The Garden by Kari Jobe CD Review

garden-final-art-rgb

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.

karijobe-10-17-1625165

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.

Speaking A Little Too Boldly: Six Principles for When to Speak, A Guest Post by Laurie O’Connor

Laurie O’Connor dealt with tragedy that knocked her off her path of following God for a while, but God ultimately used it to refine her and make her stronger in her faith. She didn’t just keep her lessons to herself, though; she wrote about her journey in her book Live ABOVE the Chaos, so others could learn from her story as well. My friend gave me the book to read about a year ago, and since God used it to teach me, I wanted to share it with others, too. I reviewed it on my blog here. I hope others will learn from her story and be more prepared for when tragedy hits.

I’m glad Laurie was willing to guest post for me today. Her words are full of wisdom, and they are a help for me as I navigate how to speak into my children’s lives. May her words bless you today, too! When you’re finished, I encourage you to head on over to her blog, www.oaksministries.com, for more great words.
blogchristmas

by Laurie O’Connor

Lately I have been bombarded with situations in which people speak boldly into other peoples’ lives.

Very boldly.

It not only shocks me how Continue reading

Evil Cats

We have had serious animal drama around here, and it doesn’t even mainly have to do with the large gray animal I found heading into a large tunnel under our driveway.

IMG_2929

It all started with one small sweet cat on a Saturday afternoon. She didn’t seem like she’d bring anybody trouble; she was a beautiful calico drinking out of a salt water pool (which couldn’t have been good for her), and she was very skinny, obviously needing food. Greg was out of town, so the kids and I took pity on her and gave her some food and water. She hungrily ate up the food and drained the water dish at once. We let her in the garage, and she became particularly fond of a small space behind a pile of boxes. Saturday evening, I locked her out of the garage, and she had to stay out until Sunday after we returned from church. She ran in the garage then, and that’s when I found a two or three day old kitten wriggling his way out from behind the boxes. We think she already had the kitten when we met her and had brought it to our garage sometime when we weren’t watching on Saturday (we don’t know what happened to any others that might have been). The poor baby had been trapped in the garage all Saturday night and Sunday morning without his mother or her milk.

After that, we took care of the little guy and his mama as best we could, trying to keep them safe in our garage in a comfortable place. The kids and I played with them (especially the kitten) every chance we had. I was excited that the kids would get to watch a kitten grow up, and that they’d have more than an elderly thirteen year old cat (our indoor cat) with whom to play. They named the mama cat Pearl and the kitten Jack. The kids watched as his legs grew a little more stable every day, and as he first started to open his eyes, purr, clean himself, and play. Jack was just like any other tiny kitten you’ve seen or heard of–a fuzzy, tiny, wobbly, impossibly cute little guy.

IMG_1431

IMG_1419

Then, when Jack was a little more than two weeks old, on a Saturday night as well, a male cat came in the garage and killed him. Since then, two male cats (one of which was probably the one to have killed the kitten) have not left Pearl alone, yowling at her throughout the night. I hope we can catch one or both of those obnoxious feral toms in the cage the animal control people put out for the aforementioned large gray animal.

Now, I know animals get killed every day–that is a fact of life. I’ve had in my lifetime at least three beloved outdoor cats disappear, probably because of coyotes. I also know I only knew Jack for two weeks. But seeing him killed was truly horrible to me and not just because of the pain I knew my kids would (and did) feel when they would find out the next morning. I think a big part of it was just the absolute “wrongness” of it. He was a creature that gave only delight to those around him, perfectly innocent, vulnerable, and sweet. It was horrifying to see this tiny creature violently killed by an unknown unprovoked animal. I also know Pearl, the mother, is a cat and does not have human feelings, but it was heartbreaking to see her cleaning him as if he were still alive. After we had taken her baby away to be buried, she searched everywhere for him, calling for him all night, all the while being harassed by the relentless male cats. I also know these cats do not really have evil hearts–they are just animals following their instincts. However, I would say the result was evil nonetheless.

I hear about all kinds of evil on the news, evil that is much, much worse than what went on in our garage last Saturday night. However, it’s easy for me to turn aside from that evil and stop thinking about it–I can’t do much about it anyway, I have my own sphere that God has given me that doesn’t include that tragedy, and it feels a lot better not to think about it, that’s for sure. This little tragedy forced me to look evil in the face, though, and weep.

Why did this (and other evil) have to happen? I know some answers that involve the Fall of man, but ultimately, I don’t know the answer entirely, especially when it gets to particulars. I do know, however, a very comforting promise that says that one day the wolf will graze together with the lamb, that predators will no longer cause evil on God’s holy mountain (Isa. 65:25). No matter how much evil goes on now, it is not what God ultimately wants for us, and it will not continue forever.

On top of that is this verse: “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Lk. 12:6-7). My kids and I cared about a small insignificant kitten, and although he might not have been much to most people, God Himself noticed his tiny life. If He pays attention to kittens and sparrows, how much more does He care for each of us and the real evil we face?

Jesus’ words in John 16:33 are words I meditated on last Saturday night. They are words that can stand up to much heavier trials than mine: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”