Friday, November 16, 2012

Nothing Is Impossible With God - A Still, Small Voice

Rose Marie Miller rocks.  Still in the mission field at the age of 88, she reaches out to the Asian women of London carrying the love of Christ into the Muslim and Hindu community.

Her latest book, however, is not a memoir of her work in England, although it does touch on it now and again.  And it certainly isn’t a self-aggrandizing autobiography.

Nothing Is Impossible with God is a sincere and gentle series of Miller’s lectures, reflections and meditations that she complied to encourage Christ followers in their own life journey.

Miller, whose husband Dr. Jack Miller founded World Harvest Missions back in the 70s, walks us through her struggles as a young mother, a pastor’s wife, and a widow learning to surrender completely to God’s will even when she couldn’t grasp it.

Women, especially, will be able to relate to Miller’s book.  As I read through the pages the verse from Titus, chapter 2 repeatedly came to mind:

Then they (older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Unashamedly, she laid her own failures and mistakes out there in order that Christ would be honored and glorified in her weakness and that others will learn to lean on Him to guide them through the valleys. As she spoke of her spiritual battles over the decades of her life, especially after her husband passed away, I felt her arm around my shoulders, mentoring me through her words

Nothing Is Impossible With God doesn’t take your breath away.  Miller isn’t wowing us with tales of plane crashes in the Andes or being held hostage. (Although she did spend time in Uganda during the upheaval following the end of Idi Amin’s regime.) Her book isn’t an earthquake or windstorm.  It is a still, small voice.  A voice proclaiming God’s amazing strength in our incredible weakness.

A courtesy copy of Nothing Is Impossible With God was obtained through New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fight Your Way To A Better Marriage - Conflict Can Do Wonders For a Marriage

Conflict.  Every married couple experiences it. It can often end with slamming doors and sulking silence.  Marriage would be perfect if we could just get rid of the conflict. Right?

Not so, according to Dr. Greg Smalley author of the new book, Fight Your Way To a Better Marriage:  How Healthy Conflict Can Take You To Deeper Levels of Intimacy.

Conflict can be a good thing in a marriage when handled with understanding, and Smalley lays out the groundwork for approaching inevitable conflict between spouses.

Fight Your Way examines the dynamics of conflicts – how simple disagreements can spiral wildly out of control because our own heart issues, our tendency to listen to the enemies lies, and our unwillingness to step back and examine ourselves.

Smalley’s balanced, Biblical advice cuts through the confusion of cyclical conflict and gives a married couple a starting point to begin establishing a trusting, openhearted relationship. Smalley sees conflict, not as something to be avoided, but something to be walked through in order to draw closer to a spouse, to draw closer to God, and to examine issues in our own hearts that need dealt with.

Now it is true, there is nothing new under the sun, and, quite frankly, Fight Your Way To a Better Marriage really isn’t saying anything dramatically new.  But I found Smalley’s take on marital conflict easy to process, encouraging, and uncomplicated.  But I also found it spiritually well grounded; God taking center stage in the marriage journey.

As a bonus, Smalley’s writing style is humorous and engaging, balancing solid counseling advice with stories of conflict lifted from his own life.

Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage will definitely equip husbands and wives with insight to escape the bitter cycle of destructive contention and replace it with conflict-solving skills that will strengthen and deepen any marriage.

Courtesy copy of Fight Your Way To a Better Marriage obtained from Howard Books in exchange for an honest review.