Sunday, January 14, 2018

The $25 Giveaway & The Book Club

Dear Friends ~

I'm kicking off my 11th year of blogging by giving away a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card to one book-lovin' reader!

I'm so excited about what's coming up as we continue to do community together ... a deeper emphasis on emotional health and spiritual growth with plenty of opportunity for give and take as you share your stories and wisdom in the follow-up conversations.

A 6 session weekend book club right here beginning February 2nd.

And yep, there'll still be those monthly wrap-ups, random 'aha' moments, worth-your-time resources, book reviews, fun giveaways, and maybe a series or two.  They're not going anywhere.

Read on.




If you were being hustled off to a desert island and you could only bring your Bible and one other book, what game-changer would you toss in your bag?

Don't run off to check your shelves, dig out your book journal, or spend alot of time racking your memory.  Simply sit quietly for a minute and let God bring to mind that one special book that turned your life upside down and inside out.

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For me?


Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence 
- Ruth Haley Barton
'Truth be told, it was desperation that first propelled me into solitude and silence. I wish I could say that it was for loftier reasons, pure desire for God or some such thing. But in the beginning it was desperation, plain and simple. There were things that needed fixing in my life, longings that were painfully unmet, and I had tried everything I knew to fix what was broken and to fill what was lacking, but to no avail' {page 25}.

This is the book that transformed my oft' boring quiet time, my lackadaisical attitude toward intimacy with God, my uninformed thoughts about what meditating on His Word could truly look like.  This is where 'be still and know that I am God' began to take on a whole new meaning.

Ruth's story grabbed me {oohh, you, too?} and inspired by her own spiritual journey, I began to invite God to shake me free from the tired oughts-and-shoulds of my uninspired devotional life.  And in the process, I fell head over heels into Jesus' waiting arms.  He, the Lover of my weary soul, had been patiently beckoning me closer all along ... and I finally invested in saying, 'yes.'

Thirteen years ago, this book spun my spiritual life around and impacted me in all the broken, untended, lazy places that needed God's powerful touch.  I'm in the process of reading it for the third time and I want to share this little treasure with you.

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We're going to be talking about Invitation to Solitude and Silence for 6 weeks right here beginning the weekend of February 2nd.  Mark your calendar and grab your copy of the hardcover here or your Kindle edition there.  I can't wait to sit around our virtual table, throw out a few conversation starters, and let you do your thing in the comment section.

We'll be chatting about our obsession with wordiness.   Being dangerously tired.  Our odd resistance to silence.  What rest for body, mind, soul could look like for where you find yourself.

Don't want to read the book or want to simply sit quietly with us?  No problem!  Please drop in any time to see what's going on.

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To enter the giveaway of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, leave a comment on this post by Thursday, January 18th at 9 am {eastern, US only please}.  Share your favorite book and why you'd take it to that imaginary island ... and if you've talked about it on your blog, please include the link to that post so we can all check it out!

Or simply email your comment to lindastoll@juno.com and I'll post it for you.  Email readers, click right here to come on over and join the party!

Hint to the wanna-be-winner:  Be sure your name is somehow linked to an email address that I can hunt down easily, ok?

I'm chomping at the bit to hear all about your absolute favorite pageturner.  And if you're IN on the book club, please let me know!


if you like what's happening around here,

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spending time with

76 comments:

  1. i would want my Bible and my New Morning Mercies. It is a 365 daily devotional that has been my lifesaver this past year. It also has so much meat in it that one reading is not enough.

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    1. For sure, once a book has saved our lives, it forever remains treasured.

      Any feast deserves to be re-visited, doesn't it, Bill ...

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  2. If I were on a desert island, apart from the Bible, I would like to have a book on how to build a boat. Or perhaps how to make a GPS Communication System out of some leaves, trees and sand. Or how to make an wood-burning air plane out of wood. Or failing all that, how to make a chocolate cake out of coconuts, or whatever else the desert island has to offer. Or perhaps a book on how to survive on a desert island. That would be useful.

    God bless.

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  3. Tough question, Linda! My one book might be Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It was ground-breaking info to me the first time I read it, and I've read it several times since. It would give me lots of things to practice in my time alone on the island. :)

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    1. You're so right, Lisa ... sometimes we need a hand, some guidance in helping us live out our faith.

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  4. Hi Linda! What big plans here! I'd like to say I'm 'in', but I'm not sure I'd have the time. Is this a big book? You planned six weeks, which seems good but I'm not sure how much I'd have to read each week.
    I'd definitely bring the book, "True Devotion to Mary". It turned my life around much like you mentioned. I knew I needed to understand more of what the mother of God was like, and how to follow her to obedience and joy. I loved it, and I read it once a year.
    Blessings on your 2018 plans for your blog, and congrats on the 11 years you've been blogging. Wow!
    Ceil

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    1. What a gift to experience a book so powerful that it just begs to be revisited yearly, Ceil ...

      And no, 'Invitation' a slim book, not at all demanding on our time or brain energy, but a deep spiritual invitation nonetheless. I hope you'll come along for the ride. I think you'd appreciate where we're going and know you'd add much to the conversation ...

      ;-}

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    2. Thank you for your reply Linda. I just ordered the book from Amazon. Here we go!

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  5. I'd probably bring The Goldfinch with me on a deserted island, partly because I loved reading the story so much the first time and partly because it is so long (nearly 800 pages), it would take me awhile to get through again. Hopefully a rescue boat would arrive just as I'm finishing the last page!

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    1. Oh don't you just love a huge pageturner, Marilu ... and lots of time and space to snuggle into it?

      ;-}

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  6. Oh, that's easy. I'd bring along Richard Bach's "Illusions: The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah".

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2018/01/your-dying-spouse-439-final-thoughts.html

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    1. I'm guessing this has been an important resource in recent months?

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  7. Choosing one book! So hard! Next to my Bible I would probably choose Jesus Calling. It always seems to give me what I need and leaves me hungry for more of the Bible.

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    1. Oh yeah, I love 'Jesus Calling' ... for myself, to read to clients at the end of a counseling session, to loan to someone I love.

      I'm with you, Amy ... and am glad you're here.

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  8. I love that you're doing a book club experience here, Linda! What a great idea! And I think I would probably bring Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. It's one of my all-time faves. And the book you've mentioned sounds like a PERFECT read for me. I'm going to go to Amazon next and check it out! Thanks for the recommendation and for you constantly generous heart, my friend! I so wish I could give you a hug in person today! #missingyou

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    1. That's another favorite. One I want to revisit this year. The 'Emotionally Healthy Church' was a good one, too, wasn't it ...

      Can't wait to hear what you think of 'Invitation,' friend.

      Hugs right back atcha, too!

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  9. Well, what book-lover can resist a contest for bookish gift cards? I have trouble narrowing any book choice down to just one. I'm tempted to borrow one of Victor's choices or a survivalist guide book. I'd be sad without my fiction. I started to say Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg - I've read it at least twice, maybe more, and still feel like I could stand to read it a few more times. But I think I'd choose Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. Her writing always convicts and edifies me, and there's enough of a variety of topics there that I wouldn't get bored reading the same volume over and over - at least for a while.

    I don't know if you have my email, but it's barbarah (at) gmail (dot) com.

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    1. 'Keep a quiet heart.' Yes, yes, Barbara. I think we're tracking with each other ...

      Isn't that what God's inviting us all to ... peace, peace.

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  10. Count me in on the Book Club, Linda! I just now ordered my copy, and can't wait to begin reading it. Now as to what book, other than the Bible, would I take with me? Does The Lord of the Rings count as one?
    Blessings, my friend!

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  11. 11 years! I'm so impressed, my friend. This looks like a wonderful book. I wish I had the time to join you but I'm always behind in my live book club. So I know it would be crazy to commit. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on the book though! I would pick the Bible for my deserted island, mainly because it would finally give me a chance to actually read it all the way through ;).

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    1. Well, please drop in whenever you can and jump right into the topic, Candace. I'd love it ... the welcome mat is always out.

      ;-}

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  12. So....I don't where I fit this book you are inviting us to join you with, but I just ordered it to my Kindle app and I'm in (as best I can). I have a great deal of difficulty narrowing the "game changer" book along with a Bible I would take to a desert island. The one that set me on the road to healing was The Sensation of Being Somebody by Maurice Wagner back in the late 70's, but the one that revolutionized my relationship with the Lord some years later was the book by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge, Sacred Romance. The stories with movie and music references created a different level of intimacy in my connection with the Lord. (Loving movies and music, this book captivated me with the skill of using them as metaphors for our relationship with the Lord....the one "grand love affair"!!

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    1. Yep, we're all doing this the best we can, Pam! I'm so glad to have you sitting 'round the table ... you come bearing wisdom and I know that if we had met some 15 years ago, you would have been an incredible mentor to me.

      Yes, I remember seeing John Eldredge with the movie clips. I kind of forgot all about his presentations, but now that I look back they sure were cutting edge.

      You've brought back some good memories, friend ...


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  13. I love the idea of the book club, Linda, and I'll definitely consider taking part. It sounds like it would fit well with my word for the year, which is "focus," and help me find the stillness to focus more on God.
    I struggled to choose one book but I think I will go for The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It's one of the first Christian books I remember really impacting me and ut's such an inspiring testimony of faith in the midst of suffering. Just typing this nakes me want to go and re-read it now!

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    1. Yay! I'm so excited, Lesley! I love that you've brought up your Word for the year and I will definitely keep that in mind along the way. It's amazing how our interests and passions and callings all meld together as followers of Jesus ...

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  14. Hi Linda. The first book that popped into my mind, other than the Bible, is The Shack. I haven't read it in years, but I remember it really resonated with me and made an impact. I have been thinking lately I should revisit it. It seems if I reread books years later, I get an even deeper perspective. So either that or the Pilgrim's Progress. :) Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Yep, I remember it well ... we worked through it during our early house church days ... it was rich in biblical imagery and truth. It was a faith enlarger, for sure. I missed the movie a year or so ago ... thanks for the prompt to check into it.

      And 'Pilgrims Progress.' Wow, that's a classic for sure. There's a reason it's been around for eons ...

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  15. You have some exciting explorations planned! I'll be stopping by as often as I'm able! Your work is so valuable, and your community so strong. Best wishes in this new year! Much love.

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    1. The door is always open, the welcome mat always awaits, friend ...

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  16. I just bought the book for the book club so I am "in". :) For this season, I would take the Listening Life by Adam McHugh. I talk about it in these two posts: http://www.tjsmusing.com/2017/08/benedict-listening-and-jesus-book.html and http://www.tjsmusing.com/2017/10/lessons-from-book-of-job.html. Listening is an area that I have always struggled in and would like to do better.

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    1. TJ ... I'm so happy to meet you for multiple reasons! You're ready to roll for the book club. And you're 'A Listening Life' fan. Adam's book is my 2nd favorite ever ... and I'm pretty sure we're going to be exploring it around here before long.

      Welcome, welcome! So good to meet a kindred spirit ...

      ;-}

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  17. Solitude and Silence sound wonderful to me. I am such a horrible study stayer though. I love the idea of starting but I never seem to stay with it. I think I'll look up the book though and see about reading it on my own.

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    1. You may wander in and out as often as you'd like, friend! There's always a seat at the table wide open and waiting ...

      Would love to have your input along the way as you are able.

      ;-}

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  18. Linda,
    Wow! 11 years....you truly ARE a veteran. Congratulations! I suppose I'd grab my Bible and recently I read "Deeper Waters" by Denise Hughes which just encourages me to fall deeper in love with the Lord through His Word. Thanks for your always insightful comments and posts!
    Blessings friend,
    Bev xx

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    1. And thanks for sharing your recommendation, Bev!

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  19. I would choose Anne of Green Gables because it has funny and serious moments to keep me occupied.

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    1. We do best when funny and serious rub shoulders, don't we ...

      So glad you've joined us early this morning!

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  20. Yay for all books! I love ot read so choosing just one book is really hard. I am currently reading "You're Made for a God-Sized Dream" by Holley Gerth and "Falling Free" by Shannan Martin. They both are speaking to me in a deep way at this time in my life. But having the Bible on the deserted island is a must.

    I am very interested in joining the book club and will pray about the timing. I love that it starts on my birthday! :) Thank you for the giveaway and congrats on 11 years of blogging. Your words are a gift.

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    1. Well, happy upcoming birthday, Mary! Feel free to drop in whenever you can ... no pressure, no attendance taken {I knew the teacher in you would like that comment!}

      ;-}

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  21. Hi Linda,
    What a great question! And I love all the suggestions it inspired, too. Sara Hagerty, by far, is the author who makes me think and see God differently than I've ever imagined. Both of her books are on my bedside table and I just continually read snippets and see things I hadn't noticed on prior readings. Looking forward to your thoughts on solitude and silence too! This space here is always fresh and engaging for us -- thank you! xoxo

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    1. Hi Valerie ... I've not heard of Sara Hagerty ... I'm jotting her name down and will be checking her out. Thanks for enlarging my reading world, friend!

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    2. Hey Valerie ... I haven't heard of Sara and I'm jotting her name down even as we speak. Will check out her writings.

      I'm looking forward to the Solitude & Silence Book Club. I'm anticipating some rich conversations ... you guys are all awesome!

      ;-}

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  22. Battlefield of the Mind. It's an oldie but goodie that left its imprint. Congratulations on such a beautiful, long stretch of blogging, too.

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    1. Kristi, thanks, for hanging out here with me ...

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  23. Happy 11th year, Linda! Goodness, picking one book other than the bible is HARD! Could I cheat and just take my phone (loaded with all my kindle books, of course!) If I had to choose, I suppose it would have to be Valley of Vision. The Bible needs to accompaniment, of course, but if it were to have one it would likely be this volume of Puritan prayers. The book club you're doing sounds good. Hoping to join you! Have a blessed week, friend!

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    1. 'Just take my phone' - that's cute!

      So glad to hear you'll be popping in to Book Club. You bring much wisdom with you, friend ...

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  24. I've slowly been working my way through Solitude & Silence and it is feeding my soul as well. As for my favorite book, it is so hard to pick one! After the Bible, I might have to pick the Chronicles of Narnia (is it cheating that they are 7 books, when I have a volume that contains all of them?) They continue to speak to my heart and provide metaphors for my spiritual walk from childhood well into adulthood. I'm so grateful for those "children's" stories. And happy 11th year to you, Linda! Worth celebrating!

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    1. Hey Alison ... welcome! So glad you're here. And it makes me smile to know that you're already paging through Solitude & Silence and finding your soul fed in the process.

      Bless you ...

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  25. I love the excerpt that you included in here. And reading through all the comments of the book people would bring! And it's a tough one. For fiction I'd bring The Three Musketeers, as they had so much fun fighting their battles and on my TBR list to re-read (as first read was 40 years ago I think). For non-fiction, it most likely would be a Brendon Manning book or a Henri Noewen. Sorry, I just can't seem to bring it down to one!

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    1. I hear you about finding it hard to narrow down a favorite to just one, Lynn! I have a 2nd and 3rd place book that easily came to mind ... and maybe we'll be doing a bit of a discussion on them in the future, too!

      Happy reading, friend ...

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  26. Linda, I loved this post. You really got me thinking. I have a couple of books I would bring. One is the Streams in the Desert journal/book a friend gave me many years ago. It transformed my understanding about trials. I always tried to avoid them. But it was reading through that book (and journaling) during a particularly difficult season that I began to grasp the reality that 1) we will ALL face trials, so better not to try avoiding them, and 2) God never wastes them. He conforms us into the image of Jesus, He reveals more of Himself to us, and does many other works as we walk through trials.

    If I could bring another book, and I mention this in part because it's probably not as well known, I would bring, Broken For a Purpose, by Gisela Yohannon. This book taught me much about the work God can do in brokenness, as well as how God works to sanctify us.

    Come to think of it, I need to re-read both of these books. :)

    Great questions, Linda! I loved reading your thoughts on, Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence. It sounds like an amazing book!

    Please enter me in your drawing. ;)

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    1. Interesting about trials, Jeanne. We pray to avoid them, we pray to get out of them. But it's right in the midst that we receive the most grace, learn the hugest lessons, and get our souls stretched in ways that never would have happened otherwise.

      'Count it all joy ...' is a hard one. But God is able to redeem those dark nights of the soul.

      That I know for sure ...

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  27. OH MY . . . choosing a favorite book.
    If it were fiction, I'd choose Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. For non-fiction, I'd go with My Utmost for His Highest because on the island, I'd have time to puzzle over his Chambers's words.
    Very intrigued by this book club, Linda.

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    1. Oh, intrigued is a good thing! I hope you'll be dropping by ... you always bring alot to the table, Michele.

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  28. Only one?! That's so hard! I've written lists of favorites. They feel like children...I can't pick just one. My first reaction, however, is the one I always say...Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Somehow I thought it should be non-fiction that I bring, but this book has illustrated God's love in ways non-fiction has yet to do. If I could bring a suitcase of books, you could bet a few of these would make the trip: https://www.myinkdance.com/2017/12/10/its-time-for-book-week/

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    1. I know, I know! One is hard! I had 3 and forced myself to narrow them down ...

      Becky, I thought your comment on fiction interesting ... you're right, we might tend to think that only non-fiction has deep redeeming value. But that's not the case is it ...

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  29. Love this idea! I just joked with my husband that I would bring my own book since it did change my life. But the one that really came to me is Jen Hatmaker's Seven Experiment. I read the book and did the group study and it is challenging! My post about it is www.strainme.wordpress.com/wrecked

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    1. Of course your should bring your own book! Absolutely!

      ;-}

      And I loved 7, too ... a great book club selection, Sarah.

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  30. Linda, I had to think about this one for a while ... it's hard to choose one favorite book. :-) I'd say my favorite book(s) of all time are the Chronicles of Narnia ... because of the story and also because they transformed the way I see Jesus. The book that has impacted me the most in the last year would be Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way" ... God used this book to totally change my heart with regards to my relationship with my mom. Finally, the books that have had the most enduring influence on my spiritual life are probably Stormie Omartian's "The Power of a Praying Wife" and "The Power of Praying Parent." I love your book posts, my friend! I'm hoping my library can find "Invitation to Solitude and Silence" so I can be part of your book club too. :-)

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    1. Oh Lois, you and Alison {5 or so comments back!} should get together as she is a Narnia lover, too!

      I hear you about 'The Broken Way', friend, and praise God for the healing that came as you paged through. A beautiful testimony from a most difficult year for you ...

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  31. I have had so many favorites it's hard to choose. I really loved a book called Finding I am by Wendy Blight. It's a study on the names of God. If I were on an island I would want all of that to refresh and reflect on Him.

    https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/finding-i-am-study-week-4-notes-i-am-the-resurrection-and-the-life-i-am-the-way-and-the-truth-and-the-life/

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    1. I AM.

      Oh the names of God ... too marvelous to fathom! Island meditation for sure!

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  32. On a desert island, I doubt I would need either of my life-changing books: Codependent No More and Boundaries because I assume there would be no interaction with others. So my choice would be my Bible and Becoming Worldly Saints because it is where I am at right now or Heaven by Randy Alcorn

    Pulled my copy of Invitation off the shelf to delve into again. Love💕💕💕💕book clubs.

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    1. Your comment made me chuckle a bit, Carol ... and some sweet day we'll have no need for relationship books because we'll be in heaven and we'll only experience loving each other in ways that are healthy and Christ-honoring!

      Talk about victory in Jesus!

      ;-}

      I miss our book club. I guess this will be 2nd best ... but I'm excited about it anyway!

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    2. As I was reading Scazzero’s The Emotionally Healthy Leader, a book came to mind that changed my life as a new believer. It was Emotionally Free. I would really love to read it again.

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    3. See the 8th comment from Beth ... you're in good company!

      Scazzero's books had a number of 'aha' moments if I remember right. I'm thinking they're worth a reread ...

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  33. Hmmmm, favorite book... that is such a tough one!!! If I could only bring one it would be the Bible.. if I could have a Bible AND another book... hmmmm... anything by Victor Hugo??? - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  34. Thank you so much for this giveaway. I'd love to enter. I would take my Bible, journals, and probably Emjoying God by R.C.Sproul to the island.

    Love in Christ,
    Ashley

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    1. Ashley, I'm with you! Take the journal, too!

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Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...

Linda