Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blogging at Christian Children's Authors

Even though it isn't my regularly scheduled day, I am blogging at Christian Children's Authors. You'll find my review of the middle grade adventure story, Saving Samuel, at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2014/09/30/book-review-saving-samuel-by-doane-edwards/

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness by Jim Greene

Title of Book # 1: Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness

ISBN:  978-1-105-46980-0
Genre: Spiritual Maturity, Christianity, Discipleship Training
Publisher: LuLu Enterprises, Inc.
Publication Date: 2005, 2011

Just like there are specific physical exercises that are good for physical conditioning, there are specific spiritual exercises that are good, in fact, essential for our spiritual conditioning and growth. If you want to grow spiritually, you have to do spiritual exercises. (1Timothy 4:8)

This book looks to Jesus for “duplicate-able” activities for the model for our growth. For years Christian writers have identified specific activities regularly evidenced in his earthly life and called them Spiritual or Christian Disciplines. I believe that if it was useful for Jesus to be disciplined in his worship and praise to God, then it is useful for us as well. Further, I believe that the inclusion of Christian Disciplines in our lives, or what I call the Disciplined Training Approach places us in obedient submission to God and that is where we are supposed to be. 

Book excerpt:

God has outlined a plan for living that when followed will bring us into a closer fellowship with Him. All the treasure in the world will not purchase it, but God will provide it for free to whosoever really wants it. No matter how worthless you may think you are, you can become one of the greatest treasures in the world.  You can become the person God wants you to be, equipped with all the supernatural power for the Kingdom work He wants you to do!  

Simply put, if you hear what God tells you, trust that He will not lead you astray and do what you’re told to do, you will experience the peace God planned for you. More than that, the consequences of ignoring God can be anxiety, frustration, depression and even eternal separation from Him.

People, however, are not simple.  In fact, we go to great lengths to take something simple and complicate it.  Our relationship with God should be personal, based on the time we spend with Him.  We can’t manufacture a relationship with Him, but we can come to know him based on our personal experiences.

If you want to be blessed, comforted or reassured in a small way, then exercise a small amount of faith.  If however, you need your life changed… it may take more. It starts with regular prayer, regular meditation and regular listening. It continues when we do things outside our comfort zone and that’s exactly where faith begins.

Your life will change when you realize God’s ability
zone is greater than your comfort zone.

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Title of Book #2   God’s Answer, Praying the Scriptures Back to God

God gave us the Bible as a constant reminder of His love and plan for us. More than a historical document, it is truly alive. As we read His Word and become heart-linked with Him, a supernatural transformation begins to take place in us.  God’s Word is alive and we can’t comprehend it all at once. That explains why you can read a passage several times over weeks or months and receive a different message from the same verses.
God gave us prayer as an avenue or vehicle that He designed for us so we could be in constant communication with Him. God’s Answer seeks to bring you to His Throne of Grace, where prayers are answered, (Hebrews 4:16) so that you can claim the promises God makes about today’s problems. That’s a tall order, so let’s look at what He said about prayer in His Living Word, the Bible.

Several times He promises us that He will hear and in fact, answer our prayers. It would be great to think that we always get what we want or that we could just name it and claim it, but that simply is not the case. What we can claim is the promises God makes and we will be exploring those. Let’s examine a few passages and see what they reveal beyond God hearing us and answering our prayers.
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Title of Book #3        A Place of Faith, When There is No Place Else to Go

What or where is the place of faith?  Is it a physical location? No, it is where we are when we step out into the unknown in a blind, yet obedient faith because that is all we have left.  Our Christian vocabulary is filled with ideas, quotes and even promises from God that are meant for comfort and reassurance. As real as God’s Word is, what happens when all has been recalled and rehearsed and we still find ourselves alone at the place of faith. A Place of Faith defines faith from a real and practical viewpoint, then develops it’s progression from a measure of faith, to a step and then a leap of faith.  Most importantly, time is spent on the Enemy of Faith and the Trial of Faith and finally, The Results of Faith. Each chapter concludes with a hymn that reinforces the points made in the chapter and a few reflection questions.

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Title of Book #4  Living on the Dark Side of Faith

While faith has two sides, they are both sides of the same thing. The word faith cannot be substituted for the word belief or theology. It is more than a collection of thoughts about religion. It is more than simply believing in the existence of God, the demons in Hell do that. The faith we speak of is in God and how, though we may not see how, He will provide for His beloved. The faith we have is certain; it is the evidence of things to come. It begins with a measure and increases with experience and that often means a trial or test of our faith.

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About the author:

Jim Greene makes his home in Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. An avid backpacker, his countless hours in the outdoors have often blessed him with many topics to write about.
As a layman Sunday School teacher, he challenges himself and his class to strive for and enjoy a closer relationship with God. Each of his books look to God as the ultimate authority in our lives. He is the author of Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness, God’s Answer, A Place of Faith, When There is Nowhere Else to Go, and Living on the Dark Side of Faith. His next book is entitled, When Waiting isn’t Working.
Jim feels God speaks to him personally through journaling and his books primarily came to answer a question in his life. They may just help you too.

Pump Up Your Book and Jim are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
§  By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
§  One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
§  This giveaway begins September 2 and ends on September 26, 2014.
§  Winner will be contacted via email on October 1, 2014.
§  Winner has 72 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness Book Blitz Schedule

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September 26

Friday, September 12, 2014

VeggieTales Movie: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything DVD

Our Sunday school kids loved this one. We have a diverse age group, but there was something for everyone: a bit of action, a bit of humor, and a great message behind it all.

The VeggieTales gang goes on a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas! Larry the Cucumber, Mr. Lunt, and Pa Grape star as Elliot, Sedgwick, and George--the loveable Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Working as busboys at the Pieces of Ate Dinner Theater, our three heroes dream of doing something big, like starring in the show. Their wish is granted in a very unexpected way when a mysterious orb transports them to a faraway time and place where they help a brave princess rescue her brother from pirates and become the most unlikely heroes! Includes approximately 90 minutes of bonus features.

Format: DVD
Vendor: Big Idea
UPC: 025193240729
Ages: 4-14
Available from CBD

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Christmas Play Resource: Five Little Christmas Dramas for Today's Kids by Timothy Ayers

Five Little Christmas Dramas for Today's Kids removes the stress for anyone producing a children's Christmas play! While pasturing a small church, Timothy Ayers developed easy-to-act scenes with simple sets and dramas that empower children with roles and themes that reflect their day-to-day lives. The result is a collection of five plays that emphasize the true meaning of Christmas is found in Christ, that empower children to tell the story, and that enables leaders to effectively work with children, particularly in small churches. Two play titles include: A Dress Rehearsal for Christmas and The "I Hate Christmas" Club.

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 66
Vendor: CSS Publishing
Publication Date: July 2014
ISBN: 0788027956
ISBN-13: 9780788027956
Available from CBD

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Spotlight: 6-Minute Messages for Children by Donald Hinchey

Captivate children's minds and hearts while teaching unforgettable lessons about Knowing God, Following Jesus, and Life Together as the church. Each talk uses simple, meaningful words even very young children understand while keeping the interest of older children. You'll teach as Jesus did - using common, everyday objects to help children know God, follow Christ, and to love one another as they learn to apply the Bible to their daily lives.

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 95
Vendor: Group Publishing
Publication Date: 1993
ISBN: 155945170X
ISBN-13: 9781559451703
Available from CBD

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Scripture Memory Game by Twin Sisters Productions

Learning Scripture has never been so fun! Featuring 50 trivia cards with 2 levels (easy and hard), 1-6 players can test their Scripture knowledge, while learning and memorizing as they go. Excellent for use at home, in church, Sunday School, and more! Recommended for ages 5+.

Vendor: Twin Sisters Productions
Dimensions: 5.0 X 3.75 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781630587925
UPC: 609675587924
Ages: 5-12
Available from CBD

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Spotlight: Bible Memory Plan for Kids by Pamela L. McQuade

Now that back to school season is here, the church is looking to bolster its Sunday school program. I kind of take a break with my teaching over the summer, since the kids are also ready for some easier stuff. Usually that means simpler lessons or games that review what we've learned over the past session. I'll be featuring some children's ministry resources over the next couple of weeks. These aren't resources I've necessarily used in the past, but they are ones that caught my eye.

Parents and teachers, help your kids memorize Scripture! Offering 52 key verses, this indispensable guide features full text in three versions---including the KJV, NIV, and NLT---brief devotional insights, and memorization tips. McQuade provides the impetus, structure, and encouragement your children need to begin the lifelong habit of writing God's Word on their hearts.

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Barbour Value Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 1624161472
ISBN-13: 9781624161476
Available 9/15/14 from CBD