Wednesday, December 28, 2016
We live in a culture that tolerates and praises sin. Violence is the norm and comes in the form of terrorism as well as crime. If a Christian stands up for Biblical values he is labeled "intolerant" or a "bigot". Christians are told to keep their "religion" to themselves and to "stop spreading lies and hate". People don't realize that God said sin is sin.
So, what are Christians supposed to do in a society that will eat you alive if you even speak God's name? O.S. Hawkins has written a book called The Daniel Code (Living our truth in a culture that is losing its way). He uses the Biblical example of Daniel to guide Christians on how to respond to the issues of today. Daniel was placed in a culture that cursed the One True God. Nebuchadnezzar was King of Babylon and wanted to be worshipped.
In this book you will find ways to engage our broken culture with strength and honor. Daniel survived a pagan, liberal, and difficult society. His story was written and included in the Bible because it has had significance throughout history. There will always be cultures who say "evil is good and good is evil". Studying Daniel's story can help Christians to grasp how to react and engage with non-Christians.
With so many young people (and some older people) living so freely (even though they are not that free) with sin, we need to know how to captivate others for Christ's sake. The Daniel Code gives an in-depth study of the book of Daniel and how he overcame the ungodly society he was placed in. The author gives tons of background information as well as very detailed scenarios that happened during that time.
When I think about how my children will have to grow up in this crumbling culture, my heart breaks. But, with Godly examples such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we have all we need straight from the Bible. Speaking the truth in love is what we are called to do. People NEED to hear God's truths. If we hide them for ourselves, who are we helping? If we don't speak up, who will?
When sin infiltrates a society and becomes the norm, Christians need to stand strong and speak up. Live out your life in a Christ-like way. Always point back to Jesus and His love. Most importantly, always show love. If Christians shout down other people about their sins, they are not going to hear you. They only see judgment, intolerance, and foolishness.
*Thank you to BookLookBloggers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*
Sunday, December 4, 2016
From the authors of "Bread and Jam for Frances" comes their newly re-released book "Charlie the Tramp". This sweet children's book is written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, a husband and wife team. "Charlie the Tramp" won the 1968 Boys Club of America Junior Book Award and has been praised over the last 50 years as one of the best classic children's books ever written.
Charlie is a beaver who lives with his mom and dad. One day his grandpa comes for a visit and asks what he wants to be when he grows up. Grandpa Beaver expected Charlie to say he wanted to stay in the family business of cutting trees and making dams. Charlie has other plans. He wants to be a tramp. He wants to wander here and there and do odd jobs for his food and living expenses.
His family is disappointed at first but decide maybe they would give him the chance fulfill his dream. So, they send him on his way the next morning. Charlie has a grand day of adventures and sleeps under the stars that night. He does come home the next morning and works for his breakfast.
Off he goes after breakfast for some more tramping around. He begins to build a dam without even knowing it and his family is well pleased. He turns out to be one of the best dam builders they have ever seen.
Little Charlie represents what all children truly want to do when they grow up. They just want to have adventures and do silly things and be free. Sometimes, though, those adventures end up becoming a dream job or a dream life.
My boys (ages 8, 6, and 3) loved this book. I am sorry to say that I had never heard of this classic until recently. But, I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to review it. What a sweet and interesting book. As I was reading the story to my boys they all giggled and asked questions. They felt like they could relate to Charlie and his dream of becoming a tramp and tramping around. I did have to explain what a tramp was and they thought it sounded like something they would love to do someday. Haha. So innocent and sweet.
This book has been re-released for it's 50th Anniversary and this time around it is hardcover. It's just in time for the holidays too. It would make a great gift for a grandchild, nephew, niece, friend, cousin, or your own children.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/short-stories/charlie-the-tramp
*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*
Friday, December 2, 2016
I absolutely LOVE Amy Grant. I also LOVE Christmas music. It makes me feel so cozy and warm inside. It brings so much joy to my life. Amy Grant has released her new album (including some old favorites) called Tennessee Christmas. I mean, who hasn't heard this beautiful song??
I just think the world of this album. It will be dearly loved by my family over the years. The album includes:
- Tennessee Christmas
- To Be Together
- Christmas For You And Me
- Melancholy Christmas
- White Christmas
- Joy To The World
- I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
- Baby, It's Cold Outside (feat. Vince Gill)
- Christmas Don't Be Late
- Still Can't Sleep
- Another Merry Christmas
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
Of course, my favorite song on the album is "Tennessee Christmas". It just brings back so many memories from my childhood. No matter how old I get, it will always remind me of simpler times. I have never even visited Tennessee (even though I live in Virginia) but it makes me feel like I have been a thousand times. Did you know that Amy Grant actually helped write this song? Wow!
In a few of the songs Amy Grant talks about different Christmas memories. Hearing her talk about real life stories that have happened in her life felt inspiring. It gave the album more character.
Some songs were written by Amy herself and others are age-old classics that still give you the sense of Christmas. I liked hearing new and old songs together. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the older, more well-known songs that I forget other songs are out there just waiting to be heard.
Here is a sample of one of the songs on the album:
Amy Grant and her team are using the hashtag "#TNChristmasSurprise!" to form a video of real life people surprising their loved ones this holiday season. If you have a video of you surprising your loved ones this Christmas, post it to any social media outlet using the above hashtag and it could be selected to be in her video. How exciting is that?
Here is an example of a video:
Tears!!!! Just a warning. Haha.
You can purchase the CD from iTunes:
I pray that this CD blesses you as much as it has blessed me. It truly is the sweetest album I have heard in a while.
*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of the product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Bible journaling is all the rage lately. I haven't gotten on the bandwagon simply because I am not artistic in the slightest. I can barely make stick figures. Recently, I was sent the Ellie Claire Bible Journaling Kit to review. Well, I can now say I have no excuse to not hop on that bandwagon. This kit is so delightful.
The kit includes:
- 4 sheets of word stickers
- 4 sheets of alphabet stickers
- 24 tab stickers
- 8 twistable colored pencils
- 1 journaling pen
- 1 pouch with adjustable strap
- 1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines
As someone who is very un-artistic, I found this kit to be very helpful with journaling. The tab stickers have saying on them such as: "Amen", "Blessing", "Pray", "Grace", and "Faith". I used these to mark pages that I found fit with the word. For instance, I used the "Favorite" tab to mark Psalm 103 in my Bible. I can easily find Psalm 103 in my Bible now because of the tab. I used the "Fear Not" tab to mark Psalm 23 since it speaks about not fearing death and trials. There are also blank tabs included that you can add your own words or phrases to.
I used the word stickers all throughout my Bible. Some of the phrases included are: "When life is hard, remember...", "I love this.", "Let it go.", and "Think on these things". I loved these stickers because I have a hard time thinking of little phrases to add to my Bible journal. These came in handy when I found a verse I wanted to remember for a specific reason. On these word sticker sheets are also little arrow stickers, star stickers, and heart stickers. I used these to mark a verse here and there that I wanted to recall easily.
The alphabet stickers come in two different fonts that include both lower and upper cases as well as numbers. I found these helpful to write out a word here and there. I spelled out "Love" on a verse that reminded me of Christ's love for us. I spelled out the word "Grace" for a verse that spoke about God's grace. There are many things you can do with these letters and numbers.
The colored pencils are the twistable kind that you never have to sharpen. I liked this feature because sometimes I don't have a sharpener and I can continue journaling without interruption. I used the pencils to underline or highlight a section of the Bible that I found significant.
The journaling pen that is included in this kit comes in black ink. It is great because it doesn't bleed through to the next page. Bibles have very thin pages that easily bleed through with many other pens and markers. This pen is specifically designed for thin pages.
"Whatever is lovely...think about such things." (Philippians 4:8) This is the inscription on the outside of the pouch. The pouch can hold all of the materials included in this kit except for the page protector mat. It is convenient and has an adjustable strap so it can be strapped to any size Bible for easy access.
On the page protector mat you will find a ruler on one side and different kinds of designs made for edging. It is clear so that you can still see the verses through it.
I truly enjoyed using this Bible Journaling Kit. It made journaling easy and accessible to someone who would not normally participate.
You have the chance to win a your very own Bible Journaling Kit. Simply go to this website (http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway) and enter to win. They are giving away 5 sets so hurry over!! There are also some FREE coloring pages that you can print out to inspire you on your Bible journaling journey.
Here are a some websites to check out to purchase your very own Bible Journaling Kit:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournalingAmazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournaling
Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling
*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*