WHY AM I HERE?

29 04 2019

Joseph in prison

Genesis 39:20-21 (NKJV)

20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

I have been reading and thinking – just how did Joseph feel about all of this? What was going through his mind? Let us go back and time and listen to him tell us about it.

In Joseph’s words: I am not sure why I ended up here in prison. Wondering what have I done wrong? How did I end up here? Life was so much easier and nicer at home. Why did my brothers hate me so much? Why did they want to get rid of me so bad? I still don’t have answers to those questions. But has been teaching me to lean on Him. No matter what, He has the ultimate authority. He knows what is going on. He has been my comfort here in this prison. I have been fortunate, the warden likes me. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Potiphar, my master, trusted me. I was good while in his household. I took care of most things. I was his Number 1. But his wife. Oh, his wife. She wanted me. I could see that right from the beginning. I did whatever I could so I was not around her – especially alone. But on that one day, she tricked me. She got rid of all the other servants in the house so it was just her and me. I couldn’t do what she wanted. So I ran off. I then find out she accused me of rape. Really? Wasn’t she the one who seduced me?
So now, here I am. I feel like everything I have done in my life has been wrong. But like I said, the warden likes me. He has put me in charge of some other prisoners. How will I ever get out? How?

Don’t we feel this way sometimes? I know I do. As if my whole life has been in shambles. But I also know that my God has been with me throughout. He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). He will never leave you or forsake you, either. Be blessed today.

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WHERE IS THE LAMB?

27 04 2019

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Taken from Genesis 22

This is where Abraham is following God’s instructions to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar.

I would like us to focus on Isaac today. Can you imagine what he was thinking?

In Isaac’s words:

Father and I are going to do a sacrifice on a mountain. We have travelled so far, and finally we are here! I look around. I am carrying the wood, but where is the lamb? Where is the sacrifice? All Father said is that God would provide. Where? We are almost there. Something inside me is saying this is not good. Not good at all!
Here we are on top. That was a tiring journey up here. We have set the rocks for the altar. Then Father and I put the wood on top. I look around. Still no lamb. Father ties me up. No! Father! Don’t do this! And then he picks me up and puts me on the wood. Father!!!! He just says to trust in God. But Father! Yet, I see tears in his eyes. This is God. I didn’t do anything wrong. Then he covers my eyes. Trust. Isaac, trust God. Then we heard the angels say not to kill me. Oh, the relief! I can’t keep the smile off of my face. And there, just a little bit away, is a ram caught. The sacrifice that God provided.
Father said it was a test to see if he believed God totally. But I think it was a test for me, too. I had to trust God, too. I am so glad we were faithful.

May we be as Abraham and Isaac and be faithful.





HEADING TO CANAAN

25 04 2019

tereh

Genesis 11:31 (NKJV)
31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.

Everyone seems to talk about Abram(ham) leaving his country to go to the land of Canaan. But I have never heard anyone speak of Tereh, his father. Was he called, also, to go to the land of Canaan? I believe so. But that’s just me. But he was headed to Canaan, too, but settled in Haran. What could have caused that? I really don’t know, but what gets to me is that he settled. He didn’t continue on to the plan.

What are we settling for? Has God called us to do something, but we are settling for something lesser? Are we settling to just be comfortable because the journey was too hard? These are some hard questions that even I am forced to answer. Let us not settle and go on with God.





HAPPY STORIES FOR KIDS

23 04 2019

Duck Commander cover

This was an enjoyable book to read.  I have seen the Robertson’s on TV, but it was nice to read about them, like when Willie was a young boy; or even about their children.  We each have a story; probably plenty of them.  So Korie and Chrys have compiled some of these stories and put them together.  Each chapter is a different story.  With each story is a scripture to go with it.  There are also questions on some things in the story and if you have gone through something similar.  At the end of each chapter is a short devotional that goes along with the story.  Very well written.  Holli Conger did an awesome job with the illustrations, too.

Have you heard about the birthday sleepover where Will forgot one very important item?

What about Survivor Day—a special day at camp when the kids are given a really big challenge?

Or did you hear about the ski trip when 2-Mama and Bella got lost and everyone learned a big lesson . . . ?

Well, cozy up and listen close, because you’re about to hear all these stories—and more!

Full of mostly true-ish stories from the Duck Pond comes Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids. Korie Robertson and her mom, Chrys Howard, have partnered to bring you hilarious and heartwarming stories that demonstrate valuable lessons and family values. Whether it’s the importance of being prepared, working hard, or relying on God when you’re scared, the Duck Dynasty gang has a story for you!

Featuring lively art and solid moral lessons, Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids will illustrate these ideas in fun, engaging ways. Cuddle up with your kids, and laugh together as you read about the silly antics of America’s favorite family—and talk about how the same principles are true in your life too.

Sometimes the silliest stories can teach us the most important things about loving others and being kind. With its fun illustrations and sweet messages, Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids is the perfect way to share these truths with your children.

Korie Robertson

Korie Robertson is known for her role on A&E’s hit reality television series Duck Dynasty. The mother of six is known for her domestic and international philanthropic work and serves on the board of Help One Now, an organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and caring for orphans worldwide. Korie and her husband Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander®, are active advocates for adoption and foster care—having adopted two of their own children—and were honored for their work at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Angels in Adoption Gala in Washington D.C. in 2013, and they now serve on the CCAI board. Korie and Willie also founded the Drive Adoption Fund in 2016, which was created to promote domestic and international adoption awareness and education.

Korie oversees several business ventures including their local Louisiana-based retail store Duck & Dressing and also serves as a spokesperson and advocate for women on behalf of the natural skincare line made for women of all ages, Naturmetic. Korie is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing credits include The Women of Duck Commander, Faith Commander: Living Five Values from the Parables of Jesus and The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty, Duck Commander Devotions for Kids and Strong and Kind: Raising Kids of Character. Follow her online @bosshogswife or DuckCommander.com.

Chrys Howard

Chrys Howard is the mother of Korie Robertson, star of the A&E® hit TV show Duck Dynasty®. She was a senior editor and creative director for Simon & Schuster. She has edited and cowritten more than 100 books and is the author of nine books with more than 1,000,000 copies in print in six languages. She received a Silver Angel Award from the Hollywood based Excellence in Media organization, the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award, and has been named among the Who’s Who of American Teachers. Chrys Howard lives in West Monroe, Louisiana, with her husband, John. They have three grown children and eleven grandchildren.

Holli Conger

Holli Conger has been a professional artist for 20 years and has had the opportunity to use her artistic talents as a graphic designer, children’s book illustrator, licensing artist and a three-dimensional fine artist specializing in found object/mixed media art. She has worked one-on-one with over 100 illustration and design clients, licensed designs to over 25 manufacturers from all over the world. From magazine, greeting cards and advertising, to CD covers, packaging and children’s books, she approaches each project with whimsy and creativity guaranteed to put a smile on any child’s (and parent’s) face. A Nashville native, she left the land of Country Music for the land of Krispy Kreme and currently lives in Winston-Salem, NC, where her husband, daughter and son give her plenty of inspiration.

Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids has been out since February 21, 2017.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins for this review.

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GET OUT OF THE BOAT

23 04 2019

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The Teacher told us to go across the sea. He said , “Go to the other side and I will meet you there.” How will He get there? And now there’s a storm brewing. The waves…oh, the waves! They are so big! We’re going to drown. “Get the pails, guys! We need to get the water out of the boat!”

Wait… What is that on the water? It’s…it’s a GHOST!!!!! Oh, no!

“Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid!”

It’s the Master!

“Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.”

And He said, “Come”. That’s it. Just come. Can I do it? Is it really possible – to walk on the water? If it’s really Jesus, I know I can.

So Peter steps out of the boat. The rest of the disciples are looking on with awe and fear. They just know that they just lost their mate. They try to stop him to no avail.

Peter keeps looking at Jesus and thinks…I’m walking on the water! Then a big wave slaps up against him. Oh no! Look at those waves? And then he begins to sink. “Raboni! Help!!!!” And then Jesus is right there grabbing Peter by the hand and helping him up.

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Then when they get back in the boat, the winds died down immediately. They all bow and worship Jesus. “Truly You are the Son of God!”

Are we keeping our eyes on Jesus or are we looking at the distractions around us? Let us be willing to ‘get out of the boat’ and keep our eyes on Jesus.

(Matthew 14)





PSALMS FOR LITTLE HEARTS

15 04 2019

psalms cover

Psalms for Little Hearts is a book that children would definitely like. Dandi Daley Mackall picked out 25 psalms and wrote poems that the children would identify with. It is written in a sing-song pattern, which will make it fun for kids. Cee Biscoe also did a great job illustrating. The pictures match each “psalm” perfectly. Good job, gals!

With over 1 million copies sold, A Child’s First Bible has taught countless children to love God’s Word. Now the series continues with Psalms for Little Hearts.

I will still praise you and sing you my song.
You pour your love on me all the day long.

This rhyming paraphrase of 25 of the best-loved Psalms is both playful and tender, perfect for soothing your child before they sleep or for encouraging them in morning devotions. Instill a lifelong love of the Psalms in your child as you teach them that God’s Word was written for them.

Features:
25 rhyming Psalms are written just for your little one
Topical table of contents helps you find the right Psalm for every occasion
Beautiful, kid-friendly, four-color illustrations throughout make Scripture accessible
Scripture from the original Psalms bring you and your child back to the Bible

dandi daley mackall

Dandi Daley Mackall is the award-winning author of over 450 books for children and adults. She visits countless schools, conducts writing assemblies and workshops across the United States, and presents keynote addresses at conferences and young author events. She is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows and has made dozens of appearances on TV. She has won several awards for her writing, including the Helen Keating Ott Award for Contributions to Children’s Literature, the Edgar Award, and a two-time Mom’s Choice Award winner. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her husband, Joe, their three children, and their horses, dogs, and cats.

cee biscoe

Cee grew up surrounded by paintings and sculptures and was encouraged to draw from an early age. After school, she studied Graphic Design and began a tentative illustration career whilst at college, designing punk record covers and gothic stationery! Then she had other jobs for many years, which were totally unrelated to art. It wasn’t until 2000 that she focused on drawing again and once she had some commissions she left her office job to concentrate on illustration, starting with greetings cards and craft designs. In 2008, she attained her MA in Children’s Book Illustration and since then she has illustrated several picture books and board books. She finds inspiration in nature and has a fondness for creepy crawlies, which means they often turn up in her pictures! She paints in watercolour and acrylics and loves getting messy in her studio (a converted shed in the garden), where she watches the birds from her window.

Psalms for Little Hearts became available for sale March 5, 2019.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for this review.

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WHEN LIFE DOESN’T MATCH YOUR DREAMS

8 04 2019

when life cover

I was not impressed with this book and quite disappointed.  When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams is written like two books rolled into one, but in a confusing style.  You start out with the woman from the bible as a narrative fiction style, then you go to teaching, then back to the narrative, then back to the teaching, and then you end up with discussion questions – all for each chapter.  Very confusing.  It would have been better if Jill Eileen Smith had written two books, instead of putting it all into one.  I had to force myself to read this book.  I will say that the fiction part was the more interesting part of it.

Life is full of twists and turns. Relationships falter, careers fizzle, health fades. We may be faced with choices we never wanted to make or have situations pushed upon us we’d never expected. Yet, in all of it, God is at our side–even when he feels far away.

Drawing on her extensive research into women of the Old Testament, novelist Jill Eileen Smith turns her pen to the lessons in trusting God that we can learn today from women like Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarai, Hagar, Lot’s wife, Rebekah, Rachel, and more.

Readers will learn from what these ancient women did right–and even what they did wrong–when faced with dashed expectations and deferred dreams. And they’ll come away with the confidence that ours is a faithful God who loves us and is forming us through our trials into the women he longs for us to be.

jill eileen smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for this review.