Monday, August 21, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide

Does your church or ministry need help developing a policy to keep children safe? The GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, want to help you create a plan with their new book and resource, The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries. Creating a policy can seem too overwhelming, and it feels like an impossible task to plan for every contingency. This handbook is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care.

{MORE ABOUT THE CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY FOR CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES}


(New Growth Press, August 2017)
Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.
This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed for use by a group that will be formulating policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministry, school, and/or church. Working through this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse polices and then guide them through each step they need to take to address the safety of children under their care. It will cover vitally important topics including:
—Protecting the children in a Christian environment from child abuse
—The warning signs of child abuse
—Crafting and implement a child protection policy
—Responding to abuse allegations
—Caring for victims of child abuse
—The legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries
Written by a GRACE team with multi-disciplinary knowledge, headed by Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and former child abuse prosecutor, this handbook will be an invaluable resource to Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how to best protect the little ones under their care.
GRACE

{MORE ABOUT GRACE }


(Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) is a nonprofit organization made up of highly trained, experienced multidisciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront, and respond to the sin of child abuse.
Find out more about GRACE at http://www.netgrace.org.
Follow the blog tour reviews at: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/child-safeguarding-policy-churches-ministries-grace. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thank You Lord for Loving Me

I got two videos on one Wednesday night! Finally!

 

Thank You, Lord
By Gary L. Mabry

Thank you, Lord for loving me and
Thank you, Lord for blessing me.
Thank you, Lord for making me whole
and saving my soul.

Chorus:
(I want to) thank you, Lord, for loving me.
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.

Let us all with one accord,
Sing praises to Christ the Lord.
Let us all unite and in song to praise Him
all day long.

Chorus

Please reveal your will for me,
So I can serve you for eternity.
Use my life in every way,
Take hold of it today.

Chorus


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Worse than the first

I got another box of glasses to try out. I hate all of these. For now, I am stuck with the same old ones which is what everyone liked best anyway.






Friday, August 18, 2017

What makes us who we are?


Cindy Woodsmall releases the powerful conclusion 
to the Amish of Summer Grove series

How different would your belief system be if you grew up in a different culture? Would your faith in God be the same if you were raised in a different family? New York Times best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall poses these questions in the powerful conclusion to the CBA and ECPA bestselling Amish of Summer Grove series in Gathering the Threads (WaterBrook/August 15, 2017).

Woodsmall’s latest series introduces readers to two young women, one Englisch and one Amish, who were switched at birth and follows them as they discover what their lives would have been like had the switch never taken place. In Gathering the Threads, Woodsmall deftly weaves complex issues of identity into the story. What makes us who we are? Are we simply a result of our genetic ancestry? Does our family determine our future . . . or is there something more to identity? The book also deals with the prejudice many Christians feel toward other denominations and belief systems.

The series began with Ties That Bind (September 8, 2015) when Woodsmall introduced readers to Ariana Brenneman, a young Amish woman deeply invested in the beliefs of her family and Amish community, and Skylar Nash, an Englisch college student struggling with a life of addiction, neglect and failure to meet expectations. Their worlds are turned upside down when they learn the families they have been a part of for 20 years are not biologically theirs.

Fraying at the Edge (August 16, 2016) found both women introduced to communities very different from the ones they grew up knowing. They both reeled with the nature of their true identities as Ariana fought to hold on to her convictions in a secular world and Skylar adjusted to life without modern technology.

In the third and final book of the series, Woodsmall brings the story full circle as each woman must decide where her future will be. Ariana’s initial excitement to return home is mixed with doubts about the Amish way of life. Her time with her analytical, atheist father has opened her perspective and makes communicating with her Amish family a struggle. Her arrival also challenges Skylar’s hard-won sobriety as Skylar struggles to see her place in a family restored. Both women find themselves doubting what love, relationships and family will look like in their futures.

Woodsmall hopes readers will glean the importance of reading, studying and thinking for themselves. “Don’t let anyone in authority or any authoritative group, church or otherwise trick you into following them,” Woodsmall warns. “Faith needs to go deeper than our understanding of the Word, just like love goes deeper than our understanding of the Word. I’m hoping readers feel encouraged that it is good for grace to outweigh their personal convictions that may or may not line up with God’s Word as well as they thought.” 

Gathering the Threads is a perfect book for fans of Amish fiction that doesn’t shy away from discussing difficult issues.

For more on Gathering the Threads and the Amish of Summer Grove series, visit www.waterbookmultnomah.com.

Advance Praise

“Woodsmall ends The Amish of Summer Grove series phenomenally. Gathering the Threads is the best of the three novels, bringing it all together in a meaningful and realistic way. Her storytelling skills are impeccable, drawing readers in and providing a sense of familiarity and friendship with the characters. The character development and progression are realistic and engaging. This series has a wide appeal, and readers should be very satisfied with the lovely ending.”
            ~ RT Book Reviews (4 ½ star Top Pick)


About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is an award-winning New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written 20 works of fiction, including her most recent series, Amish of Summer Grove. Her connection with the Amish community has been widely featured in national media outlets, including ABC’s Nightline. The Wall Street Journal listed Woodsmall as one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

RT Book Reviews recently presented her with a Career Achievement Award and gave her latest release, Gathering the Threads, a Top Pick review.

Woodsmall and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.


Learn more about Woodsmall and her books at www.cindywoodsmall.com. She is also active on Facebook (@authorcindywoodsmall). 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Donna Gaines challenges women to pursue Biblical literacy


Choose Wisely, Live Fully points to
Proverbs 1–9 for wisdom and truth

Fortune, fame and power mean nothing without Godly wisdom. King Solomon learned this in his day, and it is a truth that stands today. Author Donna Gaines’ new book, Choose Wisely, Live Fully: Lessons from Wisdom & Folly, the Two Women of Proverbs (Abingdon Press/August 15, 2017), draws from the timeless wisdom of Proverbs 1–9 to help women apply the same principles in practical ways to the issues they face today.

Gaines harnesses her two passions, discipleship and literacy, to challenge women of all ages to become biblically literate. “God has not changed,” Gaines writes. “So why do we keep repeating the same behaviors even though we can see no one has been able to sidestep God’s laws or the consequences of breaking them? I am convinced the answer to that question is this: Most of us honestly don’t know what God has said in the first place. . . . Biblical illiteracy is rampant.”

The statistics support Gaines’ position. According to Lifeway Research findings, 20% of churchgoers reveal they never read the Bible (and the same percentage claim to read it daily), which leaves 80% who have, at best, a marginal understanding of its teachings. That deficiency makes us vulnerable to propaganda, political slant and other influences that do not represent biblical truth. 

Choose Wisely, Live Fully responds to this need for biblical literacy by looking intently at the lives of Wisdom and Folly, the two women described in Proverbs 1–9, and their contrasting worldviews. By unpacking the topics covered in these early chapters of Proverbs — truth, wisdom, folly, courage and beauty, to name a few — Gaines seeks to awaken a perpetual hunger for firsthand biblical truth instead of relying on someone else’s interpretation of it.

Most importantly, Choose Wisely, Live Fully helps readers quickly identify that only God’s Word is the food that satisfies this hunger for truth and reminds us a daily portion is required to be nourished and equipped with a biblical worldview. Written with a built-in study guide, the book includes thought-provoking questions and exercises that may be used for personal study, small-group study or mentoring study.

Gaines examines the blessings and curses associated with the choices made by the two women in Proverbs and equips readers to:
  • discern the voice of God and follow His clear path between Wisdom and Folly.
  • experience the joy of wholehearted obedience.
  • let God help them mentor the lives of those around them in remarkable ways.
  • understand what it means to be a godly woman, wife and mother.
  • view mistakes as opportunities for growth.


A free downloadable resource on how to offer a mentoring program to help other women in their walk of faith is available at www.abingdonpress.com/donnagaines.  



About the author

Donna Gaines is a speaker and author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully, Seated: Living from Our Position in Christ and Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer.

Gaines is the founder of Arise2Read, a nonprofit organization that recruits churches to adopt and provide tutors for inner-city elementary schools. She also teaches Bible study at her home church, Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church, in which her husband, Steve Gaines, Southern Baptist Convention President, pastors.

She is the mother of four and “Nonna” to ten grandchildren.


Learn more at www.donnagaines.org and follow her on Twitter (@donnadgaines)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

‘God’s Crime Scene for Kids’ Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.





{MORE ABOUT GOD’S CRIME SCENE FOR KIDS}


God’s Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective
(David C Cook, September 2017)
Hone your reasoning skills as you investigate evidence in the universe to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation.
In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.
In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

J. Warner and Susie Wallace{MORE ABOUT J. WARNER AND SUSIE WALLACE}


J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity: God’s Crime Scene, Forensic Faith, and Cold-Case Christianity for Kids. He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of www.ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.
Find out more about J. Warner and at http://www.coldcasechristianityforkids.com.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

From overwhelmed by life to overwhelmed by God


Hayley DiMarco helps women trade

in stress and worry for grace and love


The phrase “a woman overwhelmed” is one many women can relate to. Research reveals women are more likely to admit to being stressed and suffer from depression than men — yet there is hope. In A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press/August 15, 2017), best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shows readers what would happen if they could see the insanity in their pace and turn to embrace an overwhelming God.

Women are often overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration and even depression. The emotional tolls are great but often result in physical symptoms, such as weight gain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety attacks and digestive problems. “Women have a list of things to be overwhelmed with, but most of the time it comes down to their to-do list, which includes working, nurturing, loving, exercising, cleaning, cooking and more,” DiMarco explains. “We also tend to use comparison as a way of determining our value and our success. With all that has to be done, it would be much easier if everyone would do what we want them to do, but alas, our lack of being able to control others ends up overwhelming us as well.”

In A Woman Overwhelmed, DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to show we were created to be overwhelmed, not by life, but by God. She offers a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging readers to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power. When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten (exhibiting selfishness, thanklessness, impatience, harshness, immorality, unfaithfulness or a lack of self-control) by focusing on the wrong things to fragrant (living with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) by living focused on God.

“We were made to be overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of God. For that reason, our hearts search for something bigger than us. When our mission in life is to accomplish our own plans, dreams, hopes and desires, we are fertile ground for too much to do and not enough time or resources to do it. We naturally become overwhelmed with them,” writes DiMarco. “The Mission of Me is not a road to emotional or spiritual success because there will be difficult times and devastating failures. However, the Mission of God, though fraught with difficulty, sees success because God will not be frustrated. When we align our will and mission in life with His, we see life through different lenses, and suddenly everything that would have overwhelmed us is now a tool for our good.”

DiMarco hopes women will be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is. In addition to the book, she has written a companion six-week Bible study—A Woman Overwhelmed: A Bible Study on the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus—that walks through the story of Mary and digs into the Old and New Testaments to offer biblical and practical application related to aspects of life that can make us feel overwhelmed. Available components include a workbook, DVD, and leader guide, or a kit option.


About the author

Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than 40 books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young and Own It. Her latest release is A Woman Overwhelmed and its companion Bible study.

As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, DiMarco speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention and MOPS International.

Hayley and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs.


To learn more about DiMarco and her books, visit her online home www.HayleyDiMarco.com. She can also be found on Facebook (hayley.dimarco) and Twitter (@hayleydimarco). 

Monday, August 14, 2017

This is my non-blog on #bachelorinparadise

This is my blog post to say I am officially not blogging on Bachelor in Paradise which Chris Harrison promises really is the "Most dramatic and shocking season ever."

I currently have the TV on and tuned into BIP as I am catching up on some other blog posts and possibly some crafty business stuff tonight. I may or may not watch the season through. I find there are a number of shows I have lost interested in because I simply don't have the mental energy. That is especially true after work today. (Actually, the past few weeks. I'm just so busy.)

Besides, I don't have the readership on my Bachelor blogs unless I really push it, and I don't have the time to do that. Like me, I'm not sure anyone cares anymore. These people here are too raunchy for words, worse than they were on the seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were. Plus it's produced for drama, and I can't handle recapping self-created drama. Life has enough of that. The world would be so much better if people acted the opposite of this.

So, I really don't even know why the TV is on. This show should have ended when production was shut down.

I need to do some analyzing on my own self-torture. I obviously have issues!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Awesome God

Last Wednesday night, we had a class full, so I finally got a video!

I have no idea why I was so loud and what was up with my voice breaking in and out. 


Awesome God

By Rich Mullins
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191


Our God is an awesome God;
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r, and love.
Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God;
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r, and love.
Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I never get around to the bulk of my to-do list

On any given day, I never get to the bulk of my to-do list, and that spills over to the weekend. Every Saturday. 

I end up running errands then get pulled into someone else's project (something Dad wants or needs done, for example) instead of whatever I creative project I wanted to get around to.

I went down to Not So Plain Jayne where we (The Crafty Dad and Daughter) now have some items. They sold a lot of book letters, so I went down to inventory what they needed me to bring back. I had planned for Dad to cut some more, but by the time I got home and started doing some stuff around the house, I got a text that people were asking about missing letters. So after I got through hanging up my paper flowers that have been sitting around for a month, I had to dig out letters.

Before I continue along those lines, this is how they are currently hanging. This room is so dark with the paneling, it's hard to take a good picture with the flash. I'm not sure if I like the arrangement or not.



So anyway, I went down there to take books and ended up staying hours helping to rearrange stuff at the shop and running around town to take more stuff down there. 

When I got home, Brian and Amanda came to pick up some of the computers occupying a big chunk of space. I'm glad to get those out.

When I moved the bookshelf out last weekend to take down to the new shop, I had stacks of piled up. I had to take everything off another shelf to move it across the room. Then, I had move all the books from both shelves back onto the one I moved. Then, I had to move tables around the craft studio to get the antique desk I bought at an auction a couple of weeks ago to a corner. Oh, and it wasn't just all books on that shelf as is obvious in this picture:


Needless to say, I did not get the desk painted though I did buy the chalk paint to do so. That's another project for another day. Week. Month. Heck, it may be after the first of the year at the rate I'm going. 

Isn't my life fascinating?