Content from this blog has moved to www.michellerayburn.com.

2.28.2011

Is your Kindle full yet?

Well, if it isn't full, here is another book from Christian publisher, Tyndale House for you.

Gray Matter by David Levy and Joel Kilpatrick

2.27.2011

Free Kindle Books - Feb. 27

It's been a few days since anything free came out from Christian publishers on Kindle. But this weekend is no disappointment. I've read books by author Maureen Lang before, and was excited to see one of her books offered free. And it looks like Jerry Jenkins has left behind the Left Behind series and moved on to write something new.

Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang
Riven by Jerry Jenkins 

2.25.2011

Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams

Yesterday, I shared a review of a book by Kathi Lipp called The Me Project. Today, I have a guest post from Kathi on how to kick start your own dreams. After you read the article, please take time to comment below on your own dreams. What would you love to do? What's keeping you from doing it?

Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams – 
In the Next 15 Minutes
by Kathi Lipp

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?
You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1.      Go Public with It
It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.
When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2.      Join an Online Group
This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3.      Don’t be Afraid to Pray
I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.

I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.
 ______________________________ 

The name of one reader who comments will be entered into the gift basket drawing on March 4.

2.24.2011

The Me Project - A Review


I just finished reading The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted and I wanted to tell you about the book and about a fun giveaway from the author. I’ll admit, at first, I wasn’t sure about the title, since I don’t think women need to hear more “it’s all about me” philosophy. However, that isn’t what this is about at all, so don’t let the title fool you like it did me. Kathi Lipp has a of "project" books such as The Husband Project and The Marriage Project. This book is titled to fit in with that series.

This book is about taking that thing you’ve always wanted to do and turning it into reality. Kathi has 21 days of projects in the book that will help you to look at your life purpose and figure out the practical steps to fulfilling it.

The book includes room for readers to write their responses to questions related to each daily project as well as room in the back for tracking all 21 days. Kathi shares anecdotes from her own life throughout the book which makes it personal and helps the reader feel she has an ally. She also emphasizes the need to find an accountability partner and each chapter ends with a few reports from others who have completed the daily project.

I enjoyed the tone of the book and I think it’s a great tool for taking a life inventory and seeking God for new direction. Many readers will enjoy the idea of Kathi’s 50/50 journal. She keeps a journal of 50 things she’d like to do in the next 50 years, sort of like a bucket list, but with specific steps for achieving each thing. Using the 21-day “Me Project”, a reader can take one item from that list and work through the steps to implementation.

Kathi has a warm writing voice and a style that has broad appeal. She’s real about her flaws and mistakes and doesn’t pretend to have it all together. That goes a long way with readers who have their own flaws and struggles.

Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review purposes from KCW Communications.
 
About Kathi

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: www.kathilipp.com
 Grand Prize Giveaway:
Deluxe Starbucks Coffee Gift Basket

  • Three 2.5-oz. bags of Starbucks coffee
      (Sumatra, House Blend, and French Roast)
  • Tazo black tea
  • Starbucks marshmallow cocoa
  • Almond roca buttercrunch toffee cookies
  • White chocolate and raspberry cookies
  • 2 Starbucks mugs
  • Keepsake black bamboo basket
  • Almond roca
$62 value

To get your name in the first round of the drawing, leave a comment on this post or on the post tomorrow (A guest article from Kathi 2/25). Then, on March 4, I'll send the name of one reader to the final drawing for the grand prize. Comments must be left on the blog here at www.faithcreativitylife.com and not via e-mail.
Remember, your comments also qualify you for my monthly drawing.

2.22.2011

Fun iPod Touch App for Readers

If you're a regular Faith Creativity Life follower, you know that I post quite a few book reviews and today I discovered a fun app for my new iTouch. By the way, I got said iPod by cashing in points on my visa card and points from Swagbucks on Amazon gift cards so that I could get it free. (see below for more info about Swagbucks)

If you haven't checked out Goodreads, I suggest you do. It's a site where you can meet other readers, review books, and track your own books. If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch, they have an app that allows you to scan the barcode on the back of a book and automatically add the book to your virtual bookshelf.

Now, I have to admit, I'm in love with just scanning stuff because the technology blows me away. So, I may or may not have books on my bookshelf that I scanned just for the fun of it. But, it's also a really cool way to track your reading and your wish list. I just scanned in the books I received in the mail for review.

Let's imagine you are in the library and you see a book you just have to buy. You can scan the bar code on the back and add it to your Goodreads list to look it up later online for purchase. You'll just need to have access to wireless to take advantage of this feature, but my library has free wifi. 

If you sign up for a Goodreads account, be sure to add me as a friend - Michelle Rayburn - and check out my reviews.

Happy scanning!

Don't forget - comments on any February blog post yet your name entered into the drawing for a free book.

*Swagbucks is a points reward system where users earn reward points by using the search engine, shopping through sponsors, completing surveys, shopping with coupons and more. Right now, if you use this special code at sign-up, you'll get 50 instant bonus points 3rdBirthday116 Sign up for Swagbucks

2.16.2011

World, Stop Spinning...Please!

Do you ever wish the world would slow down a little? I remember going on carnival rides when I was a kid and I was so relieved when the ride started to slow down a little. This week, I feel like the ride keeps speeding up on me and I never get that reprieve that comes with knowing it's going to slow soon.

I was late on two bills this week simply because I didn't have time to sit down and grab the bill box and pay them. That drives me crazy because I hate being late! And It seems like lately, I add more items to my to-do list than I take off every day. It's made it difficult to stir up any creativity when I need it. Last week, it took me way longer than normal to write an article that was due, simply because I just couldn't come up with the words.

But, despite my growing to-do list, I have forced myself to carve out time to renew and refresh. Last week, Friday, I was out of state for the day accompanying my son to a scholarship day at my alma mater where he's applied. Saturday, I knew I should be catching up at home, but I took off a couple of hours to attend an art show in a nearby town.

Until the world stops spinning, I've learned to seek creative ways to cope with the motion of the ride. 

What do you do to unwind? Do you make time for it even when you're overwhelmed with busyness? Leave your comments below and get your name in the February drawing

A few people have said they've had trouble leaving comments. I checked and all of the settings are okay. Just be sure that you select an ID or you use "Anonymous" in the drop-down box for "Comment As" or your comments won't go through. 

2.15.2011

2.14.2011

Reflections on Valentine's Day

Going through my pictures, I was happy to find one of some bunnies that were in my yard last summer. It made me realize how much I miss the grass and warm sun on my face. But then as I looked at the photo, I also was reminded of how even bunnies need companions. I'm thankful that I've had my husband in my life for 25 years, but I'm also aware that today, on Valentine's Day, there are others who aren't so fortunate. 

Maybe they've never had someone to share this day with. Or maybe they've lost the special someone they once had. Either way, it's an opportunity for me to pray for those who find this a difficult day, for those who long for a companion.

It's also a day for those who are married to consider their relationships. Valentine's Day for some is a day to expect gifts. But somewhere in 21 years of marriage, I decided to loosen up a little on my expectations, and it's proven to be a wonderful thing in our relationship. We don't make a big deal of Valentine's Day. If we make a card or write a note, that's great, but we don't have expectations. Tonight, my husband made hamburgers and fries for me. That's a perfect gift! And the other day at the store, I bought him some breaded cheese curds as a treat since I know he loves them. That's it. That's how we celebrated Valentine's this year.

Now, I know there are some skeptics out there. I talked to one this weekend who says he doesn't believe any woman who says she doesn't want a gift. But the best gift I could ever receive isn't found in a store. It's the respectful way my husband treats me. That's a gift. And it's the way he does little things for me that tell me he cares, like folding my laundry when I've left it all over the bed and he wants to go to sleep. Or turning on my electric blanket for me before bedtime. Sometimes he tosses a Hershey's kiss from his La-Z-Boy across to mine...he knows how I appreciate it when he shares his chocolate. Come to think of it, those bunnies remind me of chocolate bunnies...Honey, do you have any chocolate to spare tonight?

What did you do for Valentine's? Do you like to go all out? Do you eat out? Or was this a difficult day for you? However you spent today, I hope you know that you are very much loved by your heavenly Father. 

Remember, all comments on February blog posts get your name into the book drawing.

2.13.2011

A Billion Reasons Why- Book Review


Just in time for Valentine’s Day…a sweet love story. Ever think you have life all figured out, but you can’t quite put something from the past to rest? In “A Billion Reasons Why,” Katie McKenna thinks she has put Luc DeForges behind her, and she’s ready to get engaged to Dexter. But, when he shows up again, she isn’t quite so sure. It’s obvious that Dexter is stable and they want the same things, but Katie wonders if there might be some emotional connection missing.

Katie’s decision will resonate with any reader who’s faced a decision between common sense and a heart connection. Both men in the story are solid and neither would weaken Katie’s faith. But she struggles with trading her dream and some of her artsy side in order to be the wife that Dexter wants. She knows he’s a solid Christian but she’s stifled some of herself in order to be who he wants her to be.

On the other hand, what might happen if Katie goes back to her past in order to rekindle a dream from her past? Will she lose her last chance at true love? So many women today will be able to relate to Katie’s feelings.

I enjoyed the book and it was a fun read. I did find it a little bit predictable through most of the book, but that was okay since it’s well written and engaging. There were a couple of twists at the very end that satisfied my desire for surprise.

This is the first book I’ve read by Kristin Billerbeck, and I know I’ll be looking for more in the future. I like how multilayered the characters are. It’s a sweet love story, but the characters make it worth reading.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for review purposes as part of their Book Sneeze program. I was not compensated in any other way for my fair and honest review.

2.10.2011

What's Your Love Language?

As Valentine's Day approaches in less than a week, have you thought about what you will do for your loved ones? Do you always buy gifts? Or does your celebration involve doing something for your loved one(s)? It's a been a while since I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I think it's time for a review.
I know that my husband and I express our love in different ways, but we've never officially figured out our dominant love language. Chapman says there are five basic ways that we prefer to receive and often they way we give love:
  • Acts of service
  • Gifts
  • Words of affirmation
  • Spending quality time
  • Physical touch
I think my husband is thankful that receiving gifts is low on my list since it fits better with his budget. Hee, hee. He also works in the middle of nowhere, so shopping doesn't fit with his routine either. But that doesn't mean giving in other ways isn't just as costly. For some people, it's just as costly for them to carry out an act of service as it is for someone else to purchase a diamond, simply because it isn't their first nature. Want to know your language?

Here's a link to a free quiz from 5 Love Languages. I suggest you and your spouse both take the quiz and then compare. Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to re-think the way you express your love and learn how best to show love in a way your spouse most appreciates.
After you take the quiz, stop by and leave a comment telling your love language. Your comments will get you entered into the February book drawing. My primary language is quality time, but words of affirmation came in second, mostly because I like feeling appreciated.

2.07.2011

Free Kindle Book - February 7

Just added today from Christian publisher Abingdon Press:

A Time to Love (Quilts of Lancaster County Series #1) by Barbara Cameron

2.05.2011

Free Kindle Book- February 5

Today's addition to the free books is from the ZonderKidz series called Faith Girlz. Perhaps you know a young girl who would enjoy reading it on her iTouch, Kindle, or laptop.

Vanished by Kristi Holl

2.02.2011

Free Kindle Books- February 2

More freebies...
I've read the book by Lynn Austin, and she is one of my favorite authors of all time. It's a must read. I also enjoy Lisa Wingate when I'm in the mood for a lighthearted read. Can't wait to read this one.

Fiction:
Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House)
Candle in the Darkness (Refiner's Fire, Book 1) by Lynn Austin (from Bethany House Publishers)

Also available:
A story for children: I Love You This Much: A Song of God's Love by Sue Buchanan and Lynn Hodges (from Zondervan)


2.01.2011

Book Winner

Congrats to Angie Vik who won my January book drawing for Your Money God's Way! I'll get your address from you and send it out right away.

I'll be announcing the February drawing soon.

Free Kindle Books- February 1


I've heard that many throughout the Midwest are caught in a gigantic snowstorm. Here's some more snow day reading from Christian publishers.

A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House Publishers) 
The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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