Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Deovtionals, family, Frontgate Blogger Reviews

Review and Giveaway for 52 Uncommon Family Adventures

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Book Description:

Connect with your family without breaking the bank.

When you dreamed of having a family you pictured outings, adventures, laughing around the kitchen table. But then the kids actually came and most of the time you’re too busy trying to keep up to figure out how to create a magical, screen-free environment where everyone feels loved, is having fun, and can connect. That’s why 52 Uncommon Family Adventures was written, it helps you do just that, without all the hassle and stress.

Whether it’s a family pillow fight, a lip-sync competition, or Toilet Paper Olympics, give your family the gift of lifelong memories while having fun, connecting spiritually, and speaking each other’s love languages. Enjoy all the benefits of the quality time you dreamed of without all the pressure of advanced planning.

Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and start making some memories together today.

Purchase Link:  Pick up your life-saving copy of fun at:  https://amzn.to/2SyNfgM

 

 

Randy Southern’s book 52 Uncommon Family Adventures presents a wealth of ideas for getting family away from their computer screens in order to have fun as a family.  This book gives creative ways to enjoy spending time together in ways that create memories.

Some of the ideas of the presented include a Volunteer Day, Mirror Games, Switching Rooms and more.  Each adventure includes a section with directions for getting ready along with directions for the actual adventure time as well as Family Devotions and the Love Language of the Day.

The directions for getting ready will allow families to be sure they have the necessary items to complete the given activity.  The variety of activities allows families to select something they can do regardless of the preparation time available.  I see this being the perfect thing to print out or write out the adventures and throw them into a jar and then let children select the adventure a few days in advance.  Doing this will allow the parents to secure any necessary items needed or make decisions about what location to use.   Adventures like a good old-fashioned pillow fight require no money and very little preparation.  On the other hand, doing the lip-sync video may require more preparation. For the “Something Borrowed” adventure, preparation is needed to allow times to borrow items from family or friends.

The Family Devotion Section includes a passage of Scripture to reference along with ideas of what to talk about regarding the passage.  One thing I really like about this section is how only the passage reference is given.  Families then are able to use whatever Bible translation they are familiar and comfortable with personally.

The Love Language of the Day provides a glimpse into what type of person with the given primary love language who will benefit from the activity. So for example, some people prefer words of affirmation to let them know they are loved.  Other people need to receive gifts in order to see they are loved.  Still, others need to spend quality time together in order to know they are loved.  So with a variety of activities in the book, families can pick and choose activities that address the variety of love languages.

Personally, I feel this is an excellent book for families who are looking for creative ways to spend time together in order to make lasting and meaningful memories.

But don’t just take my word for it, have a look yourself at just how easy,  FUN, and helpful this book is:  click here to see for yourself.

If you would like to enter a giveaway to have a chance of winning your own copy of 52 Uncommon Family Adventures, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Bible, Bible Studies, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for LETTERS FROM JESUS

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About the Book

Book: Letters from Jesus

Author: Chris Palmer

Genre: Religion / Biblical Studies/History & Culture

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Letters from Jesus“In Revelation 2:2, Jesus tells the church in Ephesus something intimate—Google Street View intimate. He says, ‘I know your works’ (Oida ta erga sou). Four words don’t seem like much, but in the Greek, it packs a punch.… Jesus chooses the Greek word oida, which expresses total, comprehensive knowledge. It is intimate knowledge that comes from being up close and personal. This knowledge isn’t hazy on the details. It doesn’t struggle to remember. It preserves the particulars. In the mind’s eye, everything is sharp and clear, like a well-taken photograph.” —Chris Palmer

Letters from Jesus: Studies from the Seven Churches of Revelation explores Christ’s warnings to the seven most prominent churches in Asia Minor in the book of Revelation. These letters date back to 95 A.D., but they help us make a fascinating discovery about civilization: life hasn’t changed that much over the last two millennia.
Author Chris Palmer illustrates the truths contained in the Letters from Jesus using modern, everyday day examples. The host of the popular podcast Greek for the Week, he unpacks Greek words and phrases in these verses from Revelation with humor, joy, and biblical scholarship.

Why study Greek, even just a little bit? As Chris explains, looking at the New Testament in the original language in which it was written can offer us some beautiful insights into God’s Word. “It’s like reading the Bible in high definition,” he says. Also, “studying God’s Word in the original language forces us to approach it with reverence and awe, humbling ourselves to obey what it says, whether it’s something we want to hear or not.”

 

Click here for your copy.

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Letters From Jesus by Reverend Chris Palmer examines the book of Revelation and the seven churches Paul addressed.  As a Christian and the wife of a Primitive Baptist elder (preacher), I recognize the importance of learning Biblical history.  Having attended a church at one point where the preacher emphasized the study of Greek and the study of Revelation, I was pleased to have the opportunity to review this book.

His initial discussion of Koine Greek drew me back to a desire to study and learn Greek so I can interact with the original Biblical text in a more meaningful way.  I appreciated how he discussed how the Greek language allowed writers to arrange words in a way that emphasized the points they wanted to stand out.

I also appreciated how he reiterated the fact that the book of Revelation holds great relevance for us today.  I also appreciated his discussion of the number 7 and how the letters to the seven churches represented a complete message for the “entire” Church or all Christians.  I also appreciated how he provided insights into the geography and Church history of the time.

The way Reverend Palmer includes prayers for the week, an activity for the week, and Scriptures for the week encourages Biblical interaction and interaction with God as well. I also appreciated how he included Scriptures at the begining of each chapter that are presented in both English and Greek.

So if you are looking for a Biblcial study of the book of Revelation and the Greek language that is presented in a straight-forward manner, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Chris PalmerThe Rev. Chris Palmer is the founder and pastor of Light of Today Church in Novi, Michigan, and founder of Chris Palmer Ministries. He is host of the popular podcast, Greek for the Week, seen on several Internet platforms.

Chris began in full-time ministry in 2006 and began to preach internationally in 2009, helping many congregations grow, flourish, and expand. His desire for missions is to train and educate pastors, encourage congregations, support the vision of local church, and show the love of God to the culture. He has done this successfully for a decade in over forty nations of the world in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean, working with both traditional churches and the underground/persecuted church.

Chris earned a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from North Central University and an M.A. in Exegetical Theology, magna cum laude, from Moody Theological Seminary. He is a sought-after Greek scholar for his ability to make God’s Word come alive in a unique way from the Greek. Chris is often invited to present Greek and hermeneutics workshops at Bible and ministry schools. He recently began working on his Ph.D. at University Wales, Bangor, in the area of Johannine Literature, particularly the book of Revelation.

His previous self-published books include Living as a Spirit: Hearing the Voice of God on Purpose, The 85 Questions You Ask When You Begin a Relationship with GodThe Believer’s Journey, and Escaping the Haunting Past: A Handbook for Deliverance.

 

More from Chris

Experience the Bible in high definition and learn some Greek with fun, easy lessons from pastor/scholar Chris Palmer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhvbBaSbvuY

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 14

The Power of Words, September 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 16

Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 19

My Devotional Thoughts, September 20

Mary Hake, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

For the Love of Literature, September 22

Retrospective Spines, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

A Reader’s Brain, September 25

A Diva’s Heart, September 25

janicesbookreviews, September 26

Inklings and notions , September 27

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Chris is giving away a grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card, copy of LETTERS FROM JESUS, copy of HEBREW WORD STUDY!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e808/letters-from-jesus-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Bible, Bible Studies, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Hagar

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About the Book

Book: Hagar

Author: Shadia Hrichi

Genre: Religion / Bible Study

Release Date: October 10, 2017

You are ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Discover a close relationship with God–no matter the pain or suffering in your life. Witness the depths of God’s compassion through the eyes of Hagar, a runaway slave who meets the living God in a desert of despair, where she gives Him the name El Roi, ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Through this seven week study, you will find that when you surrender your life into God’s hands, your trials and triumphs serve a magnificent purpose: to draw you into the arms of the faithful God Who Sees Me.

”Deep and packed with surprising insights!” Francine Rivers

 

Click here to grab your copy.

 

Click here to download a free sample, explore Shadia’s video teaching sessions, or sign up for the online Bible study.

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Hagar is a seven-week Bible study that contains a lot of truths and worthwhile material.  I feel Shadia demonstrates her enthusiam for this subject throughout the pages of this book.  Each lesson contains a Scripture passage to read, background information, along with questions.

I personally loved how SHADIA HRICHI encourages her readers to use a Bible version they prefer instead of requiring the reader to utilize a particular version.  This decision encourages the reader to interact with their own Bibles which I like.

The book is broken down into daily lessons which helps guide the reader to spending time in God’s Word daily, which is another feature I like.  I also appreciate how the writing in this Bible Study is geared so anyone can read and understand what is being stated.

Hagar is one of those people from the Bible who I feel needs to be studied more.  I love the idea of Abraham and Sarah being sent into Egypt so they could bring Hagar out of that country.  I found it interesting to read the portions addressing the relationship between Sarah and Hagar.

The use of Biblical passages and Scriptural references caused me to think and draw my own conclusions rather than setting a hard line of what I had to believe.

So if you are looking for a Bible Study about Hagar, check this book out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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SHADIA HRICHI is a passionate Bible teacher, author, and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She has received a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary as well as master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York. Shadia is the author of several Bible studies, including HAGAR,Worthy of Love, and her latest study, LEGION, comes out in October. Shadia is often invited to speak at churches, conferences, and other events. Her insightful, witty, yet vulnerable teaching style reveals a compassion for the hurting, love for Jesus, and uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. Visit shadiahrichi.com

 

More from Shadia

Am I known? Am I loved? Am I home?

Every human heart is searching for the answers to these questions. Yet when pain and heartache enter our lives, we feel betrayed and cry out one question: God, do You see me?

The answer is yes. He is Behind the Seen.

Because we live in a fallen world, each of us will inevitably face hard times, even painful ones. Who among us has never seen or felt the fallout of broken homes, broken lives, or broken dreams? Hagar is a great example of someone who discovered God during a difficult time.

Maybe you have never heard of her. Or perhaps you came across her name in a study of the book of Genesis. But how much do you really know about this young slave girl? We often relegate her to the backstage as a minor character in God’s redemptive story. But was she?

As I explored Hagar’s story for another book I wanted to write, God continually amazed me as we journeyed together from the affluence of Egypt, into a life of slavery, to a desert of despair. It seemed the more I studied her life, the more I discovered about God. What began as a chapter evolved into a study all its own.

Two years and several thousand hours of study and prayer later, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me came to be. Consider this book as your backstage pass to the life of Hagar.

I have never actually gone backstage during a live event, but I know that much more goes on behind the scenes than meets the eye. I invite you to come backstage with me and explore how God was involved in every detail of Hagar’s life. Her story has all the ingredients of a Hollywood tragedy: betrayal, loss, abuse, crisis pregnancy, abandonment . . . any of that sound painfully familiar?

Thankfully, Hagar’s story does not end in despair. God was working Behind the Seen—just as He has in your life and mine—all along. As a matter of fact, Hagar emerges victorious!

Hagar: an unsung hero if there ever was one.

Beloved, is the enemy using anything in your past to try to derail you from God’s plan, or hold you back from experiencing God’s joy to the fullest? Be assured, that is not how your story will end. Just as God did for Hagar, when He enters your story, victory is already assured.

So strap on your sandals and a grab a bottle of water. We’re heading into the desert. A place where we will rediscover the God Who Sees Me.

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.”
—Isaiah 9:2

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 7

Books, Books, and Books., September 7

Inklings and notions , September 8

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, September 8

amandainpa , September 9

Emily Yager, September 9

A Reader’s Brain, September 10

Lights in a Dark World, September 10

Inspired by fiction, September 11

Genesis 5020, September 11

Robin’s Nest, September 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 12

Quiet Workings, September 12

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 13

Mary Hake, September 13

Godly Book Reviews, September 14

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, September 14

Moments, September 15

Retrospective Spines, September 16

Batya’s Bits, September 16

Pause for Tales, September 17

CarpeDiem, September 17

Aryn the Libraryan ?, September 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 18

For The Love of Books, September 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

janicesbookreviews, September 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shadia is giving away to TWO winners 1 book of Hagar, 1 book of Legion and a $50 gift certificate for leafwoodpublishers.com!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/eb32/hagar-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tour Reminders

Posted in Bible, history, Homeschool Video Curriculum

Review of Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”

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Drive Thru History®‘s Dave Stotts is our engaging and entertaining tour guide as we tour with Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation”.  This series makes the perfect Homeschool Bible Curriculum.  I have to say our family really enjoys watching and learning from the videos with Dave Stotts.  He does an excellent job of providing information, insights, along with captivating scenery and pictures.  Of course, my family also enjoys seeing the vehicles Dave drives in the episodes.  We elected to watch the videos as a family – so myself, my husband, our 22-year-old son (when his work scheduled allowed him to participate), our 20-year-old son, our 18-year-old son and our 16-year-old daughter watched together.

From the Drive Thru History® website on their “About” page comes the following quote, Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts® is a fun, fast-paced, content-rich history show that speeds through ancient civilizations, the Holy Land, and the founding of America, allowing the viewer to experience the people, places, and events that shaped our world and the Christian faith. To date, ColdWater Media has successfully produced and distributed 54 episodes.”  Truly they do a remarkable job of bringing history to life.

The series contains 18 episodes which each run for about 30 minutes.  The episodes provide a tremendous amount of history, Scriptural and Biblical references along with information about the lives of the very first Christians. The series essentially uses the book of Acts as a roadmap.   As we started watching the first episode, we loved the way Dave Stotts took the time to set the stage of Jesus’ final days and how that impacted the disciples.  We are a military family, which means we have moved around some and therefore attended quite a few churches.  One of the churches we attended was a Pentecostal Church, so hearing about the day of Pentecost captured our interest.

Because our 16-year-old daughter loves to draw, the photographs and pictures used in the series mesmerized her.  I appreciated how Dave Stotts took the time to explain that some of the artwork used in the series may not completely represent the actual event but assured the viewers they try to keep it as realistic as possible.  It is apparent this Homeschool Video Curriculum really takes time to include majestic and incredible scenery, artwork and illustrations.

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Another part of the series family loved was the inclusion of live actors and actresses portraying various scenes from the Bible as seen in the picture above.  My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and has spent a lot of time in the books of John and Paul.  So our children grew up hearing their father speak on those subjects.  So in the episode where we get to see an actor portraying Paul and speaking his words written in the Bible, they found it fascinating.  Our family also loved the inclusion of maps, actual Biblical locations and Scriptural passages that are used to convey the messages in the series.

Our family also appreciated the discussion about the book of Revelation and the message included for the 7 churches including Laodicea.  The description of them being “luke-warm” people rather than being either hot or cold caught the attention of everyone in the family.  We also were amazed at the differences between the various sites and how much restoration had been done in some while others had not even been explored yet.  Some of our children noted that the unexplored areas leave more to the imagination.

My husband appreciated the discussion where Dave Stotts showed how actual history and locations provide support for the accuracy of the Bible.  He also appreciated how Dave Stotts made it clear that the book of Jude was meant to help equip Christians for living in the end days, and has as much relevance for believers today as it did at the time it was written.  Another statement that caught the attention of my family was that Christian persecution during the early days of the church did not slow down the growth of the church.  Also, the list of disciples and other early Christians who died for their faith led to an interesting discussion of whether Christians today would be so willing to die for their beliefs.

Along with the three DVDs which come with the set, there is also a study guide.  The study guide is actually bound into the case the DVDs come with, which is great for having it all together, but makes using a bit tricky since it did not want to stay open for me.  The study guide includes general information about the series,  a list of the episodes, summaries of each episode, discussion questions, Biblical passages to read, side roads that include additional information, along with amazing photographs and illustrations. Possible ways to use the study guide would be to simply allow them to guide an oral conversation between those who have watched the episode or your family could choose to require the answers to the questions be written out.

You can find Drive Thru History® on social media using the following links:  Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  So check out Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation” for yourself.  Also, click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews of this amazing series from other members of the Home School Review Crew.

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#hsreviews #drivethruhistory #drivethruhistoryadventures #adventurelearning

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Posted in Bible, Bible Studies, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for “Forever Loved, Eve’s Story”

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About the Book

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Title: Forever Loved, Eve’s Story

Author: Joanna May Chee

Genre: Christian Inspiration for Women

Release date: February 20, 2018

Publisher: Heartfelt Publications

Eve. First woman. First to be tempted. First to sin.

But what if there were more to her story than that?

Forever Loved: Eve’s Story is the story of Father and daughter, as told by Eve. It is a story of preciousness and beauty, of tender love and grace. Through Eve, God reveals his Father heart of love for you, his treasured daughter. He whispers to you now, and calls you closer.

Includes:

  • My Story: The author’s personal story of encountering God as Father.
  • Eve’s Story: A beautifully creative retelling of the Bible story of Eve.
  • Your Story: Encouragement and prayers to take you deeper into God’s presence.

Experience Eve’s story anew. Discover just how loved you are!

Click here to purchase your copy!

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Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to be Eve and experienced the Garden of Eden first hand?  Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to experience God’s presence in person?  Forever Loved Eve’s Story does exactly that.  Joanna May Chee does an incredible job of creating the illusion of the reader experiencing the events first hand.

Ms. Chee does a remarkable job of conveying how much a father loves a daughter and how much more so God loved Eve and all of the daughters who come after her.  She makes God come alive as a loving “Papa” rather than an angry and unforgiving God.  I have a number of friends who in their normal conversations who refer to God as “Papa”.  Truly this illustrates a more loving and approachable Creator.

The encounter between God and Eve after Eve and Adam ate from the Tree of Life was heart-breaking and uplifting all at the same time.  The details given about their life with their children provided a wealth of insight of what Eve must have gone through after Cain killed Abel.  I found the book to be inspirational and worth reading.  I encourage you to read it both as a story and as a Bible Study.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.  All thoughts contained in this review are my own.

About the Author

Joanna May Chee gets excited about God! She loves to write and is often awake in the night with a million ideas for her next book or project. Joanna blogs at JoannaMayChee.com and MumsKidsJesus.com, where it is her heart to encourage and equip women to love their families and meet with God. She is author of Forever Loved: Eve’s Story, a creative retelling of the Bible story of Eve, and a #1 Amazon UK bestseller. Joanna lives near London with her husband, 4 teens, dog and 2 cats! Facebook.com/JoannaMayChee | Facebook.com/MumsKidsJesus | Pinterest.co.uk/MumsKidsJesus

Guest Post from Joanna

True or False? Eve spent time with God before meeting Adam.

True or False? Eve wasn’t called Eve until after the Fall.

Does the Bible even say?

Until recently, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, even though I’ve been a Christian many years, and thought I knew the Bible story of Eve really well!

It was during hot, sticky, jet-lagged nights, about four years ago, on holiday overseas, that God started giving me new and wonderful insight into Eve’s life. Words literally started pouring through my head: the story of Eve, but not as I’d heard it before!

I’d always had negative connotations of Eve – the first woman to be tempted, the first to sin. But the story God revealed to me during my sleepless nights was one of preciousness and beauty. It was the story of Father and daughter, of God’s incredible love for Eve, and His equally wondrous love for me.

As Eve’s story unfolded over several nights, I wrote it down; and God gave me a book I did not ask for (but am forever grateful for): Forever Loved: Eve’s Story.

These new insights into Eve’s story have been life-changing. God has brought me deeper into His love than I could ever have imagined. (In the introduction of ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ I share something of the deep hurt and insecurity I experienced growing up – including the time I got into BIG trouble with my teacher – my cry to know God as Father, and how God’s love has brought healing and freedom.)

It’s my prayer that ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ touches the lives of women around the world, that women may come into deeper experience of God as Father, and know just how beautiful and precious they are to Him.

So, back to the True/False questions at the beginning of this post! What do you think?

I’d love to share with you what I’ve discovered by giving you a free copy of a devotional I’ve written called ‘Treasures Hidden in the Story of Eve’.

This devotional explores some of the amazing truths God’s shown me about Eve, and the wonderful implications for us as women today (and includes extracts from ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’). Download the devotional for free here.

I pray God touches you as deeply as He has me, as you explore the Bible story of Eve afresh. May you encounter the love of Father God as never before.

Joanna xx

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, January 26

Real World Bible Study, January 27

Aryn the Libraryan, January 28

Robin is Bookish, January 28

My Devotional Thoughts, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 30

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 31

Mary Hake, January 31

Godly Book Reviews, February 1

Lights in a Dark World, February 1

Midnight Bookaholic, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

Texas Book-aholic, February 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessFebruary 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Janices book reviews, February 7

Carpe Diem, February 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of ‘Forever Loved: Eve’s Story’ plus $25 Amazon voucher!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops below for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d5/forever-loved-eve-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for The Lost Art of Relationship

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About the Book

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Title: The Lost Art of Relationship

Author: Dan Chrystal

Genre: Christian non-fiction, Christian living

Release date: October 15, 2018

Relationship is a journey of discovery—a lost art. In this generation, it has become challenging to deepen and grow personal relationships with each other. Our technology-flooded environment has left many with limited relational experience and a fear of face-to-face connection and meeting new people.

The church has done a decent job of helping people understand the need and importance of a relationship with God, but what about with each other? At the heart of every man, woman, and child is the need for connection—for relationships with people who love them for who they are.

In The Lost Art of Relationship, Dan Chrystal tackles the heart of relationship based on the time-honored instruction to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But what does that mean? How do we live out this odd instruction? Who is my neighbor, anyway? What makes relationships healthy, and what makes them fail? Through Dan’s personal stories and difficult life lessons, readers will come away encouraged, inspired, and motivated to love the people in their life more fully. If you desire deep and meaningful connections, now is the time to discover the lost art of relationship.

Click here to get your copy!

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The Lost Art of Relationship by Dan Chrystal is a must-read book if you are interested in having deeper and more meaningful relationships with those around you.  The author does an excellent job of breaking the book down into sections which cover: Foundations of Relationships, Obstacles of Relationships, and Building Blocks of Relationships.  He uses easy to read and understand language along with personal experiences and Scriptures to back up what he is saying. 

As a pastor, being able to establish meaningful relationships is a necessity.  But establishing fruitful relationships applies to everyone.  God did not create man to be alone.  He created us to have relationships with those around us and with Him as well.  This book does an excellent job of conveying both of those points without being “preachy”.  So if you are a person who desires deeper, and more meaningful relationships, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

dan chrystal

Dan Chrystal has over twenty-three years of ministry and relationship experience. He serves as a pastor for Bayside Church Granite Bay, under the dynamic leadership of founding pastor, Ray Johnston. Dan is a vibrant speaker and a dedicated life, career, and couple’s coach. He holds an MBA in executive leadership from Kaplan University (now Purdue Global University) and is currently studying law at Concord Law School. His extensive ministry background has taken him all over the country, from the east coast to the west, where he has served in varying capacities, including Lead Pastor, Administrative Pastor, Associate Pastor, Worship Leader, and Youth Pastor. An avid student of relationship, Dan is passionate about helping others to love their neighbors as themselves.

“Choose a good reputation over great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1)

Guest post from Dan

For two years, I experienced what many would call a “wilderness experience.” I truly felt forgotten. I had spent twenty years in various aspects of church work having met and coached hundreds of people, and I still felt like I didn’t truly understand why I was put on this earth. I have moved nine times in my adult life. Everywhere I’ve lived, I had to start over—at work, home, schools for kids, and especially in relationship with others.

The last move was different. This time I was no longer looking to connect simply for the sake of connecting. There was a purpose for connection that was brewing inside me. That purpose became the driving force of my life and remains that way today. In fact, it consumes my thought life, relationships, ministry, and every aspect of what I do, think, and say.

Connecting with others has been a part of my life wherever I have gone. This came from watching my mom over many years meet, talk to, and befriend hundreds of people. At her funeral, I had just about that many tell me “thank you” for allowing my mom to be a part of their lives—how she encouraged them and truly got to know them for who they are.

During my two-year “wilderness” period, there was a realization that over all the moves, restarts, connections, coffee appointments, coaching, lunches, and dinners with people, I was learning the essence of what I believe we are called, or actually commanded, to do by Jesus. Such a simple sentence, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, it is one of the most difficult things to live out every day. Let’s face it; relationships are messy. They can be downright frustrating at times, but they are a necessary part of life, and the second most important thing to God.

I am by no means an “expert” in relationship. I am and always will be a student of it. I have watched relationships thrive, survive, and some fall away. There are so many divisions that come between us, and during those two years of struggling with my purpose, it became clear—God has designed, purposed, and prepared me to help others discover what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. I am not perfect at this. As a matter of fact, I struggle—sometimes daily. That is what sparked the writing of this book. I have found there is an art to relationship. For most, it is a lost art, one that can be rediscovered. I would love it if you would join me in discovering The Lost Art of Relationship.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 20

The Becca Files, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 22

Creating Romance, January 22

Real World Bible Study, January 23

Mary Hake, January 24

Captive Dreams Window, January 25

Bigreadersite, January 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 26

margaret kazmierczak, January 26

Bibliophile Reviews, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Just the Write Escape, January 29

A Baker’s Perspective, January 30

Janices book reviews, January 31

Book World ReviewsFebruary 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away a grand prize of an Echo 2nd Generation Smart Speaker with Alexa!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d6/the-lost-art-of-relationship-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Posted in Bible, Deovtionals, Homeschool Review Crew Posts

Review of “Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women” from Zondervan

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Zondervan has a beautiful new devotional to help your daughter grow in her faith:  Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women.  As the mother of one daughter who is sixteen, I am always on the lookout for devotionals and other books that will help grow my daughter’s faith.  So when I found out about the opportunity to review this devotional, I knew we needed to participate.

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Zondervan provides a variety of Bibles, books, curricula, academic resources, and digital products for more than 80 years.  The company was founded in 1931 by Pat and Bernard Zondervan. According to their website, Zondervan has remained dedicated to producing quality Christian content with integrity, which has allowed sustained growth and has established the company as a revered and reliable source for transformative and inspirational content.”  Harper Collins acquired Zondervan and helped form HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

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Our family has used resources from Zondervan for many years.  Everything we have gotten from them always delivers what we are looking for and expecting from their products, and this devotional did not let us down.  I planned on my daughter and myself doing this devotional together. With three older brothers, I attempt to find devotions for young women that we can do together.  This devotional is meant for young women ages 13-18, but I feel that girls older or younger would also enjoy and benefit from this devotional.  Daughters and mothers definitely will benefit from doing this devotional together.

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This devotional includes Scripture references from the New International Version, which is my only negative thought about this devotional.  I would have preferred them to cite the book in the Bible, Chapter, and Verse and then allowed families to use whatever Bible they prefer to use.  However, my daughter and I just read the verse and devotion in the book and then referred to our King James Version Bibles to reread the Scripture.  I feel this extra step provided our daughter the means for comparing the wording in various Bible translations.

Every devotion features an easy-to-read, timely devotion, which is paired with a Scripture passage about a Biblical girl or woman, such as Ruth, Mary, Esther, Mary or Abigail.  The pages speak about the pressures and changes young ladies face while giving them real-life applications to find and include God in their own lives.

We have found several devotions which spoke to us.  One of them addressed the Proverbs 31 Women and referenced the verse, Proverbs 31:10, which talks about the Proverbs 31 woman having a noble character.  The devotional then discusses the concept of an “ideal” woman.  The devotional does an excellent job of addressing how God has made us all individuals who are perfect in our way in His sight.

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Another one of the topics I was glad to see the devotional address was Abigail’s encounter with David after her husband had treated David with tremendous disrespect.  Day 217 addresses this topic.  The devotional shows how Abigail provided the best she had to offer and offered respect in how she approached him, spoke to him and even provided for David and his men.  The devotional makes it clear how much being respectful can go in an encounter with someone.  Days 218 through 228 continue the story of Abigail before moving to Bathsheba on Day 229.

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You can find Zondervan on social media at the following location

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So if you are looking for a devotional to help a young lady in your life grow in her faith and Biblical knowledge, check out Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan.  If you would like to read a review of this devotional from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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