Cover Image: Renewed

Renewed

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Member Reviews

I really liked how the chapters were set up in this book. Powers starts the chapter with her own personal experiences and thoughts. She is raw, honest, and encouraging in these portions. Sometimes it's hard to connect with an author in a devotional, but I found Powers to be like a great friend in the ministry. She made me feel comfortable and open for whatever was next.

The next part of the chapter was for the bible. She included a verse or two, and discussed how that story relates to the topic of the chapter. I would recommend even taking that further by reading other commentaries, and looking up references verses. It's a time to really reflect on what you've read and allow God to speak to your heart. 

Powers ends each chapter with a prayer and questions for further contemplation. The questions were really thought provoking. For example, one question asks how you respond when you feel disrespected or dishonored. Well obviously none of us probably respond with a smile and thank the person for treating us that way. But Powers brings a great point in the follow up questions to this, and it really makes you take a step back and think about how you should respond in the future.

While the description of the book says this is for those who have been wounded by the congregation, I really think many parts of it are applicable for everyday life. I really enjoyed reading it and know that I'll probably read through it again in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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You guys, I have to tell you about the book that has left me renewed and refreshed and has spoken straight down into my wounded soul.  If you've ever been in leadership, you know that it is not always a fun place to be.  And for those of us who have served in ministry leadership…well, we pretty much all come with baggage.  The church is a hospital for broken, hurting people, and broken people break people. Hurt people hurt people.

Are YOU Ready to be Renewed?
As leaders – of ministries, families, or even our Sunday school class – we are in the trenches of spiritual warfare.  Wounds are inflicted as often by words as by physical attack.  We get bumped into by team members who are inexperienced or immature and don't realize their mistakes cause hurt; we get betrayed by poor communication as often as poor leadership, and because there are a lot of broken people in churches, pastors and their families and other church leaders can take a lot of abuse.  Add to that the feeling of being financially stretched thin and constantly under pressure for some sort of results, and you've got a tough situation.  Any of us leaders have been there at one time or another.  Maybe you're still there.  Or maybe, like me, you're serving in a great church now but brought some baggage of betrayal with you.

Our leaders and pastors can often be lonely, and it can be hard to build friendships because there are always things you can't share.  And that lonely place where you've got no support, you're tired from carrying around all this baggage, and maybe even feeling abused and battered emotionally…that place leaves you vulnerable to the enemy's attacks.  Nearly every church I have been at has at some point experienced a major moral failure or major financial failure (or both) on the part of a staff member.  And I'm no exception.  In order to take care of our churches, we have to work with Jesus to take care of us.  It's why I just made an appointment with a mentor to be my coach, part of why I see a great Christian therapist, and it's also why I picked up this book.

Okay, okay…
Actually, I didn't pick it up.  I downloaded it to my Kindle. and then I picked up my Kindle, which I'm surprised isn't somehow melded to me after all the hours I spend reading on that thing.  I keep thinking I should name it, since it reads my books to me, too.  Any ideas?  But I digress.

Renewed is a 40 day devotional for “women in ministry, ministry wives, and lay leaders who have been wounded by their congregations.”  I'm not a guy, but I think this book could be a huge encouragement for guys too.  I'm not a fan of devotionals on their own, because if I choose between them, I would want to choose a Bible study.  But this little book is a great supplement to your daily study.  I'm actually planning to use it as a reference later, and here's why: each day walks you through one of those feelings, reactions, or positions we have as broken people in ministry, on a path from acknowledging the hurt to forgiveness to looking up and loving again.  “God, I don't think I can forgive her.”  “Lord, I feel betrayed.”  “Lord, I feel like I've failed you.”  Each day walks through a reflection, a verse, and prayer.

3 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT RENEWED
#1 BITE-SIZED CHUNKS OF ENCOURAGEMENT, BUT NOT TRITE.
Each day's chapter is short and easy to digest.  It was very manageable to do this alongside my daily Bible study.  But there is nothing trite or simple about these reflections.  There are biblical answers, yes, but written with the same open complexity of God's Word, recognizing that the right thing to do is not always easy, and often takes time.

#2 FACES DOWN THE REAL STUFF.
The author uses real experiences – her own and others' – to compose each chapter.  There is no beating around the bush or hiding the way that ministry leaders are so often battered and bruised.  This book is by one such leader, for leaders, and using the real life experiences of still other leaders, and it brings us into conversation with God about the very real things that go on “behind the scenes” of church life.

Renewed gave me the vocabulary to talk to God about the painful parts of doing ministry. Book #Review + #Giveaway - https://www.realworldbiblestudy.com#3 GIVES US PERMISSION TO FEEL THE FEELS (AS MY FRIEND ERIN WOULD SAY)
Have you ever felt guilty for feeling frustrated at a situation, or angry or lonely?  You have the actual emotion of the thing you're going through, and then you've got guilt piling up on top of it because you're supposed to set the example.  You're supposed to be joyful always (“Your name is Joy! Why aren't you happy all the time?”).  You're supposed to trust God…and maybe feeling this way means you don't?

GET READY FOR THE MAGIC GUILT ERASER.
God took away shame, but we like to hold onto guilt, especially about our “performance” as Christians and leaders.  And don't get me wrong.  It's not wrong to want to set a good example, and we should be joyful and trust God! But guilt is not what God wants from us.

I felt like so many chapters from this book spoke directly out of my heart, stealing the words I didn't know I had or putting words to feelings I hadn't figured out how to say – or had no one to say it to!  It gave me permission to feel those feelings, acknowledge them, lament and grieve, and then place those feelings in proper relationship to God and in conversation with Him.  There may or may not be a friend at church that can handle your heavy load (and I think church leaders need to find a few friends outside of their own congregations so they can have the freedom to talk things through).  But I can guarantee you that your anger and your tears are not too much for God.

As I mentioned before, I'm going to be keeping this book on hand for when I have those moments.  Renewed gave me the vocabulary to talk to God about the painful parts of doing ministry.  And I would highly recommend this book to anyone in ministry (or recovering from it!).
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This is a book meant to be read once a day for 40 days. It slowly goes through getting renewed in your faith.  Covers forgiveness, letting go, moving on from something that happened in your life. Has Bible verses to match up with devotional for each day and a prayer for each day.
The author also talks about being a pastor wife. Definitely sounds like it can be hard at times. It was interesting hearing about different things that went on. How she dealt with with hurt feelings.
I received an complementary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
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This nonfiction devotional book is aimed toward pastors’ wives and should say on the cover that it’s for women. It deals with hurts caused by the church and problems those in ministry face. The author sounds like she has experienced multiple devastating situations. I hope most pastors don’t have to deal with so much pain. Written honestly in first person, the author shares stories from her own life and from other ministers’ wives. She expresses her anger and her grief, along with Scripture, a prayer, and lessons learned, plus material for reflection and further contemplation each day. The book is divided into four sections: Lament, Letting Go, Looking Up, and Loving Again, with ten devotions in each. Others who feel rejected or betrayed—wounded by the congregation that should love and support them—will find help and hope in this short book. Even though I am not in ministry I could identify with many of the universal emotions and experiences included in this devotional. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
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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 and NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Overall, it’s a good book, just not exactly what I expected. It is definitely geared to those who work within the church and less the church members itself. Having gone through a recent divide within my own church I was hoping for insight on how to deal with what I was feeling , and how to cope with that loss, and this is more her personal journey of being a pastors wife. 
I would definitely recommend this book for those that are directly involved with the running of the church 

I’d like to thank Netgalley for a copy of this book. The opinions are my own. .
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This is a very honest look at the struggles women in ministry have and how to keep God's perspective in them. Churches and Christians can be very hurtful and it is important to let our hurts color our love for the Church. I don't know of another book out there that deals with these issues and am thankful the author was willing to write this book.
I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.
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Synopsis:  RENEWED is a devotional providing healing for those in ministry who have been hurt in the church. 

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.

My Review: Working in ministry can be hard, complex and difficult at times. Leigh has done an impressive job of putting in perspective what happens in ministry.  Churches are built up of people and personalities; so there will be times of conflicts, difficult people and those who wish to oppose ideas in your ministry.  

This book of devotions will help those in ministry learn to turn to God and His word for comfort and understanding.  There are topics of lamenting, forgiveness, learning to lean on Him in rough times and just giving it all to Him. 
This is a must-have book for anyone in ministry, especially for pastor's wives so they will know what they are going to be facing when they take on the role of Pastor's Wife and knowing that they aren't the only one experiencing those certain situations; it's comforting knowing that you aren't the only one.

This would make a lovely gift for any women in ministry, I have truly enjoyed this book and found it very useful in my life.









 received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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I recently read an advanced copy of Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry by Leigh Powers, published by FaithWords. It's on forgiveness, which is one of my favourite subjects since it can be so very hard. This book is written from the perspective of someone in ministry who has been hurt by the church and when I heard that this book was being published next week, I asked for an advanced copy since it resonated with me so much. While this book is perfect for those in traditional ministry, media ministry, or church outreach, the lessons can apply to anyone who has ever been hurt by anyone. As Powers walks through a season of forgiveness, she imparts valuable lessons in accessible, bite-sized chapters titled things like "Lord, I still want to get even" and "But, God, she owes me." My copy is filled with highlights and if you are struggling with forgiveness, this book is a great place to start.
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