Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are you looking for a Valentine's Day gift for your daughter? "His Revolutionary Love" would make the perfect gift! 

Book Review "His Revolutionary Love"

(This review appears in the February issue of the Nebraska Family Times. The mission of the Nebraska Family Times is to "inspire, encourage, and motivate you in your Christian walk." For more information about the Nebraska Family Times or to request a FREE sample issue go to
His Revolutionary Love
By Lynn Cowell

Review by Shelly Burke, Editor

Like all of us, author Lynn Cowell experienced the ups and downs and anxieties of having crushes as a teen. However, during a nine-month Bible school training program she discovered the revolutionary love of Jesus. As she learned she realized that His love is the opposite of everything she had been pressured to believe about love.

His Revolutionary Love is written for teenagers who are facing pressures from friends, books, magazines, popular culture, and “what everyone else is doing” regarding relationships with boys.  

Cowell’s book is divided into three parts. Part 1, His Heart Toward Me,outlines how and what God is communicating to the reader. Part 2, His Path For Me, shows what our behavior should be to show our love to God. Part 3, His Hopes for Me, explains what we can do when we know about God’s revolutionary love.

The message throughout the book is that nothing—not boys, sex, drugs, sports, friends—can truly fill our hearts; only the revolutionary love of Jesus can. And Cowell reassures readers that Jesus loves us no matter what we are like inside and no matter what we have done. There are consequences for our actions, but God shows us His mercy when we ask for forgiveness. Cowell truly relates to teen emotions and “real life.”

Cowell is realistic in saying that some days we’ll feel closer to Jesus than other days, and that friends might not share in the readers’ passion for Him. She encourages readers to continue spending time with Him anyway.

Cowell recognizes the difficulty of remaining sexually pure and in no uncertain terms warns teens of the dangers of not doing so. She encourages readers to play out situations in their mind so they’ll be prepared to deal with those situations in “real life.”

His Revolutionary Love is a must-read for teenage girls; it will give them the confidence to make good decisions about setting boundaries and protecting themselves. Moms who read the book will find natural lead-ins to discussion with their daughters. (Hint to moms: download the FREE Leader’s Guide at Many of the suggestions and questions would be perfect for a one-to-one discussion with your daughter.)

Lynn Cowell is a youth worker and the mother of three teenagers. She is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaking team and works with teens one-on-one mentoring, leading small groups, and teaching at conferences. To read more go to  At the site you’ll also find a FREE Leadership Guide for those who feel moved to lead a group through the study of His Revolutionary Love. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


CHOCOLATE! It's on my mind today as I read Deb Burma's new devotion book, "A Chocolate Life." 

Deb is a good friend of mine and I'm blessed to know her--as a writer and as a friend. She has a way of applying Biblical principles to "real life" lessons. I'm just starting to read "A Chocolate Life" and am excited to read more--AND to try the delicious-sounding recipes she's included in the book. 

Go to her blog at and read a sample devotion. You'll be back for more! "A Chocolate Life" would make the PERFECT Valentine's Day gift--the price is right and the book will fit in an envelope with a card. ENJOY!

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

(1 Corinthians 13 is traditionally known as the "love" chapter of the Bible, and is read at many weddings. I like how this anonymous author applied it to being a mom. I hope you enjoy it too!) 

I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor--but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.

I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew.

Love is kind when my child says, "I don’t like you anymore!"

It does not envy the neighbors' swimming pool or their brand-new mini van, but trusts the Lord to provide every need.

Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities, and love rejoices when other families succeed.

It doesn't boast, even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.

Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?"
It does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children, but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.

It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her.
It does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous) when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.

Love does not give up hope. It always protects our children's self-esteem and spirit, even while doling out discipline.

It always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot. It always perseveres, through blue nail polish, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleepovers.

Love never fails. But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labor(s), they will fade away.

Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease. (Please, Lord?)

Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything, there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best.

For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in or therapy, but when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear.
(Thank you, Lord!)

When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we're parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(author unknown)