Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New book teaches preschoolers the Lord’s Prayer


Let’s Learn about the Lord’s Prayer
invites children to a day of play, prayer and song

This fall, David C Cook is launching a new series for toddlers and preschoolers that combines word and song to help young children memorize scripture. The first book in the HeartSmart series, Lets Learn about the Lords Prayer (September 1, 2015/ISBN: 978-0781412698/$10.99) by bestselling author Catherine DeVries, not only introduces children to Bible memory, but teaches them about how to pray.

In this vibrant, colorful board book illustrated by Ryan Jackson, DeVries introduces Emma, a preschooler who welcomes readers at the front door and invites them in for a special playdate. Upstairs they meet Blueberry, Emma’s favorite teddy bear. The two show readers all the fun toys in Emma’s room before heading downstairs for snack time. As they sit down in the kitchen and get ready to pray before eating, Emma shares with readers she has been learning about the Lord’s Prayer.

Emma quotes each line of the prayer and explains every part in a way preschoolers can understand. As Emma’s mom taught her, children will learn “this whole world belongs to God. Everything we do is for God’s glory, which is like a big celebration that shows Him how amazing we think He is.” Children will then head back to Emma’s room, where they teach the Lord’s Prayer to Blueberry. The entire prayer appears at the back of this delightful book, along with an access code to a whimsical song that will help them learn it.

Let’s Learn about the Lord’s Prayer and all the coming HeartSmart releases will offer parents the opportunity to infuse their homes with God’s Word. By using these charming books, moms and dads will be equipped with a clear spiritual formation path for building in their child a strong foundation of faith based on key Scriptures. Through engaging and playful stories about children their own age, young people will be captivated by the colorful illustrations and inspired to hide God’s Word in their hearts through repetition and song — two prescriptions for memorization.


About the Author

Catherine DeVries has written 20 books for children, including the bestselling The Adventure Bible Storybook. As associate publisher of Children’s Resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible collection, which has sold more than 1 million copies.


She is a graduate of Calvin College who has won Retailer’s Choice awards in 2000, 2009 and 2010, as well as a Gold Medallion award in 2008, among others. She also serves on the board of the Tween Gospel Alliance. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children and big furry dog in the Colorado forest. 


Learn more about Let’s Learn about the Lord’s Prayer and the HeartSmart series at HeartSmart.DavidCCook.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The ultimate blueprint for passing your faith on to your children


New book invites parents to change the
trajectory of their family’s spiritual legacy forever

Research and experience both support the truth that parents are the single most important factor in determining a child’s view of God and whether or not faith will become a cornerstone of his or her adult life. Although it is a great responsibility, moms and dads need not panic at the daunting thought. In Pass It On: Building a Legacy of Faith for Your Children through Practical and Memorable Experiences (David C Cook/ September 1, 2015/ISBN: 978-1434709073/$15.99), HomeWord president Jim Burns and ParentMinistry.net founder Jeremy Lee give parents a year-by-year plan for sharing rites of passage that will set the foundation for their child’s faith.

Pass It On draws its inspiration from Deuteronomy chapter 6:4-9. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (verses 5-7, NIV). This short passage provides God’s blueprint for the successful transmission of faith from one generation to the next. Encouraging parents to step boldly into their roles as the spiritual leaders in their home, Pass it On shows them how to invite their children with them on a journey of discovering their faith.

Clearly outlining annual, experiential, age-specific rites of passage, this book makes it easy to reinforce the values that will form the foundation of a young person’s spiritual life. And it’s never too soon or too late to begin. Whether it’s the generosity rite in kindergarten, where youngsters participate in a service project, or the manhood/womanhood ceremony for high school seniors, Pass it On is filled with practical ideas for parents. It includes specific information to share at each event, gifts or contracts to present, questions to ask and stories of others’ experiences for inspiration.

Asking moms and dads to think generationally, Burns and Lee remind readers the work they’re doing isn’t just for their own children, but for their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.

“The Bible teaches that we inherit consequences — good and bad — from previous generations of our families, even to the third and fourth generations,” Burns points out. “The choices, traditions and teachings we offer our children will affect not only them but also their children. The spiritual riches we might pass on far outweigh the value of any earthly inheritance — spiritual legacies remain for generations.”

Ultimately, Pass it On calls parents to the bold act of changing the trajectory of their family’s faith legacy for generations to come.

For more information about Jim Burns, visit www.homeword.com or follow him on Facebook (Homeword) or Twitter (@drjimburns). To keep up with Jeremy Lee, visit his website or follow him on Facebook (yojeremylee) or Twitter (@yojeremylee). 

Advance Praise

“I’m so excited for Pass It On. Parents must understand that if we want our kids to keep their faith, we need to have more faith conversations during their growing years. I’m excited to endorse something that is more than a book — it’s a movement of God.”

~ Doug Fields, executive director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth/ Family at Azusa Pacific University

“This book celebrates the role of family and community, and helps parents lead their kids to realize their place as adopted children of God. As Jim and Jeremy say, ‘Reading this book is meant to be a life-changing experience.’”

~ Chap Clark, author and professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary


About the Authors

Jim Burns is a renowned youth and family expert, acclaimed author and founder of the HomeWord radio program that reaches more than 1 million people across the country every day. He is president of HomeWord and executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University, a research and training institute offering biblically based resources for parents and youth. Under Burns, the center has become the largest provider of Christian parenting and youth seminars in the United States.

Burns speaks to thousands annually at leadership, marriage and parenting events around the world. He has more than 1.5 million resources in print in more than 25 languages. Burns is a three-time Gold Medallion Award-winning author and has written books for parents, youth workers and students, including: Faith Conversations for Families, Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Most recently, he co-authored a premarital resource with Doug Fields called Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Roadmap for Your Journey Together that has an accompanying workbook and online app.

Burns, his wife, Cathy, and their three daughters, Christy, Rebecca and Heidi, live in southern California.

Connect with Jim Burns at www.homeword.com, or follow him on Facebook (Homeword) or Twitter (@drjimburns).


Jeremy Lee is the founder of ParentMinistry.net, a subscription-based service for children and youth ministry workers. He was on the writing team for the Simple Truth Bible from Group Publishing and the Ignite Study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Jeremy lives in Nashville with his wife and children.


To keep up with Jeremy Lee, visit his website or follow him on Facebook (yojeremylee) or Twitter (@yojeremylee).  

Monday, August 31, 2015

This week on #bachelorinparadise aka #thesamanthashow

So, as Chris Harrison promises, here's another dramatic episode in the most dramatic season of Bachelor in Paradise. 

It's a new day, and Joe realizes how stupid he was to fall so hard for a girl like Samantha. He now has a glimpse at what he did to Juelia and why everyone hated him. He's not happy about her going out with Justin.

However, Samantha lays on her womanly charm on Joe, and says they're good again. She won't go on a date with Justin because that wouldn't be fair to him if she thinks about Joe. On again. Off again.

Then, Samantha takes Justin off to talk to him and declines the date. Therefore, Justin asks Amber who is a little hesitant because she's in to Dan, but that hasn't been moving forward fast enough for her.

Chris B, who tried to get on Andi's season after being on Emily's season and is a summer crazy collective alum, arrives. Chris Harrison asks him what he's doing there when he was the one that probably sent out the invitations. Harrison tells him, "maybe the fifth time will be a charm." His date card reads that he'll have a date tomorrow, so he gets to get a feel for who he might want to take before making a decision. 

Amber is hoping that by going out with Justin, she can make Dan jealous. They join the locals salsa dancing at a bar. She decides he's looking better and better after the dancing. She makes him take off his shirt which was a mistake because he gets a really bad sunburn that he shows off as they make off in the ocean.

Back at the house, Chris B is trying to get a lay of the land. He does disclose to Nick that Tensley was on the top of his list. Some people think he seems disinterested in the whole thing because he's occupying his time by getting sloppy drunk.

When they get back from their date, Amber is upset because she and Justin had a good time. That's a bad thing now. She gets Dan to go out to the beach for a talk. They did kiss, and there is a reason she's in her swimsuit, but she was thinking of him. Amber isn't sure where they are and what that means. Dan explains that he loves her as a person and thinks she's amazing, but he's not sure there is a connection there. He'd love to stick around, but Amber needs to do what's good for her. He gave her the "I'm not that into you" speech, but she's upset that she went out with the other guy?

If they do psychiatric testing on these people before casting, like I think I heard they did, they pick the crazies ones to put on the show.

Around the fire, Joe asks how his first day went. He's too drunk to know where he is. The guys are trying to push him towards doing his invite. Carly found out who Drunk Chris wants to ask and warns Tenley. She doesn't want to be asked. Once she gets the news, Drunk Chris finally takes her off and asks.

Tenley tells him that if she goes, it would be as a friend. She's flattered, but tells him she wants to think about it, or he can ask someone else.

Josh decides to go to Drunk Chris and ask if he can have his date card since he doesn't seem like he's going to be using it. DC goes along with this, then Tenley happily accepts Josh's invite.

Then, there's a word sequence of different voices playing in DC's head as he rips off his microphone and stumbles around.

The next morning, Josh and Tenley set out on DC's date. They go shopping with a chef so that they can cook an authentic Mexican meal. They are impressed as the chef teaches them about all the fruit at the farmer's market and the aphrodisiac cheese. The jalapenos about do them in though.

Back at the house, Dan talks to Carly about how he doesn't see anything going on here, unless there's a chance with Samantha. So, he's going to go talk to her. She's laying around talking with Joe, and it makes Dan sick.

Dan appears to be level headed, but he's gone for crazy Ashley and is now lusting on Samantha. I question his choices.

With an hour left in tonight's show, we're prepping for a rose ceremony because we randomly put roses in middle of episodes now.

The women are in charge this week, so Jared needs to talk to Ashley I. Her mind tells her no, her heart tells her not to give up. She gives Jared a long, long, letter so that "she can communicate without lying" and shares all of her crazy deep feelings. It doesn't take long before the letter with all of it's crazy crush analogies and comparisons kind of freaks Jared out.

Justin doesn't know what's going on with Amber since Dan rejected her. He still doesn't after talking to Amber. Amber decides to talk to Jared because Jared was her second choice after Dan. She asks Jared if he would accept her rose if she gave it to him so that they can get to know each other better.

Amber does tell Ashley I. about her conversation with Jared so that Ash Kardash is not caught off guard. So now, KardASH is in tears because it's the worst situation of her life.

It's now or never for Dan. He better make his move. When he takes her off to talk, Joe gives them the death stare. Dan asks what was so fantastic about her first date with Joe that made it so wonderful. Dan follows up by saying that he's usually a good judge of character, but he doesn't feel so good about Joe.

Joe is steamed waiting for Samantha to come back. He knows that Dan is trash talking Joe, hoping to make himself (Dan) look better. Joe decides to break in a minute, and tell her to watch her step. He just wanted to kiss her. Then, he walks her back to Dan. Sam and Dan finish their conversation, but he didn't really make his play for her.

Rose time!

Carly and Kirk, of course.

Jade and Tanner is also not a shock.

Tenley and Joshua.

Juelia and Mikey.

Ashley S. and her struggle as real, as she says. It's Nick!

Who will go up first? KardASH or Amber?

Ashley I. goes first, and she gets to give her rose to Jared before Amber has a chance. (It looses a petal, by the way.)

Amber is up in the air now. She settles on Justin, and tells him it is so he can explore things with other women.

Samantha has the last rose. She tells everyone she never expected this kind of drama before giving the rose to Dan.

Mikey is in shock. Joe has been played. Samantha says it makes sense because Joe is the villan in this situation.

Joe is the only one going home. However, he gets the last word with Samantha before he leaves. She says there's too much drama following her. He says all was well until she talked to Dan. Joe keeps talking about the text messages, and how he is going to show everybody. Blah, blah, blah. Joe tells her she's going to end up with a bunch of cats. 

Carly thinks it's time for Samantha to take some responsibility for the drama.

Joe and his beer hit the road. Then, he shows the text messages to the camera.

Samantha heads off with Dan. When they come back to the group, everyone is pretty quiet. When Samantha again talks about the drama (her favorite word) and how drama had never followed her like this in her life, everyone looks at here like she's nuts, especially Nick and Ashley S. Jared speaks up and says he doesn't think either of them handled it well, and everyone nods.

Ashley S. asks how many guys she talked to before the show, and if Dan was one of them. (Is it bad that she and I are wondering the same thing?) Then, Ashley goes on this odd rampage about Samantha's beauty, but yet, Sam's a dead bird to her now.

Sam's a hot mess of tears after the exchange, and Dan is there to comfort her. Outside of Kirk and Carly, Dan thinks that he and Sam have the greatest potential of anyone there.

Everyone else goes back to the house because evidently the rose ceremony takes place at the tribal council (Survivor) venue. Chelsie from Juan Pablo's season is there to welcome everyone in a very bubbly manner. 

Chelsie asks if everyone is more chipper this morning. Carly, in an effort to conspire against Samantha, tries to talk Chelsie into asking Dan out. Carly gives the rundown of everyone, at first forgets about Dan (or so she plays it), and Chelsie brings him up. Carly says, "he's very available."

There will be more drama tomorrow night as more women will join. We'll see how it all goes down.


Things that I could do without... Knowing that Tenley had to pee on Juelia's foot after she got stung by a jellyfish. That's how Monday's episode started out. 

Now that Joe is gone, let's see if Samantha says "drama" any less.

Chelsie is talking to Dan, screening him to see if he is who she wants to ask out on her date. Everyone is hoping that pans out so that Samantha goes HOME. But, not so fast. Then Chelsie takes Nick out to talk. She seems to be going about it the right way. Check out the possibilities. She asks Nick.

Nick is glad to go on a date to get away from crazy Ashley. Since they were loosely connected, everyone looks at him strangely when she's acting weird. He does want to talk to her before he leaves with Chelsie. She's in the process of washing her face, so tells him to wait a few minutes.

Ashley goes along with and agrees it's not going anywhere with Nick. She thought he was rude because he evidently told her she smelled like a brewery when she had not even had time to brush her teeth yet.

In other news, Joshua has really enriched Tenley's life. Her words, not mine.

Then, just what we didn't need. Another mother. Mackenzie. She and KardASH go off to talk. KardASH tells her she's with Jared, but fills her in on the others she can/should ask out.

From their date on the yacht, Chelsie and Nick wave to the rest of the cast on the beach. Kind of a boring date other than pouring on the sunscreen. He does tell her about texting with Samantha before the show. She asks him how he feels about Samantha being unconnected at this point. We find out through his interviews that he plans on pursuing Sam.

At the house, Dan is trying to get Samantha to actually be interested in him.

Mackenzie is still trying to figure who to ask out. She and Justin bond a little bit over having sons. He does tell her though as the newbie, don't worry about making a move on someone. She talks with Dan too, but decides to ask Justin. That bothers Amber since they had gone on a date.

The competition is heating up. Here comes Jacklyn from Ben's season. I don't remember her. I may have blocked her from memory. She's here to shake things up. Her date card says to find someone that will tickle her senses. 

Jacklyn wants to know everything, but doesn't care who is "single" and who is not. Juelia warns that KardASH isn't into Jared, but Jaclyn really doesn't care. This may be KardASH's match.

Before we find out who Jacklyn is going to sink her teeth into, we join Justin and Mackenzie on their date, her first since Chris' season. They have no clue what's going on. A guy comes in, a medicine man of sorts, maybe. The guy speaks only Spanish. He has them strip down to their underwear, and they undergo some kind of cleansing ritual followed by covering one another in mud. They are then bound together with a rope, do something with fire, then are "married." It has all been an ancient wedding ceremony.

When they get home, Justin is worried that Mackenzie really thinks they are married. She keeps repeating, "we got married." I don't remember her being this ditzy before. Justin already considers the honeymoon being over. He's ready for a divorce.

Back to Jaclyn who pegs the men as a collection of Kaitlyn's rejects. Little does she know some of them have gone home (Joe and Jonathan). She talks to Jared and KardASH is about to have a conniption (she's winning him back over and isn't going to give him up).  Jared tells him they sort of have a connection, she wrote him a beautiful letter, but they are leaving it open.

KardASH goes off to find Chris Harrison, wherever he is, and see if she can get a date that leads to a fantasy suite. She needs some alone time without cameras, she says. Paint him blue and stuff him in a bottle because Harrison grants her wish, gives her a card, and she arrives back just as Jared is about to answer as to whether or not he would go on a date with Jaclyn. Before he can answer...

KardASH CLAIMS that she FOUND a card addressed to herself. Yeah, right. He accepts her invite, leaving Jaclyn with the most sour look on her face. KardASH just knows this is the night where she will give him "her gift." She is willing to consider that because Jared is the hottest guy she has ever seen. Off they go!

And then, that's it for the night! Next week is the last week. The shocking finale. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

You are the Words and the Music


You are the Words and the Music
By Doug Moody
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

You are the words and the music. 
You are the song that I sing.
You are the melody, 
You are the harmony, 
Praise to Your Name I will bring.
You are the Lord of Lords,
You are the mighty God,
You are the King of all kings,
So now I give back to You
The song that You gave to me,
You are the song that I sing.




Saturday, August 29, 2015

In case you were wondering what I have going on this fall

Come out and see us at one of these events!
Of course, if you don't live in North Central Texas, you can always order online!



Spetember 19 ~ 9 AM - 3 PM
The Opry Craft Show

Corsicana Opry, 215 E 5th St., Corsicana, TX 75110

http://www.corsicanaopry.com/#!vendor-market/c15y




September 26 ~ 10 AM - 4 PM
Wisteria Street Market

Mansfield Activities Center, 106 S. Wisteria St., Mansfield, TX 76063




October 10 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM
Marcus Marquette Craft Fair

Marcus High School, 5707 Morris Rd.,  Flower Mound, TX 75028



October 17 ~ 9 AM - 5 PM / October 18 ~ 11 AM - 5 PM
Martin Craft and Specialty Show

James Martin High School, 4501 W. Pleasant Ridge Rd., Arlington, TX 76106




October 24 ~ 9 AM - 7 PM
Texas Country Reporter Festival

Downtown Waxahachie, TX 75165




November 21 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM
Pre-Christmas Craft Fair

Waxahachie High School, 1000 N. Hwy 77, Waxahachie, TX 75165



2015 Graphic to come!

December 5 ~ 9 AM - 5 PM
IOOF Holiday Market

IOOF Event Center, 601 N. 45th St, Corsicana, TX 75110



We may be back at the Corsicana Opry on December 19.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Because one day it will be cold, and I'll be taking orders

Laugh if you will about me crocheting in August. However, I've already shipped off the scarf I made and have an order for another one.

As my laptop is about to die, I'll take it as a sign to work on one now.









Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are you ready for some football?

Alright football fans! The Crafty Dad and Daughter ready for you! 

All football items are available in the team colors of your choice (high school, college or pro). 

The plaques are 8x8 inches and are painted one color on top and a second color on the sides. $12

The Texas will hang from a baseball ribbon and is $15.

Show your team spirit and order now! We will ship!








Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jesus takes our ragged edges and mends us into something beautiful

 Part 2 of an interview with Cynthia Ruchti,
 Author of Tattered and Mended


Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopelessly shattered, perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the scares and broken places we hide inside? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live? Can our tattered souls ever be mended?

In Tattered and Mended (Abingdon Press), author Cynthia Ruchti offers an invitation to think about soul-mending as a divine art form, to show us that God doesn’t just heal wounded souls, he heals artfully.

With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Ruchti offers hope for your own broken pieces. She opens the door to a gallery of the reclaimed and restored, reflects on a tapestry of stories not unlike your own, and helps readers discover that even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.
                            

Q: Tell us about a time in your life when you felt tattered and in need of mending.

In Tattered and Mended, I mention a period of time that brought me to my knees — or even lower than that. When Lyme disease was a fairly “new” disease, as far as the general public was concerned, I had the dubious honor of being one of the first in my area of Wisconsin to contract it. It crept in stealthily, one symptom at a time. It was a year and a half before we knew what was causing the relentless headaches, heart-rhythm problems, debilitating pain in joints and muscles and a dozen other symptoms. I had young children, a ministry that taxed my energies and an at-that-time unknown disease that raged through my body. It reduced me to a lump of fatigue, uncertainty, concern and an emotional drain that left me shredded. I plowed through because I had no other choice and because I’d learned God is faithful and capable even when our strength is completely gone.

Q: Humans try to heal themselves by slapping a bandage on the wound. How does God heal differently?

He does nothing carelessly or unintentionally. We can search diligently and not find a place in His Word where He decides, “Eh, that’s good enough.” He’s a God of excellence, trustworthiness and thoughtfulness. We can look to creation for confirmation that He is a master at details. He doesn’t settle for utilitarian purpose only. He goes beyond workable to beautiful.

Q: Why do you think many people remain in a broken state?

Some of us have come to expect too little. We think we don’t deserve anything more than where we now stand in the healing process. On the other hand, we may expect too much, growing bitter if the mending doesn’t happen as quickly as we imagine, in the way we imagine or with the results we envision. That bitterness is counterproductive to the healing we need and creates self-imposed setbacks.

Still others are broken and don’t yet know God cares they are hurting. They don’t yet know they’re mendable. I ache for them.

Q: What can we learn about healing from the miracles Jesus performed while He was here on earth?

We could talk about that for a long time and not exhaust the topic. The thoughts that come instantly to my mind are these:

·         He never performed a half-miracle. He always brought complete healing. Leprous skin as smooth as a newborn’s. Full sight. Not just the lame walking, but dancing. He anticipates the need and the side effects for others when we emerge fully mended.
·         He used an incredibly wide variety of methods to heal. Why should we expect our mending to look just like someone else’s?
·         He seems to delight in tackling what others find impossible. He finds nothing intimidating, not even emotional or physical traumas that would send others fleeing. Our tatters are not beyond His abilities.

Q: Many people don’t find wholeness because they can’t let go of hurt and resentment. Why is forgiveness so closely tied to emotional freedom?

Unforgiveness keeps us trapped in a state that is not a great environment for healing. Wounds can’t heal well in unsanitary conditions. Unforgiveness is spiritually unsanitary, and while it may seem natural, it isn’t healthy.

Q: How do you hope this book will offer strength and hope to those who are going through a difficult circumstance?

It’s one thing to believe God can make us better on a soul-deep level. It’s another to understand His intention is to make artwork from our messes and distresses. Like a master artist, He takes broken bits and frayed threads and mends us so thoroughly we can’t unravel, and the result is a thing of beauty.

Q: What do you mean when you say you’re an “observer-writer”?

Some write as experts on their subject of choice. I write from a place of listening and observing, then I attempt to express what others feel but can’t find a way to put into words.

To keep up with Cynthia Ruchti, visit www.cynthiaruchti.com. You can also become a fan on Facebook (Cynthia Ruchti) or follow her on Twitter (@cynthiaruchti).



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sharing your faith should not be daunting task

Part 1 of an interview with Rob Peabody,
Executive Producer and Host of
Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge


Let’s face it: Opening up to the people we love most about the most important issues in life — such as faith — can be tough. Whether it’s embarrassment or misunderstanding, the fear of rejection can keep our lips sealed, thus keeping our unsaved loved ones lost in the dark. This is why Rob Peabody and Cris Rogers created Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge (Kregel Publications/July 27, 2015/$15.99), a five-week short film resource designed to help Christians engage their family, friends and neighbors in a meaningful way about their faith. Whether used in a café, a friend’s living room or a more formal church setting, the video series can be tailored to a variety of audiences. 


Q: Tell us about the Intersect DVD series. Who was it created for, and what is the best way for it to be used?

Intersect is a five-week short film resource designed to be a missional tool to help those in the church engage those who might not yet be ready to step foot inside its walls and begin spiritual conversations centered on Jesus. It was created with a desire to enable people to have spiritual conversations with their friends, co-workers, family, neighbors and others, regardless of their church history or familiarity with God and church.

Often I find many in our churches agree that talking about Jesus and engaging in evangelism is a good thing they want to be a part of; however, they feel ill-equipped and apathetic when it comes to doing it. Intersect is a tool to help start the conversation — to put the “ball on the tee,” to borrow a golf analogy. We are finding Intersect is best used amongst a group of friends, whether in a café, friend’s house, church group, with co-workers on a coffee break, or more formal environment. It doesn’t take long, and the conversation it lends itself to can be tailored to your specific audience.

Q: What are you trying to achieve with Intersect?

We wanted to create a tool anyone could use to facilitate a conversation about things of greater importance.

It’s called Intersect because the basic premise of the series is to hear from five normal people about their struggles, issues and journeys in regard to basic universal human issues we all deal with (rest, control, expectations, disappointment and trust). The viewer can relate to how they deal with these issues in their own lives, and then we talk about what God has to say about these issues. We intentionally tried to stay away from being preachy, and we carefully crafted how the issues were presented, working under the assumption that the viewer may not know anything about the Christian subculture. We wanted to avoid the “Christianese” we so often hear from regular churchgoers and church leaders.

We also wanted to make Intersect as authentic as possible, starting with everyday issues we all deal with, and explore how the greater story of God connects to our lives on a practical level.

Q: The series features the faith journeys of five Christians. Why did you choose to use individual stories as the centerpiece of the series?

We all have a story. There has never been a person on the planet who did not have one. Our stories give us significance. They are what connect us to the past, the present and the future. In fact, our stories make us who we are. The beauty of each person’s individual story is that although they are completely unique, our stories can relate and intersect. When this happens, the result is life-giving. When you connect with someone’s story, it may bring validation, hope, assurance, comfort, meaning and a whole gamut of other emotions. The truest beauty, though, is when elements of a shared story amongst people also connect to the bigger story of God. What I love about God’s story — his grand meta-narrative we see played out through Scripture and our world today — is that it is designed to incorporate and converge with every individual story in humanity. It’s the way God set it up. It’s the way our true humanity is realized.

In Intersect we wanted to celebrate this truth and lead with a story. In a day and age where truth is debated and experience reigns supreme, our stories speak volumes. You might feel like you have nothing to offer, but you have a story, and there is a God and a people who want to merge into and share that story.

Q: Some people view the Bible as being abstract or symbolic. How can a person purposefully move to seeing God’s Word as a practical guide for their everyday life?

Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Bible is “living and active” and it is sharp and penetrates deep down to the thoughts and attitudes of a person’s heart. This sounds pretty personal to me. There are all sorts of different genres, writing styles, symbolism and writing techniques used throughout all 66 books of the Bible. It’s quite a complex book written by multiple authors over a period of thousands of years. At the end of the day, though, if God’s revelation of Himself, humanity and reality does not impact and intimately work in and through us, all it is to us is a great historical account. We must develop a practice of purposefully engaging with God through His Spirit and His Word if we are to understand and become more like God. God is after our hearts, not our head knowledge, and it is only by wrestling with the heart of God as revealed to us in the Bible and practically applying what we learn that we can ever get on the same page with Him.

Q: How can unmet expectations derail our spiritual journey?

I would say unmet expectations are the cause of all of our disappointments. We all have expectations, whether articulated or not, and these help guide how we behave, interact and process relationships and situations we move throughout daily. For those of us who are married, you know exactly what I am talking about! Often when our expectations are not met, we need someone or something to put the blame on . . . and quite often the easiest person to put this on is God. God is not a “cosmic vending machine” or “universal police officer” looking to reward good behavior and punish bad. We shouldn’t pray in order to get what we want because when things in your life are not going the way you had expected, you end up having a problem with God. Your spiritual journey gets derailed because you have failed to have an accurate perception of God in the first place. It all comes back to the view we have of God. And this view can only be accurately painted in our hearts and minds if we have looked to God’s revelation of Himself appropriately.

Q: What does the rest that God promises look like on a practical level in our lives?

Rest is an interesting concept. Rest can be taking a nap, ‘“unplugging” for a bit of time, going on a vacation or even spending a nice night in with a loved one. The most interesting thing, though, is that although you may be in a physical posture of rest (lying down, relaxing, etc.) your mind and soul can still be at work. Perhaps you have decided to lie down on a Sunday afternoon or are watching golf on television (prime sleep conditions!), and although you have the pillows and blanket, your mind is racing about that issue you cannot seem to resolve. Sleepless nights and anxious moments are often due to the fact we do not have this “soul rest” that is referred to by Jesus in the Bible. Jesus promises true rest for the believer — a soul or heart rest — that can be achieved no matter what the outside conditions are or what situations are demanding from us. In fact, Hebrews tells us that entering into God’s rest not only secures our eternal destiny with Him but provides a peace or a rightness in the life we currently live. Jesus is the bringer of this rest. It is by Him, to Him and through Him we can truly rest in a world that never stops.

Q: What is your ultimate hope for those who complete the Intersect DVD series?

My dream is that Intersect would be used to start conversations of significance centered on the Gospel in a day where it is so easy to remain superficial and safe in the depth of conversation we conduct.

My hope for individuals who complete Intersect is that they would take their next step with Jesus, whatever that may be. For some, that will be contemplating and beginning to explore the things of God for the very first time. For others it will be re-imagining what their relationship with Him could become, and for others still it might be using Intersect to lead others to explore their relationship with God in a new and fresh way.

I also hope Intersect will give those of us in the church a tool to begin sharing our faith with those outside the walls of the church. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you; now all you have to do is push play and be open to having a conversation. My prayer is this would be a tool that helps to empower normal believers to make a difference in someone else’s life as they walk in obedience for the Kingdom of God.

For more information about Rob Peabody, visit AwakenMovement.com, like the Awaken Movement on Facebook (awakenmovement) or follow Rob on Twitter (@AwakenRob and @awakenmovement).  

Monday, August 24, 2015

#BachelorInParadise specializes in #overkill


Tonight I have decided I want to go on Bachelor in Paradise just so that I have the opportunity to scream and cry and tell people what I really think. I won't go to try to find love. I just want to go to throw a hissy fit. I figure I'm due a good one.

The show starts off with a montage of all the crabs. I want crab cakes.

Then, we launch off with JJ screaming bloody murder at Joe because he's steamed over the whole Juelia thing. When you think about it, she gave up on someone she gave a rose and moved on to Joe. Other than Joe being a giant jerk, I'm not sure if I see the difference. Just because she is a widowed mother...

JJ tells Juelia he is thinking about giving her his rose to keep her around and have a chance at finding love.

Joe tells Samantha that he doesn't think he can handle this much longer. Samantha tells him to just forget about it because she doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

This is getting old. So old.

This particular night is the night of the rose ceremony. There are 10 women and 7 men, so three of the women are headed back to actual reality, not this fake reality.

Blah, blah, blah. Then the entire group of 17 rehash Joe and Juelia and Samantha. Clare plays the role of, I don't know, arbitrator? "If you were such good friends to Juelia, did you even think of talking to her about it?"

I'm zoning out again.

Ashley I. and I agree on one thing. That we're over Joe/Juelia/Samantha. Ashley wants to just stare at Jared for a while. Just stare. She wants to know why he hasn't kissed her in two days. I think he just kisses her to shut her up.

Meanwhile, Amber wants to make sure she and Dan have a chance to talk since he's one of the wild cards. Tinley wants to talk to JJ and convince him to go to bat for Juelia and give her a rose since she doesn't think JJ really hit it off with Megan anyway. He is torn though because he doesn't want to leave Megan out to dry.

Juelia wants to stay, but doesn't want a sympathy rose. She goes off to find Chris Harrison and talk to him. She answers "yes" when Harrison asks her if she felt played. She really wants Mikey to be brought back because she wishes she had given him a rose and tried to see if there might be a connection there since he really tried to warn her about Joe and was on her side.

Before we can get an answer about what Harrison is willing to do, we get sent to the rose ceremony. Harrison tells the women if they don't get a rose, they will be leaving Paradise FOREVER. And so it begins...

Josh gives his rose to Tenley.

Jared settles on Ashley I.

Kirk and Carly.

Tanner is solid with Jade.

JJ is visibly conflicted as his eyes dart back and forth. He throws everyone off by picking Ashley S. At first, she says she won't accept it. He followed Juelia's wishes and didn't give her the sympathy rose. He then gives a speech about it being a hard decision. JJ broke up with someone to come to Paradise. However, through the time there, he's decided he really wants what he left behind. He wanted Ashley S. to stay to find a chance at love. They play some patriotic music as he hugs everyone before he leaves.

Juelia is left in tears realizing she shouldn't have told JJ not to give her his rose.

Joe, of course, gives his rose to Samantha.

Dan is annoyed Joe gets to stay, and he's left being the only one who can save Juelia. It's time for Dan to give out his rose, and he puts it back down. He asks Harrison if he can talk to Carly a few minutes.

Now Ashley S. calls Dan a grandpa. He's not that much older than the rest. He's only 32.

Like an umpire going out to the mound to break up the talk, Harrison tells Dan it's time. He ultimately settles on Amber.

Megan, Juelia and Clare must say their goodbyes.

Clare laments that if she had just been chosen as bachelorette she wouldn't have had to have been there.

As Juelia goes out to the car to leave, Mikey is getting out of the car to meet her. They walk back in together, and Harrison explains what happened. There are no rules in Paradise, even after that FOREVER thing earlier.

At the end of the night, there's a date card up for grabs. It goes to Tanner. He and Jade head out early the next morning on a private plane. They are headed to Tequila. There they have to do some farm work and whack an agave plant so they can make tequila. 

In other news, Joe and Samantha are hanging out at the bar with Jorge. Joe thinks Samantha may be his future wife. Samantha says she's hear for Joe and wants to spend as much time as possible. That's until Nick arrives. Not that Nick. Some Nick I don't remember from Ashley's season and Bachelor Pad 3. He looks forward to meeting...

Samantha. They've texted before and he's told her that he would ask her out if he got a date card upon arrival. Sound familiar?

So, Nick walks up to the bar and says hello to everyone. He has a date card and reads it to the crowd. Nick asks Samantha. She said she would be flattered, then they go off to talk.

Everyone finds this funny and ironic. They anticipate Joe combusting over it. It's not until after they get back to the group that she tells Nick no to the date.

Mikey talks to Nick later. Nick says he had talked to Samantha quite a bit in LA before coming. Mikey explains what's been going before Nick got there. Mikey breaks the news that Samantha wasn't talking to just one guy before she got there.

Nick's second choice is Ashley S. They were supposed to go to a private island, but the island is closed. The local is talking to them in English, but Ashley says she doesn't understand Spanish. They have to go on the alternate date.

Now, back to Jade and Tanner... They are given an invite to a fantasy suite.

Now, back to Ashley S. and Nick... they start knocking back shots of tequila. They get smashed quickly. Next up, a massage. After a while, there's a grackle in a tree that Ashley starts communicating with. Nick doesn't know what to think about the oddness of Ashley.

Later in the hot tub, drunk Ashley says she'll always be a sister to him. The really strange behavior comes out. Then, she decides she's into him, not as a brother.

Back on Jade's date, Tanner wants to tell her how she really feels. Tanner is afraid he's going to fall so in love, but afterwards not seeing her again. They drone on for a while.

At the house the next day, Joe is telling Samantha what he really wants for his birthday today. Among his wishes is no drama. He asks her if there is anyone else there that she wants to go on a date with. He's starting to feel insecure. She's tired of being quizzed by him.

Later on, we see there's a little trouble in paradise between them. Something has changed. She had needed a moment alone to blow dry her hair.

When Tanner and Jade get back, they can tell the date must have gone very well as they are both beaming. Everyone there wants to feel that feeling.

In the pool, Jared talks to Mikey and Kirk about how he doesn't feel for Ashley I. what she feels for him. He's planning on talking to her and breaking it off tonight. Upstairs, Ashley is fixing all of her makeup and getting ready for some special time with Jared. Jared starts off by telling Asheley that he wants her to experience Paradise and get to know some other guys too. He doesn't want to lead her on, after all, he thinks she's the sweetest girl there. However, he doesn't know that their chemistry is what he's looking for. Jared says he's still trying to get over Kaitlyn.

Ashley tearfully asks why he doesn't just go. Jared doesn't want to leave her upset, but he goes ahead and leaves at her prompting. She snotty cries on about how no one will love her ever. It's two guys. She calls up Kaitlyn and asks what on Earth she did to Jared because he's obsessed. Kaitlyn be all like, "WUT?" (Yes, I felt the need to mix it up.)

Joe sets up a birthday celebration for himself to get some time alone with Samantha. At first she thought he was such a nice guy, then she started examining the drama. After giving him the benefit of the doubt at first, she had to take a look at what everyone was saying and why. She can't handle all the drama, even though there has not been drama today. Samantha doesn't want to start off a relationship like this.

"Sam isn't the girl I thought I was falling for." Really Joe? Now he's going to go toss perfectly good chocolate covered strawberries.

Samantha comes back to the group and tells everyone that Joe was not the one.

Joe is ready to get some revenge because he did everything he was supposed to do to be prepared for her to arrive.

And that's it for Sunday night.

Monday night's show starts with Carly and Tenley doing synchronized swimming moves on a dry land lounge area. Akward.

So, last night (in their time) there were two break-ups. Ashley I. and Jared as well as Samantha and Joe. The next morning Ashley I. is commiserating with Joe. Ashley is bawling again, and Joe says he's sorry, but he's not a sensitive guy. That move didn't work for her.

I think she cries for attention, and it's not working for her.

Carly finds a date card and reads it to everyone. It's for Mikey. He better pick Juelia considering he asked for him to be asked back. Mikey does do the right thing. They are packing up to go to Guadalajara. 

Tenley comments in a camera interview that she hopes Juelia does not feel too much pressure if it is an overnight date. Just because the date might span over a time period, I'm pretty sure there is not a contractual requirement that the two parties involved must have sex. I have always found Tenley to be flighty, so I don't like her. Of course, I've only seen her on every season of Bachelor Pad. I didn't watch her actual season of The Bachelor.

Before she goes on her date, she has to Facetime her daughter, Ireland. This desperation move to try to find someone, anyone, before going home probably isn't going to work out for her. It takes all of about two minutes on a private plane for Juelia to decide Joe is a boy and Mikey is a man.

Opinions of Samantha are sinking, much like Joe's, especially now that she's gravitating to Nick. However, Joe decides to confront her and ask her if she came for Nick. He keeps bringing up the "do anything to get a rose" text. She plays dumb and says she didn't come there with any set intentions. They rehash some stuff and she says she's over the drama and this discussion.

Kirk decides to do something special for Carly. They go fishing. It's kind of cute. Low key and nice.

That's the opposite of the Nacho Libre date Mikey and Juelia go on. Mike is all into the wrestling. Juelia probably wishes she is anywhere else. She says she has fun though.

Later in the night, they are given a card with the choice of using two keys or just one. Juelia wants to stay in one room so they can get to know each other. Take that however you please.

The next morning, Ashley I. tries to make conversation with Jorge the bartender. She claims to have not cried in three hours. At the same time, Joshua tries to give Joe dating advice, telling him to apologize to Samantha for the drama. Then, he goes to Ashley I. for some advice. Not sure that was smart. She suggests starting all the way over with her by introducing himself to her.

Joe was about to make his move when Justin from Kaitlyn's season arrives with a date card. Joe takes him off to fill him in on what is going on around there. Joe tries to convince Justin not to ask Samantha out and instead tell her what a great guy he (Joe) is.

Joe may have considered Justin a friend before, but not now! Justin asks Samantha out. She says yes.

Samantha talks to Joe telling him that she did have the best first date ever, but she wants a clean slate. Joe says he doesn't understand what she's saying. He feels like they are going to end up together in the real world, but she doesn't feel that way. "I can't deal with all this drama." As Carly says, "she's creating all the drama."

Joe makes an idiot of himself, and the show ends with him saying, "I want to go home."

And big surprise... next week promises more drama.