Holidays (Other), New Year's

Info., Reminders, and Announcements for the New Year

 

Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely holiday with family and friends and that Christ has blessed you with rest and worship.

As we get things kicked off for the new year here on the blog, I wanted to share some information, reminders, and announcements with you.

🎉 Are you new to my blog? Here’s some quick info. to help you get acclimated.

🎉 If my blog and resources have been helpful to you and you’d like to bless my family with a gift, please click here. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated.

If you’ve utilized my Financial Support page (tab at the top of this page, link in sidebar) in the past, you’ll notice I’ve added an option for Patreon. Just to make things a little more fun, you get to “vote with your pocketbook” on which teacher I’ll be writing a discernment article on next when you sign up for your preferred tier of monthly giving.

🎉 If you don’t already follow one or more of my social media pages, come join in the fellowship! Here are all of my social media links.

🎉 Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’m planning to start our new Bible study – an expository study of a New Testament book – on Wednesday, January 15.

🎉 Also resuming soon will be Project Breakdown. I’ve finished volume 1, so it’s on to volume 2!

🎉 Are you listening to A Word Fitly Spoken yet? Amy and I would love for you to join us on your favorite podcast platform.

🎉 Need a speaker for a women’s conference, retreat, or other event? Looking for a guest for your podcast? I still have slots available on my calendar for 2020. Click here for more information.

🎉 And speaking of conferences, how would you like to attend a conference I’ll be speaking at? Check out my speaking engagement calendar and register at a conference near you!

🎉 Would you be interested in writing for me? Write a guest post about a biblical topic or an area of ministry you’re passionate about, or write up your personal testimony of how the Lord saved you or how He has been working in your life for Testimony Tuesday. Interested? Drop me an e-mail and let’s chat about it.

🎉 Would anyone be interested in helping me out on a small project? It’s basically the blog equivalent of helping me sort through a file cabinet and move some of the files to another cabinet. You don’t have to have any special theological knowledge, and the only technical knowledge you need to have is the ability to navigate a website and the ability to send me a few emails. It should only take a few hours and can be done at your leisure. If interested, drop me an email and I’ll fill you in.

Thank you so much for your loyal readership and the kind words so many of you have encouraged me with. You are such a blessing to me, and it is my honor to serve you through writing and resources. May we all strive to please our Lord Jesus Christ together in 2020, and may this be the year of His coming.

Christmas, Holidays (Other)

Holy Holidays: 90 Christian-Owned Businesses to Support while You Christmas Shop

It’s (almost) Black Friday! Time to shop til you drop…into your favorite comfy chair, fire up ye olde internet, and check out the deals at these businesses owned by some of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

There’s nothing wrong with shopping at a big box store that’s advertising great deals  or supporting the mom and pop shop down the street, but if you see something you like for a good price at one of these online stores, why not throw a little business to family? Galatians 6:10 says:

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

See an opportunity? Grab it and do good to someone in the household of faith.

all the disclaimers:

🎄 Here’s how this list came about: I put out a general call on my Facebook page saying that I wanted to put this article together and asked for people to recommend Christian-owned businesses. Well, you know how things on social media get shared around to a friend of a friend and aunt Myrtle’s third cousin’s step-nephew’s veterinarian. So what I’m saying is, while the people who recommended or own these businesses say that these are Christian-owned businesses, I can’t vouch for the actual, day to day spiritual state of any of the recommenders or owners. I’ve checked out each web site as best I can to make sure none of them promote anything unbiblical (giving the benefit of the doubt when possible – these are gifts, not sermons), but I can’t tell you whether or not Stan of “Stan’s Snow Shovels” is a faithful member of his local church.

•If the theology of the business owner is extremely important to you, I urge you to contact him/her directly to inquire before making your purchase.

•I would strongly encourage you to thoroughly vet the theology of any Christian author or musician listed below whose book, music, or other materials you’re considering purchasing.

🎄 These are Christian-owned businesses, but the products they make are not all necessarily “Christian” (i.e. they don’t all have Bible verses or Christian sayings on them).

🎄 Take the category listings below loosely. If you’re looking for something specific, take a look at as many of these businesses as you can, because most of them carry more than one type of product (ex: jewelry and wall art, apparel and home decor). I’ve tried to categorize them according to the main product type they sell, but many are quite eclectic. You might find the coffee mug you’re looking for under the “apparel” category.

🎄 Several of these businesses are carried over from last year’s article. A few of them seem as though they may have taken a hiatus (i.e. no social media posts for months). Check with the owner to make sure she’s still in business, and if you find out that she’s definitely not, please let me know so I can remove the business.

🎄 Some of these businesses are based outside the U.S. Be aware of this with regard to shipping costs, time, etc. when ordering.

 

A Faith Creation

Bates Sisters Boutique

Cordoba Leather

Epiphany Boutique

Hadley’s Crafts

Handmade By Nats

Studio T

SunnyPatch Boutique

Babies/Kids/Maternity/Nursing

A Great Baby

His Kids Company

Little Bears Crochet Den

Miranda Williams Custom Gowns

Prairie Sweater Co.

SewBlessedFarm

Threadlynn

 

Dapper and Darling

Hope Ink

Mariah Hatfield

Parvis Florum

Rebecca Lynne Kinane

 

Go Forth Goods

GW Tactical

Knightly Krafts

Lila’s Laundry

Tatted Lace by Hannah Grace

 

(See “Music and Audio” category for Christian music and audio.)

Banner of Truth

Books by Corine

Christian Tools of Affirmation

Crew + Co.

Crossway

Eternal Gift Store

Grace & Truth Books

Grace to You

Gospel Grown

Initially Blessed

Inspired by Jennifer

Inspiritional Design

Light of Faith Resources

Ligonier

Little Things Studio

Living Waters

Love in Faith Clothing

Missional Wear

New Growth Press

Not Consumed

Raising Real Men

Scripture Type

SDG Clothing

Six Notes Clothing Co.

Sola Gratia

Solid Ground Christian Books

Theology & Co.

Westminster Bookstore

Wrath and Grace

Wretched

 

Five Lakes Coffee

Reformed Roasters

 

Beaded by Rae

Chapter and Verse Studios

Copperhead Creek Studio

Created For His Glory

C. Schreier Designs

Eight22 Crafts

HannerBea

Prairie Homegoods

Table Decor and More

Handlettered Truth

The Little French Market

 

Be Blessed Endeavours

Blessed Hope Nepal

The Dream Corner Shop

Girl Ran Away

Pretty Little Bouquets

Sweet Lemon Art

Tabitha Artisans

 

Gum Creek Boards

 

(*=NOT Christian music/audio)

Jonathan Park Audio Adventures

Laura Saeler

Leah*

Majesty Music

Seeds Family Worship

The Victory Trio

 

Butterflyers

Fireside Cottage Gifts

Lyndsey Draws Co.

ROC Paper Scissors

 

Blossom’s Barn

Horse Creek Soap Co.

Zambeezi

 

Daisy’s Barking Bandana

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

🎄 Can’t find what you need here? Amazon has a great program called Amazon Smile. It allows you to designate a charity that will receive a percentage of every purchase you make. There are scads of Christian organizations to choose from: churches (maybe even yours!), ministries, missions organizations, pro-life organizations, and others.

🎄 Check out Tim Challies’ Black Friday 2019 Deals for Christians.

🎄 Want to explore more Christian businesses? Try the Christian Business Referral Network for a wide variety of products and services.


What’s your favorite Christian-owned online business for Christmas gifts?

Comment below (please include the business’ website)
and maybe it will be included on next year’s list.

(No multi-level marketing type businesses
– ex: Pampered Chef, essential oils, Tupperware – please.)

Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of us in the United States, today is Thanksgiving Day. I hope you all have a lovely day with family and friends giving thanks to God for all of the ways He has blessed you.

I’ve got a great list of Christian-owned online businesses coming your way this evening (5 p.m. Central) as we start thinking about Christmas shopping, so be sure to check in here at the blog before you head out to the stores for Black Friday.

See you next week, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving, Top 10

Top 10 Songs for Thanksgiving

Originally published November 18, 2016thanksgiving-songs

Isn’t Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday? It’s a whole day set aside for feasting and thanking God for all of the glorious things He has done for us. And what’s a celebration without great music? Here, in no particular order, are my top 10 picks for beautiful and joyful songs of Thanksgiving. (Click on the titles of the videos without screen lyrics for a lyric sheet in case you’d like to sing along!)

 

1. We Gather Together

It’s the iconic song of Thanksgiving, and for good reason. Now you might think it’s strange that I picked this particular rendition, but there’s just something awesome about a large group of men singing. I think they did a marvelous job.

 

2.  My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness

This was a new one for me this year, but it’s already a favorite. With its phenomenal theology and singability, this one is probably already a Thanksgiving staple in many churches.

3. Now Thank We All Our God 

“With hearts and hands and voices.” We thank God in our hearts and by singing and praying to Him, but let’s not forget to serve Him, and others, as an act of thanks as well.

 

4. Give Thanks

This song quickly became a Thanksgiving standard in the 90’s. I love the way it points us to the simple truth of being thankful for Christ.

 

5. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Sit down and read over the lyrics of this one if you have a moment. The hymnist beautifully weaves together the idea of harvest time and God’s provision for us with the idea that we are God’s “crop,” wheat and tares sown together. And one day “the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home.”

 

6. Thank You, Lord, for Saving my Soul

Did you know this song had verses? I have to say I feel a little cheated. I’ve been singing this song all my life and never knew of the three precious verses about thankfulness in this song. We need to bring them back!

 

7. For the Beauty of the Earth

How often do we forget to thank God for the simple things? The beauty of the earth, the love of family and friends, the church, and Christ, God’s best gift of all.

 

8. I Thank You, Lord

I’m sorry, but if this song doesn’t have you dancing across the kitchen with the turkey, you’d better check your praise thang to make sure it’s not broken. “I thank you Lord. You’ve been so good to me.” Not a thing wrong with that! (Sorry, I couldn’t find a lyrics sheet.)

 

10. He Has Made Me Glad

Drawn from Psalm 100 and 118, this sweet little song reminds us of the joy of simply being in God’s presence and thanking Him for who He is.

 

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving song,
or song of thanks and praise to God?


I HAVE NOT EXHAUSTIVELY VETTED THESE MUSICIANS AND SONGWRITERS. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO EXAMINE AGAINST SCRIPTURE ANY OF THEM YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE DOCTRINALLY SOUND.
Christmas, Holidays (Other)

Have Yourself an Awesome Little Advent 2019: 12 (Mostly FREE) Advent Devotionals, Activities, and Resources

Is your family getting ready for Advent? Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming. And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are some awesome Advent resources for young and old alike. Most of them are free, but the ones that aren’t, I’ve marked with a 💰.

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December Advent!– Here’s an advent calendar, craft, and devotional all rolled into one! Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study resource that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

 

Repeat the Sounding Joy– This Advent devotional by Christopher Ash on Luke 1-2 “will help you to celebrate afresh the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah in history, and learn what it means to wait for him with joyful expectation today. Each day’s reading includes a short reflection, a prayer, a carol, and space to journal…”. Get a $10 off (when you spend $20+) coupon here for The Good Book Co.💰

 

Need a good Advent playlist? I’ve created one on YouTube. Your favorite Advent (not Christmas) song isn’t included? Leave a comment (a link would be helpful) and I’ll add it if appropriate.

 

Joy To The World: Daily Readings For Advent– “In the midst of the business of December, take 5 minutes each day and let Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, warm your heart with joy that can only be found in the good news of Jesus Christ.” A 25-day Advent devotional guide.💰

 

 

Names of Jesus Advent Ornaments– One for each day, December 1-24. Create them on paper, cardboard, or wood, and study one of the names of Jesus each day leading up to Christmas. Free printables, too!

 

The Christmas Promise Advent Calendar– This “attractive lift-the-flap Advent Calendar for children 5-11 years old…comes with a booklet containing 25 devotions for December to help families explore the Bible together in the run up to Christmas.” Get a $10 off (when you spend $20+) coupon here for The Good Book Co.💰

 

Advent: A 31-Day Reading Plan– A “31-day Bible reading plan on ESV.org aimed at helping you enter into and reflect on the story of Advent this season.” Use it during your own quiet time or for family worship. You’ll need to start today in order to finish by Christmas Day.

 

Christmas Messages– Maybe sermons are more to your Advent listening liking than music. “In this set of Christmas sermons, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines the account of the Magi in the gospel according to Matthew and the relationship of David and Saul in order to unfold the significance of Christmas and the incarnation of Christ.”

 

Advent Crafts for Kids–  “Scripture-based crafts from Gail Schoonmaker’s book, Big Picture Bible Crafts, can provide an opportunity to do something with kids that will help you explain the Christmas story in a simple and interactive way.” Download two free crafts.

 

Advent at The End TimeElizabeth Prata has been hard at work on her Advent materials over at her blog, The End Time. Check out her series of articles each Monday during the Advent season, exploring “some of the less ‘famous’ characters or events in the Nativity story.” This series started on November 11, so you’ll want to get caught up! And starting this Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), watch for Thirty Days of Jesus, “Scripture pictures that progressively work through Jesus’ life from incarnation to ascension.” You could share them on social media or change your cover photo every day to celebrate the season!

 

25 Christmas Myths and What the Bible Says– Was Jesus Born on December 25? Did the angels really sing to the shepherds? And what about that inn keeper? In his recently updated book, 25 Christmas Myths…, Gabriel Hughes tackles some of the folklore and false assumptions that have sprung up around the Christmas story and shares what the Bible really teaches. One lesson for each day December 1-25. Get a sneak peek below. Audio is more your thing? Gabe discussed myths 1-10 from the book last year on his podcast. 💰

 

Who says crafts are just for kids? How about making an Advent mini-book for journaling your way through the themes and Scriptures of the Advent season? Use materials you have on hand or head out to the craft store, choose some Scripture passages to add, and create a charming, gospel-centered heirloom you can re-read each year. You might even want to use it along with the 31-Day Bible reading plan above! (The video below is part one of three. Part 2  Part 3)

 

What’s your favorite Advent resource?


I do not endorse anything on any of these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.