Sunday, October 27, 2013

Raise A Giant: Don't Be Bullied and Don't Be Bullies!

Bullying seems to be an increasing problem in our society. I'm very thankful that my kids have not experienced it because we homeschool. However, because of technology and social media avenues, cyberbullying is a new widespread problem that can affect even homeschoolers. I know from the news and from my own experience that bullying can destroy self-esteem and lives. I'm glad to participate in the Green Giant "Raise a Giant" campaign and encourage parents to talk with their kids about bully-prevention.  
At Green Giant® we know it takes a lot more to raise a healthy child then just getting them to eat their vegetables. Kids these days live in a world that is bigger and scarier than the world we grew up in, and they need help and encouragement to navigate that world with confidence and pride.
Unfortunately one of the hardest things kids have to deal with is bullying. When a child is bullied by a peer it can turn his or her life into a daily gauntlet of fear and anxiety. That’s why Green Giant® is partnering with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and We Day Minnesota to help parents Raise A Giant and put a stop to bullying in their community.
Help a child in your life have the courage to stand up to bullying. Visit www.raiseagiant.com to write an open letter encouraging them and and then share it with others to inspire them to do the same.
What Does it Mean To Be A Giant?
Being a giant isn’t about being the biggest or the best. Being a giant means standing up for others. It means lending a hand to those who are in trouble and speaking up for those who sometimes find it hard to speak up for themselves.
Studies show that an effective way to stop bullying is for kids to simply speak up and say, “That’s not okay” when they see bullying happening.
But asking kids to have the courage to stand up to bullying is a tall order and that’s why they need our help.
How Do You Raise A Giant?
We’re asking parents to write a letter to their kids telling them how special they are and encouraging them to be part of the bullying prevention solution by being a giant.
To get started, parents can visit our community at RaiseAGaint.com and read the letters others have written.
Help Us Spread The Word:
1. Write a letter to your kids about standing up to bullying and post it on your blog and at RaiseAGiant.com. See the included tip sheet for help getting started.
2. Encourage your community to write their own letters and post them at RaiseAGiant.com
3. Share the Raise a Giant Video, Infographic, and Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Bullying on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
4. Change your Facebook profile picture to the Raise A Giant icon to show your support.
With your encouragement we can help all of our kids create a safer, happier world.
Here's my letter:
To My Children,

You are special because God made you special. You're fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't let anyone put you down or make you feel small ever. You know who you are in Christ; no one can take your identity, worth, and value away from you. I'm so proud of you...who God made you to be. What others say or do to you don't matter. It won't change who you are. You are children of God, loved, treasured, saved, and died for by the Creator of the universe.

People are created by God in His image. Love, value and respect everyone. Don't be bullied and don't be bullies. Always stand up for what's right no matter what. God is on your side. When you're on God's team, you're always a winner. With God's help, you can stand up tall and strong. You're more than conquerors through Christ Who loves you. God will give you courage, confidence, wisdom, strength, stamina, patience, and grace to face any adversities. Do to others as you would want them do to you.

Bullies often feel bad about themselves so they try to make others feel worse. And they feed on your fear. The more you are afraid of them, the more fun they have bullying you. If you stand up to them, they will learn to respect you. Love your enemies and be kind to them. Your kindness may shock them and turn them around. Bullies act tough and mean on the outside but inside they are weak, insecure, and desperate for unconditional love and acceptance. If you ever see someone else being bullied, I hope you will step in, speak up, and stop the bullying. Bullying is never okay. It's wrong to hurt others period. May you always depend on God and choose to do what is right in His eyes, come what may!

Loving you and praying for you daily,
Mom

~Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian




Written by: Tullian Tchividjian
Publisher: David C Cook
Paperback:  240 pages 
Release Date: October 1, 2013
$14.99

About the Author:
William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. A Florida native, Tullian is the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. He is a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a contributing editor to Leadership JournalHe is an ordained minister in Presbyterian Church of America. He is the author of six books; including the best seller, Jesus + Nothing = Everything  that won Christianity Today’s 2011 book of the year. He travels extensively, speaking at conferences throughout the U.S.

My Review:
"It is finished!" Jesus declared. Yet, why do so many of God's children still live a performance-driven life with fear, anxiety, heaviness, and exhaustion? The author thinks it's because they have lost sight of God's amazing grace. This book shines the spotlight on the magnitude of God's inexhaustible grace, His unconditional love. Tullian shares from his own personal experience how God's grace profoundly touched him and transformed him from being a prodigal son to being a preacher of the Gospel.

Many of us know what grace is about but we don't seem to live accordingly because we still feel too comfortable with or are addicted to the "do-do-do" mentality and conditional moralism. The author invites readers to live the grace way. Grace frees us to live an abundant life...to serve God and others...to love and forgive freely. Grace gives us freedom to fail without fear of failing and without feeling like a failure when we do fail!
The author explains the different jobs of the Law and of grace. He shows the effect of grace on identity, in relationships, in marriage, and in parenting. Grace changes lives! No one ever outgrows the need for God's grace. Tullian also explores the reasons why some people object to this one-way love.

I enjoyed reading this insightful and uplifting book. It's good to be reminded from time to time how beautiful and powerful God's grace really is. His grace is indeed sufficient for us. I highly recommend this refreshing read! You'll gain confidence and find rest in God's love and grace once again. Embrace grace...open the gift! You'll be surprised at how free, secure, and energetic you feel, ready to face whatever life may bring.


"The Bible is one long story of God meeting our rebellion with His rescue, our sin with His salvation, our guilt with His grace, our badness with His goodness. The overwhelming focus of the Bible is not the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer." (p. 31)

"Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. It is one-way love." (p. 33)

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces that because Jesus was strong for you, you're free to be weak. Because Jesus won for you, you're free to lose. Because Jesus was Someone, you're free to be no one. Because Jesus was extraordinary, you're free to be ordinary. Because Jesus succeeded for you, you're free to fail." (p. 36)

"J. Gresham Machen counterintuitively notes that 'a low view of law always produces legalism; a high view of law makes a person a seeker after grace.'" (p. 96)

"The Gospel alone liberates us to live a life of scandalous generosity, unrestrained sacrifice, uncommon valor, and unbounded courage." (p. 189)



GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book. Open only to residents in the US and Canada.

Deadline: 10/31 at midnight (Pacific time)
To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share what your favorite quote or Bible verse about God's love or God's grace is.
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~I received a free copy of this book via FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: Whit's End Mealtime Devotions by John Avery Whittaker, Crystal Bowman, & Tricia Goyer


We are fans of Adventures in Odyssey. I've enjoyed using this devotional book with my sons. For us, it works better at bedtime rather than mealtime :). There are 90 devotions divided into 3 main categories: Any Day Mealtime Devotions, Holiday Devotions, and Theme Devotions. Each devotion includes Mealtime Prayer (a fresh & creative way to pray), Appetizer (a fun activity or an interesting question used as a conversation starter), Main Course (an object lesson), Table Talk (follow-up questions for discussions), & Vitamins and Minerals (Bible verse(s)). Each one is only a page long. Short and sweet!

If you're looking for ways to promote a quality family time and nourish your children spiritually at the same time, check this book out. You and your kids can enjoy these delicious "recipes" which lead to meaningful conversation at mealtime or anytime. These devotions are faith-building, engaging, and kids-friendly. Our family approves and recommends it.

~I received a free copy of this book via Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.