Feeling Like A Give Away

Eponential Book TableExponential 075 Exponential 072

Congrats to Elle White! Giveaway is now closed, but there will definitely be more chances in the near future!

We had so much fun last week at the Exponential conference in Orlando.  Rob did a phenomenal job speaking, and telling the story of GCC and what we are up to around the world.  Jeanna came along to sell our Share The Well books, and I got to sit at the table with her for a bit.  It was so fun to tell the story of our book over and over again.

I listened to a few stories of church planters doing amazing things around the world, and was so inspired, I started giving away our books to a few of them.

Don’t worry, when I give away books, the church doesn’t pay for them, Rob and I do, and NO, we don’t get a discount.  We believe so much in our book and what it is doing to help church planters in India, we love paying full price for a book that we have written without being paid.  Is that funny or what?

Want a copy of Share the Well?   I just so happen to have an extra, and I’d love to give it to someone.  Just leave me a comment and tell me why you want it, and I will choose a winner on Friday!

Mark Beeson took the photo of me, Sheila and Jeanna. I like it because I love the two people in the photo with me so much.  🙂

Mundane Moms Turn Missional

The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home and in the World

My random generator AKA Belle Wegner chose Sarah as the winner for this fabulous book giveaway.  If anyone wants my highlighted, slightly marked up one, let me know!  First one to respond is free to have it.

The Missional Mom by Helen Lee

Missional Mom is an amazing book filled with examples and ideas about how moms can make their worlds “missional.”  The idea of missional is that no matter where you are, what you are doing, God placed you there on purpose and for a purpose.  Helen Lee delves deep into the subject, biblically, theologically, and practically — sighting numerous examples of moms who chose to go from mundane to missional.

I was so encouraged by this book.  I meet so many moms who are living ordinary lives, are wonderful people, but don’t feel like they are good enough,  or smart enough, or  at the right place or time in their lives to make a difference for God’s kingdom.  Helen Lee debunks that myth, pointing out that God is already at work, and it is up to us to decide if we want to join in his work or not.

I highly recommend this book to not only moms, but anyone who wants to turn their ordinary life into a missional one.  Visit Helen Lee’s site at http://themissionalmom.com/

Want a copy of this book?  I am giving one away!  If you would like a copy, leave me a comment letting me know why you’d like one, and I will choose a winner in a few days.

Sharing It


Congrats to Stacy Bice!  She is the winner of this giveaway.  Don’t worry if you didn’t win!  We’ll do another one again soon.

Rob and I sincerely wish we could give every single one of our friends, family, and readers a copy of Share The Well.  We have given a few away to our moms and dads, mentors, etc., but for every one we give away, we pay the same as everyone else– $20.  If we gave one away to everyone we love, we’d have to quit feeding our kids.

So, here is the first opportunity for you to get your own copy of Share The Well, the book Rob and I have written about Granger’s Church planting movement in Southern India.

All you have to do to enter is go to www.share-the-well-book.com, poke around a bit and leave me a comment with your thoughts and impressions of our new site.

If you post a tweet or Facebook update about the giveaway, you’ll be entered an extra time for each.  Just be sure to let me know!

If you don’t feel like jumping through the hoops to get a free book, you can order your own copy from Wired Churches here .  There will also be lots of copies available at the GCC bookstore this weekend if you’re a local friend.

We will choose a winner Monday morning, February 7.

While I Travel…


Miss Isabelle has been my “random generator” for choosing numbers.  Congrats to Dan Clark!



I’ll be sending you the info on how to redeem your prize soon!

Laptop Messenger Bag I mentioned yesterday that I am in Mexico right now. Travelling through airports is fun and exciting. Travelling through airports in India is always an adventure.  Add three children to the mix, and there is bound to be a story to tell at the end of the day.  One of my least favorite memories is an airport security person x-raying Belle’s backpack full of toys and trinkets, pulling it aside, and dumping about 300 Polly Pocket shoes, purses, arms, legs, and sparkly dresses out in front of me, and giving me about 20 seconds to re-pack it all in her bag.  Not a very nice thing to do.

On this last trip, an airport security person decided she was going to check inside of all our carry on bags.  When travelling internationally, one quickly learns that there is no possible way to have a laptop messenger bag, back pack, toiletry bag, bag for clothes, etc.  Everything gets crammed into one bag and that’s the way it is.  Well, this wonderful security agent told us repeatedly, “This is not a laptop bag!  You can not carry your computer in a back pack.  I will not let you through with this bag.””


We just stared at her, wondering what in the world she wanted us to do.  She was apparently very passionate about it, and declared that it was against airline regulations to allow passengers on a plane without a proper laptop bag.

It was crazy. I think Gene played some sort of mind trick on her, because after about 15 minutes of discussion, she allowed us to pass through security with our horribly packed laptops.

Travelling is an adventure!  Always a story to tell, that’s for sure.

I’ve got great news friends! I have another way I’d like to give back to you, my dear friends and readers this week.  CSN Stores has offered a $35 gift card for me to give away to one of you delightful readers.

All you have to do to enter to win this $35 gift card for any of CSN’s 200 online stores is leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite place to travel.  If you tweet about this post or write about it on Facebook, let me know, and you will be entered one more time for each.

The giveaway winner will be chosen at random on Friday, January 28, 2011.  May the best traveler win. 🙂

Book Reviews and a Give Away!



Congrats to Melisa and Rose from Ohio!  Zip me your address, and I’ll get these books out to you!



Since the weather here in Indiana is getting chillier, I have been reading lots and lots.  I thought I’d share a few thoughts on some books I have been reading.  I am so excited to be able to give away two copies of Putting God Back in the Holidays to one of you fabulous people.  Normally when I get a book to review, I just get one copy, but Moody publishers were very kind and generous and sent three copies-one to keep and two to give away!  How fun is that?

If you’d like to get a copy, please leave me a comment and tell me your favorite family holiday tradition. It can be any holiday—not just Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I’ll pick a lucky winner next Monday morning-November 22.


Putting God Back In the Holidays is a book about doing just what it says.  So often we fly through holidays without fully connecting to the idea of why the holiday is there in the first place.  I love this book’s in-depth approach to each of the holidays we U.S. Americans celebrate.  It is written by a husband-wife team Bill and Penny Thatcher.  Bill is a professor at Moody Bible Institute.  He tackles the theology behind each holiday and Peggy takes the second half of each chapter and shares the clever ideas she and her family have come up with to celebrate in creative and unique ways.

What I especially loved about this book was the perception that holidays are really “Holy” days that we set aside for a purpose.  The authors point out that because of this, the enemy of our souls works extra hard at getting us to get worked-up, stressed-out, tired-out, and whittled down to nothing before the holiday actually happens.  When we are this worn down, we really can’t celebrate with the joy and whole hearted-ness we are meant to.

I took a few steps back and really thought about this.  It made me want to make my home a home of peace in the coming weeks as the holidays approach.  I am grateful that I read this book.


The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House takes place in the late 1700’s in the south in the era of slavery. Kathleen Grissom paints vivid word pictures of what slavery was like through their eyes. Lavinia, a 5 year old Irish girl gets separated from her family on a ship and ends up living and growing up with slaves. They embraced her as family, and over the years, they truly were her family.

I love this story because it explores humanity’s capacity toward depravity, yet also our deep ability to love one another as family despite our differences.
This book was seriously amazing. I loved every page, every character, and every twist and turn of the story. It definitely rates in my top 5 books I have read all year.

The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


My Thoughts:

Hunger Games– (Book 1) Fabulous, engaging– compelling and suspenseful book.  Suzanne Collins creates a futuristic world that is believable and haunting.  My two older girls, Rob, and I all whipped through this book, and loved every page.

Catching Fire (Book 2)  was my favorite of the trilogy. It is a beautiful telling of a world gone wrong, and a few young brave individuals who grasp on to hope and to each other to make it through while determined to make a change.

Mocking Jay (Book 3) Was pretty dark with themes of death, depravity, and suicide running throughout.  I was disturbed by some of the images, and I know my daughters would be too.  I think I will wait awhile to let them read this last book.  Mocking Jay really is a step further into the reality of war.  It shows what depths of evil man can go to while trying to gain power.  In my mind, it was just too real.  I still give this book 4 stars because it is brilliant, but it doesn’t have the same imaginary feel as the other two.

Thanksgiving Giveaway


This Give Away Is Now Closed

Congrats to Commenter #8 Ryan Devries

(chosen randomlyby a very scientific method via Isabelle Wegner)




The time has come once again for us to gather around tables of food piled to the ceiling with delightful goodness.  Rob and I have the privilege of celebrating with both sides of our families in one day—that’s right!  Two delicious, amazing Thanksgiving meals in one day. Rob’s sister’s house is much quieter.  The table is set elegantly, dining chairs match the tablecloth and gold silverware and plates.  Everything is beautiful.

Both families celebrate the same holiday in very different ways.  My mom and dad’s house is full from end to end-busting at the seams with 13 kids, 10 adults, and turkey and stuffing to our heart’s delight.

We try to pace ourselves through the first meal at my Mom and Dad’s house, but it’s pointless.  I have learned to throw caution to the wind and just enjoy.

We all know the point of Thanksgiving is not the food, but the spirit of gratitude.  It’s a time to sit back with tummies full of stuffing and mashed  potatoes with gravy and remember why we are thankful.  I thought I’d get an early start this year and do a give away because I am thankful for YOU!

Knowing someone is reading my blog really makes me happy and grateful.  It helps me to know that my thoughts and words mean something to someone.

For this giveaway, I am giving a $35 gift card to CSN stores.  Leave me a comment and tell me something you are thankful for this year.  Celebrate gratitude, and I hope you win!

Subscribing to this blog via Google reader or email, or whatever service you use will gain you TWO extra entries.  Just let me know you did!

Tweeting or Facebooking this contest will gain you ONE extra entry.

Giveaway will start Sunday, November 7and a winner will be randomly chosen on Monday morning November 15.