Pack a Picnic to Metcalf Bottoms

picnic, Metcalf Bottoms, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, hike, trail, vacation, travel

A few weeks ago, my family and I took a vacation trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. One of the fun things we did was have a picnic in the Smoky Mountains National Park, specifically at Metcalf Bottoms. Having a picnic at this location is one of our favorite things to do while vacationing in the Pigeon Forge area.

Metcalf Bottoms, picnic, area, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, creek, Smoky Mountains National Park, national park, park, family, vacation

Metcalf Bottoms has picnic tables, restrooms, and a couple of shelter houses next to a stream. There are shaded areas with picnic tables as well as picnic tables in sunny spots, so you can pick which one you would like. There are also dumpsters in which to place your trash. The stream is sometimes deep enough to use inner tubes on, and we saw a few families swimming and splashing in the water.

Metcalf Bottoms, Tennessee, creek, stream, river, mountain, Smoky Mountains National Park

Nearby, there is also the Metcalf Bottoms Trail Head, which is a 1.2 mile round trip hike; the National Park’s website says that the trail is easy to hike with only a 100 feet elevation gain. Their website also says that the trail has some ascending and descending places, so if you try to hike the trail, keep the ups and downs in mind. I have not hiked this trail, so I do not have experience with the trail yet. I may encourage my Mom to walk the trail with me the next time we are in the area.

For more information about Metcalf Bottoms Trail, please see the Smoky Mountains National Park website; for the Picnic area, please see TripAdvisor.

Some of the concerns that the park officials have for the area are:
– Do not feed the bears and other wildlife because it makes them too friendly with people, and then they have to be put down.
– Think smart before you start a fire, whether for cooking or an open campfire. As Smoky the Bear always says, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
– Do not pick wild flowers and plants in the park.
– Please pick up your trash so that it stays nice.

Normally, when we have visited Metcalf Bottoms, the left side of the picnic areas have been closed, so we usually go to the right side. However, this past trip, the left picnic areas were open probably due to more people in the park needing picnic tables, and we thought they might even be better than the right side.

Metcalf Bottoms, Tennessee, picnic, stream, river, creek, Smoky Mountains National Park, nature

If you are looking for a quick getaway for lunch while visiting the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area, Metcalf Bottoms is the place to go. There is very little cell phone service at Metcalf Bottoms, so it is a nice spot to get away from technology. Metcalf Bottoms is my favorite place to picnic, and I hope if you ever get to check it out that you enjoy it too!

Comment Below

Have you ever been to Metcalf Bottoms? Have you ever hiked Metcalf Bottoms Trail? Where do you like to picnic with your family? Where do you like to vacation?

signature: love, sarah

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Book Review: Vulnerable

book review, vulnerable, human trafficking, BH Bloggers, B&H Publishing, Raleigh Sadler

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking by Raleigh Sadler is a non-fiction book on the ways Christians can help fight against human trafficking. The book is definitely needed as we consider how to love our neighbors. Sadler wrote Vulnerable with the view that when we remember our vulnerabilities, we can see other people’s vulnerabilities and help them get out of situations where they are being trafficked. Sadler’s book is divided into six sections and even has a list of 100 things to do to combat trafficking, which is really helpful. I learned that human trafficking is not just being smuggled from one place to another:

“In reality, someone does not need to be “taken,” physically beaten, or chained to be trafficked.” (p. 29)

Vulnerable was eye-opening to a lot of information about human trafficking. However, Vulnerable took me a month to get through because of the way it was written; Sadler showed in his writing style the struggles he had with Scripture and his beliefs. That style of writing really made me have to fight to get through the book, even though the subject matter is so important to learn. I took notes while reading to help me organize my thoughts on all that Sadler wrote; there was a lot of information to take in and evaluate throughout the book. Because of past experiences with false teaching in books, I now take more time to hold up what I read to Scripture and weigh it against truth. That being said, I really took a close look at the things that Sadler had to say in Vulnerable.

Vulnerable, book review, Raleigh Sadler, B&H Publishing, BH Bloggers

One of the first things that I noticed was for a “Christian” book geared toward Christians, Sadler does not really use a lot of Scripture until about Chapter 2. There are a lot of personal stories first before going into Scripture to really get at what we are called to do in the fight against human trafficking. I see this as being a style or writing choice that Sadler or his editor made, making this book a little harder for me to get through. It goes against “the grain” of books I have read before.

On page 81, Sadler shows the working out of his thoughts and beliefs, and the struggle he had really shows up in his writing to me. He struggled with the idea of how his study of God’s Word did not line up with his actions; in writing about it, Sadler ends up saying that there is little to no helpfulness in studying and meditating on God’s Word:

“Additionally, in the early church, justice was not a suggestion as much as an expectation. The commands to love God, to love others, and to do justice are found in the law of God. These imperatives fall on each of us, yet we fail to keep them. Christ kept the law in its totality, perfectly, and suffered punishment on our behalf. This good news did for us what study and meditation cannot do. It realigns our focus to love God and others before ourselves.” (p. 81)

I think I understand that Sadler was struggling with how his life did not reflect what he studied in God’s Word. In chapter 5, Sadler continues his quest to figure out how the Gospel and Christ changes the world. Over and over again, Sadler uses the term “good news” instead of the word Gospel (see pg. 81, 85, 86, 88, 98); it was an interesting word choice. It made me wonder what Sadler considered to be the “good news,” until he finally discussed it on page 228. Also, on page 86, Sadler comes really close to the prosperity gospel with this sentence:

“This “good news” is that Jesus is bringing a salvation that is holistic. He desires to save us from material poverty as well as spiritual poverty. Christ didn’t come to earth and become poor like us to only redeem a part of us. He wants to save us in our entirety. In other words, he cares about our physical needs as well. The arrival of the present / future kingdom of God is proof.” (p.86)

I understand that when we help people, God calls us to not only share the Gospel with people but to help their physical needs too. See these Bible verses:

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” – James 1:26-27

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” – James 2:15-16

However, Jesus does not promise us riches in this world; He points to when He returns as to the time when we will be rewarded. He says that here on earth, we will have trouble; however, He will be with us, so we do not have to be afraid when facing persecution and trials when standing in His truth. See these Bible verses:

 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19-20

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

From that, we see that we are not guaranteed a fat paycheck here on earth just because we follow Christ. Instead, when we follow Christ we must count the cost first and understand we will have trouble in this life when we follow Christ. However, we are steadfast in following Christ because we know that our reward does await us – when Christ returns. So is Sadler approaching the prosperity gospel? I am not sure, so I kept reading to see what else he might say.

Then, Sadler writes on pages 93 and 94 that in reading Psalm 41, you see a promise to be protected physically while helping people:

“David continues, ‘In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.’ Psalm 41:1-3

…Naturally, we feel that we can only survive if we protect ourselves and our families from those who would threaten us or our lifestyles. But notice what David is saying: Your protection doesn’t fall on you. Because of God’s grace, you are now freed from the incessant need to protect yourself, and are set free to protect others. (p. 93-94).

The way that Sadler writes this section with Psalm 41 is taking it out of context. Because Scripture interprets Scripture, we cannot take one little section out and say this is what it means because we could be totally wrong. Please see this article on Interpreting Scripture by Ligonier Ministries and How Does Scripture Interpret Scripture? by Answers in Genesis for more information on that particular topic.

Therefore, it sounded pretty close to the prosperity gospel again. I kept reading to make sure I correctly understood Sadler. On page 98, Sadler says that Christ quotes Psalm 41 during the Last Supper, which is exactly who Psalm 41 ultimately is about – Jesus! It felt like Sadler was taking us in the backwards way of going through Scripture throughout the entire book. So it seems as if on page 98, Sadler was finally getting the hermeneutics right because he focused on Christ. Our motivation for helping people must be because of Christ and the ultimate help He gives to us.

Anyway, once getting past the writing style or the hermeneutics, I saw a few other tricky things. On page 126, Sadler says that a “FEMALE PASTOR” decided to do a series on human trafficking. That’s a problem! Scripture speaks against female pastors:

 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Therefore, I find there are some issues with this book; however, if you are looking for a book on how to combat human trafficking, this might be an option for you. Take what you read with a grain of salt and a whole lot of Jesus. There are still some important things you can learn about human trafficking and how to help people in this book. Sadler does admit he struggled with his beliefs, even as he entered into seminary (see page 226); part of this may have stemmed from losing his mother to HIV in a situation where she helped someone get medical treatment (page 194). Sadler’s journey of faith is shared throughout the book, which explains his passion for human trafficking and loving people in their darkest times. The best interview that Sadler did in this whole book, in my opinion, starts on page 229; Sadler interviews Dr. Michael Horton about gospel motivation in helping people who have been through human trafficking.

In summary, I see a lot of good information in this book; I also see some things that do not align with Scripture. I did cut this review short because if I went through all of my notes; this review would be well over 2,000 words. When I review a book, I do not want to hurt people’s feelings, but I do want to point to truth. If nothing else, check out this book to see the list of 100 things to combat human trafficking because that is really helpful. Overall, I give this book a three out of five stars. I received this book from B&H publishers for an honest review through https://www.bhbloggers.com/.

Take a Hike to Cataract Falls

hike, trail, Cataract Falls, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, waterfall

A week or so ago, I took a vacation trip with my family to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was a great trip, and we stayed in a cabin at Hidden Springs Resort. One of my top things I hoped to do during this vacation was hike to a waterfall. I got that accomplished when my mom and I hiked to Cataract Falls. We had hoped to hike to a couple other waterfalls, but our plans changed along the way.

Cataract Falls, sign, post, hike, trail, waterfall, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

Cataract Falls is a small waterfall of approximately 25 feet in height, behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center as you enter the Smoky Mountains National Park through the Gatlinburg area.

Insider Tip: I suggest you take the bypass when driving in from Pigeon Forge to avoid the traffic and pedestrians through downtown Gatlinburg on your way to hike to the falls.

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The hike to Cataract Falls is fairly short and easy, making this the waterfall that many families take their children to see. According to the SmokyMountains.com website, the roundtrip hike to Cataract Falls is .75 miles. There are a couple of parking lots that are closer to the falls than the Sugarlands Visitor Center, which would enable you to shorten the hike and see the falls more quickly. This would be great for those who have mobility issues; however, my mom and I have not quite figured out where these parking lots are located on a map yet.

stream, hike, trail, Cataract Falls, waterfall, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

Insider Tip: I suggest you take at least one bottle of water with you, especially in warmer weather. Staying hydrated is key to a healthy hike.

stream, hike, trail, Cataract Falls, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

The park has made the trails to this waterfall very nice with footbridges and well marked paths. When Mom and I hiked this trail, however, it had rained the previous day making the trail muddy.

Insider Tip: Wear sturdy shoes that you do not mind getting a little dirty.

When we hiked on a Tuesday, there were lots of people on the trail. Therefore, if you are nervous about being alone while hiking, the hike to Cataract Falls is usually a hike with lots of people around.

Cataract Falls, Tennessee, waterfall, hike, trail, Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, National Park

Insider Tip: If you want to take a picture of the Falls, you may find too many people standing around to take a clear shot. I used a photo-editing app called Retouch, which enabled me to edit out the people in the picture. It costs $1.99 and is available on the App Store. Compare the picture below with the previous picture to see how I was easily able to make the picture all about the waterfall rather than having lots of people in my way.

Cataract Falls, edited photo, waterfalls, Retouch app, app, Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, National Park, Pigeon Forge

Comment Below

Have you ever hiked to Cataract Falls? What are your hiking tips? What are your favorite types of hikes?

signature: love, sarah

Cheer Up the Lonely

lonely, cheer up, cheer up the lonely, blog post, Compassion International

Did you know that on July 11th, it is “Cheer Up the Lonely Day”? In the United States, we are connected to more and more people through the Internet and social media; however, in an article published by CBS news, a study finds that we are lonelier than ever before:

The study, published by the global health service company Cigna, found that 46 percent of U.S. adults report sometimes or always feeling lonely and 47 percent report feeling left out. Cigna calls those “epidemic levels.”

That is almost half of U.S. adults feeling lonely. So almost 1 out of every 2 people you meet feel lonely on a consistent basis. (For more facts about loneliness, see this website.)

In fact, there is a chance that you might be lonely. If you are feeling lonely, I encourage you to join a church, and if you are nervous about joining a church, reach out to someone you know that attends that church. Most likely they will be ecstatic to bring you along to church with them. The church is built to meet the needs of the lonely people.

If you are a member of a church, reach out to those around you by inviting them to church, sharing the Gospel with them, and letting them know that you care about them.

I have been lonely before at times in my life. When I realized my loneliness, I sought out the people I knew in my family and in my church. Christ, and my faith in Him, carries me through the lonely times and reminds me that there is a purpose for our pain and struggles, even with loneliness.

God’s Word repeatedly reminds us to rely on Him in our times of loneliness:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

He reminds us to help others in their loneliness too:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

My loneliness has lasted any where from a few hours to a few weeks. Sometimes, being with a good friend or family member helps relieve the pain of loneliness; other times, I get over the loneliness by reminding myself of God’s Word and His promise that Jesus is always with us. Even if we are not with someone else, we do have Jesus with us, and all we have to do is cry out to Him.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

This weekend, I visited some family members down in Kentucky for our family reunion. I could tell that the visit really helped some of my family members feel better, especially the older family members. It was great getting to talk to a cousin and her husband whom I have not seen in awhile as well as my aunt, uncle, and Mammaw.

I encourage you to reach out to someone you know and cheer them up this July 11th. Another way you can “Cheer Up the Lonely” is by sponsoring a child through Compassion International. What better way to get to know someone new and help them in their time of need by sponsoring a child that lives in poverty?! By making a difference in their lives, I guarantee that you will feel better too.

Comment Below

Do you ever struggle with feelings of loneliness? Do you have someone you can turn to in those times? Do you know someone who experiences loneliness? How can you help them fight back against loneliness? Did you know that Jesus is always with you?

Sponsor a Child

Please sponsor a child through Compassion International. By coming alongside these children, you can impact their lives by being their friend in times of need as well as giving them the opportunity to receive food, healthcare, education. Most importantly, you can help them hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and know that Jesus is always with them.

signature: love, sarah

What’s In The Mail: Joseph

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Letter’s in the mail! My sponsored child Joseph, who lives in Kenya, wrote a new letter to me about his Compassion International project center. I am really excited to learn more about his project center and to get a letter from Joseph. Through Compassion International, Joseph gets loving attention from the workers there who make sure he learns about God’s Word and gets a meal. That is not all however because they also have enrichment activities such as playing games, singing, making crafts, and more. Sometimes, they offer private tutoring for children needing extra assistance in learning and computer classes. Typically, the Compassion project center is hosted in the local church, which means that the church is the ones who share God’s love with these children.

Joseph

Joseph

The sponsored child is not the only one who gets assistance from the project. Their families also get to participate. The parents and / or caregivers of the children get training in reading, basic math skills, hygiene, and managing a business; they too get to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learn that God loves them.

letter, mail, Kenya, Joseph

Joseph writes that at his project, there are 398 children that are sponsored. This means t hat 398 families get assistance through Compassion International! 398 families get to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Praise God!

letter, mail, Kenya, Joseph

Joseph goes to his project center once a week. His project is 4 kilometers, or 2.48 miles, from his home, and he walks to his center. When he gets there, he participates in drawing, coloring, and playing football, or soccer, with his friends. Joseph writes that he loves that the project workers “are caring.” The people who volunteer and work at the project center truly care about the children, and I am so thankful that they are kind to my little Joseph.

When Joseph is at the center, he gets to eat “a balanced diet meal of ugali, beef, vegetables, and fruits.” I may have to find a recipe for ugali and try making sometime! Joseph also writes that he enjoys “listening to stories of the Bible.”

Joseph has two brothers and a sister: John, age 19; Watson, age 16; and Agnes, age 11. Joseph will be four in September, and he drew some squiggly lines for me.

Comment Below

Where do you keep your sponsored children’s letters? What have you learned about their project centers? Have you ever considered the impact you could make on an entire family?

Sponsor a Child

Please sponsor a child through Compassion International. By sponsoring a child, they will have the opportunity to get food, health care, an education, and most importantly, they will get to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learn that Jesus loves them.

signature: love, sarah

What’s In the Mail: Burusi

title image of what's in the mail, Burusi

Letter’s in the mail! Burusi, who is from Kenya, wrote me a new letter talking about his Compassion International Project Center. Through Compassion International, sponsored children attend a project center or a child development center, usually hosted in a local church. The local church is the one who makes sure that children are taught God’s Word and given a meal; however, that is not all they do. They also provide enrichment activities, such as crafts, games, singing, and more. Sometimes, they offer private tutoring for children who need a little extra help in their studies. Other times, they offer computer classes. Also, child sponsorship is not just for the child; it is for the whole family! Parents and / or caregivers of the children are given the opportunity to learn reading and basic math skills, hygiene, and how to start a business. Child sponsorship is a life-line for these families living in poverty. So I am really excited to receive this letter and learn more about the project center that Burusi attends.

Burusi

Burusi

He says that there are about 251 children that attend the project center. Think about it, 251 children and their families are supported through Compassion International and their sponsors where Burusi lives. That’s great!

letter, Burusi, Kenya, child sponsorship, child, sponsorship

Burusi attends the center one day a week. The center is 1.5 kilometers, or .93 miles, from his home, and he walks to the center. He likes to sing and play football, or soccer, at the center. He likes that his project worker is “teaching us the word of God.” When he is at the center, he gets a meal of porridge, rice, and beans.

Burusi, Kenya, letter, sponsorship, child, child sponsorship, drawing, bus

When Burusi wrote the letter (with the help of a project center worker), it was raining in Kenya. Praise God for the rain in Kenya because they are having a drought that is affecting millions of people! (More info on the drought in this article.)

Burusi also says he is preparing the land for farming and that he enjoys farming.  In a previous letter, I had written to him about how I like to garden, so it is neat to see that he does farming too!

He also drew a bus for me in the letter. I wonder if he sees a bus regularly drive by the center.

Comment Below

What questions about child sponsorship do you have for me? Where do you find your ideas for sending letters to your sponsored children?  Do you find that you have similarities or more differences with your sponsored child? Does your sponsored child like to farm and / or garden?

Sponsor a Child

Please sponsor a child through Compassion International. By sponsoring a child, you will give a child and their family the opportunities of food, healthcare, education, and ultimately, the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and know that Jesus loves them.

signature: love, sarah

Bible Study Review: Women of the Word

Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin, Bible, Bible study, Bible Study review, book review, women, Bible, God's Word, Scripture

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin is the Bible Study that changed how I study the Bible. I previously wrote about my Bible study method in my blog post “How I Study the Bible“, but now, I want to share with you Jen Wilkin’s book.

Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word, Bible study, Book review, Bible, book, Biblical literacy

Jen Wilkin published Women of the Word in response to the growing statistics of Biblical illiteracy in church-goers, especially for women. Numerous people have written about Bibilical illiteracy, such as Albert Mohler and Biola Magazine. Jen Wilkin has taken steps to solve the problem by sharing the Bible study method that has been around for a long time: Inductive Bible Study. If you would like to know more about the history of the Inductive Bible study method, take a look at this article. However, Wilkin writes her book in a relate-able and understandable way.

While the process of Inductive Bible study seems to be a daunting challenge to most busy women, especially mothers, it is a great tool for sanctification that helps you “hide [His] Word in [your] heart that [you] might not sin against [Him]” (Psalm 119:11). Try spending 15 – 30 minutes studying each day, and you can study a chapter in the Bible for a whole week to really understand what you are reading.

Looking for quick tools that summarize the Inductive study process for your Bible study? A Narrow-Minded Woman has a great post about Inductive Bible Study and a great downloadable bookmark outlining the inductive study process for free! The Rescued Letters also has a Bible study bookmark available for free download. Life Abundantly also has a Women of the Word Bible study cheat sheet.

Ultimately, this is the book that changed how I study the Bible. Before learning about the Inductive Bible study method, I used the “Xanax” and “Jack Sprat” approach to Scripture, unsure of how to delve into the whole of Scripture and apply it to my life. (For an explanation of the different approaches to Scripture, see this article on the Gospel Coalition.) I did use Bible reading plans, but I did not understand at that time all of what I was reading. The Inductive Bible study method, especially with Jen Wilkin’s explanation in her book and most importantly the help of the Holy Spirit, has opened my eyes to the importance of staying in God’s Word and allowed me to get to know God better. 

Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word can transform the way you study the Bible, enabling you to learn so much more about God and His unchanging character throughout His Word. I recommend it to any woman who wants to dive into His Word.

Comment Below

Have you ever read Women of the Word? If so, what did you think about it? Have you tried the Inductive Bible study method? Do you use a different Bible study method?

signature: love, sarah

Apps & Tools I Use: Missional Women App

apps, tools, resources, Missional Women app, Missional Women

Have you ever wanted an app that would encourage you as a Christian woman and help you in sharing the Gospel with others? Or have you needed an app to share with other women as an “opener” for allowing you to evangelize to other women? I use the Missional Women app to find encouragement in sharing the Gospel, and I recommend the Missional Women App as a great app for Christian women. It includes a blog section that includes encouraging devotionals, an audio Bible for women on the go, a Discipleship section to help women share the Gospel, a “Challenge 31” section for spiritual growth, and lots of other resources.

Missional Women app, screenshot, Missional Women

The Missional Women app has a website, where there are lots more resources and a way to connect with other women in study and prayer groups. The Missional Women app is available on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store.

While an app should never take place of fellowship with those within your local church, it can give you encouragement and ideas for ministry with other women. The Missional Women app has lots of resources for women’s ministry as well as an eBook in their store on Women’s Ministry resources.

Missional Women, Missional Women app, screenshot

A couple of the many resources include links to free Wallpapers and Lock-screens for your devices and free printables, such as Quiet Time Worksheets and Discipleship Packets.

Missional Women, Missional Women app, wallpapers, lockscreens, screenshot

If you are looking for a Christian app for women that will encourage you in evangelism, Bible study, and your Christian life, this app might be the one you need. I recommend that you try it.

Comment Below

Have you ever tried the Missional Women app? Did you enjoy using the app? Are there other apps that you would recommend for Christian women? Are there other apps, tools, or websites that you would recommend for discipleship and evangelism resources?

signature: love, sarah

Apps & Tools I Use: Photo Filtre

Apps, Tools, Resources, Photo Filtre, PhotoFiltre, editing photos, design

Does Photoshop take up too much room on your laptop, iPhone, or iPad? Do you want to skip paying a monthly subscription to the latest Photoshop software? Photo Filtre is a great free alternative to Photoshop; of course, it takes some getting used to the software. Professional photographers may decide to go for Photoshop and other Adobe products anyway; however, I would like to share what I use to edit photos on my computer. I have Photo Filtre on my aging laptop, and it does not take up as much room on my laptop as Photoshop did when I had it on my laptop.

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Photo Filtre is fairly simple to use. However, if you would like to see a tutorial, Photo Filtre offers tutorials in multiple languages as well. YouTube also has a few Photo Filtre tutorials, including this one:

Photo Filtre boasts that it offers many features for editing photos, including: filters, vectorial selections, brushes, layers, an automatic stroke and fill option, an erase tool, the PhotoMasque mode, an Icon export, the ability to add and subtract your selection, and an image explorer. Also on the Photo Filtre site, there are plug-ins which you can download as well, such as the Red Eye Remover.

I like the cropping tools that Photo Filtre has as well as the ability to change the size of the photo, which makes it easy to make picture files small enough to fit into emails, websites, and other places requiring smaller photos. If you are looking for an easy to use and free software for editing pictures, Photo Filtre just might be the one you need.

Comment Below

Have you ever or do you use Photo Filtre for editing photos? Do you have an alternative to Photo Filtre that you like better? Do you have tips for using Photo Filtre? What do you use for editing photos?

signature: love, sarah

Apps & Tools I Use: Canva

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Do you need a design tool that you can use on your phone, iPad, laptop, and at work? There’s an app for that! Canva is my go-to tool for making blog graphics for personal use and for the library where I work, and the great thing is, it syncs your work across tech items. Therefore, if you need last minute access to a design while you are away from home or work, Canva allows you to access it.

Canva previously only had personal profiles for busy designers; however they are quickly building and have released work profiles. Canva has many designs and stock photos for free, especially since the company recently acquired Pexels and Pixabay (see Canva’s About Page for more information on their acquisition). Currently, you can choose between a Free and a Premium account as well as a business account; I personally have the free version, and I enjoy using it to design blog post headers, flyers for the library, and other items.

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Designs are easy to share both within the Canva community and on social media. Canva offers multiple download options, such as PNG, PDF, and JPG files. You can also have the option of printing items either from your own computer (free) or having it printed by their company and sent to your door.

I also just today saw the new option of designing your own t-shirt and having it printed by Canva; Canva boasts that t-shirts will be delivered within 5 days on their website. The t-shirt printing service is only available to those living in the United States according to the Canva website. I did not find any information about the price of printing t-shirts however when I looked in their Help Search for “t-shirts”.

The Canva app is available on the App Store and on Google Play. If you only have access to a laptop or computer, Canva is available on their website (https://canva.com).

Comment Below

Have you or do you use Canva for designing material? Do you know of an alternative design tool that you recommend over Canva? What are your favorite design tools?

signature: love, sarah