Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: I Choose You Today by Deb DeArmond

"Love is an act of our will, based on the commitment we made when we married...Love is a choice. Give it or give up on it. Love is always a choice." (p. 13) Do you want your marriage to happily last a lifetime? You must be intentional in strengthening and enriching your relationship with your spouse. In this book, the author encourages readers to make daily choices that will help nourish their marriage, such as choosing to keep my commitment to you, choosing to forgive you, choosing to submit to you, choosing to keep romance alive, choosing to help you achieve your dreams and goals, and more. The key is to make a conscious decision to grow closer as a couple... and to do all these things for your spouse even when you don't feel like it. Our daily choices matter...they either help or harm/hinder the strength of our marriage.

Each chapter ends with a conventional wisdom quote, choice questions, and a prayer. These questions will help readers evaluate their marital relationship and take action. For example, from Chapter 5 ("I Choose to Honor You"), the questions include "How well and how often do you honor your spouse? What prompts you to do it? Why do you sometimes fail to offer honor? What's your plan? What will you choose to do, starting today, to honor your mate?" I choose to honor and bless my husband everyday. During the weekdays, I send my husband texts of encouraging Bible verses, inspiring quotes, and love notes. I often compliment him and I never speak of him negatively. I express my appreciation and admiration for him all the time. I enjoyed reading this book. It serves as a reminder for me to be a blessing to my husband every day and to glorify God with each choice I make. I highly recommend this insightful book which can be used as a devotional for couples. It would make a wonderful wedding gift or Valentine's gift!

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



What’s the secret for hanging on to the happily-ever-after feelings from the day you said, “I do”? It could be as simple as four little words: I Choose You Today. Be sure to grab a copy of Deb DeArmond's latest release and find out how you can make the declaration “I Choose You Today” a regular part of your marriage communication.

Deb is celebrating the release of her book with a Facebook author chat party on February 3rd.

ichooseyou-fbevent 
Along with the February 3rd author chat party, you're invited to participate in two marriage-strengthening challenges: one beginning February 1 and the other beginning in March. Don't miss out on this opportunity to build your relationship with your spouse and enter to win some prizes along the way!

The Valentine's Challenge: February 1 – 28

Tell your spouse "I Choose You" every day of the month. Sign up online at www.ichooseyouchallenge.com and receive a free downloadable February calendar to mark off the days of the challenge.

Deb will also be emailing participants 1–2 times throughout the month with giveaway opportunities and "keep going" encouragement.
The "I Choose You" Challenge: March 1 – December 31, 2015

Sign up online at www.ichooseyouchallenge.com to receive 10 weekly emails, each teaching one of the choices from Deb's book along with practical applications. This challenge is broken up into three different sessions, covering all 31 choices from the book.

There will be giveaways and opportunities to win throughout the year. Participants can decide when to join—it's not required to do all three sessions. do all three sessions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

Are you tired of telling your kids to do chores or to stop fighting for the millionth time (or that's what it feels like to you)? Are you discouraged from expecting maturity from your teens but it seems like it never comes? There's hope and help! Check out Motivate Your Child, my new favorite parenting book! Based on Biblical principles and heart approach to parenting, the authors show parents how to raise and train children to have internal motivation to do the right thing without being told (over and over again). Behavior modification (based on external motivation) appeals to a child's selfishness to get things done with the mindset of  "What's in it for me?" But a heart-based approach parenting teaches children to be internally motivated to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. The book aims to equip parents to nurture strong moral and spiritual development in their child(ren) which will prepare them for life. Some of the topics covered in the book include conscience, 3 levels of thinking (thinking only about self, thinking about others, and thinking about God), action point, honesty/integrity, guilt, compassion, responsibility, convictions, forgiveness, value of correction, 3 questions to end discipline times well, honor, consequences, boundaries, discipleship, family time, and more.

The book provides helpful strategies and tools to help you be intentional in connecting with your child's heart, developing Scripture-directed conscience and building godly character in him/her. The authors help parents see that spiritual training not only doable but also enjoyable. I like the evaluation form at the end of Chapter 3 which helps me keep track of what areas of the conscience (do what's right, deal with wrongs, be honest, and care about others) my children need improvement on (I also use it to pray specifically for my children). I highly recommend this book which in my opinion, is one of the best parenting books available! Insightful, practical, and encouraging! I only wish I had read this book when my kids were younger.

*To celebrate the release of this awesome book, members of the Launch Team are sharing an awesome giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800! Click here to enter. The deadline is tomorrow (Jan. 28th)!

"What parents say leaves a marked impression on their children's hearts...A parent's words are important in a child's life. They linger in the heart and become food for the conscience." (p. 21, 31)

"Asking teens, 'What's your plan?' instead of barging in and demanding instant obedience can be a way of teaching them to be responsible. It passes the responsibility on to the child to help determine details and to remember to get things done." (p. 51)

"Just because someone feels a sense of peace about something, it doesn't make it right...A trained conscience feeds off the Scriptures. Not all actions have a Bible verse to point to, but a growing knowledge of God's Word produces an internal sense of obligation to do what's right." (p. 54)

"The point we're trying to teach children is that correction is a valuable tool in their lives, and it's a way to learn and grow. God wants us to learn from our mistakes, not beat ourselves up or attack other people." (p. 64)


"If you want your kids to fly straight, teach them obedience. If you want them to fly high, teach them honor...Obedience gets the job done, but honor deals with how that job is done." (p. 85, 88)


"The role of the conscience and the Holy Spirit is to provide guidance for the heart and keep it moving in the right direction." (p. 100)


"There are many good and godly ways to raise children. Just because one technique works with another child doesn't mean it will work with yours. Tailoring a plan for each child will consider specific needs and challenges, resulting i more effective parenting strategies." (p. 110)


"Passing on the faith is more than imparting biblical knowledge or explaining theology. It's living it out. When children see faith lived out in the everyday activities of life, they're more apt to catch it. " (p. 142)


"A strong family seeks to bless others, cares for others, and helps them find God in tangible ways. In short, the family is a place where children become disciples of Jesus Christ so they can impact the world. They learn how to become disciple-makers themselves." (p. 160-161)

About the Authors:

Scott Turansky has been a pastor and missionary for more than 33 years and is an author of several books. In addition to pastoring full time, Scott also conducts parenting seminars on Saturdays around the United States (http://www.effectiveparenting.org/). He is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting (www.biblicalparenting.org) and has co-authored four books.

Joanne Miller is a pediatric nurse with 26 years of experience and the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She is the coauthor of seven parenting books.

NOTE: $150 Pre-Order Deal--Anyone who pre-orders the book at any retail outlet by January 31, 2015 will receive a Bonus Parenting Strategy Package full of parenting resources worth $150. 
The Bonus Parenting Strategy Pack includes:
• Toolbox of Consequences Video and Study Guide • Kids and Conscience Video and Study Guide • Children’s Activity Lessons for Conscience Development • Children’s Activity Lessons on Correction • Strong Willed Child Teaching Points • Make Devotions Fun MP3 • How to Develop Gracious Speech MP3
Learn more about all of these resources here:
http://www.biblicalparenting.org/motivateyourchildpreorder.asp
INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to
gift@biblicalparenting.org. They will send you the link and a special code
to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January
31, 2015.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: A Mom's Prayers for Her Son by Rob & Joanna Teigen


Praying for our children is one of the most important things (if not the most important) we can do for them. I have two sons and one daughter. I pray for them everyday. Prayer is my lifeline in raising my children. I love this book! A Mom's Prayers for Her Son covers prayers for every area of your son's life. There are 77 topics in the book such as When He's Falling into Addiction, When His Faith Is Shaken, When He's in the Wrong Crowd, When He's Feeling Depressed, and When I Don't Know What to Pray. The topics are all related to what a young man may face or struggle with spiritually, socially, emotionally, and relationally. Self-control. Anger. Courage. Pride. Doubts. Competitiveness. Rebellion. The book also includes encouraging stories from moms about how God has answered their prayers for their sons. God knows our son(s) best and loves them more than we can ever imagine so it's wise for us to ask Him for help, wisdom, guidance, protection, etc.

Each topic begins with Scriptures. Each prayer is Biblically-grounded and filled with love and faith. When I pray these prayers in the book, I often include my daughter, too, since most prayers can be applied to daughters. I highly recommend this helpful book to every praying mom who has a son and every praying grandma who has a grandson!


~I received a free copy of this book via The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DVD Review: In Plain Sight


Most people probably have heard of sex trafficking in India, Thailand, and Cambodia. But sex trafficking is not just an international issue. In Plain Sight is a revealing and informative documentary that features the wonderful work of six female abolitionists in six different cities (Baltimore, Sacramento, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock, Nashville) fighting against sex trafficking in the United States. The film aims to make viewers aware of this urgent, horrendous problem that is taking place all over America "in plain sight" at hotels, truck stops, massage parlors, etc. Slavery still exists in America! Did you know that 100,000 children and thousands more women are sold in the United States for sex each year? Did you know that the average age of victims is 12-14? In the film, you will hear heart-wrenching interviews given by victims/survivors of sex trafficking. They endured hellish "nightmares" and unimaginable abuses & oppression. The common thread among the victims is neglect and sexual abuse at a very young age. The traffickers/predators prey on these children's vulnerability.

The film also tells the beautiful stories of hope, freedom, and restoration as each survivor shares how she has been helped and cared for through a sex trafficking aftercare home. The girls feel loved & safe and are able to relax and heal. The aftercare homes run by the six female abolitionists provide the girls with shelter, recovery program, life skills, and much more. 
I highly recommend this excellent documentary (executive produced & narrated by Natalie Grant) to anyone. Human trafficking/sex trafficking must be stopped! We can be part of its solutions. Join the fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. Text "freedom" to 405-303-7777 for a list of practical steps to help this cause.


~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Motivate Your Child Giveaway

I'm a member of the Motivate Your Child Launch Team. I am looking forward to reviewing the book. We all want kids who would do what they need to do without being told, don't we :)? Motivation matters! I love the Biblically-based heart approach used by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (I reviewed their Family Toolbox DVD program last year). For this book, I've only read the introduction so far. I can't wait to read how parents can help their children develop internal motivation by working on moral and spiritual development. I will post my review on this blog on January 27th.

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told,  members of the Launch Team are sharing a wonderful giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800! motivate your child giveaway Here’s What you could win: 

GRAND PRIZE  ($500+ value)

Go Pro HERO3+ Silver Camera ($300 value)

HERO3+ Silver captures gorgeous, professional-quality 1080p60 video and 10MP photos at speeds of up to 10 frames per second. Built-in Wi-Fi enables you to use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely, preview shots and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and more. Compatible with all GoPro mounts, you can wear it or attach it to your gear for immersive POV footage of your favorite activities. It’s waterproof to 131’ (40m) and built tough for all of life’s adventures. Combined with stunning low-light performance, high-performance audio and an ultra wide-angle glass lens, HERO3+ Silver makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.  

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

 The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum

 

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill 

***

FIRST PRIZE ($165 value)

$50 Mardel Gift Card

 

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum

***

SECOND PRIZE ($115 value)

$25 Amazon Gift Card

 

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway dates: January 12, 2015 @12:00am ET through January 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm ET Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review: Bible Learning Cards


Bible Learning Cards
List Price: $14.99 per set|Format:Each set has 20 different 5" by 7" cards
Vicky has been a children's book illustrator and a Christian for many years. When a friend suggested the idea of creating Bible verse cards, she thought here was a chance to use her art to share the Good Word. 

She selected verses that speak to children and to parents and created three sets of cards, 1 for young preschool children and two for elementary school children.
There are three boxes of Bible Learning Cards for three overlapping age groups. The age groups are, Preschool Bible Learning Cards-ages 1-5, Children’s Bible Learning Cards, ages 4-11, and Courage & Comfort Bible Learning Cards for ages 6-13. We picked topics and scenarios that children go through all the time. The cards are color coded, so parents and children can find verses to guide them in their friendships, their faith issues and helping them through their fears. These cards are adorable and applicable to kids lives.

Company Bio:
Words2remember4kids is based on the idea of getting children and parents to learn encouraging, comforting and classic Bible verses through illustrations and discussion starters on large flash cards. These cards are great for every day use around the house and in the car. We are a small company, with Vicky Enright as the illustrator, and Kristen Smith, who has her Masters of Divinity who helps with the verses and discussion starters. Our company is located in the Boston area.



My Review:
I received a preschool set for review. My kids are older (21, 16, and 13) but I still used these cards with the younger two :). I tweaked some of the discussion starters to fit their ages. They already knew most of the verses but it's still fun for me to ask them questions and hear their thoughts. These discussion starters help parents know more about their children's spiritual understanding and give parents opportunities to teach Biblical values/principles and character-building. I asked my kids to pick out a few verses for memorization. I myself enjoyed using these cards to help me with my own Bible memorization. The illustrations are beautiful and colorful. A book ring is included to keep all the cards together. There are 20 cards and they are divided into four different topics: Learn, Love, Grow, and Play. These cards are durable and easy to clean. They are an excellent, friendly, and fun tool to help your preschoolers be familiar with some important Bible verses that can guide, encourage, and comfort them. In my opinion, it's never too early to instill our children with God's Word. I highly recommend these Bible learning cards. I'm saving them for my future grandkids :).


~ I received a free copy of this product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Top 10 Reads of 2014

Here are my top 10 reads of 2014 (not in any particular order). 

You can click on the titles to read my reviews or to get more information about the books. What are some of  your favorite books this year?  Please share.