Tag Archives: Rob Morgan

Guest Author, Robert J. Morgan, tells us about his new book: The Strength You Need—The Twelve Great Strength Passages of the Bible (Releasing August 16th!)

Friends! We are so blessed this week to get to hear from author and preacher Rob Morgan about his new book, The Strength You Need. I can’t wait to read it as every book Rob writes becomes my favorite.

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Rob is the Teaching Pastor at Donelson Fellowship Church in Nashville, Tennessee. (www.donelson.org ) He’s been preaching, shepherding and serving there for thirty-five years. John and I go hear him preach whenever we’re in Nashville. His church is only five minutes from Opryland.

Rob has been most gracious to drive in from Nashville to speak at two book clubs I’ve had the pleasure of attending in Louisville. He came to Southeast Christian several years ago when we read his book One Hundred Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart. Last fall he came to Middletown United Methodist Church when we discussed The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times.

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Rob and his lovely wife, Katrina, worked together on this newest book, The Strength You Need–The Twelve Great Strength Passages of the Bible. Katrina has been valiantly fighting multiple sclerosis for years. He told me that even tho’ she’s in a weakened state, she contributed a paragraph at the end of each chapter–all the more reason to want to read this book! (Please keep Katrina in your prayers.)

Rob and Katrina are about to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary with their family at the beach the end of this month. They’re blessed with three daughters and fourteen grandchildren. (You don’t want to miss their experiences in raising sheep when the girls were young in The Lord is My Shepherd—Exploring Psalm 23.)

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Rob recently sent me an excerpt from his newest book.  Without further ado, let’s enjoy some wonderful words from our author while praying we can wait patiently for the August 16th release date of The Strength You Need


“From Strength to Strength”

By Robert J. Morgan

(Adapted from the conclusion of his book, The Strength You Need)

Last night I stood on the front porch and watched the sun descend like a burning plate behind the horizon. This morning while brushing my teeth, I saw the same sun arise on the opposite side, ascending over the tree line like a blazing disk. I thought of the old song, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun thy daily stage of duty run.”

Who knows how many days are left us in this world? How long until the Lord returns? Not long, I think. We have work to do and a cause to advance, and we need all the strength we can muster.

Psalm 84 tells the story of a pilgrim like us, a traveler preparing for his annual trek to Jerusalem for one of the great Jewish festivals. For him, the greatest thing was visiting the Jewish Temple, standing in its courtyards, listening to its choirs, and sensing the presence of the Lord God. “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord,” he said in verse 2. But the trip was rigorous, dangerous, and demanding. Where would he find strength for the journey, especially through the hot valley of Baka?

He exclaimed in verses 5-7:

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We can learn from this Psalm. Our lives are a pilgrimage to the city whose architect and builder is God. We’re travelers tackling rugged terrain. As we press on, strengthened by the Lord, we leave blessings behind us. We turn waterless valleys into irrigated landscapes. We go from strength to strength, from day to day, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. Along the way, the Lord will provide the strength we need.

Here are some power lines stretching from heaven right into your heart. These are some of the great strength passages of the Bible. My wife, Katrina, and I have searched these out and have written about them in my book The Strength You Need. Read them, and claim one of them for your pilgrimage today.

  • Your strength will equal your days – Deuteronomy 33:25.
  • The eyes of the Lord range to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him – 2 Chronicles 16:9.
  • The joy of the Lord is your strength – Nehemiah 8:10.
  • The Lord is our refuge and strength – Psalm 46:1
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13.
  • Out of His glorious riches He will strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being – Ephesians 3:16.

 

 

THANK YOU, ROB!!!  Blessings to you, your family, your church and please keep writing!

August 16th won’t come soon enough! May we stop and take hold of those “power lines” to strengthen us.

‘Til next time!

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Four Fabulous Phrases Plus a Crazy Fun Fact for You this Christmas…

One verse.  Four names.  It’s all we need this Christmas Week…

But first, a question:

How’s your memory? You may say, “What memory? My train of thought just left the station…”

C-train, Calgary

I’ve been up a creek without a paddle after numerous grocery runs. Forgetting milk isn’t as big of a deal-breaker as forgetting hamburger when you’re making tacos.

Forgetting names is my strong suit. I meet someone and instantaneously, poof!, their name evaporates. Infuriating. Frustrating. Embarrassing.

Further forgetful, I forgot to order a book in a recent order of gifts and cards from a favorite catalog company known as Bas Bleu. (www.basbleu.com ) The book? Wait for it….

You Can Learn to Remember: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (You Can… (Watkins Publishing)) by Dominic O’Brien

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I thought, “Wow, for $9.95, why not?” Excited to open my package a few days later, the memory book was MIA. I looked at my order list. Nope, I did not order it. How can you forget to order a book on remembering?

Well, one thing I did learn this Christmas season, is I can remember one Scripture verse. You can too. Thanks to the fact I’ve written a verse out on several Christmas cards. It’s been my go-to phrase. Repetition helps! (If you think you can’t do this, trust me, if I can, you can.)

Best book for doing so? Obviously your Bible, but add this one to it and you’re in business: 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart by Rob Morgan.

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I’d like to give you the verse I learned and recommend simply repeating these four fabulous phrases (names), especially this week, praising our Lord and Savior. He is our gift this Christmas, and every day, as we roll into 2016.

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Isaiah 9:6 says,

“For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be on his shoulder,

And his name shall be called

WONDERFUL COUNSELOR,

MIGHTY GOD,

EVERLASTING FATHER

PRINCE OF PEACE.” (ESV)

These four fabulous names are gifts for us we can give back to the Lord in praise to Him:

1 – Wonderful Counselor:

Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Not only is the Holy Spirit our Advocate or Counselor, my favorite gift He offers is when we are so overwhelmed we don’t know what to pray for, He steps in and mediates for us.

Romans 8: 26 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Remember “Wonderful Counselor”!

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2 – Mighty God: Our God is Mighty. Think Mighty Warrior. Psalm 50:1 says, “The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (ESV) Mighty is, well, mighty. Praiseworthy. Remember “Mighty God”!

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3 – Everlasting Father: Everlasting is forever. Our God is our Forever Father. HCSB says, “Eternal Father.”

Isaiah 63:16b says, “You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your Name.” Always was. Always is. Always will be.

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Remember “Everlasting Father”!

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4 – Prince of Peace:

A prince of anything is someone who’s in charge of something. i.e. Prince Charles. Prince William. Prince Harry.

To learn our Savior is the Prince of Peace should bring us all the peace we can handle. Who doesn’t want peace, especially at this time of year?

Praise Him for giving you and me peace. Don’t forget Jesus’ words in John 14:27…

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 Focus and allow His peace to saturate your heart. Offer peace to your family this Christmas! Remember “Prince of Peace”!

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Finally, I’d like to leave you with a crazy fun fact my friend Pat sent me this Season:

This is a tradition you may wish to start in your own home this year. It comes from the lovely country of Iceland.

Did you know Iceland sells more books per person than any other nation in the world, especially during the Christmas season? They call it Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood”.

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual 'Christmas Book Flood". Photo courtesy of npr.org. Click image to view article.

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood”. Photo courtesy of npr.org. Click image to view article.

The tradition has a twofold purpose:

1 – Each person must receive at least one book for Christmas to take to bed with them on Christmas Eve.

2 – Along with taking the book to bed, each person must have some chocolates to go along with their book reading! How crazy fun is that? (You can bet I’ve shared this discovery with Hubster. )

I pray you and your family have a most memorable (!!!) and blessed Christmas and New Year. I look forward to spending more time with you as we learn about helpful Scripture and books and authors in 2016.

Don’t forget (!!!) the four names: Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.

These two beautiful songs via YouTube may also help you remember and worship:

In 1741, George Frederick Handel composed a song based on Isaiah 9:6 which you can watch the London Symphony Orchestra perform on this YouTube link:

A more contemporary twist to Isaiah 9:6 came out in 2014, sung by Aaron Shust, “Unto Us”. Both of these are wonderful.  Enjoy!

See you next year!

‘Til next time!

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Holidays, Life Lessons

A Croissant a Day…(Managing your Margin: Part 2 of 4)

Could it be possible for Satan to masquerade as a young, handsome maitre d’ on board our ship in France? And could he possibly sachet thru’ the dining room, every single morning, with a tremendous tray, tongs in hand, serving fresh, melt-in-your-mouth-nearly-foot-long croissants to each and every passenger because none of us could say, “no”?????

Actually, my stealth-like-resister-of-temptation-husband was able to turn this guy down. Yours truly? Not a chance.

Breakfast with croissants and coffee

Fresh butter and cheese and an assortment of lovely preserves enhanced the croissant. Slice of Heaven… All of this was a mere preamble to the breakfast we were about to order. So to answer my earlier question about the possibility of Satan masquerading as our maitre d’, oh, yes, I’m sure of it.

I could go further out on a limb and claim the croissant brought me margin (!!!), but that’d be a bit of a stretch. As in needing to wear stretch pants after a week of a croissant a day. And look at what was waiting for us in our workout room once we got to Paris:

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Alrighty then…

Last week we began by defining what margin is (Purposefully keeping space between your load and your limit. For more descriptions and suggestions, click on Part 1 of 2…)

This week we’ll discuss one of many concepts of margin. It comes from a well-known Scripture, Psalm 46:10a which says, “Be still, and know that I’m God…”

The NASB says, “Cease striving…”

The NLV says, “Be quiet.”

The VOICE says, “Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.

Author Rob Morgan, in his book The Lord Is My Shepherd: Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23 points out that finding time to study and savor Scripture is “a challenge in an age of noise, earbuds, radios, iPods, television, and loudspeakers. But all my electronics (including my mobile phone) HAVE AN ‘OFF’ BUTTON.” Hello???

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Rob says, “We’ve got to steal away for stillness.” He recommends we “carve out a little zone of quiet each day for devotion and meditation.” Think about how you can do this today.

Ruth Bell Graham said, “The definition of traveling light may vary from one individual to another. But most of us need to trim off some excess weight.” (She’s not talking about excess weight on our bodies—as in pounds, plural, from consuming a croissant a day…She’s talking about in our calendars.)

She continues, “We have too many social involvements, an overabundance of good but unnecessary meetings…Remember this: ‘Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.’”

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Let’s return to Mark Buchanan’s book, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Mark admits his number one regret is being in a hurry. Anyone besides me relate to this???

He says, “I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry…Thru’ all that haste, I thought I was making up time. Turns out I was throwing it away.”

The Rest of God

Now get a load of this: “The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness: heart and killing. That is stunningly incisive. The heart is the place the busy life exacts its steepest toll.” To further convince us of this, Mark adds, “This is true literally, physically, and cardiologically.”

Doctor Holding A Red Heart

He said his own father died of heart failure as did his father’s brother.  They literally worked themselves to death. Completely consumed and obsessed, they raced to a dreadful finish line. Scary.

Equally eye-opening is the Swahili word for “white man”–mazungu. It means “one who spins around”, as in spinning out of control. Mark says, “We’re flurries of going nowhere.” Ouch. “It’s Sabbath time,” Mark adds, “which invites us to stop turning around and around.”

The busy life is the antithesis to how God wants us to live. Ann Voskamp said, “Hurry always empties a soul.” Thus if we’re empty, we are rendered unable to glorify God. The light of Christ within us quickly becomes snuffed out. Scarier.

How then, must we live

To be still?

To manage our margin?

To restore our souls so that we restore the Sabbath?

This week, I pray you’ll consider ways to manage your margin every day. As I said last week, managing our margin translates into a huge benefit for our health and well-being.

I’ll leave you with a couple moments of margin while in France. Why don’t you leave a comment with some of your own ideas of favorite margin moments? We could all use some help!

John taking a moment of margin
This would be John’s idea of margin: relaxing on the balcony of our ship, taking in the beautiful scenery. (Yes, I did micro-manage just a tad and suggest he be careful to not kick his shoes off in the river!!! Fairly sure that little remark blew a moment or two of his margin…)

front of chocolate store
One of my ideas of margin occurred while drooling over some chocolate in a chocolate store.

moment of margin in cafe for coffee
This selfie (!!!) was taken one morning after a walking tour in Paris. It was a bit chilly and we wanted a hot cup of coffee. Café Americain, bien sur. Just what the doctor ordered for a moment of margin.

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Couldn’t resist this sign. Good advice….(And for you Frenchies, take the advice about your dog.)

Let’s return once more to Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” May we find moments of margin to be still and not hurry thru’ what life we have left on this earth.

Next week we’ll look at some thought-provoking questions from Mark’s book. Heads’ up: they have the potential to stop you in your tracks…but for good reason. We’ll also have more moments of margin from France.

‘Til next time!

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Move Over, Mom…I’m Drivin’… (Part 5 of 5 on Help from Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates)

Sweet Sixteen…

 Where does your mind go when you hear that phrase?  Depends on how you’re affected, beginning with your age.

If you happen to be the lucky soul turning Sweet Sixteen, you’re excited, ready to get behind the wheel of that car, ready to take on the world.

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If, however, you happen to be the parent of the sixteen year old, I’d like to offer the thought of Sweet Sixteen as an oxymoron.  Sitting in that passenger seat gives you a panoramic you may not wish to view.

Three for three of our boys will tell you their least favorite time of my mothering came when they got their driver permits. It forced me in the passenger seat for six very long months.

Their favorite phrase to utter became my least favorite one to hear:  “Move over, Mom, I’m drivin’….” It’s a wonder I didn’t punch a hole in the floor or rip off a door handle.

Naturally my sweet husband, the adventurous one, loved teaching the boys to drive.  Somehow, tho’, I was usually the one with them because of school, etc.

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This week in our fifth and final post on fear, we are going to bring home some tactics to carry with us when we encounter fearful situations.  I’m sad to bid farewell to my favorite little book on fear by Debora M. Coty, Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates—Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s Worries.

 Again, to grasp the entirety of the book requires you read the entire book.  It’s so good and includes twenty-two amazing chapters.  I’ve simply given you morsels.

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A certain “activity” seems to be haunting me, no thanks to different authors, who do not know each other, yet who seem to truly believe in this activity.  It surfaces in Bible studies I’ve done repeatedly.  When this happens, I firmly believe it is our precious Lord getting our attention.

The “activity”?  Scripture memorization.  Groan…..I s’pose I avoid it because I’m not gifted in this area.  I can’t remember milk at the grocery store, much less multiple words…And yet, the benefits are innumerable.

Rob Morgan wrote a wonderful book that is the perfect addition to your library and hopefully your Scripture arsenal. It’s 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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Rob says “if you’ll just invest at least five minutes a day, you’ll reap seven remarkable benefits:

1 – Clearer thoughts.

2 – Steadier nerves.

3 – Healthier emotions.

4 – Purer habits.

5 – Happier homes.

6 – Greater respect.

7 – Eternal optimism.”

Let’s join Debora Coty, our Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates author, perched high on a snow-covered mountain top, waiting for a rescue team to find her.  Seems she took quite a spill while snow skiing that did some damage to her knee…

She said, “A Bible verse I’d learned long ago sprang to my mind:  ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’(Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).  I said the verse aloud again and again.  The words seemed to take on a life of their own, growing richer and mightier and more vibrant each time.”

She continued, “Then a strange and marvelous thing happened. The majesty of the mountaintop scene consumed me, and a warm, quiet peace filled my heartI realized that I had indeed been given a sword—a powerful weapon that would keep fear, my immortal enemy, from ripping my helpless, defenseless heart into itsy-bitsy pieces.”

Verse after verse started popping into my head, some from childhood, some more recently memorized, some I thought were long forgotten.  Like old friends, they surrounded and comforted me.”

Debora calls this mountaintop epiphany the day she “learned to swordfight”.  She adds, “I’m a firm believer in the mega-importance of keeping a full arsenal of scripture loaded and ready for battle.  God’s Word is our sword…it must be mobile, sharp, and handy at all times.  Even on a lonely mountaintop.”

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A couple of favorite verses prove this to be true:

Hebrews 4:12 tell us, “For the word of God is alive and activeSharper than any double-edged sword…”

Ephesians 6: 10-18 teaches us all about putting on the armor of God.  Verse 17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.”

Now armed with our swords, we must stay armed…as in not parking them at the door.  I’ll never forget hearing Angela Thomas speak one time.  She said, “If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, Satan views you as sportin’ a red target on your back.  We’d best be prepared for his attacks.”

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Let’s add this verse to our list:  I Peter 5:8 warns us to “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

My Life Application Bible enlightens:  “Peter warns us to watch out for Satan…feeling alone, weak, helpless, so focused on our troubles, we forget to watch out for danger, making us especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.”

James 4:7 reminds us to “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Debora gives us some great verses to memorize to combat our fear in Chapter Sixteen.  This one you can remember easily:  “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  (Psalm 56:3)

So whether or not you’re jumping into the passenger seat with your sixteen year old, or walking down the halls of a hospital for tests, or sitting in a motorcade of a funeral, or facing one of your biggest hurdles, hold on to the best lifeline available, God’s Word.  He will sustain you.

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“Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASB)

I pray you’ve been encouraged to “fear not” after our five weeks together, thanks to Debora’s wonderful book.  Thank you, Debora!  Your faithfulness has helped so many of us!

I also pray you and your families will have a most blessed Christmas season and reflect on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His most amazing birth.

This week, in honor of Nelson Mandela who just passed away, let’s close with a quote from him on fear:  “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

‘Til next time!

This week’s chocolate recommendation:  a delicious, but disastrous discovery from Costco—and you get not one, but six packages of brownie mix.  Try Ghiradelli’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix.

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This  week’s post is dedicated to my new friend and counselor (!!!), author Debora M. Coty.  I have never enjoyed a book more. I’ll be reading and re-reading Fear, Faith and  a Fistful of Chocolates ‘til the Lord returns.  And I can’t wait to start your other books!  Merry Christmas and thanks for your wonderful inspiration!!!  God’s Blessings!!!

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