Meet Mary Lenaburg, Be Bold in the Broken

A new book

It’s no secret that I love books! Interviewing authors is always a chance to learn more about the person behind the words. In Mary Lenaberg’s case, she is just as down-to-earth and honest on paper as in person. As she said, she only has time to be one Mary, no matter where she is or who she is with. In this book, Be Bold in the Broken published by Ave Maria Press Mary talks about how she found “courage and purpose in God’s unconditional love.”

What is the point of the book?

As a speaker, Mary is often asked by women, “who am I and what am I here for?” This book answers that question. We are all unique and unrepeatable people created by God. Mary tells the stories of her mistakes that led her to have the courage to let go, be healed and encourage others on their own journey. She invites, through her words and personal stories, to open the door to the Divine Healer.

Hospitality

Reading this book is like sitting down to coffee with a friend. Mary is honest, vulnerable and funny. Her joy in people is evident as is her heart for serving others.  If you are looking for a good read to help you draw closer to God, healing and wholeness – I highly recommend this book.

Your challenge this week, offer some hospitality to others. Nothing fancy could be tea on the porch or a conversation at church. Extend yourself a little bit, be present to another person.

 

Where to follow Mary

Instagram, Facebook, Website

 

Letters to Women by Chloe Langr

A new book

Letters to Women: Embracing the Femmine Genius in Everyday Life is a collection of letters put together by Chloe Langr. There are 30 letters from different women for different times and seasons of life. Some a specific, letter to those who want to be married or have suffered a miscarriage. Others are more general, women who are suffering or want more joy in their life. Each letter begins with a brief introduction from Chloe and ends with questions for reflection and questions for conversation. The questions would be ideal for a group study.

How did this book come about?

Chloe has a podcast by the same name. She realized that many women have similar struggles and thought it would be interesting to pull together different letters on women’s experiences in different situations and how God spoke to them. Some of the letter authors will be familiar names while others not. But each letter serves the purpose of speaking to a woman’s heart and helping her embrace her feminine genius.

What is the Feminine Genius?

This is a phrase used by St. John Paul II in his Letter to Women before the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. He used the phrase but did not define it. He did give some characteristics though, such as receptivity, density, generosity and maternity. There is no one way to live out the feminine genius. Rather, it the unique way you are put together by God to live as a woman in this time and place.

Who is this for?

All women! I read the letter about Surrender. It was written by a woman who could be my daughter. It resonated with me. I encourage you to take a look at this book for all the women in your life.

It is published by Tan Books.

Chloe offered a great challenge: spend just a few minutes in silence (maybe during lunch time or early in the morning) to simply exist with God, entering into a time of prayer with Him without an agenda, but simply to be present.

Other places to find Chloe Langr

Instagram

Facebook

 

Passion of Hope, a Ministry to Singles

Marriage isn’t for everyone, right? Or is it? Julieanne Bartlett, based on scripture and Church teachings thinks it is for everyone! Her ministry, Passion of Hope speaks to the heart of people who long for a spouse. Their world and culture may look and think they have it all – education, career, good income, fun – but the deepest desire of their heart, someone to build a life within marriage is missing.

As someone who married late in life, Julie shares her struggle to wait with hope. She believes that God uses marriage to reflect his presence in the world. Marriage mirrors Christ’s relationship with the Church and is our path to sanctification.

Passion of Hope ministry aims to give hope to singles who want to be married. This is often in direct contrast to the world which does not value monogamy, sees marriage as unnecessary and difficult to sustain.

In October, Julie will present a talk, God wants you to be Married, at the Standing in the Word Retreat. This event put together by Sonja Corbitt will be held on October 23-25, 2020 at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament n Hanceville, AL.

To learn more about Julie and her ministry check out her website, Passion of Hope. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

the not lukewarm challengeOur Not Lukewarm Challenge this week? Pray for a friend who is single and wants to be married. You can use this prayer for marriage from Julie:

“Lord, you have said that it is not good for man to be alone. (name) is alone. You knew that this would not be beneficial and can be remedied with a spouse uniquely suited for (name). Please help his/her situation to change to one that is good.” (Genesis 2:18)

Chaste Love Ministry

I had the opportunity to interview Tim Lucchesi, the founder of Chaste Love, a ministry for those who are trying to live as God calls us, chastely, rather than how the culture calls us.

A former youth minister, Tim saw so many people wounded from bad relationships, leaving them with a distorted view of what loving another person looks like. As Tim studied St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and St. Paul VI’s Humane Vitae he realized that those documents were what was missing for so many people, especially young adults.

Tim and his wife are pro-life. They give talks about Natural Family Planning at marriage retreats and have prayed outside of abortion clinics. In fact, prayer is the cornerstone of all they do.

Who is Chaste Love for?

Young adults who are dating and discerning their vocation.

Parents who want information and resources to assist in preventing their children from exposure to pornography and healing from previous exposure.

Anyone who is looking for prayer to help them with chastity.

Where can you find Tim?

At the  Chaste Love website.

On Instagram and Facebook.

He also has a new podcast, “Home but not Alone” with Sara Estabrooks where they talk about real-life as stay at home parents.

the not lukewarm challenge

This week our challenge is to die to yourself a bit by doing something for someone that won’t try to pay you back or even necessarily know it was you who helped them.

Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time

Deep down, I think we all long for holiness – yet it seems unattainable or at least, very difficult. But Sara Estabrooks has given us guidance in the form of a new bible study that is part of the series of the Stay Connected Journals published by Our Sunday Visitor.

Sara and I spoke about how she came to study the virtues and the impact it has on her daily life. She began studying about virtues after her marriage when she realized that marriage did not automatically make her holy. She then read The Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and realized that while she intellectually understood the virtues, she was not necessarily practicing them in her daily life. Her study takes a look at the 3 theological virtues – faith, hope and love, and the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.grow in virtue

The cardinal virtues are the basis for all the virtues in life and help us become holy because we are all called to be holy! Sara also talked about how we don’t get the virtue and then we are done. We are called to continuously grow in each virtue so that we embrace our call to holiness.

The book itself has 7 chapters and each chapter can easily be done with a small group in an hour and a half, making it ideal for group study. If you preorder, Sara has some beautiful prints you can download as her gift to you.

If you are looking for a bible study to start the year with, take a look at Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time!

You can learn more about Sara and her work at To Jesus, Sincerely, Facebook and Instagram.

You can order her book and get your pre-order gifts here.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

 

Choose a virtue this week and focus on practicing it each day.

 

An Interview with Bonnie L. Engstrom, author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle

Do you believe in miracles?

If you have read the Bible, Old Testament or New, you see miracles everywhere. God comes to his people in a burning bush, an ark, water, mud, fire, wind, rain and quiet. Jesus feeds five thousand people; heals the blind, the lame, those processed by demons and raises the dead. His apostles do the same. And here we sit, some two thousand years later and wonder, why not us? Why are there no miracles today? Do we lack faith? Are our needs to small? Has God stopped noticing us? NO!

There are miracles around us all the time, small, quiet ones and big, dramatic ones. There are miracles that change the course of people’s lives.

I was privileged to speak with Bonnie Engstrom, author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and a True Story of the Impossible, about the miracle that occurred in her life. In 2010 her son, James Fulton, was born stillborn. For 61 minutes, the family prayed while medical personnel worked on James. They asked for the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and God granted them the miracle of life fully restored to James.

The book is a testimony to faith and to God who loves us more than we can believe or imagine. In talking to Bonnie, she said a few things that really struck me about what she learned through this miracle.

  1. She was reminded that miracles of biblical proportions still take place today.
  2. That the Body of Christ is amazing. So many people came forward to pray and help in so many ways after James’ birth.
  3. That as James hit milestone after milestone at the appropriate age, she realized that not only was James brought back to life, but he was restored in the fullest way, so that his body could heal and become how it was meant to be.
  4. Miracles approved by the Vatican go through very rigorous testing and validation.

The book not only tells the story of James but also explains, in context, the details of how a person becomes a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Bonnie explains the process in a way that can be understood even if you are not familiar with saints or the Catholic Church.

I hope you enjoy our interview and know you will appreciate the book. It is a brilliant story of hope and restoration.

Prayer to Obtain a Favor through the Intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to your will, glorify your servant, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession, (state your intention). I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.  (from 61 Minutes to a Miracle)

You can follow Bonnie on her blog or on Instagram. 

The book, 61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and True Story of the Impossible, is available from Our Sunday Visitor.

the not lukewarm challengeThis week look for the miracles. Search out the good news of healing, restoration, kindness and caring. Post those in the comment section and share them on social media.