September 2016 Posts

September GIVEAWAY

Calling all girls! This month, we’re giving away two books, both of which are packed with conversations about God, girl stuff and growing up. Enter below for your chance to win these titles for your loved one! september-giveaway

Candid Conversations with Connie (Volume 1) is a Q&A-style book written for girls ages 8-12, with questions answered by Connie (from Adventures in Odyssey), along with her friend Penny!  This book will help girls see that the questions they have and the daily battles they face are normal, and that they’re not alone in the experiences they’re having in the crazy phase of life that is growing up. Each chapter concludes with a devotional/journal section, giving girls time to reflect on what they’ve learned.

Love, Lexi follows seventh grader Alexis Dawn Cooper (Lexi) as she navigates middle school and being a middle child. But this is no ordinary middle-school novel. Rather, it is a unique combination of a fictional story combined with a devotional and journal to allow readers to watch Lexi learn to seek God first above all else, while writing their own letters to God. Love, Lexi draws young people into Lexi’s life as they contemplate their own place in God’s eyes.

Love, Lexi and Candid Conversations with Connie Giveaway

Bible Memory as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

A photo by Ben White.


Think Scripture memorization sounds difficult and intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Remembering God’s words grounds kids in the faith, equips them for the future, and solidifies their relationships with Christ, family, and others. The Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible was created to encourage kids not only to read God’s Word but also to hide it deep within their hearts.



Within the text, 100 of the Bible’s core verses are highlighted and listed in the New Living Translation, New International Version, and King James Version as options for memorization. Notes on each verse apply the Scripture to issues kids face every day. A better understanding of what the verse means and how it applies to life makes it easier to memorize.


These core verses have been set to music by renowned children’s author and song writer Stephen Elkins. The 100 songs include a variety of genres and all songs are free with the purchase of the Bible. What if, instead of ‘Wheels on the Bus,’ your kids could easily recite scripture? Elkins’ memorable and fun-to-sing songs make that possible.




Ready to get started? Take the Power of 10 Challenge! Jump start your Bible memory with FREE resources for the 10 most powerful verses.


1. FREE Hidden in My Heart “Power of 10” bookmarks are available to encourage your child to get started. Start with 10 and grow from there! Download the bookmark HERE.


2. FREE Downloadable “Memory Enhancer” Booklet

For each of the Power of 10 verses, you’ll receive the Hidden in My Heart Core 100 Bible page, which includes the verse in 3 different translations (NLT, NIV, KJV), an easy-to-understand Bible application study note, and a prayer that reflects the topic of the verse. You will also receive a coloring page, an activity page, song lyrics, and a verse line-art drawing, to help children hide God’s Word in their hearts. Download the activities for Psalm 23 HERE. 

psalms-resources_verttrack-5-83. FREE Hidden in My Heart downloadable memory songs, performed by Steve Elkins and children who love the Lord, that directly correspond to the Power of 10 verses. Download the Psalm 23 track HERE.







Download all the Power of 10 Resources HERE.

Learn more about the Hidden In My Heart Scripture Memory Bible HERE.

Learn more about Stephen Elkins HERE.



Befriend by Scott Sauls – Win an Advanced Reader Copy

Befriend by Scott Sauls is releasing next week! Help us spread the word and encourage pre-orders with this special advanced reader copy giveaway! Find the instructions at the bottom.


More about Befriend:

Is real friendship too risky?

We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.

Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book,BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.

Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.

Yes, it’s true: Real friendship is costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.

Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendship that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.

Enter to win an advanced reader copy of the book.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow the instructions on the Gleam app below to post on social media: Post about how the church can intentionally expand community and use the hashtag #BefriendBook
  2. Share about the book with your friends (use the Gleam app).

We’ll pick the winners on Tuesday, October 4th.


Befriend Book Giveaway

Gospel Parenting by Josh Cooley

One recent Friday evening, my wife, Kelly, and I were discussing our weekend plans. Surprisingly, we were chatting by ourselves on the couch uninterrupted. Our four kids—ages four to ten—were quietly playing and reading in various rooms. No one was fussing or fighting. Nary a bump, thump, or explosion could be heard from anywhere in the house. It was a blissfully serene moment.

parenting-1Still, at the end of a long week, Kelly and I found ourselves counting down to 8:30, which in our family initiates that blessed yet fleeting 90-minute oasis between the kids’ bedtime and ours. It’s funny how situations alter perception, no? Ninety minutes at the dentist’s office is an eternity, like you’re trapped inside one of Salvador Dali’s melting clocks in The Persistence of Memory. But 90 minutes with your spouse after the kids doze off? That flies by like a fighter jet at Mach 2.

All moms and dads need those oasis moments. Parenting is hard, consuming work. It produces plenty of Hallmark moments, but certainly not every time. Yet children are God’s greatest blessing to a husband and wife. Psalm 127:3 says it best: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Sometimes, during those “the days are long but the years are short” moments, parents need a reminder of what their main objective is. Psalm 78:4 leads the way: “Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” In my work as a vocational children’s minister, this is my theme verse for ministry. But if I had to pick a single verse to be my personal parenting motto, too, this would be it. Why? Because viewed through a proper redemptive lens, this ancient psalm is packed with gospel meaning.

Throughout history, the Lord has done innumerable glorious deeds. His most glorious, of course, is providing his Son, Jesus Christ, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. For parents, our chief responsibility—and privilege—is to share this gospel truth with our kids in everything we do. The apostle Paul calls the gospel a message of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3). It’s the cornerstone of biblical parenting—the foundation on which all other building blocks should be laid. Nothing else should take a higher priority in child rearing . . . not even “eat your veggies.”

parenting-2Have you shared the Good News of salvation through Christ with your children recently? Do it again! Have you told them about Jesus’ great sacrifice on the cross and his glorious resurrection? Create another opportunity to do so! It’s a message that kids (and adults) can’t hear enough or rejoice in too much.

The gospel contains endless riches to explore. Sin, wrath, justice, mercy, grace, atonement, election, propitiation, regeneration, justification, redemption, adoption, sanctification, eternity, and more—these topics don’t take days to discuss with your children; they take years. Obviously, kids aren’t going to grasp all these important concepts right away. And therein lies the beauty of parenting! We get the great honor of shepherding their hearts throughout this long spiritual journey.

God’s love toward us through Christ is a treasure that exceeds value. It’s simple enough to understand, yet deep enough to continually provoke worship and awe. It’s a mystery we will never completely comprehend, a mountain we will never truly summit, an ocean we will never fully plumb. As Paul exclaimed in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

josh-cooley-1-year-devoSo proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus to your children. Tell them about God’s might and the wonders that he has done through the Cross and empty tomb. Open the Word with them. Pray long and hard for them.

There are many great resources to help you along the way. May I suggest one? I wrote The One Year Devotions with Jesus, a 365-day devotional, to give tweens and teens a broad picture of the person and work of Christ and help them explore God’s redemptive plan through his Son. With the holidays approaching, it could make a great gift for someone you know.

Yes, parenting is difficult work. Quiet moments, disposable income, and sleep suddenly become prime commodities. And honestly, the “Pre-Minivan Era” memories of my old Mustang GT still cause a little heartache. But I wouldn’t trade my present circumstances for anything. The chance to tell the coming generation—four of whom are my own—about the glorious gospel message is beyond words.

It even beats that nightly 90-minute oasis.

cooley_josh_01Joshua Cooley is the children’s minister at Chapel Hill Bible Church (NC). His The One Year Devotions with Jesus, Heroes of the Bible Devotional, and The One Year Sports Devotions for Kids are all available through Tyndale. You can learn more about Joshua on his website,, or visit him on Facebook and Twitter.




Catching Heat – Win a California Prize Pack from Janice Cantore

In celebration of Catching Heat releasing we’re going to give away 3 complete sets of The Cold Case Justice series and one very lucky grand prize winner will win a complete set of Janice Cantore novels and a San Luis Obispo, CA prize package!



More about Catching Heat:

Twenty-seven years after the deaths of Detective Abby Hart’s parents, she’s desperate to find the proof that will put the mastermind—the governor’s wife—behind bars. When she joins a newly formed task force and teams up with PI Luke Murphy, Abby is sent to San Luis Obispo to work the cold case of a murdered college student. Realizing their investigation will bring them near the town where Alyssa Rollins grew up, Abby decides to do a little digging of her own into the Triple Seven fire.

Luke is eager to help Abby close the books on a case they both have personal stakes in. But as she uncovers long-held secrets, Abby stumbles into an explosive situation, and Luke fears that her obsession may prove deadly.


Buy here:


Enter to win one of 3 complete sets of The Cold Case Justice Series, plus one lucky winner will be chosen to win a California prize pack.



Complete the Gleam form to enter!

Catching Heat Prize Pack