A mother’s heart-wrenching story of her 18- year-old son’s struggle between life and death following his electrocution on a power pole during a random outing. This is an intimate look into those first few agonizing days, and the months of bitter uncertainty that followed, not knowing if her son would live or die, after suffering third and fourth-degree burns on more than 70% of his body. The skilled physicians at the Maricopa County Burn Unit in Phoenix, Arizona all said he should have died. Statistics were against his struggle for life. Yet, this story captured in a mother’s journal yields proof that God answers prayer, and that God is what He says He is: The great Physician, the Healer, the Miracle worker.
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Death Must Bow the Knee, by Virginia Vasser, is a book of intense sadness, pain, mercy and grace, but mostly a book of MIRACLES. Not just one, but multiple mind-boggling, and sometimes unbelievable, MIRACLES!!! God’s hand is all over this true story.
On a hot midsummer, June day in 1980, Sam Vasser left home upset. Before the day was over, his life would be irrevocably changed forever.
Vasser kept a journal of all that happened from that fateful evening when 18-year-old Sam was electrocuted on a power pole, suffering 3rd and 4th-degree burns over 70% of his body, until his release from the hospital months later. Vasser chronicled the doctors and nurses telling her Sam would not, could not, live, and her and her family’s assertion that only God had the power over life and death. She told how the nurses and doctors tried to get her to “face reality” and how the medical staff became frustrated, and perhaps even a little angry when she would not listen to them.
An inspirational story of how God can and will answer prayers, Death Must Bow the Knee is a short story, only 128 pages long. However, you will feel as if you are right there every step of the way through the months of treatment and recovery. Tears will roll down your face as you read and absorb the message: God IS The Great Healer and The Great Physician.
I received Death Must Bow the Knee from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Philippians 2:10-11 King James Version (KJV)
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
About The Author
Virginia resides in Surprise, Arizona with her husband, Rosco, with whom she recently celebrated 59 years of marriage. She is the mother of five adult children, including Sam. Her growing family includes six grandsons, six great-grandsons and a great-granddaughter. When not writing, Virginia enjoys yard work, crossword puzzles, and spending time with her family.
A forty-day interactive journey that challenges readers to come face to face with the reality of their life circumstances, identify the internal battles they must personally declare war on and fight through, and become the difference-maker that God created them to be.
Simultaneous release with a video-driven curriculum perfect for group study.
Every person has a mission and a God-given potential to impact the world, whether they recognize it or not. But the stuff of life—the loss of a job, the death of a friend or a loved one, the inability to focus due to bad moods or self-sabotaging tendencies—presents challenges and traps us in a helpless, hopeless loop of anxiety and fear. These are the kinds of things we face that turn on the dark for any thoughts of a future.
In this book bestselling author and pastor Levi Lusko gives a step-by-step process to take back your life, which includes
a new introduction and perspective from Pastor Levi
stories and testimonies from those whose lives have been changed by his messages, and
an action plan with journaling space to turn your thoughts into real change.
With a unique blend of message and practical tools, using themes and teachings from his bestselling Through the Eyes of a Lion and the more recent I Declare War, Lusko gives readers an interactive forty-day journey of learning how to think right so they can live right.
Take Back Your Life: A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right, by Levi Lusko, is a great devotional, aimed at helping you realize your worth in God’s eyes and His immense love for you.
I valued Lusko’s candor. He addressed his battles, his struggles, and especially his anguish, agony and grief when his five-year-old daughter passed away five days before Christmas. I cannot imagine the sorrow or ache or loneliness he and his family faced. However, they also triumphed and became closer to God than ever.
The story of his daughter is a small part of the whole but was a very defining part for me. It helped to put my own grief over my losses into better perspective, which I am sure will help me heal even more.
Lusko’s devotional will affect and touch a different chord in each person who reads it. There are so many nuggets to glean from this self-help book, and I’m sure each one will make an impact.
One distraction for me was the style of the breaks in the chapter. For example, in one break it appeared as if someone had written something then scribbled it out. There were also page breaks with hand-drawn images. For me these took away from the gravity and solemnity of the message. I did enjoy the references to current culture. Allusions to movies, music, television shows and other contemporary, cultural references brought the devotional themes to life.
Few things make us feel as helpless as living with a story we don’t like. Maybe one that involves the loss of a loved one, an unwanted transition, a difficult diagnosis, or a dream that fell through. At one time or another, we all deal with disappointments and feelings that life is unfair or that we are being punished.
In Renewed, a four-week study of the Book of Ruth, women glean wisdom from Naomi’s perspective, a woman who lived a story she didn’t choose or like. Forced to chart a new path as she mourned the loss of her husband and two sons, Naomi learned that the journey from bitterness to renewed hope and joy was rooted in God’s promise of redemption.
With insight from her own journey of living with a story that is not easy, Heather teaches women to flourish even as they live hard stories through a willingness to trust that God can transform them and trade their heartache for hope. They will learn to rely on God’s movement in the details of their story, even when it can’t be seen, gain confidence to act in the part of their stories that they can change, and watch expectantly for God to redeem the parts they can’t.
A four-week study of the Book of Ruth from Naomi’s perspective.
This shorter study is ideal for in-between or busy times.
Helps women find the courage to live with a story they don’t like and trust in God.
Participant Workbook with Leader Helps includes group sessions guides, discussion questions, prayers, video viewer guides, and more.
DVD features dynamic, engaging teaching in four 20 to 25-minute segments.
Heather Dixon has taken a Bible story that most of us know, and flipped it on its head. Instead of focusing on Ruth, the title of the Biblical story and its protagonist, she focuses on Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law.
Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Storyis a brilliantly written Bible Study. Dixon delves into the story of Naomi with great wisdom, feeling and insight. She gets real and personal about her own journey, a story she didn’t and doesn’t like. However, with God’s grace and constant communication with the Him, she has been able to succeed, thrive and grow in her life and Christian walk.
I relate to Dixon’s life for numerous reasons and I am grateful for her Bible study. She has written it in an easy to follow format, with a schedule of three days a week for intense study and a break of four days, which makes it perfect for in-depth study.
I feel everyone can benefit from this study. There are several methods of learning to include a Participant Workbook with Leader Helps and a DVD that has four 20-25-minute segments with closed captioning.
I received Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story from I Read with Audra Blog Tours. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Part 2 of Interview with Heather M. Dixon, Author of Renewed
While most studies on the book of Ruth focus on the book’s namesake, in Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story (Abingdon Press), Heather M. Dixon focuses in on Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law instead. “I’ve always read and taught Ruth from Naomi’s perspective because ultimately, I think it’s her story,” Dixon explains. “For all believers, a transformed heart is one of the key identifiers of life with Christ and as readers, we get to experience that journey with Naomi—from bitterness to renewed joy. Her transformation echoes that of anyone who has struggled with a hard story and found Jesus to be faithful along the way. It’s also my personal belief that Naomi’s response to grief has often been judged too harshly. I wanted to give my readers a safe place to explore feelings of bitterness as they learned to look for God’s movement in their own story.”
In Renewed, women glean wisdom from Naomi’s perspective, a woman who lived a story she didn’t choose or like. Forced to chart a new path as she mourned the loss of her husband and two sons, Naomi learned that the journey from bitterness to renewed hope and joy was rooted in God’s promise of redemption.
Q: Is it OK to grieve the parts of our stories that we don’t like or is that self-pity? What can we learn from Naomi’s bitterness about her situation?
You have permission to grieve! Naomi was bitter because of her circumstances (and who wouldn’t be?), but she still remembered God’s sovereignty. Did He punish her for her bitterness? No, He was always working for her good as He brought renewed hope to her life. Her story reminds us that it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to say this is not what we wanted. It’s okay to acknowledge this isn’t how things should be. We don’t have to be afraid of expressing our honest feelings to God because he understands. Jesus wept for His friend Lazarus, even when He knew He was about to raise him to life.
I think our society has much to learn from an example that values a natural and healthy grief process over stoicism. What’s more, the expression of grief is an acknowledgement that this broken world needs Jesus. When we let it, grief can be a vehicle for deep intimacy with Jesus.
Q: We’re familiar with how Boaz was the kinsmen-redeemer who rescued Ruth, but how did he redeem Naomi? How does this parallel the gospel story and our need for a redeemer?
The gospel story is rooted in redemption and renewal. From the pages of Genesis 3, the promise for redemption through Jesus has always been God’s plan for this world. (“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15) The kinsman-redeemer promise extended to Naomi also. When Boaz married Ruth, he redeemed all of Naomi’s property that she acquired through the death of her husband and sons. For Naomi, Boaz’s purchase of her property promised provision and care for her future. Without Boaz, she would be debt-ridden and destitute, but his redemption of her property made way for the renewal of her story.
Similarly, through His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation with His blood. He redeemed all that may have been lost from our past circumstances and the entire debt we owe to God for our sins. His purchase promises our provision and care for eternity. Without Him, we would be unable to pay the debt we owe to God. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we have everlasting hope for renewed joy.
Q: How was Naomi reminded that God would always provide?
I adore that one of the motifs from the book of Ruth is the empty-to-full motif. Naomi was empty in every way at the beginning of her story, but it ends with her being full—full with food, family, happiness, offspring. God provided for her every need. God provided companionship for Naomi through Ruth’s determination to stay with her. God provided food for Naomi and Ruth in what would have appeared to be a stranger’s field, but it wasn’t. God provided family through Ruth’s marriage to Boaz. He provided happiness through the birth of her grandson, Obed. And He provided offspring and blessing and security through Obed’s family line, which was the human ancestral family line for Jesus.
Q: What does Naomi’s story teach us about hope for our own situations?
I remember watching my elementary school friends on the playground, climbing up the tall ladder to mount the slide and zooming down it without fear. Hands up and laughing all the way down, they were free and joyful. I didn’t think I could do it myself, but watching them gave me hope. If they could do it, maybe I could too. I sense the same feelings rising when I read Naomi’s story.
She was a woman who walked through what many of us fear the most: the death of precious loved ones and life-altering change. And yet, if God could renew her story, why couldn’t He do it for mine as well? Naomi’s story teaches us that God is sovereign, loving, strategic, and compassionate. Her story prompts us to courageously lift our chins and say “He did it for Naomi, He can do it for me too.” There is hope in that. As a second-grader, I raised my hands as I slid down the slide. As a woman who has experienced much grief and change, I now place my story in God’s capable hands, knowing that God is always working for my good, even when I can’t see it. And that renewed joy is always just around the corner when I am walking with Jesus.
Q: Did you write Renewed for a specific audience of women?
Yes, absolutely. I wrote Renewed for any woman that is carrying a difficult and life-altering story. I wrote it for the woman who is not just walking through a season of hardship, but who has experienced a story that they did not choose and cannot change.
I also wrote it for the woman who yearns to trust God’s sovereignty and His plan for her life even as she grieves and is angered by her circumstances. Trusting God and grieving your story are not mutually exclusive. Renewed is for the woman who needs an honest space to do both as God fills them with hope.
Q: Tell us about the format of the study. How long does each lesson take and how many weeks are in the study?
Because we lead busy lives, this study is designed with just four weeks of study, and three days of lessons each week. Each day’s lesson will guide you through personal study of a passage from Ruth as well as application of what you’ve learned. This study is intentionally designed to offer a flexible but thorough plan to walk through the entire book of Ruth. You may find that setting time aside on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to go through each lesson works best for your schedule. Or perhaps it may be better to work through them on the weekends. Depending on your learning and study style, I would expect to spend 20-30 minutes on each lesson.
Q: What other Renewed resources are available to go along with the study?
Heather M. Dixon is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher who understands living with a story that is not easy. Diagnosed with an incurable and terminal genetic disorder that she inherited from her mother, she is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and live with hope, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Experience God’s Unstoppable Blessings and Breakthrough!
You may be facing an issue that’s seems like an insurmountable barrier in your life. Or, your circumstances may be so difficult you feel surrounded by walls with no way out. You ask God to knock down those walls, just as He did for Joshua at Jericho. But they’re still standing. Sometimes, God removes the obstacles from our lives immediately and dramatically. But what can we do when the change doesn’t occur, when the breakthrough doesn’t come, when God’s promises aren’t fulfilled, even when we pray?
That’s when we have to plant ourselves in God’s Word and presence and let Him grow us over the wall. The breakthrough starts as our roots grow deep. This is what Joseph did when he was in the pit and the dungeon. He grew over his wall by adopting a heavenly perspective rather than an earthly one. The result was a multitude of blessings for him, his family, and the world: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22).
You can grow over your own wall of difficulty, opposition, hindrance, or limitation. As you grow, your wall won’t look as high as it used to. And one day, you will grow over it. Every negative situation will divinely position you to be where you need to be in life. You will grow over circumstances you thought were too powerful for you. You will grow over the wall of limitation that once surrounded you. You will grow over the dead end or impossibility that threatened to defeat you. The trials of life have no power to stop you from being abundant and fruitful in God, receiving His blessings, and fulfilling the plans He has for you. Like Joseph, let your branches grow over the wall. Then, your breakthrough will become a breakthrough and blessing for others, too, enabling them to grow over their own walls of difficulty.
Matt Sorger is a prophetic minister and a strong preacher and teacher of God’s Word, mentoring and equipping the body of Christ to live in the realm of God’s power and glory. He carries a unique anointing that fills entire rooms with the tangible glory of God, with many people saved, healed, set free, and filled with God’s presence. Through Matt Sorger Ministries, he has ministered in more than thirty-five nations and has reached more than two hundred nations by television and other media. He is the author of Power for Life: Keys to a Life Marked by the Presence of God. Matt and his wife, Stephanie, oversee Rescue1, an organization that rescues children from trafficking around the world. Their vision is to see at least 1,500 children set free. The Sorgers have two children and reside near Charlotte, NC.
More from Matt
Turn your pain into power and experience God’s unstoppable blessings and breakthrough.
Paula was broken, traumatized, and bound by many addictions, but today she is free. And that is God’s desire for you, too!
Paula Jauch’s life was controlled by trauma and addiction. Born into neglect and addiction, she inherited self-destructive patterns and emotional prisons she could not escape She experimented with crack at age thirteen, became pregnant at fifteen, was initiated into a Hispanic gang, and bore her second child by the time she was eighteen. Starved for acceptance and worth, she began cutting her body, and developed a near-fatal disorder for twenty years.
Cross Addicted follows Paula’s raw, stumbling journey toward freedom. You will find renewed hope and practical steps of recovery.
Recognize that there is nothing wrong with you.
Learn how to forgive yourself and others.
Understand addiction and trauma and the healing process through recovery.
Find freedom by understanding what Jesus did on the cross.
Cross Addicted tells the story of Paula Jauch, from her dysfunctional family to her life as part of a gang, along with the abuses she suffered along the way.
I’ll be honest with you, this book was very, very difficult for me to read, for a lot of reasons. In addition to my heart breaking for her, and girls like her, it dredged up past memories of an assault I experienced. I struggled to read many of the details, and I must also confess, I skimmed through much of the book.
I never suffered from addiction, nor most of what Paula did, though I can imagine how difficult it must have been to break its chains, not to mention other aspects of the addiction culture that kept her shackled for many years.
Paula’s openness points the way to freedom. Using Scriptural text and exercises Paula helps us process our own traumas. Her book, Cross Addicted, can be a very helpful aid for those who are trying to break free from the past.
I received Cross Addicted from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Jauch’s life experience enables her speaking and writing to empower people from all walks of life. She shares her inspirational story all around the world through speaking and radio. Her goal is to carry this message to the forefront. She loves encouraging and motivating her audiences to live a life of freedom in Christ. She is a happily married mother of four and a proud Nana. In her spare time, you might find her at a favorite Mexican restaurant. Paula lives in West Michigan.
Paula’s work experience led her to realize she needed healing from childhood trauma after growing up in abuse and addiction. After she graduated from an alternative education high school and had two children by age eighteen, her heart was drawn to jobs to help children like herself. She worked seven years at the Juvenile Court Schools in Las Vegas, Nevada, and five years at the Clark County Department of Family Services, as a juvenile service assistant, working with troubled teens. In 2004 she relocated to Terre Haute, Indiana, where she worked for two years at Gibault Inc., as a youth specialist, working with teen boy sex offenders. After leaving the Gibault home, she worked a few months at the Vigo County Courthouse as a bailiff, but decided to leave her job when it became uncomfortable, because her family name was well known in the court system.
What she learned through all of her work experience is that if these kids didn’t get the proper help they needed, they would get involved in a gang, addicted to drugs or alcohol, land in prison, or even face death. Paula knew she was being called to take a step of faith and action and get the help she needed so she could help others who experienced similar childhoods.
Even though Paula’s story and passion centers around youth, men and women of all ages will be inspired by her story of restoration. Connect with Paula www.paulajauch.com or follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @paulajauch.
More from Paula
Why did you write the book?
After graduating from an alternative education high school and having two children by the age eighteen, my heart was drawn to jobs to help children like myself. I started out by working seven years at a Juvenile Court Schools in Las Vegas, Nevada, and five years at the Clark County Department of Family Services, as a juvenile service assistant, working with troubled teens. In 2004, I relocated to Terre Haute, Indiana, where I worked for two years at Gibault Inc., as a youth specialist, working with teen boy sex offenders. After leaving the Gibault home, I worked a few months at the Vigo County Courthouse as a bailiff. However, I eventually decided to leave my job within a few months because it became uncomfortable since my family name was well-known in the court system. My work experiences led me to start asking questions and made me realize I needed my own healing from childhood trauma after growing up inabuse and addiction.
What I learned through all of my work experiences and my own life struggles is that if kids don’t get the proper help they need, they will either get involved in a gang, become addicted to drugs or alcohol, end up in prison, or even death. I knew God was calling me to take a step of faith and action to get the help I needed, so I could help others who experienced similar childhoods.
Trauma may be the greatest mission field of the 21st century, and the most misunderstood issue of our day.
My healing journey began when I could no longer pretend everything was okay. After being stuck in my trauma and my own addictions for years, I knew I needed to write a book and let others know there is a way out. My book was birthed out of my healing process. Cross Addicted: Breaking Free from Family Trauma and Addiction offers a hopeful path to recovery for those who are hurting and traumatized.
One in four U.S. students will witness or experience a traumatic event before the age of four, and more than two-thirds by age sixteen.
The Mind Connectory is a place where thoughts are shared in the hope that many people can relate to similar situations. I anticipate that it can become a library of knowledge from which people can draw up plans to overcome challenging situations – whether they be brought on by loss or mental barriers. The mechanisms for coping with matters of the mind are quite connected regardless of their cause. That is why I believe that learning from other people’s experiences (both successful and unsuccessful) is the key to self improvement as well as a better future for ourselves and the people around us.