Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

An Accomplished Hodgepodge

If it's Wednesday, it must be time for the hodgepodge! 
Please join us by clicking here!

Here are this week's questions and answers:

1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

Seeing results for effort. For example, finishing a piece of writing, cleaning a room in the house, noticeable decluttering, etc. 

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.

This was a tough question, but ultimately I decided on:

Steven Curtis Chapman - I'm almost finished reading his autobiography, Between Heaven and the Real World, and am fascinated. Also, he's known to be quite chatty, so he would give a great interview! 

My daughter's been a huge fan of his for years and has several (most?) of his albums. This picture is a little blurry, but it shows her and her brother with Steven Curtis and fellow artist Geoff Moore at a post-concert meet-and-greet several years ago.

L to R: Geoff Moore, Annika, Kenneth, Steven Curtis Chapman

Cliff and Wilma Derksen - the Derksens' daughter, Candace, was murdered in 1984 and they have chosen the radical response of forgiveness. Read this amazing article for more. 

Asia Bibi - This Pakistani woman was beaten and imprisoned for her faith in 2009. She remains behind bars, facing a sentence of death. You can write her a letter or petition an official through this site
It strikes me that these interviewees share a common thread: they are all survivors.

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?

Sarah Matheny's Peas and Thank You recipe for black bean burgers is one I make all the time. For toppings I like ketchup, mustard, zucchini relish, tomato, spinach and lettuce. Onions, too, if I don't have to worry about offending anyone with my breath. As for ordering out, the veggie burger at Harvey's tastes good. I haven't tried the veggie burger at South Street Burger yet, so I'm not sure how it compares.
4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

I'm pretty easy-going and calm-spirited. I can't think of anything anxiety-producing that I do on a regular basis.

5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.

One of my main goals is to get my house in order. We need to do a major purge and clean/tidy. We also hope to work on our front and backyards to get them looking better. Because of our bathroom reno, we aren't going anywhere big as a couple, though I'm joining my mom and aunt on an  bus tour of Newfoundland's west coast (striking an item off my bucket list!). 

Here's when I was last in Gros Morne (2010). I can't say the photo does it justice.

This time, I'll be getting north of Gros Morne, as far as the Viking settlement in L'Anse aux Meadows, and crossing over to Labrador for one night's stay.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

The best things we can do for another human being are to pray for them, love them, and exercise compassion. The greatest need anyone has is to be accepted.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge Update

We're halfway through the year, so I thought it was time I posted an update on the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge to let you know how I'm coming along. The truth is, I'm way behind. I've only read four titles so far, putting me nine books behind at this point. My reading efforts have gone slowly this spring. I don't know if it's because of the titles I've chosen - too long, too deep, (in some cases) too boring - but I can't seem to get ahead.

Anyway, below in green are the titles I've read so far for this challenge, and in pink are the titles I've changed from my original list. I also need to change the letter Z as I haven't been able to find Zacchaeus in any library in Canada, and I don't want to order it from Amazon where the only reviewer of the book to date has given it only two stars.
All In: You are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life
Mark Batterson
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
Peter Enns
Cold-case Christianity: a Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
Wallace J. Warner
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life
Louis Zamperini
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey  from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Blaine Harden
Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
Francis Chan
Girl Meets God
Lauren F. Winner
How Christianity Changed the World
Alvin J. Schmidt
If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life
Alister McGrath
Joni & Ken: an Untold Love Story
Ken Tada
Kisses from Katie: a Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
Katie J. Davis
Living in the Spirit: Drawing Us to God, Sending Us to the World
George O. Wood
Miracles from Heaven: a Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing
Christy Beam
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence
Jonathan Sacks
One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity
Debbie Macomber
Put on the Armour of Light
Catherine MacDonald
Quiet Strength: the Principles, Practices and Priorities of a Winning Life
Tony Dungy
Reverend Mother’s Daughter: a Real Life Story
Mary Haskett
Jim Cymbala
Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be with God
Bill Hybels
Unstoppable: the Incredible Power of Faith in Action
Nic Vujicic
Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision
Andy Stanley
Why We’re Not Emergent
Kevin DeYoung
Edith Wharton
Your Own Jesus: a God Insistent on Making it Personal
Mark Hall
Zacchaeus: When God Stopped By
Patty Froese

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Right Now

I haven't done a Right Now post since the beginning of the month. I started doing the Wednesday Hodgepodge a couple of weeks ago and that seems to be working out, so I'm going to try doing Right Now on Thursdays. Here we go with what I'm doing right now:
Drinking: I have a bit of a drive ahead of me this morning and the day is grey and grim. I'm drinking coffee to get me going. After that, my goal is to stick to water or herbal tea.

Eating: For breakfast today it's oatmeal with two tablespoons of ground flax, one tablespoon of hemp seed, one tablespoon of coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup and almond milk. I don't know what I'm having the rest of the day. I'll be at Starbucks visiting with an old school chum this morning and at my mom's for lunch and supper.

Reading: I'm reading one of the worst books I've ever read, Gros Morne Justice by Walter Mallery. Very poorly written. I'm only sticking with it because it's set in Gros Morne and the Deer Lake area, Newfoundland, where I'll be this summer. And now that I've started reading the story, I want to see how it all pans out in the end.

I'm also reading Living in the Spirit by George O. Wood and Between Heaven and the Real World by Stephen Curtis Chapman. These are much better books.

Watching: We've watched a few movies recently - one of the best is Hacksaw Ridge and one of the worst A Hologram for the King.

Listening: I borrowed John Mayer's CD, The Search for Everything, from the library, but keep forgetting to stick it in the player. Maybe today!

Creating: Blog posts and novel revisions.

Buying: Still the odd bit for our bathroom reno. Trying to find pants that fit properly. I also need a new lens cap for our camera.

Anticipating: The bathroom tiles finally arrived yesterday. I don't know if my husband will get the job done this weekend, but I'm certainly hoping most of the work will be finished in the next couple of weeks!

Also looking forward to seeing my friend this morning. He lives in the U.S. now and is only up once or twice a year. We've known each other since kindergarten!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

We have a lot of green and yellow. While I don't mind it, I do find that the yellow can be hard to keep clean. I am thinking about redoing our colours, particularly the entrance-way, living room/dining room, kitchen and hallway. Probably a neutral from the taupe family. My husband just painted our main bathroom in Dulux's tulle white. I love it.

2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?

I pierced my ears when I was sixteen. It was a no-no in my family and I wanted to make the point that they were my ears and I could do what I wanted with them. They ended up getting infected and when the infection passed, I let them close over. For me, it was never about wearing earrings...

3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.

I do the traditional things associated with being a 'domestic engineer' - I cook and clean and mother my children. As for how I break the stereotype, I am an equal partner with my husband in family leadership and I tend not to be overly emotional.

4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?

My husband and I owned a motorcycle several years ago - a 1982 Honda Goldwing. So yes, I've ridden one, but never driven it. I would hop on a motorcycle again if the conditions were right. Just for a short ride.

5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

They should read the Bible, watch Touched by An Angel and The Passion of the Christ, and listen to James MacDonald. Great question!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The on-going terrorist attacks around the world are unacceptable, to say the least. Don't we all feel that Daesh could have been taken care of by now? What's the hold-up? A lack of political will? Why, when so many are dying?

Please join us for the Wednesday Hodgepodge by clicking here!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Weekly Weigh-In

So I'm having trouble following the naturopath's regimen. There's not a lot he asked me to change (probably realizing it's best to make just a few small changes and add others in increments), but still...

Here's what he wants from me: 

1) add one tablespoon of healthy fat to each meal (e.g. coconut oil, flax seed oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, olive oil)  

2) add two tablespoons of flax seed or hemp seed to each meal

3) ensure that I'm getting protein at each meal 

4) before lunch and dinner take two pills to address a particular issue I'm having

5) continue taking my multi-vitamin and vitamin D supplements

In addition to being "good for you," the oil is supposed to help fill you up so you can go without eating between meals. When I've remembered to do it, it works pretty well. Protein also works to that end, though I often don't get much protein at breakfast unless I'm having oatmeal.

Anyway, my weight remains steady. No changes there. Two weeks to go before I see the naturopath again.

How are you doing with healthy eating/weight loss? Any specific things that are proving helpful?

Friday, 19 May 2017


An attitude of thankfulness is said to increase positivity and happiness. I would add 'joy'. Here's the list of things I'm thankful for this week:

1. My mom and I had an awesome Mother's Day weekend together. I took her to Niagara-on-the-Lake to see 'Me and My Girl' at the Shaw Theatre. It had been years since either of us had been and we found ourselves wondering why. The performance was amazing - great cast, high energy singing and dancing, awesome plot. I'm sure it won't be so long between visits next time!

2. We had a nice lunch at the Sunset Grill. I always enjoy their light breakfast, but ordered the tuna salad plate this time. I wish I'd taken a picture so I could share it here. The food was excellent, the service very good. Great experience overall.

3. We had an enjoyable visit with my mom's sister as well as my cousin's family. We don't see them very often, and it's always great to reconnect and catch up.

4. My daughter made a belated Mother's Day supper for me on Monday. I appreciated not having to cook when I got home from work and for dessert we enjoyed the birthday cake my mom had sent home with me. Happy bellies all around. 

5. Last but not least, my husband was hard at work while I was away last weekend. The toilet, vanity and sink were all installed and operational by the time I got home. Monday we bought the backer board for the tub/shower space. As soon as he gets that up, the tiling can be done. Hurray! Things are taking shape! 
Join us here for #FridayFive

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full-fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

We should NOT be celebrating this 'holiday.' I'm a bit of a pack rat, so I can say that, don't you think? I've definitely gotten better at decluttering, but I still have a long way to go before I can enjoy the simple life I long for. Paper is a big problem for me, but it's not the only one.
2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

This is a toughie. There are definitely things I don't know how to do, but should I know? That is the question. I would like to know how to knit and crochet, but by the same token I'm not sure I'm willing to invest the time in learning and being frustrated...

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I wouldn't say I crave sugar. If you asked me about chocolate, I might admit to the odd craving in that direction. I never add sweetener to tea, but I can't drink coffee without something. In the last couple of months I've made the switch from sugar to maple syrup. I tried coconut sugar first, then Sucanat, after learning that there are negative aspects to using Stevia. Now it's maple syrup all the way. My daughter thinks it's gross but my son says, "Hey, we're Canadian. We put maple syrup on everything."
Dessert is not a given when dining out. Usually I'm already satisfied by the time dessert rolls around. But when my hubby and I went out to the buffet Friday night, I did have a small piece of custard pie and half of a chocolate chip cookie.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?


5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

Whenever I hear 'Happy Together,' it reminds me of when my husband and I were dating. And no, we weren't dating in the era the song was released!!
For some reason it became 'our song' during a hike through a conservation area, back in the day. I guess because we were 'happy together.' Still are!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It's very easy to let other people rent space in your head, but doing so only makes you feel miserable. Don't be infected by someone else's bad mood. Do your best to stay calm, cool and collected in the situation and let it pass over you like water off a duck's back. 
Yesterday I had a customer who was unhappy with his experience at the previous service counter. He kept griping to me about it and I did my best to make him feel that his complaint was being heard. I offered him the possibility of speaking to a supervisor as well. When he left, he made the statement that if the woman who'd "helped" him before I did didn't want her job, he would take it. I made the mistake of smiling (his comment sounded like a joke to me, but obviously he was too wound up to find it humorous) and was informed that he didn't need my smiles. I wonder if he allowed the rest of his day to be poisoned... I chose to redeem mine.
Please join us for the Wednesday Hodgepodge by clicking here!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Book Review

Title: The Little Things: Why You Really SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction, Inspirational, Self-help  

First Lines:

(From the Introduction)
Soon you will come to understand how and why a simple adjustment in perspective can produce personal and career results far beyond what most people ever imagine.
First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andy Andrews. I am a Noticer.
It is entirely possible that I am the first professional Noticer you've ever met...
Goodreads Description:

Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time and energy thinking about the big challenges in our lives when all the evidence proves it’s actually the little things that change everything?  That’s right…  Absolutely everything.

New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews is known for his strong storytelling and unequaled perspective on principles that empower the human mind and spirit. The Little Things embodies his own approach to life and work, detailing for the first time some of the exclusive material that he uses to teach and coach some of the most successful corporations, teams, and individuals around the world. In his unique humorous style, Andy shows how people succeed by actually going against the modern adage, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  By contrast, Andy proves that it is in concentrating on the smaller things that we add value and margin.

“In a world where so many feel powerless, wouldn’t it be great to feel in control? Then know this. Perspective can be more important than basic answers.

“I am more passionate than ever about my search to notice that one thing . . . that one tiny thing that, when understood and harnessed, allows us to create a life of extraordinary purpose and powerful results. It’s less about drive and will power than it is about understanding certain principles and why they work . . . every time.

Andrews provides common-sense perspective and a game plan for meeting various challenges, such as:

  • Managing life in a society that seems to be constantly offended by something or someone
  • Creating change that is permanent and not short term
  • Dramatically increasing results by harnessing the fraction of margin between second place and first
  • Understanding our spiritual connection with God and how that affects planning and outcome
  • Identifying the very moment when asking the question why? multiplies the success of an endeavor
  • Recognizing the smallest details that ensure the greatest success
My Review:

I'm a big fan of Andy Andrews' writing and perspective. He has a way of looking at things that is fresh and different - of making the reader say, "Hmm, I never thought of it like that before. That makes sense!" His style is conversational, as if you are chatting over coffee or tea in a tidy, comfortable setting. 

In fifteen relatively short chapters, Andy addresses a variety of "little things" people SHOULD sweat over - things like taking offense, quitting, change. "Wait a minute," you say - "those aren't little things!" See, you do need to read this book, if only to find out why these ideas are included.

My favourite chapter is on change and the myths Andy refutes: 1) It takes time to change. 2) A person must want to change, and 3) A person won't change until he hits rock bottom. "What? Susan, these aren't myths!" you argue. Really? Are you sure? Again, you need to read this book.

You will definitely learn something new, and it may just improve your life. If you do read it, let me know what you think or what impact it has.

This makes a great gift book too! 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Few Words About Mothers

Belatedly, in honour of Mother's Day:

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. ~Honoré de Balzac

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go. ~Author Unknown

And finally, a very important question:

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weekly Weigh-In

After my birthday yesterday, I wasn't going to get on the scale this morning. We went out for a buffet dinner last night and I was quite full when we finished, even though I didn't go wild. Still, I'd forgotten to weigh myself Friday, and I like to do that on May 12 every year, so...

Not surprisingly, no positive change in my weight this week. And this weekend I'll be eating out a fair bit with my mom as we celebrate my birthday and Mother's Day. 

I met with a naturopath on Tuesday this past week and Monday I'm going to start the plan he set out for me. It should help with a few things including weight. He's not a fan of the no-fat or low-fat diet, but a believer in 'good'/healthy fats (unlike the Seven-Day Rescue plan I did in February, which was of the no-fat variety). Should be interesting. I meet up with him again in three weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

Based on your own reading/research, what do you think of dietary fat?

Friday, 12 May 2017

#Friday Five
An attitude of thankfulness is said to increase positivity and happiness. I might even add 'joy'.
Here's the list of things I'm thankful for this week, i.e. my Friday five. Actually, I'm going to make it six because - why not?!

1. Today is my birthday. Thankful to have lived another year and to have had the experiences I've had, even though some have challenged me more than I wanted to be pushed. I'm grateful for all this last year has taught me. Lots to celebrate!

2. I appreciate my husband's hard work. He has always supported my dreams and encouraged me to pursue them. He is very handy around the house, which saves us big-time on labour costs when anything needs to be done. He provides well for our family and loves me and our children. This morning he couldn't wait to give me my new Tim Hortons ceramic travel mug, which I look forward to using!

3. Thankful for the BIG spontaneous hug my son gave me yesterday. Not sure if it was inspired by something I'm not aware of, but I sure enjoyed it.

4. Thankful that my daughter has a part-time summer job now and that she's really enjoying her new responsibilities. She is detailing limousines and everyone in the family now has high expectations of her taking care of our vehicles, LOL.

5. My friend had her appointment with the oncologist Wednesday and has been declared cancer-free. Surgery did the trick and no chemotherapy or radiation are required. Praise God!

6. Heading into Mother's Day, I have to say I am very thankful for my Mom. She brought me up by herself with her parents' support, sacrificed much, and always loved and encouraged me. I'm looking forward to spoiling her this weekend and hope she enjoys everything I have planned. Listening to her guesswork is half the fun.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's been a while since I participated in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. To be honest, I found there were too many questions to respond to and it was taking up too much of my time. But Joyce, the Hodgepodge founder and coordinator, has decided to cut back on the number of questions and I will give it another try. If all goes well, this will mean a shift in the day I post my Right Now entries.

Here goes:

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.

My mom can be slapstick at times and we often thought she could have her own version of The Carol Burnett Show. Some of my best memories of my mom as I grew up were those times she was just being silly or telling funny stories. I'm a mom myself now and my young adult children definitely appreciate my sense of humour (even if they do roll their eyes, they're still smiling!). My experience as a mom is different from my mother's in that I have a boy and a girl (she had two girls but lost one to cancer) and the challenges we face in the 21st century require different parenting skills and approaches. 

 2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

My mom got her university and teaching degrees as a very mature adult. She didn't get to use her teaching degree for long and taught computer keyboarding and office-type software to adult students, but her willingness to persevere and go back to school for something she always wanted are certainly inspirational. If you want something badly enough, you shouldn't let any artificial obstacles (such as age) stand in your way!

 3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

I'd go for the tuna. I rarely eat poultry these days and I'm particular about how I like my eggs, even in a sandwich. I'd have my tuna on whole wheat bread with lettuce or spinach.

 4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?

I have a desk but it isn't terribly organized at the moment. Something I need to work on. My desktop is on my desk and that is where I normally blog. Today I am blogging from a computer at work while I'm on my lunch hour.


5. When I was nine years old....

It seems to me that everything happened when I was nine years old. My parents divorced that year, my cousin came to live with us for several months and introduced me to ice cream as a comfort food, I gained weight and became 'chubby'. I'm sure I could think of other things if I had more time...

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

I've just finished reading Andy Andrews' book 'The Little Things: Why You Really SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff.' He has a way of turning everything you've accepted as true on its head. Stay tuned for my book review, coming Tuesday.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Book Review

Title: Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit
Author: Jim Cymbala
Publisher: Zondervan, 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, Christian Living 

First Lines:
I wasn't expecting the Holy Spirit to join me for lunch, yet that's exactly what happened.
My wife, Carol, was out of town, so I went to a little cafe that I like on Long Island. I found a quiet table against the wall, ordered my usual salad, and while I was enjoying my healthy food, I caught up on some reading...
Goodreads Decription:

For some of us being a Christian is harder than it should be. Discouraged, anxious, worn down, we wonder what happened to the power and the joy that Jesus promised.

Jim Cymbala believes that many of us are missing something vital. Christianity, he says, for even the best-intentioned person or church, is impossible without the Holy Spirit. You can have regular devotions, great preaching, a strong emphasis on the Bible, a great worship team, and a congregation that is trying, but if you aren’t vitally in touch with God’s Spirit, you are missing out on the life God has for you.

The Holy Spirit, he points out, is God’s agent on earth. Yet he is the least understood, least preached about, and least discussed member of the Trinity. That is sad, because without him, our spiritual lives will always become dry, mechanical, and a struggle.

Too often, the body of Christ is divided into two sides. One side stresses the Word of God, separating itself from what it views as the emotional fanaticism often linked to those emphasizing the Holy Spirit. The other side is sometimes known for drifting into unbiblical manifestations and unorthodox teaching while attributing it all to the Spirit of God. But the Christianity we see in Scripture is both grounded in the Word and full of the Spirit.

With stunning stories of how God is working in the lives of people and churches today and biblical teaching about the Holy Spirit, Jim Cymbala invites you to experience God in a fresh and vital way. Nothing else will change our prayer life, our study of God’s word, and our worship more than opening our hearts to the Spirit. If we want power, confidence, joy, peace, and more love in our lives, then we need a better understanding of how and why the Spirit moves so we can join him there.

My Review:

I'm a huge fan of Jim Cymbala's body of work and have read several of his books, including Fresh Faith, Fresh Power, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, and The Life God Blesses. Several others are still on my to-read list. Cymbala writes in a conversational style that is engaging and relatable. While he never went to Bible college or seminary, he has been taught by the greatest authority (the Holy Spirit through His Word) and read secondary sources by the most cogent and spiritually-reliable theologians. 

It doesn't take much for Cymbala to convince the reader that the Holy Spirit is lacking in Christians and in Christian circles today. The evidence is all around us if we look. And if we know our Bibles at all, we'll know that the Holy Spirit is the essential component of effective Christian living and discipleship. Cymbala gives story after story of the change(s) people experience once the Holy Spirit becomes active in their lives. These were some of the best parts of the book for me because it's one thing to know a fact intellectually, and another to see it enacted in real life. 

If you're a Christian, this book has the information you need to change your life. As always, it's in the implementation. Spirit Rising is a book I'll return to again and again as I seek the Holy Spirit's presence and power in my own life. What can I say? In this area at least, I'm a slow learner...
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars