Archives for posts with tag: zondervan

Sherry GoreEditor’s note: This is the first in a series of four author interviews.

The Plain Choice: A True Story of Choosing to Live an Amish Life tells how Sherry Gore, who moved several times across the country looking for a new beginning, finally found one – in faith.

Gore’s book, which releases next month, walks the reader through her difficult childhood, her six months of homelessness and her eventual focus on living for God.

She graciously tells us more:

What do you hope readers take away from the difficult parts of your story?

All my life I knew God was real. I could see Him working in the lives of others. But my feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth were overwhelming. I couldn’t see an end to my emotional pain. The bad choices I continually made in the past left me thinking I’d missed any chance there was for me to ever have a personal relationship with God. I thought I was unforgivable. I had no faith. What I learned when I did give myself over to God – and every day since – is that His grace is powerful enough to redeem anyone. Including me.

Sometimes the Amish life – and even just choosing to live more simply – seems so far away. What are some steps people can take to begin to shift priorities?

Living with a sense of community in your heart can do wonders for your psyche. This is easily achieved by turning our attention away from things that drain us of our time, and giving more of ourselves – be it a listening ear, or offering a helping hand where needed for others. … Being present for others is what makes a community.

How common is it for an adult to join the Amish? What was it that the Amish offered that spoke the most to your heart?

Hosting visitors is fairly common in the Mennonite church. Actually joining the church is not. Most of the letters and emails I receive from those seeking the Plain community entail a desire for a lifestyle that appears romantic and ideal. Once the “romantic” aspect of living Plain wears off – this often happens in six months or less – they’re left feeling unsatisfied. The path that led me to the Plain church was any but romantic. My discovery that there were people in this world who were living a life parallel to my own (based on my own bible reading and convictions) was what set my search in motion. Once there, I knew I was in God’s will. I’m exactly where God wants me; in a place where I can fellowship with like-minded individuals allowing me to flourish in my relationship with Him every day.

When I go in Christian bookstores the shelves are full of novels that feature the Amish. Why do you think people are drawn to that subject?

I think the initial attraction to Amish fiction is the longing readers have for a simpler life. … I believe what keeps the readers coming back for more is that most Amish fiction books are written with wholesome, clean storylines, and have characters with surprisingly every day, true-to-life problems readers can identify with. At the same time they offer a look into the lives of a culture not readily understood by most people in society. Amish fiction is here to stay.


Have you heard what the Berenstain Bears have done? They’ve created “The Berenstain Bears’ Country Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult,” and it’s full of fun food, pictures and lessons.

(I told Benjamin he could mark six things for us to try and he asked for eight… and then nine!)

If you’d like the chance to win your own copy, just visit us at the Simply Faithful Facebook page and post a picture of your little one in the kitchen. It’s that simple.

You can also watch Brother and Sister prepare some of the recipes. I’ll post links to the videos on Facebook.

I’ll draw a winning name on Monday, March 16, and then the nice people at Zonderkidz will send it right to you!



My addiction to holiday books started six years ago when a dear friend told me she read a book every night leading up to Christmas. And, well, once I started collecting Christmas books for my sons… I naturally wanted Easter books, too.

Visit the Simply Faithful Facebook page to see an album of our favorites — and then, if you’d like to add three free books to your own Easter book collection, click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway! The contest ends Monday morning at midnight. Enjoy!

Zonderkidz giveaway

 

13AdventLogoSquareFor almost six years now I’ve been collecting Christmas books. Some from garage sales. Some for a pittance at Ollie’s and other discount stores. And one or two from my mother-in-law’s  house. My goal had been to have 25 so we could read one each day of Advent — and to have those 25 focus on faith and good character — because stories are powerful. They welcome us and draw us in. They introduce us to different perspectives and show us new ways to see and love. They take big theology and they paint a clear, tangible picture. 

Many of our books tell of a King coming to the small and forgotten, of a crowded place making room for one more to come in out of the cold, of love. That’s why I did a small thing: I invited a couple of friends to read with us on the first Sunday of Advent. I wanted our little family to be part of something bigger, even if just by two.

I almost canceled the night before. My husband and I were arguing over ridiculous things. The kids were being so very loud. All. The. Time. And the Christmas decorations? Well, the bins were stacked in the living room.

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Don’t cancel, said the husband. We need to be more social, and they could care less if the tree is up.

So, I did it. I opened the door, and I welcomed in my friend and her witty son into my real life.

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We took off our shoes and ate spinach dip and read books and laughed and forgot that things weren’t perfect because our time together was perfect.

And I was the one who felt welcomed.

Would you like to start your own collection of Christmas books? I’ve created a photo album of our family’s books on Facebook, and if you’ll comment on the album or in the comment section here at the Simply Faithful blog, I’ll enter you for a chance to win two books. “The Perfect Christmas Pageant” by Joyce Meyer offers a sweet lesson in keeping what’s most important, most important. A lesson that’s good for all ages! Mary Engelbreit’s “Peace on Earth” is gorgeous. It is full of quotes, songs and pictures that you’ll be tempted to tear out and frame. Leave a comment by 7 a.m. Dec. 4 and I’ll draw a name.

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As much as I love words, sometimes a picture — an illustration — conveys a message that might not otherwise get through. That’s why I’m sharing some snapshots I took of a book that just released this month, “Psalm 23,” illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson. Take a look at these images and see if you can find hope…

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And some of my favorites are the children inside the front and back covers:

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I had planned to use a journal page from a friend today, but due to technical difficulties, you’ll find one that I pulled together this morning. I’ve pulled words from Sandra Fox’s devotional, “Lord Renew My Hope.” I’ve been so enjoying her book, and she has written a piece just for you. Expect that in mid-March.

To download, click here.

Here’s a glimpse:

Day10

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