GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Chex Mix Bars – Giveaway closed


I was given two boxes of Chex Mix Bars in Turtle flavor, creamy caramel, chocolate, pretzels, chex pieces and peanuts to make one indulgent snack. This was sponsored by MyBlogSpark and the best part is yet to come….keep reading!

Each bar has less than 150 calories and contains 8 grams of whole grains (recommended daily serving is 48 grams). They are a filling to snack and I was able to enjoy them without running my blood sugar up – so that’s a good thing for diabetics. I won’t say that’s true for all diabetics though but for me these were a good snack option. They are also void of any artificial sweetners, another plus since I get sick from artificial sweetners.

I want to share the yummy snack with my readers so MyBlogSpark is going to send three of my great readers two of their own boxes! That’s right, three people who read my blog will recieve two of their own boxes to share or hoard (LOL) with their family and friends. So how do you get a chance to win?

In order to enter, answer the following question:

“How do you unwind after a long day?” It doesn’t have to be food related – just tell me how do you relax? For me it’s reading a good book.

Make sure to leave me your email so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win so MyBlogSpark can mail your boxes to you! U.S. residents only and remember to answer the question and leave me an email or some way to contact you if you win!

Contest ends at noon EST on July 31st.

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Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer Blog Tour and Giveaway!!!


Review

(read the review and details for the contest are below)

It’s not often that I find myself truly blessed by a book and having never read any of  Tricia Goyer’s  work before I wasn’t certain what I would find in the pages of  Blue Like Play Dough.  I was so happy and surprised by what I discovered as I kept turning the pages of this book – and I must say I love the cover since it’s in my favorite color and it’s shiny.  There was so much more than that though as to what I enjoyed about this book.

Tricia Goyer is a wife and a mom to three and what I found so great, she is a homeschooling mom!  She has authored 18 books in both the fiction and non-fiction areas and she was a finalist for the Gold Medallion.  She also writes for other publications like Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family.   She also does speaking engagements across the country.  Mrs. Goyer is one busy woman – aren’t all homeschooling moms though?

Tricia Goyer is transparent in this book, letting readers feel like they are sitting right in her or their living rooms just chatting like old friends.  All the time though her love for God just oozes out of the pages, the reader can feel the love of our Saviour as they read this book – I don’t think there wasn’t a page without mention of God or something He did her or her family’s life.  Through out the book I found myself laughing like when she was talking about doing school with her son describing verbs and how she’d managed to mix English with P.E.  I know I love it when I can justify that I’ve mixed two different subjects so we can finish school faster.

There were also those moments that needed a box of tissues, such as when her Grandpa was dying and he started shouting "I love you Jesus", keeping in mind her Grandparents lived with her.  It brought back memories of when I lost my Grandparents, who were so dearly love, unfortunately for me, I don’t have the assurance as to where they are today.  I could feel her loss because I remember falling to the floor screaming when I got the news about my Grandpa.  The talk with her daughter about suicide, oh my!  So many things that just spoke to me.

Then there were the more poignant moments such as when she talked about how memories are made today not tomorrow.  I know I am guilty of putting things before my children and my husband – not a good way at making memories.  The description of play dough plays a significant role in this book, think of all the undesirable things about yourself like those crumbs that get stuck in the play dough your children play with some are mixed in, some are stuck to the outside, but no matter what you can’t get it out.  God can though and He can stretch, pull and squeeze until you meet His needs.

My only issue with the book is the use of The Message for Scripture reference.  I am not keen on paraphrases and prefer a more literal translation (translation and paraphrases are two different things) although using the Message did lend itself well to Mrs. Goyer’s writing style.  That though, being my only issue is a good thing because I couldn’t take issue with anything else.  I wouldn’t let this deter you from reading the book though, there is much to be gained by reading it and to let the Bible used detract from reading it, is not something I would do.

This book was well worth it and I highly recommend it and I know I will be re-reading it when I need a pick up or a refresher on how to be nicer to my children and remember to make memories with them!  The thing I liked most though it was like fellowship right in my own home with a fellow Sister who loves Christ and wants to be like Him – not just follow a list of rules – but actually emulate Him to everyone she comes across.

Giveaway

Now for the giveaway!  I have one brand new copy of Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer to give away to one reader who wants to be blessed and inspired!

You can enter every way, 1 time a day, for a chance of 4 entries per day.  Make sure to leave me a way to contact you either email or through your blog so I can contact you if you win.  Contest ends Saturday August 1st at 12 noon EST.  Open only to U.S. residents, sorry.

1.  Leave me a comment telling me about how God has molded you to make you His.

2.  Visit  WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers (a division of Random House) and tell me one book you’d want to read.

3.  Follow my blog.  On the right side bar and click follow.  Leave me a comment telling me you did this. If you already do this tell me that too, don’t re-follow me 😀

4.  Visit Tricia’s blog store and tell me one of her other books looks interesting to you.

Remember to leave me a way to contact you and you can enter every way for up to 4 entries every day. 

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First Things First by Kurt and Brenda Warner w/ Jennifer Schuchmann


First Things First written by Kurt and Brenda Warner with Jennifer Schuchmann is much more than a biography or autobiography about a famous wanting to seek more fame for themselves. The book is published by Tyndale and can be purchased through the Tyndale Publishing site.

I will admit it I am not a football and I am usually the one you’ll find complaining because I believe they make too much money for what they do, considering there are people who work hard everyday and struggle to survive everyday. I had never heard of the Warner’s (I can hear some big gasps), but I am sorry I hadn’t heard of them and not because of his pro-football player status, but because of all they have done with all that money. Finding out that Brenda was a single mom and divorced at age 25, living on welfare and working to put herself through nursing school and provide for her children, surprised me. Kurt is a family man and one that you don’t normally hear about playing pro-ball.

The book is down to earth and one where you can see that the entire family truly strives to live for Christ. The ministries that they have set up are worked with their hands – they don’t just throw money at it, they actually get dirty. For Thanksgiving the family serves the homeless and downtrodden by serving them, even their youngest help in some way. In St. Louis they buy caskets for children who pass away because the Warner’s believe that parents shouldn’t have to buy a casket for a dead child. Okay so they do have a nanny (it doesn’t seem like she lives in), a cleaning lady (the children still have to do chores and pick up after themselves – one rule is if the cleaning lady can’t see their oldest daughter’s floor she isn’t to clean that room!). Really though they are normal people who want to avoid the appearance of evil and do right by God.

The other thing that really hit home is the fact that their son who was dropped as a baby and as a result is handicapped. It’s amazing how she fought for her son, when the doctor’s were ready to give up and she still continues to fight for him with Kurt by her side. I guess this affected me because having worked in the field and my husband working in it as well, we see families who toss aside or abuse the handicapped family members and it’s heart wrenching to watch. They have a ministry for that too as well as joining efforts with other foundations they enable families to take a week vacation to Disney World in Florida.

The book talks about their rules for the family which makes their family run smoothly. Communication is very important but then again with nine people in the house, communication is important. When out to eat the children have to be able to tell the color of the waitress’ or waiters’ eyes, this enables the children to look into someones eyes and show respect for an often thankless job. The rules help to make the children get along and learn how to deal with the real world along with making a house functional and peaceful.

First Things First also talks some about Brenda’s past and her first marriage and what happened to her son before she met Kurt. They do discuss their sex life, which too me was a bit too personal and I could have lived without knowing about it. The book is great though, it goes into the struggle of people asking for autographs during their family time, discussing purity with their daughter, and other happenings in a family. Overall, a very well written book that shows how one family struggling with fame also adds in being a regular family and living for Christ.

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Dinosaur Pak and Stak


My children have been really into dinosaurs of late, especially my
children and we teach them about dinosaurs from the Creationist, young earth view. So when I saw the Dinosaur: Pak and Stak put out by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Press, I was very excited! When the box arrived with the Pak and Stak in it my children were excited too.

The Dinosaur: Pak and Stak comes in a handy carry case with colorful images of dinosaurs like T-Rex and the triceratops as well as vegetation and even a baby hatching out of an egg. It is wonderfully sturdy and has stood up to hours of play and wear and even traveling in the van on trips. There is a braided carry handle that makes it easy to carry when it’s being transported. The box fastens close with the use of hidden magnets, making it very secure and less likely that the items inside will fall out.

So what’s inside? Five wonderful books about five different dinosaurs; tyrannosaurus rex, pteranodon, triceratops, the Biblical leviathan, and stegosaurus. The books are board books and are well made. Each book gives information about each dinosaur such as where the skeletons were found, how much they weighed or where they lived when they lived. In the case of the leviathan, the Scripture is given where it can be found in the Bible. There is also five stacking blocks that serve as a puzzle, the solution to the puzzles are on the back of the books. The blocks are full colored and a wonderful addition to learning more and driving home facts about what the children learned in the books.

At the end of one of the books the dinosaurs are pictured with Adam and Eve, which is great to see since God created all animals at one time – meaning He didn’t wait for the dinosaurs to become extinct before creating humans or other animals. They all were created by Him and lived at the same time. So this is a great addition to a bookshelf for a young earth Creation family who values Biblical truth when it comes to our earth, it will be enjoyed for years to come.

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Busy.


As you can see I haven’t been posting a lot of personal stuff lately – I’ve been busy.  My two youngest children, Bethanne (4) and Christian (soon to be 3), had thier tonsils and adenoids taken out on the 16th of July which required an overnight stay at the hospital due to thier ages.  Everything went great, and my wonderful Sister-in-Law stayed with me until later that afternoon, thankfully she also bought me lunch.  We stayed in the Almost Home unit which was nice and thankfully we had a private restroom – I was told that most rooms do not have this feature but honestly I’d much rather have a private restroom than a mini fridge.  It also came in handy when Bethanne had an accident because of the amount of I.V. fluids that were pumped into her.  We had a hard time getting the medicine in her in the early a.m. hours but the nurses were patient.  Both children came around about 5 and were getting restless so we had to manuever the IV poles so they could walk around.  I didn’t get to eat dinner until about 10pm so I was starving since I think the last time I ate was around 1 or 2 that afternoon.  The children began eating almost as soon as they woke up having mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, milk shakes, applesauce and more ice cream and lots of juice – although not all at once.

They are now recovering fine, despite my son refusing all medication, including pain medication.  Forget about taking it easy – they are back to rough housing – as much as I will allow anyway.  I don’t want them doing too much since it can cause the scabs to come off and cause bleeding.  They are continuing to eat and drink though and the dr said that’s great.  The worry is if Christian stops because of the pain but so far he hasn’t, we just have to watch it.  Since having gone through it with my oldest already I know some of what to expect although thier recovery has been easier is some respects since they are younger than Hannah.

We are trying to get back into school and I have to get my notification sent in in the next month or so.  The school district can’t refuse us homeschooling, it’s just so they can know that Hannah won’t be attending school this year.  It’s fairly simple and I really don’t mind doing it, I figure if this is all I have to do then I have it better than some states and am fortunate.  I have been mulling over some goals that I want to achieve with all three children this year and I will do another post regarding that once I get something written up about it. 

So for now that’s it for now.  God bless!

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A Perfect Mess by Lisa Harper / Blog Tour


 

About the book:

Caught up in the self-imposed pressure to do and be all the things they think a Christian woman oughtto do and be, countless women are working desperately to convince everyone, including God, that they have it all together. Few have any idea that the Creator of the universe looks at them with delight even when they yell at the dog, drive a minivan littered with French fries, or think bad words about that rude clerk at the store.
 
A Perfect Messoffers hope to every woman who yearns for a vibrant relationship with God but worries she isn’t good enough or doesn’t do enough to merit His affection. With characteristic authenticity, speaker and author Lisa Harper shares poignant stories from her own imperfect life to showcase the real-life relevancy of the Bible in the lives of modern women.
 
As she guides readers on a story-driven journey through selected Psalms, they will be inspired to experience for themselves how God’s incomparable love transforms the messiness of life into a gorgeous work of grace.
 

About Lisa Harper:

Lisa Harper is a master storyteller whose lively approach connects the dots between the Bible era and modern life.  She is a sought-after Bible teacher and speaker whose upcoming appearances include the national Women of Faith Conferences. A veteran of numerous radio and television programs and the author of several books, she also is a regular columnist for Today’s Christian Womanmagazine. Lisa recently completed a master’s of theological studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. She makes her home outside Nashville.  Visit Lisa here.

Would you like more information on how to purchase this great study?  Visit Random House for ordering information.

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When Someone You Love Has Cancer by Cecil Murphey: Blog Tour


About the Book:

The World Health Organization reported that by the year 2010 cancer will be the number one killer worldwide. More than 12.4 million people in the world suffer from cancer. 7.6 million people are expected to die from some form of cancer. That’s a lot of people, but the number of loved ones of cancer sufferers is far greater. What do they do when a special person in their life is diagnosed with this devastating disease?

Murphey brings his experiences as a loved one and many years of wisdom gained from being a pastor and hospital chaplain to his newest book When Someone You Love Has Cancer: Comfort and Encouragement for Caregivers and Loved Ones (Harvest House Publishers). His honest I’ve-been-there admissions and practical helps are combined with artist Michal Sparks’ soothing watercolor paintings.
 
Readers of When Someone You Love Has Cancer will receive:
     Inspiration to seek peace and understanding in their loved one’s situation
     Help in learning the importance of active listening
    Guidance in exploring their own feelings of confusion and unrest
    Suggestions on how to handle anxiety and apprehension
    Honest answers to questions dealing with emotions, exhaustion, and helplessness
    Spirit-lifting thoughts for celebrating the gift of life in the midst of troubles

Murphey explains why this is a much-needed book: "Most books about cancer address survivors. I want to speak to the mates, families, and friends who love those with cancer.  I offer a number of simple, practical things people can do for those with cancer."

About the Author:

Cecil Murphey is an international speaker and bestselling author who has written more than 100 books, including the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). No stranger himself to loss and grieving, Cecil has served as a pastor and hospital chaplain for many years, and through his ministry and books he has brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world. For more information, visit The Man Behind the Words.

 Something Extra!:

Cec designed the appendix to be the most practical part of the book. He’s witnessed too many situations where genuinely caring people had no idea what to do, so he has tried to givea few general guidelines.

1. Before you offer help. Learn about the disease before you visit. Determine to accept their feelings, no matter how negative. Pray for your loved one before you visit. Don’t throw religious slogans at them, such as, "This is God’s will" or "God knew you were strong enough to handle this."

2. What you can do now. As the first question, don’t ask, "How are you?" Instead, ask, "Do you feel like talking." Don’t offer advice. Be willing to sit in silence. If you need to cry, do so. Be natural. If appropriate, hug your loved one. Human touch is powerful.

3. Long-term caregiving. The overarching principle is to let the seriousness of the disease determine the amount of time and commitment you offer. This can be a time for you to help them spiritually. Think about tangible things you can do that say you care. Plan celebrations for every anniversary of being cancer free.

Ask them reflective questions such as:

What have you discovered about yourself through this experience?
What have you learned about relationships?
How has your faith in God changed?

 

 

 

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Holy Roller by Julie Lyons Blog Tour


Holy Roller
by Julie Lyons

Author Bio:

Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.

Book Summary:

           Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?
            At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.
            Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”


 

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Dinosaurs Stars of the Show by Amie Zordel


Dinosaurs Stars of the Show by Amie Zordel and illustrated by Joanna Borrero is a wonderful addition to any family’s library that believe in Biblical Creationism and not ‘millions and millions’ of years ago. Mrs. Zordel is a wife and mom of three daughters, who was inspired to write this book after her 7-year-old daughter’s exposure to evolution while watching children’s programming. She wanted to provide a way for families to give Biblical answers to questions that children ask.

The beautifully illustrated, 8 X 10, hardcover book begins with a little girl watching a show, innocently enough, about dinosaurs and then comes the scientist who starts talking about how dinosaurs are millions of years old and they formed out of nothing without a plan. The little is girl is stunned and starts out to find out for herself about the truth behind the dinosaurs.

The little girl pulls out her Bible and begins to read about the Creation of our earth, by our Heavenly Father. My children all enjoyed this book, with the rhyming of the words it really keeps their attention as well as driving home what we believe about Biblical Creationism. Also since it involves dinosaurs this does appeal to almost all children, all three of mine are enjoying learning more about dinosaurs although they tire of hearing millions of years. I really recommend that if you want to surround your children with Biblical examples and they enjoy dinosaurs this is a good place to start. It debunks the evolution based theories in a easy to understand, child like manner.

This is an excellent book, one that can be treasured for years to come. I found myself wrapped up in the story as well and enjoying the pictures. Another good idea would be to request your local library to purchase a copy or two, so families can all have access to the Truth about evolution. So please check out Dinosaurs Stars of the Show put out by Master Books a division of New Leaf Press.

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The Postpartum Survival Guide by Paul Meier, M.D., Todd Clements, M.D., Lynne Johnson, R.N.


I received The Postpartum Guide to Depression through Tyndale House Publishing blogger review program. Written by Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Todd Clements and registered nurse Lynne Johnson, all three who work at the Meier Clinic, a Christian based treatment center for psychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression and psychosis.

I enjoy reading books that center around birth and pregnancy and since I also worked at a mental health facility this book piqued my interest, especially since it was Christian based. I liked the fact that many Scriptures were given in reference points in regards to certain aspects of healing from depression. There were several first hand accounts from women who have suffered from postpartum depression and psychosis, which brought the issues home, so to speak.

It did seem as if the authors were all for prescribing medications though instead of actively praying and seeking God’s healing. There was some talk of nutrition and supplements (two were mentioned to the point it felt like an infomercial for awhile – they are personally endorsed by Dr. Paul Meier) being used to help bring healing, but for the most part it seemed as if medications were highly recommended. There were a few instances where they agreed that an intensive day treatment and no medication but this also meant the women was away from her children until the evening. I know that depression is a problem with serotonin levels and there are times that medication is called for, but not in all instances. I myself am living proof of that. Also not everyone can afford the vitamins that are recommended to be used.

Two other things that bothered me was the fact that while citing Scriptures we see that the authors don’t see that it is a Biblical mandate for women to be at home, going so far to say that men can be wonderful caretakers (this is true) and that sometimes it is financially better for the woman to work while the dad stays home. Saying that the Bible doesn’t have near the rules from God that we put upon ourselves. If this is true that we can decide that part of the Bible isn’t true, then the rest of it must be lying as well – this isn’t what God tells us in His Word. Also home birth, natural labor and no inductions was put down in a case study, these are valid options just as inducing, hospital birth and epidurals are (he does say this, although with the caveat that complications are more likely to arise in a home birth, I have not read of this proof and have read that the opposite is true). I also felt like the authors made it sound like those who choose to breastfeed past 6 to 8 months are foolish in their decision, maybe this is because all three of my children have nursed passed a year.

I do believe that this book can be helpful when the good is taken and the bad discarded, like anything else that is read. The fact that it has Scripture makes it a better book than one from a purely secular viewpoint on depression. I also know that I don’t have a medical degree but I do have some background in mental health and social service, my opinion can not be taken as medical advice, but I would read this book with caution and discuss it with your Christian doctor or midwife and get their opinion.

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