Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Snootie Patootie

Back in March I won a giveaway from Robyn @ Our Homeschool Home. It was from her mother/daughter company called Snootie Patootie (cute name!) for 2 children's personalized water bottles. Gracie loves anything with her name on it, so this was great. Since it was for 2, I was also able to get one for Matthew. He doesn't much care about personalized items yet. But he will one day and we'll already have this. :)

I just wanted to tell ya'll about this awesome site and encourage you to check it out. She has some very nice products available for personalization. It's a great gift idea for just about any occasion. :)


Homeschool Resouce of the Day: Natural Oddities

Today's resource is this classic little collection of cartoons depicting odd and unusual aspects of the flora and the fauna in the world around us — "Natural Oddities". These engaging cartoons by Gus Mager are full of strange but true facts about everything from polar bears to platypuses… and are sure to fascinate young readers.

You can get it today only at


Wonder Hanger Review & Giveaway

Wonder Hanger

The Wonder Hanger® is an affordable tool that's great for any Spring Cleaning features. This cascading clothes organizer increases closet space by enabling you to stack clothes vertically. Each Wonder Hanger holds 5 wood, metal or plastic hangers. There are 8 hangers to a package – enough to hang 40 garments. The open-mouth design allows you to easily add or remove your jackets, skirts, pants and shirts. Supporting up to 20 pounds, it can hold up to 5 heavy winter jackets.

You can use it to group complete outfits or similar items, organize by color or season, and hang handbags or belts. It retails for $9.99 and can be purchased at major retail chains including Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and CVS and online at

Wonder Hanger

I was really excited to get to try this product. (Thank you Mama Buzz & Wonder Hanger!) I'd seen the infomercial many times on tv. It looked great, but you know how you can't always trust those kinda things. I received it in the mail a little while back and wanted to jump right into my closet. And if you know me I don't like messing in my closet, it's always a mess! ;) So I waited a few days. And then I waited some more. Procrastinate much? Nah, not me!  Well, anyways, I finally dug my way in there (picturing this yet?) and started sorting through clothes. I have some to give away, but then I always have a bunch I keep. I mean one day I do hope to be back in those jeans. Someday.

I loved how the Wonder Hanger let me sort my clothes and then I could save space by letting down one side so it could hang. That's pretty cool. Really if you want an organized closet that doesn't cost an arm and a leg this is a great tool in getting it. It's an affordable price and it really works!

Think this is something you would like to try out? Well, now you have a chance to win a package of your own!

To enter:
Leave a comment below telling me why you need this.

For additional entries:
*Tweeting about it @lesleypeck

*Following my blog using Google Follower

*Subscribing to receive updates via email

*Liking me on Facebook

Please make sure you leave a comment for each so they can be counted. :)

This giveaway will end on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen using

*Disclaimer: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Wonder Hanger for this review.*


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

This picture makes me laugh out loud. EVERY time I look at it. My girl can be so sweet but she's got a mean streak in her too. I took this while we were waiting on the bus this morning. She was offended by something I said, which seems to be a regular occurrence lately. Oh it's so hard growing up, I mean for me not her. LOL :oD

You can see more Sweet Shots or join in here.
Sweet Shot Day


Homeschool Resouce of the Day: The Diary of Anne Frank (audio drama)

Today you can download an excellent dramatization of "The Diary of Anne Frank", originally broadcast on the radio in South Africa in the mid 1960s. Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (June 12, 1929 – March 1945) is one of the most renowned Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.

The Frank family moved from Germany to Amsterdam in 1933, the same year as the Nazis gained power in Germany. By the beginning of 1940 they were trapped in Amsterdam due to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the family went into hiding in the hidden rooms of her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Anne Frank and her sister, Margot, were eventually transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they both died of typhus in March 1945.

Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl. It has since been translated into many languages. The diary, which was given to Anne on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life from 12 June 1942 until 1 August 1944. (The above historical info comes from Wikipedia)


This is a faithful hour long audio adaptation of the original book… but if you are familiar with the book, you know how this story ends. Because of the intense subject matter of this program, we would not recommend it for little ears – it would be best appreciated by older tween & teen age students who are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Anne Frank and the events of WW2. For listeners of that age & up who know their history, this is a fantastic program.

You can download today only at


Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: 360-Degree Life

What if you had a second chance to chart your life?

What if you only had a few days to live?
Would you love?
Would you laugh?
Would you give?
Would you live differently than you do right now?
--Billy Joe Daugherty

If possible, would you do a makeover on parts of your life? Most of us would gladly say “Yes!” to a fresh start, and that’s exactly what God offers.

So many people live empty and frustrating lives, which is tragic because God desires a full, productive, and satisfying life for His children. 360° Life explores how ordinary people, regardless of their challenges, can experience life-altering change through simple faith. Billy Joe Daugherty weaves material from the Bible, his own experiences, and riveting interviews with contemporary Christians to reveal how not just to survive struggles, but to rise above them.

That’s the fulfilling result of a 360-degree life.

“Billy Joe Daugherty masterfully leads us back to the resurrection power of Christ that breaks us free from the fears of our past to live a victorious life.”
—T. D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House


Homeschool Resouce of the Day: Short & Sweet: Short Stories with a Message

A great collection of short short read-aloud stories by Katherine Loop of Christian Perspective. These short stories both entertain and challenge. Each story is written as a mini allegory and illustrates a spiritual truth in a memorable way that you and your child will not forget. Normally sold for $2.99 on their website, but free today only here at HomeschoolFreebieOfTheDay!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

i heart faces Week 17 - “Smiles” Photo Challenge

This week's photo challenge theme is "Smiles."

This is my entry of Matthew swinging outside...he is loving spring time. :o)

You can view more entries here.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

EcoMom Review & Giveaway

I'm like most of you out there. I want to do my part to help make the planet better. But I fall short, a lot. So when I find a company that has wonderful green products I will always give them a chance.

I was given the opportunity for the kids to try out some Clementine Art Organic Play Dough from EcoMom (also known as SproutBaby).Gracie was super excited. Anything crafty is her thing.She gets that from mommy.

This handmade, organic, soft dough contains six, 4 oz scented tubs: lemon, orange, key lime, blueberry, strawberry and grape.

The kit also contains two patterned rolling pins, a hammer and a roller cutter. The folks at Clementine Art Studio in Boulder are the geniuses behind this groovy art kit.

Why We (ecomom) Like This:

Kids love them because they are so cool, moms love them because they are safe and the sleek, reusable minimalist packaging rocks.

Why MY family likes this:
The smell is amazing, fresh fruity scents. Although I will say I like the smell of regular playdough. Something about it takes me back to my younger years. :) Anyways, I really liked the smell. Gracie wasn't impressed, it was all about the play for her. All I could get out of Rob was 'it's interesting' whatever that means.

It's not messy. We did have one small problem with the pink color. I don't know what happened, it was the only one. And of course Gracie being all girl this was highly upsetting. She is still mad it was too squishy and unusable. The rest were great and we've had lots of fun with those.

And then there is the organic part. It's awesome that you can find toys that are really safe for your kids. Non-toxic all the way. Matthew is still at that stage where he puts a lot in his mouth, so even though I'm not going to let him eat it...I don't have to be in that crazy, frantic rush to get it out of his mouth.

Overall EcoMom receives a big thumbs up from us!

Also I wanted to tell you that EcoMom has a new membership program called EcoPass which you purchase for an annual price of $99 and provides you with a 15% discount on every order and free shipping (which is usually only when you buy $75).

EcoMom has provided a discount code for all of my readers which is good until April 30th. For a 15% discount us this code: SBBL197.

But that's not all!! EcoMom has provided a giveaway for one lucky reader! They are giving away a Clementine Art Organic Play Dough just like what we received. :)

To enter:
Leave a comment below telling me what item you like from EcoMom.

Additional entries can be earned by:
*Following @EcoMomCEO on Twitter

*Liking EcoMom on Facebook

*Subscribing to EcoMom's newsletter

*Tweeting about it @lesleypeck

*Following my blog using Google Follower

*Subscribing to receive updates via email

*Liking me on Facebook

Please make sure you leave a comment for each so they can be counted. :)

Giveaway will end on May 1st at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen using
*Disclaimer: I was given a  product for review. The opinion is my own.*


Sticker Giveaway from Digital Room

Stickers are a great way to promote your blog or your business. Use them as address labels, event stickers, campaign giveaways, the list could go on! Channel your creativity and come up with unique sticker designs!

Digital Room has a wonderful giveaway for y'all!

It includes....

Giveaway Prize:
250 Stickers/Labels (choice of sizes: 2x3.5; 2x4; 3x3 )
70 lb Label Matte coating
Full Color Front and Blank back (4/0)
6 Business Days Turnaround

Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping

Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only 

To enter:
Leave a comment below telling me how you would use your stickers. Get creative!

Additional entries can be earned by:
*Tweeting about it @lesleypeck

*Following my blog using Google Follower

*Subscribing to receive updates via email

*Liking me on Facebook

Please make sure you leave a comment for each so they can be counted. :)

Giveaway will end on April 30th at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen using
*Disclaimer: I was given a blogger appreciation prize for posting this giveaway.*


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Free Plant Earth Download

In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, BBC Earth is offering a FREE download of one Planet Earth episode until Monday 4/26/10. This stunning HD episode is available on iTunes.

First in this jaw-dropping, 11-part series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit presents the epic story of life on Earth. Series producer Alastair Fothergill and his team spent four years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 71 cameramen filming across 204 locations in 62 countries to capture the ultimate portrait of our planet. It has garnered legions of fans and universal critical acclaim with Oprah Magazine saying “It is the most beautiful, wondrous and truly majestic series - the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV.”

Want more Planet Earth? The whole series is available for instant download on iTunes.
  • Standard Definition - $1.99/episode; $20.99 Series Pass
  • High-Definition - $2.99/episode; $31.99 Series Pass
Go behind-the scenes with the all-new playlist, The Planet Earth Diaries ($4.99/Playlist; 99¢/episode). Here you’ll find a total of 110 minutes (eleven 10-minute episodes) of footage detailing what the crew had to endure in order to capture some of the most enthralling moments of the series.

Wonderful series to watch! Everyone will enjoy this. :)


On Guard - Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010) 

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. With earned doctorates in philosophy and theology, he has established a reputation as one of the most prominent Christian philosophers of our day. His publications, debates, and internet presence have made him a highly visible champion of Christian faith. His seminary textbook, Reasonable Faith, is widely considered to be the best book on Christian apologetics today.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764885
ISBN-13: 978-1434764881



Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15 RSV)

I teach a Sunday school class called “Defenders” to about one hundred people, from high schoolers to senior adults, at our home church in Atlanta. We talk about what the Bible teaches (Christian doctrine) and about how to defend it (Christian apologetics). Sometimes people who aren’t in our class don’t understand what we do. One fine Southern lady, upon hearing that I teach Christian apologetics, remarked indignantly, “I’ll never apologize for my faith!”

Apologetics Means a Defense

The reason for her misunderstanding is obvious: “Apologetics” sounds like “apologize.” But apologetics is not the art of telling somebody you’re sorry that you’re a Christian! Rather apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which means a defense, as in a court of law. Christian apologetics involves making a case for the truth of the Christian faith.

The Bible actually commands us to have such a case ready to give to any unbeliever who wants to know why we believe what we do. Just as the contestants in a fencing match have learned both to parry each attack as well as to go on the offensive themselves, so we must always be “on guard.” First Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to make a defense [apologia] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (author’s translation).

Notice the attitude we’re supposed to have when giving our defense: We should be gentle and respectful. Apologetics is also not the art of making somebody else sorry that you’re a Christian! We can present a defense of the Christian faith without becoming defensive. We can present arguments for Christianity without becoming argumentative.

When I talk in this book about arguments for the Christian faith, it’s vital to understand that I don’t mean quarreling. We should never quarrel with a nonbeliever about our faith. That only makes people mad and drives them away. As I’ll explain later in this chapter, an argument in the philosophical sense is not a fight or a heated exchange; it’s just a series of statements leading to a conclusion. That’s all.

Ironically, if you have good arguments in support of your faith, you’re less apt to become quarrelsome or upset. I find that the better my arguments, the less argumentative I am. The better my defense, the less defensive I am. If you have good reasons for what you believe and know the answers to the unbeliever’s questions or objections, there’s just no reason to get hot under the collar. Instead, you’ll find yourself calm and confident when you’re under attack, because you know you have the answers.

I frequently debate on university campuses on topics like “Does God Exist?” or “Christianity vs.

Atheism.” Sometimes students in the audience get up during the Q&A period and attack me personally

or go into an abusive rant. I find that my reaction to these students is not anger, but rather simply feeling

sorry for them because they’re so mixed up. If you have good reasons for what you believe, then instead

of anger you’ll feel a genuine compassion for the unbeliever, who is often so misled. Good apologetics involves “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

Is Apologetics Biblical?

Some people think that apologetics is unbiblical. They say that you should just preach the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do His work! But I think that the example of Jesus and the apostles affirms the value of apologetics. Jesus appealed to miracles and to fulfilled prophecy to prove that His claims were true (Luke 24:25–27; John 14:11). What about the apostles? In dealing with other Jews, they used fulfilled prophecy, Jesus’ miracles, and especially Jesus’ resurrection to prove that He was the Messiah. Take, for example, Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost recorded in the second chapter of Acts. In verse 22, he appeals to Jesus’ miracles. In verses 25–31 he appeals to fulfilled prophecy. In verse 32 he appeals to Christ’s resurrection. By means of these arguments the apostles sought to show their fellow Jews that Christianity is true.

In dealing with non-Jews, the apostles sought to show the existence of God through His handiwork

in nature (Acts 14:17). In Romans 1, Paul says that from nature alone all men can know that God

exists (Rom. 1:20). Paul also appealed to eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ resurrection to show further that

Christianity is true (1 Cor. 15:3–8).

So it’s clear that both Jesus and the apostles were not afraid to give evidence for the truth of what

they proclaimed. This doesn’t mean they didn’t trust the Holy Spirit to bring people to God. Rather they trusted the Holy Spirit to use their arguments and evidence to bring people to God.

Why Is Apologetics Important?

It’s vitally important that Christians today be trained in apologetics. Why? Let me give three reasons.

1. Shaping culture. We’ve all heard of the so-called culture war going on in American society. Some people may not like this militaristic metaphor, but the truth is that a tremendous struggle for the soul of America is raging right now. This struggle is not just political. It has a religious or spiritual dimension as well. Secularists are bent on eliminating religion from the public square. The so-called New Atheists, represented by people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, are even more aggressive. They want to exterminate religious belief entirely.

American society has already become post-Christian. Belief in a sort of generic God is still the norm, but belief in Jesus Christ is now politically incorrect. How many films coming out of Hollywood portray Christians in a positive way? How many times do we instead find Christians portrayed as shallow, bigoted, villainous hypocrites? What is the public perception of Bible-believing Christians in our culture today?

The above cartoon poignantly depicts the perception of Christians by the cultural elite in American society today: goofy curiosities to be gawked at by normal people. But notice, they’re also dangerous. They mustn’t be allowed positions of influence in society. Maybe that’s why they even need to be penned up.

Why are these considerations of culture important? Why can’t we Christians just be faithful followers of Christ and ignore what is going on in the culture at large? Why not just preach the gospel to a dark and dying world?

The answer is, because the gospel is never heard in isolation. It is always heard against the backdrop of the culture in which you’ve been born and raised. A person who has been raised in a culture that is sympathetic to the Christian faith will be open to the gospel in a way that a person brought up in a secular culture will not. For a person who is thoroughly secularized, you may as well tell him to believe in fairies or leprechauns as in Jesus Christ! That’s how absurd the message of Christ will seem to him.

To see the influence of culture on your own thinking, imagine what you would think if a Hindu devotee of the Hare Krishna movement, with his shaved head and saffron robe, approached you at the airport or shopping mall, offering you a flower and inviting you to become a follower of Krishna. Such an invitation would likely strike you as bizarre, freakish, maybe even a bit funny. But think how differently someone in Delhi, India, would react if he were approached by such a person! Having been raised in a Hindu culture, he might take such an invitation very seriously.

If America’s slide into secularism continues, then what awaits us tomorrow is already evident today in Europe. Western Europe has become so secularized that it’s hard for the gospel even to get a fair hearing. As a result, missionaries must labor for years to win even a handful of converts. Having lived for thirteen years in Europe in four different countries, I can testify personally to how hard it is for people to respond to the message of Christ. Speaking on university campuses around Europe, I found that the students’ reaction was often bewilderment. Christianity is supposed to be for old women and children, they would think. So what’s this man with two earned doctorates from European universities doing here defending the truth of the Christian faith with arguments we can’t answer?

Once, when I was speaking at a university in Sweden, a student asked me during the Q&A following my talk, “What are you doing here?” Puzzled, I said, “Well, I’ve been invited by the Religious Studies Department to give this lecture.” “That’s not what I mean,” he insisted. “Don’t you understand how unusual this is? I want to know what motivates you personally to come and do this.” I suspect he had never seen a Christian philosopher before—in fact, a prominent Swedish philosopher told me that there are no Christian philosophers at any university in Sweden. The student’s question gave me the chance to share the story of how I came to Christ.

The skepticism on European university campuses runs so deep that when I spoke on the existence of God at the University of Porto in Portugal, the students (as I learned later) actually telephoned the Higher Institute of Philosophy at the University of Louvain in Belgium, where I was affiliated, to see if I was an imposter! They thought I was a fake! I just didn’t fit into their stereotype of a Christian.

If the gospel is to be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women today,

then it’s vital that we as Christians try to shape American culture in such a way that Christian belief cannot be dismissed as mere superstition. This is where Christian apologetics comes in. If Christians

could be trained to provide solid evidence for what they believe and good answers to unbelievers’

questions and objections, then the perception of Christians would slowly change. Christians would be seen as thoughtful people to be taken seriously rather than as emotional fanatics or buffoons. The gospel would be a real alternative for people to embrace.

I’m not saying that people will become Christians because of the arguments and evidence. Rather I’m saying that the arguments and evidence will help to create a culture in which Christian belief is a reasonable thing. They create an environment in which people will be open to the gospel. So becoming trained in apologetics is one way, a vital way, of being salt and light in American culture today.

2. Strengthening believers. The benefits of apologetics in your personal Christian life are huge. Let me mention three.

First of all, knowing why you believe as well as what you believe will make you more confident in sharing your faith with others. I see this happen all the time on university campuses when I have a public debate with a non-Christian professor. My experience is that while these professors may be very knowledgeable in their area of specialization, they are almost clueless when it comes to the evidence for Christianity. The Christian position in these debates usually comes out so far ahead of the non-Christian position that unbelieving students often complain that the whole event was a setup, staged to make the non-Christian position look bad! The truth is that we try to get the best opponents, who are often picked by the atheist club on campus.

Christian students, by contrast, come away from these debates with their heads held high, proud to be Christians. One Canadian student remarked to me following a debate, “I can’t wait to share my faith in Christ!” People who lack training in apologetics are often afraid to share their faith or speak out for

Christ out of fear that someone might ask them a question. But if you know the answers, then you’re not afraid to go into the lion’s den—in fact, you’ll enjoy it! Training in apologetics will help to make you a bold and fearless witness for Christ.

Second, apologetics can also help you to keep the faith in times of doubt and struggle. Emotions

will carry you only so far, and then you’re going to need something more substantial. When I speak in

churches around the country, I often meet parents who say something like, “If only you’d been here two

or three years ago! Our son (or daughter) had questions about the faith which no one could answer, and now he’s far from the Lord.”

In fact, there seem to be more and more reports of Christians abandoning their faith. A Christian minister at Stanford University recently told me that 40 percent of Christian high school students in church youth groups will quit church involvement altogether after graduation. Forty percent! It’s not just that they lose their faith in a hostile university environment. Rather, many have already abandoned faith while still in the youth group but continue to go through the motions until they’re out from under their parents’ authority.

I think the church is really failing these kids. Rather than provide them training in the defense of Christianity’s truth, we focus on emotional worship experiences, felt needs, and entertainment. It’s no wonder they become sitting ducks for that teacher or professor who rationally takes aim at their faith. In high school and college, students are intellectually assaulted with every manner of non-Christian philosophy conjoined with an overwhelming relativism and skepticism. We’ve got to train our kids for war. How dare we send them unarmed into an intellectual war zone? Parents must do more than take their children to church and read them Bible stories. Moms and dads need to be trained in apologetics themselves and so be able to explain to their children simply from an early age and then with increasing depth why we believe as we do. Honestly, I find it hard to understand how Christian couples in our day and age can risk bringing children into the world without being trained in apologetics as part of the art of parenting.

Of course, apologetics won’t guarantee that you or your children will keep the faith. There are all kinds of moral and spiritual factors that come into play, too. Some of the most effective atheist Web sites feature ex-believers who were trained in apologetics and still abandoned the faith. But when you look

closely at the arguments they give for abandoning Christianity, they are often confused or weak. I recently saw one Web site where the person provided a list of the books that had persuaded him that Christianity is bunk—followed by the remark that he hopes to read them someday! Ironically, some of these folks come to embrace positions that are more extreme and require more gullibility—such as that Jesus never existed—than the conservative views they once held.

But while apologetics is no guarantee, it can help. As I travel, I also meet many people who have been brought back from the brink of abandoning their faith by reading an apologetics book or watching a debate. Recently I had the privilege of speaking at Princeton University on arguments for the existence of God, and after my lecture a young man approached me who wanted to talk. Obviously trying to hold back the tears, he told me how a couple of years earlier he had been struggling with doubts and was almost to the point of abandoning his faith. Someone then gave him a video of one of my debates. He said, “It saved me from losing my faith. I cannot thank you enough.”

I said, “It was the Lord who saved you from falling.”

“Yes,” he replied, “but He used you. I can’t thank you too much.” I told him how thrilled I was for him and asked him about his future plans. “I’m graduating this year,” he told me, “and I plan to go to seminary. I’m going into the pastorate.” Praise God for the victory in this young man’s life! When you’re going through hard times and God seems distant, apologetics can help you to remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.

Finally, the study of apologetics is going to make you a deeper and more interesting person. American culture is so appallingly superficial, fixated on celebrities, entertainment, sports, and self-indulgence. Studying apologetics is going to take you beyond all that to life’s deepest questions, questions about the existence and nature of God, the origin of the universe, the source of moral values, the problem of suffering and evil, and so on. As you wrestle with these deep questions, you yourself will be changed.

You will become more thoughtful and well-rounded. You’ll learn how to think logically and to analyze what other people are saying. Instead of saying sheepishly, “This is how I feel about it—it’s just my opinion, that’s all,” you’ll be able to say, “This is what I think about it, and here are my reasons.…” As a Christian, you’ll begin to have a deeper appreciation of Christian truths about God and the world and see how they all fit together to make up a Christian worldview.

3. Winning unbelievers. Many people will agree with what I’ve said about the role of apologetics in strengthening believers, but they deny that it’s of any use in winning unbelievers to Christ. “No one comes to Christ through arguments!” they’ll tell you.

To a certain extent, I think that such people are just victims of false expectations. When you realize that only a minority of people who hear the gospel respond positively to it and place their faith in Christ, we shouldn’t be surprised that most people will refuse to be persuaded by our arguments and evidence. By the very nature of the case, we should expect that most unbelievers will remain unconvinced by our apologetic arguments, just as most remain unmoved by the preaching of the cross.

And remember, no one knows for sure about the cumulative effect of such arguments, as the seed is planted and then watered again and again in ways we can’t even imagine. We shouldn’t expect that the unbeliever, when he first hears our apologetic case, will just roll over and play dead! Of course he’ll

fight back! Think of what’s at stake for him! But we patiently plant and water in hopes that over time the seed will grow and bear fruit.

But why bother, you might ask, with that minority of a minority with whom apologetics is effective? First, because every person is precious to God, a person for whom Christ died. Like a missionary called to reach an obscure people group, the Christian apologist is burdened to reach that minority of

persons who will respond to rational argument and evidence.

But second, this people group, though relatively small in numbers, is huge in influence. One of these persons, for example, was C. S. Lewis. Think of the impact that one man’s conversion continues to have! I find that the people who resonate most with my apologetic arguments tend to be engineers, people in medicine, and lawyers. Such persons are among the most influential in shaping our culture today. So reaching this minority of persons will yield a great harvest for the kingdom of God.

In any case the general conclusion that apologetics is ineffective in evangelism is just not true. Lee Strobel recently remarked to me that he has lost count of the number of people who have come to Christ through his books The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith. Nor has it been my experience that apologetics is ineffective in evangelism. We continually are thrilled to see people committing their lives to Christ through presentations of the gospel coupled with apologetics.

After giving a talk on arguments for the existence of God or evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, I’ll sometimes conclude with a prayer of commitment to give one’s life to Christ, and the comment cards indicate those who have registered such a commitment. Just recently I did a speaking tour of universities in central Illinois, and we were thrilled to find that almost every time I gave such a presentation, students indicated decisions for Christ. I’ve even seen students come to Christ just through hearing a defense of the

cosmological argument (which I’ll explain in this book)!

It has been thrilling, too, to hear stories of how people have been drawn to Christ through reading something I’ve written on apologetics. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in debates with Islamic apologists on various university campuses in Canada and the States. Recently, early one Saturday morning, we received a telephone call. The foreign voice on the other end announced, “Hello! This is Sayd al-Islam calling from Oman!” He went on to explain that he had secretly lost his Muslim faith and had become an atheist. But now by reading various Christian apologetic works, which he was ordering on, he had come to believe in God and was on the verge of making a commitment to Christ.

He was impressed with the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection and had called me because he had several questions he still needed to settle. We talked for an hour, and I sensed that in his heart he already believed; but he wanted to be cautious and be sure he had the evidence in place before he consciously made that step. He explained to me, “You understand that I cannot tell you my real name. In my country I must lead a sort of double life because otherwise I would be killed.” I prayed with him that God would continue to guide him into truth, and then we said good-bye. You can imagine how full of thanks my heart was to God for using these books—and the Internet!—in the life of this man! Stories like this could be multiplied, and, of course, we never hear of most of them.

When apologetics is persuasively presented and sensitively combined with a gospel presentation and a personal testimony, the Spirit of God is pleased to use it to bring people to Himself.

How to Get the Most out of This Book

This book is intended to be a sort of training manual to equip you to fulfill the command of 1 Peter 3:15. So this is a book to be studied, not just read. You’ll find several arguments that I’ve put into easily memorizable steps. In discussing each argument, I’ll present a reason (or several reasons) to think

that each step in the argument is true. Then I’ll discuss the usual objections to each step and show you how to answer them. In that way you’ll be prepared in advance for possible questions you might meet in sharing your faith.

For example, suppose we have the following argument:

1. All men are mortal.

2. Socrates is a man.

3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

This is what we call a logically valid argument. That is to say, if steps 1 and 2 are true, then the conclusion, 3, is also true.

Logic is an expression of the mind of God (John 1:1). It describes how a supremely rational being reasons. There are only about nine basic rules of logic. So long as you obey the rules of logic, they guarantee that if the steps of your argument are true, then the conclusion is true as well. We then say that

the truth of the conclusion follows logically from the argument’s steps.

So the question then becomes: Are steps 1 and 2 in the above argument true? In support of step 1, we might present scientific and medical evidence for the fact that all men are mortal. In support of step 2 we might turn to historical evidence to prove that Socrates was a man. Along the way, we’d want to consider any objections to 1 or 2 and seek to answer them. For example, someone might deny step 2 because he believes that Socrates is just a mythical figure and not a real man. We’d have to show why the evidence

suggests that this belief is mistaken.

Steps 1 and 2 in this argument are called premises. If you obey the rules of logic and your premises are true, then your conclusion must be true as well.

Now the determined skeptic can deny any conclusion simply by denying one of the premises. You can’t force someone to accept the conclusion if he’s willing to pay the price of rejecting one of the premises. But what you can do is raise the price of rejecting the conclusion by giving good evidence for the truth of the premises.

For example, the person who denies premise 2 of the above argument is embracing a historical skepticism that the vast majority of professional historians would find unjustified. So he can reject premise 2 if he wants to, but he pays the price of making himself look like a kook. Such a person can hardly condemn as irrational someone who does accept the truth of premise 2.

So in presenting apologetic arguments for some conclusion, we want to raise the price of denying the conclusion as high as we can. We want to help the unbeliever see what it will cost him intellectually to resist the conclusion. Even if he is willing to pay that price, he may at least come to see why we

are not obliged to pay it, and so he may quit ridiculing Christians for being irrational or having no reasons for what we believe. And if he’s not willing to pay the price, then he may change his mind and come to accept the conclusion we’re arguing for.

In presenting the arguments and evidence in this book, I’ve tried to be simple without being simplistic. I’ll consider the strongest objections to my arguments and offer answers to them. Sometimes the material may be new and difficult for you. I’d encourage you to consider it in small bites, which are easier to digest. You might find it helpful to be part of a small group, where you can discuss the arguments. Don’t feel bad if you disagree with me on some points. I want you to think for yourself.

At the end of most chapters you’ll find an argument map or outline of the case presented in that chapter. Let me explain how to use the argument map. The map has a “swim lane” format that exhibits my argument in the left-hand lane labeled “Pro.” The right-hand lane labeled “Con” exhibits the objections

that might be raised by an opponent of the argument. The arrows moving back and forth across the lanes trace the various Pro and Con responses that might be given. These maps will help you to see the big picture.

Consider, for example, the argument map on the facing page:

In the left-hand lane we see the first premise of the argument: “All men are mortal.” Following the arrow, we find the evidence given in support of that premise. In this case no response to this premise is offered, and so the “Con” lane remains blank. Next in the “Pro” lane comes the second premise: “Socrates is a man.” Here the skeptic does have a response, and so in the “Con” lane we see the objection that “Socrates was just a mythological figure.” Following the arrow, we find the answer to this objection, which states succinctly the historical evidence for Socrates’ being a real man. Notice that only a very terse summary is provided; reading the argument maps will be no substitute for studying the arguments themselves as they are presented in the text. The argument maps just help you to see the big picture.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to defend your faith intelligently? Wouldn’t you like to have some arguments at your fingertips to share with someone who says Christians have no good reasons for what they believe? Aren’t you tired of being afraid and intimidated by unbelievers?

If so, then read on! I’m glad you’ve chosen this book, and I commend you for being On Guard, ready to give a reason for the hope within.

©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. On Guard by William Lane Craig. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

An interview with On Guard author William Lane Craig

Q: What is apologetics? Why do you think we’re experiencing a renewed interest in Christian apologetics?

Apologetics is the study of the defense of our faith and Scriptures. This is taken directly out of Scripture where Jesus appealed to the evidence of his miracles and fulfilled prophecy as authentication of his claims, and the Apostle Paul does the same:

“As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’ he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women (Acts 17:2-4).

In Scripture we are commanded to: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).”

Q: Your works are well known in seminary and intellectual circles. What caused you to write a more readable and relatable guide on apologetics?

As I speak around the country and other parts of the world, increasingly, people have responded so positively to what I have said in lectures and debates with atheists that they, too, would like to learn some basic logical principles of reasoning and arguments for our faith. Christianity stands head and shoulders above any other world view, and you can show why with confidence.

Q: Describe how the American culture has slowly but surely become post-Christian. What can we expect as our culture continues on this path?

People in the United States still believe in God, but religious relativism has become the conventional wisdom of the day. Jesus Christ has become politically incorrect. I have seen on campuses where I speak that Christians are now labeled “immoral” because they are not open-minded, but are intolerant and bigoted.

Q: What are some of your experiences as you’ve lectured and debated in the European world, where Christian belief has become somewhat antiquated?

The sobering thing is that where Christianity has retreated, especially in Europe, false views fill this void, and people succumb to views like secularism and Islam. They then find themselves without a proper foundation to fight these ideologies.

Q: What caused you to pursue apologetics with such vigor? Why would you encourage others to consider training in apologetics?

I became a Christian at the age of 16, when I sat down behind a gal in my German class, and, well, she was the kind of person that was always so happy that it just made me sick! I was feeling particularly miserable, and so I asked her, “Sandy, what in the world are you always so happy about anyway?” And to my shock, she replied, “Well, Bill, it’s because I’m saved. I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord!” To make a long story short, within 6 months, I committed my life to Christ. Then I felt the daunting responsibility of sharing with my family and friends the truth of Christianity. But how? That began my quest for a sound defense.

Q: How do you envision that On Guard might be used?

On Guard can easily be used by pastors in referring the book to students who want in depth answers especially when challenged by their teachers in high school or professors at the university. Youth pastors can use this book to mentor students. I also see groups like Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and home groups learning together these timeless arguments and evidence. I have even received a letter from an Australian Sunday School teacher who uses this material to teach his eight and nine year old students!

My thoughts:
This is a really good book for people who want to grow in their faith and  have the knowledge to stand behind what they believe.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Grumpy Monk Giveaway (2 winners)

Earlier this month, I wrote a review on Robin Khoury's book 'The Grumpy Monk'. I really loved this book and was so happy when Robin asked me if I wanted to host a giveaway. Immediately I agreed. It just took us a little while to get everything ironed out. :)

This giveaway will have 2 (TWO) winners!

One winner will receive a soft covered copy  and one winner will receive an e-book download copy.

To enter to win all you need to do is leave me a comment below telling me why you want to win and which format you'd like.

Additional entries can be gained by...
*Tweeting about it @lesleypeck

*Following my blog using Google Follower

*Subscribing to receive updates via email

*Following me on Facebook

*Becoming a fan of Friends of Little Light Press on Facebook

Make sure you leave a comment for each so they can be counted. :)

Giveaway will end on May 5th at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen using


Book Review: The Ocean Between Us - includes GIVEAWAY

Tuesday April 27th, 2010.

Steve Bennett is a perfect navy officer with a perfect navy family and he's confident that his world is just the way it should be. But his son wants to be an artist instead of attending the U.S. Naval Academy, and his stalwart and capable wife of 20 years, Grace, is tired of being the perfect navy wife. She wants her own home, and she wants her own career. She's feeling altogether unsettled, but nothing is more unsettling than the secret her husband has hidden from her their entire marriage. Nothing, that is, until the accident on the carrier.

I LOVE Susan Wiggs books. They always seem so real.  I've read just about all of them.

This is an amazing book. Granted I am not a military wife and don't really know how military life is, but I guess I can imagine a life like this. It's one of those books that draws you in until you finish reading. You want to find out what's going to happen next and if there will be a happily ever after; for all the members of the family. You can purchase a copy here OR you can enter to win one of the three prizes below! :)

One (1) Grand Prize winner from your site receives:
  • Get a little renewal in your life with a $25 VISA gift card
  • Copy of The Ocean Between Us
Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of the book!

To enter to win: 

Leave a comment below telling me something about how you take a little time for you, what makes you happy.

Additional entries can be earned by: 
*Tweeting about it @lesleypeck

*Following my blog using Google Follower

*Subscribing to receive updates via email

*Following me on Facebook

Make sure you leave a comment for each so they can be counted. :)

Giveaway will end on May 5th at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be chosen using

*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book for review by Big Honcho Media. The opinion is my own.*


Book Review: The Lumby Lines

Nestled in the Northwest is a quaint little town that its quirky residents are proud to call home. With charming shops lining its one main thoroughfare, Lumby has the oldest apple tree in the county and the smallest bank in the state. And though it's hours from the nearest big city, you'll always find Lumby close to your heart . . .

Nearly destroyed by fire, Montis Abbey remains a ruin on the outskirts of Lumby. Once home to a resourceful order of monks, it stands abandoned, surrounded by its overgrown orchards. Then Mark and Pam Walker, a vacationing couple from the East Coast, stumble upon it -- and upon the answer to their prayers. Leaving behind their hectic lives to restore the monastery and turn it into an inn is a dream come true.

But some residents of Lumby take a while to warm up to outsiders. One of them is irascible William Beezer, owner of The Lumby Lines -- the newspaper "worth the paper it's printed on." At every turn, he tries to hinder the Walkers' efforts. The couple soon learns that for every citizen like William, there are many more willing to lend a hand, and that Lumby isn't just a place -- it's a way of life.

Other books in this series include: Stealing Lumby, Lumby's Bounty, The Promise of Lumby, and Lumby on the Air (coming Spring 2010).


This series of books are amazing!!I was provided with the entire series minus Lumby on the Air, because it hasn't been released yet. Well that I know of. Trust me I'll be getting it when it does!

Awesome story!

You have such a diverse group of people that by the time you are done reading the books you want to move to Lumby. I mean who wouldn't love to live in a town where a dog (yes, I said a DOG!) could be voted mayor. You have nuns, monks, and regular folks mixing it up in a vineyard, hanging out out a remodeled once church now inn, trouble maker teens that make for an enjoyable book. If you want to join in the crazy, fun of Lumby you can go here to purchase them.

*Disclaimer: I was provided this book from FSB Media for review. The opinion is my own.*


Book Review: The Bridegrooms

It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike

Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.

Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.

Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.

Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.
This book is a great read. It reminds me a bit of Little Women without Marmee. It's witty and funny and very enjoyable to read.  A perfect book to just lose yourself in. You can purchase a copy for yourself here.

*Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. The opinion is my own.*


Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review: Forget Me Not

A mother who cannot face her future.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?
WOW! What can I sat about this book other than it kept me guessing right up til the end? It was truly amazing and I loved the plot and characters. If you like mystery and suspense and a love story all rolled into one you need to get this book! You can purchase a copy here.

*Disclaimer: This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. The opinion is my own.*


Fix-It Friday #50 i heart faces

Time again for another Fix-It Friday! :) I am having so much fun doing these!

Here is the original photo from Debbie @ 50 Cent of Your Love.

 Debbie wanted to know how to lighten the picture and smooth out the skin.

So here are my edits...

I used ACDSee Photo Editor 2008 and used the smudge tool to even out the skin.

Used the AutoFix and Color Equalizer.

Used the Sepia tool to give it an aged look.

Added a blue border using Picnik, I liked how it made her face pop.

full-on Sepia

You can view more Fix-Its by going to iHeartFaces.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party Time 2010

Are you ready to party?? I am!! Woooooooo!! Ok, so that was majorly cheesy. But I guess you could say that is me. ;o)

Hi there! If you haven't visited me before my name is Lesley. I live in the great state of WV with the love of my life, Robby and our two kiddies - Gracie (6yrs) and Matthew (20mos).

Here's a bit about me...
*I'm a fairly simple person. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Give me a flower or a  lollipop and I'm yours forever.
*I love hard and am passionate about many things.
*I think people are generally good. They just sometimes make really, really bad choices. I'm an optimist.
*I don't like to cook or clean. That makes me feel bad. Like a really bad
wife and mama....but I'm trying to be better. Nobody's perfect ya know!
*I love, love, love to go barefoot. I hate socks!

Does that tell you enough? No? Really? Ok, well then you'll just need to leave me a comment and ask away. :o) I liiiiike comments.Or if you don't want to admit you want to know more about my crazy self you can always check out the About Me page. :o)

I blog because it's fun. I love sharing with people, hence the product reviews and giveaways. Throughout this blog and other social networking sites I've been able to meet some great people. I've been blessed.

You can find me on Facebook here and here. Twitter here. And don't forget to subscribe by email and Google Friend Connect (on the sidebars). :))

I'm gonna have some giveaways going on here within the next day or so - so be sure and come back to visit me I mean enter to win. See ya soon!! Told you I was an optimist....see I still think you might actually come back here. ;o)

Now don't forget to head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom and check out all the other partiers. You know they have some AMAZING prizes. Like a Toshiba laptop. Oh my. How I would love to win that. But I don't ever win big stuff. Still I have hope. They have other cool stuff too like gift certificates, necklaces, photo gifts, beauty products. The list goes on. Wonderful stuff!!


My WV Family

I'm not talking just about my immediate family. I'm talking about how West Virginia is a state that is so very close knit, that in ways we are a family. We come together in good times and in bad.

Just last week we were together in cheering on our WVU Mountaineers while they competed in the NCAA Final Fours. We watched as Da'Sean Butler fell to the court in agonizing pain, we saw his coach Bob Huggins cradle and comfort him. We shed tears, not just for the loss but for his pain also.

And now WV has gathered again in the wake of a terrible tragedy.

  In Raleigh County, the area in which I live, we were shocked and saddened to hear about a mine explosion in a nearby town of Whiteville at the Upper Big Branch mine. 25 men have died, 2 are injured and are in nearby hospitals, and there is an ongoing rescue attempt to find 4 missing miners. I don't know that I know any of the miners, not all names have been released yet. But I know many people that have lost a dad, son, brother, grandson, uncle. This has devastated families. Many families lost more than one person in this explosion. It's an extremely sad situation. The night it happened I cried for all those families that were waiting to hear news on their loved ones. I stayed up late watching news reports hoping they were able to get them out safely. And shed a tear when the numbers continued to rise of those who had lost their life.

This picture along with the miners uniform were taken from the Facebook page -PRAY FOR THE COAL MINERS IN RALEIGH CO. WV

I ask that all of you send up a prayer for the miners that are lost to us, the injured and the missing. Ask that God holds each of these families in His arms and comfort them in this time of need. Also remember the 32 members of the rescue crews that are assisting in rescue efforts.

Many want to talk badly about the coal industry, but this is not the time to do so. We need to remember that these men were just doing their jobs trying to provide for their families. Families that are now grieving. They deserve our respect and prayers.

UPDATED: I'm adding a video made by a sweet, sweet friend Serena who grew up as a coal miner's daughter. I hope you enjoy. It's very beautiful.