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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Billy Graham’s God’s Good News

I received this book (no money) for my honest review and that’s what you always get!

Billy Graham remains one of the foremost pastors in America’s history, and parents, grandparents, pastors, teachers, and more will want this lovely edition of God‘s GoodNews for the children in their life to show them the way to the cross and to help them begin a lifetime of following Christ. God‘s Good News is a collection of more than 60 favorite Bible stories told in actual Bible text from the New King James Version, including Noah, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, and the disciples, and each story is equipped with a takeaway devotion from Rev. Graham. The takeaways will help children focus on God’s Word, apply it to their lives, and begin walking with God and sharing the good news from an early age. The striking artwork from Scott Wakefield will help children connect with the timeless Bible stories and messages from Rev. Graham.

Christianity is good news. . . . When we open up the Bible, it is good news from cover to cover. It’s the good news that God loves us.

—Billy Graham

This book is yet another part of the amazing legacy that Reverend Billy Graham leaves behind – him ministering, through book, to the next generation.

Graham starts this capturing Book by talking about what he always talks about – God’s love and how “it passes knowledge.” Graham was big on talking about how much God loves us and that tone is set from the very beginning in this book.

Separated – just as the Bible is – between Old and New Testaments, this story and devotion book prepares the youngest for independently reading the Bible.

Meanwhile, Scott Wakefield’s illustrations are making every story come alive in your child’s mind! His artistic interpretation, while beautiful, is realistic enough that the illustrations do not deviate from the Word while still being child-friendly.

Throughout this story and devotion book, your children will hear words directly from Billy Graham’s writings as well.

I highly recommend this book. I know that shouldn’t surprise most of you as it is the works of Reverend Billy Graham. His legacy and history, though, do not just give him an automatic seal of approval by me. Going through this book, I am very impressed with the stories that were included.

So many children’s devotionals include stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Esau, Jonah, and others. Many, however, do not include the Tower of Babel, Jacob’s ladder, Rahab, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, King Solomon, Josiah, Zacharias, the sermon on the mount, Zacchaeus, the prodigal son, the widow’s coins, Stephen, and many, many, more. This story and devotion book has more than 60 of them in it!

If you want to know what a child’s honest first thoughts are of this book, before you buy it, watch this short video:

https://youtu.be/pNTE6KfRFZM

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What 50 Years of Marriage Looks Like Today

Many people asked that I share what I said at my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary party. It was truly an amazing evening. The awe and happiness had nothing to do with the decorations nor the food. Most all of us were simply in awe of all that my parents had accomplished through Christ and inspired that we can, too!

First, the following is the speech I wrote and recited.

I understand that many of you won’t read this much (“It’s too long!” I said it faster than you’ll probably read it! 😂🏃🏾‍♀️); but, I also understand that there are many among us that need to hear the words within this and know that all things are possible with Christ who strengthens us!

…For those of you still getting to know me, you’re about to find out how – using my parents – God took me from a single mom of a 2 year old at 20 to a woman married to the man God made specifically for her for 12 years.

I could go into great detail but instead I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you some of the principles that I learned through my parents marriage that allowed me to recognize when my future husband found me and that he was indeed my future husband.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 talks about the value of a friend:

9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Possibly only those of us who have been married for at least a decade know why I would bring up friendship at a wedding anniversary party. You see, marriage…true GODLY marriage is built upon God, trust, and love. With those three principles amongst them how could two people not be or become the very best of friends. My parents have always had many friends such as many of those here this evening. No friend, though, has ever surpassed the title of “best friend” with either of my parents except for the spouse sitting alongside of them. My parents taught both my brother and I at an early age that there was simply no pitting one against the other – they were and are a team. Two are certainly better than one. “For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.” I was not a witness to many incidents of either of my parents falling. I don’t believe this is because they haven’t fallen because being 40, myself, I know that realistically that’s simply not possible that they did not fall. No…I truly believe that my parents simply caught one another before the other ever hit the ground. They were just that in tune with one another.

I have seen my parents go through the struggle of losing friends, the struggle of losing parents yet to Heaven, the struggles of Satan‘s attacks against their family. I’ve seen my parents go through the journey that is parenthood. I have seen the stresses of bills, air conditioning units going out, cars breaking down, their church breaking apart, and even a child running away.

Yet through it all, they were and are a threefold cord just as in Ecclesiastes 4:12. My mom is a strong piece of twine. My dad is an equally strong piece of twine. But until we all recognize that it is taking those two pieces of twine and wrapping them around that third piece, we will never truly attain what is God seeks for us to attain in our marriages. Because it is most definitely God that is the third of that threefold cord. And, every time my dad could be heard praying in the den… every time my mom could be heard on her knees in her bedroom… There was never any doubt in my mind that they were and are a threefold cord wrapped around God.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is a passage we all know so well. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

I want to talk about “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” You see, God will truly never give you more than he is prepared to equip you for and, man, did He equip my parents. One of their children was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at a time when no one had a clue what Tourette Syndrome was. Their other child was diagnosed with severe clinical depression at the young age of 16 which disrupted not only that child but the entire family. I can tell you that there are many adjustments, many battles, many hurdles. Yet, I will say that Love (that is God) bore it all. He bore all of the things. Love caused my mom to believe when she prayed and her prayers availed much. Their love hoped for all things – even the complete restoration of our family of which God provided. Love surely endured all things during that season. Love covered a multitude of things like words that can’t be taken back, actions that had consequences. And lastly, that love never ended – even to this day. That love has only grown stronger. Only the love of Jesus, the authentic love that is God, can do that.

1 John 4:16 says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” and Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” My mom and dad showed me that God is love and if we would simply “put on love” and abide in Him – everything would come together in perfect harmony. That principle has been a strong one that has bound my husband and I together in the very toughest of times. It is a principle that has taken four individuals and turned them into an unbreakable family unit. No matter what the family went through….my parents always abided in Him as will David and I, as will Jocelyn and Elijah.

For just a moment I want to give you a little piece of insight into who Charles and Valree Miller are:

Song of Solomon 8:7 says, “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.” If you asked my parents what they would go back and change, they would say nothing. There is no thing on earth that can quench their love nor is there a thing that can drown it because it is a perfect love forged in the fires that this world has forced them through and – just as the Bible references many times – their love has been refined and come out gold.

Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” The day my dad set his sight on my mom (or rather her legs as he would tell it) that day at the phone company so many years ago, he didn’t know to what extent but even then he knew he had found a good thing. Since then, He – as well as the rest of us – have obtained favor from the Lord because of her. Whether it has been her never questioning my dad anytime that he said God had spoken to him, whether it was any time my mother needed to speak confidence into my brother or I, whether it was the need of any family member that my mother would race to meet… Because of her we have obtained favor.

John 15:12-13 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” That verse reminds me of the time that my father told me that He had God’s ear. He had obtained an honest-to-goodness audience with God Almighty and God asked him what he wanted. Did my dad ask for the bills to always be paid? For a promotion? No. He said he wanted my mother to have her promotion. He asked that she have His blessing on her career in Home Interiors and my mother received it that same day. My mom went on to earn everything from grandfather clocks to diamonds all because she was walking in the favor of God that my dad had asked for her. Her customers not only respected her but they loved her and many still treat her as family. What greater love is this?

When I was a single mother I quickly went to God and said, “You have to be everything now! You have to be my best friend, my Father, my Helper, my daughter’s Father,….everything!” Why? How did I know to run to Him immediately? Because my parents had taught me Psalm 143:8 through their own actions so very early on in life: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Their lives are a testament that if you so choose to entrust your life to God, He will never fail you and you will reach heights you never imagined.

So, (to my mother and father) “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. And may we all follow in your footsteps.

Second, I kept hearing the same word all night – sweet.

I want to make sure I say that because if you look in God’s Word you’ll find two things: good things are like a sweet aroma to Him and He likes sweet incense; and there are many, many, things of God that are sweet.

What a wonderful testament to hear, and feel, throughout the evening – that my parents were “so sweet!” I imagine God found them very pleasing, especially on this particular evening.

https://youtu.be/jhRmtpZbC60

*The topper on that cake was from my mom’s mom and dad’s 50th anniversary!*

I want to encourage you today to always choose the sweet way.

Finally: legacy.

Their daughter spoke of God.

Their granddaughter honored them by singing beautifully.

Their six-year-old grandson recited John 3:14-19 by memory.

Praise God His promises are Yes! and Amen!

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The Nasty, Notorious, Infamous Case of the Mondays

It’s so sinister. It’s so dreaded that you actually begin showing signs of its impending approach on Sunday, before it’s even arrived! You don’t think, you know, everything will be miserable. After all, it’s Monday!

The alarm didn’t wake you. The coffee maker breaks. The kids – ALL OF THEM – can suddenly not find any matching shoes. You had to go BACK home because you forgot all of their backpacks. WHY CAN’T THEY REMEMBER THEIR OWN BACKPACKS STILL?! Dunkin Donuts line is too long but you sit through it anyways because their coffee is your nectar and you’ll just have to live with the guilt that you gave the kids donuts for breakfast instead of a sausage and egg Hot Pocket this morning (because let’s be honest who actually stops and cooks eggs, sausage, toast, and the works for their children every morning?!).

But…why? Why is Monday seemingly always like this? Well, I think if we were really honest with ourselves we would look back and say that that kind of Monday only happens rarely. Still, though, no matter if everything falls apart or if there’s no traffic at all, Monday still feels like Monday!

The Telegraph shared the findings of a scientific study done by Marmite that indicate that “many people don’t smile on Mondays until 11:16 am, and that half of us won’t turn up to work on time, either. Mondays also tend to be fairly unproductive, with only about three and a half hours of actual work getting done. And those in the 45 to 54 year-old demographic will moan for about 12 minutes on Mondays, making them the most susceptible to the suck that is Monday.

Experts indicate that the reason behind our hatred of Mondays is a result of humans being governed by deep-rooted tribal habitsand that we prefer to ease into the week rather than tackle it head-on first thing Monday morning. In fact, those that do the latter may end up burning themselves out before Friday hits.“*

Even this blog 😂 I’m writing it at 2:30 P…M…on Monday and scheduling it to post next Monday! I witnessed my best friend experiencing a true case of the Mondays and simply could not sit idly by and allow her to fall victim to it! 😐😂❤️

The fact is this: life expectancy is 79.3 in the United States. Now, don’t freak out – it’s just a number, an average number, and an estimation at that. But if we take that number and we calculate how many days we’ll have in 79.3 years we will get 28,963.73 days. If you then deduct the weekends, you get 20,688.3785 days. That is 71% of your life (5 days out of 7) that you’re ALLOWING YOURSELF to live in misery.

That’s right. 🤷🏻‍♀️Sorry to tell you this but Monday is just a day – like any other. Though the world would have you think otherwise, Monday has nothing against you nor has it waged war on you.

So here is my question for you…

Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’m going to continue to waste 71% of my life complaining and allowing a day to turn me into its doormat.

Why do you think we often begin to dread Monday before it’s even arrived? I think it may have something to do with this…

Now, I’m not going to sidetrack and begin to talk about which day is the Sabbath – whether it’s Saturday or Sunday. I’m also not going to berate or guilt you if you are in the ministry and can’t seem to find your day of rest. I am going to remind you, however that God called us to have a day of rest. If you’re constantly going, then Monday is going to be a reminder that your hamster wheel is never stopping. That’s why – then – Saturdays and vacations become your goal.

That brings me to goals! Is your goal to be miserable every day of your life? If so, this world has got a great deal for you! This world has figured out how to keep you worried, overspent, in debt, stressed to the nines, and seeing death long before you ever should and all for the low, low, price of your happiness and often a lot…lot more!

That’s right! All of that stress is there for the taking!

Now, if you’ve decided that this world’s idea of success, and the stress that comes with it, isn’t for you, then how about let’s look at the alternative. Shall we?

It starts in your mind. That’s right – your head! It doesn’t start with breathing exercises. It doesn’t start with post-it notes and scheduling. Nor does it even start at the beach. It starts in your mind.

Once you begin focusing on God, you can no longer focus on all of the calamity around you.

Did you know that one of the very first things a runner is taught is to never look behind them? They are trained to never look behind but to always keep their eyes ahead of them looking at their goal – the finish line. It has been proven that if they turn around they will slow down and it will affect their race. Those that keep their eyes on the finish line always arrive faster than if they are distracted.

Now, Romans 12:2 tells us that we are to be “transformed.” How? Well, John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

You see, He’s already given it (peace) to us. Just like his salvation, it’s right there simply waiting for us to receive it! Quick question: when your mom or your dad told you as a child, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.” Did you question whether they would take care of it? I bet you didn’t. How much more does your heavenly father want to take care of your problems?

I hear you, right now: BUT HOW?! Relax. Geez. You act like it’s Monda… never mind. I won’t leave you hanging.

Proverbs 16 says, ““The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established. The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.”

Now, in the NLT, it says it a little more clearly for the average Joe…

You see, if you will go to God, “The Lord gives the right answer.”; and if you “commit your actions to the Lord,” “your plans will succeed!”

So, instead of repeating the mantra in your head that “Mondays suck!” begin talking to God, aloud, whether in song or in prayer. Who cares what your kids think? I’ve got news for you: they think you’re crazy anyways. So just run with that. As they get older, they will remember the days that mom or dad would talk to God and they will follow in your footsteps.

Begin giving God your problems whether it be your eyeliner breaking and smudging all the way across your face or your coffee maker no longer coming to life. Begin thanking him for the fact that He woke you up this morning which means he must have some sort of plan for you still. Then, really top it off by asking God what it is that He has for you to do today!

Instead of dreading the upcoming week, begin looking at it as five days of opportunity to fix what you broke last week, begin the thing you’d never began but intended to, and talk to the person you know you should’ve talked to already!

You may not turn your Monday into Funday but you will change your life into a life of purpose; and purpose makes us want to get out of bed. Achieving purpose gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride; and it drives us to continue on.

So, I want to leave with you one last passage from the Bible where Paul says something that is extremely poignant:

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Https://thenextweb.com/shareables/2011/07/25/scientific-study-confirms-that-mondays-suck/?amp=1
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Book Review & Giveaway: Young Whit & the Traitor’s Treasure

* I was given this book, no money was exchanged, for my honest opinion of which you always will receive from me.

Young Whit & the Traitor’s Treasure is an Adventures in Odyssey book by Phil Lollar and Dave Arnold. It’s the first in the Young Whit series!

“This Odyssey book series explores the history of the much-loved character John Avery Whittaker. The series introduces newcomers to the larger world of Odyssey. For readers who are already Odyssey-philes, the novels provide the history of the franchise’s most important character.

Whit and his family (father, Harold; stepmother, Fiona; half-sister, Charlie) have just moved to Provenance, NC, in the middle of the Great Depression. Harold will be teaching at nearby Duke University. Not-quite-10-year-old Johnny soon makes a friend in Emmy, who lives across the street and joins him in his adventures. At his new school, he encounters a bully who makes his life miserable, and he makes a new friend in Huck, the custodian. Both of them play key roles in the mysteries and action.

The central mystery in book 1 involves Confederate gold missing since the end of the Civil War and the question of whether Johnny’s ancestor was the coward and thief who stole it, as everyone believes.”

My six (soon to be seven)-year-old immediately loved this book. The preface saddened him. The first chapter grabbed hold of his total attention. By chapter four, he was reading himself just to get more read!

While I would say this book is more targeted at 10 years and older, don’t discount younger ones if my son is any evidence. Every night he wants the next chapter.

The thing that I think I like the most about this book is that I have seen it touch the heart of my son. At such a young age, most boys are emotionally immature. I have seen signs of his heart growing and his sensitivity coming to awareness while reading this book. It’s been a beautiful process to watch.

I love that people such as Focus on the Family appreciate celebrating boys being boys (and girls being girls) all while encouraging them to be their best in Christ Jesus.

So, if you’re young adventurer needs or wants a new book to add to their library – that you know you can trust to be safe for their hearts and their minds – I greatly recommend this book. I plan on buying the entire series book by book.

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Review & Giveaway: Paul, Apostle of Christ DVD

I was given this DVD, no money, for an honest review and that is what you’ll receive. 

Paul Apostle of Christ

If you missed seeing Paul, Apostle of Christ when it was in studios, have no fear – buy the DVD today! I recommend the Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital combo that’s available. That way you can watch it anywhere, anytime.

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“Paul (Faulkner), who goes from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ’s most influential apostle, is spending his last days in a dark and bleak prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero. Luke (Caviezel), his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit him. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius (Martinez), the prison’s prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul‘s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.”

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Check out the trailer here:

Pretty awesome, huh?

For those that may not know, Paul – or Saul of Tarsus as he was also known – was an apostle who taught the gospel to the first century world. He was both Jew and Roman Citizen. This gave him both opportunity and strife, but more importantly it gave him perspective and a path to lead many to Christ. A man who was once dedicated to the very persecution of Christ’s followers becomes one of those that he would have put to death before. Paul’s story is an amazing one, an intriguing one, and certainly one can understand why everyone – Romans and Jews alike – would be curious as to what (or Who) would make a man change so extremely! Truly only a real encounter with Christ could make such a man turn from everything he believed to be true only to lose all of his earthly gains but gain his Godly calling.

You cannot go wrong with such a cast as Jim Caviezel, Olivier Martinez, and James Faulkner. This film is from the same studio that brought to you Risen and War Room. If you loved watching Jim Caviezel play Jesus, you’ll be blown away by his representation of Luke – friend and physician – risking his life to venture into Rome and visit Paul as he spends his last days in a prison awaiting execution.

“Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.”

Get to know the man that wrote many of the books you hold so close to your heart and teach to your children. Add this DVD to your collection and allow his life to come alive before your family’s eyes.

Want to win your own copy?banner

 

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Review & Giveaway: Always Enough Never Too Much

I received this book for my honest opinion, no monetary gain, and my honest opinion you will get. 

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“We’ve all been there. We know that sneaking, small voice in our heads all too well—you’re too loud. Too quiet. Too young. Too old. Too unimportant. Too ugly. Too silly. Too serious. You’re not as successful as she is—look at her perfect family, look at her high-powered job, look at her great hair and size 4 skinny jeans. Why can’t you be more like her—be more in general? Why do you expect so much from everyone? Why can’t you take up less space? Ask for less? Be less? The lies track well-worn paths in our minds and our hearts, wearing us down and making us question our role in God’s kingdom.
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Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, bestselling authors of Wild and Free will help you replace those lies with God’s truth. This devotional flip-book is designed for you, the woman who feels like she can be both too much and not enough—sometimes in the same day. When you  banish lies and insecurities and find your identity in Jesus, you can embrace these truths: You are always enough. You are never too much.”

 

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I think it’s appropriate that this is called a “flip book.” I’ll tell you why: because sometimes you need to FLIP the script on your life!

This past year has been a year of “too much” and “never enough” for me. This book is what I’d call an “on time” book for me. In a world that has programmed us to instinctively compare ourselves to one another and judge ourselves against litmus tests that God never set forth – other than His Word – it is refreshing to find a book that is truly edifying. It is refreshing to know that I’m reading words that are inspired by the Word of God in order that I might get back on the rails that I derailed from and remember who I am in God’s eyes. It’s nice to know I’m about to “flip” things back to the way God intended.

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You might notice that this book has two titles… kind of. I’ll explain it perfectly (and give you a sneak preview) in this short video:

Now that I have my own copy, I know exactly who I’m going to gift one of these to. It’s a pastor’s wife. It would amaze you the pressure that is on women that we look at as if they have it all together and we wish we were them. You may find that the very same insecurities that plague you are plaguing the very people you think have it all. So… don’t just keep this book to yourself – when you’re done, gift it to someone else. If you want to keep yours forever, then consider someone else who may feel the same way and gift them a copy. It may be the very think that helps them to become who they are truly meant to be in Christ simply by empowering them!

Now, after you get your Prime on and and grab your copy of Always Enough Never Too Much, you may find you want to get another copy for someone close to you:

Win 1 of 5 Copies of God Loves Mommy & Me

 

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Review & Giveaway: Born to Wander

I was given this book, without financial compensation, for my honest opinion of it and that is always what you’ll get from me. 

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Why are we so restless?

All of us have a little wanderlust—a desire for that next thing, that new place, but this competes with our longings for security, control, and safety. We don’t like how it feels to be unsettled and uprooted. Whether we’re navigating a season of transition, dealing with the fallout of broken relationships, or wrestling with a deep sense of restlessness, we are all experiencing some form of exile. And most of us do whatever we can to numb the feelings of unbelonging, powerlessness, and unsettledness that come with it. But the truth is that exile has a profound purpose if we can just learn to lean in.

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Over and over again Scripture tells us that the people of God are exiles and wanderers. And this is good news because exile is what transforms us into pilgrims.

In Christ, we are no longer directionless wanderers, but pilgrim followers who have a clear purpose and a secure identity.

In Born to Wander, Michelle Van Loon weaves together personal stories and keen insights on the biblical themes of pilgrimage and exile.  She will help you embrace your own pilgrim identity and reorient your heart toward the God who leads you home. Engaging and thoughtful, enhanced with practical suggestions, prayers, and questions, Born to Wander will teach how to trust God even when you don’t understand what’s happening around you and follow Him even when it hurts.

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If you keep chasing security, you’ll never find it. Embrace the purpose behind the wandering and discover the freedom and safety of resting in God alone.

“Every one of us carries a restlessness that runs as deep as the marrow of our born-again bones. Our relationships shift like tectonic plates. We change jobs. We switch churches. And our culture tells us the cure for our restlessness is to buy a new mattress, a new car, or a new tube of toothpaste.”

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This book is an interesting one for SO many reasons but I really felt like it was on time for my husband and I because we’re in this place where we feel like God is trying to position each of us for movement but we’re trying to be good stewards and be what we’re called to be – good providers, lenders not borrowers, etc. There’s a balance there between finding security in God and not allowing your own mission to secure your family come between you and His will for your life. We want to make sure that we’re not getting in His way even if we’re doing so with the best of intentions.

Michelle Van Loon, a master storyteller and Jewish follower of Jesus, is helping me to navigate a little better through this place that I’m in in my life. I also think this would be a great book for anyone in a transitional period of their life: marriage, divorce, college, graduation, relocation, and more.

Here’s a sneak peek at the Chapter titles:

  1. Uprooted
  2. Sent
  3. Waylaid
  4. Displaced
  5. Warned
  6. Divided
  7. Remembered
  8. Trekked
  9. Sojourned
  10. Diverted
  11. Revealead

I don’t know about you but some of those titles jumped out at me and others flat-out screamed. I hope you’ll consider picking up this book today, or for someone you care about. I was impressed with the way this book helped me to change perspective and remember God’s picture is so much greater than my mere snapshot of today.

Can’t wait to purchase your own? Click below!

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Book Review & Giveaway: BibleForce

I was given this Bible for my honest review and as most all of you know I only want to share with you guys the things that really work for my family and I’m always honest about my thoughts. I received no financial compensation for this.

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BibleForce is a brand-new Bible storybook that is illustrated with exciting, comic-style artwork that kids will love. My six year old absolutely loves it. I have to be honest…I’m 40 and I love it.

I grew up with The Children’s Bible “in Colour.” There’s nothing wrong with it. It was awesome. In fact, around 15 years ago, when my daughter was my son’s age she read it from cover to cover by herself. We were very proud. I think we can all agree, though, that for this next generation of kids… some (not all) of our books are a little like watching a black & white television for them. I mean…I grew up on this:

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 But my son is all about this…

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See the difference?!

I can’t blame him! Look at the detail and imagery! It’s amazing. Adam being made out of dust, alone, is awesome and looks like a work of art! All kidding aside, I want that image of Adam on his knee framed to gift to my husband. It’s … wow.

Your children will love the detail and action of BibleForce, and parents will love having a book that gets their children engaged in reading Bible stories. Vivid art, incredible detail, and easy-to-follow text will get readers of all ages enthusiastic about reading this chronological and fast-paced retelling of the Scriptures. It includes nearly 200 fully illustrated stories that take children through the adventure and action of the Bible and help kids understand the full story of the Bible. The focus on Bible heroes makes the stories even more thrilling. After all, that’s what each parent wants – to get their kids hooked on the Bible so that they want to read it themselves, want to delve deeper on their own!

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BibleForce is a great book to be read together and is simple enough for young readers to read on their own. Kids won’t be able to put down this book! We’re reading it nightly in our house and it’s even had to travel to Nana and Papa’s, too!

Want to read something even cooler? (I know – I sound like I’m way too psyched out about this to be an adult. No one told me I had to grow up in all areas, though.) Here it is: With your purchase of BibleForce, you get a FREE AUDIO APP! That’s a $29 value FOR FREE

I’m not going to read the whole Bible to you but I really wanted to show you guys why I’m all about this Bible. So, check out this brief video and consider picking one up for your kids, grandkids, etc.

Want to try and win one of your own before buying? Click below!

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Book Review & Giveaway: Go to Sleep Sheep!

*I was given this book, no monetary gain, to give my honest opinion of it.

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Are you looking for a great gift for a baby shower or pre-k graduation? This may be just the book you’re looking for then!

This precious book is the perfect book to add to anyone’s collection to settle little ones down. The hard construction makes it durable to tough ones and assure it’ll last a long while.

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The illustrations are bright and eye-catching while still being toned down enough to help your little one wind down after a full day.

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Sunshine Farm is a place any sheep would want to stay and frolick all day but the day has wound down now and it’s time for all little sheep to wind down, too. Of course every little sheep has their own need right before bedtime but it’s time to say goodnight! So, they little sheep do eventually thank God for their beautiful day and settle down to finally … Go to Sleep, Sheep!

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The Immorality of Worldy “Love”

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I have had too many people I care deeply about that have been betrayed by someone they gave a piece, or all, of their heart to. I apologize if there is any confusion in my thoughts here. I wrote this kind of on the fly. There is no judgment within my thoughts, only love. If you know me, you know that’s true. Also, I’ve cast my assumptions aside. I hope you have as well and I pray you receive this post in the spirit in which it is intended – for those who have messed up but want to save their marriage.

The way I see it, there are two inextricable ingredients involved with a couple in which one of the two is cheating:

  1. Spiritual Death; and
  2. lack of or decreased self-value.

“Spiritual death” sounds so dark, ominous, and final. It is all of that… except final. The Bible says…

“Flee from sexual immorality… do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

The fact is…

“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (Isaiah 59:2)

What do we learn from these two verses?

  1. Sexual immorality – as with any sin – is cause for you to “FLEE!”
  2. Your body is a temple. It’s not only home to God since you asked Him to reside within you; but, it is of value!
  3. You are not your own. This is very important. The decisions you make are not yours to be making. You gave yourself to God. You were bought with the price of Christ’s crucifixion. So, you should find peace and happiness in the knowledge that if you stick with His plan you will be loved and cared for. You will be happy.
  4. Sin is the only thing that separates you from God.

I couldn’t sit there and watch my children do horrible acts that will ultimately destroy them and possibly the people around them. I couldn’t watch it and God won’t watch it. If God is the Holy Spirit and He is “the way the truth and the life,” sin has separated you from Him, and He will “turn away and not listen anymore” then you have experienced Spiritual death. Life has been removed from you – that only leaves death.

So, to review: If we’re assuming both people knew God in the beginning, now 1 person has forgotten that they are not their own but God’s – that they are of great value considering what Christ voluntarily went through to purchase them; and 1 person has allowed themselves to allow the temptation of their flesh – sin – to inundate their heart to the point that God has turned away. They may think they are going to church and living a good Christian life but:

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“But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them” (Ephesians 5:13)

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“For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.” (Mark 4:22)

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At least FOUR TIMES God’s Word tells us that nothing will stay hidden for long. They can show up at Church, say they are a Christian, say they love their wife or husband, kiss their children, and go on through life as if they are Christian Saints but God knows, most likely their spouse knows, and not-so-surprisingly their children usually have at least an idea of the truth.

But what about the spouse who doesn’t see their value? Well, the actions of the cheating spouse only make matters worse of course in that department – the spouse continues to devalue themselves because they have tied their worth to this broken person rather than to God, their Creator.

To draw a crass illustration it’s a little like a bulimic asking an anorexic if they look good.

God’s Word has already illustrated that a person who is being sexually immoral does not know the value of their own bodies, themselves, or that they are to glorify – through God – their body.” Yet, that’s what we do – we expect a sick person to make us better. If they were capable of that, and we were on the outside looking in (separate from our own emotions) and using our common sense, we would say, “Hey, they’re just going to make me sicker!”

It becomes an ongoing round-robin of sickness, shared and built to the point of epidemic. You may have noticed I’m not broaching the subject of why a person cheats. That’s because there are many reasons and not one of them is a reflection of the person who is being cheated on but rather it’s a symptom of a deep sickness in the cheater – a Spiritual death that has occurred, as I mentioned earlier.

The fact is this – we must make ourselves strong in Christ. Every single day there is a message for each of us in God’s word.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

You don’t need the world to empower you, your friends to empower you, even yourself to empower you. God has given you power. You only need to take it.

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“My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 2:5)

It’s easy to become dependent upon the person you invested your heart in, even moreso if you were meant to be “one.” Ultimately, though, we’re only supposed to be dependent upon one and if we each are dependent upon God then, subsequently and beautifully, we can actually, SAFELY, depend upon one another!

If each new day each of you are dying to self and living for Christ, you can not help but to love one another because the Spirit within you will be like beautiful harmony to the Spirit within your spouse.

Forget everything the world ever told you about love. It’s a complete crock. Love is work. It’s beautiful and it’s a gift from God. This is what love is not: easy, sex, butterflies, lost, fallen out of, easily traded in, weak, or just not enough.

I assure you that love is not easy because anything worth having is worth working for. It’s work! It takes time. It takes effort. You don’t fall out of love – you make a decision to turn around and walk away.

Sex is sex and love is love. When you choose to truly love someone and they you – then sex is something way more than you can comprehend because, more than merely being flesh, it’s a transference of trust, love, and fulfillment.

Love is not the butterflies doing backflips in your stomach but rather that moment when your heart stirs and your mind awakens because this person just tore away all superficiality and prayed through the glass ceiling for you!

Love is not the butterflies doing backflips in your stomach but rather that moment when your heart stirs and your mind awakens because this person just tore away all superficiality and prayed through the glass ceiling for you; it’s when life has gone straight to hell in a handbasket yet you know you can brave any storm because God is with you and He gave you the best friend you could ever imagine going through it with. Love is not something that is so easily shared.

You can love everyone like Christ loves but you don’t find yourself in love with two people. Christ only has one bride – the church. The church only has one groom – Christ. Christ is not torn for his love of the saints and his love of the sinners. No man nor woman is in love with two people. And, “love just wasn’t enough” is a blatant Hollywood lie. Love is ALWAYS enough. If A=B, then B=A, right? So, if God is love, then love is God. And, I assure you, God IS enough.

True God-anointed love can see you through heartache, cheating, confusion, sickness, and even death. If two people truly love Christ, run after Him with all of their hearts and minds, and they love each other, they cannot help but to succeed. It won’t always be easy. Remember, I said love is work. Remember, it takes both to do said work, both to run after CHrist. They will survive then, thrive even, and become a light in a dark place for other couples that hope to find true happiness in this dark, truly lonely, world.