Pre-Order the God Dare by Kate Battistelli (Pre-Order Bonuses)

 

The God Dare Bonuses

Get Your Pre-order Bonuses before June 1st

Hey Everyone- Can I just tell you I am over the moon excited by Kate Battistelli’s new book The God Dare which launches June 1st!  That’s right THIS SATURDAY! So if you pre-order by June 1st then you are eligible for an amazing bonus bundle. But more on that I a minute.

I have been a part of this launch team for the last six weeks and can I just tell you it has been so much fun being a part of this book birthday!

Are you ready for the Dare?  aka about this book!

God has called us to something….whether we like it or not.  sometimes those things look really scary- ok if we are really honest most times that is the case. Is this book Kate asks some hard questions about our willingness to go where God has called us to go or do what God has called us to do.  I just love it when Authors pair people from the Bible who have been in similar shoes to my own and kate has done just that.  I have found myself in the shoes of Esther- do I keep my mouth shut, or speak out for justice?  I have traveled with Abram and Ruth when I have left all that I know and love to follow where God leads and I can tell you right now that each of these instances.   Sometimes it is just making an unpopular decision that may look like you are absolutely off your rocker to the rest of the world around you.  The question Kate asks is Are You Willing? and If no why not?

Each chapter concludes with soul searching questions that dig deep into where or what God is calling you to.

Who is this book for?

EVERYONE, No seriously are you confused about where God wants you?  Or is He REALLY calling me to do THAT?  How about a hard situation that seems above our understanding and we are left on our knees asking what now or why or how?  And if you aren’t in any of those places I promise you are heading there.  And when you get there this book offers a HUGE blessing and that blessing is perspective.  And many times perspective changes many things especially hearts!

SO what about this bonus bundle you mentioned?

So if your order your copy of the God Dare before June 1st- then you can claim your free bonus bundle.

Here’s what is in the bundle-

– Companion Small Group Book or Bible Study PDF
– “Those Who Take the God Dare” printable PDF
– “The God Dare Secrets” printable PDF
– “Backstage behind-the-scenes” video discussing how The God Dare  came to be

Here’s how to claim your bonus bundle.

Step 1:  Order the book from your favorite retailer

Step 2: Visit www.katebattistelli.com/god-dare/ and fill out the form that pops up after you click on the “preorder bonuses” button

Step 3:  Watch for my email containing your bonus bundle to arrive after June 1st!

Here is the Amazon link (this is NOT an affiliate link)

And one more thing:

And don’t forget when you get your book don’t forget to either screenshot the cover on your device or snap a picture of your physical copy and use the hashtag #theGodDare and Tag Kate in the post!    @KateBattistelli

DISCLAIMER:  I was given an advanced readers copy of this book by the publisher

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Being Faithful In All Seasons of Life – Ecclesiastes 3

faithful

The Background: A Faithful Choice

This blog post is a long time in the making and by a long time I mean my whole life! No, I’m not kidding.   Being faithful in our relationship with God is not a wake up one day accept Jesus as your Savior and BAM! you have all the faith in the world! Oh, how I wish it were the case! But it is not.

Faithfulness is a long time in the making.  It is built out of learning, from mistakes, and blessings, miracles, and hardships.  And I want to get this out in the open that just because I am writing this post does not mean that I have somehow arrived at this amazing level of faithfulness.  It is however just the opposite.  This is my processing ground.  Working out my faith in some areas that can’t really be explained.

The Struggle

I know that there are those who think that Pastor’s families have some sort of unique “in” with God, but that is just not true.   I have learned much over the last few years about my humanness. My desire to know the answers NOW in my time.  The idea that things couldn’t get worse than they are now.  That truth will prevail…SURELY TIS TIME.   I’m gonna pray this way- and God’s gonna my answer my prayer? (which by the way he always does, but as of late I have been left standing with my hands on my head saying Lord THAT is NOT what I meant!   The whole verse that says “His ways are not our ways” Has been an ongoing theme in my life and I’m standing there wondering how and why God answered Just how I prayed and things got worse…NO JOKE!

It’s in those moments my faith in God has been tested! And tested and tested…and tested again.

I’m not the type of person who stands before God and stomps my feet and shakes my fist at God and says I want this and I want it now God.  I’m am the type who passionately prays for needs and lifts up those who are hurting and I seek God’s will  And I can *usually* see God even in the negative fairly quickly but there are times when all of it doesn’t make sense.   This is usually when this involves justice.  And this year I have learned a very valuable lesson in this area that will I’m sure to unfold slowly BUT God’s justice is sometimes slow to us.  The key is “to us”. And in these moments, we have two options. We can either remain faithful and say “Ok God even if you don’t_________I still will remain faithful to you and your word” or we can turn our backs on God and try to force our hands and get our own way.   Sadly I have seen too often that people do just that and in the end, they may get what they want but it costs them……their faith in God and their faith slowly becomes rooted in what they can do, or what others can do for them.

So starting tomorrow we are gonna hash out and discuss Ecclesiastes 3. So, for now, you can read it here, and then tomorrow we will jump into verse one!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

1There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

 

Book Review: Happy Happy Happy Stories for Kids By Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard

Happy

The Content-Happy Stories

Every morning my youngest two sons and I have this routine. We have been making happy memories together reading before the bus comes. I give them a snack so they can take their vitamins, they take their vitamins and then we head out to our entryway to wait for the bus. It started last school year with our third youngest. He always wanted to play on my phone while he waited and I wasn’t satisfied with that so we began our reading journey together. They both have struggles especially in the waiting for the bus area of life so we began reading and when the opportunity arose to read this book together we snatched up the chance.

Korie and Chrys tell family stories with truth from God’s word weaved throughout each account. They are told in simple and sweet ways and often times with a humorous twist that even left me wanting to know the rest of the story long after the boys got on the bus!  Each chapter starts with a verse, then the story and is followed by some very thought-provoking questions and then a short Bible lesson.  Nothing too in-depth Just right for our 11 and almost 9-year-old.   The other major plus was this was NOT a gender specific book!  It was clearly meant for kids BUT as an adult I too thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another aspect included in most chapters but not all (or not as obvious as some others) were ACTION STEPS as the end of the Duck Commander in Action section (AKA Bible study).  This section challenges readers to take what they learned from the Robertsons stories and God’s word and put it into action in their lives.

A Happy Review!

Our family has been a long time lover of Duck Dynasty and the Robertsons!   We appreciate their family values and their humor, and their stand for faith and godly values and it was just an absolutely refreshing change from what the world had been handing us for some time now.  Our boys were excited to get to hear stories about the Robertsons.

Now getting our boys to focus is difficult as one has Autism and the other struggles with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and It is a great challenge for him to listen, especially with other background noise.  In a sense, I have one kid who Makes noise all the time and one who is highly distracted by the slightest noise.

Well, Korie and Chrys wrote this book in such a gripping way that in ALL the books we have read together, this was the book they were the most focused on to date!

The stories deal with issues and teach children great lessons in life.   Some of the stories that the boys are still talking about are trying new things-even to the tune of trying a new food for one sons birthday dinner.  Another lesson deals with Mayhaws- a small berry that Jep learns turns into something great all while learning from his father that being small doesn’t mean you don’t have a great purpose.

AND my favorite lesson out of all of the stories is about young Willie and his TUBA!  I was in stitches.  But Willie had to learn a hard lesson most kids struggle with today, Sometimes no matter how hard you try, sometimes you need to have the wisdom to know that it is time to say “I’m not good at this and it’s ok at least I tried!”  I have a drummer and a piano player but I have yet had to send someone to the woods to practice BUT at least I now have that as a last resort!

The Boys Thoughts

I asked the boys if they wanted to help me review the book and I got a”DO we have to?”  It’s not a knock against the book I think they just look at it as more school work and as we are drawing near the end of another school year I think they have had enough!   So I asked each one of them what they thought of the book they both said emphatically that they LOVED it!  But what’s more, as a mom I can see them take what they are learning and apply it to their lives! THAT IS THE MARK OF AN AMAZING BOOK!

Our Rating

So all of us give it 5 stars!!

OH and one more thing we loved the artwork!  The pictures all look like textured scrapbook paper and gives almost a 3-D look without being 3-D!  The boys absolutely loved seeing all the artwork!

And a GREAT BIG THANKS to BookLook Bloggers for providing a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes! All of the opinions in this review are completely my own and I am in no way compensated for a positive review.

It’s Been a While….

Over a month to be exact!  Life has just gotten away from us.   In some ways that is an amazing thing because we are neck deep in ministry and loving almost all of it.   I wish I could put into words the emotions I have experienced over the last few months but that is for another time.

and I wish I could tell you al that is whirling around in my head but that is also for another time.    But in the midst of all that I treasure up in my heart- there are some things I can fill you in on…..

Our family grew by one.

Say hello to Nugget

It’s our first puppy in 9 years!  All of our other dogs have been rescues or other circumstances.   She is a Corgi and Cavelier King Charles Spaniel Mix.  And she has a VERY happy ending!   It has taken us a while to venture back into the land of another dog ( we do have one already) but after losing two dogs in a year 2 years ago we decided that we were going to wait a while.  Nugget has been a part of our family for about a month now and she has such a sweet temperament  AND she and Rosie are now best friends- it took a little while!

I’m in the Middle of my largest writing project-EVER!

Yep, you read that right.   I have taken on writing our church’s Christmas play.  My goal is 5 to 6 scenes and I am about halfway there.   I’m really excited about it as is my stage manager, my music director, and hubby.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be in that place, but God has brought me there.   and now I am over the moon excited as the words just seem to flow out the end of my pen…LOL yes, I am handwriting it first! That is just how I roll people.  Yes, I will type it. BU, I need to first get the main ideas on paper.   Stay tuned for more details!

Creating Art

One of the things as a child that I had a real desire to do was learn to paint.  That has become a reality for me.  I have been binge watching  YouTube videos and soaking it all up like a sponge!   As of right now, watercolor is my medium of choice including watercolor pencils both regular and woodless) though in the fall I did my first acrylic painting and am gaining some confidence in that area as well.  U have also added Guoache, real brush pens (Arteza) and alcohol Markers (Ohuhu) to the mix and I am loving the learning and creative process)

I had a Birthday

and I turned (cough cough) years old…HAHAHAHA well, let’s just say it the end of a decade! BUT I got to spend my last night being  38  checking off my top bucket list concert!  Yeah, I got to see TOBY MAC!   But that’s not all- Jordan Feliz, Jeremy Camp, We Are Messengers, Ryan Stevenson and  I can’t remember his name, He started singing as we were coming in and trying to find our seats.

Witnessed God change someone’s life!

I call her one of my kids- and watching her choose Jesus was one of the highlights of my year!  And I am watching her take off!  I love being a bystander getting a front row seat to see God work.  BUT with that front row seat comes great responsibility and burden.  Not a bad burden BUt a burden to do more, see more, grow more. To make a bigger difference, to love deeper, to care more, and I’m not just talking about stuff- because stuff does not matte- People matter!  If there was one thing I could communicate to people was to set aside their preferences, their ways, and their desires and place all of their energy serving others -God moves in great and mighty ways.  When we take ourselves OUT of the picture and put people in those places of preference, security. and ideals LOOK OUT! God’s gonna do big things!  Beyond what we can ever imagine!

I’ve learned:

  • A deeper meaning for patience.   When I first got pregnant a little over 14 years ago, I experienced a whole new sense of anticipation and it was hard to wait.  But at the end of 9 months, I was fairly certain that I would have a baby.    Well over the last 6 months  I have learned new levels of patience and trust that God, no matter the outcome has a plan and a purpose.  Now I know all of this already but as we mature in our faith God takes us through deeper levels of these concepts.  He requires deeper trust than we have ever experienced before.
  • to take notice of the Joy God sends into our lives.  Joy is  my word for the year and the verse in  Romans 12:12  is my verse for the year12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  • to count in ALL Joy- boy is this hard- especially saying goodbye to something that seems like God was moving in.
  • It’s hard not to get your hopes up when God is doing exciting things!
  • I heard a speaker explain the life of a youth leader as being one of the hardest jobs there is ( Ain’t it the truth).  He explained how it can be so discouraging and so amazing all wrapped into one and it just so happened to meet me where I was struggling AND THEN the very next session the young lady I mentioned above Chose to follow Jesus! Amazed does not even begin to describe what happened.  All I can say is yours truly was in full ugly cry mode and couldn’t get a grip for like 20 minutes! It was beautiful!

I have a new playlist- and it’s not my normal!

I’m usually a peppy music girl, the faster and louder the better but, my heart has been in a different place lately. so here is the list on my phone simply titled  “where I’m At”.

  1. Courageous (Casting Crowns)
  2. 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)
  3. The Hurt and The Healer (MercyMe)
  4. Live Like That (Sidewalk Prophets)
  5. My Hope is in YouAaron Shust)
  6. I lift my Hands (Chris Tomlin)
  7. Forgiveness (Matthew West)
  8. Whom Shall I Fear (Chris Tomlin)
  9. Only a Mountain (Jason Castro)
  10. Steady My Heart (Kari Jobe)
  11. We Won’t Be Shaken (Building 429)
  12. Need You Now (Plumb)
  13. Overcomer (Mandisa)
  14. You Are (Colton Dixon)
  15. Live With Abandon (Newsboys)
  16. Even If (Kutless)
  17. The Only Name  (Big Daddy Weave)
  18. Waterfall (Chris Tomlin)
  19. You Won’t Let Go (Micheal W. Smith)
  20. Speak Life (Toby Mac)
  21. My Heart is Yours (Passion)
  22. This is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickam)
  23. Fix My Eyes (For King and Country)
  24. More of You (Colton Dixon)
  25. He Knows my name (Francesca Battistelli)
  26. He Knows (Jeremy Camp)
  27. Overwhelmed (Big Daddy Weave)
  28. Save my Life (Sidewalk Prophets)
  29. Shoulders (for King and Country)
  30. Just Be Held (Casting Crowns)
  31. My Story (Big Daddy Weave)
  32. Same Power (Jeremy Camp) *my song for the year
  33. Trust in You  (Lauren Daigle)
  34. Chain Breaker (Zach Williams)
  35. Limitless (Colton Dixon)
  36. Grace Wins (Matthew West)
  37. Far is a Liar (Zach Williams)
  38. The Breakup Song (Francesca Battistelli)
  39. Joy (for King and country) Also a theme for the year
  40. Control (Tenth Avenue North)
  41. Point to You (We are Messengers)
  42. Good Good Father (Zealand Worship)
  43. Thy Will (Hilary Scott and the Scott Family)
  44. Broken Things  (Matthew West)
  45. You Love Defends Me (Matt Maher)
  46. Eye Of the Storm (Ryan Stevenson)
  47. Greatness of our God (Newsboys United)
  48. Something Greater (Mathew West)
  49. Even If (MercyMe)

Forty-nine songs that speak truth (LIFE :)) into my heart even when I can’t be in God’s word- there are constant reminders in the background of my life reminding me where my focus needs to be.

So That’s it for now!  I know it’s a big update with some crazy vagueness! (Sorry about that but stay tuned.  Later this week we have a fun book review from our two youngest sons (Yes me too) and a blog post focused on what it means to “Pay LipService & What it means for your testimony)

Random Reflections: Happy Accidents

Well Good morning,  Today I’m going to tackle this post a tad differently.  I have my post up and as I go throughout my day I will write what pops into my head and we will see how this works (hehehehe)

  1. Student of the week letter-

As a mom, I seek to encourage my children on a regular basis and in personal ways- some of my kids are very private. Well, our youngest is “student of the week” and each Tuesday the teacher reads a special letter written by the parents.  This is a super difficult challenge because other people are reading it and hearing it.   I can think of a gazillion great things about each one of our kids BUT either the kids don’t want us mentioning them in public OR they aren’t “public” things.  I know some kids don’t get the encouragement their little hearts crave and so this exercise is both good for the parent and the kid.  The parents because they need to focus more on the positive and the kid because they need to see that the parent sees more than just an inconvenience.  (That just breaks my heart to write that!  So the little guy’s letter is sealed in its envelope ready to go and I hope he won’t blush too much!

  1. Happy Accidents.

I was testing out some thoughts on a project for a friend and I tried putting vinyl on a Canvas panel. Well, It didn’t stick well So I fought through the transfer tape process and An idea popped into my head…ACRYLIC PAINT!  So I painted over the vinyl and when it was dry I peeled it off.   I must confess I picked red and blue and blended them together in the middle and initially I HATED it but after it was dry and I peeled off the vinyl- I decided it was what Bob Ross called a “Happy Accident!  ”                                                    –Happy accidents                                                                                           And that is pretty much it for this week! How about you what kind of random is going on in your life this week