Meet My Best Friend #FCBlogger

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In Meet My Best Friend by Sheila Walsh and illustrator Sarah Horne, Walsh takes her story with twins, Liam and Emma, and the pets Charlie and Wilson, all the way to Scotland!  Their mom explains that they have new neighbors with a daughter their age, named Abby.

Abby comes to visit the twins!  The twins have a wonderful treehouse in their back yard.

When they get to the treehouse, Abby recalls that she had a treehouse, and she used to play there with her best friend, and that she missed her so much.  So the twins ask Abby if she would like to meet their best friend. Then they lead Abby on a treasure hunt, going through several places like the treehouse, their bedrooms, running down the hallway, the bathroom.  All the time, Liam and Emma, keep telling her whether she is hot or cold with finding their best friend!   Abby never can figure out where the best friend is.  So she gives up.

Liam and Emma finally take her to their best friend!  

While I have problems with the outcome of this book, kids from 4-10, the ages that the book is written for are just finding out new and important things about the Bible. So for the book to call the Bible their Best Friend, for their ages, is a good thing, but for me, I believe Jesus is my all in all. He is everywhere and he should be considered as our best friend. That’s just me and I’m over thinking it I’m sure. The Bible as a best friend, while I understand what they are intending, to tell a 4-year-old that, that believes everything that their parents say usually, leads me to a bigger question of should we be telling this to kids. It isn’t something that I would say, however, opens up a very huge, dynamic path, to why Jesus is your best friend. Anything that starts and keeps the lines of communication open about Jesus, the Bible, and that Jesus is Lord of Lords, everywhere, and Savior of all, is a really good thing

Go check out this great book by Sheila Walsh and find out who Liam and Emma’s best friend is.  You can purchase it and many other children’s books at Family Christian® Stores.  Meet My Best Friend is part of The Bible Is my Best Friend Series.

 

At the back of the book is a part called Parent Connect. In this part of the book, there are questions for kids, questions for adults as well as verses from the Bible and points just to get you talking as a family

The books are written for ages 4-10 and I LOVE the illustrations.

The series has the hardback book, kindle book a flipboard book and a devotional book, all of them can be found at Family Christian® Stores.  There are many other kids books that you can also find at Family Christian like these

If you have kids this age, (and even if you don’t) this book is adorable and leads children back to why The Bible is your best friend! Go check it out here.

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Author – Sheila Walsh
Sheila Walsh is an author, speaker and Bible teacher who has sold over 4 million books. Her heart isSheila Walsh to show what happens when your real life meets the Word of God. She is the author of the #1 best-selling line of Christian books for little girls, “Gigi, God’s Little Princess.” Sheila is the creator of Children of Faith and the Gnoo Zoo, a ministry to children that communicates God’s love for them. She is the author of several books for women including “Honestly,” “Gifts for Your Soul,” “Living Fearlessly,” and “The Best Devotions of Sheila Walsh”, “The Shelter of God’s Promises” and her latest book, “God Loves Broken People and those who pretend they’re not.” As an accomplished musician, Sheila has recently released the CD “Beauty From Ashes.” Sheila, her husband, Barry and their son, Christian live in Dallas, Texas.
You can keep up with Sheila at the following links

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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
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Power Of Prayer

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(*all the  medical abbreviations are clickable to see what they mean)

When things go wrong, oh and they will go wrong…  You have to do a couple of things

1.  Either let it all go to God and trust that He will handle it,

2   Or deal with Satan’s outcome…

Dead-serious here.  

Let me give you some back story first. Since 2001, I am type-2 Non-Insulin-Dependent- Diabetes or NIDDM

Recently it has become insulin dependant  IDDM (in the last two years).  So not only have I been dealing with many doctors appts but at some place on either foot for the last two years, I have had a diabetic ulcer.  This happens because of a break down of the skin, inconsistent blood sugars daily, infections, and just a myriad of reasons how it can happen.  I have also had osteomyelitis twice in my right foot.

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Because of this, my right foot has been very susceptible to diabetic ulcers, and starting this past spring, I got a very small I mean we are talking extremely small blister between my pinky toe and the next one on my right foot.  In doing so, I learned a lot about what can and can’t happen.  In a matter of days, this very small sore, turned into a sore that was 1 cm x 8 cm and it tracked all the way to the bone (the deepness of it)

This was in February.  I changed dr’s during that time, from an Internist PA to a full-blown Podiatrist and Endocrinologist, so that I could get more aggressive about my care and prayerfully come back off of insulin and as many other complications that went along with the ulcer, and the high sugars and the bad A1C .  

Because of this, I have been to the Podiatrist, every other day for the last 4 mths and have also had a minor surgery where he took some bone out, so it wouldn’t be rubbing up against my other foot, which was part of the problem to begin with.

After the surgery the surgical site, being so stinking small, healed so quickly, we were all so surprised.  However the ulcer didn’t heal.  Dr.’s, Wound Care nurses and I were just bumfuzzled about what to do.  We kept treating it with Silver Alginate, we used a WoundVac and many other things.  This kept going on, from Feb until the first part of June, and I have finally had enough.  I had been in a DH Walker boot or a surgical shoe for almost 2 years for one reason or another from diabetes ulcers. Also off and on for almost 4 years on one foot or the other for some reason.

The ulcer I had kept getting bigger, and bigger, never losing any tracking and never getting any smaller, only bigger, no matter what treatment we did.  I even stayed up 3 days in a row because they put a woundvac on it and the woundvac wouldn’t stay plugged in.  So I had to hold the plug into the machine just so it would stay running.  We didn’t realize this until we went to plug the machine in on my foot.  So anyway, it has been an ordeal over the past few years.

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I was on many prayer lists all over the country and I KNOW people prayed for me, close and far away.   They prayed on Facebook, in Text, in email and called me and prayed with me, and then prayed in person.   I can’t tell you the number of people who prayed and I knew God had this under control!!!

So all this being said  My son was getting married in Seattle on June 13th.  Of course that meant a plane ride (actually 4) and going and going.  I just wanted to make it till then.  The dr and I came up with a plan of action before I left, and he had one more trick up his sleeve and then I made a very conscientious decision that, included amputation.  I was ready, made peace with losing a body part and knew after I got home from a 8 day vacation, I was going to lose a toe (while it’s just a toe) I’m pretty attached to my toes!!!  

It was a spur of the moment week while we were up there, and if they called to do something until the wedding day, it was one of those, be here in 30 min or so. I did NOT want to deal with wrapping, unwrapping, explaining and all the other stuff that goes with having a sore on your foot.  I did use my scooter while I was up there.  And I went from pushing myself in a manual wheelchair using my feet (which made everything worse) to using the scooter, so that friction of pushing with my feet was gone and that was a major plus!!

DISCLAIMER:  i DO NOT RECOMMEND WHAT I AM FIXING TO JOURNAL.  IT IS NOT WISE, IT IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE STUPIDESET THINGS I HAVE DONE IN MY LIFE MEDICALLY SPEAKING.  DO NOT FOLLOW MY WAYS, AND PLEASE SEEK YOUR DRS ADVICE FOR EVERYTHING.  THIS ISN’T ABOUT MEDICAL CARE IT’S ABOUT THE POWER OF PRAYER

Well during that vacation, I took a very minimalist approach to the care of my wound, for one thing.  I was just flat-out exhausted to doing anything with it.   i kept it clean, I kept it covered in silver and a band-aid.  and I prayed, I prayed hard.  I prayed to God for several things,

1.  Please let me have the strength to dance with my son at his wedding (had prayed for that one for months)

 2.  Please God if it’s your will, do not let the amputation go through, but heal my foot.

3.  Please just give me good blood sugars and to stay under control during this time.

okay.  now the wedding.  We left TX on June 10th, for 8 days.  When we get to Seattle, it is okay temperature wise, but quickly rises up into the high 80’s low 90’s.  i had just hit TX weather in Seattle.  So not only did I have to worry about my foot, but my breathing also.  When it is very warm, I can’t breathe at all.bandaid

My shoes that I brought to wear up there are leather tennis shoes.  They don’t breathe at all.  So right then and there, I decided to let my foot stay unwrapped and put the silver alginate on it with a band-aid. 

Seriously  Even after knowing the outcome if my foot didn’t get any better, or it would get worse.images (1)

I wore flip-flops to the wedding and really did nothing to protect my toe other than just keeping it clean and taking my antibiotic.  LITERALLY “Less is more” way of thinking.  The result was the same.  It was getting amputated.  Or it was getting well.

Because I believe so much in the power of prayer.  I once again prayed to God for His will to be done, for Him to heal me, completely or to make it abundantly clear that amputation was the way to get a healthy foot.

Well, you heard that old story, tell God your plans if you wanna make Him laugh..  He did a big ole belly laugh and said “watch this”  

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When I went to the doctor this friday afternoon.  My foot had almost healed itself!  from a hole in my foot that tracked bone deep, and at least 1 cm wide to practically healed, I was so blown away.  I was honest with my DR and told him EVERYTHING.

The only thing I didn’t do is go in the Ocean while I was there.  I figured that would even be pushing God’s limits a bit!!  But I did go in a hot tub for a few minutes, and wore my foot open most of the time, unless I was going to be in public, then I covered it with a band-aid mostly so it couldn’t be seen.  1b84d57b0877e655165c1978dcb453d8

By the time we got home, my feet were swollen with fluid because of the long flights, I didn’t take fluid pills and my toe was very red indeed.

I knew I needed to rest my foot, keep it propped up and get the swelling down.  I did just that for two solid days, took my fluid pills and proceeded to rest in my way.

I get to the dr on Friday afternoon and as they are cleaning the wound, the nurses are just talking about how good it looked etc, and then Dr. A came in.  He was so surprised! Especially after I told him, I did the less is more option.

Here are just a few of the amazing things God has done.  

1.  The sore no longer tracks to the bone.

2.  It has shrunk.

3.  AMPUTATION IS OFF THE TABLE

4   God, in His almighty, infinite ways, has answered all the prayers for this one ;little toe.

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I had a great vacation, and even though I didn’t walk much thanks to the convenience of a scooter, I did pretty much what I wanted.

and I DANCED WITH MY SON AT HIS WEDDING!!!

(sorry for the crappy picture, but this is the best we have)

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What an amazing gift God gave me in doing so.  I used to pray, God keep me alive till my kids are older, God keep me alive till they graduated High School, etc, etc, and always a new goal.

Now I pray God, I don’t know what you want me to do, but let’s go, I am game!!!  I know God has some amazing plans for me in the future and I am not sure what they are.  I am SO ready to see what He does have in store for me.

and I tell you this, 

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1Thessalonians 5:16-18 16  “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

Thanks for reading this far and remember If he can heal one sore foot, think of what he can do for your heart!!  If you want that same healing in your heart.  

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read this.  God will help you also!

Question: “What is the sinner’s prayer?”

Answer: The sinner’s prayer is a prayer a person prays to God when they understand that they are a sinner and in need of a Savior. Saying a sinner’s prayer will not accomplish anything on its own. A true sinner’s prayer only represents what a person knows, understands, and believes about their sinfulness and need for salvation.

The first aspect of a sinner’s prayer is understanding that we are all sinners. Romans 3:10 proclaims, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. We are all sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness from God (Titus 3:5-7). Because of our sin, we deserve eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The sinner’s prayer is a plea for grace instead of judgment. It is a request for mercy instead of wrath.

The second aspect of a sinner’s prayer is knowing what God has done to remedy our lost and sinful condition. God took on flesh and became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus taught us the truth about God and lived a perfectly righteous and sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus then died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead to prove His victory over sin, death, and hell (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). Because of all of this, we can have our sins forgiven and be promised an eternal home in Heaven – if we will just place our faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is believe that He died in our place and rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 declares, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Saying the sinner’s prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no “magical” words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection that can save us. If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner’s prayer you can pray to God: “God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”

Did you pray the sinner’s prayer and truly understand and believe what it teaches?  Please comment below so I can pray for you also!  Start reading your Bible!  If you don’t know where to start, either start at the beginning and read it like a book, or the the Book of James or the Book of Luke.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and rejoicing with me!

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Mama Maggie – Family Christian #FCBlogger

Mistaken for an angel in a private home, seen several times, laying prone with her face to the ground praying, seen many times walking through the garden, picking up new stones to include in her collection, or seen taking the stand at the Global Leadership Conference, She sometimes heads to the desert to pray, hugging a “garbage child” from the dumps of the Egyptian towns that surrounded her “home base”, and many more things like this…. is the “Mother Theresa of Cairo” and the founder of Stephens Children

 Mama Maggie, Maggie Groban

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a beautiful woman, Coptic Christian and just a blessing from God above for anyone that has met her, or has had the pleasure of being helped by her.  Stephen’s Children is such a great organization based on the needs of Egyptian Children.

Mama Maggie is one of those rare people who never meets a stranger, never meets someone she doesn’t want to help

A Love Story, based on Mama Maggie’s love for God and then her love for everyone else.

WHEN ONE HAS NOTHING…God becomes everything.”
Mama Maggie’s soft-spoken message of radical love and her call to serve “the least of these” rang out at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

I am the daughter of all the prayers and love, the tears and blood offered up to God in my country over many generations, I love my country my church and my needy children, and I’m ready to give my life for them. – Mama Maggie

From medical care, to the clothes off of her back.

One may mistake her for a nun, however, she is not.  She chose to give her clothes and jewels away because of her work.  How could she be effective, wearing nice clothes and precious jewels/gold and finery and do what she was called to do.  taking the verse Matthew 25:40 to heart “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

She treats everyone that she meets this way, not only the children she helps in the garbage dumps of Cairo, but even the workers that work for her own Ministry Stephen’s Children.

Stephen’s Children offers, ministry needs like School, Medical Care, Literacy Classes, Clean Water, Sports Camps and Days out and Vocational Training.

Mama Maggie is the autobiography of Maggie Groban as well as a dossier on Stephen’s Children.  I highly recommend this book for reasons, 1) to see what is happening abroad for children, that we can’t reach here in America

2) just to have the knowledge of this beautiful woman and her organization

3) maybe there is a way you can help and if not, physical needs, then there is always prayers.

Mama Maggie believes in prayer, uses prayer the way Jesus did, even to the point of going out alone, into the desert, or in her own prayer closet (*makeshift closets, no matter where she is also) and anywhere she can!  I loved this about her.  That no matter where she was, she never neglected her prayer time.  No matter what.  Even to the point, of once in a women’s conference, taking up cell phones, and devices, and letting the women, have 24 silent hours for prayer, silence and refreshment time.  This refreshment time, is not drinks or food, it was getting refreshed with God.  Spending your time in prayer and refreshment with God.

Silence

Beautiful Words from Mama Maggie to end this on.

You can connect with Stephen’s Children here on their contacts page. as well as sign up for their newsletter here

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Some Tweets From My Friends! Share the Love

Some of my friends tweets *and one of mine; in no particular order, and just picked by random…. please go retweet their posts. All you have to do is click on the retweet and you can also favorite them!

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