Announcing the Winner of the Children's Christmas Book: Operation Birthday Blessings

Congratulations, Janey G. from South Carolina! You've won a free copy of Angelika Martin's children's book.

I'll give Angie your full name as the winner from my blog. Go ahead and contact her on her website at http://www.jesseandbongo.com/contact.html. Contact her before the end of October so she'll have plenty of time to personalize your book for you.

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. I've got several more fantastic giveaways coming up soon!

I hope you all have a week full of joyful blessings and a peace that passes all understanding,



Operation Birthday Celebration--Book Review & Giveaway

 by Sally Matheny

Photo: Operation Birthday Celebration--
A Journey to the Manger

I stumbled upon a gem for you all while reading Vonda Skelton’s blog the other week. 

She was interviewing author/illustrator, Angelika Martin, about her Christian children’s book, Operation Birthday Celebration—A Journey to the Manger.

I knew I wanted to review this book when the author said,

“Christian parents want creative resources that capture a child’s imagination and fuel curiosity while staying true to biblical teaching. Operation Birthday Celebration is entertaining while supporting Christian values and doctrine.”

Martin initially wrote the book for her grandchildren because she “didn’t want Christmas hijacked by an elf.” 

Soon, however, other families, and writing professionals, were reading her book. They highly recommended she offer it to the public. I think many Christian families will be glad to hear Martin has Operation Birthday Celebration ready to go for Christmas 2016.

So many things make this book special.


Winner of 66 Ways God Loves You Book

Photo: the Honest Hat
Congratulations to Linda C. of North Carolina! Her name was drawn from the Honest Hat as the winner of Jennifer Rothschild's beautiful book, 66 Ways God Loves You. Plus, she will receive the matching tote bag.

Linda had tried numerous times to post her comment with her computer that day without success. She finally contacted me via facebook, and I posted it for her. Your perseverance paid off, Linda!

Thanks to all who entered. You have a chance to win another great book this week. Be sure to check my next post.

Until then,



66 Ways God Loves You Book Review & Giveaway

by Sally Matheny

66 Ways God Loves You Book and Tote Bag
Oh, dear friends, I want to share with you about a wonderful book I’m reading. And, I’ll tell you later how one of you can win the book, plus a matching tote bag!

Jennifer Rothschild infuses her new book, 66 Ways God Loves You, with beautiful wisdom and loving thoughts.
Her passion comes from her own understanding of the Bible.

“One profound, unavoidable, irreducible, soul-quaking effect—I feel the love of God.
I want that for you too. God deeply loves you—He loves you with an everlasting love.
So God tells you in sixty-six ways . . . in each and every book of the Bible.”

Rothschild points out God’s message of love from Genesis to Revelation. Two to three pages are devoted to each book of the Bible. The passages are scripture-infused meat, but concise enough to be read in five or ten minutes. It’s a perfect beginning or ending to your daily Bible reading.


Bring Your Bible to School Day Means More Than You Think

by Sally Matheny

Students with Bibles
The effect of supporting “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” is greater than you think.

There are 195 independent countries in the world, plus approximately 60 dependent areas and five disputed territories.

According to Open Doors USA, the following countries are where Christians endure the most severe persecution for their faith:

 1.    North Korea
 2.    Iraq
 3.    Eritrea
 4.    Afghanistan
 5.    Syria
 6.    Pakistan
 7.    Somalia
 8.    Sudan
 9.    Iran
10.        Libya

Bibles in their native languages are banned in many of these countries. Persecution includes oppression, imprisonment, and death. While we sympathize, many of us choose to isolate ourselves from the terrors abroad. Those countries are far away from us.

Guess which country ranked #40 on the list for persecuting Christians?

Our next-door neighbor, Mexico.

We can visit Open Doors USA and Voice of the Martyrs for better understanding and learn ways to help.

But, what does all that have to do with our country and Bring Your Bible to School Day?


The Winner of With All Due Respect

Congratulations to Gail C. of Spartanburg, S.C.! Your name was drawn from my blog subscribers. You've won the book, With All Due Respect, by Roesner and Hitchcock.

I'll contact you for a mailing address.

A big thank you to all of you who subscribe to the blog, either through your email or RSS feed.

I've got another GREAT giveaway coming up soon. so stay tuned!

Have a joyful day,



With All Due Respect Book Review and Giveaway

by Sally Matheny

Book Review: All Due Respect
Nina Roesner, the executive director of Greater Impact Ministries, Inc. has teamed up with co-worker, Debbie Hitchcock, to write With All Due Respect:40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tweens.

I’ll be giving away a copy to one of you readers this week! 

There's something for everyone for a variety of topics are covered. A sampling of the forty chapter titles are:

Communicate Respect Early
Take Care of the Temple
Use Humor When Things Get Hot
Be True to Your Word
Coach Your Kids on Navigating Conflict
Separate Your Identity

Two of my favorites are Talk Your Kids Through Disappointment, and Deal With the Person Before the Issue.

While I appreciate the one or two scriptures at the beginning of each chapter, I don’t think the overall content is “scripturally saturated” as stated in the beginning of the book.

However, the content is good, and written with a Christian worldview.

Each chapter opens up with a scene illustrating some type of situation or problem. The authors use the dialogue between characters as a tool to teach parents how to respond in certain situations. In some parts, the dialogue sounds like it’s coming from a Christian psychologist more than a parent, but nonetheless, it’s helpful. Each chapter closes with a prayer for the parent.

This book is not a Bible study. But rather a resource for parents, specifically moms, on how to communicate effectively with their tweens and teens during life’s stressful moments.

During those difficult times, if you struggle with controlling your emotions, speaking before thinking, or acting rashly, this book will challenge you to pause and pray first. Then, it gives you a springboard of ideas on how to offer guidance as you begin a healthy conversation.

Want to win this book?

Every person who has subscribed to this blog, or is following it by email, will have their name entered into the drawing. If you’re already doing one of those, you don’t need to do anything at all.

Otherwise, you can find the “Subscribe to” button and the “Follow by Email” section over there to your right. Thanks and I can’t wait to see who wins. I’ll announce the winner on Oct. 3, 2016.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Why Christians Are Afraid to Speak Up & How to Squash Those Fears

by Sally Matheny

Photo by Pixabay
Why are some Christians afraid to speak the truth of Jesus Christ when they are at school, at work, or even at church? 

I believe it boils down to three fears. Fear of rejection, fear of persecution, and fear of inadequacy. How do I know? A few of them have crept up on me, too.

Let’s consider our “what if” fears and talk about ways to squash them.

Fear of Rejection

You’ve heard these—maybe even said a few.

“What if kids stop talking to me, because I’m talking about Jesus?”

“I could be ostracized in the group.”

“If I talk about God, won’t people say I think I’m better than everyone else?”

We may see eyes roll, hear snide remarks, or feel as if we’re invisible. We may be denied access to the popular group at school. Overlooked for a job promotion.

Former friends now



d i s t a n c e.

Rejection may lead to persecution.

Fear of Persecution

“The kids will make fun of me if they know I’m a Christian.”

“If I speak the whole Truth, they’ll say its hate speech.”

“No one will respect me. They’ll think I’m a fanatic. I might even lose my job.”

Persecution to most American Christians means being singled out, harassed, perhaps bullied.

Persecution to Pakistani, Asia Bibi, meant a beating for sharing her faith to Muslim women. Imprisoned for violating subsection C of Pakistan’s 295 blasphemy law - blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad, she was sentenced to death. The death sentence was not carried out, but she’s been imprisoned since 2009. Even though she is sick and misses her family, she will not renounce her faith.

Asia's story takes our perception of persecution to another level.