Archives for March 2011

Review: Knowing God, Knowing Myself

I’ve written before about NY Times bestselling author Cecil Murphey, and I was thrilled when he recently sent me a complimentary copy of one of his latest books, Knowing God, Knowing Myself. It’s my pleasure today to share my review of the book and recommend it to you. Hope you enjoy!

Book Review: Knowing God, Knowing Myself by Cecil Murphey

“For most of my adult life, I’ve yearned to experience an intimacy with God. That search began in my early twenties when, as an agnostic, I underwent a profound spiritual awakening. In the process of discovering God, I also learned about myself… Several years later, I realized that knowing God and knowing myself went together. We need both…to progress,” says Cecil Murphey in the introduction to one of his latest books, Knowing God, Knowing Myself.

From his lifelong pursuit of deeper intimacy with God and his desire to understand himself and allow inner healing where needed come the wisdom and sometimes startling insights shared in this book—a book where Cec states, “More than anything I’ve written before, I’m giving myself as fully as I know how and putting my heart on this page.”

And he delivers. The honesty with which he shares the private thoughts and deep parts of himself that most of us prefer not to divulge or even think about more closely gives readers a window into their own souls and grants us courage to deal with similar issues in our individual lives.

Knowing God, Knowing Myself is comprised of sixty-eight short reflections, each one touching on a topic that most everyone can relate to on some level. Cec concludes each reflection with a short, pithy saying—an aphorism—that sums up the essence of that particular chapter. I especially appreciate the Aphorisms feature at the end of the book where all these nuggets of wisdom are compiled into one helpful list. I read the book in a period of days, but it could easily be used like a devotional book, digesting each selection more slowly. In fact, I plan to do that at some point in the future.

Cec has lived a long life of varied experience and is able to bring much to the topics of intimacy with God and self discovery. Not only is he an award-winning writer or co-writer of over 120 books, including the best-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper and Gifted Hands with Dr. Ben Carson, Cec is also an international speaker and teacher, speaking on topics like writing, spiritual growth, caregiving, male sexual abuse, recovery and more. Before becoming a full-time writer and speaker, Cec served as a pastor and a hospital chaplain and was also a missionary to Kenya for six years.

Knowing God, Knowing Myself is a gift from Cec that I am happy to recommend. To find out more about Cec, visit his website.

*Have any of you read Knowing God, Knowing Myself yet? What did you think?

*Look at the other titles in the stack of books in the picture above. Each one is a great read (This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson, Daisy Chain by Mary Demuth, and Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent). Has anyone read any of those? What did you think?

Marching Orders

March on, my soul; be strong!” Judges 5:21b

I saw this verse this past week in one of Beth Moore’s blog posts. She was sharing scriptures about marching since it’s the month of March, and I fell in love with these simple yet powerful words instantly: “March on, my soul; be strong!”

Just reading or saying those precious words from the Word of God seems to infuse my soul with His encouragement and strength. I think most of us probably feel the need for such encouragement on a daily basis as we face the challenges of life, but there are times when the need for fresh strength is almost overwhelming.

Are you faced with a difficult road to travel this month? Do fear and uncertainty loom ahead? Maybe the road is a continuation of an already difficult journey, and no end is in sight. Whatever the case, let’s allow the breath of heaven — the Word of God — to give us our marching orders and the strength to carry them out. Let’s march on!

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5

*Flickr photo by sudeep1106, Creative Commons License



I first noticed them last week. Budding trees. They whisper promises of things to come, slip us reminders of spring’s unfailing relief from winter’s frigid toll. One day they nudge us and say, “Look at us. New growth! There’s hope after all…”, while on another they call out, “Look at us! We’re budding! What will you become?!”

I love how the seasons speak to us on deeper levels and give us encouragement to grow or rest, to persevere or hope. Spring has the privilege of bringing hope to weary souls and inspiring us to branch out or reach for new heights. It works wonders in our world and in our hearts, and each year its work in our lives might be a little different.

The image of growth in spring has influenced how we see so many things. We’ve all heard people say, “He’s a budding artist” or “She’s a budding musician”, and they’re usually referring to children or teens. But I can’t help but notice, in the natural world, that even old trees bud year after year. New growth and the promise of things to come grace them as well.

Whatever our ages, let’s be honest. Probably none of us reading this post today are children or teens. We’re all older trees, if you will, though some of us are indeed older than others :) The good news is that old trees bud! We’re not only capable of growth, it’s expected.

So the question is what’s budding in our lives as we head into spring this year? What evidence of growth can be seen on our branches? Are we mastering a new skill or using some new technology (like me learning to use my new Kindle!)? Or are we displaying strength or peace in the face of adversity? Bottom line, as believers, are we looking more like our Savior each year?

If you don’t feel like you’re growing right now, it’s not too late to start. Get out there and start budding! Rejoice in the promise of things to come!

“In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.” Isaiah 27:6

*Flickr photo by James Bowe, Creative Commons License