Friday, December 30, 2011

$80 Free to Amazon in 2011

What would you do with $80 free to Amazon?

I bought a Kindle.

Did I mention it was FREE?  And my mother earned $110 to Amazon FREE this year!

How?  Swagbucks.  It's a search engine (and a good one) that allows you to earn "swagbucks" to redeem for a number of different prizes.  There are also other gift cards, but I always prefer Amazon cards.

Want to start earning? 


And through tomorrow if you add the code HOLIDAYSWAG at registration you will get an ADDITIONAL 100 points when you sign up!  How great is that?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: The Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit: Understanding and Receiving God's Supernatural Power in Your LifeGifts of the Spirit: Understanding and Receiving God's Supernatural Power in Your Life by Derek Prince

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I rarely agree with everything in a book, and this one is no exception. I do, however, recommend it to ALL Christians. I think this is an important book because the Pentecostals are such a fast growing denomination and that I believe every Christian should be aware of what Pentecostals really teach (or in some cases SHOULD teach) about the Gifts of the Spirit. After all, there are guidelines set down in the Bible as to how some of the Gifts of the Spirit should operate, and if a church allows gifts to operate in their church, they should be following those guidelines.

This is presented in an easy to read style. It was a relatively fast read, and I liked how the Gifts were grouped in different sections. (Gifts of Revelation, Gifts of Power, Vocal Gifts). It was a great way to group them.

This book uses lots of Scripture to back up his beliefs, which I liked, even if I don't agree with all he teaches. It showed me where he was coming from, and I believe it's important to understand the differences between denominations, and this is a good overview of that.




You can purchase this book from Amazon here: Gifts of the Spirit

Monday, December 26, 2011

Book review: The New 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is one of those books that can be used multiple ways.  I've heard about people having competitions to see which of their friends can visit more of the places listed in this book.  For me, I don't know that this is a book I would use to construct my "bucket list".  After all, I tend to seek the out of the way, more unique, known only to "locals" places.  One of my favorite memories in Europe was going to buy vegetables in a quaint little town in Holland with a local.  That would never make a tour guide book, but I loved seeing the town, interacting with the locals, and enjoying a dinner complete with fresh vegetables we bought that afternoon. 

This is an updated edition, the first one having been published in 2003.  I had only been to five of the places in the first book.  Since then, I've been to 30 places.  (Counting all Hong Kong, Los Angeles, etc. as a singular place.) 

For me, I think this book would best be used as a springboard of places I might want to see.  I realize when you are compiling a list of only 1000 places, you lose out on many sights that are important, but I could think of different places I would have included in this volume, both in the USA and on foreign soil.  (I was going to say Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is one of those places, but I just looked it up and it got a one sentence mention, so it was mentioned, but one of the most memorable places I've ever visited, and I would have given it more than a mention.)

However, that's the joy of this book.  It includes places I wouldn't, leaves out places I would, and gives a different "must see" perspective of this world, and after all, the world is as unique as the people who live in it, and everyone has their own ideas and opinions, and that includes what should be the "must see" places.  It is enjoyable to flip through and learn about different places all over the world!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.  The opinions are my own.

You can buy it here from Amazon: The New 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review: A Reel Cool Summer

A Reel Cool SummerA Reel Cool Summer by Martha Rodriguez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I'll admit that I'm a sucker when it comes to books about guinea pigs. Add in a contest, and it's a sure winner, right?

The illustrations in this book are great. They are very rich, interesting drawings that are full of color. In fact, one of the few things I didn't like about the book was the words were on a rich blue background sometimes making it a bit hard to read, at least for me.

It's a cute story of two brothers and their sister who use an old video camera to make a movie. After all, it's a super hot day and they are bored. It's a day that is like lava and the mall!

They then enter the movie in the library's movie contest and they win a mystery prize, which is absoluteley perfect for the lava mall days of summer!

I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads "First Reads" program. The opinions here are my own.



View all my reviews

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Giveaway: Out of a Far Country

When I first posted a review of Out of a Far Country in May, I had only read it once.  I didn't even eat that day to finish it.  Now looking back,  my review from then does not do the book justice.  I have read it twice since then, and one chapter I have read nearly a dozen times.  It's the timeless tale, a true story, of a mother's pain as her son slips further and further into homosexuality and drugs.   At the very beginning of the book, Christopher announces he is a homosexual.  Almost immediately his mother becomes a Christian and like the persistent widow in the Bible, she bombards heaven with her prayers.

"Lord, whatever it takes to bring Christopher to You," was Angela's fervent prayer, but she never expected the answer to be 10 Atlanta City Police, DEA agents and two German Shepard dogs arriving on her son's doorstep to confiscate his drugs.  Christopher was likely facing ten years to life in prison.  Just when Christopher thought things couldn't get any worse, he received the news he was HIV+.

Unlike many Christian books, this one tackles hard issues.  Christopher tells his story.  Drugs.  Bath house.  Sex.  While it is not graphic, it paints a picture of what his life was.  Yet at the same time, this book gives hope to Moms who may have been praying for years for their children.   And where did those prayers eventually take Christopher?  He is now celibate and teaching at Moody Bible Institute.  His story is a miracle of what God can do with a life totally surrendered to Him.  Angela's story is an example for every mom to not give up.  God can do amazing things with your children no matter how far into the "far country" they may be.

I can't say enough good things about this book.  I'm very excited to be able to do a giveaway for one of my readers.

One reader will win a signed advanced reader's copy of  Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope as well as a Lindt chocolate bar.  (Isn't this the ultimate reader's giveaway?  A great book and chocolate!)

Here are the rules:

Rules for the giveaway: 
  • Open to the USA only.
  • Ends 12/20 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.
  • Please leave a separate comment for each way you enter as I use Random.org to pick my winners.
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be chosen.
  • Please leave contact information in your comment if it's not in your blogger profile so I will have a way of contacting you if you win.


    You can do any or all of these to enter (there is no "mandatory entry" like I sometimes do)


    Enter to #win #OutOfaFarCountry by @christopheryuan on @jenndiggy blog.  Ends 12/20 http://yuan2.us/ga1

    FTC disclaimer -- I received a copy of Out of A Far Country to do a review in May.  I am receiving no additional compensation to host this giveaway.

Book Review: Raised Right

I remember hearing in church that you couldn't be a Christian and be a Democrat.  I wondered where this was in the Bible.  Where does Jesus say, "Ye must vote red to be born again."?  When Clinton was elected president, we didn't know that blue could also mean dresses, we only knew it meant that God didn't win.  Sitting with a couple kids from my youth group while watching returns, we prayed for the future of our country.  We felt certain that there would be no future because every child conceived would be aborted because that was the platform of the Democratic party, wasn't it?

While I couldn't totally relate to Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics , I still remember going off to the "Life Chain" one Sunday morning after church -- had I had my own way to church I wouldn't have participated.  For $2, which I didn't have but my ride graciously agreed to provide, we were able to "rent" a cardboard sign.  For an hour we stood along the highway and held up signs.  I passed on "Abortion stops a beating heart" and other anti-abortion messages and held one up that said, "Jesus heals and forgives".  I wasn't cut out to be an activist.  I wanted to show love not condemnation to anyone who would perceive our message that way.

But Alisa Harris grew up in a family where their blood ran red -- Republican red.  From dressing up a goat as Bill Clinton in a county fair, to debating abortion, to learning the "Killer Questions" of evangelism so that no soul is left behind, Alisa sees politics as part of the church.   She feels so dedicated to the cause that she campaigns in college for someone she can't even remember their name at the end of the day.  I believe it is then she starts questioning why.

From that point on, she begins wrestling with the compound of Church and Politics.  She is sat down with her parents by her pastor in what appears to be an act of church discipline to reign her back into the fold.  After all, women should be preparing for marriage and raising up more Republicans for Jesus, right?

Hounded by her parents to vote for McCain, she ends up buying a t-shirt that says "Blondes for Obama".  In the end of the book she muses over the question of "Can a Christian be a Democrat?"

This was a quick read and I did enjoy this book.  I think those who have grown up in the church and realize that Jesus is bigger than a political party would also enjoy it, as well as anyone wanting a glimpse into the life of an activist family.



FTC disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Could you please take a second and rate my review?  This helps determine what books are available to me in the Blogging for Books program.  Thank you!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Want to win an iPad or a Bible?

Every day over at The New Living Translation Facebook Page they are giving away a copy of The New Living Translation Life Application Bible FAMILY PACK of six Bibles which includes:  Guys Life Application Study Bible hardcover, Girls Life Application Study Bible hardcover, Student's Life Application Study Bible hardcover, Life Application Study Bible hardcover, Life Application Study Bible Large Print hardcover.


One person each week will win an iPad!


Not only that, everyone who signs up will receive a downloadable Gospel of Luke in the New Living Translation version.


The giveaway runs from November 28 through December 24th.


Good luck!  So take a moment and enter now!  http://www.facebook.com/NewLivingTranslation?sk=app_121121694568521

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby Crockett August 2007 - December 2011



Most of my pictures of Baby Crockett are in another computer, but I have these in this one.  Look at that log "pig tail" he had in the first one, and the second, that's a favorite "I'm sleeping" photo of him.

The third one, he's in Goya's Biggest Fan contest, and you can vote daily to be entered to win $5,000.  http://www.goya.com/english/match-your-birthday/birthday-bash/photo-greatest-fan.aspx

He was such a great guinea pig and I miss him so much already!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pigture re-takes

I often have people tell me I do a great job of taking Pigtures (guinea PIG picTURES).  But that doesn't always come easily.  Sometimes the guinea pigs walk off leaving me snapping a pigture of their back 40, I even once had a pig try to stand on another.  You never know what will happen in a pigture.

Here are some I did NOT sumbit for a contest I entered.

"Hey, it's getting crowded over here".  Not to mention the red eyes in Fuzzy.


And someone lost his hat!



I'm not sure what is going on in this one, but it doesn't look like they are up to much good, now does it?



Want to know what photo I entered in the contest?  Well you are in luck!  It's a finalist for a contest where I could win $7,500 or more!  And you could win $5,000 just by voting!  That's right!  Just by voting (which you can do daily until 12/31) you get an entry to win $5,000.

Just head over here and vote! Make sure you get the "Thank You" screen or you vote didn't go through.

My entry is #6.  Fuzzy kept giving me such bad red-eye I didn't submit a photo he was in.  :)  I think you'll agree that the final shot was much better than any of these I just showed you!