The Survival Mom – Back-to-School in style for kids AND mom! GIVEAWAY

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.” – Deuteronomy 16:17


 

I am truly blessed to be a part of The Survival Mom writing team! I get an opportunity to write, an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to share the generosity of some fantastic giveaways with all of you! Check out the link below for a chance to win The Survival Mom’s Back to School GIVEAWAY!


Giveaway #1: For the student, a desk, backpack, and more

Giveaway #2: My lunch is too cute to eat!
Giveaway #3: Just for mom giveaway

BR>The prizes for each of these are just too awesome and too many list! Check out more information and enter at the link below! Be sure to share this post with others who may be interested in The Survival Mom BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEWAY.


I want to hear from you!

What was your hot back to school item this year?


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


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Running Back – Review

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:9-10


digitalcoverRunning Back (Cambrooke #2)        By Emily Camp

This story truly has it all: action, heartache, hope, love, warm fuzzies, you name it. The story runs parallel with the first book in the series, Here Comes the Light, and intertwines beautifully without any spoilers or obvious flags.

One of the requirements for a story to be good in my ‘book’ is the element of surprise. For a while, I thought I had the story figured out and the ending predicted, but I was not prepared for the heart wrenching twist and turn of events toward the end.

The story follows the lives and events of a few teenagers who attend Cambrooke High School. The author does a great job portraying the emotional turmoil most teens experience at one point or another and how a teen can rebel even when raised in ideal conditions. One aspect I like about the story is how just because a person makes it over one hurdle, it doesn’t mean they won’t fall at the next. Life is about ups and downs and leaning on God is the only way to make it through.

Keep in mind during reading that this book is based on very real life events. Real life isn’t always pretty. Even though this book points its readers to Jesus, the characters battle many sins and endure many hardships most of us will face within our lives at one point or another such as: single parenthood, teenage drinking, teenage pregnancy, betrayal, premarital sex, foster care, bullying, school violence, unsupervised parties and hot-tempered actions. Even though life gets ugly, the author does a great job showing us there is hope and a better way.

Due to profanity and sexual content, I recommend this for readers ages 16+.

Get your copy of Running Back and Here Comes the Light now!

Click Here to download: Running Back by Emily Camp

Click Here to download: Here Comes the Light by Emily Camp


I want to hear from you!

Post your own review of Running Back or post of Running Back topic for discussion.


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


 

 

Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas – Review

“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire..” – Revelation 20:15
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Flight666-36x36-Poster-web-700x700This past weekend, I got the privilege to assist with a church Youth Group field trip. I do not normally work with the teens at our little church, but was super excited to help coordinate and chaperone this trip.  

A few adults along with my husband and I loaded up our vehicles with 15 teenagers and headed to see Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas. This is what I call a sensory drama as the effects were amazing and made you feel as those you were truly experiencing what was being portrayed.

The preshow entertainment was rich in variety and set the tone for the rest of the evening. A young boy, who I later discovered was part of the show, opened with a Christian rap song that had the entire room bumpin’. The bass was thumping and the teens were clearly tuned in. The next performance was an interpretative dance to a song focusing on the grace of God. I really appreciated the variety of the opening acts, as these types of performances are not something we normally get to experience at our place of worship.

You know when a show begins with a cautionary warning stating if you have any health conditions that may be affected by loud music, screeching sounds or strobe lights, you may need to cover your ears and close your eyes, is bound to be a good one! The show began quietly with different scenes that gave us snippets of different peoples lives as they navigated through an airport and boarded a plane. There were several different ranges of people and behaviors:

~ There were teenage girls who focused on labels and putting others down.

~ There was a girl who stood up to the materialist ladies and witnessed to them even though she suffered much ridicule from it.

~ One of the pilots was a porn addict which led to dissatisfaction with his wife.

~ There was the deceitful adult trying to manipulate the airport into allowing his dog on the plane but later apologized for his behavior

~ There was the overindulgent mother who gave her daughter everything including the latest technology, birth control, alcohol and focused on being her best friend rather than a parent.

~ There was a boy who came from a rough home facing many uncertainties but decided to listen to a friend on the plane about another way of life.

~ There was the overly spoiled daughter who demanded everything from her mother and behaved in ways she knew was wrong from spending time with a Christian friend.

~ There was a lady who witnessed to the overindulgent mother using her own experiences as an example, explaining she lost a daughter due to her own lack of parenting, but turned her life around for her other two children.

~ There was the older male teacher making inappropriate advances towards certain female students.

~ There was a pilot who used to lead a sinful life but turned things around and witnessed to his co-worker about his porn problem.

~ The character that stood out the most to me, was a preacher who kept bragging about the size of his church and how many followers he had. He told the woman he sat next to how he preaches the love of Jesus and how everyone should spread the love. When confronted about preaching other biblical principals such as repentance, he confessed he avoided those tougher topics that might offend some of his congregation.

There was not an intermission during this show. Instead, in between acts, there was a gamut of heart racing special effects as the plane everyone was on went down. The room grew dark except for flashing strobe lights. The quiet conversations between the characters turned into shrilling screams and thunderous booms that resonated throughout the room as a horrific danger alarm blared over it all. It really was enough to take your breath away and I can see if you have any health concerns, why it is import to hide yourself from this dashing display. On top of the visual and auditory effects, the producers of this show didn’t leave out the physical dynamic either. Sprays of water took you by surprise and bits of confetti and sponge that represented rain from the thunderstorm and bits of debris.

Act Two started with a glorious stage change that showed The Lamb’s Book of Life on a pedestal and the beautiful gates to Heaven. In the corner was a rocky, cave-like entrance representing the gate to Hell. Throughout the second act, all of the characters from Act One stood before the angel reading the book who would let them know if their name was or was not written. The characters represented by blue font in the list above all had tearful but joyful entrances into Heaven. However, the characters represented in orange we dragged off the stage into the fiery hole.

834Once Satan’s victims were announced, they were claimed by demonic minions who crept through the audience causing quite the fright for the patrons sitting in the aisle seats. After the mock hell’s new regretful and screaming additions disappeared, Satan would walk the stage describing the sinful behavior of his new possessions and thanking those who allowed it. For example, after the overly spoiled girl was ripped from her mother’s arms and carried into hell by three or four demons, Satan proudly paced the stage thanking all the parents who befriended their children instead of teaching them and guiding them to be responsible adults. He thanked those who didn’t teach them his (God’s) word and for sending more and more souls his direction.

The experience of the show cannot be captured by words or even by a DVD representation. There is still one or two shows left and I highly recommend you go see this and take those you love with you. This show brings the reality of Heaven and Hell to the forefront of your mind and just might make you consider some changes in your own life to ensure your name is written in The Lamb’s Book of Life.

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For more information regarding this show please visit:

Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas

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I want to hear from you!

If you have watched the show, please comment below and tell us your favorite parts or add your own review!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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God’s Not Dead – Movie Fun

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
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untitledMy family and I went to see the movie, God’s Not Dead yesterday afternoon. When you have a large family, something as simple as going to the movie theater can be quite the investment so we try to be sure the films we choose are family appropriate and uplifting in nature. This movie did not disappoint.

The movie is about a college student who must choose between declaring that ‘God is Dead’ for the sake of keeping peace with the professor and his chance of passing or standing firm in his faith and convince his class God does exist. Of course no good movie is without conflict, so the main character, college student, Josh Wheaton, goes against the grain and becomes a defense attorney in a classroom trial where he presents his case to prove God’s Not Dead.

Josh faces this challenge without the support of his long-time girlfriend or parents and with just a couple lines of encouragement from a campus minister. The movie continues showing Josh present his case in a well-researched and professional manner which continues to infuriate the professor more and more. Things continue to get heated but Josh doesn’t back down. There are also four other side stories (one that ties in an interview with Willie & Korie Robertson) the movie follows that will bring laughter and tears. Be prepared for a surprising and unpredictable ending. I admit, part of the ending frustrated me and literally made my jaw drop, but I still really enjoyed this movie and pray for it to have continued success.

I would love to share more about the movie but don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, so just take my word for it; this movie is worth seeing. I highly recommend this movie for families with older teens looking at going to college in the near future. The dilemma portrayed in this movie is very real and the message given is one every Christian teen should hear before heading off to a secular university.

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I am psyched to see that folks all across the country are letting others know that God’s not dead. This limited-release movie has shocked the box office with the numbers coming in and more theaters are adding the film to their lineup for next weekend. I pray that more and more people continue to stand up and support films like these and let Hollywood know that there are still those out there who enjoy good, clean entertainment. You know, the kind where everyone is dressed and they speak using words you can say in front of your grandmother without blushing or getting beat with a pancake turner (love you Granny S.)! The kind of films that leave you feeling hopeful, inspired, motivated and just plain happy. Everyone likes a good warm, fuzzy now and again.

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Side note about this memorable experience:

We were humbled by an off-screen lesson that occurred during our movie outing. We took my 60-year old aunt with us to watch and enjoy the afternoon. I found out right before the movie started that this was the first time she had ever been to a movie theater. Her child-like innocence was heartwarming as we watched her take it all in. A great reminder of how blessed we are and how easy it is to take simple things for granted. 

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I want to hear from you!

If you have watched the movie, please comment below and tell us your favorite parts or add your own review!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Fun Permitted!

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.…” – Ecclesiastes 8:15
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Every once in a while, I will hear someone utter their cause of not coming to Christ is because Christianity is simply a long list of things you cannot do. Well sure, if you count things like murder, thievery and adultery but otherwise, this the biggest lie anyone can tell themselves. This blog isn’t to delve into all the wonderful reasons forming a relationship with Jesus will lead to a happier, more fulfilled eternal life but to explain that it is possible to have fun while loving and worshiping the savior.

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64 to Grayson

This past weekend, my family and a few friends visited a sister church who was hosting a concert featuring one of our favorite bands, 64 to Grayson. Even though we were in a church, surrounded by folks of all ages and pews galore, everyone was having fun. Not just fun, but a blast. The band played their heartfelt ballads and their toe tapping tunes and when I looked around all I seen were clapping hands and lots of smiles. Sure there were a few no no’s in the ways of most concerts…there were NO alcoholic beverages…there were NO curse words and there were NO half-naked back-up dancers but there was lots of laughter and better yet…praises for the savior who brought us all together.

The concert wasn’t an isolated occurrence. Every week, we attend a church service where we meet for a potluck dinner beforehand. This is always a time of laughs, amazing food and a chance to get to know people. Believe it or not, there is usually a constant stream of activities geared for the Christian crowd including concerts, movies, local theater, museums, restaurants and scheduled fellowship events such as wiener roasts, picnics, bus trips and so much more. In fact, things like these usually keeps my family’s schedule pretty full!

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My daughter, Alyssa, with 64 to Grayson member, Zack Shelton.

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Knowing and loving Jesus does not mean you are resorted to a life of mundane evenings and no social life. Jesus came to give us life, not take it away!

Jesus said, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). 

The opening scripture (Ecclesiastes 8:15) tells us we are to enjoy life.  I just wanted to throw out there that a relationship with Jesus is life-changing, wonderful, redeeming, peaceful and so much more, but let’s not forget…FUN!  

Now tell me, does anyone in this picture look like they are not having fun?

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For more information on 64 to Grayson, please visit:

http://64tograyson.com/

https://www.facebook.com/64toGrayson

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I want to hear from you!

Please comment below with what you like to do for fun!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Recharge Daily

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“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
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My family and I recently attended the Winter Jam concert that was held at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH.  Winter Jam is a collection of Christian musicians and speakers who travel the country sharing Jesus through great music, inspirational speaking and fellowship with thousands of other Christians. 107Over 18,000 people showed up to enjoy Winter Jam 2013 that included popular Christian artists such as Matthew West, Toby Mac, Sidewalk Prophets, Jamie Grace, Jason Castro, Royal Tailor, Newsong, Captial Kings, Red and speaker Nick Hall.  The show was amazing. Great music, awesome effects and lyrics that uplift, encourage and motivate you. I highly encourage you to attend a Winter Jam show near you.

If the above names do not ring a bell with you, then I encourage you to check out positive, encouraging KLove, which is a syndicated radio station that plays Christian Rock, Pop and other modern styles of music.

In between acts, speaker, Nick Hall, would take the stage and share Jesus with the crowd. One thing he said really stuck with me as I was planning on a blog entry on this topic anyway. The below is a paraphrase from Nick Hall:379213_587479331268494_515946911_n

The iPhone was created to do great things. However, if you do not plug it in to recharge, it won’t work the way it was intended. To recharge it, all you have to do is plug it in for a little while each day. Once it is recharged, it will do all the great things it was designed to do. You were also created to do great things. God created each and every one of you.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10.

Without recharging, we also will not work as intended. How do we recharge? We recharge by spending time each day in God’s word. We recharge by turning off the iPhone, iPad, Facebook, TV, video games, etc and opening our bibles and reading what God has given to us.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” – 2 Timothy 3:16

BibleI know we often think to recharge or gain a new outlook on life, a big change is needed or we need to rest more or eat better but “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”- Matthew 4:4. It is crucial that we spend time daily in God’s word and it is much easier than you think. Pick a time that works best for you and start with dedicating five minutes. I am sure that once you get started you will soon find that five minutes is not enough and will begin to crave more.

If you have trouble finding time to read God’s word, then getting your priorities straight should be a goal but I will save that for another time. Instead, here are some options to squeezing in that daily bible reading:

  • Turn off the TV a little early before bed and open your bible.
  • Download a bible app on your iPod, iPhone or Smartphone and read while standing in line at the pharmacy, bank, etc or while waiting in the doctor’s office…..you get the idea.
  • Read during your lunch break at work.
  • Consider purchasing the bible on CD and listen during your drive time to and from work.
  • Download an audio version and listen on your iPod or other MP3 device while cleaning, working out, making dinner, etc.
  • Make it family time. Have everyone pick out a different passage daily to share.

Don’t stress over the number of pages or feel you have to read the bible cover to cover. Feel free to skip around, read your favorite scriptures over and over, and start anywhere you like. Find what works best for you but be sure to read God’s word daily.

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” –Joshua 1:8

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**This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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*For more on Nick Hall, check out www.pulsemovement.com.