The Garden by Kari Jobe CD Review

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by Heather Bock

Read to the end for a giveaway of this cd!

In “The Garden,” the first track on the cd of the same name, Jobe starts by singing about how she was about to give up, desperate for peace. I first listened to her sing this song today, and when I heard her sing the next line, “Then I saw the garden,” goose bumps ran down my arms. Tears began to fall as I continued to listen.

I don’t know if I would have had the same reaction if I hadn’t known the story behind this song. You see, Jobe and her sister Kris were pregnant at the same time, excited to share the experience together. Then, seven and a half months into her pregnancy, Kris gave birth to a stillborn daughter, James Ivy. Jobe was also heartbroken by this and couldn’t seem to find peace in the tragedy. After Jobe’s son was born, her heart was heavy for her sister.

The Jobes had moved into a new home and had a garden in the back, but they didn’t know what had been planted there, and they didn’t take the time to explore it. Soon after she had given birth, she saw that it was coming back to life with the spring, and she went back to see what was there. That was when she discovered ivy, her niece’s namesake, growing thick in an archway. She was reminded of the resilience of ivy in the harshest of climates and moved by the fact that the ivy had been planted years before, but God used it in her life at the moment she needed it.

She said, “I just started to realize, ‘God, You’re moving in a way that is different than what I asked for, but You are moving.’ He’s at work and doing things we can’t see.” It was the start of healing for her: “Something in my spirit started to rustle. Life was coming back. What felt dead in my heart was starting to wake up. It was like I’d been in this place of being numb in my walk with the Lord, but something just started blooming in my heart.” So she wrote the song “The Garden” and some of the other songs that are now on this cd.

My own niece, Makena Lani, was a stillborn at nine months. I wrote here about the way God gave us hope in the midst of the very same tragedy. God is so good to answer our cry of pain and comfort us when we need it so badly.

The other songs on this cd have beautiful words as well, words echoing my own cry for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us, like in “Fall Afresh,” “Heal Our Land,” “Here As in Heaven,” and “Let Your Glory Fall.” “Speak to Me” is almost a whispered prayer for God to make His voice be heard in our hearts. “The Cause of Christ” convicts me, renews my desire for His name to be honored above my own.

Although I tend toward more upbeat music like that of Toby Mac or Rend Collective, I was blessed by the beauty of the sound and words of Kari Jobe’s music, and I hope you will be, too.

You can stream the music of this cd here, and you can buy her music here.

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Book Giveaway Winner

I meant to announce the winner of the book giveaway for Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn yesterday, but it was a crazy day hosting my son’s birthday party and attending a wedding afterwards. Therefore, I’m announcing the winner today! The winner is Patti Casey! Congratulations!!

The Garden by Kari Jobe CD Giveaway

I know a lot of people enjoy and are blessed by Kari Jobe’s music, so I am excited I get to give away one copy of her new cd for free! To enter the drawing, subscribe to my blog:

  • Click the button “follow” in the above right column under my picture and type in your email address.

To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,

  • Share this book review post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
  • Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
  • Notify me of your name.

Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only.

I will announce the winner next Saturday, so look for it! Thank you!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

God’s Love: Mother

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As I continue this series on God’s love, I’ve decided to go out of order this week from my original posts because of the special day it was this past Sunday: Mother’s Day! One of the ways that God loves us is as a mother loves her child. I love this analogy because it’s one I get. I don’t know much about shepherds, mother hens, or even artists, really. I do know how much I love my three children.

If you’ve been raised in a super conservative church like I was, you might bristle a bit at this metaphor. God is being compared to a mother? A woman? That smacks too much of liberal feminist theology. For those of you who have this thought running in your head, let me go to Scripture first. Isaiah 66:13 says, speaking from God’s point of view, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” The original analogy in this chapter is that Jerusalem is like a nursing mother, but in this last verse, He compares Himself to a mother. Although God is depicted throughout Scripture as a male, there is an aspect of the mother-love that He created that mirrors a part of His own love.

According to research, mothers tend to be lighter sleepers than fathers are when their baby is sleeping, they interact more with their infants than the fathers do, and they tend to enjoy taking care of their babies and toddlers (even when it comes to changing diapers and caring for them when they’re sick) more than fathers do. In fact, babies and toddlers tend to prefer their mother’s comforting and playing more than their father’s, perhaps because mothers tend to be more attentive and responsive to the child’s sounds and movement. This is a generalization, and of course, many individuals will defy the norm. I’m a good example in one area. Once I stopped nursing my children, Greg woke up (and still does) much faster when our children made the slightest sound, while I placidly continued sleeping. (In my defense, after so many years of direct screams in my ears by one particularly loud young lady, I believe my ears are damaged.) Even if there are exceptions, we all know from experience that there’s something different about a mother’s love and a father’s love. Mothers are on the whole more nurturing, caring, and comforting to children than fathers are.

Do you picture God this way? Can you imagine Him pulling you up on His lap, quieting your tears as He gently rocks you? God’s love is tender and compassionate (James 5:11). After reading all the glowing tributes to mothers on Facebook Sunday and Monday, I can see that many mothers have loved their children well. Picture the finest example of motherhood you can imagine and realize God’s compassionate mother-love for us is stronger and better than the best mother here on earth. Where your mother may have failed you in one way or another (and what mother doesn’t fail sometimes?), God never will.

Isaiah 49:15 imagines a mother who has failed: “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget…” but God says although an earthly mother may fail, “I will not forget you.” God loves us more than a mother can love her child. When I think of the love I have for my own children, and I try to imagine a greater love than that directed at me from God Himself, I am truly amazed.

May you have a better understanding of this motherly love from God today and bask in it, leaning on Him for the comfort and compassion you need!

Overcome

DSC01261Every Good Friday, as I contemplate the death of Jesus, I think about the death of my own father, who died eight years ago of pancreatic cancer on Good Friday itself. It’s hard to think the timing of a loved one’s death could be good no matter when it is–and my father’s death was a great loss to our family–but I feel that God helped my family with the timing of my dad’s death in a big way.

Although I was across the country teaching high school at the time, I was able to be with my parents for a good portion of the three weeks that my dad knew he had cancer before he died. The reason for this is that he found out the diagnosis right before my spring break, so I could easily travel out of state to be with them through the first appointments and processing that went on as we turned to face the deadly threat of cancer. I could help them in small ways, and I could call on God for help with them. I went back home and left them for a week and a half, at the end of which the doctors were talking about hospice care, no more than days before the end. I flew back out there, once again only missing a few days of work because Good Friday and the day after Easter were scheduled days off school.

The timing was good when it came to me being able to be there with my parents as they faced death together, but the timing was even better because it was Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus dying on the cross. Every year now, Good Friday is that much more meaningful and poignant to me. I understand the gravity of Jesus’ death–I can picture His last breath in a way I couldn’t before. I feel the weight of it.

More importantly, though, two days later, on Easter morning, I was strongly embraced (the same way my dad used to hug me) by the hope that because of Jesus’ victory over death, my dad is alive in Heaven, as well. I picture him going on a walk with my sister, grandma, and brother-in-law, maybe even holding my miscarried child’s hand, my sister and sister-in-law’s miscarried children running alongside. That Easter, and every Easter since, filled me with a piercing, painful joy. Death has been defeated! I can say along with Paul, quoting from Hosea, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (I Cor. 15:55).

My worship leaders at church this past Easter chose a few songs this year with the words “He has overcome.” I was reminded once again: He HAS overcome the grave! And if He can overcome that, what stronghold can’t He overcome? He wears the victor’s crown!