Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for a ‘Buck’ (Plus a Summer Challenge)

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Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you’ll hear for the next few months is, “I’m bored!”? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:

—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).

—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.

—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.

—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month’s episode.

—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.

—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.

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Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:

  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways

When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you’ll receive:

  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

*I grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey on the radio or on cassette tapes, and now I get to see my 10-year-old niece immerse herself in Odyssey.  I am proud to be on the OAC blogger team, and hope that my occasional posts about the Club throughout this coming year will prompt you to check it out for your kids or the children in your life (or even yourself – I still enjoy listening to them)*

Rethink Inner Beauty with Barbara Roose’s ‘Enough Already’ Review and a Weekend Getaway Giveaway

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Learn how to recognize your own outer and inner beauty as defined by God, not the media or others, in Barbara Roose‘s new book, Enough Already. What would it take for you to believe you are enough already? Most women know God loves them, but might he love them more if they finally lost that last ten pounds, or got their hair to lay right, or finally found a pair of jeans that looked good and let them breathe? Well, maybe God doesn’t care about jeans, but women do, and all the talk about inner beauty hasn’t kept all of us from staring into a mirror and taking an inventory that never quite measures up.

Barbara is celebrating the release with a giveaway! One reader will receive a cash card and writing supplies for her own inner-beauty weekend getaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $75 cash card for your own inner-beauty weekend getaway
  • A notepad/pencil set for your inner-beauty quiet time
  • A copy of Enough Already

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 12th. Winner will be announced April 13th on Barbara’s blog.


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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}
 

So what did I personally think of this book?   I think it’s great!  Some things I especially liked about it:

  • Her writing style was so conversational… it really felt like I was in an intimate setting with some girlfriends and we were just chatting.

  • I loved how she combined both inner and outer beauty… like it says, we *know* inner beauty is what counts, but we all *want* and sometimes end up focusing too much on outer beauty.  She talks about how outer beauty IS important, it’s just not AS important as inner beauty, and I think that really is the key.

  • She made me think about beauty and about being a woman in general in a little different light.

  • I think this would make an excellent small group/discussion study, and guess what?  She apparently had that in mind as well, as each chapter has discussion questions and then personal questions, which I think is great – have everyone in the small group answer and discuss the discussion questions, and then depending on how intimate/comfortable the group is, share the personal questions as well.

With all the articles, magazines, TV commercials, and movies that flaunt “How to look…”, “What to wear…” , “How to attract….”, “How to be ….” it is wonderful to see a book about beauty…all of beauty – not just the inside beauty and not just the outside beauty, but a balanced view of both!

*As a Litfuse blogger, I was sent a review copy of “Enough Already”.

I Need You

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Sometimes, life has a way of getting our attention.  Actually, let me rephrase that…God has a way of getting our attention.  He uses our life circumstances and happenings to get our attention.  Sometimes, we choose to ignore Him.  We think we’ve got it all figured out on our own…we can handle it.  Or maybe we think we can’t handle, but surely neither could God, right?  I’m ashamed to admit it, but that has been me.  It might be big monumental life changes and things that really shake us to our core, or it might be just a still small voice that is calling out to us in the midst of silent despair.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s large or small, we need to heed that voice.

I went to a woman’s conference this past weekend.  The theme was “Under His Wings”, and while words like “protection”, “shelter”, “guide”, and “love” were key words, the overall takeaway I really got was of abiding…of not just knowing that God is our shelter and loves us, but that we actually need Him.  He’s not our last resort.  He’s not a crutch.  He is my everything.  That’s really powerful, and something I’m going to have to remind myself every.single.day.  It never gets old, does it?

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When good things are happening, I need Him.  When bad things are happening, I need Him.  He is my light and my salvation!  No matter what my circumstances may be, no matter if I feel I’ve failed God and others, no matter if I at times feel “cheated” or like my life could be so much better, I need Him and His light to shine in me and then shine out of me to others.  I might fail God and others, but He never fails.  I might feel cheated or like life could be better, but God is the best gift and is all that I need.  I might feel darkness and that my light grows dim, but God is the brightest light and brings light to the darkness.  Also, did you notice I “feel” these things, but God is truth, and truth is not really a feeling.  I need to saturate myself in the Light of His Word so that my thoughts/feelings/actions/…my life, all match up with the Truth.

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I had heard this song sung before, but as I was pondering what I was going to write here, I subconsciously started humming this song.  I don’t really believe in coincidences, so I will share it and hope it blesses someone.

I hope you will let Him be your Light.  Not just one of many little lights in your life, but THE light of your life.

I think the beautiful Light Collection from Dayspring (in particular, the necklace pictured above, available from {in}courage from Dayspring) is a great wearable reminder that I need Him.

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“The Revealing” by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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The RevealingNaomi King, soft spoken, loyal, and easily overlooked, has a gift. She sees what others can’t see. Intuition, she calls it. Others in Stoney Ridge don’t know what to make of it and dismiss her hunches and inklings altogether.

When a young woman arrives at the Inn at Eagle Hill with a shocking secret about Tobe Schrock, Naomi fears the worst. She can’t ignore the feeling that something sinister is at work— something more than a threat to the tenuous love begun between her and Tobe.

As signs mount, they begin to point to Jake Hertzler, the elusive mastermind behind Schrock Investments’ downfall. Soon, events spiral hopelessly out of control and Naomi must decide whether to listen to her head or her heart.

This is the third, and final, installment of the Inn at Eagle Hill series by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  I have read her other books and really enjoy her writing style – it’s easy to read and draws you in.  This was another great read!

One thing to keep in mind is there are a lot of characters, and when I first started reading the book, it was late at night, I was tired, and so when I came back to the book later, I had to refresh my memory at how the characters fit and who was who. There’s of course the main character, Naomi, but there’s also Galen, Tobe, Mim, Brook, Bethany, Rose, a mysterious genealogist, and more, who each have a unique point of view and bring something important to the story.  But that’s not a bad thing, because I thought it made the book more interesting – lots of different layers and mini stories going on, yet all connected.  The characters seem authentic and relatable – some books I have read where you think to yourself, “Okay, that wouldn’t happen!” or “Would someone really talk like that in real life?” – Yeah, none of those thoughts crossed my mind.

This isn’t necessarily a “mystery” in genre, but it definitely has a plot that makes you want to keep reading to figure out what’s going to happen next.  Without giving any of the actual story away, I really loved the different relationships in this novel – especially between Naomi and her brother, Galen.  This wasn’t a “they lived happily ever after” story – not that it ended in a sad way, but just that, while some strings have been tied up, there were still some questions I had at the end (but then again, isn’t that real life?  I don’t really know of anyone who really “lived happily ever after”, we all have struggles and questions… that’s just life)… which causes me hope Suzanne will continue their stories in a new series!

*As a LitFuse Publishing blogger, I received this book for free to facilitate this review.
More reviews in this blog hop:  HERE
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/ywEHT 
About the author: 
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.Download Suzanne’s free app! http://bit.ly/10TygyiFind Suzanne online: websiteTwitterFacebookPinterest

In The Revealing, the riveting conclusion to the Inn at Eagle Hill series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher pulls out all the stops with a fast-paced tale of deception, revelation, and just the right dose of romance.

Suzanne is celebrating by giving away THREE iPads!

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THREE grand prize winners will receive:

  • An iPad
  • PickPocket Tablet Accessory Pouch (A stylish storage pouch designed to hold all your tablet accessories. Info.)
  • The Inn at Eagle Hill series (The Letters, The Calling, and The Revealing)

Five second place winners will receive:

  • The Inn at Eagle Hill series (The Letters, The Calling, and The Revealing) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 20th. All winners will be announced July 21st at Suzanne’s blog. AND … if you’re looking for more in the Inn at Eagle Hill series, be sure to pick up the ebook novella, The Rescue, for just $1.99!



BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Suzanne is also giving away two 10-book mystery prize packs! 
One of the major themes of The Revealing is learning to trust your intuition and instincts. These are God-given qualities that we sometimes are too timid or unsure of to act on. For a chance to win one of the 10-book prize packs, leave a comment on this blog and share about a time when your intuition or instinct saved the day—or a time you ignored it and missed an opportunity. 
 

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne’s blog on the 21st to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

His Hands…

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I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to sometimes always want to do things my way.  As humans, we have a very hard time grasping the infinite and all-knowing ways of God… or I should say as sinners, because that about sums it up too.  But we can get so out of whack with worry and deliberate with the despair we may feel.  So we try to pump ourselves up… we maybe read a self-help book, go out and have fun with friends, or maybe even some negative or addictive behaviors like overeat/undereat, compulsive shopping or gambling, or even substance abuse.  All in an attempt to rid ourselves of that nagging guilt, that sense of shame, or those feelings of emptiness.

Many psychologists and self-help books will want you to believe you just don’t love yourself enough, that shame is a bad thing, that guilt is hazardous to your health, and if you feel empty you need to search deep and discover just how amazing you are at your core and find your true self.  That you don’t have enough “you” time.  You put the needs of others before your own, and you should stop that immediately and focus on you, because how else can you really be of  benefit to anyone else?  While I can understand a little bit of that thinking, and I am in no way suggesting that we self-loathe (although sin-loathe wouldn’t be a bad thing!), what I think the problem is is that we don’t love God enough.  We don’t have enough “Him” time.  We *maybe* will give Him an hour or two of our time on Sunday (if nothing else is more pressing).  God is not a time clock… it’s not like He’s up in Heaven keeping tabs on if so and so went to church, looked the part, or put money in the plate that week.  Think of God as though He were your very best friend, one who knows you better, way better, than you even know yourself… He knows all the horrible rotten things about you (that yes, at your core, you are) that you don’t want anyone to know about (not even your closest friends), but crazily, He still loves you.  He knows you could care less about His glory or sharing Him with your friends.  He still loves you.  And while you can go to church at Easter and Christmas and be a relatively good person, that is not what being a Christian is about.  In fact, you could go to church every single week and tithe more than anyone, and you still might have missed the mark.  This is what he said in Hosea 6:6 (New Living Translation) “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” (italics added)  He is more concerned with our hearts than with our pocketbooks, and He wants us to know Him not just go through the motions to appear a certain way.

I got a bit off topic, but what I started and meant for this post to focus on is that it is so so easy to get wrapped up in the cares we all have, the uncertainty of life.  This could be different for everyone….a sick child, aging parents, a laid off spouse, no spouse at all, work tension, family troubles.  Just the stuff of our lives, those messy, every-day struggles we all have.  But if you know God, really know Him, and are known by Him, lay your concerns in His hands – they bore the nails that redeemed your soul – surely they are strong enough to carry your burdens.