BLOG BLITZ: BATTLE PRAYERS AND A GIVEAWAY

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Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Battle Prayers by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Do the unending obstacles you face make you feel like you’re in a constant spiritual battle? Arm yourself with 100 prayers that will uplift and encourage you during the difficult moments of life.

It can be difficult to find the right words when you’re praying through hard times. In Battle Prayers, find a classic model to lift your prayers to God, not only for yourself, but others.

Each prayer is woven together with Scripture, reminding you that the answers to your struggles can be found in God’s Word and by listening to Him. Battle Prayers:

1. Shows how the power of prayer can lead you to find lasting encouragement

2. Provides inspiration and theological accuracy

3. Offers prayers ideal for helping move the mountains that can sometimes stand in between us and God

Whether a gift or for yourself, this volume of 100 prayers features:

1. Specific Scriptures and cross-references to other prayers in the book for additional encouragement

2. First-person prayers addressed directly to God, ideal for reading aloud during morning, evening, or devotional prayer time

3. A helpful and encouraging Appendix: “The 10 Essential Qualities of an Effective Battle Prayer”

Prayer doesn’t stop with the “Amen,” and is merely the beginning of deeper, daily, more meaningful communication with our Creator. Find peace in stress, healing for broken relationships, and protection for your loved ones in this essential volume of prayers.

PURCHASE LINKS*:Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianBook | BookBub


EXCERPT

YEARNING FOR MORE OF JESUS

My soul yearns, even faints,

for the courts of the LORD; 

my heart and my flesh cry out 

for the living God.

(Ps. 84:2 NIV)

Dearest Jesus, I bring before You what is both a request and a gift.

A request, because it benefits me. A gift, because it pleases You.

My heart’s desire is for more of You. I readily confess that my ceaseless wanderings have proven that, apart from Your presence, I am spiritually bankrupt. Only in You have I found eternal life and truth (John 14:6). Only in You have I found the way to the Father’s heart (John 14:6), and apart from You I have no good thing (Ps. 16:2).

You were the one whom the psalmist longed for:

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my

portion forever.

(Ps. 73:25–26 NIV)

Jesus, I desire only You because you are the strength of my heart and everything I will ever need— forever. My soul cries out for more of You, because only in You do I find true purpose and meaning. You alone fit perfectly the God- shaped hole I so often try to fill with worldly and selfish pursuits.

So, I echo John the Baptist’s words: May You increase, and I decrease (John 3:30). May You grow in me as I become less. And as I become less, live Your life through me. Only in that kind of life am I truly pleasing in Your sight.

Taken from “Battle Prayers” by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. © 2022 Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. Derived from material previously published in Prayers to Move Your Mountains  

(ISBN 9780785286523, © 2000). Used with permission from Thomas Nelson. Thomasnelson.com.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Battle Prayers!

Battle Prayers JustRead Blog Blitz

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 23, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Battle Prayers: Blog Blitz

Life sometimes brings difficult situations or circumstances that can leave us feeling run-down, drained, worn-out, and threadbare. Illness, the death of a family member, the loss of a job, natural disasters, a pandemic. The events of this year have left us struggling in ways we cannot articulate. These are the times we most desperately need prayer, but they can also be the times we simply don’t have the words to form a prayer. How do you pray when you can’t find the words?
 
In Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless (Abingdon Press), Stacey Thacker presents 100 simple yet heartfelt devotions to guide readers on the days they don’t know what to pray. Each entry in this attractive, gift-worthy devotional contains a Bible verse, a brief thought, and a simple, concise prayer to encourage the reader’s heart.
Part 1 of an Interview Stacey Thacker,
Author of Threadbare Prayer

Q: What is a threadbare prayer?
 
A threadbare prayer is a simple prayer based on Scripture that is easy to remember. Sometimes we go through seasons when we are feeling hidden, hurt, or hopeless and want to pray, but we just don’t have the words. I’ve gone through those times and found focusing on one simple prayer at a time was the key to holding on to Jesus.
 
A threadbare prayer can also be something we whisper in our hearts because we don’t have the strength to voice them aloud for others to hear. In those quiet moments, we can be sure that Jesus isn’t threadbare at all, and He will hear us and hold us together.
 
Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, Threadbare Prayer. Who did you write it for and how is it intended to be read?
 
Let’s begin with who I thought about when I was writing this book. I thought about my friends, women I know from college and bump into at church or online who are feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, desperate and broken. Right now, I think that describes a lot of women—they feel worn and like they are hanging by a thread.
 
At the core of her heart, I think a threadbare woman is determined not to put distance between herself and God—but to draw near, press in, and cling to the hem of his robe. She shouts her ache to Jesus who she knows is holding her heart.
 
This book is a way to do just that. I wrote it so we could all focus on the Word, honestly pour out our threadbare hearts, and hold on to Jesus. He does beautiful work in our broken places if we let Him.
 
Q: How did the idea for the book come about?
 
I started writing Threadbare Prayer in my journal, during my Bible study. They were, from the beginning, very personal. I shared a couple on my blog and social media, and my friends and readers all said, “This is your next book!” I was actually surprised, but I’ve learned to listen to my followers throughout the years! So, I started to be a little more intentional about writing and sharing them and began to think about what a book about threadbare prayer could be.
 
I knew each prayer would have a verse, a short devotional, and the threadbare prayer. I also knew that a threadbare woman doesn’t have a lot of time or capacity for a deep dive into prayer. It needed to be meaningful and rich but simple. In the end, the idea for it to be a gift style book of 100 prayers emerged and I couldn’t be happier! It is the perfect book to leave on your coffee table or desk at work and give to a friend. I’m so happy with how it has turned out.
 
Q: In the book, you share stories of some of your own threadbare moments. Can you share some of the times when you have found yourself grasping for words to pray?
 
Throughout the book there are glimpses of some of my most threadbare moments. They include a period of three years where my dad passed away, my almost 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a severe and relentless chronic illness, and my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. I found myself alone, fearful, weeping, and wondering what God was doing.
 
During each of these times, I would describe my prayers as desperate and simple. I didn’t have fine or fancy words. I couldn’t remember long passages of Scripture. I just had small breath prayers that I repeated over and over. “Lord, you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1) was one that I prayed when Mike was in ICU and later in rehab. I knew, Jesus was enough. He wasn’t threadbare, He was holding on to me.
 
Q: Is it always a major life event or stressor that causes threadbare periods or can these times also come from busyness and general weariness?
 
I think right now we are seeing that being threadbare can actually be a lot of little things that we are faced with in everyday life. Pandemic? Suddenly being HOME for 6 months, virtual learning, having to figure out how to see our parents who live in another state during quarantine?
 
I actually found the word “threadbare” in a book I was reading. As I read it, the word “stuck” in my heart, and I looked down and noticed my jeans had become threadbare and worn at the knee. Little by little with daily wear and tear, the hole got bigger. Isn’t that a picture of how little things can wear on us and we find ourselves hanging by a thread just trying to get the laundry finished or the groceries put away?
 
Q: What would you say to someone who is in the middle of a desert right now who can’t seem to see the better days ahead?
 
I would say that Jesus is powerfully drawn to your threadbare heart. His invitation in Matthew 11:28 is to “come to him and he will give you rest.” He is a comforter. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is not far off. When you are hanging on by a thread, pray. Be honest. Pour out your heart. Take one Scripture and tell your heart the truth about who He is. Praise him. And let him do a beautiful thing in that broken place.
 
He will. I’ve seen him do that in my own life.
 
 Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless
By Stacey Thacker
 
Available October 6, 2020 from Abingdon Press
Hardback ISBN: 9781791008017 / $19.99
eBook ISBN: 9781791008024 / $19.99
 
About the author:
Stacey Thacker is an author, blogger, speaker, and believer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. Her passion is to encourage women in their walks with God and equip them to study the Bible. She created the blog community Mothers of Daughters and now blogs on her site, StaceyThacker.com.
 
Thacker is the author of seven books including Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess and has written a series of Bible studies, The Girlfriends’ Guide to the Bible. Her latest book is Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless.
 
She worked with Campus Crusade for Christ for five years before becoming a full-time mom to four daughters. Her family lives on the Orlando, FL area.
 
Visit Stacey Thacker online at staceythacker.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@OfficialStaceyThacker)Twitter (@staceythacker), and Instagram (@staceythacker).

Does 2020 have you worn thin?

While most studies on the book of Ruth focus on the book’s namesake, in Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story (Abingdon Press), Heather M. Dixon focuses in on Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law instead. “I’ve always read and taught Ruth from Naomi’s perspective because ultimately, I think it’s her story,” Dixon explains. “For all believers, a transformed heart is one of the key identifiers of life with Christ and as readers, we get to experience that journey with Naomi—from bitterness to renewed joy. Her transformation echoes that of anyone who has struggled with a hard story and found Jesus to be faithful along the way. It’s also my personal belief that Naomi’s response to grief has often been judged too harshly. I wanted to give my readers a safe place to explore feelings of bitterness as they learned to look for God’s movement in their own story.”
 
In Renewed, women glean wisdom from Naomi’s perspective, a woman who lived a story she didn’t choose or like. Forced to chart a new path as she mourned the loss of her husband and two sons, Naomi learned that the journey from bitterness to renewed hope and joy was rooted in God’s promise of redemption.
 
Q: Is it OK to grieve the parts of our stories that we don’t like or is that self-pity? What can we learn from Naomi’s bitterness about her situation?
 
You have permission to grieve! Naomi was bitter because of her circumstances (and who wouldn’t be?), but she still remembered God’s sovereignty. Did He punish her for her bitterness? No, He was always working for her good as He brought renewed hope to her life. Her story reminds us that it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to say this is not what we wanted. It’s okay to acknowledge this isn’t how things should be. We don’t have to be afraid of expressing our honest feelings to God because he understands. Jesus wept for His friend Lazarus, even when He knew He was about to raise him to life.
 
I think our society has much to learn from an example that values a natural and healthy grief process over stoicism. What’s more, the expression of grief is an acknowledgement that this broken world needs Jesus. When we let it, grief can be a vehicle for deep intimacy with Jesus.
 
Q: We’re familiar with how Boaz was the kinsmen-redeemer who rescued Ruth, but how did he redeem Naomi? How does this parallel the gospel story and our need for a redeemer?
 
The gospel story is rooted in redemption and renewal. From the pages of Genesis 3, the promise for redemption through Jesus has always been God’s plan for this world. (“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15) The kinsman-redeemer promise extended to Naomi also. When Boaz married Ruth, he redeemed all of Naomi’s property that she acquired through the death of her husband and sons. For Naomi, Boaz’s purchase of her property promised provision and care for her future. Without Boaz, she would be debt-ridden and destitute, but his redemption of her property made way for the renewal of her story.
 
Similarly, through His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation with His blood. He redeemed all that may have been lost from our past circumstances and the entire debt we owe to God for our sins. His purchase promises our provision and care for eternity. Without Him, we would be unable to pay the debt we owe to God. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we have everlasting hope for renewed joy.
 
Q: How was Naomi reminded that God would always provide?
 
I adore that one of the motifs from the book of Ruth is the empty-to-full motif. Naomi was empty in every way at the beginning of her story, but it ends with her being full—full with food, family, happiness, offspring. God provided for her every need. God provided companionship for Naomi through Ruth’s determination to stay with her. God provided food for Naomi and Ruth in what would have appeared to be a stranger’s field, but it wasn’t. God provided family through Ruth’s marriage to Boaz. He provided happiness through the birth of her grandson, Obed. And He provided offspring and blessing and security through Obed’s family line, which was the human ancestral family line for Jesus.
 
Q: What does Naomi’s story teach us about hope for our own situations?
 
I remember watching my elementary school friends on the playground, climbing up the tall ladder to mount the slide and zooming down it without fear. Hands up and laughing all the way down, they were free and joyful. I didn’t think I could do it myself, but watching them gave me hope. If they could do it, maybe I could too. I sense the same feelings rising when I read Naomi’s story.
 
She was a woman who walked through what many of us fear the most: the death of precious loved ones and life-altering change. And yet, if God could renew her story, why couldn’t He do it for mine as well? Naomi’s story teaches us that God is sovereign, loving, strategic, and compassionate. Her story prompts us to courageously lift our chins and say “He did it for Naomi, He can do it for me too.” There is hope in that. As a second-grader, I raised my hands as I slid down the slide. As a woman who has experienced much grief and change, I now place my story in God’s capable hands, knowing that God is always working for my good, even when I can’t see it. And that renewed joy is always just around the corner when I am walking with Jesus.
 
Q: Did you write Renewed for a specific audience of women?
 
Yes, absolutely. I wrote Renewed for any woman that is carrying a difficult and life-altering story. I wrote it for the woman who is not just walking through a season of hardship, but who has experienced a story that they did not choose and cannot change.
 
I also wrote it for the woman who yearns to trust God’s sovereignty and His plan for her life even as she grieves and is angered by her circumstances. Trusting God and grieving your story are not mutually exclusive. Renewed is for the woman who needs an honest space to do both as God fills them with hope.
 
Q: Tell us about the format of the study. How long does each lesson take and how many weeks are in the study?
 
Because we lead busy lives, this study is designed with just four weeks of study, and three days of lessons each week. Each day’s lesson will guide you through personal study of a passage from Ruth as well as application of what you’ve learned. This study is intentionally designed to offer a flexible but thorough plan to walk through the entire book of Ruth. You may find that setting time aside on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to go through each lesson works best for your schedule. Or perhaps it may be better to work through them on the weekends. Depending on your learning and study style, I would expect to spend 20-30 minutes on each lesson.
 
Q: What other Renewed resources are available to go along with the study?
 
The study itself includes a participant workbook with leader helps, but a DVD with four 20 to 25-minute segments (with closed captioning) is available for separate purchase also. The teaching videos are also available via AmplifyMedia.com, and streaming from Cokesbury.com.
Heather M. Dixon is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher who understands living with a story that is not easy. Diagnosed with an incurable and terminal genetic disorder that she inherited from her mother, she is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and live with hope, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances.
 
When she is not blogging at The Rescued Letters or speaking at women’s conferences and events, Dixon loves to make the most of everyday moments such as cooking for her husband and son, brainstorming all the possible ways to organize Legos and superheroes, checking out way too many library books, or unashamedly indulging in her love for all things Disney.
 
Dixon is a regular contributor to Journey magazine and the author of women’s Bible studies, Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment and Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story.
 
Visit Heather M. Dixon online attherescuedletters.com. She can also be found on Facebook (Heather M. Dixon – The Rescued Letters)Twitter (@rescuedletters), and Instagram (@rescuedletters).

Part 2 of an Interview Heather M. Dixon, Author of Renewed

Posted in Book Review

Jehovah’s Mighty Acts” {Review}

I am always excited when I have the chance to review materials from Reformed Free Publishing; this time I was given the chance to read “Jehovah’s Mighty Acts”

This is the first book in the series “Tell His Wonders” meant to share stories within the Bible from in a thematic way. I love this idea myself because I tend to lean toward Bible Studies that reach a specific need or topic.

Especially with my kids, I find time in the Bible is much more powerful when they see the value as it relates to their sibling challenges, their desire to try to pray more, fast or just be a friend.

There are 31 stories in all and as you can see from the Table of Contents shown below, these are all amazing stories of great and mighty acts done by God:As home educators seeking to simply know and follow the Lord, this book is a wonderful addition to our library.

Psalm 78 speaks to how we are called to tell of God’s wonders and this sort of book is a wonderful way to help our children see and tell of these wonders themselves.

Each story is 2-3 pages long – perfect for younger kids and shorter attention spans.The images are amazing! They really speak to the story being told and they certainly add lots of opportunities for discussion and even narration in some cases.

In the story of Babel, for example, my kids loved seeing the various expressions on people’s faces as they attempted, to no avail, to communicate with one another.

And in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah they were fascinated by the image of fire falling, a cloud of fire, how Abraham stood near watching. We all wondered, should we not seek to attain to that level with God, where He would speak to us as to Abraham?

As we read these, we see pictures of God’s great acts – His mercy and grace and love for His people. How He loves every one; calling each person to salvation. Yet we must be willing to see He always uses people, to reach and to teach. Are there not times that we see, but do not recognize God’s hand in different situations…The telling of these stories is so unique I think – And the images certainly add a richness.

We are so glad to have this as a part of our library and I know we will be enjoying reading and considering, these tales of HIs wonderful acts more and more as my children get older.What would we do? What does this story mean to us? How shall we share these amazing things with others? Certainly, everyone should have the opportunity to hear and see the goodness of God and His mighty works. Because every one of them shows Jesus – gives us a glimpse of the plan of salvation and the greater purpose for al of eternity. We all want to spend eternity with our Lord – Definitely, we want to see our children stand before Him and be told, “well done my good and faithful servant.”Books like this, I feel, are a great way to launch our children into the joy of testifying.Look what the Lord has done. :-)The next book in this series plans to share stories of friends and servants of the Lord, planned to release in the fall of 2020. I cannot wait for the chance to enjoy this one with my kids too!

Posted in Book Review

All our Blind Spots

We all have them.
Lately I have been all the more aware of mine.

I have been considering…Praying for Jesus to search me, to examine me, to find whatever wicked thing is in me …

 

 

 

 

When we are weak then He is strong. But we must be willing to be weak. To see and acknowledge what is within. For too long I think we have been taught to hide these, avoid them, do not discuss them, blind spots. Yet how can we truly draw near to our Lord when we are in denial of something that is so powerful. I think of how I often said to others when sharing about my experiences in the occult, what you cannot see, can hurt you. Sometimes more than those things you can see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to be aware. We need to be willing to give all we are and have, for Him.

In Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You (New Growth Press/July 29, 2019), authors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson

share how powerful and dangerous these blind spots can be to our faith and our relationship with Christ.

The Bible tells us to examine ourselves, daily, so that we may see and root out those areas within that are keeping us from being molded more and more into His image. As we allow God to search us and find that hidden pride, jealousy, resentment, fear and anxiety…He can take those things and transform them into that which is righteous and true and holy so that we can be more like Him. So that we can be transformed into who we were created to be. So that we can work those works which He has for us.

As they share their own testimonies within the pages of this book you can see how we truly do trade our burdens and sorrows, giving them over to God, they are exchanged for something beautiful We must be willing to be ourself, honest and true, no matter how ugly it may seem. God can use all that is within us; He can make it all great for His good and glory. But we must be willing; we must open ourselves completely. Giving all that we are without shame, without remorse or fear.

We do not have to choose to spend our time lost in the dark, blind and stumbling about. This book can be such a help i locating those roadblocks that keep us from a deeper and more fulfilling life in Christ. Let us be those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear”.

Posted in Book Review

Other Bodies {Review}

It is all we hear about some days. Abortion. Life and death. Rights. Choice.

My oldest son is 13 and desperately trying to understand this for himself.

At a recent youth conference this was hot topic. One we have not previously discussed as a family.

So when I was given the opportunity to review a fictional story about this very thing, a young girl with a great regret, I thought this might be a good way to work through this topic with him.

We did read this together; I had a feeling (and was right) that there were some pretty deep and emotional moments within the pages of this book. Not something I would want my son reading on his own at this time.

Many questions in regards to morality, how and what we perceive – why do we believe as we do?

For fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent comes a YA dystopian/light romance with a strong female protagonist who is forced to question everything…
In a world where immersive VR suits distort what is real from what is not, and the AI Personhood Act blurs the lines between body and bot, the choices sixteen-year-old Hattie Martins faces are very personal.

I have to say, I was unable to put this one down from the moment I began reading. This is a very conservative, very edgy, very intense book. This is definitely one of those books that requires a step back to read. This was challenging for my son and I; there were so many times that I was emotionally torn by this book. I absolutely believe that abortion should never be the option; I believe in life and that the life is in the blood. As a former social worker in very at risk, poverty stricken areas, I also understood all too well the many issues surrounding it.

Without a value on life; without strong relationships, I fear that abortion becomes the new “normal”. My son would often glance over at his brother, his sisters, and I could tell he was wondering how anyone could choose to destroy a life. Aside from mom and dad, he was the first to hold every one of his siblings. He helped me in every way when they were babies. It can be hard for adults to understand, much less our younger kids, how perplexing and disturbing, this really is.

Reading this certainly brings about many emotions. There were many conversations about why and how; we got into the history behind it all. There is a passion within the words of this book. A passion for life and for truth. It gets hard to read at times, I admit, but these are words that need to be said. I think that the creative way in which this story is told helps our younger people to really gain a greater understanding for the many pieces that are a part of abortion. It is about so much more than just the life that is destroyed within the mother’s womb. I have never believed abortion is the answer; perhaps because I have always been around young children, I have always envisioned the life that is and what is to come. Knowing Jesus, knowing His word, it is a sad thing for any life to be extinguished. There is a desperate need for us to understand and deal with this issue head on.

This book may offend and anger. It may bring tears and perhaps even healing for those in need. Yet his imagination and his great faith, every word will have you spellbound. Certainly we need more books that are willing to write so boldly; to question what we know and believe, and to encourage us to step beyond what has always been to seek truth and life!

About the Author

Website

Joel Ohman lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.

Author of the #1 bestselling Meritropolis series—“The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”.

Joel is a Christian, CEO, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He is the founder of a number of web startups and currently serves as the CEO and lead operator of 360 Quote, a private equity backed platform company in the online lead generation space, the co-founder and CEO of a B2B SaaS software company, Exercise.com, and has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes.

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of the book in exchange for this review and post.
Posted in Book Review

The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students {Review}

My oldest son is thirteen. He has always enjoyed studying and learning the Word of God. His favorite place to be is in our church and yet with all that we do, I feel the need to make sure that he understands what it all means for his life. So I was pretty excited to learn about this new series of books specifically designed for young adults. He is older now and doesn’t enjoy as much as he once did, study time with mom. This is a really great opportunity to give him materials that are Biblically sound and that he can work through with God on his own. Introduicing,The Gospel- Centered Life in Exodus for Students: Study Guide With Leader’s Notes, has been released by New Growth Press.

There are twelve lessons found within the pages of this book. We need to be able to see Jesus, in the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. We need to look beyond ourselves and what we read, to see the greater message and work that God has been doing throughout time. I personally have always loved the Old Testament. All the types and shadows. There are so many amazing things that point to Jesus; such redemption and grace and mercy. Over and over again!

There is so much we can learn from this book of the Bible. So many similarities we can see between the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, and our young men and women today. Following God, yet murmuring and complaining; doubting and questioning His way. Just as they needed God to save them, from themselves and their sin, so to do we need God today. It can be so hard to see that sin in ourselves; to see and acknowledge our need. Today’s youth, they desperately need to see their need for a Saviour.

So I gave this book to my older son after I had gone over it myself – I determined that this was definitely a book that (if I could get him to crack it open) could greatly bless him. it is definitely meant for a small group setting but since we don’t really have a small group to work through with this, he has been reading and journaling himself as he completes each lesson. I try not to be too curious about some of the things that I know are there for discussion. Feelings of having been forgotten by God… lies that we have believed about God…. We have to really know, for ourselves that we are not forgotten – that God is always with us even when we don’t feel His presence surrounding us.

Each lesson begins with a Big Idea: Christ is the great I AM. The Tabernacle shows how Jesus is central to all of life.God provides the lamb.

Following is the Bible Conversation. What scripture portions were read through? This is an opportunity to discuss the thoughts, the words or phrases that we underlined, highlighted, circled….Moses became frustrated with God; sometimes we too get frustrated with Him (I imagine how often He gets frustrated with me). What is our perspective on those little things that occur and seem to be a disaster in our life or in the life of others”? We read about tragedies and natural disasters on the news; we hear suffering of friends and family – Some of these things are quite a big deal – other things, perhaps we are forgetting the blessings we have in the midst of trials

Each lesson also includes an article to read related to the lesson : One example is, What the Plagues Reveal about the One True King. And following the article are questions to be considered for discussion if in a group. while in some instances we are discussing what situations and experiences meant to those in Bible times, there are also opportunities to consider how it relates to us today. I love that our youth are challenged to look and see God’s goodness and glory in various trials and tribulations. Lastly there are exercises to follow up on the material learned, consider what it means and how we are to be living it out.

This is a wonderful, simple book that helps our youth to go much deeper in the Word of God. I do believe that we live in a time where our youth need to know and understand the power of living for God. They need to have a closer walk with Him; it was said recently that anyone can know the Word of God but it is those who are knowing God, walking in His Spirit, that will be greatly used in these times. I see so many of our youth struggling (not just my own son) with their identity in Christ; with how to really live their faith. This book is amazing and I am so excited and eager to see the next one!

Posted in Book Review

Ellie Claire – Daily Devotionals {Review}

Earlier this fall, I had the pleasure of reviewing some of the most beautiful journals from Ellie Claire.

What a wonderful blessing it was to receive a couple more lovely books; this time they were devotional journals.

Sounds amazing right?

They look even better than they sound let me tell you.

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of devotionals. Honestly I feel like they leave me hungering for more; never quite enough to fill me up.

At the same time, as a momma of four children, also a home educator, some days it can be hard to find the time to really sit at Jesus feet.

Certainly, these Ellie Claire’s 365-Day Devotional Journals are a blessing indeed.

Who doesn’t love peacocks? The Earth Is the Lord’s, and Everything in It explores the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. Such colors; bright and beautiful! Snowflakes and redwood trees; we are surrounded by God’s creation. Every bit created to show God’s glory; to inspire and encourage us, being a sign of God’s greatness. The smallest details sing HIs praises. There is not one jot of all that was created that does not show us HIs care and love; we are reminded daily of His constant attention to every detail. He will never leave us or forsake us but will provide for all of our needs. Each day’s devotional shows a bit more how the daffodils and the Baobab trees are full of value and lessons in living a life fully for God. Each day begins with a Bible verse (there are various versions used- I admit I am a KJV kind of gal myself) and a short prayer. I consider these prayers to be more “get me started”; they are short and simple but if you have one of those “stuck” days, these can really get your prayer jump started, I think! Of course there are also a couple lines for you to journal; I love being able to write down those things I hear God speaking to my heart in my time of study and prayer. He is always faithful to give a word and shouldn’t we always seek one from Him?

I often find myself praying for, striving to enter into, the peace of God. God promises us peace. We are to name and claim all that He has for us but how often do we do the opposite of that? Peace Begins with Me is all about us pursuing peace as we worship and praise our great God! Full of scripture and prayer prompts to guide us as we search for that peace that passes all understanding, we are inspired to be always full of thanksgiving and praise. I especially love the cover design; the blues and greens make me think of the clouds in the sky, peacefully moving about, just as the Spirit moves about, going where the Spirit leads. The style of this book is soothing, for certain, there is something that brings about peace just from having it in your hands. The cover and the pages are smooth, again, just lovely. As sure as the sun, we are promised peace. Yet it all begins with us. Seek after Him; empty yourself of self so that He can fill you up. When we are sold out to Jesus, we will have that perfect peace always.

When we Turn Our Eyes Upon Jesus, there is joy unspeakable. There are blessings in abundance. There is grace to be found in every moment of every day. Will we search and see God in the midst of it all? I love the beautiful, spring filled cover of this one! And how each day begins with lyrics from a worship song or hymn. For each day there is a scripture passage recommended; whether we are seeking after greater satisfaction in Christ or reassurance of HIs provision for us, there is always a word that speaks to our heart and soul. Reminding us that we must choose, each day, to surrender ourselves to His will for our day. Every day. We will face our own Goliath(s), and we will have days when we just can’t….It is then we need to turn our eyes upon Jesus. See HIs strength in our weakness. Great is His faithfulness.

All three of these journals truly are gorgeous. The colors; the pages – no need to worry about ink bleeding through these pages – thick and durable. Each one has a ribbon marker and I just adore the elastic closure that is found on each book. Bookmarks are scarce in our house as of late. Not something I will complain about at all since I have had reluctant readers for so long and am finally seeing some bookworms about. These really are beautiful. With a variety of designs there is certainly one that you would enjoy. These would also be a great blessing to someone who is going through the wilderness; I think of this also as a great way to go about morning time in your homeschool even. There are so many great little morsels to be found and once we find our treasure, shouldn’t we eagerly reach out to others to share?

Purchase your Journals Here:
Peace Begins with Me: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Earth Is the Lord’s and Everything In It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these journals from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Blogging through the Alphabet, Book Review, Product Review

Ellie Claire Art Journals {Review}

Tis the season when all are shopping…stressfully? Maybe peacefully?

Looking for a perfectly lovely gift to give that dear sweet friend…

One that will bless them, and keep blessing them …. ?

You have got to check out these absolutely fabulous art journals 🙂

I received these three gorgeous journals:

Aren’t these SO pretty? And this is just the cover. Once you look inside each one of them – it’s even better!

And each one is uniquely purposed. Full of opportunities to pray and meditate on the Word of God.

I admit that I love art; I do not have that talent however. No matter how I try my drawings or letterings are….Well, it isn’t very pretty.

But my oldest son, being so very artistic and so entrepreneurial too, was excited to see these come in the mail (especially since he is getting ready to launch an Etsy store selling his very own drawings).

These were a great opportunity for him, and for me too, to sit down and enjoy something together (art is relaxing, right? I read recently about the health benefits of artistic practices too so … Yes!)

The very first journal we dig into is The Illustrated Word; An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal. My oldest daughter loved this one! She loves to color and is just beginning her artistic journey; plus she is rally getting into writing so she thought this was the best of both worlds. Beautiful pages to color; scripture to memorize and then some lined pages to write and write some more. Want to know where all of these images came from? There are footnotes so that if you are like me, you can go from a bit of coloring to hours of reading and research on the Book of Common Prayer, or the Ethiopic Manuscript. I love history and so even if I wasn’t diving into coloring these pages, I really enjoyed learning even more church history from the intriguing and historical images within the pages of this journal. There are approximately forty images for you to color and explore; the paper is thick enough that colors don’t bleed through so you can really enjoy coloring every image. If you are like me, you will look up the original and then try to copy it exactly; my daughter however lives for all things pink and purple and teal so …. Her take on these pieces from ancient manuscripts is quite bright! 🙂

Did you know there is such a thing as professional letterers? I had no idea until I received the Faith & Lettering Journal from Krystal Whitten. This is definitely great for someone who really longs to increase their faith and also develop a love for hand lettering. I think of this as those a journal and also a course of sorts. There pages for us to trace and practice. There are also little tips throughout to encourage us along the way (for me hand lettering is hard!).

My favorite? The Illuminate Your Story Journal. I was really smitten by all the information on these pages. You see this isn’t just a journal for lettering. It is also a history of illuminated lettering. There was so much I just never knew! Learning about the many different styles was quite interesting; it was quite a historical and geographical trip for us too. Ottonian, Insular, Gothic … So many lovely styles to choose from and everyone with an amazing story. I have to admit however, this is so lovely I really have been hesitant to start working in this one. Lord help me to have faith. 😁

You can purchase a copy of anyone or all three of these lovely journals for yourself or for a friend. I am sure he forget blessing no matter their (or your) artistic abilities.
Illuminate Your Story Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Faith & Lettering Journal Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Illustrated Word The Illustrated Word | Barnes & Noble

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these journals free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Goggles of Gratefulness

Gratefulness is something that is so important. I think of all the things that come from simply being grateful.

When we are grateful we are not likely to be angry or bitter; we are content and blessed in exactly what we have.

 

That’s something we could all practice more right? (I am so guilty sometimes of wanting what my neighbor has).   😀

 

Free Children's eBook: Goggles of Gratefulness

In this sweet e-book we can help our kids to learn and practice gratefulness.  This is a free e-book for children, Goggles of Gratefulness, from Compassion International. Full of activities and based on a true story of a family who visited their Compassion sponsored child in Uganda, this book takes a closer look at what it means to be thankful for what we have and generous with what we share. As you journey with Amelia the bird to visit others and see how different their needs are from ours, we get an opportunity to discuss the value of what we have.

 

 

 

Along with this free book think about using the Family Generosity Challenge devotional! What a difference we could make if we really took to getting out there and doing so many of these things that we talk about.I know we have been looking to become more involved in giving in our community as of late. What powerful examples these actions can be too!

 

 

I hear so often that still small voice reminding me that we all need to “go”; maybe it isn’t to another part of the world. Maybe it is just down the street. But we need to “go” if we are going to shine that light.

 

 

Be sure to get a copy of this book and learn with your children, generosity, humility and thankfulness through a fun, colorful and sweet story! You get so much more than just a little book; you learn and walk together in the way.  Each day reading a Bible passage that talks about the topic, a short devotional message, prayer and application points. It’s so simple!

Don’t miss out. Get yours today and let’s be the world changers that He calls us to be.  ❤