Know the Word – KJV Study Bible

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Let me start by saying that I do not typically use the KJV in my daily life. However, I absolutely love having this on hand for all of my historical writing. IMG_5327And, let’s just get one thing straight – any version that says Charity is the greatest…I’m on board!

So, what do I love about this particular Bible? Well, I’m always a fan of study notes at the bottom of each page. It also includes a concordance and some beautiful, fully-color maps. You’ll find lots of great extras in between the texts too.

The one that I have is a hardcover, but it also comes in multiple cover types – or even the ebook version.

Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself or a loved one this holiday season! It’s a great gift with lots of extras. Link is in the pic above.

Thanks so much for this awesome book in exchange for my review! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Here’s Some Happy

by Gina Graham

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There are so many coloring books on the market now that it’s hard to know which ones are worth picking up. I know! I get it! However, I have stumbled upon a more unique one to the bunch.

If you check out Gina Graham’s book here, you will notice it isn’t just a coloring book, but also a journal. There are so many cute pictures, plenty of places to write your thoughts, and gorgeous places to color and meditate on your favorite verses. In fact, if you click on the link above, you will be able to look inside the book to get a better idea of what’s in it.

I definitely recommend this one as it has a little more to offer than the standard coloring books. I absolutely love the illustrations and I think you will too! Thanks so much, Hachette, for this lovely book in exchange for my thoughts. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

NKJV The Woman’s Study Bible

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Have you been thinking it’s time for a new Bible? Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift? Well, look no further! Click the link above 🙂

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This great new release by Thomas Nelson is full color and bold print! What’s that mean? It means that there is plenty of room in it for all you Bible journaling fans, note takers and whatever other ideas you have to make your Bible your own personalized love letter.

Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
FullSizeRender-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index
-Concordance
image2 I started a new One Year Bible reading plan and wanted to start fresh with a new Bible to highlight in different colors for specific things I was looking for. This is the perfect choice!

I love all of the great features that shed new light on things I’ve read so many times before. I’m a very visual person, so it’s fabulous to have these family tree pictures and sections dedicated to people that are quickly mentioned in Scripture. It brings it so much more alive for me!

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I definitely recommend this and hope you will pick up a copy. image3They are really bargain-priced and you are getting so much with it!

Also, check out this fabulous giveaway below!!! I want to thank Thomas Nelson and Litfuse for this fabulous Bible in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


You’re invited to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart’s spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

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Getting Started!

Image-1Alright!!! The time is here! Tomorow we embark on a YEAR LONG journey through the Bible.

I am SO EXCITED! I actually have a new Bible that I am going to use so I can start highlighting all the new things I find.

I’ve decided that I am going to use three colors:

Pink: To highlight any passages that describe God and His character in ANY way

Purple: To highlight any passages that say ways we can please or worship God (including phrases like, “I fall on my knees and pray”.

Yellow: To highlight any passages that are confusing or that I find to be at all difficult to process.

I would love to hear your thoughts about other things I can be looking out for! I would also love to have you join me so we can be reading the same passages and having really awesome discussion/accountability.

I will be starting tomorrow, April 1st. (nope! No joke!) Please join me and comment here any thoughts you have. ❤

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PS: I know that this is not TECHNICALLY what Matthew 18:20 is referring to, but it still works~

Ahhh…What does this mean? Are you with me?

I don’t know about you, but I seem to always think that life is going to slow down as soon as I get through this thing I am dealing with right now.69520623f35487f2bed71f2c4d4f5a6d Strangely enough, that never happens and my pea brain keeps thinking it will.

I mean, YEAH, it hasn’t slowed down yet…but it’s got to eventually, right?

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I am pretty sure that God lets us think that so we aren’t too overwhelmed. That’s totally His mercy. But the truth is, His thoughts are so far above our thoughts that there’s no comparison. He knows what’s coming and knows we couldn’t handle it if we knew all of what was to come. So, He gives us these little chunks we can handle (with His help) at a time.

You know, I was talking to someone the other day and she was commenting on how hard it must be to be a counselor. I mean, they have to know how to handle their clients’ problems AND their own. She was saying how difficult it was because just handing your own is overwhelming. I suggested to her that maybe that was the problem. We aren’t meant to handle them. Why would we want our own opinion on how to help ourselves when we have access to the One who’s thoughts are so far above our own?

c771a9bccf11c9ab09d603fdf00ecea7I know that almost every time I try to sort a problem (big or small) on my own, I would naturally do the opposite of what God would suggest. And the truth is, He created us, so He would know what makes us the happiest.

a4ea5912d48c3634db2a1fb313a986a6When you find yourself unsure about ANYTHING (Yes, even if you should buy the red or the blue shirt), ask God.

He WANTS to give us wisdom. He is NOT a God of confusion. If you are confused, perhaps that’s a sign that you aren’t seeking God’s wisdom?

All this to say, we need to be in the Word. We need to be learning more about Him and helping each other out! The more we know Him, the better we can hear His voice. I don’t know how many times I have been saved from a big jam because I asked Him for wisdom at the last minute!

I am just now finishing my “reading through the Bible chronologically in one year” plan and am about to start something new. I want to do it again, but a bit differently.

I am hoping that some of you would like to read through the Bible with me (and adding in a few things). I am not going to read it chronologically this time. I am using a different plan. I also intend to do some very verse specific highlighting. Lastly, and most importantly, I would love if some of you would like to go on this year-long journey with me starting April 1st. (nope, not a joke) It would be fabulous to be working together and falling more and more in love with God ❤

I will be posting more about it over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys about taking this journey!

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The Polygamist’s Daughter

by Anna LeBaron/with Leslie Wilson

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(link in pic)

Ervil LeBaron was one of the most famous Mormon fundamentalist leaders. He was a self-proclaimed prophet that thought he was a god. He was imprisoned for the blood atonement killings that were done in the name of god.

Anna was his daughter.

This is one of those books that will be heavy on your heart for days to come. The darkness just sits in your mind and you find yourself thinking on it. Her story is brutal, but written with such forgiveness, kindness and love. A love that only the One, True God could put in her heart.

Please pick up this book. It is eye opening and incredible. It’s not written in anger or spite. It’s written by a girl that has come through the darkness into the light of the One, True God. It’s difficult, yes. It’s also powerful. I highly recommend!

Thank you for this book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!

Psalm 55

Psalm 55 is so full of beautiful truths and imagery. As I was reading it this morning, I was overwhelmed by God’s love for me. I am constantly amazed at God’s attention to us. It rather blows my mind, if we are being honest.

The thing I really love about the Psalms is David’s brutal honesty. It’s just this intertwining relationship between him and His Creator. It’s a tangled mess. The only constant is God as David struggles through this thing called “life”.

image-1 It doesn’t get much more sincere than this. Not only is he on his knees and crying out to God, but he is admitting his distractions and that he is, in fact, complaining. He’s restless in his anxiety.

I totally know that feeling. I get it.

The best part? David is considered a “Man after God’s own heart” according to God Himself! (Acts 13:22) His genuine prayers and responses were beautiful.

image-1-2 He states it perfectly. It’s our everyday prayer – to be at rest. To fly away from the difficulties that life presents us with Every. Single. Day.

So, God gives him an answer and he shares it here with us:

image-1-4 He doesn’t say anything about taking away David’s suffering. He simply says that He will sustain those who give the burden to Him. He says that, once we do that, we will not be shaken. He doesn’t say, “Good job! You trusted me. No more trouble.”

Here’s the most beautiful part:

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It doesn’t get much better than that. David is admitting he has been complaining and whining. He admits he is weary, distracted and restless. Think about the last person you had in your life that was all of these things. “Delight” is not the word I’m going with. Not only that, but we are talking about the God of the UNIVERSE! What in the world??? And it’s simply this one thing that He requires of us. image-1-5Just trust in Him. Even if we are whining and complaining. He still delights in us. Still desires our relationship.

WOW.

Very humbling.

He desires us. He sustains us. He delights in us. And, He fights for us.

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What an amazing God we serve. I am so humbled right now. I hope that you know that you can talk to God this way. He wants to hear your honest feelings. He already knows them anyway. It’s not like you are hiding anything. If you are angry with Him, just tell Him! If you are sad, curl up in His arms. Let His light shine upon your face. This is the God that created all good things. He is desiring you and your relationship.

This sums it up beautifully:

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The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith

by Champ Thornton

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Usborne style books. Personally, as a homeschool mom, I am 100% sold. These are my favorite! They have a perfect mixture of pictures, learning, and interest for a child (or adult) of any age.

The Radical Book for Kids is written in the same style and it’s so much fun!!

image4I love how there are so many different things to read about and learn! This is something I will be giving my 9 year old for Christmas. It’s a book that will hold his attention for hours and be teaching him the most important things of all. He will be able to us it as a reference for years to come.

Thanks so much for such a great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Face-Off with Mesu Andrews!!

WelcomeSlideWow! I am so honored to have Mesu Andrews here on my blog today. First of all, I love her because she has a FABULOUS name. *Andrews Unite!!*

I remember a few years back when I was in Barnes and Noble (NOT Nobles) and saw this beautiful book on the shelf. It was just screaming at me to take it home. Of course, I bought it and it was a beautiful telling of Job’s story. (Link is in the pic! *hint hint*)

Another thing I love about Mesu? She has made a ministry of helping others cope with chronic illness. This is something I have struggled with for over 20 years. I have a rare disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos and it has severely changed the way I live. Her outspokenness about her own issues with chronic illness have helped many people. It’s the most beautiful thing when you take something so difficult and turn it into a way to glorify God. BEAUTIFUL!!!! If you would like to connect or learn more, just head on over HERE!

Let’s see what this multi-awards winning author can bring to the table today, shall we?


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The rules are simple. I ask Mesu some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Who is your favorite “hero” from the Bible? (Besides Jesus, obviously!)

Mesu – I love Job because he’s so raw and transparent with God and his friends, but I also love him because he was a great dad. I mean, seriously, this guy offered sacrifices for his kids just in case they sinned. What a tender “daddy’s heart” he had. ​And to pray for his friends after all the grief they put him through…definitely heroic. He doesn’t battle like David or begin the Gentile Church like Paul, but he deals a significant blow to Satan. Kudos to Job!

Charity – I am right there with you, girl. You have NO IDEA how excited I got when I noticed the little verse that says:

God said to Satan, ‘Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.’ ” Job 1:8

Once I saw that, there was no going back. I made the completely insane utterance, “I wish I was God’s friend!” That was before I realized what I was praying for… Needless to say, my life has been a little nuts since that prayer. ha!!!

— Tie! Love his story!!

Charity 1 / Mesu 1

2. Favorite Netflix show to binge watch?

Mesu – I’m a Netflix junkie. Displaying Call the midwife.jpgWe added Amazon Prime just because they have some things Netflix doesn’t. Oh, brother. :-/ My current binge is “Call the Midwife,” but I mostly love the period ​pieces–movies or series. Kings, queens, knights, dukes, etc. We raised our daughters to be movie buffs. We’re that dweebie family that quotes our favorite movie lines to each other. Princess Bride is, of course, among the favs. We have movies for every holiday. We watch Forrest Gump every July 4th, While You Were Sleeping every Christmas. It’s a sickness. What can I say?

Charity – It’s a sickness I can TOTALLY GET ON BOARD WITH! We also have Amazon Prime. You can’t live without that little golden nugget. It makes birthday shopping for out of town family a BREEZE!

It’s so much fun to hang out with the family and talk about TV. I know, I know…they should be outside playing, blah blah blah. 😮

I love Once, Blacklist, Prison Break, Turn and looking forward to watching Poldark soon!!

— Tie again!!!

Charity 2 / Mesu 2

3. Are you crafty (as in, love doing crafts)?

Mesu – I am so UNCRAFTY that the buzzers go off at Michael’s when I walk INTO the store. ​When I was a young mom, I learned to cross-stitch, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with all the cute little things I put so much time into. You can only put so many of those things on a wall, right? When my two daughters graduated from high school, I scrap-booked their school years into three or four albums. Major projects, but I sent those with the girls when they got married. Maybe when I stop writing on deadline I’ll find something crafty to do. Any suggestions?

Charity – haha. I don’t!! I really only started “crafting” when I broke my toe and had to have surgery on it last year. I was in bed FOR-EVER!!!! I made some fun stuff! It’s crazy what you can accomplish when you are sitting around all day…

A few of the things I came up with:

Owl Market Bag                        Wreath               Hat for my super cool brother

 

iPad Case

— I get that one!! woot woot!

Charity 3 / Mesu 2

4. Chocolate or Candy?

Mesu – ​If I have to stick with chocolate or candy,Displaying lindt whit choc balls.jpg I’ll pick Lindt White Chocolate Balls. Yum! But, honestly, I’m a sucker for baked goods. We lived in Amish country (Nappanee, IN) for fourteen years, so I was so spoiled. Cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate…donuts dipped in caramel glaze and cinnamon powdered sugar…pumpkin/cream cheese whoopie pies…need I go on?

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Charity – Um, no you needn’t! YUM!!!!! I can’t compete with that…

— Mesu!!!

Charity 3 / Mesu 3

5. Funny story about when you were dating your husband?

Mesu – I think it was our 5th or 6th date, and he had asked me to go hunting with him on a Saturday morning–rabbit hunting. There were several firsts happening here… I’d never been hunting before​. It was the first time we’d seen each other with less than perfect hygiene–no make-up for me, no shower and shave for him. It was cold, so we were both in coveralls and boots. Did I mention I’d never been hunting before? So, we’re tip-toeing across this field, ever-so-quietly, and he presses his finger against his lips, nodding at a thicket straight ahead. He lifts his gun to aim, and…I scream in his ear, “Run, bunny. Run!” Roy nearly jumps out of his skin. Rabbit scurries away. I started praying he wouldn’t turn the gun on me. 😉 He’s never been hunting again. Says I embarrassed him in front of the furry woodland creatures.

Charity – OH!!! 😮 HAHAHAHA!! That’s amazing! I bet he didn’t even know what to do at that moment!!!!

I embarrassed my husband when we were engaged. It was just us and he was being really sweet and sincere. If you know me, you know that I get giggly and really awkward when I am nervous. So, he is being absolutely adorable and perfect. He tells me, “I’m going to be the best that I can be.” I am looking into his beautiful, brown eyes that I just get lost in. Then, I couldn’t help myself. I said, “in the Army.”

*fail* He still married me…Still wondering why…

— “Run, bunny. Run!!”

Charity 3 / Mesu 4

6.Have you ever gone cliff-diving?

Mesu – I’ve never done cliff-diving.Displaying cliff diving--sort of.jpg My hubby and I saw some cliff divers when we were on a cruise in Mexico, but I wasn’t brave enough to join them. But I am a bit of a daredevil. I love any kind of roller coaster, and I’ve always wanted to skydive, so your question prompted this almost cliff dive along Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast. Nearly gave my hubby a heart attack just taking the picture. (He hates roller coasters, BTW.)

Charity – I love it!! I am the same way. I always wanted to skydive as well. I can guarantee that won’t be happening with my rickety ol’ body! I have never been cliff diving either. My husband has!! He did all kinds of fancy flips off of one.

— Tie.

Charity 3 / Mesu 4

7. If you were going to be someone in Bible times, who would you be?

Mesu – Mary of Bethany–Martha and Lazaraus’s little sister. Most women have three overwhelming needs: 1) to feel loved, 2) to feel secure, and 3) to feel special. ​I think Mary had all three of those things at a time in history when women seldom experienced any of the three. Their family unit–Lazarus and his sisters–seemed quite close though (and perhaps because) they likely lost their parents at an early age. They were likely well-off if they often ​provided food and lodging for Jesus and His disciples.

And how wonderful to have the self-confidence to anoint Jesus’s feet with her nard and dry his feet with her hair​–and then let Jesus be your defender. If that didn’t make her feel special, I don’t know what would! Obviously, her life wasn’t perfect, but she was the kind of woman I’d like to be. She had her priorities straight, and Jesus rewarded her for that.

Charity – Ok, I totally had to google “nard”. Essential oil. Very fancy, Mesu! Don’t think you can win points by being fancy!!! 😉

Oh man. That’s a hard one I asked myself! Hmm. I can’t think of anything more incredible than being the mother of Jesus. I mean, seriously. Having two sons, I know that there is something amazing between a boy and his momma. ❤ ❤

— Tie

Charity 4 / Mesu 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Mesu – My first thought was that I share the lessons God teaches me in His Word, whether it’s through my biblical novels or through my weekly blog.​But, you know, I’m not sure that brings Him the most glory. I learned a hard lesson this spring, when my schedule got too crazy, and I was running on spiritual fumes. Out of His abundant grace, my God still gave me amazing insights to share with people through written words, TV, and radio interviews, but it wasn’t until I started meeting Him again in regular times of silence and solitude that ​my life truly reflected His glory. I can’t reflect Him with my life unless I spend time alone in His presence.

Charity – Wow. You are right. I think we get so caught up in doing stuff for Him that we forget to spend time with Him. Satan loves it. He loves to tell us we aren’t doing enough for God. Makes us spin like tops.

— God wins!!!

Charity 4 / Mesu 5

9. What’s your favorite “on the go” meal to pick up when you are having a down day and don’t feel up to cooking?

Mesu – Hands down…Taco Bell’s Beefy 5-layer Burrito Meal-Deal.Displaying pdp_beefy_5_layer_burrito.jpg I’m a creature of habit. Burrito, Doritos (that I give to my hubby), and a diet coke. Once in awhile, I’ll stop by McDonald’s and get a pineapple/mango smoothie for a snack. Yum! Right now, I’m on a pumpkin scone kick at Starbucks, but that’s only for the fall special. I’m a prepared-food junkie. If you can’t unwrap it, I generally don’t eat it. Even on the rare occasion that I make a meal at home, it usually comes from a box. Please don’t hate me. I raised my children on healthy food, so now I can eat a hot-fudge sundae for supper if I want to. ​

Charity – Psshhhhh. Girl! I feel your pain. When you are hurtin’, fast food is a certain! See how clever I am? haha

No. Judgement. Here.

I love fast-food so much that I couldn’t possibly tell you my favorite. Name a restaurant that is terrible for you and I will have a list of things I love from the menu. ❤

— Tie (TOO SIMILAR!)

Charity 5 / Mesu 6

10. Decorations: Classic, Modern, Country, or _________?

Mesu – I’m not sure there’s a category for my decorations.Displaying living room pix.jpg I decorate with family pictures since our whole family, including my two daughters and​ their families (yes, all six grandkids), live over two thousand miles away. So, in the rooms where we spend most of our time, we’re surrounded by pictures–and the dog, his bed, his toys, etc. My life and my home are sort of messy–not dirty–just a bit disheveled. Life has always been too short to worry much about stuff. It’s all about my people–and now, of course, my four-legged baby, Zeke.

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Charity – Aw! Cute. I love your house! It’s beautiful!!

We live in a teeny-tiny home. God was bringing us through a season of purging. It’s been amazing and life-changing.

 

I am pretty organized…and may, or may not, be in love with Ikea…

FINAL:

Charity 6 / Mesu 7

you__ve_just_lost_the_game__xd_by_ponyowantsham-d3avgotbut it was so close…

Thank you, Mesu!!! So much fun getting to know you! Sounds like we are kindred spirits 🙂

Israel’s Mission

with Ray Vander Laan

In this informative DVD, Ray Vander Laan takes us through the some of the prominent cities discussed in the Bible. It is filmed on location as he shows the land, explains the culture, and describes how these tie together with the specific Bible story. This specific study focuses on our call to the lost and hurting people.

Each episode is a little over 30 minutes and is meant to be used with the “Discovery Guide”. It is not necessary, but helpful if you would like to dig deeper into the study. Ray has a solid grasp on the Bible and the environment, culture and history. It is very informative and enjoyable to watch. It can be used as a group study, or for individual use.

Thank you, Litfuse, for this great set! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!