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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Afters CD - Live On Forever - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received this CD in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard any of the songs from The Afters newest CD? It's titled Live On Forever and the music is engaging, toe-tapping and shower sing along worthy. I hadn't read all the information about the CD before listening to it. I wanted to listen on my own and not be swayed by the cover blurbs. But the song 'Battles' spoke to me so strongly in my current season of life. I've had a big transition summer with my oldest going to college and my younger two moving from middle to high school and elementary to middle school. With change, there's a lot of adjustments and sometimes, battles to make sure my son's special needs are taken into account. I sometimes get bogged down in the idea that my battles are hard and I can't go on.

But then, I heard these lyrics:
Time after time you're my refuge,You heal every scar you're guarding my heart.Your promise, the hope that I cling to,My rescue, my friend you come rushing in.
And surround me on every sideYour love is my armor I fear no evil.Darkness runs from your lightSo I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid

I knew God was speaking to me. You can watch the video below and hear for yourself. After listening, I then read the information about the album. It's incredible.

About Live On Forever:
It’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy.
 Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.
 But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God. “If any theme has emerged, it would be ‘inspiration and motivation,’” Havens says.
 Havens himself felt a deep need to hold on after another loss struck: The band’s longtime soundman, Anthony Martinez, saw his newborn daughter die in infancy.
 Ask Havens to pick out a song that sums up the spirit of the album, and he chooses “Battles.” “It was the last song we wrote and the fastest we wrote,” he says. “We don’t typically write songs fast; we’ll change lyrics and melodies and craft our songs carefully. But ‘Battles’ poured out, the music and lyrics, in one day. It’s about standing up against fear and knowing God is always with us,” Havens explains. “It’s one of the takeaways we hope people get: ‘Don’t give up to fear.
 Havens shares how, half a world away from his home in Phoenix, he caught a small glimpse of heaven’s reassurance. The place: downtown Amsterdam. The occasion: a dinner between shows with band members and spouses—including soundman Martinez and his wife. For their baby daughter, the Martinez couple had chosen an unusual moniker with an unusual spelling: Pieper. Against all odds, it also happened to be exactly how the intimate restaurant they dined at spelled its name. Still, no one was prepared for what happened at the end of the meal. “We were talking about baby Pieper, and as we got up to leave, we noticed that the only thing on the walls—the only thing—was a framed document, an award for hospitality. And the date on the award—the only date in the place—was Pieper’s birthday. Her mother just started bawling.” Havens sums up the reassurance all took home that night: “We thought, ‘This is where God’s angels fly: right in the middle of the loss.’ God gives us little glimpses to show us he’s here.”
 “We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’” 

Would you like the opportunity to win a copy of the CD for yourself? Enter below using the Giveaway Tools form. Good luck!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Biggest Story DVD and CD - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received these items in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Do you love a well done Bible story? I know I do. Sometimes seeing a TV show is more beneficial to me for learning. Sometimes, I prefer an audio story. And sometimes, I prefer a book. I have previously reviewed the book The Biggest Story (spoiler alert - my daughter and I loved it!) and I am so excited to share with you now that I had the opporutnity to see the DVD and to hear the audio CD.

Both the DVD and CD are as masterfully done as the book. Incredible graphics in the DVD and the CD follows suit with quality recordings. The Bible stories are presented in a way that just makes sense to me. My daughter and son and I all loved the DVD and the CD as well. I can't tell you how alive the Bible has come for her by watching and listening and reading this set.

Keep reading for your chance to win a copy of the DVD and CD.

The Animated Short Film: Featuring beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.
The Audio Book: This audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI,
husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.

You can purchase the DVD or purchase the CD at Amazon and other retailers.

Please enter below using the Giveaway Tools Form. Remember, only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor (Propeller / FlyBy Promotions) in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Family Fare Supermarket Labor Day Sales - and a Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was provided with gift cards from Family Fare in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you remember, I was able to participate in the grand re-opening of several stores that are now part of the Family Fare Supermarket chain. There was a lot of activities that came with the grand opening and it was really exciting and fun to participate in.

Since then, I've been regularly shopping at Family Fare and I love the "Yes Card" that helps me earn fuel discounts and other savings. I've even learned some excellent tips about using your Yes Card to the fullest advantage. Did you know Family Fare has online coupons that can load directly to your Yes Card? The weekly ad is also found online to help with creating your grocery list. I prefer to shop the sales and stock up when I can. And each Friday, there is a coupon for a free item that you can load to your card for your next visit.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited to have a whole bunch of people visiting this weekend and we will be doing a big grill out night over the weekend. I ran to Family Fare to stock up using the Labor Day ad to maximize my savings. I'm so excited about the menu I created for this cook-out.

Look at all those beautiful ears of corn. I picked up plenty since it was only $3 for 10 ears. What a bargain. In fact, our family was so excited, we had to have some of the ears with dinner because we couldn't wait.

Then I found the seedless watermelon. Why buy just one for the company and the cook-out? Instead, I bought two so we could eat one during the week and another one this weekend. And be sure to check out that price! At only $2.77 each, you can see why I got extras.


From there, I had to get the pop we need to get through the long weekend. And you know it's fun when you have Pepsi drinkers, Coke drinkers and Dr. Pepper drinkers. It's usually impossible to get all brands on sale--but not this week! All varieties of Pepsi, Coke and Dr. Pepper/7Up are on sale this week. Four 12-packs for $8.88 (limit 4, must purchase 4). I was able to mix and match my four packs to what my guests and I all want.

Like Busch's Baked Beans? Give the Our Family
variety a try. They are delicious!
Finally, I stopped to get the burgers I want to grill. Check out these pre-made patties. Don't they look amazing? More farm fresh beef being delivered to the store. Premade patties for my convenience, but farm fresh for the taste.

And while you are in the meat department, make sure you check out the Tender Ridge Angus cuts of beef. Certified tender, these meats will be delicious!

I think we've got a great cook-out put together. Fresh hamburgers from the grill, corn, baked beans and watermelon along with all our favorite varieties of pop. It will be a tasty time.

And now for the giveaway

Three lucky winners will each receive a $25 gift card from Family Fare. Enter below using the Giveaway Tools form.


Good luck to everyone!
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