Posted in resources, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: CSB Women’s Study Bible

Today I have the honor of reviewing the CSB Women’s Study Bible on the blog. Can I just get real with you? I’m just over the moon on cloud nine to be able to bring you this review. Bibles have to be one of my favorite things. I don’t like to admit it but I’m pretty addicted to new Bibles. I always love stalking the Bible section at Lifeway everytime I go in so when I was given this opportunity I jumped at the chance.

Please note that this is not sponsored in any way. This review is my honest opinion. I would never recommend or review anything that I didn’t personally read or try out. I received this Bible free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it.

This Bible comes in three different cover options. It comes in hardcover, softcover teal with flowers, and a soft cover brown version. The Bible itself is a CSB translation which stands for Christian Standard Bible.

I have been using this translation for about a year now and absolutely love it. Growing up I used NKJV as well as NLT. I find that for me the CSB is easy to understand while keeping close to the original translation.

The layout of the Bible is beautiful! There are so many different features throughout to help you navigate through and study God’s Word. My only complaint is that I wish the page that explained the different sections was at the front of the Bible instead of at the back even though it tells you in the table of contents that it was.

When you open the Bible you have the title page of who the Bible is presented too. Next, there is a page for the wife and husband’s family tree, marriage contract (The Ketubah), family milestone page, as well as a page for spiritual mothers. I think the spiritual mother’s page is my favorite.

After the table of contents, you have an introduction to the study Bible for women and how to study the Bible written by Dorthy Kelly Patterson. The Christian Life article written by Rhonda Harrington Kelly is next. Then there is a section that talks about the CSB Bible itself followed by charts of transliteration, table of weights and measures, and abbreviations used in this Bible.

Each book of the Bible starts out with an introduction. Included is a key verse, timeline, content outline and answers what the book is about, good reasons for women to read it as well as provide guidance for studying it effectively.

Throughout the whole Bible, there are study notes that will highlight important truths and insights. I also love that they include different sections like biblical womanhood, hard questions, word study, doctrine, and character profiles.

Each book of the Bible closes out with a section called written on my heart. It is basically a devotional, word of application, celebration, or encouragement that you can remember truths from that book and allow the Holy Spirit to write them on your heart.

Last but not least there is the index of features listed out with page numbers. It tells you what is in each section of biblical womanhood, charts, doctrine, hard questions and maps and reconstructions.

Of course, there are acknowledgments, citations, contributors, the concordance featuring all the women of the Bible and maps.

As I have reviewed this Bible I would highly recommend it to my friends.

It would make a great gift for any woman who wants to dig deeper in the Word while navigating through this crazy thing we call life. It could be very useful or helpful for those in ministry, writers, bloggers, or who have a heart to mentor others. Whether you are a long time Bible reader or just beginning I would say this would be a perfect Bible to add to your collection.

Grab a copy of it today for yourself or for a friend over at Lifeway.com I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Posted in Life, Prayer, Uncategorized

National Day of Prayer Reflection

2018 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER! 🙏🏻

This past Thursday was the day to observed with others a time to pray. Even though it’s a recognized day that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be praying every day.

• I believe that prayer is an important part of life.

• I believe that we should pray no matter what.

• I believe that no prayers are too much for God.

• I believe God wants to hear from you.

As I reflected and thought about National Day of Prayer this year, it means more to me than before. From the beginning of the year, I’ve said that I want to have a more intentional prayer life.

It’s important to me to have meaningful and deep conversations with God. 

God laid on my heart that He wants to hear from me.

– He wants to have a heart to heart talk with me.

– He wants to know my struggles.

– He wants to cry with me.

– He wants to laugh with me.

– He wants to help me.

Basically, He just wants all of me.

As I spent the day praying and today praying as well. 🙏🏻 I want to pray for you.

I wholeheartedly believe that it’s an honor and privilege to pray for my followers, friends, family, church, government, law enforcement officers and every single person I can. 

I encourage you to pray today as well. No matter what your political views are put them aside. Everyone needs prayer no matter what. Even if you disagree with someone’s opinions or beliefs that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pray for them.

🙏🏻 • Pray for President Trump. 🙏🏻 • Pray for the nation.

🙏🏻 • Pray for all those in authority. 🙏🏻 • Pray for the leaders.

🙏🏻 • Pray for this broken world. 🙏🏻 • Pray for unity and peace.

“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” ♥️ Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

So here’s my question for you today.  How may I pray for you today?

Feel free to comment, send me an email, or reach out on any of my social media accounts. Let me come alongside you and pray for you.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Seasons, Life, Taking a Break…

Can I just take a moment and get personal and honest with you?

Right now I’m in a weird season of my life. Struggling with all sort of things.

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It’s so hard watching others lives keep moving on when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. Countless time after time I see friends graduating high school, college, dating, marriage, kiddos, mission trips, working that great job, etc…

It starts to depress me because it makes me realize just how I’m nowhere near close to any of this.

Instead of dwelling on these things I’m learning to try and embrace the present and be who God wants me to be right where I am at and trust that He will bring all my dreams and heart desires to past.

The last couple weeks have been rough. Honestly, I’ve felt like giving up.

I just wanted to sit in my room and cry. I was messaging a friend and she reminded me to cast all my cares on God because He cares for me.

That was a reminder that I needed to hear at just the right time. As soon as I started praying and crying out to Jesus I started to feel a little better.

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After a lot of praying and much thought, I need to take a little break from blogging. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. I love communicating with each and every one of you every week. It’s just I have been feeling a little burned out on top of dealing with flare-ups with my health.

I have said since day one that this year I would only bring you quality content over quantity. It’s time for me to take a little time away and spend it refreshing my soul, tending my own faith so that God can use me to encourage you.

Even though I’m taking a break from the blog it doesn’t mean that I’m disappearing altogether. You can still find me over on my Instagram posting as well as on My Facebook Page.

Please also sign up for my free weekly email devotionals. I will be continuing them. I believe that God has called me to share the devos each week with you.

This will also sign you up to receive updates from me as I have been planning and working on some exciting things as well as to notify you when I come back.

I pray blessings on each and every one of you. I hope you understand why I am taking a break and pray that you will still follow me on social media. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by email or direct message if you have a prayer request or just want to say hi.

Blessings until next time, Grace Mae ❤

Posted in Book Club, Life

Unseen: Servanthood – Mary or Martha?

 

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.” Matthew 23:11-12 (MSG) 


These verses really hit me hard this week. Being content as being yourself is one of the hardest struggles I think most of us face.

The way we are wired is to be seen. When we are given jobs or tasks and do them well we want everyone to know that we did them. It’s just normal for us to want to be recognized for our work and jobs that we have done well.

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You see no one wants to be underappreciated or overlooked. We all want to get the glamorous or noticed jobs. I know for me personally, I’ve struggled with getting stuck with the messy or not so great tasks. I’ve probably complained or grumbled more than I’d like to admit.

I love how in Matthew it talks about not letting your ego and pride get in the way. If you let it consume you and you start acting like you are better than anybody else it will come back to kick you in the butt. It will just set you up for disappointment.

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I’m always reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. You see in that story there were two sisters who both knew what being a servant and serving meant but had two very different personalities.

Let’s read Luke 10:38-42 (MSG):

As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

The lesson we can learn from this passage of Scripture is that only one thing mattered to Jesus and Mary chose it. You see Mary wanted to listen to every word Jesus spoke. She wanted to know Him more. She was more worried about learning from Jesus than to impress Him. However, Martha, on the other hand, was so worried about every little detail being perfect. She was too worried about making sure Jesus’ visit was the best that she was so caught up in the details she forgot to make time to actually sit and listen to His words.

You see we could learn a lesson from both of them. Both Mary and Martha could’ve compromised somewhat. Mary could’ve been a little more helpful while Martha could’ve slowed down and listened to Jesus more.

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We need to remember this: We hunger for significance to be seen and understood and loved, to be and live marvelous-because we are made not only to know God but also known to Him.

 

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 (CSB)

You see when we choose to be a servant and have a heart that is willing to be celebrated even in the unseen moments and learn to embrace it then God will bless you and your life will count for far more than you ever could imagine.

I want to encourage you as you read this. Let’s go back to the beginning Scripture passage that I opened this post with. We need to be content with the life we are living now instead of craving something we don’t have. I love this quote by Sara and that it was a great way to end this post.

“Our human eyes can betray the truth of the story we are living.” Sara Hagerty

 


Discussion Questions: Answer these in the comments, over on social media, share them with a friend, or just keep them to yourself.

  1. What does being a servant mean to you?
  2. Who are you most like? Mary or Martha?
  3. What are some reasons why it may hinder you in the way of your pursuit of that “better thing”?

  4. In what areas of servanthood have you found yourself craving the look of another or acknowledgment of what you are doing?


Be sure to engage in the conversation over on Instagram as well as join our Facebook group. I look forward to hearing and engaging with you all.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

Posted in Book Club, Life

Unseen: Hidden in Him

I’m so excited! Today we are launching the first week of our book club. For the next 11 weeks, we will be reading and will be discussing the book Unseen by Sara Hagerty.

Throughout this book, my prayer is that we will all be going on this journey together. In the pages of Unseen, we will be reading and learning the gift of being hidden. Many of us know the struggle well. The word we live in today is all about me, me, me and loves the attention. In reality and truth though, God wants us to pour into Him.

So will you join me? Let’s get started!

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I get so excited to see their lives change and how they now can influence others to do the same.

My passion has always been to encourage and equip others to share what Jesus is doing in their lives. But like everyone there has been times when that passion or urgency started dying inside of me. Sure I was attending church, events, sharing the love of Jesus with others but it felt more out of routine than actual passion.

Does that make sense? I hope so. Maybe I should just back up a little. I think we all have felt like this at one time or another. We always have this urge that we need to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel. You see while this is all great we cannot lose sight of the root of our intentions.

Just like Sara in the book I was the same type of girl who wanted to get involved in every activity and event that was ministry minded and was sharing the Gospel with others. I knew that God wanted me to share my faith and experiences with others that sometimes it seemed like I was looking for approval from God.

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In other words, I was trying to perform for God. I felt like if there wasn’t a life-changing, soul saving task then He didn’t love me. I thought He would think that I was lazy or not good enough. I kept pushing myself and saying the same things over and over.

Since a young age, I knew the truth but not it was starting to be more routine than passion. I was longing to know God more. I needed to carve out more time with Him. There’s more I need to know then just sharing and being productive for God. My heart needed to know and see Him. Therefore, being hidden wasn’t a bad thing.

When you are faced with a season of waiting and wondering why I want you to let me encourage you right now. These are the times that you need to press into Him. Take out your Bible and read the Words on the page and let them sink into your heart.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  Colossians 3:2

This verse reminds me of two things. One that it doesn’t matter what the world keeps telling us. The only thing that matters is what God tells us. There have been times more then I’d like to admit when the waiting and the circumstances felt unbearable. You see I suffer from chronic Lyme and Bartonella. It makes life super hard. There are times when I need to remind myself that through this pain and suffering God has a purpose. He uses the unwelcomed and unbending hardships to show us that He sees and He knows.

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Once I started spending quiet moments with Him my focus shifted. I started seeing and knowing who God was as I read the pages of my Bible and spent time in prayer. It made me long to know Jesus more.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

The words of the Lord in 1 Samuel 16:7 really stuck out to me this week. We don’t see what God sees. We judge outward appearances and what we can see but Jesus sees and wants your heart.

When we hide in Him rather than perform for Him, it takes our focus by shifting our attention from the branches to the roots, from what’s visible in my work to what’s unseen as my life in God.

God wants us! God invites us! God does not banish us!

So what are you waiting for? I encourage you this week to spend some time behind the scenes in prayer and reading the Word.


Discussion Questions: Answer these in the comments, over on social media, share them with a friend, or just keep them to yourself.

  1. Who is God to me?
  2. Where have you met God that was in an unusual place?
  3. Is pouring yourself out for Him alone being enough for you?

Be sure to engage in the conversation over on Instagram as well as join our Facebook group. I look forward to hearing and engaging with you all.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤