Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate by Debora M. Coty

About Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate

Are you ready to strip fear's power over you and become the confident woman you were meant to be? Have you found that tolerating your personal fear monsters only makes them growl louder?

Okay, sister - take my hand and let's boldly step up and yank the masks off those shadow-lurking, anxiety-churning, worry-generating beasts.

With her own brand of off-beat wit and wisdom, inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of women worn down by everyday fears - financial, health, relationships, loss, pain, the unknown, the what ifs ...

With fresh spiritual insight, Debora shares hope, true life stories, scriptural lifelines, and a few LOL's along with simple, practical tips for sidestepping fear with faith. And a fistful of chocolate!

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/hyrj3    

My Review: 

This is the second book I've read by Debora Coty, and I enjoyed it as much as the first. Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate was just what I needed. As soon as I read the title I knew this one was for me! Fear rears it's ugly little head in my life more than I care to admit, but it's nice to know that others deal with the same issues and understand.  Debora takes a look at fear and ministers with uplifting humor and personal stories of her own. I think there is something in this book for everyone!

 *Litfuse Publicity Group has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. ~ Thanks!

Meet Debora:  
Debora Coty is an occupational therapist, a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She's also involved in the children's ministry at her church and is an avid tennis player. Debora began writing to fill the void when her last child left for college, and it has since become a passion. Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled "Grace Notes: God's Grace for Everyday Living." 

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wake Up Generation by Paige Omartian


About the Book:

Wake Up, Generation, a breakout new title from debut author Paige Omartian, will revolutionize the life of any young adult seeking purpose, passion, and direction. As a growing generation is characterized by a lifestyle of apathy and indifference, Paige uses biblical teaching and shares relatable stories to help young people break the chains and discover the God-driven mission for their lives. Readers will…
  • understand their life’s sacred purpose
  • wake up to the needs of the world around them
  • develop a vision and mission statement for life
  • realize how their own story fits into God’s design
  • become equipped to live out the passionate, fulfilling life God intended
Singles from Paige’s debut album, Wake Up, have appeared on Top 30 charts of Christian music, and extensive media coverage, including an appearance on the Today Show, has earned her a legion of fans. With a growing reach, Paige will connect with readers and help them understand that it’s time to wake up!

My Review:

It touched my heart to read Paige's testimony. What great strength she and her family had through her battle with cancer.  My own son had a tumor about a year ago and though his wasn't life threatening, it made me feel that I could relate to what she was going through.  It made her story personal to me. It made me cry. Such unbelievable strength for a young girl! God was surely with her. And He had a plan for her life.

Forward to the present, Paige has grown into a strong young woman who is being used by God to fulfill His purpose. And now she is encouraging others to do the same through this book and her ministry.

Written for the younger, 20-something generation, Wake Up Generation is a call to make a difference in this world by finding and using your God-given gifts. Everyone has a purpose, a calling. Paige encourages you to find it and live it.  This generation (as well as others) are asleep. They live in apathy. This book will challenge you to wake up and live the life God has called you to live. 

Even though this book is written for the younger crowd, it blessed me. I think it offers great motivation for any age. I will be lending this to my 9- and 13-year-olds very soon. I would have loved to have a book like this when I was younger. I will be on the lookout for more books from Paige Omartian. :)

About the Author:
Paige Omartian is a speaker and recording artist whose battle with cancer as a child led her on a remarkable journey inspiring others to grasp the preciousness of life and live out their purpose. She has traveled the country sharing her music and story and was featured on Bath and Body Work’s 2005 Christmas CD supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Paige was interviewed on the Today Show and was the speaker and TV host for the ministry iShine. She released her debut rock album, Wake Up, in 2009.

*Thank you, Glass Road Productions, for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

To my fellow Christians, I say, He is Risen!

Guest Post
By Tim Wildmon

"From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" ~Matthew 4:17 

I recently heard a very popular Christian speaker talk to a large audience for an hour. He said nothing heretical. He said nothing controversial. He just focused on the "unconditional" love of God. Again, nothing wrong with what he did say, but it is what he did not say that bothered me. He said nothing about repentance of sin. There is a reason Jesus said what he said in the above bible verse. And there is a reason John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the world with the exact same proclamation in Matthew 3:2: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

There is a popular trend going on in the American Christian church. The trend is to talk of the love of God without talking about the justice of God. But if you read the bible, it is clear, there exists both the grace of God and the wrath of God, and Jesus Christ spoke of both.

Many Christians around the world have been celebrating Holy Week this week culminating today with Easter Sunday or what some churches call Resurrection Sunday. It is to commemorate the victory of Jesus over Satan, sin, death and hell. This is good news! And "good news" is the meaning of the word "gospel."

It is true that God's love for mankind is "unconditional." However, in order for man to be in right relationship with God, man must conform his life to match with God's requirement of man. And God does not force this decision on man. God draws a person to himself, but it is the free will of the individual to decide if he or she will obey God's requirements for a right relationship or not.

Jesus called this experience being "born again." In other words, a person (every human) must understand that he or she has violated God's laws and is forever separated from God spiritually unless he or she repents of their sin and trust in the shed blood of Jesus on the cross for forgiveness of that sin in order to be counted among those who have been redeemed. Redeemed from the consequences of unrepentant sin which is death and hell.

What I am writing here is not popular in modern day America where we want to live our own life without interference from God. It is our natural tendency to live for ourselves instead of obey the commands of God. That is the eternal struggle between flesh and the spirit.

In order to prove our love for Christ, he says we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily, and follow him. Our "cross" is a challenge to wake up daily and try our best to live like Jesus. The way we learn to live like Jesus is to study the bible, take time to pray and fellowship with other believers (followers) which we call "church." God knows we will fail at this precisely because we are human. Sometimes we are tempted by sin and we give in to it. But the Bible also says that if we are willing to confess our sins to God, He is willing to forgive us. That also is great news!

No one is compelled to believe this. You may read this and call it foolishness. That is your right. But if that is your view, I at least encourage you to read one book in the bible, the gospel of John, and consider the claims of the bible and Christ before you dismiss Christianity.

To my fellow Christians, I say, He is Risen!


Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

Friday, March 29, 2013

Most Important Message Shared All Year: He Lives!

Guest Post  
by Monica Cole

Resurrection Sunday is a time to Rejoice! Jesus paid a debt for us that no one else could ever pay so that we could be in heaven with Him for eternity. God gave the perfect sacrifice, His only Son, and if we believe in Him, then we will be forgiven and saved from our sins.

To be saved, you must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for EVERYONE'S sins, including your own, so that one day we could be with our Heavenly Father. If you believe Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, you will also need to admit you are a sinner - as we all are. Romans 3:23 KJV says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." If you have never confessed your sin and belief in Christ, take time to do it right now. Jesus is the only way to be saved from your sins and receive eternal life.

On the third day, he rose again from the dead. This is the Good News that Christians celebrate: His Resurrection! He is ALIVE! And one day our Savior will return. He, and only He, sets us free from our sins! "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me'." John 14:6 KJV

The birth of Jesus is wonderful, but the resurrection is even more exciting. It is the finale to the Christmas story. Jesus accomplished what he came for. Jesus' last words before dying on the cross were documented in John 19:30 as, "It is finished." He knew that all was now completed and that Scripture would be fulfilled. To suggest that more needs to be done to earn your way to heaven is the same as saying Jesus died for nothing. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV

Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. Jesus had the power to come down from that cross, but He knew this is what had to be done for His believers to be saved. He died on the cross for you and me because of His love for us. He loved us that much! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJV

If you know of someone who is not saved, please pass this on to them. Share the greatest gift of all with them: a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life. Also, share this with your brothers and sisters in Christ so they may use this to share with others. God commands that we share the gospel with others. We need to help one another become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

For a powerful resource to use while witnessing and for more answers as you seek to know Him, go to http://knowhim.afr.net.

Have a meaningful Holy Week and blessed Resurrection celebration!

Monica Cole, Director

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

GriefShare ~ Help For Those In Mourning

Not long ago, I was speaking to a man at church who had suffered a great loss within his family. He had spent years trying to cope with the grief involved with losing a loved one.  GriefShare is where he found the help he needed on the road to healing. I'm so glad he shared that information with me. Because now... it is needed.

At the beginning of this year, my best friend's mom went home to be with the Lord. A wonderful sweet woman who loved God with all her heart. We know she is with the Lord; Heaven is the reward that we as Christians look forward to. But, we are still left with our grief. The pain and emptiness that is left in her absence is at times, unbearable. Being a Christian doesn't exclude us from that. We are still human. The question is... How do we deal with it?

I believe that God is the center of all healing, but I realize that we also need a help from others. God never meant for us to go through it alone. Just as He may use doctors to heal us, He also uses friends, family members, or others who have lost someone special to speak into our lives. And sometimes... you need to seek out a counselor or group to help you. 

The loss of a loved one touches many lives. Not just the immediate family. We all want to be there, to comfort and encourage. We want to be a part of the healing process, but we don't always know how.  First, PRAY!  Then... Find a group.  Read and learn all that you can.  If you want a place to start, check out GriefShare. If you've lost someone or helping someone who has, this can help you to understand the grieving process. It's not easy on anyone... but any help is a good thing. You don't  have to do it alone.

Thanks for reading and God Bless!
Mary Ann

*Below are a couple of books I've begun to read and they seem very helpful.  I didn't get paid to review them.  I just found them in my search to learn more so I can be there for my best friend.  You can check them out if you like... or do your own search.

Helping People Through Grief   

Confessions of a Grieving Christian

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Duck Commander Family by Willie & Korie Robertson

My kids and I enjoy watching Duck Dynasty on A&E.  Especially my 13-year-old son.  So, when I saw this book sitting on the shelf of my local Barnes & Noble... I just had to buy it! 

"The Duck Commander Family" by Willie & Korie Robertson is a fun read about the life of the Robertson family.  If you're a fan of the show, you'll love reading about the early days of Duck Commander and how it's progressed to where it is today.  They did it with a lot of hard work and a lot of faith.  And God has blessed them for their diligence.

I was truly impressed with the devotion the Robertson family has to one another and to their family business.  Clearly it comes from being rooted and grounded in a firm faith in God.  The Bible says that "man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)  And the Robertson family has a heart for God.  Phil and Kay have raised their family to have a firm foundation in the Lord, and they demonstrate their love of God in the way they live their lives.

 You'll get to know them a little better with stories from Willie and Korie.  You may even bump your cooking skills up a notch with the recipes found in the book.  :)

This one's a fun read!  You're gonna love it! 

*I received no compensation for my review of this book.  I bought the book myself, read it, loved it, and wanted to pass it along.  That's all. :)


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