Giveaway: The One Year Devotions for Kids

One Year Devotion for Kids, TheAfter an extremely mild start to our winter, New England finally realized it’s winter and sent us “blizzard 2016.” I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a quite day sprawled in front of our fire reading. Are any of you snowbound and reading good books? I just finished Rise by Rachel Starr Thomson. Now I’m ready for a nap (or maybe I’ll watch one of the movies I got for Christmas). But first, I want to share with you the winner of last week’s giveaway and announce which devotional I’m giving away this week!

Last week I was giving away A Closer Look at the Evidence, by Richard & Tina Kleiss. The winner of that giveaway is…

Spencer R.

Congratulations, Spencer! I’m sure that you (and maybe Hanna too!) will enjoy this one. I’ll email you to get your mailing address.

This week I’m giving away* a collection of childhood favorites. When I was young, my family used Keys for Kids for our family devotions. The One Year Devotions for Kids is 365 of the devotional stories and “key lessons” that I grew up on. Just click on the image below to enter for your chance to win this devotional.**

One Year Devotions [Giveaway]

*Giveaway can only be shipped in the continental United States.
**Used Copy

Book Giveaway: A Closer Look at the Evidence

3946652

Me and Gram Rose on New Years Eve (Dec 2007)

I’m posting a day early this week because tomorrow my family will be at services for my Great-Grandmother who passed away Monday evening. She was born two months after the Titanic sank and had a full 103 years of life. She also knew the Lord, so we can celebrate her home going. ūüôā Please pray for my family’s¬†testimony tomorrow! And also pray that I can sing as planned–I’m fighting a sore throat today.

—–

So, who wants to know who won¬†the¬†Daily Light from the Bible¬†giveaway? I know I was eager to find out! Our winner is…

Becky Aino

The winner was chosen by Random.org, and Becky definitely earned her win! She tweeted about the giveaway every day. I’ll be emailing you to get your address, Becky.

Closer Look at the Evidence, AThis week’s devotional giveaway is a really neat one for those who enjoy creation science. I discovered A Closer Look at the Evidence¬†on Mike Snavely’s book table when he came to speak for our state homeschool organization several months ago.

This book has a “devotional nugget” for every day of the year. According to the back cover, “A Closer Look¬†draws from over 70 expert sources to show how 26 different areas of knowledge confirm that God’s Word can be trusted as a basis for truth, guidance, and hope.”

Anyone who enjoys ministries like Institute of Creation Research, The Creation Museum, and Mission Imperative will  find this devotional intriguing!

January 14: Evidence From History

Jesus Christ is not a mythological character. Evidences of His existence can be verified by many sources.

First,¬†there is the testimony of the¬†New Testament documents. All 27 New Testament books were completed within 60 years of Christ’s resurrection. Ten of these books were written by Christ’s personal friends. At least thirteen were written by Paul, an eyewitness of Christ’s life.

Second,¬†The Jewish Babylonian Talmud and the¬†writings of the famous Jewish historian Josephus bear witness to the historical presence of Christ. Their testimony to Christ’s existence is all the more valuable, because the Jews not only rejected Christ, but were extremely hostile toward Him. Many of these writings contain lies and distortions, but the very fact He merits attention supports His historical existence.

Third, ancient nonreligious historical writings also bear record of Christ. For example, Pliny, the governor of Bithynia (around 112 A.D.); the Roman historian Tacitus (115 A.D.); and the popular Roman writer Seutonius (about 120 A.D.) all acknowledge the existence of Christ.

A Study Course In Christian Evidences, p. 140-141

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem… Matthew 2:1

Now it’s your turn! Use the image link below to enter for your chance to win* this devotional!¬†Closer Look at the Evidence Giveaway


What’s your favorite Christian Evidences ministry? Do have a favorite Christian Evidences fact you can share?

P.S. If you liked the look of Daily Light in the Bible but didn’t win, you can buy a used copy for $0.01 + shipping on Amazon. I’d highly recommend giving it a try.

*The prize book for this giveaway can only be shipped within the continental United States.

Book Giveaway: Daily Light from the Bible

Daily Light from the BibleThis little devotional has floated around our home for years, but I just recently decided to explore it for myself. It’s simple, easy to read, and has become a refreshing way to start my days at work with the right mindset.

My favorite part of Daily Light from the Bible is that the entire devotional is scripture. Story and commentary devotionals certainly have their place¬†(I’ll be giving away one or two of those this month), but God’s word is more than enough on it’s own. It is powerful, challenging, and peace-giving.

In this book, there are two devotional readings–morning and evening–for each day of the year. The scriptures that comprise each reading are arranged around a topic. For example, the reading this morning was:

They that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.–I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

I have been young and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.–For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints, they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.–The LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.–Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.

Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Who would like to incorporate this book into their time with God during 2016? I’m giving away a (used) copy of Daily Light from the Bible this week! Giveaway ends January 14th.

Daily Light from the Bible Giveaway

Do you use a scripture reading plan or have a specific way you go about spending time with God? Have any tips for other readers on how they can dig deeper in their walk with the Lord? What is your favorite devotional?

Book Review: Ruth

Ruth

“Belief is something that can happen in a minute,” Ruth said slowly, groping for the words. “In the way that the sun can come through the clouds suddenly after a storm. But faith — that’s something different. More like the almond blossoms I guess … They grow so slowly from bud to blossom that you’re hardly aware of it.”

Though married to and in love with Hebrew Mahlon, Ruth has never embraced the Jewish religion as her own. She also wastes little devotion on worship of Chemosh, the god of her own people. When death steals Mahlon and smothers the last hope of an heir for the house of Elimelech, the three widows of the household are left to struggle for survival. Naomi longs to return to her homeland. In her own quiet way, Ruth promises that if Naomi’s God provides a miracle and opens a way for them to travel to Bethlehem, she will go with Naomi and know that the God of Israel is the true God.

Though very simple and old-fashioned, I believe you (like me) will find this book hard to put down after the first 50 pages. I have read the story of Ruth more times than I can count. Despite knowing the entire plot and how the tale would end, watching Ruth’s faith grow and experiencing love blossom between her and Boaz kept me reading as if I’d never heard the story before.

Published in the 1980s, author Lois T. Henderson depicts a much less romanticized version of Bible times than more recent books. I have found the unique angle of her stories refreshing! That said, where the Bible shows the budding and development of love and marriage, Henderson does not shy from weaving those threads into prominent view in her tales.

I highly recommend this book for lovers of Bible fiction, classics, and non-mainstream books.

What I Learned from Steve Rzasa’s Novel, The Word Unleashed

Word Unleashed, ThePlease refer to my review of, The Word Reclaimed.

What makes a book a hero level story to you? There are two things for me. The first is a superb writing skill. Some writers have an uncanny knack for crafting achingly real characters or plot twists that physically raise your heart rate. I give those books five star rating on Facebook and Amazon. But the second characteristic that makes¬†a story “hero level” to me is even more important. Stories that teach me something. I don’t mean a wonderful non-fiction book (though there are a bunch of hero level non-fiction books) or a heavy-handed message in a novel. I’m talking about writers who may or may not have astounding ability in the technical aspects of story but can bleed pieces of their heart, inspiration, and life mission into the fabric of their stories.

Steve Rzasa’s books,¬†The World Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed impressed an encouraging reminder upon me. The books are space odysseys that pulled me into the struggles of the characters, led me through more world-building detail than I personally care for, and left me with something far less fictional.

God Is Sovereign

No kidding, Leah. I hope you already knew that! Don’t worry, I know and have known for most of my life that God is sovereign. These books just drove the lesson home a little further. They shed light on the truth from a slightly different angle.

One of my personal favorite characters was a guy named Jason–a man charged with protecting antiqued copies of God’s word from destruction at the hands of Kesek. He anxiously watches Baden–the main character–carry an old copy of the Bible into dangerous situations.¬†He urges Baden to take care, saying the precious Bible is not something to be carelessly waved around. As time goes on, Jason begins to recognize God’s hand at work.

“I feared the loss of Scripture and all it represented.” Jason’s breathing grew shallower. “The fear that there would be no evidence of Christianity beyond memories and scattered teachings consumed me. That is why I and the Seventy hid the relics we found.”

“But they do have to be protected.”

“Yes!” Jason coughed. Flecks of blood speckled his pants. Gail held out the subdermal spray but he waved it off. “They need protection, but not seclusion. Baden, you had with you the greatest gift God could give man, but now it’s gone. I should not have made you conceal it.”

Tears burned Baden’s eyes. “Hey, it’s all right. [Spoilers edited out] That’s what Jesus wanted, right? For everyone to hear.”

Jason’s expression brightened for a moment. “You have more courage than I.” He clapped Baden’s shoulder. [Spoiler] “The Lord will always protect his word. [Spoiler] With or without us.”

I’m like Jason–a worrier. I’m fearful. Concern for family members and friends, orphans and world catastrophes sometime fill my mind and put a cloud over the brightness of God’s omnipotence. I’ll tell you some inside information. No matter how much time I spend worrying, my anxiety changes nothing (Luke 12:22-32).

Conclusion

My brother likes to repeat the quote, “When you see God panic, that’s a good time for you to panic too.” These books reminded me of that. Characters who were not seeking God and were not influenced by Christians stumbled across God’s word and were changed by it’s power. Jason had to learn to trust God in troubling situations.

I¬†was reminded through the emotional impact of story that it’s¬†not up to me to fix the world’s problems, get people saved, or put them on the right track. I can only follow God’s commands and pray to be His tool as¬†He heals the wounded, saves the lost, and guides His followers along the path He set for them.

What have you learned from the books you’ve read lately?

Book Review: Keep a Quiet Heart

Keep a Quiet Heart

In the darkness of my perplexity and sorrow I have heard Him say quietly, Trust me.

My Texas roommates and I love Elisabeth Elliot. Her words of encouragement and wisdom have been sought after and enjoyed for decades. Because of this, Keep a Quiet Heart was a natural choice when we wanted to have a rommie book study. The book study never quite happened. Other things kept popping up, and before we knew it, it was time for us to return to our respective “normal” lives. I’m still glad for the motivation to purchase the book.

Keep a Quiet Heart is a collection of articles featured in Elisabeth Elliot’s newsletter over several years. Because of it’s “short story” composition, it’s easy to pick the book up and read a few nuggets in the midst of a busy schedule, or sit down and read a hundred pages on a day with more free time.

As always, Elisabeth’s writing is accessible¬†and meaningful.

On June 24, as I read a few pages of this book, I wrote in my journal;

Lord, You know the beginning fron the end. Forgive me for fretting about what you send. Teach me to trust in your perfect plan. Keep my eyes on you instead of man. Cleanse me of pride in myself, and bring me to perfect spiritual health.

“…all is under my Father’s control: yes, recalcitrant computers, faulty transmissions, drawbridges which happen to be up when one is in a hurry. My portion. My cup. My lot is secure. My heart can be at peace. My father is in charge. How simple!” —Keep a Quiet Heart

As on that day, I’ve found this to be the sort of book that I can flip open at any time and find something relevant for the day behind or ahead of me. Definitely a great addition to my bookshelf!

Book Review: The King’s Scroll

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerWhen Jaye offered a review copy of¬†The King’s Scrolls¬†for the blog tour, I wanted to participate, but knew I probably wouldn’t have time to read it between the time I got it and now. So my brother volunteered to give it a read and share his thoughts. Here’s what he has to say.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00020]The King’s Scrolls¬†continues the adventure of Kyrin, Jace and their friends. Arcacia¬†is rapidly becoming a dangerous place for a follower of Elom to live. Kyrin and Jace struggle to protect their loved ones from the emperor and his men as they attempt to preserve the last complete copy of the King’s scrolls (aka, the Bible). The stakes raise as they are forced to choose between the two things they care about most.

This country mirrors, in a fantasy world, the path our own country is following. Just as the US was founded upon Christianity, Arcacia has been faithful to Elom, but in recent years leaders have plunged Arcacia into spiritual darkness. This book challenged me (Jon) to think about what my reaction would be if the US follows (or continues to follow) the same course. How much am I willing to give for my faith? This book is very clean, but due to intense situations would probably be best for young teenagers and up.

Thanks Jonathan for doing the review for us today! What do the rest of you think of this book? For those who have read it, what did¬†you¬†think of it? If you haven’t read it, does it sound like the sort of book you want to get your hands on?

Book Review: Uncompromising

uncompromisingAfter skipping the book review last week, I wanted to make sure one went up this week. Uncompromising¬†was one of my Christmas presents this year. The¬†book first came to my attention through The Rebelution. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely wanted to check it out!

In many ways, Uncompromising was very similar to all the other books written for Christian young women. It covered topics like dating/courtship, beauty, modesty, self-esteem, etc. When I flipped through the book before actually beginning to read, I noticed that trend and was a little disappointed. While those topics are certainly important, I’ve read¬†about all of them before. A lot.

Thankfully, Uncompromising was¬†more than the normal treatment of common girl issues. In fact, the whole book was worth reading for Chapter Three and the “Interjection” at the end of Chapter Three. I’ll being going back to glean encouragement and to spend extra time contemplating that section of the book. The author’s take on¬†“the Cause”, self-esteem, and making God the biggest, most all-encompassing element of your life were thought provoking and challenging.

If you’re a reader who will throw up your hands in boredom or despair because of a heavy focus (and yet another perspective) on issues like modesty and self-esteem, Uncompromising¬†is probably not for you. However, if you, like me, are always curious to look at those topics from a new angle and can appreciate the new content amid the old, you’ll really enjoy this book.