Book Review: The -Silent- Noisy Night by Jill Roman Lord

Was the night that Christ was born a silent night like the song says? Or was there noise of great jubilation at the coming of our Lord and Savior? Jill Roman Lord’s new children’s book explores just that!

The –Silent- Noisy Night is a beautifully illustrated board book for families to share during Advent and Christmas. Because of the sturdiness of board books, readers can share this book with their babies and toddlers as well as their older children. Not only does this book offer a new look at the night Jesus was born (using theology), it also points to what our response should be in knowing that Christ came (our doxology and orthography). The book directs the reader to not only to sing God’s praises for Christ but also to tell others of what a great Gift that Jesus Christ is for the world.

The book has every sound in the story in bold, so you can practice the sound out loud while reading to children. For example, cows go “MOOO!” This is a nice feature of the book that can help build literacy skills too.

A couple of the animals included in the story make me want to look up if they’re located in the Palestine region, but I’m not that concerned about it. It might make a good children’s research paper if they were interested in what animals live in that habitat.

I received this book through BH Bloggers for an honest review, and I rate this cute children’s Christmas book five stars out of five. I’m so thankful for more books that point children and families to Christ! I’m excited about sharing this one with the children of my family.

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Birthday Memories

I turned 30 in September, and this may have been the best birthday yet. My Mammaw says that birthdays and anniversaries that end in 0 are the big ones, so I guess I had a big birthday this year. To celebrate, I wanted at least a day away from the workplace. My parents and I traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and stayed in a cabin. My birthday cake this year was cupcakes from Gigi’s cupcakes. Their Strawberry Shortcake cupcake was the best one that we tried. What made my birthday special was that we could rest after a hectic year last year – Dad’s health issues, Mom’s job stress, and just the everyday trying to keep up. We are truly blessed.

However, not everyone gets a birthday as specially celebrated as mine. In developing countries, children’s birthdays are potentially not celebrated but are just another day. And yet, with healthcare as limited in those countries as they are, those birthdays should probably be celebrated even more because it’s a blessing that the children have made it to another year. If you have a sponsored child, whether through Compassion International or another sponsorship group, please consider writing another letter to your sponsored for their birthday to make it extra special. They need to know that they are loved and that their birthday matters. Chelsea McCurdy wrote in an article for Biblical Woman about losing her son that, “You and all those with whom you cross paths are immensely treasured by your Creator and Savior.” We need to share this truth with all those whom we come in contact, especially our sponsored children.

And for those of you who do not have a sponsored child yet, please consider sponsoring a child via one of these groups:

Make it a birthday extra special for one child!

Book Review: A Call to Love: Preparing Your Heart and Soul for Adoption by Julie Holmquist

A Call to Love: Preparing Your Heart and Soul for Adoption by Julie Holmquist is a good book for anyone wishing to know more about adoption from a Biblical worldview or anyone considering whether they are called to adoption. In any case, Christians are called to support those who adopt and help protect the orphan. Holmquist makes it clear that adoption is spiritual warfare because Satan does not like orphans or their adoptive parents, but take heart! Christ has overcome the world, and God will help you on your journey (John 16:33). Holmquist shares many stories of couples who have adopted and have survived the process of helping a child or children to join their families.
This book provides clear insights into the adoption process. There are journal pages in the book which allow you to stop and rest while thinking and praying about adoption. Holmquist also provides a list of resources and books to consider reading next.
This is a great resource to consider using in praying about adoption or looking for ways to support others in the adoptive process.

* I won this ebook through Goodreads Giveaways, but this is an honest review.

Book Review: Big and Little Coloring Devotion

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Rachel C. Swanson and Jacy Corral have made a beautiful devotional coloring book for mothers and their children. While I’m not a mom yet, I wanted to look at this coloring book to see what it’s like. This book would make a great gift for moms of preschool-aged children. Each day’s devotional includes a coloring page for mom and the child, and the way it is set up, the parent can face the child while reading the devotional. The child’s page is usually a Bible verse to color, while the mom’s page is a devotional with a pretty border to color.

This is a great idea for helping moms get a devotional time in while also helping teach what they learn to the child. It is an easy tool for mothers to practice their Titus 2 mandate with their children. God loves it when we pass down love for His Word to the next generation.

I definitely recommend this coloring devotional book for its beautiful pictures and great devotional messages. I give this book four out of five stars, and I received this book from BH Bloggers for an honest review.

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Book Review: Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt

Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt is a welcoming book on hospitality. It’s filled with tips on how to do well at bringing people together at home or on the go, but the most important focus is on bringing people to Christ. I found this book to be very inspiring and family-focused.

Jen writes, “Changing the world starts today.” (p. 39) She’s right! If we wait until another day to begin changing the world, it’s not likely to change because things will get in the way. How does Jen suggest that we can begin changing the world? An invitation: “One invitation may change a generation.” (p. 40) An invitation to our dinner tables, our church events, our lives can help us point others to Christ.

Throughout the book, Jen uses Scripture to explain why hospitality is so important. She uses the life of Jesus to illustrate the example laid before us in hospitality – through inviting, gathering around the dinner table, and doing Bible studies together. Just as Jesus said to his disciples, “Come and see,” we can point others to Him too. (John 1:39) When we demonstrate hospitality to others in front of our children, we can provide them examples of how to live out hospitality as well. In fact, it can change lives of the next several generations: “Living a life of welcome lets us cast a long-term, multigenerational vision for our children.” (p. 140)

If you’re looking for a book on hospitality, this one is a good choice! I recommend it! Therefore, I give this Bible version five out of five stars. I received this book from BHbloggers.com for an honest review.

Podcasts for the Reformed

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On a Reformed Baptist Facebook group that I’m a part of, someone asked about good podcasts for listening. Therefore here’s a list of podcasts for your enjoyment and Reformed education:

Also, you can find more here in Reasonable Theology’s List!!!!

Would you add any to this list? For those who comment, I’ll edit this post and add them. 🙂

Rescue

When I was about five years old, my Nana took me on a family trip with some of my second and third cousins to San Antonio, Texas. It was a great trip, and the hotel had a nice pool. The problem was Nana wasn’t ready to go swimming. She had all of us girls in our swim suits and ready to go, so she had us sit on the very top step of the pool while she went to talk to the other adults on the trip. Big mistake! Unattended, very impatient children and pools don’t mix well.

Soon, one of the girls went to the next step down to cool off a bit. So of course, I had to move down one too! However, the other girl must have been a little older and taller than me because the next step of the pool was too much for me. I began slipping towards the middle of the pool, closer and closer to the drain. While I had floaties on my arms, I was sinking and unsure of how to get back to the steps (especially before Nana found out!) I needed a rescue!

Thankfully, Nana came quickly to save me. She jumped in with her clothes on and dragged me out by one arm. Then, instead of hugging me, she spanked me. She was mad that her clothes were wet, and she was scared that she would lose me on our family vacation. It’s something I can laugh at now, but it’s also an opportunity to learn something. While my situation was easily solved, it opened my eyes to the need to keep close to kids near a pool. It also opened my eyes to the needs of others when they need rescuing from situations out of their control. While my story is very common, there are others who are in need of a rescue from other things just as dangerous.

For example, a little boy in Ecuador who had been attacked while walking home from church. He needed a rescue, and it was provided. A lot of people came together in prayer and in raising money to support him in getting the health care he needed. Thankfully, that little boy is now back home with his family.

Another example of someone in need of rescue is girls and young women trapped in abuse and dangerous situations. Through Compassion International, you can help children out of those situations. You can be a part of the rescue. Here’s a link to learn more about how you can help: https://www.compassion.com/catalog/rescue-from-a-dangerous-situation.htm

Another way you can help is by sponsoring a child through a Christian child sponsorship program. These are three programs that I trust, use, and recommend:

You can be a part of helping a child and a family become educated, escape dangerous situations, and prevent abuse by sponsoring a child. You can be someone’s rescue.

Book Review: CSB Kid’s Bible

The CSB Kid’s Bible by Holman Bible Publishers is a colorful and readable Bible for children. I love how colorful it is! It’s bright enough that it should draw the attention of children, and hopefully bright enough that they won’t misplace it. (I can speak to that because of my younger brothers’ experiences over the years!) The Bible has large print, a ribbon bookmark, full color maps and charts, and a topical concordance. One of the most exciting things about this Bible is that it includes a Bible Skills Checklist, which will help train children to study the Bible as they get older. The checklist has three levels of skills, which can help encourage children to aim higher in their Bible studies.

I am an overall fan of the CSB translation, and I use it for daily Bible reading. So I do recommend this translation to others because it’s very readable.

One thing I am slightly disappointed in is the quality of binding at least in this hardcover version. When I turn the pages at both the front and back of the Bible, it feels like after frequent use, the pages may begin to fall out, especially the extra pages like the maps and Bible Study skills pages. Also the pages, like in most CSB Bibles I’ve come across, are slightly too thin – thin enough to read the other side of the page.

Overall, this is a great Bible for children beginning to read and study the Bible. I’d recommend it for children in grades K – 5 or 6. There are also four different leathertouch versions of this Bible available for children. Therefore, I give this Bible version four out of five stars. I received this book from BHbloggers.com for an honest review.

My One Word for 2018: the Gospel

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It’s popular at the beginning of the year to do a “one word” post, so I took some time to think about what would be my one word for 2018. The word that keeps coming up in my life right now is the Gospel. The Gospel is the best news I have ever heard – I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Living God. Jesus Christ came to live a righteous life for us and then died the death that we deserved. He took our sins and gave us His righteousness. And now as followers of Christ, we have the mission of sharing the Gospel with others, which is in Matthew 28.

So my focus for the year (and really all of life now) is the Gospel. Not only do I need to share the Gospel with others, I need to remind myself of the Gospel daily because I need that grace that God provides every second of every day. The Gospel is our lifeline.

Ways that I will incorporate the Gospel in my life this year include:

– Reading through the Bible in a year. I’m using Tabletalk Magazine’s Reading plan.

– Sharing the Gospel in letters to my sponsored children. They already hear it from their pastors, but by sharing it with them, I can help reinforce the idea in their minds as they learn what it truly means.

– Sharing the Gospel with others around me, even though I will probably do it clumsily. I pray God would open their hearts and ears to hear His Word and not just my words.

Resources for learning more about the Gospel:

– the Bible

– The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

– Discipling by Mark Dever

– Multiply by Francis Chan