Tag Archives: expectations

Review: Fiercehearted, by Holley Gerth

Fiercehearted, by Holley Gerth

Fiercehearted, by Holley Gerth (Revell, 2017)

I have so many lines in this book highlighted! Some because they’re comforting, encouraging, or challenging, and others because the word pictures are beautiful.

A few favourite lines:

In the introduction, Holley Gerth writes that she wants the book to help women

…feel less alone and more comfortable in our God-sewn skin and a little surer that we are a force to be reckoned with in this world. [Kindle location 189]

It’s in these moments that we carry wonder and fear like twins. [Kindle location 2080]

We’re all just clay on the wheel, which is another way of saying we are dust being sculpted into glory. [Kindle location 2214]

I found author Holley Gerth through Ellen Graf-Martin’s Change Makers Podcast, and have been appreciating her email newsletters and posts ever since. When I saw the digital version of her book, Fiercehearted, discounted recently, I snapped it up.

With short, conversational chapters transparently reflecting the author’s life experiences, Fiercehearted touches on topics common to many women: conflict avoidance, identity, self-worth, insecurity, success, perfectionism, expectations, failure, work, depression, friendship, and more.

Highly recommended for Christian women, and especially for those who appreciate the writing of Emily P. Freeman, Carolyn Watts (Hearing the Heartbeat), and Ann Voskamp.

For more about Holley Gerth and her ministry, visit holleygerth.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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Expectations and Limitations – And Freedom

But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
Daniel 11:32b, NLT*

The context of this verse is a prophecy about a future king who will “flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant.” (Daniel 11:32a, NLT*)

What protects God’s people? They know Him, and they act on that knowledge. They rely on Him.

The last two weekends I’ve been blessed to attend worship conferences. Both highlighted the importance of knowing who we are in Christ – defining our identity and measuring ourselves by what God says instead of what people say.

Knowing God sets us free.

My notes from the most recent event include this: “Because I don’t feel like I’m what I’m supposed to be, I limit what God can do through me.”

That’s not a direct quote from our speaker, Jo Saxton (ALIVE Conference simulcast) but she said something close to that.

The main point I took from her message was that we often accept limitations from individuals, society, or ourselves, when we need to live by the truth of who God says we are. When we hold back, God respects our choice and we miss the chance to bless and to be blessed.

What limitations or expectations have you and I accepted? From whom? Or what are we measuring ourselves against? How does this impact what God might want to do through us?

If we know Him – and choose to believe what we know about Him – we can live by His grace and strength instead of holding back in fear of what others might say.

Here’s where I think today’s verse applies. We know who the Liar is, who wants to get our eyes off of God. Those lies include things like “you’re not good/ smart/ old/ young/ gifted (etc.) enough.”

If we know and believe our God, we can resist the lies with truth – “For I can do everything [that God asks me to do] through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT*)

Gracious Father, draw us closer to Your heart and deeper into Your Word. Give us faith and courage to choose to believe You and to resist the lies that diminish us. Show us where we’ve accepted limitations instead of stepping out for You. Forgive us, and give us new chances to live for Your glory.

Our song is the Newsboys‘ “The Upside.” Notice the questions about what’s holding us down.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Expectations and Complaints

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea…. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter…. So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
Exodus 15: 22-24, NIV*

The Israelites were jubilant at what God had done: deliverance from Egyptian slavery, parting the Red Sea to rescue them (neatly eliminating their enemies). They believed He could fulfill the rest of His promise and bring them into the promised land.

After a string of miracles and evidences of His great power, it’s understandable that they’d expect Him to melt all remaining opposition and obstacles in their way.

Then right away they have three waterless days in the desert, only to find water they can’t drink. No wonder they complain!

Moses, on the other hand, is used to setbacks, from his dealings with Pharaoh. He cries out to God.

The people know God can help, but they don’t ask. They expect, and then protest when He doesn’t operate the way they want.

Don’t we do the same?

Father God, mighty to save and wise to teach, You could give us smooth paths. But we seem to learn better when we experience Your help in the rough places. Help us to trust Your leading and to listen, obey, and learn to do life Your way. Help us to be grateful for Your presence.

A good song and prayer for today is Matt and Beth Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name,” sung here by Matt Redman.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.