Perspective..

If I shared with you all the miracles I’m seeing unfold in my life right now, it would almost seem like a motion-picture.  In due time, I will share them all  with all of you, but for now, I’ve been sharing them with some of my closest prayer warriors that I refer to as my personal “board of directors.”

By the way, if you don’t have a personal Board of Directors, I would encourage you to fine one.  Not just anyone can serve on your board of directors – they’ve got to be tried and true friends – friends who will keep you confidential discussions confidential.  The Board of Directors is likely to be very small, but very powerful – they are friends who will encourage you to take a leap when you need to;  to take a step back when you need to; they always have your back.  My personal recommendation is to have a Godly Board of Directors as well – those who have an active prayer life, and will not hesitate to go to prayer on your behalf – and you’d do the same for them.

On Saturday night, I texted the members of my Board of Directors to tell them about a miracle that was unfolding right before my eyes in the life of someone very close to me.  At the same time, said individual said to me, “you know, I’m watching for miracles to happen.”

My only response to that person was, “Can you not see them happening right before our eyes??”

I think we can miss miracles if we aren’t watching through the lens of expectation.

Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life abundantly.”   I’ve lived long enough and had enough ups and downs in my life to know that doesn’t mean “have Jesus and have prosperity”..   but I’ve lived long enough to know that if you have Jesus, you have prosperity in life – perhaps not in material wealth, but in other areas of our lives.

The coolest thing about sharing miracles is that it helps other people grow.  I have one special friend with whom I’ve shared these some of the events of the past few months.  Last week, they said to me, “you know, this is pretty incredible to watch from my side.”   In part because of the things that have been happening, this person has stepped out in faith to begin a journey of their own – and I’m expecting miracles for them as well.

My cup runneth over.

Blessings to you all, my friends.

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.

 

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Press Release – Masquerade – the battle within

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Masquerade

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
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Tel: 866-928-1240

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Samantha Elizabeth Barrett releases ‘Masquerade: The Battle Within’

Book tells story of one woman’s trials in life, how she emerged victorious through her faith in God

 MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Samantha Elizabeth Barrett wanted people to understand that, through God’s help, they do not have to be victims of their circumstances and they can claim victory over trials because of “God’s provisions for us.” This objective prompted her to write “Masquerade: The Battle Within” (published by WestBow Press), a personification of a woman’s struggles, and gives hope to readers that they can survive the battle as well as the war.

The book shares the story about a woman who experiences trials in life that cause her to doubt God and even contemplate suicide but, through Christ, emerges through her trials with the knowledge that God is with her, and always will be, regardless of future trials that she knows she will face. It is not a fairy tale, but one that shows there is hope in the trial through Jesus.

“I personally experienced some of the topics covered in the story – I lost my own father to cancer when I was 8 years old and struggled in my young life to find purpose amidst my hurt,” Barrett says. “As a young adult, I found Jesus as my Lord and Savior and have dedicated my life to mentoring others in various capacities, to try to help at-risk youth see that they can have hope through Jesus Christ.”

Barrett’s sincerest hope for readers is that they would see that, with God’s help, they could emerge victorious over difficult circumstances.

“Masquerade: The Battle Within”  By Samantha Elizabeth Barrett

Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5in | 128 pages | ISBN 9781973605591

Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5in | 128 pages | ISBN 9781973605584

E-Book | 128 pages | ISBN 9781973605577

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Samantha Elizabeth Barrett is a musician, engineer and mentor. Her desire is to leave things better than she found them. She is a sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt and a friend.

One-Two-Three-Thumb!

I told my piano students tonight that I would have to write a book called “one-two-three-THUMB!”  In practicing scales, I have noticed that, for some reason, the most common mistake that I see in my piano students is in the fingering of their scales.  With their hands separate, and only one hand to focus on, it goes fine.  As they play up the scales, their fingers play on the keys:  1-2-3-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5.. and back down again.. 5-4-3-2-1-3-2-1-4-3-2-1-3-2-1…   but for some reason, when they put both hands together… and one of them is supposed to play 1-2-3-1-2-3-4… while the other one plays 5-4-3-2-1-3-2-…  they lose their minds and play 1-2-3-4 instead of 1-2-3-1.   I find myself continuing to holler “one-two-three-THUMB!”  With the latest students to whom I taught scales, I began their scale lesson by simply having them practice C-D-E-F using their right hand: 1-2-3-1 fingering over, and over, and over again, and C-B-A-G with their left hand: 1-2-3-1 fingering over, and over, and over again, until I thought it would be possible to do it together.

Over and over and over and over..  that’s how they need to practice it in order to develop the muscle memory for their fingers to go where they need to go when the time comes.

Scales are important to a piano student (even though relatively few believe they are “fun”) because they build dexterity in our fingers, and help to prepare us to play more complicated works.  Developing good scale habits positions us to play very complicated pieces of music with ease.

With only one hand to focus on, we can get it right.. but when we add another hand, our mind gets distracted, and if we haven’t committed our fingering to memory, it is likely that we will get it wrong.

As I thought about this tonight, I realized that it’s a little like focusing on Jesus.  When we’re away at a spiritual retreat, or with friends or families who believe like us, it is easy to focus on Jesus.  But when we add “the other hand” and the distractions of life, if we haven’t committed to the things of Jesus, when the distractions come, we may get it wrong.

With my students, the lesson that I teach them is to do it over and over, thousands of times, until it becomes like second nature.  That’s what we need to do with Jesus, too.  Spend so much time focusing on Him that it becomes second nature to us.   Then, and only then, can we focus on Him when the distractions come our way.

I challenge you tonight, to repeat your spiritual scales over and over and over again, developing the spiritual dexterity needed to navigate busy lives.  Developing our spiritual dexterity so that it becomes second nature positions us to be able to do more complicated works for the kingdom.

Blessings,

SB

 

 

 

Satan cannot win!

There are times in life where we feel as though we are losing the battle. Beaten and defeated, we sink into depression, deeper and deeper, feeling more hopeless than ever. The devil thrives on seeing our self-defeat, but the reality is that Satan cannot win!

In my book, Masquerade, Charissa is fighting this battle, and she knows in her head that God wins over Satan, but she cannot seem to pull herself out of the pit. Her good friend, Dwayne reaches down to extend a life preserving reminder that Satan cannot win! They were just the words that she needed to hear to be reminded that we have the power of God to call upon when life seems hopeless.

Everybody needs a Dwayne in their lives; someone who is sensitive to the needs of others and knows how to encourage them when they need it.

Charissa is forever grateful for her friend, Dwayne, and his faithfulness to encourage others. Do you have someone in your life who needs encouragement that Satan cannot win the war? Be a Dwayne today! Remind someone that God has not given us a spirit of weakness and fear, but of power through Him. With that power, we can fight the battles of depression and despair!

Be a blessing!

To those who have ordered my book, thank you! If you’d like, you can leave a review here

For those who haven’t, you can get your copy here!   Order Masquerade Here!

 

SB

Thinly Veiled

Where to begin….

Yesterday, when I got home from work, a package for me was sitting on the ottoman in my family room.  When I opened it,  real-live paperback version of the book that was published was sitting in my hands.  As I mentioned, I’ve seen the cover 1,000 times, but to touch it and flip through the pages was a righteous moment for me… and then I thought, “what if my mom see’s it?”    LOL (40-something years old and afraid of what my mother will think – can anyone relate?)    I mean, really, she doesn’t yet know anything about it… in the book, through fictional characters, I have laid out some of the most painful memories of my life… what if she reads it and judges me?  what if she’s angry that I’ve publicly admitted my weaknesses?   Could I hide it from her forever?   Probably not.   I was reminded of the conversation I had with the publisher when I told him my husband didn’t know about the book – he said, “well you better tell him before he sees you on the news”.

It had been terrifying for me to tell my husband, but I asked those encouraging me to pray for me.. and one night, I worked up enough courage to tell him.  His response (“what was your purpose?”) caused me to deep-think how I would like to see God use this book.  What seemed daunting to me ended up being a catalyst for me to change the “note from the author”  (funny how life works that way sometimes).

At any rate, I decided that when my mom got home, I would simply ask her to read a book, and not tell her I was the author, since, of course, I have a pen name.  She reads quickly – in fact, I believe she taught Evelyn Wood how to read back in the day!   I went to a different room because I didn’t want to feel her judgement as she poured through the pages of my open heart.  At one point, my daughter told me she was looking for me – but  I was hiding.

After she finished the book, she came into the room where I was – I could swear there was a tear on her cheek.  She said, “well, that was – WOW”   I wasn’t sure if she meant WOW in a good way or a bad, so I asked her, and she said, “Good”, which I will take at face value.   We talked about how my prayer is that it would reach people who are hurting and need to know God’s love.

I asked her if she was angry.  She said, “Why would I be angry?”   She said she knew I was the author in the first chapter – my identity is “thinly veiled”, as she put it.  I asked her to keep it secret from the rest of my family.  I told her they would not understand me.  She agreed on both counts.

I really don’t know why I was so afraid, except to say that the pain that I experienced in my life is also pain that she experienced.  I have seen how she’s handled it (well, I might add – she’s a fighter), and perhaps was afraid that dredging up old memories of pain would be difficult for her.  She loves Jesus as much as I do – probably more.  I believe that she will honor my prayer that God will use the message to let people know that, no matter what they’re going through in life, God is there with them and will help them through.

Many of you have already reached out to let me know your ordered your copy – thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you haven’t, and want to, please click the link below.

Order Masquerade here!

If you haven’t followed my journey, please do.  I have a feeling it’s about to get real.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Blessings, SB

 

 

Copyright 2018  Journey For Life – All rights reserved.

Masquerade Released!

Life throws some pretty crazy situations our way, to be sure!  If we aren’t careful, we can inadvertently become victims of circumstance, and find ourselves in a deep pit of depression.

Last summer, a friend of ours passed away suddenly of a heart attack.  He left behind a loving wife and six grown children,  four sons-in-laws, two grandchildren (and one more on the way).   We are close to everyone in his family, including the sons-in-law, who were devastated by his death. His youngest daughter, a senior in high school, breaks my heart!  Although older than I was when my father died, I see in her all of the emotions that I went through after my dad died, and all of those painful memories washed over me like it was yesterday.  I wish that I could just hug her and tell her that it will be ok – that she will survive – that every day, week, month that passes will strengthen her – that God loves her and will somehow use this hurt to shape her.

This weekend, her older brother, who’s named after his father, is getting married.  All of the family will be together – all except for Kirk. I know it will be a very difficult day for the family.

I have the privilege of playing music for the wedding, and I know it will be beautiful, but I doubt that I will be able to play for it all without shedding a tear.

It is because of this pain that the book Masquerade was written – to be a beacon of light in a dark world to let hurting people know that, with God’s help, they can emerge victorious over devastating blows that life can deliver.

Masquerade is a fictional story that personifies tragedy and emotional battles that could really be experienced by any one of us.  The story isn’t a “rainbow and puppy dogs” kind of victory, but a story that demonstrates God’s faithfulness to us amidst our tragedies.

Masquerade was written almost a decade ago, and sat dormant on my hard drive for a long, long time.  Last summer, I began the process of publishing this book in the hopes that it would reach people who are hurting – to let them know they can have HOPE through Jesus Christ!

Masquerade Released!

 

I have two favors to ask of all of you tonight.  If you would, please click the link below and order your copy of Masquerade.

Order Masquerade Here!

Second, please keep my friends’ family in your prayers.

Many thanks!

Blessings,

SB

Jericho Sized Prayers

There are days that God blesses us immeasurably. Wednesday was one of those. Incredibly blessed to have had each of my college kids home in the last two weeks (one each week). My son, who is studying to be a pastor, led worship and gave the message at youth group.

Both of the songs he sang were new to me, but one of them talked bout the walls of Jericho. He knows I asked him to pray big a few weeks ago, but doesn’t know the details. The reality is that I’m praying Jericho sized prayers I thought it was cool that God picked that song for him to sing

His message was about hearing the voice of God. Not in an audible way, but in a guiding way. As a high school intern at the church last year, he also gave messages. To see the difference in his presentation skills and the depth of his messages from last year to this were amazing. As a mama, it warms my heart to know he’s on a good path.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me beyond words to describe

Still praying Jericho sized prayers, knowing You are ever faithful.

Blessings,

SB