Saturday, August 20, 2016

HOW TO HELP Louisiana Flood Victims

(via Facebook post by Gabriel Saint)
I have watched helplessly as the photos rolled through my Facebook feed of the Louisiana flood. My "Aunt" Janice (really my mom's first cousin), Uncle Bill, and cousins are all right in the middle of it. 

All of their houses, thankfully, were spared, but I know this is only because God needs them to get to work. My Aunt Janice manages missions (trips to Honduras every year with BMDMI),Uncle Bill is a pastor, Ashley is a fierce organizer, Ashley's husband cooks vats of delicious jambalaya, and Travis is a member of the "Cajun Navy." Together, this family is a powerful force to be deployed in the face of disaster--and now, even more so, as they drive down the streets to their full homes and see the entire lifelong belongings of their neighbors and friends, generations of families (it's a close-knit, generational community), lining the sides of the roads. Houses are being gutted. Some will be refilled with the help of insurance. Many will not. Regardless, all, right now, are suffering, and most have nothing.

Cutting to the chase, this is how Aunt Janice says you can best help:
  • Sporicidin/Shockwave: This is what she said they need most right now. This kills the mold and fungus now growing in the homes. Ashley said in the background, "They're trying to gut, but need Shockwave to stop the mold." Please let that sink in.
  • Plastic tubs: To store what belongings they have left 
  • Trash bags: For cleanup, storage, etc.
  • Pine-Sol/washing detergent: EVERYTHING that is salvageable and washable is getting washed. Aunt Janice says it has to be washed in Pine-Sol first . . . in the few available washing machines.
  • Hygiene products: Stores have been wiped out. They need soap, shampoo, toilet paper, feminine products, you name it. (Thank God for the toilet paper in your dry house right now.)
  • Money: I truly believe that the most efficient way to help, especially when you're not sure how, is to put money in the hands of the people who do. I'm sending directly to Aunt Janice (you can too). But you'll get a tax-deductible receipt if you donate to:
    • Colyell Baptist Church, 19524 LA HWY 42, Livingston, LA 70754 and note that it is to be designated for the flood victims.
  • Of course, prayer: Pray that God comforts those suffering, gives supernatural strength and stamina to those helping, and supplies the needs of His people as He always has. But remember, too, that He often calls us as His hands and feet to do the same. 
Getting it there: 
  • As soon as I finish this post, I am shipping Sporicidin directly to my aunt's address. Email me if you want to do the same. You can also ship to the church's address above, and it'll get distributed as needed.
  • My mom and Gary (bonus dad :) are driving down Thursday. If you're local, email me, and I will be tickled to collect any supplies from you. I will need to get them by Wednesday.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Review of the Week: "Simple Story, Big Message"

In case you didn't know, an entire series of mine launched this month: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and How Big Is Love?. AND the Faith, Hope, Love Devotional will release in November!

Soo, not only have I just sent TRIPLETS out into this big world, these triplets are also a little different from my usual babies. Instead of rhyming stanzas, they're a series of sweet, simple questions between a parent and child, attempting to tackle some of the most abstract concepts on the planet, and yet concepts that the Bible says are THE "three things" that "last forever" (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT). 

No pressure, right?!

Now I wait. It's like the period of time between the boom of fireworks and the light that sprays across the sky. It's that moment when you hold your breath and expect the spectacular--and pray it's not a dud. Except it's much longer, more like our triplet analogy, more like sending kids into the world and just praying the world is good to them, that they flourish and are understood.

And then you see it: someone, somewhere who appreciates your babies, the first gorgeous spray of light across the sky. 

(Yes, that's what those black and white electronic words mean to us, dear readers.)

So, thank you, thank you, for these kind words (from Amazon): 

Simple Story, Big MessageAugust 6, 2016
This review is from: How Big Is Love? (padded board book) (Faith, Hope, Love) (Board book)
How Big Is Love? is a padded board book that is perfect for small children. I loved the message of this book—that nothing (!!!) is bigger or more anything than God's love! What a great message to read to and with babies and young children.

The language is simple enough for toddlers, yet succinctly tells a bigger story. The illustrations are whimsical. And the construction of the book is perfect for little hands (thick pages definitely won't tear easily).

This is one of the best children's books that I've read recently, and I'll be watching for the rest of the series! [5 stars]

Friday, August 12, 2016

Review of the Week: "The children gave it five stars!"

In my line of work, my most important, helpful, and honest critics are children. Soo, needless to say, I was tickled to come across this review--my hands-down favorite review of Night Night, Farm thus far!

Here's a snippet (from Amazon):

As a summer day camp director I had the opportunity to read the book to thirteen children (K5-2nd Grade). And this is how I know that the children appreciate animal sounds! I explained to them the five star rating. All thirteen children gave the book five stars! I asked the children what they liked about the book. I quote.

“The pictures are cute.”

“I love the Kittens.”

“I liked when the horse was sleeping.”

“I liked the pictures.”

“I liked the donkey.”

“all of the animal pictures, everything, the whole book”

“when it said good night God”



“cows and owls”

“the puppy dog”
Thank you, Mark Evans, wherever you are, for sharing this book with kiddos, um, for being a summer day camp director (whew!), and for simply sharing the love of reading with little ones. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

NEW RELEASES!!! Faith, Hope, Love

Brace yourselves for the preciousness that is 
the Faith, Hope, Love series--available TODAY! 

It all started with one little line, "How big is love?" and just grew from there. 
Yes, we pull you in with the adorable illustrations. ;) (Seriously, go check out Breezy Brookshire now.) But we want your kids to walk away with the everlasting message behind the adorableness. 

In 1 Corinthians 13, after Paul describes the attributes of love, he leaves us with this declaration: “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” (v. 13 HCSB). The NASB says, “Faith, hope, and love, abide these three.” The NLT translates, “Three things will last forever . . .” If these things--faith, hope, and love--are the three things that remain, abide, that last forever, then these are certainly ideas that our children need to hear early and often, in a language and format that they understand. 

Three board books--How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and How Big Is Love?--introduce and explain these concepts in a series of simple questions and answers between parent and child, comparing the abstract concepts to real, tangible things to which children can relate. Children will walk away with a firm grasp of faith, of hope, and of love: these three things that remain.

After the board books introduce the concepts, the devotional (releasing November 1) will help children to internalize these ideas by putting them into action. This engaging, educational approach will solidify these foundational concepts in the heart of a child, making a lifelong impact on the next generation.

Well . . . at least, that's my hope

But as Winsett would tell me . . .

Now available!


And coming soooon . . .