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Showing posts from April, 2019

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith {Book Review}

Today is the release of Jill Eileen Smith's newest book -- The Heart of a King ! I have read this book and I totally enjoyed it! Read my review below, watch my video review ( spoiler free ) or check out the reading vlog I did ( does include spoilers ). I want to thank Revell and Jill for the opportunity to be apart of the Launch Team and for sending me a copy of the book early! Title : The Heart of a King Author : Jill Eileen Smith Series : The Loves of Solomon Age : Adult Genres : Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction Publication Date : April 30, 2019 Publisher : Revell Source : Paperback Purchase : Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Christian Book | B&N Synopsis : King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could--and did--have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?  In this en

Made for This by Jennie Allen {Book Review}

Title : Made for This Author : Jennie Allen Genres : Christian Lifestyle, Christian Living, Devotional Publication Date : February 5, 2019 Publisher : Thomas Nelson Source : Hardcover Purchase : Hardcover | Audible | Kindle | B&N | Christian Book Synopsis : Recognize your calling, find your place of service, and follow God to a life of purpose.   In her bestselling books Anything and Restless , Jennie Allen challenged women to fully surrender their lives to God and then offered a process to uncover and understand the raw materials He had given them to use for His glory and purposes. Now, for the first time ever, those two concepts have been combined to create a forty-day journey for women to pursue God and find the deepest yearnings of their heart fulfilled.  This step-by-step process, to fully surrender to God and then identify the threads of gifts, passions, places, relationships, and sufferings in your life, is not to get what you want but to find wha

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible {Bible Review}

Hey Gems!!! Today's post is a review on the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible from Crossway . I've had this Bible for a few months and I've been able to "play around" with it. Here is my "first impression" video from back in March: So let's get into this written review... The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible is designed to help readers see Christ in all of Scripture, and grace for all of life. It features book introductions, 375,000+ words gospel-centered study notes, and a series of all-new articles on topics such as the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, the gospel in the Old Testament, the covenants, and more which is written by a team of over 50 pastors and scholars. This content explains passage-by-passage how God’s redemptive purposes culminate in the gospel and apply to the lives of believers today. Readers will be challenged to see how the message of the gospel transforms sinners from the inside out. This Bib

A Standard of Grace by Emily Ley {Book Review}

Title : A Standard of Grace Author : Emily Ley Genres : Journal Publication Date : March 26, 2019 Publisher : Thomas Nelson Source : Hardcover Purchase : Hardcover  | B&N | Christian Book   Synopsis : Are you standing in the middle of opportunity and being overwhelmed of crazy when you really need calm? Not sure where to start to simplify and bring grace and peace to your home?  A Standard of Grace is a gorgeous four-color, joy-inspiring guided journal designed to help you nurture your dreams, discover your hopes, and pay attention to those things you hold dearest to your heart.  With quotes, journaling prompts, and Scripture, bestselling author of Grace, Not Perfection and A Simplified Life Emily Ley, encourages you to reach for the life of you want—all while holding to a standard of grace.  Both gorgeous and useful, A Standard of Grace will make a lovely gift and keepsake as well as be a powerful tool for both embracing where you are while reaching for yo

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 40 - Final Day

Good Morning Gems!!! It's over!!! The final day has arrived and I must say I cried my eyes out last night because of how awesome these last six weeks have been. You ladies have emailed and messaged me via social media about this challenge. It warms my heart to know that a lot of you have enjoyed this challenge. I am grateful to each person that partook in this challenge. Be it the whole 40 days, half the days or two days. I am thankful that each one of us were set on working on improving our prayer lives. This challenge was a heartfelt one. This was about being real with yourself, vulnerable with God and become rooted in a life of prayer. Completely sold out to it. Whether you verbally prayed and/or used a prayer journal -- you took a step in building a stronger prayer life. I pray that you all will continue to build your prayer lives. Continue in your prayer journaling and verbally praying. I can't show my gratitude enough to everyone who joined in! For today,

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 39 - Pray in Faith

Good Evening Gems!!! Just as I mentioned the other day, I'm stumped on what to write. I have a notebook with all my thoughts and scriptures prepared, but we are down to the wire!!! I want today to be a free day of just relaxing on a "routine". Pray freely and openly today. Don't think too hard about what you're saying and/or journaling. Pray to God as your Father, your Provider and your Waymaker. Go to Him with a humble, sincere and make your thoughts, emotions and concerns known to Him. The only thing I challenge you to do today is to pray in faith believing that what you prayed for is already answered . I know it's hard to do...I sometimes fail at praying in faith, but I'm working on it. I want us all to work on it together. As I pray in faith, I want you all to pray in faith as well. Tomorrow is the last day and makes me both excited and teary eyed. I pray you all have had a blessed day and will continue to do so. Blessings,

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 38 - Consistent and Persistent

Happy Sunday Gems!!! A bit late on today's post since I'm not feeling well, but I still wanted to get this post and email out for you all before it got too late. I won't lie -- I am stumped on what to even talk about -- LOL. I think it's hitting me with how quickly this is coming to an end. We only have 2 days left before this challenge comes to a close. I've been reflecting on how this went for me as an individual and as a whole for you ladies. I've learned that I need to just saturate myself in prayer. I know that last two posts and emails pretty much stated the same thing, but as we close the only thing I can think of us is being rooted and saturated in prayer. For me, this challenge has shown me where I'm weak at and where my strengths lie in prayer. I can intercede on behalf of someone easily, but when it comes to myself I can get stumped. I am getting better at verbally praying, but I also have so much more to improve on. When I think back

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 37 - Rooted in Prayer

Good Morning Gems!!! We talked about prioritizing prayer yesterday. We want to make sure that we are keeping at praying daily once this challenge is over. We don't want to fall back into our old habits of a fleeting prayer life. We want to be rooted in prayer like Jesus was. Yesterday's scripture was Mark 1:35 : Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. Not only did He rise early, but He also stayed up all night in prayer according to Luke 6:12 . Jesus understood that prayer: was a priority should be practiced, not talked about adds power  shapes us saves us helps us to tap into God's ability We don't always see the purpose of prayer, but we need to be rooted in it. Prayer can change lives. It can heal. It can make a terrible situation right. Being rooted in prayer is a personal thing so don't compare your prayer life to the next person's. I pray that

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 36 - Prioritizing Prayer

Morning Gems!!! We are in the final week ladies! I can't believe it! Only a few more days before the challenge comes to a close. This week is going to be a light week in terms of content. Now that we have completed five weeks of praying, it's time to keep that momentum going and keep prioritizing prayer in our lives. There is more value in prayer than there is in anything else. Prayer keeps us going because it gives us an outlet to express our feelings, concerns and thoughts to the Father. When we speak to the God we feel lighter mentally. When this challenge is over, don't die down on your prayer life. Rather, keep it going. Keep pushing yourself to pray at your desired time of day. Be sure to give God your first few minutes before your day begins and your last few minutes as your day concludes. Yes, I know it's easier said than done. I struggle myself to stay 100% dedicated to prayer early in the morning and at night, but I do strive to give Him that time

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 35 - Praying for Your Enemies

Good Morning Gems!!! We are on the final day of week five and for today I want to focus on one more "group" of people we can pray for. This one will definitely be the hardest as I know it's extremely hard for me to do. Praying for your enemies. Yes, those people who have hurt you, done you wrong, talked about you and those who mess with you daily. Yes, even the ones that may have cursed you out or told you bluntly and plainly that they hate or dislike you. Yes those very people. You're probably scratching your head right now trying to figure out why in the world you would pray for your enemy. However, let's look to our greatest example ... Christ. He prayed and forgave His enemies, even on the Cross;  Luke 23:34  tells us so: Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. In the midst of them nailing Him to the Cross, playing games with His belongings and while He was bruised on

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 34 - Praying for Unbelievers

Good Morning Gems!!! Yesterday we talked about praying for believers so today we are going to talk about praying for unbelievers... Why should we pray for those who don't believe? It may seem like a silly question, but I'm sure many have asked that question before. I know I have when I was more new in my faith as a teen. Just like we need to pray for believers to remain strong in the kingdom, God expects us to pray for those who are lost and don't know Him. Christ continually prayed for the lost to be found. We ( believers ) were all once lost and needed someone to pray for us to bring us into the light and kingdom of God. We need to be that kind of person -- that one who prays for the unbeliever. Pray that they find their way to the Father. Pray for their hearts to be softened so that God may enter them. Pray for them to fear God so that they may gain wisdom. There are so many ways we can pray for unbelievers and it's essential that we do so. Be it someo

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 33 - Praying for Believers

Good Afternoon Gems!!! Today has been interesting day! My little guy had graduation pictures today and I almost shed a tear. I also had BSF today and we discussed Proverbs -- it was sooooo good!! Today we are talking about praying for believers. Yes, we need to pray for all believers in the world. Why? Just because we are believers and know God doesn't mean that we don't need prayer for strength, peace, focus and so forth. Take time and pray for all believers. You can pray: strength spiritual growth peace motivation fire to be reignited to be reawakened continue to labor Praying for believers allows us to keep the enemy at bay for each of us and it ensures that we all grow continually. It also keeps us unified which God loves. Sidenote : I know these last two weeks have been mixed with timing and short with posts & emails, but I thank you all for joining in on this challenge and your patience! Journaling Prompt Please be as true to yourself as p

40 Day Prayer Challenge: Day 32 - Praying for Friends

Good Afternoon Gems!!! Today has been a day of rest for me. I took some time to catch up on a bit of sleep today. I pray you all had a wonderful morning. Let's dive in and talk about praying for friends today. Most of us don't really spend time in prayer for our friends. I know if someone asks for a prayer then I will definitely intercede for them, but majority of the time if I'm not asked to pray for them I won't be consistent in doing so. Praying for our friends is essential to the kingdom of God. Be it praying for their health, their spiritual growth or a better prayer life. Jesus taught us about serving and not being caught up in ourselves. Praying for your friends means you are imitating Christ. It means you are taking dedicated time to step outside of your problems and circumstances to pray for the life of someone close to you. Get specific with your prayer for them. Ask your friends what they need prayer for and set time aside to pray for them. J