Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's About Relationship, Not Religion

a bracelet I often wear

Read my Bible ✔
Put money in the offering bucket ✔
Dress up in my Sunday best and attend church ✔
Read a Bible story to my kids ✔
Know all the Ten Commandments ✔

Those are all great and grand but....

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV 
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. 

Just because you claim to know Jesus doesn't mean you actually do.  You can know and recite the laws all day long but what really matters is where your heart is in relationship with Christ.

I was a tween when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  That's always the first step.  I attended my fair share of Vacation Bible School and church camps.  And I'd go to Sunday school when I could catch a ride. 

It wasn't until my adulthood, about six years ago, that I learned being a believer is more than automated motions.  I can say The Lord's Prayer day in and day out, but it doesn't mean much if I do it just to "check it off the list". 

Jesus, of course, wants all of us to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  John 3:16 is the Gospel in a nutshell.  You have to believe and confess Jesus as your savior.  That's just the beginning.

You don't have to believe in Jesus and just leave it at that.  As the Senior Pastor at my church says, it's about having "an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ".  (although I admit I'm weirded out about the word intimate in the same phrase). 

Jesus wants us to:
LEAN on Him
RELY on Him
TALK to Him
and so much more.

Jesus is not some abstracted character that can't be bothered by you.  He wants to be a part of your life, all of it.  Although you can't see our great Lord, you can talk to him and rely on him like He's your closest confidante.  Don't be afraid to be real and be raw with Jesus.  Reach out, even during the darkest of times. 

Doing all the "check mark" stuff is secondary to having a personal relationship with the one who created you.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

*You are encouraged to post your comments with your opinion on the matter, but please refrain from posting comments that are hurtful or snide in nature.*

Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach - Review and Giveaway

PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet has officially been named the Pantone Color of the Year.  The color is described as being a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade that communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

Enigmatic purples have long been symbolic of artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Now you can too while getting a head start on the trending color with Cargo Cosmetics.

Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach ($18 at Kohl’s/ and

I love to experiment with different colors of eye pencils.  I'm not afraid to break out of the norm and wear green, blue, or purple.  The Swimmables™ Eye Pencil from Cargo Cosmetics is made to be waterproof and smudge proof.  No girl wants eyeliner running down her face!

I have a Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in the Karon Beach color.  It is more of a darker plum color than ultra violet but it's still pretty.  It definitely makes my eyes pop.  The eye pencil can be sharpened when needed and application is effortless.  I can't say I've necessarily cried a river or been in a downpour while wearing this, but the color has stayed in place for several hours without smudging or causing any streaks.  

Win It!

One person will win a Swimmables™ Eye Pencil in Karon Beach.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Stunt Double for Pet Cemetery

It may look otherwise, but I think my grandkitty loves me!

First Winners For 2018

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Adventure Force Light Command Dart Blaster giveaway is #97, Miz Vickik.

The winner of the Petmate Diggin' Diner giveaway is #61, Jennifer Reed.

The winner of the Strong Self(ie) Subscription Box giveaway is #1, Peggy.

The winner of the Go Organically Fruit Snacks giveaway is #113, Rose Santuci-Sofranko.

The winner of the 100 Favorite Bible Verses for Children giveaway is #31, Edye Nicole.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to enter all current active giveaways, listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

THE STAR - DVD Review and Giveaway

I went to the theater and watched THE STAR with my daughter and son-in-law.  Because of that, I can't speak for any of the bonus materials included when the DVD comes out.  But, to speak of the film, it's one that families can watch together to get a glimpse of Jesus' birth.  THE STAR features expressive animation of animals who follow Mary and Joseph on the journey that changed their lives.  Although the film sometimes sways from the true telling of the real story, it stays mostly on course from the beginning of Mary being told by an angel that she was pregnant to the birth of Christ in a manger.  I'd recommend THE STAR as a delightful family film.

From the studio that brought you MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN & CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS comes the timeless tale about faith, friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself.

AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE STAR arrives for the first time on Digital on February 6 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital February 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The heartwarming animated comedy follows a small but brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth (voiced by Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College), a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels voiced by Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Rounding out the all-star voice cast including Gina Rodriguez (“Jane The Virgin”) as Mary, Zachary Levi (“Chuck”) as Joseph, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames  (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco, Ferdinand) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton (“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® and Tony® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

Bonus Materials Include:

 Star-aoke: Sing-Along with Bo & Friends: In this all new song, sing along with your favorite characters including Bo, Dave, Ruth and the unforgettable camels
"Life Is Good" Dance-Along: Shake your tail feathers and move your hooves in this fun dance along
Lyric Sing-Along Videos: Enjoy the eclectic and inspiring music of THE STAR with these colorful lyric videos that allow you to sing along with your favorite recording artists
“The Star” by Mariah Carey
“Can You See” by Fifth Harmony
“Children Go Where I Send You” by Kelsea Ballerini
“We Three Kings” by Kirk Franklin
“Life Is Good” by A Great Big World
Sweet and Sparkly Stars: Create star-themed cookies to be enjoyed year round
Star Mason Jar Votives: Let the light of THE STAR shine with this simple yet stunning craft
Faith All Year Round with DeVon Franklin: A children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and how to keep the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day
An All-Star Cast: Meet the stars of the film and explore the exciting voice cast who bring these amazing characters to life

THE STAR has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is rated PG: for some thematic elements

Win It!

One person will win THE STAR on DVD.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Dryness and Security for Men with SwampButt Underwear - Review

I'm not a man so I can't say I know the first thing about wearing men's undergarments.  But, lucky for me, I've got a husband and one teen son at home!  They'll give me their opinion if I ask.  And I'm the "blessed" woman who gets to do their laundry.

Logan's a little more pickier on brand names for apparel but Jason is way more into comfort and fit.  Jason was my guinea pig for SwampButt Underwear.  (Gosh, I love that name!)

Men’s Performance SwampButt Underwear is perfect for the guy who has sweat issues south of the belt or just likes to be comfortable. These drawers were created to draw sweat away from the skin and are made with 91% polyester and 9% spandex.  Additional benefits and features include: 

Form fitting with natural coverage
Wicks away moisture for improved wearability
Quick drying
Extends to mid-thigh
Great strength and resilience
Signature logo on waistband
Machine wash and dry

SwampButt Underwear is available in five colors and four sizes.  I went with Jason's usual size, large.  The one and only complaint Jason had about this underwear is that he wish he'd gotten them in X-large.  They fit him great around the waist but are pretty snug around his thick legs.  

SwampButt Underwear covers the backside, so your man won't have a plumber's crack.  It also extends to mid-thigh so your guy doesn't have to worry about getting a full-blown wedgie from the playground bully.  As a girl who sees her guy wearing SwampButt Underwear, I like how they accentuate my, ahem, man and I like the feel of them.  Let it be noted, men, that the underwear has the pee-pee opening in the front for when you need to do a #1.  

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Join Similac® StrongMoms® for Advice and Support

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This post contains an affiliate link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.