Thursday, January 17, 2019

30 Days to Understanding the Bible

Do you want to learn more about the Bible, but get overwhelmed with remembering so many people, places, etc.? Another excuse for not doing more Bible study is you have little time for digging deeper. 30 Days to Understanding the Bible is an easy-to-use guide to learning that Bible... and can take only 15 minutes per day. In one month, you'll learn the Bible's key people, events, and doctrines.

Dr. Max Anders, the author of over 25 books, has taught on the college and seminary level and is a veteran pastor. Max was also one of the original team members with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. He provides resources and discipleship strategies at MaxAnders.com to help people grow spiritually.

The book is divided into 7 sections with many illustrations and self-tests throughout the book. Some of the features include:

• The “Arc of Bible History” to help you visualize the Bible’s overarching themes
• The “Story of the Bible” summarizing Genesis through Revelation in just a few pages
• The core beliefs of the Christian faith, focusing on the teachings that have united Christians for the last 2,000 years
• A 13-week plan that provides teacher’s with a very creative and effective tool for teaching the Bible in 30 days
• Fan-favorite bonus content, previously removed, now restored from the original edition




My Review: I am thoroughly enjoying the book... and learning from it. I sometimes forget the context of a Scripture or the timeline. I still felt a bit of trepidation when I saw the book, but the first chapter put me at ease. I got all of the test answers correct, so that gave me a bit more confidence. Of course, it does become more challenging as you progress, but the structure of the book really helps. In the past, I have given up, even when using the chronological method of reading my Bible, so this way of following a plan is very useful. I definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand the Bible better.
   
GIVEAWAY!! I will be selecting one winner to receive a copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Dr. Max Anders. The deadline to enter the giveaway drawing is 11 pm CST, January 26, 2019. Simply post #Biblein30Days in the comments section of this blog or one of my shared social media posts about the giveaway.


"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 on the same blog, 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. The winner is subject to eligibility verification.”




Tuesday, January 15, 2019

CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible

Many people read the Bible daily, and a goal is often to have a "Read the Bible in a Year" plan. But do you get lost trying to remember the timeline of the Bible? God reveals Himself to us through the pages of His Word and it helps to have a clear understanding of the history and stories as you learn how they fit together. The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible, published by Lifeway Christian Resources, features a clear narrative approach to the Bible, arranging the complete text into a fresh chronological reading plan with daily readings guided by Dr. George Guthrie. The CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.
Not to be confused with a regular Bible or a Daily Reading Bible, the Day-by-Day Chronological Bible, is set up with weekly readings with the Bible history told from beginning to end; This is a much different layout than a regular Bible. Rather like a play, movie, or book, this Bible is divided into 3 main acts (God’s Plan for All People; God’s Covenant People; God’s New Covenant People) and 17 scenes, with an intro for each act and scene to orient the reader to its importance in the grand story. This brown Leathertouch has single-column text with plenty of space for taking notes, concordance, smyth-sewn binding, presentation page, and 8 full-color maps.
 My Review: I absolutely love it! Despite years of trying various reading plans, and being a lover of history, I still get confused about the timeline of the Bible. I love the weekly/6 day set up and appreciate the additional reading by Dr. Guthrie to further clarify what's happening. From the feel of the outside cover to the contents inside, I can hardly wait to start using this Bible to study. I have used mostly HCSB in recent years but recently bought a small CSB to take to church (since our new pastor uses CSB). Of course, I also go online to look at other translations too, especially when I am wanting to make sure I have a clear understanding of a passage of Scripture. Keep in mind, though, that this is NOT a regular Bible with the books lined up in their standard order. This Bible is meant for a study of God's story through His scripture... laid out via a timeline. It's a tool meant to increase your knowledge.

I deeply appreciate LEV3L Digital and Lifeway for providing me with a copy of this product for an honest review. In addition, they are going to provide another copy to a randomly selected winner!! Simply respond with
#csbBibleL3 in blog (or social media post) comment section to be entered. Deadline to enter is 11 pm CST on January 25, 2019.

Want to know more? Check out the Social Media & Website Links:

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Way of the Warrior - Erwin McManus

In The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace, Erwin McManus shows becoming a warrior is first about finding peace. There are 8 Codes that Warriors practice to become proficient in The Way of the Warrior, each a necessary step in the pursuit of spiritual wholeness.

Using personal stories and Biblical practices that many are already familiar with, Mcmanus brings a sharper focus on how we need to apply these principles to our own life for a better understanding he guides readers to a deeper understanding of the importance of gaining inner peace before we are capable of becoming spiritual warriors. Humility, ownership, focus, clarity, strength, and vulnerability all play a part of making a person a warrior ready to "fight the good fight" Paul speaks of in the New Testament.

Honestly, I could not get into the book at first... which is odd since I have loved other books by McManus. So, I put it aside for a few days and this time connected with what he was saying. I find myself thinking of a warrior as a combative, aggressive, proud fighter, yet that is not completely truthful. As McManus points out, a true warrior has sterling qualities meant to lead others to the truth. Often the battles waged are our own weaknesses; if we are to be warriors, we must seek and find peace and strength within ourselves and in God.

Disclaimer:
I received an unedited proof of this book as a part of the Waterbrook-Multnomah Book Launch team. I was asked to give an honest review. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children - Allison Bottke

Allison Bottke, known for her Setting Boundaries® series of books has once again produced a book that is candid and practical for the parents of adult children who have addiction, emotional, or mental problems. How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children is a follow-up to Setting Boundaries® with Your Adult Children... meant to guide a parent with rational responses rather than emotional responses for the needs of their adult children who are unable to assimilate into a "normal" life of responsibilities due to physical or emotional issues.

One of my favorite parts was Six Steps For S.A.N.I.T.Y.! Using these steps will help clarify and form a plan of action that will be beneficial for everyone involved. This, coupled with templates of letters and contracts, can be used to establish boundaries that truly do make a difference. Uncertainty about rules and expectations raise already high stress levels.

A single book is not going to resolve all of your issues, but the practical advice, empathy, and resources referenced make this an excellent book for those wanting a healthy relationship with their troubled adult children. The first step (or steps) to make a difference are up to you... and the changes you will need to make. Parenthood goes through many seasons and you must adapt. I highly recommend How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children to guide you through uncertain territory.

I was provided a complimentary advance copy of this book from the author and volunteered for the opportunity to provide an honest, impartial review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.


Order the book at one of the following links:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Song of Sadie Sparrow - Kitty Foth-Regner

Sadie Sparrow, Meg Vogel, and Elise Chapelle, the three main characters in The Song of Sadie Sparrow, are from three different generations and different views of Christianity. The three women also have experienced feelings of abandonment and are drawn to one another after meeting at The Hickories. And, you will want to meet Jamie... a man who has an impact on each of these women.

Sadie is an elderly widow who is forced to move into The Hickories assisted-living center when she can no longer live on her own. Feeling abandoned by her only child, Sadie does start to fit into the lives of the residents, staff, and visitors. Although having uncertainties about her future, her faith, and her song, grow stronger.

Meg is a recent middle-aged widow who feels that her husband abandoned her for his new-found faith after his health failed. It strengthened her belief that there is no God. She seeks a fresh beginning when she accepts a position at The Hickories as an Activities Assistant with a special task of writing the life story of each resident.

Elise is a young woman who frequently visits her beloved grandfather, another resident of The Hickories. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, Elise was raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather and her faith are both valuable to her and she is seeking for a way to share her faith once she is alone.

The lives of these women are intertwined in a well-told story set in an unusual location.
Kitty Foth-Regner tells a fascinating story that also included touches of humor and intrigue. The minor characters lent content and additional depth to the story as people you would also like to know better while not intruding too much on the main characters as distractions.




Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Kitty's webite - EverlastingPlace.com

Monday, December 31, 2018

Favorites of 2010

Last night I began thinking of things from this past year that have been important to me. I had to laugh that so many of the words began with the same letter: Faith, Family, Friends, Films, Festivities, Flames, Finding...! Well, you get the point. My initial title for this note did make me giggle, but I decided it is inappropriate. Therefore, I was grateful when the word "Favorites" popped into my mind.

Faith: My faith becomes more important to me each year. This is the year I reluctantly decided leave a church family I still love dearly and move to another. I was so caught up in service to God that I was neglecting time with God. I also know myself well enough to know that I was not just going to learn to say no and step down from my involvement. I still have a long way to go in learning to rest in His presence and listen to His voice. (I do tend to talk way too much!) However, I am learning to seek Him and soak in His word. Prayer needs of others also is bringing me into more time spent with God.

Family: My "babies"are all in their 30s!! How did that happen so quickly? (Frankly, I still see a 16 year old when I look in the mirror....yeah, fantasy!!) My daughter remarried this year and is growing in her faith. My prayers are still with my sons to return to theirs, but I am proud of the people my children have become and have confidence that they will continue to evolve into the people God intends them to be.

The grandkids are rushing toward adulthood with amazing speed. Zac is driving!! I still see the little boy on his tricycle, but he will soon be a man and already shows a promise of maturity. Caitlyn is at the fun, frustrating, & fascinating age of fifteen. Cody is leaving behind the world of being a child quicker than I am ready for, but I am amazed at the young man he is becoming. Admittedly, there was the few weeks there when I broke out in hives every day when he got home from school...and he wasn't too thrilled to be around me either...but I believe we are going to be okay.

Friends: This is an absolutely amazing group of people who mean more to me than they could possibly realize. Some have been around for a lifetime...and I have the sheer pleasure of also being related to them. Some are people that I have met through the years and whether the relationship is one where we share details of our lives or one of a more casual nature, each is special to me. The third group are people I have never met. There are some I can share more detail with than I have shared with people I have known for over 50 years.....yet I never expect to meet them. (Perhaps that is the type that works best for me! LOL!) Whether I have known these friends since my entrance into the world, or they have just recently entered into my world, these are people I can talk to, pray for (& can ask them to pray for me), and rejoice in getting to know better. I hope you all know who you are and that I have let you know that I treasure you.

Films: What can I say? Beyond The Farthest Star!  Alright, seriously, there is no doubt that I am so excited about this film I talk of little else...and I couldn't begin to tell you why. Honestly...I don't know. :)
However BTFS and other faith-based films have become an important part of my life. On one hand it saddens me that we have become so entertainment saturated that simply telling others about Jesus no longer seems adequate. On the other, I see movies, music, & books as doors of opportunity to get a conversation started. I love to read, but I realize many do not. Music is my favorite form of worship...a song can bring me to the throne of God within seconds. But movies seem to weave a common thread with others. I like a variety with movies. I don't think the purpose of each faith-based film should be to lead others to Christ. I don't have the expectation of secular films to encapsulate their entire belief system within an approximately 2 hour time frame, so why should I expect Christian filmmakers to constrict themselves?

God did lay this industry on my heart. I know I probably drive many people up a wall as I promote a variety of films, but it seems silly for me to just sit around praying for the films and the people involved with them without sharing the news. Put it this way: If you feel something will make a difference in someone's life, do you tell them? Whether a film can help me share my faith with non-believers, clarify (whether about a person, an issue, whatever...), give a person something to think about,....or frankly, just entertain someone, how will people know if no one tells them? 

Festivities: Whether it is the most sacred of holidays that commemorate significant milestones in our beliefs (Christmas, Easter, etc.) to frivolous (Talk Like A Pirate Day, National Coffee Day...not sure if that is frivolous to me) to ones that give us both cause to reflect on our past and give hope to the future (any guesses here?), the festivities, celebrations, & holidays have given us an opportunity to share fun facts, favorites, fears, faith, friendship...and a common bond with one another. Hope to have many opportunities in 2011 to celebrate with y'all!!

Flames: What else, but.....my cooking...to use the term loosely. I noticed my most popular status updates were always when I mentioned my attempts to cook. While I do have the occasional success, I also have those moments with flames shooting out of the oven. My inability to boil water without some type of disaster still astounds me. I do want to thank some of you who were kind enough to believe that I merely lacked decent recipes. Some that I received did turn out quite well. Some looked promising, although my son constantly tells me that my ideas of "close enough" is usually no where near an adequate substitute. There are some I am still puzzling over: what is 'cake flour'? Let me leave this section with a quote I found written in my status updates that sums up this subject perfectly:
'I read recipes the same way I do science fiction. I get to the end and think, "Well, that's probably not going to happen!""

Finding: This refers to my recent attempts to clean out closets. No, I'm still not done!!!!! Once I packed away the reindeer antlers and nose.....THAT reminds me!! I never did come back and let people know about the nose. I lamented that I could not find my clown nose the day I discovered my reindeer antlers while cleaning. Well, I went to church with my daughter & family on Christmas Eve and red foam noses were being given to the children for them to wear while singing "Rudolph" during the program. I laughed and said that I needed one earlier due to the misplacement of my red nose, and they graciously gave me one!!!!! LOL! While I seldom feel the need to dress like Rudolph while cleaning (the closets were just particularly depressing)........now I can!!

Anyway...some of y'all may remember all of the plastic Easter eggs I kept finding! I am still finding them every where!! I apparently have bought dozens of the things over the years and just kept tossing them in the closet. Trust me, they are leaving my house.......in spite of the fact that I keep thinking of uses for them. I am also hoping I have found the last of my stashes of crayons, glue, & sticky notes. I doubt it, but I can hope. Who knows what all I may find before the forage through the closets is finished.

Facebook: Now, how could I omit this word? The previously mentioned topics would be futile and frustrating without the fun I have had here. Facebook has been at the center of so many aspects of my life, and I hope it will continue to be part of my life...but who know what the future holds.

Finally...thank you all for a fantastic year! May God bless each and everyone who has been a part of my life in 2010 and I hope 2011 is filled with love, life, laughter, & joy beyond belief!!!

I thank God whenever I think of you. My prayers for each are filled with joy! ~ Phil. 1:3-4
This is how I THINK I look!!!!!!!!!! LOL!

November 1971
Goose Creek, SCThis is how I THINK I look!!!!!!!!!! LOL! A favorite photo from one of my favorite years.
November 1971 Goose Creek, SC
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I found this old Facebook Note that is special to me. It's easier to keep up with on Blogger than Notes.

Since 2018 was a "D" year (death, despair, disloyalty, discontent, depression, etc.) for the most part, it's more difficult to write about. I still have my joy... but happiness is harder to find. Of course, there were moments of delight, especially with Wyatt in my life. He and his big sister Audrey will need prayers and memories of their mom in the years ahead. And the assurance that their mom, Caitlyn, is safely Home... waiting to hold them again.



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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Celebrating Sin

Celebrating and encouraging sin as a means of leading people to Christ has become the new norm. The important thing is to further your own agenda! Do not worry about the broken lives & people hurt; There's plenty of time to tell them about God's Word later.

Of course, impressionable children are being given a wrong message... but God is cool with leading children astray. Right? Not as long as it's used as a lesson in God's forgiveness and His offer of 2nd chances. You don't want them learning right from wrong and that sin has consequences. Nor does it matter than their upbringing is being placed in the hands of someone I would not trust to raise a cat. Or one who has proven she has no sense of loyalty.

The important thing is that you get what you want, you get to look like a person nurturing others (while ignoring that you are telling people lies about their sin and encouraging them to continue), and condemning people who disagree with your favorite "holier-than-thou" judgmental attitude.

It's really funny that you are so shocked I am opposed. The people I have confided in (so they can be praying for the children) are shocked and dismayed and absolutely stunned that you are not only complicit, but excited. They honestly believe your priority is the children. But your priority has always been yourself. This is simply the quickest way to get your house back to yourself. While I do understand, I could never risk the children's well-being. and, as much as I dislike the  behavior of the "adults" in the situation, encouraging immorality is just plain wrong. I feel sorry for the husband/best friend who was betrayed, but also for unbelievers whom you are encouraging to go against the word of God. I confess, I am still puzzled over your belief that this is a form of evangelism... but perhaps you do know, deep inside, that you are causing people to feel good about doing the wrong thing. Even more to the point, there are emotionally vulnerable people who have each lost a spouse... one through death, one through a recent divorce. Who in their right mind would be encouraging them to begin a new relationship... especially when their are young children involved? People have been popping in and out of their lives at an alarming rate and with some very poor examples being displayed. 

I pray that everyone seeks and finds God... and establishes a relationship with Him but I can not celebrate that which is wrong on so many levels. Even if there were no kids involved, this would be shameful. I do hate my own attitude is one of bitterness, but I am also very ashamed of you. You are narcissistic and delight in making those who disagree with you feel bad and unworthy.

(Obviously, this is something personal and meant for a particular person. I may regret things I have written... but I had to vent.)