(Review & Giveaway!) God, Me & Sweet Iced Tea

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Genre: Devotional Journal, Non-fiction, Christian
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: July 11, 2013
Number of pages: 184

“In fifty-plus concise, focused, appealing, and penetrating meditations on scriptural passages, this book offers in-sights and challenges applied to 21st-century American life. The voice is original, unyielding and gentle, guiding, asking the readers to turn from busy-ness to consider, confront, and appreciate God in ourselves, in others, and beyond us and to be able to bring the divine to our scattered, tormented, and troubled planet. This book is surely a true gift of the spirit.” — Dr. Laura Dabundo, Inspirational-Religious Judge for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards
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Rose’s devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. My Father’s House, published in March 2016, is her first novel. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.
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1. What do you want readers to take away from your devotional, God, Me, & Sweet Iced Tea?
I pray that God will use my simple words to speak to hearts and that readers will be encouraged and strengthened as they face each new day. We are all on a spiritual journey. I pray as they read this devotional journal they will draw closer and come to know Him as a trusted friend, always there for them in the midst of every moment.

2. How did you come up with the idea to write this devotional?
When I decided to make Jesus the Lord of my life, in 1977, I starting reading a devotional every morning. It was just what I needed to help me focus and structure my time. I’ve incorporated devotional reading in my quiet times with God for decades now. I think most people could benefit from that format. The fact that I wrote a devotional comes back to my desire to be relevant and encouraging.

3. What authors inspire your writing?
Oswald Chambers; Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

4.What are some of your favorite books and/or authors? Are some of these the same as authors that inspire your writing?
I read non-fiction more than fiction, and books on religion and spirituality, in particular. I like devotionals. I love Oswald Chambers and have read his complete works. Man’s Search for Meaning is one of my favorite non-fiction books. The classics and the “must-reads” for the college bound were foundational for me. Jane Eyre is my all-time favorite book. I read novels by Daniel Silva and John Grisham, and occasionally a Stephen King novel. All the Light We Cannot See is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

5. What did your writing process for this devotional look like?
My devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea evolved from my own personal devotional time. I journaled about my personal experiences as I read and studied God’s word. It occurred to me I could turn those meditations into devotionals. The book is an overflow of my relationship and love for the Lord, and I wanted to share that with others in order that others might come to know Him and grow in their spiritual journey as well.

6. Which audience do you hope to reach with this devotional?
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is uniquely appropriate for working mothers, but it’s also for anyone who wants to put their Christianity into practice in their everyday moments and go deeper into God’s word. Men and couples are enjoying it as well. This devotional is simple enough for the newest believer, yet deep enough to make a life-long Christian feel challenged to go higher. There are 52 devotions followed by questions for journaling, suggested scriptures for further reading, a prayer, a sweet tea moment (thought for the day), and a prayer focus. Those extra helps allow the reader to use this as a personal or group study.

7. What is the significance of “sweet iced tea” you refer to in the title?
I can’t ever do without God. He is a real and vital part of my day. On a lighter note, sweet iced tea is another thing I can’t do without each day. A sweet tea lover since childhood, I remember getting in trouble at the dinner table for drinking all my tea at once, then barely tasting the food on my plate. Still today, I have a glass of iced tea in my hand too much of the time. So, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea seemed like a light-hearted title for this devotional. For all intents and purposes, your devotional time is a time for intimate conversation, like chatting with a friend as you sip a glass of tea or cup of coffee.

Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea, except those God moments to treasure. I can’t do without the Lord who is with me through every moment of my day. And those moments where He shows Himself are the most refreshing. The “sweet iced tea” says it’s personal.
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Perfect Peace
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trust in You.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
I visited the home improvement store recently and enjoyed the background music as I browsed the aisles. The cashier was listening too, because as I checked out, she actually started singing the lyrics of the catchy tune filling the airwaves.
That’s when it got stuck in my head. I first noticed it as I waited at the traffic light. I was singing it in my mind. By the time I got to the grocery store, I was singing it out loud. It wasn’t even a song I liked. That wasn’t the end of it. It happened again the next day, and the next. When I started writing this, it happened again.
Do you know what I mean? Have you ever had a song stuck in your head that wouldn’t go away? Maybe you heard it on the radio, in church, or in the grocery store, and it played over and over like a broken record.
Unfortunately, negative thoughts, self-doubts, painful memories, and worry can get stuck in our minds as well. Even though we don’t like it, those negative thoughts can play over and over again, causing us to lose our peace. For our mental and spiritual health, it’s important to control our thoughts.
In Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV), Paul gives us a list: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Could he have been any more direct? Here we have God’s will in simple terms. Paul said think about such things. I like the promise he gives: The God of peace will be with you.

Suggested Readings: Psalm 19:14; Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Philippians 4:8-9
Journaling Considerations: Make a list of some negative thoughts that have worried you lately.
List the eight things Paul tells us to think about.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as the Psalmist said, “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in your sight.” Help me bring every thought into conformity to your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Today’s Sweet Tea Moment: When I am preoccupied with stormy thoughts and worries, I will fix my mind on the One who calms the storm.
Prayer Focus: Those tormented by unholy thoughts.
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Favorite scripture: Proverbs 4:18
Favorite dessert: Cream cheese pound cake
Favorite author: Oswald Chambers
Favorite ice cream place: Baskin Robbins
Favorite comic book character: X-Men
Favorite candy: Pralines
Favorite vacation location: France
Favorite fruit: Apple
Favorite soda: Ginger ale
Favorite movie: Just Like Heaven
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Like that small boy’s loaves and fishes, my talents and offerings are meager, yet when they’re given over into Jesus’ hands to bless and to do with as He wills, miracles happen. Jesus’ blessings ensure that needs will be met. All I have to do is approach Him in faith, with a willing heart and open hands. I may not see the results, but they are guaranteed. My time, my talents, my life—when given to Jesus to bless and use in His service—can satisfy a multitude of hungry souls.
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My review:

 There are so many wonderful things that are in this book. This is a devotional that is wonderful written and designed. I have to say that one of my favorite things about the book was the sweet tea moments. I love the fact that is has places though out it that you can journal your own notes or thoughts. It takes things that can happen in your everyday life and turns them into a learning experience for you. It is very easy to understand, which I love. A devotional that can be read over and over again and applied to things happening in your own life. I think that would make an excellent book for group discussions.

 

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