Thursday, August 27, 2015

Silver Spurs

Silver Spurs (Horses and Friends) 

Paperback – 

June 1, 2015

by Miralee Ferrell  (Author)

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Horses and Friends
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781411134
  • Reviewed by: Jenna

Kate's dream of running her own riding stable has just one hurtle....

Kate’s dream of owning a horse has finally happened. But now her best friend Tori has no money to buy a horse. So Kate comes up with a plan—she’ll raise money by boarding horses and hosting a show in her family’s barn.

It seems the perfect solution until Melissa, the girl who disses Kate and Tori at school, shows up to board her horse, determined to compete in their show and win the silver spurs. Will their plan be ruined—or does God have something better in store for them all?

Silver Spurs is a tale of overcoming fears and trusting God with your dreams.

SILVER SPURS is a semi-good book. I didn't like parts in the book where she didn't think it was fair when other people got what she wanted. And one of the parts I really didn't like, was where she got jealous because her way of thinking showed that she wanted the girl to get hurt. 

Other than that it was a good book. I especially liked that the girl that she thought was mean was actually nice to her little brother who was autistic and she did what he wanted and treated him really gently. I really liked those parts. 

4 stars. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids

This book is on special at Amazon today, for $11.95 - instead of $16.95.

All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids
Grades 3 - 6. Price $16.95
Tuttle Publishing

All about China is available in hard cover and e-book form, so however you want to read, it’s in your format. It is a collection of cool pictures, and an encyclopedia of information about China.

In All about China, Allison “Aixin” Branscombe includes interesting things such as:

Ø                fantastic tales about the creation of the earth and the origin of the moon goddess
Ø                China’s multifaceted cultural heritage and breathtaking places
Ø                (Attempting to) solve a tangram shape puzzle
Ø                Learn about the twelve Chinese zodiac animals and how they were chosen
Ø                Try crafts and recipes for Chinese festivals and holidays
Ø                Learn a couple Chinese songs (English words and music included)
Ø                Practice Chinese calligraphy and other arts

All about China isn’t a real deep guide about China. It does scratch the surface for the younger age. If you are Christian, and want to teach a Christian world view, you will need to supplement or “correct”, as the story of creation in this book is not biblical. The gods and goddesses and religions included in this book do not touch on Christian missionaries or Chinese Christians who are suffering for their faith. Otherwise, this was an interesting book that taught a lot of interesting information about this country, some of which I never knew or realized. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Scripture Memory Songs

Scripture Memory Songs
Ages 8 - 12. Price $8.99
This Side Up, LLC

Scripture Memory Songs is a cd or MP3 download geared toward teaching children ages 8 – 12 years old memory verses, using the NIV Bible, complete with references.

In Scripture Memory Songs Ms. Jennifer Shaw has expertly divided portions of the Bible up by topics, such as “Show Down!” and “Lights, Camera, Action” and found verses suitable for each topic.

Bible memorization is an important skill that most Christians don’t utilize. According to Ms. Shaw’s press release included with the CD, scripture illiteracy is at an all time high, with most people unable to even name five of the ten commandments. Since we will be entering (at some point in our lives) a time when Bibles are forbidden, and even now with them available there are times we need to “hear God’s voice”, it is important for children (and adults) to memorize Bible verses.

Scripture Memory Songs engages children with catchy tunes. I like that the references are included, and I like that the lyrics (and verses) for each song are also included as the singers don’t enunciate each song very clearly, and sometimes the words are hard to understand.

My ten year old (who is in the targeted age group for this album) loved it. However, Ms. Shaw also says she hopes that adults will listen and learn along with the children. In my family, at least, the general adult consensus was, “Okay, that was weird” referring to the introductory songs to each section. And we had issues with the John 3:16 song—it says “God’s one and only son” when the words are “only begotten son” and that word change makes a world of difference in other scripture verses that refer to us all becoming joint heirs, adopted children of God, etc.

If you want to teach your children Bible memory verses using the NIV, then Scripture Memory Songs is an invaluable resource. Somewhat recommended with the above exceptions.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Love Takes the Cake

Love Takes the CakeA September Wedding Story

By Betsy St. Amant
Published by Zondervan

Genre: Contemporary romance novella 
available in ebook and MP3 audio

Book Description

Meet the people who make it all happen—the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples—as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.
She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life. 
Charlotte owns the best bakery in Louisiana, and clients come from near and far for her renowned wedding cakes. And while the wedding scene is Charlotte’s place to shine, her own love life is more dull than ever. After a string of failed relationships—and men who actually were too good to be true—she has decided to throw herself into her craft and leave love and marriage to her clients. 
Will is a successful entrepreneur but devotes much of his spare time to caring for his ill mother. He knows he doesn't have much time left with her, so he has done everything he can to guard his heart from relationships. And what girl would understand that he needs to spend all his time with his mother? But when his best friend calls in his help for his September wedding, Will can’t refuse. He's always been there for those closest to him. And when he finds out they don’t have a wedding cake yet, he knows exactly where to go—the bakery owned by the beautiful, mysterious young woman he buys treats from. 
Charlotte assumes Will is just another party boy who flirts with all the bridesmaids. But is Will hiding something that explains his behavior? And despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?
My thoughts:  I loved this story. Betsy St. Armant has made a name for herself with sweet contemporary romance and is quickly rising to the top of my favorite contemporary authors list.  I enjoyed getting to know Will and Charlotte and their histories, and their love story as they get to know each other. I totally understand Charlotte's reservations -- and Will's nice guy personality which doesn't make saying "no" easy.  I almost wish I was there for the wedding cake tasting decision, some of the flavors sounded yummy!  I just had a plain old vanilla cake. 
I love these novella collection Zondervan has started putting out - and hope they continue them into a new year. I have  my favorites and this one heads to the top ten listing of favorites for the two years they've been out. 
If you love contemporary romance, don't miss LOVE TAKES THE CAKE.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Interrupting the Life of a Generation in Pain

  Interrupting the Life of a Generation in Pain

“86% of teens believe in God, but most don’t believe He is loving. Even fewer believe they are lovable. What if this generation truly understood and responded to God’s offer of hope, truth, and purpose?”  
- Sean Dunn

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—Anyone who has lived through adolescence can testify that it is a difficult time. As they navigate the waters of our post-Christian society, today’s young people suffer from unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, pressure, loneliness, and desperation for approval. For many, one nagging question motivates every social media post, short-sighted decision, and attempt to self-harm. Does anyone really care about me?

At, hurting teens and young adults from across the globe find comfort, guidance, and the answers they desperately seek.  An initiative of Groundwire, follows and expands the remarkably effective model that has touched millions of young viewers and listeners since 2006. Using a multi-pronged strategy, Groundwire leverages media and technology to meet the age 15-25 demographic exactly where they are — viewing, listening, texting, or chatting — and to invite them to voice their questions and struggles, so they can find answers in the message of the Gospel. Young people listening to popular radio broadcasts or viewing favorite shows on networks like CW, MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming, and Comedy Central are interrupted by direct advertising spots that catch their attention, resonating with where they are today.

The initiative includes targeted, authentic, and well-produced commercials that grab the attention of young viewers and listeners by the millions. As they respond to the broadcast messages, they are invited to visit the website where they can chat with a live spiritual coach available day and night, as well as find a collection of resources such as podcasts by Groundwire’s founder and executive director, Sean Dunn, and daily devotionals.

Watch "When the Silence is Overwhelming"

“Statistics indicate that 86% of teens believe in God, but most don’t believe He is loving. Even fewer believe they are lovable. What if this generation truly understood and responded to God’s offer of hope, truth, and purpose?” Dunn asks.

Since 2006, Groundwire has interacted with broken and searching youth on thousands of live chats. Students are drawn to the honest dialogue about spiritual issues, often receiving Christ as their Savior as a result of the coaches’ ministry. Coaches then do their best to connect visitors to local churches and resources where they can continue to grow in their faith. looks to grow Groundwire’s reach in contemporary culture.

“Today’s younger generation hungers for a real and personal relationship with the Living God. And that really transcends culture. Unfortunately, a common misconception many older Christians have about young people is that they only desire interaction with others who are young like them and are products of the same culture,” Dunn says. “The truth is that this group is desperately in need of intergenerational connection. They crave it. The Jesus Cares initiative has already shown us that, when we make ourselves available to listen and respond, young people cling to that, and they are willing—even eager—to share their burdens and receive the Good News we offer.”

Hundreds of volunteers from around the world form a team that offers coaching 24 hours a day, and that number must increase alongside launches of the ministry in new locations. is seeking coaches of all ages and backgrounds to be available when young seekers respond to the TV and radio ads—coaches like Sue. A resident of Northern California, Sue spends her days caring for her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease, and her mother, who suffers from dementia. Neither can be left alone, so she spends only three hours a week away from the house. Sue is in her mid-60’s. Essentially, she is homebound, yet since she began coaching through in June of 2014, she has led 66 young people to Christ.

One of those new believers is Lori, an 18-year-old who lives in the United Kingdom.  When Lori reached out to, she was struggling with a history of self-harm (cutting) and contemplating suicide. “I came on here as a last resort,” Lori shared after receiving Christ during her chat with Sue. “I have 168 tablets I was going to take to end my life. Now I’m going to flush them down the toilet.”

To bring JesusCares to your community or to sign up as a coach,

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Global Leadership Summit is Working…Better than Ever!

The Global Leadership Summit is Working…Better than Ever!
A Leadership Legacy Expands Its Impact and Continues to Inspire &
Equip Leaders around the World

Chicago – The Global Leadership Summit (TGLS) concluded its 21st version of the annual event this past Friday and proved once again that it is not only working, it is working better than ever. A record 103,000+ leaders (an increase of over 7% from last year) from 116 countries gathered at 451 host sites across the U.S. and Canada to learn from a faculty of world class leadership experts that included Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Horst Schulze, chairman & CEO of Capella Hotel Group and nationally acclaimed business thinker, Jim Collins to name a just few.
Leading the event was TGLS founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, Bill Hybels who continued to herald his long-standing belief around which the event centers – “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” Following an independent study conducted after the 2014 Summit, Hybels has the proof that his assertion is true. Among the results, the study revealed that 81% of those who had a superior attend TGLS in the past reported
concrete ways their “supervisor or organization’s top leader improved because of TGLS.” A near unanimous 98% of all business leaders said they had applied “team-building skills learned at TGLS” and 86% of those agreed or strongly agreed that those skills “increased job satisfaction and productivity.”

TGLS is an initiative of Willow Creek Association (WCA), a non-profit organization comprised of more than 7,000 member churches from 90 denominations and 45 countries. In the past, a diverse lineup of leadership experts such as Colin Powell, Mark Burnett, Patrick Lencioni, and Carly Fiorina have inspired hundreds of thousands of leaders from around the world to make a difference in their communities and spheres of influence. To further expand the Summit impact, WCA released the newGLSnext App at this year’s event

WCA President Gary Schwammlein announced that over 25,000 downloads of the app occurred during the conference. There was an additional 25,000 downloads of the app as of Sunday. The GLSnext App trended as the #1 search in Apple App Store with a 5 star rating and 4.9/5.0 for Android.

“Through independent research we know TGLS is having a measurable and transformative impact on attendees, but we wanted to do more,” states Schwammlein. “Whether leaders are in the church, marketplace or home, they now have instant access to a leadership library with hundreds of videos to help them address the most pressing leadership questions and challenges. Especially significant to me is the fact that our research indicates that 10% of return participants in TGLS would have quit their current positions had it not been for inspiration they received while at the Summit. With the expanded access to Summit content through the GLSnext App, untold numbers of leaders will have daily access to the same encouragement and inspiration that prevented these leaders from quitting."

Not only may the Summit experience now “be taken with you” through the GLSnext App, the Summit impact will continue this fall as host sites around the world conduct their own Summit events utilizing DVD content from this past week. When it is all said and done, this year’s version of TGLS will be held in over 55 languages from 125 countries with an anticipated worldwide attendance of 260,000 people.

“The Global Leadership Summit has proven to catalyze the leader within each of us, to make us better leaders, and to unite us around a common vision,” states founder Bill Hybels. “We believe the local church is the hope of the world – when it is working right.  For churches to reach their full redemptive potential, they must be led well. It’s our prayer that the Summit will continue to inspire passionate leaders toward that end.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Spotlight: His Steadfast Love

His Steadfast Love (Darkness to Light) 

Paperback, Ebook and hard cover 

October 31, 2011