Not by Sight by Kathy Herman

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A while back I signed up to win a book on Crosswalk.com. Imagine my surprise when I go to my mailbox one day only to find an envelope containing a book and a letter. I had won the book! (I never win anything so I was super happy!) The book I had won was Not by Sight by author Kathy Herman. Let me tell you, I could not put this book down!! In two days it was finished. It’s the first book in the Ozark Mountain Trilogy, and I cannot wait until the second book comes out!

In Not by Sight we meet the Cummings family. There is Kate, the mom, who has lost faith in God after the disappearance of both her husband and one of her children. Abby is a teenager who is mourning the loss as well. However, she does not give up hope that they are dead. She has a strong faith. There are also Hawk, Jesse, and Buck, Kate’s father. Then there is Jay, Abby’s best friend.

Abby has seen who she thought was her missing little sister, Riley Jo, with a scraggly-looking man at a store in town. The girl has a striking resemblance, so Abby captures a photo of her on her cell phone. She mentions the girl to her family, but no one believes her. Especially since Abby has done this same thing twice before. But she has to know for sure this time.

Abby starts to question people in town about the child, but soon walks herself into trouble. She gets two calls on her cell phone demanding she keep her business to herself. Things take an even crazier turn when Jay has a huge secret for her. But Abby just cannot let things go.

I don’t want to give away too much because I really want you to read this book. It is an amazing story of twists and turns. The author does a great job of adding suspense. It was not until the end of the book that I realized I was holding my breath! Many times I felt as if I were right alongside the characters in the story. At times I wanted to yell at the mom to just listen to her daughter!

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great suspense novel. I am counting the days until book #2!

Psalm 23 – Day 4

Psalm 23 – Day 4

Psalm 23:4

Verse 4

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Even when I walk through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

There are many times in our lives when we are frightened by experiences we face. However, as the Lord’s sheep, we can walk with the Lord with pure trust and not be afraid. Sometimes we are tested, but we will be protected. There is no reason for fear when we walk with God. The Lord never leaves us. He is always with us. There is no reason to fear. I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in that.

For you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

The rod was used to drive away wild animals, protecting the sheep. The staff was a thin pole used to assist the sheep. The use of these two instruments can be very important in helping us to understand God’s character. He is always willing to help His sheep and to guide them. God disciplines us with love always.

Reflection

I have had many experiences in which I have been terrified. Before I knew the Lord I lived my life in fear that things would only be terrible for me. However, I know have trust and faith in the Lord and I walk with Him. I am no longer afraid. I do not fear the tests that come my way because I know God is behind them and He will protect me. With His rod He will scare off the things I cannot handle and with His staff He will guide me. I am comforted by Him.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for walking with me and protecting me during frightening times. Thank you for comforting me with your rod and staff. Lord, please continue to protect me during trials and tests. I will walk with You always.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

Psalm 23 – Day 3

Psalm 23 – Day 3

Psalm 23:3

Verse 3

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“He renews my strength,

The King James Version reads, “He restoreth my soul.” Oh the power of these words! When our souls grow weak, God strengthens it. When our souls become sinful, God purifies it. When our souls grow sorrowful, God revives it. The power of God over us is shown here and it is such a comfort to know that He can restore our souls. Sheep are wonderful at straying and getting lost. However, the Lord – our Shepherd – brings them back, showing them how they have erred. Repentance is given and the soul is restored.

 

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.”

We are to follow in His footsteps, so to speak. He leads us to the right path so that we can follow the example of Christ. Sometimes as His sheep we stray, yet God prods us back to the right path. The Lord does this so that His name may be honored. He does not do it just so we can be saved, He does it so His name is honored.

Reflection

I am broken. I am exhausted in all ways. I have been these things before, yet God has renewed my strength. He has restored my soul. When I strayed off the path, God helped me find my way back. He let me go through trials so that His work could be seen in me. He let me become weak so that He could restore me. He did this all for me so that His name could be honored. And I praise Him and thank Him for it all!

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank You for all that You do for me. Thank You for restoring my weak and sorrowful soul. Thank You for bringing me back to the path of righteousness so that Your name may be honored. Lord, continue to bless me so that Your name will be honored through me.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

 

Psalm 23 – Day 2

Psalm 23:2 – Day 2

Verse 2

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“He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He makes me lie down. God does not suggest that I lie down. He makes me. The Lord knows that we need to rest. Sometimes we get so into whatever it is that we are doing that we believe we can simply keep going. But the Lord knows better for us, therefore making us rest. And that’s okay. We need to rest! Rest is nourishment for our bodies. We all need to take time to rest in the Lord. Resting in God is very important because the best part of our life comes after rest. Even if we refuse to rest, the Lord will make us.

He leads me beside quiet waters.”

The words ‘quiet waters’ put together brings such a peaceful feeling to me. To me, this verse represents the peace and harmony coming from resting in the Lord. God knows that we need to rest and we cannot do so standing beside a raging river. Therefore He makes us rest beside quiet waters.

Reflection

I have had many storms blow through my life just over the past month. Some of you know the story about my son. I am in my resting period now. The Lord made me rest and I know that soon He will lead me beside quiet waters. I have faith that my peace will come and my anxiety and depression will be swept away under the current downstream.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for making me rest. Sometimes I feel like I can keep going and I think I can do it all on my own. But I know that I need You and You understand my need for rest. You know when it is time for me to rest. Thank you for the peace you bring into my life after the storm has passed. Lord, I pray that I can continue to walk beside quiet water with You.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen.

Psalm 23 Bible Study

Psalm 23:1 – Day 1Image

I want to try a little something different. I have been praying on Psalm 23, reading it every day when I wake up, every night before I fall asleep, and in between when I am feeling like my world is crumbling. The more I read it the more I see the verses working themselves out in my life. So I want to do a little study on the meaning of each of the six verses throughout the Psalm. I would like you to also study Psalm 23. I would like to see how the verses are playing out in your own life. Perhaps you can start a prayer journal and write down a verse a day and explain what the verse means to you. Either way, I would love for you to be a part of this journey. Let’s get started!

Verse 1

“The Lord is my shepherd;

God is like our shepherd, protecting us from evil and helping us to find all that we need. When we step out of line, or off the path, God gently prods us back to where we need to be. This is our relationship with God. He is there to guide us, like a shepherd guides his sheep.

I have all that I need.”

If we allow the Lord to be our shepherd, then He will provide. We shall have all that we need. He is our supplier.

Reflection

I have read and reread Psalm 23 many times before verse one stuck out at me. I was going through a very difficult time and came across a website that mentioned this verse. It was as if God was highlighting it for me. I knew by just this first verse that I would be okay. Everything was going to be fine because the Lord is my shepherd and with Him I have all that I need. Have you seen this verse work for you? How?

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for prodding me when I stray from Your path. Thank you for supplying me with all that I need. I pray for your continuous protection. I pray that You nudge me back onto Your path whenever I stray so that I may walk with You forever.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

I Need You Now!

Sorry that I have not posted in a while. I have been swallowed up in the darkness of depression. Just when I thought things could not get any worse, they of course exploded. My 14-year old son was caught doing drugs our local YMCA with some older kids. My husband told me the story and the entire time he was talking the world around me was fading to black. My body was numb, my skin tingling. I could feel myself slightly shaking as I struggled to hear what he was telling me. After he finished telling me what he saw he asked me if I was okay. It was then that I broke down. I went to the bathroom and fell to the floor. I cried my eyes out for a while and then I just got mad. I was mad at my son, mad at myself, but mainly just mad at God.

For almost my entire life I have had terrible things thrown at me. It seems to never end with me. That afternoon on the bathroom floor I let God have it. I told Him I was so upset that bad things are constantly happening to me. I asked Him when it was my turn to rest.  Will I ever get a break? “I’m exhausted, Lord!!” I told Him. Then I gathered myself together and went back to the kitchen to serve dinner.

My husband took my son to the police station that night to let an officer talk to him. While they were gone, I got my daughter in the shower while I tried to force myself to eat something. I was listening to KLove on the kitchen radio. All of a sudden Plum’s song Need You Now came on. I’ve heard the song before but it never really stood out. However that night it was like she was yelling the lyrics at me. A strong peace washed over me and I actually felt lighter. She was singing the words I had been saying for years! It was then that I knew that things were going to be okay.

“I know You can do anything, and no one can stop You.” (Job 42:2)