Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Nothing to Hold but Hope

What a joy to connect with Jennifer Kostick online. She guest posted for the Psalms Series and has recently released her first book Nothing to Hold but Hope.  

In case you missed it earlier, you can view the book trailer here.


I had the pleasure of reading Jennifer's book. I agree with what our friend Jen said, "it was as if Jennifer herself had pulled up the chair next to me and started pouring out her heart to me." 

Jennifer Kostick has definitely been tested in regards to infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth. My heart broke as I turned the pages of her testimony, YET God's real message of hope rang clear and authentically throughout her story.  

Nothing to Hold but Hope is a valuable resource for woman who have, had or will experience infertility. It is also a helpful tool for women to minister more effectively to those who are hurting in this way. I feel more empathetic, educated and equipped to support others on this road after reading Jennifer's book. 

This book is not lengthy but its impact will last long as you immerse yourself in this captivating testimony. God's love and His Word are the foundation for Jennifer's life and journey with infertility. Whether you struggle with similar issues or not, this book will encourage you to hold tightly to the hope that is found in Christ alone. 

The lyrics to one of my favorite hymns come to mind, 

"Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

Go check out Jennifer's book and let me know what you think. I think you will be blessed.:)


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Extension 26: Give Local, Give Global, Give Hope

Welcome to the Summer Edition of Extension 26!

If you do not know (yet) what Extension 26 is head on over here for the details.

I apologize for the delay in this post, I fell behind with posting in June, so I decided to include all three summer Extension 26 recipients in one big post. I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker's book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and it made me glad for this little project of giving here. I will be discussing this book and bringing you a few guest posts about it in August.

Sometimes it feels like we are barely making a ripple with our giving, but if we all make ripples- could that cause a wave? A wave of His blessing and hope to those hurting.

For June we gave to a local family that is going through a difficult time. Their future is uncertain and they, and we, are trusting God to lead, heal and guide them. 

Who around you is hurting? Who needs some help locally, or in your own church?

Sometimes we look at the whole world's needs and quickly feel overwhelmed. As Hubby often tells me...our responsibility is to listen to His voice and leading- not to get caught up in emotion, jump on the bandwagon or give to alleviate guilt. While it is great to be educated about needs, we still need to ask God what He wants us to do and how He wants us to steward what He has entrusted to us. This advice is needed as we extend a helping hand to those He asks and trust Him with the rest.

For July we are giving to Precept Ministries International. I have been richly blessed by the bible studies and teaching of Kay Arthur and her team. Check out the Digging Into His Word tab to learn more about inductive bible study. God has used the ministry of Precept to equip me to study the bible and know Him more. I cannot reiterate enough how my spiritual walk, and life, has been impacted by the truths I have gleaned as I've learned to study truth for myself through the inductive study method. 

I am delighted to be a trained Precept's facilitator (thanks to the generosity of a friend who put me through the training so I could help teach others God's Word). I have also co-led and led courses for college-aged students and woman. During this season of life, I am enjoying being a Precept student at our church. Currently we are doing the Spiritual Gifts study

I cannot imagine my life without the tools given me by Precept. Precept impacts the world with God's truth. I encourage you to browse their online store and familiarize yourself with the incredible materials and resources they offer. 

Click here to make a donation to Precept via their secure website.

Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever."

Hubby often says there are two things in life that will last forever...people and God's Word. So, shouldn't we be investing the majority of our time in those two things?

If you want to find a Precept bible study group near you, click here. I strongly recommend you get connected with a group in your area. There are many other great bible studies out there. There is something so sweet about meeting with others and growing together in faith. However, if you are not able to do that, consider going through the Isaiah 40 series or Psalms series here on the blog. 

As most of you know I have a pretty cool brother. You can read all about him here in the 31 Days with My Brother series. If you don't know him, you really should. You won't be the same, in a good way.:)

Once upon a time I was a high school special education teacher. In light of my brother, my degree and the fact that we are advocates for adoption...we invite you to give to Reece's Rainbow on August 26th (or sometime in August or now if you want!)

The mission of Reece's Rainbow is to "advocate and find families for orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants and promoting awareness through online community, media communications and other events."

Even if God is not calling you to adopt one of these sweet kiddos, you can contribute to their adoption and help them find forever homes. We had that privilege via Ann Voskamp to hear about this incredible opportunity this winter. Everyone gave what they could and this boy came home. Amazing!

Now it's your turn. If God is tugging at your heart and prompting you to give, don't delay. Besides donating towards a specific child there are others ways listed here to give and support through prayer. 

Just like the ripples I was talking about..when we all stir the water together, extending generosity in Jesus' name, a big wave of his love floods our homes, our communities, our nation, the word; impacting both receiver and giver.

When we give we are change. Our change adds up to a whole lot in the Kingdom.

Extension 26 is one of my favorite things about this blog because it puts hands and feet to what we are learning. We give what we can, no matter how small or big, out of thankfulness to a Great Big God who has saved us, blessed us and called us to love.

Katie and Family