Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Note: The Sower, by Franklin Graham

Releasing today.
The Sower: Follow in His Steps
By Franklin Graham

From the publisher:
Throughout history, Jesus' parable of the sower has served as a beautiful word picture of the Christian life. And in modern times, no one has communicated this message more fervently than Billy Graham. His son Franklin is now carrying the torch of this vital message and has created a poignant, 31-day devotional to remind Christians what our purpose is in this life.  This book gives readers step-by-step instruction and daily inspiration for following in Jesus' footsteps.

For more information and to purchase the book, click here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Notes: Whatever by Allia Zobel Nolan

Whatever
By Allia Zobel Nolan

'Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.'
—Philippians 4:8

Zobel Nolan takes inspiration for "Whatever: A 90-Day Devotional for Livin' the True, Noble, and Totally Excellent life" (Zondervan, 2012) from Paul's words in Philippians. The casual tone of the title will appeal to tweens, but there is some very focused advice within.

The author uses each of the scriptural "whatevers" to head a section of devotionals in the book. Each devotional draws the reader in with relevant language and thoughts, then offers a new way of thinking about things important to tweens.

Thinking about what to wear? Consider whether the outfit makes you a boy magnet or simply looks attractive. Tempted to gossip at school? Consider Carrie, who lost all of her friends by badmouthing someone who beats her out for a part in the drama club. Having trouble sticking to your values in the face of peer pressure? Look at a specific example of how Jesus dealt with it.

The devotional could be read in chronological order for quiet time, or for group study. It also conveniently can be a handy reference by topic for quick help when situations arise -- and it seems that almost anything that might make a tween pause and wonder what God might have to say about it is covered in this collection of wisdom.

Further, each devotion is preceded by a scripture verse, then followed by subsections:
-- Food for Thought, a two-sentence wrap-up
-- Second Thoughts, a quick piece of advice
-- Divine Thoughts, a prayer

Readers will come away with sound, scripturally grounded direction that will help them grow closer to God, change their lives in a positive way and get a better understanding of their purpose in life.

Zobel Nolan will be signing the book here:

When: October 13, 2012
Time: from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Fairfield U. Book Store
1499 Post Road, Fairfield, CT
Phone 203-255-7756
When: October 20, 2012
Time: from 10:30 to 3:30 (Reading at 11:00)
Where: Morningstar Books, 72 Newtown Road
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 791-1515
Refreshments and "Whatever bracelets" will be distributed while they last. For more information about Zobel Nolan and her many other books, visit www.AlliaWrites.com.
-- Lauren Yarger
(Note: Allia is a friend who lives her i n Connecticut. A free copy of her book was provided by the publisher.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Gift of Dance

A DANCE DEVOTION OF SORTS...
By Cheryl Cutlip
 
Many of us work to achieve a high level of discipline in a certain area. Let’s take dance for example. Some dance daily to put to work the specific technical skills and design of dance. And, we’ve done this for years and years and years.  
 
Though we understand the work it takes to dance well we treat spirituality as some sort of hall pass based solely on feelings.

If I applied this to dance it would mean that if I feel that I am a dancer, I am a dancer. If I watch dance, I am a dancer. If I read about dance, I am a dancer. We know that’s untrue. And yet we apply this concept to God and things of the Spirit. If I feel spiritual, I am spiritual. If I watch spiritual people, I am spiritual. If I read about spirituality, I am spiritual.

Why?

 My guess is that because we are all under common GRACE we recognize that God is free and his love towards us is also free. We could say that dance is free. However, as I approach the barre, focus on plie, get to center floor, and then eventually move across the room…I become a “learner” of dance. It is free, but I get to experience dance as I put myself into the form of dance.

The same is true with the Spirit of God. When I approach His Word, love my brothers/sisters, do what His Word instructs, and eventually dwell in His very presence, I become a “learner” of God. Spiritual life is free, but I get to experience it as I put myself into the form of His likeness.

 The best things in life really are free. However, let’s not take the ultimate free gift for granted. Let’s experience this free gift and offer it to others through our lives. Let’s dance.


Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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