Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

BookLook Review: Jesus (Get to Know series) by Nancy I. Sanders #grow4christ #bookreview

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About the Book:


Jesus – part of the Get to Know series – is a unique biography about Jesus, the son of God. Focusing on the life and character of this Biblical hero, using color photographs, maps, and other visual resources to tell the whole story, young biography fans will come to learn more about this man of the God and the role he plays in history. Featuring a bibliography and scriptural references throughout, this is sure to become a favorite for young readers and for first book reports.



You may purchase a copy on Amazon or at Zondervan.


My Opinion:


The Get to Know series by Nancy I. Sanders is a great way to introduce Biblical characters and history in an age friendly way – with full color illustrations and pictures and fun informational facts along the way.  I chose to review the book, Jesus, which even though most children know about Him still don’t know the historical facts surrounding Him and the times during which He lived and ministered.  This 122 page book covers more than just facts about Jesus such as what it was like living under Roman rule as a Jew, what festivals and why they were celebrated, along with information about his miraculous birth and His death and resurrection.  The only thing I disagree with is on page 36 when the author states “Jesus had sisters and at least four brothers.  His brothers’ names were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas.” – I’ve not seen Scriptural evidence that shows that Mary had other children, not that it would be horrible if she did, but I don’t think it’s been proven as Biblical or historical that Jesus had earthly siblings except for Brothers and Sisters as they are related to Him through a new birth.


That said, this book is really great, the full color illustrations and pictures, some from historical places and paintings from famous painters add a real glimpse into what was Jesus’ life like and also about Him as a person.  I enjoy that the author does include the fact that archeologists even acknowledge the fact that there are real evidences found that the stories told in the Bible including Jesus are proven fact in the archeological record.  There are quotes by those who study the Bible including the historian Josephus and maps that show how the Temple would have looked during Jesus’ life and where Roman control was centered.  There are several icons through out the book such as, Scripture (these tell you where to find more information in the Bible itself), Bible hero, Eyewitness Account, Did You Know and a word bank – all these help children in understanding more about Jesus.


At the end there is a timeline of Jesus’ life and comparing it to world history, which puts things a bit more into an understandable time frame for children, a glossary of all the words from the word bank, selected biography, source notes and  student resources.  The back cover of the book also makes note that the book is aligned to Common Core Standards which may be good for those children who are in schools that align to common core.  I know this will be enjoyed by my children for a long time to come and can’t wait to read the others in the series which include Mary, King David and the Apostle Paul – hopefully there will be more to follow – a great way to write a report on Jesus and make understanding His life a bit easier.




(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers


Hands-On Learning #grow4christ #fieldtrip


The other day I took my three children and a friend of my oldest daughter to the Cincinnati Museum Center – which is three museums in one – Cincinnati History Museum, Natural History Museum and Children’s Museum.  We’ve never been able to get into the Cincinnati History one as our reciprocal passes didn’t cover it but now that we are members of this museum we were able to go in and take a look around and it was a lot of fun, including a big exhibit on WW2 that my oldest enjoyed walking through (I’m a Rev. War/Civil War time frame person she is the WW2 time frame).  So we spent the day going through all three museums and even the train tower – which was also a first and I never knew you could go up there.  My 7 year old son liked it because you could ring a bell and it was quite loud – for each ring you could get an old copy of a train magazine – he was happy to walk out with two magazines.


Two of mine standing in front of the large beaver exhibit in the natural history museum.


My oldest says I always take this picture of the Mastodon sinking in a tar pit. I told her I do not. She just rolls her eyes. So I took another.


The cars to the right of the picture is a two mile long coal train – the U.S. sends most of it’s coal to Europe and Canada instead of using the rich resource here! This is a major hub for trains and one can still even catch an Amtrak for passengers.


This is what greets you when you enter the Cincinnati History Museum. I’m not a car enthusiast but it’s beautiful.




I love old samplers like this – you don’t see this handicraft around much (I love to embroider and cross stitch when I have the time) and this one was pretty. My camera doesn’t do the colors justice.


We had a great time – on the ride back we made it ahead of the storm coming in which was great because I hate driving on freeways in severe storms but we made it back to familiar territory before it hit.  My children really enjoy this museum, as do I and there is so much more we didn’t get to see in the Cincinnati History that we’ll definitely be going back to look a the rest of what we didn’t get to see.  If you search my blog I’m sure you’ll pull up my other posts about this museum and our past visits to it.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Book Review: Plain Faith by Irene and Ora Jay Eash with Tricia Goyer #bookreview #grow4christ

**This post may contain affiliate links**


About the Book:

This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace—not works—was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved? This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.


You can purchase a copy at Amazon and Zondervan.





My Opinion:


I enjoy Amish fiction, any search of my blog will clue you into that, however I also enjoy Amish non-fiction and while Irene and Ora Jay are no longer Amish they were baptized into the Amish church and married Amish.  I’ve also been fascinated with Montana and the Amish out there since Tricia’s series that takes place out West – so I knew I had to read this book since it included about life as an ex-Amish person as well as taking place in Montana.  The story of the Eash’s begins one night upon leaving a family gathering with their two daughters asleep in the back of their buggy when both parents fall asleep resulting in a catastrophic accident with their buggy.  That leads the Eash family wondering is there more?  Most don’t know that most Amish don’t believe in a true salvation of believing upon Jesus and the assurance of that salvation – they can only hope that they’ve lived a good enough life and that the Lord will be pleased with their Amish life.  To be Amish and be sure of your salvation in Jesus is not looked lightly at among some Amish groups and that is what Irene and Ora Jay found as they began reading the Bible for themselves and asking questions.


Traveling to Montana and only intending to stay for a year opened their eyes to the truth that is found in Christ – and as one action led to another including their eviction from their rental house to live in the basement of the house they were building including also no longer being allowed to associate with their Amish friends and family – the Eash’s knew they could not turn their backs on what they new to be the Truth even if it meant losing it all.  The story flowed fairly well although some details should have been provided sooner – one of their son’s received 2nd and 3rd degree burns and the only thing that the read knows is that they didn’t go to the dr until later in the book where in a letter written to friends and family, they did say they called the doctor and he said there was no reason to take him to the hospital and gave them silvadine cream for the burns.  At first I was incredulous as to how someone wouldn’t take their injured child to the dr but as I read on and more was explained I released it wasn’t a case of neglect.


There is much searching and faith in these pages, including faith that God can and will heal us and that is what makes this book a great read for a Christian, either a struggling one, one who is going through a trial or even just to read another testimony.  It shows real faith to pick up and move across the country, leaving friends, family and church behind as you search for the Truth that will give you assurance of the life to come, life with the King.  It switches between Irene and Ora Jay’s view point and it’s interesting how to see how they each responded differently to the Lord’s calling and their trials they went through as they left the Amish, as it gives a more well rounded view of how things are handled in view of church discipline of the Amish when one leaves the flock.




(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for $5! #grow4christ

Do your children enjoy Adventures in Odyssey?  I know mine do!  We try to buy the CD’s when we are able to or tune in on our local Christian radio station but sometimes we miss it – now we can listen as member of the Odyssey Adventure Club and right now it’s only $5.00 to join!




Are your kids in need of a safe and fun environment where they can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth? Enter the Odyssey Adventure Club (AOC)!


For a limited time, you can join HERE for only $5 (regular monthly membership costs $15 for up to six users)!

Families will be able to stream the Adventures in Odyssey library, plus listen to exclusive new monthly episodes.  Busy families will find 24/7 access to the content through the Odyssey Adventure Club mobile iPhone app.

Children can also read daily devotions, interact with hands-on activities and view video documentaries featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the production of the Adventures in Odyssey stories. Parents can feel confident their children are safe on the Odyssey Adventure Club website — Focus on the Family staff will be monitoring all comments before they’re publicly posted. (Created for children ages 8-12.)

A portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership will benefit Focus on the Family partner relief organizations, including Christian Veterinary Mission, Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International. This provides parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of giving and serving others.

Coming in July, Odyssey Adventure Club members get to listen to the brand new album, “The Ties That Bind,” FIRST before it’s available ANYWHERE ELSE!

Click here to join for only $5!

Want more summer activities for your kids inspired by the Odyssey Adventure Club? Check out this post.

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Encouragement for Homeschool Moms by Diana Waring Giveaway #grow4christ #giveaway

So right now, I’m part of a giveaway which has a $700 giveaway value as part of my being on Diana Waring’s Launch Team for her Experience History Through Music curricula and I’m so happy to get to bring you another giveaway.  This is one is to win a set of Diana Waring’s Encouragement for Homeschool Moms – which is a set of five digital books that will inspire you as you seek to teach your children, both educationally and spiritually.



You will receive the set of five digital books:

  1. Beyond Survival:  A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling
  2. Wings:  Giving Our Children Wings
  3. Roots:   Giving Our Chilren Roots
  4. Box Free Living workshop
  5. Once Upon a Time…..Eight Articles of Relational Homeschooling


Not a homeschool mom yet?  Go ahead and enter!  Veteran homeschool mom?  Go ahead and enter!  Just want to know what all us crazy moms do all day?  I guess you can enter too!  A hubby who wants to surprise his hard-working home educating wife?  Enter!  Please follow the link for the Rafflecopter form or visit my giveaway page on Facebook.


Enter via Rafflecopter.

Enter on Facebook.


Flowers #grow4christ

One thing I’ve enjoy about our new house is that my mom picked out some flowers and had my brother plant them out front.  Now, as I told my mom, her selections are bit helter skelter as they are all blooming at different times but they are pretty.  We’ve had several come up already and in lieu of any other ideas to write about right now I’d figure I’d share some of our flowers we’ve had blooming so far and if I’m wrong on the identification please leave me a comment and let me know 😀


The most recent one – I believe it’s a Lily – it’s a beautiful red.




I believe this is a chrysanthemum it was HUGE and it smelled wonderful! Wish they’d bloom all the time.


Hubby surprised me with a bouquet of these, can’t remember what they’re called, but they are very pretty.



So those are the flowers that have graced my house recently and of course I’ve had the occasional dandelion bouquet from my son who loves to bring those to me but I forgot to snap a picture.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Review: The Kissing Bridge (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Book 3) by Tricia Goyer #grow4christ #bookreview

**This post may contain affiliate links**


About the Book:


Caught between a stifling Amish community and an unnerving outside world, a devout young woman on the run is about to become the newest arrival to West Kootenai, Montana. On the day of her sister’s death, Rebecca Troyer took her first step away from the Amish. Rebecca had always strayed a little outside the fold—a job at an Englisch bakery, long weekends with non-Amish friends—but nothing could have prepared her family for what she is about to do: Rebecca is abandoning the community to attend nursing school. She is headed to college, into “the world.” But she has to make it across the country first. When she stops in West Kootenai, at the home of a lapsed Amish friend from her youth, Rebecca finds a lot more in Montana than she had bargained for—namely a handsome working man named Caleb Hooley. Caleb is at a crossroads of his own. A daredevil bachelor with high standards, he has decided he’ll never find an Amish woman who can quench his thirst for adventure. Needless to say, the pretty Amish girl who has fled her community in secret catches his attention immediately. As hearts are opened and secrets are revealed, Rebecca and Caleb find they have much more in common than just their Amish background. But can this runaway find love with a risk-taker who has lost his faith in God? All it will take is one week in the wilderness to find out . . .


You can purchase a copy at Amazon or at Zondervan.


My Opinion:


If you do a search of my blog you’ll see it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Tricia Goyer’s writing – both non-fiction and fiction alike – they are excellent and also set a high standard for Christian reading in both areas.  I’ve read and reviewed The Memory Jar and The Promise Box, which are books 1 and 2 in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and I have to say I think this one may just be my favorite! I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me while reading The Promise Box but as Millie explains it to Rebecca it has me wanting to make a real promise box of my own – that I can go to when I need some inspiration and reminding of what the Lord is doing in my life.  Rebecca just knows she is supposed to leave the Amish and become a nurse, so that she can save others like she couldn’t save her sister – but she never listens to what God wants until she is on a trail ride through the wilderness.


Getting to re-visit some old friends like ex-Amish Marianna and her singer husband Ben along with the old friends that live in West Kootenai was so much fun and I could feel like I was breathing in the mountain air that is clean and clear.  I’ll admit at first I kept thinking why was Rebecca so “know-it-all” and almost whiny and woe is me in some ways that she couldn’t get past her sister’s death and also I shuddered at some of Caleb’s dangerous antics almost as much as Rebecca harped on him about them, but the two new characters grew on me.  I’m not going to tell you a bunch of spoilers or dangle too much in front of you but I will say this – The Kissing Bridge is a wunderbar gut book that is a fast read and it will pull you in to the community where Amish and Englisch live and work together unlike other Amish communities and one that should be read by those who enjoy Tricia Goyer or Amish fiction, or both!



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Body & Sould by Bethany Hamilton with Dustin Dillberg, L.Ac., PAS #grow4christ #bookreview

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About the Book:


Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton shares her expertise on wellness including spiritual and physical health.

A professional surfer who has overcome incredible challenges, Bethany Hamilton shares her expertise as an athlete and a Christian, showing girls ages 11-14 how spiritual health is just as important as physical health. Whether they surf or not, Bethany helps young girls develop a healthy lifestyle, understand their changing bodies, gain confidence, and establish a pattern of healthy living. Body and Soul includes workouts specially developed for young girls by Bethany’s personal trainer, recipes and information on healthy eating, and advice on deepening your spiritual health, for a total body wellness book perfect for growing girls.


You can purchase a copy at Amazon or at Zondervan.




My Opinion:

Weight and body image has always been something I’ve struggled with – even when I was in the Navy and weighed less then that I ever have, it was still a struggle to stay at the minimum weight requirements – enter being a mom – each of my daughter’s also struggle with their weight.  Due to that fact I requested Bethany Hamilton’s book, Body & Soul to review so that maybe it would spur my girls and I on to getting in shape and getting fit.  Thankfully this book isn’t hyper on losing weight or looking good on the outside, Bethany stresses multiple times through the book that it isn’t what you look like on the outside it’s about how you feel on the inside (face it if you eat sugar you feel bad, if you eat ‘whole’ you feel better) by eating good foods and exercising.  If you feel good on the inside then that exudes from the inside out and people will see it and find you someone they want to be around – the energy one gets when they’re exercising and eating right is amazing and you feeling better makes others what to talk and get to know you.


I’ve heard some people say this book is too focused on weight or looks, and I can say that is the farthest thing from the truth, what I read was Bethany telling girls they don’t have to be skinny, they don’t have to be the drop-dead gorgeous model type to be in shape and to be attractive, because God made us all in ways that bring Him glory.  Even a slightly overweight person who eats veggies and exercises can still have healthy numbers while an ultra skinny person who is feasting on chips and soda may be the unhealthiest person on the earth!  That said I love that throughout Bethany has included multiple Scripture verses and also makes sure to reiterate that God is the Creator and He has formed us in the way He wants and that is the most important thing.  Also are Bethany’s Soul Secrets which are tips from Bethany and her experience, Kirby Says which are words of advice or encouragement from Bethany’s trainer, sections with tips for busy time snacks and more, and also interactive features to journal in thoughts and feelings.


At the end there are several work out regimens that are given in full detail with pictures to help you do them correctly – because if you’re not doing them right you can get injured!  A lot of the exercises look like great fun and I’ll even be trying some of them too and my favorite section is the recipes.  Tasty and wholesome (although I’ll omit the eggs and honey and use Stevia) and quick to whip up even my 12 year old daughter could make these on her own.  As our days get busier with each daughter taking two dance classes a week and then hopefully making the junior dance company I can see the green smoothies becoming something we’ll be making use of on the days we are on the go and need a meal on the run.  Would I give this to my 12 year old?  Yes – it’s not focused on just body image but about the whole self – spiritual, mental and physical – when one is out of whack the rest are quick to follow.  This book is geared to girls ages 11 to 14 and I think, as long as your girl knows her worth isn’t wrapped up in how she looks, then this book will be great in getting her to focus on how she feels inside and where she is at spiritually.  I don’t think I’d give this to a young girl or even an older girl who has major body image issues as they may twist the message in the book so ensure the girl you give this too is positive in how she looks at herself so she gets what she is supposed to out of it.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers


BookLook Review: The Gift of Love by Amy Clipston #grow4christ #bookreview

**This post may contain affiliate links**

About the Book:

Bestselling author Amy Clipston overcame hardship and tragedy early in her marriage, but nothing could have prepared her for the trials she would face when her husband was diagnosed with kidney disease shortly before the birth of their first son. With nearly 100,000 people needing kidney transplants, Joe was on a long list of recipients waiting for a match.

After watching her husband suffer through transplants, a rejected kidney, and interminable dialysis, Amy took the ultimate risk in the hopes of saving her husband’s life and the life of a woman she didn’t even know. Through the John Hopkins paired donor program, Amy donated her kidney so that Joe would receive one from a matching donor.

Amy’s story is one of strength, courage, and patient endurance in the face of an uncertain future. Readers will be inspired by her resilience, encouraged by her faith, and humbled by the realization that they too are ultimately helpless without the power of God.

The Gift of Love will appeal to readers who are fans of Amy’s fiction and those who are facing health challenges of their own.


You can purchase a copy on Amazon or at  Zondervan.


My Opinion:

I’ve enjoyed reading Amy Clipston’s other books and so when I had the chance to see a bit more into one of my favorite author’s lives I knew I had to get this book and delve into it – beginning a book with your car accident is one way to grab my attention, maybe because I’ve been in two accidents one that almost ended my life, so my interest was piqued right away.  I know some of what kidney disease entails, having cared for disabled people who needed to be transported to dialysis, it’s a horrible disease but as Amy shows while it can get you down, the Lord can get you through it.  This book isn’t one to read when you’re in public and without tissues unless you want people to stare at your read eyes and sniffling nose!  There were times when I was laughing but more times than not I was crying – because I could feel some of Amy’s pain after her father’s two suicide attempts, oh can I feel her pain and then the virtual loss of her father after a medical emergency.  Her trying to hold it together for their two sons, while working, paying the mortgage and making sure she can go with her husband to his appointments.


Imagine a dream life and then a short time after your wedding entering a nightmare that you’re never sure is going to end or that it might end badly, having a husband with chronic health issues makes me commiserate with Amy all the more in her telling of her husband’s transplant, rejection and fear of not finding another kidney in time.  She remains strong, even if at times, she doesn’t feel strong or wants to be the one who can cry – I’ve been there – I’ve been the one who wanted to be the one allowed to cry, to scream, to rant but knowing that I can’t because I’m the one who must hold it together.  I was so happy to read Amy’s story, most of the time we see our favorite authors and think of them as well-off (oh they can afford their big house, big car and medical bills), we think of them as untouchable by any calamity, as being not real – not human but this book brings to the forefront not only the issue of kidney disease but also that authors are people to with real troubles and I’d say writing this book was not only cathartic for Amy but also for me, the reader, who needed it’s message.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers


Moving on up…… #AHG #grow4christ


On June 2nd we had our 2nd American Heritage Girl cook out and awards ceremony for our troop – it was a warm day, but thankfully cooler than last year’s so it made it more enjoyable.  If you check out the side bar I have a list of my American Heritage Girls post from our troop, if you’re interested, it’s a great girls group and we’re happy to be involved.  My oldest ‘crossed over’ from Explorer to Pioneer, this is a big accomplishment but even bigger is earning her Lewis and Clark level award – girls can move up but not all girls will earn their respective level awards.  There are many requirements such as service hours, completing a minimum number of badges, and doing special events – you can read about my daughter’s Art Show and Benefit she held.


Both girls earned several awards such as Living in the USA, Insecta Inspecta, Memory Makers, History’s Canvas, Pet Care, Stick Shifts and Safety Belts.  Hannah earned her Sign Language badge and Bethanne earned her cooking badge.  Bethanne remains an Explorer, she really wants to move up and it’s hard for her as she is 9 and will be in the 5th grade so we have to sort of figure all the ages/grades thing out before she can move up – she’s well on her way to earning her Lewis and Clark award though – having already completed all her required badge work and almost done with her required community service.


Some game time before eating and awards – my middle daughter competing in the sack race.


Bethanne receiving her awards, hubby is the picture taker as I’m in the back helping with awards.


Hannah being presented her Lewis and Clark award.


Hannah re-doing her cross over because I missed the first time. Thank you for re-doing it sweetie!


Being greeted by her in real life friends, L and N, after crossing over and being a part of the Pioneers and Patriots.


A group shot of most of the girls, those who could make it, in our Troop.


So a big congratulations to all the girls who have worked hard and earned badges and their level awards and to those who are moving up.  I’m so happy to have my girls involved in such a positive, Christian and character building group and I’m happy to be a leader that is involved in these girls’ lives.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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