Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jesus

 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2: 1-14

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Inspy Award Winners

It was an honor to serve as a judge for the 2011 Inspy awards.     Narrowing down the list of amazing books submitted to just one winner was a very difficult task.     It is one that each judge took seriously.    The process for selecting a book involved careful reading of the books.    Answering a set of questions about each book.    Gathering with a panel of judges for each category to discuss each book and trying to slowly narrow down the books until we picked a winner.    It was a process that lasted months.     We are proud to announce to you this year's winners.

The INSPY Advisory is pleased to announce the 2011 INSPY Award Winners:
Creative Nonfiction: Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith
In Passport Through Darkness, Mrs. Smith portrays sacrificial Christian living as the absolutely normal and healthy choice for all Christians. She and her husband are willingly transparent with their weaknesses and present a realistic picture of what a Christian living looks like: hard, messy, and painful, but right and worthwhile. Passport Through Darkness is a powerful story that can change who you are at a fundamental level.

General Fiction: City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell (Henry Holt & Co, September 2010)
We chose City of Tranquil Light because it tells a compelling story with complex characters that feel true to life, characters we care about. Bo Caldwell’s prose is lyrical.
The characters live a very real faith. Everything they do has Kingdom service in mind, yet they never come across as preachy. Their faith is organic. Serving Christ is what they do, it’s who they are. Because of that, this book’s appeal goes beyond that of the Christian community.

Literature for Young People: Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer (Zondervan, 2010)
Saint Training is realistic in its examination of religion without stereotype or fundamentalist views. An inspiring read, relevant to young readers and a stand out in its genre. Mary Clare is very down to earth and anyone will be able to relate to her struggles.

Mystery/Thriller: The Bishop by Steven James
Steven James did not shy away from the “tough” questions about God and we appreciate that an author – a Christian author at that, would be up-front and center with the real tough spiritual questions. The Bishop treats the reader as intelligent and with a mind of her own. The plot was engaging and the characters felt real.

Romance: Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Cathy West (Oak Tara, March 2011)
Catherine West gives us a gritty and moving account of the Vietnam War as experienced by an intrepid journalist providing innovation of the setting, time period and subject matter. The edgy realism and poignant honesty that flow from West’s pen in Yesterday’s Tomorrow place it head-and-shoulders above some of biggest bestsellers on bookstore shelves today, and it easily fulfills all the requirements set forth to make it the INSPY Award Winner for Romance.

Speculative Fiction: The Falling Away by T.L. Hines (Thomas Nelson, September 2010)
Non-linear plot lines that all converge without being predictable, responsible treatment of mental disorders without cliche; self sacrifice, demonic encounters and the power of Grace; all these reasons and more make The Falling Away by T.L. Hines the speculative INSPY winner. In his own distinctive “noir bizarre” style, Hines explores powerful truths about life, death and redemption. The author managed to tackle a familiar subject (spirituals warfare) in a most unconventional way. Full characterization meshed with a tight plot that is engaging even for newcomers to the supernatural thriller. Ultimately, more than one character learns important truths about the fallen world we live in and the spiritual dangers one may face from without and within. This novel is an embodiment of the concept that God’s power is made perfect in human weakness.

Monday, December 5, 2011

You Are Invited

If you live in the Madison/Ridgeland/Jackson area, 
my family would love if you would join us as our 
worship choir presents our Christmas Worship Celebration.

We will be having two service on December 11th
9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
No tickets are required.
Just come expecting a wonderful beginning to your Christmas season!

Ridgecrest Baptist Church
7469 Old Canton Road
Madison, MS 39110

Our Church Website

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Linky Love: Shopping for the Holidays

Etsy   If you are shopping for the holidays and love handmade items, you need to check out Etsy.   My favorite Alabama bracelet came from Etsy.   There is a serious of artist prints based on Mississippi which I am also going to have one day too!

Zappos   Finding shoes for hubs and Big Guy is getting to be more and more of a challenge.    Stores around here only order a couple of size 12's and 13's and once they are gone you are out of luck.   Zappos has been my life saver.   My favorite part is free shipping and free return!

Ballard Designs   This website has inspired many knock off creations on blogs and Pinterest.    I love "window shopping" on this site!   A little bit of everything is what you will find here.  I have found great deals on sheet sets for our bedroom, a hard to find book for school and a jacket for Little Guy.