Vacation Bible School Blurb

I’m the director of this year’s VBS at my church. I just wanted to share the information in hopes that if you’re local and have children that you’d send them to our VBS.  (Only 20 days until VBS!)

Advertisements

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

AF0E9D1E-9DF1-4E80-BBF4-97DE625CF210

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

63B47EE2-E6ED-48E0-B713-F977209BBCA1

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

Book Review: Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women by Rhonda Kelley and Dorothy Patterson

The Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women by Rhonda Kelley and Dorothy Patterson is an excellent little devotional book. It’s small enough that you can take it with you while traveling. The book is beautifully designed and features a ribbon bookmark so you can hold your place. It has 366 days of devotions, and each devotion includes Bible reading, commentary, a prayer, and a journal entry where you can write your reflections on the reading.

Rhonda and Dorothy are the editors of the book and have multiple devotional entries; there are also devotional entries by other women as well. Dorothy Kelley Patterson is a professor in the women’s ministry and theology classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; her husband is the president of SWBTS. Rhonda Harrington Kelley is the wife of Chuck Kelley, the president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Little known fact: Rhonda and Dorothy are sister-in-laws.

Overall, I am enjoying this devotional book. I think it’s beautiful and helpful for reflecting through the Psalms and Proverbs with an application piece as well. I am slightly disappointed that not every Psalm and Proverb is covered; Psalm 2 was entirely skipped over, and I haven’t checked if there are others left out.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Therefore, I give this devotional book 4 out of 5 stars. I received this book from BHbloggers.com for an honest review.

From Want to Plenty: Thanksgiving (& Update)

Thanksgiving is this week, and so many times we can rush past this time of thankfulness without considering why we celebrate Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims who landed the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock and then worked hard to start their new lives in America went through times of want, and they celebrated Thanksgiving to thank God for all their blessings, whether they had plenty or not. They gave thanks for what they had, changing their mindset of want to plenty.

Psalm 9:1 ESV – “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

Today, we have so much and typically live in a state of plenty. However, there’s also many that live in a state of depression, even in the midst of plenty. What’s the solution? For somethe solution is to give thanks for what we do have.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I can sometimes struggle with loneliness as a single woman. Most of my friends are married or are engaged, and all of my close friends from high school and college are living at least 30 minutes away from me. So, even though I have friends, I can go through times when I don’t hear from them, which can be discouraging. But giving thanks for those friends and what I do have is a way to get over the blues.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Another thing that helps me is sponsoring children because I can give someone else more so they can go from want to plenty. By helping others, more can go from want to plenty.

Colossians 3:17 ESV – “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

For example, sponsoring children means that they can get food, even when they’re in the midst of a drought. Just think of what gratitude happens because they have something to eat and clean water to drink. But not only that, they can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and go from want to plenty of faith and salvation!

1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!”

Also, update: Burusi’s picture on Compassion was updated! He almost doesn’t look like the same child. On the left is the picture from roughly May 2016, and the one of the right is the updated picture.

I praise God for Burusi and all of my sponsored children. They are my friends far away, but we celebrate our friendship together in Christ.

Romans 11:36 ESV – “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”

Book Review: The Spurgeon Study Bible

img_0114.jpg

The Spurgeon Study Bible is a book edited by Alistair Begg and published by Holman. This Bible is written in the CSB translation, and it includes sermons and notes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the prince of preachers. This Bible features Spurgeon’s actual handwriting, which I find to be really cool. The Bible has color maps, a concordance, and two ribbon bookmarks.

I really like the font size; it’s very easy on the eyes. The page thickness is just about right, so the text on the previous page doesn’t bleed through much while the page is flat. I think the introductions for each book of the Bible are very helpful; they include the “circumstances of writing,” the “contribution of to the Bible,” structure, and Spurgeon’s take on that book.

One question that I have about this Study Bible is: Did Christian George, who is a “Spurgeon-ologist,” have any work on this book, or did Alistair Begg work on this on his own? I think the contribution from Christian George would have been very helpful. However, this is still a good study Bible. (More information on Spurgeon and Christian George here: https://www.spurgeon.org/)

Overall, I give The Spurgeon Study Bible five out of five stars, and I do recommend this for others who want to learn more about Charles Spurgeon and his sermons. I believe that preachers looking to learn from Spurgeon would benefit from this study Bible. I am a B&H blogger, and I received this book for an honest review.

Letter from Midkenson in Haiti

Midkenson sent me a letter with help from his grandmother. He called me Mom!!!!! Ahh! He’s so cute! Okay, so the news from the letter is that he bought new shoes with his birthday gift.

His dream for his life is to be a pastor. So his prayer request is that he learns more and gains knowledge so that he can be a pastor and tell others about Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure what the drawing is, but it looks like snow men. However in Haiti, they don’t have snow. So, unless someone has told him about snow, it’s got to be something else in the drawing. Maybe it’s people.

Please pray for Midkenson and his family to believe in Christ, to receive solid Biblical teaching, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. And please consider sponsoring a child through one of the many organizations, such as Compassion International, Haiti Outreach Ministries, Eden Ministries, or Zimbabwe Outreach Ministries.