Favorite Things Bookmarked!

Jump start your reading material for 2012 by adding some of these websites to your daily feeds! Here’s some of my favorite subscriptions and bookmarks from 2011!

When You Rise

By far, WhenYouRise.com is one of my favorite finds from 2011 to “borrow” inspiration for kid-friendly, Christ-centered activities. Website co-creators, Jen and Desiré, are saturated with the gospel and post weekly ideas for engaging your child with Scripture. Favorite posts? Their curriculum series on teaching your child the “big picture” of the Bible. (Oh, and I secretly wished I lived next door to these ladies).

I Can Teach My Child

A great resource for age-graded crafts and learning activities, I Can Teach My Child practically saved my kids from boredom after moving across the country last Spring. But the real reason I love this site is for the daily doses of encouragement author Jenae provides for mothers who think they aren’t crafty enough or unqualified to enter into the domains of early childhood development.

Silly Eagle Books

Rediscover classic books from your childhood and uncover new favorites for your own kids at SillyEagleBooks. Creator and preschool mother, Vanessa, gives you a peek into her children’s literature obsession with reviews, ideas for inspiring reading adventures with your kids, and so much more!

Aslan’s Library

Aslan’s Library can help you avoid the intense disappointment that comes from buying poorly-written children’s titles. My favorite element of this site? The theological perspective through which they filter children’s material. My second favorite element of their site?  Their love for beautiful illustrations as well – because sometimes artistry conveys truth as vividly as words. Plus, these gals are just plain smart.

Impress Your Kids

No one can inspire you to reclaim the joy of motherhood quicker than Amanda of Impress Your Kids. As a stay-at-home mom who traded full-time vocational ministry for full-time motherhood ministry, Amanda offers up daily doses of fun, crafts, party ideas, and devotionals all purposed to help you instill God’s Word into your child’s heart. My favorite part of her site? Her recent series Truth in the Tinsel that gave me a hands-on and super-fun tool to teach my kids the Christmas story. We’re hoping she writes a series for Easter! (hint hint).

Desiring Virtue

Desiring Virtue encourages women to aspire to the portrait of the Proverbs 31 woman – whether that occurs while she’s unloading the dishwasher or digging into critical commentaries. Founder Jessalyn Hutto is a mother and pastor wife and writes from the heart on the challenge of connecting faith with real-life. (Its tagline is ‘homemaking for the theologian.’) My favorite parts of this site?  The site’s emphasis on grace and Hutto’s free home management printables that come wrapped in quotes from classic theologians like Charles Spurgeon.

The Gospel CoalitionDiscerning Reader

Two separate sites, the Gospel Coalition & Discerning Reader both offer interesting and biblical reviews of new releases in Christian academics and Christian living. Why do I like to use these sites even though I am not reformed in my theology? Because these sites offer in-depth treatments of controversial books written by trusted and expert scholars, teachers, authors and more.

Femina

One of my favorite sites to ingest encouragement for motherhood is the Femina girls. This site offers intensely biblical view of the challenges of combining grace with motherhood. My favorite posts are written by Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years.

Daily On My Way to Heaven

One of my newest finds for daily inspiration is Daily On My Way to Heaven, written by Becky Pliego. Between her photography, emphasis on God’s Word, and love for theology, I always leave her site feeling refreshed. My favorite posts? Her series called Doctrines in the Kitchen which looked at how doctrine relates to everyday living.

Incourage

The site Incourage (an off-shoot of Dayspring) has been a gold-mine for discovering new bloggers who offer up a fresh take on faith. I’ve fallen in love with some of their writers like The Gypsy Mama and Emily of Chatting At the Sky. Plus, the site offers special series, forums, and book clubs.

What are your favorite sites you check everyday???? Leave a comment and let us know!

And don’t forget to enter our giveaways for The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones (click here to enter ) and the gift card to the Adopt Shoppe (click here to enter)! You have till Friday, Jan.13 at midnight!

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorite Things for Study

For most of 2011, I camped in the book of Psalms. You know, that really big book in the middle of your Bible?

Every year, I’ll tinker around in one particular book of the Bible. Whether this is spurred by an unfortunate and rather geeky affinity for research or solely from my life circumstances, my habit is to pepper seminarian friends with questions, needlessly buy Amazon titles on the subject, and work through thousands of Google entries on the same book.

In 2010, I was obsessed with Isaiah. In 2009, I spent a great deal of time in Ruth, and before that, Jonah. Hence the naming of one of my twins after the prophet. (I guess it was a good thing I wasn’t studying Habakkuk at the time).

Joking aside, the benefits of this study method are the discovery of a few theological resource gems and a renewed awe for the living nature of God’s Word. No longer is Psalms a dusty collection of ancient poems or sentimental songs. No longer is Psalms merely a reference point to finding other books of the Bible.

So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds for studying God’s Word in 2011 with you. Hopefully, you can put them to use in your own studies of Scripture for 2012.

 

The Messiah And The Psalms by Richard Belcher

One of my favorite finds in 2011 was Richard’s Belcher book “Messiah in the Psalms.” It’s one of those kinds of study books. The kind that compels you to read it cover to cover. The kind that radically alters your perception of Scripture. Yep. It’s THAT kind of book.

What this book’s about: The Psalms both point to and speak about Christ.

What this book isn’t about: The author is not advocating that we spiritualize each Psalm to be about Christ. Nor is the author saying that we should read Christ back into the Psalms – an approach that too easily dismisses the Psalmist’s original intent in writing, not to mention the historical context of each psalm.

Why I love this book: The book advocates the method used by Christ himself in interpreting Scripture. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus and taught them from the Scriptures. Luke 24:27 says: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Later in Luke 24, Jesus appeared to the twelve disciples and told them in verses 44-45: “ ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” 

For Belcher, Christ is demonstrating more than his fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. He is saying: “All the Scriptures are about Me! The Law is about Me. The Prophets are about Me. And, even the Writings (the Psalms) are about Me.”  

If this is the correct way to interpret Scripture, then it revolutionizes the way we view each and every psalm (not to mention other books of the Bible).

Pretty cool, right?

Who should buy this book: Anyone interested in digging deeper into the book of Psalms and doesn’t mind a bit of historical theology should buy this book. Like any good theologian, Belcher bolsters support for his approach by looking to the interpretative approach of theologians from church history such as reformers like Luther.

 



Exploring Psalms (from the John Phillips Commentary Series) by J.B. Phillips

When my mother shared J.B. Phillips’ “Exploring the Psalms” with me ten years ago, I didn’t want to return them. So, fearing that she would never see her beloved books again, she gifted me with my own set. And they’ve been a mainstay for my personal study ever since.

What these books are about: A two-volume commentary set on each of the 150 psalms written by British scholar J.B. Phillips.

What these books aren’t about: This commentary set is not purely academic. Although rich with historical context surrounding each psalm, the commentary can be quite anecdotal at times. So, don’t be scared away by its thickness.

Why I love this book: This commentary has elevated my personal devotions out the doldrums of quiet-time drudgery. Phillips’ commentaries are short enough to be read in companion with a psalm a day. So, if you’re looking for private devotion material that is weightier than a quick prayer and daily Bible verse reading, then you would greatly enjoy this set. Besides, Phillips can alliterate like no body’s business. (And that just makes reading plain fun.)

Who should buy this book(s): Anyone searching for a good, conservative approach to understanding the Psalms would enjoy this set. It would make a wonderful gift for Sunday School teachers, ministry staff, or anyone hungry to dig into the depth of the Scriptures.

 


Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Psalms: The Prayerbook of the Bible” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a small book that packs a kung fu punch on your prayer life. An influential pastor and theologian of the twentieth century, Bonhoeffer is equally famous for participating in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler which resulted in his imprisonment and execution.

What this book’s about: The Psalter is a divine prayer book, each hymn representing the actual prayers of Jesus Christ – even those passages tradition has not identified as Messianic in nature.

What this book isn’t about: This is not a “how-to” prayer book. You won’t find three easy steps or special phrases to repeat to enhance your prayers. Rather, Bonhoeffer intends for the reader to pray the actual words of the Psalter. And in doing so, the one praying shares the actual words of Christ. According to Bonhoeffer, when we pray the Psalms “we walk with the praying Christ before the throne of God.”

Why I love this book: Bonhoeffer’s thesis that the Psalter is a divine prayer book of Jesus Christ is a beautiful way of interpreting both the book’s individual hymns and the purpose of the book as a whole.  And if true, his thesis represents the comprehensive view of Scripture that all the books of the Bible point to Christ.

But you’re probably thinking, ‘what about all those psalms of repentance?’ Bonhoeffer explains Christ is prays these words as well – not for any need in himself – but on our behalf. Just as he did in salvation, Christ “positions himself entirely for us.”

Even the imprecatory Psalms (those dealing with enemies) can be understood as the prayers of Christ. Bonhoeffer says: “God’s vengeance did not strike the sinners, but the one sinless man who stood in the sinner’s place, namely God’s own Son….Jesus Christ himself requests the execution of the wrath of God on his body as thus leads me back daily to the gravity and the grace of his cross for me and all enemies of God.”

Who should buy this book: Anyone desiring to jumpstart their prayer life by gaining insight into the life of Christ and his role in Scripture would enjoy this book. Because this book is a classic, it would also make a wonderful gift for any avid reader, Bible study leader, or simply for yourself!

I hope 2012 marks the year that you stretch yourself in your worship and service to our King.  If some of these books sound difficult, buy them anyway and ingest a page at a time. You are always welcome to email me or post a question on our Hive Resources Facebook page. I might not know the answer, but we can dig into the Scriptures together. Scripture is robust enough to withstand our inquiry, and our King desires that we seek him out daily!

Happy New Year from Hive Resources! And of course, happy reading.

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

 

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorite Things for Moms! (GIVEAWAY!)

Sometimes, God surprises me with little tokens of his love – an unexpected note of encouragement from a friend or the miraculous provision of a financial need. I revel in these reminders of God’s gracious and sovereign character in my life, because as a mother I have a tendency to become consumed by the world of my family.

Schedules, dinner plans, family relationships often take center stage in my heart. So to pull my attention back to him, God uses these love tokens to remind me that motherhood should include setting an example to my children that there are no borders on God’s love. And as God’s servants, we are compelled by his love to serve more than just our immediate family, but rather, the entire world.

One such love token given to me by God was the discovery of The Adopt Shoppe – an adorable Etsy store of handmade jewelry and Scripture wear made by an equally adorable shop owner named Kate.

Wanting to expand their family from two children to more but unable to do biologically, Kate and her husband began the exciting journey of adoption.

“Through the miracle of adoption, we are blessed to have another daughter and we are in the process of adopting again!!” Kate explains on her Facebook page. “I opened my little shop to help pay for our adoption expenses. Every penny of profit goes toward our adoption(s).”

Kate’s passion for adoption is conveyed in her jewelry. Her wooden tile necklaces are gentle reminders of the importance of the biblical mandates to care for the less fortunate and love one another. In some of her necklaces, she uses fair trade materials such as recycled paper beads crafted by Ugandan women.

“The women carefully roll strips of magazines by hand into lovely, unique and earthy looking beads,” said Kate, explaining that many of these women left a life of picking trashing or prostitution and now depend on their bead-making skills to provide for their children.

This week The Adopt Shoppe introduced a new line of necklaces made from tagua (tog-wa) nut beads, a sustainable product made from the nuts of South American rain forest palm trees. As an eco-friendly product, they provide employment for nearly 35,000 people.

“I am passionate about orphans and try to do everything I can for them. Whether it is a child in Africa, on the other side of the world, in a homeless shelter, or foster care system here in America, there is no difference,” writes Kate. “These children in need (through no fault of their own) need the ORDINARY people in this world (like me and you) to give them help to change their world for the better. We can’t change the whole world by helping just one, but the whole world for that one…CHANGES,” Kate says.

Don’t you just love it when people practice what they preach? But don’t you love it even more when they propel you to do so as well?

Because The Adopt Shoppe is one of my favorite things for mom’s, we’re giving one lucky reader a $20 gift card to use in Kate’s Etsy store! To enter to win, simply ‘like’ Hive Resources on Facebook! Then come back and leave us a comment telling us you did so! For non-Facebook users, simply leave us a comment. If you already ‘like’ us on FB, then consider sharing this article with your pals. Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 13 at midnight! CONTEST HAS ENDED!

According to Random.org, the winner of the $20 gift card to The Adopt Shoppe is DAWN (comment #13). Congrats Dawn! You’ll be receiving an email from me shortly!

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorite Things for Kids (GIVEAWAY!)

God gave me the biggest epiphany of my life in 2011. I can (and should be) putting my passion for dividing God’s Word to use in my own home. Specifically, my desire to teach Bible studies finds no greater outlet than in teaching my own children how to love God and the world.

[pullquote style="left" quote="dark"]Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Deut. 6:4-7[/pullquote] This probably sounds like a no-brainer to seasoned, Bible-lovin’ mamas. But even though I cognitively grasped God’s plan for biblical parenting in Deuteronomy 6, I just didn’t know what that plan looked like in life’s everyday moments.

But after being thrown into frequent children’s ministry in the new church plant we attend, God revealed to me that teaching my own children about him is more than a parental obligation. Teaching my children to love God is an exciting privilege that produces precious blessings unparalleled in any other classroom.

First, God showed me that teaching moments in the home occur 24/7. My kids are learning from me even when we aren’t sitting at the table for Bible story time. They’re absorbing my reactions to life both in the home and out. They’re watching and repeating my fears, my behaviors, my words, and more. (Oh yeah. Positively scary).

[pullquote style="right" quote="dark"]Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut. 6:8-9[/pullquote]Second, God showed me that I needed a plan in order to properly teach my kids about their need for Christ. In my first two years as a mother, most of the ‘instruction’ I provided my children came wrapped in discipline after disobedience. But I discovered that if I am to follow the full measure behind Deut. 6, then I need to be proactively training my children in righteousness rather than waiting for teaching moments to arise out of life circumstances.

So, I started putting together small breakfast devotionals for the twins. I began by reading stories directly from the Bible while they munched on their cereal. After finding some wonderful mom and homeschooling blogs (look for my ‘favorite blogs’ on Thursday!), I followed up our short Scripture readings with a coloring page, simple craft, or memory verse game.

Our breakfast devotions have varied in length and activity (and some days they don’t happen at all), but my favorite devotion inspiration I discovered in 2011 is the Jesus Storybook Bible by children’s book author Sally Lloyd Jones.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones

What this book’s about: The Jesus Storybook Bible shares the main story of Scripture in a clear way that all children can understand and apply to their lives. Jones re-tells 44 stories from the biblical narrative, beginning with first creation and ending with the second (new) creation, tying them all to the person and work of Christ.

What this book isn’t: This book is a story/picture book. It is NOT a translation of Scripture. And as such, should not replace regular Bible reading with your kids. But it should be used as a creative resource to add to your arsenal for fulfilling Deut. 6.

Why I love this book: First, Jones’ Christ-centric approach to reading Scripture helps children put together the big picture of the Bible. The temptation in teaching children about God’s Word is to give them bite-sized pieces of Scripture. Bible stories are compartmentalized, and we forget to teach children how the stories fit together. The Jesus Storybook Bible has helped me teach my children how to interpret Scripture (it all points to Christ) and how to interpret reality (where they fit into God’s story).

Need help putting together a plan for teaching your kids about Christ in 2012? This month, Sally Lloyd Jones is releasing a full curriculum kit to accompany the Jesus Storybook Bible. The curriculum includes 44 printable lessons, audio clips and bonus videos, memory verses, handouts, and more! And if you pre-order The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit, you can save 40% off!

But, if you’re eager to start some breakfast devotions with your own kids and don’t want to wait for the curriculum to be released, then you’re in luck! Because we’re giving away one copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible to one lucky reader of HiveResources.com!

Want to enter to win? Simply ‘like’ Hive Resources on Facebook! Then come back and leave us a comment telling us you did so! For non-Facebook users, simply leave us a comment. If you already ‘like’ us on FB, then consider sharing this article with your pals. Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 13 at midnight! CONTEST HAS ENDED!

Unfortunately, we didn’t hear back from our first winner of  The Jesus Storybook Bible! That’s great news for our next winner – STACY! Congrats! We just send you an email! Thank you to everyone who entered!

What are some of your favorite things to teach your kids about Christ?

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorite Things for 2012

Gobble up our goodies! If you’re new to Hive Resources, be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss any of our sweet giveaways!

Let’s start the New Year with some fun! Hive Resources is giving you a glimpse of all our favorite things that will sweeten your walk with Christ for 2012! We’re talking books, jewelry, websites, and more!

{Jan. 9} Favorite Things for Kids - Get a peek at what I’m using to teach my own kids the story of the Bible!

{Jan. 10} Favorite Things for Moms - Pretty up your New Year with some jewelry from Kate of the Adopt Shoppe.

{Jan. 11) Favorite Things for Study - Need some new devotional inspiration for 2012? I’m giving you a peek at my study desk and highlighting my favorite resources for studying God’s Word.

{Jan. 12} Favorite Things Bookmarked! – Start your New Year with some new bookmarks or subscriptions to your feed burner list! I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite sites for moms, kids, and studying God’s Word.

Giveaways start on Monday! So, don’t miss it! Because we’re sure our favorite goodies will soon become your’s…

Melissa

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for granting Hive Resources permission to use her digital scrapbooking kit “Well Read.” Your shop is another one of our “favorite things!”

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.