Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Crash Review: Bible Study for Busy Mamas Thirty Days in 1 Corinthians 13 by Pam Forster

About the Book:

1 Corinthians 13 is a full-blown description of love – not a sentimental or romantic feel-good love, but a practical, where-the-rubber-meets-the road, perfect love – the kind of love only Jesus has fully accomplished.

This study won’t just tell you to try harder at loving. As you spend time studying God’s Word, you’ll encounter love personified — the perfect love Jesus embodies — and knowing His love for you will motivate you to love others like He does.

Busy Mamas studies take a simple but deep approach to Bible study, divided into bite-size portions that will leave you encouraged and excited as you discover that you do have time for meaningful Bible study.

By giving you short study assignments, five to ten minutes per day for thirty days, this book will help you make time to thoroughly study 1 Corinthians 13 and learn about true, Christ-like love.

View sample pages and find ways to purchase at Doorposts.


My Opinion:

I had the chance to review this Bible study by Pam Forster based upon I Corinthians 13 AKA the Love Chapter, because it tells us what love is – patient, kind, and what love is not – boastful, envious.  It’s geared to be a 30 day study, just like the other one I reviewed here.  While most studies that are supposed to be for ‘busy mamas’ usually turn out to not be for busy moms – this one is different, it doesn’t have to be done at a set time, the study assignments are relatively short between 5 to 15 minutes if I had to give a time of course this depends on how deep you get into it.  If you have a lot of time one can easily delve more deeply into the study but if you don’t even just doing the the basic assignment will give you enough study information to go on – just getting into God’s Word is what matters.

My ESV journal Bible – the first entries I made. Hearts around the words love and charity and other colorings/decorations. Very relaxing.

The only supplies you’ll need are your Bible (you can use any translation you like), although you’ll want to have either online access for Blue Letter Bible, or have an exhaustive concordance and various other translations of Bibles for the word studies.  I like the online way as I don’t have a lot of table space but Pam also recognizes not everyone will have online access or even like it so she does tell you how to do the study without the online portions.  Also needed are some colored pencils, high lighters (if you’d like to make in your Bible otherwise you can do it on your paper), something to write with and paper.  This study is really just a guide, you can use it as you need to in your life without feeling like you’re doing something wrong, like me I’m not doing it every single day but more like every other or every two because I’m soaking up the information from the other days.

Another feature that this one has is a complimentary children’s study – they’ll be studying the same chapter you are, I Corinthians 13, but doing it with you (as a family, just you and the children, or you can omit it entirely) with their own assignments.  It is great for both the little children and older ones and ideas are given for both so no one needs to feel left out or behind.  I have not personally included my children in this one but since I enjoy it so much I will more than likely go back and try to do just the children’s part with them after I finish the study.  It’s a great way to include the children and get them growing in God’s Word and since everyone does the same chapter you’ll all be on the same chapter, no need for each child to have their own guides or for a teacher’s guide.  This is a fantastic Bible Study for busy mamas!



 (c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Putting On the Spirit: 10 Minute Devotionals for Busy Moms by Katie Hornor #grow4christ #BusyMomDevos

This post contains affiliate links – I will receive a small compensation should you use the links to purchase – please read my disclaimer for more information.

I’ve been happy to be a part of another launch team, this one for Katie Hornor’s new book, Putting on the Spirit: 10 Minute Devotionals for Busy Moms.  I hadn’t heard of her either before joining in this launch team and I’m so glad that I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book, a devotional made just for mom’s like you and I – busy, super women, moms who just may also throw in the role of teacher as well.

Usually when we think of time studying the Bible we tend to get overwhelmed because, well, we’re busy moms – who has time to sit around and just read?  Of course reading the Bible is different from reading that romance book but it’s still taking time – but let’s face it God needs us in His Word and our children need to see us in His Word as well so what if I told you in 10 minutes a day you can have a fulfilling Bible study time, just for you,and feel refreshed and as if you spent more than 10 minutes with the Lord of your life?  I’m telling you that – Katie Hornor has done a great job in giving women a simple but in depth Bible study that will help us in putting on the Spirit using lots of Scripture.

Let’s meet Katie:

Katie, is much like us she is a mother to four children (and another blessing on the way) and also a homeschool mom as well as being married to her husband, Tap and have been missionaries to Mexico.  Find out more about their ministry by visiting which is their ministry website of which it documents their ministry in Mexico since 2007.

While being a mom, missionary, wife, homeschooler are a lot of hats to carry Katie also adds author to her list of accomplishments and I can only hope and pray she continues using this great gift from the Lord as her writing is truly inspirational and spot on.  She blogs about marriage, ministry and homeschooling at Paradise Praises and also hosts a radio show about homeschooling at Educando en el Hogar (in Spanish).  Her other two books, besides this one (which becomes available in December) are: Divine Design: A Study of Feminine Priorities and Loving You Long Distance: Tips for Strengthening Long Distance Family Relationships.


Here’s an interview with Katie, so you can get to know her a bit more:


  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

    I have always loved to write. I was one of those kids who had a gazillion note pads and packs of stationery hoarded away growing up. I have filled countless notebooks and diaries with my thoughts, poems, short stories and writings. I even wrote a letter to President Reagan once (but never mailed it). I always dreamed of becoming a published author, but it wasn’t until recently that the digital technology and self publishing options have to made that dream a real possibility. 

    At the beginning of 2013 I set several goals for myself including one about a book: I wanted to do the research and preparation this year so that I could publish an ebook in 2014. Well, on March 30th, I actually published on Amazon “Loving You Long Distance”, followed by “Divine Design” on May 7th. I am very humbled and grateful that the Lord is blessing me to accomplish this goal of an ebook early and with more than one! 

    “Loving You Long Distance” came out right before Easter and is meant to be a help to those families like my own who find holidays painful because of the distance separating us from relatives. We try very hard to keep our family ties strong and we wanted to share those ideas with others who may be wondering how to do it. 

    “Divine Design” is a short Bible study that I wrote based on a couple of devotional talks I did for a group of ladies last year. And “Putting on the Spirit” started out as a couple of thoughts in a few blog posts that grew into a full fledged month long Bible Study. I’m SO very excited that the Lord is also giving us the opportunity to have these Bible studies translated into Spanish as well! 

  2.  Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing a book? 

    So far the most challenging thing is the Bible studies is to keep a consistent voice and to keep it the same length for each days study. Sometimes there is just SO much… I’m so thankful for those of you who previewed “Putting on the Spirit” and gave such helpful feedback. 

  3.  Who is your favorite author?

    Having been a book lover all of my life, I cannot answer this question with just one. There are SO MANY favorites! Growing up it was Lois Gladys Leppard, then Gilbert Morris, then Grace Livingston Hill, and Liz Curtis Higgs…. When I have time to read fiction I love the stories that are parallel to biblical stories or retell biblical stories as if they are biographies such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins series on the Gospels. Really there are just too many to name. I am also a nut for children’s literature and LOVE great picture books: Patricia Polacco and Sarah Stewart to name a couple… and I have much respect for Andrew Clements as a young teen author… I could go on for days here friends..

  4. What other projects will you be working on in the near future? 

    Once Putting on the Spirit launches, I will be concentrating on getting it and Divine Design published in Spanish. I am also working on a Biblical discipleship reference book for parents in Spanish, and the second and third grade levels of our Lemonhass homeschool curriculum for Spanish speakers which is scheduled to release Summer 2014. And of course Paradise Praises blog, and the Educando en el Hogar Spanish blog and bi-weekly radio show are ongoing projects. 

Here’s a little more information about Putting on the Spirit:

“This one month study of the Fruit of the Spirit will challenge you to examine yourself in light of the Scriptures and give you something to apply to your life each day. And the best part is that each day’s study can be done in just TEN MINUTES or less!”

You can sign up at Paradise Praises to get the newest updates and when the book become available – and be on the look out tomorrow when a giveaway launches where you’ll be able to win your own copy of this devotional!


Study of I Peter: I Peter 2:11-25


This week’s lesson was probably easier than the other weeks’ but no less thought provoking.  It’s titled “Shadow the Servant” and Peter is speaking to a church of Believers and encouraging them in the fact that they are strangers in the world and how they should be living.

I’ll never forget being a newly married woman and caring not for the things of the Lord.  My husband was raised Catholic but left the church, so he was more than okay in letting me have my way.  He could have his God, but I was going to live life on my terms, my way.

Fast forward to the birth of our first child, our daughter.  After having her I started feeling this pull, to come back to church.  Not to God mind you.  Just get back in church.  Little did I know that God would begin showing me things – things I would have rather ignored.

He wanted me to be a godly wife.  Okay, easy.  Not!  Submission?  Not me Lord, I’m liberated.

Well then I started reading the Bible – although I must say that I really didn’t come around until I started reading a series of books that softened my heart for God’s Word.

Homeschooling.  Dressing like a woman.  Covering.  Staying home.  There were just some of things that the Lord had  has been teaching me.

I’m in the world though.


It’s been a struggle to adopt God’s standards when living in the world – I don’t know who had it easier the early church or Christian’s today?

I’m put down.  “Oh, you’re just a mom”  “You let your husband control you”

I’m mocked.

I’m made fun of.

It’s a struggle but one day, upon my arrival in my Heavenly mansion that God has promised all His children, that I will hear well done!

When I think of those martyrs who have died for the faith.  Christians, fellow Brothers and Sisters who are in prisons and being tortured for His Kingdom.  I can only think that my suffering is not enough.


**I am participating in the I Peter blog tour and I was provided a copy of the Inductive Bible Study in exchange for posting about my experiences with the study for nine weeks, no other compensation was given.


Study of I Peter: I Peter 2:4-10

In this week’s study I read about the royal priesthood that we are all a part of, if we are Believers in Christ.  For me, being a priest conjures up men behind pulpits lovingly directing their flocks so that they can better enable us to understand His Word and live it.

The definition of Priest is one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God; specifically : an Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic clergyman ranking below a bishop and above a deacon (from Merriam Webster)

If we look at the definition that focuses on a person who can perform sacred rites and can act as a mediator between us and God then I can better see myself as part of this royal priest hood that Peter speaks of.  Does that mean I need to run out and start my own church?  No, God does speak of this and women’s role in the church, so how can women be priests?

Now before anyone starts getting their hackles up – I’m not saying that I think women should preach over men (this will probably get me in trouble too) or that we should have our own church, but we can still be priests.

I struggled with writing this post but as I worked my way through the study this week I realized that the Bible wasn’t meaning just priests who guide their churches but anyone who shares the Gospel.  As a woman I can share the Gospel.

I can share with other women.

I can share with my children and other children.

I can point men to the place or person they need to speak with.

I can give my testimony.

I can be a mediator – praying for those who need prayer and going before the Throne of Christ and interceding on their behalf.

I have a ministry in my house – I’m the priest while my husband is gone, and sometimes while he is here but I try to make sure I don’t usurp his position as leader.  I’m to teach my children the ways of the Lord – how better to do that than having them with me 24 hours a day and homeschooling?

Right now my ministry is my house, my children, my husband.  This has caused issues for me when I’m in a church (which we aren’t right now).  Everyone thinks I should be involved with the children’s ministry (even if we don’t use the children’s ministry), the women’s Bible study, the Wednesday night prayer meeting – they forget I’m a mom and wife.

God didn’t tell me that I have to join every ministry in the church and then sacrifice my family upon that altar.  My ministry right now is the ministry of being a mom and a wife.  One of these days my children will be grown and beginning their own ministries as spouses and parents.  One of these days I’ll be able to do more, but for now, my calling, my ministry, my God ordained priest hood is in the home.

I’m to guide the flock that He has blessed me with.

I’m not saying that we should always turn down ministries within the church, by all means if God is laying it on your heart to teach your child’s Sunday School class so you can ensure His Word is being taught then by all means BUT if that ministry comes to the detriment of my ministry of being mom and wife then it’s not of God.

My heart longs for foreign mission work.  Until the time comes that the Lord makes it feasible for us to do so as a family and the Lord makes the way clear – I’ll be content with my ministry to my family.  Of course our family can also minister to those who need it, but for now my main ministry is to raise my children.

**I am participating in the I Peter blog tour and I was provided a copy of the Inductive Bible Study in exchange for posting about my experiences with the study for nine weeks, no other compensation was given.

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How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids – Introduction

How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
You may have read that I was joining in the book club for this awesome book on this post.  I’m so glad that I’ve joined in – I yell – and I hate yelling at my children not only because I know how it feels to be yelled at by mom and dad (it doesn’t feel good) but because it’s sin and that sin tears my children’s hearts.  Some would think “oh, she’s got to have a lot of patience because she homeschools”, or “only supermom would homeschool and WANT to be around her children 24 hours a day 7 days a week”.
Well dispel those myths now!  I do not have patience, I was never taught patience, when your son spills milk on the couch twice in 5 minutes, when your daughter says mom for the umpteenth time while you’re trying to finish one sentence in a book, it’s hard to have patience.  Yes, I ask myself what would Jesus do?  How should I respond?  I know a loving mom would quietly put aside her lunch and cheerfully clean up the mess, she would put aside her book and answer “yes dear?”.  That’s what I should do.  Some days I win the battle, other times I lose.
Am I still a loving mom?  Yes, I love my children with all my heart, body and soul.  I’d lay down my life for one of them.
Do I always show them love?  Most definitely and unfortunately no.
I dread what this will do in the future – will they come to me with their issues, questions, hurts?  Yes, but only if I change now.
The first time I read the book was to review it and while I found it great, now that I’m having time to reflect on things that are written by a very real mom it’s hitting home more.
We were asked on the Blog:   How did you start homeschooling?  What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make as a mom or for your children?  Other reflections on the introduction?
We’ve been homeschooling since well since we brought Hannah home from the hospital beginning with right and wrong, God’s Word and moving on to reading, writing and arithmetic (LOL).  My husband and I discussed it as he didn’t want the children in parochial schools since he knew first hand how bad they are, I didn’t want them going to public school since I knew first hand how bad they are, and with private schools not being much better and of course with one income tuition would be too expensive.  We’ve lost friends and even some family in ways – our beliefs, our convictions, our lifestyle is not favored and so while some pretend others are outspoken in their hostility to our Christian beliefs and how terrible homeschooling is.  Our sacrifice hasn’t been monetary as we always knew we wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars on our children our sacrifice has been more in the way of friends and family – and sometimes that can be the highest cost of all.
For this week I was supposed to read the Introduction and while I read I jotted some notes and here are some things that jumped out at me:
“What I lacked was a real, growing, intimate relationship with God.” (page 9)  I know growing up I went through the motions, yes I loved God but once I hit middle school it didn’t matter as much.  Some days I still wonder if my faith one of Saving Grace but I’m growing and that’s an improvement.
“I think it should be noted here that we were planning only one child, maybe two.” (page 11)  Oh my!  Yes!  That was me, actually MY plan was to never have children, I wanted a career as a high profile attorney – maybe marriage, but no children.  I got married and got pregnant right away, then we lost that baby.  Within months I was pregnant again, had graduated with my associates degree and it was decided that I would stay home.  WHAT??? Yes, I wanted to stay home with my baby, I quit working a month or so before our first was born.  I went on birth control as all responsible women do after the birth of a child and then we decided it was time for another, but that was it!  While pregnant with #2 I began to feel strongly that birth control was wrong and as I read more and learned more my heart became convicted and husband was in agreement – no more birth control after baby #2.  I became pregnant with #3 about 2 years after #2, which seemed to be my pattern even with the birth control.  We let go and let God.  Now I’m dealing with what my OB calls secondary infertility (regardless of how many children it’s referred to as secondary).  God knows my heart.  He knows.  We still use no birth control but when you let go and let God, that could mean you end up with 7 children or loving the 3 you already have.
“….but I had not considered what God’s plan might be for their lives.” (page 24)  Some days I forget that it’s not what I want for my children but what God has in store that is important.  I need to show my girls that I enjoy being at home, being a homemaker, being a mom and how to be a mom and pray that the Lord’s will is that they be home for their husband, their children, their home.  I need to show my son what a good wife is, what a godly wife is – so that when he marries (if that is God’s will) he will know what qualities should be present in a godly wife for himself and a mother for his children.

“You can recover your heart.  It may be lost, but it can be found.  Your heart might be wounded, but it can be healed.  ……” (page 28)  I think this says it all.  You may have closed off your heart because of the way you were raised.  Because of the way some guy treated you.  Because of a friend who back stabbed you.  I’m learning to let my heart be softened – as I read about the Patriarchs of the Old Testament and the love for their sons when they failed, how much God love us when we fail, my heart becomes softer toward my children, my heart heals, my heart is found, my heart is renewed by the reading of God’s Word and fellowship toward my God, my children, my husband, my self.

I’m looking forward to the next several weeks of this study and if you’d like to join in please visit The Pelsers to find out how you can still join in to learn how to have H.E.A.R.T. for your children.

A Family Guide to the Bible by Christin Ditchfield

A Family Guide to the Bible by Cristin Ditchfield is a wonderful way for Christian parents to gain a better understanding of the 66 books of the Bible in order to better learn more about God’s Word and be equipped to teach their children Biblical truths. Cristin Ditchfield is a popular conference speaker and has authored more than fifty books including three others in the Family Guide series.
From Crossway’s site: “A Family Guide to the Bible takes readers on a fun and exciting tour through all sixty-six books of the Bible and offers parents, grandparents, and teachers a better understanding of the Scriptures so they can help the children in their lives know what is in the Bible, where to find it, and how it all fits together. As Christians become more familiar with God’s Word, they will gain greater confidence as they share what they believe with their family and friends, help answer questions concerning the Bible, and encourage others to grow deeper in their walks of faith.”
I will begin by saying this is a wonderful addition to any family or churches library to access information on the Bible in a way that is easy to read and understand. We start by receiving a short history lesson on where the Bible comes from and then Cristin Ditchfield answers the question, can we trust the Bible? Then we delve into the message of the Bible, what is it all about? These first chapters give great background information about the Bible in simple enough terms for a child to understand but complex enough that it isn’t going to bore adults – this is a hard line to tow and one that Cristin Ditchfield has accomplished.
All books are included, Genesis through Revelation, and the chapters that talk about each book are divided into Old Testament and New Testament. These do not contain the Catholic books, but much information can still be gleaned from those who are Catholic. The books are in order as they appear in the Bible, making them easy to find in short order. In each book’s chapter we are given the name of the book, the author, who the author was writing to or the audience, the setting, the story, the message, words to know, did you know?, think about it, making the connection and more on this story in the Bible.
Did you know is a section that gives a little more information about what’s contained in each book, an interesting tidbit that makes learning about that book a little more fun. Think about it, gives the reader something to think about as they read and delve deeper into the message of the Biblical truths. Making the connection ties everything together from the time the message was written to our lives now. The author backs everything up using Scripture and gives the reference, this book can be used with any version of the Bible that is preferred by the reader, another reason this is easy to use.
Also included in this book are ways to study the Bible, such as choosing a translation, using a concordance, Bible dictionary and encyclopedia. Study tips for personal Bible study, family devotions and Bible reading plans are also included. She also has a section that tell what stories from each Old and New Testaments should be known by everyone, along with Bible heroes (men, women, children and teens), the Miracles and Teachings of Jesus, what the Bible teaches us about Heaven and various Scripture to help celebrate holidays, sharing the faith, guard your heart and face your fears. Maps of Bible lands are also in the back of the book along with one showing what the lands look like now.
Again this is a wonderful resource to have on hand for planning devotions, personal study or even planning a Sunday school lesson. This book can truly be used by any Christian that wants to learn more and teach the children in their life more Biblical truths and not just stories that don’t relate to their lives. At a time when there are many children and young people leaving the church this book can help guide parents in actually teaching pertinent information and keep their children from leaving their faith.
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