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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Living Wonderstruck

There have been a few times in my life where I have found an author who pushes me to dig deep; past the mundane to the parts that seemingly are being suffocated by life.  It should be noted that I am not an avid reader, writer or a runner yet I crave to excel in each of those areas. So when I first discovered Margaret Feinberg’s book Scared Echo I was blown away by her perspective and ability to tap into my heart strings and reconnecting me with my Savior.  

Her new book is no different.  I have had the opportunity to have a sneak peek into her new book Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God and she has done it once again!  You can learn more about this great book by visiting where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.  I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.57 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble [] for all you savvy shoppers. One of the greatest things about my friend, Margaret Feinberg [], is not only does she write a book, but she offers to take you deeper through a 7-session DVD Bible study.  Both are releasing Christmas Day. To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video:

As I mentioned, I recently received the insider’s scoop about Margaret’s new book. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Where did the inspiration for the Wonderstruck book and Bible study come from?

Have you ever had one of those seasons where everything goes wrong, and when you think it can’t get worse, it somehow finds a way? Most people who have worked in ministry have experienced those seasons—some may be in one right now.

My husband, Leif, and I had just gone through one of the roughest years of our lives. In the aftermath, as we processed the pain and loss, I had an unexplainable desire in my heart. I began praying for the wonder of God. In essence, I said, “God reveal yourself, your whole self to me. I want to know you as Wonderful. I want to know you as I’ve never known you before and see you in places I’ve never recognized you before.”

God did not disappoint.

What do you mean by “the wonder of God”?

Sometimes talking or writing about wonder feels like tying kite strings to clouds. It’s ethereal, and you can never quite get a grip on it. But if you look in the dictionary, the two main definitions of wonder are: “being filled with admiration, amazement, or awe” and “to think or speculate curiously.”

Those definitions come together beautifully in our relationship with God. That’s why I define the wonder of God as those moments of spiritual awakening that create a desire to know God more.

In other words, the wonder of God isn’t about an emotional experience or having some cool story to tell your friends, but the wonder of God makes us want more of God—to go deeper and further than we’ve ever been before.

Why are you calling people to #LIVEWONDERSTRUCK?

If you look in the Gospels, what you’ll discover is that those who encountered Jesus were constantly left in wild amazement. They were awestruck by the teachings of Christ, the healings of Christ, the mind-bending miracles of Christ. Within the Gospel of Luke we see words like “awe” and “wonder” and “marvel” at every turn. If this is the natural response to encountering Christ, how much more should it be for you and I—who are invited to live in relationship with Christ as sons and daughters of our God Most High?  We even created a free PDF that looks at some of these Scriptures. For a free copy, email us at and we’ll send you one.

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter [], Facebook [], or her blog []. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday I-Guy!

Three years ago, it was two weeks until my due date.  As I began to feel the pain and pressure of labor I dismissed it as if it wasn’t in fact labor and merely pain.  I continued that Sunday like any other going to grab lunch at Taco Bell.  Within moments contractions increased and I realized sitting in the drive thru at Taco Bell you were coming that day.  Really your journey into this world was unplanned and I was certainly not prepared for what was to come and how my life was about to change.  The closest thing I had to a plan was thrown out the window—you had me giving all I had as you entered this world. 

Shortly after you were born, I hit one of the biggest hurdles to this day—postpartum depression.  You, your sister, brother, and your dad were my constants.  In fact the one thing I knew to do well was to be your mom.  As I mentioned you were a little unplanned on our end, yet perfectly planned in the will of God.
Your name means laughter and gift from God—that has proven to already be true. In these last three years those words have come to life through you.  While God is my Savior, you were one of my saving graces during one of the darkest time of my life.  You laugh and ability to make others laugh is adorably cute and very hard to correct most the time.  When I see you and the way you push all limits and lovingly respond, deflect the very thing you shouldn’t be doing with kisses and love—I melt and with that I have recognized and decided that you will be our world changer.  There is a tenacity in your eyes that is clearly unstoppable.  There is defiance in your voice when you say yes to my no and no to my yes that challenges me a as parent to shape and mold you into the man of God has created you to be and not squash the very good thing He already has going inside of you.  While my yes and no will stay the same I recognize that there is someone great inside of you. 

With that I strive to teach you these three simple things within this next year—these are the foundations to you becoming great.

1)      Honor God in all that you do.  It is the reason we were created to be in an honoring relationship with our Creator.  This begins now! You are not too young so I will continue to do my best to live it out as an example to you, but as you get older it will be a choice of your own.   

2)      It’s your responsibility to look out for your brother and sister, as it’s their reasonability to look out for you.  You may be the youngest, but that doesn’t disqualify you from speaking up and keeping your eye on them either.  He has given each one of you to each other, to love, care for, protect, have fun with, laugh and cry with.  This is a big one, but if each of you do your part—it won’t matter when one of you isn’t, because you will have learned how to go the extra mile for those you love.

3)      Continue to grow in who YOU are! While you will feel the need to compete with Micah or Samantha, remember there is only one Isaac! Trying to be like them will not work out in the end so grow confident in who God created you to be.  My relationship will look different with them compared to yours, but it is defined by the uniqueness of each child.  However, my love for who you are is unconditional which means it’s not defined by the things you do, say or accomplish but purely on who YOU are!

Words can never fully express how you can instantly fall in love with someone who doesn’t speak, but it has happened three times in my life.  Happy birthday to the greatest 3 year old I know! Thank you for all you have taught me without even trying, thank you for touching the world as you have already and I am honored to partner with your dad and God. Big things are “full steam ahead”. 

Remember, I love you all the time!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

I will say one of my favorite books to ever read is a cookbook.  Sounds crazy, but there is nothing like reading and imagining what will taste fabulously.  And Simply Grilling was no different.  Jennifer Chandler had me thinking what can I cook next.  I really kept thinking, "oh, super easy and it will taste fabulously!"

I loved how she started with Grilling 101--everything you need to know about grilling, grilling tools, marinades, rubs, etc can be found in this section.  Just in case you are a novice to grilling, Jennifer even explains what the different type of grills there are. 

Very rarely do I find a cookbook that every recipe makes me what to run to the grocery store and begin cooking. One of the things that I most appreciated about this cookbook was all the ingredients were everyday common food, which means I don't need to run to any specialty food stores. With three kids under the age of six finding food that everyone will enjoy is hard to come by, yet, this has so many possibilities to broaden their taste bud horizons. I never knew how many things you can grill--I dont think I will be doing much cooking in my actual kitchen this summer. Can you tell how much I loved this cookbook!!

Some of my favorite recipes were:
-Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon
-Weekday Ribs
- Grilled Bananas Foster
- Mixed Berry Crumble
- Caribbean Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

One of the biggest draws for me was that this was available as an E-Book.  I have over 50 cookbooks so adding one more to my library is a very unappealing idea to my husband. I am able to prop up my IPAD and begin cooking and grilling. 

I have decided that this is going into the gift rotation for newlyweds and housewarming gifts.  Who wouldn't love a new cookbook with actually 105 GREAT recipes!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review; "The Voice New Testament" Bible

The Voice New Testament Bible, is a one of a kind.  As I read it I knew that many long hours of work, preparation and prayer was put into this Bible.  The Voice takes the reader into the actual story of the New Testament and reads as if it is a story.  The authors and collaborates used both thought for thought and word for word in its translation creating this unique Bible. The Bible itself offers a four different daily reading plan options as well as a very thorough explanation of the process and uniqueness of the this particular translation.

I had a very hard time reading and getting into this Bible.  For a while I used it in lieu of my regular study Bible and after a couple of days I just quit.  I really like the concept of the Bible, however, I would never recommend it to any of the students or adults I work with. I understand that the Bible is in fact a story, but it is also said that it is "sharper than any two edged sword" meant to bring correction, instruction, clarification, wisdom...and so on.  So I personally feel that we should be handing people the one tool as close to the way it was written.  If people just continue to read it as a "story" and not the Word of God I believe we can get even further from the truth of the Bible.  I appreciated that "trendy language" was avoided, however, I felt like this translation itself was "trendy". 

I have not actually seen the hard copy of the book as I was emailed an e-book.  The look was nice and fonts were very easy to read.  All in all, I would definitely not recommend this Bible to new believers or youth. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> :