Tuesday, September 27, 2016

See the Newsboys in Concert with Adventures in Odyssey

newsboys 


Want to be entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, the award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas? Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations: Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends on October 6.




By completing the information on this page, you're automatically entered to win the chance to see the Newsboys with Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey. Don't miss out on the chance to see a fantastic band with your family!


Plus Sign Up for a Free Two-Week Trial of Odyssey Adventure Club

sept-oac-art-250x250 


Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.




Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Commit to Bring Your Bible to School October 6

Celebrate religious freedom with other students across the U.S. on October 6—Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends in just a few short weeks. Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations.




By signing up, you’ll receive a free guide with tips, downloadable posters, sticker and T-shirt designs, information on your legal rights, and other fun, interactive activities.




You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, an award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas!


Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

sept-oac-art-250x250 


Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.




Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Bible and Me: Stories with a Message to Live by, Retold by Lois Rock, with illustrations by Alida Massari


Description:

Thoughtfully retold, The Bible and Me begins with the faith stories of the Old Testament that tell of God’s unfailing love. The New Testament describes the coming of God’s son Jesus Christ, who by his life and teaching showed how all people could be reconciled to God. Finally, the stories of Jesus’ friends and followers are that of their faith, hope, and love. Each story ends with a prayer, psalm, or passage for reflection.

My Thoughts:

The Bible and Me is a beautiful book, full of Bible history. The illustrations are a bit odd, but it's a lovely, classical kind of odd(at least to me), and I fell in love with the artwork.

Within this book, you'll get summaries of the following people/events:

Creation, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, The Israelites(more specifically, Joshua and David/Goliath), David and Solomon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Nehemiah and Ezra, the birth of Jesus, along with several other chapters on Jesus, Saul/Paul, the return of Jesus for us

These events are covered very briefly and very summarized, and some of the people are barely mentioned. I do like it, though, as a quick, summary type of book. I think it's a great book for children.

My only complaint about the book is that it portrays a baptism as a sprinkling kind of thing, as opposed to a person being fully covered by water. (You could look at the picture and think maybe they were trying to portray the woman(Lydia) being fully covered by water, because there's wavy blue all around, but really, you'd have to want to see it. I really don't know what their intention with it was, but I was thrilled that they didn't exclude baptism from the book. They gave Bible verses where it is commanded, and gently added it into the mix.)

Other than that, I really like this book. It's a beautiful addition to our Bible-related shelf, and I thought it was very well done!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The More of Less by Joshua Becker


Description:

Don’t Settle for More

Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing.

While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill. And it distracts us from the very life we wish we were living.

Live a better life with less.

In The More of Less, Joshua Becker, helps you….

• recognize the life-giving benefits of owning less
• realize how all the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams
• craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life
• experience the joys of generosity
• learn why the best part of minimalism isn’t a clean house, it’s a full life

The beauty of minimalism isn’t in what it takes away. It’s in what it gives.

Make Room in Your Life for What You Really Want

My Thoughts:

The More of Less is a great place to start if you're thinking about minimalism or are curious about what it is. It explains what it's all about and why it's a great lifestyle choice. It gives some general instructions and challenges, and shows some real life success stories. It lets us know that all journeys are different and don't compare one to another. I still remember one of the first books on minimalism I read being super rude and judgmental towards those that didn't share the same lifestyle as the author. That approach rarely works with anything! This book, on the other hand, does an amazing job of offering grace to those of us, like me, that are very much imperfect on this journey.

For myself, I used this book as a bit of extra encouragement. Really, I'm more of a minimalist wanna-be. I want a simple life, only full of the beautiful things God has given us to enjoy, like His Word and nature, and things that we need and/or love. I also want my house full of great books! I've struggled through my attempt at minimalism for years. I've gotten rid of tons of things and cleared out storage spaces, and life IS getting simpler, but I'm not where I want to be just yet. My biggest struggle is the books, and the fact that I want a cute house. When I get the chance to trade out necessary items for cute ones I like more(through review items, most often), I typically do it. ;) I do tend to pass on the older items in the process, in my defense. All of that said, we really have came a long, long way since I first started this journey. It's taken us much longer than I'd have liked, but it's not from lack of effort. This book was a great little nudge in the right direction.


Definitely grab this book if you're wanting some extra encouragement to make your life simpler, or are curious what minimalism is all about.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*************************************

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord, with illustrations by Amy Wummer


Description:

A bright and cheerful reminder that God made each of us special and unique

Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: "You're brilliantly created and there s no one else like you!" With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book. Ages 2-5.

My Thoughts:

God Made You Just Right is a sweet book for little ones!

It's so hard being young these days. Of course, it has always been hard, as I know too well from my younger years. It seems like the bullying and the judgements are getting worse and worse, though, and it makes me sad. Children are having a tougher time being comfortable with who God made them to be, and I'd be lying if I didn't say the same about myself. It's a struggle, and I'm grateful for simple books like this to remind us that God made us just the way we are.

I want my children to know that God is with them, and He knew what He was doing when they were formed the way they are. I want them to find comfort in that fact, and I want to find comfort in that fact myself. People HURT us, and instead of insulting myself or them insulting themselves over qualities about ourselves that can't be changed, I want us to turn to God, and thank Him for His marvelous design, even when it doesn't seem so marvelous. ;)


"You may not be like other kids-
that's not your job to do.

But no one else can do the job
of being you like you!"


Of course, this book is really a cheerful, sweet book, since it doesn't even mention bullying or anything negative, nor have I discussed any of that with my children(in connection with this particular book). I want reading it to quietly give them the strength to turn to God. It's also great for the littlest people to just learn about body parts, and would make a great book for reading, with breaks for tickles and cuddles. (The book does deal more with body parts than "quirky" traits, like my social anxiety. Also, depending on the child you're reading to, you might want to change the words a bit. The overall message still perfectly applies to every child, but if the child doesn't have use of his/her legs, then you might not want to read how God gave them super strong legs to run and kick and play. The same goes for the other parts mentioned within the book.)


I like the simplicity, yet also beauty of this book so much that I'm putting it in my "Bible Class" bag for the 2 and 3 year old class I help my mama with. (We rotate 3 months on, 3 off, so I haven't tried it with them just yet.) I have read it to my children, though, and they enjoyed it. The story is lovely, and so are the illustrations. It's a great little book to add to the reading line-up.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

NKJV American Woman's Bible: Women, Godly Virtues, and the Making of America


Description:

Discover how biblical virtues in the powerful words and actions of extraordinary American women past and present have shaped our blessed American way of life. By their examples you can develop the same strength of biblical character in your own life. Whether you are a daughter, a mother or a grandmother, you will find this Bible an encouraging and powerful companion for daily living.

Features include: * New King James Version * Theme articles show how biblical virtues have shaped our nation * Biographies of influential American women highlight key points of their lives * Inspirational quotes by or about great women, famous and not well known * Introductions to each book of the Bible * Essays about biblical virtues embodied in women during key chapters of America's story * Ribbon marker * Presentation page for gift-giving

Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles

The New King James Version® - More than 60 million copies

My Thoughts:

I've came a long way since my younger days when it comes to history. I never cared about it in school, and my interest in it has only really came into existence in the past few years. I was so incredibly ignorant of so much, and I've made a fool of myself. I still am and I still do, but I'm making great effort to learn as much about history as I can now. My new interest in history is what made this Bible irresistible. I was too curious to not take a look.

Though this probably goes without saying, the American Woman's Bible isn't one that I'd recommend for every day use. Something more simple is more appropriate for that. Honestly, I'd have loved to have seen all the pages and quotes concerning women from history in a separate book, but it is still enjoyable within this form. It never hurts to have Bible verses so handy, no matter what the study is!


Within this Bible, there are pages about various women throughout history and quotes from them. Ruth Bell Graham, Angelina Grimke, Dale Evans Rogers, Harriet Ross Tubman, and Evangeline Booth are just a few of the women spotlighted. For me, there is a great mix of women I already know about and women I'd never heard of, which is great! I loved that in the introduction, Richard Lee, the general editor, makes it clear that the women included aren't being added to God's Word. He acknowledges God's wisdom in choosing the women that He did to be within His Word, and these particular ladies have simply did great things for our country.


Now to cover some of the basics. While most all of the pages have a very mild/muted red, white, and blue color theme, there are pages included that are thicker and full colored. These sets come in 2 pages, front and back(so 4 pages total per set). These include photographs and illustrations. The regular pages are on the thicker side, for a Bible. The print is readable, so not tiny. I have the hardcover edition, which also has a dust cover. If you take the dust cover off, the same design is on the Bible itself, too.


This is a great Bible to take a look at if you'd like to learn about many of the great ladies throughout American history. I've enjoyed it!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.