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Joel E. Jacobson

Visit A Poetic Matter

On Sensationalism

I’ve had the privilege of working with junior and senior high kids at the annual Lighthouse Young Writers Summer Camp. The cool thing about teaching at summer camp is you get to teach, encourage kids with their writing, and never have to grade a thing. It’s really the way teaching should be. But I’ll save […]
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Annette Kristynik

Visit A Well-Watered Garden

[Review] NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible: Finding Strength Through God's Eternal Perspective

Title: NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible: Finding Strength Through God's Eternal PerspectiveDevotional Editor: Timothy BealsPublisher: Zondervan/B and B Media Group March 2014Genre: Bible, New International Version an Update from the 1984 and 2005 editionsFormat: HardcoverPages: 1536Rating: 4 1/2 Stars for Very GoodSource: Free copy from Zondervan in exchange for a review. This review first appeared at The Christian Manifesto.Link @ Amazon: Hardcover $25.99. Link for more information at Zondervan/B&B Media Group: NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible.After the stress and rush of the funeral, people go back to work and life for them is business as usual, but for the grieving, life has irrevocably changed without the presence of their loved one. Grieving is laborious. Some days will be better than others. The flowers which were delivered eventually turn brown and the blossoms fall away. Sympathy cards are read and possibly misplaced. But, God and his word are an ever present help. God's word is a soothing balm for our troubled soul. “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 130:1-2, NIV. Zondervan, has published a Bible specifically for those who are grieving. A well-rounded crew of writers who have experience on issues such as: “post-traumatic stress disorder”, “caregiver of the critically ill”, “addiction”, “death of a child”, becoming a “widow”, “traumatized children”, “mental health”, and “divorce recovery”. These writers contribute to the devotional parts of the Bible. Each book of the Bible, both the Old Testament and New Testament, has devotional pages ministering to the grieving person through Scripture, prayer time, and a short devotion. The devotionals are one to two pages in length. Some of the devotions have questions for further reflection. In the book of Genesis I counted four devotionals. In the book of Psalms there are sixty-one devotionals. A total of fifty-two weeks of devotionals are included in the Bible. The NIV Scripture used is an update from both the 1984 and 2005 editions. There is a introduction note explaining the editors decisions and work towards “as original authors intended”. The biblical texts used for the Old Testament and New Testament are explained. Throughout the bible, end-notes are given explaining textual variants of “uncertainty”. The words of Christ in the New Testament is in black, not red. The bible is small and easy to carry, the dimensions are 8.75”x 6.00”x 1.50”.Double column. The type-font is eight point. The bible does not have: an introduction to each bible book, nor reference verses, nor further explanatory notes, nor a concordance, nor a dictionary. The NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible is not a study Bible, its mission is to address and comfort the grieving. In the back of the bible: “table of weights and measures”, “author biographies”, “additional resources”, and a free music download with words to the songs included. Over-all I found the Bible to have accomplished its aim in providing a ministering agent to the grieving. My dad passed away last August. I am grieving. Dad had made his home with us for over eleven years. He was more than my dad, he was my prayer partner and best friend. I have read through the devotions, and one of them stood out to me at first sight: “Our True Identity”. You see I'd cared for both my parents full-time, a total of thirteen years. Mother had Alzheimer's, and daddy a host of physical limitations. Mother passed away in 2008. To say life is different is an understatement. Talking to family and friends help, but nothing helps more than reading God's word. His word is a “lamp for my feet, a light on my path”. Psalm 119:105,NIV. Bible links from Bible Gateway.

Michele Howe

Visit Burdens Do a Body Good (Meeting Life's Challenges with Strength (and Soul)

Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices

Am I ever excited to see the cover of my newest book direct from the designer’s office. This book has a story behind it. A long one. The title itself is self-explanatory and sort of autobiographical. Faith + Friends = … Continue reading →
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Chad Ethridge

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great city

Oh great city,Where streets connect at intersectionsand commerce happens at every cornerbusiness transactions with a handshakeand legal documentation to supportWhere structures are erected or torn downin the name of progresswhere campaigns bring loyalty to idealsand divide people over the issuesOh great city,Where sturdy buildings are reminiscentof bygone eras and the lifestyles that went with themshrines for the working class and monuments to the daily grindWhere moral codes are eroded by the hands of timelike a shirt in a dryer or under a hot ironthe heat is absorbed in the pavementand wears down all who walk upon itOh great city,That is still yet to comeWhose architect and builder is GodWho alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable lightWho prepares a place for all foreigners and aliens on earthwho live by faith in what was promised and not yet receivedThey shall posses gladness and joyin that great city where God is presentand Jesus is Lord of all!



Distractdestruct.Resist. The inevitablesilence ensues.© Cat Hill 2012dVerse open link night hosted by Grace.


I long for the beautiful world down there among the mirror...

I long for the beautiful world down there among the mirror trees #instaverse

Larry Hehn

Visit Christian in the Rough

Posts With the Most – March 2014

Well, now that we’ve reached the first of April (no fooling!) it’s time to celebrate our favorite blog posts from March 2014 – the Posts with the Most! Once again I’ve assembled my favorites of all the blog posts I read last month, and invite you to join the fun by letting us know some of […]


Did You Celebrate Easter, Today

Did you celebrate Easter today?  Yes, I know that Easter was this past Sunday.  I also know that most of you probably attended church this past Sunday, just as I did.  After all, Easter is typically the holiday that sees the most attendance at churches across the world. I also know that there have been […]

Sean Glaze

Visit Conference Ideas to Team Build

Three Secrets to Help Your Team Finish Strong

When I was coaching basketball, one of the key requirements to the team’s success was the ability of our athletes to finish strong and make layups around the rim.  As a team, success ultimately came down to our players finishing strong. Over the years, it became clear that there were three main reasons that players finished weakly around the rim and were unable to score. Find those 3 secrets, and the rest of this article to help your team finish strong, published as a guest post on the #leadwithgiants website. Many thanks to Dan Forbes for sharing it with the #leadwithgiants audience! You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE! If are looking for a way to inspire your people to work together with better communication and increased morale, I encourage you to consider a day of teambuilding for teachers   And I would be honored if you chose to follow me on twitter or to connect on LinkedIn to receive additional information and teamwork resources!