Lioness Arising Book Review

lioness-arising

 

I am an avid reader and Christian literature is my favorite- fiction and non-fiction. I thought it would be fun to start reviewing the books I read here for you guys.

The first thing I notice about a book is its cover. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I cannot deny that the cover is usually what draws me in and leads to finding out more about the book. Lioness Arising by Lisa  Bevere definitely has a captivating cover. Everything from the sleek, powerful lioness stalking through the high, golden grass to the bold proclamation of “Wake up and Change Your World” catches one’s eye. The cover of this book feels like a foreshadowing of what may happen if you dare to read the pages within.

Excerpt from back cover:

“The lioness rises from her slumber, a magnificent image of strength, passion, and beauty. Here mere presence commands the landscape, protects her young, and empowers the lion. In groups, lioness become a creative and strategic force to be reckoned with, acting as one to change the world around them.”

Lioness Arising is based on a dream Lisa Bevere had which she claims was given to her by God (I am not saying I believe or disbelieve God gave her this dream.) In this dream, Lisa saw a beautiful lioness along with a mention of Numbers 23:24 and God told her a lioness was going to awaken. After this dream, Lisa began researching the lioness and studying the Bible to reveal how God’s daughters are to be likened to the great and mighty lioness.

This is the first book by Lisa Bevere that I have ever ventured to read and therefore I was not familiar with her style of writing.  I’m not going to lie, at first I found the book very dry and I had to force myself to read it. There seemed to be a lot of talking and not much being said.  However, whenever I read a book I always try to invest myself and learn something so I buckled down, asked God to reveal himself to me through the book, and kept reading. I am happy to report that the further I journeyed into the book the more interesting it became. I do wish the author had spoken more about the lioness than she did about herself, however I am now reading Without Rival (also by Lisa Bevere) and I am seeing that this is just part of the author’s writing style; Lisa Bevere uses a lot of examples from her own life to get her point across which can make it seem like her books are more of an autobiography than they are Christian Living.

The one thing that I absolutely did not like is that Lisa often used the Message Bible translation to quote scripture and I’m honestly just not a fan of the Message. I made the habit of looking up the passages of scripture she quoted in my ESV Bible which was a tad time consuming.

Overall, I think how much you enjoy this book will depend on what season of your life you are in.  I really enjoyed the chapters on being passionate, bold, and unified. However, the chapters on parenting and being a mother were not as appealing simply because I am not a mother. This book has sparked a passion within me; I am becoming more bold in my faith.

I would rate this book 3/5.

Have you read Lioness Arising? Do you have any book recommendations?

-Sierra Smith

Praying With A Purpose: Developing a Prayer Strategey.

praying-with-a-purpose

I am sure many of you are familiar with the movie War Room and also the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. Several months ago I watched the movie which then led me to hunting down the book (I was way too impatient to wait for it to arrive via online order.) I was floored by the concept of “strategic” prayer; it was something I had never heard of. Before, my prayer life was dismal at best and non-existent at worst. My prayers were mostly “Good morning God, I need….. (insert a long list of things I didn’t need but wanted.)” After devouring Fervent (and then re-reading it slower and taking notes so I could really absorb the content), I realized that I needed to make a change; I knew I needed to start praying strategically if I ever wanted to see spiritual growth in my life.

What is a prayer strategy?

A prayer strategy is taking God’s word, His promises, and praying them over each of the needs in your life and in the lives of others. For example, someone close to me struggles with depression and anxiety so when I pray for them I use the scripture “Cast all your cast-anxietyanxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 and pray that this person will learn to give their anxieties and fears to God so they can experience peace. When I am praying for the strength to stay pure I use the scripture “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galations 5:16 and I pray that I will learn to walk in and obey the Holy Spirit so that I will not give into my impure desires.

How can you develop your own prayer strategy?

There are probably hundreds of ways to go about forming your own prayer strategy so I am just going to share what personally works for me:

  • Identify how Satan is attacking your life and the lives of others

Satan is a manipulator and his main goal is to keep you as far away from God as possible. Learn to identify how he is attacking the different areas of your life and the lives of those closest to you so that you will know what to pray for. I have a separate post, Profiling the Enemy, that discusses several ways that Satan attacks.

  • Write your prayers down

For each need in your life and the needs in other lives you are praying for, write it down a long with your chosen scripture(s). You do not have to write them down everyday (though I occasionally do), but this way you are not struggling to remember all of the prayers and scriptures and you can also look back and see the prayers that God has answered. I keep all of my prayers in a three ring binder so that they are together and protected (if I had a dollar for every time I’ve spilled coffee on something I would be rich!)

  • Create a schedule

Pray for specific needs on specific days so that you are not scrambling to fit a ton of stuff into your prayer time. I find it best to divide my prayers into categories (prayers for myself, prayers for others, and prayers for my country/world. You can divide any way you see fit.) Each day I pray over a specific section so that I am not rushing to include every single prayer and therefore, I am able to truly focus on what I am praying.

 

What scriptures do you use?

You can use any scripture that applies to the situation you are praying over. I’ll include some scriptures applicable to various ways Satan may choose to attack. (All of these scriptures are ESV translation)

Passion:

  • Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
  • Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
  • Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Family:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
  • Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
  • Romans 14:19, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and mutual upbuilding.”

Past:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
  • Ephesians 2:1-5, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. By God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ- by grace you have been saved-“

Fear:

spirit-of-fear

  • 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
  • John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

 

Purity:

  • 1 Peter 2:24-25, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
  • 1 Corinthians 11:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Forgiveness:

  • Mark 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
  • Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

Relationships:

  • Hebrews 10:24-25,” And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Recommended resources:

  • War Room movie
  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (lead actress in War Room and a wonderful woman of God.)
  • Battle Plan for Prayer by the Hendrick Brothers (directors of the War Room movie.)
  • War Binder Facebook Group – this group has a ton of tips for creating a binder of prayers and developing strategy.

Since I have started praying strategically and with a purpose, my relationship with God has completely changed. I am stronger in my faith and I feel more connected with God. For a lot of my years as a Christian I felt like I wasn’t really close to God and I can now see it was because I wasn’t praying- not really. I hope this post inspires you to seek a more fervent prayer life!

-Sierra

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Top Five Affordable Beauty Products

top-5-beauty

I love makeup. There’s is hardly anything better than finding the perfect shade of lipstick, foundation, or blush- especially when it comes at an affordable price. Though I occasionally indulge in a luxury beauty item, I prefer scouring the aisles of my local drugstores to find that special “wow” product.

I’ve compiled a list of my five absolute favorite affordable beauty products:

1. Say Yes To… Moisturizers

I am an avid believer that good skin care should be a priority in everyone’s beauty routine and the Say Yes To line has some amazing (and organic) skin care products. I am in love with the Say Yes To Grapefruit moisturizer. It keeps my face soft and smooth while soothing any redness along my cheeks and nose (I strongly resemble Rudolph at times.) Also, it smells yummy. Of course, everyone’s skin is different so you will need to pick a product that works for you.

2. Rimmel Kate Contour Palette

You would have to be living under a rock to not know about contouring. I enjoy this palette because it has a contour shade, highlight shade, and a blush all conveniently together. The contour shade (at least in the palette I purchased) is a tad too warm to be a contour and is better suited for bronzing. I mostly use this palette for the gorgeous blush and highlighter.

3. Maybelline Better Skin Powder

better-skin-powder-2I can appreciate a full face of makeup but most days I just don’t have time for that. I like this powder because it has enough coverage to mask my Rudolph nose and it keeps my oily skin matte. This powder is very light coverage but you can easily achieve medium coverage by layering it over a BB cream.

4. CoverGirl TruNaked Palettes

pp-3The TruNaked palettes are CoverGirl’s version of the Urban Decay Naked eye shadow palettes which are priced at $54 a piece. I have the Nudes, Goldens (pictured left), and Roses palettes, all of which I like but the Goldens is my favorite because I feel like it has the best pigmentation and blend-ability.

5. CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte Lipsticks

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I am not a fan of  Katy Perry, nor are these lipsticks matte; however, the colors and pigmentation of these lipsticks are very nice and they do not break the bank price wise. My absolute favorite shade is Sphynx, a pretty pink nude (middle shade on right.)

 

 

What are your favorite affordable beauty products?

-Sierra

(P.S. The Glam Gala (watermark on photos) was my old beauty blog which is no longer in existence.)

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