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Book Review: Original Design by Denise Buss

Posted by Julie on March 4, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Book Description:

Original Design by Denise Buss

Original Design by Denise Buss

You can’t simultaneously be who God created you to be and the person Satan molded you into.
We are perfectly designed by God. He drafts our blueprint with distinct characteristics, traits, gifts, and talents and stamps it on our spirit before we are born. Unfortunately, Satan often succeeds at concealing our true identity when we are young. He uses an array of influences such as our family, our culture, and even the Church to wound and scar us. This not only stifles God’s original design, but we end up engraved with Satan’s trademark. We don’t realize that we’ve been altered because much of Satan’s work is either subtle or completely invisible.
The Refiner’s fire can expose the HIDDEN SECRETS of the heart!
Do you think the past can’t be changed because the damage is done? Spiritual destruction can be undone because in Christ, you have redemption from all of Satan’s work, including the impact it has on your heart, the reactions it produces in you, and even his work that becomes a part of who you are.
In this book you will witness how God’s truths destroy the lies of the enemy and heal the unseen wounds of the heart. You will discover in a radical way how God can break the spiritual bondage that holds you captive. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal where your blueprint has been distorted and allow Him to restore you back to God’s original design. Only then can you be who God created you to be and do what He created you to do. This is your true freedom in Christ!

This is a powerful account from Denise Buss regarding her journey from a less than perfect childhood to a decent into alcohol, promiscuity and drugs, to a relationship with Christ where she was desperate for emotional healing. She shares how spiritual warfare was so intense that she asked her sister to care for her adopted daughter for fear of her daughter’s safety. There was depression to the point that Denise considered ending her life.

Through those battles, Denise has a pastor friend that is wise in prayer strategies that gives her the tools to find healing and restoration in Christ.  He is a major factor in the book and Denise credits him for being gracious with his time, prayers, and wisdom as he shared with her time and time again.

The writing is strong and her story is gripping. The book description lead me to believe I’d be reading a book that gives strategies in the theme of something you might read from Chuck Pierce or Dutch Sheets. Instead, Original Design reads more like a memoir. It’s still powerful, though.

One issue I have that I think deserves a mention in the book is I have received training in spiritual warfare/deliverance ministry and rule number one, especially if you have a history of promiscuity and insecurity, is to receive prayer from someone of the same sex. If you are with someone from the opposite sex, you bring someone from your gender with you. It’s wisdom and accountability and I’ve seen just as many accounts written from people who failed to do this, and it took the prayer times to a dangerous place. Denise makes it clear Ed is like a brother figure and not once do I ever see where he crosses a line. However, I think it warrants a warning concerning anyone considering adopting her approach.

She features information on salvation and Baptism of the Holy Spirit that are helpful. There is of course a lot of talk of demons and battling them through prayer.

If you enjoy stories that show the freedom Christ gives, especially through times of torment from the enemy, you will enjoy ORIGINAL DESIGN.

To purchase ORIGINAL DESIGN, click here.

I received ORIGINAL DESIGN in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Book Review: Misstep by Deborah Dee Harper

Posted by Julie on September 8, 2015 in Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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Road’s End is comprised entirely of senior citizens whose kids have grown and left for greener pastures. Hugh, Melanie, and Bristol (one of the few sane people in town) are faced with a crumbling church in desperate need of repair and renovation, a dwindling congregation of opinionated, ornery senior citizens, and a camel—yes, a camel. And if that’s not enough, the trio and the rest of the Road’s End residents, are soon mired in danger and intrigue when a group of gun-toting drug dealers arrive in town, bent on killing the church handyman, and conspiring to ruin the doggonedest record-breaking blizzard the town has ever seen.

Poor drug dealers.

Is it wrong to call a mystery “fun?” I don’t care. Deborah Dee Harper’s Misstep is a wonderful mystery that is laugh out loud fun to read. There’s Hugh and Melanie, a couple looking for a quiet retirement when they are called to the pastorate. Before they can process the news there’s a chicken. A blizzard. Vandalism at the church. People confessing murders. A camel. Bad guys holding the women hostage. And then there’s the oldest virgin Mary the church has ever seen.

I read this in an evening because Misstep is full of comical characters and a heartwarming story, wrapped in mystery. Deborah has a strong writing voice and an army of strong characters that make Road’s End. I can’t pick a favorite character because they were all rich.

As for the mystery and the Christmas miracle, I never saw any of it coming. I’m pretty good at figuring out mysteries, I’m rarely stumped. This plot twist was brilliant.

To purchase Misstep, click here.

I am one of the authors affiliated with the publisher and received this from Write Integrity Press. However, all thoughts are my own and the only expectation was that I read it and be honest.

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Chuck E. Cheese and the Last Days

Posted by Julie on August 8, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This week I accompanied our youngest to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Don’t get me started on the marketing genius who thought a rodent should make for a great mascot for a kids’ restaurant, that’s for another day.

She loves these parties but has one problem: she is afraid of Chuck E. Cheese.

We’ve told her it’s most likely a high school kid trying to pay their texting bill (as in a recent episode of the Disney show, Good Luck Charlie) and that the person is more likely scared of the kids and their antics than we should be of him/her. I watched our daughter and until he showed, she was paralyzed by fear strictly out of anticipation. Once he showed, she was fine. It was waiting for him that put her on such high alert.

I’m the same way when I open biscuits. The packaging is better but it wasn’t that long ago I was squeezing and twisting the canister waiting for the pop and was certain my heart rate tripled in anticipation. Once it popped I was fine, it was knowing it was coming.

This reminds me of the times we’re living in. I read a lot of blogs and social media and between Egypt, Libya, gas prices and now the earthquake in Japan, there is fear across the land. Fear of what’s next is as paralyzing as waiting on Chuck E. Cheese to make his appearance.

Matthew 24 warns that there will be awful things happening in the last days—wars, rumors of war, famine and earthquakes. We’re there, those things are happening and are threatening to continue. Fear is a constant temptation to grab onto much like closing my eyes when I open the biscuit canister.

Fear doesn’t stop the inevitable.

Peace is a supernatural consequence of rock solid faith and prayer that gives the courage to brace for all things—waiting on Chuck E. Cheese, opening biscuits, and fearing natural and economic disasters. When people ask how I survived that season or overcame that time it wasn’t because I made perfect choices. I overcame by peace God alone can give through my believing in His Son. Faith in Christ gives me the knowledge that in time of stress I can lean hard on Him and be still and know He is God.

And He’s Sovereign.

That means He’s bigger than Chuck E. Cheese.

And the coming pop from my biscuit opening.

And war.

And famine.

And mean people.

And natural disaster.

And the economy.

And as the VeggieTales so eloquently taught me, God is bigger than the boogie man.

Will you trust God through seeking a friendship with His Son, Jesus, today?


Originally published March 11, 2011

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A2Z Meme: Opportunity

Posted by Julie on April 17, 2012 in About Me, Christians Read, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Opportunity is a theme of mine for 2012, so I thought I’d use the word as part of the A2Z meme this week.

Opportunities Taken:

  • Surrendering my angry, bitter, me-first self to Christ.
  • Marrying my husband and enjoying his two children.
  • Believing God for motherhood.
  • Giving a tribute to my dad, the last conversation he was able to have before his passing.
  • Writing my doctor to alert him that his nurse harassed me and defied his direct order regarding picking up my college physical results. He called me at college to thank me.
  • Encouraging my surgeon to sign off on a surgery despite his fears it wouldn’t help me. It did, and three months later, I was pregnant.
    • One I’ll mention soon…

Opportunities Missed:

      • Telling all the bullies off, not just a select few.
      • Giving an ex-boyfriend the wrong phone number when he came crawling back after abandoning me. I hesitated on the last digit and gave him the right number. But he said, you don’t want my number do you? I gave a triumphant no.
      • Getting Shaun Cassidy’s autograph when he was in my hometown for a play. I got scared and hid, making my mom do it.
      • Taking a museum director’s offer to enjoy a free glider ride.

How about you? What opportunities did you take or miss?

 

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Sabbath Sunday: The Cross Covers

Every Sunday it’s a joy to share my own amateur nature pictures along with my thoughts on God’s love for you.

I took this the hottest night of the summer where the humidity was panting at 81%. I spent the day in and out of stores getting groceries and school supplies. I needed new brakes. It was one credit card (check card) transaction after another, one in the sultry outdoors moment to the chilled hum of the A/C inside.  I overdid it, didn’t have enough to drink and was just plain spent. I was in tears before I was finished unpacking groceries.

Fast forward two hours. My husband prescribed time in the pool alone to help me calm down. I finish my workout and look in the sky.

What do you see?

Yes, the purples and the pinks. God totally and rightfully showing off what a Master artist He is. On an oppressive night weather wise, He gives brilliance that wakes my senses and stirs my soul.

But wait, there’s more.

To the neighbors it’s most likely some “tower” to give more juice to their HAM radio hobby. Or something techy.

To me, it was a cross against the sunset saying I’m in control. I’ve got the heat and the humidity on my radar. Just like Iraq and Afghanistan. Same for the back to school supplies I’m worried about. The hurting families I know. The slave trade market that robs children of everything innocent about them.

The cross covers. If you’ve never heard someone explain what makes Jesus so important that people still fight and die over Him, He covers what we can’t. Imagine a chasm. One side you stand, wishing to get to the other where eternity in heaven lies. Treasures like peace, kindness, love, joy, self-control, meekness and faith live within you IF you can bridge the gap.

But you can’t. No matter how good you are, how hard you try.

That’s where Jesus covers.

He was more than a teacher. He is a Savior that lived on Earth a perfect life. Not one cuss word, not one lie, not one fudge on His taxes, no regrets. No sin. None.  His purpose was to come, love, save and return one day as King of Kings.

And…bridge that gap.

No matter how bad your day is, what your worries are, won’t you embrace the cross? Let Jesus cover the chasm.

So you can enjoy the sunset.

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Sabbath Sunday: The Cross Covers

Every Sunday it’s a joy to share my own amateur nature pictures along with my thoughts on God’s love for you.

I took this the hottest night of the summer where the humidity was panting at 81%. I spent the day in and out of stores getting groceries and school supplies. I needed new brakes. It was one credit card (check card) transaction after another, one in the sultry outdoors moment to the chilled hum of the A/C inside.  I overdid it, didn’t have enough to drink and was just plain spent. I was in tears before I was finished unpacking groceries.

Fast forward two hours. My husband prescribed time in the pool alone to help me calm down. I finish my workout and look in the sky.

What do you see?

Yes, the purples and the pinks. God totally and rightfully showing off what a Master artist He is. On an oppressive night weather wise, He gives brilliance that wakes my senses and stirs my soul.

But wait, there’s more.

To the neighbors it’s most likely some “tower” to give more juice to their HAM radio hobby. Or something techy.

To me, it was a cross against the sunset saying I’m in control. I’ve got the heat and the humidity on my radar. Just like Iraq and Afghanistan. Same for the back to school supplies I’m worried about. The hurting families I know. The slave trade market that robs children of everything innocent about them.

The cross covers. If you’ve never heard someone explain what makes Jesus so important that people still fight and die over Him, He covers what we can’t. Imagine a chasm. One side you stand, wishing to get to the other where eternity in heaven lies. Treasures like peace, kindness, love, joy, self-control, meekness and faith live within you IF you can bridge the gap.

But you can’t. No matter how good you are, how hard you try.

That’s where Jesus covers.

He was more than a teacher. He is a Savior that lived on Earth a perfect life. Not one cuss word, not one lie, not one fudge on His taxes, no regrets. No sin. None.  His purpose was to come, love, save and return one day as King of Kings.

And…bridge that gap.

No matter how bad your day is, what your worries are, won’t you embrace the cross? Let Jesus cover the chasm.

So you can enjoy the sunset.



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