Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hillsong Kids "Can You Believe It?" DVD: Review and Giveaway!!

By: Melissa Baker

I have recently had the privilege to view the Hillsong Kids "Can You Believe It?" DVD. It is an amazing DVD filled with worship songs kids of all ages will love. Some of these songs we worship to in the adult service at our church. These videos are great for worshipping at home as well as in Sunday school class or group. There are even lyrics on the videos to make it easy to sing along. These 14 songs are simply amazing and this DVD is sure to lead your kids into worship like never before! I would highly recommend this dvd to kids of all ages. It is very uplifting and your kids will have so much fun worshipping our God as they sing along with this dvd.

About the DVD

“Can You Believe It!? - Songs of Truth” is both a question and a challenge... a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith. Classic songs like “My Best Friend”, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “What A Beautiful Name” join brand new declarations of faith such as “As The World Shakes” & “Heaven Is Our Home”. We pray that this collection of fun and vibrant songs, help children around the world to declare biblical truths about God’s love and grace for them.

Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church. For this reason they seek to partner with parents (the greatest teachers of all!) and with church pastors and leaders, equipping them with great resources. Through fun experiences, meaningful music and ministry that encourages kids to participate, Hillsong Kids presents Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments which children will never forget.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of Hillsong Kids Can You Believe It, click here.

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“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 on the same blog, 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.

Ellie Claire Art Journals Review

By: Melissa Baker

The Ellie Claire Art Journals are high quality, beautiful journals. The pages of each journal are thick and the covers are all hardcover. Some of them have pen holders, and the journals are filled with vibrant colors and scripture with plenty of lined pages to journal to your hearts content. Below I have described each journal as well as given my honest opinion of each one. I hope you will enjoy hearing about these journals as much as I have enjoyed using them!

About the Illuminate Your Story Journal:

The illuminate your story journal shows you step by step in visual and written instructions for writing and drawing the alphabet in ancient times style. There is also a list of supplies you will need for this task. there are practice pages for each step of the process. I absolutely LOVE this journal. I am not an artist by any means, but following the steps in this journal makes me feel like I have a little bit of an artist in me after all. This journal will be sure to bring out your creative side. At the beginning of each letter, there is an inspirational quote to inspire and encourage you. The design is very simple yet elegant, and it even has a pen holder for easy access to write at any time. I would highly recommend this journal to anyone of any age.

About the Faith and Lettering Journal:

The Faith and Lettering Journal is probably my favorite journal. It is designed to help you with hand-lettering as well as bring out your creativity as you meditate on God's word. It will help inspire your devotional time and dig deep into the Wod of God through the art of lettering. You can practice the basics of hand-lettering, Bible journaling and even sermon sketch note-taking. It has a beautiful pink and turquoise color pattern. There is a pen holder and it has a hard cover with foil lettering on it. it is one gorgeous journal! There is a colorful page with a scripture on it to begin each section. Following that is a blank page with dotted lines for your journaling. The next few pages have a scripture to trace and practice.There are also pro tips in each section. The art and colors in this journal are amazing and vibrant. There is plenty of room in this journal for your creativity to soar. Anyone would benefit from having this journal.

About the Illustrated Word Bible Coloring Journal:

This journal is designed in a medieval way. It has scripture all throughout the journal with lined pages for you to write your thoughts on whatever God gives you. There are also coloring pages scattered throughout, to inspire your creativity. The pictures are very old fashioned and subtle. There is plenty of room for you to journal and color in this very interesting journal. I would recommend this journal to those who want a simple, yet useful journal.

Overall I am very pleased with these journals and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to journal and inspire their creativity, all while growing closer to God.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Seek and Remember

By: Melissa Baker

Sometimes we get so busy with our daily lives, that we forget to really seek God. Sure, we may pray, read our Bibles and worship Him throughout the day, but we sometimes forget to seek him. We need to be continually seeking Him and connecting with him every day! When we are not seeking Him like we should, we often take for granted the little things He has done for us, and occasionally even the big things. Sometimes, we forget the wonders and miracles of God. Those are the big things we should be in awe of and yet we play them down to "no big deal", or we just simply forget how wonderful they are. God is literally a God of wonders!

Search for the Lord and for His strength; Continually seek Him. Remember the wonder he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given.
1 Chronicles 16:11-12

We should really "stop and smell the roses" like that old saying suggests. Let's take the time to appreciate and be in awe of all the wonders and miracles in our lives and in this world. We should seek the Lord every single day of our lives, and then it won't be so easy to forget just how big and awesome our God really is!

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic. glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. 
Psalms 145:4-6

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible- Review and Giveaway!

By: Melissa Baker

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible is filled with Bible stories that every child should read. Each story begins with the scripture that applies to it, and then goes into detail about the story. This Bible has vivid and colorful pictures, that every reader will enjoy. My 5 year old son loves opening this Bible to read about God's presence in each and every story. I have even witnessed my 7 year old son reading it to his brothers. I think that this is by far, my son's favorite story book Bible that he has read. I would say it is perfect for readers from the ages of 4-8 years old. I would highly recommend getting this illustrated Bible for the little ones in your life. It would also make a great gift as well.

About the Bible:
The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories
that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a
cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal
to both children and parents alike.

Author Bio:   
Doris Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Illustrator Bio:  Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself, and if he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.

Please visit the link below to learn more and view a free sampler:  

And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

“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 on the same blog, 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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

By: Melissa Baker

In the city we live in, each school in the district has a phrase or slogan that they use to represent the school. Our oldest son started middle school this year. In starting this new adventure, I learned that the middle school's slogan is "your vibe attracts your tribe". At first I thought it was kind of weird. But as I thought about this saying more and more, I have come to love it! And it is so fitting, not only for middle schoolers but for every person, men and women alike. The vibe or attitude that we put off, will affect who we attract. If we are constantly negative, the people around us will be negative. The situations we find ourselves in, will also be negative. If we are constantly positive and happy, guess what? We will suddenly find ourselves surrounded by friendly people and more positive situations. We human beings, feed off of eachother. So we should want to attract people that will bring the best out of us. 

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

The same works with who we chose to put in our lives. If we surround ourselves with a bad or negative crowd, we are slowly going to turn into the people that they are. So as christians we must be careful who we chose to let in our lives. We must imitate Christs humility in our relationships, so that we can live more positive and joyful lives. We should want to attract Christ-like people, but in order to do that, we need to be Christ-like as well.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus..
Philippians 2:2-5

So just a friendly reminder "Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe". Be careful as to what vibe you are putting off. 

Have a great day!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tori Kelly's “Hiding Places" CD- Review & Giveaway!!

Our family is a musical family. My husband is on our church worship team and plays drums, piano, and bass guitar. Our oldest son plays trumpet. Our middle son plays the drums. You can say, music is a huge part of our lives. So when I get a chance to listen to something new, I get extremely excited.

I had heard of Tori Kelly and I immediately wanted to listen to her music. And let’s just say I was NOT disappointed! If you are looking for a fresh new gospel sound, look no further! Tori Kelly has teamed up with Kirk Franklin to produce an amazing album. Tori has an incredibly soothing and soulful voice. This album has an R&B feel to it, and you can definitely relate to her heart and soul as you listen to her music. I really enjoyed listening to her new CD “Hiding Places”. Go out and get a copy today!

About Tori Kelly:

While working on the follow-up to her debut album Unbreakable Smile—a 2015 release that premiered at #2 on the Billboard 200—Tori Kelly felt compelled to include a track that honored her lifelong passion for gospel music. With the help of her manager, Scooter Braun, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter soon connected with Kirk Franklin, a 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and one of Kelly’s musical idols. “I flew to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he’d written, and I fell in love with all of them,” says Kelly, a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist. “Next thing you know, one song turned into us doing a whole album together. It just took on a life of its own.”

With its R&B-infused, deeply melodic take on classic gospel, Hiding Place offers up what Franklin refers to as “hope-pop”—a classification that fully resonates with Kelly. “One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen,” she says. “I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart.”

As Kelly explains, the title to Hiding Place draws inspiration from a line in one of her favorite psalms (“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance”). “That always stuck with me: this idea of God being a place of safety, a place where you can hide from all the crazy things that this world can throw at us,” she notes. Produced by Franklin, Hiding Place unfolds with a lush yet simply adorned sound beautifully suited to Kelly’s incomparable voice. “I’ve worked with Mary J. Blige, Bono, Yolanda Adams, and I’ve never seen anyone that’s a monster behind the microphone like Tori Kelly,” says Franklin. “She’d nail one song in three takes, and all those takes were amazing. It set the bar higher for my whole career.”

While half of the songs on Hiding Place were penned solely by Franklin, the remaining tracks came from a collaboration between him and Kelly—the first time that Franklin’s ever co-written in a decades-long career that’s seen his songs performed by legends like Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. (“It blew me away that she wanted us to co-write, because she’s a phenomenal songwriter and could’ve easily done it herself,” Franklin says.) And at Franklin’s urging, Hiding Place was mostly recorded at his studio just outside Dallas. “The most important thing to me was that if Tori wanted to do a gospel album—a real, authentic, heart-throbbing gospel album—she’d have to come to the South,” he says. “Then she showed up at my studio with no entourage, no handlers—just Tori and her guitar, standing at my front door.”

With its sonic palette gracefully rooted in live instrumentation, Hiding Place first reveals its unbridled spirit on the album-opening “Masterpiece” (featuring Houston-bred hip-hop artist Lecrae)—a joyfully uptempo track that instantly sweeps the listener into a more radiant state of mind. From there, Kelly delivers her slow-burning lead single “Help Us to Love,” whose breathtaking harmonies feature the famed HamilTones (official background vocalists for Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton). Proving her versatility as an artist and musician, Hiding Place then shifts seamlessly from the silky groove and playful scat singing of “Sunday” to the sweetly ethereal soul of “Just As Sure” (a duet with chart-topping gospel star Jonathan McReynolds) to the quiet intensity of “Psalm 42.” “So many of the songs on this album are so intricate, I wanted a song that I could play completely stripped-down, just me and my guitar,” says Kelly of the tender piano ballad.

One of the most profound moments on Hiding Place, the hushed yet urgent ballad “Questions” finds Kelly tearfully examining the current state of the world (sample lyric: “What happens when the healing never comes?”). “It’s about trying to make sense of all the dark and heavy things that keep happening, sort of crying out to God and asking, ‘What’s going on? I don’t like what I see down here,’” says Kelly. Then, on the subtly determined “Never Alone,” Kelly recollects her own struggles (“I’ve cried many rivers/I’ve walked through some pain/Seen my world crumble”) and ultimately re-discovers comfort and peace through her faith. On “Soul’s Anthem,” Kelly closes out Hiding Place with an a cappella, full-choir-driven rendition of the beloved hymn “It Is Well.” Perhaps the most powerfully captivating track on the album, “Soul’s Anthem” also gave way to what Kelly considers a landmark moment in her musical career. “Before we started, Kirk said to me, ‘Don’t look at me or the choir, just look down and get into your own world,’” says Kelly, who recorded “Soul’s Anthem” at the iconic Capitol Studios. “So I sang it all the way through, and at one point there’s a part where the choir takes over. I looked up and saw all these incredible singers, and it finally hit me that this was really happening. You can’t hear it on the recording, but I’m crying at the end of the song.”

Looking back on the making of Hiding Place, Kelly still marvels at the experience. “I always thought I would do something like this, but I thought it would be much further down the line,” she says. “It’s been in my heart for some time, but the timing didn’t feel right until now. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to work with someone like Kirk just yet, and that people would be so excited and accepting.” And though the album marks a stylistic departure from her work in the pop world, a commitment to uncompromising artistry carries through all of Kelly’s music. “No matter what genre you’re working in, there should be a level of excellence, and Tori definitely brought that excellence to this album,” says Franklin. “A lot of artists out there will rely on Auto-Tune or studio tricks, but there’s no button you can push for emotion, and there’s no button for skill. Tori is excellent in everything she does, because she’s a real, pure artist.” As she gets ready to share Hiding Place with the world, Kelly hopes that it might give others the same sense of solace and joy she’s found in gospel in her entire life. And as the album’s creator, one of the most rewarding aspects of Hiding Place was embracing gospel’s boundless intensity, and pushing her vocal performance like never before. “With gospel music, you can’t sing without all your heart being in it,” says Kelly. “This album was an opportunity to not only express my faith and my love for God, but to do what I felt and never hold back. I could just be free and let the song take me over.”

Buy your own copy of “Hiding Places” Here.

Below is a video of one of the songs on the album titled "Never Alone".  Enjoy!

And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remembering 9/11

By: Melissa Baker

Today September 11th. It is the anniversary of one of the most tragic and horrible events in US history. The terrorist attack on our country 17 years ago turned our world upside down. I remember being in Theater class in high school, when I heard (and saw) the news on TV. Everyone was in shock. We just couldn't fathom the horror that was taking place. Thinking back on the events of that day, my heart is still broken for those that were lost, and for the families that have to deal with this tragic time. However, I am also hopeful and my spirit is lifted when I think about all that God has pulled us through, not only as individuals, but as a nation as well.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

The Bible tells us that God is close to the brokenhearted, that is will never leave us, and that we are loved by God. We have to hold onto those promises in times like these. I know we were all deeply impacted by 9/11, some more than others, so I can't speak for everyone. However, I do know that my God is bigger than any tragedy that we will ever face. So today, if you are grieving yet another anniversary of a loved one lost, or just reliving the heartbreak of this day, know that God is always with us, carrying us through our hardest moments.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

I have posted a video below of a song about 9/11. It puts things in perspective and helps me to reflect. And it is a reminder to never take each day for granted. Its called "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  
Jeremiah 29:11

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
 John 3:16

Have a great day!