World View

posted in: Books, World Events | 0

Are you ever confused by everything you see on the news?  On your Facebook feed?  In the your Twitter feed?

Do you ever wonder how you are supposed to respond to all the happenings that take over everyone’s conversation?

New Growth Publishers and Marvin Olasky have put together a book of short writings that will help you know how to think with a Gospel-centered world view.  And there is nothing new under the sun.  So, while these essays will eventually not be headliners – the problems they talk about will just happen in a new way.  With new people.  In a new country or city.

Sin affects everything in our world.  And the entire world is groaning for the return of its Maker.  And Olasky helps us think rightly about the events happening in our world.  This is definitely one to read and discuss – or at least keep a journal on.  It is not a quick read – even though the articles are quite readable in length.  But, if you care about the world and how sin and the gospel impact our world, then you will want to read and digest the articles in here.

Thanks to Litfuse for this book.  All opinions are my own.

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus (Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Christmas | 2

We still have apple pie leftover from Thanksgiving yesterday, but already we are getting in the mood for Advent over here.  My mister is busy with other preparing for the Christmas cantata at our church and planning for the Christmas Eve services.

We’ve done our Black Friday shopping and stood in line with others – thankfully everyone was in a good mood as we stood in line buying our Christmas goodies!

But, even though I didn’t grow up with Advent (I’m Baptist by the way), I have come to appreciate it the last ten years.  It helps me slow down, focus on Jesus, think about the waiting period that happened in the world (both in the silence waiting for Jesus and the time we spend now waiting for his return), and plant meaningful traditions around my home and in my children even through the busy Christmas season.

My friend Asheriah Ciuciu has written a new book called Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.  This is a book that is short – not overwhelming – and focuses on 20 names of Jesus that you can study either by yourself or with your family.

Each day has Scripture, a prayer, application, prose, and Scriptures for further study.  The book also includes some information about why Advent – why celebrate it and what it is for or the intent of the church.  I’m glad that it is simple and asks questions.  We sometimes get so wrapped up in everything that we add our Advent study to the list of things we have to do instead of resting in just being with Jesus.

So, to help you start Advent, I’ve been given the opportunity to give a copy of Asheritah’s book away and with it comes this download that I did featuring all the names studied in the book.  PS: you can just click above and go buy your download, its only $5.

Thank you to SideDoor Comm and Moody Publishers for this book to giveaway!

To enter giveaway: share a Christmas or Advent tradition!  That’s all.

Indescribable (Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 2

 

I’ve been influenced by Louie Giglio’s ministry since college.  That’s the time that Passion started, went to One Day 2000, all the Passion music throughout seminary, then just a few years ago we moved to Atlanta and I got to attend some events at Passion City Church.

If you’ve heard much of Louie’s preaching – you know he loves God and Jesus and the Cross.  You also will quickly learn that he loves space, science, stars, galaxies, etc.

And I want my boys to be influenced by writers and teachers who love creation and the God who created it.  That’s why Indescribable is such a good book.  Of course its a bit over their heads (I think this book would be good for grade school kids), but it is still a wonderful resource to have.

If you want to use it for family worship time, it would be a good “topical study” book.  There are 100 devotions for kids (of all ages!).  He includes good illustrations that kids will be able to understand.  There is a Scripture and prayer.  This would even be a good tool for homeschooling parents.

Thanks to Tommy Nelson Mommies for the book.  All opinions are my own.  And if you’d like a chance to win, just a leave a comment about your favorite part of science.  I love weather!

Total Christmas Makeover

posted in: Books | 0

I love makeover shows.  What Not To Wear, Fixer Upper, Biggest Loser, Flipping Virgins, etc.

HGTV and TLC are some good shows.

I love how you take the norm and make it into the fabulous new norm.

And what about Christmas?  I love having Christmas in my own home with my own little family: my mister and two boys.  I love the quietness of the day.  I love the phone not ringing and you can sit around all day in your pjs.  It is always hectic up until the day: church activities, retail hours, shopping, work.  But, that day is the quietest of the whole year and I love it that way.

Melissa Spoestra in Total Christmas Makeover, gives her readers some ways to make over your Christmas this year.  Christmas is more than buying gifts and giving gifts, singing in cantatas, and eating too much, and doing all the school crafts!

Christmas is more about thinking of the One who gave up everything for us – all for his glory.  These short devotionals in Melissa’s book have Scripture, gospel, prayers, applicable writing geared where you are, and activities to help you work out the truths that you’ve been reading about.  And they are short to read – you can think about it all day as you go about your day. Because we all know that the Christmas season is probably the busiest time of the year for most people.

Thanks to Litfuse for the book.  All opinions are my own.

New Bible Study Helps

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

If you are anything like me, sometimes you get in a rut with your time in the Word.  Maybe not, but I know I do.  If I always study the Word in the same way, I get stale (not the Word).

So, I thought I would highlight some new(er) Bible study helps. Maybe these will be new to you, maybe you will have tried them and love them.

KJV Know the Word Study Bible.  This is a new Bible from Thomas Nelson.  I grew u with KJV at my Christian school.  The verses that I have memorized over the years are a hybrid of KJV, ESV, NIV, NASB.  One thing I love about technology these days is to read the Bible in so many different translations – and the KJV is a good one.  This new Bible has topical study notes on subjects: the Trinity, Love, Covenant, Purpose, Church, etc.  These are helpful if you are doing a topical study in your Bible study.  There are helpful footnotes on the bottom margin so you can access it easily as you are reading.  This Bible has book introductions which are helpful if you are doing a read through the Bible, you are getting a brief synopsis and knowledge about the book before you read it. So, if you want a very neutral (not personality-driven study Bible) this new one is a good, basic one.

The Daily Grace Co.  Kristin produces Bible studies that I think are ideal for the beginner.

She Reads Truth – this is an easy app that you can have on your phone right when you wake up, get in the Word right away, or you can purchase their Bible studies.  Solid material.

What are some Bible study tools that you use?

Thanks Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for the KJV Bible.  All thoughts are my own.

Big and Little Coloring Devotional

posted in: Books | 0

When we set up our new home in late this summer, I knew I wanted to have a creative area for my boys.  A place where they could have coloring books, playdough, markers, colored pencils, etc – just waiting to sit and get all their creative juices out!

Well, we set up a little Goodwill table that I found before we moved, and put some bins of creative tools around it – and they sit their every day.  I love it.  I love having pieces of paper all around the house with scribbles and drawings on them.

Another great tool I’ve found for my boys is the Big and Little Coloring Devotional.  I found out about this devo coloring book from my friend Sarah on her podcast with the author Rachel Swanson.  Then I got to be a part of the launch team.  So much fun!

It is a top flip coloring book, made for two people to be coloring at once.  So, I’ve been sitting across from my older, him coloring, me coloring.  And the neat thing about this particular coloring book is that it is based on Scripture.  So, one side will have a (younger age) coloring page with God’s truth on it, the other page will have a more detailed coloring page with a short devotional on it.  These devotionals are perfect for you to read, be encouraged, and it may be a jumping off point for you to share these truths with your child – AS. YOU. COLOR!

Such a great activity for you and your child to do together.  And Christmas is coming – its a perfect gift for any mom of littles you know – I would say even up to 10yo or so – girl or boy.  So, grab some colored pencils, crayons, or markers, and get coloring – and shepherding your soul – and your child’s!

Counseling Under the Cross

posted in: Books | 0

This October marks the 500th anniversary of what marks the beginning of the Reformation: the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg.

New Growth Press and Bob Kellemen have offered a book that highlights some areas that can help all of us in our daily lives and for those of us in the business of Christian counseling, this book will help as well.

But, I would say, after knowing the personal help this book has given me, its encouragement, and its strength, that we all need to be in the business of counseling others with the Word of God – therefore, rightly, making all of us Christian counselors.

If we use the Word in our counseling, in our friendships, in our marriages, in our parenting, then we will have stronger and truer relationships because the Word of God is sufficient.  One of the marks of the Reformation was the 5 Solas – and one of them is Scripture Alone.  (I won’t go so far as to say that we don’t need any other kind of psychological help, but I do think the Word needs to be the base for all of our counseling.)

At first glance, I thought this book was out of my league.  But, then, as I sat with the table of contents, saw the method with which Bob tackled this topic, it was really quite user friendly and applicable.  He shares personal stories and letters of Luther to illustrate how he counseled with the Word of God alone – in these four areas: reconciliation, guidance, healing, and sustaining.  He broke up each one into the theology of Luther and then how Martin Luther put those theological ideas into practice with those he was in relationship with.

If you are looking for a new counseling book, or these topics (the 4 listed above) sound interesting to you, or you want to know more about the man and preacher and reformer, Martin Luther, then I really think this book will be helpful to you.

Thank you to Litfuse and New Growth Press for this book. All thoughts are my own.

 

The Bronte Plot

posted in: Books | 0

I guess sometimes it is hard on your heart to read books about people who get to travel when you don’t get to do it anymore that often (and would really love to).

But, I really enjoyed the Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay.  Christian fiction without being sappy Christian-ese throughout the book.

A love of books and travel.

A family that has real problems – but not dismissing the problems but knowing that generational sin has an impact on us and what we do with it and its impact with shape our own lives.

Doubts with life and death.

And hope.  Hope is always fitting in a Christian fiction.  Not hope that all is going to work out perfectly.  But hope in a God who does all things well.  That’s of course where our hope lies.

I think my only thing I would do different in this book is not make the conclusion about 2 pages long.  I wanted a continuation of this book based on where it ended.  I would have liked that with her Dear Mr. Knightley too.  So, I guess that’s a good thing!  How about it Katherine Reay – sequels?

Gracelaced

posted in: Books | 0

The kids wake you up all hours of the night.  Whether its night terrors, wet beds, loss of their stuffed animal, or maybe still night feedings.

You have an argument with your husband early in the morning that sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Your jeans don’t fit the way you want them to.

The car won’t start.

You burn the cookies.

You don’t love well.

You are anxious about meetings coming up in the coming day.

Whatever hits your world today, the Word of God is your hope.  Christ is your hope.

That’s why I think Gracelaced is a helpful book, no matter the season you are in.

If you are female – this book will meet you were you are.

Ruth is a watercolor and lettering artist, mom of lots of boys, wife, writer, believer.  I had the opportunity to meet her at the last TGCW conference.  Engaging in every way, in person and on the page.

She writes a devotional book for women that is full of truth – just overflowing with it. I know many women who don’t think they can understand deep theology.  Theology is just what you believe about God – the study of God.  And this book will help you grip tighter to your solid beliefs about God.

This book will help you rehearse the truth of the Word that your soul, your heart, and your mind, so desperately need!

And its pretty!

Other Gospel-rehearsing books for anyone to read:

The Gospel Primer

Cross-Centered Life

Dear Mr Knightley

posted in: Books | 2

I think I might be becoming more of a fiction reader.  As long a its good fiction.

With being a mom and a creative and a wife, sometimes I don’t have the mental capacity to read a Christian living non-fiction book.  Its a lot of hard heart work.

And Christian fiction really doesn’t do it for me a whole lot because it is filled with cheesy loaded Christian-ese, and it is sorta predictable.

This is why I liked about Katherine Reay’s book Dear Mr. Knightley.  About halfway through the book I looked on the spine to see Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher.  I was surprised.  I just thought it was a clean novel, chicklit, that was fun with a good story.

By the time I finished the book (2 days later), I had fallen in love with the author’s way of storytelling, loved her letter forms for this novel. and couldn’t wait to get my hands on her other books.

If you love non-overbearing Christian fiction, Jane Austen, books, literature, a good chicklit story without a bunch of sex and language – then this is your book.

What I loved about this book from a personal side : growth.  I thought back to what I was like when I was 23.  I had just started seminary.  I moved away from everyone I knew.  I was on my own.  I was thin for the first time in my life.  I could really choose to be anything I wanted.  I was growing.  I was growing in faith.  I had finally come to realize that the world as I knew it wasn’t perfect.

And you know what, I keep growing. I keep going through experiences and daily life that make me think, ponder, and grow.

I like reading books that help me think about who I am – and make it entertaining too.