Posted in Book Reviews

“Find More Money: Increase Your Income to Tackle Debt, Save Wisely, and Live Generously,” by Art Rainer

Find More Money: Increase Your Income to Tackle Debt, Save Wisely, and Live Generously, by Art Rainer, is a helpful tool for improving finances.

The main focus of this book is to help people provide beyond their full-time jobs, especially when that isn’t enough to provide.

Rainer calls it find a “gig”: “stewarding your talents, time and abilities so you can live generously on mission for the kingdom (of God).”

His goal is to help others have financial freedom, in order to advance God’s kingdom – not to become wealthy.

Review

For myself, I several of his principles helpful. First, Rainer listed key priorities to consider when choosing a side-gig: opportunity, skills, and passion.

Considering these priorities in order will help you be more successful in finding the right side-gig for you.

Rainer also provides specific sites and resources to help readers find such jobs. I highly recommend this book! It is packed with original, engaging and helpful content.

About the Author

Art Rainer is the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of Kentucky.

He writes widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity and is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money.

Art lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina, with his wife, Sarah, and three children.

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“Eat, Sleep, Save the World: Words of Encouragement for the Special Needs Parent” by Jamie Sumner

Content

Eat, Sleep, Save the World: Words of Encouragement for the Special Needs Parent, by Jamie Sumner, is a noble book.

This book is meant for special needs parents, and to help them work through their day-to-day struggles.

Including sections of determination, hope, resilience, patience, laughter and thankfulness, the author asks the reader to reflect on Scripture and their life.

Review

As a whole, the book is real, but encouraging.

As a parent and an author, I was encouraged by Sumner’s mission – to encourage special needs parents.

I highly recommend the book for those who it would apply and mean the most.

About the Author

Jamie Sumner has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post among many other publications.

She is the author of the nonfiction book on motherhood, Unbound, and the middle-grade novel, Roll with It.

She is also mom to a son with cerebral palsy and she writes and speaks about disability in literature. She loves stories that celebrate the grit and beauty in all kids.

She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her at http://www.jamie-sumner.com.

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom” Devotional

Content

A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom, by Anna Rendell and the (in)courage community, is a great devotional for moms.

It is conveniently broken up into sections for each stage of motherhood, using both personal and biblical examples of motherhood.

This devotional even includes blank reflection sections, Bible verses and beautiful illustrations throughout. All of these features add so much to the devotional’s messages each day.

Review

As I read it for myself, I felt peaceful, encouraged, loved, and full of hope. I highly recommend this book to mothers of all kinds, in whatever stage they find themselves. Truly a work of art!

About the Author

(in)courage

from the (in)courage community
  • At (in)courage you are welcome to a place of faith, connection, and friendship, where you will always find yourself among friends.
  • Founded in 2009 by DaySpring, the Christian products subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., the vision for (in)courage was to create a new home for the hearts of women, where women take turns pulling up a chair to share their stories of what Jesus looks like in their everyday, gloriously ordinary, and often messy lives.
  • Since then, (in)courage has grown into a vibrant community that reaches thousands of women every day, welcoming them just the way they are, offering a space to breathe, loving support, and resources for meaningful connection.
Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“Where is Wisdom?” by Scott James

Where is Wisdom by Scott James, is a great book for elementary aged kids.

Content

If you would like a book to teach your kids about the wisdom of God, this is the book for your family. With poetic descriptions, inspired by the chapter Job 28, and incredible illustrations, this is a winner.

Video: Where is Wisdom? from Scott James – Look Inside

Recommendation

When I read it to my own kids, they couldn’t stop saying, “Wow! That book is amazing!” I’d highly recommend this book.

About the Author

Video: Where is Wisdom? from Scott James

Scott James serves as an Elder at The Church at Brook Hills. He and his wife Jaime have four children—Will, Kirstine, Benjamin, & Bethan—who served as the inspiration and original audience for this Advent devotional.

They live in Birmingham, Alabama where Scott works as a pediatric physician. Scott serves in the children’s and youth ministries at Brook Hills and is passionate about helping families grow together in Christ.

Posted in Book Reviews, Living BOLD, My Faith

“Unplanned” the Movie – I Finally Watched It…

As I’ve experienced a traumatic miscarriage, I hesitated. I convinced myself I couldn’t handle, avoiding it at all costs. But now I’ve watched it, and I’ll never be the same again.

My Reaction

To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, but I felt severely nauseous the entire time. I am so thankful for the woman, Abby, who was brave enough to share her story with the world.

“Unplanned” the Movie, 2019

No one should be badgered into keeping quiet about injustice. No one should be threatened for telling the truth. Abortion is murder, but abortion is also a deceitful lie that needs to be rebuked.

Abortion

Abortion is NEVER the answer!! Putting a child up for adoption at least gives them a chance to live!

Keeping your baby will bless you in a way can’t even imagine right now. No financial hardships or multitude of diapers can compare with how much that child will love you, and how much you love them.

Photo by Marko Tuokko on Pexels.com

My Story

Having lost a baby myself, through miscarriage, the scene where the woman, Abby, loses her baby and tissue fell out in the bathroom, hit me hard.

That was me. After two days of cramping, spotting, and an ultrasound, the dreaded moment came anyway.

My Baby, Timothy Lyle Babbitt, 9 wks. 6 days.
He was born on May 9, 2016.

I woke up in a pool of blood, screamed, “No God, NO!!” over and over again. I ran to the bathroom and my precious baby fell out of me. I went into shock and shook on the bathroom floor.

My husband took me to the ER, but not before I told him he was not allowed to flush that toilet.

They let me cry and talk to a nurse, but basically gave me strong ibuprofen and sent me home. I lost a baby, and that was it.

The Filthiest Burial

I was thankful for the doctor telling me not to try to find my baby – too tiny to find. I think that would have been even more traumatic for me.

Instead, my precious baby boy was buried by a flush, and taken to the sewer system. This memory haunts me to this day.

My Story
https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/800343-the-miscarriage-project

This Has to Stop!

But to think someone would choose that on purpose, kills my heart every time. No one comes away from losing a baby the same. Either way the baby dies, the mother will never be the same.

Pray abortion clinics close for good. Pray abortions become illegal. But also pray for those who’ve aborted or contributed to abortions. God’s forgiveness is more than enough for them too.

Check out unplannedfilm.com or fortydaysforlife.com for more resources and information to make a difference!

Also, to read more on the subject, check out my previous blog post: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

“Adorning the Dark” by Andrew Peterson

I loved reading Adorning the Dark, by Andrew Peterson!

Content

As a fellow author, I loved Peterson’s descriptions of his creative work and his process.

Also, I liked how he incorporated the Christian perspective. As a Christian writer, it is hard to find colleagues with writing integrity and class.

Review – Outstanding!

I would read this book again in a heartbeat, it’s that good! Peterson is a great writer, he writes from the heart, and he writes for Jesus.

About the Author

Andrew Peterson is an award-winning singer-songwriter and author.

Andrew Peterson

The second book in his Wingfeather Saga, North! Or Be Eaten (2009) won the Christy Award for Young Adult Fiction, and the fourth, The Warden and the Wolf King (2014) won World Magazine’s Children’s Book of the Year in 2015.

In 2008, driven by a desire to cultivate a strong Christian arts community, Andrew founded a ministry called The Rabbit Room, which led to a yearly conference, countless concerts and symposiums, and Rabbit Room Press, which has published thirty books to date.

He’s been married for 24 years to his wife Jamie, with whom they have three children.

His eldest is an animation student at Lipscomb University, his second son is a touring drummer and record producer, and his daughter recently released her first album.

In his spare time Andrew keeps bees, builds dry stack stone walls, gardens, draws, and sleeps.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, Uncategorized

“I Still Believe” Movie, 2020

After watching I Still Believe tonight, I am in awe of the power of God, yet again!

I Still Believe

This movie is based on the true story of famous Christian singer, Jeremy Camp; of his rise to fame and his beautiful love story of him and his first wife.

My heart both hurts and is joyful. So full of the Holy Spirit, I can’t sleep without telling you all about it.

Our faith is strengthened by adversity and struggles, not cupcakes and unicorns- sorry to disappoint you.

During Quarantine

This time in our lives is so unique in that everyone is struggling. Everyone is acknowledging a common struggle and banding together to find hope.

The problem is, anything they find that’s not Jesus will disappoint and fail them.

Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to share your faith. Time and resources are not an excuse in a quarantined world.

What are you waiting for?

Speak up and let your faith do the talking. Be real, be honest, be faithful.

Scripture

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
‭‭

2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/111/2ti.1.6-10.niv

Continue reading ““I Still Believe” Movie, 2020”
Posted in Book Reviews

“Big and Little Activity Devotional” by Rachel Swanson

Big and Little Activity Devotional by Rachel Swanson, is a great book for all ages!

Content

Not only are there activities for kids and adults, the book is laid out so that the child and adult can do the same activity at the same time (and age appropriate to each one). The book literally folds open facing the adult and the child at the same time.

Not only that, each page contains a biblical devotional for you and your child to learn and discuss together.

Recommendation

I highly recommend this activity book for families seeking to do fun, interactive devotionals for their kids.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Peace, Joy, and Jesus

As a writer, I have been thinking of so much I could say. As a mom, I’ve been overwhelmed, and not sure how down deep and personal to be.

As A Citizen…

As most of you are well aware, this nation-wide, and pretty much world-wide quarantine is less than ideal. No one could have anticipated this happening in our world today.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Our world has technology, several have access to medical care, and the ability to travel anywhere in the world in record time.

Why would a pandemic be a problem?

As a Christian, I truly believe God is using this time of uncertainty and chaos, to bring peace, hope, and strengthen our faith.

We are most secure when we dwell in the safety of our shelter and fortress, our Almighty God.

As A Mom…

For me and my family, this period of isolation has been both a blessing and a curse.

Right before this virus disrupted our lives, I had confessed to my husband a specific concern.

I was so worried we would be sucked into the busyness that comes with each spring season. Sports, drama, graduations, concerts, outdoor activities, and whatever else you can think of.

Blessing #1

However, because of the Corona virus and the mandatory quarantine, our schedules are wiped clean from last week, until the foreseeable future. I never imagined my prayer would be answered like this.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Blessing #2

In addition, I have been struggling with maintaining my relationship with my school-age kids. For so long, I have been home with them, and having all the time in the world.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Deep in my heart, I miss that so much, but God has not led me to homeschool at this time.

Now, I again have all the time in the world with all of my children, this side of Heaven.

I am thankful God has heard the desires of my heart, and is redeeming this time with my kids.

So I choose to see this time as a gift from God.

Curse #1

To be transparent, I am not going to sit here and pretend this time in our world is not scary, unsettling, and discouraging.

Yet, I never imagined it would be a grief trigger, for my son in Heaven.

For me, the mere suggestion or possibility I could lose any of my children, or my husband, took my breath away. This fear caught me dead in my tracks, and I wept with sorrow.

I have no more control now over life and death, than I did almost four years ago.

Defining Moment

Our pastor’s sermon this morning really challenged my heart. Storing up possessions doesn’t provide security, only God can do that for us. True peace can only come from the God of peace Himself.

I can’t stop our family from getting sick.

I can’t prevent my family from dying from the virus, let alone any other cause.

I can’t make toilet paper appear out of thin air, just because we ran out! (Yes, a little humor to lighten the mood.)

Resolution

God is God, not me. God is in charge, not me. God has everything under control, and I have nothing under control, in my own power and strength.

Everything we have is God’s, but He loves us so much, He gives us everything we need.

Yes, I said NEED not WANT really bad or WANT because someone else has it.

As a Christian, as a citizen, as a wife, as a mom, and as a writer, I urge you to take a stand in your heart and mind.

Choose peace. Choose to trust God will take care of you. Choose to find joy in the blessings of today, not live in fear of tomorrow.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Choose Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you will never regret it, for eternity!

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY church! Don’t lose hope! We serve an all-powerful, mighty, loving God.

Encouraging Scriptures

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

Photo by Vlad Chețan on Pexels.com

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

2 Chronicles 7:11-16 ESV

“Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,

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if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”

Proverbs 3:5-12 ESV

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son (to King Solomon from his dad, King David), do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”