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

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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.

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

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.

Glimmer Girls By: Natalie Grant

  

Glimmer Girls:
London Art Chase and A Dolphin Wish

The Glimmer Girls series is an adorable series written by the singer Natalie Grant for young girls. The Glimmer Girls are three sisters that travel the world with their famous singer mother, Gloria Glimmer and their slightly off-kilter nanny Julia. Each book follows the girls on a new adventure. Through each adventure the girls learn valuable lessons about prayer, telling the truth, being a good friend and so much more.

This series is a great to add to any young girls reading collection, they are fun stories with valuable lessons, I highly recommend this series and they would make a great addition to any Easter basket.

From the author:
Glimmer Girls is a fiction series that I have created with my daughters.  The storyline is about three girls who go on tour with their singing mom.  I have no idea where I came up with that plot!  It’s fun for my little girls to help with the content because they actually live that life.  Glimmer is the last name of the family, but it also has a special meaning.  It is a light that is never extinguished.  Sometimes it may glimmer a little bit brighter, sometimes it may glimmer a little bit dimmer, but it never goes out.  I felt like that was such a perfect description for all of us.  We all have a light on the inside and depending on the day, sometimes it’s bright and sometimes it’s dim.  That is the message I wanted girls to get from this book.  You don’t always have to be shining bright, some days are going to be more difficult than others, but Jesus has put a light in you that will never go out.”

-Elle

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

Enter the Cold Shot by: @DaniPettrey sweepstakes!

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

Summary:

In COLD SHOT, the first book of author Dani Pettrey’s brand new Chesapeake Valor series, park ranger Griffin McCray and forensic anthropologist Finley Scott uncover buried remains near the Civil War battleground of Little Round Top. There’s only one problem: the bones aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but when Finley discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper, the case connects them with FBI agent Declan Grey, and crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell, friends from a past Griffin’s tried to leave behind.

Soon the reunited friends realize they’ll need to confront the darkest days in their shared history if they–and those they care about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

See my review here!

To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the COLD SHOT SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

This giveaway starts February 16, 2016 and ends March 7, 2016 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.

About the Prizes

GRAND PRIZE:
Cold Shot Sweepstakes Grand Prize

ROAD TRIP REUNION GETAWAY

In COLD SHOT, Griffin reunites with friends after they’ve drifted apart over the years. Do you have a friend you want to reconnect with? Here’s your chance to hit the road with them for a friend getaway!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to BedandBreakfast.com, good for reservations at lodges across the Continental US, plus a $50 Darden restaurants gift card, and a Chesapeake Bay tote bag, to pack your road trip essentials.

SECOND PRIZE:

FINLEY’S FAVORITES PACK

Cold Shot Sweepstakes Second Prize
Finley has a lifelong love of travel and exploration, something captured in her cozy home decor, right down to her steamer trunk coffee table. This prize gives you a chance to have a steamer trunk just like Finley’s, and a coffee table book from the Chesapeake Bay to go with it.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 value cedar wood steamer trunk and vivid Maryland coffee table photo book.

TASTE OF MARYLAND KIT

THIRD PRIZE:
COLD SHOT is sure to leave you with a craving for the mouth-watering snacks Griffin, Finley, and the rest of the crew enjoy in the story. If you wish you could sample Chesapeake’s one-of-a-kind local fare too, this prize is for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The beautifully lithographed, $50 value Taste of Maryland Tin, including the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook and famed local treats such as Old Bay Seasoning, Maple Syrup, Maryland crab soup mix, specialty dip, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams.

How to Enter:

Go to: http://www.danipettrey.com/cold-shot-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between February 16 – March 7, 2016.

Captive DVD Review and #Giveaway

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy!

 

About the movie:

 

Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an “amazing, inspiring” drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as “powerful.”

 

 

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 

 

There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and downloaded.

 

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Review:
Captive is based on the story of Ashley Smith and her time held hostage with escaped prisoner Brian Nichols. This movie has a stellar cast and the filmography is beautiful. For this type of movie the pace was perfect and took you on a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end. The emphasis on The Purpose Driven Light and it’s park was minimized and shortened for the movie. I really enjoyed this movie, and it is a great inspirational story.

 

-Elle

 

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, 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.”

The Finishing School By: Valerie Woerner

THE FINISHING SCHOOL BY VALERIE WOERNER

Tired of waiting for change to happen in your life—or maybe you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally? You’re not the only one! Don’t miss Valerie Woerner’s new book, The Finishing School. After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, Valerie decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness.

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The Finishing School

{MORE ABOUT THE FINISHING SCHOOL}

The Finishing School: How One Book Nerd Began Living What She Learned(Nyree Press, August 2015)

Are you tired of waiting for change to happen in your life? Do you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally?

In today’s world, our most precious pursuit of a life well lived gets squeezed out by the silliest of things: binging on Netflix or ice cream, shopping trips for things we don’t need, bad habits we can’t seem to get a handle on, and so much more. Valerie has been there despite knowing what she wanted for her life. Actually do it? That’s the challenge.

After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, she decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness. You will find homework at the end of each chapter that includes a worksheet to put real change in motion for your own life as well as recommended books to further study those topics that really test you.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Valerie Woerner

{MORE ABOUT VALERIE WOERNER}

Valerie Woerner is owner of Val Marie Paper. She and her husband, Tyler, live in Louisiana with their daughter, Vivi Mae. The Finishing School is her first book.

Find out more about Valerie at http://www.valmariepaper.com.

{My Review}

The Finishing School: How one book nerd began living what she learned, as a self-proclaimed book nerd, I was sold at the title of this book, so many times I’ve read books with the belief that reading this will help me, will challenge me, will change me, and after I’ve read each book, although I’ve learned some valuable things and understand how to get there, implementing them has not always been easy. So many times we feel stuck in a rut, not sure where we are going and search for help and guidance, if your like me that comes in the form of a book and The Finishing School is the perfect place to start. Not only does Woerner help to show how to identify areas of your life that may need work, and the areas that should be scheduled and put to routine she gives sound advice and recommends books that will aid in that area. At the end of each chapter she provides a list of tasks and resources that are attainable to help you make the changes you need and desire.

Each chapter is a guide to help you with a part of your life from prayer, Bible study, distractions, joy, balance, influence, and peace with many more, there is a chapter for everyone, although some you may be good on others will speak to you and help you continue to find the you that God created you to be.

I’ve absolutely enjoyed this book, I read through it pretty quick and plan to slow down and really go through the book. I think that The Finishing School is a great tool and guide to help you start doing the things you’ve always wanted to. I highly recommend this book (as well as many of the books that Woerner recommends throughout each chapter). This is great for everyone who wants to start putting their goals into actions.

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

-Elle