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Showing posts from April, 2012

Bible Study: Welcome to the Family - A Study of the book of Ephesians - Chapter 1

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Ephesians. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Grow in your faith in Christ. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming… Stacey Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 1 of the book of Ephesians. Read it with the thought in mind that this is Paul’s instruction to new Gentile converts in Ephesus. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… Written during Paul’s 1st Roman imprisonment, 60-62 AD. Ephesus was the home of magic. They were culturally steeped in the occult. See Acts 19:19. Revelation 2:1-7 – cults flourish in Ephesus. Ephesians deluded by importance of service. Technology – 1st indoor toilets. Temple of

James: Mercy Triumphs – Intro

First, let me say that I am thoroughly excited about this study. Not only do I love the book of James, one of my favorite verses comes from there (4:7b – Resist the devil and he will flee from you.). I’ve studied the book several times before on my own and with study guides, and I’m always challenged and changed in positive ways. Let the change begin, Jesus! Also, I’ve learned that there are new levels of commitment for this Bible study, and I am looking forward to deepening and heightening and widening my relationship with Christ through the exercises in this study. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but one of the challenges is to memorize the book of James. The reason I mention it now is that Beth shares in the video session a few weeks from now that she does her memory work in a different translation of the Scriptures to add dimension and freshness to her study. I would have liked it if she suggested that earlier, so I wanted to give you the opportunity to begin the memory

Great Dog Stories by M.R. Wells, Kris Young and Connie Fleishauer

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card authors are: M.R. Wells, Kris Young, Connie Fleishauer and the book: Great Dog Stories: Inspiration and Humor from Our Canine Companions Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2012) ***Special thanks to Susan Otis, Creative Resources for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHORS: M. R. Wells is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. She has written extensivel

Don’t Panic: Quick, Easy and Delicious Meals For Your Family” by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia

Here is my review of this amazing cookbook: First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia and their publisher for sending me a copy of "Don't Panic: Quick, Easy and Delicious Meals For Your Family" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me. “Don’t Panic: Quick, Easy and Delicious Meals For Your Family” by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia is a wonderful cookbook loaded with selections for every palate! There are recipes for those who are watching their calories, fat and carbs. There are quick fix recipes and fare designed for entertaining. There are recipes containing six ingredients or less, recipes designed to be frozen, and the authors’ favorites. Each recipe is coded by easy to understand symbols designating which of these categories the recipe falls into. This coding

Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Child by James Banks

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: James Banks and the book: Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer For Your Child Discovery House Publishers (April 1, 2011) ***Special thanks to Susan Otis, Creative Resources, for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An Ohio native (and demoralized fan of Cleveland sports teams), Mike attended seminary in Grand Rapids, where he has been stuck every since. He isn’t complaining, for West Michig

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 28

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming… Stacey Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 28 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 28:16 – Do you think that Paul had minimal supervision because no one could find fault with him? His prison was a rented house…and he paid the rent! 28:17 – Paul had to preach, but God had to bring the audience to him! These m

Bible Lessons From Our Pets, Vol. 1 by David Smith

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: David Smith and the book: Bible Lessons from Our Pets PCG Legacy (August 30, 2011) ***Special thanks to Susan Otis of Creative Resources for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Smith is small business owner with interests in real estate investment. He is an avid pet lover who has observed God’s grace in life through his cat, Bling. As someone who loves God and enjoys seeing His blessi

REVIEW: The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

In Denise Hunter’s “The Convenient Groom,” Dr. Kate has just been jilted by her fiancé at the altar. Fearing the backlash to her career as a marriage counselor, and hoping to keep negative press at a minimum as her first book is about to release, Dr. Kate puts an insane plan into action. She walks down the aisle with Lucas Wright: her landlord, who is secretly in love with her. He agrees to give her one year of his life to save her career. But unbeknownst to Kate, Luc is hoping that 12 months will make her fall for him. Living together as a married couple is difficult when you’re only half pretending. But things certainly do change when you get to know a person and your feelings begin to change. Could it be that Dr. Kate’s orderly love advice is all hogwash? Could it be that Mr. Wright really is Mr. Right-for-her? What a charming novel! Reading about these two falling in love was such a treat. The story was so tantalizing that I invested in the characters almost immediately

Fresh: Reviving Stale Faith - Week Six

First of all, before I get into the subject matter for our final group meeting, let me say that 15 minutes of silence a day was nearly impossible for me to accomplish. Maybe I was trying to do it under my own power. I did find myself “busier” this week, so maybe the enemy was attacking in that area. The two times I did actually successfully enter the silence, my mind switched on so loudly that I was constantly having to pray silently, “remove that concern from my mind, Lord.” But I’m not giving up. I will continue to attempt this process to hear from God. The final meeting was incredible. Pastor Kerry taught that silence empowers communication and increases sensitivity. Our group’s discussion was rich and real and vibrant. Each of us came away with a desire for sincere communication with others. Watching Ryan Shook’s (Pastor Kerry’s son) video “Picture Perfect” was truly moving. At length, we discussed the concept of the short film and extracted several principles to live by

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 27

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming… Stacey Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 27 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 27:1-12 – Paul’s final journey. This is his final Roman imprisonment before being beheaded under Emperor Nero. We – Luke went, too. You can’t base faith on feelings or perceptions. • The book of Acts teaches us much about

Fresh: Reviving Stale Faith - Week Five

I am one of those people who truly appreciates silence, so I was incredibly excited to get to class and learn more about the disciplined practice of silence. In this week’s segment, Pastor Kerry teaches that Silence Reduces Stress and Expresses Faith. I absolutely agree. Some of my classmates agreed. We had rich discussion about our experiences with silence. Our discussion even led one individual to appreciate their spouse’s quest for quiet and to see that pursuit in a new way. People are so busy these days, it’s difficult to carve out a quiet moment. We can make every excuse that pops into our minds, but the simple truth is that we just have to commit to doing it and stop everything else. The scripture verses for this lesson were particularly uplifting. They will be wonderful verses to commit to memory. And I can’t wait to work this coming week to accomplish the challenge that Pastor Kerry to enter the silence for 15 minutes each day. I anticipate wonderful things.

I Am My Beloved’s: Christian Devotionals for the Bride to Be by Amy Hayes

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Amy Hayes and the book: I Am My Beloved’s: Christian Devotionals for the Bride to Be Madison Street Publishing (January 11, 2012) ***Special thanks to Rosanne Spears of Madison Street Publishing for providing a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Hayes makes her home in Portland, Oregon with her husband Doug where they have raised five children and are now thoroughly enjoying four grandchildren. Her

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 26

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming… Stacey Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 26 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 26:9-18 – Paul’s own conversion story. Acts 9:1-9. 26:23 – suffer – excruciating means “out of the cross”. 26:24 – Festus is the new governor. Some people will ridicule you when you share the gospel. SHOW THEM RESPECT. 26:

Fresh: Reviving Stale Faith - Week Four

The Plan for Fasting can be done in a variety of ways. There is Absolute, Normal and Partial fasting. In the video segment, Pastor Terry details what each of these forms of fasting entails. Also, when we think of fasting, we usually think of food. But you can fast from other things as well. Is there a television show that you really enjoy? A magazine or newspaper? I loved a statement that Pastor Kerry made in this segment. He said, “Whatever hurts you most is the best fast.” Pastor Kerry also gave four instances in which you may want to fast: when the odds are against you, when you need uncommon protection, when you’re beginning a new endeavor or when you need a breakthrough. The workbook was loaded with scripture references for this topic that we took the time in class to look up and share our thoughts. Seeing all of the scriptural examples of fasting made me realize that this is not a pious behavior, but a serious worship tool. And it’s leading me to pray that the Lord w

REVIEW: Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings’ freshman novel, “Sixty Acres and a Bride”, is a remarkable retelling of the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. And I believe that familiarity with the Scriptures heightens the anticipation as the story develops. This retelling, which transports the reader to late 1800s Texas, also enhances the Scripture in the sense of making the situations encountered by these women more understandable to our modern-day minds. Rosa and Louise Garner have buried their husbands in Mexico. Actually, an earthquake buried their men, but these women have little recourse but to return to Louise’s property and family in Texas. But when the women arrive, they learn that significant back taxes are owed and they must come up with the money in three months or forfeit the family land. Weston Garner is nursing a guilty conscience over the death of his wife five years earlier. He has no intention to remarry, but is just beginning to live again. Still, he doesn’t want the attention of Molly who t