Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Parenting--14 Gospel Principles by Paul David Tripp

Parenting is the most rewarding yet most challenging job in the world! This book helps readers see parenting in light of the gospel. It's unlike other parenting books. It's not about how-to, but rather about what and why. It's about the essence of Christian parenting. "This book is meant to give you vision, motivation, renewed strength, and the rest of heart that every parent needs. It is written to give you the big gospel picture of the task to which your Savior has called you." (p. 13) The book covers 14 gospel principles that give parents important foundation to be God's effective ambassadors, representing God's message, methods, and character. We parents are called to be daily instruments of God's forgiving, rescuing, transforming, and delivering grace in the lives of our children. The theme that runs through the whole book is grace-centered, grace-infused parenting. Another message you will see over and over again in this book is: we (parents) are more like our children than unlike them. We, too, need to be rescued from ourselves.

I find this book to be therapeutic. When I read it, I felt convicted and comforted at the same time. Even though I've failed countless times in my parenting, God, by His inexhaustible grace, continues to use me and transform me and my children. Parenting is such an important work because God has designed us to be His tools in creating God-consciousness and God-submission in our children. We must live the gospel out with gratitude and joy in front of our children so that our children may desire the gospel of God's grace for themselves. The author points out that parenting work needs to focus on the heart of a child, not on the outward behaviors. I really appreciate all the Biblical wisdom and insights from Paul David Tripp. You can tell how much I love a book by how many quotes I include in my review :). I highly recommend this book to all parents! It is one of the very best parenting resources available.

"God calls unable people to do important things because ultimately what he's working on is not your immediate success, but that you would come to know him, to love him, to rest in his grace, and to live for his glory." (p. 35)

"Humble, confessing parents encourage their children to be humble and confessing too, and the result is that they have many opportunities to talk about the rescuing love of Jesus." (p. 40)

"Remember, the greatest danger to your child is not the evil outside them; it's the sin inside them that is the greatest of all threats to their well-being." (p. 51)

"As a parent, you are not called to just enforce God's law in the lives of your children, but also to constantly exhibit and teach God's grace to them as well." (p. 52)

"Parenting is not about exercising power for change in your children. Parenting is about your humble faithfulness in being willing to participate in God's work of change for the sake of your children. " (p. 61)

"Good parenting lives at the intersection of a humble admission of personal powerlessness and a confident rest in the power and grace of God." (p. 69)

"What is obedience? It's a willing submission of my heart to the authorities that God has placed in my life." (p. 119)

"Our children need the security of faithful, consistent, firm, uncompromising, and loving authority--authority that is motivated by and tempered by grace." (p. 120)

"There is a daily war that is being fought on the turf of the hearts of your children. It's a war for control. Will the heart of your child be controlled by love for the Creator (worship) or by craving something in the creation (idolatry)?" (p. 142)

"There is no more important function for a parent than this: to lovingly and patiently bring our children to the point where they too cry out for God's mercy. Crying out for God's mercy happens only when you have acknowledged the sin that is inside you from which you are not able to free yourself." (p. 172)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book! The giveaway is open to 
residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Ends 11/4 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please leave a comment here which parenting book you've found most helpful.
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~ 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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review: The 10 Myths of Teen Dating by Daniel Anderson and Jacquelyn Anderson

Parenting is hard enough but it gets scary and more challenging when your daughter starts dating. It's definitely a jungle out there. You want to protect her from mistakes and heartaches. But how? This book is a useful guide for parents who want to help their daughters date smart and avoid making mistakes. Most likely, they will still make some mistakes and/or experience heartaches but hopefully, the pain and mistakes are minimal when they are well equipped in advance. The author, Daniel Anderson, is a father, husband, and high school teacher who has had a front row seat to real life problems among teens who embrace faulty ideas/beliefs/assumptions about dating. He wrote this book with his twenty-something daughter (also teacher) who offers valuable insights from a girl's perspective. The book covers 10 dating myths (lies) that lead young people to disaster and misery in their relationships. Each chapter ends with Questions for Reflection and Questions for You and Your Daughter to Discuss. The book talks about pressures from wrong thinking such as FOMO ("fear of missing out") and YOLO ("you only live once"), wrong roads to happiness, the pitfalls of following one's heart, the difference between value and self-esteem, the difference between boy's brain and girl's brain, the distorted view of love and sex, the consequences of TMTS (too much too soon) relationships, stupid sacrifices, the terrible cycle of breaking up and getting back together, abuse, the problem with rebound relationships, healthy vs. unhealthy dating patterns, and more.

I'm so thankful that my daughter didn't date when she was a teen. Homeschooling helps in that regard. However, lots of the information in this book still apply to her now that she is 23 and in college. I really appreciate the practical and insightful advice, supported by statistics, research data, and personal testimonies. If we parents don't give our children the right information, don't expect them to get it from school, friends, movies, TV shows, music, etc. They will surely be misguided. Peer pressure, corrupted culture, temptations, and desires are strong forces that try to pull them in the wrong direction. Parents must help guide and prepare their daughters to date smart, value her own worth, realize serious consequences of premarital sex, and know that what they do now while dating will affect their future happiness. And pray for your daughters to have Godly wisdom and discernment and strength to make wise/right choices. I highly recommend this important resource to all parents who want to help their daughters through the dating years. A wonderful wealth of much-needed information!

"When a girl is trapped in the on-again, off-again relationship, it fosters a dangerous dependency. In the best of circumstances this dependency weakens a young woman and robs her of her value as she begins to define herself by the status of the relationship." (p. 172)

"This maxim is very true after a breakup: Emotional Pain + Rational Thought = Learning" (p. 213)

About the authors:

Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson---a twenty something and also a high school teacher---decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.

Website | Facebook

~I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart--Hearts In Question

When Calls The Heart: Hearts In Question

When Calls the Heart series is a wonderful romantic adventure drama series about life on the frontier, inspired by Janette Oke's novel. Hearts In Question is Season 3's 5th DVD. Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing)'s mother, Charlotte (Brooke Shields) came to Hope Valley to pay him a surprise visit. She stays with Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and tries to help Elizabeth improve her cooking and housekeeping skills. Elizabeth finds it difficult to live up to Charlotte's expectations. As Rosemary is busy and stressed about getting everything ready and perfect for her wedding to Lee, she becomes fussy and demanding. The relationship between Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Pastor Frank is blossoming. Something fishy about Henry Gowen's finances causes Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) and Jack to start investigating. Henry convinces Nora to leave Hope Valley with him in a hurry during a storm and thus puts their lives in danger. Tragedy strikes when a mining town nearby is hit with flood and mudslide. The settlers have to evacuate due to the threat of the flood. I really enjoyed this DVD and was so touched that I cried. I love how everybody pitches in to help those in need. Teamwork. Generosity. Sacrifice. Prayer. Selfless acts of service. A family-friendly show with Biblical values such as this one is so rare nowadays. The Rosemary-Lee's wedding is one of my favorite highlights! I highly recommend this DVD and the whole series. Entertaining and encouraging!

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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day


Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are preparing for Hurricane Matthew to hit. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.

This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!

By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It's full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.

(Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey


Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review: Experiencing God Through His Names

In the Bible, names are very important. They often reflect the characteristic attributes about the persons. If you want to know God more/better, take time to study His names. God reveals His character/attributes by referring to Himself by various Names. He wants us to know and understand Who He is, what He does, and how we should relate to Him. I love studying the names of God and I collect devotionals so I was glad to have an opportunity to review this book. Experiencing God Through His Names is a 31-day devotional that helps readers understand and appreciate 31 different names of God. It's an easy read; each day's devotion is only 2-3 pages long. The author shares from her own experiences how each name of God has meant to her personally. Each devotion concludes with a prayer.

Who is God to you? Elohim (The Creator). El Shaddai (The All-Sufficient One). Adonai (Lord and Master). Abba (Father). You may be familiar with these. But God is so much more! He is also Jehovah M'Kaddesh (The Lord Who Sanctifies), El Kanna (the Jealous God), El Roi (the God Who Sees), Jehovah Rapha (the Lord Who Heals), Jehovah Tsidkenu (the Lord Our Righteousness), Zur (God our Rock), and more. When you reflect upon these truths about God, your relationship with Him will be deepened and your faith will be strengthened. Your hearts and mind will be uplifted. You will be reminded of God's love, power, and faithfulness. I enjoyed all the Biblical truths, practical insights, and personal stories shared in this book. I highly recommend it! Prepare to discover God's character in fresh ways, grow closer to Him, and experience Him more intimately! 

Purchase a copy:

Sheryl is celebrating the release of 
Experiencing God Through His Names by giving away ten copies of the book. Click here for details and to enter to win.

About the author:

Sheryl Giesbrecht has written three books, hundreds of articles, blogs, and columns. A nationally syndicated radio host, Sheryl is a sought after inspirational speaker who facilitates leadership training for thousands internationally.

~I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Take the Bible Challenge with Odyssey Adventure Club

How much do you know about the Bible and its influence on our culture, history–and the whole world? Focus on the Family and Bring Your Bible have teamed up to create a quiz to test how much you and your kids know about the Bible. Take the quiz to find out!

Don't forget to mark your calendars to celebrate religious freedom with other students across the U.S. on October 6—Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends in just a few short weeks. Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations.


By signing up, you’ll receive a free guide with tips, downloadable posters, sticker and T-shirt designs, information on your legal rights, and other fun, interactive activities.

You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, an award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas!

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey


Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.