animation, Bible, bible verse, Birthday, Book, Church, college, family, Friends, friendship, gifts, girls, Giveaway, god, Graduation, Holiday, jesus, Life, Love, Ministry, Mother’s Day, review, teenagers, Uncategorized, verse, women

Book Review & Giveaway: The Study Bible for Women

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Stop stressing out looking at the Macy’s catalogue and don’t even consider getting another vacuum this year. This may be the VERY gift you’re looking for this year for Mother’s Day – whether it’s to give or receive. Yes, I was given this book to review; and yes, that’s what I’m doing. BUT! You guys know I’m always honest. If I disagree with the doctrine, if I just plain think it’s cheap,…whatever! I’m 100% honest with you guys, and I’m honestly telling you I’m keeping the one they sent me. Sorry. You’ll have to get your own from the giveaway below or from the store or HINT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON that you want it for Mother’s Day. (Hint: You don’t actually have to be a mother to celebrate Mother’s Day. There’s all kinds of ways around this)

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Tell me, GO AHEAD, tell me that you’ve seen a more beautiful Bible. I won’t believe you. It’ll have to be hand-painted by an angel from Heaven, descending from on high simply to place in your hands the one Bible above all others. This thing, while not stitched together by Gabriel, is GORGEOUS! I mean… are you looking at these pictures?! Granted, I’m not the best photographer but this Bible is inspiring in artistry and beauty. The colors are soothing and feminine while not choking you like a department store perfume….a perfume of which would NOT be as good a gift for Mother’s Day as THIS BIBLE!

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Okay…my melodramatics and quirky sense of humor aside, I really do dig this Bible. First off, I love that it’s hardback. I beat the TAR out of a Bible, y’all. True story. Eventually, the leather starts flaking off everywhere. It’s like Bible dandruff in Church and it’s embarrassing. This thing is sturdy; and, I don’t know about you, but if there’s something I need to be sturdy in my life it’s the Word. Just sayin’.

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Now, for those of you who prefer a specific translation. I get it. I do. This Bible is translated in Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This is a modern English Bible translation from Holman Bible Publishers and is considered Protestant. The first of this translation was published back in “99, I believe, and that was the New Testament. It’s been received very well, over the years, as a great “everyday” translation. I would agree with that. While I prefer to study in New King James, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down with an easy read of the Bible.

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Another great thing about this Bible is that new Christians and young Christians find it to be a great Bible translation to be introduced to. So, if you’re looking to gift a Bible to a new Christian, this may be the one you should take a look at. Additionally, this would make an outstanding graduation gift to any young woman.

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What sets this Bible apart, though, has actually little to do with the translation and more to do with the way this Bible is put together. Hear me out:

I’m this strange kind of hybrid… Christian… human thing… that likes to read her physical Bible, read a Bible app, and read and study in several translations. I also like to have commentary, reference back to the Talmud, Hebrew translation, and all that your mind can conceive at my fingertips. So, one of the most cool things about this Bible is the extensive commentary notes, doctrinal notes, maps, charts, and timelines that are right there on the page they relate to. In other words: if I want to know where else a specific verse is mirrored, it’ll most likely be right there at the bottom of that page I’m on. Further, if I can’t wrap my mind around where all of the “ites” are located, I can start picturing it in my mind with the help of a provided map.

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This Bible also has things like word studies, answers to hard questions, character profiles (I especially love this), “Written on My Heart” applications, book introductions (which are especially helpful to keep you between the navigational beacons or help a new Christian), presentation pages, a concordance that includes ALL the women of the Bible, and more!

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Look, I know it sounds like I’m trying to sell you on this. I am. But, not for the reason you may think. If you’ll recall: I’m not monetized. One of the reasons for that is because God was very clear when He showed me that I would begin stressing about helping my family with money and would get distracted from simply sharing His word. There are lots of bloggers out there that can balance both. Right now, I’m not one of them. Another reason however is so that you always know that when I’m excited about something – I’M REALLY, GENUINELY, EXCITED ABOUT IT!

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Can you imagine what would happen in this world we live in if every woman…. let’s say 12 and older…. was given this Bible as a gift? Women are world-changers. Look at Ruth: because she was selfless she gave birth to the lineage of King David. Look at Esther: she saved God’s people by being courageous. When King Josiah had questions, who did he go to? Huldah, that’s who! I could go on and on. With a Bible in the hands of every woman on this planet, lives would be saved and nations would turn their eyes toward God. How do I know this?

It’s like Maria said in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the neck any way she wants.”

We need good women, women after God, turning the necks around us to see God! I hope you’ll consider this Bible, this year. I hope you’ll consider it for yourself, for a friend, a family member, your daughter, or maybe you just want to gift a complete stranger a life-changing book. If so, there are several places you can purchase this book and you can find out more here: CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE OR LEARN MORE. (Hint: Look at all of the links because some are a little less than others!)

If you’re getting this as a gift, go ahead and buy it now. If you want to try and win a copy for yourself, click below!

studybible

America, Bible, bible verse, Birthday, cell phone, college, Easter, family, gifts, girls, Giveaway, iphone, jesus, Life, Love, Ministry, Outdoors, Parenting, review, teenagers, Uncategorized, women

Review & Giveaway: iPhone Cases from Prone to Wander

I was given three cases by Prone to Wander for my honest opinion and, as always, honesty is what you’ll get.

In a day and time when everyone’s cell phone looks the same, we all don’t just like but need to personalize our phone so that we know it’s ours. That’s a given. What a lot of us like to do, though, is to project a little bit of our personality or our beliefs, wherever we can, to show the people around us a little bit of our own soul.

Photo Credit: Prone to Wander

With Prone To Wander, that just got easier and more fun! Not only do they have some of the cutest designs – that please both mom and daughter – but you can even customize your own! Got a special Bible verse that expresses who you are? Visit their customizing page and make your cell phone case come alive.

Oldest came home from a college class pleasantly surprised!

I found these cases to be current, relevant, sturdy, and easy to get on and off. The phone case designs, themselves, are relevant in their colors, font, and imaging. I would say that they easily fit nearly any female I know – whether they prefer bling or consider themselves more hipster.

Above all of this though, I love how you have a self-affirming, uplifting, word right in the palm of your hand to remind you that you’re a child of God. ❤️

NOTE: If you want to use their customizing page, you may be able to find one more masculine. I say this because while this website does tend to focus more towards females, my husband truly loved his wooden case that he once had for his cell phone. So you may consider getting your special guy a masculine Bible verse personalized on a wooden case as a gift.

Photo Credit: Prone to Wander

They have silicon like cases that are see-through. They have metallic-like cases that are for the girl that likes the bling. They have wooden cases that seem to have been etched for the more nature-loving girl.

⭐️These cases would make an AWESOME Easter 🐣 basket filler!⭐️

Interested in winning a set of THREE for free? Click below to enter to win!

Tip: Keep an eye out because April is my birthday month and I may just give another away, myself, I like these so much!❤️

Bible, Book, Children, Easter, Entertainment, family, Giveaway, god, Holiday, Holy Spirit, jesus, Kid's Fun, Parenting, Uncategorized

Children’s Book Review & Giveaway: A Very Happy Easter Prayer

Bestselling author Bonnie Rickner Jensen, best known for the Really Woolly® brand, has sold more than 1,000,000 books, and her rhyming verse will charm families as they read through this sweet book celebrating the spring season and Easter. This board book will be die-cut around the shape of a dogwood tree with tons of sparkle and glitz, making it a beautiful way for parents to help their children celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

With the same glitter and foil coverage that sparked attention for A Very Merry Christmas Prayer, the all-new A Very Happy Easter Prayer will be the perfect gift for Easter baskets. Parents will love engaging young children with the concept of the resurrection in gentle, age-appropriate ways.

With a timeless message and a low price point, A Very Happy Easter Prayer will delight readers and bring families together to celebrate the resurrection year after year.

Bonnie Rickner Jensen is a bestselling author who for the past 20 years has written everything from children’s books to gift books to thousands of greeting cards. She is the writer behind the bestselling Really Woolly® brand, with more than a million books sold and an ECPA Gold Award-winning Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers. Bonnie has won a Retailer’s Choice Award for her book I Love You Head to Toe and also several Louie Awards for her work in the social expression industry. Her favorite inspirations are her grandchildren, running, and sunshine. She lives and works from her home in Cleveland, Ohio.

My Take…

This book was given to me for my honest opinion and – as always – that’s what you’ll get.

When the world gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Right? Well, when the world bombards your children with bunnies and Easter eggs – if you’re Bonnie Rickner Jensen – you make a book that marries reality with whimsy…a book that brings Easter, and Spring, back around to God. By page 10, I was choked up because Jensen reminds even the youngest of minds that Easter is all about what Christ did and how He gives us “a brand-new start.”

If you’re worried that this board book is illustrating the passion of Christ for a little one not prepared for such, don’t be. Jensen has taken a prayer of thanks and applied it to the beauty of the world around us today – Spring, flying kites, daffodils, and water puddles.

This book would be a beautiful addition to your child’s Easter basket this year. You can purchase it through your local book carrier, bookstore, or your local Christian bookstore.

For Little’s honest opinion of this book go here:

https://youtu.be/QXJsMtWr-kY

Bible, Church, Entertainment, Giveaway, god, Holy Spirit, jesus, Life, Love, Ministry, Music, Praise, Praise & Worship, Uncategorized, Worship

Review & Giveaway: Worship with Higher Vision

Week after week, Higher Vision Church is packed with nearly 3,000 adrenalized God followers. The 12-year-old multigenerational congregation just outside of Los Angeles is quite diverse, and that diversity takes center stage on Higher Vision Worship’s debut album, For Your Kingdom.

“When we design worship experiences at Higher Vision, with every light that moves and every video, our focus is on Christ,” explains Higher Vision’s Sean Loche (formerly of the groundbreaking group Worth Dying For) who produced the album. “And we’re always asking, ‘How are people engaging? How do we help people feel safe and loved in the power and presence of God?’ We try be a place for people to ‘jump in the pool.’ Sometimes they want to jump full-on in — and sometimes they just want to get their toes wet.”

That same vision for Higher Vision the church was applied to the songs on Higher Vision Worship’s For Your Kingdom. “The album feels like a miracle,” says worship pastor April Ashburn. “It feels like there’s something for almost everyone. Different styles and yet a well-rounded whole.”

There are songs on For Your Kingdom that tug at the heart, and then there are others like “Broken the Chains” that squeeze and don’t let go. “I just thought how crazy is it that God created everything,” explains lead pastor Jared Ming, who wrote the song while thinking and praying about a struggling friend. “Yet there’s still a song in heaven that angels cannot sing. The angels worship, but we worship differently…. We’ve been redeemed and forgiven. Angels can’t sing, ‘I’ve been redeemed.’”

The 13-track album rebounds from those lighter moments with energetic worship such as the high-energy title track, the electronica-flavored “Trust in You,” dance-tinged tunes like “Freedom of Your Love” and “Hands Held High,” and then dives back in with heartfelt ballads such as “He Is Here” – which paints a sound picture of God’s presence and our response to it.

“We can get stuck in a cycle of grasping for God’s presence only to realize that God is here all around us,” says Ashburn, who penned the song. “Sometimes we just need to become aware of his presence — and then our response isworship.”

Higher Vision not only wants For Your Kingdom to be an experience the congregation can carry with them wherever they go, but also they want it to speak to those who may not yet have Christ in their lives.

“There’s just so much darkness going on in the world,” says Loche. “Every day you read the worst, most horrific news you can imagine. We want to just be a blip of good, a blip of light in a dark world, to atheists and to Christians.”

For more information, visit www.highervisionworship.com

My Take…

I was given this CD for my honest opinion and that – as always – is what you’ll get.

If you’re a fan of music from such ministries as Elevation Worship and Passion City Church, you’ll be a fan of Higher Version’s For Your Kingdom. With a mix of EDM-like (Electronic Dance Music) and live music, Higher Vision Worship helps to usher you in to the presence of God in your home or car.

I especially liked track 10 – Hands Held High. The songs are a good balance of tempo, praise, and worship.

Being a praise & worship leader (not pastor), and coming from a family of gospel singers, I have my own views of what “praise” and “worship” mean. Very simply put “praise” is when you express approval or admiration of someone or something. “Worship” is deeper though. It’s when you show reverence and adoration. Some would say “The quick songs are praise. The slow songs are worship.” I don’t like to put songs in a box that way. I believe even a fast song can be worship. You may find that to be true, yourself, with the For Your Kingdom CD.

Want to win For Your Kingdom?

Check them out for yourself:

https://youtu.be/FTUIh01ZP2s

Want it now? I can’t blame you.

Your Kingdom Pre-Order Link:

https://sc.lnk.to/HghrVsn

(2 songs are available for immediate download)

Bible, Life, Ministry, Uncategorized

Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible can be challenging at best and discouraging at the worst. It’s frustrating when you want to know more about God, be a better person, have a better life, and yet you can’t understand the manual. If you feel that way – or know someone that may feel that way – this post is for you!

First off, don’t feel like a freak. Everyone – at some point in their journey – has read the Word and gone, “Huh?”

Most people simply don’t announce that but it’s common place. Even myself, even the elders that I know, sometimes spend days or weeks on one passage trying to understand it by delving through concordances and Hebrew translations.

Reading the Bible is truly a journey. You’ll read a passage and it will mean one thing to you. Many years later, it will be more complex and mean something even deeper to you. That’s one of the most amazing things about the Word of God to me – that the Word never changes yet somehow it always adapts and becomes what you need in your very personal season because it’s alive.

Secondly, God wants you to understand and know Him so He wouldn’t give you a book that you couldn’t understand. He loves you and He want you to succeed.

So, here’s a sort of game plan for you…

1️⃣ Call on God

Don’t just open up the Word and expect it to make perfect sense to you. Don’t open up the Word and expect it to pertain to your moment. Instead of expecting the word of God to apply to what you think you need, go to God and ask him to open your heart and open your mind to what he would have that passage teach you no matter what’s going on in your life right now.

2️⃣Never give up

Often times, when something is difficult, we just want to give up. Reading the Bible is one of those things that, once you get going, you can’t seem to put it down. Unfortunately common too often, it’s that “once you get going” part that’s the challenge. As crazy as this may sound, the devil doesn’t want you to read the Bible. If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil. He knows that if you read the word of God you will become stronger and you will be armed for battle. So, you will find that distractions will occur, confusion will happen, exhaustion will come against you,… and it’s your job to stick to it and not give up.

3️⃣Trust God

You may feel like, “What does this have anything to do with?” when you are reading the Bible. That’s OK. Just trust God. Usually you will find that the information that you’re receiving, that your etching upon your heart, will be there when you need it though that time may not be right now.

4️⃣Not sure? Test it!

Don’t know if that passage was for you? Test it!

Ask your elders that are more wise than you, those that God has placed in your life!

5️⃣You were meant to understand His Word

As insulting as this may sound to some of you, the Word was written even for the most simplest of minds. Christ spoke in parables so that anyone and everyone could understand. We do not teach children in Sunday School for no reason. If they are capable of understanding the word of God so is any adult that so desires!

6️⃣Understand that you may understand His words, but may not understand all

Sometimes God reveals His words to us just when we need to understand them the most. Sometimes we hide a word in our hearts and at just the right moment the Holy Spirit reminds us of that word and it all suddenly makes sense. Then there are other things such as the idea that God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit… How can one God be three entities yet one God? If we could all answer these questions, we would have no need for God. All of these things will be understood once we’re with Him. Until then, we have to come to terms with the fact that on this plane we will not understand it all.

7️⃣ Taste and see…

Challenge yourself. Give yourself a deadline. Test Him. Say to yourself, “I’m going to try this Bible reading thing for one year.” In my life, and all the people that I’ve met from around the world, I have yet to meet a person that has told me that the Bible returned void.

8️⃣ Testify

When you see that the Word is good and that it has changed your life for the better, remember where you were before the Word touched your life. Don’t just bury that. Go out and share your testimony so that someone else can have their life changed.

America, Bible, Church, family, god, Holy Spirit, jesus, Ministry

Yes, you NEED the Holy Spirit

….but you don’t have to have Him. You don’t have to have or do anything. God’s funny that way. He’s a gentleman, never forcing Himself on anyone.

I believe we all need the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When Christ left this earth and ascended into Heaven He said that He was leaving us a comforter. If Christ left me something, or someone as it were, I’m going to follow that – since my whole life is based on following Him and being as much like Him as humanly possible – by receiving whomever or whatever that thing may be! We know that whom Christ left us was the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17).

In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul writes, no matter what our diversity of gifts in the Spirit are, it is the same God who works within all of them. He goes on to say, in addition, “but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”

Now, I should be clear that what you’re about to read – my thoughts, God’s word, here is not referring to some willy-nilly unorganized chaos of emotion that so many Christians nowadays call “an outpouring” and that you may have been witness to in person, on television, or the internet. There are certain things that must line up for an outpouring and often times (more often than not, I’m afraid) these things simply do not line up; but, rather people are overcome by their own emotions. That is not always the case though. We must be vigilant to not have the audacity to put God in a box while still cross referencing occurrence with His Word.

I only have a few things to say about this (I’m sure I’d have more but I’ve forced myself to only say three): 1) If your church is having such an “outpouring” that you haven’t heard a message delivered in weeks… you may want to really seek the Lord and ask Him for some discernment in regard to that. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be like throwing pearls before swine if the church hasn’t even been fed.

2) You don’t live like the world Monday through Friday and then speak in tongues on Sunday. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is only possible through having a relationship with God and then making it an intimate one. Think of the most intimate earthly relationship you have. Now, compare that sort of communication, love, understanding, forgiveness, etc. to your relationship with God. It’s incomparable; yet, we almost never even attain that level of intimacy with our Father.

My husband is not going to feel as if we have such an intimate relationship that he wants to share unimaginable gifts and truths with me if I’m dancing with another man just two nights before. We should not expect God to be any different.

3) I do believe that you have days of outpourings but God is organized, orderly. He is, in most all things, a gentleman.

His word says, “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.”

He also lays it out in Deuteronomy by telling us that one way leads to blessings and one ways leads to death; and, then He says, “…choose life that you and your descendants may live.”

See, God has given us the authority to make our own decisions in life.

He will honor those decisions without interfering. He does not force Himself upon us. If a number of individuals within a church are actively living under the anointing of an intimate relationship with God, and then they collectively come together within a church (or any gathering place) and find themselves unified – of one mind, there God will be. Now, He’s been made welcome. Now, if He sees fit to share with us knowledge, prophesy, etc. He will speak to us.

On the flip side, if you are content simply believing that structuring your life around the Word of God – rather than doing that along with believing God moves, heals, and speaks to His children in real-time – that’s your choice. There’s no judgment here. I would be remiss, however, if I did not share with others what they may be missing out on simply because they can’t conceive of God doing and moving miraculously right before their eyes.

So let me share my thoughts by starting with Romans 8:26, since I feel so strongly about it, where we are told that “we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I cannot imagine knowing of the hell that I have been through in my life and knowing that there is an interceder for me (Jesus) and not going to him.

Further, I cannot fathom knowing that there is a sort of conduit, for far lack of a better term, in the Holy Spirit that He would actually pray for what I truly need rather than what I think I need so that I could find true happiness and success… and me not doing everything I can to access Him.

If you have been praying, and it seems as if nothing is getting through to Him – it’s as if you’re praying to the walls and the words are just bouncing off of the sheetrock – I encourage you to look at Romans 8:26 as if it were the first step in God’s list of instructions on “How to Pray.” It is my thought that we, as a whole, simply do not know how to pray to God. I say this based on two things, specifically, that the Bible has told me: 1) In Luke, when John asks Jesus how they should pray, Jesus doesn’t respond, “Oh, you guys do just fine. Just keep talking and He’ll hear ya.” Rather, He gave them specific words to say to God. These words were sort of a catch-all. “The Lord’s Prayer,” as it has been dubbed, covers everything from worship to provision to sin!

I believe He gave us this prayer in order to supplement our prayer lives until we each have come to the place that we have attained that divine entity that would pray for us (Romans 8:26-27). I should add here that of course I’m not in any way inferring that when you talk to God He’s not hearing you. I know that God hears every word you utter. I’m simply trying to draw attention to what is available to all of us.

I’m trying to open your mind – just as the disciples asked Jesus – to ask God, “How should I pray? I know what I want to pray for; but, what would You have me pray?”

As for praying in tongues…. I recognize that a lot of my followers are not as they would describe “Pentecostal.” I pray that you would read this with the understanding that my focus is on your obtaining the power of the Holy Spirit within you that God wants you to have, more so than any outward display.

Paul says to us, in 1 Corinthians 14, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”

Wow, that’s a lot to digest for anyone. The fact is clear, though, that Paul wants us all to speak in tongues. Further, Paul wishes that we would desire, and attain, the ability – through the Holy Spirit – to prophesy because it edifies (instructs or improves (someone) morally or intellectually) the church, rather than simply edifying ourselves.

However! Don’t miss this:

While Paul wishes the new Church all spoke in tongues, He wishes even more greatly that we would prophesy because that is edifying for the entire Church!

After all, this would go hand-in-hand with each and every Christian’s first and most important calling – to share the gospel. What could be better for this world than the gospel than God’s current, spoken, word? A rhema Word as it were…

I must admit that to be in the presence of God, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit is powerful and … awing. If the presence of the Holy Spirit is nothing else, it is that – awing.

Through my teenage years, for mostly medical reasons, my relationship with God became a struggle for me. Thankfully, by the time I was 18 and had a brand new baby girl, I was able to focus on what everything else in my life hinged upon – my relationship with God.

Over the years that followed God showed me how He could be everything to me – husband, father to my child, father to me, best friend, provider, healer, teacher, etc. I had no idea that a person could have that kind of a relationship with someone. It was literally as if He were my husband. Communication now goes both ways between me and God. Through that progress in our relationship the Holy Spirit – within me – was growing all the while; and, I can honestly say that the Holy Spirit has used me in some powerful ways since then.

And, yes, during this relationships of ours (God and mine), I have watched Him heal each of my children. I have heard His voice delivering me from any thought of suicide. He has woken me in the middle of the night to address a spiritual attack from Satan on my husband. That is what having the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life means to me.

So, what am I saying? I’m saying THIS is what the anointing of the Holy Spirit means to me. I’m saying this is available to you. Answered prayers are attainable. Knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is hearing you is possible. Praying over a perfect stranger and God meeting their need is totally possible. And, this world is going to hell in a hand basket all around us. What does it say about us if we’re not trying to change the world?

If you want to change the world, then you must be greater than it. The only way to be greater than the world is to have God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) residing within and acting through you.

That’s it. That’s all I’m saying. You can be a cog or you can be a spectator.

If you want to know more about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit – but would prefer to hear it from someone more unbiased (as I grew up in a Pentecostal Church), I encourage you to read the book They Spoke with Other Tongues.

This book, from a sceptic’s point of view, shares with you historical and biblical accounts of who the Holy Spirit is and how He can and has operated. I so want someone’s life to be changed that I’m giving away a copy of this book. I am not giving this book away as a promotion. I am not even going to promote this on social media other than to share this blog post as I do all of my posts. I just ask that you comment below that you would be interested in winning a copy of this book because you are interested in what it has to say. I will then take all of those peoples names and let Rafflecopter choose a name.

Please, if you have any questions drop them below. I love all of you and want us to get our job done – changing people’s lives through God – the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

America, Apologetics, Artifacts, Bible, Children, Church, family, Friends, Giveaway, History, Holiday, Israel, Ministry, Uncategorized

Review & Giveaway: This Dangerous Book

I was not paid for this review but was given a book for my honest opinion and, as always, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you intentionally built your life, your family, and even your business around and upon God’s Word? Well, that is exactly what Steve and Jackie Green did. You may recognize their names. Steve Green became President of Hobby Lobby in 2004 and since then the CEO and his wife have opened the Museum of the Bible smack dab in the middle of our nation’s capital.

This Dangerous Book, written by Steve and Jackie Green, is an amazing book highlighting the power of the Bible, the lengths people have gone to to preserve it, and how it is still able to change people today.

Rick Warren says it best in the foreword of this book when he says, “If you want to become all that God has designed you to be, you must build your life on the Bible. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.” And let me tell you: if you’re living life like that then you will be a danger – a danger to sin, a danger to oppression, a danger to those and that who would attack your family.

This Dangerous Book is probably one of my favorite books because it highlights the most important book in history without weighing down the entire book with a person’s opinion and their own personal translation of It. Rather, this book is a journey and the Greens want you to go on that journey with them.

This Dangerous Book talks about how the Bible has been a very controversial thing. How could it not? It has disrupted and interrupted sin and chaos and in its place put peace and abolished death wherever Its words have been spoken.

One thing that I find myself often asking people is, “How can anyone dispute a religion with such documented history?” This Dangerous Book is a great book for your arsenal if you appreciate Apologetics or simply want to be able to defend your faith. And, have no fear! This book is not merely a coffee table book, nor is it a book to make you look good to your fellow Christian friends. This is an outstanding book of reference. In the back, just as with any good reference book, there are notes, credits, and an index. I know I sound a little like a nerd right now but most of you know that I am one!

If you are a lover of history, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who likes to challenge themselves, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who reads the Bible and wants to understand even more about the Book that feeds you every day, get…this…book. This book is for anyone – yes, even the unbeliever.

I encourage you to buy for yourself or gift this book this holiday season. This is not an affiliate link. I get no kickback from this. Just like the Greens, I simply want to spread the power of the Bible. So….what are you waiting for?! Get it! You can buy it anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, etc.

Want it for free? Awesome! I’m giving one away! Click on the the Dangerous Book below and find out how!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39884d163/?

Bible, Children, Church, Entertainment, family, Giveaway, Holiday, Kid's Fun, Love, Ministry, Parenting

Review: Bible Answers for Curious Kids & GIVEAWAY

I was not paid for this book review but was given the book for my honest opinion.

Do your inquisitive children drive you nuts with questions? Do they ask you questions that would never even pop in your mind when you were their age? Do you find that it gets even more frustrating and stressful when their questions are about extremely important things such as God? This may very well be the book for you!

365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids Is an amazing book by Kathryn Slattery that helps in those insane moments when you’re just trying to do the laundry, pay the bills, or have a moment of peace and your child comes up to you and asks, “Since Jesus was God’s son, did Jesus know ahead of time that he was going to die?” Believe it or not, that exact question is answered on page 78 of this book!

Questions such as that and many more like “What does it mean that I’m created in the ‘image of God’?” and “Why couldn’t Jesus just stay on earth forever?” are just some of the questions that are addressed in this book.

With 365 answers, you literally have an answer for everyday of the year. You may find that this book is one of your greatest books of reference as a parent. You may find that it becomes a daily devotional for you and your child.

If you’re wondering if this is the book for your child, based on age, I can only tell you that my six-year-old has been bouncing up-and-down ready to delve into this book. Further, I have found it interesting as a 39-year-old woman. If your children are younger than six, I would still consider buying this book. You can treat this book as a frame of reference for how you respond to your children in their own language. As they get older, you’ll find them seeking out the answers, on their own, in this book. That is an amazing way to train them to transfer that self-motivated searching from this book to the Bible itself!

You can purchase 365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids through Amazon and get it before Christmas (and even take a look inside)!

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/enter-to-win-365-bible-answers.html

Anxiety, Bible, Depression, family, Friends, friendship, Holiday, Love

Are you at the wrong party?

I’m Southern. So, it’s safe to say I know a good bit about playing host. After all, the term “Southern Hospitality” didn’t spring out of nowhere. It’s still alive and well, here, I assure you; and, it’s a serious affair. It can make or break relationships. The lack of it can sever ties and hurt immeasurably, while the honesty and beauty of supplying it can restore hearts. God, Himself, is referred to as the “Lord of hosts,” 261 times just in the Old Testament as a matter of fact. Now, it doesn’t actually mean the Lord of all “persons who receives or entertains other people as guests” here but I’m kind of using a play on words. Regardless, He is supposed to be the model of all that we strive to be. But, we’ll circle back around to that.

Fact: Some people may not want you in their lives. I know. It stinks. It hurts. That’s okay, though. And…you know what? It may very well be you and not them. You may be the reason they don’t want to play host to you. Yes, I said it.

You may be the reason they don’t want to play host to you. Yes, I said it.

You may be too real, too sweet, too honest, not rich enough, not in the “in” crowd. They may see you as not as spiritual as they certainly are. They may not want you close because they see your past. You may not be able to do anything for them. Now, if you’ve gained some perspective from my pointing out the very things that God would actually find pleasing…Because see God appreciates your kindness, your lack of gossip, your honesty, your lack of desire to have money other than to pour it back into the world. He sees to your very heart and doesn’t care if you regularly say the Christian catchphrases that He finds hollow because they’re spoken by a generation who regurgitates what they’ve heard, not the truth that they’ve learned. He sees your past but only pays attention to the new creation you are now.

He sees your past and sees TESTIMONY.

And…God doesn’t need you to do anything for Him or anyone else. He wants to do for you because He loves you, and so that maybe you’ll feel that love so much that you’ll voluntarily want to share Him with others spilling out upon the world like salt and light. So, remember this:

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.‭‭” Matthew‬ ‭10:14

This holds true for everyone. Yes, even your family – whether in Christ or by blood. Christ never stuck around where He was not welcome, even His hometown. He moved on to be useful elsewhere. Yes, I know you just want to be accepted there. You want their love. But consider this: you may be the person called to reach out to another that has absolutely no one, let alone even someone to not appreciate them. While you are rejected, you may be the cornerstone to a new construction. While you see yourself as the outcast, God is positioning you to be the den mother or father to a new pack.

Did you ever wonder how wolf packs are started? After all, they can’t just continue as they are – they’d die out. (I know it feels like I’m digressing but run with me here.)

“The social structure of the wolf pack changes from year to year. Wolves in the pack move up and down in the ‘pecking order’ or hierarchy. A wolf lower down in the pecking order may challenge an alpha wolf… If the alpha wolf loses this challenge, it will likely go off on its own… and start a new pack. Wolves very low in the pecking order (that are constantly picked on by the other pack members) may also leave the pack. They become lone wolves until they either form their own pack or on rare occasions join an existing wolf pack.”¹

So… if you feel neglected or cast aside, dust your feet off and recognize that you have a calling now to start your own pack or move on to another. You have a talent or knowledge needed elsewhere. You may become a “lone wolf” for a season as you gather tools from the Father; but, you have a pack – either to start or to compliment.

Now, circling back to God being the Lord of hosts…

The Lord of hosts is a mighty leader. He is just that – the Lord of all hosts. There is no greater example. He leads with grace and mercy. He loves through self-sacrifice and unending love. He intervenes and intercedes. He is available, readily so, to hear His people. At the risk of mixing my analogies, if the “pack” your desperately trying so hard to cling to is not exhibiting the very traits that define the ultimate Lord of hosts, what kind of “hosts” are they? To whom are they catering, and what is the point of their “party?”

Maybe it’s time you focused on God’s plan, the Lord of all hosts’ plan. Maybe it’s time you lead a new pack with grace and mercy, being readily available (and desiring to do so) to intervene and intercede for them. Maybe that love you’re desiring to share with the unwelcoming pack is meant to be given endlessly to those who truly need you and want you in their lives.

Rest your battered heart, and listen to God’s calling…

1. Scholastic
Bible

Choosing to depend on God

When circumstances beyond our control come at us in such a way that we are faced with having to depend upon ourselves or God, sometimes it’s easier than at other times. 

Allow me to give you an example:

You’re in a car wreck and can’t get to your loved ones. All you can do is depend on God. There is no other choice; so, the choice is easy.

Alternatively:

You’re told there’s a growth and chances are that it’s not malignant but you won’t know until it comes out. And…it’s not coming out for weeks. Now it’s not as easy.

When time is extended, when circumstances are not panicked, we often find ourselves running to the phone instead of the throne. We want to be wrapped in the loving arms of our spouse or our parent rather than the loving arms of our Father. Hey it doesn’t make you any less of a Christian. It’s much like how a child has to learn to not burst into tears simply because they saw the sight of blood. As we mature, as we endure various types of strife, we practice holding it together and going straight to God rather than going straight to man. I’m 39 years old (about to be 40), have known God all of my life, and I still run to my husband first thing. I give some slack to myself on that because I truly do believe that in God’s sight two became one; so it’s not as if I am running to a friend but rather the other side of myself. Still, though, I’m looking for comfort from someone other than my Creator. 

So… if you haven’t figured it out, I’m in a holding pattern. The ultrasound technician found some things. The doctor will have to remove them. There’s no way of knowing how serious it is until it’s removed. Chances are everything is fine, just painful. Unfortunately – and sadly I am in no way being pessimistic 😂 but rather completely serious when I say that my life tends to be ran by both God and Murphy’s Law. In other words, if in 3% of the population it’s not so good, then you guessed it! I tend to fall in that 3%. 🙃

Before my husband married me, I not-so-jokingly warned him that my life was ran by Murphy’s Law. It didn’t take long for him to see what I meant: If it might be broken, it is. If I may need surgery, I do. If I get my hair cut and styled, it’s storming. If I finally get that rare craving for ice cream, the whole family ate it in one day and there is none. It’s honestly laughable. There have been so many instances when something really cruddy happened; but, it was so astonishing that it even did happen that we all had to laugh. I digress.

So, I don’t say any of this in a “woe is me” way. I honestly have a very humorous look at my life. I sometimes make the joke that I’m God’s little science project. That IS a joke, by the way. I know Him better than that!

Credit: reverendfun.com

So, since I received the news (of which the Holy Spirit had already prepared me for), all that first day I alternated between crying and hearing the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, “Depend on me. Lean on me. No matter what.” It’s that “no matter what” part that’s getting me. Not the way you may think though. I’m actually not having a hard time giving this to God even if it winds up being “bad news.”

Confession Time: I’m having a hard time of letting go and giving it to God. 

I am a person who likes to research, find solutions, and expeditiously apply the solution. In this case, I have absolutely no control over anything other than how I respond to it. 

Let me just get to it:

It’s as if God wants me to depend on him right now. I mean, it’s as if He wants me to stop and depend on Him, trust in Him, right now – before the tears, before the next procedure, before arriving at the hospital, before the anesthesia, before the removal, before the results are relayed to me. And of course He does. His Word tells us that over and over. It’s hard to remember, though, when the storm is raging, though. Isn’t it?


I feel in my spirit that He wants me to know I’m taken care of – whatever that may mean – right now before even assessing the situation. After all, if I want to give God the glory for saving me…. isn’t my act of faith larger if I give him the glory for it right now than giving it to him after the doctor tells me, “It looks as if we took care of it”? 


Shortly after the findings were relayed to me, I was watching Jentezen Franklin live on Facebook and he challenged me. He was talking about the disciples in the boat after the miracle of the loaves and fishes. He was talking about Jesus’s disappointment in them that they had missed the miracle. And…Franklin said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re walking around in the midst of your storm with the crumbs of your last miracle still on your shirt!” In other words, I still have the memories of every good and perfect thing God has ever done in my life, yet I’m walking through the storm as if I don’t have access to the God of all creation, as if He hasn’t already proven Himself. The disciples were in the midst of the storm, in a boat with the leftovers from a miracle; and, even with the reminder of a very recent miracle, they were operating in fear, oblivious to Whom they were in the presence of.


I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want that to be you. So, together…right now…let’s agree that we’re going to give whatever it is to God because He’s already proven Himself though He doesn’t have to. 


It’s my experience – in life and in reading the Word – that miracles come after desperation and/or an act of faith. 


Let’s not wait for desperation. The Holy Spirit is drawing us near to believe in God’s plans long before we ever feel desperate.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, You are the Great I Am. You are Alpha and Omega – where we see a dead end, You are a new beginning. You created us all, the very blueprints of our lives. We come before You, in one accord, asking for You to help us lay our burdens at Your feet and to not pick them up again. We ask that you imbue us with such a level of faith that others around us must ask us, “What is it that makes you believe so firmly? What gives you such peace?” We ask that you take our storms and turn them into stories – testimonies of Your delivering power and mercy. We give You all the glory because You are King of Kings and nothing in our lives has caught you unaware. We worship You now for what You will do tomorrow. Thank you, God, for loving us so much, so incomparably. May we learn to love You more and more each day. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.