A nugget from last Sunday's sermon has stayed with me all week. It had to do with the root word COURAGE. We all need courage in our lives. Courage to stand up against the evil one. Courage to take a step of faith wherever God is leading. Courage to do something we have never done before. Courage to live in joy in the midst of a world prone to burrow in the mud of politics and other worldly views.
But COURAGE is just the root word of a couple of other words that we deal with daily.
DISCOURAGEMENT - We have all dealt with discouragement. But let me tell you, Satan puts the DIS in discouragement. He is the one who steal our courage, instilling fear and doubt. He doesn't want us to live boldly in this world. He was to rob us of a life of freedom in Jesus. He want to enslave us to fear and discouragement so that we are ineffective for God's mission in this world.
ENCOURAGEMENT- There is nothing sweeter than encouragement from a friend. But the Holy Spirit is a friend that gives us encouragement like no other. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills us with COURAGE, giving us hope and a reason to live bold for Jesus. When we soak in His words, His teaching, His love, we can be filled to overflowing and have something to offer the world...the knowledge of Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.
Friends, let's be ENCOURAGED. Let's let the Spirit of God fill us so that we have the COURAGE to live boldly for Jesus, becoming more like Him, spreading His love around to all we come in contact with. Let us throw off the devil and his schemes, letting DISCOURAGEMENT roll off our backs and not be entangled by fear that ensnares us in its grip.
Now go out and ENCOURAGE someone today. Someone out there needs you to be Jesus to them, sharing love and joy in the midst of discouragement.
When Maddie Buckner moves to Sandwich to become a hair stylist, she botches her first haircut and loses her job - and the chance to gain custody of her brother still in foster care. Reuben-the-Jerk, who got her fired, is guilted into giving her a job as his assistant at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium.
Maddie is racing against time, as she struggles to build a stable life and get custody of her brother. His foster parents want to adopt him, and Maddie needs to prove herself as a worthy guardian. The problem is she keeps getting herself into a "pickle" and has to be rescued by Reuben-the-Jerk...who has started to become Reuben-the-Dreamboat. Throw in Reuben's jealous fiance and you have one big, messy plate of circumstances.
There are several things I loved about this book. I loved Maddie's new faith and her "realistic" and sometimes funny prayers. There is a realness about Maddie and how she expresses herself and her faith. It's not contrived. It's honest and open. I loved Reuben who, even though he grew up in a Christian family, struggles with himself and his feelings. I love that he is real...he really can be a jerk! But oh, the chemistry between these two....it is tangible and heartfelt.
I also loved Reuben's family who exhibit what it really means to be Jesus in this world. They opened up their homes and their hearts to Maddie when she had no one...and nothing. They gave and they gave, without expecting anything in return. They encouraged and they loved, not pushing Maddie too hard or too fast. They are what I hope to be.
Krista's debut book is a funny and happy read, but it contains meat to chew on. It shows us realness of life. It shows us how we can struggle in life, yet trust God for His blessing. It shows us that God's family IS a real family who love unconditionally. It shows us that two people can learn to trust and love in spite of themselves.
Sandwich, With a Side of Romance is an awesome debut novel and I cannot wait for the next one!
GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away a copy of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance!!!
Please leave an email adddress! ( spam free: janedoe (at) gmail (dot) com ) If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.
Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on September 16th.
* This book was provided by Abingdon and NetGalley.com for my honest review.