Showing posts with label celebrate faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebrate faith. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Option Ocean: Navigating the Sea of Possibility A Book Review

Devotional, spiritual, christian books
                                                           
Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay


Option Ocean: Navigating the Seas of Possibility is categorized in the Christian Devotional category on Amazon.com.  

 **Warning, Warning**  It is more than just a book to be read, it is a workbook!   Just published on May 28th 2019, it is the second book in a set of inspirational books written by Kristi Bridges.  Unlike other books (like a good novel), this book is so much better if you take the time to read it as a "guide"!  

How long or how quickly you go through this book, is entirely up to you.  But, if you are searching for meaning in your life, this book should be read slowly and very mindfully.  Each day will bring a new way of looking at your life.

Where most books are broken down into "chapters", Option Ocean: is broken down  into "days".  That is one reason I suggested that it's not a book to be read in a hurry.  It's best taken one day at a time.  There are lessons  for us as we grow in  devotion, understanding  and prayer.  We will take what we understood in the first day and build on that foundation as the month unfolds for us.  Each day there is a "theme" and then there are questions for us to ponder.  Personally I think this book is better when we are prepared to share, with ourselves, the insights and questions that will come to our minds. We will open up our physical, mental and spiritual understanding of God.  To that end I would encourage anyone to have a journal ready.  Use your own style of writing to make points to consider, passages to revisit, and questions that come to mind.

The world today has little time for us to ponder those things that are of a spiritual nature. We are constantly encouraged to live for today, live in the moment and not to think about anything beyond that. Navigating the Seas of Possibility encourages us to live in the moment of course, but to also listen and see the Hand of the Almighty at work in our daily lives. 

Christians are called to do much more than that.  We are called to have a personal relationship with our God.  To proclaim Him in our lives and our actions and be inspired by His Words to us in the Bible.  We are called to worship and adoration to the God who created all things and calls us each by our name.

As Christians we can find living life mindful of God,  hard to do sometimes.  Especially when things happen around us that are not nice, kind or loving.  We can lose our way so easily.  That's why it's nice to have some help and guidance for our individual journeys.  Everyone walks their own path to God through all the trials and tribulations of life.  Your way and my way might be completely different.  But our ultimate goal is the same.  To come to know the will of God in our lives and to give thanks for all we have.

Christian Devotional, Olivia Morris, Book Reviews
                                       
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Navigating the Seas of Possibility would be a great book for any Christian that is questioning their faith.  It's not a book just to be read, but rather, it is called to be "lived".  It is a workbook for  Christians, all Christians.  After reading the introduction you will already see that this book is more than words on a page or a story to keep our interest.  It is a call to action, a call to prayer, understanding, and a call to search for God in our lives.  It is also a call to remember Gratitude, Love, Peace and Joy!



Christian devotional, faith workbook, spiritual book, Olivia Morris
                                       
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay



My hope is that during the summer months, when you get a chance to sit back and relax, read one day of Option Ocean: Navigating the Seas of Possibility.  Use what you have learnt and keep a journal.  I bet there are lessons for everyone, but most importantly for you!  This is your life and He knows your name.  



** I was given a copy of this book to read prior to publication, by the author, in exchange for my review.  The opinions stated are my own and no coercion was involved.






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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Easter and Church A Simple Way to Make It Easy for Children

Children and Faith, Our Duty as Christian Parents and Grandparents During this Holiday Season.

In the last 30 years Church attendance has dropped significantly.  Christians still want to attend services at special times of the year and one of them is coming up very shortly.  There are two major celebrations in the Christian community.  Christmas being the first.  Easter is the Second.  Both of these times in the year are  Holidays, and important in the life of a Christian community.  Christmas we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ and at Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the Tomb.  Both of these "Holy Days" are usually marked by increased attendance at your local church's worship services.

Easter Church Services

Attending Church services with our family is one of the most wonderful times in a parents and grandparents lives.  It's a great time for us Parents and Grandparents to acknowledge our faith and share it with our families. 

The Question remains, how do we get our children (many of which haven't participated in regular Church Services) to sit quietly at the Services we are attending?  Every parent enters the church with trepidation and fear that their little ones will be disruptive during the Easter Service.

I'm here to tell you that with a little planning ahead, children can and will behave in a way that will not put you to shame.  But it does take some planning.

So let's get to it. Prepare, prepare, prepare!


First of all let's find out how long the church service will last.  Sometimes it will be 30 to 45 minutes and other services may last a few hours.  Knowing how long you need to keep your children engaged will help you plan better. 

Let's assume that services will be about an hour long.  That 60 minutes of quiet time that your children need to get a handle on.

Let's Pack a Church Bag* to take with us to services.  Inside will be all kinds of quiet activities that your children can do when they become restless.  So these are the things I would take along:

*Contents of a great Church Bag

  1. Books, depending on the age of your children, they can be picture books or story books.
  2. Stickers and some paper for them to make their own picture of the Bible story they  will hear.
  3. Coloring books with crayons. (if you have more than one child, make sure you have a book for each one of them!)
  4. Puzzle books, find the words, or crosswords are great!
  5. Small soft Easter type toys, stuffed bunnies, chicks or eggs. You can find some really cute ones here at Coastal Crochet Crafts! 
DO NOT PACK Candy of any Kind.  That would be setting you up for a sugar rush and you don't want to have that during this quiet time.   You should prepare your children ahead of time.  Make it a game to see how long they can be quiet at home, before the Church event happens.  Small rewards for being able to be quiet can help you to increase the time span.  Tell them that they are practicing for the quiet time that they will have to adhere to while Church services are happening.  Practice whispering to each other if conversations need to be had.   Bringing electronic toys to church is not a good idea.  They are very distracting to your child and to others around them.  Even adults are distracted by electronic toys.  Better to stick to bringing a book or two.  Picture books are great and children are always enchanted by stories that they can read.  I happen to like Easter Books that tell the Story of the Resurrection.




There are several available and they will help you to explain to your children what this Season of Easter is all about too!  Children learn from their parents and grandparents about their faith beliefs and it is up to us to encourage that faith.    After Church Services are concluded, I'm sure there will be time for the infamous Easter Egg hunt.  Children especially like this part of the Easter festivities.  Dinner on Easter Sunday will be a gathering of all the family at the table to share in the wonderful foods and desserts that have been lovingly prepared for us.  After all Easter is a whole season of REJOICING!  Everything is new including the seasons.  Everything is in bloom or will be soon.

Please know that most Christians are very happy to see the little ones at church services!  They are a delight to us older folks who remember all to well taking our own children to Services.


Happy Easter to all, The Lord is Risen, He is Risen indeed!




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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Outstanding Gifts for First Communions and Confirmations

April and May are the typical months for many "spiritual" exercises in the Roman Catholic Church, so let's review some appropriate and outstanding gifts for these special occasions!

gifts for religious occasions, Holy Communion, Confirmation,
Spring is that time of renewal and rebirth!  Everything seems to be coming to life again and so with Easter behind us, it's time to help our youngsters grow in their faith too!

Along with the profession of their First Communions and/or Confirmations, many families opt to host a small party for the child who is taking this big step.  Often times if you are invited to this kind of celebration, it is difficult to know what an appropriate gift would be for the child. As the parent and grandparent of a few children that have made this testament to their faith,  I can help you out!

Holy Communions and Confirmations are religious events,  unlike birthdays or other celebrations.  Gifts should be in keeping with the tone of the event.  For parents and grandparents, they may choose to give the child a Prayer Book and/or Rosary.  A nice cross on a chain for them to wear would also be appropriate.  Other invited guests may choose monetary gifts because they have no idea what an appropriate gift would be.

I like to give books and believe firmly that a child will enjoy a book given for a special occasion and maybe even treasure that book well into their adult life.  To that end, I'm going to suggest a  book that I really like and would be lovely for either First Communion or Confirmation


Brother Sun and Sister Moon is an adaptation from St. Francis of Assisi's song to God, by Katherine Paterson!  The original version was written in 1227!  This particular book has beautiful illustrations that are actually hand cut outs of paper by Pamela Dalton.  Each picture is a marvel in and of itself. This book is wonderful in both content and design.  The gorgeous pictures and beautiful words,  will be a nice reminder for any child of that special day in their lives. The illustrations are just so well done and an art form that we don't see too much of.  I had seen this book at the library, and I was taken by surprise at the beauty of the illustrations.  Mind you, I also happen to love St. Francis of Assisi!  He is the patron saint of gardeners (my other passion) and naturalists. 

The Bible Made Easy - for Kids,  is a great starting point for dialogue about faith.  When the children read what is happening in the Bible stories,  in language that they understand, discussion about faith topics is so much easier!  The Bible (while wonderful in its original form) is not a book that is easily understood.  Giving children the opportunity to read the stories and understand their meanings is a great way to start some interesting discussions about the life and faith lessons that we need to learn.

Encouraging children to read and ask questions makes their faith life come alive.  It's not just something they do on Sundays anymore. 

So let me see if I can make it even easier for you to decide on the appropriate gift!  Here's a list that works for me:

Holy Communion or Confirmation Gifts:

1.  Faith based books! (Geared to the age of the child)
2.  Cross for Child's room
3.  Bookmarks with spiritual sayings
4.  Picture frame for the "Special Day Photo"
5.  Rosary (if they are Catholics, you can never have just one!)
6.  Necklace or charm with a religious tone (angels, wings, crosses etc.)
7.  Small statue of their favorite saint or namesake.
8.  Donation to a favorite charity in the name of the child.
9.  Child friendly Bible
10.Gratitude Journal

These are just my suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with more! Teaching and passing on the faith we believe in is part of our duty as parents.  Milestones in that faith formation should be celebrated with loved ones.  Truly, it is home where our sense of faith begins and it is home where milestones should be celebrated too.
Holy Communion gifts, religious gifts, faith based gifts from family

You can read more about these sacraments and appropriate gifts in another review I did a few years ago.  Click Right Here and read some more if you feel so inclined!  Bless you all!




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