Holy Stable: Celebrate the Miracle

ABOUT THE BOOKHoly Stable: Celebrate the Miracle, restores the tender joys of the season! Discover how sharing the gift of Jesus’ love blesses relationships, as you enjoy the magic of children’s narration, original music and song. Mary and Joseph’s devotion to God and sublime caring for each other will bring you to experience the story of Baby Jesus’ birth as never before.
Holy Stable is more than just a Christmas “play”! It has everything an actual pageant has and is a perfect highlight to our Christmas season!
Holy Stable brings about inspired memories, the play adapts for a few participants or a larger group and for use with or without your own vocal talent. Harp, wooden flute and violin instrumentals come with and without vocals and narration and are coordinated with the innovative script, including tips, which are offered to you as a downloadable bonus gift at www.holystable.com.

Holy Stable: Celebrate the Miracle includes a beautiful booklet and CD.  I am listening to the CD as I am typing this.  It is peaceful and reflective.  The narration is clear and the child's voice is heartwarming.  It would make a beautiful Christmas play/pageant, and if my Sunday school class were just a little older, I'd try to do the actual play.  As it is, I am planning on playing the CD/story for them as a special treat closer to Christmas.  The book is gorgeous with wonderful illustrations and a poetic retelling of the birth of Christ, including poem and song.  It would make a great addition to your personal Christmas collection and to a church library.  My family and I enjoyed it, and I'm sure yours would as well.  
I received a complimentary copy of the book and CD from Heidi Hanseen and Mediaguests in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you!


Names of God Bible

I firmly believe in the premise for this type of Bible.  Everyday we need to strive to know God better.  A great way to do that is to study His name, make each one real to us.  This Bible is a great tool in doing just that. There is some great information included, but I have to explain that I have been a little bit spoiled when it comes to the names of God.  Our last pastor did a series every year about God's names and encouraged us to individually choose a name each year to study and embrace, to know Him intimately as Father, Provider, Shepherd, Refuge, Healer, etc...

Here is a list on his prayer website with around 600 names of Jesus and some related scriptures.

That being said, I was slightly disappointed with this Bible because it only addresses about 70 names.  Also, throughout the text, the English names are replaced with the Hebrew and/or Aramaic names.  This was slightly distracting because I did not know the meaning of all of the names by heart, so I would have to leaf back to the list of names and find the meaning before continuing with my reading.  The Bible is written in God's Word Translation which is very readable, but it may not be the best version for in depth study.

I do like the special features associated with the names though.  These special features include an alphabetical list of the names and a list of Hebrew and Aramaic names; reading paths--to give you the next reference with that name for studying a particular name and an index with scripture references associated with each name; introductions to each book of the Bible including a list of key names in the book; name pages--with history of name, a devotional, and a prayer associated with the name; and a topical prayer guide to help pray for specific needs using His names.

One of my favorite features are the name pages.  Each one provides a wonderful short devotional on a specific name, with interesting information about the name, promises associated with the name, a story to make it more relevant, and a suggested prayer.
I also like the prayer guide and how it associates different Names of God with common prayer requests.
I have not chosen the name of Jesus that I am going to focus on this year, but when I do I plan to use this Bible as one tool for my study.  I believe there is great insight to be taken from it.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

The Brotherhood:A Precinct 11 Novel

To be honest, I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did. It seems to be quite a guy book.  In it, Boone Drake is a officer of the Chicago Police.  He has a beautiful wife and loving son.  His dreams are coming true, but then disaster hits.  He struggles with a reason for living.  After losing so much, only his career matters until that is threatened as well.  Through desperate prayers and the ministry of the local pastor, Boone seeks solace in his faith--faith that had lacked passion in the past.  Currently, God continues to show Himself to Boone and Boone lands a new assignment that can only be from the Lord.

The horror at the beginning of this book left me sobbing-to put it lightly.  The hope that Boone Drake finds then lightened my heart.  His spiritual journey is realistic and transforming.  Many of the secondary characters touched my heart as well, and I actually would have liked to know more about them.  This is the first of a trilogy of "Precinct 11" novels, which is promising.  It makes a great series.  The Brotherhood is a fast-paced story including suspense, spiritual growth, discipleship, and a little romance.  It is easy to read with descriptive language and I would recommend it.


BOOK REVIEW: The House of Hope

About The House of HopeOne couple’s powerful ministry to some of China’s most vulnerable children

Robin and Joyce Hill lived in a gated community in Beijing. Their family’s life was marked by luxury and the security of Robin's job as an engineer. Then one day, as members of their church, they had a chance to tour a state-run orphanage. Haunted by the needs of the children they saw there, for thenext four years they tried to help the institute in meaningful ways.

In 1998 the Hills planned to leave China, but instead felt a sudden call from God on their lives. They left their gated community--reserved for only non-Chinese residents--moved their family into a small apartment miles outside of Beijing and immediately began to take in foster children.

They took in any child, but especially those that needed extra care—terminally ill children that couldn't receive care elsewhere, and those that needed complicated and expensive surgeries that the Hills soon began to coordinate and sometimes pay for out of their own savings.

What began as Hope Foster Home is now New Hope Foundation. As they continue their work, theHills enjoy support from major corporations and high-profile philanthropists as well as the trust of theChinese authorities. The Hills' story is an inspiring example of God's care and provision for those whom society does not value. Learn more about Hope Foster Homes here:http://www.hopefosterhome.com.

What an amazing book!  It was wonderful to hear about how God has led Robin and Joyce Hill from the beginning: how he has provided for them and walked with them through it all.  It is like a present day George Mueller story.  This book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world! (John 16:33)"  Many of the orphans in the book came from seemingly hopeless situations and the Hills (through God's strength and leading) were able to bring hope to them.  Not only did they touch the lives of countless orphans, but the community around them were also moved and many became involved.  You can visit their website here.  I strongly encourage you to read this book and buy it for your friends.  You will be inspired and awed.  I also encourage you to pray for the New Hope Foundation--for the orphans, for the workers, for all the organizations and doctors who help, and for the communities that surround them.  

100% of the proceed of this book go to fund the work of Hope Foster Home.  You can purchase it through their website.

The publisher is sponsoring a $50 "GET / GIVE" GIVEAWAY: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate for themselves AND $50 will be given in the winner's name to HopeFoster Home. The giveaway is open to both you and your blog readers.

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #HFH) about The House of Hope or share about it on Facebook!
If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use #HFH. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com). Easy. 

(All Litfuse bloggers who post a review are automatically entered and do NOT need to email us.)
Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:
TWEET THIS:  Couple gives all to rescue babies in China! 100% proceeds go to #HopeFosterHomehttp://ow.ly/7qR3e RT 4 $50 to @amazon & $50 to #HFH

(must use hashtage #HFH to be entered)
FACEBOOK THIS: The House of Hope: One couple abandons a comfortable life to rescue abandoned children. Robin and Joyce Hill have helped over 1300 Chinese orphans with severe medical problems. Purchase a copy for everyone you know - the book is a gift that gives a gift. 100% proceeds to help support the work at Hope Foster Home! Learn more here: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13438821 Share this for a chance to get a $50 Amazon.com GC and $50 in your name to Hope Foster Home! Click For Details.

All of the pictures have been taken from the New Hope Foundation Website. I received a free review copy in exchange for my honest review...but I am planning on buying a copy for at least one friend!!


Thanksgiving Thanks

Today I give thanks to our Maker, the author and finisher of our faith.  I thank and praise Him for all that He is and all that He does and all that He has given me.
I give thanks for:
100.  pizza
101.  baby food
102.  rain
103.  sanctification
104.  wisdom
105.  and understanding
106.  missionaries around the world testifying about the Risen Lord
107.  Camp Sequanota (where Martin and I met)
108.  sweet memories
109.  my loved ones who are no longer able to share holidays with us...looking forward to celebrating eternity with them!
110.  libraries
111.  panda bears
112.  happy children
113.  dancing
114.  holidays with family
115.  crisp autumn days
116.  obedience
117.  technology to keep in touch with loved ones far away
118.  Thanksgiving dinner
119.  pies
120.  fudge
121.  email prayer reminders

The Home of Thankful Thursday is Grace Alone...
It is hosted this month by Women Taking a Stand

I've also linked up with One Thousand Gifts.


FIRST: Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the books:

David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)

David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. She and her husband founded Calvary Church of Albuquerque—one of the fastest-growing churches worldwide. She is the author of Holy Moments: Recognizing God’s Fingerprints on Your Life and also contributed to the best-selling New Women’s Devotional Bible. Heitzig serves as Executive Director of She Ministries of Albuquerque, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. She and her husband Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Penny Rose is the award-winning author of numerous books. Penny thrives on teaching at conferences and retreats nationwide. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Kerry, a pastor at Calvary of Albuquerque.

Visit the authors' website.


The Fresh Life series was created for women who crave a profound experience of God’s Word without an overwhelming time commitment. Bible teachers Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose challenge readers to dig deep into Scripture by using a directed study method that only requires twenty minutes a day. With a fresh approach to studying Scripture that gives newcomers as well as seasoned students deep insight into God’s Word, the latest two additions in the series explore the life of Moses and the riches in the book of Ephesians.

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses (Heitzig) is an engaging Bible study on the life of Moses. He was saved from death on the Nile and raised as an Egyptian prince. He met his wife at a Midianite well, witnessed the birth of a nation as the Red Sea parted and watched water gush from a rock with one touch of his rod. He died overlooking the Jordan River. Through viewing the water moments of Moses’ life, readers will be encouraged to consider the moments in their own lives that shape who they are and who they are becoming.

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Heitzig and Rose) challenges readers to dig deep into the book of Ephesians to find the spiritual treasure God has for them. The book of Ephesians is God’s “last will and testament” that bequeaths his spiritual treasures to His beloved children. Covering topics such as living in God’s will and receiving peace no matter the circumstances, it reveals the magnitude of every Christian’s inheritance—a gift “exceedingly abundantly above” what you could ever ask for.

The Fresh Life series teaches readers to:
·         Lift up...a prayer
·         Look at…God’s Word (answering questions concerning what the passage says)
·         Learn about…what the passage means (sidebars define words and profice background information)
·         Live out…what they have learned (personalizing the text and learning how it can impact their daily life)
·         Listen to…quotes from well-known figures to build on the truths uncovered in Scripture

Readers will develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord and walk away feeling inspired to move forward in their walks of faith. Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively continue the rich biblical tradition of the Fresh Life series. They offer wisdom that will leave readers encouraged in their present situations and hopeful for the spiritual journey ahead.

Product Details:

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781405939
ISBN-13: 978-0781405935

Product Details:

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434703304
ISBN-13: 978-1434703309

My Thoughts:

I have skimmed through both of these and started working through Live Abundantly.  I love what I've done so far.  These books provide a wonderful way to delve into the scriptures.  Combining prayer, reading His Word, studying it, and applying each scripture to daily living, these books add excitement to daily Bible study.  These are powerful studies, and I look forward to continuing to work through the books.  I am planning on buying more of the series as well.  A friend of mine just bought the Joshua study, Live Fearlessly.  My thanks to Litfuse for providing my review copies in exchange for my honest review.  As I finish the study I plan to post an update!

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER My Thoughts: (Click on images to expand):

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Click on images to expand)


My Salon Doll: Christmas Giveaway

My Salon Doll is no typical 18" doll.  It is the first and original doll with real hair, so you can curl and style it any way you like.  The doll is vinyl so it can take a real bath.  There are currently 3 girls to choose from: Brynn, Malaree, and Kendrey.  My daughter has been asking about American Dolls this year, so I just know that she would love these dolls.  I know I would enjoy them too--I can just imagine teaching her how to style the hair and trying new things.  

My Salon Doll is hosting a Christmas giveaway.
Enter to win a your very own, MY SALON DOLL.
The First and Original Doll with Real Hair.

TO PARTICIPATE: For a chance to win you must complete the following three (3) steps below between November 7, 2011 and December 15, 2011 to qualify;
Step 1: Visit www.mysalondoll.com and get to know the three different dolls: Brynn, Malaree, and Kendrey. Then decide if chosen, which doll you’d like to win.
Step 2: Send an email to contest@mysalondoll.com with your first name, last name, email address, doll of your choice, and share where you heard about the contest.
Step 3: “Like” the My Salon Doll Facebook page

CONTEST DATES: The contest will be active from November 1, 2011 through December 15, 2011.
GIVEAWAY RULES: Open to USA and Canadian residents, age 18+ to enter, one entry per household. Winner announced on Facebook on December 16, 2011. No purchase necessary. Thanks for entering and good luck! Winner selected through random.org and notified by email.
Blog, Tweet or Share on Facebook about the giveaway and be entered twice in the contest. Make sure you leave a message on the My Salon Doll facebook page letting us know that you’ve done this.


FIRST: Truth Tats

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card is developed by:

and the Advent idea:

B&H Publishing Group
***Special thanks to Susan Otis of Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Truth Tats:  The Christmas Story
Celebrating the Season of Advent with Truth Tats

Designed just for the season, Christmas Truth Tats present a new way of telling the story of Christ’s birth.  Truth Tats are temporarily on your skin, permanently on your heart.

This is a five week program leading up to Christmas day, each packet of Truth Tats includes a family devotional booklet that kicks off each memory scripture of the week.  The twenty accompanying Scripture tattoos are a visual way to continually applying and memorize God’s word.  Each week opens with a set of four identical Scripture tattoo designs so that each family member can have his or her own tattoo!  Week two, there is a new Scripture for memorization and four new tattoo designs, again identical designs so each person is memorizing the same Scripture.

For over 1,000 years Christians worldwide have been celebrating Advent, a time of spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.  The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming toward”.  So it is entirely appropriate that the four weeks prior to Christmas we will be preparing our hearts for His Advent.

Truth Tats are a unique way to celebrate the season as well as to “show and tell” God’s word to others.  This is ideal for the classroom, family devotion time, and in personal Scripture memorization

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Language: English

My Thoughts:
Advent actually has not started yet, so we haven't used any of the tattoos, but we are very excited to start.
I think this is a creative idea that will definitely generate conversation and encourage Scripture memorization.  I read through the devotionals and look forward to sharing them with my family.  My kids checked out the tattoos and cannot wait to get started.  They are nice-looking and easy to use.  There is a new set coming out on December 1, that is a 13 week series.  I think they are a great tool for memorizing and studying the Word. Be sure to check out the website.  I received the Christmas TruthTats free in exchange for my honest review.

AND NOW...WEEK ONE OF ADVENT (Click on pictures to enlarge):