Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Driven by Eternity 40 day Devotional by John Bevere ~Review

With the New Year upon us, it gives us an opportunity to hit the reset button. I know many think of New Years resolutions that revolve around losing weight, or spending less money. What about your spiritual health? What is driving you spiritually? Now is the perfect time to pick up the 40 day devotional by John Bevere,  Driven by Eternity

This is a small, hardback book that is not daunting to commit to for 40 days. The daily reading will take you through snippets of his book with the same title. (which I have on my to be read pile!). Pray first, and get excited to focus your  mind on things eternal. Each days reading will take maybe 15 minutes. Each devotion you are given a scripture included in the text. There then is a short devotional story that takes scripture and applies it to us today. There are additional scriptures, again included so you don't even have to look them up.

An eternal truth is highlighted in a blue box for you to meditate on and remember throughout the day. There are a few questions after each devotion to get you thinking on things eternal as well.

John Bevere has included a prayer with each devotional that I choose to read out loud at the end of the reading. Speaking the scripture often out loud as well. My kids can benefit from hearing prayers and scriptures during my devotions I figure.

"Eternal life is simply to know Jesus, put our trust in His work instead of ours and follow Him to the end. "

Move toward eternity, making your life count today and forever.

Find Broadstreet Publishing online

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Psalms Poetry on Fire ~The Passion Translation *Review

I love the week in between Christmas and New Years to get a grasp on what Bible study and devotions I am feeling God drawing me to for the new year. I have really felt Him lay the Psalms on my heart this year. I have been reading through the Bible in it's entirety but when I got to the Psalms, I couldn't just zip through them. I needed time to Selah, or reflect and meditate on the words.

I love collecting a variety of Bible translations. Sometimes the wording in one translation over another will just speak to me more. I was so excited to hear of The Passion Translation ~TPT.

So what is The Passion Translation? This page below from the book outlines what the thought process is on providing a new translation to a new generation of believers. Making the text understandable in our language and to express God's passion for His people. I have enjoyed having a translation that I can read through and think about that is geared more to modern day. Any translation is just that, a translation and this is why I study several to understand the meaning.

 I found this outline on the Psalms to be very interesting. I had never heard of this idea that the Psalms are broken up into 5 different sections similar to the first 5 books of the Bible. In my study of Psalms this was a factor to help me understand the Psalms and the position they were in the book as well.

Here is a side by side of Psalm 29, with individual pictures below for clarity. I am first reading it in the NKJV and then reading TPT.

NKJV Psalm 29

The Passion Translation Psalm 29

This is an Illustrated Journal edition of the Psalms Poetry on Fire. There are drawings you can color in with and get artistic. I recommend colored pencils to not bleed through. There are also blank lines on several on many of the pages for writing notes as you read. I love to write notes in my Bible and have always run out of room. I am in love with the new journaling Bible concept giving me nice wide margins.

I love the footnotes at the end of each Psalm, explaining why some of the words were chosen, or given some of the history of the time.
There are also great headlines throughout the Psalms to help you easily find some specific attributes of God, or ways David and the other Psalmists wrote their thoughts.

There are several publications of The Passion Translation. The Illustrated Journaling Edition like I have of course, but there is also one without the doodles if you prefer. I am also excited to see Bible Study Guides for The Passion Translation as well. For Psalms there is also a devotional journal, and a 16 month planner. There are Bible study guides for the books of: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts,
and Romans.
Not all of the books of the Bible are translated yet. So far there is Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts, Hebrews & James, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, Galatians & Ephesians & Philippians & Colossians & both Timothy's (in one book), 1 & 2 Corinthians, Peter & Jude and John in one book.

I am really excited to be working with Broadstreet and sharing this new version of the Word with my readers!

Find them at
on twitter @broadstreetpubl

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky *Review

What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?It's easy to believe God when a promise is new. It's hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It's even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?

Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God's character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.

Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God's true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God's time.

Leader guide also available.

My Thoughts
Marlo uses the life of Sarai to walk us through a time of waiting. She pulls apart each step of Sarai's life and uses it to help us embrace the wait. Sarai starts out in a place of shame, especially for the time she lived in, barren. God calls people out of the places that cause the most shame, to transform us. Waiting is often the hardest part of the journey, and we often feel stuck like Sarai did. She tried to 'fix it', by taking matters into her own hands. She was desperate, but even in that she never strayed from worshiping the one true God.
Marlo helps us to understand that Jesus offers much more than to fix our situation. He wants us as His child, a relationship with us. Sometimes in the waiting is when He has us work on the idols in our life, that we may not even realize are there.
This book is very insightful. It is one where you read a chapter and just 'chew on it' for awhile. I absolutely loved the indepth look at Sarah, and the thoughts Marlo has as she interprets what Sarah may have thought and spoken during the time. Things the Bible doesn't put into words, but perhaps could have been the person of Sarah. She of course takes liberties in figuring out Sarah's feelings, but I think she did an excellent job of making Sarah into a real person, just like us.

Purchase a copy:

See what other reviewers thought of this book by going to the Litfuse Landing Page

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Periwinkle's Journey *Review & Giveaway

About the Book: Periwinkle has lived her whole life in Australia, surrounded by other blue penguins just like her. However, when she gets an invitation to her cousin Crystal’s birthday party in Antarctica, she realizes she looks different than the rest of her black-and-white cousins. With some encouragement from her mother, who tells her “it’s what’s inside that matters”, Periwinkle sets out on an adventure to Antarctica to meet the rest of her family and learns to appreciate what makes her unique along the way.

Children will want to cuddle up with the adorable animals depicted in Spafford’s full-color illustrations, from penguins to koalas to albatrosses to whales, as they read this entertaining and educational tale. Young readers will learn about the 17 types of penguins, illustrated by Periwinkle’s numerous cousins, as well as discover fun facts such as their inability to fly, penchant for rock collecting, and variety of habitats from Australia to Antarctica to the Galápagos (but not the North Pole, where the polar bears live!). Periwinkle makes many new friends on her journey to the South Pole, and along the way discovers the depths of her own bravery as well as the important truth that what makes us different also makes us special.

This book has been amazing for my older daughter who absolutely loves penguins! And she has so enjoyed reading it to and sharing it with her 2 year old sister!
I have long been a lover of Suzy Spafford's work, and this book is simply incredible!

You can purchase this prize pack as well if you don't want to take any chances!

About the Author: Judy Petersen-Fleming is an author and social entrepreneur who has shared the wonderment of exotic animals with people around the world for more than 30 years. While Judy has worked with a vast array of fascinating animals over the years, she has a particular fondness for penguins. Over time, she has become aware of the many misconceptions that exist about these comical birds, and it is her passion for educating kids that led to her commitment to develop Suzy’s World with Suzy Spafford. Judy and her husband, Bill, live in Scottsdale, Arizona.

About the Illustrator: Suzy Spafford is the creator and illustrator of Suzy’s Zoo. Her artwork first appeared as greeting cards in 1968, and over the years, her characters have appeared on a wide variety of products in over 23 countries. In addition to her work with Suzy’s World, Suzy is working on a new animated television series, Adventures in Duckport, featuring the central characters from Suzy’s Zoo. Suzy and her husband, Ray Lidstrom, have four adult children and four grandchildren between them. Suzy and Ray live in an old arts-and-crafts house in San Diego, California, where Suzy continues to illustrate her whimsical characters.

Amazing Prize Pack!! US & Can only

The prize pack includes a SIGNED copy (by both author and illustrator) of Periwinkle’s Journey, and an official, copyrighted Periwinkle pendant that is perfect for necklaces or charm bracelets!

The pendant is designed by Scott and Marla Berger at Addison Taylor Fine Jewelry, LLC, and The Tree of Life Foundation, who recently launched a special jewelry collection in collaboration with StarShine Academy to benefit Pope Francis’ A Chance In Life charity, supporting its mission of giving refugee children opportunities of education to help them become self-confident, creative and responsible leaders in their communities.

Being very involved in philanthropic causes, in 2012, Scott and Marla created The Tree of Life Foundation. The Tree of Life Jewelry Collection offers charities a way to share their story, raise funds, and bring together like minded people. Each piece has the unifying symbol of the tree of life connecting us all and is uniquely designed to bring out and share the beauty in each person. This is the purpose of the foundation to connect all of the people in our world as one—and finally growing together as the stars above. Changing the world one tree at a time… We become one. 

Most recently Scott and Marla are the recipients of the Spectrum Award, Sowie Award, and the Community Giving Heart Award by JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

Suzy’s Zoo website
Suzy’s Zoo facebook:

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Waiting for Wonder Giveaway!

Because God’s timing is so rarely our own and we lose the wonder in the waiting of life, desperation strikes, plans backfire, and we begin to wonder why God does not fill the emptiness. Be encouraged to find strength and hope in Marlo Schalesky's new book, Waiting for Wonder. Journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.

Learn the true purpose of waiting on God and living on His timeline and enter to win Marlo's giveaway.


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • Two copies of Waiting for Wonder (one for you and one to give to a friend)
  • A KEEP Collective watch set (with a band and watch)


Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 23. The winner will be announced December 27 on Marlo's blog.

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The Prayer-Saturated Family *Review

The Prayer-Saturated Family by Cheryl Sacks
Learn to pray together and see your family transformed!In our world of busy schedules and digital distractions, it's hard for families to find time to eat dinner together, let alone pray together. Yet praying together deepens relationships, alleviates fighting and strengthens family ties more than any single thing you can do.
I know for one our family has gotten away from praying together. We get into a good habit or groove, and then the enemy comes and derails us. We maybe each say we pray on our own, but having that time to pray together is really what holds the family up.

With a fresh, flexible, real-world approach, bestselling author Cheryl Sacks shows how you can integrate prayer into your daily family life, including how to:
· Get everyone on board and involved
· Experience a fresh sense of God's promise and purpose for your family
· Overcome spiritual opposition coming against your household 
· Shift the spiritual atmosphere in your home to one of greater peace and joy
· Make an investment in your children's faith that will last a lifetime 

You will also discover how a family that prays together becomes an unstoppable force for good, bringing God's answers to impossible situations. And it can start with you! Through prayer, you have the power not only to change the atmosphere of your home but also to be part of changing the spiritual atmosphere wherever you go. 

"You will love this book! It is rich with stories that will cause you to laugh and cry! It is filled with hope!"--
Cindy Jacobs, Generals International

Includes a Step-by-Step 31-Day Family Prayer Guide!
Full of the creative ideas, prompts and Scripture-based prayers you need to help jump-start and develop your family's prayer life.

This book was very inspirational to me to get back on track with collective prayer as a family. We will be doing the 31 day family prayer challenge at the back of the book to kick off 2017.
I am excited to see what God has in store for us as we dedicate back to Him our prayers and praises in the new year.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gingerbread Velcro House Craft

When I first saw this Gingerbread House on Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls I knew that my 2 year old would love it!!

I set my 14 year old craft expert to work with some cardboard. I think he did an excellent job.

We had our Walmart worker bring home some Velcro. He got black but we thought that worked out ok. We weren't able to put any on the front of the house, we ran out. We chose instead to run it along the entire roof line.

We picked up most of the decorations from Hobby Lobby and put Velcro on the back of them. We store them in a little metal tin that we can keep right with the house for whenever she wants to play with it.

She plays with the house everyday!

I had some trees from Hobby Lobby as well I thought would look cute place on the front of the house. Also we ran out of Velcro so we attached a permanent wreath to the door.

Check out complete directions and more ideas on Frugal Fun with Boys and Girls!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Unlock the Weird *Review

It's that time of year again for a new Ripley's Believe it or Not! Book!! This one subtitled, Unlock the Weird.

My kids are pretty enthralled with these books as we continue to collect each years edition.
They are into 'weird'. It certainly opens up some unique discussions as we look through the weirdness.

Ten different chapters to categorize the weird of the weird. This large, hardcover book has some excellent photos in it!

First Look

  • Read about one man’s attempt to take a break from reality, spending three days climbing the Swiss Alps on all fours as a goat!
  • Soar on jetpacks above the deserts of Dubai with breathtaking aerial imagery.
  • Meet Birdman Ted Richards who had his ears removed and his face and eyeballs tattooed to look like his pet parrots!
  • Savor the flavor of sheep dung spitting, an Irish event that is just as unappetizing as it sounds!
  • See double with Twin Strangers’s Niamh Geaney, who has found multiple doppelgängers that look exactly like her!
Not everything is scary weird either. I really was impressed with this Lotus Building in China.

Or this weasel flying on the back of a woodpecker

Pick up a copy on Amazon today!

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Nocturnals The Ominous Eye *Review

Tracey Hecht

The Nocturnals are a misfit gang for sure! Bismark the sugar glider, Tobin the pangolin, and Dawn the fox are friends living in the forest. These friends live together in the forest.
Though this is book two in the series, I had no trouble jumping in and understanding in this story without having read the first one.
There is a mysterious animal that is terrorizing the forest. The friends are warned by a strange, three eyed animal called a tuataras. Named Polyphema , she  could see into the future. She warned the forest animals to leave the forest, claiming to see what the terrifying creature would do to all of them if they didn't.
The Nocturnals had no intention of leaving as this is their home and wanted to protect it for the other animals.
With a little spy work, the animals figure out what is truly going on.

I thought this was a fun book, and the illustrations really  made it come alive. There is always something fun about getting into the mind of an animal and their lives. This was even more exciting with the rare animals that the author used.

Great story line, and I look forward to sharing this series with my kids.

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