Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Family Christian: A Reluctant Bride (An Amish of Birch Creek Novel) by Kathleen Fuller (review and giveaway)

I have read other books written by Kathleen Fuller and have always enjoyed them, this one was no different. Sadie’s story pulls you right in – from the time she was accosted when out running a business errand for her parents up until she realizes she needs to be loved and be able to love. A Reluctant Bride was a fast read for me because of it’s page turning qualities and enjoyment factors as well as the well portrayed characters that fill it’s pages.

As Sadie deals with the repercussions of a drunk driver’s negligence in killing her parents and severely injuring one of her sisters – she finds that she does need to rely on help, both from the Lord and also from those within her community – even if it means marrying a man she thinks she can’t and won’t love. As I said this is a page turner, it kept me up at night because I just had to know what was going to happen next and oh, how I felt for Sadie – in the midst of grief she must carry so much burden and I could tell early on there was something sinister about their community’s Bishop.

Through it all the characters grow and mature and are stretched in their faith as we all are in real life – it strikes to the heart of what forgiveness is and what happens when bitterness and hate does when it’s allowed to take root and grow. I don’t want to give spoilers but at the end of the book my heart was rejoicing over Sadie and Aden’s ‘happy’ ending, although there is more heart ache in store as they deal with the other issues that are going to surround them, I hope there will be another book to follow their story as they continue to grow in their marriage. Thankfully it wasn’t your typical Amish romance – and I enjoyed it for that as well – I needed a down to earth Amish fiction book and that is what I got when I received this book to review.


Enter the giveaway for 1 copy of The Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller – ends 10/30/15 – US Residents ONLY.

Winner has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address from the time I contact them in EST – if no response another randomly chosen winner will be contacted.

(Right click and open in a new tab – you’ll have to leave a comment on this post to enter) a Rafflecopter giveaway



Family Christian: Matt Redman Unbroken Praise CD (review and giveaway)

I’m always on the look out for new albums to listen to in the car while we’re doing our many driving errands during the day, so when I had the chance to receive Matt Redman’s CD, Unbroken Praise, I knew I had to jump on it. Unbroken Praise has 11 tracks on it and you can listen to samples of them by following the link above to the Family Christian product page. While I enjoy all the songs on the album I have to say, “It Is Well With My Soul”, is probably my favorite. All the tracks are recorded live, so I know that may not appeal to everyone, however the sound quality is great and the applause of the audience is usually at the beginning and the end, not in the middle as I’ve heard some live tracks do.

Also normally, when I’m driving I like fast, upbeat music, however I also like being able to just get in the moment and get my praise on – even if that means stares from other drivers, or my children. It’s not so slow that I’ll go to sleep but not so fast that you feel like your at a rock concert – there is a time for each style. You’ll find the following tracks on the album:

  1. Louder
  2. It Is Well With My Soul
  3. Flames
  4. Unbroken Praise
  5. Abide With Me
  6. King Of My Soul
  7. Songs In The Night
  8. No One Like Our God
  9. The Awesome God You Are
  10. No Longer I
  11. Majesty Of The Most High

Whether you just want to get your praise on in the car or in the house this is a great CD to do that, Matt Redman has a wonderful voice and the music is one that you can sing along to, even if you think you can’t sing, the Lord loves a joyful noise! I know this album will be in my music rotation in my car for a long, long time especially with a long drive coming up to visit some friends, I’ll be able to sing along without getting put to sleep and also give the Lord praises for our safe traveling mercies. Truly, this is a wonderful CD and I do encourage those who like Matt Redman or just want a contemporary twist on some old favorites to get their own copy.


Contest is open to U.S. Residents ages 18 and older, void where prohibited. Winner must respond to the email I sent within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter. Easiest way will be to right click and open in a new tab. Ends 9/3/15

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Family Christian: Holy Ghost DVD (review and giveaway)

This DVD piqued my interest as I long to know more about the Holy Spirit, I grew up in the church and the church we were in – one didn’t raise their hands, speak in tongues or believe that the Lord could still perform miracles. As I’ve come more into my own faith over the years, I recognized that the Holy Spirit is still at work in our world today, there was no cessation of the miracles – the Lord still gives miraculous healing and people can and do still speak in tongues, among other gifts. I don’t believe though that if you don’t speak in tongues that one is not saved. So when I had the chance to receive this DVD to watch through the Family Christian blogger program I was excited, I want to see what the film had to say.

At first I was very much engaged with this documentary and agreed with a lot that was said by some of the people interviewed such as theologians, a missionary to Mozambique and others, like Lenny Kravitz and Brian Welch from Korn. However, as it went on, I lost the interest as some of the things were just somewhat unbelievable – like mass conversions outside a Korn concert with some of the people still throwing up the sign for Satan and flipping off the camera. I know the Holy Spirit can move in mysterious ways and yes there are some who can be saved at a Korn concert but 100’s? One can’t be saved by someone laying on of hands, and being healed – they need to accept Christ and only then will the Holy Spirit enter their lives. In Holy Ghost, I felt that a lot of the praying and laying on of hands to those who were atheists, agnostics or Mormons or Hindus led some to believe that they had to do nothing else for their Salvation.

Overall, I enjoyed the idea that yes the Holy Spirit is still at work in our world and He can enter our lives and that is how our works yield fruit that is representative of our faith. As nice as it is to think that a Hindu high priest who invites a singer into the Shiva temple and is getting saved, unless he repents, no matter the words he sings to a song he cannot be saved. I only pray that those who were touched by the visit do open their heart and minds to the true, living, saving God – and accept His gift. The documentary was thought provoking but ended up being quite long in the end and at that point I was as ready for it to end as I was at the beginning to watch it.

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


All entries will be verified. You will have 24 hours to respond to the email if you win, failure to respond will mean I pick a new winner. Void where prohibited.

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Family Christian: The Good, The Bad and the Grace of God by Jep and Jessica Robertson (review and giveaway)

 photo good_zpsfrap80ox.jpgBefore I begin this review I want to be honest, I’ve only ever watched a couple of Duck Dynasty episodes – we don’t subscribe to cable and I don’t usually have time to watch shows. The ones I have watched my children and I really enjoy so when I had the chance from Family Christian bloggers to read and review this book I jumped at the offer. The Good, The Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us about Faith, Family and Forgiveness is an awesome book on how two people that were broken, begin to heal with God’s help and become a stronger family because of it. I was pulled in from the first chapter – each chapter is either told from Jep’s or Jessica’s point of view and you’ll know before starting a new chapter whose view you’ll be reading.

It was a relatively short and quick read – sometimes humorous, sometimes I had tears in my eyes – especially during the story of Jep’s medical crisis when the family didn’t know whether he’d leave the hospital alive. I’ve been there – sitting beside my husband as we wait word about what is going on, and then later being that widow. I could feel Jessica’s worry, her fears and ultimately peace when she leaves it in God’s hands. The book is honest, more honest than I think I ever could be in regards to my past and my skeletons – because we live in a world who wants to see us as horrible, unchanged, unrepentant sinners. However, Jep and Jessica, seem to truly not care – their story isn’t for perfect people – it’s for those who have been hurt, who have pain and who want to heal like they’ve been healed – their story is told, not to recount every horrible detail or to ruminate on it all the time, but so that there story can help someone else.

Whether or not one watched Duck Dynasty, whether or not one agrees or disagrees with their Christian worldview – if you’ve been hurt, if you’re still in pain and you want a story that shows how two people, one couple, keeps on going, then read this book! I appreciated how they didn’t dwell on facts, the story was there but it wasn’t written in a woe-is-me fashion or in a way that some continue to dwell on it while making the reader think they’ve been healed – it’s real, it’s raw and it’s all God. It’s great to read about their love for each other, for their children and for the Lord, even if it makes me miss my husband – I feel even more inspired to pass on our faith to our children so I can pass on our legacy. The questions and answers segment at the end is a great way to end the book and it makes them seem even more real than watching them on T.V.

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


All entries will be verified. You will have 24 hours to respond to the email if you win, failure to respond will mean I pick a new winner. Void where prohibited.

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Family Christian: Amy Grant’s newest CD: Be Still and Know (review and giveaway)

I grew up listening to Amy Grant – I even got a couple of her cassettes for one of my birthdays, back when I was given a HUGE boom box. I made complete dances (**GASP** – yes I was a church going, dancing child) to her music in my family’s driveway in the summer and in my room during inclement weather.

I still enjoy those songs like El Shaddai, which Amy Grant has re-made and it’s still as beautiful, even if I’m partial to the one I grew up listening to in the late 80’s, early 90’s. The new album Be Still and Know; Hymns and Faith is a great addition to my CD collection as I drive my children from place to place – every day.

I can still hear the songs, Every Heartbeat and Baby Baby playing over the loud speakers at summer camp for our Church of God district. No dancing though. I’m a hymn person at heart and while I like CCM I knew I needed Amy’s newest CD because it had several of my favorite hymns on it such as:

  • Power in the Blood
  • Rock of Ages
  • What a Friend We have in Jesus/Old Rugged Cross/How Great Thou Art
  • Softly and Tenderly

and these are just a few of what is on this CD of 15 tracks, she also has some guest vocalists like Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow and Eric Paslay.

I feel like I’m passing on the touch, my children can enjoy the music that is faith filled through a woman I used to listen to when I was young. It feels good to know that there are songs that stand the test of time and instill faith in our life as we go about our daily lives. The music is relaxing, but no so relaxing that you can’t listen while driving and while it’s upbeat, it’s not so upbeat that you can’t listen at night in bed to unwind. I will enjoy the music on the CD for years to come and while maybe not choreographing dances anymore – definitely singing along!

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


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