Thursday, August 23, 2012

The American Bible Challenge - Giveaway and Review

"If you don't know your Bible, you don't have a prayer!"

This is guaranteed to be the next slogan to hit homes as the Game Show Network launches the premiere of The American Bible Challenge this Thursday, August 23rd at 8/7 central with the host, Jeff Foxworthy! Jeff Foxworthy, himself spends his Tuesdays and Thursday nights hosting a Bible Study in his hometown for the homeless!

I can see this show being utilized by churches and youth groups to bring fun back into the church through studying the Bible and who knows perhaps forming their own team challenges!

Three teams will battle to challenges of biblical proportions in both the Old and New Testaments while playing to bless others charity's or ministries such as cancer, building wells, supplying shoes, feeding the hungry, human trafficking and aids just to name a few.

They have researched with many pastors and churches to make sure they kept serious Bible learning with fun and humor while creating this exciting and new series!

It doesn't feel like Sunday school but a school of Rock, while still keeping it respectful but relevant with some amazing categories like:

Faithbook - like Facebook where you guess the character based on status updates!
Real Housewives of the O.T.
My Tweet Lord - who tweeted this?
Jesus Christ Super Star Wars - which answers are from the Bible and which are from Star Wars!
Greeting Cards - based on what the card says, figure out who this person, place or event is.

Final Revelation Rounds - the rapid fire round designed to challenge the teams in a series of answers. They are given a category such as Dreams, get time for a quick Bible Study and come back and try to win the round!

I can't wait for this to begin and there are some amazing ways to watch this. You can tune in on Thursday to the Game Show Networks on the 23rd of August, 8/7 central, or you can soon download the app to your device. You can even find out more amazing information on the website, such as learning about the teams, their charities or play along. Make sure you check out all the details before Thursday. Don't forget to set your DVR's!

Now even more great news! Thanks to FlyByPromotions, they are offering one lucky follower of my blog the chance at a great giveaway for a American Bible Challenge T-shirt and a Zondervan Bible! Here's all you need to do:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart, or if you already "Liked" me, then leave a comment telling me how you are going to play this game!

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave me a comment below telling me what your thoughts are on how you and your family or church are going to use, The American Bible challenge along with your email address. You can use the words (at) or (dot), but without it I can't contact you if you're the winner.

I will notify the winner on August 31st via email and post the results on Facebook.

You can find out more information by going to The American Bible Challenge website or on Facebook.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Defending the Resurrection of Jesus Christ - Part 1

I am a firm believer if you are going to stand for something, you have to believe in it. Yet some things we may not physical see or be an actual witness to know that something is true. For example just because you haven't seen your great, great, great grandparents doesn't mean they don't exist or you weren't physically there when they were around, you know based on what you were told by your grand parents or parents who were, correct?

Some would argue that Jesus Christ doesn't exist because I mean who was around some 2000 years ago right? But don't we have solid, factual proof from people in a written document that can still be proven within 5 years that He did exist? What would you say to that?

I find it interesting as I grow more solid in my Christian beliefs that there are those who won't agree with what I believe, and that is up to them. What I would argue against in my defense is those that would say all I believe is a big fat lie. Jesus Christ wasn't God, there is No God, and that all that we have on the face of the earth and heavens was merely created by some cosmic speck or some big bang. For those reasons, I have to defend my beliefs.

For those of you that wonder what I believe, it's simple. I believe in God. I believe that He, alone created the heavens and the earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe He is the son of God, sent down from Heaven in the form of a human to die for the sins of ALL man-kind, past, present and future. I believe He was crucified, died and was raised from the dead after 3 days, and I believe He rose to heaven and is coming back again. I believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God and I believe that simply through faith alone in Jesus Christ and not through works, I will be saved from the physical death in this life and have an eternal life. I believe that it is only through Jesus Christ, based on what He stated in the Bible, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ~ John 14:6

With that being said, you have to be able to defend your beliefs and often times it's difficult because most the people who argue against you just slam the arguments that there is no other way to heaven except through Jesus, but He said not me. So you can take that up with him. In regards to the other matters, you have to take apart the doctrines of the Christian faith one by one to defend it.

If you don't believe in God, what do you believe?

If you don't believe the Bible is the word of God, what is it?

If you don't believe in Jesus, then who was he?

If you don't believe that He was crucified, died and rose from the dead, then why was he crucified?

Those are our basic core beliefs in the Christian faith and I know most people who run when they hear the "Christian label" do so, because they have been left with a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to knowing what being a Christian is.

No where in all of history has any other religion, been made fun of, mocked and have believers persecuted as much as the Christian or followers of Jesus Christ. I am not saying that other religious groups haven't been persecuted, but no where near the level of Christians. Just look at the current main stream audience and see what happens when you stand up for Christ now, and what He believed in, you are labeled a racist, a bigot, and worse. However when any other religion stands up for what they believe in, nothing. We chalk it up to whatever, it's what they believe in anyway.

Need more of an example, lets take a Christian's belief in marriage. We believe, it is between a man and woman alone. That is the way God created it, it was designed for procreation in the Garden when God created man and woman and called it good and it what we morally believe it's right. Just throw that statement on your Facebook page and watch what happens. Persecution will follow.

So why are there no protests from gay and lesbian groups in third world countries, who firmly stand by these same beliefs even though they are a different religious groups? Worse yet, if they did, all these people would be put to death. Why the outcasting of the Christian ones?

We have to start somewhere and with the Christians it's the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY one who isn't still in the grave. Buddha's grave still holds a body, so does Mohammed, so does Confucius, but Jesus's grave is empty. That alone is proof that everything he claimed while he was here was the truth. I mean if you don't believe that, who do you think Jesus was? A great man, a miracle worker, a prophet? Really???

Then can you tell me why the Roman Empire had him crucified?

Because He claimed to be the Son of God, that's why. It went against everything they believed at the time and people were believing in him. He proved it through his miracles of raising the dead, healing the sick, the blind and the diseased, and walking on water.

What? You don't believe in miracles?

Hmm then let me ask you what is a platypus?

By logic and premise it shouldn't exist, but we know it does. We've seen it. Yet let's look at what it is.

It's an egg layer, so it's a reptile right? Only reptiles lay eggs. Whew! Thought I had you right! Wrong.

It isn't a reptile because science claims that reptiles lay eggs and are cold blooded. So what is a platypus? It's an egg layer who is warm blooded. Therefore, according to science it doesn't exist but it does. Check Google. You can see pictures! Go to a zoo, more than likely, you'll see one for yourself.

But according to Science and logic, it can't exist. Miracle!!

Ah, but I am just getting warmed up, check back tomorrow to see more evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Feel free to comment too! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prayer List

I think it's imperative to lift our needs up in prayer and to pray for one another. Especially in these hard times so many are hurting and in need. I've started a prayer list on the top right hand side of my blog, so if you are in need of something specifically, I will add you to the list. I will also provide updates if I get any regarding the specific issues that we are lifting people up in prayer, (for example if you are praying for a job, and you get one, let me know and we can revise it to answered prayers.)

I think it's a great way to gather together under prayer and lift our needs up for God. We may not always get the answers we want, but we pray that God knows our needs best and will answer according to His needs for us, not our needs for our lives.

Please email me at if you have specific requests or if you need to update an answered prayer. The more specific your needs the more we can pray for those things.

Matthew 18:20
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

There Are No Mistakes in Life!

You make all things work together for my good! ~ Romans 8:28

I can still hear this song and scripture verse ringing through my soul. It's what I call a "soul song"! A song that lingers deep within as though you are hearing it as loud as it was when you were in the midst of hearing it live, but it resounds in your soul.

Sometimes we never know when our testimony will be called by God to share but that is what I felt led by God to share today. What I know for certain is no matter how painful it may be to bring up and share, the enemy will attempt to counter your thoughts and tell you it doesn't matter. Do it anyway, trust me, God will use it like He does everything that causes us pain.

Who would have thought that a simple conversation dealing with college classes would lead to the topic of forgiveness that led an incredible man of God to struggle with letting go of a burden that he's been holding onto for 19 years. While I can't tell you what the conversation was personally, all I know was that I could see the pain and hurt that holding on to feelings can bring. Even though he's walking according to God in his life, this was something he wasn't ready to let go of. We spent time together sharing stories from our past in how we got over emotions that can betray us to keep from forgiving people that have so deeply hurt us.

Like I shared with him, it's not about them, it's about us. It's about letting go of that burden you know you aren't meant to carry and who knows how God will use this part of your life to help others who are struggling like you are. God can take any burden and make it lighter.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest!" ~ Matthew 11:28.

God never meant for us to carry this weight of our pasts, especially as believers. He has so much goodness and mercy to lift this off our shoulders and let us move forward. It isn't about what they will do with our forgiveness, but what God will do with it. He wants us to live a life of freedom, a life that the enemy would keep us in bondage from having. He wants to give us every reason under the sun, not to do what God has called us for. But that isn't the answer He has for us.

God makes ALL things work together for OUR good! Even all the ugly pain, bitterness, anger, hurt and feelings of rejection. God wants to set us free.

I can only lift this man up in prayer today and ask that you join me to ask God to soften his heart, and allow him to seek the forgiveness he knows he needs. Now is the time. There are NO coincidences when it comes to God. He brought us both to that place today to share the pain of two decisions with very different results that hopefully will bring us both healing in different ways.

I know the decision won't be easy. It never is when we go against what the enemy wants for our life, but I know, deep down in my soul, that God has a great life in store for this man. Please continue to lift him up in prayer and remember when you feel the call of God on your life, make sure you answer it right then and there. You don't know how much time any of us have and if we think it can wait til tomorrow, we might just be fooling ourselves.

I can't wait to see what God will do with this!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Top 5 Back-to-School Deals for This Week (August 5-11, 2012)

I got permission to post this on my blog and with so many of us nearing back to school time, I hoped these ideas might save you some money in the long run. Feel free to share your ideas or money saving tips in the comment box below:


Kid's Jeans for $9 From Old Navy: Old Navy has all their Kid's Famous Jeans on sale for $10 through August 15, 2012. This sale is both in-store and online. If you are planning on purchasing multiple pairs, you can sign up for Old Navy emails to get a $10 off $50 coupon. Plus, shipping is free on orders over $50. So you could potentially get five pairs of jeans for just $9 shipped each. If you're shopping in-store, you can print a $10 off $50 coupon from the Old Navy Facebook Page.

Kid's Jeans for as Low as $8.50 from The Children's Place: The Children's Place has a number of different jeans priced at $10 right now. Use coupon code RETAILMENOT82 to get an additional 15% off your order, making the jeans just $8.50 per pair after this coupon code. Shipping is free on $75+ orders or a flat-rate of $5 on orders less than $75.

Free 6-month Subscription to Shop Runner: If you do a lot of online shopping, you'll want to check this offer out! Sign up for a free Cozi account and they'll give you a coupon for a free 6-month subscription to Shop Runner. Shop Runner gives you unlimited free shipping to many different online sites -- just in time for purchasing back-to-school clothes, shoes, and electronics!

Buy One, Get One 50% Off Plus Additional 15% Off at Famous Footwear: Famous Footwear is running a Buy One, Get One Half Off Sale right now. This is a great opportunity to stock up on quality shoes for your kids at low prices. Plus, use this coupon to get an additional 15% off your order total.

Free First Day of School Printable Signs: Like to take a photo of your children on their first day of school to commemorate the occasion? Download two different free designs of First Day of School Signs. In addition, you can find some other fun free Back-to-School printables here.

LitfuseCrystal Paine is a wife, mom of three, author of The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget. Visit her blog,, for the best back-to-school deals and for practical ideas and inspiration to get your life and finances in order.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Do you submit?

For the last four weekends, we've been going through a study at church on marriage and how there is such an attack on what the Bible defines marriage to be. I am a firm believer that marriage was created to be and always should be, only between a man and a woman. I am not a bigot, a racist or intolerant, I am simply a believer in God who stands by what God created. I don't think we need to redefine the definition and God's word doesn't need to be changed to make things acceptable for all.

I am not trying to take away anyone's rights nor am I trying to incite hate, but if I claim to be a believer in the Word of God, the Bible, than I accept it at face value. It doesn't need to be changed. But there are those in recent days who have called me a bigot, a racist and a hater of gays, but that is all wrong. I simply stand by my beliefs like they stand by theirs. It's when I try to state what I believe, that I get all kinds of hate mail, Facebook posts and instant messages. I smile, because like Christ, He came here for the lost, the sick and the needy. Those that opposed what He stood for, mocked, insulted, beat and murdered Him because He stood for what God said was wrong. How funny that as Christian, believers in Christ, that we find ourselves following in His footsteps and carrying the cross as well. I smile, because it means I am doing what makes God happy and not man!

But back to the message at hand, submission. Do you find yourselves willing to submit when called for? I mean submitting to the authority of our current President? Submitting to your harsh, and micro-managing employer, or even submitting to a non-believing spouse in your marriage or even a spouse that is believing but isn't doing the will of God?

I think like most it's the word submission that frightens us the most. For most, they take the word out of the context it is meant to be. We think it means, becoming a doormat, someone who allows others to walk all over us, for us to smile and turn the other cheek while being a victim. Yet you'd be surprised as just what the word in the context of the Bible means.

I've had so many people look at the marriage and relationship my husband and I have. They compliment us on how we get along so well and how they wish they had marriages like ours. Want to know a simple secret?

It's all found in the Bible! All the answers! How to deal with almost any circumstance and watch the power of God transform your marriage. But both of you have to be willing to submit. Are you willing to use the power as a wife, to submit? Because that's what it means, to willingly surrender or volunteer without words (nagging, complaining, eye rolling, name calling, you get the idea!) through out actions to admire, encourage, affirm, build up, and become the biggest cheerleaders through loving our husbands in allowing them to "LEAD" our marriages, our families and our homes! We are to LOVE our husbands like we LOVE the Lord!

We need to not put our hope or faith in our husbands, but in God. Our husbands are human and will from time to time, let us down. But if we can learn to Trust GOD and His promises, He will bless our marriages, our husbands and our families! It's that power of submission, the willingness to let go and let God work on changing our husbands and work on building our relationship with God that He will bless our marriages. We, now more than ever before, as Christians, need to show the world just why God's definition of marriage is better than the worlds! We need to show people through our actions, not our words, why God's promises work and how beautiful our marriages can be when we live for God. There is NOTHING impossible for God only for man!

For more resources on dealing with submission, see 1 Peter 2:11 - 1 Peter 4.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3: 15b (NIV)