Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway: Control Girl by Shannon Popkin

Do you know any controlling, manipulative persons in your life? They are not pleasant to be around, are they? I know I don't want to become one. Maybe you yourselves have struggled with the desire to control. I know I have at times. This desire or craving usually makes things worse and produces the results that are opposite of what we expect/want. It also brings about anger, frustration, stress, fear, anxiety, discontent, pressure, and conflicts. It often damages relationships. The author of Control Girl shares valuable lessons from seven women in the Bible who had the control problem: Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam. Their control issues led to a mess which serves as a warning for us. Shannon Popkin points out that there's a better way to live. Relinquishing control (surrendering all to God who truly is in control) and living by faith lead to a beautiful & victorious life. A life of sweet surrender brings peace, joy, and freedom. On the contrary, the craving for control is a curse, burden, and disease. Control is an illusion, anyway. At then end of the book, the author uses Mary as an example of a surrendered life we should emulate.

The author shares about her own control struggles and the devastating effects of the control problem seen in seven women in the Bible. Each chapter consists of 3-5 lessons. Each lesson includes Scriptures for study and meditation, questions to reflect upon, and practical steps to apply. I highly recommend this relevant, convicting, and insightful book! It's great for personal study or for small group studies. I'd rather be a Jesus freak than a control freak any day. How about you?

"As we try to control things we can't control, we tend to lose control of the one thing we can--ourselves." (p. 27)
"Faith is trusting that God is for us, even when he keeps things from us." (p. 40)
"Rather than controlling my loved ones by pressuring them into external changes, I must exhort them with truth, then entreat God to work in their hearts." (p. 75)
"It's possible to give God control of big decisions and then ignore his Spirit for the small ones. It's possible to make Jesus our King and then live like a Control Girl queen." (p. 189)

~I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, visit here.

About the author:

Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She's been published by "Family Fun," "MOMsense," "Focus on the Family Magazine," and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True Woman.com and has blogged for several years at shannonpopkin.com. "Control Girl" is her first book.
Find out more about Shannon at shannonpopkin.com.
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Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you're exhausted? Shannon Popkin's debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies.

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon's blog.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recap 2016

2016 has been a year of healing and new experiences.

1. In January, my left eye was practically blind due to vitreous hemorrhage. God graciously gave me back my sight.
2. After living with intense (sometimes excruciating) pain for approximately 10 years (or more) due to Adenomyosis, I decided to have a partial hysterectomy (keeping my ovaries and cervix) on March 8th. God blessed me with a successful surgery and a quick recovery. Life with no chronic pain is such a blessing that I never want to take for granted.
3. Alyssa got her driving license on March 25th.
4. On April 9th, Eric, Josiah, and I hiked at Silver Falls.
5. This year, Isaiah raised $2,242 for Steps for Life and won third place in his age group.
6. On May 29th, we (except Alyssa) visited Mirror Lake and Trillium Lake.
7. On June 9th, Josiah had his first job interview with Wendy's and got the job.
8. In June, I had my first jury process experience (although I wasn't selected).
9. Alyssa did an internship as a videographer with OM in El Salvador from June 16 to July 15.
10.  This summer, we painted our house blue with white trim and red door.
11. Eric and I celebrated our 25th anniversary at the beach. We stayed at Esther Lee. We enjoyed our first tandem-kayaking.
12. God saved Eric from a major accident on the highway coming home from work on September 27th.
13. We (except Josiah) went through our first corn maze on October 29th.
14. In December, our whole family started playing Words With Friends on our iphones and ipad. We are quite competitive :).
15. Alyssa got her ears pierced and got contact lens.
16. Alyssa attended Cru Winter Conference in Portland from December 28 to January 1.

P.S. This is also a year of replacements and additions: new refrigerator, washing machine (used), new TV (50" Samsung...smart one), 2 new electric heaters, (used) Xbox, camera (used Nikon D3200), (used) china hutch, and (used) two green flowery chairs.

Note: Check out Josiah's YouTube channel. This year, he has added 10 videos. Some of his piano covers include Someone Like You (Adele)Yesterday (The Beatles)Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)Kindergarten Cop ThemeGod Help the Outcasts (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Billy Jean (Michael Jackson), and New York State of Mind (Billy Joel)This one is one of his original compositions.

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As another year draws to an end, we reflect upon God's goodness and faithfulness. We're thankful for all the blessings He has given us and for all our family and friends near and far. May you all have a bright, beautiful, & blessed year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review and Giveaway: The JESUS Film

Did you know that The JESUS Film is the most watched (having been viewed billions of times) and most translated film (available in 1,197 languages)? It was made in 1979. In honor of its 35th anniversary (in 2014), The JESUS Film has been fully restored and remastered in high-definition with a complete new musical score in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. And for the first time in history, the film has been available on streaming. Our family has been long-time supporters of CRU's The JESUS Film ministries.  They have been doing a wonderful job reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through this amazing film. One of the greatest evangelical tools ever!

I watched The JESUS Film once a long time ago and I just watched it again. In my opinion, it's the most impactful film of all time because it tells the greatest story of all time. More than 200 million people worldwide have come to faith in Jesus Christ after viewing The JESUS Film! The JESUS Film covers the creation, the curse, the foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice through the account of Abraham and Isaac, the prophecies regarding Jesus Christ, and Christ's birth, ministry, death, & resurrection as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. It's Biblically accurate and culturally accurate. I highly recommend this classic film to everyone! The JESUS Film DVD also includes bonus features: The Making of 'The JESUS Film' and The Impact of 'The JESUS Film'. The DVD has subtitles in 9 languages: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, German, and Japanese.

GIVEAWAY: Two of those who comment here will win free streaming codes that can be redeemed at Christian Cinema. Ends 12/18 at midnight Pacific time!
To Enter: Please leave a comment here which film has impacted your life and how.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Pin it on Pinterest 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~This post and giveaway are sponsored by Jesus Film and the FrontGate Christian Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Bible Journaling Kit

Update: The giveaway winner was randomly chosen using random.org. The winner is Lindy Davis. Congratulations!

I love to highlight my Bible and write down Bible verses and prayers in my journal. I like to personalize God's love letter to me. This Bible journaling kit includes 1 pouch with adjustable strap, 1 journaling pen, 8 colored pencil twists (red, orange, green, blue, purple, yellow, brown, and gray), 4 sheets of word stickers, 4 sheets of alphabet stickers, 24 tab stickers, and 1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines. The lovely pouch is green with Philippians 4:8 on the front. It can hold all the supplies in the kit except the ruled page protector mat. I have enjoyed using the kit in my Bible and my journal. The colored pencils are easy to use (just twist the bottom) and do not need to be sharpened. I color-coded my favorite verses. For example, red is used for verses about love, green is used for verses about God's promises and hope, blue is used for verses about faith, and orange is used for verses about joy. Colorful verses do stand out. Stickers are fun. Tab stickers (such as "Favorite", "Promise", "Grace", "Faith", and "Fear Not") are useful; they help me quickly find what I'm looking for. Some examples of word stickers are "I Am Not Alone", "I love this", "When life is hard, remember...", "Dear Lord, make it so", "Think on these things." This Bible journaling kit would make a wonderful gift. It's practical and enjoyable.

Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/BibleJournalingKitGiveaway where they offer free downloads of several coloring pages and they are giving away 5 different kits. You can also enter a giveaway here (look below for info.).

Links to where you can purchase this Bible Journaling Kit:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournaling
Amazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournaling
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/BAMBibleJournaling
Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling

GIVEAWAY: You can win a Bible Journaling kit! The giveaway is open to 
residents of the U.S. only. Ends 12/8 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please share in the comment one of your favorite Bible verses.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Pin it on Pinterest 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~ 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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Movie Review and Giveaway: To Joey, With Love

Update: The giveaway winner was randomly chosen using random.org. The winner is Amy Campbell. Congratulations! 
DVD Artwork
I was given an opportunity to watch a private screening of To Joey, With Love. Wow...I was so moved by this beautiful and heartfelt documentary. I cried, I laughed, and I cried some more. To Joey, With Love was written, filmed, and directed by Rory Feek.

This film is Rory's loving tribute to his wife, Joey. It chronicles their journey from Joey's pregnancy and the birth of their daughter, Indiana, who was born with Down Syndrome, through Joey's struggle with cervical cancer and the end of her life. Joey and Rory were country music vocal duo and songwriters. They were married in 2002. In 2014, they decided to take a year off their tour to get ready for their baby. They had no idea what they would be facing in the days ahead. At that same time, Rory started his blog, "This Life I Live" where he has been writing about his family life on a small farm south of Nashville. The film is full of sadness yet full of love, faith, and hope. Through their pain and suffering, both Joey and Rory stay steadfast in trusting God, in loving each other, and in making the most of their time with their loved ones. Their daughter, Indiana, is adorable and brings much needed joy to her parents. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Joey (in spite of being quite ill) was ironing Rory's shirt because she enjoyed doing a simple task that she could still do as a wife. To Joey, With Love is a touching, tender love story that will inspire you to live each day more intentionally with a thankful heart. I highly recommend it to everyone! I love it so much that I already pre-ordered a DVD :). This film reminds me to celebrate and capture the big and small moments in everyday life. Each day with my family is a gift from God that I gratefully cherish! Life is short; may we never take our loved ones for granted!

"As I go through all this footage that I filmed over the past couple years, I can see now why she had no regrets in the end. How could she? She was fully present. Fully in the moment." (Rory Feek)

"God only gives each of us a certain amount of time to be on this earth and every day when we wake up, we get to decide how we are going to spend those precious minutes and hours." (Rory Feek)

"God gives us 'new eyes' each day, and the opportunity to see the good in life-to experience all the joy that He is trying to show us." (Rory Feek)

Note: To Joey, With Love will be available on DVD December
20th. You can pre-order now. 
And if you prefer movies on iTunes, 
To Joey, With Love will be available for download there on 
December 9.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD! The giveaway is open to 
residents of the U.S. only. Ends 12/18 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please leave a comment here which documentary has impacted your life or which romantic movie is your favorite.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Pin it on Pinterest 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~ I received a link to a free screening of this film via 
Icon Media Group in exchange for my honest review.
All opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Book Review: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace Collins

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year :)! Without the birth of Jesus, we wouldn't have our Savior, salvation, or the gospel. In December each year, Christians around the world joyfully anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth. Do not let your chaotic calendars take away the joy and wonder of the season. Pause and focus on what really matters. This book consists of 31-day devotionals for the month of December, stories behind Christmas carols, traditions and symbols, recipes, and homemade gift ideas such as Birdseed Christmas Ornaments, Whipped White Chocolate Body Butter, and Lemon Beeswax Candles. We are usually busy preparing many things for Christmas. Shopping. Decorating. Baking. But often we forget about preparing our hearts. This book helps prepare our hearts and turn our attention to Jesus Christ, the Reason for the season. Starting with Scripture, each devotional is short and concise, yet insightful. I love Christmas songs so I really appreciate the lyrics and the stories behind the songs. I look forward to trying out several recipes. They sound so yummy, especially Sugar Cookie Truffles, Eggnog Snickerdoodles, and Pecan Snowball Cookies. This is a book that I'll keep coming back to year after year. If you want to have a Christ-centered Christmas season, check this delightful book out! It would also make a wonderful Christmas gift.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

About the author:

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.

Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins' new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
 From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas. Download a free sampler of the book by clicking here.

Join Ace's Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 21. The winner will be announced November 22 on the Litfuse blog.


~I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, visit here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: Quest: Parenting in a Sexualized Culture

No one denies that our culture increasingly brings about sexual distractions, temptations, and pressures upon our families, especially children and teens. We parents must be wise, vigilant, and intentional in our parenting. Quest: Parenting in a Sexualized Culture is designed to help equip and encourage parents in informing and training their children about sex, purity, and technology. Quest is a 4 module small group video teaching series about parenting in a sexualized digital age. It includes a study book, a leader's guide, and a DVD. The DVD has four sessions: The Foundation (A teaching and discussion on what the Bible informs us about God's design and purpose for sexuality), The Conversation (Strategies to help parents create a lifelong, healthy dialogue with their kids about sex), The Technology (A discussion about strategies to create safer and more accountable tech use in your home to help your family thrive), and The Legacy (A teaching about the importance of modeling sexual purity and taking the long view with respect to raising your kids in a biblical, grace-based manner in the midst of a sexualized culture). There are two speakers on the DVD: Noel Bouche and Dan Martin. Both are great at explaining and teaching with compassion and grace. They share Biblical principles, practical advice, and personal experiences. From Quest, you will learn about God's story of sex, stewardship, the 4 P's (pleasure, procreation, protection, and proclamation), purity, how to combat the lies of the sexualized culture, 5 elements of a successful tech strategy for your family, missional parenting, and more. The study book also has Appendix A: Age Appropriate Equipping Teaching Points, Appendix B: Safe-use Agreement, and Appendix C: Answers to a Few Frequently Asked Questions.

I love how they define purity: "Purity is not an accomplishment. It is a relationship with the One who is pure." Essentially, to pursue purity, one must pursue Christ. "The pursuit of purity is about equipping our kids for a life-long relationship with the One who makes them pure." Another excellent quote is "Sex is a covenantal identity out of which flows love, joy, and faithfulness." Quest offers us parents hope and practical ways to guide our children regarding sex and purity from Biblical perspective with clarity, creativity, and consistency. Quest reminds parents to be the source of loving and truthful information that children feel safe to come to. And Quest leads parents to embrace discipleship and parent their children's heart by protecting, equipping, and modeling. This is a valuable, helpful resource for a group study for parents. I highly recommend it! It's indeed very important to help our children thrive (not just survive) in a sexually exploitative world.

"We should note that pureHOPE's ministry is built around the core belief that a pure life is rooted in faith in Christ and sustained by prayer, understanding, resolve, and engagement." (p. 5)

You can enter the giveaway at  http://purehopequest.gr8.com/

You can watch the study trailer: Quest | Parenting in a Sexualized Culture from pureHOPE on Vimeo.