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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.
12 In Book Reviews/ Reviews & Giveaways

I’m Going To Give You A Bear Hug // Book Review & Giveaway

I love hugs. I’m not sure I got enough of them as a child because I really miss them when I don’t have them every day. Three of my four children are non huggers. Not so much when they were little, but now that they are grown up I have to bribe them in order to get them to hug on me. Thankfully, my youngest, 13, still enjoys his mama’s hugs. Perhaps he’ll stay young forever!

While we are on the subject of hugs, I had a chance to review a book for children all about hugs.

I’m Going To Give You A Bear Hug!

This has got to be one of the cutest bedtime story books ever, full of engaging rhymes that share all about different hugs  — bear hugs, cat hugs, horse hugs, whale hugs and more. It is light-hearted and a perfect prelude to bedtime prayers. Beautifully illustrated, it is sure to captivate your little one’s attention, not to mention have him/her wanting to hug on you as you read.

I’m going to give you a bear hug.
A show you how much I care hug.
A good night
Sleep tight
Way beyond compare hug.

The book is hard cover, just 32 pages and intended for ages 4-8 years. Since all of my littles are grown up, I am placing I’m Going To Give You A Bear Hug in Nana’s book basket to read to my grandson when he’s visiting.

The good folks over at Fly By Promotions are offering one of my readers in the Continental U.S. a copy of this adorable book to add to your own collection. Just leave a comment below and I will pick a random winner next Saturday, February 11th.

“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.

 

2 In Reviews & Giveaways

Alison’s Choice DVD Review

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I was given a copy of this DVD by Front Gate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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As a mom with two young daughters, it grieves my heart when I hear of a young woman becoming pregnant who believes their only choice is to end the life of their unborn child through abortion. My heart grieves as I think of the thousands of unborn babies who have lost their lives before they were given a chance to fully live.

In the movie Alison’s Choice, a young woman finds herself in such a situation. After telling her deadbeat boyfriend of her unplanned pregnancy, he encourages her to take care of it so that the baby doesn’t come between their relationship.

Alison drives herself to the abortion clinic and while she waits her turn, she encounters a cast of quirky characters, each with their own type of wisdom and advice — a flamboyant counselor, a suburban mom, a heart-weary receptionist, an inner city counterpart… And more than anyone else, a gentle-faced janitor with mop “eternally” in hand. The two begin to talk and it becomes very clear that he is no mere janitor, but Jesus manifest, and has come to plead for the life of her baby.

With the clock ticking precious minutes away, the janitor pours out His heart of care and compassion, reassuring Alison of his love for her and for her unborn child. What will Alison choose?

I really loved this movie. It is well made and the acting is very good. I do believe that God encounters women who are considering abortion in powerful ways, perhaps not exactly like it is portrayed in the movie. But the point is that God desires to meet every women who stands at the crossroads of making a decision for or against life and brings his light of truth — the truth that He loves them, and that He loves their unborn baby.

Alison’s Choice is a full-length feature film that seeks to answer the question, “WWJS (what would Jesus say) to a young woman planning abortion?”

To find out more about the movie, visit the website at www.alisonschoice.com.