Saturday, January 30, 2010

Faith 'n Fiction Saturdays ~ Why Read?




Welcome to Faith'n'Fiction Saturday where we take a closer look at the intersection of the Christian faith and fiction. You are welcome to participate by putting your answers in comments or writing your response on your blog.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to ask a series of questions that go back to the basics. Today's question is the most basic of all. Why read?

I read for several reasons:

1) I love the escape. It's the only time my mind really has a chance to not be truly thinking, but being absorbed in the story before my eyes

2) I find it so fascinating to be transported to a time I'll never live in. Going back to the wild west with the trappers, pioneers, and cowboys is a dream come true on the page. Traveling to England in the 17-1800's and reading about the struggles of a governess, royalty, or martyr has a pull on my heart. Can you imagine being held captive on a pirate ship being scared out of your wits? I can because the authors completely suck me into the story and I can picture myself a fly on the wall.

3) Reading also helps me learn about history, since historical fiction is the largest genre I read. There is so much research that the authors do, I always come away having learned something about the past. I also learn about faith. I can relate so often to what the characters are going through spiritually that my faith is built upon through them.
4) It's a great example to my kids. I want them to enjoy reading and I know if they see me doing it, they will hopefully go by my example. Of course, I have to not spend every waking moment reading, which would be a bad example!! My girls grew up with a voracious love of reading. It's something we definitely share. My 16 yr old is even part of a girls book club at church, just like her mama! I enjoy sitting in bed with my boys, each of us a book in had. Even though we might be reading separate books, it's something we're doing together.

How about you? Why do you read?


Friday, January 29, 2010

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen

The Silent Governess
by Julie Klassen
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0707-5
Publisher: Bethany House




Book Summary


Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

My Review

There are very few things in life that are as satisfying as coming away from a great book with a deep sigh! I just finished reading The Silent Governess and absolutely loved it. Julie Klassen is one of my favorite new authors! She's written 3 books over the last couple of years and I have loved each one! I'm not sure if Julie fits in the Regency Fiction category, but she definitely writes historical fiction.

Throughout The Silent Governess, I kept being reminded of The Sound of Music. Olivia ends up taking care of children as a Governess although she's never taken care of children. She can't seem to please Lord Bradley, who seems to constantly be annoyed with Olivia and yet at the same time drawn to her. I think one of my favorite moments was when Olivia is giving the children dancing lessons and Lord Bradley comes in and takes over as her partner. Ahhh, sweet satisfaction.

I liked that Olivia did as much as she could with the circumstances placed before her. God brought people into her life to make the trials she had to endure a bit easier. Lord Bradley constantly made me want to knock him over the head because he was so frustrating. A sign of Klassen's wonderful writing. I also enjoyed the character of Lord Brightwell. He was such a tender heart later in his life and played a very meaningful role in the story.

The Silent Governess left me very satisfied in the end. Even though at 438 pages, it was easy to get through. I can't admit to you how late I stayed up one night I was so engrossed in the story. I honestly couldn't tear myself away. I would give this book away, but I know my oldest daughter will want to read it. Besides, my bookshelf enjoys my Klassen collection.

About the Author

Julie Klassen is a fiction editor with a background in advertising. She has worked in Christian publishing for more than twelve years, in both marketing and editorial capacities. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She enjoys travel, research, books, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit http://www.julieklassen.com/


*I'd like to thank Noelle for my review copy of The Silent Governess. If you'd like to learn more about this and other wonderful books, you can visit Bethany House Publishers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wrap-N-Mat Review & GIVEAWAY


On my quest to find more eco-friendly & family friendly products I came across Wrap-N-Mat. I want to do away with the enormous amount of baggies we use every year. I never reuse them and they just go into the landfills where they sit for an extremely long time.

My 10 yr old son is the only one who takes a sandwich or bagel to school for lunch. My 6 yr old always, and I mean always, takes yogurt. So, I had to wait until Buddy had a lunch bag day. It didn't take long. My boys are only so-so fans of school lunches.












I made Buddy his regular cinnamon bagel as his main course. They're pretty tall compared to a sandwich so I thought it'd be interesting to see if the velcro would be long enough to seal the Wrap. Ta-da...success! The next hurdle was how he'd react to taking something other than a baggie. You know how kids love to stand out in Middle School, or not. When he came home I kind of, throughout the after school conversation asked him how well his Wrap did. I didn't come out and ask him how he felt about having the Wrap compared to a baggie. He said he liked it and that it stayed cold.

I was so thankful. You never know how a 10 yr old is going to act in social situations. I've sent it with him about 4 times in the last couple weeks and I'm happy to say it's made it home in good condition. The velcro is strong enough to stay shut through all the lunch box jostling. Being a boy, Buddy uses it as a weapon. :) He liked the Shark design as well. Very boy! It's super easy to wipe off and lay out for the next day's use.

Here's a bit of info about the Wrap-N-Mats:

  • WRAP-N-MAT® Wraps are the only RE-USABLE sandwich wrap and placemat in one.

  • Easy to clean, just hand wash and air dry.

  • Original sized wraps are approx. 13" x 13"

  • Grande' sized wraps are approx. 14" x 17"

  • Due to the lining, our WRAP-N-MAT® Wraps are NOT intended for hot foods, to be heated or to be microwaved. As with any plastic, placing hot food upon the lining will make it melt.

  • Phthalate free

  • BPA free

  • The material is manufactured to meet all FDA's guidelines to be in contact with food

  • Lead free
*I'd like to thank Bonnie from Wrap-A-Mat for sending us our review product. We love it and it's a success at our home! How would you like to have a go at them? Bonnie has sent me the Wrap-N-Mat Wrap and Snack Pouch to share with my commenters!

Enter to win

Required Entry: Head to Wrap-N-Mat and tell me which design is your favorite.

Must be at least 18 yrs old to enter and a US Resident. There must be a way to contact you either with email or in your contact profile. No email/contact = No entry. Giveaway ends 2/8, 10pm CST.

Extra Entries:

1) Follow my blog (2 entries, comment 2x)

2) Grab my button and let me know where to find it (1 entry)

3) Follow my Networked Blogs (2 entries, comment 2x)

4) Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)

5) Make a purchase from Wrap-N-Mat (5 entries, comment 5 times)
~Winner has 48 hours to respond to email contact or I will choose another winner.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Norwex Party & Healthy Living

I understand that there are chemicals that are toxic to our bodies in the products that we use. I didn't understand how bad it truly is until I attended a Norwex party Friday night. If you've never heard of Norwex, they are a company started in Norway who's "mission to improve the quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning."

As Liz, the consultant went through each of her cleaning products and explained how bad the chemicals are in traditional ones, I started sinking more and more into myself. I never understood dryer balls. What was the point? Uh, the point would be to not use dryer sheets that are extremely toxic! WHAT?! We've been using them since I was a kid!! NO MORE!

On top of that, I stopped using antipersperant. I've known for a long time that it's bad for us to not sweat. I wasn't that concerned really. I'd wanted to stop using it and actually went looking for just deodorant and couldn't find any. That was several months ago. I stopped cold turkey on Saturday. I actually ordered the Norwex Crystal Deordorant. Thank goodness I'm not a big sweater!

So, why am I writing this post? Because I'm really making a committment to changing our lives and the amount of toxins we're putting into it. As a mom, it really freaks me out the chemicals already affecting my kids!

The change will take time and research! I want to make sure the claims of companies are true and as safe as they might claim to be. I tend to be pretty cynical and have a hard time trusting large corporations. Let's be honest, everyone is out to make a buck or more. That stated, our lives are worth more than what we're putting into them now chemically!

If you have any suggestions or companies that I should try out, let me know! I'm open to ideas.

*This post is mine alone and was not to soley promote Norwex. They are mentioned here because of the party I attended on Friday. If you are interested in learning more about Norwex, let me know and I can refer you to someone who sells it. (I don't receive anything from referals).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Being Featured at Simply Stacie

Simply Stacie


Today Woven by Words is being featured at Simply Stacie! How awesome is that? I love the layout of her site and how generous she is to have this Feature! If you'd like to learn more about me, typos and all, head to: http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-spotlight-woven-by-words.html

While you're there, take a look around. If you're a blogger who does giveaways, you may want to check in with her and see if you can get on her schedule to be Featured! She has over 1600 followers! Lucky lady.


Simply Stacie

Thank you soooo much Stacie for having me on your site!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Be Authentic by Warren Wiersbe ~ FIRST Tour

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!




Today's Wild Card author is:



Warren Wiersbe



and the book:



Be Authentic


David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary series. Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply God’s Word with the goal of life transformation. Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434766306
ISBN-13: 978-1434766304

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



Like Father , Like Son—Almost

(Genesis 25—26)


Isaac was the son of a famous father (Abraham) and the father of a famous son (Jacob), and for those reasons he is sometimes considered a lightweight among the patriarchs. Compared to the exploits of Abraham and Jacob, Isaac’s life does seem conventional and commonplace. Although he lived longer than either Abraham or Jacob, only six chapters are devoted to Isaac’s life in the Genesis record, and only one verse in Hebrews 11 (v. 9).


Isaac was a quiet, meditative man (Gen. 24:63), who would rather pack up and leave than confront his enemies. During his long life, he didn’t travel far from home. Abraham had made the long journey from Haran to Canaan, and had even visited Egypt, and Jacob went to Haran to get a wife, but Isaac spent his entire adult life moving around in the land of Canaan. If there had been an ancient Middle East equivalent to our contemporary “jet set,” Isaac wouldn’t have joined it.


However, there are more Isaacs in this world than there are Abrahams or Jacobs, and these people make important contributions to society and to the church, even if they don’t see their names in lights or even in the church bulletin. Furthermore, Isaac was a living part of the divine plan that eventually produced the Jewish nation, gave us the Bible, and brought Jesus Christ into the world, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.


Isaac wasn’t a failure; he was just different. After all, the people in each generation have to find themselves and be themselves and not spend their lives slavishly trying to imitate their ancestors. “Men are born equal,” wrote psychiatrist Erich Fromm in Escape from Freedom, “but they are also born different.” Discovering our uniqueness and using it to the glory of God is the challenge that makes life what it is. Why be a cheap imitation when you can be a valuable original?


No generation stands alone, because each new generation is bound to previous generations whether we like it or not. Isaac was bound to Abraham and Sarah by ties that couldn’t be ignored or easily broken. Let’s look at some of those ties and discover what they teach us about our own life of faith today.


HE RECEIVED HIS FATHE R’S INHERITANCE (25:1–18)


Abraham recognized his other children by giving them gifts and sending them away, thereby making sure they couldn’t supplant Isaac as the rightful heir. Along with his father’s immense wealth (13:2; 23:6), Isaac also inherited the covenant blessings that God had given Abraham and Sarah (12:1–3; 13:14–18; 15:1–6). Isaac had parents who believed God and, in spite of occasional mistakes, tried to please Him.


Abraham’s firstborn son, Ishmael (chap. 16), wasn’t chosen to be the child of promise and the heir of the covenant blessings. God promised to bless Ishmael and make him a great nation, and He kept His promise (17:20–21; 25:12–16); “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac” (17:21;

Rom. 9:6–13). Ishmael was on hand for his father’s funeral (Gen. 25:9), but he wasn’t included in the reading of his father’s will.


Ishmael pictures the “natural” or unsaved person (1 Cor. 2:14), who is outside the faith and hostile to the things of God. But Isaac pictures those who have trusted Jesus Christ and experienced the miraculous new birth by the power of God (1 Peter 1:22–23). “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). Ishmael was born a slave, but Isaac was born free (4:21–31; 5:1–2); and Ishmael was born poor, but Isaac was born rich. Every believer in Jesus Christ shares all the blessings of the Spirit in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and is part of Christ’s glorious inheritance (vv. 11, 18).


From the moment of birth, we’re all dependent on the older generation to care for us until we can care for ourselves. We’re also indebted to previous generations for guarding and handing down to us the knowledge, skills, traditions, and culture that are extremely important to daily life. Imagine what life would be like if each new generation had to devise the alphabet, invent printing, discover electricity, or design the wheel!


The most important part of Isaac’s legacy wasn’t the great material wealth his father had left him. Isaac’s most important legacy was the spiritual wealth from his father and mother: knowing and trusting the true and living God and being a part of the covenant blessings that God had graciously bestowed upon Abraham and Sarah and their descendants. How tragic it is when the children of devout Christian believers turn their backs on their priceless spiritual heritage and, like Ishmael and Esau, live for the world and the flesh instead of for the Lord!



HE PRAYED TO HIS FATHER’S GOD (25:19–34)


Genesis is a record of ten successive “generations.” Generations come and go, but the Lord remains and never changes. “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps. 90:1 NKJV).


A devoted home (vv. 19–20). When Isaac was forty years old, God selected Rebekah to be his wife (chap. 24; 25:20), and we have every reason to believe that they were both devoted to the Lord and to each other. The record indicates that Rebekah was the more aggressive of the two when it came to family matters, but perhaps that’s just the kind of wife Isaac needed. Whatever mistakes Isaac may have made as a husband and father, this much is true: As a young man, he willingly put himself on the altar to obey his father and to please the Lord (chap. 22; Rom. 12:1–2).


A disappointed home (v. 21). Isaac and Rebekah waited twenty years for a family, but no children came. The entire book of Genesis emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the wisdom of His “delays.” Abraham and Sarah had to wait twenty-five years for Isaac to be born; Jacob had to labor fourteen years to obtain his two wives; and Joseph had to wait over twenty years before he was reconciled to his brothers. Our times are in His hands (Ps. 31:15), and His timing is never wrong.


Like Abraham, Isaac was a man of prayer, so he interceded with the Lord on behalf of his barren wife. Isaac had every right to ask God for children because of the covenant promises the Lord had made to his father and mother, promises Isaac had heard repeated in the family circle and that he believed. If Rebekah remained barren, how could Abraham’s seed multiply as the dust of the earth and the stars of the heavens? How could Abraham’s seed become a blessing to the whole world (Gen. 12:1–3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:6)?


It has well been said that the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in heaven but to get God’s will done on earth. Even though every Jewish couple wanted children, Isaac wasn’t praying selfishly. He was concerned about God’s plan for fulfilling His covenant and blessing the whole world through the promised Messiah (3:15; 12:1–3). True prayer means being concerned about God’s will, not our own wants, and claiming God’s promises in the Word. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer and enabled Rebekah to conceive.


A distressed home (vv. 22–23). One problem soon led to another, because Rebekah’s pregnancy was a difficult one: The babies in her womb were struggling with each other. The Hebrew word means “to crush or oppress,” suggesting that the fetal movements were not normal. Since Rebekah wondered if the Lord was trying to say something to her, she went to inquire. Isaac was fortunate to have a wife who not only knew how to pray, but who also wanted to understand God’s will for herself and her children.


In salvation history, the conception and birth of children is a divinely ordained event that has significant consequences. This was true of the birth of Isaac (chaps. 18, 21), the twelve sons of Jacob (29:30—30:24), Moses (Ex. 1—2), Samuel (1 Sam. 1—2), David (Ruth 4:17–22), and our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 4:4–5). Conception, birth, and death are divine appointments, not human accidents, a part of God’s wise and loving plan for His own people (Ps. 116:15; 139:13–16).


Imagine Rebekah’s surprise when she learned that the two children would struggle with each other all their lives! Each child would produce a nation, and these two nations (Edom and Israel) would compete, but the younger would master the older. Just as God had chosen Isaac, the second-born, and not Ishmael, the firstborn, so He chose Jacob, the second-born, and not Esau, the firstborn. That the younger son should rule the elder was contrary to human tradition and logic, but the sovereign God made the choice (Rom. 9:10–12), and God never makes a mistake.


A divided home (vv. 24–28). Esau probably means “hairy.” He also had the nickname “Edom,” which means “red,” referring to his red hair and the red lentil soup Jacob sold him (vv. 25, 30). The twin boys not only looked different but they also were different in personality. Esau

was a robust outdoorsman, who was a successful hunter, while Jacob was a “home boy.” You would think that Isaac would have favored Jacob, since both of them enjoyed domestic pursuits, but Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. Rebekah was a hands-on mother who knew what was going on in the home and could contrive ways to get what she thought was best.


It’s unfortunate when homes are divided because parents and children put their own personal desires ahead of the will of God. Isaac enjoyed eating the tasty game that Esau brought home, a fact that would be important in later family history (chap. 27). Isaac, the quiet man, fulfilled his dreams in Esau, the courageous man, and apparently ignored the fact that his elder son was also a worldly man. Did Isaac know that Esau had forfeited his birthright? The record doesn’t tell us. But he did know that God had chosen the younger son over the elder son.


A friend of mine kept a card under the glass on his office desk that read: “Faith is living without scheming.” Jacob could have used that card. Before his birth, he had been divinely chosen to receive the birthright and the blessing; thus there was no need for him to scheme and take advantage of his brother. It’s likely that Jacob had already seen plenty of evidence that Esau didn’t care about spiritual things, an attitude that made Esau unfit to receive the blessing and accomplish God’s will. Perhaps Jacob and his mother had even discussed the matter.


The name “Jacob” comes from a Hebrew word (yaaqob) that means “may God protect,” but because it sounds like the words aqeb (“heel”) and aqab (“watch from behind” or “overtake”), his name became a nickname: “he grasps the heel” or “he deceives.” Before birth, Jacob and Esau had contended, and at birth, Jacob grasped his brother’s heel. This latter action was interpreted to mean that Jacob would trip up his brother and take advantage of him. The prediction proved true.


The fact that God had already determined to give the covenant blessings to Jacob didn’t absolve anybody in the family from their obligations to the Lord. They were all responsible for their actions, because divine sovereignty doesn’t destroy human responsibility. In fact, knowing that we’re the chosen of God means we have a greater responsibility to do His will.



HE FACED HIS FATHER’S TEMPTATIONS (26:1–11)


True faith is always tested, either by temptations within us or trials around us (James 1:1–18), because a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted. God tests us to bring out the best in us, but Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us. In one form or another, each new generation must experience the same tests as previous generations, if only to discover that the enemy doesn’t change and that human nature doesn’t improve. Abraham is mentioned eight times in this chapter, and you find the word “father” six times. Isaac was very much his father’s son. Abraham Lincoln was right: “We can not escape history.”


The temptation to run (vv. 1–6). When Abraham arrived in Canaan, he found a famine in the land and faced his first serious test of faith (12:10—13:4). His solution was to abandon the place God had chosen for him, the place of obedience, and to run to Egypt, thus establishing a bad example for his descendants who were prone to imitate him.5 The safest place in the world is in the will of God, for the will of God will never lead us where His grace can’t provide for us. Unbelief asks, “How can I get out of this,” while faith asks, “What can I get out of this?”


When Isaac faced the problem of a famine, he decided to go to Gerar, the capital city of the Philistines, and get help from Abimelech.6 Isaac and Rebekah were probably living at Beer Lahai Roi at that time (25:11), which means they traveled about seventy-five miles northeast to get to Gerar. Even after arriving in Gerar, Isaac and Rebekah may have been tempted to go south to Egypt, though God had warned them not to consider that possibility.


God permitted Isaac to remain in Philistia and promised to bless him. God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be greatly multiplied and one day would possess all those lands. Thus Isaac had a right to be there as long as God approved (12:2–3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:3–8; 22:15–18). God blessed Isaac for Abraham’s sake (25:5, 24), just as He has blessed believers today for the sake of Jesus Christ.


We can never successfully run away from trials, because God sees to it that His children learn the lessons of faith regardless of where they go. We can never grow in faith by running from difficulty, because “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character” (Rom.

5:3–4 NKJV). Like David, we may wish we had “wings like a dove” so we could “fly away and be at rest” (Ps. 55:6 NKJV), but if we did, we’d always be doves when God wants us to “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isa. 40:31).


The temptation to lie (vv. 7–11). Isaac could flee from famine, but when he put himself into a situation that offered no escape, he had to turn to deception to protect himself. Abraham committed this same sin twice, once in Egypt (Gen. 12:14–20) and once in Philistia (chap. 20). Remember, faith is living without scheming, and telling lies seems to be one of humanity’s favorite ways to escape responsibility.


Isaac was asked about the woman who was with him and, like his father Abraham before him, he said she was his sister. But when Abimelech saw Isaac caressing Rebekah, he knew she was his wife. Why did Isaac lie? Because he was afraid his pagan host would kill him in order to obtain his beautiful wife. His lie was evidence of his unbelief, for if he had claimed the covenant promise when he prayed for children (25:21), why couldn’t he claim that same covenant promise to protect himself and his wife?


The English poet John Dryden wrote, “Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” When people don’t keep their word, the foundations of society begin to shake and things start to fall apart. Happy homes, lasting friendships, thriving businesses, stable governments, and effective churches all depend on truth for their success. The American preacher Phillips Brooks said, “Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.” Truth is cement; falsehood is whitewash.


When he found himself in difficulty, Isaac was tempted to run and to lie, and we face these same temptations today. Isaac succumbed to temptation and was found out. It’s a sad day when unconverted people like Abimelech publicly expose God’s servants for telling lies. What an embarrassment to the cause of truth!


HE DUG AGAIN HIS FATHER’S WELLS (26:12–35)

Isaac inherited flocks and herds from his father, who had lived a nomadic life, but now the wealthy heir settled down and became a farmer, remaining in Gerar “a long time” (v. 8).


The blessing (vv. 12–14). Isaac and his neighbors had access to the same soil, and they depended on the same sunshine and rain, but Isaac’s harvests were greater than theirs, and his flocks and herds multiplied more abundantly. The secret? God kept His promise and blessed Isaac in all that he did (vv. 3–5). God would give a similar blessing to Jacob years later (chap. 31).


But Isaac was a deceiver! How could the Lord bless somebody who claimed to be a believer and yet deliberately lied to his unbelieving neighbors? Because God is always faithful to His covenant and keeps His promises (2 Tim. 2:11–13), and the only condition God attached to His promise of blessing was that Isaac remain in the land and not go to Egypt.


God also blessed Isaac because of Abraham’s life and faith (Gen. 26:5), just as He blesses us for the sake of Jesus Christ. We’ll never know until we get to heaven how many of our blessings have been “dividends” from the spiritual investments made by godly friends and family who have gone before.


The conflict (vv. 14–17). In spite of his material blessings, Isaac still suffered because of his lie, because the blessings he received brought burdens and battles to his life. Seeing his great wealth, the Philistines envied him and decided he was a threat to their safety. (A similar

situation would occur when the Jews multiplied in Egypt. See Ex. 1:8ff.)


“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22 NKJV). Had Isaac not lied about his wife, God would not have disciplined him but would have given him peace with his neighbors (Prov. 16:7). Because of his sin, however, Isaac’s material blessings

caused him trouble.


The Philistines tried to get Isaac to leave their land and settle elsewhere, and to encourage this they stopped up Abraham’s wells and deprived Isaac’s flocks and herds of the water they desperately needed. Water was a precious commodity in the Near East, and adequate wells were necessary if you were to succeed in the land. The crisis came when the king commanded Isaac to move away, and Isaac obeyed.


The search (vv. 18–22). No matter where Isaac journeyed, the enemy followed him and confiscated his father’s wells and also the new wells that Isaac’s servants dug. To find a well of “springing water” (v. 19) was a special blessing, for it guaranteed fresh water at all times, but the Philistines took that well, too. The names of the new wells that Isaac’s men dug reveal the

problems that he had with his neighbors, for Esek means “contention,” and Sitnah means “hatred.” But Rehoboth means “enlargement” because Isaac finally found a place where he was left alone and had room enough for his camp and his flocks and herds.


Whenever Abraham had a problem with people, he boldly confronted them and got the matter settled, whether it was his nephew Lot (13:5–18), the invading kings (chap. 14), Hagar and Ishmael (21:9ff.), or the Philistines (vv. 22ff.). But Isaac was a retiring man who wanted to avoid confrontation. Since he was a pilgrim, he could move his camp and be a peacemaker.


In every difficult situation of life, we must use discernment to know whether God wants us to be confronters like Abraham or peacemakers like Isaac, for God can bless and use both approaches. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18 NKJV). Sometimes it isn’t possible, but at least we should try, and we must depend on the wisdom from above that is “pure” and “peaceable” (James 3:17).


Looking at Isaac’s experience from a spiritual point of view, we can learn an important lesson. In the Bible, wells sometimes symbolize blessings from the hand of the Lord (Gen. 16:14; 21:19; 49:22; Ex. 15:27; Num. 21:16–18; Prov. 5:15; 16:22; 18:4; Song 4:15; Isa. 12:3; John 4:14).9 The church keeps looking for something new, when all we need is to dig again the old wells of spiritual life that God’s people have depended on from the beginning—the Word of God, prayer, worship, faith, the power of the Spirit, sacrifice, and service—wells that we’ve allowed the enemy to fill up. Whenever there’s been a revival of spiritual power in the history of the church, it’s been because somebody has dug again the old wells so that God’s life-giving Spirit can be free to work.


The assurance (vv. 23–25). Beersheba was a very special place for Isaac, because there his father had entered into a covenant with the Philistine leaders (21:22ff.). Beersheba means “the well of the oath.” The Lord comes to us with His assuring Word just when we need encouragement (Acts 18:9–11; 23:11; 27:23–24; 2 Tim. 2:19). No matter who is against us, God is with us and for us (Gen. 28:15; 31:3; Rom. 8:31–39), and there’s no need for us to be afraid. In response to God’s gracious word of promise, Isaac built an altar and worshipped the Lord. He was ready to meet his adversaries.


Like his father Abraham, Isaac was identified by his tent and altar (Gen. 26:25; see also 12:7–8; 13:3–4, 18). Isaac was wealthy enough to be able to build himself a fine house, but his tent identified him as a pilgrim and stranger in the land (Heb. 11:8–10, 13–16). A fugitive is fleeing from home; a vagabond has no home; a stranger is away from home; but a pilgrim is heading home. The tent identified Isaac as a pilgrim, and the altar announced that he worshipped Jehovah and was heading to the heavenly kingdom.


Like Isaac, all who have trusted Jesus Christ are strangers in this world and pilgrims heading for a better world (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). The body we live in is our tent; one day it will be taken down and we’ll go to the heavenly city (2 Cor. 5:1–8). Life here is brief and temporary, because this tent is fragile, but our glorified body will be ours for eternity (Phil. 3:20–21; 1 John 3:1–3). While we’re here on earth, let’s be sure we build the altar and give our witness that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.


The agreement (vv. 26–33). Isaac’s strategy paid off, because the Philistine leaders came to him to settle the matter of the property rights (21:22ff.). Fortified by God’s promises, Isaac was much bolder in his approach, and he confronted the Philistines with their misdeeds. It’s worth noting that Isaac’s conduct during this conflict made a great impression on them, and they could tell that the Lord was richly blessing him. More important than possessing his wells was the privilege Isaac had of sharing his witness with his pagan neighbors. (For a contrasting situation, see 1 Cor. 6:1–8.)


Isaac and the leaders were able to reach an agreement. To seal the treaty, Isaac hosted a feast, for in that culture, to eat with others was to forge strong links of friendship and mutual support. That same day, Isaac’s servants found one of Abraham’s wells (Gen. 21:25–31) and opened it, and Isaac gave it the original name, Beersheba. “The well of the oath” now referred to Isaac’s treaty as well as Abraham’s.


More conflict (vv. 34–35). Isaac was at peace with his neighbors, but he had war at home. His worldly son Esau had married two heathen wives who caused grief to Isaac and Rebekah. (Later, just to provoke his parents, he married a third heathen wife. See 28:8–9.) In view of Esau’s sinful lifestyle, we wonder that Isaac wanted to give him the patriarchal blessing (chap. 27).


All of us would like to find our Rehoboth (enlargement) where we have plenty of room and no contention, but Isaac’s Rehoboth was found only after he endured conflict. It’s through difficulties that God enlarges us for the larger places He prepares for us. “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” (Ps. 4:1). When the troubles of our hearts are enlarged and we trust God, then the Lord can enlarge us (25:17) and bring us “into a large place” (18:19). If we want room, we have to suffer, because that’s the only way we can grow and feel at home in the larger place God gives us when we’re ready for it.



©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Be Authentic by Warren Wiersbe. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.



Another wonderful book from Dr. Warren Widrsbe! He has such amazing insight into God's Word! Some people have the gift of teaching and this man does. He backs up everything he says with Scripture!

Dr. Wiersbe shows us through Genesis 25-26 (and supporting scripture) to show us how we still make some of the very same mistakes that they made back in Biblical times. We practice deceit, trechery, look to our own ways, etc. It's so amazing how we don't seem to learn from those who came before us.

Even back then they were making the same mistakes their ancestors made right before them. Do you know anyone that does the same thing? It's amazing how our past can follow us so closely we can't discern it from our own present!

At the end of each chapter Dr. Wiersbe challenges us to look deeper into what we've just learned and can also be used as a study guide if we're in a small group. I would highly recommend any of the "Be" series along with the Bible that he has. They are spot on! His interpretation of the events bring peace to my heart and urge me to move forward in my faith!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two Minute Warning by Bill McCartney & Aaron Fruh

Two Minute Warning

by Bill McCartney and Aaron Fruh

ISBN-13: 978-1935265009

Publisher: VMI Publishers (July 9, 2009)

Book Summary

After 13 years as the leader of the Promise Keepers movement, Coach Bill McCartney found what he believes to be the priority in the racial reconciliation movement. His new found passion lead to the establishment of a new ministry called The Road to Jerusalem that seeks to reconcile Jewish believers and Gentiles believers worldwide. In Two Minute Warning McCartney unveils the approaching revolutions that God is bringing to His church and how we can adapt to them and embrace them. Each of these revolutions has to do with the Christian church being thrust together with the Jew in the coming days. The last revolution Provision is a wonderful promise of Gods end time protection and provision for any gentile Christian willing to embrace Jews in their end time plight. He uses John 17:20-21 to illustrate that the key to world evangelism is the reconciliation of Jewish and Gentile believers and that until the two are united, Gods power can never be fully expressed in the earth. Although the support of Israel receives broad acceptance from the Christian community, this timely message goes a step beyond and gives a biblical mandate for the Church to support the believing Jew, not just the national and political entity of Israel.

About the Authors

Coach Bill McCartney is the former head football coach of the University of Colorado and the founder and former president of Promise Keepers. Currently he is the chairman of The Road to Jerusalem ministry. Aaron David Fruh is a Jewish believer and lead pastor at Knollwood Church in Mobile, Alabama. He is the author of two books The Decree of Esther and The Forgotten Blessing both published by Baker Publishing Group.

My Review


This was such an interesting and eye opening book to read. First off, let me explain that I am not a theologian. I am far from being a Bible Scholar so there is a lot of cross checking that needs to be done when it comes to the scripture included in this book for me. There was so much referencing I just didn't know!

I think many people have heard in recent years that some people are denying the murders of millions of Jews didn't happen under the Nazi regime. How that's possible is beyond me. The Holocaust happened! It would be the same as 30 yrs from now the world denying that the Iraq War ever occurred. We can never let the world change what is true history.

As we look back, it's obvious that the Jews have been attacked over and over again. I just never knew how far back this went! When we look at scripture, we see explicitly that the Jewish nation is favored by the Lord. We as Gentiles, not born into the Jewish culture, have been bought by the blood of Christ and are grafted into His family. Throughout the entire Bible it is clear that Jews will be received by God as his Chosen people.

What these authors discuss is, what are we going to do when the Jewish nation is attacked again? It's bound to happen. A dog goes back to it's vomit, that's the truth of the matter. What if they are driven out of their homeland again and atrocities are visited upon them? What will you do? What will we, as Americans do?

My pastor has always said that God favors those who stand with Israel and I believe that is the truth. If the United States ever turns against those God loves we can expect to see His hand of covering come off of us. I truly believe this.

This book was NOT an easy book to read. First of all, you probably noticed that most of my reviews are for fiction. I'm terrible at non-fiction so this book was a challenge to begin with. Then reading the first couple of chapters were so discouraging, looking back at how history has repeated itself time and time again, I wasn't sure how much more I could read. Thankfully after those first few chapters it wasn't so hard to digest what I was reading.

Part II was much more encouraging! To me, even though the authors discussed some difficult topics, I thought they did a great job of turning our hearts back to how God wants us to live! There is a lot to digest in this book, but it is soooo very good!

I would give this away but it's going to go to my book club leader and then on to my Pastor! He's just going to love this book!

I'd like to thank Arielle Roper from Bring It On Communications for my review copy of Two Minute Warning!! She's been so great (and patient) to work with!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


"I want to fly like and eagle..."

This is my first time participating in Wordless Wednesday. Probably the only reason I'm able to do it was because I finally had a "great" picture! This was the first game Buddy has made any baskets!!

Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington GIVEAWAY ~ TitleTrakk.com

TitleTrakk.com Blog Tours Presents:

Thicker than Blood
by C.J. Darlington
Published by Tyndale House


Winner of the
2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest!


Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?

My Review

This was an extremely powerful book. I was hooked from the start. Christy starts off this story on a pretty negative note and it doesn't get much better from there. Sure, she wants to do better for herself, but she has such a hard time moving from where she is.

May, Christy's sister, is living at a ranch that is about to be taken away from her by the bank. She hasn't heard from her sister since her parents died and lives with a cloud of doubt hanging over her wondering what she did to make her sister leave.

Both of these sisters need each other but in different ways. Christy needs May to forgive her but is scared that won't happen, and May needs Christy to feel like she's part of a family. So close, yet so far. Will they ever find what they truly need?

I loved that Christy worked at an antique bookstore! I learned about antique books and auctions things I never knew! I loved to frequent these kinds of stores when I lived in WA and even have a few of my own, although I don't know what, if any, their worth is. Sigh...to work at a bookstore like that, what a dream!

Of course, on the opposite side of that is May living my dream of being on a working cattle ranch! Lucky girl. Not easy work by any stretch of the imagination, but hard work never killed anyone.

C.J. outdid herself in this debut novel. She covers a couple of topics that are rarely seen in Christian fiction. She goes out on a limb and finds success! Her writing is as strong as her characters and very penetrating! C.J. doesn't beat the heck out of you with scripture, but it flows neatly through the story. Thicker Than Blood doesn't leave loose ends and for that I am thankful.


With careful attention to detail, emotion, and scene-setting, C.J. Darlington scores with her debut effort. Here is a special writer you won’t want to miss.
--Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times best selling author

If you love a good read filled with adventure and ultimately redemption, I encourage you to brew the tea, settle into your favorite chair and pick up the page turner that is C.J. Darlington’s imaginative new novel of a modern day sisterhood that triumphs over separation and the raw challenges of life to find the real endurance of both family ties and God’s amazing grace.
--Rebecca St. James, Grammy award winning Christian singer and bestselling author

With Thicker than Blood, C.J. Darlington proves she's a novelist for the long-haul, a strong new voice in Christian fiction. This book speaks to the heart, from the heart, about the heart. Readers will not soon forget it.
--Sibella Giorello, Christy award-winning author of The Rivers Run Dry & The Clouds Roll Away

Watch the book trailer:



About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website http://www.cjdarlington.com/ for more info.

QUICK LINKS:

Win Thicker Than Blood! Leave me a comment letting me know if you're a city slicker or more of the ranch hand type. Me, you can stick me in a barn and leave me there! I enjoy visiting the city, but I'm waaaay happier out in the country. Wish I had some cattle and horses though.

Must be at least 18 yrs old to enter and a US resident. Make sure there's a way to contact you via your email or contact page. No email/contact = No entry! Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends 2/4/10, 10pm CST.

Two other opportunities to win this book:

Cathy Bryant at Word Vessel: http://wordvessel.blogspot.com/

Nora St. Laurent at Finding Hope Through Fiction: Review
http://psalm516.blogspot.com/2010/01/thicker-than-blood-title-trakk-blog.html and Giveaway http://psalm516.blogspot.com/2010/01/give-away-nora-interviews-cj-darlington.html

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simplify My Life Sweepstakes ENDS 1/20/10

How would you like to start the New Year off with an HP Mini 110-1100 by Studio Tord Boontje PCs? That is what Mom Blogger and 5 time Olympian Dara Torres, and Windows 7 would like to do for you!


Check out the video of Dara below for inspiration. She uses the 3.22 lb HP Mini 311 with its full-size keyboard and 11.6” HD screen to balance a grueling training schedule with her family life and work on her upcoming fitness book. She also uses Windows® 7 features like Jumplists, Shake, Snap, and Pin to help her manage all her digital content. I checked these features out at the Windows 7 website and they are so cool! I think I like Peek the most.


As moms, we have an avalanche of stuff to do throughout our day. We're moms, employees, wives, taxis, meal & activity planners and so much more. We have to find a way to balance finances, family, friends and free time. When we have that free time, it's nice to be able to spend it enjoying ourselves.

Anyone out there a single parent? I am and I know that life can been even more hectic without someone to share the load. I have 4 kids (18, 16, 10, and 6), and it seems that there are very few times I have a breather. There's is always something going on. It would be nice to have a laptop to tote around to use between kids basketball games or during 2 hour practices! Sometimes later at night, it'd be nice to be cozy in my bed with a laptop instead of sitting upstairs at the desk clicking away on my desktop.

One way to enjoy and at the same time simplify our lives is to use the HP Mini 110-1100. It has Windows 7 already loaded and ready to go. I love the thought of portability because at this time the only person in my home who owns a laptop is my college age daughter. Personally, I'm stuck at the desk constantly.

Speaking of my daughter, since she's in college, she's only been home 2x since August. That's tough on a mom who's had her girl in her life for 18+ years! I'd love to be able to talk with her via the computer instead of the occasional text messages on our phones. My 16 yr old is looking at going out of state for college! Waaaaah!

Living in Minne"snow"ta we aren't near any family. My family lives in Virginia and we only get to see them every other Christmas. The boys' aunts and uncles live in Chicago and we try to see them at least once a year. Having a computer with a web cam would make those distances seem so much closer. Think of how great it would've been for my parents to see us all opening their Christmas presents?

Now for the good stuff! Dara Torres, Studio Tord Bonntje, and Mom Bloggers Club are giving away 3 HP Mini 110-1100 to three bloggers AND they are also giving away 3 HP Mini 110-1100 to three commenters of all the blogs!! How awesome is that?

Leave me a comment letting me know how you'd simplify your life if you had an HP Mini 110-1100. By leaving a comment you are entered into the giveaway! You must be at least 18 yrs old to enter as well as a resident of the US or Canada. Sweepstakes ends January 20, 2010. You must leave a way to contact you if you win either with your contact info in your profile or an email address! NO EMAIL/CONTACT INFO = NO ENTRY!

Entries will be judged by an esteemed panel of four judges starting on January 20. The grand prize winner will be announced on Friday, January 29, 2010.

Reader winners will be randomly drawn using Random.org and will be based on the order in which bloggers enter the sweepstakes and post on Twitter. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 29, 2010.

I will be so tickled if one of you wins! I have read each of your entries and if I had to choose one myself, I'd be at an utter loss! They are so amazing, and many situations that make winning this HP Mini so useful! All I can do is pray that at least one of you wins!! *grin*

Skoy: Earth Friendly Cloth 4pk Giveaway


I keep saying to those who ask that I didn't make any New Years Resolutions, but I think I did without being intentional. I am determined that by the end of 2010 our home will be more "green". I hope our family will be more conscious of how the products we use impact the world around us.

At the end of last year I began using a more eco friendly cleaning products to clean our home. One of my issues was the fact I was using lots of paper towels. That's where the Skoy Cloth stepped in to take over paper towel duty.

When they arrived in their cute packaging I wasn't sure I'd be able to use them. I mean, they're waaay cuter than some boring ol' white paper towel. On top of that, using them meant I got to c-l-e-a-n which just isn't my cup of tea. Let's be honest here. Maybe cleaning products, regardless of how cute they are, aren't the direction I should go. My house will end up being clean and I won't know what to do with it! hahahahaha Thanks a lot to Michelle at Skoy who made all this fabulous cleaning possible by sending me my very own set!

My aunt came over this weekend and that meant we had to bust a move and get the house cleaned as fast as possible. I'm a disorganized cleaner and this is definitely one area that the Skoy came in handy. When I start cleaning, especially in a mad dash, I tend to forget to to empty out the trash of the overflowing paper towels, signs of my last minute clean up.

NO MORE! I walked around rinsing out my Skoy Cloth and using it over and over again. It was so awesome. In the bathroom, all I used to wipe down the mirror was a squeezed out Skoy. Absolutely no streaks unlike using a spray and my extrememly cheap paper towels. This one Skoy Cloth is going to be used over and over again unlike an entire paper towel roll to clean one bathroom.

My one request is that they make one that's black so I can use it on the toilet. *grin* I don't want to use my pastel, cute Skoy Cloth on the nasty toilets (I have 2 little boys who miss)! Today I'm going to head into the living room and start some dusting at the computer desk and entertainment center. Ah, cleaning, it can be fun.

Here's a bit of info on the Skoy Cloth:
  • One Skoy Cloth saves 15 rolls of paper towels
  • 100% biodegradable and natural
  • Reusable and machine washable
  • Absorbs 15 times its own weight

Would you love to win a 4 pack of Skoy Cloths? Here's how you can do it:

REQUIRED: Head to Skoy, and tell me which set you would enjoy trying. Leave me a comment letting me know. This will be your entry. Must be at least 18 to enter and a US resident. Leave your email address or have it available in your contact profile. No email/contact = No entry. Giveaway ends February 2, 2010, 10pm CST.

Extra Entries:

1) Follow Skoy on Facebook & leave a comment letting them know you headed there from Woven by Words ( 2 entries, comment 2x)

2) Follow Woven by Words (left sidebar) using Google Friends (2 entries, comment 2x)

3) Follow me on Networked Blogs (1 entry)

4) Follow me on Twitter (2 entries, comment 2x)

5) Enter one of my other current giveaways & let me know which one (1 entry)

6) Grab my button and let me know where to find it (1 entry)

7) Make a purchase from Skoy (5 entries, comment 5x & I need to verify)

Michelle & Karen: ‘The idea originated when Michelle was living in Europe in the late 90’s. She discovered a product that was similar to the SKOY cloth and it was just amazing. Over time she found the cloth to be indispensible. When she moved back to the US, she realized that the use of a sponge was inadequate and the excessive use of paper towels, wasteful. Michelle searched and searched for a similar cloth and nothing even compared; nothing was of the same caliber. This is when Michelle introduced the cloth to Karen. She immediately fell in love with it and could not imagine cleaning with anything else.’

Monday, January 18, 2010

Destination...Disney World! and Lithograph GIVEAWAY


It's been a long time since my family went to Disney World. Before I lived in MN I didn't understand why families went out of town in the winter. We just didn't have that in Washington. After being here in MN for several years and enduring these loooong winters, I finally understood!
If memory serves me correctly, we've been to Disney World 2x in the past 10 yrs. What an amazing experience. I'm so thankful my kids were never afraid of the characters! It was so fun watching them go up to any one of them and ask for an autograph and have me take their pictures.
We've always gone with the extended family: aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We definitely did the Hopper passes which allow you to from one World to the next. We would do Disney for a couple days, take a break and do it again for another 2 days. The memories we have are priceless. I had Doodle's first hair cut at Magic Kingdom. He got Mickey Ears that said "First Hair Cut" on the back!! It was so awesome! And if you can, have at least one Dining Experience. That was such a great time with the characters! Get a FastPass for rides you really want to ride so you know for sure you get to ride. This is especially a great idea for a packed World!

Can I tell you the coolest thing that happened to us while we were there? My family got to "open" Disney World!! Usually they already have a family picked out to "open" the park, but for some reason these people didn't show up. I had gotten this tip from a gal who was a Destination Planner. I went up to one of the people who watched the gates and asked them if we could open the parks. After about 10 minutes, they came and got us! How awesome is that? Something not everyone has a chance to do!! Oh, and when you go to ride the tram, get in line where the driver is. They actually let people ride up there. We did it a few times. So much fun and a great view (awesome photo ops!)

I think the most important aspect of visting Disney World is to have a plan, but be flexible. I was the world "planner". Know what rides you want to go on and if you can all go (depending on height). What shows do you want to catch if any? Which rides allow the parents to take turns? I got my Disney travel books from the library and made lists of how to do things. They have amazing short cuts and ideas to make vi sting Disney a more fulfilling experience. If you use DestinationsinFlorida.com, get tips from them! They've been doing this long enough to have some great ideas! That's what they're there for.

Are you thinking about getting away from the winter doldrums and having a fantastic time? Then head to DestinationsinFlorida.com. They have some fantastic deals for families who want to head south and have a fun vacation! Doesn't a Disney Beach Vacation sound divine right about now?

My readers should mention they found out about this at Woven by Words or mention the rate code Mommy when pricing their trip, so the agents know to offer this extra discount and free perks.

The promotion for my readers includes a special discount off Disney World packages. Plus, with any Disney World Package, you will receive a special Mommy Pack. The Mommy Pack includes a Disney Park autograph book (one per child), one Mickey Mouse ears hat, and autograph pictures (personalized to each child and signed by Mickey Mouse). These Disney souvenirs are right from Magic Kingdom Park. This special goodie is only available for our Mommy Blogger participants and their readers.
DestinationsinFlorida.com will provide the prize. The prize is a set of 4 Disney Parks limited edition lithographs featuring special attractions from each Disney Park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park) and Mickey Mouse. Tinkerbell also spreads pixie dust through all of the lithographs and makes an appearance at the last lithograph with Mickey. These lithographs sold at the Disney Theme Parks for $75.

Enter to Win: Leave me a comment letting me know if you've been to Disney World before. Must be at least 18 yrs old to enter and a US resident. I must have a way to contact you if you win so...leave your email address or have it accessible in your contact information. No email/contact = No entry! Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends 2/1/10, 10pm CST.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking To Be Published?


Attention Christian Authors!

Deep River books is currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts from Christian Authors. Unlike vanity publishers, Deep River carefully reviews each manuscript before accepting any author for print. There is also a limited amount of space available for this opportunity to publish your manuscript. Their Partnership Publishing program is used by a wide variety of authors around the world such as Coach Bill McCartney, the Founder of Promise Keepers (and many more). Check it out for yourself and see if Deep River is right for you. You can learn how to submit your manuscript at http://www.deepriverbooks.com/



Thursday, January 14, 2010

B. Happybags Review and GIVEAWAY & 50% Off!


As part of my decision to do away with shopping bags I turned to b. happybags to see if their bags would be the way to go. Ooooh, I am so happy to say, "THEY ARE!"

Mary Kay sent me 4 bags. Thank you sooo much Mary Kay! Let me tell you, the restraint I am using by not breaking into the 2 I'm going to giveaway is quickly crumbling! I will try and keep my review of these bags brief, but I really do love them.

When I pulled them out of the box, I thought they were pretty small. That's because they're folded up well. *grin* When you open these bags up, they become huge. They expand to a size you won't believe until you see them.

My 18 yr old daughter and I went shopping after we had our pedicure and I wasn't sure how it was going to feel bringing in my own bags. I've never done something like this before. I felt so granola! hahahaha It was a good feeling, let me tell you. I knew I wouldn't be walking out of the grocery store with a cart load of plastic bags.








Ok, so the bags above: the first one is a SIDE view, yes side view. Can you see how wide they get?! And obviously the next two pictures are of the inside of my bags to show you how much weight they can carry and how much you can get in to just one bag!

I had to explain to the kid at the check out that I was using my own bags. He seemed a bit dubious, but he piled my groceries in. All my cold products went into one bag and when I went to lift it, I honestly thought it was going to snap the handles off my brand new bag! It was so heavy. I'm NOT kidding. I figured, may as well get it over and done with. If the handles are going to break under this load, at least it will be an honest review.

Not a problem for my Dolley bag! It held up under the strain. Then I told Baby to smile so I could take her picture while I was grabbing my groceries. She was thrilled compliant. My pizza box fit perfectly. The amount that fit in each bag was fantastic. I would've gone home with at least 2 plastic bags (minimum) for each of my reusable bags from b. happybags. That was only in this light shopping trip.

About b. happybags

All bags are:

  • 15 x 12 x 8
  • $24 - 100% upholstery weight cotton prints, $26 - Solid color recycled (water bottles) fabric
  • Interior seams are bound with grosgrain binding
  • Handles are heavy poly-webbing
  • Soft-sided
  • Machine washable
  • All materials are domestic
  • Made in Phoenix, AZ
It's happened again. A fabulous company, b. happybags has offered my visitors a coupon code!! AGH!! I'm so excited! 50% off!! FIFTY PERCENT OFF! How amazingly generous is that? The coupon code is case sensitive so make sure you enter it as all lower case "wovenbywords"! Enjoy! Expires 2/15 Buy one for someone you LOVE!

Enter To Win

Winner will received 2 Dolley bags from b. happybags (RV $48). You may have to come and rip them out of my hands I like them that much! :)


REQUIREMENT: Visit b. happybags and tell me which bag you would exchange your plastic and paper bags for.

Must be 18 yrs or older and a resident of the US. Leave a way to contact you either with your email or profile contact. No email/contact = no entry! Giveaway ends 1/28, 10pm CST. Void where prohibited.


Extra Entries Requirement MUST be complete before any extra entries count!

  1. Follow Woven by Words 2 entries (comment 2x)
  2. Follow me on Twitter 1 entry
  3. Grab my button on left sidebar 1 entry
  4. Tweet about this giveaway 2 entries (comment 2x & leave a link to your Tweet)
  5. Follow me on Networked Blogs on left sidebar 1 entry
  6. Enter another giveaway 2 entries (comment 2x & tell me which one you entered)
  7. Purchase a b. happybag 10 entries (comment 10x & contact me so I can obtain proof)

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.