Bill Gaither’s Best of Homecoming 2016 #FCBlogger

I LOVE the Gaithers.  When they come together with their friends, it is truly a Homecoming!

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Every song on this CD is here for a reason.

My favorite, and the one that I will discuss the most is “We Shall Behold Them”.  This version is sung by David Phelps and there just isn’t a way to describe it.  So here it is

While this is full on David Phelps, it is presented by The Gaithers!  It doesn’t get better than this with these lyrics.

The sky shall unfold Preparing His entrance.
The stars shall applaud Him, With thunders of praise.
The sweet light in His eyes, shall enhance those awaiting
And we shall behold Him, then face to face.
We shall behold Him, we shall behold Him Face to face
In all of His glory.
We shall behold Him, yes we shall behold Him Face to face,
Our Savior and Lord.
The angel will sound, the shout of His coming.
And the sleeping shall rise, from there slumbering place.
And those who remaining, shall be changed in a moment.
And we shall behold him, then face to face.
We shall behold Him, we shall behold Him!
Face to face in all of His glory.
We shall behold Him, yes we shall behold Him!
Face to face, our Savior and Lord.
And we shall behold Him, our Savior and Lord Savior and Lord!

That song, those words, We shall behold HIM, Our Savior and Lord!  It doesn’t get better than that!  Then I listened to the rest of the CD

Here is the entire Track List and those that sing on the CD.  Oh My!  When you hear Jimmy Fortune sing Precious Memories, or the Gaithers singing Little Drummer Boy.  I have played these tracks over and over!  I love that they have the people singing the songs that usually do them at a Homecoming Gathering.

The Sweetest Song I Know – Goodman Revival
Farther Along – Oak Ridge Boys
Precious Memories – Jimmy Fortune
Love Is Like A River – Gaither Vocal Band
Touch Of The Masters Hand – Booth Brothers
Ghost Town – David Phelps
What A Friend We Have In Jesus – Lynda Randle
I Hold A Clear Title To A Mansion – Goodman Revival
In The Sweet By And By – Oak Ridge Boys
We Shall Behold Him – David Phelps
Faith Keeps Walking – Booth Brothers
Little Drummer Boy – Gaither Vocal Band

There isn’t better than old hymns, a little christmas music thrown in and the fantastic voices that you will hear belt out these amazing songs.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love new worship music.  Give me a Chris Tomlin, or Tree 63 or some Sidewalk Prophets any day.  I know my heart and mind is taken back to a simpler time though when I hear these old, beautiful hymns.  Sang by the people I used to sit around and listen to on Saturday night Singing at home with my parents.

What great memories that this CD brought back for me. You can buy CD’s like this one and many more at Family Christian Stores.

Check out all the Gaithers’ CDs at Family Christian Stores

Meet My Best Friend #FCBlogger

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In Meet My Best Friend by Sheila Walsh and illustrator Sarah Horne, Walsh takes her story with twins, Liam and Emma, and the pets Charlie and Wilson, all the way to Scotland!  Their mom explains that they have new neighbors with a daughter their age, named Abby.

Abby comes to visit the twins!  The twins have a wonderful treehouse in their back yard.

When they get to the treehouse, Abby recalls that she had a treehouse, and she used to play there with her best friend, and that she missed her so much.  So the twins ask Abby if she would like to meet their best friend. Then they lead Abby on a treasure hunt, going through several places like the treehouse, their bedrooms, running down the hallway, the bathroom.  All the time, Liam and Emma, keep telling her whether she is hot or cold with finding their best friend!   Abby never can figure out where the best friend is.  So she gives up.

Liam and Emma finally take her to their best friend!  

While I have problems with the outcome of this book, kids from 4-10, the ages that the book is written for are just finding out new and important things about the Bible. So for the book to call the Bible their Best Friend, for their ages, is a good thing, but for me, I believe Jesus is my all in all. He is everywhere and he should be considered as our best friend. That’s just me and I’m over thinking it I’m sure. The Bible as a best friend, while I understand what they are intending, to tell a 4-year-old that, that believes everything that their parents say usually, leads me to a bigger question of should we be telling this to kids. It isn’t something that I would say, however, opens up a very huge, dynamic path, to why Jesus is your best friend. Anything that starts and keeps the lines of communication open about Jesus, the Bible, and that Jesus is Lord of Lords, everywhere, and Savior of all, is a really good thing

Go check out this great book by Sheila Walsh and find out who Liam and Emma’s best friend is.  You can purchase it and many other children’s books at Family Christian® Stores.  Meet My Best Friend is part of The Bible Is my Best Friend Series.

 

At the back of the book is a part called Parent Connect. In this part of the book, there are questions for kids, questions for adults as well as verses from the Bible and points just to get you talking as a family

The books are written for ages 4-10 and I LOVE the illustrations.

The series has the hardback book, kindle book a flipboard book and a devotional book, all of them can be found at Family Christian® Stores.  There are many other kids books that you can also find at Family Christian like these

If you have kids this age, (and even if you don’t) this book is adorable and leads children back to why The Bible is your best friend! Go check it out here.

You can find out more about Family Christian at the following links.

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Author – Sheila Walsh
Sheila Walsh is an author, speaker and Bible teacher who has sold over 4 million books. Her heart isSheila Walsh to show what happens when your real life meets the Word of God. She is the author of the #1 best-selling line of Christian books for little girls, “Gigi, God’s Little Princess.” Sheila is the creator of Children of Faith and the Gnoo Zoo, a ministry to children that communicates God’s love for them. She is the author of several books for women including “Honestly,” “Gifts for Your Soul,” “Living Fearlessly,” and “The Best Devotions of Sheila Walsh”, “The Shelter of God’s Promises” and her latest book, “God Loves Broken People and those who pretend they’re not.” As an accomplished musician, Sheila has recently released the CD “Beauty From Ashes.” Sheila, her husband, Barry and their son, Christian live in Dallas, Texas.
You can keep up with Sheila at the following links

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Mornings With Jesus #FCBlogger

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As I was looking through this book when I first received it, I was thinking to myself, how on earth will I write 200 words on a devotional that I don’t want to read ahead because it is a devotional for all of 2016.  It goes by months, then it’s broken down by day.

Each Day you get 366 Devotionals (2016 is a Leap Year) Each day is broken down by a scripture verse,  the devotional, which is each author’s personal reflection, then with a Faith Step.

The devotionals are written by 10 amazing authors:

Susanna Foth Aughtmon
Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
Grace Fox
Tricia Goyer
Sharon Hinck
Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Erin Keeley Marshall
Dianne Neal Matthews
Cynthia Ruchti
Suzanne Davenport Tietjen

So I thought that I would take each month, read the first day, the middle and the end.  I was so surprised at the depth that one author could go, with one day and one page.  Jesus promise is very clear:  Peace I leave with you:  my peace I give you.  I do not ive to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:27 NIV) isn’t that an incredible promise?

Each devotionals that I have read so far, has that promise in it.  These have me so encouraged to read through the devotional through next year..

This devotional can be purchased at Family Christian® Storesas well as many other Devotionals.  You can check those out here Family Christian Stores Daily Devotionals

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Vendetta #FCBlogger

Check out this book at Family Christian

 

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 Nikki Boyd goes through her life as a Tennessee Missing Person Task Force member, she always has her history in the back of her mind.  That history is that Sarah is abducted and no one ever found her body.

People encouraged Nikki not to go in law enforcement because of  emotions that tie Nikki to this latest kidnapping.  Nikki was shopping instead of picking Sarah up.  Nikki soon finds that this latest kidnapper of Bridget, wants Sarah involved in many ways, and wants Nikki to be tied to all of it.

Through the years, the time, the guilt, and everything that goes with this.  Nikki never forgave herself and vowed that she would find Sarah’s kidnapper.

So when 16-year-old Bridget goes missing,  everything comes flooding back to her, the memories, the guilt, everything.

as well as dealing with this, she was also dealing with the loss of her best friend.  On the day Bridget goes missing, Nikki and Tyler, Katie’s widow were celebrating the life of their best friend Katie.  

Now Katie realizes that through all of this, she is falling in love with Tyler. Something she never expected to happen.

Lisa Harris takes us down all sorts of twists and turns and surprises.  Vendetta is a clean read and for that, I was so excited.

This book will give you all the mystery, intrigue, suspense, who dunnits, all while staying true to faithful reading!

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Go check out Vendetta at Family Christian® Stores and you can find other books just like Vendetta and thousand’s of other mystery books here.

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Lisa Harris

More about the Author

I’m a wife, mom, teacher, author, dreamer, photographer, world explorer, but most importantly a follower of Christ Jesus.Lz3DZGLs

I currently live with my husband near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique where we work as church-planting missionaries. We’ve started the empty next stage with two
children spread around the globe and a third—thankfully—still at home.
As a homeschooling mom, life is busy, but I see my writing as an extension of my ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization.
The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)
When I’m not working l love hanging out with my family at the beach, playing games, cooking different ethnic dishes, and heading into the African bush on safari.
You can keep up with Lisa at the following links

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Family Christian® Celebrates New Path Forward


Store and product improvements create unique shopping experience

Following a 12-month operational reorganization, along with a complete store and product overhaul, Family Christian® announced today it is on the path to becoming a stronger retailer and supporter of faith-based causes.

As part of the reorganization, Family Christian have upgraded and expanded their product choice to include a new compelling assortment of home decor, apparel, and books.

“It’s not just about the new merchandise, though,” said Steve Biondo, Family Christian Spokesperson. “We’ve also implemented a new Service Promise throughout the organization, focused on loving and caring for our customers, to guarantee a shopping experience like no other.”

The most important element of the organization’s restructuring is an even deeper focus on maximizing its ministry impact. Purchases at Family Christian support the non-profit’s efforts to unite with ministries that are helping children and families in need stateside and worldwide.

“While our business goal is to be a first-class retailer, the heart of this organization is firmly grounded in ministry,” said Biondo. “We will be developing even stronger ministry partnerships to continue and increase our support of hands-on widow and orphan work worldwide, and sharing God’s word through Bible donations and mission trip support.”

To find the nearest Family Christian store, visit Family Christian Stores 

About Family Christian
Located in the United States, Family Christian is the world’s largest Christian-focused retailer. The nonprofit organization has about 255 stores in 36 states. The organization offers a variety of Christian-themed merchandise, including Bibles, home decor, art, gifts, DVD’s, kids products, books, and music. In addition to its physical stores Family Christian provides consumers with access to all these resources through www.familychristian.com, its e-Commerce platform. All earnings will be donated to Christian ministries serving families, orphans and widows in distress. Learn more at http://www.familychristian.com/about.

You can keep up with  Family Christian Stores at any of the following links

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This entry was first posted in Industry Highlights and tagged restructuring, family christian updates, family christian news, news on November 19, 2015 by Family Christian and reblogged with permission.

 


 

 

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Little Words Matter #FCBlogger

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When I agreed to review Little Words Matter Bible Storybook I was hoping that it wasn’t just another little kids Bible Story book.  Like all the rest.

It certainly isn’t!  I LOVE this book.  So little, so sweet.  Just a simple board book.  Easy for little hands to hold and read.

The stories in the book, aren’t just the simple verses of the popular stories in the Bible.  The author Tama Fortner, gives this little book a personality and separates it from the other Bible Storytime books.  The illustrations by Holli Conger add so much to these beautiful little stories

Each story -there are 19 of them, start out with simple word statements.  Fortner goes on to tell us the story in easy, small kids words.  

Most children that read this can remember those sentences.  19 stories from the Bible. Isn’t that what we, as parents, grandparents and/or teachers or ministry leaders want?  Words that not only teach these children, beautiful stories from God’s Word, but anything that will help them to remember them.

We will take the story of Jesus on the Cross.

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from Luke 23, John 19:17-42

Jesus was arrested!  He was laughed at, spit on, and beaten.  Then He was put on the cross.  But even on the cross, Jesus loved everyone

“Father, forgive them,” He said, Jesus dies and was placed in a tomb.  A giant stone covered it

Jesus died to take away the sins of the world

What a great way to sum up the story of Jesus on the cross, just so the littles can understand!  I LOVE this book and am so grateful to have reviewed it to be introduced to the series,  With Christmas coming, and a lot of littles in my family, this will make the perfect gift to put in their stocking or under the tree!

you can find this book and many others at Family Christian Stores.  Check out all the great things you can get for Christmas presents for your kiddoes.

 

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About the Author Tama Fortner

My name is Tama. I love God, my family and friends, and coffee with extra cream. I live a crazy life that is all-at-once wonderful, messy, and filled with love.Untitled_Modified

In the midst of the craziness of carpools and crockpots, I am also a Bible teacher and a freelance writer and editor. My most recent book, God Is Always Good, was published this fall. I’ve collaborated on a number of titles, including the bestselling Jesus Calling for Kids and Grace for the Moment for Kids. My home is in the hilly suburbs of Tennessee, with my husband, two kids, a dog, and a cat aptly named Trouble.

My prayer is that all I do, all I say, all I write and teach will bring glory to Him, because . . .

He brought me out into a spacious place;
    He rescued me because He delighted in me.

-Psalm 18:19
You can keep up with Tama at her blog at http://www.tamafortner.com or the following links

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About The Illustrator Holli Conger


Holli’s artistic talent and creativity has been evident from a very early age. Although she excelled in many areas of school, art projects were always her favorite. In third grade, Holli’s art teacher presented her with a big green pencil case (which she still has today) for having the best drawing in the class.

Today she is a digital and dimensional illustrator who illustrates in a whimsical style suitable for any application of illustration. From magazine, greeting cards and advertising, to CD covers, packaging and children’s books, Holli approaches each project with whimsy and creativity guaranteed to put a smile on any child’s (and parent’s) face.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, Holli has the knowledge and experience of working with
art directors, designers, copywriters and other creative types to collaborate on projects. A Nashville native, she currently lives in Winston-Salem, NC, where her husband, their daughter and son give her plenty of inspiration.

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Richard Smallwood #FCBlogger Family Christian

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I am not a fan of Motown music.  I love just about all music you could ever listen to.  However, Rap, Motown, Headbanging, and Heavy Metal.  I just do not have a feel for.

I have never been able to put my finger on why, but I just knew I didn’t like it.  When I got Richard Smallwood’s The Millennium Collection from Family Christian to review.  I really had to pray long and hard before I listened to it.  For God to send me the words out of the music that He wanted me to hear, to not listen to the musicality  while listening to the CD but hear the words, and boy did I hear some words!!

With songs like

1 We Magnify Your Name (Live)  2  What He’s Done For Me  3 In The Shelter  4 Center Of My Joy (Live)  5 Great Is Thy Faithfulness  6 He’s Able (Live)  7 Great Is The Lord (Psalm 48)  8 Wonderful Counselor  9 His Mercy Endureth Forever (Psalm 118)  10 The Lord’s Prayer (Live)

I am going to look at # 9 His Mercy Endureth Forever.  Which happens to be one of my all time favorite songs

This song, taken from Psalm 118  and oh what a lesson it teaches you.

(everything in italics is from me.)

Oh give thanks unto the Lord
For He is Good,  For He is Good   Have you ever just sat and thought about just HOW good God is?  HE IS GOOD.  I mean seriously GOOD.  There is no way to describe the Good that comes from the Lord,, there aren’t enough words
For His mercy endureth for ever and ever  His MERCY endures forever, infinite, eternal, everlasting,   can you even begin to think that long

Thy art my God and I will Praise you  Yes Lord, just because you are my God, I will praise you!!

The Lord is my strength and my song  What strength we find in the Lord  When we are weak and down to our nothing ness, my STRENGTH is in you Lord!
He has become my salvation, my salvation
I will praise you oh Lord, PRAISING THE LORD for the salvation he has given me that last eternal and forever, and infinite, everlasting,,,  What a gynormous promise the Lord has given us here in these three lines!!
You have become my salvation, my salvation

For this is the day that the Lord hath made
I will rejoice and be glad in it   You choose to rejoice in each day, no matter what comes your way, REJOICE IN HIM!!!

Oh Give thanks unto the Lord  – how can you NOT give thanks to the Lord  – When I think of the things that the Lord has done for me, I mean HE GAVE HIS SON.  to die on the cross, so that I might live forever, infinite, everlasting… 

He gives me everything I need, right when I need it  What JOY we see when we look upon His face

Now wrap all of this up into the soulful voice of Richard Smallwood and his choir and just listen to these words.

Does the meaning change?  No.  But the song I know, is sang so fast that there are words that run together and while it’s a great song, you are singing a beat that is tremendous.  Mr. Smallwood slows it down and you hang on every world he says.  “HIS LOVE FOREVER”

Smallwood’s career spans many, many years, with many awards, many albums!  He says on Instagram, this is all he has ever wanted to do!

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Now does it even GET any better than that?  I can’t possibly think of a better way to sing these words from the gospel!  Each song is a song from the heart and soul of each person that is singing with Mr Smallwood.  This album compiles his greatest hits into this Millennium Collection. and you can buy it at Family Christian Stores online now for 5.00 as well as the digital download for 5.99.  what a great Christmas or birthday present this would make for someone!

here is the video of Mr. Smallwood Singing His Mercy Endureth Forever from The Millennium Collection

You can read Psalm 118 here 

You can keep up with Mr Smallwood at the following links

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A Friend In Me #BookReview #FCBlogger

CHT2HFPWUAMqPOj A Friend In Me – 
How To Be A Safe Haven For Other Women –Bridging The Gap with Younger Ones
Pamela Havey Lau

This book starts off with the forward by Nancy Ortberg. Nancy asks the question “where are the mentors?  The ladies that would tell you (Biblically) whether or not your ways were sound principle or you were stepping outside of God’s word.

Those women, that even if you were sick they brought the meals to help your family, or if you were in need, they did what they could, within their power to help you.  They showed love, not sat around and talked about it.  These women were any age, and any stage of Biblical maturity.  However, they gave grace, they gave mercy and they gave love

Those days are gone or so I find in our area my church and in my area.  By most.  There are still a few that no matter what will offer their help and I know I am guilty of saying “well someone else will help them” That’s all mentality that our way to busy lives have led us too.

Pamela Havery Lau, talks about just that, in her book about friendship and mentoring.

Younger women long for relational connection with older, wiser, “been there, done that“women. As do older women want to seek out that relationship.  In some cases.

Although in most instances there is disconnect between that generation gap. My thoughts are one because the older women are from a completely different generation and therefore that wonderful asset of knowledge goes untapped.

As well as the knowledge that younger generations have with new and better ways of doing things.

a Friend in Me

That welcoming committee to a new church or a new neighbor. Just saying hello to a new person at their church? You never know when that stranger that just shows up that Sunday, all they need is someone to say hello to them. Because of a life broken, their walking in the door, was a struggle just in and of itself. Yet how many times does a stranger go unwelcomed at a church. We like to think that every person that comes through the doors of a church are greeted and met with the loving hearts we think we have, but do we? Or do we say, oh the ushers or pastor will talk to them, I need to rush out to get my kids the nursery so I will just let someone else handle it?? Or my dinner is going to be late if I stay very much longer, and I have a house full of family headed to my house right now.

Things like that. Yet, it would only take a few minutes of your time to show someone love that may never get anywhere else. Then when we don’t even take the time to say hello in the church. Where is Christ in this? Did we show them Christ? Did you just walk by someone new in church today?  Or worse yet, someone that has been there as long as you?  Without saying hello or without even an out-reached hand to welcome that person there today?!?

Now that being said, there is no way you can be everything to everyone. You must allow yourself some downtime. In doing so, you refresh your heart, you renew your spirit. Without your own emotional and spiritual refreshing you cannot be a good mentor to someone else. This means diving into God’s Word for your own healing and rejuvenation.  Also you can be a mentor at any age.  

This statement from Pam on her website pretty much wraps up the entire premise of this book.

“Every kind of Christian woman—conservative, moderate, liberal, suburbanite, city dweller, lover of liturgy, lover of charismatic worship, egalitarian, complementarian, single, or married—models and teaches something about God to the next generation. I have seen firsthand how difficult it has become for women across the generations to share deeply from their hearts, but I’ve got good news: I’ve also witnessed powerful transformations in women’s hearts when we finally do. For more than fifteen years I’ve spoken with all kinds of women who love God and want to make a difference by bringing God glory through their ministries, jobs, and families. In my conversations and prayers with them, we always come back to the condition of their hearts—something that is holding them back from deeply loving the younger women in their lives. These seemingly negative ideas of themselves or the ways they are being perceived can hold them back from sharing their faith out loud.”

  1. Silence – shut yourself down to the outside world and then invite the Holy Spirit to guide you into your own heart for healing of anything you need.

  2. Thanksgiving – exclaiming Thanksgiving to the Master.

  3. Self-examination – A time to look into your own heart and soul and ask God for forgiveness in what you may need

  4. Request – this is different from the asking in forgiveness. This may be something like asking God for the courage to go to that person that is new and you haven’t spoken to. Or the strength to go forward with something that you know in your heart is going to be scary to you.

  5. Write – always write! One of the ways Lau suggests, is this, to write a letter to someone you may be in conflict with either asking for forgiveness or offering forgiveness. Sometimes this just may not be possible, but writing the letter anyway is a good way of getting the anger out, whether you have been hurt by someone or you have hurt them. If you can’t get it to them, or there could be more harm done in doing so, writing and not sending is a great way to let the forgiveness come in your heart. You have done the act of forgiveness, and you do not have to do it in person if it could be harmful to you in anyway

In giving yourself totally to God, there are several things you can do to get you into that place, instead of

As you study this book, you may find that as you are doing things like mentoring and just helping with anyone who you can following that Acts1:8 mentality; once you start doing something, you must follow through.  However do not get that “burnt out” syndrome, where you start something and don’t finish it.  If you over schedule in doing so, you WILL end up losing the purpose of why you are there.  Jesus Christ… 

I really love the idea of what Lau writes in A Friend In Me. I can’t think of anyone I know who hasn’t been hurt by someone and the resources she offers are just good sound advice. This book is based on Biblical principle and references a lot of verses. However it is a stand-alone book, on mentoring, healing, forgiveness and loving our neighbors (which includes anyone you come in contact with, at any point of your life.

There is also a group of videos with discussion questions that you can find here!  I am so amazed at all of the resources that are available to work with when you dive into this book

You can connect with Lau at the following sites
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PLau-301{MORE ABOUT PAMELA HAVEY LAU}
Pam Lau is the author of Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar’s Review and Christianity Today. She has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, Lau lives near Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three daughters.
Find out more about Pamela athttp://www.pamelalau.com.

Also the Publisher and Pamela have made available to the public through Youversion.com a reading plan called A Friend In Me that can be found here https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1586-a-friend-in-me

I was gifted a copy of this book by Family Christian Stores

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Where The Light Is #CDReview #FCBloggers

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I was given the privilege to listen and review a CD by Dan Bremnes.  When I was told I was accepted to this, I had never heard of him before.  I like music though.  So I knew as long as it wasn’t head banging, I could handle it!  Boy was I right!

Dan has always known he wanted to be a singer/songwriter.  At age 10 he started singing in his church.  That being said.  He loved opportunities that he received to lead worship and follow his faith.

After a 6 month mission trip with YWAM he knew exactly what his calling was.

In doing so, he has toured all over New Zealand and Australia racking up many accolades and #1s.  Being from Canada, he also knew he had to take a leap of faith, move his family to Nashville where the music industry revolves and with the release of his song “Beautiful”

he steps into a whole new world.  When Dan wrote the song, he based it on 2 Corinthians 5:17 –  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Beautiful is part of the CD Where The Light Is.  As I started listening to the cd from the beginning.  I knew this was going to be someone who I WANTED to listen to.  A LOT!  The songs have meaning, passion.  They tell a story.  From the very first words of Where The Light Is –

This is me / Grew up in church / Raised on the gospel trained in the word / Had a faith so fearless thought it was all I needed / But life hit me hard / More than I planned / It knocked me down / Like an avalanche / On the edge of hopeless I called you from the darkness // God, come quickly / Only You can save me / Will You lead me where the light is /

How many of us ask that same question on a daily basis when we face trials and tragedy like Dan was when a car accident killed his mom.  We fall on our knees, asking God please come quickly.

Dan’s songs on this CD lead me through so many emotions and words reaffirm my faith, like “He knows every pain every tear you’ve cried / Every single part of you / He knows every doubt, every fear that you fight / The battles you’ve been going through / And when it feels like you’re holding the world on your shoulders / Just let go and trust Him, ‘cause He knows /

How much more affirmation do you need in your faith in God?  To hear this with the music that is sometimes slow, sometimes really upbeat.  But always beautiful!  These words spoke to me so much and I knew I had to share this CD with my best friend. 

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She is deploying this Saturday for a year.  She’s my hero.  However she is leaving 4 beautiful babies home and while this is her 4th deployment and she knows this is her career.  It’s never easy for a soldier on deployment.  So being able to give her music to carry with her, that will give her any boost in her spirits or help her keep her faith during a term of being surrounded by war and strife.  Thank you Lord for blessing me with this CD at just the right time.  She’s my hero and I pray so much for her and her family.  While her life isn’t walking parallel to Dan’s when he wrote this song, everyone’s struggles are different.

Putting lyrics to paper like he has for this CD is a God thing and being able to be introduced to someone who can sing with talent that lets you feel their heart, is a blessing that comes so few and far between.

You can stay in touch with Dan at his website Dan Bremnes  Or at the following links

You can find this and other great music at Family Christian Stores and Website

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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
Testimonials in Advertising"
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