To celebrate National Marriage Week, the ebook version of my book "You Can Have a Happy Family: Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children" will be FREE on Amazon. This giveaway will run from Monday (2/11) - Thursday (2/14).
"You Can Have A Happy Family, is an emergency rescue manual for ANY relationship, no matter how far down your situation has sunk." ~ Pastor Chuck Balsamo, Author of Make Me A Legend
I don't have time to reread books in my busy life, but I am in the process of reading her book - again. ~CandidKerry
I loved reading Amanda Beth's book. It's a blessing and I plan on reading it again. ~LuvMyKindle
This powerful faith-based book is a must read for every family. It grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go till I had turned the last page. I wish this book were required reading for every couple about to be married. As the back cover says, GOD CAN...a thought to carry with you every day. ~Author Jo Huddleston
My husband taught my son another lesson today on the power of prayer. My son is a daddy's boy. He loves to follow my husband and help him with whatever he's doing. Our water heater broke today, and we thought we would have to call someone to fix it. My husband decided to try something he read online first to see if he could fix it himself. A few minutes later my son comes running up the stairs to tell me God fixed our water heater.
Before my husband did anything to our heater, he told my son they should pray about it first. After they prayed, my husband tried what he read online, and it worked! This was a great opportunity to show our children to rely on God for everything, even something as small as fixing a broken water heater.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My ebook version of "You Can Have a Happy Family" is FREE to download Today and Thursday (2/8-2/9) on Amazon to celebrate National Marriage Week. To also celebrate National Marriage Week, I'll be featuring messages on marriage and family this week. Today's message is by Dr. Ann, author of the popular blog: The Marriage Checklist - Dr. Ann's guide to growing a great marriageI have been following her blog for a few months now. Ann has a wonderful heart for the Lord and her family. Her messages are both heartfelt and relevant to what families are experiencing today. If this message blesses you, be sure to leave Ann an encouraging comment below.
What Everyone Should Tell Their Kids About Hooking-Up
Does the hook-up culture surprise you?
It doesn’t surprise me.
As a culture, we prize independence and choice. This trend applies to everything: from how we decide what stuff to buy, to how we approach our relationships.
Case in point: one of the biggest trends in marriage today is, well, marriage not.
The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, has identified a growing group of “non-married adults cohabiting.” (The old term: shacking up.) Many don’t feel that the benefits of marriage are worth the price of commitment.
This trickles down into the young adult world, and feeds the hook-up culture.
Here’s what I think we should tell our kids about it:
God’s design for marriage isn’t about you getting what you want. It’s about giving. Committed and full life giving to one other person: emotionally, physically, fiscally, legally, socially. A whole bunch of -ally’s.
Through giving, we grow. We are changed. That’s the plan God has for our hearts.
There is really no other relationship like marriage.
It’s not an easy plan, though, and I can understand trying to get around it. There are many ways to do so. And hooking-up is one of them.
In hooking-up, sex gets separated from full life commitment. This unbundles the design that God created for sex. Hooking-up really shouts: “What can I get out of you without having to completely give to you?”
Our kids need us to help them stop and pause over that one: “Is that what makes a good friend? A good spouse?”
There are lots of resources out there for how to introduce the topic of sex to kids of various ages. But this is a different and equally crucial conversation.
This conversation is about the Godly intertwining of love, sex, and commitment.
It should match what your kids can understand. Start low and go slow, is the old dictum in medicine.
But start! Now is better than never.
Start the conversation.
Question: Do you talk to your kids about the meaning of sex in love and marriage? About the hook up culture? What do you say?
Dr. Ann is a Christian M.D., wife to a fantastic husband, and mom to a lively gang of three. At The Marriage Checklist Ann blogs about marriage, motherhood, and more! She helps women build better life balance and grow great marriages. Ann will soon be a Crosswalk.com blogger, and has been featured on BlogHer, Fox news, and Good Morning America. She loves that every day we can choose to take our best steps forward – for God, for the people in our lives, and for ourselves. Are you ready then? Let’s go!
You can read more from Dr. Ann at TheMarriageChecklist.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
For the easiest way to get her latest posts, sign-up here and get them sent directly to your mailbox.
Sometimes I feel like I'm running a hundred miles an hour in fifty different directions, but not getting anywhere. Do you ever feel that way?
Since having my fourth child two years ago, I've been worn down. It's almost impossible to do anything without having to constantly stop and take care of something. Even when I started typing this post, I had to stop and break up two fights, put one kid in time out TWICE, fix a broken toy, and clean up not one spill, but THREE spills (not joking!). A five minute post has now taken me two hours to type.
I often question why God would call me to the writing ministry when half the time I can't think clear enough to call my children by their right names.
I laughed as a mom of three toddlers told me she’s so mentally and physically exhausted when her kids go to bed that she turns on the television so she doesn't have to use her brain.
Through the exhaustion and craziness, God has been reminding me this is just a phase, and it won’t last forever. My kids will grow and then I'll miss these days, so I might as well enjoy them now.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Stepping away for a few minutes to be with God each day helps me re-energize. My husband's walked into our closet or our bathroom and found me hiding out for a moment to catch my breath. I often drive to the stores that are further away so I can have a few more minutes of peace and quiet to be alone with God.
I believe God has given mothers special grace to raise their children with joy in the midst of chaos. So when your kids are wearing you down, know that you’re not alone. Slip away for a moment and receive the grace God has available for you.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Today I spent 15 minutes and $5.00, and made a world of difference in two darling girl's lives.
When my daughter and her friend get together they are so creative. They usually plan for days what they are going to do before their play dates. Today, they created a gift shop and beauty salon. They've been planning this one for weeks, making signs, jewelry, hair accessories, and craft items to be ready for their shop. They were so excited when I accepted their invitation to browse their store, and even more excited when I purchased several of their adorable "handcrafted" items.
Soon after, my husband and sons followed me, bringing their wallets, mostly buying the delicious treats (Kool-Aid and Jello) the girls were selling.
After the boys left, I got my nails done at their salon while watching them design and make my beautiful feathered headband, that I will definitely wear! :)
After I checked out and paid for my items, my daughter and her friend expressed how nice it was that we came to their shop. They spend a lot of time preparing for these kind of things, so they were glad we weren't too busy to take the time to come.
I never want to miss an opportunity to do as Jesus did and take the time to make a child feel important. I believe my daughter and her friend will always remember that my husband and I took that time to invest in their interests. And hopefully it will have a positive impact on their lives.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I was talking to a friend recently. She went to her pediatrician and asked for advice on raising her children. Her pediatrician looked at her in all seriousness and asked, "Do you want your kids not to be messed up? Do you want them to turn out good?"
"Of course," she replied. So he proceeded, "You and your husband act like you have the best relationship in front of your children, no matter what. After you put your kids to bed, then let it out. But don't let them see it."
Then he laughed and said, "Don't ask me how to have a good marriage, though, I'm divorced."
I love this man's honesty. Though I wouldn't recommend his advice on faking it, I do agree that a loving marriage will have a significant positive impact on our children.
So with the Lord's leading, my mission this Christmas is to help strengthen marriages through my book "You Can Have a Happy Family."
In "You Can Have a Happy Family," I don't show you how to FAKE a happy marriage. I show you how to HAVE a happy marriage.
From now until the end of the year, I put the cheapest price that my publisher will allow on both the Kindle and Paperback versions of my book. The book will go up to the price it is in stores ($14.99) on January 1, 2012. My GOAL is to sell 100 COPIES by the end of 2011 to give families the Biblical tools they need to HAVE the marriage God desires. I also plan to donate 10 copies to SRL Ministries in Switzerland to distribute at their upcoming conference in January.
This is where I need your help! You can help families thrive in the new year by sharing this post on your social and media networks, and/or buying copies of "You Can Have A Happy Family" to give as gifts for Christmas. You can also give the kindle version as a gift and email it to your family and friends. Leave a comment below that you are posting this promo on your social networks and I'll enter your name into a drawing for a chance to WIN a great gift package of books and gift cards!! You get TWO ENTRIES into the drawing if you BUY my book (you must let me know in your comment).Winner Package includes: Paperback signed copy of "How To Enjoy An Abundant Health" by Serge Roux-LevratHardcover signed copy of "Make Your Life Worth Living" by Serge Roux-Levrat Hardcover signed copy of "The Father's Love" by Dave Moore Paperback copy of "Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks" by Warren Baldwin $15 AMC movie Gift Card$15 Starbucks Gift Card *The winner will be announced on this blog on December 31st!
Paperback version (on the left) is only $8.94 (Amazon offers free shipping on orders over $25).
Ebook version (on the right) is only $2.99.
You can also buy copies directly from me through the "Buy Now" tab below. The more books you buy, the lower the price is per book. S&H is already included in the price for U.S. residents. An additional charge will be added for all other countries.
Follow this link to see what readers are saying about "You Can Have a Happy Family." Please use the Twitter and Facebook tabs below to help spread the word. I need your help to make this 100 copy goal by December 31, 2011! Don't forget to LEAVE A COMMENT to enter to WIN the GIFT PACKAGE.Thank you and God bless you for supporting godly marriages! "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Christmas Book Giveaways!!!
I am posting marriage and family book giveaways this week. You still have time to enter the last two giveaways. Follow these links to enter: 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference by Penny Zeller, and Mission Possible – Spiritual Covering (Believing for your husband's salvation) by Deborah McCarragher. All winners will be announced on Saturday, December 10th. Today's giveaway is for Misty Gatlin's devotional book: The Real You: Daily Readings for Daughters of the KingThis book is great for teenage girls, but I was blessed by it as well. I think we all need to be reminded often how beautiful we are in the eyes of the Lord. Misty did an excellent job comparing how God sees us as opposed to the world's view of beauty.
The Real You: Daily Readings for Daughters of the King
Captivating and eye opening, this short study equips the reader with confidence in who she is and who she was created to be. Young women today struggle with self-image in almost every area of life. Through real, relatable stories and scriptures to strengthen confidence, this 14-day study is great to do alone or in a small group setting.
Misty Gatlin is a Christian writer, teacher, youth leader, and public speaker. Her passion is to help young adults find confidence in their own identity in Christ. Misty is a member of Milestone Church in Keller, TX. She and her husband, Eric, have been married for 10 years and have two children. You can learn more about Misty, her books, her speaking, and read her blog at: www.mistygatlin.com You can also follow Misty at:
Facebook Misty Gatlin (Author)**To enter to win The Real You: Daily Readings for Daughters of the King leave a comment below and include your email address. For an ADDITIONAL ENTRY into the drawing, let me know that you "LIKE" Misty's Facebook page. The winner will be announced December 10th.
**This giveaway is only open to those who reside in the U.S.
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual
gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
—Proverbs 22:6, AMP
Training our children in the way they should go seems to be an overwhelming task. Yet I have learned it doesn’t have to be. I strongly believe that we train our children by how we live our lives. When we love God and follow Him daily, our children will benefit. Our lives have the greatest impact on our children. They follow what they see in us—the good and the bad.
We have to ask ourselves, do our children see us practicing what we preach? Are we the same at home as we are in front of those we want to impress? Do our children see us being kind, loving, and merciful to others in church, but act the opposite way at home? I believe this is the main reason many high school graduates fall away from the church. Parents are not being godly examples at home.
As I was once asking God to show me how I could help and bless others, I felt Him tell me to bless my children. Whenever I heard a preacher preach on being a blessing to others, and giving ourselves to serve others, and building others up, I didn’t relate it to my children. God showed me that the home is where it starts. Why would God want me to serve Him in ministry helping others when I was not ministering to my own family? One of the qualifications for ministry is to treat and manage our families well.
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
—1 Timothy 3:4-5
Paul was speaking about the overseer of a church. However, I believe it applies to anyone in Christ. God will not call us to step out in ministry without first teaching us how to treat and manage our families. Some Christians ignore this to step out and serve, but they hurt their families in the process.
When we are in ministry helping others, we feel good about ourselves. It’s humbling, however, when you are called to bless and serve your children. And I don’t mean in the literal sense. No one praises you for being a blessing to your children, because your children most likely won’t realize it until they are grown.
When asked if there was anything missing from childhood that people gave their children, one woman replied, “My parents were awesome! I want to be just like them!” That is what I want every one of my children to say when they are grown.
Many of those surveyed said they needed their parents to model a relationship with Christ. When we consistently live our lives for Christ, our children will likely follow. If they do end up rebellious and choose not to follow Christ, at least we have done what we could to show them the way. They will have that foundation to come back to when they find out the world’s way doesn’t work. They will see by our lives that Jesus is the only way.
If your children are grown and you haven’t allowed God to work in you, you can start right now. You can be a witness to them. They will see the changes God brings about in your life as you follow Jesus with an undivided heart. It is never too late for God to turn things around in your family. He is more than able. *This message was taken from my book You Can Have a Happy Family.
My blog (Sharing Truths), Proverbs and Wisdom, and Follow 4 Bible Study are joining together in the 31 Days of Prayer movement for the month of November. Will you join us this week by praying for children? Click on the tab below to grab a prayer button to add to your website.
My husband and I started building our home about nine years ago. We built it ourselves so it took us over two years to complete. During the build we lived with my parents for four months, my in-laws for a year, and an apartment for a year. Because we had a low budget we tried to only contract out what we couldn't do ourselves. I remember hanging off a ladder painting the trim on our roof while being pregnant.
I remember my daughter's wardrobe consisting of paint and drywall stained clothes. I remember every weekend gathering as many family members as we could to help. I remember my mother-in-law spending weeks insulating the entire house. And no, we are not cruel. She really offered and seriously wanted to do it!
I remember moving into our unfinished house less than a month before my due date. I remember being upset that my water broke the day I planned to paint our bathroom. I remember coming home from the hospital and having people come to visit while trying to maneuver through construction supplies. My husband and I dedicated every free moment we had and worked hard to build our house. Now, seven years later, our beautiful home is slowly being destroyed by four little tornadoes.
However, God has taught us that even though we worked hard, the joy we have with our children is worth infinitely more than our house.Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy (or kids), and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21, emphasis mine).
Though our house is wasting away, God is building our family upon the indestructible foundation of His love. So as much as it frustrates us to see another thing in our house destroyed, we have to remind ourselves where our true treasures lie—in living for Christ and enjoying the family God has given us.
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
How about you? Are your children little tornadoes too? Please tell me I am not alone!
*Next week is my other blog's (Sharing Truths) one year anniversary! I will be featuring six different authors and a giveaway each day. I will have signed copies from Gary & Norma Smalley, Penny Zeller, Chuck Balsamo, Dave Moore, Deborah Bateman(ebook), and yours truly-Amanda Beth! Come to this website or Sharing Truths next Monday for the first giveaway.
I stumbled upon Sundi Jo Graham's website the other day. She shared this prayer request:I want to introduce you to a little girl who desperately needs your prayers. Meet Lilly. She’s a newborn. Right now she is suffering.From meningitis to strokes, doctor’s are giving her family no hope. Man is telling them that she will not survive. Medicine says “sorry, there is nothing more we can do.”
Need I say more?
- Raised a dead man to life
- Parted the red sea
- Made manna fall from Heaven
- Fed 5,000 people with a loaf of bread and fish
I haven’t ceased praying for this precious little girl and I am asking for your prayers as well.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:20,
“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” MSG
God is still in control. God still takes action. Though I don’t know what His plans are, I am praying in faith that little Lily will show man they are wrong.
Will you pray with me?
The very next day, she posted this message:
Yesterday I posted a prayer request on the blog for Baby Lily. Within a few hours, hundreds of you responded and took prayer action.
For anyone that is still in doubt about the power of prayer, read this note from Lily’s grandmother, Judy.
“I want you to know that in addition to the thousands of wonderful people praying for Lily that yesterday my granddaughter, Abby, (Lily’s older sister who is 15 now) stood in front of her church and told everyone Lily’s story. It just so happened that a man who travels the world and has a healing ministry was looking for a church to attend for a sunday service, and happened to land at Abby’s church.. He was so moved by her words he asked to speak to her .. He told her grandfather about his work for the Lord and said that he needed to see this beautiful little baby.. he arrived at the hospital at 6:00 pm.. he asked that we all join hands and started praying for her.. he wasn’t there long , he was a very humble man , he hugged us all and then left.. about 30 minutes later Lily started breathing 25 breaths per minute on her own… She hadn’t been able to breathe more than a few a day up and until that point.. Her beautiful little eyes that have been so swollen that she couldn’t open them if she had been able started to lose there puffiness and within an hour her eyes were wide open.. She has continued through the night to breath 25 breaths per minute and was awake again this morning looking straight at her mommy… Please remember this child is heavily sedated and there is no logical reason for her to even be able to stay awake…. I , we , believe we witnessed a true miracle last night.. We believe there was a healing.. Continued prayers are needed as she has a very long way to go.. Thank you Jesus… And thanks to all who pray for our little Lily ………”
Blessings to all
Judy (Lily’s grandmother)
Please continue to pray with me and hundreds of others as God continues to move mountains with Baby Lily. As a mom, this especially touches my heart. I have seen my daughter pass out in my arms, not knowing if she was would wake up. I have seen my baby rushed to the hospital to be put on a respirator because he wasn't breathing well. This is every parents nightmare.But God tells us, "Do not fear. I am with you." "I forgive all your sins, heal all your diseases, redeem your life from the pit, and crown you with love and compassion." Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 103:3-4 God is so faithful to send His servant to administer healing to baby Lily! Will we be faithful when God sends us to heal someone? Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
I have witnessed God's healing power through His Spirit in me many times. I've stood over my aunt dying in the hospital standing firm on God's promises that He was faithful to heal. I have prayed countless times over my children's sickness and wounds and seen God's miraculous healing...sometimes instant, sometimes several days. I have seen my niece and my nephews miraculously healed and the doctors left speechless. I have seen my husband healed instantly several times from head pains and sicknesses.I don't understand everything about healing, but I know God's Word is true. Mark 16:17-18 says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Imagine how many non-believers would turn to Christ if we asked God to use us to heal the sick!! They would physically see God's power in their lives. Would you stand with me and pray for God to use us in a powerful way to heal the sick?We praise you God for Your healing power over baby Lily. May there be many more stories of healing in the days to come. Use us Lord to heal the sick and bring Jesus to the lost. Show us the power that is inside of us through Your Holy Spirit! The devil has no hold on us. We have power over him and his agents through the blood of Jesus. Help us to stand firm on your promises and may the world see the glory of the Lord shine through us!
In Jesus' precious name, Amen!