The NET TEXT Bible: just the thing for a new year’s Bible reading–or a new believer (closed)

**Congratulations to Leela, the winner of The NET TEXT Bible!**

#sponsor #partner

I’ve got an amazing Bible to tell you all about today! Momentum Influencer Network provided a hardcover copy of The TEXT Bible (NET) to me. It’s the most inviting, engaging Bible–perfect for starting out a new year and connecting to God in a new and beautiful way. Here’s the beautiful subtitle, which will engage you even more: “Uncover the Message Between God, Humanity, and You.” Let me tell you more–plus, there’s a giveaway for you to enter!

About The TEXT Bible

The TEXT Bible was designed for readers to really learn to SEE God. And to HEAR Him, and to KNOW Him and love Him more. Michael and Hayley DiMarco designed the additions to the Bible (it’s the New English Translation–NET) to help readers really engage with God. They’ve written these moments of engagement with new believers, students, and young adults in mind. (But really, any person who’d like to engage with God in a new and cherished way will find this Bible amazing.) The idea is as if you could send God a text–and He would answer!

The DiMarcos have developed a new, easy-to-understand study method, described by the word TEXT:

  • Talk to God
  • Encounter God and humanity in Scripture
  • eXamine your heart
  • Talk to others—to help readers of every experience level interact with God’s message

Then, Michael and Hayley have included tons of extras in this Bible. They are amazing! These include: The Big Q of the TEXT (God’s answers to life’s big questions); “Who Is God?” (almost 100 devotions on God’s person or character); learning to pray God’s Word; meeting the people and events of the Bible; following the threads (the big topics of Scripture) across the Bible; and definitions of words and literary categories. These are all designed to work alongside the TEXT study process.

My impressions of The TEXT Bible

I love this Bible! It is full of so many outstanding helps and engaging activities. And they’re all just what we need, as humans who are desiring to approach God and dwell in His love and His presence. The TEXT process itself (Talk to God, Encounter God and humanity in Scripture, eXamine your heart, Talk to others) is a tool which can help anyone who might find the Bible intimidating, or who wouldn’t know how to start with God’s Word. (Or where to start!) It is a fantastic set of habits that we can use to create regular and rich times with God, and an understanding of the Bible, and build on the knowledge of God’s interactions over time with humans–and how He might wish to interact with us.

Yes, this Bible is a tool that will bless and engage new believers and young ones. But, it will also enable seasoned or older believers as well, by providing a beautiful and fresh process they can use to encounter God. As my dear friend loves to say,

The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8, The Bible (NIV)

And so this wonderful Bible enables us to engage not only with the everlasting, never-ending Word of God–but with God Himself. What an outcome!

Some of my favorite moments from this Bible

Here are some wonderful moments that have meant so much to me.

  • I LOVE the Praying the Scriptures sidebars! They combine elements of Scriptures (in this one, Psalms 46, 18, 125, 50, and more) to help the reader begin a conversation with God. We pray God’s words in conversation back to Him. And His Word is solidified in our hearts and minds as we connect with Him.
  • Did you know that Jesus is pointed to, or referenced, in every book in the Bible? Yes, even Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament, all the way into the New. In The TEXT Bible, every book begins with how you can see and find Jesus in that particular book. It is so cool! It almost creates a treasure hunt for God.

  • The end of the Bible has a great concordance, a hashtags list (it’s very neat), and maps. But it also has a great spiritual gifts chart, several Bible reading plans (whether you’re looking for one about Jesus, the major books of the Bible, or reading the whole Bible). Plus fascinating charts explaining the New Covenant, spiritual wisdom vs. worldly wisdom, and prophecies fulfilled about Jesus. And last but not least, the topic list and location of the Praying the Scriptures prayers!

  • I love that The TEXT Bible‘s resources use Scripture to interpret Scripture. So many of the TEXT moments in this Bible include references to numerous Bible verses that reference the ideas or doctrines that are being discussed–letting the Bible speak on its own topics. So important, and incredibly so for newbies who are just learning the ways of faith.
  • What I love the most about The TEXT Bible is that it’s really designed to help its readers know God better, to understand His Word, and to draw close to Him. It’s a wonderful goal–and one I believe this Bible accomplishes, over and over and page by page.

About the authors

Michael and Hayley DiMarco are the bestselling and award-winning authors of more than 40 books including Own It, God Guy, God Girl, and A Woman Overwhelmed. Michael and Hayley have now served as general editors on three Bible projects. Together, they work side-by-side at Hungry Planet, a company they founded that creates winsome and spiritually based content for teens and
adults. They live in Eugene, Oregon, where Michael serves as a pastor.

Where you can purchase The TEXT Bible–plus a discount!

Learn more about The TEXT Bible (NET) at this website.

You can get 50% off your copy of The NET TEXT Bible if you order before Valentine’s Day! Just click on the purchase link here for the discount (before February 14, 2023, remember!).

And, you can enter to win!

The FINCHNWREN blog is privileged to be able to give away a hardcover copy of The TEXT Bible (NET) to one reader of this blog! To enter, just click on the link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win in a variety of ways. US entries only, entrants must be 18 and older. Giveaway closes on January 21, 2023. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Harper Collins Christian Publishing for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

A new novel about Lady Jane Grey: “A Life Renewed”

#sponsor #partner #review

One of the historical accounts that’s always captured my interest (and my heart) is that of the life of Lady Jane Grey (Dudley), the “‘Nine Days’ Queen” of England (July 10-19, 1553). Brilliant, learned, a faithful believer (as a Protestant), she reigned during the tumultuous days following the death of Henry VIII’s son (Jane’s cousin) Edward VI; and before her other cousin Mary’s eventual rule. Edward VI had favored Protestantism and during his reign the English Reformation continued and flourished. He named Jane his heir as the future queen of England, desiring the Reformation to continue. Yet his half-sister Mary, who was Catholic, had a large number of supporters, and as a result Jane’s short reign ended with her imprisoned and eventually beheaded for treason.

It’s such a tragic history; and yet Jane was such a remarkable young woman. (She was only 17 at her death.) Wonderful author Olivia Rae asks the question, “What if?” What if Jane escaped execution–and continued to live, in this novel, in Germany? And what if Queen Mary changed her mind and sent an assassin after Jane?

A Life Renewed JustRead Blog + Review Blitz Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for A Life Renewed by Olivia Rae, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

A Life Renewed

Title: A Life Renewed Series: Secrets of the Queens #1 Author: Olivia Rae Publisher: HopeKnight Press Release Date: April 2, 2020 Genre: Christian Historical Romance

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason. But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree with his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes. Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | BookBub


About the Author

Olivia Rae

Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

Olivia is the winner of the Angel Awards, New England Readers’ Choice Award, Golden Quill Award, American Fiction Award, Illumination Book Awards, and the Southern Magic Award. She has also been a finalist in many other contests including the National Readers’ Choice Awards. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Connect with Olivia by visiting oliviaraebooks.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a Book Gift Box including the books A Life Renewed & Salvation, a $25 Amazon gift card, 3-pack notebooks, CCB cheese dip mix, English Holdsworth chocolates, Lavender Essential Oils, Sandalwood-scented wax cubes, Handmade soap, Red Current Cassis Candle, Silk Scarf, and Olivia Rae Swag!

A Life Renewed JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 11, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 18, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. No shipping restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway Here https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

My thoughts about A Life Renewed

You know already that Lady Jane Grey is one of my favorite historical figures. What a loss her life was; what could that exceptional young woman have become, had she been allowed to live? Olivia Rae has brought her to life again in this book of historical fiction that’s also a re-creation of what could have happened–had Jane’s life been spared. Olivia’s characters are real, period-specific and -appropriate, and captivating.

Jane (and those who’ve allowed her to live, hidden, in the northern German area of Hanenburg) is faithfully devoted to following Christ as a Protestant. Although Hanenburg is part of the Holy Roman Empire, they’re devotees not of the empire’s Catholic faith, but the one that Luther, also German, espoused.

Asher Hayes spent his life identifying and handing over Protestants as a spy for Queen Mary. He is a Catholic believer who’s firmly decided that the Protestant way is wicked and wrong, especially after the injuries that group committed against his own family. But Mary promised him that his spying and delivering over to death days are over…until she changes her mind and sends him after Jane.

God’s mighty army? Do you hear your own words? God does not want war. He wants us to give Him praise and glory. He wants us to honor Him by loving one another. You have even preached on such words. ‘Love thine enemy.'”

Lady Jane Grey, A Life Renewed

Each of these two is absolutely convinced that their side of Christianity is the right one. And Jane is suspect of anyone new who seems to have a connection to England. But Asher and Jane get to know each other in an unusual way, with neither at first truly knowing the other’s identity. And they begin to care, deeply, for the other. But when the prince of the Hanenburg area decides to raise an army in Jane’s name to firmly establish his own rule against the Catholic ruling family of the Holy Roman Empire, Jane is in even more danger.

“Believe me when I say I never wanted any of this. I never wanted to be queen. I never wanted to flee England. I never wanted to be a martyr for the Protestant faith. I never wanted to be the head of some great rebellion. All I ever wanted was to live a quiet life—alone with my books and educational pursuits.”

Lady Jane Grey, A Life Renewed

What an amazing story! I love Olivia’s portrayal of Jane and Asher (and Queen Mary and Mrs. Ellen, Jane’s nurse) in the terribly dangerous time in which they lived. And I love thinking of a Jane who survived–and maybe even found love. This is a beautifully written book that you’ll adore, just as I did. (And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this book and another, and amazing book swag!)

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Enter to win a colorful journal, Vera Bradley highlighters, & prayer cards in the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop (closed)

**CONGRATULATIONS to Stephanie H, the winner of this giveaway!**

Happy New Year, everyone!

The wonderful MamatheFox is hosting the very first giveaway hop in 2023: the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop! I’m joining her and lots of amazing bloggers who’ll all be giving away some cool prizes to welcome this brand new year. Keep reading for more on how to enter all the giveaways.

How to visit the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop page

To visit the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the giveaway hop page. You’ll be able to see all the participating bloggers and also, visit their blogs and giveaways from that page. Giveaways close on January 15, 2023.

And now, for the FINCHNWREN giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away this fun trio for someone to use to start out the new year–with journaling, lovely pens, and colorful prayer cards. This gift pack includes:

  • Your Brightest Life Journal: A Creative Guide to Becoming Your Best Self
  • Vera Bradley + Staples Highlighters trio in Bloom Berry
  • Prayer Cards: a pack of 20 cards with inspirational prayer and Scriptures

I love this gift pack! I love to think about what God is doing and would like to do in my life in each coming year. This journal is so fun because it includes questions, journaling prompts, and vivid artwork to help the reader embrace creativity and growth. So fun! And the pens and prayer cards partner with the journal in a beautiful way.

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway

To enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway to win the journaling gift pack, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on January 15, 2023. One entrant will be selected to win all 3 items in the gift pack. US entrants only; 18 and older to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! And Happy New Year! –Wren

Disclosure:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

“Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows” ~ review & GA (ends 12/19/22)

#sponsor #partner

Oh my friends! If you loved Tolkien’s books, or any other novel about wars between the forces of light and those of darkness, you will LOVE S.L. Dooley’s Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows. Keep reading for more on the book, my thoughts on it, and a cool giveaway you can enter!

Portal Slayer JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows by S.L. Dooley, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows

Title: Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows Series Realms of the Periferie #3 Author: S.L. Dooley Publisher: Torn Parchment Release Date: December 2, 2022 Genre: Fantasy (clean)

Darkness comes in many forms.

Raelyn is about to encounter them all. Hidden away in the Schade Catacombs, a single portal remains in Alnok. And, pushed to near defeat, Cosyn has unleashed all his forces, taking Earth to the brink of a world war. Raelyn, in the midst of her own debilitating doubt, finds a new ally. But when no one will follow, she strikes out on her own, determined to reach the catacombs and close the portal. Only then can she finally return home. In the far north, her mentor and guide Kade, wounded and desperate, leads a band of soldiers, also on a path to the catacombs. As an impenetrable darkness falls on the realm of Alnok and Earth’s annihilation seems inevitable, Raelyn finds nothing is what it seems. Her calling, her newfound skills, even her reason for being in Alnok are shrouded in uncertainty. But she must uncover the light in the darkness of Alnok, and her own heart, to locate and destroy Cosyn’s last link to Earth. If she fails, she will have no home to return to.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.L. Dooley

S.L. Dooley is a fantasy author looking for a neverending story to go boldly through the wardrobe into another adventure. She’s a wife and mother of two grown kids. She lives in Texas where she collects old books and new journals.

Connect with S.L. by visiting sldooley.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of the Realms of the Periferie trilogy, tea, and a mug!

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 12, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 19, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

My impressions

A Quest.

With perilous pitfalls and dangers ahead. Unseen, and perhaps unrecognized, enemies. And a Cord, a fellowship, divided.

Moving between two realms, Raelyn struggles to lead her small band to meet another of their group, with a quest to close the portal (the plye) that exists between the two worlds. For an enemy, Cosyn, has marshaled all his forces to destroy Earth Apparent, Raelyn’s home–where her brother and father still are. Cosyn is wicked, deceitful, and cruel–he’ll remind readers of the leader of earth’s fallen angels, who seeks only to steal and kill and destroy. And Cosyn needs that portal to be open in order to do that.

Raelyn thinks that she’s the last person who should be leading others on a quest, which is really a war, with the two sides basically being those of Light (Raelyn’s, Kade’s, Joshua’s, Jinny’s, and her brother Peter’s side–as well as Arkonai’s, the True Light) and those of darkness (Cosyn’s. And all those who follow him, whether they’ve been revealed yet or not.). Oh, and I should also mention–dragons. Giants. Water sprites.

Raelyn’s personal quest is to follow Arkonai and his words, and to lead those in her care faithfully. Regardless of her own private doubts, regarding her fitness to lead, her ability to encourage those who follow, and the failures both in her past and her present. Both she, and Kade, leading another group to meet Raelyn’s, are desperately in need of hope as they strive to fulfill their purposes. But there is One who will stand by them and help them, even in their darkest hours.

This surge of power did not come from anything within. This was Arkonai, shining through him only after Kade had made room. “Remember this moment,” Kade said…”The darkness we will encounter will be like nothing you have experienced…The catacombs are not only guarded, they contain every vile form of Cosyn’s twisted imagination. But this”–Kade gestured around the boat, allowing his light to spill from his palms–“escapes what he believe to be even his best-laid plans. This light, in many forms, is accessible to all.”

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows

Raelyn, Kade, and their friends (the Cord of the Periferie) will need all of Arkonai’s gifts, given to them, to prevail against Cosyn and those allied with him. But they have powerful weapons none of the enemies possess: worship. Love. And something else: the gifts and callings that were given to each one of them, individually.

What a wonderful book–and allegory! The Cord’s Quest is clear. But the way isn’t always. Each of them has (like we do!) to walk step by step in faith, trusting in the Word and the goodness of Arkonai (or for us, God) to bring them to the end of the quest, and to defeat the enemies. It is hard. Challenging. It may feel impossible at times. Will the forces of good win? You’ll have to read Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows to find out!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

The CSB Explorer Bible for Kids (review)

#sponsor #partner

Are you looking for a vivid, inviting Bible that children will love opening up to read? I have just the kid Bible for you then: The CSB Explorer Bible! I received a copy from the publisher and it is just the Bible that kids can open up and jump right into, with no worries or confusion about where they are in the Word, what it all means, and why and how they should read it. Let me tell you more, plus keep an eye out for the giveaway. (There’s also a 50% off code!)

What is the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids?

Here’s the intro from the publisher:

“The CSB Explorer Bible for Kids is made to help kids place God’s Word in the middle of God’s world. Within its pages, kids will explore and interact with the people, places, and things of the Bible and God’s creation. This Bible features a fun and engaging full-color design with images, illustrations, timelines, and study helps placed throughout to equip and excite kids of all ages to better read, know, and apply God’s Word for a lifetime.”

This Bible is chock-full of fascinating, captivating information. It’s designed for a kid “explorer,” filled with illustrations and soundbites that reinforce that. For example:

  • Excavating the Past: 205 photos and illustrations that connect archaeological findings to the Bible and its events
  • Exploring Creation: 115 factoids and images to help readers connect today’s life to the Bible (cool science facts, architecture, art, music, astronomy, and lots more)
  • Character Field Guide: 79 character profiles of key Bible personages (like Elijah, Philip, Mary and Martha, Rahab, Hagar, Benjamin, and more)

  • Discovering the Truth: Key Bible truths set alongside verses (and sometimes, QR codes) to help kids internalize what God’s Word can mean for them
  • Charting History: Timelines! 15 illustrated timelines set events of the Bible (such as the days of creation, Good and Bad Kings in the Book of Jeremiah, The Cycle of Sin, Herod Who’s Who, and Paul’s missionary journeys)
  • All of these are listed, per category, in tables of contents at this Bible’s beginning

In addition, kids will find clear and colorful introductions and explanations for each book of the Bible; QR codes which will take them to further activities and videos; a glossary and concordance; and (this is REALLY cool), highlighted verses throughout the Bible that would be fantastic memory verses. A wonderful feature is the Christ in Context segment for each book of the Bible, which illustrates how all that history, prophecy, worship, praise, and God-designed events point to Jesus, the coming Messiah (in the Old Testament), and Jesus who died for our sins and rose again (in the New Testament).

Clear, exciting, beautiful–and understandable even by kid readers!

What I think kids will love

So much! There is so much in this Bible that children will love. I think they’ll love, in particular, these things:

  • The way the Bible connects past events with present ones, to help them understand that this book is for today and for them
  • The key highlighted verses that help kids to, “Pay attention to this!” That provides understanding and context, as well as verses to remember or memorize.
  • The “Discovering Truth” buttons that have a key truth about God PLUS its verse addresses
  • The Character profiles that make Bible authors, villains, kings, and others–all individuals–real people
  • That they can sit down, open the Bible anywhere, and find truth, and God Himself reaching out to them in love.

My favorite parts

As a child, I came to faith in Christ. I was given a lovely Bible in the KJV. Here’s what I knew: a handful of memorized verses from camp, like John 3:16, 1 John 1:9, and 2 Timothy 3:16. Each of these is so important! But other than those and the table of contents at the beginning, I understood nothing about the hows, whens, and whys of the Bible. When did these things happen? Why should I read this book? And how on earth should I approach God’s good Word? I had no idea. And while I was beginning to love God, His book was a mystery to me.

And *this* is what I love most about this CSB Explorer Bibles for Kids. It is ACCESSIBLE. Children can open this Bible, look at the beginnings of each book or at sidebars or QR codes, and they themselves can SEE:

  • What does God want to tell them?
  • Why was this Bible book written?
  • When did it happen?
  • What does it tell us about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father?

This is the Bible that you want to get for your children in order that they can pick it up, know it is written for them, and that they can read it, understand it, and know God better in the process.

And, you can see a video here

Click on this link to watch a quick video about this amazing kids’ Bible. Scroll down and you’ll see the video on the right.

Enter to win the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids here

You can enter to win a giveaway, where the prize is the CSB Explorer Bible for kids! Blessed Freebies is hosting this giveaway, which ends 12/15/22. Click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” to visit the entry page. Follow the directions there to enter.

Enter here!

Where you can purchase this Bible–plus get 50% off

At Lifeway’s website, you can purchase the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids, through 12/31/22, at 50% off!

Just click on the highlighted link above and use this PROMO CODE: SAVE50EB

THIS OFFER IS ONLY AVAILABLE AT LIFEWAY.COM. ENJOY 50% OFF RETAIL PRICE FOR UP TO (1) OF EACH SKU OF THE EXPLORER BIBLE FOR KIDS. VALID THROUGH 12/31/22, CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER, LIMIT 1 COUPON PER PERSON.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this Bible from the publisher. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own.

Lifeway Women’s Bible (CSB) (GA CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Elissa J, the winner!**

#sponsor #partner

Hi dear ones!

I have got the most beautiful Bible to tell you about today. It’s the Lifeway Women’s Bible, and it’s full of questions, articles, ideas, and study helps (and journaling space!) alongside its Scripture pages. I received a copy of this Bible from Momentum Influencer Network. Let me tell you more about it, plus you can enter to win a copy for yourself!

About the Lifeway Women’s Bible

This absolutely gorgeous Bible is just a joy to use. I received the Marigold Leathertouch version of the Lifeway Women’s Bible. It’s housed in a sturdy covered board slipcase. The Bible also comes in other versions, both hard- and soft-covered (Butterscotch Genuine Leather, Camel Cloth-Over-Board, Gray/Mint Leathertouch). The Bible is designed to be perfect for laying flat on a table or open in the reader’s lap. But, there’s so much more beauty inside!

The Lifeway Women’s Bible is a study Bible, a journaling Bible, and a devotional Bible all in one. Wide margins on each page invite you to write your thoughts and what you’re learning as you read. Amazing women who are exceptional Bible teachers offer deeper study moments throughout each book of the Bible (like what it means to be “Set Free from Sin,” by Priscilla Shirer, or Kelly D. King’s character profile on Abigail; “Bowing Down to False Gods,” by Kelly Minter, or the essay and questions designed for reflection on 1 Corinthians 10, by Whitney Capps). Book introductions profile the author, date, “big picture,” summary, key verses, and fascinating timelines of the book’s era and cultural events. There are study lists with verse references, like the Prophecies of Jesus’s Second Coming. And, if that weren’t enough, there’s a plethora of helpful material at the end of the Bible, with reading plans of different lengths (90-day, 1-year, 3-year), a great concordance, and colorful maps.

This is a Bible that you could use for exceptional devotional reading times or even deeper study (whether word study, character study, or just book study). It’s incredibly rich and full of the things a woman needs and wants for her own Bible reading.

My thoughts and experiences with this Bible

I love so much about this Bible! It is so full of study material and ideas I’ve never thought of investigating myself (like the prophecies I mentioned above, of Jesus’s second coming). And each one of these moves me to deeper consideration of the verses or chapters I’m reading; to really engaging myself with what is happening in the story. (As a matter of fact, I was struck as I was reading this Bible recently of what Nebuchadnezzar’s utter destruction of Jerusalem could have looked like, and what the Babylonian soldiers were doing; and what the Jewish people saw and suffered.)

I also love each Bible book’s introduction, which centers the reader squarely in the moment of history when it occurred (those timelines are incredible!), and clearly states its key verses. Those help me in a new and fresh way to prepare my heart for reading and my mind to notice what God is doing there.

Word studies have long been a treasured part of my most-valued Bible study tools. They are so rich in providing us, as people who don’t (probably) speak the original language, with more of what those words in the text meant to the original reader. There are over 25 word studies scattered among the books of this Bible, and I believe that they’ll be as rich for the reader as they have been for me.

I also appreciate how, in this Bible, the way believing women’s voices can speak (in the essays, articles, etc.) to women who want to hear, know, and experience God themselves. We as women make up an enormous part of the Body of Christ. Not greater than male believers, but not less than, either. We are fellow Christians and fellow workers in the kingdom, saved by grace and faith in Jesus. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, employees; single and married, old and young–with all the rich experiences life gives us in these arenas. What a joy to have the fantastic women teachers in this Bible to come alongside us with the Word of Life; understanding us as their audience in their devotionals, essays, and journaling helps. What a gift!

My favorite parts

How to you select a few favorites from a Bible that is so overflowing with the wealth of wisdom, encouragement, and discipleship? It’s hard! But I’m going to share just a few with you here:

  • Jeremiah 31 has long been a favorite of mine, where God says that He is going to “put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.” (v. 33) Gloria Furman’s words on that encourage me so mightily: “God is going to write His law straight onto human hearts. That is amazing! Every single person who is included in the people of God will truly know Him.” (p. 1140)
  • Years ago, when I’d survived a horrible car wreck, God brought my attention to Psalm 103 while I was recovering in the rehab hospital. “My soul, bless the LORD, and do not forget all His benefits. He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion. He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (vv. 2-5) Those verses still move and bless me! In Angela Thomas Pharr’s closer look at that Psalm, she says, “Only God could bring a woman up from the pit, and then give her a crown…The crown is a symbol of redemption. In Psalm 103, the pit is exchanged for a crown.” We’re all rescued from some kind of pit, though, aren’t we? God’s gift of salvation even saves us from the ultimate pit.
  • 2 Timothy will never not be one of my favorite Bible books. It’s Paul’s last letter to his beloved “son,” Timothy, who’s then pastoring a church himself. Humanity, the walk of faith, encouragement; it’s full of things Timothy needed but that we also need. In Ravin McKelvy’s accompanying character profile of Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s granny and mom), we see the value of discipling and passing on the faith to our children, whether they’re our own or little ones we teach or coach. Those women made a remarkable impact on Timothy’s life; one that Paul noticed and commended. What an encouragement!

This Bible is a Bible that you’ll treasure, that you’ll use for years and years. It speaks to us as women, as children of God, as followers of Christ; and as dearly-loved ones. Just what each and every one of us needs!

Use this code to get 50% off the purchase price!

This is the perfect time of year to give a new Bible as a gift–and you can purchase the Lifeway Women’s Bible at half off the regular price now!

Get 50% off the purchase of (1) Lifeway Women’s Bible with code SAVE50LWB only at Lifeway (click on link to go directly to purchase page). Limit 1 Bible at 50% off retail price, any Lifeway Women’s Bible sku. Limit one offer per person. Cannot be stacked with any other offer. Discount code is good through 12/31/22.

And, enter to win your own Lifeway Women’s Bible!

And! I’m thrilled to be able to offer a giveaway, where one FINCHNWREN reader will win a copy of the Lifeway Women’s Bible!

To enter to win the Lifeway Women’s Bible, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 12/15/22. One entrant will be selected to win. US only, ages 18 and older. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Lifeway Christian Resources for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

“The Best Intentions” ~ a review (& GA, ending 12/5/22)

#sponsor #partner

Are you a fan of Regency (aka Jane Austen-esque) novels? You will delight in Sarah M. Eden’s newest one, The Best Intentions. She faithfully recreates the era, down to its conversations and conventions. Let me share more about this book with you!

The Best Intentions JustRead Blog + Review Tour Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Best Intentions by Sarah M. Eden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Best Intentions

Title: The Best Intentions Series: The Huntresses #1 Author: Sarah M. Eden Publisher: Covenant Communications Release Date: November 21, 2022 Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romance/Historical/Regency

In the eyes of London Society, Gillian Phelps is suitable enough. Though the ton whispers about her change of residence, any speculation remains just that: ballroom gossip. No one—not even the other Huntresses, the group of ladies she calls her dearest friends—knows that she is harboring a devastating family secret. Gillian has become adept at hiding the reality of her circumstances, but the close quarters of a house party will test her ability to conceal the crushing truth. And with so many people to deceive, the late arrival of another guest is a most unwelcome surprise.

Despite his standing as a gentleman of the ton, in truth, Scott Sarvol possesses little more than two debt-riddled estates. When an opportunity arises to survey one of his properties, he travels north, only to find himself an unwitting guest at Artemis Jonquil’s house party. He is warmly welcomed by all—except the aloof Miss Gillian Phelps. But when Scott proves himself unexpectedly helpful in a crisis, his acquaintance with Gillian shifts from wariness to something warmer. As both her charade and her feelings for Scott deepen, Gillian realizes that the truth could spell not only a devastating fall from Society but also a shattered heart.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah M. Eden

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML’s “2013 Novel of the Year” and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award’s “2014 Novel of the Year,” Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.

Connect with Sarah by visiting sarahmeden.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of book, $25 Amazon gift card, bookmark, stickers, and button.

The Best Intentions JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 28, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 5, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

My thoughts

What an interesting turn on the Regency novel!

Of course, for anyone who’s read and loved this type of historical fiction (or watched films of the same era), we know this: that as Jane Austen so eloquently states, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’ And also, that as a member of high society (or as they termed it then, the ton), men and women needed to be exceedingly wealthy while not working at any profession (mostly). Great beauty didn’t hurt, either.

What if, though, the hero is not of “good fortune,” but still desires to wed? And what if the heroine has little money as well as a secret that would destroy her reputation as well as those of her friends? Not because of anything scandalous that she had done, but because…well, if I told you, it would be a spoiler!

Gillian is a lovely, though suspicious, person. Only because in her contact with those members of the ton, at society balls, caused her ridicule and embarrassment (strictly because of her genteel poverty). Fortunately, she was rescued by and welcomed into the group of strong women termed the “Huntresses,” who then provided close friendship and tutelage in the Huntresses’ strategies: “Retreat. Wield a shield. Return fire.” These aren’t actually the steps for campaigns of attack, but themes which recommend behavior for the slights and insults of London society. (They’re also smart strategies!) So when she meets Scott, a family friend of the head of the Huntresses and her husband, she’s on guard. But he proves himself to be the best sort of man.

Unfortunately, he’s a man with a bit of a secret as well. His is financial, concerning the inheritance of entailed properties and the insolvency they may cause after his uncle’s financial machinations, which makes Scott feel that he is looking at debtors’ prison. He’s a good man who’s doing everything he can to save the estates. But will it be enough? And if he discovers Gillian’s secret, will he still look at her the same way?

What a lovely book. The Best Intentions‘ title gives us a clue that unwise decisions have been made that might turn out poorly. You will love the Huntresses, and especially Gillian and Scott, and you’ll hope that somehow they can reach for that happy ending!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“It’s Christmas Again” ~ releasing tomorrow, 11/29, in theaters! (plus an Amazon GC giveaway, CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Lysette L, the giveaway winner!**

#sponsor #partner

Are you looking for a fantastic new Christmas movie? Then I’d recommend you check out the newest Fathom Events film, “It’s Christmas Again.” I was able to watch this wonderful movie courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network. It was such a joyful, moving, and cheerful experience–and you can see it in theaters for one day only, November 29, 2022! Keep reading for my thoughts on “It’s Christmas Again,” where you can get tickets, plus a giveaway!

About “It’s Christmas Again”

A Magical Musical Adventure Through Time coming to theaters November 29 FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Here’s the synopsis from the filmmakers:

Jake Young (Lawson Touliatos) wants nothing more than to spend his Christmas vacation with his girlfriend, Abbey Walker (Leela Owen). So when Abbey volunteers for her church’s Christmas play, Jake is ready to skip Christmas this year until an unexpected turn of events lands him in a field outside Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. While on his journey with the shepherds to find the promised Messiah, Jake discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Coming this Christmas season, IT’S CHRISTMAS AGAIN is a modern-day musical the whole family will love!

My thoughts about this movie

Y’all!

I LOVE musicals. I love group choreographed dancing. (I even go to YouTube and watch movie dance sequences when I feel a little low. You can find awesome mashups!) And in “It’s Christmas Again”? The movie has now joined my list of favorites for the those two things alone. The music is cheerful and upbeat while still communicating a meaningful message. And the dancing (not to mention the backflips)–incredible.

But. This is not a movie about the entertainment world. Instead, it asks the question: What if Christmas, and Jesus’ birth, weren’t celebrated and recognized? Protagonist Jake isn’t that excited about Christmas. In fact, he is bummed because his girlfriend Abbey isn’t able to go skiing with him on Christmas. Instead, she’s going to play Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church’s nativity play. Jake thinks it’s a useless idea, and heads off to a friend’s party. At least he *thinks* that’s where he’s going…until an accident sends him back to the fields with the shepherds. Just after the heavenly host appeared to them, and told them:

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10b-22, The Bible (NASB)

So. What if, a young man who couldn’t care less about the true meaning of Christmas gets transported back in time…to see the first Christmas? Romans. Shepherds. Jews, oppressed by Caesar and his minions. And a young father, a teen mother, and that Baby.

That’s got to make an impression. And on Jacob, it does. But is it too late for him to make a difference in his present-day life?

So–this beautiful movie, with incredible singing and dancing, tells a life-changing, faith-creating story. It is a joy to watch. It will touch your heart, and bring meaning to your own family’s faith traditions, Advent, and most of all, Christmas.

Get some tickets. Take yourself and your family to the movie and see “It’s Christmas Again” on November 29. It will bless you!

And, I’ve got some fun trailers/shorts for you to see!

First, the movie trailer:

And a short from writer and director Sandra Martin:

Where you can buy tickets for “It’s Christmas Again” for its one-night-only showing, November 29, 2022!

This Fathom Events film is going to be in theaters for one night only: Tuesday, November 29, 2022. You can get your tickets now at the link below!

Purchase tickets here for “It’s Christmas Again”

And, enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

You can enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card right here, courtesy of “It’s Christmas Again.” To enter, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. US entrants only. Giveaway closes on 12/6/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Mapelle Films for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Enter to win these Fallish Goodies in the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop (CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Amber L, the giveaway winner!**

Hi darlings!

It is time for another amazing giveaway hop! It’s mid-November—and that means it’s time for the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop, hosted by MamatheFox and featuring lots of wonderful bloggers. Keep reading for more on how to enter!

How to visit & enter the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop

To visit the main page for the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the giveaway hop linkup page. You’ll be able to see all the participating blogs and visit their giveaways there.

And now, for the FINCHNWREN blog’s giveaway!

For the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop, the FINCHNWREN blog is giving away the prize pack shown in the photo above. One entrant will win four items in the prize pack:

  • A cream and burnt orange pair of Old Navy Cozy Socks
  • An orange and black striped pair of Old Navy Cozy Socks
  • A Bible-themed note pad, with Psalm 46:5 on the cover, and lined pages within, each with a different Bible verse on them
  • A faux matte silver and gold bead stretchy bracelet from Francesca’s

To enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 11/30/22. US entrants only who are 18 and older. One entrant will be selected to win this prize pack. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Precious, Christmas-themed PJs–Holy Pals (a review & giveaway, ends 11/20/22)

#sponsor #partner

Hello darlings!

I have the most wonderful family, faith-filled pajamas to tell you about–and the fantastic company who makes them, Holy Pals. I received the most precious pair for myself, thanks to Holy Pals and FrontGate Media. And you can also enter to win a pair for yourself, or for one of your family members (either parents or kiddos!) These really might be the most charming faith-based clothing items I’ve ever seen.

About Holy Pals

So. I LOVE this company. Their mission is this:

  • Give children the opportunity to draw near to Christ, and to help parents teach their children about their faith.
  • To shine a light on child-focused charities in need of support, raising awareness of their worthy causes and supporting them alongside our customers.

Every pajama sale supports the Littlest Lamb Orphanage, a privately funded orphanage in Egypt. They have built a home for orphaned and at-risk children who have lost parents to death, imprisonment, or abandonment. The Littlest Lamb provides these children with everything they need to thrive – shelter, food, clothing, education and most importantly A FAMILY that loves them. 

George, Jen, Nazareth, and Nile (pictured in the adorable family photos above) want people to know that Jesus is the reason for the season–and the pajama prints sweetly present that focus. Holy Pals has created this clothing to do just that. As they say, “Keeping Jesus the reason for the season in fun matching family Christmas pajamas focused on the true story of Christmas!”

We pray that Jesus is born inside the hearts of all who wear these pajamas. And that they may witness to their family and friends His amazing love.

George, Jen, Nazareth and Nile from Holy Pals

The Holy Pals pajamas:

  • are made from 100% soft and cozy cotton
  • the knit cotton is both very soft and comfortably stretchy
  • are consciously sourced and produced in India
  • are snug-fitting for women and children and loose-fitting for men
  • have a small label stitched on the right arm of each pair of Holy Pals pajamas, with the verse reference of the print
  • are available not only in Christmas prints, but also in prints featuring Easter, Palm Sunday, Esther, Noah, David & Goliath, Jonah, Adam & Even, and more

The Christmas patterns are pictured below, in clockwise starting from top left: Christmas Classic, Starry Night, Joy to the World, and Away in a Manger.

My Holy Pals pajamas experience

I received a pair of Holy Pals pajamas in Christmas Classic, the top left pattern above. I chose the men’s pajamas in size L for myself. I love the women’s pajamas pictured above, but I have had numerous abdominal surgeries over the years and felt that a looser fit might be better for me. I am so happy with my choice!

I wear, most of the time, a women’s M (sizes 8-10), and I am just over 5’7″ tall. But since the men’s pajama bottoms have a drawstring closure (with light elastic) on the waistband, I knew that even if the bottoms were a bit big, I’d be able to pull the drawstring closer and have them fit well. And, while the pajamas were large on me before I washed them, they did shrink just enough to create a perfect fit.

When I launder my own clothes, I *always* wash them in cold water, and I usually hang my shirts and pants to dry after wrinkle-releasing them by running them in the dryer for about 10 minutes. (This is because, over a lifetime of experience, I’ve had sleeves and leg lengths in my clothing end up too short, if I didn’t.) I followed that pattern after turning the pajamas inside out (as recommended) to wash. After the wrinkle release, I hung both the top and the pants to dry.

When I tried them on the next day, there had been a slight shrinkage, which is not surprising since the knit fabric is 100% cotton. But that really just helped them to size perfectly for my frame, in both length, width, and circumference. The quality fabric looked as rich and lovely after the washing as it did before.

Also, since I’m a woman and these are men’s pajamas, I wanted to mention the fly. There is a button halfway between the top and the bottom of the fly, so they felt modest and didn’t have an open gap. I didn’t think of that to begin with, but I appreciated it when I wore them!

…and my final impressions

First, the comfort. Interestingly, I noticed that ALL my pajamas and nightgowns (both winter and summer) are 100% cotton, and the Holy Pals pjs fit right into that preference. I gravitate towards cotton for sleepwear because it’s just so comfortable and doesn’t get too hot. The Holy Pals cotton is smooth, stretches in all directions, and is wonderfully comfortable on the skin. The fit was great as well. The men’s top fit loosely but really nicely, and the bottoms were so comfortable; cozy, but not too tight or constraining anywhere. I guess I felt a bit like Goldilocks–everything was “just right!”

Second, the look. The printed fabric is SO darling. The cartoon drawings of the Christmas Classic design have a plethora of Nativity personages (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Three Kings, an angel, and even animals–a camel, a donkey, and a sheep!). Baby Jesus even has an ichthus fish on his swaddling clothes! It is joyful and just so pleasing on the eyes and to the spirit. Really, each one of the designs is wonderful and will provide tons of opportunities to talk with children about Jesus and our spiritual heritage as believers. And, they’ll provide the most adorable family Christmas jammie pics!

Third, the craftsmanship. I have a high appreciation for exceptional seams and tailoring work (just ask me about my mom’s hand-sewn creations!). So, when I see beautiful craftsmanship in clothing, I just value it all the more. The seams, buttonholes, hems, and plackets are superbly sewn. (The men’s pj’s white shirt placket even has the Christmas Classic fabric facing out!) The pajamas are just incredibly well-made and should last for many years to come.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ ”

Matthew 19:14, The Holy Bible

Fourth, the company. I just love their vision for providing a quality product for families that will provide comfort, great fit, and beautiful moments for spiritual training. I so appreciate their donations to the orphanage in Egypt. How wonderful that their products can go to little ones whom Jesus describes as precious and loved.

Where you can purchase Holy Pals pajamas for your family–and even get a discount!

Holy Pals is making it possible for you to purchase these darling pajamas for your family–and they’re providing you with a 10% discount as well!

You can get this discount by using this link:

Holy Pals MELANIE10 discount

Or by applying this code when you purchase: MELANIE10 at the Holy Pals website.

And, enter to win your own pair!

You can enter to win a pair of pjs from Holy Pals! To enter, just click on the link below. That will take you to the Blessed Freebies giveaway hosting page, where you can enter to win. Just follow the directions on the website.

Enter to win a pair of Holy Pals pjs!

Where to find Holy Pals online

Holy Pals website

Holy Pals Facebook

Holy Pals Instagram

Thanks for letting me share Holy Pals with you. I so recommend their lovely pajamas–and their company as well. Check them out, and don’t forget to use the purchase link above to get 10% off!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received these pajamas from Holy Pals. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.