Friday Free-for-All: STITCHES (Because Some Wounds Need More Than a Band-Aid Cure) by Jeremy L. Blunt

Friday Free-for-All

Today I’m featuring a book that deals with relationship problems and how to fix them – even the toughest ones. It presents an insightful look at a very real problem. I hope you’ll take a few moments to check it out (an excerpt is provided in this post).

stitches

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Stitches- Because Some Wounds Need More Than a Band-Aid Cure

AUTHOR – Jeremy L Blunt

PUBLICATION DATE – February 10, 2015

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 184

PUBLISHER – Upland Avenue Publishing Group

COVER ARTIST – Daniela Frongia

Stitches - Book Cover Smaller

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Have you ever found yourself at a loss when trying to figure out why relating to the very people you feel you have to or should be able to communicate well with just doesn’t work? Have you ever had that feeling after you come out of something which gave you the blues while in it, was actually not as bad as you made it if only you had paid attention to the signs and lessons from previous events? If either of these things sound like you then “STITCHES” are what you need. We look for answers from everywhere in the world, our friends, church members, parents, celebrities and sometimes even our enemies but never inside ourselves.

STITCHES are the tools we need to address the issues we have. If you’re tired of putting a Band-Aid on wounds that seem to just keep resurfacing and don’t seem to go away, then I encourage you to start using stitches instead. AS you read “STITCHES”, allow it to broaden your perspective and increase your confidence that you are not as lost as you may have believed.

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US – AMAZON PAPERBACK

EXCERPT

The problem with most relationships is not the baggage that people knowingly bring into them, it is with the baggage that they have, know they have but act like it is not there. Now let’s be honest. We all have baggage. Baggage is what we pick up from life’s experiences that affect how we react to things, how we deal with people, and how we carry ourselves. All baggage is not bad baggage. For instance, it is only after you deal with someone who is independent that you determine if moving forward, you want someone else who is also independent or if you would rather have someone who just has independency. Either way, the baggage we carry from situation to situation affects us differently.

Ideally when we met someone we would like for their baggage to be displayed and scanned as it would be going through check in at an airport. First giving them an opportunity to dispose of anything that would be hazardous to anyone else around and then going through a thermo scan. The problem with baggage does not come when we are dealing with someone who is upfront with baggage that is not necessarily healthy but rather when things pop up that they claim to know nothing about. On my last trip to the airport, I remember hearing several announcements about baggage not being left unattended or taking packages from people that you do not know. We should treat the people we deal with every day with the same level of security and caution. Until we know what at least pops up during their initial scan, we should not pursue them past the outer lobby of our life. In other words, they should remain associates. They should not get VIP treatment or otherwise they may feel and act like they are entitled to more than they are. Then you will feel guilty and try and fast track them to the exclusive area prematurely. To catch a plane now, they tell you to be at the airport at least two hours before your flight so you can go through all of the proper checks and still make your flight on time. We should treat everyone we meet with the same expectation. If they are not willing to show up early, stand in a line or two for a few minutes, and undergo pre checks, then they may as well be labeled as a terrorist and should be treated hostile. I mean let’s face it, what is the point of blood, sweat, and tears if you are not going to use the lessons it has taught you to better yourself. Would you knowingly let a terrorist come on a plane that you are boarding? Of course not! Then why do we let people in our lives without proper clearance. You need to know something about the people you deal with. Where they are from? Who have they been with? Who they people are? Have they picked up any habits, I mean packages, from strangers along the way?

Even after going through baggage check, people still can have extra stuff that can threaten your life. An example of this is insecurities. Let us say you have met this guy and he seems to have it pretty much together. He is a dream come true. You open up and allow him to board your life. Once in the air you realize he has tendencies. He always wants to know about the names of people from a previous manifest. He also asked repeatedly about current passengers who are just temporary passengers until the next stop or two. You understand his concerns but point out that none of these issues surfaced or questions were asked during initial boarding. You pacify him by giving him everything it seems that he would need but nothing is helping. He wants to dig deeper and ask more questions. This is a classic example of what I call “unauthorized baggage”. Unauthorized baggage can have you off balance with very little to no clue as to why. When a partner is overly aggressive or possessive, it can weigh you down to the point where you are ready to start throwing things off. When nothing you do seems to be working, you will start eliminating things that are actually in your life to help you; like fuel, food or even extra oxygen (friends who give you life). Again, those closest to you will give you warning signs when this happens. Your body will also be a good sign of indicators. Do not ignore the signs. Pay attention, life has a way of getting your attention. If you are not careful you will find yourself starting to become distant with friends and even point the figure at others as the reason to why things are the way they are.

BOOK SOUNDTRACK

Life and Favor – John P. Kee and New Life feat. James Fortune

Her Heart – Anthony Hamilton

My Favorite Thing – Ronald Isley featuring Kem

Rise and Fall – Craig David feat Sting

All of Me – John Legend

Sweat – Toni Braxton & Babyface

AUTHOR’S PLAYLIST

Medelssohn: Octet in E flat, Op. 20-1

Van Cliburn Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 & Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2

Michael Meets Mozart

More Than Anything – Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise

Grateful – Hezekiah Walker, Love Fellowship Choir

Stitches - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Jeremy L. Blunt is a capital city native of Louisiana and a graduate of the East Baton Rouge Public School System. He is a proud Husband, Father, and Mentor. He is married to the former LaTrisha Earline Milton, also of Baton Rouge. He has two daughters, Kaylie and Amerie Blunt. His hobbies include traveling, reading, exercising, and interacting with people. He is honorably retired from the Louisiana National Guard. While defending his country, Jeremy has been and continues to be very active in his community. He serves as a Minister to young people and serves and advises several boards in his community. Jeremy attended Louisiana State University and attends HOPE Bible Institute for Theology and Religious Studies.

Jeremy is a motivated speaker and teacher who delivers a message of self empowerment and change to audiences of all demographics. He continues to work with “at-risk” youth and considers it as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He is an advocate for service and continued education.

Jeremy lives by the motto: “Change comes from those willing to do things differently”.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

WEBSITE / BLOG – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – PINTEREST – LINKEDIN

INSTAGRAM – stitches4life

Tour Organized & Hosted by

buttonmfh

Tuesdays with Yeshua: The Last Scapegoat

Untitled design (2)

One of my favorite passages in the whole Bible is found in the book of Leviticus, Chapter 16. This is where God introduces His people, the Israelites (and those of us who would come to read the book later), to the idea of the scapegoat. This is also where we get our modern idea of the word “scapegoat” from, although the modern definition has sadly been changed to give it a more negative connotation. In its modern usage, it has mostly come to be known as someone who wrongly carries the blame for someone else’s wrongdoing. This situation often occurs in abusive relationships and among dysfunctional families. Hence, why the idea of a “scapegoat” is such a negative one.

But in the biblical context, a scapegoat is a beautiful thing. Take a few minutes and read this passage, if you’re not familiar with it. God instructed Moses, the leader of the Hebrews, and his brother Aaron to select two goats every year to become part of an offering to God for the sake of His people. One would be killed as a sin offering to make up for the sins and wrongdoings of all the Israelites. Its blood would be sprinkled on God’s mercy seat at the Ark of the Covenant. Because of this sacrifice, God would have mercy on His people and forgive all their sins.

The second goat would be allowed to live. The High Priest would put his hands on the goat’s head and confess the sins of the people, thereby symbolically transferring their sins to this goat. The goat (which came to be known as the scapegoat) would then be set free into the wilderness.

The Hebrews typically tied a red strip of cloth to the scapegoat to represent the sin of the people that was atoned for by the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat. Jewish Talmudic tradition reports that this red stripe would eventually turn white as a signal of God’s acceptance of the offering. So, this scapegoat, while it did take on blame that wasn’t its own, was actually doing something really good for the Jewish people.  And it didn’t suffer as horrible a fate as we usually ascribe to human scapegoats.

The Last Scapegoat

But the scapegoat story gets even better later on (for us)…thousands of years after the practice began. The Talmuds verify that after Yeshua was crucified, God no longer accepted the sin offering or the scapegoat offered by the Jewish High Priests. According to the Talmuds:

Forty years before the Temple was destroyed (30 A.D.) the chosen lot was not picked with the right hand, nor did the crimson stripe turn white, nor did the westernmost light burn; and the doors of the Temple’s Holy Place swung open by themselves, until Rabbi Yochanon ben Zakkai spoke, saying: “O most Holy Place, why have you become disturbed? I know full well that your destiny will be destruction, for the prophet Zechariah ben Iddo has already spoken regarding you saying: ‘Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour the cedars’ (Zech. 11:1).'” (Talmud Bavli, Yoma 39b)

Look at that date again – 30 A.D., which was 40 years before the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. It was also the same year that Yeshua was crucified. That’s pretty amazing. Yeshua was the final sin offering and the last scapegoat, who bore all the sins of all mankind on Himself!

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15, NAS)

Friday Free-for-All: THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES FOR MEN by Dr. Gary Chapman (Guest Book Review & Giveaway)

Friday Free-for-All

It’s rare for my husband to actually sit down and read a book, so I wasn’t sure whether I could get him to read and review this for me, but he agreed…and he was pleasantly surprised by this one. :-)

We were both familiar with the concept of the five love languages (who hasn’t heard of it by now?), but this was a refreshing new take on the subject that’s designed specifically for men (although my husband suggested I read it too – he was that impressed by it).

He gives it 4 stars (he says the advice felt a bit compartmentalized at times and not easily generalizable to all situations) and recommends it for any man who is either married, engaged, or in an otherwise serious relationship.

5 love languages coverHere’s more information about the book:

240 pages
At the heart of every man is a desire to master what matters. Getting a compliment at work or on the court is nice, but nothing beats hearing your spouse say, “You make me feel loved.” If you haven’t heard that in a while or feel like you are not bringing your A-game into your relationship, this book is for you. The 5 Love Languages has sold 10 MILLION COPIES because it is simple, practical, and effective. In this edition, Gary Chapman speaks straight to men about the rewards of speaking their wife’s love language. You’ll learn each language, how to identify your wife’s, and how to speak it clearly. Packed with helpful illustrations and creative pointers, these pages will rouse your inner champion and empower you to master the art of love.
About the author:
gary chapman

Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages series, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn.

S O C I A L • C O R N E R
 
Gary Chapman’s Official Facebook Page
Gary Chapman’s Official Twitter Page
One lucky commenter will have the chance to win this book for either themselves or someone they know and love. Just make sure to comment before 11:59 PM on February 20, 2015 to get your name entered!


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Mommy Memoir Mondays: The Most Dangerous Prayer…and the Most Glorious Hope

Untitled design (1)

I’ve been praying for my children since before they were born – certainly that they would be healthy and I would be the best mommy for them I possibly could be. But also that they would know God and would grow to love Him.

Lately, I’ve begun adding this to the prayer—“Lord, please help them grow closer to You than I ever have or ever could.” And God’s been showing me just how dangerous this prayer is. It’s certainly right and noble…but completely dangerous—to their little selves.

The older I get (and the closer I get to God through prayer and Bible study), the more I realize just how terrible it is to be stuck here on Earth. The effects of sin are evident all around us all the time, and I’m starting to notice them more. In fact, I’m starting to notice sin more, in general—my sins, as well as other people’s sins, and…well, it’s just not very much fun.

We’re called to walk in the light, but something happens when we walk in the light. The darkness is exposed, and we see it for what it is. We’re no longer blinded by ignorance. And the result is not pretty. The more I see the truth, the more I realize how ugly and despicable just about everything is in the eyes of God…even myself. And that hurts.

So, this is what I’m praying for when I pray that my little girls will grow closer to God than I ever will. I’m praying for them to see the ugly truth of who they are in comparison to who God is. I’m praying for them to have to hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally by dying to themselves every day—every minute and every hour of every day for their whole entire lives. I’m praying that they will suffer for being the sinful creatures they are. And, as a mother who loves her children dearly, it hurts me to know the truth of what I’m praying for them.

Yet I know the hope of that most dangerous prayer, as well. The hope is that the grace and the love of God will draw them close to Him. Yes, they’ll know their sin and the horribleness of it, but they’ll know the wonders of His love and grace too. They’ll understand just how much they need His mercy and forgiveness, and He’ll give it to them without reserve. Because that’s just who He is.

In the grand scheme of things, we are so very small, and yet God loves us so very much. That’s what I came to realize the other day. Actually, it’s what God told me the other day as I prayed during my quiet time, reveling in the wonder of His creation and realizing what a very small part I play in His vast universe. But the next morning He brought a couple of lines of a song I used to sing when I was a child into my head: “How small, how small but important am I. To the God of the Universe, important am I.” It was a message I needed to hear that day…and it’s something I pray my girls will understand as they grow up in Him. They were important enough to Him that He sent His Son into the world to suffer and die for them, so they could be reconciled to God.

We experience pain here on this Earth because of sin’s destructiveness and God’s disciplinary work within us to make us who we were meant to be, but as Paul told the Corinthians, our present troubles are light and momentary and “are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV) That, ultimately, is what I’m looking toward when I pray that most dangerous prayer for my girls—their eternal glory, the greater good.

Friday Free-for-All: NOURISHED: A Search for Health, Happiness, & A Good Night’s Sleep (Review & Giveaway)

Friday Free-for-All

If you’re a wife and a mother like I am, chances are you have some stress in your life. Heck, if you’re a human being, you have stress in your life. But the stressors that women face on a daily basis are sometimes different than those that are experienced by men…and they often affect women and men differently.

This book tackles the issue of stress as it affects women, in particular, and suggests ways we ladies can keep the stressors from getting out of hand – nip them in the bud before they send us reeling toward the nearest mental health facility.

nourished cover

About the Book

Softcover / 246 pp

Order-loving, thirty-something Rachel, and her laid-back, messy mother, Becky, are opposites in many ways. But they both believe that women long for a life that nourishes them inside and out. In this book, the mother-daughter duo will help you make that dream a reality by tackling the “Top 10 Stressors” that mess with a woman’s mind, such as:

•Cluttered Surroundings
•Exhaustion of parenting
•Time-starved marriages
•Feeling like a spiritual slacker
•Crowded Schedules
•Negative Body Image
Following a series of trial-and-error experiments, Becky and Rachel share laugh-out-loud stories, fascinating research, and practical tips to design a nourished life that fits your personality. By learning how to embrace “nourishing compromises,” you’ll never put happiness on hold again. If you are feeling drained, discontent, or discouraged, join a couple of understanding, entertaining companions on the journey from overwhelmed to nourished.
About the Authors
nourished authors
Becky Johnson is the author, coauthor, or collaborator of more than forty books. She’s a natural storyteller who has inspired and entertained audiences for years. Most recently she co-authored We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook along with a blog by the same name with her daughter, Rachel Randolph. She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado.
Website/blog: www.laughcrycook.com
Rachel Randolph writes and speaks with humor and honesty about parenting a toddler, young married life, and her mostly plant-based cooking adventures. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas with their son, Jackson. Nourished is her second book.
Website/Blog: www.nourishedmama.com 
To win a copy of this book for yourself and find out more about how you can add some sanity back into your stress-filled days, just leave me a comment anytime between now and 11:59 PM – Sunday, February 15, 2015.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thriller Thursdays: ROADMAP GENESIS Movie Review and Giveaway

Untitled design (5)
I know this is “Thriller Thursday,” but I’m taking a slight break from talking about thrillers to discuss another type of film – a documentary, which actually is kind of thrilling in and of itself. Call me crazy, but I’m a sucker for documentaries, and I really love the Book of Genesis (which has all sorts of thriller elements to it – check it out for yourself and see what I mean, and then take up the Roadmap Genesis Challenge – see below for more information on that).
By the way, the reason I’m taking over Thriller Thursday to talk about a documentary? I double-booked the Friday free-for-All promo spot this week, so I just decided to bump this one up a day. Also, this kind of counts as a “thriller” post since the documentary’s filmmaker is noted for some thrillers, like TORTURED.
Here’s some information about the film:
Run time – 1h 17m 
 
Roadmap Genesis
 
Roadmap Genesis is a film documentary that makes the case that the Book of Genesis is a roadmap containing guideposts on how to live a productive, fruitful, and fulfilling life that will help our society lift itself out of its current decline and return it to prosperity, promise, and accomplishment.
When filmmaker Nolan Lebovitz found himself at a crossroads in his life, he knew he had to choose between continuing to make the Hollywood suspense thrillers that were his livelihood and trying to make the world a better place for his new young family. After much struggle, he found his answer in the Book of Genesis.
He decided to combine his love of the Book of Genesis with his passion for filmmaking and set out to travel the United States, interviewing clergy and public figures in order to build an undeniable argument about the continued importance of the Book of Genesis as guiding force in our Judeo-Christian country.
 
Roadmap Genesis invites Americans of all faiths to engage in a dialogue about the relevance of the Bible in the modern age. Through interviews ranging from Gov. Mike Huckabee of Fox News Channel to Rabbi David Wolpe, from Alan Dershowitz to the Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, from Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and many, many more, Nolan explores the rules that God has set forth to help us maintain a successful and working society.
 
:::::::::::::::::::::
 
S O C I A L • C O R N E R 
 
Check out & share the TRAILER 
 
Official WEBPAGE
 
Official FACEBOOK
 
Official TWITTER
 
OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #RGChallenge <— Let’s get this trending!!
 
:::::::::::::::::::::::
PS
 
Please join us in the Roadmap Genesis Challenge to spread the message of Genesis!
 
Pick your favorite verse of Genesis and create a video of you reading it from your own personal Bible. Then tag as many of your friends as you’d like and challenge them to read their favorite verse as well. In this way, we can both share the Book of Genesis with all of our friends, and stand up and be counted as people of faith. 
Here’s my video!
Like what you’ve read so far? You can win your own DVD copy of ROADMAP GENESIS by commenting on this blog post before 11:59 PM on Saturday, February 14, 2015. This is a fascinating look at one of the most important books of the Bible and some important current social issues. You won’t want to miss it!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesdays with Yeshua: The Animal Self vs. the Diabolical Self

Mishael Austin Witty:

Untitled design (2)

I ran across this post the other day, and it struck me that this girl doesn’t really have a very clear understanding of what C.S. Lewis was trying to say.

Yes, sin is sin, but he’s not trying to say it’s not. He’s making the distinction between two parts of every human being…the “Animal Self’ – that is, the part of us that acts on instinct (going in search of food and drink, sex/intimacy, companionship, shelter, etc.). This part (to my way of thinking) is not INHERENTLY sinful, but it can BECOME sinful if we do not put these instinctual wants and desires under the control of the Holy Spirit.

And then there’s the “Diabolical Self,” which (again, as I understand it) is our SIN NATURE. It is INHERENTLY evil. It is the part of us that (thanks to Adam) has gone against God from the beginning. But (thanks to God and His free gift of grace through His Son, Yeshua) even though Adam ruined it for us all, Yeshua’s perfect obedience and perfect sacrifice made it possible for us all to be righteous in God’s sight (Romans 5:12-21).

Our instincts don’t blind us to the truth of who we are and what we need, but our own prideful, spiritual self-righteousness can. I think that’s Lewis’s point (and, indeed, Yeshua made a similar point in Luke 18:9-14). But, thank God, we can put to death both the Animal and the Diabolical Selves by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Originally posted on Living Out Loud:

Excerpt from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis 

“The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither. “

Me Thinking Out loud: 

C.S. Lewis makes the comment that there are two forces with in us trying to make their dominance known.  They are the Animal Self and the Diabolical…

View original 228 more words