Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday's Fave Five #82

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1.  I had a wonderful time at our LJ Fellowship gathering ("game night") on Friday. This is our weekly outreach to the international students who attend a local university. We usually have dinner together, have worship time, then do Bible studies. Once a month, we have a movie night or a game night. This past Friday, before the group games and after the worship time, a guest speaker talked about Ignite the World Ministries (their mission is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unreached people of the world) and gave a Gospel message.

2.  I made cheddar red potato soup with shrimp and it was a big hit :). 

3. The Voice of the Martyrs is offering a free Iran Alive DVD (to U.S. residents) during the month of April. Please share these powerful testimonies (from the DVD) with your Sunday school class, your pastor, or others who have a heart to reach the Muslim world for Christ. 

4. Free Kindle Edition on Amazon: The #1 Success Habit (You Can't Do Without) by Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand. I have not read it yet but it's got great reviews.

5. I'm having three terrific DVD giveaways on this blog:
-
You can read my review and enter to win a copy of This Is Our Time (an inspiring DVD about God's calling) here. Ends 4/30

- You can read my review and enter to win a copy of Break Away (a faith-based DVD about hope and faith through tough time) here. If you're a cycling enthusiast, you'd enjoy this film :). Ends 5/10
- You can read my review and enter to win a copy of Mother India (an eye-opening documentary about the plight of the orphans in India) here. Ends 5/10
 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Landmarks by Bill Delvaux

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Books (March 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to PUBLICIST'S NAME of PUBLICIST'S COMPANY for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Delvaux taught Men of the Bible classes for two decades at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds degrees from Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is now a full-time speaker and retreat minister. Landmarks is his first book.

* A fresh new voice in contemplative Christian writing sets out nine spiritual markers -- letting go of idols, overcoming scars, grasping your identity, etc. -- that we must encounter if we are to truly come alive.

* As a respected teacher, Bill Delvaux shows a proven ability to connect with a broad audience ranging from children of well-known musicians (Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman) and pastors to NFL players and coaches.

Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The well-worn rut that most of us live in is safe, comfortable . . . some would call it dead. By contrast, coming alive requires a willingness to journey into the unknown. Following Jesus is just such a path -- one that takes us deep into His death and then lifts us up into His resurrection.

There are some risks involved, and there are no point A to point B maps. But there are landmarks, places we must pass along the way if we are to keep following Christ into real life.

Landmarks describes these breakthrough places of the heart and mind in the general order in which they tend to show up. Long-time teacher and first-time author Bill Delvaux shares his landmark story and takes readers through nine different spiritual markers that must be encountered in order to live the full life that Jesus has planned for us.

Some of the landmarks include letting go of idols, overcoming scars, walking away from sexual sin, grasping your identity, fighting your battle, bonding with Christ, and choosing God first.

So, if you feel stuck out there on the highway of humanity and need some tried and true spiritual direction, look for Landmarks.



Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (March 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433679221
ISBN-13: 978-1433679223

My Review:
Landmarks is a book about different points that we may pass through during our life's journey toward God. The author shares his own story including fear, failure, fame-seeking, self-hatred, jealousy, despair, uncertainty and more. I appreciate his transparency and Biblical insights. He shows readers how he has moved from hopeless struggles to victorious living. God's Word teaches us to die to self and to be alive in Christ. The first four landmarks deal with putting to death our own story, idols, wounds, and sexual insanity. The fifth landmark is a turning point when we truly understand who we are in Christ. The last four landmarks describe areas in which we emerge alive and free in Christ: battle, bond, mate, and quest. Christian living is a journey. Sometimes mountains...sometimes valleys...but it is indeed the most exciting, adventurous, and rewarding journey! Walk with Jesus and walk in His ways! Keep walking and keep holding His hand :)!

"Idolatry is a rejection of the living God who wants to father us, cherish us, and delight in us. But we run away and wound Him in the process." (p.35)

"Our truest fame is the fame we have before Him. So when we take up our quest, it may lead to renown or obscurity, but it doesn't really matter anymore. Our longing for quest has connected to the story God is weaving. That's all that matters." (p.183)

"We too have a unique role in the story of God's expanding kingdom. It will involve something we love to do and will draw on our individual gifts and strengths. But more than anything else, it will be what we were created to do, our own special line in the play He is writing. We must find that role, whatever it takes, however long it takes and then do it." (p.185)


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


INTRODUCTION



“Midway along the journey of our life, I woke to find myself in a dark wood For I had wandered off from the straight path.”

—Dante



“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.”

—Psalm 130:1



It was a just another typical afternoon on a typical summer day. But not for me. Everything in my life was about to change.



It was my turn to feed our infant daughter. She had been born with some physical issues that made each feeding an hour-long affair, so I had lots of time for thinking and praying. And I needed it. Shortly before her birth, I had resigned as the pastor of a church I had planted a few years earlier, and I was unsure of the next step. But this was no momentary bump in my ministry career. This was a cataclysmic quake. I was falling apart.



Like most young ministers, I had dreamed of a successful church, both in terms of numbers and impact. I was convinced that God had called me to it, but now the dream was crushed. And with the crushing appeared a larger foe, one that I had kept at bay for years, depression. It was beginning to swallow me whole. I became morose, aloof, and angry. My marriage was struggling as well, for my depression put Heidi on edge, and she felt she had to prop me up all the time. I was also furious with God. I had given my life to do his work, and my reward for such obedience appeared to be failure and now despair.



At the time of my resignation, I had graciously been given six months of severance pay. It was supposed to allow me some time to heal and get redirected. But I was now three months in, and there was no healing, nor was there any redirection.



Instead that afternoon I reached a level of darkness that began to unravel me. As I continued to feed my daughter, I thought briefly about suicide. But I brushed that thought away. I understood only too well the devastation brought on for those who are close to a suicide victim. I could never inflict that kind of sadness on Heidi or my children. So I continued to unravel in the depths of the darkness, and out of that abyss I cried, “God, I don’t care what it takes. I want out of this!”



It was the moment that would change everything. My journey out of the abyss began.



For the next seventeen years, I wandered frequently and wondered at times exactly where I was heading. Sometimes I ended up circling back and revisiting places I thought I had moved past. At other times, with no clear bearings to orient myself, I just felt lost. But at many unexpected points along the way, God appeared and gently guided me forward.



During those years, I took a job as a teacher and coach at a Christian high school where I had to find a way to connect the Bible to the hearts of students. In the process, I found my own heart connecting to Scripture in new ways. I was slowly climbing out of the abyss.





One day as I was talking with my good friend Daniel, the high school counselor, I began to describe some of the places I had traveled in my journey. He asked me to write them down and send the list to him. I first entitled it “Mile Markers,” like the ones posted along the interstate. Heidi objected to the name because she thought it made the journey sound too safe and predictable. She was right. This was no leisurely drive; this was a trek through the wilderness.



About the same time I was reading Undaunted Courage, the harrowing account of the Lewis and Clark expedition. These two men and their crew oared upstream for months to find the source of the Missouri River, hoping to discover a waterway across America to the Pacific. All along the way, they kept mentioning certain landmarks they had to reach, even if the exact path wasn’t known. Then it clicked. That’s exactly what I had felt in my journey, an awareness of certain landmarks I had to reach even if I didn’t know how I was going to get there. And so the “Landmarks” idea was born.



What exactly are the landmarks? Everyone knows at some level that life is a journey. It is a deep-seated feeling born out of the experience of change and growth. We are not what we were ten years ago, nor will we be the same ten years from now. But therein lies the problem. What kind of journey is this? Where am I going? How do I even know if this is the right direction? What if I’m lost? Not only do we have a sense that life is a journey, we also sense that we’re missing the map and some basic orienteering skills.



Here is where the landmarks come in to play. Think of them as points that chart out a journey we all need to take if we want to live well. It’s like looking at a topographical map, one that has the mountains and streams and forests marked on it, but little else. We have enough to get started on the hike, but there are still many unknowns ahead. Or imagine driving a car across America on some of the old highways with only a roadmap and no available Internet. We may know the general direction forward, but there are still many questions. What will we encounter on the road? Where will we stay each night? That’s the feel for the landmarks.



The Bible also speaks of life as a journey. Jesus himself laid out the general direction of the path ahead: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). We are immediately struck by the thought that something needs to die in order to take this journey. Interestingly, the apostle Paul marked out the same trail: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). It seems that the key to finding the life we long for is submitting to the death we fear. For what we most desire is hidden underneath our deepest terror. This is the course set by the nine landmarks in this book. The first four chart a downward descent into what feels like death. It’s a crucifixion, agonizing at times. The fifth landmark is a pivot in the journey, turning us in the opposite direction. The final four describe the resurrection we can now enter into, an ascent into real life. We are finally becoming what we were meant to be.



As I have spoken about these landmarks to many, I have had to be painfully honest. After all, they trace out my own journey. They represent my climb out of the abyss. But the feedback has surprised me. So many have spoken of a deep connection to what I have experienced.



A wise counselor once told me, “What is most personal is most universal.” And so what is written here is offered in the hope that this journey can be yours also.

Monday, April 22, 2013

DVD Review and Giveaway: Break Away


Break Away DVD
Releases April 23, 2013


This inspirational film comes from the makers of Faith Like Potatoes and Journey to Grace.

BREAK AWAY synopsis:
Francois is a hard-working husband and dad that gets laid off from his job. None of his efforts to get another job succeed, and he is forced to use what he has, including an old bicycle, in order to provide for his family. With the help of his "black sheep" brother, a bicycle shop owner and a pro-cyclist, Francois makes some life-changing discoveries about his life, career and faith in God.

Although a fictional story, BREAK AWAY, was inspired by true events around the recession that left people without work. The message brings hope and offers practical and Biblical solutions in a very entertaining way.

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Dove Review

My Review:
The setting is South Africa. The movie is based on actual events and experiences of the film crew and their friends. The main character, Francois Fouche loses his job (marketing manager) because his company goes bankrupt. He's afraid to tell his family; he keeps his wife and two children in the dark for 4 months. He's desperate to make ends meet so he seizes an unexpected opportunity to become a delivery man using his bicycle. His motto is "If I can't deliver it on time, it's free." His work ethic (he's known to be fast, reliable, & friendly) and passion inspire people. However, he himself gets really stressed, discouraged, and depressed at times (he's unable to make payments on his home loan, his job proposals are rejected again and again, etc.). His brother and his new friend, Eli, who is the owner of a bike shop, encourage and equip him as he (a former rugby player) tries to train for a cycling competition. He's determined to win the race because he wants to inspire others not to lose hope but to stand up again. He believes that with God, anything is possible.

The movie moves at a slow pace and it's 155 minutes long. It's a low budget film and the film crew consisted of only 7 members and 15 students and volunteers so please don't expect a Hollywood quality :). There's some humor here and there which helps relieve the tension. I enjoyed all the beautiful scenery and the music used in this film. I think cycling enthusiasts would enjoy this DVD. The main theme is about hope and faith. The message is: Never give up your dreams/never give up on life and use what you've got & place it in Jesus' hands & watch Him multiply (remember what He did with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish). The special features on the DVD include behind the scenes, cycling talk, music, the ministry of Jacob's Well, and bloopers. If you're going through a tough time such as unemployment and/or financial difficulties, please don't lose heart. Check out this faith-based film and be encouraged to keep pressing on and trusting God for His plan and purpose!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the trailer.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD.
Deadline
: 5/10 at midnight (Pacific time)

To Enter:
Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share what you are passionate about or which Bible verse(s) encourages you or gives you hope when you're discouraged.

For Extra Entries
(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs

- "Like" Word Films on Facebook
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook

- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~ I received a free copy of this DVD via Blogger Gateway in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

FIRST Wild Card Tour: What's Your Mark? by Jeremy Cowart

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart has traveled the globe photographing some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industries. With boundless energy, indomitable faith and a mind ever-flowing with creative ideas, Cowart appears utterly tireless and rarely stops. There is always something unique and interesting going on in his world, whether it's starring in an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, raising money to fight poverty through his Twitter feed, teaching photography online or taking the cover shot for Tim Tebow's best-selling autobiography.
Born in Nashville, Cowart continues to make Music City his home. Here in the comfort of familiar surroundings he draws continual inspiration from his wife, Shannon, and their two beautiful children, Aidler and Eisley, ages five and seven. Though he clearly considers his craft a labor of joy, when not holding a camera he has time for his favorite pastime which is doing anything that involves his children, and much to his delight, joy around the Cowart home is about to increase as the family is in the process of adopting two children from Haiti.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What do an actor, a TV producer, a businessman, and a leader in social justice causes have in common? They're all making their mark on the world because their lives have been eternally marked by Jesus. You'll be captivated, challenged, and changed as you read their stories in this full-color, fully illustrated softcover book created by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart. With text from the Gospel of Mark, you are invited to ask---and answer---the question "What mark am I making?"


Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the trailer.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310411092
ISBN-13: 978-0310411093

MY REVIEW:
What mark are you making in this world? God wants His children to make a difference in the world...to be light and salt...to make an eternal impact. We (all Christ's followers) are called to go and make disciples (the Great Commission) and to be Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), sent out to represent Him in this world and commissioned to witness to the lost. Jeremy Cowart, an award-winning artist and photographer, captures 21 inspiring stories of "mark-makers"--some well-known celebrities and other not so well-known ones. What's Your Mark? Every Moment Counts shows how different people have used their time, talents, and treasures to serve God and to live out God's truths found in the Gospel of Mark (which is also included in this book). You don't need to be rich or famous; you just need to be willing, available, and faithful and open up your eyes to the needs of people around you/around the world. You will be challenged by these examples of fellow believers who stepped out in faith to follow Jesus's footsteps and help others in need while encouraging others to do the same. From drawing, photo-taking, TV show producing, singing, social networking, educating, to running, writing, blogging, foster-mothering, jewelry-making, and cupcake-bringing! As you can see, ways in which we can make an impact are various and limitless. I enjoyed this book; I just wish the interviews were longer (more details). This beautiful book would make a great gift for birthdays or graduation! May you be inspired by this book to live your life in such a way that God's name will be glorified, His kingdom will be expanded, and His will will be done! Live to love, serve, and give! Make every moment count! Check out http://www.shareyourmark.com/ .

"It is honesty and transparency that people relate to-whether you are talking about pain or joy. Jesus wanted the low, the prostitutes and tax collectors and the sinners, to feel comfortable around him, but he was always honest. I want to be like that--I want to be a hospital, not an exclusive hotel." ~Lecrae


"Jesus rescues us so that we can be a part of the larger work of rescue in the world...If you want to make a mark, go where people are having the hardest time believing God is good." ~Gary Haugen


AND NOW...A SNEAK PEEK. CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW THEM LARGER:







Sunday, April 21, 2013

DVD Review and Giveaway: Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan

                                    Releases April 23, 2013
The Documentary Narrated by Rebecca St. James Captures the Lives of 25 Abandoned and Orphaned Children Living on the Streets in India

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Rebecca St. James
MOTHER INDIA synopsis:
Winner of “Best Short Documentary” at the 2012 San Diego Christian Film Festival, Mother India is a compelling documentary that chronicles the adventure of 25 courageous orphans living as a family along the railway in Tenali, India. Mother India brings to light the struggles faced daily by over 31 million orphans in India and the challenge of rescuing them from a life of begging and addiction.
 
Mother India, is the work of first-time filmmakers David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha.  “India is growing in both population and industry, but few people know that there are over 31 million orphans in this nation,” commented Trotter (Executive Producer, Director). “Each of these young lives is much more than a statistic. Every one of them has a name, a face and a story.” Scheinoha (Executive Producer) added, “We’re not out to just tell a tragic story. We’re focused on raising awareness and changing lives.”

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Mother India Website

My Review:
I knew about poverty and the caste system in India but I had no idea that there are over 31 million orphans in India. My family and I were very touched by this eye-opening and inspiring documentary. I was in tears. Mother India was filmed in Southern India during a two-week period in early 2012 when David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha made friends with 25 orphans who live together (like a family) near a railroad track because they wanted to capture the plight of the orphans through the eyes of the orphans themselves. They interviewed the kids and followed them around with a video camera. It's a very sad reality that these young people are left to fend for themselves, feeling unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.

The train station is their "home" and they barely survive by getting on trains to beg passengers for money (1-2 rupees). At night, they sleep on the hard ground, covering themselves with blankets to protect themselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes. Several of them are limbless (resulting from jumping the trains). Most of them are addicted to cigarettes, tobacco, or whiteners. Some even use injections and have no clue what they've been injecting into their bloodstream. They only care about numbing their pain. They have been discarded, abandoned, abused (by their own families), beaten even by the police. When two young siblings (ages 3 and 7) joined the group, David and Shawn asked Harvest India (an orphanage and school) to help these young ones out. It's their hope that viewers will watch this film, realize the desperate need, and then take action to change lives. I highly recommend this powerful DVD and I invite you to check out Mother India's website and Harvest India!

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of the page before starting the trailer.

Bonus: Pre-order the DVD on Amazon.com and Get Two Books for Free! Check out details here.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD.
Deadline: 5/10 at midnight (Pacific time)

To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share why you would like to win this DVD.

For Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):

- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" Mother India on Facebook
 

- "Like" Word Films on Facebook
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter


~ I received a free copy of this DVD via Blogger Gateway in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

DVD Review and Giveaway: This Is Our Time


This Is Our Time presented by Pure Flix
Releases on DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, April 16th! Available nationwide at Family Christian Stores and most Christian retail stores nationwide.
MY REVIEW:
This Is Our Time is an inspiring movie about the lives of five friends who just graduated from college together. They all have faith in God and a desire to be used by God to make a difference in the world. Same desire but  different paths! Luke and Ale get married and move to India to serve as missionaries for Embrace A Village, a ministry that cares for people who have leprosy and their families. Catherine joins an investment firm, hoping to make an impact in the corporate world. Ryder gets a job in social media and hopes to use the influence of media for greater things. Ethan, disappointed at not being accepted to a graduate school, works for his father in a coffee shop. He struggles to see what God's purpose for his life is. Then, an unexpected tragedy rocks their world, shakes their faith, and tests their friendship.

My family and I enjoyed watching this film. Sad but realistic. This film covers death, grief, conflict, struggle, love, acceptance, doubts, faith, and hope in Christ. I think we all at one time or another wonder what God's calling for our lives is. Our time or God's time? This movie reminds us that God calls all of us to first and foremost be obedient and to trust Him. "Even when we cannot trace God's hands, we can always trust God's heart." Who and Where are more important than what, why, how and when. Keep trusting in Who God is even when we don't understand what God is doing or why He allows certain things to happen or how/when He answers our prayers. God is with us and for us ("Where")! It's all that matters! I highly recommend this movie, especially to graduates/young adults! Great acting performances and great messages like selfless service, unconditional love, and mission-minded focus! Cheers and thumbs up for this meaningful movie with a purpose (please check out Embrace A Village's website)!

The experiences the characters in THIS IS OUR TIME face are the kinds of real-life ups and downs, successes and devastation, all of us encounter in living life. I wanted to tell a story that would resonate with young people just stepping out into the world to make their mark that would help them see that no matter the circumstances they face, God is always with them, loving them, guiding them.” ~Lisa Arnold, the film’s writer, director and co-producer.

Note: This Is Our Time has received The Dove Foundation’s Family Seal of Approval (earning the highest rating of five Doves) and is recommended for all ages. It also features appearances by Hollywood veterans Eric Roberts, Erik Estrada and Dawn Wells. Coinciding with the movie’s DVD release, Pure Flix is teaming with Family Christian Stores and other Christian retailers to award eight $2,500 college scholarships through registrations submitted through FamilyChristian.com and other websites representing more than 2,000 retail outlets nationwide. Participation eligibility and rules can be found at www.thisisourtimemovie.com.

About Pure Flix 
Pure Flix- Pure Flix is a Christian movie studio that produces, distributes, and acquires Christ-centered movies for the sole purpose of changing our culture for Christ, one heart at a time. Our mission since day one has remained the same and we continue to strive to make a difference for His name. Learn more at www.pureflix.com

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the trailer.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD.
Deadline
: 4/30 at midnight (Pacific time)

To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share what you believe God's purpose or calling for your life is. For Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs

- "Like" This Is Our Time's FB page
- "Like" Embrace A Village's FB Page
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod  
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook  
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~I received a free copy of this DVD via Propeller in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday's Fave Five #81

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. Last weekend, my husband and I had an absolutely sweet & memorable time at Salishan Spa & Golf Resort! So thankful for God's unexpected blessings! For some (unknown) reason, all their premier rooms were all booked (even though we made a reservation in advance a few months ago) so they upgraded us to one of their suites, the most romantic suite Salishan has to offer (with an in-room Jacuzzi and more) :). We had so much fun! This was our first time ever being alone as a couple away overnight since we have had children. Feeling like newly weds ♥!

2. I really enjoyed listening to this awesome speech by Eric Ludy

3. Yesterday, I won a Starbucks gift card from an author's Facebook party. 


4. I'm proud of my 11 yo son who is raising funds for Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC). Please consider giving to PRC by donating through Isaiah's Steps for Life page. Any amount would greatly be appreciated! Please help save lives! Let's be a voice for the voiceless and defend the defenseless! Thanks!

5. I'm having 2 great giveaways on my other blog:
Win a copy of What I Wish I Knew at 18 (I highly recommend this book to all parents, teens, and young adults) by Dennis Trittin. Ends 4/14, and Win a copy of Janet's Planet--Exploring Microgravity DVD. Ends 4/15.  


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Welcome to my main blog, "Living for God"! My name is Urailak. I have been blogging since 2006. I love God and I desire to do everything (including blogging) for His glory and for His kingdom. Here I sometimes post about my deep thoughts and not-so-deep thoughts :), my living-for-God experiences, my poems, and occasionally, I post reviews of God-honoring books, CDs, or DVDs. I also have 2 other blogs: Fruitbearers (I'm currently hosting 2 giveaways there) and My Father's World (my photo blog).

Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like to know me/my blog a little better, please pick a post from My Favorite Posts (on my sidebar) to read. Enjoy the 2013 Ultimate Blog Party! Hope you'll come back and visit again!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review: The Gospel Centered Woman by Wendy Alsup




About The Gospel-Center Woman
Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel
Many Christian books written to women claim to present God's good instructions for their lives. Some expound on the value of marriage and children. Many extol the virtues of the Proverbs 31 wife. A good number teach the value of love, submission, and respect in Christian marriages. Though this book deals with these topics, The Gospel-Centered Woman addresses women from an entirely different perspective. The most important part of the Bible's instructions to women center around the gospel. Jesus' life, death, and resurrection brought about a seismic shift in our understanding of Scripture. After His resurrection, His disciples understood words written thousands of years before with a clarity they never had previously. The good news of Christ illuminates all other Scripture, including instructions to women. 
   

Meet Wendy:  
  
Wendy Alsup is a wife, mom, and math teacher. She is the author of "Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives" and "By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity". 
Find out more about Wendy at 

MY REVIEW:
When you truly understand and embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you will see Biblical womanhood in a new light. That's what this book is about. The author invites women to look to Jesus as their role model to imitate. Women have need for provision and need for affirmation or approval (among others). All these needs are met in Christ! The author wants to help women redirect their desires and longings they've placed on men or things towards God, instead. God created women to be helpers in the image of God but the fall made women become more like nagging manipulators, trying to take matters into their own hands. It ain't pretty :)! Thankfully, gospel grace comes to the rescue and makes all the difference! Christ's life, death, and resurrection changed everything. Read the book to find out how :)!

This book is divided into 3 sections: Created in God's Image, Redeemed to Reflect God Once More, and Wisdom in the Tension. There are 11 chapters altogether. It covers different topics such as godliness, contentment, forgiveness, justification, and wisdom vs. law. The author expounds on Psalm 73 and Proverbs 31 in the context of the gospel. She encourages readers to wait upon the Lord and endure to the end. Each chapter ends with a page for readers to write down their reflections. At the end of the book, you will find discussion questions for each chapter. It's a gospel-centered, grace-filled book for all God's daughters who want to know how to live their lives through the lens of the gospel and in the light of eternity.

"There is nothing on earth that can replace what only God can provide to sustain our hearts." (p.23)

"The gospel equips you to do battle with sin and suffering with the very same power that raised Christ from the dead. You have a lavish spiritual bank account, and this is an integral piece of the good news of all Christ has accomplished for you." (p.46)

"The grace and mercy God gives us at His throne of grace equips us to evaluate the wicked with compassion rather than envy, burdened for them rather than frustrated by them." ([p.55)

"The gospel makes confession safe so it can be our normal response to sin and conflict." (p.63)

"What God did externally through His Law in the Old Covenant, He now does internally through the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant." (p.94)



~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. You can check out other reviews of this book here.

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