Friday, February 28, 2014

"Chasing God" by Angie Smith Review & GIVEAWAY!! (3/12)

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.


About the book:
  Let's be honest: we've all questioned whether or not we're doing this
"Christianity thing" the right way. Am I really a Christian? If I'm doing
everything right, why do I feel so far from God? What am I missing?
Best-selling author and highly sought-after speaker Angie Smith struggled
with these same questions, and the answers she discovered inspired her new
book, Chasing God (B&H Publishing, January 2014). In Chasing God, Smith
unpacks how our earthly, unrealistic expectations of God result in us
chasing Him, keeping us from following Him.
 
About the Author:
 Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of award-winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country.  She holds a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.
 
My Review:
 I'm slow at reading sometimes, but when I had the chance to read, and concentrate on, Chasing God, I found it not only very interesting, but funny as well.  Angie is wonderful at mixing in a little comedy into her writing that really makes her book a joy to read!

What I found interesting in Chasing God, was the idea that many of us, as Christians, are "relying more of man's explanation of God than God Himself."  When we follow man, we get caught up in the rules and requirements and we end up feeling guilty instead of free.  For example, Angie touches on the phrase "God will never give you more than you can handle".  That is not an actual Bible verse that many of us think it is, it was made up by man!  The actual Bible verse says "God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13)  She goes on to say how the actual verse doesn't talk about  what we can "handle" because everything in life is more than we can handle, which is why we need Him..."he gives us Himself, which allows us to carry it all."  To me, knowing that God is in control of my life...that he is there to help us handle it all...is freeing! :-)

There is so much to Chasing God that I found interesting and there is no way to share it all with you without you reading the book as well.  I highly recommend picking up a copy and reading it for yourself! :-)
 
Buy It!
Chasing God can be purchased as a hardcover for $13.65 (or Kindle $9.99) from amazon.com.
 
Thank you to Icon Media Group for providing me a copy of Chasing God to review and another to giveaway to one lucky reader!
 
GIVEAWAY:
Congrats to comment #6, Debby!

One of my readers is going to win their own copy of Chasing God!
 
To enter to win, please leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Extra Entries:
(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on
twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment
*Follow me on
Pinterest
*Pin an image from this post to one of your boards
*Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post and let me know which post.

Open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen shortly after and contacted via e-mail. (Winner must not have won within the last month in order to share the prizes with more readers.) The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Warner Bros. Valentine's Day Giveaway! (2/26) #WBValentine

*Disclosure: The following information, and giveaway, was provided to me to share with my readers in promotion of Warner Home Entertainment. I was not compensated in any way.
February is the one month of the year where everyone has love on their minds! It’s can be romantic, it can be love for your children or parents or you could just be a movie lover! Whatever you love, this February Warner Bros. has you covered with some amazing DVDs perfect for the whole family!
If you’re a love lorn poet, there’s the Peanuts Collection! If you want to smother your significant other with kisses we have the Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection, and if you want to solve some madcap mystery, I’ll bet Scooby-Doo is the one for you!

Who is Your Cartoon Crush? - Everyone has had a crush at some point in their lives, but do you know who your cartoon crush is? Is it Scooby-Doo? Charlie Brown? or maybe Bugs Bunny? Find out who you would be romantically perfect with!


Valentine’s Day Recipes! When I think of movie night, the first thing I want to know is... What are the snacks? Here are three easy and fun recipe’s perfect for your Valentine!



GIVEAWAY!

Congratulations comment #22, Jessamine Dungo!

One lucky reader will win one of the following movies (chosen at random):

*Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition
*A Charlie Brown Valentine
*Bugs Bunny’s Cupid Capers
*Happiness is... Peanuts: Friends Forever
*Elmo Loves You
*Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection
*Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: For The Love Of Snack


To enter to win, tell me your results of the "Who Is Your Cartoon Crush" quiz.  Please be sure to leave your e-mail address with the comment, so I can contact you if you're the winner

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Valentines Day DVD Chosen at Random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Extra Entries:(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment
*Follow me on
Pinterest
*Pin an image from this post to one of your boards
*Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post and let me know which post.

Open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen shortly after and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.

A Hometown Fire

At 6:15 yesterday morning (Tuesday), I took a peak at the clock and hoped I could fall asleep for just a few minutes before the alarm clock went off.  No such luck!  Within what seemed like seconds Rich's fire pager went off and I knew more sleep wasn't happening.  The kids had already been stirring and the pager was like their signal that it was okay to get up. 
 
I went about the rest of the morning like usual, not thinking too much of the call Rich went on.  I did think to check the local newspaper's website after a while to see if the fire call happened to be some sort of 'breaking news', but nothing.  It was odd for our town's ladder truck to be requested in my hometown, 20 miles away, and it not to be a good size fire, but I let it be for the time.
 
It wasn't until about 9:30 am that I started to think Rich had been gone a while.  I hoped he had managed to call work to tell them where he was and found out that he had.  I then checked the local newspaper's website again to see if they had anything on the fire yet and this time they did.  It turned out that a shop in downtown had caught fire...and in a small town that is BIG news...so I checked facebook too! ;-)
 
There was post after post about the fire sending thoughts and prayers as well as links to the local news and to Detroit News stations.  After being totally consumed by the news, and sorting through pictures, videos and even turning the TV on and seeing an 11 am news report, I found out the basics.  The roof collapsed, no injuries, it was a 14 alarm fire (14 fire departments responded!), the town's water supply ran extremely low and, something really neat, the community came together bringing food and drinks for all the firefighters.  They were able to take breaks, fill their tummies and get checked by EMS when needed at the funeral home across the street. :-)
 
All the while, through the facebook posts and all the news, I was wondering about Rich....trying to pick him out in pictures...knowing he was fine, because he always reassures me that he is super safe when he's at fires.  He made it home around 2:00 PM and tells me this is where he was during that time fighting the fire...
...and that any picture or video I see of a firefighter at the top of the ladder, it's him up there.  (The picture above is taken from The Times Herald.)
 
So that guy at the tippy-top of that ladder, 60 or more feet in the air, is Rich.
 (Photo credit: Sandra K.)
 
Those are Rich's boots at the top of this picture...going up the ladder....
(Photo credit: Sandra K.)
 
Rich, yet again, surrounded by smoke...
(Photo credit: Sandra K.)
 
Oh!  Here!  He's close to the ground and out of the smoke...SAFE....as he always reassures me he is.  ;-)
(All the above AMAZING photos were taken by a photographer who posted them to facebook, Sandra K.)
 
I realized, through all of this, how accustomed I'd become, as a fire fighter's wife, to the fire calls.  I remember when we were first married, I'd worry the whole time he was gone.  But, in the past few years, I don't think much of it anymore...Rich is just putting out a fire and the dangers of it all rarely cross my mind.  Honestly, I wasn't too worried about Rich yesterday, even though I joked about it through the picture captions.  Being consumed with the happenings, I was trying to get glimpses of my husband doing something that he loves to do...
 
...then he tells me that firefighters don't tell their wives everything...hmmm...I am perfectly fine with that! :-)
 
Here is a news clip, that if you watch, you'll see a close-up of Rich:

Fox 2 News Headlines  


Monday, February 10, 2014

"The Marriage You've Always Wanted" by Gary Chapman Review & GIVEAWAY! (2/23)

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 
 
About THE MARRIAGE YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED
You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it means to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. GARY CHAPMAN
As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.
 
Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.
He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.
 
Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.
 
Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.
 
MY REVIEW:
In my 8 years of marriage I feel like I've learned quite a bit, but after reading The Marriage You've Always Wanted I found out that I still had a lot to learn!  I almost feel privileged to have read this book...like I've gotten a sneak peak at some top secret information about marriage.  The cool thing is, it isn't a secret and I want to share it with everyone I know!

There is SO much that I'd like to talk about from the book, but I'll keep it to a couple points.  One thing that I learned is that "Love" isn't a feeling, but an action and attitude.  I found it really interesting, but it also made me laugh a bit because Rich sometimes teases with a smirk and the response "I have feelings for you" after I tell him that I love him.  (A little bit of playing hard to get. ;-) )  So I told Rich that according to The Marriage You've Always Wanted  when he tells me "I have feelings for you" he's actually more accurate than saying "I love you" since love isn't as much a 'feeling' as an 'action'....I'm still going to take it as a tease from him though. ;-)

Something else that Dr. Chapman talks about is "Coupling critism with compliments".  I've heard it before and I know I've done it within my family, but it's something I'd say I need to work on even more in my marriage.  He suggests asking your spouse first if they're up for some constructive criticism and wait until they're ready.  Then, when they say they're ready (because they're not going to forget about it once you ask), start in with the compliments (preferrably three) to show how much the spouse is appreciated first before the criticism is given.  If I made sure to do this with Rich, not only will he feel like he's doing really good, there's just one little thing I'd like him to work on, but it would also remind me of all the good he does so I'm not dwelling on the one little thing that's bothering me.  Such a simple idea that could go such a long way in keeping a happy marriage!!!

I could really go on and on!  Dr. Chapman also talks about making decisions within a marriage, finances, responsibilities, sex and SO MUCH MORE!!  I can't say enough good about the The Marriage You've Always Wanted!  I was so excited to read it and excited to share it with you too!  (I'll be lending out my copy, but there is also a GIVEAWAY below!!)
 
Buy It!:
The Marriage You've Always Wanted retails for $15.99 and can be purchased through amazon.com right now for $12.22.  It's published by Moody Publishers and is 144 pages.

They even have small group curriculum available: http://experience.5lovelanguages.com

GIVEAWAY!

Congratulations to comment #7, Debby@JustBreathe!!

One of my readers is going to win their own copy of The Marriage You've Always Wanted!
To enter to win, please leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Extra Entries:
(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on
twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment
*Follow me on
Pinterest
*Pin an image from this post to one of your boards
*Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post and let me know which post.
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen shortly after and contacted via e-mail. (Winner must not have won within the last month in order to share the prizes with more readers.) The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.
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