Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy

Can Cassidy find a home and a cowboy to steal her heart? Find out in Debra Clopton’s Kissed by a Cowboy, book three in the A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. Rancher Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

{MORE ABOUT KISSED BY A COWBOY}


(Thomas Nelson, February 2016)
Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.
Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.
Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

Debra Clopton{MORE ABOUT DEBRA CLOPTON}


Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra’s goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.
Find out more about Debra at http://debraclopton.com.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ben isn't messing around with his cuts on #thebachelor

Last week, we didn't get our rose ceremony because all the women told Ben what they really thought about Olivia. The episode ended with Ben talking Olivia off to talk.

I bet she schmoozes him over. I hope I'm wrong.

As Ben and Olivia go off, they all compare notes on what Ben asked all of them and what they told them. Amanda thinks Olivia is gone. Some of the others aren't so sure.

Ben starts off by saying that some of the women said their relationship with her was different than the others, and he's confused by what's going on.

Olivia says that she became a target because of the first impression rose, and the next one she received. They find her aggressive, and she's not into painting her nails and doing each other's hair. She's more into reading books in her room and thinking. She wants to talk smart things. That was not a typo. She doesn't seem quite literate.

Olivia says things are fine in the house. The situation is hard *whimper*, but she can handle it.

They come back on set, and Jennifer is greatly disappointed. She too thought Olivia would have her rose revoked.

Ben says it is getting harder, but now it's time for the rose ceremony. Olivia wipes her snotty nose off on her hand. She doesn't want to talk about it when someone asks what just happened.

Emily is paranoid that everything is going to turn around on her.

Olivia shows all the class by saying in the direct to camera interview that the other women can "come at me bro" and "suck it."

So, rose ceremony. Six roses up for grabs. Olivia still has hers along with Amanda and Lauren H.

Caila

Lauren B.

JoJo

Becca

Leah

Emily (she was about to die thinking she was going home as an instigator)

Going home is Jennifer. Who knows anything about her anyway?

Ben then tells the women they are headed to the Bahamas. 

Going into commercial, we hear more blah, blah, freakin' blah from Olivia about how she's going to marry Ben, how she's validated, yada yada yada.

When the women arrive in to their hotel in the Bahamas, the beds are huge, the view is great. Chris Harrison arrives to tell the women, that this week there will be a group date, a one-on-one, and a two-on-one.

The first date card reads:

"Caila - Let's see if our love is reel."

She is the first to get a second on-one-one date while Leah laments not having had one. Even Emily had more time with him when she and Haley had their elimination date.

They are going off on a boat and deep sea fishing. He wants to go on another one-on-one with Caila since their first date was the ride along with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. He felt like there was unfinished business there.

While Ben and Caila fish, Leah is bawling in the bathroom. Everyone keeps telling her that if she didn't get a one-on-one this week, she was done. She believed them and thinks she's a fool for being there. She doesn't want a group date and is not going to put herself through a two-on-one. Why wouldn't he want to explore their relationship? They live 5 minutes apart and could have met in a bar. 

The date was boring to me, but I was trying to check Twitter too, and if you've seen one boat date and jumping off into water, you've seen them all. At "dinner" (because no one eats), Ben says that she smiles a lot, but how will she deal if her partner were having issues. He wants her to open up, but she can't really do that. Caila doesn't want to hurt him, but she is not sure if she's ready to open up though she does feel like she's falling in love.

At the hotel, there's a knock at the door with the next card.

Lauren B., Becca, Amanda, JoJo, Lauren H., Leah - Love is unpredictable. 

That leaves Olivia and Emily on the two-on-one. Talk about drama! Olivia thinks Emily is so young. Olivia is 23. Sheesh. She's maybe a year older than Emily. This probably proves that the producers arrange everything to produce the most drama.

Back on the date, Ben gets the most combative that he's been with anyone, but Caila challenged him and got the rose for the date. Still not really sure I got all of that.

The next day, Leah whines that she is reluctant to go on the group date since she is the bottom of the totem pole. Today's whole date is about boat and water. Again. Becca fears sharks. Like this date, they are unpredictable.

They sail out to a private island inhabited by pigs. Pigs start swimming out to them. It's rather bizarre. They are going to feed the pigs chicken hot dogs. Ben tells them that if they cross their arms over their chest in an X that the pigs will go away.



While some are holding baby pigs, others our squealing in fear louder than the pigs.

At the hotel, Emily calls up Haley to tell her that she's going to have to go on the two-on-one with Olivia. Haley warns her to be careful since Olivia will bait her.

On the date, Leah is whining again about being there because she gets no time. What she needs to do is go interrupt whatever is going on with Lauren B.

Ben feels very uncomfortable today. All the women tend to be acting weird. Ben thinks JoJo gets that the group dates are awkward. No one knows how to act with the pigs hanging around and people wandering in and out of the water.

Leah finally gets her time and cries to Ben about feeling like a group date groupie while pigs squeal in the background. I'm ready for her to send herself home. Her conversation didn't clear anything up for her. I think she's cried to every other woman on the date.

After they gussy themselves up for the cocktail party, they talk about how odd the date was and how no one seemed connected today. Ben doesn't want to walk away from the night with anything unsaid.

Ben takes Becca off first. He wants to make the most of the night. He tells Becca she seemed stand-offish. She says she wasn't going to be bring it up, but it seemed awkward because everyone saw a connection with he and Lauren B. Becca is mature enough to say some of the right things and they share a moment.

Ben realizes after talking to Becca that he needs to communicate more clearly with the women and let them know how he feels. Amanda is next on the conversation list. He strokes each of their egos, one by one. He sucks face with one right after the other.

At the hotel, the last date card arrives.


Two women, one rose. One stays, one goes. ~ Chris Harrison

Emily and Olivia - Let's sea what the Bahamas has in store for us. ~ Ben


Olivia now admits that she and Emily are the same age, but Olivia says she feels like she's going to be the mom on the date. She is going to act like it's a one-on-one. 



As Ben takes his turns with each woman, the rest talk about how close they are getting to introducing Ben to their families.


When it is Leah's turn, she's ready to tell him like it is. Leah tells Ben that some of the women are not being genuine with him. She throws Lauren B. under the bus. That's as far as the conversation goes before Lauren B. pops into the room. He is bothered by the comments Leah just made and can't shake them from his mind.

He brings up what Leah just said with him. Lauren says she doesn't know how to respond. I don't really like her, but I don't know what she did to deserve that. She goes back to the group in tears and explains what happened. Leah enters the room, "what's going on?" Leah lies and says she'd never single someone out. That's cold. So cold.

Ben comes back in the room (he was with Lauren H., I think). It's time to hand out the rose for the date. He gives it to Amanda. Lauren B. thinks about why she didn't get the rose. Was it because of something someone said?

Ben leaves them so that he can get ready for his interesting day tomorrow.

When they get back to the hotel, Emily sympathizes with Lauren B. about what happened. Everyone figures out it has to be Leah causing the trouble.

Leah was in the bathroom the whole time fixing herself up to go over to his place and finish telling Ben about how awful Lauren B. is. Anything to give her a better chance.

Ben is surprised when Leah arrives. Leah says Ben needs to know more about her, but is being overshadowed. She does not think Ben needs to be with Lauren B., so she's going to go off about her. She doesn't want to talk bad things about Lauren, or so she says, but they see more things in the house than he does. Leah says Lauren doesn't care as much as she acts like to Ben. Leah calls Lauren catty and less than genuine. She says she isn't there to sabotage.

Ben wanted to make the most of his time with Leah, but the more she talks about Lauren B, the more disconnected he realizes he and Leah are. He tells her something is missing. It doesn't feel right to him, so he asks if it feels right with her. She says yes, but he thinks it's best to send her home now. They had such a spark on the first night that he hasn't wanted to cut her loose, but he sees it's time now. Leah says that she wouldn't have said anything if she knew he would send her home tonight. She feels foolish, but thinks Ben's a fool for letting her go.

I give him credit for that. Not sure if it was just because of her obsession or could see through her lies. Oops, no, he's wondering if anything she said was true.

Olivia is uber excited. Even though they haven't had a one-on-one yet, she and Ben have been writing their beautiful love story. 


Emily and Olivia face different directions in the back seat of the car. They can't even look at each other. Ben has his day cut out for him. He hugs Olivia first, which I am sure that is some secret code.



The wind is blowing like crazy, there looks like a storm is coming, and with the speed boat, their hair is EVERYWHERE.


Ben sees a different Emily since Haley left, and he wants to see more. Last week Ben connected with Olivia again, but then by the end of the week, was less than sure.

It's super quiet and awkward at their windy picnic. He takes Olivia off first. After all, their love is so fantastic. He asks her about last week, and she talks about not being friends with people she wouldn't normally be friends with. She's at peace with who she is. She's very strong and confident and into a variety of things because intellectual things are her jam. You can't make these things up. "Like what?" he asks.

Emily tells Ben she wants today to be the turning point of their journey. She wants to be here more than she has been able to express. She wants him to watch her grow. She wants him there. It's hard to take her seriously with her hair blowing everywhere. Ben tries to help her tame it. He tells her it's been exciting to see the change with her since Haley stayed home.

He sits back with both of them. The rose is there. He picks it up and asks to talk to Olivia. They pick up and head off down the beach.

Olivia is ready to start her life with him. Ben praises her for being able to voice her heart and tell him how she felt. However, he tells her that he cannot reciprocate those feelings at this point. He cannot give her the rose. He leaves Olivia on the beach and turns around to give the rose to Emily.

Back at the hotel, someone comes in to get Olivia's suitcase. The women are surprised given how confident she was. 


Ben and Emily speed off in their speed boat leaving a sobbing Olivia looking like a wet rat on the beach.


Ben decides that he doesn't want to talk to anyone at the cocktail party. He just wants to skip that part. No one will be able to profess love before the next rose ceremony. Chris Harrison makes the announcement to the women.

Lauren H. thinks she's going home. Lauren B. thinks it's her. No, JoJo is crying because it's her. It's going to be one of them.

Three roses are being handed out. Caila, Amanda and Emily are safe.

Becca

JoJo

One of the Laurens stays. One goes.

Lauren B. gets the rose.

Lauren H. is gone. Of the Laurens, I liked her better. She says her goodbyes as instructed by Chris Harrison.

"Why is it so hard to fall in love?" she asks as she takes her ride of shame to the airport.

Next week, it's more tears. From Ben. From Emily, Caila, and everyone else I am sure. Before it's over, he will tell two women he loves them. We know Emily meets his parents.

If I am interpreting the previews right, he sends someone home right before proposal, changes his mind, and decides to call up the one he just sent home right before. DRAMA! That actually intrigues me though.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Daniel in the Lions' Den

We talked about Daniel and the lion's den the night I did this video, thus the song choice. When I was a kid, we only sang the Daniel and Jonah parts of this song, but I found more verses on a website.
 

Who Did Swallow Jonah?

Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did swallow Jonah? Who did swallow Jonah?
Who did swallow Jonah… Up?

The whale did. The whale did. The whale did. The whale did.
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did. The whale did. The whale did. The whale did.
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did. The whale did. The whale did. The whale did.
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did swallow Jonah The whale did. The whale did.
The whale did swallow Jonah… Up!

Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah in the arky, Noah in the arky,
Noah in the arky bailed.

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel in the lion’s, Daniel in the lion’s,
Daniel in the lion’s den.

Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter walking on the, Peter walking on the,

Peter walking on the sea.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Getting closer to having new items

I finally spent some time in the studio working on some new items for The Crafty Dad and Daughter. Hopefully this time next week I'll have pictures of finished items to share. 


Friday, February 5, 2016

Living generously isn’t about how much you have to give

Part 2 of An interview with Brad Hewitt,
Author of Your New Money Mindset

As Christians, most of us would like to be more generous. We’d like to give more to the church, ministries and charities that do good. However, often times we feel there’s not room in the budget to give more.

Giving generously isn’t necessarily about how much we give, it’s our attitude towards giving. The ultimate goal for readers of Your New Money Mindset (Tyndale House Publishers) is to cultivate what author Brad Hewitt calls a surplus mindset, where individuals truly believe they have enough for themselves and enough to share. He adds, “We believe if people — especially Christians — could have a healthier relationship with money, it would change the world. People can be free from the slavery of a consumer culture, enabling them to live openheartedly with their time, energy and finances.”

Regardless of their current financial situation, all readers are invited to journey toward transforming their relationship with money by remaking their heart.

Breaking away from the regular mold of financial books, Your New Money Mindset:
  • Defies the consumerism that infects our culture and sickens people’s hearts.
  • Shows readers how to approach the tension they feel about money so they can experience greater contentment and peace.
  • Guides readers to live generously with their time, energy and paychecks.
  • Provides an online assessment tool to help determine attitudes toward finances.

Q: What are the five money mindsets you cover in the book? Which is the best mindset to have?

In Your New Money Mindset, we have identified five distinct attitudes people hold toward money and to all that they have and own. These “money mindsets” describe how people think and feel about their financial well-being — or lack of it. Since each category begins with the letter S, we call these the “5Ss.”  The five attitudes on the spectrum range from unhealthy to healthy: surviving, struggling, stable, secure and surplus. We believe the healthiest place to be is in a surplus mindset, which can bring deep peace and freedom. It means deciding “we have enough for ourselves and enough to share.”

Before we talk about each S, we share this truth: the health of your relationship with money is not determined by how much money you have or don’t have. Most people believe that the more money they earn or otherwise possess, the healthier their relationship with money will be. That is an illusion. Put succinctly, you can have a high income yet struggle, or you can have a modest income yet thrive.

Q: Have you ever struggled with one of the negative mindsets? If so, how did you overcome it?

I struggle every day, so I must focus on the practices of gratitude, generosity, prayer and Christian community.

Years ago we purchased a fractional ownership in a Colorado townhouse, which grants us two weeks of winter access. All year long I look forward to basking in the Rocky Mountain grandeur. I count on it to sweep me into God’s presence and renew an appreciation of all his good gifts. But even as those wonders fill me, they can also put my heart into a frenzy faster than I like to admit. One minute I’m thanking God for his blessings. The next I’m gawking at a new row of bigger and better vacation homes and thinking, I want one. To be clear, I don’t need one. Coming back to the familiar townhouse always feels like a lavish blessing. By any measure we already have more than enough. Nevertheless, my gratitude can quickly be displaced by a longing for more. At the moment those misguided desires well up inside me, I face a choice. I can continue to stare at the thing I want. I can obsess over it all the way home. I can calculate what a fancy new place costs. I can loudly convince myself and my family I need it. Or I can act to break that cycle.

We break our persistent desire for more when we choose to live generously. I’m not talking about an occasional act of benevolence. The solution to my yearning for a bigger and better place isn’t to ski to the bottom of the hill and write a one-time check to a worthy cause. The long-term fix is cultivating a day-by-day pattern of openhearted giving. It’s pursuing a way of life that puts a happy generosity first.

Q: Why do so many people view financial surplus as an indication of God’s blessing? Is that view always accurate?

I don’t know why so many people do, but this idea is not accurate at all. God regularly declares the poor as blessed. Material blessings have nothing to do with God’s love or grace. Research shows that as people live godly, generous lives, the result is often financial success. However, I do not believe this is an indication of God’s blessing, but merely how the world was created to work.

Q: Many people feel they aren’t financially secure enough to share generously. How critical is tithing to a Christian’s financial plans?

Tithing is important because it reframes our financial worldview from a scarcity mentality of relying on money for our security to an abundance mentality of relying on God. When we do this, we actually feel more financially secure.

Tithing allows us to express our faithfulness even with little so we can build our character to be faithful and entrusted with much. When we tithe, we acknowledge we are stewards of what God has provided us. Tithing isn’t an “ought to” or a “have to,” it’s a “get to.”

We live in a world where we are bombarded by messages of consumerism and fear. This is part of the reason why establishing a healthy relationship with money is important. If we allow messages contrary to God’s Word to guide our relationship with money, we will never believe we have enough to live joyful, generous lives. A recent Thrivent Financial survey of 1000 American Christians found that 42 percent said their top obstacle to giving is that they can’t afford to give, and 62 percent of Christians felt they’d need to make $5,000 or more a year than they already do to donate more. However, our research tells a different story and has shown that when we make more money, we usually don’t give more, even if we had planned to.

Q: What did Jesus’ words and actions say about what it means to live generously?

Jesus makes money a crucial topic. It’s impossible to miss in Scripture how often he talks about our unhealthy relationship with money and how easily we make money an idol that usurps more important things. Jesus aims to lead us to life abundant, generous and content.

One of the pivotal passages in the book is Proverbs 11:24, which says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.”

Q: What is the Money Mindset Assessment, and what will it help readers discover?

Because real change starts within us, we need to remake our hearts in order for new habits fully to take hold. It is often difficult, however, to have an objective view of what goes on inside us. To help us get an accurate view we worked with Thrivent’s research and analysis team to develop the New Money Mindset Assessment ™, a 48-item tool to give you insights into your own thinking. The assessment is a free online tool at www.newmoneymindset.com. The tool takes about 10 minutes to complete. The self-assessment isn’t about how much money you have or don’t have, but about how you perceive your relationship with money. Thrivent’s research team created this self-assessment specifically to help you discover your money mindset strengths as well as opportunities for growth.

Learn more about Your New Money Mindset
and Brad Hewitt at www.newmoneymindset.com.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Robin Lee Hatcher's Keeper of the Stars

Love at first sight isn’t always the case—especially in Robin Lee Hatcher’s new book, Keeper of the Stars, in A King’s Meadow Romance series. Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.
Celebrate the release of Keeper of the Stars with Robin by entering to win a Kindle Fire HD! Click the graphic below to enter. The winner will be announced on February 16 on Robin’s blog and social media.
keeper of the stars - 400

{MORE ABOUT KEEPER OF THE STARS}


(Thomas Nelson, January 2016)
Because it’s not always love at first sight!
When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain—but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.
Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself… and so does Brad’s sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend.
Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.
Robin Lee Hatcher

{MORE ABOUT ROBIN LEE HATCHER}


Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.
Find out more about Robin Lee at http://robinleehatcher.com.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

‘Bronner’ by Sherri Burgess and a Kindle Fire HD 6 Giveaway

Can God use pain and suffering in our lives to teach and refine us? Journey with Sherri Burgess in her new book, Bronner, to discover the purpose behind pain through the powerful story of her son Bronner’s earthly death. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before.

Join Sherri in celebrating the release of her new book, Bronner, with a blog tour and a Kindle Fire giveaway!

bronner-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Bronner
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 12th. The winner will be announced February 15th on the Litfuse blog.

bronner-enterbanner


{MORE ABOUT BRONNER: A Journey to Understand}


(New Hope Publishers, January 2016)
God teaches and refines us through pain and suffering. Author Sherri Burgess, wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, knows this to be true. After the earthly death of her youngest son, Bronner, Burgess asked, “Why?” And God answered.
Journey with her through this powerful testimony of healing to understand the purpose behind the pain. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before.

Sherri Burgess

{MORE ABOUT SHERRI BURGESS}


Sherri Burgess’ life is a beckoning for you to know a Holy God like you have never known Him before. The wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, Sherri is someone who now passionately pursues holiness and inspires others to do the same. A seasoned Bible teacher, writer and blogger, she has in recent years answered God’s call as a women’s ministry speaker. This mother of five stays active with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.
Find out more about Sherri at http://sherriburgess.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Don’t just plan for your wedding — plan for your marriage


Counselor offers practical advice for couples
on putting Christ at the center of their marriage

Advised by both tellers of fairy tales and harbingers of doom, many engaged couples don’t know what to expect from marriage. They may believe God created the institution, but many of the unions around them exhibit frustration or end in heartache. Other couples focus their energies on planning the perfect wedding day instead of preparing a relational foundation on which their lives together can be built.

Rob Green, a pastor and veteran pre-marital counselor, provides young couples with a blueprint to follow in his new book, Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong and Lasting Marriage (New Growth Press/February 1, 2016/ISBN: 978-1942572596/ $17.99). Green assures couples the joy, fun and love they hope for is not wishful, romantic thinking; it’s God’s plan for marriage. It’s also within reach for every couple willing to do the work needed to center their relationship on Jesus intentionally.

For Green, a person’s walk with the Lord and their marriage are inseparable. “There are many moments in marriage where our commitment to Christ is challenged,” he shares. “What happens when one spouse wants to be intimate and the other doesn’t? When one spouse says something mean to the other? Tens of thousands of these scenarios will occur in 50 years of a relationship. How one responds to them will be rooted in the strength of their walk with Christ.”

Tying the Knot offers soon-to-be-married couples a practical vision of what a Christ-centered marriage looks like, with advice that is realistic, hopeful and actionable. The nine-session study guides couples through issues such as conflict, expectations, communication, finances and intimacy, showing how every challenge can be resolved successfully through making Christ the priority in their life and relationship. “I tell couples you were not created to be each other’s savior,” Green reveals. “You were designed to be a spouse because the job of savior has already been filled. When couples live for Jesus, they will live obediently to the Word, focused on prayer, dedicated to service and willing to give of themselves for the betterment of others.”

Knowing the stresses and needs of a couple during their season of engagement, Green has designed the study to require a manageable 60-90 minutes of at-home work per session, with questions and exercises to build communication and intimacy at the end of each chapter. Tying the Knot also includes an appendix for mentors, making it easy for a seasoned married couple, lay leader or counselor to lead an engaged couple through the book.  

Green hopes Tying the Knot will put couples on the path to becoming the godly examples young people need to cut through the cynicism in our culture toward marriage. Readers of the book will find the resources they need to reorient their life and relationship, making it possible for them to experience all the blessings of this institution as God designed it.

Learn more about Tying the Knot and Rob Green at www.newgrowthpress.com


Advance Praise

“From now on, this is the book I will recommend for premarital and marital counseling.”
            ~ Bob Kellemen, author of Gospel-Centered Counseling and Gospel Conversations

Tying the Knot is a great book for those considering marriage. The topics are highly relevant and the homework will help any counselor or couple to put these crucial lessons into practice.”
            ~ Garrett Higbee, Executive Director of Biblical Soul Care and the Biblical Counseling Coalition


About the author

Rob Green has been the pastor of counseling and seminary ministries at Faith Church in Lafayette, Ind., since 2005. His responsibilities there include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. Green wasn’t always a pastor; he has a B.S. in engineering physics from Ohio State University and after college wrote computer programs to process credit cards. After feeling a call to the ministry he entered seminary, eventually earning a M.Div. and a Ph.D. from Baptist Bible Seminary.

Green also serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and has authored a number of counseling mini books. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children: Joseph, Samuel and Mackenzie. The family makes their home in Indiana.


Learn more about Rob Green’s ministry work at blogs.faithlafayette.org/counseling

Monday, February 1, 2016

I have an idea for a new twist for #thebachelor

Here's what I hope. I hope Olivia and Jubilee go HOME tonight. Sometimes The Bachelor really should have a Survivor style tribal council vote off. Especially when they travel to the exotic locations. If one woman turns off all her co-contestants, they aren't a decent person deserving of the win. Unless it's somebody like Juan Pablo when the jerks deserve each other.

This week the eleven remaining women travel from Las Vegas to Mexico City. Meanwhile, we'll have to take a trip to Iowa for the caucus during every commercial break.

This week marks the half way point for the season, and Ben thinks that Mexico City might be a great place to fall in love. Isn't every locale? Or the Four Seasons in any city?

As the first date card arrives, we hear Olivia's voice over about her secret love language and how no one gets validated like she does.

"Amanda... let's put all our eggs in one basket."

How quickly Olivia's tune changes with this card being read. Seeing as Amanda is a mother, Olivia does not believe she is the right woman for Ben. Of course, her reasoning could be... well, anything.


Ben arrives at 4:20 AM to pick up Amanda for her date. All the women are asleep. Some are apparently snoring like a man. Ben and his flashlight wake the women up seeing what they really look like. Someone has a weave laying on the nightstand. Lauren H. is rocking their retainer.

After they leave, Lauren H. and Olivia muse that they don't think Ben is ready to be an instant dad. What do they know (for sure)?

Ben and Amanda go off on a hot air balloon ride and view pyramids of an ancient city from the air. Of course, Ben is a historian. Like Amanda cares how old or large they are. They land in a field of weeds for a picnic. I miss part of the opening up blah, blah, blah because the Dallas station started a cancer treatment center commercial too soon and cut out part of the show.

At the Four Seasons, all the women are especially jealous that the date started at 5 AM and is going late into the night. The most date time thus far.

Como se dice? This way to a man's heart. Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, Olivia. 

That means Lauren H. gets the other one-on-one. Olivia puts on her fake smile. She tells the camera, "best for last, right?" No, I think you need to get a clue. He doesn't want to take you on a one-on-one.

Over on the date, Amanda plans to tell Ben more about her past. She is the only woman to have been married and divorced. The only one with two children. They got married when the oldest was six months old, but there were always red flags. He wasn't nice to her and always had other plans and priorities. When she got pregnant the second time, things went downhill. She found a cell phone with old texts to other girls and women he met online.

Ben does his usual pep talk. "You don't have to be embarrassed. You're great. You don't have to apologize." All this reassurance is going to make it hurt all the more as each woman goes home after hearing this. He can genuinely be a good guy and mean it, but on the other hand, it's kind of leading them all on. Anyway, she's had a really traumatic life and gone through so much, so she gets the date rose.

Ben is studying his Spanish dictionary while waiting for the nine women to meet him for the day. 

Jubilee hates group dates, and I bet she acts like it. Ben simply tells the women they are exploring the city and Olivia's horsey mouth drops open.

Today's date is an ESL class. Oh, what fun! (Not.) For some reason, more than one woman thought the date would involve cooking or eating. They didn't know what the question in the date card meant.

They practice phrases in Spanish like, "I love you," "I want to kiss you," "I'm falling in love with you."

When it's Jubilee's turn, she's like, "You've said this to the past four girls."

Olivia seems to do pretty well, at least compared to the others. She thinks there's a special chemistry. Maybe, but probably not.

Side note, Becca's top knot is driving me crazy.

After class, they go to a restaurant. They are going to have to cook by shopping at the fancy deli downstairs. Everyone has to pair up. Olivia starts counting and realizes Ben can be part of a pair. Olivia and Jubliee start fighting over Ben. Olivia ends up getting her way. He may or may not have been super excited about that.

Each group gets their recipe cards and go shopping for the ingredients at the store downstairs. Caila knows Spanish, so Leah, thinks she'll be a good partner.

Emily is weak and some people don't think she's advanced past the kid's menu.

Others think Olivia is trying to show off with her Spanish. Emily is ready to take a knife to her. Becca is jealous of Olivia feeding Ben crickets. They have to go look for fresh mint. Emily thinks it is because of how bad Olivia's breath is.

Lauren H. is giddy to get her date card. Amanda goes and gets it at the door for her.

Lauren H. - Let's design a life together.

Back to the date quickly. With ingredients in hand, everyone heads back upstairs to cook. Ben loves to cook. He calls himself the spachelor.

Ben makes bread while Olivia makes mole sauce that evidently doesn't taste good. Most of the women tend to be having fun, and many teams work well together, but Ben notices Lauren B. and Jubilee aren't so much.

Once the dishes are ready, the brother/sister restaurant owner team get ready to taste the dishes. The sister says that tradition says that a woman is ready to get married when she knows how to cook.

Emily and Jenifer made ceviche, but their tortilla is bad.

Caila and Leah make a chile releno. Their stuffed pepper gets high marks.

Becca and JoJo made a taco. JoJo knows the taco is delicious, but the salsa doesn't get high points.

Ben and Olivia made duck mole with crickets on top. The sister chef tells her brother in Spanish it looks like dog food.

Jubilee and Lauren B. earn really high marks for their dish and say that this recipe has to be in the restaurant.

At the cocktail party, everyone is chomping at the bit for their time with Ben since Olivia hogged his attention all day. Ben can't finish his welcome before Olivia asks to take him off. He plays nice thanking her for being a good partner. Kiss, kiss, whatever.

Emily isn't going to let this last long, so she goes to break up the Olivia show. Various women take their turns while Jubilee pouts in the corner. At one point, Ben pulls Jennifer away to talk. After all, who even knows anything about Jennifer?

Ben takes Lauren B. off for some special time away. They talk about how great their one-on-one date was and how neither wanted it to end. They are off making out on the streets for a while so the atmosphere is tense up on the roof. Jubilee asks Leah to go break it up.

When Ben comes back, he asks Jubilee to talk. She doesn't want to hold hands as they walk off so that no one will feel uncomfortable. She tells him that on group dates she feels overshadowed. Ben asks if she is saying it is getting difficult. She wants to know if he even remembers their one-on-one date. He's less positive in this conversations than most. He says that she is pulling away from him. From her pulling her hand away when he reaches for it. This is the first time Ben has been so obviously annoyed, even more so than when Amber tried to tell Jubilee off and Ben defended her.

Jubilee doesn't want him to think she is pulling back, but it really seems like she has, and I don't think it's all in editing. The women are wondering what's going on after 25 minutes. The women muse about how Jubliee hasn't been bubbly like she once was.

Jubliee is fishing for Ben to say something specific. He wants to know if she still thinks there is something. Ben says that the way other relationships have progressed, he's not seeing there being something with her anymore. He thinks it's best to say goodbye now. He asks if he can walk her out. Not a moment too soon! She was toxic. Of course, she thinks she's the most unloveable person in the world right now. Maybe so when you act like that.

Ben has to take a moment before going back upstairs. Leah is hoping for some time prior to this week's rose ceremony. When Ben comes back, he sits down and tells everyone that while he really found her intriguing from the start, but had to let her go home. Ben's trying to get his words out, and JoJo decides to interrupt him to take him off and tell him how well he's been handling this. JoJo makes him feel better about himself.

After the JoJo conversation, Ben comes back to the group, picks up the rose, and says he is giving the rose to someone he reconnected with. Much to my chagrin, he gives the rose to Olivia. I'm so very disappointed.

The next day, Ben has a date with Lauren H. Her clothes are ridiculous. Short jean shorts. Her shirt has a long tail in the back and shows her midriff in front. They go clothes shopping it's so bad.

They try on clothes and go back to the design studio. Since it's Mexican fashion week, they are recruited to be a part of the runway show.

Back at the hotel, Olivia is reveling in the fact that she got the date rose. Emily may take her out. She's doing the whole, "if she's what he wants, do I belong here?" speech and expresses her disappointment with Jennifer.

Ben and Lauren H. are informed they aren't just watching the fashion show, they're in it. They have to practice their walks. Lauren only knows how to walk kids to recess.

Lauren is intimidated by all the professional models, all the beautiful women around. Ben gives one of his pep talks about how great she is and how she should not be intimidated. They both make their walk without tripping.

Lots of speculation about roses this week is taking place as pair by pair of women reflect on who is left and where relationships are headed.

As more and more relationships get serious, Ben tries to figure out if there is anything going on with Lauren H. and if she will get a rose. Lauren tells Ben that she is really impressed with the conversations that he has, especially from what she heard about last night. She hopes he sees the goofy, real side of her, not just the serious side. She tries the honesty thing telling Ben about a past four year long relationship where the guy was a cheater. (Haven't we already heard this tonight?) She tells of how she woke up one morning choosing to be happy rather than a victim. Ben appreciates the confident, comfortable and cute side of her. He does decide to give her the rose.

Their private concert consists of a guy playing the harp on the street.

In all honesty, I don't think it all turned out to be as great a date as Ben acts like it was. Nothing she said was very convincing.

Moving on to cocktail party/rose ceremony night...

The heat is on. After Jubilee went home, none of the women know what to think or expect. Olivia and her many obnoxious faces are sitting pretty, bragging about having her date rose and waving it all around to taunt everyone.

JoJo asks Ben to please keep her looped in if something is going to happen. Ben promises not to blindside her. SEE! This sounds like Survivor.

Lauren B. tells been she can see a life life with Ben. No, that wasn't a typo. She said a life life.

Amanda feels anxious today. She had a dream about her kids last night. Olivia says she feels like this like an episode of Teen Mom that she watches. Amanda finds that unfair as she was 22 and 24 when her kids were born.

Amanda says that Olivia reminds her of hot mess Snookie from Jersey Show. Olivia cries and says she's going to try harder (at what?).

Emily asks if anyone needs to pee, then goes off to see Ben. She gets emotional as she tells Ben how disrespectful that Olivia has been and how by her (Olivia) getting the rose, it's make her question what she's doing here. Emily tells Ben how fake Olivia is, and sure enough, Olivia shows up.

Ben is starting to realize there is the Olivia he sees and the one all the women see. He thought he knew where he was going with Olivia, but he's second guessing now. Emily goes off worried about how Olivia is going to manipulate him. After all, as Emily puts it, Olivia is always bullying everyone.

Emily has to call home to Haley because she is so upset.

Olivia gives Ben some little ring and lays on the charm. Ben decides that if Emily is so upset, he needs to get to the bottom of things. He asks Amanda about the situation. Amanda says she felt targeted from week one. Jennifer says no one has clicked with Olivia which leaves them all wondering what it is she has. He's really starting to question the "connection."

Chris Harrison rolls in to clink the glass and call it a night, but Ben says that he needs to talk to Olivia first. All the women ask each other if Ben asked what they thought about Olivia. Evidently, he asked all of them.

And with that, there is no rose ceremony. The show ends with previews of EVERYONE crying next week. Every. One. Crying. Tears. 

Thankfully, this is the last week of Bachelor Live. I guess I shall suffer week the hour one more time.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kum Ba Yah - the new one


Kum Ba Yah (new)

Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus
Singin’ rain, storm, fire, wind,
Kum Ba Yah
Rain, storm, fire, wind,
Kum Ba Yah

Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Come by here my LORD, come by here,
Come by here my LORD, come by here.
Come by here my LORD, come by here,
Come by here my LORD, come by here.

Chorus