Julie Elias – A Girl Like Me (A CD Review)

We love music around our house and so when I had the opportunity to review “A Girl Like Me,” the new CD by Julie Elias, I took it.  If you are like me, I saw this CD cover and thought to myself that she looks really, really familiar.   I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  As it turns out, Julie was an actress in Hollywood. You may have seen her in “Grey’s Anatomy” or “CSI:NY.”  Her life in Hollywood was not bringing her the  contentment that she knew she could as she was living her life for Christ.  Stepping out on faith, Julie left Hollywood behind and began looking ahead to what God had for her.  That led Julie to pursue a career in music believing that her life experiences could encourage others in their faith.

In her music, Julie shares her heart by sharing personal experiences that span from beauty to rejection.  Her willingness to be transparent through her music makes it all the more beautiful.  As I listen to the music and read the words to Julie’s songs, I am touched by the reality of God’s grace that is freely offered.  A few favorite lines, with the name of the song noted at the end, are:

When I’m lost You call me by name…and when I fall You love me the same.. ~ Unchained

You build power from my weakness…give me life with Your great love… ~ Awaken

A girl like me could be worthy of a King… ~ A Girl Like Me

Can’t make it through without grace and favor…~ Lost

When the hurt and fear are at my door, let me look to You when I need more… ~ Run Away

You’re treasured and loved, a child of a King…There’s hope on the way…There’s love on your side..There’s strength for today…You’re never alone…There’s light to lead you home… ~ Wherever You Roam

It may be because Christmas is less than 20 days away, but I think my favorite song on the CD is Here With Us.  It’s about the manger. It’s about the gift of our Savior and the sacrifice He made for us.  One thing I have to mention is that I love instruments! And Julie’s CD did not disappoint in this area.  Not only are the words poignant but the instrumental portions of the songs are just beautiful reminding us in every song that we are “worthy of a King”.

A little more about Julie…In 2014, she founded Aurora Ministries, an organization that creates Christian material and hosts conferences for teen and tween girls around the world where Julie shares her music and life experiences in hopes of reaching others for the cause of Christ.

Lastly, and just maybe the best part, I get to end my review with a giveaway. You can enter to win Julie’s CD “A Girl Like Me” by clicking HERE.

“A Girl Like Me” is available now in CD format and also on all digital outlets such as iTunes.  Julie’s official website is: www.julieeliasmusic.com.  And you can learn more about Aurora Ministries HERE.

Until Next Time… Joy to You!

 

Please note that I did receive a free copy of “A Girl Like Me” in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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Need ~ A FMF Post

It’s Friday!  Yay!  It’s been a long week and yet, time is really passing quickly.  Maybe that’s because I’m getting older. {smile}.
Even though I am still not finished with the 31 Day Challenge, I wanted to participate in the regularly scheduled Five Minute Friday post today.  Why?  Because the prompt, when revealed last night, struck a cord in me. 
And GO….
As has become my practice, I like to share the definition of the word I am writing about. It helps give me focus on what I am writing.  The definition of NEED is:

a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation

a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary

urgent want, as of something requisite

necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case

a situation or time of difficulty; exigency

a condition marked by the lack of something requisite

destitution; extreme poverty

I began to think about what it is that I really NEED.  I thought of things that I quickly realized are actually wants.  There was nothing on the list – that I am a bit embarrassed to share – that keep me from living my life and even being joyful about the life I’m living.

So…I asked myself again…

What do I NEED?

And what I came up with was really simple.  I need Jesus.  Every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  I need His grace and mercy.  I need His love and compassion.  I need to be confident in the salvation that He freely gave to me.  That’s it.  That’s really all I NEED.

And the cool thing is that He provides all of that.  God’s Word tells us in Philippians 4:19 that He provides for us.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I have to do my part in my relationship with Him to fully receive what He offers but it’s all there.

And STOP…

One more thing.  I wanted to share a favorite hymn from when I was a little girl.

Until next time…Joy to You!

 

This post is linked up with other bloggers over at FiveMinuteFriday.com.  If you have a moment, take a look at what the others have to say about NEED.

Share ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Post

It’s day 18 of the Write 31 day challenge, but only in number.  I have been out of town and did not get to schedule ahead OR write while I was gone.  So I’m catching up.  Obviously, this 31 day Challenge will now go into November for me.

All that to say…the 18th Five Minute Free prompt is:

And GO… 

I am once again starting with the definition – both the use of SHARE as a noun and a verb:

 Noun

the full or proper portion or part allotted or belonging to or contributed or owed by an individual or group

one of the equal fractional parts into which the capital stock of a joint-stock company or a corporation is divided

Verb

to divide and distribute in shares; apportion

to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc., jointly

I keep an index card on the wall over my desk that I read at least once a day.  It has Colossians 1:9-13 written on it.  Several years ago I was encouraged to really study the book of Colossians.  I did but I got stuck in Chapter 1 for a long time.  When I got to verses 9 – 13, I just had to spend extra time there.  Here is what is says: 

9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 I realize that there is a lot in these verses but one of the things that stuck out to me was in verse 12 where it says,

…qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

 Isn’t that cool?  God himself qualifies us to SHARE in the inheritance of the saints.  He wants us to “have the full or proper portion”.  He wants us to “participate in, enjoy, receive” His inheritance.    

I think about how I emphasized to my kids over and over again to SHARE. And I wanted them to.  I really, really did.  But in light of eternity my focus should have always, always been to teach them to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10).  To be “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Col 1:11) so that they can SHARE in the inheritance offered to anyone who believes and confesses the Lord as Savior.

And STOP… 

So this post may or may not have really focused on the word SHARE.  But how could I not SHARE the good news of what Christ does for us?

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

 

My landing page for this 31 day series is HERE

Remain ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Sunday’s are busy for our family so I am late writing today.  And I’ll be honest, I started to just skip it and pick up tomorrow but the Five Minute Free Write is good so I had take 5 (+ or -) minutes and write.Timer set…GO!

As has been my norm in this series, I will start with the definition but today I am only featuring the one I want to concentrate on:

to continue in the same state; continue to be as specified

I’ve mentioned before that my kids are musical and so songs come to me as I think of a particular word or phrase.  The same thing happens with Scripture.  Sometimes I hear a word or phrase and a verse pops in my mind.  Today, while thinking about the word REMAIN, I thought of the verse in John 15 where Jesus says:

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (verse 4)

I love this.  I especially love the ESV version where “abide” is used in place of REMAIN.  He continues in the “same state”.  While considering writing on this verse, I decided to look up other verses using the word REMAIN and I came across 2 Timothy chapter 2.  Here’s what verses 9-12 say:

But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

And then there is verse 13:

if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.

It struck me that often my faith seems so small that I feel like my faith is gone.  But thankfully, God’s Word tells me that He REMAINS faithful!!  Why? Because I am His.  It goes back to the verse in John 15.  I REMAIN in Him — even in the hard times…even when I feel like my faith is gone…and even when I feel like I am far away — He is REMAINING in me.  What a beautiful and comforting truth.

So how do we REMAIN in Him?  How do we REMAIN faithful?  Prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other believers are the three things that immediately come to mind.  Life will throw things our way that will cause us to get off course.  That is a fact.  But isn’t it good news that God will not get off course.  He will REMAIN.

And STOP!

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

 

My landing page for this 31 day series is HERE

Invite ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

It’s Friday again and that means that the word prompt for the Five Minute Friday free write, as part of the Write 31 day challenge, was sent out at 10 pm last night.  I’ll be honest, it’s been a long week and so I didn’t look ahead so that I could consider the topic.  And this one has several directions in my mind:And GO…

Let’s start with the definition, as has been my practice.  To INVITE is:

to request the presence or participation of in a kindly, courteous, or complementary way,

to request politely or formally

to act so as to bring on or render probable

to call forth or give occasion for

to attract, allure, entice, or tempt

Looking at the part of the definition “to request the presence or participation of…” immediately took my mind to Jesus and how He INVITED Zacchaeus to come down from the tree where he sat so that he could see Jesus.  And then, Jesus went to his house for dinner.  He INVITED Himself over.

Admit it, you are singing in your head…..🎶 Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.  He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see. 🎶  {smile}

The two INVITATIONS in this have always  amazed me.  First, Jesus INVITES Zacchaeus to come to Him.  To leave the place he is in and come to where Jesus is.  He does that with us too.  Jesus INVITES us to spend eternity with Him.  In order for that to be a reality, we have to INVITE Him to live with us.

The second is that Jesus INVITES Himself over.  Now we don’t get INVITATIONS in the mail from Jesus but He does want to be with us all. the. time.   He wants to come to our house — not our street address, although that is a natural byproduct!  He wants to indwell us in the form of the Holy Spirit.

And STOP…

I’ll conclude with a song that I think sums up our INVITING the Holy Spirit to be a part of our lives.  It’s a favorite of mine.

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

For a complete listing of all the posts in this 31 day series, click HERE to go to my landing page.

Write ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Welcome back to Day 12 of the Write 31 Day challenge.  I have a confession to make – because I am writing every day for 31 days, I am actually writing ahead of time.  Because the challenge I choose is a five minute prompt challenge, I am setting my timer but I’m always writing a few days in advance. Anyway, today’s prompt has been in what I have already written 4 times!And GO…

I love to WRITE.  I always have.  And often the story, or sometimes just a scene, is in my head.  When I was a teenager, my sister and I helped with keeping the grass cut.  We had over an acre so it was a lot of grass.  I loved it when it was my turn on the riding lawn mower.  There were no headphones and iPods so I would have to sing to myself.  It’s a good thing lawn mowers are loud {smile}.  Anyway, I would ride and WRITE stories in my head.  Characters, setting, story line… I would have it all planned out.  Sadly, none of it ever made it to paper.

Fast forward many years and the desire to WRITE is one of the key motivations for this blog.  I wanted to share my heart with others.  It fun and often therapeutic for me.  So, as in the past 11 days, let’s look at the definition of WRITE:

to trace or form on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, etc.

to express or communicate in writing

to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing

to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.

to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down

to produce as author or composer

My kids are musical.  Anytime they are in a place where they can, and sometimes when they shouldn’t, they are singing.  It’s really beautiful  God has gifted both of them with beautiful voices and an incredible talent.  Because of this, I can relate a song to just about anything.  When I found out today’s prompt is WRITE, I immediately had a song come to mind.

Isn’t this a beautiful thought?  Being an open book and having God WRITE His story on our hearts.  It’s really like allowing Him to plan our lives, except somehow this is visual for me.   Proverbs 3:3 tells us that our hearts are like a tablet to be WRITTEN on…

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.

And on our tablet heart, WRITE the love and faithfulness of God.  Wow!

And STOP…

There’s so much more I could say.  When I saw that WRITE was the prompt for today, I wasn’t sure that I could fill even 5 minutes.  I’ll leave you with the other scripture that came to mind when I think of WRITING.   Concerning the words the Lord commanded the children of Israel that still apply today, Deuteronomy 6:4- 9 says this:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.. You  shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

For a complete listing of all the posts in this 31 day series, click HERE to go to my landing page.

Remember ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

It’s day 11 of the Write 31 Day Challenge and I am just going to jump right in.

Our word prompt for today is…Timer set – GO!

Our definition is this…

to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory

to retain in the memory

to have (something) come into the mind again

to bear (a person) in mind as deserving a gift, reward, or fee

The end of September and the first few days of October are days that bring me to recall many, many memories.  I spend a lot of time REMEMBERING.  You see, 18 years ago my Daddy went home to be with the Lord.   And 18 years later, it’s still very raw for me.  Some years, I can barely function.  And some years, I just cry for days..okay for a few weeks.  And then there are some years, like this year, that I just enjoyed spending time as I REMEMBER my Dad.  It was a sweet time for me.  And I so thankful for the memories.

I am also very thankful that God does not REMEMBER my sin.   I do.  REMEMBER them that is. I mean for some sins, I really do!!!  I love this quote by John F. McArthur, Jr.   He says,

What you can’t forget… God can’t remember!

Isn’t that beautiful?  Simple and beautiful!!!

And the Bible confirms it.  Psalm 103:12 tells us that…

as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

And STOP…

As usual, I have to complete my thought.  {smile}

I know that “removing our transgressions” is not that same as not REMEMBERING.  Or is it? (as one of our youth likes to say).  See if God removes our transgressions from us they are gone.  And He doesn’t stick them in a file folder or a box for safe keeping.  They are gone.  So in my simplistic way of thinking, He does not REMEMBER them.

To that I say HALLELUJAH!!!

I pray that you can spend your day REMEMBERING sweet memories instead of dwelling on difficult times or past sin.

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

 

My landing page for this 31 day series is HERE