Sunday, July 28, 2013

Clothed With Thunder: A Review

Are you familiar with the Sonrise Stable Series yet?
If not, you need to be.

Sonrise Stable is a fantastic series for both boys and girls. Follow the adventures of Rosie and Carrie as they embrace their love of horses and draw closer to God through the careful and wise influence of their Grandmother.

In book three, Clothed With Thunder, readers will learn all about the proposed evolution of the horse and how to argue a creationist worldview from an educated and convincing position.

There are several things I love about this book but I'll mention just a few:

First, Rosie and Carrie are homeschooled. This is rare in children's fiction and certainly appreciated. As a result, these girls really dig into the issue of evolution with the skill of true researchers. They examine both sides of the argument through careful study and organic life experience. Children will learn so much about creation versus the evolution argument while exploring the art of research.

Second, I am continually amazed by the covers and illustrations in this series as they seem to improve with every book. The covers are stunning. Horse lovers will truly be drawn to these books.

Third, Vicki Watson has really created so much more than meaningful fiction. She has developed a world for her books. Her website includes behind the scenes looks at the author and illustrator. You'll also find a link to The Christian Cowgirl Site featuring a forum for horse lovers, games, puzzles, devotions and more.

Vicki merges her loves horses and her love of God into wholesome fiction that children, girls especially, will treasure.

You can order your copy of Clothed With Thunder Here.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am a part of The CWA Review Crew.

A Book Review: Are You Playing By House Rules?

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing one of the most thought provoking books I've ever held in my hands. My belief system was challenged and a desire to know more about our constitution, written law and social security numbers was formed. 

Are You Playing By House Rules? by Darren and Cara Grant is one of those extremely rare treasures that educates and entertains, illuminates and inspires. It's a wonderful read. 

Joe Smith is a new believer who has just faced a major tragedy. Flooded with test after test, Joe struggles to stand in the face of such monumental trials.

It all begins with an accident in which his estranged wife, Mary, is injured. In the hospital, Joe's prayers for help and guidance are answered by the presence of Robert Forbes, a large Scottish man with equally large ideas. 

If Joe's world wasn't shaken enough by the aftermath of the accident, Robert Forbes stirs it up even more by challenging Joe's long held beliefs and equipping him with the information to make positive changes that will effect his future and the futures of those around him. 

This story is laced with a powerful agenda and packed with relevant research to engage and inform readers. 

When my kindle battery died four pages from the end I wanted to cry. I was that bonded to the story. 

The characters are believable and their motivations so clearly described that you would swear you've met these people in real life. 

Are You Playing By House Rules? is a powerful story with rich writing; a book functioning as a true conduit for change.  This is truly fiction at its best.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

I also recommend stopping by the author's website at to test your worldview.

 I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am a part of The CWA Review Crew.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Freebie- Layered Paper Heart

Check out these great freebies!
They make great Party Favors or Decorations! Easy and fun to make!

                     For complete assembly instructions  Click Here
                                 Available free until July 28.

I Am A Disobedient Fraud

Well, maybe I should say I was a disobedient fraud.

It all started about a month ago, maybe more. God asked me to do something and I ran.

Now I had a reason for running, and I though it was a pretty good one. I guess Jonah did too.

He asked me to fast. He didn't give a time frame, didn't say "Behold, thou must fasteth for three years" or something ridiculous like that. He simply said "fast".

No time frame, no deep directions or King James lingo. Just "fast".

That doesn't seem too hard, right? You might fast all the time and wonder why I would rebel from something so silly.

Let me explain.

I have a past. We all do, right? My past includes near hospitalization at 16 because I was determined to be 72 lbs. No clue why I was fixated on that number, but I was. I wouldn't eat much. I'd pick. I'd throw up. Now I'm not hear to coach you on how to form an eating disorder, so that's the end of my descriptions. What I want to tell you about isn't so much the physical aspects of this problem, but the spiritual.

By adulthood I'd conquered this demon I thought. I reached a whopping 90 lbs (laugh with me). I got married and eventually became pregnant. After the baby was born I wasn't 90 lbs anymore. I couldn't wear the clothes I'd worn since High School. I had a womanly shape now and it terrified me. I began to struggle again and my doctor insisted I see a specialist. I was frustrated and defeated but also very determined to be that frail 90 lbs again. I wasn't seeing clearly.

It took a lot of work to fight this battle. Counselors and a church friend (who had fought this battle and won) helped me through it. Since I'm already being honest, I'll go one more . . . since my recovery, I really believed it was only the reality that my daughters were watching me that kept me on the right path this long.

When God said fast, he stirred up fear in me. Just like Jonah was afraid of the vicious Ninevites,  I was afraid of the violence I might commit against my own body. I feared another relapse. I didn't trust His healing touch.

This is where I was fraud. All the while rebelling against God, I continued to encourage others to listen to Him. I tried to ignore the conflict and persist in my disobedience.

I was sick this past week. I couldn't keep food down. Couldn't eat anything. You know what? I didn't relapse. As soon as I could stomach food again, I ate. God used this illness to open my eyes to the reality that His request did not put me in danger at all.

In fact it might result in healing.

I confessed all of this inner wrestling with my Mom and she simply said "Obey God". So I decided I would. Did you catch that? Obedience is a decision. I had been making the wrong one for far too long.

Since God didn't give me a time frame, I decided to do a one day fast. 24 hours. My fast is over now or I would not be discussing it with you. You know what? I survived. Not only that, but God fed me on His Word all through the night and day when food wasn't on my plate.

I learned that my fear of failure had been bigger than my trust in God. I learned that perfect love drives out fear and His love was shooing mine away with every meal I skipped.

Here's what I am not saying: I'm not telling someone actively struggling with an eating disorder to fast.

Instead, I'm saying that if God asks you to do something, anything . . .obey. Disobedience may delay your healing.

Am I healed in one day of fasting? Yes. We humans make it so much harder then it has to be. We doubt ourselves. We doubt Him. It's safe to trust. It's safe to believe that He will protect me. I can relax.

And on that realization I'm not a disobedient fraud any longer.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hosanna! Oh Save Me!

We all know the scriptures where Jesus is entering Jerusalem and people shout “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!"

The first time I heard the word hosanna I was just a little kid. Hose Anna? Who was Anna and why do we have to hose her down? Wait! When they say we need to get on fire do they mean real fire? Is that why we have to hose poor Anna down?

As I grew I understood there was no Anna in need of hosing. Hosanna was a word and it had an important meaning. I just didn’t understand it completely. Actually, until this morning, I always thought Hosanna meant “Blessed is the one”, or something like that.

Last night God laid it on my heart to study this word so I began my study first thing this morning.
Today I began by searching Wikipedia. 

They say “The word hosanna (Latin osanna, Greek ὡσαννά, hōsanná) is from Hebrew הושיעה־נא, הושיעה נא hôšâ‘-nā’ which is short for hôšî‘â-nā’ from Aramaic הושע נא meaning "save, rescue" (possibly "savior").

Hmmm, interesting. 

I looked up hosanna in Strong’s concordance too (because, after all, one should not trust Wikipedia as the final authority on anything, right?). Strong’s listed all references to the word as tied to #5614 which defines the word “oh save!”. So Wikipedia was actually right this time. This isn’t just some shout for joy it’s a plea for help. I went back to Wikipedia and saw that they referenced Psalm 118:25 in their discussion. I opened up The Word and put my finger on the verse. It reads: “Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.” Sounds an awful lot like hosanna, but you know what . . .I kept reading and I found something interesting. Verse 26 reads: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.”

Hey, now it sounds like those verses when He entered Jerusalem and people said Hosanna (Oh Save!). Blessed is the one (He) who comes in the name of the Lord.

I wasn’t through. I looked up the word in the dictionary. You know what I got? “—used as a cry of acclamation and adoration.”

It’s part of the picture but not the whole thing. If we look at hosanna as just a word for help we fall short of its meaning. If we see it as just adoration, then we miss something too.

Hosanna is both a cry for help and a blessing on the one who answers the need.  Read Psalms 18:6 and Psalm 40:1. (I’ll let you do that yourself). 

Now, let that sink in and (as it does), think about prayer.

How often do we cry for help (oh save me from this or that problem, rescue me from______ ) but we fail to bless him for who He is? Oh, let’s never skip this step again!  Let’s always remember He is our answer. He hears us cry hosanna, (oh Save me!), and He acts.  

The point: Always remember He is your Savior and bless Him for who He is.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Christian Mom's Idea Book

The Christian Mom's Idea Book

Eighty-two women contributed advice and ideas.  Packed full of their collective wisdom and paired with a solid scriptural foundation, The Christian Mom's Idea Book is a phenomenal resource for all moms.

The book begins with an acrostic of Motherhood that can be read in one sitting or spread out in tiny new-mom sized snippets like a brief devotional.

In part two the advice is dished out courtesy of contributors who've been there and done that.

Find tips on how to handle separation anxiety, make time for God's Word, plan a birthday party to remember, expose children to good books, manage a schedule, survive a road trip, discipline, chores and a host of other truly relevant topics.

There are about 40 topics total and 500 fantastic ideas recorded. Each idea is part of a bulleted list under the topic it covers.  The reader can browse a topic of interest and get advice from several moms all at once. After all this information is absorbed  it's easier to formulate your own effective plan. You get to pick and choose what you use.

The Christian Mom's Idea Book is an essential handbook resource, the kind of parenting guide we all fantasized about but never expected to experience.

This book is loaded with truly relevant suggestions, making it the perfect gift for moms.

About the author: Ellen Banks Elwell is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and the American Conservatory of Music. She and her husband, Jim, live in Wheaton, Illinois, and have three grown sons and one daughter-in-law. Elwell has authored several books for women, including The Christian Mom’s Idea Book,One Year Devotions for Moms, and When There’s Not Enough of Me to Go Around.

You can order your copy at Crossway for $11.25.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am a part of Crossway's Homeschool Book Review Program.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Did Something Crazy!

If you didn't know, I purchased Christian Women Affiliate in February.

This was probably the biggest decision I've ever made short of having children. There is so much involved in running this company. I don't even think I could have comprehended all of it if I had tried. It's just a big task.

I'm still getting my rhythm and developing a rapport with CWA radio hosts, community members and reviewers. I wear a lot of hats and I'm juggling responsibilities and interests nonstop.

I learned a lot about the company, social media, writing, marketing, community and self-care from the former owner, Noelle Mena.  She is a fantastic mentor and a huge blessing to me. I think one of the greatest things she taught me was to set boundaries. This isn't something that comes natural for me. If I'm not careful this job could take over my life. With a dash of O.C.D and a heightened sense of responsibility I could easily become a slave to it without even trying. I have to intentionally set limits on my time and leave myself little windows to just be alone with God or nurture some of the other creative interests He has given me.

One day last month I woke up at 4:30 A.M. to get some work done. I popped over to Facebook to check the posts that had gone up on CWA's Public page while I was sleeping and after doing that I checked in on some friends. It seemed that there were prayer requests all over Facebook that day. I found myself praying almost nonstop throughout my day. However, in the midst of my prayer I kept feeling this tug at my heart to be silent. Surely it couldn't be God, I reasoned. With so many needs I had to do "spiritual warfare" and I didn't have the time to listen.  I put up a good fight before surrendering and asking God what he wanted so bad to tell me.

His message: Dream bigger.

What? Was He crazy? It was my dreaming that got me into this overloaded state of mind bouncing from task to task and monitoring a business and four children simultaneously.  Dreams meant risk and I had risked too much already.

Yet, He persisted. Each moment He spoke to my heart I felt more excited, more confident that as large as my dreaming had become He still had MORE for me.

He kept bringing my writing to mind, reminding me that it wasn't just some wish I had to be an author, but a divine calling that God himself had placed inside me.

I pulled out my manuscript, The Lemonade Stand, read through it and began to dream.

Then this crazy overloaded girl queried an agent.

The website for the agency warns that they only respond to those that interest them. If they don't respond within 30 days it's safe to assume they aren't interested. It's been 21 days. I'm still dreaming.

How Do We Know God Is Really There? -- A Review

Every night Thomas and his Dad have a fun little habit of escaping to the tree house they built in the backyard.  It was their special time together when they could look at the stars. On this particular night the sight of Saturn's magnificent rings brings out an enormous question concerning the existence of God. 

Thomas's friend doesn't believe in God or go to church and this philosophy has caused Thomas to question his Dad.
How Do We Know God Is Really There?
This full color picture book is 46 pages and takes on a pretty profound topic in the gentlest manner possible.

There is a lot of text in this picture book. The pictures themselves are water color illustrations that have a crude some what immature look to them. My 11 was unimpressed by the pictures especially the pages where the characters are drawn in profile.

My youngest acted as though the story was a little too long for her attention span. My 9 year old boy liked it best. As the only boy in our house he is especially drawn to books with male characters.

I felt that How Do We Know God Is Really There? was cute, but it bothered me that the question was not addressed as powerfully as I would have liked. The father starts out his explanation strong by referencing Hubble's discoveries which prove the universe had a beginning. When the son questions him directly "But how do we know the cause was God?" the father tells him it's pretty silly to think otherwise. Dismissing the question as silly is not the same as answering it. Thomas needed some real meat to tackle his friend's claims that God wasn't real. Calling atheism silly (though arguably true) isn't a strong enough point to stand on.

I think that's a knee jerk response of most Christians to laugh away an atheists claims rather than thoughtfully addressing them.

This book wasn't a big hit in my house. As a stand alone argument for belief in God I think it falls flat, but as a discussion opener it has value. Maybe begin with this story and branch out into some practical ways a child can defend their faith and squash the claims that God is a fallacy.

You can order your book for $16 at Apologia.


We have all noticed the decline in our American culture. We sense the absence of a God fearing attitude and regret the lack of righteous leadership that would seek the will of God above the will of man. We are slipping from our claim to be a Judeo-Christian nation and blotting out God's presence in America. There is no denying it.

In Eradicate: Blotting Out God In America author, David Fiorazo, takes on the big issues of decline in our current civilization from the corruption of a Christian worldview to its effect on our government, education, media and even the unassuming believer.

Fiorazo tackles issues like abortion and homosexuality which the church has been afraid to confront. He also creates a wake up call for the church by exposing false teachers who have strayed from the Word.

He isn't afraid to take on pop culture icons like Oprah, Obama and Osteen either.

His book is a radical, daring expose of all that is wrong with our country, shining a spotlight on the areas where the church has grown quiet. After informing themselves on the state of this land, readers have some immediate soul searching to do. Information is only power when you act on what you know. This book is intended to stir action. 

Readers will find thorough research, exceptional references and shocking quotes all sited impeccably and easily verifiable. The facts cannot be ignored. It's time this generation rose up from its slumber and took the eraser back from the forces in power before they blot out God entirely.

You can purchase your copy of Eradicate: Blotting Out God In America on Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of BookCrash.

Kerri's Kreations

I recently had an opportunity to test out some earring created by Kerri's Kreations.

If you aren't familiar with this online store, I consider it a privelledge to introduce you to it.

Kerri's Kreations is a jewelry store with a purpose. For owner, Kerri Sweeris, that purpose is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness.

Myasthenia Gravis is an incurable neuro-muscular disease that can negatively effect vision, speech, swallowing, muscle strength and breathing.

As a sufferer herself, Kerri is pretty passionate in her advocacy for Myasthenia Gravis and she exerts the same passion into each piece of jewelry she creates.

From supplies to style Kerri works to create a wearable masterpiece.

Her favorite materials are Natural stones, Agate, Sea Glass and Swarovski crystals. Every piece is custom made and most are one of a kind.

Here is a close up of the earrings I was sent:
Metallic Crackle Finish Glass Earrings
The earrings feature three metallic crackle glass beads. The beads are a decent weight. Not heavy on my ears but not overly delicate to handle.

I love the color so much. I'm a sucker for sparkly greens.

I have paired my earrings with multiple outfits and had great success.

These earrings are priced at $13. If you click the image it will take you right to her website .

I think $13 is a reasonable price for these earrings especially considering the quality of her materials. This is truly wearable art.

I also enjoy knowing that ten percent of all sales go to Purely MG Awareness.

Kerri's Kreations has a host of products including earrings, bracelets, necklaces, book marks, key fobs and wine glass rings.

You're sure to find something at Kerri's Kreations that will make you smile. Visit today.

I received a free copy of this Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.