Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Patterns of Evidence: Exodous

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus
Director: Timothy Mahoney

It is human to want the evidence, either for or against a cause in which one chooses to believe.  While Christianity is based on faith, the belief without the sight, it can be exciting to have a piece of history prove the Bible is true.

In this project filmed and directed by Timothy Mahoney, released in January 2015, he sets out to find the evidence of the great Biblical Exodus.  Through interviews with many experts, archaeologists, scholars and more, Mahoney places the evidence he finds out for the viewers to sort on their own.  He presents evidence for and against the Exodus, citing archeology digs, confusion over timeline, questions of location and more.  The entire documentary is presented in a non-conclusive way so as to allow the viewer to decide for themselves whether the evidence points toward or away from Biblical proof of this event in history.

I was interested to see this film based on the historical research and the offer of genuine proof of a core Biblical event.  My husband, a history and Bible study fan, was also curious and wanted to see the film.  Unfortunately, we were both bored.  We made ourselves sit for the first hour and promised to come back to it later.  It was truly filled with research and documentation and proof of depth, but it was also dry and hard to remain engaged in.

I wanted to find myself enthralled, but instead I was droopy eyed.  Perhaps for a true history enthusiast or someone into documentaries, this might be for them.  However, I found myself lost and as a result my interest was lost.  I found the bounces from evidence against to evidence for and then back again dizzying and hard to follow.

I will leave my rating mid-line.  The work put into the piece was thorough, but the delivery was just not for me.

You can watch a trailer here
You can buy the film here.  If you enter code MK1, you will received $3 off the regular $19.95 price.


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”)

#PatternsOfEvidence
#FlyBy

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ATG Today


Awakening To God Today (ATG Today) is a beautifully simple devotional journal in app form, created to inspire users to find 8 minutes each day to seek God through a series of simple steps.

Using this app is simple and can be done in a few quick moments in the day.  It is a great step toward getting into the Bible more, deepening one's prayer life, recording prayers and answers to prayer, journaling and more, all in one place.  Once registered, the user simply logs in and is greeted by a daily Bible verse.  This verse can be used for reflection, memorization, or deeper study.  From here, the verse can be shared if desired via social media platforms.

Beyond the daily verse, users can chose the "inspiration", "timeline", "add", "photos" or "calendar" tabs to go further.

Inspiration: The daily verse and option to share via social media
Timeline: Lists the days the user has made an entry with option to click the date and read what was entered
Add: Guides the user through prompts to create an entry that will then be store in the timeline.  Here, users can choose day or night and then add a picture and answer the following prompts:

  1. Day
    1. Lord, I thank you today for..
    2. I believe God is speaking to me today about...
    3. Lord, I pray today that you will...
  2. Night
    1. How did God touch my life today?
    2. What more could I have done to reflect God's love today?
Photos: All photos that have been added to an entry can be found here
Calendar: Displays a calendar that users can then click on dates to view entries.

How it works:
  Set up in 1 minute increments, each minute has it's own task to create an 8 minute daily focused time with God
  • Minute 1: Still your mind and focus on one or two things to thank God for. Be mindful of why you are grateful for these things.
  • Minute 2: Memorize and think on the day's verse
  • Minutes 3 and 4: Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit.  Listen for God's voice.
  • Minute 5: Hand over all of the day's coming tasks and responsibilities to God 
  • Minute 6: Think about a way you can reflect Christ 
  • Minute 7: Write down what God has shown you
  • Minute 8: Thank God and go forward with the day
   Ideally, if you do these steps each day along with your daily entry, you have spent some intentional time with God and begun to develop a habit that can then grow into longer sessions and deeper thought and prayer.

I have found this app to be tremendously helpful for me.  A long time Christian, I have struggled at times to make the time to listen and learn through quiet devotion and prayer.  Especially as a mom of 4 little ones, the time I have is often not my own.  The idea that I can do this in roughly 8 minutes makes it something I can easily accomplish without guilt, even if the kids are already awake.  I love that the app encourages a day starter and finisher to encourage wrapping the day in thoughts of God and His intentions.  The fact that I can easily journal from the same place I enter prayers, thoughts and more makes my quiet time more productive because I don't have to wonder who wrote in my journal or hid it where, or get distracted with doodles and more.

I've been using this app for several weeks now and am loving the habit I am getting into and the ease with which I can use it anytime or anywhere.  For the minimal cost ($3.99), I am very pleased and feel it was worth the purchase.

Created by Gerard and Jeannie Long, this app comes from a history of experiencing God's love and grace through deep trial and personal pain.  This app was created to inspire believers in their walk with Christ.  It also serves to "raise funds for several reasons: to dig wells in 100 villages in India, provide 40,000 meals to widows and orphans, 15,000 mosquito nets, and medical teams for immunizations, cataract operations and other services."

You can watch a video to learn more about the creators' story and their mission here and their promotional video here.

Apple users can click here to download the app and check it out for yourself!

#ATGToday #FlyBy

https://twitter.com/freesample1/status/851881916886331394

* I purchased this app in return for incentive as part of the Fly By Promotions program.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own regardless of incentive.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

When God Made You



When God Made You
by Matthew Paul Turner
Illustrated by David Catrow

When God Made You is a fun book that has value for young and old alike.  Readers follow a young girl in pictures as the story talks about things God valued and considered in making her, and creating her to be special and unique.  As the pages progress, the illustrations take on more color and brightness, becoming more exciting with each page turn, leading readers to a final thought that "You being you is God's dream coming true".

As a mom of four, each so unique and special, I have enjoyed reading this book to each child and talking about what makes them special.  While the overlying theme is that God made them to be individual, there are many specific examples listed within the story, and each child could find something about themselves being talked about in the story.

Illustrations are bright and engaging, cartoonish but realistic.  Features are friendly and inviting and the increasing color and design invite readers to continue exploring.  Even I enjoyed looking at the pictures for their boldness and fun.

This is a very encouraging book to read to young children, and can easily be read by younger readers as well.  It lends itself to many conversations about God and individual qualities and how we are each carefully crafted by His hand to be perfect in His sight.  We have all enjoyed this book in my home and I would recommend it to other parents as well.

* I was provided a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review as a part of the Book Crash review program.

http://fw.to/sYtgl9l



Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Garden - Kari Jobe

Singer Kari Jobe has a new album just hitting the market, and if you are a Kari Jobe fan, you are sure to enjoy her latest work, "The Garden"  This album is filled with worshipful, contemplative songs that are collectively peaceful and slower in tempo to match the imagery of walking through a calming garden.  This collection of songs is great for those meditative times of personal worship as well as for quieting one's mind and heart in preparation for time with God, or even just for relaxed listening.
Songs such as "The Garden", "Fall Afresh",  and "Come Alive" echo the album title and theme. There is much focus on God's glory, power, divinity, healing and love, as is apparent in many of the song titles. There are a couple of songs featuring Cody Carnes as well.  It is an album of peaceful, deep thought and focus on God.

In general, this album is not my style of music, it is much slower and quieter than I find myself desiring.  For background noise, I can find a place for it, but this particular styling is not one I find myself singing along to or getting stuck in my head.  However, it is a beautiful album filled with thoughtful lyrics and themes inviting times of praise, adoration and worship.  Any fan of Jobe's or her style of singing is sure to find pleasure in this collection.

Click here to see a video

Click here to stream the album

Click here to buy the album

I received a free copy of this album as part of a promotion through FlyBy in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.
#TheGarden & #FlyBy



Monday, January 16, 2017

Made for a Purpose


Made for a Purpose
by Kristie Wilde

My children love to learn about animals.  We have many books about different creatures in our home.  This new book, Made for a Purpose, is a welcome addition to our library and has been enjoyed many times over by my three little ones.

As children read though this book, they discover many familiar creatures, like the turtle, duck, frog, fish and more - animals often found in or near pond areas.  For each animal, there is discussion about what their unique features are made for, the things that make them special and individual from all others.  The book completes by pointing out that, just like the animals, God has created them for a purpose that is just as special and unique as the animals.

Illustrations are done in watercolor, by the author.  Colors are inviting and true to nature, scenes are realistic, and the animals are painted to look as they would in real life.

Made for a Purpose invites young readers to explore the idea that they are even more special than the animals God has created and that each of us was made for a purpose, a special reason.  We have enjoyed reading this book together, talking about each of the animals, and welcomed the discussions that have developed as they learned through this book.  The first in the Joyful Creation series to be written, there are sure to be more engaging books to come from this author.

* I received this book for free for the purposes of review in exchange for my honest and un-biased review through the Book Crash program.

http://fw.to/YeRXn7j

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Beginner's Bible

The Beginner's Bible
by ZonderKidz

I have held and read several different children's Bibles in the past six years, all varying in style and content.  Some geared more toward babies, some a little too old for my audience.  The most recent Bible I have had the opportunity to read through with my children (6, 4, and 2) is the newest beginner bible from Zondervan publishing.

Geared toward ages 4-8, this Bible impressed me for several reasons.  It has over 90 stories in it, and each story is at least five or more pages long.  The beginning reader like my six year old can read it with ease and feel confident and proud at being able to read their own bible, while the content is simple enough to understand but deep enough that a child can learn more than the basics of a story.

This contains more than your top ten familiar Bible stories.  Stories like Samson, Elijah and the fire from Heaven, Naaman's healing, Simeon and Anna, miracles, parables and so much more are included in this Bible.  Children can learn the unfamiliar stories as well as the most told in over 500 colorfully illustrated pages.  Words that may be unfamiliar or difficult are italicized to help prompt discussion and explanation from adults, furthering learning and vocabulary for the child while making them familiar with words that are often used in adult Bibles.  A list of  stories can be found with page numbers in the contents, which is really convenient and unlike most other young children's Bibles I have worked with.  Each story has a scripture reference so adults can find the full story in the Bible as well.

Illustrations are bright and colorful, cartoonish and fill the top half of each page.  Pictures go along with the stories and help to supplement the text with visual depiction of the story for the different learning styles.  Characters are all approachable and friendly, engaging to the child and the bright colors are inviting to explore and talk about as well.  Even younger children below the age recommendation for this book can get something from being read to or hearing the stories along with older siblings.

In addition to the Bible, there is a free iPad App that has stories, audio and games for on the go learning and fun.  There are also games and teaching resources available online at www.TheBeginnersBible.com.  Available in ebook and hardcover formats, there is a version for everyone.

You can check learn more on your own with these links:
Official Website
Official Book Trailer (You Tube)

Giveaway
I get to give a copy of this Bible away to one of my readers.  Simply comment with the ages of your children for a chance to win.  Winner will be chosen December 26, 2016.

"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. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

#TheBeginnersBible #FlyBy

https://twitter.com/freesample1/status/810952301481492481
https://www.facebook.com/3minusTHplusF/posts/1177861935640987
https://www.amazon.com/review/R3IJE773CTS3IW/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas Album Review

Tennessee Christmas
Amy Grant

Just in time for the holidays, Amy Grant has released her new Christmas Album, titled "Tennessee Christmas".

In Amy's traditional fashion, this album is a slower paced, comforting selection of familiar and new songs that set the mood for a relaxed holiday season.  Her down home feel appeals to many styles of listeners.  With duets, melodic accompaniment and her beautiful alto range, listeners find themselves want to settle in front of a warm fire and curl up on a cold winter night.

Though not a regular fan of Amy's, I am familiar with her voice through the connection of her marriage to country singer Vince Gill.  I have enjoyed listening to this album.  Many of the songs were new to me, but there were enough that I knew, sung differently enough to be signature songs for Amy.  We enjoyed this album as we decorated our Christmas tree over the Thanksgiving holiday and are sure to continue to enjoy it throughout the holiday season.

You can listen to one of her new tracks, "To Be Together" by clicking here
You can buy the album here

For a chance to be included in a compilation video being created by Amy Grant, you have the option to upload a video of yourself surprising loved ones for the holidays to social media using the hashtag #TNChristmasSurprise!  It will be similar to this video.  Those chosen will be part of a compilation that Amy will be sharing on her own social media outlets.

#TennesseeChristmas
#flyby

I received this album for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.  All opinions expressed are my own, I was not compensated for this review.