Thursday, August 30, 2012

God's Names by Sally Michael

Product Details

God's Names
Sally Michael
P & R Publishing

What is the first thing that you do when you meet someone? You introduce yourself and learn each others' names. Names are important. As a photograph, I strive to remember people's names so that they know that I care. God has many names. They are names we should learn because, not only is He God, but they are descriptive of His character. Sally Michael has written a book that introduces you and your children to the names of God. She has presented a valuable resource for parents instructing their children, and for parents too!

As a mom of three elementary age children, I was struggling to find Christian books that taught my children about God and about important Christian doctrines. There is such a lack of sufficient material. Everything is geared towards behavior and morality, but little on the nature and character of our Maker. I found this book to fill the niche I was looking for, and I'm not disappointed.

Sally Michael has chosen a list of the names of God to teach, and although not comprehensive, it is a great introduction. She includes an introduction to guide parents in presenting the material, a pronunciation guide, and of course the lessons. Each lesson introduces the name, it's pronunciation, its meaning and the study, which is centered around scripture. Her lessons are of sufficient length and depth to introduce the concept and apply without being too long to lose the children's interest. Each lesson ends with questions and an activity.

We tackled one lesson a week, usually on Saturday, and then repeated the names and meaning throughout the week. My kids always listened and enjoyed the lessons. They always wanted to look ahead in the book to find out the next name, which I wouldn't let them do. They learned the names and meanings easily.
I would highly recommend this book for any parent who wants to teach their children more about God and His names as found in the Bible and wants to learn themselves.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

Dreams and Visions

Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?

By Tom Doyle, with Greg Webster
Published by Thomas Nelson

In Dreams and Visions, Tom Doyle, a missionary to the middle east and Asia, compiles various stories of dreams and visions of Jesus, Isa, by Muslim people throughout the region. The book is categorized into countries where the stories originate, and includes information about the region and culture that pertain to the subject at hand. You travel from Egypt to Syria to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other places. The book is well organized and written engagingly.

The question for me though, is not whether to book is well written, but does it bear the truth of God's Word. When approaching the idea of dreams and visions, I'm skeptical, as the author said he was at first. When I read the Bible in verses such as : 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, Matthew 24:26, Matthew 24:26, Luke 16:29, John 14:25-26, John 16:7-11, John 16:14, Matthew 24:5, Hebrews 1:1-2, 2 Corinthians 11:4, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, my skepticism isn't diminished but increased; I have more questions and doubts after comparing it the the Bible.

I don't believe that I can rely on personal experiences to believe that Jesus is revealing Himself to Muslims or any other people group other than through His Word and the working of the Holy Spirit.

I do believe that God can use these experiences, whoever originates them, to bring people to Him, because as Joseph said in Genesis 50:20

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

In this book, there are a lot of good facts and pictures of Islam that are valuable for Christians to know and understand. I recommend reading it with a Bible in hand, reading the Bible in its historical and revelational context, and to remember not to set up personal experience above the Word of God.

I received this e-book from Thomas' Nelson's bloggers program.  This review is my own opinions

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Boys

Here are some photos of my boys....  I love their new school clothes, and so I thought that it was time to get them out and shoot!  I did use some fill in flash just to cutinto the shadows a bit... but I love how they turned out.....just what I envisioned....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

the Money Smart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides

The Money Smart Family System
Steve & Annette Economides
Thomas Nelson

Have you every tried to figure out a way to teach your children financial principles but found yourself lacking the creativity to do it? I have... but never found a systematic or simplistic way to implement something that I could stick to. The Economides have written a book that presents a system to teach your children financial principles that any one can give a shot.
The start by introducing the 5/50/500 rule. This basically states that different stages in your child's life their financial blunders will cost from less to more. Basically a financial errors with a five year old are far less costly than with a 20 year old's. This is a very true principle that I have seen manifested in my life and the life of my family. They share several tools or principles that they use to manage their children's financial learning and even behavior. I like the point system that they introduced. Each child has four things throughout the day that they can earn points, and in turn money, and then they teach the children how to divide it into specified categories. I don't want to spoil the ideas....
Each chapter is consistent with starting with a concept, showing how they manage it, and put it into the framework of their 5/50/500 rule. They provide usable worksheets that you can copy and use. They also share examples from their family, to show how they used what they are presenting. There are a lot of practical ideas that help you to teach your child finances, how to earn and save, as well as give.
Overall, I liked the book, and I plan to implement many of their ideas.... or I am going to attempt it! The only thing I really had qualms with is their attack on youth groups... they look at the positives of many organization, activity ideas, but they came down on youth groups without looking at the negatives of other groups. I'm not saying that I disagree with their arguments, but felt it stood out against the upholding of other things that could have negatives as well. I would recommend this book for any and all parents. One additional note, if you are looking for a Bible-based study on teaching children finances, this is not it.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson's blogger's program and was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1960's Style Female Graphic

I created this vector graphic as one out of two proposals for a cooking blog. The author chose the other one, so I thought I would share this one for now.  I will share her blog header in a future post.  I have always had some difficulty with creating graphics of people, but I think this one turned out decent.  It is inspired by an old cookbook from 1961.

One thing that I did differently from the 60's cookbook drawings that I used as inspiration, was that instead of straight black lines, I used variable width strokes.  I think it added some life to it and some visual interest.  I do think I should add some lines on the top of the meringue pie to show the lumpiness of the pie.