Monday, December 2, 2019

Enter to win the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls!

Scroll down to enter to win a copy of both
The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible and 8-Pencil Gift Set

and The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls!

I'm so excited that my team of bloggers is reviewing The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls over the next two weeks.

Learn a little bit more below, and at the bottom of the post, enter to win the prize pack!



Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible provides ample space for young artists to express themselves through coloring and journaling.

Girls can get creative with the detailed, ready-to-color line art surrounding the hundreds of inspiring verses in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. This Bible is a perfect gift for a special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.
Features include:
  • Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
  • Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
  • Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections and art
  • Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Easy-to-read black letter text in single-column format
  • Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker
  • Beautifully designed Leathersoft-over-board cover featuring screen-printing and other cover embellishments
  • 8-point type size
Using the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) text makes the Bible accessible and easy-to-read for kids. The NIV is the result of over 50 years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, who oversee the efforts of many contributing scholars. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority. Every NIV Bible that is purchased helps Biblica translate and give Bibles to people in need around the world.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan
(HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Win a copy of A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff!

Scroll down to the end of post to enter!

Over the next few weeks, the I Read with Audra reviewers will be featuring A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff, the first in the Shepherd suspense series from Kregel. 

Read more about the book and enter to win a copy for yourself!

I love suspense and can't wait to share this one with you!



About the book:

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf--an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John's secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow--even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he's learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer . . .

Andrew Huff's thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it's also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here.



About the author:


Andrew Huff spent 10 years in local church ministry as a youth pastor and creative arts pastor  before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the Product Director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com).

He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014 & 2017) and also won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA.

Huff holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion degree from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in Plano, TX with his beautiful wife, Jae, and their two boys.

Learn more Andrew Huff and the Shepherd Suspense Novels at www.andrewhuffbooks.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@huffwrites) and Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff)



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Join the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls tour



I hope you will join us in spreading the word about the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls. I am so excited about this tour! I have a list running in my mind of who I would love to give a copy to. Once you take a closer look, I know you will be too.

Speaking of taking a closer look, I've included all the details about the Bible and tour below, but start here by previewing some of the interior pages. You can also download FREE coloring sheets.


About the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls

Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible provides ample space for young artists to express themselves through coloring and journaling.

Girls can get creative with the detailed, ready-to-color line art surrounding the hundreds of inspiring verses in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. This Bible is a perfect gift for a special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.
Features include:
  • Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
  • Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
  • Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections and art
  • Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Easy-to-read black letter text in single-column format
  • Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker
  • Beautifully designed Leathersoft-over-board cover featuring screen-printing and other cover embellishments
  • 8-point type size
Using the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) text makes the Bible accessible and easy-to-read for kids. The NIV is the result of over 50 years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, who oversee the efforts of many contributing scholars. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority. Every NIV Bible that is purchased helps Biblica translate and give Bibles to people in need around the world.
 


More about the tour

To sign-up to participate in the tour, please fill out this form.

Bloggers will be notified by November 6 about participation in the tour. There are a limited number of spots, so we may not be able to accept everyone.

The blog tour is scheduled for December 2-16, so when you sign-up, you will be able to pick your date.

One copy of the Bible will be sent out to you by mid-November

By signing up for this tour, you are agreeing to:

1. Post a review, giveaway and/or other predetermined, approved content on your scheduled date on your blog.

2. Post a review on consumer websites (Amazon, GoodReads, etc.)

3. Share links to your post on your social media accounts. The more shares, the better! (Take lots of pictures of colored pages and share, especially on Instagram.)

3. Submit your review link to Audra. (Additional details including the link submission form will be sent on November 27, before the tour starts.)

4. Include the following disclaimer on your post. This is REQUIRED.

"I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.”
 

Tour resources

On November 27, I will send you a tour launch email that will include the following resources for your post:
  • Product description
  • A variety of promotional images to use in your post and via social media
  • Links to the preview and downloads you can include in your posts so that your readers can download the freebies
  • Giveaway widget code
  • Information about the tour giveaway
  • Tour schedule
  • Disclaimer that must be used in your post
Speaking of the giveaway... There will be a great giveaway, just in time for Christmas!

You and all of your readers will be able to enter for a prize pack perfect for mothers/daughters, aunts/nieces, or any special woman and little girl in your life. The prize will include:
  • NIV, Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls, Leathersoft over Board, Pink
  • NIV, Beautiful Word Coloring Bible and 8-Pencil Gift Set, Leathersoft, Brown/Purple

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Are you fighting your own Bathsheba Battle?



Part 2 of an Interview with Natalie Chambers Snapp,

Author of The Bathsheba Battle


Who hasn’t had their lives turned upside down when things haven’t gone as planned? We understand there are consequences to our decisions, but how do we deal with the aftereffects of the choices of others? There are other times when things happen beyond anyone’s control. Circumstances can leave us feeling hurt and stuck, but God promises healing and hope for all.

The story of Bathsheba may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration, but Natalie Chambers Snapp explains, “Bathsheba is often portrayed as the adulteress—as though she was a vixen with the intent to tempt David and hopefully, take her on as his wife. However, the fact remains that she was a victim of David’s own desires and paid a very dear price for his sin.”

In this interview, she share’s more about her new book, The Bathsheba Battle (available from Abingdon Press).

Q: Who did you write The Bathsheba Battle for? How did you intend the book to be used?

The Bathsheba Battle is written for anyone who has ever asked the question, “Why me, Lord? Why do I have to suffer through this?” It’s written for anyone whose life has not turned out the way they had planned. And it’s written for those who want to learn how to embrace suffering and humble themselves to the trying, but beautiful, reconstruction of it all. I intended this book to be used as a great encouragement – Bathsheba is an inspiration! Towards the end of David’s life, we see a woman who has grown in confidence, grace, and wisdom. Her deconstruction led to a very inspiring reconstruction but her complete story is often unknown!

Q: You dedicate a chapter to trauma. Why is it so important to understand what trauma is and its effects on us?

Trauma is often misunderstood. More of us experience what would be considered trauma than we actually realize. Trauma is anything that causes us to separate our lives into a “before and after.” For example, my life changed trajectory after my divorce and the death of my father. There was a “before Natalie” and an “after Natalie.” It is extremely important to get professional help after experiencing trauma as it will impact our physical, spiritual, and mental health if we don’t. I am a firm believer in seeking counseling, and in fact, I’m in the process of becoming a licensed counselor myself!

Q: What is unique to shame as an emotion? What does shame do to us, and how can we work to overcome it?

Shame is very, very sneaky! Oftentimes, we confuse guilt with shame, but there are times when guilt can be a positive thing. Guilt tells us we did something wrong and need to make it right while shame tells us we are a terrible person and aren’t worthy of anyone’s love or respect. Shame takes healthy guilt and allows it to penetrate the walls of our souls until they crumble into a heaping mess. Just because I make a mistake doesn’t mean I’m a terrible, awful person. However, shame will try to make us believe that lie.

The first step in overcoming shame is identifying it. The second step is refusing to be a prisoner of shame by having grace with yourself. So often, I find I can easily extend grace to other people, but I have a harder time doing so for myself. This is because we hear the voices of shame telling us we shouldn’t! There is nothing Biblical about living under these chains.

Q: What is righteous anger? Even when it is righteous, why do we need to let go of our anger as quickly as possible?

Righteous anger is anger directed at sin. For example, when Jesus turned the tables in Matthew 21, he was angry at their obvious sin. However, we also see Jesus let that anger go. If we hold on to righteous sin, we will become angry, legalistic, and so black-and-white that we turn others away from our faith.

Q: How do comparison and fear both rob our lives? How can we protect ourselves from letting that happen?

Comparison is rooted in fear. We often find ourselves comparing when we fear we are not enough. Understanding that we all carry a different load and God has entrusted you to be who you are and carry your specific load helps tremendously in the comparison trap.

Q: In what ways are grief and fear similar? What are some situations other than death that we grieve?

I actually am not sure I would say grief and fear are very similar. Grief is a natural and healthy price we pay for being willing to love. Perhaps, if we allow our grief to overtake our lives for too long, then it could be rooted in fear. However, for the most part, grief is a natural response to love. We can grieve the loss of a relationship we wished we had but don’t. We can grieve a life we thought we might live but don’t. And we can grieve the death of our dreams when it becomes apparent they won’t occur. The trick is to work through that grief and seek help so we don’t stay there and allow it to become fear.

Q: Self-care is so important, but why do we feel so guilty for taking care of ourselves?

It really is important, but we absolutely need to change this mindset of guilt! I think women often feel guilty about prioritizing self-care because we are natural caregivers. We often prioritize the needs of others at the expense of our own, or maybe that’s just me? I suspect it’s not, but it’s a hard habit to break.

Thankfully, I’ve seen a shift in the culture of women now cheering each other on to prioritize self-care more, whether it be through time with friends, going on a long walk, getting a massage, or simply just taking a nap. I’m trying to incorporate one act of self-care into each day, and let me tell you, it definitely makes me a better wife, mother, and person in general!

Q: What is the single most important thing you hope readers will learn from their study of The Bathsheba Battle?

I wrote The Bathsheba Battle because so many women approached me after speaking engagements to confide that they relate so much to Bathsheba. Yet, there is little out there on this remarkable woman of Scripture! My prayer is that those who are suffering will find hope in Bathsheba’s inspiring and remarkable story and choose to live as a survivor rather than a victim. I want others to see that they can emerge victorious and will if they place their hope and trust in God—who is closer to them during our periods of suffering than we can even imagine. Most of all, I simply want others to find hope, because hope is always present if we choose to see it.



Monday, October 28, 2019

How do you deal with unanswered prayers?


Part 2 of an Interview with Barb Roose,
Author of I’m Waiting, God

Do you ever feel like God is taking too long to answer your prayers? Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, only to discover that you’ve made the situation worse?

In her new four-week Bible study, I’m Waiting, God, (Abingdon Press) Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of women in the Bible who had to wait on God. If you’ve felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving you what you want, their stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in your life. As a reforming control lover, Barb mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. Together readers will discover that there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than they’ve ever dared to dream.

Q: Which women from the Bible do you use as examples for women who grappled with unanswered prayers? 
  • Hannah wondered if God loved her or had forgotten about her.
  • Ruth’s life took a tragic and unexpected turn.
  • The unnamed bleeding woman suffered for over a decade with an embarrassing medical condition.
  • Martha prayed, but God said “no” to her prayer.


Q: What would you say to encourage someone who feels as if God has forgotten her or doesn’t love her because her prayers have gone unanswered?

First, I would sit down with her and ask to give her a big hug. Living with unanswered prayer is hard—especially when we’re praying for good things, like a baby, a spouse, a clean bill of health or for a struggling child to get back on track.       

Rather than give advice or tell someone to “buck up,” I believe an overwhelmed, discouraged woman needs what Tim Keller calls “the ministry of presence.” When someone feels the pain of unanswered prayer, she doesn’t need advice, but rather listening, love and reassurance.

Some of my favorite go-to encouraging statements when hanging out with a friend who is struggling are: “Tell me how you’re really doing,” “I know that you are doing the best that you can!” and “You are loved and you aren’t alone.”

Q: What are some of the reasons the Bible gives for God not answering prayers?

The Bible reveals numerous reasons God delays in answering our prayers. Some of those include:

1. God might not answer because of our unforgiveness, secret sin, pride, or wrong motives.
2. God wants to protect us from harm or heartache down the road.
3. God is allowing more time to pass so that we’ll have the chance to see His power on display in our lives.
4. God allows a delay to teach us to trust Him in the hard place and develop persistence in prayer.
5. God may delay the answer to your prayer because He’s working in someone else’s life first.

Q: When an unexpected event throws life off course, what do you pray for when you don’t know what to pray?

A few years ago, my dad got sick. In just a few weeks, he’d lost more than 30 pounds off his athletic frame. A biopsy revealed advanced metastasized lung cancer and doctors told us that Dad only had a few days to live. At the time, I’d been on the road speaking and half-way through writing a new book, but the news that I was about to lose my beloved dad upended my entire life.

In devastating moments, I rely on praying God’s promises. In the hardest moments, I don’t know what to say, but God’s promises give me life and hope—even when I’m numb or not even sure if I can believe them in the moment.

In the study, I’ve included one of my favorite rituals, a tool that I call the “God-Morning/God-Night Technique” that’s gotten me through a lot of hard and heartbreaking days. Basically, I repeat five of God’s promises before I open my eyes and begin the day. By starting with a “God-morning,” with his promises, I can beat back the feelings of fear, uncertainty and impatience by reminding myself that God is with me and for me not matter what I’ll face that day.

Q: How can we protect ourselves from bitterness during our wait?

In I’m Waiting, God, I explain bitterness like this: “Bitterness is the story that blames God for the pain in our past. Better is the story that believes God will be faithful in the future.”

Bitterness always begins small, but the more we repeat the stories of how God or others hurt or betrayed us, we begin to believe that is the story of our lives—and the story of our future. I watched my grandmother nearly die of bitterness after my grandfather’s affair when I was a little girl. She spent a lot of time in the hospital before finally confronting her bitterness and changing her story.

For me, gratitude is the antibiotic that kills any little bitter roots in my life. Each day of the I’m Waiting, God study features a gratitude exercise. Just taking a moment to reflect on God’s blessing not only kills little roots of disappointment, rejection or regret that could grow into bitterness, but also uplifts our hearts and gives us joy, even as we’re waiting for God to answer our prayers.

Q: Is there ever a time to let a prayer go? How do you know when it’s the right time, after weeks, months, or maybe even years?

This is a hard question because there’s no easy answer to this question. On one hand, we’re instructed to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but we also know that there is a starting and ending to all things (Ecclesiastes 3). The point of prayer is to authentically connect ourselves to God so that his Spirit can lead and guide us. However, as circumstances change, there are times when it is no longer safe, wise or life-giving for us to pursue certain situations.

For many years, I prayed for God to save my marriage. I’d made a commitment before God over 25 years before, and I believed God could do the impossible. I fasted and prayed for years for God to restore a relationship that addiction had destroyed. Even after I had to move out of my home because of the issues, I still kept believing and praying for restoration and healing.

It’s hard to pray for years when nothing seems to be happening. I received some great encouragement from a wise friend: “You pray until you sense God releasing you from that prayer.”

I continued to pray until I realized that it was no longer safe or wise for me to go back into that situation. I didn’t give up on God, nor did I stop believing in his almighty power. But I did realize that it was time to shift from praying for what I wanted to praying for God to help me let go and trust His plan for my future, even though it wasn’t what I wanted.

To help me let go of the pain, disappointment and anger, I use a tool that I call my annual “funeral.” This is fully explained in the final week of the study, but it’s a tool to help me let go my anger, disappointments and fears. This funeral process helps me surrender my unanswered prayers to God so that my heart and hands are open for Him to bring new direction, opportunities and blessing into my life.

Q: How is I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, your new Bible study, set up to be used? What other resources are available?

As a Bible study teacher who loves creating experiences for women in every season of life, I’m excited that I’m Waiting, God is designed with a flexible format to fit everyone’s schedule. This is a four-week study, and each week offers three days of Bible study homework, plus two optional days for more personal reflection to be enjoyed as time or energy permits.

I believe that application is a key component of effective Bible study, so I’ve created weekly personal reflection exercises and practical tools. Additionally, each day’s study includes a daily gratitude exercise and lots of life-transforming scripture to set readers up to experience a-ha moments so they can see and experience God’s blessing, even as they’re waiting on God to answer their prayer.

For those who like video, there is a separate teaching DVD for each of the four weeks. Best of all, anyone can lead a group study because the facilitator’s guide is been included in the study workbook.

One more bonus! If readers would like additional encouragement, they can sign up for “The Patience Path,” a 30-day email devotional that I’ve created to go along with the study. To sign up, go to barbroose.com/patiencepath.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).



Monday, October 21, 2019

Join my blog review team for A Cross to Kill!

I am excited about this new blog tour for A Cross to Kill. It's the first in a series by debut author, Andrew Huff, and it just released October 15 from Kregel.

I hope you will join me in launching this series by signing up for the tour! The dates will be November 19 - December 10.

When I send out all the details ahead of the tour, I'll have a Q&A you can use, we'll do a book giveaway and will provide you with all the tour materials you will need. I'll also have a form for you to submit your tour links.

About the Book
John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf--an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John's secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow--even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he's learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer . . .

Andrew Huff's thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it's also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

Click here to read an excerpt.
About the Author
Andrew Huff spent 10 years in local church ministry before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the Product Director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com). He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014 & 2017) and also won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion degree from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in North Texas with his beautiful wife Jae and their two boys.

Learn more at andrewhuffbooks.com.

Facebook (@huffwrites)
Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff)
What others are saying
"An action-packed nail-biter from beginning to end, filled with enough twists and turns to put 24 and Jack Bauer to shame! I couldn’t put it down. Many thanks to Andrew for hours of entertainment and frantic page turning."
Lynette Eason, best-selling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice series

“What a ride! A Cross to Kill had a lot of amazing action (right from the beginning!) but an even better story to tell. I was amazed at the amount of detail Andrew was able to write into the scenes to bring them alive in my mind.”
Rob Thomas, Founder & CEO of Igniter Media

“Huff has written a fast paced novel which draws the readers into the adventure from the opening pages. An intriguing story with suspense, action, and danger. The major characters wrestle with faith, forgiveness, and redemption in a believable plot line that holds the readers’ attention to the end.”
Glenn Kreider, author of God With Us