30.10.15

Fourth Annual Climb-a-Tree Contest Winners

Sally Matheny's Fourth Annual
Climb -a-Tree Contest
We had many participants in our fourth annual Climb-a-Tree contest! Thanks to all of you who sent me photos of yourselves perched in trees. I received them via various forms of media. Some I could not transfer from their original source to post here. And a few of you preferred them not to be posted publicly, which is totally cool.

All the participants' names were placed in the drawing.
Congratulations to Maria G.'s son, Joseph! His name was randomly selected from the Honest Hat. I'll contact his mom soon to determine the best way to deliver his prize.

Also, our winner in the adult category is Rebecca F.! You'll receive your Starbucks gift card next week.

Thanks to all of you who participated. I hope you had fun. Keep climbing!

23.10.15

“Believe”: A Book Review of the Kids’ Edition (and Who Won the $25 Gift Card!)

by Sally Matheny

Believe Book Review


My husband and I recently finished reading with our eleven-year-old son the kids’ edition of Believe, edited by Randy Frazee. We read one of the thirty chapters each night. The first ten chapters are about key beliefs of the Christian life. The second ten chapters talk about key practices of the Christian life. And the final ten chapters contain the key virtues of the Christian life.

Each chapter begins by asking the reader a key question to ponder. It then presents a key idea and a key verse.  Also, there is a Think About It section before the introduction. Then, actual scripture (NIV) from the Old and New Testaments, present the core truths, followed by three discussion questions.

 


We truly enjoyed reading this book together. It held my son’s attention with its short excerpts from the Bible. There are blue and white illustrations on almost every other page. The book isn't watered down or fluffed up! It was pure scripture, with a thought to ponder before reading, followed by three great discussion questions. These questions often generated further conversations with our son.

There are versions of this book for ages 4-8, 8-12 (which is the one we read), 13- 18, and one for adults. In a year or two, I’d love to get the teen version for our son.  Several years ago, he made a decision to follow Jesus Christ. We aim to train, nurture and equip him for his journey. Believe is an ironclad tool that will enhance his understanding of the Sword of Truth and how to apply it.

16.10.15

The Best Gift My Husband Ever Received for Pastor Appreciation Month (and a Giveaway for Your Pastor!)

by Sally Matheny

Best Gifts for Pastor Appreciation Month
My husband answered the call to pastor his first church in 2004. Eleven years later, we’re still serving the Lord alongside the same sweet family of believers. Nestled in the foothills of North Carolina, you’ll find our little church bursting at the seams with some of the most compassionate and generous people.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Perhaps some of you are contemplating ways to bless your minister. Be sure to post a comment at the end to enter the drawing for a gift card for your pastor. And just in case you don't win, I’ll share some suggestions including the absolute, best gift my husband ever received for Pastor Appreciation Month.

9.10.15

Faith, Hope, and Love: An Interview with Joanna Pistorius, Wife of Ghost Boy Author, Martin Pistorius

by Sally Matheny

Martin and Joanna Pistorius
Embrace Faith, Hope, and Love
Several months ago, I wrote a review of Ghost Boy, by Martin Pistorius. Gems of his remarkable life story nestled in my mind. One facet that continued to shine was how faith, hope, and love grew when he met his wife, Joanna. It made such an impression that I hoped to talk more with her. 

Joanna and Martin were on a book signing tour in Norway when I caught up with them. Joanna graciously agreed to talk with me when they returned home to England.

If you have not read Ghost Boy yet, Martin tells an amazing story of going from a healthy twelve-year-old boy to living in a waking coma state, unseeing and unknowing of his surroundings. 

Four years later, his mind slowly wakes up. But his body does not.  



Then, for ten more years, his mind is completely aware—aware that he is trapped inside an unresponsive body and powerless to communicate with others.

You’ll have to read the book to get the whole story of Martin’s incredible journey. Eventually, he is able to communicate and he meets Joanna. Both Joanna and Martin are originally from South Africa. However, Joanna was working as a social worker in England when first introduced to Martin. 

Martin’s sister and one of Joanna’s friends were roommates in England. All three girls were together when Martin’s sister contacted him in South Africa on New Year’s Day in 2008. It was during this Internet Skype conversation that Joanna first met Martin.

Instantly, she was attracted to Martin’s kind heart and infectious smile. The feeling was mutual and their online friendship began.