Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Book that Read Me! God's Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy--With #Giveaway






This 25 story collection was a gift to me by one if its contributors, Carrie Fancett Pagels. My review in no way reflects any obligation on my part to say something nice, or drum up promotion for it. I read this from cover to cover because it read me--my life situation needed the exact encouragement and faith that this collection of true stories of God's miraculous ways provides.

Being without work now for 10 months, my family has recently even lost our extended unemployment benefits. We've been waiting for over a month to hear back on a second interview, and our emotions have run high as we wait for something to break in our circumstance. We are people of faith, and we believe that God can make a way where there seems to be no way. And that is exactly what each of these stories is about--God opening up His abundant storehouse through unexpected and often miraculous ways. One author tells of unclaimed money they didn't know they were owed. Another tells of a phone number to a job connection that mysteriously appeared where it shouldn't have. Still another received an inheritance that had been tied up for years in court--exactly when they needed it most.

I loved the transparent and humble contribution by Cecil Stokes, the award-winning, uber-successful producer of Christian film and TV including October Baby. His pain, his soul-searching, his utter dependence on God for a few years as he trusted in God's leading, ultimately led to the pinnacle of his career so far. I related to so many of the different stories, sympathized with them all. Carrie Pagels talked about how her physical health led her and her family on a four state move within a year, and how the Lord finally brought them to their personal promised land. Cynthia's ongoing story shared through out the book in chapters was perhaps my favorite, as she challenged me to dare to believe not for just any job, but the right job. And to expect the Lord to meet our needs along the way.

All of these true stories blessed me as I waited on God, and read, and prayed over my own situation. Each of the authors' personal experiences gave me courage to keep believing, to keep trusting in a God that seemed to take away, but who also blesses and gives. For instance, this past week, we had finally run out of all of our money. My husband decided to organize our bills and paperwork and pray over each one. Hidden in the middle of the piles and stacks was a check we had never seen. It gave us enough to get by on, like manna--our daily provision.

Then, my husband received a call out of the blue yesterday to come to a training today--a Saturday. He is there as I type this, potentially starting a new job. He had to give up celebrating our son's birthday party, but we are hopeful, expectant. The faith that was stirred reading these testimonies of God's faithfulness played a role in our own breakthrough. Thank you Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy, and especially to Carrie Pagels, for providing a copy to read, relish and review.

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask, think or imagine. . . Let this collection build up your expectation for your own miracle.

Carrie Pagels has graciously offered to give away a copy of this book to one commenter. Please leave your email addy below if you wish to be entered. Drawing to be announced Wednesday, Jan 22 at 8 PM Eastern

26 comments:

  1. Ohmygosh I am crying!!! I am praying that training is for a wonderful new job!!! Kathy, God will give you a testimony from this ordeal and you just shared your testimony of faithfulness to Him. LOVE you!!! Let me give away a copy to bless one of your readers!!! XOXOXOX

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    1. Thank you for offering to buy a copy for one of the readers, Carrie. I know it will bless them like it has blessed me.

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  2. Oh Kathy what a wonderful faith-filled post!! I have been praying for your husband to get a job and I am waiting to hear that everything has worked out. I love the testimony of finding the check. That reminded me of the many times when we were kids my dad would feel led to give way the last dollar in his pocket to someone in need even when we were as poor as they were. Dad was a man of great faith and he believed that if GOD told him to give then GOD would provide for our needs too! Dad has a lot of sayings and this one is my favorites..."If you shovel it out, GOD will shovel it in and GOD's shovel is a whole lot bigger than yours!" A country man's way of explaining Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and PROVE me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

    I shared with the OWG Ladies a couple weeks ago a scripture that GOD had given me for 2014. Malachi 3:11a "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground;" The Lord told me the meaning of this Scripture was it is time to take back the fruits of my ground that the devourer (satan) had taken from me; my health and my finances!! I began to claim that and I will tell you all hell came against me...but no matter what fiery dart was sent I claimed that scripture. My kids probably thought I had lost it a few times because I was literally crying out to GOD...LORD you PROMISED to rebuke the devourer for MY sake!!! Kathy I have been praying the same prayer for you and your family. I am standing in faith with you right now that that GOD, Himself is going to rebuke the devourer from your house and everything he has taken will be restored!! (((HUGS)))

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    1. Wow, it really sounds like your dad and my mom were cut from the same cloth. She always modeled that faith to me growing up, too. And it taught me that God can indeed be trusted. He is ever faithful, and He knows our times, and our heart, and what is best. Thank you for those scriptures and that awesome encouragement. I do believe in declarative prayer--great confirmation. Bless you for sharing, Teresa.

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  3. Me too, Kathy and Carrie! Not that I am anyone important or special, but I remember what it was like when Paul was unemployed many years ago and compassion rose up in me. I prayed for you and your hubby, Kathy, until I went to sleep that night. When Jesus was moved with compassion something great always happened! If I have it, you know He certainly does! Not only did I pray, but I have been believing, too! Blessings and answers are coming your way, Kathy Maher!

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    1. Thank you Diana. Your words really touch and bless me. I hope that whatever the Lord wants to accomplish through this season, that I will be a good student. :)

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  4. And AMEN, Teresa Mathews! Love that!

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  5. I SO agree with everything said, Carrie, Teresa, and Diana!! Blessings and answers ARE coming your way, Kathy - the check and job training are just the beginning!

    It is wonderful to see the way God works when we have faith - we may get down to our last penny, but He ALWAYS provides if we but have faith. As Carrie said - a testimony will come out of this experience, and the spiritual growth will be priceless!

    Many years ago, when I was raising my children, without financial help, and working numerous jobs, I was in a car wreck, and unable to work. I had purchased a matching set of bedroom furniture for my son - I was flat on my back, unable to work when even my son's bed was repossessed.

    I have had numerous experiences - such as the check you mentioned - over the years, and it continues to happen - now that I am retired, and live alone - with only an income of social security. I found that when one goes through an experience such as yours, he/she learns to appreciate the "little" things so much more.

    God has always provided, and He will continue to provide for you, also - Kathy! I am continuing in prayer for you, and your family! Blessings, peace, and joy to you, Kathy!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Bonnie, that is so sad howe the enemy kicks us when we are down. I'm sorry you went through that devastating time. And yet your testimony remains that our God is faithful. You have a strong faith. God bless you, sister.

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  6. Kathy what a wonderful testimony of God's provision!! I'll be praying for the job and continued blessings for you and your family. He is faithful always!
    I've shared with the OWG ladies but I don't think you may have heard my testimony when we were in a similar position and barely had enough money to buy food. I figured if we just had enough money to pay off the car loan, we'd have that extra bit each week. And so I prayed knowing fully in my spirit that prayer was in God's will. An you know what? A week or two later, I received a phone call saying I'd won $10,000! Enough to pay the car off and have some over! PTL! The Lord is our provider! I pray this encourages you too! Amen to what Teresa wrote also!! God bless you Kathy! x

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    1. wow!!! Noela, that is amazing. The Lord is not limited by circumstances. He certainly can come through in ways we cannot see. Praise God.

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  7. Sorry for your rough time Kathy. Glad to hear about the training popping up. GOD gives us many miracles. I've known people where money just showed up when it was really needed. Hoping things start looking up for you now. GOD bless you both. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, thank you. If I were to recount the many miracluous ways He has show up in our circumstances, it would fill a book. You are so right--He is able!

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  8. Wow! God is still miraculous today. His power has not diminished. He can do anything ... and He loves His children. Thank you for the inspiration today!!!

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  9. Thank you for sharing your testimony, Kathy. Here are two verses I cling to in times of need --
    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    2 Corinthians 9:8-11
    And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

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    1. Those are terrific scriptures, Susan. Thank you. I am praying for your husband's full recovery, too. Blessings, sister.

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  10. Wonderful testimony, Kathy! I'm also joining my prayers to all those coming your way for the perfect job that your family needs and for provision for every need!

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    1. Thank you, Joan. I appreciate the prayer and you stopping by. Lord bless you, too!

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  11. I cried as I read your beautifully written article, Kathleen. Your words made me realize, once again, that God never wastes our pain; if we allow Him, He will use our worst experiences to help draw others closer to Him. Your testimony allowed me to see that there was a reason for what my family and I went through far beyond what we could ever have imagined. Thank you so much for letting us know how "God's Provision in Tough Times" touched your heart during this time of severe adversity for you, your husband, and family. While my heart aches for everything you're going through, I know from my own experiences with unemployment that God is strengthening and refining your faith, albeit by fire, so that you can better serve Him. God WILL get you through this terrible situation, but it will be on His time frame. I thank God for this opportunity to pray for you and your family, and will faithfully lift you in prayer until I receive word that it is time to shout praises to our Heavenly Father for giving your husband the right job at the right time. He will, Kathleen, He will.

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    1. Cynthia, thank you! Your book is one of the ways God has spoken a word in season to me through this--I ;love how He speaks tenderly in the Wilderness. It is a precious time in a lot of ways. Thank you for your prayers and compassion. May God bless you and your family and this book mightily!

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  12. So very touching! I want to hear more! Can you update us Kathy?

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  13. I am so touched by everyone stopping by and for your prayers and kind words. We are taking things one day at a time. Standing in faith and believing for a breakthrough.

    The training my husband attended on Saturday was not what we had hoped. There was no job offer that accompanied it--just more training with only a possible outcome of employment in a very low paying apprenticeship. It was discouraging, especially since the trainer was openly denigrating one of the attendees. My husband's passion is advocacy, and he is excellent in his field of human services, working with people with various disability. The job he had two interviews for last month is such a job. It appears they still haven't made a decision on hiring for the two openings . . . The state is sometimes slow about things, and knowing they are starting up a whole new program gives me a glimmer of hope that we still might get a call. Meanwhile, he applies to anything and everything that opens, and asking, seeking and knocking, we pray.

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  14. Hi Kathleen,

    I just lost my job the first part of December 2013. Needless to say Christmas was not a joyful time this year. I had never dreamed it was possible to lose my job because I was the only one who was hired for my position, but I was replaced by a computer program (did not see that coming) and am now looking for work and do have worries about keeping my head above water financially despite receiving half what I made from unemployment, which I know has an expiration date on it! I fear I will be one of many who will be unable to locate employment before the unemployment ends and being a single woman it is frightening. Where I live here in Iowa there are few jobs to apply for, so I search the phone book for places to apply to get the amount of job apps in for the week, but no one seems to be hiring. If I had been born a man there are many opportunities here for them, but I am unable to do those jobs. I am even looking online to find work in my field of medical transcription, but having no success there either. I am trying to view this as God's opportunity to prove to me that I can fully lean on Him for my needs, but when it comes down to the wire and the money is not there for bills, it is nerve-racking and frustrating and have to keep praying myself through those moments! He has seen me through them - but it is not a place I am comfortable in - maybe He is trying to teach me to be comfortable in His timing and seeing the amazing ways He pulls things together! I understand what you are going through and will pray for you and your family. I learn every day how many people are actually without jobs and it is sobering, especially how long it has been since they were let go from their previous job. But we do believe in a God who is all-knowing, who truly loves us and wants only the best for us and He does see us through the tough times! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

    - Lori

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    1. Lori, thank you for being so open and sharing about your situation. I am going to prayer for you right now, that you would sense His leading and that you would know in tangible ways that before we call, He answers. Hugs, my friend. One thing I am learning is trust--and so far, He truly has not left me in disappointment. I am also learning to wait in hope. To declare blessings rather than give voice to despair. That is a particularly hard struggle for me. I tend to process emotions out loud. I know if I pour my heart out to God, He takes it all and returns peace. But I tend to murmur apart from prayer time ;) He is helping me change that. I do hope you experience your breakthrough soon, but I know it will be in His perfect timing.
      What is your email, dear, because I'd like to send you this book. You are the winner for the week!

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  15. Amen, Connie. Thank you so much for stopping by and I pray His blessings attend you in your every need.

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