If God is For Us

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When I was a senior in high school, this was our school’s verse  – Romans 8:31 – if God is for us – who can be against us?  That’s when I first learned of this verse because it was on everything that year.

Now that I’m 25 years older, I find it definitely more life-changing and endearing to my Father than I did when I was 18.

Trillia Newbell is a gifted, articular author who writes a great Bible study on Romans 8.  It is by far one of the most popular chapters of the entire Bible, and she walks you through the 39 verses with precision.  She doesn’t just give you the answers and she just doesn’t tell stories.  She makes you work for it.  Bible study is work.  It isn’t supposed to be easy.

But, even if you are a beginner, pick this study up – because the beginning of the book walks you through how to be a Bible study beginner: what you need to do read, look for, meditate on, etc.  But, if you have been studying your Bible every day for 30 years, then this study is also for you – because the Bible is still for you.  And you can go as deep as you want to go and never mine all the depths of God’s Word.

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?  That we will never get all of the Bible!  No!  It is life-giving and perfect truth for us – and the Holy Spirit will always use it in our lives!

Pick up this one.  It is a 6 week study so it would be a good one for a group study or a personal study.  And have a notebook nearby so you can write down all the things that God teaches you through it.

Thanks to Trillia, Moody, and Side Door Communications for a copy of this study.  All opinions are my own.

Cutie Fruities and the Fruit of the Spirit

posted in: Books | 8

 

I remember being in middle school and loving scratch and sniff things.  From books to stickers to all things school supplies, scratch and sniff everything made any task more fun.

And as a parent I want to have fun ways to teach my kids about how to live for God’s glory!

This book does just that.  It incorporates scratch and sniff fruit to help little ones learn about the fruit of the Spirit. This is an adorable board book, perfect for little girls in your life.  My boys have enjoyed it to (especially sticking their nose in the book to smell the fruit), but the Cutie Fruities are girls!

What a fun way to teach them about the fruit of the Spirit.  If you would like a copy of this book for your own library, just leave me a message here about what fruit of the Spirit you are working on – especially in your own life.  Mine is love (not being irritable especially with my kids who have been sick lately).

Thanks Tommy Nelson Mommies for my book and the giveaway book.  All thoughts are my own!

We are the Gardeners

posted in: Books | 8

Spring is here in Augusta!  I’m hoping it has arrived where you are just so you can soak up all the scents of the flowers, hear the birds (we have a nest of 6 on our front porch), and enjoy the longer days with plenty of sunshine.

And just in time for spring growing season, Joanna Gaines (and her kids) have released their new book We Are The Gardeners.  Let me tell you – the illustrations and the prose of this book are so endearing!  I have the perfect family to gift this to!

My boys love to get out and play in the dirt, and we love to work mostly with daddy in the yard, but I know another family who do more gardening then we do so I can’t wait to gift it to them.

The life lessons that are pointed to in here (from Chip) are great for young kids – to learn that gardening is not just about plants and flowers.  I love how they talk about protecting it too – especially for raising little men!

I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love this book!

If you would like to win a copy of it – just tell me your favorite thing you like to grow in your yard (or maybe you are just an indoor plant – let me know that too).  Thanks Tommy Nelson for my book and the giveaway copy!

Girls’ Club (a review)

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Thanks to Tyndale House for this book – all opinions are my own.

Growing up, I lived among family as my neighbors.  I had a tight group of friends in high school.  But, I loved being known by everyone.  In college, those friendships faded away because we weren’t together all the time anymore.  In college and seminary I felt that friendships were built mostly on what classes we had and if we had to study together.

Once I graduated seminary, I have felt that it has been hard to make friends – even though I made two of my friends after graduation.  But, those numbers are few.  Even now, as we have moved several times, changed jobs and states, had children, friendships are hard.

What do you base friendship on? Is it primarily proximity?  I think proximity helps but so does social media.  But, in our days of busy schedules, family and ministry priority, soccer and dance schedules, friendships are hard to keep on the front burner.

Enter: the Girls’ Club.  The Clarkson girls do a great job of storytelling, helping their friends and readers absorb biblical truth about friendship, literary clues about friendships, and shares how the gospel should shape us.  I find myself wanting to travel as I read their book.  I’ve been to Prince Edward Island, but not to Oxford, so that’s all I want to do.

I think the writers do a great job of sharing their joys and their struggles with friendship.  Even having friends can make for a lonely winter.  Social media can help and hurt.  We must use it wisely.  And not let that be all our friendships concist of – as best we can.

This book will not be for everyone but I think they do a great job of sticking with their main audience.  LIterary, travelers, scholarly, conservative.  It is a winsome book.  I’ve also enjoyed the podcasts that they’ve done on it – especially with Ruth Simons and Sarah MacKenzie.

 

January Podcast Roundup

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I’m over here cranking out some handpainted wedding invitations and teaching on the book of Job and trying to get our home settled and running well, that I’ve slacked in getting the January Podcast round up on the blog.

I hope you enjoy these! And as always, tell me what podcasts you are listening to!

Nancy Guthrie with Joe Novenson – one of my favorite ever

Front Porch with Knox McCoy

These three from the Next Podcast: Acknowledge Your Soul, The one about your crown, and the one about endings

Read Aloud meets What Should I Read Next

Sarah and Merica talking about the year

The Happy Hour and Margaret Feinberg – the book I’m most looking forward to reading

 

God Made Me and You

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You know those books that you can’t find because your child likes to read it all over the house – and so it is constantly migrating with said child.

So, today, when the child walked in from the bus, I had to ask him where the book with the school bus on the cover that talks about all the children God made.  He went right to it.

This is definitely one of our favorite books of 2018.  So thankful for New Growth press in putting it together.  It shows the truths of God’s creative world in creating human being who look so different from each other but who each have value and significance just because they are made in God’s image.

When so many of our churches are still segregated its hard to see this principle and truth played out at church.  But, I’m so thankful for our boys going to schools where sometimes they are in the minority.  And they don’t notice.  They just play.

I would hope that as our children grow, if we can bury the truth of God’s creative generosity in their hearts, they might have a chance to see the beauty of the gospel displayed in peace for ethnic diversity.

Thank you to New Growth press for the book. All thoughts are my own.  Click on this affiliate link to order directly from New Growth.  Its a perfect addition to your school, home, or church library!

Who I Am With You

posted in: Books | 0

I love it when a book comes in the mail – and you read it, love it – and it introduces you to a whole new author that you’ve not read before.  When I finished Who I Am With You – I read one of Hatcher’s Christmas novellas over the winter holidays.

Who I Am With You tells a story of learning how to move on after heartache – moving on after life doesn’t turn out how you think it is supposed to.  It is endearing and a good Christian Romance that isn’t too cheesy.

At 300 pages it is a lovely day read, curled up in a blanket on a couch!

Thank you Thomas Nelson for the book – and all opinions are my own.

Here is a giveaway where you can win a copy of the book!  Go check it out!

Good News for Little Hearts

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We love reading time in our family, and I love finding books for my littles that will encourage them in truth and also that they will love.

The Good News for Little Hearts series was given to me to review, all thoughts are my own. I was excited about these because of the editors Powlison and Welch. The three I’m talking about in this review are: Zoe’s Hiding Place (about Anxiety), Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up (about failure), and Jax’s Tail Twitches (about Anger).  I love what they stand for, what they’ve written, etc.  So, I figured it was a no brainer.

And for the most part, these books are great.  What they teach are spot-on. I love the extra teaching material in the back of the book.

I just think they are a little much for 5-6 year olds.  Maybe they would be fine for 8-10 year olds, but then the illustrations might be a little childish.

So, here’s what I would say: they would probably make good books for families with a variety of ages.  Because the truths would keep the attention and make more sense to the olders while the illustrations and some of the story lines would keep the attention of the youngers.  Definitely use the helps at the end of each book to strengthen your teaching with your children.

This blog contains affiliate links, so go support New Growth Press!

December Podcast Favorites

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I know this is seriously late, but Ive been still enjoying some down time and doing only the urgent things.  This may not be urgent, but it is fun.  So, today, I bring you the podcasts that I loved listening to in December.

Nancy Guthrie on Teaching Children: David and Sally Michaels are wonderful. I got to know them when they were with DGM and I wrote for Providence.

Next Right Thing Quiet Space.  Perfect to listen to at the end of the year or beginning of the next.

Sarah Bragg with Kimberly Stuart: about the story of fiction.  I read a lot of fiction in 2018 and I love the ability of empathy and escape

TGC with Don Carson on why we need the OT – so good especially with some popular preachers and writers saying we don’t need the OT.

GCM with Tripp.  Because he is always so gracious and full of truth and humility.

The Bookshelf Number 200.  Love how they answer questions and love their banter

Mike Rowe: episodes with In Laws and Cowards

 

Best of 2018

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This is a compilation list of some of my favorite things.  Not comprehensive by any means, but I hope you will get inspiration and enjoyment out of this list.

God has been good to us in 2018 as a family.  He has grown my business.  He has made my husband successful in his.  He has grown my children in their education.

2018 hasn’t been without its trials though.  I would love to leave those behind.  But, God has always been and will continue to be faithful to us.

Books: My goal was to read 60 books this year.  That didn’t happen.  I only read 52.  But, that’s ok.  You know.  I watched some Netflix, hung out with my family, painted, prepared Bible studies, exercised outside (and I don’t like audible books).

Best Fiction 2018: I decidedly read more fiction this year than non-fiction, probably just because I can read fiction faster.  I re-read the Narnia series this year again, which I love to do.  I read it every other year and listen to it every other year (so I switch back and forth).

  1.  The Saturday Night Supper Club.
  2. Five Days in Skye
  3. Voyage of The Dawn Treader (re-read)
  4. Gone to Green series
  5. Goodnight June

Best Non-Fiction

  1.  Even Better Than Eden
  2. The Advent of the Lamb of God
  3. Footprints of a Pilgrim
  4. Roots and Sky
  5. Women of the Word

Best New Recipes – I cook new recipes all the time.  I seldom cook the same thing twice.  But, these two have already been made several times and are winners every time

  1.  Cranberry Brie Tarts
  2. This cake

Best Kids Books

  1.  Goldfish on Vacation
  2.  The Cow Said Neigh
  3. God Made Me and You

Favorite Podcasts – these are the ones that I listen to almost every episode.  There are definitely some popular podcasts that I just can’t listen to – the hosts or the depth of conversation just fall flat for me.  I listen to so many each month. These are the ones that stand out for today.

  1.  Signposts
  2. From the Front Porch – so much so that I want to go visit Thomasville, something I’ve not done since I was a teenager
  3. Cultivated

Favorite Creatives:

  1.  Love-Lettered
  2. Ivey Gibb
  3. Cathy Nugent (we have a new barn door)

Favorite Local Things: (Local to Augusta GA)

  1.  Rooted Coffeehouse
  2. Takosushi
  3. Columbia County Library
  4. Charleston Street
  5. Diablos

What were some of your favorites from 2018?

Photo from my favorite styled shoot that I got to be a part of: Linda Threadgill Photo