30 June, 2015

{{Book Review}} 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children's and Student Ministries


About the book: 
7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children's and Student Ministries (David C. Cook, June 2015)

With decades of ministry experience, Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman capture the guiding essentials of life-changing family ministry.

These seven essentials for children and student leaders emphasize:

1. Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home 
2. Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs 
3. Teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth 
4. Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit to teach and transform 
5. Engaging every generation in the gospel of God's redemptive story 
6. Making God central in every biblical narrative and daily living 
7. Participating in community with like-minded ministry leaders


7 Family Ministry Essentials will energize and equip you with the practical steps, inspirational stories, and biblical foundation you need as you lead those in your ministry.





*My Review*

I found "7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children's and Student Ministries" to be a greatly beneficial book to anyone involved with student or children's ministry. I feel that Michelle & Megan really did their research for this book.

I really liked that the chapters end with a Ministry Assessment which include ways to challenge and motivate your family ministry leaders.


I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking a resource to improve or transform their family ministry. 

To purchase a copy of this book, go here ---> 
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1KIAw33


About the Authors:  



DR. MICHELLE ANTHONY is the vice president and publisher of learning resources at David C Cook and a popular speaker in the area of family ministry. She is the author of Spiritual ParentingThe Big God Story, and Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family. Michelle has graduate degrees in Christian education, Bible and theology as well as over twenty-five years of family ministry experience. Michelle and her husband, Michael are the parents of two adult children and live in Colorado. 


MEGAN MARSHMAN is the director of student resources and production for David C Cook and has led and challenged thousands of students in their faith at Hume Lake Christian Camps. With a master's degree in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University, Megan speaks nationally at churches, conferences, and university chapels. She and her husband, Randy, live in Long Beach, California.


*Disclaimer*
I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

29 June, 2015

{{Book Review}} Two Roads Home- What if it's too late for dreams to come true?



Minor---but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman's initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans' son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington's friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless---and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.

With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?





*My Review*


"Two Roads Home" is the second book in Deborah Raney's "Chicory Inn" series. I ordered the first in the series when I got the confirmation that I would be reviewing this book, but I think "Two Roads Home" could be read as a standalone book.


While reading this book, you can sense uneasiness with Corinne's parents, mostly with her mother, who run the Chicory Inn. I think this may be a hint for a future novel.



I really enjoyed Raney's style of writing. I will continue reading all books in this series as they come out.


I recommend this book, and this series to anyone looking for a good read. If you would like to purchase a copy of "two roads home",
 you can do so by clicking on this link-->Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1BdaEcG





About the author:
Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deborah's novels-for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Find Deborah online: websiteTwitterFacebook



*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

{{Book Review}} Love Arrives in Pieces- {{Another}} AWESOME book from Betsy St. Amant!!!





For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn't trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn't get another job soon, she'll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he'll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town's old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness---and their unresolved feelings for each other-until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice---to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

*My Review*
Betsy St. Amant has been one of my new favorite authors since I read "All's Fair in Love & Cupcakes". With Love Arrives in Pieces, she has secured her place as my go-to Christian contemporary romance author. This story has a depth that will speak to many women.

I enjoyed this book so much. The interaction between the characters was fun and {{sometimes}} light-hearted. But Betsy also had them dealing with some heavier issues, such as(but not limited to); forgiveness, self-esteem, and healing. 

This book doesn't suggest that it is part of a series, but I am so glad that I "All's Fair in Love & Cup Cakes" as it shed some light on the relationships between some of the family members. Love Arrives in Pieces centered around the relationship of the two main characters. 

It's the perfect perfect light romance book for a summer read down by the pool or lake! 
I would suggest this book(and the other one) to anyone looking for a good read!

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NfxL7S


About the author:

Betsy St. Amant 
lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find Betsy online: websiteFacebook



*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

{{Book Review}} The Little Paris Book Shop- A story of loss, grief, friendships, love and forgiveness





“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”
 
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.


*My Review*

This is my first time reading anything by Nina George. There were times when I had to push myself to continue reading "The Little Paris Book Shop".

Once I got past the first few chapters, I absolutely loved this book. "The Little Paris Book Shop" is a lyrical, whimsical tale.

The concept of the 'Literary Apothecary" had me longing to board the barge and have Monsieur Perdu hand me 'my' book. 

The ending is nice and you can find a few French recipes and a list of books that the fictional main character considers therapeutic.

*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from bloggingforbooks.org in exchange for my honest review. 
I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

28 June, 2015

Add a Little Spice to Your Snack-Time with Blue Diamond's BOLD Sriracha Flavored Almonds!




I grew up in SW Louisiana, so you are expected to eat spicy food from the time you are little. I love spicy food, but there is a difference in "spicy" and "SPICY". 

These BOLD Sriracha almonds are SPICY. If you like super hot stuff, you may just like these. I was really excited to try thee sriracha almonds, because I've had sriracha flavored snacks/food before and it wasn't that bad. I ate about 3 or 4 of these and my mouth was on fire, even after I wiped away most of the seasoning. 

I knew that I wouldn't eat them, so I sent them to work with my husband. The Air Craft mechanics there loved them! I'm glad they were eaten. 

This flavor is not something I would go out and buy on my own. If you like that bold, spicy, kick to your snacks...then you might just like these! 



*Disclaimer*
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. I was sent the above pictured products to try for free in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

25 June, 2015

{{Book Review}} A Heart's Betrayal{{Book 4}}





Heart's Betrayal (Thomas Nelson, June 2015)



Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.



When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what's more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.

Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can't stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she's pregnant---and without a husband. The new start she'd hoped for slips from her fingers.



But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kindheart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his---and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.



*My Review*
A Heart's Betrayal is the 4th book in the {Journey of the Heart} series by Colleen Coble. All of these books are easy reads at a little over 100 pages each. I usually finish reading these books in this series in one sitting. I really do wish they were all in one book so you can read them all at once, So far the first books have been wonderful and I can't help but be impatient while I wait for the 5th book. In A Heart's Betrayal, we were introduced to a new character and a new set of problems. This book ends of course with a lot of details hanging because there are still two more books left in the series. 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good fast paced series. 
If you would like to purchase this book,
 you can do so by clicking here ---> http://bit.ly/1B65ZsM






About the author: 

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: websiteFacebookTwitter




*Disclaimer* 
I received this book free from litfuse publicity in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

AdoramaPix





AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their custom photo books display your captured memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading and ensures that your photos will be just as colorful for future generations. The binding is lay-flat, so even panoramic images can splash across two pages without any separation. Your memories deserve to live in a stylish, archival home with AdoramaPix photo books.




25% off our square photo books (6x6,8x8,10x10,12x12). Use code: pxusfam25 ends 09/30/2015 11:59 pm EST 


*Disclaimer*
This post is sponsored by US Family Guide & AdormaPix. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive a free photo book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

{{Book Review}} Summer's List- A {{dying}} wish alters the course of a young woman's life



About the book: 

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness---caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore---she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something---or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?







*My Review*
I enjoyed reading "Summer’s List". This was my first time reading anything by Anita Higman. Summer’s List grabbed me the moment I opened the first page and I couldn not put it down untill the end. I had tears in my eyes several times, and other times i caught myself smiling. Summer's granny is not well and she makes out a bucket list for Summer to fill. The list involves an old friend that she has not seen in several years. There is a bit of mystery in this lovely romance to be solved. 

Summer's list is a wonderful book, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good romance with a bit of mystery in it! 
You can pick up a copy here --------> 





About the author: 

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find Anita online: websiteTwitter









*Disclaimer*

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

24 June, 2015

{{Book Review}} Praying over God's Promises




Renew a Passionate Faith in God’s Promises

Imagine a life of fresh faith built on assurances directly from God! That’s the heart of Praying over God’s Promises. What began as a tool to help strengthen others in their faith has become a life-giving classic, now in its fourth edition. Tom Yeakley, drawing from years of experience in overseas missions and leadership development, encourages readers to believe, trust, and act on the promises of God. Readers will grow in wisdom and faith as they explore the ins and outs of taking God at His word.


Praying over God’s Promises will break down the strongholds of unbelief that often choke believers and help them discover afresh the greatness of God’s faithfulness.

*My Review*
We can believe God and take Him at His word. This is the main message of this book that explores the kinds of promises the Lord makes and how they are applicable in our lives. The author encourages the reader to study the Bible for Jesus' promises and claim them in prayer.

I honstly thought this would be more of a devotional type book with daily promises of to read and pray about, but it is not. It is a book about the different kinds of promises that God makes in scripture, how to pray through them and to claim them when dealing with different circumstances. One of my favorite chapters in the book is "How to Plead a Promise".

This is a wonderful and encouraging book that has motivated me to search the scriptures for the promises of God and pray through them.

*Disclaimer*
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own

{{Book Review}} My Sing-Along Bible




Let’s Read! Let’s Sing!
My Sing-Along Bible is the perfect collection of easy-to-understand Bible stories and music for your wiggly, giggly toddler or preschooler! This book and music CD set includes creative retellings of favorite Bible stories. Plus, lively Bible and Scripture songs on the CD (included with the book) will inspire your child to sing and laugh while building a solid faith foundation. Includes 50 favorite Bible stories kids will love to read over and over again, 50 songs (high energy! and some for quiet time too!)―one to go along with each Bible story―plus bonus songs that make memorizing the books of the Bible easy and fun!


*My Review*

I absolutely love this book. I have three kids and all three love music. My younger two were singing along with the few songs that we listened to. I even caught myself singing along with them. The stories are short enough for little ones to pay attention to, and the songs are catchy and easy to remember and sing along to! 


It would be great for a church nursery or daycare. This book and cd will get plenty of use. we read a story or two and then listen to the songs that go with that story everyday before naptime. It's a wonderful book and I recommend it for anyone looking for a gift for little ones. The recommended ages are 3 to 6 yrs old, but I'm sure even little ones younger than 3 would enjoy the music, as well as kids a little older than 6. I would say it's best for babies to 8 yrs. 




*Disclaimer*
I received this book free from the publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

23 June, 2015

{{Product Review}} New Address Labels from LabelDaddy.com!





Back in April I made a post about washable peel and stick labels from labeldaddy.com on my previous blog(before switching to this one). You can find that post here. This was my first time ordering anything from Labeldaddy.com. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. 

The site is very easy to get around on. You can search for items by product name, by collection, camp pack, or by their popular items. 

I knew that I wanted address labels for my 11yr old, but I didn't know what character I wanted to put on them, so I searched their "return labels". From there I put in her name, and address and then went to find a character! 

She's away for the summer, so I chose Elsa from Frozen. Since they have our address on them, I only took a whole picture of just one of the labels and blocked out our address. These arrived yesterday(06/22/2015). 


The return labels are 1 9/16 x 7/8 in size. You get 100 return labels in each pack and they are only $19.95! I chose to spend $4.95 more to get these labels laminated 

(New address labels from labeldaddy.com)
These labels came sealed in a packet. A "helpful hints" paper was included with the labels. The helpful hints tells you where to place your labels, how to apply them, and what to do about washing the items that you stick them to. 

You DO NOT iron on the labels, these are PEEL and STICK. If you choose to place them on an article of clothing that will be washed, then you should place it on the INSIDE on the item tag and press firmly. You should wait 24 hrs after you've placed the label before washing that article of clothing.

I am very pleased with the quality of these return labels, and I'm glad that I got them laminated. They are worth the price! I will be ordering more labels in the future. My two younger girls have told me they want their own labels. Not sure it will be return labels since they don't really write much(they are 5 & 3 yrs old). 

If you are looking for new labels of any kind, I suggest you check out labeldaddy.com! Remember, my readers get 20% off when you use the code: USFAMILY20

*Disclaimer*
I was sent an online code worth $30(For free) to use on labeldaddy.com in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Our adventure to Scooter's Coffee in Colleyville, Texas




At the beginning of May I posted about Scooter's coffee in Flower Mound, Texas & Colleyville, Texas Celebrating their customers. You can view that post by going here. Because I helped them get the word out about their May Specials, I was given a $10 gift card to enjoy something yummy from Scooter's coffee!

We weren't able to go until last week or so. We tried to go one day, but everything was so flooded due to the 24 days of rain we had in May!

(outside of Scooter's Coffee in Colleyville, Texas)

As soon as we walked into the building, we were greeted by the employee. We walked up to the counter and tried to decide what we wanted to try. Everything on the menu board sounded so good!

(Menu board at the Colleyville,Tx location)

 I knew that $10 probably wouldn't buy much due to price, and I was right...but their drinks are SO worth the price! I don't drink coffee, and was so excited that they offer MORE than just coffees. My husband and I each got a small drink, which came to almost $10. I ended up trying the electric lemonade, and my husband got the berry mojito. 

(Our monster friend,Worren from Lu&Ed)

It is safe to say that I do not like the berry mojito...I think it was the mint w/ the berry. lol but the lemonade one it amazing!! They were so good in fact that Worren our monster from Lu & Ed tried to get in on the Scooter's Coffee action!


We will def be going back, I can see myself just sitting inside sipping on a nice cold drink while doing my homework, or working on my blog! 

(Scooter's merch available for purchase)


*Disclaimer*
I received a gift card for Scooter's coffee in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to post a positive review. All opinions are 100% my own

22 June, 2015

{{Book Review}} Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard **Kate won't be safe until all of Port Aster's secrets are revealed**





Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the supposed "miracle plant" that tore apart her family years ago. She's certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding her father's disappearance. She's willing to risk anything to find the truth, including her relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But with so many people in pursuit of the plant, going it alone might be a fatal mistake.



Award-winning author Sandra Orchard pulls out all the stops in this breakneck and breathtaking conclusion to the Port Aster Secrets series.







*My Review*

This is my first time reading anything by Sandra Orchard before, but I love reading mysteries, so I jumped at the chance to read Desperate Measures when I was given the change to.


Desperate Measures is the third book in this series & it  it dives deeper into the mystery and ties up any loose ends that were in the first two books. I haven’t read the first two book yet, so I can’t really say  what happened in them, but I do know that Orchard does bring up the climactic moments in the first two books, which grabbed my interest even further. 

If you are a fan of mysteries, then you will be swept up in the non-stop action in Sandra Orchard’s ending to her Port Aster trilogy. Desperate Measures has a hero who really shines, exciting tension, and a familiar setting for those who have read the first two books in the series. I will be reading the first two books in this series so I can catch up on what has occurred to Tom and Kate before this book.

*About the Author*
Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several books including Deadly Devotion, winner of the 2014 The Word Award for suspense, and Blind Trust. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Sandra has also received a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more at www.sandraorchard.com.


*Disclaimer*
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.