Demo of Julie's Bible Reference Library

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why a Caregiver Matters

Treasured Friend

My friend, Lisa Copen of Rest Ministries, has written a devotion titled, We All Need Someone to Take Our Hand Through the Pain. I think you'll find it particularly relevant to your caregiving task, so I'd like you to check it out. Here's the link: http://restministries.com/2012/03/19/devotion-we-all-need-someone-to-take-our-hand-through-the-pain/?awt_l=BghuY&awt_m=3ersq4bT4h7e_Dd

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Guilt of 'I should ...'

Treasured friend,

I've been reading in 1 John devotionally for the last few days (having just completed 1 and 2 Peter), and as I read the words I've memorized in years past, something new came alive for me.

One of the greatest challenges for caregivers, it seems, is guilt. I should be doing more. I should be more kind. I should be more loving. If only I had more patience with my patient. ...

Judging from the content of the early portion of John's first letter to the church, some of the true believers there must have been feeling much the same thing.

Listen to the comfort in these words:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Again, these words he wrote to Christians. To those who were trying hard not to sin. Who were trying to be loving and compassionate sources of light in trying times. Listen to how he continued the thought at the opening of chapter 2:

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

Such a beautiful thought -- and a comfort. Walk in the light of God's love, John tells us. Live the way Christ did. But don't worry that you don't measure up to His perfection. You won't. He said you couldn't. Do what you can, in His strength, then leave the rest up to Him. Confess where you fail, and then let His sacrifice cover your failure. Once you're forgiven, you're free to move on in love and light once again.

I checked in with my Advocate this morning, confessed my failures, and experienced His cleansing once again.

Tired and disappointed caregiver, I pray the Word will lead you to do the same today. For there is no guilt once Christ has offered cleansing and forgiveness.


Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quick Encouragement from The Word

Treasured friend,

I just want to give you a sweet word from The Word today. This is one of the devotional Scriptures I read earlier this morning -- and when I read it, it jumped right off the page to my heart as if it were the Lord Himself whispering it to me personally. I pray it has the same heads-up effect on you:

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:8-10 (ESV)
Try putting your name in the place of Israel, Jacob and Abraham -- and see whether you're hearing your Lord's word of strength spoken into your most challenging situation today.
 
What a string of promises ... I have chosen you; I am with you; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you.
 
That's God offering those words to His people -- to you and to me. He's the only one Who could ever make those promises and then keep them. Aren't you glad He's true to His word -- and He never changes? What He promised, He will do .... for you .... today!


Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Two FREE books from Julie on Amazon Kindle

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:2-3 (ESV)

Treasured friend,

I'm just wrapping up the final touches on my upcoming book, THE GOD INTERVIEWS, which will release from Leafwood Publishing this fall! It's a quick release -- and a book I know you'll love.

But I don't want you to think I forgot you. So, I want to make you aware of two great bonus reads you can take advantage of beginning this weekend.

In the next few weeks, two of my e-Books--complete with their companion Bible Study Guides will be offered free on Amazon.com. Each book will be free only for a few days, so I want you to be primed and ready to take advantage of it.

  • Staying True in a World of Lies (about workplace integrity): free on Amazon Kindle March 17-18.

  • Praying Like Jesus, whose subject covers John 17--so it's timely for Maundy Thursday: free on Amazon Kindle April 5-7, Easter week.
 
Here's a little bit about each book, along with the Kindle link -- so you're all ready for the free downloads:
 
Staying True in a World of Lies
Updated Second Edition with Study Guide
Have you ever found yourself in a moral dilemma at work? Something seemingly insignificant that tested your resolve and challenged your integrity. Staying True in a World of Lies looks at integrity as the unification of thoughts, words, and actions. It is a timely, practical resource filled with stories of real people that will reinforce your commitment to Christlikeness—and energize you for the long haul. Then, rebuild your life around God's character expectations using the bonus 12-session Bible study.
 
Praying Like Jesus
Updated Second Edition with Study Guide
Prayer is more—much more—than a laundry list of requests. It isn’t about getting the answers we want just when we want them. Actually, it isn’t about us, at all. Prayer is about relationship between Almighty God and you. Praying Like Jesus introduces you to prayer from a close-up perspective—that of God the Son. This dynamic study of 52 ways Jesus prayed for you will challenge your heart to come into contact with the Heart that beats to intercede for you. Savor one chapter at a time or one each week for a year. And dig in for yourself as you use the 9-session Bible study included in this updated eBook package.
 
 
The Link to my Amazon author page is all you'll need to help you locate the books: http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Allyson-Ieron/e/B001JS7ZKK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
 
I do believe you'll find both of these books encouraging and challenging and uplifting. And I'd sure appreciate it if you'd share these dates and links with your friends, too. The books will cost nothing on those dates -- but our prayer is that you'll find them meaningful as you seek to know Christ in a more personal, everyday way.
 
 
 

Blessings and prayers,
Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

Finding What Makes You Rest

Treasured Friend,


As I was running willy-nilly this week--making it through a jumble of doctor’s appointments and family obligations, driving into the city to attend my great-aunt’s wake, and bulling through the writing of one of the last chapters of my upcoming book--one of my writing students stopped me cold. She quoted at me one of the time management principles I examine in my book, Conquering the Time Factor. As I re-read what I wrote from the updated eBook edition of CTF, I realized the significance of many of its principles to the caregiving dilemma.


So, today, I’ve pulled some excerpts out of the chapter titled, “Sleep? Who Needs It?” and its related Bible Study Guide. I believe these will have some meaning—and I hope some impact—on the way you approach your own body’s need for rest and refreshment. Please know that I’m preaching it to me, just as my Christian Writers Guild student did for me.


By the way, if you’re intrigued enough to want to read more, here’s a link to our catalog. This book is available in eBook (EPUB/PDF) and Kindle editions, audio pages (MP3) with me reading it to you, or paperback. http://www.joymediaservices.com/jms2012-1_008.htm. This book and study guide also are included in my WORDsearch Bible Reference Library on CD-ROM. Whichever format you prefer, I'd love for you to get a copy for yourself and begin to apply its practical, doable counsel to your chaotic schedule.



Finding What Makes You Rest

We often read in the Gospels about Jesus making a way to "get away" from the crowds and demands and pressures of His painfully public ministry. We've already covered the fact that Jesus often went alone to quiet places to commune with His Father. But Jesus also made restful time a priority for His disciples.

In fact, the Gospel of Mark is packed with scenes when Jesus made important revelations to His disciples in times when He had taken them away from the hustle and press of the crowd. In 3:13-15 we read that after teaching the crowds, "Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles. He sent them out to preach, and he gave them authority to cast out demons" (NLT). Jesus took them aside together to call and equip them, away from the distractions of their everyday lives.

But the most telling retreat, to me, is the one for Jesus and His closest followers in the middle of the final week of the Savior's earthly ministry. John 12 notes that Jesus left Jerusalem and got away to spend the night in the home of his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus in the nearby sleepy burg of Bethany. There He was respected and treated with the dignity befitting His position; He was loved and comforted in the presence of His trusted friends; He was honored with a dinner and graciously received the soothing ministry of Mary who anointed Him with costly perfume. There, among His trusted companions and friends, He Who was about to perform the ultimate ministry for humankind received ministry to His own body lavished by His devoted follower. And there He found a peaceful respite, even while the ultimate storm was battering down the door.

When I'm desperate for a brief time-out, what works for me is the mood created by flavored coffee, dim light, a home decorating magazine, a Mozart CD and a long soak in my Jacuzzi tub. These small things work wonders for my concentration, productivity and overall attitude.

When I need a more prolonged time-out, I enjoy a trip to Green Lake, a Christian retreat center midway up the state of Wisconsin, about four hours' drive from my home. There I can wander through acres of wooded property, listening to the crunch of snow or the rustle of leaves or the lulling swish of the waves on the lake. Something about being away from technology and returning to the romance of nature (without giving up necessities like indoor plumbing and electricity to run my blow dryer) recharges my emotional and spiritual batteries.

Scheduling peaceful times regularly—and I do mean actually adding them (in ink) to our planners and guarding them as we would any other appointment—is a cherished necessity that will build up our overall emotional well-being. I've seen that when I make an intentional effort to schedule time-outs in my busy schedule to do whatever provides me with refreshment and enjoyment, I find my productivity multiplied in the ensuing work time.

Let me offer a final observation on the subject before we close our discussion. I've told this story in speaking engagements and even briefly mentioned it in my book Praying Like Jesus, but it bears repeating in this context. Retreating at its most fulfilling means setting aside time not only for my own refreshment, but more importantly, for the refilling of my spirit from the deep and refreshing waters of the Spirit of God.

As a speaker or an attender I've been on dozens of seasonal retreats. Most of them have smushed into one lumpy and generic memory: we arrive late at night after the upstream battle of Friday night traffic. In the morning we'd like to take a nature walk but are instead conscribed into listening to someone (sometimes it is I) speak for way too long as we gaze yearningly at the placid lake just outside a window (oh to dip one little toe into the crystal waters), but by the time the speaker is finished it's nearly time to trudge back home again.

However, one singles' retreat I attended more than ten years ago deviated from the norm. It started much the same as others have, but when the clock struck 11 on Saturday morning, the speaker, writer and musician John Fischer, stopped speaking. He asked us to open our Bibles to a certain passage (I wish I could remember what passage it was, but that fact is lost in the recesses of my memory) and instructed us to read until we heard God's voice quickening a passage in our hearts. He said it could be just a few verses or many chapters, but to be sure to stop and meditate on whatever God showed us.

The rules were that we were to find a private reading spot in the scenic outdoors of the retreat complex, and that we were not to say a word to another person until the lunch bell rang an hour later. That hour impacted my life as few single hours ever have. It taught me the important lesson that retreating at its most fulfilling means setting aside time not only for my own refreshment, but more importantly, for the refilling of my spirit from the deep and refreshing waters of the Spirit of God.



From Conquering the Time Factor Study Guide

Questions for Contemplation and Discussion

Sabbath rest is a theme that appears frequently throughout Scripture. It was a big deal to God, beginning with the first week of creation. So, sometimes His followers made it a legalistic and unattainable goal. Jesus never did that, though. Because His concern for our Sabbath rest was that we be refreshed in relationship with Him. To discover how this is possible, let's begin by watching Jesus at rest. You'll find the story in Mark 4:35-41.

  • How did Jesus model the concept of rest in the scene described in Mark 4? How could He possibly find such peaceful rest while the storm was raging and the disciples were panicking? What resources do you suppose He drew on to be able to sleep soundly in those moments?

  • What can His example say to you in your need of rest? What can it say about your excuses for not resting?

  • How would you define rest? Think in terms of both physical relaxation and refreshment, as well as spiritual rest. What are the similarities and differences between these kinds of rest? Can you be experiencing physical rest while you are experiencing spiritual unrest?

  • Describe a time when you were experiencing an inner disquiet—the opposite of a spirit at rest. Consider why you were experiencing that emotion. What impact did that disquiet have on productivity at work, relationships, time with God, physical and emotional health? Was it time well spent?



My Action Plan

After studying these examples of rest, what can you do the next time you're feeling that inner disquiet? How will you make God-ordained rest a priority? Journal your thoughts, and give a friend or family member permission to call you out (graciously and privately) when you're allowing yourself to be over-programmed and are in desperate need of rest.


Blessings and prayers,

Julie

Opening © 2012. Body excerpted by permission from Conquering the Time Factor, Expanded Second Edition … Now Includes Study Guide!, ©Julie-Allyson Ieron, Published by Joy Media, 2010. All rights reserved. http://www.joymediaservices.com/jms2012-1_008.htm. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com