Give-a-Way

There is a book give-a-way going on Scroll down to the bottom of the latest blog article to see details.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What's the big deal about a Newsletter?

Soooo, I've been buzzing around the blog and Facebook lately talking about this newsletter thing.  I've been trying to wiggle out some time to share with you about it some (been working a lot behind the scenes on getting it ready.... and lesson plans... both totally awesome and fun things....)

Let me see, what can I tell you without giving too many surprises away???....

I did say "tell", not "show"!  You have to sign up for my NEW MONTHLY NEWSLETTER to see!  I can say, it echos the website BUT is it's own separate periodical packed with interest and inspiration.  Just to name a few general ideas....
 #1 - There will be EXCLUSIVE content in the newsletter you just won't see on the blog including (but not limited to) FREE printables and inspiring downloads.
#2 - I get to grab my three main writing themes (Faith, Home, Homeschool) and shoot from  a slightly different angle with concise yet compelling articles

#3- Super-special site announcements will appear in the Newsletter before they pop up anywhere else (that's right, you'll have a jump on new items, give-aways, and themes)
 Those are just the first 3 things which come to mind but there is so much more.

Still, maybe you are wondering what's in it for me, the writer, to have you subscribed to and reading the newsletter.... honestly?  Nothing.  Nope, not a thing.

I don't care about analytics or breaking any personal records (Have you seen my "Upside Down Blogger" badge? Thank you Ann).  I don't get a kickback of any kind from having you sign up.  The books and other resources I will be giving away and offering for FREE, come out of my personal resources God calls me to use.  Sound backwards?  Seem odd?  Not to me.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
- Acts 2:42-47 

You see, ever since I was a little girl discovering the power of pencil on paper, I have LOVED words.  As a Christian that love has not waned and, as a matter of fact, God consistently fans the flames through His Word and the testimony He has given me of His presence in my life.  I can't stop writing if I tried.  It is the Power of the Spirit in me.  In part, it is how I worship, and if I write and share with myself.... it is such a sad use of the gifts God pours into me intending that they should go into all the world.

So how do I get the words from God's mouth, through my fingers and to your eyes and ears?  

This.

This site, the free e-books and resources I've shared here, and, now, the newsletter.  It is a dream I have had for some time.  I used to produce monthly newsletters and lead workshops in my earlier mama days.  I sort of shelved a lot when we first began homeschooling while I gained my bearings.  I started working with newsletters again when we went into missions and it made me realize how much I missed it!  I've worked with words for 30 years now and, for a long time, I think I took for granted how much God has created that as a part of me.  Now, finally, I feel God has opened the door to expand the platform He wants to work through using me.

And the give-a-ways?  Well, reference Acts 2 for that answer as well.  I may not see you in the literal temple, but we can come and learn together through books and Bible studies and LIFE.  We can sharpen each other, encourage one another and continue to grow in Christ together.... the newsletter is just one more wonderful arm of that great Purpose.

Think of it like this:  when you find something positively wonderful you know could encourage, bless, or help another, what to do you do?  Do you say, 'Hmm, this is great, I need my ME time to enjoy it for MYSELF'?  No.  You tell everyone you can get to listen to you that they need what you have found.  You become the best sales-person of that thing because you know how amazing it is and you don't want, not for a second, that anyone else should miss out.

That is how I feel.  This newsletter, these give-a-ways and free down-loads... are not mine.  They are all God's.  I would be too ashamed NOT to shout an invite from the rooftops.  He could use anyone (and he does) but he chose me for this and I will do all He leads me to and strengthens me for so that others see HIM in all that he does with this site, the newsletter, and all our lives as we grow closer in our virtual sisterhood.

I don't know what all God intends with little me and a website and a newsletter.  But God said to walk in this direction - who am I to say "No".  Instead I will Go and I will invite all I can to join me in this journey.

Will you join me?

I pray that you would.  If you have any questions or apprehensions concerning signing up for the newsletter, please don't hesitate to comment below or shoot me an email.  I would love to chat!

His words here (in video above) echo my own heart.  Enjoy..


The newsletter launches, Thursday, July 27th, 8am mst be sure to sign up before then to get your first issue!  Deadline for the book drawing is Monday, July 31st at midnight.  TWO winners will be picked!

Blessings,













Be sure to go to the sidebar and sign up for my Monthly Newsletter (I promise, I won’t spam you!)  It looks like this:
Why am I doing this give-a-way?  #1- I'm super excited to share this book with YOU!  #2- I'm just as excited to share my new newsletter as well!  I am hard at work behind the scenes praying over and putting together a periodical which I think everyone can find something in to enjoy in their email box at the end of each month.  There will be some exclusive content you won’t find on the website!   

 So, to be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy of "What Every Christian Ought to Know" by Adrian Rogers simply sign-up for my monthly newsletter by July 31, 2017*.  That's it!  Easy-peasy.
(If you already signed up prior to this announcement, don't worry, your name will automatically be entered!)   UPDATE*** There will be TWO blessed winners, not just one!!

Please note:  The Debut issue of my monthly newsletter comes out on July 27th, if you want to receive this issue, be sure to sign up before then.

*Give-a-way rules: Must be a U.S. resident, if you are not a U.S. resident, and would like to enter to win, please contact me to discuss alternatives. The drawing will occur on August 1, 2017 with a winner being randomly chosen. The winner will be contacted that day and will be announced on Facebook and this blog.  If the winner does not wish to have name announced, this must be stated when contacted for mailing address.  A copy of the book (up to $10 value) will be mailed directly to the winner from Amazon, shipping times may vary. I will contact the winner for address information using the e-mail submitted to my newsletter database.  If you do not want to receive your package directly from Amazon, the winner needs to let me know when I contact them for their address and we can discuss alternative source methods.  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited by law. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Every Christian Ought to Know

There is just something about books.  I can't explain it.  Those beautiful bindings and word-filled pages lined up on shelves, stacked on tables or (best yet) nestled in my lap as I curl up on my couch to soak their message in.

While I LOVE books and think they are positively beautiful, I am picky.  Busy, homeschooling, bloggy mom of four... I don't have time to waste on a non-fiction with bad theology or a fiction with too much fluff and non-sense.  When I read, I want to know the time is spent being filled with meaningful words which can grow me as a Christian (yes, even good fiction should do that!)

So.  As my kiddos browsed for treasures in another section of our city library at the beginning of summer break, I felt Led to wander through the 'Faith and Spirituality' section.  Highly skeptical but, as I've admitted, loving all those lovely bindings standing in a row, something caught my attention.


"What Every Christian Ought to Know"  Hmmm.  Mr. Adrian Rogers, you have caught my attention.  I slid the book off the shelf, still a bit skeptical after so many fluffy-faith-types I've read before, but something was compelling me to give this one a chance.  I turned it over to read the synopsis on the back.
Whether you are just beginning your faith journey, or have been a believer for decades, What Every Christian Ought to Know will establish you in the core Truths of the Bible, equip you to confidently articulate your faith, and empower you to live a dynamic Christian life.  In his refreshingly relateable style, Dr. Rogers covers essential topics such as salvation, eternal security, prayer, the Holy Spirit, resisting temptation, and finding God's will, and unpacks their practical application for your every day Christian walk.
My eyebrows went up.  Thinking a book like this must be meant for new believers, the claim here said it was meant for ALL believers, no matter how long they had been Christians.  Oh, and the part about finding God's will, have you noticed the blog lately?  Purpose has been kind-of a theme for me.  Glancing down at the list of endorsements I saw Billy Graham's name sprawled under his personal statement.

More intrigued then ever, and just about certain the Holy Spirit was nudging me, I flipped the book back over, and thumbed through the index and subsequent pages... into my library bag it went.... and a short month later, after I had gone through more tabs then I can count in marking passages and pages, it arrived in a nice little box from Amazon... my own copy.

Ladies (and gentlemen if you are reading this too), remember, I am a HUGE skeptic of "Christian" 'self-help' books.  HUGE.  But I'm telling you, this book gripped me from the Preface. 

What I thought would be a basic 'introduction-to-the-faith' and how to walk out the precepts better has turned into my ALL-TIME, #2 (The Bible gets #1) book to recommend to EVERYONE (did I mention every.single.person.I.know kind of everyone?)  I have already bought 4 additional copies for people and my oldest daughter (now 19) was so moved by it she bought one for an old co-worker!  If I could, I would give one to every.single.one of YOU!  Sadly, I have to pay bills and buy food and stuff like that though!

But I digress.

So what is all the hype?

Well, Dr Rogers lays out the precepts of our faith in such a way that anyone can understand but no one feels as though he is infantilizing the topic.  He serves up steak and you can chew it like a burger.  He begins with the basic thesis that Education is costly, but ignorance may be devastating.  Essentially, what you don't know CAN hurt you.  He quotes Proverbs to drive home his point:

Buy the truth, and do not sell it
Proverbs 23:23

  • We must prize the truth
  • We must purchase the truth
  • We must preserve the truth

He goes on to suggest we should Get a bulldog grip on the truth and never let go.  Hence, and so, What Every Christian Ought to Know

He covers the entire gamut of topics and, as someone who grew up witnessing a deeply devout grandmother and has been a Christian most of my adult life and served in full-time missions, I can honestly say I had chapter-after-chapter of WOW moments reading this book.  I felt so filled, so equipped with knowledge and truth, that I couldn't stop talking about it to anyone I could get to stand still long enough to hear me carry on with animated excitement!  It isn't Adrian's word that sells this message, it is God's Word as Dr. Rogers unpacks it in big A-HA pieces you want to gobble up.

He shoots out of the gate discussing the foundation of knowing the Bible is the True Word of God and how It can be Trusted.... showing the reader, through God's Word, this truth.  He has an overtone of apologetics without being argumentative but, rather, tastefully compelling.

He moves on to share what it is to know the assurance of salvation and, for those reading the book who may be skeptics of the faith, he invites them to the opportunity of Knowing Christ.  For the rest of us and everyone in-between, this chapter provides reassurance to our own walk as well as equips the reader to reach out to the unbeliever.  Overall, the chapter on faith assurance pulls no punches - but you don't feel beat-up, you feel invigorated... even challenged!

He also jumps into those touchy topics of sin and temptation including the intriguing point of what happens when Christians sin.  (after all, we are all sinners falling short of glory... right?)

I could go on and on about the AMAZING themes and messages within this wonderful book, but this article would get far too long and I bet you have other things to do today then read my blog!!  So, to sum up the content, the basic chapter list is as follows:

Every Christian Ought to Know...
...the Bible is the Word of God
...The Assurance of Salvation
...about Eternal Security
...What Happens When a Christian Sins
...How to Handle Temptation
...about Believers Baptism
...How to Discern the Will of God
...about Faith and How to Have It
...How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
...How to Discover His Spiritual Gift
...How to Pray (with Power)
...How to Understand the Bible
...It's How Much you Grow  

And he ends each chapter with thought-provoking discussion questions for personal reflection or group settings.

Dr. Roger's own words aptly sum-up the over-arching take-away in the Epilogue of this book:
The ultimate yardstick of your life as a believer is not how much you know but how much you grow.  The purpose of this book has not been primarily information or inspiration but transformation...

And then he points the reader to Ephesians 4:13-16 to back this statement up.

My 17 year old son took this book to camp for his down-times and was completely absorbed.  He ended up sharing what he was learning with one of the adult band members who was so encouraged that when the band pulled out they left behind a stack of their CDs for my son to thank him for his Godly inspiration!

No kidding.

So, remember how I said I want to buy this book for EVERYONE I know?  Since I can't do that I thought I would start with one or two.  I haven't decided for sure how many yet but what I do know is, if you are interested -or- if you are still skeptical as to whether or not this is a book you want to invest in, then take your chances with a drawing first! Yup, Giving Away a FREE copy!!!... or two.. or... like I said, I haven't decided how many yet!  And all you have to do to enter is sign up for my monthly newsletter!  See below for details.

While I believe What Every Christian Ought to Know is a phenomenal and, yes, transformational resource to have, whether you check into this book or not, always remember, your best 'self-help' and inspirational, transformational book you can get is the Bible itself.  We are blessed with insightful, Godly leaders who pen great prose with God's hand as theirs, but let us not forsake the daily drinking in of the One True Word of God ♥

Blessings,











Be sure to go to the sidebar and sign up for my Monthly Newsletter (I promise, I won’t spam you!)  It looks like this:
Why am I doing this give-a-way?  #1- I'm super excited to share this book with YOU!  #2- I'm just as excited to share my new newsletter as well!  I am hard at work behind the scenes praying over and putting together a periodical which I think everyone can find something in to enjoy in their email box at the end of each month.  There will be some exclusive content you won’t find on the website!   

 So, to be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy of "What Every Christian Ought to Know" by Adrian Rogers simply sign-up for my monthly newsletter by July 31, 2017*.  That's it!  Easy-peasy.
(If you already signed up prior to this announcement, don't worry, your name will automatically be entered!) 

Please note:  The Debut issue of my monthly newsletter comes out on July 27th, if you want to receive this issue, be sure to sign up before then.

*Give-a-way rules: Must be a U.S. resident, if you are not a U.S. resident, and would like to enter to win, please contact me to discuss alternatives. The drawing will occur on August 1, 2017 with a winner being randomly chosen. The winner will be contacted that day and will be announced on Facebook and this blog.  If the winner does not wish to have name announced, this must be stated when contacted for mailing address.  A copy of the book (up to $10 value) will be mailed directly to the winner from Amazon, shipping times may vary. I will contact the winner for address information using the e-mail submitted to my newsletter database.  If you do not want to receive your package directly from Amazon, the winner needs to let me know when I contact them for their address and we can discuss alternative source methods.  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited by law. 


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Talking Donkeys and Recognizing Purpose


Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.
 Numbers 22:28-31

Talking donkeys?  I don't think that is the issue here.  I mean, after all, is it so strange?  Surely you've seen the YouTube video of a dog saying "I love you", why not a donkey whose mouth has been opened by God to say "Knock it off, I'm trying to keep us safe here..."

No, the bigger issue comes in Balaam's disobedience. 

I'm going to confide here, no matter how many times I read his story found in Numbers 22, I'm always a bit perplexed...

 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, 
“If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.”  
So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
Numbers 22:20-21

Didn't God just tell Balaam to GO? I mean, before this whole donkey whipping, donkey talking incident, verse 20-21 occurs.  So if Balaam arose and went, wasn't that what he was suppose to do?  Why did God get angry with him?  Why did he stop him?

Last Wednesday I shared a Word on purpose.  I will admit, I threw an idea out there but I left out the solution.  If our 'purpose' is not ours but God's and He gifts us and works through us to fulfill HIS purpose... how do we know?  How can we be sure we are on His path and not our own.

Well, there are many ways, actually.  But today, I'm going to talk about Balaam's way. 

You see, to the easy reader of Numbers 22, one might draw a contradiction in God's Word.  Balaam asked, God said no.  Balaam asked again, God said fine... didn't he?  Matthew Henry explains this best:
He seemed to refuse the temptation; but he expressed no abhorrence of it. He had a strong desire to accept the offer, and hoped that God might give him leave to go. He had already been told what the will of God was. It is a certain evidence of the ruling of corruption in the heart, to beg leave to sin. God gave Balaam up to his own heart's lusts. As God sometimes denies the prayers of his people in love, so sometimes he grants the desires of the wicked in wrath.

So what we see here isn't a contradiction, rather, a conviction.  Henry commentary on this passage in it's entirety (link in his name above) points us back to the first visit from this contingent of Balak's and reminds us: God had already spoke on the matter.  Yet, Balaam pushed and it would appear, by all evidence, he had hoped God would change His mind... on a sheerly secular matter which He has firmly already spoken on.  If that isn't eye opening enough... the most haunting statement in Henry's commentary causes us readers to sit and take notice:

many call God theirs, who are not his

Ouch.

Christian, be at ease.  I am not calling you 'not a Christian'.  There are those out there... snake oil salesmen types... who are in it for a show.  Their pride runs the course and their faith is merely for gain, not for God's glory.

No, for us, stumbling fumbling Christians who just want to understand how do we know God's purpose, where do we step?  How do we step?  Am I going the wrong way now?  Well, back to Balaam and his donkey...

If you read this whole scene in context (and I hope by now you grabbed one of the links or your Bible and did that) you will notice Balaam's donkey tried to divert course at God's prodding via the Angel of the Lord, THREE times (for you number enthusiasts: 3 = signature of God!)

What was Balaam's response each time?

Yup, that poor donkey got whipped and yelled at.  Balaam becomes angry and threatens the poor beast.  And then the donkey talks.  Or should we say (on our theme of GOD's purpose) God opens the mouth of the donkey and speaks through it.

Dear Christian who wants to know if you have gotten this whole "purpose" thing upside down or upside right..... is God diverting your donkey?  Are road blocks to the work you feel He is calling you to do constantly popping up and gradually upsetting and frustrating you more and more?  Are these road blocks the work of Satan who is trying to stop you from God's work and will?  One sure way to tell (and a favorite piece of encouragement a missionary friend gave me when we first went into field work)

If you aren't sure whether or not you are doing the right thing 
or in the right direction, 
go back to the last thing you clearly remember God telling you to do 
and do that.

God will speak through his Word.... no fuzzy or twisted interpretation... simply speak.
God may also use your circumstances and/or people around you.

God.will.speak. and HIS peace will be what will prevail... even in the trials Satan may try to throw in your path.

But if it isn't from God....
Peace will be out the window.
You'll be beating your donkey.
NO good results will appear.  At.all.

Most of all: check your heart, check your motives.

God's purpose through you is for his glory alone.
Not your gain.
Not money and riches.
Not your name in bright lights
Not self recognition.

If any of those are why you are doing a thing as "God's purpose for you", I would encourage you to step back, get right with God, recharge your purpose and... if necessary... pull out of whatever path you are on to get on the right one.

That may mean stepping out of a ministry at church because you realize you are't the one God called to the job.  (I can't tell you how many churches we have worked with over the years who had spiritually sick leaders and/or teachers who kept on because of pressure and ignored God's call to re-situate their hearts or step down thinking 'no one else' could take their place... but that is a whole other message!)

It may mean he calls you to slow down.  Take some non-essentials off your plate to make more room for peacefully walking in the essentials.  (Too many people in our culture and time seem to think they need MORE MORE MORE in their schedule and in their lives when, in fact, God is calling us to less, less, less!)  Check out this new song from Danny Gokey for some encouragement today:


And finally... (especially you moms out there)... God's purpose through you isn't always at the head of a Bible Study class, ministry, or MOPS group.  God's purpose takes on many forms, especially in the lives of women. 
  • Raising children with eyes on Jesus is a HUGE purpose, don't sell yourself short.  
  • Providing Biblical hospitality is a HUGE purpose which God uses to minister to the weary souls of others.  
  • Caring for your husband and household is a HUGE purpose which reflects the servant attitude Jesus often modeled to his Disciples.  
What's that theater saying?  Oh, yeah:

There are no small parts, just small actors!

I pray for you this week, as you walk the path of life, that it would be the path God has laid for you and, if you are on the wrong one, that you wouldn't beat your donkey, but instead, stop, get off, and turn to face Jesus asking in all honesty; "What is the last thing I clearly heard Him tell me".  Be encouraged sweet Christian, you are never too far gone for God to reach down and pull you close.... simply let him!

Blessings,







Consequently, I read a PHENOMENAL book this summer:
Click on picture to see more details
Click on picture to see more details

I will be sharing some notes in a new monthly thread coming out this week, "Notes from my Reading Nook".  I was so blown away by this book and it's over-arching profound message I want to give it to EVERYONE I know!!!! No kidding!  No matter where a person is in their faith walk from new Christian all the way to a veteran in the faith, EVERYONE will be moved and empowered by God's message through Adrian Rogers.

Well, I can't afford to buy a copy for everyone, but I'm starting with a give-away to one reader this month!  Who knows, maybe I will make it two!  Sound interesting?  Read below to see how you can enter to WIN!



Be sure to go to the sidebar and sign up for my Monthly Newsletter (I promise, I won’t spam you!)  It looks like this:

I started this sign up around my 8 year blogaversary a few months ago and then my dad became sick so I wasn’t able to get the newsletter in motion right away.  However, I am hard at work behind the scenes praying over and putting together a periodical which I think everyone can find something in to enjoy in their email box at the end of each month.  There will be some exclusive content you won’t find on the website!   

Also, everyone who signs up this month will be entered into a drawing to win the amazing book, "What Every Christian Ought to Know" by Adrian Rogers.  (If you already signed up, don't worry, your name will automatically be entered!)