Category Archives: Books

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

A Review of Placemaker by Christie Purifoy

Today we are celebrating a the release of Christie Purify’s new book Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace.

Being a part of her book launch team is one of the best experiences ever because it feels like a group of best friends gathering on a Saturday afternoon each curled up on couch with a cup of tea.

Scattered throughout this review are bits of my story and the pictures of the current trees in my life.

I first fell in love with Christie’s writing when I read Roots and Sky; A Journey Home in Four Seasons. Her writing is warm, gentle and makes you feel right at home.

In Placemaker, Christie eloquently weaves her story with the story of the trees she and her family encountered in every place they lived from Texas, to Chicago, IL, to Florida and finally to an old red brick farmhouse called Maplehurst in Pennsylvania. A story filled with the beauty and peace of each place despite the challenges encountered.

The day Placemaker arrived at my place.

The book is also about community and belonging, about opening your homes to family and friends even though you just moved in, and it’s about cultivating beauty, comfort and peace whether you are walking though a season of abundance or though a wilderness season.

Definition

What is a Placemaker? It is someone who willingly sinks their roots deep, even though they might be there for a short time.

Making and tending good and beautiful places is not a dishonorable retreat. It is a holy pursuit.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Trees?

Trees first came to mean something special to Christie because of the cover of The Magician’s Nephew one of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. However, the cover of her copy is not all about trees but somehow they were what she remembered. Guess God was preparing her to write this book even as a child.

Then she discovered that trees spread their roots down and out and feed off one another. They are a community serving one another.

We are to be like trees, sink our roots deep and serve our neighbors.

Sinking roots deep is what Joe and I did when we moved here. We developed wonderful relationships with our neighbors and we have been there walking each other through a garden or wilderness. While there are a few other reasons, my neighbors are the main reason I have never moved – and have no intention of moving.

The trees know waht we struggle to accept; it is right and good to love my neighbor as myself.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

A Life of Trees

At first I found myself jealous of how she was able to tell her and her family’s story through the trees that inhabited every place they lived.

Then I remembered, well duh! You can tell your life story through experiences with trees starting with the chestnut tree of your childhood and ending with
the maple tree on my tree lawn and the trees in the woods behind this house.

The tree lawn maple

A Wilderness of Discontent

Like all stories, Christie’s contains chapters about grief, loss and walking through her wilderness season in Florida. A season of running out of dreams, not feeling appreciated, and making new friends at church but they all live on the other side of the city.

Like winter, the wilderness is always a promise. God leads us in and, one way or another, he leads us out again. Or, if he doesn’t lead us out, he does something almost more miraculous: he plants trees in the desert, and he causes rivers to flow there.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Yes, God lead Christie out of the wilderness in Florida to a tree-lined driveway in Pennsylvania.

My Wilderness

In April 2018 I was writing my 10 Year A Widow series, about the lessons learned since Joe’s passing, I was overcome with tiredness. It was as if someone stuck a straw in me and sucked all the life and energy out of me. It’s what led to reduced blogging and…reduced placemaking. I gave up and this house looks like I’ve given up on it and life in general.

Until now.

Thank you Christie for reminding me of the importance of placemaking and that it is a holy endeavor. Your book is nourishment my soul desperately needs.

My Favorite Chapter

Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (about 2 1/2 months after Joe’s passing)

In the chapter titled Rainbow Eucalyptus and Roses, A Place For Those Who Mourn, Christie writes about her brother-in-law Shawn Campbell’s passing off the shores of Oahu. It is a beautiful, eloquent tribute to Shawn.

You will need tissues.

However, after reading about the last event in that chapter, you will be saying “Only God.” Because only God could have planned and carried out that tree event. It has Romans 8:28 written all over it.


28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28
New Living Bible (NLT)

The Placemaker Effect

Christie’s book will inspire you and cause you to reflect upon not only how you can be a placemaker but how where you live changes you.

So if you are looking for a place to be deeply rooted in peace, start by sinking your roots deep into reading Placemaker.

Thank You, Christie

Thank you, Christie for writing a beautiful, uplifting book. I pray it will encourage those walking through a wilderness and inspire those in a garden season to sink their roots deep and wide where ever God has placed them.

I leave you with one final quote, that sums up why this world needs us to be placemakers.

With God’s help, we can pick up the pieces of an old and dying world, and we can make them new. We can make a place where beauty and peace can take root, flourish, and grow.

Christie Purifoy
Placemaker; Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Additional Resources

Roots and Sky; A Journey Home in Four Seasons – Christie’s first book.

Out of the Ordinary Podcast Christie does with good friend Lisa Jo Baker

ChristiePurifoy.com – A Spacious Place – Christie’s blog

The Legal Pad: All links on this post are non-affiliate links. I am a member of the Placemaker book launch team and received a free copy of Christie’s book in advance of today’s release date. However, the one I pre-ordered on July 3rd, 2018 arrives today. 😀

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, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.

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