God Right Here: Seeing God’s Big Story in My Everyday Life
Author: Lisa North
Published: April 21, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars
This 180 day devotional takes elementary children step by step through the Bible’s big story of God’s redeeming love. Each day’s reading includes a Bible passage, discussion questions, a biblical lesson, a personal story, a guide and space for the reader to insert his or her own personal story if desired, and a suggested topic of prayer. The book was designed to…
Introduce children to all of the foundational elements, or building blocks, of the gospel in one school year. This book is designed to bring all children, including those who have never heard about God or the Bible and those who have heard various Bible stories “a million times”, to an understanding of how the Bible flows together as one big story with God’s love and pursuit of people at the center. It takes children, step by step, through all of the foundational concepts of the gospel. Each concept, or topic, builds on the previous ones. Within each topic, there are roughly ten devotions. The goal is to get children thoroughly familiar with each topic before moving to the next. This devotional is ideal for teachers, since it is designed to fit in one school year.
Help children see the Bible stories and God himself as actively connected with their everyday lives. In each devotion, a personal current-day story or description is included. However, personal stories from an adult they know and love can have a greater impact on children. A story prompt and guide is therefore provided to enable parents, teachers, and children’s ministry leaders to insert their own stories if they wish. Older elementary children may also enjoy inserting their own stories and sharing them with friends.
Engage children’s attention and encourage them to evaluate and apply the information they learn. Each devotion begins and ends with a discussion question that reviews or extends concepts from the devotions. In order to encourage children to evaluate and apply what they have learned, most of the questions require children to use critical thinking skills rather than just recall facts. For classes or groups, the questions give children a chance to connect with one another on a spiritual level as they hear each other’s thoughts. They also provide a way for parents, teachers, and children’s ministry leaders to identify and correct any misconceptions and encourage or extend any good ideas the children express.
Help children develop a desire to read the Bible for themselves. For this to happen, they must see it as intricately connected to God, the life of the person leading the devotion, and their own lives. A Bible passage is therefore woven into each devotion in a way that connects to both the biblical lesson and the personal story.
Inspire children to love God and interact with him. Prayer is one way to do this. While scripted prayers can be helpful at times, a topic of prayer, rather than the prayer itself, is given. This allows children to express their own hearts and thoughts to God while still taking into account the things they have learned in the devotion.
Engage children at varying levels of development. Each devotion has a simple concept and can be read in 2-3 minutes. The discussion questions then take the concept to the next level in terms of the depth of thought and understanding required. With the discussion questions and prayer time included, the devotion times can take up to 15 or 20 minutes. This flexibility allows teachers, parents, and children’s ministry leaders to use the devotional in ways that fit their unique schedules, the children’s varying attention spans, and the children’s levels of cognitive development.
God Right Here is a devotion written by my friend Lisa North. It is written for elementary age children and aimed to help them learn about the Bible and to create a desire for the child to want to read the Bible. There are 180 devotions, which is the number of days in a school year. Over the course of the school year, they children will learn at school and they will also learn about God! Each devotion includes a Bible verse/passage, questions for the children, a lesson, and a personal story shared by North. The adult leading the devotion could share their own story instead of North’s if desired. There is space for the child to write their own story if they want (but don’t feel they have to!).
The individual devotions are grouped into sections and build on each other over the course of the whole devotion as a whole. A few of the groups include: What is the Bible, Who is God, Why does God Care About my Choices, and What is Sin and why does it Ruin Things?.
If read daily with each school day, the last devotion will end on the last day of school. Over the course of the school year the child will have learned things and hopefully grew spiritually through this devotion. This devotion could be read as parent and child, in small groups, or in the classroom in Christian schools.
Each devotion North mentions the specific Bible verse used. She talks to the children with her personal story in a way that they will understand. North mainly uses the New International Version of the Bible, and she also uses English Standard Version.
I would recommend this devotion for upcoming first and second graders to start. Not Kindergarten, as they are already experiencing enough changes with going to ‘big school’ for the first time. If you want your child to get a good foundation of the Bible, pick up North’s devotion. As an adult, I enjoyed it myself and felt I learned a few things as well.
Today I share my review for the devotion Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined by Karen Brown Tyson. This blog tour comes at the perfect time of year as the holidays can be a hard time of year in the first place and if you have recently lost your job, you can be challenged even more.
This blog tour is brought to you by WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR.
What happens when some part of your life comes to a screeching halt?
Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, highlights Karen Brown Tyson’s journey through the Bible following one of three layoffs in her life.
Watch how God leads one woman on a 21-day journey through the Bible and teaches her how to G.L.O.W.— gratitude, listen, observe and witness.
Author: Karen Brown Tyson
Published: August 10, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 19-25, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Time to Refresh is a 21 day devotional that focuses on what to do after being laid off, but it can apply to any difficult time in your life. Reading this devotional helped me, and I have not been laid off.
Tyson refers to timeouts throughout the devotion. Timeouts are a brief suspension of an activity (in the case of this devotion, a job). Tyson shares her personal story of being laid off three times over the course of 25 years. In each daily devotion, she shares journal entries she wrote to God over the first 21 days of her most recent layoff.
She also focuses on a topic each day and gives an example of each topic from the Bible with verse(s) to read. She has timeout takeaways, listening, and witness sections. The listening sections are where she wants you to ask God for advice as you pray.
You may see a 21 day devotion and think that is too long, but each day is not super long (including the bible verses suggested). It also takes 21 days to start a habit and with starting this devotional, it can help to start daily readings of the Bible and devotions. This devotion can help someone who is struggling through a job loss or any other major life event that may be occurring.
About the Author:
For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018. Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.
You can find the whole blog tour here:
November 26th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and stop by the Muffin blog where you can read an interview with author Karen Brown Tyson and enter to win a copy of her book Time to Refresh.
November 29th @ Bookworm Blog
Be sure to stop by Anjanette’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s guest post on managing career, home, and ministry.
November 29th @ The Frugalista Mom
Visit Rozelyn’s blog where you can read her review of Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
November 30th @ Amateur Twin Mom
Visit Jonelle’s blog to read what she has to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 3rd @ Beverley A Baird Blog
Visit Beverley’s blog where Karen Brown Tyson talks about how to improve your writing life.
December 5th @ Break Even Books
Stop by Erik’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to build your personal brand.
December 5th @ Jill Sheets Blog
Stop by Jill’s blog today where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about how to improve your writing life.
December 6th @ Beverley A Baird Blog
Visit Beverley’s blog again where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 7th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette’s blog again where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her book Time to Refresh.
December 8th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.
December 9th @ Reducing Overload
Stop by Peggy’s blog to read author Karen Brown Tyson’s post about journaling and stress management.
December 13th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Visit Kathleen’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about fearless writing.
December 13th @ M.C. Walker’s Blog
Visit M.C. Walker’s blog where she interviews author Karen Brown Tyson about her and her book Time to Refresh.
December 14th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about having faith during difficult times.
December 15th @ Jessica’s Reading Room
Visit Jessica’s blog where you can read her thoughts on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 16th @ 12 Books
Visit Louise’s blog where she shares her opinion on Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 18th @ Look to the Western Sky
Visit Margo’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about parenting.
December 20th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her opinion about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 20th @ The Faerie Review
Visit Lily Shadowlyn’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.
December 21st @ The World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 23rd @ Look to the Western Sky
Be sure to stop by Margo’s blog again where you find out what she had to say about Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey’s blog where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about journaling.
December 24th @ Coffee with Lacey
Stop by Lacey’s blog again where she reviews Karen Brown Tyson’s book Time to Refresh.
December 27th @ The Frugalista Mom
Be sure to visit Rozelyn’s blog again where you can read Karen Brown Tyson’s blog post about change management.[Top]
October is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Month. I have not experienced a loss as this, but earlier in the year I read and reviewed a devotion written by Sarah Philpott to help women that have experienced this loss. Today I choose to share this review with you as today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day . Thank you to Broadstreet Publishing for my copy I was sent via NetGalley.
Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child after Pregnancy Loss
Author: Sarah Philpot
Published: October 1, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 24-27th 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference on May 24, 2018, Loved Baby received Selah Awards for Nonfiction Book of the Year and Best Book in the category of Inspiration and Gift.
Close to one in four American women experience the silent grief of pregnancy loss. Loved Baby offers much-needed support to women in the middle of psychological and physiological grief as a result of losing an unborn child.
In Loved Baby, author Sarah Philpott gently walks alongside women as they experience the misguided shame, isolation, and crushing despair that accompany the turmoil of loss. With brave vulnerability Sarah shares her own and others’ stories of loss, offering Christ-filled hope and support to women navigating grief.
This fresh and compassionate devotional offers:
· Real talk about loss
· Christ-filled comfort
· Tips to manage social media, reconnect with your partner, and nourish your soul
· Knowledge that your child is in heaven
· Strategies to walk through grief
· Ways to memorialize your loss
Whether your loss is recent or not, Loved Baby can be your companion as you move from the darkness of grief toward the light of hope.
Firstly, I want to say I have not experienced a loss such as this so I cannot identify with who this devotion was written for. That is not saying I should not have read it. In fact, I am glad I did. I know many who have experienced pregnancy loss and now I feel I understand their loss better. I will never 100% understand this loss as I do not have children and more than likely won’t.
Sarah Philpott has written a 31 day Christian devotional to the women who have experienced various types of pregnancy loss: miscarriage, still birth, and ectopic pregnancies. She wrote the devotional directly to the Mommy and she also shares her story of pregnancy loss and others share their stories as well. Philpott talks about the various changes one will go through medically and also the wide range of emotions that will be experienced. She also aims to help guide the mommy with spiritual changes.
There is also a devotion about the fathers, as they experienced the loss and grieve as well; there is a devotion about other children that the reader may have. There are also devotions about honoring your due date, how you may feel afterwards if you want to try for another child or not. There is also a devotion in regards to adoption or deciding to live a child free life.
Philpott includes Bible verses from a various versions of the Bible. She has a section of each devotion called Soul Work to apply what the devotion was about. Each devotion ends with prayer time. The last devotion is for the Mommy to share her story and cherish the baby she lost.
This is a devotion that should be completed. I can see it bringing comfort to women. There will be a wide range of emotions and a great many tears as this devotion is completed. Philpott put her heart and soul into this devotion and her love for the mommies out there is felt and seen.
Bravo for a fabulous devotion to help the mommies that have gone through pregnancy loss, be it recent or from years ago.
I want to share a site that might be helpful to both moms and those who have faced this type of loss. The site is ThinkBaby.org
One of the Founders of ThinkBaby.org, Zoe, shares her fertility story here.[Top]