Tuesday, January 27, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: One Sentence Storybooks [Giveaway CLOSED]


 Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of 
this book set for the purpose of this review.

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY has a new book set for young children (recommended age range of 3-5), written by Nancy Sanders, called  "ONE SENTENCE STORYBOOKS - Bible Favorites. " It is a great little product for parents to share with their young ones who are pre-readers, or beginning readers.

Have you seen the BOB BOOKS series for beginning readers? Well, the One Sentence Storybooks remind me of those in some ways, except they are more colorful, and are based on popular Bible stories. The book set includes 10 small paperback books enclosed in a little cardboard box. Each book has simple words. They start with one or two words, then build on those to make one complete sentence. Then, at the end of each book, parents can read:
  • One Truth to Learn
  • One verse to Say
  • One Prayer to Pray
And, on the very last page are instructions for ways to interact with your child through the book. For example:  Point to something white, find two circles, read the word that starts with the same sound as "home."

If I still had young children, I would be excited to share this book set with them. I did go ahead and let my 12 year old read the books to see what he thought and, although he is too old for them, he did say they were "pretty cool." 

Since my kids really won't be needing these books at this stage, I would like to give my set away to someone who can use them. So, if you are interested in this set, please enter your name and e-mail address in the box below. Giveaway ends on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. CST.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #4: Hospitality to Strangers



It is typically a natural thing for most of us to be an encouragement to our friends - the people we already know and trust. But, the Bible is clear that we should also be encouraging (showing hospitality to) strangers.

What does it mean to show hospitality? It means to be generous and friendly towards someone, even if you don't know them very well. It's not just about entertaining or having people over for dinner (although that is a great thing to do!) It's about showing the love of Christ through ANY act of service.

Why by hospitable? Because it's a ministry, it's what Jesus would do, and it's what He TELLS us to do. YOU may actually be the only Christian a person comes in contact with, and they could easily judge Jesus Christ by how you act toward them. With that in mind, we should always be conscious of the way we treat others. (And, you never know.... like the verse above says, you just might be helping out an angel in disguise.)


ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE #4:
Do something kind for someone you don’t know that shows Christian hospitality toward them. Pay for a cup of coffee or a doughnut at the coffee shop, invite a visitor at your church over for lunch after services, get to know a co-worker or a neighbor by inviting them over for an evening, volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen, provide a meal or a special treat for your local fire department, police department, or Ambulance service. The list goes on. Just keep your eyes open and take the opportunity to BE JESUS to a "stranger" this week.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #3: Prisoner Alert


How was your week? How did you do with CHALLENGE #2? Did you send out a couple of encouraging cards to your chosen people? I sent a card in the mail to a friend who is going through a divorce, and I gave another card to a lady at church who had surgery this week for uterine cancer. Along with the cards, I combined it with CHALLENGE #1 and prayed for them both throughout the week. Its nice to know, just because a challenge week comes to an end, we don't have to let the encouraging acts come to an end. If you haven't started these challenges yet, don't feel discouraged, or feel like you are behind on anything. You can jump in at any time. There is no time limit on encouraging others.

Today's challenge focuses on encouraging Christians who have been arrested for their faith...

ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE #3
There is an easy way we can encourage Christian prisoners who were arrested for their faith.  Go to Prisoner Alert, click on the "Prisoners" tab, choose a prisoner, then follow the instructions for sending them an encouraging letter. It is simple. The website will give you choices of things to say and will even translate the letter into the prisoner's own language. Then, just print it out and mail it to the address they give you.

Or, go to Voice of the Martyrs and choose one other way to get involved in reaching out to those who are being persecuted for Christ.

Monday, January 12, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: "The Identical" Inspirational Movie [Giveaway CLOSED]

Over the weekend, my husband and I had the privilege of previewing a new Dove-approved inspirational movie, "The Identical," starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne.

The story is about a young man born in the mid 1930's who was separated at birth from his identical twin brother. He is raised by a preacher who wants him to follow in his footsteps, but his desires are for a career in music. Time passes by and the movie kept our interest as we followed the storyline and began rooting for the young man to finally become reconnected with his first family. The touching ending reveals the hidden truth of his past, a special reunion, and also a restored relationship with his adopted father. We would give it at least a 4 out of 5 stars. A good, clean movie.

It will be available on Blu-Ray/DVD on January 13, 2015. More information and movie trailers can be seen on the following sites:



YOU have a chance to win a copy of this DVD for your own movie library! All you have to do is enter your name and e-mail address in the giveaway tool below and hit the "Submit" button. Super easy!

This giveaway will close on Monday, January 19 at  8:00 p.m. CST. One winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools. I will contact you via e-mail if you have won and will allow 24 hours for a response before moving on to the next person. The DVD will be mailed directly to the winner by FLYBY PROMOTIONS.


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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #2: "Thinking of You" Cards


For this week's challenge, I am using the same verse as last week because, well... I like it! And, I'll probably end up using it again before this series is over. It just fits well with the topic. But, before I mention challenge #2, how did you do with challenge #1? Did you accomplish the task? Was it easy to do, or difficult for you? Do you have anything to share about how God answered a specific prayer? I would love to hear from you!

I chose three people to specifically pray for. One was a family member, one was an old friend, and one was a lady from church. I contacted the first two in a Facebook message. The third one, I directly talked to after church last Sunday. That was a challenge for me because I'm not much of a talker and would rather just send an e-mail or a private message, but I'm so glad I did it because it gave me a chance to see her reaction. When I asked her if there was anything specific I could pray about for her through the week, she seemed a bit surprised. She looked away and said just one word: "Wow." I'm guessing things like that don't happen to her very often. It's sad, isn't it? How many of us are out there asking for prayer requests from others? If I hadn't brought up this challenge, would YOU have asked someone how you could pray for them during the week? Honestly, I'm really not sure I would have done it without the prompt, but I want that to change. As Christians, we are meant to "encourage one another and build up one another," just like it says in the verse above. That's what these challenges are all about - to open our eyes to different ways we can and should be encouraging others, and to spur us on to DO the things we have been called to do.

After my chosen people told me their prayer requests, I wrote them down so I wouldn't forget them, and made sure to follow through with praying for them every day this past week. I know at least one request was answered; and it was a good feeling to know, even if I couldn't change someone's circumstances, I could at least pray for them and ask God to give them the strength to make it through their difficult days. I want to keep doing this, and I hope you do too.

Now, on to Challenge #2. It is simple to do, but it can also bring a lot of encouragement to someone's day...

ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE #2
Go buy one or two "Thinking of you" cards, or make your own, and send them in the mail. Everyone enjoys getting mail that is not a bill or an advertisement. So, make someone smile with a simple card. You might also add a Bible verse or two to encourage them in their Christian walk.

Friday, January 9, 2015

REVIEW: Furry Logic 10th Anniversary Edition

Are you an animal lover? Or, do you know someone who is one? If so, there is a humorous little book available from  Random House that you might be interested in getting. 

Jane Seabrook is the creator and artist of the Furry Logic series. The Furry Logic 10th Anniversary Edition is the 9th book in the series. It is a small, hardback book with adorable paintings of all kinds of animals including cats, owls, frogs, lions, penguins, bears, ostriches, and many others. Each colorful painting is accompanied by a short saying or quote, similar to what you might find on a bumper sticker. Some sayings are funny, some are sweet, and some just give simple reminders that we are all unique and its okay to just be you.

This is not a religious book. It doesn't talk about God or Christianity, and I don't necessarily agree with all of the sayings in this book. But, it is cute, and it did make me smile.

NOTE:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"A Love Letter from God" GIVEAWAY EXTENDED (CLOSED)

There seems to have been a problem with the entry form for the giveaway of the new children's book, "A Love Letter from God." 
 
The form has been fixed and I have extended the giveaway to Friday, January 9th at 8:00 p.m. CST. 

If you already tried to enter this giveaway, please go back to the original post and enter again.

If you have not entered yet, this is your chance!

Click on the link below to take you back to the original post. Sorry for any inconvenience!



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #1: Pray for Others

Starting today, I am going to be focusing on a new series of encouragement challenges. There are many verses in God's Word that share the importance of encouraging others, such as the one listed above. I plan on sharing a verse with you each Sunday. Then, I will also post a challenge and encourage you to follow through with it during the week. If you do follow through, I would love to hear stories of what you did, how you did it, and/or what the reaction was.

If you haven't already signed up to follow updates from this blog via e-mail or otherwise, go ahead and do it now so you won't miss out on the weekly challenges!

And now for the first challenge...

ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE #1:    
Either today or tomorrow, choose one or two people whom you are friends with. Contact them through Facebook, e-mail, or telephone and ask them what they would like for you to pray about for them this week. Tell them you will pray for them DAILY, and then do it. Then, contact them at the end of the week and see how they are doing.
 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Love Letter From God [Giveaway CLOSED]

How would you like to receive a love letter from God? Something that explains how God really feels about you, how He can help you through difficult times, and how He encourages you? God's Word, the Bible, is the ultimate love letter written to us to help us on our life-long journey. But, for young children, there is a new release from Ideals Books written by author P.K. Hallinan. It is  a delightful children's book called, A Love Letter from God.

I especially like the lines in the book that say:


But always be certain
I'll take every wrong
and use it for good
to help make you STRONG!

I love you, My child, 
so I'll reach out My hand
and I'll send you My blessings
so you'll understand.

From there, the book goes on to show the many blessings God has given us - things we can experience every day if we only open our eyes and our hearts to receive them.

This is a meaningful and enjoyable book to snuggle on the couch and read to your little ones. I like it very much and will add it to my library.

And, guess what? YOU have a chance to win a copy of this book for your own library! All you have to do is enter your name and e-mail address in the giveaway tool here. Super easy! If you don't already follow my blog, I would love it if you would, but it is not a requirement:


The giveaway will originally set to close on January 6, but it has been EXTENDED TO JANUARY 9th, 8:00 p.m. CST. One winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools. I will contact you via e-mail if you have won and will allow 24 hours for a response before moving on to the next person. The book will be mailed directly to the winner by FLYBY PROMOTIONS.

ALSO, for the entire month of JANUARY, every book from www.idealsbooks.com with the word "Love" in the title will be 20% off!  Do a search for "LOVE2015" for a complete list of books. Some of these books could make great Valentine's Day gifts for your little ones. Promotional Code to apply at check out is LOVE2015

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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.