Live on Forever @theafters

{ My Review }

If you’ve been struggling, having a hard time and going through a stressful season The Afters latest album “Live On Forever” is a perfect reminder of how to keep on going. From stories of trials and heartaches to triumph and celebration, the heart behind this album shows through with its creation. A great set of songs to uplift and nourish with a constant reminder that God is there through every story of our life.

This album is fun and inspiring,and is everything and more that you would expect from The Afters latest album. This is an album the whole family will be able to enjoy.

I received Live On Forever complimentary from FlyBy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

{ About Live On Forever }

The Afters – Live on Forever Bio:

It’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy.

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God. “If any theme has emerged, it would be ‘inspiration and motivation,’” Havens says.

Havens himself felt a deep need to hold on after another loss struck: The band’s longtime soundman, Anthony Martinez, saw his newborn daughter die in infancy.

Ask Havens to pick out a song that sums up the spirit of the album, and he chooses “Battles.” “It was the last song we wrote and the fastest we wrote,” he says. “We don’t typically write songs fast; we’ll change lyrics and melodies and craft our songs carefully. But ‘Battles’ poured out, the music and lyrics, in one day. It’s about standing up against fear and knowing God is always with us,” Havens explains. “It’s one of the takeaways we hope people get: ‘Don’t give up to fear.

Havens shares how, half a world away from his home in Phoenix, he caught a small glimpse of heaven’s reassurance. The place: downtown Amsterdam. The occasion: a dinner between shows with band members and spouses—including soundman Martinez and his wife. For their baby daughter, the Martinez couple had chosen an unusual moniker with an unusual spelling: Pieper. Against all odds, it also happened to be exactly how the intimate restaurant they dined at spelled its name. Still, no one was prepared for what happened at the end of the meal. “We were talking about baby Pieper, and as we got up to leave, we noticed that the only thing on the walls—the only thing—was a framed document, an award for hospitality. And the date on the award—the only date in the place—was Pieper’s birthday. Her mother just started bawling.” Havens sums up the reassurance all took home that night: “We thought, ‘This is where God’s angels fly: right in the middle of the loss.’ God gives us little glimpses to show us he’s here.”

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

 

{ Links }

iTunes: http://www.smarturl.it/LOFAlbum-iTunes
Google Play:  http://www.smarturl.it/LOFAlbum-GPlay
Amazon:  http://www.smarturl.it/LOFAlbum-Amazon
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4sVbYL5y6d2nMX2H5LggGx

Official website: www.theafters.com
twitter.com/theafters
facebook.com/theafters
instagram.com/theaftersofficial

Live On Forever (Official Music Video)

https://youtu.be/OdS7EWMNrWc

The Queen of Katwe By: Tim Crothers

The Queen of Katwe
By: Tim Crothers

Wow. What a story. The Queen of Katwe is the story of Phiona Mutesi and the life she has lived thus far and her continuing journey to become a Chess Grand Master. At the age of 9 young Phiona, growing up in the slums of Uganda, followed her brother to a chess program being taught by Robert Katende. At the time, Phiona had minimal schooling, and was unable to read or write, instead she spent her evenings selling maize in order to make money to feed her family.

This book takes you on the journey of how the Chess program began in Katwe, and how the game began to change the lives of the children in Katwe, especially Phiona. Through the program, their coach not only taught the kids to play the game of chess, but showed how there lives were reflected in the game, and how their faith could sustain them and keep them going. Katende used every moment of chess to teach the players a life lesson.

At Phiona’s young age she has continued to compete on an international level, has gone from being a student of the chess program to a teacher and role model to many girls in Uganda. This is a story that no matter where you are, or where society has placed you does not prevent you from making a difference.

I received this book complimentary from BuzzPlant in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All Things Bright and Beautiful By: Cecil Frances Alexander

All Things Bright and Beautiful
Written By: Cecil Frances Alexander
Illustrated By: Katy Hudson

All Things Bright and Beautiful is an absolutely gorgeous children’s book written by Cecil Francis Alexander. Illustrator Katy Hudson has taken the words of this popular hymn and created a beautiful collection of images that show kids how God’s touch is everywhere and how everything he has created everything beautifully from the forests and the seasons to each of us. I cannot get enough of the detail and vibrancy of every page. With beautiful colors, kids will enjoy the words and images over and over again. I highly recommend this book for anyone’s collection.

I received this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

94 Feet Review

94 feet is the story of a small town mining community steeped in tradition. With a mining history going back for generations, the town learns that the mine is downsizing and many will lose jobs. With the town in upheaval, tensions are high and decisions need made. Through all this the unthinkable happens and there is a collapse in the mine with miners inside.

This movie had a lot of unmet potential. As a Christian movie, we expect to see an inspiration movie that points towards Christ. However, 94 feet came off overly preachy with outstretched scenes of prayer, which are great when done right, however these scenes were in multiples and sacrificed the plot and character development and unresolved questions within the plot. 94 feet was a tough movie to get through, overall the acting was sub-par and the writing needing to spend more time in development.

I love that Christian movies are more wide spread and accessible, however, there needs to be more focus on content and quality for Christian movies rather than just creating tons of accessible movies. I would rather fewer movies that are great over numerous mediocre movies. Christian movies are a great ministry tool, but if they sacrifice showing the Gospel and resort to turning preachy they will turn people away rather than sharing the love of Christ.

I received this movie complimentary from fishflix.com in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unashamed By: Christine Caine

Unashamed by: Christine Caine

Shame, we have all experienced it, it comes into our lives without being invited, it binds us, and creates a power over us. Through this book, Caine takes us on her personal journey of finding freedom and breaking through the shame. Unashamed is a phenomenal book that uses the Bible to affirm that we were called to live in freedom and not in shame.

Unashamed is a book full of truth and will be a life changer, through each chapter you will understand how shame can effect you and how to overcome it and live the life you were called to. For anyone that feels they are living a life of shame, and looking for a way to break free, this book will show you that it is possible to live unashamed.

I received this book complimentary through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Children of God -Phil Wickham

            

Over a year and a half ago Phil Wickham lost his voice and had to under go surgery with the possibility that he may never sing professionally again. Now, after all that time Wickham has returned with his latest album ‘Children of God.’ From start to finish you can hear the truth of God’s love and who He is on this album. Wickham’s music has always been some of my favorite worship music with the ability to transport me into God’s presence, I am loving this latest album, as a whole and individually the songs speak to truth.

Sometimes Christian music can be a bit much and overly done, one of the things I love  Wickham’s music is the transparency he brings with each song, the passion that shows through each song that not only is he writing amazing music he is writing something that reflects who he is and what he has gone through.

I received Children of God through flyby promotions in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Children of God can be purchased here:

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/PW-COGiTunes

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/PW-COG-Amazon

Spotify: http://smarturl.it/PW-COG-Spotify

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQyXsJMkUPg

The Beautiful Pretender By: Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender By: Melanie Dickerson

I few years ago I was in search of something new to read, I knew what I liked but I wanted to find something new. I’ve always enjoyed fairy tales and the twists that people make when rewriting such well-known stories. Since reading Dickerson’s story I have always made a point to read anything new that is published from her. When I heard about the Beautiful Pretender I could not wait, partially because I love her writing and partially because anything in relation to Beauty and the Beast and I must read it.

The Beautiful Pretender is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and the Princess and the Pea, and it is such a fun amazing story. It may be my favorite book of hers yet. It was such a fun captivating story and I love the lead characters. This book has everything and more, fairy tales, battles, spies, a fight for what’s right. I will always recommend that you should read Dickerson’s book, and I believe the Beautiful Pretender should make the top of your list.

 

-Elle

The Beautiful Pretender Melanie DickersonI received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Publicity program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder

About the book:

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Harvest House, April 2016)

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1RRdypX

About the author:
 
 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder By: Rachel McMillan

Are you a fan of mysteries? Witty banter? And a love of Sherlock and Sherlock-type stories? If so, Rachel McMillan’s debut novel is one you must check out! This historical mystery follows the two main characters, who according to society’s standards should be married and doing things that are more appropriate for ladies and not running their own private investigation agency.

McMillan has an amazing way with words that makes her books captivating and fun. Her cast of characters is diverse, with the two leads being reminiscent of Sherlock and Watson, they are polar opposites who compliment each other and go on quite the adventures through the streets of Toronto.

McMillan is definitely the new author to keep your eye out for!

I received this book complimentary from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Toddler Gift List: Books

Little Love Letters from God Written By: Glenys Nellist Illustrated By: Sophie Allsopp

Little Love Letters from God is a lift-the-flap book of Bible Stories, with a selection of your favorite Bible Stories each page is beautifully illustrated and includes a lift-flap letter that can be personalized for your child. This is a fun book that will start to introduce the Bible to your little one.

Adventure Bible for Little Ones

Looking for the starter Bible for your little ones? The Adventure Bible is a great place to start for the toddlers in your life. Full of colorful pictures, Bible Stories and is a board book to help withstand those terrible twos. This book has shorter verses to paraphrase the Bible story that will keep any toddlers attention.

Little One, God Loves You Written By: Amy Warren Hilliker Illustrated By: Polona Lovsin

The artwork in this book is absolutely fantastic! I love the colors and the attention to detail. This is a book your kids will bring to you over and over again. Little One, God Loves You is an adorable story and great addition to any book collection.

All Aboard the Ark

All Aboard the Ark is a fun rhyming story of the animals boarding the ark and the animals adventures while in the ark. This is a board book that will hold up with fun pictures and is also a great way to start teaching kids their animals.

-Elle

I received these books complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Love+Blessed Box Review and Giveaway

loveblessed

We’ve all seen how popular subscription boxes have become in the last year, boxes for your pet, for shaving, for shopping, for all your nerdy needs (I’m referring to me on that one!) this box is similar to those subscriptions but at the same time very different. The Love+Blessed Subscription boxes allow you to receive a box a month, each themed and fully of items to inspire, encourage and help you on your walk with God.

The box theme I received was Beauty, in it there was a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card (with one of my favorite verses, 1 Peter 3:3-4), a theme sticker, bracelet, compact mirror, and a prayer journal. Also attached to the lid is a bit of encouragement that reminds you that you are beautiful.

This box is like any other, with a new theme they are sure to encourage and inspire each month, these boxes also make an awesome gift, if you are curious about what other boxes contain you can do what I did and check them out on Instagram! These are a great idea and an awesome way to encourage you each month!

GIVEAWAY

Love+Blessed is giving away an entire year of encouragement! That is 12 free boxes! Enter here: http://bit.ly/lovedandblessed.

 

 

For more information:

 

www.lovedandblessed.com

https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/shop/all/

Join Now – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

Give A Gift – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/gift/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

 

-Elle

I received the Love+Blessed Box complimentary in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.