Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God

The Good, The Bad and the Grace of God. 
This was fairly hard for me to get into as a book, as it has a fairly slow start.

It starts off as a narrative of the lives of Jep and Jessica. You know, where they are from, what they were like as kids, what their parents and grandparents were like. However it switches back and forth, with Jep having a chapter, then Jessica having a chapter, and so forth. The book delves into how they met and their first impressions of each other. It goes on to encompass their lives and lessons they've learned along the way.
 I like that they don't shy away from discussing their faith and how their family came to be Christians. I love the connection you feel between them and their grandparents.
I also enjoyed their impressions of each other. It's like wow, they both were smitten with each other although they've always lived near each other and never ran into each other. It kind of reminds me of my husband and I.

I'll be honest, I was interested in reading the book because I like the show and the family. However this is not a book that would warrant a second read from me. When a book is hard for me to focus on, I don't go back to it. 
Although I will say it does not change my view or perception of the Robertson family.

Jep and Jessica Robertson of Duck Dynasty. 
The youngest son of Phil Robertson and his beautiful wife. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Do my children 'Believe'?

If you've been following along for the couple months, you will notice there are quite a few books by Randy Frazee in the 'Believe' series on here.
 
(This is the first book)
 
(This is the second book.)
 
(This is the one for middle aged children ,not quite teenagers yet not preschool or kindergarten)
 
Now there is the Believe Storybook.
 which we (hubby and I trade off) read to our preschool aged son, who absolutely loves the book. I mean, no one is allowed to touch the book without his permission (lol). As wife and mom it does my heart GOOD to see my children are passionate about the Word of God. They ask questions during our reading time. I love the illustrations inside the book and the fact that it is a hardback and very large. Like the previous books in the series, there are key questions, think section, act section, be section, and the Jesus Answer.
 
This is the Act part of Daniel's story, Total Surrender.

Here is an idea of how large the book is, that's a roku remote.
 
This is the think section before Abram & Sarah's story.
 
I think this book is great to start young children because of the way it is broken down. Believe doesn't just tell the stories of the bible, but it explains how those stories apply to us and how they relate to Jesus. And that's the baseline of everything, everything comes back to Jesus.
 
As parents, that's what we want to give our children a foundational love and belief in Jesus. Strong to last them through the rebellious and curious teen & young adult years of life. Strong enough to see them through the storms of life. Strong enough that they will share with their friends. Strong enough that God will be pleased with us for shepherding their hearts.
 
 
 
{FYI: I received this book from the Booklook Bloggers Program in exchange for my HONEST review.}
 
 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Who God Is defines Who I am

We learn who we truly are in the context of who God is.
I have learned who Kristin is because I have learned who God is and what He has said about me.
God has said that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
He has said that I am to love God and love others. And He said that in a specific order. God first, others second. How can I love others if I have not the love of God in me?


I encourage you to learn who God is and in turn learn who you truly are.
Read His Word and Read what He says about you. In that you come to learn who God is. You learn that He is loving and patient. He is gracious and merciful. He is a faithful and selfless Father. Who sent His selfless and faithful Son to die for our sins. 
And when you understand that, truly accept it, live your life based on that. 
Then you understand your worth and how valuable and loved you are.

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What is YOUR Anything?

Jennie Allen asks us, what is our Anything?
The prayer that sets us apart for Jesus. 
What are you willing to do, to give up, in order to do what God has called you to do?
That my friends is your Anything.
My Anything, is laying my entire life on the altar.
 I put my children, my marriage, my blog, my EVERYTHING on the altar and told God ANYTHING, EVERYTHING, whatever HE wanted.


Anything is a prayer of Surrender. We sing the song (at least I have) yet we don't always literally surrender all to Jesus. We don't always let Him wreck our lives to build up the life He has in mind for us. The book is broken down into three sections. What keeps us from Anything (the comforts and fears in life). Praying Anything, it's a sincere prayer that will change your life forever. Living Anything, after you pray anything and surrender all, you now have to LIVE it. You have live with God at the steering wheel. You have to defer to whatever God tells you to do. And this is where we slack. We pray anything but we don't live anything. I am guilty of this. I have prayed Anything but I have a hard time living Anything. Jennie helps to make sense of this so that we can effectively pray anything and live anything. 

It starts with Yes, Lord. I surrender all Lord. And a heart to obey.

 Gracefully, Joyfully, Gratefully.

This copy of Anything is the newly released and updated version. Jennie Allen shares what her Anything looks like now since the initial release of Anything.
It has a bible study in the back, the same one that just started over at Faith Gateway. 

If you are willing to pray Anything and live Anything. Join the study here.


{P.S. You know I do reviews in exchange for being able to read these books before anyone else does. However you should also know this is my personal views}

Friday, June 12, 2015

Study...Study...Study...

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (2Timothy 2:15 AMP)

I am loving this verse right now! It seems that the Lord has had me in the mode to study, study, study for years and I could not understand why. Until Now. I am in a position to study with women from all over the world. To aid them in studying and learning the Word of God together. And now I understand why God had me hone in on studying His Word. 

So now I exhort you to do the same. To study and study often. 
There will come a time when God will call on you to share what you've been learning. It could be something as simple as a Facebook status or a tweet. You never know where people are and how much they need God, how much they need to hear from Him. And many times God uses His people to touch the lost.

Many of times, I have posted something and got a response that they felt God sent it for them. And I was just being obedient to share what I had gleaned from the Word. We need to be more focused on sharing the Word of God. We need to try to reach as many people as possible. Talk to people, pray for people. Yes start in your own back yard but with the internet you can reach people across the globe.


There are several bible studies going on:
Women Living Well  is studying the book of Proverbs during June & July and the Song of Solomon during August.
Loving God Greatly  is studying Psalms 119 this summer.
Whole Magazine  is studying the book of James using material authored by Jen Wilkin.
Then of course there are the different studies going on at Women's Bible Cafe, She Reads Truth, and on the YouVersion bible app.
Whatever you do, just study. You can start in Genesis or You can start in Matthew learning the Gospel. 

The goal is to study, share, and study some more. Never stop learning God's Word. Even when you think you've learned it all, the Holy Spirit may reveal more. God speaks ever so clearly through His Word.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ 
(Numbers 6:24-26)

~Kris

Friday, May 29, 2015

Believe.....Kids Edition

If you remember a while back, I did a review on Believe by Randy Frazee. Love this book, especially when I go through the hard days (they have come) where I question myself and everything I believe and why I believe it, Believe is there to help ground me.


Well Randy Frazee has come out with Believe for Kids. It is aimed at the preteen years (8-12 years old) when children start to question everything. I requested this book for our oldest daughter who turns 8 this summer. She always has questions about God and Jesus and Heaven so I thought this would be good for her as the book address each one in its own chapter and even has discussion questions at the end of each chapter to help reinforce what she reads.

Thus far Kay, loves the book. She took it to Wednesday night at church (we go for marriage class and the kids get to socialize with the other families' children). 

She reads it constantly and I am thrilled. As a mom, a Christ following mom, this does my heart good as I want to give her the necessary tools to choose Jesus for herself and have a relationship with Him for herself. 

The goal as parents is to not only raise our children into productive adults but also to raise them into God-fearing adults.



{FYI: I received this book as a member of BookLookBloggers in return for my HONEST review. These are my words and my views.)

Seeking the Lord

Too often we are caught up in what we do. What we have to do, what we have plans to do. And we forget to rest in the Lord. We forget to ask the Lord for direction.
Then when things don't quite turn out the way we planned, we get angry and shake our fists at the Lord. But it is our fault because had we turned our plans over to Him and asked His direction we may have done something different and got different results.

This morning I am reading in the book of Proverbs and a few verses jump out at me. I'll share them then we'll discuss them a bit.

Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:6 NLT)

For the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:26 NLT)

Do you see this, I mean really see it, really understand it? The Lord is telling us clearly that if we just put our plans in His hands that He will show us the correct path to take, He show us what decision to make. And if we should be worried about the decisions we make or the paths we take, the Lord reminds us that HE is our security and HE will keep us from being caught in a trap.

Isn't that AMAZING?! 

I mean, this year alone, I have made some really bad decisions that could have destroyed my family yet the Lord has been there gently guiding (and at times not so gently) us on the right path. He has kept us from being stuck in the traps that we've gotten ourselves into. So now I am literally seeking the Lord on any & everything because I want His direction, His guidance, His protection in everything I do. I want to do the will of my Father.

And no, I am not saying I always get it right because the Lord himself knows I do not. What I am saying is that this is my desire. Thus this is what I need to do and come back to when I do mess up.


Remember this, store it up in your heart, and use it everyday.
Kris

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Think, Act, Be Like Jesus

Something I've realized in my walk with God is that it is easier to read about Jesus' life and to believe that is the model for the Christian life than it is to actually live out what Jesus' life teaches us.

I will be more specific. It is easier for me to read and in theory understand the walk of a Christian than it is for me to actually apply and walk it out. I'll start out good, then my flesh will get in the way and I'll mess up. And thankfully God gives us grace.


So Randy Frazee along with Robert Noland has penned an excellent guide to aid us in living like Jesus. The book, "Think, Act, Be Like Jesus," helps us to read God's Word, think like Jesus would, and act on the Word of God to be like Jesus. This book is the companion book to Believe, the review of which is here. Believe took the bible and pulled the passages which aids in understanding our choice to believe in Jesus Christ. Think, Act, Be Like Jesus expounds on that by showing us how to live like we believe in Jesus Christ.

Think, Act, Be Like Jesus seeks to help believers, new and old. According to the blurb for the book: The Bible teaches that the goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus—for our own personal growth and for the sake of others. Every believer needs to ask three big questions: What do I believe? What should I do? And who am I becoming?

This book seeks to answer those last three questions for the believer. For me, I need this book because I have always read, understood, could explain to the next person, but was faulty in application in my own life. Now I am learning to apply what I learn and become a completely new creature. I do NOT always get it right however I am taking baby steps to get there.




{FYI: I am a member of BookLookBloggers which allows me the privilege of receiving books for free in exchange for my HONEST opinion of the book.}


Also, I have recently become the Community Groups Director for Be Made Whole of Whole Magazine. On Monday June 1st, Be Made Whole will host its first corporate bible study of the book of James. I invite you to join us here.


Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not people. (Ephesians 6:7)
Kris

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2015

There are several of these bundles that go on sale through out the year however this is one I personally endorse because I am a wife & mom who is a homemaker. And sometimes I struggle with it. So why not invest in something that will help make homemaking easier for me?





Dear Homemaker,
Are the inmates running the asylum?
I hear you. Sometimes I look around my house and wonder how things got so out of hand.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed about getting married, becoming a mommy, and having my own home.
I imagined a home that was more than just 4 walls, a roof, and a mortgage.
I wanted to make a special place that was a magical mash-up of:

  • a school,

  • a playground,

  • a refuge,

  • a boo-boo “fix it” station,

  • a “you can do it” pep rally, and

  • a safe place for personal expression, sharing and growth.
  • And then real life happened…
    …laundry, diapers, stretch marks, and never-ending meal prep… money worries, gritty floors, soap scum, and the stain that won’t come out of my son’s favorite shirt… holiday stress, and teaching my daughter to read (and master long division)… a husband who works long hours, a kid with the sniffles, stomach aches and a fever… and a secret dream to run my own little business from home.
    And that’s why Erin and Stephanie created the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle… because as rewarding as it is, homemaking is hard work and it doesn’t always come easily.

    I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

    To help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships with proven, simple, and effective tools that really give you a boost as a homemaker – help, inspiration, tips, encouragement, resources at your fingertips…

    It is a complete library of carefully selected eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs designed to help you turn your house into a home… without all the overwhelm.

    What’s in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

    The first step in putting together this collection was to find the critical homemaking skills that you need to transform your house into a home.
    Here they are:

    • Cleaning… create a healthy, toxin-free home

    • DIY/Homemade… fun and frugal ways to express your personal style

    • Devotionals and Faith… take a break from the daily grind to renew yourself

    • Finances… build a budget that works

    • Cooking & Meal Planning… serve easier, tastier meals in less time

    • Holidays & Special Events… brighten up old family traditions and create new

    • Homeschooling… homeschool with grace and ease

    • Marriage… heat up your marriage

    • Motherhood… find peace, balance & joy in mothering

    • Organizing… conquer the clutter and simplify your life

    • Pregnancy & Babies… enjoy a healthy pregnancy and prepare to nurture your baby

    • Health & Wellness… soothe aches & pains with natural remedies

    • Working from Home… hone your talents, live your passions and earn money to help your family

    • … a complete library of 99 eBooks and eCourses to help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships.

      Are there too many books in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

      Let me ask you a question.
      Have you ever taken your family out for a buffet dinner… and then been disappointed when you couldn’t eat every single morsel on display?
      Of course not!
      Sure. There’s that first, breath-taking moment when you see and hear and smell the amazing meal spread before you… and you think, “Where will I even start?”
      But that’s the thing… because you do start… with something.
      Maybe it’s a tender flaky biscuit, or a piece of delicious roast beef, or maybe you’re like me and start with a piece of pie (mmm, blueberry or apple with whipped cream)?
      So relax, enjoy, and start anywhere you like. Come back to the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle “buffet” as many times as you like. It’s all here for you.

      Is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle worth it?

      In a word… yes!
      To be absolutely certain, Erin and Stephanie asked questions, tried techniques and just about drove themselves crazy making sure that the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle was the very best homemaking resource anywhere.
      They dug through hundreds of websites and connected with dozens of authors and teachers.
      And then we all worked together to make these resources the most affordable possible.

      And They Were Delighted to Help…

      The result? This collection is a fraction of the price of what someone would pay for each resource individually!

      For a short time, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle… a complete library of:

      • 76 eBooks

      • 6 eCourses

      • 1 audio download

      • 2 online conferences, and

      • 14 printable packs
      • …99 carefully selected resources designed to help you nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships… is only $29.97. (A total value of $984.74.)
        That breaks down to 30 cents per book.

        Your 30-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

        If for any reason, you decide that the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is not for you, then please send an email to customerservice@Ultimate-Bundles.com and we will refund 100% of your investment. No questions asked.

        Don’t Forget the Bonuses…

        Of course, no Ultimate Homemaking Bundle would be complete without the generous, inspiring gifts donated by companies that understand homemakers like you. Every gift is yours to keep and enjoy.

        • Choose 1 FREE Online Class from Craftsy (Select from 24 of Their Most Popular Classes – Up to $60 Value)

        • 1 FREE Kids Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts ($19.95 Value)

        • FREE $15 Credit to Hope Ink PLUS 2 FREE 8×10 Art Prints ($71 Value)

        • FREE 90-Day “Good Deal” Subscription to She Plans Dinner ($15 Value)

        • Choose 1 FREE Stylish Spring Scarf from Deborah & Co. ($20 Value)

        • FREE $80 Healthy Moving Class Credit ($80 Value)

        • FREE 90-Day Pro Membership to ListPlanIt ($30 Value)

        • FREE 65 Tyndale Rewards Points to Be Used for a FREE Book or Towards Any Book of Your Choice ($15 Value)
        • Now It’s Your Turn

          I think Laura Ingalls Wilder said it best…
          “Just as a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women’s work at home, while only the doing of little things, is just like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens the whole fabric of civilization.”
          The proven, simple, and effective skills you need to transform your house into a home are all waiting for you in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.
          This is your chance to get all the love, support, guidance and inspiration you need to nurture the beauty and productivity in your home and family relationships with proven, simple, and effective tools that really give you a boost as a homemaker.
          But time is running out! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle will only be available from 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 20 until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 27.
          After that, the shopping cart closes and the deeply discounted price is gone.
          Act now!
          Best wishes and happy homemaking!
          Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

          Becoming Spiritually Strong

          How many of us are spiritually weak? We have no self discipline. We don't fast. Our prayer life is nonexistent. We don't study our bible regularly. We don't take time to make ourselves known to God and to know Him. And by know I mean have a relationship with Him not just know about Him.

          Kristen Feola, author of the Ultimate Daniel Fast, has done it again. She has released Spiritually Strong, a 6 week guide to building your body and soul.


          As someone who has struggled with their faith, I wish I'd had this book many years ago. However I am thankful to have it now. As I am reading it, I am truly enjoying the insight and practical tips for exercising the spiritual muscles. People don't always tell you that it takes consistency (especially when you don't feel like and trust me there will be many days when you don't feel like it) to studying the bible, to building a prayer life, to being disciplined, to fast, to eat in a healthy manner, to serve others, and to practice good stewardship. I think in this day and age of society this really needed. 

          Many of the people in my generation pride themselves on what they can do. On being able to buy whatever they want (and buy they do, I can't say anything I am guilty of it too). Yet many don't speak of practicing self discipline to be a good steward over your finances. I don't want to hear about the donations because those are done out of the goodness of your heart. Fasting is something that is needed to hear from God. Sometimes you need to not be plugged into this world & to be still, be quiet, and listen for the voice of the Lord. Going to church on Sunday is not enough, we need to study (not just read) your bible regularly. We need to pray daily, sometimes several times a day. Many times my prayers happen while going about my day, washing or cleaning. With three children I don't always have the luxury to be alone and pray.

          I enjoy this book because Kristen takes the time to help believers (new and old) to gird themselves up. She writes on ways to become strong, on how necessary it is to study so that you can wield the Sword (the Word of God). I love this book because this is the kind of legacy I want to leave to my children.



          -take rest in the Lord our God who cares for us.
          Kristin