Monday, November 12, 2018

Into the Deep by Lauren Gaskill - #review


Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!


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MY REVIEW

At my first swimming lesson as a child, I refused to put my head under the water ... or even my face in the water.  This unfortunate pattern of fearing to venture outside of my comfort boundaries has delayed many wonderful experiences from being part of my life.  Delayed?  Yes.  Stopped entirely?  Well ... not exactly!

My heart stopped following my body to church services when I was about twelve years old and just beginning to get 'too big for my britches', as the saying goes.  Of course, being berated in front of the Sunday School for not providing the expected response to a question, might have had something to do with my choice to distance myself from 'all things church'. 

So the deep end of pretty much anything, from a swimming pool, to my faith, has never been especially familiar to me.  And the unknown usually breeds fear.  (Just look at the news headlines these days.)  Luckily for me, when I needed help most, said help would 'magically' be there.  Like now.

I am so grateful for Lauren Gaskill's book "Into the Deep: Diving Into a Life of Courageous Faith".  Because lately, I've been feeling that my relationship with God is not what it should be.  To continue the swimming/pool analogy, I feel like I've been splashing around in the shallow end, looking at the deeper end, longing to be one of 'those' people who seem to be getting so much more out of the experience. 

By sharing her own experiences and providing examples from the Bible, Lauren shows that I am not alone (we are not alone) in our struggles.  That in itself would make Into the Deep a gift from God to us through the author.  Lauren helped me to see another way to strengthen my relationship with God.  This book has been a right message for this season of my life to do just that.  I can't tell you the number of times "Wow, I never thought of it that way," escaped my lips while I was reading this book.

Like some books, Into the Deep deserves more than a single read-through.  It's the type of book I like to work through or to 'digest' idea by idea or chapter by chapter, instead of all at once.  So, I read it through (for the review), and now I'm starting over again and really studying the message now.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to strengthen their spiritual relationships.

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MEET THE AUTHOR



Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast and Finding Joy Ladies Night Out events. After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, Lauren made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy — no matter what life’s circumstances might bring.

Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Gaskill also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.

She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER

"Abingdon Press"


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Click on the banner above to go to the tour site for more information.  

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via "I Read With Amber" book tours in exchange for my honest review.)





Friday, November 9, 2018

#HoHoHoRAT Nov 9 - 18 @kimbacaffeinate


Get your sleigh bells on, y'all because it is time for the "Ho Ho Ho Readathon" hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Reviewer.  Click on the cute little picture above to go to the sign-up page and get all the details!  Dig out your winter/holiday themed books and/or ebooks or audiobooks, grab a nice cup of hot chocolate and get reading (at midnight on the 9th in your time zone)!  Santa hat optional. (Personally, I'm heading to the dollar store in the morning!)

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These are the books from which I will choose what to read.  Yeah, I'd love to be able to read all of them (that's one book a day).  Now I just have to decide if I am crazy enough to do it! *ho ho ho* Covers are linked to each book's GoodReads page.

Remember to click on the picture at the top of the cute little owl with the big eyes and Santa hat and join with other winter fan-atics as we read our way into the winter holidays!  And remember to share on social media with the hashtag #HoHoHoRAT!

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So, are you already in the readathon?  What are some of the books you hope to read?  Feel free to leave all of that in a comment below, and/or tell me what is your favorite holiday?