About the Book
Book Title: Renewed
Author: Leigh Powers
Release date: November, 2017
Ministry is a privilege, but it can also be a painful experience. Unrealistic expectations, church conflict, forced resignations, and our own struggles with burnout, loneliness, and insecurity can make church feel more like a place of wounding than a place of healing. How can wounded leaders find the courage to reject bitterness and keep loving the church?
Renewed is a forty-day devotional for women in ministry, ministry wives, and lay leaders who have been wounded by their congregations. You are not alone. God sees your pain. He knows your hurts. And he is waiting to bind up your broken heart. This forty-day journey into the healing love of Jesus will help you find the courage to stop hiding and start loving the church again.
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About the Author
Leigh Powers is passionate about helping women find hope and healing in God’s Word. A pastor’s wife and mother of three with fifteen years of full-time ministry experience, she is a freelance writer, Bible study and devotional author, and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She blogs regularly at www.leighpowers.com. You can usually find her with either a book or knitting needles in her hand—and sometimes both.
Renewed is a 40 day devotional that digs down deep into some of the more painful and difficult heart issues that arise through not only church ministry, but life in general. Each day, the author shares a bit about a personal situation she’s faced that has led her to have emotional and/or spiritual hurts, and then attempts to process them by sharing a verse or passage followed by a devotional that deals with the specific topic. The content of the devotionals is broad enough to see through your own personal situation, but also specific enough to see how God is able to help us process and approach what’s before us. There was also a prayer and finally some thoughts for further reflection. There were many instances that I couldn’t relate specifically to the situations the author was describing, but I was still able to relate to the heart issues from my own personal experiences. The thoughts for further reflection actually helped with this because of the way they were worded. They led me to look within at my heart instead of the circumstances around me. They asked about how I react in my heart to situations that cause pain, anger, frustration, fear, etc instead of calling on specific events. It really personalized my experience in how I processed and gained from reading this book.
One of the things Satan likes to do is to isolate us and make us feel like we are the only ones going through something. We are afraid to talk about what hurts us and that we struggle. The truth is, we aren’t meant to suffer alone. God gave us a wonderful gift of fellowship with Himself and other believers. We don’t have to be going through the same exact situations in order to understand and relate based on what is going on in our hearts. We can struggle to be forgiving for a number of reasons. We can feel unworthy or unloved, left-out, angry, wronged, etc. The emotions are the same, but what leads us to them may not be. This book is helpful for so many reasons because it aims to get us to think on a deeper level than simply what is happening before us.
While this book is technically geared towards people who are wrestling with hurt from church, it is useful on a much broader spectrum. The hurt doesn’t necessarily have to come from church, but it could come from a family member, friend, or even co-worker. The aim of the book is to get the reader to start thinking about their situation on a more spiritual level and consider how God would want them to proceed as well as what comfort God would have for them. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world and the things that hurt us. It’s often hard to look up when we are struggling, but that’s what God is calling us to do. When we have the right focus, we are better able to handle what’s going on around us.
Life is messy. Relationships are messy. If you’re an active member of your church, chances are you know that sometimes the phrase “church family” involves feelings and battles that are often seen in a regular family. We are all sinners and imperfect people. Showing love isn’t always the easiest, but it’s what we are called to give. This was a very thought-provoking, encouraging and convicting book. I would recommend it to a broader audience than people who have felt hurt by the church. It’s also useful for equipping people for dealing properly with conflict and hurt, and that’s a much wider audience than a specific ministry. It’s well worth the time to read and think on all that it reveals and heals in our hearts.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Guest Post from Leigh
I love ministry life. Several years ago, a young woman from Southeast Asia came to my English as a Second Language class for a year. Her English wasn’t very good, and I had to tug to get a word out of her. She came every week, but I wondered how much she was getting from the Bible stories we did during each class. At the end of the semester, I asked our class to share what they wanted to tell their friends and family when they went home. She looked up at me with big brown eyes. “I want to tell people about Jesus.”
Those are the ministry moments that thrill us. It is a privilege to help people find freedom in Christ, teach God’s word, worship with the congregation, and walk alongside people in their moments of joy or sorrow. On those days I can’t imagine choosing another life. Then there are days that make me want to hang it all up and go work at Wal-Mart. Days when anonymous letters get slipped under the office door. Days when you’re the brunt of gossip, when loneliness is like an ache in your bones, or when you start sending out resumes for new positions because you aren’t sure how much longer you’ll have the one you’ve got.
Ministry can be tough. Over the years I’ve met many women who have experienced the painful side of ministry. Church conflicts, forced resignations, depression, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and our own struggles with faith can take a toll. That painful side of ministry can make us start looking for an escape hatch.
I wrote Renewed in the middle of a difficult ministry season. It was a hard season, but it was also a season where Jesus showed up for me in an almost tangible way. At the same time, I was also hearing stories from other ministry wives and women in ministry that sounded all too familiar. I started putting words on the page, hoping that somehow God would use them to bring healing to other women in the same way he had brought healing to me. That outpouring of hurt, healing, and hope eventually became Renewed.
Some of you reading this are nodding along right now because you’ve been there too. You love the church, but you’ve seen how ugly it can be when we get it wrong. You’ve got wounds of your own, and sometimes you wonder if you can ever risk your heart again. If that’s you, I want you to know that there is hope. God has not abandoned you. God sees your hurt, he knows your pain, and he is waiting to bind up your broken spirit. He’s waiting. Turn to him, and may you find your spirit renewed.
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To celebrate her tour, Leigh is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ee/renewed-celebration-tour-giveaway