A Day At The Beach – Book Review

9781496414878_p0_v3_s192x300A Day At The Beach – Devotions to help you relax, refresh and renew by Jedd and Todd Hafer has become not only my favorite summer devotional, but my go to book when I need to reflect, refresh, and renew my spirit.

This beautiful, orange leather pocket size devotional is filled with short stories and reflections centered around the Hafer brothers love for the beach.  And their style of writing, storytelling at its finest!

If your the type that finds peace and quiet from life struggles at the beach, or hears God small voice in the roll of every soft wave, this book is for you.  As you read through the devotionals, you’ll find yourself transported to the beach and the warm sunshine of Gods love.

There is no right or wrong way to read this book.  One devotional a day, or sit and read it in its entirety, in order or jump around.  It doesn’t matter, any way you decide to read through it you will find yourself renewed and refreshed.

“When we are present in the everyday moments, we find that God is present with us.  And where God is, the flicker of a holy flame can help us see the commonplace in a whole new light.”  “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

I loved this book so much I feel it deserves 6 out of 5 stars!  You can get this little gem HERE.

Todd & Jedd Hafer’s Bio:
Todd Hafer, a veteran writer with fifteen books published, is editorial director for Hallmark, Inc. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Jedd. He lives with his family in Kansas.

Jedd Hafer is a stand-up comic who has performed with some of the top comics in the nation and is the director of a home for troubled teens. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Todd. Jedd and his family make their home in Colorado.

Visit Todd & Jedd’s website at www.haferbros.com

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Gratitude – A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Gratitude – A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal is perfect for the person that’s looking to add some creativity to their prayer and praise time. Gratitude

This book features journaling and coloring in an interesting way.  This is great for those that like to color, and for those that are creative writers.  The pages are beautiful, some already sport some unique coloring, and writing prompts.

At 6″x8″ it’s the size of most journals.  It’s hard cover so you can toss it in a tote, purse or backpack and not worry about destroying it.

Anyone, creative or not, would love this book as a way of taking their prayer and praise to a whole new level.  You can get the book HERE.

Check out Tyndale’s Inspire Creativity board on Pinterest, which has downloadable samplers and sharable coloring pages from their coloring and Bible journaling line, the Living Expressions Collection!

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

 

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

morning prayersIf you have been looking for a small, portable prayer book, or have a desire to enhance your prayer life, or even a prayer devotional, this book is for you.

Each morning I grab a cup of coffee and my “365 Pocket Morning Prayers – Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day” and talk with God.  This beautiful soft leather pocket size book has changed my morning conversations with God.  It helps me express my worries, concerns and my joys, and it can help you.

The prayers in this book are so easy to relate to. The topics address a variety of needs. You can read the book as a daily devotion or pray based on the topic that best meets your daily need.

At the very beginning of the book Dave Veerman reminds us that:

Prayer is a privilege.
Prayer is personal.
Prayer is powerful.

So, if you want to begin your day in joyful anticipation, trusting that God is in control of your life and wants only the best for you, start your mornings with “365 Pocket Morning Prayers – Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day”

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

The lord is my photographer

DSC_0293 copyThe lord is my photographer; He is all that I need.

He shows me the beauty of green meadows; and peaceful streams.

He renews my sight.

He guides me through every assignment, each photo bringing honor to his name.

Even when I photograph in the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are my light.

Your grace and mercy protect and comfort me.

You feed my soul as I capture memories of my friends and my enemies.

You honor me by framing my photos in my heart.

My camera bag overflows with blessings.

Surely I will purse God’s beauty all the days of my life,

and my work will dwell in God’s house forever.

Prayer is Important

To Pray

There once was a young seminarian starting out on his journey toward the priesthood. He was a bit of a know-it-all, and wanted to be the best at everything he did. He heard about a very holy monk who was considered a spiritual master in regard to prayer and contemplation.

The seminarian sought him out, and asked the old monk to teach him all of his secrets for prayer. The monk sent him away. The seminarian was stubborn and returned again soon, asking again to learn his secrets to prayer. The monk told him to come back in one week.

When he arrived the next week, the monk took him out behind the monastery to a body of water. He still hadn’t said a word. As they entered into the water up just past their waist, the seminarian grew impatient with the monk, who was still silent.

All of a sudden the monk grabbed the seminarian and held his head under the water. The seminarian struggled and thrashed about, but with the strength of an ox the old monk held him under the water. As the monk let go of him, he came up gasping for breath, embarrassed, angry, and confused. The monk looked at him and said, ‘Until you pray with the same desperation that you have for air, you have not prayed.’

Prayer is as important to our soul as air is to our body! We need prayer to stay connected to the God who created us with a plan in mind.

Faith Is No Faith If It Depends On Miracles

Lord, my faith is no faith at all if it depends on whether or not You perform a miracle for me or for someone I love. And yet I believe that miracles do happen. So I ask You to look with compassion on my prayer and to grant the desires of my heart. Whether Your answer is yes or no, now or later, I trust that You hear me, that You understand my distress, and that You will act with compassion.

“But YOU Promised!”

 

photo via Lydia Nichols, art.amplifiedversion.com

It had been many years since his people had been released by the great Persian King Cyrus to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem and nearly a decade since his successor Artaxerxes empowered the priest Ezra to lead these people in worship and society.

But Nehemiah had remained.

He had what might have seemed to onlookers as a swank palace job, but he brought to it his blue-collar ethic and intuitive sense that work is essentially a spiritual discipline. So day in-and-out he literally risked his life for the sake of the king who had done so much for Nehemiah’s countrymen.

But when his brother returned from the homeland after all those years of new found hopefulness he reported that their beloved city—the Jerusalem they’d heard such fantastic tales about from their grandfather—lay in ruins.

Nehemiah collapsed weeping.

He mourned for days.

Because Nehemiah knew the promises of God. He knew that God had promised to deliver the people from this captivity, and he had only assumed that this most recent return to the promised land must have been the fulfillment of that promise.

But now he didn’t know what to believe.

For decades he’d continued in absolute service of this foreign king, honoring him as an essential piece in the fulfillment of God’s covenant.

But now the covenant, the promises seemed to mean nothing at all.

In the midst of the mourning he let God have it.

Sure, he knew they had sinned. He admitted that. His ancestors had disregarded the Law and followed other gods. They’d even worshiped with child sacrifices and temple prostitutes.

He knew that’s why they ended up in exile.

“But YOU promised!” he cried, ”even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon you’d return them to their promised land!”

So now what?

And even as Nehemiah approached the king for help—this time risking his life from his monarch rather than for him—he exhaled one last prayer to this God that now seemed so distant, who had left him feeling so forsaken, with the hope that maybe, just maybe this God was still real.

My wife is the most amazing woman I know.

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My wife is the most amazing woman I know.  The main reason that my wife is so special is that she possess’s all the amazing traits of both her mom and dad.  It is because of these incredible parents that she lives a constant life of love that she has displayed to not only our family, but to everyone that crosses her path.

This life of love is displayed in many ways, but one that stands out the most  is the way that she prays for our family. One of the greatest memories I have of my wife is her tucking our daughters into bed at night and praying over them. I am confident that it was those prayers that protected our daughters from danger, wrong paths, and even poor decisions.

The second attribute that really stands out about my wife is how she gives. For as long as I have known her, she was always giving, whether it be in acts of service, generosity, or compassion. She has always been the type of woman that pours out love in tangible ways to others. I have often heard people say that when my wife walks in the room, you just feel loved. She portrays this love with her warm embrace, sweet encouraging words, and selfless attitude. I can truly say with everything in me that our daughters carry on this amazing trait.  We need more women like them in this world that is in growing need of love, encouragement, and compassion.

The most beautiful thing about my wife is that I don’t even have to be around her every day to know how she spends her time. I know by the fruit that is growing in her life that she stays connected to the ‘vine’ and author of life, who is Jesus. Because of her rich and vibrant heart for the Lord, His life flows through her onto others in a beautiful and effortless way.

It has been said that being a mom is one of life’s most rewarding jobs, all while being the most difficult at the same time.  My dear wife, I want to encourage you that every prayer you have ever prayed for your family has not gone in vain. Even when it seemed like it wasn’t really doing much or that you weren’t seeing the fruit, I can promise you that every time you prayed a prayer of protection, that those prayers shaped our daughters destiny’s…and they are powerful!

I want to encourage you that your constant giving is making a lasting impact on your family and those around you.. You might feel some days like you have nothing left to give, but I can promise you that every ounce of love, encouragement, compassion, and comfort is never wasted. Whether you know it or not, every time that you give of yourself, you are shining Jesus in a tangible way…which I can guarantee stands out in this world today.

And last but not least, I want to encourage you that the Lord sees you. He sees your heart and He knows how hard you work for your family every single day. He doesn’t look at your imperfections or even your less than perfect actions, but He looks on your heart. He knows that your greatest desire is to be the best mother to your family. For this, He is so proud of you, and not a day goes by that He is not cheering you on!

To my wife and all mom’s every where, Happy Mothers Day!

Men, Have The Courage

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Men these are things to ask your wife and children to pray for you. Have the courage to ask your family to help hold you accountable for these things.

Love Christ first.

By your sacrificial example, encourage your wife to love Christ first.

Love your wife so that she is confident, you understand her deepest thoughts and moods.

Love your wife by honoring her in the presence of your children.

Love your wife by joyful sacrifice to enable her spiritual growth. Also love your wife by being sacrificially involved in the daily household needs.

I miss you Dad.