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.

Top Ten Highlights from 2014

We are thankful for God's blessings in 2014 and are excitedly looking forward to what He has in store for us in 2015!

1. Alyssa spent a month on the Summer in the City Cru mission trip in Seattle from June 21st to July 19th.
2. Alyssa is the AAS (Arnold Air Society) squadron commander and the Beaver News Director.
3. Alyssa directed the first season of Split Screen.
4. This year, Alyssa won the Outstanding Squadron Commander Award, the Drucilla Shepard Smith Award, the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award, and the Academic Honors Award from AFROTC.
5. Josiah played in Hoopla with Eric and his cousin, Alex. 
6. Josiah did very well on his PSAT.
7. Isaiah raised $1,815 for Steps for Life this year.
8. "A" joins the GFA's Blog for Asia blogger program.

9. We had a wonderful vacation at Sunriver. On the way there, we hiked to Pamelia Lake. Eric and Josiah also hiked to Green Lake. We did water slide and tubing hill at SHARC. We also enjoyed billiards, bowling, miniature golf, and bumper cars. We visited Goody's, Powell's Sweet Shoppe, Sweet Saigon, and World Market.
Eric and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary in September at the beach. 

Here are some snapshots of our 2014. Happy New Year from our family to yours 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Game Review and Giveaway: Wisdomantics

I collect board games (I think we have almost 80 games at the last count). I'm glad to have added Wisdomantics to our collection. Wisdomantics (New King James Version) is an interactive DVD boardgame based on Proverbs. It is for 2 to 4 players and for ages 12 and up. It's like a combination of Monopoly and Bingo but players get to gain wisdom as a bonus. The box includes 1 game board, 2 DVDs with 400 multiple-choice questions, 4 score cards, 4 game tokens (Angel, Cross, Dove, and Ten Commandments), 132 colored tiles, 50 blessing cards, and 50 advancement cards. It's easy to play. It's a fun game of knowledge, strategy, and probability. The first player to complete his/her Solomon's temple scorecard (with gold, cypress, and cedar tiles) wins! We are not familiar with NKJV (we mostly use NIV Bibles) but we (my 3 kids and I) still could answer the questions correctly. We are usually competitive but we have been sick with a nasty flu so we were taking it easy and nobody wanted to be in the picture :). If you're looking for a Christmas gift for your kids that will help make them wiser with Biblical truths, check this game out! You may notice from the picture that we muted the volume. We didn't like to hear "Solomon" saying "Hallelujah" every time we answered a question correctly. To us, it's being used in vain.

GIVEAWAY: You can win this game! Only valid in US & Canada. Ends 12/28.
To Enter: Please leave a comment sharing what your favorite board game or DVD game is.
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 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter

~Many thanks to FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey

About the Author:
Dr. James D. Dempsey hails from a small farming community in west Texas and credits his success to great parents and the values learned among those hard-working, friendly, but fiercely independent folk. He graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a BA in Psychology, and holds both a Masters and PhD in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at Austin. He served two years as the director of the childcare center at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin, and has also taught classes at both UT Austin and the University of North Texas in Denton. He has taught in early childhood programs in Lubbock, Austin, and Keller, Texas. As an expert in children and learning environments, he has led more than 150 training seminars at various universities, churches, and childcare conferences through the years. He continues to train church and childcare staffs around the state of Texas. Beginning in 2008, Jim joined First Baptist Church of Keller (TX) as Children’s Minister. Jim was ordained in ministry in 2012, and recently joined the staff of Anderson Mill Baptist Church (Austin) as Associate Pastor to Families. He enjoys writing curricula for churches and maintains a blog for both parents and church staff on his website, He provides parenting advice and a monthly newsletter to the parents of Young Leaders Campus Network in the Houston area. He is a frequent speaker for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention on children's and family ministry. He is a certified trainer for the National Center for Biblical Parenting, and one of only 5 certified consultants for this organization. After publishing articles in educational journals and contributing to education textbooks, he wrote his first book on parenting titled Parenting Unchained-Overcoming the Ten Deceptions That Shackle Christian Parents. He admits that his degree and his experience teaching young children led him to be a bit cocky about his parenting, and that arrogance led to more than a few mistakes as a parent. Jim uses these lessons plus intensive Bible study to reveal the ways Satan deceives Christian parents, and the Biblical truths that set parents free from those deceptions. In spite of Jim's parenting foibles, he and wife Gail have three lovely and well-adjusted daughters and three grandchildren. 
My Review:
Parenting must be the most difficult job yet most rewarding one in the whole world! 
Christian parenting or Biblical parenting is even more challenging because Satan 
does not want to see Christian families living for God, serving God, and making an 
eternal impact in the world. In this book, the author warns readers about the ten lies 
that Satan wants Christian parents to believe. He shares from his own experiences 
and points parents to Biblical truths that will help them overcome these deceptions 
and break Satan's chains. He offers practical ideas and activities to help parents 
connect with their children and equip them. Some topics include relationship vs. rules,  
quality time vs. quantity of time, discipline, faith talk, heart change vs. behavior 
modification, adaptability/flexibility, and more. God is our Model for parenting. 
God's Word is the best parenting guide. Parents must live out what they believe 
authentically before their children. Parenting Unchained is insightful and Biblically 
sound! At the end of the book, you will find Appendix A: The Primacy of Relationship 
and Appendix B: A Catalog of Jesus's Teachings in His Later Ministry. I highly 
recommend this valuable resource to all Christian parents. I wish I had read this book 
when my kids were younger! 

"Satan wants us to see God's rules as arbitrary and restrictive. Satan's seduction 
captures us when we focus on God's limiting rules, yet overlook the truth that God
 is a God of relationship. We bring Satan's false view into our parenting when we 
focus on the behavior of our children and not on our relationship with them." (p. 30)

"The grand purpose of God for us is  a love relationship, first with Him, then with 
other people." (p. 35)

"Your child copies your behavior; not your lesson plans. Modeling is the most 
powerful tool in the parent's toolbox, whether you intend to use it or not. Modeling 
is not an option--it is commanded by God both to use Him as a model and to be a 
particular kind of model for our children." (p. 67)

"So the first and primary reason God disciplines us is to provide us with spiritual
safety. The next reason, or perhaps just a deeper expression of the first, is that He 
loves us." (p. 90)

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

NOTE: The Kindle edition of this book is only 99 cents from today to December 12th 

on Amazon!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

DVD Review and Giveaway: Susie's Hope

"The righteous care for the needs of their animals." Proverbs 12:10a
My Review:

This movie is based on a true story about an abandoned, beaten, and burned pit bull-mix puppy that was rescued & adopted by Donna Lawrence and given the name Susie by her. Donna herself barely survived a brutal pit bull attack 10 months earlier but she was determined to save the life of this half-dead puppy which she and her friend/neighbor, Ramona Hodges, found in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her husband, Roy, could not understand her action but eventually gave her his support. The fight against animal cruelty led to Susie's Law in North Carolina that enforces a stricter punishment for people who abuse animals. Great performances from the cast (including Susie who plays herself)! I was saddened by the couple's loss and by the animal abuse. I think it's wonderful that lots of people came together to help save this puppy. I only wish more people would be as enthusiastic about saving the unborn, the orphans, and human-trafficking victims. Susie's hope is a beautiful, emotional film about grief, healing, forgiveness, compassion, courage, and hope. If you are a dog lover, you will appreciate this movie. This DVD is for ages 12 and up and it contains some graphic images and a bar scene with alcohol. Susie is now a certified therapy dog and won the American Human Association's American Hero Dog this year. Isn't she sweet :)?

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD! Only valid in US & Canada. Ends 12/17.
To Enter: Please leave a comment sharing what your favorite breed of dog is
or what your favorite pet is. 

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 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook 
- 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Film Review: The Gospel of John

The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language Biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media. The Lumo Project presents four films – one for each Gospel account – that will revolutionize the way we all experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived.
My Review:
Thanks to FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network, I was given an opportunity to watch the Gospel of John (NIV) online in exchange for my honest review. I've always loved the Book of John. The message is so powerful! This full-length feature film covers the birth, life, miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is narrated by David Harewood (British actor). He did a fantastic job! The narration is from the Gospel of John text word for word (21 chapters altogether). Beautiful cinematography! Breathtaking scenery! Epic background music. Excellent performance (the actors and actresses were so natural that you wouldn't think they were acting). I enjoyed watching this film (2 hrs. 40 mins. 38 secs. long). It made me feel like I was there :). The only things I didn't like about the film are: The wise men should have not been present at the same time with the shepherds when Jesus was just born and "Jesus" in the film was portrayed as being angry/upset often. I understand about His righteous anger but I'm talking about the actor's expressions as being out of control which I believe not to be in Christ's character. I still do recommend the film because God's Word will not return void. Check it out on Netflix!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Awaken Love the Song by Kyle & Desirae Idleman

About the Author:
Kyle Idleman is the Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fourth-largest church in America. Author of the award-winning and bestselling book, not a fan., and presenter of eight of City on a Hill’s curriculum series, he regularly speaks at conferences and events around the world. Kyle and his wife DesiRae have four children.

My Review:
This book is a couple's devotional based on the Song of Solomon. There are 6 week devotionals (5 day readings for each week). The topics include: Deepening Desire, Increasing Intimacy, Fighting Fair, Rediscovering Romance, Cultivating Commitment, and Fostering Faith. The book aims to help awaken love in marriage by strengthening couples' relationship and encouraging deeper spiritual, physical, and emotional connection. Each devotional ends with "The Bridge" which suggests action steps and prayer points. This thin book is easy and enjoyable to read. The authors share from their own experiences with transparency, sense of humor, and Biblical insights. The authors challenge us readers to pay close attention to our two most important relationships--our relationship with God first and then the relationship with our spouse. I highly recommend this God-centered devotional to any couples who want to rekindle their love, romance, and connubial bliss. Great for dating or engaged couples, too! By the way, The Song is a full-length movie inspired by the Song of Solomon. You might want to also check that out :).

"Instead it (Song of Solomon) helps us understand that sexual intimacy is much more than a physical act. One Hebrew word for sex is literally translated, 'a mingling of the souls.'" (Week 2, Day 2)
"Intimacy grows as we nurture one another rather than simply taking selfishly. That requires saying it clearly and listening carefully...Intelligent romance is the way to go, my friends! Talk about it. Listen to each other. Then focus on pleasing one another rather than on personal pleasure, and you're going to like how it turns out." (Week 2, Day 4)
"We experience true intimacy when we give ourselves completely to our spouse. In doing so we put each other's needs ahead of our own...There is incredible sexual satisfaction in a marriage when two people are selflessly seeking to satisfy each other. That's how you increase intimacy. That's also how our marriages can model the love and grace of Jesus. We are never more like Him than when we serve selflessly and love completely." (Week 2, Day 5)
"Jesus is a source of life and love and adventure, a spring of living water that never runs dry." (Week 6, Day 1)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this devotional! Only valid in US & Canada. Ends 12/12.
To Enter: Please share the best marital advice you've ever received or the best couple's devotional you've ever read.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow The Song on Twitter:

- "Like" The Song's Facebook page: 
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Christ Alone" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook 
- 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness 2014

For the month of November, I posted on Facebook daily what I was thankful for. I'd like to be able to look back someday so I'm reposting all of my 30 thankful status here.

Day 1Today I am thankful for the wonderful visit that my husband and I had with our daughter (who is away in college). We enjoyed sushi and Starbucks S'mores Frapp and just hanging out. I'm so thankful for a blessed relationship we have with her. I'm so thankful for my delightful daughter who loves the Lord and lives a life of faith, love, grace, obedience, and integrity. She is an overachiever for Christ and an outstanding example of servant leadership.

Day 2: I am thankful for salvation by grace, justification through faith, Christ's righteousness imputed upon me, peace with God through Jesus, access into God's grace in which I now stand, and never-disappointing hope of the glory of God! (Romans 5:1-2) I could keep going but I will save for another day :).

Day 3: I am thankful for my Godly husband who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my spiritual mentor. He is God's gift for me. He's an encourager & evangelist extraordinaire. I'm so thankful that he loves me as Christ loves His Church. I'm so thankful that he loves God and puts God above all else. And I'm so thankful that he puts 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Philippians 2:3-5 into practice day in and day out. It's been such a joy, blessing, and privilege to share life with him, and to love, serve, honor, and respect him.

Day 4: I am thankful for the fun evening we had at a free advance screening of Big Hero 6 (3D). I'm thankful for this kind of opportunity as a review blogger. I'm thankful for laughter which is so good for everyone.

Day 5
: I am forever thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, my Rock and Refuge, my Hope and Anchor of my soul, my Peace and Joy, my Deliverer and Defender, my Redeemer and Righteousness, my Reconciler and Restorer, my Shepherd and Best Friend, my Creator and King, my Burden Bearer and Intercessor, my Strength and Shield, my Healer and Help, my Life and Light,...Christ my All ! It's all about Him. I'm all about Him.Christ Alone I will proclaim, praise, exalt, and glorify!
"Thanks be to God, Who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:25
"Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Day 6: I am thankful for my health and the health of my husband and kids. We're generally healthy and strong. I never want to take that for granted. I struggle with intense pain each month for 2-3 weeks due to Adenomyosis. It makes me appreciate each painfree day much more . It's a jumping-for-joy, dancing-around, feeling-quite-energetic kind of appreciation/gratitude! I'm so thankful for any reprieve.

Day 7: I am thankful for the Body of Christ all around the world. We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord. There's a beautiful bond among us. I'm thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are fellow servants of God. It's been such a joy to serve God alongside several wonderful people in our LJ Fellowship. I'm so thankful for opportunities to share Christ's love with some international students who attend our local university.

Day 8: I am thankful for God's sweet, amazing, glorious grace! Grace that has been freely given to me in Christ. Grace that is greater than all my sin, guilt, and shame. Grace that transforms me and sustains me. I'm thankful for the daily abundant, inexhaustible, all-sufficient grace God has poured out on my life. By the grace of God I am what I am...born again and blessed, forgiven and free! I see God's fingerprints ("grace notes") all the time; my soul just smiles with a grateful heart. I don't deserve anything yet God keeps blessing me. Grace upon grace!

Day 9: I am thankful for the privilege of prayer. What a privilege we have in Christ to have a direct access to the throne of God! I'm so thankful that God is always available 24/7; I can always have a heartfelt conversation with my Heavenly Daddy anytime about anything.

Day 10: I am thankful for God's Word which is my joy, my heart's delight, my treasure, my daily bread, and my guiding light! "Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

Day 11I am thankful for the freedoms we have here. I'm so thankful for all who have served our country and their families....who have sacrificed so much in order for us to have our freedoms.

Day 12: I am thankful for fire/heat from our wood stove, hot water, hot soup, hot cocoa, warm clothes, warm blankets, warm fuzzy socks & slippers, got the idea . Please join me in praying for the homeless to be able to find shelter and stay warm through this cold weather. Please also donate extra coats, blankets, socks, gloves/mittens, winter hats, etc. to the homeless shelters.

Day 13I am thankful for electricity. We had no electricity for a few hours today. We had fun cooking on our wood stove, reading, and talking in candlelight. However, electricity does make our lives easier in many ways . I am thankful for light (whether it's from electricity, flashlights, or candles) which enables me to see. It also reminds me that we definitely need Jesus, the Light of life/the Light of the world, in this world of darkness and that we must let our light shine before others so that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Day 14I am thankful for sleep and naps. I'm thankful that I hardly ever have trouble falling asleep . "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:8)

Day 15: I am thankful for my church's livestreaming. When I cannot go to church because of my intense pain (like tonight), I can still listen to the sermons via livestream. I'm thankful for our pastors who are faithful servants of God and caring shepherds of God's flock. I'm thankful that the preaching is based solely on the Word of God with no sugar-coating and no people-pleasing.

Day 16: I am thankful for a childlike faith God has blessed me with. It's truly one of His greatest gifts! My M.O.: I pray. I trust. I rest.

Day 17: I am thankful for God's unconditional, unlimited, unending, unfailing, unchanging love for me who is unlovable and undeserving. I am so loved, treasured, and cherished in my Heavenly Daddy's heart of love. "Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your Name I will lift up my hands." (Psalm 63:3-4) "I will be glad and rejoice in Your love." (Psalm 31:7a) "For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead." (Psalm 86:13) "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever...Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind." (Psalm 107:1, 8)

Day 18: I am thankful for my 16 year old son. He was God's answer to our 3 year prayers (like God gave Samuel to Hannah). Josiah's middle name is Samuel . He has grown in maturity and faith by leaps and bounds. I'm thankful that God has molded him into a Godly gentleman of integrity and chivalry. God has blessed him with many gifts, including extraordinary musical talent and great sense of humor.

Day 19: I am thankful for my 13 year old son. He's absolutely a joy and delight. He must be one of the easiest kids to raise in the whole world . I'm thankful that God has blessed him with a tender heart full of love, grace, kindness, and compassion. He is always ready to lend a helping hand. I'm also thankful for all the hugs and kisses I still receive from this terrific teenager everyday.

Day 20: I am thankful for my eyes. I really value the ability to see. I'm even more thankful that the Holy Spirit has enlightened the eyes of my heart so that I can know God, understand the truth of Scripture...truly know/understand the Gospel of God's grace, and grasp & appreciate the fullness of all spiritual blessings God has given me in Christ Jesus. Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart!

Day 21: I am thankful for God's ever-presence and omnipresence. Knowing that God is always with me and at the same time He is with my loved ones (no matter where they are) brings me peace and comfort. In God's presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)!

Day 22: I am thankful for the Christ-centered Christian organizations such as Gospel For AsiaThe JESUS Film ProjectSamaritan's Purse (which includes Operation Christmas Child), Compassion International,HeartCry Missionary Society, etc. that are working tirelessly for the Kingdom of God, sharing Christ's love and His Gospel with the lost in different areas of the world where I cannot go myself. I'm thankful for opportunities to partner with them by giving, praying, and helping spread the word about them. I'd like to encourage y'all to get their Christmas catalogs and give generously to those in need. Invest in eternity!

Day 23: I am thankful for God's protection (physical and spiritual). I'm sure there are countless times that He has protected me and my loved ones without us even knowing or being aware of. "The Lord watches over you--the Lord is your Shade at your right hand...The Lord will keep you from all harm--He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (Psalm 121:5, 7-8) "You, Lord, are a Shield around me, my Glory, the One who lifts my head high." (Psalm 3:3)

Day 24: I am thankful for my mother-in-love, Juanita. She loves Jesus and loves people like Jesus does. She is very kind and generous. She's also a prayer warrior. I'm so blessed to have her in my life.

Day 25: I am thankful for my sister-in-love, Annette. She is always sweet, caring, kind, and thoughtful. She is the type of person who would go extra miles for you. Since I don't have any sisters, I've adopted her as my own sister .

Day 26: I am thankful for helping hands and thankful hearts. My family is the best !

Day 27: I am thankful for a blessed day full of feast and fun with family and friends. I'm thankful for loads of leftovers, too .

Day 28: I am thankful for God's healing. Praise Yahweh Rapha (The Lord Who Heals)!

Day 29: I am thankful for God's provision. Praise Yahweh Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)! We are abundantly blessed. We lack no good thing.

Day 30: I am forever thankful for God's forgiveness! I'm thankful that I am completely forgiven and free for eternity. I'm also thankful that my family is great at forgiving and fast to forgive .

30 Gratitude Quotes

"God's goodness should drive us to our knees in gratitude." ~Anne Graham Lotz 
 "Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends." ~Steven Furtick
"Be thankful that God's answers are wiser than your answers." ~William Culbertson 
 "Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation and acceptance of all of life as grace--as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father's hand." ~Brennan Manning
"The heart that is constantly overflowing with gratitude will be safe from the attacks of resentfulness and gloom that bother so many persons." ~A.W. Tozer 
"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~William Arthur Ward 
"True gratitude is not sporadic. It cannot be spent or exhausted. It is the transformation of a mind that is more grateful for the Giver than for the gift, for the purpose than for the present, for life itself rather than for abundance." ~Ravi Zacharias
 "A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution." ~Billy Graham
"Grumbling and gratitude are, for the child of God, in conflict.
Be grateful and you won't grumble. Grumble and you won't be grateful." 
~Billy Graham 
 "When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." ~G.K. Chesterton 
"I'm so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it." ~John Gresham Machen
"It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better." ~Matthew Henry
"Even though we can't have all we want, we ought to be thankful we don't get what we deserve." ~Unknown
"If we fill our hours with regrets over the failures of yesterday, and with worries over the problems of tomorrow, we have no today in which to be thankful." ~Unknown
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank You?” William Arthur Ward
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~W.T. Purkiser 
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~John Milton
"O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." ~William Shakespeare
Expressing gratitude on a regular basis, whether to friends and family or to the Lord, can bring a joy into our lives that will make each day a happily anticipated experience.” ~Unknown

"We need a theology of Thanksgiving: we need hearts that are continually thankful. Thanksgiving is a matter of perspective. Having a thankful heart is to remember just how blessed we are. We often have a tendency to think about what's going wrong, what burdens and bothers us. But God wants us to be thankful, to remember all that God is doing for our good, to keep our faith strong by being grateful for all that He has done...Being thankful is directly connected to our faith--believing that God is working in our lives for our good, that He is for us and that He wants to build and edify our lives." ~Pastor Rich Jones 
Most of us are not grateful for things until we lose them.” ~Unknown
"Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there." ~A. J. Gossip (1873-1954)
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." ~Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), Thanksgiving proclamation, 1863
"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." ~Johannes A. Gaertner
He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.” ~Albert Schweitzer

When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude. Sovereignty is only tyrannical if it is unbounded by goodness; holiness is only terrifying if it is untempered by grace; omniscience is only taunting if it is unaccompanied by mercy; and immutability is only torturous if there is no guarantee of goodwill.” ~Ravi Zacharias
"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~Henry Van Dyke
"We may not always have what we desire--but we certainly have what our God thinks is best for us. Every mercy we have, is directed by His infinite wisdom and eternal love. Let us therefore remember, that our God has chosen our inheritance for us, and it befits us to be content; yes, to be very grateful." ~James Smith
 "Thou hast given so much to me. Give one thing more-a grateful heart: Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if thy blessings had spare days, But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."   ~George Herbert (1593-1633)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DVD Review: Jesus Boat: Witness to Prophecy

Jesus Boat is a documentary that tells about the destruction and the rebirth of Israel through the unlikely discovery of an ancient first century boat under the muddy shores of the Sea of Galilee. This boat is identical to the fishing boat that Jesus used when He walked on the earth. It was destroyed in the same years that Romans destroyed Israel but was miraculously discovered by two fishermen brothers 2,000 years later in 1986 (during the fourth year of drought). It's the oldest surviving freshwater boat in the world! Astonishingly, the boat survived decomposition, the excavation, and the preservation efforts even though many challenges arose along the way. Even scientists are stunned. It is now resting at the Yigal Allon Museum located nearby which was built just the year before the boat was discovered. They also discovered that the boat was made out of 12 types of wood which is extraordinary. Isn't that cool? 12 is a significant number in the Bible that symbolizes completeness, God's power and authority. 12 tribes of Israel. 12 disciples. This DVD features commentary from Franklin Graham, Jay Sekulow, Chuck Smith, Skip Hietzig, Joel Rosenberg, Ken Ortize, and more. There are also interviews with the two fishermen discoverers and archaeologists. Throughout the DVD, you'll also see prophetic verses from the Bible which have already been fulfilled. Beautiful cinematography and intriguing message! If you enjoy history, archaeology, and Biblical prophecy, you'll enjoy this DVD and be glad to learn about this amazing artifact, "Jesus Boat." 

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

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart Rules of Engagement

When Calls the Heart--"Rules of Engagement" is the latest DVD (#7) in the When Calls the Heart television series based on the novel "When Calls the Heart" written by Janette Oke. On this DVD, Jack (Daniel Lissing) is back. Unexpectedly, his ex-fiance, Rosemary, shows up in Coal Valley. She's a theater actress and uses her charms to attract people. She especially tries very hard to win Jack over. The relationship between Jack and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) is tested. Jack has to rebuild Elizabeth's trust in him. Elizabeth receives a teaching offer in the city and has to make a decision. Bill Avery (Jack Wagner), a forensic investigator, comes to investigate the mine explosion that took place six months ago. He is smitten with Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and works closely with her in the investigation. Mr. Gowen (the mine company's owner) is irritated and tries to bribe people in Coal Valley to stand against Abigail by offering to fund the construction of a new church and school. Quite a few new characters are introduced in this episode including Wyatt, a young genius and Judge Jedidiah Black (James Brolin). As usual, I enjoyed watching the DVD and did not want it to end :). Can't wait to find out how the trial goes. When Calls the Heart--Rules of Engagement" is a beautiful story of love, loyalty, friendship, courage, hope, encouragement, truth, and generosity. Check this entertaining & inspiring family DVD out!

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