fear chokes out faith, but ...

"Trust me & obey what I tell you, and you'll do fine." The words I spoke to my son in the swimming pool echoed in my heart the words of Jesus to his disciples, to me. When my son would not do what I told him to or would not trust me, he was soon overcome with fears and very soon literally choking, making no progress in his swimming.

But when he by faith did what I said, he began very quickly to progress. By the end of the afternoon, both boys were swimming without floaties (in the shallow end).

The Lord reminded me in this process, in keeping with the truths in yesterday's post, that His Word tells us not that faith leads to victory but that "faith is the victory" (emphasis mine).

Enlarge my faith, Lord. Strengthen my walk of faith, regardless of what I see. Help me to trust & to obey. Just like the song says, "there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust & obey."

I hope that short anecdote will be an encouragement to you as it has been for me today.

Blessings, my dear friends, as you walk by faith as well,

book review: will medicine stop the pain?

I have been so thrilled recently with what has been coming out from Moody Press. This time respected women's counselor Elyse Fitzpatrick has teamed up with Dr. Laura Hendrickson to speak a gracious voice of truth to women who struggle emotionally.

Opening with Laura's gripping personal testimony of her and her brother and the opposite conclusions that each of their diagnosis with bipolar pointed them to (her brother to suicide, herself to Christ), Laura and Elyse share a practically-balanced and personal yet completely biblical approach to dealing with anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.

This is not just a surface-level book. It digs deep and examines how our bodies and brains function, how our spirits (minds and hearts) cooperate with our bodies and brains, how each affects the other, and also how specific categories of medicines can affect both. They are very careful to point patients/counselees to their medical doctors and urge you not to just quit taking any medicine that you've been prescribed.

Meds are necessary at times, sometimes for extended periods of time. Other times, though, our problems are able to be addressed with Scripture and a true God-dependency. It is important that we consider all the factors when trying to figure out what the real problem is. The goal presented here is a good one: as little meds for as short an amount of time as possible (if possible) and as much time with God in true fellowship and trust in the reality that He is in control and working.

One of the most helpful portions for me was on the suffering of Christ and coming again to a biblical view of suffering. Suffering is not sin. Sometimes God gives us a cup to drink that is deep with pain. Think of our dear Lord Jesus in the Garden and on the Cross. We think pain is bad: get rid of it. But sometimes that pain/suffering is exactly what we need to help us learn the lessons God is wanting to teach us and to strengthen our trust in Him. Ultimately suffering/pain is for God's glory. And along the way we (by His grace) can come to realize that it is also intended for our good.

I am thankful for the specific Scripture treasures that are included in this book and for the Gospel-transformation that is time and again referenced as the starting point of hope.

I believe this book will be a helpful resource to all who will receive it. And I recommend this book with no reservation. (I only wish there were a companion book for guys, as this one is aimed at a female audience. See Don Johnson's review and a few reasons why he recommends guys go ahead and read this book.)

You may also find the Discerning Reader's review helpful. And the title of this post is linked to Elyse Fitzpatrick's website (9.99 purchase price).
I strongly encourage you to invest in this resource, whether you personally are struggling with physical pain or emotional struggles or if perhaps you have a friend who is. We are here to come alongside one another as we all grow in our relationship with God.

Grace and peace, my dear friends,
with love,


encouraged husbands

All four broadcasts on "A Hurting Couple Finds Hope" now ready for download at http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php

Just a reminder. This series echoed so much of the transforming love that God has worked in my own marriage. Day 2 had 83 comments last I checked, telling me this is obviously striking a chord in women's hearts across our country. I pray that you will be encouraged by this series as well.

Alan actually listened along with me for a portion of these and laughed and "amened" along the way. I told him I wasn't sure I wanted to listen to this with him. But we laughed and listened on. And then I listened again later too. =)

Blessings, my dear friends,

biscuits -- no milk

I wanted an easy-to-remember, milkless biscuit, and here's what came together:

1/2 cup oil
1 cup plain soy "milk"
2 eggs
4 cups flour (self-rising or add 2 Tbsp baking powder, 2 tsp salt)

(Notice each ingredient doubles (1/2, 1, 2, 4). I love memory clues.)

Mix with fork, then fingers.
On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle, fold over into fours, roll a little more.

Press out circles, place touching sides, and put in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. (Notice the numbers. Yeah! I love easy-to-remember.)

Serve with sausage gravy, or FROG jam,
tomatoes and bacon, or green eggs and ham.... =)

This one's for Micah, my no-milk kid. =)

Love you, buddy. --Mom (michelle)

p.s. FROG jam is Hillside Orchard's Fig-Raspberry-Orange-Ginger that I discovered at "The Tomatoe Vine" fresh food stand on Old Buncombe Road. Love it!!

helpful series on encouraging the faith of our husbands

Click on the title to link to the Revive Our Hearts series that began yesterday, Monday, July 12. Listen or read the transcript, though I definitely recommend listening to Kim and LeRoy talk with NancyLeigh DeMoss and hearing their voices. Especially if your husband is ministry-minded, I believe this series will be an encouragement to you as you seek to be the vine in your home, supporting and strengthening your husband. Thank you, Nancy, for following the wisdom of our Lord in sharing Kim and LeRoy's story. Thank you, LeRoy and Kim, for sharing so honestly from your hearts how God has taught you and brought you to where you are today in your marriage. Grace and peace to all, with love, michelle

fresh "peaches and green" salsa

  • 6 peaches, pitted and chunked (4 cups)
  • 1/4 red onion, diced (3/4 - 1 cup)
  • 1/2 red grapefruit, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 large green tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pt fresh blueberries (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (loosely chopped) (Since I picked this fresh from our garden, I just chopped up the flowers and everything; adds a pretty white)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix together with hands. Serve with tortilla chips or as a salad in its own rite.

Or try cooking down and serving over grilled fish, like a chutney.

by michelle l. grover
Bon Appetit.

the word that sustains

"Sustain me according to Your Word, that I may live;
and do not let me be ashamed of my Hope."
Psalm 119:116 nasb

Recently in small group we've been reviewing the major themes of the individual books of the Bible and memorizing a verse from Psalm 119.

Alan (my husband) commented how a study of Psalm 119 earlier in his life was exactly what he had needed to spark that fire of love for the Word of God as a whole. It's true. The psalmist captures so many of the major themes of Scripture and does it with a humble, grateful voice of praise.

So far:
  • Genesis: Creation/Beginnings (the word "genesis" literally means "beginnings" and this book is full of "firsts"); Psalm 119:73 "Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments."
  • Exodus: Moses/Out of Egypt (the prefix "ex" literally means "out of"); Psalm 119:54 "Your statutes are my songs In the house of my pilgrimage."
  • Leviticus: Holy Living (Levi was the tribe of priests, a holy class); Psalm 119:38 "Establish Your Word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You."
  • Numbers: Wilderness Wanderings (Are your feet "numb" in your sandals yet?; a long trip full of amazing evidences of God's faithfulness and humbling lessons); Psalm 119:105 "Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."
  • Deuteronomy: Time to Review (deut/duet: two, this is a 2nd giving of the Law; emphasis on God's love relationship with His people); Psalm 119:49 "Remember the Word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope."
Memorizing has been such a help and blessing. I'm actually putting the verses on the "notes" tab on my phone so I can review easily wherever I'm at. I'm so thankful for this study and for the enthusiasm my girls in small group are showing as they learn and treasure our great God and His precious Word that sustains.

Moses said in Deuteronomy 32, "Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess" (nasb).

And in the NT, we learn that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1) in the person of Jesus Christ, who "is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17); and perhaps even more clear, "He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [God's] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3).

And so I close as I began: "Sustain me according to Your Word, that I may live." Your Word is what holds me together and sustains my very being. You are my Hope for life and for eternity. "Do not let me be ashamed of my Hope." I love You, O Lord my Sustainer, O Word of power and truth and life. Be praised today and forever with the life You have given me. Amen.

michelle l. grover