Artisan Collection Bible for Girls

Thank you to my daughter in law, Jennifer Gould, for being willing and excited to share her experience of this new bible with you and I’m excited that she is also going to be sharing it with my grand daughter.

My mother in law Rhonda recently received a copy of the NIV Artisan Collection Bible for Girls from Zondervan for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, and she sent it over my way since I have an eight-year-old girl.  I had actually been looking for a Bible for my daughter that was a step up from the NIrV Bible she started with. If you are unfamiliar with the NIrV, it’s simply a little easier to read version of the NIV Bible for new readers.  She had outgrown her need for it, and I also wanted to save it for my younger two when they start to read. She also recently noticed as she was following along that her version did not match up exactly with my NIV Bible, and she wanted to know why.  So my search for a girl’s Bible began.  

However, as I began a search for an appropriate Bible for an eight-year-old girl, it was proving a little harder than I thought.  You want a lovely Bible that isn’t too childish so that she won’t outgrow it in only a couple of years. I’ve seen plenty with cartoon characters and devotional inserts that don’t necessarily apply to my homeschooler.  If I am going to spend the money on a good Bible, I want it to last. Enter the NIV Artisan Collection Bible for Girls.  It may say girls ages 8-12 on the cover, but there is nothing in or on the Bible itself that proclaims it just for girls.  It’s a gorgeous hardcover Bible covered with a watercolor cloth that I myself love! This will grow right into adulthood as far as I am concerned, especially because that hardcover makes it a little sturdier.  It is in a single-column format in 9.5 font, with nice wide lined margins on every page, and even a lovely blue ribbon bookmark.  You won’t find any devotions or fluff in this Bible.  It’s simply the Word of God. I personally love this, because I can easily buy devotions for her that suit each season of her life, therefore I don’t need devotions in the Bible itself. And since this is just the Bible, it can continue to grow with her as she grows without becoming too childish for her.  

I’ve upgraded my Bible a couple of times over the past few years, but the one I had and used for years is so special to me because of all the little notes, highlights, asterisks, and underlining found among its pages.  I can easily find favorite verses within its pages, and I can see seasons of my life within its pages and notations. I know God shows me verses I need to hear at the times I need them. This is what I want for my daughter, a Bible that can walk with her, that she can make notes in and doodle and color, and look through it over and over and find again those verses that speak to her.  I want a Bible that she is proud to carry with her to church and lovely enough to treasure and treat with the respect all Bible’s deserve. I know and you know what a treasure our Bible’s are, but it would be foolish of me not to consider that the more the look of a Bible speaks to a little girl, the better she will take care of it.  

Today is Good Friday, and we will read through the death of Christ today. I am presenting her with this Bible today as an early Easter present.  What a perfect time to introduce her to this Bible, and how precious those red letters are. I pray that this Bible serves her well and becomes a close companion to her for years to come, and because of the design, I’m confident it will.  If you are on the hunt for a Bible for a young lady, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the NIV Artisan Collection Bible for Girls.  You can find a copy and a closer look here:  https://bg4.me/33kxOle

Thank you Lord for loving me, loving my family and giving us Jesus. Amen

Blessed

It’s in the hardest times that we find ourselves seeking HIM out the most.

Why are we not seeking HIM out every day?

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

If you can think back to the 1st of March before the current world pandemic. And think about who you truly thought about through out the day and who controlled your life. If we were being honest………. how many of us would say, “I have to keep going, keep pushing, keep doing because if I stop then who will take care of all this. My finances, my children, my home will go up in flames.” Are you willing to be honest?

I used to think that way. I did! And you know where that got me? Ulcers, sleepless nights, worry, controlling behavior, questioning my spouse and anger. That’s what it got me and that’s where it landed me. And then one day, something snapped in my mind, in my heart, in my soul. God created me and Jesus came to save me, then why in the world would I think he won’t do it in this also.

Philippians 4:19  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Who out there believes in their head that God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus? And if you answer “YES! ME”, here is another question, “How is your anxiety level today?” “Who are you leaning on through this time?” “What is your soul feeling?” So even if you believe in your head, so do you also believe in your heart and soul?

Psalm 16:8-9  I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

The current world’s pandemic is all that people are thinking about these days, at leas that is how it appears, if you’re watching the media at all. But in reality, there are people out there struggling with the same things they struggled with a month ago and some are struggling with things that hit them head on today.

For me, no more worry. Call me naive or blind but I know who is going to take care of my tomorrow cause it’s the same God who took care of my yesterday and today.

I challenge you to hop off media if you need to. I challenge you to dig deep into scripture to explore how God/Jesus Christ is the same forever. See how he will meet your needs. Try focusing your eyes on HIM and allowing Him to hold you up so you won’t be shaken in any struggle and let your heart be glad, rejoice and rest. Seek and you will find how you have been blessed. God promises!

Thank You Lord for your grace and unending love!

Jesus Gave

Who are you trusting? What posture are you living?

In time such as these, when the realities of sickness, the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of future is enhanced by media, social networking and the word on the street, this should be a time that we remember who God is and what HE has already done for us.  Allowing Him to strip away the anxiety that plagues our soul.  Allowing Him to fill us with hope.  Remembering who it is that we stand firm with and who our faith is entrusted to. 

I am reminded of Philippians 4:4-8 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

There are 4 standards that we all would benefit from walking

Joy – Deeply rooted in the Lord – not forgotten and not easily uprooted

Generosity – Let your kindness be seen. Give up something we love for someone we love more.

Presence – “The Lord is at hand”.  God is here, go to Him in prayer and Thanksgiving.

Praise – Meditate on what’s true, noble, right, lovely and admirable. Pay close attention to what you are thinking.  Boldly lean into HIM.

I pray for each of you today. I pray that the anxiety will melt away and hope will flood over you. I pray that you will feel God’s presence in your life. That you will see Him and you will be filled with joy. I pray that you will praise Him in all that you do and you will be spurred on to be generous to others.

Social Distancing

Are we playing right into the hands of Satan?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.Ephesians 6:10-11NIV

There is real fear and anxiety stirring in our world today. Sickness, death, loss of income and lack of food, is part of what is causing this fear.

Satan will work in our fear. He fully knows our thoughts and our weaknesses. He will grab hold and take us down a path that will only hurt us.

If you are interested in hearing ways that he works. During this time of social distancing, take a little time to read or listen on audible the book by CS Lewis “Screwtape Letters”

https://www.amazon.com/Screwtape-Letters-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652934

The fear is real and the anxiety is undeniable. This is one of many trials that we will face in our life time. Each of us has faced trials and we will surely face more in the future.

But we have a God that loves us. And has always come through in our hard times. We have to understand that the outcomes may not always be as we had hoped but HIS outcomes will always for for our best, whether we see it as that or not.

For me, I have suffered through trials, more than I can count with my fingers and toes. I have not always handled my faith and trust with the most peace. I have not always understood His ways. But as I continue to see His work in my trials, I have more peace through them. He has always brought to light His plans. Now my soul can be more peace filled.

I was listening to a book the other day by Tony Evans called “Detours”.

I would highly suggest it, if you want to understand the detours of your life.

I encourage you to TRUST. I encourage you to lean into GOD’S promises. I encourage you to look for where you can glorify HIM through your trials.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Psalm 34:4I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

God will carry us through this, just as he has carried us through the many other detours of our lives. Trust, have Faith, Pray, Serve and Glorify His name.

In a world where communication is readily available, USE it for GOOD! Reach out, don’t isolate, stay connected. This will not only settle your anxiety but it will also settle the anxiety of others.

Be safe, be smart and this too shall pass!

If you are ready to remove the fear from your life and want help to find the peace that you can find in Christ. Please contact me @ rhondagouldcoaching@gmail.com or find information on this web site.

Building Authentic relationships. Recognizing God’s truths. Realizing our worth in Him.

The Jesus Bible

I love being a Bible Gateway Blogger. Recently I have been given the opportunity to receive a few bibles from Bible Gateway to evaluate them and write a blog post on them. This last bible, “The Jesus Bible”, I gave my daughter in law the opportunity to evaluate and blog on it. I’m excited and privileged to share with you Jennifer Gould’s thoughts…

The Jesus Bible is a gorgeous NIV Bible by Zondervan you wouldn’t mind leaving out on the coffee table.   I love the watercolor style cover and the gold edged pages. It also comes with two ribbons, which I appreciate.  I am often doing more than one study at a time, so I find that feature helpful. This Bible has some weight to it, and seems quite a bit larger than the Bibles I am used to, but there is a reason for that.  

The focus of this Bible is for its readers to see the whole of the Bible as one storyline.  In the introduction we are taken back to English class and reintroduced to the concepts of the beginning of a story, the characters, the problem, the hero, the effect and the resolution.  Every few pages throughout this Bible are inserts that connect the text to this overarching storyline, with Jesus as the hero, and our salvation and waiting eternity as the resolution. I love how these inserts connect the Old Testament to Jesus, and the shear number of inserts are part of what contributes to this Bible’s heft. 

This Bible is not in double-column format, but instead single column, so it reads more like a book. It has a 9.5 point font, however the insert pages are in a larger font. It certainly takes a minimalist approach, even with the inserts and text.  There are no maps, and the footnotes aren’t as overly obvious as I’ve seen in some Bibles. There is generous space in the margins on most pages for doodles or notes, and because of the single column format, you should have plenty of room to take notes on a passage.  I can easily imagine spending time with this Bible and a set of Bible highlighters to mark passages. There is a dictionary, and a table of weights and measures, but no topical index or reading plans. However, a custom Bible app through You Version with a reading plan (see link below) is available for this Bible, which would be nice to use along with it. 

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3308-the-jesus-bible-reading-plan

I’m not sure I would haul this Bible around with me, but to have at home for study it’s lovely and I would recommend it, especially for those who desire to see how the Old Testament connects us to the New Testament.  I can see how reading through the Bible would be easier with this Bible to guide you through the storyline. It’s also nice for those, like myself who love to doodle and make comments in the margins.

https://www.biblegateway.com/

I hope that you decide to purchase one of these beautiful bibles that are available at many locations. See link to Amazon below.

Thank you to Jennifer Gould for taking the time to sift through and dig in to The Jesus Bible.

Celebration of Life

Rachel Solomon is ONE OF A KIND! God just made her that way!

This past weekend I sadly, yet joyfully, celebrated her life. I knew when I decided to take the trip to NC, so that I could love on her family and celebrate with Rachel being with her Lord, that I would be seeing a lot of “family”, not biological family, but family that God has placed in my life and family that Rachel’s life has effected. We all with great sorrow had to face our loss but couldn’t help but rejoice in seeing old friends and others who share in our love for her. I decided before I got there that I was going to do as Rachel would do and whip out the ole’ camera (cell phone) and start snapping those pictures. It felt kind of weird to be putting on a smile and snapping pictures and I found myself feeling the need to explain my actions. But when I did explain, everyone would agree, “Rachel was celebrating right along with us and snapping away”, because no one liked a party and a room full of people more than Rachel.

This was my way of making it through the day with Celebration for the Life that Rachel lived. Hugging, smiling and showing love with those around me. I bet she was jumping up and down and her wings were a flapping as she watched.

The below is a video of one of Rachel’s Gray Hair Talking segments on Celebrating Everything. This was shown during her Celebration Service as a testimony of her spirit. I hope you will enjoy it. Take from it what Rachel was saying…………. When Life hurts, and it will….. Celebrate!

Love you Rachel! Much love to Rachel’s sweet husband and a man who has stepped in to defend me and loved me much, Tal ! Much love to Rachel’s daughter and long time friend, Holly Solomon. Much love to Rachel’s son & his wife, Lee & Edie Solomon, thank you for being my friend. And much love to Rachel’s grands & great grands, you were blessed to have had her in your life. Each of you Celebrate what the Lord has given you. XOXOXO

I snapped as many pictures as I could throughout the weekend. Definitely didn’t get everyone that Rachel influenced but caught a lot of the ones that have influenced me. Love you all too! Celebrate your life with GUSTO!

My Story

My story is a long and sorted mess. As I’m sure that yours is also. We all have a different story. One that is specific to us and one that is specifically chosen to help someone else through theirs.

Regardless of our story, we are meant to use it for God’s glory. He is a God of love and Jesus is the Savior, the Redeemer. We are forgiven and we can forgive.

Psalm 66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.

But our story is not to be limited to only those who fear God, our story is to be carried out among those who don’t know HIM yet.

1 John 1:2-3 This life was revealed to us, and we have seen it and testify about it. We declare to you this eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. What we have seen and heard we declare to you so that you, too, can have fellowship with us. Now this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus, the Messiah

I have shared some of my story here in my various posts and there are some parts that I’m not yet willing to share in such a public place. But I have shared it in private, with those who are able to find hope through it. Seeing how God has carried me, covered me, loved me and redeemed me.

Go and share your stories of HOPE, FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION. There are many who need to hear it so they too will seek out the only God who can save them.