Tag Archives: Mary and Martha

Book Review: Lazarus Awakening

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Joanna Weaver says that which we believe will destroy us, can be the catalyst to more accurately reveal Jesus in us. Her direct, yet gentle approach paves the way to receive the truths packed throughout this three piece set of the Lazarus Awakening DVD Bible Study.

Weaver tells us, her previous book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, began a ten year journey with the family from Bethany. Her smooth writing style puts personal stories to good use to illustrate Scripture. She unwraps truth in the telling of story, with profound depth to the multiple layers of application found there. We are reminded that we all have issues we need to surrender to the Lord, and the convicting is done is such a gracious manner, you keep coming back for more. This book should be placed in the hands of every person who ever tested faith. It probes questions we usually leave simmering beneath the surface, yet has a way of clarifying Scripture in such a way that stories open up in a whole new light. Suddenly the application to my sin wound is crystal clear and reveals a Love so profound that the Truth is staggering. Weaver uses “analogies concerning the tombs we often settle for and the graveclothes we often wear, pointing us to the resurrection life Jesus came to bring.” Halfway through the book I knew I was holding in my hands a transformational key for our next Women’s Retreat! And there, on the third DVD, I found a retreat format ready to be tweaked to our own event, including power point slides, craft ideas and workshop materials.

The workbook consists of an 8-session series for personal or group study, as a companion to the video sessions. It is user friendly, with lots of tools for reflection. I like the use of journaling prompts and opportunities to flesh out what the Lord is saying through the passage. Planning Guides are also provided with action steps, and it’s packed with helpful tools for personalization and application.

The DVD was filmed in Israel, placing the study of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, in their homeland. The visual backdrop of the Holy Land is stunning, as Joanna Weaver explains God’s Word in a compelling way. Extra footage highlights interviews on location and tools for study. The piece that especially grabbed my attention, was the section with downloadable leader’s guide, promotional material, and a complete retreat laid out. Weaver has thought of everything!


Disclaimer: I received this book set from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Living with Dad’s Dementia

The light bulb has gone out in Dad’s eyes. Last week we carried on a conversation and played Rook. Tonight, he responds “yeah” and can’t seem to figure out the different colors in Uno.

We were at this place five years ago. The doctors said he would have plateaus where he would level out. But Dad completely returned. He not only balanced out but was dreaming about getting a job again.

A few days ago, we said goodbye to my brother-in-law. Did the funeral trigger memories of Mom’s death? Has he retreated to the recesses of his mind to keep from the pain of Larry’s death?

At first the Uno game was cute. But he got stuck there and wouldn’t even rise from the table without me taking his elbow. Now I feel my own panic rise like bile in the back of my throat.

What is it about pain that shuts down the brain? Here I am, needing You again, Lord. The very breath I breathe needs Your infusion of hope and mountain-moving faith. Help me to take one step at a time, as we navigate these muddy waters with Dad.

Mom gave me a book by Anne Graham Lotz called “Why?” It has become my go-to resource when life throws another curve ball. Anne says, “The kind of trust God wants us to have cannot be learned in comfort and ease. Mary and Martha could not learn it immediately or quickly. It required time. And patience. And suffering. And the pressure of desperation.” (p. 55)

Are you desperate for God to intervene in your life? Reach out to Him to hold your hand and to walk the dusty road with you. And whatever you do, don’t give up. He promised He would go with you, no matter what.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” –Isaiah 43:2 NIV