“Courageous Women of the Bible” ~ A Review & Giveaway (Ends 6/20/18)

Hello friends!

I have a lovely new book to tell you about!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network was kind enough to send me not only a copy of LaTan Roland Murphy’s newest book, Courageous Women of the Bible, to review; but a copy for one reader to win as well!  (You’ll be able to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.)  This beautiful (inside and out—I just love its cover as much as the book’s insides) book is something that women will find inspiring, courage-producing, and uplifting, whether they are single, married, mothers of young children, moms of older kiddos, or retired…or any other life stage a woman might be in.  Whatever your life experiences are in this stage of your journey, you’ll find something here to relate to.

 

 

Courageous Women of the Bible

What are you experiencing in your life today?  Are you in a smooth patch of life, or are you facing challenges with your job, an illness, your relationships, your parenting, or even on a larger scale in your nation?  All of us have faced some of these and some of us may have even faced them all.  When we face life struggles, sometimes we can drum up the courage to meet them head-on.  Yet other times, we wonder how on earth we will possibly endure them.  What if I told you that courage can look a little different than we might imagine?  What if all we have to do, to be courageous, is to set our feet toward obedience?

Author LaTan Roland Murphy knew that she–and we–all need courage.  So she wrote a book about courage and how we can have it.  She delves into the lives of 11 women of the Bible who faced a variety of circumstances that demanded courage: everything from leading a nation; to giving unsparingly; or defeating an enemy; to believing in miracles when all hope seemed lost; and stepping into leadership when the actual leader wouldn’t do it.  And that’s just a few.

In Courageous Women of the Bible, you’ll have the opportunity to meet:

  • Deborah
  • The woman with the issue of blood
  • Jael
  • Bathsheba
  • The Samaritan woman
  • Jochebed
  • and 5 others!

In each chapter, the author describes a Biblical woman and what’s happening in her life that demands courage.  She includes the Bible passages that inform us of these women and each one’s state of affairs.  Then, LaTan pulls out for our edification the particular character qualities, choices, strengths, and evidences of faith that these women exemplify.  She introduces us to these gals and describes them so richly that, by the end of each chapter, we feel as though we might actually know them—or recognize them if they were to step across our paths.  Lastly, each chapter ends with a courage quest, a list of 5 questions designed to help us identify our own need for each type of courage and help us to embrace and build it in our own lives.

LaTan has also included a journaling chapter at the very end of the book, to give readers the opportunity to mine their thoughts and emotions for the things God would like to show them–and do in them–through the experiences of the Biblical women of each passage.

My impressions of Courageous Women of the Bible

I have to say that God used this book in my life in a somewhat curious yet fascinating way.  I received it while my teen son and I were wrapping up the end of his 10th grade homeschool year.  And the last 6 weeks of the year (the last part of April and May) were so packed and, at times, exhausting.  (You know the drill:  finals, finishing courses, end-of-the-year projects/papers, teacher appreciation days, drama performances, art shows, final coop classes, etc.)  I had this lovely book sitting on my bedside table.  I wanted to read it.  I had made it 4 chapters in and loved what I’d already read.  Yet, I could *not* find a moment to delve further.

This is one of those moments when I get to say, looking back, “But God!”

This might sound crazy.  But I honestly believe that God halted my reading by using the circumstances of our very-full family life because there were two very significant–even crucial–chapters that I would need at the very end of May.  And oh, when I read them!  What refreshment, encouragement, and strength they provided.  Timing is everything, sometimes, my friends.  And God works with the seasons and events of our lives to bring strength, comfort, and yes, courage, just at the very moments when we need them.

I won’t tell you which women were so deeply meaningful to me, simply because ALL the chapters in this book are going to minister to you, and on different levels, depending on what you’re experiencing in your own life.  I do want to share some lovely quotes from the book, though, that ministered to me:

  • “When every single angle you have tried is met with a dead end, know that you, yourself, are an overcomer with God as the voice of wisdom.  God wants you to experience life and freedom—to experience all that He is.”
  • “…God had challenged Moses to use what was in his hand to perform miracles that would set the stage for God’s chosen people to be freed from four hundred years of bondage and persecution.  God asked Moses:  “What is that in your hand?”
  • “Never forget that one willing woman with a tiny ounce of faith, grit, and tenacity can do amazing things; there is nothing too big, too hard, or too impossible with God.”
  • “I wonder if the Samaritan woman felt the same sense of awe as she experienced the rushing power of heaven’s truth spoken over her empty life.”
  • “The story He is writing in your life will be way better than the one you have been working on.”
  • “Friend, God still has His pen in hand and He is writing a good story across the pages of your life.  He is in the process of answering your prayers and He’s not finished yet.”

And as wonderful as this book has been for me, I’ve even more excited that I have a copy to share with one special reader via a giveaway!  You can read a little more about Courageous Women of the Bible and its author LaTan Roland Murphy in the next section; then scroll down to the bottom to enter the giveaway!

 

About the author

LaTan Roland Murphy is a published author of books and articles as well as her own website and blog, latanmurphy.com.  She wrote Becoming a Woman of Interior Elegance and co-authored God’s Provision in Tough Times.

 

Her articles have been featured in WHOA women’s magazine and other publications as well.  She was a founder of The Colors of His Love Women’s Conference, and lives in North Carolina with her husband Joe.  She’s the mother of three adult children as well as several grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

How to enter:

Simply click the pink “Enter here!” link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  There you’ll be able to enter in a number of ways.  One winner will be selected after 6/20/18, when this giveaway closes.

Enter here!

Best wishes, my friends!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, we at FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

6/21/18 UPDATE:  Giveaway closed.  Congrats to the winner, Lori H.!

 

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“Gospel-Centered Mom” ~ A Review

Hello friends!

Do you ever have moments of #momfail?  We try to laugh about that here in our house (oh, there are so many!).  But below the silly mistakes or funny mis-speaks (you know, when you put in a syllable that doesn’t belong there or put in the wrong word here and there), I do have questions about my mom ability.

I try not to compare myself with my mom friends.  I have got friends who are AMAZING.  Who have gifts and abilities that, to be honest, I will never have.  And really, God does instruct us in Scripture not to compare ourselves with others.   We have the gifts, the abilities, the moments in time that we have and that He has given to US, not to others.

But how can I make sure that my core identity–the person I am under those gifts/abilities/personality–is healthy, and bringing health to my family?  And I’m not talking about healthy meals here (though I do think those are important).  I’m talking about being a woman who lives in the truth.  And that is a hard thing to do sometimes.  The media tells us their “truths” about a woman’s appearance, beauty, worth, importance.  We can accept as “truth” the actions that others have toward us, whether positive or negative.  We can even use our mirrors as truth-tellers.  But in every interaction we have with the people or things on that list, our minds and hearts are going to make interpretations.  And those are shaped by our own experiences, relationships, successes, and sadly, our hurts.

I have been on a journey recently where I have seen more and more the importance of living in and dwelling on the truth as God defines it.  I am trying to take my experiences and emotions and line them up with what the Bible says before I just take them on.  (It’s definitely a skill I am learning, and not always automatic.)  But, I’m also looking for other resources that will aid me in that journey.  And when I saw the title of Brooke McGlothlin’s new book, Gospel-Centered Mom, I was immediately interested.

 

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9780735289635?width=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

Gospel-Centered Mom

Author Brooke McGlothlin heads and cofounded Raising Boys Ministries.  She writes for an online boy mom community, on LifeWay’s ParentLife blog and on the Proverbs 31 Devotional website.  Perhaps most importantly in terms of this book, she is a  mother who wanted to be a great mom for her kids.  But how do we do that, when culture and media tell us how to be the “perfect” family, or our own hearts compare our families with others and we feel we come up short?

Instead of pursuing those unhealthy ideals, Brooke went back to God. She learned that just trying harder was not enough.  But turning to God first and foremost was.  I love the subtitle of this book, which reads:  “The freeing truth about what your kids really need.”  Because that’s really the bottom line, isn’t it?  Not what I am feeling forced by my culture to make, but what my child needs from me to become the amazing young man that God wants him to be.  That changes my focus pretty dramatically.

In Gospel-Centered Mom, Brooke discusses:

  • The difference between the ME Gospel and the True Gospel
  • Living my life as part of God’s enormous, amazing Story instead of my own, self-focused story
  • Living in the truth (I’ve mentioned already how important that is for me at this moment in time)
  • Practical things I can do every day to live in that truth
  • How God meets us in the wilderness, shows us Himself, and loves us…even while He’s showing us the truth about ourselves
  • And one topic that is so useful but is even hard for me to write down here:  Why is God letting me suffer?

My thoughts

Brooke McGlothlin is a woman who writes the truth.  When we live in a culture that is so focused on the newest amazing beauty product that will change your life; or shows you pictures of the “perfect” family life that you should be living; or tells you unrealistic ways that you can “be your best self”—we need people who will boil down truth to its essence and share that truth with us.

In Gospel-Centered Mom, Brooke shares honestly from her own struggles as a mom and a woman who believes in God…and shares hope with those of us who are in similar struggles.  Sometimes the answer really is as simple as coming to God.  But Brooke’s words also tell us how to come to God; how to work out our lives and relationships, and even our own weaknesses as mothers–by living in love with God and in His truth.

This book is worth reading.  Check it out.

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Disclosure:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

“The Space Between Words” by Michèle Phoenix ~ A Review

I have been a huge fan of author Michèle Phoenix ever since I read her phenomenal Of Stillness and Storm.  (In fact, that was one of the best books I read during the last year.)  So when Netgalley offered me the chance to read this author’s newest book, The Space Between Words, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

 

 

 

The story

Jessica is an American living in France, working alongside her employer Patrick and fellow employee Vonda.  (The trio are also platonic roommates.)  Patrick owns the Denver, Colorado boutique Trésor, which is filled with (as you’d guess) treasures from Europe.  “Picking chiner,” as it’s defined in France, is Patrick’s joy and métier.  He drives around France’s rural areas and purchases things which aren’t valued by their owners but which make his store a beloved stop by fashionable Americans.  The three agree to head to France together for store shopping.  Patrick speaks French, and Jessica envies his easy friendships and rapport with the French.  On the trio’s last day in Paris, they decide to do some sightseeing and art-viewing.  But Vonda is offered free tickets to a concert that evening; a death metal band, which isn’t really Jessica’s thing (nor Patrick’s, as he heads off to le musée).  The next day they will head off to search for treasures in the country.

But the evening doesn’t go as anyone expects.  Vonda and Jessica are headed to the Bataclan, where three terrorists will open automatic rifle fire and kill 70; and injure many more.

Jessica wakes up in the hospital, wounded, and broken in her spirit.  She plans to leave immediately to go back home to Colorado.  Vonda, uninjured, isn’t much help; but dear Patrick is supportive, kind and consoling.  He works and works to convince Jessica to go with him on their country treasure hunt.  Paralyzed by fears brought on by the attack and injuries made by a bullet, she is hesitant to agree.  But finally, when she’s released from the hospital, they begin their journey and head to a charming inn in the south of France.

As they’re poking around the countryside, the pair finds a barn filled with an amazing collection of furniture, junk, and dusty objects.  Jessica happens onto a collection of ancient hidden letters; and, reading them, enters the story of  persecuted Huguenot Christian Adeline Baillard.

But there are mysteries ahead for Jessica that she cannot even imagine.  Is she in a ghost story?  What is really going on in this journey she’s undertaken after the Bataclan attack?  Is there love and hope ahead for her?

 

In closing

I will honestly pick up ANYTHING by author Michèle Phoenix.  Her writing and perspective captivated me from the first moment I picked up one of her books.  The Space Between Words is a timely, engaging story of the terrors and struggles that we face today, juxtaposed with the ones that Christians faced hundreds of years ago.  It turns out that our desire and fierceness to survive aren’t all that different after all.  Check out The Space Between Words….and everything else you can find by Phoenix!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLAIMER:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

I received a digital e-reader copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for this review.

 

“Holiday Cookies” ~ A Review

Are you always looking for fun and different cookies you can make in December for the holidays?

I admit, I am.  We make biscotti every Christmas…but often we’ll search for something different or unusual that we haven’t made before.  We love making spritz cookies (the cookie press is so fun to use) but I’m often disappointed by the bland flavor.  We like making sugar cookies, especially multicolored ones that you roll up.  But what else is out there?

 

 

Elisabet der Nederlanden’s Holiday Cookies has tons of holiday cookie options—many of which I’d never even heard of before!

 

What will you find in Holiday Cookies?

Food stylist and professional recipe developer Elisabet der Nederlanden is a resident of Berkeley, CA, but was born in and grew up in Sweden.  She learned to bake as a child and worked in a bakery as a teen.  She loves decorating for Christmas (and all its associated celebrations, like St. Lucia Day) and baking wonderful cookies and treats.  So, she brings her love and experience with baking and goodies to this book, which truly is a labor of love.  She searched out, prepared, and selected 50 unusual and delicious cookies whose origins are from countries all over the world.

What I really love about this cookbook is that you’ll find the usual suspects of Christmas cookies (like bark, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies) but they are livened up with gorgeous decorations, unusual flavors, and unexpected tweaks that make cooking, and decorating, more enjoyable and fun.  The pictures are absolutely breathtaking and they WILL make you want to scurry to the kitchen and bake!  It’s also written in a lovely conversational manner that will make you feel as though der Nederlanden is sharing her fabulous cookie wisdom with you.

 

 

She begins with cookie-baking and decorating tips (including a great section on royal icing, which makes rolled cookies so beautiful), helpful ideas for shipping cookies and storing them.  And then the fun begins!  Der Nederlanden has divided her book into 6 sections with 8 recipes each:

  • Very Merry Classics (with gingerbread cookies, black and whites, Red Velvet Crackle Cookies, stenciled shortbread rounds)
  • Cookie Exchange Party (where you’ll find Bejeweled Chocolate Cookies, Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies, Red-and-White Meringue Kisses and more)
  • Warm Holiday Spice (which includes Saffron Pistachio Biscotti, Cinnamon-Sugar Palmiers, and Thumbprints with Spicy Plum Jam)
  • Around the World (Swedish Pepparkakor, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Pignoli Cookies, and other fun recipes)
  • Holiday Confections (with goodies like Apple Cider Caramels, Matcha Chocolate Bark with Berries and Coconut, and Smoked Almond and Cacao Nib Brittle)
  • and finally, Decorated Delights, where the author shares recipes for cookie ornaments, Gingerbread Place-Card Cookies, Stained-Glass Snowflakes, and even a Gingerbread House

The recipes all seem to be well-researched (and tested) and the directions are very clear and easy to follow.  (Of course you’ll still want to read through the cookie recipes before you prepare them; some of them have ingredients that you might not have on hand.)

 

Our favorites

We LOVE Swedish Pepparkakor.  The St. Lucia celebration is so beautiful, and pepparkakor cookies are served then.  The cookies are crisp and carry ginger and cloves (and of course, a bit of pepper).  I don’t have der Nederlanden’s fun goat and pig cookie cutters, but we do have lots of others!

I like the saffron biscotti recipe as well.  It is beautiful and colorful, thanks to the saffron, which I’d never have imagined as a biscotti ingredient!

Other favorites include the Minty Spritz Cookies (I told you I needed a good spritz recipe!), the Gingerbread Place-Card Cookies (although honestly my hand doesn’t have beautiful cursive handwriting with icing!), and the Citrus Sugar Cookie Ornaments.  So many fun recipes to add joy to Christmas celebrations!

More about the author:

Elisabet der Nederlanden’s website

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

“Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer” Review & Giveaway

Do you ever feel as though you need a new way to approach prayer?  Author Jeannie Blackmer did, and out of that came her new book Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network generously sent me not only a copy to read and review myself, but one to give away to a reader!

 

 

So, about prayer…

What does prayer look like for you?  I’m a morning person, and I’ve always thrived on an early morning quiet time when I can have some time in the Bible and in prayer (along with a cup of coffee, of course!).  That was a great way for me to start my day when I was single and working, and it’s just as good for me as a wife and mom.  Especially as a homeschool mom; having that time of peace, God’s Word, and time with Him helps me to stay on track and get going in the right direction each day.  (And, I hope, staying the course throughout that day!)

Our family has been through a lot in the past few years, including job challenges, surgeries, and most recently, the chemotherapy treatments I had following my May 1 surgery.  And I noticed recently that my prayers had just been knocked down to the bare bones.  It’s not that I WASN’T thankful for God and His character, and His love.  But I was urgently pleading and asking for the help I so desperately needed without focusing on thankfulness, praise, and worship.  It looked a lot like, “help, help, HELP!”

 

Author Jeannie Blackmer

And about Talking to Jesus…

Also recently, I was given this meaningful book,  Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer.  Something that author Jeanne Blackmer experienced when her children became teens was that she desperately needed to find a way to pray deeply for them…to change the focus and perhaps the nature of her prayers.  Blackmer was inspired as she looked through Scriptures and found other parents coming to Jesus with their needs about their children…their loved ones…and themselves.  Out of this, the wonderful Talking to Jesus was birthed and written.  In 21 chapters, we meet 21 different people or groups of people who encountered Jesus (plus a few preceding and closing chapters).  While staying faithful to the Scripture accounts, Blackmer has written about what the characters might have been thinking or feeling as they ministered (the disciples); as they came to Jesus with a huge request (like the Canaanite woman, or Jairus, or the woman who’d bled for 12 years), or as they lived and struggled (the blind men or the scribe).  I loved this!  I am a person who loves and finds meaning in story, and by adding story to the lives of these real Biblical men, women, and children, Blackmer is able to take us into what the characters might have experienced….and help us to see how those feelings aren’t so (if at all) different from our own.  Here’s a sampling of some of the Biblical characters whose experiences with Jesus are explored here:

  • The Centurion
  • The Paralytic and His Friends
  • The Ruler (a.k.a. Jairus)
  • The Bleeding Woman
  • The Disciples (in various situations)
  • The Blind Men
  • and more!

Blackmer concludes each chapter with three very good–and very impactful–sections.  First, there is her Personal Response portion, where she talks more about what we can glean ourselves from the Bible account, and some specific things she noticed.  She concludes these sections with gentle encouragements and exhortations for the reader.  Second, there is a Reflection segment, which includes pertinent Bible verses (with both the verse itself and its address printed out); further nuggets from the Word of God that will draw the reader closer into the arms of God.  And third, is a place for the reader’s own Observations.  Here are spots where we can write about our responses to Jesus’ experiences and invitations, or prayers for the ways we’d like to move forward.

 

What this book has meant to me

So I mentioned earlier that my prayer life had been, for quite a few months, in sort of a crisis mode place.  I knew that I needed the help that only God could give me.  And I was definitely desperate enough to ask, and keep asking, for it.  During my chemotherapy journey there were a lot of moments of amazing provision…and absolute hilarity…and faith and trust.  But there were also fear and pain, which kept driving me to God for His help.

I’m so thankful that we’re past the chemo now.  I am feeling better and more energetic every month.  But I’ve noticed that there can be more to my prayer times now.  After all, I’m in a relationship with God; and any relationship has got to be about more than the things one person needs from the other.  Reading and working through Talking to Jesus has been a rich, lovely experience that has opened my eyes to some wonderful things, like who God is; how He loves me; and how readily He stands to be in relationship with me.

As I read Talking to Jesus, I was encouraged to place my own name–and myself–in one of the stories.  You can probably guess which one was deeply meaningful to me!  It was Blackmer’s chapter on The Bleeding Woman.  The woman who was desperate–really desperate–for healing.  She believed that Jesus might be the one who could help her.  And He did!  She reached out and touched his garment.  Not even his hand or his leg…but the fabric of his robe.  And He noticed!  He turned, and asked who had touched Him…and, knowing she’d been found out, she came forward.

As an “unclean” person, she shouldn’t have even have been in a crowd of people in Israel.  Her very presence or accidental touch of another person would have transferred (albeit temporarily) her uncleanness to that person.  And yet Jesus didn’t say, “Get away, you’re dirty, you’re going to taint us.”

He called her “Daughter.”  Beloved girl child.  Wanted.

And then, He told her that her faith had healed her!

What an incredible moment.  I’ve loved it for years, ever since a favorite pastor taught on Jairus (and his own desperation) and the bleeding woman.  But never, in all those years, did I see until I read Blackmer’s retelling, how very deeply Jesus loved and valued the bleeding woman.  And how very deeply He loves and values us.

Wow!  What a moment.  And what a book.

 

And your chance to win!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has given me a copy of Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer to share with one reader!  Let me tell you, whether you use this book in a devotional fashion, or just read it in huge chunks, you will be blessed and encouraged.  Just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below, and you’ll be taken to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you can enter to win this for yourself.  Giveaway closes December 18, 2017.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, we at finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinions, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

 

 

The Beautiful ESV “Illuminated Bible (Art Journaling Edition)” ~ Review & Giveaway

Have you ever marveled at the illuminated Bibles or Books of Hours lettered and painted by monks during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance?  These gorgeous works of art use vivid paints and gold leaf to bring letters and Biblical scenes to life.  We can see these today in museums, books or online…but how would you like to own your own copy of today’s version of an Illuminated Bible?

 

 

Today, I’d like to share with you about the ESV Illuminated Bible.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me my very own copy (free!) to use and review, and they’re also going to be giving a copy away to one of my readers in a giveaway!  Keep reading to learn more and to enter to win!

 

What is the ESV Illuminated Bible?

First and foremost, it’s the complete Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) in the English Standard Version (ESV).  Housed in a slipcase, this hardback Bible is navy cloth over board.  Inside, its smooth, cream-colored pages contain the Scriptures in clear, readable font.  Each page has wide margins.

But then, there’s enormous visual beauty on many of the pages.  The ESV Illuminated Bible is illustrated and lettered by artist Dana Tanamatchi.  The illustrations include:  beautifully hand-lettered Bible verses (over 250 of them in page margins), 50 full-page verse illustrations; 64 full-sized book opener illustrations; and over 100 additional illustrations.  All of these are lettered and designed in gold.

But this Bible is not only designed to bring beauty to the reader’s eyes and Scriptures to the mind and heart.  The wide page margins provide space for the reader to journal and take notes…but also to create art!  Tanamatchi’s verse and book illustrations can be left as-is or the reader can color them in.

One additional bonus that I discovered as I was turning the pages of the ESV Illuminated Bible was that the illustrator, Dana Tanamatchi, included an illustration key for the book opener illustrations.  I personally love to study art and to discover artists’ motivations for their artwork.  Tanamatchi’s musings on her artwork made the lovely artwork even more meaningful to me, as I discovered that she’d illustrated Revelation with a door (reminding us of Revelation 3:20); 2 Peter with lanterns (for the prophetic word “as lamps shining in a dark place), Psalms with a deer (as the deer pants for the water), and so many more wonderful “Word” pictures.

 

How I used the ESV Illuminated Bible

I love Bible journaling; the practice of thoughtfully illustrating Scripture verses.  I find that the process is peaceful and restful for me, plus there’s the additional bonus of the Scripture coming alive even more as I color and illustrate it.

For Bible journaling, I’ve used tempera paint sticks, colored pencils, and art pencils.  With this Bible, I found that coloring pencils worked the best.  The pages are on the thin side so the pencils don’t bleed through very much.  I appreciated that because I still want to be able to read the Scriptures on the back sides of the illustrations!

I used three different types of coloring pencils; art pencils, Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, and Crayola Twistables.  Of the three, the art pencils and the Twistables were most effective.  For some reason my erasable pencils didn’t lay the color down as well.  The beautiful cream-colored pages might have been just a little slick to take the erasable ones.  But the art pencils (think Primsacolor-type pencils) and the Twistables created beautiful effects.   The colors did mostly turn out on the light side when they were applied to the paper.

So what could you do with the ESV Illuminated Bible?

  • Well, Christmas is coming–and this would make a delightful gift for someone!  (You could even include a set of colored pencils with the Bible!)
  • You could display it on an easel, with the pages opened to one of the gorgeous Scripture illustrations
  • You could use it in your devotional reading time
  • You could do Bible journaling in it!
  • You could even use it during family worship; give everyone some colored pencils and work on it together!
  • And if you’re a person who’s not completely confident in your own artistic ability, the ESV Illuminated Bible will enable you to make beautiful art anyway!

 

You can enter to win!

FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has provided one copy of the ESV Illuminated Bible for one of you to win!  Simply click on the pink “Enter Here” link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form.  Just follow the directions to enter!  Giveaway closes on December 2, 2017.  One winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

You can also check out the ESV Illuminated Bible on social media

IlluminatedBible.org

Video: https://vimeo.com/237851665

The ESV Illuminated Bible on Amazon

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  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.

ADORED: A Review & Giveaway of Lindsay A. Franklin’s New Book (Ends 11/27/17)

I have a lovely book to tell you about today.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network was kind enough to send me a copy to review AND a copy of this lovely book to give away to one special reader!

 

 

If you are a young woman, do you ever wish that you had someone to help guide you through the ups and downs of life, emotions, relationships, and challenges?  I know that I certainly did.  The adolescent and young adult lives that we live carry so much change, so much identity-formation, so much of the internal life that we don’t necessarily even realize as we walk through life.

Most of all, do (or did) you realize that there is a God of the universe, the God of the Bible, who doesn’t just like you or tolerate you but ADORES you?

Author Lindsay A. Franklin certainly understands this and communicates it vibrantly and joyfully, (not to mention, at times, hilariously) in ADORED.  Subtitled 365 Devotions for Young Women, this book is filled to overflowing with daily Scriptures and devotional writings that speak wonderfully to the hearts of young women.  (Or even women who’d fit more into the Titus category, or moms of children or teens, like me!)

About ADORED…

ADORED is just a gorgeous book, inside and out.  It’s a smooth hardback book that feels substantial but isn’t too heavy in the hands.  Its gold and blue artsy cover is echoed in the pages, which have illustrated blue borders plus lines for journaling thoughts and prayers at the bottom of the pages.  Each day’s reading (and there are, as mentioned in the title, 365–so one for each day of the year) begins with a Bible verse and its address printed at the top of each page.  To go along with each of these, Franklin has written devotionals that address ways we can understand the verses, be encouraged by them, or even live out their instructions in our daily lives (both inner and outer).

How I used this book…

I love to start my day with devotional and Bible reading, or Bible study.  So I really enjoyed reading ADORED in the mornings with my coffee.  Sometimes, I’d look up the daily Bible verse in my own Bible, so that I could glean more of Scripture and the contexts the verses were set in.  And although I live with men in my home (my husband and teen son) rather than young women, I often found inspiring and encouraging words that I could share with them during family Bible times or devotionals together.  They’re not the target audience, but there was so much rich content that really affects all of us.

 

 

and what I thought about it

So why did I find that ADORED was so applicable to my whole family?

I really think that it’s because all of us, whether we’re male or female, younger or older, deeply need to know that we are loved.  Even adored.  Lindsay A. Franklin makes that point in her book again and again, in different ways, with different words.  And we all need to hear that!

Here are some of my favorite words from this remarkable book:

  • “But given how much Scripture talks about waiting, specifically waiting on the Lord, we can guess patience is listed as a fruit of the Spirit for a reason.  God is never in a rush.  This God who is always the same says, “Wait on me.  See what I have for you in my time.”…God’s not in a rush, so why are we?”  (Day 23)
  • “You have a God who offers peace.  You have a God who hears your prayers.  You have a God who never backs down, even from the very gates of hell.  You are never alone and your God is never overcome.  So stand tall.  You can trust God to help you overcome those who are trying to intimidate you.”  (Day 18)
  • “Our God–the one of unchanging purpose, constant love, utmost consistency–never discovers greener grass and decides to graze over there a bit.  He knows all the grass.  He’s not wooed by the bigger, better deal.  He’s not suddenly walking alongside you in life, only to be distracted, shout “Squirrel!” and take off after it.  God won’t give up on you.  He won’t forget you.  He won’t leave you.  Ever.”  (Day 17)

That’s only a tiny taste for you of what comprises this most wonderful and encouraging devotional.

And now…my giveaway!

So who would be the perfect recipient of this lovely book, ADORED?

  • A young woman (whether she’s a teen or in her twenties)
  • A new believer, who needs to know the character and purposes of God
  • Any woman—even if she’s not the target audience—who’d like to know more about the amazing love that God has for us
  • A dad who’d like to bless his daughter with this incredible book
  • Or, anyone else whose heart is captured by the idea of ADORED

All you have to do to enter is to click on the pink “Enter Here!” below.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Just follow the directions there!  One winner will be selected after the giveaway closes on 11/27/17.

Enter here!

Best wishes!  –Wren

 

DISCLOSURE:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.