Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CD Review: For Your Kingdom by Higher Vision

Higher Vision Church is a vibrant, diverse church just outside of Los Angeles. For Your Kingdom is Higher Vision Worship's debut album. I have a big collection of praise & worship CDs and I was glad to add For Your Kingdom to my collection. 

Below is the list of songs:
1. (Continuum)
2. Higher
3. Freedom of Your Love
4. Worthy Is the Lamb
5. Trust In You

6. He Is Here
7. We Cry Holy
8. Set Our Hearts
9. For Your Kingdom
10. Hands Held High
11. Hallelujah
12. Near to the Broken
13. Broken the Chains

I enjoyed listening to this CD. I felt like I was at a worship concert. Some of the songs are very upbeat while others are more mellow. Some of my favorite songs on this album are Higher, We Cry Holy, For Your Kingdom, Hallelujah, and Near to the Broken. Higher exalts God's Name with fun, clapping music. We Cry Holy is a beautiful song that praises God's holiness and proclaims Jesus is our Strength. For Your Kingdom (the title of this album) is a wonderful song of resolution to live for God's kingdom. Hallelujah is a song of gratitude, rejoicing, praising, and celebrating love, grace, redemption, freedom, and hope. Near to the Broken is an encouraging song based on Psalm 34:18, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who crushed in spirit." It talks about God's faithful care for us, His healing love, sovereign plan and goodness. He is truly all we need! Freedom of Your Love makes me want to dance. It talks about God's love that sets us free and gives us hope.  Worthy Is the Lamb is a reflective song that sings to Jesus, our risen King. Trust In You is a song of faith, holding fast to God and His promises. He Is Here praises God for His presence. Set Our Hearts is a song of prayer for hearts to be on fire for Jesus. Hands Held High is a song of praise and surrender. Broken the Chains is an anthem of freedom, song for the that cannot be sung by angels. Our sins have been washed away and our chains have been broken. If you're looking for music that uplifts your soul, check out this worshipful, Christ-centered CD!

~I received a free copy of this CD via FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Book Review: Marriage God's Way by Scott LaPierre

Since God is the One who designed marriage, it makes perfect sense that His Word (the Bible) is the best manual for marriage. In Marriage God's Way, the author offers a thorough study of what God's Word says about marriage and roles of husbands and wives. The author, Scott LaPierre, is passionate about helping married couples experience joy in their marriage by obeying God's instructions. The book covers important topics such as headship and submission, love (agape) and respect, beauty, intimacy, and more. I appreciate all the Scripture references and the explanation of original Greek words. I find it helpful that the author discusses what respect looks like to a husband, what disrespect looks like to a husband, how we submit is as important as submitting, what submission does not mean, how a wife can make her husband's spiritual leadership easier, what you are to do if you are married to an unbeliever, how husbands and wives should respond when a husband makes the wrong decision, how a husband should treat his wife, etc. He wants the readers to understand that husbands and wives are equal image bearers of God yet have different roles and responsibilities.

The author shares Godly insights and practical advice from his own experiences as a husband and pastor. If you desire to have a healthy, happy, God-honoring marriage, check this book out. I love the fact that the author presents a marriage recipe straight from the Bible without sugar-coating. 
When your marriage is built upon a strong foundation of Christ, you and your spouse will reap marital blessings. My husband and I have been blissfully married for over 26 years and we can attest to the blessings and benefits of applying God's truth and principles in our lives and marriage. Marriage God's Way is a valuable resource for engaged couples, married couples (young and old), pastors, and Christian counselors. It's Biblically sound and Christ-centered. I highly recommend it! Valentine's Day is just around the corner; this book would make a great gift for your spouse or for any couples you know who might benefit from it.

"Since the Lord gives us these commands (Ephesians 5:22, 25), our obedience to them reflects our relationship with Christ. This is why there's no such thing as a spiritually mature man who does not love his wife nor a spiritually mature woman who does not submit to her husband. A husband cannot love Christ without loving his wife. A wife cannot submit to Christ without submitting to her husband." (p. 4)

"The most important 'leaving and cleaving' we do in marriage is leaving the world and cleaving to Christ. When we Christians place our own Bridegroom and Head first in our lives, we are actually strengthening our marriages because only in loving Christ and committing ourselves to Him can we become the husbands and wives God's Word commands us to be." (p. 90)

"A good perspective for couples to keep in mind is that feeling unloved is as painful to a wife as feeling disrespected is to a husband." (p. 96)

"Only when two people are equally committed to obeying God's commands unconditionally will a marriage experience the health and joy God desires for it." (p. 104)

"Her responsibility ends at submitting, not at making sure the right decision is made." (p. 117)

"A wife wants a husband who is guided by the Lord. When a wife feels her husband is committed to the Lord, regularly spending time in prayer and in God's Word, she will have a much easier time placing her life and the lives of her children in his hands." (p. 118)

"The gracious submission of a Christian wife to her unsaved husband is the strongest evangelistic tool she has." (p. 149)

"One might think that the 'best' marriages exist between two people almost identical in every way, but even the most compatible people will have a miserable marriage if they are selfish. The healthiest, most joyful relationships consist of people who are the most giving, selfless, and sacrificial." (p. 190)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Our 2017 in Summary

As another year draws to an end, we reflect upon God's goodness and faithfulness through all its ups and downs. This year has been a year of sorrow and celebration, loss and gain.

On January 22nd,  my mother-in-law, Juanita went home to be with Jesus. Very unexpectedly. We visited her the night before and she was improving. We had her celebration of life on January 30th at City View Chapel.

On March 3rd, we bought Juanita's home in Salem from her husband, Joe. Alyssa bought her first car (2006 blue Buick) from Joe for $2,350, which died on her shortly after she arrived in Texas (she left Oregon on Aug. 25th and arrived in Texas on Aug. 29th).

On April 7th, during a wind storm, the Tree of Heaven in front of the garage fell on our red Toyota. Eric was standing there two minutes earlier. We're so grateful that God saved Eric's life!

On April 8th, Josiah bought his first car (2000 green Ford Taurus) for $1,200.

On May 13th, Alyssa received awards in the morning, had a dance competition in the afternoon, and we (Eric, Annette, Isaiah, Alyssa and I) enjoyed Dining Out in the evening.

On June 17th, Alyssa graduated with a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University with a 4.0 GPA and was commissioned as an Air Force second Lieutenant.

On July 22nd, we had our annual cookout and games at Dad/Grandpa and Barbara's house.

On July 28th, Josiah bought 2001 tan Cadillac Sedan Deville for $2,600.

On July 29th, Alyssa and Eric had lots of fun doing Adventure Hunt in Portland. They were ranked 40/98.

On August 6th, Alyssa, Eric, and I went to ballroom dancing.

From August 10th to August 17th, we had our family vacation in Washington and Canada.

On September 2nd, Alyssa bought a red 2017 Toyota Corolla SE Sedan.

On September 8th and 9th, Eric and I celebrated our 26th anniversary at the beach.

On October 11th, Isaiah took his PSAT exam. His score was 1120.

On November 24th, Annette moved in with us.

On December 12th, Eric officially started his new position as the Public Works Director of City of Woodburn.

On December 21st, Josiah was promoted to a supervisor position at Wendy's.

From December 24th to January 1st, Alyssa spent her Christmas break with us.

Here are some snapshots of our 2017.
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God is always good and faithful; He walks with us whether on mountains or in valleys. He is our Anchor through any life's storms. In Christ, we lack nothing. We're thankful for His ever-present help in times of need, for His ever-sufficient grace in all circumstances, and for His ever-abundant blessings which include all our family and friends near and far. May you all have a bright, beautiful, & blessed year, growing closer to God, walking by faith fearlessly, and bearing much fruit for His glory! 

สวัสดีปีใหม่ค่ะ #HappyNewYear #Happy2018

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CD Review: A Girl Like Me by Julie Elias

A Girl Like Me
I like to check out new Christian music albums. I was glad for the opportunity to review a new CD, "A Girl Like Me" by Julie Elias. I had not heard of her before. Julie Elias was an actress (appearing on shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI: NY") and now she is a Christian singer and songwriter. She has a beautiful voice. She wrote all the songs on this album except three. She used her own personal experiences in her songs, hoping to share with others how God has worked in her life.

Below is the list of songs:
1. Unchained
2. Only For Awhile
3. Awaken
4. A Girl Like Me
5. Alive
6. Forgive Me
7. Lost
8. Run Away
9. Here With Us
10. Wherever You Roam
11. A Wild Rose
12. In the Light

I enjoyed listening to this CD. Some songs are catchy and some are soothing. All original songs are intentionally crafted to share stories that aim to encourage and inspire young women. Unchained is a song about freedom and transformation and about praising God for His power, mercy, majesty, and holiness. Only For Awhile is an upbeat song about different seasons of life and changes that are all temporary. Awaken is a song of prayer, asking God to awaken our soul & consume our lives with His presence, to purify our hearts' desires, to put away deeds of darkness, to armor us with His light, and to give us vibrant joy. Forgive Me is a humble song about taking the first step to ask a friend for forgiveness. Lost is a song of faith about knowing that we're not alone and choosing to surrender and trust God through every trial and every tear. Some of my favorite songs on this album are A Girl Like Me, Run Away, Here With Us, and In the Light. A Girl Like Me (which is the title of this album) is a beautiful, heartfelt song that talks about how God sees all of us and yet still loves us, despite our weaknesses, mistakes, failures, and shame. Run Away is a song of determination to not run away from God anymore but to look to Him for strength and courage, instead. Here With Us is a wonderful Christmas song about Jesus Christ, Son of God & Servant King, who is our Immanuel, God with us. I've always loved DC Talk's In the Light and I think Julie did a great job doing its cover. Christmas is just around the corner. This CD would make a lovely, meaningful Christmas gift for any tween girls, teen girls, and young women in your lives.

Official Website:
Note: You can enter a giveaway to win a free copy of this CD at

~I received a free copy of this CD via FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: She Reads Truth Bible

I love studying God's Word. I like using a variety of different Bible versions because they help me gain a better understanding of the Bible. I was excited to receive a She Reads Truth Bible for review. It is a Poppy Linen hardcover. It is Christian Standard Bible (CSB) version. It may look plain on the outside but it is quite pretty and appealing on the inside. This Bible's key features are color-coded genre indicators, key verse arts, book introductions, maps, charts, reading plans (including supplementary passages for added context and deeper understanding), timelines, and devotionals. I'm a visual learner so I find maps and charts very helpful. I think it's great that "How to Read the Bible", "This is the Gospel", and "Introduction to the Christian Standard Bible" are included in the beginning of the book. In the back of the book, you will find a list of key verses, genre guide (color-coded), the Apostles' Creed, the Bible in a Year reading plan, topical index, maps, and table of weights & measures. 
 I'm currently studying Names of God. Yesterday, I was studying one of Christ's Names in Revelation 1:8, "the Alpha and the Omega". Isn't the key verse art (more samples below) beautiful? It serves to help us memorize key verses (theme verses selected for each book). I appreciate the concise book introductions which cover cultural context (overview of the approximate time of writing, authorship, historical context, and relevant geography), main message and purpose, and Biblical significance (each book's unique contribution to the canon of Scripture). I really like the two ribbon markers, one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament. The Bible's layout on each page provides extra-wide margins for note-taking and journaling. The devotionals are gospel-centered and insightful. Christmas is just around the corner. This Bible would also make a wonderful, meaningful gift for any women in your lives!
I love the answer to why a She Reads Truth Bible was created: "This Bible is our humble attempt to honor the inherently beautiful gospel with the aesthetic beauty it deserves. Scripture is a glorious collision of beauty, goodness, and truth, and we pray this book you hold in your hands represents that. Our heart for the She Reads Truth Bible is not to add to or improve on the perfect and complete gift of Scripture God has given us. Rather, our heart is for everything we've included in this Bible to point back to God and His Word. Every human word and element in this book is an intentional invitation for you to both read Scripture and grow in your affection for it."  

~I received this Bible for free from B&H Publishing via FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Note: You can win one of 7 copies!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

30 Days of Thankfulness 2017

1. I am thankful that "God works in me both to will and to act for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) Thank You, Lord, for fixing our electricity problems!

2. I am thankful that I am chosen, royal, holy, special (treasured), and called out of darkness into God's wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Thank You, Lord, for Your protection over Josiah!

3. I am thankful for God's mercy, love, compassion, and forgiveness.

4. I am thankful for God's Word and the Holy Spirit that leads, guides, encourages, teaches, nourishes, and comforts me.

5. I am thankful for childlike faith. I am thankful for God's provision.

6. I am thankful for my eyes, the gift of sight. I am thankful for restful sleep.

7. I am thankful that out of Christ's inexhaustible fullness, I receive...grace upon grace, blessing upon blessing, comfort upon comfort.

8. I am thankful for the blessings of abundant life and everlasting life.

9. I am thankful for heat/warmth, warm shelter.

10. I am thankful for my eternal Home, Heaven, and for my future glorified body.

11. I am thankful for God's healing.

12. I am thankful for God's goodness and sovereignty.

13. I am thankful for the deep joy that is found in Christ alone.

14. I am thankful for God's constant presence and faithfulness.

15. I am thankful for brain...ability to think, remember, and create.

16. I am thankful for peace and contentment.

17. I am thankful that God always meets our needs. I am thankful that "God gives us the victory (over sin and death and self) through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

18. I am thankful for fun family time. I am thankful that our sons (19 and 16) still enjoy hanging out with Eric and me.

19. I am thankful that God helped Eric do well on his interviews (4 in a day) and blessed him with the director job.

20. I am thankful for my salvation...for Jesus, the Rock of my salvation, my Savior and Redeemer, my Lord and King.

21. I am thankful for God's beautiful handiwork/creation everywhere.

22. I am thankful for Who God is. Thank You, God, for being my Good, Good Father, my Refuge and Strength, my Everpresent Help, my Healer and Defender, my Shelter and Hiding Place!

23. I am thankful for my family...I'm such a blessed wife and mom. My husband and three children are my most precious, treasured gifts from the Lord.

24. I am thankful for the privilege of prayer. Thank You, Father, for listening to my prayers...for allowing me to approach Your throne of grace with confidence so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need.

25. I am thankful for technology (such as iphone, Facebook, Skype, etc.) that helps me be able to stay connected with Alyssa (who is currently in Texas) and friends who live far away.

26. I am thankful that no two Christians will ever meet for the last time.

27. I am thankful for the gift of Christ-centered, God-honoring, happy, faithful marriage.

28. I am thankful for all the hymns and songs that uplift and convict my heart and soul and draw me closer to God.

29. I am thankful for every breath and every new day God gives me.

30. I am thankful for simple joys like good company, good food, good drinks, good movies, etc.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Worldview by Marvin Olasky

World View: Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life is a collection of columns which Marvin Olasky, as the Editor-in-Chief of World Magazine, wrote for the magazine. He presents Christian/ Biblical worldview on a wide variety of current world events and topics such as government role, abortion, racism, immigration, welfare, education, economics, environmentalism, tax, movies, marriage, and more. The book is divided into 5 main sections: Basics, Changes, Institutions, Causes, and Conclusions. There are 10-13 articles/columns under each section. These columns are short (only 2-3 pages long) but packed with Biblical wisdom and practical insights. The author exemplifies how to confidently speak Biblical truths in love with grace, respect, and humility and to passionately live out conviction with integrity, mercy, and compassion. Today's culture keeps challenging our faith. How do we effectively communicate about God, the Bible, and Biblical values without getting sucked into needless arguments and/or emotional outbursts? Learn from Marvin Olasky. He understands that truth without love is like poison that does more damage. We are called to be light and salt in the world. This book will help you examine your attitude, speech, and conduct and ask yourselves whether you are helping or hindering the cause of Christ. Stay faithful to God's Word and stay grace-filled in God's love. Check out this thought-provoking, Biblically sound, Christ-centered book on social issues and Christian living! Marvin Olasky did an excellent job of balancing truth with grace.

"If neither material security nor insecurity work, what's the solution? The same as to virtually every problem in the world: faith in Christ. Since we're sinners, we're all prone to insecurity, unless we realize that our security is not subjective but objective, not dependent on what we do but on what Christ has done. We feel secure when we know deep down that all things work together for the good of those who believe in Him." (p. 37)
Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of "World News Group," a distinguished chair in journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry College, and the author of more than twenty books, including "Compassionate Conservatism" and "The Tragedy of American Compassion." He and his wife, Susan, have four sons and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Marvin at

~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.