Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bible Adventures & Activities Review

Bible Adventures & Activities     The Catholic Company had sent me a bible activity book called Bible Adventures & Activities to review.  This faith based book is written by Sally Ann Wright and Moira Maclean for children to learn the main bible stories from both the Old Testament and New Testament.  I had read that the age for this book is between 7-11 years of age and I would disagree. I think it's meant for younger kids and I would rate it for 4-9 year olds.  The illustrations and activities are very cute and geared for little children.  The pictures definitely bring the story to life yet, I could see a child older than 10 thinking it looked "too babyish."
     With that being said, I loved this book as a perfect tool for teaching children who are unfamiliar with the bible.  It starts with Creation and ends with The Lakeside Breakfast. Within each story, the children have opportunities to play games like guessing the animals on Noah's Ark, to a maze the wise men take to find baby Jesus to a Jesus died to save us word search. Some of the activities are more challenging that require basic spelling skills but the majority ask the child to use their visual and imaginative skills.  Each story is one page with a beautiful age appropriate illustration.  On the next page is an activity to help the child learn and memorize the bible story.

This book could be used in a number of ways.  There are 34 bible stories and a parent or teacher could work on one story per week as a bible study for younger children. The activities are not necessarily reproducible but it can be used as enrichment by a teacher.  Perhaps as a quick review to test comprehension.  Each session could be done in 20-30 minutes depending upon the child's attention span.  Or it could be used as enrichment to build on previous knowledge of these stories. Just by looking at the pictures, one could ask the child what they thought was happening.  Or you could even role play the story with the child to increase story comprehension.

If your child is a strong reader, then this book is not for you even if they have little to no knowledge of the bible.  This is an ideal book for a younger child who is learning about God and benefits from the visual cues provided in the illustrations.  It's also better than a children's bible because the added activities help the child process what the lesson is in each bible story.  I think it will hold their attention more than just reading them a story.  Children's bibles are wonderful but I would use them in conjunction with this book.

My review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit the Catholic Company for additional information on Bible Adventures & Activities.  The Catholic Company is a great resource for tools to help you participate in the Year of Faith, including Year of Faith bible studies and exclusive Year of Faith personalized gifts.  The Catholic Company also has all your Advent needs in stock such as Advent wreaths and Advent calendars.  No monetary compensation was given for my honest review.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Minister of Care

This has been the second week that I've visited a home bound elderly couple to bring them the Holy Eucharist and I realize how much I take for granted that I can go to Mass as much as I'd like and receive Jesus in the Eucharist.  They were so eager for our companionship but more so for Jesus.  I was truly humbled and brought to tears.  What an important ministry for those who cannot make it to Mass due to illness or age.  I also read the day's gospel reading and they were equally eager to listen.

I'm also a Eucharistic Minister for Mass and have to say that I often do not see the same eagerness and reverence to those I'm handing it to.  Maybe it's like the adage "You don't realize what you have until you've lost it" or in this case "until it's difficult to get."


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012 Public Square Rosary Rally

On Saturday, October 13th, I co-coordinated a Public Square Rosary Rally 
in my town to pray for our nation.  
This date is significant.  
It was the 95th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal
 where thousands of people converted.

Our Lady's message was simple.
Abandonment of Sin.

Back to the this year's rally:

The weather was terrible.  
It rained and rained.  
It was cold and windy.
About 40 men and women braved the inclement weather and joined us to pray the rosary for the conversion of hearts and reparation of the sins of our nation.  
We were part of a nationwide rosary rally that day at noon.
And I mean nationwide.
There were over 9,000 rallies with prayer warriors out in a public setting.
It was amazing.

Here are a few pictures I managed to take:

About half the people left right after we sang O Sanctissima so this picture only shows about half of the people.  I was incredibly moved how many people showed up 
considering the steady rainfall and wind.
These men and women are committed to honoring Our Lady of Fatima's wishes 
to honor God and her son, and pray for our nation! 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Song of the Brokenhearted Book Review

The most recent book I've read to review from Booksneeze is called Song of the Brokenhearted by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen Coloma.  It is a fictional Christian novel about a a woman named Ava who seems to have the perfect life.  A successful and loving husband, a daughter who is about to be married, a happy high school football player for a son, and a ministry that reaches out to families in need.   On the surface, she is living the life she's always envisioned but when trials and tribulations occur, her life seems to be falling apart.  Everything she thought she new of her family was turned upside down and she's now forced to deal with her painful memories of her childhood.  This is Ava's journey to rediscover what God has planned for her.

This story illustrates the idiom, "don't judge a book by its cover."  In life, we try and create our own version of what life should be about.  We protect ourselves by surrounding ourselves with comfortable situations and we avoid what makes us uncomfortable.  In essence, we are trying to steer our own ship instead of letting God lead us where he wants us to go.  How do we grow spiritually if we do not step out in faith?  How do we walk closer with Jesus, if life goes smoothly?  Before Ava realized that something was not quite right with her husband, her daughter or her son, her life was right on track.  Then it slowly started falling apart.  This book shows us that God often has his own plans for us and he sometimes takes us where we don't want to go.  It's a test of faith really, when we encounter stress in our families, work, community, or church.  How do we respond?  Do we try and avoid it?  Ignore it?  Steamroll over it? Or do we face it knowing that we need him to get through it?  Do we trust God to lead us?  Ava wrestled with all of these questions as she struggled to maintain course but ultimately, she had to let go of the wheel and let God take over.  Her life became vastly different after letting go of the wheel and she and her family, were happier then ever. This is a work of fiction that speaks to our hearts.  I would definitely recommend this book to all moms since they will find a character trait of Ava's they can relate to as wife and mother.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”