Created for Connection

createdforconnection

This past weekend, the family drove down to one of the biggest malls in our state.  We spent the day shopping, met up with some new friends, and had an amazing lunch.  Each family member came home with decent haul of goodies, my absolute favorite take home was from the candy store.  I was able to fill up a ziplock style bag with my own custom blend of Jelly Belly jelly beans.  Why is this such a big deal?

  1.  I hate all jelly beans other than Jelly Belly.
  2.  Within the Jelly Belly menu, I have just a few that actually like.
  3.  When I buy a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans, I end up eating like 10 beans and giving the rest to the kids.

Being able to fill up a bag full of my favorite, hard to find, flavors brought me joy.  I didn’t even care how much it was going to cost.  FILL HER UP!  I should also confess that thanks to this insane election day, I pretty much finished off the bag already.  Sigh.

Many years ago, I think my husband would have had a fit about me spending so much on “jelly beans”.  I’m sure there would have been a few Dave Ramsey quotes thrown at me.  No, I don’t NEED a custom filled bag of jelly beans in the flavor of buttered popcorn.  However, we have also learned over the years that my husband doesn’t NEED to understand why I desire something.  He just needs to respect the fact that I do want it.  Just like I don’t NEED to understand why he likes certain television shows that I don’t enjoy.

We are different people, God didn’t make us a duplicates of each other in different gender form.  We are very, VERY, different.  Yet, we always find ways to connect with one another.  We recognized that it was important for us as a couple to find things we enjoyed mutually.  This gave us something to talk about, to connect over.  It is very easy when you have kids to connect over parenting, but one day those children move out.  When that happens, then what?  What will you talk about?  What will you do together, when your lives no longer center on your children and their activities and events?

It is imperative that as a couple we stay connected, and we were created for connection.  This is why God states from the beginning that it was not good for man to be alone, and so from his rib a woman was fashioned to be his helpmeet.  God gave man a companion in woman, and they did life together.  They connected over their responsibilities, they connected in emotional relationship, and they connected physically.  Connection is important, and when we can recognize that connection is important between US… we also see how important it is that we ware connected to God.

Once, I was scrolling through my husband’s notes app on his phone.  He was in need of information from one of his task lists.  I happened upon a list that my husband was keeping in his phone on ways he could be a better husband.  Unbeknownst to my husband, around this same time I working through a women’s study on how I could better meet his needs.  Our connection is so important to the both of us, we are seeking it out independently as well as together. 

This all brings me to the book, “Created for Connection” by Dr. Sue Johnson.  What I really enjoy about this book is that it isn’t passive.  Sometimes, you pick up a book on marriage… read (or speed read) you way through it.  You feel a bit better or more hopeful, or a sting of conviction that you could do a better job… but life moves on at it’s normal pace.  Dr. Johnson makes you stop and actually participate in the process.  Taking inventory and putting principles in to practice as you move along, brings an active element toward making real change in your relationship (or taking a great relationship and making it even greater!). 

You can read the book and do the work on your own, or go through it as a couple (I recommend the latter).   Dr. Johnson uses her experience as a couples therapist as well as the Scriptures to walk us through what she calls the “seven conversations” that will lead to a lifetime of love.  This is a take your time book, that will pay off in dividends if you are genuine about connect on a deeper level with your spouse … and then ultimately God.

 

The ABC’s of Christianity

FaithWords/Hatchette Book Group sent ABC’s of Christianity for the purpose of my honest review.  While this book was gifted to me for this purpose, the review is my honest opinion of the book’s content and not influenced by the author or publisher in anyway.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I love to read, but I also don’t like to waste my time reading.  What that means is that when a book takes too long to get to the point, I check out.  I don’t always need 100 illustrations to get a point, nor do I need to know every detail of your backstory in discovering a biblical truth, new perspective, etc.  I do feel that some authors take way too long to get to the point vs. spending enough time expounding on that point regarding what it means to the reader.

THIS IS NOT THAT TYPE OF BOOK.  Praise God, for that too.

ABCs of Christianity  by Terdema Ussery is probably going to become one of my favorite quick reference books for my own personal research purposes, and for sharing the scriptures with new believers.    It covers the overarching BIG story of the scripture in a way that is concise, bullet pointed, and to the point.  Each section has a brief overview, supporting bullet points, and scripture references.  The author helps us to take the information from then and apply it to the now in which we are living.

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The book would be a great introduction to the scriptures for a new believer, which would walk them through the over all points of the scriptures and faith.  It can serve as a bridge between the moment one accepts Christ and the moment where they begin their own independent scripture study.  It’s a mixture of doctrine and apologetics, presented in a “these are the facts” way, with simple interpretation and application to today.  Then as a person moves into individual scripture study it becomes the launching point of their interpretation because they have a base knowledge to start with.

For the seasoned believer this can become a quick reference guide in your own study and research, as well as a tool to share with those whom you are discipling or evangelizing to.  This is a book I feel like I could hand over to someone without any biblical knowledge or history, and they could read through it and have a basic understanding of what Christianity is.

Currently the book is available in Kindle and Hardcover… I look forward to seeing paperback versions and hopefully other language translations.  It could be a great mission tool as well.

Looking for a Cause to Support?

CLIlogo

A very good friend of mine introduced me to the Christian Leaders Institute.  This program is an online, distance learning school that will help equip ministry leaders around the world.  They have a goal of training up 100,000 Christian Leaders by 2020, and by golly they just might do it!  The great thing about this school is that it is a donation based model for tuition.

Students end up a CLI because 1) they can’t afford to go to seminary    2) there is no seminary training in the country   or   3) they can not move their lives to attend seminary due to job or family.

Some students give generously, they can afford school but can’t make the move.  Some students give what they can, they want the education & pay into it an amount that they can afford without taking on debt or money out of their living budget.  And, some students, are unable to give due to their situation.

We know that Christ equipped those he called.  Many would drop everything to follow him.  Others would use their resources to support the ministry.  I can’t imagine Christ would have turned away anyone who wanted to listen, because they couldn’t give.  Can you?  Well, neither can CLI.

So, why am I promoting CLI on here?

1) I am a student, myself.  CLI fits well into my life because I can work around my schedule – I have family, community and church body commitments that I can’t walk away from.

2) I know that there are readers, who just like me, feel the call to ministry training… but due to their current situation in life … they feel that is isn’t obtainable.  CLI makes it obtainable.  Maybe that person is you, or perhaps you know someone who feels called but doesn’t have the means.  I hope you would share this resource with them, bringing them into the fold of the student body and one of the 100,000 by 2020.

3) I know that there are readers who either have the means to support CLI’s goal … or know someone who does.  It would be my hope that you would share this information with your resources and help fund this amazing opportunity for ministry training and building up leaders around the world.

CLI offers certificates that can take you deeper into biblical knowledge, or if you follow their program to the very end… you will end up with a Diploma in Divinity which is equivalent to a seminary degree.  The professors are vetted, qualified to teach and have received official seminary training themselves.

If you feel called to make  donation to CLI, click the link below.    You can donate as little as $15, and help equip leaders around the world (or even in your own backyard) share the life changing power of Jesus Christ.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!