Saturday, September 27, 2008

SHOW & TELL: These are a Few of My Favorite Things...

One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to pass on great resources or links for you to learn from and use to grow in your walk with the Lord, in your marriage or family life, or for your personal enrichment. So, this "Show & Tell" is all about my favorite things... things that we personally use and love in our home that have been a blessing or help to me. I hope you'll find something of interest in this list that can be a blessing or help to you!

  1. Sovereign Grace Music- WOW. Valley of Vision in particular is an excellent CD. These musicians are really focused on writing lyrics that are full of truth and Scripture and not just fluff. I have been so challenged by songs like "Jesus Thank You" (you can listen to it in my music list at the bottom of Making Home) and "I Will Glory in My Redeemer" (you can listen to part of it at the link above).
  2. America's Test Kitchen "Family Cookbook"- This is by far the best cookbook I have ever owned. It not only has the amazing well-tested recipes you'd expect in any quality cookbook, but it also has tips and instructions for things that you'd never find in most cookbooks. We're talking step-by-step photoed instructions for making a pie crust. Or a discussion of why changing the temperature by 25 degrees can completely change the way your muffins turn out. This is the most fascinating and user-friendly cookbook I've ever seen. I've not only made better food since using it, but I also have started *thinking* like a cook, which alone is worth every penny for this cookbook. I HIGHLY recommend this!
  3. LeCrae- This Christian rapper is so unique... the music itself is good (not cheesy or predictable like so many "Christian rappers" of the past), and the lyrics themselves are full of truth and authenticity. He knows theology, he loves the Word of God, and he's reaching out to this culture in an excellent (and can I say, fun?) way. We have dance parties here in our home a lot, and LeCrae is most definitely a favorite for not only me but for my kids as well. Here's what LeCrae says his mission is: “to digest theology and spit it back out so the streets can digest it." You can listen to a few of his songs on my music player at the bottom of this website, or you can watch a LeCrae video here.
  4. Hillsong DVDs- I've mentioned on a previous post how we use these DVDs to worship in our home as we go about our days... but I have to share the specifics with you. These DVDs are SO great for helping you teach your kids about worship, learning new songs, and being encouraged to worship the Lord as you go about your daily routine. Here are my four favorite DVDs:
    - HOPE- great, uplifting praise music focused on encouragement, healing, and hope.
    - LOOK TO YOU- a DVD of the Hillsong youth praise band... this ranges from very fresh and young sounds to very worshipful moments as well. We love it.
    - UP (Unified Praise)- Hillsong & Delirious teamed up to put out this worship DVD/concert. It's full of songs you'll probably know and some that will be new and encouraging for you.
    - GOD HE REIGNS- The songs on this DVD in particular are focused on the majesty and power of God and is an intense and enjoyable invitation to worship... the Hillsong team uses a choir and dancers and this is a very good DVD as well
  5. Settlers of Catan- This game (introduced to us by our friends, Tamara and her husband, Mark) is so much fun and is always unique and challenging, no matter how good you get. Doug & I have a blast playing this at least once a month once the kids are in bed, and it's great for playing with couple friends as well. Perhaps I just revealed my total geekiness, but I'm OK with that. :) It's a fun game.
  6. Blokus- There are a couple versions of this game (we have the travel/2 player version), but this is a GREAT game for kids and adults of all ages... it changes every time you play it, and is great for teaching strategy and spacial comprehension to children.
  7. iTunes sermons/resources: Alistair Begg, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Al Mohler-- I went into my iTunes store and subscribed to each of these so that they automatically download. Then, I can add them to a new "iTunes playlist" each day (mixed in with things like Sovereign Grace, LeCrae, and classic rock favorites) so that, as I'm going about my day, I can be taking in wisdom from a wide variety of sources, all based on the Word of God. This is a great way to stay spiritually challenged and keep your mind at work throughout the day (while doing dishes, sorting laundry, sitting on the floor with your toddler, etc.).
  8. Rainlendar- onscreen calendar for your desktop - extremely user-friendly and always at your fingertips. It's adaptable to allow for a wide variety of alarms/reminders for every purpose, and it has an optional "To-Do list" that keeps a running list of what's coming up in the next week, so you can keep up-to-date. We have it on both of our computers, and it helps us stay organized!
That's it for now. Hopefully, you too will be able to enjoy some of these "favorites" of mine!

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