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Review: 365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids

(The legal stuff required by the FCC: I was given this CD to review by FrontGate Media. While I was given the CD for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Do you have kids who ask a ton of questions? I've always heard that the most inquisitive kids grow up to be wise adults. So, while the questions may be incredibly annoying after a long day at work, cooking dinner, washing dishes, handling laundry, helping kids with homework, and everything else that fits into your day -- find comfort in the fact that you are raising an intelligent child. 
Many of these questions revolve around things we say or do, and children want to know why? The questions also come, however, when reading the Bible. Think about it -- even as adults we question what we read in our ability to fully understand. Its not easy stuff. Now, imagine being a kid! Sometimes I find myself having to explain simple things that I know as an adult, but kids just haven't encountered yet. 
So, when I was asked if I'…

Here is your annual reminder. You're welcome.

What if we had Christmas with no gifts?
Some of you may say, "well baby Jesus received gifts from the three wise men." Of course he did. He is Jesus! That's why we celebrate Christmas, right? 
You aren't Jesus and neither am I. We aren't even close no matter how much we try. So what makes us think that we need to celebrate Christmas with a bunch of gifts? 
Every year around this time, stress seems to amplify. I don't know about you, but I don't like feeling stressed when I think of Christmas -- it is much too warm and magical for that! But, social calendars fill up. There is a ton of cooking, baking, and decorating to do. Shopping is a priority -- especially for those that you need to ship gifts to. And then, of course, we have financial stress that affects a huge chunk of the population. (Did you know that more than half of us will go into debt just to buy Christmas gifts? And, some are still paying off last years Christmas gifts!?)
And, what is this a…

A Girl Like Me

(The legal stuff required by the FCC: I was given this CD to review by FrontGate Media. While I was given the CD for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.)
I will be honest -- I had never heard of Julie Elias until I was asked to review her CD, A Girl Like Me. She used to be an actress in shows such as CSI:NY and Grey's Anatomy, but I am just not an avid TV watcher. Her story, however, says she wasn't feeling content acting.
Surrendering herself to God's plan for her, she has become a role model for young girls everywhere.
Like so many of us, Julie faced rejection and struggled with her faith, believing God was nowhere near her. It wasn't until she let God take control of her life, that she learned he had been there all along. And, he still is.
Not only is her voice calming, but it can carry you away. It's easy for the lyrics to take me back to my youth -- finding my way with good times and bad times and all the teenage drama girls have to deal with. You know, b…

Indescribable by Louie Giglio

(The legal stuff required by the FCC: I was given this Bible to review for by FrontGate Media. While I was given the Bible for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.)


It is hard to get kids to read. Look at pictures, sure. But, read? Not so much. At least the kids in my life, anyways. They read very well -- it is just a matter of finding something that grabs their attention. Only then do they keep the book open, turning page after page.
When it comes to devotionals or talking and reading about God, they are always all-ears -- if we do it together as a family. But, regardless of how well-intentioned we are, we have a hard time sticking with a nightly plan. Life takes over, interest is lost, routines change, or whatever the reason may be.

I presented them with the copy I received of Louis Giglio's book, Indescribable: 100 devotions about God and science. And, so far, it is a winner. They are boys -- ages 7 and 10 -- and they LOVE to learn how things work. The book is bright, color…

She Reads Truth Bible review

(The legal stuff required by the FCC: I was given this Bible to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media. While I was given the Bible for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.) I don't know about you, but sometimes I find myself all over the place when trying to absorb some of God's word. First, there is my bible. Then, of course, the devotional on my desk calendar. And, then the app on my phone. And, of course, I can not forget my book of daily devotionals. It's like I need to create a schedule to have time to read from each and pray that I can absorb something. Its a bit much, I know. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the "things" I want to turn to that I am not nearly as focused as I would like to be. 

That is why I was really excited when I was presented with the opportunity to review a bible that includes everything I need between the front and back covers! The She Reads Truth Bible has some great perks: It has a reading plan that provide…

Gratitude attitude

Why is it that so many of us only say what we are thankful for on Thanksgiving? Truly, what is the difference between Thursday, November 23, 2017 and Wednesday, November 15, 2017?
Nothing. There is no difference at all. Well, other than one comes with a feast and the other does not. 
Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful. And it is a feeling you should be actively seeking every moment of every day. 
When you are stuck in traffic and will be late -- be thankful that you have a car to sit in amongst that traffic.  When you fall face first in front of a potential employer -- be thankful that you have legs you can walk and trip with. And, be thankful that you are able to show how genuinely human you are.  When your kids act out every time you need them to be on their best behavior -- be thankful that you have been blessed with kids who aren't afraid to share their voice. And be thankful that they have lungs to breathe with and life to share with you.  When you are in charge of cooking …

Love is an action

"Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you heard that quote before? I happen to love it. I discovered it a long time ago when I was going through some rough stuff -- and it was perfect for how I was feeling at the time. Since then, it has just stuck with me.
Face it -- people talk. A few speak real and honest words. Many others, though, only talk to hear their own voice. It is as if in some way they truly believe that if they talk enough they will eventually convince you to see them for something other than they are. As if the words will form the person in your mind and override the visual actions and body language you are face to face with.
It works. Sometimes. But only for a short time.
Eventually, actions show through and we are able to fully discover the real person who has been yapping all along. Come on, you've all experienced this at some point in life.
So, when it comes to spreading God's love, do you think…

Letting go of time...

To track the time is like counting your hours. In fact, since time is a gift, keeping track of it is like counting your money, counting your presents, or counting any other so-called good fortune. Perhaps that is why my watches keep breaking. No, really. At first, I thought it was just a plethora of time-device bad luck, but now I am beginning to think it is something bigger. 
You already know how I feel about coincidences -- I don't believe in them. Things just don't happen the way they do out of mere coincidence. That just seems way too petty for someone as great and good as my God. So, therefore, everything that happens must happen because it is supposed to. 
Up until a little over 3 years ago, I always wore a watch. I had a few of them, but there were two that I was pretty darn fond of. I would alternate them -- and then mix in the pretty, colorful ones for special days or to match special outfits. 
Then, slowly, one by one, each of my watch batteries died. All of them. O…

Recovery for the high-strung

It is fairly safe to say that I am in high-strung recovery. Because I know I have a problem and I am a working on not being so high strung, I refer to this as being in recovery. It is an inside battle that I am fighting. Albeit, slowly. See, I am a worry-wart, I dislike the feeling of not having control over a situation, and, although it is a joke within my family, I really am sensitive. 
So why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to know that I understand how hard it is to relinquish control and let someone else lead. And why would I let someone else lead? Because there is someone who knows me so much better than I...
God. And, I have been called to follow him.
"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." - Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
When we don't give up control, we are, in a sense, God's opponent. He is trying to do his work in our lives and we are fighting against him by trying to do our own work. We don't see the whole picture -- the…

Quench your thirst

In my mind, I keep coming back to this location, location, location thing.
I always used to get irritated when people would come to Florida to visit and harp on me about not having a killer tan -- as if I had all the time in the world to sit at the beach! But those who visit -- that is what they do -- visit the beach! They come into town, get a tan, and head on home to show it off.
When you live here, it is a different story. You have your daily routine that includes work, appointments, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. A trip to the beach has to be weaseled in. And, even then, it seems like something needs to get put on the back burner.
When you manage to squeeze it in and arrive at the beach, you can start to relax once you are able to let everything go that could've/should've/would've been done had you not decided to head east. The smell of the salty air, the crashing of the waves, the sand between your toes, and the smiles on everyone's faces... why don't we do th…

If today is your last...

Have you ever really thought about the fact that we may not be here next week? Tomorrow? By 9:00 pm tonight? We don't know when we are going to get called home -- we just know that we will one day. It is inevitable. 
And then there are those who sorta get a heads up... say you fall ill and your doctor tells you that you only have a small window of human life left in you. Or, maybe you hear a small voice or get a feeling that your time to head home is coming... 
Think about it: You hear the words, "Good morning, <insert your name>, today is your last day to live on earth." What would you do? How would you react? 
Something tells me some folks may begin rushing around in a panic trying to quickly pack everything into 24-hours that they didn't take the time to do before now. All those things on the bucket list -- the sky diving, the traveling, seeing your favorite football team play live, trying to finish the kitchen sink ice cream challenge, singing a solo at church…

Do you know her?

Sin is selfish. Let me say that again: SIN. IS. SELFISH.
Have you ever given it any thought? Your choices, your sin -- that is between you and God, right? After all, who can be affected by your sinful desires other than you?
Do you remember the story of King David and Bathsheba? Maybe you do, Maybe you have never heard it. Either way, I am going to tell it to you ... 
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant." 
So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah cam…

I saw Jesus

I saw Jesus. I met Jesus the other day. I was on my way home from work and had just taken my exit off the interstate. While sitting at the stoplight, I saw a man holding a sign that said, “Hungry, please help.” He looked to be in his 60’s or 70’s and was limping as if his right leg was damaged. His deep gray eyes, disheveled silver hair and leathery tan skin told me that he had been on the streets for a while and his story was long and hadn’t been easy. I knew that I didn’t have anything in my car to feed him, but I did have a $5.00 bill. I rolled my window down, signaled for him and held my hand – and the money – out of the window. He came to me as quickly as his crippled leg would let him. Reaching for the money, he... Click here to continue reading.

How much of yourself do you reveal?

What makes us so hesitant to be ourselves with others? Why do we close ourselves off, only showing what we want others to see? 
There are so many possible answers to these questions, but I think it all boils down to fear. Whether it is fear of being judged, laughed at, cheated, or even fear of being hurt. It is likely the basis of why we only open a few windows to our inner selves. 
This is especially true around strangers. 
Why?
It could stem back to how we were raised and it could also result from experiences we have had in life. Painful moments mold us as much - if not more - than joyful moments do. Without getting into too much of the intricacies, we will just say that all of our life experiences make us who we are -- and thus can reveal a lot about why we only show certain parts of ourselves. 
Let me tell you why this has been on my mind. See, I discovered this Christian writer's conference I would really like to go to. It is at a camp -- similar to a retreat. They have what they …