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CD REVIEW: Every Mile Mattered by Nichole Nordeman

Posted by Julie on July 28, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Nichole Nordeman’s newest CD, EVERY MILE MATTERED, carries the theme that no experience is wasted. God uses everything, even the mistakes.

She explained that our life is full of mile markers, and those thoughts make for a reflective and encouraging CD.

Her hope is that listeners are encouraged and no longer carry regret. With Dear Me, a letter she wrote her younger self, or Hush, Hush, when we want to know the why behind things or what’s next, I don’t think it will take much for listeners to be moved.

This is a perfect CD to play while reading or having quiet time with God. If you loved last year’s hit, Slow Down, it is also on this CD with an additional voice.

Even the cover is thoughtful and muted. Nothing showy is needed, it would distract from the message. I really enjoyed this CD and believe Nichole Nordeman hit the mark in her hopes to encourage and give hope.

SOCIAL – CORNER

 

Official website – http://nicholenordeman.com

Buy links – ITunes http://capcmg.me/emm?IQid=b

Spotify http://capcmg.me/emm.sp

Amazon http://capcmg.me/emm.am)

 

She has a book “SLOW DOWN” coming out in August, pre-order here:

http://slowdown-book.com .

I received a CD in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Book Review: Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery

Posted by Julie on July 26, 2017 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Book Review: Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the eyes of the orphans she encounters. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

HEALING LOVE is not your average missions story. I loved the complex baggage Brooke brings before she ever steps on the plane to watch over her sister as they travel to El Salvador. They are orphans and Brooke lives in fear in her day-to-day life. She has dreams regarding her career, but she’s got her sister to worry about. The last thing she’s got on her agenda is falling in love.

Brooke doesn’t just fall in love with a person, she falls in love with a people. The transformation in both storylines is beautiful.

Her career goals, her new passion, her colleagues, family and heart all collide when Brooke needs to determine her future. I definitely felt her conflict and was moved by it.

This is a quick read because I wanted to learn what was going to happen. I believe you’ll feel the same, too.

Purchase HEALING LOVE HERE

I received a copy of HEALING LOVE in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Book Review: The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn

Posted by Julie on July 23, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Finally, a Bible study that goes deep…

The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn

Frustrated with the watered-down, “light” Bible studies that are all too common, Erica Wiggenhorn wanted to write a study that went deep. She wanted to take readers verse-by-verse through a whole book of the Bible, offering theological and historical comments in each lesson while remaining practical and relational.

The Unexplainable Church is the result, and it offers readers two great takeaways. It will teach them by example how to study the Bible deeply, and it will challenge them toward critical life-change: submitting their will to the mission of Jesus, who gives life its fullest meaning.

The message of The Unexplainable Church is that the early church didn’t grow because Peter and Paul were so amazing, but because average people were transformed by God and brought together in His work. This 10-week inductive study of Acts 13–28 will sweep readers into the great drama of the Kingdom, inspiring them to live together in the power of the Spirit and accomplish what could never be done alone.

I’ve been looking for a Bible study that takes Scripture I’m familiar with but challenges me to dig deeper and learn more. Something that gives me a glimpse of history but also forces me to take those amazing experiences and apply it to my life.

 

That Bible study is The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn. This is a 10 week study of Acts 13-28 and focuses on “Reigniting the mission of the early believers.” This is a meaty study that has 50 lessons over 10 weeks, going through the Acts chapters verse-by-verse. There are a lot of questions to answer and invitations to learn even more at the author’s website.

 

It’s obvious Erica Wiggenhorn knows the Bible, and she’s very good at engaging readers and making sure they don’t just grow in the Lord, but that they know His-Story. Although I am not finished with the study, I find it deep, intensive, and thought-provoking. No one can read Acts without being captivated, even if someone has no desire to know Christ, the mere history of it is amazing. I believe all participants are going to finish this study with a deeper perspective and appreciation of the early church.

I received this study from the publisher in exchange for a review. The thoughts expressed are my own.

PURCHASE THE UNEXPLAINABLE CHURCH HERE

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Book Review: Included in Christ by Heather Holleman

Posted by Julie on July 21, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

A new kind of Bible study…

After the success of her first two booksHeather Holleman received many requests to write a Bible study. And as a college English instructor, she wanted to make sure it really taught and didn’t simply inform. So she surveyed several women about what their dream study would look like, then got to work.

The result is Included with Christ, a narrative-driven study where you can bring your life before Scripture in the context of community. Together women will discern their personal shadow narratives—ways they are living outside of their identity in Christ—and then rewrite those narratives according to biblical truth.

This in-depth, 8-week study in Ephesians will equip women with six “signature stories” of God’s work in their lives—helping them combat exclusion, loneliness, weakness, decay, emptiness, and silence.

Designed to facilitate honest sharing and help you internalize biblical truth, Included in Christ will provide community and connectedness as well as spiritual nourishment. It will also guide you in how to share your story and the hope of Christ with someone who doesn’t yet know Him.

Included in Christ by Heather Holleman

Heather Holleman is a new author to me, and I didn’t know she wrote books before being asked to create a Bible study. Included in Christ is an 8 week Bible study that explores the truths from Ephesians without being overwhelming. It is written as if the author were sitting down with us. She includes her own story that makes her very relatable. Yet, Scripture is explained and explored as she takes us through Ephesians. Ephesians isn’t new to me, yet Heather pointed out things I never thought about or saw the way she explained. I truly have learned a lot, and for review purposes, I am not all the way done, but I wanted to be timely in getting this out. I am really impressed in what I’ve read so far.

The topic is one all women can relate to. We all want to belong and be included. There are lies we have believed, and this study takes those lies and exposes them, giving us the truth in Scripture that has been there for us all along.

I highly recommend this study to any woman who struggles to belong, no matter what their level with the Bible is. It’s a down-to-Earth study that includes places to journal thoughts and answer questions.

Honestly, it’s everything I’m looking for in a Bible study. I really think you will learn and be inspired just as I am.

I received INCLUDED IN CHRIST from the publisher for review purposes, and all thoughts expressed here are my own.

Purchase Included in Christ HERE

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Book Review: Why the Universe Bothers to Exist by David V. McCorkle

Posted by Julie on July 20, 2017 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

A Striking Breakthrough in the Origins Controversy! Steinhardt and Turok’s proposed ekpyrotic universe model fits the Genesis account! The implications are profound. The book Why the Universe Bothers to Exist: Theistic Determinism, Evidences and Implications by David V. McCorkle, PhD. is based upon this observation. It explains the likely location and physics of heaven. It proposes that we have heavenly avatars (biblical spirit bodies) close by, but through a fourth spatial dimension. Baby Brady with simulated spirit body. This book proposes answers to many other questions that theists have pondered. What happened to the Garden of Eden? Might it still exist? If so, where? How could information of our personal identity be preserved after our physical death? Why will “redeemed” humans need to be resurrected if they are already in heaven? Why will a new heaven eventually be needed? Numerous other concepts are also dealt with, such as the following. In consideration of Heisenberg uncertainty, what maintains order in the universe? Do natural laws determine outcomes, or does the consistency of outcomes determine the laws? What factor determines the decoherence outcome of probability waves so that consistent, orderly eigenstates result? Cannot this factor be recognized as God thereby actualizing his intentions: theistic determinism? Natural law is thus the outcome of God “holding all things together” (Col. 1:17). It is then natural for God to work through natural process. In this perspective, how is it that new species of organisms originate? Can the process be observed? And what of Adam and Eve as the first sentient humans? In addition to the significance of a message from ancient Babylon, and an account of how what is termed “socionics” relates to the “tragedy of the commons” principle, a near miraculous adventure in Idaho’s Lemi Mountains near Sacajawea’s birthplace is described and credited to divine providence. All of this and more thought-provoking issues are presented in this book with the intent of resolving the origins controversy, but also of planting ideas for further consideration in biblical context. David V. McCorkle Publisher’s website: http://sbpra.com/DavidVMcCorkle

This extremely well-written, deeply researched book asks some great questions about God, the Bible, and questions about the world that the Bible covers. I confess the author is so well-versed in his writing that as a non-academic, I struggled with some of the material presented. That’s on me, because the author covers the questions, the evidence, theories, and implications in detail. It’s obvious he spent a lot of time creating this book and cares deeply about the topics.

Here is what you’ll see in the chapters:

  • Why Read This Book?
  • Has God Left His “Footprint”?
  • Is Sentience Transcendent? Is God Truly Infinite?
  • Biblical Allegory in Physical Science
  • The First Chapter of Genesis and the Ekpyrotic Model Biblical Allegory in Biological Science Context
  • The Biblical Chronological Modification Model Compared to the Instantaneously Complete Model of Creation
  • Scientific Evidence Supporting the Chronological Modification Creation
  • Model Niche Distinctions of the Machaon Swallowtails of the Pacific Northwest A Context for Homo Speciation
  • Speciation and Niche Distinction in Homo Sapiens
  • “Socionics” and the Tragedy of the Commons Principle
  • Social Symbiosis or “Sociobiotics”
  •  “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven”
  • Heaven: Evidences and Implications

The sub-title to me was most revealing: Theistic Determinism, Evidences and Implications—A Worldview Proposal. The research presented was worldview, and religion of course was part of that research. Yet, with the questions asked, I believe faith is needed beyond a religion to answer such important questions. A personal relationship with God, the Creator.

If you are an academic sort that loves science, research, and exploring religion, this is a great book to discover. If you are seeking answers on a personal level, this is a great read, but I suggest you complement it with a chapter a day for a month from the Bible’s Book of John. If you want to know more about heaven on a personal level, I also suggest complementing this book with Randy Alcorn’s Heaven.

To Purchase Why the Universe Bothers to Exist, click here.

I was given a copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and are of my own free will.

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Part 2: God Bless the Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush

Posted by Julie on July 19, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Earlier this month Jennifer Dornbush shared the surrender story behind her screenplay and novel, God Bless the Broken Road. Her story was so interesting I decided to take a little more time to get to know her and the behind the scenes history with God Bless the Broken Road (GBBR.)

Jennifer was gracious enough to share more below.

What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?

 

God Bless the Broken Road (GBBR) actually began as a feature film script three years ago. My friend and director, Harold Cronk, who is best known for the God’s Not Dead movies, called me one fine summer evening. He pitched me the seed of the idea and asked what I thought? I said I thought it sounded like a solid story. And then he asked if I wanted to write it with him. Of course, I said yes.

 

We finished the first draft of the script on Christmas Eve, 2014. Over the course of the next year we refined it while the producers rallied the funds. In the spring of 2016 Harold shot God Bless the Broken Road.

 

A few months earlier, as we finished the script version, I talked with the producers about penning a novel version. They thought it would be a great idea. So my agent, Julie Gwinn, put a pitch together and while we were filming I quickly wrote the first three chapters. Within two weeks Julie had procured a couple contracts. We happily chose Simon & Schuster. I spent last summer scribing the novel and here it is a year later.  The film version is also “in the can” as we say and will be releasing in 2018.

 

 

GBBR Novel Synopsis:

God Bless the Broken Road is a heartwarming story about a grieving army widow who finds her way back to her daughter, her faith, and a new love. Amber Hill never imagined she would find herself a war widow and single mom. She feels robbed and is angry at God, and she doesn’t know how to help her nine-year-old daughter Bree through her grief. Where, Amber wonders, are the Sunday dinners, the picnics, the bike rides, the time together they should be enjoying as a family? Instead, Amber is left with a folded flag and an empty heart.

 

Cody Jackson has a death wish. Or at least that is what his manager thinks, as Cody pushes his race car and his luck in every race. Is he hiding something, or just daring God and other racers to end the path of destruction he finds himself on as he rounds the last turn? When Cody encourages Bree to join in a Derby car race for local youth, she finds a way to channel her grief into something good—and she likes that her mom and Cody are starting to become friends—or maybe something more.

 

Cody invites Amber and Bree to see him race, but as they watch Cody narrowly escape a devastating crash, she realizes she can’t lose another person in her life. It’s better to be alone than feel that type of grief again. But when Amber hits rock-bottom, she cries out to God and asks for help. With her faith, her life, her family, and her heart hanging in the balance, Amber is forced to decide between the broken road she knows so well and trusting that God will provide a new path.  Based on the Rascal Flatts song, God Bless the Broken Road is a moving, heart-stirring story about the power of faith to change a life. The movie version is coming 2018.

 

PURCHASE GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD HERE

 



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