Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Give Thanks

The Narrow Gate Girls are thankful for so many things.

The grace Jesus has lavishly given us (and you, if you accept it)

Our marriages

Our families

Our many blessings

which include...


Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All You Need Is Love

All you need is love, love . . . love is all you need. Love is all you need.

Are you singing along yet??

Love . . . that is where He is taking me, where He is stretching me, where He is calling me.

The past ten months I have felt a longing to really learn more about Jesus. As a 'young' believer I had spent so much time on the fast track . . . going to bible studies, reading books, attending conferences, . . . searching, searching, searching . . . wanting more more more . . . and then one day I stopped and had to ask myself . . . how much do I really know about Jesus and His time here on earth. I had to ask myself what was I really seeking?

Then at the end of October my family and I went to hear an amazing woman speak, Heidi Baker. She was speaking in a small church in Cleveland so we decided to go. Her message . . . love. Love, love, love. She shared story after story of how a simple hug or act of love had transformed so many lives. She had my children sitting at the edge of their seats for two hours. How did she learn to love . . . from Jesus. She said to me, "You know I just love Jesus."

There it was right in front of me. And I felt like I had missed it.

So last week I made a trip to the bookstore and purchased a book by Max Lucado about Jesus. I opened my bible and my book and began reading. And I am falling in love.

He made it so simple . . . He loved.

And in John 13:34-35 (The Message) Jesus said,

"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other."

Love . . . Jesus . . . join me:)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Like it Bold

If you knew me growing up, I might have across as confident, but it was the furthest thing from the truth. I had a lot of self esteem issues and unresolved anger. It's my faith, time, and a whole lotta tears that have transformed me from the inside out.

I realized that in the past year, bold is a new part of my identity. My sister remarked that my coffee smells so bold it stings her nose when she walked into my kitchen. It's true. I'm someone who never drank coffee before. I switched off of espresso to Italian Roast because the espresso wasn't bold enough. Tea? That's just dark water to me (sorry my tea friends).

Even my wardrobe is bold. I've never been a small frame girl and a year after surgery, my body type is I think an apple and a pear. It's not pretty and yet I've never felt better in and out. God performed surgery on more than my girl parts, He changed my heart. I get, totally get, that I'm His favorite. Don't get me wrong, I totally get YOU are HIS favorite too. I'll spend my waking moments encouraging you with this truth. As I walk with this extra weight, different body and freedom of identity, my colors are bold. I wear deep purples, blues, corals. For the first time, I want people to look at me. Not because I'm covergirl material, but because I'm feeling bold. I want you to see Him when you look at me, and I'm bold enough to hopefully get your attention.

My actions are a lot bolder. I've always wanted to help people or let them know the nice things I think but for decades wouldn't for fear that you would be too busy to deal with me, or I'd be bothering you. No more! If I'm in your way I'm believing you'll let me know. If I feel moved to do something it's with what I have and am. I'm not Paula Deen nor am I Martha Stewart. I cook and bake simple and my accessories probably mismatch. But I'm done sitting in the shadows wishing I could do more.

I'm bold---believing, offering, living and dreaming.

How about you?

(This originally appeared in a group message over on the Facebook group: Julie Arduini: The Surrendered Scribe

Julie Arduini is a writer and public speaker residing in NE Ohio with her husband and two children. Her heart is to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. She knows that has to start with her, so she's surrendering the good, the bad, and maybe one day, the chocolate. She'd love if you bookmarked her website and signed her blog guest book at She also went all techie and created a gadget you can use on your iGoogle page. Feel free to add it and tell others---be bold!

photo courtesy photobucket

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I received the message and link below in an e mail and am not done listening, but enjoying what I'm hearing so far.

I know it's tempting for people to get caught up on the pastors/speakers/prophet/celebrity attached to messages and lose sight of the message. One of the best testimonies I ever read was in one of Donna Partow's books.

There was a woman who opened her arms to Jesus through watching of all things, Tammy Faye Bakker. It wasn't a live telecast and yet Tammy with her wild eyes and big tears spoke to the camera and gave a message of encouragement that God did everything but write Dear....and the viewer's name. The viewer was randomly flipping the channels and the message pierced her for eternity.

I confess, had I whizzed by and saw the Bakkers' back then, I would have kept on going. I get caught up on names too sometimes.

So I'm not asking if you're a Graham Cooke fan. I'm asking if the Bible is relevant to you. Are you sick of the gloom and doom? Are you ready to be part of a solution or a problem?

Like I said, I'm only part way done with this message and Graham explores Isaiah 61. What's the key word to you in the verse? It's interesting what his answer is, and looking back, any transformation for the better you've witnessed out of me really does go back to that key word.

Jesus is the King of Instead.

You on board?
Picture courtesy Heartlight

I found this on Graham Cooke's bookstore... FREE MP3 series! Can't beat that. I haven't listened to them yet, but.... It's Graham! :)
Anyhow, here's the link: Recession Busters


Help spread the word! By faith I created a website and moved my blog there. I'm "open for business" with a few kinks but am trying to get all readers to make the move with me. My mission at The Surrendered Scribe is to encourage women to find victory through surrender. I get that it has to start with me, so my blog is about surrendering the good, the bad, and maybe one day, the chocolate. There are book giveaways throughout November so leave a comment or contact me on my message page for your chance to enter. Additional entries if you let me know you grabbed the blog button, signed the guestbook, subscribed, etc...

Julie Arduini is a writer and public speaker residing in NE Ohio with her husband and two children. Look for her debut at the Exemplify Online marriage blog channel Thursday, November 12. She also recently learned her story, Midnight Surrender,will be in the Healing Power of Prayer book series for Guideposts. To learn more about Julie, visit her website.