D is for Deduction: Blogging Through the Alphabet

Welcome back to Blogging Through the Alphabet!  My friends Amanda from Hopkins Homeschool and Annette from A Net In Time are co-hosting Blogging Through The Alphabet.  This week’s letter is D.

 

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D is for Deduction

Social deduction, that is!

Is that even a phrase you’ve ever heard of?  Until recently, I hadn’t.  Social deduction games involve hidden identities; secret plans or agendas; and trying to figure out those secrets by social interaction with the other players.

And now, Chara Games has a Kickstarter project for their newest game, UNAUTHORIZED.

Why we are fans of Chara Games

We were fortunate to review Commissioned and 3 Seeds in 2016, and we had great experiences with each of these games (you can find out more about them by clicking on the highlighted links).   Chara Games was founded by Patrick and Katherine Lysaght to create Christian-themed games to bring families together for fun and fellowship.  And joy, because the definition of the Greek word “chara” is “unshakeable joy.”  Both the games we’ve played from Chara Games have been creative, interesting, and really fun to play as a family.

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UNAUTHORIZED

So, the newest game from the Lysaghts is called UNAUTHORIZED.  I’m sure that you know that there are countries in our world which forbid the practice of Christianity.  Churches in those countries often operate in an underground fashion, and the church members can face job loss, imprisonment, or even death if they’re discovered.

UNAUTHORIZED is designed for 6-12 players and a 30-minute game play time.  Players’ identities (individuals from the Church attempting to grow, or the State desiring to crush it) are determined by the draw of cards.  No one knows who is doing what, but during game play try to figure that out AND either grow the Church or eradicate it.  There are 12 different Role cards (Police, Pastor, Matchmaker, Clerk, Thief, and more) and 97 Experience Cards (State Education, Enduring Joy, and others) which influence what the player does.  There are also Reference Cards and a complete Rule Book.

And you can get UNAUTHORIZED now via Kickstarter!

You can join the UNAUTHORIZED Kickstarter Project (like we did!) and receive a copy of the game yourself for only $15.  (You can also become a Project Backer for less than that or more, depending on what level you choose.)  Just click on UNAUTHORIZED Kickstarter Project  to learn more.  The game’s base funding has been met (which means that the game will be shipping out in November 2017), but further funding will enable Chara Games to meet further game goals.

Just check out the UNAUTHORIZED Kickstarter Project page.

Who would like to play UNAUTHORIZED?

  • Families who love game nights
  • People who enjoy getting to get together with friends for tabletop gaming
  • Those who’d like to teach their kids what it’s like to be a Christian in a society that forbids it
  • People who appreciate social deduction games
  • Those who are drawn to high-quality games

In closing

UNAUTHORIZED will be our family’s very first social deduction game.  I love the idea of it, and can’t wait to investigate another amazing experience from Chara Games!

Blogging Through the Alphabet Linkup

Just click on the button below and you’ll be taken to the linkup.  You’ll be able to see lots of others’ ideas about the letter D!

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Enjoy!  –Wren

Kari Jobe’s “The Garden” CD ~ Review & Giveaway (Ends 2/15/17)

Recently my family had the pleasure of enjoying Kari Jobe’s newest worship CD entitled The Garden.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions provided a copy of the CD for us to review, and also one copy to give away to one of you!

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Where do you go for help, for relief, when you’re in a time of struggle or suffering?  Of course, we know that we need to go to God.  You can look at the Bible’s book of Psalms and know that crying out to God is one of the first things that David and the other psalmists did.  (They’re also extremely honest about what they’re feeling, but I think that’s another post!)

Sometimes, though, the struggle or the suffering goes on after, sometimes long after, we have cried out.  How do we hang onto God when the loss is still there, when our circumstances are still challenging our hearts and lives, when the hope we’d like to feel isn’t really there?

Worship

Those psalmists amaze me.  How many times do they cry out to God about the struggle, but then they end with, “But I will worship the Lord.”  “I will wait patiently for Him.”  What an encouragement that can be–that He is still God even as we are trying to hang onto Him in troubles.

I’ve found that worship music can be another incredible encouragement to me; not only in times of struggle, but in times of joy, happiness, or just normal life.  Kari Jobe’s new CD The Garden is a beautiful and meditative collection of songs (written or co-written by and all sung by Kari) about reaching out to God.  About desiring Him, about our cry for hope and His love in the midst of sorrow, about His presence.  The Garden contains 14 songs that will encourage your soul; comfort your heart; and help you focus on the Lord.

 

the-garden-1The Songs

Kari Jobe’s family underwent a great loss.  When Kari and her sister were both pregnant, her sister’s pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of her baby girl, James Ivy.  In the grieving and heartache Kari and her family went through, she learned that God is there.  That He never left.  That His love is with us always.  And these songs were born out of the pain and the struggle they walked.  In the home Kari and her husband (and son) bought and moved into, the garden was overgrown and they’d been advised to just let it grow for a year.  And one day she walked outside and looked at the messy growth.  And she saw ivy; full, lush, fresh growth.  She remembered immediately her precious niece, James Ivy.  Kari said, “Ivy is the most resilient plant there is. It can grow in the harshest of climates; it can grow in the harshest of situations,” Jobe explains, adding, “I’m standing in this garden. There’s ivy growing, and I just started to realize, ‘God, You’re moving in a way that is different than what I asked for, but You are moving.’ He’s at work and doing things we can’t see.”

The Garden contains 14 beautiful songs, including:

  • “The Garden”
  • “Let Your Glory Fall”
  • “Lover of My Soul”
  • “Closer To Your Heart”
  • “The Cause of Christ”
  • “Here As In Heaven”
  • and more

How our family enjoyed this

We’ve enjoyed Kari Jobe’s singing and her worship songs for some time.  We were so excited to hear this new album!  My husband has listened to it in his car, and we’ve played the CD in our home during family worship and just on our regular homeschool days, at mealtimes or when we’ve finished school.  We’ve all enjoyed it so much.

There is so much in the lyrics that speaks to our hearts.  Kari’s singing is both peaceful and beautiful, as are the musical arrangements.  It is a wonderful reminder that God is there.  That He is loving us, shepherding us through our troubles and sorrows; but also through the good times.  That He is faithful.  And that He is worthy.

Here’s one particular portion of the first song, The Garden, that is so sweet and meaningful to me:

“Then I saw the garden, hope had come to me
To sweep away the ashes
And wake me from my sleep

I realized You never left
And for this moment You planned ahead
That I would see
Your faithfulness in all of the green…”

Because we’ve all been there, haven’t we?  In the times of suffering and sorrow.  Wondering if God was there; if He heard us; if He was listening.  We just can’t always see it…but He’s never left us to face things alone.

 

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There’s much more beauty and encouragement in the rest of this album.

I so recommend it.  If you’d like a beautiful new worship CD; if you need the reminder that God loves you and is there; if you need comfort in your struggles.  You can click through the social media links below to purchase it.

And, you can enter my giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of The Garden!  Just enter below at the pink link, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry page.  Giveaway ends February 15, 2017.  Blessings!

 

Enter here!

 

The Garden on social media:

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.

Can There Be Creativity in Prayer? ~ Reviewing DESIGNED TO PRAY & Giveaway (CLOSED)

How is your prayer life going?  Do you need a boost?  Are things there seeming like the same old, same old?  If you’re needing something in this area, but you don’t know exactly what, then you’re going to love this book.  The BlogAbout Blogger Network was so very kind to send me a copy of Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God to use myself–as well as a copy for one special reader to win!

 

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So how is your prayer life, anyway?

I will admit to you that my own times of prayer have really undergone a beating in the last four years.  Two abdominal surgeries (which left quite a mark on my overall stamina and energy) plus job challenges took my own faith to a place that I never expected it would go.  Did I believe in God?  Yes, of course.  Did I spend time in God’s Word?  Yes.  But even as I read the Bible’s truths, I struggled to apply them to myself; to believe that God really was FOR me, in my corner, loving and upholding me.

Hard times.

But (and here’s where we insert a “yay!”), I’m journeying back.  Receiving healing.  Able more and more to receive God’s truths for myself.  But I still could see that my prayer life needed…life.

 

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Enter Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God

I will not be exaggerating if I tell you that this book has made more of an impact on my prayer life than any other resource I’ve ever found on prayer.  It has been a delight.  It has caused me to see God differently–more truly what He is.  It has enabled me to desire prayer more fully, and to enjoy connecting with Him.  It has made my morning prayer time SO FUN.

It has been just what I needed at a moment when I really needed SOMEthing, but didn’t know exactly what.

 

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So how can a book do all that?

Kelly O’Dell Stanley, who already authored a book on prayer called Praying Upside Down, kept having ideas about journaling prayer.  Designing something for people to use that would help them see God, hear Him, know Him, get closer to Him, that could engage them both individually and creatively.  A book that could take the reader on an interactive & joyful journey.

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Designed to Pray provides a unique journey on prayer that I’m pretty sure nobody has ever taken before.  O’Dell Stanley has designed 8 weeks’ worth of daily exercises on prayer which will enable the reader to use her own creativity, colored pencils and pens to venture into prayer in ways that are exciting, encouraging, and uplifting.  The weeks’ titles include:

  • “Fumbling into God’s Presence”
  • “The Faith of a Child”
  • “Creativity…or Connecting the Dots to See God”
  • “We’re All in This Together (Praying with or for Others)”
  • “A Personal God (Knowing God, Knowing Yourself)”
  • and three more

Each of these chapters begins with an introduction from O’Dell Stanley that sets the tone for the week’s activities and prayers.  Then, the reader is given 7 different activities, one each for every day that week, Sunday through Saturday.

 

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How can art & creativity take you into God’s presence?

It’s all about the activities, the grace and fun behind them, and what Kelly O’Dell Stanley has designed them to do; engage with God on a heart level.  Sometimes, I started with a page the author designed with some beautiful doodles in one corner, and doodled more…then wrote prayer items in the spaces.  Another time, I wrote lists of things I was thankful for like rays of the sun.  Once I lettered the words to a children’s song about Jesus’ love.  Sometimes I got to color!

One pivotal day, I wrote down fears that kept me from praying.  Honestly, these were sort of buried in my mind and I wasn’t consciously aware of them.  But when the author asked the right questions, out they came…and I was able to progress beyond them.

 

designed-to-pray-4My conclusions

I like artsy stuff.  I teach art at our homeschool coop.  I have just jumped into Bible journaling.  I like to “do” art with my child.

I am not, however, a “trained” artist.  But I’ve found over my years as a mom and a homeschooling mom in particular, that art does something in me that nothing else does.  It encourages me.  It removes me a step from life’s pressures and helps me to take a breath.  It provides cool times for connection with my son.

So, combining creativity with prayer?  It felt very natural.  It created real connection points between me and God (okay, He was there already, but it helped me to reach for Him).  It moved me to pray and think about things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Best of all, it breathed new life into my prayer times.  It made me WANT to pray.  It showed me that connecting with God can happen in new and beautiful ways.  It helped me to start my days with joy and a real knowing that He is there.

To me, that’s an amazing outcome from a book!  (I have to tell you that when I finish this book, I am thinking that I need to purchase a fresh one and work thru all the exercises and activities again!)

 

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Who could use this book?

  • Someone who is worn out with legalism and the “right” way to do things
  • A mom who wants to pray but doesn’t feel like she has a lot of time
  • A person who’d like to pray but doesn’t know how
  • Someone whose soul needs touches of beauty
  • And anyone else who’d like to know that God loves and cares for them

 

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My recommendations…and a chance for you to win!

If you see yourself in the list above…if you’d like to bring more beauty and joy to your prayer times…or if you’d just like to connect with the God who loves you in a new way, get a copy of Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage With God!

And, you can enter to win a copy now!  (Giveaway ends February 10, 2017.)  Just click on the pink link below to go to the Giveaway Tools form to enter!

Enter here!

 

WINNERS SELECTED:

I loved DESIGNED TO PRAY so much that I selected 3 winners!  (1 gets the copy from Blog about Network, and the others from FINCHNWREN.)  Congratulations to Diane P, Kayla F, and Savannah H!

Enjoy!  –Wren

 
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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.

 

 

B is for Bible Journaling: Blogging Through the Alphabet

Welcome back to Blogging Through the Alphabet!  My friends My friends Amanda from Hopkins Homeschool and Annette from A Net In Time are co-hosting Blogging Through The Alphabet.  This week’s letter is B.

 

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When I first saw examples of Bible journaling on Pinterest, I was immediately captivated.  Then, I was blessed to win my very own Bible journal in a giveaway.  It’s an NKJV Bible designed especially for journaling and creativity, with two-inch wide blank margins on each page.  Some pages have lines for writing.

 

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How does Bible journaling work?

So how does one use a journaling Bible?  You can highlight verses that are special to you.  You can letter a key word or words.  Or you can illustrate a scene from the Bible.  Personally, I’ve been jotting down verses that are meaningful to me as they come to me.  Sometimes, images pop into my mind along with the verses, or that are connected to them in some way.  Then, I’ve drawn them into the blank spaces provided in the Bible.  Sometimes I’ve drawn them on printer paper first, then traced them into my Bible.  I’ve also traced images from a coloring book, then colored them in.  I’ve used colored pencils, erasable colored pencils, Micron pens for outlining and lettering, and I’m looking forward to using paints as well.

 

blogging-thru-alpha-b-pic-2Why Bible journal?

I can only speak to my own experience.  But sitting down with art media and my Bible is the most wonderful and beautiful adventure for me.  Engaging creative work with Bible meditation (which really does happen as one sits down to illustrate a verse) is peaceful.  Encouraging.  And a new way of worship, for me; another method I can use to seek God in my relationship with Him.  It can bring God’s Word to  life for me in rich and vivid ways.

You don’t need to be a fabulous or experienced artist to Bible journal either; I am neither of those.  But the experience is truly enriching and grace-filled.

 

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Blogging Through the Alphabet Linkup

Just click on the button below and you’ll be taken to the linkup.  You’ll be able to see lots of others’ ideas about the letter B!

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Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Gorgeous Board Book to Teach Your Kids “Bible Basics” ~ A Review and Giveaway (ends 1/26/17)

We recently received a fantastic resource for parents and their little ones; Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer to use and review from the BlogAbout Blogger Network.  This precious, meaningful little board book uses Biblical principles and truths to teach children their numbers from 1-10.  Its artwork is incredible and its narrative, both beautiful and faithful to Scripture.  Let me tell you more…and at the end of this post, you’ll have an opportunity to win a giveaway for a copy of your own!

 

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About Bible Basics

Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer is a sturdy, beautifully bound 7 1/3″ x 7 1/3″ board book.  Authored by Danielle Hitchen and illustrated by Jessica Blanchard, it’s designed to introduce children to principles and foundations of the Christian faith as well as to their first numbers, 1 through 10.  It uses Bible verses, hymns, prayers, history, and simple teaching to bring these tenets to life in ways that even the youngest listener can understand.  Gorgeous artwork accompanies each of the ten principles and makes them vivid and memorable.  Although the size is larger than most board books, it’s still well-proportioned for little hands to hold.  And, the size gives plenty of room for the text and illustrations, printed in readable font.

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This is truly a unique and unusual idea for a board book.  It was birthed out of Danielle Hitchen’s question:  how could she teach her babies to know God and to love Him?  What an incredible answer Bible Basics is to that question!  I don’t want to spoil the joy you’d find when you read this book for the first time, so I’m not going to tell you everything that’s in it.  But here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find in this beautiful book:

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  • The 9 fruits of the Spirit
  • The 10 Commandments
  • The Trinity
  • The 5 books of the Pentateuch
  • and 6 more!

 

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Ways you could use Bible Basics in your own home

So…I have a confession to make.  We do not currently have a baby or a toddler in our home!  (Our regular readers know that our boy is a 9th grader.)  However, I absolutely adored the idea of this gorgeous little board book and I loved that I could share a copy with one of you!  What I discovered, when I received Bible Basics, is that it’s not only an incredible resource and learning tool for little ones.  It also reinforces the beautiful tenets of Christianity for any believer, be he or she young and fresh, or more seasoned in the faith.

Here are some other ways that I know Bible Basics could bless you!

  • Read it aloud during family worship
  • Use it as a jumping-off point for a study of the Scriptural principles in it (for example, you could study one concept per week and look up related verses that go with each principle)
  • Allow it to inspire your homeschool art times
  • Prop it up on an easel in your home, and display different pages on different days
  • Purchase it for a shower or new baby gift
  • And of course, its primary purpose:  read it to your little ones 🙂

 

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What our family thought

We LOVED Bible Basics!  During our family worship time one week, I read it aloud to my husband and son.  It was so encouraging.  It really made us all think about many of the different truths that make up our relationships with God through Christ Jesus.  And, it blessed us.  I really do think that I could use this to do a deeper study on each item that the author presents, by simply doing a word or topical study in the Bible and using that with my son.

We’re also a family who loves art.  So we weren’t just blessed by the biblical truths of Bible Basics.  We were also really moved to think more deeply about each of the 10 tenets, because of the way that the art helped to unfold those truths.  Plus, they were just beautiful pictures.

My guys knew that this was a book that I’d received for both review and for a giveaway.  But my husband loved it so much, he said, “You can’t give away this book!”  (He was relieved to hear that I received a separate copy to give away to one of our readers.)

We’ll definitely continue to use Bible Basics.  And, I’m going to follow my own recommendation and display the various pages via propping the book up on a small easel, open to one pair of pages at a time.  What better way to enjoy God’s Word and art at the same time?  🙂

 

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My recommendations for you?

Get a copy of this book.  Read it to your little ones…again and again.  Use it for a basis for a deeper study.  And revel in the beauty, grace, and abundance that God offers to us in relationship and salvation through Christ Jesus.  You can find a copy and more (including art prints and a coloring book) at Catechesis Books.

Also, keep an eye out for more books in the Baby Believer Primers series.  This is the first of more to come.

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And, enter my giveaway!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of this wonderful book for one reader.  Just enter below in the Giveaway Tools “Enter Here” link.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Find Catechesis Books at these social media sites:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

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.

 

 

Max Davis’ Unusually Titled Cool New Book ~ My Thoughts & Review & Your Chance To Win

Recently, I had the opportunity to receive a most unusually-titled book:  Max Davis’ When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette.  Now, isn’t that an intriguing title?  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions not only was kind enough to send me a copy to read and review, they’re providing one for one of my readers!  Stay tuned to the end for your chance to enter.

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I am a sucker for a good book.  And if it’s funny…heartwarming…meaningful…and inspirational?  Even better.  There are several things that draw me toward a particular book.  Is it written by a favorite author?  Does it have amazing cover art?  Or, could it be the subject matter?  It may even be the title.  I have to admit, this time, it was a combination of those!

When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette definitely sounded most unusual.  And it was!

Gifted storyteller Max Davis tells his own story of redemption and the way he came to Christ, after seeing Jesus so vividly in the life of a green-eyed brunette at his high school.  He begins the book with a Bible verse you’re probably familiar with, which defines the stories and experiences he is about to share:

Now thanks be to God who always leads us
in triumph in Christ,
and through us diffuses the fragrance
of His knowledge in every place.”
–I Corinthians 2:14

Max’s life was impacted for eternity when he met a young lady in high school, the green-eyed brunette of the title.  He was living the high life as a popular football player.  But actually, he was garnering Fs in his classes, accumulating speeding tickets, partying.  His grandmother even said he was “going up Fool’s Hill.”  He looked carefree on the outside; but on the inside, he was terrified of what God thought of him, and of hell.

Into his life walked the green-eyed brunette.  She loved God and clearly, He lived in her.  Max was so drawn to her yet flabbergasted by her at the same time (she’d never heard of the group Boston???).  And she lived a beautiful life of holiness without legalism.  Seeing this in her, and experiencing the love and life in her church and family, Max came to Christ.

And this is just a few of the chapters!  Throughout the rest of When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette, Max tells the stories of men and women who are hugely impacted, and transformed, by the way Jesus is living through others.  Here are a few of them, just to whet your appetite:

  • Max’s call from “The Voice” to become a writer
  • The “Iron Butt” guy–and the cool ways God has moved in others through him
  • How God carried an abused child through terrible danger and to Himself
  • Moments of believers passing from life to death that illustrated that there really is something…and Someone…on the other side
  • A man rescued from a real-life fiery furnace; and another man who was not, yet God was tangibly with them both
  • A Christian imprisoned in the Far East for his faith in the worst of conditions, who saw that he was not left alone by God
  • And more!

This book isn’t just about telling stories–amazing and wonderful though they are (and even documented, so that Max is telling things that really happened, not that somebody just made up).  No, it’s about addressing the questions so many of us have about life and about God.  Will following God steal freedom and joy from me, and make me follow a never-ending list of dos and don’ts?  Do I have to be “religious” to follow God?  Where IS God, anyway, in the midst of suffering?  Why do tragedies happen?  Does God have a plan for me that is good?  And does He really love me?

Many of us (I would venture to say ALL of us, at some time or another during our lives) struggle with those questions.  And clearly, these are questions to which there are no easy answers…or sometimes, no answers at all for us in this life (though I believe from God’s perspective, there ARE answers).  And while Max doesn’t share all the answers in this book (although he does share some), the stories he tells will minister to the hearts that are aching with these questions; the hearts which have suffered loss of some sort; or those even undergoing challenge or trial.

I was so encouraged by this book.  I decided to use it during my morning devotional times and read parts of or entire chapters along with my Bible reading.  That was so encouraging and just perfect for me (although really, you could certainly enjoy this book at any time of the day)!  Max Davis is a fantastic storyteller with a journalist’s eye to accuracy and fact-checking.  He tells these astonishing stories of ways God impacted people’s lives, then shares truths that will bless and encourage the reader.  You must pick up a copy of this book.  It will remind you of the goodness of God, His desire to care for His people, and His great love for us all–and for you–Individually!

And now, you can enter to win your own copy!  (U.S. entries only, please.)  Giveaway closes 12/26.  Best wishes!

Now, you can enter here to win your own copy!

Just click on the pink “Enter here” below!

Enter here!

 

And, if you’re not the winner of this book, you can find it for purchase via this link at Worthy Publishing, at When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette,  for $15.99.

More on Max Davis:

Max Davis is the author of over 20 published books and has been featured in USA Today and Publishers Weekly and has appeared on The Today Show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in Journalism and Biblical Studies and is a much sought-after speaker for churches and organizations worldwide. He and his wife, Alanna, live on 50 beautiful acres in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana.

Enjoy!  –Wren

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“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, 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.”

“Parenting-14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family” ~ Review & Giveaway

So….how are things working in your parenting world?

Are you encouraged in what you’re building into the lives of your kids?  Or are you exhausted, worn out, and clueless as to what you need to do to replace what’s not working so well?

Or—is it a mix of these?

 

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Regardless of exactly how you answered that question, I have a book that could seriously be transformational for you.  And I even have a copy to bless one reader with!  Propeller/FlyBy Promotions very kindly sent me Paul David Tripp’s newest parenting book to read and review.  It’s called PARENTING 14 GOSPEL PRINCIPLES That Can Radically Change Your Family.

Now, I don’t know about you.  But I can tell you about my own experience.  Suddenly our only child is in high school!  And all those other years of parenting; the infant and baby years, the toddler years, preschool, elementary, and middle school years—they are behind us.  I honestly do not know where they have gone.  But we have this awesome kiddo who’s in the stretch of life where he’s preparing for college and beyond.  How am I going to make these years the very best I can?

Paul David Tripp’s book is going to help me.  Despite the fact that this book’s subtitle is “14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family,” this is not a sort of “five steps to parenting success” kind of book.  Rather, it’s more of a vision-casting book; but one with very practical, down-to-earth actual perspectives that really can transform our parenting.  I knew when I read Mr. Tripp’s preface that I was going to love what he shared.  And I was right.

So what will you find in this book?

Paul David Tripp’s beginning perspective is that we are not the owners of our children.  Rather, we’re the ambassadors that God has chosen to raise the kids He has given us to know Him.  They’re not given to us to meet our own needs; to promote our identity; to make us look good.  They’re here so that we can love them, show them God’s grace, and His amazing love for them as we follow His path of life for them.

Mr. Tripp has (as you might imagine) 14 categories of gospel principles that he recommends we rely on to inform our parenting choices and outlook.  They are:

  • Calling:  I am being called to form a human soul
  • Grace:  I am not alone–God is with me in this ginormous task!
  • Law:  Our kids need to know God’s law, but that law alone can’t fulfill the work of God’s grace in their lives
  • Inability:  I need to know what I cannot do, to be a good parent
  • Identity:  My identity is Christ, not the successes of my kiddo
  • Process:  Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint!
  • Lost:  The wrong we do isn’t just bad choices, it’s a condition in all of us
  • Authority:  How can I express authority lovingly and well–not harshly–to my child?
  • Foolishness:  Where does this come from and what does it do to my child?
  • Character:  Informs all of our actions and choices
  • False Gods:  What things, pursuits, satisfactions are we valuing too highly?
  • Control:  Controlling my kid isn’t a good parenting goal.  Character formation is.
  • Rest:  How can I rest in the midst of this vast job?
  • Mercy:  Am I a perfect person?  Or do I need mercy as much as my kid does?

Of course, these are very short summations of chapters that are full of beauty and value to me as a parent.  But they really have the power to shape me as a parent, and to help me to do well in the life of my child.

How this book impacted me

I admit it.  I so, so needed PARENTING 14 GOSPEL PRINCIPLES That Can Radically Change Your Family.  You never quite know where life is going to take you, do you…or the hard times you might have to endure.  (It’s probably for the best that we DON’T know that!!)  Our family has faced a number of challenges in recent years.  Illness, surgeries, poor health, other challenges.  But hard times do pass (even if they don’t feel like they ever will).  And eventually, we came out of some of these.  God has done some cool things, to be sure.

Yet still, I have been praying for a fresh outlook.  For my teaching, my parenting, my life and relationships.  And along came this book!  It has been everything I needed…and the breath of fresh air that I was longing for in my home.  I needed every single reminder that Mr. Tripp has included in this book.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • “If you don’t have this “who you are” perspective right, you will miss the essence of what God has called you to…”  (p. 13)
  • “Your work as a parent is a thing of extreme value because God has designed that you would be a principal, consistent, and faithful tool in his hands for the purpose of creating God-consciousness and God-submission in your children.”  (p. 30)
  • “It means that if you are God’s child, it is impossible for you to be left to your own limited package of resources.”  (p. 37)
  • “If you want to be part of the Father’s process in the lives of your children, you have to commit to being part of doing it his way.”  (p. 94)
  • “Children do what they do because of what they worship.”  (p. 150)

There is so much more that I could share.  But what I’d really like to do is to tell you to get a copy of this yourself, if you are a parent…or if you know someone who’s about to become a parent.  Paul David Tripp has taken a lifetime of experience, of study of God’s Word, and pastoral care, and distilled it into a visionary handbook that can truly transform our parenting.  Really, do this:  get a copy of PARENTING 14 GOSPEL PRINCIPLES That Can Radically Change Your Family for yourself!

Or perhaps, you might win your own copy here!

I have one copy of PARENTING 14 GOSPEL PRINCIPLES That Can Radically Change Your Family for one reader who is going to be SO happy.  Enter below in the Giveaway Tools form.  Giveaway ends on Friday, November 4.

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, 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.