Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"The Finishing School" Blog Tour

The Finishing School: How One Book Nerd Began Living What She Learned (Nyree Press, August 2015)

Are you tired of waiting for change to happen in your life? Do you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally?

In today's world, our most precious pursuit of a life well lived gets squeezed out by the silliest of things: binging on Netflix or ice cream, shopping trips for things we don't need, bad habits we can't seem to get a handle on, and so much more. Valerie has been there despite knowing what she wanted for her life. Actually do it? That's the challenge.

After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, she decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness. You will find homework at the end of each chapter that includes a worksheet to put real change in motion for your own life as well as recommended books to further study those topics that really test you.

Purchase a copy:
http://bit.ly/1K9ghpY
 
 
 
 
 
About the author: Valerie Woerner is owner of Val Marie Paper. She and her husband, Tyler, live in Louisiana with their daughter, Vivi Mae. The Finishing School is her first book.

Connect with Valerie: websiteTwitter, Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Take:
 
I think we all struggle with getting things done and just not having enough hours in the day. My six-year-old daughter even commented on this the other day. She was disappointed that she just didn't have enough time to do everything she wanted to do in one day!
 
So what do we do about it? Make lists? Tell ourselves we are failures who will never do better? Give up and watch Netflix all weekend? Maybe. But what's the best thing we can do?
 
Be intentional.
 
That's what I got from this book, The Finishing School. The most important thing to think about when trying to "get your life together" is to be intentional. Intentional with what you do, intentional with whom you have relationship, intentional in your time spent with God.
 
Woerner covers many different areas in this book including joy, hospitality, friendships, health, rest, and contentment. There are a lot of topics covered, which may seem overwhelming. I would recommend taking it slowly and doing a little bit at a time - being intentional but also not stressing yourself out!
 
At times this book read more like a memoir than a self-help book. It's nice to have examples and feel as if other people are in the same boat. It just needs to really be balanced in a book like this.
 
I do find it ironic that the author says that she has read all of the books, and her answer to that is to -- write another book! It was helpful to have so many books narrowed down in this book, though. And of course I appreciated how she always referred back to the only book that we really need to follow - the Bible!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Nyree Press through Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Israel's Mission" Blog Tour

About the DVD:

What's your mission?

God gave the assignment to His people thousands of years ago: to bring "lost sheep" back into the love and safety of His kingdom. He said to become a "Kingdom of Priests," and put God on display to show the world what He is like.
 
It's still our task today.
 
In this thirteenth volume of the That the World May Know ® film series, you'll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life - and the lives of those around you - greater meaning than you ever imagined.

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

Designed for use with That the World May Know: Israel's Mission Discovery Guide.

Filmed on location at these biblically significant sites in Israel and Jordan:
-Back to the Father's House - Negev Desert
-Show Them the Way - Timnah
-Prodigal Sons and Daughters - Qatzrin
-Return from the Far Off Country - Jerash
-Welcome Home - Qatzrin


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1KsCFRr









About the author:

Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries and creator of the Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family. An ordained minister, he holds the chair of biblical cultural studies as a religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Michigan. He and his wife, Esther, have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Find Ray online:
website
 
 
See what other reviewers are saying here: http://litfusegroup.com/author/RVanderLaan




My Take:

My husband regularly teaches a class at our church called "Overview of the Bible." In it he spends six weekly sessions going through every section of the Bible and talking about how God's plan of redemption is seen throughout and how we can apply the Bible to our everyday lives.

This DVD series reminded me a lot of that class. The emphases are a bit different - this series is more specific than my husband's class - but the way it looks at the "big picture" of God's plan is very similar.

I really didn't know what to expect when I started this series - I'm not a huge history/geography buff - but I was blown away by the use of the historically significant sights in this series. It was fascinating to see where these events in the Bible took place, and it was neat to kind of take a tour along with the people in the video.

The teacher - Ray Vander Laan - was a dynamic speaker who did an excellent job of relating the messages of the lessons to everyday life. He was very passionate about the topic, and it was very easy to listen to him.

There is a study guide/book that goes along with this DVD series. The discussion questions and notes in it that relate to the DVD lesson are very good. There are also additional pages that provide an in-depth personal study for each of the five lessons. While the personal study is very good, I think it might be difficult for some people to fit that part of the study into a busy schedule, especially if this was a weekly series. The personal study section for Lesson One is 30 pages, and the one for Lesson Three is about 33. I would love to have an hour or two every day to devote to studying the Bible! But that just isn't able to happen many days.

That being said, this series is meant to be an in-depth series. I did appreciate the thoroughness of the study guide and the videos. If I was doing this with a small group, I would probably stretch it out over 8-10 weeks and really dig into it.

I would also like to add a comment about the camera operation of the videos. At times the videos were very dizzying. This was especially true when Mr. Vander Laan would walk back and forth while he was teaching. Now I don't have a problem with teachers walking back and forth. My husband does it all the time! But when the camera would be zoomed in on him and would try to follow him back and forth rather than using a wider-angle shot, it became very, very dizzying. I realize that this is the new normal for movies and such these days. My eyes/brain/inner ear just can't always keep up!

Overall, I think this DVD series is excellent, and I am looking forward to maybe being able to experience others of this type in the future.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing and Focus on the Family through Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."