Holly Furtick

Summer Reading

I love to read in the summer.  Usually around April I start collecting a pile of books that I want to read for the summer.  I prefer fiction and memoirs but love anything really.

Here are a few of the books on my list…

One of my favorite authors, Shaunti Feldhahn released 2 new books this Spring…

Shaunti alway has great insight into marriage with practical application.  She surveys thousands of couples and then draws some great conclusions. Her books are so easy to read too!

 

 

 

 

If Shaunti is my favorite marriage author, Dr. Kevin Leman is my favorite parenting author.  I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble on a date night a few weeks ago and loved the first chapter.  The book is about the role of mothers in their sons lives, he also has one for dads and daughters.  I really need to read this book!

 

 

 

 

I love a good true story!  I started this book and then got distracted with the Divergent series this Spring (oops!). But I cannot wait to finish this.  It is an award winning book about the true story of a family living in the slums of Mumbai, India.

 

 

 

 

Mindless fiction.  Great for sunbathing.  They are making a movies out of these books so they must be good right?  I will let you know!

 

 

 

 

Ok, that’s what’s in my pile.  What’s in yours??

 

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Lessons from one of the greats

Maya Angelou died last week.  She was a woman who truly left her imprint on the earth.  I read her biography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  It was an incredible book.  Did you know that Maya Angelo was raped as a 7 year old child and did not speak a word for the next several years?  Did you know she was a teen mom?  Did you know that although she did not have a college degree she spoke 6 languages and wrote over 30 books.

I love stories of triumph.  They encourage me to know that no matter what I am facing, or what has happened to me in my past, I can overcome it.   They remind me to forgive.  They inspire me to make difference in the lives of the people God has placed around me.  The show me that my past doesn’t have to hold me back, it can propel me forward

 

Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
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A weekend to remember

This weekend we concluded our open series and my husband saved the best for last!  He taught on Mark 9:14, the story of the demon posed boy.

The boys’s father so desperately wanted his son to be healed.  But beneath this thing was another thing that Jesus had to heal first, his unbelief.  Jesus wants to get to the thing beneath the thing in our lives.  Here are few of my favorite lines from my notes…

  • Sometimes we are so focused on what we want God to do FOR us that we miss the thing he wants to do IN us.
  • We can bring our issues to church and never really bring them to Jesus
  • The thing that causes me to come to Jesus is often not the first thing He will fix.

The message was life changing for so many people at church this weekend.  I hope you will take the time to watch it this week if you missed it!You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

Yesterday was also a special day because we celebrated our 12th anniversary.  I never imagined 12 years ago what an incredible ride Steven Furtick would take me on.

We have seen truly experienced the faithfulness of God in every area of our life.  I feel so honored that God would pick me to be the wife of such an an obviously anointed man of God.

I don’t know what the future holds but I know that no matter what happens, I have a husband who truly loves me and we serve a God who has proven to us that never leaves us nor forsakes us.

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We are the Champions

   We had another amazing baseball season with our boys.  I never could have imagined how much I would love watching my children play sports!

Our boys played baseball every night last week ending at the coach pitch championship game.  They were ahead 7-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning (they only play 6 innings) only for the other team to come back and tie the game.  At the top of the 7th they did not score any runs.  In the bottom of the 7th they held them (not to mention Graham caught a tipped foul for the 3rd out).  Then our boys came out swinging and scored 7 runs (Elijah was one of them!).  The other team made a great effort with 4 runs but they couldn’t come back.

The Lake Monsters won!  It was one of the best sporting events I have ever attended.

And a bonus picture of the proud dad and the cheerleader…

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Monday Morning Commentary

My husband brought the fire this weekend!  He took a familiar passage, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and gave it a quite unusual twist.  His message was called, “Death by Distraction.”   He challenged us to see that at times, we can all be the different types of soil mentioned in Matthew 13.

He told us that there’s nothing wrong with the seed, it’s the soil.  We must stop complaining about the seed (the opportunities we feel we have been given) and focus on the soil (depth of character we have when the seed is received).  Loving God with all of your heart means you have a focused heart, an undistracted heart.

In Matthew 13 we find 4 different types of soils

  1. SNATCHED-we let the insignificant keep us from the significant (v. 19)
  2. SCORCHED-we stay at the surface and wonder why we have no roots (v. 20-21)
  3. CHOKED-we let worry and stuff distract us from our true purpose (v.22)
  4. SABOTAGED-we let the enemy plant weeds that grow up next to us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose (v.24-30)

You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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I will fight!!!

I am sorry I have been absent from the blog this week.  Our boys are in the thick of coach pitch baseball playoffs and they are on a winning streak!  We have played every night this week.  If we win tonight, we play for the championship Friday night.  Shew.  It is so much fun watching your kids play sports but it sure doesn’t leave much room for blogging.

Anyway, while back I blogged about the piece my husband did called, I Will Fight (link here).   I also mentioned it in my sermon during our series, Crash the Chatterbox (link here, week 5).  Many of you have asked how you can get it.  Well, I am happy to tell you today that it is now available on iTunes!  Yeah!!  Here’s the link!  I know you are going to love it!

I listen to this track on a regular basis.  Sometimes daily.  It is so encouraging.  In fact, I am going to play it on the way to baseball tomorrow night!!

And if you would like to watch the video one more time, here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Video:

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Monday Morning Commentary

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For the next few weeks we will not have a series!  My husband gets to preach whatever he wants and boy was he on fire this weekend!  His sermon (based out of 1 Corinthians 1:8-12) gave us 4 points to preach to ourselves when we are under pressure…

    1. I’ve been here before (v.10).  The enemy wants to wipe my memory of the faithfulness of God in my life.
    2. I’m not that important (v.9).  My failure will not frustrate God’s purpose.
    3. I’m better under pressure (v.11).  Pressure brings out what He put in me that only He can produce.
    4. I’m not really alone (v.12).  The enemy puts us under pressure in isolation.

The sermon was one that will really stick with me for a while.  How encouraging is it to tell myself, I’m better under pressure??!!  You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Leave it

Have you ever thought about the things people left to follow God?

Abraham left Ur to go to an unknown land (Gen 12:4)

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus (Matt 4:20)

Blind Bartimaeus left his cloak to be healed (Mark 10:50)

The woman at the well left her jar to tell others about Jesus (John 4:28)

My husband has this line that he says, “When Jesus asks something from you, He is usually trying to get something to you.”   I have been thinking about this lately.

I think sometimes God doesn’t even have to “ask” us to give something up.  We just know.  We know that in order to go to a new level in our faith we have to leave something behind.  It could be someone to give up because they are keeping us from fully living out our calling.  It could be we need to leave a familiar place because He has a journey he wants to take us on.  Or maybe we leave something behind because we know that we cannot take it where God is leading us (This could be a habit or a hobby that is not in and of itself bad, but just something that isn’t best for us at the time).

It is not always a huge thing.  It could be a small thing that makes a huge impact like deleting a certain app from your phone.  It is not always a permanent thing.  It could be a season of time that you need to leave something or someone behind.

The enemy wants me to think that holding onto this thing, or this person, or this place is the most important thing in the world.  That God is a god who wants me to suffer.  The reality is, God will not love me any less if I never change another thing for the rest of my life.  But there are experiences with God that I will miss, miracles I will miss, when I cling to the things that are keeping me from fully trusting God.

Is there something you need to leave behind today?  Remember, God is not trying to take something from you, He is trying to free up your hands so He can hand you something better.

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Monday Morning Commentary

We ended our series, Hope of Glory, this weekend and my husband preached such a great message for Mother’s Day.  It was called, “The Problem with Pinterest.”  He talked to us about the dangers of comparison by using 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.

He pointed out to us that sometimes Moses wore the veil because the glory was fading from him.  He asked us what veil are we wearing?  We often think that the way to help others is to keep our veil on and tell them “you should,” but often the best help you can offer those around you is to take your veil off and admit, “me too!”

He told us only in Christ does image management come to an end.  We can not allow ourselves to live in the past memories or our imagination of the future.  When we do that we miss the glory of the present moment!

God wants to transform me from glory to glory, not from shame to glory.  When I remove my veil, I can see God more clearly!

My husband shared a great illustration about comparison.  He showed this welcome video my kids and I made last Easter…

Then he shared (with my permission) the behind the scenes of that video…

I am taking off my veil today.  I am saying me too!  I struggle to get my kids to behave!  I struggle with having a good attitude in every situation!  Me too!

The message was so powerful and so helpful.  I hope you will take the time to watch it.  You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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A-May-Zing Cauliflower

Every spring our staff does a nutrition and exercise challenge. We love to compete. This year the challenge includes a nutritional, physical and spiritual element, we are calling it, A-May-Zing! Each person can design their own plan. Even our boys are competing!

My husband and I are eliminating grains and added sugar as well as drinking 64 oz of water per day (this is how he basically eats anyway). My boys are eliminating sweets and sweet drinks (water and white milk only) 5 days a week.

For exercise we are doing at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. The boys count baseball or 30 minutes of outside activity.

For our spiritual plan we are memorizing 1Peter 1:3-9 and reading through the book of 1Peter every week.

I’ll be posting some recipes over the next month. Also check out my friend, Lindsay’s blog for more recipes. Everything she makes is always delicious!

For today I want to share my favorite recipe for mashed cauliflower (It’s actually Lindsay’s!) now before you turn your nose up, you really should try it. I am not a fan of cauliflower but this is really, truly delicious (especially when served with beef)

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower ( stem remove cut into 1/2 in pieces)
1 clove garlic (peeled and pressed)
1 qt chicken stock
3 tbs butter
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
2 c shredded white cheddar cheese or shredded Gouda
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Bring cauliflower garlic and chicken stock to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender

Once cooked drain cauliflower and place in a blender or food processor with the butter (you can use a hand mixer too but it may not be as smooth). Blend until fine. Add yogurt and blend again. Add cheese and blend.

Enjoy!

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