Book Review: Initial Impressions of “Jesus Always”

I’m so excited to share my initial impressions of the soon to be released text, Jesus Always.  

First, let me start with a quick nod to the earlier text, Jesus Calling.

That book still speaks to my soul, DAILY. This really amazes me because I’ve been re-reading the book for years. I have it in a hard copy version; a Kindle e-book that I can access from my phone, laptop, and various Kindle apps and devices ; and a desktop calendar that sits in the guest bathroom (aka, “my bathroom”) in my home.

Yet and still, every time I turn those familiar pages, the words fall fresh on my heart EACH and EVERY time and something will speak to the depth of my exact situation with THE EXACT encouragement I need. Long story short, I love that little book!

On top of all of this, Sarah Young has written SEVERAL BOOKS over the years, but this is her FIRST 356-day devotional since since Jesus Calling was released in 2004, so I am tooooo excited to add this new book to my devotional collection.  

Initial Impressions of Jesus Always:

The Cover:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (Did I mention, LOVE?) The purple cover! Purple is one of my FAVORITE colors!

The cover has an irredessecent sheen that is actually very subtle (I really only noticed this as I attempted to take a photo and caught a glimpse of the book aganst the light from my the flash on my phone).

Photo of the Cover (Fresh Out of the Box)!

The Content:

While, Jesus Calling is a filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year written from Jesus’ point of view (thus the title Jesus Calling), Jesus Always invites the reader into a new way of living—a life of joy. 

The new 365-day devotional was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in scripture.

It continues in the style of Jesus Calling and is written as if Jesus, Himself is speaking directly to the reader with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God.

Each devotion includes companion scriptures that will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus—the One who meets you where you are.

Today’s Devotional Page (Note: the Ribbon Bookmark on the Left 😉🖒)

Other Things I Like! 

I’m a sucker for a book with a ribbon bookmark.  I’ve even started hot gluing my own ribbon bookmarks into books.

Little known fact about me: One of my first jobs at UNC was in the Walter Davis Library as Book Preservation Specialist. As a result, I can deconstruct and reconstruct a book in 30 minutes flat!

That also means that I can be a stickler on book construction.  I really am a fan of the pocket-friendly size of Jesus Calling and I was happy to see that Jesus Always remained in that same vein (and had the bookmark ribbon 😁)!

The Inside Cover


You Can Reserve Your Copy, Now!

The text will officially be released to the public on October 4, 2016.

You can pre-order it now on Amazon.com and get their price guarantee!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

What the Cross Represents…

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

I received these earrings to review. I know I post a lot of reviews here… most of that is required for the product reviewing hobby I’ve developed (I hope you’ll continue to bear with me as I try to incorporate other content), but they help me to keep the content updated more frequently and usually lead to some deeper sort of reflection for me.

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When I looked at these, beyond the baguette stones and the solid construction, the lyrics to the song below came to mind.  This album came out when I was in middle school and my mom played it all the time.

I didn’t mind though. I loved it. This was one of the songs that was very personal for me. I think it was around this age that church became more than a “place to go” for me.  My salvation became VERY real and I would often reflect on the kind of love one had to have to sacrifice His “only begotten son” for a world of people.

At this point, my nephew had been born and I loved him with all of my heart– I didn’t know that a love like that could exist. To see a person that you’ve never known before and love them instantly– and want the best for them. It blew my mind.

So when I thought about that kind of love and asked myself if I would be able to give his life to save the world. I just cried. I’m crying now (I’m more of a softie than most people realize 🙂 ).

It really IS a powerful question to ask yourself: Think about the person you love THE MOST in this whole world. Then ask yourself if you could give his/her life to save the fate of the rest of the world? Could you do it?

I sometimes think we can hear altar calls so often that we can become numb to what that sacrifice REALLY meant and just HOW personal it was.

He did it JUST FOR ME.

He did it JUST for YOU.

He did it with EACH  and EVERY one of US on His mind.

When I look at a cross– be it a pair of earrings, in a church, or a photo on a wall — That is what it means to me.

Just for Me ~ Donnie McClurkin
What does the cross of Jesus mean?
It’s more than songs we sing, yeah
Much more than that emblem on your chain
But it means I’m free, yes from the chains of slavery
And the blood that shed won’t let my sins remain, oh my
Upon the cross my Saviour died, the Lamb was crucified
Showed us love that this world had never known
Oh what love, divine so divine, true a love you’ll never find
So that we might live, love came and died alone, Hallelujah

Well the Cross will always represent the love God had for me
When the Lord of glory, Heaven sent gave all on Calvary
He did it just for me, just for me, Hallelujah

 

There are lots of different ways to pray the prayer of Salvation, but I wanted to leave one here if you’ve yet to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and feel a stirring in your heart after reading this post.  This is from one of my favorite prayer authors, of the book Prayers that Availeth Much.  You can reword this to make it more personal, but this is the general overview.

Prayer To Receive Jesus as Savior and Lord

Father, it is written in Your Word that if I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead, I shall be saved. Therefore, Father, I confess that Jesus is my Lord. I make Him Lord of my life right now. I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead. I renounce my past life with Satan and close the door to any of his devices.

I thank You for forgiving me of all my sin. Jesus is my Lord, and I am a new creation. Old things have passed away; now all things become new in Jesus’ name. Amen

Workout Recovery: Compression Therapy 

My husband and I have histories of joint pain. We also enjoy working out as one of our dating activities, but we have to be very intentional about our recovery methods. This is where compression therapy comes in.

 
What is Compression Therapy?

I was thrilled to see an article recently on one of my favorite fitness apps, MyFitnessPal explaining compression therapy and its benefits. Usually, when I mention compression therapy, I get confused looks or raised eyebrows from folks. I get it though, I was unfamiliar with it until I learned of it during my last round of physical therapy.

As the article states, compression as recovery is nothing new. Many athletes already rely on compression socks and shorts after a workout, and research identifies a link between compression garments and reduced muscle soreness after sprinting and plyometrics. You can read more about the method in the full article found here.

My Newest Workout Recovery Tool: The Wuju Fitness Knee Brace

This #WujuFitnessKneeBrace won’t make you young again or cure any joint issues, but it will help to lessen your joint pain and support your knee muscles and ligaments and aid you in bending your knee.

wujufitnesskneebrace-review-by-fixitwithfran

It’s basically a knee brace used to compress the knee for sports or to solve aches and pains. It comes in 3 sizes, the color is silver/grey with a design in the knee cap. I like this more than other braces I’ve used it the past because it fits around my thigh without rolling down or bunching.  

I’ve used it for the past two weeks and will be purchasing more for continued use. The fabric is lightweight, but sturdy and it could be worn during my workouts, though I prefer to save it for my compression therapy which I complete after my workouts and at various times throughout the day if I experience any muscle discomfort.

If you workout frequently, I encourage you to try compression therapy if you haven’t already.  This is only one of many braces/compression sleeves to choose from, but it worked well for me!

Pasta Possibilities!

I love making pasta.  I feel like the possibilities are almost endless.

Now, I know I said I try to limit the number of occasions that I make traditional pasta in one of my previous posts— but let’s be honest– there’s nothing like a good fettuccine!

I received a stainless steel colander to review and used it to make one of my favorite recipes.

prochef_colander

Here’s a bit of info about the colander:

  • The stable base allows you to safely strain hot liquids even in busy and wet kitchen environments.
  • Micro-perforations let the liquid quickly drain away while keeping the food safe in the bowl.
  • The entire colander is easy to carry.
  • Aside from straining, this is also a great solution for grease cooking, splatter control, frying, sautéing and other liquid-heavy cooking.

Anyone who loves to cook knows the importance of a high quality colander. The Pro Chef Kitchen Tools round colander is strong, stylish and efficient and I’m happy to have it in my collection.  When I’m not using it to cook, it also doubles as a great fruit/veggie holder on my counter top!

Now that you know a good bit about the colander, here’s the all important recipe and some photos of the colander in action!

We made this dish using another Blue Apron recipe.  (This isn’t a sponsored post — I just REALLY like Blue Apron and they post ALL of their recipes online, so you can use them even if you don’t subscribe.  I LOVE THAT!)

Spring Chicken Fettuccine

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken Tenders
  • 6 Ounces Fettuccine Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • ½ Bunch Asparagus
  • 1 Bunch Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Crème Fraîche
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Prepare the ingredients:

    Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Remove and discard the kale stems; finely chop the leaves. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and chop into bite-sized pieces; transfer to a bowl. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

  2. Cook the chicken:
    In a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Cook the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine1
    While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.
  4. Add the vegetables:
    While the pasta cooks, to the pan of chicken, add the asparagus, kale, rosemary, 2 tablespoons of water and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the kale has wilted.
  5. Finish the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine2
    To the pan of chicken and vegetables, add the cooked pasta, crème fraîche and half to the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously to coat the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Plate your dish:
    Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Abundant Life

What do you think about when you think of an “Abundant Life?”

For me, I think about a life that is filled with peace and security.  Sure abundance may come with physical possessions, but more than that– I think of fulfillment and a heart and mind that is centered on the will of God.

As described by the author’s, 4 Abundant Life is a step-by-step guide to help you discover what it means to be an authentic man/woman/married person, develop your unique talents and gifts, and use them for His glory, and how reconciliation and redemption lead to transformation into life abundantly. 

This book is for anyone who wants more out of his or her life. The challenge is yours! Find your inheritance of abundance and discover why God sometimes says, “no” or “not yet,” and how to grow in the valley of life struggles and emerge victorious.