Tag Archives: Christian

1 Girl Nation CD Review

img1.2

About 1 Girl Nation

Landing in the space where One Direction meets TobyMac, 1 Girl Nation is an exciting blend of upbeat pop music, with lyrics that are totally focused on living life for God, even while you’re young. 1GN, as they’ve already been dubbed, stars Carmen, Kayli, Kelsey, Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, five girls with a passion for telling their fans about Christ through their music. Their first single, “While We’re Young,” can be heard on radio stations across the country and their self-titled debut album is available now!

img3.2My Thoughts

Even after reading the description above, I expected to hear something that I really couldn’t enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised.  1 Girl Nation has a sound that reminds me of a mixture of 80’s girl bands, modern day secular music, and a hint of contemporary Christian wrapped up in a praise and worship band.  As their pictures suggest, their music is fun and joyful.  With their primary target audience being pre-teen, teens, and young adults I think 1 Girl Nation should be on their way to the top!  I don’t think it will be long before they are being blasted all over Christian radio stations.  They sing songs that make you feel good but aren’t like the typical music you hear.  It wasn’t far into the CD before I was bobbing my head and enjoying the music.

Stay Connected

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Originally posted 2013-11-16 06:23:20.

Prison to Freedom

This video is from the program in the prison that enabled us to visit and speak to the ladies in the prison.  I have a whole post prepared of my story, but I wanted to share this by itself.  Mainly because it tells their story, not mine.  Even having been there, knowing so much of what is in the video, I can’t do justice to the feeling of change and hope among these women, women who are complete strangers but have that ‘something’ about them.  It’s amazing how that works, how a power mightier than anything else can take women who will quite possibly die in prison free of a life of pain and turmoil within the bounds of bricks and barbed wire.

During our trip, we were able to meet some of these women.  It was amazing to meet women who had truly been changed.  It brings a new meaning to the word for me.  I’ve studied psychology and have taken a special interest in seeking to understand people who have committed terrible crimes.  For whatever reason, I have always wanted to understand the reasons behind their actions.  Over time, I’ve sought out the common denominator and found it repeatedly to be brokenness.  No matter the background, no matter the personality, a deep rooted emptiness seems to sit at the bottom of us.  Fortunately, not all of us have come to the point that the men and women in prison see.

If you’d like to learn more about this program, see more of the amazing videos, or even donate to help this amazing program, click here.

Originally posted 2013-10-26 05:37:32.

Free Bracelet Tutorial

DIY Salvation Bracelet Tutorial.  This is the perfect lesson & craft for homeschool, Sunday school, Bible study or even church camp!

Salvation Bracelet Tutorial

Let the Little Children Come is such an amazing resource for both product and tutorials!  Not only do they have awesome tracts, they also have toys, free printables and tutorials!  You may have seen the post before about the free airplane printable or the free gospel magic trick before.  Now I’m bringing you the fantastic tutorial on making a beautiful Salvation bracelet!  I love how simple this bracelet tutorial makes things!  Among other things, I love that these bracelets are so adorable and I also love that you can MAKE the beads!

DIY Beads

I’m not gonna lie, they are a bit time consuming, but that is fabulous to keep everyone occupied, especially while teaching!  I made some and covered them with nail polish.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep the middle of the bead from filling when I dipped them in a sealant.  I used a bent paper clip and took it off when the sealant was almost dry, then placed it on some wax paper.  It took a while, but was worth it.

I rolled some beads on a toothpick and others on the ink part of a pen.  It was easier on the pen, but challenging both ways.  The toothpick did make tighter rolls.  I highly suggest utilizing stick glue to get the paper to stick with less of a fight!

DIY Salvation Bracelet Tutorial

When you make them, please share your tips and tricks!  I love finding more efficient ways to make things!

Healthy, Paleo Friendly Snack Food! KitchFix

This healthy snack is so delicious that it’s hard to believe the amount of descriptions if qualifies for: paleo, dairy free, non-gmo, gluten, low-carb and preservative free! It’s the perfect snack for a pick me up and to quench that sweets craving that attacks!


KitchFix Review Yummy Healthy Paleo Snack!

Healthy Snack???

Having spent an entire life struggling with eating healthy, I had never tried a granola mix.  There was nothing anyone could say that would convince me to believe the words even I am now saying to you!  I just refused.  I finally tried it for a review (would never have done so otherwise) and I am sold on this amazing healthy snack.  Absolutely convinced.  I let my husband try it and immediately became stingy again.  While I wanted to share, I also didn’t want to run out!  haha.

Due to narcolepsy and cataplexy, my doctor instructed me to go on the Paleo diet.  I have a much harder time than my husband, but that is not surprising.  While it does make me feel better (and he is shedding pounds like crazy), I have a hard time resisting my sweet tooth.  I am pleased to announce, that KitchFix is literally the best sweet snack I’ve had that is actually paleo!  It also, as described above, has a lot of other things going for it.  The best is that it’s a healthy snack that is actually good for your body!

KitchFix has quite a few different mixes: Original, Honey Pecan, Cocoa Sea Salt, Lemon Berry Chia, and others.  Mine has been an amazing snack, especially the honey pecan!  I can’t wait to try the Cocoa sea salt!   I highly recommend checking them out!

Website

KitchFix

Win a Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola Bundle #19

The Answer

jeremy camp the answerJeremy Camp’s new album The Answer features some awesome new songs that you aren’t going to want to miss!  Word of Life is one of my favorites.  Too often we forget that the Word IS the answer and I feel like we can never be reminded enough that it IS.  Recently my life decided I needed that reminder, God decided it was time to pull me back.  My pain, anger and grief had pulled me to a dark place and as I was learning to cope and let go of my anger toward Him.  I’m so thankful that we serve a God that is our Father and remembers that we are but children.  Whatever your place is right now, I hope that you remember He is there, waiting for you to run back into His arms.  Oddly enough, the song Awake O Sleeper may be just the song to go with that sentiment!  And for the record, I did not do that on purpose, the tie in was a happy accident.

Jeremy’s album release date is October 6th, 2017.  If this is the type of music that lifts your spirits and reminds you to follow your Father you should definitely get yours now!  Jeremy Camp has a beautiful voice and the melodies from his new songs are just as fabulous as all of his other music before: uplifting and inspiring.  As for the album, I have to say I do not love the cover.  I’m not a fan of modern type stuff anyway but it just doesn’t look like him.  LOL.  I was surprised to see how he actually looks after seeing his actual picture.  On the album he almost looks Italian, but in reality he’s a blue eyed young man that seems to be embracing the hipster look.  haha.  Just a bit of my crazy for you, doesn’t change that he has a wonderful singing voice.  I’m guessing if you are a fan, you already knew what he looks like.  I was disappointed to find that his website doesn’t tell much about him or his band but I’m sure I could find it elsewhere.  Off to explore the interwebs!

 

The awesome and fabulous people at flyby

#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.

#PizzaRanch Hope CD

mail.google.com

Before reading the PR statements (listed below) I listened to the CD they put together.  To be honest, I thought ‘Pizza Ranch’ was some sort of silly band name, but it didn’t matter to me.  What mattered was how good the CD was, because that’s why I’m reviewing it, right? Initially, my post was going to start with telling you this compilation of music totally inspires a sense of hope.  Until I read it’s purpose, now it’s got to start differently.  Only, I don’t know what to tell you.

Guess I’ll just go….  On the three hour trip back to seeing our little blessing I began to listen to the CD Pizza Ranch has put out to inspire Hope, not knowing it’s purpose.  Let me tell you, after almost 7 months of our little one being in the hospital, imagining going home (that hope that things may get on to the ‘new normal’ soon) becomes harder and harder.  As a parent, I keep praying and waiting (and I know it will happen) but some days are hard, others harder and that trip back and forth to the hospital, living there and only visiting your home and pets, is taxing.  Frankly, I think I should be paid in advance, at least 20 years worth.  Regardless, by the third or fourth song in, I was feeling hopeful about life in general, about everything. The rest of the music brought the same good feelings of hope.

Although those at Pizza Ranch who took on this project and put it together may never know the effects of their project on everyone, but hopefully they read this and know that they did make a difference.  More importantly, I hope that you’ll buy the CD and it will bring you some hope and happiness as well.

Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie’s mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch’s vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.

LivingHope

On June 2, 2015, Pizza Ranch released a CD called Living Hope containing twelve songs from many of their favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs are brand-new and written exclusively for this CD around the theme of Hope.  Artists include Colton Dixon, Francesca Batistelli, Ellie Holcomb, Sidewalk Prophets, Kevin Max, Bart Millard, Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill, Michael W. Smith, and Mark Schultz.
The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at pizzaranch.com/livinghope through August 31, 2015.
From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:  “This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope.”
SOCIAL • C O R N E R  

Twitter:  @PizzaRanch @PRServes

YouTube Channel (features images and videos of the artists talking about the story behind each song):https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE9lEnxuNzMyLfRyX8_tiLA
Press Release with additional information about the Living Hope CD project:  https://t.e2ma.net/message/7tnbk/7l1cgr

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

When Calls the Heart: Change of Heart

When Calls the Heart Change of HeartYou may or may not have caught the reviews of the first two videos in thee When Calls the Heart series inspired by Janette Oke.  If you didn’t, you can read about them at these links:

When Calls the Heart
When Calls the Heart: Lost and Found

Change of Heart is done just as well as the first two movies.  I’m emphasized before that even if you haven’t seen the first two, you can still thoroughly enjoy any one in the collection at any point in time.  Each film gives a short story update that catches you up to the relevant things presented in the film you are watching.

With sweet innocence and polished sophistication, Change of Heart again brings the pair of sisters together as Elizabeth’s little sister comes for a visit and inevitibly causes a little trouble.  As the viewer, I have frequent moments where I want to scream through the television at Julie, Elizabeth’s little sister, then other times when I have to admit the parts of myself from long ago I could see in her innocence.  The bright, unshakeable knowledge that there is good in all people resounds through Julie.  As an older sister myself, I can also see the pain and annoyance that plagues Elizabeth as she tries unsuccessfully to help her sister make the right decisions.

Don’t feel too bad for the guys though, there is adventure just waiting to get out as the film progresses.  Beyond the sisterly relationship, Elizabeth’s romantic interest Jack the Mounty is mixing things up a little.  It was a great storyline as Jack did what any good mounty would do: followed his instinct to protect the one he loved and Coal Valley regardless of his own safety.

About the Movie

Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Jack s (Daniel Lissing) relationship blossoms into romance in Change of Heart, the fifth installment of the When Calls the Heart series. Finally winning Elizabeth over, Jack is devastated to learn of his Constable reassignment. When Elizabeth s sister, Julie, arrives in Coal Valley with the new Constable, Jack reluctantly tells Elizabeth the news and must leave town. Julie, ever the curious one, stumbles upon a mysterious wounded man and rushes him to Abigail s (Lori Loughlin) for care, unknowingly putting herself, Abigail and Elizabeth in grave danger at the hands of the infamous Tolliver gang. Hearing of their distress, Jack rides back to Coal Valley to save the women in a desperate race against time.

disclosure
Click to Enlarge

Awaken Love Devotional

Awaken Love couple's review and giveaway US/CAN ends 12/18

About the Book

The Song Couple’s Devotional is a 6-week book for couples that can help awaken love in their marriage. With daily relationship insights and prayer points drawn from the Song of Solomon, this devotional will help couples grow in their relationship with God and one another.
Inspired by the Song of Solomon, The Song is both a full-length movie and resource for churches to explore God’s plan for relationships, love and marriage.

My Thoughts

I can never express enough the importance of a a strong foundation in a marriage.  I’m sure most of you have heard the story about the man who built his house on sand and the man who built his house on rock and such.  Obviously, the house built on solid ground withstood the test of time, God is our rock and always will be should we so choose.  That’s not at all saying that there aren’t tough times, there definitely are, but knowing that when the house of our marriage is broken to pieces our foundation will still be waiting for us to build on again is a comfort I cherish.
Awaken Love is great to help build on that foundation!  Or, if you don’t have one, it would be a good place to start!  Growing in Christ as a couple is an amazing thing, one that cannot be replaced by anything else!  The devotional is drawn from The Song of Solomon and I have to say that I love that Solomon is quite obviously a flawed individual, just like my husband and myself.  Knowing that the many people in the Bible are flawed truly helps us to remember that we will never be perfect yet God can and will still show us favor.
While your marriage may not be facing the same challenges as those of Solomon, there is much to be learned.  Kyle and Desirae Idleman do a great job of helping us to grow through love in Him.  Standing on Christ the Solid Rock as our foundation, doing this devotional together as husband and wife will no doubt bring you closer to each other and closer to Him

About the Author

Kyle Idleman is the Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fourth-largest church in America. Author of the award-winning and bestselling book, not a fan., and presenter of eight of City on a Hill’s curriculum series, he regularly speaks at conferences and events around the world. Kyle and his wife DesiRae have four children.

disclosure
Click to Enlarge

Small Talk

Small Talk“Out of the Mouths of Babes” is a phrase that goes back to Biblical times where it can be found in Matthew 21:16

“and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

As it implies, the pure honesty that sometimes comes out of the minds of children too small to truly know what they are saying can truly be just the thought we need to hear.  I truly believe that it is that wisdom that comes from their ability to hear God speak in a way that we learn to ignore, doubt and even block out as we grow up.  In ‘Small Talk’ Amy Julia Becker shares with us some of the lessons she has learned from the innocent and loving words that sometimes pour out of the hearts and minds of her children.  I truly enjoyed reading her book and I hope and pray that it touches you as well.  There were moments when those words her children spoke to her touched me as well and I am grateful that God put it on her heart to share with us.

About the Book

Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the Author

Amy Julia BeckerAmy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.
disclosure
Click for Larger View