Tag Archives: devotional guide

Book Spotlight/Author Interview — There Is Hope

25 Jan

About The Book

Book: There Is Hope

Author: Carla Huelsmann

Genre: Journal, devotional, memoir

Release Date: August, 2018

52 life lessons for those struggling with major illness will inspire hope and encourage those suffering to take back control of their lives.

Carla Huelsmann dealt with the daily impact of seizures since age two. Her life-long battle with epilepsy impacted all parts of her life, family, career, self-confidence, and independence until corrective brain surgery ended the seizures. Free from the debilitating seizures and their accompanying residues of doubt and fear, Carla Huelsmann lives independently and shares her story to help others along their own journeys.

Part journal, part devotional, and part memoir, this is a book of hope, faith, and inspiration. The book addresses the fears, challenges, and questions about the future those going through a major illness, debilitating injury, or life crisis may have. Designed as a traveling companion for those facing challenging circumstances, each one-page entry is accompanied by blank space for the reader to journal his or her own thoughts and prayers.

My goal is to give hope, help, healing, and resources. I want to walk alongside others and assure them they are not alone; there is hope. — Carla Huelsmann

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Carla Huelsmann earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Illinois University, subsequently taught grades five through eight, and now works for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis, MO. The alumnus of a fiction-writing course at Southern Illinois University, and the CLASS Seminar with Marita and Florence Littauer, she is also the author of articles on her experiences, and is available to speak.

More from Carla

I want to inspire and equip others struggling with epilepsy or other major illnesses to take back control of their lives. Eighteen years after corrective surgery, I live a seizure-free life that I feel in control of. And, I want to share my story and lessons learned with others facing serious challenges. My goal is to give hope, help and healing and resources of helpful information in one book. I want to walk alongside them and assure them that they are not alone and there is hope!

I’ve dealt with seizures, epilepsy and their daily impact since the age of two. It has impacted my family, career, self-confidence, independence and much more. Through it all, family, friends and faith have provided bedrock sources of strength. In addition, timely interventions by doctors, new contacts, new techniques and self-discipline came at opportune times through perseverance.

Now free from the tunnel of doubt, fear and debilitating seizures, I’ve gathered up my collection of personal journals and thoughts in order to help others along their journey. “There Is Hope: Bloom Where You are Planted” is a devotional for someone going through major illness, major injury, or life crisis.

Author Q&A

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I realized I was a writer when I had brain surgery for seizures at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on November 7, 2000.    After I had the surgery and during the recovery process of six years, I saw the desire to write and journal and learned so much from reading scriptures and seeing the power of the word of the Lord Jesus Christ take over in my healing process.  Waking up in the middle of night to write when I used to sleep, and hearing from so many people that I should write a book or movie about all my setbacks in life confirmed that.   

Who encouraged you in your writing?

Dr. Gregory Cascino at the Mayo Clinic was my encouragement to write at my one year check in November 2001. The confirmation came when I was married and my husband told the Doctor at the Mayo Clinic that I wanted to write a book, and he told him you should let her because she is not supposed to be able to do that typically after the type of surgery she had . . . .

What obstacles did you face in your journey to publication?

I faced many obstacles in my writing – searching for where to go to learn about publishing, how to market the book, and how to find a publisher..  I realized it is up to the writer to do that. Market, market, market! Proving yourself as new writer is not easy.

Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I was a structured writer during my times as a school teacher. I wrote in the morning and after work from 7 pm – 10:30 pm every day for 9 months. I had a routine that If I didn’t have to work full time I could have a book written in 3 months. I want that back — I am single parent now and work full time. It is hard to get on the computer after work when I am on it all day.

What types of research did you pursue as you were writing this book?

I researched brain disorders and organizations specializing in those areas. I contacted doctors and patients and searched websites/organizaitons like the VA.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write my book when I had the surgery and the following counseling I received to learn how to rethink. After living my whole life with seizures, the medical setbacks I have had, and the struggle to learn, I wanted the stigma to be removed and be the person to put myself out in public to speak and write and help others overcome.

What would you like your readers to take away after finishing There Is Hope?

I want readers to take away from my book that there is a lifeline of hope, help, and healing, and that you are not alone. The Lord is my strength. I hope medical clinics, hospitals, and families will use it to save marriages and relationships, and that the VA will use it to help in small groups.

Readers always want to know what is up next for an author. Can you share about any works in progress?

I am in process of writing a novel. Title TBD.

Please tell us about yourself.

I have one daughter, and three brothers. I am Mary Kay consultant and work full time for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I like to walk, hike, exercise, and bike. I love camping, fishing, boating, and beach time. I enjoy traveling and meeting people. I also like baseball and sports. My family has a masonry company, and I love to design housing — I like to build things.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

janicesbookreviews, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 15

Older & Smarter?, January 16

Inklings and notions, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

For the Love of Literature, January 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 20

Through the Fire Blogs, January 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 23

Splashes of Joy, January 24

By The Book, January 25 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 25

God is Love, January 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Carla is giving away the grand prize of an autographed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Book Review + Giveaway!: Called To Inspire

6 Nov

Do you sense God prompting you to do something special with your life? Do you feel totally unprepared to answer his call?

Get ready for your heart to be emboldened and your faith strengthened! In CALLED to Inspire, Marsha DuCille, founder and publisher of CALLED magazine, leads you through a 52-question devotional experience to help you discover a rich, victorious life guided by God. With each weekly devotion, you’ll find compelling answers to life’s most significant questions. Each reading is accompanied by a powerful prayer, a meaningful verse to hide in your heart, a declaration to defend and fortify your faith, and journaling space to record your thoughts.

Let CALLED to Inspire encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and give you the strength and confidence to hear God’s calling in your life. Cling to this companion week after week ― and dare to render your answer.

Marsha DuCille is the founder and editorial director of CALLED Magazine, the largest North America-based publication for Christian women. Her “hobby turned global venture” reaches millions of women through a variety of multi-media platforms. She is also the creative director of CALLED Design, a print and digital solutions enterprise, and the chairman of The CALLED Project, a philanthropic arm that supports outreach efforts around the world. Marsha earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston University and a master’s degree in educational foundations, research, and policy from the University of Michigan.

 

My Impressions:

Called to Inspire is a unique tool for going deeper into God’s Word. Author Marcia Ducille shares 52 weeks worth of questions to get you thinking about what is important to you and what is important to God. Each devotional entry begins with a short essay related to the question at hand, such as How Big Is Your Army? and Who Has The Power? Referencing scripture, Ducille challenges the reader to think a little differently about priorities, attitudes, and motivations. The next two pages offer short prayers and thoughts and a prompt for journaling. In my opinion, the best way to utilize this book is to read the short passage shared by the author on day one, and then use the scripture reference to read the Bible passage(s) throughout the week, journaling as God reveals more and more. In this way, Called to Inspire will lead you on a one year journey to a closer walk with God.

Recommended.

Audience: women

(Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway!

Called to Inspire will be included in the Big Box of Books I am giving away for my 10 Year Blogiversary. Click HERE for the giveaway post.

 

Family Devotional Giveaway from New Growth Press!

3 Dec
For active families, reading the Bible together can feel overwhelming. However, family Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated! With just ten minutes a day, parents have enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known.

Start off the new year resolved to study the Bible together. New Growth Press has you covered and is giving away a family devotional package every family will want to win!

In this third and final Spirit of Giving giveaway of the Christmas season, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of family devotionals (retail value of $148 each). From December 3-8, you can enter to win one of family devotional boxes. 

Click HERE to enter.

Each gift box includes one copy of the following family devotionals written by Marty Machowski:
Children love stories, and the parables provide a wonderful opportunity to engage their imagination and help them understand and live out the good news of the kingdom of God. After teaching a parable, Jesus often said, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” In other words, “This is important, so you better listen up,” and what could be more important than the good news of the kingdom of God? This family devotional provides a unique opportunity for parents to help their children “listen up” and hear the gospel as Jesus himself shared it.
Wise Up is designed to connect the teaching of Proverbs to God’s larger story of salvation. Children will learn that Solomon’s wisdom, life, and failures all point to “something greater than Solomon”—they point to Jesus. The goal of this devotional is to present the wisdom of Proverbs against the backdrop of the gospel to show children that real wisdom comes only as we depend on Jesus for daily help and forgiveness.
Long Story Short guides families through the Old Testament stories and is designed to cultivate honest and powerful discussion about the Bible, which is the catalyst for change in children’s lives. Through 78 Old Testament stories, Long Story Short explains God’s plan of salvation through the Old Testament, focusing on the hero of Scripture and important biblical truths without being corny, confusing, or condescending.
Suited for children from preschool through high school, this gospel-focused book is full of ten-minute devotions to continue the gospel story that began in Long Story Short. The consistent and short structure helps children walk through the life-changing truths of the Christian faith in the New Testament—without overwhelming them. Through 78 New Testament stories, Old Story New does the hard work for moms and dads. Simple discussion questions (and answers!) for each day’s devotion help children understand and connect with Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and the birth of the Christian church.
This beautifully illustrated storybook captivates young readers with the heart of the gospel. The Gospel Story Bible points to Jesus, helping families and kids identify Christ as the hero of every story. While it’s easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities, Machowski reminds families of God’s plan of salvation in Christ, which is continually on display throughout the Bible. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short and Old Story New.

In addition to these books for the entire family, the winners will also receive a new book of devotionals just for parents, and New Growth Press’ latest parenting book.

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t. The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.
Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at https://newgrowthpress.com/ to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season (facebook.com/ngpbooks | twitter.com/newgrowthpress | instagram.com/newgrowthpress).

Book Spotlight: Advent to Advent: Readings for 2018

21 Nov

 

My friend Chrissie Tomlinson has created a great resource for you and your family this Christmas season. With devotional readings sharing thoughts from the past, Advent to Advent: Readings for 2018 focuses our attention on a changeless and timeless Christ. The guide has daily messages for personal reflection, plus tips and readings to celebrate with family on each Sunday during the season. In her introduction Chrissie says — Our days seem to move faster and faster, and sometimes we can feel that we might easily lose our footing. Taking the time during this season of the year to truly focus our hearts on our Savior, remembering with gladness that He will return for us very soon, can reinforce our hope and can fill our hearts and minds with His peace, His joy, and His love. (p. 5)

If you are looking for a way to really find the reason for the season, then definitely check out Advent to Advent.

 

Advent to Advent, includes readings for December 2-24, 2018, and applies the spiritual truths of Christmas by looking through the lens of history. It’s unique approach to the Season reinforces the truth that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Includes a special section for family Advent observances.

 

To purchase, click HERE

 

Dr. Chrissie Tomlinson is the author of the inspirational blog This Road Home. She resides in Perry, Georgia. For contact information visit: http://www.ThisRoadHome.com.

 

Review: Big And Little Coloring Devotional

3 Oct

Kids crave constant activities and attention. Adults crave quiet moments of refreshment. How can we achieve both? Big and Little Coloring Devotional engages adults’ minds with appealing biblical devotionals while providing a creative outlet through coloring to diffuse stress.

Let’s have fun with our children through coloring and facilitate their spiritual growth with Scripture. Big and Little Coloring Devotional will incorporate physical, spiritual, and emotional refreshment by providing authentic faith-filled devotionals combined with therapeutic doodling for both the adult and child.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Rachel C. Swanson is a dental hygienist turned best-selling author, speaker, and accredited christian life coach helping women discover their unique purpose and pursue their dreams. She inspires others through her blog, social media pages, in-person speaking events, and through her private high-level online coaching program.

She has published print, video, and online articles at FamilyShare (100+ million followers), Crosswalk, (In)Courage, QARA.org (leadership for millennials), Relevant Entrepreneur, MICI Magazine, Whole Magazine, and more. Her best-selling book, Big and Little Coloring Devotional, was birthed by her own struggle to keep it together as a busy mom of three children under two. Using the popular stress-relief coloring combined with Scripture for both adults and children to delight over, this has become “so much more than a coloring book.” She’s a rising speaker on popular topics such as pursuing your God-given purpose, modern motherhood, faith-based entrepreneurship, and overcoming anxiety.

Additionally, Rachel holds a Bachelors of science degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in pre-medicine from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo California. According to StrengthFinders testing her top 5 strengths are: learner, input, activator, intellection, futuristic. She also ranks an ENFJ, one of the rarer personality types and an ideal mix facilitating her creative entrepreneurial spirit.

Rachel is married to her husband Jeff of 11 years. They have three children: identical twin boys (Gavin and Rylan) and 19 months later a baby girl (Aria), and a Weimaraner (dog) who thinks she’s human. They reside in a wannabe country town in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.

Web/Blog: http://www.RachelCSwanson.com
Facebook: @Rachelswansonofficial
Instagram: @Rachelswansonofficial

Jacy Corral (pronounced “Jackie”) is an illustrator, hand lettering artist, graphic designer, wife, and mom. After enjoying an extensive career in corporate marketing and design, she traded fancy slacks for yoga pants to focus on the great privilege of raising her daughter, investing in her home and marriage, and creating artwork that helps people to connect and reflect. Jacy lives with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle in West Los Angeles, CA. She shares her creations regularly on Instagram and at http://www.hyssopdesign.com.

 

My Impressions:

While I have seen my share of adult and children’s coloring books, I have not seen one that combines both and can be be shared at the same time. The Big And Little Coloring Devotional does just that. It’s format allows the adult and child to face each other with compatible designs while allowing each to explore God’s word and work out their own creativity. Each two page spread includes a simple design with a Bible verse and a more complex design with devotional thoughts that expand on the scripture. Rachel Swanson has created the perfect way for mom and child to interact, have fun, and talk about the promises of God. And there are lots and lots of designs — this book will last a long time. The author shares how the book came about as she looked for ways to spend time with her daughter in prayer and Bible study. She says that the book is a creation orchestrated by the Creator Himself for you and your “little” to enjoy! Swanson has a hit on her hands as she combines God word, her devotional thoughts, and the beautiful designs of Jacy Corral. You are going to love it! Consider adding this one to your holiday shopping list.

Note: I reviewed this coloring devotional in a previous blog post. I haven’t changed my mind. It is still great!

Recommended.

Audience: parents and children

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Happy Release Day! — The Daily Question for You And Your Child

28 Aug

It’s release day for The Daily Question for You And Your Child. What a great resource to connect with your kids, to get them thinking, and to jumpstart conversations about God. Check it out!

A fun, thought-provoking 365-question guided journal and keepsake that sparks daily interaction with your child to create a memory book capturing your child’s life, personality, and faith journey.

This interactive prompted journal allows a parent to create a keepsake of three years of their child’s life. By answering each of the 365 questions together on the same date each year, readers will get a unique and precious picture into their child’s feelings, development, and personality. Some of the questions focus on spirituality and the child’s heart, while some are meant to capture their creativity, spirit, and sense of humor. All questions spark conversations and memories that span well beyond the pages of this book.

For more information or to purchase, click HERE.

 

Book Review: God’s Book of Proverbs

2 May

God’s Book of Proverbs includes the entire text of the book of Proverbs from the Bible arranged topically. This practical and helpful resource allows readers to quickly access and apply the wisdom and insights found in this sacred portion of Scripture. Also included is the article Connecting Wisdom to Jesus by Trevin Wax explaining how Jesus is the fount from which all wisdom flows.

The God’s Book of Proverbs features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.
 

My Impressions: 

As James 1:5 states, anyone wanting wisdom need only ask God. And isn’t it wonderful that God gave us an entire book in the Bible with nuggets of wisdom that fit any and all situation or circumstance that we could encounter? The folks at B&H Publishing have taken the scripture found in the book of Proverbs and arranged it topically in God’s Book of Proverbs. For use as a reference or word study, this book is divided into 60 topics including conflict, friendship, marriage, peace, and self-control. There is also an index at the back that helps a reader to find just what he or she is looking for. Useful for anyone who wants to discover the wisdom of God, I think God’s Book of Proverbs would be make an excellent gift for a new graduate too.

Recommended.

Audience: teens to adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women

24 Jan

Women are searching for wisdom beyond themselves, for discernment that makes God’s will and way clear for daily living. No books in Scripture hold more instruction for how to live according to divine wisdom than do Psalms and Proverbs, and these daily devotions mine their riches with choice, seasoned counsel. Blessed will be the woman who pursues this path to wisdom with passion and commitment.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Rhonda Harrington Kelley is the President’s Wife at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rhonda was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and was raised in New Orleans. She is married to Dr. Chuck Kelley of Beaumont, Texas who became President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1996. She received two college degrees from Baylor University and her doctorate in Special Education/Speech Pathology from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. Rhonda served as Director of Speech Pathology at Ochsner Medical Institutions in New Orleans for 15 years. She is now in full-time ministry–writing, speaking, and teaching.

Dorothy Kelley Patterson serves as professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The wife of President Paige Patterson, the mother of Armour and Carmen, and the doting grandmother of Abigail and Rebekah, she finds her duties as the First Lady of Southwestern to be challenging and fulfilling. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hardin-Simmons University, a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology (D.Theol.) from the University of South Africa. She and her husband have traveled in ministry to more than 135 countries.

 

My Impressions: 

With over 35 contributing authors sharing their hearts and their love for Jesus, The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women is the perfect resource to begin your quiet time with God. Co-editors Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Dorothy Kelley Patterson have compiled 366 devotionals for daily conversations with God. Each day begins with a passage of scripture from the Psalms or Proverbs with one key verse to meditate upon or memorize. Devotional thoughts about the scripture and its application in a woman’s life follow. A prayer prompt and space for journaling thoughts, insights, or prayer requests completes each day. A guide to read the Psalms and Proverbs through the year is an added supplement in the back of the book. I liked the well-thought out design of the book, the emphasis on what women find important (or need), and the firm foundation on God’s word. Each day is numbered, but not dated, so you can begin at any time. The only selection specific for a day of the year is Day 1 which focuses on New Year’s Day. But really isn’t any day you start spending time with God a New Year?!

So if your 2018 resolutions include spending more time with God, check out The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women.

Recommended.

Audience: women.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: 21 Days of Christmas (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional)

29 Nov

About the Book

Name of book: 21 Days of Christmas: A Fiction Lover’s Devotional

Author: Kathy Ide

Genre: Christian Fiction Devotional

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is a time to recapture the joy and wonder of God’s greatest gift: His Son, Jesus.

21 Days of Christmas will warm your heart with stories about giving, loving, and family. These engaging tales celebrate the hope and joy that make this blessed season unique. At the end of each story you’ll find an insightful message that will help you discover anew the true meaning of this special time of year. So grab a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, curl up in your favorite chair beside a picture window overlooking a serene spot, and savor the true meaning of Christmas through these inspirational and encouraging stories.

Click here to purchase your copy.


More About Kathy Ide

Kathy is the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (www.FictionDevo.com) and author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors (http://secretsofbestsellingauthors.com). She has also written numerous articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series.

She is also a full-time freelance editor, working with aspiring, new, and experienced authors as well as publishers.

Kathy speaks at writers’ conferences across the country.

She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).

For more about Kathy, visit http://www.KathyIde.com.

 

 

My Impressions:

For someone who loves a good story and is looking for a way to focus on the real reason for the season, 21 Days of Christmas (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional) is a perfect choice. This unique collection has 21 short stories ranging from contemporary to historical settings revolving around some aspect of Christmas. In Star Light, Star Bright the reader sees the momentous birth through the eyes of Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. In Camouflaged Christmas we see a young mother struggling to celebrate while her husband is deployed. And in The Last Ember we see a how a kind gesture speaks volumes to a despairing woman. And those are just a few of the wonderful tales shared by twenty-one different authors as they present their take on the real message of Christmas — hope, love, joy, and peace through the birth of the Savior. I liked that all the characters in the various stories were real and relatable, with struggles and doubts, hopes and dreams, just like you and me. At the end of each story a short Life Application is shared making each relevant for the reader. 21 Days of Christmas will make the perfect pre-Christmas gift for the bookworm in your life. Or pick a copy up for yourself and kickstart your day by focusing on what is truly important this Christmas.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Guest Post from Kathy Ide

Looking for a great Christmas gift for friends and family who love fiction … or devotionals? You can give them both in one book!

21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is book two in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. It’s a collection of 21 fiction stories, each written by a different author—including well-known novelists such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Joanne Bischof, Jan Cline, and Lynn Kinnaman. Some stories are about the first Christmas, when Mary and Joseph brought God’s Son into the world. Others are about how we celebrate that history-changing event today. Each story is followed by a brief Life Application written by the author of that story.

The first chapter starts out with an amusing tale of a modern-day couple in the front seat of a car, on Christmas Eve, traveling to see relatives for the holiday. They’re griping about the hassles of the season, and hollering at the the kids, who are playing with the foil on Mom’s Jell-O salad in the backseat. Then we break from that to a scene of Mary and Joseph entering Bethlehem, about to bring God’s Son into the world. It contrasts the modern-day wife, not wanting to go into a sleazy diner because it’s the only place open on Christmas Eve, with Mary hesitating to go into a smelly barnyard to give birth. When the modern-day couple decide to tell their children the Christmas story—complete with snow and a little drummer boy—the contrasts become both highly funny and very poignant.

I wrote one of the chapters in the book. It’s about the first Christmas, from the perspective of Joseph. What he must have thought and felt when Mary was giving birth to Jesus, knowing that he had been personally given the divine responsibility to teach God’s Son about God. Based on the Old Testament teachings he’d been raised with, what did Joseph think Jesus would be like when He was born, and how did reality clash with those expectations?

This book makes a great gift for family and friends, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, and a ribbon page marker. With stories about the Nativity as well as tales of modern-day people celebrating that event, almost anyone would enjoy receiving a copy and reading it—even those who don’t believe in Christ as their Savior. It’s small enough to be a stocking stuffer (or tucked into the pocket of a Christmas-themed pot holder!) and inexpensive enough to be a practical gift for those people you’re not sure will reciprocate, or who may feel uncomfortable if they didn’t get you anything.

This devotional would also be ideal to incorporate into an individual’s or a family’s advent celebration, reading one chapter a day during the three weeks leading up to Christmas.

Each chapter takes only about ten minutes to read, which makes it ideal for the hectic holiday season. And since each chapter stands alone, it doesn’t matter whether you read one or two stories, half the book, or the whole thing.

Other books in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series are:

21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love

21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships

21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood

 

 

Blog Stops

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 22

Blossoms and Blessings, November 23

Carpe Diem, November 23

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 24

Multifarious, November 25

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

A Greater Yes, November 26

Lane Hill House, November 26

Texas Book -aholic, November 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 28

By The Book, November 29

Seasons of Opportunities, November 29

Mary Hake, November 30

Have A Wonderful Day, December 1

Remebrancy, December 2

God’s Little Bookworm, December 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a set of 21 days devotional books!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c3c2

Book Review: Big And Little Coloring Devotional

8 Nov

Kids crave constant activities and attention. Adults crave quiet moments of refreshment. How can we achieve both? Big and Little Coloring Devotional engages adults’ minds with appealing biblical devotionals while providing a creative outlet through coloring to diffuse stress.

Let’s have fun with our children through coloring and facilitate their spiritual growth with Scripture. Big and Little Coloring Devotional will incorporate physical, spiritual, and emotional refreshment by providing authentic faith-filled devotionals combined with therapeutic doodling for both the adult and child.

 

 

Rachel Swanson is a dental hygienist turned author, speaker, and accredited christian life coach helping women discover their unique purpose and pursue their dreams. She inspires others by sharing personal real life refining moments with relatable truths on her blog, social media pages, in-person speaking events, and through her high-level online coaching program.

Rachel is married to her husband Jeff of 10 years. They have three children: identical twin boys (Gavin and Rylan) and 19 months later a baby girl (Aria). They reside in a wannabe country town in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.

Web/Blog: http://www.RachelCSwanson.com
Facebook: @Rachelswansonofficial
Instagram: @Rachelswansonofficial

Jacy Corral (pronounced “Jackie”) is an illustrator, hand lettering artist, graphic designer, wife, and mom. After enjoying an extensive career in corporate marketing and design, she traded fancy slacks for yoga pants to focus on the great privilege of raising her daughter, investing in her home and marriage, and creating artwork that helps people to connect and reflect. Jacy lives with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle in West Los Angeles, CA. She shares her creations regularly on Instagram and at http://www.hyssopdesign.com.

 

 

My Impressions:

While I have seen my share of adult and children’s coloring books, I have not seen one that combines both and can be be shared at the same time. The Big And Little Coloring Devotional does just that. It’s format allows the adult and child to face each other with compatible designs while allowing each to explore God’s word and work out their own creativity. Each two page spread includes a simple design with a Bible verse and a more complex design with devotional thoughts that expand on the scripture. Rachel Swanson has created the perfect way for mom and child to interact, have fun, and talk about the promises of God. And there are lots and lots of designs — this book will last a long time. The author shares how the book came about as she looked for ways to spend time with her daughter in prayer and Bible study. She says that the book is a creation orchestrated by the Creator Himself for you and your “little” to enjoy! Swanson has a hit on her hands as she combines God word, her devotional thoughts, and the beautiful designs of Jacy Corral. You are going to love it! Consider adding this one to your holiday shopping list.

Recommended.

Audience: parents and children

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)