear Fighting, awakening courage to overcome your fears and Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously, both by Kelly Balarie.

I was blessed to be a member of both book launch teams. Below are mini-reviews of the books with links to my original reviews.

You need Kelly Balarie’s books. They were written for such a time as this.

Fear Fighting

Fear Fighting, awakening courage to overcome your fears is a book that will remind you that God is with you no matter what you fear. Kelly tells you how to demolish 8 fear inducers, including worry.

She points out we need to do we need to do whatever it takes to give Jesus and the Holy Spirit access to our hearts.

It is by dwelling with the Spirit that we go about abiding in the Lord.

Kelly Balarie
Fear Fighting, awakening courage to OVERCOME your fears
Pge 108

And when you abide in the Lord, fear gets the boot.

Fear Fighting, awakening courage to OVERCOME your fears – by Kelly Balarie Link to my review

Battle Ready

I am writing this mini-review after being told I will have a new position at work. Learning something new is great and I am all for it. However, it is what I will be learning that has me anxious.

When I went through the book deciding what quote to feature when I came upon these words in chapter ten.

Warrior-Mindset Ten

Say “God Can, and I will Rest in That”

(Positivity)

Since the beginning of Lent, I have been sowing Isaiah 43:19 as my daily prayer because my life and job have seemed stale and I’ve felt stuck in the muck.

“See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

After today’s announcement at work, I need to work on seeing new faith in me and my abilities and faith that God knows what He is doing with my career. “God can, and I will rest in that” is going to be my mantra as I learn the ropes of this new position.

Yes, God, I see you not only doing a new thing in my life and career but also prepping me to be Battle Ready.

Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously by Kelly Balarie – Link to my reivew.

Final Thoughts

Whether it is the Coronavirus upsetting you, being quarantined with the hubby and kids for 14 days, experiencing a temporary layoff because of the virus, or some other fear, both Fear Fighting and Battle Ready will help you deal with this unsettling time.

Remember this:

The truth is you’re moving from glory to glory.

Kelly Balarie
Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously
pg 171

Hallelujah!

Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)

The Legal Pad – All Links are non affiliate. However, I was privileged to be a part of Kelly’s launch team for both books. I did receive a free copy of Fear Fighting and Battle Ready.

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Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

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