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Book Review: The Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets

Posted by Julie on February 4, 2014 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |



Experience God’s Presence in a Whole New Way

There’s just something about people who are close to God. Through the ups and downs of life, they remain secure, hopeful. If you want a more rewarding spiritual life, if you want the pleasure of knowing your Creator’s heart, this soul-lifting book is for you. 

Learn from Dutch Sheets as he shares his life lessons for cultivating an intimate relationship with God. Each of the thirty short chapters reveals a simple practice or biblical mindset that will help draw you away from the noise of life and into the Lord’s peaceful presence. 

With profound insights from the Bible and stories you won’t soon forget, The Pleasure of His Company is like a spiritual mentor, showing you simple ways to enjoy God more.

This powerful book can also be enjoyed as a daily devotional.

The Pleasure of His Company was an easy, humorous-at-times book that is an invitation to take your faith in Christ to the next level by spending time with Him. It’s about an intimate friendship, the kind where you can’t wait to tell the person about your day. Talk to them constantly. And listen as they share with you. We can have that with God, and this book shows readers how.

I loved this book because Dutch made it as simple as an intimate friendship with God truly is. It’s Biblically based and laced with stories from his own experiences that helped me understand the intimate friendship better. This is so often misunderstood and Dutch breaks it down with ease.

The chapters are short, so I agree, it could be used as a devotional, too.

The world is only going to get busier, and the call to pull back and enjoy time and a true, personal relationship with your Heavenly Father is the key to an abundant life. The Pleasure of His Company is a perfect way to start.

To purchase The Pleasure of His Company, click here.

I read this on NetGalley from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.


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10 Not-so-Spooky Secrets When it Comes to Prayer

Posted by Julie on October 31, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

For some it’s a cute day to dress up the little ones and nab some candy. I’m not against that, but I know it is also a time where those whose allegiance is not with God conjure up curses against the faithful, among other deeds I’m not sharing here.

But what I want to do is share some basic things that put you as a prayer warrior on the offensive and ready to advance God’s kingdom through Christ.

1. Know Jesus as your Savior. This doesn’t mean get a degree, become a pastor, memorize the entire Bible, all great things. It simply says know Him. He wants your friendship. It’s a relationship, not religion. Just like I say to kids, we all say we know Justin Bieber, but have you met him? Does he talk to you? That’s what I mean with Jesus. You can’t move forward until you’ve accomplished #1. Not sure how? See here.

2. Never be a prayer warrior or intercessor on your own strength. You are merely a broken, flawed vessel. If you think of half a second you have the power to defeat the enemy, he will devour you. Praying is always about furthering God’s Kingdom for Jesus, so He best be invited when you pray.

3. Stay clean and surrendered. It’s not about being perfect, but if you feel called to be an intercessor/prayer warrior, be authentic. Confess your sins. Seek forgiveness. It isn’t because God is Big Brother constantly mad, but more about if you’re “hiding” a secret sin or unforgiveness, the enemy will come on you twice as hard.

4. Keep your focus. It’s an easy temptation to concentrate on the bad guy. Doing too much of that will overwhelm and suffocate. God’s got this, He’s just awesome enough to invite you for the ride. Focus on Christ and His work on the Cross. God’s goodness. The Holy Spirit’s counsel and encouragement. Of all the fancy things to pray, we miss the easiest prayer of all: Agree with His plan in Jesus’ name.

5. Have no fear.  The winner has long ago already been declared, but the devil would like you to forget that. He is already defeated. His sad tactic is to convince you that you are the defeated one to deflect the truth that HE is. That’s his real name–the defeated one. Also know the defeated one and his agents (depression, discouragement, division, spirit of suicide) are cowards. They do NOT want to be exposed. If you sense that’s what’s going on, be empowered in the Lord’s strength, not afraid. Like terrorists, evil prefers to stay hidden. Attacks are prevalent at night and that doesn’t surprise me. There were nights I felt like something was sitting on my throat. Afraid at first, I realized that feeling had no business bothering me. I said, “Jesus, I need your help. In your strength and name I command whatever is on me, in this room, property, or vicinity to die and be cut out the root, never to return. Thanks, and Amen.” It was an eek of a whisper, I struggled to speak. But I wasn’t afraid. Sensation was immediately gone. When you deal with junk like this, cast it out in Jesus’ name–declaring those evil things dead, cut at the root, never to return. If you pray it merely go away, it can be assigned back. Why not command it dead under Christ’s authority? Same for when a person attacks you, gets angry, then so whiny. I will not battle atheists or others looking for a fight, and it never fails, angry words come at me, and then accusations. Remember it isn’t personal, it is a spiritual warfare. As I stand strong and love my neighbor, the defeated one is like a dwindling, whiny monster that never had control. Don’t be afraid if you sense a catfight with strangers just by looking them in the eyes. That’s not the person, but the spirits behind them. If they are in witchcraft or a new age/world religion, you will know. I’ve had complete strangers greet me with accusations. I’ve heard of children strong in Christ being pinched and hit by those in a so-called peaceful religion. Don’t be afraid. Love the person, and if you have to whisper it, plead the blood of Jesus and remove the evil on His strength once and for all.

6. Do the math. I read this from Graham Cooke. Heaven’s resources never end. Ask, and He provides. Be specific (I ask for His wisdom, discernment, covering, His eyes, ears, and other senses instead of Lord, help me.) The defeated one has been in a constant recession. When he uses a trick, he can’t get anything new. He has to use what he has, so he keeps using the same ole’ same ole. He is all about deception. If it is a voice that wants nothing to do with furthering God’s Kingdom or praising Him, you know it’s a defeated tactic. If it is desiring division over unity, it is not God.  The defeated one will never partake in anything that gives God glory or praise, so keep those things constantly going. The supply never ends!

7. Wear your armor. I pray Ephesians 6 over myself and family every day. I’ve heard people say how there is something different about us. Our kids have a peace that is unique. Even our pets have favor. I can only say this has been a constant in our life since marriage. We get hit by the defeated one, and when we do, I know it is an opportunity more than adversity. God allows hard stuff and warfare not because He’s uncaring, but because He wants to prosper us. He knows how the hard stuff ends, and if we stay covered and see challenges as opportunities, favor is yours. I also pray the fruit of the spirit, and also something I read, I ask for the cloak of humility and mantle of wisdom.

8. Know rejection is promotion. This has a lot to do with the one above, but as a praying person, there is a target on your back. You are on the front lines, yet pay attention to #10. But when, not if, those hits come, rejection will happen. I guarantee it. Remember John the Baptist was beheaded. I doubt that’s your lot, but shake it off.  It seems like it is about you, it is a battle between good and evil, much bigger than you. If you can get excited–okay, at least come on board with rejection–and seek it as a way to become closer to the Lord and learn more from Him, it’s more defeat for the one who is full of it.

9. Use your own prayer language. I’m not going to get doctrinal here. I’ve been in Catholic, Wesleyan, and now a Pentecostal setting. For me, my prayer language is talking with words I don’t understand. It took me 10 years to allow this in my life because I was so scared. Now the words come with no effort. I can use them, or not. I’m not afraid of using them because I know my agenda is to give God glory, and the devil won’t be anywhere near that. When I am close to a breakthrough, they aren’t even words. Constant tears. I used to be afraid, now I know what’s going on at a basic level and realize okay, I’m going to be weepy. Please don’t be mislead that heaven isn’t for you if you don’t go all Pentecostal about this. That’s not fair, and it isn’t right. I confess, my life is much richer with my own prayer language, but Jesus is a gentleman and the Holy Spirit is a comforter. Nothing uncomfortable should be in the process, especially force or pressure. Praise Him. You can never go wrong with that. If you seek more, tell Him. Admit your fears or thoughts. Then repeat a praise word like Hallelujah. Meditation was from Christians first, the devil, again because of his lack of resources, will steal our stuff and put a counterfeit spin to it. Don’t be afraid to praise with repetition. It’s a process, and mine took so long because I was asking for the wrong reasons. Once I wanted it for myself, it was instantaneous.

10. Remember the battle is the Lord’s. Another temptation is to be “full-on” all the time, seeing the enemy’s hand in every single thing. Even so, it’s His battle. Always. The best advice I ever got was that He wants me on the couch as He goes out the door to battle. At the end of the day His desire is to return, join me on the couch, and tell me about His day. I can get intense and forget I can have fun. The world still exists if I’m not on my knees. You will know when He’s prompting you.

Books I Suggest:

Time to Defeat the Devil

Silencing the Accuser

Intercessory Prayer

Secrets of the Secret Place

Bridal Intercession: Authority in Prayer through Intimacy with Jesus


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