Wednesday, November 14, 2018

REVIEW: Ellie Claire Art Journals

Do you enjoy writing in a journal? Do you enjoy creative coloring? Are you looking for a journal that is different than just a bunch of blank lines? Look no further. I was given 3 journals to look through, with the Ellie Claire imprint, and they are unlike any other journals I have seen or used.  You might find what you are looking for with one of these options.

The Illustrated Word, from the Museum of the Bible, is an Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal that includes intricate coloring pages as well as lined pages. There are 40 color illustrations in the journal, inspired by the Museum's collection of illuminated manuscripts (early Bible and book manuscripts that were intricately illustrated to make the Biblical text come alive). These 40 illustrations have been recreated as line drawings for the purpose of coloring and creating your own treasured keepsake.



Illuminate Your Story is also from the Museum of the Bible. It is a bit smaller in size than the first journal I mentioned but it is easy to hold and includes some extra features such as:  an attached cloth bookmark, an elastic strap to hold the book shut, a pocket on the inside of the back cover to hold keepsakes, and an elastic band on the spine to hold a pen or pencil. This journal is unique in the way it provides a step-by-step guide for drawing illuminated letters (like the S on the journal cover). In the introduction, you can also learn about the history and significance of biblical illuminations. So, this smaller journal is BIG in many ways. It provides opportunities for learning about biblical illuminations, for developing a skill, for writing your stories on the lined pages, and for being creative.
Faith & Lettering, is the final journal I was able to review. It is not from Museum of the Bible, but from hand-lettering artist and graphic designer Krystal Whitten. This one is probably my favorite out of the three. It has pretty colors inside and out, and provides practice room for learning how to hand-create different lettering styles and embellishments. It also includes pages for Bible journaling, as well as lined pages for writing down your thoughts.

It really depends on your "style" and what you are looking for in a journal keepsake; but I think I will start out with the Faith & Lettering Journal. It fits my style the best out of the three. But, all of them look great and give new meaning to the phrase "creative journaling."

If you are looking for a unique gift to give to your creative family members, consider one of these journals, or head over to WORTHY PUBLISHING GROUP to see loads of other Ellie Claire journals that are available.

 

    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    TRUST #40: Trusting There is a Reason for Delays


    My husband, David, has not had much chance to sit down and write a "Trust Post" for me. But, he recently told me about something that happened to him on his way home from work, and said I could share it.

    While getting into his car, he somehow dropped his cell phone and it bounced underneath of his car. He had to bend down and reach under the car to retrieve it, which took maybe a total of 5 seconds of his time. He could have easily grumbled about the delay, even though it was a short one. But, instead, he wondered if maybe there was a reason for it.

    It was getting dark out because David had stayed later that evening. So, it was harder to see things out in the fields. As he was driving through the country, a deer jumped out in front of his car and he just missed hitting it. He figured, if he had met that deer just 5 seconds sooner, he would have definitely hit it. Remember ~ It had taken him 5 seconds to retrieve his phone from under his car.

    So, the next time you are frustrated about a delay, take a deep breath and TRUST in the fact that God is in control. He may be causing your delay in order to spare you from an accident or a tragedy that is about to happen.



    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    Hillsong Kids DVD "Can You Believe It?" (Review & Giveaway)


    Hillsong has a new DVD for kids that could be a great resource for parents and church leaders to use. It's called, "Can You Believe It!? - Songs of Truth."

    This DVD includes a 25-minute "radio show" called Funny Man Dan. In this show, there is humor, fun, interviews, and music videos featuring kids in action. The 4 music videos are:
    • I Give You My Halleluiah
    • My Best Friend
    • What a Beautiful Name
    • We Came to Meet with You
    In the show, the hosts mention how they chose 6 topics for what they believe about God and put them into the songs. Those topics are: (1) The Bible, (2) God, (3) Separation & a Savior, (4) Living for God, (5) God's House/The Church, and (6) The Best is Yet to Come.

    The DVD also includes a section of 14 lyric videos to sing along with; and these same songs can also be watched in a "Live from the Studio" section.

    MY THOUGHTS:
    Hillsong's desire is that this collection of fun and faith-filled songs will help children around the world declare God's love and grace for them. After watching this DVD, I can see how it could be a useful tool for instilling God's love into the hearts of children. In my opinion, it would probably work best in a group setting, but it could be used successfully in a variety of different ways, including in the home, church, Sunday School, youth group, and more.

    WATCH PREVIEW HERE:
    HILLSONG KIDS PREVIEW

    BUY HERE:
    HILLSONG KIDS "CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?"


    ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
    If you are already signed up to receive my posts in your e-mail, then you are already entered into this giveaway. If you are not on the e-mail list, then you can use the FEEDBURNER form located near the top of this blog. (NOTE: You may need to be viewing the web version of this blog in order to see the Feedburner form.) If you don't want to join the e-mail list, feel free to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment under this post. Entries will be accepted through Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. A random drawing will be held at that time and the winner will be notified. Open to United States only.

    11-10-18 WINNER:  Melissa B

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    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. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    Sunday, November 4, 2018

    TRUST #39: A Good Report on EL's 6th MRI


    On Wednesday, we took a trip to St. Louis for EL's 6th sedated MRI, and then a checkup with her Neuro-Oncologist. These brain scans have been necessary for monitoring the potential growth of a [currently] non-active tumor in her pituitary gland, and also a cyst in her pineal gland. Her last MRI was 2 years ago.


    These visits are never easy, but this one was probably the easiest one we have had so far. EL was in a fairly good mood and knew what to expect, which was helpful; but there was one thing they did differently that made a world of difference. Instead of using Versed to relax her during the IV needle stick, they used a mask with Nitrous Oxide (the stuff used in a Dentist office). 


    Versed was previously administered as a spray in her nose, which she hated; and it gave side effects that always made her wake up grumpy and angry. The Nitrous, however, was easy to use, smelled good (like cherries), helped her to relax during the needle stick, and she did not wake up with a nasty Versed "hangover." Woo Hoo!


    After she woke up, we gave her some apple juice to drink and waited until she could walk without falling over before leaving to get lunch. Then, after lunch, we met with her Neuro-Oncologist to go over the results.

    In the picture below, the left side gives us a look at the scan from Wednesday. The right side is a scan from 2 years ago. On the left, I circled and labeled the two spots of concern. The pituitary tumor is a small solid mass at the lower portion of the pituitary gland. The pineal cyst is harder to see because it is fluid-filled; but it can be seen inside of the pineal gland.


    I am pleased to report her MRI results showed no changes from the previous scan! The tumor and the cyst have not grown in size, and are not causing any problems with vision or with hormone levels. This is great news, of course; and we won't need to have another scan until 2 years from now, unless she begins exhibiting symptoms. Another Woo Hoo!

    We are thankful, grateful, and blessed, and will continue TRUSTING in the Lord - not just because of our good results, but because He is our God, He cares about us, and He is worthy of our praise.

    Friday, October 26, 2018

    REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Chris Tomlin “Holy Roar” CD


    What does it mean to praise God? Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead say:  "In the ancient world something extraordinary happened when God’s people gathered to worship him. It was more than just singing; it was a declaration, a proclamation, a time to fully embody praise to God for who he is, and what he has done. In fact, in the Psalms, there are seven Hebrew words that are translated into the English word “praise,” each of which represents a different aspect of what it means to truly praise God."

    You can read more about this in their new book:

    And, if you enjoy listening to worship music, Chris Tomlin's newly released companion CD will not disappoint you. I am listening to it as I write this, and its great. The words and the music are an uplifting reminder that God is good, He loves me unlike any other, and He is worthy of my praise.

    HOLY ROAR: the freedom, the experience, the wonder of worship. It is seeing the church come together, hands lifted to God, pouring out our praise with an eternal song in our hearts. It’s every voice together, changing the way we worship.  

    There are so many great songs on this CD. Here's a sample of just one:



    LYRICS:  Nobody Loves Me Like You
    Morning, I see You in the sunrise every morning
    It’s like a picture that You’ve painted for me
    A love letter in the sky

    Story, I could’ve had a really different story
    But You came down from Heaven to restore me
    Forever saved my life

    Chorus
    Nobody loves me like You love me Jesus
    I stand in awe of Your amazing ways
    I worship You as long as I am breathing
    God, You are faithful and true
    Nobody loves me like You

    Mountains, You’re breaking down the weight of all my mountains
    Even when it feels like I’m surrounded
    You never leave my side

    Chorus 

    Oh, what a song to sing  (x3)
    Jesus, You love me 
    And I love You, God

    Chorus
     
    © 2018 Rivermusic Holdings, LP, 
    under exclusive license to Capitol Christian Music Group, Inc. 

    BUY THE CD HERE:
    HOLY ROAR 

    ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: 
    I am able to give away a copy of this CD to one of my blog readers! If you are interested, please leave a comment on this blog post, or leave a comment (or a "like") under the post on our Facebook page:  HE HOLDS MY RIGHT HAND MINISTRIES. Entries will be accepted until Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. Open to United States only.

    10-28-18 WINNER:  Rhonda J.


     


    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.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

     

    Sunday, October 21, 2018

    TRUST #37: Selah "Lord I Trust You"


    Todd Smith is one of the vocalists in the Christian group, Selah. He says, "This song was inspired by believers in persecution who are standing for the name of Jesus even when it costs them their lives." However, it is a great song for all of us to be reminded that our God is God, through the good times and the hard times. TRUSTING in Him is a choice we need to make, regardless of joy or loss.

    Co-written by Todd Smith and Travis Ryan

    Verse1:  It may not seem I have what it will take
    I fear that in the face of trial I'll break
    Any trouble's just a day away

    Verse 2:  The best to worst of days are yet to come
    Be glorified regardless of the cost
    Be magnified whether joy or loss
    Lord, I trust You

    [Chorus]
    Lord, You are life inside the fire
    Lord, You are the grace that rises higher
    Oh, there will never be
    A day that You are not with me
    Oh Lord, I trust You

    Verse 3:  I believe but help my unbelief
    Help me go wherever You will lead
    Do with me whatever You would please
    Lord, I trust You

    [Chorus]

    Bridge:  I can't find the strength to pray
    All seems lost and it's too late, oh-ohh
    I cannot fear what comes my way
    Find me faithful in the day, oh-ohh
    'Cause the only hope I have is You will be enough

    [Chorus]

    Oh Lord, I trust, You





    Sunday, October 14, 2018

    TRUST #36: David Nevue and Psalm 5


    David Nevue is one of my favorite piano players. I love listening to his relaxing inspirational music each night as I fall asleep.

    One of my favorites of his is Psalm 5. It is so calming and peaceful and . . . oh, the words . . . they are a beautiful picture of what it means to really TRUST in God.

    You can't audibly hear the words in Mr. Nevue's piano music but, if you know what they are, you can hear them in your mind while he is playing. Many years ago in the 70's and 80's, I remember listening to this song being sung by the Maranatha singers, so I do know the words. I encourage you to learn them as well, as the words are taken directly from Scripture - Psalm 5:1-3 - 

    Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

    Using the Lexicon on Bible Hub, I came up with the following paraphrase that might give you a little better understanding of this passage:

    Give ear to my words, O Lord 
    Listen to me, Oh Lord (Yahweh - Hebrew name for eternal God)
    consider my meditation 
    understand my groanings, musings, whisperings
    Hearken unto the voice of my cry 
    Give attention to my cries for help
    my king, and my God 
    my king, and my God (Elohim - Hebrew name for strong and powerful God)
    for unto thee will I pray 
    I ask You to intervene
    My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord
    You will hear me in the morning, Yahweh
    in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, 
    in the morning I will lay my requests before you,
    and will look up 
    and will keep watch, or wait expectantly.

    Sunday, October 7, 2018

    TRUST #35: Choose to Cease Striving



    Charles Swindoll, a well-known Bible-teaching pastor and the Founder of INSIGHT FOR LIVING, has a quote based around the verse above. He says:

    "We must cease striving and TRUST God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn't come naturally. It's a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith." - Charles R. Swindoll

    If we wish to strengthen our TRUST, we must choose to exercise our FAITH.

    How do we do that?  We cease striving.

    In other words, BE STILL! Exodus 14:14 - "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Stop fighting and struggling to win a war YOU cannot win! Be at rest as you pray and acknowledge that God is in control of your circumstances. BELIEVE He will not fail you. Have FAITH in Him.

    I've heard it said that FAITH is "believing without seeing." In fact, Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (NIV)

    Having faith means:

    • Believing God is real, and good, and is always watching over us, even when we can't physically see Him.
    • Choosing to "see" God through the actions of other Believers, and in the beauty surrounding us.
    • Believing God's Word is true, and that He will always keep His promises.
    • Trusting that ALL things will work out for the good of those who love Him. 
    • Having hope that better things are on the way.

    Cease striving (be still) and know that HE IS GOD.
    It is a choice.

     

    Sunday, September 30, 2018

    TRUST #34: Do Not Worry About Tomorrow


    My niece, Carolyn, and I have occasionally been corresponding the "old fashioned" way - via physical letters sent through the post office. She is a 3rd year student at Moody Bible Institute this year, and she wrote to me shortly before returning to classes this Fall. I asked her if I could share a portion of her letter, and she agreed.

    In this portion of her letter, Carolyn shares one of the ways the Lord has taught her to let go of her worries and TRUST in Him: 
    It has been an amazing and growing experience being at Moody! I've loved it so much! One thing God really emphasized during last year at Moody was TRUSTING Him, and processing my emotions. He taught me how to breathe, name off everything that was worrying me or weighing me down, literally count them on my hands, then let go of them, exhale, and say "I give 'such and such' to You. I TRUST You." That has been amazing!
     

    Sunday, September 23, 2018

    TRUST #33: HYMN - Trusting Jesus

    When we put our TRUST in the Lord, it can bring us comfort as we realize that, even when we don't understand God's ways, everything we go through in life happens for a reason. It brings us peace. 

    Edgar P. Stites was a hymn writer and an active member of his church in the mid to late 1800's. One of the hymns he wrote, Trusting Jesus, conveys the type of trust he had. The lyr­ics first ap­peared as a po­em in a news­pa­per. Then, the words were giv­en to Evangelist, Dwight L. Moo­dy, who then asked his song leader, Ira D. Sank­ey, to put the words to mu­sic. A beautiful hymn was the result. It is a timeless hymn that has encouraged many to keep "trusting Him whate'r befall, TRUSTING Jesus, that is all." 

    TRUSTING JESUS
    Words by: Edgar P. Stites
    Music by: Ira D. Sankey

    Simply trusting every day,
    Trusting through a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Refrain
    Trusting as the moments fly,
    Trusting as the days go by;
    Trusting Him whate’er befall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Brightly does His Spirit shine
    Into this poor heart of mine;
    While He leads I cannot fall;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Refrain
    Singing if my way is clear,
    Praying if the path be drear;
    If in danger for Him call;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Refrain

    Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past;
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Refrain



    REFERENCES:

    Wednesday, September 19, 2018

    REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

    Let me introduce you to a new, illustrated story Bible, sweetly written by Doris Rikkers, and colorfully illustrated by Fernando Juarez. Before you start thinking, "Oh, its just another Bible storybook for children," let me tell you what's unique about this one.

    The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible uses over 40 short stories, presented in a way that helps readers understand how God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today.

    The book starts out with the account of Creation, where it says in Genesis 1:2, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (NIV) From there, we are taken through many of the accounts in the Old Testament - some of which will be new stories to the children (and even the adults) who read them. Then, after the building of the temple in Jerusalem is completed, we are taken into the New Testament where we are taught about the life of Christ, and the birth of the church. 

    In my opinion, this storybook is a unique way of presenting the Bible to children of all ages, while also being appealing (and educational) for adults.

    For more information and to view a sampler, click the "landing page" here:

    GIVEAWAY:  I am happy to be able to give away a copy of this bible to one of my readers. If you are interested, you will need to do ONE of two things - either make a comment on this blog post and make sure I have a contact e-mail for you, or make a comment on the Facebook post on HHMRH MINISTRIES PAGE where I will contact you via private message if you are the winner. For all those who comment, a random drawing will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
     
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    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. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    Sunday, September 16, 2018

    TRUST #32: Remember His Wondrous Works (GUEST: Carolyn McIntosh)

    At the end of July, before taking a blogging break, I gave a list of  TRUST posts that had already been published: TRUST #29:  A REVIEW OF TRUST POSTS 

    In that post, I asked you all to share what your favorite posts have been to that point, or share a testimony of how these posts have impacted you.

    My mom, the wonderful and great encourager that she is, jumped at the chance to write a note and share her thoughts with all of us. Here is what she wrote: 
    One of the TRUST blogs Vicky has written, and I enjoyed, was the one about remembering how God has helped us in the past - TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past
    In my late 30's, I was going through a real hard time emotionally. During that time, Vicky (a teenager then) made me a homemade verse card. It was Isaiah 41:13 - For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. I still have the card some 35 years later in my living room and I still read it, reminding me He does help us through rough times. It has become one of my favorite Bible verses. 
    I also like Hebrews 13:5 - I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Since losing my husband 16 months ago, this verse I say often. It is a promise I am never alone. There have been many things I have needed to do and, because of Him, I don’t have to do them alone. He has been there to help provide through my family and my church family. He is there to help me, and will continue to be there. He cares for the small things as well as the bigger ones. We have an awesome God!   ~ Carolyn McIntosh (Mom)

    Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Tori Kelly "Hiding Place" CD


    You may know her as a fairly new pop-artist whose debut album "Unbreakable Smile" was released in 2015. You may remember her as the voice of "Meena the elephant" on the animated film SING. But, what you may not know is that TORI KELLY has had a lifelong passion for gospel music.

    With the help of her manager, Scooter Braun, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter connected with Kirk Franklin, a 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and one of Kelly’s musical idols. “I flew to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he’d written, and I fell in love with all of them,” says Kelly. So, with its R&B-infused take on classic gospel, Ms. Kelly's newest album, Hiding Place, will be released on September 14, 2018. It presents what Franklin refers to as “hope-pop.”

    Kelly says, "One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen." She goes on to say, "I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart."

    As I listened to the CD, I definitely noticed the R & B style, which is not my favorite style of music. However, Ms. Kelly has a beautiful voice, and the lyrics to each of the 8 songs bring out the importance of being real with God and with placing our faith, hope and trust in Him. My favorite is "Souls Anthem," the last song on the album. Check out these lyrics:

    Teach me how to love you. Show me how to trust you,
    more than with my words or with a song.
    No, it's not been easy to live life down on my knees,
    but with faith I know I'll carry on.

    There is more to see than with my eyes.
    Fear sometimes can leave me paralyzed.
    I realize that I'm not in control, 
    yet it is well with my soul.

    The enemy's against me, arrows all around me, 
    never knew the fight would last so long.
    In seasons of depression, I plead for your protection.
    Make me right, I'm tired of being wrong.

    Every time there's hope, it seems to die, 
    and the voices all around they feed that lie.
    Everything I see tells me to let go, 
    yet it it well with my soul.

    This fight I'm in is not of flesh and blood. 
    The weapons that I need are in your love.
    Lord, don't you ever let me go, 
    You make it well with my soul. 


    GIVEAWAY:  I am able to give away a copy of this CD to one of my readers who are in the United States. If you are interested, do one of two things - either make a comment on this blog post and make sure I have a contact e-mail for you, or make a comment under the Facebook post on HHMRH MINISTRIES PAGE where I will contact you via private message if you are the winner. For all who comment, a random drawing will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. 


    Here is a video of Ms. Kelly singing "Never Alone." 



    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. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    Sunday, September 9, 2018

    TRUST #31: Ideas to Help Grandparents Share their Faith with their Grandchildren

    Grandparents tend to have a special kind of love for their grandchildren, and can often have a significant impact in their lives. So, since today is Grandparent's Day, this TRUST post is for all of you grandparents who have the great opportunity of passing along your faith to your grandchildren.

    As a grandparent, consider some of these ideas that may help encourage your grandchildren to live a life of faith:
    1. Pray for them on a regular basis, and also be sure to TELL them you are praying for them.
    2. Ask them HOW you can pray for them.
    3. Teach them how to pray and/or take them to church with you, if their parents will allow it. (It's always important to be respectful of the parents wishes.)
    4. For young ones, read stories to them that tell of God's love for them.
    5. For grandchildren of ALL ages, share stories from your own life about times when prayers have been answered, or when you needed to TRUST God to help you through a difficult situation. Share your stories in person, or over the phone; or go one step further and record them on a cassette tape, or ask someone to video tape you telling your stories. What a special gift that would be!
    6. If you enjoy writing, take the time to write your faith/trust stories in a notebook or journal in your own handwriting. This would be another great gift to give to the generations that follow you! Or, you could type up an entire memoir and get it self-published. If that is the direction you choose to go in, my friend Linda has a lot of helpful information on memoir writing over at her blog:  SPIRITUAL MEMOIRS 101
    I am thankful for the blessing of wonderful parents and grandparents who have impacted my life with their faith. Here are a just a few photos of our kids with the grandparents who have shared in their lives over the years. These loving grandparents have not only talked about their faith, but have also shown by their actions what it means to live a life of TRUSTING in the Lord.

    At Robin Hood Woods Campground with Grandma & Grandpa S. - July 2004

    On our church playground with Grandma & Grandpa Mc. - 2005

    Various photos with Grandma & Grandpa S. in 2007

    Playing at a park while visiting Grandpa & Grandma Mc. - August 2009

    Visiting Great Grandma Mac in her home - June 2011

    Celebrating the Holidays with Grandpa & Grandma S. - 2013

    Various photos with Grandma & Grandpa Mc. in 2014

    Both sets of grandparents at our house for a visit - August 2015

    Mother's Day with Grandma Mc. - May 2018

    Visiting a covered bridge with Grandma & Grandpa S.  - May 2018

    HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!


    Psalm 92:14-15 (NIV)
    "They will still bear fruit in old age, 
    they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 
    “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, 
    and there is no wickedness in Him."


    Sunday, September 2, 2018

    TRUST #30: He Will Carry Us Safe to Shore


    I'm finally back after taking a one-month blogging break. How are you doing with placing your TRUST in the Lord?

    While I was on my break, my family took a mini-vacation with David's parents to St. Joseph, Michigan. I was excited to see the lighthouses there along Silver Beach; and even more excited to tour the bigger lighthouse and climb to the top of the tower.

    I love lighthouses. I'm sure I got the interest in them from my dad, since he was a huge fan of them also. I thought of him a lot as we were walking out on the pier and, I admit, a few of my tears were shed. He would have loved being there, and I wished I could have shared those moments with him. But, I'm thankful I was able to share the experience with my husband, our son, and David's dad. I was in awe at my first, up-close look at a lighthouse.

    What is it about lighthouses that are so intriguing? For one, they are beautiful, have interesting architecture, and they come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. But, more than that, they are great reminders of how God is a beacon for us in times of trouble. A lighthouse is lit up when it is dark or stormy to help navigate boaters safely to the shore. In the same way, God cares for those of us who TRUST in Him. He provides the light that navigates us through troubled waters, bringing us safe to shore.

    What exactly does that mean? Does it mean nothing "bad" will ever happen to us? Does it mean we will never get hurt or scared? No. It means when we are lost, or going through a hard time - rough waters - the Lord is there to guide us and help lead us to a place of peace. Internal peace.

    Hold that thought as you listen to and/or read the lyrics to My Lighthouse, a song by the Christian group Rend Collective. (JJ introduced us to this song when he came home from working at Youth Haven Bible Camp this summer).



    LYRICS
    In my wrestling and in my doubts
    In my failures You won't walk out
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    In the silence, You won't let go
    In the questions, Your truth will hold
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    I won't fear what tomorrow brings
    With each morning I'll rise and sing
    My God's love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    Fire before us, You're the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You're the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You're the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You're the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    Songwriters: Gareth Gilkeson / Chris Llewellyn
    My Lighthouse lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group


      TRUST in the promise that
    He will carry you safe to shore.


    Wednesday, August 8, 2018

    A FREE E-book to Help Teach Children About Gratefulness

    https://www.compassion.com/devotionals/free-ebook-for-kids.htm
    Materialism, selfishness, and feelings of entitlement are being instilled into our children through the culture we live in. It is important to teach them, while they are young, to be grateful for the blessings God has given them, and to be generous in sharing those blessings with others.

    Compassion International has a way to help teach these important lessons with their new e-book, Goggles of Gratefulness. It is a sweetly illustrated, 20-page book about a little bird who had an ungrateful attitude. Then, she had a change of heart while visiting a needy family member.

    Download it for FREE at this link:

    Sunday, July 29, 2018

    TRUST #29: A Review of TRUST POSTS


    I will be taking a blogging break through the month of August, and will plan to be back with more TRUST posts on September 2nd. Until then, take some time to read through the first 28 weeks again; and, if you get a moment, I would love to hear from you. Please share what your favorite posts have been so far, or share a testimony of how these posts have impacted your walk with the Lord. Thanks for reading.  ~Victoria

    TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018: TRUST
    TRUST #2:  My Unexplained Pain
    TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good
    TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past
    TRUST #5:  Trust in God's Love for You
    TRUST #6:  Trust God's Decision on Leaders
    TRUST #7:  A Simple Plan to Help Us TRUST More and Worry Less
    TRUST #8:  Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)
    TRUST #9:  He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)
    TRUST #10:  Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)
    TRUST #11:  Trusting Christ with a "Death Sentence" (Mike Phillip's Story)
    TRUST #12:  The First Moment of Real Trust in God
    TRUST #13:  Trusting God to Help Us Find Our Way (Daniel McIntosh's Story)
    TRUST #14:  Trust God to Listen to Your Heart
    TRUST #15:  How to Trust in God When You Don't Know How
    TRUST #16:  Trusting God When Your Family Turns Against You (Rein Schmidt's Story)
    TRUST #17:  Prayers Can Show Our Trust
    TRUST #18:  What Faith Means to Me (Guest: Carolyn McIntosh)
    TRUST #19:  "Trust" Quote from Chip Ingram
    TRUST #20:  Romans 15:13
    TRUST #21:  Twila Paris "Do I Trust You?"
    TRUST #22:  "Trust the Engineer" (A Quote by Corrie TenBoom)
    TRUST #23:  A Father Who Can Be Trusted
    TRUST #24:  Allowing Our Son to Go and Do
    TRUST #25:  Trusting in the Reliability of God's Word
    TRUST #26:  Lauren Daigle "Trust in You"
    TRUST #27:  EL is 2 Years Seizure-Free
    TRUST #28:  'Tis So Sweet to TRUST in Jesus



    Sunday, July 22, 2018

    TRUST #28: Tis So Sweet To TRUST in Jesus


    This lovely old hymn was written by a young missionary in 1882 after a heartbreaking, life-altering event took place. She wrote the words shortly after she watched her husband drown while trying to rescue a young child. Read the lyrics here, and click on the title to hear the tune:


    ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    And to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

    Refrain
    Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    O for grace to trust Him more!


    O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

    Refrain

    Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.

    Refrain

    I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.

    Refrain

    Sunday, July 15, 2018

    TRUST #27: EL is 2 years Seizure-Free


    Look closely at this photo and you can see people on top of the big rock. These people went on a journey to climb that rock in order to focus on the beauty around them. It reminds me of the climbs we have taken in life with our daughter, EL. Not physical climbs as we see in the photo; but emotional, developmental, and spiritual climbs - all due to EL's various health issues. Each climb we have taken has been used to help us exercise our faith, and to help us focus on the beauty around us.

    It has been awhile since I have given an update on EL. Thankfully, that means she hasn't been having any major health issues lately. Yay! In fact, her last seizure was on July 15, 2016, two years ago today. After that seizure, her Pediatric Neurologist added an additional medication, which seems to have been the one that was needed to stop the seizures.

    She started seeing a different Neurologist in February of this year - one that see's adults. We like her, and are happy her office is only an hour's drive from us instead of two. Next month, we will go back for a 6-month checkup and discuss weaning EL from the first medication she started taking and will see how things go.

    Watching your child suffer through health issues is heartbreaking, to say the least. Through it all - her autism, her anxiety, her epilepsy, and her pituitary tumor - God has been a refuge for us. He has given us the wisdom, patience, and the strength we have needed for each and every climb we've come to. That is what TRUSTING in God can do.

    Sunday, July 8, 2018

    TRUST #26: "Trust in You" by Lauren Daigle


    Lauren Daigle has a way of putting beautiful expressions of worship to music. I love this song she co-wrote about TRUSTING in the Lord. It reminds me that God is my strength and comfort; my firm foundation. He goes before me and is with me through every mountain and every valley; and I can be assured that His plans for my life are always good, even when things don't happen in the way I think they should.

    (Click on the title to hear this song)

    Letting go of every single dream
    I lay each one down at Your feet
    Every moment of my wandering
    Never changes what You see
    I try to win this war
    I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
    Mighty warrior, king of the fight
    No matter what I face You're by my side

    When You don't move the mountains
    I'm needing You to move
    When You don't part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don't give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

    Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
    There's not a day ahead You have not seen
    So let all things be my life and breath
    I want what You want Lord and nothing less

    When You don't move the mountains
    I'm needing You to move
    When You don't part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don't give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
    I will trust in You

    You are my strength and comfort
    You are my steady hand
    You are my firm foundation
    The rock on which I stand
    Your ways are always higher
    Your plans are always good
    There's not a place where I'll go
    You've not already stood

    When You don't move the mountains
    I'm needing You to move
    When You don't part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don't give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
    I will trust in You
    I will trust in You
    I will trust in You

    Songwriters: Lauren Daigle/ Michael Farren / Paul Mabury

    Trust In You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

    Sunday, July 1, 2018

    TRUST #25: Trusting in the Reliability of God's Word

    When my parents were working with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship), I was a young girl, around Kindergarten age. During that time, I can remember them asking my older brother and sister and me to sing some CEF songs and record them on a cassette tape to send to our grandparents.

    LISTEN HERE TO US KIDS SINGING ONE OF THOSE SONGS:

    THE WORDS TO THE SONG:
    I'm glad I'm a Christian.
    I'm TRUSTING the Lord.
    I'm reading my Bible;
    Believing each word.

    The past is forgiven;
    From sin I am free.
    A mansion in Heaven
    Is waiting for me.  

    I chose to share this song with you today because it presents an important message about TRUSTING in the Lord. You can see it in the first verse, about how a big part of TRUSTING comes from  BELIEVING. But, its not just about believing God exists, its also about believing His Word (the Bible) is TRUE. In order to fully TRUST in God, it is important to believe in the reliability and inerrancy of His Word. It is the foundation of the Christian faith, and believing in its truth will make a huge difference in the strength of your TRUST.

    If you are currently doubting the reliability of Scripture, I really don't think there is anything I can say to convince you of its truth. It is a matter of faith and worldview on your part, and something you will need to choose to believe in. But, if you are struggling with this subject and want some good articles to ponder, here are a few to get you started. I pray they will help answer some of your questions:


    Sunday, June 24, 2018

    TRUST #24: Allowing Our Son to Go and Do


    As I look at the photo above (taken in 2008), I see my 5-year-old son, JJ, and smile. He was so little then, and was so dependent on me and David. We knew he could have easily fallen and gotten hurt while playing on this playground equipment; but we also knew we needed to allow him this time of play. Why? Because, as he was having fun playing, he was also developing a range of much-needed skills. He was developing motor skills, coordination, creativity, confidence-building, and independence - all necessary skills that have helped him learn, grow, and engage in the world around him. 

    JJ is 15 years old now, and he is experiencing a new form of independence and confidence-building skills while spending a large part of his summer 6 hours from home. He is with my brother and his family at Youth Haven Bible Camp in the hills of Kentucky. The first week of June, he attended Jr. Staff Orientation, then spent a week of being a camper during teen week, and now he is working and serving as a Jr. Staff member until the middle of July.

    If you are a parent, you can understand how difficult it is to allow a child to go so far away from home, and for so long of a time; but, I realize that allowing JJ to go and do new things is all part of the growing up process - for both him and for me (heh heh). So, I have been praying for JJ daily, and have been choosing to TRUST in God by placing JJ's well-being into God's hands. In fact, David and I have both been praying, not only for JJ's health and safety, but also for his spiritual growth, and for him to have learning experiences that will help shape him into the young man God wants him to become.

    I remember back when I was barely 16, and I spent most of the Summer working as a "summer missionary" at Camp Good News in Minnesota. I have memories from that time of situations that have helped shape my life and make me the person I am today. I can only ask the same for JJ. So, although I miss him, I am thankful he has this opportunity to spend some time with his cousins, and to serve and work at the camp.

    Playing in the park can help a young child's development. In the same way, being away from home for awhile can help a teenager's development. I am TRUSTING that this experience will be an exciting time of learning and growing for JJ, and I look forward to hearing about all he has done and learned during his time away.