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10 In Reviews & Giveaways

Nicole Nordeman “Every Mile Mattered” CD // Review & Giveaway

I love Christian music because it shares my faith in God. One of the artists that I’ve followed since the early 2000’s has been Nicole Nordeman. She has one of those voices that cause you to sit up and listen, and then you are pulled right into what she is singing about by her mesmerizing lyrics. This is why I was so excited for the opportunity to review Nicole’s newest CD, Every Mile Mattered.

I was already familiar with the song, “Slow Down” because it was played on Christian radio a lot. Even though my babies are now teens and adults, it brought tears to my eyes every time I heard it as I reflected on how fast my children have grown.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the rest of the album and was pleasantly surprised. The 11 songs reflect a life’s journey — the joy, pain, struggles, victories, etc. It opens with the title track, “Every Mile Mattered” and tells the listener that every joy, sorrow, pain and tear in life has brought them to where they are now and that we are called to tell our stories. Another favorite of mine is “Dear Me”. It’s a ballad about a letter written to a younger self. I’ve written a letter to my younger self, and I remember how moved I was in writing it. This song moved me and made me reflect on the past and how every place I’ve gone, everything I’ve done brought me to where I am today. Another song I couldn’t get enough of was “Listen To Your Life”. I just have to share a couple of the lines with you. This song is a call to slow down and pay attention to life and know that nothing is wasted and it’s all for His glory.

Listen to your life
And what’s on the inside
All the other sound, turn it down
Listen to your life

Everything’s holy, everything’s sacred
Even in the mundane, you’ll find nothing’s wasted
Every heartbeat, beats for One greater
Every breath meant to profess your creator

Here’s a video from the title track, “Every Mile Mattered” for you to enjoy!

I absolutely love this album and it’s currently on repeat in my car. You can find out more about the album by visiting Nicole’s website. Nicole’s book, Slow Down, which is about celebrating the every day moments of motherhood, will be coming out this month and you can pre-order it here.

The Giveaway

I am so excited to be able to offer one of my readers a copy of Every Mile Mattered. All you need to do to enter is follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to my readers in the Continental U.S. only and will remain open until 9PM (Pacific Time) on Tuesday, August 8th.

Good luck!

Nicole Nordeman “Every Mile Mattered” CD

4 In Reviews & Giveaways

Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day // Review

I am a busy woman. Aren’t we all? Most days I drag myself out of bed with just enough time to get myself looking presentable for work, grab a quick snack and call it breakfast and I’m off and running. While I would love to tell you that I spend quality time with God every morning of every day, that is simply not my reality, although it’s a goal. What I can tell you is that I get God’s Word in me every day, in some way. Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to review a new, daily devotional called Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day by Debora M. Coty.

This book is packed with 365 devotionals, which means there is one short reading for every day of the year. It is filled with a mixture of truth and humor for a woman’s heart. There are daily readings for such topics as relationships, love, boundaries, hope, brokenness and praise. Each reading is designed to encourage and help women gain healing, refreshment and revitalization of spirit, body and faith.

About  The Author

Debora Coty is an inspirational speaker and author of the popular book series, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, with over 400,000 copies sold. Her passion is sharing an off-beat blend of biblical truth gift-wrapped in humor, encouragement, and unconventional wisdom with women of all ages. She believes that the stresses of life become manageable when we truly understand God’s blessings.

My Thoughts

I’ve carried this little book around with me to and from work every day for the last few weeks and can I just tell you it’s been a real blessing, especially on those days when I failed to get into God’s Word before I rushed out of the house each morning. My 30-minute lunch break was the perfect time to sit and drink of this faith-packed devotional. There were just some days were I really need to be reminded of certain truths — like on my birthday (July 3rd) I read about how God replenishes our joy, or the story of the Fifty-Sixth Cake on July 16th that reminded me that God is my provider. No matter what I was reading about on any given day, I was always encouraged and blessed.

The good folks over at FrontGate are offering you a chance to win a copy of Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day. All you have to do is click here to enter.

*I received a free copy of Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day from FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

0 In Book Reviews/ Reviews & Giveaways

Unsinkable Faith // A Book Review

Growing up, I was plagued almost daily with negative thoughts. Positivity was not something that was purposefully instilled upon my by my parents. They did the best they could, but without a personal relationship with Jesus, the importance of my thoughts and words and the effect they had on me spiritually, physically and emotionally was not at the forefront of their minds.

What I wouldn’t have given to know Jesus back then, when the roots of negativity began to take root in my own heart. And often times, it helps to read the stories of others and how they’ve overcome negative thinking to get me realizing that I too can live with a transformed mind and begin to see things in a positive light.

In her book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel and Live, Tracie Miles provides practical strategies to begin to enable you to move from a life of stinking thinking to walking in the power of a transformed mind.

Someone once told me that the power of positive thinking is really mind over matter. But it’s really hard to continue to have a good outlook on life when you get hit with unforeseen circumstances over and over again. Our emotions can take over and what I’ve learned over the years is our emotions lie.

I really appreciated the insights given by Tracie in her book, as well as the stories of others who have overcome negative thought patterns. Even though the circumstance may be horrible (death, divorce, illness) we have the power to choose how we will respond to the circumstance. We can choose to remain negative in our thought patterns, reeking havoc on our mind, heart, body and soul, or we can set our faces as flint and stand firm on the promises of God, rising above our circumstances with a positive outlook.

Life robbing misconceptions are lies that keep us bound. They spring up from the way we interpret our experience, not the actual experience itself.
– Unsinkable Faith

I’ve lived a life in bondage to negativity for too long. Sure, I’ve been faced with some hard circumstances in my life — job loss, the loss of a home, financial stress, health issues. Even though each of these circumstances changed my life in an unexpected way, I do not have to keep viewing them in a negative light. These lies have kept me from becoming all that God has made me to be, and has kept me from living in the peace and happiness God has designed for me.

I especially appreciated Chapter 4 of the book, which spoke about the lies and misconceptions that enter our hearts from life’s experiences, often from early childhood, and grow into full blown lies about who we are and who God is.

  • When we lost our home due to financial strain, I blamed myself for not keeping my high paying job may years earlier.
  • When my husband lost his job and was without work for a number of years, I blamed him for not working harder to start his own business years earlier.
  • When my husband became disabled last year due to a mystery illness, I blamed God for allowing it to happen.

This book is really helping me to face the truth of what has been in my heart for so many years, release it to God, and begin to see each of these circumstances in a positive light. By using the exercises at the end of each chapter that include mind-transforming reflections, mind renewing memory verses, and a chapter challenge, I am beginning to build an arsenal of truth to combat so many lies that have kept me bound over the years.

If you are in need of a great faith, one that will not sink when the waves of life overtake you, be sure to pick up a copy of Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel and Life. It will transform not only your mind, but they way you live as well.

The good people over at FrontGate Blogger Network are offering you a chance to win a copy of this book. You can enter here.

*I was given a copy of this book by FrontGate Blogger Network in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

11 In Reviews & Giveaways

Mandisa “Out Of The Dark” CD // Review & Giveaway

Throughout life’s challenges, uplifting, scripture-based music has been my saving grace to help pull me through. I especially am encouraged to listen to music that was birthed out of the “dark night of the soul”. This is why I was so excited for the opportunity to review Mandisa’s new album, “Out of the Dark”.

About the album.

Mandisa wrote her song, “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend, Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Although Mandisa believed and prayed that God would heal her, Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014. Afterwards, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. For close to three years, she struggled with a deep depression, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes that if she had continued down that road she was on, she would not be here today…but God stepped in and lifted her out of the pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story. It is titled, “Out of the Dark” because that’s exactly where God lifted her out of.

You can watch Mandisa talk about this part of her journey as she was interviewed recently on Good Morning America.


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What I love most about this album is the raw, honest heart with which it was created. The album opens up with a series of voicemail messages left for Mandisa by encouraging friends. Even though she sunk low and isolated herself, those friends made sure she understood that they were there, that they loved her and that God still loved her. They never gave up!

One of my favorites songs on the album, “Unfinished”, is a poignant reminder that God is still working in our lives, and that He still has a plan and a purpose. Despite the ups and downs in life, and no matter how low you allow yourself to go, God is with you and will perfect you into His masterpiece.

This album is packed with “get up and dance songs” such as Out of the Dark, Comeback Kid and Shine, but it’s the ballads like Prove Me Wrong and My First Love (with Jeremy Camp) that move my heart.

How long will I forget You?
And how long will I pretend that You’re not here?
Bring light to my eyes in my darkest places
Bring hope to my heart that can hardly take it!

I wanna go back, to where it all began
I wanna go past, the walls that hold me in
To trust what I know, feel You so close
I can hear Your heartbeat
I wanna go back, back to my first love…

If you want to be inspired through the music of one who has come out of the darkness, be sure to pick up this album. And if you know someone who is experiencing depression, please share this album with them.

The Giveaway

I am excited to be able to give one of my readers (from the Continental U.S. only) a copy of Mandisa’s album, “Out Of The Dark”. All you need to do to enter is follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below. This giveaway will end at 9:00PM PST on Tuesday, May 27th.

Mandisa “Out of the Dark” CD

8 In Reviews & Giveaways

Laura Story “Open Hands” CD // Review & Giveaway

I fell in love with Laura Story when I heard her song, “Blessings”. Every time I heard it I was moved to tears at how great God was and how much He loved me. I couldn’t wait to hear more of Laura’s music and nothing I’ve ever heard from her disappoints.

I was recently given the opportunity to review Laura’s newest album, Open Hands and can I just say it’s been on repeat in my car for a couple of weeks now. The title track sung together with Third Day’s Mac Powell talks about letting go and living life with an open hand, trusting that God is working in and through your circumstances. It’s a beautiful song of surrender and meets me exactly where I am in this season of my life as I navigate mirky waters.

In this devotional video, Laura shares her heart behind the song, Open Hands:

Another of my favorites from the album is Grace Abounds. It’s a poignant reminder of the powerful grace of an almighty God that carries us through life. As a mom myself, I can totally relate to what Laura had to say about the song.

“Reflecting on the world her kids are growing up in, Story wrote the album’s sparse closer, “Grace Abounds,” after weeks of turning on the television only to continue to watch stories of terror attacks, extreme injustice and racial tension make headlines day after day. “It’s easy to lose heart, and the song is about just acknowledging the brokenness. First of all, we can’t just pretend like it doesn’t exist,” she advises. “When it seemingly doesn’t make sense, I’m choosing to believe that God’s grace is enough. God’s grace is enough for any social injustice. God’s grace is enough for any loss that we go through. God’s grace is enough for any loneliness that we experience, for any relational strain and for any relational rejection.”

Each and every song on this album is done with excellence, both lyrically and musically. I was moved emotionally as I listened and my heart was caught up in the presence of the One who never leaves me and deserves our highest praise.

To find out more about Laura Story, visit her website or find her on social media:

https://twitter.com/laurastorymusic

https://www.facebook.com/laurastory

https://www.instagram.com/laurastorymusic/

To buy this album on iTunes, click here.

The Giveaway

I am thrilled to offer one of my readers a copy of Laura Story’s Open Hands CD. Just follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below to enter. *This giveaway ends at 9PM on Wednesday, March 22nd.

Laura Story Open Hands CD

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.