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Five Tips for Flexible Family Faith Time by Stephenie Hovland

Posted by Julie on October 11, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Five Tips for Flexible Family Faith Time

by Stephenie Hovland

 

Guess what? There is no such thing as a perfect Christian family! That means there isn’t one perfect way to devotions. In fact, I’m thinking the word “devotions” might need to go. Think of this as family faith time.

 

Let’s go through five tips to make your family faith time work. Remember to revisit these ideas regularly. As your family grows and ages, you might need to change how this works.

 

  1. Purpose: This is a time for your family to meet around God’s Word. Your family and circumstances may dictate what time of day, where, what materials, how long it will last, etc. You are not trying be a theology professor or expect perfect participation from every family member every time. Just start with something (the Bible or a kids’ Bible story book, for example) and run with it. Make changes later.

 

  1. Plan a little: Don’t worry about it being perfect, but make a few plans. Or, if you’re like me, plan a lot! I am not spontaneous, so I need to have several options. You can evaluate how it went after you’re done, so the next time is a little better.

 

  1. Pray: I hope you pray with your family, but say a quick, private prayer as everyone gathers. That personal prayer time will help you to take a breath and let God handle things.

 

  1. Physical: Be physical. Hold hands when you pray, hug when you’re finished, and try to touch members of your family in a loving way when you talk about and with God. We want to be Jesus “with skin on” in a sense, so we should touch. Jesus did.

 

  1. Play: While family faith time works great around a dinner table for some, others find it easier to focus on faith talk when they’re more active. Maybe you need to take it outside and shoot some hoops while you explore God’s connections in each family member’s life. Or, perhaps you start or end your time with play. Dancing helps get the wiggles out, so it might be a great way to start your family faith time. Or, maybe after a quick devotion and prayer time, you play Candyland together as a family.

When it seems like it’ll never work, please don’t give up! Try not to force your way. Change elements of your time together, and see if something else might work better. (I say this from much experience.) Keep trying. Keep praying. God is there for you and your family.

 

 

ABOUT

Stephenie Hovland loves reading and writing devotions. She also writes rhyming Bible stories for children and resources for teachers. You can find her work at Concordia Publishing House, Creative Communications for the Parish, and many online bookstores. Visit her Facebook page: @StephenieHovlandWriter and on Twitter:@StephHovland

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Book Review: Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

Posted by Julie on August 9, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Book Review: Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free.

This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well—to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defies all darkness.

Beth’s journey out of the pit has been heart-rending. But from this and the poetic expressions of Psalm 40 has come the reward: a new song for her soul, given by her Saviour and offered to you in Get Out of That Pit—friend to friend. This is Beth’s most stirring message yet of the sheer hope, utter deliverance, and complete and glorious freedom of God:

I waited patiently for the Lord

He turned to me and heard my cry

He lifted me out of the slimy pit

He set my feet on a rock

He put a new song in my mouth

It is a story, a song—a salvation—that you can know too.

This paperback edition with a new cover to celebrate the book’s 10th anniversary is a healing balm to anyone who has been wounded, rejected, rebelled, messed up, or anything in between. With a sobering but beautiful into by Beth’s husband, Keith, Beth Moore earned the right to pen this book.

Centered around Psalm 40, Get Out of that Pit offers Beth’s story, Biblical examples, Scripture, and hope. Her enthusiasm is so strong you will feel like her hand is pulling you out of the pit, the rut, the dark place you thought was your address. She’s your gal pal and favorite Sunday School teacher all wrapped into one. The question is, will you take the information she provides and apply it?

I hope you do, and I hope you get your hands on a copy of Get Out of That Pit.

Purchase GET OUT OF THAT PIT HERE

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Don’t Miss This: ALL SAINTS Movie Releasing August 25+ #GIVEAWAY

Posted by Julie on July 31, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 ALL SAINTS is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

This PG rated drama runs 1:48:00 and is recommended for ages 10+. It’s from Sony AFFIRM/Sony Pictures.

I love knowing the story behind a story, so I had fun watching the videos below. The real Michael Spurlock talks about his years as pastor of a small church on the verge of being shut down. it was his first pastorate out of school and he had to decide what to do about the church and the refugees. His answer makes for an interesting movie with John Corbett portraying him.

I also liked hearing what John Corbett thought. He wasn’t so sure about taking the role, and I wondered if the faith aspect was an issue. He admitted it was because he has played so many nice guy parts, he was ready for a challenge more in the villain area. Someone read the script and told him he’d regret not taking the part. Corbett read the script again and saw the merits in taking the part.

I have TWO Fandago tickets to give away to ONE USA winner. Tell me what your favorite John Corbett role has been and why. I’ll pick a winner August 7. Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you in case you win.

 

“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 on the same blog, 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.

Watch All Saints trailer here

Behind the Scenes: 

The Heart of the Movie

All Saints: John Corbett Decisions

The Pastors of All Saints

The Miracles of All Saints

Web Url

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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: 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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