3/4/16

Giveaway! "My Very Good, Very Bad Cat" Book

Welcome to the
No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop

Hosted by BookHounds
March 5-11, 2016

I'm giving away a copy of the
Chicken Soup for the Soul book
ARV $14.95
Photo courtesy of Chicken Soup for the Soul
This giveaway is super easy to enter! Using the form below, enter your name and email address and you'll be entered to win! Then hop to all the other blogs below and enter their giveaways too!

Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and up. Giveaway ends on 3/11/2016.

Can't wait to win? Buy this book HERE.

Find my other giveaways HERE.

Giveaway! "E Is For Emotions" Autographed Children's Book

It's time for the
Lucky Is Reading
Giveaway Hop

Hosted by StuckInBooks
March 5-18, 2016

After you enter my giveaway, hop around to all the other blog below
and enter to win prizes for book-lovers on each blog!

I'm giving away
an autographed copy of
by Lisa Weidknecht
Paperback children's book - ARV $21.99

To enter, just fill in the giveaway form below. Giveaway open to US residents, ages 18 and up. Giveaway ends on 3/18/16. Good luck!

Enter my other giveaways HERE.
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3/3/16

Capernaum, Israel - Peter's House and The Synagogue #travel #VisitIsrael

#sponsored travel
The next stop on our journey through Israel was the town of Capernaum. It's just east of Tabgha, along the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee, and was the home of several of Jesus' disciples. Capernaum was the center of Jesus' ministry and he taught in the synagogue there.
Just inside the gates of this excavated town is a beautiful peacock mosaic. Peacocks are indigenous to India and the Bible tells us that peacocks were brought to Israel for King Solomon:

1 Kings 10 22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

The ends of a peacock's feathers look like an eye, and are believed to represent the all-seeing eye of God. Peacocks were also a symbol of eternal life in the ancient middle east.
Excavations in Capernaum have revealed the house of Simon Peter, the beloved disciple of Jesus. Below, you can see the innermost circular wall, which is the original house. It is the place Jesus called home when he was in Capernaum. It's also the site where followers of Jesus lowered a paralyzed man through the roof to be healed.

Mark 2 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Around the home of Peter are more walls, octagonal in shape, that were built later. I tried to get a few pictures that show the outer walls.
Above Peter's house now stands a modern church, called the Church of Saint Peter's House. At the top of my photos, you can see gray beams, and those are the bottom of the modern church.
Notice, too, the difference in the ways walls were constructed. The earliest walls use smaller and rounder stones, while the later walls are made with larger and more squared stones.
Some of the original walls were fortified and made taller, as shown in the photo above.
The mosaic floors, below, were also excavated at the site.
I snapped a picture of the informational plaque at the site that shows how the area changed over centuries of use. The little circle in the middle depicts Peter's house.
The Book of Matthew tells us that Jesus came to Capernaum shortly after he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.

Matthew 4 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim

There he began teaching and gathering his disciples.

Matthew 4 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

Below are pictures of some of the houses in the village of Capernaum.
You can see how the houses were built using shared walls. I was amazed at how much of the town was still there!
The post in the photo above would have helped support the roof. Below is a storage vessel and its lid, found in one of the houses.
Below you can see a doorway from a house to one of the streets.
In the village is also the synagogue where Jesus taught on the Sabbath. The Book of Mark tells us that Jesus healed a possessed man in this synagogue.

Mark 1 21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
That same event also appears in the Book of Luke.

Luke 4 31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.
The foundation of the synagogue where Jesus taught was built with black basalt rock, the local rock from which the Capernaum buildings and houses were built during Jesus' time. The white limestone rock was brought in later, during the fourth century.
Below is one of the grand archways to the more-recent synagogue.
The photo below was taken in the main prayer hall. Left to right is Michal (our fabulous tour guide), Cory, me, and Erik (the journalists who were blessed with this amazing trip).
Around Capernaum, there are many displays of items found during the excavations. It's an incredibly fascinating stop on a journey through Israel! Outside the synagogue is a shaded area with lots of benches, so it's the perfect place to host a Bible study group. The weather around Galilee was simply gorgeous, even in February.
Read more about my trip to Israel HERE.
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3/2/16

Giveaway! TWO BuiltNY Lunch Totes

It's time for another giveaway!
Win prizes at the
Under the Rainbow Giveaway Hop Event
and Viva Veltoro

Who doesn’t love finding gold under the rainbow? I’ve joined with a group of bloggers who are offering great prizes for you, just waiting to be found under the rainbow! So, hop along to all in the giveaway hop linky below to find your gold and don't forget to check out the great Grand Prizes for this event including a Venta Airwasher on Lindsey Blogs and an adorable baby nighttime trio of prizes on Viva Veltoro!

I'm giving away
TWO BuiltNY Lunch Totes
to one winner!
Combined ARV $44.98
To enter, just fill in the giveaway form below. Giveaway open to US residents, ages 18 and up. One winner will win the Crosstown Lunch Bag and Spicy Relish Lunch Tote. Giveaway ends on 3/17/16. Good luck!

Enter my other giveaways HERE.
Follow me on Facebook HERE.

Giveaway! Three Guinness World Records Books #PotOGold

Thanks for stopping by the
Pot O' Gold Giveaway Hop

March 3-17

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so what better time of the year is there to get lucky by winning a great prize? We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a bunch of great prizes that are sure to appeal to everyone. As always, after you have entered a giveaway visit the linky at the bottom of each post to visit the other blogs for more great prizes!

I'm giving away
a set of three paperback
Guinness World Records Books
including Super Humans!
Combined ARV $38.97
for ages 8-12
Buy these books at Harper Collins
To enter, just fill in the giveaway form below. 
Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and older. 
Giveaway ends on 3/17/16. Good luck!

Enter my other giveaways HERE.
Follow me on Facebook HERE.

Bloggers Wanted! Red, White, and Blue Giveaway Hop! (June 17 - July 6)


Join LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht

for the "Red, White, and Blue Hop Event"


This giveaway hop event will run June 17th - July 6th, 2016.
The Red, White, and Blue Hop event is not "themed."

When you add your blog home page link below, you are agreeing to the following:
And yes, some of the things listed should be standard, and we've removed blogs from events for not following our simple rules. If you have a question about a prize being acceptable, please ask.
Post your own dedicated giveaway for this event, from June 17, 2016, at 12:01 a.m. (one minute after midnight) until July 6, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Everyone should set their post according to EST.
Your Giveaway may be self-sponsored (with a gift card or PayPal ONLY *no exceptions*) or a company-sponsored (prize shipped directly from the sponsor to the winner). Giveaway prize must be family friendly and valued at a minimum of $25.00, not the suggested retail price, the SALE price must meet the $25 minimum.
Blogs without a giveaway post live at 9:00 a.m. on June 17th with ALL requirements will be removed from the linky. Sign up closes on June 14, 2016.

***You are not required to post in advance of the giveaway event, HOWEVER... if you would like to help promote and bring in more participants, please place the event button in your sidebar, and link back to this post so others can join the fun.
We encourage you to also join the Weidknecht Events Facebook Group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/WeidknechtEvents/

Your giveaway post on June 17th must include the following:
Red, White, and Blue Hop Event Button
Links (nofollow, right click to copy the hosts links to insert into each host's name) to the hosts, LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht (LeahSay is one word)
The provided linky "showing/listing" the links to all participating bloggers, no exceptions.
Your giveaway description, along with a photo of the NEW prize, and your contest form.
Giveaway Hop reminder and linky code will be provided at least one day before the hop begins, by email (make sure you double check your email when signing up).

Questions can be directed to LeahSaysViews@gmail.com.
Join the fun and promote your product with a great group of bloggers!

Bloggers Wanted! Spring Has Sprung Giveaway Hop (April 15-May 2)


Join LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht

for the "Spring Has Sprung Hop Event"


This giveaway hop event will run April 15th - May 2nd, 2016.
The Spring Has Sprung Hop event is not "themed."

When you add your blog home page link below, you are agreeing to the following:
And yes, some of the things listed should be standard, and we've removed blogs from events for not following our simple rules. If you have a question about a prize being acceptable, please ask.
Post your own dedicated giveaway for this event, from April 15, 2016, at 12:01 a.m. (one minute after midnight) until May 2, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Everyone should set their post according to EST.
Your Giveaway may be self-sponsored (with a gift card or PayPal ONLY *no exceptions*) or a company-sponsored (prize shipped directly from the sponsor to the winner). Giveaway prize must be family friendly and valued at a minimum of $25.00, not the suggested retail price, the SALE price must meet the $25 minimum.
Blogs without a giveaway post live at 9:00 a.m. on April 15th with ALL requirements will be removed from the linky. Sign up closes on April 13, 2016.

***You are not required to post in advance of the giveaway event, HOWEVER... if you would like to help promote and bring in more participants, please place the event button in your sidebar, and link back to this post so others can join the fun.
We encourage you to also join the Weidknecht Events Facebook Group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/WeidknechtEvents/

Your giveaway post on April 15th must include the following:
Spring Has Sprung Hop Event Button
Links (nofollow, right click to copy the hosts links to insert into each host's name) to the hosts, LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht (LeahSay is one word)
The provided linky "showing/listing" the links to all participating bloggers, no exceptions.
Your giveaway description, along with a photo of the NEW prize, and your contest form.
Giveaway Hop reminder and linky code will be provided at least one day before the hop begins, by email (make sure you double check your email when signing up).

Questions can be directed to LeahSaysViews@gmail.com.
Join the fun and promote your product with a great group of bloggers!

3/1/16

Weekly Giveaway Linky - Wednesday Wealth (March 2 - 8)



Tabgha - Loaves and Fishes Miracle #travel #VisitIsrael

#sponsored travel
Tabgha is just down the hill from the Mount of Beatitudes. It sits on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee and is the location of the miracle of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is recorded in all four gospels of the Bible:

Matthew 14 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 6 41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42 And they did all eat, and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. 44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Luke 9 14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

John 6 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
Recorded in both the Book of Matthew and the Book of Mark, there is a second feeding of the multitude, numbering 4000, which occurred near here, in Tel Hadar on the northeastern shore:

Matthew 15 34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. 38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 8 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

In the Book of Mark, Jesus even refers to both miracles:

Mark 8 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

It's interesting to note, too, that the number recorded as fed included only the men. Matthew repeatedly states "...beside women and children" which means there were more people that Jesus actually fed.
The ancient mosaic floor in the photo above is part of a church in Tabgha that dates back to the mid-third century. The mosaic features two fishes alongside a basket of loaves, depicting the first feeding of the multitude. Since it is sectioned off for preservation, I couldn't get any closer to it. It was excavated in the 1930s and is part of the original church built there. The rock on the far side of the mosaic has been speculated to be the rock Jesus stood upon as he blessed the bread and fishes. In the early 1980s, the current church was built around the original church.
Tabgha, in Hebrew is Ein Sheva which means "spring of seven," and in Greek is Heptapegon, which means “seven springs.” Six of the springs have been identified in the area, including Job's spring, where Job is believed to have treated his illnesses. You can read his story in the Book of Job in the Bible. Tabgha is also the site where Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, which is written in John 21, as well as several other notable events.

I love the last verse of the Book of John - John 21 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

There are really no words to describe the feeling of being in places where Jesus performed miracles. Time and time again, I experienced amazement, peace, and joy in Israel. My entire life, I've heard the stories of the Bible, but standing in the places where these things happened makes the Bible come alive in a way I've never known. I've also noticed, since I've returned home, that reading the words of the Bible now is a whole new experience in itself. As I read, I can picture the places in my mind because I've actually been there. In Hebrews 11 1, it says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." but I have to admit that my faith has grown deeper by seeing evidence that still exists.

Read more about my travels HERE.
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2/29/16

Mount of Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount #travel #VisitIsrael

#sponsored travel
The Mount of Beatitudes is just north of Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, not far from the borders of Syria and Lebanon. This general area is where much of Jesus' ministry took place. Some of the other nearby holy sites include Capernaum and Tabgha, of which I'll share my travels there with you later this week. The Mount of Beatitudes is the site of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
Here sits the Church of the Beatitudes, a beautiful Roman Catholic church built in 1938. The design reflects the Beatitudes (the very words of Jesus regarding who are blessed) and the hilltop location offers stunning views of the Sea of Galilee. Being there gave me a peaceful, reflective, humble feeling.
There are beautiful gardens all around the church, and along the walkway are individual plaques that state each of the Beatitudes. The interior of the church features lots of windows and a mosaic floor with the seven virtues - justice, charity, prudence, faith, fortitude, hope, and temperance.
Although the Sermon on the Mount is written across three chapter in the Book of Matthew, in chapters 5-7, the verses that have been termed "the beatitudes" are specifically found in Matthew 5.

Matthew 5 
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
The Sermon on the Mount is also where Jesus taught his disciples The Lord's Prayer:

Matthew 6
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
As I read again through Matthew 5-7, I rediscovered several verses I have known and loved all my life:

Matthew 5 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Matthew 6 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 7 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Jesus' own words, spoken directly to the disciples, written down in the Book of Matthew, so that we, even 2000 years later, can know what He, the Son of God came down to teach us. Amazing! The Mount of Beatitudes is the perfect place to sit down and read the Sermon on the Mount.

Read more about my travels HERE.
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2/28/16

Giveaway! The Dehydrator Bible - Over 400 Recipes

 Welcome to the 1st Annual
Be Well Giveaway Hop

February 29 - March 14

Hop to all the blogs below and enter to win prizes that will help you Be Well!

I'm giving away
By Jennifer MacKenzie, Joy Nutt, and Don Mercer
ARV $24.95
Available at Robert Rose Books
There's no better way to Be Well than to make sure the foods your family eats are full of nutrition. When you preserve your foods by dehydrating them, your fruits and vegetables will have more flavor. If you're dehydrating foods you've grown yourself, you can ensure that no pesticides were used during their growth. Dehydrating foods will also help you maximize storage space. The Dehydrator Bible includes 150 recipes for dehydrating herbs, seasonings, fruits, veggies, meat, and fish, plus 250 recipes that use those dehydrated foods as ingredients. Buy the book HERE.

To enter, just fill in the giveaway form below.
Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and up.
Giveaway ends on 3/14/16. Good luck!

Enter my other giveaways HERE.
Follow me on Facebook HERE.

Giveaway! "How To Put Your Parents To Bed" Children's Book #LuckyIrishHop

It's time for the
St. Patty's Day Giveaway Hop

2/29 - 3/6, 2016
After you enter my giveaway, hop around to the other blogs listed below
and enter to win prizes on each blog.

I'm giving away
a hardbound copy of
by Mylisa Larsen,
illustrated by Babette Cole.
ARV $17.99
Available at Harper Collins
A children's picture book that's sure to make everyone laugh!
Photo courtesy of Harper Collins
To enter, fill in the giveaway form below.
Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and up.
Giveaway ends on 3/6/16. Good luck!

Enter my other giveaways HERE.
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.