Tag Archives: Bible study

Fun at The Dahlonega Literary Festival!

6 Mar

This past weekend I finally attended the annual Dahlonega Literary Festival set in the quaint and historic north Georgia town of Dahlonega. This event has been on my must-do list for a number of years, but the timing was never good. But this year I was spending the weekend at our cabin just 30 miles (as the crow flies!) away. It was a clear and warmish day for a drive through the beautiful north Georgia mountains, and when I arrived I was in for a big, big treat!

The Dahlonega Literary Festival is a once a year event that spotlights authors, both featured and regional, and hosts a number of writing and publishing workshops and panel discussions. I sat in on discussions of setting in literary fiction and portraying injustice in fiction. Most of the events were free. The few that required a ticket were very reasonable and covered the costs of the events and supported the new Lumpkin County Library. If you are ever in the neighborhood, I encourage you to attend. Or if you live too far away, check out literary festivals closer to home. I promise you will be in book lover’s heaven!

I also got to meet authors! I had scoped out the list of authors ahead of time and planned out which authors to sign books. Lindsey Brackett, Deborah Malone, and Daniel Palfrey, three Georgia writers with inspirational books, were very gracious in signing and speaking with me. What fun meeting them in person! Check out their books!

Lindsey Brackett, author of Still Waters

Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett just writes life — blogs, columns, articles, and stories — in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications. She writes a popular bimonthly column for several local newspapers in which she meditates on small town southern life.

Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her first novel, Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness. Thanks to her four kids, in her home you’ll find wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee.

Connect with her at http://www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she just writes life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Twitter @lindsbrac, or Instagram @lindseypbrackett.

Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree and a plan: avoid her own past — despite being wait-listed for graduate school. Then her beloved grandmother requests—and her dispassionate mother insists — that she spend the summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Despite its picturesque setting, Still Waters haunts Cora Anne with loss. At Still Waters her grandfather died, her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and as a child, she caused a tragic drowning. But lingering among the oak canopies and gentle tides, this place also tempts her with forgiveness — especially since Nan hired Tennessee Watson to oversee cottage repairs. A local contractor, but dedicated to the island’s preservation from development, Tennessee offers her friendship and more, if she can move beyond her guilt.

When a family reunion reveals Nan’s failing health, Cora Anne discovers how far Tennessee will go to protect her — and Edisto — from more desolation. Will Cora Anne choose between a life driven by guilt, or one washed clean by the tides of grace?

Deborah Malone, author of cozy mysteries set in Georgia and Blooming in Broken Places

Deborah Malone is an established author, freelance writer and photographer.

Her love of her home state Georgia flows into her cozy mystery novels which are all set there.

Published by Lamp Post, her first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in ACFW’s Category Five writing contest and she was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year Award in Novel category in 2012 and 2013.

Working as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001 for the historical magazine Georgia Backroads, Deborah has had many articles and photographs published during her time for them.

Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson.

Her photographic artwork has been displayed in the Wright Art Gallery at Floyd Medical Center where artwork contributes to the healing and therapy of patients. Her photography has also won several awards.

Deborah teaches a number of writing, marketing and speaking workshops for authors. Deborah is available for readings, signing, book clubs and author lunches.

Deborah Malone is no stranger to the trials of life that can rob a woman of her self-esteem and give her the false belief she is unworthy to be used by God. Deborah will take the reader along on her real-life journey from her early years when she became her mother’s caregiver, to the rocky years of caring for her severely disabled daughter, to the disappointment and trials of surviving an abusive marriage that left her broken and feeling worthless. But Deborah’s journey doesn’t stop there – through healing and coming to understand God’s unlimited love, Deborah discovered how He can use her despite her limitations and healed her from self-doubt. Discover your worth in God’s plan as Deborah delves into how women from the bible were all used by God, even while they were in Broken Places.

Dan Pelfrey, author of the Davis Morgan mysteries

Danny along with his wife, Wanda, is currently writing the Davis Morgan mystery series set in Adairsville, Georgia. He has also been active in the areas of inspiration and Georgia history. Danny is a member of the Georgia Writers Association and American Christian Fiction Writers. He once referred to himself as a preacher who did a little writing. Presently, he is a writer who does a little preaching.

 

The movie making business engulfing Georgia has finally made its way to the little foothill village of Adairsville. Bookseller and police chaplain, Davis Morgan, along with a young female clerk discover the body of a member of the movie company at the foot of a large oak tree. Davis, despite his promise to his wife, cannot resist an urge to investigate the mystery. He and his pal young policeman, Charley Nelson, quietly dig into the case even though it is officially under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. There is no shortage of suspects: the mysterious red headed man, the sister of the victim, the fiancée, the angry girl friend’s mother, and others. During the investigation an already troubled Charley is framed for a drug crime, and Davis receives word that an old enemy is on his way to Georgia after escaping from prison to make good a threat against him. Late one afternoon, it all comes to an astonishing conclusion beneath the same sprawling oak where it started.

 

Book Spotlight, Guest Post, + A Giveaway!: Made Like Martha by Katie M. Reid

12 Jul

An invitation for overachievers to discover what it means to rest as God’s daughters without compromising their God-given design as doers.

Though she didn’t sit at Jesus’s feet like her sister Mary, biblical Martha was loved just as she was — and you are too. This practical resource invites modern-day Marthas to sit down spiritually as they exchange try-hard striving for hope-filled freedom without abandoning their doer’s heart in the process. Doers need to be affirmed in their innate design to do rather than sit, yet also be reminded that they don’t have to overdo it in order to be worthy. This book is not an exhortation to add or subtract things off your to-do list, but it is an invitation to embrace the “good” of the Good News. Here is an offer to step into your position as a daughter of God and to enjoy life as a doer.

Katie M. Reid is an author, speaker, and singer who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at katiemreid.com. Her first book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done, released on July 10, 2018 (published by WaterBrook). Katie’s writing style is transparent, poetic, and reflective. She has published articles through: Focus on the Family, HuffPost, MOPS, LifeLines, iBelieve, and LightWorkers and is a contributor in Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond and the Five Minute Friday book. Her album, Echoes of My Heart, is also available for purchase. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Hot or iced tea and cut-to-the-chase conversations are a few of her favorite things.

 

Guest Post by Katie M. Reid

While we don’t know for sure, there is speculation that Martha and Mary, the famous sisters from Bethany (see Luke 10:38-42), were either orphaned (and not yet married), widowed (and not yet remarried), or a part of a celibate Jewish sect. (1)

Regardless, in Luke 10:40, it seems that Martha exhibited a mindset that is often associated with the orphan spirit, when she talks about feeling like she has been left alone to do the work. 

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

I don’t know about you, but as a women who identifies with Martha, I can relate to feeling like it’s all up to me to get things done. I can be resentful of others when they don’t help out in the way I think they should. Sometimes, I even get frustrated with God when He doesn’t show up in the way or timing that I think is best. 

Another characteristic of the orphan spirit (or the hired help mentality as I like to call it) is that you serve to earn the Father’s love. But the good news is that Jesus offers us grace — a gift to be received, not a prize to be earned. His love for us is settled on the cross, and it is not dependent on how many items we cross off our to-do list.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) 

Martha was designed to be a doer (which is a good thing) yet she did not have to work from a place of striving and anxiousness. And the same is true for us. Yes, there are good works prepared for us to do, but those works are not what make us worthy. 

We exchange our hired help mentality for a beloved daughter’s mentality, when we realize who we are in light of who God is: accepted, forgiven, and delighted in. Then, we serve — not from a place of striving and fret — but from a place of strength and peace; knowing that Jesus has not left us alone but adopted us forever. 

Learn how your soul can be at rest, even when your hands are busy, in Katie’s new book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done. A bonus 5-week bible study (for individuals and groups) is included. 

 (1) Source: https://margmowczko.com/martha-mary-and-lazarus-of-bethany/

 

Giveaway!

Thanks to Waterbrook, I have a copy of Made Like Martha to give away! Just leave a comment to enter. (US only.) The winner will be randomly selected July 19, 2018.

Blog Blitz — Enough of Me

19 May

Enough of Me blitz

Welcome to the Enough of Me blog blitz and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

enough of meTitle: Enough of Me: Winning the Tug-of-War Between Our Flesh and Our Mission, an 8-Week Bible Study
Author: Priscilla Peters
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: May 11, 2018
Genre: Christian, NonFiction, Bible Study

I’m living the dream in my fancy-pants world, and I’ve got the Instagram feed to prove it.

Who am I kidding? I’m literally holding it together with one more cup of coffee, yesterday’s dry shampoo, and a prayer.

So I finally said enough. Enough of me. I’m bidding farewell to chasing emptiness and exchanging it for more of Jesus.

If we agree with Paul in Acts 20:24 that our lives are worth nothing unless we use them for finishing the work of telling others the Good News – where are we in our quest to get busy for Jesus? In our world of hashtags, hair color, and having it all together, chances are we aren’t accomplishing much.

Enough of Me is an 8-week Bible study for women focused on what God’s Word has to say about the tug-of-war between our flesh and our mission. The study explores the barriers that stand between where we are today and where God wants to use us to finish His work.

Do you have a nagging in your heart for more purpose? Are you right smack dab in the middle of a tug-of-war between your flesh and your mission?

Often we want to live out the purpose and mission God has for us, but we’re too distracted, exhausted, and empty. Maybe it’s time to say enough to the excuses, anxiety, and interruptions that get in our way. Could it be we’re so busy chasing emptiness and playing the people-pleasing game, that we can’t find time to live on mission?

It’s time to take a deep breath and do some inventory. Let’s dig in and see what God’s Word has to say about this tug-of-war between our flesh and our mission. Let’s figure out ways to quit chasing emptiness and take bold steps of obedience. Let’s discover how we can glorify God and steer people to Jesus in our cubicles, at our dinner tables, in our mom-groups, and with people we encounter every day.

What would happen if we said Enough of Me . . . more Jesus.

PURCHASE A COPY: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

priscilla peters

Priscilla Peters is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a B.A. in Mass Communications and a Minor in Speech Communication. She has been married to her husband Coby for 10 years, and they have a blended family of six children. Priscilla is the Vice President of Marketing for the largest advertising agency in the transportation industry, and she’s been in the marketing and advertising business for 20 years. She serves as the Assistant Leader for the Real Women Ministry at That.Church in Sherwood, Arkansas. She speaks often, both in her professional career at industry conferences and trade shows, and at women s ministry speaking engagements. When Priscilla isn’t at the office working, speaking at Real Women events, or blogging, she is busy cheering on her Arkansas Razorbacks, chaperoning her daughter at her competitive dance events, and laughing way too loud about pretty much anything and everything.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

If we believe that God is good, that means we know for sure that we are good, because we were made in the image of God. 

Yes, we messed it up with our sin, but Jesus changed everything. 

My identity is in Christ, not in the identity of the woman I’m chasing after. God didn’t make us to chase after an identity we’re not. He made us in His image, for His Kingdom, to live out His purpose. 

If we know these things for sure, what the heck happened? When did we end up at our kitchen table weeping over hashtags, hair color and having it all together? 

It’s time to dig deep, pull ourselves out of the pit of emptiness, and walk in the identity of being made new in the goodness of God. 

Are you wedged between who you think you have to be and who you really are?  If yes, what are you striving and believing you have to earn, accomplish, complete, or be that is creating brokenness in your identity? Pray through your list individually, and ask God to remove each piece of brokenness from your identity and replace it with the truth of who you are in Him.

(from Week Six, Day One of Enough of Me Bible Study)


enough of me blitz giveaway

GIVEAWAY

Ambassador International is giving away:

Grand Prize: (1) print copy of Enough of Me (US Only)
PLUS 5 more winners will receive an ebook copy of Enough of Me (open internationally, except where prohibited by law)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 19, 2018 and last through 11:59pm May 26, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

tour schedule

LAUNCH @ JustRead

Book Reviews by Steph
Remembrancy
Bookworm Mama
Singing Librarian Books
The Fizzy Pop Collection
Edits and Reviews by Leslie
Maureen’s Musings
By the Book
Too Read or Not Too Read
Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting
robin’s nest
Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Reading Is My SuperPower

cropped-justread-logo.png

Book Review: Hymns of The Heart

3 Sep

UnknownGod is high and holy, but he is also near to his people. It can seem difficult at times for us to grasp how our King can also be our Friend. Perhaps no book of the Bible better demonstrates the desire to understand God than Psalms. Running the entire gamut of emotions, the writers of these great poems sought to draw near to God and both honor and know him. In doing so, they aid us in expressing our hearts and minds to God.

Hymns of the Heart walks the reader through 35 of these psalms, looking to the meaning of the original text while pointing to God’s majesty and glory. As you reflect on the Psalms, may your heart be drawn to the Lord and may you stand amazed at his love for his people.

 

Blog-picture-2013-1024x1024Adam Faughn was raised in the Heartland of America, and calls the “Show Me State” home. He graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, in 1999 with a B.A. in History. Upon graduation, he taught middle school social studies and also worked with the Church of Christ in Somerville, Tennessee as youth minister. He returned to FHU and received a Master of Ministry degree in 2003.

In 2001, Adam and Leah moved to Haleyville, Alabama, where Adam became the full-time youth minister for the 9th Avenue Church of Christ. He served there for just under 7 years, and then moved to Nashville to work with the Lebanon Road Church of Christ as the pulpit minister. In December 2014, Adam returned to Haleyville and began serving the 9th Avenue church of Christ again, this time in the role of pulpit minister.

In addition to regular ministry duties, Adam maintains this blog on a regular basis. Also, Adam enjoys writing, and has authored several books for Christians of all ages.
Adam is proud to have a family filled with Christians who serve as elders, preachers, Bible class teachers, and faithful servants in other roles. His goal in preaching is to help people combine the heart and the head in order to serve God.

My Impressions:

If you are looking for a deeper look into the heart of God, then consider studying the Psalms with Adam Faughn’s Hymns of the Heart. A good start for an individual Bible study, this book is sure to make you go deeper in your relationship with God.

Faughn explores 35 of the Psalms in detail — verse by verse — including commentary from Biblical scholars and analysis of the original meanings of words. Each chapter is less than 10 pages long, allowing for the reader to complete a study of each Psalm in a day or two. Faughn introduces each study with a story and then painstakingly works through the verses expounding on key words and phrases. While each section within the chapter looks at the complete verses, the book does not include the Psalms in their entirety. I wish that the book had included them at the beginning of each chapter, or if that was not possible, the verses included by themselves instead of within the text. This is certainly just a personal preference; I did have my Bible close by to use as a guide :). The book also does not include questions for personal reflection — it reads more like a lecture than a discussion — so I think this one is more for individual than group study.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to BookCrash for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Spotlight: The Fragrance of Crushed Violets + Giveaway!

26 Jun

Fragrance5.75x9aThe Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable

The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable is a companion Bible study booklet on forgiveness written to go along with the spiritual theme of the fifth Miller’s Creek novel, A Bridge Unbroken by Cathy Bryant. The book is designed to work for either individual or group study. A women’s Bible study group has been formed on Facebook, and will be studying the topic of forgiveness using this book beginning July 1, 2014. We would love to have you join us at LifeSword: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LifeSword/. We’d also love to have join a Facebook Book Chat about the book on Tuesday, June 17th from 6-7 p.m. MDT: https://www.facebook.com/events/744001765650524/

Book Description:
What do we do when a loved one, boss, co-worker, friend, or enemy seem determined to bring us down through an attack? How do we handle it when their assault is personal, public, deep, unjust, unfair, and unfounded? Take it one step further. How do we deal with meaningless acts of destruction and death, say in something similar to the Twin Towers incident or a school shooting, especially when the offender shows no remorse? Do we file it in our brains and rack it up to “one more senseless act” and chance to think that God somehow messed up?

In short, how do we move past the hurt and anger to a place of forgiveness?

Join us as we examine relevant scriptures about forgiveness and come away with a scriptural understanding of:

*what forgiveness is and what it isn’t

*God’s role in the process of forgiveness

*what Jesus did at the cross for each of us

*our mandate to forgive as we’ve been forgiven

*what gets in the way of forgiving others

*how to truly forgive

Quotes From the Book:
“Ultimate forgiveness can only be found in God, because all sin is ultimately against God.”

“Forgiveness isn’t natural; it’s supernatural.”

“…through forgiveness, we reveal to a watching world the perfect illustration of what Christ has done for each of us.”

Print Version Purchase Link

Kindle Version Purchase Link

New Author photoAbout the Author:
Cathy Bryant writes both Christian fiction and devotional materials. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books, and for various online devotional sites including her own website, www.CatBryant.com. The Fragrance of Crushed Violets is her first Bible study booklet.

Cathy’s standalone novels are set in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, Texas, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. Her debut novel, Texas Roads, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis contest finalist and has been on the Amazon Kindle Best-Seller list. Since then she’s added four other books to the Miller’s Creek novels, the latest one released in Spring 2014. Readers have compared her novels to those of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks and have called Miller’s Creek the Texas version of Mayberry.

A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. When she’s writing, you can find her rummaging through thrift stores, hiking through the wilderness, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she calls home.

 

Giveaway!

Cathy has graciously offered an ebook version of The Fragrance of Crushed Violets for one of my readers. Just leave me a comment to enter to win. The winner will be chosen on July 5th.

Book Giveaway: The Women of Christmas

7 Nov

I am so excited to offer 3 copies of Liz Curtis Higgs’ newest book, The Women of Christmas. Liz’s online Bible study featuring this book begins November 14. So from now until then you have a chance to win your own copy. Just leave me a comment to enter the giveaway. Please note: US addresses only. (Thanks so much to the publisher for this great opportunity. I will post a review of The Women of Christmas in a few weeks.)

425416God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All
 
A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. 

Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.

Review: This Means Love Bible Study

21 Aug

700972_w185Daily we are bombarded with need, tragedy, natural disasters, the desire to make a difference. A woman’s heart wants to help.to care.to reach out. The problem is knowing what to do or where to start.

This easy-to-use kit brings together the pieces needed to plan and execute service projects with a small group of women. Each kit contains plans for 12 projects designed to meet needs in many different areas; like helping the homeless, caring for widows and orphans, loving your neighbors, and other social issues. The project guides provide everything a leader needs: a supply list, devotion, complete instructions for each service activity, practical tips on how to implement each project. Plus, the kit includes a CD with reproducible items that will be used for various projects.

Each project is designed for women to execute simply.

Examples include:

  • Goodwill Goodie Bags to help the homeless
  • Comfort packages for grieving parents
  • Pumpkin goodies to bring to the elderly

The kit also includes one copy of the This Means Love Bible Study that walks women through what it means to serve, how it affects our faith and what the Bible says about serving others.

Great for small groups, friends-women of all ages who want to join together and spread love to those around them! Just add women and supplies!

My Impressions:

I love when Bible study moves out of the classroom and into real lives. This Means Love is a great way to achieve that. The kit includes a Bible study guide that encourages growth and outreach. Twelve service project guides list all of the things you need with tips for implementing service to the community including church families, neighbors, teachers, children and teens, and beyond. A CD with session helps, publicity resources and invitations helps get the word out and the ball rolling for a Bible study that will make a difference in the lives of the participants and those they reach out to. I am giving this kit to the Women’s Mission director in our church and look forward to participating with other sisters in the exciting ministry and service that will come out of this resource.

Highly Recommended.

(Thanks to B&B Media Group for this wonderful resource. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)