Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ESV Illuminated Bible: Review and GIVEAWAY!!

By: Melissa Baker


I am so excited to share this amazing Bible with you! It is the ESV Illuminated Bible. I seriously felt like royalty when I was reading this Bible. It is so beautiful, inside and out. The illustrations are incredible! There is enough room in the margins of each page to make notes or journal. The pages are lined in gold, which adds a very nice touch. The design of this Bible has that old fashioned feel to it, but the text is in the English Standard Version, which is very easy to read and understand. At the beginning of each book, there is a beautiful illustration with the title of the book. And in the back of the Bible, there is an Index of Title Pages, where it explains what each picture represents. I have never seen such a gorgeous Bible! I am just blown away by the creativity and detail that was put into it. This is such a beautiful Bible and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read God's word in a very different and unique way, as well as anyone who is interested in journaling. 

ESV ILLUMINATED BIBLE:
The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over 500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the Bible's single-column text setting and wide margins provide generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs—inviting readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God's Word.
  • 9-point, Lexicon
  • Black letter text
  • 2-color printing
  • 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
  • 50 full-page verse illustrations
  • 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
  • 100+ other illustrations throughout
  • Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House, USPS, and Target
  • Thick, cream-colored paper
  • Wide margins
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Permanent Slipcase
  • Dana Tanamachi is an American lettering artist, graphic designer, and illustrator whose exquisite typographic murals ignited the worldwide chalk-lettering trend.  She has been commissioned by clients such as Instagram, Target, Google, Time Magazine, Nike, and West Elm. Learn more at tanamachistudio.com.

If you would like to purchase the ESV Illuminated Bible, you can do so HERE.

To find out more information about this amazing Bible,  please visit the website: IlluminatedBible.org.

Here is a video about the ESV Illuminated Bible: https://vimeo.com/237851665


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, November 14, 2017

Finding Your Lost Joy


What is something that is very easy for you to lose? Your keys? Your phone? Your sanity? Yes, all of these are very easy to lose, but there is something even easier to lose if you are not careful. Your Joy. You can lose it with a text, email or phone call. One conversation. One situation. One downfall, and you can lose your joy.
When we as God's children are not filled with joy, it not only makes for a bad time, but it also makes God look bad. Grumpy and cranky christians are a very bad witness. If we are constantly going around angry, sad or just plain unpleasant, who in their right mind would want what we have? The Bible tells us that the christian life can be summed up in three words: goodness, peace and joy. Romans 14:17 says: "The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit! We should strive to have joy in our hearts, no matter what we are going through. The truth is, I struggle with having joy. Situations and circumstances often get me down and cause me lose my joy. But I have a feeling I am not alone. There are so many ways that people, yes even christians, can lose their joy. If you have ever gone through a time where you feel like you have lost your spark and you are not as close to God as you used to be, or maybe you are just going thru the motions of this life, you might have lost your joy. Wherever you are, just know that you can get it back. You can have the joy of the Lord present in your life again! So, how do we get our joy back? Well, first we have to admit we have lost it. We have to recognize that it is slowly fading or even completely gone. Examine your heart and see if maybe you are not as joyful as you once were. 
If you desire to have joy again, now is the time to make the change! Start asking God to restore your joy that you once had. "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12. If you struggle with having joy, that should be your prayer. Focusing on God instead of your trials will automatically inspire joy. Sometimes, we get so caught up in everything that is going bad and it blurs our vision and changes our focus from God to our problems. We have to intentionally focus on God! Worship God and thank Him for everything He has done. The closer you get to God, the more joy and peace you will have in your heart, and in your life. 

This world needs more joy, so let's start with us! 

Have a great day!



Thursday, November 9, 2017

God's Big Plans For Me Storybook Bible Giveaway!

By: Melissa Baker
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Rick Warren, best known as the author of The Purpose Driven Life, has now written a children's devotional storybook Bible. The author takes us through 40 of the most loved Bible stories. Each day, there is a small devotion, as well as the scripture that goes along with it. At the end of each day, there is a "think", "remember" and "question" section that challenges the reader to think about and fully comprehend what they have read. This Bible has very vivid and colorful pictures that every child will enjoy. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8, so it is perfect for toddlers as well as school aged children. My son absolutely loved reading through this storybook Bible and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get their children in God's word.

About God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible:
God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible illustrates the 40 foundational principles written in the #1 New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren. With child-friendly language, engaging illustrations, and a chronological approach, Pastor Warren introduces each Bible story with a theme that aligns with one of his foundational principles. He wraps up the stories with a closing thought targeted to early readers. The colorful illustrations and narrative tone bring these beloved Bible stories to life for readers young and old. God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible has foil decoration on the cover.

If you would like to purchase the storybook Bible, you can do so 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.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Power of the Tongue

By: Melissa Baker

So much can be said by what we allow to roll off of our tongue. The tongue is a powerful thing. It can be a weapon of destruction or a tool to encourage and help others. What you decide to use it for is entirely up to you. I have so much to say about this, and so many scriptures that apply to our use of the tongue and what we speak. Believe it or not, there is a time to speak and also a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). We will be talking about both instances today. Lets dig in and see what the Bible says about the use of our tongue.

First let's talk about what SHOULD come out of our mouth. Colossians 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Proverbs  31:26 says "she speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." We should always try to be graceful and helpful in everything we say.  My parents taught me growing up that if I didn't have anything nice to say, that I shouldn't say anything at all. And that is so true! In Proverbs 18:21, it tells us that "the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit." Words are so powerful. That old saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me... well, I think that is completely false! Words cut deep. If you are told as a child that you are stupid, chances are, you are going to grow up thinking that you're stupid, even if that is completely not the case. Proverbs 13:3 says that "we should guard our lips and if we speak rashly we will come to ruin." Toby Mac has a song that I am sure most of us have heard, but it's called "Speak Life". It encourages listeners to speak life into bad situations. Be the positive in this extremely negative world. Be an encourager and show the light of Jesus where there seems to be no light in sight.

Now let's talk about what should NOT come out of our mouths. Ephesians 4:29 states "Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." In James 3:10, it is made clear that "out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should NOT be." So many times, what we claim to be (christians) and the way we live, does not reflect or match what comes out of our mouth. As christians, we need to think about what we say before we say it, as it can ruin our witness to those who are watching and listening to us. Jesus states in Matthew 15:11 that "what goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them." We are also told in Proverbs 21:23 to "watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble." That is an easy concept. We are supposed to watch what we say and not use foul language. Pretty simple, right? For some people, it's not so simple. Our anger can sometimes get the best of us. Our urge to gossip unfortunately can overtake our mouth. Our desire to change or help someone might actually come out as condemning them.

Matthew 12:34 tells us that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. If your heart is full of junk, it will eventually come out of your mouth, exposing the contents of your heart. Each and every one of us will have to give an account for every word we speak (Matthew 12:36). That thought alone should scare the majority of us. It's time as christians, that we take control over our tongue and the words that we speak. Weather you are talking to your child or a perfect stranger, our words should be positive and encouraging, so we can show the love of God. So I encourage you, let's speak life today, and let's be aware of what is coming out of our mouth. Words DO matter!

Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Rest We Need

By: Melissa Baker

Rest. We all need it, yet it seems like we never do it. We are all so busy, going nonstop that we forget to rest. We have work, church, school, our kids sports, extra curricular activities, etc. All of that can wear us down very easily, especially if we don't learn to balance everything. This world is chaotic enough without us making it more complicated with our schedules and to-do lists. A lady by the name of Alli Worthington once said "We have to start breaking busy before the busy breaks us." Isn't that the truth! If we don't learn how to rest and take a breather, we will never accomplish anything other than being busy. We need to take a break. We need to rest!
There are several different types of rest. Spiritual rest, physical rest and mental rest. Jesus modeled all of these types of rest. YES, even Jesus needed rest! So if Jesus needed rest, don't you think we need to rest too? First, Jesus modeled spiritual rest. He took time to be alone with God. In Mark 1:35, it says "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed." He knew this was extremely important because He needed to hear God's voice. He needed to rest in God's presence. If you make time to pray and rest in God every day, you will be renewed and refreshed.
Jesus also modeled physical rest. He fell asleep on the boat with the disciples in the middle of a storm. Mark 4:38 says " Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him , "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"Even when others were desperately needing his help, Jesus was willing to take a nap and get physical rest. He knew the importance of physical rest. If we don't get the proper rest our bodies need, we are irritable, grouchy and our bodies suffer. We are supposed to take care of the bodies that God has given us.
Lastly, Jesus modeled mental rest. He was not afraid to step away from the crowds. He was willing to go to the other side on a boat, away from everyone who so desperately needed Him. Jesus was clear on what God was calling Him to do, so the needs and desires of others didn't distract Him from the mental rest He needed. Lets remove ourselves from the busyness and chaos and mentally rest.
God doesn't want us to be constantly exhausted and overwhelmed. How can we accomplish all that God is calling us to do if we cannot physically or emotionally function. We cannot function properly unless we have all the required rest our body needs. We need spiritual rest (time with God), we need physical rest (our bodies literally still) and we also need mental rest (time away from the chaos). God wants us to slow down and use our gifts and talents without the worrying or the busyness. We need to fully rest in God. When we do this, our bodies will be energized and our minds will be clear and open to what God wants us to do.  So today, be sure to get all the rest your mind and body is begging you for. Only then will be at your best. And that is what God wants from us, our very best!

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Have a great day!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Comparison Trap

By: Melissa Baker



When I was growing up, we weren't extremely "well off". Since my family didn't have a lot of money, that meant we usually didn't have all the fashionable clothing, accessories and latest trend items. I remember often thinking, "I wish I had her clothes", or "she is so much prettier than I am". I was insecure as it was, so having less than flattering clothing and hand me downs, didn't help much. I looked up to certain people, weather it be for their style, status or looks. But that often lead to comparing myself to those people. So I ended up in the comparison trap.  And if we are not careful, falling into that comparison trap can happen easier than we think. This isn't just a "teenage" problem. Grown adults have this problem as well. Sometimes, we compare ourselves to other women without even realizing we are doing it. The comparison trap does not have a specific target. Anyone at any age can fall victim to it if we allow ourselves to.

Wanting what others have is the ultimate thief of joy and it will leave you disappointed with your own life. When you compare yourself to others, what you are really doing is taking your own gifts and blessings for granted. When you are worried about what everyone else has or is doing, you become jealous, discontent, and you often cannot see what God is doing in your own life, because you are blinded by theirs.

In Galatians 6:4, we are instructed to examine our own lives, and who God has made us to be as an individual. What talents do you have that someone else does not? How can God use you for something that no one else can do? How can your testimony be used to reach someone, that no one else can reach? Each and every person was given a certain skillset that He wants to use in a specific way. Once you realize your own purpose or talents, let God use you! Place your focus on those things that God has blessed YOU with.  


"Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else."
Galatians 6:4

There is a  powerful phrase that someone once wrote and I find it very helpful. It reads: "Someone else's success does not rob you of anything." If we can just remember that the next time we fall into the comparison trap, we can focus on the calling God has in our own lives, instead of what we don't have or where we are lacking. Don't fall into the comparison trap, let's be happy for other people's success and work on making our own!



Have a blessed day! 


Friday, September 29, 2017

Matt Redman: Glory Song CD Review and Giveaway!!!

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I have really come to like Matt Redman's music. He is consistently inspiring and he's an incredibly talented artist. I just love how his heart for God comes forth through the songs he sings. The songs on this album paint a picture of worship and the love of God. My favorite song on this album is "Gracefully Broken". However, the whole CD is amazing! It has powerful messages and soothing sounds that are perfect for worshipping or having quiet time with God. If you want to be encouraged and refreshed, I highly recommend that you purchase this album. It is wonderful! You can't go wrong with Matt Redman!

About the album:
Matt Redman teamed up with several of his worship-artist friends for this album, first releasing the track “Gracefully Broken (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard).” Tasha Cobbs Leonard also released her own version of this song on the same day! The album also features Kierra Sheard, Guvna B, Madison Cunningham, and Kim Walker-Smith. 


View the Gracefully Broken (Lyric Video) HERE.
View the Gracefully Broken (Song Story) HERE .
If you would like to pick up a copy of the album, you can do so 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.