Monday, February 21, 2011

***Giveaway & Review*** For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer

Yes, you read that right!

I am doing something I have never done before...GIVING YOU a chance to win a FREE BOOK!

Anyone who has any interest in the history of America and those who sacrificed and fought to gain and maintain our independence as a nation will want to get in on the chance to win this book. 

More about that after the review...


Really.  That is how I feel as I read this book, For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer.

To begin, it is beautiful and has a certain presence about it.  So much so, that my husband saw it on our coffee table and said, "Where did you get that book?  It looks nice there."  Not to mention he is completely intrigued by it and ready to read it after me.

Here's how it looked that day: 

Now, here is how it looked soon after, once reality set in:

And I wouldn't change it for the world!

You see, I kind of like the irony of the fact that our freedom to live and worship and play as we do here in our homeland of America is all symbolically resting on top of our foundation as a nation, the Declaration of Independence...and even moreso is resting on what that declaration was founded on---the Word of God.

Hence, my love for what Marilyn Boyer has done with this book.

In For You They Signed, Boyer creatively weaves a clear picture for us of what was done on our behalf so long ago and why.

As she points out in the introduction, her inspiration and challenge for formulating this book was one question posed to her by fellow American and founder of, David Barton.

Can you name more than three signers of the Declaration of Independence?
Can you?

I couldn't before reading this book.  Now, however, I am so entranced by the sacrificial bravery and soundness-of-mind of these men.  And grateful...yes, I am oh so grateful...more than I ever was before I realized how much was unashamedly and regretlessly put on the line by others on behalf of me and my family and friends in this country today.

Kind of seems like a much smaller scale of what my Savior did for me long before these men ever signed this document.

As Boyer quotes John Quincy Adams, "You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it."

As far as the components of this book, again, wow!  Boyer has put together a resource that can either be read as I did, straight through---or, it can be used in a variety of other ways, such as her five suggestions to use it as:
  1. A year's worth of family devotional character studies
    • A Family Activity Guide is available online as a companion to the book.
  2. A complete resource for a single mom
  3. A practical, life-changing self-study (and this I have found to be so true!)
  4. A group study designed to make a difference
  5. Inspirational general reading
She elaborates more on each one of these uses as she is introducing the reader to the book.

More additional priceless features include:
  • A full-page (letter-sized, 8 1/2 x 11 inch) picture of the real Declaration of Independence
  • A close-up picture of the real signature section itself
  • A full-page typed copy of the document (easier to read)
  • Typed signatures (They signed in sections by the state they represented.)
The book as a whole is comprised of a character study on each of the fifty-six signers divided into sections by the state they represented.  Each character study is about three to five pages in length with the following components:
  • An artist's sketched portrait of the signer with an image of his signature below it
  • A special nickname and/or patriotic characterization of the signer
  • A scripture reference relating to the signer
  • A short quote about the signer
  • Demographics such as birth date, birth place, education, occupation, marriage date(s), spouse's name(s), number of children, signer's age at time of signing, date of death and age at that time
  • A more detailed highlight about the signer
  • The three to five page biography/character study of the signer including important quotes by or about him as well as artists' sketches of many of the signers' residences
  • Questions for discussion (as well as thought/reflection) which often highlight character qualities
Some things I learned of interest (really too many to name here, but I will recount a few):
  • Many were schooled at home either by parents (often fathers), family, or even themselves.
  • They often entered college as young as thirteen to fifteen years old (Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc)
  • Most were born and raised in America, not Europe
  • Many had as many as ten or more children
  • Many were involved in religious studies and were even preachers
  • When/if the father died while the signer was a young teen, it was usually the young teenage son who became responsible for the provision of the family, not left all on the mother's shoulders as it often is now.
  • Whether poor or rich, they all knew the magnitude of consequences they and their families faced, but still signed wholeheartedly, without regret from themselves or from their family.  (By signing, they were considered traitors by the King of England and faced hanging or beheading.)
As you can tell, I love this book and could go on and on about it.  BUT...I won't.  I will leave you with your appetite whetted for more. 

Every American home needs to have this book in their collection.  Even my friends from other nations would greatly benefit by reading about these amazing men and the convictions which directed their thoughts and actions.

So, go to Master Books' website to find out more about this book or even go to or any other site where you purchase books.

Oh, did I forget something!?!

Oh yeah---The Giveaway!!!!!!

Master Books, the publisher of For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer, has agreed so graciously to award one of my special, faithful readers with your very own copy of this book---for FREE

How do you get your chance at this great offer?

EASY!!!  Just 3 simple steps:

1.  Go to Master Books' Facebook page by clicking HERE (link is ) or search for them on Facebook as Master Books Homeschool .

2.  "LIKE" their Facebook page.

3.  Post a comment here on my blog telling me that you "LIKE"d Master Books' Facebook page.  (If we are Facebook friends you can post it on there and/or on here.)

Deadline for this giveaway is this Friday, February 25th (midnight-ish).  (I will post the winner on Saturday.)

Pretty EASY, huh!?!  Go for it!  You just might win!!!

Now, I leave you with this word from the Lord through Paul in 1 Timothy 6:12:
"Fight the good fight of the faith."
And like our revolutionary predecessors discovered, the word "fight" in the original Greek language is "agonizomai" which implies our English word "agonize."  These signers truly agonized and fought for the future of this nation we now take for granted. 

Even more than that, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ fought and agonzied for us so that by faith in Him we would not have to endure the agony which comes with living the eternal consequences of our sin and rejection of Him.

He fought the good fight for us.  

Have faith in Him and fight the good fight for all who you may impact with your life.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What if...Jeep has it right?

"Jeep - The things we make, make us."
Is there any truth to that?

All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.
- Isaiah 44:9-11

“Present your case,” says the LORD.
“Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
“Tell us, you idols,
what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
so that we may consider them
and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
tell us what the future holds,
so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
But you are less than nothing
and your works are utterly worthless;
whoever chooses you is detestable.
- Isaiah 41:21-24
In case you are thinking, as many of us do, that idol worship is the farthest from anything you would ever do...know this.  Idols are not just things.  Idols can be jobs/careers, people (even good people - pastors, mentors, family, children), financial stability, reputation/image, and so much more.

According to my recent Bible Study Fellowship notes on Isaiah 44, "anything---career, education, friends, health and physical fitness, even family---that consumes the fire of our devotion in the place of God, becomes an idol."

So, now, could you possibly be idolizing something or someone in your life?

I know I do at times.  As a matter of fact, right now, as the mother of a five-year-old son, I find myself idolizing the idea of a time in the future when my son will be more focused on his classwork and less easily distracted.  (Haha!  I know you're laughing right now...)  Seriously, though, we can be idol worshipers---consumed with devotion to something and/or someone other than God---and not even realize it.

And what does God have to say about all of this...other than what we have already read above?

To finish reading God's words on this as well as my last couple of thoughts, CLICK HERE.

Your thoughts?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Purpose of Passion: Dante's Epic Vision of Romantic Love

Have you read Dante's Divine Comedy?

If so, did you read it because you had to, or did you choose to and enjoy it?

Either way, you have probably never been guided through "Dante's Epic Vision of Romantic Love" as Dante was guided by Virgil, nor as you will be guided through this book, The Purpose of Passion: Dante's Epic Vision of Romantic Love by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware.

As Bruner notes in the introduction to this book, he and Ware "have partnered to provide readers a scene-by-scene tour through such great book series as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.  In this volume, (they) turn to the works of a man who inspired the writings of J. R. R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis and helped frame their understanding of the gospel itself.  In fact, (his) favorite books by C. S. Lewis, including The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Screwtape Letters, were profoundly shaped by The Divine Comedy."

As far as the premise of this book itself, Bruner again describes eloquently in the introduction:
"To be honest, I did not always associate Dante with romance.  But he, perhaps more than any other writer in history, connects the dots between the ups, downs, highs, and lows of human romance and the mountains, valleys, slopes, and ravines of humanity's spiritual quest.  In my case, he transformed the scenes of my relationship with Olivia (Bruner's wife) into an icon of God's romance with humanity.  That's why we recommend Dante as the best guide to discovering the purpose of passion."
 "...Each reflection (chapter of the book) opens with a creative retelling of a scene from The New Life or The Divine Comedy form which we connect the dots between human romance and the epic love story between God and his people."
(words in Italics and parentheses are my own descriptive additions)

I could not have introduced the book any better myself.

This book is a very easy read, in the sense that it does not take long to get through each chapter and the total length of the book is 134 pages.  Additionally, the authors retell Dante's work in a very easy-to-follow and captivating way.  If you ever remember reading Dante's Divine Comedy in the past and having to struggle through it due to his writing style, such is definitely not the case with this book.  However, though the authors have made The Divine Comedy much "easier" to read and understand, they guide us on a journey of considering some very deep, intriguing thoughts of the connections of romantic love to the undeniable divine inner-workings with which we were all created which seek to know and be known by the ultimate Lover of our soul - our God.  After all, we are the bride of Christ.

With that, I will not give away any more of this creatively woven volume.  I highly suggest you take a piece of your time to read this book and ponder the countless thoughts and considerations it brings forth in you.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all, whether you have a valentine on this earth or not.

Your Creator loves you and longs to woo you into a deeper relationship with Him like none you have ever known nor will ever know on this earth.

Surrender your heart to His epic love and discover the true Purpose of Passion!

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.   No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bigger...and Bigger...and BIGGER!

As my five-year-old son and I cross the twenty-four mile long bridge over Lake Ponchartrain weekly to attend Bible study together, we enjoy many different sites and discussions.  (And he often enjoys a nice, long nap!)

Of course, one of his favorite questions is...

Are we almost there?

More recently, however, he has begun to pay more attention and figure out some things for himself.

The other night, I was chuckling to myself as I hear from the backseat,
Bigger...and Bigger...and BIGGER!!!
Mommy, look!
The buildings are getting bigger!  Wow!
We then proceeded to discuss how that meant that we were getting closer and closer to the shore, therefore closer and closer to getting off of the big, long bridge.

After our little discussion, I was struck by something very enlightening...and even related to our Bible study discussion from Isaiah that night.

As we have been learning throughout our BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) study of Isaiah, our God is a REALLY BIG God.  He is THE God...the Lord Almighty!  Wow!  Seriously.  It's a lot to take in.

And what really hit me on that drive with my son to Bible study was:

The closer I get (to the Lord), the BIGGER He seems to get!

Of course, just like those high-rise buildings lining the shore of Lake Ponchartrain, HE is not actually changing at all.  He is getting no bigger than He already is and always has been and always will be.

It's my perspective that is continuously being altered and enhanced.  The more I learn about Him and come to know Him in all of His facets, the bigger I realize He is.  The harder He is to wrap my little mind around. 

But the crazy, mind-blowing thing about it all is that, as BIG as He is, and as much as I can never know nor understand all there is to know about Him---He is still living in my heart and holding me closely and securely in His righteous right hand. 

Me...little old me. 

And you, if you have confessed that you believe in Him and the work He has done for us by sending His son to die a brutal death on the cross in our place in order to make the final payment for our sin which we could never pay.

Is He beckoning you with that loving, powerful, righteous right hand of His?

Is His Spirit speaking to your heart...deep in your soul?

Have you been avoiding that tugging?  Is it all too unbelievable for you still?

To that, I say, yes, He is unbelievable---yet He is also undeniable.

Don't deny Him any longer.  
Confess the belief that for so long has been too big for you to come to grips with.

Put your hand in His tender, loving, nail-scarred, powerful, righteous right hand.

Daddy's Hand.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life of Luther by Barnas Sears, D.D.


Martin Luther.

A controversial, yet revolutionary man.

Put aside your preconceptions and assumptions of him from what you have known and heard all of your life.

Read of his life from birth to death in detail and often in his very own words as it is recounted in the biography Life of Luther by Barnas Sears, D.D. originally published in 1850 by American Sunday School Union.

This book has been published for the first time since 1850 by Attic Books, an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group.  Check out Attic's website HERE to find out more about their intriguing line of books.

When I received this book, I was so excited.  It took me back in time just looking at it and holding it.  It has the look and feel of an antique book, though it is a newly printed one.  Torn edges of the yellowed pages.  Original font with imperfections and all.  The look of an old leather cover, though it is a hardback.  Very nice book.

Even nicer because it is so enlightening, so deep, so honest.

Sears portrayed Luther's entire life in a very honest way, including his shortcomings and all.  A large portion of the book is comprised of Luther's own letters to various people in his life: family, friends, rivals, even the Pope himself.

Did you know that Luther endured the Diet of Worms!?!  

Sound tasty? 

It shouldn't.  It's not what you and I think of today.  You will have to read this for yourself to see what it involved.  Actually, in many ways, I would say it was much more excruciating than ingesting the slimy ground crawlers.  Let me know what you think, if you decide to read this.

The Diet of Worms is one example of one thing you will have to endure about the book if you so choose to read it (as I highly suggest).  Because it was written in the 1800's, the grammar of that day is fairly easy to follow though at times can test your intellect.  Stick with it, though.  It is very well worth it.

As someone once recently said to me,
"Catholics have a solid documentation and knowledge of their history.  Protestants, however, do not."  
I agree, having been born and raised a Protestant (which is any non-Catholic part of the Christian faith), that we are not taught very much about our history and why we are to believe what we are taught to believe.  Not saying we are not given firm, solid biblical instruction, but when a person of a Protestant faith comes to that inevitable crossroads of life where one has to decide why you believe what you believe other than just because your parents did or your denomination says so, it is helpful to have some background of knowledge and wisdom from those who struggled to form the basis of what you are taught today.

As this person said,
"Luther was the first to break free from the Catholic church.  I want to know more about why he did." 
I agree.

My reason for loving this book.

Whether you are Protestant, Catholic, Atheist, or anywhere in between, this is a very enlightening book for all to read.  Put aside your former ideas and just take it all in.  Then come back here and share what you gleaned from it.  I would love to hear it.

Also, as my new quote from this book on the top of my blog says,
"Whosoever will believe, let him believe, and follow unconstrained; and whosoever will not believe, let him disbelieve and go his way; for no one should be forced to faith, or to any thing pertaining to the faith, but should be drawn to it and won by the word. Then, whosoever believeth without constraint will freely follow." - Martin Luther
This we can all agree on if nothing else.

I do pray that the Spirit of God will speak to you through my writing as well as Luther's and anyone else's He may so choose.

Blessings to you all.  
And, in Luther's words, "May the grace of God be with us all."

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Attic Books, an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quick Word of Encouragement

I know we can all use a reminder of the hope we have in our Lord, so today I just want to share a quick passage with you in hopes of giving your spirit a lift.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I know I shared this as a portion of my last post, but it is really hitting home with me today.

Today I am tired, weary, on the verge of being physically ill (probably from exhaustion).

But, the wonderful thing to know and remember is that my God who is the Creator of all has the wisdom and ability to impart me – tired, weary old me – with His strength and stamina when I need it most.  After all, He lives in me, so it is not so far-fetched to know that His strength resides in me as well.  The key is for me to hope in Him, having faith that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Knowing Who I know and hoping in Him, I know that even this tired body and mind will be renewed by the strength of the One who never grows tired nor weary.  I know that these unstable legs that carry me will become sure-footed and not stumble nor fall.  And, I know that I will even soar on wings like eagles…I know it because He said it…and if He said it He will surely bring it to pass.

Now, go about your day and evening and be encouraged and renewed.  I am, just by sitting down and writing this for you.  Guess it was for me, too.

*I wrote this earlier this week while on a lunch break at work and posted it on Faithful Feet.  I wanted to share it with you here as well, since I resonate even more with it over the past couple of days.  I imagine you do, too.*