Book Review of Building Your Strengths & Three Giveaways!

by Sally Matheny

(Women of Faith Books)

I love Thomas Nelson publishers. Not only are they blessing me with wonderful books, but they want to bless my blog readers as well.

This month, they’ve sent, not one, but six beautiful, Women of Faith Bible study books to me. Three for me, and three to give away. 

How cool is that?


Three Ways to be a Brave Christian

by Sally Matheny

Three Ways to Be Brave
(Pixabay photo)

What do brave Christians do? 

Through God’s power, lots of things!

Recently, I observed three brave Christians--a Vietnam veteran, a public school teacher, and a well-known evangelist. Here's what I learned.

Brave Christians share what God is doing.

One brave act recently came from a Vietnam veteran. He attends and serves in his church regularly. Normally, he worships in a quiet manner. But, one Sunday, when the pastor asked if anyone had any announcements for the congregation, this man spoke up. 

He didn’t mention a church meeting or a community event. He simply heeded the prompting of the Holy Spirit and shared about a rainbow he had seen in the sky that morning. He reminded everyone about how it was God’s creation and His promise.

Now, that may sound like something small to you. But it wasn’t. It was a testimony to everyone in that church, including his grandchildren, how to take notice of what God is doing and share it with others.

Brave Christians talk about God, what He has done, and what He's doing now.

Brave Christians support one other.

The second brave Christian I heard about was a public elementary schoolteacher. As she sat at the back of the classroom, her students watched the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

She shared this about her class of “amazing Americans”,

“My students made me very proud today . . . 
When the minister came and delivered a prayer, I looked 
and my students all had their heads bowed . . . 
Then when Pence was sworn in, they said to stand, 
and [all the students] stood! 
They sang “America” and stood while Trump was sworn in. 
All this without any prompting from me. 
I followed their example. . .”

This teacher followed all the rules and guidelines. She was brave because she did not discourage what the students initiated. She was brave because she followed through on her desire to join her students. And, she was brave to share this story publicly on social media.

Brave Christians follow the law, but they don’t hide behind it.

Brave Christians Share the Truth in Love

The third brave Christian was at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Rev. Franklin Graham was one of the three pastors invited to make a brief comment and pray.    

When selecting the scriptures to read, Franklin Graham did not choose passages that would appease all ears. Even though he knew God’s truth would offend many, he offered its hope to all. It did not matter to Graham if he attracted hateful criticisms. He obediently revealed the Truth out of love.

He read from 1 Timothy.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings, for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and it please God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all people . . . (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. (1 Timothy 1:17).”

Then, Franklin Graham ended the prayer of scripture, “in Jesus’ name.”

We can do brave things in the name of Jesus.
Three Christians stepped out in faith. Each situation was different, but all glorified God.

Are these three people perfect? No. Not even the pastor.

Do any of them have all the answers to life? Of course not. Not even the pastor!

Can you and I overcome our fears and do brave things in the name of Jesus? Absolutely! With Christ, all things are possible.

Do you trust Him?


Have You Been Labeled a Christian or a Post-Christian?

by Sally Matheny

Have You Been Labeled a Christian?
Pixabay photo
Have you been labeled as a Christian? How many people in your home claim to be Christians?

We know only God is truly able to judge a person’s mind and heart. Since there is only one God, some humans resort to other means of determining people’s beliefs. They conduct a survey!

Surveys are not always reliable. However several have concluded that approximately 75% of Americans claim to be Christians.

However, the majority of these “Christians” say they do not have a “biblical” worldview. 

Obviously, people have different definitions of what it means to be a Christian.

To get a better perspective, the research organization, Barna Group, conducted a survey and went beyond simply checking a box labeled “Christian.”

One label term may be new to you— “post-Christian.”

According to the Barna Group’s survey, to qualify as a “post-Christian,” people have to meet nine or more of the following factors:

1.   Do not believe in God
2.   Identify as atheist or agnostic
3.   Disagree that faith is important in their lives
4.   Have not prayed to God (in the last year)
5.   Have never made a commitment to Jesus
6.   Disagree the Bible is accurate
7.   Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
8.   Have not attended a Christian church (in the last year, not counting weddings or funerals)
9.   Agree that Jesus committed sins
10.        Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
11.        Have not read the Bible (in the last week)
12.        Have not volunteered at church (in the last week)
13.        Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week)
14.        Have not attended religious small group (in the last week)
15.        Do not participate in a house church (in the last year)


A Review & Giveaway of Children’s Picture Book- Behind my Bellybutton

by Sally Matheny

(Behind my Bellybutton by Elaine Tomski)
Let’s celebrate Sanctity of Life month by talking about a delightful children’s book! 

To top it off, author, Elaine Tomski, is generously donating an autographed copy of her book to one of my blog readers. Woo hoo! We love giveaways. 

First, let me tell you about this precious book.

Behind my Bellybutton is a hardcover picture book published by Ambassador International. It contains twenty-eight pages of colorful illustrations by Chris Danger.  

The story is about a little boy, Eli, discovering how God grew him behind his mother’s belly button. It's Eli's birthday and short, easy-to-understand conversations take place between Eli and his mother.

I love the author's descriptive and comparative language. It makes it easier for a young child to relate to something abstract with something they understand.

Eli first learns he was about the size of a poppy seed when he was “in the safe, warm place behind [his mom’s] bellybutton and near to [her] heart.”
Throughout the book, his mom repeats this phrase as Eli observes things and asks questions.

“Was I ever the size of a blueberry?” he asked.

“Once you were the size of a blueberry,” Mama said.

“What was I doing then?”

“Your heart was beating strong like a drum in the safe, warm place behind my bellybutton and near to my heart.”

Eli then comments how he notices his heart working today.

This sequence continues with Mama telling Eli what things he did before he was born when he was the size of an orange, a baseball, and finally a watermelon!

The book has a happy ending with Mama assuring Eli that no matter how big he grows, he will always be near to her heart.

Psalm 139:13 is in large print on the last page. God is mentioned at the beginning and at the end of the story, unless you count the author’s dedication to God our Creator on the dedication page. Then, it’s three!

I love this book. The story is endearing. Young children will find it interesting to learn how lively they were before they were born, even when they were as small as a blueberry.

Who wants to win this book? 

I'll choose a winner on Saturday, January 14, 2017. All you have to do to get your name placed in the drawing is leave a comment finishing this sentence:

A baby (zygote, embryo, fetus) in the womb is . . .

I’ll start us off by stating what we know to be true. A baby (zygote, embryo, fetus) is a gift from God.

Your turn.

A baby in the womb is . . .



Top Ten 2016 Blog Posts

by Sally Matheny

I follow several blogs on a variety of topics. Every January, it’s delightful when they post their top, most popular blog posts from the year. What did other readers find most helpful or entertaining? I click through their lists to make sure I've not missed anything.

I like to do the same thing on my blog. It helps me to see which topics readers found most interesting. 

The book reviews and giveaways were popular. For those of you reading today, here's a heads up! There'll be several giveaways between now and February. You may want to join my free email list if you don't want to miss one.

Otherwise, here are the blog posts you all ranked as the top ten.

The countdown of 2016's top ten:

Sally Matheny

Thank you, dear readers. I feel your pulse.

You and I are striving to grow strong and courageous in our faith so we can influence the next generation to be strong and courageous.

Let’s keep searching for His Truth as we continue to pray for and encourage one another. 

I pray the Lord will meet all your needs and bless you with a joyful and healthy new year.