Sunday, July 24, 2016

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander

"All Things Bright and Beautiful" was originally included in "Hymns For Little Children" by Cecil Frances Alexander, published in 1848. The poem went on to become a well-loved hymn known to Christians around the world.

This children's book, follows 3 children as they explore the world around them, discovering God's creation. With a couplet from the poem written on each set of 2 pages, it is a quick, easy read, but the joy of this 32 page hard cover children's book is the colorful illustrations by artist Katy Hudson of Middlesbrough, England. The parent and child can extend reading (and cuddle) time as they examine the illustrations, soaking in the details, and learning about each detail with a conversation ranging from the various animals, the stars, and even playing barefoot in a stream of water. Since this poem is also a hymn, it will help readers with word recognition since song memorization is a useful tool in learning. This oversized book is even useful as a display piece/room decoration to encourage reading and a love for books. 


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment no later than 11:59pm CDT on July 31, 2016 to be entered to win a copy of "All Things Bright and Beautiful."

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Amazon buy link 
Katy Hudson website


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz

The Daniel Prayer is born deep within your soul, erupts through your heart, and pours out on your lips, words created by and infused with the Spirit of God quivering with spiritual electricity. It’s really not an everyday type of prayer. It’s a prayer birthed under pressure. Heartache. Grief. Desperation. It can be triggered by a sudden revelation of hope. An answer to prayer, a promise freshly received, a miracle that lies just over the horizon…
Join Anne in a thrilling discovery of prayer that really works.
This book will help readers pray effectively for their nation, for their families, and for themselves. She will answer such questions as: • Does God only hear the prayers of good people? • How do I know the God to whom I pray will listen? • How do I know God cares about my prayer? • How do I know God will answer my prayer? • Why should I pray? • Does it matter where I am when I pray? • Are words in prayer all that matter, or does my attitude affect prayer? • What difference does my prayer make? (back cover)
 

My Review: The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations, is a call to action by Lotz to follow the example of Old Testament prophet, Daniel. Despite being held captive in a foreign land, Daniel remained faithful to his God, refused to bow to foreign gods or compromise his belief. Lotz uses a prayer, found in Daniel 9, that we can follow today. Filled with facts of what we know of Daniel, along with some conclusions I had not considered, we see a more complete picture of Daniel's steadfast faith in spite of decades of being forced to live in a strange land away from his beloved home. He even rose to a position of power without compromising the tenets of his faith in the one true God. When Daniel realizes that the foretold 70 years of captivity is coming to completion, he fervently prays for his people and Israel.
The book is dividing into four sections:
1) Preparing for Prayer
2) Pleading in Prayer
3) Prevailing in Prayer
4) Patterns for Prayer


Lotz walks us through these sections with personal examples of times she has prayed through difficult times and stresses the need of intentional time alone with God to meditate on His word, talk to Him...and listen to what He is revealing to you. Sometimes, especially with prayers that are added near the end of the book, things sometimes seemed a bit drawn out. Yet, one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book was due to my wandering attention when I am praying. I took away several things that I want to put into practice. I pray, but often quick prayers and haphazard methods of mostly reading my Bible, without taking the study what is being said and how I need to apply it to my life, especially particular things I am praying about. 


Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Unashamed by Heather Davis Nelson

Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame by Heather Davis Nelson invites us to not only be healed of our own shame but also be a part of healing for others. She shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, giving us courage us to walk out of shame’s shadows and offering hope for our bondage to brokenness. Through the gospel, we discover the only real and lasting antidote to shame: exchanging our shame for the righteousness of Christ alongside others on this same journey. A writer, counselor, retreat speaker, wife,and mom, Heather writes "as a way to connect with others as we find hope amidst the broken places of life and seek grace for daily struggles."

 

My Review: There is probably no one who has not suffered some degree of shame. Heather explains the difference between shame and guilt, and then, provides chapters that delve deeper into the different types. Among those highlighted are Performance, Body, Social, Marriage, and Parenting. Each of us has experienced shame in one or more categories, with some of the worst shame and guilt when it comes to parenting. However, my favorite chapter was Shame and the Church. Instead of a place to find hope and healing, especially from others who have broken from those chains of shame, we often discover only seemingly perfect people. I am guilty myself of keeping my own shame buried than trying to help others who are often struggling. Definitely gave me something to think and pray about.

It's a good book and would be great for a support group or small group discussion. Great Scripture used and anecdotes help to personalize how shame impacts others.

I received a copy of this book at no charge to myself in exchange for an honest review from FlyBy Bloggers and Propeller Consulting, LLC.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment to enter to win your own copy. All entries must be received by end of day, July 9, 2016. 

 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


Friday, June 24, 2016

AMTC Stands With Orlando with “Love Different” Red Carpet Movie Premiere

Actors Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) plans to bring a night of comedy, love, and restoration as they Stand With Orlando during this time of tragedy. With the realization that laughter can bring healing and hope for the future, AMTC will be hosting a free Red Carpet Premiere of the feature film, Love Different, on Saturday, July 2nd, 8:30pm, at Gaylord Palms Orlando. Filmmaker Anthony Hackett, leading lady, Jenn Gotzon (Frost/Nixon, God's Country), and many other actors from the film will be in attendance to show their support for Orlando. Families of loved ones lost, friends and everyone else are welcome to attend the Stand with Orlando Red Carpet Premiere of Love Different. Please RSVP to AMTCmovies@gmail.com if you would like to attend. There is a parking charge associated with visiting or staying at Gaylord Palms Resort.

The movie, filmed in Baltimore, is a hilarious story that’s been bridging racial hatred and relational tensions through comedic scenarios filled with laughter and an uplifting plot allowing people to better understand each other and learn how to love different. Actress Jenn Gotzon says, "The movie's scenes serve as a vehicle to better understand each other and how to love different." 






For more info on event: Stand With Orlando Red Carpet Premiere 
 For more info on AMTC: Actors, Models & Talent for ChrisActors, Models & Talent for Christ
For more info on movie: Love Different


Please share with people in the Orlando area and use hashtags #AMTC #StandWithOrlando #MakingGoodBolder #LoveDifferent

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Awakened

Awakened is a supernatural Christian thriller about spiritual warfare, written by Eugene Cuevas, who also shared co-directing credit with Brian R. Reed. Synopsis (from Amazon): Newspaper reporter Jacob Harker (Rob Boltin) loses his job, forcing he and his wife, Haley (Gwendolyn Edwards), to move into a small rental house owned by Webster Cain (Michael Monks). In the process of moving in, Jacob discovers a discarded audio recording of 60’s blues singer Carol James (Hannah Hughes). Captivated by the voice on the recording, Jacob conducts an investigation into Carol James’ life and death.  Through his pursuit, Jacob becomes haunted by an evil spirit. While the spirit seductively persuades Jacob, drawing him deeper and deeper into its own malicious plot, the spirit attacks and terrorizes Haley, creating both fear and distrust in the Harker’s home. Haley sees her husband turning into someone less recognizable each day.




MY REVIEW: To be fair, I need to say upfront that I am not a fan of horror films, especially those that have possibilities of happening. As a Christian, I do believe in spiritual warfare. So, it did take several attempts for me to watch it since I would periodically tune it out. Kudos, btw, to Charles E. Lee for his suspenseful music. I did not dislike the film, and actually liked it better than I expected, but it did not live up to it's full potential. There were some parts that I could not really understand what was being said; it seemed a bit muffled. I also thought the orange/brown tones were a bit overdone, although I do understand that it helps create atmosphere.

My larger concern, though, was how little the Harker's seemed prepared for dealing with spiritual warfare: Jake and Haley seemed to be more cultural Christians, although Haley was more open to embracing faith. The pastor in the film was very likeable and knowledgeable, and gave a truthful representation of what may be happening without either downplaying or encouraging the possibility of demonic activity. I just know that I would like a bit more prayer support from others than Haley seemed interested in receiving.

Hardcore horror fans may find it all a bit tame, but I thought the film did a good job of telling a story of a person who slowly slipped into evil without even realizing the grip it had on him. A few tweaks here and there would have made it a better film, and they were more on the technical side than the writing or acting. If you are a fan or suspense or thriller dramas, this is a film you should consider. It also can open a door to conversations about the reality of evil and unseen forces. It definitely brought Ephesians 6:12 (For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.) to life for me.


Disclosure: I received this DVD compliments of Word Films and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. They are also offering a giveaway copy of this DVD. Please let me know through a comment on blog (or Facebook) that you want to be entered. All entries must be received by Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mother & Son: The Respect Effect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

The idea of moms respecting their sons may sound alien to some, but it seems to ignite curiosity across the board. It is easy to relate to the need for all of us to feel a mother’s love, but is that the same thing as respect? Even for young boys, the effect of respect is nothing short of astounding when applied properly.  Moms yearn to learn anything that better helps them with their sons. After all, they love their boys, but many find them more difficult to parent than their girls, especially from age four and up. What makes this all the more urgent is that moms are coaching fathers to love their daughters, but no one has said boo to moms on specific ways to show respect to their sons, at least not in a way that is applicable and fully explained. All realize that little girls need daddy’s love, but who is strongly promoting the truth that little boys (and big ones) need Mom's respect? No wonder mothers feel left in the dark on this topic. (publisher)


TOPICS COVERED INCLUDE:


  • The 6 desires God seeded in your son
  • Why a mother’s love is not the same thing as respect
  • Respect: the key to your son’s heart
  • Who’s respecting whom: mother or son?
  • Unconditional respect: a biblical idea
  • Top 6 mom misconceptions
  • How to see the man in your son
  • When you should discipline
  • It’s never too late: quick-start tips for those who feel short on time
  • 21 days of inspiration for the respect effect
  • Encouraging scriptures for parenting your son with respect
My Review: The book has information that is valuable, yet something about it just grated on me as I read it. There seemed to be more than a hint of condescension in the tone when addressing mothers. I thought perhaps I was taking it too personally since I have been aware for decades about the male need for respect, even in little boys. The author kept trying to say how women think to the point I could almost believe I am not female. People, both male and female, are individuals with varying traits. So, to be fair, my annoyance may have colored my reaction to the book.

The word RESPECT is vital to the book but was also overused. Much of the suggested dialogue between a mother and son was stilted, but did give good suggestions and outlines. I come from a different generation, so my experiences may be different than that of a young mom raising a child today. So, this could be a valuable resource for those who are unfamiliar with the male need for respect. And, I know several women who think like the author assumes all women think. Don't get me wrong---there is nothing wrong with those thoughts and personalities, they just aren't universal. And, I am certain that no offense was intended in the writing, especially since Dr. Eggerichs specializes in the importance of showing respect to others. I am sure many will also find the success stories encouraging. Letting your son (and all males in your family) know that you love them is important, too, but letting them know you respect them is essential. And I do respect the time, effort, hard work, and thoughts Dr. Eggerichs put into research and writing this and that he is changing lives and relationships for the better.



“We’ve coached fathers on how to love their daughters, but we’ve not coached mothers on how to meet the need a boy has to feel respected for who he is. This is what Mother & Son is all about.“ – Dr. Emerson Eggerichs 

Esther: The Belle of Patience

Esther: The Belle of Patience is the most recent book in The Adventures of Rooney Cruz. Bible Belles highlights five "superhero" women of the Bible: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah. Each of these women has a super power to they use to serve God and this series highlights that to teach young girls a valuable lesson. 

Rooney's guardian angel, Mari, takes her on an adventure to learn about each of these women and helps her to own their superpower for her own transformation into a superhero. These adventures also help Rooney learn more about God's love for her and that he has gifts that give her inner beauty and strength to be equipped in her life in resolving problems and making a difference that counts. Book 1 was Hannah: The Belle of Prayer, and future books will teach on Bravery, Loyalty, and Leadership. Created by Erin Weidemann and illustrated by former Disney illustrator, Rob Corley.



Bible Belle's Esther: The Belle of Patience from Bible Belles on Vimeo.

My Review: First off, I was a bit hesitant when I was reading guardian angel and super powers, but that was gone within seconds of getting into the book. These are stories about women in the Bible who have modeled character traits that are invaluable. Women in the Bible rarely receive as much attention as the men and girls do need role models they can look up to as they are developing their faith and character. I hope they expand beyond the original five planned for this series.

In this particular book, the story of Esther is retold in a simple tale that is easy for children to understand, but with an emphasis on the patience of Esther as she took time to fast and pray for the right time to approach the king and to present her request. The Biblical story is then applied to the problem that Rooney is facing with a soccer teammate and her coach who never seems to be listening when she tries to point it out to him. I had never really looked at Esther as a lesson in patience (admittedly, not one of my virtues), so it made me look at it from a different angle too. The writing is great and the illustrations are fantastic! I highly recommend, not just this particular book, but the entire series. Since this is just book 2, looks like I will need to practice patience as I wait for the rest of the series. Visit the website at BibleBelles.com

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting and FlyBy Promotions for the opportunity to review this book at no cost to myself. All opinions are my own.


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”