What Study Bible Do You Recommend?

I’ve actually posted this question on Twitter a couple of times and got just a few responses, and thought maybe I’d get more input here…

About 20 years ago, I was given a beautiful red-leather bound Thompson-Chain KJV (King James Version) Bible as a gift.  It had my name embossed in gold on the front cover, and I spent many years reading through it, marking verses, making notes, and well, just  loving it.

I could turn to certain passages of marked Scripture and see the highlights and underlines or notes in the margin and remember a particular sermon I’d heard or study I’d participated in.

Sometimes I could read one of those notes and feel God’s Spirit speak a message anew to my heart.  I would go into the concordance and learn more.  I would cross reference verses and have a better understanding of what I had read.

Throughout the years, I collected more Bibles – a NKJV (New King James Version), my grandmother’s NIV (New International Version) – and have used all of them at one point or another.

And then it happened.  One Sunday after church, I lost track of my Bible.  The one I’d had for so long, that had so much meaning and so much of my Spiritual journey marked throughout the pages.

I thought for sure it would just turn up somewhere and I would find it again – but it’s been 6 months and I haven’t seen it.  I retraced my steps.  No luck.  I checked at church thinking I’d left it in a classroom after dropping my daughters off in class.  Nope.

And I began to grieve over the loss.  I didn’t realize just how special that Bible had been to me until I lost it.  And since then, I have struggled with my Bible study.

I’ve looked at new KJV Thompson-Chains, but the availability of other newer versions (like The Amplified or The Message) have intrigued me.  I found a parallel Bible with NKJV (now my favorite version) and The Amplified Bible.  Hmmmm – giving that one serious thought.

But I have looked and looked for that one Bible that could be both used at church and personal study, and I’m honestly overwhelmed because I haven’t found “the one.”

I love having cross references and a good concordance, but can use a separate concordance if need be.

So I’m putting this question to you:

What do you use for your personal every day study?  Do you use a different Bible or version for church?  Why do you love your particular Bible(s)?

I am praying over this.  Wherever my Bible is, I am praying that SOMEONE is finding it useful and using it and learning from it.  And I am praying to find another Bible that is both easy to use and profoundly impacting in my spiritual growth and walk with Christ.

Thanks for your recommendations – I appreciate your input!!!

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Cookbook Giveaway: Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites

cookbookcoverWhen I read about the opportunity to review a new cookbook from the Once-A-Month Cooking (OAMC) gals – I was REALLY excited.  While I do love to cook, I do NOT enjoy the daily cleanup.  I wanted to see what tips & tricks – as well as recipes – the Family Favorites cookbook had to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I immediately dug into the Introduction section, and found the tips and recommendations to be DO-able!  I was glad to see that I wasn’t being told to invest in a lot of containers and new products that required more storage space – but instead was advised to use good freezer bags and my regular freezer to store everything.  Yay!

My favorite part of the cookbook, as I was reading it page by page, was the layout.  Broken down into One-month cycles with coordinating pantry list, freezing supplies, shopping list, and preparation order – I could see how simple preparing a month’s worth of meals could really be.  And there are 2 One-month cycles, as well as several Two-week cycles.  One of the recommendations in the Intro section is to cook with a friend, so for someone like me with a small prep space, that idea is very workable!

authorphotoThe authors of the OAMC books, Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg, have much experience with cooking, and have developed a very friendly system for meal planning, in my opinion! The coordinating recipes for each month’s cycle contained many recipes that my family would actually eat and enjoy.  No bizarre recipes or unusual ingredients.  Recipes like:

  • Creamy Chicken Enchiladas – p. 36
  • Chicken Broccoli Casserole – p. 32
  • Macaroni – p. 118

Not only that, but I was actually intrigued by many of the fish dishes since I don’t cook fish.  However, I’m considering the Tilapia Fillets (p. 134) because we want to eat more fish, more often, and this recipe seems very simple.

Since the cookbook also offers several Two-week cycles (which appeals to me as I’m usually buying groceries every two weeks, and would be more manageable to prepare ahead in my own kitchen), I’m going to start with one of them and see how it goes.  The Two-week cycles include a Gluten-Free plan, a Summer Two-week plan, and even a Gourmet plan!

I’m so thankful for my free copy of this cookbook – it’s one I’m really excited about not just reading but applying to help with meal planning, and planning ahead for my family!

Giveaway!

So here’s the fun part!  Not only did I get a free copy to review, but I got one copy to give away to one of my readers!  If you enjoy cooking, the recipes are very friendly – and if you’re looking for a Do-able plan for freezer meals and menu planning, this could be a great tool in your kitchen!

How to Enter:

Required: Leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever tried Once-A-Month cooking – how it has worked or not worked for you – and/or how you handle meal planning for yourself or your family now. Make sure your email address is included in your comment entry.  (If you don’t leave a comment for this, you won’t be entered.)

Extra Entries:

1. Twitter about this giveaway once daily thru 10/15/09 – leave your twitter id/link for each entry. (1 xtra entry per  Tweet).

2. Link to this post on your blog. (1 xtra entry)

3. Share on Facebook and leave me a comment with your FB link. (1 xtra entry)

***Contest ends Thursday, 10/15/09 at 11:59 pm.  Winner will be contacted via email and announced on Friday, 10/16/09.***

You can read my disclosure policy here.



A New Book. A Daring New Life…

FearlessHB_LNo, I haven’t written a book.  But one of my MOST favorite authors has.  And it’s on a topic that I knew far too well: Fear.

Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

And I’ve been reading the first chapter.  I was able to digitally ownload it free because I subscribe to his UpWords newsletter. (You can subscribe to this newsletter here, or click to read Fear Not and Fearless ch. 1)

Once again, in a matter of a few simple words, Max has drawn the ultimate portrait of life as we know it.  How it feels – how it works – and how God wants it to be…

And reminds me – once again – WHO IS the Master of the Storm.

On a day when I so need to be reminded.  When the waves threaten to crash over me and drown me.  When some of the difficulties of life just seem too difficult to fathom, let alone bear.

This statement:

Christ-followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions, and, as a result, face fears. It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It’s whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ.

And these, too:

Fear does this. Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. We begin to wonder if love lives in heaven. If God can sleep in our storms, if his eyes stay shut when our eyes grow wide, if he permits storms after we get on his boat, does he care? Fear unleashes a swarm of doubts, anger-stirring doubts.

And it turns us into control freaks. “Do something about the storm!” is the implicit demand of the question. “Fix it or . . . or . . . or else!” Fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control. When life spins wildly, we grab for a component of life we can manage: our diet, the tidiness of a house, the armrest of a plane, or, in many cases, people.

The more insecure we feel, the meaner we become. We growl and bare our fangs. Why? Because we are bad? In part. But also because we feel cornered.

Does that speak to you?  It sure does to me.  I have to reread it again and again to let it sink in.

And I’ll have to buy this book, for sure!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Ahhhh – it’s here.  With a light dusting of snow, frigid temperatures, and Roy’s birthday behind us, it’s time to get ready for Christmas.  Our little Christmas tree will go up today, and I am going to (attempt to) let Curly help decorate this year.  We will also hold our annual cookie-baking-decorating time at Queen Mamaws with the girls’ cousins, Moe & Larry.  Last year we had a BLAST decorating cookies and the kids have been asking me since, on a regular basis, if we were going to do it again!  I baked cookies last night and just need to get the  frosting made – so we’ll be good to go – I hope to have some pictures posted next week!

In the meantime, if you need to do a little bit of Christmas shopping – check out some of my links  (Faith Wear, Teaporia, You-Can-Make – these are  my favorites), OR shop here (at least put your name in for the free Christmas drawing for books!!!)

What Christmas plans do YOU have for this weekend?