Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Subscribe to Journal

Saturday, April 12th 2014

5:13 PM

Book Review: Unquenchable by Carol Kent

Unquenchable asks honest questions about disappointment in God and uses illustrations fleshed out from Scripture to look for purpose in suffering. It doesn’t try to resolve disillusionment with pat answers, but provides reflections on suffering that draw the reader deeper to the heart of God and to a faith that is unquenchable.

I could not put this book down. It brought a soothing rhythm to the ebb and flow of faith and a reassurance that God’s love for us remains strong when circumstances state otherwise. (Click to Tweet) Carol Kent shares from her own heart-wrenching story as well as that of others who encounter the unthinkable and have to find a new way to carry on with life. She provides steps to feed your faith and to overcome our natural inclination to complain in the midst of strife. She illustrates the importance of tending the fire, in order to have a faith that can step into the unknown and trust that God will be there. Kent reminds us that the Refiner’s fire is life-giving, though painfully so, and that suffering drives us to our knees, where we can find the secret of wildfire faith.

Get this book! It will be one of your cherished go-to-books in times of despair and for times of growth!

See this product

See other reviews of this book 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  


Related Posts:

Is God Sovereign? 

When You Grieve 

When Forgiveness is Hard 

I review for BookLook Bloggers Book Review: Unquenchable by Carol Kent
0 user comments / leave a comment

Friday, April 11th 2014

9:39 PM

Why a Bible Study Expo?

Why do I participate in the Bible Study Expo? I am a teacher of God’s Word, and am constantly on the lookout for tools that will facilitate that study. So, when asked to help get the word out about new books on the market, I am an eager participant. At the last Expo, I tested the waters on a new-to-me author, and ended up using two of her studies with my women’s group. Yes, it was that helpful! So here are a few of my top reasons to jump in and get involved with Marnie’s Bible Study Expo:

  1. To see what’s new. Isaiah 43:18 reminds us that the Lord is making all things new. A forum provides an opportunity to learn about fresh materials, tackling current issues from a godly perspective.
  2. To hear the author’s heart. Writers take up a topic because something has captured their imagination or piqued their interest. I want to know about the passion for a topic that has driven them to research it.
  3. To find out if a particular study is right for my group. Every small group has its own personality and purpose. Do you meet to encourage moms or a singles group? Are your retirees dealing with health issues or looking for new purpose? God uses the words of others to prompt our growth. Author Carol Kent says God’s “Word, when we meditate on it, reshapes our thinking; and fellowship with other believers brings growth and spiritual development.” (Unquenchable, p. 158 ) 
  4. To be exposed to a different topic. Get out of a rut! Get educated about global issues. Let the Lord stretch your comfort zone to a world in need. When we expose ourselves to the heartache of others, we touch the heart of God! Micah 6:8  (Click to Tweet)
  5. To get free prizes! Who doesn’t like a giveaway? We all like a bonus to perk us up, especially after a long hard winter!

How can you participate in the Bible Study Expo?

  1. Register at www.BibleStudyExpo.com
  2. Tweet at the www.Tchat.io party page: #BibleStudyExpo
  3. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/658234407571303/

Come to the party, we’re expecting you!


Related Posts:

Bible Study Expo! 

Why lead a Bible Study? 

Speaking Tips 


Why a Bible Study Expo?
0 user comments / leave a comment

Monday, April 7th 2014

11:22 PM

Bible Study Expo!

We are 10 Days and counting

to the 2014 Bible Study Expo

Thursday, April 17



You'll get to MEET 9 authors of the newest Bible Study books + enjoy worship music and live interaction with other Bible Study leaders and enthusiasts through the Facebook + Twitter parties.

You'll LISTEN to live interviews with each author and Marnie as they share the story behind the study and who each one is for... plus its format and intensity level.

Pre-Register Now!


Even if you can't attend, we'll be giving away Bible Study Books & worship music CDs all afternoon during the expo and you can listen in to the recordings afterwards at www.BibleStudyExpo.com

It's often hard to decide what to do for your next study... Let us help at


Join the FB Party Page:


Invite your Bible Study friends!

0 user comments / leave a comment

Thursday, March 6th 2014

8:07 PM

Book Review: I Saw The Lord

This incredible exploration of Isaiah’s life gives us a glimpse of the kind of relationship God wants to have with His people. Anne Graham Lotz investigates the text with profound illustrations that clearly flesh out her point. Her approach is forthright, yet humble. She addresses sin in our nation and our churches, while acknowledging her own. 

Anne’s winsome commitment to the unchanging Word of God draws the reader to conclude too, that it’s time to take a stand for what we believe while kneeling at the feet of Jesus. (Click to Tweet) She says God is up to something in current world events and in our personal lives, and He wants us to know the cry of His heart.

I Saw The Lord is an important book; one that should be in the hands of every believer, because judgment begins with the house of God. It gives tools for a fresh revival in our hearts and shows us how to see the Lord, high and lifted up.

Disclosure of Material:  I received this book as a giveaway from The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


Related Posts:

Why Lead a Bible Study? 

Is God Sovereign? 

Passionate, Intelligent Prayers  


Book Review: I Saw The Lord
0 user comments / leave a comment

Tuesday, February 25th 2014

1:44 AM

Radiant Lit Blog Tour: Do Life Different


Do Life Different by Jill Hart

Reviewed by Sally Ferguson

Radiant Lit Blog Tours

Genre: Devotional

Publisher: Choose Now Publishing

Pub Date: February 2, 2014 

(Synopsis from Amazon.com) Work-at-home moms bear a unique set of burdens as they attempt to blend job and family commitments under one roof. Maintaining professionalism while wiping noses and convincing outsiders that flexibility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be can put even the most organized to the test. Amid all the other duties of life, the work-at-home mom often discovers that feeding her soul is the biggest challenge of them all. Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world. 

Jill Hart’s book, Do Life Different, has refreshing advice about success:  use your business to help people! She brings pointers to the business world from, as she calls it, God’s upside-down perspective. She affirms, when you serve others and express gratitude to God by being generous with them, God will provide for your needs.

The chapters are divided into scripture and daily thought starters, with space for journaling. The questions range from listing out the day’s goals, to motives behind our own baggage. The author is vulnerable with her struggles in building a home-based business, and challenges the reader to dig under the surface to face difficult issues. When you ask the hard questions and make yourself accountable for the next step, your success will come. But, it’s no easy formula; Jill’s key is perseverance, determination and communication. (Click to Tweet)

Personal reflection, leadership tips and supplemental video links all combine to make this book a winner. Get your own copy and learn about building a business, from God’s point of view! 


Do Life Different is available to purchase from Amazon.com 

Note: I received this book as part of the Do Life Different blog tour from Radiant Lit. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Review copy provided by the publisher. 

Related Posts:

Messy Finances   

Book Review for Entrepreneurs      

Goal Pep Talk      


Radiant Lit Blog Tour: Do Life Different
0 user comments / leave a comment

Monday, February 24th 2014

1:24 AM

Vision for Africa


What would life be like if you had blurry vision all of the time? It would be normal for you, because you never knew it could be any different. Suppose someone gave you a pair of glasses, and you could see for the first time? Would you be excited? You bet your eyesight, you would!

In 20 short weeks, our Uganda Mission Team will leave for Africa. We’re taking two medical professionals with us to lead Eye Clinics. There, we will measure for visual acuity and fit patients with prescriptions for sight. In a five step process, our team will evaluate different levels of eye health.

It reminds me of the story in Mark 8:22-25 where Jesus healed a blind man in stages. My NIV footnotes say this two step process is indicative of our blindness. “Many persons with normal eyesight are spiritually blind.”

What has blinded me to Truth? Ego, pride, an independent spirit? I’m praying for new eyes to see the hand of God at work.

Here are some requests:

~ I’m asking for prayer warriors to join me in preparing mentally to share God’s Word with pastors’ wives in a different culture.

~ I’m looking for extra hands to help me collect eyeglasses, readers, sunglasses & bars of soap.

  • Did you know young adults in Third World Countries struggle with cataracts because of the intensity of the sun?
  • Did you know the mortality rate of children in Uganda under the age of 5 is over 30,000 per year, because of diarrhea related illnesses? One of our team members will lead Hygiene Clinics in the villages!

Picture with me, the moment when we hand a pastor a pair of eyeglasses and his own brand new study Bible. Wow! A life-changing, world axis-tilting event!

Do you want to be a part of changing that pastor’s life, so that he can proclaim the glory of God to his neighbors?

~ Pray for the Team of 13, traveling to Uganda July 14 – August 2, 2014.

~ Collect glasses & soap. Mail to:  Busti Church of God 996 Forest Ave Ext. Jamestown NY 14701 by May 31 so that we have time to label the glasses with prescription strength.

Thank you for partnering with us!

To Uganda or Bust,


Related Posts:

What difference can two hours make? 

How to help Children on another Continent   

Travel Tips 

Vision for Africa
0 user comments / leave a comment

Wednesday, February 12th 2014

8:04 PM

Why should leaders plan retreats?

Retreat Planner Training is tomorrow!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Topic: How to Plan a Women's Retreat

with Marnie Swedberg & Sally Ferguson

Thursday, February 13, 2014

1-2PM PT, 2-3PM MT, 3-4PM CT, 4-5PM ET


During this hour you'll learn about:

- The reasons why retreats are worth the effort.

- How to set reasonable goals for your retreat.

- 7 steps to insure great retreats.

- How to skyrocket attendee buy-in and take-away.

- Personal words of wisdom for retreat planners.

Don't miss it Thursday, 2/13

1-2PM PT, 2-3PM MT, 3-4PM CT, 4-5PM ET

Come and bring your retreat-planning team!

It's online at


And download show notes there, with the red button on the bottom left side.

We'll see you there!


Related Posts:

What does a Retreat mean to you?

A No-Cost Retreat?

Need a Retreat from Life?

Why should leaders plan retreats?

0 user comments / leave a comment

Saturday, February 8th 2014

8:18 AM

Travel Review: B & B Haven


Where do you go when snow has claimed your driveway? We head south, and for a repeat visit, we chose Mango Inn!

Mango Inn is synonymous with “oasis.” Its’ gardens have the musical sounds of water fountains in the courtyard and birds announcing their visit. The foliage includes star fruit, palms and a hedge of privacy that is lush and soothing. Whether you rest in the hammock or lounge by the pool, it’s hard to believe you’re in the heart of downtown Lake Worth.

Local beaches are just minutes away, with salt water, sand and sunshine galore. We also ventured out to the Flagler Museum to learn about the pioneer to modern tourism in Florida State.

Innkeepers Deb & Judi provide southern hospitality with their friendliness and homemade goodness:  cookies in the afternoon and a warm breakfast to start your day. Furnished in the tropics theme, the rooms are cheerfully appointed and cozy. Why not try the Sea Grape Room for your next getaway?

After seeing the picture of our breakfast, my friend asked for the recipe. Yes, it was as delicious as it looked!

            Mango Stuffed French Toast

Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Bread (no raisins) - 2 slices per person

Cream Cheese (amount depends on number of servings), softened

4 eggs

¾ cup milk


Mangos (they must be very ripe or frozen, which works best)

Spread one side of each slice of bread with cream cheese. Put together as if making a sandwich, with cream cheese sides folded together. Cut sandwich on the diagonal. Scramble eggs with milk. Dip each side of bread in egg mixture. Melt butter in frying pan, sauté sandwich until browned.

            Fruit compote:

Heat thawed out mangoes. If you want to thin it a bit, you can add orange juice. Any fruit that is frozen can work.

Enjoy a taste of sunshine!


Related Posts:

Caribbean Cruise   

Home Grown Hospitality 

Travel Tips  

Travel Review: B & B Haven
0 user comments / leave a comment

Tuesday, January 14th 2014

10:03 PM

Book Review: Dating Like Airplanes


What does it mean to fly? Former journalist and speaker, Caleb Breakey says, “It’s simply practicing true love – Jesus love – in your relationship.” (p. 167) He says “falling in love” is a matter of pursuing your wants. But “flying in love” is the way to give unselfishly to another.

Dating Like Airplanes is not another dating manual, it is a call to relationship with Christ first, and then relationship with each other. Rightly so, Breakey challenges readers to raise the bar of expectation for your own relationship with the Lord, before you can have anything to offer to your significant other.

Tackling issues of sexual boundaries, Breakey says we are built with internal alarms, or cues, that sound off when we’re on dangerous turf. When we respond to those cues, we get God’s best for the relationship, and Breakey gives some of the best explanations that I’ve read, of how we benefit.

Dating Like Airplanes provides great tools for getting to know one another. What are your interests? How will you pursue your goals? What values determine your lifestyle? How will you handle differences of opinion? How will you handle frustration with your other? How will you combine two different viewpoints, ideas and lifestyles?

Truly, Dating Like Airplanes could well have been named, A Manual for Relationships, because it relates on so many levels to the intricacies of doing life with others. I have been married 27 years, and found many truths in this book to apply to the way I interact with my spouse. As Breakey says, it’s never too late. Your past makes you more prepared to be used for God.

Don’t wait until you’re enmeshed in a relationship to get this book. “Today is the day to rise to a love that’s greater than yourself.” (p. 7) Order a copy of Dating Like Airplanes; it’s an excellent resource for every relationship! 


Disclaimer:  I received an Advance Reader’s Copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Related Posts:

How Authentic Are You?  

What is the kind of love that God honors?  

Guess who loves you? 


Book Review: Dating Like Airplanes
0 user comments / leave a comment

Tuesday, December 31st 2013

1:25 AM

Book Review: Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis


Looking for the secret to a power-packed speech? Secrets of Dynamic Communication provides a formula to make every presentation successful. Anyone who seeks “to instruct, encourage, motivate, or call an audience to action” (p. 20) will benefit from the tools provided within its pages. That includes high school teachers, Sunday School teachers, and every kind of teacher in-between. The author, Ken Davis, goes into great detail to spell out the difference between an average talk and a memorable one. He uses 40 years of experience to analyze the nuts and bolts of a great speech, and to equip others to evaluate their own presentations.

As a speaker, I have sought out many books on the art of developing an address, and put many of the tips gleaned therein to the test. This book is very user-friendly in breaking down the format into easy-to-remember steps, acrostics and examples that clarify instructions. Chapter Reviews reinforce material covered, and the Appendix gives a springboard for talks by listing examples, key words and topical indexes. The real genius of the book, however, is in the spreadsheet for SCORRE, the acronym for Davis’ formula and conference of the same name. Just two weeks ago, it provided a map, when I had the honor of speaking at a close friend’s funeral. It was a time when every word counted, and had to be just right. Thank you Ken Davis, for equipping me to focus on the objective. As he says, “Diligence in preparation results in excellence on the platform.” (p. 29) (Click to tweet)

This book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to impact others. Get your own copy, if you want the SCORRE formula!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Find more reviews of this book here.

Get your own copy here.  

Related Posts:

Speaking Tips   

Speaker 911!         

The Key to Speaking   

I review for BookSneeze®

Book Review: Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis
4 user comments / leave a comment