Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Wedding Chapel (Zondervan, November 2015)
For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.
Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.
Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.
When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.
When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as “The Wedding Dress,” “Love Starts with Elle,” and “Once Upon A Prince.” She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, “Softly and Tenderly,” one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.



Dynamic Uno here: Oh. My. Goodness.  I'm a huge fan of Rachel Hauck's books, but none have ever grabbed me quite like this one- The Wedding Chapel.   
I enjoyed that the story was told through each character's point of view-both as teenagers and then again as adults.  Through the flash backs, I was able to get the backstory of the characters which put everything that was currently happening in their lives in perspective.  
I also loved how the chapel itself became a living/breathing character.  I could completely picture it in my head and was actually a bit sad that the romantic gesture had been left empty and unused for so long.
The characters broke my heart because of all of the hard-ships they suffered so young.  It really brought into focus the stark realities of war and broken families, and how they affect children of all ages.  The story also showed how prayer and forgiveness can help heal wounds and bring people together.
If you want to read a wonderful novel that has romance and a great story, then pick up The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck!

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rachel Hauck’s ‘The Wedding Chapel’ and $100 Cash Card Giveaway

Is sixty years too long to wait for love? Two stories of romance, one in 1949 and one in the modern day, meet in Rachel Hauck's The Wedding Chapel. When Taylor Branson takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time. When Taylor’s journey intersects with Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook's, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping!

wedding chapel - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Wedding Chapel
  • A $100 cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 31st. The winner will be announced January 4th on Rachel's blog.

wedding chapel - enter banner

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Cultural Battle for Human Dignity | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button

Clear your schedules January 21–22, 2016, because Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.


Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.





Russell Moore will be speaking at Evangelicals for Life. He is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a theologian, ethicist, frequent cultural commentator, and author of several books. In the guest post below, he speaks to the importance of hosting the conference in the midst of the cultural battle for human dignity.


Why We’re Hosting the Evangelicals For Life Conference

By Russell Moore

As many Christians sat at their computer and watched a casual dinner conversation over the price of dismembered children, a lot of us probably thought: “But what can I do about this?” This is a question I hear often from pro-life evangelicals. Many Christians are utterly convinced in their heart of the personhood and dignity of the unborn, yet don’t know how to faithfully effectively advocate for life.

It’s important to understand that the cultural battle for human dignity doesn’t begin on Capitol Hill or on CNN. It begins in your family, in your local church, and in your neighborhood. In fact, many of the people we know most vulnerable to the abortionist’s rhetoric are not actually pro-choice, they’re just scared, scared to scandalize a church with their secret. The false gospel of the abortion clinic, which says, “We can make all your trouble go away for you,” is overwhelmingly seductive.

What these people need more than a lesson in embryonic development is to have the Gospel preached to their conscience. This means much more than simply offering “The Romans Road” or prompting a sinner’s prayer; it means speaking directly with the message of Jesus’ complete sovereignty of the universe, his righteous indignation on the murder of the unborn, and most importantly, his complete absorption of God’s wrath on the cross, and his invitation to mercy and fellowship and the imputed righteousness of the Son of God.

The Gospel disarms the appeal of the abortion clinic because it offers truth with love, judgment with mercy, and righteousness with grace. The consciences around us don’t believe what they’re telling themselves. They’re scared and confused. Shine a light on their conscience, and then present the Gospel of reconciliation.

Moreover, the pro-life movement has set an example worthy of our imitation when it comes to practical, holistic mercy ministry. For over 40 years since Roe v. Wade, those committed to defending unborn life have done much more than preach and teach; they have welcomed the scared, the vulnerable, and the wounded and loved them. This has looked like the establishment of crisis pregnancy centers all around cities. It has looked like adoption advocacy and building a culture of adoption in local churches. It’s true that our pro-life witness has a long way to go, but we do not, thankfully, conform to the caricature that says we believe life “begins at conception and ends at birth.”

FOTF-EFL 

Questions like these are why I am excited to be a part of the Evangelicals For Life Conference in January. This conference exists to help evangelicals articulate a truly Christian doctrine on the dignity of all human life. Being pro-life, after all, means much more than being against abortion on demand; it means believing in the dignity of the elderly and infirm, and advocating for compassion and inclusion of the poor, the orphan, and the widow. No doctrine of human dignity that fails to speak to these cases is fully “pro-life.”

Sometimes Christians are encouraged to leave issues like this behind. Sometimes the fight for human dignity is portrayed as “culture war” baggage. For those of us that watched an executive from Planned Parenthood talk about the most valuable anatomy of dead children, we know this to be false. The stakes for human life and human dignity could not be higher, and the plight of those ignored by the world does not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.

We have a Gospel word to speak to the abortionist and the unborn, to the orphan and those not considering adoption. Will you join me in Washington, on January 21-22, as we seek to speak this word?

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Russell Moore's website.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Aleppo Code (Jerusalem Prophecies book #3) by Terry Brennan



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Kregel Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  


ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Aleppo Code

Will the code reveal history's most powerful weapon for destruction--or humanity’s only hope? 


The living members of Tom Bohannon's band of adventurers gather again in Jerusalem--physically battered, emotionally exhausted, spiritually challenged, and in various stages of shock--to examine a copy of the tenth-century Aleppo Code, the oldest complete text of Jewish scripture. What the clues inside reveal could lead to the reuniting of the Ark of the Covenant with its true source of power, a weapon that could lead to victory for this ragged bunch trying to save the world. 

Hunted by the relentless assassins of the Prophet's Guard and caught in the web of an international conspiracy plotting the conquest of Europe, Bohannon's team searches the ruins of Ancient Babylon. Their search lands them amid the chaos that engulfs western Iraq, but they must press on to accomplish one of the most pivotal pieces of end-times prophecy. This intrepid group will uncover secrets that require them to risk everything for their faith, their country, and the peace of all mankind. 

Unfolding against the backdrop of an Israeli/U.S. strike against Iran and the planned economic overthrow of the European Union by the sinister, secret head of the international Muslim Brotherhood, The Aleppo Code is a heart-pounding race. Brennan takes an epic story on a grand scale and tells it primarily through the eyes of one man who is desperately trying to save the world as he follows God's purpose for his life. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Website/  Facebook/ Twitter 




The Aleppo Code Book Trailer





Dynamic Uno Here:   Before I go any further, if you have not read book #1-The Sacred Cipher, or book #2-The Brotherhood Conspiracy, please go read them first or you will not understand what is happening in this third installment of the story, nor will you enjoy the plot.  Don't say I didn't warn you...


While still reeling from the deaths of their friends, Tom and his team are still on the run in Jerusalem. While hiding among their new found friends, they learn that their adventure is not quite over.  It seems that there is still a scroll out there whose meaning, once deciphered, will lead to the most powerful weapon in the world--the one that threatens to bring about the end of the world. 

Tom and his companions are being pursued because the Prophet's Guard believe that they know how to decipher the scroll and find the hidden weapon to bring about total world destruction.  With the help of friends around the world, Tom and his group try to stay ahead of their pursuers while trying to break the code to find the staff of Aaron (the greatest weapon in the world).

If you enjoy action and suspense with a little bit of biblical history thrown in, you'll enjoy the Jerusalem Prophecies series by Terry Brennan.  These books are full of well-researched facts that have been interspersed with current events and a bit of imagination.  Welcome to the new age of treasure hunting biblical artifacts!  

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Julie Klassen's "The Painter's Daughter" Coloring Contest

14385-PAINTERS DAUGHTER contest meme 

Grab your colored pencils because Julie Klassen is hosting a coloring contest! Stop by the contest page to download and print The Painter's Daughter coloring page and channel your inner artist. One master colorist will receive a signed copy of The Painter’s Daughter, two grown-up coloring books (Enchanting English Garden and Live Loved), and a set of 24 Prismacolor colored pencils.

Scan and email your entry to Amy Green with the subject line “The Painter’s Daughter Coloring Contest” to enter the first round of judging by December 8. Then stop by Julie's Facebook page beginning December 10 to vote for your favorite (and tell your friends to vote, too)! The winner will be announced at Julie's Facebook event on December 15 at 7 p.m. CST. Ready? Set. Color!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank You Veterans!





Thank you for defending our country, our citizens, and our freedoms!



Happy Veteran's Day Papaw and Dad!



Monday, September 28, 2015

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Amish Brides of Pinecraft book #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  

About the book: 

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Avon Inspire, September 2015)

A wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?



About the author:



Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Find Shelley online: 
websiteFacebookTwitter



Dynamic Uno Here:   The Promise of Palm Grove (book #1) and The Proposal at Siesta Key (book #2) introduce us to the small village of Pinecraft, located in Sarasota, Florida.  (Yes, it's a real place and I absolutely love visiting there!)

Frankie is such a crazy, silly, and frustrating dog and this time was no different.  He decided to escape from Emma's back yard and steal a pizza from the Hilty family as they stayed at the Orange Blossom Inn.  When Emma, finally caught up to Frankie and realized what he'd done, she offered to buy them another pizza.

From that moment on, Emma and Jay (the father of the Hilty clan), began a friendship that had several of the Amish folks staring their way.  (After all, both were widowers and Emma's relatives thought she should remain in mourning for her husband even though he passed away several years ago.)

Despite the stares and the comments, Emma and Jay continue with their friendship and help one another with their daily struggles, as  they start to realize their attraction for one another.

Is it too late to learn to love again?  Will their families be able to join as one?  And who is getting married at the Orange Blossom Inn?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

The Amish Brides of Pinecraft series has been one of my favorites because it combines the simplicity of Amish life in Florida, and adds a touch of romance and whimsy.

 I think I've always idealized the Amish because from the outside there seems to be an order for everything and a peacefulness about their lives.  However, after reading this third installment of the series, I've begun to realize that the Amish have struggles and strife in their own lives as well--it's just not plastered on the front of every tabloid or Facebook posting as we do in the English culture.  The more I read about the Amish, the more I have grown to love their ways, or at least the ways of the characters in these books.  :)  I can't wait for book #4, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft!

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!





Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

http://adailyrhythm.com/
All text and photo for Teaser Tuesdays belongs to MizB of A Daily Rhythm, with the exception of quotations and links I have provided to the book(s) I am reading.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:
"Frankie was on the loose.  Again"

~p.1, A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Israel's Mission: Becoming a Kingdom of Priests in a Prodigal World DVD with Ray Vander Laan




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  


About the DVD: 

Israel’s Mission | That the World May Know® DVD Volume 13 (Focus on the Family, July 2015)
What’s your mission?
God gave the assignment to His people thousands of years ago: to bring “lost sheep” back into the love and safety of His kingdom. He said to become a “Kingdom of Priests,” and put God on display to show the world what He is like. It’s still our task today. In this thirteenth volume of the That the World May Know ® film series, you’ll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life – and the lives of those around you – greater meaning than you ever imagined.
Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.
Designed for use with That the World May Know ®: Israel’s Mission Discovery Guide.
Filmed on location at these biblically significant sites in Israel and Jordan:
—Back to the Father’s House – Negev Desert
—Show Them the Way – Timnah
—Prodigal Sons and Daughters – Qatzrin
—Return from the Far Off Country – Jerash
—Welcome Home – Qatzrin



About the author: 
Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries and creator of the Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family. An ordained minister, he holds the chair of biblical cultural studies as a religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Michigan. He and his wife, Esther, have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Find Ray online: 
website

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Dynamic Uno here:  I love Bible studies because they help guide me through God's word and even give me a glimpse at my own thinking and understanding about what I've read and how I've interpreted it.  However, many of the studies just gloss over the context of the passages and I feel like I'm missing a little bit because I've applied the information to the current world and not the historical world.

That the World May Know series of studies help us experience the Bible in historical context.  It shows us where the pertinent places (now archaeological sites) of the Bible are located and illustrates how the people during the Biblical times lived and thought within their cultures.  This helps me picture everything as it took place because the context gives me a better understanding of how everything relates in the Bible instead of just looking at them as a bunch of separate stories.

******************************************************************************************

DVD: When you open the package, a Leader's Guide is tucked into the cover.  It gives the the group leader a basic overview of how to conduct each hour long session with a small group.  (Times are suggestive and other options are given depending upon how the study is to be used.)  The basic session outline is as follows:
1. Opening Thoughts/The Very Words of God/Think About It
2. DVD Teaching (roughly 30 minute segments)
3. DVD Discussion
4. Small Group Bible Discovery and Discussion
5. Faith Lesson
6. Closing 
The DVD segments themselves are pretty neat.  Ray Vander Laan takes a group of people to the historical sites and  gives an illustrative teaching about how the site was used during Biblical times.  He also gives a brief study on the theme for that particular session:
1. Abraham and Sarah and Three Strangers
2. Israel at Sinai: The First Great Commission
3. Jesus Renews the Mission: Seeking the Lost
4. The Lost Son: Ina Far Country
5. The Seeking Father: The Lost Son Returns
At the end of each, there is a take-away for how we can apply the teaching to our own lives.  

The videos are beautifully put together and realistically show how people lived and interacted within their society's cultural norms because they were filmed on location in the Middle East.  As someone who really loves looking at the historical aspects of the Bible and where they fit into our culture's interpretation of history, I thought each video was a great way to actually visualize history as it happened. 

Discovery (Study) Guide Book:  I was a little intimidated when I first opened the study guide book to use with the DVD because it was exactly that--a book.  I'm used to having a lot of "white space" on the pages of the typical Bible studies I do and this one does not have much.  However, as I started to go through the study, I found that I wanted to take notes in my own journal because there is a wealth of information included for each session.  (That, and I write huge so my notes and responses would not fit within the Discovery Guide.)

Within the Discovery (Study) Guide there is an Introduction as to the how the study is laid out and clarification as to what is meant by certain names used throughout. Each Group session is outlined as follows:
1. Background information on the theme or topic for the week
2. Opening Thoughts: The Very Words of God (Bible verses relating to the topic/theme)
3. Think About It (Brief points and questions about what will be taught in DVD)
4. DVD Notes (Brief Outline of topics for the session with a little bit of room for notes)
5. DVD Discussion (Question/s to answer in regards to the DVDs)
5a. Fact File (Archaeological information and facts about the time period and place)
5b. For Greater Understanding (Information about the Biblical people/s in study)
6. Small Group Bible Discovery and Discussion (Points and questions to be used as discussion that relate to the Bible verses brought up in the study)
6a. Point to Ponder (Points related to theme or topic)
6b. Did You Know? (Relevant points that help put everything into both Biblical and Modern context)
7. Faith Lesson (Ways to use what was learned with questions to extend thinking and application)
8. Closing (Memory Verse and closing remarks)
9. Five Daily In-Depth Personal Study Sessions (contains questions, facts, points to ponder, memory verses, and reflections for each day)


******************************************************************************************

Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed at all of the information that was included in the personal study sessions.  My experience has been 15-30 minute chunks of time for studies, but if you want to really learn and grapple with this text you will need a minimum of an hour for all of the session each day.  (Although, I am a slow learner because it takes time for me to process and digest information, so if you pick things up quickly, then you may not need that much time.)


Overall,  I was really impressed with the depth of information provided and the passion with which Ray Vander Laan teaches.  I  am interested in going through the other studies in this series (this is #13) because I think it will give me an even more comprehensive understanding of the Bible and its teachings.

If you want a meatier Bible study to either do on your own or with a group (which I recommend), this is the best series to use!

Let me know what you think and Happy Learning!





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays



http://adailyrhythm.com/
All text and photo for Teaser Tuesdays belongs to MizB of A Daily Rhythm, with the exception of quotations and links I have provided to the book(s) I am reading.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:
The paradox of delegation is that "the more often you delegate, the more committed you are to working with people.  The more you give away, the more you take hold of your operation."

~p.46, Notes to a Working Woman by Luci Swindoll

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Intersect: Where Your Story and God's Story Converge produced by Rob Peabody and Cris Rogers



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  


Intersect DVD (Awaken Movement, July 2015)
Follow the journey of five individuals as they tell authentic stories of circumstances that have forced them to examine how God might fit into their lives.
This five-week small group resource helps spark spiritual conversations. Starting spiritual conversations with those outside of the church is a worthy, yet often difficult and intimidating task. Intersect was designed to help overcome those barriers. It is an easy-to-use resource, perfect for sharing with co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family to enter into meaningful conversations.
Each film is accompanied by thought-provoking questions designed to encourage participants to examine the world in which they live and the life they are pursuing, always ending with a conversation on how Jesus intersects the current topic. Allow this powerful new film resource to engage those you are in relationship with and then propel them forward in their next step with Jesus.






ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

Rob Peabody left his position as lead campus pastor of a mega-church in Texas in 2011 and moved with his wife, Medea, and their two sons to the U.K. He is now the co-founder and director of Awaken, a non-profit organization that exists to provide resources and creativity to the church and reach Londoners in their 20s and 30s with the Gospel. This work is commissioned by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and in partnership with the Church of England.
Peabody also currently serves as a missional consultant for multiple church networks. He appears regularly at the Spring Harvest conferences in Great Britain and will be leading a new upcoming national U.K. conference for young adults called The Pursuit.
In addition, Peabody has written a small-group film series entitled Kingdom Rise (2013), as well as the book Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom (2014).
Connect with Rob Peabody at his online home atawakenmovement.com, like the Awaken Movement onFacebook (awakenmovement) or follow Rob on Twitter(@AwakenRob and @awakenmovement).
Cris Rogers is a writer, pastor, speaker and church visionary. In 2010, Rogers planted a church in the poorest area of London with a dream for it to be an explosion of joy within the tower block estate in which he works.
Follow Cris Rogers on Twitter (@RabbiRogers).

Dynamic Uno here:  Intersect comes with its own Study Guide to help you explore each of the five topics (Expectations, Rest, Disappointment, Trust, and Control) in greater depth with your group.   
Each session starts with a question that relates to the topic and adds another question that helps you delve even deeper into that week's theme.  The videos are fairly short with individuals describing their real-life  situations that pertain to that particular week's topic.  Then, there's a "Bible" story that is told in such a way that the characters come to life to illustrate how God can be sought in each situation.  Afterwards, there is a short passage from the Bible (The Message version) with more discussion questions and a challenge to speculate how this topic can relate to your own life and situation.
I did this study on my own, but I think I would have had a better understanding and gotten a lot more out of it had I participated in a group setting.  I enjoyed the short video clips and answering the questions on each topic.  It really made me think about how I view my circumstances with each of the topics and whether or not God is trying to teach me something as I struggle with each.  
I'm not sure how to use this as a tool for reaching others for Christ, but I do know that using it in a small group would actually open up the conversation for how God works within my own life that I could share with others.
I really like this simple and straight-forward method of sharing how God works through various situations.  This would be a perfect study for those who have limited time, but want to make a connection to others through shared experiences and struggles.  I'll definitely be watching the Awaken Movement to see what else they create to inspire us to become Kingdom bringers in our own communities.

Let me know what you think and Happy Viewing!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy (A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance) by Debra Clopton




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”  



About the Book:

Counting on a Cowboy (Thomas Nelson, August 2015)

After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.



About the Author:

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: websiteFacebookTwitter

To learn more about Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton, visit the LitFuse Publicity Group's page here.





Dynamic Uno here: I absolutely adore Debra Clopton's writing style.  It's like she crawls inside my inner-most parts and seeks out what secret desires I have hiding in my heart and uses those emotions in writing her characters.  The realistic emotions and reactions of those characters make me feel like I'm right beside them as they journey through their lives, which makes me root for them even more.  I don't think I've read another author who has made me feel this large of an emotional connection in awhile.  (Of course, it could just be that I really, really am enamored with cowboys and small towns, so I live vicariously through the characters, but that's a story for my therapist. LOL!)

It seems that the Monahan brothers and their small town of Wishing Springs are still a destination spot for female tourists trying to find themselves a "real" cowboy due to Maggie Hope's TV interview.  (Counting on a Cowboy is book #2 in the Four of Hearts Ranch series.  Book #1 is Betting on Hope.  You can read my review here.)  Book #2 focuses on Bo and Abby, a new resident of Wishing Springs who is trying to escape her painful past.  

Forgiveness is a huge factor, and being able to forgive yourself for past mistakes is a major theme throughout this story.  Bo and Abby get off on the wrong foot and the hits keep coming as even more complications arise in their lives. The crazy residents of Wishing Springs will have you laughing and crying as they try to "help" the two realize their feelings for each other.

Heartfelt, realistic, and a good, clean romance is what is offered in Ms. Clopton's second book of her Four of Hearts Ranch series.  If you enjoy reading about cowboys and romance, then this is the book for you!

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!