Fresh-Brewed Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul

Overview

Do you need hope for the daily grind?

Are your responsibilities and commitments robbing your life of joy?

Are you sleepwalking through your days?

Are you on the sidelines of your life as a spectator instead of fully participating?

This is your wake-up call to a Fresh-Brewed Life.

Nicole Johnson invites us to wake up to a richer, fuller, more...

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Fresh-Brewed Life Revised & Updated: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul

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Overview

Do you need hope for the daily grind?

Are your responsibilities and commitments robbing your life of joy?

Are you sleepwalking through your days?

Are you on the sidelines of your life as a spectator instead of fully participating?

This is your wake-up call to a Fresh-Brewed Life.

Nicole Johnson invites us to wake up to a richer, fuller, more flavorful life than we ever imagined. In a robust blend of relationship, ritual, and hope, we are summoned on a journey of discovery that awakens us to God to ourselves, and to others. And- like lingering over a cup of coffee- this is a process to be savored.

Since first published ten years ago, Fresh-Brewed Life has helped more than 100,000 women wake up their souls. Now revised and expanded with additional chapters, more journaling ideas and fresh-brewed adventures, and a brand new discussion guide, Fresh-Brewed Life will help start brewing your own, richer, more meaningful life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400203154
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 498,918
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicole Johnson is a writer and performer of original drama. With over twenty years experience as an actor, producer, and author, Nicole’s unique gift sets her apart in the world of communication. Through her work with Women of Faith, The Revolve Tour, and Dr. Neil Clark Warren, Nicole’s work has touched the lives and hearts of millions. She resides in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Fresh-Brewed Life

A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul
By NICOLE JOHNSON

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Nicole Johnson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0316-1


Chapter One

Surrender to God

You reach for the brass door handle and pull. As the seal of the door is broken, the vacuum-packed freshness envelops your senses. You step inside to warmth that wraps around your soul like a cashmere scarf. Your whole person is enveloped by the aroma. The familiar sound of hissing steam works on your stress level like a pressure release valve. You've entered a special coffee shop, and you're helpless. You give yourself over. Surrender.

You're staying in the home of a good friend. You have no responsibilities this morning, so you leisurely wake up on your own. You blink to focus and take in the room. Your clothes are lying across the chair. The sunlight is streaming in through the window, playing on the corner of the bedspread. Then from down the stairs and around the corner, the invitation finds you. Your nose has discovered the promise of a good start to the day still ahead, fresh-brewed coffee. It draws you out from under the covers. You pull on clothes as you make your way toward the promise. Surrender.

She's sitting in her chair. She's been awake for hours. From the time you were little, you remember her being up before everyone else. Bible open, coffee cup in her hands, beginnings of breakfast on the counter awaiting her return. Peaceful and calm. Still. The warmth of her spirit is met with the warmth of his love. A sacred, rewarding ritual. Her heavenly Father and a cup of coffee. She knows him, and he knows her. Surrender.

* * *

The fresh-brewed life is a spiritual journey from beginning to end. It is a call to wake up that begins in a relationship with the One in whom we began. God alone can tell us what we most want to know. He alone is the Rock strong enough to anchor our lives in the midst of the storms we encounter. And as we journey, it is God and only God who can go deep enough to rouse our sleepy souls.

I could not rouse my sleepy soul alone. I could not keep the pilot light of faith lit consistently enough to make the kind of difference I longed for. I've tried getting up at four thirty in the morning to have a quiet time with the Lord. Trust me: it was quiet. I have fallen asleep on God on more occasions than I would like to count. I have tried to memorize chapters of Scripture only to conclude that I must have killed off so many brain cells with artificial sweeteners, trying to be thin, that I'll never be able to be holy. Somehow I mistakenly thought that Jesus said, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you more to do than anyone else!" My constant struggle to be "godly" left me tired, empty, lonely, and questioning.

I was either going to have to take pretending to a whole new level or choose to stop pretending altogether, and I wasn't sure which I would be able to pull off. I deeply identified with the story "The Emperor's New Clothes," and many days I felt like the king, pretending I "saw" the invisible clothes when there were no clothes. I was afraid to let go of my pretense, to simply confess I didn't see in my faith what other people seemed to see in theirs. In the Hans Christian Andersen story, everyone knew the emperor was naked, but they held on to pretending because they were afraid to tell the truth. They didn't trust themselves amid all the others who said they "saw," so they repeated the lie. It took an honest little boy to wake everyone up. Unfortunately for the king, the timing couldn't have been worse.

This was true for Joan as well, who spent all of the first day of her vacation sunbathing on the roof of her hotel. She wore a bathing suit that first day, but on the second she decided that, since no one could see her in her little roof spot, she would slip out of it to get an overall tan.

She'd hardly begun soaking up the rays when she heard someone running up the metal stairs and opening the door to the rooftop. Joan had been lying on her stomach, so quickly she pulled another towel over her backside to cover up.

"Excuse me, miss," said the flustered assistant manager, out of breath from running up the stairs. "The hotel doesn't mind your sunbathing on the roof, but we'd appreciate your wearing a swimsuit as you did yesterday."

"What difference does it make?" Joan asked calmly. "No one can see me up here, and besides, I'm covered with a towel."

"Not exactly," said the embarrassed gentleman. "You're lying on the dining room skylight."

Talk about exposed! It's terrifying until you realize one thing: when you're naked and everyone knows it, you've got nothing to hide anymore. For Joan or the emperor or me, the higher the level of pretending, the farther there is to fall. But once you've fallen, once you've realized how naked you really are, you're free to start living differently. There is a reason Jesus said the truth would set us free. Until we are honest, we can't have an honest relationship with him, or anyone, for that matter.

I felt a gentle stirring in my soul, like a whisper prompting me to lay it all down. "Jesus came to give you life." Life? What is life if it isn't running all the time? Peace—real peace on the inside, from all this climbing, striving, and worrying. Joy—unabashed delight in life, regardless of the circumstances. Love—foundational, unconditional, never-ending love. I didn't have to work for these; I had to surrender to them. More simply, I had to stop long enough to let them overtake me.

I let it go. I surrendered. I gave up being in charge of my spiritual goodness, because I could freely admit I didn't really have much spiritual goodness. I had worked for God for years and yet withheld my full heart from him. I'd sought to please him, treating him like a father who is hard to please, missing, or ignoring that he was pleased with me. I tried to do so many things for God that I missed being with God. Where was the goodness in that? I was the keeper of the covenant. I was the one making the sacrifice. I thought what Jesus did for me would be repaid by what I was doing for him! God must have grown weary watching me and my spiritual calisthenics. If we just roll up our sleeves and try harder, we are not walking with Jesus at all. If we can do it all ourselves, why do we need God?

This first cup of fresh-brewed life is crucial. A bigger spiritual "to do" list or a calendar full of church activities will not change our lives. When we give ourselves to God—mind, body, soul, and spirit—he changes us. We cannot change ourselves. We don't have enough spiritual stamina to change an entrenched habit, let alone our hearts. But when the walls come down and God is given access to the deepest parts of who we are, His love courses through us in a cleansing, holy, life-changing way. Our souls become stronger, deeper, and more robust. As different as instant coffee is from fresh-brewed, we are transformed.

Discovering in Christ the Whole-Bean Essence of Who We Are

After putting her children to bed, a mother changed into sweats and a droopy T-shirt, took off her makeup, and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was that?"

Have you ever lain awake at night, wondering similarly, Who am I? Have you ever felt as though you were faking your life? That you were living someone else's life, and you're not sure whose? Maybe there had been some terrible mix-up and you picked up another person's life by mistake? Maybe you want to give yourself to God, but what self are you going to give?

The work life that doesn't even come close to fully representing who you are? What you look like on the outside, or how you appear to others? Your relationships? Although you may feel differently, your roles as wife, mother, and friend are not the sum total of your identity. So what do we surrender to God? Or more accurately, whom do we surrender?

The answer is: all of the above.

The simile that seems to fit best about our "personhood" is that we are like onions. We can't merely peel away all the layers, because the layers are us too. You don't get to the middle of an onion to find an apple core. The onion begins at the core, and each and every layer builds upon the "onion-ness" inside. An authentic life comes from an authentic self in which the layers on the outside are merely expressions of the core on the inside. So all the roles we play tell us something, but they are not the deepest level of our identity.

So all of it is what we surrender to God. We bring all that we know of ourselves to all that we know of God, and we enter a relationship like none other. Even when we can't figure out if all the pieces even add up to a whole person, we bring them and offer them. Then, in the loving way only God can, he begins to help us make sense of the pieces.

What you do doesn't determine who you are in the core of your being, but it does reflect what you believe (rightly or wrongly) is at the core of your being. People rarely act inconsistently with who they see themselves to be.

Remember Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Ugly Duckling"? The poor little creature was born into the barnyard and never found his place. Among the ducks, he was bitten and made fun of for being so ugly. The duckling tried everything to be a better duck—he just wanted to fit in with the other animals. Nothing he did worked, no matter how hard he tried. He was utterly miserable and ran away from the barnyard.

Rejected and having suffered through the winter alone, he ventured out in the spring to a beautiful lake nearby. He was swimming on the water when the most amazing thing happened. The ugly little ducking saw a new reflection. He wasn't a duck at all; he was a swan. A beautiful, graceful swan.

If only he had known that swans make terrible ducks, and even worse chickens, and still worse, cats—all of which the duckling had tried to be. It wasn't until he recognized who he was and what he was, that the externals began to made sense. His inner identity changed his outer behavior. And more, it moved him from trying to prove his worth to accepting his given value.

The world and even the church is quite a bit like the "barnyard." It is more than happy to define our worth based on all the externals. There are plenty of "experts" around who feel more than confident telling us where we "fit" and who we must be in order to meet certain expectations. But only God can reveal the truth to us. Because only God knows the truth about our deepest identity. In Clinging, Emilie Griffin explains it like this, "He will whisper it to us not in the mad rush and fever of our striving and our fierce determination to be someone, but rather when we are content to rest in Him, to put ourselves into His keeping, into His hands."

Surrendering to God the whole-bean essence of who we are will allow him access to the deepest place of our heart. The place where we hold all the messages we've heard and believed about who we really are. It is only there that God can bring about the deep change that we long for—because until we know the truth in that inner place, we will wander around noisy barnyards, seeking to make our way instead of gliding across the water in the grace of his love and acceptance.

Several years ago, God used a little book called Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen to whisper this truth to me: "'You are the Beloved,' and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being—'You are the Beloved.'" I looked down into the pool and saw it for the first time. Not the me that I always saw in the mirrors of the world, but the me that God saw when he created me. A baby, a girl, a youth, a woman deeply loved and valued as a daughter of a King.

This is our deepest identity. We are loved passionately by God.

Now, having written this, I have to tell you, I don't really know why the Creator of the universe allowed his heart to be captured in such a way by his own creation. I can't fully fathom how he can love us in such a powerful and personal way. It is a mystery, and it must remain a mystery. To understand it could make it possible to dismiss it as we are prone to dismiss other loves in our lives. If we discovered that God loved us because we were smart, who wouldn't try to be smarter so God would love us more? When we met someone much smarter than ourselves, we would have to acknowledge that God loved that person more. I suppose it's why we will never know the reason he loves us as passionately as he does. Perhaps there isn't a reason—it just is. Why do we love our children? We can't fully explain it; we just do. Understanding why is less important to me than simply knowing that he does. So I surrender to it. I take him at his word. I just collapse on it and rest in it.

I rest because he has said nothing would take his love from me, or you. I can't say that would be true of any other human kind of love. In fact, it's so different from "regular" love that it's hard to believe that it could be really true. So God pursues us, courts us, and woos us to remind us. As if he wants to keep us mindful that he doesn't get tired of us, he isn't frustrated by our moods or by our irritating habits or put off by uncombed hair or out-of-style clothes. We are free to place the whole weight of our needs on him, to bring him our deepest questions, to look to him for acceptance and validation. And unlike any other relationship, the God who designed us will not lean, crumble, struggle, stagger, or falter in any way.

This is a love that changes everything.

Surrendering to Be Finely Ground

If it's true that the darker the roast of the coffee, the more intense the flavor, then it stands to reason that for a rich, strong life, we are going to have to go through the fire. We are also going to have to trust that this "roasting" can and will deepen our walk. The finer the grind of the beans, the more concentrated the coffee. And who among us hasn't had to endure the daily grind and still even more difficult trials? Trials have come, the Scripture says, "so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine" (1 Peter 1:7). Our faith becomes genuine as we struggle. The easy faith of the "church of happy circumstances" is replaced by fire-roasted, holding-on-to-him-for-dear-life faith. And this faith is worth more than gold.

Many years ago, I was in Phoenix on a business trip. I was listening to my voice mails about work and jotting down the pertinent numbers. I wasn't prepared to hear my sister's voice, and even less prepared for her message, "Dad's had a heart attack, and he's in the hospital ..." I knew she was trying not to frighten me. "He's in stable condition, but they're running tests." My heart was racing. I was thinking how I could cancel what I had scheduled on this trip in order to get to Alabama. "Everything is under control, and there is really nothing you could do here, so don't worry, but please pray." My sister knew me. While I appreciated her control and reassurances, I had to get there.

I canceled my appointments, booked a flight, and got on the plane. When I sat down in 23B, I started to cry. What if something happens to him and I don't make it there in time? When was the last time I told him I loved him? I sat in my seat, weeping. The flight attendant kindly brought me tissues. I told her I was flying home to be with my dad, who had suffered a heart attack. She told me she had just lost her dad two years ago, and then we cried together. She was so sweet to me, and I felt such sadness for her loss in that moment, and while our conversation did not make me feel better, it did open my eyes and heart in a new way. When we are in pain, we look for others who are in pain. I wondered how many others on this plane had loved ones who were ill. I wondered why I'd never had a thought like this before. I'd never gotten on a plane, looking for someone who might be hurting. I kinda shuddered to think how many people I'd probably passed in airports or on planes, never even noticing their tears or pain. Suffering has a way of opening our eyes. C. S. Lewis has been quoted as saying God "shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

I made it to Nashville and drove five hours to the hospital. Despite the length of the trip and how much I'd thought about Dad along the way, nothing could have prepared me to see my strong, military father lying in a hospital bed, pale and still with an oxygen tube in his nose and an IV in his arm. I thought I had cried all my tears before I got there, but I was wrong. I thought I had flown all that way just to hold him, but in that moment, I really needed him to hold me. I was so very afraid. And hold me he did. His embrace alone told me he would be all right.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Fresh-Brewed Life by NICOLE JOHNSON Copyright © 2011 by Nicole Johnson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Taking Your First Sip ix

Chapter 1 Surrender to God 1

Chapter 2 Encounter Your Journal 20

Chapter 3 Listen to Your Longings 38

Chapter 4 Embrace Your Beauty 65

Chapter 5 Interview Your Anger 85

Chapter 6 Savor Your Sexuality 103

Chapter 7 CelebrateYour Friendships 121

Chapter 8 Change Your World 136

Chapter 9 Enrich Your Relationships 155

Chapter 10 Enjoy Your Freedom 170

Epilogue: Good to the Last Drop 190

Bibliography 198

Discussion Questions 201

Acknowledgments 210

About the Author 212

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Refreshingly Delightful

    This book gives you a refresh side of life while enjoying coffee. The author deals with the issues of life and how to resolve them in a more practical and spiritual way. She gives some insightful information and even shares her own experiences. I must admit that before reading this book I wrote in my journal every other day, but now I have written in my journal daily. In writing in your journal daily, gives a sense of release from stress and allows you to open up for meditation and spiritual cleansing. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our daily lives till it becomes stressful and reading this book brings us back to ourselves; and the joy we can regain within ourselves. I recommend this book to all readers looking for purpose, fulfillment, and joy. Remember to celebrate yourself because you are loved, Prayer is the key.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    Perfect With Your Morning Coffee

    This book was as warm and inviting as that freshly brewed cup in the morning. The author reminds us of our beautiful identity and encourages us to be our true selves when coming before Father. Her tips on journaling in order to remember and save those conversations with Father were also wonderful and very inspiring/relevant.

    This is a great book to gift to others. Relevant to all women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    You Must Read This One!!

    I had the pleasure to seeing the author, Nicole Johnson live at the Women of Faith event last month in Atlanta, Georgia. In one of her sessions, Johnson spoke of the journey of a coffee bean and related it to the human experience. I was so intrigued and knew that I had to read her book soon. Today I am reviewing that book, "Fresh-Brewed Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul."

    This is the revision of Johnson's successful 1999 book. It includes more chapters and a study guide to help the reader explore the concepts more in depth. How many of us meet a friend at the coffee shop to catch up? Johnson shows us how we can have that same relationship with God, and we do not have to even leave our home to do it! Fresh-Brewed Life shows us how we can accept the invitation of God and live our lives truly awake.

    Johnson uses her personal testimony to write this truly authentic book. I absolutely love the style in which she writes. It is as though she were talking to her best friend, making the reader feel invited and engaged. The author's use of wit and wisdom is great, making this a pleasure to read and a fun experience. The directed journaling and study guide questions are inspiring and thought provoking, making your journey through this book and your fresh-brewed life, a more satisfying one. I am recommending Nicole Johnson's book to all of my friends and it will make a great gift to anyone, especially coffee-lovers! I could see gift wrapping this along with a mug and giving these out for Christmas, birthdays or any other occasion that presents itself.

    Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me without charge to review. A positive review was not required. All opinions are solely mine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good themes, poor organization

    Now, I'll admit I'm not much of a coffee drinker. But this book sounded so refreshing, I wanted to dive in and savor it. Overall I found the book enjoyable, though I was disappointed. I expected more.

    The overall themes of each chapter were wonderful. I did some excellent reflecting throughout each chapter, thanks not only to the great points Nicole Johnson tries to make, but also through the excellent journaling questions posed in each chapter.

    However, I felt the writing was a little unorganized. Nicole Johnson reminded me of a butterfly sipping on coffee, zipping from one story to the next and from one point to the next, often returning to the original story with little organization and maybe a little too much caffeine. In fact, there were several famous quotes throughout the chapter and sometimes they were thrown in the middle of a story or a point.

    And as for the coffee themes, I thought they'd be a little more prevalent in each chapter. But Johnson's goal was that each chapter would be like sipping a cup of coffee.

    Like I said, I did enjoy the book. And I think, just as with a cup of coffee, the more you put into it, the more you savor it and reflect on it, the more you'll enjoy it. I was just disappointed with the organization of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    Title: Fresh Brewed Life. Author: Nicole Johnson. Genre: Chris

    Title: Fresh Brewed Life.

    Author: Nicole Johnson.

    Genre: Christian, Nonfiction, Revision, Women.

    Plot: This book, the revised and updated edition, sends an invitation to women to wake up and live again. With ten simple chapters {not counting the introduction and epilogue, of course}, and a continuing theme of coffee weaving through the written words, this is - if nothing else - a very creative and often entertaining look at life. Drawing upon her own life experiences, the author opens the bag of coffee beans and gives the reader the tools to wake up and experience life for themselves.

    The ten chapters cover surrendering to God - always the first and most important step in matters relating to life yet it's often overlooked; journaling, the act of writing down one's thoughts and sorting them out on paper is very therapeutic and helps one to see the bigger picture sometimes; listening to one's longings {especially if one has a history of not doing so} is a good way to learn what it is one really wants; embracing one's beauty is important if one is in the habit of, well, doing the opposite; interviewing one's anger can teach one quite a few very surprising and informative things; savoring one's sexuality probably falls in alongside embracing one's beauty; celebrating one's friendships - a good idea and this chapter has plenty of good ideas on how to do just that; changing one's world is a daunting task to some but a grand challenge to others; enriching one's relationships, and enjoying one's freedom round out the list. Of all the chapters, I found the second one {on journals} to be the funnest, interviewing one's anger to be the most eye-opening, and the friendship chapter the most inspiring.

    Likes/Dislikes: This book was obviously written for an older generation of already married women {ya know, the old good gals in the ten-to-twenty-year marriages and needing to re-awake to the life around them} but I still found some of the information helpful and interesting. The whole embracing one's beauty was a thought-provoking chapter though I personally never had to struggle much with that issue. All in all, a very good interesting book with light touches of humor that makes it all flow together very well. I enjoyed it.

    Rating: PG-16 and up, mostly for content. Bear in mind that it is written for older women so if half the stuff doesn't apply to you or make much sense then don't worry about it.

    Date Report Written: March 8, 2012.

    I received this book free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in the above review are my own.

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  • Posted February 9, 2012

    Fresh-Brewed Success

    No one likes stale coffee that's been sitting in a pot for days. We all crave fresh, strong, vibrant coffee that wakes us up! Much like coffee, our hearts crave a wake up, a fresh, vibrant life that is new each day. I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book Fresh-Brewed Life through Booksneeze®, and found that this was just the pick-me-up I needed! A "God-help" book, as I like to call them, Fresh-Brewed Life is comprised of multiple facets of ourselves that are in need of a new outpouring of color, and encourages us to live up to the expectancy God created in us, to be bold and fresh in Him.

    I read this book over the course of a few months, slowly savoring each chapter and marking pages that jumped out to my heart. Oddly enough, I found that when I would start a new chapter and topic, like friendships or dreams, it was related to what was actually going on in my life at that time. Nicole Johnson writes with ease and humor and includes quotes and scripture that spoke to me. Each section is neatly laid out and written in a easily accessible manner that connects with the everyday reader. Factual scriptures weave through the pages to ultimately give a message of bright hope to live the life we've always longed for, not only because God’s word encourages this, but because God Himself longs for the everyday to be turned into the extraordinary. This is one book I would give again and again to the women in my life, so that they, too, may know all of the fullest riches are at God's fingertips.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2011

    "fresh Brewed decaffinated"

    I must say i love and enjoy coffee, and this book need some caffine to keep a reader like me up. I appreciate the wirters point in encouraging her reader in journalling and the benefit of it. She express how we can find ourselves and convey emotions through writting down and asking questions. for instance interviewing anger , which is one of the chapters ,very therapeutic and honest of her sharing the deepest part of her life with her readers. she discusses great ways to deal with anger in a constructive way.

    As the tittle , the writer tries to relate and express some of her journalling with coffee which was attracting to me at first but all i got was that she is a coffe lover and enjoys every process of it's making.

    But she also writes about how journalling has been a way in communicating to God and has develop closer relationship through that.

    I enjoy the writers view and appreciated some of the benefits she shared through journalling. She reminds me that writting is a means of communicating emotions and actually have a conversation with our selves.

    This book was provided to me free of charge by booksneeze for my unbiased review

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Good with a cup of coffee

    Fresh-brewed life was a great book. It was honest and unique. It definately made me feel like I wanted to cuddle up on the couch and snuggle with the book and a cup of coffee. Although I feel some of the book was typical of women's devotional books, it was still a great pick me up or gift book.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    The Freshest Brew I've Had In a Long Time

    This book was absolutely terrific and helped me examine some key areas of my life that I've needed to make some changes in and come to terms with others for quite a while.

    At first glance, the cover drew me in. I saw Nicole's name on the cover and went, "Oh, goody!! This is going to be great." I was NOT disappointed. I have enjoyed Nicole's writing and speaking engagements for years and Fresh Brewed Life gave a fresh perspective on some key areas, mainly appearance, emotions, and relationships. Key areas all for me.

    I have struggled with my weight since high school and finally, after reading the "A Cup of Beauty" section I have come to fully realize that God loves me just the way I am and that if I am not happy with my appearance or health He can and will help me but I have to do my part as well. What others think of my looks is NOT my problem, its theirs.

    I don't deal with anger very well, either. I either hold it in and get madder OR I "blast off" with no warning. Neither being a healthy way to handle stress or emotional upheaval. Fresh Brewed Life has given me resources to deal with anger in constructive ways.

    The other sections were just as terrific and insightful, inspiring, full of fun and wit that we've come to expect from Nicole Johnson.

    A book you won't wish to part with!

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended to Wake Up your Soul!

    I really enjoyed reading Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson. Anytime someone can be witty and charming while writing "real stuff" is my kind of person! Nicole Johnson is just this. She invites you to a wake up with what better thing that "Fresh brewed coffee"! I love coffee.if it has a lot of cream in it and was thrilled with the opportunity to read this.
    In Fresh Brewed Life Nicole Johnson takes the time to look at different areas of our life that may have become stagnant.or day old coffee. She invites us to take a look at these areas with her own thoughts, her own "fresh brewed adventures" and her ideas for journaling so that we can get out of the doldrums and begin to live a life that God wants us to live! Her writing and sense or who we are as humans allows your soul to waken and allows you to begin to really think about your own life and if you are living each day drinking day old coffee or living each day drinking fresh brewed coffee. You have to read it to truly understand, which I recommend for anyone that wants to wake up from their life of ordinary and begin to live extraordinary!

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Fresh Brewed

    Nichole Johnson puts it in interesting, to-the-point language. She has truly encouraged me to break out of the fear and self-loathing that we seem to deal with in our lives. This book could have easily been finished in one sitting it is one that I recommend reading slowly and taking the time to reflect on each and every chapter. Overall the book was well written to include anecdotes and journaling prompts that I found to be very helpful.Living a fresh-brewed life requires that women encounter a beautiful awakening in three areas. First, to God as they respond to His tender, passionate love for them; second to themselves as they embrace their identities as women, their gifts, and their dreams; and third to others as they learn to love and communicate in ways that bring joy and closeness.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    ENJOY A CUP OF COMFORT IN THIS GOOD BOOK

    Just looking at the cover of "fresh -brewed- life", BY Nicole Johnson, made me want a cup of coffee! As I began reading the book I wanted to curl up in a corner of the Miami Vineyard Community Church and drink a cup of their fabulous coffee while I read. As I turned the pages (is it technically page turning with a kindle?) I so enjoyed every word just as I enjoy every sip of Vineyard coffee. This book is just as comforting.
    "Fresh-Brewed-Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul" is an excellent book that gently guides the reader to a non-threatening place within where he or she can address faith as it pertains to life. Reaching past religiosity the author walks the reader through various topics that are a part of everyday including: self-esteem, sexuality and relationships.
    Often times we get caught up in the minutia of life, overwhelmed by stuff and we forget we have help. There are suggestions in this book, questions to ponder and a workbook available to aid in the personal growth and development of one's soul. I recommend this book.

    This book was provided to me free of charge courtesy of BookSneeze for my unbiased review.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson

    This book is very knowledgeable and is a great read for anyone who has anything going on in the life that makes them feel like they need a little uplifting. Many women go through each day doing the same mundane thing, day after day after day. Johnson aims to wake you up and smell the coffee to what life is all about.

    Nicole touches the hearts of women with her words and actions. This is a wonderful life changing book! This is a book that can be read more than once. You're going to love it.
    I give the book 5 stars and highly recommend it to everyone.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wake up your Soul

    In this amazing little book, Nicole Johnson takes the reader on an incredible journey to wake up their soul.

    Chapter topics include: Surrender to God, Encounter Your Journal, Listen to Your Longings, Embrace Your Beauty, Interview Your Anger, Savor Your Sexuality, Celebrate Your Friendships, Change Your World, Enrich Your Relationships, and Enjoy Your Freedom.

    In the chapter titled "Listen to Your Longings", one particular paragraph really spoke to me.

    "Until we grieve, we cannot be comforted. Until we lay our longings at Jesus' feet, we cannot be met with his presence. Until I come to the end of "longings management" - trying to hold it all together, pretending I'm better than I really am - I can't trust Christ. But when I bring him my crumpled longings, trying to press them straight from holding them so tightly, he will hold them for me and help me straighten them out."

    For anyone who longs to live a life of joy, this book is a true gem. I plan to read it over again, and start implementing a bunch of the suggestions. Just like the journey of a coffee bean to a fresh-brewed cup of steaming coffee, Nicole's invitation is for each of us to wake up to a richer, fuller, more flavorful life than ever imagined ... one cup at a time.

    This book received as part of the Book Sneeze book reviewers program. I was not compensated for my thoughts.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fresh-brewed life

    I've just finished reading 'fresh-brewed life' by Nicole Johnson. After all coffee was a staple in Bible times. ( hint-you find it in the book of He-brews!) I guess I was in the right place for this book because it sure spoke to me, like a fresh cup of coffee (here in Canada we just call it Tim's in honour of our favourite coffee chain). I liked the book because it is slow-paced, and methodically works through issues that we gals find challenging, disturbing and even frightening. Nicole doesn't mind sharing true stories about her failures and successes. Honesty is part of the charm of this book. She encourages journalling and gives ideas on how to get started.Who can argue with thoughts like this. 'Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.' (Cyril Connolly) Get this book and enjoy it as a private study or use the supplied questions and share in a group. Well worth the read. Brenda J Wood

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    an uplifting read

    Fresh Brewed Life is a book written by Nicole Johnson and published by Thomas Nelson. This book is very knowledgeable and is a great read for anyone who has anything going on in the life that makes them feel like they need a little uplifting. We all get down sometimes, but nowadays there are so many different ways to lift ourselves back up. If you read Fresh Brewed Life, that's probably what you will encounter, being lifted up. It is sure to make you smile.
    It is not a boring step by step guide telling you what you have to or should do. It's an easy to read, interesting and informative book explaining the many ways to enrich your life. I read the book rather quickly after receiving it, and it kept my attention the whole time.
    If you're looking for a great read, and an uplifiting/upbeat book, than look no further.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Is your life feeling a little bland? Are you cracking under pressure? You my friend, need a fresh-brewed life. In this witty, knowledgeable book, Nicole Johnson shares her personal triumphs and tribulations, all the while showing us christian girls how to "freshly brew" our life, after all, you can only drink old coffee for so long before it is, old! While everyone has to face the daily grind, Nicole shows how you can use it to make a wonderful life!She uses ten helpful "guidelines" to jump start everyone's fresh brewed life. With helpful tips, refreshingly funny stories, and a base in scripture, this book is a sure hit!
    I thought this book was very cute, and I enjoyed the beginning thoroughly! She is a funny, interesting author, who actually made me laugh out loud at a couple of sections. One disclaimer I must add: I was unable to read the sixth chapter, for personal reasons only. This said, I would recommend this book to a married woman more quickly than I would an unmarried woman. I absolutely adored the cover of the book, simple, colorful, and enticing! It seems to call to you, wishing for you to read it! I would definitely give this book a high score in my "book rating" list, and my mom actually loved it as well! I urge you, if you are married, to pick up this book very soon!

    Sincerely,
    Libbi H.
    Thomas Nelson gave me this book for free as a trade for my review.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    My Life Just Got a New Coffee Pot

    This book started to change my life in chapter one! I love it. The author writes from a humble and open perspective, just chatting with a friend over coffee. I highlighted something in every chapter (at least one time!) There are a few places in which some might argue that the author didn't need to go on as much as she did (like with the journaling), and yet, every thing she had to say was good. Sometimes people just need someone, anyone, to give them permission to do something or like something or be someway, and Nicole Johnson does that in this book. Her words are encouraging, not berating or criticizing and so very useful. Johnson has a way of making such huge and valuable points easy to take in and allow to change your life.

    I share books with my best friend when I think that they are worthwhile and this is definitely one that I will be passing along.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Fresh-Brewed Life

    As one who enjoys an inviting cup of coffee each morning upon waking, just the title of Nicole Johnson's book "Fresh Brewed Life" caught my attention. I love the way it's set up, easy to read and savor, but yet goes down into your soul and invigorates you. "Fresh Brewed Life" is divided into 10 wonderful chapters covering the following themes:

    Introduction: Taking Your First Sip

    Chapter 1 Surrender to God

    Chapter 2 Encounter Your Journal

    Chapter 3 Listen to Your Longings

    Chapter 4 Embrace Your Beauty

    Chapter 5 Interview Your Anger

    Chapter 6 Savor Your Sexuality

    Chapter 7 Celebrate Your Friendships

    Chapter 8 Change Your World

    Chapter 9 Enrich Your Relationships

    Chapter 10 Enjoy Your Freedom

    Epilogue: Good to the Last Drop

    Discussion Questions

    Each chapter has it's own sections as well, which makes it easy to pick up and enjoy whether you have 5 minutes to read a short passage, or enough time to enjoy a full chapter. Being one who enjoys sayings and quotations, I've enjoyed reading new ones here, sprinkled throughout on the topics of the chapters.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Fresh-Brewed Life

    I've just been reading Nicole Johnson's welcoming book, "Fresh Brewed Coffee". With heart and soul opening thoughts and truths, it wakes us to the wonderful, beauty, joy and love in and around us. Here are a few lines that have stood out to me:

    "To take pleasure in coffee and benefit from all it has to offer, it must be savored, not merely consumed." (And may I add, so it is with life, and this is what I feel she is trying to help each of us do.)

    "Because the life part is not quite as simple as the coffee part, we'll spend the rest of the book exploring how our lives can become fresh brewed. You're invited to begin stirring your soul to wake up the slumbering parts and throw out the two-day-old, stale stuff in the bottom of the glass carafe."

    "Fresh-Brewed Life is a journey of awakenings: to God, as we learn to respond to his compelling love for us; to ourselves, as we recognize our true identity and it illuminates us from the inside out; to others, as we relate in new and healthy ways that bring joy and peace."

    I especially enjoyed the chapter on journaling. It's something I've always wanted to do, but always thought it was too late to start. The way it was present made it so inviting, it encouraged me to start and that it's never too late. The chapters have questions scattered throughout as thoughts for jotting down in your journal to react and reflect on. Through journaling, we are encouraged to " live life and not just let it pass us by, to think about life and the things going on around us".

    As a last note for those who may not be full aware, "Fresh Brewed Coffee" is written especially for women, from a Christian perspective.

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