faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Fishermen Who Follow Jesus

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The book “Crossing the Waters” is about fishermen and women.  The author Leslie Leyland Fields is a fisherwoman.  She has been a fisherwoman for over 30 years! 

Leslie writes about her life and her family’s life as fishermen in Alaska, and the insights she has about the fishermen Jesus chose to be His disciples.  The disciple-fishermen were Peter, Andrew, James and John.

This book has a very interesting perspective!  Why did Jesus choose fishermen to learn from Him and follow Him?  How does their life as fishermen affect their life with Jesus?  Leslie tells how hard and dangerous it is to work as fishermen.  She understands about being in a boat during a storm, just like the disciples when they were caught in a storm and Jesus was sleeping in the boat. 

She tells what fishermen always do, and never do, which shows how they differ from people with a day job.  Fishermen work long hours, night and day.  They work outdoors in all kinds of weather.  They get dirty and smelly, and very tired.

Leslie adds another dimension to her book as she also travels to Israel to see and learn about the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee where Jesus and the disciple-fishermen lived.  She draws parallels from the time of Jesus, to the current day, based on her life spent fishing.  Leslie and her family live on an island in the Gulf of Alaska.  They work hard.  Their boat keeps them alive.  Their nets provide food for their family.  She knows how hard it would be for the disciple-fishermen to leave their nets and boat and walk away to follow Jesus!

I am so glad I decided to read this book!  You don’t want to miss this unique perspective on the fishermen who chose to follow Jesus, and the meaning behind some of the teachings of Jesus about water and fish.

–>Get this book HERE!

–>Go to Leslie’s website!

 

 

 

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White, Black, or Brown

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My Christian church is blessed to have a Black preacher.

We also have two White preachers. And if you know what I mean, only the Black preacher wants us to “talk back” to him when he preaches!  

In his sermons, our Black preacher often tells us that we are all from the same race — the human race.

He says that if you hold up a white piece of paper to your skin, you will see that no one is really white, but we are all different shades of brown.

That being said, we all have different family experiences and cultural backgrounds, so we are very different, but really we are much the same, too.
During one of his sermons, I wrote down my thoughts, and I am sharing them with you here —
Jesus’ blood made us all white as snow.
He covered us all in His righteousness.
He made us all holy and blameless in God’s sight.
We are all forgiven.
We are all loved.
So how are you better than someone else?
How is anyone else less than you?
We are all covered in His red blood,
yet we are white as snow.
Jesus makes us the same —
white as snow, forgiven, loved, and saved for eternity.

When you check a box on a form for race, your answer tells something about you,

but when you check the religion box, if you mark Christian, then that tells so much more about you!

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Living Life God’s Way

JoeyPlusRory Hymnscdfrt_1024x1024Living life God’s way describes the book “This Life I Live” by Rory Feek.

Rory lays out how his life changed for God when Joey came into it and became his wife. They tried to live their life God’s way.  They tithed 10% of their earnings.  They prayed about decisions.  They took his blessings gratefully and shared them with others.  They even accepted the gift of their child, Indiana, who has Down’s Syndrome.  She is a ray of sunshine! I looked on Rory’s Facebook page and saw some videos of her. –>Check it out! She certainly brightens up their life! (Rory also has two older daughters from an earlier marriage, and they just love Indiana too!)

Rory is a song writer, singer, blogger ( –>Find the blog HERE. ), single father, and widower.  Yes, Joey dies.  I am revealing that because so many people already know that, since Joey and Rory were a popular country music singing duo. –>See their album CDs! Many people followed their blog and watched their TV show.

I had not heard of them until I got this book.  I was starting from scratch, but still I found this book interesting.  Their life is unusual in that it is small farm with chickens and a garden, yet they are famous singers.  Although they are not perfect, this book can be an encouragement to others to also try to live God’s way.

–>Go HERE to get the book!

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Summer’s Season of Learning

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Although most of us think of Summer as time off from school, or time to take a vacation, maybe visit family, Summer is also a time of learning from new experiences, new locations, and from quiet contemplation at a lake or hiking in a forest or on a mountain.

I remember a group camping trip in Colorado and Utah.  I learned a lot about rocks and geology, but also about people and how we are different in our habits and moods and attitudes.  There were so many views that captured my thoughts, bringing my mind back to God who created all this beauty of the mountains, streams, and deep ravines.  I still remember the view of one mountain peak, shining in the sun bouncing off snow, and feeling like my spirit flew there to meet God who said, “I am here.”

Summer can be a learning experience free of desks and scheduled time periods.  My kids and I would find time to look for rhubarb, or catch fireflies.  We would garden, and pick berries.  It’s a time for learning to ride a bike, or how to play tennis, or how to swim.  One Summer I taught tennis to a group of grade school kids. 

Somehow, in Summer I find it is easier to laugh.  With a more relaxed atmosphere, and warmer weather, who cares about stupid stuff we do, just laugh about it.  

Visiting family is time to learn about family history, old stories and such.  Maybe look at old pictures.  I plan to make copies of some of my family’s pictures when I visit my parents this summer.   I will add some of them to our family tree on Ancestry.com, so I can put pictures with names.

I usually do a Bible study in summer.  Since everybody’s schedules are changed in Summer, instead of a group study, I do one on my own.  I can work on it whenever I have a bit of time, no set schedule to keep.  I have found several Bible studies with free videos, or free written material online.  I am currently doing a Bible study by Anne Graham Lotz, “The Daniel Prayer”.  

–>Find free Bible study videos by Beth Moore here.

–>Go here for some free Joyce Meyer Bible studies.

I hope this meandering of my Summer thoughts encourages you to have fun, relax, learn something new, and find God where you venture out of your normal schedule.  May God bless your Summer this year with learning adventures.

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How To Get Amazon Reviews

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 This is about a new book available FREE Tuesday July 4 – 5 (2017)

It explains how to get more reviews on Amazon!

“Book Review Banzai” by Jason B. Ladd

This book tells you how to get Amazon reviews so you can get more free promotion from Amazon, and get more people buying your book/product because you have so many reviews!

The book is written with book self-publishers in mind, but the technique could work well for anyone selling anything on Amazon by modifying the algorithms.

I am a book reviewer, and I have participated on many book launches.  I read this new book to see how I could help generate more book reviews on Amazon to make my time more productive.  For me, the technique described in “Banzai!” is too much work, but that is because I do not make money on my book reviews or book launches.  I do it for fun.

If you need to promote/sell a book (or other product) on Amazon, this book can help.  

It gives the basics so you can follow it and increase the number of reviews you get on Amazon.  The technique is time consuming, but it is legal and meets terms of service (TOS) on Amazon.

You do need to be tech savvy to use this technique as described in the book.  If you can’t do it alone, Jason B. Ladd has an online course you can sign up for to get more instruction in using this technique.  Yes, that is why Jason is giving “Banzai!” away free, he is promoting his course.  The book on its own can be useful as long as you are knowledgeable enough to understand it.

I understand his technique, and it should work as he says, giving you more reviews on Amazon.  And hey, on July 4 & 5 it’s free, so give it a try! 

–>Link HERE to the Amazon e-book download page.

Jason’s first book was self-published and available on Amazon.  That is how he got his experience getting reviews.  If you don’t already know, a book on Amazon gets better promotion when it reaches 50 reviews.  Reach 100 reviews and you get even better results.

In the book launch world, this is a well-known tactic.  The trick is getting the reviews without doing anything illegal or against TOS.  Jason has found a way!

–>Read his new book and see if you can do it too!

 

(I did receive a free copy of this book in order to review it.  My opinions are my own, and I was not required to post it on my blog.)

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The War in Syria

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I am combining my Monday and Friday posts today into one, because I have granddaughters coming for a visit this week.  The Monday topic is truth.  Tuesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day.  The Friday book review is “Under the Wire” by Paul Conroy.

This is not a Christian book, but it gives us important information about truth.  Truth is often difficult to hear, but truth is important to know.  Truth is so important that some people are willing to risk their lives to get the truth out to the world.  This book is the true story of people just like that.  Brave people, many who died because they wanted the world to know what was happening in Syria.

This book is about several news reporters, and how they got into the war zone, what they found there, how they lived there, and how they got out, and how some of them died. Paul Conroy, a news photographer, is the author.  He witnessed what has been happening in Syria to the citizens living there.

The people of Syria have been under attack by President Assad for years.  Their homes have been bombed to ruins.  Their children have been shot or blown up.  They have little food and water.  They live under the constant shooting and bombing that threatens their lives and shreds their nerves.

Why don’t they leave?  Many do escape, but it is dangerous.  Many are shot and killed trying to escape.  The military is not letting them leave.  The government wants to kill them all.

Why are the news reporters there? They want to get proof of what is really happening in Syria.  They want to get back to their home countries and tell and show everyone what is truly going on in Syria.  It is a horrible truth, but we need to know.  Then we need to decide what we will do about it.

Will we help the people who do escape? They are refugees now with no home.  Right now, few countries are willing to help them.  Will we provide medical care to the injured?  Or will we turn our backs and allow them all to be killed?

These are tough questions, but we need to know the truth to answer them.  People like Paul Conroy and other news correspondents, and the Syrian people, are risking their lives to get the truth out.  If it is that important to them, to risk their lives so we will know the truth, then we should read the truth.

This is why I picked up this book at a book sale, to read the truth.  It is a difficult story to read.  It is important to read.  It is important to decide what we will do to help the people of Syria.

Will we donate to charities that are helping the refugees and the injured?  

Will we encourage our governments to provide a place for refugees to live?  

At the very least, will we read their story and hear their witness of the truth?

Lies need to be challenged with the truth.

>Click here to find ways to help.

Jump here to get the book —

 

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Forgotten Girls

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I picked up this book  “Forgotten Girls” at a book sale.  It tells the stories of girls caught in slavery, so they won’t be forgotten anymore.  Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett wrote this book for just that reason.  The stories are sad and scary, but there is hope for these girls, who are no longer forgotten.

Michele Rickett is the founder and president of “She is Safe”.  This is a charity that rescues girls caught in slavery, and also educates girls and their families to prevent other girls from ending up there.  Girls are the key to a better future for their families.

There are over 4 million victims of enforced slavery every year.  They and their parents are usually uneducated, illiterate, and live in poverty.  Girls are often seen as a burden, so they are abandoned or sold into slavery.  These are the girls “She is Safe” wants to help before they end up in slavery.

In some countries it is allowed to force a girl to marry temporarily.  The husband can have sex with her, and then abandon her in a few months, all legally.  It does not matter what age the girl is.  Abandoned and no longer a virgin, she typically ends up in the sex trade for the rest of her short life.  In other countries it is quite common for the men in a family to sexually abuse the girls.  It could be an uncle, grandfather, or cousin. The girl is expected to stay quiet about it.

It is hard to read the stories in this book, but is important to read their stories, so they are no longer forgotten.  We can help them through prayers and with donations to organizations like “She is Safe”.  “She is Safe” works in some of the poorest areas of the world: India, Mali, the Middle East, northern Africa, Sudan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal.

>HELP save a girl from slavery …

>WATCH this video 

>Get the book “Forgotten Girls”

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Mist of Midnight

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The title suggests mystery and dark secrets…

And you will be pleased to find them in this intriguing historical novel —

>Mist of Midnightby Sandra Byrd.

I love historical novels, but have never read a book by Sandra Byrd before.  Other book bloggers gave her books good reviews, so I decided to give this one a try.

I loved this book!  It kept my interest throughout.  It combines two cultures — India and England, which helps add to the mystery.

The main character is Rebecca, the daughter of missionaries who are killed in India.  Alone in the world, will she be penniless? Who will help her?  Will English society welcome her home?  Will she be charged with a crime? Who is guilty?

This would make a great book to read this weekend!

>Touch THIS to get a copy.  

“Mist of Midnight” is part of a trilogy — Daughters of Hampshire.

The other 2 books in the series are —

>”Bride of a Distant Isle” and “A Lady in Disguise.

I got my copy at the library.  I plan to read “A Lady in Disguise” too.

Let me know how you like the books!

 

 

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The Big Picture Interactive Bible

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So this week I am reviewing a new children’s Bible that is different in that it uses technology, making it interactive with the reader.  There is an app to download to your mobile device.  Throughout the Bible are full-color pictures that when scanned tell a story.  A narrator explains the activity happening in the picture.

BigPicture Bible

I recommend that most children will get more out of this Bible if a parent or teacher goes through it with them.  The text is written at adult or at least 6th grade level.  The interactive pictures must be viewed on the phone or mobile device while looking down onto the Bible.  If you pull the phone away, the voice and picture stops.  Children under 6th grade will probably need help with that.

Also throughout the Bible are “Big Questions” that ask a question that Bible readers might have, and gives the answer.  There are also sections called “Christ Connection” that explain how that verse in the Bible refers to Jesus.  These sections are written for kids to understand.  Parents can use these sections to give their children more background or insight on those verses in the Bible.

This is generally not a Bible you would buy and give to your child, unless you give it to a child in 6th to 8th grade.  In my opinion children older than 8th grade would not be interested in this Bible.  This is a thick, heavy Bible with small print and uses vocabulary of 6th grade or above.  I believe this Bible was designed with the idea that a parent would read sections of this Bible with their children, certainly for younger children.

If you are looking for a way to bring the Bible to life for your child, and to find sections to explain or highlight important verses, then this could be a good Bible for you to consider.  This Bible is in the CSB, Christian Standard Bible translation.

>Click HERE to get more information or to purchase.

>Look HERE to read a sample in the Bible.  This will let you see the vocabulary and reading level of the text by clicking on the cover that says “look inside”.

I did receive a free copy of this Bible from Lifeway.com in order to write a review. The opinions I give here are my own, and I had input from my husband, a retired minister, who teaches 4th and 5th grade Sunday School.

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Remember

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Today, Memorial Day is a day to remember…

In the old days people would put flowers or flags on graves.  Some of the older generation still do this.

In the old days most of the men were gone fighting a World War, so the women had to go to work to keep the country working and provide materials for the war.  

Families in the military say goodbye to husbands/dads or wives/moms as war after war, conflict after conflict, pulls them apart.  Freedom comes at a big cost.

Let’s remember those who have died for our freedom.  

Let’s remember those who have left their families to fight for our freedom.  Many families were torn apart in the process.

Let’s remember those who came back with horrendous injuries that destroyed the future they thought they would have.  (Injuries like PTSD, loss of limbs, loss of sight)

There is more than one way to lose in war.

Let’s remember that our freedom comes at a huge cost and give honor to those who protected it.

On Memorial Day, Let’s remember…

 

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