Forever Friday Timothy Lewis

Forever Friday is a decent read, it certainly doesn’t move along as fast as something written by Nicholas Sparks, but I feel that those who really enjoy his writing would also like this book. Just enough romance and mystery and “putting together the puzzle” to keep you reading.
The story was good, I had more problems with the copy of the book itself, I’m concerned that the portions that appear as written letters are not large enough or dark enough should someone choose to read this who is elderly or has poor eye sight etc. It was difficult for me in the print version and on the Kindle it was better as I was able to change the appearance.

I do feel that the redemptive qualities of love are very well represented in this book. I would read other works from this author.

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Ann Spangler’s One Year Devotional

I recently received a copy of The One Year Devotions for Women becoming a woman at peace by Ann Spangler. 

 

I enjoyed this book immensely, the devotions were very true to life and easily applicable to most any situation I would experience as a woman or mother dealing with the joys of serving God in my called role as a homemaker, mother, and all around domestic goddess. 

I am very glad that I gave this book a chance and it is very likely that I will continually use it, especially when I might need a little help encouraging others. 

One devotion that I particularly appreciated was for October 18th–as my (most of the time amazing and loving boyfriend) and I tend to be having a bit of trouble in our relationship, it felt like this devotion was written for us. It gave examples of pitfalls that can lead to bigger problems and cautions you not to ignore them. It seems to that at times her devotions are a little wordy, she could take out some of it and I feel really tempted to write them in a less wordy fashion , but it helps to get a feel for how the author writes if you are going to spend your hard earned money on the book. Her book is helpful, and luckily they are only one page devotions, otherwise I would be not reading more due to wordiness. I understand this habit as I have it myself. 

 

Here is the devotion for October 18th :

 

DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. –Psalm 6:2

Have you ever noticed an area of dead or browning vegetation where the surrounding area is green? Or a rotten egg smell in the yard? Or hissing or blowing sounds coming from beneath the earth? Or dirt blowing into the air? Or bubbling in a flooded area? Or fire coming out of the ground? If so , don’t ignore these signs. If you do, boom! Everything in your world might suddenly explode , simply because you didn’t pay attention to signs of a natural gas leak. Similarly, a pattern of ignoring signs that something is not right in our own lives can create enormous destruction, hurting ourselves and others. Here are a few signs , for instance, that married couples should never ignore. 

Yelling and name calling

violent disagreements

feeling misunderstood most of the time

constant televison or computer use (THIS IS US)

rarely or never having sex (US AGAIN)

repetitive conflicts with no resolution (AGAIN)

rarely engaging in meaningful conversation (amazingly this has happened for us recently despite other issues)

desire to escape

Ignoring these and other symptoms of marital discord can create bigger problems that may eventually destroy a marriage. Similarly, whether you are single or married, you can’t afford to ignore emotions and behaviors that are often symptoms of deeper problems, things like frequent crying spells, overeating, undereating, irritability, indecisiveness, drug or alcohol use, isolation, anxiety, forgetfulness or fatigue. 

It can be hard to face up to the tension and stress that’s building inside us. We’d rather ignore it. But doing so makes it impossible to get the help we need-and there is help. Today, if you sense something is not right, ask God for the courage to face it and the wisdom to know where to get help. 

 

Lord, thank you for knowing me better than I know myself. Help me recognize problems that are boiling beneath the surface of my life so that I can , by your grace, do something about them. 

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale for my honest review. 

Wayfinding Bible from Tyndale

This Bible is very nicely laid out in comparison to some previous NLT Bibles I have looked at that tend to stick to the paragraph format. This Bible is more of the standard column approach with a lot of additional information. It is different in that a lot of Bibles marketed for adults don’t have the in-depth notes with color pictures and infographics that this Bible does. I have a study Bible that is not at all this nicely laid out or color coordinated. It is a Bible that seems to have all the big highlights already pointed out for you so you might even be safe putting your highlighter down to read this one.
I’m not the biggest fan of the New Living translation, however, this Bible might change that if I spend some more time using it.
Having the pictures in the Bible was a little strange to me, but I understand that it helps to modernize a sometimes dry and intimadating book, so I can see the appeal there for many. I would be comfortable giving this as a gift to a child or possibly even tween, depending on their reading level and accumulated knowledge of the Bible from other more standard means.
This sounds a little “picky” , but it seems to me they should have chose another color for the outside cover of the Bible, most of my Bibles are very well loved and it would not take long for the currently very pretty pristine white cover to look dingy.
Overall this was a great Bible reading experience. I started with the 50 day Flyover plan and was sincerely impressed to see how everything linked together, I challenge you to try doing that without their plans and page numbers all right there for you, it would take a lot of book marks to accomplish it, or sticky notes whatever your preference may be.

Here is an information video about the Way-finding Bible 

http://goo.gl/9qpoal

 

I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review from Tyndale

Tyndale

Tyndale

Tyndale has such innovative programs to keep their customers motivated in the Word. I enjoy doing reviews for them , It is even better to get a chance to reward others through the Tyndale Rewards program. If you click my link you will not only receive your own points I will also get a few points of my own. This is a great way to start stocking up for Christmas gifts and those just because gifts. Here is a link so they know who sent you:) 

http://www.tyndalerewards.com/signup/?pc=cppm-1mio-68dv-nwat

Bible Trivia for Kids

The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids 

I found this book to be very informative and it does appeal to kids at least 5 years old and up in my very personal recent experience.  I’m simply saying this because I tried doing the devotions in this book with a younger crowd and it wasn’t that they didn’t understand exactly, it was mostly that there are better books geared towards toddler, some similar in this line. Also most toddlers I have encountered don’t yet know the stories as well as their older siblings so they aren’t as interested in answering the trivia. I even went so far as to poll some willing adults in the use of this book and they also found it enjoyable and were impressed that it had come from a book geared for children. 

The devotions are indeed very manageable and I would suggest using them before heading out the door in the morning or right before bed, sometime when you can actually focus. These are not “on the run” type devotions. 

My only complaint with this book is that the Bible verses listed in the book are either from the New International Version or International Children’s Bible, but they don’t’ appear to be marked at the bottom of the page and often I had to look through a few versions of online Bible software to figure out exactly where the quote was coming from, and it is confusing for children at times if their Bible doesn’t match. I try to keep to using the same Bible translation as what they children use in their  classrooms.  Because this was a review copy this might have just simply been overlooked and remedied later, it is hard to say. 

 

Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. I plan on putting our copy up and trying it again when my children are school age. Their older brother who is in 3rd grade this year does enjoy using this book when he is with us for visits. 

 

I received a copy of this book as part of a review program for Tyndale, I was not required to give a positive review, just honest. 

 

Forgive and repair

I Can expect and hope that I will never do anything to be ashamed of. Whether I live or die, I always want to be brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ.
Phil. 1:20 (CEV)

On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. Phil 1:20 (MSG)

Originally when I first read these verses I though of my own biological father, a man who grew up in ac hristian home. Thanks be to God that my grandmother learned that she had to rely on a higher power to make sure her children were taken care of, or I think she would have experienced much more heartache and a lot less hope than she did in all her 74 years on earth. My dad still strayed from the truth. At the height of his rough living dad spent approximately 15 years incarcerated. When you are at your lowest point you can usually find God there on the ground with you, willing to pick you up. Due to the shaky nature of my family I have witnessed this first hand and upon his incarceration so did my father.
In the past 3 years we have made tremendous bounds in fixing the severed relationship. There is still anger , hurt , and at times distance, but when you are so used to someone not being there it is hard to remember that they can be now. It also does my heart good to know that in his failed health from all those years doing as he wanted to he still has a chance in heaven.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV)

jealousy…what a motive

“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love , knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.  But what does it matter? the important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of that I rejoice” Phil. 1:15-18 (NIV)

This sounds like it has application for life today because as long as you are doing what is right those who have motives against you won’t really have the upper hand for their own personal agenda. Amazing the agendas that jealousy can bring out, wanting to be someone you aren’t!!

Their persona agenda won’t be furthered if you are doing all in your power to be the best truth filled Christian you can be. Those who come upon the two of you and are Christian should be able to tell the difference between your motives. That won’t change that these people may still want to be like you, jealousy is ugly. They want to garner the attention they see you have. If the could only understand that doing write and not speaking to further themselves by false gains would be the better way to go.

You can take solace in the fact that Chris is being preached, even if not with the best motives. Be glad in that you are allowing others to preach.

 

Phil 1:9-11

I pray that your love will keep on growing and you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then  you will be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day Jesus Christ will keep you busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God.  — Phillipians 1:9-11 (CEV)

I find that this has good potential as a life verse for some, particularly those of us Christians who at time forget what it is we are really supposed to be doing to life a Christian lifestyle. If we are all honest with ourselves I think we could say we have times where we slip into inappropriate behavior. An example: not treating someone as they should be treated, not letting them see the light of Christ in you because of some past way that they wronged you. This happens to be a struggle that I personally witness on a nearly daily occasion. My boyfriend (and father of my children) does not in any form or fashion get along with his ex wife. Most days I feel that I either pay for her mistakes or he has no interest in us being equally yoked because he views all women as the same.

This would also be a good prayer for friends and family, which is typically what I use it for, in essence I’m not currently in the best of situations and it can’t in any way hurt to hope that the man I have children with will eventually find his way back into a church. We aren’t married for that reason alone, while we lived in not the best ways previously I wasn’t until recently sure I could even let my children be away from him. I do now know he regards what is best for his children as paramount as do I. If that means we have to separate then that is likely what we will do. Until there is a decision made I appreciate your prayers my friends.

I have given up who I was and what was important to me for others in this world in the past and it hasn’t made life any better for me, so I think I’ve learned my lesson. It probably took way to long.

The bf knows where I stand. I don’t want a marriage to someone who views marriage as what is expected just because we have children.

The only part that I didn’t speak to him was what continued on my heart which was that no matter how much I want to be married I can’t compromise my wants or needs for a man.

I hope we don’t end up separated but if we do we will handle that as it comes and make sure the girls know that it was in no way their fault. Honestly they are young enough it might take them awhile to grasp it if he honestly held up his end of the bargain.

 

 

Discovering God’s Wonderful Design

I recently was given a review copy of Cassie and Caleb Discover God’s Wonderful Design by authors Susan Hunt and Richie Hunt.

I was very impressed with the way the authors packed so much real life detail into these short stories , but still kept a biblical perspective. This is probably a book more suited for Kindergarten age and older, seeing as how my 2 and three year old were a little hard to keep focused on the words of the story, but they certainly enjoyed the pictures and reading the Bible verses at the top of each story.

Here is a synopsis of the important points of this title from the back cover:

Through Twenty stories with engaging illustrations , followed by an interactive time between parent and child, your children will learn:

  • The creational principles that “god created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27) is extraordinary
  • Jesus is in all of Scripture. The Bible is not a collection of disconnected stories but one big story of the triune God redeeming his people.
  • God’s Word is our authority and His glory is our purpose.
  • When we belong to Jesus, we belong to His covenant family, the Church.
  • A biblical framework for living and thinking.

I also like that within the books these stories center on different family dynamics, that makes it seem all the more real to me. Such as the girls and Grandmother Grace cleaning up water. Then there are two parent families and single parent. It makes their stories ring even more true to our world and gives proof to those who may not feel God loves them because they are not part of a perfect situation as perceived through society. A lot to get out of a children’s book wouldn’t you say? I find it an appropriate way to illustrate God’s love to those who are adults as well. Maybe Susan and Richie should also look at writing a similar book for ESL adults or other important populations of our world who need help grasping the Word’s of God.