Sunday, November 24, 2013

Compass Study Bible - An Honest Review

I was contacted and thrilled to be asked to do a review for a new Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers - available February 2014. Compass - The Study Bible for Navigating Your Life was definitely a welcome addition to my collection of Bibles. I like to reference, cross-reference, read in several versions, and dig deeper into the Word.

The translation is called "The Voice" and was created by an impressive group of people, many names, familiar to me...from Bible Scholars, to musicians, to writers and more, the work put into this translation, was amazing. It is an easy read, comparable to The Message in ease of reading, yet, even more thorough, descriptive and keeps more to the traditional verse by verse format. 

One thing that stood out to me, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, was the screenplay format. There's no question as to who is speaking, they've done the hard work for you. They also, to make it easy to see where modernized language, styles, and/or formats were used, have utilized standard-type and italic-type. These are clearly explained in the preface, and, I would add, when choosing a new study bible, one should always read the introduction/preface....this one, is no exception. 

Also included in this study bible, is, in keeping with the "Compass" theme - The Road Map to God's Promises. When you are in need of a quick reference, you can choose from many sub-headings and be pointed directly to scripture to help you along the way. 

You'll also find a "40 Day Retreat with Jesus" reading plan. I was very intrigued by this, as it gave tips to create and maintain daily quiet time, as well as a 40 day start - I intend to begin my 2014 with this plan. There is also a 1 year reading plan, a very thorough topical guide to the study notes and scriptures, and maps w/explanations. Also, the introductions and history to each book, was a bit different than my other Bibles, different format and different writing styles, make them interesting. 

Overall, I truly enjoyed this Bible. I have used it weekly at my small group study, for my daily quiet time, and to read to my children daily. It is versatile, meeting all of those needs. Again, the screenplay format was very helpful; and the readability, amazing. 

So, I was asked to do an honest review of this Bible. And while, overall, it is amazing, and I would (will) definitely recommend it to others, there was one aspect I wasn't overly thrilled with. 

I was confused and bothered by (ultimately, because I didn't read the entire introduction, hence my advice above)...the name sometimes used to identify God. He is referred to, at times, as the "Eternal" or "Eternal One." I cannot put my finger on exactly why this bothered me so, but it did. It was, at first, as if it was making Him unreachable, which we know He isn't, He desires relationship with us. 

Upon investigation, I found the following: "The Voice translation of the divine name as the "Eternal" and "Eternal One" carries on the church's long-standing tradition of reverence for God and His name. It also attempts to translate the meaning of the name and recontextualize it for our culture." They go on to explain that He is timeless and unchanging, and it is  emphasizing the covenantal and everlasting aspects of His name. It is also explained that "Eternal One" is showing contrast to everything else in the universe, which is constantly changing. 

I'm still unsure of how I feel about this, I know that when I read it to my children, I said "God" may grow on me the longer I read it. Otherwise, however, I love this translation, format, and notes in this Bible. 

Be Blessed!

*I am grateful to Sara, from for giving me an opportunity to review this bible, and the freedom to be honest. 

**No compensation was received for this review, other than, the Compass Bible that was sent to base the review on. The views and honest opinions stated above regarding this bible are exclusively my own. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

What does Homeschool look like?

I love looking at other homeschoolers to see how they have their school set up. I get great ideas, and while we don't have a designated "school room" --- I shared in this post what our "school room" looks like...and our closet and cabinet that houses our school stuff. 

But everything looks great when it's neat, organized and not in use. I thought a glimpse into a day in progress would be nice too. The children were outside taking a "stretch your legs" break --- so I snuck in to take "real life" pictures!

Teacher's Desk --- lol - this is technically our household desk, it's where bills are paid, facebook is surfed, videos for school are viewed, and whatever else....but it's also where a lot of planning for our school days happen!

The kitchen table - where meals are served, many conversations are had, dreams discussed, and....learning takes place.

Our white board - a fairly cheap investment, we just bought this board at Home Depot...and while most days I use it, this particular day, I'm ashamed honest enough to say, I'm not perfect, and all our work isn't always written out on the board. 

And - our playroom table. Puzzles take shape here, lots of fun is had here, times, there is a lot of learning that goes on here. It, for us, seems necessary to have the second table. Two boys at the same table often means burping contests and other inappropriate noises and conversations. I love memories and laughing, but sometimes we just have to get down to business and learn. This extra table helps! :) 

So there you have it - a glimpse into where and how we accomplish things in our day. At least, this day...tomorrow might look different. I'll share again, you'll see, there are no two days the's an ever changing journey!

Be Blessed!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Heavy Loads....Need Rest....

It happens. We forget. Slowing down doesn't seem like an option. We can't. We must keep moving. Working. Then.....

We get worn down. Patience is worn thin. Tempers flare easily. The laughter seems diminished. We become disconnected. From Him. From one another. 

He promises rest. We only need to seek it. Seek Him. 

“Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. 
I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

It happened to us. It's been a trying year. We felt the disconnect. From one another. From rest. From Him. Then....

This day. This moment. This beauty. 

 Words were few.
Beauty was all around.

His presence was there.

Slowing. We took in His artwork.

His rest was accepted.

Thanks. Many thanks. Offered. Appreciated. 

Reminders of togetherness. 

Recognition of the important things. People. Family. Love. Him.

I want to be mindful. I want to seek Him. I want to step away from the daily grind. Seek a place of solitude, surrounded by His workmanship. 

Thank You, Father for restoration. Of patience. Of laughter. Of togetherness. For Your presence. Your love. Your grace. May I be mindful. May I not let so much time pass with busyness. May I seek you daily. And intentionally, more often, get away.

My soul, waits in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him. - Psalm 62:5

Do you get overwhelmed before you remember He promises you rest? I urge you. Do NOT wait. Find your rest. It changes everything. He changes everything.
Be Blessed!