Sunday, May 31, 2015

Both challenging and moving: "The Heart of the Amish" by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Cover Art


about the book....


We have all been hurt and we all have someone we need to forgive. But sometimes it's hard to let go of our hurt and anger in order to truly forgive and move on. 

For the Amish, forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. From daily annoyances to heartbreaking tragedy, they exhibit an incredible capacity for forgiveness that often baffles us. How do they do it? And how can we have the same attitude and ability to forgive?

Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows you how the Amish are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. You'll learn how to invite God into your story, apply lessons from the Amish to your own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.


my review....


"The Heart of the Amish" was both an enjoyable, well-written book, and very challenging at the same time. Story after story of forgiveness, of often instantaneous forgiveness for even the most heinous of crimes, had me reflecting on the state of my own heart. As I read of parents forgiving the killer who murdered and raped their daughter, I wondered could I respond in that way? Or as I read of an adult daughter who has forgiven the father who molested her as a child, I was challenged whether I could offer such forgiveness if I were in her shoes. Fisher has done a wonderful job at compiling all of the different stories in this book, and I appreciated how each story is accompanied by the "Reflections on Peacemaking" sections which provide questions to help you truly think through and internalize the life lesson contained in these stories. This is a great book to not only read on your own but perhaps share with your family by reading chapters out loud, or work through with someone who is really struggling with offering forgiveness for something that has occurred in their own life. As you read through the stories, you will be reminded of the incredible gift that offering forgiveness is, not just for the person that you are forgiving, but for the freedom it offers each of us to release us from bitterness and the poisoning of our own souls.

Like always, Fisher has written a book that has earned a permanent place on my shelf. And, I am already planning to pull this book down in the future to again spend some time learning from the real life examples included in this book. They are powerful indeed! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....


Suzanne Woods Fisher


Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.





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Friday, May 29, 2015

GIVEAWAY and review of HILLSONG UNITED'S CD "Empires" #EMPIRES #FLYBY

Empires   -     By: Hillsong United


about the album....


Hillsong UNITED's next project EMPIRES follows 2013's ZION, the group's most successful and fastest selling album to date, selling over 400k units, and including the Platinum selling single, Oceans. With over 1.7 million albums sold, and over 30 million people singing their songs every Sunday, UNITED has set a precedent in the church that will only grow with the impact of EMPIRES. The debut single from EMPIRES, Touch the Sky, premiered worldwide on Amazon and radio March 24.






my review....


Every so often I find an album that I quite like at first, which I then grow to love, and then I simply can't stop listening to every day! Such is the case with "Empires", Hillsong United's latest album, which I have been playing non-stop since it has arrived at my house. The lyrics are simply beautiful, and there are just so many songs where I couldn't help but close my eyes and lift my hands in praise to God. "Heart like Heaven" had me "Singin' holy is your Name", and "Rule" found me celebrating that we "owe it all to Jesus, sin and all its shame deleted, death and all its chains defeated, And the light we see is Jesus". Although these are not all songs that you will necessarily be incorporating into your Sunday morning worship service, each of them cries out to God with real depth, praising God for who He is, unafraid to admit our sinful state, and calling out for God to breathe into our lives.
Musically, the songs remind me of the tone of their "ZION" album with similar driving beats, catchy synthesizer harmonies, and some truly wonderful vocal melodies. When the singers break into the chorus of "Oh Hallelujah, Hallelujah" on the song "When I Lost My Heart to You" I got the chills, and the piano riff halfway through "Even when it Hurts" was so beautiful that I have listened to that section of the song over and over. "Empires" not only contains well-written songs of praise to God, but has truly amazing music that moves my very soul.

If you loved "ZION", then you are going to greatly enjoy "Empires". I have no doubt that this album will sell as well as the prior one, and that people across the nations will be praising God as they listen to this great CD.

I award this album a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


 about the musician....


HILLSONG UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound, connect with churches, individuals and ultimately connect people everywhere with God. UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home. When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point people to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.




Check them out on tour this summer: http://outcrytour.com/
Official website: http://smarturl.it/Empires




Buy from Amazon.com:


Empires

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY
open to Americans & Canadians :)

Win of a copy of  Hillsong United's new CD!


Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


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Free novella ebook: The Vow by Jody Hedlund

The Vow: A novella - eBook

Free ebook today! Here's the link on Amazon.com:



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CD GIVEAWAY!! "Sovereign" by Michael W. Smith #SkySpillsOver #FlyBy


Woohoo!

I have been given the AWESOME opportunity to not only help promote Michael W. Smith's latest CD "Sovereign", but offer one for a GIVEAWAY as well!

Read on for details and to check out his BRAND NEW music video "Sky Spills Over"...




about the album....


Well known as one of the most gifted artists and worship leaders of his generation, Smith’s previous worship projects have sold well over 3.5 million albums. Throughout the entirety of his career, Smith's albums have received one Double Platinum, seven Platinum and 16 Gold RIAA Certifications. However, not one to rest on past success as he hits the “sweet spot” of his career, Smith is deliberately entering a new creative chapter on Sovereign, crafting a vibrant collection of vertically-focused songs with a fresh sense of musical innovation.

CD Track Listing:
* You Won't Let Go
* Heaven Come Down
* Miracle
* Sky Spills Over
* All Arise
* You Are The Fire
* Christ Be All Around Me
* Sovereign Over Us
* Hide Myself
* The Same Power
* I Lay Me Down
* The One That Really Matters (Featuring Kari Jobe)




To celebrate the release of his latest album, Michael W. Smith has released a brand new video TODAY. Check out his new fantastic video featuring "Sky Spills Over" below:




 about the musician....


Michael Whitaker Smith is an American contemporary Christian musician, who has charted primarily in the contemporary Christian and occasionally in the mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when "Place in this World" hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than 15 million albums.














Buy from Amazon.com:


Sovereign

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY
open to Americans & Canadians :)

Win of a copy of Michael W. Smith's new CD!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spread the hope and get your Personal Evangelism Kit for "Global Outreach Day"





On May 30, 2015, believers across Canada are invited to join millions of Christians around the world and participate in Global Outreach Day, perhaps the biggest evangelistic mobilization movement in recent years.

The vision of Global Outreach Day is to build a network of Christians worldwide, equipping and mobilizing them to share the Gospel in over 200 nations on one single day.
Momentum is building. In 2014, more than 15 million Christians worldwide chose to step out, move, pray and act on the same day. To date, people in 130 nations are committed to participate, in some way, this year.

“Finding the Hope” is the Canadian theme for the fourth annual Global Outreach Day, with easy-to-use, engaging resources for evangelism — available in English, French and Chinese.
To help Canadians believers present the Gospel to someone in a creative and respectful way, Every Home for Christ has developed a “Finding the Hope” Personal Evangelism Kit. Order yours today!

my thoughts....


Just the other day I was telling my friends that I wish I had more boldness and courage sharing Christ with strangers or co-workers or even friends. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to even start a conversation about what I believe. If you are anything like me, then the "Personal Evangelism Kit" may be what you are looking for! There is much in this kit that you will enjoy. The "Personal Planner" provides you with a place to list the names of people you are praying for to come to believe in Jesus, and then has a "share" section where you can list the names of people you will commit to share with. You might also list names of places here that you will leave a booklet or card. The kit provides several of the "finding the hope" booklets that clearly and simply provides the good news that Jesus offers the hope of salvation and reminds readers that "in Jesus' heart - you will always matter greatly". It includes a prayer that people can pray to invite Jesus into lives. The language in these booklets is easy to read, and recognizing that this is a digital age, even directs people to a website to find more information.

I think what I like best about this kit is that it challenges me to step out of my comfort zone and reach the lost. It starts by having me to commit to praying for my lost friends or co-workers and then take practical steps to share God's love with them.

So go ahead and order your own kit, and also visit the website listed above for a ton of resources that will help you in your goal of sharing the good news about Christ. Who knows but that someone is waiting for YOU to tell them about the hope they have been longing for?

Kit has been provided courtesy of EHC and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 


Free ebook: "Be Exultant" by Warren Wiersbe

Be Exultant: Praising God for His Mighty Works - eBook

Free ebook today! Here's the link on Amazon.com:



Monday, May 25, 2015

Introducing "When Hope Rise" Courtesy of CFBA



Introducing "When Hope Rise" Courtesy of CFBA

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When Hope Rises
Pelican Book Group (May 2015)
by
Dora Heirs


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!



ABOUT THE BOOK

Art teacher Shelby Coltman transforms junk into treasure and longs for a place to showcase her creations. She’s thrilled when her friend volunteers to room with her. Shelby can finally buy a storefront. Unfortunately, Kennedi’s brother can't seem to let go.

Abandoned as a teenager, guidance counselor Tate Malone has become surrogate and over-protective father to his sister. Life is great until Shelby Coltman wheedles his impressionable sister into sharing an apartment. Raised in wealth, the beautiful Shelby could never understand poverty or rejection, and Tate doesn't appreciate her uprooting his sister. When Shelby hands over her savings to a homeless student, will God obliterate Tate's fears and deliver all of Shelby’s dreams...when hope rises?

If you would like to read the first chapter of When Hope Rises, go HERE.

Free fiction ebook: "A Heartbeat Away" by Harry Kraus

A Heartbeat Away: A Novel - eBook

Free for download today. Here's the link on Amazon.com:


Saturday, May 23, 2015

A book like no other! "Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus" by Cliff Graham


Cover Art


about the book....


Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.


my review....


Whoa! Men, this is the series that you have been waiting for! (And women, don't get me wrong - you'll enjoy this one too).

Cliff Graham has written an absolutely spellbinding read in "Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus". I have never really considered what the life of Caleb was like, apart from what is depicted in the Bible. But Graham's fictionalized account of Caleb's life has given me a whole new appreciation for this Biblical hero, one he expertly brings to life with historical details and settings that make for fascinating reading. Within the first couple of chapters, the action simply explodes onto the pages and doesn't stop until the end. Now, some readers may find themselves a little uncomfortable with some of the violence depicted here. But the scenes simply ring true to the times Caleb was living in, a time when you had to fight to survive within Egypt, a time of living through the horrible ten-plagues when Pharaoh wouldn't let the Israelites go, a time when God called on Israel to conquer the Promised Land he was giving to them. I became so caught up in this story, that I couldn't put it down (and that's not something I often say about Biblical fiction). While the author has taken much poetic license with this story and obviously added things that are not within the Bible, the themes and values ring
true and faithful to the scriptures. And I can promise you that you will never think of Caleb the same way after you turn the final page of this story, but will be encouraged by the example that he sets for men to live their lives with courage and completely dedicated to God. May all men be mighty in worship and mighty in service to God!

I simply couldn't get enough of this intense, well-written book. Men, do yourselves a favour - if you only read one book this summer, let it be this one. But no matter your gender, you will turn the last page of this story with a new appreciation for the Old Testament and a hunger to revisit the scriptures for yourselves.

5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....


Cliff Graham

Cliff Graham is a former soldier and officer in the United States Army who now spends his time writing, speaking, and operating a growing series of media franchises. A graduate from Black Hills State University with degrees in political science and military science, he wrote his Lion of War series while working as a youth pastor. He currently lives in the mountains ofUtah with his wife, Cassandra, and their children, and speaks to churches, men's groups, and conferences all over the United States. He can be found online at www.cliffgraham.com.




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Thursday, May 21, 2015

My new "Go-To" resource on Homosexuality: Joe Dallas' "When Homosexuality Hits Home"

When Homosexuality Hits Home


about the book....

“There’s something I need to tell you…I’m gay.”

These are hard words to hear from a beloved family member. But as hard as they are to hear, they are also hard for the same-sex-attracted person to utter.

No matter the relationship—parent, child, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or other, that admission will likely mark a change in the way you and your loved one understand each other. These can be difficult waters to navigate, but Joe Dallas knows the rough waters firsthand and offers answers to the questions you need answered.

From his many years of helping families answer tough questions about homosexuality, Joe Dallas offers you sound, compassionate, and biblically accurate advice as you take a journey you never anticipated.




my review....


I am firmly convinced that the issue of homosexuality is one of the "key" issues facing the church today, as believers struggle with remaining true to God's word while loving their friend or child or parent or co-worker who has revealed that they are gay. Or, perhaps believers themselves are trying to reconcile their orientation with their beliefs. Joe Dallas has done a fantastic job of filling the need for a book that is firmly based on scripture and doesn't hesitate to show the sin of homosexual behaviour, while also calling us to respond in love and gentleness, and never in hate. The book is written in a purposefully practical way, with specific chapters that speak to parents whose child reveals they are gay, or to husbands and wives who find out their spouses have engaged in homosexual acts. He also specifically addresses the common theories behind why people who are gay become gay (are they born gay or is it their environment?), and tackles some difficult arguments people may find themselves facing. For example, he speaks to a common statement someone may make calling you "homophobic" if you say you believe gay behaviour is wrong, and provides points to consider on the subject and a sample response you could make.

But I think my very favourite part of this book is the fact that no one could argue that Joe Dallas has no right to pen this book. Joe starts the book by acknowledging his own past of engaging in homosexuality, pornography, etc. He speaks from the point of view of someone who has struggled with all of these issues, and discovered God's grace in the process. Who better to write this kind of book than that?

By far the most practical and clearly written book on the issue of homosexuality that I've yet read, "When Homosexuality Hits Home" is a must read! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Harvest House Publishers for the purposes of this unbiased review.


 about the author....


Joe Dallas

Joe Dallas is an author, speaker, and pastoral counselor who conducts seminars nationwide. He is the founder of Genesis Biblical Solutions in Tustin, California, and has written six books on human sexuality from a Christian perspective, including such authoritative resources as the bestselling Desires in Conflict, The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality, and The Gay Gospel? His articles have been featured in Christianity Today magazine and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and he is a regular contributor to theChristian Research Journal.







Buy now on Amazon.com!