Category Archives: Christian

The First Christmas Night

first christmas
What a special story, that will be told forever!  I love the way this book was written, seems like it brings God back into a poem.  Nothing like making a story lyrical to remember it!  I don’t think that this story could ever be told too many times, and I love hearing the different ways from such creative authors!
About
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town

not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.

The moon shining bright in the heavens so high

gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.

The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places

with looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
 
About the Illustrator 

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Who is it for?
Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
Family story time during the holidays
Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers
Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!

 

The First Christmas Night 

Written by: Keith Christopher

Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki

Publisher: Ideals Books

Hardcover: 32 pages
$16.99

Originally posted 2013-12-05 09:12:22.

Etched Upon My Heart: Book Review

etched-upon-my-heart-by-jill-kelly-book-review

I recently read ‘Etched… Upon My Heart’ written full of love and faith by Jill Kelly.  Mrs. Kelly filled the pages of this book with so much of herself that I feel like I know her.  Many times throughout reading it I felt like I was reading a mirror image of issues that have occurred in my own life.  I truly love the way God gave her the ability to share, not only her own hardships and joys, but also that He gave her the words to interpret understanding of His love, lessons, and word on each and every page.

Jill Kelly fills the book with such personal and private accounts of her life that I can only imagine the pain, tears, and even laughter that came about as she poured out the memories of her journey.  Many of her stories touched me in a way not only allowed me to feel her pain but also to understand more the way God works in one’s life.  Jill and her family went through a parent’s worst nightmare, the death of a child, and instead of being defeated or succumbing to the statistics, they came out stronger.  The story of their son Hunter, tucked within the pages of Jill Kelly’s life lessons, will now forever inspire as a beacon of God’s great love.

About the Author: Jill Kelly is the wife of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. In September 1997, months after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodustrophy, Jim and Jill founded the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. As chairman of the board of Hunter’s Hope, Jill helps children suffering from Leukodystrophy, and their families by raising awareness and research funds to fight this devastating disease. She and Jim live in Buffalo, NY, with their two daughters and three dogs. Hunter’s Hope Foundation can be found online at www.HuntersHope.org. Jill is also the author of Without A Word.

Praise of Etched…Upon My Heart 
“Jill courageously allows us into the rawest moments of her personal journey, and invites us to join the process by which love is defined, fear becomes faith, and suffering becomes sovereign. Undoubtedly, if “moments are measured by depth, not by length”, then the moments that you will spend reading ETCHED UPON MY HEART will serve as some of your most valuable…”
       — Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Co-Host ABC THE VIEW
“Jill Kelly writes with a raw honesty that is both rare and refreshing.  ETCHED…UPON MY HEART will both break your heart where it needs to be broken and heal your heart at the same time.”
       — Mark Batterson, Pastor of National Community Church, author of The Circle Maker
“I am taken … with the words in ETCHED…UPON MY HEART and the heart of the writer who wrote them, Jill Kelly. As a mother, Jill spoke to the place in me that desires to make a lasting imprint on my children’s lives. As a woman, she touched the place in me that knows well of the struggle to love, lose, forgive, live faithfully, find significance. As a believer in Jesus, she stirred my deep gratitude for redemption and the God who makes all things well. There is a richness that comes from a life that has lived this, and Jill Kelly has poured her own onto the pages of ETCHED. I just read it, and I want to read it, again.”
       — Lisa Whittle, speaker, Compassion advocate, author of {w}hole

Originally posted 2013-01-22 15:07:00.

When a Woman You Loved Was Abused Review

When-a-Woman-You-Love-Was-Abused-Jones-web-e1349103564424
When A Woman You Love Was Abused:
A Husband’s Guide to Helping Her Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation

Well, this book….  I’ll just start with this: reading the first chapter brought up so many memories and nightmares.  A deep desire to help Dawn, the author.  It is amazing that she feels she can share her pain with millions of people.
I know that this guide is for husbands, but I wanted to read it as an abused woman.  I also wanted to have it for my husband if it helped me and for my friend’s husband, as she too was abused.  Furthermore, I can say I’m glad I got the book.
The book takes one through a place to help understand why abuse took place.  It helps to improve in the true capturing of what abuse is, how a woman may feel and have felt, as well as the journey to helping her.  The book is divided into three sections:
Understanding the Survivor
Understanding the Healing Process
How You Can Help
Even as a victim, I feel like the words are helpful.  I appreciate knowing that it wasn’t just me, as if having the knowledge that other women really do feel this way in writing validates my feelings.  Reading the book has also given me new things to understand.  Things I never realized were connected to my abuse now make a lot more sense.
If you, or someone you love was sexually abused, I really recommend this book.  Primarily for understanding.  I know that if you were abused you probably feel you have a good understanding, and maybe you do, but I also know that I thought I understood and now realize I didn’t get it all.  Of course, I’ve never received treatment either.  Most people in my life don’t know I was abused at all.  Consider reading it, if for no other reason than it may actually help.  Dealing with this is difficult enough, understanding may give you the strength you need.
Also, I don’t usually do this, but if you were abused and need someone to talk to, reach out.  Find someone in your life you can talk to.  If you can’t talk to anyone, my contact email is on the PR page if you’d like to utilize it.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to overcome these feelings, and you can.
Many Blessings,
Kaycee

You can find more reviews and thoughts on the book here.
Buy yours here.

About the Book:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 80 percent of childhood abuse victims later suffer from at least one abuse-induced psychological disorder. It’s proven that the effects of childhood abuse follow women into adulthood. Yet few men are prepared to deal with those effects, even when their own wife is the one who is suffering. And their wife’s suffering becomes their own suffering as their needs aren’t being met by a wife who is powerless to control her inner turmoil.

Author, pastor, and survivor Dawn Scott Jones candidly shares her own abuse experience to help husbands understand the varied emotions, fears, distorted thoughts, and triggers that hold their wives captive. In practical and accessible language, Jones explains the stages of the healing journey (processing denial, asking for help, grieving, expressing anger, learning to forgive, and finding resolution). Building on that knowledge, Jones then moves to an honest discussion of what husbands can do to help. Whether it’s creating a healing environment, understanding the need for control, building trust, or even just praying for healing, a husband plays an active role in helping his wife survive and thrive despite her past abuse.

Offering hope for a healthy marriage relationship, When a Woman You Love Was Abused answers the questions men have and offers the advice they need to help their wives finally find peace.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a4553aea56&view=att&th=13999ffe2d14744f&attid=0.1.3&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9UGEsTJj8FSZJPy6nb0JBi&sadet=1346922319291&sads=pJ-IZiIynD0i04n1mLakXszZrrwMeet Dawn:

For over twenty years God has graciously used Dawn to touch the lives of people through her affecting personal testimony, her humor, and her writing. Dawn’s past challenges have deepened and enriched her ministry; enabling her to truly understand and relate to what others are going through.

Dawn is an Ordained Minister with the Assemblies of God. She has served in various capacities including Executive Team Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, and Woman’s Ministry Director. Dawn travels Nation-wide speaking, training and consulting.
Find out more about Dawn Scott at http://www.dawnjones.org/.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=a4553aea56&view=att&th=13999ffe2d14744f&attid=0.1.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9UGEsTJj8FSZJPy6nb0JBi&sadet=1346922252644&sads=oplqQY3ybk26lNkKL522y7YIZaw&sadssc=1Live Webcast:

In coordination with the launch of their fall releases, Kregel will be hosting a live webcast event on September 20 at 8 PM EDT featuring authors Kim Ketola (Cradle My Heart), Teske Drake (Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow), and Dawn Scott Jones (When a Woman You Love Was Abused). The webcast will allow women to come together to share their struggles and fears in order to move toward healing and hope. Women will able to support one another and discuss shared experiences in a non-threatening, open and loving environment.

Cat Hoort of Kregel says, “”We are seeking to provide safe means for Christian women to be vulnerable with each other, to seek help and guidance from authors and counselors, and to find encouragement from those who have shared similar experiences. Our hope is that the Women Redeemed webcast will become a forum for hurting women as well as for those who can help. Kim, Teske, and Dawn are all survivors and their stories will surely inspire and equip other women to move toward healing and hope.”

To register for the event, just click here. {https://www.facebook.com/KregelBooks/app_241719209283045}

Originally posted 2012-09-13 05:00:00.

#HigherIsWaiting #PenguinRandomHouse #ad #rwm

Many have seen Tyler Perry’s plays and films, but his books are fewer and less known.  I was greatly motivated and inspired by Tyler Perry’s Higher is Waiting and I definitely suggest you check it out as well!  Learning of his journey was very interesting and there were many moment’s of growth that were very inspirational.

About the Book

An intimate book of inspiration by one of the great cultural icons of our time
Higher Is Waiting is a spiritual guidebook, a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulfilling place. In this intimate book, Tyler Perry writes of how his faith has sustained him in hard times, centered him in good times, and enriched his life.
Beginning with his earliest memories of growing up a shy boy in New Orleans, Perry recalls the moments of grace and beauty in a childhood marked by brutality, deprivation, and fear. With tenderness he sketches portraits of the people who sustained him and taught him indelible lessons about integrity, trust in God, and the power of forgiveness: his aunt Mae, who cared for her grandfather, who was born a slave, and sewed quilts that told a story of generations; Mr. Butler, a blind man of remarkable dignity and elegance, who sold penny candies on a street corner; and his beloved mother, Maxine, who endured abuse, financial hardship, and the daily injustices of growing up in the Jim Crow South yet whose fierce love for her son burned bright and never dimmed. Perry writes of how he nurtured his dreams and discovered solace in nature, and of his resolute determination to reach ever higher.
Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God’s presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice, to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear. Here he is: the devoted son, the loving father, the steadfast friend, the naturalist, the philanthropist, the creative spirit—a man whose life lessons and insights into scripture are a gift offered with generosity, humility, and love.

My Thoughts

I hate that they call it a ‘Spiritual Guide Book,’ I am pretty much not in favor of anything with that description.  Thankfully, I didn’t read that prior to starting the book!  I was inspired and fascinated by his story and am always grateful when people share such personal things.  Unlike many spiritual books that I’ve read, this one isn’t difficult to get into and is hard to put down!  I greatly suggest you add it to your reading list this year!

Check It Out

Tyler PerryPenguin Random House ~

“This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Penguin Random House. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Adored 365 Day Devotional #AdoredByGod #FlyBy

Adored 365 Devotional

Looking for a perfect devotional for yourself or a young woman in your life?  Adored 365 is just what you’ve been searching for!  Definitely a top Christian gift this year.  Simply reading over a few pages gave me a few moments that I forgot were missing in my life.

Written by Lindsay A Franklin, this devotional is out of this world great.  Even her introduction moved me and reminded me of God’s love and every other type of love.  Each day’s devotion has a bit of room to journal at the bottom, making the lesson a little more memorable.  Most important of all is that each day has a different scripture associated with the devotional she has written.  As a blogger, I can certainly appreciate how much goes into writing on so many different topics.  The emotional response to each of them, however, blows me out of the water.  No doubt a ton of prayer went into each and every page of this book.

There are quite a few amazing Bibles for men, Beginner’s Bible for young children, and even ways to teach the Love of God to young children.  Be sure and check them out too!  You’ll be glad you did, might just get your shopping done pretty quick this year!

762794: Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Help young women tackle the issues they’re facing, while learning how precious they are to God! Each daily entry features a Scripture verse; relevant devotion on topics including bullying, social media, friendships, and dating; journaling space for reflection; and real-world applications to help them find God in their hearts and lives. Ages 13 and up.

Get It Free

As a special promotion, you can an ecopy of 7 days of the devotional.  You’ll be glad you did!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

5 Ways to Share God’s Love with Little Ones

5 Ways to Teach LoveJohn 3:16 was the first verse I learned as a child, I’m pretty certain that’s true for many of you. It’s certainly an important one, for we all need to know just what it says.  It’s so much more to feel it than to know it and it takes awhile to learn how to feel it I think it’s great though because it comes in just the right moments.  The question is: how do we teach children that they are loved and to be loved?  This great little Bible tract is wonderful to help them know just that.

1. Physical affection is something that children need to learn.  Perhaps you read my post about the Benefits of Hugs and we all know that little ones love being hugged and held!  A loving touch can go a long way to comfort others especially children

2. Quality time is also an excellent way to teach love, it is not necessary to spend tons of money or go to giant amusement park for good quality time.  Some of my best memories are when my mom taught me like how to make her favorite wonderful sloppy joe’s secret recipe that I spilled all across the interweb, haha.  When she taught me how to ride horses and the times when we had water pipes in the house, or went camping, or even on spontaneous road trips.  Those are where my best memories  come from.  There’s a free printable gospel plane that you may enjoy.

3. Discipline and consequences are never a fun but they are essential in ensuring that children know that they are loved and cared for.  They create a sense of security by teaching that one one thing happens it will cause another thing

4. Sticking to a schedule is also another way to show children love. Routines create comfort and security that help children feel the love that we have for them.

5. Take care of you.  I know, sounds kind of funny, but if your cup isn’t full, you simply cannot spill the best over to fill the cups of your little ones.

5 Ways to Teach LoveToday, I encourage you and challenge you to take extra time to teach God’s love and show your own one day our children will equate A Parent’s Love with God’s love.  They will learn that God is our Father, just like we are their parents, Aunts, Uncles, grandparents and role models. God’s love is unconditional Just Like A Parent’s Love is supposed to be. God is our father that will always be there, who will comfort us, speak words of wisdom in our ear, stand by our side when we are afraid, when we are hurting, and when we are victorious.

Let the little children come how many tools to help us teach our little ones or Sunday School classes or youth group or whatever the many lessons that God has for us, the greatest blessing from God that we can teach and receive is love.

Matthew West’s All In

Matthew West's All In Giveaway Ends 10/3

Mathew West’s new album will be officially released on September 22, 2017 and seems to have a bit of hype around it.  With his past success, I can see why people are looking forward to it.  They have already released the songs on YouTube and the videos are fairly decent.  I prefer when the video tells a story to seeing people sing, but there is a healthy mix and I can appreciate that.

My Thoughts on the Music

I love the background music in All In!  It speaks to my love for cultural music.  The lyrics are inspiring as would be expected from Matthew West.  The sound is very much contemporary Christian music at it’s best  and I can see it being played at camps and in churches for years to come.  Mercy is a Song is also one of his new ones and I challenge you to listen to it without tapping your foot or moving somehow to the song, it is very similar to Hello, My Name Is.  I think my favorite song on the album is Amen

The Tracks

  1. All In
  2. Broken Things
  3. Something Greater
  4. The Sound of a Life Changing
  5. Amen
  6. 1 Song
  7. The Beautiful Things We Miss
  8. Dream Again
  9. Jesus & You
  10. Power Love Sound Mind
  11. Mercy Is a Song
  12. Becoming Me  Lulu West
  13. Never Ever Give Up
  14. You Are Known

Provided by the Sponsor:

Matthew’s heart behind the album:

Matthew wrote his new album All In with the goal of encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out – to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be. Along that same theme, Matthew will be launching a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives. What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most?

The Beginner’s Bible

If you are a Christian parent or parent-to-be, no doubt the importance of telling Bible stories cannot ever be fully explained.  I remember fondly the stories I was read as a child and those that I learned in Sunday School.  The Beginner’s Bible is full of stories from both the Old and New Testament.  Simply stated to help the tiny ones begin to understand each story, they are well illustrated and short enough to get through before they lose the desire to pay attention.  Giving the opportunity to lay down the foundation that will allow them to rebuild their house each and every time.  I, personally, am ever so grateful for my foundation being so strongly laid down by two in particular of my Granny’s and my Pa-Pa, for each and every time they told me stories and took me to church. Teaching me to behave and to build my foundation on His Word, I’ve used those lessons to get through every situation that I have come across throughout my life.  The Beginner’s Bible is a wonderful resource to help you do the same thing with the little one’s in our life.  About The Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible® has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold. Now it’s redesigned with fresh new art that will excite children for many more years to come. Full of faith and fun, The Beginner’s Bible is a wonderful gift for any child. The easy-to-read text and bright, full-color illustrations on every page make it a perfect way to introduce young children to the stories and characters of the Bible. With new vibrant three-dimensional art and compelling text, more than 90 Bible stories come to life. Kids ages 6 and under will enjoy the fun illustrations of Noah helping the elephant onto the ark, Jonah praying inside the fish, and more, as they discover The Beginner’s Bible just like millions of children before. The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.

Social Corner

Official website:  www.TheBeginnersBible.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz.Beginners.Bible

Twitter: www.twitter.com/BeginnersBible

Trailer / book trailer (if applicable): http://bit.ly/2aZoqnN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  I do not sell out my opinions for any reason, especially product or money so please know that the opinions stated are very much my own.

Christmas Love Letters from God

Scroll Down for Giveaway Linky

I can’t even begin to say how much I would love to have letters come from God to my mailbox.  The occasional note of this is how much I love you and you are doing a good job, keep it up.  What we forget is that we DO have love letters from God, as well as advice and help with so many things throughout our lives.  The Bible is full of them.  If we forget as adults, how do we expect our children to know and understand it?

Christmas Love Letters from God is an adorable book that will help our children learn at a young age that not only does God love us, but He also took the time to write so much to teach us and encourage us throughout the Good Book.

Glenys Nellist put so much love into the words in this little book made for our little ones and Rachel Clowes did an amazing job illustrating!  There are a few others available as well, their pictures are below this post.  You’ll love them so much you’ll want to get each of them for the kiddos!Keeping Christ in Christmas

Written for children ages four to eight, Christmas Love Letters from God cleverly combines both prose and poetry as the story of Jesus’ birth unfolds. The book includes seven stories, beginning with Isaiah’s prophecy and ending with the visit of the wise men. Following each story, the child will find his or her own letter from God, folded into a small envelope attached to the page. Each letter begins with a space in which to write the child’s name, so each one can be specially addressed to the child.

Written as if God is speaking, each personalized message gives the young reader a sense of wonder as they discover anew the Christmas holiday and the birth of Jesus. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Perfect Promise, also accompanies each story and letter as God’s personal words of love, promise, and hope.

-Amazo

I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

#WhereJesusSlept: Keeping Christ in Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

In a time where the true meaning of Christmas can be lost or misplaced, especially for young children, it is important for my family to remember why it is we have this holiday and what we are really celebrating. Each Christmas even night they open one gift; it contains a new pair of pajamas, a mug for homemade hot coco and a new book. This year my children are going to receive books themed for the true meaning of Christmas (as last year they each received Santa books) and I am anxious to read them to my children as we wait to celebrate the following morning!

“Where Jesus Slept” is a beautifully illustrated book worded for young children, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. The story is told in a catchy rhyming scheme that invites our babies to discover where Jesus slept on Christmas, and how so many came to adore him. The illustrations are wonderfully done to draw in the attention from all ages. Like so many popular children stories the rhyming scheme in this book it one that is destined to become a favorite; because it is so catch a rhythm it also allows children to generate a strong willingness to memorize the story and eventually they will learn how to read it on their own if they are not yet reading to themselves!Keeping Christ in Christmas

Our Children Need Christ in Christmas!

The Christmas holiday has dramatically changed in what is expected and appreciated out of this time of year. Where it was once solely about praising God for the birth of the savior, but about bringing a family together and sharing this magical time with our loved ones! Lately Christmas has become commercialized, bargain shopping and big gift buying has replaced priorities in some families. Children’s “wish lists” have gone from that heartwarming “I want to see granny!” to “I want that toy that everyone else has!”

Children need Christ in Christmas because it brings them to understand the gift of love! Quoting from How the Grinch Stole Christmas… “Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”

Look for ways to keep Christ in Christmas for your family! Here are a few ideas from the Unlocking the Bible:

1) Read the Bible story with your family

2) Use and advent calendar with scripture

3) Listen to Chris-exalting Christmas music for the holidays

The above mentioned site contains great way to making this Christmas more about Christ and less about that gift those precious babies want so much!

Now for the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Please note: I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions are from My Crafty Zoo and are not influenced by sponsors.**

About the book:

“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.

Format: jacketed hardcover

Trim size: 10×10

Page count: 32

Retail price: $16.99

Reading age: 4-7

About the author:

Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.

Illustrated by Katy Hudson.