CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER CAROL E!
I imagine that this is a BUSY time of year for you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a few moments to simply rest, reflect, and read some thoughtful devotional and Scriptures? Thanks to Worthy Publishing and their division Ellie Claire, I have just the thing to share with you…and even a giveaway for one person to win! Ellie Claire generously sent me three of their lovely new journals to use and review. One of these will be gifted to a FINCHNWREN reader, just in time to jump-start 2019! The journals are entitled: Peace Begins with Me; Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus; and The Earth is the Lord’s and Everything in It. Let me tell you more, and show you!
The Ellie Claire 365-Day Devotional Journals provide a place each day for readers to quiet a heart, think upon the Lord, and dwell on Scriptures and the Lord. Each devotional is organized around a theme or idea. The covers of the journals are vividly and gorgeously illustrated, and the books have an elastic band to hold the books closed (as well as an attached ribbon bookmark). Inside, you’ll find pages for entries on each one of the 365 days of the year. Each page begins with a quote of some kind, followed by a devotional writing. Scripture verses are included, as well as blank lined sections at the end, for the reader to jot down thoughts, prayers, and ideas.
Peace Begins with Me
Peace Begins with Me has a lovely green/blue/white watercolor wash cover, with a golden title. The inside is just as restful and pretty, containing white pages with green borders and a clear, readable font. This journal’s theme is, of course, peace; specifically, gaining peace for ourselves by learning, knowing, and dwelling with the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus. Each page begins with a verse of Scripture that directs our attention to God, and explores who He is.
Who is Jesus? In Peace Begins with Me, we’re reminded that He is:
- The Lamb, whose glory lights the New Jerusalem
- The One who gives us strength in suffering
- The Maker of heaven and earth
- The One who calms the storm
- and more!
Some of my favorite devotional passages from this journal include the following:
“God, however, is not like us. He is not limited in what He can see and do. God sees full scope and far range, from an unhindered perspective. His view is not hampered by a cluttered past or the baggage of sin or the clouds of fear. We cannot even imagine what is known to Him in a glance. But we can ask and we can seek, and in Him we shall find.” (September 12)
“We human beings often talk about God’s will. When life is going well, we totally support the Lord’s plan for us. When the road gets bumpy or flat-out painful, we’re confused at best, despairing at worst, and hardly able to believe that the Almighty’s will is good or perfect….To be specific, our God is mighty to save you from death and gracious to redeem your life…” (December 5)
I love a lot about this particular journal. What I Iove the most is how it takes me out of my day-to-day routine and points me at an aspect of God that perhaps I’ve forgotten about. As a busy homeschool mom of a high school junior, my days are filled with a LOT. Training my son, teaching him upper-level subjects, supervising the classes he takes online; and getting out of the way so that he can develop skills and become more and more the person he’s meant to be. My daily prayers are focused on that, on my husband and family, on strength so that I can manage my day and responsibilities well. But over and above all that is the God who loves me and my family; who has amazing purposes, and is working out things I can’t even imagine. To move my focus to Him? Yes, it really does bring peace.
Where you can find Peace Begins with Me:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/PeaceonBN
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
From the title of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus — if you’ve ever sung from a hymnal before — you might surmise that this journal’s theme centers on quotes from hymns. If you did, you’d be correct! Each page begins with a line from a hymn (or a praise and worship song), that tells us something about God and His character. Then, the devotional develops that idea more fully, followed by Bible verses to read. The pages close with lines for journaling.
If you are someone who loves worship music (both old and new), you will love this journal. I personally love the old hymns for what they show us about God. Newer worship songs do the same, in different ways. Here are some of the lovely words found in Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:
From August 21’s entry:
“Broader than the scope of my transgressions, greater far than all my sin and shame, O magnify the precious name of Jesus, praise His name!” –“Wonderful Grace of Jesus,” Haldor Lillenas
“Fortunately, as believers we know the battle for our souls has been won. Jesus, the Son of God, understood the threat of sin, waged war against the enemy, and rose victorious over sin and the grave.”
Or, another great reading, from March 3:
“He bled, He died to save me; and not alone the gift of life, but His own self He gave me.” –“I’ve Found a Friend, Such a Friend,” James G. Small
“Times of adversity reveal who our true friends are. The good news is, you never have to wonder with Jesus; He is always a friend. A friend to those who feel friendless–the Companion who endures with you through loss and sadness. In fact, He is more than a friend–He is Savior and Lord.”
I love Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Beautifully, it reminds me of all the steps in my journey of faith; from my grandmother singing hymns in her kitchen, to my days at camp where I first heard the gospel, to my time as a missionary and even my current life, as it reminds me of God in all His glory and goodness. How amazing to remember that God is at work, has been at work, and always will be at work in us all!
Where to buy Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/EyesonBN
The Earth Is the Lord’s, and Everything In It
The Earth Is the Lord’s, and Everything In It journal pages begin with a Bible verse. Then, the authors connect that verse to a particular aspect of creation, or to one of their own experiences in nature. (You can tell that these coauthors have spent a lot of time enjoying and experiencing the great outdoors!) Each page then ends with a short prayer and blank lines to journal in, along with corner decorations of colorful peacocks and flowers.
Have you ever experienced God through the riches of creation? As Romans 1 reminds us, “ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen…” Perhaps you’ve taken your family camping and marveled at meteor showers or constellations in the night sky, away from the bright lights of the city. Or, maybe you’ve taken a walk when a light snow is falling, and felt the quiet and hush as you’ve trodden the snowy ground. Or, delighted in the roar of the waves on beach trips. This book will take you through these experiences and more, and remind you of the God whose hand is behind them and in them, speaking to you through His creation and Scriptures.
Some of my favorite passages include:
“Likewise, God is a compass for our lives. When we face important decisions, He will guide us if we will listen—“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.'” (Isaiah 30:21), from November 16
“I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.” (Leviticus 16:4) “Even as a child I saw the difference between what I could offer and what God could do…I’ve not forgotten the lessons learned in Dad’s garden…” from March 17
Where to buy The Earth Is the Lord’s and Everything In It:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/EarthonBN
In closing…and a giveaway for you to enter!
Each of these books is lovely in its own way; and if you’re looking for a beautiful and thoughtful journal to gift to someone special, do check out these books! I’ve included some Amazon and Barnes & Noble links for you, in case you’d like to bless someone (or even yourself!) this December.
I am giving away The Earth Is the Lord’s and Everything In It journal to one FINCHNWREN reader! To enter, simply comment below and tell me something you love about nature. Entrants from the continental U.S. only (48 contiguous states). The giveaway will close on 12/26/18, and one winner will be selected to win the journal. Best wishes!
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