A Million Miles in A Thousand Years

Hello Friend!

I hope you have had a fun summer.

I had a great summer and I’m sad to see it end. It is hard to believe we are nearing the end as fall begins in just a few days.

Over the summer, I made a list of books recommended by Michael Hyatt and started reading. The first book I picked up was Donald Miller’s, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story

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Where was I when this book was published in 2011? Somehow I missed this gem until now.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a book about taking action to edit the scenes in our life stories. Donald Miller found himself in a funk after writing several books including his best seller, Blue Like Jazz .

As he created a screen-play for Blue Like Jazz, Miller was challenged to look at the structure of his own story and decided to make some changes in his life.

This book includes many personal stories from Donald Miller’s life as he made the choice to live differently. He got off the couch and started riding his bike. It wasn’t a ride down the street, but a ride across America raising money for water wells in Africa.

He rode miles with friends in kayaks and unexpectedly met Bob Goff (author of Love Does – Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World.) Donald and his friends spent eight hours with the Goff’s in a life changing experience of irresistible love.

One touching story relates to his struggle to decide whether to contact his father who abandoned him when he was young. He shares the real ebbs and flows of choosing to do the difficult things that might just change the trajectory of our lives.

As an author, I also related to this book because the elements of story are used to help Miller look at scenes from his life and determine to make some changes. I enjoyed his reference to story structure.

I was definitely challenged by this book to take a look at the story of my own life.  Am I living he story I want to live? I want to put myself in more situations that require me to get out of my comfort zone.

The timing of this book coming to my attention was perfect. Last week we moved our son Gabe to his own apartment two hours away. And he took his service dog Ruth with him. The house is so quiet. A new chapter of my story begins.

This Thursday I will get to meet my new granddaughter who will join Avery and Ellison. I can hardly wait for this exciting part of the story.

In two weeks I will finish my seventeen year stint working at D+H (originally EZTeller, then Harland Financial Solutions, then purchased by D+H.) I will be laid off on October 1, 2016 as a part of a reorganization of our company. I will miss the people who were part of that story but I’m excited to swee what’s next.

Some of my life adventures are completely out of my control but I’m sure they will bring a spark into the new season ahead of me.

Steve and I are on a new adventure of living in an empty next. I hope to write and speak more. I want to spend more time with my grandchildren. I’d like to travel and enjoy the beauty of God’s country. I hope to go on a mission trip.

What bucket list items are you ready to check off?

Is there something about your life your’d like to edit?

I pray for you as God directs your path for whatever is around the corner. I know I’m listening closely for directions and I know it will be a great adventure!

Bless you friend as you edit the story of your life. Make it beautiful!

Gigi

 

God Will Help You Stand Tall Through It All

Sunday September 14 2014 7:04 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

Hey Friend,

I know you’ve had some hard days this summer. We all do.

So today I want to encourage you with a recommendation for a book that will surely help make your days brighter.

I met the author, Holley Gerth, several years ago when she represented DaySprings during a workshop at our Northwest Christian Writer’s Association Conference. I immediately connected with Holley’s grace-filled personality, her precious southern accent and her winning smile.

Over the years I’ve watched her grow into a best-selling author who writes life changing books. I love her writing style. She speaks to the deepest places of my heart.

As a life coach, Holley brings real issues into each book and presents an uplifting strategy to nourish your soul. I’ve given several of her books as gifts to friends who needed a boost.

Holley’s latest book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days – 52 Encouraging Truths to Hold On To, is definitely on my gift idea list for the coming Christmas season.

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I was given a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I couldn’t have been happier to offer to read and review this little jewel.

God knew the exact timing of when I might need some encouragement. One devotional after another became my favorite as it spoke directly to my soul that day.

With 52 devotionals, this book can be used for a once weekly study or you can gobble it up in one quick read. I chose to take my time through each entry and study the recommended chapters in the Book of Psalms.

My word for 2014 is STAND.

So naturally one of my favorite devotions in this book is #7 – God Will Help You Stand Tall through It All. It is based on two different Psalms containing the word STAND.

Psalm 20:7-8 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

So many times over the last several years I focused on the difficulties before me rather than getting on my knees and asking the Lord to help me rise up and stand firm. When my perspective was off, it was easy to have false beliefs that prevented me from acting upon what God was calling me to do. Even when He was showing me to stand up for myself, I didn’t believe I could.

When I finally fell to my knees and cried out for help, He put in place the help that was there all along. There were people ready to reach out and help me stand tall again.

Psalm 40: 1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Last April and May, I spent six weeks of intense counseling during my stay at The Center – A Place of Hope. There I found help for areas where I’d struggled for years. In dealing with my “stuff,” my new friends and counselors were able to point me to a whole body approach to healing.

I had the courage to stand and ask for help when trying to do it on my own didn’t work.

I moved from insecurity and discouragement to stand for the healthy family relationships God has called us to.

The Lord indeed heard my cry. He lifted me out of a dark place. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Holley’s uplifting book has been a great reminder how God has just what we need for those hard days. I hope you’ll order a copy for yourself and another for a friend.

Bless you today with what your heart needs for the hard days.

Gigi

*****

When you buy Holley’s books from Givingtons, a percentage will go to Saving Grace,  the organization God used to connect her with her 21 year-old adopted daughter.

There’s a link to Givingtons below each book on the link to Holley’s website.

Book Review: The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins

I was privileged to receive a complimentary advanced reader copy of The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Click on the book cover to view at Amazon.com where you can check inside the book for a sample

I didn’t read book one (The Brotherhood) in the Precinct 11 series, but I don’t feel I missed a beat in picking up on the story line in The Betrayal.

I would have enjoyed learning a little more about what happened to Detective Boone’s wife and child in the first book. I want to know how he met and fell in love with Haeley.

From the beginning I knew there was something not quite right with the way the whole assassination attempt of the key witness in the biggest sting in Chicago history went down. The book title hinted that someone was going to betray the main character.

The plot took a few twists as Jerry B. Jenkins led us on a journey to discover which character leaked the information on where they were going to hide the police department’s key witness. If someone gets to this key witness, the case will be toast.

There were several times when I thought it could be any one of the characters. I was never really sure until the end.

I enjoyed the relationship of Detectives Boone and Jack Keller. They worked well together as they solved this difficult case of figuring out who the betrayer of their trust might be. Trusting the wrong person could prove to be fatal.

Danger, suspense and intrigue kept me turning pages.

If you enjoy suspense, crime investigations and a little romance added in, I think you’ll enjoy reading it too.

I like the fact that Jerry’s comes from a long line of family members who are (or were) police officers. I’m sure the stories his family told him helped bring the authenticity about the police department to the story.

I enjoyed The Betrayal – A Precinct 11 Novel and plan to go back and read The Brotherhood while I wait for Jerry’s next book.

Watch for more book reviews in future blog posts. Please leave your comments below.

Thanks much.

Gigi Murfitt

 

Can’t Wait for the Movie – The Help – Book Review

Thursday July 14 2011 10:57 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

Good help is like true love — you only get one in a life time. (Quote from The Help)

I just finished reading the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett via the AudioBook version. I usually like to have the book in my hands but this was a perfect road trip audio book for my recent drive from Seattle, WA to Missoula, MT.

The Help covers the timeframe of the early sixties when racial tensions were challenging in the south as the civil rights movement unfolded.

The story is written in the voice of three different characters. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. I learned to love each of these women. 

The main character is a young woman (Skeeter) raised on a cotton plantation with the help of her loving maid, Constantine. Skeeter is a writer so I immediately related to her character.

Abilene is the maid for Skeeter’s best friend Elizabeth. She is sweet and loves the children she cares for. Minny is the feisty maid who has been fired numerous time for mouthing off but is most loved for her cooking.

Both maids are strong women with wisdom and love for the many children they have helped raise.

Skeeter determines to tell the stories of twelve maids and the white women they work for. Some of the stories are of kindness and generosity but most are of prejudice and mistreatment of these caring women.

One character in the book I didn’t particularly care for was Hilly. She was a snooty woman who treated the help with contempt.

One line from the book makes me think of Hilly. “Disgust was saved up special for her.” Boy, I sure didn’t like that woman. The author did a fabulous job in helping me get a bad taste in my mouth every time her name was mentioned.

I hope every reader learns a little bit about loving kindness as they read this book.  And I pray you are nothing like Hilly.

Because I listened to it on audio, the actors voices brought the story to life with the dialect of the south. I sure hope the actors in the movie sound like these voices.

I’m anxious to see if the movie will do the book justice. It is scheduled to release on August 10, 2010. I already entered a drawing for two tickets to the early release showing on August 9, 2010.

I recommend The Help for a great summer read. And I’m sure the movie will be entertaining too.

I hope you read it before the movie releases. Here’s a link for you to check it out at Amazon.

Now that I’ve finished another novel, I’m ready to read a new book. What are you reading this summer? Leave a few suggestions in the comments.

God Bless Your Heart

Gigi

Book Review – DECEIT by Brandilyn Collins

Monday July 12 2010 10:40 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

DECEIT is a thriller novel that lives up to Brandilyn Collins Seatbelt Suspense™ trademark. I found myself holding on to my chair waiting for the next scene to steer me in a different direction.

Joanne Weeks is in for the ride of her life as she hunts for the truth about Baxter Jackson. Did this “man about town” kill both of his wives? Will he kill her too?

Jump in and buckle up for a must read thriller. I couldn’t put it down. And I left the light on at our cabin, just for good measure.

This was the first of Brandilyn’s novels that I’ve read. After I finished it I fired up my Kindle and ordered a few more titles. Brandilyn does an excellent job in this page turner. I had to remind myself to breathe a few times.

Joanne Weeks is a skilled Skip Tracer – someone whose job is to hunt down people who try to skip town. She’s good. I wanted her to find Melissa so together they would solve the mystery. But the book takes you for a ride filled with twists and turns that can sometimes make you dizzy.

I really wanted to jump into the book and slap Baxter Jackson for his creepy arrogance. Linda needed someone to help her stand up for herself. Melissa really had me fooled.

Brandilyn did an excellent job of filling in Melissa’s backstory. It’s hard to do but done well in this novel. It kept me turning the pages to learn more.

By the end of the book I had to go out and buy some Jelly Belly candy (read the book and you’ll know why). Then I had to take a breather.

I’ll definitely recommend this one to my neighborhood book club. Although I think afterwards we’ll see more porch lights left on in our cul-de-sac. I’ll find myself watching for hooded men the next time it rains…which for me living in Seattle will likely be tomorrow.

ISBN 978-0-310-32879-7 DECEIT can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Deceit-Novel-Brandilyn-Collins/dp/0310276446/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278998574&sr=8-2

I hope you’ll post your own comments so I can pass them on to Brandilyn.