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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Nativity Story App Review

About The Nativity Story:
Where will baby Jesus be born? At the market? At a restaurant? At the inn? Readers of this book app can follow Joseph and Mary on their search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Along the way they encounter a variety of colorful local people and animals. This is a fun and engaging way to share the original story of Christmas with the young generation and remind them what Christmas is all about.
Great for kids 2-10

This is an app for iPhone or iPad.  The iPhone app is a "mini" version of the iPad app, and the price reflects the difference- $1.99 for the iPhone app and $3.99 for the iPad app.  

OBM says:  This app has a wonderful old-fashioned feel to it.  My 8 year old daughter loves it.  She really enjoys that she can either read the story or have it read to her.  then she can swipe the screen and have more dialogue take place or have other characters move, etc.  She loves virtual pop-up books, and this one is no exception.  I would definitely recommend it!  

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Four Blood Moons by John Hagee Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Worthy Publishing (October 8, 2013)

***Special thanks to Leeanna Case for sending me a review copy.***


John Hagee is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, as well as Jerusalem Countdown, which itself has sold over 1 million copies. He is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a nondenominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members, as well as the founder and president of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his radio and television teachings throughout America and in 249 nations worldwide. Hagee is also the founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, a grassroots national association with over one million members to date.

Visit the author's website.


 Inspired by NASA projections and recorded history, Pastor John Hagee reveals direct connections between four upcoming blood-moon eclipses and what they portend for Israel and all of humankind.

Over the last 500 years, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover three separate times. These occurrences were connected to some of the most significant days in Jewish history: 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were expelled from Spain), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence) and 1967 (the Six-Day War). Every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God, which signals coming events to humanity. There are no solar or lunar accidents. The next series of four blood moons occurs at Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015. In this riveting book, Hagee explores what these blood moons mean and why Christians must understand these signs and what they bode both for Israel and the world.

Joel 2 and Acts 2 both state: "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness [eclipse] and the moon into blood [eclipse] before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Worthy Publishing (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1617952141
ISBN-13: 978-1617952142


Signs in the Heavens

There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars. . . . Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
—Luke 21:25, 27–28

As the jet plane gracefully circled over the majestic beauty of Puget Sound, I looked out of the window at the tall and perfectly shaped spruce trees that surrounded a series of glistening lakes. Along the shoreline stood elegant homes with boat ramps and fishing docks extending from beautifully


manicured lawns. It was the American paradise that is the gorgeous state of Washington.
The wheels of the jet touched down on the runway with their familiar screech, which is always music to my ears. Every safe landing is a great landing!
The jet rolled to a stop. I unbuckled my seat belt, climbed down the steps, and was refreshingly jolted by the cool breeze on my face. I knew then we were far from the sweltering Texas heat! I began to focus on the reason I was here and what I was to say to the thousands that were gathering for the statewide Night to Honor Israel rally that evening.
Six years earlier, on February 6, 2006, I had invited four hundred of America’s foremost evangelical leaders to join me at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, to form a na- tional organization called Christians United for Israel. The purpose of our organization is to bring Christians and Jews together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and brotherly love, in order to emphasize that what we have in common is far greater than the differences we have allowed to separate us over the centuries.
If you are not currently a member of Christians United for Israel and desire to stand with Israel and the Jewish people, I strongly encourage you to join us today by going to
King David said, “You will arise and have compassion on
Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come” (Psalm 102:13 niv). . . . The appointed time is now!


Signs in the Heavens

why Should we Support iSrael?
If we are to correctly understand heavenly signs and wonders, it’s imperative we grasp the full scope of Scripture and history. The following are five biblical reasons why Christians should be grateful to, and show support for, the nation of Israel and the Jewish people:

1. god proMiSeS to BleSS thoSe who BleSS iSrael “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3). This is God’s pledge to Abraham and the Jewish people for all generations to come. God has promised to bless nations, churches, and individuals who do practical acts of kindness to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
Biblical evidence of God’s promised blessing is found in Luke 7, where a Roman centurion who had a sick servant wanted the Rabbi from Nazareth to come into his home and heal his servant. Jesus was an observant Jew; yet He would have to break the laws of Moses to enter the house of a Gen- tile, who was considered unclean.
The centurion—commander of a hundred soldiers—sent the Jewish elders to intercept Jesus. The elders begged Jesus earnestly, saying that the Roman centurion request was de- serving of Jesus’ healing, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue” (Luke 7:5).
Jesus healed the sick servant because a Gentile had



performed a practical act of kindness to bless Israel and the
Jewish people.
The Bible further supports God’s blessing on those who bless Israel with the evidence of Cornelius. Why were Cor- nelius and his household the first Gentiles to hear the gospel and to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? The answer is found in Acts 10:22, which describes Cornelius the centurion as “a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews.”
God performed a miracle to motivate the apostle Peter to go to the house of this unclean Gentile. Peter had a vision of a sheet (a prayer shawl) filled with unclean animals (Gentiles), and God commanded him not to call unclean what God had pronounced as clean (Acts 10:9–16). Peter obeyed the mes- sage of the vision and went, against religious tradition, to the house of a Gentile to present the gospel.
When Peter shared the gospel with the household of Cor- nelius, they all received salvation and were filled with the Holy Spirit, and then Peter commanded them to be baptized in wa- ter (Acts 10:44–48).
The Holy Spirit was poured out on Cornelius and his household because a Gentile did practical acts of kindness to bless the Jewish people, and true to His promise, God blessed him beyond measure.
I can testify personally that there is no human explana-
tion for the unprecedented blessing of God on Cornerstone


Signs in the Heavens

Church and John Hagee Ministries other than the fact that more than thirty years ago we decided to show practical acts of kindness for Israel and the Jewish people. Since that time, God has opened the windows of heaven and blessed us be- yond measure.
God’s promise is a fact: “I will bless those who bless you.”

2. we are coMManded to pray for the peace of JeruSaleM
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is not a request—it’s a command! “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6).
From God’s perspective, Jerusalem is the center of the uni- verse. Jerusalem is the city David conquered from the Jebusi- tes three thousand years ago, and it became the capital of Isra- el forever. May it always be the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, and may peace be within her walls and prosperity within her palaces (Psalm 122:7).
Jerusalem is where Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Mo- riah. Jerusalem is where Jeremiah and Isaiah penned prin- ciples of righteousness that became the moral compass for Western civilization. And outside of its gates Jesus Christ, the Son of David, was crucified for the sins of the world.
According to biblical prophecy, Jerusalem is the past, present, and future of the world! From this city, Jesus will rule
planet earth with a rod of iron, and of His kingdom there shall



be no end (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:33).
When you pray for Jerusalem, you are praying for world peace. History proves that when there is peace in Jerusalem, there is peace in the world. When there is war in Jerusalem, the blood flows on planet earth. The universe revolves around Jerusalem. I quote my friend Dr. Graham Lacey, “As long as there is Jerusalem there is God; and as long as there is God there is Jerusalem.”

3. we are coMManded to Be watchMen on the
wallS of iSrael
God commands us through the prophet Isaiah to be watch- men on the walls of Jerusalem (62:6). We are commanded by God, through the prophet Isaiah, to speak up and defend Is- rael and the Jewish people when they are slandered, attacked by their enemies, and are subjected to any callous act of anti- Semitism. Isaiah writes:

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest. . . .
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent.

(62:1, 6)


Signs in the Heavens

4. we are coMManded to MiniSter to iSrael in
Material thingS
Another biblical reason we support Israel is given by the apostle Paul: “For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things [the Jewish people], their duty [the Gentiles] is also to minister to them [the Jewish people] in material things” (Romans 15:27).
What are the “spiritual things” Paul is referring to?

• The Jewish people have given to us the written Word of God.
• The Jewish people have given to us the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
• The Jewish people have given to us the Old Testament prophets: Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habak- kuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
• The Jewish people have given to us the first family of Christianity: Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Take Jesus out of Christianity and there is no Christianity.
• The Jewish people have given to us the twelve disciples and the apostle Paul.

Consider the monumental contribution given to us by the seed of Abraham. For this reason Jesus said in John 4:22, “For salvation is of the Jews.”



If you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. Judaism does not need Chris- tianity to explain its existence; Christianity, however, cannot explain its existence without Judaism.
When I refer to Christianity I am referencing the teach- ings of Christ, which were based on the principles of Juda- ism—not the deeds of polluted historic Christianity.
Historic Christianity has left an evil legacy. It is responsible for the Crusades, in which Jewish people from Europe to Je- rusalem were slaughtered in seven major pogroms (crusades). The first crusade was declared by Pope Urban II in 1095. The Crusaders were rapists and thieves, forgiven in advance by the reigning pope for any sins they might commit while on their holy campaign to liberate Jerusalem from the “infidels.”
Not one Christian in a hundred today can answer the ques- tion: “How is it that Christianity, born through the teachings of a Jewish rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth, could three hundred years later kill Jews in the name of God?”
There is a dramatic difference between historic Christian- ity and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I publicly state that I am not a follower of historic Christianity; I am a follower of Jesus Christ!

5. JeSuS entreated the church to Support iSrael We should support Israel and the Jewish people because it was Jesus’ final request to His church. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40:


Signs in the Heavens

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren [the Jewish people], you did it to Me.

Jesus never called the Gentiles His brethren until after the cross. Before the cross we were, as described by the apostle Paul, outside the covenants of Israel, without God and with- out hope, of all men most miserable (Ephesians 2:12; 1 Cor- inthians 15:19).
Gentile Christians can look at the day of the cross and shout for joy. It was there we were grafted into the original olive tree (Romans 11:17). It was there our sins were forgiven, buried in the deepest sea, never to be remembered anymore (Jeremiah 31:34). It was there that our sicknesses and diseas- es were removed and we received divine health, for “by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
It was at the cross that Jesus took our poverty and gave to us the riches of Abraham. We who were “not a people” (1 Pe- ter 2:10) were adopted and became “kings and priests to His God” (Revelation 1:6), “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthi- ans 5:20), and have been taken from rags to royalty through the precious blood of the virgin-born, “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The curse of death, hell, and the grave was broken, and we were given eternal life; hallelujah for the cross!
God’s Gentile assignment toward the Jewish people is to
show them what they have not seen from historic Christianity



in two thousand years—the pure and unconditional love of

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works [practical acts of kindness] and glo- rify your Father in heaven.

(Matthew 5:16)

Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew
Jesus makes it very clear that it’s not what you feel about the Jewish people that is the acid test, for Jesus didn’t say, “I was hungry and you felt sorry for Me; I was thirsty and you felt concern for Me; I was a stranger and you felt pity for Me.” I often hear pastors, evangelists, and Christians say, “I really like Israel” or “I like the Jewish people.” Jesus couldn’t care less what you like or don’t like; He’s looking for action. What will you do? What practical acts of kindness have you or your church done to demonstrate your love for Israel as mentioned in Matthew
25:40? What action have you taken to support Israel?
Stop talking about what you feel . . . and start taking action by showing practical acts of kindness toward God’s chosen people. Simply put, “Don’t tell me you love me. Show me!”


OBM says:   A few months ago, my friend Cindy came up to me at church and asked me if I had read Four Blood Moons.  I told her no, in fact, I hadn't even heard of it.  And then I got an e-mail saying I had the opportunity to review it.  Believing there is no coincidence with God, I happily signed up!  Years ago, I had read another book that alluded to how we, as in humankind, had lost the art of reading the heavens for signs and not just for seasons.  That left a lasting impression with me, and so I was very interested to read what Four Blood Moons had to say.
John Hagee begins with his passion- support for Israel, and I am right there with him.  When He grafted us in, God never abandoned His chosen people, and we need to support them because He says so.  And it was this passion for Israel that led to him first being exposed to the idea that there were signs in the heavens that we are missing out on understanding.  Signs like the Four Blood Moons.  If it's important enough for God to mention multiple times in scripture, it's probably important enough for us to spend a little bit of time understanding!
Unfortunately, for the first time ever, I just didn't finish the book before the review post date, so I can't tell you about the whole thing.  It shipped a little later than I thought it would, and we are moving out of state in just a few weeks, so my reading time is minimal.  But I can't wait to finish it and learn more about the Four Blood Moons.  I'd definitely recommend it, as the person who recommended it to me is a trusted friend.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Lilla Rose Free Shipping Promotion

Through tomorrow, you can get free shipping on your Lilla Rose order over $30.  They just released some new flexi clips and shorter u-pins, and are offering free shipping to celebrate!  Don't miss your chance for free shipping.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

See The Light- Art Project DVD Review

If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you may remember that I have reviewed See the Light before.  In that case, the DVD I was given was the same one anyone could request for free and was a sample of their Art Classes DVDs.  This time, See The Light offered us the chance to choose any of their 9 Art Projects DVD Volumes to review, so I encourage you to read on, even if you read the other review as well.

So what is See The Light?  See The Light DVDs are basically art classes taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley.  Each DVD, or volume, covers one particular topic and is divided into 4 lessons.  The Art Classes cover the fundamentals of art.  The Art Projects are "ideal for High School Fine Art credit" (although my 8 1/2 year old "tagged along" and only needed a little help-she just obviously didn't absorb a great amount of the teaching).  Since the Art Projects DVDs are what we received, that's what this review will cover.

Each Art Project DVD covers a specific artist and style:

  • Poppy Collage in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Pointillism Fruit in the style of Georges Seurat
  • Repeated Sweets in the style of Wayne Thiebaud
  • Dreams of Joseph in the style of Marc Chagall
  • Peaceful Seas in the style of Winslow Homer
  • Horsin' Around in the style of Edgar Degas
  • Sunflowers in the style of Van Gogh
  • Paper Jungle in the style of Henri Rousseau
  • Tiffany Window in the style of Louis Comfort Tiffany
The DVDs offers 120 minutes of instruction, and the project will take another 120 minutes.  If you were to do all 9 DVDs, plus their Cartooning Basics, and the Bible Stories DVDs that they offer, you would have more than enough legitimate credit hours for half a credit in Fine Arts.  If you augmented your DVDs with trips to museums and performances, researched each artist further and did a report on each, and maybe visiting with a local artist, etc. you could certainly find a way to develop a whole credit hour class in Fine Arts built around See The Light.  

We chose to review Peaceful Seas, as I felt like watercolor was one area of art that my 14 year old daughter had not explored much.  Here are a few pictures of her work in progress:

 So this was after lessons 1 and 2.  I took a picture after lesson one.  I pinky swear.  But it's gone missing.  The plastic bag in the picture above gave texture to the rock as seen in the picture below.

This was after lesson 3.  It's coming together more and more.  

 Above and below are the completed pictures.  Sadly, the girls did not use watercolor paper (did I mention my artsy girl isn't so detail oriented as to care about which paper she used?), so it's a little wrinkly.  The below picture is backlit, which I quite like.

The next ones are by my younger daughter:

8 1/2 year old's picture after lesson one.  Sorry it's sideways.  I can't seem to convince Blogger that it shouldn't be.

Here's hers after lesson 2.

And her finished work.  Not too shabby.  And certainly not markedly behind her older sibling's.  That one thing I really love about See The Light.  Kids at multiple age levels can all produce really remarkable art work.

The pros:  Pat's instruction is very easy to follow.  And she knows all about art, so I don't have to :-).  She talks the kids through each step of the process, and gives tons of background on the artist and what influenced them to created their work(s).  So it's really an in depth lesson.   I love that she weaves scripture into the lesson as well, as it pertains to the project. My 14 year old preferred to watch the whole video and then recreate the steps afterward.  My younger daughter painted with the video, although we would have to pause it.  That helped compensate for her shorter memory span.  Well, that and her sister or I helper her a bit.  But really, hers is turning out quite pretty as well. 

The cons:  None...there than the fact that I really would love to own the whole set, which just isn't do-able right now with moving, LOL.

The bottom line:  See The Light is solid art instruction.  While the students are taught how to complete one specific project, the skills they learn are applicable to all art in general. In Peaceful Seas, some of those skills involved the rule of thirds, foreground and background, color wash, loading the brush, fine details, and more.   And they are learning about the history of great artists too.  I'd definitely recommend See The Light DVDs to anyone looking for quality art instruction for their children, especially older children looking to satisfy high school credit.

Each See The Light Art Projects DVD can be purchased for $14.99, or there is a DVD of the month club that reduces the price to $12.50 each.  Or, for the best value, you can buy them as a boxed set of $99.99 for all 9 DVDs.  They are all available for purchase from See The Light.  Or you can find See the Light on Facebook.  

To see what other members of Mosaic Reviews had to say, go to the Mosaic reviews blog.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rain by Kathryn Hewitt Review

In the past, I had the opportunity to review Snow, Kathryn Hewitt's first book about Ruth and her struggles with her past and her relationships.  This time, I had the chance to read through the second book about Ruth's life called Rain.

Here is a little bit about the book:
For every decision made there is a consequence that is certain to follow. Whether the consequence is beneficial or distressing, it must exist.
Rain continues the story of Ruth three and a half years after the miraculous event that changed her life forever. Now a mother of a toddler, Ruth is found moving herself back in to the college dormitory for the second year.
Feeling as though she isn’t worth the love of a good man, Ruth sabotages her relationship with James; the man she believes is her one true soul mate. Unable to accept his love and grace, she sends him away believing it is the right thing to do. But Ruth has much to learn about love and grace. Like she felt with James, so she feels about her faith; undeserved and unworthy.
Lost in a state of depression and feeling the effects of a raging storm, Ruth is desperate to find something of solidity to grasp ahold. After a traumatic sexual assault, she finds herself in a depression much deeper than she’d ever imagine. Feeling as though only bad things happen to bad people, she sets course a path of self destruction, determined to drown herself in the shame she believes she deserves.
It’s been said, When it rains, it pours. And for Ruth, that statement couldn’t ring more true. When storm after storm brings pelting rain and raging winds into Ruth’s life, she gives up on ever regaining the innocence she’d once had. Blinded by depression and desperation Ruth can’t see the shelters continuously being provided for her. Though she turned her back on her faith, the One who extends mercy, gives Ruth the grace she desperately needs. Now, Ruth must find her way back and cling to the faith that saved her once before.  

About the author:

 Kathryn Hewitt was born and raised in the small town of Camden, South Carolina. Breaking away from becoming a stereotype, she was an Honors Graduate and went on to study British Literature and Sociology at Charleston Southern University, inspiring to be a High School English teacher.Kathryn has a passion for teaching teenagers and reaching out to those who seem as though the world has closed the door. Because of her own experiences, including becoming a teenage mother at fifteen, Kathryn knows the value of life and the blessings it contains. Understanding the importance of making wise decisions, Kathryn passionately seeks to instill that wisdom into the minds of every young lady she encounters. The inspiration for Kathryn's writings comes from her own experiences, and she is never afraid to speak the truth that others refuse to acknowledge.Kathryn married in 2005 and is a stay at home mom with her four sons. She and her family currently live in the same town she grew up.

OBM says:  Not every book can be a favorite for every reader, and in truth, I found that I preferred the first book in this series over this one.  Poor Ruth is very self destructive, and that's maybe just heavier subject matter than I was looking for right now.  And I found the story hard to follow sometimes as it would flash back to past events without any notice.   A few little dots or a squiggly line or something to separate the time line would have been helpful, but then I was reading the e-version, so it's possible the print version supplies those.  I did enjoy continuing Ruth's story, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to read and review Rain, even if it wasn't my favorite.  God does work things out in ways we don't expect and always for our good according to His plan for us, but we have to learn to fully trust and depend on Him, which is definitely a prevailing theme in Rain, and a good reminder for us all.
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