Book Review: “Be Still and Put Your PJ’s On – 52 Restful Devotions for Women”

Book Review by Major Lynn Stewart
General Secretary of Program Development to LA Metro Area Coordination
California South Division

Rest is something that doesn’t always come easy to us as women. We try and navigate the day while wearing ten different hats going in ten different directions. Add to that worries about Covid 19 and all the mess going on in our world. It can be overwhelming to say the least and that is why I was drawn to this devotional book, Be Still and Put Your PJ’s On – 52 Restful Devotions for Women by Michelle Cox and Sylvia Schroeder.

I’m a girl who loves PJ’s! There’s nothing like getting cozy and putting on your favorite cute jammies and making a good cup of tea. The next progression naturally ushers us into the opportunity to Be Still and to REST. While in quarantine mode I was so quick to turn to Netflix or Amazon prime to so call rest but learned quickly that I could only fill that void for so long. I realized what I was lacking was time with my Savior, the giver of rest, peace, and comfort.

I enjoyed this book because it gives practical ways on how we can be still and rest. It’s filled with delightful though provoking devotionals, reflection time, and REST prompts that’s beneficial to your daily life and mental health.

In the introduction the author writes: “For many of us, rest is something that is almost foreign. It’s out of reach on most days. We know better, but we fill our days with enough tasks to keep six people busy. And then we wonder why were tired, grouchy, or don’t feel like doing anything. It’s time for us to use the commonsense God gave us: to realize that rest is a good thing, and that God designed our bodies to need it. For most of us, that’s going to require some changes.” Are you ready?

I highly recommend this book for the weary woman searching for REST. I pray God speaks to you in a powerful way as you turn these pages and spend time with Him.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a ESV

Book Review: “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl”

Book Review by Captain Vickie Harvey
Divisional Secretary for Program – Northwest Division

I am raising my hand, “I want to know God, personally and intimately”. I believe we all want that as Christian women. Lysa Terkeurst truly spoke to my heart in “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl”, as she shared her experiences and the scriptures that have shaped them, into our everyday reality. If you’re tired of the same old thing every week – going to church (or watch church), praying and trying to live right; then this is the book to get you out of that spiritual funk.

Lysa Terkeurst will challenge & impact you as she seeks to lead women to the truth of the Gospel and equipped to live it out in everyday life. We need more than Bible knowledge – we need to live in true relationship with Christ because as women, we have a deep emotional desire to be in relationship. As we navigate through life, God desires more than a checklist of spiritual tasks completed. His desire is for us to be in a deeply fulfilling relationship with Him.

This book would be great for a new believer and a great reminder for mature believers. Lysa has also taken this book and developed a supplement that is available for a small group Bible study. I recommend this easy read book to any woman who wants to see God, hear God, and know God for themselves.

Do You Recognize Him?

By Colonel Donna Igleheart

Happy Spring! I have enjoyed being back in a place where I can anticipate seasons as I remember. In South Africa the seasons are reversed, and I remember my first Easter in 2016 thinking it was odd to be in March watching trees arrayed with bright fall colors, leaves covering the ground and the hint of fall. I wasn’t looking for earth preparing for winter. I was looking for new birth of flowering trees, tulips, and daffodils. I enjoyed the seasons in my new surroundings, but I had to stop and think about my expectations especially around Easter.

The photo shared in this blog is a picture of myself and a woman I met at a retreat during my first fall season of Easter. We were playing a game where one person was blindfolded and the other used only their voice to guide their partner through a very difficult obstacle course. I thought over the years of being in youth work I had played just about every game but this one was different. We were strangers and had been paired up as partners. We each had a turn at being the one blindfolded and the one leading, giving instructions to go left, right or exclaiming, “Be careful there are steps to climb!” The game, of course, was about listening, trusting, and believing something and someone you couldn’t see.

The real difficulty came when 20 other women were giving similar instructions. My partner was trying to listen for a voice from a person she had just met. She didn’t recognize my voice because she didn’t know me, but I kept calling her name. I tried to lean in as close as I could without touching her in order to guide her so she would feel safe. As the game continued, I could see her confidence and trust build as she began recognizing my voice and following my commands amongst the noise around her. At the end of the course there was relief and a feeling of accomplishment as the blindfold was removed, our eyes locked and she exclaimed, “There you are, I recognize you now!’

There are over ten separate accounts where Jesus made His appearance known on the road to Emmaus. The Disciples saw a pilgrim and didn’t recognize Him at first. Then his hands broke bread just as they would have seen Him do time after time and they knew him immediately.

At the time of resurrection, when the tomb was rolled away Jesus first appeared to a woman whose name was Mary Magdalene. She would have just endured the hardest night of her life. She sees Him but mistakes him as a gardener. John 20:14 “At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.” Mary Magdalene turned around and saw Him standing there but thought him to be the gardener. She doesn’t recognize Jesus at first, but Jesus certainly recognized her. Then something happened when he called her by name. The intimacy of knowing her name is enough to bring her out of her grief and she recognizes, it’s Jesus.

Scripture tells us she had been the one who was released from her bondage of Satan’s demons by Jesus himself. No wonder there was such great love and care for him, as she had experienced up close and personal his saving grace. Her life reminds us that Jesus offers us total deliverance from the bondage of our past. Mary had an important part to play that night, and all would be revealed.

Do you recognize Jesus today? Are you following his voice even though you can’t seem to find your way out of a hard season? The same God who was raised from the dead, who appeared in the flesh, is the same God who will raise you from the grave and will empty your tomb. Perhaps today it’s a tomb of loneliness, doubt, and fear. God called Mary’s name in the midst of her confusion and grief. Isaiah 43:1 is a reminder that he knows us! “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.” As we continue to embrace this Lenten season and the earth breaks forth spring, let’s walk in the assurance that He is our great Shepherd who leads us so that we may walk in confidence of who we are in Him.