Saturday, February 6, 2016

Love Kindness ~ Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue book review

Thank you to Tyndale for allowing me to read and share my review of Love Kindness by Dr. Barry Corey

This book brings together faith and our current culture, a must read for all Christians. This book it not at all what I expected. When I think of the kindness virtue, I think of being nice to someone, but that is not at all what it means. It is much deeper and Dr. Corey, gives great examples of it. This book may convict you and challenge you, actually it opened my eyes to seeing some things differently. The main theme, is about having a firm center, with soft edges, which means sharing truth in a receivable way. 

Dr. Corey brings up Bible verse Matthew 10:40 Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. This verse is what his dad taught him growing up and he refers to it throughout the book. We need to make ourselves receivable, to remove the distance or the obstacles that keep others from seeing Jesus within us. We also have to remember Jesus never said we would be received by all, we will face rejection, but we are to "shake that dust off our feet". We live the way of kindness by being humble and authentic, whom we share kindness to they have the choice to receive or not to receive. The word kindness should not be mistaken for niceness, it is not timid. We need to have firm centers, grounded in truth, but we need to have soft edges to share that truth. We have to be open to let others receive. So the first part of kindness calls us to be receivable. Dr. Corey goes on to share more throughout the chapters in this book on the messiness of kindness, what humility looks like, how to disagree in kindness, the power kindness gives, how kindness calls us to see deeper, how to live kindness in this culture, how to journey in kindness, reaching out to others even if they reject us, kindness is others-centered, kindness might feel awkward, kindness is committed to both truth and grace. 

Dr. Corey shares what he feels this generation needs: a generation of Christians with deep convictions regarding what is true, grounded in Scripture. We need a generation of Christians courageous in their faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit. And we need a generation of Christians whose demeanor is civil, kind, and compassionate. The days of going it alone or fostering a spirit of competition need to give away to fresh partnerships and collaborations that stretch beyond our theological and denominational differences. To which is say AMEN! 

This book was hard to put down. Dr. Corey did a great job writing on what it means to live like Jesus in this world. I made lots of notes and hi-lights in this book!

From the publisher Tyndale:

Kindness is not what we have been taught it is. It isn’t a soft virtue, expressed only by sweet grandmothers or nice Boy Scouts. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Instead, it is brave and daring, willing to be vulnerable with those with whom we disagree. It is the revolutionary way that Jesus himself called us to live. The way of selfless risks. The way of staggering hope. The way of authenticity.

Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University, believes we tend to devalue the importance of kindness, opting instead for caustic expressions of certainty that push people away. We forget that the essence of what God requires of us is to “love kindness.” In this book, filled with stories from his travels around the globe, Barry shows us the forgotten way of kindness. It is a life that calls us to put ourselves at risk. A life that calls us to hope. A life of a firm center and soft edges. It is the life Christ invites us to follow, no matter what the cost.

March 15, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

First week of February~Friday encouragement and learning!

This week has been full of some amazing blessings and God miracles, those are sometimes hard to see, but a sunrise, a friend being saved, giggling kids, warm beds, chicken eggs, chocolate, happy mail, quiet time to read, encouraging people.... There has also been some pondering and struggles, not going to lie, I struggle, life is messy at times, but I love how God always reminds me that I am enough, how HE loves me (and you too)... so take some time study His Word, it is life changing, sing some or listen to praise songs (cause not everyone has been gifted with a voice, me), make some art, watch a sunrise or sunset, sit in HIS presence. God is always good, His Word is always true, never changing, for that I am very thankful, for when I doubt I know what is true, for when I struggle I know He is there, for when I feel lonely I know I always have Him, for when I don't know the answer I know He has me in the palm of His hand.... Sharing this wonderful reminder from She Reads Truth...

I love how this hymn helps me lift my eyes from my inadequacy to His sufficiency—from my not-enough to His always-enough. It helps me to remember the wonderful works He has done (Psalm 145:5) and to meditate on those, rather than circling around and around all the things I’ve left undone.
I love how this song shifts my gaze—
From my sin and mistakes to God’s sacrifice and grace.
From my problems and pain to God’s power and mercy.
From the mess of my heart to the beauty of His love.
From the ache of this world to the hope of our true, eternal home.
Friends, let’s gather ‘round and sing this song together today, turning our eyes from ourselves to our great God, proclaiming His goodness and faithfulness to our our own souls and to those around us (Psalm 145:3-7).

Encouraging reads of the week, that speak to this mama's heart:

Everything is beautiful and crazy and wildly spiritual.  Don’t believe for one moment that your days are just blips – ordinary nothings.  Reject the lies and embrace the truth.  Your life is sacred, your minutes are blessed, and your weeks are spattered with grace.  True, deep-down joy finds us when we see the ‘everyday ordinary’ as profoundly purposeful.

I love these 12 things, anyone else relate? I need them all (and yes I am an INFJ according to Myers Briggs test years ago), but call it what you want it is how God made me and HE is the one transforming me, so that needs to be added to the list to be complete!.
I have recently been starting to get more #12, working on #6, if it wasn't for my book addiction ;)

So true, there will be days like this, many….Repeat after me: Lists are tidy. Life isn’t.
I feel quite an urgency, a panic even, for preservation. I’m afraid the abundance, ease, and social acceptance of technology are threatening certain life experiences to the point of extinction.

Pics of the week:
My golfers!
Heading to mailbox, special delivery, beautiful day!
Bible time in school!
Art project, working with clay, learning about early pottery!
Valentine treats!
My talented hubby, a painting of a friend!
What I am enjoying, watching sunrises!
And sunsets!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Today is the day for The life Giving Home book release!!!

Oh this book, The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, is a must for all us mama's who are in the child raising years or soon to be. If I could I would buy one for each one of my mama friends!

Mama's this book will remind you just how important your role is as the mother of your family. Our families needs us! Our homes need us! Home was created as a place to flourish and grow fully into a healthy person! Today our world is suffering in brokenness, we are becoming too busy, distracted to care for our families the way God intended us to. This book will inspire you, encourage you as you raise your children. This book provides resources, godly wisdom and ideas to help you in making you home a place of belonging and becoming. 

Sally Clarkson is one of my favorite authors and bloggers. She homeschooled her children, is a big encourager of bringing women together, mentoring, and has always inspired me through her writings! She wrote this book with her daughter Sarah, who is also has a blog and has wrote two books on children's literature, which I would recommend also!

The first part of the book they share about what is God's vision for our homes, how we create it, how to evaluate making our homes what God meant them to be. The second part of this book is broken down into chapters, one for each month. Sally share's what they did in creating an environment of a life-giving home, with books, stories, traditions, spiritual rhythms, feasting, tea parties, celebrating life, and the importance of understanding beauty to satisfy our souls. This book has left me feeling refreshed and encouraged, with ideas on creating monthly traditions and celebrations!

I encourage you to check out her blog and the additional resources she has on creating a life giving home at

 To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday~happenings and encouragement!

Last week was freezing cold and snow and today sunny and 60's. I can not complain, loving my southern weather today!!! So today for school-time, our learning will take place outside!!

We had another great triumph in school this week, well you may not think it is but for the first time this week Aidan wrote his name legible!! I did not think I had it in me to teach him in his preschool years, but the Lord knew otherwise. So not only am I not super proud of him, I am thankful for the opportunity to teach him. Of course, I have my moments with his crazy antics, his need to take a part and yes sometimes break things, eeek!! I know it will serve him well as he gets older, this boy is teaching me so much! Also, those are minor in comparison to how he makes me smile, his thoughtfulness to help, his sweetness, and how hard he works on his school work. You see if I can homeschool, you can too! So please don't use the excuse, I could never. Because you can, with God anything is possible!

When we think we are failing or struggling with something, we need to remember yes God! We believers have the ability, we just have to be obedient and trust, though that in itself is not always easy. When I have those moments, it helps to know the Word, remind myself of His truths, pray, and ask those God has placed in my life for encouragement or help. He didn't put us here on this earth to do it alone. That seems to be my theme this year with the books I am reading, about building a place of belonging, friendships, community, and kindness (which by the way is not the same as niceness, as I am reading in Love Kindness).

In the book Better Together, Jill Savage talks about not being self-centered, but others-centered! How to be like Jesus with skin on. Nobody should go through life alone, so we are to take notice, pay attention to how to care for someone else.

In the book Life Giving Home, "Give foundations of strength and inspiration to these precious ones, but give them wings as well. Prepare them to take risks, to live by faith, so that they can take the messages and cherished values they learned at home and share them with a hurting world." Seriously, this needs to be my mission, as a homeschooling mom!! (I have been working on a mission for our home, and this book has helped me to see what it is.)

A couple snapshots this week:

Math drills!
Encouraging reads:
Having hope in God brings an endless flow of emotional strength to make it through each day.

Christianity and all that it entails is not just about getting from point A to point B. It’s not even about doing “God’s work.” It is completely and totally and forever about Jesus.
Great reminder, I get wrapped up in homeschooling, to do’s and trying to do it all…So today, let’s do something. Let’s walk away from it all, for a day, and remember what’s truly important.
It is still a struggle for me. But I'm thankful for the battle, because it keeps me coming back to God, clinging to Him, focusing my mind and heart on what I know is True.

It’s my job to prepare my kids for life and the future. And if I turn everything they think is hard into an easier road, I haven’t done either.

Are you an HSP, this will be helpful, especially if you also homeschool.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A little weekly update, there is snow and encouragement here!!

Today the snow is coming down and the kids are excited to play in it, me not so much, but I do love hot chocolate, movies and books! Unfortunately the railroad doesn't shut down, and of course my husband was called out before they got the chance to all play in the snow this morning. My awesome hubby did manage to make me a path to my girls (aka chickens) with his leaf blower, now snow blower. We finished our school work for the week, so today there will be bundling the kids up to go out, tending to my outside critters (by the way, they don't want to go out and I can't blame them), probably lots of hot chocolate, movies, and for me I think it is a book and PJ day, well sometime today. Because us mama's know our jobs are never that easy. All I have to say about this snow, is it is pretty and peaceful to watch! I am always reminded of the precious hymn, What can wash my sin:
 Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Blessed and excited to be a part of these two book launches, two of my favorite book authors!!

Oh and don't forget to enter the give-away for Jesus Today

 Pics of our week:

My awesome hubby, making me a path with the leaf blower, aka snow blower!
Still coming down!
These two crack me up, fun times during read-a-loud time!
Latin time!
Puzzle time!
Love this, caught in the act, big sis reading to little bro!
Baby it's cold out there!
Encouraging reads:
Because we live out of what we meditate upon. When life presses against us, whatever takes up residence in our souls drives our reaction. 

In the place between what is comfortable and what feels like it may kill us is where we become all we’re created to be.

Just yes…The next time you’re tempted to put off that moment of rest for the sake of ‘doing something productive’, remember that renewing the soul and mind is profitable. Stop, take that break; then return to life’s never-ending responsibilities, ready to rock!

Just love this…Your life, your story and the message you bear is written inside you for a reason. Embrace it! Learn from it. Lean in to the gift of grace that was freely given to you so that you might find hope and peace in the midst of your story — and then the courage to give it away. Life is beautiful, and it’s even better together.  

Knowing Him intimately and personally will radically change your life. Knowing about Him won’t do much good.

Perspective… Maybe you have a child that wakes up at the crack of dawn. Maybe you are exhausted and overwhelmed. Maybe, just maybe, they are not waking up early to frustrate or anger you. They just want to BE with you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jesus Today review and give-away!

I recently received for review, a new devotional book for children, Jesus Today ~ Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young. First the hard-cover of the book is so cute, I love the blue! What is even better is the daily devotions, there are a 150 of them, in addition with quotes and scripture verses throughout. There is a scripture index at end of the book for looking up Bible verses in the book. Kids and many adults (I have been enjoying reading it with the kids!) will enjoy reading it. This book would make for a great morning devotional time and discussion. In addition a great gift to give! I love the reminders and message throughout it!

One of my blessed readers has an opportunity to win their very own Jesus Today book. Thanks to FlyBy for this super awesome give-away for kids or for your parents, grandparents, etc...that enjoy reading to your children. Be sure to comment no later then Sunday, January 24, 2016 to be entered into the drawing.

I love what our promotions company shared: The awesome people at Tommy Nelson (a division of Thomas Nelson) have made available a devotional just for kids.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids is about Jesus and His amazing Love for you.  It's also a book about hope.  Some kids may think that hoping is just wishful thinking.  But the hope Jesus offers you is something you can hold on to -- knowing it will never let you down. Because Jesus will never let you down!  No matter what is happening -- whether you are happy, scared, angry, or sad -- God is always in control, and He is always good.

About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
Jesus is the Friend who is always with you.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine.  Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him.  Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures.  It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.  

Hardcover: 368 pages
Age Range: 6-10 years 

About the author Sarah Young: 
Sarah Young's devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals.  With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists.  Sarah's writings include Jesus CallingJesus TodayJesus LivesDear JesusJesus Calling for Little OnesJesus Calling Bible StorybookJesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence -- each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ.  Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years.  They currently live in the United States.  



#JesusTodayKids and #FlyBy

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): 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.”