Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review: Get Back Up by Sheryl Giesbrecht


Certainly, Christians are not exempt from struggles, trials, pain, and sufferings. Jesus said in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." The author, Sheryl Giesbrecht, is no stranger to troubles. She openly shares from her own life's experiences from addiction, loneliness, challenges faced by being a pastor's wife, to difficulties and disappointments within churches, cancer, and death of her husband. She then shows readers how they can trust God to help them get back up after they fall. Each chapter starts with an incredible story of someone who survived a catastrophic free fall. I found these accounts very interesting. Get Back Up offers hope and encouragement. Included is a list of wonderful Scriptures that remind us who we are in Christ. I also like the thought-provoking Study Questions at the end of each chapter. Healing and restoration are possible when you lean on God and His Word. He makes all things beautiful in His time. You can have a victorious life in Christ.

"God offers more than salvation. He promises an abundant life apart from and above the cares of this world--past present, and future; yesterday, today, and forever. God calls us to live in a different dimension." (p. 10)

"Christ's finished work on the cross helps women discover they are unconditionally loved, foundationally safe, and unequivocally important; set free to step in tandem with God's purposes." (p. 23)

"Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the victorious Christian life!" (p. 27)

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



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: Tales of the Defended Ones by Beth Guckenberger


About Tales of the Defended Ones: Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.
 
Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver - our Defender God shielding and defending the defenseless in the amazing ways only he can.These are the tales of the ones left wounded and weak-ones made whole and strong . . .

Meet Beth:
Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Guckenberger travels and speaks regularly at women's and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services.
Her topics include orphan care, missions, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and faith. Her story-telling style captures audiences, and she draws from her field experience as a missionary and parent for illustrations to biblical concepts. In addition to her Story Weaver series, Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing 2012) and Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing 2013), Beth has written Relentless Hope (Standard, 2011) and Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008). She has also partnered with Standard Publishing on the mission content in its 2013 VBS program. The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico. Between biological, foster, and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children.
Find out more about Beth at http://www.bethguckenberger.com/.

My Review:

The back cover of the book shows that it is juvenile fiction for ages 8 and up. However, I enjoyed it while reading it to my boys! I've always had a soft spot for children, especially orphans. This inspirational book is based on real-life stories about real kids who face real problems. The book includes the stories of five children: Ben, Joseph, Antonio, Caitlyn, and Jorani. Different situations (death of parents, abuse, slavery). Different places (Ethiopia, Mexico, USA, Cambodia). Same need. All of them needed to be loved, cared for, comforted, and defended.
You will see how God, the Defender-Kinsman, defends and provides for these precious ones and how God, the Storyweaver, weaves His children's stories so beautifully and so lovingly. God's love and light shine brightly through those who are obedient to Him. Each chapter goes back and forth between the life and experiences of the orphan and the life and experiences of the adoptive family.  Sprinkled among the pages are tidbits about countries, definitions of relevant terms and foreign vocabulary, and important points to remember. At the end of each chapter, there are questions to ponder and blank pages for readers to write their thoughts down. This book helps kids become aware of poverty, human trafficking (slavery), abuse, foster care, adoption, and the plight of orphans around the world. Beyond awareness, the author calls readers to say yes to God in caring for the orphans (there are about 163 million orphans in the world). You can do so in many ways such as praying, giving, serving, and/or going.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; He will take up their case against you." Proverbs 23:10-11

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

"When you give yourself to others, He makes you feel even fuller than when you started. He'll bring people and relationships into your life you might not have ever imagined (or chosen!), but if God brings them into your path, it's because He wants to bless you in ways you would have otherwise missed out on!" (p.89)

"...in Jesus we are all welcomed, wanted, loved, and worthy to be defended." (p.89)

"That's God's way. He can't help but redeem and repair and reconcile and restore and rescue. It's His defender nature." (p.183)


Beth Guckenberger is celebrating the release of her new book in the Storyweaver series, Tales of the Defended Ones, with an iPad giveaway and Facebook party {4/25}. 


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 One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Tales of the Defended Ones small group kit (books and DVD)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 24th. Winner will be announced at the "Storyweaver" Author Chat Party on April 25th. Beth will be chatting with guests, answering questions, and offering tips about beginning a dialog with children and youth about the orphans around the world, the basic needs of children living in poverty, and what we can all do to help. (It’s okay if you haven’t read the book – who knows, you might WIN a copy!) Beth will also be hosting a fun trivia contest and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, and more!)

So grab your copy of Tales of the Defended Ones and join Beth and friends on the evening of the April 25th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ

About the Discover Together series and Ephesians: Women need Bible study to keep balanced, focused and Christ-centered in their busy worlds. However, many find it difficult to set aside the time and discipline needed for an in-depth study. The Discover Together studies offer tiered questions to allow readers to choose a depth of study that fits with their individual lifestyles or schedules, even if they vary by the week, month or season.


This insightful Bible study uses the example of Paul's church in Ephesus to show readers how they can be victorious Christians, living in God's Word, and free from sin. Part of the discovery series, the Ephesians edition includes tips for either individual or group use, inspirational sidebars and short, 3-5 minute teaching videos. Scan the video QR code in the book with a smart phone or visit the series website to watch Sue provide historical and cultural background, teach important truths found in each week's lesson, or ask thoughtful questions to encourage deeper discussion.


About Sue: Sue Edwards (MA, Dallas Theological Seminary; D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) teaches full-time in the Christian Education Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has more than twenty-five years of experience teaching, pastoring, and directing women's ministries. In addition, Sue speaks at retreats, conferences, and seminars across the country. She is the coauthor of Women's Retreats and New Doors in Ministry to Women, and the author of the new Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study series.  
Find out more about Sue at http://www.discovertogetherseries.com.

My Review:
I love reading Ephesians, Paul's letter to the believers in Ephesus. Wealth of Heavenly goodies :)! I wish I could memorize the whole book of Ephesians (both my husband and my daughter have done so). I'm excited to be using this Bible study book by Sue Edwards. The format is simple yet helpful. This book is an inductive study of Ephesians filled with great insights and thought-provoking questions. There are 9 lessons which cover all six chapters of Ephesians. The questions following each lesson allow readers to examine various relevant Biblical passages and evaluate their understanding and application of God's Word. There are also "Digging Deeper" questions for those who desire to investigate the text more deeply and to learn more about the history, culture, and geography related to the Scriptures. I enjoy pondering and writing down my thoughts/my answers to the questions which help me discover and apply God's truth in a personal way. The notes on the sidebars are informative; some are inspiring quotes. At the end of Lesson 2, there are 2 pages of "My Prayer Log." It's important to understand your identity and purpose in Christ correctly. Because if you get it wrong, all sorts of problems will arise. Studying Ephesians will help you know who you are in Christ & know God's purpose for your life and thus live your life abundantly, victoriously, and worthily of God's calling.

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ. Join the online Bible study (4/15 -5/7) with Sue Edwards! And invite your friends to join you.

Between April 15 and June 17 Sue will be posting weekly on the Year of Discovery Facebook Page and interacting with groups and individuals around the country going through the study at the same time. Women will be able to discuss the study with each other and ask questions via Facebook.

Completing each lesson requires about one-and-a-half hours. Readers still receive in-depth Bible study but with a minimum time commitment. For those who desire a more thorough study, including an opportunity to learn more about the history, culture and geography related to the Bible, Edwards has provided “Digging Deeper” questions. Answering these questions may require outside resources such as an atlas, Bible dictionary or concordance and challenge readers to examine complex theological issues and differing views more closely.
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Purchase a copy of Ephesians and join the on-line Bible study today.


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

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: Lead Your Family Like Jesus



Meet the Authors:
Tricia: 
Bestselling author of more than 30 novels, nine nonfiction books, and more than three hundred articles for national publications; 2003 "Writer of the Year" at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference; popular blog writer, speaker, and radio host 
Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com
Ken: 
Leadership expert and author of over 50 books, including the New York Times bestseller, The One-Minute Manager; cofounder of Lead Like Jesus; and coauthor of Lead Like Jesus; Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time 
Learn more about Ken at www.kenblanchard.com

Phil: 

A human resource and industrial relations manager in corporate America for 36 years with Xerox Corporation and U.S. Steel, co- founder of Lead Like Jesus; co-author of five books, including The Servant Leader and Leadership by the Book with Bill Hybels.

Learn more about Phil at www.leadlikejesus.com


MY REVIEW:
Who is your ultimate role model? If you're a Christ's follower, I hope your answer is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! If you're a parent, your ultimate example for parenting should also be Jesus, the Best and Greatest Servant-Leader of all time. This book shows parents how to lead their families by serving with Christlike attitudes. The book covers 4 leadership domains: heart, head, hands, and habits. Is the way you parent driven by fear (self-protection) or pride (self-promotion)? Neither one is healthy. The authors encourage parents to trust God, not self and focus on God, not self and/or others' opinions. I love and appreciate the Christ-centered principles, Biblical insights, and practical wisdom/advice that these three authors offer. This book will make you think about your life purpose and your family's vision, values, and goals. Throughout the book, you will see comments shared by various parents here and there as well as questions to ponder in Pause & Reflect sections. Want to lead like Jesus? Love like Jesus and learn from this book the nuts and bolts of Jesus' leadership. Lead Your Family Like Jesus makes a wonderful gift for any parents, especially all new parents!

"When parents lead like Jesus, they serve God and others with love as the ultimate goal. As a result, children gain character-building skills and self-worth, and family relationships thrive!" (p.4)

"And that's the key to leading a family like Jesus--not only following His example, but relying on His presence within us. It's our lives connected to His." (p.15)

"True success in servant leadership depends on how clearly the values are defined, ordered, and lived by the leader." (p.62)

"Influencing hearts for generations is the true purpose of our parenting." (p.74)

"If you're seeking to lead your family like Jesus, your vision always should be committed service to the best interests of the other person." (p.115)

Check out Lead Your Family Like Jesus Goodies (free resources) here.
Celebrate the release of Lead Your Family Like Jesus with Tricia by entering her iPad Mini Giveaway and RSVPing for the Lead, Momma Lead LIVE Webcast Event (with MomLife Today's Tracey Eyster) on April 16th.


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  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Tricia Goyer library 
Enter today by clicking the icon above. But hurry, the giveaway ends on today, April 15th! Winner will be announced at the "Lead, Momma Lead" Live Webcast Event on April 16th. Connect with authors and everyday moms, Tricia Goyer and Tracey Eyster, for an evening of sharing and perspective-changing encouragement for leading your family. Tricia and Tracey will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Lead Your Family Like Jesus and join Tricia and Tracey on the evening of April 16th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 16th!

~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. You can find more reviews of this book here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Welcome to my blog, "Fruitbearers"! My name is Urailak. I'm a blessed wife of Eric (for almost 22 years) and homeschool mom of 3 delightful kids (19 yo dd, 14 yo son, and 11 yo son). Our oldest graduated from homeschool highschool in 2011. We love Jesus and love people! If you're on Facebook and would like to get to know me better, please send me a friend request. I'm "Fruit Bearer" on FB. I'm passionate about evangelism, missions, Bible study, serving God and serving others. I enjoy reading good books (mostly non-fiction) and listening to good music (mostly praise/worship songs and hymns). I usually don't have time to blog much except posting reviews and giveaways here. Right now, I'm hosting two great giveaways:Win a copy of What I Wish I Knew at 18 (I highly recommend this book for all parents, teens, and young adults. It makes an excellent gift for high school graduates!) by Dennis Trittin here. Ends 4/14, and Win a copy of this fun, educational DVD: Janet's Planet--Exploring Microgravity here. Ends 4/15. Hope you'll enter either or both :)! Have fun blog-hopping! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Monday, April 1, 2013

DVD Review and Giveaway: Janet's Planet--Exploring Microgravity

 



From Janet Ivey
“For the past decade, science education has been my passion and America’s children have been my inspiration.  It is incredible to see how excited children can become about the world around them when the information is presented in an accessible and fun way.  That is the mission of Janet’s Planet, and I look forward to continuing to support better science education in the years to come.”  

My Review:
I enjoyed watching this DVD with my sons who love science. In this DVD, Janet explains about microgravity (aka weightlessness or Zero-G). She also talks about the difference between mass and weight. You will see kids trying to describe microgravity and then you get to hear from an expert (scientist) what microgravity really is. The DVD also introduces famous scientists from the past such as Henry Cavendish, Sir Isaac Newton, and Galileo. Janet gives interesting facts regarding what astronauts have to deal with in space. It was fun watching her experience weightlessness during a parabolic flight (lasting only 20-25 seconds) on a Boeing 727 cargo aircraft. This DVD is both educational and entertaining. Great for homeschoolers and any families with kids who like science, especially space exploration! By the way, check out Janet's cool website! You can watch this DVD online (click Video & Music), create your own planet, ask Janet questions, play a game similar to Jeopardy, participate in "do good" projects, etc.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD.
Deadline: 4/15 at midnight (Pacific time)
To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share why you would like to win this DVD.
For Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs

- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter


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