Remnants By: @LisaTBergren

Anyone with a love for dystopian must read this book! Bergren has taken a genre that has flooded our book shelves and given it a whole new look. The idea of a dystopian book from a Christian perspective is fascinating and seeing how Bergren wove her story so beautifully with characters you will fall in love with, epic-battles that will have you on the edge of your seat this book is not one to be missed! Sword fights, mystery, romance and a calling that cannot be ignored! I am so excited to see what will happen next!

I received this book complimentary as part of the Remnants Street Team in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

 

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My Church. My Family.

Family is a funny thing. Growing up I had a small family, for the most part it was my two siblings and my mother than in High School I was fortunate enough to meet and over ten years later we are still friends, each of them and their families added themselves to mine and I to theirs.

When I moved from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma I knew my family would always be there for me even though they were far away, and as the years continue we spread more across the country Pennsylvania, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Massachusetts, but we are still family.

Once I moved to Oklahoma I wasn’t sure I would find people I truly considered family, and than I found my church. I love my church. I love the people that make up my church and I love to watch as they respond to the community and to each other.

Whether it is at small group of women where sixteen of us are squeezed into a living room, and after only a few weeks have embraced each other. Sharing our stories, opening up about our struggles, rejoicing in our accomplishments. Watching as someone shares their struggles and they are immediately surrounded by prayer warriors offering their support, their advice, their wisdom, and their love.

Or when a tornado devastates a community and the church does the only thing they know how to. They respond with love and reaching out to anyone who needs it, not just church members but everyone they come in contact with.

Or when a little boy is sick and waiting on a transplant. The church, my family, responds the way they know best, with love, with support, with prayer.

I love seeing that even being a part of multiple campuses that the response is as one extended family, offering what each person is able. It’s amazing to sign on to social media seeing the same post by every person asking the community as a whole to stand together in support, to declare healing, to believe in miracles.

When it comes down to it, I love belonging to a church that embraces its family, that will come alongside in support and agreement.

I love my church, I don’t want you to misunderstand me because I also love the church as a whole, I love watching a body of believers come together, sharing God’s love and spreading the gospel. I love that the church, not the building, but the church as the Bible defines it is ready and willing to be sent. They are ready to do. Instead of feeling bogged down when multiple things are happening they embrace it in excitement prepared to serve where they are needed.

I love my church even more because they have not only embraced me as family but they have shown me what it means to be the church, to spread the Gospel and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-Elle

 

No One to Trust By: Lynette Eason

No One to Trust By: Lynette Eason

Summer Abernathy’s world has come crashing down, waking up to find her room full of men threatening her unless she turns over a laptop. Her husband is missing and may be someone else entirely and  a U.S Marshall has turned up at her door. With everything she thought she knew crumbling around her Summer must figure out who she can trust and who the man she married really is.

Lynette Eason has once again given us an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you glued to the pages as events unfold. With new twists and turns at ever corner there is no guessing what will happen next. Eason has a unique way of weaving a story and showing you the struggles a character goes through. With the nature of the story and how fast paced it is you do lost a little of the character’s and their depth is slightly lacking, although you are told the reason a character may struggle with something you never really get the full picture. I still really enjoyed getting lost in this book!

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

-Elle

#PrayforRuss

As one church, one body of believers,please join together and declare healing for sweet baby Russell.

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Candle Bedtime Bible

By: Karen Williamson

Illustrated By: Christine Tappin

The Candle Bedtime Bible is a collection of 3, 5, and 10 minute long Bible stories for kids; each story is labelled by the length of time to help aid every parent before bedtime. These Bible stories are written in a way that makes the story easy to understand and is complimented by beautiful illustrations that correlate with each story. The print used in this book is large enough that beginner readers will also be able to enjoy the stories as they practice reading each night.

I enjoyed being able to use the Candle Bedtime Bible in the nursery at our church, the kids loved looking at the pictures and listening to the stories. This is a great book to have as an introduction to Bible stories for all young kids.

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

-Elle

Time for some Transparency

Time for some transparency, I am terrified of public speaking. The idea of getting in front of a crowd of people and sharing about me, about who I am, is terrifying to me. My fear is a little different; it’s not about an inability to talk in front of people. Sometimes I get frustrated because I have friends that assume that because I am an introvert it means I am anti-social and a hermit (that may be partially true, I am more likely to curl up with a good book than attend a party) but I have friends that decide that I am a complete recluse when they are around. That I lack the ability to talk to people, and that being an introvert is a negative and there biggest wish for me is to throw me out into a group of people to see how I respond (Response 1: You are going to need a new friend).

It is not the idea of standing in front of a group of people that scares me, you can ask me to go lead a group of volunteers on a work site and explain how the day will run and I am fine. You can leave me in charge of the class and explain lighting design, how light works and how it mixes and I won’t bat an eye (By the way the primary colors of light are red, green and blue).

Ask me to pray out loud, talk about myself, share my feelings, encourage a group and I can guarantee you I will attempt to avoid the situation.

Almost a year ago I met Jane at the Hillsong concert while volunteering, in the past year we have worked many events together, one of the largest events was WinterJam two weeks ago. Jane was the volunteer coordinator for the area and I was to be her assistant. The night before the big event I receive a text from Jane saying that I should prepare a speech about why volunteering is important to give to 80 plus volunteers before we started, and for some reason I said yes.

Deciding this was a big step, I am not one to share my heart with others, I know I am supposed to, and that I should be willing to share my experiences and put myself out there. I knew it was something God placed on my heart that I should do, that it was something He wanted me to do. So there I was Saturday afternoon standing in front of 80 plus volunteers and pieces of the WinterJam staff, shaking like crazy, stumbling over my words, having that moment like in the movies where all sounds disappear and the words written on my phone have become blurry. The point isn’t that I struggled through my speech; the point is that I did it. I shared my heart with the group; I shared the words that God had placed within me. Now, does that mean I will volunteer the next time someone needs to give a speech? Definitely not. What it does mean is that next time, it won’t be so hard. It means that I’ve made progress on something that has scared me for years. I may be boasting, or come off as proud with this post. And that’s exactly what I am doing. I am celebrating the small things! In those small moments where I trust God is going to help me through, all though it is something as basic as talking in front of a person, I know in turn He will trust me with the big things He has planned for my life.