Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | November 7, 2017

Turning struggles into strengths

messSheila Walsh is one of my favorite authors because she is real.  She doesn’t pretend to be perfect. Her life has been tough, but she lives and shares it with grace because she truly wants to help others.

“In the Middle of the Mess” encourages us to face our deepest hurts instead of waiting for things to get better.  Walsh shows us how confession, prayer and meditation on Scripture can help us get close to God and find love and acceptance.

My favorite quote from her book is:

“When we fall in the middle of life’s mess,
we get back up, and we keep walking in
sacrificial work and obedience to Christ.”

If you are struggling in your life or your Christian walk, “In the Middle of the Mess” will speak volumes of wisdom into your life.  We will never be perfect on earth, but we can be held by Jesus no matter our circumstances.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | November 6, 2017

Enchanted Christmas on Hallmark Channel

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Can you feel it? That little edge of crispness in the air and the undercurrent of excitement in the stores? The holidays are right around the corner and you know what that means. Decorations, baking and family? Uh…no. It’s time to tuck into snuggly pajamas, grab a steaming cup of cocoa and curl up on the couch with your favorite holiday movies!

Every year, Hallmark Channel outdoes itself on the family movie front and this year is no different. With TWENTY-ONE new holiday features premiering on the network’s “Countdown to Christmas” this season, there is plenty of sweet, family friendly goodness to go around.

One of these movies in particular has piqued my interest. It’s called Enchanted Christmas*. Here’s the description of the movie:

Young widow, Laura Trudeau (played by Alexa PenaVega) was a remarkable dancer. Now working as a project manager in LA, she is tasked to renovate a rundown hotel lodge, in her hometown of Rosemont, Utah and have it ready by Christmas eve. She is stunned to run into her former love and dance partner Ricardo Archuleta, (Carlos PenaVega) who she discovers is in rehearsals for The Christmas Eve shows grand finale, with his new dance partner Taylor (Chelsie Hightower, “Dancing with the Stars”).  When Taylor has an audition abroad, Laura once again finds herself back in Ricardo’s arms. Feelings are rekindled, and with both the hotel opening and the show in jeopardy, Laura has to make some difficult decisions, both personally and professionally.

You can check out the trailer here.   http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/videos/preview-enchanted-christmas

Doesn’t that look great? Who doesn’t love ballroom dancing? And you throw in Christmas? Seriously! 

If you thought you recognized the main character, Laura, you probably did. Alexa PenaVega skyrocketed to fame in the Spy Kids series of movies. Now she’s all grown up and co-starring with her husband, Carlos PenaVega. They even contributed their musical talents by recording one of the songs for the movie. Is there anything they can’t do?

Enchanted Christmas airs on November 12th on Hallmark Channel at 8:00 pm/7:00 central. Don’t miss it!

*Enchanted Christmas is a Mission Pictures International and Gabriel Productions, LLC production. Cindy Bond and Gene Davis serve as Executive producers. James Wilberger and Jarrod Phillips are producers. Terry Cunningham directed from a script by Rick Garman and Catherine Y. Friday.  #HallmarkChannel #EnchantedChristmas #CountdowntoChristmas #Missionpicturesintl

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 31, 2017

KJV Know the Word Study Bible

kjvMy favorite part of the KJV Know the Word Study Bible is the book introductions which include a one-sentence summary, how to study the book and highlights from the book.  These highlights give more insight helping you learn more about the particular section you are reading.

Know the Word Study Bible,will help you do more than just read. You will learn what makes the book important to the rest of the Bible, how to study each book with the theme in mind and think about what each passage is trying to convey.

You are presented with three different ways to study–book by book, verse by verse and topic by topic (covering 21 theological topics).

The Know the Word Study Bible will equip you to study the Bible on your own and help you dig deeper into God’s Word for spiritual growth.

This is going to be a favorite study Bible and perfect for the person who wants to learn how to study the Bible.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 25, 2017

“Hope Prevails” Bible Study–help for depression

hope prevailsIn 2016, I reviewed “Hope Prevails“, a book about depression written by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, a board-certified neuropsychologist who offers a unique perspective as someone who not only treats patients with depression but also suffered from debilitating depression herself.  She blended her training and her personal experience to help others find a hope that prevails in the darkness.

A year later, she is releasing a companion Bible study blending her insights with practical advice and a proven method to fight depression and find hope and healing.

If you are seeking tangible help for depression, the small investment in her book and Bible study will be well worth the money spent.  It won’t be easy.  Dr. Bengtson’s book and Bible study will ask you to do hard but necessary tasks.  You will have to face your fears, your past and yourself.  You will have to work hard, but it will be worth it. She is proof that her method works. From Scripture memorization to prayer, you will find peace and hope in God’s Word.

You will not find a better way to deal with the underlying causes of depression if you just manage symptoms.  There is hope for a true release from the grip of depression.  If you or someone you know is depressed, buy these books.  if it is you, focus on getting better with Dr. Bengtson’s help.  If it is someone you know, work through the Bible study together, encourage them and help them find the hope that prevails. It will be well-worth it, don’t you think?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of the launch team for “Hope Prevails Bible Study”. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 13, 2017

Living God’s Word one step at a time

walkEvery chapter of Tricia Goyer’s “Walk It Out” is powerful, but I was especially impacted by Chapter 3 “Creating White Space, Crafting Purpose”. If you are overwhelmed by our calendar, to-do lists and commitments, Goyer offers wisdom and guidance on how to create white space to rest and plan your days with the right priorities for you. I can’t wait to implement her ideas.

But “Walk It Out” is not all about you. It is about radically living God’s Word one step and one day at a time by putting God and others first. It’s about finding peace and joy in serving rather than being served.

Although Goyer makes it look easy, she knows it isn’t.  She’s had her own struggles and, as transparent and honest as she can be, she shares them with us.  Each chapter ends with reflection questions and action steps encouraging you to walk out what you learn from Goyer and your own understanding of biblical truth.

This isn’t a book that will leave you unchanged. You will be convicted to live your life the way God intended–dependent on Him for every step you take.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of the launch team for “Walk It Out”. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 10, 2017

Discover new joy this Christmas

advent“Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet few of our calendars would reflect that priority,” says Asheritah Ciuciu, author of “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus”.  Ciuciu didn’t grow up observing Advent and first encountered the idea as a young college student.  But the age-old tradition baffled her at first.

How many of us want Christmas to be joyful and peaceful but spend our time exhausted and frustrated rather than getting closer to God and spreading the joy of the season?

Ciuciu has developed an Advent plan hinging on the names of Jesus–The Resurrection and the Life, Messiah, Great High Priest, Lamb of God and more–that will help us rediscover Christ and receive new joy this Christmas.  The book includes an outline for family celebrations of Advent as well as discussion questions, service-oriented activities and creative projects.

Ciuciu helps us find awe and wonder at who Jesus is and helps us find joy in the season of exhaustion.  I can’t wait to share this devotional with my family this Christmas, and I am sure it will help us refocus our minds and lead to greater joy and awesome wonder.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Side Door Communications, as part of Moody Publishers  Book Review Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 6, 2017

A holy departure from fast faith

sacred slow“The Sacred Slow” by Alicia Britt Chole contains 52 experiences divided into 12 movements.  Its purpose is to show readers that God simply wants to love them and help them develop a nearness to God.

At first, I thought I was not going to like this book.  It felt like too much.  But as I continued to read, I realized how valuable Dr. Chole’s ideas are not only to our Christian walk but in all of our personal relationships.  When we accept God’s love for us, we are better able to give love to others.

There is a reason it’s called “The Sacred Slow”. This book can’t be quickly moved through.  It will take time–as much time as you need–12 weeks or 52 weeks, whichever way you decide to move through it.

The last part of the book is a guide for those who want to facilitate a group. It is very in-depth and thorough.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 6, 2017

Finding God in the overwhelming

overwhelmedMost women I know are overwhelmed–either by life, by work, by kids, by everything that must be done. Hayley DiMarco, author of “A Woman Overwhelmed”, has lived a life overwhelmed and decided there had to be a way out.  She sought to find the exit and shares her insight with us.  First of all, her chapter titles are awesome and hysterical at the same time. There’s no better activity than laughter in the midst of a stressful moment.  My favorites are “I see perfect people” and “I have a problem with stupid people”.  Who doesn’t like a little honesty?

Did you know that having to be in control is the first step toward overwhelmed?  The best part of the book is the Points to Ponder.  Get a journal, read the book, work through the points to ponder and get out of overwhelmed. It may take awhile but prayer and hard work never hurt anybody.  Take your time. Changing old habits is a process not a miracle.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 6, 2017

Counseling benefits from the teachings of Martin Luther

counselingChristian counseling can benefit from the wisdom and teaching of Martin Luther who not only reformed theology but also changed the way he approached pastoral counseling.  Bob Kellemen’s “Counseling Under the Cross” offers real-life stories and quotes from Luther to show how applying the Gospel to suffering and sin can help us find our hope in Christ.

If you are a pastor or Christian counselor, your ministry will benefit from the advice Kellemen has gathered from the work and ministry of Martin Luther.  Luther’s application of the Gospel to his daily life and ministry is an example of how it can be used today to benefit those who need hope in their suffering.

Kellemen’s book is geared towards counselors and pastors.  I found portions of the book very interesting and helpful, but at times it seemed to be drawn out and tedious.  I recommend this book to anyone who counsels others regularly.  It will be a helpful resource for your ministry.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 5, 2017

Unresolved mystery links three generations

MaggieWhen she was 11 years old, Hazel DeFord turned her back on her three-year-old sister, Maggie, and in an instant, she was gone. Without a trace.  The mystery followed her for 70 years and defined her as a mother to Diane, who could never understand why her mother was so overprotective and smothering.  As a grandmother, she was doting and affectionate.  Her granddaughter, Meghan, could never understand the relationship her mom had with Hazel.

While recovering from an automobile accident, Meghan goes to her grandmother’s house to recuperate.  Her mother has decided to show up with her three dogs. Meghan plans to create a scrapbook of memories and discovers her grandmother’s secret.  She convinces her grandmother to let her search for Maggie.  The investigation leads her back to Hazel’s hometown where secrets are discovered.

“Bringing Maggie Home”, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, is an excellent story that read like fiction based on a true story.  It is easy to identify with all three women, and cheer them on.  It plays with your emotions, so be prepared.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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